The National Coordinator, Nigeria Governors‘ Forum (NGF) State Peer Review Mechanism (SPRM), Dr Afeikhena Jerome said Ekiti Government had raised its Internally-Generated Revenue (IGR) from N106 million monthly in 2010 to N1 billion monthly in 2012.
He made this known in an interview in Abuja.
Jerome was speaking on the findings of the NGF SPRM in Ekiti, which was one of the states that supported the take-off of the SPRM process, the other being Anambra.
He said Ekiti achieved the feat by blocking leakages in revenue collection and making tax payments affordable and convenient for the people in the informal sector.
“This finding is commendable and indicative of the potential for increasing the state’s IGR further and should be emulated by all states of the federation,’’ Jerome said.
He advised Ekiti government not to rest on its oars as a lot still needed to be done to reduce the state’s high dependence on federal allocation.
Jerome urged the state government to implement the unique national tax identification number and to examine the possibility of widening its tax base to further boost its IGR.
He commended Gov. Kayode Fayemi for his commitment to transparency and accountability in governance and the House of Assembly for passing into law “bills that will enhance public accountability’’.
According to Jerome, Ekiti is the first state in the federation to enact a state version of the Freedom of Information Act with the passage of the Ekiti State Freedom of Information Law No. 10 of 2011.
This, he said, would further ensure transparency, accountability and good governance in the state.
He also lauded the state government for domesticating the Fiscal Responsibility Law and for ensuring that the law included most of the main ingredients of fiscal responsibility.
He, however, advised the government to enhance its current efforts at fiscal planning by ensuring the existence of adequate professional capacity in the state’s Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning.
Jerome urged the government to strengthen the state’s Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), and provide it with professional staff and freedom to operate and ensure greater use of open competitive bidding in procurement activities.
The national coordinator commended the state’s Social Security Scheme for the Elderly, saying the state was a “pace setter’’ in the introduction of social security policy in the country.
The Ekiti State Senior Citizen‘s Welfare Law, according to Jerome, authorises the provision of assistance to resident elderly people in areas of health care and payment of grants.
He said more than 20,000 elderly citizens had been enrolled as beneficiaries since the scheme was introduced and commended the state governor for ensuring popular participation in the state’s policy making processes.
He noted that the law made the people to become owners of state policies, having contributed to such policies, pointing out that the state government was relatively doing well in agriculture, education, environment and other sectors.
Jerome, however, said that the functionality of the state’s Primary Health Centres (PHCs) was uneven.
“The health sector in Ekiti is not lacking in strategies and public health policies that could engender good health for the people if assiduously adhered to.’’
According to him, the maternal and child health programme is available only in 34 of the 293 PHCs spread across the three senatorial districts of the state “which should be corrected without delay’’.
“The state has 20 general hospitals and two tertiary health institutions,’’ he said.
Meanwhile, reports say that DFID-State Partnership for Accountability and Capacity is partnering the NGF to drive the SPRM process, aimed at ensuring development in the states.
The process involves the sharing of useful experiences from other governments and the international community, and assessing each state’s strength, weaknesses and opportunities.
Crude Hits Seven-Year High On Recovery Hope … Equity Rally Runs Out
Crude oil hit a more than seven-year high yesterday on optimism that the global recovery will ramp up demand.
However, concerns about the end of long-running central bank support and rising Treasury yields saw most equity markets reverse early gains.
After an almost uninterrupted rally from the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, world markets are showing signs of levelling out as global finance chiefs shift from economy-boosting largesse to measures aimed at reining in inflation.
Still, there is an expectation that equities will enjoy further gains this year as countries reopen and people grow more confident about travel, especially as studies suggest the more prevalent Omicron coronavirus variant appears to be milder and as vaccines are rolled out.
Analysts are also watching the corporate earnings season that is underway, with hopes that firms can match their stellar performances last year.
But while Asian markets started the day brightly after Monday’s travails, traders returned to selling, with US Treasury yields surging on expectations the Federal Reserve will have to unveil several interest rate hikes to tackle a worrying spike in inflation. Wall Street was closed Monday.
Tokyo, Hong Kong, Sydney, Seoul, Singapore, Taipei, Mumbai, Bangkok and Jakarta all fell.
There were gains in Shanghai in hopes of fresh economy-boosting measures, while Wellington and Manila also edged up.
London, Paris and Frankfurt all fell at the open.
But oil built on its early promise, with Brent climbing to $88.13 a barrel and WTI hitting $85.74, both levels not seen since October 2014.
The gains came thanks to demand optimism as the world reopens and concerns about Omicron ease. The loosening of travel restrictions in several countries has seen jet fuel costs soar.
Hopes for more monetary easing by major consumer, China, to reinforce its stuttering economy were also seen as key support for the oil market.
NPA, MWUN, Others Synergise On Labour
President General of Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), Comrade Adewale Adeyanju, has reaffirmed commitment to ensuring smooth working relationship with management, Tin Can Island Port Complex (TCIPC) of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) on labour related issues.
Adeyanju, who made the commitment during a working visit to the Port Manager, TCIPC, Mr. Buba Jubril, in Lagos, noted that the union will continue to promote industrial peace and harmony in the operational activities at seaports.
Noting that synergy among all the maritime stakeholders was key for port efficiency, he hinted that the union has changed the narrative from being tagged as hooligans to a more responsible and civil Institution in the maritime industry.
Earlier, the Port Manager, TCIPC, Buba Jubril, thanked the PG of MWUN for the systematic approach on labour related issues at the port level
Disclosing that the PG has been instrumental to the existing peace in port operations, Jubril assured on the existing synergy the port authority and all the unions.
Jubril further said that “ Myself and the President General MWUN has come a long in the industry.
“I have known him (PG) for over 33years and that will tell you that he is my friend and friend to management of the Nigeria port authority”, he said.
Osinbajo Wants More Stakeholders’ Involvement In Blue Economy … Inaugurates Committee
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has sought for wider participation of relevant stakeholders in the blue economy project to deepen participation and benefits of Nigerians from the country’s marine resources.
Making the call at the inaugural meeting of an Expanded Committee on Sustainable Blue Economy in Nigeria at the Presidential Villa yesterday, the Vice President said “a viable blue economy project will offer vista of opportunities not only for littoral states where there are bodies of waters, but for the entire country”.
He identified areas to be exploited to include ports, terminals, fishing, training, environment, tourism, power,oil and gas.
While identifying possible challenges of sustainability, the VP urged all the ministries, departments and agencies to strengthen their collaborations in an atmosphere of inter ministerial working groups and advised all members to attend the meetings faithfully for maximum results.
Osinbajo , who formally inaugurated the expanded committee, identified the need for a legal framework that will be more robust than other international maritime conventions on blue economy, which Nigeria has been signatory to.
He said the scope and participation of the committee will be further improved upon to accommodate more members from government agencies and relevant private sector stakeholders
“There is no doubt that the blue economy is a new frontier for economic development and a means of diversifying the economy through the use of resources from oceans, seas, rivers and lakes for the well being of the people.
“It also provides positive contribution to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs) 2052 Africa Integrated Maritime Strategy (2052AIM) and the UN 2030 agenda
“This concept for economic diversification is promoted by the international community and provides friendly means of livelihood in line with this administration’s agenda on job creation’, he said.
He continued that “the ocean economy as an emerging economic frontier applies to ocean-based industry activities and the assets, goods and services of marine ecosystems.
“Countries have to define the scope of their blue economy based on their priorities. For example, in Bangladesh, the ocean economy consists of the following broad and growing economic sectors; living resources, minerals, energy, transport, trade, tourism and recreation, carbon sequestration and coastal protection.
“These industries and ecosystem services do not develop in isolation, but rather interact as an economic ecosystem”, the VP said.
Earlier in his remark,Transportation Minister, Rotimi Amaechi said the blue economy is capable of improving government revenue, create employments and grow the gross domestic product of Nigeria.
Amaechi, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Dr Magdalene Ajani, also expressed optimism in the benefits derivable from a well exploited marine environment
Speaking at the event, Dr. Paul Adalikwu, Secretary General of Maritime Organisation of West and Central Africa (MOWCA) lauded the initiative of the expansion while recommending inclusion of financial institutions such as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and African Development Bank (AfDB), as well as key financial institutions that will contribute meaningfully to realizing Nigeria’s Blue Economy objective.
In addition to maritime agencies such as the Nigeria Ports Authority, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, and Maritime Academy of Nigeria, the expanded committee also include ten state governors.
They the Governors of Rivers, Lagos, Delta, Akwa Ibom, Borno, Ogun, Ondo, Cross River, Bayelsa and Edo States.
Other members are Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Power, Finance, Environment, Trade and Investment, Agriculture and Water Resources , Chief of Naval Staff, Comptroller General of Customs, Lake Chad Basin Commission, Nigeria Economic Summit Group, etc.
By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos
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