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14 Banks Audit Report May Halt Market Gains

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There are fears that recent events pertaining to the 14 other banks where the CBN final report is still being awaited may halt further gains in the market. These fresh fears are hinged on the seizure of the traveling documents of some chief executives of the 14 banks and the state security service (SSS) surveillance of their movements even when the CBN insisted that its final report on their state of health would be released sometime in October.
The way things are now, capital formation and extension of credit have become frozen, with adverse implications for business expansion and national economic growth and development. Indeed, there has been a sustained erosion in the value of investments in the stock market, including investments by Nigerians in the Diaspora and the pension funds.
Market operators opined that continuing downtrend in fueling capital flight from the country as an increasing number of Nigerians – both local and in the Diaspora – are beginning to look beyond our borders for investment options.
They argued that the economy cannot afford further distinction of savings on top of the N6.91 trillion in savings lost in the last eighteen months as a result of the stock market meltdown.
According to analysts at source capital, “the N6.91 trillion in savings lost is equal to 62 per cent of total government expenditure in the last five years. It is equal to 29 per cent of the total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for 2008”. Nigerian investors, individuals and institutions including their foreign counterpart would like to see an early recovery stability on the stock market.
And in this regard, the Chartered Institute of Stock brokers (CIS) insists that there is an urgent need for further government stabilization initiatives in the economy, especially in view of the wider social implications of a continued downturn in the economy CIS and the Association of Stock broking Houses of Nigeria (ASHON) had commended the injection of N420 billion into the five weakest banks noting that it would go a long way in addressing the lingering confidence problem of the industry.
However, they maintained that the CBN initiative needed to be reinforced and maintain the momentum generated.
The operators posited that it has become necessary to follow-up the CBN action with complimentary programmes to address the other similarly impacted segments of the financial system and the observable slow down in the wider economy. The benefits of further government intervention have been kinted to restoring stability to the economy and the financial markets with a view to facilitate the management of banks’ exposure to the economy.
On the other hand, stabilisation of the stock market will boost investor confidence, re-ignite domestic capital formation and long-term savings and stimulate economic activity by providing financing for business expansion, expanding employment opportunities and boost government revenue through taxation.
It is also believed that the process would also encourage inflow of foreign investment as a supplement to domestic savings and provide financing for government’s infrastructural development programme.

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FOI Act Implementation Bothers BPST Boss

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The Director-General, Bureau of Public Service Reforms, Dr Dasuki Arabi, has expressed regrets that the implementation of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) has remained very low since the law was enacted.
The BPSR boss made the observation during a workshop held on Wednesday in Abuja on the appraisal of Freedom of Information Act.
Arabi said the Act was meant to entrench transparency and openness in governance through improved compliance to annual reporting obligations of public institutions.
“It is also expected to guide and improve compliance of public institutions in proactive disclosure of mandatory publication requirements, as well as empower citizens, the right to access information held by the state.
“Regrettably, since the introduction of the FOI Act, it is evident that the level of compliance among public institutions still remains low.
“While the level of engagement by citizens still remains insignificant and in some cases fraught with misunderstanding between the State and Non-State actors,” he added.
Arabi, therefore, said that the workshop was to resolve some of the grey areas around FOI, as well as foster a harmonious relationship between the State and Non-State actors towards the implementation of the Act.
He said good governance and transparency would only thrive in the country when citizens access to Information is assured.
The DG emphasised that the FOIA provided platform for inclusiveness that sought to hold leaders to account and feed into the decision making process.
Arabi said that the Bureau had worked assiduously towards the implementation of the Act and was making efforts to ensure that it was institutionalized across the public sector.
He said that the interventions were in the areas of training public service workers and development of feedback mechanism through which a portal for application and responses for FOI request were deployed.
Others, he said, are score-card for ranking the performances of websites of public institutions using specific benchmarks, including FOI portal.
“Creating platforms for citizens engagement with Civil Societies Organizations on topical issues of government through the BPSR flagship programmes such as the monthly Lunchtime Seminar series,” he added.
Arabi said that the Bureau had also deployed information technology to provide innovative means to improve record keeping and management using intranet and Electronic Data Management Systems.
He continued that they were working in conjunction with the Nigeria Economic Summit Group to gauge the perception of citizens on public policies.
In her remarks, the National Coordinator, Open Government Partnership (OGP), Nigeria, Dr Gloria Ahmed, said making information open was a hallmark of democracy and a basic human right.
She said that the FOIA has given citizens the opportunity to access information as regards government policies and reforms.

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FCTA Harmonises Mobile Adverts, Haulage System Against Double Taxation

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The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), Department of Outdoor Advertisement and Signage (DOAS), has launched the FCT/State Mobile Advertisement and Haulage permits for 2023 financial year.
Permanent Secretary, FCTA, Mr Olusade Adesola, while launching the system sought the cooperation of the business owners in the FCT, in order to achieve the objective of the initiative.
Adesola said the move was part of efforts to facilitate the ease of doing business drive in the nation’s capital.
He commended DOAS for the initiative. aimed at improving institutional cooperation and partnerships with the critical stakeholders.
Adesola warned: “FCTA would no longer tolerate acts of thuggery in the collection of taxes, as there are better ways of doing such, which will ensure the attainment of ease of doing business.”
He commended the leadership of Area Councils for resolving to synergise with DOAS to streamline the system.
The Permanent Secretary said the proliferation of collection authorities for mobile advertisements had led to serious loss of Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) in the FCT.
Earlier, the Executive Chairman, Kwali Area Council, Danladi Chiya, said although Area Councils have the constitutional right to collect such advertisements, they have no issue with FCTA over the establishment and mandate of DOAS.

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LASG Begins Vehicle Parking Lanes Demacation

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The Lagos State Parking Authority (LASPA) has revealed it will today commence creating additional Vehicle Parking Lanes in some selected locations across the State.
The Authority stated that all efforts have been geared towards improving the parking system of the State.
Speaking on the planned initiative on Friday in Ikeja, the General Manager of LASPA, Mrs. Adebisi Adelabu, stated that the vehicle parking lane mark exercise, which will begin with designated streets within Surulere, Ikoyi, Lekki, Obalende, Ikeja and Victoria Island axis of the State, is a step towards improving street parking from 2023.
Adelabu noted that the Parking Lane Markings will further guide motorists and pedestrians on appropriate parking regulations and spaces, minimise indiscriminate parking, confusion and uncertainty, while conveying a range of information to residents on parking procedures within each specified environment.
According to her, the lane markings will also include special consideration for people living with disabilities and signposts for parking directives, among other features.
The General Manager, however, solicited the understanding of residents within the locations who might be affected by any inconvenience the process might cause, assuring that the government is working rigorously in regulating and improving the parking culture as part of its Traffic Management and Transportation Agenda to ensure parking is convenient, safe and secure across the state.
Recall that the Authority had recently unveiled plans to begin full implementation of parking policy in the second quarter of 2023 and has continued to sensitise the public on the need to embrace the parking culture.

By; Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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