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CBN Directs Banks To Disclose Accounts

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Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has taken major steps to ensure that the financial statements of banks are published in their annual report to reveal their real state of operation.

CBN director of banking operation Mr. Samuel Oni, last week told banks to recognise the examiners’ loan loss provision and fully provide for same in their accounts as at September 30, 2009. He implored them to publish their un-audited accounts as at September 30, 2009 latest by the end of this month.

This development, according to Oni will make further discovery on banks financial statement after the conclusion of the special examination on the deposit money banks in the country. “Following the conclusion of the special examination on the deposit money banks in Nigeria, banks are hereby required to recognise the examiners’ loan loss provision and fully provide for same in their accounts as at September 30, 2009. Therefore banks are required to publish their un-audited accounts as at September 30, 2009 latest by October, 2009, Oni said in a circular forwarded to banks last week.

However, he commended the CBN Governor for the proactive step he took regarding the present bank reform. It would be recalled that the apex bank had injected funds worth N620 billion into six banks that displayed signs of failure due to high concentrations in their exposure to certain sectors such as capital markets and oil and gas.

Moreover, the NDIC director disclosed that the banking sector is Oligopolistic in nature with 10 banks still dominating the institution which reflected in their share of total deposits, loan and advances.

He further explained that until recent intervention by the CBN, reports showed that banks were unable to meet and fulfill their obligations to depositors and creditors as a result of their situation.

In his presentation, Dr. Joseph Afolabi NDIC Chairman on Public Awaress Committee said its deposit insurers with broad mandates and appropriate powers have greater ability to build and maintain public confidence as well as dealing with financial crisis. “Deposit insurers may therefore need risk minimising mandate with prompt intervention and resolution powers to contribute to the stability of the financial system and maintain public confidence”, he said.

He went on to say that there is further need to demonstrate to the public that the deposit insurance is well managed and governed to build trust and credibility with key stakeholders in the industry.

Afolabi further stressed that deposit insurance is a depositors protection scheme usually supported by insured institutions themselves and administered either through a government controlled agency, a privately held one that is jointly owned and administered.

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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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