ANAN Cautions On Cashless Economy
President of the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN), Hajiya Maryam Ibrahim has suggested that the implementation of cashless economy should be gradual.
She made the call at a News Agency of Nigeria’s (NAN) forum on Sunday in Abuja.
She said it was a laudable initiative that bordered on development and should be encouraged for Nigeria to be at par with developed countries.
Ibrahim, however, advocated that its inherent challenges be sorted out before implementing it.
“The entire world is a village now and if that be the case, why shouldn’t we encourage a cashless society? But then there are a lot challenges.’’
She noted that for cashless operations to be effective, a lot of advocacy and awareness must be done by the CBN.
“Challenges are so enormous that it has to be a gradual thing, but it must be intensified; no matter the challenge, there is no challenge that is not surmountable.
“We must work hard to achieve that so that Nigeria is not left behind, but we should consider our rural areas as to provide the infrastructure that is needed to be able to achieve the cashless economy.
“It’s a good policy I must say but it will run pari-pasu with other policies of the CBN.
“I believe that a lot of advocacy and awareness creation is needed by the CBN.
“CBN and its management team must wake up to give a great awareness, provide the necessary logistics to the rural areas.
“We could say that power is part of the problem, but then if we look at the large economies that have succeeded in running the cashless society you will find out that they are using the Point of Sale (POS) with batteries so we should be able to generate some of those things that don’t really require electricity.
“We have a lot of sunlight in this country; we should translate it into energy. We have coal; we should translate that into energy.
“There are lots of things we have in this country that are wasting; we have a lot of manpower that the Federal Government can put together and start making them to generate ideas that will help to bring us up.
“Developed countries did not just come overnight, they became rugged to be able to achieve and sustain the level that they’ve found themselves.’’
Ibrahim called on President Goodluck Jonathan to inaugurate the Board for Public Procurement to operate a transparent government.
She told NAN that if the body took responsibility for procurement, it would ensure that contracts were awarded in accordance with due process.
“Every Wednesday you hear that so (much) contract is being awarded by the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
“I’m not saying that the various ministries that package these contracts don’t have their due processes.
“But honestly, for the president to act transparently and for every citizen to believe that it’s not that the FEC just comes together and award contracts, he should transfer that responsibility to the body which should vet and he will be able to have the good stick to whip up that body if it is not doing its job.
“That procurement board is to do the nitty-gritty of the process; they will be able to show that transparently the due process required in procurement in the award of contracts is being followed.
“All we are talking about is that we should be responsible, accountable and transparent in all our activities as much as possible.’’
Ibrahim told NAN that since democracy was all about openness; it is not out of place to be open and accountable to the people.
FG Saves N3.9trn Fyrom Port Concession
The Chairman, Seaports Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN), Princess Vicky Haastrup, has disclosed that the Federal Government’s port concession programme has saved the country about US$8.5 billion (N3.91 trillion) which was hitherto paid to foreign shipping lines as congestion surcharge.
She also said members of the association, who are the concessionaires, are ready to inject more funds into the port once pending concession agreements are renewed.
Haastrup made the disclosures while addressing journalists after a courtesy visit to her by the new Country Managing Director of APM Terminals Nigeria, Frederik Klinke.
She said in addition to the huge savings to the economy, terminal operators have also made significant investments running into billions of dollars at the six major seaports across the country.
“Nigeria’s port concession programme has been a monumental success. Many African countries send representatives here to understudy our port concession regime and how we were able to substantially increase investment and efficiency within a very short period of time. It shows ‘we can-do spirit of Nigerians.
“The port concession programme reduced the waiting time of vessels coming into our ports from an average of 45 days before 2006 to less than three days at present. It has helped in eliminating the notorious congestion surcharge hitherto imposed on our ports by major shipping lines under the aegis of the Europe-West Africa Trade Agreement EWATA.
“The elimination of the port congestion surcharge has resulted in saving Nigeria’s trading community over US$500 million per annum. If you multiply that by the 17 years of port concession, that amounts to a savings of US$8.5 billion to date. In naira terms, that is a savings of more than N3.9 trillion to the Nigerian economy”, she said.
The Country Managing Director of APM Terminals Nigeria, Frederik Klinke, who said his company has a long-term commitment to Nigeria, assured that APM Terminals would continue to set new standards for port operation in the country and support the Federal Government’s drive to diversify the economy through the promotion of non-oil export.
Minimum Wage: Ngige Wants Review By Tinubu
Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, has said the incoming administration of the President-elect, Bola Tinubu, should review the current minimum wage of N30,000 in Nigeria.
The minister, who was a member of the committee that negotiated the present minimum wage in 2019 from N18,000 to N30,000, noted that the country’s minimum wage should be reviewed every five years to fit current standard of living.
Ngige, who spoke on Channels Television’s ‘Politics Today’, midweek, stated that he would include in his handover notes that the discussion surrounding minimum wage should start immediately the new government is sworn-in in May 2023, ahead of its implementation, which he said should be in May 2024.
He said the discussions would involve the public sector, private sector and state governments, and according to the last bill passed should start a year before it officially takes effect.
“It is a tripartite negotiation involving public sector, private sector and state governments. We entrenched in that bill or law that minimum wage will now have an automaticity of review every five years.
“So, from 2019 when it came into effect to 2024 will be five years but we also made a recommendation in our document which we submitted that the discussion, the negotiation should start one year from May 2024 when it supposed to kick-start.
“So, I’m envisaging that as from May 2023, the government will empanel the new minimum wage review committee for the nation.
“In my handover note which I am going to hand over to the transition committee and the next government, I am recommending that the discussions start anytime from May 2023”, he said.
He also noted that the Federal Government has approved a pay rise for civil servants which would take effect from January 1, 2023, adding that the provision is already included in the 2023 budget.
The Minister continued that the salary increment became important in view of the current economic reality of the country, however adding that the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), is yet to approve the percentage used for the increment.
According to him, “In the Presidential Committee on Salaries, we have done something for the civil servants for those who are on Consolidated Public Service Salary Structure and some corporations, MDAs that are on that CONPSS. CONPSS is the salary scale for civil servants.
“We put a percentage for the President to approve, we have approved it at our own committee level. We said it should take effect from January 1, 2023”.
While noting that the economic reality of the country had led to the decision of salary increment for civil servants, Ngige however, lauded the naira redesign policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria, which he said had achieved some “sound benefits”.
Although, he categorically stated that the policy was not “smooth in its implementation,” he said it had greatly reduced insecurity as bandits and kidnappers are currently on “holiday” as a result of the cash crunch, adding that the policy helped in curbing vote-buying during the just-concluded elections across the country.
FirstBank Changes Names Of UK, Africa Subsidiaries
First Bank of Nigeria Limited has announced a phased corporate name change for its subsidiaries in the United Kingdom and Sub-Saharan Africa.
The bank disclosed this in a statement by the Group Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications, First Bank, Folake Ani-Mumuney, yesterday titled, ‘FirstBank announces a name change of its subsidiaries, reiterates its commitment to boosting cross-border business opportunities in Africa and the world’.
It stated that, “FBNBank UK, FBNBank Sierra Leone, FBNBank Gambia and FBNBank DRC are the first set of subsidiaries effecting the name alignment.
“They are now known and addressed as FirstBank UK, FirstBank Sierra Leone, FirstBank Gambia and FirstBank DRC. The Ghana, Senegal and Guinea subsidiaries will be next in the phased name change implementation.”
According to the bank, the name change was being implemented to align the subsidiaries with the parent brand and to enjoy the strong heritage and brand equity built by FirstBank Nigeria in its 129 years of banking leadership.
It stated that this would further enhance the quality-of-service delivery resulting in better brand clarity, uniformity and consistency across all the markets where the Bank operates.
Speaking on the name change, the Chief Executive Officer of FirstBank Group, Dr Adesola Adeduntan, said, “The name change which coincides with FirstBank’s 129th founding anniversary (March 31st, 2023) is indeed a milestone reflective of our resolve to continuously provide the gold standard of excellence and value as we put our customers first.’’
“The new identity of the subsidiaries contributes to an enhanced brand presence. It helps our customers and stakeholders better appreciate the value of the diversified products suites, competitive pricing and extensive business networks the FirstBank Group offers.
“These include our commitment to boosting cross-border businesses including trade and investment opportunities essential to enhancing trade relations amongst countries, thereby strengthening the economies of host communities and reducing poverty.”
Business4 days ago
Coy Averts Labour Action, Pays 5 Months Salary Arreas
Agriculture2 days ago
Wet Season: Farmers Begin Yam Cultivation
Nation2 days ago
FG Approves Construction Of Civil Airport In Benue
Niger Delta2 days ago
Delta Assembly Suspends LG Boss Over Financial Mismanagement
online games5 days ago
How to bet on Sport in Zambia – Tips for Beginner
Niger Delta4 days ago
68 Students Of Heritage Polytechnic Get N1.572m For Tuition
Sports2 days ago
NDSS Holds Inter-House Sports Competition …As Green House Emerge Winners
News2 days ago
FG Reassures On Digital Economy