The Federal Government has launched service portal that would enable people to have access to single window information and services provided by various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
The Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs Omobola Johnson, said at the launch of the portal in Abuja that it was just one of the ministry’s projects to leverage on the use of ICT in the country.
“What we have done is that we have developed a single point of entry for all Nigerians or anybody wherever they may be in the world to access government services online.
“This single point of entry is domiciled in www.services.gov.ng domain name.
“This is not the first time we are launching service online. There are a number of government services that are actually delivered online but what has happened over time was that each of the MDAs was working on their own.
“Now, you can tell from a single point, what is exactly available to services online through government agencies.’’
Jonhson said that ministries, in addition to creating single window of entry into government services, were to work with other ministries to launch 10 additional services that are going to be offer online.
“What we have also done is that we have created a standard template for all government Website and ensure that transactions on the web are secured.’’
She said with the launch of the service portal, government would begin to offer faster, cheaper and more efficient service deliveries and business that could always be accessible.
Johnson said the ministry will soon launch other innovations it has been working on, to promote the use of ICT to ensure transparency and better services from government.
“This Friday, we are going to be launching our innovative centres in Lagos and also, in a few weeks in Calabar, we are going to lunch government contact centres.’’
The minister, however, called on the media to sensitise Nigerians to the services available on the portal, as the country has the highest internet traffic in Africa.
“With about 44 million Nigerians connected to the internet every day. Every one of them should be able to transact business on the portal.’’
The Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Dr Henry Akpan, also expressed optimism that the launch of the portal would promote investment that would enhance the wellbeing of Nigerians.
He said that the ministry was committed to promoting effective service delivery using ICT.
Also speaking at the occasion, the Managing Director of Galaxy Backbone, Mr Gerald Ilukwe, said the separation of roles between the programme coordinator, the technology provider and online services providers was critical to the programme’s success.
He said that similar programmes had failed in the past due to confusion and overlapping roles.
Ilukwe also explained that Galaxy backbone, as the ICT provider of the federal government establishments, remained a key partner in the programme.
“These services will continue to be owned and provided by the respective MDAs.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Customs Service has said the launch of the Nigerian Service Portal would enable Nigeria to be better ranked among the comity of nations with enabling environment for doing business.
The Comptroller-General of Customs Service, Alhaji Abdullahi Dikko, stated this at the official launch of Federal Government Service Portal by the Ministry of Communication Technology on Tuesday in Abuja.
Dikko, represented by the Deputy-Controller General of Customs Mr Bashar Yusuf, said that the portal would make other developing countries to look up to Nigeria’s building model in doing business.
Dikko added that the model would also provide a platform that would guarantee integrity of government institutions and their operations within and outside the country.
He said that the Nigerian Customs had also been involved in the course of doing business in the country through the development of a portal with rich contents which would also be co-opted into the service portal.
He said “it is an opportunity to give Nigeria that chance to be a model in ensuring integrity of its own citizens. It is equally an opportunity that will give Nigeria a better world ranking in comity of nations.
He said “we know very well not quit long ago there was an audit of 185 countries and Nigeria took the 184th position in the course of doing business. It is not the best position.
“Why are we taken 184 positions? Because the cost of doing business in Nigeria highly cumbersome. There is nothing facilitating anything. That was why we jumped into that business to say it will never be the same again”.
Currency Outside Banks Rises 4% To N2.29trn …As Credit To Govt Hits N32.5trn
Currency Outside Banks (CoB) rose Month-on-Month (MoM) by N90 billion or 4.09 percent to N2.29 trillion in August from N2.2 trillion in July 2023.
It has been on the increase since March, reflecting the impact of the implementation of the Supreme Court order that old N200, N500, and N1,000 notes remain in circulation till December 31, 2023.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Money and Credit data for August also showed that Currency-In-Circulation, CIC, stood at N2.66 trillion, representing a 2.7 percent rise from N2.59 trillion in July 2023.
Recall that the implementation of the Naira redesign and withdrawal of old banknotes by CBN sucked in about N1.81 trillion from CoB while crashing Currency-in-Circulation to N1.4 trillion in January 2023.
Meanwhile, Banks’ credit to the Government rose MoM by 0.62 percent from N32.5 trillion in August to N32.3 trillion in July.
Data from the CBN Money and Credit Statistics showed that credit to the private sector also rose by 1.1 percent to N54.7 trillion from N54.1 trillion.
This resulted in a 0.92 percent rise in Net domestic credit to N87.3 trillion in August from N86.5 trillion in July.
Cardoso Focuses On Monetary Policies To Save Naira
The new Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Olayemi Cardoso, has disclosed that he and his team will focus solely on monetary policies to strengthen the Naira.
To achieve this, he explained, they will have to abandon some of the policies of the estwhile CBN, Godwin Emefiele, and his team that has warranted the rising inflation in the country.
Cardoso stated this during his screening by the National Assembly, and confirmation as the CBN Governor on Tuesday..
Responding to questions from the lawmakers, Cardoso said the CBN is faced with numerous challenges which the team had identified and would address them.
“We have identified issues of corporate governance, diminished institutional autonomy, discontinuity of orthodox policies and foreign currency issues.
“Addressing inflation and price stability is the function of the CBN. We will address the issue of foreign exchange unification. If there is a need for interest rate alignment, we will do it for economic growth”, he stated.
To manage the economic policy, Cardoso said size matters, adding that the CBN team had identified macroeconomic indices and will facilitate new ways to attain $1trillion GDP in eight years.
On inflation, Cardoso said each will be tackled based on their causes.
“If the inflation is on food, we should ramp up production of food. If inflation is on energy, we know the challenges of energy. If you are importing, automatically you are importing inflation”, he said.
On money supply, the apex bank Governor said the way money has gone up in Nigeria, “that, itself, is behind inflation. It is the problem. It is a big problem, but going forward, we will do everything possible to ensure that deficit financing does not bring problems to us.
“These are the assurances I can give you coming from outside because we will maintain a good working relationship to block the excesses we had in the past.
“I believe that the CBN under us will have no choice but to embrace a culture of compliance”, Cardoso said, assuring that they will abide by the CBN Act.
“We will not wait for oversight before we interact with the lawmakers. We will have zero tolerance to abuse of processes. We recognize the fact that we need to work closely with these chambers at the National Assembly to ensure compliance”, he said.
According to him, deficit financing and undue money glut are responsible for 50 per cent of the inflation.
Consequently, he told the Senate that there is a need to stabilise the naira to settle Nigeria’s outstanding debts, stating that the country is only spending money in printing currency rather than bringing in revenues.
According to him, the immediate thing to look out for is to address operational issues, which are the unsettled obligations of the CBN wealth of N4 billion or N7 billion.
He stated that Nigeria will not make progress if it is not able to handle that side of foreign exchange rate.
Cardoso also noted that foreign exchange rate is worrisome, hence Nigeria must have a stable exchange rate.
Also speaking, a Deputy Governor, Philip Ikeazor, said the present CBN is going to strengthen governance and focus on monetary policies and not fiscal policies, noting that the country must decide to support the physical majors of the CBN and ensure that exportation thrive.
“We will think outside the box, tackle inflation and the free flow of naira”, he said.
The Deputy Governors screened and confirmed are on the day were: Emem Usoro, Abdullahi Dattijo, Bala Bello and Philip Ikeazor.
Seme Customs Intercepts 62 African Parrots On- Hawk
The new Controller of Customs, Seme Border Command, Timi Bomodi, has has disclosed that the command seized 69 smuggled birds from smugglers who had moved the birds from Kaduna enrout Benin Republic.
The discovery, according to him , was made while customs operatives at the border were on patrol along Seme– Badagry Expressway, acting on credible intelligence intercepted a Benin Republic-bound luxurious bus from Kaduna State..
Two suspects were arrested in connection with the seizure and six of the birds were reportedly dead, due to poor condition under which they were being moved.
The seizures, according to him, were worth over N6,859,932.
“Upon searching the bus, 51 live Green parrots, five live African Grey Parrots, five dead Green Parrots, one dead African Grey Parrot, and one live hawk in iron nets and a Paper Box were discovered. Six of the birds and two suspects were also arrested in connection with the seizure”, Bomodi said.
The African Parrot have a duty paid value (DPV) N6,859,932 only.
Bomodi condemned the criminal act by some members of the society considering that the trade in endangered wildlife contravenes the Convention on International Trade On Endangered Species (CITES) of Wild Fauna and Flora which is an International Agreement between Governments, of which Nigeria is a signatory
He warned the perpetrators of this illegal trade to “stay out of the Lagos – Abidjan corridor or they will continue to incur heavy losses if they so insist.
“In line with the dictates of the Nigeria Customs Service of promoting inter-agency collaboration and synergy, and considering the nature of the item, the seized Parrot will be handed over to the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS), Seme Command.
“Officials of the f National Park Service will be informed of this seizure as it is their responsibility to rehabilitate and protect them from further harm”.
By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos
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