Nigeria’s Recession’ll Not Prolong -Minister
The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeousn, has assured Nigerians that the current economic recession the nation is experiencing will not be prolonged.
She gave the assurance on Friday in Abuja while addressing a news conference.
She said that there was a strategic plan by the administration to see that the recession ended soon and also ensure that the economy recovered fully.
“We have a strategic plan that will take us out of the recession we have found ourselves in; we want to make sure the recession is as short as possible because we do not want a prolonged recession.
“From what we are looking at we do not think that it will be a prolonged recession; we think that some of the initiatives that we are working on will now begin to bear fruits.
“We are on course and are confident that the plan we have put together will work and put the economy back on track. “It is a long term plan that would reposition the economy so that we do not go into this boom and burst circles that are driven by the oil price.
“The economy has to be more resilient than that so that we do not find ourselves back where we are.’’
She said that although there was no specific date to end the recession, the fact that there were measures in place was enough indication that the end of the recession had begun and that Nigeria would come out stronger.
Listing some of the measures the administration had taken to address the situation, she said that since the budget was released in May, over N420 billion had been released and cash backed for capital projects.
She said that the largest sector that the money was spent on was Power, Works and Housing.
She also said that a lot had been done in the defence sector to rebuild the capability of the army, especially on efforts in the North East.
“Agriculture has received significant funding because of the time sensitivity of agriculture and because of the fact that food prices were rising, we needed to intervene so that we could get food prices down.
“There is activity resuming on roads, power projects and health projects and we have released money to water resources and solid minerals.’’
Adeosun also said that there was a cash plan to release another N350 billion which would go into the various MDAs.
“The focus is going to be similar, however, there would also be funding of about N60 billion for the Special Intervention Programme and that is very important in putting money into people’s pockets.
“The school feeding programme and the N-Power teachers corps we will cash back today as part of the N350 billion additional release which would take our total capital spending to about N700 billion.’’
She also said that N50 billion was set monthly as budget support plan for some state governments from the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) to support them with additional money to enable them to pay salaries. She said that the loan had been on for three months for the interested states because some states which were buoyant decided not to participate.
On recovery of assets, Adeosun said that the committee was in the process of collating with the non-cash assets like farmlands, vehicles and houses and that a fixed asset register would soon be opened to determine their value.
She said that the jewelries were from different locations and were being brought together to determine the market value and that the next line of action would be decided by the committee. Adeosun explained that the present recruitment by the police and some other government agencies were made possible by the reduction of ghost workers. She added that the savings that were made from the exercise would enable funding for the new recruitment.
“Sometime in January, personnel cost was N165 billion along with pension cost, but so far so good; we have reduced, through the removal of about 40,000 ghost workers, the personnel cost by around N10 billion per month. “Now we have saved about N100 billion this year.’’
She said that though the times were tough, there was hope for Nigerians, adding that issues around infrastructure were the biggest problems of Nigeria which resulted in high cost of living.
“The biggest problem we have is not wages but the cost of living which is too high so it is not how much money you have but it is what it costs you to live. “The problem we have is that many of the things that people are spending money on are the things government should be doing like roads, power and so on.
“So we have to address these things because that is what will really make impact for the average working Nigerian and so when you address the infrastructure you address the cost of living and that is what this government is working on.’’
Fuel Subsidy Era Over – Tinubu
Newly sworn-in President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has declared that the era of subsidy payment on fuel in Nigeria has ended.
This, he disclosed, is because the 2023 Budget made no provision for fuel subsidy and more so, subsidy payment is no longer justifiable.
“The fuel subsidy is gone”, Tinubu declared in his inaugural speech at the Eagle Square on Monday after he was sworn in as Nigeria’s 16th President.
Tinubu said his government shall instead channel funds into infrastructure and other areas to strengthen the economy, adding that a “unified exchange rate” is guaranteed under his administration.
He promised to remodel the economy to bring about growth and develop the Gross Domestic Product through job creation, saying that “the interest is currently too high and will be reviewed”.
The new President also assured investors that multiple taxation will be reviewed to attract investments, even as he promised one million jobs in the digital economy.
Tinubu, who also vowed to rid Nigeria of terrorism and criminality, said, “Security shall be top of our administration”, adding that he will “reform security architecture, invest more in security personnel, better training and provide better equipment for security personnel”.
The President said he “will end extreme poverty, make food more abundant, ensure inclusion for women and youths, and discourage corruption”.
Customs Holds Training For Maritime Journalists
The Nigeria Customs Service in conjunction with National Inland Waterways recently organised a two- day training workshop for members of the Association of Maritime journalists of Nigeria (AMJON) at the famous Administrative staff college of Nigeria (ASCON), Badagry, Lagos.
Comptroller General of customs, Col. Hammed Ali (rtd) in his key note address said from inception, one of the major cardinal programmes of the service has been effective and efficient mobilisation and sensitisation of members of the public in understanding the important statutory obligations vested on the service.
In order to achieve these objectives, he said, “it became imperative that we partner with our friends from the media to embark on educative and enlightenment programs.
“Having gone this far on our own, we are here today, under the able hands of the ‘owners of the profession’, to enrich, update and sharpen their skills in this direction for greater achievement of our collective objective”.
Speaking, the President of AMJON, Mr. Paul Ogbuokiri, emphasized the importance of the training programme, urging participants to avail themselves of the opportunity, which will translate into improved performance in their reportage.
On his part, the Managing Director, National Inland waterways Authority (NIWA), Chief George Moghalu, spoke on its new autonomy status and how it affects its national mandate.
Moghalu, who was represented by the Manager, Legal Services, Barr. Nasiru Biyankari, affirmed that NIWA offers a very critical role in the nation’s maritime industry through the execution of development in inland waterways of Nigeria and its regulations nationwide.
Also speaking, the National Coordinator, Port Standing Task Force Team (PSTT), Mr. Moses Fadipe, tasked AMJON members on accurate and objective reportage on PSTT’s operations to ensure that the public is well informed about the efforts of the team in tackling corruption at the ports.
“AMJON members are expected to adhere to ethical journalism standards and avoid sensationalism or biased reporting ,clear and informed reportage by Amjon members can contribute to building public trust in the PSTT and its efforts to improve transparency and efficiency in Port operations”.
The retreat had various renowned academicians as resource persons.
At the end of the two days training, with the theme, “Enhancing capacity/Efficiency in Modern News Reportage”, the participants were equipped with the knowledge and skills to perform their responsibilities as core maritime media practitioners.
Maritime: Stakeholders Set Agenda For Tinubu, Transport Minister
Stakeholders in the maritime sector have started coming up with measures for the newly sworn-in Federal Government under the leadership of Alhaji Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to revamp the maritime sector of the country.
The stakeholders are unanimous in saying that Nigeria as a maritime nation requires the services of a core professional, who will be courageous enough to implement some programmes that will practically empower indigenous operators in the shipping industry, while encouraging the entrance of new investors.
They said such measures include growing indeginious capacity through the full implementation of cabotage law, facilitating tonnage volume, and positioning of the maritime sector as a major contributor to federal revenue and national development.
According to the stakeholders, it is unfortunate that the maritime sector for years under different leadership derailed from its primary objectives, which is “to promote the development of indeginious commercial shipping in international and coastal trade”.
In his opinion, a maritime analyst and member of the Joint Ministerial Committee on International Maritime Organization (IMO)/Maritime Organization of West & Central Africa (MOWCA), Mallam Ismail Aniemu, said “there is the urgent need to unite the country because people have been more divided along ethnic, religious and lingual lines. This lack of unity fuels insecurity.
“Many parts of the country are unsafe, thereby creating the impression of ungoverned spaces. It’s time to improve on the security situation by not treating perpetrators of killings and other unlawful behavior as sacred cows. The laws of the land should be made to reign supreme on everybody”.
According to him, “Nigeria is overdue for a deliberate and sustained action towards economic diversification to achieve balance of trade, manufacture more for export, and creating job opportunities instead of distributing cash as handouts to the poor and vulnerable”.
On his part, the former President, National Association of Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Chief Eugene Nwike, said, “I will advise the President and the incoming Minister of Transportation to appreciate and embrace the global doctrine, which defined ‘Trade’ as ‘an instrument of global peace’, hence, the need to evolve and support a holistic policy aimed at promoting trade facilitation”.
Nwike said the President must deliberately adopt the relevant tools required for its actualisation, while giving priority to removal of all forms of “Red Tapes and Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT), including the undue prohibition of trade and closure of the border entry points.
“To this end, the immediate reversal of policy of categorised and uploaded certain regular trade items as non-beneficial to conventional foreign exchange assessment from the commercial banks excerpt for the parallel market (black markets).
“Secondly, undertake a drastic action against the foreign exchange market administration”.
Thirdly, siad, there’s the need “to give the maritime industry a priority, especially with the consideration to massive job creation, for which the industry has the capacity to remove our teeming youths off the unemployment market.
“And, for the incoming Transportation mitnister to pursue purposeful stakeholders engagements and embrace engagement by merits”.
A Maritime journalist, Odjegba Eguono, said the President “should appoint someone with productive and leadership capacity.
“Someone who should be an industry technocrat, and, if not, a fast learner with passion to grow the maritime and transport sector like the immediate past Minister, Jaji Sambo.
“The President and his Transportation Minister should prioritize urgent repairs and expansion of ports access roads, review terminal operators licenses, and decongest lagos ports”.
He stated that the new government should scrap the CRFFN, saying that the agency has proved unproductive and meaningless, being used as a drainpipe, contributing nothing to the system .
“The Minister should also scrap the NSDP by NIMADA and invest in MAN and NITT with the required wherewithal to carry out manpower development training.
“Finally, the incoming government should probe the NIMASA floating Dockyard and either dispose of it, or deploy it under an executive order”, Eguono said.
Stories By Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos
News5 days ago
Wike Urges Traditional Rulers To Engender Peace …As Awuse Heads Chiefs’ Council
Opinion3 days ago
Roots Of Nigeria’s Predicaments
Opinion5 days ago
·Of Happy Endings And New Beginnings
News3 days ago
Subsidy: FG Owes NNPCL N2.8trn-Kyari
Ict/Telecom3 days ago
Indigenous Firm Launches Ride-Sharing Business, Gabtaxi
Politics5 days ago
Ahead Of Inauguration: Reach Out To Opposition, Kenyatta Urges Tinubu
Nation3 days ago
NSCDC Commissions New Commands In Kebbi, Sokoto
Featured3 days ago
Biden Pledges Support To Tinubu On Economy, Security