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Inflation Erodes Workers’ N25trn Salaries …As Naira Depreciates Further 

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The Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBC) latest data report has disclosed that endless depreciation of the naira and the rising inflation have eroded Nigerian workers’ N24.88trillion salary received in the first six months of 2022.
NBS in the data stated that the salaries of workers in the Nigerian formal sector increased from N21.80trillion in the first six months of 2021 to N24.88trillion in the corresponding period of 2022, representing a N3.08trillion increase within the period.
When adjusted for inflation, the NBS data on employees’ compensation revealed that there was only a N550.97billion increase in real terms, signifying that not only was the N3.08trillion increase in salary eroded, but the total salary of nearly N25trillion also depreciated.
Further scrutiny of the data revealed that the compensation of employees at 2010 purchaser’s value was N10.71trillion in the first six months of 2021, which marginally increased to N11.26trillion in the corresponding period of 2022.
Explaining compensation of employees, the NBS said, “This consists of the total remuneration of employees in the formal sector, including both wages and salaries, and benefits in kind (such as pensions).
“In the 1st and 2nd quarters of 2022, compensation of employees grew by 6.48 per cent and 3.93 per cent respectively in real terms year on year.
“These growth rates were lower than 1st and 2nd quarters of 2021 rates recorded at 9.26 per cent and 19.44 per cent respectively. On a quarter-on-quarter basis, the compensation of employees in real terms, fell by 13.25 per cent in the first quarter and grew by 7.22 per cent in the 2nd quarter of 2022.
“In nominal terms, compensation of employees grew by 14.30 per cent and 13.95 per cent in 1st and 2nd quarters of 2022 respectively. The nominal quarter-on-quarter growth rates of -6.86 per cent in first and 8.09 per cent in the 2nd quarter of 2022 were recorded, higher than -8.33 per cent in first quarter 2021 and lower than 8.42 per cent in second quarter of 2021.”
Also, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), in their report, said naira had been losing 10.6 per cent of its value annually since 1973. One dollar was about N535 at the parallel market (the nation’s most accessible market for the dollar) as at November 2021, but it has since increased to over N750 in November 2022.
In its October inflation update, the NBS disclosed that the persistent depreciation of the naira had resulted in an increase in import costs. Nigeria is an import-dependent country, and according to experts, this will only continue to erode the purchasing value of the naira, leading to negligible real-time increases in personal income.

According to the World Bank, the devaluation of currencies like the naira was driving up food and fuel prices and could worsen food and energy crises.

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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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