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FG Reassures On Digital Economy

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The Statistician-General of the Federation and Chief Executive Officer, National Bureau of Statistics, Mr Adeyemi Adeniran, has reiterated Federal Government’s commitment toward providing an enabling environment for digital economy to thrive.
Adeniran said this during the 2023 National Budget Roundtable and Panel Discussion organised by the Centre for Economic Policy and Development Research (CEPDeR), Covenant University, Ota, Ogun, yesterday.
He was represented by Mustapha Daramola, Director of Statistics, office of the Statistician-General of the Federation.
Our correspondent reports that the roundtable discussion was tagged: “National Budgeting and Digitalisation for Sustainable Development in Africa; The Nigerian Experience.”
Our correspondent also reports that the event was hosted by Covenant University in collaboration with University of Warwick, United Kingdom.
The Statistician-General said the Federal Government was working assiduously to provide a solid infrastructure for digital economy, as this was germane to solving some of the societal problems, which included unemployment, debts and poverty.
Adeniran, also a keynote speaker, said the national budget roundtable had great relevance to Nigeria, particularly at this crucial time when the economy was severely challenged, not only in Nigeria but globally.
“The country is facing significant fiscal macroeconomic challenges as revenues are slim with lower production, while expenditures are relatively increasing with huge fuel subsidies and an enormous burden of management of government businesses,” he said.
Adeniran said in recent times, digital technologies had been introduced in the public space to aid the management of public resources.
According to him, digital technologies have lowered the costs of doing government business and enhanced the speed, targeting and reliability of the delivery of government services.
“Digitalisation of government payments also has lowered administration costs, reduced opportunities for fraud, improved the targeting of welfare programmes and lowered the waiting time for recipients,” the Statistician-General said.
He emphasised that digitalisation of the budgeting processes formed a better part of the conversation of budgeting to support sustainable and inclusive public service delivery.
A second keynote speaker, Dr Williams Nwankwo, said the Federal Government’s efforts to leverage digital technology had resulted in significant improvement in transparency, accountability and efficiency in public financial management.
Nwankwo, represented by Mr Samuel Okoye, Director of ICT, Ministry of Communication and Digital economy, stressed the need for African countries to embrace digitalisation as a crucial tool for achieving sustainable development.
He listed some of the the digital tools used by the Federal Government to improve transparency and accountability to include Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) and Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS), among others.
Academic Director for Africa, University of Warwick, Mr Franklyn Lisk, urged Nigeria and other African countries to embrace a robust digital platform supported by private sector to drive the digital economy.
Lisk stressed the need to strengthen the regulatory framework to boost digital economy so that African countries would not be cut off in this global space in terms of resources and capacity.
The Vice-Chancellor of Covenant University, Prof Abiodun Adebayo, said there was the need to enhance Nigeria’s digital infrastructure and budgeting infrastructure towards improving Digital Quality of Life index, both from government and entrepreneurial perspectives for the betterment of the people.
Adebayo said the COVID-19 crisis had shown the importance of digital opportunities and for every economy to have fully remote operational capacity.

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Registrar Lauds RSG For Sponsoring Candidates To Write Neco Exam

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The Registrar of National Examination Council (NECO), Prof. Dantari Ibrahim Wushishi, has commended the Rivers State Government for its patronage in sponsoring candidates in public schools to write NECO examination.
The Registrar made the commendation over the weekend when he visited the State Commissioner for Education, Dr. Ovy Chinedum Chukwuma in his office in Port Harcourt.
He disclosed that Rivers State was the first among other States to patronise NECO and to also support their operations in the State, adding that the gesture was because of the government’s high regard for education of its citizens.
He stressed that the examination body is highly challenged to continue to provide, quality service to the nation, hence, the running cost of the council is from funds generated from registration fees from candidates of which Rivers State is given high patronage.
In his words, ” The Federal Government does not give us any appropriation to conduct the examination. Federal government only provides personal cost for payment of salaries. Whatever we do to conduct examinations and deliver to nigerian are all generated from registration fees and other sundry fees associated with the examination”, he said.
Responding, the Commissioner for Education, Dr Ovy Chinedum Chukwuma, said registration of candidates for the examination is a direct result of the high premium the state governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara placed on education in the State.
In his words, “we have deep commitment and partnership with NECO and we are ready to do more, “adding that the Ministry will not fail the expectations of NECO on them and encouraged them to place NECO globally, such that it would be recognised all over the world.
The commissioner and the registrar with their different teams also monitored the on going NECO Examination together in the State.

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15 States Risk Severe Flooding This Month -FG

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The Federal Government has issued a warning about potential severe flooding in 15 States due to heavy rains expected later this month.
The Federal Ministry of Environment, through its spokesperson, Haruna Ibrahim, announced that these States should brace for significant rainfall from July 21 to July 25, 2024, which could lead to widespread flooding.
According to the release, the states are, Adamawa State, Benue State, Jigawa State, Borno State, Kebbi State, Kano State, Kaduna State, Katsina State, Kogi State, Nassarawa State, Niger State, Plateau State, Sokoto State, Taraba State, Zamfara State
Steps for Effective Flood Preparedness
1. Stay Informed: Monitor weather forecasts and heed local alerts. Use trusted sources like government websites, local news stations, or radio for real-time updates.
2. Emergency Kit: Assemble an emergency kit that includes non-perishable food, water, medications, flashlights, extra batteries, and crucial documents. Keep it in a place that’s easy to access.
3. Elevate Electrical Units: Lift electrical systems and appliances above expected flood levels. Disconnect them during heavy flooding to avoid electrical hazards.
4. Use Sandbags: Deploy sandbags to shield your home. Arrange them effectively to redirect water away from critical areas.
5. Secure Loose Items: Fasten down outdoor items such as patio furniture and garbage bins to prevent them from becoming hazardous in strong winds.
6. Evacuation Plan: Familiarize yourself with local evacuation routes and plan accordingly. Determine safe locations or higher grounds for refuge.
7. Flood Insurance: If you reside in a flood-prone zone, consider getting flood insurance since typical homeowner’s policies do not cover flood damage.
8. Communication Plan: Set up a reliable way to stay in contact with family during a crisis. Make sure everyone knows the emergency plan.
9. First Aid Skills: Acquire basic first aid knowledge to help yourself and others in emergencies.
10. Avoid Floodwaters: Never attempt to walk or drive through floodwaters. They can be unexpectedly deep and forceful, presenting severe dangers.

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Jonathan Urges NDDC To Complete Abandoned Projects In N’Delta 

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Former President Goodluck Jonathan has urged the Ministry of Niger Delta Development and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to prioritize the completion of abandoned projects in the region.

He also encouraged state governments within the Niger Delta to collaborate closely with the NDDC, so as to foster efficient synergy to achieve legacy goals.

This is as the Minister of Niger Delta Development, Engr. Abubakar Momoh, has emphasized the urgent need to address environmental sustainability and economic diversification in the Niger Delta.

Speaking at the Niger Delta Stakeholders Forum 2024, at the Obi Wali International Conference Center, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, the former President commended the Minister and the NDDC board and its management for their effective performance so far and advised them to complete all abandoned projects.

On his part, the Minister of the Niger Delta Development and Chief host, Engr. Momoh, while speaking on the theme, “Renewed Hope for Sustainable Development of the Niger Delta Region,” emphasized the urgent need to address environmental sustainability and economic diversification in the region.

The Minister in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Osigwe Omo-Ikirodah, highlighted efforts like the Ogoni Clean-up Project and initiatives for cleaner energy such as Compressed Natural Gas (CNG).

Momoh stressed the importance of diversifying the Niger Delta’s economy by investing in various sectors and pointed out the region’s untapped potential in tourism and the blue economy.

He assured the audience of the government’s commitment to infrastructure development, citing recent projects like the 25.7km Ogbia-Nembe Road in Bayelsa State.

He said that the summit’s theme was a call to action, aligning it with the ‘Renewed Hope Agenda’ of President Bola Tinubu’s administration and emphasizing the need for collective effort to harness the region’s resources and cultural heritage for sustainable development.

He also emphasized the need for peace and security in the Niger Delta, urging all stakeholders to address the root causes of unrest and conflict.

Momoh advocated for inclusive development that reaches every community, prioritizing the empowerment of women and youth.

In his remarks, President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio commended the Ministry of Niger Delta Development and the NDDC’s board and management for their commendable work.

He highlighted the stalled East-West Road project, emphasizing the need for strategic project management and continuity.

A former Governor of Cross River State, Mr. Donald Duke called for investments in agriculture, tourism, manufacturing, and technology to ensure the region’s long-term prosperity.

The event, co-hosted by NDDC Managing Director Samuel Ogbuku and Board Chairman Chiedu Ebie, was graced by former President Goodluck Jonathan; Senate President Godswill Akpabio, who represented President Tinubu; Senator Adams Oshiomhole; former Cross Rivers Governor Donald Duke; former Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson; and traditional rulers from across the Niger Delta.

Other attendees included Senator Asuquo Ekpenyong, HM Ekperikpe Ekpo, Ondo State Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, the Abia State Deputy Governor, Senator Monday Okpebholo, and Minister of Interior Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo.

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