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FG eyes non-debt revenue, unveils new reforms — Minister of Finance

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Finance ministry gets $5.6m W’Bank loan for stationery, solar inverter

The Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun, has said that the government led by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu will prioritize utilizing internal resources, steering away from increasing the national debt burden amid growing concerns about debt sustainability.

Edun, at the close of the G24 Meeting, which was held within the 2023 Annual Meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) taking place in Marrakech, Morocco, further announced the government’s intention to introduce fresh reforms that will prioritize the enhancement of revenue generation through taxation, specifically highlighting tax collection.

Noting that debt sustainability is an issue, he said:

“Clearly, with interest rates going up around the world, there is the talk and there is the issue that debt servicing is taking a larger share than is feasible, than is practical that is warranted of resources in developing countries around the world.
“In Nigeria, the answer that we are focusing on as an administration is to increase the flow of non-debt funds. So rather than focusing on borrowing, there will be a focus on encouraging investment, domestic investment and foreign. There will shortly be announcements of measures that rationalize and improve efficiency, which consolidates the issue of tax revenue and domestic resource mobilization.
“The managing director of the World Bank did say, it’s really simple, the money is in the rich countries. The investments, the opportunity, and the scope for investment as a whole and expansion of business ideas are in poor countries. So, bridging the two is important, and in Nigeria, the focus will be on creating an environment for domestic and foreign investors to thrive.”
Furthermore, he pointed out that there is presently a lack of concessional funding, coupled with a rise in interest rates, even within multilateral organizations.

This situation is causing growing alarm over the potential impact of increasing global interest rates on the mounting debt crisis and the considerable financing gap for the developmental needs of developing nations.

READ ALSO  Reps pass resolution on arrest of WAEC officials over misappropriation of funds

“Basically, what we have at the moment is not meeting the expectations and the requirements of developing countries, such as Nigeria. There is not enough concessional financing, interest rates are going up even within the multilateral institutions. Interest rates are so high around the world that the issue of debt is, is one that is high on the agenda. And of course, there’s a financing gap, there is not enough funding to fund the developing requirements of the poorer countries,” he stressed.
Need for Domestic Resource Utilization
Speaking further, the Minister also stated that Nigeria, as well as other emerging economies, must emphasize reforms that are centred around domestic resource mobilization, rather than seeking foreign loans to meet budgetary expenditure.

He outlined that President Tinubu’s administration is pushing for inclusive reforms that will stimulate the private sector towards robust development.

The minister also commented on the need to cut back on excessive expenditure as well as expand the tax bracket, adding that the government is implementing certain measures to guarantee efficiency in tax collection.

“The need for reform, the need for change, the need for improvement. They talked about a bigger, better, and bolder World Bank Group that would also mobilize the private sector funding and of course, for Nigeria, one of the high points was that something that the government of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has emphasized also came to the fore here, and that is domestic resource mobilization.
“The fact that we have to depend on our resources, our savings to a larger extent. We must be efficient in collecting taxes and fees and payments that are due, we must be more efficient and cost-effective with our expenditure, and we must create a bigger base of financing from our resources.
We must rely on ourselves, and we must pull ourselves up much more than relying on others. I think that was an important message that came out,” Edun added.
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While speaking at the event, the Minister advocated for a third seat in the governance of international monetary bodies such as the IMF and the World Bank by African nations.

READ ALSO  EFCC’s failure to file processes stalls Kwankwaso’s rights enforcement suit

He said that Africans need more representation in these institutions to preserve the collective interest of the continent and put forward policies that are tailor-made for the conditions in Africa.

“On one hand, as far as the international, multilateral development banks and institutions are concerned, we along with other Africans are calling for a bigger voice, a third seat in the governance of the World Bank and IMF, and for Sub-Saharan Africa, and at the end of the day for Nigeria.
“So, we are saying we want greater representation at the table in which some of these decisions are taken and of course coming back home, it’s all about what is being done and major steps are being taken to reform the tax environment,” he added.

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Reps pass resolution on arrest of WAEC officials over misappropriation of funds

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Reps pass resolution on arrest of WAEC officials over alleged misappropriation of funds

The House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a resolution for the detention of top officials of West African Examination Council (WAEC) for failing to account for the funds appropriated to the organisation.

The resolution was pass d during an investigative hearing carried out by the House Committee on Basic Examination Bodies, chaired by Hon. Oforji Oboku.

The officials are: Amos Josiah Dangut, Head of National Office, WAEC Nigeria, who represented the Registrar; Angus Okeleze, Senior Deputy Registrar; Victor Odu, Acting Director of Finance; Segun Jerumeh, Deputy Director of Finance.

The motion for the arrest of the four WAEC officers was sequel to the adoption of a motion sponsored by Hon. Uchenna Okonkwo, during an investigative hearing, after the officials failed to answer their questions to their satisfaction.

The lawmakers during the hearing were in heated arguments with the WAEC officials whether the examination body was accountable to Parliament or not.

Dangut had earlier in his presentation to the Committee argued that WAEC was not an agency of government, hence not accountable as other agencies.

But the lawmakers insisted that WAEC Nigeria was a creation of an Act of the National Assembly, hence must account for all their activities to them.

The lawmakers also pointed out that WAEC’s convention dictates that they must submit to the legislation of any of its member countries.

Following the arguments, Hon. Okonkwo said: “I will like to move a motion that while pending the investigation to look into the activities of WAEC Nigeria, the invited Guests before should be taken into custody and held at the Police Post while we seek for solutions for these issues they are bringing upon Nigerians.”

READ ALSO  Reps pass resolution on arrest of WAEC officials over misappropriation of funds

Meanwhile, there was mild drama at the venue of the investigative hearing as one of the WAEC officials kept shouting at the lawmakers that it was being unfair to them.

Thereafter the WAEC officials were taken away by members of the Sergeant at Arms of the National Assembly where they were detained in one of the member’s office for about 15 minutes.

However, after a brief closed door session, the Committee resolved to allow them go and come back at a later date with relevant documents demanded of them.

In his intervention, Oboku who presided over the session, directed the WAEC management to bring the audited statement of accounts of the examinations body from 2018 till date.

He also directed that the delegation to present relevant documents in respect to a N5 billion loan that the Organisation secured in 2022 to buy a customised calculator among others.

The Chairman said WAEC cannot operate outside the supervision of the National Assembly.

He insisted the WAEC officials bring the requested documents, else there would be sanctions.

Source: Authorrity Nigeria

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EFCC’s failure to file processes stalls Kwankwaso’s rights enforcement suit

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Military capable of ending security challenges, says Kwankwaso

The inability of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to file processes before a Kano High Court on Tuesday stalled hearing in a fundamental rights suit filed by the 2023 presidential candidate of the New Nigeria People’s Party, NNPP, Rabiu Kwankwaso and seven others.

The other applicants are the NNPP, Dr Ajuji Ahmed, Dipo Olayanku, Ahmed Balewa, Chief Clement Anele, Folashade Aliu, and Buba Galadima.

When the matter came up for hearing,
Counsel to the EFCC , Mr Idris Ibrahim-Haruna, told the court he was not ready and sought for an adjournment to enable him file responses.

“My lord service was effected in Abuja. We are very sorry for the inconveniences and seek for another date to enable us file our responses.”

Responding, Counsel to the applicants, Mr Robert Hon, told the court that he was ready to proceed with the hearing.

He urged the court to dismiss the application by the EFCC counsel seeking for an adjournment for not giving the court a genuine reason for not filing their responses.

“My lord we served the respondent with all the court processes on June 10, and by the rules of this court they have five days to file their responses.”

He urged the court to adjourn the case for definite hearing.
Justice Yusuf Ubale, ordered the EFCC counsel to file his responses and adjourned the matter until October 24, for definite hearing.

The court had on June 10, granted an Interim order stopping the EFCC from arresting Kwankwaso and the seven responders.

READ ALSO  Shelve planned protest -Tinubu begs Nigerians

 

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Shelve planned protest -Tinubu begs Nigerians

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Don’t devalue naira after implementing new national minimum wage – Workers tell Tinubu

President Bola Tinubu has appealed to Nigerians to shelve planned protests against bad governance in the country, slated for next month.

The appeal was made known by Information Minister Mohammed Idris, who briefed State House correspondents after a meeting with the President on Tuesday.

Idris said Tinubu urged the organisers of the protest to shelve the plan and await the President’s response to their complaints.

“The issue of the planned protest, Mr President does not see any need for that. He’s asked them to shelve that plan. He’s asked them to await the government’s response to all their pleas,” the minister said.

The protest against economic hardship, which is gaining traction on social media, has been scheduled to hold across all states of the Federation as well as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, starting from August 1.

DAILY POST reports that the prices of food and basic commodities have gone through the roof in the last months.

Many Nigerians currently are battling one of the country’s worst inflation and economic crisis sparked by the government’s twin policies of petrol subsidy removal and unification of forex windows.

Source: Daily Post

READ ALSO  Shelve planned protest -Tinubu begs Nigerians
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Amnesty International warns Tinubu’s govt against threatening protesters

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Presidency: Obi’s supporters behind planned protests

Global human rights movement, Amnesty International has berated the Bola Tinubu-led government for threatening protesters.

AI was reacting to comments made by Tinubu’s media aide, Dada Olusegun, who said those planning the nationwide protests in the country will “meet the strongest resistance of your lives.”

In a post on X, the organisation stated:

”Threatening peaceful protesters is unlawful. It is a clear attack on freedom of assembly — which is guaranteed by international law and Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution:

”Nigerians must not be denied the constitutionally and internationally guaranteed right to peaceful protest; through veiled threats of violence and false insinuations.”

Source: Naija news

READ ALSO  Senate passes ₦70,000 national minimum wage bill
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Senate passes ₦70,000 national minimum wage bill

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The Senate on Tuesday speedily passed the National Minimum Wage Act 2019 (Amendment Bill). The bill, which scaled first, second

The Senate on Tuesday speedily passed the National Minimum Wage Act 2019 (Amendment Bill).

The bill, which scaled first, second and third readings, just minutes after it was transmitted by President Bola Tinubu, was instantly passed by the upper chamber.

In a unanimous vote after a clause consideration in the Committee of the Whole, the National Minimum Wage Bill scaled third reading and was passed.

Earlier on Tuesday, the President transmitted the National Minimum Wage Bill to the National Assembly for consideration and passage.

The President separately wrote the Senate and the House of Representatives requesting expedited consideration of a bill for an Act to amend the National Minimum Wage Act, 2019 to increase the National Minimum Wage from ₦30,000 to ₦70,000.

The President also asked the lawmakers to reduce the time for periodic review of the national minimum wage from five years to three years and related matters.

Last Thursday, Tinubu and the leadership of the Organised Labour agreed on ₦70,000 as the new minimum wage for Nigerian workers.

The truce between the government and labour sides followed a series of talks between labour leaders and the President in the last few weeks after months of failed talks between labour organs and a tripartite committee on minimum wage constituted by the President in January.

The committee, which comprised state and federal governments and the Organised Private Sector, had proposed ₦62,000 while labour insisted on ₦250,000 as the new minimum wage for workers who currently earn ₦30,000 as minimum wage.

READ ALSO  EFCC’s failure to file processes stalls Kwankwaso’s rights enforcement suit

Labour had said ₦30,000 was unsustainable for any worker going by the economic vagaries of inflation and high cost of living which followed the removal of petrol subsidy by the President.

Despite its initial insistence on ₦250,000 as the new minimum wage, Labour accepted the President’s offer of ₦70,000 last Thursday.

The President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Joe Ajaero, said Labour accepted ₦70,000 and rejected a proposal by President Bola Tinubu to pay ₦250,000 minimum wage on a condition to increase petrol prices.

He also said Labour agreed to the ₦70,000 offer because minimum wage won’t be reviewed once in five years anymore but once every three years.

The transmission of the wage bill came about six weeks after the President said in his Democracy Day speech on June 12, 2024, that an executive bill on the new national minimum wage for workers would be sent to the National Assembly for passage.

 

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Crime

Robbers rape two female students of Tai Solarin University

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Armed robbers have raped two female students of the Ogun State-owned Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijagun, Ijebu Ode.

Armed robbers have raped two female students of the Ogun State-owned Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijagun, Ijebu Ode.

It was gathered that the two first-year female students of the institution were raped by robbers on Monday.

The incident reportedly occurred around 12:30 am when the robbers invaded students’ apartments.

A source at the school disclosed that the suspects, armed with guns, forced the students to surrender their phones and other belongings before leading them to an uncompleted building where they took turns to rape them.

Police spokesperson in the state Omolola Odutola confirmed the incident in Abeokuta, the state capital.

“The incident was reported at the Igbeba Police Division at about 10 am. Our operatives immediately combed the area in search of the suspects. Efforts are in top gear to arrest everyone involved in the crime.

“In the meantime, the survivors have been taken to the school clinic for treatment,” she said.

-Channelstv

 

READ ALSO  Senate passes ₦70,000 national minimum wage bill
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