The Honourable Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo at a Meet & Greet dinner to welcome to Nigeria, the Secretary General of IMO, HE Kitack Lim, organised by the Federal Ministry of Transportation and its Agencies in collaboration with the organized maritime private sector under the auspices of the Nigeria International Maritime Summit.
Tracka, BudgIT’s Service Delivery Promotion Arm Launches 2021 Constituency Project Report; RReports On 5,242 Projects Across 31 States
Tracka, BudgIT’s community engagement and service delivery promotion arm, has launched its 2021 Constituency Project Report titled “Using Advocacy to Build Citizens’ Capacity for Improved Governance”. The report reviews Tracka’s work and documents the findings from 5,242 government projects tracked across 31 states in Nigeria between June 2021 and July 2022. Of these projects, 3,043 have been completed, 775 are ongoing, 1,248 have not started, 176 are abandoned, and 2,366 projects were with unspecified locations.
Key findings in the report reveal critical issues with project execution in Nigeria, including the diversion of projects for personal use, the use of empowerment projects as a reward system for political party members, non-execution of projects, incapability of assigned agencies to execute projects, the obscurity of budgetary provisions, use of substandard materials, the hijacking of federal capital projects implementation by lawmakers, poor maintenance of projects, among others.
In extreme situations, elected representatives have diverted public funds for political and personal purposes. For example, in Taraba state, N200 million earmarked for the procurement of vehicles for constituents was converted into personal use by Senator Emmanuel Bwacha, a senator representing Taraba South Senatorial district, while in Sokoto, Honourable Bala Kokani, a lawmaker representing Kebbe/Tambuwal federal constituency, locked up empowerment items (motorcycles, sewing and grinding machines, bags of fertilizer) worth over N40 million in his permanent residence, that was meant to be distributed to his constituents. In Osun state, N50 million empowerment project implemented by the National Directorate for Employment was turned into an open All Progressives Congress fiasco.
Tracka discovered that elected representatives and political parties are leveraging empowerment projects to strengthen their base from government coffers rather than improve citizens’ lives, especially as the 2023 general elections draw near.
According to Uadamen Ilevbaoje, Head of Tracka, there is a scourge of anomalies in the 2021 projects implementation, including the reappearance of 2020 budget line items as new items in the 2021 budget and the duplication of empowerment projects in the Zonal Intervention Project ZIP and ERGPs. “We observed that some of the projects captured in the ZIPs were also captured in ERGP projects with different amounts budgeted for them. This creates a funnel for embezzlement and mismanagement of funds, as funds will be released twice for the same project but implemented once.” Ilevbaoje added.
Tracka, in its report, highlighted recommendations tailored to every stakeholder involved that can effectively tackle the problems of open contracting, standardised platforms for public procurement, effective budget monitoring, citizen engagement, and proper budgeting with relevant information, among others.
We call on elected officials, executive bodies, and stakeholders who have a crucial role in nation-building to ensure that resources are effectively allocated and channelled towards improving service delivery in Nigeria. Tracka also urges citizens, media and the CSOs to leverage information in this report to demand improved service delivery from their elected officials.
Download the full report here: www.yourbudgit.com/da
Business Leaders and sector experts have called on the private sector especially in Africa to play their role in
building resilient systems that will enable the achievement of the Sustainable Development outcomes. This
was the crux of the annual LBS International Sustainability Conference organized by Lagos Business School
Sustainability Centre (LBSSC) in partnership with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Africa), IHS
Nigeria Limited and Shared Value Africa Initiative (SVAI) which held virtually on Friday, November 18,2022.
The aftermath of Climate Change Impacts and the COVID-19 Pandemic has left many countries affected by risks and pressures which have a negative impact on the population’s ability to survive. This has also exposed the vulnerability of current systems and structures which are incapable of coping, consequently
endangering previously attained development gains. Some of these risks include conflict and insecurity;
economic shocks, extreme weather events, and climate change social impacts, which frequently cause food
insecurity and mass displaced people; natural hazards, particularly floods and droughts; and communicable
disease outbreaks and pandemics. These problems pose a threat to the private sector as well as the larger
society and economy thus highlight the need for urgent action and collaboration among business leaders.
Delivering the opening remarks at the conference, Prof. Enase, Vice-Chancellor of Pan-Atlantic University
and Board Member, United Nations Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME),
underlined the power of the private sector to innovate and move more quickly than the government. In her
words, “Our systems are failing us almost every day, and they are doing so faster than ever. We need to
create new solutions. We need to create ways to ensure that we maintain and improve standards.” To
promote long-term transformation, Prof. Enase emphasised the necessity for organisations to transcend a
compliance-based culture for incorporating sustainability in their key operations to one of strategy and
On the ways businesses can build resilient systems in Africa, Mr Simon O’Hara, Group Company Secretary,
Airtel Africa discussed some of Airtel’s strategic programs intertwined in the organisation’s vision and
sustainability strategy. According to him, the vision of Airtel Africa is about transforming lives and the
organisation’s corporate strategy reflects this vision. Understanding the key role digital inclusion, financial
inclusion and service equality plays in its vision, Airtel Africa has developed interventions to reach
disadvantaged children and women with digital education and access to bandwidth to aid financial inclusion
as part of its corporate strategy.
The private sector is an important backbone of any economic system, therefore business leaders have a duty
to build in sustainability and resilience as a desired outcome in addition to traditional focus on profit within
their own operations first and for their stakeholders especially ‘people’. Delivering the keynote address at the conference, Mr Rodney Irwin, Chief Operating Officer of the World Business Council for Sustainable
Development (WBCSD), reiterated the fact that climate change is no longer a risk but a full-fledged reality
and needs urgent action across sectors in rethinking their business models and energy needs.
During the panel discussion on ‘Practical Solutions in Systems Building in Food and Energy’ Mr. Ashvin Dayal,
Senior Vice President Power and Climate, Rockefeller Foundation, Tendai Matika, Manager at Global
Reporting Initiative and Agatha Nnaji, Managing Director, Geometric Power Group, emphasised the
importance of addressing climate change and building resilient businesses, stating that it is critical for the
private sector to recognise the enormous potential of renewable energy sources for sustainable development
and develop solutions that are localised, decentralised, and tailored to suit and solve the issues of different
economic and social settings.
IHS (Nigeria) Limited, one of the organisations taking actions in this direction through their operations,
presented a best-practice case study on their ‘Project Green’. The company plans to prioritise solar hybrids,
gas generators, lithium-ion batteries, supercap hybrids, and grid connectivity in the short term and expand
grid connectivity, indoor to outdoor conversion, solar farms, and wind farms in the midterm and long term.
The conference, convened chief executives, directors, sustainability professionals and key stakeholders from
around over 30 countries. Interactions at the virtual conference emphasised the importance of key stakeholders
working together to promote resilient food and energy systems that support sustainable development especially
in emerging and developing economies.
The International Sustainability Conference is an annual dialogue hosted by the Lagos Business School
Sustainability Centre that aims to inspire business leaders to incorporate sustainability and responsible business
practices into their strategy and operations, resulting in a positive impact not only on business performance but also on society.
The Honourable Minister Of Transportation, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo has restated Nigeria’s commitment to the sustainability of the blue economy while declaring open the 2022 edition of the Nigerian International Maritime Summit (NIMS) at the Oriental Hotel in Lagos State Nigeria.
Sambo disclosed this during the 2022 Edition of The Nigeria International Maritime Summit (NIMS).
The Summit, according to the Minister, was to capture important questions, opportunities and challenges associated with Nigeria’s quest for achieving a sustainable approach to harnessing the blue economy.
He said, “the Summit was also necessary for discussions within the global community on the need to reshape the way the shipping industry operates in the face of current and future challenges, ranging from a changing climate and the need for rapid decarbonisation by 2050 cannot be overemphasized”.
Nigeria’s commitment to the sustainability of the blue economy is demonstrated by the adoption of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“To this end, an Expanded Committee on Sustainable Blue Economy in Nigeria (ECSBEN) under the leadership of no less a person than the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is driving the implementation process and to perfect the agenda for a national strategy.
“This agenda amongst others is focused on providing an assessment of the current realities, opportunities and challenges for economic diversification and the growth of a sustainable blue economy.
“This includes the identification and review of relevant policies and institutional/capacity-building mechanisms. This is in addition to the identification of regional and cross-border partnerships necessary for the implementation of the blue economy plan, the relevant sectors, actors and linkages, and the development of a national action plan with an implementation strategy for the Nigerian blue economy,” he said.
Sambo further revealed that synergy with the appropriate authorities had led to several achievements in the fight against piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, extolling the leadership virtues of President Muhammadu Buhari and other stakeholders for their support in achieving zero piracy in Nigeria’s Maritime domain since the commissioning of the Deep Blue project in June 2021 by President Buhari.
The Minister identified finance as a critical driver for unlocking the potentials of the blue economy in Africa and particularly Nigeria.
“Sustainable financing models are therefore important to build critical maritime assets such as shipyards and ports across the country.
“This Summit will undoubtedly serve as a benchmark for stakeholders in Nigeria and beyond to further develop innovative strategies to sustainably harness the vast potentials of the blue economy”.
The Minister thanked the Governing Board and the Advisory Council of the Nigeria International Maritime Summit, the Secretariat, Agencies and other stakeholders who have worked assiduously with the Federal Ministry of Transportation, for putting together the event.
NCC Announces Upcoming Auction Of Two (2) Lots Of 3.5GHZ Spectrum, Assures Of Availablility Of, Harmonized And Standardized Spectrum Resources To The Industry
The Nigerià Communications Commission, NCC, has announced the auction of two (2) Lots of 3.5GHZ Spectrum.
The Commission in making public the upcoming auction reiterated that as a regulatory body holding in trust the management and administration of scarce spectrum resources on behalf of the Federal government, that it will continue to make available, the much needed harmonized and standardized Spectrum resources to the industry.
The Auction is designed to boost competition by making it open to both new entrants as well as existing licensees.
“We, therefore, wish to reassure all stakeholders and investors, that the processes and schedule for the Auction of two (2) lots of 3.5GHz Spectrum will take place as planned. The final Information Memorandum for the Auction has been published on the Commission’s website. Interested applicants are advised to adhere to the requirements as specified in the Information Memorandum for participation in the Auction”. A statement from the Commission adds.
The NCC in line with Section 121 of the Nigerian Communications Act 2003 has the responsibility to manage and administer Spectrum resources for the communications sector in an efficient and effective manner. This is for the socio-economic benefit of the country.
Accordingly, it is the Commission’s responsibility, as the industry regulator, to ensure that harmonized and standardized Spectrum resources are made available in a timely manner to ensure its optimal utilization. The impact of the Commission’s regulatory activities in this regard is evident in the contribution of ICT, and telecommunications in particular, to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country.
The Act allows available Spectrum resources to be licensed through different methods. Spectrum licensing via Auction is one of the most transparent methods of assigning Spectrum resources globally. It is important to note that the Commission in response to requests for more Spectrum lots to be made available during the 2021 Stakeholders’ engagement had estimated a period of 24 months to clear all encumbrances in the remaining two (2) lots of the 3.5GHz band.
The Information Memorandum that guided the 2021 Auction process further stated the Commission’s intention to migrate incumbent users of the remaining portion of the C-band to free up Spectrum and make it available for the deployment of new services. The Commission has achieved the clearance earlier than estimated 24 months, thus making the Spectrum available for licensing.
Against the backdrop of the continued weakening of the global economy due primarily to the persistent increase in energy prices, supply chain bottlenecks, rising inflation, looming food crisis, and sharp increase in interest rates leading to tightening external financial conditions and the volatility of the oil market, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Central Bank has voted to move the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) upwards by 100 basis points.
The MPR for November now stands at 16.50 basis points, up from 15.50 basis points in the preceding month.
A statement by the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigerià (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele said the Committee considered the global inflationary pressures which have continued to trend higher and the financial markets which were also facing challenges, noting that this was indeed the trend in Nigeria, with inflation attaining 21.09 per cent in October, 2022.
He said the Committee in appraising the efficacy of its decisions at the last couple of meetings maintained that the decisions were beginning to yield the desired results, given that the rate of increase in inflation was beginning to decelerate
The MPC further noted that though the global economy was progressively weakening due to the various headwinds derailing the recovery, domestic output growth remained positive as a result of the combined support from fiscal and monetary policy. The MPC, therefore, urged both authorities to continue to harmonize their various policies to achieve the desired objectives of stable prices and steady growth.
In reaching the decision of whether to loosen, hold or tighten the stance of policy, the Committee noted that, given that all the causative factors, such as the Russia-Ukraine war, supply chain disruptions, slowdown in China, rising inflation in advanced economies as well as other headwinds a loosen option was not desirable in the immediate.
The Committee also felt that, with the rising inflation, loosening the stance of policy would lead to a more aggressive rise in inflation and erode the gains already achieved through tightening.
As regards whether to hold, MPC was of the view that a hold stance at a period close to Decembers festive season and expected heavy spending during the 2023 general election at a time of high inflation would greatly jeopardize the gains of the previous policy rates hikes and plunge the economy deeper into the inflation trap.
The MPC therefore decided to continue to tighten, but at a somewhat lower rate, noting that tightening the stance of policy would narrow the negative real effective interest margin and thus improve market sentiment and further restore investor confidence. MPC also felt that recent developments in terms of observed month-on-month deceleration in the rate of increase in inflation, suggests that the previous tightening policies were yielding the expected outcome. It therefore felt that sustaining the tightening would further consolidate the decline in inflation, albeit more significantly.
Aside increasing the MPR by 100 basis points, the Committee also voted unanimously to Retain the asymmetric corridor of +100/-700 basis points around the MPR; Retain the CRR at 32.5 per cent; and Retain the Liquidity Ratio at 30 per cent.
The Executive Chairman of the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS), Mr Ayodele Subair has been conferred with the Most Innovative CEO of The Year Award 2022 by the New Telegraph Awards 2022.
The award ceremony, held at the Balmoral Convention Centre, Federal Palace Hotel, Lagos, on Friday, had in attendance several other awardees and dignitaries, including the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, honoured with the Statesman of the Year Award, All Progress Congress Presidential Flagbearer, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, PDP Presidential Candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, who both bagged Lifetime Achievement Award and Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who went home with the Governor of the Year(Education), among others.
The organisers of the awards, The New Telegraph Newspapers, explained that Subair was honoured for his landmark strides since he became the LIRS Executive Chairman in 2016, as he has been able to implement strategic innovations as well as double the initial revenue generation from N240bn to N427bn with his astute knowledge and experience in Accounting and Taxation.
Driving the tax revolution at the LIRS, other Subair’s achievements, according to the newspaper, include the introduction of eTax in 2019, the launching of the whistleblowing initiative (2022), staff reforms and welfare upgrade (from 2017 till date), the introduction of the IBILE HUB Initiative (2021), Technology driven Operational Reforms in LIRS formed in 2022, where an Intelligent Unit- a team of undercover administration specially trained in information gathering and intelligence reports to provide information on all taxpayers in Lagos State and to ensure the agency has adequate information for appropriate profiling to expose tax defaulters.
Others include the establishment of the LIRS Service Charter (2021), the introduction of Automation of collection of consumption taxes (2017-2018), the inauguration of the Joint State Revenue Committee (JSRC) in 2021 as well as becoming the agency with the Highest Generated Revenue amid Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.
While receiving the award, the LIRS boss, who was accompanied by some of the agency’s directors, expressed gratitude to the management of New Telegraph for recognising LIRS for the efforts it has been making in driving the State’s revenue generation under Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu-led administration.
Subair said: “I want to say a very big thank you to the organizers of this great award, including the publisher and management of New Telegraph. “I want to say thank you for recognizing LIRS as being the most innovative and very strategic agency. We know we have to be on top of our game so that we can generate enough revenue for this wonderful state.”
Speaking further, the astute Tax administrator noted: “I am very happy to receive this award. It is the recognition of all the hard work we’ve been doing at the LIRS. This award encourages us to strive to improve our innovation. The LIRS is hinged on technology, and anybody who wants to make any headway in tax administration has to embrace technology. So, it’s our joy that we are being duly recognized as the foremost agency in that direction.
“I dedicate this award to my late father, Engr. Abiodun Subair, Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who always says yes to our wish list. I also want to dedicate the award to my family, to all directors and management staff of LIRS who are here to support me tonight and very importantly, to all staff of LIRS that have stayed committed to our strategic objectives.”
Speaking on what to expect from the agency shortly, Subair noted; “As for me, when you talk about figures, I want to ensure that we continue to double our numbers so that we have enough funding to sustain the development of our dear State.
Among the directors, who accompanied the LIRS chairman to receive the award included LIRS Board Secretary, Mr Owolabi Kamson, Director, Admin and HR, Arinola Kola-Daisi, Director, Legal, Seyi Alade, Assistant Director, IT, Rasheed Olu-Ajayi, Assistant Director, Relationship Management Unit, RMU, Mr Tunji Osuntokun and Head Corporate Affairs, Monsurat Amasa.
NCC-CSIRT Urges Adoption of Two-Factor Authentication as Somnia Ransomware Targets Telegram Accounts
In response to the discovery of a new attack that compromises victims’ VPN (Virtual Private Network) accounts to compromise messaging app, Telegram, the Nigerian Communications Commission’s Computer Security Incident Response Team (NCC-CSIRT) has advised users to adopt two-factor authentication to protect their Telegram accounts and to not download unknown Advanced IP Scanner Software.
Ukrainian cyber experts discovered the attack, which uses Vidar Malware (Vidar Stealer) to steal Telegram session data, which in the absence of configured two-factor authentication and a passcode, allows unauthorized access to the victim’s telegram account and corporate account or network.
The malware, which exploits unauthorized access to users’ Telegram accounts and corporate accounts to steal data, targets platforms across iOS, Android, Linux, Mac and Windows Operating Systems.
“The Ukrainian CERT alleged that a Somnia Ransomware was created to be used on Telegram that tricks users to download an installer that mimics ‘Advanced IP Scanner’ software, which contains Vidar Malware. The installer infects the system with the Vidar stealer, which steals the victim’s Telegram session data to take control of their account.
“The threat actors abuse the victim’s Telegram account in some unspecified manner to steal VPN connection data (authentication and certificates). If the VPN account is not protected by two-factor authentication passcode, the hackers use it to gain unauthorized access to the victim’s employer’s corporate network”, the alert and advisory states.
“Once inside, the intruders conduct reconnaissance work using tools like Netscan, Rclone, Anydesk, and Ngrok, to perform various surveillance and remote access activities, and then deploy a Cobalt Strike beacon, exfiltrating data using the Rclone program,” the report stated.
The CSIRT is the telecom sector’s cyber security incidence centre set up by the NCC to focus on incidents in the telecom sector and as they may affect telecom consumers and citizens at large. The CSIRT also works collaboratively with ngCERT, established by the Federal Government to reduce the volume of future computer risk incidents by preparing, protecting, and securing Nigerian cyberspace to forestall attacks, and problems or related events.
The Director General of the Debt Management Office (DMO), Ms Patience Oniha, will lead other market regulators to discuss the prospects of Nigeria’s public debt at the 2022 annual workshop of the Capital Market Correspondents Association of Nigeria (CAMCAN).
The workshop scheduled to hold on December 3, 2022 at Orchid Hotels, Ajah, Lagos, is being organised by the association as part of its efforts to contribute to the development of the country’s capital market and economy.
The theme of the programme is: “Nigeria’s Public Debt and the Capital Market,” and the Director-General of the DMO, Oniha is the guest speaker.
The workshop will be declared open by the Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mr Lamido Yuguda, who will be the special guest of honour, while the Chief Executive Officer of the NGX Exchange, Mr Timi Popoola, the guest of honour, will give more details how the exchange is positioning itself as the Africa’s investment window.
The apex regulatory institutions in the Nigerian Capital market expected to grace the event include SEC Nigerian Exchange Ltd., NGX, FMDQ Exchange Ltd., as well as other market operators.
The Managing Director/CEO, FMDQ Exchange, Mr Bola Onadele, will bring perspectives on how the potential in the debt capital market can be unlocked to grow the economy.
Other dignitaries expected at the forum are: Chairman of Association of Stockbroking Houses of Nigeria (ASHON), Mr Sam Onukwue and President of Chartered Institutes of Stockbroker (CIS), Mr Oluwole Adeosun.
Also expected to herald the workshop are, the DMD UBA Group, Mr Muyiwa Akinyemi and the TGI Group, amongst others.
The Guest Speaker, Oniha, will also throw more light on the high-yielding opportunities in the Nigerian debt space, and how the country and corporates could tap into the opportunities that abound in the local market for infrastructure development funds.
Equally, she is expected to further unveil opportunities for retail investors in debt investing, as well as the commitment of government in ensuring sound policies, and environment towards enhancing a vibrant local debt market.
In her 14 years at the DMO, Oniha spearheaded the introduction of benchmark bonds to develop the domestic bond market in order to improve liquidity and create a sovereign yield curve where the public and private sectors can access long-term funds to finance Nigeria’s growth and development.
Oniha led the successful issuance of Nigeria’s debut USD500 million Eurobond in January 2011 as a new source of funding for the Federal Government, as well as the first 30-year-tenor Eurobond in the International Capital Market which represents the first by a sub-Saharan country other than South Africa, and established the basis for long-term infrastructure funding for Nigeria.
She was also responsible for the inclusion of FGN Bonds in the J.P. Morgan Government Bond Index – Emerging Markets (GBI–EM) in October 2012, which made Nigeria the second country in Africa, after South Africa, to have its local currency sovereign bond included in the Index.
The inclusion of FGN Bonds in this Index attracted foreign investors to the domestic bond market as a whole. This was followed by the inclusion of FGN Bonds in the Barclays Capital Emerging Markets – Local Currency Government Bond Index (EM – LCBI) in March 2013.
While at the DMO, Oniha was also appointed the Head of the Efficiency Unit at the Federal Ministry of Finance.
To execute the mandate of the unit, which was to moderate the government’s overhead expenditure and generate savings from the procurement process, Oniha introduced a number of initiatives.The initiatives included issuance of seven circulars to control expenditure on specific overhead items and negotiation of discounts with airlines.
These delivered savings estimated at N17 billion to the government. She was working on the introduction of new processes for payment and procurements when she was appointed Director-General of the DMO with effect from July 1, 2017.
Under her leadership, Nigeria issued its debut N100 billion Sovereign Sukuk in 2017, and with her at the helm of affairs, Nigeria has successfully issued four tranches of the Sovereign Sukuk in 2018, 2020 and 2021, raising over N612 billion in proceeds for construction and rehabilitation of roads and other infrastructural projects across the six geo-political zones of the country.
Oniha obtained a B.Sc. Economics, (First Class Honours) from the University of Benin in 1983 and secured an M.Sc. Finance from the University of Lagos in 1985.
She became a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria in 1990 and a Fellow of the institute in 2008.
She is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria.
IMO Secretary General Kitack Lim at the Nigeria International Maritime Summit
His Excellency Kitack Lim commended Nigerian Navy and NIMASA for effectively collaborating with local , regional and international partners to achieve success in the war against piracy.
He offered IMO partnership with Nigerian government to achieve port community system for the west and central Africa Region.
Assured of IMO support for Nigeria maritime industry to achieve cleaner oceans and greener shipping