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NCC, NESG mull collaboration to boost telecoms impact on Nigeria’s economy

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG) are considering possible areas of increasing collaboration to enhance the impact and contribution of telecommunications sector on Nigeria’s socio-economic development.

This was the crux of deliberations during a recent courtesy visit by a delegation of the National Assembly Business Environment Round Table (NASSBER), a policy unit at NESG led by Nnanna Ude and a member of the technical committee of NASSBER, Yemi Keri, a press statement by NCC has revealed.

According to the statement, the need for stakeholder collaboration and engagement between the Commission and other stakeholders in order to conduct an impact assessment and gap analysis of the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA) 2003, which  will lead to improvement of the legal instrument and reflect new trends,  especially in a post-pandemic world, was the primary focus of the visit.

It revealed that the two entities also considered synergy in the area of Research and Development (R&D); while NESG has expressed its desire to have the Commission feature prominently in the forthcoming Nigeria Economic Summit (NES), an annual summit organised by the NESG, scheduled to hold in October this year.

While receiving the delegation on behalf the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, the Director, Public Affairs, NCC, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, stated that the meeting was a welcome development, as it aligns with the telecom regulator’s strategic partnership and collaboration objectives.

Adinde stated that the NCA 2003 is a robust regulatory instrument, which has given the NCC the mandate to regulate the telecom sector effectively, as seen in the contribution to the overall economic development of the country.

He stated further that, by virtue of Section 70 of the NCA 2003, the Commission has developed various regulations and issued guidelines that have helped in addressing critical issues pertaining to its regulatory activities.

Other senior management staff of the Commission, including the Director, Licensing & Authorisation, Muhammed Babajika; Director, Technical Standards & Network Integrity, Bako Wakil and representatives of the departments of Legal & Regulatory Services; Policy Competition & Economic Analysis; and Financial Services of the Commission, took turns to talk about the activities of the Commission in implementing its regulatory mandate for the benefit of the country.

Mr Babajika spoke on the licensing regime of the Commission and its impact on innovation in the economy, while Engr Wakil spoke about NCC’s regulatory efforts and collaborations with various stakeholders, such as the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) towards addressing challenges to quality of service (QoS) in telecom industry.

The impact of these challenges such as multiple taxation and regulations, fibre cuts, vandalism, high cost of Right of Way (RoW), theft of telecoms facilities and the need for the passage of the Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) Bill into law.

Speaking earlier on behalf of the Chief Executive Officer of NESG, Laoye Jaiyeola; Ude acknowledged the critical role NCC is playing in the provision of essential digital support for the Nigerian economy. He noted that, in 20 years of telecoms liberalisation, the Commission has been contributing significantly to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Ude explained that the visit was part of the efforts of the NESG to strengthen collaboration with key institutions of government such as the NCC. He extolled the role of the Commission in driving telecommunications sector growth through efficient and result-oriented regulations, noting that the impact of the regulations are evident in industry performance indicators which have shown upward trajectory over the recent years.

“The NCC is key to the digital transformation agenda of the government and we can see the footprints of the readiness of the country on that journey, in terms of the level of broadband penetration, internet subscription, teledensity and other critical indicators,” he said.

Meanwhile, Adinde stated that the Commission was excited by the prospects of partnering with NESG and NASSBER, noting that such partnership will further enhance telecoms contribution to Nigeria’s socio-economic growth.

He added that “all the issues discussed will be articulated in a memorandum, which will be submitted to Management for consideration.”


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NIPSS,dRPC Finance ministry, inaugurates TWG to monitor Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) Intervention programmes

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Participants at the TWG inauguration event in Abuja comprising representatives of MDAs and CSOs in a group picture on Tuesday, 21st September 2021
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The National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies in collaboration with the development Research and Project Center and the federal ministry of finance, budget and national planning on Tuesday inaugurates a Technical Working Group (TWG) to monitor and evaluate budgetary implementations for Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) programmes and policies.

The TWG led by Dr Zakari Lawal (mni), which is part of initiatives of the Bill and Melinda Gates’ Partnership for Advancing Women’s Economic Development, PAWED, aims at entrenching accountability in women’s economic advancement policies and programmes and the monitoring group is comprised of 10 MDAs from across Nigeria.

The event which held at the Bolton White hotels, Abuja had in attendance officials and representatives of the federal ministry of finance, budget and national planning, National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies(NIPSS), dPRC, MDAs and representives of women associations as well as representatives of Christian women and Muslim women associations

The the terms of reference for the technical working group which was spelt out at the event has as parts of the objectives of the group, the provisions of support in the areas of development and implementation of the pilot monitoring and evaluation framework and to track and rate women’s empowerment project/policies/ interventions at both the national and sub national levels.

The TWG will also support the advocacy for and the dissemination of the WEE Monitoring and Evaluation Framework, support NIPSS, FMFBNP and dRPC WEE outreach and will function under the guidance and oversight of the NIPSS, FMFBNP and dRPC.

In the his address, the DG NIPSS, Brigadier C.J. Udaya, represented by Dr Nasrideen Usman, said that the TWG is constituted to foster the accountability components of the NIPSS strategies and asked that there be more clarity especially in terms of the roles and responsibilities of each stakeholders and, that it should be well articulated and clearly stated so that every stakeholders like the NIPSS, dRPC TWG and the CBN will know what is expected of them and also guide the implementation of the initiative.

He said the TWG is expected to make recommendations to the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), the development Research and Projects Center (dRPC) and the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning (FMFBNP) on the development of advocacy strategies for the affective implementation of WEE policies.

He further added that the monitoring group would also support NIPSS, FMFBNP & dRPC WEE outreach and engagement activities; submit reports of its activities to NIPSS, FMFBNP & dRPC WEE at regular intervals; and carry out other ad hoc duties as requested by NIPSS, FMFBNP & the dRPC.

He remarked that ‘with women constituting over 44.82% of the labour force in Nigeria, empowering this segment of our population is not only key to achieving economic independence, but also, it is critical in sustaining the nation’s overall economic development’ therefore, the nation stands to gain as it will go a long way in address some of its economic challenges when women are economically and adequately empowered

He concluded by imploring the 20 committee members drawn from the CBN, the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Finance, budget and National planning and other MDAs, to work hard in order to ensure transparency in the implementation of women’s economic empowerment in the country.

In his goodwill speech, Dr Zakari Lawal (mni) Director, Monitoring and Evaluation, Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning, stressed the need for strengthening the monitoring and evaluation mechanisms for women’s economic empowerment in the country and gave assurance of the federal government readiness to set in mechanisms to promote transparency in the allocation and implementation of policies in the country.

He expressed gratitude to all the stakeholders and MDAs involved with the the project and urged the would be leaders of TWG to take their responsibilities with all seriousness.

At the end of the inaugural event , Princess Adeshola Ogunleye and Mrs Mary Madu Haman emerged the chair and co-chairpersons respectively .

The TWG will be training participants in techniques and skills for tracking budget allocation and implementation on Wednesday and Thursday at the Bolton White Hotel in Abuja.


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Osun presents 2020 audited accounts

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Oyetola’s administration committed to accountability, openness, probity – Auditor-General 
as State IGR skyrockets to N19.6b


The Government of the State of Osun on Tuesday presented the audited financial accounts of the State for the 2020 fiscal year.
The audited financial reports were made public as part of efforts to keep the citizens abreast of the financial status of the State, showcase prudence in the management of the available resources and, by extension, strengthen the existing public trust and confidence that have been the hallmarks of the Administration.


The audited accounts as presented revealed the astronomical improvement in the State Internally Generated Revenue from 2018 to 2020 as a total sum of N13,805,843,339.25 was generated in 2018; N17,720,122,360.44  in 2019 and N19,642,333,010.68 in 2020 respectively.
This is even as the Auditor-General of the State, Mr. Folorunso Adesina, lauded the high sense of commitment of the Governor Adegboyega Oyetola-led Administration to ensure accountability, transparency and probity in the management of the State’s resources.
Recall that the 2019 audited account was presented earlier this year due to the adverse effects of the protracted Coronavirus pandemic that has been ravaging the universe.
The summary of the Audited Financial Statements as presented puts the Total Revenue (inflows) at N99,048,740,967.00 and Total Recurrent and Capital Expenditure (outflows) at N86,470,726,806.86 respectively.
The Net Balance on Total Revenue and Total Expenditure was N12,578,014,160.14 and Opening Balance as at January 1st, 2020 was N10,356,616,311.14 while the Total Closing Balance as at December 31st, 2020 was N22,934,627,471.28 respectively.


Analysis of Recurrent Expenditure indicates that Personnel Expenditure has N28,748,672,359.37 and Recurrent Expenditure has N17,928,291,392.63.
Also, analysis of Capital Expenditure indicates that Administrative Sector has N5,392,638,753.82; Economic has N27,896,438,968.24; Law and Justice has N58,309,514.17 and Social has N6,416,375,818.63 respectively.
While reeling out the audited reports of the finances of the State for the year 2020 at the Audit Forum held at Leisure Spring Hotel, Osogbo, Adesina said Public Finance Management (PFM) reform under the leadership of Governor Oyetola, has got a boost by becoming one of the pioneer States to assist and implement Audit Act in Nigeria, a feat the Federal Government is yet to attain.


He said the presentation of the 2020 fiscal account would make Osun to consolidate on its pacesetter status among the comity of states in the country and further build public trust and confidence in governance.
Adesina who highlighted the sterling performance of the State so far, particularly within the Audit Year under review, said it was generally discovered that Government executed people-oriented programmes as prudence was put in the forefront towards good governance.
According to him, economic and social sector took about 86.22% of the Total Capital Expenditure which was responsible for government’s ability to build, rehabilitate, revitalise and deliver for public use over 300 Primary Healthcare Centres as at the time of the report.


“Audit visitation to location of the health centres and health equipment supplied, including consumables was confirmation of this government priority for the well-being of the masses.
“Also on infrastructure, the Office through the monitoring team inspected roads construction embarked upon and completed by the State such as Moro-Yakoyo-Ipetumodu-Asipa road; Ada-Igbajo road; Overlay of Oke-Gada-Army Baracks road, Ede; Ereja roundabout-Eregun-Isaare-Oke-Oye road, Ilesa; Akindeko-Awosuru-Alekuwodo road; various rural electrification projects spread across the State among others, and it was discovered that best available standards were used in the various constructions, thereby making available to the masses, good and solid infrastructure which have impacts positively on the lives of the people and have helped to transform the socioeconomic status of the State.


“Audit also visited some renovated schools and the educational materials supplied like desks, chairs, books, shelves among others were inspected across the State and it was discovered that their amenities were effective and efficient for the target masses,” Adesina explained.
Giving the financial position of the State as at December 31st, 2020, Adesina said, Total Asset was N153,895,719,326.64; Total Liabilities was N90,720,513,278.69 and Net/Equity was put at N63,175,206,047.95.


On budget performance, the Auditor-General said Goverment had performed credibly on its revenue generation efforts, most especially on IGR as reported in the comparison of revenue between previous years.
“The accounts of the State Government of Osun for the year ended 31st December, 2020 have been audited by me in accordance with the provision of Section 125 Subsection 2 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended). 
“I have certified the individual accounts ( statement of cash flow, statement of financial performance, statement of financial position, statement of change in assets/equity, statement of comparison between budget and actual notes to the accounts) as correct object to clarified observations.


“In fulfilling the provisions of the extant requirements, my office within the financial year under review, carried out Financial Audit in accordance with professional standards and regulations to determine whether the accounts have been satisfactorily and faithfully kept through audit trail of transactions.
“We equally carried out Appropriation Audit to ensure that funds are expended as appropriated by the State House of Assembly as well as Compliance Audit to ensure that laid-down rules, regulations and procedures are being observed in tendering, supplying, contracting and storekeeping with a view to ensure strict adherence to the provisions of the Acts of Parliament.


“As the watchdog of public finances, we monitored all government projects and all forms of disbursement to ensure that all officers carried out their duties in a transparent way and in accordance with the applicable rules and regulations.
“Projects and programmes executed were satisfactory in consideration of funds employed and financial statement 1-5 and related schedules give a true and fair view of the state of affairs of the State Government of Osun at 31st December, 2020,” he added.
Earlier, Speaker, Osun House of Assembly, Hon. Timothy Owoeye lauded the Administration of Governor Oyetola for running an all inclusive and participatory government.


Owoeye who was represented by the Chairman House Committee on Public Accounts, Hon. Gbenga Ogunkanmi reaffirmed the House’s commitment to continue to ensure check and balances in the management of the State in general and public treasury in particular.

In his remarks, the Head of Service, Dr. Olowogboyega Oyebade applauded the financial prowess of the Administration of Governor Oyetola to maintain and sustain the economy of the State despite the daunting challenges.

Oyebade who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Human Resources and Capacity Building, Mr. Leye Aina, described the public presentation of the Audited Accounts as an indication to the fact that Oyetola’s administration was open to all.

“It shows the Governor means business, it shows he knows what he is doing. It takes someone who is honest, transparent and accountable to be able to sustain this. For us to be able to maintain and sustain this also shows that the Governor is serious about the finances of the State. It shows he is a thorough leader. 

“This is a way of telling the public that the government is open to criticism. It shows that the government is ready to show the book of accounts to public as probity, accountability, transparency and honesty are prioritised. This shows that government has nothing to hide and that it has no skeleton in the cupboard,” Oyebade added. 

The Audit Forum had in attendance members of the Civil Society Organizations; Stakeholders, Heads of Non-Governmental Organizations; top government functionaries, professional bodies, artisans among others. Earlier, Speaker, Osun House of Assembly, Hon. Timothy Owoeye lauded the Administration of Governor Oyetola for running an all inclusive and participatory government.


Owoeye who was represented by the Chairman House Committee on Public Accounts, Hon. Gbenga Ogunkanmi reaffirmed the House’s commitment to continue to ensure check and balances in the management of the State in general and public treasury in particular.
In his remarks, the Head of Service, Dr. Olowogboyega Oyebade applauded the financial prowess of the Administration of Governor Oyetola to maintain and sustain the economy of the State despite the daunting challenges.
Oyebade who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Human Resources and Capacity Building, Mr. Leye Aina, described the public presentation of the Audited Accounts as an indication to the fact that Oyetola’s administration was open to all.
“It shows the Governor means business, it shows he knows what he is doing. It takes someone who is honest, transparent and accountable to be able to sustain this. For us to be able to maintain and sustain this also shows that the Governor is serious about the finances of the State. It shows he is a thorough leader. 
“This is a way of telling the public that the government is open to criticism. It shows that the government is ready to show the book of accounts to public as probity, accountability, transparency and honesty are prioritised. This shows that government has nothing to hide and that it has no skeleton in the cupboard,” Oyebade added. 


The Audit Forum had in attendance members of the Civil Society Organizations; Stakeholders, Heads of Non-Governmental Organizations; top government functionaries, professional bodies, artisans among others.


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Breaking: Buhari wants National Assembly to amend PIA, few weeks after

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President Muhammadu Buhari is back to the National Assembly to ask lawmakers to tinker with the new Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), he signed into law on August 16, just five days above a month.

The President is seeking the removal of the Ministers of Petroleum Resources and Finance from the board of the agencies created under the law.

In a letter, to the NASS read separately at their individual chambers by Ahmad Lawan, Senate President and Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, for the Senate and House of Representatives, respectively, the President is seeking an amendment to the law to make for the appointment of non-Executive and Executive Directors for the agencies created by the law.

The Speaker said the letter will be referred to the appropriate committee of the House for immediate action.

President Muhammadu Buhari, on Tuesday, wrote to the Senate seeking an amendment to the recently enacted Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).

The President insisted that the affected Ministers can continue to perform their functions without necessarily being members of the board of NNPC Limited.

Part of the amendment being sought by Buhari on PIA is to increase the number of Non-Executive members of the NNPC Limited Board from two to six to reflect Federal Character.

Buhari, in another letter, transmitted the names of nominees for screening and subsequent confirmation as board members of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the NNPCL.


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