The immediate past Minister of Communication, Adebayo Shittu, has expressed his disappointment over missing out of President Muhammadu Buhari’s ministerial list. Shittu said he expected to make the cut for a second term but he was shocked that President Buhari replaced him.
Shittu, who has no professional experience in the field of communication and had been a lawyer and politician for 40 years, said he expected to be reappointed, however, his name was dropped for Sunday Dare from Oyo State, who is the current Minister for Youth and Sports. He was replaced by as Communication Minister by Isa Pantami.
Out of the 43 Ministers appointed to lead President Buhari’s ‘Next Level’ agenda, Shittu was one of the 18 ministers that was not reappointed. He wished he had been given other opportunities to serve, but since he’s unable to, his law certificate and experience would come in handy now.
“Of course, I expected that I would be reappointed (as a minister) but when it didn’t happen, as a Muslim, it didn’t take me five minutes before I accepted that it’s the will of God.
“And I have also found comfort in a Quranic verse when God promised that what is to come later is better than what is with you now.
“So for me, it says we must accept that there is always something better with God which he gives to his beloved.
“I see myself as a beloved of God.
“I have come a long way and I have served at the state and national levels and the experience that I have garnered over the last three and half years cannot be purchased from the stores or from the market.”
According to Shittu, whatever has a beginning will necessarily have an end.
“And it is not how long one stays in public office but how well you can distinguish yourself.
“I want to thank God that I am one politician who has a second address in the sense that, if I am not a minister, I will be doing some other productive things which will also contribute to national development.
“Of course, I would have wished that I had other opportunities to serve. I believe the chapter of my public service is not closed.
“By the grace of God, I will continue to be relevant in national development.
“As a lawyer of about 40 years, I now have my chambers opened in Abuja. So now, I am back in practice.”
No surprises: While Shittu’s failure to make the list was surprising to him, it, however, wasn’t much of a surprise to Nigerians. Apart from not being a technocrat, Shittu was a controversial figure in the last cabinet of President Buhari.
He was accused of skipping the mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC). The same certificate issue cost former Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun, her position following claims of forgery.
Shittu was also disqualified by his party, All Progressives Congress (APC), after aspiring for the governorship seat of Oyo State in the last election.
Shittu left a mark: Despite being a controversial figure, during his tenure as Minister of Communication, the contribution of the Nigerian Communications Commission to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rose to 10.5% as at June 2018, from 9.1% in 2016.
The NCC also introduced a short code – 2442, to stop unsolicited SMS and 622 in cases where complaints made to network providers are not attended to. Also, during his time, one of the biggest fine ever placed on a telecommunications company was approved.
The NCC fined MTN Nigeria N1.04 trillion for failure to deactivate 5.2 million unregistered and improperly registered SIM cards from its network. Although the fine was later cut to N330 billion in exchange for MTN Nigeria listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
[READ FURTHER: UPDATE: President Buhari retains portfolio as Petroleum Minister]
Gov. Makinde presents N266 billion budget to Oyo State House of Assembly
Governor Seyi Makinde has presented a ₦266.64billion budget proposal to the Oyo State House of Assembly.
The Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, presented the Budget Proposal for the 2021 Fiscal Year to the Oyo State House of Assembly. The total budgeted sum is ₦266.64billion, with education expected to receive N56.35billion – 21% of the budget and a rise from N12 billion budgeted in 2019.
This was disclosed by Governor Makinde in a social media post on Monday.
It was my honour to present the Oyo State Budget Proposal for the 2021 Fiscal Year to the Oyo State House of Assembly, today. This Budget of Continued Consolidation was prepared with input from stakeholders in all seven geopolitical zones of our state. pic.twitter.com/6ys0XFOgh1
— Seyi Makinde (@seyiamakinde) November 23, 2020
According to NAN, Mr. Makinde disclosed on social media that the ‘Budget of Continued Consolidation’ was prepared with input from stakeholders in all seven geopolitical zones of the state.
“The total budgeted sum is ₦266.64billion The Recurrent Expenditure is ₦136.26billion, while the Capital Expenditure is ₦130.38billion. We are again, aiming for at least 70% implementation of the budget,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria also disclosed that infrastructure spending in the budget would be N46.06billion – representing 17.27% of the total budget and an increase of N33.66 billion over that of last year.
Other sectors include Agriculture which represents 3.6% valued at N9.58billion and Healthcare taking 4.9% of the budget with an N13.29billion allocation.
The Governor disclosed that Oyo has reduced its infrastructure deficit and made improvements in the areas of healthcare, education, and others.
“We have been able to lower our infrastructural deficit, make improvements in healthcare delivery, improve the quality of education, and achieve milestones in our security systems,” he said.
He also added that the state had recorded a 26% increase in IGR at N25.6 billion and hopes to increase IGR to over N100 billion for the 2021 budget.
“As of September, we had recorded an IGR of N25.6 billion. And using the half-year figures, it represented a 26.4% increase in IGR year-on-year. Oyo State’s IGR is presently about 32% of actual aggregate revenue.
“We still have not achieved a total dependence on the state’s income outside of the federal allocation to fund the budget. Slowly, but surely, we are getting there.
“For the 2021 budget, our plan is to increase our annual IGR to N102.82billion. We hope to achieve this by widening the tax net to bring in more taxpayers into the system,” he added.
Restructuting: Plans must pass through legal process from the National Assembly – Tambuwal
Tambuwal has insisted that plans to restructure Nigeria and the Constitution must pass through due process from the National Assembly.
The Governor of Sokoto State and Former House of Reps Speaker, Aminu Tambuwal, has said that any plan to restructure Nigeria and the Constitution must pass through legal due process from the National Assembly.
Tambuwal disclosed this at a plenary session of the 26th Nigerian Economic Summit, titled: “Building partnerships for resilience” in Abuja on Monday.
Tambuwal warned that Nigeria must learn from mistakes 0f 2015 when the last attempt to amend Nigeria’s constitution was rejected after the first reading.
He added that any plan to restructure must be done after amending the constitution, which must pass through the assembly.
“As it were at the moment, whatever you are going to do about the constitution, has been prescribed by the constitution and how you are going to do it.
“The constitution has prescribed how a word in that constitution is going to be amended.
“Except of course we are saying we are going to jettison the National Assembly and the State Assemblies in getting it done, which is not possible,” he said.
“So you cannot go outside of the constitution to amend the constitution. We better come to terms with this realization and to come together and agree on how best we can work together to achieve what the nation desires,” he added.
What you should know
The agitations from the October protests in Nigeria have revived talks about restructuring in Nigeria. Earlier this month, the Governors of Ekiti and Kaduna State, Kayode Fayemi and Nasi El-Rufai argued that restructuring was a means to end Nigeria’s economic troubles.
“In essence, our desire to build a more perfect union should be anchored on the principle of devolution of powers – that is, re-allocation of powers and resources to the country’s federating units.
“The reasons for this are not far-fetched. First, long years of military rule have produced an over-concentration of powers and resources at the centre to the detriment of the states. Two, the 1999 Constitution, as has been argued by several observers, was hurriedly put together by the departing military authority and was not a product of sufficient inclusiveness.
“All points considered, the fiscal burden of maintaining a largely inefficient and over-bloated bureaucracy is a metaphor for shooting oneself on the foot,” Fayemi said.
Nigeria to exit recession by first quarter of 2021
The Minister of Finance has said that Nigeria will exit the economic recession by the first quarter of 2021.
The Minister for Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, on Monday, November 23, 2020, said the country will exit recession by the first quarter of 2021 as the Nigerian government is working towards reversing the declining economic trend in the country.
According to Channels Television, this disclosure was made by Mrs. Zainab Ahmed while speaking on the latest GDP figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) about the current recession in the country at the ongoing 26th Nigerian Economic Summit, organized by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) and the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget, and National Planning.
The Finance Minister said the COVID-19-induced recession followed the pattern across the world, where many countries had entered an economic recession.
Ahmed said, “Nigeria is not alone in this, but I will say that Nigeria has outperformed all of these economies in terms of the record of a negative growth.”
The country’s economy posted a second consecutive negative growth, contracting by 3.62% in the third quarter. This negative growth is much better than the 6.01% that was earlier forecasted by the NBS.
Also at the Economic Summit, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, emphasized that the government is committed to working in synergy with the private sector to foster equitable growth and underpin national development.
The 26th Nigerian Economic Summit focuses on building resilient partnerships for Nigeria’s households, businesses, and the general economy.
What you should know
It can be recalled that on Saturday, NBS announced that the country had entered its second recession in 5 years in the third quarter of this year, as the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) fell for the second consecutive quarter.
According to figures released by the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS), cumulative Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the first nine months of 2020, therefore, stood at -2.48%, just as it recorded a -6.10% in the second quarter.