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Business News

Do not invest in banks – Ahmed Idris to NHIS

The Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris has issued a stern warning to the management of the National Health Insurance Scheme to stop investing in banks.

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Nigeria’s N24.9 trillion debt not a problem – Finance Minister

The Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris has issued a stern warning to the management of National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to stop investing in banks because of the issue of trapped funds in Aso Savings and Loan Limited.

This warning was given in a meeting between Ahmed Idris and the management of NHIS led by the Executive Secretary, Professor Mohammed Nasir Sambo at the Treasury House.

The issue of trapped funds: Idris was unhappy that the management of NHIS went into a transaction with Aso Savings and Loan Limited without carrying the Office of the Accountant General of Federation along.

We will continue to play our role to give you releases as and when due. If there are issues beyond your comprehension, our doors are always open to resolve such issues. NHIS’ issues with Aso Savings and Loan Limited would have been averted if OAGF was carried along in the transactions. Consequently, we need to populate your account department with Treasury officers, otherwise, you will face the consequences of your action,” Idris said.

[READ ALSO: N5 trillion debt: Buhari approves law empowering AMCON to access debtors’ account]

Nevertheless, Idris promised to help the NHIS recover its trapped deposits. He also advised the NHIS as a public institution to subject itself to the rules of engagement, noting that it’s expected to key into all financial policies.

There is no exemption and if you want to operate outside the rules, you are to seek approval.”

Investment advice:  Idris also informed the delegation to make their investment requests known in line with the stipulations of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) which he explained was quite robust since it was designed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). He discouraged them from seeking investment in commercial banks, citing the bank rates as a reason to steer clear.

According to the AGF, the OAGF is the driver of a number of public finance initiatives for the government like the Treasury Single Account (TSA), Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS), a platform for making payment and preparing budget as well as Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS), a platform for paying salaries of Federal Government employees and other reform initiatives.

Furthermore, the AGF said that the OAGF equally services the economy in terms of making releases to the three tiers of government, namely, Federal, State and Local Governments and every other thing that revolves around resources.

 [READ ALSO:Reps accuse Stanbic IBTC Bank of not remitting $4.9 million into TSA]

 

 

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Reincarnated as a lover of stocks, Angel investors, seed funds, and anything aligned to tech or startups raising money, Joseph's work at Nairametrics involves following the money to wherever it leads. Before joining Nairametrics, he won an investigative journalism fellowship with ICIR, appeared in several national dallies, with hard-hitting opinions, features and investigative pieces. He has also engaged in content marketing and copywriting for a top e-commerce firm in Nigeria.

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Energy

LNG boss tasks FG to begin the monetization of Nigeria’s gas

Mr Attah has urged the FG to take the gas sector more seriously as the future of Nigeria’s energy lies with it.

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The MD and CEO of Nigeria LNG Limited Mr. Tony Attah has tasked the Federal Government to begin the revamping and monetization of the Gas sector in Nigeria.

He made this statement while making his presentation at the 2nd virtual Nigerian Gas Association (NGA) Industry Multilogues, with the theme: “Powering Forward, Enabling Nigeria’s Industrialization via Gas.”

Mr. Tony Attah drew the attention of the audience to the hidden treasure in the Nigerian Gas industry which he believes is not getting enough attention from the government.

On the future of gas as an alternative energy source, Mr. Attah stated that the developed world is already keying into gas as an alternative to crude oil. Gas has proven to be a cleaner and more sustainable alternative.

He exclaimed that Nigeria is very rich in gas and yet poor in energy. Nigeria is the 9th country with the largest gas reserves in the world but makes very little use of it.

Mr. Attah went further to paint a clear picture of the promise of investing in gas using the success achieved by Qatar. Qatar is currently the largest LNG exporter in the world.

We just touched on a quick case study of Qatar. Someone mentioned Qatar already from a poor fishing country to a gas giant and it took just 10 years, which is why we, as Nigeria LNG, firmly believe in the conversation and the narrative about the declaration of the decade of gas.

“We believe it is possible. If you look at Qatar from 1995, when they really went into gas development, we were just two years behind Qatar. So, Qatar’s first LNG was in 1997.

Nigeria’s first LNG was in 1999, just two years behind. But then, within 10 years, because of the deliberateness of the government and focus on gas, they have gone to 77 million tonnes and we are at best, 22 million tonnes,” Attah said.

Mr. Attah stressed further the importance of the gas sector in Nigeria’s future. He recalled that the Nigerian Government declared 2021-2030 as the decade of gas. He pleaded with the government to take the sector more seriously as the future of Nigeria’s energy lies with it.

Gas is the future. That future is now, and just as the Minister of State has made us to realize, gas is food in fertilizer. Gas is transport as you saw in the Auto gas project that was declared.

Gas is life, as a matter of fact, for cooking, for heating, for existence. Gas is development in manufacturing, gas is power. Gas is everything. “We think it’s time for gas. It’s time for Nigeria to diversify and that is why we fully support the decade of gas,” he said.

What you should know

  • Early last year, the director of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) Mr Sarki Auwalu confirmed that Nigeria’s proven gas reserve stood at 203.16 trillion cubic feet.
  • Nigeria has the 9th largest gas reserves in the world. It is also the 6th largest exporter of gas.
  • The Federal Government declared the year 2021–2030 as the “Year of the Gas“. It pledged to finally kick start the development and commercialization of Nigeria’s huge gas reserves.

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Obituaries

Ex-Diamond Bank chairman, Seyi Bickersteth is dead

The death has been announced of Seyi Bickersteth, a former chairman of Diamond Bank Board of Directors.

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Erstwhile chairman of Diamond Bank Board of Directors, Mr. Seyi Bickersteth is dead.

According to multiple sources, Mr Bickersteth was found dead in his Ikoyi apartment. The cause of his death is yet to be unravelled as at the time of reporting this.

Until his death, Mr Bickersteth was a Regional Managing Partner and Chairman of Andersen Tax, Africa. According to his LinkedIn profile, he started his career at Arthur Andersen as a partner and rose through the echelons to his most recent position, in a career that spanned over forty years.

Mr Bickersteth is an alumnus of the famous University of Ibadan and York University, Canada where he obtained a Bachelor`s and Masters’ degrees in Economics respectively. He is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (FCA) and Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (FCTI).

Mr Bickersteth was most remembered for his pioneering role as a team leader of Arthur Anderson team in the 1988 International Merchant Bank (IMB) restructuring exercise. He served in various leadership positions and Boards in top firms like; KPMG, ARM and the defunct Diamond Bank.

Nairametrics had earlier reported the resignation of Mr Bickersteth from the Board of Diamond Bank in 2018.

Details of his burial and other relevant information will be subsequently communicated.

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