In a precautionary move aimed at curtailing the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19) disease in the country, the Federal Ministry of Education has ordered the immediate closure of all educational institutions which includes, tertiary, secondary and primary schools nationwide.
This directive was confirmed by the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Education, Mr Sonny Echono.
According to a statement which was released on Thursday by Mr Echono on behalf of the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, it also noted that all 104 Unity Schools throughout the country should close on or before the 26th of March, 2020 as a precautionary step which is aimed at preventing the spread of the dreaded Coronavirus (Covid-19) which has become a global threat.
All the Principals of the various Unity schools were asked by the Education Minister to fast track the second term examination which is going on at the moment and then shut the schools until further notice.
The Minister in his statement said, “We have directed all higher institutions to close this weekend. Unity Schools that have completed their exams are to close immediately.
“Others are to hurry and close the latest on 26th March,”
As part of his directive, the Minister expects that the management of all the Unity Colleges would as a matter of urgency activate the necessary emergency procedures and processes such as the provision of alcohol-based sanitizers, and handwashing facilities among others, in addition to these, the students are expected to strictly adhere to the principles and best practices of good hygiene.
Adamu Adamu also directed the Principals to immediately report any suspicious case to the nearest health authorities, emphasizing that nothing should be taken for granted at this delicate time of the global pandemic.
It should be noted that the announcement of a total of 12 confirmed cases in the country has made the Federal and some State Governments to take some measures which include flight restrictions on some high-risk countries, restrictions of public gatherings like churches and mosques, suspension of sports events, shut down of schools in some states, suspension of orientation and other activities by National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) and some others
Senate approves issuance of N148bn promissory notes to Bayelsa, 4 others
Promissory notes worth N148,141,969,161.24 has been approved by the Senate as refund to Bayelsa, Cross River, Ondo, Osun and Rivers States
Promissory notes worth N148.141billion have been approved by the Senate as a refund to Bayelsa, Cross River, Ondo, Osun, and Rivers States for projects executed on behalf of the Federal Government.
The approval which was given by the Senate at the plenary on Tuesday, 24th November 2020, came after the presentation of a report by the Committee on Local and Foreign Debts, led by Senator Ordia Clifford (PDP-Edo).
According to a news report by NAN, this is a go-ahead to the Federal Government, who had sought the approval of the Senate for issuance of promissory notes for a refund on federal projects executed by State governments.
The request was contained in a letter addressed to President of Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan by President Muhammadu Buhari, and read at plenary. The Senate referred the matter to the Committee on Local and Foreign Debts for further legislative input.
Senator Ordia Clifford, while presenting the report of the committee, said the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Finance; Federal Commissioners of Finance and Works in the five states, had briefed the committee on details of the projects.
He said the Committee was presented with documents relating to the approvals of the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing for the execution of the projects and certificates of completion, amongst other documents.
At the plenary today, Senator Ordia moved the motion that the Senate approves the Committee’s recommendations by approving the issuance of the promissory notes to the State governments.
According to him, the amount due to the five states is N148.14billion.
- Bayelsa was allotted N38.40billion
- Cross River was allotted N18.39billion
- Ondo was allotted N7.82billion
- Osun was allotted N4.57billion
- Rivers was allotted N78.95billion
What they are saying
The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, disclosed that records showed PDP states had the highest refund, he said: “If you look at the list of states, only two are APC states and they have the least in terms of refund, this is fantastic and a mark of leadership by the Federal Government. This shows tolerance and leadership by this administration.”
CBN retains MPR at 11.5%, holds other parameters constant
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), voted unanimously to keep the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR), at 11.5%.
The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has voted unanimously to keep the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR), at 11.5%.
This was disclosed by Governor, CBN, Godwin Emefiele while reading the communique at the end of the MPC meeting on Tuesday. Other parameters such as Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR), Liquidity ratio, and asymmetric corridor remain unchanged.
Highlights of the Committee’s decision
- MPR was kept at 11.50%
- The asymmetric corridor of +100/-700 basis points around the MPR
- CRR was retained at 27.5%
- While Liquid Ratio was also kept at 30%
The Committee noted that inflation continued to be driven by supply-side disruptions arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and other legacy factors. Key amongst these are the security challenges in parts of the country; the increase in food prices; and the recent hike in the pump price of PMS and electricity tariff.
The MPC emphasized the need to address structural supply-side issues putting upward pressure on costs of production and unemployment.
Meanwhile, to address the public health crisis associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Committee urged the Federal Government to make relentless effort to procure a substantial quantity of the COVID-19 vaccines to surmount the public health crisis and pave the way for a broader macroeconomic recovery.
The Governor highlighted that the current economic recession had been anticipated by the monetary and fiscal authorities, which prompted them to put measures in place to quicken the reversion. The Committee, however, noted that the economic contraction had bottomed out in Q3 2020 since it moderated significantly from -6.1% recorded in Q2 2020 to -3.62%.
What this means
The decision of the Central Bank to retain the monetary policy, despite a rise in inflationary pressure, indicates that the apex bank aims to expand credit to the real sector at low-interest rates.
This action will hope to boost production, increase business activities in the country, and also increase consumer spending.
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.