The Federal Government has begun the process of reducing the number of parastatals and government agencies in Nigeria, in order to cut the cost of governance.
This has been initiated by President Muhammadu Buhari, who ordered the review of the Federal Government White Paper on Rationalization of Government Parastatals and Agencies to reduce the cost of governance in the country.
It was disclosed by the President during his national broadcast to mark this year’s Democracy Day, on Friday in Abuja. He said that the review had become imperative, in view of the country’s dwindling resources and rising cost of governance.
The President said, “In the face of dwindling resources and rising cost of governance, I have authorized that the white paper on the rationalization of government parastatals and agencies be reviewed for implementation.”
He however, promised to continue to give all necessary support for ongoing reforms, designed to restore discipline, integrity, and patriotism in the public service as it remains the bedrock for the formulation and implementation of policies, programmes and projects in the country.
The president observed that his administration had continued to implement accountable and transparent policies through the Open Government Partnership and the transparency portal on financial transactions.
He added that the government had also strengthened auditing and accountability mechanisms so as to ensure that rules and regulations were followed strictly.
It can be recalled that the Presidential Committee on the Reform of Government Agencies, which was set up by the former President Goodluck Jonathan and chaired by the former Head of Service, Steve Oronsaye, recommended the reduction of parastatals and statutory agencies of government from 263 to 161.
The report had disclosed that the average cost of governance in Nigeria is believed to rank among the highest in the world. It was also reported that the Federal Government wanted to conclude the process of implementation of the report by October 2020.
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President Buhari has been under pressure since he assumed office in 2015 to implement the report. This is in line with his electoral promise to run a lean government and eliminate wastage in governance.
However, for this to be effectively implemented, the legislature will have to amend or repeal some of the laws establishing some of these parastatals or government agencies that might be affected in this exercise.
We don’t have $1 billion hidden account – NPA
The NPA said it does have an account with Unity Bank Plc, but has not operated it since 2010.
The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has denied the allegations of a whistleblower who claimed that the authority has a hidden $1 billion account with Unity Bank Plc.
The NPA, in a statement responding to a petition by a man named John Okpurhe to President Muhammadu Buhari, said the allegations that it operates such accounts are untrue.
The petitioner had also accused the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Salami (SAN) of allegedly refusing to reward him after allegedly exposing over $1 billion in a hidden account with Unity Bank Plc operated by the NPA.
The petitioner also claimed that an account number 0013680344 operated by the NPA with Unity Bank contains the hidden amount. However, the NPA vehemently denied the allegations and claimed that it only operates the bank account 0013670344 which had a total sum of $1,057,772.03 as of December 2019 and not the $1,034,515,000.00 as alleged by the petitioner.
The NPA also says the account has not been in operations since August 2010 due to a Garnishee Order placed on it in the Aminu Ibrahim & Co $ Anor vs Nigerian Ports Authority case, which went from Federal High Court to the Supreme Court in 8 years. Parts of the detailed statement released by the NPA said:
“The Judgment creditors continued with the Garnishee process which resulted in the credit of the amount $1,057,772.03 in favour of Suit No: FHC/L/CS/582/2010 GARNISHEE ORDER NISI – AMINU IBTAHIM & CO & ANOR vs NIGERIAN PORTS AUTHORITY on December 4rg 2019 in line with the Garnishee order absolute.
“The account under discussion was frozen on the strength of a court order in August 2010, following the completion of the case, the money was consequently transferred to the judgment creditor on December 4, 2019 in line with the Garnishee Order Absolute.”
NPA replies ‘whistleblower’: We have No Cloned Account Anywhere pic.twitter.com/zpZRmldWZP
— Nigerian Ports (@nigerianports) June 29, 2020
NPA also maintained that it is obvious no cloned account exists as speculated in the “alleged whistleblowing effort”.
N-Power opens batch C application portal, reveals requirements and how to register
The N-Power 2020 recruitment portal will re-open by 11.45 pm today Friday, June 26, 2020. See more details below.
The Federal Government has announced the reopening of the application portal of its social investment scheme, N-Power, for fresh registration of the June 2020 Batch C intakes.
This was disclosed in a series of tweet posts by the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development on Friday, June 26, 2020.
According to the tweet posts, the N-Power 2020 recruitment portal will re-open by 11.45 pm today, Friday, 26 of June 2020. The ministry noted that those that all applications made prior to the re-opening date and time will not be recognised, but instead declared null and void.
The humanitarian affairs ministry also explained that all the processes involved in the application are free. As such, applicants do not have to pay anybody. Part of the post from the ministry said:
“Dear intending N-Power 2020 applicants. Here is how to prepare for the N-Power application. Remember Portal opens 11.45 pm, June 26, 2020, application is free. Do not pay anyone to apply on the N-Power portal. Get a printout or accurate details of your BVN.’
‘’We understand some people have attempted registration. Please note that your registration is null and void. It doesn’t’ count till the portal opens at 11.45 pm tonight.’’
Dear Intending N-Power 2020 Applicants,
Here is how to prepare for the N-Power application.
1. Portal opens 11.45pm, June 26th, 2020.
2. Application is FREE. Do NOT pay anyone to apply on the N-Power portal.
3. Get a printout or accurate details of your BVN.#NPowerNG pic.twitter.com/q9enxbvzCP
— N-Power (@npower_ng) June 25, 2020
The N-Power programme, which was inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2016 under the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP), has the mandate of lifting citizens out of abject poverty through capacity building, investment, and direct support.
Here are some of the requirements for registration for the N-Power 2020 Batch C
- Get your BVN ready.
- Ensure you are not an existing employee in any organization.
- A printout or current details of your Bank Verification Number (BVN).
- A current passport photograph (1MB) either JPEG or PNG files.
- A valid contact email address or a working phone number
- Your degree certificate and NYSC certificate (if you are a graduate) and want to apply for N-Teach or N-Health.
- Application is done online.
It should be noted that the N-Power 2020 application portal is npower.fmhds.gov.ng.
This is how to Register for N-Power 2020 Recruitment
- Input your valid contact information (email or phone number).
- The information will be redirected to your email for a confirmation.
- Once your email address has been confirmed, you are to fill in your 11-digit BVN and date of birth in the following format (dd/mm/yy). Note that if your BVN details are inaccurate, you will not be allowed to go past this interface.
(READ MORE: COVID-19 Update in Nigeria)
- Fill in your surname, first name, and middle name in identical terms to your BVN information for your biodata and contact page.
- Kindly indicate if you have received education or not on the education and programme page. The N-Power programme is open to all, however.
- The N-Teach and N-Health sub-programmes are however open to only graduates. ii. (In addition, please note that for N-Power Health, selection preference will be given to holders of Bachelor’s Degree, HND, OND in health sciences such as Medicine, Microbiology, Nursing, Public Health, Botany, Midwifery, Psychology or other allied disciplined in the sciences). iii. Where applicable, you will be required to upload your degree certificates and NYSC certificate.
- You will be required to answer some questions and upload your Government issued Identity Card on the employment and other details page. Kindly note that the acceptable Government IDs are International Passport, National ID Card issued by NIMC, Valid Driver’s License and Permanent Voter’s Card.
- Review all the information you have inputted and then submit on the review and submit page and upon submission, you will receive a unique ID number. write it down and keep it safe.
COVID-19 could impoverish additional 5 million Nigerians – World Bank
World Bank forecasts that the Nigerian economy will shrink between 3.2% and 7.4% this year.
The World Bank, on Thursday, said the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic could make an additional 5 million Nigerians poor, given the imminent recession which is expected to be the worst since the 1980s.
The crisis that is the pandemic, as well as the worldwide crash in oil prices, has set the nation on a downward trajectory. While on one hand, the oil crisis has hamstrung the largest crude producer on the African continent, the pandemic is set to further aggravate the extreme poverty level which already stood as the highest in the world.
Depending on how severe the outbreak of the pandemic is, the World Bank forecasts that the Nigerian economy will shrink between 3.2% and 7.4% this year. Where things do get even worse, the recession could continue into 2021 when the economy could contract 2%, it said.
In a report on Nigeria’s economic development, the World Bank said, “Today’s unprecedented crisis will require an equally unprecedented response from the entire Nigerian public sector (and) private sector to contain the outbreak and protect the lives and livelihoods of low-income and vulnerable communities.”
The World Bank had previously projected that 2 million Nigerians, particularly women, would become impoverished; the newly announced 5 million people that would be faced with poverty comes on top of the previously announced figure.
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With the threshold for poverty set at those living on less than $2 a day, it noted that in total, 42.5% of Nigerians will be poor. Further worsening the situation is the rise in inflation juxtaposed with a projected 70% hit to oil revenues.
The nation is currently having conversations around raising $6.5 billion in funding with the World Bank as well as other multilateral lenders.