Nairametrics can authoritatively confirm that some members of the board of directors of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) have voluntarily resigned from their position.
Their resignation appears to be related to the recent spat between the NESG and the CBN following a controversial press release that purportedly claimed Godwin Emefiele was seeking immunity. The report also attacked the recent macroeconomic policies approach of the CBN in ensuring economic stability.
Back Story: Nairametrics earlier reported the CBN’s reaction to wide-ranging claims made against it by the NESG which suggested that section 51 of a proposed Banking and Other Financial Institution (BOFIA) Bill sought immunity for the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele.
The official press statement released by the CBN aimed at allaying some of the fears raised by the group which majorly bothered on its policy trust and issues such as its agricultural borrowing programme, immunity clause among others. The CBN, while admitting to taking extraordinary measures in order to stabilize the economy, fact-checked the issues raised by NESG.
However, the much-publicized and controversial attack on the apex bank did not go down well with some of the directors, who are upset that they were not carried along before the press release was issued. This is according to information provided to Nairametrics by a reliable source with knowledge of the resignations. Nairametrics reliable gathers that as a response of disapproval to the criticisms of the CBN, at least three bank directors namely – Kennedy Uzoka, the Group Managing Director of UBA Plc; Adesola Adeduntan, Managing Director of First Bank and Abubakar Suleiman, Managing Director of Sterling Bank Plc abruptly tendered their resignations on Wednesday.
Responding to the harsh criticism and demand by the group to review the recently enacted BOFIA Act, the chairman of The Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions, Senator Uba Sani challenged the competence of the group. He said that the group lack the moral right to comment on the amendment of the BOFIA Act, especially when the Act went through public hearing and received thirty-two (32) memoranda in support. He described NESG’s critique as ”a shock and disappointment”.
We further gathered that the group’s last statement on Tuesday with the caption ‘Matters of Urgent Attention’, which did not have the approval of members of the Board, is what appears to have irritated most of the members and causing the disaffection amongst them. The Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) is a non-profit, non-partisan private sector organization with a mandate to promote and champion the reform of the Nigerian economy into an open, private sector-led globally competitive economy.
Senate endorses ex-Service Chiefs as Non-career Ambassadors
The Senate has confirmed President Buhari’s nomination of the immediate past service chiefs as non-career ambassadors.
The Nigerian Senate has endorsed the nomination of the past serving Military Service Chiefs as Non-career Ambassadors.
This was confirmed during Tuesday’s plenary session and announced in a social media statement by the Nigerian Senate.
Their confirmation follows the consideration of the report of the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Chaired by Senator Adamu Bulkachuwa.
According to reports, the Senate Minority Leader Enyinaya Abaribe, however, questioned the nomination and confirmation of the ex-service chiefs when the Senate had on 3 different occasions called for their sack.
Senator Abaribe also raised issues on the petitions against the former service chiefs and questioned why they were dismissed without explanations.
But Senate President Ahmad Lawan dismissed Senator Abaribe’s concerns, ruling that the nomination of the former service chiefs cannot be nullified simply because the upper chamber had called for their sack, noting that this is totally a different assignment.
In his concluding statement, the Senate President, Senator Lawan added that these nominees that have just been confirmed have served this country to the best of their abilities. He appealed to the executive to make sure they use their experience as military men to the best.
“These nominees that we have just confirmed are nominees that have served this country to the best of their ability. Our appeal to the Executive is to make sure they use their experiences as military men to the best,” Lawan said.
Lawan, on behalf of the senate, wished them a very successful career in their capacity as Non-Career Ambassadors.
What you should know
- Recall Nairametrics reported earlier this month that President Muhammadu Buhari nominated ex-Service Chiefs for Senate approval as non-career Ambassadors-Designate.
- Their appointment came barely a week after their retirement as service chiefs and their replacement with new ones.
- This led to a spate of criticisms from some Nigerians who felt that the nation’s security situation got worse under their watch.
- They were reported to have tendered their resignation from their positions amid heightened calls that they should be sacked due to the increasing rate of insecurity across the country.
2020 budget performance: FG achieves 89% capital release in December 2020
The Minister of Finance has revealed that the FG achieved 89% release of the capital component of the 2020 budget to MDAs as of December 2020.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, has revealed that the Federal Government achieved 89% release of the capital component of the 2020 budget to Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) as of December 2020.
She said that the 89% capital funding for MDAs was achieved with the release of N1.74 trillion.
According to a report by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), this disclosure was made by Ahmed at an interactive session with the leadership of the National Assembly on Monday, February 22, 2021.
She also revealed that the government had disbursed N118.37 billion for Covid-19 capital expenditure from the fund.
What the Minister for Finance is saying
Ahmed said the Nigerian economy faced serious challenges in 2020, with the macroeconomic environment significantly disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
She said this led to a 65% drop in projected net 2020 government revenues from the oil and gas sector, which adversely affected foreign exchange inflows into the economy.
On the delayed release of funds to implement the 2020 capital budget until March 31, the Minister said the complaint had decreased.
She said, “I think the complaint was earlier in the year when we were trying to transfer the balances. As far as I know, in the past three weeks, I haven’t heard any such complaints and we have been able to address them.
“But when we started the transfers, we couldn’t transfer to some agencies because of some limitations in the system, but we have since been able to transfer the capital component that is being utilised by the agencies budget to the system.”
While pointing out that the implementation of the MDAs projects was tied to procurement processes and capacity of the MDA, Ahmed also said the extension of the 2020 capital budget implementation to March 31 had recorded 30% performance as at January.
However, Ahmed said that she expected that the extension would record 100% performance in March.
Speaking during the interaction, the Senate’s Chief Whip, Senator Orji-Uzor Kalu, commended the Minister on the capital performance of the 2020 budget.
He said, “I want to commend the minister and her team because this is the first time in the history of Nigeria that by December 31, we are having 89% performance expenditure of the budget. It has never happened before; Last year was the very first.
“The budget had been going 49%, 27%; this means from what the Senate President was asking, it means by March, we should be looking at implementing the budget 100%.’’
Earlier, President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan said the meeting was to get an update on the capital implementation of the 2020 budget given its extension for implementation by the national assembly to March 31.
What this means
- The 89% capital release for the 2020 budget as of December 2020 is quite encouraging as it occurred despite the economic challenges and disruption caused by the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
- There seems to be an improved effort by the Federal Government at the budgeting process with the early passage of the 2021 budget and the implementation of the capital component of the 2020 budget.
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