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Aig-Imoukhuede and ex-FIRS boss call for youth participation in public sector transformation

Nigeria’s transformation lies in the hands of its youths, who will go on to lead the public and private sectors to rebuild and lead a great nation.

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Aig-Imoukhuede and ex-FIRS boss call for youth participation in public sector transformation

Founder and Chairman, Africa Initiative for Governance (AIG), Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, and former Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Ifueko Omoigui-Okauru, have called for youth participation in the transformation of the public sector.

The duo, at the public lecture organised by AIG, emphasised on the importance of youth participation in transforming the sector.

READ: FIRS boss, Nami discloses why FIRS failed to meet revenue target under Fowler 

Speaking on “Transforming the Public Sector in Nigeria: Reflections from My Leadership of the FIRS,” Omoigui-Okauru said:

Leading reform or, indeed, any other organisational activity is a team sport. The strength of the institution is in the strength of the team – past, present and future.”

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Aig-Imoukhuede agreed with the former FIRS boss, when he admitted that the strength of the FIRS team is apparent, even 10 years after her departure.

The AIG founder explained that the hope and future of the nation lies in the contributions of young people and those who are truly committed to Nigeria’s development.

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He said, “The situation is urgent, we will further expand our scholarships and fellowships and intensify our investments to build a critical mass of capable leaders who can move our nation forward.

“Nigeria’s transformation lies in the hands of its youth, who will go on to lead the public and private sectors, and no stone must be left unturned, as we invest in them and build their capacity to rebuild and lead a great nation.”

READ: Nigeria’s pension contributors add N186.43 billion to pension asset

According to him, the 2019/20 AIG Fellowship was awarded to Omoigui-Okauru in recognition of her outstanding contributions to public service, as the Executive Chairman of Nigeria’s Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).

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She spearheaded comprehensive tax reforms, culminating in the development of Nigeria’s first national tax policy, the modification of tax legislation and a remarkable improvement in the effectiveness of tax collection. Her achievements remain a reference point almost a decade after her tenure in office,” he added.

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He explained that AIG grieved with the nation over the loss of life and property, following recent days of social unrest.

“We must use this momentary period of darkness as impetus to usher in a new dawn of enlightenment and progress. This is the time to envision what we want our nation to be and to move forward by building and empowering Nigeria’s next generation of leaders,” he said.

READ: Alert: FIRS is launching a new Universal TIN that makes it even harder to avoid paying tax

What you should know

The AIG scholarship programme awards five scholarships annually to promising future leaders to undertake a Master’s degree in Public Policy (MPP) at the University of Oxford’s Blavatnik School of Government.

This September, undeterred by COVID-19 challenges, it embarked on the national selection process to identify the 2021/22 AIG scholars for Nigeria and Ghana.

READ: FIRS’ Nami doubtful of meeting Buhari’s revenue target, runs to Lagos for help 

The founder said, “Recent events in Nigeria have threatened completion of the scholar selection exercise. We however regard these scholarships as being more important now than ever and will marshal whatever resources are required to complete the exercise in time to meet the closure date for BSG’s MPP application window. Shortlisted candidates will be required to follow stringent health and safety protocols.”

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Abiola has spent about 14 years in journalism. His career has covered some top local print media like TELL Magazine, Broad Street Journal, The Point Newspaper. The Bloomberg MEI alumni has interviewed some of the most influential figures of the IMF, G-20 Summit, Pre-G20 Central Bank Governors and Finance Ministers, Critical Communication World Conference. The multiple award winner is variously trained in business and markets journalism at Lagos Business School, and Pan-Atlantic University. You may contact him via email - [email protected]

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Business

Nigeria’s inflation rate to moderate by first half of next year

The CBN has assured Nigerians that the country’s inflation rate will begin to moderate by the first half of 2021.

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Nigeria’s manufacturing sector contracts for 5th consecutive month – CBN , To test FX market, CBN pumps $50 million, CBN issues guidelines to Finance Institutions on establishment of Subsidiaries and SPVs, CBN injects $2.63 billion to defend naira in one month, CBN’s COVID-19 N50 billion targeted credit facility, CBN’s heterodox policies buoys credit growth, These industries drove business activities in September, Credit to Nigerian economy falls to N38.67 trillion as private stagnates at N30 trillion, Availability of secured credit to businesses and households increases as unsecured credit to households dips in Q3 2020 - CBN

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele has said that Nigeria’s inflation rate which stood as high as 14.2% in October is expected to begin to moderate by the first half of next year.

This is as the Federal Government had introduced a number of measures to help stabilize the economy, increase productivity and ensure recovery from the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

READ: CBN’s Emefiele explains why banks restructured N7.8 trillion loans to customers

This disclosure was made by Emefiele during his presentation at the 55th Annual Bankers Dinner organized by the Chartered Institute of Bankers in Lagos on Friday.

The CBN Governor pointed out that inflationary pressure persisted during the year due to several factors which include disruption to global and domestic supply chains due to Covid-19, increase in the VAT rate, increase in petroleum prices, electricity price adjustments and farmer-herder clashes.

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READ: Nigerians spend $14 billion on generators, fuel

It also includes exchange rate adjustment and flooding that occurred in many parts of our farm belt areas.

Emefiele in his statement said, ‘’Inflation in October 2020 stood at 14.2%. we, however, expect inflation to begin to moderate by the first half of 2021 as efforts are being made to enable significant cultivation and production of key staple items during the dry season.’

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READ: Nigeria generates N424.71 billion VAT in Q3 2020

It can be recalled that at the 26th Nigerian Economic Summit, the Minister for Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, also said that the country is expected to exit from recession by the first quarter of 2021 with the Federal Government working towards reversing the declining economic trend in the country.

READ: Nigerian pencil industry in dire need of investment, govt support – stakeholder

What you should know

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) had 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.

READ: Why 2020 Q1 GDP is not a surprise

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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.

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ASUU says union has not yet agreed to call off strike

ASUU has denied media reports that the union agreed to call off its 8-month old strike action.

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ASUU gives conditions to call off its nationwide strike action

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has denied media reports that the union agreed to call off its 8-month old strike action.

There was a bit of relief when news emerged that the strike action has been called off, after the latest meeting between ASUU top echelons and the Federal Government negotiation team, led by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, on Friday.

READ: FG offers N65 billion to ASUU, N15 billion revitalization fund to end strike

According to a report from Vanguard, the ASUU President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, said he is not aware of any agreement to call off the strike. However, he noted that it was agreed at the meeting that the union would convey government’s message to their various organs and then report back to the government.

Ogunyemi said, “I am not aware of that. All I know is that we had a meeting and we are going to report to our members. But, I don’t know about suspension of the strike.”

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READ: FG says it will look at other options if ASUU continues with strike

It was also reported that ASUU reached an agreement with the Federal Government after the latter increased its offer for Earned Allowances and funding for the revitalization of public universities from N65 billion to N70 billion.

However, ASUU in a tweet insisted that the funding should be implemented before the union suspends its strike action.

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READ: British Airways Pilots strike over pay disputes 

What you should know

Nairametrics earlier reported that ASUU had called off its 8-month-long strike. It said that the union took the decision after it agreed to accept government’s total payment of N70 billion and that the payment of their outstanding salaries must not be done through the Integrated Personnel Payroll and Information System (IPPIS).

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ASUU embarked on strike in March 2020, following its disagreement with the Federal Government over the funding of the universities and implementation of the IPPIS, which according to the union, negates the autonomy policy for the universities.

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ASUU, however, has its own developed and preferred payment platform, University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS), which the government said it is looking into.

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Export of our products in West African sub-region now less competitive – MAN

President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria has lamented the less competitive nature of made-in-Nigeria products.

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Dangote group, CBN unification of exchange rate a welcome development-MAN

The export of made-in-Nigeria products in the West African sub-region has become less competitive according to the President, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Mansur Ahmed. He made this remark in a statement seen by Nairametrics.

According to Ahmed, MAN members are losing market share daily to other African countries due to the closure of the border, as the sub-region has now become less competitive.

READ: Finance Bill: No plans to increase tax — FG

READ: AfCFTA: Nigeria’s borders to remain closed till we can trust our neighbours- Trade Negotiator

He said,

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Major manufacturers of beverages, polypropylene bags, tobacco, cement, toiletries, and cosmetics industries were losing markets they had worked very hard to secure in the West and Central African region.

“These manufacturers were hoping to leverage their market share to secure a strong position in the African Continental Free Trade Area, which kicks off in January 2021.

READ: Nigerians pay heavy price as laptop scarcity bites harder

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“Since the closure, the association has conducted a research with its members, the outcome is that some sectors had considerable increase in their productivity, while some sectors recorded sharp decline.”

He emphasized that the export group of the association clearly suffered huge losses due to logistics issues occasioned by the closure, as it takes an average of 8 weeks for the carriers to ship and truck goods within countries in the same region vis-à-vis trucking through the land border, which takes an average of 7 to 10 days.

READ: Afreximbank’s African commodity index dips by 1% q-o-q in Q3 2020

The increased traffic through our seaport as a result of the closure has increased the perennial congestion at the Apapa and Tin Can Island Ports, leading to greater challenges for exporters and increased demurrage cost, as well as other port levies,” he added.

READ: Coalition of African lawmakers seeks debt relief for African states

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What it means

Nigeria’s President Buhari recently signed the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement exposing local Nigerian manufacturers to the regional competition.

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  • Whilst border closures impact positively on local markets due to restrictions on imports, it is unhealthy for local businesses looking to export across borders to regional African countries.

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