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Business

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.

READ: Why the FG should reverse 6% tenancy, lease stamp duty – NLC

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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READ: Tax on rents and Certificate of Occupancy is valid – Akabueze

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

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“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

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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

President Buhari charges newly appointed Service Chiefs to secure the country

President Buhari has decorated the newly appointed Service Chiefs at the State House, Abuja.

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President Muhammadu Buhari has issued charges to the newly appointed Service Chiefs, ordering them to identify competent officers irrespective of seniority and paper qualifications and work with them to secure  Nigeria.

Buhari disclosed this at the State House in Abuja on Friday during the decoration of the Service Chiefs.

“I have charged the new Service Chiefs to keep in mind that the nation is looking to them for rapid relief. They must identify competent officers irrespective of seniority and paper qualifications, and work with them to secure this country,” President Buhari said.

“As I assured at our last security meeting, I have taken responsibility as C-in-C for them to go out into the fields and every part of the country, to ensure peace and security. I have accepted responsibility for all actions taken in fulfillment of the mandate to secure Nigeria,” he added.

What you should know 

  • Nairametrics reported in January that President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed new Military Service Chiefs, and congratulated the outgoing Service Chiefs for efforts of “enduring peace to the country.”
  • The new service chiefs include Major-General Leo Irabor, Chief of Defence Staff, Major-General I. Attahiru, Chief of Army Staff, Rear Admiral A.Z Gambo, Chief of Naval Staff, Air-Vice Marshal I.O Amao, Chief of Air Staff.
  • Meanwhile, the Nigerian Senate endorsed the nomination of the past serving Military Service Chiefs as Non-career Ambassadors.

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Business

CBN says 3.8 million farmers benefitted from Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, disburses N554 bn

The CBN has revealed that 3.8 million farmers have so far benefited from its Anchor Borrowers’ Programme.

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has revealed that 3.8 million farmers have so far benefited from its Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP).

The apex bank also said that N554.61 billion has so far been disbursed to the beneficiaries through the programme since its inception in 2015.

This disclosure was made by the CBN Director for Development Finance, Mr Yila Yusuf, during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday, March 5, in Abuja.

While commending President Muhammadu Buhari for taking the initiative to start the programme, Yusuf said the programme had done a lot to help farmers improve their yields and generate employment.

What the CBN Director for Development Finance is saying

Yusuf at the interview said, “We have to commend President  Buhari for putting the ABP in place. Over 3.8 million farmers have so far benefited from the programme. The multiplier effect on the economy is huge.

“The ABP has helped farmers improve their yields. For maize, we now do five metric tonnes per hectare and for rice, we’re improving from four metric tonnes to 10 metric tonnes per hectare.

“We will be trying out some Brazilian seeds that we will give to the anchors and their association,” he said.

He said the CBN was making efforts to keep prices stable and to ensure food security adding that the programme had contributed to food sufficiency during the global lockdown occasioned by COVID-19.

He said, “Apart from jobs that have been created, there is also productivity, which is important to CBN. We also look at how we can keep prices stable because food security is very important. A lot of countries went into protectionist mood due to COVID-19, if we did not have this programme we would be in serious trouble.’’

The CBN Director also said that as a way of encouraging more farmers into ABP, the apex bank no longer took cash from them as repayment for their loans.

He said, “We rate every single commodity they produce and guarantee the prices. This will encourage more farmers to enrol in the programme.’’

What you should know

  • The Anchors Borrowers Programme which was launched by President Muhammadu Buhari on November 17, 2015, was intended to create a linkage between anchor companies involved in the processing and smallholder farmers of the required key agricultural commodities.
  • The thrust of the programme is the provision of farm inputs in cash and kind to smallholder farmers to boost production of these commodities, stabilize input supply to agro-processors and address the country’s negative balance of payments on food.
  • The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria Mr. Godwin Emefiele visited Kebbi State to mark a significant milestone achieved by the Anchors Borrowers Programme.

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