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.
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.”
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.
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.”
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).
“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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.’’
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
#GoodNews The Academic Staff Union Of Universities ASUU, has accepted a newly pledged amount N70 billion to be released by the FG.
The union however insisted that the funding should be implemented before the strike would be suspended.
— Official_ASUU (@ASUUNGR) November 28, 2020
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).
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.
ASUU, however, has its own developed and preferred payment platform, University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS), which the government said it is looking into.
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.
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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
What it means
Nigeria’s President Buhari recently signed the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement exposing local Nigerian manufacturers to the regional competition.
- 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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