The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, has explained that the Federal Government wants to sell some of its assets to fund the 2021 Budget because they are currently moribund and provide little or no value in their current state.
This is as she also said that the plan by the government to sell public assets will be of benefit to Nigerians and help boost the economy.
Her reaction follows the public outcry against the move by the Federal Government to sell some of their dead assets to partly fund the 2021 Budget due to a revenue shortfall.
This disclosure was made by Ahmed, during an interview on a monitored Channels Television programme, Sunrise Daily, on Friday, January 22, 2021.
What the Minister of Budget and National Planning is saying
She said, “There are some government assets that are dead that can be sold to the private sector to be reactivated and put to use for the benefit of Nigerians.
“So we are looking at different – and I am a member of the National Council on Privatisation – we are looking at different categories of government assets that government has not been able to manage, that are lying down and in some cases even completely rundown, to cede them off to the private sector.’’
Ahmed said, “The intention is not just funding the budget, it is to reactivate these assets and hand it over and have them bring contributions to the growth in the economy.”
”In the last week of December, we had a meeting of the National Council on Privatisation where we approved the annual work plan, the 2021 work plan, for that Bureau of Public Enterprises.
“And I guess it is in this first quarter that the BPE will now be engaging the Senate committee and other committees they work with to say this is our work plan for the year.
‘’The critical issue we need to look at, is ‘What assets are we selling?’ Some assets are already liabilities, so what are we keeping them for? That is my humble opinion,” the lawmaker added. “You have to tell us which assets we are looking at, ‘’ she added
What you should know
- There has been a lot of public outcry and criticisms against the Federal Government’s plan to sell some dead public assets to partly fund the N13.58 trillion 2021 budget.
- In a statement on Sunday, civil society group SERAP had asked the National Assembly to stop the federal government from selling public assets to fund the 2021 budget and suggested that government should rather look to identify areas in the budget to cut, such as salaries and allowances for public officials.
- However, on the flip side, a Federal lawmaker from Osun State, Wole Oke, who is also the Chairman, House Committee on Public Accounts, defended the federal government’s plan to sell public assets to fund the budgets.
- He said some of those assets that are to be sold are already liabilities to the government.
- He pointed out that the issue of the sale of assets is not new and said that even in the previous budgets, there have always been other sources of revenue and the sales of assets is one of such. He, however, stressed that the government must be transparent throughout the process.
Lagos, Chinese firm to rollout 1,000 SUVs as taxis, to complete auto assembly plant in 12 months
Lagos State Government has signed an agreement with a Chinese firm to roll-out 1,000 SUVs as taxis for Lagos residents.
Lagos State Government has signed an agreement with a Chinese firm, Choice International Group (CIG) Motors Co. Ltd. on Thursday for the roll-out of 1,000 Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) as taxis for Lagos residents.
The signing and flag-off ceremony which was held at the Lagos House, Marina also included the signing of an agreement for the establishment of a Motor Assembly Plant in Lagos State, with the Governor saying that the roll-out of vehicles from the plant is expected within the next 12 to 18 months.
Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said that the Lagos State Taxi Scheme was another innovative policy of his administration targeted at making life easier for Lagosians, improving mobility and creating a seamless multi-modal transport system.
Sanwo-Olu said that the scheme would create jobs, accelerate socio-economic growth, and further put the state on the global map as the centre of excellence and a modern megacity committed to sustainable development.
What Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu is saying
Sanwo-Olu pointed out that the task of bequeathing a safe, efficient, quick, and modern public transport system is a key thrust of the administration’s T.H.E.M.E.S. Agenda.
He said, ”We are guided by the need for an equitable transport system with mobility choices for our people. The Taxi Scheme, to be known as ”Lagos Ride”, which is being inaugurated today is in fulfilment of our desire to give Lagosians transport choices.
”It is one of the Lagos State Government’s socio-economic intervention programmes- a modern ride-hailing service that will be professionally managed in line with global best practices. Under the Lagos State Taxi Service, drivers/operators will be given the cars for a period of four years during which they pay a monthly instalment and they will have the opportunity of owning the cars after they have fully paid the hire amount.
”The Lagos State Taxi Service is structured along a profitability model, it is self-sustaining and able to expand and regenerate itself,” he said.
Sanwo-Olu said that the establishment of the Motor Assembly Plant was expected to revive industrialisation, increase citizens’ employment and wealth creation, boost tourism, and encourage technology sharing, adaptation, and advancement.
He said, ”As we inaugurate the taxis and sign the Joint Venture Agreement for the establishment of the Motor Assembly Plant, Lagosians should expect a roll-out of vehicles from this plant within the next 12 to 18 months.
”I urge the beneficiaries of the Lagos State Taxi Service to collaborate with us to sustain the scheme.We have the political and administrative will to ensure the Taxi Scheme survives.
”I am hopeful that the operators will cooperate with the Lagos State Government to render excellent service to the people,” he said.
The Group Chairman, CIG Motors, Diana Chen, said that they hope to celebrate this exciting moment again when 1,000 units of branded SUVs with high-tech technology arrive and run across Lagos streets and roads, with 1,000 well-trained drivers carrying happy customers that live and work in Lagos.
What this means
- This collaboration by the Lagos State Government with the Chinese auto firm is one of the ways of the government to get private sector participation in a modern transport system within the metropolis’
- The establishment of the Assembly Plant and the Lagos Taxi Scheme were among the benefits of Governor Sanwo-Olu’s official trip to China.
- This is a welcome development as it will help to change the face of public transportation in the state.
FG announces extension of work-from-home directive for GL 12 officers, below
FG has extended the work-from-home directive for civil servants from GL 12 and below until the end of March.
The Federal Government has announced the extension of the work-from-home directive for civil servants from GL 12 and below until the end of March.
This is seen as part of the measure by the government to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic which had surged earlier this year, due to the second wave of the outbreak across the country and the discovery of a new variant of the disease.
This announcement was made in a statement by the Head of Service of the Federation (HOSF), Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan, and signed by the Director of Press and Public Relations, the office of HOSF, Mr Abdulganiyu Aminu, on Thursday, March 4, 2021, in Abuja.
The statement partly reads, “All public servants on GL12 and below have been directed to continue working from home till the end of March 2021.”
Yemi-Esan said the latest directive was in adherence to the advice of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Covid-19.
The Head of Service of the Federation harped on the need to maintain the downward trend of the Covid-19 infection in the country and as such the reason for the extension of work from home directive.
While also emphasising the need for all public servants to continue to ensure strict compliance with the existing guidelines on the prevention and spread of the pandemic, she enjoined all Permanent Secretaries and Chief Executive officers to bring the content of the circular to all concerned and ensure strict compliance.
What you should know
- It can be recalled that the Federal Government in January 2021, announced the extension of work from home directive for civil servants on Grade Level 12 and below until February 28, 2021.
- The directive was as a result of the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic which had seen a spike in infection rates across the country.
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