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Business

Corruption index: Port reforms would help Nigeria’s ratings – Lai Mohammed

Minister of Information has stated that Nigeria will improve its corruption index by improving the ease of doing business.

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Fuel prices: Information Minister defends President Buhari's comparison of Saudi with Nigeria, FG reiterates commitment to implement reform of broadcasting code, Border to remain closed till Benin, Niger meet Nigeria's conditions, FG vows , Lai Mohammed: Nigeria’s non-oil exports increased to N2 trillion, COVID-19: FG to deploy police, army for enforcement

The Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed has stated that Nigeria’s focus on removing ease of doing business bottlenecks including port reforms would help Nigeria’s rating in the Global Corruption indices.

The Minister disclosed this in an interview with Arise TV on Friday morning.

Lai Mohammed revealed that the FG decided to focus on ease of doing business metrics after a study confirmed 40% of Nigeria’s rating is tied to the business climate.

READ: FG to launch Single window project, deploy scanners at seaports,

“We studied what was responsible for the low ratings. We realized that up to 40%, of the survey indices that led to the low rating, was from the ease of doing business

“The FG through PEBEC (Presidency Ease of Doing Business Council), focused its attention on removing bottlenecks in the ease of doing business, particularly in the areas of port reforms

” It might take a few months, a year or 2 for the FG’s efforts to show results, but clearly we have embarked on a 2 prong approached,” Mohammed said.

The Minister said that in the FG’s fight against corruption, it focused on 3 major areas including, “How to prevent corruption, how to build integrity systems and identifying that 40% of Nigeria’s problems are in the areas of ease of doing business, especially bureaucratic bottlenecks.”

READ: N1.5 billion Probe: Contractor could land in EFCC net for abandoning CCB project 

“We are making a lot of headway. We have published the national port programme manual, to ease the ease of doing business.

“We realized that part of the problem is that we need to update the data and retrieval systems so that we would not be under-reported in areas of progress.

“Even in the middle of the pandemic, the FG is not resting on its oars, in a strive to institute anti-corruption measures,” he added.

READ: FG gives N1.02 trillion concessions to businesses in 4 years

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On the government’s anti-Corruption fight

Lai Mohammed disclosed that in 2020 the ICPC launched a national ethic policy aimed at a moral reorientation for Nigerians. Also, the code of conduct bureau emerged with newer code of conduct measures for public officers all these in an attempt to create a moral reorientation for Nigeria.

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He added that a lot of corruption comes when the system is opaque, not transparent.

“That is why we were able to identify that 40% of the scoring methodology is around the ease of doing business. Unless you address it, you will always be scoring low. And that is why we embarked on Port reforms because they are very important. Port reforms would be slow but when achieved, it will help in our ratings,” he said.

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READ: #EndSARS: SERAP sues NBC over charges on unprofessional media coverage

What you should know 

  • Recall Nairametrics reported that the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2020 report published by Transparency International indicates that Nigeria occupies the 149th position out of the 180 countries surveyed as well scored 25 out of 100 points, in the 2019 report, Nigeria was ranked 146th out of the 180 countries surveyed, scoring 26 points out of 100 points.
  • The Federal Government described Nigeria’s low rating in the 2020 Transparency International Corruption Perception Index (TI-CPI) as a parameter that does not truly reflect the nation’s anti-corruption agenda.
  • On port Reforms, the Vice President of Nigeria, Yemi Osinbajo launched the Process Manual on Port Operations in December 2020 to boost efficiency and accountability in Nigeria’s port industry, and also ensure predictability.

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Business

Lagos seals 35 building sites after visits to Magodo, Ogudu, Eti-Osa, others

This enforcement of its physical planning laws is being carried out by LASBCA and the LASPPPA on behalf of the state government.

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Sanwo-Olu announces Lekki/Ikoyi toll gate to fully go cashless

The Lagos State Government has commenced the massive enforcement of its physical planning laws to prevent building collapse and illegal developments, as it sealed 35 building sites for various contraventions.

This exercise is being carried out by the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) and Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority (LASPPPA) on behalf of the state government, with the team visiting several construction sites and buildings in Eti-Osa, Magodo, Ogudu, Gbagada Phase II and several other Local Government Areas.

According to a report from the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), this disclosure was contained in a statement issued by Mr Gbadeyan Abdulraheem, Spokesman for LASBCA, on Tuesday, March 2, 2021.

He said the enforcement was to prevent haphazard construction from preliminary stages and to stop distressed buildings from causing havoc.

Abdulraheem said the enforcement team was led by Mr Gbolahan Oki, the General Manager of LABSCA. He added that LASBCA sealed a distressed building at No. 33 Oko Baba Street, Ebute Metta and dispersed children using the building as a school.

Oki said 35 sites were sealed for various contraventions including illegal demolition, construction without permit and failure to obtain necessary authorisation from LASBCA and LASPPPA.

Oki said, “The enforcement drive will be a continuous exercise.’’

The general manager appealed to Lagos residents to follow proper channels in processing their construction works and obtaining necessary permits from the state government.

He said the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration was committed to ensuring that buildings in Lagos state were designed, constructed and maintained to high standards of safety so as to avoid loss of lives and property, through the existing building regulatory system.

Oki said LASPPPA’s role was to ascertain and validate the approvals obtained by the various construction sites visited, as well as monitor layouts and development schemes.

He added that LABSCA, on the other hand, was for the identification of distressed and non-conforming buildings and inspection/certification of various stages of building construction works.

What you should know

  • The Lagos State Government has for several months been on an enforcement drive of the state’s physical planning laws, so as to restore order and prevent the distortion of the ecosystem of the entire state and preserve the environment.
  • This has led to the demolition of illegal structures that either did not get approval or did not conform to the approved building plan or physical planning laws in such areas as Lekki Phase 1, Ikoyi, Magodo, Ogudu GRA, Ajao Estate, Ikeja and so on.

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Business

Nigeria signs pact with Morocco’s OCP Group to aid fertilizer production

The pact is expected to utilize Nigerian gas and Moroccan phosphate to produce 750,000 tons of ammonia and one million tons of phosphate fertilizers.

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Nigeria has signed a pact with OCP Africa to aid the second phase of the Nigerian Presidential Fertilizer Initiative in Morocco. The pact was signed by the Nigerian delegation led by the Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva and officials of Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA).

This was disclosed in a statement issued by NSIA and seen by Nairametrics on Tuesday.

This is expected to utilize Nigerian gas and Moroccan phosphate to produce 750,000 tons of ammonia and one million tons of phosphate fertilizers annually by 2025.

To achieve the 750,000 tons target, a number of agreements were signed between OCP Africa, the Fertilizer Producers and Suppliers Association of Nigeria, and the NSIA in order to commit to the second phase of the Nigerian Presidential Fertilizer Initiative.

Similarly, a Shareholders’ Agreement was also signed between OCP Africa and the NSIA for the creation of the Joint Venture Company. This agreement would oversee the development of a versatile industrial platform that will produce ammonia and fertilizers in Nigeria.

It stated, “a Memorandum of Understanding between OCP Africa, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, and NSIA was sealed. The objective of this pact is to evaluate the opportunity of an equity investment by the NNPC in the JVC and for its support on gas.”

What you should know

  • The business visit is a follow up to the industrial project which was officially launched in June 2018 following the success of the first phase of the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative supported by OCP.
  • Through these agreements, the OCP Group has confirmed its commitment to the development of sustainable and inclusive agriculture in Nigeria.
  • The project was first announced during the official visit to Morocco of President Muhammadu Buhari and it is aimed at developing a versatile industrial platform in Nigeria.
  • Recall that in 2016, OCP Group first partnered with the Fertilizer Producers and Suppliers Association of Nigeria under the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative, supported by the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority.
  • This collaboration stretched across the entire agricultural value chain, from the introduction of customized fertilizers adapted to local soils and crops to improving the availability of fertilizers in the local market at competitive prices.
  • The partnership also included farmer support initiatives, supply chain development projects along with the strengthening of a close distribution system.
  • These joint efforts have led to the renovation of 13 blending units and packaging for fertilizers and installation by private operators of more than 14 new factories.

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