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Economy

FG may merge NIWA with NPA, stop funding recurrent expenditure of MAN, ORON in a public service reform

 

—–as FG ready to implement Orosanye  report
The Eyewitness reporter
In a major civil service restructuring exercise that is expected to be implemented in 2023, the federal government may merge the functions and duties of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) with the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).
Similarly, the government will stop funding the recurrent expenditures of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN), ORON, but still retains the funding for capital projects of the school.
The reform is part of the recommendations of the Orosanye report on the merger and scrapping of some federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government (MDAs).
In 2011, Stephen Oronsaye submitted a report to downsize the federal service commission and eliminate the duplication of duties by the 541 Fed Govt parastatals, commissions, Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
According to the report, Nigeria stands to save over N300bn if  Federal Government should implement the white of Orosanye report which recommended the scrapping or merger of 400 out of the 541 MDAs next year.
Our reporter gathered from the report that the functions and duties of NIWA would be subsumed under the NPA to cost costs.
The committee said that there is a duplication of some of the duties and functions of the two agencies which should be undertaken by the NPA.
It could be recalled that the core duties of NIWA include overseeing the waterways transportation and dredging some of the channels of the waterways for safe navigation of water crafts, which overlap with the functions of the NPA.
On the activities of MAN, ORON, the committee suggested that the government should stop funding the recurrent expenditures of the school like staff salaries which the report suggested could be funded by the school through the fees and other levies placed on students.
The government will, however, continue to fund the significant capital projects in the school for enhanced efficiency.
Before becoming the Head of the Civil Service, Orosanye had a rich stint in the private sector and brought his experience of judiciously managing resources to bear on the Civil Service.
 Members of the committee included: Japh CT Nwosu; Rabiu D. Abubakar, Salman Mann; Hamza A. Tahir; Adetunji Adesunkanmi; and Umar Mohammed.

Recommendations were made for 263 of the statutory agencies to collapse into 161, a merger of 52 agencies, and the outright expungement of 38 redundant agencies while returning 14 as sub-units In ministries.

And in 2014, a white paper was issued by Fed Govt to act upon the report.
From all indications, the Buhari government is poised to implement the white paper issued in 2014 on the report.
The following statutory and non-statutory agencies are up for merger or out-and-out expulsion.
 Their previous budgetary allocations gleaned from open-source materials suggests what could be saved when the NASS completes the repealing of some of the agencies.
The CBN, NNPC and many other agencies won’t be getting budgetary allocations in 2023.
Merge the Nigerian Communications Commission, National Broadcasting Commission, and Nigerian Postal Service into one single commission called the Communications Regulatory Authority of Nigeria.
The National Examinations Council (NECO) goes under the roof of the West African Examination Council (WAEC).
A merger of  The Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, Voice of Nigeria and the Nigerian Television Authority to form the Federal Broadcasting Corporation of Nigeria.
Scrap the Federal Road Safety Corps while putting the agency under the Highways Department of the Federal Ministry of Works, and their staffers should be sent to the Police Service Commission and Vehicle Inspection Office.
Economic and Financial Crimes Commission( EFCC), the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission( ICPC) and the Code of Conduct Bureau become a single entity.
The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria became privatised.
National Inland Waterways goes under the roof of the Nigerian Ports Authority. The report says to abolish the National Rural Electrification Agency.
Pull the plug on 23 research institutes and fund them through the National Research and Development Fund and research grants.
The National Directorate of Employment and the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria merge to become the National Agency for Job Creation and Empowerment.
Privatise Nigerian Communication Satellite.
Hajj and Christian Pilgrims Commissions funding from Govt should discontinue. Merge Administrative Staff College of Nigeria and the Public Service Institute of Nigeria.
Repeal the law establishing the National Salaries and Wages Commission and transfer its functions to the Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Responsibility Commission.
The Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission goes under the Bureau of Public Enterprise.
The Border Communities Development Agency is to be absorbed by the National Boundary Commission.
Cut recurrent expenditure funding of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies while maintaining the capital expenditure.
Merge the National Emergency Management Agency and the National Commission for Refugees.
The Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research is to be funded by a proposed National Research Development Fund.
The National Agency for the Control of AIDS goes under the roof of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.
Privatise The Nigerian Communication Satellite.
National Board for Technical Education and the National Commission for Colleges of Education to morph into the Tertiary Education Commission.
Quit approving concurrent expenditure for the National Open University of Nigeria.
The Nomadic Education Commission and Mass Literacy Council go under the wing of the Universal Basic Education Commission.

The Federal Ministry of Environment and the Department of Petroleum Resources take over the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency.

The Ministry of Environment assumes the functions of the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency.
Scrap the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution and transfer its functions to the Department of Strategic Studies at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs.
Cut the Directorate of Technical Cooperation in Africa.
Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment to take over the functions of the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) after repealing the law establishing NCC.
Scrap the National Productivity Centre.
Abolish the National Steel Raw Materials Exploration Agency and transfer its functions to the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency.
Scrap National Metallurgical Development Centre, Jos, and Metallurgical Training Institute, Onitsha.
Merge the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency and the Petroleum Equalisation Fund.
 The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board to accommodate the Petroleum Technology Development Fund.
Scrap the Federal Ministry of Police Affairs and saddle its functions with the Ministry of Special Duties.
Merger the National Council of Arts and Culture with the National Troupe of Nigeria and the National Theatre.
Scrap The National Power Training Institute of Nigeria.
Discard The National Centre for Technology Management.
A proposed National Commission for Museums to be formed from the merger between the National Commission for Museums and Monuments with the National Gallery of Arts.

Abolish The Nigeria Institute for Hospitality and Tourism Development Studies, and its functions were taken over by the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation.
Shut Down all 774 field offices of the National Orientation Agency and give the duties to the Public Communications Department in the Ministry of Information and Culture.
Close down the duplicating National Institute for Cultural Orientation.
Nigerian Import-Export Promotion Commission would be formed after merging the Nigerian Export Promotion Council and the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission.
Discard the National Centre for Automotive Design and Development Council.
Do away with the Oil and Gas Free Zones Authority while transferring its functions to the Nigerian Export Processing Zone Authority.
Stop funding the recurrent expenditure of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron but maintain the capital expenditure.
Stop funding Nigeria Football Federation as advised by FIFA.
Abolish Federal Character Commission and Fiscal Responsibility Commission.
However, the Federal Government is not prepared to sack workers, even though the President would decide what to reject and adopt out of the list.

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Economy

CBN reverses itself on cash withdrawal limits as Emefiele succumbs to pressure

Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele

 

—now pegs weekly withdrawal for individual to N500,000, Corporate N5million

The Eyewitness Reporter

The Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) may have succumbed to pressure from the National Assembly and other rich Nigerians as it has reversed itself on its earlier cash withdrawal limits for individuals and corporate organisations.

In a circular number BSD/DIR/PUB/LAB/015/073 dated December 21st, 2022 and addressed to all Deposit Money Banks(DMBS) and other financial institutions, the apex bank disclosed that the new weekly cash withdrawal limits for both the individuals and corporate organisations have now been reviewed to N500,000 and N5million respectively.

The new weekly cash withdrawal limits now superseded the earlier one released on December 6th, 2022 which were put at N100,000 for individuals and N500,000 for corporate organisations.

In the new revised cash withdrawal limits, the CBN claimed the revision of the policy was in response to feedback from the stakeholders.

The new revised policy also slashed the processing fees for amounts above the approved threshold from an initial 5 percent for individuals to 3 percent and for corporate organisations from 10 percent to 5 percent.

The circular, which was signed by Haruna Mustafa, the Director of Banking supervision, the CBN said the new revised cash withdrawal policy takes effect from January, 9th,2022.

”Following our circular BSD/DIR/PUB/LAB/015/069 dated December 6, 2022, on the above subject and based on feedback received from stakeholders, the Central Bank Of Nigeria(CBN) hereby makes the following reviews;

–the maximum weekly limit for cash withdrawal across all channels by individuals and corporate organisations shall be N500,000 and N5 million respectively.

–In compelling circumstances where cash withdrawal above the limits in (1) above is required for legitimate purposes, such requests shall be subject to a processing fee of 3 percent and 5 percent for individuals and corporate organisations respectively.

–Futrher to (2) above, the financial institution shall obtain the following information from the Customer, at the minimum,and upload same on the CBN portal created for the purpose

a. Valid means of identification of the payee(National ID, International passport, or driver’s license)

b.Bank Verification Number(BVN) of the payee.

c.Tax Identification Number(TIN) of both the payee and the payer.

d. Approval in writing by the MD/CEO of the financial institution authorising the withdrawal.

–Third-party cheques above N100,000 shall not be eligible for payment over the counter, while the extant limit of N10 million on clearing cheques still subsists.

—Monthly returns on cash withdrawal transactions above the specified limits should be rendered to the banking supervision, Other financial institution supervision and Payment System Management  Departments as applicable

—Compliance with extant AML/CFT regulations relating to KYC, ongoing customer due diligence, currency and suspicious transaction reporting, etc is mandatory in all circumstances.

—Customers should be encouraged to use alternative channels(internet banking, mobile banking apps, USSD, cards/POS, eNaira,gets) to conduct their banking transactions”, the circular reads.

The CBN however warned all the banks and OFIS that aiding and abetting the circumvention of this policy will attract severe sanctions.

It could be recalled that the policy, which was first announced on December 6th, 2022, generated mixed reactions, especially from the members of the National Assembly who invited the CBN Governor. Godwin Emefiele to come and explain the rationale behind the cash withdrawal limits.

Twice, the National Assembly invited Mr. Emefiele, but twice, he did not appear, citing national assignment engagement as the reason for his non-appearance.

The review may, however, be as a result of the intense pressure that the CBN governor has lately been subjected to as a result of this policy which analysts believed does not favour the elites, the politicians and the rich Nigerians, especially giving the forthcoming elections.

 

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Economy

ICT media chiefs launch foundation to drive advocacy, development

Bimbo Tooki
Abiodun Bayo
Top ICT media practitioners and pioneers in Nigeria have launched a Foundation known as Cloud Network Foundation, (CNF), to drive advocacy for skills acquisition and capacity building among youths and push for policy that encourages local content in ICT development in Nigeria.
The Foundation, made of the first eleven in ICT journalism in Nigeria, is worried that, among others, policy direction and implementation in the country has primarily neglected local content development and the creation of the requisite skills and enablement for Nigeria’s teeming youth to excel in the ICT ecosystem.
Chairman of the Foundation, Mr. Abimbola Tooki, who remarked at the body’s inaugural meeting, said Nigeria has so much untapped potential that, when harnessed by the provision of the right policies and strategies, could replicate another Silicon Valley in California, the United States to Bangalore in India.
“We can move from a consuming nation to a producing one in a few years in the ICT ecosystem, and over 20 million of our youths can be lifted out of poverty every year if they have the right information, guidance, enabling environment and skills at their disposal if we take the right steps”, Tooki said.
 He said if the government prioritised integrating technology (ICT) infrastructure into public service delivery to promote growth-oriented policies, it would be easier for all tiers and arms of government to collaborate to pull Nigerians out of poverty.
The Cloud Network Foundation promises to provide an influential voice for stakeholders in the media, business community and government on the benefits of ICT in economic growth and national development.
It will also promote multidisciplinary collaboration and interdisciplinary initiatives on ICT to foster the creation, usage and sharing of knowledge in the fields of ICT for national development.
Also speaking at the body’s inauguration, Vice Chairman of the Foundation, Mr. Don Pedro Aganbi further said industry stakeholders should look forward to the Foundation’s resolve to ensure a more active ICT industry in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, the CNF announced in the statement that as the election produced the Chairman and Vice Chairman, the group also elected the following officials: Olubayo Abiodun (Secretary); Ufuoma Emuophedaro, (Treasurer) and Ayo Makinde, as  Publicity Secretary.
Aganbi said CNF would ensure that all operators wake up to their responsibilities of delivering quality services to Nigerians while fostering a friendly environment for all.
Other members of the fully registered non-political, non-religious and non-profit organisation include award-winning and pioneering ICT journalists such as Mr. Aaron Ukodie, Mkpe Abang, Bayero Agabi, Bunmi Idowu, Enyi Moses, Ken Nwogbo, Shina Badaru, Biyi Fasoyin, Tayo Adewusi, and Otunba Biodun Ajiboye, among others.
The CNF stated that it will also work with educational institutions at all levels in advancing the usage and adoption of ICT in learning and educational endeavours, and providing an effective voice for stakeholders in the media, business community and government on the benefits of ICT in economic growth and national development.
It will also promote research in diverse segments of ICT, develop professionals in ICT Journalism, and promote multidisciplinary collaboration and interdisciplinary initiatives on ICT to foster the creation, usage and sharing of knowledge in the fields of ICT for national development.
Cloud Network Foundation has an active online presence, with a dedicated website (cloudnetwork.ng), twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
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Economy

Cashless policy: CBN limits daily cash withdrawals to N20k

—-removes N500, N1000 notes from ATM

The Eyewitness reporter

In a bid to give a bite to the cashless policy of the Federal Government, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has pegged the daily cash withdrawal threshold.
It has also mandated banks not to anymore load N500 and N1000 notes into their Automatic Teller Machines(ATM).
In a circular by the apex bank to all the Deposit Money Banks Tuesday, only N200 notes or below are now to be loaded into their ATMs.
“The maximum cash withdrawal per week via Automated Teller Machine (ATM) shall be N100,000 subject to a maximum of N20,000 cash withdrawal per day.
This is as the apex bank pegged over-the-counter cash withdrawals by individuals and corporate entities per week to not exceeding N100,000 and N500, 000, respectively.

The maximum cash withdrawal over the counter (OTC) by individuals and corporate organisations per week shall henceforth be N100,000 and 500,000 respectively.

 Withdrawals above these limits shall attract processing fees of 5 percent and 10 percent, respectively,” the circular reads.

“Third-party cheques above N50,000 shall not be eligible for payment over the counter, while extant limits of N10,000,000 on clearing cheques still subsist.

Analysts believe the latest policy, which comes on the heel of the Naira redesigning policy, will not only strengthen the cashless policy of the federal government but will also considerably inhibits the illicit use of the naira notes.
They also noted that the policy will control the amount of money in circulation which will enable the apex bank to monitor and control inflation in the economy.
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