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FG to Recover 53,000 Ghost Workers’ Pensions

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  • FG to Recover 53,000 Ghost Workers’ Pensions

The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, has said her ministry is working with the National Pension Commission to recover the pensions so far paid into the Retirement Savings Accounts of ghost workers.

She said since the establishment of the Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit in March last year, about 53,000 ghost workers had so far been removed from the Federal Government payroll.

The minister gave the figure in her first Facebook video session, which was monitored by our correspondent.

The 23-minute video was filmed at the headquarters of the Ministry of Finance in Abuja.

Adeosun stated, “The Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit came in so that they can check the payroll and make sure that we pay the right amount and ghost workers do not exist; there is no fraud and that there is no error in the payroll.

“So far, we have removed 53,000 people from the payroll and we are working with PenCom to recover some of the pensions because the problem with these ghost salary earners is that not only are we paying their salaries, we are also paying pensions.

“So, we are trying to recover some of the overpaid pensions from some of the people we have removed from the payroll.”

Adeosun said before the commencement of the continuous audit initiative, the wage bill of the government was huge, standing at about N165bn monthly.

In addition, she said the government was spending N16bn each on pensions and overheads monthly, noting that when added to the N165bn wage bill, about N200bn was being expended monthly on recurrent items.

She stated, “The wage bill when we started was N165bn a month, and that was huge. It’s a huge bill and we have N16bn for pensions and another one for overheads.

“And so by the time you add statutory transfers to agencies like the judiciary, the National Assembly, INEC and other statutory agencies, you will have N200bn every month before you can have anything to spend on capital projects.

“So, we set a priority that we need to control this. It’s a continuous battle and the real thing is that we are using technology to make sure we are paying people using the biometric system, which ensures that you cannot get two salaries and ensures that the number of personnel is the same as the number on the payroll.”

The minister added that the focus of the government going forward was to bring all its agencies into the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System platform.

This, she added, would assist the government to further bring down the wage bill.

The IPPIS is one of the Federal Government’s reform initiatives to improve the management of human resources and provide a centralised payroll system in the civil service.

Adeosun added, “Our focus now is getting as many agencies and individuals as possible on the IPPIS and that sounds a quite ambitious target. The moment we finish with the police, we will move on to the military and then the prisons and immigration and other agencies like that.”

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Economy

Seyi Makinde Proposes N266.6 Billion Budget for Oyo State in 2021

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The Executive Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, has presented the Oyo State Budget Proposal for the 2021 Fiscal Year to the Oyo State House of Assembly on Monday.

The proposed budget titled “Budget of Continued Consolidation” was said to be prepared with input from stakeholders in all seven geopolitical zones of Oyo state.

Governor Makinde disclosed this via his official Twitter handle @seyiamakinde.

According to the governor, the proposed recurrent expenditure stood at N136,262,990,009.41 while the proposed capital expenditure was N130,381,283,295.63. Bringing the total proposed budget to N266,6444,273,305.04.

The administration aimed to implement at least 70 percent of the proposed budget if approved.

He said “The total budgeted sum is ₦266,644,273,305.04. The Recurrent Expenditure is ₦136,262,990,009.41 while the Capital Expenditure is ₦130,381,283,295.63. We are again, aiming for at least 70% implementation of the budget.”

He added that “It was my honour to present the Oyo State Budget Proposal for the 2021 Fiscal Year to the Oyo State House of Assembly, today. This Budget of Continued Consolidation was prepared with input from stakeholders in all seven geopolitical zones of our state.”

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Economy

World Bank Expects Nigeria’s Per Capita Income to Dip to 40 Years Low in 2020

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The World Bank has raised concern about Nigeria’s rising debt service cost, saying it could incapacitate the nation from necessary infrastructure development and growth.

The multilateral financial institution said the nation’s per capita income could plunge to 40 years low in 2020.

According to Mr. Shubham Chaudhuri, Country Director for World Bank in Nigeria, the decline in global oil prices had impacted government finances, remittances from the diaspora and the balance of payments.

Chaudhuri, who spoke during the 26th Nigerian Economic Summit organised by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group and the Federal Government, said while the nation’s debt is between 20 to 30 percent, rising debt service remains the bane of its numerous financial issues and growth.

Nigeria’s problem is that the debt service takes a big part of the government revenue,” he said.

He said, “Crisis like this is often what it takes to bring a nation together to have that consensus within the political, business, government, military, civil society to say, ‘We have to do something that departs from business as usual.’

“And for Nigeria, this is a critical juncture. With the contraction in GDP that could happen this year, Nigeria’s per capita income could be around what it was in 1980 – four decades ago.”

Nigeria’s per capita income stood at $847.40 in 1980, according to data from the World Bank. It rose to $3,222.69 in 2014 before falling to $2,229.9 in 2019.

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Economy

Nigeria Will Have no Business With Fish Importation in the Next Two Years- FG

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At the 35th annual conference of the Fisheries Society of Nigeria (FISON) held in Abuja on Monday, the minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr  Sabo Nanono, expressed plans of the federal government to initiate and implement programmes that are aimed towards diversification, especially in the agricultural sector.

The minister explained that the fishery sub-sector contributes about 4.5 percent to the National Gross Domestic Products, with an estimation of over 12 million Nigerians actively involved in fish farming and production.

He further said that despite this number, Nigeria produces 1.1 million tonnes of fishes annually, while there is a total demand of 3.6 million tonnes of fish and this puts Nigeria is at a deficit of 2.5 million tones. The shortage is supplemented through importation.

“Let me inform you that the vision of Mr President is to grow Nigeria’s agriculture sector to achieve a hunger-free nation, through agriculture that drives income growth, accelerate the achievement of food and nutritional security, generate employment and transform Nigeria into a leading player in the group of food and fish markets, and to create wealth for millions,” he said.

He also explains the ministry’s plans of diversification and development of various empowerment programmes that aid job creation.

“In line with the theme of this conference, the ministry has developed various programmes to increase domestic food/fish production and the main target is the empowerment of the youth and other groups especially the women,” he stated, adding: “All these programmes are tailored towards wealth and jobs creation, arrest and prevention of youth restiveness”.

He said the government has directed all fish importers to commence backward integration for local consumption and export to international markets, these are part of the measures of the ministry to generate employment and reduce importation of fish into the country.

In regards to this plans, Nanono said that the ministry is optimistic that Nigeria will have no business with fish importation in the next two years, considering that several companies have complied to the laid down policy.

Representing the Director of Federal Department of Fisheries, Mr Imeh Umoh, he stressed that the fishery is one of the value chains in the ministry and a force that drives wealth, job creation, contribute to food nutrition, poverty reduction and creation of diverse investment for Nigerians “especially during the economic recession which is occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic”.

Nanono said that considering the current economic situation due to the global health pandemic and the ongoing economic recovery programme, the contribution of the fisheries and aquaculture sub-sector of Nigeria will make a significant impact in terms of job creation, income generation, poverty alleviation, foreign exchange earnings and provision of raw materials.

Mr Adegoke Agbabiaka, President of FISON said that in the last decade the government has made a paradigm shift under the Agricultural Transformation Agenda and is now considering agriculture, including fisheries and aquaculture, as a business and this will aid to achieve self-sufficiency in fish production.

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