- ‘We Won’t Tolerate Excuses on ERGP Implementation’
The Federal Government on Monday warned all heads of government agencies that it would not tolerate any excuse from them for not meeting their respective targets in the implementation of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.
The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita, and the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, gave the warning at a dialogue session with Permanent Secretaries and directors-general on the ERGP implementation road map in Abuja.
The ERGP, which was recently launched by President Muhammadu Buhari, has three broad objectives with five key execution priorities.
The objectives are restoring the country to a positive and sustained growth path, investing in the Nigerian people to improve their living standards, and building an economy that is globally competitive.
Oyo-Ita, who spoke first, called the attention of those who attended the meeting to the fact that in the past, the government had not been able to effectively implement some of its programmes.
She said while the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Budget and National Planning, had taken adequate measures to put in place a plan that was acceptable to all stakeholders in the economy, its holistic implementation was mainly that of the public sector.
She said, “Nigeria is known for having wonderful plans but what seems to be lacking is effective implementation. The implementation of government programmes lies with the public sector. I want to appeal to you the permanent secretaries and chief executive officers that this is not the time to pass the buck and make excuses.
“That is why we are meeting with you today and having this dialogue; we don’t want to hear excuses on how the ERGP will not work. What we need now are intelligent ideas on the way forward and I know we will succeed.”
On his part, Udoma said that the plan was the government’s strategy to change Nigeria from a nation of consumers that depended on imports for survival, to a self-reliant country of producers.
The minister admitted that in the past, the implementation of government programmes had not been too encouraging owing to lack of effective implementation strategies.
He added that the current administration was determined to reverse this trend.
Explaining how the economic recovery plan would be implemented, Udoma stated that the first step was for the government to focus on its priorities, adding that this would be followed by the establishment of clear accountability and development of detailed action plans.
He said other implementation strategies would involve mobilisation and allocation of resources to priority areas, creation of an enabling policy and regulatory environment, and setting up delivery units to monitor and drive progress.
The minister stated, “We are developing a road map for a step-by-step delivery of each of the strategies. Each strategy will be further broken down into component activities, sub-activities and actions.”
“Each action will then be supported by clearly assigned responsibilities, which will be sequenced against clear milestones and timelines for ease of monitoring. Accountability for the delivery of the ERGP lies with the lead MDAs for each strategy.”
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Fatimah Made, said the ministry was determined to ensure the success of the plan, adding that the need to get more inputs from stakeholders to guide the implementation process informed the dialogue.
She explained that the plan, if effectively implemented, would enable the government to stimulate economic activities.
Samsung, Vision Care Begin Fresh CSR Activities, Earmark 12,000 Masks for Nigeria
Samsung Heavy Industries Nigeria Limited (SHIN) and Vision Care, an international relief organization dedicated to the prevention of blindness, have launched fresh Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative to help Nigeria mitigate the impact of COVID-19 pandemic.
Vision Care is a member of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), and participant of ‘VISION 2020’, a global initiative of the IAPB and the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Vision Care has since conducted more than 25 Vision Eye Camps yearly and has grown into an international non-profit organisation serving 38 countries throughout Asia, Africa and Central-South America.
Since 2015, SHIN has worked with Vision Care in the yearly Eye Camp as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to provide free cataract surgeries to Nigerians who cannot afford the payment. SHIN has been sponsoring the eye surgeries of Nigerians on a yearly basis.
In 2019, SHIN sponsored the eye surgeries of at least 115 Nigerian patients and 224 outward patients as part of its CSR in Nigeria.
Since it started the programme, SHIN has sponsored the eye surgeries of 572 Nigerian patients, 1,593 outward patients and has also donated glasses to 99 patients.
Due to outbreak of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the yearly Eye Camp for 2021 had been called off to adhere to Federal Government’s measures in response to the virus.
Consequently, SHIN and Vision Care came up with a fresh CSR initiative this year to donate 496 bags of rice (25kg) and 12,000 reusable face masks to three states in the country to fulfill their commitment of contributing to the society.
The items will be delivered later this month.
The three states that will benefit from the donation are Lagos, Kano and Bayelsa states.
Out of the 496 bags of rice, and 12,000 facemasks, Lagos will receive 96 bags of rice and 200 masks.
SHIN also stated that Kano State will receive 200 bags of rice and 5,000 masks, while Bayelsa State will get 200 bags and 5,000 masks.
“This is an additional CSR activity from SHI in addition to SHIN’s donation of 5,000 COVID-19 test kits from Korea. The washable masks that the head office has purchased from Korea are certified to retain its effectiveness against COVID-19 transmission for up to 50 washes,” SHIN said in a statement.
Senate Summons NICON, AIICO, Others Over N17.4bn Pension Remittances
The Senate Public Accounts Committee has summoned the management of the NICON Insurance Plc, AIICO Insurance and other insurance companies over their alleged failure to remit N17.4bn pension fund to the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate.
The Senate hinged the summon on the 2016 report of the Auditor-General for the Federation which unraveled the alleged non-remittance of N17.4bn pension fund to PTAD.
Appearing before the panel on Monday, the Executive Secretary of PTAD, Dr Chioma Ejikeme, informed the lawmakers that PTAD took over the assets and liabilities of the defunct pension offices without a formal handing over.
She said, “On taking over, the directorate wrote all underwriters to make returns and remit whatever amount that was in their custody into a CBN dedicated account.
“Some of the underwriters responded to the request while some did not.
“The bank certificate of balances, accounting statements, three years financial statements and policy files requested by the federal auditor were not handed over to PTAD at the time of consolidation.
“It is worthy to note that we discovered that N17.4bn which comprised of cash, securities and properties from the nine insurance underwriters was unremitted as a result of the letter PTAD sent to them.
“These figures represent the claims by the underwriters with regards to their indebtedness.
“In order to ascertain the true position of legacy funds in custody of underwriters, the directorate appointed a consultant in 2018 who carried out forensic audit of nine out the 12 insurance underwriters and produced a final report on the recovery of the legacy funds and assets for PTAD.”
Sterling Homes Plans To Reduce Housing Deficit
Sterling Homes Limited has said it is committed to working with the government through private public partnership to reduce housing deficit in all the geo-political zones in the country.
The Managing Director, Mr Kunle Adeyemi, said this during an event on the company’s rebranding organised as part of its 10th year anniversary in Lagos on Friday.
During the event, the company while expressing commitment to excellence and customer satisfaction, unveiled its new logo with colours to define its mission and objections.
“We want to be present in all the six geo-political zones on Nigeria by providing affordable luxury homes, excellent torch. So for us, there is a need for us to rebrand and have a new direction and vision.
“We want to partner with the government on the present housing deficit; we want to embrace a public, private partnership with the government to reduce the deficit in every geo-political zone.”
The managing director said that one of its unique selling points was its after sales services which was top notch.
He said it ensured that its customers were taken through the journey of actualising their dreams of becoming home owners.
While noting that everyone deserved to have a comfortable home despite the economic situation, he said it had designed a structure payment plan with zero interest in some cases to help intending home owners.
He said it also had provisions for high breed options and developing areas to accommodate various income levels.
Before the end of the year, he said, Sterling Homes would be establishing new presence and projects in other regions.
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