- Wike Proposes N510bn Budget for 2018
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has presented the 2018 Appropriation Bill of N510 billion to the state House of Assembly for consideration and subsequent approval.
The 2018 budget of N510 billion is an increase of N40 billion (8.51 per cent) over the N470 billion budgeted in 2017.
Christened: ‘Budget of Consolidation, advancement and empowerment,’ Wike said the budget would consolidate and advance the state’s investments in infrastructure, education, healthcare, and security, as well as in growing the economy to create jobs and empower the people.
Presenting the budget proposal to the assembly yesterday, the governor said the proposed budget has N379, 997, 687, 404.00 as capital expenditure, while N132 billion would be for recurrent expenditure.
He said: “This gives a capital to recurrent expenditure ratio of 75 to 25 per cent respectively. The substantial increase in capital over recurrent expenditure, once again, underscores our commitment to direct substantial resources to the critical growth sectors of our economy.”
Wike said the 2018 budget would be funded from allocations from the federation Account: N40 billion; 13 per cent oil minerals fund: N120 billion; VAT: N6 billion, internally generated revenue: N132 billion; reimbursements: N70 billion; domestic/international credits N70 billion; and capital receipts N20 billion.
He stated that a total portfolio of N90 billion and N35 billion have been allocated to the Ministry of Works and the Special Projects Bureau respectively to fund the delivery of capital projects in the 2018 budget.
He said the administration was committed to the completion of key projects in different parts of the state, while some of the projects earmarked for delivery in 2018 include Bonny – Bile Waterside jetty; Mile one market, Phase 2; Reclamation works in Abalama in Asari Toru Local Government Area, Ogu town in Ogu/Bolo Local Government Area, Bakana in Degema Local Government Area, and Ogbumnuabali in Port Harcourt Local Government Area; Constituency projects; Real Madrid Football Academy; Luxury living quarters for Judicial Officers from the State, among other projects; and the cinema and restaurant project in the Pleasure Park, among other projects.
The governor added: “We shall also start some new projects, including the Women Development Centre the new world-class international conference centre, and roads.”
On education, Wike said: “We are devoting N50 billion to fund the education sector for the 2018 fiscal year. This sum is N20 billion more than that of 2017. In addition, we have proposed a capital grant of N500 million to each of our tertiary institutions to bolster infrastructural development and improve quality.
“Apart from proposing the sum of N2 billion for the provision of scholarships for critical areas of the State’s manpower needs, we have also proposed to set aside another N2 billion to partner, encourage and support the development of private universities and improve access to tertiary education for Rivers indigenes in the state.”
Wike stated that his administration is providing the sum of N30 billion in 2018 to enhance all aspects of the healthcare delivery system in the state, including the provision of health infrastructure for health institutions, recruitment and training of medical doctors and other healthcare personnel, refurbishing and equipping primary healthcare centres, providing vaccines for routine immunisation against child killer diseases, as well as in carrying out education and sensitisation programmes on reproductive, maternal, neo-natal and child healthcare.
On security, he said the state government would continue to invest heavily in the security of lives and property through the funding of security agencies and provision of logistics for them to effectively secure the state.
He said the administration decided to renew and strengthen her partnership with the Church of God in the State by proposing to establish a Trust Fund for the Church to administer to its needs. The sum of N1 billion has been proposed under this budget for this purpose.
Wike said in the past two and a half years, the administration had demonstrated that it was committed to solving the problems it inherited and advance the overall wellbeing of the people.
He said: “For us, our State deserves meaningful development and we must, as a Government, continue to do our best to deliver to our people. That is why we are offering a realistic budget for 2018, which takes a balanced and pragmatic approach towards solving the developmental challenges of our State and take it to the next level of transformation.”
The governor had proposed a budget of N470 billion for 2017 which, he said, recorded about 74 per cent performance, a significant improvement over that of 2016.
In his remarks, the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Mr Ikunyi-Owaji Ibani, assured the people of the State that the state assembly would continue to support the executive to deliver the development of the state.
He said an analysis of the 2018 Budget shows that the Rivers State Governor would consolidate on development in different sectors of the state’s economy, adding that that the state House of Assembly would treat the budget expeditiously while following due process.
“Only a pathological fault finder will not see the good works of the Rivers State Governor. The governor has performed creditably well,” he said.
Ecobank To Pay Customers N5 For Every Dollar Received
Ecobank To Pay Customers N5 For Every Dollar Received
Ecobank has implemented the CBN scheme which offers N5 for every Dollar received into domiciliary accounts or as cash over the counter. Korede Demola-Adeniyi; Head, of Consumer Banking, Ecobank Nigeria, who announced this in Lagos stated that the decision is in line with the CBN directive and fully aligns with efforts to encourage the inflow of diaspora remittances into the country.
She noted that the “CBN Naira 4 dollar scheme” is an unprecedented incentive for senders and recipients of international money transfers.
Korede Demola-Adeniyi said that the scheme takes effect from 8th March and will run till 8th May 2021. “Ecobank will pay N5 on every Dollar so beneficiaries will not only get the foreign currency sent from their family and friends abroad, but they will also get extra Naira”, she stated.
Only recently, Ecobank had a first-of-its-kind virtual Diaspora Summit to discuss opportunities for Nigerians living abroad and the various platforms available to assist them with their investment decisions and remittance needs. The event had major players in the remittance space, diaspora audience, government officials and notable stakeholders in attendance.
Further, the Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, Patrick Akinwuntan has disclosed that apart from consistent engagement with Nigerians in the diaspora, Ecobank is leveraging its digital technology to make remittances to Nigeria and Africa easy, convenient and affordable.
Mr. Akinwuntan stated that growing evidence has shown a positive relationship between diaspora remittances and economic growth.
“Ecobank will continue to pursue its mandate of helping to enhance the economic development and integration of Africa, through the 33 countries where the bank operates on the continent. Ecobank’s Rapidtransfer and mobile app (Ecobank Mobile) enable Africans, wherever they are, to easily and instantly send money to bank accounts, mobile wallets and agent locations across 33 African countries”, he stated.
Ecobank Nigeria, a member of the Pan African Banking Group is committed to supporting Africans in the diaspora by providing advisory services, remittance solutions, investment options and financial planning schemes. The bank also offers mortgages, treasury bills, capital market instruments, among others.
Peter Obaseki Retires as Chief Operating Officer of FCMB Group Plc
The Board of Directors of FCMB Group Plc has announced the retirement of Mr. Peter Obaseki, the Chief Operating Officer of the financial institution, with effect from March 1, 2021. He was also an Executive Director of the Group.
His retirement was approved at a meeting of the Board of the Group on February 26, 2021. This has also been announced in a statement to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) by the financial institution.
The Chairman of FCMB Group Plc’s Board of Directors, Mr Oladipupo Jadesimi, thanked Mr. Obaseki for his valuable service and excellent support to the Board for many years.
FCMB Group Plc is a holding company divided along three business Groups; Commercial and Retail Banking (First City Monument Bank Limited, Credit Direct Limited, FCMB (UK) Limited and FCMB Microfinance Bank Limited); Investment Banking (FCMB Capital Markets Limited and CSL Stockbrokers Limited); as well as Asset & Wealth Management (FCMB Pensions Limited, FCMB Asset Management Limited and FCMB Trustees Limited).
The Group and its subsidiaries are leaders in their respective segments with strong fundamentals.
For more information about FCMB Group Plc, please visit www.fcmbgroup.com.
COVID-19: CBN Extends Loan Repayment by Another One Year
Central Bank Extends One-Year Moratorium by 12 Months
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has extended the repayment of its discounted interest rate on intervention facility by another one-year following the expiration of the first 12 months moratorium approved on March 1, 2020.
The apex bank stated in a circular titled ‘Re: Regulatory forbearance for the restructuring of credit facilities of other financial institutions impacted by COVID-19’ and released on Wednesday to all financial institutions.
In the circular signed by Kelvin Amugo, the Director, Financial Policy and Regulation Department, CBN, the apex bank said the role-over of the moratorium on the facilities would be considered on a case by case basis.
The circular read, “The Central Bank of Nigeria reduced the interest rates on the CBN intervention facilities from nine per cent to five per cent per annum for one year effective March 1, 2020, as part of measures to mitigate the negative impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the Nigerian economy.
“Credit facilities, availed through participating banks and OFIs, were also granted a one-year moratorium on all principal payments with effect from March 1, 2020.
“Following the expiration of the above timelines, the CBN hereby approves as follows:
“The extension by another 12 months to February 28, 2022 of the discounted interest rate for the CBN intervention facilities.
“The role-over of the moratorium on the above facilities shall be considered on a case by case basis.”
It would be recalled that the apex bank reduced the interest rate on its intervention facility from nine percent to five percent and approved a 12-month moratorium in March 2020 to ease the negative impact of COVID-19 on businesses.
To further deepen economic recovery and stimulate growth, the apex bank has extended the one year-moratorium until February 28, 2022.
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