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Presidency Transmits Minimum Wage Bill to National Assembly

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Buhari on arrival from London
  • Presidency Transmits Minimum Wage Bill to National Assembly

The Presidency on Wednesday evening confirmed the transmission of the National Minimum Wage Bill to the National Assembly for necessary legislative actions.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang, disclosed this to one of our correspondents in Abuja.

The Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr Chris Ngige, had told reporters after the National Executive Council meeting that the bill would be transmitted to the federal parliament before the close of work on Wednesday.

The legislation was not received before both chambers adjourned plenary on Wednesday afternoon because none of the presiding officers mentioned it.

But in a telephone interview with one of our correspondents around 8pm on Wednesday, Enang said, “I can confirm to you that the bill on minimum wage was transmitted to the National Assembly this evening.”

The letter, informing the federal lawmakers of the bill’s transmission would be read on the floor of both chambers on Thursday (today).

There are strong indications that the legislation may not be attended to until after the general elections as the federal lawmakers would proceed on a short vacation on Thursday (today).

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Foreign and Local debts, Senator Shehu Sani, told one of our correspondents on Wednesday that the bill would wait till after the elections.

He said, “There is no way we could attend to the minimum wage bill as well as the 2019 budget until after the general elections.”

Meanwhile, the President, Nigeria Labour Congress, Ayuba Wabba, has lamented that the minimum wage can barely provide basic necessities of life for workers in many parts of the world, noting that one per cent of the world population now controls half of global wealth.

Wabba made this known on Wednesday in the address he delivered at the 18th Congress of the Italian General Confederation of Labour.

He addressed the assembly in Italy as the president of the International Trade Union Confederation.

A copy of the address was made available to one of our correspondents in Abuja by the NLC’s Head of Information and Public Affairs, Benson Upah.

He said, “In my own country, we face poverty, conflict, insecurity and corruption. Many of our people flee the place they were born to seek a better life in Europe, and are all too often turned away at gunpoint, prevented from landing, treated with utter disrespect.

“Fundamental rights are under attack in many countries. The levers of the global economy are in the wrong hands. The global economic system and current model of globalisation disproportionately benefit capital owners. The consequences for billions of people are poverty, insecurity and the loss of hope and trust. Given paucity of investments to produce a recovery that benefits workers, the workers and their unions are extremely challenged.”

“Our rights to bargain collectively, the right to strike, even freedom of association are under attack by greedy employers and governments who put profit before people.

“Inequality is at historic levels and wages are not keeping pace. Some 84 per cent of the world’s people say minimum wage is not enough to live on. More than 70 per cent of the world’s people have little or no social protection. All of these go side by side with the consequences of technology and the further erosion of direct employment and decent work.”

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.

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Economy

World Bank Lauds Kogi’s 2020 Financial Statement

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The World Bank has heaped praise on the Government of Kogi State concerning the state’s audited financial statement for 2020. The financial institution was said to have described the financial report as a standard to look up to concerning transparency and accountability in the public sector.

In a statement which was dated November 21, 2021 it was said that the bank made the commendation in a letter which was sent to the Accountant General of the state.

As said in the statement, the letter which was taken by the Kogi State Accountant General on November 2025 was signed by Deborah Hannah Isser, the Task Team Leader of the States Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability Programme (SFTAS), Nigeria Country Office, Western and Central African Region.

SFTAS is a $750 million programme which has been set up to reward states for meeting any or every one of the indicators which demonstrate improvements in fiscal transparency, sustainability and accountability.

The indicators, which are nine in number were a byproduct of the former Fiscal Sustainability Plan of the federal government where States would be rewarded for meeting up to 22 targets.

The World Bank had previously backed the federal government to give incentives to the states in order to properly execute the 22-point Fiscal Sustainability Plan, which has now gone under a revamp as the nine Disbursement Linked Indicators under SFTAS.

Some of the criteria on which judgement will be based on are: improvement in financial reporting and budget reliability, improved cash management, increased openness, citizen participation in the budget process, reduced revenue leakages through the execution of State Treasury Single Account (TSA), a strengthened Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) collection, biometric registration and Bank Verification Number (BVN) used to reduce payroll fraud.

The World Bank commended the Kogi State government for preparing its audited financial statements in line with the basis of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards.

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Nigeria’s Rigid Forex Policy Discouraging Investors, Fueling Inflation – World Bank

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The World Bank has blamed the Central Bank of Nigeria’s rigid forex policy for the drop in Nigeria’s capital importation and rising inflation rate.

The bank disclosed in its November report, Nigeria Development Update.

Explaining modalities for its position, the World Bank stated that there had been constant pressure on the Nigerian Naira with the current forex policy, forcing the central bank to consistently increase its nominal official exchange rate in an effort to ease some of the pressure.

This, it blamed on the rigid foreign exchange management system of the Central Bank of Nigeria, saying the system has also been responsible for the rising inflation rate in Nigeria.

The report read in part, “The government’s exchange rate management policies continue to discourage investment and fuel inflation. Exchange rate stability is a key CBN policy objective, and to preserve its external reserves the CBN continues to manage FX demand and limit the supply of FX to the market.

“Pressure on the naira remains intense, and while the CBN has raised the nominal official exchange rate three times since the start of the pandemic (by 15 per cent in March 2020, five per cent in August 2020, and seven per cent in May 2021), FX management remains too rigid to respond to external shocks. Meanwhile, exchange-rate management has emerged as one of the key drivers of inflation.”

The World Bank further stated that the central bank foreign exchange system needs to be more flexible to withstand external shocks, especially given Nigeria’s mono-product nature. It added that the NAFEX rate does not reflect the true market rate but the central bank managed rate.

It read in part, “While the CBN supplied an average of $2.5bn to the Investors and Exporters forex window in the months just prior to the COVID-19 crisis, it only supplied an average of $0.5bn in the months thereafter.

“The NAFEX rate, which is now the guiding exchange rate for the economy, continues to be managed and is not fully reflective of market conditions. The parallel market premium over the NAFEX rate reached 29 per cent in August 2021 after the CBN cut off its weekly supply of $20,000 per bureau de change. The CBN has intermittently supplied forex to BDCs since 2005, providing ample opportunities for currency round-tripping.”

The institution however advised that Nigeria adopt a more predictable, transparent and flexible foreign exchange management system in order to attract and sustain private investment flows.

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Nigeria’s Non-oil Revenue Now N1.15 Trillion – Minister of Finance

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Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, has said that Nigeria’s non-oil revenue is now N1.15 trillion, representing 15.7 percent above the country’s target. This, she claimed, was a result of the federal government’s efforts at diversifying the nation’s economy.

Mrs. Ahmed disclosed this at the Institute of Directors (IoD) 2021 Annual Directors Conference which was held on Wednesday in Abuja.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) the event with the theme: “Creating the Future: Deepening the Corporate Governance Practice through Multi-Sectoral and Multi-Generational Collaborations,” was meant to discuss economic development.

Mrs Ahmed added that the recent development was in line with President’s commitment to further diversifying the Nigerian economy which is heavily dependent on oil. She observed that Nigeria was showing resilience in recovery from recession from coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic which intensely affected global economies.

The minister said the federal government alongside the private sector had implemented a wide range of monetary measures to stimulate economic recovery, growth and development, job creation and improved standards of living.

She also explained that the government was doing everything to improve and diversify Nigeria’s revenue generation.

Nigeria was quickly able to exit recession and is on her way to path of sustainable growth and we are intensifying efforts to grow and diversify our revenue sources to grow revenue from the current 8 per cent.”

“Our non-oil revenues have grown to N1.15 trillion, representing 15.7 per cent above set target. We are working on the 2021 finance bill and it’s nearing completion. Also, the recent approval of the medium-term national development plan is an important milestone of Buhari’s commitment to delivering sustainable growth and we require strong support and monitoring during implementation,” she said.

Mrs Ahmed reinforced the government’s decision to do something about infrastructure and reduce the cost of production for businesses in the country.

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