FG to Spend N109bn On Four Roads, Hostel
The Federal Government on Wednesday approved different contracts on roads and others totalling N109.187bn.
The approvals for the contracts were parts of the decision reached at a virtual meeting of the Federal Executive Council presided over by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).
The contracts were approved based on the requests of the Ministry of Works and Housing as well as the Ministry of Education.
The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, told State House correspondents at the end of the meeting that his ministry submitted two memoranda for projects estimated to cost a total of N108.44bn.
He disclosed that the council approved an augmentation of existing contract by N25bn for the completion of the Enugu – Lokponta section of the Enugu – Port Harcourt Expressway.
He said, “The Ministry of Works and Housing presented two memoranda. The first one was to aid the completion of the Enugu – Lokponta section of the Enugu – Port Harcourt highway. It was an augmentation of existing contract by N25bn; the council approved that augmentation.
“The second memorandum was the award of three different roads. The first is Dikwa-Marte-Mungunu road for N60. 273bn and the Numan Road linking Borno and Adamawa for N15.527bn and the third is for Gombi-Biu linking Adamawa and Borno also for N7.643 bn.”
The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, said the FEC approved an agreement between the Kaduna Polytechnic and an investor to renovate 18 blocks of student hostels.
The contract, which is a 15-year concession at the cost of N744.26m is under a Renovate Operate, Maintain and Transfer arrangement.
He said, “It will take one year to construct the hostels, after which the contractor will run it for 15 years within which they will recover what they have sunk into the project.
“There are 18 blocks of hostels and each room in a block will house four students. The total number of students to be housed will be 4,032.”
COVID-19: World Bank to Support Nigerian Frontline Healthcare Workers With $114.28m
World Bank Strengthens Nigerian Response to COVID-19
The World Bank has once again approved another $114.28 million financing for Nigeria to improve its COVID-19 response time and further curb the spread of the virus in Africa’s most populous nation.
The multilateral financial institution said the money will help Africa’s largest economy prevent, detect and respond to the threat of ravaging COVID-19 better.
In a statement titled “Nigeria to boost states capacity for COVID-19 response” and released on Friday, the lender said the fund includes $100 million credit facility from the International Development Association and $14.28 million grant from the Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility.
The statement reads, “Through the COVID-19 preparedness and response project (CoPREP), the government of Nigeria will provide grants to 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory as immediate support to break the chain of COVID-19 local transmission and limit the spread of coronavirus through containment and mitigation strategies.”
The lender, however, stated that grants for states would be based on the adoption of COVID-19 measures and strategies. In particular, the strategies must be in line with the ones put in place by the Federal Government.
“CoPREP will enhance the institutional and operational capacity for disease detection through provision of technical expertise, coordination support, detection, diagnosis and case management efforts in all states and the FCT as per the WHO guidelines in the strategic response plan,” it stated.
The bank added that it would help the Federal Government in such response capacity through the training of frontline healthcare workers and provision of the necessary equipment to aid their work, strengthen public healthcare network for emergencies and generally improve their response efficiency.
Shubham Chaudhuri, the World Bank Country Director, Nigeria said, “Nigeria has ramped up its efforts to contain the COVID -19 outbreak, but more needs to be done at the state level, which are at the frontline of the response.”
Mismanagement of Public Funds and Resources Will Destroy Nigeria, Says Stakeholders
Some concerned stakeholders have said the broad-based financial misappropriation, abuse of public office by Public Officeholders and unchecked borrowing will destroy the nation’s present and future if not checked.
According to Auwal Musa, the Executive Director, CISLAC, who spoke at a stakeholders’ dialogue on ‘Policies, Gaps and Alternatives in Fiscal Transparency in Private Sector Governance,’ organised by Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), and Transparency International (TI), with support from OXFAM’s country office in Nigeria, abuse of power and financial recklessness as been going on for far too long.
Musa said, “This has been going on for too long, and every singular effort from the citizens is termed as hate or unpatriotic. Meanwhile, the consequences of this anomaly are staring us in the face on a daily basis and are on the increase. Increased poverty; banditry allegedly occasioned by rising unemployment; and unpatriotic citizens trooping into leadership positions to perpetuate the looting and misappropriation due to no oversight and punitive sanctions, not to mention health, infrastructure and societal decay. The list is inexhaustible.”
He also implored the Government that in order to reduce the excessive misuse of public resources, mismanagement of finances and strengthen the financial management system, the holes that encourage people to evade and undermine the collection of taxes must be bridged and in-depth economic improvement devised to close policy gaps.
“There are many areas in which the government can increase its revenue drive. For instance, in the Oil and Gas sector, there are a lot of gaps as a result of lack of a clear legal framework through the PIB, which will enable the sector to be more efficient, transparent and competitive. Again, the oil theft needs to be blocked; other areas like maritime revenue can be harnessed in these sectors.
“Also, the government should block the areas where revenues are supposed to be collected and are not collected. For instance, the audit report clearly shows how the government is losing revenue.” he said.
The stakeholders urge policymakers to look for other sources of revenue that can guarantee development in Nigeria.
Also, speaking at the event was the Programme Manager, Tax, Justice, Environment and Conservation of Nature, CISLAC, Chinedu Bassey, who said one of the reasons to strengthen the Nigerian financial management system is to stop people from stealing and mismanaging resources meant for development.
Iheme Madukairo, the Manager, Large Tax Audit, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), advised Nigerians who evade taxes to stop such act that the law will take its course.
He said “Enforcement is out there, sleeves are rolled up to do the job that we are mandated to do by the act and sooner or later, we will catch up with them. The sanctions have also increased by virtue of the finance act. The penalty has been increased, once it is found out that it is a deliberate act to breach the law, the law will take its course.”
Lai Mohammed Says Buhari Has Recovered Over N800bn in Looted Funds
Buhari Has Recovered Over N800bn in Looted Funds
President Muhammadu Buhari government has recovered over N800 billion looted by corrupt Nigerians since the beginning of this administration in 2015.
Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture, disclosed this on Tuesday at a press conference held in Abuja.
He said, “This administration’s fight against corruption is as strong as ever, and we have the records to back up this claim.
“This administration has recorded over 1,400 convictions, including high profile ones, and recovered funds in excess of N800bn, not to talk of forfeiture of ill-gotten properties.”
President Muhammadu Buhari has made recovery of Nigeria’s stolen assets one of his priorities since he became president in 2015.
Several of Nigeria’s untouchables have been convicted despite political experts and social commentators saying the war against corruption should not be only against opposition but also against those in the ruling party that seems to have been overlooked.
Still, the ruling party has insisted that members of the party have been convicted and one of such is Kalu.
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