- Releasing Funds to Contractors Will End Recession
The Federal Government has said it is investing massively in road construction, public housing and other infrastructure as part of measures to take the country out of recession.
It said it had released funds for the payment of debts owed contractors, noting that this had led to the return of most of them to project sites and resulting in the re-engagement of workers who were earlier laid off.
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, who said this at the annual conference of the Quantity Surveyors Registration Board of Nigeria on Thursday in Abuja, noted that the Federal Government was committed to taking concrete measures to boost the sectors.
Fashola, who was represented by the Director, Quantity Surveyors in the ministry, Dickson Onoja, argued that a revitalised building and construction sector was capable of not only increasing the national infrastructure stock, but would also have huge multiplier effects, and in the process, create massive employment and wealth, thereby, boosting economic prosperity.
He said, “This administration, more than any other in recent times, has taken concrete measures to bridge the infrastructure deficit in Nigeria in the belief that the development of a nation’s infrastructure impacts positively on its economy.
“Government believes that massive government investment and expenditure in infrastructure is one sure way of quickly taking Nigeria out of recession. Government, has accordingly, voted massive funds for construction projects in the road and housing sectors. Funds have been released for the payment of debts owed contractors, which has seen the return of most of them to site, resulting in the re-engagement of workers who had earlier been laid off.
“Anyone who takes his or her time to go round the country at this time will notice that Federal Government’s construction projects have regained their momentum and the project sites are, once again, alive and thriving.”
The minister solicited the involvement of professionals, especially quantity surveyors, in the ongoing projects, noting that with the current downturn in government revenues, there was a need to ensure that the little funds available were efficiently utilised.
“The high cost of construction projects is a major challenge, which requires the skills and knowledge of quantity surveyors, as construction cost experts, to address,” Fashola stressed.
The President, QSRBN, Husaini Dikko, in his remarks, said the surveying professionals would intervene to minimise the cost of construction given the current economy situation in the country.
Dikko, while highlighting the negative impact of the current recession, said the nation might need to borrow heavily to balance its annual budget, especially the capital expenditure.
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.
President Buhari Names Railway Stations After Tinubu, Jonathan, Fashola, Others
Buhari Names Railway Stations After Prominent Nigerians
President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday named railway stations after Tinubu, Jonathan and other prominent Nigerians.
In a statement released through the Ministry of Transportation and signed by Eric Ojiekwe, Director, Press and Public Relations of the Ministry, the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, disclosed that the deserving citizens have contributed to the progress and development of their respective communities and the nation at large.
According to the statement, for the Lagos-Ibadan with extension to the Lagos Port Complex at Apapa railway station, the beneficiaries are:
Bola Ahmed Tinubu (Apapa station)
Mobolaji Johnson (Ebute Metta Station)
Babatunde Raji Fashola (Agege station),
Lateef Jakande (Agbado station) and
Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (Kajola station).
Others are Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti (Papalanto station)
Prof. Wole Soyinka (Abeokuta station),
Aremo Segun Osoba(Olodo station)
Chief Ladoka Akintola (Omio-Adio station)
Chief Obafemi Awolowo (Ibadan station)
and Chief Alex Ekwueme (Operation Control Centre)
For the Itakpe-Ajaokuta/Aladja-Warri Railway, the names are:
Alhaji Adamu Attah (Itakpe station)
Dr. Olushola Saraki (Ajaokuta station)
Admiral Augustus Aikhomu (Itogbo station)
Brigadier General George Innih (Agenebode station)
Anthony Eromosele Enahoro (Uromi station)
Chief Tom Ikimi (Ekehen station) and
Brig. Gen. Samuel Osaigbovo Ogbemudia (rtd) (Igbanke station)
Others according to the statement include:
Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (Agbor Station Complex)
Brigadier General David Ejoor (Abraka station)
Micheal Ibru (Opara station)
Alfred Rewane (Ujevwu station) and
Vice Admiral Mike Akhigbe (Railway Village, Agbor).
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