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FG targets $5bn from outsourcing industry in 2024

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By Seun Ibiyemi

The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) on Wednesday in Abuja said that Nigeria targets five billion dollars from the outsourcing industry in 2024.

The Executive Director of NEPC, Dr Ezra Yakusak said this at the National Conference on International Trade-in-Service organised by the council, on Wednesday in Abuja.

According to Yakusak, the outsourcing industry has the capacity to boost human capital, drive the economy and bring about emerging technologies.

He said that some of the services outsourced are financial, advertising, courier, customer support services, logistics, etc.

“In recent years, Nigeria has become an increasingly attractive destination for outsourcing, particularly in areas of call center operations, software development and back office support.

“The country’s high population and relatively low labour cost, favourable time zone, and English proficiency make it an appealing location for business seekers to outsource certain tasks or functions,’’ he said.

According to him, Nigeria is moving gradually and focusing more on export of services because it is an area that has been neglected for a long time.

He said it is a sector where the country could get high revenue exchange earnings.

“It has so much potential but if our services sector is well harnessed we can earn more than the $4.8 billion we are earning from our products.

“We are looking at five billion dollars in 2024,’’ he said.

Yakusak said trade in services had emerged as the driving force that shapes the global economic landscape of countries.

“In essence, the future of global trade is services,’’ he said.

Also speaking, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investments, Dr Evelyn Ngige said that outsourcing, particularly in the field of information technology-enabled services revolutionised the global business landscape.

Represented by Mr Suleiman Audu, Director of Trade in the ministry, Ngige said that the sector transcended geographical boundaries and enabled organisations to leverage expertise.

She added that it reduced costs and improved efficiency by tapping into talent pools around the world.

“Nigeria, with its immense human capital, has the inherent potential to become a leading player in this transformative industry.

“The country boasts of a large pool of educated and skilled professionals, including an English-speaking workforce, which is advantageous for English-language outsourcing services.

“Nigeria has seen growth in areas such as call centres, data entry, software development, and content moderation,’’ Ngige said.

She said that to harness opportunities presented by outsourcing and ITES, Nigeria must adopt a multi-faceted approach that encompasses several key areas.

Ngige emphasised that it was essential to create a competitive location and conducive business environment to the growth of the outsourcing industry.

“This involves implementing policies that create a favorable business climate, ensuring ease of doing business, and providing a level playing field for both local and international players.

“We must streamline bureaucratic processes, simplify regulatory frameworks and offer attractive incentives to investors and businesses seeking to establish or expand their operations in Nigeria,’’ Ngige said.

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Business

NDIC sustains fight against corruption with inauguration of ‘Anti-corruption & transparency unit’

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By Seun Ibiyemi

The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) has inaugurated its Anti-corruption & Transparency Unit.

“NDIC has a culture of zero tolerance for corruption, which is further strengthened by its core values of Teamwork, Respect and Fairness, Integrity, Professionalism, and Passion,” said MD/CE, NDIC Mr. Bello Hassan.

He was represented by NDIC Executive Director, Operations Mr. Mustapha M. Ibrahim during the inauguration of the Corporation’s Anti-Corruption and Transparency Unit (ACTU) by officials of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commi ssion (ICPC) at the NDIC headquarters in Abuja.

He said, the NDIC ACTU has strengthened the Corporation’s operational system through the implementation of various compliance measures to ensure ethics, integrity, transparency and accountability in the workplace.

He explained that the specific measures include robust Internal Controls, regular Risk Assessments, strict adherence to regulatory guidelines, and comprehensive training programs for employees.

Mr. Hassan described the inauguration as a significant step in the Corporation’s ongoing commitment in the fight against corruption and enhance transparency. He emphasised that NDIC Management remains committed to supporting ACTU activities, recognising the unit’s critical role in ensuring the Corporation’s operations are conducted with integrity, free from corruption, and fostering public trust.

The ICPC Chairman, Dr. Musa Adamu Aliyu who was represented by ICPC Acting Director System Study and Review, Mr. Olusegun Adigun, praised NDIC Management for their dedication and active support in establishing and advancing the activities of the ACTU to address corruption issues and foster ethical practices.

He applauded the efficiency and diligence of the NDIC ACTU in fulfilling its mandate, resulting in the Corporation retaining the first position for two consecutive years on the annual ICPC Ethics and Integrity Compliance Scorecard.

He urged the new ACTU members to see their nomination as an opportunity to build on the good legacies of the previous members and to complement Management’s efforts in promoting the core valu es of the Corporation through their assigned duties.

He stressed the need for the NDIC Management to sustain its commitment and support to ACTU so that the Unit can perform optimally and remain a veritable tool in embedding laid down ethical standards amongst staff and sustaining a positive image for the Corporation.

Ten (10) members of staff were sworn in as members of the NDIC ACTU during the inauguration. Their key functions include annual sensitisation of staff against corruption; Conduct of System Study & Review and Corruption Risk Assessment to strengthen internal systems; monitoring budget implementation of the Corporation, co ordinating whistleblowing platforms, identifying and rewarding outstanding members of staff amongst other responsibilities.

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IPMAN hinges erratic petrol availability on allocation issues from NNPC 

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The Independent Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) says petrol availability has been erratic because of the small allocation currently allotted to its members by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

IPMAN National Vice-President, Alhaji Hammed Fasola, disclosed this in an interview with journalists in Ibadan on Tuesday.

Fasola said the allocation issue has led to haphazard operations by its members, who now buy from third parties (private depot owners) at prices they can no longer afford.

According to him, NNPC has been the one bringing the product to the country and sharing it with major marketers until the involvement of the private depot owners.

He added that there had been a shortfall in the supply of the product because NNPC would naturally supply its retail outlets first.

“That is why you see a kind of on-and-off situation from the independent marketers’ filling stations.

“We still get some trucks directly, but very inadequate to the number of marketers we have.

“We are waiting for when the product will be available, especially through NNPC depots, the Port Harcourt refinery, and by the time Dangote comes up with its petrol, that is PMS.

“We believe that all these problems will be solved,” he said.

However, he said the association would continue to engage NNPC because it had been a long-term partner.

 ”We are very positive that when things come to normal, they will be giving us our due allocation,” he said.

On the issue of subsidy, Fasola said he believed there was no more fuel subsidy because the government had said so.

Many filling stations are not selling due to the unavailability of the commodity.

Others, who open for business intermittently, sell between N620 per litre to N700 with NNPC retail outlets selling at the official rate but with long queues.

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Finance Ministry launches digital incentives, evaluation platform 

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By Matthew Denis

In a significant advancement to streamline fiscal management, the Honourable Minister of Finance and the Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Mr Wale Edun has announced the integration of the Incentive Monitoring and Evaluation Platform (IMEP) into the Import Duty Exemption Certificate (IDEC) programme, thereby allowing for enhanced monitoring and evaluation.

This is contained in a statement signed by Mohammed Manga Director, Information & Public Relations of Federal Ministry of Finance and made available to NewsDirect on Tuesday.

“The IDEC programme strategically reduces import duty burdens for priority sectors such as manufacturing, agriculture, and healthcare, stimulating economic growth and national development.”

The statement stressed that integrated into the IDEC framework, the newly launched IMEP ensures that only eligible entities benefit, rigorously enforcing compliance and optimising tax expenditures to reduce waste, block leakages and enhance economic equity.

“Key features of the IMEP include an automated claw-back mechanism for recouping waivers from defaulters, real-time e-report generation and a centralised database that enhances the efficiency of our verification processes.

“IMEP aims to ensure that tax incentives are rationalised to deliver maximum economic impact, aligning with the government’s commitment to reducing waste, blocking leakages, and fostering a robust and equitable economic environment. IMEP’s precise monitoring capabilities will significantly enhance the strategic allocation of exemptions and support the government’s objective to  ultimately reduce tax expenditures.”

To acquaint all stakeholders with the upgraded IDEC framework, the Ministry of Finance will host a webinar on April 25th, 2024, by 12 noon (WAT). Key industry participants, including manufacturers, importers, and representatives from MDAs and NGOs, have been invited to engage in this session to understand the enhanced features and benefits of the IMEP. Details for the webinar will be available on the Ministry of Finance’s official website and the IDEC YouTube channel.

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