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ODSG trains 350 enumerators on COVID-19 pandemic loan disbursement

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The Ondo State Government (ODSG) has started training no fewer than 350 enumerators that will be monitoring and inspecting those who will be given various loans meant to cushion the effects of COVID-19 pandemic under Nigeria-Cares (N-Cares) Project.

Mr Olatunji Ifabiyi, the Special Adviser on Commerce, Industry and Cooperative Services to the state governor, said this on Friday in Akure while declaring open the training.

Ifabiyi said that the project which would be funded by the Federal Government in collaboration with the state government is to mitigate the harshness of COVID-19 pandemic in various capacities and fields of the economy of the state.

Ifabiyi said that the N-Cares Project would alleviate the sufferings of the people and reduce poverty status in the state.

“Nigerian action response is a joint effort of both the World Bank and the Federal Government in collaboration with the state government to cushion the effects of COVID-19 pandemic in our economy.

“This could not have been possible without the involvement of President Muhammadu Buhari, Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu and the state Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget.

“I also appreciate the present administration in the state for leaving no stone unturned in ensuring full recovery of the economy with intervention that involves sustaining and re-energising old industries and developing new ones,” he said.

He urged the enumerators to pay attention to their trainers so that they would be able to perform creditably well when they get to the fields in order to revitalise Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the state.

The special adviser assured the Federal Government that those that would benefit from the loan would adhere strictly to the repayment agreements.

Also speaking, the state Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Mr Emmanuel Igbasan, explained that the purpose of the training is to enable the enumerators capture the remittances of those that would benefit from the N-Cares Project.

“They are capturing those that will be given money after being trained on how to use the Bank of Industry-empowered application.

“They are called N-Cares agents.  They will be managing everything that relates to the funds to be given out and monitoring the activities of beneficiaries,” he said.

Igbasan, who was represented by Mr Bunmi Alade, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, urged those that would benefit from the loan facilities to do things as expected, adding: “If we do it right, the more we will have.

In her remarks, Mrs Kosemani Kolawole, the Chairman of the Ondo State Micro Credit Agency (OSMA), explained that the project would capture MSMEs.

She said that the Federal Government’s gesture would ameliorate the effects of COVID-19 pandemic and boost economic activities in the state.

Kolawole noted that, “the enumerators are to go to the fields; help identify people, take their records and details and these will have great positive effects on our economy.”

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Economy

FX stability; CBN sells 122.671m dollars to 46 authorised dealers

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has sold the sum of 122,671 million dollars to 46 authorised dealers.

According to a statement issued by the apex bank’s Director in charge of Financial Markets, Dr Omolara Duke, the move is aimed at promoting stability as well as to reduce market volatility in the foreign exchange market.

Duke said that 67.5 million dollars of the total sale was sold to 27 authorised dealers, while the sum of 2.5 million was bought from one authorised dealer on July 10.

She said that the range of the bid for the July 10 sales was between N1,480 and N1,500 to the dollar, while the value date for the payments, going by the settlement cycle of two days was July 12.

“Similarly, on July 11, the sum of 55.171 million dollars was sold to 19 authorised dealers at N1,540 to the dollar.

“The value date for the payments of the spot sale is July 15,” she said.

She urged all authorised dealers to ensure that foreign exchange purchases from the CBN were used exclusively for trade-backed transactions, which should be reported within 72 hours.

Duke said that the CBN supplied FX to the market to improve liquidity through spot sales to authorised dealers using two-way quotes.

She assured that the CBN would continue to ensure stability in the FX market.

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Economy

RMAFC chairman charges Nigerians on knowledge acquisition

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By Matthew Denis

The Chairman of Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission, RMAFC, Muhammed Bello Shehu, has called on Nigerians to seek information about the activities of government agencies and organisations for a better understanding of the workings of the government.

He made the disclosure in a statement signed by Maryam Umar Yusuf
Head, Information and Public Relations and made available to NewsDirect on Friday.

The Chairman while addressing the students of Igbinedion University Okada, Benin City, who came on an excursion to the Commission.

Shehu, who was represented by Hajia Salamatu Muhammed Bala, a member representing Adamawa state on the board of the Commission, expressed happiness over the decision of the students to seek information concerning the activities of the organisation.

She said, “It is important to know what revenue mobilisation does on behalf of the country as the Commission carries out a lot of functions, but the most important one is to monitor accruals into the federation account. The RMAFC must know where these monies are coming from, how they are coming, and where these monies go when they come out of the federation account.”

The Chairman informed them that the Commission was very happy to receive them and gave them the assurance that some directors of the organisation were on hand to educate them further on the functions of the organisation. She underscored the need for Nigerians to have a robust understanding of the activities of government.

“We are very pleased to share our experiences with you, and I believe if we are able to do that often, we will have a common purpose, work towards it, and Nigeria will be better for it.”

On his part, the leader of the delegation professor Madu Magnus Emeka, disclosed that the purpose of the excursion was to enable the students to see what they learned in theory, to interact with the people and know the agency.

He said, “This visit is part of the university’s commitment to bridging the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical application in the field of public finance. In view of that, it has been the contention of the students to go outside Benin, particularly to Abuja, to have interface with some agencies, for which we have been highlighting their activities, functions and mission so as to have personal interaction with those agencies.”

The Director of Inland Revenue Mrs. Udodirim Okwongu, Gas and Investment, Mr. Peter Nyabiri, PRS, Dr. Rosetta Iyere, and the deputy director, Fiscal Efficiency, Mr. Ambrose Akhilome, took turns to enlighten the students about the Commission.

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Economy

Makinde urges states to focus on productivity to boost IGR

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Gov. Seyi Makinde of Oyo State has called on states to focus more on productive activities that can boost internally generated revenues.

Makinde, made the call while reacting to the Supreme Court judgment that granted financial autonomy to local governments.

The governor, while receiving the National President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Dr Chris Iziguzo, in his office at the secretariat, Agodi, Ibadan, said the Supreme Court judgment has nothing to do with Oyo State.

“Because since I came in, we have conducted local government election twice, and for one day after we held the first election, there’s been no caretaker anywhere.

“We planned and gave allowance for election process to go on smoothly. So, it’s not a big problem for us,” he said.

The governor, who lamented the inability of many of the local government areas to generate revenue outside of the federal allocation, said the focus of the country should be on how to increase productivity.

According to him, it is a big shame for this country that we cannot feed ourselves.

“We should go back to those things that will allow us to bring confidence back to our people and to ensure that this country is back on the path of growth and economic progress,” he said

He explained that the issue Nigeria have “is that we’re not producing enough, we’re not productive. Whatever it is that we’re sharing in Abuja, which is what this FAAC is all about, you want to have value for it, but our real problem is productivity.”

Iziguzo, during the visit, invested Makinde as the Grand Patron of NUJ, Oyo State Council, in recognition of his immense support to the union over the years.

NAN reports that in a landmark judgment on Thursday, the apex court ordered the Federal Government to immediately start the direct payment of local government funds to the latter’s exclusive accounts.

In its lead judgment read by Justice Emmanuel Agim, the apex court scolded the decades-long refusal of the state government on financial autonomy for local governments.

Justice Agim noted that the 774 local government councils in the country should manage their funds themselves.

He said only democratically elected local government administrations are entitled to these funds and not caretaker committees.

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