Finance Minister Reveals Plan To Develop Insurance Sector

financeThe Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, has promised to ensure that legislation that affect the nation’s insurance industry are treated as priority as a way of making the sector contribute meaningfully to the economy.

The Minister who spoke at meeting in Abuja said that the federal government remains resolute in making the insurance industry impact on the lives of the people.

She said, “If you look at any nation that has developed economically, they always have a very strong insurance industry. Wherever you have a good pool of funds, you will have infrastructure and you will have development. So insurance is absolutely critical. This review is long overdue.

“However, in the spirit of change, the new economy must be significantly different from the past.

“The new economy must be well diversified and protected from the destabilizing effect of oil price fluctuations and we believe we can grow the non oil sectors of the economy, particularly agriculture, solid minerals and manufacturing.”

She added that insurance would remain an important part of the plan, including funding “by providing funding for transactions in both public private partnerships and direct transactions”.

She said that they would also be providing risk management and providing the support that will actualise the plans to stimulate the economy.

The Commissioner for Insurance, Mr Mohammed Kari, added that plans were underway to introduce policies that will fast track development in the sector.

 

Nigeria Has Not Applied For Emergency Loans, Says Finance Minister

LoansThe Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, has refuted a report suggesting that Nigeria has applied for emergency loans from World Bank and African Development Bank (AFDB).

A statement made available by her Special Adviser on Media Matters, Mr Festus Akanbi, revealed that Nigeria did not apply for any emergency loan.

The statement quoted the Minister as saying “the truth is that Nigeria, as part of the plans to fund the 2016 budget currently undergoing the approval process of the National Assembly, has indicated an intention to borrow N1.8trillion principally for investment in capital projects to stimulate the economy”.

The Finance Minister said that the option of the World Bank is to ensure an optimum financing structure, noting that the 2016 budget is part of the medium-term economic framework of the Federal Government, which the World Bank is aware of.

According to her, the proposed budget deficit will be funded equally through external and domestic sources.

Nigeria is exploring the options of multilateral agencies like the World Bank and AFDB and export credit agencies such as China Exim Bank due to their concessionary interest rates.

Mrs Adeosun said that the need to invest in infrastructure to stimulate the economy and the long-term payback period of capital projects demands that lowest cost of fund be obtained.

“Nigeria, as a member of World Bank Group is entitled to access available funds like every member-country,” she said.

FEC Discusses Economic Growth In First Meeting

FEC-BuhariThe Federal Executive Council (FEC) says it is perfecting strategies towards plugging leakages in the Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

Briefing State House correspondents after the council meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, said the strategy which is the only item at the first meeting of the FEC in 2016, is aimed at fiscal growth of the economy.

Mrs Adeosun decried a situation where many agencies of government don’t remit revenues to the Federation Account.

She maintained that henceforth, MDAs must submit a budget which must be approved by the government to ensure that public monies in public agencies are well spent.

She said the objective is to ensure that every Naira of government is well utilized.

The Council observed that in the past, MDAs spend money without control.

The Minister of Finance also denied reports that the Federal Government has withdrawn the budget.

According to her an audit has been carried out on agencies that collect money in foreign currency, to ensure that such agencies comply with the extant rules.

Finance Minister Cancels Oil And Gas Pre-Shipment Tender Exercise

financeThe Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, has ordered the immediate cancellation of the tendering process for the engagement of Pre-Shipment Inspection and Monitoring Agents for Oil and Gas.

The decision was necessitated by the receipt of numerous complaints and a petition regarding alleged irregularities in the process, she said.

A statement by the spokesperson for the Ministry read: “In June 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari mandated the Federal Ministry of Finance, under the then Permanent Secretary, Mrs Anastasia Nwoabia, to commence the process of engaging Pre-Shipment Inspection and Monitoring Agents. Upon the approval of the Bureau of Public Procurement, a selective tendering process was initiated under which 65 companies were selected and invited to bid”.

However, since the inception of the process, numerous complaints were sent to the Federal Ministry of Finance, suggesting that the method by which the 65 companies were selected was faulty and lacked transparency.

Additionally, a formal petition was received by the Bureau of Public Procurement, making specific allegations about the process.

Under Public Procurement rules, the receipt of a formal petition requires a suspension of the tendering process to allow an investigation. However, in this instance, the Minister has taken the decision to cancel the process.

The Minister said that, “the sheer volume of complaints and the wide range of sources they emanated from, had raised a sufficient level of concern around the process to warrant a full cancellation rather than a suspension.

“This administration stands for transparency and accountability and it is therefore important that all procurement and tendering exercises must be undertaken in accordance with best practices”.

Pre-Ship Inspection of Oil and Gas Exports commenced in 2015 and requires a Clean Certificate of Inspection to be issued, confirming the volume and the value of all exports.

The programme is believed to have enhanced government revenues by preventing misstatement and understatement by exporters.

The Ministry of Finance stated that it was in consultation with the Bureau of Public Procurement to commence a new process and to ensure interim arrangements for service provision.

The Ministry further stated that details of the new process would be communicated shortly.

FAAC Meeting: N369 Billion Distributed For November

financeThe Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) has distributed the sum of  N369 billion to the Federal, State and Local Governments for the month of November.

Addressing newsmen in Abuja, the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, said that gross statutory revenue for the month which stood at N297 billion declined by over N102 billion compared with what was received in October.

She, however, promised that government is looking at ways of increasing revenues from the non-oil sector.

Petrol Scarcity: Independent Marketers Ask NNPC To Expand Supply

oil marketers and petrol scarcity IPMAN, NNPCThe Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has been asked to expand its petrol supply to independent marketers to cushion the effect of petrol shortage across the oil rich nation.

Members of the western zone of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) made the appeal on Thursday.

The association claimed the NNPC had limited the supply of petrol to major marketers alone.

Briefing reporters after its emergency meeting in Ilorin, the south-west zonal chairman of IPMAN, Mr Debo Ahmed, also called for the supply of fuel to most government depots in the zone which presently do not have fuel.

The meeting was held at its office in Ilorin on Thursday.

Mr Ahmed told reporters that the constant fuel scarcity was of great concern to his members and called for pumping of fuel to depots in the south-west especially Ilorin and Mosinmi to reduce the hardship on motorists.

He said that independent marketers had relied on other private deports for supply, a situation he stressed had negative impact, as the private deports sell above official price, thereby forcing independent markets to sell higher.

The members of IPMAN want to correct the situation by calling on the NNPC to pump fuel to government owned depots, as going to Lagos for loading has made the cost unbearable.

Commenting on the non-availability of kerosene, the IPMAN chairman announced that nearly one billion Naira had been paid to Warri refinery to load kerosene for the past 19 months, adding that the shutting down of the facility has been responsible for inability to load kerosene.

The association, however, pleaded for the transfer of their request for kerosene to Lagos in order to sell at official price and also reduce the shortage in the market.

In an attempt to end the scarcity of petrol across Nigeria, the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, on Wednesday confirmed the payment of 407.07 billion Naira for subsidy claims to oil marketers.

Mrs Adeosun said President Muhammadu Buhari had directed that payments be made immediately in order to bring to a quick end to the lingering fuel crisis which has caused great suffering to Nigerian families and businesses.

Few weeks ago, President Muhammadu Buhari submitted a supplementary budget that made provision for the payment of subsidy to oil markets. The budget has been approved by the National Assembly.

Fuel Scarcity: FG Approves N407bn For Subsidy

Fuel Scarcity: FG Approves 407bn Naira For SubsidyThe Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, has confirmed the payment of N407.07 billion for subsidy claims to oil marketers to end the lingering fuel situation in the country.

Mrs Adeosun said President Muhammadu Buhari had directed that payments be made immediately in order to bring to a quick end to the lingering fuel crisis which has caused great suffering to Nigerian families and businesses.

She also said that despite dwindling revenues, the Federal government is committed to ensuring continuous availability of fuel to Nigerians.

The payments include arrears from the 2014 financial year as well as payments for the current year.

It is expected that the recipients would ensure adequate supply of fuel to end the persistent fuel shortage in the nation.

The Minister implored the major oil marketers to reciprocate the action by doing all they can to bring the fuel scarcity to an end and promised to publish the approved payments under the subsidy scheme in the national dailies.

Finance Minister Launches Cost Cutting Programme

financeThe Minister of Finance in Nigeria, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, has inaugurated a government spending control team called ‘The Efficiency Unit’ (E-Unit).

Mrs Adeosun on Monday launched the programme to monitor and cut recurrent expenditure across Federal government ministries.

She said the Director at the Debt Management Office, Mrs Patricia Oniha, would be the leader of the unit.

The Efficiency Unit will also assist the government in identifying opportunities to reduce wasteful spending by public office holders, she said.

Best Possible Value For Money

According to the Finance Minister, “there is no amount of fiscal innovation and re-engineering that would deliver the desired results, if the way government funds are spent is left unchecked”.

She also directed the E-Unit team to concentrate on the daily recurrent expenditure of government, which she said had been dubiously inflated over the years.

President Muhammadu Buhari on November 25  approved the establishment of the E-Unit in the Federal Ministry of Finance.

According to the President, the principal objective of the Efficiency Unit is to ensure that all government expenditure are necessary and represent the best possible value for money.

Presently, the oil-rich nation’s recurrent expenditure completely dwarfs capital expenditure by a ratio of 84/16.

This includes non-wage related overhead expenditure such as travel costs, entertainment, events, printing, IT consumables and stationeries among others.

As at September 2015, the entire capital expenditure was just 194 billion Naira while overhead expenditure was 272 billion Naira.

FG Establishes Efficiency Unit To Cut Cost Of Governance

Muhammadu-Buhari-Nigeria-PresidentPresident Muhammadu Buhari has approved the establishment of an Efficiency Unit (E-UNIT) in the Federal Ministry of Finance to ensure effective management of Nigeria’s economy and reduce cost of governance.

The principal objective of the Efficiency Unit is to ensure that all government expenditure is necessary and represents the best possible value for money.

Presently, the oil-rich nation’s recurrent expenditure completely dwarfs capital expenditure by a ratio of 84/16.

This includes non-wage related overhead expenditure such as travel costs, entertainment, events, printing, IT consumables and stationeries among others.

As at September 2015, the entire capital expenditure was just 194 billion Naira while overhead expenditure was 272 billion Naira.

Eliminate Wasteful Spending

A statement by the Presidency said the scenario was considered unsustainable and at variance with the current administration’s resolve to reform the economy and reduce the cost of governance.

According to the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, the Efficiency Unit will undertake programmed reviews of all government overhead expenditure with a view to reducing wastage, promoting efficiency and ensuring quantifiable savings for the country.

“Specifically, the Efficiency Unit will work across all MDAs to identify and eliminate wasteful spending, duplication and other inefficiencies; identify best practices in procurement and financial management and share such knowledge to ensure its adoption.

“Findings of the Efficiency Unit will be formally communicated accordingly and will be enforced through establishment of expenditure guidelines, undertaking follow-up reviews, spot checks and other measures that will ultimately checkmate wastages across all areas of federal government expenditure,” she said.

Supervising Committee

Meanwhile, the Minister of Finance is to inaugurate the Supervising Committee for the establishment of the Efficiency Unit in Abuja on Monday, November 30, 2015 at 10 am.

The Committee, to be chaired by the Finance Minister, has members drawn from both public and private sector.

The Project Leader is Ms Patience Oniha, a highly experienced Banker and Chartered Accountant, with thirty (30) years experience in financial sector. She had worked with Ecobank Nigeria, Standard Chartered Bank, KPMG and is currently a Director in the Debt Management Office (DMO).

Other members of the Committee include Head of Service of the Federation, Accountant-General of the Federation, Auditor-General of the Federation and Director, Budget Office of the Federation. Members drawn from the private sector include Mr Kabir Mohammed, former ICAN President; Mr Kunle Elebute, (Partner KPMG) and Ms Seyi Kumapayi, Chief Financial Officer Access Bank.

Members of the Supervising Committee have agreed to donate their time without fee as their contribution to making government more efficient.

CBN Challenges Ogun Government On Financial Inclusion

CBN LogoTo effectively bring more residents of the state into the Financial Inclusion Index of Ogun State put at 49.0%, for economic development and progress, the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has challenged the State Government to further accelerate ways of reducing this figure to 20% in line with national target by 2020:20.

This challenge was given by the Head, Coordinating Office, Financial Inclusion Unit Development of the CBN, Mr Joseph Attah, during an advocacy and sensitization visit to the state on Financial Inclusion Strategy held at the Governor’s Office, Oke Mosan in Abeokuta.

This figure, said to be the highest in the South-West Nigeria, has, however, been rejected by the State Commissioner for Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun. She said that the figure did not represent the realities in the state and that various initiatives have been put in place by the State Government in this direction.

Ogun Finance, Works Commissioners Appear Before State House Of Assembly

The Ogun State Commissioner for Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun and her Works counterpart, Mr Lekan Adegbite, have appeared before the State House of Assembly to clarify issues on the proposed N19 billion loans being asked for by the State Government for developmental projects across the state.

The two commissioners had been invited by the committee to shed more light on the loans being proposed by the executive arm, as well as to ensure that due process was followed.

At the meeting, members seized the opportunity to ask questions on some issues bordering on the state finances and especially the repayment plans of the proposed loans.

While answering questions, the State Commissioner for Finance denied any deductions from Local Government funds as being rumoured in some quarters in the state, as she tried to give a clean bill of the state finances

The Commissioner also maintained that the loans would be channelled towards on-going developmental projects across the state.

She also took a swipe at the Federal Government on the bias over allocation of ecological funds to states, saying N300 million has so far been given to Ogun State.

The Commissioner for Works, however, maintained that international best practices are being observed in the award of contracts by the administration.

In the final analysis, the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Suraj Adekunbi, promised to give the necessary legislative backing to the loans request, to facilitate development in the state.