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TSA, BVN eliminating ghost workers in government – NITDA Boss

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Malam Kashifu Abdullahi, Director-General (DG), National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has said  the use of Treasury Single Account (TSA) and Bank Verification Number (BVN) have eliminated ghost workers on governments payroll.

Abdullahi revealed this during the 2021 Pre-Democracy day conference organised by the Global Integrity Crusade Network (GICN) in collaboration with Transparency Advocacy for Development Initiative (TADI) on Friday in Abuja.

The conference with the  theme: “Appraising the Impact of President Muhammadu Buhari’s Anti-Corruption Fight on the Nigerian Economy since 2015”  was attended by several CSOs, anti-corruption agencies among others.

Abdullahi represented by Dr Usman Abdullahi, Director IT Infrastructure Solution at NITDA, said the use of ICT had also helped the government save lots of funds and made the fight against corruption easier.

According to him, ICT is critical towards the fight against corruption by making tracking of activities easier, thereby enabling government to save billions of naira.

“The implementation of the Treasury Single Account, Bank Verification Number has helped government save billions of naira, eliminated ghost workers and made tracking and tracing of activities of government especially the fight against corruption easier.

“President Muhammadu Buhari’s agenda is fighting corruption, insecurity, facilitating and diversifying the economic and this has been majorly achieved with the use of ICT.

“Though corruption has not been eliminated completely, but it limits it and makes it transparent because transparency and accountability is put to use.

” So if there is a success story for this administration, it is the TSA because it has made substantial impact. If not because of TSA we wouldn’t be where we are today.

“We know the challenges we have as a country in terms of funds, particularly in government that is why the government is not able to do those things.

” So with the little money, government was able to save through TSA and a lot has been achieved,” he said.

Earlier, Dr Isa Pantami, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, highlighted the role ICT had played in curbing corruption in the country.

Pantami, represented by Dr Abimbola Alale, MD/CEO, Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited (NIGCOMSAT LTD) added that over N23 billion had been saved by the ministry on ICT projects under the current administration.

Also, Mr. Baba Ashiru,  Director, Public and Enlightenment Department at the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC),  said every individual in the country could participate in the fight against corruption.

Ashiru, represented by Mrs Kemebradikum Badejo, Head, Media and Events, ICPC noted  that Nigerians could be involved in the fight through any of its platforms based on their preference, specialties and qualifications.

“We have the Students Anti-Corruption cCubs meant for students in primary, secondary schools. Students Anti-Corruption Vanguard for tertiary institutions and the NYSC Anti-Corruption CDS Group.

” We also have the National Anti-Corruption Coalition meant for NGOs, CSOs, faith-based
organisations. Anti-Corruption and Transparency Monitory Unit meant for MDAs functioning like a mini-ICPC all in a bid to ensure a corruption free society,” he said.

In his welcome address, the Chairman, Board of Trustees and President of GICN, Edward Omaha, said the conference was convened to address the question of corruption as it affects the Nigerian economy.

Omaha said it also aimed at encouraging all to join hands in promoting good governance for sustainable development.

According to him, recent protests and uprisings in the country have sent clear messages that the people will no longer tolerate cynical and corrupt practices.

He said citizens had been demanding transformation of economic, legal and social structures indifferent to accountability.

“No doubt, corruption has disproportionately impacted women, children and the vulnerable, limiting their access to information and public resources.

“At the advent of Covid-19 pandemic, instances abound where inadequate oversight and or lack of transparency on the side of relevant Government Agencies led to the diversion of relief materials from those in need to warehouses or private residences.

“These corrupt acts when uncovered resulted in massive upheavals from citizens who felt cheated.

“Today’s Conference therefore, acknowledges the need for the government to restore public trust and faith in our social contract by taking concrete steps to eliminate corruption,” he said. (NAN)

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SON insist on international best practices, set-up committee to audit, certify education sector

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In ensuring that educational management system in the country deliver on their mandate of impacting knowledge and skills, the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) has inaugurated national technical committee for adoption and certification of education management standards.

At the inauguration in Abuja, Farouk Salim, Director General of SON, said one of the challenges facing Nigeria has been international standards both in products and services delivery, which is why the organisation is aligning to best international practice.

“One of SON mandate is to support all businesses in determining quality of products/services using ; standardization, certifications and quality assurance. As such our decision to adopt this international standard on educational organizations management system ISO 21001:2018 is apt at this time when we have opened our borders to all forms of trade with other African countries.

“It is important that we promote and sustain our learning institutions by ensuring that the services that are provided in our schools meet the needs of learners, promote equal opportunities for all students and earn the confidence and approval of learners’ sponsors in order to contribute their quota to national growth and development,” he said.

Salim, represented by Engr. Timothy Abner, Director Training services at the SON added that although government is doing a lot to upgrade the standard of products and the education sector, he however also noted there should be additional effort of adopting and establishing this international best practice will assist Nigeria to always deliver globally recognized services and products in different sectors of the economy.

The Committee is to draw up requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of educational organizations management systems.

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Senate summons CBN Governor over naira fall

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Senate in Session
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…proceeds on annual recess till Sept. 20 
The Senate, on Wednesday, resolved to summon the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, to educate and inform senators in a closed session on the reasons for the rapid depreciation of the value of the naira.
It also mandated the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions to assess the impact of CBN intervention funds meant to support critical sectors of the economy.
The resolutions were reached by lawmakers after the upper chamber considered a motion sponsored by Senator Olubunmi Adetunmbi (APC – Ekiti North).
The motion was entitled, “State of CBN Intervention Funds and Free Fall Of Naira.”
Coming under Order 41 and 51 of the Senate Standing Order, as amended, Adetunmbi bemoaned Nigeria’s economic reality amid an urgent call for “extraordinary measures”.
He noted that the CBN through its numerous multi-sectoral intervention funds, provided special funds to support critical sectors of the economy.
He explained that in view of such interventions, it had become necessary to assess the state of implementation and effectiveness of the funds deployed for the purpose.
The lawmaker, recalled that the CBN in 2021, placed an indefinite halt on forex bidding by Bureau de Change operators (BDCS) and importers over allegations of abuse and mismanagement.
He observed that the halt by the CBN resulted in a spike of the exchange rate.
According to Adetunmbi, “the two instruments of Personal Travel Allowance (PTA) and Business Travel Allowance (BTA) could only serve less than 20% of the total forex demand by travelers and businesses.”
He expressed worry that the import and export window meant to serve the forex needs of business giants, “has become a rare opportunity that only a privileged few can access.”
“These and a number of others have contributed to the excessive scarcity of forex in Nigeria today”, he added.
He noted that as at the 26th of July 2022 (yesterday), the exchange rate in the autonomous segment (BDCS) of the foreign exchange market is N670 to 1 United States Dollar and projected to end at N1000 by end of the year based on the current rate of depreciation.
He, therefore, advised the Central Bank to take new measures to curb forex scarcity and address the sliding rate of Naira exchange.
In his contribution, Senator Sani Musa (APC – Niger East), faulted the Central Bank’s decision to halt foreign exchange biddings, thereby cutting off the parallel market – Bureau de change operators.
According to him, the attempt by the CBN to control the value of the naira with the continuous exclusion of BDCs would only lead to its further depreciation.
He, therefore, advised the apex bank to rather ensure the regulation and monitoring of the parallel market.
“What CBN used to do was to give out $10,000 (USD) to each of these BDCs with a clear directive for it not to be sold above N470 as against the $419 exchange rate. It worked.
“But today, nobody is determining where the rate is going and I can assure you we can’t have that solution because we are only importing”, he said.
On his part, Senator representing Katsina North District, Senator Ahmad Babba-Kaita, said one way to improve the value of the naira was to encourage foreign investments to attract inflow of other currencies into Nigeria.
“The only way we can access the dollar will be determined by other economies and not ours”, he noted.
He, however, attributed the lack of foreign investments into Nigeria on the poor security situation caused by banditry, terrorism and other criminal activities.
The Senate, in its resolutions, called on the CBN to urgently intervene to stop the rapid decline in the value of the Naira vis-à-vis the Dollar and other international currencies.
It also mandated the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions to conduct an assessment of CBN intervention funds and the declining value of Naira to come up with sustainable solutions.
The Senate, at the end of Wednesday’s proceedings, adjourned plenary till September 20th, 2022, for its annual recess.
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Buhari seeks Senate’s nod on four re-appointed nominees as Directors of CBN board

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CBN Headquarters Abuja
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The Senate, on Tuesday, received a request from President Muhammadu Buhari, to confirm the re-appointment of four nominees as Non-Executive Directors of the Board of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The request was contained in a latter dated 21st July, 2022, and read at the start of plenary by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan.

The President, in the letter, explained that the request to confirm the nominees was made in accordance with Section 10(3)(a) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (Establishment) Act 2007.

The nominees for confirmation include: Prof. Mike Idiahi Obadan (South South), Prof. Justitia Odinakachukwu Nnabuko (South East), Prof. Ummu Ahmed Jalingo (North East), and Mr. Adeola Adetunji (South West).

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