Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State has asked the Federal Government to upwardly review the revenue allocation to states in order to improve economic growth and enhance industrialization in the country.
Governor Emmanuel made the call on Thursday when members of the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) visited him at Government House in Uyo.
He urged the team to reflect the major challenges of the states in their input and work towards its implementation to further assist states tackle pending financial issues.
The governor further appealed to the Federal Government to review the revenue allocation of the state to address the issue of population increase, marine security along the coastal lines, and erosion menace to reduce the burden on the state government.
“Honestly, the current sharing formula is not helping matters at all especially for us in the oil-producing areas. What you sign into law from the center is also a major problem. How can you say that a community will take only 3% of the proceeds of the NNPC? This is generating a lot of heat here but we are trying to manage that.
“So, I hope this won’t be a similar exercise and that what we contribute will be taken into consideration. What we should do is to build and unite the country, coordinate economic activities for our growth and for the interest of everybody so that we can live in peace. I welcome you to the state; be rest assured you will have all our cooperation and the exercise will go smoothly. Please, let it be an exercise that will yield success and not another fruitless labour,” the governor explained.
The governor regretted that the state does not receive revenue from its large gas reserve, and VAT from international oil companies (IOCs) operating in the state.
“Gas is a major issue; I can’t be a state that sits on the largest quantum of gas in this country and I am not getting anything. 36.1% of oil and gas reserve in Nigeria is in Akwa Ibom State and I am not getting anything from gas. So, how is it computed? There is something wrong somewhere; it is wrongly computed.
“These are raw data that can be verified anywhere. Now there is another controversy of VAT. All VAT from these IOCs, where are they paying them to? They are not paying them to us. So, there are many things you should look at and develop for the Federal Government. So, VAT from IOCs, from oil and gas should actually go to the states these things are produced,” the governor added.
In his remark, the RMAFC team leader and Federal Commissioner representing Akwa Ibom State, Sunday Ayang, stated that the visit was to sensitize people in the state on the review of sharing formula between the federal, state, and local governments. He noted that stakeholders will send in their inputs to capture grey areas.
According to Ayang, the constitution provides for the exercise to be carried out in five years to further improve revenue among the three tiers of government.
He noted that the team is working towards presenting memoranda before President Muhammadu Buhari for assessment and necessary actions.
ECOWAS Trade Promotion Organisation re-elects Dr. Ezra, as president
Dr. Ezra Yakusak, the Executive Director/CEO of Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), has been reelected as the President of ECOWAS Trade Promotion Organisations (TPOs) Network in Accra Ghana.
Dr. Yakusat, will serve another One-year tenure and will lead 15 other member ECOWAS countries in driving trade within the sub-region.
His re-election is also in line with Article 11 of the ECOWAS TPO Network. The ECOWAS Trade Promotion Organization is a network of all Trade Promotion Organizations in West Africa established by the decisions of Council of Ministers at the Ordinary Session.
Nigeria became the pioneer president in April 2021. Dr. Yakusat, became the president following the expiration of the tenure of Mr. Awolowo as ED/ CEO of NEPC.
A statement by the council said the re-election of Dr. Ezra was at the end of 2nd Annual General Meeting of the Network held at Alisa hotel, Accra, Ghana from 19th – 20th May, 2022.
He was re-elected along with the vice president, Mr. Ben Guy Mbangue from Cote’ D’ivoire.
The duo constitute the Executive Bureau of the Network and the tenure expires after one year. All members present unanimously re-elected the President and Vice President respectively.
World Bank projects Nigeria’s Diaspora remittances to increase in 2022
World Bank has projected Nigeria’s Diaspora remittance inflow to increase to $29bn in 2022 because of higher food prices and the continued adoption of official bank channels.
The bank said, migrants from the country are likely to send more money home to help with the hike in the prices of staples.
A report titled, ‘Migration and Development Brief (May 2022): A War in a Pandemic: Implications of the Ukraine crisis and COVID-19 on the global governance of migration and remittance flows,’ the bank stated that remittance flows to low and middle-income countries are expected to increase by 4.2 per cent to $630bn in 2022.
It said: “With risks weighted to the downside, there are several factors that support a view for continued—though more moderate—7.1 per cent gain inflows to Sub-Saharan Africa in 2022.
“Momentum for the use of official channels in Nigeria should sustain an uptrend in the year, within flows reaching $21bn.
“Though economic activity is likely to ease in the United States and Europe, fundamentals remain positive for continued gains in remittance flows to the remainder of Africa, as the influence of ‘altruistic’ motivations that were demonstrated in Africa and South Asia during the peak pandemic years will likely carry over to the period of sharp increases in staple food prices.”
The global bank further said remittance inflow to Sub-Saharan Africa was $49bn in 2021, with Nigerian contributing $19.2bn to the total inflow, adding that the use of informal channels to transfer money to the region caused a 28 per cent reduction in inflows in 2020.
“In 2022, remittance inflows are projected to grow by 7.1 per cent driven by continued shift to the use of official channels in Nigeria and higher food prices – migrants will likely send more money to home countries that are now suffering extraordinary increases in prices of staples,” the bank said.
The World Bank stated that the Naira-4-Dollar policy, which was an attempt to return remittance to formal channels, of the Central Bank of Nigeria helped boost inflows by 11.2 per cent in 2021, adding that the stabilisation of the naira against the dollar within a range of 410-415 per dollar over the last year also contributed to the pickup in recorded inflows.
It noted that the increased stability of the Naira and increased use of the e-Naira would help boost the nation’s chances of achieving $21bn in remittance for 2022.
Double trouble for Ahmed Idris: arrested by EFCC, suspended by Minister
The Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris has been directed to proceed on indefinite suspension over alleged laundering of N80 billion.
Idris, was suspended on Wednesday by Zainab Ahmed, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning.
In a letter dated May 18, 2022, the minister said the suspension “without pay” was to allow for “proper and unhindered investigation” in line with public service rules.
Ahmed Idris, was on Monday arrested by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC). over alleged diversion and laundering of N80 billion.
Wilson Uwajaren, Head of Media and Public Information of the EFCC, stated that verified intelligence reports showed that Idris raked off the funds through bogus consultancies and other illegal activities using proxies, family members and close associates.
Uwujaren added that the funds were laundered through real estate investments in Kano and in Abuja.
According to EFCC, Idris was arrested after he failed to honour invitations by the Commission to respond to issues connected to the fraudulent acts.
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