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Osinbajo says civil servant deserves their own homes

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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo
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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says every civil servant deserves to own a home as part of necessity to justify working and for better performance.

Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, in a statement on Friday, said the vice president spoke after receiving a briefing on the Federal Civil Service Strategy and Implementation Plan 2021-2025 at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The presentation was made by the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Dr Folashade Yemi-Esan.

The meeting is a presidential level briefing of the reform process of the Federal Civil Service which has been on since 2017.

The reform is being led by Steering and Implementation Committees with membership drawn from the public and private sectors with the engagement of development partners.

According to Osinbajo, there is need to do something bold and big that will make a difference.

“It is evident that perhaps, for the first time in a long time, some very serious attention is being paid to all of the various issues in our civil service.

“I think that we should really do something that is bold, big and that will really make the difference in order to address some of the issues especially that of accommodation for civil servants.

“We can do much more with mass housing; we have a target now of 300,000 houses under our Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP) social housing scheme.

“CBN has allocated N200 billion, but we have seen that we can provide mass housing, and we can make civil servants beneficiaries of the scheme.”

He said though the housing scheme was very modest, it was the kind of thing that could at least be done to begin to take into account, the fact that everybody who worked for the civil service deserves to live in their own home.

Osinbajo said that there must be a strategy for giving everybody a place to live in.

“It is a vital part of what we are trying to do; we must address it.

“A civil servant ought to be able to own a home, and justify to his family the reason why he went for the job,” he said.

Citing his experience while serving as Attorney General in Lagos State, Osinbajo said reforming the Lagos State Judiciary was done like fixing the welfare of federal civil servants. This was key to addressing challenges associated with productivity and corruption.

Yemi-Esan also presented a report on the implementation status of the Federal Civil Service Strategy Plan 2017-2021.

She identified staff welfare, particularly remuneration and housing, as areas that require better focus and urgent intervention by the Federal Government.

The head of service appealed for improved support, particularly in funding the implementation of successive strategy and implementation plans to overhaul the service for better productivity.

Yemi-Esan said the current reform in the Federal Civil Service had enabled government to save huge sums through the verification of personnel payroll and digitization of some operations, among others.

She said that her office would continue to lead the reform process as the 2021-2025 plan went forward to the Federal Executive Council for approval.

The meeting featured comments and observations on the proposed plan tabled on behalf of the Steering Committee, chaired by the Head of Service.

In attendance at the meeting were the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami, Ministers of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, and Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed.

Others were Ministers of State for Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem-Agba, and Works and Housing, Engr. Abubakar Aliyu.

The Special Adviser to the President on Economic Matters, Dr Adeyemi Dipeolu, development partners, World Bank officials and the President of the Africa Initiative for Governance, Mr Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede also attended the meeting. (NAN)

 

 

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Business & Economy

We Have No Magic Wand, Tackling Inflation Will Take Time — Cardoso

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Yemi Cardoso,CBN Governor
Yemi Cardoso,CBN Governor
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The Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Olayemi Cardoso has urged the citizens to be patient over the fight against current inflation and hike in food items in the country.

Cardoso disclosed this while briefing journalists at the end of the Monetary Policy Committee, MPC, meeting in Abuja.

The CBN governor mentioned that there was no magic needed to solve inflation in Nigeria but rather patience.

Also, Cardoso noted that despite pressure from food inflation, the general inflation rate was “moderating”, pointing out that “the tools the Central Bank is using are working”.

He stated, “I have several times and I will say again, there is no magic wand. These are things that need to take their time.

“I am pleased and confident that we are beginning to get some relief and in another couple of months we will see the more positive outcomes from the Central Bank have been doing.”

He added, “The committee thus reiterated several challenges confronting the effective moderation of food inflation to include rising costs of transportation of farm produce, infrastructure- related constraints along the line of distribution network, security challenges in some food producing areas, and exchange rate pass-through to domestic prices for imported food items.

“The MPC urged that more be done to address the security of farming communities to guarantee improved food production in these areas.

“Members further observed the recent volatility in the foreign exchange market, attributing this to seasonal demand, a reflection of the interplay between demand and supply in a freely functioning market system.”

The Central Bank of Nigeria has also blamed the recent volatility of the country’s foreign exchange market on seasonal demand for dollars.

“Members further observed the recent volatility in the foreign exchange market, attributing this to seasonal demand, a reflection of the interplay between demand and supply in a freely functioning market system,” a communique issued by the committee on Tuesday stated.

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Port Harcourt Refinery Begins Full Operations Next Month

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Port Harcourt Refinery
Port Harcourt Refinery
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The 210,000-barrel-per-day Port Harcourt refinery is expected to commence operations by the end of July, following multiple delays.

National Public Relations Officer of the Independent Marketers Association of Nigeria, Chief Ukadike Chinedu, revealed this new timeline on Monday. He noted that the refinery’s operation would boost economic activities, reduce petroleum product prices, and ensure an adequate supply.

In December last year, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Heineken Lokpobiri, announced the mechanical completion and flare start-off of the Port Harcourt refinery, the largest in the region.

The refinery consists of two units: an older plant with a 60,000-barrel-per-day capacity and a newer plant with a 150,000-barrel-per-day capacity. The refinery was shut down in March 2019 for the first phase of repairs after the government enlisted Italy’s Maire Tecnimont as a technical adviser and appointed oil major Eni as a technical adviser.

On March 15, 2024, NNPC Limited’s Group Chief Executive Officer, Mele Kyari, announced that the Port Harcourt refinery would begin operations in about two weeks. He made this statement during a press briefing following his appearance before the Senate Ad hoc committee investigating the various turnaround maintenance projects of the country’s refineries.

“We achieved mechanical completion in December,” Kyari stated. “We now have crude oil stocked in the refinery and are conducting regulatory compliance tests. The Port Harcourt refinery will start within two weeks.”

However, two months later, the refinery had yet to commence operations.

In an interview, IPMAN’s Ukadike emphasized that the work done on the refinery represented a complete overhaul rather than mere rehabilitation. He assured that every effort was being made to meet the July deadline.

Ukadike said, “When we visited, the MD informed us that the refinery was nearly ready and would start production by the end of July. The overhaul is extensive, with all the armoured cables replaced and everything almost brand new. The maintenance turnaround is massive, with work being done day and night. All hands are on deck to meet the target. By the end of July, the refinery should be operational.”

When asked about the government’s previous unfulfilled promises to restart the refinery, Ukadike acknowledged the delays but noted that no reasons were given for missing the last deadline in April

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CBN Halts 0.5% Cybersecurity Levy

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CBN Headquarters Abuja
CBN Headquarters Abuja
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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has withdrawn the circular directing banks to implement a 0.5 per cent cybersecurity levy on electronic transactions in the country.

The CBN announced this in a revised circular dated May 17, 2024.

The circular was addressed to commercial banks, Payment Service Providers (PSPs), non-interest, and merchant banks, among others.

It was signed by the CBN Director of Payment Systems Management, Chibuzor Efobi, and the Director of Financial Policy and Regulation Department, Haruna Mustafa.

The circular read: “The Central Bank of Nigeria circular dated May 6, 2024 (Ref: PSMD/DIR/PUB/LAB/017/004) on the above subject refers.

“Further to this, please be advised that the above-referenced circular is hereby withdrawn.”The withdrawal of the circular on the cybersecurity levy followed its suspension by President Bola Tinubu.

it would be recalls that Tinubu suspended the controversial cybersecurity levy on electronic transfers on May 14.

Minister of Information and National Orientation Mohammed Idris, who made this known while speaking to journalists after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, disclosed that Tinubu directed the CBN to suspend the implementation and review the modalities for the implementation of the levy.

Idris added that the levy was thoroughly discussed at the FEC meeting, saying the president was not oblivious to the feelings of Nigerians.

It would be recalled that CBN, in a circular dated May 6, directed banks to start charging a 0.5 per cent cybersecurity levy on all electronic transfers.

The apex bank stated that the deduction and collection of the cybersecurity levy is a sequel to the enactment of the Cybercrime (prohibition, prevention etc) Amendment Act of 2024.

This was greeted with wide condemnations by Nigerians, with many groups and individuals calling for the immediate reversal of the levy.

The House of Representatives also asked the CBN to withdraw the directive.

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