Nigeria Wins World Bank’s Youth Development Initiative
For the second successive year, Nigeria has won the Ideas for Action initiative, a youth competition on financing for development, which is yearly organised by the World Bank Group in collaboration with the Zicklin Center for Business Ethics Research.
Nigeria’s winning proposal, “Kitovu”, came out tops from among 743 proposals from 118 countries, while Uganda’s proposal of “Gifted Hands” and India’s proposal of “Agratam” were adjudged first and second runner ups in this year’s competition.
The World Bank’s Senior Vice President (The 2030 Development Agenda), Mahmoud Mohieldin, announced the results of the 2017 Ideas for Action initiative on Tuesday in Washington, during the annual meetings of World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
Mohieldin disclosed that the winners were selected through a vigorous three-stage selection process evaluating the creativity, significance, feasibility, and clarity of the proposals.
The reviewers, according to him, included young World Bank Group staff, technical experts and senior executives from the World Bank Group, Wharton School and the G-24 Secretariat, among others.
“The 2017 Ideas for Action competition encourages young people from around the world to develop and share their ideas for innovative approaches, through the smart use of technology, as well as financing solutions, to solve development challenges.
“It attracts engagement from young people across the globe, with about 38 per cent of submissions from Sub-Saharan African, 15 per cent from Latin American and the Caribbean, 13 per cent from South Asia, 12 per cent from East Asia and the Pacific, 12 per cent from North America, 8 per cent from Europe, and 2 per cent from the Middle East and North Africa,” said the World Bank’s senior officer.
In her remarks, the World Bank’s Director of Strategy and Operations, Africa Region, Ms. Mamta Murthi, reassured that the Bretton-wood institution would continue to promote and encourage the youth globally.
She noted that the youth remained the major stakeholders in the realization of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and its associated Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
She said, “We focus on youth for this competition because three billion people – 43 per cent of the world’s population – are under the age of 25. The world’s youth will implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, contributing their unique solutions and shaping their future and ours.
“The SDGs are a set of 17 global goals that seek to end poverty, promote peace, and preserve the planet for future generations, all by 2030.
“More ambitious than their predecessor, the Millennium Development Goals, the SDGs cover a broad range of interconnected issues, from ending hunger, promoting health, addressing inequality, creating jobs and sustainable economic growth to improving governance and addressing global challenges such as climate change.”
Nigeria’s winning proposal, Kitovu, is an innovative platform and system that matches fertilizer type and quantity, improved quality seeds, and other inputs to the right soil.
The proposal envisions a web- and mobile-based decentralised fertilizer and seedling warehousing system that matches the right inputs to different farm locations owned by small-holder farmers in distant locations so as to lower the cost of cultivation while ensuring increased yields.
Mr. Nwachinemere Emeka Obewe, who initiated the winning proposal, explained that the platform sought to create market access for smallholder farmers in distant locations by using a mix of web, mobile and SMS platforms to link farmers to processors, produce buyers, transporters, and other ecosystem stakeholders to tackle post-harvest losses and enable produce traceability while increasing farmer income.
Media & Communications to the Hon. Minister of Finance
FG RELEASED N336bn CAPITAL FUNDS TO MDAs IN FIRST QUARTER 2017
The Federal Government has, to date, released a total of Three Hundred and Thirty-Six Billion Naira (N336bn) from the 2017 Budget to Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) for funding of capital projects in the first quarter of 2017. The balance of N14bn is being processed, pending resolution of some formalities within the agencies concerned.
Power, Works and Housing received the largest allocation of N90 billion; followed by Defence and Security which got N71 billion; while Transport got N30 Billion. Furthermore, Agriculture received N30 Billion and Water Resources got N12Billion. Other sectors combined, received a total sum of N103 Billion.
Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun said the prioritization of the release of available funds was made in accordance with the objectives of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP). She said, in 2017, the Federal Government will continue to focus on capital expenditure spending on priority sectors to stimulate economic activities and job creation.
“Despite fiscal constraints, the Federal Government was able to fully cash-back the budgeted capital releases so far made, which is a reflection of the current administration’s commitment to economic development”, the Minister said.
MINISTER OF FINANCE SAYS FISCAL DISCIPLINE, RATIONAL ALLOCATION OF RESOURCES ARE VITAL FOR ECONOMIC GROWTH
Fiscal discipline, improved revenue generation, rational allocation and efficient use of resources must be imbibed every tier of Government in the country to return the economy to the path of sustainable growth and development.
Other efforts needed to put the country on sustainable growth include the refocusing attention on quality investment in the real sectors of the economy namely agriculture, manufacturing, mines and steel, as well as the promotion of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises as the critical contributors to the growth of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun stated this in a keynote address at a Retreat organized by the Federal Ministry of Finance in collaboration with the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) on the theme “Enhancing the Effectiveness of FAAC,” on Thursday in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. The Minister was represented at the event by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Finance, Dr. Mahmoud Isa-Dutse,
She stated that the economic reforms of the Federal Government have been geared towards wealth creation, employment generation, poverty reduction, development of the non-oil sector and value re-orientation.
“Programmes like the promotion of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMES), the initiation of N-Power and a number of others were designed to empower the citizenry, encourage private enterprises and change the way Government does business. It is my firm belief that the pursuit of economic diversification through promotion of private enterprises is one of the ways we can unlock the untapped socio-economic potentials for social progress, economic growth and national development,” Mrs. Adeosun said.
“I am happy to state here that the present Government is intensifying efforts in this direction and very soon the multiplier effect will become obvious,” she noted.
She explained that the Retreat, which was attended by all the Commissioners of Finance from the 36 States of the Federation and the Account-General of the States, came at a critical time when the country was combating a recession in the face of dwindling Government revenue.
“This Retreat is predicated on the need to provide a platform for participants to contribute to the on-going efforts to mitigate the shocks that the economy is currently experiencing as a result of the revenue shortfalls,” the Minister reiterated.
Mrs. Adeosun charged participants “to collectively come up with constructive ideas that will facilitate the implementation of the present government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), which is aimed at achieving sustained inclusive growth through structural transformation and diversification of the economy.”
The Minister stated that the three tiers of Government should apply the best international practice in Public financial management and emphasized: “We must block all observed loopholes and strengthen public financial management. While making frantic efforts to realize this, there is urgent need to reposition FAAC for enhanced performance through efficient management of accrued scarce resources for national development.“
In his speech, the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Deacon Udom Emmanuel, who was represented by his Deputy, Mr. Moses Ekpo, called for the review of the current Revenue Allocation Formula.
The Governor said: “Given our common experience about development in our country, our sharing formula should be weighted more towards the States and Local Government Councils than the practice today.”
The Governor said that Akwa Ibom has successfully become a major producer of tomatoes, onions and cassava in commercial quantity as a result of the efforts of his administration to diversify the economic base of the state.
“Our State has joined the league of others in the production of Cocoa, rice and other cash crops in commercial quantities,” he said.
FG INAUGURATES INVESTMENT AND SECURITIES TRIBUNAL
The federal government has reconstituted the Investment and Securities Tribunal (IST) as a practical step towards restoring investors’ confidence in the capital market and repositioning it to contribute positively to the country’s economy.
The Investment and Securities Tribunal was dissolved in compliance with the Federal Government’s directive on dissolution of Boards of Parastatals, Agencies, Institutions and Government owned Companies conveyed in circular Ref. No. SGF.19/S:18/XIX/964 dated 16th October, 2015.
The reconstitution and inauguration of the Investment and Securities Tribunal (IST) is expected to enhance its effectiveness and efficiency in handling the daily rising number of the new cases in the Capital Market.
The reconstituted ten-man Investment and Securities Tribunal (IST), which has Siaka Isaiah Idoko as the Chairman, was inaugurated on Tuesday by the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun
Other members are: Jude I. Udunni, Mr. Nosa Osemwengie, Abubakar A. Ahmad, Albert L. Otesile, Emeka Madubuike , Kasumi Garba Kurfi, Edward O. Ajayi , Onyemaechi E. M. Elujekor , Mamman Bukar Zargana.
Speaking at the inauguration, the Minister said the delay in reconstituting the Tribunal was to enable the Government carefully overhaul the system and ensure that credible, competent and experienced people are brought in to effect the desired change.
Mrs. Adeosun expressed confidence that the Tribunal would work assiduously to restore the confidence of the capital Market Operators and investing public which may have been dampened by the delay in dispensation of justice during the absence of the Tribunal.
“The Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) window is going to be rejuvenated to dispel fears and threats from both Capital Market operators and the investing public on issues that require declaratory orders by the Tribunal”, she said.
The Minister recalled that the former Chairman and members of the Tribunal were faced with the various challenges due to lack of corporate governance, mistrust and lack of cordial working relationship. She charged the new Tribunal to ensure harmonious and symbiotic working relationship with the members, management and staff in order to move the Tribunal forward seamlessly.
“The onus lies on the Chairman and all the Members to ensure that the IST effectively executes its adjudicatory functions in line with Government’s economic drive to improve the Capital Market attract international investors and generate revenue for the country”, she said
Speaking earlier, the Director of Home Finance Department in the Federal Ministry of Finance, Mrs. Olubunmi Siyanbola emphasized the importance of the Tribunal in government’s desire to take the capital market to higher heights. She expressed optimism that the caliber of people selected into the Tribunal will ensure that the task before the tribunal will be effectively handled.
In his response, the Chairman of the Tribunal, Mr. Siaka Isaiah Idoko, appreciated the Federal Government for finding them worthy to be appointed into the Tribunal. He said the members will work tirelessly to justify the confidence reposed on them and reposition the capital market.
The Investment and Securities Tribunal (IST) was established under Section 275 of the Investments and Securities Act (ISA), 2007 as a specialized Court with statutory responsibilities to adjudicate on matters relating to capital market disputes and ensure quick dispensation of justice.
FG RELEASES DETAILS OF ANOTHER PARIS CLUB REFUNDS MADE TO STATES
FG has released a State by State breakdown of another tranche of Paris Club refund of over-deductions on Paris Club, London Club Loans and Multilateral debts on the accounts of States and Local Governments (1995-2002) as contained in the table below:
S/NSTATEAMOUNT PAYABLE (NGN)
These payments which totalled N243, 795,465,195.20 were made to the 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory upon the approval of the President on May 4, 2017, in partial settlement of long-standing claims by State Governments relating to over-deductions from their Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) allocation for external debt service arising between 1995 and 2002.
The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun explained that these debt service deductions were in respect of the Paris Club, London Club and Multilateral debts of the FG and States. While Nigeria reached a final agreement for debt relief with the Paris Club in October 2005, some States had already been overcharged.
The funds were released to State Governments as part of the wider efforts to stimulate the economy and were specifically designed to support states in meeting salary and other obligations, thereby alleviating the challenges faced by workers. The releases were conditional upon a minimum of 75 per cent being applied to the payment of workers’ salaries and pensions for States that owe salaries and pension. The Federal Ministry of Finance is reviewing the impact of these releases on the level of arrears owed by State Governments.
A detailed report is being compiled for presentation to the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, as part of the process for approval for the release of any subsequent tranches.