Kogi SSG reads riot act to political appointees, commissioners on revenue
The Secretary to Kogi State Government Dr. Folashade Arike Ayoade has read the riot act to Kogi Statecommissioners and political appointees to stop unnecessary lamentation on the lack of money to carry out their duties as she urged them to be proactive and use their initiatives by thinking out of the box.
Speaking at a Stakeholders meeting on revenue generation in Government House Lokoja over the weekend she asked other commissioners to emulate their counterpart at the ministry of Women Affairs Bolan let Ampitan who has been remitting the required percentage of revenue generated from her ministry on monthly bases to the Kogi State Internally Generated Revenue Services (KGIRS)
She said, “From the report from KGIRS the commissioner for women affairs has been trying her best in such away that she has been remitting the percentage they have generated on a monthly bases. “I want to charge the commissioners that are here openly. I want to meet with political office holders and enviroment commissioner on Monday by 4pm. But I want to charge you openly. Some of you will say you don’t have money to work, the same time they release impress to you is the same time they remitted to my office, is the same time they release to the commissioner for women affairs.
“Do you know what she does she extends her needs to NGO like ActionAid and other multilateral donor agencies. Most of the programs she embarks on are programs she does not need to wait for the State and that is why she generates revenue.”
She charged every other commissioner to emulate her adding that they have a lot of these donor agencies that can sponsor programs.
“Don’t wait until you recieve money from accountant general’s office.”
She expressed her disappointment with the Commissioner for culture and tourism who she said is doing doing enough to harness the potentials of the State in tourism.
She said she strolled down to Kogi Hotels that has been renovated and will commission on January 27th as the earlier commissioning that was done was somehow.
“I went to inspect what they were doing and I saw that there was a prison, the first prison in Northern Nigeria. I saw it for the first time, it is money lying fallow. KOGI is in the center of Nigeria saying that a lot of revenue can be gannered from the site as tourist attraction.
She said the Commissioner of tourism have a lot of work on his hand, adding that she will sit together one on one with him to analyze areas where the state can get money through tourism.
“There is national art gallery inside the same compound, we have the European cemetery, we have the first primary school, we have mount Pati. These tourist attractions are just lying there and they are not bringing money.
“I was in Isreal apart from the spiritual exercise they make money from tourism. This is what Kogi can get, commissioner for culture and and tourism I am interested in your own revenue. The two of us will will sit and work out these things.”
She said first she wants the State to put behind it the issue of salary arrears. “Honestly as we speak I make bold to tell you the Governor is not owing in this Government what we are owing is what we inherited from the former administration of Former Governor Wada. We inherited four months.
“Because Government is continous we must make sure we get it behind us.”
She announced that the State is going into biometric payments adding that the the biometric register will start being put to use this year.
However she said it would be only possible when they put they offset the backlog of salary arreahs.
She said the State cannot get enough money by relying on the revenue from the federal allocation alone.
“I was impressed with the Commissioner for youths and sports when PDP requested to use the Confluence Stadium and we told them to pay N500, 000 and he told me the money had been paid and remitted to the revenue account that is how it should be.
“The money should go straight to Government to coffers. The state law says the State KGIRS is with the mandate to collect revenue. Let them do their job.
She challenged the KGIRS to get more staff to collect these revenue.
She also advocated for the revenue service to introduce the scratch card that will show that citizens have paid their tax..
She said without it the State may not have money to pay salary.
He challenged the revenue service start something like that people would be encouraged to pay tax when they can flash their scratch card to show they have paid, which make them to have the sense of belonging in being part of develoIopment the State.
“If you motivate people to pay definitely they will pay. I want to charge the tax collectors not to be like Zacheus in the bible collecting what is he is not supposed to collect, you don’t need to do restitution do the right thing, stop over collecting, stop harassing people.”
She also charged them to always exhibit good public relations.
“There is a way you talk to people even if they are to pay N1 they will want to pay N10. Your approach should be good. In a situation they are to pay N1 and you are rude to them that N1 you would not get it.”
Emefiele insists, Cryptocuerrency is inimical to the economy
Emefiele insists Cryptocuerrency is inimical to the economy
***Cryptocurrency Used To Fund EndSARS Protest- ICPC
***It failed critical tests of vulnerability -NFIU
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Governor Godwin Emefiele has maintained his stance that Cryptocurrency is highly inimical to the Nigerian economy and could further weaken an already weak currency, the Naira.
According to Emefiele, Cryptocurrency is “money created out of thin air”, with the players untraceable and unknown.
In the same vein, Chairman of ICPC Professor Bolaji and the Nigerian Financial Intelligent Unit (NFIU) unanimously agreed that cryptocurrency is being used as channel for funding violence and terrorism in Nigeria.
They all spoke before the Senate joint committee on Banking and insurance, Capital market and Cybercrime.
The central Bank Governor Godwin Emeifele had been formerly invited to meet with the senate’s joint committee on Banking and insurance, Capital market and Cybercrime to give further explanation of the threats posed by cryptocurrency in Nigeria.
It would be recalled that the Senate last week directed the joint committee to schedule a meeting with the CBN Governor for further briefing on the controversy generated by the ban on cryptocurrency transactions in Nigeria.
In the letter to the CBN Governor, the chairman of the joint committee, senator Uba Sani directed that Emeifele bring not less than 40 hard copies of his deference to the joint committee.
Worried that the ban on use of Cryptocurrencies in Nigeria might hurt the economy, the Senate had summoned Emefiele to defend the Apex bank’s action.
According to the CBN Governor, “We know enough at this stage to decide that the opaque nature significantly threatens our transaction and as you know the CBN has the primary responsibility to protect the investment of every player in the space”, Emefiele said.
He said Cryptocurrency is used to describe the activities of players in the dark world where the transactions are opaque.
Explaining further he said, Cryptocurrency is used to facilitate scam and money laundering; adding that Nigeria has become the second in the use of Cryptocurrencies used in financing terrorism in the world.
“Our business is not a popularity contest but to protect uninformed players. The decision we have taken is in the best interest of every Nigerian who has nothing to hide.
“Transactions are extremely opaque, they are dark, they are not visible and they are not transparent.
“In another parlance, this are people who do not want a trail but indeed by its nature cannot be trailed.
“These definition alone are scary enough to create anxiety on any regulator or SEC or Central Banking any part of the world.
“That is the reason virtually all regulators in the World are weary to recognize it. Since Nigerians delved into it’s usage, we have been studying it’s development and paying close attention to currencies n that space.
“Now, we know enough at this stage to decide that the continuation of these opaque activities significantly threatens the safety and soundness of our financial independence and like you know.
“The CBN has as it’s nature all responsibility as the primary regulator to protect the activities all actors and stakeholders and particularly the uninformed actors in that space.
“For the financial system, all actors who may want to take advantage of their knowledge otherwise to reap where others of the uninformed loss.
“That is the reason we have asked all banks to resist, desist, and, indeed desist from operating account of cryptocurrency dealers in Nigeria.
“For avoidance of doubt we have asked our banking supervision, our payment system and our IT department to carryout a thorough investigation through the activities of current exchanges and their major players.
“The result of their investigation will lead to better understanding of their activities and maybe unveiled to all in due course.
However, he said they know that Cryptocurrency has been used to facilitate scams which are popularly called 419 transactions that have been known to facilitate money laundering.
“It has been known to facilitate an avenue through which kidnappers receive ransoms and they have been known to be instruments that have been used to finance terrorism, not just in Nigeria but in different parts of the world where these have thrived.
“That is why sometimes we wonder from Data available that Nigeria comes second in the world.
“Most of us are prodding the fact that Nigeria comes second in the world with the use of a tools that facilitates scam and 419: We come second in the world with the use of tool that are used to finance terrorism.
“Let me state that this decision is in the best interest of every well meaning Nigeria who have nothing to hide and is happy to have traceable and transparent dealings in our financial system
“I do not know how many of you may have heard that the international monetary Funds, the US the United Kingdom, Europe agree with us and highlighted that a vast majority of Central Bank around the World have taken the same position as we have done in Nigeria
The Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Commission (ICPC), Bolaji Owasanoye said EndSARS protest was largely financed by cryptocurrency; and an indication that it could be used to fund Insurgency.
This was as the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit(NFIU), said his agency averted a $3million fraud linked to twenty bank accounts.
The ICPC boss backed the position of the Central Bank; stressing that Cryptocurrency lends itself to money laundering and terrorism financing.
He further disclosed that the anti-graft agency currently has a number of cases linked to Cryptocurrency but is unable to track the suspects.
In kicking against Cryptocurrency, he reminded the Senate how in 2018 a number of globally rated financial institutions had their financial statements hacked with the perpetrators asking to be paid in Cryptocurrencies.
The ICPC Chairman said while the CBN as regulator has responsibility to ensure sound financial stability; it will be difficult to achieve in the case of Cryptocurrencies where the role players are unknown.
To drive home his point, he left the lawmakers with a warning to urgently take decisive action against Cryptocurrencies sharing with them the experience of the Indian Supreme Court and how it ruled and admitted that it “does not know what it is”.
In his own presentation, the Director/CEO, NFIU, Tukur Moddido kicked strongly against Cryptocurrencies; pointing out that it failed the critical tests of vulnerability and attendant risks.
According to Modibbo, the NFIU through its Cyber Intelligence stopped a scam of roughly $3 million.
Earlier, the Director-General of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Lamido Yuguda seems to have a more liberal stance toward the use of Cryptocurrencies when he said it should and can be regulated.
Without dismissing the fears expressed by the CBN, NFIU and ICPC, the SEC boss said his agency can develop an appropriate regulatory framework to protect investments in Cryptocurrencies and ensure the operators are duly registered.
North-Central Gold Processing Plant ‘ll stimulate economic growth – Hajiya Suleiman
North-Central Gold Processing Plant ‘ll stimulate economic growth – Hajiya Suleiman
Chairman of Kogi State Mineral Resources and Environmental Management Committee (MIREMCO), Hajiya Hassiat Ozavize Suleiman has projected that Kogi State will soon witness geometric economic growth as a result of establishment of North-Central Gold Processing plant in the state.
Hajiya Suleiman made this known today in Mopa/Muro Local Government Area of the state where the ground breaking ceremony for the establishment of the gold processing plant was performed by Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello.
The MIREMCO boss in an interactive session with newsmen also said that the inter state relationship created by the coming of this project will open up Kogi to the entire country and the world at large thereby making the Confluence State an investment hub of the nation.
Governor Yahaya Bello who was represented by the Honourable Commissioner for Information, Hon. Kingsley Fanwo described the event as epoch-making in the history of the Confluence State.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Dr Oluwatoyin Akinlade and her team who were warmly received by His Royal Highness Oba Julius Joledo, the Elulu of Mopa, met and interfacd with other royal fathers of the host community and local government stakeholders with a view to preparing their minds for establishment of the North-Central Gold Processing Plant in their locality.
In his contribution, Kogi State Commissioner for Solid Minerals appreciated the royal fathers for providing the land and the Permanent Secretary for being instrumental for establishment of the legacy project in the state. The Commissioner equally lauded Governor Yahaya Bello for his efforts and continuous support for solid minerals development in Kogi State.
The safety of the project was assured when the host Mopamuro Local Government Area chairman informed the Permanent Secretary of his readiness to provide security and enabling environment for prospectors and the entire populace.
The ground breaking event was witnessed by dignitaries including Kogi State ALGON Chairman and Executive Chairman of Ijumu Local Government Area, Hon Isa Taofiq, experts in mining sector and top government functionaries.
Consequently, a reception was held in honour of the Permanent Secretary, Dr Oluwatoyin Akinlade who was described as a daughter of the soil by youths and women of the community.
Solidaridad West Africa pledges support for divestment of Nigerian Economy
Solidaridad West Africa pledges support for divestment of Nigerian Economy
By Friday Idachaba
Solidaridad West Africa, a solution-oriented international Civil Society Organisation (CSO), has said it is ready to support Nigeria in divesting its economy from oil to Agriculture.
The organization said it will bring to bare its over 50-year experience in global Agricultural transformation to achieve the all important diversification of the nation’s economy.
Senior Climate Specialist, Africa and County Technical Lead, Nigeria for Solidaridad Network, West Africa, disclosed this at a two-day workshop on Thursday in Uyo, Akwa-Ibom.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the workshop is on National Initiative for Sustainable and Climate Smart Oil Palm Smallholders (NISCOPS) of Solidaridad West Africa in Nigeria (CSOs) and Media practitioners.
Ogallah said that there was need to divest from crude oil as the major foreign exchange earner for the country and focus on agriculture.
“We have a lot of youths. How do we feed the 200 million plus mouths in the country without Agriculture? So, the way to go is to leapfrog on what we are already doing in Solidaridad.
“We have over 50 years of experience. So, we can bring that to bear in the Agriculture sector in Nigeria on all the commodities like Cashew, Cocoa, Sesame and a lot more.
“In solidaridad, we are working on 13 commodities. Our intervention in Nigeria is also beyond the oil palm sector.
“Currently, we are implementing a horticulture project in Nigeria, fruits and vegetables in Kano and Kaduna, we are going into aquaculture in Ogun State and cocoa in Cross River.
“We did livestock intervention in Kano in 2019. So, you can imagine that of all these commodities our interventions are cross-cutting and Nigeria, the way forward is Agriculture,” Ogallah said.
On the workshop, he said that the event that drew stakeholders from Akwa-Ibom, Cross-Rivers, Enugu and Kogi States would enable experience sharing and stock taking of activities of the year 2020 and plan for the year 2021.
Also speaking, Mr Kene Onukwube, Programme Manager of NISCOPS Solidaridad Nigeria, said there was need for involvement of smallholder farmers, especially through Social Inclusion.
“In terms of social inclusion we are looking at women participation, youth participation and other vulnerable groups such as Persons Living With Disabilities and persons that are in the elderly class.
“We realised from our studies in 2019 that the population of oil palm farmers is highly skewed among the aged persons and youth participation has been very low.
“So, we increased sensitisation and awareness on the need for youths and women engagement in the oil palm sector”, he said. (NAN)
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