….Even as Intersociety describes Wike’s Administration as one of the Most Wicked in the Annals of Governance in Nigeria
…Commends Amaechi for His Discipline and Probity in Fiscal Responsibility During His Days in Public Service
At the formal launch of its report on fiscal accountability amongst states, the Institute of Chattered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) said Rivers State under Gov. Nyesom Wike, recorded the poorest performance and emerged the least transparent in the country based on the 2020/21 Accountability Index conducted by the institute.
The report which covered the 36 states and the Federal Government of Nigeria- FGN says ICAN Accountability Index which consists of 5 Pillars, 25 Indicators and 70 Dimensions adapts the Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability Framework and seriously considers the public finance peculiarities of emerging economies to promote efficient public financial management in the country.
From the records, Jigawa State topped the list with a score of 75.1%, ranking number one in the country in the 2020 and 2021 report while Kaduna, Bauchi and Edo came second, third and forth with 74.7%, 74.3% and 73.5% respectively.
According to ICAN President, Tijani Musa Isa, the federal government of Nigeria ranked 23rd most accountable state with 39.6% performance while Rivers State had the poorest performance with 20.4%, ranking 37th, the last on the list.
Reacting to the report, chieftain of the All Progressives Congress and erstwhile National Publicity Secretary of the defunct New People’s Democratic Party (nPDP), Chief Eze Chukwumeka Eze says the fresh expose by the governing body of Accounting professionals in the country validates wide reports of wanton looting and misappropriation of public funds brought to fore through intensive investigations conducted into the licentious and corrupt culture of shameless profligacy that played out under the administration of former Gov. Wike.
In a statement made available to media houses, the party Chief said having regard to recognized standards and norms of democracy and service to the people, ex-Gov. Wike was grossly clueless about what governance from a decent perspective entails and as a result, his posture on the subject as Governor was gravely unrefined at a gross and maniacally deficient in civility and decency.
Eze said he shouted himself hoarse over the whirlwind of official corruption in the Rivers State Government which remained unchecked and kept progressing steadily at a galloping pace, yet those whose responsibility it is to investigate revelations of the sort paid no heed to the disturbing results of his systematic inquiry and at some point, his expository pieces against the state government were tagged scatological impropriety in a bid to restrain his voice but such fictitious imputation only amplified his tone.
The trend of shrouding the annual budget of the state in secrecy had been a helpless practice customary to the Wike administration since 2015 when he became Governor and his acts of prodigality, fanfare of squander mania, looting, spendthrift and all other forms of mismanagement of which he is guilty were anchored on this wrong practice of shielding the state’s fiscal policy from the public to cover-up his dishonesties and evade scrutiny.
For society to grow, especially the Nigerian clime, it must dispense with individuals like Wike with very little or no sense of fiscal responsibility who prides in 10 over-blotted overhead bridges as legacy projects in this modern era when others built sustainable investments, embraced technologies and prepared their citizens to braze-up to the future through relevant skills and modern education. Such a morally bankrupt and flawed character constituted a clog on the wheel of progress and an unparalleled liability to society and should be swept into the trash-can of history.
The cost of one of Wike’s 200 meters overhead bridge in Rivers State is five times the cost of the three-tier modern flyover with an underpass/tunnel built by former Gov. Ganduje in Kano.
Adding credence to Chief Eze’s reports, the International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety) just listed former Gov. Wike’s administration amongst four other States as the most wicked in the annals of governance in Nigeria.
Reeling out the roll call in a statement signed by Emeka Umeagbalasi, Board Chairman, Intersociety, Chidinma Udegbunam, Esquire, Head of Publicity and Ositadinma Agu, Head of Int’l Contacts and Mobilization on Tuesday, the group said Rivers State under Nyesom Wike is identified as most atrocious sub-national entity governments in Nigeria.
Eze in his book on Amaechi recalled how Amaechi utilized Rivers State finances
To demonstrate the seriousness of Amaechi’s careful management of the resources of Rivers State unlike Chief Nyesom Wike, initiated and signed into law, Road Maintenance and Rehabilitation Agency Bill No. 3 of 2008; Sustainable Development Amendment Bill No. 1 of 2008; Procurement Public Bill, Saving Public Fund Bill, and even a bill excluding the office of the governor from signing and awarding of contracts.
In this regard, Amaechi, highlighted “In order to lay a strong foundation for positive change in governance in the state, the administration has taken it upon itself to initiate very critical bills on fiscal responsibility to the State House of Assembly and virtually all of which have been passed into law and assented to by me. The Executive arm of government so far has credit for having at least 60 per cent of all bills passed by the House of Assembly. Virtually all the bills were designed to deal with the age long problem of financial irresponsibility and rascality and as far as the existing laws on fiscal responsibility are concerned, anyone in government who tries to have an over sight of the due process mechanism in the state would surely run into problems.”
Amaechi believes in transparency and accountability. He was the first governor in this country to begin a Stewardship Account. He was the first governor to publicly and periodically summon town hall meeting and say to people, this is what we have received, this is what we have spent; this is where we have spent it. He was the first governor in this country to take over the payment of primary school teachers, which is a local government function, at a time when other governors were hijacking allocations meant for local council authorities. Rivers State under Amaechi was the first state to have its own Procurement Act. The World Bank not only commended, but asked other states to go and see the Implementation of the Due Process regime in Rivers State and adopt the great works of Amaechi, accordingly. He was the first governor to pass the Fiscal Responsibility Law to check government officials and exclude himself from award of contracts throughout his tenure as Rivers State Governor.
Eze further highlighted on his book Rivers State under the watch of Amaechi remains the first and only state that maintains a dual international credit rating from Fitch and Standard and Poor’s under Amaechi’s watch. This is no mean feat considering the rigorous process of not only obtaining the ratings but constantly sustaining and improving them. Compared to several other states in Nigeria or sovereign entities around the world, as can be attested to by these ratings, the state maintained an enviable record of accountability, financial prudence, and full disclosure. The records are therefore verifiable and open from the regular rating reports and annual audited financial statements. One of the key pillars of transformation and modernisation of policies in the state is the enactment and operation of a transparent public procurement process that creates a level-playing field to all potential vendors and contractors in the state.”
Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi also set up the Bureau on Public Procurement alias ‘Due Process’ with the highly respected Barr. Franklyn Acho Nlerum, a UNN-trained guru of the Nigerian Law School, as its Director-General. This Commission was to monitor projects, ensure proper valuation and costing of contract in line with the market value thereby reducing corruption and inflation in the system and ensuring that credible and capable contractors executed government projects in the state.
In disclosing how Wike ruined Rivers State, he recalled some of the international awards for Rivers State based on Amaechi’s frugality
It is on record that Rivers State was again affirmed a ‘B’ international rating by leading international financial analysis agency, Standard and Poor’s (S & P), in a report released those days. The long-term outlook for the state was revised upwards from the previous year’s rating of ‘Stable’ to ‘Positive’, on the strength of significant then ongoing infrastructure investments (in roads, ICT, health care, education and urban renewal), and relentless efforts to transform the public finance framework. All this were to lift the state’s social and economic status in the long-run. The agency in its 2010 credit analysis report on Rivers State, noted that the state currently had a high credit quality, owing to its strong cash holdings, low debt and a healthy operating balance.
More importantly, the state’s efforts towards modernising public sector administration, which included information technology upgrade and an improved transparency and accountability in administration, was a plus to the administration. Standard and Poor’s also noted that Rivers had a strong liquidity base with no substantial debt burden. According to S & P, as of July 2010, Rivers continued to enjoy a very comfortable liquidity position. It had N43.9 billion in local currency and $11 million in (foreign currency). By this overview, cash holdings in the state at the end of 2010 was expected to be around N50 billion, based on Standard and Poor’s assumption of N200 billion.”
In appreciation of all these feats\ Amaechi, was conferred with the prestigious “SERA’s” award for his contributions towards the social development of Rivers State, in line with the objectives of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), especially in the areas of Health and Education.
Eze quoted the erstwhile Commissioner for Finance during Amaechi’s governance, Dr. Chamberlain Peterside as saying, “Amaechi was a stickler to due process, transparency and accountability. He took us to task a lot of times to ensure financial transactions were properly documented and our accounting practices were above board. That was reflected in the various reforms and automation projects in the public finance sector (ministry of finance and Bureau of Internal Revenue, BIR). His masterstroke was the monthly reserve fund savings programme. Without that to fall back on, the state would have got into real hard times from mid 2014 and things might have been even worse today.”
Eze expressed thanks to God for making it possible for Rivers people to survive the dreaded era of the tiny tyrant who tormented the souls of the people and prayed that such an evil omen never visits Rivers State or any other state in Nigeria”
With these concrete revelations and more, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is on trial now that immunity has departed Wike. The commission is the one on trial because Wike knows he has looted, squandered and mismanaged the common patrimony of Rivers people and the people of the state and Nigerians have the records; so all eyes are on the EFCC to recover the loots and subject the looter to the fair test of justice to face the wrought of the law.
Finally, Eze commended former Transportation Minister, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi for his sterling performances as Rivers Governor and as Minister under the Buhari administration, noting that his financial probity and prudence in resource management is what is required to move the country forward. He urged state Governors to make haste to learn these sound attributes that produces better results which were the focal point of the public personae of the former Rivers Governor, Chibuike Amaechi.
Yemi Cardoso Assumes Duty as Acting CBN Governor
Dr. Olayemi Michael Cardoso, has formally assumed duty as the acting Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Following the resignation of Godwin Emefiele, President Bola Tinubu appointed Cardoso pending the confirmation of the senate.
Similarly, the Deputy-Governors-Designate have also assumed duty, in acting capacities, sequel to the formal resignation of Mr. Folashodun Shonubi, Mrs. Aishah Ahmad, Mr. Edward Lametek Adamu, and Dr. Kingsley Obiora as Deputy Governors of the CBN.
Dr. Cardoso and his colleagues subscribed to the relevant oaths of office at a brief ceremony held at the Bank’s Head Office in Abuja, on Friday, and have since settled down to the task of administering monetary and financial sector policies of the Federal Government.
An Economic and Development Policy Advisor, Financial Sector Leader, former Chairman Citi Nigeria and Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget in Lagos, Cardoso brings over three decades of managerial experience on board.
He is an alumnus of Aston University, Birmingham, United Kingdom, where he studied managerial and administrative studies.
He also holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School, United States of America.
LCCI Unveils 2023 Lagos International Trade Fair, Reels Out Event Plans.
The Lagos Chamber of Commerce & Industry, the non-profit organization that promotes the interests of the business community in Lagos, has unveiled the 37th edition of the fair and reeled out the event plans for the week long activities scheduled to hold from Nov. 3 to Nov. 12th 2023.
Eng. Leye Kupoluyi, The Chairman, Trade Promotion Board, LCCI, on Thursday while addressing newsmen at a Press Conference, held at the Chamber House in Lagos, noted that the 37th edition with the theme, “connecting businesses, creating value” will be declared open by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
According to Eng. Leye, while reeling out the programmes lined up for the 10- days event said, this year’s edition of the event would feature ‘The Africa Hall Project’, an umbrella for businessmen and women within the African continent to come together under the same roof for 10 days.
He said, “The Africa Hall Project started six years ago as an umbrella for businessmen and women within the African continent to come together under the same roof for 10 days. It has been a successful adventure since then”.
Speaking further, Kupoluyi said that this year’s LITF would also feature an entertainment village in recognition of the contribution of the creative and entertainment industry to the Nigerian economy.
To mark the LCCI’s 135th anniversary, different specialised fairs would be held at the same time at TBS which will feature activities like the Children’s Corner, Tech Hub, The Africa Hall, United Asia International Exhibition Co. Limited Exhibition, The Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO), lagos Island Connect, LCCI Mentees, 3 Days Free Entry, Eng. Leye said.
“The LITF tech hub is a single pavilion that hosts techpreneurs, tech enthusiasts in telecoms, software, and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to showcase their innovative products and services,” he said.
He said the the United Asia Exhibition Company was currently concluding logistics to host three different trade exhibitions at the event and urged Nigerian businesses on commercial agreements and distributorship deals.
“The Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) and the Japanese hall has become a major attraction at the Lagos international trade fair and there will be a three -day free entry for visitors at the fair this year.
“It is my sincere hope and expectation, that when the fair is declared closed by the Governor of Lagos, Mr Babajide Sanwo-olu, we shall all proclaim the 2023 LITF as the best so far in 37 years,” he said.
The sponsors and partners of the 2023 LITF are United Bank of Africa plc. (UBA), Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO), United Asia International Exhibition co. Ltd.
Others are New Home Distribution Africa ltd. – distributors of Scanfrost and Sony Products in Nigeria, Dangote Group, FEDAN Investment Ltd, Lifemate Nigeria Ltd., Rite Foods, NCC, SON among others.
NNPCL directs more management staff to proceed on early retirement
Following the recent exit of three Executive Vice Presidents of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, the national oil company has directed some management staff with less than fifteen months to proceed on early retirement.
The move saw some top management officials exiting the Company yesterday.
According to NNPCL, the early retirement is part of the company’s bid to pursue effective organizational renewal to support the delivery of its strategic business objectives.
The retirement of the top management staff is coming barely three days after the retirement of the Executive Vice President, Gas, Power and New Energy Abdulkabir Ahmed; Executive Vice President of Upstream, Engr. Adokiye Tombomieye; and Executive Vice President, Downstream Adeyemi Adetunji.
AGENTS OF CHANGE YOUTH FORUM , ORGANIZE 2023 INDEPENDENCE-DAY LECTURE
World Pharmacists Day: Ogun PSN organises free medical Outreach to schools, correctional centres, others
LASTMA, OTHER EMERGENCY RESPONDERS RESCUED 3 ACCIDENT CASUALTIES AT OJUELEGBA
Liverpool Ladies Sign Oshoala
Nigeria’s Gas Supply Market Rises
Ambode Welcomes Walmart Executives
Politics7 days ago
Edo Guber: Obaseki To Unveil Successor
Politics6 days ago
Kano Tribunal Declares APC, Gawuna Winner
Politics6 days ago
Tinubu’s Preference for Adversaries of Rivers APC Over Party Loyalists, Strange ~ Eze
Politics5 days ago
United Nations Must Start to Discuss Global Issues- Tinubu to Antonio Guterres
Entertainment5 days ago
Jimmy Odukoya Speaks On Controversial Lifestyle
Nigeria News6 days ago
TUC President Reveals FG’s Plan For Minimum Wage
Metro6 days ago
Police Send Warning To Nigerians Over Nudity
Politics6 days ago
President Tinubu Giving Juicy Appointments To Only Yoruba; Ignoring Competent Individuals From Other Regions – APC Members Kick