ICAN Fiscal :Eze Laments, Says Report Exposes Wike’s Exacerbated Cluelessness in Finance Management | Nigeria Updates- Breaking News, Nigerian News, Politics, Sports, Entertainment and Business - Nigeriaupdates.com Nigeria Updates
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ICAN Fiscal :Eze Laments, Says Report Exposes Wike’s Exacerbated Cluelessness in Finance Management

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….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.

 

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FG, States, LGs Share N1.2trn April Revenue 

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The Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) disbursed a total sum of N1,149.816 trillion, which came in as revenue in January 2024 to the federal government, states, and local government areas.

 

The allocation, shared during the May 2024 FAAC meeting, comprised:

– Distributable statutory revenue of N284.716 billion

– Distributable Value Added Tax (VAT) revenue of N466.457 billion

– Electronic money transfer levy revenue of N18.024 billion

– Exchange difference revenue of N438.884 billion

 

The balance in the Excess Crude Account (ECA) for last month was put at $473,754.57.

 

Here is the breakdown of the N1,208.081 billion total distributable revenue for April 2024 :

– Federal Government: N390.412 billion

– State Governments: N403.403 billion

– Local Government Councils: N293.816 billion

– Derivation revenue (13% of mineral revenue): N120.450 billion

 

The distributable statutory revenue of N284.716 billion was allocated as follows:

 

– Federal Government: N112.148 billion

– State Governments: N56.883 billion

– Local Government Councils: N43.855 billion

– Derivation revenue (13% of mineral revenue): N71.830 billion

 

The distributable Value Added Tax (VAT) revenue of N466.457 billion was allocated as follows:

– Federal Government: N69.969 billion

– State Governments: N233.229 billion

– Local Government Councils: N163.260 billion

 

The Electronic Money Transfer Levy (EMTL) revenue of N18.024 billion was allocated as follows:

– Federal Government: N2.704 billion

– State Governments: N9.012 billion

– Local Government Councils: N6.308 billion

 

The Exchange Difference revenue of N438.884 billion was allocated as follows:

– Federal Government: N205.591 billion

– State Governments: N104.279 billion

– Local Government Councils: N80.394 billion

– Derivation revenue (13% of mineral revenue): N48.620 billion

 

The total revenue available for the month of April 2024 was N2,192.077 billion, with total deductions for cost of collection and transfers, interventions, and refunds amounting to N983.996 billion.

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FirstBank and Rotary Club Empower 102 Beneficiaries with N20m Start-Up Kits

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First Bank of Nigeria Limited, in partnership with Rotary Club International, District 9110, has distributed N20 million worth of start-up kits to 102 beneficiaries in Lagos, empowering them across various trades, NAN report.

 

The start-up kits include grinding machines, plumbing kits, deep freezers, sewing machines, generators, gas burners, and cylinders, among others.

 

The community intervention project had beneficiaries from the three major ethnic groups in Nigeria, drawn from Lagos, Ogun, and Oyo states.

 

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Mrs. Helen Ihonre, Unit Head of Other SME Products e-Business and Retail at FirstBank, emphasized the importance of financial management and economic discipline during the presentation. She encouraged beneficiaries to prioritize saving from the inception of their businesses and discouraged them from keeping funds at home, which might lead to misuse.

 

Rotary District 9110 Governor, Ifeyinwa Ejezie, highlighted the significance of economic empowerment in Rotary’s initiatives and called for government collaboration to reach grassroots communities effectively.

 

She emphasized the role of Rotary in complementing government efforts and stressed the need for recognition and partnership to enhance community development.

 

Bukola Bakare, Rotary International District Governor Nominee Designate, explained the process and challenges of raising funds for the project and how they incorporated Rotary from Singapore to absorb shocks from inflation.

 

She mentioned that FirstBank was a major sponsor for the project, and the 102 beneficiaries were chosen based on a needs analysis from Igbos, Hausa, and Yorubas resident in Lagos, Ogun, and Oyo states.

 

Mr. Babatunde Adewale, Permanent Board Member of Lagos State Universal Basic Education, lauded the empowerment program, while reeling out contributions and projects of Rotary International to schools in the state. Mrs. Kemi Kalesanwo, Director of Lagos State Agency for Mass Education, said that 22 out of the 102 beneficiaries were from the agency’s vocational training centers.

 

Otumba Wemmy Osunde, Chairman of Illisan Development Association, Ogun State, pledged personal commitment to ensuring beneficiaries utilize the items for economic gain. Adekunmi Adeniyi, an industrial gas burner and cylinder beneficiary, expressed gratitude to Rotary International and FirstBank for the initiative, acknowledging the impact on their respective trades and crafts.

Culled from NAN

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MONIEPOINT INC RANKED AS AFRICA’S FASTEST GROWING FINANCIAL INSTITUTION BY THE FINANCIAL TIMES FOR THE SECOND CONSECUTIVE YEAR

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…World’s leading financial publication confirms Moniepoint’s rapid revenue growth

 

 

Moniepoint Inc, parent company of Nigeria’s leading financial institutions, Moniepoint MFB and TeamApt Ltd has been ranked by the Financial Times, one of the world’s leading business news organizations, recognized internationally for its authority, integrity, and accuracy as Africa’s fastest-growing financial institution.

 

 

The world’s leading financial publication confirmed Moniepoint Inc’s accolade in its annual “Africa’s Fastest Growing Companies” survey, released today. It is the second consecutive year Moniepoint has achieved both the fastest-growing fintech milestone, and, ranked in Africa’s top four fastest-growing companies overall.

 

 

The survey was compiled by Statista, a leading research company renowned for its insight into African companies’ actual performance, in a rigorous screening process. In this survey, companies are ranked based on 2019-2022 data by their absolute growth rate of revenues and their compound annual growth rate (CAGR). Moniepoint’s growth rates of 7,979% (absolute) and 332% (CAGR) ranked it ahead of hundreds of leading companies from diverse industries such as technology, telecoms, financial services, and healthcare.

 

 

Moniepoint Inc has long been one of Africa’s largest business payments platforms, processing over $182 billion for customers in 2023. It will be recalled that in August 2023, Moniepoint MFB entered the personal banking market offering reliable banking services to millions of individuals across Nigeria. The holding group also doubled its global headcount, growing to over 1,800 employees by the end of 2023.

 

 

This recognition highlights Moniepoint’s success as Africa’s leading fintech, driving financial inclusion by empowering underserved businesses and individuals to access the formal financial system, contributing to a key goal of the Nigerian government.

 

 

Tosin Eniolorunda, Group CEO of Moniepoint Inc., said: “we are thrilled to be recognised by the Financial Times as Africa’s fastest growing fintech for the second consecutive year. Achieving rapid growth and scale is a fantastic achievement; maintaining that year-on-year is even better. The ranking is a testament to the dedication and hard work of the entire Moniepoint team, and the trust of millions of customers across Africa in the Company.

 

 

“2023 was a pivotal year for Moniepoint. Moniepoint has moved from being an agency-dominated institution to becoming merchant-dominated as we have seen a lot more people embrace more digital payment solutions. It is humbling to see that we have become a household name that people have come to know and trust, the bellwether for reliable transactions every time.

 

 

With our foray into the personal banking market, we have been able to deliver seamless and reliable payment solutions for Nigerians especially those in underserved communities as we continue to supercharge access to financial services and contribute to economic growth and wealth creation. 2024 is set to be even more exciting with continued growth, driving compliance and innovation, as we maintain our leading role within the African fintech sector, driving financial inclusion across Africa.”

 

 

 

According to David Pilling, FT Africa Editor, “The third year of our now expanded ranking of Africa’s Fastest Growing Companies comes against a background in which many economies are struggling to recover from the Covid pandemic. The FT-Statista list reveals the type of companies that, even in hard times, have managed to grow, often by disrupting markets…This year, our ranking has a wider geographical spread of companies than before. The big newcomer is Morocco, with 12 companies in the top 125 against just three last time. Mauritian-domiciled companies also did well with nine winners, against four in 2022. South Africa had 42 companies in the list, followed by Nigeria’s 25, while Kenya tied third at 12.”

 

 

Moniepoint Inc.’s technology powers over five million businesses and their customers, offering all the payment, banking, credit and business management tools they need to succeed. Establishing itself as a market leader in Nigeria across various segments from commerce to health and hospitality amongst many others, Moniepoint’s transformational and positive strides has earned it local and international plaudits.

 

 

In 2023, for the second year running, Moniepoint Inc was named amongst the 100 most promising private fintech companies by CB Insights. Moniepoint MFB received the Rising Star Family Business Award at the Pwc/Businessday Family Business Summit; while bagging the Fintech Company of the Year award at the 16th edition of Leadership Newspapers Conference and Awards.

 

 

Industry analysts have averred that as a strongly embedded and systemic institution in the digital payment services segment, with an eye on the future, Moniepoint Inc is poised to continue to deliver innovative solutions that promote inclusivity, drive sustainability and create new vistas in the markets where they operate.

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