….NASS Ready to Collaborate Partners on Corporate Governance
Hon. Tajudeen Abbas, the Speaker, Federal House of Representatives, says the 10th National Assembly will work with development partners to drive sound corporate governance for national development.
Abbas said this during the hybrid 2023 Annual Directors Conference dinner with the theme: “Business Meets Government Dinner” by the Chartered Institute of Directors (CIoD) Nigeria in Abuja.
He said the role of corporate governance sits at the heart of national development.
Abbas represented by Engr.Sani Bala, also stressed the need for adequate human capital or decision makers to galvanise the nation’s resources.
“The Role of Corporate Governance is one that sits at the heart of national development.
“With all of our vast resources, if we do not have adequate human capital or decision makers to galvanise these resources, we shall continue to be seen as a nation with so much resources, yet cursed,” he said.
The Speaker said stressed the need to involve everyone in the efforts to transform Nigeria into a world leading economic destination.
“The talk about diversification has been up for too long and we must therefore do more than mere talk meaning now is the time to actually walk the talk.
“Thus, our role in the legislature is to accept ideas from corporate organisations such as this, so we can use the relevant legislative tool to promote good governance and national development.
“Therefore, I want to assure you that the 10th National Assembly is more than ever, ready to associate itself with development partners for the good of our nation and every Nigerian.
“It is my hope that this gathering shall maintain its objective of enhancing a platform for connectivity and cross-fertilisation of ideas that would turn Nigeria’s economic fortunes for the better,” he said.
Alhaji Tijjani Borodo, President, CIoD Nigeria, quoted the International Monetary Fund (IMF) projection that global economy was expected to slowdown to 2.9 per cent from three per cent in 2023.
Borodo stated that this declaration was a cause for concern, as it can result in reduced job opportunities, decreased consumer spending, and hindered business expansion.
“Coming home to Nigeria, the business environment has been less than favourable and has negatively impacted various sectors and industries.
“Also, insecurity remained a significant concern, with ongoing threats from insurgencies, banditry, and kidnappings in certain regions.
“The many economic challenges of the nation demand comprehensive and coordinated efforts from both the public and private sectors to foster a more conducive and stable business environment in Nigeria,” he said.
The CIoD president said that looking ahead to 2024, these challenges may pose obstacles, but they also present enormous opportunities for innovation and resilience.
He said addressing them through policy reforms, infrastructure investments, access to finance, and above all matchless ethical conduct, Nigeria’s business environment would thrive and contribute to economic growth and development.
Borodo tasked government to provide a supportive and conducive environment to accelerate economic recovery, restore investor confidence, attract new investments, and foster employment.
Dr Fatumata Coker, Chairman, National Organising Committee, ADC, said the event was crucial to forging of crucial alliances and the exploration of innovative strategies to steer Nigeria’s economic landscape toward sustained growth and resilience.
This, Coker said, was in recognition of the critical role that corporate governance plays in shaping the trajectory of our nation’s economy.
“The fusion of business acumen and sound governmental policies is instrumental in propelling Nigeria toward a future characterized by diversity, resilience, and sustainable development.
“Our assembly tonight is a testament to the collaborative spirit that defines the Institute.
“It reflects our collective commitment to effective governance, ethical leadership, and unwavering dedication to steering the ship of Nigeria’s economic destiny towards prosperity,” she said.
Reports says that the event had theme: “Driving Nigeria’s Economic Transformation and Diversification: The Role of Corporate Governance.”(NAN)
Tinubu’s 2024 Budget Speech: Budget of Renewed Hope
1. In furtherance of my sacred duties and obligations as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, it is my honour to be here today to present my administration’s 2024 Budget Proposal to this Joint Session of the 10th National Assembly.
2. Distinguished Senators and Honourable Members of the National Assembly, I commend your swift consideration and passage of the 2023 Supplementary Appropriation Bills and the 2024-2026 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper.Your prompt action underscores your devotion to economic development and to the greater welfare of our people. It also highlights your desire to work in close collaboration with the Executive branch. We do not serve ourselves. We must always strive to work together to serve and benefit the people of our beloved country.
3. I am confident that the National Assembly will continue to work closely with us to ensure that deliberations on the 2024 Budget are thorough but also concluded with reasonable dispatch. Our goal is for the Appropriation Act to come into effect on the 1st of January 2024.
4. It is, by now, a matter of recorded history that my very first fiscal intervention as President of this great nation was to end the fuel subsidy regime which had proven to be so harmful to the overall health of our national economy. The second was to negotiate and subsequently present a supplementary budget to enable my government to fund the items needed to restore macro-economic stability and mitigate the harsh impact of subsidy removal.
5. The third was to secure a second supplementary budget, this time to enable us to keep our promises to promote national security, invest in infrastructure and provide much needed support to the most vulnerable households in our society.
6. In swearing-in my cabinet and reflecting on the unique challenges facing us, I invited the Ministers to imagine that we are attempting to draw water from a dry well. Today, I stand before you to present our Budget of Renewed Hope; a budget which will go further than ever before in cementing macro-economic stability, reducing the deficit, increasing capital spending and allocation to reflect the eight priority areas of this Administration. The budget we now present constitutes the foundation upon which we shall erect the future of this great nation.
PREVAILING ECONOMIC ENVIRONMENT
7. Economic conditions remain challenging both abroad and at home. Despite lingering Post-Covid supply and production bottlenecks, armed conflict in various parts of the world and restrictive monetary policies in major economies, we expect global growth to hover around 3.0 percent in 2024. This relative low rate has significant implications for our economy due to our current reliance on importation.
8. Distinguished Senators, Honourable Members: despite the global headwinds, the Nigerian economy has proven resilient, maintaining modest but positive growth over the past twelve months.
9. Inflation has trended upward due to weak global conditions. To contain the rising domestic prices, we will ensure effective coordination of fiscal and monetary policy measures, and collaborate with sub-national governments to address structural factors driving inflation in Nigeria.
10. The Budget proposal meets our goal of completing critical infrastructure projects which will help address structural problems in the economy by lowering the costs of doing business for companies and the cost of living for the average person, The Honourable Minister of Budget and Economic Planning will provide full details of this proposal.
PERFORMANCE OF THE 2023 BUDGET
11. Distinguished Senators and Honourable Members, an aggregate revenue of 11.045 trillion nairawas projected to fund the 2023 Budget of 24.82 trillion naira with a deficit of about 6.1 percentof GDP.
12. As of September 30, the Federal Government’s actual aggregate revenue inflow was 8.65 trillion naira, approximately 96 percent of the targeted 8.28 trillion naira.
13. Despite the challenges, we continue to meet our obligations.
THEME AND PRIORITIES OF THE 2024 BUDGET
14. Distinguished Senators, Honourable Members, permit me to highlight key issues relating to the budget proposals for the next fiscal year. The 2024 Appropriation has been themed the Budget of Renewed Hope. The proposed Budget seeks to achieve job-rich economic growth, macro-economic stability, a better investment environment, enhanced human capital development, as well as poverty reduction and greater access to social security.
15. Defence and internal security are accorded top priority. The internal security architecture will be overhauled to enhance law enforcement capabilities and safeguard lives, property and investments across the country.
16. Human capital is the most critical resource for national development. Accordingly, the budget prioritizes human development with particular attention to children, the foundation of our nation.
17. To improve the effectiveness of our budget performance, government will focus on ensuring value for money, greater transparency and accountability. In this regard, we will work more closely with development partners and the private sector.
18. To address long-standing issues in the education sector, a more sustainable model of funding tertiary education will be implemented, including the Student Loan Scheme scheduled to become operational by January 2024.
19. A stable macro-economic environment is important to catalyse private investment and accelerate economic growth. We have and shall continue to implement business and investment friendly measures for sustainable growth.
20. We expect the economy to grow by a minimum of 3.76 percent, above the forecasted world average. Inflation is expected to moderate to 21.4 percent in 2024.
21. In preparing the 2024 Budget, our primary objective has been to sustain our robust foundation for sustainable economic development. A critical focus of this budget and the medium term expenditure framework is Nigeria’s commitment to a greener future.
22. Emphasizing public-private partnerships, we have strategically made provisions to leverage private capital for big-ticket infrastructure projects in energy, transportation and other sectors. This marks a critical step towards diversifying our energy mix, enhancing efficiency, and fostering the development of renewable energy sources. By allocating resources to support innovative and environmentally conscious initiatives, we aim to position Nigeria as a regional leader in the global movement towards clean and sustainable energy.
23. As we approach COP 28 climate summit, a pivotal moment for global climate action, I have directed relevant government agencies to diligently work towards securing substantial funding commitments that will bolster Nigeria’s energy transition.
24. It is imperative that we seize this opportunity to attract international partnerships and investments that align with our national goals. I call upon our representatives to engage proactively to showcase the strides we have made in the quest to create an enabling environment for sustainable energy projects.
25. Together, we will strive for Nigeria to emerge from COP 28 with tangible commitments, reinforcing our dedication to a future where energy is not only a catalyst for development but also a driver of environmental stewardship.
26. Distinguished members of the National Assembly, the revised 2024-2026 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) sets out the parameters for the 2024 Budget.
27. After a careful review of developments in the world oil market and domestic conditions, we have adopted a conservative oil price benchmark of 77.96 US Dollars per barrel and daily oil production estimate of 1.78 million barrels per day. We have also adopted a Naira to US Dollar exchange rate of 750 naira per US Dollar for 2024.
28. Accordingly, an aggregate expenditure of 27.5 trillion naira is proposed for the Federal Government in 2024, of which the non-debt recurrent expenditure is 9.92 trillion naira while debt service is projected to be 8.25 trillion naira and capital expenditure is 8.7 trillion naira.
29. Nigeria remains committed to meeting its debt obligations. Projected debt service is 45% of the expected total revenue.
30. Budget deficit is projected at 9.18 trillion naira in 2024 or 3.88 percent of GDP. This is lower than the 13.78 trillion naira deficit recorded in 2023 which represents 6.11 percent of GDP.
31. The deficit will be financed by new borrowings totalling 7.83 trillion naira, 298.49 billion nairafrom Privatization Proceeds and 1.05 trillion naira drawdown on multilateral and bilateral loans secured for specific development projects.
32. Our government remains committed to broad-based and shared economic prosperity. We are reviewing social investment programmes to enhance their implementation and effectiveness. In particular, the National Social Safety Net project will be expanded to provide targeted cash transfers to poor and vulnerable households. In addition, efforts will made to graduate existing beneficiaries toward productive activities and employment.
33. We are currently reviewing our tax and fiscal policies. Our target is to increase the ratio of revenue to GDP from less than 10 percent currently to 18 percent within the term of this Administration. Government will make efforts to further contain financial leakages through effective implementation of key public financial management reforms.
34. Distinguished Senators and Honourable Members, in view of the limited resources available through the federal budget, we are also exploring Public Private Partnership arrangements to finance critical infrastructure.
35. We, therefore, invite the private sector to partner with us to ensure that our fiscal, trade and monetary policies, as well as our developmental programs and projects succeed in unlocking the latent potential of our people and other natural endowments, in line with our national aspirations.
36. Distinguished Senators and Honourable Members, this Budget presentation would be incomplete without commending the patriotic resolve of the 10th National Assembly to collaborate with the Executive on our mission to renew hope and deliver on our promises to the Nigerian people. I assure you of the strong commitment of the Executive to sustain and deepen the relationship with the National Assembly.
37. As you consider the 2024 Budget estimates, we trust that the legislative review process will be conducted with a view to sustaining our desired return to a predictable January-December fiscal year.
38. I have no doubt that you will be guided by the interest of all Nigerians. We must ensure that only projects and programs with equitable benefits are allowed into the 2024 Budget. Additionally, only projects and programs which are in line with the sectoral mandates of MDAs and which are capable of realizing the vision of our Government should be included in the budget.
39. As a Government, we are committed to improving the lot of our people and delivering on our promises to them. The 2024 Budget has the potential to boost performance, promote the development of Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, enhance security and public safety, and improve the general living conditions of our people.
40. In closing, I am confident that these budgetary allocations and directives will set Nigeria on a transformative path towards a sustainable and resilient energy future, fostering economic growth, job creation, and environmental preservation.
41. It is with great pleasure, therefore, that I lay before this distinguished Joint Session of the National Assembly, the 2024 Budget Proposals of the Federal Government of Nigeria, titled The Renewed Hope Budget.
42. I thank you most sincerely for your attention. May we collectively chart the course towards a brighter and cleaner future for our great nation.
43. May God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Delivered By: His Excellency, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR
President, Federal Republic of Nigeria At the Joint Session of the National Assembly, Abuja
Wednesday, November 29, 2023
Efficient Judicial System Attracts FDI– CBN
Mr Olayemi Cardoso, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), says an efficient judicial system will attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
Cardoso said this in Abuja on Monday at the 22nd National Seminar on Banking and Allied Matters for Judges organised by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) in collaboration with the National Judicial Institute (NJI).
The governor, represented by Mr Kofo Salam-Alada, Director, Legal Services of CBN, said that investors were more willing to invest in jurisdictions which had efficient court systems that foster effective and timely adjudication of commercial disputes.
Cardoso said that such FDI reduces pressure on the foreign reserves, mitigate inflation and makes exchange rate less volatile, thereby enhancing monetary and price stability.
”The judiciary contributes to the effectiveness of monetary policy, financial system stability, economic growth and development through their interpretation of statutes.
”Sometimes, giving effect to the acts of the government and its agencies, where such statutes and acts relate to monetary policy, financial system stability, growth and development.
“Because judicial decisions are capable of significantly impacting the economy, it is necessary that economic reasoning is exhibited in judicial decision-making,” he said.
The President of the CIBN, Dr Ken Opara, said
the seminar was to bring stakeholders in banking and judiciary together to forge a common position on knotty legal issues which had implications on the banking industry.
Opara highlighted some issues facing the financial services industry to include issuance of bankers orders by magistrate courts, EFCC’s Post No Debit Order, inappropriate deployment of garnishee, among others.
He re-emphasised the need for the creation of a specialised court to exclusively deal with commercial and financial cases as opposed to having divisions within the existing court structure.
On cybercrime, he said that financial sector was susceptible to cyber-attacks.
Opara said that new types of attacks were introduced, hence the need to improve capacity building in all sectors of the economy to combat this trend.
”It is our belief that giving special attention to financial and commercial disputes, would go a long way to enriching the financial system in the country,” he said.
The Administrator of the National Judicial Institute (NJI), Justice Salisu Abdullahi, said
the seminar would help to educate stakeholders on global best practices to promote a relevant judicial system.
Abdullahi, represented by the Secretary of NJI, Malam Abubakar Maidama, said it would also help to entrench sustainable solutions to the challenges of the banking sector.
Reports says that the seminar was organised by NJI in collaboration with the NJI. (NAN)
Sanwo-Olu Tasks new NBCC President on Innovation, Collaboration
Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has urged the new President, Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC), Mr Ray Atelly, to enhance innovation and collaboration in the face of the ever evolving landscape of global commerce.
Sanwo-Olu, represented by Mrs Folashade Ambrose-Medem, Commissioner, Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Lagos, gave the charge at the NBCC Inauguration Dinner of the 18th President on Friday night in Lagos.
He noted that Atelly’s emergence as president spelt new beginnings for the chamber and new affirmations of enduring ties between Nigeria and Britain.
The governor said that moving forward economically required guidance by the spirit of collaboration, particularly as the chamber had a pivotal role to play in shaping the business landscape.
He charged businesses to remain committed to ethical practices, corporate social responsibility and sustainability practices to benefit the society.
Sanwo-Olu assured that Lagos was always open for business and investment and was counting on the chamber’s support to make the state the most preferred destination for business and commerce.
“The world is ever more interconnected and it’s our responsibility to harness this connectivity for the greater good.
“Lagos state is proud of the launch of the Women and Youth Entrepreneurship Development Center (WYEDC) and the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Ideathon.
“These initiatives align perfectly with my administration’s agenda, particularly with our renewed focus on gender equality and women empowerment,” he said.
Dr Doris Uzoka-Anite, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, called for renewed commitment to excellence and urged the new president to be a pioneer of innovation.
Uzoka-Anite, represented by Mr Charles Odii, Director General, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), assured the business community of unwavering commitment to creating an enabling environment.
“We are committed to an environment that supports entrepreneurship, attracts foreign direct investment to propel Nigeria into a place of global competitiveness.
“I urge the new president to continue to foster goodwill and increase trade and investment between Nigeria and Great Britain,” she said.
In his acceptance speech, Atelly said in awareness of all the responsibilities accompanying the position of leadership, he was ready to take on the mantle and deliver on the expectations of members.
Atelly said his administration would take steps to protect the interest of members to facilitate their growth.
He said as partners in progress with the Nigerian government, the chamber would continue to engage respectfully to protect business interests locally and internationally, to attract tangible investments based on areas of comparative advantage.
“When economy thrives, this translates to more revenue for government.
“Via our Women and Youth Entrepreneurship Development Center (WYEDC) and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Ideathon, we are committed to giving women and youths the requisite skills and acquisitions training,” he said.
Atelly promised to significantly increase influence of members, facilitate business opportunities for members, implement sustainability projects and improve relations with government agencies. (NAN)
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