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NPA and poor budget implementation



In November 2012, the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, admitted it achieved only 25 per cent of its budget appropriation, a development that impacted negatively on port infrastructural development. However as at June, less than three months after the budget was passed, the agency announced that it has achieved over 80 per cent implementation of its budget, a claim most stakeholders described as outrageous. FRANCIS EZEM examines the issues.

All over the world, governments, corporate bodies and even individuals make annual budgets at the beginning of each fiscal year based on expected income and expenditure.

For the government particularly, it is through the capital projects enunciated in the budgets that it is able to touch the lives of the citizens, especially the common man on the street. It is generally believed that apart from touching the lives of the citizens, it is through these capital budgets that the government releases money into the system, which among other benefits help in creating jobs and wealth.

This singular fact also accounts for why governments insist that spending on capital projects must by far exceed those of recurrent, which is incidentally one of the major indices to measure the performance of any given budget. The place of strict budget implementation can therefore not over –emphasised, especially in a public sector driven economy such as Nigeria’s, where even big corporations and banks wait to know the direction of the government budget.

It was probably to underscore the importance of strict budget implementation that the National Assembly, especially the House of Representatives, Nigeria’s lower chamber, last year threatened to impeach President Goodluck Jonathan over alleged poor implementation of the 2012 budget. The Nigerian seaports, no doubt constitute one of the nation’s most critical assets.

This is more so when viewed against the background that Nigeria needs her seaports to export her crude oil, which is the mainstay of the economy. It is also a well known fact that as an import-dependent nation, Nigeria needs her seaports for the importation of foreign goods ranging from domestic to industrial to cater for her over 160 million population. This was probably this almost indispensable position of these seaports that earned the Nigerian Ports Authority NPA, the accolade ‘Gateway to the nation’s economy’.

Regrettably, the current management of the authority has failed to make optimum use of the authority’s budget to touch the lives of the citizenry.

For instance, Managing Director of NPA, Mallam Habib Abdullahi last year admitted that as at November, two months to the end of the year, the authority only implemented 25 percent of its 2012 budget.

This is an indication that critical projects that should have boosted the growth of the industry were not executed. Abdullahi, who addressed top management of the authority at a one-day strategic session on project implementation in Lagos, said the development he said was unfortunate. He had expressed worries, especially given the fact that the revenue of the authority under the postconcession dispensation is derived from its core areas of responsibility, which include the provision of infrastructure and vessel support services.

‘The viability of the ports is more than ever linked to the level of its infrastructure, which are needed to enhance its capacity to sustain and foster growth in traffic throughput in response to growth in economic activities’, he further regretted

He noted that as part of measures to make the seaports perform optimally, the Federal Government undertook a reform based on a landlord model, which placed the responsibility of providing port infrastructure and vessel support services such as pilotage and towage etc on the authority.

But a maritime stakeholder, who commented on the development, noted that the admission by the managing director was a mischief geared towards the indicting the immediate past managing director, Mallam Oman Suleiman without knowing it was rather a self-indictment.

He said: “The current managing director, Mallam Abdullahi should take a larger chunk of the blame for the non-implementation of the 2012 budget because he was at that time the executive director in charge of finance and administration of the authority, part of whose duty was to ensure strict implementation of the implementation of the budget”.

Only recently, the Minister of Transport, Mallam Idris Umar, claimed that authority’s 2013 budget has been implemented to the tune of over 80 percent.

The minister had during a ministerial briefing on the midterm achievements of the present administration in the transport held on June 3, 2013 in Abuja, told the world that the authority’s 2013 budget was over 80 percent implemented.

But industry operators have kept wonder the possibility of implementing over 80 percent of a budget less than three months after it was passed. But an operator, who did not want his name mentioned wondered how such could be possible, especially considering the bureaucracy that trail the quarterly release of the funds allocated to the various projects under the budget.

“I challenge the minister as a matter of urgency to publish the capital projects executed under the budget that constitute 80 percent of its implementation less than three or four months after its passage by the National Assembly”.

One of the projects listed by the minister under the 2013 budget is the rehabilitation of the quay apron and quay of the Tin Can Island Port Complex, Apapa, which he claimed was 100 percent completed.

Investigations showed that the contract valued at N3.7billion was awarded to Messrs Johnak Engineering Company Limited, which had since been abandoned.

But in what appeared a rebuttal of the ministers claims, Managing Director of Ports & Cargo Handling Services Limited, a member of the SIFAX Group and concessionaire in charge of Terminal C, of the TCIP, Mr. John Jenkings, who addressed the media on the activities of the company, decried the poor quality of work done on the project, which is directly located at the terminal

According to him, repairs of quay walls and quay aprons are very important to the operations of the company but however regretted that the project, which has already been abandoned has not been given the serious attention it deserves.

“The contractor NPA awarded the contract to has not in our opinion given the assignment any serious attention”, he had lamented regrettably.

He also said: “The contract is facing undue delay and the job being done is far from being satisfactory”. The managing director, who joined the company about two years ago urged the NPA to prevail on the contractor handling the repair of the quay apron and the quay wall to move up the job both in terms of quality and speed.

The Ports & Cargo-boss had earlier while highlighting the major challenges faced by the company listed the non –connection of the terminal to public power supply, which is supposed to be provided by NPA under the port concession agreement.

Experts are however of the strong view that strict implementation of NPA budget is critical to the realisation of the hub port status for West and Central African sub-region, which will be facilitated by the level of infrastructure and efficiency at the nation’s seaports.

Posted in Nigerian Newspapers. A DisNaija.Com network.

Source: National Mirror Newspaper

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Nigeria records 55 new COVID-19 infections, total now 165,110




Tribune Online
Nigeria records 55 new COVID-19 infections, total now 165,110

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has recorded 62 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 165,110. The NCDC disclosed this on its official Twitter handle on Friday. “55 new cases of #COVID19Nigeria; Lagos-21, Yobe-19, Ogun-6, Akwa Ibom-3, Kaduna-2, Plateau-2, FCT-1, Rivers-1.” YOU SHOULD NOT MISS THESE HEADLINES FROM NIGERIAN TRIBUNE COVID-19: Nigeria Recorded […]

Nigeria records 55 new COVID-19 infections, total now 165,110
Tribune Online

Sourced From: Tribune Online

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This Day

Military, Police Ring Abuja to Forestall Boko Haram Attack




•Deploy more personnel as army chief vows to wipe out terror group
•Security beefed up at N’Assembly

Deji Elumoye and Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja

Abuja, Nigeria’s seat of power, is under a massive security cordon following threats of attacks by insurgents and the increasing wave of banditry in the contiguous states of Kaduna, Kogi, Nasarawa and Niger States, THISDAY’s investigation has revealed.

There has been a wave of kidnappings in the outskirts of the federal capital, notably Pegi, Tuganmaje and Kuje among others, which the police have battled in recent times.

The security situation in and around the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) was heightened by the pronouncement of the Niger State Governor, Mr. Sani Bello, that Boko Haram fighters who he said sacked 50 villages in the state and hoisted the terror group’s flag, were about two hours drive away from the FCT.

Security has also been beefed up at the National Assembly as operatives, yesterday, thoroughly screened every vehicle approaching the National Assembly complex in Abuja.

The deteriorating security situation nationwide prompted the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus, to warn that the 2023 general election may not hold, demanding the declaration of a state of emergency as well as the convocation of a national conference.
However, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, yesterday restated the Nigerian Army’s determination to annihilate Boko Haram.

But the Governor of Katsina State, Hon. Bello Masari, cautioned against declaring a state of emergency, saying doing so isn’t the solution to combat the security challenges facing the country.
The security of the nation’s airports was also in focus yesterday as the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) said there was no threat to them.

THISDAY’s investigations showed increased presence of troops, police, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) personnel and intelligence operatives at the three strategic entrances to the city notably, Keffi, Zuba and Gwagwalada.

More checkpoints were also mounted around Gwagwalada and Keffi.
THISDAY also observed increased intelligence deployment at the entrance and the borders of FCT with contiguous states.

Beyond the borders, there were more deployments and police patrols inside the city and increased intelligence deployments as well.
Security sources told THISDAY: “There are deployments here and there but they are routine. Alertness is key to a secure environment.”

It was also learnt that security agencies were involved in frenzied meetings throughout yesterday.
The meetings, coordinated by the office of the Chief of Defence Staff under the new joint operational strategy of the armed forces, were aimed at coordinating a joint response to possible threats of attack to the FCT.

“I understand the security teams have been meeting for some days now and if you look around you, you will notice that there are increasing patrols and numbers of security personnel. The threats are not been taken lightly,” a source said.

National Assembly workers, lawmakers and visitors also had a harrowing experience accessing the legislative complex due to heightened security in the area.
Security operatives thoroughly screened every vehicle approaching the National Assembly complex in Abuja, impeding both human and vehicular traffic.

The Sergeant-at-arm of the National Assembly and other security agencies supervised the operations, leading to huge traffic build-up inside the complex.

Legislative staff, visitors and lawmakers were seen patiently waiting for their cars to be searched so that they could go ahead with the business of the day.
Some staff and visitors at some point got tired of waiting and were seen alighting from their cars to trek from the gate to the complex.

Meanwhile, the ONSA has said there is no threat to the nation’s airports.
A statement by the Head of Strategic Communication, Mr. Zachari Usman, said the reports of threats to the airports were an internal correspondence of security threat assessment misconstrued as security threat to the airports.

PDP Demands State of Emergency

In a related development, the PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, yesterday demanded the declaration of a state of emergency, warning that the 2023 general election might not hold if the federal government failed to tackle insecurity.

He called on the federal government to summon a national conference to address the spike in insecurity.
Secondus added that the national caucus of the party will meet today to discuss the state of the nation.

Addressing members of the National Executive Committee (NEC) in Abuja, Secondus said: “We are worried Abuja is not even safe. It is no longer politics. We got alert of plots to bomb and burn down our airports.

“We urge the federal government to declare a national state of emergency in security. There is the need to call a national conference to discuss the insecurity in the country.

“There may not be any election in 2023 in Nigeria due to insecurity. This government must listen to the people. The Buhari government should call a national confab to discuss security and state of the nation. It is no longer politics. This time we are not playing politics. Let’s keep politics aside and move the nation forward.”
He said the country had been grounded, regretting that there had been no matching response from the federal government.

Secondus said in the past, terrorism in the North was confined to the North-east, but with the report of Boko Haram occupying villages in Niger State, terrorism had spread to the North-central
“Herdsmen are also menacing in the West; gunmen causing havoc in the East; and the militants in the South; all killing, looting, raping, maiming and burning down homes. The situation is bad; Nigerians all over are living in fear,” he said.

The Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, said the problem of Nigeria was outside of the PDP headquarters, while pledging the support of the Senate to the declaration of state of emergency in security.

Abaribe said he deliberately decided not to speak on the floor of the Senate but to allow the APC senators to speak so as to avoid being accused of giving a partisan colouration to the issue of insecurity.

He stated that only electoral reforms would give victory to the opposition party in the 2023 general election and ensure a democratic defeat of the APC-led federal government.
Also, the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, commended the NEC and the PDP leadership for their collective efforts at resolving the House leadership crisis.

The NEC meeting adopted the position of Secondus, calling on the federal government to convoke a national conference to discuss the state of insecurity in the country, according to a communiqué read by the National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan.

Army Chief Vows to Wipe Out Boko Haram

The army yesterday reiterated its commitment to wipe out Boko Haram.
Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, told reporters in Maiduguri, Borno State that Boko Haram had been defeated in many encounters and would continue to be defeated until it’s annihilated from Nigeria.

“We will take on Boko Haram decisively, and we are committed to the focus of the operations, which is the total annihilation of Boko Haram from Nigeria,” he said.

The COAS, who was visiting the headquarters of Operation Lafiya Dole in Maiduguri for the fifth time since his appointment four months ago, said the visit was to boost the morale of the troops, reassure them and listen to any issues affecting them.

Earlier, the Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj. Gen. Farouq Yahaya, lauded the visit, which he said had continued to boost the morale of the troops.
“We are honoured, we are grateful, we are encouraged by those visits. You provided us guidance, logistics and other things we required. We are most grateful for those visits,” Yahaya said.

State of Emergency Won’t Solve Security Challenges, Says Masari

Katsina State Governor, Hon. Aminu Masari, has, however, said declaration of a state of emergency won’t solve the security challenges facing the nation.
Masari, who spoke yesterday with journalists after meeting with the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari at the State House, Abuja stated that he was against the recent call by the House of Representatives for the declaration of a state of emergency in the security sector as it would not solve the problem.
According to him, declaring a state of emergency will not achieve the desired effect as the security structure and personnel to be used to execute the emergency are already overstretched in a bid to safeguard lives and property.


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The Nation

UFC: Usman gets N584m after beating Masvidal




Kamaru Usman has raked in a mammoth £1.1million, about N584.2 million after his impressive knockout victory over Jorge Masvidal on Saturday night, reports.

The Nigerian Nightmare has been handsomely rewarded for his stunning performance and he was the best-paid fighter on the card which was witnessed by 15, 000 fans in Florida.

According to Daily Mail, Usman earned £538,000 to show up, £459,000 pay-per-view bonus, a £43,000 sponsorship bonus and a well deserved £35,000 Performance of the Night bonus.

Jorge Masvidal also earned £358,000 to show, £186,000 in pay-per-view money and a £28,000 sponsorship bonus.

This is the biggest payday of Usman’s career so far and the Welterweight champion also benefited from the fact that Masvidal is also a top draw for the fans.

Kamaru Usman is a Nigerian-American professional mixed martial artist, former freestyle wrestler and graduated folkstyle wrestler.

Sourced From: Latest Nigeria News, Nigerian Newspapers, Politics

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Premium Times

Insecurity: Lagos bans occupation of abandoned buildings




The government said that no worker should stay back beyond 6:00 p.m. within premises of buildings undergoing construction.

The post Insecurity: Lagos bans occupation of abandoned buildings appeared first on Premium Times Nigeria.

Sourced From: Premium Times Nigeria

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