AfDB Develops Mechanism for Revenue Generation in Extractive Industry
By Adedapo Adesanya
The African Development Bank (AfDB) has developed a three-year project in response to demands by member countries for technical assistance to monitor revenues generated from their extractive industries.
The AfDB made this known during a virtual inception workshop for the Financial Modelling Project in the Extractive Sector (FIMES) organised by the African Natural Resources Centre (ENRC) of the bank in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.
According to the project report, FIMES will be implemented in eight transitional countries – Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Madagascar, Niger, Sierra Leone, South Sudan and Zimbabwe from 2020 to 2022.
The project, which is the first of its kind for the bank, is aimed at enhancing the abilities of the focal countries to improve domestic resource mobilisation from the extractive sectors.
Presenting the background information on the FIMES project, Mrs Vanessa Ushie, Division Manager, Policy Analysis, (ENRC, AfDB) said the project was aimed at the overall economic resilience of the continent.
Mrs Ushie also said that the scheme would build the capacity of government institutions to elaborate and use financial modelling of extractive projects to inform strategy setting and negotiate contracts and concessions.
She said: “20 government officials in each beneficiary member country will participate in the training, learning and knowledge activities as national beneficiaries, that is, 180 officials in the eight countries.
“Set criteria for selection of beneficiaries in the national cohort to include relevance to primary job function on extractive revenue management, knowledge of extractive sector fiscal issues’ potential multiplier effects (trainer-of-trainers approach) and IT proficiency.
“The project commits to at least 40 per cent of beneficiaries in the eight countries to be women.
“National Focal Point (NFP) main coordinating actor in each beneficiary country must be nominated by the national government to play this role.’’
She said the NFPs coordinate the national government’s engagement on the project, interface with the AfDB and other stakeholders and manage the selection of project beneficiaries.
Mrs Ushie added that the project components would focus on capacity building, peer learning and knowledge exchange, and FIMES’ Virtual Knowledge Hub.
In his contribution, Mr Yero Baldeh, Director, Transitional States Coordination Office, AfDB said the project was “competitively selected from the 2019 proposals’’.
He said the selection was done with a view to building capacity for the financing model and in turn, strengthen domestic resource mobilisation, institutional capacity and resilience in the selected transition member countries.
“The goal is to improve efficiency, sustainability and employer management practices in the artisanal and small scale mining sector in the selected transition countries.
“Through this project, the bank is strengthening the human capacity of government regulatory agencies among others to facilitate the formalisation of artisanal and small scale mining to generate employment and improve economic scales of several stakeholders, especially those along the artisanal and small scale mining value chain.’’ He added.
He reaffirmed the bank’s commitment to collaborate with member countries and its centre to proactively set up joint efforts to increase inclusiveness and accelerate development and support for policy reforms in the extractive sector.
In another contribution, Mrs Marie-Laure Akin-Olugbade, Director-General, West Africa Region, AfDB said the project would help the capacity of member governments to use financial modelling for optimising revenues from the extractives sector.
“This is a priority of the bank and is part of the strategy of the bank in putting together policies to strengthen resource mobilisation, industrialisation and the development of infrastructure,’’ she said.
Mr Akin-Olugbade noted that the Covid-19 pandemic had affected economies of member countries severely, and added that governments needed to strengthen economic resilience in order to recover.
Also, Mrs Josephine Ngure, Acting Director-General, Southern Africa Region, AfDB, said it was important for countries to have a robust and evidence-based framework to process the impact of policy decisions on extractives projects.
Mrs Ngure, who was represented by Mr Pietro Toigo, Country Manager, AfDB Office in Mozambique, added that countries should estimate the amount to which they secure fair shares of resources over the course of the project.
“This is particularly important because robust modelling gives you a sense of the impact over the whole lifespan of a project and helps policymakers not to concentrate on short term gains that may impair the ability of the state to generate revenue in the future,’’ he said.
She called for coordination and leadership across the departments in ministries that were charged with the various aspects of extractive projects.
However, Mrs Nnenna Nwabufo, Acting Director-General, East Africa Region, AfDB, lamented that most African countries exported extractive resources as raw materials with little value-added.
She noted that exportation of raw mineral resources was not beneficial to the sustainable economic development of the continent.
“We look forward to FIMES leading to increased transparency and accountability in the management of financial gains for the benefits of the countries rather than personal agenda of individuals or political interest groups,’’ she said.
She added that there was also the need to create an enabling environment that fostered linkages between projects in the extractives industry and the broader economy thereby contributing to inclusive and sustainable development.
The Director then called on the bank and it’s development partners to support member countries to build strong democratic institutions.
Tinubu’s Vast Experience An Asset for Good, Effective Governance—Buhari
By Adedapo Adesanya
President Muhammadu Buhari has joined many Nigerians to celebrate the President-elect, Mr Bola Ahmed Tinubu, on his 71st birthday today, Wednesday, March 29, 2023, saying his vast experience as a politician will help achieve effective governance.
In a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, the President joined “members of the President-elect’s family, especially his wife, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, business partners and political associates in celebrating the recently elected president who is expected to lead the country from May 29.”
Full of praise, he said his successor, endeared as Asiwaju, is “heralded with many years of experience and achievements in the private and public sectors, which prepared him for the historic win on February 25, 2023.”
The statement noted that President Buhari believes, “Asiwaju’s warmth, friendliness and generosity has set the pace for a network of friends, home and abroad, that will shape his presidency with the requisite expertise to guide the economy and consolidate on the investments of past leaders, particularly in people-first development and infrastructure.
“As the President-Elect prepares to take over the mantle of leadership at 71, the President affirms that his political pedigree from the ’90s, active role in party politics, being elected Senator and later Governor of Lagos State, and diligent involvement in structure of leadership at the Executive and Legislative levels for many years, will serve as an asset for good and effective governance.
“President Buhari prays for the wellbeing of Asiwaju and his family,” the statement added.
On March 1, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced that Mr Tinubu won the 2023 presidential elections as he scored 35 per cent of 24.97 million votes cast, beating Mr Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), and Mr Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP).
The two main opposition parties had already rejected the results before the final count, saying the electoral commission failed to follow its own law in transmitting and announcing results.
Both parties have also filed separate cases in the courts.
Lagos, eTranzact Collaborate to Curb Unregulated Development
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Lagos State Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with eTranzact, a foremost fintech company, to sanitise and regulate activities of setbacks and Incidental Open Spaces (IOS) and ensure physical orderliness in the state.
Signed by the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, the agreement will help curb unregulated development, manage setbacks and open spaces and improve the beautification of the environment in Lagos state.
The MoU will strengthen the partnership between Lagos State Planning and Environmental Monitoring Authority (LASPEMA) and eTranzact.
This collaboration will allow eTranzact to deploy an integrated technology solution for data collection, management, and digitization of revenue collection processes from the informal business players operating on the setbacks and Incidental Open Spaces (IOS) in Lagos State to regulate setbacks/IOS and enhance the State Internally Generated Revenue.
Speaking during the signing of the MoU held at the state secretariat in Alausa, Ikeja, the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mr Omotayo Bamgbose-Martins, represented by the Special Adviser to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on e-GIS and Planning Matters, Mr Olajide Babatunde, said the initiative was a public-private partnership that would yield a good result hence the need to take care of the environment.
He said the MoU is for accountability and in the interest of the general public in Lagos State, as well as improving the internally generated revenue (IGR) of Lagos State.
Also speaking, the Managing Director of eTranzact, Mr Niyi Toluwalope, said his organisation was partnering with Lagos State Government for social development, noting that the project would develop solutions on data, enumeration, reordering setbacks, putting incidental open spaces in an orderly manner, among other benefits.
He said: “eTranzact is a premier technology solutions company in Nigeria. Today we are partnering with the Lagos State Government and LASPEMA for the enumeration and data management of the occupants of the setbacks and incidental open spaces within the City. We are licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to provide this service.
“The Lagos State Government has taken this laudable initiative to identify the setbacks, enumerate the people on these setbacks, do the necessary data capture, and manage the entire setback infrastructure in the State so that it is structured, following the proper model for setbacks, improves beautification, improves transparency within the environment and ensures that our critical urban infrastructure is well laid out properly to ensure Lagos functions as a major critical landmark with global recognition.
“We are committed to partnering with the State government to build a beautiful and prosperous Smart City for all. As Nigeria’s Super Fintech Choice, eTranzact is committed to providing payment technology support for all public and private stakeholders.”
Also speaking, the General Manager of LASPEMA, Mr Daisi Oso, said the agency was saddled with addressing challenges that were associated with managing and regulating all activities on setbacks so as to ensure orderliness while leveraging technology.
He said the agency is saddled with the deployment of drones for mappings, collaborating with other ministries, departments, and agencies on urban development to improve security and order in the use of land in tandem with the state’s developmental plans to enhance social and political sustainability of businesses.
Ayu Steps Down as PDP Chairman, Damagum Takes Over
By Dipo Olowookere
The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Iyorchia Ayu, has stepped down from the position and has been replaced by the Deputy National Chairman of the party for the northern region of the country, Mr Umar Iliya Damagum.
A statement issued on Tuesday by the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr Hon. Debo Ologunagba, confirmed this development.
It was disclosed that Mr Damagum would be the acting chairman of the country’s main opposition party, pending the determination of a case in court.
Recall that on Sunday, the executive of the PDP in Igyorov Ward of Gboko Local Government Area of Benue State suspended Mr Ayu for alleged anti-party activities.
He was accused of working against the success of the party in Igyorov Council Ward, and failed to “pay his Annual Subscription Fees as provided under Section 8 (9) of the constitution of the PDP 2017 (As Amended).”
“Further investigation also revealed that he did not vote during the Governorship and State Assembly Elections held on March 18, 2023.
“It was also discovered that most of his closest allies worked for the opposition party, the All Progressive Congress, APC, and hence, the abysmal performance of the PDP in Igyorov Ward.
“In view of the foregoing, we hereby pass a Vote of No Confidence on Dr Iyorchia Ayu and suspend him as a member of our party with immediate effect. The suspension takes effect from March 24, 2023,” the Ward Chairman of the PDP, Mr Kachi Philip, and the secretary, Mr Vangeryina Dooyum, announced while addressing journalists.
Today, the national spokesman of the party said Mr Ayu stepped aside from the position during the National Working Committee (NWC) of the PDP on Tuesday in Abuja, after the NWC acknowledged “the order of the Benue State High Court dated March 27, 2023 with regards to the chairmanship position of our great party.”
“After a careful consideration of the court order and in line with Section 45 (2) of the Constitution of the PDP (as amended in 2017), the NWC resolved that the Deputy National Chairman (North), Umar Ililya Damagum, assumes the national chairmanship of our party in acting capacity with effect from today, Tuesday, March 28, 2023.
“The NWC charges all leaders, critical stakeholders, teeming members and supporters of our great party to remain calm and united at this critical time,” the statement said.
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