By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The Lagos State House of Assembly has concluded arrangement to strengthen the Audit Law in the state by amending it.
Speaking during a day public hearing on A Law to Amend the Lagos State Audit Law on Friday, Speaker of the House, Mr Mudashiru Obasa, said government must be transparent.
Mr Obasa, who was represented at the event by the Majority Leader, Mr Sanai Agunbiade, said government needed to generate revenue to serve the people and that government’s money must be spent for the purposes it is meant for.
“The Audit Department is very important and we must continue to make it functional and effective. The central internal audit is domiciled in Public Finance Management Law.
“The Bill seeks to amend 23 Sections of the law, take it to Audit Service Commission and bring all the auditors under one umbrella to exclude the control of Central Internal Audit from the Ministry of Finance.
“It is to extend the application of the audit law to local government audit commission.
“It is also to take care of little lapses in the law and strengthen our audit system in the state,” he said.
In his welcome address, Chairman of the House Committee on Public Accounts, Mr Moshood Oshun, said the amendment was necessary.
Mr Oshun added that the auditors, who he said were the state police, serve as checks and balances on the state’s budget.
The lawmaker stated that the auditors monitor the state’s expenditures, and commended the Auditor General of the state for what she has been doing.
Mr Oshun promised that the House would do its best and do the utmost for the auditors so that the tax payers would have confidence in the government.
“We will do everything within our powers for the auditors to give the best so that they can give us a good report, which would be properly treated.
“I want to appeal to the auditors to do the best within their ability so that we can have the Lagos of our dream that can be compared to any state in the world.
“You must do everything possible to be the state police on auditing.
“We must all contribute objectively to make the bill a better one. You can give us a memo to have a bill that we all can be proud of,” he said.
In his contribution, Chairman of the Lagos State Audit Service Commission, Mr Waliu Abiodun Onibon, observed that the original bill was passed in 2010 and not 2015, and that the Permanent Secretary to be appointed should be a chartered accountant by profession, saying that he is in-charge of in-house administration.
He suggested that the Chairman of the Commission should also be a professional accountant with cognate experience.
The State Auditor General, Mrs Morenike Helen Deile, stated that Public Sector Audit experience must be different from private experience, and that the two of them must have public sector experience.
Mrs Deile added that the commission would formulate polices, while the audit agencies would implement the policies.
“The Auditor General would be appointed on the recommendations of the State Civil Service Commission. Local Government Service Commission has nothing to do with it, it should be Audit Service Commission.
“Public financial management is a global framework. We should not repeal the provision in that law,” she said.
The Auditor General, who welcomed the amendment, stated that it would further empower auditors.
She stressed that there was no issue with her staff and that the MDAs have improved.
“There are always challenges because nobody wants to be audited. But by and large because of education we are not hostile to them, we are now strategic partners.
“The Lagos State Government started electronic financial system years back, but we cannot cut off from paper auditing just like that.
“We do electronic auditing of basic agencies that are on the platform. We even train system auditors amongst us and we give reports to the Assembly. We are telling the MDAs to do proper record keeping,” she said.
Also speaking, the Chief Executive of the Institute of Internal Auditors, Mr Humphrey Okorie, said the state was moving closer to international best practise on auditing, and commended the stat for the establishment of Audit Service Commission.
Composition of the commission
Mr Okorie advised that the commission should comprise a chairman and four others with a professional accountant and a professional auditor with 10 years’ experience.
He observed that there was a difference between internal auditing and accounting even if they are related.
According to him, an experienced auditor should be appointed as the Permanent Secretary, while there should be a Bureau for Internal Audit Services for the effectiveness of governance system and processes.
He added that internal auditors ought to be in various agencies to ensure that the necessary systems work.
“The head of Bureau for Internal Audit Services should be appointed by the Governor with cognate experience.
“He should not be at the director level. He should be reviewing and maintain services and ensure proper accountability and transparency,” he said.
Mrs Joko Ogundimu from the Lagos State Audit Service Commission said the main function of the Audit Service Commission was human resource management of auditors.
Mrs Ogundimu stated that the government must recruit people with experience in human resource management.
“Office of the Auditor General for Lagos State and Local Government should be Office of Auditor General for Lagos State, Local Government, and Internal Audit.
People in internal audit should have the appropriate experience. The status of the head of Central Internal Audit must also be a Permanent Secretary,” she said.
Poverty Alleviation: President Buhari Sends NSIP Bill to Senate
By Adedapo Adesanya
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday sent a bill to formally establish the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) to the Senate.
The President said the NSIP Bill would provide a legal and institutional framework for the programme.
He explained in the letter read in plenary by the Senate President, Mr Ahmad Lawan, that consideration and passage of the bill will provide the enabling law for the effective implementation of the programme.
He said it was geared towards poverty alleviation of vulnerable Nigerians.
Part of the letter read: “The National Social Investment Programme Establishment Bill seeks to provide a legal and institutional framework for the establishment of the NSIP for the assistance and empowerment of the poor and vulnerable people in Nigeria.”
The NSIP was put together by the federal government following the outbreak of the global COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
The federal government has also been injecting N500 billion into the programme annually since then.
Recall that two out of every three Nigerians are poor and experience just over one-quarter of all possible deprivations in terms of health, education, living standards, and work and shocks.
This was disclosed by the National Bureau of Statistics disclosed in the 2022 (NBS) Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) Report, which put that over 130 million Nigerians are multidimensionally poor.
A breakdown of the dimensions of poverty used for the MPI includes nutrition, food insecurity, Time to healthcare, school attendance, Years of schooling and School lag.
Others are water, water reliability, sanitation, housing materials, cooking fuel, assets, unemployment, underemployment, and security shock.
Among other things, the report showed that 65 per cent of poor people, which equates to 86 million Nigerians, live in the North, while 35 per cent, nearly 47 million, live in the South.
Mr Buhari, in two other separate requests, seeks the consideration and passage of the National Library Establishment Bill 2022.
The proposed law, according to him, will provide the legal framework for the maintenance of the National Library of Nigeria in line with global practices.
The final request of the president to the federal lawmakers dwells on the consideration and passage of an executive bill on the Federal Produce Inspection Service.
Social Media Marketing Must Remain Steadfast Amid Looming Recession—Expert
By Adedapo Adesanya
Social media marketing is expected to weather the impending downturn just as economists around the world are warning that a recession is looming.
According to marketing expert and CEO of the AMD Consulting group, Mr Assil Dayri, as the world moves toward more significant economic uncertainty, influencer marketing will remain a key differentiator for brands.
The latest social trends reports predict that social media will top marketing budgets in 2023 as marketers turn to new strategies. Business plans already consider the imminent recession, and the marketing and social media sectors would be the first to see reduced resources, although work carried out by influencers through these channels is still on the rise. With this financial uncertainty, marketing investments will probably decrease, but brands will have to be smart since a total cut is not a viable option.
According to the specialist, influencer marketing is essential for the consumer, who will also feel the impacts of this economic instability.
“After all, as these difficulties settle in, the public turns to content producers they trust to seek references on where to safely put their money. Collaborating with key personalities to promote your brand will become even more essential based on the trust and credibility they have.
“In tough economic times, you don’t want to make any mistakes when selecting the influencers you work with. One of the great advantages of working with influencers is that regardless of the size of the brand or the audience you want to reach, there are nano, micro or macro influencers who are skilled at reaching that target market and can work within your budget,” he said.
Recent research shows that more brands are finding success with smaller influencers, thanks to their hyper-focused audience with very specific interests. Since smaller influencers are seen as more genuine and trustworthy, their followers tend to put more faith in the products or services they promote.
Consumers also begin to have less confidence in macro influencers, as they understand how many of them think more about the financial aspect and not the value that the brands they promote bring to the public.
It was noted that Instagram still leads the influencer marketing space in terms of professionals using the platform, as well as the amount of budget they invest. However, with the significant growth that TikTok is seeing, the specialist warned that we could see a shift soon as more brands are now entering the TikTok space.
To prepare for these changes, influencers need to find ways to make their content relevant and genuine. Considering the cut in marketing budgets, we could see in the next year, Influencers need to be consistent and creative to be chosen to collaborate with brands in these uncertain times.
“Being faithful to your niche and producing quality content to have a solid, strong, and influential image becomes essential because companies will start being even more selective,” Mr Dayri added.
On the positive side, this line of work is still on the rise. Even with the recession, the world still needs influencers. Mr Dayri predicts that brands will continue to invest in influencer marketing in 2023 despite the economic downturn and revised marketing budgets. Influencer partnerships help reduce overall marketing costs and allow businesses to build more brand awareness.
Lagos Fire Service Receives 17 Fire Outbreak Calls in One Day
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The Lagos State Fire and Rescue Service has disclosed that it received it recently received no fewer than 17 fire outbreak calls from residents of the metropolis.
In a statement issued on Monday, the agency, which described this as alarming, warned members of the general public, particularly motorists, to desist from indiscriminate storage of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), otherwise known as petrol, in inappropriate places.
Fuel queues have resurfaced in the state since last week, and at the moment, the product is sold in jerry cans along the road. This has also caused some consumers to embark on panic buying, with the products stored in resident areas.
But the head of the Lagos state fire service, Mrs Margaret Adeseye, has cautioned members of the public to be cautious, noting that the state has so far recorded 129 emergency calls on fire outbreaks in November, with 17 calls received in a day recently.
She noted that since the commencement of the recent fuel scarcity, some people had devised illegal means of storing the product in unsuitable places, such as in vehicles, under staircases at home or within the premises of their working places, stressing that all these have contributed to the increase in the number of fire outbreaks.
Mrs Adeseye reiterated that the state government places a high premium on the safety of the lives and properties of the citizenry; therefore, the nonchalant attitude of the general public to the basic principle of safety is of great concern to the present administration as the total number of emergency calls in November is already much higher than the 82 recorded in October 2022.
“The high figure of 129 fire outbreaks in less than a month is worrisome. However, we are extending our safety enlightenment campaigns to all local government areas, hospitals, schools and the grassroots, all in an effort to curb the tide of fire incidents and related emergencies,” she stated.
According to her, fuel scarcity is not an excuse for the inappropriate storage of fuel to the detriment of the lives and properties of residents, imploring members of the public to avoid using jerry cans that have been used for petrol to store kerosene and any other flammable liquids. She also advised motorists, particularly commercial vehicle operators, not to store petrol in the boots of their cars and buses.
The firefighter urged landlords and tenants to be observant and prevent inappropriate storage of fuel in and around their homes while enjoining operators of filling stations to stop the practice of dispensing fuel in polythene bags while allowing customers to cluster around petrol dispensing pumps to avoid scuffle that can lead to fire outbreaks.
Mrs Adeseye, therefore, urged residents to call the toll-free emergency numbers 767 or 112 or the Lagos Fire Service Hotline: 08033235891 to report an outbreak of fire for a prompt response.
Latest News on Business Post
- Zenith Bank Assures Budding Entrepreneurs Necessary Support to Succeed November 29, 2022
- Financial Derivatives Company Holds Economic Forum December 5 November 29, 2022
- Interswitch Reaffirms Interest in Fostering Deeper Ties Financial Ecosystem November 29, 2022
- Airtel to Accelerate Digital Learning for Nigerian Children November 29, 2022
- Poverty Alleviation: President Buhari Sends NSIP Bill to Senate November 29, 2022
- Nigeria, UK Seek Stronger Ties as Trade Value Hits £5.5bn November 29, 2022
- Stakeholders Form Coalition Against Counterfeit Pharmaceutical Products November 29, 2022
- Social Media Marketing Must Remain Steadfast Amid Looming Recession—Expert November 29, 2022
- FG Implements 14-Day Paternity Leave for Civil Servants November 29, 2022
- No More Business Registration Without NIN—CAC November 29, 2022