The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, has said the Federal Goverment, through the National Social Safety Nets Coordinating Office, is developing a Rapid Response Register to quickly scale up the enrolment of poor and vulnerable citizens.
She said this at the Open Government Partnership 2020 Virtual Leaders Summit Roundtable.
The event was to advance discourse and innovation around open response and open recovery measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to her, data for the register are being sourced through primary and secondary sources, including the Nigeria Inter-bank Settlement System and the National Communication Commission database on mobile phone users.
In order to ensure transparency as well as mitigate corruption risks, the Minister said that payments would be made directly to the accounts of the individuals, using their Bank Verification Numbers.
Speaking on the Federal Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, the minister said, “Our response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been proactive, people-oriented and aimed at averting drastic economic decline and protecting our most vulnerable citizens.”
The minister added that the government was currently implementing a multi-sector economic sustainability plan.
According to her, a key priority for government is to deploy funds transparently, and in a targeted and efficent manner that maximises the impact, in keeping with the government’s commitment under the OGP national action plan.
She said, “This is especially important given our limited fiscal space and low domestic revenues.
“To this end, in addition to existing OGP measures around budgeting, citizens’ engagement, open contracting, anti-corruption and others, we have introduced measures to sustainability enhanced fiscal prudence and transparency.”
She explained further that Government had also established a technology-enabled result-based performance management framework to track expenditures under the ESP, including the fiscal stimulus package and other government interventions.
SERAP sues Buhari over alleged missing N11tn electricity fund
President Muhammadu Buhari has been dragged to court by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) for allegedly failing probe N11tn electricity fund said to missing.
The money, according to SERAP, was meant to provide regular electricity supply for the country since 1999, and it is suspected to have “been stolen, mismanaged or diverted into private pockets.”
In the suit number FHC/L/CS/1119/2022 filed last week at the Federal High Court, Lagos, SERAP sought for “an order of mandamus to direct and compel President Buhari to investigate how over N11 trillion meant to provide regular electricity supply has been allegedly squandered by governments since 1999.”
This is coming after it was reported that Nigeria’s electricity grid has collapsed at least three times within five months, and 130 times in seven years, plunging many households across the country into darkness.
Toyota-Suzuki joint SUV coming in August, Africa listed
The collaboration between Toyota and Suzuki is set to manifest in concrete terms as Toyota says it will start the production of a new SUV model developed by Suzuki at Toyota Kirloskar Motor Pvt. Ltd from August.
The Suzuki-developed SUV will come with mild and strong hybrid variants – made in India for both brands, multiple sources including motorauthority.com report.
The two companies are said to be planning to export the new model to markets outside India including Africa.
Toyota and Suzuki are promoting mutual supply of vehicles globally, which is one of the collaborations in their business partnership.
The two companies signed a memorandum of understanding for a business alliance in 2017. Since then, the two companies have been bringing together Toyota’s strength in electrification technologies and Suzuki’s strength in technologies for compact vehicles for joint collaboration in production and in the widespread popularization of electrified vehicles.
The powertrains of the new model to be on sale in India will be equipped with mild hybrid developed by Suzuki and strong hybrid developed by Toyota.
By bringing together strengths of both Toyota and Suzuki through the collaboration, the two companies say they will be able to provide a wide variety of vehicle electrification technologies to customers and contribute to the acceleration of electrification and the realization of a carbon-neutral society in India.
While Suzuki leads and understands the India market, Toyota brings hybrid tech to the table.
Maruti Suzuki India Limited and TKM will market the new model in India as Suzuki and Toyota models, respectively.
Ford to end production of Focus in 2025
Ford has confirmed that it will stop producing the Focus model in 2025, in a move that threatens the longer-term future of its Saarlouis, Germany plant that only makes that model.
Nigeria may not miss the exit of the Focus as it has not really been as popular as other Ford models such as the Escape, the Edge and Everest.
Ford however said that its plant in Saarlouis would continue to produce the Ford Focus passenger car, while the company is also evaluating options for future site concepts.
In Europe, Ford has emphasised the future role for electrified models – which includes its Cologne plant in Germany being a hub for EV production. It will build a new SUV based on VW’s MEB platform from 2023.
Ford also recently announced that its Valencia, Spain, plant would receive investment for making electric vehicles on a next-generation electric vehicle architecture.
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