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TSA: FG saves N45bn monthly, says finance minister

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The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, says the Federal Government is currently saving an average of N45bn monthly in interest payments following the implementation of the TSA (Treasury Single Account).

Ahmed, who spoke during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on TSA between Nigeria and the Republic of The Gambia, said among other verifiable benefits, Nigeria could easily determine its aggregate cash balance, critical for managing public finances at a time of acute fiscal constraints.

“On the monetary policy side, we have better control over money supply and, therefore, able to rein in inflation and undue pressure on the naira. Our foreign reserves position has also recorded appreciable improvement through the consolidation of the federal government foreign currency earnings under the TSA,” she said.

Ahmed recalled the last visit by officials of The Gambia in May 2019 for a week-long study tour of the TSA implementation.

The minister said following the successful conclusion of the tour, The Gambia requested technical cooperation with Nigeria to support its own transition to the TSA.

She said in order to achieve that aim, representatives of both countries worked on an MoU detailing the terms and scope of the cooperation.

Ahmed said, “In a nutshell, the cooperation seeks to avail the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs of The Gambia of the vast knowledge, experience and technical expertise that Nigeria has gained in the past 15 years of implementing TSA in particular and other public financial management (PFM) reforms in general.

“By so doing, The Gambia is properly guided as it implements its own TSA. The cooperation will enable The Gambia to leverage the experience of Nigeria to build on our strengths while avoiding our mistakes.

“We are happy to support The Gambia in their bid to implement TSA and other PFM reforms. We are also open to supporting other African countries which may want to build on our experience and significant progress in TSA implementation.

“It is our belief that African countries are better off learning from each other and supporting each other because of our shared culture and history.”

The minister urged The Gambia to muster the necessary political will before forging ahead with adopting the TSA.

She warned that it was better to secure the buy-in of topmost political actors in the country.

She stressed the importance of the synergy between the fiscal and monetary authorities.

She noted that the cooperation of other stakeholders such as the parliament; ministries, departments and agencies of government, banks and service providers was also important.

Ahmed urged those to drive the reforms to secure the support of the general public.

“As is the case in Nigeria, when you have their support, they will take it upon themselves to be against forces of resistance and any attempt at derailing the reforms,” Ahmed said.

In her remarks, the leader of the Gambian delegation to the MoU signing ceremony, the country’s Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance and Economy, Ms. Ada Gaye, explained that cooperation has helped them to understand the workings of the TSA.

“The Gambia wants to efficiently manage its funds; the fragmentation of accounting systems in The Gambia is huge. It is, therefore, noteworthy for The Gambia to adopt TSA,” she said.

She added that the government of The Gambia will create the needed sensitisation to help the people understand the process.

“Nigeria is the big brother while The Gambia is the small brother. We are happy to cement this brotherly love,” she said.

The Gambian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr Amadou Sheikh Oman Taal, also described Nigeria as a big example within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) region.

“We are trying to make reforms in our financial management. Therefore, this collaboration with Nigeria is very important to us. So, The Gambia Central Bank will get closer to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) so as to learn and get the necessary experience,” he stated.

Governor of CBN, Godwin Emefiele, said the role of the apex bank was critical to the success of the TSA.

Represented by the CBN Deputy Governor, Operations, Adebisi Shonubi, Emefiele said Nigeria was currently realising additional benefits, which were never imagined prior to the commencement of the TSA.

According to him, it is important that the Central Bank of Gambia realises that its primary mandate of price stability will change as it assumes the back stock and corresponding bank for the country as a result of the TSA.

Emefiele said, “Nigeria remains a brother in the house and we are always willing to share our experiences, our gains and sometimes our pains. I know we will be a worthy ambassador of what the TSA has done in Nigeria, The Gambia and other countries in Africa.”

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Buhari appoints Semiu Adeniran new stastician general

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President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of Mr Semiu Adeniran as the Statistician General of the Federation and Chief Executive Officer of the National Bureau of Statistics.

The appointment follows the demise of the former statistician general, Dr Simon Harry, on April 13, 2022, eight months into his five-year tenure.
A statement by Sufuyan Ojeifo, Special Assistant (Media) to the Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Clem Agba, said, “Adeniran is a professional statistician of repute with bias for Demography and Social Statistics. He has over three decades of statistical hands-on experience garnered from various local and international institutions.”

“Until his appointment, Mr Semiu was the Director of Demographic and Household Statistics at the National Bureau of Statistics.”

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Cancel gospel crusade in Abia — IPOB warns Kumuyi

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Pastor William Kumuyi

The Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, has asked the General Superintendent of Deeper Christian Life Ministry, Pastor William Kumuyi, to take note of the ugly security in the South East zone and cancel the crusade he has scheduled to hold in Aba, Abia State.

Pastor Kumuyi is slated to hold a gospel crusade in Aba, from 24th to 29th May, 2022.

IPOB stated that it will not allow anybody to die because of this crusade as there are high chances of criminals operating as unknown gunmen to infiltrate the crusade and blame it on IPOB.

In a statement signed by the Media and Publicity Secretary, Comrade Emma Powerful, IPOB urged the cleric to pray for an end to the insecurity in Biafra land and tasked Christians to engage God in fervent prayers to expose all those behind the insecurity in the land.

“The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), ably led by our great leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu wish to advise Pastor Kumuyi of Deeper life Ministry to take note of the security situation in the South East as he comes to Aba for his gospel crusade. Let him and the organizers of the crusade make sure that nothing happens.

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“The security of this region is not good because of political and criminal activities. Therefore, we advise him to stop this crusade for security reasons. We equally want them to be united against the Islamic agenda against non Muslims in Nigeria. We had expected them to demand justice for the innocent Deborah Yakubu burnt alive by Muslim fanatics in Sokoto State. Her killers are walking freely today and 34 lawyers shamelessly volunteered to defend her killers but Christians are just watching them. The double faced Nigeria security agencies only managed to arrest two of her killers because they are Muslims. If it were to be in Biafra land, all the youths on the street will be in police cell by now while the unlucky ones would have been killed.

“How many Igbo or Christian lawyers came to defend our Leader fighting for the freedom of all Biafrans but 34 Muslim lawyers have come in defense of killers of Deborah Yakubu? Is it not time Christians and Men of God woke up to the realities in Nigeria? They should support Biafra and Oduduwa agitators in their bid to free Biafra and Oduduwa republics from the Islamic bondage in Nigeria so that they will enjoy freedom of worship in both republics.

“Leah Shuaibu is still in captivity today because she is a Christian but all the Muslims abducted along with her have since been freed. Christians must support IPOB to liberate them from bondage in Nigeria.”

The pro Biafra group further asked Kumuyi to pray against wicked leaders in Biafra land and Nigeria, stressing that they are the real problems of the people.

“Let him use the opportunity to pray against the powers holding people captive in Nigeria in his church in Lagos.”

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I’ve no apology for being ‘mad’ about Nigeria ― Obasanjo

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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo says he has a “mad passion” for Nigeria.

Obasanjo, who stated this when he played host to a presidential aspirant under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mohammed Hayatu-Deen at his Penthouse residence in the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, said he had no apology for being mad about Nigeria “because I have no other country I can call my own and I have no other country I can go to and say yes, I have come to live here.”

According to him, Nigeria needs a leader who is ‘mad’ and passionate about the country to address its myriad problems and put it on the right path.

He said, “Passion means being mad about Nigeria; having a touch of madness and I look at you (Hayatu-Deen) and say yes, you are mad about Nigeria too.”

Obasanjo lamented the deteriorating security situation in the country and insisted that Nigeria could overcome its security challenges within two years with the willingness to make tough decisions.

He said, “Some people say the human memories are short, maybe they are right because if human memories are not short, some of the mistakes that we are making, we will not be making them.

“I believe like you (Hayatu-Deen) have rightly said, that this period is not like any other period in the history of Nigeria and you used two words – decomposing and dissolving. I can’t find any better words to describe the situation we have found ourselves.

“It is an agonising situation for you obviously and also for me. I want to emphasise the point that the Nigerian situation, bad as it is, will only be put right by Nigerians at the forefront of our situation. So, Nigerians have to brace themselves to do what needs to be done to put Nigeria back on the right path.”

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Hayatu-Deen who came in the company with his team at 12.30pm went into a closed-door meeting with Obasanjo which lasted for about an hour before speaking with journalists.

The former Managing Director of FSB International Bank, described Obasanjo as a father of modern Nigeria whose administration recorded tremendous achievements.

Speaking at the state PDP secretariat, Hayatu-Deen said he possessed the capacity, experience and knowledge to govern Nigeria.

The aspirant, who said he had been to several parts of Nigeria, including South-West, stressed that he is a passionate and complete Nigerian.

He said, “My blood is Nigerian blood. I had seen Nigeria with the eyes of a Nigerian and not from the perspective of a tribal man. I am prepared to govern Nigeria from the first day of inauguration on May 29, 2023.

“We are suffering from self-inflicted wounds. As an economist, I know how to fix the economy. I will provide social security, I will provide Energy Security, I will deal with the issue of national insecurity.”

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