Mr Peter Odey, member representing Ogoja state constituency in the Cross River House of Assembly on Wednesday called for privatisation of the moribund state-owned industries for greater productivity and increased income generation.
Odey, also the House Leader made the call on the floor of the House.
According to him, government had failed to manage the state’s industries and enterprises effectively.
He opined that if privatised, the industries would become optimally productive.
“Go to the garment factory, it is not yielding anything for the state, we are all aware of the case of Tinappa Business and Leisure Resort and how that enterprise died.
“Transcorp, Unicem and Flower Mill were all privatised, today they are all doing well.
“The House should set up a privatisation council to advise it on how to go about the privatisation of the cocoa factory, the rice seedling factory, Calapharm and other newly created industries by the governor of the state.
“The state should seek core investors who specialise in different areas to invest in the industries in the state where they have expertise in.
“We must start looking beyond 2023, what if the next administration comes into power and does not follow the blueprint of this present administration?
“It means all the monies invested in these industries are gone,’’ he said.
In his contribution, Mr Friday Okpechi, member representing Obubura 1 Constituency and co-sponsor of the motion, urged the House to be ready to accommodate criticisms on the matter under discourse.
Okpechi noted that there was likely going to be backlash of criticism that the House members were planning to sell government establishments to themselves.
He nonetheless maintained his argument that it was important to privatise the industries in the state for optimum productivity as many of them had become moribund.
“Today, Water Board is not running the way it should because government business is no man’s business, hence, we see the lackadaisical attitude of people.
“We will have a lot of stones thrown at us for the privatisation of the industries in the state, but I strongly believe that if this House align with the executive to privatise these ventures, it will be of immense benefit to the state.’’
Other members of the House in their contributions in support of the motion, said all over the world, government does not do business, but only created policies and the enabling environment that allowed businesses to thrive.
The lawmakers urged the state government to take a second look at the privatisation law passed in the state in 2001 and commence effective privatisation of industries in the state to raise money to cater for social amenities.
The, however, warned that if industries in the state would be privatised, it should be done with sincerity of purpose and honesty.
Speaker of the Assembly, Eteng Williams said that some of the structures penciled for construction could not be actualised due to dwindling revenue of the state.
“The Garment Factory alone takes between N18 million and N20 million monthly to maintain and pay salaries, yet the state is not getting anything from it.
“There is the need for us to act now because when this government leaves in 2023, what will be left for our children?
“The House Committee on privatisation has a lot of work to do in looking into this issue and bringing out recommendations on how these industries would be effectively privatised to benefit the state,’’ he said.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that the Special Committee report on the crisis in the Department of Public Transport (DOPT) was put on hold because the matter was in court.
Meanwhile, the House has proceeded on a one-month recess which commenced on Wednesday.
ICPC ex-chair takes over Salaries and Wages Commission
Mr Ekpo Nta, the former Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Offences Commission (ICPC), has taken over the leadership of the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission (NSIWC).
The Chief Press Secretary of the Commission, Mr Emma Njoku made this known in a statement on Saturday in Abuja.
According to Njoku, the Chairman of the Commission, Chief Richard Egbule handed over to Nta, who is also the Commissioner for Compensation at the NSIWC, after the completion of his statutory 10 years tenure.
Egbule, while handing over to Ekpo Nta, described his tenure as historic, being the first to complete two terms and the first Chairman as the pioneer staff of the Commission from inception in 1992.
He called on staff of the Commission to get acquainted with the Act establishing the Commission.
This, according to him, will enable them know the enormous contributions and importance of the Commission to the development of the Civil Service and overall welfare of Public Service.
Nta, in his response, commended Egbule for his achievements in streamlining the nation’s salary administration.
The Nigeria News Agency recalls that Egbule started his working career as an Administrative Officer on grade level 08 in the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation and rose to the post of Chief Management Consultant in the same office in 1992.
He became a pioneer staff of the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission in 1992 and worked to structure and builds the Commission with the best professional practice.
In 2006, he was appointed the Secretary to the Commission and on Aug. 17, 2009, former President Umaru Yar’Adua made him the Executive Chairman of the Commission.
He attained 10 years as the Executive Chairman on Aug. 17.
Kaduna Govt. to prioritise uncompleted project in 2020 –Commissioner
The Kaduna State Government says it will give priority to projects that were unlikely to be completed and paid for in its 2020 budget.
Mr Thomas Gyang, Commissioner, Planning and Budget Commissioner, made this know in the 2020-2022 Multi-Year Budget Call Circular, obtained by the Nigeria News Agency in Kaduna on Saturday.
“Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) are advised to ensure that all ongoing projects that are unlikely to be completed and paid for in 2019 are captured in their 2020 Budget.
“Where ongoing projects exceed budget ceilings, they should be spread into 2021 and 2022 columns of the Multi-Year Budget.
“New projects are not to be integrated into the 2020 budget except priority projects of utmost importance,” Gyang said.
He also requested all MDAs to be guided by the state Development Plan 2016 to 2020 in coming up with programmes and projects to ensure coherent development across the state.
According to him, the administration will continue to focus on economic development, social welfare, security and justice and good governance.
“In preparing the budget, financial resources will be strictly dedicated to meet the objectives outlined in the State Development Plan as it relates to each sector.
“Therefore, MDAs will focus on delivering the outputs and strategies that will deliver the outcomes specified in the development plan.
“Resources should be allocated starting from the highest priority activities and continuing in sequence down to lower priority activities until the budget ceiling is reached.”
To give room for community participation in the budget process, the commissioner advised the MDAs to engage civil society organisations, community-based organisations and relevant stakeholders in drawing up their budgets.
He, however, stressed that inputs from such engagement should be in line with the aspirations of the state government as contained in the state’s development plan.
He also advised the MDAs against presenting over-ambitious budgets, adding that previous budget implementation rates have provided ample evidence of absorptive capacity issues across MDAs and the revenue generating capacity of the state.
“The government wants to facilitate service delivery which cannot be achieved without appreciable funding due to consistent dependence on statutory allocation from the Federation Account that has been dwindling over the years.
“This underscores the need for the Revenue Generating Agencies to perform maximally for the state to meet the challenging and obviously increasing demands of its citizens.
“To improve revenue generation, Kaduna State Internal Revenue Service is being repositioned alongside the review of revenue laws that governs revenue generation in the state.
“MDAs are, therefore, required to submit realistic and implementable multi-year budget estimates for the 2020 budget, based on the state revenue potentials outlined in the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework 2020 to 2022.”
Gyang directed all MDAs to submit detailed budget proposals to the Planning and Budget Commission by Sept. 17, while budget defence would be held between Sept. 24 and Sept. 29.
Edited by Ismail Abdulaziz
Gov. Akeredolu lauds CBN ‘s various intervention programmes
Akeredolu stated this on Friday in Akure when he received some officials of the bank who visited him in his office.
The governor, represented by his Deputy, Mr Agboola Ajayi, said as the manager of the nation’s economy, the apex bank should continue to be steadfast and play active roles in growing and rebuilding the nation’s economy towards sustainablity.
Akeredolu said the meeting was important because it provided a veritable platform for interaction between the state government and the CBN.
“It offers us the opportunity of gaining first hand information and useful insights on the abounding opportunities within the bank, which the state can explore to better the lots of her citizens,” he said.
Akeredolu noted that the state government would key into the numerous opportunities provided by the CBN such as the School Feeding programme, which provided employment for food vendors and income for farmers.
He expressed the determination of his government to improve on the already established relationship to open up the rural economy in the state.
Earlier, the leader of the CBN ‘s delegation, Mr Olumide Aina, urged the state government to improve on the level of its participation in the various intervention programmes of the bank.
Aina later made presentation on various intervention opportunities available in the bank.