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NIPR, FERMA Partner on Crisis Management

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The National President and Chairman Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) Governing Council, Mukhtar Zubairu Sirajo fnipr has commended the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency for improved information dissemination as regards its activities. Sirajo made this known when he led a delegation of NIPR Governing Council and the FCT Chapter Executive on a courtesy visit to FERMA Headquarters today 18th November, 2020. In his remarks, the President said the purpose of the visit was to seek areas of partnership with FERMA that will be beneficial to both parties.

He said “eye on the road”, a weekly programme by the Agency was highly effective in disseminating information about the activities of the Agency to the Public. Adding, the President said he could attest to the fact that FERMA is always on her toes, working tirelessly to ensure federal roads are motorable to the users of the roads and to foster economic growth. He said, “I can imagine the adverse effect on roads across the nation if FERMA is off the roads for months”. Sirajo congratulated the Managing Director, FERMA for releasing one of her best staff in person of Mrs. Maryam M. Sanusi, mnipr, as the Chairman, FCT Chapter. He said Maryam who is Director, Communications and Public Relations in FERMA has brought improvement to the leadership in NIPR thereby transforming it within the short time she has spent there. The President further commended FERMA for not falling short of NIPR’s standard of allowing professionals to head the Public Relations Department. He pledges NIPR readiness to partner FERMA for seamless communication process and advice on crisis management.

 

The Managing Director/CEO, Federal Roads Maintenance Agency, FERMA, Engr. Nuruddeen A. Rafindadi FNSE in his response appreciated the NIPR team for recognizing the effort FERMA has made in showcasing to the public her activities. He attributed the success of the performance of FERMA to the professional manner the Public Relations handlers have carried out their job. Appreciating the Director, Communication and Public Relations, he said, but for her doggedness in ensuring that the activities of the Agency are showcased to the public through the media, it would have been difficult for the public to know and appreciate what the Agency is doing due to the paucity of fund as a result of low budgetary releases. The MD said, “When I assumed office in October 2017, the Agency had only received 1 billion out of 25 billion of its capital budget for the year and as at December 2017, the Agency only got about 35% of its budget. The funding in FERMA is very low, but not withstanding, we must communicate often with the public, and the Communications and Public Relations handlers have been doing so effectively to the extent that the public know of our reality and challenges and appreciate our effort in fixing federal roads despite the low funding”. The MD said partnership with the NIPR was a necessity and very important to FERMA especially with regards to crisis management.

He pledged the Agency readiness for a continued partnership, while thanking NIPR for given the Public Relations handlers in the Agency a platform to develop, considering that all staff of Communications and Public Relations Unit are members of NIPR. Rafindadi enjoined NIPR to continue to project FERMA’s good image to the public, saying that work would commence soon on the federal roads across the country before Christmas as the Agency is working tirelessly to ensure the COVID-19 Intervention projects is concluded soon. Other members of the Council commended the Agency for its prompt intervention on Nigerian roads and prayed for the Agency to witness growth and progress in its activities to the benefits of the road users. The Managing Director was invited to be a special guest during the Annual General Meeting of NIPR which will take place in Bauchi early next year.

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COVID-19: SANWO-OLU EXTENDS RESUMPTION DATE FOR GRADE LEVEL 14 AND BELOW TILL FEBRUARY 1

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Following the increase in number of recorded cases of coronavirus in Lagos State, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has extended the work from home directive to all State public servants on Grade Levels 14 and below to Monday, February 1, 2021.

Governor Sanwo-Olu’s directive was contained in a circular to members of the State Executive Council and all heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies issued and signed by the Head of Service, Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunola, on Saturday.

The directive on the extention of the resumption date for Grade Level 14 and below from January 18 to February 1 was taken by the Governor to successfully curtail the spread of the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic in the State.

Governor Sanwo-Olu who said the directive excludes essential duty staff, as well as first responders, enjoined all public servants to stay safe and keep adhering to all COVID-19 protocols in order to rid the State of the pandemic in the shortest possible time.

The circular entitled “Re: Stemming the tide of the second wave of COVID-19 – Extension of the Work from home directive” also directed all Accounting Officers to ensure strict compliance with all extant directives aimed to guarantee physical and social distancing in the work place.

“Sequel to Head of Service Circulars Nos.: CIR/HOS/’20/Vol.1/139 of 18th December,

2020 and CIR/HOS/’21/Vol.1/001 of 3rd January, 2021 and in furtherance of the State

Government’s effort to successfully curtail the spread of the second wave of COVID-19 Pandemic in the State, it is hereby notified for general information that Mr. Governor, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu has extended the work from home directive to all State Public Servants on Grade Levels 14 and below with effect from Monday, 18th January till Monday, 1st February 2021. Expectedly, the directive excludes Essential Duty Staff, as well as First Responders.

“Public Servants are therefore, enjoined to stay safe by adherence to all COVID-19 Protocols.

Additionally, Accounting Officers are to ensure strict compliance with all extant directives aimed to guarantee Physical/Social Distancing in the work place; through weekly preparation of Duty Rosters as considered germane to the effective service delivery of respective Ministries, Departments and Agencies.

“All Heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies are urged to observe the contents of

this Circular for acquiescence and give it the deserved Service-wide publicity,” the circular stated.

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FG Disburses another N123.34bn Grants to States

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The Federal Government has disbursed another round of performance-based grants to states in the sum of N123.348bn ($324.6m) under its States Fiscal Transparency Accountability and Sustainability Programme for Results.

Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, disclosed this in a statement issued in Abuja on Wednesday by the ministry’s Director of Press and Public Relations, Hassan Dodo.

Ahmed explained that the disbursement followed the achievement of results by the states in the just concluded 2019 Annual Performance Assessment.

The assessment was carried out by the Office of the Auditor-General for the Federation as the independent verification agent and approved by the programme coordination unit of the finance ministry.

On the disbursements, the minister said it included N91.048bn ($239.6m) of performance-based grants for the 2019 APA results achieved by 32 eligible states across various Disbursement Linked Indicators.

She said the indicators covered fiscal transparency, accountability, expenditure efficiency, revenue mobilisation and debt sustainability.

States received grants per the number of results achieved, with Sokoto State receiving the highest amount of N6.61bn, while Kano got the lowest amount of N1.71bn.

“Bayelsa, Imo, Rivers and Zamfara states got zero allocation due to their inability to meet the 2019 eligibility criteria which required states to publish online approved annual budgets and audited financial statements within a specific timeframe,” Ahmed stated.

She further noted that the 2019 APA results were a significant improvement on the 2018 APA results where the total performance-based grants of N43.416bn ($120.6m) were received by 24 eligible states.

This, she said, demonstrated the substantive progress states had made on fiscal reforms.

According to her, the second part of the disbursement involved a new COVID-19 response DLI, which was the implementation of a tax compliance relief programme for individual taxpayers and businesses by states by 30 September 2020.

On this, she said 34 out of 36 states were able to achieve the results for the new DLI for the total of N32.3bn ($85m) of grants, as only Anambra and Zamfara states missed out.

The disbursement came after the recent one in November 2020 by the Federal Government where the sum of N66.5bn ($175m) was granted to 35 states.

The minister observed that since the first disbursement in April 2020, the Federal Government had thus far disbursed the total sum of N233bn ($620.6m) to the states.

This, she said, was under the $750m World Bank-Assisted States Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability Programme for Results.

Ahmed said the World Bank-assisted SFTAS programme was principally meant to strengthen fiscal management at the state level to ensure effective mobilisation and utilisation of financial resources.

She said the resources were for the benefit of citizens in a transparent, accountable and sustainable manner, thereby reducing fiscal risks and encouraging a common set of fiscally responsible behaviours.

According to her, the SFTAS programme could not have come at a better time, given the dwindling government revenue occasioned by oil price volatility and the impact of COVID-19.

Ahmed stressed that with the disbursement of N233.26bn since the beginning of the programme, the government had successfully adapted and implemented the SFTAS to provide timely support to states.

She said this was to strengthen the financial capacity for responding to numerous fiscal challenges in their respective domains.

“The increase in the number of benefitting states and results achieved is indicative of the wider acceptance of SFTAS ideals by all states of the federation and this would herald a new era of transparency and accountability in fiscal governance at the sub-national level,” Ahmed said.

Source: The Punch Newspaper

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 Nigeria Univarsities that have Announced Resumption Dates

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Students are return to school after several months of being out of their classrooms.

Below is a list of universities that have announced resumption dates:

  1. University of Ibadan on Friday announced that academic activities will resume on February 22, 2021.

  2. Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria announced that it will be resuming on Monday, January 25th, 2021.

  3. University of Lagos has decided that academic activities will be resuming on January 25th, 2021.

  4. University of Ilorin resumed academic activities online on January 11, 2021.

  5. University of Jos will resume on January 22, 2021.

  6. University of Benin will resume academic activities on February 1, 2021.

  7. Lagos State University has already resumed and practicing what it called staggered resumption.

  8. University of Port Harcourt has announced that academic activities will resume on February 1, 2021.

  9. Rivers State University has resumed activities since January 4th, 2021.

  10. Bayero University Kano will begin a new academic session on January 18, 2021.

  11. Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta will resume on January 18, 2021.

  12. Ekiti State University will begin academic activities on January 18, 2021.

  13. Federal University of Technology, Akure will begin classes on January 18, 2021.

#nigeriauniversities

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