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FG Releases Guidelines For States’ Debt Management

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The Federal government of Nigeria has released guidelines for the legal framework for states’ debt management operations for the achievement of the disbursement-linked indicator (DLI) under the States’ Fiscal Transparency Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) Programme of the central government.

This DLI requires states to have robust state level legislation which incorporates amongst others; responsibilities for contracting State debt for recording and reporting State debt as well as fiscal and debt rules and/or limits for States.

This was contained by director-general of the debt management office (DMO) Patience Oniha, while speaking at a workshop for virtual presentation of the guidelines for the legal framework for states’ debt management operations in Abuja, on Wednesday.

She said World Bank is using the programme to provide support for the federal government and the states in area of financial management.
“DLI is most appropriate and relevant for debt management operation.

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The SFTAS Program has upscaled these initiatives, improved the level of commitment, and, brought a sense of urgency to improve public debt management at the Sub-national level. Overall, the outcome is a strong positive,”

Some guidelines have been prepared to enable the states understand what should be contained in those laws. One of the areas of focus is ‘who has authority to borrow, what is the process for borrowing and what is the limit?

The workshop is designed to help states have a clear understanding of the guidelines and requirements of state debt legislation and the institutional frameworks required for efficient debt management operations, whose ultimate objective, is to ensure that borrowing is prudent and that debt is sustainable.

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According to official figures, 23 states have already enacted laws and fiscal frameworks and by extension earned the SFTAS World Bank grant associated with its implementation.

Oniha said the DMO is committed to ensuring that the remaining thirteen (13) States meet this requirement.

The background is a 2016 adoption of the fiscal sustainability plan for sub-national governments. The agreement from both parties is that some things are needed to be done to improve financial management services at the state levels.

The aim is to migrate some of the federal government financial reform initiatives as the DMO act, IPPIS and financial responsibility act to the states to improve overall fiscal sustainability.

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She said, “It’s a partnership, it’s a working relationship to work with the state governments to achieve some targets regarding debt, especially, to ensure they have the equivalent debt management law.

Legislations and institutions are what make countries work. The SIFTES programme ensure that the requirements and agreements in the 2016 agreement are delivered.

The DMO DG said the federal government is not setting a timeline for the states to implement the programme or compel them to domesticate it. She said there are incentives for states who implement the requirements for public finance management.’’

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Headlines

Why AMCON Took Over Ibadan DisCo

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AMCON Takes Over IBEDC Over Debts - Naija News 247

The Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) says it took over control of Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) Limited over inability of the DisCo to clear its acquisition loan from Skye Bank, now Polaris Bank.

AMCON Takes Over IBEDC Over Debts - Naija News 247
AMCON Takes Over IBEDC Over Debts

IBEDC distributes electricity to consumers in Oyo, Osun, parts of Kwara, Ondo, Ekiti states.

After a court ruling empowering AMCON to take over the asset, IBEDC came under receivership on Thursday, January 20.

The DisCo was acquired by Integrated Energy Distribution and Marketing Limited (IEDML) the same firm that acquired Yola DisCo, all during the 2013 power sector privatisation exercise.

It later returned Yola to the federal government over insecurity issues in the franchise area. It was only in December 2021 that another private firm took over Yola DisCo from the Bureau of Public Enterprises, BPE.

IEDML got 60 per cent stakes in both DisCos to become the core investor.

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However, the funding for the assets acquisition were loans taken from banks and have had repayment issues eight years after acquiring IBEDC.

Just in November, AEDC, another of the 11 DisCos had acquisition loans settlement issues with UBA, promoting UBA to takeover the DisCo in full receivership.

AMCON in a public notice, stated that it had appointed Mr Osayaba Giwa-Osagie SAN to take over the the entire undertakings, assets of IEDM including shares and interests in related companies and entities, and also monies kept in of the 25 banks in Nigeria.

AMCON said it executed the take over of IEDM following a default in a Loan Servicing Agreement executed with Polaris Bank.

“AMCON has pursuant to Section 48 and 61 of AMCON Act 2010 been appointed Receiver/Manager over all the Assets of Integrated Energy Distribution and Marketing Limited as stipulated in the instruments executed in favour of AMCON by virtue of the Loan Purchase and Limited Servicing Agreement executed with Polaris Bank Limited dated 30th November 2018 and a Notice of Appointment of the Receiver/Manager dated August 6th, 2021, which was duly stamped by the Commissioner for Stamp Duties” the statement read.

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) had previously fined IBEDC N50 million for ”its failure to secure a refund of an interest free loan the Board of IBEDC granted to its core investor group.”

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Also in a memo to the staff by the IBEDC Chief Operating Officer (COO), Engr. John Ayodele, AMCON would not sack the management of IBEDC unlike the AEDC case where the management and board were reconstituted.

“Further, to the judgement wherein the Federal High Court on the 8th of September 2021 granted preservative orders in favour of Asset Management Corporation (AMCON), (being the Receiver/Manager of Integrated Energy Distribution and Marketing Limited); the court has appointed Mr Kunle Oqunba Esq. SAN to act as Receiver/ Manager Nominee in the receivership action.

“Based on the foregoing the Receiver/Manager came in today 20th January 2022 to the IBEDC Headquarters to take charge formally and subsequently met with the Management team. Therefore, I hereby wish to inform all staff that there is no cause for alarm.

“We are assured of job security which entails our position/ duties in the company, being entitlements to our salaries and other benefits etc.

“On behalf of the Management, I urge us all to kindly go about the efficient discharge of our duties to ensure a speedy and mutually beneficial resolution.

“I wish us all the best, while I appeal that we continue to remember IBEDC in our prayers,”

Engr. Ayodele stated in the memo.

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#JusticeForHanifa: Hanifa Must Get Justice, Kano Gov vows

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#JusticeForHanifa: Hanifa Must Get Justice, Kano Gov vows - Naija News 247

Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State has vowed that Hanifa Abubakar, the five-year-old pupil, who was murdered by the proprietor of her school must get justice.

#JusticeForHanifa: Hanifa Must Get Justice, Kano Gov vows - Naija News 247
#JusticeForHanifa: Hanifa Must Get Justice, Kano Gov vows

Hanifa was abducted in December and later killed by Abdulmalik Tanko, proprietor of Noble Kids Nursery and Primary School, Kano, where she was enrolled to learn before she was killed.

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Her death had sparked a nationwide outrage, with #JusticeForHanifa trending on social media.

In a statement Malam Muhammad Garba, Commissioner of Information, issued on his behalf, Ganduje said just would be served.

The governor listed some of the measures taken on the matter as indefinite closure of the school where the child was gruesomely murdered, withdrawal of its operational licence, among others.

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He said government is terribly disturbed that people entrusted with the care of children turned out to be murderers.

Ganduje added that government had been in touch with the family of the child, reiterating that justice must prevail to serve as deterrent to others.

The governor, who commended security agencies in the state for the prompt action that led to the arrest of those allegedly involved, stated that while investigation is ongoing, government would follow the case to its logical conclusion.

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He also commended the international community, human rights-based organizations and well-meaning Nigerians for their concern in the matter, assuring security agencies of government’s support in carrying out their duties.

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Crime

Gunmen kidnap Otokito Federal, Bayelsa Commission from his residence at Otuokpoti

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Gunmen kidnap Otokito Federal, Bayelsa Commission from his residence at Otuokpoti - Naija News 247

Otokito Federal Oparmiola, Bayelsa State Commissioner for Trade and Commence, has been reportedly kidnapped by gunmen.

Gunmen kidnap Otokito Federal, Bayelsa Commission from his residence at Otuokpoti - Naija News 247
Gunmen kidnap Otokito Federal, Bayelsa Commission from his residence at Otuokpoti

Naija News 247 gathered that, Otokito was kidnapped by armed men at his residence at Otuokpoti, Ogbia Local Government area last night.

Sources said the gunmen invaded the community at about 11pm, Thursday night and fired severally shots to scare people away before they proceeded to Otokito’s residence where he was whisked away to an unknown destination.

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Gunmen kidnap Otokito Federal, Bayelsa Commission from his residence at Otuokpoti - Naija News 247
Gunmen kidnap Otokito Federal, Bayelsa Commission from his residence at Otuokpoti
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