The Executive’s Emergency Powers Bill. Really?

Omolulu Ogunmade reports in ThisDay that President Muhammadu Buhari and the Executive branch of Government seek to secure emergency powers aimed at addressing Nigeria’s economic crisis.

The Bill entitled, ‘Emergency Economy Stabilization Bill, 2016’, according to the report, will be sent to the National Assembly after resumption by the National Assembly from its summer vacation.

The objectives of the Bill include shoring up the value of the Naira; job creation; boosting foreign exchange reserves; reviving the manufacturing sector and improving power supply.

According to the report, the Bill is the initiative of the economic team, headed by the vice-president, which has the responsibility of reviewing various policies in the country and their effect on the recovery of the economy.

Apparently, the rationale behind the Bill is to ensure that the Executive arm of government be enthroned with the powers to take some drastic decisions not currently provided for by extant laws.

The Bill, inter alia, seeks to give the president sweeping powers to set aside extant laws and use executive orders to roll out an economic recovery package within the next year to:

  • abridge the procurement process with a view to guaranteeing stimulus spending on critical sectors of the economy;

  • make orders to favour local contractors/suppliers in the award of contracts;

  • abridge the process of sale and lease of government assets to generate revenue and allow virement of budgetary allocations to projects that are urgent without recourse to the National Assembly;

  • amend certain laws such as the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) Act so that states that cannot access their cash trapped in the account of the UBEC as a result of their failure to meet a counterpart funding, can do;

  • reform visa issuance at Nigeria’s consular offices and on entry into Nigeria and to compel some agencies of government, like the Corporate Affairs Commission, the National Agency for Food Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and others to improve on their turn around operation time for the benefit of business.

The extant procurement laws in Nigeria allows the award of a contract six months after the decision. This is because of the requirement for mandatory advertisement of the contract for six weeks.

The draft Bill also intends to ease the cumbersome and long procedure for the sale or lease of government assets to raise cash.

About N58 Billion is trapped in the UBEC’s coffers. Consequently, states cannot access the funds as a result of the requirement that the states provide 50% counterpart funding. The Executive is seeking an amendment to the law so that states will pay only 10% as counterpart funding. The Bill also seeks to increase the mobilization fee to contracts from a minimum of 15% to 50% of the contract sum.

In addition to the above, the consular offices will be expected to make visas available within 48hours and visitors, especially tourists, who intend to pick up visas at the entry point, will be able to do so. The Bill also seeks to eliminate the duplication of agencies screening incoming passengers into Nigeria.

Undoubtedly, the challenges identified and sought to be resolved by the Bill are real and worrisome. While the intent behind the Bill is commendable, the Bill itself undermines the very basis of our alleged democratic government. Hence, the public outcry of the members of the National Assembly can, on this occasion, be understandable.

The better approach would be to achieve the object of the Bill by either amending the various laws (such as the Immigration Act, Appropriation Act etc)  responsible for the red-tape and bureaucracy  or pass an Executive Order within the limits of the law or adopt some of the measures suggested in Proshare to wit:

  • Laws and measures dealing with the bureaucracy and red tape as seen in Bill Clinton’s government adoption of the National Partnership for Reinventing Government and more recently, India.

  • Changes in laws and trade/procurement agreements;

  • Changes in use of budgeted funds, .i.e appropriation amendments;

  • Policy changes done via trade, tariff and tax adjustment.

15 Words You Need to Eliminate From Your Vocabulary

TIME

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Newsprint is on life support, emojis are multiplying faster than hungry Gremlins, and 300 million people worldwide strive to make their point in 140 or fewer characters.

People don’t have the time or the attention span to read any more words than necessary. You want your readers to hear you out, understand your message, and perhaps be entertained, right? Here’s a list of words to eliminate to help you write more succinctly.

1. That

It’s superfluous most of the time. Open any document you’ve got drafted on your desktop, and find a sentence with that in it. Read it out loud. Now read it again without that. If the sentence works without it, delete it. Also? Don’t use that when you refer to people. “I have several friends that live in the neighborhood.” No. No, you don’t. You have friends who. Not friends that.

2. Went

I

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18 Behaviors of Emotionally Intelligent People

its being said that emotional intelligence is more important to employers than academic intelligence….something to chew on….

TIME

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When emotional intelligence (EQ) first appeared to the masses, it served as the missing link in a peculiar finding: people with average IQs outperform those with the highest IQs 70 percent of the time. This anomaly threw a massive wrench into the broadly held assumption that IQ was the sole source of success.

Decades of research now point to emotional intelligence as being the critical factor that sets star performers apart from the rest of the pack. The connection is so strong that 90 percent of top performers have high emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence is the “something” in each of us that is a bit intangible. It affects how we manage behavior, navigate social complexities, and make personal decisions to achieve positive results.

Despite the significance of EQ, its intangible nature makes it difficult to measure and to know what to do to improve it if you’re lacking. You can…

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27 Pre-Written Templates for Your Toughest Work Emails

TIME

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This post is in partnership with The Muse. The article below was originally published on The Muse.

Communication is hard work. A 2012 survey by McKinsey found that highly skilled desk workers spent an average of 28% of their work weeks dealing with email—a number that is surely rising. And that doesn’t even take into account the stress involved in figuring out how to convey a potentially difficult message, like asking for help, saying no, or admitting you messed up.

To help make the most of your time and energy, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite scripts and templates for making email (and a few other things, like that pesky LinkedIn recommendation you need to write) much easier and less time consuming. Whether you’re job searching, networking, dealing with day-to-day work communications, or trying to be a better manager, find your situation below, tweak the template to your…

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DSS Parades Kidnappers in NIgeria

The Department of State Security (DSS) has apprehended the kidnappers of President Goodluck Jonathan’s Uncle…..Read the Story Here

Maybe my perception of this information is skewed…that is not to say that I am not glad that the DSS apprehended the alleged kidnappers.

However, the ages of the alleged kidnappers caught and held my attention more profoundly than the information the story sought to communicate (i.e. the alleged kidnappers of the POTFREN have been apprehended).

The alleged kidnappers, who were paraded at the DSS headquarters in Abuja, comprised

a 400-level student, Eldred Jonah, aged 30;
Raphael Inengesi, 32;
Ibeabuchi Inya, 29;
Oreva Abridi, 29;
Tammy Agbai, 29;
a traditional doctor, Felix Onuoh, 48.

The DSS also paraded another set of suspects allegedly involved in the abduction of two sisters – Ejura and Unekwu Opaluwa – at Karmo, Abuja on June 8.

The suspects are

Oyemire Asagba, 29;
Sunday Attah, 30;
Zacheaus Salami, 30;
Victor Bassey, 32;
Sani Mohammed, 23; and
Aragba Ademo, 33

Others include

Ojo Gambo, 22;
Haruna Asama, 38;
Dikko Iko, 22; and
Mohammed Adamu, 20.

To my mind we should be very concerned that Nigeria’s young adults are resorting to criminal activities to make ends meet. The POTFREN and indeed all Nigerians (particularly politicians, Nigerians in the diaspora and other influential Nigerians who seem to be the target of these kidnappings) should work together to solve the problem of unemployment and/or resource curse.

What do you think?

Solid Minerals Audit: FG Threatens Firms with License Revocation

Following its decision to ensure transparent and accountable management of Nigeria’s solid mineral resources to make them count as an additional revenue source, the Federal Government has reaffirmed its support for a holistic review of the operations in the sector.

The FG said it would support the scheduled second audit cycle in the sector by the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) for the year 2011 as part of its wider economic policy to enthrone transparency and accountability in all sectors of the economy.

Consequently, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mohammed Sada, hinted at a workshop organized by NEITI to brainstorm on the template to be adopted for the 2011 audit of the solid minerals,  that the FG would not hesitate to revoke operational licenses of companies and entities that refuse to yield to NEITI’s lawful demands in the process.

The minister stated that cooperating with NEITI during the audit period is mandatory as failure to do so is in default of the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act 2007, which is very clear on declaration of all results of mining operations.

The penalty for non-disclosure may include revocation of mining licenses among others. Sada stated that the ministry will support NEITI and work with them to ensure that this cycle of audit is successful.

The minister explained that the government has decided to ensure that operational probity is instilled in the sector to among other objectives close up observed lapses and boost the efficiency of the sector.

He disclosed that some of the actions taken so far by the FG on the release of the NEITI’s report included: the development of a sector specific fiscal regime that would contain an Act on mining profit tax; proper assessment of revenues from the sector with Bill of Quantities (BOQ) as well as Bill of Engineering Measurement and Evaluation (BEME) of construction contracts to reveal the quantities of stone aggregates, laterite and sand used in such works.

Sada also said the menace of speculative mineral title holding was been addressed with computerized issuance and management of mineral titles and enforcement of mandatory contributions to the Environmental Protection and Rehabilitation Fund by title holders as contained in the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act 2007.

The Executive Secretary of NEITI, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, had earlier stated that the agency is redirecting national attention to the solid minerals sector, which had according to its 2007-2010 audit report, provided the FG with about N54.5 billion in revenue from taxes, royalties and levies from mining companies.

The premier audit report had exposed fundamental governance and process lapses in the management of the sector. For instance, the report revealed that the sector lacks effective regulatory and monitoring framework and as such granting illegal mining operations so much leverage.