The Presidency on Friday insisted that members of the National Assembly deliberately distorted the 2018 Budget in order to increase their allocation for constituency projects.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said this in a statement made available to journalists.
Adesina was reacting to the response of the National Assembly justifying its distortion of the 2018 Budget.
He said the Executive arm of government was surprised that with an additional N170bn available for the lawmakers for constituency projects and another N100bn provided for the same purpose in the budget, they still felt it was necessary to cut allocations to important national projects, and thereby distorting the budget.
The statement read, “Throughout the budget consideration process, the executive, through the Ministry of Budget and National Planning, was in touch with the National Assembly. The executive was approached by the National Assembly who indicated that they intended to increase the benchmark price by $5, from $45 to $50.
“Out of the $5 increase the National Assembly informed the Executive that they intended to utilise US$2 (amounting to about N170bn) for projects selected by themselves. They asked the Executive to suggest important projects that could be accommodated with the funds arising from the balance of $3.
“After some consideration, the Executive was of the view that an increase in the benchmark price of crude oil to $50 was not unrealistic and the President decided to accept this in the spirit of compromise required for a successful budget exercise.
“The Executive had, in that spirit, suggested that from the additional funds arising out of the $3 increase, $1.25 from the increase should not be appropriated as expenditure, but utilised to reduce the deficit in the budget. The Executive therefore restricted itself to submitting, for the consideration of the National Assembly, important items that could be funded from $1.75 of the $3 increase. NASS eventually raised the benchmark price to $51, apparently to accommodate the additional allocations to Health and NDDC.
“The Executive is therefore surprised that with an additional sum of N170bn available for the National Assembly to spend on Constituency Projects, together with the sum of N100bn, already provided for in the Budget, that the National Assembly should feel it necessary to cut allocations to important national projects, and thereby distort the Budget, in order to further increase their allocation for Constituency projects. How much is enough!”
BREAKING: South Africa Enters Technical Recession After GDP Declines For A Second Quarter
Reports from South Africa show that the country’s economy, the second largest in Africa, has again dropped into a technical recession.
This was after the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the second quarter of 2018 compressed further by 0.7 percent, according to figures released on Tuesday by Stats SA.
This marks two consecutive periods of contraction the country was recording, which therefore equates to a recession.
In the first quarter of this year, South Africa’s GDP contracted by 2.6 percent.
“Real gross domestic product (measured by production) decreased by 0.7 percent in the second quarter of 2018, following a decrease of 2.6 percent in the first quarter of 2018.
“The largest negative contributors to growth in GDP in the second quarter were agriculture, transport and trade,” the Stats SA said in its report today.
This is the first recession South Africa is entering into since its new leader, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa, took over from Mr Jacob Zuma, who also witnessed an economic recession while in office.
UBA’s Leo Launched On WhatsApp
Pan-African Financial Institution, United Bank for Africa (UBA) has announced the commencement of its chat bank ‘Leo’ on the WhatsApp platform.
With Leo on WhatsApp, customers who are users and lovers of the app can now perform basic banking services including checking their balances on the go, transferring funds, paying bills, among other services.
The Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, UBA, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, who expressed excitement about the development remarked that the bank is continuously working in line with customers’ demand to ensure that banking services are made convenient and without stress.
He said, “This only goes to show that our resolve in continuing to deploy innovative solutions that place customers first, using cutting-edge technology for their collective satisfaction and excellent banking experience is important to us. This recognition will further spur us to do more in meeting the needs of our customers with unrivalled services.”
“Our recent launch of Leo in 13 other African countries is evidence that UBA has on its agenda, the objective of digital creativity especially in service for our trusted customer base across the African continent.”
Also speaking on the new service, the Group Head of UBA’s Online Banking, Mr Austine Abolusoro, stated “United Bank for Africa is a technology-driven institution with vast knowledge in the business that we do and Leo, being a tested dependable and intelligent personality, will replicate on WhatsApp, the success it has experienced on the Facebook Messenger platform. It is a solution that is from the customer’s standpoint, easy to use by anyone regardless of your demography.” “Leo is ready and waiting to help with any form of banking services,” continued Abolusoro.
WhatsApp has been in existence for over 9 years, reaching more than 1.5 billion people in over 180 countries. The premium private chat platform has assured that there will be no spam messages as the development is to enable businesses to serve their customers with useful and helpful information.
LEO is already present in over 14 African subsidiaries, including Nigeria, available in three languages, and has now been rolled out to customers on WhatsApp. To use this service on WhatsApp, customers must add the LEO Whatsapp number: +234 903 000 2455 to their phone contacts, then search for UBA Chat Banking on WhatsApp to start enjoying the added convenience and ease of transacting with Leo on WhatsApp.
UBA is one of Africa’s leading banks with operations in 20 African countries and in London and New York, with presence in Paris. Adjudged to be at the forefront of innovation and convenient banking, UBA is one of the first financial services institutions on the continent to deploy Finacle 10x, a new information technology platform that boosts its services and electronic banking channels. Today, UBA provides banking services to more than 15 million customers globally, through thousands of touch points and diverse channels.
UBA Appoints Four New Board Members
The Board of Directors of the United Bank for Africa is pleased to announce the appointment of four new members to its board, subject to the approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN).
The new board members are Mrs. Erelu Angela Adebayo, Ms. Angela Aneke, Alhaji Abdulqadir Jeli Bello and Mr. Isaac Olukayode Fasola.
These appointments follow the retirement of Mrs. Rose Okwechime, Mr Adekunle Olumide, OON, Alhaji Ja’afaru Paki and Mr Yahaya Zekeri, with effect from August 30, 2018.
“I am pleased to welcome Erelu Adebayo, Angela Aneke, Abdulqadir Bello and Kayode Fasola to the Group Board,” said Tony O. Elumelu, the Group Chairman of the Bank. “These men and women bring a wealth of experience in their fields and will be tremendous assets, as we deliver on our mission to become the leading Pan-African financial institution in all our countries of operation.”
‘I am particularly pleased that two of the newly appointed Non-Executive Directors are women, bringing the total number of women to four, a further demonstration of our commitment to ensuring equality for both men and women,’ added the Group Chairman.
Mr. Elumelu thanked the retiring directors for their contribution, hard work and commitment to UBA, “I would like to express my appreciation to our retiring Directors for their leadership and dedication to UBA and for their contribution to an already impressive 2018. I wish them the very best in their future endeavours”.
This announcement comes on the heels of the Bank’s strong H1 2018 performance with a PBT of N58.1billion. With the successful expansion of its retail operations, UBA now operates in 20 countries in Africa, following its recent acquisition of a licence in Mali and the United Kingdom. The bank also has offices in New York City and in Paris.
About the new Directors
Erelu Angela Adebayo who graduated with an M.Phil in Land Economy from Cambridge University is the former First Lady of Ekiti State in Nigeria. Mrs Adebayo previously served on the boards of several organisations, including the Dangote Foundation, DN Meyer Plc, Wemabod Estates. Mrs Adebayo is a council member of the Nigerian Stock Exchange and has worked extensively on real estate development and She is the Chairman of the Erelu Adebayo Foundation for the underprivileged.
Ms. Angela Aneke is a board advisor, banker and a strategic thinker with over 30 years’ experience in financial services, in the areas of financial control, strategy, transaction banking, corporate banking, retail banking and governance. Ms. Aneke has held executive management and board positions in several international and regional institutions, including Ecobank Transnational Incorporated and the United Bank for Africa.
Mr. Isaac Olukayode Fasola is a consummate professional with over 30 years’ cognate experience obtained from Management and Board positions covering banking operations, risk management, credit analysis, insurance, asset management, business strategy/development, performance management and corporate governance. Mr. Fasola previously served as an Executive Director of a commercial Bank in Nigeria. Mr. Fasola holds 2 MBAs and is pursuing a Ph.D. in Business Administration.
Mr. Abdulqadir J. Bello, a Chartered Accountant, has over 30 years’ corporate experience in the banking sector, during which period he held several senior Management positions in various Banks. He also previously served as the Group Chief Credit Officer of UBA and thereafter as the Executive Director in charge of Risk Management for UBA Group.
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