Nigerian Government’s Proclivity For Loans Finds Wings With Covid-19

President Buhari making his budget speech. (Photo courtesy https://dailypost.ng)

By Vivian Bellonwu

Nigeria’s hitherto precarious economic state appears to be in for an unmitigated meltdown as the present Coronavirus pandemic has exposed and is bringing to the fore, both the weak nature of the nation’s economic fundamentals as well as the deficient capacity of its managers and management.

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Communique issued at the end of the Nigeria Pro-Democracy Conference 2019 on the theme: Reviving Popular Action for Democracy and Freedom in Nigeria

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Communique issued at the end of the Nigeria Pro-Democracy Conference 2019 on the theme: Reviving Popular Action for Democracy and Freedom in Nigeria

PREAMBLE

The Social Development Integrated Centre (Social Action) in partnership with African Centre for Media & Information Literacy (AFRICMIL) and Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) organized the 2019 Nigeria Pro-Democracy Conference at Lagos Airport Hotel, Ikeja, on Tuesday December 17, 2019.

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The Open Budget Campaign in the Niger Delta: The Journey so far

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Social Development Integrated Centre (Social Action) has been leading advocacy, amongst other thematic areas, on open and inclusive governance with a vision to entrench a regime of transparent and accountable governance and a citizen-centred public budgeting system. For about a decade now Social Action has been working with like-minded partner organisations in the Niger Delta to bring this vision to reality.

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End of Budget Secrecy in Rivers State and Social Action Publishes State Government Budget

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In a feat that marks the triumph of the rights and will of citizens, Social Action Nigeria has obtained and published the budget of the Rivers State Government for the 2017 and 2018 fiscal years on its website.

This breakthrough is coming on the heels of years of secrecy following the emergence of the administration of Governor Ezenwo Nyesom Wike in 2015. Since then, the government in the state refused to make its annual budgets public but instead carried on with the business of governance with expenditure figures unknown to residents and taxpayers. To this end, participatory governance became relegated to irrelevance even as accountability and transparency suffered a similar fate. Budget secrecy in Rivers State was sustained even at a time governments at all levels across the country were embracing Open Government Partnership (OGP).

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STATE BORROWING AND THE NEGLECTED PLIGHT OF UNPAID WORKERS

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Recently, the Kogi state government made a public admission and disclosure that it has defaulted in paying its workers’ salaries due to huge loan servicing by the State. The State’s Director-General, Media and publicity stated in the report that “. . .the loans were taken by the two previous administrations for projects that did not add value to the state. Sometimes, we repay between N400m and N500m monthly as loans that add no value to the state. These loans were taken by the last two administrations and some of them were invested on projects that were never completed”.

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RESOLUTIONS AND COMMUNIQUÉ OF TOWN HALL MEETING ON THE THEME; “EXAMINING COMMUNITIES AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS ON THE NEW “PETROLEUM INDUSTRY GOVERNANCE BILL PIGB”

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A. INTRODUCTION
Organized by Social Development Integrated Centre (Social Action) in collaboration with Kabetkache Women Development and Resource Centre and Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF) on Thursday, February 22, 2018, at Aldgate Hotel, Abacha Road, Port Harcourt, communities and civil society organizations across Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo and Rivers states, (during the Town Hall meeting) examined issues of notable concern over communities and environmental matters as related to the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill.

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EU’s £143m REHABILITATION SUPPORT GRANT TO BORNO STATE: A CALL FOR EFFECTIVE INTERVENTION MONITORING

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The European Union has been showing strong interest in the state of the north-east Nigeria and has overtime actively canvassed for and indeed supported the rehabilitation of the crisis-torn region. With the recent grant of 143 million Euros (N60.1 billion) for the rehabilitation of communities across Borno state, the body has once again demonstrated significant concern the development of the region. This support which it says will be implemented by a consortium of four bodies and entities, is targeted at providing critical services that includes healthcare, water and sanitation, sustainable energy, employment opportunities and general improvement of the livelihood of the people. Timely as this step is, strong efforts and effective mechanisms however need be put in place to avoid resources not impacting on the people.

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