Reaping benefits from Open Government Initiative
The federal government of Nigeria launched the open government website (http://data.edostate.gov.ng/Home/) in early 2018. Publication of government data which was hitherto reserved in silos is the desideratum of open government initiative. The aims and objectives of the Open Government initiative of the government are to enhance transparency and accountability of the government. Besides, it is anticipated that with the re-use of datasets published by the government, different stakeholder groups would derive the value of the same and this would result in innovation in public services as well.
In this vein, the Edo State Open Data portal merits a revisitation in terms of the quality of datasets published by the government. The datasets are published by entities like the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Budget, Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, etc. In all, there are 252 datasets as of now. This is suggestive of the fact that the government entities must gear up efforts on the publication of more qualitatively superior datasets via the main web portal. There is a provision of suggesting a dataset by the users. Datasets may be downloaded in formats like XLSX, RDF or JSON, etc. While the datasets have their metadata in place, the datasets are not quantitatively or qualitatively advanced. Therefore, in order to encourage users to re-use the datasets, it is important that the datasets be published on a continuous and regular manner. This would further value generation by the different stakeholders (citizens, businessmen, entrepreneurs, public servants, software developers, and the like).
Open government initiatives are known to spearhead economic growth of a country. In this respect, the government of Nigeria must further efforts at providing datasets on a real-time basis. This would require sophisticated technological edifice and training. The transition of the developing country into a developed one may be furthered under the aegis of the sustainable Open Government initiative of the government.
Stuti Saxena is a contributor on Blueprintafric,
Stuti is a follower of Open Government Data (OGD) as a research theme. Stuti is a research scholar at the Central University of Haryana in the Political Science Department. Hitherto, Stuti has been associated with the National Innovation Foundation, Ahmedabad, Indian Institutes of Management, Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Indore, and ICFAI, Hyderabad in diverse roles. Stuti holds an MPhil degree in Public Administration from Lucknow University.
At a United Nations debate in New York, Isabel Dos Santos, who is currently the richest woman in Africa, spoke of the economic empowerment of African women as a key to transforming society.
This and many of her other hopeful and encouraging messages have inspired many citizens in African countries, mainly young women, to pursue their ambitions in business.
Dos Santos believes that some of the most promising and successful business people in the world have been African because of the continent’s entrepreneurial spirit.
This spirit, however, has been weighed down by the stigmatization of women in the workplace.
This has robbed the economy of valuable innovators and has barred women from achieving their ambitions. But by ensuring that young women can access the same education, job opportunities, and potential for growth as men, Dos Santos believes that she can change this attitude and instill a national confidence in women.
This type of thinking falls in line with her more general philosophy of reform: “First the seed, then the future.”
This dictum seems to urge against immediate change and, instead, encourages slow and steady growth.
The seeds that Isabel Dos Santos thinks ought to be planted are also tied up in the economic freedom of women – by creating jobs, providing training, and breaking sexist stigmas, she believes that women can experience increased financial stability while giving their home countries more influence in the international economy.
Isabel Dos Santos has spent a lot of time planting these seeds in Africa, focusing her efforts in her home country of Angola where she meets with young people and speaks with them about the power of entrepreneurship. Sometimes, she visits them in small, personable rooms at universities and other institutions, other times in much larger ones during her speeches and debates. Most tellingly, she refers to famous African entrepreneurs as a “great family” and invites everyone with the motivation to work hard and come join them.
She often encourages young women to leverage the world’s increased reliance on technology and artificial intelligence, which she refers to as “digitization”. She believes working toward innovations in technology is key to increasing Africa’s presence in the international economy while flooding the continent with unique employment opportunities. With just a computer and internet connection, unemployed or underpaid citizens can find more work, sometimes with the higher wages that are more commonplace in developed countries, to support their families and stimulate their local economies.
During a conversation with students at the University of Warwick interested in developing Africa, dos Santos tells a young woman who is eager to accomplish her ambitions “now” that she has to be patient and have not just a goal but a string of sub-goals to reach it. She goes on to encourages the student to involve herself as deeply as she can in the decision processes that influence that goal, and also to understand that sometimes it’s important to just focus on school, other times on a career or starting a business. This type of advice for strategic hesitance can be found in many of her speeches.
Isabel dos Santos is the daughter of Jose Eduardo dos Santos, Angola’s long-time former president. Much of her wealth came from her investments and her previous position as the chairwoman of an oil company owned by the state called Sonangol. Dos Santos considers herself an independent businesswoman and investor and has become Africa’s first females billionaire. Forbes ranks her as the 9th wealthiest billionaire in Africa for 2018.
For young businesswomen in various African countries, her success story has been a beacon of hope. But dos Santos has told various reporters that her rise to riches was marred by the sexism she had to endure in a male-dominated African business world. She has no shortage of stories concerning prejudice and discrimination based on her gender, such as during business meetings where the people she’s negotiating with would look to her male assistant, advisor, or lawyer for validation though she already stated her offer. She is also frequently asked what business her husband is in when her wealth is made clear.
Despite her tribulations in the business world, Isabel Dos Santos has maintained a charitable and hopeful perspective on life and takes on many projects geared toward improving small communities and local economies. One of these projects was in Humpata, in the province of Huila, where dos Santos helped establish a strawberry field, “planting the seed” to empower citizens. This project gave 120 women a place to work and a new income. On her website, dos Santos says:
“Creating opportunities and employment for women means betting on the progress of the communities themselves. When they thrive, women invest their income in the family, health, and education. I value this as a sense of duty, commitment, and dedication. The impact that women create around them is powerful and transformative.”
She calls on other African entrepreneurs to give back to their countries by investing in similar projects. Though they seem small-scale, she believes that with enough support, this type of philanthropic work can create a value chain large enough to impact the national economy. As a result, smaller communities will have more prosperous citizens and influence. Should those new entrepreneurs be African women, then dos Santos hopes that their success will help chip away at the stigma that women are less competent than men.
This is all part of one of Isabel dos Santos’ larger goals to increase the prosperity of African countries as a whole. She plans to accomplish this by working from the ground up, focusing on the individual, such as the promising young men and woman of various African countries. By empowering them, she is, in turn, empowering their communities. This creates value within towns that have historically not had the chance to prosper, and by strengthening local economies, the national economy itself is bolstered.
“This is the true transformation of a country,” she says. It starts with a little hope and promise, with planting the “seeds”, and then, through the hard work of a community’s individuals, a brighter future can be earned.”
The U.S. government has agreed to let eight countries, including close allies South Korea and Japan, as well as India, keep buying Iranian oil after it reimposes sanctions on Tehran from next week, Bloomberg reported on Friday, citing a U.S. official.
While the Trump administration’s goal remains to choke off revenue to Iran’s economy, waivers are being granted in exchange for continued import cuts so as not to drive up oil prices, said the official, who asked not to be identified before Secretary of State Michael Pompeo announces the number of exemptions later on Friday.
Iran’s biggest oil customers – all in Asia – have been seeking sanctions waivers to allow them to still buy some of its oil.
Bloomberg reported that close U.S. allies South Korea and Japan had received waivers along with India, which relies heavily on supplies from Iran, adding that a list of all countries getting waivers was expected to be released officially on Monday.
A Chinese official told Reuters that discussions with the U.S. government were ongoing and that a result was expected over the next couple of days.
“We think Trump will agree to China importing some volumes, similar to the treatment that India and South Korea receive,” Clayton Allen of Height Securities said in a note on Friday.
However, analysts said any potential Iranian oil sanction waivers would likely only be temporary.
“The U.S. may use waivers to slow-walk implementation, but these will not apply indefinitely,” Allen said.
Goldman Sachs said it expects Iran’s crude oil exports to fall to 1.15 million barrels per day (bpd) by the end of the year, down from around 2.5 million bpd in mid-2018.
The budget office released the 2017 budget implementation report a few weeks ago. It contained, as expected, some numbers on the federal government’s finances. Safe to say the numbers do not look good.
Total revenues were lower than in 2016 which may be surprising if you account for the fact that oil prices have been steadily increasing from early 2016 through most of 2017. Although it may not be too surprising if you recall the accounting shenanigans done through vehicles such as the “Paris club refund” to magically create revenue. On the other hand, total expenditure increased, driven by a 25 per cent increase in debt servicing costs and a 10 per cent increase in personnel costs. To put the precarious nature of the federal government’s finances into context, the entire revenue from crude oil was not enough to either pay salaries or service already existing debt. The FG government was in effect borrowing to pay salaries and to service debt even before you started to talk about capital expenditure. By any definition we are already in a fiscal crisis.
Now, the obvious response to this fiscal crisis is to focus on revenues. The official line is that Nigeria does not generate enough revenues which is obviously true. Officially, the federal government collected only about 2.3 per cent of GDP in taxes in 2017. The global average for central governments is about 15 per cent. Those numbers hide the true position though. Of that 2.3 per cent of GDP tax revenue, about 50 per cent comes from the oil industry. This distinction is important because the federal and state governments collect an oversize percentage of all revenue flowing through the oil industry. If you strip out the oil industry from the Nigerian economy and measure the federal government’s non-oil tax revenue to the non-oil GDP, the tax to GDP ratio drops to just one per cent.
This one per cent is not a 2017 anomaly but has been the reality for a while.
Historically, at least since the 1970s, these low tax collection numbers have not been a problem because oil revenue overshadowed everything. There was enough oil revenue for the FG to effectively pretend to be a state actor funding the police, military, and providing other essential public goods that states typically provide. However, the country has grown a lot since then while oil revenue has more or less remained stagnant depending on the oil price of course. Bottom line, the country has essentially outgrown the capacity of oil revenue to unilaterally fund the state and the economy and population continue to grow. The direct symptoms of this widening gap between the country and federal government finances show up in the federal government’s financial reports, but the indirect symptoms show up elsewhere. They show up in the broad deterioration in public services from security to education to critical infrastructure.
So, what is the solution? To grow non-oil tax revenues of course, but how? Previous administrations have assumed that growing non-oil revenues is a technocratic challenge or something that technology and systems can solve. The Goodluck administration hired four big consultants to help them boost non-oil tax revenues. The Buhari government has run its own similar technocratic schemes.Read More
Use video marketing to personalize your business
Video marketing can help you accomplish many various things in your business. It allows you to explain a complex process, increase income for a particular product, or even make your business appear more personal to clients.
Boost your productivity with content strategy:
If you want your business blog to truly serve its purpose, you should not only create a simple post every now and then and assume it is effective. You need to get the right approach to content creation to achieve the best results.
Use social media tools
If you are yet to start using social media to promote your business, you are yet to make an entry into the tech world. Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter are available for free and there are also social media tools like hashtag tracking that allow you to make the most of your social media efforts.
Keep your website protected
Website security is becoming is important for businesses in each industry as organisations begin to rely heavily on the internet. You don’t want a situation where your website crashes and your business is left in a limbo. You need to make sure your website has all the necessary security to prevent it from being shut down.
Tackle negative processes in your business
To efficiently run a business, you need powerful strategies and tactics. In case you don’t have them, you should most likely apply productivity or watch your business fail.Read More
The CEO of Innoson Technical Manufacturing Company, Chief Innocent Chukwuma was yesterday arrested by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over alleged undisclosed financial deals.
Chukwuma was arrested at about 11-30am from his Government Reserved Areas (GRA), Enugu residence by armed police officers after an initial resistance mounted by him with the use of trucks belonging to his company.
Apparently learning of his impending arrest yesterday morning, several trucks belonging to his company had been used as early as 7.00 am to block the three entrances leading into his Savage Crescent residence GRA. The development caused several hours of gridlock as road users struggled to move through the adjourning street.
However twitter users seem to be more honest as to what might have led to his release. While most easterners seem to think it’s something political or tribal related, generally, people think a lot of political dogs now use EFCC for their personal intentions.
FROM THE THREAD BELOW INNOSSON MIGHT BE INNOCENT BUT MUST BE SEEN TO GO THROUGH D PROCESS. IT IS IMPORTANT WE DONT TRIBALIZE EVERY NEWS AFFECTING OUR OWN. Damite2ky Wrote:
In the month of September 2012, GTB wrote to Innoson that from their personal audit report, the excess bank charges was N559,374,072.29
Innoson also requested that the said agreed amount of N559, 374,072.09k be paid with a 22% interest rate because he had been repaying ...
... with GTB at 22% rate. GTB refused and said the best they can repay is at 7%. This led to another disagreement between Innoson and GTB.
As a result, Innoson commenced suit No: FHC/AWK/CS/2012 against GTB at the Federal High Court, Awka and obtained judgment in excess of N4.7 Billion against GTB.
GTB appealed against the judgment to the court of Appeal, Enugu Division, appoxite Appeal NO: CA/E/288/2013. The court of Appeal Enugu in a considered ruling ordered GTB to pay the judgment debt of N6 Billion inclusive of the accrued interest and any interest that would....
GTB appealed against the judgment to the court of Appeal, Enugu Division, appoxite Appeal NO: CA/E/288/2013. The court of Appeal Enugu in a considered ruling ordered GTB to pay the judgment debt of N6 Billion inclusive of the accrued interest and any interest that would....
subsequently accrue thereon into an interest yielding acct in the name of the Chief Registral of the Court. GTB is yet to obey this judgment; however it went to the Supreme Court. The matter is yet to be resolved at the Supreme Court. Today that judgment debt is about N8 billion
GTB, having seen that the Judgment debts Innoson had against them is too much for them to bear and instead of calling Innoson to seek an out-of-court negotiation, they decided to initiate a trump-up charge against Innoson with an allegation of falsification of shipping documents.
....and representing them as genuine in order to force Innoson negotiate with it from a position of weakness.
For over 5 years that GTB had admitted it debited unlawfully excess charges from Innoson’s account; Innoson is yet to get his money from GTB.
The reason why GTB have failed to pay their indebtedness to Innoson is still unclear.
The Industrial and Commercial Bank of
China, ICBC, has accepted $42.5 million loan for a multi housing development
scheme, HELIU residences in Enugu. This is said to be the biggest bank in
The loan was secured under the guarantee of the Chinese Credit Insurance Corporation, SINOSURE, for the construction of duplexes, provision of electricity, roads, water and other facilities by the China Shenyang International Economic and Technical Corporation Limited, CSYIC.
Making the disclosure to newsmen in Enugu, Managing Partner of F.I.T. Consult, the Nigerian Developer building the HELIU Project, in partnership with the Enugu State Government, Chief Loretta Aniagolu, said, the deal was sealed after signing Commercial Contract with CSYIC, in Enugu.
Aniagolu said the Chinese team led by the CSYIC President, Madam Tang Lezhen signed the documents with F.I.T. Consult, for financing of the contract.
“We wanted to bring the project with our own funds to a certain level before the Chinese come in, so that they don’t start from scratch and for them to know that we are very serious. We have finally tied up everything on this visit.”
“The bank funding for the project is from China, through the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, ICBC, which is the biggest bank in the world, with its 2016 turnover at about $2.3 trillion. The entire transaction of $42.5 million is being guaranteed locally by Access Bank Plc.”
According to her, the interest rate is four per cent, while the period for repayment of the loan is eight years. She added that two years moratorium is for construction of the projects while 6 years is for the repayment.
“So it is a fantastic arrangement,” she said.
Aniagolu expressed optimistism of the loan repayment, noting that they were quite sure of the market in the South-East zone, particularly with the country gradually coming out of recession and having already received deposits on over 50 percent of the serviced plots.
“Secondly, we are also working with the Imperial Mortgages Limited that is providing mortgages for home buyers, making it easier for them to pay for the houses.”
“Presently, of the 60 bungalows we’ve done so far, most have actually been sold on a cash basis, while Imperial Mortgages is providing mortgages for the rest. So, we have an arrangement where we are sure that in those eight years or less, we should be able to repay funds.”
She further disclosed that over N2billion has been spent on various aspects of the project, such as earth works, 20 kilometers drainage, culverts, buildings, etc. She further remarked that they were excavating for a Dam for independent water supply in the residence, adding that electricity would also be generated using Low Poor Fuel Oil, LPFO.Read More
Zenith Bank has been entitled ‘Best Company in Sustainability Reporting in Africa” at the 2017 Sustainability Enterprise Responsibility Awards (SERAS) CSR Awards.
The bank said in Lagos on Monday that with the new award held at the weekend, Zenith Bank had blazed a trail as the winner of the award for the second consecutive year.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the bank also won the 2016 Sustainability Report titled “Creating Wealth Sustainably” being the first Sustainability report in Nigeria and Africa financial services sector.
The award was introduced in October 2016 by the Global Sustainability Standards Board (GSSB).
The bank said it had raised the bar in sustainability reporting within and outside the financial services sector, while setting the pace in the adoption of global best standards in reporting.
The bank said that new standards was designed to replace the older GRI G4 reporting guidelines which was the reporting standard Zenith Bank adopted in its 2015 Sustainability Report.
“The bank has not only supported the global climate action and has prioritized investment in green and sustainable business projects, but has fully integrated environmental and social considerations into its business and credit administration processes.”
“As part of its green earth policy, Zenith Bank is the first bank in Nigeria to have carried out an external audit on its greenhouse gas footprints, using the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Corporate Standards, a globally certified GHG audit procedure.”
It said that the award had been widely acknowledged in the global Sustainability arena with the GRI featuring it on the homepage of its official website: https://www.globalreporting.org.Read More
Chairman of Rice Farmers in Daura, Katsina State, Alhaji Jamilu Ibrahim, has urged the Federal Government not to lift the ban on the importation of rice.
The Federal Government banned the importation of rice to protect local rice farmers and promote local rice consumption in the country.
Ibrahim said after a meeting of Local Rice Farmers of Daura on Monday that there was the need for the government to maintain its stand on rice importation to boost local production. The ban on importation will assist the local rice farmers to produce more at affordable prices for local consumption as well as assist the government to conserve foreign exchange.
“In Nigeria, we have fertile land in no fewer than 25 states where rice can be produced in large quantities for local consumption,” he said.
The chairman called on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to set aside more funds that could be used to grant loan to local rice farmers in the country.
“The CBN should continue with the Anchor Borrower Programme that was introduced to assist local rice farmers with loans. The programme has assisted farmers in producing rice in large quantities during the 2017 farming season. We are now set to go back to our farms for the production of rice during the dry season farming,” he said.
Ibrahim urged the rice farmers to use the loan given to them judiciously in order to shore up rice production. He lauded the Federal and State Governments for giving a deserved attention to the agriculture sector, which, according to him, has the capacity to guarantee food security in the country.
NAN reports that the Federal Government had introduced Anchor Borrowers Programme to boost cotton and rice production in the country.
Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and Jeff Bezos may be the richest men in the world, but they aren't the only billionaires.
There are 2,043 people across the globe with three commas in their net worth, according to the 2017 Forbes Billionaires list. The 23 wealthiest have $1 trillion collectively.
In 2017, 10 of the world's billionaires — fewer than 1% — are black, down from 12 last year, reports Forbes contributor Mfonobong Nsehe. Three of the 10 are women. All but one, Isabel Dos Santos, is billed by Forbes as self-made.
To compile the full list, Forbes uses stock prices and exchange rates to estimate the net worth of the world's richest people, and then ranks them based on their wealth. This year's list was created using data from February 17, 2017, but Forbes also maintains a current snapshot of the world's billionaires, updated daily.
Here’s the richest 10 black billionaires in the world, according to the 2017 Forbes Billionaires list:
Mohammed Ibrahim: $1.14 billion
Self-made billionaire, 71 years-old Mohammed Ibrahim, was born in Sudan and now lives in the United Kingdom, where he is the 11th wealthiest citizen. Ibrahim became a billionaire after selling his telecommunications company, Celtel International, in 2005, according to Forbes. Now he spends much of his time focusing on improving the lives of African citizens through the Mo Ibrahim Foundation.
Aliko Dangote: $12.2 billion
is Nigerian Aliko Dangote, 60, who has been CEO and president of Dangote Group for 35 years. The majority of his fortune comes from more than 90% stake in Dangote Cement, Africa's largest producer of cement, which is traded on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. He is also an active philanthropist, serving as chairman of , which focuses on education, agriculture and health-related initiatives.
Mike Adenuga: $6.1 billion
Nigerian Mike Adenuga, 64, is chairman of telecommunications company Globacom, which has 36 million subscribers, as well as the majority owner of Lagos-based oil company Conoil, according to Bloomberg. While earning an MBA from Pace University in New York, he drove a taxi to pay the bills. Today, Adenuga, who has seven children, is the second-wealthiest man in Nigeria, according to Forbes.
Michael Jordan: $1.31 billion
One of the most successful athletes of all time, Michael Jordan, 54, made a total of $90 million as a basketball player, according to Forbes. Since retiring from the NBA, he has amassed the majority of his wealth through his relationship with Nike and other corporate partnerships. Jordan, who also owns a stake in the Charlotte Hornets, now makes more in one year than he did during his entire professional basketball career, as Business Insider's Cork Gaines reported.
Folorunsho Alakija: $1.61 billion
Folorunso Alakija, vice chair of Nigerian oil company Famfa Oil, got her start in business as the founder of an elite Nigerian fashion label, according to Forbes. The 66 years old, self-made billionaire lives in Lagos, Nigeria and has four children. Her son, Folarin Alakija, recently married Iranian model Nazanin Jafarian Ghaissarifar, in a lavish, multi-million dollar wedding, which took place in England.
Patrice Motsepe: $1.81 billion
South-African Patrice Motsepe, 55, founder of the mining company African Rainbow Minerals, was Africa's first black billionaire. The father of three was also the first African to sign Bill Gates' Giving Pledge, promising to donate at least half of his wealth to charity. Motsepe and his wife Precious created the Motsepe Foundation in 1999 to help create new jobs, support education, and improve the lives of children, the unemployed, and the disabled, among others.
Robert Smith: $2.5 billion
When Robert Smith, 54, left Goldman Sachs in 2000 to start his own private equity firm, Vista Equity Partners, his coworkers thought he was crazy. But since then, his success and wealth has sky-rocketed, landing him on the Forbes Billionaire list for the first time in 2016. In 2015, Smith wed Hope Dworaczyk, a former Playboy playmate and mother of his young son in an incredible villa on the Amalfi Coast in Italy. The private-equity titan, who resides in Austin, Texas, added his name to the Giving Pledge earlier this year.
Oprah Winfrey: $3 billion
Oprah Winfrey, 63, is the only African-American woman to make the Forbes billionaire list. Winfrey overcame a tough childhood to become the well-known and beloved media mogul she is today. While generous with her wealth, Winfrey still maintains an enviable lifestyle. Earlier this year, Winfrey delivered the commencement address at Smith College, telling graduates the secret to success is serving others.
Isabel Dos Santos: $3.1 billion
The wealthiest of the three women to make this list, and the youngest black billionaire in the world, 44 year-old Isabel Dos Santos is the daughter of Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who has been president of Angola since 1979. Her fortune comes from multiple investments, many of which are controversial and linked to her father, according to Forbes, although Dos Santos maintains her investments are private and independent.
Mohammed Al Amoudi: $8.4 billion
Mohammed Hussein Al Amoudi, 71, moved from Ethiopia to Saudi Arabia when he was 19, and began amassing his fortune from government-contracts in real estate and construction, according to Bloomberg. Now, the father of eight owns businesses across multiple industries, including oil, mining and agriculture, in Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia and Sweden.