Ministry of Finance, Industry, Innovations & Development Financial Institutions

Introduction

01. Introduction

Mr. Ifeatu Chinedu Onejeme graduated among the top 1% of the entire Faculty of Business Administration from the prestigious University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, in July 1986, with a First Class honours Bachelor of Science degree in Accountancy. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (1CAN); Honorary Senior Member, the Chartered

Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) and an alumnus of several executive education programmes locally and overseas, from many globally-acclaimed educational institutions. Some of these include the Wharton
Business School of the University of Pennsylvania USA;
University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, Chicago, Illinois, USA; Euromoney Training Centre, Surrey, London, United Kingdom, and the Lagos
Business School. At these institutions, he underwent specialist training in E-Commerce Strategy, Mergers & Acquisitions, Corporate and Project Finance, Senior Management Programme (SMP-3 Class of 1995), key issues in the strategic management of Human
Resources, Communication Strategies for Successful Change, amongst others. Mr Onejeme was the Best Graduating Student (class of 1982) Federal Government College, Sokoto, topping his set with a distinction and aggregate 08 in the 1982 GCE 0/Level examinations. He also won the Dean’s List Awards (1983 to 1986) Faculty of Business Administration, University of Nigeria, during the course of his academic study in Accountancy.
Mr Onejeme acquired over 27 years of professional experience in the banking and financial services industry, Nigeria and across Africa, including over l4 years at general management and executive management positions in top financial institutions. He served and retired as Executive Director of Corporate Banking at United Bank for Africa Plc where he previously held the positions of Executive Director of Corporate and International Banking; Group Director, International Banking and Financial Services; Chief Executive Officer of UBA Ea & Southern Africa; Chief Executive Officer of UBA We5 and Central Africa and Group Treasurer of the whole UBA Group. He retired meritoriously in August 2013 at the completion of his tenure of office and went into private business until his recent appointment by His Excellency, Chief Willie M. Obiano as the Honourable Commissioner Ministry of Finance, Industry, Innovations & Development Financial Institutions.

The Ministry is charged with the responsibility of managing the finances of the State in order to achieve optimum impact on performance indices. It is responsible for developing the financial and operational strategies for the State’s economic development.

Some key areas of responsibilities include:
– Implementing government decisions on financial policies
– Advising the State Government on policy directives aimed at the efficient allocation of the State’s financial resources
– Coordinating Federal Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) matters
– Managing relationships with Federal Agencies like Revenue Mobilization and Fiscal Commission, Debt Management Office, Central Bank of Nigeria, Federal Inland Revenue Service, Federal Ministry of Finance, Federal Road Safety Corps, etc.
– Custody, allocation and distribution of Government Funds
– State Government accounts maintenance and banking.
– Conducting policy research and analysis involving expenditure of public funds
– Management of the State domestic and external debts
– Supervision of Board of Internal Revenue
– Supervision of Pools Betting/Gaming, Lotteries, Lotto and Casinos
– Processing of salaries for the workers
– Production of State Annual Accounts

His Excellency, Chief Dr. Willie Obiano has in his usual manner made sure that the Ministry functions efficiently and delivers promptly on its functions.
Anambra State is one of the very few States that did not take any bailout loan from the Federal Government to pay salaries. Workers’ salaries are paid judiciously on the 25th of every month. When the Governor perceived that there were possibilities of have ghost workers on the State’s payroll, he took a drastic and result-oriented approach of installing biometric machines to clock attendance and payment of one month’s salary by physical cheques in order to fish out the culprits.
With the dwindling global oil prices with attendant dwindling Federal Allocation of funds,
the Governor set up the Fiscal Responsibility Commission headed by the Honourable Commissioner for Finance, in response to the quest for a regime of prudent, ethical and efficient management of the State’s resources. It is aimed at building structures around optimizing and prioritizing the use of the scarce resources available.
The Governor in his desire to be very transparent to Ndi Anambra on funds availability and utilization, was able to throw light on the purported N75 billion in the Handover Note of the past administration. The truth told to our people was worth every bit of the dust it raised.
He has used the Ministry of Finance to effectively monitor the activities of the Government transport agencies and streamlined them to start making positive contribution to State’s IGR.

The Governor, being a Banker per excellence, has started negotiations to clear all the commercial bank loans inherited from the previous administrations so that the State will maintain a healthy balance sheet.

Proper Budgeting Panacea for Abandoned Projects

02. Proper Budgeting Panacea for Abandoned Projects.

By Gloria  Anaeze

The Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC) says consistent annual budget provision for capital projects would help tackle the challenges of uncompleted federal infrastructure located all over the country.

Mr Sampson Eletuo, Head of Finance and Accounts of the commission, made the remark when he led an eight-member delegation to inspect uncompleted and abandoned projects in Anambra.

Eletuo said most of the contractors in the state were out of site due to lack of funds to complete the projects.

“There are numerous unfinished projects in the state; constituency and direct federal projects, which would have done this country a lot better if they were completed.

“To ensure prudence, transparency and accountability of funds approved for projects and to ensure that these projects have bearing on the lives of the populace, government needs progressive funding in annual budgets,” he said.

He said the commission, which mandate was to see government’s investments get value for monies spent, would contact contractors and file reports on priority projects that require immediate completion.

Also speaking, Mr Edwards Bosah, the state Federal Controller of Works, said most of the abandoned projects inspected by the delegation have spanned over seven years.

At the Okija-Ihembosi-Afor Ukpor- Ebenator-Einifite road project which has two bridges, Bosah said appreciable work of about 74 per cent had been done but stalled due to non-budgetary provision.

He said the project which commenced on Aug. 17, 2011, was awarded to Fordiac Engineering Company Nig. Ltd. at N1.7 billion with nine months completion date.

However, Bosah noted that the outstanding advance of N57 million had seen to the project being abandoned for the past three years.

The Controller urged the Federal Government and the National Assembly to find a synergy in the annual budgets to ensure that contractors finish their projects timely.

“It is painful that a project that is at the verge of completion is abandoned and allowed to deteriorate for years while people are not making use of it,” he said.

Mr Romanus Okonkwo, an indigene of Ukpor, who expressed joy at sighting the delegation at the road project site, appealed to the Federal Government to order the contractors back to site.

Okonkwo said the road was the only route to his community, noting that the temporary bridge built by the community had deteriorated and could collapse any moment.

According to the report, the delegation also visited other project sites including the reinstatement of washout (drains) along Onitsha-Enugu expressway.

The team also visited the rehabilitation of carriageway of Onitsha-Enugu road phase 11 of section 1 at Onitsha.
Newsmen gathered that the projects have been substantially completed but contractors were yet to be paid.

The commission was set up to monitor and enforce the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007.

Part of the commission’s mandate is to ensure that there is prudence in the management of projects and that there are no issue of abandonment of projects.