PROJECT ACT NOLLYWOOD – INNOVATIVE DISTRIBUTION FUND (IDF) DISBURSEMENT
The objective is to:
(i)Sustain the growth of Nigeria’s movie Industry,
(ii)Encourage the Industry realize its potential of being a significant creator of employment and considerable contributor to GDP
(iii)Address some of the key challenges currently facing the Industry.
The programme aims to improve and promote key components of the value chain through the provision of grants scheme designed to support existing or aspiring practitioners within the Industry, including the Diaspora.
Project ACT-Nollywood has 3 primary components aimed at developing and addressing inhibitors to further growth, which exist along the movie making value chain. The components are as follows:-
i.Film Production Fund (FPF)
ii.Capacity Building Fund (CBF)
iii.Innovative Distribution Fund (IDF)
The (FPF) and (CBF) have been fully implemented while the (IDF) which is the third component of the project is on-going. The (IDF) covers online, National, Regional and community categories of Nollywood Film distribution and exhibition. The objectives of IDF are to:
i.Improve the distribution network of Nigerian Audio-Visual contents.
ii.Cut down on piracy
iii.Create jobs (direct and indirect)
iv.Better protect Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) within the Nigerian Entertainment Industry.
A total sum of N1.8 billion was approved for disbursement to 106 beneficiaries in this component. N1.335 billion has earlier on the year been disbursed as first tranche to 105 beneficiaries.
During the Monitoring and Evaluation (M & E) of this first tranche disbursement, the Project Implementation Unit (PIU) recorded a number of achievements in line with the objectives of the programme as follows:
i.15 community cinemas and viewing centers have been established through the grant and this has improved the distribution network of movies in Nigeria.
ii.The programme has supported 18 firms in strengthening online distribution platforms. This has helped curbed illegal downloads and piracy.
iii.256 permanent jobs and 544 temporary jobs have been created through the financial support provided to 105 beneficiaries by the programme.
iv.The programme has equally aided the extension of the Nollywood Industry to sub-Sahara Africa through the funding of National distributors to expand their distribution capacity and network. National distributors are expanding their capacity to lip-synching their content in French for onward distribution to the ECOWAS sub-region.
Consequent upon the above, the Honourable Minister has approved the disbursement of the balance sum of N420,200,000.00 to 105 IDF beneficiaries in the 2nd/final tranche.
WORLD BANK TO ASSIST NIGERIA TO STRENGTHEN AND CONSOLIDATE FSP
The World Bank Group is set to assist Nigeria’s State Governments improve their fiscal sustainability by strengthening and consolidating the Fiscal Sustainability Plan (FSP). The FSP was introduced by Federal Government in 2016 as part of the measures to tackle the 2015-2016 fiscal crisis that followed the decline in revenue and budget cuts leading to two financial bailouts for the States by the Federal Government.
The Plan is also an instrument for reforming the whole gamut of the Public Sector Financial Management (PSFM) system spanning the three tiers of government.
The 22-point FSP was acceded to by the State Governments in 2016 to implement fundamental reforms by taking measures including instilling a regime of fiscal transparency and accountability, improving Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), the taming of unnecessary recurrent expenditure and strengthening adherence to debt management guidelines by the States.
The proposed intervention by the World Bank would involve financing capacity building and providing technical support for officials in the 36 States of the Federation by equipping them with the requisite knowledge and skills to effectively manage the comprehensive implementation of the components of the FSP on a sustainable basis.
The objective was to ensure that the States were put on the path that would lead them out of the situation in which they have to be bailed out or fail to meet their financial obligations for the wellbeing of the citizenry.
The capacity building programme would also include imparting skills that would contribute in the successful implementation of the Open Government Partnership commitments with the view to boosting the fiscal transparency and accountability component of the Fiscal Sustainability Plan.
FG: REVENUE MOBILISATION IS CRITICAL TO OUR SUCCESS
While delivering the keynote address at the NSE-BLOOMBERG CEO Round Table in Lagos on Friday, the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, said that revenue mobilisation is critical to the success of Nigeria’s economic reform agenda.
She said: “For the size of our Government, the size of our economy and the size of our needs, Government revenue is simply just too low”. We see increasing revenue as the long-term strategic solution for sustainable and inclusive growth. Revenue is required in the short-term for investments and in the medium to long-term for our debt service.
Our acceptance that our ambitions cannot be financed by oil revenue is an equal acceptance that there is a finite limit to how much can, and should be financed by debt. If we don’t want to borrow, we need more revenue.
The problem is not that our debt service is too high but our revenue is too low and the manner in which the imbalance between our debt service and revenue will be corrected, apart from rebalancing our borrowings in favour of longer tenure loans and external sources, is by finally and frontally facing the issue of revenue.
In her speech, she emphasised the limitation of relying on oil “We believe that Nigeria is an ‘oil-plus’ economy and we should model ourselves after countries that have similar profiles like Egypt with a population of 91 Million and 490,000 barrels of oil per day (185 people to a barrel of oil) and has a highly diversified revenue base.
She further explained that we cannot model ourselves after Saudi Arabia, with their 30 Million population and 10 Million barrels of oil per day (3 people to a barrel of oil). In Nigeria, we have a population of close to 180 Million people and about 2 Million barrels of oil per day (90 people to a barrel of oil). We must therefore, diversify our revenue base.
Adeosun stated that revenue mobilisation, is therefore, critical to our success. “Revenue mobilisation is critical to the success of Nigeria’s economic reform agenda and we are working on strategies to drive non-oil revenue growth, she said”. To do this, we must amend Nigeria’s low level of tax compliance. A tax to GDP ratio of just 6%, is just too low and we are working to amend this.
It could be recalled that on Thursday the Ministry of Finance, announced plans to recruit and train 7,500 Community Tax Liaison Officers under the N-Power scheme. “These young people will be subjected to a rigorous and intensive education on the tax system, sales, communication skills and civic education before being deployed to their communities to provide tax education and enrol new tax payers”, she said. We have just 14 Million tax payers out of an estimated 69.9 Million people who are economically active.
Nigeria is doing more with less and we will continue to do so. Growth is returning, investor confidence is reawakening and that confidence is based on an economic blueprint, which if followed doggedly, would take us from the rough road, onto a path of sustainable and inclusive growth.
Other speakers at the Round Table included Dr. Doyin Salami of Lagos Business School, Mr. Andrew Alli, the President/Chief Executive Officer, Africa Finance Corporation and Mr. Oscar Onyema, the Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Stock Exchange, among others.
FG confirms first payments to Whistleblowers
The Federal Ministry of Finance has confirmed release of N375.8M to the first batch of 20 providers of information under the Whistleblower Policy. The payment, of various amounts totaling N375,875,000, relate to the recovery of N11,635,000,000.
The Minister for Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun stated: “This payment, which is the first under the Whistleblower Policy, underscores the commitment of the President Muhmmadu Buhari-led administration in meeting obligations to information providers under the Whistleblower Policy. The policy is an essential tool in the fight against corruption.”
She further disclosed recent amendments to the Whistleblower Policy which includes the introduction of a formal legal agreement between information providers and the Federal Government, which is executed by the Minister of Justice (Attorney-General of the Federation). Procedures have also been introduced to ensure the protection of the identity of information providers during the payment process.
The Minister explained that all payments are taxable and are only made upon confirmation of the final recovery of assets as confirmed by the Attorney-General of the Federation as being free of legal disputes or litigation.
The Minister also gave details of the Whistleblower Unit (WBU), a multi-agency team, which is resident in Ministry of Finance Headquarters. It is staffed by secondees from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Department of State Services (DSS), the Nigeria Police Force and Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit (PICA), among others. “The Whistleblower Unit is the first line of response to whistleblower information, where initial review is undertaken before cases are forwarded to the relevant investigative agencies,” Mrs. Adeosun said.
It could be recalled that the Ministry of Finance has reported that following the approval of the Whistleblowers Policy by the Federal Executive Council and its launch by the Minister of Finance in December 2016, the WBU received 2, 150 communications and 337 tips through its dedicated channels from many patriotic Nigerians, which led to the recovery of substantial assets that were illegally acquired by various individuals. The primary purpose of the Policy is to support the fight against financial crimes and corruption, promote accountability and enhance transparency in the management of public finances.
Mrs. Adeosun assured that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari would continue to encourage all Nigerians with information on misconduct, violation or improper activity which can impact negatively on Nigeria to report it to the appropriate authority.