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Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun Goes Tough on Nigerian State Govts

Nigerias Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun, according to Vanguard, has stated that Nigerian state governments must publish their accounts publicly at the end of every fisical year.

"Fiscal discipline is a destination; we will continue to improve discipline on an ongoing basis, she said, adding that similar reforms have been carried out at the federal level with success.

Ghost workers which we prefer to call payroll clean-up has been very successful and the continuous audit unit at the FG level will continue to monitor and improve our efforts there, she said.

The Minister pointed out that state governments play a key role in diversifying Nigeria's economy.

"We see the states as strong partners in diversifying our economy away from oil and getting Nigeria working again. This is one of the key drivers behind the administration's fiscal sustainability plan with states, she said. It is about improving accountability and transparency, increasing public revenue, effective expenditure, improving public financial management and managing debt sustainably.

According to her, this is true reform and it starts with discipline and ends with diversification of our economy.

I Have Too Many Credit Cards. What Can I Do?

Besides the obvious fact that there are only so many credit cards you can squeeze into your wallet, there are times when you might consider paring down or simplifying the credit cards you carry.

Before You Close a Card

Before you start cutting up cards and calling issuers to close your accounts, there are some consequences you should consider. Specifically, closing a bunch of credit cards -- even if you have a good reason to -- can hurt your credit and potentially make it more difficult to open new cards down the road.

When you close a credit card, you directly impact your credit scores in three ways: You reduce your overall credit limit on your revolving accounts, impact the age of your credit history and potentially hurt your mix of accounts, too. You can see where your credit scores currently stand by seeing two of your credit scores for free on Credit.com.

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Whether youre facing a tight financial time and need to cut back or have just realized that youre not managing your credit cards smartly, each problem that might make you want to close a credit card has some alternate solutions as well. Here are some of the common problems that prompt consumers to close credit cards and how to make the right choice for your money and credit.

Problem #1: Im Spending More on Credit Cards Than I Can Pay Back

If you find yourself unable to pay off your credit cards in full every month and are quickly seeing a pattern thats making you worry about a major credit card debt problem, you might be thinking that cutting up your cards is the best move. And it very well could be. But closing the cards doesnt erase the debt you currently carry on those cards -- it just prevents you from adding to those balances. You may want to consider some classic get-out-of-debt options like a personal loan to consolidate debt (counterintuitive, I know) or opening a balance transfer credit card to get some 0% interest breathing room while you make a plan to pay off your debt and, more importantly, avoid getting back into credit card debt.

Problem #2: I Have Too Many Credit Cards With Annual Fees

Carrying six or seven credit cards in your wallet and not using them is costing you nothing -- unless some of those cards have annual fees. Then, it could be costing you hundreds of dollars a year. You could close the cards, but you also may be able to work with the issuers to get some of your annual fees waived temporarily. Or, potentially, you could ask to move to a no-annual-fee option of the same card. That option may not be available from every issuer, but its worth a phone call to customer service to explore your options.

Problem #3: Im Missing Payments Because I Cant Keep All My Credit Cards Straight

Payment history is the most important factor in your credit scores, and recovering from a negative hit like a missed payment can take years, though there are things you can do to improve your credit score in the meantime.

If youre missing payments or paying late purely because you have too many credit cards to keep organized, you have a great reason to consider closing accounts. One thing you might consider first, though, is setting up payment alerts. Most of the major credit card issuers have account alert settings that will email or text you reminders of your payment due date. These issuer reminders, or even setting calendar reminders for yourself on your smartphone, could be a great way to tackle the problem without closing a card.

[Offer: Your credit score may be low due to credit errors. If thats the case, you can tackle your credit reports to improve your credit score with help from Lexington Law. Learn more about them here or call them at (844) 346-3296 for a free consultation.]

More on Credit Cards:
  • Credit.com's Expert Credit Card Shopping Tips
  • How to Get a Credit Card With Good Credit
  • How Secured Cards Can Help Build Credit

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FG's Economic Plan Is Strong On Fiscal Discipline – Adeosun

"The government's economic plan is strong on fiscal discipline, because people know we need to get our country working. And to do that we need to do three things: get the country's spending in check with firm financial controls, raise money for targeted investment in much needed infrastructure; and see us diversify the economy from a damaging dependence on oil," Adeosun said in a Channels Television programme, Sunrise.

However, she noted that the state government had a key role to play in diversifying Nigeria's economy. "We see the states as strong partners in diversifying our economy away from oil and getting Nigeria working again.

"This is one of the key drivers behind the administration's fiscal sustainability plan with states. It is about improving accountability and transparency, increasing public revenue, effective expenditure, improving public financial management and managing debt sustainably."

The minister described these measures as a true reform which starts with discipline and ends with diversification of the economy.



WEALTH MATTERS: Poor financial health can make you feel physically ill

Our financial health is closely linked to our mental and physical health, and research has shown stressing about finances may make you feel mentally and physically sick.

Financial worries can also negatively impact relationships and damage our overall sense of wellbeing. A Canadian study found that in the last decade, economic instabilities have caused many Canadians to lose sleep, and nearly a quarter of us are tossing around at night worrying about our finances.

Studies have also shown that people dealing with financial stress are more likely to suffer other health issues, such as depression, pain, high blood pressure, headaches, digestive problems, and even heart attacks. If your health gets bad enough, you may be spending more time at the doctor, which might cause you to miss work, which I imagine would add to those financial pressures.

Some behaviours and habits can also directly affect your finances, like smoking. Smoking, as we know, can burn a hole in your budget if a pack of cigarettes costs $11 (on average) and you smoke a pack a day, thats $77 a week. Do the math and thats $4,004 a year of your hard earned dollars going right up in smoke.

Whether youre worried about budgeting, keeping up with bill payments, managing debt, supporting dependents, or trying to save for the future, the anxiety and stress can really add up and keep you from doing your best work.

Heres what I recommend you do in order to reduce your financial stress:

Meditate.

Many studies have shown the benefits of mindfulness meditation, such as helping to reduce anxiety. The idea is to set aside some quiet time (start with 5 minutes a day and increase as time goes on), and pay attention to your present state without judging yourself. That means holding off on negative thoughts and feelings that normally affect you, and keep you from living in the present moment. There are tons of free programs and apps to help you get started.

Get professional advice.

Maybe youre someone who needs a clear roadmap to address your concerns, or maybe youre not. Either way, seeking the advice of a professional planner or advisor can help you figure out where to start, and ensure youre prioritizing your financial life in the most logical way. For example, if you have debt, an advisor will help you prioritize paying it off and if you have multiple debts to pay, which debt to pay off first.

Get a good nights sleep.

Sleep is free, but not getting enough of it may cost you more than a morning latte. Being sleep deprived can change your mood, lower productivity, and impair creativity. A chronic lack of sleep has been linked to a whole whack of other illnesses, including diabetes and heart disease. Not performing your best at work can cost you that raise or promotion youve been after. One extra hour of sleep can result in 4.5% higher wages (Id say thats a good ROI, wouldnt you?).

Automate bill payments.

With technology changing the way we handle money, this one should be a given. Simply put, automating your finances has been proven to reduce stress. One less thing to keep you distracted means your mind is clear to focus on work, and getting that raise or going after that promotion.

By taking care of your financial health, youre also taking care of your mental and physical health which will be well worth your efforts in the long run.



States should publish accounts – Adeosun

.Says fiscal discipline a destination
.Releases N109bn capital vote

By Omoh Gabriel amp;  Emma Ujah

Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, yesterday, said that states must publish their accounts at end of every financial year to open their books to public scrutiny and ensure transparency and accountability.

Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun

Adeosun actually challenged state governors not to hide anything relating to their spending, including security votes, from the public.

She said: "Fiscal discipline is a destination; we will continue to improve discipline on an ongoing basis. FG has commenced similar reforms at the federal level with success. Ghost workers which we prefer to call payroll clean-up has been very successful and the continuous audit unit at the FG level will continue to monitor and improve our efforts there.

"We have saved  N 6.6 billion on a monthly basis. This is all about good housekeeping.    The  efficiency units  has already had success with travel, food, sitting allowance and they will now look at adverts. We are all aware of the efforts on plugging leakages and recoveries.''

Contract between the States and FG

Adeosun said that state governments had a key role in diversifying Nigeria's economy. According to her: "We see the states as strong partners in diversifying our economy away from oil and getting Nigeria working again. This is one of the key drivers behind the administration's fiscal sustainability plan with states. It is about improving accountability and transparency, increasing public revenue, effective expenditure, improving public financial management and managing debt sustainably.        This is true reform, it starts with discipline and ends with diversification of our economy.      Last month's FAAC distribution was made up largely of revenue collections and not only oil revenue.  N305.12 billion was distributed in May; though it was only  N23.62 billion higher in May than in April, the pleasing thing is that was funded by locally generated revenue.

On the new  foreign exchange policy, the Minister said: "We are happy with the new FX policy, this was the missing link between monetary and fiscal policy and we are happy that is now in place.    It is supply and demand driven."

On policies to support  large manufacturers,  the Minister said: "It is not about only one policy but a framework of policies to ensure competitiveness both for local consumption and for exports. This would include looking into tariffs, Customs, Power, etc."

On the  N350bn disbursement  planned for this quarter, the Minister said that "N109 billion out of the  N350 billion has already been disbursed.    The funds are ready, however, there are procedural delays, due to the required public procurement processes.

The selection process however, allows for many new capable companies to participate in the process and getting involved in the FG projects.

On  China, the Minister said that the CBN will be best placed to provide details of what was agreed but from a technical point of view, the principle is that both Nigeria and China can directly exchange each other's currencies without changing into US Dollars first.There are 22 action points of reform to achieve 5 key objects.    The objectives are: to improve accountability amp; transparency, to increase public revenue, to rationalise public expenditure; to improve public financial management and ssustainable debt management.