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2022 Budget: Buhari seeks N2.557trn for petrol subsidy, wants 2022 Appropriation Act amended

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President Muhammadu Buhari has requested the senate for an additional provision for N2.557 trillion naira be appropriated by the National Assembly to fund the petrol subsidy in the 2022 Budget Framework which was revised to provide fully for PMS subsidy. 
The Federal Government had soft-pedal on its initial plan to remove subsidy on petroleum products saying it was clear to even the blind and audible to the deaf that the situation of the country does not allow for that at the moment.
In seeking for a soft landing based on the outcry from Nigerians the minister of Petroleum Resources Timipre Sylva and his counterpart in the ministry of Finance Hajia Zainab Ahmad as well as the Group managing Director NNPC limited Mele Kyari met with the national assembly leadership to ammend the law to provide for an extension of subsidy provision beyond June 2022.
The President therefore requested the senate to amend the 2022 Appropriation Act passed by the National Assembly in December, 2021.
The request was contained in a letter dated February 10, 2022, and read during plenary by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan. 
Buhari in his request said it was imperative to remove all capital projects that were replicated in the 2022 Appropriation Act. 
He disclosed that 139 out of the 254 projects in the budget totaling N13.24 billion had been identified for deletion. 
Buhari, therefore, requested the National Assembly to amend the Appropriation Act to provide for Capital Expenditures in the sum of N106,161,499,052 billion naira; and N43,870,592,044 billion naira for Recurrent Expenditures.
Buhari underscored the need to reinstate four capital projects totaling N1.4 billion in the Executive proposal for the Federal Ministry of Water Resources; and N22.0 billion cut from the provision for the Sinking Fund to retire mature loans needed to meet government’s obligations under already Issued Bonds.
The full text of the letter entitled, “Submission of the 2022 Appropriation Amendment Proposal”, reads:
“As I indicated at the signing of the 2022 Appropriation Act, I forward herewith the Proposals for amendment of the 2022 Appropriation Act (as detailed in Schedules I-V), for the kind consideration and approval by the Senate.
“Let me seize this opportunity to once again express my deep gratitude to the leadership and members of the Senate for the expeditious consideration and passage of the 2022 Appropriation Bill as well as the enabling 2021 Finance Bill.
“It has become necessary to present this amendment proposal considering the impacts of the recent suspension of the Petroleum Motor Spirit (PMS) subsidy removal and the adverse implications that some changes made by the National
Assembly in the 2022 Appropriation Act could have for the successful implementation of the budget.
“It is important to restore the provisions made for various key capital projects in the 2022 Executive Proposal (see details in Schedule l) that were cut by the National Assembly.  This is to ensure that critical ongoing projects that are cardinal to this administration, and those nearing completion, do not suffer a setback due to reduced funding.
“It is equally important to reinstate the N25.81 billion cut from the provision for the Power Sector Reform Programme in order to meet the Federal Government’s commitment under the financing plan agreed with the World Bank.
“In addition, it is necessary to reinstate the four (4) capital projects totaling N1.42 billion in the Executive Proposal for the Federal Ministry of Water Resources that were removed in the 2022 Appropriation Act.
“Furthermore, there is critical and urgent need to restore the N3 billion cut from the provision made for payment of mostly long outstanding Local Contractors’ Debts and Other Liabilities as part of our strategy to reflate the economy and spur growth (see Schedule I).
“You will agree with me that the inclusion of National Assembly’s expenditures in the Executive Budget negates the principles of separation of Powers and financial autonomy of the Legislature. It is therefore necessary to transfer the National Assembly’s expenditures totaling N16.59 billion in the Service Wide Vote to National Assembly Statutory Transfer provision (see Schedule l).
“It is also imperative to reinstate the N22.0 billion cut from the provision for Sinking Fund to Retire Mature Loans to ensure that government can meet its obligations under already issued bonds as and when they mature.
“The cuts made from provisions for the recurrent spending of Nigeria’s Foreign Missions, which are already constrained, are capable of causing serious embarrassment to the country as they mostly relate to office and residential rentals. 
“Similarly, the reductions in provisions for allowances payable to personnel of the Nigerian Navy and Police Formations and Commands could create serious issues for government. It is therefore imperative that these provisions be restored as proposed (see Schedule II).
“It is also absolutely necessary to remove all capital project is that replicated in the 2022 Appropriation Act; 139 out of the 254 such projects totaling N13.24 billion have been identified to be deleted from the budget.
“Some significant and non-mandate projects were introduced in the budgets of the Ministry of Transportation, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation (see Schedule III). There are several other projects that have been included by the National Assembly in the budgets of agencies that are outside their mandate areas. The Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning has been directed to work with your relevant Committees to comprehensively identify and realign all such misplaced projects.
“It is also necessary to restore the titles / descriptions of 32 projects in the Appropriation Act to the titles contained in the Executive Proposal for the Ministry of Water Resources (see Schedule IV) in furtherance of our efforts to complete and put to use critical agenda projects.
“The Appropriation Amendment request is for a total sum of N106,161,499,052 (One hundred and six billion, one hundred and sixty-one million, four hundred and ninety-nine thousand, and fifty-two Naira only) for Capital Expenditures and N43,870,592,044 (Forty-three billion, eight hundred and seventy million, five hundred and ninety-two thousand, and forty-four Naira only) for Recurrent Expenditures. I therefore request the National Assembly to make the above amendments without increasing the budget deficit. I urge you to roll back some of the N887.99 billion of projects earlier inserted in the budget by the National Assembly to accommodate these amendments.
“However, following the suspension of the PMS subsidy removal, the 2022 Budget Framework has been revised to fully provide for PMS subsidy (see Schedule V). An additional provision of N2.557 trillion will be required to fund the petrol subsidy in 2022. Consequently, the Federation ACCOunt (Main Pool) revenue for the three tiers of government is projected to decline by N2.00 trillion, while FGN’s share from the Account is projected to reduce by N1.05 trillion. Therefore, the amount available to fund the FGN Budget is projected to decline by N969.09 billion.
 
“Aggregate expenditure is projected to increase by N45.85 billion, due to additional domestic debt service provision of N102.5 billion net of the reductions in Statutory Transfers by N56.67 billion, as follows: NDDC, by N12.61 billion from N102.78 billion to N90.18 billion; NEDC, by N5.90 bilion from N48.08 billion to N42.18 billion; UBEC, by N19.08 billion from N112.29 billion to N93.21 billion; Basic Health Care Fund, byN 9.54 billion from N56.14 billion to N46.60 billion; and NASENI, by N9.54 billion from N56.14 billion to N46.60 billion.
 
“Total budget deficit is projected to increase by N1.01 trillion to N7.40 trillion, representing 4.01% of GDP. The incremental deficit will be financed by new borrowings from the domestic market.
 
“Equally, it is imperative that Clause 10 of the 2022 Appropriation Act which stipulates that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) are authorized to charge and defray from all money standing in credit to the units as revenues, penalties or sanctions at 10% for technical setup and operational cost at the units in this financial year be repealed. 
 
“This clause is in conflict with the Act establishing these Agencies, as well as some other laws and financial regulations of the government. These are neither Revenue Generating Agencies nor Regulatory Bodies that generate revenue or charge penalty fees. They are fully funded (Personnel, Overhead and Capital) by Government through Budgetary provisions.
 
“The Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007, as well as the Finance Act 2021, require these Agencies to remit fully any recovered funds to the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF). This clause may lay a dangerous precedence, and spark clamours for similar treatment by other anti-corruption agencies.
 
“Also, the Clause 11 which stipulates that “Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law in force, Nigerian Embassies and Missions are authorised to expend funds allocated to them under the Capital components without having to seek approval of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs” should likewise be repealed. It too is inconsistent with extant Financial Regulations and the Public Procurement Act, which set thresholds for approving officers and Parastatal / Ministerial Tenders Boards for awards of Contracts for the procurement of goods and Services. This also amounts to an intrusion of the Legislature into what is an executive function.
 
“Given the urgency of the request for amendments, I I seek the cooperation of the National Assembly for expeditious legislative action on the 2022 Appropriation Amendment Proposal in order to sustain the gains of an early passage of the budget.
“Please accept, Distinguished Senate President, the assurances of my highest consideration.”
 

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30 CSOs denounce Lawyers who dragged EFCC chair before UN, UK, others

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***describe them as jobless detractors, paid hecklers, defenders of Injustice

Lawyers who dragged the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Olanipekun Olukoyede to the United Nations, United Kingdom and other international nations have been called out by 30 civil society groups

The lawyers had on Friday accused the EFCC boss of flagrantly disregarding valid court orders and breaching the constitutional rights of Nigerians.

At a press conference on Saturday, the Convener of the 30 Civil Societies and Chairman of Conference of Civil Society of Nigeria, Mr. Adams Otakwu, indicated that the allegation against the EFCC by the lawyers is a slap on the entire nation, aimed at distracting and derailing the ongoing war on corruption.

The Nigerian Civil Societies denounced the lawyers’ unfounded claims and “dismissed the group as jobless detractors, paid hecklers and defenders of Injustice unknown to the civil society.

“The assertions put forth by these lawyers, accusing the EFCC of flouting court orders and infringing upon the constitutional rights of Nigerian citizens, are not only devoid of merit but are also symptomatic of a deliberate attempt to impede the ongoing efforts of the EFCC to combat corruption and promote accountability within our nation.

“It is imperative to underscore that actions undertaken by Mr. Olukoyede are not personal endeavors but are emblematic of the steadfast commitment of the EFCC as an institution of the Nigerian people to uphold the rule of law and foster transparency in governance. Any insinuation to the contrary is not only fallacious but also an affront to the integrity of the EFCC and the Nigerian People.

“Furthermore, we categorically reject the insinuation that these self-proclaimed defenders of justice are acting in the interest of the Nigerian populace. On the contrary, it is evident that they are driven by ulterior motives, perhaps influenced by vested interests seeking to undermine the progress achieved by the EFCC and the watchful Civil Society of Nigeria in the last six months.”

The groups urged President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union not to listen to the so call lawyers.

“It is ludicrous to suggest that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu of Nigeria, the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union should entertain the baseless demands of these individuals. Such propositions are not only preposterous but also reflective of a desperate attempt to garner attention through sensationalism and misinformation.

“We call on the international community to disregard these frivolous allegations and instead lend unwavering support to the EFCC and the Nigerian State in the noble pursuit of combating corruption and promoting good governance.

“The EFCC has made significant strides in the fight against corruption in the last six months, and the Nigerian Civil Society remains confident in the ability of the EFCC to steer our nation towards a future free from the scourge of corruption,” the groups said.

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Uphold virtues of Ethics, Civic Education, Akpabio charges Scout Association of Nigeria

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The Scout Movement of Nigeria has been admonished to inculcate in Nigerian youths virtues of national ethics and the need to be prepared for any eventuality in life all the time
The President of the Senate, Senator Godswill Akpabio gave the admonition when the Chief Commissioner of The Scout Association of Nigeria, Dave Padopads-Awunah led other executive members of the Association on a courtesy to him at the National Assembly.
The Association visited Akpabio as one of their own to brief him on the forthcoming Nigeria Scout Parade and President’s Award event coming up in Abuja from 17-21 May, 2024.

In his opening remarks, The Chief Commissioner of Scout of Nigeria, Dave Padopads-Awunah expressed their joy over the elevation Senator Godswill Akpabio to the position of President of the Senate of Nigeria, stating that Senator Akpabio’s quality as a young scout has propelled him to excel in his tasks as one of the best governors Nigeria ever produced and now his giant strides in his short stay as President of the Senate.

Padopads-Awunah further recalled the role the senate president played by paying for scouts and ensuring Nigeria Scouts were represented at the world scout jamboree in Japan during his period as governor.

In his response, Akpabio expressed his joy at the visit and recalled with nolstagia, his period as a young scout.
He highlighted the tenets of scouting which he said help in molding the character of persons who grow in good citizens of their country.
He stated his commitment to amending the Boy Scout Act of Nigeria and also assist the association in delivering on their core mission to the young people of Nigeria

A statement by the Special Assistant to the President of the Senate, Anietie Ekong quoted Senator Akpabio as having advised the Association on the need for discipline, continuous education on issues like climate change and artificial intelligence.

According to Senator Akpabio, “I don’t know at what stage that Nigeria stopped having organizations like yours in primary and secondary schools. In my time, we had Scout Movements in primary and secondary schools. We even use to have the female counterpart, The Girls’ Guide.

“These Movements inculcated right ethics and ethos on the young ones, getting them to know their country, the national pledge, national anthem and respect for national symbols like the national flags and currency.

“The Scout Movement should prepare the youths for leadership in all spheres of life and that is why the motto of the Scouts, “Be Prepared” appeals to me. You should be prepared for situations that are favourable, be prepared for the rainy season and dry season; be prepared for the season of bountiful harvest and even famine,” he said.

Senator Akpabio extolled the Scouts Movement as a disciplined organization which should be encouraged through training and retraining on contemporary issues like climate change and artificial intelligence and pledged the support of the National Assembly in their programmes.

Mr. Awunah who led the delegation intimated the Senate President on the forth-coming Nigeria Scout Parade and President’s Medal Awards, sought the collaboration of the National Assembly in executing their programmes that would ne of immense benefit to Nigerian youths.
The deputy senate president and other leaders of the senate were present at the event where the President of the senate was decorated by the Chief Commissioner alongside his colleagues

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Nigeria on the path of codifying national values through NOA – Issa-Onilu

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By Friday Idachaba, Lokoja.

DIRECTOR-General of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu has said that the Nigerian nation is on the path of codifying its values through the National Values Charter being midwived by the Agency.

Issa-Onilu who disclosed this during a “Town Hall Meeting with Stakeholders in Kogi State on Government Policies Programmes and Activities” on Thursday in Lokoja said this was part of the mandate given to the agency by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

He said that the Values Charter was not anything new as all communities and ethnic nationalities hold strongly to their values but unfortunately, “the country has not put any value system in place.”

Onilu said values would only be appreciated when they are kept and made sacrosanct, promoted and nurtured by the people.

The NOA DG regretted that as it is today, no one can give a definite answer if asked, Who is a Nigerian? “We don’t have a definition for who a Nigerian is.

“And it is important we define who a Nigerian is because we know at the end of the day the definition would mean that a Nigerian cannot be a bandit, a proper Nigerian cannot be a kidnapper.

“A proper Nigerian cannot get to government and become a thief, stealing government resources and promoting corruption and bringing hardship to the people.

“A proper Nigerian is the one that will become governor and do the right thing, provide infrastructure, create employment and promote peace and stability in the state.

“That’s who a good Nigerian is. A good Nigerian is the president that will come and promote prosperity, ensure unity and there is no nepotism.

No one side is promoted above the other and no one side is marginalized. That is the value of a good Nigerian. But all of these are just my opinions”, the DG quickly added.

Issa-Onilu noted that Articles of great nations are codified and the values held in high esteem adding, “We must know ourselves and what we represent.”

He said that the best way to develop a nation is through attitude adding that attitude led us to where we are today and therefore called for character building by promoting the values charter.

The DG revealed that the Federal Government would soon introduce Citizenship Study in all schools from primary to secondary and tertiary levels as compulsory subjects or courses with emphasis on the right values, right character and how to be a good Nigerian.

This is to inculcate the right values in children so that when they grow up and get into the society, they would live their lives in a way that both the parents, the society, and the country will be proud of them.

“So this will happen soon. And we are starting this year with 37,000 Citizenship Brigades, 1,000 per state in primary school and secondary schools*, he said.

Stakeholders at the Townhall meeting, among other demands, called on NOA to impress on the the Federal Government the urgent need to reduce Petroleum pump price, and making Religious Education compulsory at all levels of education.

Speaking earlier, Mr Patrick Edogbanya, Acting State Director of the Agency in Kogi, commended Issa-Onilu for the visit saying that so far, the NOA DG had taken the message of government programmes and activities to 10 states, Kogi being the 11th.

Edogbanya noted that the Townhall meeting with stakeholders drawn from various societal strata in Kogi provided a rare opportunity to rub minds with the people towards finding a lasting solution to some of the surmountable challenges being faced by the country.

He enumerated some the DG’s achievements adding that his initiatives on staff welfare had started yielding results alluding to his charismatic team leadership adding, “Your hard work and selfless service show that we have a capable DG in the driver’s seat.” (Ends)

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