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10th NASS Speakership: Survey favours Tajudeen Abass

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A survey conducted by Legislative Trends Assessors, a parliamentary research-based organisation has tipped
Chairman of the House committee on land transport, Hon. Tajudeen Abass as having the highest chance of becoming the speaker of the 10th House of Representatives.

In the Report released by the organisation and signed by the Director, Communication, Research and Strategy, Dr. Abubakar Tijani, in Abuja at the weekend, the poll conducted among members-elect gave Abass a clear lead.

He said that 292 members-elect were interviewed out of which 188 voted in favour of Abass while 10 other candidates shared the remaining 104 votes.

He said Abbas scored 64.3per cent of the votes received from the 292 respondents adding that six respondents were undecided as to the choice of candidate.

According to him, “the Legislative Trends Assessors is a strategic research based organisation with a bias for parliamentary activities.
“We have been operating since 2007 and our polls have been very reliable.

“In this research, which was carried out between March 25 and April 25, 2023, we were able to reach out to 292 members-elect for the 10th House of Representatives and all of them volunteered information.

“At the end of the survey, 188 members-elect voted for Hon. Tajudeen Abass, representing Zaria federal constituency of Kaduna state while Hon. Yusuf Adamu Gadgi representing Pankshin/Kanam/Kanke federal constituency of Plateau state came second with 40 votes representing 13.6 percent and Hon. Muktar Betara representing Biu/Bayo/Shani and Kwaya Kusar federal constituency of Borno state scored 26 votes representing 8.9 percent”.

The Report further indicated that “Deputy Speaker Ahmed Idris Wase representing Wase Federal constituency of Plateau state came fourth with 24 votes representing 8.2 percent, while House leader, Hon. Alhassan Ado Doguwa representing Tudun Wada/Doguwa Federal constituency of Kano state came fifth with 8 votes representing 2.7 percent.

“Similarly, Hon. Aminu Sani Jaji representing Kaura Namoda/Birnin Magaji Federal constituency of Zamfara state received 6 votes representing 2.05 percent”

According to the report, the following contenders received zero votes. They include Hon. Abubakar Makki Yalleman(Jigawa), Hon. Benjamin Kalu (Abia), Hon. Miriam Onuoha (Imo), Hon. Abdulraheem Olawuyi (Kwara), Hon. Sada Soli (Katsina)
Giving details of the method adopted by the pollster, Dr. Tijani reported that “We carried out the research on eleven candidates who have either declared or signified their intention to contest for the position of speaker in the next assembly.
“We asked a total of 12 questions revolving around zoning, competence, character and popularity and at the end of the survey, after analyzing the data collected, Hon. Tajudeen Abass emerged as the preferred candidate.
“Majority of the respondents, who are members-elect voted in favour of zoning, character and competence. Many of them preferred the North West to produce the speaker while some voted in favour of the North Central”.

According to Dr. Tijani, “The second and final opinion poll on the election of speaker and other presiding officers in the National Assembly will be carried out as soon as the president-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Vice President-elect Kashim Shettima are sworn in on May 29.

“We want to carry out the second survey because this is a political poll and with politics nothing is static. It is a very dynamic and flexible exercise and things change fast. We believe that when the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) unveils its zoning formula, they may be some changes because some candidates will withdraw and new alliances will be formed”

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Legislature

Tinubu asks Senate to endorse $8.6bn, €100m loans approved by Buhari’s govt 

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President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has asked the Senate to give him the authorization to borrow $8,699,168,559 and €100 million to carryout critical projects across the country.  

The president’s request was contained in a letter read at the commencement of plenary on Tuesday by Senate President Godswill Akpabio.

Tinubu, in the letter, explained that the request was part of the federal government 2022-2024 external borrowing plan approved by former President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration. 

He said the projects to be funded with the loan cuts across different sectors of the economy, and were selected based on economic evaluation and the expected contribution to the country’s development. 

The letter reads, “I write in respect of the above subject and to submit the attached the federal government 2022-2024 external borrowing plan for consideration and early approval of the National Assembly to ensure prompt implementation of the projects.

“The Senate may wish to note that the past administration approved a 2022-2024 borrowing plan by the federal executive council (FEC) held on May 15, 2023. 

“The projects cut across all sectors, with specific emphasis on infrastructure, agriculture, health, water supply, roads, security, and employment generation as well as financial management reforms. 

“Consequently, the required approval is in the sum of $8,699,168,559 and €100 million.

“I would like to underscore the fact that the projects and programmes in the borrowing plan were selected based on economic evaluations as well as the expected contribution to the social economic development of the country, including employment generation, and skills acquisition.

“Given the nature of these facilities, and the need to return the country to normalcy, it has become necessary for the Senate to consider and approve the 2022- 2024 external abridged borrowing plan to enable the government deliver its responsibility to Nigerians.”

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Legislature

Niger Coup: Northern Senators ask ECOWAS to lift restrictions on Niger Republic

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***Plead with Tinubu to restore electricity supply to Niger

The Northern Senators Forum on Monday called on President Bola Tinubu to as a matter of Urgency use his position as Chairman of ECOWAS to lift restrictions on Niger Republic in the interest of business and border community
They also demanded that Nigeria restore electricity supply to Niger Republic in line with the Nigeria-Niger treaty mandate.
The senators had in July on the heels of the military forceful take over of the democratically elected government in Niger, cautioned President Tinubu against use of Military power towards tackling the military coup, as they called for diplomatic options.
A communique issued at the end of their emergency meeting which was read by the chairman of the forum, Senator Abdul Ningi (Bauch Central) stated, “The forum on very strong terms condemn the spate of Military intervention in the democratic spaces in the West African subregion.
“The Northern Senators Forum in particular condemns the coup in Niger and urged the military junta in Niger to soften the relationship with the rest of ECOWAS military by setting free President Muhammed Bazoum and his immediate family to freely choose a country of his choice for asylum
They further urged the junta in Niger to bring about a transition time table that will last not more than two years.
They ask ECOWAS to lift restrictions on Niger Republic in the interest of business and border community.
“It is important that Nigeriens should not suffer because of the coup that took place just like we have seen what is happening in Gaza
“We ask the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Commander in chief of the Armed forces and of course the chairman of ECOWAS, President Muhammed Bola Tinubu to as a matter of humanitarian gesture restore electricity supply to Niger Republic in line with the Nigeria-Niger treaty mandate.
Ningi called on Nigerians and Nigerien to remember that they remain brothers, partners and Africans and above all, we remain human beings

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Legislature

Senate okays 2024-2026 MTEF, FSP as it seeks to probe Tax Waivers from 2015 Till Date

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Sen Sani Musa
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The Senate has approved the 2024-2026 Medium Term Expenditure Frame Work (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP).

The upper legislative chamber also ordered an investigation into all tax waivers from 2015 till date and directed that all waivers not directly linked to non-governmental/non-profit organizations should not be granted.

The Senate observed that before waiver can be approved, there are certain conditions attached, adding that some people have been benefitting from the waiver year in, year out.

Addressing newsmen, shortly after the plenary, the Chairman of the Joint Senate Committees on Finance, Appropriations, National Planning and Foreign Debt, Senator Sani Musa, lamented that so much have been lost to the waiver.

He said: “We can not continue to talk of waiver while we kill our local manufacturers.
What we have today are catels, who are not given back to Nigeria. We will take the bull by the horn.”

He said that the customer told the Senate that the nation lost about N1.3 trillion to waiver, adding that it doesn’t make any economy sense, when waiver is granted, and nothing is gained.

In the report of the Senate Joint Committees, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu will borrow N7.8 trillion to fund the 2024 budget of N26 trillion that will be presented to the National Assembly soon.

In the budget, N8.2 trillion is earmarked for debt services.

In the report presented for consideration on the floor of the Senate, Sani Musa revealed that the federal government projected the reduction in inflation from 27.33 % to 21.4% in 2024.

“The total budget for the 2024 will be N26 trillion with N16.9 trillion in retained revenue, N243.6 billion for the sinking fund, the statutory transfer for the budget will be N1.3 trillion, N1.2 trillion. In pension gratuity and retirees benefits.

“The total recurrent (non-debt) of N10.2 trillion, personal cost of MDAs- N4.49 trillion, capital expenditure (exclusive of transfers ) -N5.9 trillion, special Intervention (recurrent)- N200 billion and special Intervention capital -N7 billion comprise the.aggregate of Federal government expenditure of N26 trillion,” the report said.

The report further reads: “Following the criteria in the overview of the framework for revenues and expenses, which forms the basis of the 2024 FGN budget FGN proposed spending N26 trillion, of which N16.9 trillion was retained, new borrowings of N7.8 trillion (including borrowing from foreign and domestic), debt service to revenue ratio of 49%, pension, gratuities, and retiree benefits of N12 trillion, and a fiscal deficit of N9 trillion (including GOES)

“The projected N16.96 trillion revenues to the federal government for the 2024 fiscal year is attainable with effective revenue monitoring exercise and oversight by the relevant Committees of the National Assembly

“The projected fiscal deficit of N9.048 trillion, N10.02 and N11.48 proposed for the 2024, 2025 and 2026 fiscal years are 22%, 13.6% and 1% lower than the N11 6 trillion fiscal deficit for the year 2023. The proposed strategy for the government in 2024 towards deficit financing is to increase funding from privatization proceeds and foreign borrowing and reduce funding from multilateral and bilateral project- tied loans and domestic borrowing

“The Federal Government’s commitments to progressively restructure its debt portfolio towards achieving a balanced domestic-to-external debt ratio is evident in the 2024-2026 MTEF and FSP

“A significant number of the Federal Government’s Revenue- Generating Agencies engaged in arbitrary, frivolous, and extra-budgetary expenditure.”

The oil bemcark is pegged at $73.6 per barrel with daily production of 1.78 million barrel per day with an exchange rate of N700 to $1 .

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