***Adamu harps on need to sustain consultation with aggrieved aspirants
At least 150 House of Representatives members-elect on Tuesday stormed the national secretariat of the ruling All progressives Congress (APC) in solidarity with its preferred candidate for speakership, Dr Tajudeen Abass.
Abass who was at the secretariat of the party for a consultative meeting expressed appreciation to the Sen Abdullahi Adamu led national working committee (NWC) over the decision to nominate him as the next Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Abbas who represents Zaria federal constituency of Kaduna state on the APC platform, accompanied by members of the Joint task 10th Assembly team
reiterated his commitment towards the protection of the interest of the party, the institution of the legislature and the entire country.
He called on the party’s leadership not to rest on their oars in replicating the successes recorded in the recently held general elections by delivering the leadership of the 10th National Assembly.
Kalu who expressed appreciation over his nomination as the Deputy Speaker of the House remarked that the decision would calm frayed nerves in the South East geopolitical zone over the cry of exclusion and marginalisation over the power sharing arrangement in the country.
He noted: “You sat and did the right thing. I never visited any of you, I never lobbied any of you, I never gave any of you any money, but you sat and picked me to be the DS. That means you were dispassionate about your decision.
“We are promising you that we will protect the institution. The sovereignty of the Legislature will be upheld but not overlooking inter-dependence of all arms.
“I pledge that my principal will be given the support to succeed.
The Southeast is impressed that the party considered us this time around. This shows that the party is diversity sensitive.”
The Co- Chairman of the Joint Task 10th Assembly, Mr Usman Kumo is upbeat that the duo of Abass and Benjamin Kalu would coast home to victorious with over 250 out of 360 available votes of newly elected members of the House of Representatives.
Kumo who chairs the House committee on Police Affiars insist that the decision by the party to settle for the duo of Abass and Benjamin Kalu as Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives was in tandem with international best practices.
Kumo said the decision by the party was well thought out as the duo do not only have the right temparament, but have the requisite competence and experience to preside over the affairs of the House of Representatives.
Assuring that his team would do all within their powers to ensure they emerge victorious, he warned against the repeat of the acrimonious relationship that existed between the legislature and executive arms under the Senator Bukola Saraki led leadership of the national Assembly.
Kumo who was accompanied by no fewer than 100 members elect drawn from the APC, NNPP, LP, ADC, SDP, APGA assured that the House under the leadership of Tajudeen Abass would sustain the cordial and beneficial working relationship between the executive and legislative arms witnessed within the last four years.
Said he: “The Joint Task – 10th Assembly is a group of members-elect of the 10th House who came together for the unity of the country and the stability of the House.You people are talent hunters, and you have hunted well.
“On Rt. Hon. Tajudeen Abbas, from 1979 to date, there is no parliamentarian in Nigeria who was privileged to sponsor 74 Bills. What we want to do now is to promote synergy between the Executive and the Legislature. Out of the 74 Bills, 21 were signed into law.
“The chairman of our party is the number one witness that if you go against your party, you may not represent your people well. We intend to promote this product because we need that synergy and harmonious relationship. Our zonal interventions and constituency projects are implemented 100% under the 9th Assembly because of the good relationship between the Executive and the Legislature.
“All of us here are more than willing, the ones you see here, others have left for their constituencies after the induction. We would have brought over 250 members-elect here. We are going to ensure that we implement your zoning undiluted 100 percent.”
Adamu insisted that the decision by the party on the preferred candidates for the national Assembly leadership was arrived at after due consultations with the President -Elect, the NWC members and critical stakeholders of the party across the country.
He admonished the joint task team to sustain the ongoing consultations with those jostling for the speakership seat and other critical stakeholders of the party to calm frayed nerves over the controversy surrounding the zoning arrangement of the party.
Abass who later fielded questions reporters after the parley with the APC NWC members dismissed the notion held in certain quarters that the party would reverse it’s decision on the zoning arrangement of principal officers of the national Assembly.
“To the best of our knowledge, the party is resolute on its earlier decision to sustain the announcement made earlier. We are not aware there’s any change of decision concerning the candidature of my humble self and my colleague from the House of Reps and my colleague in the Senate. There has not been any thing like that to the best of our knowledge.
On the issue of reaching out, he said: “I can assure you we are doing the best we can. Just a week ago if you have observed three aspirants, one of them is here with us, have come out publicly to declare their support on us.
“As we are talking today, I am engaging not less than three other contestants. We are talking and hopeful that at the end of the day we will be able to reach a precise destination.”
On what should Nigerians expect if he emerge the Speaker of the House, he said: “We are assuring them that case we have recorded in the 9th assembly will not only be sustained but it will be improved. Very soon we are coming with our sixteen-point agenda which will address each and every area we feel Nigeria should have improvement in the legislative chamber, please wait for the document to come out, you will see that Nigeria will move forward come June 13 202.”
Tinubu asks Senate to endorse $8.6bn, €100m loans approved by Buhari’s govt
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.”
Niger Coup: Northern Senators ask ECOWAS to lift restrictions on Niger Republic
***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
Senate okays 2024-2026 MTEF, FSP as it seeks to probe Tax Waivers from 2015 Till Date
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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