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Buhari wants Senate to approve N4tr for fuel subsidy raise



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By John Akubo, Abuja

The Senate,,on Tuesday received a request from President Muhammadu Buhari to approve adjustments to the 2022 fiscal framework. The request was contained in a letter dated April 5, 2022. The letter was read during plenary by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan.

Buhari, in the letter, explained that an adjustment to the 2022 fiscal framework became imperative in view of new developments in both the global and domestic economies. According to him, the developments were occasioned by spikes in the market price of crude oil, which were fallout of the Russian-Ukraine war.

“As you are aware, there have been new developments both in the global economy as well as in the domestic economy which have necessitated the revision of the 2022 Fiscal Framework on which the 2022 Budget was based.

“These developments include spikes in the market price of crude oil, aggravated by the Russian-Ukraine war, significantly lower oil production volume due principally to production shut-ins as a result of massive theft of crude oil between the production platforms and the terminals.

“The decision to suspend the removal of Petroleum Motor Spirit subsidy at a time when high crude oil prices have elevated the subsidy cost has significantly eroded government revenues”, he said.

He, therefore, requested the upper chamber to approve an increase in the oil benchmark by US$11 per barrel, from US$62 per barrel to US$73 per barrel.

The President also sought a reduction in the projected oil production volume by 283,000 barrels per day, from 1.883 million barrels per day to 1.600 million barrels per day.

He also the chamber to approve an increase in the estimated provision for PMS subsidy for 2022 by N3.557 trillion, from N442.72 billion to N4.00 trillion.

Buhari underscored the need to cut the provision for Federally-funded upstream projects being implemented by N200 billion, from N352.80 billion to N152.80 billion. He proposed an increase in the projection for Federal Government Independent Revenue by N400 billion; and an additional provision of N182.45 billion to cater to the needs of the Nigerian Police Force.

He added that “based on the above adjustments, the Federation Account (Main Pool) revenue for the three tiers of government is projected to decline by N2.418 trillion, while FGN’s share from the Account (net of transfer to the Federal Capital Territory and other statutory deductions) is projected to reduce by N1.173 trillion.”

He disclosed that the amount available to fund the FGN Budget is projected to decline by N772.91 billion due to the increase in the projection for Independent Revenue (Operating Surplus Remittance) by N400 billion.

He explained further that Aggregate Expenditure is projected to increase by N192.52 billion, due to increase in personnel cost by N161.40 billion and other service wide votes by N21.05 billion (both for the Nigeria Police Force), additional domestic debt service provision of N76.13 billion, and net reductions in Statutory Transfers by N66.07 billion.

Giving a breakdown, he said no the net deductions would see a cut by N13.46 billion from N102.78 billion to N89.32 billion for NDDC; NEDC, by N6.30 billion from N48.08 billion to N41.78 billion; UBEC, by N23.16 billion from N112.29 billion to N89.13 billion; Basic Health Care Fund, by N11.58 billion from N56.14 billion to N44.56 billion; and NASENI, by N11.58 billion from N56.14 billion to N44.56 billion.

The President noted that the total budget deficit is projected to increase from N965.42 billion to N7.35 trillion, representing 3.99% of GDP. According to him, the incremental deficit will be financed by new borrowings from the domestic market.

Culled from the Guardian

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Edun harps on inter-agency collaboration to drive economic growth, attract investments




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To ensure full implementation of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s 8-Point Agenda which is aimed at boosting economic growth and development to attract foreign investors and expertise into the country, Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Mr. Wale Edun has urged Heads of Agencies and Parastatals under his Ministry to work together.
Speaking during a quarterly performance review briefing with Heads of Agencies and Parastatals in Abuja, the Minister emphasized the importance of synergy and effective implementation to achieve the goals outlined in the President’s blueprint.
Director of Information and Public Relations, Mohammed Manga in a statement quoted the minister to have described the gathering as very crucial benchmark where they can brain storm on where they need to get to and how they intend to get there

He highlighted the progress made so far under the present Administration and encouraged the Agencies and Parastatals within his jurisdiction to continue working together so as to drive economic growth and prosperity for all Nigerians.

He indicated that the meeting would also serve as a benchmark towards the implementation of the performance bond signed by Mr. President, which is aimed at reviewing the achievements made in the last one year, address challenges and chart a way forward for improved performance of the Ministry.

“We have all signed performance bonds. We all know the plan and blueprint, which are the eight point agenda of Mr. President. It has been categorised as a house. “The pillars are the fundamentals that you need for the Economy and society to thrive that is, security, rule of law, and at the very top is the roof, that is, the outcomes: food security and other measures of a good standard.
“Our collective efforts and shared commitment is not only pivotal in ensuring the efficient and effective management of the nation’s economy, but should also go a long way in facilitating the realization of the agenda of Mr. President*, he said

Edun explained further that the
call to action was imperative, especially as it is expected to galvanize the agencies to work collaboratively and efficiently towards achieving the objectives of the 8-point agenda.

The Minister pointed out that by working together, the Agencies can help create a conducive environment for economic growth, attract investors, and make opportunities available for Nigerians to thrive.

“President Bola Ahmed Tinubu led-Administration has helped stabilize the exchange rate and is working towards lower interest rates that would invite the bases for additional investments in the nation.

“It is, therefore, incumbent upon us to pursue the achievements of our deliverables with diligence and determination by establishing clear targets, timelines, and consequences for non- compliance with our respective Agencies/Parastatals.
“We can help to create a framework that incenticizes excellence and service delivery as well as build the needed synergy and partnership that can facilitate the implementation of the transformative economic policies of this administration.” Edun said

The Minister expressed optimism that with the calibre of persons heading the Agencies under his stewardship, the Ministry is sure to deliver on its mandate in compliance with the Renewed Hope Agenda of the present administration.

Earlier in her welcome address, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Finance, Mrs. Lydia Shehu Jafiya, stated that the
engagement would provide a unique platform for robust discussions, especially in the area of implementation of the transformative policies of the present administration, which she said, aims at improving the nation’s economy, promoting job creation, and poverty reduction as well as a safety environment that will attract investments into the country.

She assured that the Ministry will continue to provide an enabling environment for the full implementation of the policies, programmes and projects of the Federal Government, in line with its mandate.

Also speaking, the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Special Duties, Mr. Okokon Ekenam Udo advised the Agencies to collectively align their efforts with the fiscal goals set by the Federal Government with a view to ensuring the realization of its policy objective.

He therefore called on them to bring in their wealth of experience to bear in making sure that the Agencies deliver on their respective mandates in accordance with the policy thrust of the present administration.

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CUPP scribe expresses concern over exodus of foreign investors




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***Says, APC ABRACADABRA Propaganda can not solve the problem

The National Secretary of the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) High Chief Peter Ameh has bemoaned the downturn in the investment climate occasioned by insecurity that is causing apprehension among foreign investors who are now leaving Nigeria in droves to other African countries.
Ameh spoke against the backdrop of the News that Microsoft is closing its office in Nigeria which he said is very disturbing.
The organization announced that they will close their Ikoyi office this week.
Ameh quoted the Managing Divecter of Okomu Oli Palm Pic, Graham Holter, who said it is absurd that they pay over N12 billion in taxes to government annually and still are left to fend and seek security for equipment and personnel themselves.
“What kind of Investment-friendly environment are you providing?”
Ameh lamented that situation is devastating and there is no end in sight.
“70% of crisis the country is facing today is the result of insecurity. Government must take the bull by the horn to address it now before it’s too late but those in Government will rather prefer to be harassing Journalists and opposition parties/leaders.

‘Without effective Security Measures for the country we are in danger of losing Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) and at risk of losing the investors confidence in our economy.

“Security, good roads and train services will remain essential to ensure that we are able to protect our country from being abandoned by investors.”

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FG anticipates higher Investments, increased trade from G-24




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In its quest to bring tranquility to the tempestuous foreign exchange market the Federal Government has asked for investment and increased trading relationships from member countries of the G-24.
These will play a critical role in the country’s quest for growth as well as ensure a stable and growing economy.
Director of Information and Public Relations Mohammed Danjuma quoted the Minister of Finance and Co-ordinating Minister of the Economy, Mr Wale Edun, to have made the request at the ongoing World Bank-IMF Spring Meetings holding in Washington DC.

Represented by the Director General of the Budget Office of the Federation, Mr. Ben Akabueze, the Minister informed the G-24, a group of countries working together to coordinate the positions of developing countries on international monetary and financial issues and indeed the global gathering that Nigerian Government, on its part, has administered a cocktail of intervention programmes and potent policies which are already yielding desired outcomes.

He explained that
the efforts of the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led Administration towards repositioning the economy
were already yielding desired outcomes, which has significantly narrowed the gap between the exchanges at the parallel market and the Nigeria Foreign Exchange Market.

Edun said that Nigeria was well positioned to attract investments in various sectors such as manufacturing, agriculture, oil and gas, amongst others.

While responding to a question from a Russian journalist on areas of cooperation between the two countries, the Minister said that the last major investment of the Eastern European nation in Nigeria was the Ajaokuta Steel Company, which currently lies prostate over large sprawling greenfield.

He informed further that apart from Brazil, there is no country in the world with as much arable land as Nigeria, as such, the country should be a net exporter of food and not an importer.

Edun also justified the decision for the Dangote Refinery to work on meeting local demands of petroleum products before eyeing export markets.

“Does it make a meaning that domestic demand is not yet met and a company refines products and exports, while Nigeria goes and imports the same products from Europe?” he queried.

The Minister added that local refining would be encouraged until indigenous demand has been fully met, and then the nation can export products as well as earn foreign exchange from such exports.

On budget implementation, he said that the capital component of the 2023 supplementary budget was still being implemented and would run until June due to government’s determination to make impacts in various sectors.

The Minister added that the 2024 budget was being implemented as planned, assuring that the citizens would be better for it.

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