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Senate approves Revised 2022 fiscal framework



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The request by President Muhammadu Buhari for revision of the 2022 fiscal framework was approved by the senate after consideration of the report of the Finance Committee on Thursday.

This was just as the senate President Ahmad Lawan, asked the Federal Government to do all within it’s power to stop the theft of crude oil by economic saboteurs.

He also threw another challenge on the need to stop the importation of refined petroleum products into the country, to cut down on expenditures.

The approval for the revised fiscal framework came after the consideration of a report by the Senate Committee on Finance. 

The report was laid by the Chairman of the Committee, Senator Olamilekan Adeola.

The Senate approved US$73 per barrel as proposed by President Buhari.

It also approved Oil Production Volume of 1.600 million per day; Petroleum Motor Spirit (PMS) subsidy of N4.00 trillion (NGN); and a cut in the provision for Federally funded upstream projects being implemented by N200 billion from N352.80.

While approving an increase in the Federal Government Independent Revenue of N400 billion, the chamber also approved an additional provision of N182.4 billion to cater for the needs of the Nigeria Police Force.

It approved debt service provision of N76.13 billion, and net reductions in Statutory Transfers by N66.07 billion. 

A breakdown of the net reductions are as follows: NDDC, by N13.46 billion from N102.78 billion to N89.32 billion; NEDC, by N6.30 billion from N48.08 billion to N41.78 billion; and UBEC, by N23.16 billion from N112.29 billion to N89.13 billion. 

Others are 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 chamber also approved the fiscal deficit of N7.35 trillion.

Adeola, in his presentation, said that the total budget deficit is projected to increase by N965.42 billion to N7.35 trillion, representing 3.99% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). 

He disclosed that, “the incremental deficit will be financed by new borrowings from the domestic market.’

Lawmakers, who took turns to make contributions during consideration of the report on the review of the 2022 fiscal framework, blamed the country’s economic downturn on crude oil theft. 

Senator Olubunmi Adetunmbi (Ekiti North), said the federal government and security agencies owe it as a duty to stop the stealing of our common wealth. 

He lamented that at a time when most countries of the world are reaping bountiful harvest due to the increase in crude oil prices occasioned by the Russia-Ukrainian crisis, Nigeria is left out owing to its inability to meet its OPEC quota. 

The Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi, who spoke along the same lines as Adetunmbi, said the country should be in a state of mourning over what is currently happening to it.

He attributed the failure of security agencies to protect oil assets as a major reason for the decline of the economy.

He expressed worry over the increasing cases of oil theft inspite of huge resources allocated to the military, police and other security agencies. 

Other such as Senators Gabriel Suswam (Benue North East), Betty Apiafi (Rivers West), called on the chamber not to hastily approve the President’s request to adjust the 2022 fiscal framework until certain questions are answered. 

While Suswam raised concerns on the widening gap in budget deficit and the federal government’s decision to resort to funding from the Capital Market, Apiafi, on the other hand, demanded answers from the NNPC and relevant agencies on solutions in place to curb crude oil theft. 

The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, in his concluding remarks, called on the Federal Government to take “radical” steps towards stopping the theft of crude oil by economic saboteurs.

He also called for a stop to the importation of refined petroleum products into the country, so as to cut down on expenditures incurred in the process, as well as to maximize profits from crude oil sales.  

“This (crude theft) is not something to play politics with, and I don’t think the answers are going to be easy to come by.

“Radical decisions would have be taken, but before we find answers we have to live with this, but we have to be fast as possible in looking for answers.

“I had a session with the Chief of Defence Staff about a month ago, and my discussion with him was on the oil theft and the efforts of our security agencies to combat this menace.

“And like we know, our security agencies are doing their best but we have people – our people – who are sabotaging the oil industry, because the oil theft is not perpetrated by somebody else but by people who are citizens.

“So, we need to continue to support the security agencies in whatever way possible so that they are able to deal with this. 

“I also believe that, whether there is oil theft or not, until we stop the importation of refined products to Nigeria, we will never get the best out of the oil and gas industry.

“So, we should work to ensure that we produce our refined products locally, because that is one way of cutting out our expenditure on importation.

“I also think that diversification of the economy is key, because we depend so much on this oil and gas industry, the slightest issues that affects it internationally affects us seriously in our country”, the Senate President said. 

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NASS Clerk wades into DSS, Staff face-off, tells security operatives to be civil




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***Reads riot act

Apparently piqued by the commotion caused by the alleged brutality of some top staff of the National Assembly on Friday by the personnel of the Department of State Services (DSS), the Clerk to the National Assembly(CNA), Alhaji Sani Magaji Tambawal has read the riot act to all security operatives in the complex.
He charged them to be civil in carrying out their duties at all times.
A statement signed by Birma Shuaibu Maina, Secretary, Human Resources and Staff Development on behalf of the CNA pointed out that the top management of the National Assembly was aware of the unfortunate incident that happened on Friday, 17th May, 2024.
It further said the CNA and top management team visited Comrade Odo at the National Assembly Clinic and immediately called for an emergency meeting between the Management, Security Personnel and Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN) officials during which the “unfortunate incident” was deliberated upon and unanimously resolved as follows:
“That DSS and other Security operatives should work in harmony with the Sergeant-At-Arms.
“All security operatives within the National Assembly Complex should be civil in the discharge of their duties.
“All members of Staff should always display their I. D. cards for easy identification”.
Finally, the CNA and the top management appealed to the staff to be “calm, peaceful and law abiding as the situation is under control”.
It will be recalled that a face-off between the DSS and some staff of the National Assembly Friday, led to the brutalization of two senior staff of NASS leading to demonium at the complex

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Natasha makes case for local industries development




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***Pays courtesy call on SMEDAN DG

The Chairman Senate Committee on Local Content, Senator Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan, on Thursday, made a strong case for the development of Local industries through creation of a market for local manufacturers rather than just training them in their existing skills.

She spoke when she met with the Director General, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Charles Odii, to make case for the growth of local factories and the manufacturing of made-in-Nigeria products.

The meeting, also attended by Senator Ede Dafinone, Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Local Content, focused on developing local content, investing in local manufacturers, and strengthening homemade products to boost the economy and create jobs for youth.

Senator Akpoti-Uduaghan emphasised the need to support local manufacturers and promote made-in-Nigeria products, highlighting the potential of local products like handwoven fabrics (popularly known as Kitipa in Ebira parlance), which can be used to produce shoes for military, paramilitary, and Corps members. This, she noted, would reduce importation and boost the economy.

“You cannot teach a local person how to make shea butter or black soap. They already know it. But what they need is market and access to finance.
“Local manufacturers need training on how to access markets and brand their products for international export. They already possess the skills, but need guidance on branding and marketing,” she stated.

Senator Akpoti-Uduaghan cited examples of successful international partnerships, such as the French cosmetics company L’occitane and Burkina Faso’s Shea butter industry, and Zara and Ethiopia’s cotton industry. She suggested that Nigeria could similarly partner with international brands like Prada or Louis Vuitton to boost its leather industry, creating revenue and downstream sectors.

The lawmaker criticised the government’s ‘50,000-era enterprise’ initiative, stating that it does not effectively support local industries.

She also emphasised the need for agencies like SON and NAFDAC to be more accessible and responsive to small-scale businesses.

By harnessing the local content of every part of the country, growing and strengthening it to produce in commercial quantity for local consumption and export, Senator Akpoti-Uduaghan believes that Nigeria can create more jobs, reduce importation, and boost the economy.

In his remarks, the SMEDAN boss promised to create a viable market for local content industry by working closely with the National Assembly to encourage local manufacturers to boost the local products that are needed in the country and valued outside the shores of Nigeria.

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Senate okays establishment of North West Development Commission




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The Senate has approved the North West Development Commission (NWDC) bill to address the challenges facing the seven states in the geopolitical zone.

The approval came after the consideration and adoption of the report of the Committee on Special Duties on the NWDC (Establishment).

The bill to establish the commission was sponsored by t

The Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Barau Jibrin and 20 other senators from the seven states in the North West geopolitical zone sponsored the bill to establish the commission
Chairman of the committee, Sen. Shehu Lawan Kaka (APC, Borno Central) moved the motion for the presentation and consideration of the report, while Sen. Ireti Kingibe (LP, FCT) seconded it.
Presenting the committee’s report, Senator Kaka pointed out that the intent and purpose of the bill are well structured and strategically streamlined for the socio-economic development of the North West geopolitical zone of the country.

He added that the commission’s establishment would bring the federal government closer to the North Western states and meet the yearnings and aspirations of the people.
He, therefore, urged the Senate to pass the bill.

When the bill was put to vote by the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Barau I Jibrin, who presided over the plenary, the senators unanimously supported it.

In his remarks, Senator Barau commended his colleagues for supporting the bill’s passage.

When established, he said the commission would address the challenges facing the geopolitical zone and, by extension, the country.

Describing the North West as the food basket of the country, he said the commission, when established, will work towards the restoration of infrastructure destroyed by Boko Haram insurgents and bandits in the region.

” So if we are serious about ensuring we have food and for food security to be attained in this country, we must provide the necessary infrastructure for all our key sectors to thrive well.

“This commission is needed. I commend you all for supporting this; no one said no. Everybody supported this idea. So, now we are pushing the Bill to the House of Representatives for their approval and then to Mr President for assent,” he said.

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