A total sum of N5.7tn is being planned to be distributed among the three tiers of government as allocations for the 2016 fiscal year, figures obtained from the Medium Term Expenditure Framework have revealed.
The framework covers the period 2016 to 2018 and was sent to the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari late last year for approval.
A breakdown of the N5.7tn shows that the sum of N4.3tn is being planned to be shared under statutory sources from the Federation Account, while the balance of N1.4tn is to be shared from the Value Added Tax pool account.
From the N4.3tn, the fiscal strategy paper revealed that the Federal Government would get the sum of N2.2tn, representing 52.68 per cent; the 36 states of the federation, N1.14tn or 26.72 per cent of the total; while the 774 local government councils are to get N886.5bn or 20.6 per cent.
For the VAT revenue of N1.4tn, the document states that the Federal Government is expected to get the sum of N212.4bn or 15 per cent; the states, N708bn or 50 per cent; while the local governments are to get the balance of N495.6bn or 35 per cent.
The document also states that out of the N2.2tn allocated to the Federal Government from the Federation Account, the sum of N43bn, representing one per cent, will go to the Federal Capital Territory; ecological and derivation, N43bn; statutory stabilisation, N21.5bn or 0.5 per cent; and development of natural resources, N72.3bn or 1.68 per cent.
The persistent drop in the price of crude oil in the international market has impacted negatively on the nation’s revenue as the country recorded a shortfall of N1.27tn in gross federally collectible revenue in the first nine months of 2015.
Figures obtained from the Federal Ministry of Finance showed that the country earned a total sum of N3.35tn between January and September last year from oil and non-oil sources.
Based on the revenue framework, which was approved in the budget for the 2015 fiscal period, the Federal Government had projected to earn a monthly revenue of N513.69bn from oil and non-oil sources.
When the N513.69bn is multiplied over a nine-month period, the Federal Government had expected to earn a total sum of N4.62tn as revenue.
However, owing to production shut-in occasioned by crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism, the country was only able to realise N3.35tn out of the projected figure, thus leaving a shortfall of N1.27tn for the nine-month period.
While the Federal Government had projected a monthly revenue of N513.69bn, findings showed that the revenue generating agencies were unable to meet up with target in the first nine months of 2015.
The highest amount generated as revenue in the period was in June when the sum of N485.95bn was earned from both mineral and non-mineral sources.
The N485.95bn recorded in June represents a shortfall of N27.74bn when compared with the budgeted revenue of N513.69bn.
Further analysis showed that the actual receipt from mineral and non-mineral sources was N416.04bn in January last year.
This represents a shortfall of N97.65bn when compared with the targeted amount of N513.69bn
For the month of February, the sum of N401.46bn was generated, indicating a decline of N112.23bn compared to the budgeted amount of N513.69bn
In the months of March, April and May 2015, the sums of N315.04, N282.06bn and N324.96bn were received as gross federally collected revenue, indicating shortfall of N198.65bn, N231.63bn and N188.73bn, respectively.
For July, August, and September, the amounts earned were N433.58bn, N369.14bn and N321.99bn from both oil and non-oil sources, indicating a shortfall of N80.11bn, N144.55bn and N191.7bn, respectively.
Some financial experts, who spoke to our correspondent on the issue of declining revenue, said there was a need for the government to urgently begin a readjustment of its fiscal position in a way that would enable it to generate more revenue from taxes.
The Director-General, Institute of Fiscal Studies of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Ighedosa, said, “We have so much relied on oil revenue in the last 45 years and with the decline in oil revenue, the time has come now for us to review our fiscal position.
“We need a short-term fiscal adjustment, particularly in our budgeting system, by switching from a zero-based budgeting system to a performance-based budgeting system.
“There is a need for reform of the country’s tax administration system to enable the Federal Government to raise more revenue from Capital Gains Tax. Our tax to Gross Domestic Product ratio is one of the lowest in the world and we need to address that.”
Also, the Chief Executive Officer, Safmur Investments Limited, Mr. Rislanudeen Muhammad, said the fall in revenue was making the economy to become more fragile.
He said while the economy was growing weaker by the day owing to vulnerabilities in the oil market, its external partners were beginning to have doubts about the potential in the economy.
Muhammad, a former Managing Director of Unity Bank Plc said, “We have done things wrong in the past because we should have saved a lot of money through the Excess Crude Account.
“That arrangement in the constitution that stipulates that any money generated must be shared is a major problem for Nigeria. We are not earning as much as we were earning. What the economy needs now is single digit interest rate and a little devaluation to allow for stability, support the GDP growth rate, employment and avoid recession.”
Boko Haram Kills Rice Farmers in Borno State, Northeast Nigeria
Rice farmers were killed on Saturday morning in the Northeast Nigeria by suspected Islamist militants, Boko Haram, according to a Reuters Report.
The report also noted that 30 of the people killed were beheaded while over a dozen others were still missing.
However, resident of the Zambarmari Village where the attacks took place said a total of 70 people were feared dead.
Another resident and Amnesty International were quoted as saying at least 10 women were among those missing.
In another statement by Edward Kallon, the United Nations’ humanitarian coordinator in Nigeria, it was armed men on motorcycles that led the brutal attack on civilians harvesting their fields.
“Armed men on motorcycles led a brutal attack on civilian men and women who were harvesting their fields,” Edward Kallon stated.
“At least 110 civilians were ruthlessly killed and many others were wounded in this attack,” he added, noting that several women are believed to have been kidnapped.
“The incident is the most violent direct attack against innocent civilians this year. I call for the perpetrators of this heinous and senseless act to be brought to justice,” Kallon said.
On Sunday, Governor Babaganan Umara Zulum of Borno State, who was at the burial told journalists that at least 70 farmers were killed on Saturday.
The Governor, therefore, called on the Federal Government to recruit more Civilian Joint Task Force members, Soldiers and civil defence fighters to protect farmers in the region.
He added that people are facing desperate choices.
“In one side, they stay at home they may be killed by hunger and starvation, on the other, they go out to their farmlands and risk getting killed by the insurgents,” he said.
In The Fight Against Corruption, No Individual is Bigger Than The State – Buhari
In response to the suspended acting EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, President Muhammed Buhari, lamented that the anti-corruption war becomes endangered “when persons entrusted with the responsibility of that magnitude become suspects themselves.”
Buhari, whose vision is to put an end to corruption in Nigeria, believed that every aspect of the nation’s life is enshrined in corruption and it’s of major concern when leaders of institutions saddled with the mandate to fight the menace are found in the waves of the corruption they claimed to be fighting.
This act is a great abomination not only because it strikes at the root but it also trivialises and undermines the anti-corruption crusade itself, the President explained.
He further said that in a bid to put an end to this great abomination, he had set up Ayo Salami Panel to unravel the mystery behind the mystique of Magu’s alleged involvement in corruption that his administration is fighting.
Buhari said that his administration is ready and willing to go all out in the fight against corruption, and no one is too big nor above the law to become a victim of anti-graft’s sledgehammer.
The president said, “However, the stark reality of widespread corruption becomes poignant when allegations of corruption touch on the leadership of an institution set up by law to coordinate and enforce all economic and financial crimes.
“It is an abomination that strikes at the root and undermines the government’s anti-corruption programme.
“It was in response to the serious allegations against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission that I set up a panel headed by the Honourable Justice Isa Ayo Salami, retired President of the Court of Appeal, via an Instrument dated 3rd July 2020 pursuant to the Tribunals of Inquiry Act (Cap T21, LFN, 2004).
“We recognise that there are more grounds to cover in the war against corruption, and we are prepared to go out to possess those lands by cutting off any stream that nourishes the seed of corruption and supports its growth.
“Let it be known that in the fight against corruption, no one is too big to tackle, as no individual is bigger than the Nigerian State!”
In Search For The New EFCC Chairman, Justice Ayo Salami Panel Advises Buhari to Look Outside The Police Force
Justice Ayo Salami’s panel advised President Muhammadu Buhari to look outside the Nigerian Police Force for the new Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
A credible source confirmed that President Muhammadu Buhari may have decided to follow the panel recommendation to avoid a similar fate to that of Magu, the former chairman.
The source also confirmed that the panel recommendation was a result of sleaze allegations against suspended acting Chairman, Ibrahim Magu. Also, that search team would be constituted in the next few days to slim down the possibilities of finding the right candidate to bring into reality the President’s vision of a corrupt-free anti-graft agency.
The source further confirmed that “the sleaze and abuse of office allegations against Magu, a commissioner of police, were overwhelming,” and that he may be put on trial.
As advised by the panel, the new EFCC chairman should be in interim position for two years.
It was suggested that the recommendation from the Justice Ayo Salami panel might have pinned Magu, according to Femi Adesina, the presidential spokesman, he advised president Buhari to consider looking into other law enforcement or security agencies, as well as considering important and diligent staff of EFCC in his plans to appoint the next EFCC chairman, as s provided in the EFCC Establishment Act of 2004.
Following the Justice Ayo Salami panel recommendation, Salami said “Your Excellency, permit me to say that four successive chairmen of the EFCC from inception have been drawn from the police. Therefore, in appointing a new chairman of EFCC, consideration should be given to candidates from other law enforcement or security agencies and qualified core staff of EFCC as provided in the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment Act 2004).
“It is also important to point out that at the moment, 970 policemen (114 drivers, 641 mobile policemen and 215 operations), are on secondment in the EFCC.
“Therefore, an exit plan for the disengagement of the police and other personnel within two years from now should be considered. This will address the issue of non-promotion of core staff for over nine years.
“Your Excellency, our thinking here is that whoever you are appointing other than a core EFCC staff, should be in transitional capacity of two years during which period, the arrangement would be made for the appointment of any of the core staff who has been commended by National Crime Agency, UK and other international law enforcement for their professionalism”.
Justice Ayo Salami appreciated the president for giving members of the panel an avenue to serve the country.
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