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Government

FG, States, LGs to Share N5.7tn This Year

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Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari

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.”

Punch

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Government

Lawmakers Tensed Over Possible Boko Haram Attack On National Assembly

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Lawmakers have been notified of a possible attack by Boko Haram insurgents on the National Assembly complex and other public buildings in Abuja, The media gathered.

Several members of the House of Representatives, on Wednesday, confirmed to Punch correspondent that they had been notified of the imminent attack by the terrorist group.

One of them, who is from a state in the South-West, said his presence would henceforth be limited on the premises.

“That is the security alert I saw today. I’m already moving out of here. I’ll only be around when there is a major reason to do so. Nowhere is safe in the country anymore,” he said.

Already the notice of the impending attack has been made available to the lawmakers.

The notice, a copy of which our correspondent obtained, was sent to the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, other principal officers and all members of the House.

The ‘security alert’, dated May 4, 2021, was issued by the Chairman of the House Committee on Internal Security, National Assembly, Mr. Usman Shiddi.

It was titled ‘Re: planned insurgent attacks on VIP locations, government facilities and assets in Abuja.’

The alert read, “I refer to the above subject of which a copy of the intelligence report from the Force Intelligence Bureau of the Nigeria Police Force in the National Assembly Complex has been made available to my office.

“The report indicates planned insurgent attacks by some elements of Boko Haram on some VIP locations, government facilities and assets in Abuja, including the National Assembly complex.

“In view of the above intelligence, I have considered it paramount to advise that all members should, henceforth, use the presidential gate for ingress and egress.

“This is to avoid the unforeseen congestions that are sometimes encountered at the main gates since such congestions could easily be the targets for these insurgent elements.

“Security agencies are, however, actively on top of the issue to unravel and to contain the intended menace. Accept the assurances of my highest regards, please.”

Security has been beefed up in and around the complex since Thursday last week.

For the first time, security operatives on that day checked vehicles entering the premises, causing traffic congestion especially at the third (and last) gate, a process that has continued to date.

Before now, the security operatives were only after the identities of drivers and passengers to confirm that they were staff members, legislative aides, journalists, or persons working in private businesses in the complex.

The media correspondent observed that soldiers joined the regular sergeants-at-arms and men of the Nigeria Police Force, Department of State Services, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps and the Federal Road Safety Corps that manned the gates.

Recall that the Governor of Niger State, Sani Bello, had on April 26, 2021, raised the alarm over Boko Haram terrorists taking over a part of the state, hoisting their flag in Kaure village from where they had made incursions into more than 50 villages.

Bello said Abuja was not safe, with Boko Haram’s presence in Kaure – a two-hour journey from the Federal Capital Territory.

He said, “I am confirming that there are Boko Haram elements here in Niger State. Here in Kaure, I am confirming that they have hoisted their flags here.”

The same day, Gbajabiamila had met with the President, Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, in company with the Majority Leader, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa.

On the next day, the House held a long executive (closed-door) session to discuss the rising spate of insecurity across Nigeria, calling on Buhari to declare a state of emergency on security.

At the secret session that lasted over three hours, the lawmakers unanimously adopted a series of resolutions, one of which was that “the Federal Government should ensure the protection of national infrastructure and assets, particularly the Shiroro and Kainji Dams in Niger State.”

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Government

Lagos State Plans To Launch 500 Small New Buses Next Week

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sanwo-olu

The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has promised to introduce 500 small new buses to the state by next week Thursday in a bid to provide alternatives to local motorcycles.

The Governor said this in a speech on Wednesday to mark the opening ceremony of the Lagos Architect Forum. The forum themed, ‘The City of Lagos: The Next Twenty Five Years’ was organised by the Nigerian Institute of Architects, Lagos chapter, at the Expo Hall of Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island.

The 4-day forum which will run till Saturday had in attendance other dignitaries including the Oniru of Iru Land, HRM Oba Abdulwasiu Omogbolahan Lawal; the Lagos State Chairman of the NIA, Arc. David Majekodunmi; SA to the Governor on Works and Infrastructure, Engr. Aramide Adeyoye; and the President-elect of the Nigerian Institute of Architects, Arc. Enyi Ben-Eboh.

In his speech, the governor noted the progress made in the T.H.E.M.E.S agenda and his vision for the Lagos master plan to ensure that Lagos becomes ‘Africa’s model megacity’ by 2050. Acknowledging the challenges in the transport sector, the Governor gave assurances on improving the various modes of transport including the roads, waterways and rail lines.

“For the waterways, we’re currently building 16 jetties and terminals. About seven of them should be ready before the end of the year; we have some that are already currently being used.

“All of them will not look as nice as the one at Falomo, but we want all of them to be comfortable. We have a fleet of almost 20 boats now each carrying 50, 60, 40 passengers. We want people to use the waterways which is why we’re investing in them,” Sanwo-Olu said.

On road and rail transport, Sanwo-Olu said the state would soon begin to operate 100 new high-capacity buses, with plans to launch 500 LASTMA small buses by next week Wednesday or Thursday as alternatives to okadas that don’t have enough passenger space. He also promised that one of either the blue or red rail lines will become operational by next year.

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Government

Presidency Warns Over Alleged Plot To Overthrow Buhari’s Administration Through Vote of No Confidence

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Muhammadu Buhari

The Presidency on Tuesday claimed it has evidence that reveals that certain “disruptive elements” are recruiting ethnic groups and politicians with the motive of convening conferences where a vote of no confidence will be passed on the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari.

It said the purpose of the move was to further throw the country into turmoil.

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, disclosed this in a statement titled ‘Our response to DSS alert, by Presidency.’

Adesina was giving further insights into a recent claim by the Department of State Services that some people were planning to undermine the government and the nation’s sovereignty.

The presidential spokesman however said the present regime would keep the country together, even if some unruly feathers would be ruffled in the process.

He claimed that some disgruntled religious and past political leaders are behind the plans.

The statement read, “The Department of State Services on Sunday alerted on sinister moves by misguided elements to wreak havoc on the government, sovereignty and corporate existence of the country.

“Championed by some disgruntled religious and past political leaders, the intention is to eventually throw the country into a tailspin, which would compel a forceful and undemocratic change of leadership.

“Further unimpeachable evidence shows that these disruptive elements are now recruiting the leadership of some ethnic groups and politicians around the country, with the intention of convening some sort of conference, where a vote of no confidence would be passed on the President, thus throwing the land into further turmoil.

“The caterwauling, in recent times, by these elements, is to prepare the grounds adequately for their ignoble intentions, which are designed to cause further grief for the country.

“The agent provocateurs hope to achieve through artifice and sleight of hands, what they failed to do through the ballot box in the 2019 elections.

“Nigerians have opted for democratic rule, and the only acceptable way to change a democratically elected government is through elections, which hold at prescribed times in the country. Any other way is patently illegal and even treasonable. Of course, such would attract the necessary consequences.

“These discredited individuals and groups are also in cahoots with external forces to cause maximum damage in their own country. But the Presidency, already vested with mandate and authority by Nigerians till 2023, pledges to keep the country together, even if some unruly feathers would be ruffled in the process.”

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