Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has lamented that ineffective implementation of past budgets and abandonment of projects have led to wastage that has negatively affected the nation’s economy in the last 16 years, according to Punch report.
Saraki, according to a statement on Thursday by his Chief Press Secretary, Sanni Onogu, stated this at an interactive session with Civil Society Organisations on the 2016 budget in Abuja.
In order to correct the anomaly, Saraki said the 8th National Assembly had stepped up its oversight functions to ensure that funds were spent judiciously.
He also noted that diversification was crucial to the success of the nation’s economy.
Saraki commended the over 100 CSOs that participated in the interactive session.
He said, “We know that the work ahead of us is necessary. We also know that the road ahead of us will be lined with challenges. However, we also know that we cannot do this alone. We need all hands on deck for this one.
“In this regard, in response to the citizens’ concerns and public expectations, the 8th National Assembly, through this platform and the various others that we have set up online, will continue to be accessible to you. We will work tirelessly to address your concerns; after all, we are only here because of you.”
The Senate president said the maiden interactive session was convened to allow both the members of parliament and the CSOs to explore new angles, consider fresh opinions and weigh new suggestions on the reasonable changes that needed to be made, and on the best way to forge ahead with the 2016 appropriation process.
“This is not only an opportunity for you to air your views, it is also a window that has presented itself that will allow all of us to work together to pass a budget that we can all be proud of,” Saraki added.
Representatives of the various CSOs expressed support for the National Assembly’s decision to postpone the passage of the 2016 Appropriation Bill due to numerous errors and padding of figures discovered in the document.
The groups, from various zones across the country, said by postponing the passage of the budget, the National Assembly had saved the country from being short-changed by enemies of progress in the public offices, whose sole aim was to satisfy their personal interests.
The National Assembly had on Tuesday shifted indefinitely the February 25 deadline earlier fixed for the passage of the 2016 Appropriation Bill due to numerous errors and padding of figures, which it noted required more time to correct.
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Nigeria’s Presidential CNG Initiative Allocates N100bn for CNG Buses and EV Adoption
The Presidential Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Initiative has allocated N100 billion to expedite the deployment of CNG buses nationwide, according to a statement released on Wednesday.
The initiative, designed to catalyze an Auto-gas and Electric Vehicle (EV) revolution in mass transit and transportation, aims to enhance sustainability and cost-effectiveness.
The statement revealed that the fund would be instrumental in supporting the adoption of auto-gas and electric vehicles, signaling a commitment to a more sustainable and economical future in the transportation sector.
The Presidential CNG Initiative plans to leverage over 11,500 CNG and electric-fueled vehicles, along with the deployment of 55,000 conversion kits.
This strategic approach is intended to reduce transportation costs for Nigerians and mitigate the challenges posed by the rising cost of living.
Under the Renewed Hope Agenda, the Presidential CNG Initiative is dedicated to realizing the President’s vision, guided by its steering committee led by FIRS Chairman Zacch Adedeji.
The statement highlighted recent achievements, including strategic technical partnerships and the ongoing commissioning of CNG Conversion centers in key states such as Lagos, Abuja, Kaduna, Ogun, and Rivers.
Several more centers are slated for commissioning in the coming weeks, reflecting the initiative’s momentum and commitment to achieving its objectives.
Nigeria’s Power Transformation: 53 Projects Worth N122bn on Track for May 2024 Completion
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in collaboration with the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and power distribution companies, is set to complete 53 power projects by May next year.
Valued at N122 billion, these projects aim to add over 1,000 megawatts to TCN’s wheeling capacity.
During a recent tour of three ongoing projects in Lagos, TCN’s Programme Coordinator, Mathew Ajibade, assured that the projects were not abandoned, refuting speculations.
He confirmed that work is progressing smoothly and is expected to be completed by May 2024, as initially planned.
Assistant Director/Head of Infrastructure Finance Office at the CBN, Tumba Tijani, highlighted the CBN’s support for the power sector, revealing that the bank released a loan at a 9% interest rate in August last year for the projects.
The funding, part of the Nigeria Electricity Market Stabilisation Facility-3, amounts to N122,289,344 and aims to address transmission/distribution bottlenecks, enhance supply to end-users, and unlock unutilized generation capacity.
Tijani disclosed that N85.43 billion has been disbursed into the Advance Payment Guarantee account of the 53 contractors responsible for executing the projects.
The comprehensive project list includes the delivery of power transformers, re-conductoring existing transmission lines, upgrading existing substations, and constructing 33KV line bays.
The initiative reflects a concerted effort to enhance Nigeria’s power infrastructure and meet growing energy demands.
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