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Buhari Spends N5bn on Presidential Fleet

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President Muhammadu Buhari

Despite the harsh economic situation in the country, the Federal Government has reportedly spent the sum of N5bn on the 10-aircraft Presidential Air fleet since coming to power, a document obtained from the Presidency showed.

According to the document, the Presidency has so far spent N5bn since the inception of this administration in May 2015. The breakdown showed N2.3bn was released between May and November 2015 for PAF by the office of the Accountant-General of the Federation.

Also, the figure includes personnel costs, overheads and capital expenditures, a total of N99.715m was spent on spares, maintenance and subscription services.

While the sum of N98.5m was spent on operations, a total of N165.373m was spent on training and N85.5m on personnel medicals and overheads.

The document also revealed that PAF spent N1.350bn to settle outstanding liabilities of the past administration, while N500m was refunded to the NSA for financial support rendered for the maintenance of the Fleet prior to release of funds.

According to industry experts, airlines spend between 15 and 20 percent of the cost of an aircraft on its operation yearly and a little less than one-fifth of the plane is spent every year on insurance, flight and cabin crew, maintenance, fuelling, catering and training.

Using a conservative percentage of 15 percent, it means that about $52.11m (N15.92bn) must have been spent on the PAF by May 29, 2016.

The General Secretary, Aviation Round Table, an industry pressure group, Group Captain John Ojikutu, said “It is high time the Presidency reduced the number of aircraft in that fleet. We can’t be spending our scarce forex to maintain a large fleet of 10 aircraft.”

Spending a N5bn on maintenance of 10 aircraft at a time when many states “cannot pay salaries and dozens of families going hungry across most parts of the country is insensitive and a hallmark of an anti-people regime,” said Mr. Debo Adeniran, Chairman Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders.

He said, “Spending that type of money on maintenance of aircraft is not the best at this time. It is profligacy, it is unnecessary and smacks of insensitivity on the part of the regime that is supposed to effect positive change in the lives of the people.”

“A few days ago the Federal Government launched the ‘Change begins with me’ campaign but I disagree with the government that because it is like shifting the goalpost to Nigerians. This administration has not shown us that it has good plans. All the policies that have been implemented so far – both fiscal and monetary – are anti-people. This is not the type of government that we yearned for.

“They criticised Goodluck Jonathan of keeping a large fleet of aircraft but they are also doing the same thing. I think Buhari is alone in his anti-corruption fight because most of his cabinet members have not been able to detach themselves from the lifestyle of the past regime.”

A former Governor of old Kaduna State, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, said President Buhari administration “is as wasteful as the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.”

“They should sell off some of the jets in order to reduce wastage of our economic resources and also to demonstrate the change they are talking about,” he added.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President, Presidential Garba Shehu, hinted that there was a committee already deliberating on trimming the presidential fleet.

He made the revelation in a reaction to a tweet by blogger, Japheth Omojuwa, who asked why the Presidency has yet to reduce the 10 aircraft on its fleet.

“There is a government committee already in place, working to reduce the number of aircraft in the presidential fleet,” Shehu said.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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FG Has Paid Fuel marketers N74B in Seven Months — NMDPRA

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petrol

The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) on Wednesday disclosed that the federal government has paid oil marketers N74 billion as bridging claims in last seven months..

The agency said it was reacting to claims by the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association Nigeria (IPMAN), Suleja branch, that continuing fuel scarcity was caused by non-payment of bridging claims.

The agency said it paid N71.2 billion bridging claims and another N2.7 billion freight differentials to the marketers as of June 6.

In May, IPMAN said the government owed its members half a trillion naira being the cost of transporting petrol across the country.

However, at the time NMDPRA had claimed to have paid oil marketers bridging claims of about N59 billion in five months.

In recent months, fuel scarcity has worsened in Abuja and several other cities across the country.

Marketers had listed the high cost of buying petrol at the depots and the high cost of diesel to truck them as the major factors responsible for the recent queue.

On Monday, the government announced that the nation’s capital petroleum deliveries were up nearly 100 per cent after the government offered additional N10 freight reimbursements to marketers.

The statement by the NMDPRA reads: “The attention of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) has been drawn to allegations made by the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association Nigeria (IPMAN Suleja Branch) on product scarcity as a result of non-payment of bridging claims.

“The authority chief executive of the NMDPRA, at a meeting held on 17th May 2022 with IPMAN bridging payment was discussed extensively and the processes were explained and agreed upon by IPMAN.

“He assured IPMAN of NMDPRA’s willingness to continue making payments of outstanding claims to promote seamless operations.

“Pursuant to the meeting, the NMDPRA went ahead to make an additional payment of N10 billion in June and sought for an upward review of the freight rate which was approved by President Muhammadu Buhari and is currently being implemented.

“The Authority wishes to reiterate that bridging payment is an ongoing process which is carried out after due verification exercise by the Authority and Marketers.

“So far, the Authority paid N71,233,712,991 bridging claims and another N2,736,179,950.84 freight differentials to the Marketers as at 6th June 2022.

“A breakdown of payment made to Marketers is as follows: Major Marketers (MOMAN) received N9,958,777,487.24, IPMAN members were paid N42,301,923,616.96, NNPC Retails N6,661,459,118.61 while DAPPMAN members were paid N12,303,195,651.57, these translate to a total of N73,969,892,941.84.

“It is disheartening that despite these payments and increase of N10 bridging cost, which was approved by President Muhammadu Buhari two weeks ago, IPMAN could turn around to accuse the NMDPRA of insensitivity,” the statement said.

It said NMDPRA remains committed to ensuring a safe, efficient, and effective conduct of midstream and downstream petroleum operations.

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Nigeria-Cameroon Link Bridge up for Inauguration this June – Fashola

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The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola (SAN), has stated that the Nigeria-Cameroon link bridge will be inaugurated this June.

Speaking at the 16th inter-ministerial meeting of the group in Abuja, Fashola who doubles as the Chairman of the five regional ministerial steering committees, explained that the largely funded bridge by the African Development Bank (AfDB) is completed and in hopes that ECOWAS would deliver support for the inauguration.

“We have completed a new link bridge that links Nigeria to Cameroon, and it was funded largely by the AfDB and we are hoping that the ECOWAS commission will give us the necessary support to ensure the formal opening of that bridge sometime in the month of June,” he said.

The commitment to the piece of infrastructure, according to the minister, is to transform the road network into a first-class six-lane motorway, emphasizing that while speed is important, quality must not be lost.

“We’re trying to deliver a better life for five countries and over 40 million people who use that corridor, almost on a daily basis.

“The future is bright, this is an important investment for the people of Africa to achieve the objective of the Africa Union (AU) to create a trans-African highway,” he stated.

Lydie Ehouman, AfDB’s Chief Transport Economist and Project Task Manager, also spoke at the event, stating that the bank had been able to acquire an additional €3.5 million for the road project.

Investors King gathered that the total sum available for the initial financing of the project’s strategic research has increased to $41 million.

“The agreement for the on-lending of this additional grant by the bank to ECOWAS is currently being finalised. Thus, in addition to its substantial contribution of $25 million, the bank will have mobilised €12.63 million in the form of a grant from the European Union.

“This brings the total amount available for the financing of this highly strategic study to the equivalent of about US$ 41 million,” she stated.

She did, however, point out that specialists in member countries’ claims of delays were untrue, because the arrangement was that labor should persist while any differences were aired and rectified.

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UNDP, DPGA to Promote Global Digital Goods 

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digital

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Digital Public Goods Alliance (DPGA), the government of Norway, and Sierra Leone have agreed to promote inclusive digital public infrastructure in countries across the world.  

On Wednesday, Investors King gathered that world leaders, development organisations and philanthropic funders are set to invest in a “large-scale technology sharing, funding, and commitment to supporting the international cooperation agenda.”

In its published statement, UNDP stated that the agreement is to improve governance frameworks, which are critical to building a resilient future for countries. 

At the event, global leaders committed their efforts to funding and the implementation of digital public infrastructure through a newly established Digital Public Goods Charter (DPG), which serves as a framework to increase international cooperation on this plan.

With its DPG Charter, co-led by the DPGA and the Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL), the UNDP outlines a clear vision for a coordinated global approach to building a safe, trusted, and inclusive digital public infrastructure using DPGs. 

“Doing so can enable countries – regardless of income levels – to transform services and service delivery for people and communities everywhere,” the statement read. 

The DPG Charter, and the commitments made by global leaders, are especially relevant given the devastating socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and mounting climate disruption. 

These challenges, compounded with the unprecedented food, energy, and financial crisis added by the war in Ukraine, are creating an urgent need for global action. 

Digital Public Goods are open-source solutions used to build digital public infrastructure (DPI), enabling countries to provide better services and foster inclusive economic growth. 

While the Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) involves digital systems like cash transfers, digital identification, and data exchange that enable the adequate provision of essential society-wide functions. It also allows the building of resilient crisis recovery. 

 

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