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Buhari Seeks Approval for $30bn Foreign Borrowing, N180bn Budget Virement

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Muhammadu Buhari
  • Buhari Seeks Approval for $30bn Foreign Borrowing, N180bn Budget Virement

President Muhammadu Buhari has written to the National Assembly to seek approval to borrow $29.96 billion under the External Borrowing (Rolling) Plan to address the infrastructure deficit in the health, education, water resources and other sectors.

The president is also seeking the approval of the legislature to vire N180.8 billion from the funds appropriated for special intervention (recurrent and capital) in the 2019 budget, to fund critical recurrent and capital items.

Buhari’s letter, which was read at plenary yesterday by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, indicated that the $29.96 billion is for proposed projects and programmes loan of $11.274 billion, $10.686 billion for special national infrastructure projects, Eurobonds of $4.5 billion, and federal government budget support of $3.5 billion.

The president said the projects and programmes under the external borrowing plan were selected based on positive technical economic evaluations, as well as the contributions they would make to the socio-economic development of the country, including employment generation, poverty reduction, and protection of the nation’s vulnerable population.

Some of the funds from the external borrowing plan would be deployed to emergency projects in the North-east, particularly following the recent outbreak of polio after the de-listing of Nigeria from polio endemic countries.

The World Bank has provided a loan of $125 million for the federal government to procure vaccines and other ancillary facilities to stop the polio outbreak, and also provided $450 million to assist in the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the North-east, the president disclosed.

The entire projects for the North-east, according to the president’s letter, are: polio eradication support and routine immunisation ($125 million), community and social development projects ($75 million), Nigeria States and Health Programme Investment Project ($125 million), State Education Programme Investment Project ($100 million), Nigeria Youth Employment and Social Support Project ($100 million), and Fadama III Project ($50 million).

“Given the emergency nature of these facilities and the need to consolidate the peace and return the region to normalcy, and considering the time it would take to get National Assembly’s approval, it has become inevitable to request for the National Assembly leadership’s approval, pending the consideration and approval of the 2016-2018 borrowing plan by the National Assembly to enable us disburse these funds immediately,” Buhari said in the letter.

Similarly, in the letter seeking virement of funds within the 2016 budget, the president provided a breakdown of items to which the N180.8 billion would be allocated.

He sought the virement of N166.6 billion (for recurrent expenditure) from the Special Intervention (recurrent) for which the sum of N300 billion was appropriated, which now has a balance of N275 billion, and N14.2 billion (for capital expenditure) from capital in the federal government special intervention programme for which N200 billion was appropriated, which has a balance of N145 billion.

A breakdown of the proposed expenditure is: Public Service Wage Adjustment – N71,800,215,270, Service Wide Vote: Contingency – N1,200,000,000, Service Wide Vote: Margin for Increase in Cost – N2,000,000,000, Ministry of Interior: Cadet Feeding – Police Academy, Wudil, Kano – N932,400,000, and Amnesty Programme – N35,000,000,000.

Other items are internal operations of the Armed Forces – N5,205,930,270, Service Wide Vote: Operation Lafiya Dole – N13,933,093,000, Ministry of Youth and Sports Development: NYSC – N19,792,018,400, Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Foreign Missions – N14,667,230,014, and Ministry of Education: Augmentation of Meal Subsidy/Direct Teaching and Lab Cost – N900,000.

The letter indicated that N1.2 billion was proposed to fund the salary shortfall in the Public Complaints Commission, while N12,708,367,476 was proposed for the capital budget of the Nigerian Air Force, and N1.5 billion for capital supplementation: Presidential Initiative on North East (PINE).

“You may also wish to be informed that the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing has also requested for virement of the sum of N300 million appropriated under the 2016 Appropriation of the Transmission Company of Nigeria for the construction of a 132 KVA substation at Gwaram, Jigawa State with Project code no. TCN 01B023829 to the construction of two 60MVA 132/33 in Gagarawa, Jigawa State.

“However it was observed that while the line to be vired from exists in the budget book published by the National Assembly, the lines to be vired to, do not exist. It is therefore recommended that the sum of N300 million meant for the construction of the 132 KVA substation at Gwaram, Jigawa State, be vired to budget line TCN 01B021775 for the reconstruction of fallen transmission towers replacement, replacement of glass insulators, etc, which has an appropriation of N4,880,000,000,” Buhari said in the letter.

Dogara, after reading out the letter, said that the requests of the president and the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) would be discussed and debated by the House on Thursday.

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.

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Nigeria Immigration Service Reopens Portal With New Passport Application and Payment Process

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Nigerian International passport- Investors King

The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has announced the reopening of its passport application and payment portal.

The assistant comptroller of immigration, Mr Amos Okpu announced in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday.

In the statement, Mr Muhammad Babandede, the Comptroller-General of the service, said the portal became effective for new applications from 12 midnight on Tuesday.

Babandede further said that the portal would allow eligible applicants to apply and make payments for the various categories of passports of their choice.

Mr Muhammad Babandede explained that with the reopening of the portal, a new passport application and payment regime had begun.

The statement in full:

“The Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service (CGI), Muhammad Babandede MFR, has announced the reopening of the Passport application and payment portal effective 8th June 2021 by 12 midnight to allow eligible Passport applicants to apply and make payments for the various categories of Passports of their choice.

The Passport portal was closed following the directives of the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola on the 17th of May, 2021to afford the Service the opportunity to clear all backlogs of applications that have piled up across Issuing Centres in the past few months.

With the reopening of the portal, a new Passport application and payment regime have commenced. Under the new Passport regime;

Applications and payments for Passport services shall be made through the Service website www.immigration.gov.ng;

  • applicants are expected to visit the portal to apply and upload their support documents for vetting and processing;
  • a chat room facility to guide applicants through the application and payment process has been provided on the portal;
  • upon successful applications, applicants shall make their online booking interview/enrollment appointment on any day, time and location they consider convenient;
  • that the new timeline for Passport production and issuance after a successful enrollment at the selected Issuing Centre shall be six weeks for Fresh applications and three weeks for Re-issue (Renewal applications);
  • that no applicant who is yet to make an online application and payment shall be allowed into any of the Passport Issuing Centres for Passport processing;
  • applicants will be contacted through email and phone number they provided during application when their Passports are ready;
  • a helpline with the number 08021819988 has been provided for feedback mechanism on any challenges.

The Comptroller General, Muhammad Babandede MFR wishes to use this medium to call on Nigerians and indeed Passport applicants to avoid patronizing touts as the entire process has been made seamless for effective and efficient service delivery. He warned Passport racketeers to desist from acts capable of undermining the reform efforts to avoid very strict sanctions.

Signed AMOS OKPU MNIPR
ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER OF IMMIGRATION
SERVICE PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER
For: COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF IMMIGRATION 8TH JUNE, 2021″

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INEC To Publish The List Of New Polling Units Next Week

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has pledged to publish a comprehensive list of its new polling units across the nation next week.

The INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, disclosed this on Monday in Abuja.

Yakubu was speaking at the formal handing over of a new state of the art fire truck, deployed to the Commission’s headquarters in Abuja by the Federal Fire Service (FFS).

He said that details of the locations of its registration centers and the procedure for the commencement of online registration for resumption of nationwide Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) would be made available in the second week of May.

He expressed appreciation of the commission to the FFS and all security agencies for the demonstration of their support to protecting INEC facilities

He said that the support was coming on the eve of the resumption of the CVR nationwide in the next three weeks.

“We earlier assured Nigerians that we shall conclude work on the expansion of voter access to polling units and make the new polling units available to citizens ahead of the CVR exercise.

“I am glad to report that we have accomplished this task for the first time in 25 years.

“A comprehensive list of the new polling units will be published next week.

“Similarly, details of the locations of the registration centers and the procedure for the commencement of online registration will also be made available after a series of regular consultative meetings with stakeholders next week,” Yakubu said.

He said that as a member of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) FFS had been as concerned as other security agencies about the recent attacks on our offices across the country.

“This is particularly so because out of the 42 attacks on our facilities nationwide, 18 incidents resulted from arson and three more by a combination of arson and vandalisation.”

Yakubu recalled that concerned by those incidents, the commission convened an emergency meeting of ICCES last week of April, where the security agencies renewed their determination to collaborate more with the commission.

According to him, they pledged to assist the commission address the challenge beyond the routine protection of INEC assets and the security of its officials, voters, observers, the media, candidates and their agents during elections.

“On its part, the Federal Fire Service offered to deploy an additional state-of-the-art fire engine to the INEC headquarters to complement the two existing trucks.

“At the same time, it directed its state offices to take additional protective measures around other INEC facilities nationwide.

“Today’s inauguration of the new fire engine is another affirmation of the support to the commission from the FFS whose personnel, already deployed permanently to the commission

“The personnel will continue to operate and maintain the fire engines and other firefighting equipment installed by INEC,” Yakubu said.

Speaking earlier, the Controller-General (CG) of FFS, Alhaji Liman Ibrahim said the deployment of the firefighting truck was premised on recent fire attacks on INEC offices in different parts of the country.

Ibrahim, represented by the Assistant Controller-General of the service, Mr Samson Karebo, said the deployed truck would serve as fire cover for the premises of INEC headquarters and the entire Maitama vicinity of Abuja.

“The FFS is taking this step as a proactive measure to protect our critical infrastructure and help to protect our economy by forming synergy with all stakeholders in protecting our environments.

“Our center is focused on bringing firefighting operations to every part of the country as part of our statutory duties by having a presence in virtually every state in Nigeria

“The FFS will very soon be moving into all senatorial headquarters in the country. That is how we want to operate for now so that we can touch every corner of this country,” Ibrahim said.

He called for the cooperation of all for the service to better serve the nation by not molesting FFS staff in the line of duty.

In his remarks, the National Security Adviser (NSA) retired Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno, who is also Co-Chair of ICCES, described the deployment of the truck as a demonstration of President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to sustain Nigeria’s democracy and address insecurity.

Monguno said that the gesture also symbolised commitment to a clear affirmation of Buhari toward protecting institutions of government, toward securing their property, toward fighting acts of irresponsibility, vandalisation and outright criminality.

“The President is determined as much as he can within the confines of legality to suppress any kind of criminality and destruction of public property.

“This is something that he is determined to do regardless of whatever the challenges are.

“He will apply all the resources in his disposal in his capacity as the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces to ensure the wider Nigerian society is safe, stable and is allowed to carry out its legitimate undertaking, free from any act of insecurity,” he said

Monguno urged all other security agencies not to relent in ensuring that they continued to protect lives and property.

The Inspector-General of Police, Mr Usman Baba pledged commitment to security agencies to work with INEC and protect INEC’s facilities, citizens’ life and property.

Also at the occasion was the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, represented by Director of Joint Services, Mr Peter Obodo; as well as the representative of Director-General, Directorate of State Services, Tony Adikweruka.

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Recovered Assets: Ad-hoch Committee Gives Emefiele, Others 72 Hours Ultimatum

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House of representatives

The House of Representatives ad-hoc committee, investigating recovered assets, has given the Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, and National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, 72 hours to appear before it.

The committee also issued same ultimatum to the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali, and the Director-General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Bashir Jamoh.

The summon was issued on Monday, after Mr Emefiele and the others failed to appear before the committee.

The government officials had sent representatives, but the committee chairman, Adejoro Adeogun (APC, Ondo), said they failed to forward letters to that effect.

He said allowing representatives without a proper letter of introduction would be akin to allowing “impersonators.”

You are indirectly insulting the House of Representatives. You are undermining the House of Representatives,” an angry Mr Adeogun said.

Moving a motion to give the agencies 72hours to appear before the committee, Ibrahim Isiaka (APC, Ogun), said the agencies created by Acts of the parliament “should not be undermining the parliament”.

The motion was unanimously adopted by the committee.

Mr Isiaka suggested that the House should shut down its activities if the agencies fail to appear before them.

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