- Senate Rejects Buhari’s $29.9bn Loan Request
The Senate on Tuesday declined consideration of the request of President Muhammadu Buhari seeking approval to source $29.9 billion loan as part of the 2016 – 2018 External Borrowing Plan.
The request which was introduced for consideration by the Leader of the Senate Ali Ndume and seconded by Sen. Emmanuel Bwacha, was rejected by majority of the senators present.
When the question was put to commence the consideration of the request senators answered in the negative, rejecting the proposal,
The President of the Senate Bukola Saraki who appeared surprised by the position of the senators, posed the question again and many more senator answered “nay”.
Saraki therefore ruled in favour of the dissenting voices and the request was rejected.
A source close to the National Assembly told our correspondent that the borrowing plan is part of the 2016 to 2018 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) which had not been considered nor passed.
He said that the Senate could not then approve the loan which was part of the MTEF which was yet to be considered.
The source also said that the request of President Buhari was not submitted with the attached breakdown of the proposed expenditure for which the loan was sought.
Recall that President Buhari had written to the Senate seeking approval to borrow the said sum.
According to the letter sent to the Senate, the money is to be spent on power, railway, roads, education, health, water resources among others.
The money is to be spent as follows: projects and programmes loan of $11.274 billion; Special National Infrastructure projects $10.686 billion; Euro Bonds of $4.5 billion and Federal Government Budget Support of $3.5 billion.
In a related development, the request of President Buhari to appoint non-career ambassadors almost failed consideration on the floor of the Senate.
The letter from Mr President which read by the Leader of the Senate Ali Ndume and the President of the Senate put it to voice vote.
Saraki was surprised by the vote seeming to be in the negative and as such urged his colleagues to concentrate.
When the question was put again, the President of the Senate ruled in favour of the “ayes” and committed the request for consideration by the Senate.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has also written to the Red Chamber seeking confirmation of Mr Umoru Ibrahim for re-appointment.
Ibrahim is to be re-appointed as the Managing Director of the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC).
Tinubu Forms Economic Advisory Committee with Private Sector Titans
In a bid to address Nigeria’s economic challenges amidst soaring inflation and currency depreciation, President Bola Tinubu has announced the formation of an Economic Advisory Committee with influential figures from the private sector.
The decision follows a high-level meeting held at the State House in Abuja, where key stakeholders deliberated on strategies to stabilize the economy and mitigate the rising cost of living.
Among the notable members enlisted to the committee are Tony Elumelu, Chairman of United Bank for Africa, and Aliko Dangote, Chairman of Dangote Group, both distinguished figures in Nigeria’s business landscape.
The inclusion of these private sector titans underscores Tinubu’s commitment to engaging diverse perspectives and expertise in charting a path towards economic recovery.
Speaking on behalf of the federal government at the meeting, President Tinubu emphasized the imperative of collective efforts in revitalizing the economy and ensuring a brighter future for all Nigerians.
He underscored the importance of addressing pressing issues such as food security, job creation, and the stabilization of the exchange rate.
In response, Aliko Dangote expressed optimism about the committee’s potential to generate actionable recommendations that would foster economic growth and alleviate poverty across the nation.
Similarly, Tony Elumelu highlighted the significance of implementing effective policies to drive employment opportunities and enhance food security.
The committee’s mandate encompasses a broad spectrum of economic concerns, including currency stability, inflation management, and fiscal policy reforms.
As Nigeria grapples with the multifaceted challenges of a turbulent economy, the collaborative efforts of government and private sector stakeholders signal a proactive approach towards finding sustainable solutions and restoring confidence in the nation’s economic prospects.
Federal Government Halts Cooking Gas Export to Lower Local Prices
In a bid to stabilize domestic prices and meet rising demand for cooking gas within Nigeria, the Federal Government has announced a temporary halt on the exportation of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), commonly known as cooking gas.
This decision follows a significant surge in the cost of cooking gas, which has placed a strain on consumers across the country.
According to reports, the halt in LPG export aims to increase the availability of the commodity within Nigeria’s borders, thereby reducing its local price.
The move is part of broader efforts to address the challenges faced by consumers grappling with the high cost of living.
In recent years, the demand for cooking gas has steadily increased in Nigeria, driven by urbanization, population growth, and a shift towards cleaner energy sources.
However, despite being a major producer of LPG, Nigeria has struggled to meet its domestic demand due to insufficient local production and distribution infrastructure.
Data from the Nigerian Midstream Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority reveals that while the total consumption of cooking gas in Nigeria has been on the rise, the country has relied heavily on imports to bridge the supply gap.
The recent decision by the government underscores its commitment to prioritizing the domestic market and ensuring that Nigerians have access to affordable cooking gas.
Consumers have been grappling with escalating prices, with reports indicating a significant increase in the cost of refilling a 12.5kg cylinder of cooking gas in major cities like Abuja, Lagos, and Kano.
The decision to halt LPG exports signals a proactive measure by the government to mitigate the adverse effects of rising prices and alleviate the financial burden on households across the nation.
Manufacturing Sector Records 7.70% Quarter-on-Quarter Growth in Q4 2023
In the fourth quarter of 2023, Nigeria’s manufacturing sector grew by 7.70% year-on-year, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
The surge in growth reflects a significant uptick from the preceding quarter and underscores the resilience of the manufacturing industry amid economic challenges.
This growth trajectory indicates positive momentum and signals potential opportunities for economic recovery and development.
The manufacturing sector, comprising thirteen key activities ranging from oil refining to motor vehicles and assembly, demonstrated notable dynamism across various subsectors.
This growth surge is attributed to increased production, enhanced operational efficiencies, and strategic investments across the manufacturing value chain.
Despite facing headwinds such as supply chain disruptions and regulatory uncertainties, the sector’s robust performance underscores its pivotal role in driving economic diversification, job creation, and industrialization efforts in Nigeria.
Moving forward, sustaining this growth momentum will require continued policy support, investment in infrastructure, and efforts to address key bottlenecks hindering the sector’s expansion.
By fostering an enabling business environment and promoting innovation and technology adoption, Nigeria’s manufacturing sector can further catalyze inclusive economic growth and contribute significantly to the nation’s development agenda.
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