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Presidency Accuses N’Assembly of Frustrating 2017 Budget Submission

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Nigeria senate house
  • Presidency Accuses N’Assembly of Frustrating 2017 Budget Submission

By refusing to consider and approve the 2017-2019 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP), a statutory prerequisite for the submission of next year’s budget, the presidency is of the firm view that the National Assembly is doing everything possible to put pressure on the executive arm to fund the controversial constituency projects contained in the 2016 budget.

The MTEF is a three-year expenditure framework that sets out the medium-term expenditure priorities and hard budget considerations against which sector plans can be developed and refined. It also contains the outcome criteria for the purpose of performance monitoring.

In the past few weeks, however, the Senate had consistently dismissed the MTEF sent to it by President Muhammadu Buhari, describing the documents as “empty” and not worthy of legislative consideration.

The Senate’s action came after it rejected the president’s $30 billion borrowing plan, part of which was meant to provide support for the 2016 budget. It said the borrowing plan lacked supporting information.

Speaking on the presidency’s frustration with the antics employed by the National Assembly, a senior presidency official involved in budgetary preparation said that the reasons given by the lawmakers for not accepting the MTEF were “frivolous”, adding that the intention of the lawmakers is to use it to force the president to fund and implement their N100 billion constituency projects.

“The same MTEF the lawmakers said was empty was the same document presented to a forum of economic experts in Lagos for debate and their input; it was also presented to civil society groups in Lagos and Abuja for debate and their input, before it was later presented to the Federal Executive Council for approval,” the presidency source said.

He added: “It was the same MTEF that was given to the African Development Bank, upon which the bank recently approved the $600 million loan as the first tranche of the one-billion-dollar budget support to help finance Nigeria’s economic governance, diversification and competitiveness programme.

“It was the same MTEF, which the National Assembly said was empty that was presented to the World Bank for part of the proposed borrowing plan of $29.96 billion for infrastructure development.

“So, we don’t understand what they are talking about. Are the lawmakers more knowledgeable than these institutions on economic and financial matters?”

The source added that the “plot” by the National Assembly to frustrate the entire country because of their selfish interests was totally against the nation’s interest.

“We all know the state of our economy today. We don’t have enough funds to implement the constituency projects for now, and they will add very little value to the growth of the nation’s economy.

“In any case, if they say the MTEF we prepared is empty, let them come up with their alternative,” the source added.

In the document submitted to the National Assembly, the executive arm is proposing an oil benchmark of $42.5 per barrel for the 2017 budget, which ought to have been presented to the National Assembly last October.

The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, had said that the 2017 budget would also be based on an average daily oil production target of 2.2 million barrels per day.

In the MTEF, the crude oil benchmark for 2018 and 2019 was also put at $45 per barrel and $50 per barrel, respectively, while the oil production target for 2018 was set at 2.3 million barrels per day and 2.4 million barrels per day in 2019, expecting that the activities of the militants in the oil-producing region would be a thing of the past before the end of 2016.

According to Udoma, inflation rate may not drop to single digit in the next two years as the government assumed 11.88 per cent and 12.57 per cent in 2018 and 2019, respectively.

However, the GDP growth rate is projected to rise to 4.04 per cent in 2019, averaging 3.77 per cent between 2017 and 2019.

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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Oyo State Budgets N330M Monthly To Support Community Policing In LGAs

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Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State

Oyo State Governor, Seye Makinde has said that the state has set aside a monthly budget of N330 million to be spent on security across the 33 local governments in the state.

The governor who disclosed this in Ibadan said each local government in the state is expected to spend N10 million to support the security of lives and property in their domain.

He said part of the measures was the instruction to local government chairmen to involve traditional rulers as well as other voluntary residents in policing their areas.

Each local government is to spend N10 million monthly on this security arrangement.

Makinde explained that the initiative amounts to spending N330 million in the 33 local government areas, besides other efforts the state government had put in place to tighten security.

“We said each local government should set up a security committee, which should include traditional rulers and voluntary people willing to police their areas.

“I encouraged them to budget N10 million to service the committee every month. For the entire state, that’s N330 million per month by all local governments, excluding what we are doing generally at the state level,” the governor told a group on a visit to him during the recent Muslim festival.

“On security, most of the data in the past months shows that things are now improving. The Igangan incident, some days ago, was only falsified by some people who were saying that Fulani herdsmen had invaded Igangan again. The truth is actually about the NCS and smugglers. They know each other.

“Customs officials were accused to have entered Igangan, which is not a border town. But we are working with Federal authorities and they have arrested most of them.

“The gun that was collected is still with us. I said I won’t release it until I get the attention of the Federal authorities.

“In the Constitution of Nigeria, Oyo State is a federating unit. We are not saying Federal agencies should not carry out their operations here. But they must tell us; they must inform us. They may not disclose the details of the operation to us, but we must know about it.

“If we had known about the operation, we would have pre-informed the security detail in the town and those who died could have been alive. The Amotekun Coordinator that died in Igboora would have still been alive today.

“How can you go operating in an unidentified vehicle in a town where the security tactics have been heightened? As they wanted to enter the town, they were confronted because we have heightened security in all of those places.

“So, we will keep appealing to them and to our people that false information won’t help anybody. Nobody will profit politically from the security issues we are faced with. It is our collective responsibility. The people will play their part and the government will play its own part,” Makinde said.

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Security Operatives Arrest Sunday Igboho in Cotonou, Benin Republic

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The security operatives in Cotonou, Benin Republic have arrested Yoruba freedom fighter, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho.

An anonymous source privy to the arrest disclosed on Tuesday morning.

According to the source, Sunday Igboho was arrested in Cotonou while trying to travel to Germany from the West African nation.

President Buhari-led administration is now working with the Benin government to repatriate him to Nigeria.

The source said, “Sunday Igboho has been arrested in Cotonou. He was arrested about an hour ago.

“He was supposed to travel to Germany through Cotonou this night. He wanted to leave Africa through Cotonou. He was arrested by security operatives in Cotonou.

“They are planning to bring him back to Nigeria.”

It would be recalled that the Department of State Services had declared Igboho wanted after its operatives carried out a bloody midnight raid on his residence in the Soka area of Ibadan, Oyo State.

DSS Public Relations Officer, Peter Afunnaya, had advised Igboho to turn himself in to the nearest security.

“Those cheering and eulogizing him may appeal to or advice him to do the needful,” Afunnaya said. “He should surrender himself to the appropriate authorities. He or anyone can never be above the law.”

Pelumi Olajengbesi, one of the lawyers representing Igboho and others arrested in his House, told SaharaReporters he had not confirmed the news of Igboho’s arrest in Cotonou.

“I will contact Yomi Aliu (SAN) to verify the news,” he said.

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IOM Ethiopia Appeals for USD 40 Million to Assist Additional 1.6 Million People in Northern Ethiopia

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Northern Ethiopia - Investors King

Nearly two million people affected by the crisis in northern Ethiopia desperately need life-saving assistance, including water, medicine and shelter, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said today as it issued an urgent appeal for USD 40 million to help internally displaced men, women and children, including newborn babies. 

Since the outbreak of the conflict eight months ago in Ethiopia’s Tigray Regional State, millions of people are enduring unimaginable suffering, including forced displacement, hunger, death, and destruction of private and public property.

In Tigray, IOM has been providing support to more than half a million people, including displaced children, women, men, and vulnerable groups such as pregnant women and persons with disabilities. This includes shelter and provision of essential items such as food, water, clothing, medicine and supplies for babies, as well as sanitation and hygiene services.

IOM has also been supporting camp coordination and management efforts, providing mental health care to those in need, and producing Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) reports to shed light on the evolving situation.

Nearly USD 70 million (USD 69.3M) is needed to respond to the needs of internally displaced populations in northern Ethiopia but only USD 28.7 million has been received this year. IOM needs an extra USD 40.6 million for the remainder of 2021 to be able to continue and further expand its response to help the displaced.

“The nearly two million people displaced by this crisis continue to live in inhumane and undignified conditions and require critical and urgent support,” said Maureen Achieng, IOM Chief of Mission to Ethiopia and Representative to the African Union and UNECA. “IOM Director General António Vitorino said it before, and we say it again: we must act without delay to meet the needs of people in the region.”

The situation in Tigray remains volatile. In partnership and coordination with other UN agencies, IOM is committed to delivering life-saving humanitarian assistance, to continue reaching people in need. IOM is planning to significantly scale up response programming and increase the deployment of senior IOM staff in the region despite the severe shortage of funding.

IOM’s response is aligned with the Inter-Cluster Coordination Group’s (ICCG) – a cooperative effort among sectors and the Humanitarian Country Team to improve the national response – Northern Ethiopia Response Plan, which estimates that 5.2 million people are in dire need in the worst-case scenario of this escalating humanitarian crisis.

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