- FG to Release Implementation Roadmap for Economic Recovery Plan
The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, has disclosed that the implementation roadmap for the National Economic Revovery and Growth Plan (NERG) is in the works and would soon be released.
Udoma said the implementation roadmap, which would provide more detailed strategies, timelines and derivables of the plan on a year-by-year basis, is being put together a team of experts who are working with officials of his ministry in collaboration with officials of other ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).
Providing more insight on the NERG plan during an interactive session with journalists in Abuja yesterday, the minister said as soon as the roadmap was concluded, it would be uploaded on the website of the ministry of Budget and National Planning.
“The implementation road map is being drawn up by a team of experts who are working with officials of the Ministry of Budget and National Planning, together with officials of other MDAs.
“They will be working out a more detailed cost estimate and financing plan with detailed KPIs (key performance indicators) and so on.
“While the Ministry of Budget and Planning will be coordinating the plan, the president has approved that a Special Delivery Unit be created in the presidency to monitor its implementation and remove all bottlenecks to plan implementation.
“Implementation will be coordinated by the Ministry of Budget and National Planning. There are a number of initiatives being put in place to ensure effective implementation,” he said, noting that apart from the implementation roadmap, which is in the works, other initiatives had been enunciated.
According to him, these include a delivery unit being set up in the presidency, and the use of Implementation task-forces, among others.
“These task-forces are to focus on the key execution priorities. The execution priorities are (a) agriculture and food security, (b) energy which includes power and petroleum products sufficiency (c) transportation infrastructure and (d) industrialisation, focusing on small and medium enterprises.
“The task-forces will monitor execution of projects and programmes in the respective sectors and report back. Some of these task-forces may also have representation from the states and the private sector. Already, we have task forces working on rice, power and tomato paste,” the minister stated.
He stressed that active engagement with the private sector was part of the initiatives, adding: “We will be having regular and active engagements with the private sector on a sectoral basis. This will be led by the relevant ministers.
“In particular, the Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry will be meeting with manufacturers to try to replicate the success in the cement industry. The aim will be to seek self-sufficiency, wherever possible, in the basic products that we need and use.
“Our initial concentration will, of course, be in areas where we have the raw materials locally, such as petrochemicals. We will seek to establish what constraints the particular sector has and how government can help to remove the bottlenecks.
“As the NERG plan says, our role as government is to provide the enabling environment.”
On how to ensure the plan did not suffer the fate of previous initiatives by past administrations, Udoma said it was developed through an extensive consultation process, adding that President Muhammadu Buhari has the political will to ensure the success of the NERG plan.
The minister who also spoke about the expansionary budget and the debt implication, said the challenge was getting revenue up.
According to him, a short to medium plan to boost revenue was already on with a committee set to work on that.
He noted that additional revenue would help fast track the NERGP plan implementation as well as the economic recovery process.
The minister listed some of the measures to increase revenue to include targeting increased tax collection without necessarily increasing tax.
He lamented that the nation’s tax to GDP ratio is a paltry 6 per cent while the average is 15 per cent in Africa, noting that plans were on to increase this to about 15 per cent.
Udoma also pointed out that the government was going to insist that all agencies and departments should henceforth present their budgets to the Ministry of Finance for scrutiny as part of overall effort to ensure efficient spending.
The minister allayed fears that NERG plan implementation could be torpedoed by monetary policies, and stressed that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) was actively involved in fashioning out the plan.
Udoma added that Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the apex bank would be involved to achieve the targets in the plan.
On the non passage of 2017 budget, the minister said his ministry was working with the National Assembly and encouraging it to pass the budget as soon as possible.
On the problems bedevilling the power sector, the minister stated that a power sector recovery plan was in place, adding that the target was to make all the components of the sector viable.
Udoma noted that a three to five year plan had been put in place to make the component units of the power sector viable.
According to him, about N700 billion was being provided to the Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading (NBET) as an offtaker to ensure that power generated is paid for.
Contributing on the problems bogging the power sector, the Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, said a major setback to the sector was huge government debt, pointing out that this must be sorted out to free the sector.
Communities in Delta State Shut OML30 Operates by Heritage Energy Operational Services Ltd
The OML30 operated by Heritage Energy Operational Services Limited in Delta State has been shut down by the host communities for failing to meet its obligations to the 112 host communities.
The host communities, led by its Management Committee/President Generals, had accused the company of gross indifference and failure in its obligations to the host communities despite several meetings and calls to ensure a peaceful resolution.
The station with a production capacity of 80,000 barrels per day and eight flow stations operates within the Ughelli area of Delta State.
The host communities specifically accused HEOSL of failure to pay the GMOU fund for the last two years despite mediation by the Delta State Government on May 18, 2020.
Also, the host communities accused HEOSL of ‘total stoppage of scholarship award and payment to host communities since 2016’.
The Chairman, Dr Harrison Oboghor and Secretary, Mr Ibuje Joseph that led the OML30 host communities explained to journalists on Monday that the host communities had resolved not to backpedal until all their demands were met.
Crude Oil Recovers from 4 Percent Decline as Joe Biden Wins
Oil Prices Recover from 4 Percent Decline as Joe Biden Wins
Crude oil prices rose with other financial markets on Monday following a 4 percent decline on Friday.
This was after Joe Biden, the former Vice-President and now the President-elect won the race to the White House.
Global benchmark oil, Brent crude oil, gained $1.06 or 2.7 percent to $40.51 per barrel on Monday while the U.S West Texas Intermediate crude oil gained $1.07 or 2.9 percent to $38.21 per barrel.
On Friday, Brent crude oil declined by 4 percent as global uncertainty surged amid unclear US election and a series of negative comments from President Trump. However, on Saturday when it became clear that Joe Biden has won, global financial markets rebounded in anticipation of additional stimulus given Biden’s position on economic growth and recovery.
“Trading this morning has a risk-on flavor, reflecting increasing confidence that Joe Biden will occupy the White House, but the Republican Party will retain control of the Senate,” Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney.
“The outcome is ideal from a market point of view. Neither party controls the Congress, so both trade wars and higher taxes are largely off the agenda.”
The president-elect and his team are now working on mitigating the risk of COVID-19, grow the world’s largest economy by protecting small businesses and the middle class that is the backbone of the American economy.
“There will be some repercussions further down the road,” said OCBC’s economist Howie Lee, raising the possibility of lockdowns in the United States under Biden.
“Either you’re crimping energy demand or consumption behavior.”
Nigeria, Other OPEC Members Oil Revenue to Hit 18 Year Low in 2020
Revenue of OPEC Members to Drop to 18 Year Low in 2020
The United States Energy Information Administration (EIA) has predicted that the oil revenue of members of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will decline to 18-year low in 2020.
EIA said their combined oil export revenue will plunge to its lowest level since 2002. It proceeded to put a value to the projection by saying members of the oil cartel would earn around $323 billion in net oil export in 2020.
“If realised, this forecast revenue would be the lowest in 18 years. Lower crude oil prices and lower export volumes drive this expected decrease in export revenues,” it said.
The oil expert based its projection on weak global oil demand and low oil prices because of COVID-19.
It said this coupled with production cuts by OPEC members in recent months will impact net revenue of the cartel in 2020.
It said, “OPEC earned an estimated $595bn in net oil export revenues in 2019, less than half of the estimated record high of $1.2tn, which was earned in 2012.
“Continued declines in revenue in 2020 could be detrimental to member countries’ fiscal budgets, which rely heavily on revenues from oil sales to import goods, fund social programmes, and support public services.”
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