- Operating Surplus: MDAs Remit N1.42tn in 10 Years
A total of 122 Ministries, Departments and Agencies remitted N1.42tn to the Consolidated Revenue Fund in 10 years, data obtained from the Fiscal Responsibility Commission have shown.
The Federal Government requires agencies listed in the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007 to pay 80 per cent of their operating surpluses into the CRF after their accounts must have been audited.
The operating surplus is made up of revenues accruing to government agencies above what they are approved to spend at the beginning of the budget year.
While some agencies had regularly complied with the requirement of the law, there are others that the Fiscal Responsibility Commission battles on a regular basis to extract the remittances or pledges for compliance with the law.
Many agencies have never paid operating surplus from the document obtained by our correspondent. This category of agencies includes the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, the Nigeria Customs Service, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, the National Space Research Development Agency and the Nigeria Content Development and Monitoring Board.
Others that had never paid operating surplus include the Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited, the Nigerian Atomic Energy Commission, the Department of Petroleum Resources, Energy Commission of Nigeria, the Federal Housing Authority and the Bank of Industry.
Agencies leading in the level of remittances to the CRF include the Central Bank of Nigeria which had remitted N864.35bn; the Nigerian Communications Commission, N131.74bn; the Nigerian Ports Authority, N121.8bn; and the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation, N101.09bn.
Others are the National Maritime Administrative and Safety Agency, N52.98bn; the Bureau of Public Enterprises, N27.52bn; Federal Inland Revenue Service, N24.24bn and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, N11.88bn.
Thirty agencies were originally listed in the FRC Act. However, the Federal Government in order to shore up its revenue added 92 agencies in 2017 and that brought the number of government organisations required to pay operating surpluses to 122.
The 92 agencies that were added to the list include the Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency, the Nigerian Investment Promotion Council, the Nigerian Railway Corporation, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria and FRCN.
The Federal Government set a target of N866bn to be realised from the 122 agencies in 2018. It is not certain how far the target was realised but the analysis of the data obtained from the FRC showed that N141.61bn was realised from the agencies in 2017.
The performance was better in 2016 when a total of N253.61bn was realised from the agencies through the payment of operating surpluses. An even better result was obtained in 2015 as a total of N323.56bn was realised.
The FRC believes that if the list of agencies required to pay operating surpluses is expanded and if the agencies will be faithful in remitting their obligations to the Consolidated Revenue Fund, the Federal Government will not need to borrow again.
NLNG Boosts Cooking Gas Production to 1.5 Million Metric Tonnes Annually
Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG) has announced a significant milestone in its operations, boosting its annual production of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), commonly known as cooking gas, to over 1.5 million metric tonnes.
This surge in production underscores NLNG’s commitment to meeting the rising demand for clean cooking energy in Nigeria.
The entirety of NLNG’s 1.5 million tonnes production is now being sold domestically within Nigeria.
Moreover, the company has initiated a landmark shift by starting to supply LPG in naira, moving away from the traditional practice of trading in United States dollars.
This move aligns with calls from stakeholders in the oil and power sectors advocating for naira transactions, especially amidst the challenges posed by currency fluctuations.
During a panel session at the 7th Nigeria International Energy Summit in Abuja, NLNG’s General Manager of Finance, Fatima Adanan, highlighted the company’s dedication to enhancing LPG penetration across the country.
Adanan emphasized NLNG’s vision to make Nigeria a better place by promoting the use of cleaner energy sources like gas.
While NLNG’s production surge is commendable, Adanan acknowledged that Nigeria’s LPG requirements surpass the current output, necessitating imports to bridge the gap.
However, NLNG remains committed to expanding its production capacity to meet the nation’s energy needs and drive increased adoption of LPG as a cleaner cooking fuel.
CBN Raises Benchmark Interest Rate by 400 Basis Points to 22.75%
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has raised the benchmark interest rate by 400 basis points to a record 22.75%.
The decision made by the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) comes amidst rising inflationary pressures and growing uncertainty in Africa’s largest economy.
Nigeria’s inflation rate rose to 29.90% in January 2024, the highest in over two decades while the nation’s unemployment rate quickened to 5% in the third quarter of 2023. Suggesting that the rising costs have continued to drag on both new job creation and the existing ones.
This coupled with a series of policy adjustments implemented by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has plunged economic productivity and eroded consumer spending as citizens grapple with high fuel prices, electricity tariffs, a record-high foreign exchange rate, and insecurities.
Therefore, it is surprising that the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) led by the CBN will further increase borrowing costs by 400 basis points at a time when job creation is paramount.
While the economy reportedly grew by 3.46% in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2023 on the back of robust performance of the services sector, this growth is yet to crystalise as businesses and citizens have taken to the street protest against the harsh economic situation.
Economic experts have started questioning the data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) given its lack of correlation between the data and economic reality.
President Tinubu Unveils Geometric Power Plant in Aba After 20-Year Wait
After two decades of anticipation, President Bola Tinubu, through his representative Vice President Kashim Shettima, inaugurated the long-awaited Geometric Power Plant in Aba, a significant milestone in the city’s quest for reliable electricity supply.
The event, which also saw the commissioning of three rehabilitated roads by Abia State Governor Alex Otti, symbolizes the culmination of years of perseverance and determination to transform Aba’s power landscape.
Addressing the audience, Vice President Shettima hailed the project as a testament to the power of visionary leadership and unwavering commitment to progress.
He said the Geometric Power Plant exemplifies the transformative impact of strategic infrastructure investments on local communities.
Governor Otti echoed similar sentiments, emphasizing the importance of the power project in positioning Aba as a hub for national and international business ventures.
He commended the efforts of Geometric Power Limited while urging them to uphold transparency and avoid exploiting consumers.
The inauguration of the Geometric Power Plant comes amidst growing concerns over Nigeria’s power infrastructure and the need for sustainable solutions to address electricity shortages.
The project, with a capacity of 188MW, holds promise for significant improvements in power supply across Abia State, benefitting nine out of seventeen local government areas.
The Managing Director of Geometric Power Limited, Ben Caven, underscored the scale of investment involved, totaling $800 million.
He highlighted the comprehensive nature of the project, which includes the installation of new power substations and a 27km natural gas pipeline, signaling a comprehensive approach to enhancing Aba’s energy infrastructure.
In conclusion, the inauguration of the Geometric Power Plant represents a transformative moment for Aba, offering renewed hope for economic growth and prosperity powered by reliable electricity supply.
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