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Senate Approves MTEF, Gets 2019 Budget Report Thursday

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  • Senate Approves MTEF, Gets 2019 Budget Report Thursday

The Senate on Tuesday approved the 2019-2021 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper after considering the document for 155 days.

The development came just as the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, directed the Chairman of the Appropriation Committee, Danjuma Goje, to submit his report on the 2019 budget on Thursday.

The upper chamber approved all the critical projections in the MTEF/FSP as proposed by the executive.

The MTEF/FSP is an annual rolling three-year expenditure plan that sets out the medium-term expenditure priorities and provides the basis for the preparation of the annual national budget.

The lawmakers retained the oil output of 2.3 million barrel per day, oil price benchmark of $60 per barrel, an exchange rate of N305/$1, GDP growth rate of three per cent and inflation growth rate of 9.98 per cent.

Other Executive proposals for 2019 adopted by the Senate include: proposed expenditure of N8.83tn, FGN retained revenue N7.92tn, fiscal deficit N1.86tn, new borrowings N1.65tn, statutory transfers N492.4bn, and debt service N2.14tn.

Others are: Sinking Fund N120bn, total recurrent (non-debt) N4.72trn, personnel costs (MDAs) N2.29tn, capital expenditure N2.86tn, Special Intervention N500bn among others.

The Senate adopted the proposals as recommended by the Committee on Finance in its report presented by its chairman, John Enoh.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on November 6, 2018 sent the MTEF/FSP to the National Assembly for approval.

Meanwhile, the Senate on Tuesday gave the Appropriations Committee up till Thursday to submit the 2019 budget report.

Speaking after, the Vice- Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, Sunny Ogbuoji, said only 24 out of 61 sub-committees had submitted their reports.

Saraki, who presided over the plenary, insisted that the budget report must be presented on Thursday, April 11 ahead of the April 16 approval of the money bill.

According to him, the Appropriations panel will be forced to use executive submissions if the sub-committees fail to submit their reports to the Appropriations Committee by Wednesday.

He said, “It is unfortunate that only 24 committees have submitted their reports. Last week, we all took a decision here that we are not going to waiver on our position.

“Our position is very clear: that all committees should submit (their budget reports). And those that don’t submit, then the Appropriations Committee should use the executive submissions.

“That position is still where we are. And I want to appeal to all our committees that you really have just till tomorrow (Wednesday) to make sure that your reports get to the Appropriations Committee because Thursday, you must lay this report.

“Vice-Chairman of Appropriations Committee, if you don’t get report from our committees by tomorrow (Wednesday), then you just use the submission of the executive. But come Thursday, you must lay that report,” Saraki said.

President Buhari submitted the N8.83tn budget proposal to a joint session of the National Assembly on December 19, 2018.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Federal Government Appeals to Electricity Union Amid Tariff Hike Tensions

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The Federal Government has made a direct appeal to the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) amidst rising tensions over the recent hike in electricity tariffs.

The plea comes as the union continues to voice its dissatisfaction with the government’s decision to remove the subsidy on the tariff payable by Band A customers, warning of potential service withdrawal if the decision is not reversed.

In an interview with our correspondent, Adebiyi Adeyeye, the National President of the NUEE, reiterated the union’s stance against the increase, citing the impracticality of expecting their members to collect higher tariffs from customers without a proportional improvement in service.

Adeyeye emphasized the union’s concerns over the discrepancy between the promised 20 hours of daily power supply and the actual delivery, which he deemed “not feasible” due to existing infrastructural limitations.

The Federal Government, represented by Minister of Power Adebayo Adelabu, called for understanding and patience from the union. Speaking through his media aide, Bolaji Tunji, Adelabu assured that efforts were being made to improve electricity supply across the nation. He emphasized the necessity of these changes for the country’s long-term economic growth and job creation.

“We just want to appeal to the labor union to understand the context of these changes. It’s about working together to address the underlying issues within the power sector. It is not anybody’s joy that there are blackouts all the time,” Adelabu stated.

He added that the steps being taken would ultimately benefit the economy and urged the union to bear with the government during this transitional phase.

Adeyeye maintained that the union’s primary objective is to safeguard the well-being of its members, who are facing increased threats due to the tariff hike.

He stressed the need for immediate action from the government to resolve the issues, stating that the union would withdraw its services if necessary.

As the standoff continues, the public watches with interest, hoping for a resolution that will avoid disruptions to the country’s power supply and maintain a harmonious relationship between the government and electricity workers.

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Minister of Power Pledges 6,000 Megawatts Electricity Generation in Six Months

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Adebayo Adelabu has made a bold pledge to ramp up electricity generation to 6,000 megawatts (MW) within the next six months.

This announcement comes amidst ongoing efforts to tackle the longstanding issue of inadequate power supply that has plagued the country for years.

During an appearance on Channel Television’s Politics Today program, Adelabu said the government is committed to resolving the issues hindering the power sector’s efficiency.

He expressed confidence in the administration’s ability to overcome the challenges and deliver tangible results to the Nigerian populace.

Currently, Nigeria generates and transmits over 4,000MW of electricity with distribution bottlenecks being identified as a major obstacle.

Adelabu assured that steps are being taken to address these distribution challenges and ensure that the generated power reaches consumers across the country effectively.

The minister highlighted that the government has been proactive in seeking the expertise of professionals and engaging stakeholders to identify the root causes of the power sector’s problems and devise appropriate solutions.

Adelabu acknowledged the existing gap between Nigeria’s installed capacity of 13,000MW and the actual generation output, attributing it to various factors that have impeded optimal performance.

Despite these challenges, he expressed optimism that the government’s initiatives would lead to a substantial increase in electricity generation, marking a significant milestone in Nigeria’s energy sector.

Addressing concerns about the recent decline in power generation due to low gas supply, Adelabu assured Nigerians that measures are being taken to rectify the situation.

He acknowledged the impact of power outages on citizens’ daily lives and reiterated the government’s commitment to providing stable electricity supply within the stipulated timeframe.

The Minister’s assurance of achieving 6,000MW of electricity generation in the next six months comes as a ray of hope for millions of Nigerians who have long endured the consequences of inadequate power supply.

With ongoing reforms and targeted interventions, there is optimism that Nigeria’s power sector will witness a transformative change, ushering in an era of improved access to electricity for all citizens.

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Nigeria’s Economic Woes to Drag Down Sub-Saharan Growth, World Bank Forecasts

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The World Bank’s latest report on the economic outlook for Western and Central Africa has highlighted Nigeria’s sluggish economic growth as a significant factor impeding the sub-region’s overall performance.

According to the report, while economic activities in the region are expected to increase, Nigeria’s lower-than-average growth trajectory will act as a hindrance to broader economic expansion.

The report indicates that economic activity in Western and Central Africa is set to rise from 3.2 percent in 2023 to 3.7 percent in 2024 and further accelerate to 4.2 percent in 2025–2026.

However, Nigeria’s growth, projected at 3.3 percent in 2024 and 3.6 percent in 2025–2026, falls below the sub-region’s average.

The World Bank underscores the importance of macroeconomic and fiscal reforms in Nigeria, which it anticipates will gradually yield results.

It expects the oil sector to stabilize with a recovery in production and slightly lower prices, contributing to a more stable macroeconomic environment.

Despite these measures, the report emphasizes the need for structural reforms to foster higher growth rates.

In contrast, economic activities in the West African Economic and Monetary Union are projected to increase significantly, with growth rates of 5.9 percent in 2024 and 6.2 percent in 2025.

Solid performances from countries like Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Niger, and Senegal are cited as key drivers of growth in the region.

The report also highlights the importance of monetary policy adjustments and reforms in supporting economic growth.

For instance, a more accommodative monetary policy by the Central Bank of West African States is expected to bolster private consumption in Côte d’Ivoire.

Also, investments in sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, and telecommunications are anticipated to increase due to improvements in the business environment.

However, Nigeria continues to grapple with multidimensional poverty as highlighted by the National Bureau of Statistics.

Over half of Nigeria’s population is considered multidimensionally poor, with rural areas disproportionately affected. The World Bank underscores the need for concerted efforts to address poverty and inequality in the country.

Sub-Saharan Africa as a whole faces challenges in deepening and lengthening economic growth. Despite recent progress, growth remains volatile, and poverty rates remain high.

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