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FG Wage Bill Rises by 150% in Five Years, Says Minister of Finance

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Zainab Ahmed

Minister of Finance Says FG Wage Bill Grew by 150% Between 2015 and 2020

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, has said the Federal Government wage bill rose by 150 percent between 2015 and 2020.

The minister disclosed this during the public presentation of the 2021 budget.

She, therefore, reiterated the government position not to pay the salary of any member of the Academic Staff Union of Universities not enrolled on the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System.

She said, “You can see from the presentation that I made, in 2015 the wage bill of the government, the salaries of government officials stood at N1.5tn. That has gone up by 150 per cent in what we have in 2020.

“And the wage bill keeps growing on a daily basis. That is the biggest expenditure in our budget and we must pay special attention to it to be able to make sure that at least what we are paying is reasonable, true and fair.

Ahmed said Nigerians should be the judge between the Federal Government and ASUU as she does not understand the reason behind their refusal to join the IPPIS.

She, however, said she understands the plight of oil workers, who at some point refused to join the integrated platform and said those concerns are currently being addressed but wondered why ASUU had refused to shift grounds on the new payment platform.

She said, “If I may remind you, in October 2019 when the President presented the budget to the National Assembly, he said that by the end of October any staff who is not on IPPPIS should not be paid salary.

“So we waited October, January, February before we finally stopped giving excuses and actually stopped the salaries of those not on IPPIS. What is special about this (ASUU) people?

Ahmed added, “If we can capture some tertiary institutions and hospitals who have some peculiarities, what is different about the university system that they cannot be captured?

“But we are discussing and I understand that today (Tuesday), we have a meeting to be regulated by the National Assembly.

“However the bottom line for us is that there has to be a biometric capture of every person that is being paid by the funds of government.”

She added that some institutions claimed they are independent, saying “yes they are, in a manner of speaking. But the salaries are paid by government.

You can only claim independence if you can generate your revenue and pay your salary.”

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.

Economy

CBN Predicts 2 Percent Growth for Nigeria in 2021

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Despite the economic recession and numerous uncertainties encompassing Nigeria in recent months, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said the nation will grow by 2 percent in 2021.

Speaking at the 2020 bankers’ dinner organised by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), Godwin Emefiele, the Governor, CBN, said implemented government intervention programmes will aid the nation’s recovery by next year.

Emefiele further stated that the intervention efforts represent around 3.5 percent of Nigeria’s current Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

He said, “Our actions in 2021 would be guided by the considerations that emerged from the Monetary Policy Committee meeting of November 23 & 24, 2020, which sought to address the major headwinds exerting downward pressure on output growth and upward pressure on domestic prices.”

On fast declining foreign reserves, the Governor said the institution has adopted a demand management framework designed to boost the production of items that can be produced locally and aid conservation of external reserves.

Due to the unprecedented nature of the shock, we continued to favour a gradual liberalisation of the foreign exchange market in order to smoothen exchange rate volatility and mitigate the impact which rapid changes in the exchange rate could have on key macro-economic variables,” Emefiele stated.

The CBN projection came few weeks after the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS)’s report showed Africa’s largest economy contracted by 3.62 percent in the third quarter following a 6.10 percent decline posted in the second quarter. Nigeria officially slid into the worse economic recession in almost 30 years and the second economic recession under the current administration.

While, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, has projected that Nigeria would rebound from the recession in this final quarter or the very first quarter of 2021, falling revenue generation, rising capital flight amid weak demand due to the negative impact of coronavirus on earnings, household incomes and lack of jobs remain a concern.

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Economy

COVID-19 Vaccine: Crude Oil Extends Gain to $48 Per Barrel on Wednesday

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Oil prices rose further on Wednesday as hope for an effective COVID-19 vaccine and the news that the United States of America’s President-elect, Joe Biden has begun transition to the White House bolstered crude oil demand.

Brent crude oil, a Nigerian type of oil, gained 1.63 percent or 78 cents to $48.64 per barrel at 11:50 am Nigerian time on Wednesday.

The United States West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil rose by 1.36 percent or 61 cents to $45.52 per barrel.

OPEC Basket surged the most in terms of gain, adding 3.16 percent or $1.37 to $44.75 per barrel.

This was after AstraZeneca, Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech announced the positive results of their trials.

Moderna and Pfizer had claimed over 90 percent effective rate in trials while AstraZeneca said its COVID-19 vaccine was 70 percent effective in trials but could hit 90 percent going forward.

The possibility of having a vaccine next year increases the odds that we’re going to see demand return in the new year,” said Phil Flynn, senior analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago.

Also, the decision of President-elect Joe Biden to bring Janet Yellen, the former Chair of Federal Reserve, back as a Treasury Secretary of the United States is fueling demand and strong confidence across global financial markets.

President-elect Biden’s cabinet choices, particularly Janet Yellen’s Treasury Secretary position, are adding to upside momentum across a broad space of asset classes,” said Jim Ritterbusch of Ritterbusch and Associates.

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Economy

Seyi Makinde Proposes N266.6 Billion Budget for Oyo State in 2021

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The Executive Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, has presented the Oyo State Budget Proposal for the 2021 Fiscal Year to the Oyo State House of Assembly on Monday.

The proposed budget titled “Budget of Continued Consolidation” was said to be prepared with input from stakeholders in all seven geopolitical zones of Oyo state.

Governor Makinde disclosed this via his official Twitter handle @seyiamakinde.

According to the governor, the proposed recurrent expenditure stood at N136,262,990,009.41 while the proposed capital expenditure was N130,381,283,295.63. Bringing the total proposed budget to N266,6444,273,305.04.

The administration aimed to implement at least 70 percent of the proposed budget if approved.

He said “The total budgeted sum is ₦266,644,273,305.04. The Recurrent Expenditure is ₦136,262,990,009.41 while the Capital Expenditure is ₦130,381,283,295.63. We are again, aiming for at least 70% implementation of the budget.”

He added that “It was my honour to present the Oyo State Budget Proposal for the 2021 Fiscal Year to the Oyo State House of Assembly, today. This Budget of Continued Consolidation was prepared with input from stakeholders in all seven geopolitical zones of our state.”

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