BudgITng Says NNPC Spends N648.82bn on Pipeline Maintenance in Six Years
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) spent a total sum of N648.82 billion on pipeline maintenance in five and a half years, said BudgIT Nigeria, a civic tech organisation that monitors government spending,
The details published on the organization’s official Twitter handle@BudgITng, revealed that between January 2015 and May 2020, the NNPC spent N648.82 billion on 10,257 pipeline break points.
BudgIT further stated that the amount spent on pipeline maintenance in slightly above five years is more than the N617.56 billion allocated to the health sector in the last 13 years.
It, therefore, stated that vandalism is bleeding the nation dry.
Still, it does not explained the wide disparity in spending on health sector and pipeline maintenance despite the nation battling Ebola, Lassa Fever and presently COVID-19 pandemic during the said period.
Dear Nigerians,@NNPCgroup has spent a total of N648.82BN on pipeline maintenance in 5.5years
This is more than the capital allocation to the Health Sector (N617.56BN) in 13years
Pipeline vandalism is bleeding the country dry.
— BudgIT Nigeria (@BudgITng) August 26, 2020
Labour to Begin Strike as FG Refuses to Back Down on Petrol Price, Electricity Tariffs
Labour to Embark on Industrial Action to Force FG to Reverse Increase in Petrol Price, Electricity Tariffs
The sudden increase in prices of fuel and electricity tariffs despite the negative impacts of COVID-19 on the Nigerian people has forced the Nigerian labour union once again to announce an industrial action to compel the Federal Government to emulate other economies easing COVID-19 impacts through various palliatives and measures.
Labour union on Tuesday set Monday for what it described as “unprecedented mass action” and “total strike” to get the government to reverse the hike in petrol pump price and the increased electricity tariffs.
At a meeting with members of the National Administrative Council, Presidents and General Secretaries, the Nigeria Labour Congress National Executive Council (NEC) agreed to embark on a total strike against what they described as anti-people policy.
While the ultimatum given to the federal government by Trade Union Congress (TUC) expired on Monday, TUC has extended it till Monday in line with NLC announced industrial action.
NLC President Ayuba Wabba, who read the communique of the meeting, said: “NEC resolved to reject in its entirety the issue of hike in electricity tariffs by almost 100 per cent as well as the fuel price increase in the name of full deregulation.
“This decision is premised on the fact that these twin decisions alongside other decisions of government including the increase of VAT by 7.5 per cent, numerous charges by commercial banks on depositors without any explanations will further impoverish Nigerian workers and citizens.
“Therefore, this increase, coming in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, is not only ill-timed but counter-productive.
“NEC also observed that the privatisation of the electricity sub-sector seven years down the line has not yielded any positive result. Whereas, the entire privatisation process, the entire sector was sold at about N400 billion, we are surprised that government within the last four years injected N1.5 trillion over and above the amount that accrued from this important asset.
“Therefore, NEC came to the conclusion that the entire privatisation process has failed and the electricity hike is actually a process of continuous exploitation of Nigerians.
“On the issue of the refineries and also the increase in the pump price of PMS, this particular issue had been on the table for more than three decades and the argument has not changed.
“Whether it is the name of full deregulation or subsidy removal, what is obvious is that it is fuel price hike and this has further eroded the gains of the N30,000 minimum wage because it has spiral effects which include the high cost of food and services and the reduction in the purchasing power of ordinary Nigerians.
“While demanding that our three refineries should be made to work optimally, NEC also concluded that government has business in doing business because the primary purpose of governance is about the security and welfare of the people and if in other countries, governments are maintaining refineries, and they are working optimally for the benefit of the people, Nigeria cannot be an exception.
“In the light of these, NEC decided to endorse the two-week ultimatum given to the Federal Government to reverse those obnoxious decisions and also pronounce that the action proposed by the Central Working Committee is hereby endorsed by the NEC that 28th of September should be the date that those decisions should be challenged by the Nigerian workers, our civil society allies and other labour centres.”
“We’ll meet. We don’t want anything that will cause more financial pain to workers.”
Speaking on the matter and the reason for industrial action, TUC’s President Quadri Olaleye and Secretary-General Comrade Musa-Lawal Ozigi, urged to Nigerians to get ready for the “unprecedented mass action”.
TUC said it resolved to work with the NLC and civil society allies because of the magnitude of the situation. Hence, it suspended the previously planned strike to join force with NLC and others.
“Consequent upon this, the ultimatum which should expire by midnight of today (yesterday) has been shifted to 28th September 2020 for effective and maximum effect.
“We want to use this opportunity to call on Nigerians, especially those in the informal sector, to bear with us while the industrial action lasts.
“There is no need for the pains we bear. It is a needless one. They ask us to tighten our belts while they loosen theirs. Services are not rendered yet we are compelled to pay estimated bills.
“You will recall that this government during its electioneering campaigns in 2014 told the world there is nothing like subsidy. We were told that they will build refineries. All that is history now.
“We run a mono-economy and any hike in fuel automatically will have an adverse effect on us, yet successive governments tow that path because they are not creative.
“As at today, about eight states are yet to commence the payment of new minimum wage and its consequential adjustment even though the President signed it into law on April 18, 2019. We have written letters to the governors and also engaged them in dialogue but all to no avail. Sometimes we wonder if these people have a conscience at all.
“The Congress hereby appeals to all Nigerians to get ready for the unprecedented mass action against corruption, obnoxious policies, rape and other violent offences, breach of the collective agreement, unemployment, etc.
“We also call on the USA, UK, Germany, Spain, etc to support our struggle by placing indefinite visa ban on our political leaders whose stock in trade is to loot and impoverish the masses and the country. We can no longer take it. Enough is enough!”
AfCFTA Must Be Backed by Legal Framework to Yield Desired Results -Lawan
For AfCFTA to Achieve Expected Results, it must be Backed With Legal Framework
Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, has said for the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) to yield desired results, it must be backed by necessary legal frameworks, right policies and robust implementation.
The Senate President made the statement when the delegation from the African Continental Free Trade Area Secretariat led by Wamkele Keabetswe Mene visited him in Abuja.
Ahmad Lawan, who was represented by Prof Ajayi Boroffice, said Nigeria’s signed the AfCFTA agreement to benefit Africans and reduce the huge unemployment and underemployment facing the continent from South to West and East to North.
This high unemployment rate and underemployment rate, according to him, had led to the migration of some of Africa’s top brains and experts. He said the economies of African nations had been characterised by weak economic productivity, low efficiency and limited resources.
He described AfCFTA as “a step in the right direction for the growth of African economies, through limited restrictions, leading to the stimulation of trade, commerce, and industry”.
“In signing the AfCFTA, and depositing the instrument with the African Union Commission, our countries made a statement on the determination of our collective economic fate.
He, therefore, said the fate is now in our hands to deepen growth and development on the continent through requisite legal frameworks, right policies, and robust implementation.
“The initial momentum from the signing of the agreement needs to be continued, for a greater continental impact, to benefit Africans, both on the continent and outside it,” he said.
Inflation, Forex Scarcity Push Food Prices Up in August
Food Prices Rise in August Amid Surge in Inflation
Persistent increase in prices amid forex scarcity bolstered food prices in the month of August, according to the recent report from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
In the report released on Tuesday, the bureau said the average price of 1kg of imported high-quality rice rose by 40.69 percent year-on-year in August.
On a monthly basis, this increased by 2.30 percent to N501.71 in August 2020, up from N490.44 in July 2020.
Nigeria’s consumer prices that measures prices of goods and services rose to 13.22 percent in August as forex scarcity amid economic uncertainties weighed on Africa’s largest economy.
The statistic office said the average price of 1kg of yam rose by 34.74 percent year-on-year and decreased on a monthly basis by -0.15 percent from N256.44 in July to N256.06 in August 2020.
Similarly, the price of 1kg of tomato expanded by 29.48 percent year-on-year while it decreased on a monthly basis by 4.65 percent from N301.01 posted in July 2020 to N289.86 in August 2020.
NBS stated that selected food price watch “reflected that the average price of one dozen of agric eggs medium size increased year-on-year by 3.70 per cent and month-on month by 1.02 per cent to N478.97 in August 2020 from N474.12 in July 2020 while the average price of piece of agric eggs medium size (price of one) increased year-on-year by 5.44 per cent and month-on month by 0.76 per cent to N42.78 in August 2020 from N42.45 in July 2020.”
The report also noted that the recent flood caused by the sudden release of water from Kainji Hydro Power Dam in Niger State wreaked havoc on the N60 billion sugar investment project in the state.
According to Latif Busari, the Executive Secretary, National Sugar Development Council (NSDC), who spoke in Abuja, said the destruction was a huge setback for the flour mills industry and the entire nation as it would affect the 4,500 metric tons of sugarcane daily processing projected by the company and the one million tones of sugar production agreed with major sugar producers recently.
Busari, however, said the flood, which affected N60 billion investment, was not natural, but man-made from Kainji Dam.
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