Politics

House of Reps approves MTEF

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The House of Representatives on Thursday passed the 2020 to 2022 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy (MTEF) Paper.

This followed the presentation of the report of the committees on Finance and Appropriations on MTEF by Rep. James Faleke, Chairman House Committee on Finance during the plenary session.

The house recommended the adoption of 2.18 million barrels per day (mbpd) as daily production output in 2020.

It noted that the production would be realisable due to concerted efforts by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and security agencies to combat the menace of oil theft and vandalism.

The lower chamber also recommend the adoption of $57/barrel as crude oil benchmark price for the fiscal year 2020.

The reps further recommended that the revenue target of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) of N942.6 billion for 2020 should be increased to N1.5 trillion.

It said the increase was as a result of the performance of NSC in last nine months with three months still outstanding. 

“The NCS revenue as at September stood at N1 trillion against the budget figure of N969.8 billion for the year 2019. 

“The Joint Committee commends the NCS for exceeding the targeted revenue despite the global economic challenges and closure of the Nigerian borders.”

The green chambers also suggested that the sum of N557.4 billion from the revenue increment of NCS be used to reduce borrowing by N200 billion and increase capital expenditure.

The increment, it stressed, would decrease the size of the budget deficit from N1.7 trillion to N1.5 trillion and also increase the total capital available to ministries, departments and agencies by N357 billion, from N1.01 trillion to N1.367 trillion.

“The adoption of N1.5 trillion as the amount for New Borrowing as a result of reduction of N200 billion which was sourced from the increase of revenue target of the NCS.

“However borrowing must be project-tied. 

“In borrowing more government must remain focused and ensure that it is used to fund critical projects that will increase productivity and contribute to finance financing such debt.”

The house also recommend that the exchange rate of N305 per dollar should be maintained for economic stability while more work should be done by the finance minister and economic stakeholders to improve economic growth.

It noted that economic growth would be achieved through increasing the GDP and reducing the inflation rate to single digit.

Furthermore, the reps recommended that proper investigation be carried out on the e-collection stamp duties domicile with Central Bank of Nigeria for the past years.

“So as to show probity and accountability and of course increase the revenue base of the country,” the house stated.

Additionally, the house called for the immediate amendment of Act of the National Assembly on Production Sharing Contracts with International Oil Companies and for proper investigation on NNPC so as to ascertain the actual cost associated with the Joint Venture agreements.

The lower chambers further recommended that more Government Owned Enterprises budget be added to the nation’s budget to ensure proper checks and balances among all Federal Government Agencies.

The reps called on the Debt Management Office to put more efforts and strategies in managing the foreign and local debts.

The house also suggested that the total estimated expenditure of the Federal Government should be increased from N10.002 trillion to N10, 729.4 trillion.

It also recommended that the National Assembly expedite action on the passage of the finance bill.

The reps said that the bill would be brought along with the National Budget into Law for easy implementation of the 2020 budget, especially in the area of VAT.

The house called for an urgent amendment to the Fiscal Responsibility Act and the various Laws of the revenue generating agencies to align with current realities.

It also recommended that earmarking one per cent of the Consolidated Revenue Fund to finance the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund to be classified as Statutory Transfer. (NAN)

TOP/SH

(NAN)

edited by Sadiya Hamza

 

Politics

Senate mandates committee to investigate alleged invasion of Federal High court in Abuja

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The Senate on Thursday mandated  its Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters to investigate the alleged invasion of the Federal High Court in Abuja during a court sitting by members of Department of State Security (DSS).

The resolution of Senate followed a point of order brought by the  Chairman, Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Sen. Bamidele Opeyemi (APC- Ekiti).

Opeyemi cited order 43 of the senate rules, saying:

The reported alleged invasion of the court room by officials of DSS is one issue that has   raised a lot of concern in different quarters in Nigeria.

Mr President, the leadership and members of the judiciary are particularly concerned about this development  because they believe that the courtroom is meant to be a sanctuary.

But for us, as a Senate, we cannot begin to take a position  or analyse the issues based on conclusion without facts that we consider incontrovertible yet.

Much as we cannot jump into conclusion, we cannot pretend that Nigerians are concerned about this development.

The reason, I chose to come under order 43, is that so that we don’t debate on this issue that we don’t seem to have incontrovertible facts yet.

In view of this, I suggest we mandate our committee on National Security to investigate and report back to this Senate.

The President of the Senate, Mr  Ahmad Lawan, in his remark said that order 43 did not allow the Senate to debate the matter now.

He said the matter affected the judiciary.

Lawan suggested that the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters  investigate the matter and report back to Senate in one week.

Edited by: Chukwudi Ekezie
(NAN)
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 Gov. Abiodun sends list of 18 commissioner nominees to Ogun Assembly

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Gov. Abiodun sends list of 18 commissioner nominees to Ogun Assembly

Nominees

Abeokuta, Dec. 12, 2019 Gov. Dapo Abiodun of Ogun on Thursday sent a list of 18 commissioner nominees to the state House of Assembly for confirmation.

The Speaker, Mr Olakunle Oluomo, read Abiodun’s letter containing the list during plenary in Abeokuta.

Oluomo said that the governor had written to seek for the confirmation of the nominees.

The Nigeria News Agency , reports that some of the nominees were Mr Afolabi Afuape, a former Commissioner for Sports in the state.

Others included Mr Oludotun Taiwo, Mr Ganiyu Hamzat, Mr Funmi Efuape, Mr Kehinde Oluwadare, Mr Jamiu Omoniyi, Mr Toyin Taiwo, Mr Tunji Akinosi, Mr Ade Adesanya and Mr Adeola Odedina.

“In furtherance of our mission to build our future together, please find attached the list of nominees for the post of commissioners for your consideration. “Please accept the assurance of my highest regards,” he said.

Edited by: Buhari Bolaji/Ali Baba-Inuwa
(NAN)
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Kaduna council harps on citizens’ engagement in governance, policy formulation

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Mr Cafra Caino, the Chairman, Kajuru Local Government Council in Kaduna State, says the council is working with relevant stakeholders to strengthen citizens’ engagement in formulation and implementation of policies and programmes.

Caino told the Nigeria News Agency in Kaduna on Wednesday that the measure was aimed at ensuring quality citizens’ engagement in governance with a view to meeting the needs of the people.

According to him, citizens’ engagement is a crucial element of good governance and is required to meet the aspirations of the people.

Unless the community tells us what they need, we will not know how to serve them better; therefore, we have to carry the people along in whatever we do.

We are trying to organise the rural communities, but we cannot achieve much except we have the cooperation of the people.

My passion is to serve my people better and ensure that they live quality life,” the council chairman said.

He added that the council had embraced Local Government Accountability Mechanism to entrench transparency in its management of public funds.

Caino pointed out that funds coming to the council area was meant to improve the livelihood of the people through implementation of people-oriented projects and programmes.

He said: “as a local government that is open to the people, we are doing all we can to be transparent and accountable to the people we serve.

Just recently, I have inaugurated the Technical Working Group on Local Government Accountability Mechanism with a view to deepen local government reforms for improved service delivery.

The technical working group has been trained by civil society organisations in partnership with Ministry for Local Government Affairs and supported by DFID-Funded Partnership to Reform, Engage and Learn (PREL).

We will continue to do all we can to deliver quality service to the people through robust citizens engagement and by being accountable and transparent in managing public funds.

On his part, Mr Yusuf Goje of the Coalition of Association for Leadership, Peace, Empowerment and Development (CALPED), told NAN that the effort was to strengthen citizens engagement at local levels.

Goje explained that CALPED, along with other civil society organisations were training the technical working group in five local government areas of the state.

“This is preparatory to the take up of the Open Government Partnership in local government areas of the state in 2021,” he said.

Edited by: Oluyinka Fadare/Tukur Muntari.
(NAN)
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Expect more road repairs in 2020, lawmaker tells Lagosians

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The Lagos State House of Assembly Committee on Works and Infrastructure has assured Lagosians that the state government would embark on more road rehabilitation works after the passage of 2020 budget.

Chairman of the committee, Mr Abiodun Tobun, told newsmen in Lagos on Wednesday that adequate fund had been earmarked in the 2020 budget for massive road construction across the state.

The lawmaker, representing Epe Constituency I, said the rehabilitation works would help to put some of the deplorable roads in good shape before another rainy season.

According to him, the state would spend N115 billion on road construction in 2020 as against the N78 billion spent in 2019.

He said the committee would continue to exercise its legislative oversight function to ensure good governance and accountability.

Tobun said the Ministry of Works had assured the legislature during its budget defence that most of the on-going projects in the state would be completed in 2020.

The state Ministry of Works has assured us that in 2020, most of the ongoing projects will be completed based on the budget presented by Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

The government is ready to work on the link roads and urban regeneration. If you look at the quality of the roads, they are not the kind of roads that would wash away soon.

Therefore, there will be massive construction of roads and there would be operation banish all potholes in the state. Lagosians should expect the best from this government,” he said.

Tobun said the House would slso monitor the budget performance of the executive to ensure full implementation.

The lawmaker said: “It is a periodic monitoring. We cannot be going to site on a daily basis to monitor the granite on site or what they do.

They give us reports, may be quarterly, then we will go and check what they have done. We can carry out integrity test on what they have done.

Our power is to appropriate and monitor their jobs. Once we detect anything, we will call them to explain.

For those saying we are not doing enough on our oversight function, it is because they do not understand the work of the parliament.

We don’t go to site with them. We will ask them to explain what they have done. We will ask them if they have done what they ought to do.

Tobun said he could not determine when the Agege-Pen Cinema flyover bridge would be completed but assured that work had started on Agric- Ishawo Road in Ikorodu while the Marina-Okokomaiko light rail project was work in progress.

Edited by: Edwin Nwachukwu/Wale Ojetimi
(NAN)
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Yuletide: Sanwo-Olu’s wife urges Nigerians to be security conscious

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Dr Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, the wife of the Governor of Lagos State, on Wednesday urged Nigerians to be security conscious as they travel during the festive period.

Sanwo-Olu, gave the advice at the annual thanksgiving and Christmas outreach service organised by Lagos State Public Service Christian fellowship, Office Of The Chief of Staff (COSCF), in Ikeja.

Represented by Mrs Atinuke Olowo, Sanwo-Olu urged people who would be travelling during the festive period to be careful and drive with caution.

I encourage everyone to be calm, especially those traveling.

Drivers should drive with care and everyone should be careful and security conscious.

I pray that there will be divine touch on every Nigerian and those in the executive, legislature and judiciary, and that there will be change for good,” she said.

Rev. Ayo Oladotun, the Presiding Chaplain of Chapel of Light Church Alausa, Ikeja, urged the Christian faithful and others to allow the light of God to radiate in their lives in the Yuletide and beyond.

Oladotun said, ” God is light and His plan is that we become light.”

The cleric said that anywhere there is light, there are positives, true profession, clarity and beauty, which are are the things God wants for Nigerians.

We should allow God to use us to spread His light, irrespective of whatever religion we practice,” he said.

Oladotun advised Christians to all go out and be the light of Nigeria.

He said that everyone should do everything in moderation as Christmas approaches.

They should not overdo anything, and if it is extremely important for one to travel, they should be discreet, be security conscious and above all put their trust in the Lord,” he said.

The cleric urged the federal government to put in more effort to alleviate the suffering of the masses.

I urge the government to put in more effort to alleviate the suffering of the people.

I pray that the prosperity in Nigeria will go round,” he said.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the highlight of the service was the presentation of scholarship to three students to help in furthering their education.

The beneficiaries are Mr Kunle Adeolu, Mr Jeremiah Asuquo and Miss Jumoke Oladimeji.

COSCF also presented money to 10 widows known as “Jesus wives” working in the public service to better their lives.

Also, 13 public officers were recognised and given  awards for their contributions, dedication and commitment to COSCF.

They include the wife of the governor; the Chief of Staff, Mr Tayo Ayinde; and the Head of Service, Mr Hakeem Muri-Okunola.

There was a large turnout of public officers at the service.

Edited by: Oluwole Sogunle
(NAN)
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