Bismarck Rewane, chief executive officer of Financial Derivatives Company Limited, has asked Nigerians to brace up for an increase in the pump price of petrol.
In 2016, the Buhari administration increased a litre of petrol from N87 to N145, sparking criticism among citizens.
But making a presentation at the Lagos Business School, Rewane said there were indications that the price of fuel would rise because government is working towards reducing subsidy payments.
He described subsidies as a huge drain on government’s revenue, adding that the World Bank put Nigeria’s total subsidy bill in 2018 at N731 billion.
“A gradual reduction in subsidy payments is anticipated. Only N305bn set aside for under-recovery in 2019 budget; expect an increase in the pump price of fuel,” he said.
“Forty per cent shortfall in provision for subsidies (under-recoveries) points to possible price increases.”
Rewane added that hike in price of petrol would result in high inflationary pressure.
He described the 2019 budget as counter-cyclical, saying the economy was in dire need of a boost.
He said with expenditures much higher than sustainable revenues, the fiscal deficit had widened by 2.15 per cent to N1.9tn, adding that the supplementary budget could not be avoided.
“Oil revenues are projected to decline due to the impact of OPEC quota on Nigeria’s oil output level,” he added.
On the new minimum wage, he said internally generated revenue remains the key to funding it, adding that it is not sustainable to rely on the federal accounts allocation committee (FAAC).
Rewane said the capacity of the economic management team will determine the success of President Muhammadu Buhari in the second term.
He projected that Buhari would have unveiled his cabinet by June, saying “the post cabinet selection squabbling will lead to splintering of the All Progressives Congress”.
Rewane added that the election tribunal results will “upset at least four governorship races”.
BREAKING: Court Sentences Olisa Metuh To 7 Years Imprisonment
The Federal High Court in Abuja has sentenced former Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Olisa Metuh to seven years in prison.
The trial judge, Okon Abang passed the judgment on Tuesday.
The judge agreed with the prosecution that the defendant used public funds for personal and PDP activities.
But the defense counsel, pleaded with the judge to show mercy.
The defense counsel prayed the judge to consider the health of Metuh in his judgment.
“My lord, sentencing is entirely at the discretion of the trial court, and how it pleases the court.”
He stressed that the judge could give an option of fine in place of imprisonment.
The first and second defendant counsel also asked the judge to tamper justice with mercy and give the accused a light sentence.
The defendant counsel also reminded the judge that Metuh is a legal practitioner of long standing, who later entered politics.
The counsel told the judge that the defendant had played a crucial part in the political process over the years, particularly with the PDP.
BREAKING: Court Finds Olisa Metuh, Firm Guilty Of First Count In N400m Fraud Trial
The Federal High Court in Abuja, on Tuesday, convicted a former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Olisa Metuh, and his firm, Destra Investments Limited, of the first of the seven counts instituted against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
Ruling on the first count in his judgement, Justice Okon Abang ruled that a former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, unlawfully transferred the sum of N400 million to the defendants in November 2014.
The judge ruled that Metuh and his firm reasonably ought to have known that the sum of N400 million paid to them formed part of the proceeds of the unlawful activity of the ex-NSA because they had no form of a contractual relationship with the ONSA.
According to the judge, Dasuki transferred the money to the defendants “in breach of public trust”.
He dismissed the contention of the defence who argued that the defendants could not be convicted for the money laundering offence because Dasuki, who is currently being prosecuted, had yet to be convicted for the predicate offence of breach of trust and corruption.
The judge said, contrary to the argument, “the predicate offence and the money laundering offence are intertwined”.
“The success or failure of the predicate offence does not determine the success or failures of the money laundering offence,” the judge added.
‘How Boko Haram Threw Child Into Burning Vehicle’
Ex-military governor of Lagos State, Brig Gen Buba Marwa (retd.), says he was informed that Boko Haram fighters threw a child into a burning vehicle during their attack on Auno, Borno State, two weeks ago.
The hoodlums reportedly burnt to death at least 30 people.
Marwa, who is the Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee for the Elimination of Drug Abuse, said this on Channels TV’s programme Sunrise Daily on Monday.
The ex-Borno State military governor said only persons under the influence of hard drugs could have done that.
He said, “Last week someone in Auno near Maiduguri mentioned to me that there was a woman in one of the buses burnt.
“She threw her child out, so that at least the child would survive, but the insurgents picked up the child and flung him back into the bus.
“What kind of depravity could that be unless somebody was completely out of his senses?
“So this is the root cause of most of our problems, including security, and must be tackled.”
Marwa said raids on terrorist hideouts had shown the insurgency was being fuelled mainly by hard drugs.
According to the retired general, Nigeria will have a lot of problems if it doesn’t tackle drug abuse effectively.
The committee, constituted in December 2018, submitted its report to the President in October 2019.
But the report has not been implemented as it is being reviewed by a second committee chaired by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha.
According to Marwa, the second committee is expected to meet later this week and he will be “surprised” if its implementation does not “start in another month.”
He said, “The drug control scourge in Nigeria, unless it is tackled, we are finished.
“Whether it is Boko Haram, banditry, kidnapping, they (hoodlums) all use drugs.”
Among the recommendations of the committee are the declaration of emergency on drug abuse and the establishment of a new agency – the National Drug Control Commission.
When asked why the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency couldn’t be expanded, Marwa said the agency would be “moved to work in partnership” because it “faces supply reduction”.