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JUST IN: Senate Increases Budget To N10.729trn

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Senate President, Ahmad Lawan

The Senate on Thursday passed the 2020-2022 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF/FSP) submitted to it by President Muhammadu Buhari last week.

This followed the presentation and consideration of the report of the Senator Solomon Adeola-led Senate Committee on Finance by the Red Chamber in Abuja.

The upper chamber increased the proposed nation’s budget for 2020 from N10.002tn to N10.729.4 tn
The Senate also increased the oil benchmark from $55 per barrel to $57 per barrel, representing a $2 increase.

The Senate also increased the 2020 revenue target by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) by N557.4billion, that is, from N942.6 billion to N1.5trillion.

It however retained the exchange rate at N305 per dollar and oil production benchmark at 2.18mbpd as proposed in the MTEF/FSP by the executive.

The Committee also recommended the adoption of N1.5 trillion as the amount for new borrowing by the Federal Government in 2020, as a result of reduction of N200 billion which was sourced from the increase of revenue target of the Nigeria Custom Service.

The Committee further called for an urgent review and amendment to the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA Act) and the various laws of the revenue generating agencies to align with current realities.

This information form part of the recommendations of the National Assembly Joint Committee on Finance report on 2020-2022 MTEF/FSP which was considered by the Senate in Abuja on Thursday.

The Committee’s recommendations which were approved by the Senate are as follows:

“Following intensive engagement with NNPC and relevant information obtained during the session, the Committee recommends the adoption of 2.18mbpd as daily production output in 2020. In view of concerted effort by NNPC and security agencies the menaces of oil theft and vandalization, the 2.18mbpd would be realizable.

“The Committee recommends the adoption of $57/barrel as crude oil benchmark price for the fiscal ear 2020.

“The revenue target of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) of N942.6 billion for 2020 should be increased to N1.5 trillion, as a result of the performance of NSC in last 9 months with 3 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 boarders.

“The sum of N557.4 billion from the revenue increment of NCS be used to reduce borrowing by N200 billion and increase capital expenditure thereby decreasing the size of the budget deficit from N1.7 trillion to N1.5 trillion and also increase the total capital available to MDA by N357 billion, from N1.01 trillion to N1.367 triilion.

“The exchange rate of N305/$ should be maintained for economic stability. While more work should done by the Honourable Minister of Finance and all economic advisers and her team on improving the economic growth by increasing the GDP and reducing the inflation rate to single digit.

“The saving on income accruing from the increase of the benchmark amounting to N172 billion which represent the Federal government potion of the $2 added to the benchmark be used to pay salaries and emolument of the proposed 30,000 new employees.

“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.

“Immediate amendment of the National Assembly Act on Production sharing Contracts (PSC) with lOCs. Proper investigation be carried out on NNPC so as to ascertain the actual cost associated with the Joint Venture agreements.

“More Government Owned Enterprises budget be added to the nation’s budget to ensure proper checks and balances among all Federal Government agencies.

“Debt Management office (DMO) should put more efforts and strategies in managing the foreign and local debts.

“Total estimated expenditure of the Federal Government should be increased from N10.002 trillion to N10,729.4trillion.

“National Assembly should expedite action on the passage of the finance bill which will be brought along with the National Budget into Law for easy implementation of the 2020 budget, most especially in the area of VAT.

“The Committee calls for an urgent review/amendment to the FRA Act and the various Laws of the revenue generating agencies to align with current realities.

“The Committee recommends earmarking 1% of the Consolidated Revenue Fund to finance the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund to be classified as Statutory Transfer.

“The Committee recommends 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 Nigeria Custom Service.

“However borrowing must be project tied. ln borrowing more government must remain focused and ensure that it used to fund critical projects that will increase productivity and contribute to finance financing such debt.”

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Inside Nigeria

Buhari Trusts Women More Than Men — Garba Shehu

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Buhari and Garba Shehu

Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari, has disclosed that his principal trusts women more than men.

The Presidential Spokesperson disclosed this while making an appearance in an NTA programme on Friday May 29. When asked if President Buhari would appoint more women in his government, Shehu said;

“This is a prayer you are making and I join you in prayer, I support you. I think he should get more women.”

“In any case, do you know that all his ministers of finance have been women.

“Let me say this, I hope I don’t get myself into trouble. He is more trusted of women than men, because he has given this country… all these years, all the country’s money is in the hands of women and they kept it safely. And they are doing well.”

Garba Shehu also revealed that the President spends time with his grandchildren during his leisure, and usually takes a walk as a form of exercise.

He added: “The president watches television, he watches wild life, he does watch NTA promptly as much as he can.

“And the president enjoys being with little ones, he has a number of grand children and he is entertained by them all the time.

“He takes a walk around the house and in a way, exercises himself.”

There are only seven women among President Buhari’s 43 ministers.

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Inside Nigeria

Buhari Has Done Well In Power Supply, Food Sufficiency, Security — FG

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lai mohammed

The Federal Government on Friday said President Muhammadu Buhari, has put the country on an irreversible road to development in the last one year.

It said the country had never witnessed such positive steps in a short time.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, stated these in Abuja at a press conference to mark the first year of Buhari’s second term in office.

He said, “The past one year has been momentous for Nigeria, as the President has taken some actions, mostly bold and highly visionary, that have now put Nigeria on an irreversible road to sustainable development.

“Never in the history of Nigeria have so many positive steps been taken in so short a time as Mr. President has done in the past one year.”

The minister listed some of the gains of the administration as power supply, food sufficiency, enhanced security, increased revenue, infrastructural development among others.

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Inside Nigeria

Buhari Came To ‘Steal, Kill, Destroy’ — Fani-Kayode

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Femi Fani-Kayode and Buhari

A former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, has described the five years of President Muhammadu Buhari as “disastrous.”

He disagreed with Special Adviser to Buhari on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, whose weekly column argued the President’s emergence, saved the nation from collapse in 2015.

Fani-Kayode, on his verified twitter handle, said Buhari’s emergence has plunged the nation into deeper abyss.

Responding directly to Adesina’s tweet, the former Minister said: “Not so my friend. The emergence of Buhari in 2015 annihilated Nigeria and plunged her into darkness, death and destruction.

“He came to steal, kill and destroy and for the last disastrous 5 years that is all he has done.”

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