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Budget 2022: Nigerian Army seeks exemption from envelope allocation system

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Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Farouk Yahaya
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The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Farouk Yahaya, on Wednesday, sought for exemption of the Nigerian Army from the budget ceiling or envelope allocation system to Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

He made the appeal when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Army for budget defence.

While noting that the army was committed to securing the territorial integrity of the country from any violation, the COAS said if the army was taken off the envelope system, it would enable it carry out its operations more effectively.

Yahaya, however, said that the proposed budget for the army for the 2022 budget is N710 billion.

“The sum of N642.7 billion only should be approved for Nigerian Army Personnel Emolument for Year 2022 Budget.

“The sum of N29.6 billion only should be approved for overhead budget and N37.6 billion for Capital Budget.

“The National Assembly should cause the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning to begin the release of Year 2022 Nigerian Army Capital Budget in the First Quarter of 2022.”

He, however, said that of the figure, the ministry’s budget ceiling reduced it to a total sum of N579 billion.

He said that the reduction would impede the capacity and tempo of the Nigerian Army in carrying out its constitutional duties particularly the ongoing war against Boko Haram Terrorists and other criminalities across the country.

“I passionately appeal to this committee to impress it on the ministry of finance, budget and national planning to begin the release of Year 2022 Nigerian Army Capital Budget in the First Quarter of 2022.

“This will help the Nigerian Army to rehabilitate dilapidated accommodations in over 138 barracks and training facilities across army units/formations.

“It will also help in procuring the needed equipment and platforms to prosecute the war against terrorism and other criminalities across the country.”

He noted that adequate funding would help the army to invest in needed technology and platforms to effectively discharge its constitutional mandate.

The chief of army staff further called for a review of the subsisting envelope budget system which over the years had been a major challenge in adequately funding the army for its constitutional duties.

After a closed-door session, Chairman of the Committee, Sen. Mohammed Ndume said that the committee looked at the 2021 budget performance and it was satisfied so far with what the military had presented.

“Looking at the budget vis a vis what is being allocated to the Nigerian Army, we find this under the circumstances we are operating grossly inadequate.

“We asked the chief of army staff what is happening; he mentioned the fact that the Nigerian Army have to operate within the envelope.

“The committee is in agreement that you can’t be facing security challenges and putting the security agencies in envelope while the problem is not already in the envelope.

“Or you can’t say the budget of the security agencies will have a ceiling. After all, the problems that we have are already above the ceiling. So you need to actually give the military what they need because there is no price tag for peace,” Ndume said.

He said that the committee would invite the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning Zainab Ahmed to tackle the issue of budget envelope for the Nigerian Army.(NAN)

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Business & Economy

Tinubu To Present 2024 Supplementary Budget To NASS

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President Bola Tinubu Presenting 2024 Budget Proposal to the Joint Session of National Assembly
President Bola Tinubu Presenting 2024 Budget Proposal to the Joint Session of National Assembly
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President Bola Tinubu will soon present the 2024 Supplementary Budget to the National Assembly (NASS).

“I submitted the last budget to you,” the President said when he addressed a joint sitting of the National Assembly on Wednesday.

“You expeditiously passed it. We are walking the talk. I will soon bring the Year 2024 (Supplementary) Appropriation Bill. That is just for your information,” the President said in his terse speech at the joint sitting to mark the Silver Jubilee Of Nigeria’s 4th Republic.

In his response, Senate President Godswill Akpabio, said, “Thank you, Mr President, we will be expecting the Supplementary Appropriation Bill of 2024 as soon as possible.”

Also, at the joint sitting which coincided with the first anniversary of the Tinubu administration, the President confirmed ‘Nigeria, we hail thee’ as the “latest national anthem”.

Tinubu said, “You sang out the latest national anthem, ‘Nigeria, we hail thee’. This is our diversity, representing all characters and how we blend to be brothers and sisters.”

The President pleaded with both the Senate and the House of Representatives to continue to collaborate and work together with the administration to build the country on the path of sustained progress and development.

“We have no other choice; it is our nation. No other institution or personality will help us unless we do it ourselves. No amount of aid from foreign countries or any other nation (will fix us), they take care of themselves first. Let us work together as we are doing to build our nation, not only for us but for generations unborn,” he said.

 

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We Have No Magic Wand, Tackling Inflation Will Take Time — Cardoso

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Yemi Cardoso,CBN Governor
Yemi Cardoso,CBN Governor
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The Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Olayemi Cardoso has urged the citizens to be patient over the fight against current inflation and hike in food items in the country.

Cardoso disclosed this while briefing journalists at the end of the Monetary Policy Committee, MPC, meeting in Abuja.

The CBN governor mentioned that there was no magic needed to solve inflation in Nigeria but rather patience.

Also, Cardoso noted that despite pressure from food inflation, the general inflation rate was “moderating”, pointing out that “the tools the Central Bank is using are working”.

He stated, “I have several times and I will say again, there is no magic wand. These are things that need to take their time.

“I am pleased and confident that we are beginning to get some relief and in another couple of months we will see the more positive outcomes from the Central Bank have been doing.”

He added, “The committee thus reiterated several challenges confronting the effective moderation of food inflation to include rising costs of transportation of farm produce, infrastructure- related constraints along the line of distribution network, security challenges in some food producing areas, and exchange rate pass-through to domestic prices for imported food items.

“The MPC urged that more be done to address the security of farming communities to guarantee improved food production in these areas.

“Members further observed the recent volatility in the foreign exchange market, attributing this to seasonal demand, a reflection of the interplay between demand and supply in a freely functioning market system.”

The Central Bank of Nigeria has also blamed the recent volatility of the country’s foreign exchange market on seasonal demand for dollars.

“Members further observed the recent volatility in the foreign exchange market, attributing this to seasonal demand, a reflection of the interplay between demand and supply in a freely functioning market system,” a communique issued by the committee on Tuesday stated.

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Port Harcourt Refinery Begins Full Operations Next Month

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Port Harcourt Refinery
Port Harcourt Refinery
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The 210,000-barrel-per-day Port Harcourt refinery is expected to commence operations by the end of July, following multiple delays.

National Public Relations Officer of the Independent Marketers Association of Nigeria, Chief Ukadike Chinedu, revealed this new timeline on Monday. He noted that the refinery’s operation would boost economic activities, reduce petroleum product prices, and ensure an adequate supply.

In December last year, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Heineken Lokpobiri, announced the mechanical completion and flare start-off of the Port Harcourt refinery, the largest in the region.

The refinery consists of two units: an older plant with a 60,000-barrel-per-day capacity and a newer plant with a 150,000-barrel-per-day capacity. The refinery was shut down in March 2019 for the first phase of repairs after the government enlisted Italy’s Maire Tecnimont as a technical adviser and appointed oil major Eni as a technical adviser.

On March 15, 2024, NNPC Limited’s Group Chief Executive Officer, Mele Kyari, announced that the Port Harcourt refinery would begin operations in about two weeks. He made this statement during a press briefing following his appearance before the Senate Ad hoc committee investigating the various turnaround maintenance projects of the country’s refineries.

“We achieved mechanical completion in December,” Kyari stated. “We now have crude oil stocked in the refinery and are conducting regulatory compliance tests. The Port Harcourt refinery will start within two weeks.”

However, two months later, the refinery had yet to commence operations.

In an interview, IPMAN’s Ukadike emphasized that the work done on the refinery represented a complete overhaul rather than mere rehabilitation. He assured that every effort was being made to meet the July deadline.

Ukadike said, “When we visited, the MD informed us that the refinery was nearly ready and would start production by the end of July. The overhaul is extensive, with all the armoured cables replaced and everything almost brand new. The maintenance turnaround is massive, with work being done day and night. All hands are on deck to meet the target. By the end of July, the refinery should be operational.”

When asked about the government’s previous unfulfilled promises to restart the refinery, Ukadike acknowledged the delays but noted that no reasons were given for missing the last deadline in April

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