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)
President Buhari transmits Business Facilitation bill to N’Assembly
The Senate has received the Business Facilitation (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2022, forwarded to the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari, for consideration and passage.
The bill was accompanied by a letter dated 17th June, 2022.
The letter, addressed to the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, was read during plenary on Tuesday.
President Buhari, in the letter, explained that the expeditious consideration and passage of the bill would promote the ease of doing business in Nigeria.
It reads, “Pursuant to Sections 58(2) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), I forward herewith the Business Facilitation (Miscellaneous Provision) Bill 2022 for the kind consideration of the Senate.
“Business Facilitation (Miscellaneous Provision) Bill 2022 seeks to promote the war of doing business in Nigeria by amending relevant legislation.
“While hoping that this submission will receive the usual expeditious consideration of the Senate, please accept, Distinguished Senate President, the assurances of my highest consideration.”
N5 trillion urgently needed to cushion effects double digits increase on ordinary Nigerians – World Bank
The World Bank has warned that Nigeria could lose about N5trillion in 2022 from gasoline subsidies.
The bank also said that N5 trillion is urgently needed to cushion ordinary Nigerians from the crushing effect of double-digit increases in the cost of basic commodities.
The World Bank said in it Nigeria Development Update (NDU) released on Tuesday in Abuja.
The report said: “When we launched our previous Nigeria Development Update in November 2021, we estimated that Nigeria could stand to lose more than N3 trillion in revenues in 2022 because the proceeds from crude oil sales, instead of going to the federation account, would be used to cover the rising cost of gasoline subsidies that mostly benefit the rich”.
World Bank Country Director for Nigeria Shubham Chaudhuri, however noted: “Sadly, that projection turned out to be optimistic. With oil prices going up significantly, and with it, the price of imported gasoline, we now estimate that the foregone revenues as a result of gasoline subsidies will be closer to 5 trillion Naira in 2022.
“N5 trillion is urgently needed to cushion ordinary Nigerians from the crushing effect of double-digit increases in the cost of basic commodities, to invest in Nigeria’s children and youth, and in the infrastructure needed for private businesses small and large to flourish, grow and create jobs.”
The report noted: “Nigeria is in a paradoxical situation: growth prospects have improved compared to six months ago but inflationary and fiscal pressures have increased considerably, leaving the economy much more vulnerable”.
Nigeria’s banking sector now immune to economic shock – NDIC
Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) has said that the banking sector is now immunized to withstand shocks that may impact the economy and the financial system.
Mr Bello Hassan, Managing Director of NDIC said this at a retreat for members of the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions with the NDIC, in Lagos.
Any change in fundamental macroeconomic variables or relationships that has a significant impact on macroeconomic outcomes and measures of economic performance, such as unemployment, consumption, and inflation, is referred to as an economic shock.
Mustapha Ibrahim, Executive Director (Operations), who represented the NDIC boss, said Nigerian banking industry was currently resilient to most of these difficulties, particularly external shocks over which the Corporation had no control.
He said: “We have tried to immunise the system to withstand shocks that may be impacting on the economy and the financial system”.
Hassan, further said that effective risk-based management remained critical to a safe and sound financial system.
“The NDIC and the Central Bank of Nigeria have a very robust supervisory framework under the risk-based supervisory format the risk-based approach is actually proactive. For the most part, we try to anticipate all these risks – Macro, micro, domestically and globally – to address them continuously.
“So, it is so dynamic that we also are constantly on a real-time basis, monitoring the industry continuously and fine-tuning our supervisory tools, both onsite and offsite, to mitigate some of the challenges the banks may be facing,” he said.
On his part, Chairman, Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions, said the retreat demonstrated progress in creating lasting and workable relationships in the national interest.
Sani, who was represented by Senator Olubunmi Adetunbi, was optimistic that the outcome will aid in the strengthening of the financial and banking sectors, particularly the corporation’s supervisory and regulatory role.
“The National Assembly and NDIC are key institutions critical to the growth and development of the Nigerian economy. While we provide the legal and institutional frameworks, NDIC carries out its regulatory or supervisory responsibilities in order to safeguard the banking sector.
“Engagement of this nature gives us the platform to deeply look into our activities and responsibilities and also examine how far we have gone in carrying out our mandate as required. It helps in injecting fresh ideas into our operations which will materialise into an improved, effective and efficient service delivery to Nigerians,” he said.
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