The Lagos State Ministry of Wealth Creation has held an online sensitisation for registered Batch-C beneficiaries of the N-Power programme under the National Social Investment Programme of the Federal Government of Nigeria, through the National Social Safety Nets Coordinating Office (NASSCO) and the National Cash Transfer Office (NCTO) of the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development (FMHADMSD).
In her opening remarks during the webinar session, the Honourable Commissioner for Wealth Creation and Employment, Mrs. Yetunde Arobieke, told the participants that the workshop was aimed at ensuring adherence to the stipulated guidelines of the State and N-Power Programme.
She informed participants that the programme, which was introduced in 2016 and targeted at young Nigerians between ages 18-35, is geared towards engaging and deploying young unemployed youths in various sectors such as Education, Health and Agriculture to serve as auxiliary staff in State institutions across the Local Government Areas for a duration of two years.
Mrs. Arobieke stated that the Graduate category of the programme is divided into three main categories, namely N-Tech, N-Health and N-Agro, and has so far had over 20,000 beneficiaries between 2016-2019 under the keen supervision of the Ministry and in conjunction with other State Agencies such as the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Primary Healthcare Board (PHC) and the State Agricultural Development Authority.
The Commissioner explained that in 2020 the scope of the NSIP was expanded from 500,000 to 1,000,000 beneficiaries to accommodate more residents, noting that a total of 10,130 beneficiaries have so far been verified and deployed to 3326 active places of Primary Assignment(PPAs).
On his part, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr. Olujimi Ige, expressed gratitude to the State Government for driving the mandate to develop humanitarian policies.
He lauded the effective coordination of National and International Humanitarian interventions, the strategic disaster mitigation, preparedness cum response with the formulation and implementation of fair, focused social inclusion and protection programmes by the Federal Government, in conjunction with State Agencies under the supervision of the State Focal Person in Lagos.
The State Director, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Mr. Waheed Ishola, commended the Federal Government for the programme, revealing that the N-Power programme is devoid of political influence, just as he advised the beneficiaries to erase the erroneous perception of N-Power as a “national cake”.
He maintained that the programme must be taken seriously as there is strict monitoring of the beneficiaries.
Update: 2024 Appropriation Bill Passes Second Reading At House Of Reps
The House of Representatives has passed the N27.5 trillion 2024 budget for a second reading.
The House leader, Julius Ihonvbere, on Thursday, November 30, while leading the debate on the general principles of the budget, commended President Bola Tinubu.
Ihonvbere noted that national security and education which got significant allocations will be enhanced if implemented.
He said, “Nigeria will be more secure with the allocation to defence and security. As a teacher, I am impressed by the emphasis on basic education. I am sure that education will be better off this time.”
Tinubu Presents His First Budget As President On Wednesday
President Bola Tinubu will present the 2024 budget to the National Assembly on Wednesday.
This is according to a memo dated November 27, 2023, signed by the federal legislature’s Secretary of Human Resources and Staff Development, Shuaibu Maina Birma, on behalf of the Clerk to the National Assembly.
“I am directed to inform you that the 2024 Budget would be presented by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria at the Joint Session of the Senate and the House of Representatives on Wednesday, 29th November, 2023,” it read.
Meanwhile, the Federal Executive Council has approved a 2024 budget of N27.5 trillion.
This followed the review of the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework earlier passed by the National Assembly which benchmarked the exchange rate at N700 to $1 and crude oil price at $73.96 cent per barrel.
Briefing State House Correspondents shortly after the Federal Executive Council meeting at the Presidential Villa, the Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Abubakar Bagudu, said it revised the MTEF and the Fiscal Policy to use an exchange rate of N750 to $1 and also a benchmark crude oil reference price of $77.96 per barrel.
According to Bagudu, the FEC also approved an Appropriation Bill for 2024 with an aggregate expenditure of N27.5 trillion, an increase of over N1.5 trillion from the previously estimated.
He also noted that using the old reference prices, the forecast revenue is now N18.2 trillion which is higher than the 2023 revenue, including that provided in the two supplementary budgets, in which the deficit is lower than that of 2023.
Senate Seeks Nigeria’s Inclusion In $147billion Global Bitumen Market
…passes Bitmen Development Commission Bill for second reading
The Senate Thursday made legislative move of including Nigeria in the $147billion global bitumen market with passage for second reading , a bill seeking for establishment of Bitumen Development Commission .
Nigeria as stated in the bill sponsored by Senator Jimoh Ibrahim ( APC Ondo South) , has quantum of 5.9trillion barrels ( 938billion m³) of global in – place Bitumen and heavy oil resources , second to Venezuela .
He specifically informed the Senate that more than 80% of the resources are found in Canada , United States of America , Venezuela and Nigeria .
But lamented that while other countries blessed with the Natural resources are exploiting it through required legislations or legal frameworks , Nigeria’ has no legal framework for such exploration with attendant untapped opportunities and huge market loss .
Therefore according to him, ” the objectives of the Bill includes: the need to develop a legal framework for the regulation of the Bitumen development in Nigeria; to prevent unconventional sources from taking advantage of research-enhanced applications over other competitors; and to lead innovation and resource-based strategy in the development of bitumen in Nigeria.
“The Bill will also ensure effective utilisation of over 38 billion reserve of bitumen in Nigeria; and to promote economic diversification policy of the Federal Government”.
He added that the Bill among other reasons, seeks to restrict the activities of the commission to its regulatory and cordinating functioons , specifically as it relates to the Develooment of Bitumen in Nigeria .
Ondo State alone according to him , has the highest deposit in Africa with an estimated value of $42billion which are aside from depisits in Ogun State , Edo , Lagos and Akwa- Ibom States .
” The proposed Bitumen Development Commission when established , would fastrack the development of Bitumen in Nigeria , make her a key player in the $147billion global market and create instant 12, 000 jobs for Nigerians .
” It would also help Government at various levels to put in place asphalted roads in various communities .
” Out of the 200, 000 kilometres of roads in Nigeria , only 20, 000 are asphalted even with imported Bitumen which is not good and being addressed with the proposed commission” he said .
Many of the Senators who contributed to debate on the bill , concurred with Jimoh Ibrahim’s submissions , making the Senate as put to voice votes by its President , Godswill Akpabio , passed it for second reading .
Akpabio who commended Senator Jimoh Ibrahim for sponsorship of the development – driven bill, mandated the Senate Committee on Solid Minerals to make further legislative inputs on it and report back in a month’s time .
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