Connect with us

Business & Economy

MDAs must be made to generate N1trn annually to fund budget – Lawan

Published

on

Chamber Senate
Senate in Session
Share

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has said that the National Assembly would mount more pressure on revenue generating agencies to ensure that they remit N1 trillion naira in revenues annually to enable the federal government fund its budget.

Lawan stated this in his remarks after the chamber approved President Muhammadu Buhari’s submission of the revised 2022-2024 fiscal framework.

The Senate President explained that generating more revenues through the agencies will reduce government’s deficit and dependence on external borrowing to fund the country’s national budget.

He noted that increased revenue can be realized, if the Executive and Legislature collaborate to ensure that revenue generating agencies remit all monies collected to the treasury.

He said, “I’m sure that those MDAs that remitted N400 billion could possibly have remitted N1trn naira, if we had pushed harder.

“So, we need to push harder because what this means is a revelation, that many of these MDAs have been cornering funds that ordinarily should have gone to the treasury.

“But for many years, they have been taking the funds unfairly and illegally. So, we should not be content with only N400 billion naira.

“It is a good thing that it happened, because that is an exposure of what they have been doing.

“But we must insist that it goes beyond the N400 billion naira. I’m sure we can get even more than N1 trillion.

“I agree that we need more revenues, so that we are able to fund our budget with less deficit.

“But we can only achieve that if the Executive and Legislature work hard to ensure that the revenue generating and collecting agencies perform their jobs very well and remit the funds to the treasury.”

Speaking on government’s resort to external borrowing, Lawan said, “I also agree that the deficit or the borrowing is a bit high.

“But then again, the choice is limited, because on one breadth we cannot say that we will not borrow because it is becoming too much, when we don’t  have ways and means of funding infrastructural development in the country.

“[And] we cannot say we should just fold our arms and not do anything because the country will never move. So, it’s a catch-22 situation.

“I believe that we need to be very mindful that we need to reduce the borrowing, but that means we have to improve on the revenue that we receive.

“I believe that the additional revenues that have not been captured like the TETFUND, Bank of Industry and so on, were before just left out of the federal budget. Now, we can see everything, and we need to see more.”

Contributing to the debate on the revised 2022-2024 fiscal framework, Senator Chukwuka Utazi (PDP, Enugu North) advised the federal government to take seriously the issue of diversifying the Nigerian economy.

The lawmaker harped on the need to explore alternative revenue sources such as mining to boost the country’s revenue figures, warning that “the time of oil is over”.

Senator Betty Apiafi (PDP, Rivers West) described the government’s decision to jerk up the 2022 budget projection from 13.98 trillion to N16.45 as over ambitious and a proposal taken too far.

She added that one of the major challenges confronting the national budget is the absence of funds appropriated for under-recovery.

“No matter how much you get in terms of revenue, and we are really struggling, under-recovery can wipe that out”, the lawmaker said.

Apiafi  called for sanctions on any Ministry, Department and Agency of Government found to have violated the provisions of the Appropriations Act.

She insisted that the sum of N510 billion for Service Wide Vote in the 2022-2024 revised framework was “outrageous”, adding that the National Assembly must be given a breakdown on how the amount would be used by the executive.

Meanwhile, a total of six bills on Wednesday scaled second reading in the Senate.

The bills are: Disaster and Risk Management Council of Nigeria Bill, 2021; Federal Capital Territory University of Science and Technology Abaji (Establishment) Bill, 2021; and Microbiology Council of Nigeria Bill, 2021.

Others are the Federal Eye Centre, Ochadamu Bill, 2021; A bill to Repeal the Legal Practitioners Act, 2004; and the Legal Education Act (Amendment) Bill, 2021.

The bills were referred by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, to the Committees on Establishment and Public Service; Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND; Health (Secondary and Tertiary); and Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters.

The Committees were all given four weeks to report back to the upper chamber.

In a related development, President Muhammadu Buhari’s request for the confirmation of Engr. Farouk A. Ahmed as Chief Executive Officer of the Board of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority was referred by the Senate President to the Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream).

The Committee is expected to report back in four weeks.

Also referred was the President’s request to confirm Hon. Justice Husseini Baba Yusuf as Chief Judge of the FCT High Court, Abuja.

The request was referred to the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, for it to also report back in four weeks.

 

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Business & Economy

Senate To Probe CBN’s Anchor Borrowers, Ways And Means

Published

on

Nigerian Senate
Nigerian Senate
Share

The Senate on Tuesday, resolved to further investigate N10trn Anchor Borrowers’ Programme by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), as well as accountability in the Ways and Means loans by the Apex Bank.

The Red Chamber said the move was to plug loopholes in future development finance activities of the CBN.

The Senate resolved to set up an ad hoc committee to investigate the details of the Ways and Means, including the various intervention programmes such as the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, monies given to state governments, manufacturers, aviation, banks, excess funding in the power sector, amongst others which raised the current debt profile of the country.

This was part of resolutions of the Senate after a debate over the report of the National Assembly Joint Committees on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions (BIOFI), Finance, National Planning, Agriculture and Appropriation on the state of the economy.

On the compliance and transparency of economic actions, the Senate equally resolved that the CBN ensured compliance with the provisions of the Act in respect of Ways and Means and accountability through timely submission of its budget, financial statements and report of its activities to the President and National Assembly as stipulated in the Act.

In an extensive debate, Senator Adamu Aliero argued that some state governors, including some retired ones in the Senate, were beneficiaries of N18bn as shock absorbers under the Ways and Means since 2015.

Some lawmakers suggested that a special committee be set up to scrutinize the N30trn intervention disbursements (some of which were grants) and ways to mop them up.

Deputy Senate President Barau Jibrin also explained that the intervention monies were expended outside appropriation without the knowledge of the parliament and noted that lawmakers have a right to interrogate the expenditure.

Senator Victor Umeh, however, deferred, as he enquired to know how the money was spent before approval by the Senate. The issue of whether or not to investigate the matter raised another furore in the Red Chamber.

Senate President Godswill Akpabio thereafter maintained that owing to the current economic situation, it has become expedient to thoroughly examine the Ways and Means funds.

Continue Reading

Business & Economy

Oil marketers get approval to sell Dangote fuel

Published

on

Aliko Dangote
Share

 

 

The seven major oil marketers in Nigeria have registered with the Dangote Petroleum Refinery for the lifting and distribution of refined petroleum products produced by the $20bn plant.

Dealers under the aegis of the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria confirmed on Sunday that with the registration, they would commence the distribution of fuel produced from the facility once the commercial terms are sorted.

This came as the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria also revealed that they would meet with the management of the Dangote refinery this week to discuss terms of product loading.

Similarly, the Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria stated that PETROAN had been engaging the management of the multi-billion dollar refinery for the supply of products from the facility.

As IPMAN and PETROAN engage the refinery, major marketers who are members of MOMAN have already registered with the plant and are set to start buying products.

The seven major marketers include 11 Plc, Conoil Plc, Ardova Plc, MRS Oil Nigeria Plc, OVH Energy Marketing Limited, Total Nigeria Plc and NNPC Retail.

Last Friday, the Dangote Petroleum Refinery announced the commencement of production of Automotive Gas Oil, also known as diesel, and JetA1 or aviation fuel.

The President of the Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, had in a statement issued by the firm, thanked President Bola Tinubu for his support, encouragement, and thoughtful advice towards the actualisation of the project.

He also thanked the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, and Nigerians for their support and belief in the historic project.

“We have started the production of diesel and aviation fuel, and the products will be in the market within this month once we receive regulatory approvals. This is a big day for Nigeria. We are delighted to have reached this significant milestone.

“This is an important achievement for our country as it demonstrates our ability to develop and deliver large capital projects. This is a game changer for our country, and I am very fulfilled with the actualisation of this project,” Dangote stated.

The refinery, located in Lagos, has so far received six million barrels of crude oil at its two SPMs located 25km from the shore. The first crude delivery was done on December 12, 2023, and the 6th cargo was delivered on January 8, 2024.

The refinery can load 2,900 trucks a day at its truck-loading gantries. The products from the refinery will conform to Euro V specifications, according to the firm.

“The refinery design complies with the World Bank, US EPA, European emission norms, and Department of Petroleum Resources emission/effluent norms, employing state-of-the-art technology,” the company stated.

The Dangote Petroleum Refinery and Petrochemical Project, a subsidiary of Dangote Industries Limited, is a 650,000 barrels per day crude oil refinery, located in Dangote Industries Free Zone, Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos, Nigeria.

The Dangote Petroleum Refinery is an industrial plant that transforms crude oil into various usable petroleum products such as diesel, gasoline, jet fuel, and kerosene.

Dangote Petroleum Refinery with a capacity to refine 650,000 barrels of crude oil per day covers an area of approximately 2,635 hectares in the Lekki Free Trade Zone in Lagos.

When contacted and asked whether major oil marketers would be involved in the lifting of refined products from the Dangote refinery, or whether the facility would distribute the fuel itself, the Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer, MOMAN, Clement Isong, replied, “I confirm that we (major marketers) have met with him (Dangote).

According to Isong, all MOMAN members have registered with Dangote Petroleum Refinery to become marketers of its products

Punch

Continue Reading

Business & Economy

Senate Gives Kyari, NUPRC Boss 24 Hours To Appear For Budget Defense

Published

on

Mele Kyari
Share

 

The Chairman of the Senate Appropriation Committee, Senator Adeola Olamilekan, on Wednesday, directed the Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), Mele Kyari, to appear before the committee in 24 hours.

Olamilekan, who asked Kyari to appear in company of the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), warned that failure to appear undermines the legislature and sabotages the process.

They are required to present the list of all individual companies operating with OML licenses in Nigeria as well as total production output approved on a daily basis.

The lawmaker expressed concerns that some of the revenues required to drive the 2024 budget was attributed to the NNPCL, which according to him, was owned by the Federal Government and responsible to it, and by extension the three arms of government.

The NNPCL, had earlier shunned for a second time, summons by the Senate to appear before its committee probing over N11trn expenditure on turn around maintenance of refineries in the country between 2010 and 2023.

The absence of Kyari, whose entity is at the centre of the investigation, stalled efforts by the Senate panel to make progress on the matter.

Continue Reading