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SANWO-OLU SIGNS 2022 APPROPRIATION BILL OF N1.758 TRILLIONS 

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Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu signing the Anti-Open grazing bill into law With him is the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN)
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his Deputy
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Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Friday signed the 2022 Appropriation Bill of N1.758 trillion christened ‘Budget of Consolidation’ into law.

Governor Sanwo-Olu, while signing the Bill at the Lagos House, Ikeja, said that the capital expenditure stands at N1.166 trillion, representing 66 percent of the budget estimates, while recurrent expenditure is N591 billion, representing 34 percent, to maintain the 66:34 percent budget tradition of Lagos State.

Speaking after signing the 2022 Appropriation bill, Governor Sanwo-Olu said the budget is to consolidate infrastructural development across the state in line with his administration’s T.H.E.M.E.S. developmental agenda to address issues on education, infrastructure, health, technology, social intervention, rail projects and other critical areas.

While explaining the rationale behind the increase in the 2020 Appropriation Bill from the initial N1.388 trillion budget estimates presented to the Lagos State House of Assembly on November 24, Sanwo-Olu said there is a need to capture all financing options for the Blue and Red line rail projects and other ongoing projects in the Budget of Consolidation.

He said: “Let me state at this juncture that the difference between the budget amount presented by the Executive and the final amount passed by the Legislature is largely accounted for by the decision to further accelerate already existing infrastructure projects and bring them to substantial levels of completion.

“We have also decided to capture in the Budget, the financing being deployed towards the Blue Line and the Red Line rail projects by private sector consortia, up to a level that will not put pressure on our cash flow and debt sustainability.

“In addition, this 2022 Appropriation Bill recognises several other already-funded project transactions that are now being accounted for as corporate transactions. What this means is that we are now choosing to capture in the Budget the significant value already accruing to the State from these projects.

“As I said during the presentation to the House of Assembly, this will be the last full-year budget in the tenure of this administration. As a result, a major focus of this budget will be ensuring the completion of all ongoing projects that are critical to achieving our desire to build a Greater Lagos in line with the goals and objectives of the T.H.E.M.E.S development agenda.”

He said the Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Mr. Sam Egube would present to the public the full details and breakdown of the budget in due course.

Governor Sanwo-Olu also commended the Speaker and members of the Lagos State House of Assembly for their cooperation and support, especially in ensuring the quick consideration and passage of the 2022 Appropriation Bill, which he presented on Wednesday, November 24.

The Governor also appreciated Lagosians for their support in ensuring the impressive performance in the implementation of the 2021 budget, against all odds, especially the continuous challenge posed by COVID 19.

“I believe very strongly that we, working together, and with everyone doing their part diligently, will achieve much more in 2022,” the Governor said.

Speaking earlier, the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudasiru Obasa, stated that the budget was given expeditious approval with proper scrutiny within five weeks to ensure that all projects are executed.
Obasa, who was represented by the Chairman of the Lagos State House of Assembly Committee on Appropriation, Hon. Gbolahan Yishawu, said the Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration is heading in the right direction in ensuring that infrastructural projects are put in place across the state in line with the T.H.E.M.E.S. development agenda.

He also commended Governor Sanwo-Olu for completing all the projects he inherited and providing funds for all the ongoing projects in different parts of the State.

Also speaking, Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Sam Egube, commended the Lagos State House of Assembly for the speedy passage of the 2022 Appropriation Bill.

He said he was excited and grateful to all stakeholders for leading the process to the signing of the biggest State’s budget.

It would be recalled that the
Lagos State House of Assembly on Wednesday passed the 2022 budget estimates with a slight increase of the grand total from the initial N1.38 trillion to N1.758 trillion.

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Business & Economy

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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Business & Economy

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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Business & Economy

CBN Halts 0.5% Cybersecurity Levy

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CBN Headquarters Abuja
CBN Headquarters Abuja
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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has withdrawn the circular directing banks to implement a 0.5 per cent cybersecurity levy on electronic transactions in the country.

The CBN announced this in a revised circular dated May 17, 2024.

The circular was addressed to commercial banks, Payment Service Providers (PSPs), non-interest, and merchant banks, among others.

It was signed by the CBN Director of Payment Systems Management, Chibuzor Efobi, and the Director of Financial Policy and Regulation Department, Haruna Mustafa.

The circular read: “The Central Bank of Nigeria circular dated May 6, 2024 (Ref: PSMD/DIR/PUB/LAB/017/004) on the above subject refers.

“Further to this, please be advised that the above-referenced circular is hereby withdrawn.”The withdrawal of the circular on the cybersecurity levy followed its suspension by President Bola Tinubu.

it would be recalls that Tinubu suspended the controversial cybersecurity levy on electronic transfers on May 14.

Minister of Information and National Orientation Mohammed Idris, who made this known while speaking to journalists after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, disclosed that Tinubu directed the CBN to suspend the implementation and review the modalities for the implementation of the levy.

Idris added that the levy was thoroughly discussed at the FEC meeting, saying the president was not oblivious to the feelings of Nigerians.

It would be recalled that CBN, in a circular dated May 6, directed banks to start charging a 0.5 per cent cybersecurity levy on all electronic transfers.

The apex bank stated that the deduction and collection of the cybersecurity levy is a sequel to the enactment of the Cybercrime (prohibition, prevention etc) Amendment Act of 2024.

This was greeted with wide condemnations by Nigerians, with many groups and individuals calling for the immediate reversal of the levy.

The House of Representatives also asked the CBN to withdraw the directive.

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