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Senate approves Buhari’s N276.8bn virement request 

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The Senate has approved President Muhammadu Buhari’s request for the virement of N276,757,232,395 billion to fund expenditures in the 2021 budget.

The approval followed the consideration of a motion sponsored by the Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi (Kebbi North).

The motion was entitled: “2021 Appropriation Virement Proposal.”

Abdullahi in his motion recalled that on Tuesday 21 December, 2021, the Senate President read a communication from the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria requesting for virement of the 2021 Appropriation Act to fund critical expenditure in the 2021 Budget.

“Notes also that pursuant to Section 3 of the Appropriation Act 2021, amounts Appropriated under the Act can be vired only with the approval the National Assembly;

“Aware that the details of the expenditures proposed for the virement are contained in Schedule 1 hereto attached, while Schedule 2 shows the source of the funds to be vired for the items in Schedule 1; and

“Further aware that the 2021 Budget Implementation is faced with challenges that will require additional funding for some critical and urgent Line Items in the Budget”, the lawmaker said.

President Buhari in his virement request contained in a letter dated December 16, 2021,  said the sum of N276,757,232,395 would be sourced from the N365 billion Service Wide Vote for Upscaling of National Social Investment Programme (NSIP).

A breakdown of the virement request detailed by the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning showed that N199,129,053,400 was for payment of local contractors debts, public service wage adjustment for MDAs, OSSAP SDGs Projects 3 and Group Life Assurance for all MDAs.

In addition, N4,500,821,569 is for the Federal Ministry of Education, N2,335,167,265 for the Nigeria Airforce, N4,617,811,857 for the Ministry of Defence, N25 billion naira for the National Assembly in settling minimum wage areas of National Assembly Staff and Intervention to settle outstanding liabilities owed local contractors.

Others are N20,038,920,773 for the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA), N762,678,972 for the Nigeria Correctional Services, N592 million naira for the Federal Roads Safety Commission (FRSC) as financial assistance for the execution of 2021 End of Year Special Patrol Operation.

Also, the sum of N19,780,778,558 was funding for the Federal Medical Centre, Katsina, University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, Ahmadu Bello Teaching Hospital, Zaria, Usman Danfodio University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu, University of Benin Teaching Hospital, and Jos University Teaching Hospital.

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Business & Economy

Kaduna refinery will begin production in December – NNPCL Boss, Kyari

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The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, NNPCL,Mele Kyari has disclosed that the refinery in Kaduna State will be ready for production by December 2024.

He disclosed this during a meeting with the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria and the Major Energy Marketers Association of Nigeria in Abuja.

He disclosed that operations at the Port Harcourt refinery are scheduled to begin in two weeks.

According to Kyari: “We did a mechanical completion of the (Port Harcourt) refinery, that was what we said in December. We now have crude oil already stocked in the refinery. We are doing regulatory compliance tests that must happen in every refinery before you start it, and I assure you that this Port Harcourt refinery will start in the next two weeks.

“Completing the mechanical work means that you are done with the rehabilitation work, now you have to test to see how it works. Of course, we have also completed the mechanical work on the Warri refinery.

“It is also undergoing regulatory compliance; processes that we are doing with our regulator, and this will soon be completed and it will be ready.

“The Kaduna refinery will be ready by December. We have not reached that stage in Kaduna, but we promise Kaduna will be delivered by December.”

 

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Edun Blames Economic Hardship On Free Printing Of Naira During Buhari’s Govt

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Minister of Finance, Wale Edun, stated this on Wednesday when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Finance chaired by Senator Sani Musa.

The Federal Government has disclosed that the free printing of naira notes for eight years, under the previous administration went into the hands of a privileged few, without corresponding productivity, resulting in the country’s current economic situation.

Minister of Finance, Wale Edun, stated this on Wednesday when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Finance chaired by Senator Sani Musa.

While elaborating on measures to revamp the economy, the Finance minister vowed to thoroughly audit the 22.7 trillion naira, and mop up the monies from the market and use it to pay the central bank to give the government a balanced book.

Responding to questions, the finance minister addressed the issue of waivers on customs duty running into trillions of naira, promising to overhaul the system, rejig it and implement a technology and payment system that would correct all anomalies in place.

He further disclosed that a total of 13 trillion naira was collected as non-oil revenue in 2023.

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Harsh Economy: FG To Begin Distribution Of Grains Nationwide 

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The Federal Government will begin the distribution of grains nationwide to cushion the impacts of the hardship in Nigeria.

Minister of Agriculture and Food Security Senator Abubakar Kyari disclosed this on Monday.

“Dear Fellow Nigerians,” he wrote on his official X handle. “In these trying times, I extend my sincere compassion to those affected by the hardships in the country. I understand the gravity of the situation, especially with the unfortunate event of foodstuff warehouse looting.

“Amidst these challenges, I want to assure you that our commitment to your well-being remains resolute. We shall commence the distribution of 42,000 metric tons of grains, as approved by Mr. President, across the 36 states of the federation as one of the programs to be rolled out this week.

“We are working hand in hand with NEMA and the DSS to ensure that the grains get to the right people in the right packages and quantities. Furthermore, 58,500 metric tons of milled rice from mega rice millers will also be released into the market for stabilization.”

The minister who hailed the resilience of the Nigerian people, urged them to back President Bola Tinubu’s government in its quest to address the challenges facing the country.

“I acknowledge the strength of the Nigerian people, and it is this resilience that will guide us through these difficult times. Let us stand together to support Mr. President in his strive for a better Nigeria,” Kyari said.

“Our government under the leadership of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is committed to addressing these challenges and working towards a more secure and prosperous future for all.”

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