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Revised 2022 Fiscal Framework: Reps Approve N4trn Fuel Subsidy, $73pb Oil Benchmark

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The House of Representatives on Thursday, approved the sum of N4 trillion for fuel subsidy.

This was contained in the revised 2022 Medium Term Expenditure Framework requested by President Muhammadu Buhari.

It will be recalled that Buhari had last week written to the speaker pointing out that the deficit in the 2022 Appropriation Act has risen by N965.42billion, to N7.35 trillion.

To bridge the gap, the President said the government may resort to borrowing some funds.

According to the President, new developments in the global economy and in the domestic economy were responsible for the revision of the 2022 Fiscal Framework on which the 2022 budget was based.

Considering the report by its Committee on Finance presented by the Chairman Rules and Business Hon. Abubakar Fulata on behalf of Chairman Finance, Hon. James Faleke who was absent at the plenary, the House, however, amended the budget and framework and caused an increase in the projected oil price benchmark by $11 per barrel, from $62 per barrel to $73 per barrel; a reduction in the projected oil production volume by 283,000 barrels per day, from 1.883 million barrels per day to 1.600 million barrels per day.

The House also made adjustments which included an increase in the estimated provision for Petroleum Motor Spirit (PMS) subsidy for 2022 by N442.72 billion from N3.557 trillion to N4 trillion and as well approved the Fiscal Deficit of N7.35 trillion.

Other adjustments were a N200 billion cut in the provision for federally-funded upstream projects being implemented, from N352.80 billion to N152.80 billion; an increase in the projection for Federal Government independent revenue by N400 billion; and an additional provision of N182.45 billion to cater for the needs of the Nigeria Police Force.

The same was also made to the domestic debt service provision of N76.13 billion, and net reductions in Statutory Transfers by N66.07 billion, as follows: Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), by N13.46 billion from N102.78 billion to N89.32 billion; North East Development Commission (NEDC), by N6.30 billion from N48.08 billion to N41.78 billion; Universal Basic Education (UBEC), by N23.16 billion from N112.29 billion to N89.13 billion; Basic Health Care Fund, by N11.58 billion from N56.14 billion to N44.56 billion; and NASENI, by N11.58 billion from N56.14 billion to N44.56 billion.

Briefing journalists after the plenary, the Chairman, House Committee on Appropriation, Hon. Muktar Aliyu Betara said the only difference between the Appropriation Act and the amendment bill was the increment in the police budget which he said was a pledge made by the President to increase the salaries of the officers and men of the Force.

According to him, the police budget was increased by N182 billion bringing the total budget size to N17.319,704, 091.019.

He said: “The President and Commander in Chief brought an amendment to the 2022 Appropriation Act which the House passed today. We passed the budget with an increment to police salaries. We increased the police budget by N 182billion. That is the only difference between the Appropriation Act and the amendment bill. It’s just the police increment. And in the President’s request letter, he requested the House to reduce our input that was sent to him in the 2022 Appropriation Act were acted and did some adjustments to the budget.

“Actually, subsidy issue reflects in the MTEF. We have to raise the benchmark by additional 11 dollars to add up the subsidy request by the President.

“The budget now is N17.319,704, 091.19.”

The lawmaker also gave hints about what may have caused the adjustments.

He also spoke on the budget of the Army, saying that the bulk of the money in the budget is on salaries as against the capital budget needed to function effectively.

“Some Committee, I think, exceeded what is supposed to work on the budget. If they bring budget to you, it is not what is given to you that you pass. There are line items that are not supposed to be part of that budget. So, some Committees did some adjustments to it where the executive requested that those line items are important to them. So, they want us to return it and some of them we looked at it. If it’s genuine, we return. Those that are genuine, we refused to return.

“When people talk that monies are given to army and army don’t do what is expected. Eighty percent of the Army budget is salaries. Army’s overhead is just twenty-something billion. Army capital is thirty-seven billion and you see army’s salary is four hundred and something billion. So, when you look at the budget, it will look like the army has money but it is salary. So, it’s the same thing now. It looks like police salary will go up when you look at it, it’s recurrent, salary”, he said.

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BVN, NIN requirement: CBN keeps mum as deadline expires

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The Central Bank of Nigeria has kept mum as the deadline for banks to restrict customers’ accounts without a Bank Verification Number or National Identity Number has expired.

DAILY POST recalls that CBN, in a notice on December 1 last year, signed by the Director of Payments System Management Department, Chibuzo Efobi and Director of Financial Policy and Regulation Department, Haruna Mustapha, asked banks to restrict tier-1 accounts or wallets without NIN or BVN.

“For all existing Tier-1 accounts/wallets without BVN or NIN: Effective immediately, any unfunded account/wallet shall be placed on ‘Post No Debit or Credit’ until the new process is satisfied.

“Effective March 1, 2024, all funded accounts or wallets shall be placed on ‘Post No Debit or Credit’, and no further transactions will be permitted. The BVN or NIN attached to and/or associated with all accounts/wallets must be electronically revalidated by January 31, 2024”, the statement partly reads.

However, CBN acting spokesperson, Hakama Sidi has yet to respond to calls from DAILY POST on Friday over the fate of banks’ customers without NIN or BVN.

Meanwhile, in a telephone interview with DAILY POST, the President of the Bank Customers Association of Nigeria, Dr Uju Ogubunka, appealed to CBN for a deadline extension.

According to him, though many accounts have NIN or BVN, there are still many without the requirement.

“At this point, the best thing for CBN to do is extend the deadline for bank customers to have their NIN or BVN”, he told DAILY POST.

A source who preferred anonymity in a tier-1 bank told DAILY POST that no customer account had been restricted owing to the NIN or BVN requirement.

“At the moment, no customers’ accounts have been restricted. Customers in the last three days have trooped in to update their account”, he said.

DAILY POST reported that bank customers were in a last-minute rush to meet the NIN and BVN requirement deadlines as they besieged their respective banks.

CREDIT: DAILY POST

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Gov Mbah signs New Enugu City, ENSIEC bills into law

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On Friday, Governor Peter Mbah of Enugu State officially approved the New Enugu City Development Agency Bill, the Enugu State Geographical Information System Service Bill, and the Enugu State Independent Electoral Commission (ENSIC) Amendment Bill, turning them into law. The signing ceremony, witnessed by Enugu State House of Assembly Speaker Uchenna Ugwu at the Government House in Enugu, marked significant steps in the state’s governance.

Governor Mbah clarified the purposes of these laws during the signing event. He highlighted that the New Enugu City Development Agency Law grants administrative authority to oversee the development of a new city master plan, aimed at accommodating both present and future generations. The Enugu State Geographical Information System Service Law, on the other hand, focuses on automating and digitizing processes for service delivery, beginning with land-related matters.

Regarding the ENSIEC Amendment Law, Governor Mbah noted its alignment with constitutional amendments concerning electoral bodies, ensuring compliance with the evolving legal framework.

Explaining the rationale behind the New Enugu City Development Agency, Mbah emphasized the government’s forward-thinking approach to governance, addressing the need for urban expansion to accommodate the growing population. He underscored the significance of having a master plan for future generations to prevent urban congestion.

Furthermore, Mbah elaborated on the Enugu State Geographical Information System Service, emphasizing its role in fulfilling the administration’s promise to streamline land administration processes and provide efficient services. He highlighted the agency’s mandate to manage property information systems and facilitate digital platforms for accessing services and making payments.

Governor Mbah expressed gratitude to the State House of Assembly for their support and swift passage of these executive bills, acknowledging the importance of collaboration in driving the state’s development agenda forward. He emphasized that progress and success hinge on the collective efforts of all stakeholders, including the legislature.

In conclusion, Governor Mbah affirmed his administration’s commitment to fulfilling its promises and leveraging legislative support to enhance governance and service delivery in Enugu State.

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Tinubu’s presidency not by chance – Shettima

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Vice President Kashim Shettima asserts that Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s rise to the presidency is not coincidental but a divine blessing due to the sincerity of his character. Shettima made these remarks during a courtesy visit by the Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC) delegation at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Friday.

“The path leading to Tinubu’s presidency wasn’t accidental. He is known for his consistent sacrifices for the nation’s welfare. His success is viewed as a divine reward for his genuine intentions,” Shettima stated.

He stressed the importance of leaders fostering unity, highlighting Tinubu’s significant role in offering an alternative political platform within Nigeria’s system.

“Tinubu has made sacrifices and facilitated unity. He provided a haven for those facing political persecution and offered an alternative platform when others struggled for recognition,” Shettima elaborated.

Shettima urged Nigerians to be patient with Tinubu’s leadership, emphasizing that his presidency is not a coincidence but a deliberate journey towards national success.

He also charged the newly appointed NCPC Board to demonstrate unwavering commitment to their duties and reminded them of the importance of religious dedication in addressing national challenges.

“All of you were selected based on your religious commitment. We cannot overlook the issues within our system. It’s essential for all of us to strive for positive change to achieve the Nigeria we envision,” he concluded.

Previously, Bishop Stephen Adegbite, the Executive Secretary of NCPC, expressed gratitude to President Tinubu for the opportunity to serve on the board and praised Vice President Shettima’s outstanding leadership, citing his support for the Church and peace efforts in Borno State.

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