ABUJA— Manufacturers in Nigeria have identified the unavailability of petrol and poor power supply as the main challenges hindering the growth and threatening the survival of the industry,
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The federal government is reportedly planning towards an N8 trillion budget for 2016.According to Punch, Vice President,Yemi Osinbajo disclosed the news on Thursday in a paper entitled: ‘The economy – Where we are today’, which he delivered at the retreat organised for ministers-designate on Thursday.“The budget process will be zero based, a method of budgeting by which all expenses must be justified for each new budget year. For the Medium Term Expenditure Framework, the actual 2015 budget is N4.4tn, while the proposed 2016 budget will be N7tnto N8tn.Capital expenditure for the 2015 budget is N1.31tn, while the proposed capital expenditure for 2016 is N2tn,” he said.
The Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, on Friday said effective running of the legislature was predicated on availability of actual needs of that arm of government. Dogara stated this when he inaugurated a committee to conduct needs assessment for running the House of Representatives and the National Assembly. He said that there was currently no study or assessment of what the legislature in the country needed to perform optimally. “We have all been making, at best, educated guesswork on whether the legislature is adequately funded or not.“An appropriate needs assessment may well find out that the legislature in Nigeria is overfunded or that it is underfunded.“There should be an empirical and objective study to determine this,” Dogara said. He urged the committee to make comparative study of the cost of running legislatures in other parts of the world. “You should in the course of your work also make a comparative study of the cost of running legislatures in other relevant jurisdictions.“These are only suggestions and you should feel free to adopt any methodology you deem fit in carrying out this assignment,” he said. He stated that the legislature was at the vanguard of the country’s democracy and a critical watchdog of the interests and aspirations of the people. “If the legislature is undermined to the point that it becomes ineffective, our entire democratic experiment will face imminent danger of failure and destruction,” the speaker said. The committee, which has Mr Clement Nwankwo of Policy and Legal Advocacy Center (PLAC), as Chairman, is expected to determine the cost of conducting public hearings on bills. It would also ascertain the cost of communicating all proceedings and activities of the legislature to its constituencies and the general public. It is further charged to examine the cost to build, equip and maintain the entire infrastructure in the National Assembly. The independent committee comprised Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), independent groups and professional bodies with the support of international development partners. Members include NBA President, Mr Austin Alegeh, ICAN President, Olufemi Deru and NUJ President, Waheed Odusile, Sen. Ita Enang and Rep. Albert Sam-Tsokwa.The committee has three months to complete the assignment.
Nigeria Oil workers prepare for showdown with Buhari Nigeria’s oil workers on Friday criticised the on-going reform in the oil and gas industry, and vowed to take steps to protect their members’ interest. The workers, under the aegis of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers and Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, NUPENGASSAN, described the reform as a cover-up and vindictive actions against their members. Theyurged President Muhammadu Buhari to call the newly appointed Group Managing Director, GMD, of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Emmanuel Kachikwu, to order by direct him to stop the on-going sack in the Corporation.Vowing to give equal response to whatever actions of government they consider capable of suppressing worker’s interests, the unions suggested that a team should be set up immediately to review Mr. Kachikwu’s actions so farin the interest of justice, equity and fairness.Within two weeks of the commencement of the reform, Mr. Kachikwu has carried out massive restructuring of the management of the corporation.Apart from the sack and re-composition of the board, Mr. Kachikwu has retired 38 top management staff, pruning the top hierarchy of the corporation from 122 to 83, while reducing the operational directorates from eight to four.New Group Executive Directors, GEDs, have since been appointed forthe new directorates, along with Group General Managers, GGMs, for the various divisions, a move the new oil chief said was to rid the corporation of corruption and make it more efficient and profitable.Regardless, the oil workers in a joint statement by the President of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, Francis Johnson, and his counterpart in the National Unionof Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, Igwe Achese, accused the NNPC management of executing an agenda that did not carry the workers’ unions along.The statement, which was also signed by their General Secretaries – Bayo Olowoshile and Joseph Ogbebor respectively- also accused Mr. Kachikwu of pursuing an agendacontrary to the idea canvassed by President Muhammadu Buhari.“While we are fully in support of the fight against corruption, the fight itself should not be turned against workers whom government swore toprotect,” the oil workers said.“The ongoing exercise portends a great danger in the oil sector if workers are meant to bear the brunt of government’s current action where the fight against corruption is now being used as an act of vindictiveness against workers.”The on-going exercise, the oil workers said, did not show any attempt to fight corruption and blockleakages, but was “an act of cover up.”“We dare the new GMD of NNPC, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu to recover the stolen trillions of Naira in the sector than retiring and sacking of innocent workers. We are quite sure that the on-going action is not the idea of ourdear President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR.”As players in all spheres of the industry’s operation, the unions said they have been trying to meet with the President to review the on-going reforms in the NNPC, saying they have so far been kept in the dark by his protocol staff.Despite being the representatives of organized workers in the industry, the union leaders claimed all their suggestions on the critical challenges affecting the on-going reforms were being not being considered by the authorities.They listed the issues to include the review of industry policy and fiscal framework; cash call and counterpart funding obligations; stability of the downstream oil and gas sector; pipeline sabotage and oiltheft.On the NNPC restructuring, the oil workers said the gale of abrupt loss of jobs in the corporation was sending very wrong signals to their members throughout the oil and gassector, particularly about their job security.Reminding government of its promise to create jobs through the entire strata of the economy, they noted that the situation in the NNPC was likely to have the opposite effect.“We believe people are not the problem, but the structure put in place. If there are strong structures and institutions, the organization willbe a more effective place,” the unions stated.“So instead of a blanket sacking of workers, which other organizations are likely to key into, government reforms should be geared towards putting in place effective and strong structures and institutions that will meet the numerous challenges currently bedevilling the oil and gas sector in particular and the nation in general.”
Former Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has said her successor willface a “difficult” year because of plunging oil revenues. She therefore stressed that the economy needs expert management to come out fine.“We have a serious situation with a cash crunch,” she told Bloomberg in an interview in Cape Town, South Africa at the World Economic Forum on Africa. “But fundamentally, the economy is strong. If we can get through the cash crunch, manage the way through, build on some of the assets we have, by next year, thingswill be better.”Fall in global oil prices have put Nigeria in a bad financial position with authorities forced to cut spending and states relying solely on allocation from the federal government owing workers salaries for months. The government relies on oil for about 75 percent of its income.Okonjo-Iweala said the next finance minister must focus on “a strong policy, the fiscal consolidation path that we have and looking toward diversification of revenue resources”.Like several other Nigerians, the former minister says she is waiting for the new finance minister to be named.Now out of a job after her tenure as minister ended, Okonjo-Iweala said she plans to take a break until August and will then consider her career options.
Alhaji Aliko Dangote recently launched his cement plant in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia..Here is a closer look at ALHAJI ALIKO DANGOTE’s $600million cement plant in Ethiopia.See More Photos Below:-
Nigerian legislators, among the world’s top paid, receive annual salaries of between$150,000 to $190,000 per annum depending on exchange rates. At current exchange rates Nigerian lawmakers, wouldearn around $160,000 more than British MPs who make around $105,000 accordingto data from The Economist. In fact, until plunging oil prices started putting pressure on the Nigerian naira earlier this year, the Nigerian lawmakers were the second highest paid lawmakers in the world.The average legislators’ pay is more than 50 times Nigeria‘s GDP per capita. In a country where millions live on less than two dollars daily and minimum wage is set at $90 a month, the legislator’s bumper pay has been described as outrageous. Thecampaign for a cut in the National Assembly’s funds as a new government comes in is fitting as President Buhari, who will earn less than the lawmakers, has a reputation for being modest and austere.The main thrust of the #OpenNASS campaign is for the National Assembly to open its books to allow for an assessment of its finances and possibly advocate for cuts particularly in a period of financial uncertainties which has seen the country struggle to pay salaries.Between 2011 and 2014, the National Assembly received N150 billion yearly but will receive N120 billion in 2015 according to the recently passed 2015 budget.
Budg IT’s estimation also shows that since 1999, the National Assembly has received about N1.26 trillion yet there has been little accountability.But all that could be change soon as the#OpenNASS campaign has won significant support from Bukola Saraki, the popular choice to to takeover from David Mark as Senate President. He even tweeted his support.The yearly allocation for the National Assembly, which has less than 10,000 individuals on its payroll, surpasses the annual budgets of 21 of Nigeria’s 36 states including Katsina, Benue and Jigawa all with populations of more than 4 million people.While the country deals with financial issues which can be traced back to the slump in global crude oil prices, the National Assembly experiences few problems as its fund is in a special category called statutory transfer which mandates the federal government, after receiving revenues, to make the legislators’ funds immediately available before other considerations“This campaign is not about an individual, rather it is about instituting a culture where public finance and accountability are inextricably linked; it is about leaders’ responsibility to taxpayers,” says Stanley Achonu, operations lead at Budg IT. The National Assembly only managed to pass 106 bills out of the 1,063 it reviewed in the last four years.The calls for accountability from the National Assembly will resonate with millions of Nigerians who are keen to see public service holders live less luxurious lives while the majority of their countrymen wallow in poverty.
Bill Gates’ to spend $776 million tackling hunger in NigeriaMelinda Gates announced on Thursday that her and husband Bill’s foundation will spend $776 million tackling hunger in Nigeria and four other countries over the next six years, doubling existing commitments.Gates made the announcement in Brussels, where she urged European leaders to make the nutrition of women and children a priority. The huge pledge also unlocks $180 million in matched funding from Britain’s Department for International Development.“Malnutrition is the underlying cause of nearly half of all under-5 child deaths,” said Gates. “Yet for too long the world has underinvested in nutrition. Today we see an opportunity to change that.”Much of the money will be spent in India, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Bangladesh and Burkina Faso, where there is serious malnutrition and a real chance to make positive changes, the foundation said.The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is the world’s largest private philanthropy organization, with a $40 billion endowment. It aims to tackle disease and poverty in the developing world. Bill Gates earned his billions as co-founder of Microsoft.Every year millions of children die because they get substandard nutrition during the critical 1,000-day period from their mother becoming pregnant until their second birthday, the foundation said in a statement.“Many European donors are now prioritizing nutrition, which we believe will be one of the fundamental solutions to help cut child mortality in half by 2030,” said Melinda Gates.The extra funding announced in Brussels will aim to help women and girls before they get pregnant, improving the likelihoodof a healthy mother and child. It will also be spent on solutions “proven to improve nutrition” including fortifying food and promoting breastfeeding.Women and girls play a crucial role in reducing poverty and improving health, Gates said. “From their leadership as farmers, entrepreneurs and consumers to their role as mothers; investment in women and girls will be key to improving nutrition globally.”United Nations member states aim to agree in September a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), targets for making progress and reducing inequality inareas such as poverty, health, education, women’s rights and climate change by 2030.
Apparently, oil marketers didn’t just agree to call off the strike, the Federal government had to step into the matter and they reached a consensus, which oil suppliers claims Nigeria’s outgoing government has agreed to pay $800 million to end a fuel crisis crippling the economy.The Associated Press reports that chaos reigned Tuesday at Nigerian airports, where most flights were cancelled due to the shortages. Cars and other vehicles formed queues of more than 2 kilometers outside of gas stations, banks closed at lunchtime and cellphone companies warned they would be forced to shut down service countrywide for a lack of diesel to fuel generators.The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) said the finance minister agreed Monday to pay a debt of $800 million to oil suppliers. It said companies started pumping oil again Tuesday and unpaid tanker drivers stopped striking.