Buhari presents N13.08tn 2021 budget proposal to NASS – Newstrends
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Buhari presents N13.08tn 2021 budget proposal to NASS

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Buhari presents N13.08tn 2021 budget proposal to NASS

President Muhammadu Buhari has presented the 2021 budget proposal of N13.08 trillion to the National Assembly for consideration and passage into law.

The President, who was accompanied by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, some cabinet members and presidential aides, arrived at the premises of NASS at about 11.03pm, according to News Agency of Nigeria.

He explained that the total aggregate revenue projected for the 2021 budget was N7.86 trillion with a deficit of N5.2 trillion, representing 3.4 per cent of the GDP.

He said the deficit would be financed mainly by new borrowing, totalling N4.28trillion.

Buhari stated that the total revenue available to fund the 2021 federal budget was estimated to N7.886 trillion which included grants and aids of N354.85 billion as well as revenues of 60 government owned enterprises.

According to him, the budget, which is described as a budget for Economic Recovery and Resilience, is based on an estimated oil price benchmark of 40dollars per barrel, daily oil production estimate of 1.86 million barrels (inclusive of condensates of 300,000 to 400,000 barrels per day) and an exchange rate of N379 per dollar.

“Based on the foregoing fiscal assumptions and parameters, total federally distributable revenue is estimated at N8.433 trillion in 2021. Total revenue available to fund the 2021 federal budget is estimated at N7.886 trillion.

“This includes Grants and Aid of N354.85 billion as well as the revenues of 60 government-owned Enterprises.

According to him, oil revenue is projected at N2.01 trillion and non-oil revenue is estimated at N1.49 trillion.

“As you will observe, the format of the 2021 Appropriation Bill has been modified to include budgeted revenues, no matter how small, for each MDA, to focus on internal revenue generation.

“Accordingly, I implore you to pay as much attention to the revenue side as you do to the expenditure side.

He stated that N3.12 trillion had been earmarked for debt servicing in 2021 as against N2.1trillion in 2020

The President, who reviewed the performance of the 2020 budget so far, said the budget was amended in response to the challenges occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As at July 2020, the Federal Government’s actual revenue available for the budget was N2.10 trillion.

“This revenue performance was only 68 per cent of our pro-rated target in the revised 2020 budget.

“At N992.45 billion, oil revenue performed well above our budget target, by 168 per cent. Non-oil tax revenues totalled N692.83 billion, which was 73 per cent of the revised target.”

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Tinubu pays condolence visit to Akeredolu’s widow, says late husband was a fighter

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Tinubu pays condolence visit to Akeredolu’s widow, says late husband was a fighter

President Bola Tinubu on Wednesday paid condolence visit to  Betty Akeredolu, widow of former Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, in Owo.

Tinubu described Rotimi Akeredolu as a fearless fighter who was committed to the welfare of the people.

He said the late governor departed the world when the ovation was loudest.

The president was accompanied in his visit by Ondo Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, and former APC Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande.

“This sentiment should inspire us to live each day with purpose; to pursue our goals with determination, and to leave behind a legacy that will be remembered fondly by those whose lives we have touched,” he said.

The President said Akeredolu truly embodied courage and fearlessness in relentless pursuit of good governance.

He said, “He truly embodied courage and fearlessness, especially in his relentless pursuit of good governance. I can only describe him as a fearless fighter.

“His unwavering commitment to the welfare of his people and his courageous nature will always be remembered.”

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There’s hope for great economy, Tinubu assures Nigerians

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President Bola Ahmed Tinubu

There’s hope for great economy, Tinubu assures Nigerians

The economic situation will improve and pains will give way to prosperity, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu assured Nigerians yesterday.

Urging citizens not to despair, he said things would get better.

Also, House Representatives Speaker Tajudeen Abbas urged Nigerians to exercise patience and cooperate with the government in its bid to effectively implement the economic reforms that will soothe the pains.

President Tinubu and the Speaker spoke on the prospect of economic recovery yesterday as workers staged protests in state capitals and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) over the high cost of living.

The President said: “We must assure Nigerians that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

“We might be going through a difficult period now, but when you look at the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission, the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning and people manning the ship of this country, including Central Bank of Nigeria (governor), they have collaborated and in the spirit of development and progress, we are glad that good effort is being made to retool, re-engineer the finances of the country and make growth our hallmark.”

The President spoke during the unveiling of the handbook on Expatriate Employment Levy (EEL).

Abbas, who spoke when he received the leadership of the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN) led by Comrade Muhammad Usman in his office, said: “My appeal to you as the National President of PASAN is to please, help to tell your other colleagues in the Labour leadership to give this government a little more time.

“There are so many things that are under consideration, things that the government is trying to come up with for the benefit of Nigerians.

“So, please, help us to tell them to exercise patience that something very good will come out very soon.”

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He added: “I know of a lot of palliatives, reviews of salaries and welfare packages that are most likely coming on board in the near future.

“Please, communicate to them that we know their pains and their problems and we will not let them down. They should give us more time.”

The President lauded the Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, for the various progressive innovations he introduced, saying they have received applause at home and abroad.

President Tinubu, who described the EEL scheme as another game changer, highlighted its advantages.

These include better employment opportunities for Nigerians with foreign companies, bridging the wage gap between Nigerian employees and expatriates in foreign companies operating in Nigeria and boosting national security.

He said: “We expect revenue generation improvement, improved naturalisation and indigenisation, employment of more Nigerians by foreign companies operating in this country, balancing of employment opportunities between Nigerians and expatriates, and closing the wage gap between the expatriate and the Nigerian labour force by making it more attractive to hire Nigerians.

“I’ve been further assured that the project can plug loopholes and gaps that have bedevilled the country in dealing with security challenges, and the movement of foreigners in and out of the country.

“Interestingly, this scheme will wield the dual fold of revenue generation as well as addressing employment challenges.”

President Tinubu, however, warned operators of the scheme against turning it into another bureaucratic bottleneck, which is capable of frustrating potential investors.

He said: “I declare my support for the Expatriate Employment Levy scheme and I will continue to encourage the operators, practitioners of immigration matters and expatriate quotas.

“But don’t use it as a bottleneck, don’t use it to frustrate potential investors.

“There will be clear lines of implementation and effective acceleration of aims and objectives of this programme.

“Immigration matters and expatriate quotas, and relevant stakeholders, have to be effectively guided to make Nigeria the focus of the objective of this EEL.”

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The Minister of Interior highlighted some of the features of the EEL scheme, saying that it would create employment opportunities and competitive advantages for Nigerians working in foreign companies in the country.

He said the project was in tandem with the President’s eight-point agenda, especially on security and economic growth.

Tunji-Ojo said: “The main essence is to be sure that if you are bringing an expatriate to work in Nigeria, it should be a job that no Nigeria has the skill to do.

“That’s the major objective of this particular initiative; balancing employment opportunities between Nigerians and expatriates and, of course, closing wage gaps between expatriates and the Nigerian labor force by making it more attractive to hire Nigerians

“Part of the motivation is to reduce the dependence of companies on foreign personnel and to also reduce the rate at which renewal of expatriate quotas has been sought after by companies.

“We want to see a scenario whereby once an expatriate comes, there will be a knowledge transition period of which Nigeria should be able to be trained to take over this responsibility and create opportunities for our teeming youths.”

Chairman, Senate Committee on Interior,  Adams Oshiomhole, said the initiative would strengthen the position of Nigerians when it comes to competitive employment

He said: “We all have to share with Mr. President the burden of putting in place appropriate policies that will ensure that more Nigerians are engaged in jobs that are good paying.

“That is the way to fight and defeat poverty in the long run.”

There’s hope for great economy, Tinubu assures Nigerians

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Senate forms panel to investigate CBN’s N30 trillion loan to FG

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Senate forms panel to investigate CBN’s N30 trillion loan to FG

The Senate has established a nine-member committee to probe the N30 trillion Ways and Means advances provided by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to the federal government.

During Tuesday’s session presided over by Deputy Senate President Barau Jibrin, Senator Jibrin Isah (representing Kogi East) was appointed the committee’s chairman.

The Senate’s decision to investigate the utilization of the loan follows its adoption of the report from the Joint Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions, Finance, National Planning, Agriculture, and Appropriations last week.

Ways and Means is a loan facility extended by the CBN to the federal government to address budget shortfalls.

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The loan facility has stirred controversy, with experts raising concerns over the CBN surpassing its lending limits to the federal government, contrary to existing laws.

Barau, in his statement before announcing the committee’s composition, highlighted that excessive borrowing has contributed to inflation in the country.

He remarked, “The financial obligation to the CBN now stands at N30 trillion. It is therefore imperative to scrutinize the N30 trillion Ways and Means loans to recover whatever is feasible.”

The ad hoc committee includes Ekpeyong Asuquo, Mohammed Tahir Monguno, Victor Umeh, Olamilekan Adeola, Sani Mohammed Musa, Aliyu Wadada, Abdul Ningi, and Ipalibo Banigo Harry. They have been granted four weeks to submit their report for further legislative action.

Senate forms panel to investigate CBN’s N30 trillion loan to FG

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