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Industry minister seeks N7.4bn approval for 83 capital projects

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The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, has defended the ministry’s budget for 2021 before the Senate, requesting N7.4bn for 83 capital projects.

This was part of a total of N11.18bn the ministry is seeking an approval from the Senate for the 2021 budget.

Adebayo said the ministry’s budget proposal also contained a personnel cost of N3.02bn and overhead cost of N762.81m.

He told the Senate joint committees on commerce and industry that the ministry received only N2.9bn out of the N7.3bn appropriated for capital projects in 2020.

This, he said, was far below what it got in 2019 and 2018 fiscal years, which he gave as N3.5bn and N7.9bn respectively for capital projects.

He urged the committee to approve the sum of N7.3bn proposed for the 2021 budget, saying that the ministry had 83 capital initiatives, made up of 56 ongoing ones and 27 new projects.

The capital budget, he told the committees, would be directed at the industrial policy reform and enabling business environment and international investment engagement initiatives.

Adeniyi added that the fund would enable full activation of the private sector-led six special economic zones comprising of Lekki, Enyimba, Funtua, Ibom, Kano and Benue coupled with the establishment of at least one agro-processing zone in each senatorial district.

The minister said the ministry would facilitate credit access to 10 million MSMEs at single-digit rate and promote made-in-Nigeria products that would bring an increase in industrial productivity, employment generation and reduction in the import of foreign products.

Adeniyi  listed other programmes to be funded through the capital budget to include the review of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council mandates and implementation of a four-year business environment transformation roadmap.

According to him, the ministry plan to revise and implement the National Industrial Revolution Plan; support Nigeria’s participation at the Expo 2020 from October 2021 – March 31, 2022; ensure ease of doing business and implement executive Orders.

 He added that the ministry would implement a strategy towards implementing the government’s promise to take 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next 10 years.

Business

Nigeria’s oil revenue not enough to cover petrol import costs – Finance minister

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Nigeria’s revenue being generated from its low oil production cannot cover the cost of imported petrol, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, has said.

She stated this on Thursday in an interview with Reuters on the sideline of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos.

She said the Federal Government hopes that oil production will average 1.6 million barrels per day (bpd) this year.

In the first quarter of 2022, Nigeria’s oil production averaged 1.5 million bpd.

The minister said, “We are not seeing the revenues that we had planned for. When the production is low it means we’re … barely able to cover the volumes that are required for the (petrol) that we need to import.”

This year, the FG had budgeted 1.8 million bpd of production, but frequent crude theft and attacks on pipelines continue to affect the nation’s wealth.

In April, it asked the national assembly to drop the projected production volume to 1.60 million barrels per day.

Despite higher oil prices due to the Russia-Ukraine war, under-recovery costs, also known as petrol subsidy, continue to erode gains.

Nigeria has spent about N1 trillion on petrol import shortfall in the last four months and will spend up to N4 trillion this year. This has also dwindled the federation revenue — just as the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited has been unable to remit any amount to the government purse this year.

On the recent hike of the monetary policy rate by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the minister said the move was necessary due to policy adjustments by the US Federal Reserve and central banks in Europe.

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Aviation

No plane crashed in Lagos – FAAN, NEMA

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Two government agencies, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria and National Emergency Management Agency, have dismissed reports of a fresh plane crash in the Ikeja area of Lagos.

An internet user who saw a plane being towed away had sent the picture to the social media, concluding that it was the wreckage of a fresh plane crash in Lagos.

The aircraft, which had missing wings, was spotted on Ikeja-Agege road, causing gridlock along the route on Tuesday as the news went viral on the social media.

But FAAN in a terse statement posted on its social media handles, said Nigerians should disregard the news.

It stated, “The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria would like to inform the general public to disregard the news making the rounds on social media about an alleged crash at Ikeja Airport.

“The aircraft was sold by the owner to a buyer, who was taking it to its final destination.”

Also, Ibrahim Farinloye, the zonal coordinator, South-West, NEMA, said after due consultations with all critical stakeholders and tracking of all incoming and outgoing flights in Lagos, there was no plane.

An aviation analyst, Daniel Dikio, had also tweeted his observation of the viral video.

“It is an Airbus A319, hasn’t flown domestically in years. I can see traces of a green logo; it likely belonged to First Nation Airways in its time.

“The wings are separated cleanly; this wouldn’t happen in a crash. The separation is a sign of dismantling.

“There is no damage to the fuselage, almost impossible given the purported circumstances”, Dikio noted.

 

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Business

FG targets 1.4mbpd domestic refining before 2027

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Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva

The Federal Government has disclosed plans to actualise 1.4 million barrels per day, mbpd, domestic refining of crude oil in the next five years.

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