“I don’t need a new official residence, Aguda House is sufficient for me” – Osinbajo

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo says there is no provision for a new official residence for the vice-president in the two budget proposals drafted by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

In a statement issued on his behalf by Laolu Akande, his spokesman, Osinbajo expressed satisfaction with the house he currently occupies.

The statement comes days after there were reports that N250 million had been earmarked for the construction of a gate at the residence of the vice-president.

Dismissing the reports, Osinbajo said the renovation project, which started under the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan had reached 85% stage, and that at the appropriate time, the federal government would decide “what is the best use for the 14 buildings already on the project site”.

“For the umpteenth time, we like to clarify that the proposed plan of the immediate past administration to build a new official residence for the occupant of the office of the vice-president, including the controversial gatehouse, preceded this administration,” the statement read.

“The project which started in 2010, was initiated and funded by the immediate past administration, but had never featured in the two budget proposals of the Buhari administration: neither in the 2016 nor the 2017 spending plans.

“Any suggestion therefore that this project benefits our administration or that it reflects our spending style or preferences is not only misleading but blatantly false.

“Besides, the incumbent Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has said publicly that he considers Aguda House, which he currently occupies, a befitting official residence for the vice-president and sufficient for his needs.”


Source: The Cable

Reps reject ministry of communications budget.

The house of representatives committee on telecommunications has rejected the ministry of communications 2017 budget of N6.97 billion.

The rejection followed the ministry’s failure to provide satisfactory details of the 2016 budget expenditure.

The ministry proposed to spend N5.96 billion for capital projects, N742.88 million for personnel, while N216.88 million was proposed for overhead cost.

Saheed Fijabi, chairman of the committee, asked Adebayo Shittu, the minister, to provide documents on projects, project locations, third party contracts, and receipt vouchers for conferences, training and nominal roll for the ministry.

The committee said it would not consider the 2017 budget estimates of the ministry until it embarked on an on-the-spot assessment of the projects contained in the budget.

The minister, who appeared before the committee, refused to explain the details of the budget.

He explained that Sunday Echono, the permanent secretary, who is the accounting officer of the ministry, was in the best position to respond to the specifics of the document.

In his presentation, the minister said contrary to what was on record, the ministry only received N3.96 billion as against the N4.91 billion that was budgeted and recorded for the ministry on Government Integrated Financial Management System (GIFMIS).

The breakdown showed that out of the 48 new projects penciled down for execution, only one was on-going.

According to Echono, the ministry recorded 100 per cent performance on the N3.095 billion released for the ministry.

For the year under review, N216. 79 million was appropriated for overhead, while N138.90 million was released leaving a balance of N77.9 million.

While N600.240 million was also appropriated for personnel cost, out of which N695. 88 million was released.

The lawmakers, who were shocked about the finances of the ministry, requested for explanations why money released for personnel was higher than money appropriated.

The committee also asked why N8 million was spent on presentation at federal executive council (FEC) meeting, while seeking explanation on the procurement of computers for N12 million.

In addition, the committee expressed doubt over the capital expenditure item whereby N4. 9 million was spent on supervision of the unspecified work.

The construction of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) centres in some parts of the country was also queried as the ministry failed to execute any of the projects, claiming lack of funds.

The committee also frowned at why projects that would benefit Nigerians directly were not prosecuted by the ministry.

“With the document before us, there is a need for this committee to oversight these projects because Nigerians have been blaming the legislature for not doing its job well,” Fijabi said.

“Going forward, we have to look at the procurement process and on-the-spot assessment of these projects has become inevitable.

“In addition, the ministry should furnish the committee with its nominal roll, indicating old and new workers. The provision of the details requested will determine how soon we will embark on the oversight visit and the consideration of the ministry’s 2017 budget estimates.”

Reps suspend plenary for 3 weeks to ‘enable Nigerians contribute to budget’

Abdulrazak Namdas, spokesman of the house of representatives, says for the first time, Nigerians will have a chance to contribute to the budget process.

Speaking with journalists on Thursday, Namdas said plenary would be adjourned for three weeks to enable legislators work extensively on the 2017 budget proposals.

He said during the three weeks, the house would create a special public hearing for Nigerians to give their input on the budget.

“We have adjourned the plenary to 21st of February to be specific and I should be quoted correctly. We are not going on recess. We are only adjourning plenary,” he said.

“So that it would give us the opportunity to work on the 2017 budget so that by the time we are back we should be able to hasten the completion of work on the budget.

“This time around, we have introduced for the first time a public hearing on the budget so that journalists, civil society organisations (CSOs), notable Nigerians will be here to see and also give their input as it will be a collective job.”

He said within the three-week period some lawmakers would embark on their oversight functions.

“Within this period we will also be going on oversight for those people who haven’t done their oversight along with the budget functions,” he said.

Both chambers of the national assembly would resume plenary on February 21.

Kaduna Government Proposes 1Bn Naira To Tackle Malnutrition

The Kaduna State government has said it is proposing an annual budget of 1 Billion Naira, to tackle malnutrition, among children in the state.

Governor Nasir El-Rufai disclosed this at a summit on emergency nutrition action plan held in the state capital.

The governor announced that as part of efforts to address hunger and starvation in the state, his administration will set aside funds to take care of 50,000 malnourished children in collaboration with UNICEF.

He however called on the citizens to invest at least 6,000 to 8,000 Naira to save a malnourished child

“If a child is not given the right nutrition within the first 1,000 days he or she is most likely to be incapable to think well.

“A malnourished child may not finish primary school. Investing in the life of malnourished children is to save us from insurgency” the governor said.

Speaking at the event, wife of the governor and initiator of the summit , Aisha El-Rufai, lamented that, despite Kaduna been ranked as first in the production of maize, soya, tomato and ginger, the state was still faced with the challenge of using the best natural and human resources to feed people in the most proper and acceptable manner.

She also expressed concern on the helpless women and children who were affected by malnutrition.

“Because they do not have a choice in this affliction, malnutrition strives more in impoverished homes due to inadequate supply of the balanced diet or inappropriate form of cooking, methods leading to the destruction of the nutrients plus lack of knowledge

“The past pictures of malnourished women and children were seen in distant countries but now the menace is either directly or indirectly within people of the state”.

The National Nutrition Health Survey, (NNHS) of 2015 confirms that 42% of children in Kaduna State are termed wasted from acute, under nutrition while a further 52.1% of children under 5 years old are termed stunted from chronic under nutrition”

Mrs El-Rufai said: “The nutrition indices leads to more than 50% of under-five mortality in Kaduna State.

“This poor nutrition situation cuts across all the 23 local government areas of the state.

“As a mother my heart bled when I went round and saw the situation of women, expecting mothers and children in communities of this state, especially in health care centers and other outpatient therapeutic program sites.

“It totally depressed me and gave me sleepless nights but it also triggered me into action with the purpose of saving lives and giving the women and children of this state,  hope and a reason to live a meaningful and productive life”, she said.


Source: Channels TV

Governor Ambode signs Lagos N812 billion budget into law

The Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, on Monday signed the N812.998 billion 2017 Appropriation Bill into Law, with a promise that it would be judiciously implemented to consolidate on the modest milestones recorded in the last 18 months and propel the State to a path of prosperity.

The Governor, who spoke at a brief ceremony held at the Lagos House, Ikeja, said the 2017 budget, christened, “Golden Jubilee Budget” was his administration’s contract with Lagosians to continue to build an all-inclusive economy throughout the year.

He thanked the Speaker and members of the House of Assembly for their forthrightness and speedy consideration and approval of the Appropriation Bill, which he presented to the House on November 29, 2016 and was passed to Law on January 3, 2017.

He said the N812.998bn 2017 budget was in line with the State Development Plan 2012-2025, the Medium Term Expenditure Framework for 2017-2019, based on the state’s four pillars of development which include: Infrastructure Development, Economic Development, Social Development and Security as well as Sustainable Environment.

Governor Ambode, while assuring that his administration would immediately hit the ground running to implement the budget, expressed optimism that the national economy would begin a path of recovery this year.

“We are encouraged by the budget performance of last year (2016) which stood at 78 per cent. Our total Capital Expenditure in 2017 will be N507.816 billion while Recurrent Expenditure is estimated at N305.182 billion.

“Our government is committed to prudent financial management and equitable allocation of resources for the general good and will ensure proper fiscal discipline in the implementation of this Appropriation Law,” Mr. Ambode said.

While alluding to the fact that obligations and duties of citizens like tax payments have become noticeably better, self-induced and encouraging, Governor Ambode sought the cooperation and understanding of all taxpayers to successfully implement the budget, saying that government would continue to strive harder to improve service-delivery in all sectors.

“We encourage all tax payers to continue in this spirit and also take advantage of available multi-pay channels in fulfilling their civic obligations. Do not pay to touts or illegal channels. Make sure your tax payments count. We are doing everything to eliminate poor services to you,” he said.

In his goodwill message, Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa, said the judicious implementation of the 2016 Budget by Governor Ambode, against all odds, has gone a long way to confirm his financial expertise.

The Speaker, who was represented at the event by the Chairman, House Committee on Appropriation, Rotimi Olowo, said many laudable projects including the construction of 114 Roads across all the local governments in the state within a year was a first in the history of Nigeria.

“That means by 2023, just in eight years, he would have done over 1,000 roads in addition to what the Ministry of Works and Public Works Corporation is doing.

“Another area that is unbeatable is the ‘Light up Lagos’, which no doubt increases the economy of our mothers and fathers. That is in tandem with article of faith as entrenched in the 1999 Constitution, which summarily explains that the Governor is determined and committed,” the Speaker said.

Earlier, the Commissioner for Finance, Akinyemi Ashade, who gave a breakdown of the budget, said a total of N507.816billion has been earmarked for capital expenditure, while N305.182billion is for recurrent expenditure making up a total expenditure of N812.998billion and an aggregate capital to recurrent ratio of 62:38.

Mr. Ashade, who is also the Commissioner overseeing the Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget, said the 2017 budget which would largely be driven by Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) made up of taxes, rates, levies and others, would be focused on continuous promotion of massive investments in security, infrastructure, transport/traffic management, physical and social infrastructural development, environment, health, housing, tourism, power, e-governance, education, agriculture and skill acquisition.

While explaining the sectoral breakdown of the budget, Mr. Ashade said a total of N141.692billion was earmarked for roads and other infrastructure, while Agriculture and Food Security got N4.795 billion with Tourism and Environment getting N20.247 billion and N24.031 billion respectively.

A further breakdown of the budget showed that Water got N20.082billion; Housing, N50.344billion; Health, N51.447billion; Sports Development, N9.457billion; Education, N92.445billion; Commerce and Industry, N1.500billion, Wealth and Employment Creation, N6.250billion; Women Affairs, N2.193billion; Youth and Social Development, N2.698billion; Governance, N11.193billion; Science and Technology, N11.000billion; Security, Law and Order, N39.722billion, while N3.800billion was set aside for the 7.5 percent Government Share to Pension Contribution and N7.150billion for Pension Redemption Bond Fund-Shortfall.

On Transportation, Mr. Ashade said N49.077 billion was earmarked for the Blue Rail Line, advancement of the 10-Lane Lagos-Badagry Expressway, construction of jetties and terminals especially for the Epe and Marina Shoreline Protection and procurement of ferries to improve on water transportation and encourage tourism, while also disclosing that attention would be paid to the expansion of BRT corridors in Oshodi-Abule-Egba, and other corridors.

18 months on, Saraki fails serial promises to disclose National Assembly budget

After 18 months in the saddle as President of the Senate and Chairman of the National Assembly, Bukola Saraki has refused to honour repeated promises to Nigerians to publicly disclose the details of the lawmakers’ budget.

Mr. Saraki came to office in June 2015 promising accountability and transparency, but ever since, he has reneged on every promise to open the budget of the National Assembly to the public.

With N23.347 billion in 2003, the National Assembly’s budget now stands at about N115 billion, representing over 492 per cent rise in 13 years. Until 2016, the budget had often gone as high as N150 billion.

In 2010, when the budget hit a shocking record sum of N154.2 billion, David Mark, Mr. Saraki’s predecessor, decided to block Nigerians from knowing details of how the National Assembly’s jumbo allocations were spent, especially how much members earned in allowances, thus wrapping up the federal legislators’ finances in utmost secrecy.

So, in one masterstroke of legislative brinkmanship, the National Assembly’s budget, hitherto open to public scrutiny, like those of ministries, departments and agencies, suddenly became secret after the body legislated, in 2010 under Mr. Mark, to make itself member of an exclusive club of opaque agencies whose budget details are never disclosed but whose finances are deducted en-bloc (first-line charge) via statutory transfers.

Mr. Saraki clinched the Senate leadership in June 2015, days after Muhammadu Buhari was inaugurated Nigeria’s president. In the spirit of the high hope that waste, corruption, impunity and opacity would be fought in the country’s public institutions, Nigerians reignited calls for an open budget at the National Assembly.

Apparently conscious of the popular wish, Mr. Saraki included in his inauguration speech the vow to “change from impunity and elite arrogance to a life of accountability,” and then circulated a text in which he named a committee “to review NASS budget, to make it open and more realistic.”

The said committee, as mentioned in the text, included Dino Melaye, Ben Bruce, Shehu Sani and Gbenga Ashafa.

With his initial promise of accountability yielding no result, on November 15, 2015, Mr. Saraki again promised to open the NASS budget.

“You will see what goes to the Senate, what goes to the House of Reps, you are going to see what goes to management, what goes to Legislative Institute, we are going to make all these open and clear. That is part of the openness we promised,” he said.

Then on February 2, 2016, Mr. Saraki again promised a detailed breakdown of the NASS budget while addressing journalists during the commissioning of the renovated press centre at the Senate.

“I can assure you that we are going to move away from the time of one item line National Assembly to National Assembly where there will be breakdowns according to the different sections,” he said.

On March 13, 2016, the promise was repeated. That day, Mr. Saraki in a statement promised the budget details would be released ‘next week’.

March 13, 2016 was a Sunday. Therefore, Mr. Saraki’s promise should have materialised between March 14 and 19, being the workdays within his ‘next week’. But again, he failed to keep the promise.

Towards the end of 2016, it was becoming clear Mr. Saraki was not sincere about his vaunted commitment to #OpenNass, thereby becoming a target of criticisms by Nigerians trying to hold him to account.

“We knew from our engagement with the leadership of the National Assembly that the budget doesn’t exist,” said Yemi Adamolekun of Enough is Enough, a civil society group.

But the National Assembly actually has a budget, though, it is so mysterious that many of the lawmakers do not know its details.

In March 2016, PREMIUM TIMES had a rare access to the general framework of the NASS budget and made it public.

Against the background of the renewed criticisms in December, Mr. Saraki, through his media aide, Bankole Omishore, promised the budget details would be released in a “few days’ time”.

The last promise was made on December 20; but 15 days later, the promise is yet to be redeemed.

The National Assembly may commence work on the 2017 budget proposal by Mr. Buhari when it resumes next week without fulfilling the pledge to disclose details of its 2016 budget.

After #OpenNass, Mr. Saraki is currently preoccupied by #madeinNigeria on Twitter, promoting goods made in the country.

The Senate President’s spokesperson, Yusuph Olaniyonu, Thursday morning justified his principal’s false statements.

“Are you people not tired of this thing,” said Mr. Olaniyonu when pressed for comment on his principal’s failure to make the NASS budget public.

“We are no longer in 2016; this is 2017.”

He said it was “not logical” to account for what was promised last year in the current year.

“It is like asking me to predict a match that had been played. Event has overtaken it.”

While Mr. Saraki continued to make unfulfilled promises to Nigerians, the Senate as a body does not appear to believe in the need to allow Nigerians see details of its finances.

When PREMIUM TIMES spoke with the spokesperson of the Senate, Aliyu Abdullahi, on Wednesday, he claimed that the Senate’s “budget has always been open as far as I am concerned”.

The repeated public demand for the budget is baseless, said Mr. Abdullahi, adding that, “the National Assembly does not have same budget structure with the Executive and it is not in the public interest to see everything in the budget (of the NASS).”

He was reminded that the budget of the NASS pre-2010, when Mr. Mark enthroned the culture of secrecy, had detailed breakdown like those of the ministries.

“I don’t know because I was not there,” he replied.

Fayose’s N93bn budget gets a free pass through the state’s assembly.

The Ekiti state house of assembly has passed the 2017 budget presented to it two weeks ago by Ayo Fayose, governor of the state, without any alteration or amendment.

The assembly passed the N93.4 billion budget via an appropriation bill tagged: ‘Budget of Consolidation for Higher Heights.’

The 2017 appropriation bill recurrent was N55.02bn, which is 59 per cent of the budget, while capital expenditure was N38.42 bn or 41 per cent of the estimates.

The budget is 33 per cent higher than the N70.5bn presented for 2016.

Fayose had explained that the increment was due to the economic recession and the high exchange rate of the naira to the US dollar.

The house passed the bill on Tuesday after considering the report of its finance and appropriation committee.

During its presentation, Fayose had said he was the one in charge at the assembly and that Kola Oluwawole, the speaker, was only holding brief for him.

“I’m the speaker, he (Oluwawole) is on that seat on my behalf. He is the acting speaker, therefore, he cannot be wrong,” he said.

“If he is wrong, we will take it to the Government House and resolve it. Therefore, I will pass the budget myself.”

When the budget passed second reading, members of the assembly spoke on the policy thrusts as highlighted in the details of its estimates.

It was committed into the committee of the whole house, scrutinised page-by-page by the members and later passed.

Oluwawole said the budget had taken care of all areas that the administration would look into in 2017.

“I want to commend the committee of finance and appropriation and other members for a job well done”, he said before adjourning sitting till February 20.

Minister To Give Budget Breakdown On Monday

The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, will on Monday give a breakdown of the highlights of the 2017 Budget estimates presented on Wednesday to the National Assembly by President Mohammadu Buhari.
Those expected at the briefing, which will be held at the Banquet Hall of the State House in Abuja, include media practitioners, heads of federal government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), representatives of states and local governments, private sector operators and associations, captains of industry and civil society organizations (CSOs).
Presenting the broad estimates to the National Assembly on Wednesday, President Buhari said the implementation of the 2017 Budget will be based on government’s economic recovery and growth strategy. The Plan, which builds on the Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP) for the 2016 Budget, provides a clear road map of policy actions and steps designed to bring the economy out of recession and to a path of steady growth and prosperity.

Read More:



JUST IN: Buhari keeps National Assembly waiting on budget presentation

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday failed to keep to the time he had scheduled for the presentation of the 2017 budget to the national assembly.

In a letter to the senate read by Bukola Saraki last Tuesday, the president said he would present the budget to a joint session of the national assembly at 10 am on Wednesday.

He also said he would use the occasion to speak on his plans to get the  economy out of recession.

But as of the time of filing this report, Buhari was not at the national assembly.

On Monday, he travelled to The Gambia to mediate in the political impasse in the country, and he was expected to return on Tuesday.

TheCable understands that some principal officers of the national assembly are already on the ground waiting for the president.

A senior national assembly official who spoke to TheCable said some principal officers were already at the national assembly as of 8am.

“Really, we wonder what the priority of the president is? This is like a disregard for the legislature,” he said.

A fortnight ago, the federal? executive council (FEC) approved the 2017 budget, which is estimated to be N7.02trn. The 2016 budget is N6.08trn.

Next year’s budget is predicated on an? oil benchmark of $42.5 per barrel.

How Nigeria’s N53 Trillion Budget Of 18 Years Failed- Report

The controversy over performance of the 2016 budget is just the latest in a series of government’s failed efforts at infrastructure building in the last 18 years despite ambitious budgets totaling N53 trillion within the period.

The nation’s yearly budget, which started from a modest expenditure plan of N948 billion ($3.2billion) — apart from supplementary requests — in 1999, consistently grew to N6.06 trillion ($19.9 billion) this year. The Federal Government plans to spend more than N7 trillion next year.

Experts have said that the combination of frivolous and fictitious heads and duplication of items in budgets have remained major challenges, leading to poor performance, the huge budget provisions notwithstanding.

Besides, high recurrent votes, which partly was paid out to “carefully crafted ghost worker scheme”, non-implementation of capital votes as planned and abandonment of projects after mobilization, helped to bring the country down.

Out of the N53 trillion, the country has budgeted N33.2 trillion in the last seven years, with recurrent expenditures averaging 72 per cent, leaving 28 per cent for capital votes.

But going by the projections of the stakeholders, an average of N900 billion yearly has been made in the last 17 years, while the recent fall into recession showed that it was not really invested.

An economist and fiscal governance campaigner, Dr. Uzochukwu Anakom, while speaking on the 2017-2019 Medium Term Expenditure Framework, noted that the shoddy work depicts how budgets over the years were used to under-develop the country.

“The macroeconomic targets and figures make no sense to an average Nigerian and can be subject to as many interpretations as there are Nigerians. It commits the government to nothing.

“It raises several questions- what is the inflation target in the next three fiscal years? Will interest be in the single or double digits for it to be consistent with economic growth that can move Nigeria out of recession? Essentially, there are no projections for interest rate and lending to the economy.’’

The immediate past Director-General of Bureau of Public Procurement, Emeka Eze, said that the number of government projects currently abandoned across the country stood at 19,000 as at May this year.

He said that besides duplication of office buildings, personnel and overhead cost, there was the tendency for each agency of government to assert its authority in procurement process.

The result, according to experts, has been poor execution or outright non-execution of projects after mobilisation, as well as over-pricing of projects, after delays in preparation and presentation, inconsistencies in timeframe and questionable figures.

Read More:


BREAKING: Buhari to ‘present N7.3 trillion budget for 2017’.

The federal government has proposed a budget of N7.28 trillion for the year 2017.

The proposed budget represents an increase of ?about 19.95 per cent over the 2016 Appropriation of N6.07 trillion.

President Muhammadu Buhari is to present the budget on December 14 to a joint session of the National Assembly.

PREMIUM TIMES sources in the Presidency said details of the proposed appropriation were based on crude oil benchmark price of $42.5 per barrel and a daily crude oil production estimates at about 2.2 million barrels per day.

Besides, the source said the government pegged the exchange rate at N305 to the dollar.

In the 2016 Budget, crude oil benchmark price was put at $38 per barrel, while production level was 2.2 million barrels per day.?

However, following renewed attacks on oil facilities in the Niger Delta region by militant groups led by the Niger Delta Avengers, the production estimates were altered, after the level dropped by a third of the capacity, before rising later to about 1.19 million barrels per day.

“The 2017 Budget is ready and has been considered by the Executive council of the Federation. A total spending of N7.28 trillion is being proposed for ?2017,” the official, who asked not to be named, because of the sensitive nature of the information said on Tuesday in Abuja.

“Next year’s budget was also predicated on an exchange rate of N305 to a dollar. The figure was the prevailing exchange rate as at the time the 2016-19 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) was prepared in August 2016,” the official said.

The president has a sent a letter informing the National Assembly of his readiness to present the budget.

“We are waiting for the leadership of the National Assembly to communicate back to the President by confirming the date for him to make his presentation to the two houses,” the official said.

A copy of the 2017 Budget? seen by PREMIUM TIMES revealed that government proposed N2.078 trillion as capital expenditure and N2.9 trillion as recurrent expenditure.

The 2017 capital and recurrent expenditures rose by 15.44 per cent ?and 9.43 per cent over the 2016 Appropriation figures of N1.8 trillion and N2.65 trillion respectively.

Further review of the detailed provisions showed was no allocation was made for new minimum wage or salary increment for government workers in the proposed budget for next year.

The government, however?, retained the social intervention programme of N500 billion in the 2017 Budget to cushion the negative impact of the current economic recession.

“I don’t think we should be talking about salary increment or new minimum wage. What will really assist Nigerians and the workers are thee social intervention programmes and investments in infrastructure government is current embarking upon.

“Most of the government policies are targeted at reducing unemployment and poverty, while creating wealth. These are areas of benefits for ?Nigerians and the workers, which are of concern to the government,” the official said.

He however declined requests for more details on government domestic and foreign borrowing plans ?in the 2017 Budget, saying the details would be provided by the President during the budget presentation.

?But, another top official of the Ministry of Budget and National Planning who also asked not to be named, as he was not authorised to speak on the issue, revealed the president would launch a new economic recovery and growth plan for the country before the end of December 2016.

The official said the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udoma, would brief the National Assembly on Tuesday on the new ?economic recovery and growth plan.

“This is a long term economic plan for the nation. It is a more comprehensive economic plan to marshal out roadmap to turn around the economy and reposition Nigeria on the path of sustainable growth and development. It is not just about growth, it encompasses development,” the official explained.

JUST IN: President Buhari picks date to address NASS on budget

President Muhammadu Buhari will address a joint session of the national assembly on the 2017 budget on December 14.


In a letter to the senate read by Bukola Saraki, the president said he would also speak on his plans to get the economy out of recession.


Last week, the federal? executive council (FEC) approved the 2017 budget, which is estimated to be N7.02trn. The 2016 budget is N6.08trn.


Next year’s budget is predicated on an? oil benchmark of $42.5 per barrel.


The senate has already considered the medium term expenditure framework, which is a precusor to the budget.

Ambode presents N812.99b Lagos 2017 budget

Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode on Tuesday presented the 2017 budget of N812.99 billion to the State House of Assembly for approval.

The budget, tagged: “Golden Jubilee Budget” is N150.4 billion higher than the 2016 budget which stood at N662.58 billion

The 2017 budget has a Capital Expenditure of N512.46 billion and a Recurrent Expenditure of N300 billion.

The Capital and recurrent ratio of the budget stood at 63:37.

The governor said a large chunk of the budget would be expended on road construction and rehabilitation, health, among others.

Ambode recalled that his administration budgeted N662.58 billion in 2016 and that the budget, as at October 2016 performed to about 77.5 percent, which is equivalent to N350 billion


Gurgur Japheth: Lessons From El-Rufai And Fitch Rating of Kaduna.

Fitch ratings is an international credit rating agency based out of New York City and London. The company’s ratings are used as a guide to investors as to which investments are most likely going to yield a return. It is based on factors such as how small an economic shift would be necessary to affect the standing of the bond, and how much, and what kind of debt is held by the company.

In a document released by the rating agency Link to Fitch Ratings’ Report: Kaduna State – Rating Action Report, November 25 (Fitch) Fitch Ratings has assigned Nigeria’s Kaduna State Long-Term Foreign and Local Currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) of ‘B’ and a National Long-Term Rating of ‘A+(nga) see: fitchratings.com

The Outlooks are Stable. The ‘B’ ratings reflect Kaduna’s dwindling revenue prospects in line with declining statutory allocations from the central government as a result of weak oil prices. Oil-related revenues account for 70% of Nigeria’s current external receipts and Kaduna’s current revenue. The ratings also reflect the region’s fast growing debt although servicing requirements will be moderated by government subsidies, concessionary terms and a long grace period.

They further take into account the state’s developing economy focused on agricultural activities and low per capita revenue by international standards. The ‘A+(nga)’ rating reflects Kaduna’s low risk relative to the country’s best risk given strong financial and revenue support from the central government. The Stable Outlooks factor in Fitch’s expectation that a flexible expenditure framework and a sustainable borrowing capacity will allow Kaduna to weather volatile statutory transfers in the medium term.

Along with Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s, Fitch is one of the top three credit rating agencies. Its rating system is very similar to S&P’s in that they both use a letter system.

Some examples of letter ratings include:
AAA – reliable and stable
AA – quality with a bit higher risk
A – economic situation could affect finance
BBB – middle class-an acceptable risk
BB – more prone to economic changes
CCC – vulnerable, dependent on current economic situation
D – has defaulted before, high risk to again

A bond rating is a grade given to bonds that indicates their credit quality. Private independent rating services such as Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s Investors Service and Fitch Ratings Inc. provide these evaluations of a bond issuer’s financial strength, or its the ability to pay a bond’s principal and interest in a timely fashion.

Credit quality is one of the principal criteria for judging the investment quality of a bond or bond mutual fund. As the term implies, credit quality informs investors of a bond or bond portfolio’s credit worthiness, or risk of default.

An individual bond or bond mutual fund’s credit quality is determined by private independent rating agencies such as Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s and Fitch. Their credit quality designations range from high (‘AAA’ to ‘AA’) to medium (‘A’ to ‘BBB’) to low (‘BB’, ‘B’, ‘CCC’, ‘CC’ to ‘C’) (Milan/London Report, 2016).

Investors interested in the safety of their bond investments should stick to investment grade bonds (‘AAA’, ‘AA’, ‘A’, and ‘BBB’), while other investors willing and able to accept a higher level of risk could consider lower credit-quality bonds.

In 2015, N166billion was approved as Kaduna State 2016 Budget for the year under review. The budget was quantitatively primed on the ratio of 60:40 in favor of Capital Expenditure.

The yearly fiscal projections are a microcosm of a medium term crowd-sourced Five-Year Development Plan for social and economic advancement of the State, tagged “Restoration Development Strategy”.

The 2017 Estimates, also on same Budget-flow Quadrant of 60:40 is already in the House of Assembly for legislative imprimatur.

How far has the 2016 budget been deployed toward Capital is subject to national enquiry as it appears Mallam El-Rufai is a prototype model for the 2 tier of the Nigeria federacy.

The estimate for the 2017 fiscal year included N85.5bn for recurrent expenditure and N130.3bn for capital projects.

The first phase of the intra-city Kaduna light rail project will link Rigachikun with the refinery.

The government indicated that funds for the rail project would be sourced through a loan from the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The state government has also voted N2, 445,160,730.00 for the ongoing state trunk road project, while township road projects will gulp N7,705,788,694.58 in the fiscal year.

It is therefore instructive to note that with the rating so far, investors and creditors like the CBN etc will not have doubts whatsoever for the Value for the Money (VfM).

Kaduna is a microcosm of the needed Government by Objectives across Nigeria, it is therefore hoped that other states would follow this simplification of governance out from the realms of Rocket Science.

Gurgur Japheth MP is a Public Policy Analyst, writes from Gboko, Benue – Nigeria

Open Government: How This Nigerian State is Blazing the Trail in Budget Transparency

The importance of open governance in a political environment where corruption is endemic like Nigeria cannot be overstated. For decades successive administrations at federal, state and local government levels have capitalised on the opactiy of public finance to perpetuate massive corruption and mismanagement of public funds.


The process of budgeting and its implementation in Nigeria is one that is fraught with corruption. This is not unconnected to the fact that budget documents are rarely made available to the public for scrutiny. In light of this, the decision by the Kaduna State government under the leadership of Mallam Nasir El-Rufai to make the state 2017 budget available to all and sundry is commendable.


The Kaduna State 2017 – 2019 budget made available on the website of Kaduna Ministry of Budget and Planning contains full details of revenue and expenditure projections in an open and transparent manner. This is the first time any government in Nigeria is making such detailed budget information available to the public.


According to the information on the website, the key targets of the Kaduna State 2017-2019 Budget are:


  • Ensuring adequate provision for the completion in 2017 of projects and procurements initiated in 2016;
  • Ensuring the actualization of the development priorities of the government as articulated in the State Development Plan (SDP) and respective Sector Implementation Plans (SIPs);
  • Maintaining a favourable proportion of Capital to Recurrent expenditure (a target of 60%:40%);
  • Leverage N800 billion in PPP funding between 2016 and 2020;
  • Maintain a sustainable debt position in line with Federal Debt Management office(FDMO) criteria
  • Expand the revenue base of the state by exploring untapped sources
  • Improve economic growth through investment in physical infrastructure
  • Eliminating wastage and other unjustifiable expenditure that are not clearly linked to policy objectives; and
  • Continue interventions in the social sector that will enable the less privileged have opportunities to grow through targeted investments in education and healthcare.


Download the Kaduna 2017 – 2016 Budget here: DOWNLOAD

House probes Budget Office for alleged breach of appropriation law.

The House of Representatives on Wednesday commenced investigation into an alleged breach of appropriation laws by the Director-General of the Budget Office, Ben Akabueze.


The lawmakers accused Mr. Akabueze of issuing a directive to the Federal Road Maintenance Agency, FERMA, to return N8 billion to the federal treasury.


The allegation was brought to the attention of the House by Agbedi Frederick, a PDP member from Bayelsa State, under matters of urgent national concern.


Mr. Frederick said he observed that Mr. Akabueze, in blatant violation of budget provisions, had ordered FERMA to return N8 billion out of the N10 billion so far released to the agency for road maintenance this year.


The lawmaker said the parliament approved N21.8 billion for FERMA to carry out maintenance of dilapidated roads across the country as a matter of urgency.


But through the directive, Mr. Akabueze had effectively hindered the agency from carrying out its duties as required across the country, the lawmaker said


“The directive from the Director-General cannot be said to be virement as virement can only be appropriately approved by the National Assembly, which has not done so in this case,” Mr. Frederick said.


Consequently, the House raised an ad-hoc committee to investigate the matter and revert within a week.

Budget: Economic recovery plan ready by December – FG

The Federal Government has again reiterated its commitment to reflating the depressed nation’s economy, even as it hinted that the national economic recovery plan for the next three years would be ready by December.

The Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, who stated this at an economics communications workshop in Abuja, weekend, explained that the plan would serve as a guide for the preparation of annual budgets.

She added that it would be a continuation of the initiatives contained in the Strategic Implementation Plan for the 2016 budget.

Ahmed said: “The plan is expected to build on the policies, initiatives, programmes and projects contained in the Strategic Implementation Plan for the 2016 budget. The economic recovery plan is expected to guide the economic management and budgeting process over the short to medium-term.

Government will continue to put in place policies to expand the revenue base, plug leakages in the system, ensure greater transparency and accountability in the use of public funds, and pursue job creation and support businesses and investments, especially local investments to grow,” she said.

Buhari Is Doing The Right Thing By Borrowing – DMO

The $29.9 billion loan request by the Federal Government is not a trap, Debt Management Office (DMO) Director-General Dr Abraham Nwankwo has said.

“The first thing to note is that this borrowing is normal. Normal in the sense that over the past 20 years, there is no year we have not borrowed; so, interpreting the proposal submitted to the National Assembly by Mr President for a three-year borrowing programme to be an indirect way of trapping the country does not seem to be logical because Nigeria has always borrowed every year.”

He stated: “Every year there is a budget and if you check the budgets many years back you will see that we have been borrowing both external and domestic; so there is nothing new about this. Let me also emphasize that since we exited from the Paris and London club debt in 2005-2006 we have always borrowed almost from all these sources we want to borrow from now.”

“If the $29.9 billion external loan is secured, if we build infrastructure in the next five to seven  years before those loans mature in 15 to 30 years, Nigeria would be in a position to service her debt and turn around the economy.”


Source:the nation

The Nigerian Senate rejects Buhari’s fiscal proposals.

The Senate on Thursday dismissed the 2017-2019 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Sustainability Paper sent to it by President Muhammadu Buhari, describing the documents as “empty” and not worth considering.

Senate’s action is coming two days after it rejected the president’s plan to borrow $29.690 billion to execute key infrastructural projects across the country between 2016 and 2018. It said the plan lacked detailed information.

It also came on the same day the Senate denounced presidential aides as being “incompetent”, saying they failed to present a comprehensive proposal on Mr. Buhari’s bid to borrow $30 billion.

Mr. Buhari had on October 4 sent the MTEF and FSP, ahead of the 2017 budget, to the Senate and the House of Representatives for consideration.

The Senate complained that the details of the fiscal proposals, which in Nigeria’s public finance architecture are the precursors to the annual budget, were not attached to the president’s letter requesting the consideration.

At plenary on Thursday, the Senate Leader, Ali Ndume, raised a point of order drawing the attention of his colleagues to a newspaper report with a headline, which suggested that the National Assembly was to blame for failure to meet the October target for the submission of the 2017 budget proposal.

He said the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udoma, was quoted as saying in the publication that the suspension of debate of the MTEF/FSP had stalled the ministry’s plan to transmit the 2017 budget to the legislature.

Mr. Ndume expressed displeasure that the executive arm had resorted to blaming the legislature over the avoidable delay.

He said, “As the Leader of this Senate and I am responsible for presenting communications, bills from the Executive. You will recall that we received the MTEF on 30th September. Instead of submitting it according to law not later than 1st of September, that is not even the problem.

“I went through and the copies have been circulated. I talked to some experts. Even in this chamber, we have people that you can call experts. If you look at this document that they call MTEF, it is empty. And it doesn’t contain anything. If you have nothing how do you consider nothing?”

Mr. Ndume said on October 19 he wrote Mr. Udoma and his Finance counterpart, Kemi Adeosun, seeking the details of the MTEF/FSP but that he was yet to get any response from the duo.

He said he invited both ministers to meet with the Senate on November 1 to review the MTEF from holistic perspective but that they failed to turn up.

He further explained that in the letter he requested that a comprehensive report on the implementation of the 2016 budget as of third quarter as well as the fiscal rates taxes and charges used to derive the projected revenue.

“Up till now, there is no communication to that,” the senate leader lamented.

Mr. Ndume warned that the legislature could not afford to begin the 2017 budget process with blame game.

He said, “We cannot afford to start the 2017 budget process with this blame game. This Senate is Nigerian Senate. We have the opposition that is co-operating with us and we have the majority in this Senate.

“So, it is not like we are working against the government but we know what we are doing. And we should do it right.

“When they bring nothing and we ask for something so that we will do it properly, they run to the newspaper to start blaming the National Assembly.”

The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, said he called Mr. Udoma on phone to discuss the matter and that the minister was ready to retract what he reportedly said about the MTEF and the blame on the legislature.

The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Gas, Albert Bassey, also said, “I called the Minister of Budget and he confirmed that he was quoted out of context that he will address this.”

On his part, the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, gave assurance that the Senate was ready to consider the 2017 budget provided things were done right.

“We are ready to take the budget presentation anytime … in doing so, the executive must be reminded that everything must be done right. All arms of government must live to its responsibility. The issue of blame game should be put behind us,” he said.

The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Mr. Udoma, denied snubbing the Senate.

In a statement by his media aide, Akpandem James, Mr. Udoma expressed surprise at the accusation by Mr. Ndume.

He said the proposed meeting with the Senate was eventually moved by agreement; and wondered why Mr. Ndume would go on the floor of the upper legislative chamber to say he failed to turn up, when he was aware that the meeting was rescheduled.

“Senator Udoma was equally surprised that even after the newspaper that published the story, which quoted him as blaming the National Assembly for the delay in the presentation of the 2017 budget, has published that the reporter never spoke with the Minister, Senator Ndume still went ahead to make an issue out of the matter on the floor of the Senate,” his aide said.

Budget: How We Shared N753.663bn To Ministries- Adeosun

Finance Minister, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, yesterday gave details on how the 2016 budget was being implemented, revealing that N753,663,667,464 has so far been shared to various ministries being capital allocation as at October 31.
A tabulated presentation to journalists showed that the Power Ministry got the lion’s share of the allocation with N209,246,760,165, while the Petroleum Ministry received the least allocation of N2,413,847,044, even as Nigerians continue to lament the poor power supply over the last 15 months.
This was as the Defence Ministry was allocated N69,512,363,730 while Transport Ministry has so far received N30,540,042,428. According to the breakdown of expenditures, Agriculture got N29,578,929,050, Water Resources Ministry got N25,201,857,951 and the Interior Ministry has so far received N21,210,059,596. Health Ministry got N18,472,539,524 and N16,743,672,981 went to the Education Ministry while Niger Delta Ministry got a slice of N8,161,196,486.
Science and Technology Ministry has so far received N6,681,349,721 and Mines and Steel got N3,360,000,000. Petroleum Ministry got N2,413,847,044, while others cumulatively received N312,511,048,789.
Recall that the Appropriation Bill 2016 seeks to authorise the issue from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation the total sum of N6,077,680,000,000.
Of the figure, N351,370,000,000 is for Statutory Transfers, N1,475,320,000,000 is for Debt Service while N2,648,600,000,000 is for Recurrent (Non-Debt) Expenditure.
The sum of N1,845,540,000,000 inclusive of N157,150,000,000 Capital Expenditure in Statutory Transfers and N86,000,000,000 as Interest on Capitalised Loans, is for contribution to the Development Fund for Capital Expenditure for the year ending on December 31, 2016.



FG to send 2017 budget to NASS next month.

Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, on Wednesday hinted that barring any interference, the 2017 budget will be sent to the National Assembly for deliberation next month.

Ahmed made the disclosure while addressing State House Correspondents after the Federal Executive Council, FEC, meeting which was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa.

Speaking on the performance of the 2016 budget, the junior Minister noted that the budget had recorded 50 per cent implementation, especially in the capital expenditure.

According to the Minister, “The 2017 budget preparation is at an advanced stage. The Economic Management Team has reviewed it extensively. The next step is that it is going to be brought into the Federal Executive Council for approval, thereafter, it will be sent to the National Assembly.

“Concerning the borrowing plan that Mr. President has sent to the National Assembly for 2016, indeed included in the borrowing plan is the amount that is required for both local and foreign borrowing to fund the 2016 budget deficit.

“The budget implementation itself is on course; the 2016 budget is fully performing to date in terms of personnel, that is to say we are not owing any salaries at the federal level. Operational expenditure has been disbursed for eight months and the ninth month is just being processed.

“Capital expenditure has been disbursed to the tune of nearly 50 per cent. About N720 billion has been released for the MDAs as at the end of September.”

Meanwhile, the presidency had last week Friday disclosed that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari will start the implementation of the 2017 budget on January 1.

JUST IN: President Buhari sends 2017 Budget Draft to Senate

President Muhammadu Buhari today, Tuesday, October 4 has sent a draft of the 2017 budget to the Nigerian Senate for approval. Part of the details of the budget reveals that the plan assumes an oil price of $42.5 per barrel and production of 2.2 million barrels a day, as well as an exchange rate of 290 Naira to the U.S. dollar. Earlier today, Tuesday, October 4, President Buhari submitted the 2017-2019 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and the Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) to the Senate for consideration and approval.
This was disclosed after Senate president Bukola Saraki read out the letter on the floor of the Senate. President Buhari in the letter to the Senate noted that the submission of the MTEF and FSP was in line with the provisions of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007.
Buhari in his letter to the senate said in part: “I am pleased to submit the 2017-2019 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) to the National Assembly. Let me use this medium to express my gratitude for the enduring partnership between the legislative and the executive arms of government. “In particular, I note with appreciation the committment and support that distinguished senators have continued to demonstrate with respect to the preparation passage and implementation of the federal budget.”
It is important to note that the 2016 national budget was presented before a joint session of the National Assembly, comprising the Senate and the House of Representatives today on December 22, 2016. The National Assembly complex was locked down by presidential guards ahead of the presentation. Later, thesenator representing Osun central senatorial distict, Olusola Adeyeye on Thursday, January 21, 2016 faulted the late submission of 2016 budget stating that it gives shorter period of time for consideration.
President Buhari seems to have learned from that as this 2017 budget submission has come far earlier than that of 2016. Meanwhile, drama relating to the 2016 budget padding scandal continues to linger.
Suspended House of Representatives member, Honorable Abdulmumin Jibrin who accused the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dogara, and some other principal officers of the House of padding the 2016 budget to the tune of over N40bn has received encouragement from the Socio-Economic Rights And Accountability Project (SERAP).
The suspended lawmaker yesterday, October 3, had threatened to reveal more alleged “systemic corruption among the leadership of the House of Representatives including in the House’s investigative hearings and oversight functions; as well as to disclose the internal budget of the House.”
Adetokunbo Mumuni who is the executive director of SERAP described Jibrin as a “whistleblower because of his public interest disclosures on alleged budget padding and fraud in the House of Representatives in the context of his work in the House as a member.”
SERAP encouraged Jibrin saying: “We encourage Mr Jibrin to tell Nigerians more about his allegations of systemic corruption in the House of Representatives. “Mr Jibrin will be doing a positive act of ‘good citizenship’ by revealing how exactly is the House profiting from its investigative hearings and oversight functions; and disclosing the House’s internal budget.”

Buhari Signs N241.5b FCT Budget

President Muhammadu Buhari has signed the 2016 Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja Appropriation Act, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters, Senator Ita Enang, has said.

Enang said President Buhari assented to N241.5 billion 2016 FCT budget as passed by the National Assembly.

A statement issued by the presidential aide did not however say when the fiscal document was signed.

Enang said “The legal implantation of the budget, therefore comes into effect, which will result in employment in the formal sectors and informal sectors through projects implementation and employment there from arising.”

On budget of statutory corporations and agencies, Enang said some Nigerians have asked questions on the legal and legislative grounds for laying of the budget of statutory corporations before the National Assembly for consideration and passage.


Buhari signs N241.5b FCT budget

Probe Begins As Police Get Three Versions Of Budget

The police yesterday retrieved three versions of the budget from ousted House of Representatives Appropriations Committee chairman Abdulmumin Jibrin as probe of his allegation of padding began.

The Special Investigation Panel (SIP) has started sieving the documents to isolate the padded areas, it was learnt.

Jibrin petitioned the police, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and other anti-graft agencies, alleging the padding of Budget 2016 by Speaker Yakubu Dogara, Deputy Speaker Yusuff Lasun, Chief Whip Alhassan Ado Doguwa, Minority Leader Leo Ogor and nine others.

 He claimed that they inserted about 2000 projects worth N284 billion into the budget.

Jibrin had a two-hour session with the Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG) Amodu Ali-led SIP.

Jibrin, who submitted more documents on the matter to the investigators, may appear before the panel again either today or tomorrow.

Based on documents at its disposal, the panel may interact with other members of the appropriations committee, sources said.

A source said: “The search for padded areas by the panel has started. As at Monday (yesterday), the panel was in receipt of three versions of the 2016 Budget.

“These versions are the original copy laid before the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari, the version  passed by the National Assembly but rejected by the President due to omission of some key projects, such as the N60billion Calabar-Lagos rail project; and the harmonised copy.

“With the retrieval of these budget versions, detectives have started identifying padded areas by the House members.

“After locating these padded areas, the SIP will be able to determine the focus of interrogation and the list of those to be questioned alongside the 13 already implicated by Jibrin.”

Responding to a question, the source added: “The SIP may interact with all members of the House Committee on Appropriations and some chairmen of committees.

“We are also monitoring every claim by members in the media to guide our investigation.”

For the session with the SIP yesterday, Jibrin arrived at about noon and left around 2pm.

“Jibrin brought additional documents to support his allegations. What he did was to support every allegation with proof and the sources where he got all the documents. He is trying to prove his case that the padding was criminal.

“We have requested him for additional facts. So, Jibrin could be with us tomorrow (today) or Wednesday. We have told him additional things to bring as part of our preliminary investigation.

“We will invite Dogara and the others after we are done with Jibrin, a source said

he added: “As the investigation progresses, we will inform the public. This is an investigation that will stand the test of time.

“ The nation should at the end of the day put an end to the culture of padding.  We will be fair to all who will appear before the SIP.”

Read More:

Probe begins as police get three versions of budget

NASS Should Expect 2017 Budget By October, Says Udo-Udoma

The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Mr Udoma Udo-Udoma said the 2017-2019 Medium Term Expenditure Framework would be ready and submitted to the National Assembly for consideration by October

Udo-Udoma said this in Abuja on Monday at a Stakeholders Consultative Forum with Civil Society Groups and organised private sector on the 2017-2019 Medium Term Expenditure Framework.

He also said the Federal Government had expended N2.1 trillion out of the N6.06 trillion approved budget for 2016 while only N253 billion of the N1.8 trillion earmarked capital projects had been spent so far.

“Demand and supply factors are expected to keep crude oil prices low in the medium term compared to the period prior to mid 2014.

“We are considering a conservative oil price benchmark of 42.5 dollar per barrel for 2017, 45 dollar per barrel in 2018 and 50 dollar per barrel in 2019.

“We estimate oil production to be 2.2 million barrel per day for 2017; 2.3 million barrel per day in 2018 and 2.4 million barrel per day for 2019.

“We have pegged exchange rate for 2017, 2018 and 2019 at N290 to a dollar,” he said.


Even though he did not give the projected total expenditure for the government, he talked about the revenue projection for the 2017-2019 MTEF.

“A significant increase in non-oil revenue receipts is projected due to a gradually recovering domestic economy and government’s expected improvement in FIRS tax collection efforts.

“Company Income Tax is projected to increase from N1.79 trillion in 2016 to over N1.86 trillion in 2017 and beyond.

“VAT collections to increase by about 42.4 per cent 2017. Operating surpluses projection have been moderated downwards for 2017 and thereafter a modest growth.

“Customs collections are projected to moderated downwards for 2017 and thereafter a modest growth,” he said.

Udo-Udoma said that recoveries of misappropriated and looted funds would also form part of their anticipated revenue for the years to come.


Meanwhile, The Lead Director, Centre for Social Justice, Mr Eze Onyepere, said government should learn and build on the mistakes of the 2016 budget.

“We should draw lessons from the mistakes of the last budget. We have all seen that the revenue projections for 2016 were over optimistic.

“This is why we are finding it difficult to get money to fund the budget especially the capital expenditure.

“In 2017 onwards, we should be more empirical in our revenue forecast. Let it be more realistic so that there won’t be a deviation of more than minus or plus five percent.

“This is because if we have more money, we can do supplementary budgets rather than have an overly optimistic revenue projections and at the end of the day we are not able to fund our budget,” he said.


Also, the Governance Programme Manager, Actionaid Nigeria, Mr Obo Effanga, reminded the government of the limited time it had to fulfill its promises.

“This administration is a four-year period and one year has gone already and even the government had admitted that the last year will be given to politics, so effectively they have just two years left.

“And we are preparing the budget for one of the two years remaining so if we don’t make sure that this works very well, it means that we can only look up to 2018,” he said.


Effang commended the Federal Government for its decision to actively involve the civil society in the process leading to the preparation of the budget.

He said it was the first time in many years.

My Absence During Budget Presentation Cost Abia-North Key Projects – Ohuabunwa

Sen. Mao Ohuabunwa (PDP Abia-North) said his absence during the presentation of the 2016 Budget was responsible for his senatorial district’s inability to attract key projects from the budget.


Ohuabunwa, who made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja, said his absence was informed by the nullification of his election into the 8th Senate by an Court of Appeal sitting in Owerri, on Dec. 10, 2015.


The appellate court, however, ordered for a fresh election in the senatorial district, which Ohuabunwa won.

He said that his absence at the time, meant that Abia North was not going to be represented during the deliberations on the budget.


“It affected us because we have 109 senatorial constituencies and every constituency is scrambling, fighting, struggling to get a bite out of the national cake, which is the budget.

“First and foremost, the budget is not enough to go round; so, if you are not there, others will be happy, because you will be counted out and that was exactly what happened in 2016.

“Because of the nullification of the election, I was not there at the presentation neither was I there at the consideration of the 2016 budget.

“So what it means is that it was not about Mao Ohuabunwa, but Abia North was not represented.’’


He said that the little Abia-North attracted was worked out because of the good rapport he had with his colleagues.

Ohuabunwa said that he only returned to the Senate in the last week of the budget consideration.

According to him, while he is being distracted by litigations, Abia North is also being distracted and shortchanged.

He urged all those that contested against him to join hands with him in developing Abia-North, adding that there should be a limit to litigations.

The senator said that if the distraction continued, he would not be able to deliver on the promises he made to the people of Abia North.

He listed some of the projects that his constituency lost due to the election nullification as the Aro-Chukwu Ohafia road projects; work on the erosion sites at Elu-Ohafia, Ebem, Isuikwuato and Bende.

“I took the Senate ad hoc committee there; they went round to see those areas.

“The idea was in preparation for the 2016 budget; now you might be surprised that those sites would not be attended to.

“On power, the whole Abia-North has been surveyed; the few areas I was able to achieve were through opportunities.

“The Senate had approved the report of that ad hoc committee; so, if I had been around during the budget presentation, I would have pushed for it to be adopted as Senate project.’’



Buhari Meets Ministers Over Budget

President Muhammadu Buhari presided over a meeting of the Federal Executive Council where a major decision on the 2016 budget may be taken.

The meeting started at exactly 11am inside the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo; Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal; and most ministers are in attendance.
Credit: Punch

Saraki, Dogara, Others Meet To Decide On Budget

The leadership of the National Assembly held a crucial meeting on Monday night to take a final stance on the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari to withhold his assent to the controversial 2016 budget.

Investigation showed that the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, would chair the meeting to be held at his Abuja residence.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara; the Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu; the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Yussuff Lasun, and other principal officers of the Senate and the House would attend the meeting.

The budget of N6.06tn had been passed by the National Assembly on March 23.

With just days to April 23, a date the budget would have been with Buhari for 30 days, it was still unclear last night if the President had returned it to the legislature stating reasons why he would not sign it as provided under Section 59 of the 1999 Constitution.

But some legislative officials said that the aim of the meeting was for the leadership of both chambers to take a position in anticipation that Buhari would return the document with explanatory notes on the “grey areas.”

“The meeting may not necessarily be about overriding the President’s veto. There isn’t a veto per se because Buhari has not said so officially.

“It is to look at the areas where the executive has already complained of distortions in the budget so that both houses will agree on what to do when a formal letter comes from the Presidency,” one of the officials said at 7.55pm.

Findings indicated that the meeting was billed to start around 9pm.

Credit: Punch

Budget: Buhari Absent At FEC Emergency Meeting

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) emergency meeting reviewing the details of the 2016 has been adjourned.

The session, which started at 11.00am, reconvened after jumaat prayer.

Information Minister Lai Mohammed told State House journalists that the budget review exercise was a work in progress.

“We received the details of the budget yesterday. And an extra ordinary FEC meeting was called to avail ministers to look at the details and see how it affects their ministries. 

“It is still work in progress. We are studying it and we will later make our statements available”, the minister said.

It was reported that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is currently presiding over an emergency session of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) over the 2016 budget details.

The meeting started at exactly 11.10am when Osinbajo arrived the Council Chambers of the Aso Rock Presidential Villa.

President Muhammadu Buhari is believed to be in the country, but it is not yet clear why the meeting is being chaired by his deputy.

Apart from cabinet members, some heads of agencies and parastatals as well as several presidential aides are also attending the meeting.

State House correspondents were asked  to vacate the Council Chambers for the “crucial budget session” summoned to review the details of the 2016 Appropriation Bill which was transmitted to the president yesterday.

Credit: dailytrust

Why I Won’t Sign 2016 Budget In A Hurry- Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday explained why he would not hurriedly assent to the 2016 passed by the National Assembly.

He said he would critically review the document before assenting to it, according to a statement by Femi Adesina the special adviser to the President on media and publicity.

Speaking at a meeting with the United States Secretary of State, John Kerry, in Washington DC, President Buhari said in view of the controversial alteration and padding of the budget proposals, he needed to review the appropriation bill to be certain that its contents tallied with the authentic budget proposal presented to the National Assembly.

“Some bureaucrats removed what we put in the proposal and replaced it with what they wanted,” Mr. Buhari said. “I have to look at the bill that has been passed by the National Assembly, ministry by ministry, to be sure that what has been brought back for me to sign is in line with our original submission.”

Declaring that his administration will continue to vigorously prosecute its war against corruption, President Buhari sought and received an assurance from Mr. Kerry that the United States Government will facilitate the repatriation of all stolen Nigerian funds found within the American banking system.

“It will greatly help our country if you assist us to recover all our stolen funds which we can establish to be within your financial system,” the President told Mr. Kerry.

Responding, the Secretary of State said that he has been told that the stolen Nigerian funds were in “billions of dollars”.

Credit: PremiumTimes

Budget Tinkering: Buhari Reportedly Orders Redeployment Of 184 Top Officials From Budget Office

President Buhari has reportedly ordered the redeployment of 184 top budget officials to other parastatals that have little or nothing to do with budget, as a punishment for their roles in padding the 2016 budget sent to the National Assembly.

According to a report by Vanguard, a top official in the Budget office confirmed that 22 top officers from the Budget Office of the Federation were affected in the mass deployment.

The rest were moved away from budget-related duties in other Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs. Out of the 22 top officials deployed in the budget office, four were directors on Level 17, six
were deputy directors while 12 were Assistant directors.

The ordered for their redeployment was reportedly conveyed in a statement by the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation. Media Adviser to the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Akpadem James, confirmed the development but declined to give further details.



Source – Kevdjakporblog.com

Budget: FG Redeploys 4 Directors, 6 Deputies, 174 Others

No fewer than 184 top government officials from various ministries, departments and agencies (MDA) of the federal government have been redeployed in a major shake up triggered by the controversy over the 2016 budget.

Although the MDAs involved could not be confirmed at press time, it was learnt that 22 of the redeployed officials are from the Ministry of Budget and National Planning.

Of the 22, four directors, six deputy directors, and 12 assistant directors of the budget ministry are to be redeployed.

It was gathered last night that 14 top new personnel are to move to the Budget and National Planning Ministry as replacements for those moving out of the ministry.
The Head of Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Ekanem Oyo-Ita, it was learnt, has already communicated to all the affected personnel and the redeployment will take effect from 11am today.

Serious controversy has dogged the 2016 budget, characterised by its disappearance, embarrassing errors and reported cases of padding.

The development has not only caused some delays in the passage of the Appropriation Bill by the National assembly, but already claimed its first casualty with the sack of the former Director General of the Budget Office of the Federation, Mr. Yahaya Gusau and the appointment of Mr. Mr. Tijjani Abdullahi as his replacement.

 Credit: Thisday

Those Who Distorted The 2016 Budget Will Be Severely Punished – Buhari

President Buhari has vowed to severely punish all those involved in the ‘padding’ of the 2016 National Budget. According to a statement by presidential media aide, Femi Adesina, Buhari said this while addressing the Nigerian Community in Saudi Arabia yesterday February 23rd.

“The culprits will not go unpunished. I have been a military governor, petroleum minister, military Head of State and headed the Petroleum Trust Fund.
Never had I heard the words “budget padding”. Our Minister of Budget and National Planning did a great job with his team. The Minister became almost half his size during the time, working night and day to get the budget ready, only for some people to pad it. What he gave us was not what was finally being debated. It is very embarrassing and disappointing. We will not allow those who did it to go unpunished,” he vowed.

He reaffirmed his administrations zero tolerance for corruption

“We have zero tolerance for corruption and other unethical practices. We will deal decisively with anybody found wanting,” he promised members of the Nigerian community. He restated his administrations commitment to end Boko Haram “Our armed forces have done a great job of dealing decisively with Boko Haram. We are collaborating with our neighbors in the operations of the Multinational Joint Task Force to handle security threats in the sub-region and we have significantly destroyed the capacity of the insurgents,”.

President Buhari Appoints New DG (Budget), Special Adviser (Planning)

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of Tijjani Mohammed Abdullahi as the Director-General (Budget).


Notice of the appointment is contained in a statement issued in Abuja on Monday by Mr Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the president.


It stated that Abdullahi, a fellow of the Certified National Accountants of Nigeria and a banker with experience in managing public finance, would replace the current Director-General (Budget), Yahaya Gusau.


According to the statement, the new Director-General (Budget) is expected to work with the Minister of Budget and National Planning to efficiently deliver on the mandates of the Budget Office of the Federation.


The President had also approved the appointment of Mr Ben Ifeanyi Akabueze as Special Adviser on Planning to the Minister of Budget and National Planning.


Akabueze, the immediate past Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget in Lagos State, had worked in senior management positions in Citi Bank, Fidelity Bank, United Bank for Africa, NAL Merchant Bank, Sterling Bank and BIA Consulting Limited, among others.


He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers; Fellow, Institute of Credit Administrators and Honorary Fellow, Chartered Institute of Bankers.




President Buhari Orders Probe Into 2016 Budget Fraud, Wants Questionable Allocations Scrapped

President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered an immediate investigation into allegations of fraudulent padding of allocations in the 2016 budget, with strict orders that all cases of discrepancies, errors and ambiguities be resolved promptly, a senior government official told PREMIUM TIMES Thursday.

An extensive analysis of the budget by PREMIUM TIMES exposed questionable details, with the National Assembly on Tuesday suspending deliberations on the document indefinitely.

The chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriation, Danjuma Goje, (APC-Gombe State), and his House of Representatives counterpart, Abdulmumin Jibrin (APC-Kano), said the suspension was necessary to enable the National Assembly carry out “proper clean-up” of the budget.

Earlier, a senior presidency official blamed “budget mafia” for the controversial contents, in reference to civil servants responsible for preparing the budget.

Another top administration official on Thursday gave PREMIUM TIMES further details on how the government was responding to the embarrassing budget allocations.

He pleaded anonymity, and said the government was avoiding publicly stating its position on the matter for now to avoid playing into the hands of its critics.

The official said both the Finance and Budget & National Planning ministries were determined to effect the necessary corrections and turn in a clean copy of the document for approval.

He blamed most of the errors in the budget on “over-ambitious civil servants” in the budget office who handled the preparation of the document prior to the appointment of ministers by Mr. Buhari.

He said by the time the ministers were eventually appointed, they had no sufficient time to properly scrutinize the budget for errors, in view of the tight deadline each of the ministries got before the final presentation to the joint session of the National Assembly on December 22, 2015.

To enable the budget to be cleaned up of all the controversial allocations, the official said a high-powered panel had been constituted with a mandate to investigate all observations and concerns by individuals, media and agencies, particularly the National Assembly.

“The presidency has ordered the immediate investigation of all the allegations and issues, particularly on padding, raised by the National Assembly on various ministries, departments and agencies of government,” he said.

“The investigative panel is expected to critically look into the budget item-by-item, incident-by-incident, with particular attention to the reactions from the National Assembly, ministries, media, civil society groups or indeed anybody that raised concerns regarding the padding of the budget.

“All corrections would be made to ensure that the budget was passed as soon as possible. I assure you government is working cautiously on the corrections with the intention of correcting any error or malfeasance spotted in the 2016 Appropriation Bill. If there is any error whatsoever, it is being sorted out straight away,” the official added.

It remained unclear what sanctions the government was considering for officials that might be found to be involved in padding the budget. Our first source had said those involved might be fired.

The House of Representatives had asked government to order the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, to arrest and prosecute top civil servants behind the budget padding scandal.

On its part, the Senate said, apart from the prosecution of the civil servants, the Minister of National Planning and Budget, Udo Udoma, and other top officials of the ministry should also be sanctioned.

However, the official exonerated the minister, saying “That the budget could be presented the day it was presented and in the manner it was done was due to the extra effort and hard work by the ministers who inherited what the civil servants had already prepared.

”By the time they took over, most of the ministers did not have a good grasp of the details of the budget of their ministries”.

Source – Premium Times

Lai Mohammed Disowns Ministry’s N398m Votes For Computers In Controversial 2016 Budget

Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed yesterday disowned the N398 million his ministry voted for the purchase of computers in their 2016 budget. During the defence of the ministry’s 2016 budget before the Senate Committee on Information, Lai Mohammed said the N230 million and N168 million voted for the purchase of computers for the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) and the National Film and Video Censors Board was strange to him.

“No, that is not possible. That was definitely not what was proposed, this cannot be,”he told the Senate Committee members.

An official of the ministry who spoke said only N5 million was proposed for the item in the original budget of the NFVCB. A member of the committee, Senator Ben Murray Bruce, expressed his displeasure at the development surrounding the ministry’s budget and also queried the fact that the needs of those in the North East were not considered in the budget.

According to Murray-Bruce, effective communication of events in the North East to residents in that region is very important. He said Radio networks and Television stations can be effectively used to manage the crisis in the North.

“It would have made more sense for the information budget of the Army to be given to the Ministry of Information to equip these stations manned by NTA and FRCN used by the military as a source of communication. For instance, if there is going to be an air raid in a particular area, we can warn the citizens to stay off that particular area. The media can be used like when Buhari did in 1983 for War against Indiscipline, War Against Corruption, so National Orientation should use the medium that we have. NTA is a phenomenal network, it has more assets than any station in the whole of Africa today, NTA must be worth 400 million dollars in the open market today.”he said

Source- Kevdjakporblog.com

Police Intervention Fund : Reps Query Inclusion In Interior Ministry’s Budget

Members of the House of Representatives Committee on Police Affairs, on Wednesday queried the inclusion of the Police Intervention Fund in Ministry of Interior’s budget.

Chairman of the committee, Rep. Haliru Jika (Bauchi-APC) raised the query during the defence of the 2016 budget of the ministry before the committee in Abuja.

Jika said that it not proper for the intervention fund to the domiciled in the ministry.

Besides, the committee sought to know the necessity for the intervention fund, saying that the Police Force was in a position to know what it needed.

“We want to know the idea behind the intervention because the police know what they need. There is no need for such fund because of the economic situation of the country; that fund should be scrapped.
“The Police know the hot spots; the money should be appropriated to the Police directly. I think the appropriation should be to the Police, if Interior Ministry is undertaking infrastructure for the Police, it is another dimension,’’ Jonathan Gaza, a member of the committee, said.

In his explanation, Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mr Bassey Eyong, said that the funds would not be used for routine expenses but for interventions that would enable the police work effectively.

He said that the ministry will work closely with the Inspector – General of Police to identify their infrastructural needs.
According to him, this will bring back law and order to the North-East as well as some parts of the South noted for kidnapping.

“We should not forget the need for checks and balances, the police can liaise with the ministry for that; somebody needs to oversight these monies,’’ he said.

In his remarks, chairman of the committee ruled that at an executive session would look into the matter and address it properly.




Permanent Secretary Explains State House Medical Centre Budget

The Permanent Secretary of the State House, Mr Jalal Arabi, has reacted to criticisms that the 3.219 billion naira budget for the State House Medical Center is over bloated.

Mr Arabi appeared before the Senate Committee on Federal Character and Intergovernmental Affairs and the House Committee on Special Duties, to defend the 2016 budget appropriation to the state house.

Having given a breakdown of some of the key areas of the budget before the Senate Committee on Federal Character and Intergovernmental Affairs, the amount allocated to the medical centre attracted most criticism. The same questions he faced at the House of Representatives Committee on Special Duties.

The Permanent Secretary explained that the State House, among others, extends to Marina and the Dordan Barracks in Lagos and most of the infrastructure in the places are calling for attention and need to be made to function optimally, hence the need for increase in budgetary allocation to the State House.

He said that the improvement of the medical center will propel it to serve as a center of excellence and reduce medical tourism.

He added that the medical center does not charge fees for its services and hence does not generate revenue for itself.

Credit: ChannelsTv

We Put 2016 Budget Proposal On Website To Attract Comments, Criticism – Presidency

The Senior Special Assistant (Media) to President Muhammadu Buhari, Mallam Garba Shehu, has said that the Federal Government will continue to welcome constructive criticism of its policies, budget and expenditure.


Shehu said in a statement in Abuja on Sunday that such criticism would assist the government in fulfilling its promises to Nigerians, adding that “it is the only way the change promised the country will have a meaning’’.


He said that it was on account of this and in line with established tradition that the president directed that the draft 2016 appropriation, now before the National Assembly, be put on the website of the Budget Office.


He said this would enable Nigerians to read the budget with a view to making their observations.


Shehu dismissed the insinuation in some quarters that the presidency was misleading the public on certain aspects of the budget proposal.


“In reaction to a newspaper story that said `2016 Budget: Buhari to spend more on State House Clinic than on all Federal Government-owned teaching hospitals,’ the Budget Office supplied a summary of the allocations to the various sectors under the Ministry of Health, which showed clearly that the published story was inaccurate. The Budget Office has affirmed that in terms of both capital and recurrent allocations, the draft budget has put far more money in the 17 teaching hospitals than it did in the State House Clinic.

Having said this, we are not by any stretch of imagination suggesting that the draft budget is beyond comments or reproach. Nor do we wish to dwell on this simply to make a point.

To do that will drive away good citizens from pointing out needed corrections and, ultimately defeating the change mantra of the administration.

The budget is a Nigerian budget and citizens reserve the right to examine its content and provide their own perspectives.

As the draft goes through the approval process, this and many other aspects will continue to generate interest, criticism, commendation and sometimes condemnation in discussions in the parliament, the media and the court of public opinion.

We believe that the process of “change” will be affected by, and stands to gain from these debates, especially where there is good faith on all sides,’’ he further explained.


Shehu said that the government had no reason to mislead the citizens on the budget and on all other matters for whatever reason.



No Changes To Budget Figures- Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has said that there are no changes in the draft bill and figures contained in the 2016 budget proposal he presented before a joint session of the National Assembly on December 22 last year. Controversy had broken out last Tuesday on the budget following revelation by the Senate that copies of the estimates were missing.

The controversy deepened on Thursday when Senate President Bukola Saraki said that based on the findings of a committee of the Senate, there were two versions of the budget as presented by Buhari in circulation. But the House of Representatives on Wednesday refuted the claims on the missing budget as it displayed copies of the bill during plenary.
However, in a letter addressed to both Saraki and Speaker Yakubu Dogara, dated January 15, 2016, Buhari said he had indicated during his budget presentation that details of the appropriation bill would be checked “to ensure that there were no errors.”
In the letter, Buhari said: “It will be recalled that on Tuesday, 22 December, 2015, I presented my 2016 budget proposals to the joint sitting of the National Assembly. I submitted a draft bill accompanied by a schedule of details. “At the time of submission, we indicated that because the details had just been produced, we would have had to check to ensure that there were no errors in the detailed breakdown contained in the schedule. That has since been completed and I understand that the corrections have been submitted.
“The National Assembly would therefore have the details as submitted on the 22nd and a copy containing the corrections submitted last week. It appears that this has led to some confusion. “In this regard, please find attached the corrected version. This is the version the National Assembly should work with as my 2016 budget estimates. The draft bill remains the same and there are no changes in any of the figures,” Buhari said in the letter, expected to be read at both chambers during plenary today. 

Credit: DailyTimes

Buhari’s Aide, Ita Enang, Reacts To Switched Budget Allegation

The Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on National Assembly (Senate), Ita Enang, says he will not respond to an allegation by the Senate that he doctored the 2016 budget presented by President Muhammadu Buhari in December.

He described the matter as “sensitive”.

Mr. Enang, who is a former senator, said he would not comment on the development. He said the matter was between “two of my bosses”, in reference to the presidency and the National Assembly.

“I do not want to comment on the matter at the moment,” Mr. Enang said. “It is a very sensitive matter involving two of my bosses – the National Assembly and Presidency. I don’t want to talk about them.”

Credit: PremiumTimes

N6tn Budget Not On Reps’ Agenda As House Resumes

The 2016 budget is not on the agenda of the House of Representatives as lawmakers reconvene this week in Abuja from their Christmas and New Year break, The PUNCH learnt on Monday.

The lawmakers will resume work on Tuesday (today), but contrary to expectations, the budget will not be on the table this week.

Rather, other bills (excluding the Appropriation Bill) will take priority today, Wednesday and Thursday.

Findings show that the House would start looking at the N6.08tn budget from next week.

The Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Mr. Abdulrazak Namdas, confirmed to The PUNCH in Abuja that debates on the budget would begin next week.

Namdas said, “The House is not treating the budget this week. It is going to be next week.

“The reason is that copies of the document will first be circulated to members this week. They need a couple of days to study the details of the provisions in the budget.

“If you recall, the House had already adjourned by the time Mr. President presented the budget estimates at a special joint session of the two chambers last month.

“Members still do not have copies. So, the decision is that, this week, the copies will be circulated and from next week, debates may start.”

He said the immediate priority of the House would be speeding up the passage of some of the 130 bills introduced in one day to the House late last year.

He added, “We want to use this week to start working quickly on the bills.

“We are looking at passing up to 20 bills daily, if possible, and pass at least 60 before next week.

“Because of this, we are also paying less attention to motions this week.”

The budget has a deficit of about N2tn. Its crude oil benchmark of $38 per barrel is already generating controversy amid dipping global oil prices.

Prices hovered around $33 over the weekend, a far cry from the budgeted figure.

The Senate, through its spokesman, Saabi Abdullahi, had hinted last week that the National Assembly was unlikely to retain the proposed $38.

Tony Ademiluyi: Unmasking Budget 2016

President Muhammadu Buhari on getting to the National Assembly where he addressed a joint sitting apologized to the nation for the nauseating fuel scarcity in the country putting the blame on the doorstep of market speculators. However, there was no action packed strategy reeled out to Nigerians on how he intended to tackle the crisis beyond mere sloganeering. This contradicted the position of the garrulous minister for information and culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed who put the blame at the doorstep of erstwhile President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. As the Spokesman of the government, we find this conflicting statement highly disturbing and points to a possible disconnect in the PMB cabinet so early in the day.

The budget at 6.08 trillion naira is the highest in the annals of our nation’s history saw it committing thirty percent of it towards capital expenditure. The President gave the nation hope that in future it will increase from that figure. The capital expenditure is aligned to meet the long term objectives to sustainable development. Given the vagaries of the oil and gas sector which is the mainstay of the economy, it made a whole lot of sense to peg the benchmark at $38 per barrel. However the decision to borrow a whopping 1.9 trillion naira representing about 2.16 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product is capable of greatly mortgaging the future of generations yet unborn. The borrowing agenda is still rather hazy: From which source? We hope it is not from the Bretton Woods Institutions as they have recently been lending their voice to the management of our economic matters. They have been ferocious in their call for the yanking off of the fuel subsidy without any framework for the building of new refineries to cushion the initial early effects. We cannot have amnesia to forget how their loans have crippled the economies of third world nations which we sadly have remained since independence due to our refusal to develop our own homegrown economic agenda that would best suit us. We must resist any temptation to source any of that borrowing from their sinister institutions. I recommend Walter Rodney’s evergreen masterpiece ‘How Europe underdeveloped Africa’ to be part of the reading list for those on the economic team. Nigeria doesn’t need any humungous borrowing. The proposed 1.9 trillion naira should be drastically reviewed downwards as there is no need to become a member of the Paris Club once more and go there cap in hand begging for debt reliefs.

For the first time, education is getting visible attention as it got the second highest chunk of the sectorial allocation with the vote of 369 billion. We commend the administration for heeding the call of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation for allocating at least twenty-six percent of its budgetary allocation to education. This isn’t up to that percentage but this is the best deal we have gotten so far. The proposed decision laid out by the Labour Minister, Dr. Chris Nwabueze Ngige to employ 500,000 youths as graduate teachers is highly pro-people and youth friendly. It’s a much needed relief and soothing balm to the teeming number of unemployed and unemployable youths. However, half a million youths is a mere drop in the ocean when you consider the alarming statistics reeled out by the National Bureau of Statistics that over ten million youths are unemployed. Job creation anywhere in the world is private sector driven. As expected infrastructure as represented by the Power, Works and Housing Ministries got the highest chunk of the allocation with 433 billion given to it. It must go beyond votes. The enabling environment which would encourage entrepreneurs to spring up must be created. The reality of the information age has rendered the education – a byproduct of the industrial age largely obsolete. There should be a drastic shift in the curriculum right from the cradle to reflect this novel reality. There should be a national culture of self -reliance to get the nation out of the woods. The success of this culture is dependent on massive industrialization. The budget must be indicative of an agenda to get this sleeping giant industrialized in a manner reminiscent of the Asian Tigers. The budget implementation must take critical steps to curb import dependence and expand our revenue base through harnessing the power of human capital development. The move towards projecting the mining sector as the next thing after oil is a good one but the world has long advanced beyond mineral resources. Mineral resources is finite but that of human capital is infinite. We expected a budgetary allocation for the development of human capital if we are to stand on our two feet as a Sovereign Nation in a way typical of our Japan got up in barely nineteen years after the battering of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during the Second World War.

The budget seems to have a job creation agenda which is a critical concern of the ailing economy. Renowned Political Economist, Prof. Pat Utomi called budget implementations in Nigeria a joke on Channels Television few hours before Buhari read out this one. We hope the implementers prove the erudite intellectual wrong. For the first time, the budget implementation won’t be a core function of the finance ministry as it has been transferred to the national planning ministry. Let us hope this signals a good omen for the New Year which will unfold in a matter of hours.

Let’s hope that the change slogan which this government used to bring itself into power doesn’t end up in the citizenry asking what is the difference between six and half a dozen?


Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of www.omojuwa.com nor its associates

Buhari’s Budget A Big Fraud– PDP

The Peoples Democratic Party has described the N6.8 trillion 2016 federal budget presented by President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday as a big fraud and executive conspiracy tailored towards mortgaging the future of the nation.

The party queried Mr. Buhari’s decision to borrow N2 trillion, the biggest in the history of the nation as the “height of recklessness and deceit from a government that trends on propaganda”.

The PDP in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, on Tuesday berated the Federal Government for trying to use their “bogus” welfare programme and “phantom” capital projects as cover and conduit to syphon the funds to satisfy partisan interests, particularly to settle huge campaign debts.

“It is obvious that this budget is an extension of the campaign promises of the APC government, presented as a manifesto filled with bogus promises which implementation will be inconclusive, thereby allowing the APC to once again deny their promises.

“There has never been any known economy in the world where government deliberately mortgage the future of its nation by borrowing excessively to finance partisan interests while hiding under bogus welfare programmes. This is moreso important as the APC in reeling out their bogus campaign promises never informed Nigerians that they would mortgage their future through excessive borrowing.

“We have it on good authority that this is the first in the series of APC borrowings which would leave the future generation of Nigerians under the burden of huge debts after four years,” PDP said.

Credit: PremiumTimes

Buhari To Present 2016 Budget On Tuesday

President Muhammadu Buhari will tomorrow, Tuesday December 22, present the 2016 national budget before a joint session of the National Assembly.

This was disclosed to state house correspondents after the Federal Executive Council meeting which held on Monday in the council chambers of the Presidential Villa, designed to fine-tune the document.

The 6.07 trillion Naira budget proposal for 2016 was predicated on $38 per barrel oil benchmark; 197 Naira exchange rate.

It is an increase of about 40 per cent from the previous budget of 4.357 trillion Naira which was presented to the National Assembly in 2014 by ex-president, Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.

The budget presentation by President Buhari is coming just as the National Assembly approved the Medium Term Framework Expenditure (MTEF).

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) had on December 7 approved the Medium Term Expenditure Framework which pegs the 2016 Budget at six trillion Naira.

Credit: ChannelsTV

FG Proposes N6trn Budget For 2016

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Monday approved a budget proposal of N6 trillion for the 2016 fiscal year. The proposal is predicated on 38 dollars per barrel of crude oil and a production output of 2.2 million barrel per day. The approval by council followed the adoption of the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) for three years presented to it by the Planning and Budget Ministry.

Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma, disclosed this to State House correspondents while briefing on the outcome of the council meeting which lasted for about three hours. He said besides crude oil sale, the budget would be financed through increased revenue drive by government agencies, efficiency in income tax collection, keeping down recurrent expenses while the difference would be sourced through borrowing. The minister also disclosed that capital expenditure had been increased to 30 per cent in the current proposal down from about 15 percent in the last budget.

According to him also, all the increases made to next year’s budget which brings it to six trillion from over five trillion budgeted this year were on capital expenditure. He said the details of the proposal would be made public after a feedback from the National Assembly on the MTEF which would be forwarded to the legislature. On the exchange rate used in the proposal, the minister said they had relied on the rate given by the Central Bank of Nigeria. “We want a prudent, credible budget. We are working on the exchange rate given by the CBN. We’ll reduce recurrent,” the minister said.

Credit: DailyTimes

Government To Introduce Zero Based Budget System

The Federal Government has announced plans to introduce a zero based budget system as a step towards fighting corruption and blocking leakages in the public service.

Addressing participants at the Nigerian Economic Summit on Wednesday, Vice President Yemi Osinbanjo said that the initiative would require ministries, departments and agencies to justify their budgetary allocations for each year.

With over 500 federal agencies in the country, a great chunk of the nation’s budget goes into payment of workers wages, but the new administration said that it has come up with a system to ensure that unnecessary items are not listed in the budgets of federal institutions except for projects with direct impact on the economy.

Prof. Osinbajo said that although, the process would be rigorous and stressful, it would ensure transparency and accountability.

Read Morechannelstv

OAU student union leaders budget N1.8m for phone calls

Student Union executives and legislators at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, have budgeted N1, 837, 550 to make official phone calls between August, 2015 and January, 2016.

In a copy of the Student Union budget made available to Punch and debated by members of the OAU Student Representative Council on Sunday evening, the leaders also had a separate budget for internet facilities and sending of bulk Short Message Service.

The Punch Newspaper reported that the sum, which did not include the one for purchase of phones, was budgeted by the leadership of the Central Executive Council and Students’ Representative Council led by Mr. Omotayo Akande and Mr. Adebari Aare respectively.

Others are the clerk, deputy speaker, halls of residence executives, chairmen and secretary of transport, judicial, and budget and finance committees.

The student union leaders, who in totality budgeted N26, 090, 469 for their various needs, are expecting an income of about N15m.

A breakdown of the budget showed that the speaker, Mr. Adebari Aare, proposed to spend N232, 500 for official phone calls for 310 days, while the president of the union also proposed to make calls for 180 days with N108, 000.

Among other items that surfaced on the president’s budget were fuelling at the cost of N270,000; bus maintenance, N300, 000; ‘intervention’, N300, 000; and security vote, N300, 000.

Contained in the speaker’s budget is welfare costing N217, 000; long journey and short journey accommodation, N1, 250, 000; long and short journey trip, N500, 000 among others.

When contacted, the Chairman, Budget and Finance Committee, Mr. Abayomi Samuel, said the budget had not been approved.

Samuel, whose committee also budgeted N114, 000 for phone calls, added that some of the expenses had been reduced.

It was gathered that students of the university are divided over the budget as one of them, identified as Sammy, said, “How will they say they want to make phone calls with that kind of money when we are all complaining of poor toilet facilities and lack of food in our hostels. This is extreme wickedness.”


Finance Ministry, Others Summoned Over Budget

Members of the House of Representatives yesterday summoned Finance Ministry, Budget Office, Fiscal Responsibility Commission, National Planning Commission, Debt Management Office and Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission to explain why the 2015 Appropriation Act is not being implemented.

Also, the ad-hoc committee set up by the 8th House of Assembly will today commence a public hearing over non-implementation of 2015 Budget. It was reliably gathered that officials of other agencies related to finance may also be summoned to appear before the ad-hoc committee headed by Rep. Ahmed Pategi, Kwara APC, at the public hearing.

Read Morevanguardngr

David Mark Warns Ben Bruce Against Unguarded National Assembly Budget Statements

Senate President, David Mark, has warned Ben Bruce, the senator-elect for Bayelsa east senatorial district over his unguarded statements on issues relating to National Assembly.

The business mogul has been in the news lately after he took to his social media platform to accuse Nigerian lawmakers of enriching themselves at the expense of Nigerians.

“There is a freedom of information law in Nigeria. Nigerians have a right to know everything about the national assembly’s finances. I will push for openness,” he wrote on his Twitter account earlier in May…”

Read More: dailypost

President Jonathan Signs N4.425tn 2015 Budget

President Goodluck Jonathan has signed the 2015 Appropriation Bill into law, THE PUNCH has authoritatively learnt.
It was revealed that Jonathan decided to sign the budget into law a couple of weeks ago.
The Senate had passed the 2015 budget on April 28, following the passage of the same bill by the House of Representatives on April 23, with an expenditure budget of N4.493tn, up from the N4.425tn proposed by the Executive.
Nigerians were concerned to know if the budget will be signed before the May 29th handover date, now we know it’s been done.
However, a Presidency source informed Punch, that the President signed the budget about two weeks ago immediately after the document passed by the National Assembly was transmitted to him.
The source, however, said he did not know why the President chose to sign the document without making it public.
When contacted, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, also confirmed that Jonathan had signed the budget.
The Senate, in passing the budget, slightly reduced the N2.607,601, 000,300 proposed by the Executive to N2.607,132,491,708 as recurrent expenditure and simultaneously scaled down the capital expenditure from N642,848,999,699 estimated in the proposal to N556,995,465,449.
The Chairman, Joint Senate Committee on Appropriation and Finance, Mohammed Maccido, explained that the details of the figure approved by the Senate in the document were not different from the version passed by the House of Representatives.
He added that the budget would be driven by $53 oil benchmark, an exchange rate of N190 to one US dollar; 2.2782m per barrel crude oil production per day; and a deficit gross domestic product of -1.12 per cent.
The budget also put fiscal deficit at N1.075tn; N953bn for debt service; N375.6bn as statutory transfers.
Education takes the lion’s share of the budget with N392.3bn; followed by the military which gets N338.7bn while police commands and formations will receive N303.8bn.
In the same vein, N237bn was voted for the health sector; N153bn for the Ministry of Interior while N25.1bn was budgeted for the Ministry of Works.
Source: Punch

Fashola Signs N489.690 Billion 2015 Appropriation Bill Into Law

Governor Babatunde Fashola - February 2014 - BellaNaija 01
Gov. Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State on Sunday signed the state’s N489.690billion 2015 Appropriation Bill into law.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the governor’s assent to the bill followed its passage by the state’s House of Assembly on January 6.
The budget comprises N247.713 billion capital expenditure and N241.977 billion recurrent expenditure.
Assenting to the bill at the State House, Marina, Fashola said the budget would focus on the completion of on-going projects in the state.
The governor expressed the confidence that the budget would not only deliver life impacting projects, but would also impact massively on the lives of residents.
Fashola said he chose to sign the budget on a Sunday to enable him attend the National meeting of the All

Progressive Congress APC in Abuja on Monday.

He said the decision would enable the ministries, parastatal agencies and others to commence implementation of the budget while he would be away.
The governor said there is no excuse for any government to delay the passage and signing of the budget because of the ongoing electioneering campaigns across the country.
Fashola said: “When we presented the budget, there were financial challenges, but as you know, our revenue has been based largely on our common contribution; that is how we build our common wealth here.
“We need to be innovative, inventive and hard-working and that is what we have given in the last eight years and we won’t give anything less and with the support of the people of Lagos.
“They are the owners of this government and all of its service delivery programmes and I think as difficult and challenging as the revenue issue may be, we will consolidate and finish as many possible projects as we can”.
He urged residents in the state to ensure that gains of his administration are consolidated by voting the APC governorship candidate, Akinwunmi Ambode during the general elections.
Meanwhile, on his part, the state Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Ben Akabueze said approximately N248billion would be spent on capital expenditure and N241billion on recurrent expenditure.
He said that the fall in the global oil price might not likely affect the state government and the performance of its budget.
According to him, the pace of ongoing projects will be intensified with the signing of the budget into law.
“The projected fall in the oil price has already been factored into the budget. The truth of the matter is that oil prices are always difficult to forecast.
“Since I started following those forecasts, everybody who has forecast oil prices over the years has failed. They haven’t got it right.
“For us, thankfully over 70 percent of our budget is financed through our own Internally Generated Revenue. There are some linkage even between IGR and oil but it is not a direct dependency in that sense.
“This also challenges us to explore additional avenues to enhance revenue. That will be the major focus this year,” Akabueze said.
A breakdown of the budget showed that Economic Affairs has the highest allocation of N146.305 billion, followed by General Service, N107.69 billion, Education, N82.14 billion; Housing and Community Amenities, N49.033 billion, Health, N44.619 billion and Environmental Protection, N34.953 billion.
Others are: Public Safety and Order, N15.547 billion; Recreation, Culture and Religion, N3.118 billion; Social Protection, N1.589 billion, Planning Reserve, N2.26 billion and Contingency, N2.448 billion.



Budget 2012 (7) – Reforming the Police
By: Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai
We conclude our review of the state of the Nigeria Police today, starting with correcting some errors in last week’s column. I am grateful to two of my twitter followers that drew my attention to them. Lord Lugard lived between 1858 and 1945, so could not have formed the Hausa Constabulary in 1861! I have rechecked my source, and cross-checked with other sources. I can confirm that the first police-like force set up in what became Nigeria was the Consular Guard of 30 men set up in Lagos in 1861.
The Hausa Guard was formed in 1863, and became Hausa Constabulary in 1879 by an Ordinance. Lugard first came to Nigeria in 1894 to negotiate a treaty with the Emir of Borgu, and then returned in 1897 as commander of the West African Frontier Force (WAFF). He became Commissioner of the Northern Protectorate in 1900, had conquered the emirates by 1903. I thank my friends for the observation.
It is obvious by now that we will never have a functioning Nigerian state without an effective police force. It is also clear that the practice of splitting and outsourcing police functions to new, equally ill-trained paramilitary organizations has not served our nation well, nor resolved the challenges of policing and law enforcement. In a nation that seeks to get things done, all efforts ought to have been directed at making the police work, with organizations like ICPC, EFCC, Security and Civil Defence Corps and the Federal Road Safety Commission as departments of a reformed, well-funded, better trained and effective Federal Police.
An analysis of the national budgets for the Nigeria Police since 1980 reveals a pattern of continuous under-funding. Apart from 1983, under the Shagari administration when the Police got allocated 10.7% of the national budget, in all other years, including 2011 and 2012, the Police with its nearly 400,000 staff got allocated an average lower than 5%. Furthermore, when the funds are released, the headquarters, zonal and area commands with-hold substantial amounts leaving pretty little for intelligence-gathering, street patrols and policing at the divisional and station levels where most of the law enforcement is done. This must change.
As chair of the Public Service Reform Team (PSRT), I was shocked to learn that the take-home pay of a police constable in 2006 was a mere N7,000 monthly. The private in the Nigerian Army then earned N11,000 which got me wondering what kind of nation would give a gun with bullets to a man, put him on the beat and pay such a low wage and expect proper policing. The PSRT doubled the police base pay with a proviso for it to be increased by 10% annually for the ensuing 5 years to bring it near to the salaries of the armed forces. I wonder if that policy decision has been implemented.
The total budget of the Police sub-sector in 2012 is N331.2bn (N328.5bn in 2011) made up of Ministry of Police Affairs (N5.8bn, in 2011, N13.3bn), Police Formations and Command (N307.9bn, 2011 – N295.6bn), Police Service Commission (N2.5bn, 2011 – N2.6bn) and Federal Government’s Contribution to the Police Reform Fund (N15bn, 2011 – N25bn). The Ministry of Police is a wasteful bureaucracy that controls police pensions and awards contracts for some police facilities. It can be scrapped and savings there-from transferred to Police functions proper.
The Police Formations and Commands’ budget for 2012 consists of N290.7bn for the personnel cost of between 380,000 and 400,000 police officers. The overhead cost of running 1,115 police divisions, 5,515 police stations and 5,000 police posts nationwide is a mere N8.1bn. If we hypothetically adopt the police division, station and post as bases for equal overheads distribution, this works out to about N696,000 annually per division, station and post – even with zero going to headquarters, zonal and area commands. This is still less than N2,000 per day to run a police station – which explains why the stations have no stationery, crime diary and even biros to take down statements!.
One way to achieve this is to restructure and redesign the Police budget such that each post, station, division, area, state and zonal commands as well as headquarters have their budgets and bank accounts. Budgeted funds should then be transferred direct to each unit and the heads held accountable for the judicious use of funds. This is difficult to do but not impossible. The Ministry of Finance implemented that with respect to our foreign missions when we found that the headquarters in Abuja with-held mission funds without reasons. The system has worked better since 2005 when it was introduced. The same system may be considered for Police Formations.
The breakdown of the overheads reveals some interesting spending priorities. The entire training budget of the Nigeria Police is a miserly N851 million, with an additional N55 million for travel associated with the training. Compare this with the N14bn budgeted for the Armed Forces training and its institutions! The security vote (including operations) for the entire Nigeria Police is N259 million – less than N1 million daily to spend on informants, intelligence gathering and patrols, out of the N3.1 billion budgeted daily on security – and yet, the Police is the first line of defence against criminal conduct. In sharp contrast, the NSA with his less than 100 advisory staff has N950 million as security and operations vote for 2012. This is part of the reason we opined that the nation has failed the Police, and yet blames it for failing us!
On return to democracy in 1999, the Nigeria Police was some 140,000 strong. This critical shortfall was addressed through the massive recruitment of some 40,000 police officers per annum between 2000 and 2005.
Sadly, this well-intentioned decision enabled the recruitment of several shoddy characters into the Police, thereby compounding its institutional challenges. This “Millennium Police” as they are referred to, need to be re-screened, retrained in better-equipped and upgraded institutions, and the dodgy characters weeded out for Nigeria to have the police it deserves. Related to this is the need to recall, retrain and post to proper police duties, the estimated 120,000 police officers currently posted to undertake “VIP protection” that is serving as orderlies, hand-bag carriers and other irrelevant duties for the political and economic elite. The police ought to be deployed protecting the general public not a select few, and certainly not given demeaning jobs of opening doors and holding bags and briefcases of the rich and famous. The IGP should put an end to this.
The Police Reform Fund was the initiative of Dr. Ibrahim Yakubu Lame when he was Minister of Police Affairs. A bill was drafted in 2010 to establish the fund to finance a medium-term (six-year) programme of reforming the Nigeria Police to be contributed by the three tiers of government. Even though the bill was not enacted into law, budgetary provisions have been made since then – a total of N40bn in 2011-12, with a similar contribution by the state and local governments. Where are these monies? Who controls the fund in the absence of the enabling law and the Trust fund? These issues need further scrutiny in light of a recent media report credited to Parry Osayande that the PSC requires an allocation of N420bn per annum for 5 years to “implement its reform of the Police Force”. As civil society watchdog NOPRIN has rightly observed, the current state of the Police is largely attributable to the failures of the PSC in the last 12 years. It is therefore the body least qualified to reform the police or manage fund for its improvement. This is the same PSC that kicked out some of its finest officers (like Nuhu Ribadu) and demoted a dead police officer! The PSC should reform itself first before anyone takes it seriously!
For our police to regain its effectiveness, its officers and men need to be better paid, with adequate housing allowances to enable them afford accommodation wherever they may be posted. In 2006, as part of our work in the Public Service Reform Team, an eight-year N200bn barracks development programme was approved for the Nigeria Police nationwide, which included the rehabilitation of their run-down facilities. Sadly, like most things left behind for successors, the programme floundered. This needs to be addressed in lieu of special, preferential mortgage facilities for police officers to own their homes. The Boko Haram insurgency claimed the lives of more police officers than any other uniformed service. The total welfare of police officers must include the review of the insurance, injury and death benefits payable to their dependants. various police reform committees
The Police needs adequate transportation, communications, armament and logistic technologies to be able to respond to criminal activities in a timely manner. In the 2012 Budget, N52 million has been provided for motorcycles, N203 million for vehicles, N310 million for vans, and N596 million for armored personnel carriers. The Police Command also proposes to spend N431 million on arms and ammunition, N84 million for video security surveillance systems in Borno, Kano, Oyo, Edo and Anambra States, N52 million for automatic fingerprint identification system, N84 million for forensic and DNA test laboratory, and N241 million for explosive ordinance disposal equipment for the Anti-Bomb Squad.
Other significant items of expenditure in the 2012 Budget include N295 million for anti-riot equipment, N450 million for bullet-proof vests gear, N243 million for anti-terrorism equipment (whatever that means), N165 million for security intelligence equipment, and N271 million for UHF walkie-talkies and rehabilitation of its outdated analog UHF communications system. The budget for barracks rehabilitation and construction is N585 million. These are mostly grossly inadequate. And by far the most disgraceful is the state of police communications network – expensive, outdated and insecure for the challenges of the 21st century, but preserved due to entrenchment of vested interests. This is one area urgently needing focused implementation.
Another lingering issue related to the reform of the Police is whether the pre-1966 arrangement is not better – that is one in which State Police will operate side by side the federal police. Those in favour recall with nostalgia when our police forces worked and cooperated, apprehending criminals and being widely respected. Those against admit this but point out that a lot has changed since then in terms of demography, technology and propensity to criminal behaviour. The antagonists of State Police also add that the various regional governments used their police to intimidate, harass and victimize political opponents. Enabling our imperial state governors to have their personal police would bring back those dark days of oppression, it is argued.
My position and that of our party the CPC are clear. We support the amendment of the Constitution to allow establishment of state and community police. This is because I believe that policing is largely a local, community-level matter. It makes no sense to hire a person from Calabar, send him to Maiduguri in search of criminals or insurgents without understanding the language, culture and dominant religion of the area. This amendment will also entail the redefinition of our criminal law to distinguish between federal crimes (which the federal police will have jurisdiction) and state crimes which the state police will handle. Jurisdiction over interstate crimes will necessarily be vested in the federal police, and our courts will be restructured jurisdictionally accordingly. This also means for instance, that the Penal Code of Northern Nigeria and the Criminal Code applicable to the Southern States need to be amended.
Is there likelihood of gross abuse by the state governors in such a scenario? Certainly. The governors will try to employ all their erstwhile thugs as the new State Police. And they will attempt unleashing them on the opposition and political opponents. It is our duty as citizens to stand up to them. Not doing the right thing because we fear the abuse by some of 36 individuals is not an option. The governors must be checked by the power of citizens. And unless the police is made to work, we will not have a functioning state. And that will be a very sad thing indeed.