Nigerian Senators Divided Over Oil Benchmark For 2016 Budget

Members of the Nigerian Senate on Wednesday commenced debate on the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) presented to the upper legislative body by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Mr. Buhari had forwarded the MTEF to the Senate on Monday.

Under Nigerian public finance system, the MTEF is the precursor to budget, as well as Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP), which details spending and revenue projections for three years.

At the Senate plenary Wednesday, lawmakers differed on the $38 per barrel benchmark projected as the price of crude of oil, the mainstay of the Nigerian economy.

Leading the debate, the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, asked the Senate to consider an upward review of the crude oil benchmark for the 2016 budget.

?In his opinion the $38 oil benchmark is “conservative”.

Mr. Ekweremadu therefore urged the senate to peg the oil benchmark for the 2016 budget at $40 per barrel.

“I have looked at the projection for the oil price,” he began, adding that “the benchmark of $38 per barrel appears to me to be conservative. From the projection of oil price for 2016 it is estimated? that it will hover between $40 and $45.

“I like to suggest that the senate consider an oil benchmark of $40. I’m sure that this will help cushion the problems we have in the states.”

Credit: PremiumTimes

PDP Divided Over North-East’s Move To Fill Mu’azu’s Vacancy

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is divided over agitation by top politicians in the North-east to fill the vacancy created by Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu, a former national chairman of the party.

Mu’azu resigned on May 20, following pressure that he led the party to a humiliating defeat in the last general elections when his tenure had not expired.

According to the provisions of PDP constitution, he was supposed to be replaced by someone from the North-east.

Addressing newsmen at the end of the 67th National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the party, PDP national publicity secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh said the party leaders had divergent views on the issue, stressing that the NWC would liaise with the party leadership in the North-east to re-consider the issue.

“The NEC did not discuss the issue of Mu’azu’s replacement but there is a kind of subtle understanding that the NWC will work with the North-east in that regard. Some members raised the issue but others did not key into it same way,” he said.

Read More: dailytrust

Nigerians Divided Over AU’s Single Currency, Passport Proposal

Nigerians were on Monday divided over the proposed introduction of single currency and passport by the African Union (AU) for its member states. While some of them told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that it was a welcome development, others cautioned against its implementation.

Mr Mubo Oladigun, a financial expert, said the proposal though a welcome development, could face lots of challenges in its implementation. He said one such challenges was the differences in political systems and culture among African countries. He, therefore, advised African leaders to jettison the idea of single currency and concentrate on delivering on good governance.

Mr Babatunde Johnson, a banker, said that African leaders should not be in a hurry to copy every policy adopted by Europe. He cautioned that the project worked in Europe did not imply that it would succeed in Africa given the socio-cultural make up of the two continents. Johnson said African leaders should rather concern themselves with the best way to miximise the human and material potential on the continent to ensure its development.

Mrs Felicia Ikechukwu said the proposal was a welcome development, adding that “it will further unite us as Africans.”

It would be recalled that Mr Anthony Maruping, AU Commissioner for Economic Affairs on June 12 in Johannesburg said African leaders were contemplating adopting a common currency and passport. “The single currency, passport is aimed at connecting Africa through world class infrastructure with a concerted push to finance and implement major projects”, he was quoted as saying.


Nigerians Divided Over Soludo’s Opinion- Vanguard

The former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Prof. Charles Soludo has divided opinions on the social media, with many praising his thesis on the country while others took exception, saying it is to ridicule the government of Goodluck Jonathan with less than three weeks to the presidential election and published on the day the president met stakeholders in the private sector in Lagos state.

It will be recalled that Soludo urged Nigerians to prepare for hard time ahead, noting that neither president Jonathan nor his major challenger, Gen. Muhammedu Buhari, has a well-thought programme to tackle the economic challenges in the country. He regretted that the success made by the administration of Olusegun Obasanjo has not been built upon by the Jonathan’s administration.

“Let me admit that the two main parties talk around the major development challenges—corruption, insecurity, economy (unemployment/poverty, power, infrastructure, etc) health, education, etc. However, it is my considered view that none of them has any credible agenda to deal with the issues, especially within the context of the evolving global economy and Nigeria’s broken public finance,” he said.

The article was praised by many including celebrities and analysts while APC supporters saw it as a vindication of the need to oust Jonathan; PDP supporters said the article is biased and an attack on the president and his team, asking why Soludo singled out, Peter Obi, the former governor of his home state, Anambra for condemnation.

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APC Primaries Update: Nasarawa’s 155 delegates Divided Over Means of Transportation

The 155 national delegates from Nasarawa State, who are expected to participate in the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential primary election in Lagos State today were divided over means of transportation.

Reports have it that as early as 7:30am yesterday, most of the delegates were on their way to Abuja, where they were billed to catch chartered flights arranged by two aspirants, leaving a small number of them to travel by road on five buses provided by the state secretariat of the party. It was learnt that two aspirants made provisions for air trips for delegates at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, while the state party leadership said that they made provisions for other delegates to travel by road, using five buses.

This development divided the delegates with some preferring to join either of the two aircraft chartered by the two aspirants, while some remained loyal to the state party hierarchy and travelled by road.

State party spokesman, Abubakar Hassan, said the party provided five buses, two of them to take off from Lafia, one in Akwanga, and two in Keffi. He said all delegates were expected to remain as one group and comply with the party’s arrangement for their means of trip to Lagos, adding that “we are travelling as a family.”

But some delegates said that when they left Lafia and Akwanga in the morning, they decided to travel by the chartered flights because they did not want to suffer during the road journey when they had the option to leave by flight. A delegate said: “We decided we will go to Abuja and travel by air. The provision is made for us. Why should anybody say we shouldn’t utilise what is provided for us.”

Another delegate said that he was aware of the implication on him and those who chose to leave by air, added: “We are adults, the party can’t coerce us. The governor declared the other day that there will be no coercion, why then is the party trying to force us when we have better alternatives to travel to Lagos?”

Credit: Daily Trust