Senate vows to probe disbursement of N213 billion Power Intervention Fund

The president of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, said the Senate would look into the disbursement of N213 billion power sector intervention fund by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Mr. Saraki said this in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Sanni Onogu, on Saturday in Abuja.

Mr. Saraki, according to the statement, spoke during a meeting to proffer solutions to the worsening electricity generation in the country.

He said the upper chamber would verify claims and counter claims of non-remittance of revenues between the Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading Company (NBET), Electricity Distribution Companies (Discos) and Generation Companies (Gencos).

Mr. Saraki urged the Senate Committee on Power, Steel Development and Metallurgy to conduct a public hearing on the funds as well as on the declining electricity generation which currently stands at 3,000 megawatts.

He said the public hearing should take a look at reasons behind the inability of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) to effectively supervise and audit the electricity generation and distribution companies.

The president of the senate lamented “the poor electricity supply in Nigeria and the consequences of the negative development in the efforts to move Nigeria out of the present economic recession.’’

He called on operators in the sector to work towards proffering solutions to the “imminent collapse of the electricity system in the country.’’

FG spends N1bn from N500bn intervention fund.

Less than a billion naira has so far been spent from the N500billion voted for the Social Intervention Fund in the 2016 budget from where N80billion is being proposed by President Muhammadu Buhari as virement to other critical areas of the budgetary provisions having shortfalls.


Making the disclosure yesterday while appearing before the National Assembly Joint Committees on Appropriation, the Special Adviser to the President on Social Protection Plan, Mrs. Maryam Uwais, said though a total of N25 billion have been received by her office and additional N40billion approved last week, just about a billion naira out of the entire N500billion budgeted for the social intervention fund, has been spent.


According to her, poor releases accounted for the inability of her office to utilise the fund.


When the chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation, Senator Danjuma Goje (APC, Gombe Central) asked her whether she has objection on the virement of funds from her office, she said no.


She, however, explained to the lawmakers that out of the N65billion her office would have in its coffers, N60billion would be spent on 200,000 unemployed Nigerians recently engaged across the 774 local governments on the basis of N30, 000 per head.


On her part, the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, said the N500billion budgeted for the social intervention programme cannot be utilized before the end of this fiscal year.


She said the virement would be channeled to the Amnesty Programme, operations of the Armed forces, Operation Lafiya Dole, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Foreign Missions, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), Presidential Initiative for the North East (PINE), among others.

FG Approves N30bn Intervention Fund For Solid Minerals- Minister

The Minister of Mines and Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, said on Tuesday in Abuja that the Federal Government had approved the release N30 billion intervention fund for solid minerals development.
Fayemi disclosed this at the fifth Extractive Industries (EITEI) Conference held by CSR-in-Action.
The theme of the event was: “Revisiting the Nigerian Economy beyond Oil: Prospects for a thriving Export-Driving Extractive Sector.’’
The Minister, represented by Prof. Okey Onyejekwu, his Senior Special Adviser, said the fund would be used for geosciences data generation, improve mines-field security and monitoring.
According to him, this is in line with the enforcement of the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act of 2007.
He explained that the ministry was partnering International Development Partners through AFDB, the World Bank, UNDP, UNIDO and donor agencies such as DFID, and Ford Foundation to ensure development of the sector.
He said that the ministry had formulated a new roadmap for the sector since his appointment one year ago.
According to him, there has been an improved funding for the sector through activation of the 0.5 per cent mining sector component of Natural Resources Development Fund (NRDF).
The Minister promised to ensure the nation’s development partners are engaged to implement MoUs, especially those on geosciences data generation, integration, storage and dissemination.
He said government would ensure there was improved revenue generation and collection through identification and plugging of leakages.
He said the ministry would target five per cent contribution to the GDP by the year 2020 as against the current 0.34 per cent.
He said the current works on the standard gauge rail line from Warri to Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited and Nigeria Iron Ore Mining Company Limited, Itakpe, were key to Nigeria‘s industrialisation.
According to him, the resolution of litigation and conclusion of final stages of mediation meant that Ajaokuta Steel Plant would soon be freed of encumbrances and government would give it to a competent investor.
Earlier, Waziri Adio, Executive Secretary, Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiatives (NEITI) said Nigeria’s problem was not its dependence on oil but the leaders refused to save for the rainy days.
According to him, Nigeria’s leadershp in the oil boom era failed to invest in other sectors like petrochemical which would have helped to diversify the economy.
The ministry had also revoked non-performing mineral titles in line with the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act, to make the area financially and technically viable for investors.
“If the nation should explore the economic recession well, diversify to solid minerals and do not make the same mistakes it made in oil sector, our economy will grow’,’ he said.


N500bn Intervention Fund: Senate vows to ensure transparency.

The senate has vowed that it will monitor and ensure that the process of disbursing the N500 billion social intervention fund to vulnerable Nigerians by the executive is transparent in order to avoid mistake of the past.

The senate majority leader and senator representing southern Borno at the National Assembly, Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume, disclosed this to Journalists yesterday in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital.

He noted that such fund in the past was used for political gratification to the detriment of vulnerable Nigerians who ought to be the actual beneficiaries.

Sen Ndume said the executive has failed already in the process by telling people to go online and register notwithstanding that some states are offline as a result of insurgency.

“We are not going to let this pass like YOU–WIN where nobody won or SURE-P where nobody shop. They have started wrongly through the way they want to do it.

“How can they start by saying that people should go online and register. Some states are offline and in fact Borno is one of them.

“let them do it on local government basis. Let them go to different wards and give forms to people to fill. Our people in the rural areas are waiting for Federal government to give them Job. We have graduates in the rural areas who have no access to online, “ said Sen Ndume.

It would be recalled that the House of Representative recently told the federal government not to disburse the N500 billion social intervention fund captured in the 2016 budget until a framework and detailed information about the scheme was made available.

The House at the plenary presided over by the speaker, Mr Yakubu Dogara mandated its committee on legislative Budget and Research and poverty Alleviation to compel the senior Special Adviser ( SSA) to the President on social protection programmes to make available the framework and details of the programmes and advise the House within 3 weeks.

6.17m Jobs Created By N1.5trn CBN Intervention Fund

Recent data from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has shown that it created about 6.17 million jobs through the various intervention funds to different sectors of the economy.

According to the data, the combined impact of the Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund (ACGSF) flagged-off in April 1978 and the Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme (CACS) established in 2009, have led to the creation of 6,178,132 in the Nigerian economy.

A breakdown of the figure showed that the CBN had set up eight intervention funds totalling N1.57 trillion, from which economic operators accessed N819.164 billion to resuscitate their businesses that helped to sustain some sectors.

In 2009 however, the bank, through its CACS set up N200 billion intervention fund. As of today, a total of N337.635 billion was disbursed and a  total of N137.804 has been repaid.

The fund financed a total of 423 projects and generated a total of 1,132, 232 jobs while saving the investors interest payment of N42.564 billion. The data further showed that CBN’s ACGS set up in 1978 with N3 million as seed money had disbursed a total of N97.014 billion out of which N67.014 billion was repaid. The intervention granted loan facility of 1,009,180 and has so far generated a total of 5,045,900 jobs.

The CBN evaluation data showed that the Small, Medium Enterprise Credit Guarantee Scheme set up by the apex bank in 2010 had as its seed money the sum of N300 billion. So far, N4.219 billion has been disbursed while 2.439 billion has been repaid. The intervention fund financed 87 projects.

It also showed that the apex bank set up in 2014 the RSSF facility of N300 billion, out of which N3.5 billion has been disbursed for a single project  Also in 2010, the apex bank set up the Power and Aviation Intervention Fund of N300 billion. So far, a total of N255 billion has been disbursed and N69.755 billion repaid. The fund has financed 56 projects. The bank, they said, has three other funding for which about N450 billion was set aside and several projects have benefited from the intervention funding.

This is coming on the heels when the CBN has solicited the support of all Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) in Nigeria, to create at least one million employment opportunities for young graduates in 2016.

The job creation initiative, according to the apex bank, will be in form of support from both CBN, Nigerian banks and development institutions in terms of giving out cheap and concessionary loans to companies that are in the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

Credit: Sun

2016 Budget: Senate Says Implementation Of N500bn Intervention Fund Not Feasible

Implementation of N500 billion intervention fund contained in the 2016 budget proposal will not be feasible since there are no clear implementation strategies, the joint committee on Appropriation has said.


The chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriation, Sen. Danjuma Goje, made the statement on Thursday in Abuja.


He spoke at an interactive session with Ministry of Budget and Planning, Ministry of Finance, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Accountant General’s Office and other stakeholders in the economy.


Goje noted that though the executive gave explanations about the implementation strategies, they were not satisfactory.

“There is no detailed, clear cut structure laid down for implementation of this project because what we have in this budget is N300 billion recurrent and N200 billion capital.

“We had to push hard yesterday to get some details which were not convincing.

“For instance, the explanation we got was that N5, 000 would be given to one million Nigerians.

“Who would choose the one million people, what structures you have in place to make sure that you choose the right people.

“You want to give money to about one million market women or there about and in my place we do not have many market women.

“How would they choose the market women that would represent all interests.

“We have not got clear explanations to these numerous issues surrounding the implementation of this programme.

“Even the afternoon school feeding contained in the budget is not feasible because some students study under non conducive environment. Will feeding them enhance their learning,’’ he said.


Goje pointed out that while the National Assembly was in support of the programme, implementing it in 2016 might not be feasible.

He suggested that the money be added to the budgetary allocation for sectors like power, transport and health, while those responsible would map out better strategy against 2017.


“We are all happy with the programme and I am a party man to the core but what needs to be done, needs to be done very well.

“I think there is a need to do greater work on implementation; otherwise this money will go down the drain.

“We support this programme; we want Mr President to succeed; we want our party to succeed; we want to continue to win election but we want the programme to be successful.

“So, we want you to come up with workable implementation strategeies, otherwise there are so many things that require attention in this country.

“We would rather use this money to solve our problem; use this year to do very sound ground work for implementation so that the programme can take off next year,’’ he said.

The chairman reiterated the need for more budgetary allocation to agriculture and solid mineral sectors in view of the emphasis on diversification.


“We believe that N9 billion cannot diversify solid mineral and N43 billion cannot diversify agriculture.’’


Responding, the Minister of Budget and Planning, Mr Udoma Udo Udoma, said that the special intervention programme was a political commitment which the present administration would not hesitate to fulfill.

He promised to meet with relevant stakeholders to discuss on better strategies for its implementation.


“You can be sure that before it is rolled out, the National assembly would be consulted,’’ he said.


On diversification, the minister said that the N9 billion allocated to solid minerals and N43 billion to agriculture would help to create an enabling environment for private investment.

He said the Federal Government did not have any intention of being an investor.

“What the government does is to provide enabling environment and infrastructure,’’ he said.

Udoma explained that the 2016 budget was zero based, adding that it did not mean that there would not be ceiling as obtained in the envelop system.

He clarified that zero based budgeting meant that each project must be justified by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) before they are included in the budget.

The minister said that there would be mid term review of the budget in the event that the 38 dollars per barrel benchmark and provisions in the budget were not realisable.