President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara for delaying the passage of the 2019 budget, thereby causing Nigeria to miss the fiscal period.
The legislative arm of Nigeria had passed the 2019 Budget in April 2019 during a plenary session led by Saraki. This was five months after President Buhari presented the budget to the National Assembly in December.
“I told them (Saraki and Dogara) how do they feel to hold the country to ransom for seven months without passing the budget. They are not hurting me, they are hurting the country. I rate them very low.
“To hold a budget for seven months cannot be justified if you really bother about your country.” Buhari said in an interview with nta yesterday.”
Reason for the late passage: The relationship between the leaders of the National Assembly and the Presidency has been less than cordial in the last three years. The frosty relation worsened after Saraki and Dogara both dumped the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) party to rejoin the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) last year. This, coupled with witch-hunting allegations, deteriorated the relationship.
Dogara Defends NASS: In a post published on the Speaker’s website, Dogara said the job of the legislatures is not to always agree with the Federal Government, as there isn’t any chamber in the world that does so. According to him, the budget is a sensitive issue that needs careful attention, so if the administration wants the January-December timeframe, then FG should ensure early submission of the budget to NASS.
“There is always a strain, this issue of budget, because it deals with high stakes-distributional issues as to who gets what, which part of Nigeria gets this and that, so it will continually be an issue.” Dogara said in the post.
Why this matter: Nigeria’s fiscal budget runs from January to December. However, it’s almost six months into the year and six months left to the end of 2019 and President Buhari just signed the budget yesterday after Senate passed it in April.
The delay in budget implementation could ground or slow operation in some ministries, thereby leading to the late execution of some vital.
More so, the Presidency will now have the perfect excuse to defend its failure to complete certain projects in 2019. It would simply blame it on the delayed passage.
What you need to know: Contrary to President Buhari’s claim that the budget was held for seven months, it was actually five months, because he presented the budget in December to a joint session of the National Assembly, which includes the Senate and House of Representatives.
Togo, Niger, Benin remit N2.04 billion to Nigeria for power supply
Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission says international electricity customers remitted the sum of N2.04billion to Nigeria in three months.
Nigeria’s international electricity customers – Togo, Niger, and Benin, remitted the sum of N2.04billion in the first quarter of 2020, as their outstanding electricity bill to the Market Operator (MO) of the sector in Nigeria.
This was found in the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission 2020 first quarter report, which was released recently.
According to the report, a total of N4.05billion ($13.22million) invoices were issued by the MO to international customers including Societe Nigerienne d’electricite or NIGELEC; Societe Beninoise d’Energie Electrique (SBEE); and Compagnie Energie Electrique du Togo (CEET).
The commission stated that during the quarter, NIGELEC made a payment of ₦1.61billion ($5.27million) as part of its outstanding bills for the energy received from NBET and services rendered by the MO.
It stated, “Similarly, SBEE paid ₦0.43billion ($1.39million) in respect of services received from MO.
“It was noteworthy that tariff shortfall (represented by the difference between actual end-user tariffs payable by consumers and the cost-reflective rates approved by NERC) had partly contributed to liquidity challenges being experienced in the industry.
“The settlement ratio to the expected Minimum Remittance Thresholds, having adjusted for tariff shortfall, indicated that power distribution companies needed to improve on their performance.”
Special customers like Ajaokuta Steel Co. Ltd and others in its environs did not make any payment in respect of the N0.27billion and N0.05billion invoices issued to them by the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc and the MO respectively, during the period under view.
Meanwhile, the power distributors failed to remit N119.88billion to the sector within the same period.
“Whereas Discos were expected to make a market remittance of 46.09% during 2020/Q1, only 32.53% settlement rate was achieved within the timeframe provided for market settlement in the Market Rules,” it added.
What it means: The Discos’ remittance level, regardless of the prevailing tariff shortfall, was still below the expected MRT and they are expected to improve on their performances.
#EndSARS: Protests may return if panels do not address all issues in 2 weeks – Former Nigerian Minister
Akinyemi says the #EndSARS protesters would return to the streets if their demands are not addressed in two weeks.
COVID-19: Jason Njoku and wife test positive
iROKOtv CEO and wife have contracted the novel coronavirus.
Jason Chukwuma Njoku, the co-founder and CEO of iROKOtv and his wife has tested positive for COVID-19. However, Mrs. Mary Njoku is feeling well.
Jason, disclosed this via his Twitter handle stating that “My enemies are hard at work in 2020. Mrs. Njoku and I tested positive for Covid-19. I’m not feeling great, but Mary is well. Literally no idea how I caught it. But we shall see this pass too.”
The media mogul did not reveal if his children caught the virus too.
My enemies are hard at work in 2020. Mrs Njoku and I tested positive for Covid19 😩. I'm not feeling great but Mary is well. 😷🤢. Literally no idea how I caught it. 🤷🏾♂️. But we shall see this pass too🙏🏾. pic.twitter.com/tnsP1BCPBB
— JasonNjoku (@JasonNjoku) October 28, 2020