The Federal Government of Nigeria has been cautioned by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to reduce spending on oil subsidy. The Fund cited the drop in global oil prices and lean resources as a reason for the warning.
The Details: IMF predicted growth in sub-Saharan Africa to remain at 3.2% in 2019 and rise to 3.6% in 2020 in its economic outlook of the region for the coming year.
Citing data available for sub-Saharan African countries as of 2017, IMF said subsidies and other transfers from the government account for 25% of expenses.
“Fuel subsidies tend to be poorly targeted, foster over-consumption, curtail investment and maintenance in related sectors and crowd out more productive government spending.
“Some countries need to take the opportunity afforded by low oil prices to reduce fuel subsidies to free up additional fiscal space (Cameroon, Nigeria, Senegal), as was done in Mozambique and South Sudan and is being pursued by Burkina Faso,” the IMF said.
The IMF advised Nigeria on the need to phase out implicit fuel subsidies and reduce the gap between the poor and rich in the country. The Fund also advocated for the need for Nigeria to enhance its social safety nets for the development of the economy.
What you should know: It can be recalled that on May 11, 2016, the Federal Government announced an increase in the price of petrol from N135 to N145 per litre, a move that signalled the end to fuel subsidy payment to private marketers.
However, the government later resorted to subsidy regime following the increase in the landing cost of petrol on the back of rising crude oil prices, with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, the sole importer of the product, bearing the burden of the subsidy.
Similarly, a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), a global accounting and consulting firm stated that the Federal Government spent about N2.3 trillion as subsidies on petrol and power consumption between 2015 and 2018.
According to the report, the highlighted subsidy expenditures within the reviewed period represent 17% of the country’s current foreign reserves and 26% of the 2019 federal budget.
FG inuagurates 2nd National Voluntary Review Report on SDGs
The report enables member countries to exchange experiences and knowledge on Sustainable Development.
Federal Government has inaugurated the second National Voluntary Review Report on Sustainable Development Goals. This was disclosed by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals, Mrs Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire on Tuesday.
The report was launched after a virtual presentation session of the High-Level Political Forum of the United Nations (UN).
Meanwhile, the UN had offered to assist the Nigerian Government to realize its developmental aspirations most especially those related to the SDGs.
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The UN Resident Coordinator in Nigeria Edward Kallon, had explained that he visited Nigeria to explore better ways of collaboration between the two agencies in line with the recent reforms going on in the UN, which are being driven by Amina Mohammed, the Deputy UN Secretary-General.
According to him, UN is looking for innovative ways to come up with a robust collaboration framework that will foster a more solid and workable partnership by way of creating a platform for Nigeria to leverage on and support its developmental aspirations most especially, the implementation of the SDGs.
Why it matters: The report enables member countries to exchange experiences and knowledge on Sustainable Development. It would feature Nigeria’s most important priorities as it is nearly impossible to achieve all SDG’s because of the limited economic challenges.
According to Orelope-Adefulire, the goals prioritized by the governments were no poverty, health and wellbeing, education, economic growth, security & peace and partnerships.
She said, “Poverty is more than the lack of income and resources to ensure a sustainable livelihood. Its manifestations include hunger and malnutrition, limited access to education and other basic services, social discrimination and exclusion as well as the lack of participation in decision-making. Economic growth must be inclusive to provide sustainable jobs and promote equality.
“Sustainable economic growth will require societies to create the conditions that allow people to have quality jobs that stimulate the economy while not harming the environment. Job opportunities and decent working conditions are also required for the whole working-age population.”
She added that the agency would prioritise seven goals and reached out to the private sector, women organisations, CSOs, youth groups, academia and people living with disabilities; finding out from them what needs to be done.
Just-in: FG kickstarts its 774,000 jobs SPW initiative as Buhari backs Keyamo
The initiative plans to employ 1,000 persons from each of the 774 LGA in the country.
Despite the opposition from members of the National Assembly, the Federal Government have formally kick-started the Special Public Works (SPW) programme, which was designed to create 774,000 jobs across the nation, with the inauguration of the State Selection Committees.
This was disclosed in a tweet post by the Federal Government on its official Twitter handle on Tuesday, July 14, 2020.
In the tweet post, the Federal Government said, ‘’The Special Public Works Programme of the Federal Government has kicked off nationwide. The State Selection Committees have been inaugurated and have commenced work. Find the names and contact details of members of your State’s Committee here.’’
The National Assembly had earlier called for the suspension of the programme, following disagreement and altercations with the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, over the operations and processes of the programme.
The Special Public Works Programme of the Federal Government has kicked off nationwide. The State Selection Committees have been inaugurated and have commenced work. Find the names and contact details of members of your State’s Committee here: https://t.co/d7YjB49JeE #NigeriaSPW
— Government of Nigeria (@NigeriaGov) July 14, 2020
This programme, which is coordinated by the ministry of labour and employment, was part of the federal government’s intervention programmes and fiscal stimulus measures to help cushion the negative impact of the coronavirus pandemic on Nigerians.
The initiative which is expected to start on October 1, 2020, plans to employ 1,000 persons from each of the 774 local government areas in the country. Each of the beneficiaries of the programme will be paid N20,000 monthly to carry out public works.
The implementation agency for the programme is the National Directorate of Employment (NDE).
The Minister of State for Labour and Productivity, Festus Keyamo, while performing the virtual inauguration in a joint address with the Director-General of NDE, Nasir Ladan Argungu, disclosed that an inter-ministerial committee drawn from 8 ministries and headed by the NDE recommended the setting up of states’ selection committees to identify and recruit those to be engaged under the programme
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It can be recalled that Keyamo, has been at loggerheads with the federal lawmakers over the implementation of the SPW programme. The lawmakers had insisted that the Minister must seek their inputs before going ahead with the constitution of the 20 man states selection committees. They also accused Keyamo of trying to hijack the programme from the NDE, who should be the implementation agency.
But the Minister, while appearing before a joint committee in the National Assembly accused the lawmakers of trying to hijack the process. He insisted that President Buhari gave him the mandate to directly supervise the programme and as such he is the only one that can ask him to stop.
Seyi Makinde Proposes N3 billion investment plan for water supply
The local governments in Oyo are advised to submit a list of 10 faulty boreholes in the LG.
The Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde announced the proposal of a N3 billion investment plan dedicated to water supply in rural and urban areas of the state.
Speaking through the Chairman of Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA), Mr. Najeem Omirinde in Ibadan on Monday, he added that N500 million of the N3 billion would be used for repairing broken and faulty state-owned boreholes.
All Chairmen of each of the Local Governments in Oyo are advised to submit a list of 10 faulty boreholes in the Local governments.
The Oyo State governor, Seyi Makinde also ordered that all new boreholes must be compliant with solar-powered pumps, to enable their longevity and save costs.
Urging residents to patronize the agency if they need to dig up boreholes for water, citing that it would be cheaper if done through the state agency than with private drilling companies.
Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed stated last year that Nigeria needs an estimated N36 trillion annually for the next 30 years to solve Nigeria’s infrastructure problem. The investment, although a tiny fraction of what Nigeria needs is a bold step by the Oyo State government.