The Federal Government of Nigeria has initiated moves to recover $62.2 billion (N20 trillion) from six (6) oil firms that defaulted in the payment of revenue (arrears) due to the government based on the deep offshore production sharing contracts.
According to a report published by The Nation, the government is threatening to release the list of the affected oil giants as the presidency is pushing for the recovery of the cash, despite blackmail.
The details: It was stated that some major oil companies had not paid arrears due to the government since the signing of Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contracts Act CAP D3 Law of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 (amended in 2019) for oil exploration in deep offshore and inland basins.
It was also disclosed that the case instituted by the Attorneys-General of three oil-producing states – Rivers, Bayelsa and Akwa Ibom (as Plaintiffs) against the Federal Government added to the uncovering of the arrears.
In October 2018, the Supreme Court gave a ruling with orders that the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice should establish a body which would be the vehicle for the recovery of arrears due to the government from the Production Sharing Contracts. A top government official reaffirmed the determination to recover the N20 trillion.
The source said: “There are six oil companies involved. They have taken the nation for granted in the last 16 years by denying Nigeria of its revenue from the Production Sharing Contracts.
“We will not allow the oil firms to cheat the nation any more. The recovery process has legal basis including a ruling of the Supreme Court.
“The affected oil firms have resorted to blackmail but they cannot go far. How can they be owing us $62 billion and they are saying we should sweep it under the carpet.
“We have kept the list of the firms involved under wraps to allow some understanding. But if they remain adamant, we will lay the cards on the table for all Nigerians to appreciate the havoc wreaked in the oil industry by the six companies.
“There were extensive consultations before the Presidency approved the recovery of the arrears. So, the demands tabled by the AGF before the oil firms were not unilateral.
“If successive administrations swept the arrears under the carpet, the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari will insist on the right thing.”
A new policy: President Muhammadu Buhari has already signed the amendment to the Deep Offshore (and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contract) Act earlier after its passage by the National Assembly.
While the new amendment introduced key changes including the introduction of incremental royalty rate based on the price of oil, it also mandated a periodic review of the PSC arrangement every eight years with the government estimating that the move would help Nigeria generate additional 500 million dollars revenue in 2020.
The Act also entails that a contractor undertakes all the financial, technical and operational risks associated with petroleum operation in return for a share of profit in oil after payment of royalty, cost and tax oil.
COVID-19: FG to inaugurate 18-man vaccine task team
FG has announced plans to set up an 18-man Covid-19 Vaccine Task Team with the responsibility to acquire and deploy vaccines in the country.
The Federal Government has announced through the Ministry of Health, that it will inaugurate an 18-man Covid-19 Vaccine Task Team, in a bid to ensure vaccine security In Nigeria.
This was disclosed on Monday by the Health Minister, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, during the daily briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 in Abuja.
He revealed that the need for a task force comes as vaccines would be made available globally. The responsibilities of the task force include the acquisition and deployment of vaccines in the country.
“Now that vaccines are known to be close at hand, the Federal Ministry of Health is taking measures toward vaccine security, for which an 18-man National COVID-19 Vaccine Task Team with seven Terms of Reference (ToR) will be inaugurated.
“The ToR will include generating strategies for acquisition, deployment, and options for licensed production by Biovaccine Nigeria Ltd.
“Our options with WHO/GAVI led Covax facility remains our first line of engagement,” he added.
What you should know
After news of the Pfizer vaccine went viral, Nairametrics reported that the Health Minister, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, said Nigerians will benefit early from COVID-19 vaccines when the product is made available for commercial use. He revealed that any vaccine that is deemed fit for commercial use in treating coronavirus will be made available early to Nigerians.
Nairametrics also reported plans by the Nigerian government to set up a vaccine production company in Nigeria to boost local COVID-19 vaccine production.
The G-20 nations announced a pledge to pay for vaccine distribution to developing nations that can’t afford it. The leaders also announced a debt extension programme to developing nations during the weekend’s G-20 summit.
Gov. Makinde presents N266 billion budget to Oyo State House of Assembly
Governor Seyi Makinde has presented a ₦266.64billion budget proposal to the Oyo State House of Assembly.
The Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, presented the Budget Proposal for the 2021 Fiscal Year to the Oyo State House of Assembly. The total budgeted sum is ₦266.64billion, with education expected to receive N56.35billion – 21% of the budget and a rise from N12 billion budgeted in 2019.
This was disclosed by Governor Makinde in a social media post on Monday.
It was my honour to present the Oyo State Budget Proposal for the 2021 Fiscal Year to the Oyo State House of Assembly, today. This Budget of Continued Consolidation was prepared with input from stakeholders in all seven geopolitical zones of our state. pic.twitter.com/6ys0XFOgh1
— Seyi Makinde (@seyiamakinde) November 23, 2020
According to NAN, Mr. Makinde disclosed on social media that the ‘Budget of Continued Consolidation’ was prepared with input from stakeholders in all seven geopolitical zones of the state.
“The total budgeted sum is ₦266.64billion The Recurrent Expenditure is ₦136.26billion, while the Capital Expenditure is ₦130.38billion. We are again, aiming for at least 70% implementation of the budget,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria also disclosed that infrastructure spending in the budget would be N46.06billion – representing 17.27% of the total budget and an increase of N33.66 billion over that of last year.
Other sectors include Agriculture which represents 3.6% valued at N9.58billion and Healthcare taking 4.9% of the budget with an N13.29billion allocation.
The Governor disclosed that Oyo has reduced its infrastructure deficit and made improvements in the areas of healthcare, education, and others.
“We have been able to lower our infrastructural deficit, make improvements in healthcare delivery, improve the quality of education, and achieve milestones in our security systems,” he said.
He also added that the state had recorded a 26% increase in IGR at N25.6 billion and hopes to increase IGR to over N100 billion for the 2021 budget.
“As of September, we had recorded an IGR of N25.6 billion. And using the half-year figures, it represented a 26.4% increase in IGR year-on-year. Oyo State’s IGR is presently about 32% of actual aggregate revenue.
“We still have not achieved a total dependence on the state’s income outside of the federal allocation to fund the budget. Slowly, but surely, we are getting there.
“For the 2021 budget, our plan is to increase our annual IGR to N102.82billion. We hope to achieve this by widening the tax net to bring in more taxpayers into the system,” he added.
Restructuting: Plans must pass through legal process from the National Assembly – Tambuwal
Tambuwal has insisted that plans to restructure Nigeria and the Constitution must pass through due process from the National Assembly.
The Governor of Sokoto State and Former House of Reps Speaker, Aminu Tambuwal, has said that any plan to restructure Nigeria and the Constitution must pass through legal due process from the National Assembly.
Tambuwal disclosed this at a plenary session of the 26th Nigerian Economic Summit, titled: “Building partnerships for resilience” in Abuja on Monday.
Tambuwal warned that Nigeria must learn from mistakes 0f 2015 when the last attempt to amend Nigeria’s constitution was rejected after the first reading.
He added that any plan to restructure must be done after amending the constitution, which must pass through the assembly.
“As it were at the moment, whatever you are going to do about the constitution, has been prescribed by the constitution and how you are going to do it.
“The constitution has prescribed how a word in that constitution is going to be amended.
“Except of course we are saying we are going to jettison the National Assembly and the State Assemblies in getting it done, which is not possible,” he said.
“So you cannot go outside of the constitution to amend the constitution. We better come to terms with this realization and to come together and agree on how best we can work together to achieve what the nation desires,” he added.
What you should know
The agitations from the October protests in Nigeria have revived talks about restructuring in Nigeria. Earlier this month, the Governors of Ekiti and Kaduna State, Kayode Fayemi and Nasi El-Rufai argued that restructuring was a means to end Nigeria’s economic troubles.
“In essence, our desire to build a more perfect union should be anchored on the principle of devolution of powers – that is, re-allocation of powers and resources to the country’s federating units.
“The reasons for this are not far-fetched. First, long years of military rule have produced an over-concentration of powers and resources at the centre to the detriment of the states. Two, the 1999 Constitution, as has been argued by several observers, was hurriedly put together by the departing military authority and was not a product of sufficient inclusiveness.
“All points considered, the fiscal burden of maintaining a largely inefficient and over-bloated bureaucracy is a metaphor for shooting oneself on the foot,” Fayemi said.