The Nigerian Government, in response to the economic woes caused by COVID-19, has announced that it has cut its revenue target from privatisation by 50%.
The Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, disclosed this after a meeting held between the executive arm of government and the leadership of the National Assembly to review the country’s 2020 budget and Medium Term Expenditure Framework in relation to present economic reality.
Ahmed confirmed that the budget oil benchmark has now been reviewed downwards from $57 to $30 per barrel, adding that the expected revenue generation from the Nigeria Customs Service has also been reviewed downwards from N1.5 trillion to N943 billion.
The reductions in targets were carried out in anticipation to reduction in trade volumes for a worst-case scenario as well as to protect the Nigeria economy from undue economic pressure as a result of the outbreak.
The minister added that privatisation proceeds would be cut by 50% based on the adverse economic outlook on sales of the Independent Power Projects and other assets.
Meanwhile, the Bureau of Public Enterprises had said in February that it planned to generate a total net revenue of N266.8 billion from the sale of public assets to support the implementation of the 2020 budget.
Ahmed said, “The Federal Government is working on Fiscal Stimulus Measures to provide fiscal relief for taxpayers and key economic sectors. We will incentivise employers to retain and recruit staff during the economic downturn.
“We will stimulate investment in critical infrastructure; review non-essential tax waivers to optimise revenues, and complement monetary and trade interventions to respond to the crisis.”
According to Ahmed, the Federal Government in combatting the Wuhan virus would release N6.5 billion in two tranches (N1.5 billion and N5 billion) to the National Centre for Disease Control as intervention to assist in the fight against the spread of the COVID-19 disease in Nigeria. She added that the Lagos State Government also would receive financial support of N10 billion from the Federal Government to combat coronavirus spread in the state.
However, the minister stated that, “Prior to COVID-19 and oil price decline, the Nigerian economy was already fragile and vulnerable while she informed the lawmakers that Nigeria had received a grant of $18.2m from Japan for the strengthening seven NCDC centers across the country.
“Increasing pressure on the naira and foreign reserves as the crude oil sales receipts decline and the country’s macro-economic outlook worsens.”
FG to distribute 10 million LPG gas cylinders in 1 year
The FG is set to inject up to 10 million gas cylinders into the market to help improve safety and deepen cooking gas utilization.
The Federal Government has announced plans to inject 5 to 10 million Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) cylinders into the market in the next one year.
This is to help improve safety and deepen LPG (otherwise known as cooking gas) utilization across the country.
This disclosure was made by the Programme Manager, National LPG Expansion Implementation Plan, Mr Dayo Adeshina, at a sensitisation workshop on LPG Adoption and Implementation for Industry Stakeholders, on Wednesday in Lagos.
According to a report from the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Adeshina said the National LPG Expansion Implementation Plan, domiciled in the Office of the Vice President, was committed to achieving Nigeria’s target of 5 million Metric Tonnes of LPG consumption annually by 2027.
What the Programme Manager for LPG Expansion Implementation Plan is saying
Adeshina said, “The Federal Government is working towards injecting five to 10 million cooking gas cylinders into the market within the next one year. We are starting the cylinder injection under the first phase in 11 pilot states and FCT, with two states from each of the geopolitical zones.
The states are Lagos, Ogun, Bauchi, Gombe, Katsina, Sokoto, Delta, Bayelsa, Ebonyi, Enugu, Niger and the Federal Capital Territory. The cylinders will be injected through the marketers. The marketers will be responsible for the cylinders and the exchange will take place in homes and not in filling stations.
What this means is that going forward, cylinders will not be owned by individuals but by the marketers who will ensure that they are safe for usage.’’
Adeshina pointed out that apart from household consumption, the government was trying to increase LPG usage in agriculture, transportation and manufacturing adding that this will enable the country to reduce CO2 emission by about 20% and create millions of jobs for Nigerians.
He said that the government had also granted waivers on importation of LPG equipment and removed Value Added Tax (VAT) on LPG in addition to investment in infrastructure.
The President of the Nigerian Liquefied Petroleum Gas Association, Mr Nuhu Yakubu, said efforts should be made to ensure the availability, accessibility and affordability of cooking gas in the country adding that this would encourage more Nigerians to embrace gas usage in their homes with the attendant benefits to the country.
Mr Olalere Odusote, Lagos State Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, said the population of Lagos makes it imperative for residents to adopt cleaner energy sources for cooking, transportation and power generation adding that the government was targeting the conversion of 45% of about 4 million vehicles in the state to autogas over a four-year period in partnership with marketers.
What you should know
- It can be recalled that the Federal Government had in November 2020, announced plans for the conversion of cars to autogas in a bid to have cheaper and cleaner energy especially with the high cost of petrol.
- The government at different levels are pursuing cleaner energy sources for cooking, transportation and power generation.
JAMB bans use of email by candidates for UTME, DE registration
JAMB has announced that candidates for the UTME and Direct Entry will no longer be required to provide their email addresses at the point of registration.
The Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has announced that candidates for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) and Direct Entry will no longer be required to provide their email addresses at the point of registration.
The new adjustment is to protect candidates from various forms of manipulation and distortion of their personal details by some fraudulent cyber café operators.
The Registrar of JAMB, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, who made the disclosure while addressing newsmen at the board’s headquarters on Wednesday in Bwari, Abuja, said the change, would take effect from Thursday, April 15, 2021.
What the JAMB Registrar is saying
Oloyede said, “They gain access to profiles of these candidates under the pretense of creating an email address for them. Then they change and block the candidates from receiving messages from the board. They also extort them after they change their passwords.
In view of this, the board has come up with adjustments to our operations. The first decision is that beginning from Thursday, April 15, candidates would no longer be required to provide any email address during registration from this year onwards.
It is by going to these cyber cafes to open emails that these candidates are open to abuse and stealing of their personal data,’’ he said.
He said that the board now had a mobile app that would allow candidates to deal directly with the board with their smartphones or via SMS to ‘55019’ code option.
The code option, he explained, would allow candidates to check admission status as well as all other verifications via SMS.
He said, “Printing of examination slips, results notification or raising tickets can be done anywhere by using candidates’ registration number only. However, at the close of registration every year, we would need the email addresses of the candidates so we can have access to as many of them as possible.
At the conclusion of registration, candidates are expected to send their email addresses through the mobile app or text message to the 55019 code twice, for validation. This is to update their profile with JAMB as the email will no longer be used as access to their profile, but rather as a communication tool with candidates.’’
While advising candidates to guard their phones with utmost care as it was the weapon for all transactions, Oloyede said that henceforth, all JAMB owned Computer-Based Tests (CBT) centres across the country, would only allow candidates with ATM cards into its centres.
He said that in order to cut down on the activities of fraudsters who hijack candidates to extort money from them, the centres would no longer allow candidates go outside the centres to pay for their e-pins and other cash transactions.
The JAMB Registrar said, “Only candidates with ATM cards will be allowed into all JAMB owned CBT centres, it can be that of their parents as long as they have the pin for the transaction.
“Those without ATM cards can go to other privately owned CBT centres where they can pay cash to register but we will not take cash or transact outside our centres.’’
What you should know
Meanwhile, in a related development, JAMB had said that the board lost over N10 million in 2020 to activities of fraudsters who penetrated their payment portal for ad-hoc staff.
The JAMB Registrar said that the money, which was meant to pay JAMB ad-hoc staff from the 2020 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), was hijacked by the suspected fraudsters.
JAMB had a few days ago confirmed the commencement of registration for the 2021 UTME/DE examinations after the initial hiccup.
It stated that applicants must provide NIN at the point of registration with the registration by Direct Entry candidates to run concurrently with that of UTME candidates.
Nairametrics | Company Earnings
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