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Economy & Politics

Reps to investigate alleged illegal withdrawal of $1.05 billion from NLNG account

Gbajabiamila mandated the House to conduct a thorough investigation on activities of the dividends account.

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Reps to investigate alleged illegal withdrawal of $1.05 billion from NLNG account, NDDC Probe: Reps give Akpabio 48 hours to publish name of lawmakers who got contracts, PIB and Electoral Amendment Bill pass second reading at House of Reps

The House of Representatives has concluded plans to investigate the alleged illegal withdrawal of $1.05 billion from Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) account by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) without its knowledge and appropriation.

The decision by the lower chamber is on the heels of a unanimous adoption of a motion by the Minority Leader of the House, Ndudi Elumelu, during plenary session on Tuesday, July 7, 2020.

Going down memory lane, Elumelu recalled that the NLNG was incorporated as a limited liability company in 1989 with the aim of producing liquefied natural gas and natural gas liquids for export purposes which began in 1999.

He pointed out that the NLNG is jointly owned by the Federal Government, represented by the NNPC with a shareholding of 49% and Shell Gas with 25.6%, Total LNG Nigeria Ltd with 15% and ENI International with 10.4%.

READ MORE: Nigeria’s debt rises to $79.5 billion, as debt to revenue ratio worsens

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The Minority leader said, “The dividends from the NLNG are supposed to be paid into the Consolidated Revenue Funds Account of the Federal Government and to be shared among the three tiers of government.’’

Going further in his motion, Elumelu said, “The NNPC who represents the government of Nigeria on the board of the NLNG had unilaterally without the required consultations with states and the mandatory appropriation from the National Assembly illegally tampered with the funds at the NLNG dividends account to the tune of 1.05 billion dollars thereby violating the nation’s appropriation law.

“There was no transparency in this extra-budgetary spending as only the Group Managing Director and the corporation’s Chief Financial Officer had the knowledge of how the 1.05 billion dollars was spent.’’

‘’There are no records showing the audit and recovery of accrued funds from the NLNG by the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation. Hence the need for a thorough investigation of the activities on the NLNG dividends account.

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In his ruling, the Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, mandated the House Committee on Public Account to conduct a thorough investigation on activities that had taken place on the dividends account.

Gbajabiamila mandated the committee to invite the management of the NNPC as well as that of the NLNG in the process and report back to the house in four weeks.

 

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Chike Olisah is a graduate of accountancy with over 15 years working experience in the financial service sector. He has worked in research and marketing departments of three top commercial banks. Chike is a senior member of the Nairametrics Editorial Team. You may contact him via his email- [email protected]

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Economy & Politics

Okonjo-Iweala speaks on Twitter’s suspension of Donald Trump

Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has given her opinion on Twitter’s suspension of US President, Donald Trump.

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Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, World Bank, Davos, World Economic Forum, WTO accepts nomination of Okonjo-Iweala as DG despite opposition from Egypt,WTO:  Happy to be in final rounds of DG Campaign- Okonjo Iweala

Twitter board member and candidate for the DG of the WTO, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has said Twitter has rules under which it operates and CEO Jack Dorsey’s statement contains all that needs to be known concerning the suspension of US President, Donald Trump from its platform.

Okonjo-Iweala disclosed this in an interview with Arise TV on Friday evening.

  • “Twitter tries to help the public conversation in the world and gives people a means to engage on important issues,” she said.

On the decision to censor Donald Trump

She said the Board agreed as a team to have one voice on the decision to suspend Donald Trump from the service and that CEO Jack Dorsey gave all that needed to be known.

Okonjo-Iweala stated;

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  • “Being on the Twitter board, I have to respect our rules for communications on what is happening. I have to be very honest that we as a board agreed that we have a team that will deal with this, to make sure that we have one voice. But, I can tell you that if you want to know why the decisions were taken, please look at the statement by the CEO, Jack Dorsey, I think it tells you all you want to know.
  • “Twitter is an organization that has rules under which it operates, and if you read what it puts out, you will see that things are being implemented according to the rules.

On welcoming rules and regulations for the social media giant

Okonjo-Iweala said;

  • “Let’s wait and see, I don’t want to pre-judge or comment on anything. I don’t want to go beyond what I am willing to say, but let’s wait and see. These are very difficult times in the world. We all saw what happened in the United States. We have to be very careful. We would see what the future would be for the tech companies.”

Flash back:

  • Nairametrics reported that social media network, Twitter, permanently suspended U.S President, Donald Trump, citing the risk of further incitement of violence.
  • Jack Dorsey, the CEO and founder of Twitter, said that the decision to ban Donald Trump from the social network was the right decision, but one that sets a dangerous precedent.

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Economy & Politics

2021 budget: Lagos to fund deficit of N192.49 billion with internal, external loans

Lagos to fund 2021 budget deficit of N192.494 billion by a combination of internal and external loans.

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Sanwo-Olu presents N1.1 trillion 2020 budget

The Lagos state government has disclosed that it will fund its 2021 budget deficit of N192.494 billion by a combination of internal and external loans.

This was disclosed by the State’s Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Samuel Egube, while presenting the state’s budget for 2021 at a media round table session.

According to him, the total revenue estimate is N971.02 billion, consisting of internal generated revenue (IGR) of N723.81 billion; capital receipts (N71.81 billion); and federal transfer of N175.40 billion.

He said, “The Lagos 2021 budget is made up of N702.93 billion for capital expenditure and N460.49 billion for recurrent expenditure, implying 60:40 capital to recurrent ratio against 2020 budget which was at 55:45 capital to recurrent ratio.

“The breakdown of Lagos recurrent expenditure shows that total personnel cost (N168.72 billion); total overhead costs (N260.07 billion); and debt charges (N31.87 billion).”

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Also at the event, Commissioner for Finance, Rabiu Onalapo, stated that the state will local debt instrument through domestic bond issuance to fund the deficit in its 2021 budget.

He said, “The debts are totally tied to capital projects adding that the state’s 19.8% debt to revenue ratio is projected to rise to 22% in 2021.

“This remains below the World Bank and federal government’s benchmarks of 40% and 30% respectively.”

Key Highlights and Projects under the Budget

  • Roads and other infrastructure: A provision of N166.579 billion is provided for the construction and maintenance of roads and other infrastructure within the state.
  • Traffic Management/Transportation: A total of N93.745 billion was budgeted under the transportation family for Blue and Red rail lines, Junction improvement all around the state, Completion of trailer parks in the state and development of quality bus corridors amongst others.
  • Education: The sum of N146.935 billion was budgeted for the education sector. The figure is N10.835 billion higher than the 2020 provision of N136.100 billion.
  • Science and Technology: Sum of N23.50 billion is provided for the building and upgrading of IT infrastructure statewide. This consists of N17.131 billion for the Smart City Project. The balance of N6.371 billion is earmarked for the e-GIS Land automation system, single billing system and ease of tax payment/levels among others.

What you should know

Babajide Sanwo-Olu, governor of Lagos, signed the 2021 Appropriation Bill into law on December 31, 2020.

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This month, the Lagos State Government projected a monthly target of N60.318 billion Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) for the 2021 fiscal year.

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Economy & Politics

Lagos to spend 60% of N1.16 trillion budget on capital projects

60% of Lagos State’s 2021 budget will go into capital projects, says the state’s Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning.

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Lagos State doesn’t have money – Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget Samuel Egube 

Lagos State announced that it will increase infrastructure spending in 2021 to 60% of its budget, in a bid to repair damages inflicted by hoodlums in October following the EndSARS protests.

This was disclosed by the Lagos State Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Sam Egube, in a briefing with newsmen, on Thursday.
He stated that:
“The projects would be aimed at massive infrastructure renewal and development. While we were recovering from the pandemic, the EndSARS protests and the aftermath of its hijack took us back economically and socially.”
The Commissioner added that the state wanted to rise above the challenges that had been a roadblock to development in 2020, as the state would allocate to its expenditure plans through its projected IGR of N971 billion and debt finance of N192 billion for its budget servicing.
The Commissioner said N24 billion would be used to develop the Lagos Smart City project which would see the Lagos Government build 3,000KM of internet fiber network and 2,000 CCTV across the state, while healthcare is 9% of budget spending at N106 billion.

What you should know 

  • Nairametrics reported last month that the Lagos State House of Assembly approved the sum of N1.163 trillion, as the total budgetary allocation for 2021.
  • This month, the Lagos State Government projected a monthly target of N60.318 billion Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) for the 2021 fiscal year.

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