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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

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.’’

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‘’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.

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.

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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

Insecurity: FG to implement town hall meetings to reach a national consensus

The meetings are set to address the twin issues of insecurity and its concomitant effect on national unity and cohesion.

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Insecurity: FG to implement town hall meetings to reach a national consensus

The Federal Government announced the launch of town hall meetings to address the twin issues of insecurity and its concomitant effect on national unity and cohesion.

This was disclosed by the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, at the Town Hall Meeting in Kaduna on Thursday, themed “Setting Benchmarks for Enhanced Security and National Unity in Nigeria.”

What the Minister is saying

“The correct starting point towards addressing these myriads of problems is the building of an “elite consensus” on the security, unity, indissolubility, and peaceful existence of Nigeria.

“Such elite consensus had worked in the past. Can we make it work now and proffer solutions in order to stave off the threats to our unity as a nation?” he said.

The Minister disclosed that the meetings are necessary to bring all critical stakeholders together to deliberate on the issues and possibly reach a consensus on the way forward.

“We expect this Town Hall meeting to develop concrete, implementable resolutions because a lot of talks and postulations had taken place with little or no requisite outcome.”

In case you missed it 

  • Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar warned that the rising insecurity in Nigeria is a result of rising youth unemployment. He urged Nigeria to tackle out-of-school children cases, pay a monthly stipend to poorer families, incorporate youths who are above school age into massive public works programmes and others.
  • Senator Ali Ndume insisted that the Federal Government needs to increase its total military spending to be able to tackle the rising insecurity in Nigeria which has seen a number of school students in 2021 kidnapped by bandits.

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Business

IMF lifts 2021 global GDP growth to 6%

The group also warned that economic recoveries are diverging dangerously across and within countries.

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Kristalina Georgieva, IMF boss hints at 'synchronized slowdown' in global growth , IMF: 40% of African countries can't pay back their debts , Nigeria worse off, posts grows lower than LIDC benchmark - IMF, Measures introduced by Nigeria to ensure transparent use of the $3.4b IMF loan

The International Monetary Fund has lifted its global growth outlook to 6% in 2021 (0.5% point upgrade) and 4.4% in 2022 (0.2 percentage point upgrade), after an estimated historic contraction of -3.3% in 2020 due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. This disclosure was made on the organisation’s website on Tuesday.

The group also warned that economic recoveries are diverging dangerously across and within countries, as economies with slower vaccine rollout, more limited policy support, and more reliance on tourism do less well.

READ: Corruption erodes the constituency for aid programmes and humanitarian relief – IMF

What the IMF is saying

“The upgrades in global growth for 2021 and 2022 are mainly due to upgrades for advanced economies, particularly to a sizeable upgrade for the United States (1.3 percentage points) that is expected to grow at 6.4 percent this year.

This makes the United States the only large economy projected to surpass the level of GDP it was forecast to have in 2022 in the absence of this pandemic.

China is projected to grow this year at 8.4 percent. While China’s economy had already returned to pre-pandemic GDP in 2020, many other countries are not expected to do so until 2023.”

READ: Nigeria needs structural and monetary policy reforms to unlock potential – IMF

On divergent recoveries 

The IMF stated that divergent recovery paths are likely to create wider gaps in living standards across countries compared to pre-pandemic expectations.

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“The average annual loss in per capita GDP over 2020–24, relative to pre-pandemic forecasts, is projected to be 5.7 percent in low-income countries and 4.7 percent in emerging markets, while in advanced economies the losses are expected to be smaller at 2.3 percent,” they said.

“Faster progress with vaccinations can uplift the forecast, while a more prolonged pandemic with virus variants that evade vaccines can lead to a sharp downgrade. Multispeed recoveries could pose financial risks if interest rates in the United States rise further in unexpected ways.

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For Africa, IMF forecasts economic growth of 3.4% in 2021 and 4% by 2022, Nigeria is expected to grow by 2.5% in 2021 and 2.3% by 2022, while South Africa is projected to hit growths of 3.1% and 2.0% for the respective years in focus.

READ: The 4th industrial revolution and the birth of a new international monetary system

In case you missed it 

The International Monetary Fund (IMF)  identified some factors that hamper the economic recovery of low-income countries from the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic, factors including access to vaccines, limited policy space to respond to the crisis, the lack of means for extra spending, pre-existing vulnerabilities such as high levels of public debt in many low-income countries and sometimes weak, negative, total factor productivity performance in some low-income countries. These factors continue to act as a drag on growth.

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