The Presidency has raised questions over how many Nigerians enjoy the benefit from low fuel prices as it has continued to defend the recent hike in petrol prices, as spokesman Garba Shehu on Friday questioned how many Nigerians benefit from low fuel charges.
While speaking on the removal of fuel subsidy by the Federal Government, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, during a television programme on Channels, questioned how many Nigerians have cars or generators in their homes that will require fuel.
It can be recalled that the majority of Nigerians had expressed outrage over the removal of fuel subsidy which resulted to increase in fuel prices. They have complained about the timing of the increase even as many Nigerians are still dealing with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
Shehu, during the programme, argued that it is unfair for poor Nigerians to continue to subsidize the lifestyle of urban dwellers.
Shehu Garba said, “We belong to a global market system. We are buying, mostly, refined products from the international markets. Is it fair that the taxpayer’s money . . . how many Nigerians have cars anyway? How many of them run generators in their homes that they need this fuel for? Is it fair that the farmer and the herder and all of these low-level people in our society, that the taxpayer money is taken from them and is subsidising the lifestyle of our city, urban dwellers? So the President is just trying to be as practical as possible on this matter.”
On the deregulation of the oil and gas sector, Shehu also defended President Muhammadu Buhari’s comments on Independence day, where he compared the price of fuel in Nigeria with that obtained in Saudi Arabia.
He said: “So Saudi Arabia is important in this discussion because what is the technical cost of producing a barrel of oil in Saudi Arabia? It’s not more than a quarter of what we spend here. And yet you see that they charge more than Nigeria. How much comes to Nigeria? One, you look at their technical cost. So therefore Nigerians should be realistic.”
He added that it was unwise for the government to continue to determine prices and be an active player in the petroleum industry.
He said, “Government is not the best manager of businesses; we should surrender them to the market. We have done this with the telecoms; the telecoms are serving the whole nation excellently well, and when we do this with petrol, we will no longer have to cope with queues, spending two nights ahead of Christmas travel. All nations of the world put this thing to the market. We should no longer pretend.”
Uganda Elections: Museveni re-elected for 6th term with 58.6% of the votes
Uganda’s President Museveni has won a 6th term in office as the opposition alleges wide-scale rigging.
The President of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni, has been re-elected as President, gathering 5.85 million votes compared to 3.48 million votes by main opposition leader, Robert Kyagulanyi, a.k.a Bobi Wine.
According to Reuters, this victory represents 58.6% of the vote cast while Bobi Wine got 34.8%
Bobi Wine announced that the election results show this is the most fraudulent election in the history of Uganda and urged his followers to reject the result.
What you should know
- Yoweri Museveni, aged 76, has been President of the East African nation since 1986.
- Bobi Wine claimed via his official Twitter handle that military men jumped over his fence and took control of his home yesterday.
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.
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.
- “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
- “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.”
- 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.
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.
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).”
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.
This month, the Lagos State Government projected a monthly target of N60.318 billion Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) for the 2021 fiscal year.