The Lagos 2021 Appropriation Bill of N1.16 trillion successfully scaled through the second reading on the floor of the Lagos State House of Assembly after the Acting Clerk of the House, Mr. Olalekan Onafeko, read it at the plenary session.
According to the Chairman, House Committee on Budget and Economic Planning, Mr. Gbolahan Yishawu, his committee would thoroughly review the budget before it can be considered and eventually passed.
He further noted that the current counterpart funding arrangement was not satisfactory, as it could inhibit the state from accessing the requisite grants.
Also, on the sectoral allotments, he is worried over a number of issues including the vote heads allotted to a number of sectors vis-a-vis the external and internal loans of the state, considering the state debt burden is in trillions of naira.
What they are saying
Mr. Yishawu said, “All seems not to be right with the projection of the 2021 estimate, as the expected revenues is most likely unattainable. This is because of the recent developments of COVID-19 pandemic and the EndSARS protest which have left behind sad tales of economic woes for the state and the country at large.
“The revenue-generating agencies needed more vote heads and the House needed to look at the budget critically to ensure revenues were used conscientiously, as well as looking at outsourcing our collections and increase coverage.”
Mr Rotimi Olowo, Chairman House Committee on Finance, was full of praise for Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu for the focus of the budget on empowering the youths through several schemes but cautioned the house to always use empirical facts and data to validate all the budget provisions, adding that the state needs a budget size that is easily and seamlessly implementable.
Commenting as well, Mr. Tobun Abiodun, Chairman House Committee on Works and Infrastructure, noted that since revenue drives the budget, there is a strong imperative for adequate provisions to be made regarding revenue projections.
Also, Oluyinka Ogundimu, the Chairman House Committee on Education, is worried over obvious gaps in finance as well as the revenue expectations and carefully noted that as the effects of COVID-19 are still evident in the state, it would be quite difficult for any breakeven projections to be achieved, given the wanton destruction of private and public assets in the state during the #EndSARS protests.
The Speaker, Mudashiru Obasa, however, advised, “I want to caution the committee not to jump to conclusions on the revenue projection until their engagement with the MDAs. The state recently grapples with attendant effects of inflation, unemployment caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the EndSARS protest. Therefore, the budget must have a human face to put smiles on the faces of victims, whose means of livelihood were grossly affected.”
Mr. Speaker, Mudashiru Obasa, requested the committee look into all grey areas highlighted and also committed the 2021 budget to the Joint Committees of the House on Appropriation and Finance for a thorough review and to report back to the general assembly in six weeks.
What you should know
- The second reading of a bill is the first opportunity for the members of the house to review and debate the main principles of the Bill.
- To pass a bill on the floor of the house, it takes several steps including first reading, second reading, committee stage, report stage, third reading, then assent/approval.
Senate endorses ex-Service Chiefs as Non-career Ambassadors
The Senate has confirmed President Buhari’s nomination of the immediate past service chiefs as non-career ambassadors.
The Nigerian Senate has endorsed the nomination of the past serving Military Service Chiefs as Non-career Ambassadors.
This was confirmed during Tuesday’s plenary session and announced in a social media statement by the Nigerian Senate.
Their confirmation follows the consideration of the report of the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Chaired by Senator Adamu Bulkachuwa.
According to reports, the Senate Minority Leader Enyinaya Abaribe, however, questioned the nomination and confirmation of the ex-service chiefs when the Senate had on 3 different occasions called for their sack.
Senator Abaribe also raised issues on the petitions against the former service chiefs and questioned why they were dismissed without explanations.
But Senate President Ahmad Lawan dismissed Senator Abaribe’s concerns, ruling that the nomination of the former service chiefs cannot be nullified simply because the upper chamber had called for their sack, noting that this is totally a different assignment.
In his concluding statement, the Senate President, Senator Lawan added that these nominees that have just been confirmed have served this country to the best of their abilities. He appealed to the executive to make sure they use their experience as military men to the best.
“These nominees that we have just confirmed are nominees that have served this country to the best of their ability. Our appeal to the Executive is to make sure they use their experiences as military men to the best,” Lawan said.
Lawan, on behalf of the senate, wished them a very successful career in their capacity as Non-Career Ambassadors.
What you should know
- Recall Nairametrics reported earlier this month that President Muhammadu Buhari nominated ex-Service Chiefs for Senate approval as non-career Ambassadors-Designate.
- Their appointment came barely a week after their retirement as service chiefs and their replacement with new ones.
- This led to a spate of criticisms from some Nigerians who felt that the nation’s security situation got worse under their watch.
- They were reported to have tendered their resignation from their positions amid heightened calls that they should be sacked due to the increasing rate of insecurity across the country.
2020 budget performance: FG achieves 89% capital release in December 2020
The Minister of Finance has revealed that the FG achieved 89% release of the capital component of the 2020 budget to MDAs as of December 2020.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, has revealed that the Federal Government achieved 89% release of the capital component of the 2020 budget to Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) as of December 2020.
She said that the 89% capital funding for MDAs was achieved with the release of N1.74 trillion.
According to a report by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), this disclosure was made by Ahmed at an interactive session with the leadership of the National Assembly on Monday, February 22, 2021.
She also revealed that the government had disbursed N118.37 billion for Covid-19 capital expenditure from the fund.
What the Minister for Finance is saying
Ahmed said the Nigerian economy faced serious challenges in 2020, with the macroeconomic environment significantly disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
She said this led to a 65% drop in projected net 2020 government revenues from the oil and gas sector, which adversely affected foreign exchange inflows into the economy.
On the delayed release of funds to implement the 2020 capital budget until March 31, the Minister said the complaint had decreased.
She said, “I think the complaint was earlier in the year when we were trying to transfer the balances. As far as I know, in the past three weeks, I haven’t heard any such complaints and we have been able to address them.
“But when we started the transfers, we couldn’t transfer to some agencies because of some limitations in the system, but we have since been able to transfer the capital component that is being utilised by the agencies budget to the system.”
While pointing out that the implementation of the MDAs projects was tied to procurement processes and capacity of the MDA, Ahmed also said the extension of the 2020 capital budget implementation to March 31 had recorded 30% performance as at January.
However, Ahmed said that she expected that the extension would record 100% performance in March.
Speaking during the interaction, the Senate’s Chief Whip, Senator Orji-Uzor Kalu, commended the Minister on the capital performance of the 2020 budget.
He said, “I want to commend the minister and her team because this is the first time in the history of Nigeria that by December 31, we are having 89% performance expenditure of the budget. It has never happened before; Last year was the very first.
“The budget had been going 49%, 27%; this means from what the Senate President was asking, it means by March, we should be looking at implementing the budget 100%.’’
Earlier, President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan said the meeting was to get an update on the capital implementation of the 2020 budget given its extension for implementation by the national assembly to March 31.
What this means
- The 89% capital release for the 2020 budget as of December 2020 is quite encouraging as it occurred despite the economic challenges and disruption caused by the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
- There seems to be an improved effort by the Federal Government at the budgeting process with the early passage of the 2021 budget and the implementation of the capital component of the 2020 budget.
Nairametrics | Company Earnings
- Custodian Investment Plc posts N12.69 billion profit in FY 2020.
- 2020 FY Results: Nestle posts N39.2 billion, as earnings per share prints N49.47
Nestle Nigeria Plc released its audited […]
- 2020 FY: WEMA Bank posts N5.06 billion profit after tax as earnings per share prints at N13.1.
Wema Bank Plc released […]
- 2020 FY: Zenith Bank post N230.6 billion profit after tax
Zenith Bank Plc released its […]
- Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc boosts post tax profits by 25.9%
Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc released […]