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Buhari Calls For Review Of Revenue Template …As FG, States,LGAs Share N821.9bn

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President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the review of the revenue reporting template between the NNPC and the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC).
The Minister of Finance,  Mrs Kemi Adeosun conveyed the President’s directive on Friday while giving a breakdown on how N821.9 billion revenue  generated  in June was shared among the three tiers of government.
“As you are aware,  in the last couple of FAAC meetings, the accounts presented by NNPC were not acceptable by the states and so Mr President asked to be briefed on the issue.
“Based on that briefing, Mr President asked for further information to be provided by both the Ministry of Finance and the NNPC.
“Last Thursday, he held a meeting with myself, the Chief of Staff, the Minister of State for Petroleum and the NNPC team.
“Mr President gave some certain directives, one which relates to FAAC, is the need to revise the template.
“It was ascertained that the reporting template between the NNPC and FAAC was not providing the right level of assurance around the figures.
“It is for this reason that he has directed that a new template be generated jointly between the Ministry of Finance, the office of the Accountant-General, NNPC and RMAFC,” she said
Adeosun said Buhari also directed that henceforth,  before FAAC meetings, a team from the  Ministry of Finance and the NNPC should go through the figures and agree before presenting it to FAAC members.
Giving a breakdown of the allocation for the month of June, Adeosun said that  after deductions for cost of collections, the Federal Government received N283.54 billion.
Adeosun said in accordance with the revenue sharing formula, the 36 states governments received N143.81 billion, while the Local Government Councils received an allocation of N110.87 billion.
In addition, she announced that N37.4 billion representing 13 per cent of the mineral revenue generated in the month of June, was also shared among the oil producing states.
To this end, Adeosun said the nation generated N393.17 billion as mineral revenue and N294.17 billion as non-mineral revenue in February.
She said that in the spirit of saving for a rainy day, N100 billion was transfered to the Excess Crude Account,  making the balance 2.27 billion dollars.
Meanwhile, the Chairman, Commissioners for Finance Forum, Mr Mahmoud Yunusa, said the state governments agreed with the decision of President Buhari to review the revenue reporting template of the NNPC.
He said that the committee would closely monitor the development  to ensure that it achieves the desired effect.
Earlier, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) introduced the Accountability Index to the representatives of federal,  states and local government authorities.
The ICAN President,  Mr Razaq Jaiyeola told FAAC members that the Accountability Index was an initiative of the Institute to ensure prudent management of public funds by the three  tiers of government.
He said that the index would focus on policy based fiscal forecasting and budget, scrutiny and audit, budget credibility and management of assets and debts.
In summary, Jaiyeola said that the initiative would improve quality of governance in the country and tackle corruption in the public sector.

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Lawmakers Want CBN To Halt Naira Devaluation

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The House of Representatives has asked the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to urgently put in place a policy to check further devaluation of the naira to the United States dollar and other international legal tenders.
The House decried that while the Nigerian currency was losing value, others in Africa were appreciating.
At the plenary on Wednesday, the House unanimously adopted a motion moved by the Deputy Chairman of the Committee on Pensions, Mr Bamidele Salam, which warned the CBN of the implications of further devaluing the naira.
The motion was titled, ‘Matter of urgent public importance on the need for the Central Bank of Nigeria to urgently put in place monetary policies to stop the free fall of the naira against the dollar and other international legal tenders’.
Salam recalled that the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, while addressing the Bankers’ Committee at a summit on the economy in Lagos earlier in February, informed the committee about the naira devaluation against the dollar.
The lawmaker also quoted Emefiele as saying at the summit that the official exchange rate stood at N410 to the dollar.
“That is 7.6 per cent weaker than the rate of N379 published on the central bank’s website,” Salam noted.
According to the lawmaker, while the value of the naira relative to the dollar had declined by nine per cent in the last six months, the South African rand and Ghanaian cedi had appreciated by 11.4 per cent and one per cent, respectively.
Salam also recalled that the CBN adopted multiple exchange rates in 2020, in a bid to avoid an outright devaluation. 
He noted that the official rate used as a basis for budget preparation and other official transactions differed from a closely controlled exchange rate for investors and exporters known as the Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange Rate Fixing Methodology.
He stressed that the naira had traded in a tight range between N400 and N410, while the NAFEX rate was different from the parallel market, considered illegal by the CBN, where the naira closed at 502.
Salam said, “The House is concerned that devaluation is likely to cause inflation because imports will be more expensive any imported goods or raw material will increase in price; aggregate demand increases, causing demand-pull inflation. Firms/exporters have less incentive to cut costs because they can rely on the devaluation to improve competitiveness.
 ”The concern is that the long-term devaluation may lead to lower productivity because of the decline in incentives.
 ”The House is further concerned that devaluation of the naira makes it more difficult for Nigerian youths especially in the IT sector, whose businesses are online and must necessarily transact businesses in the US dollars. 
“It also reduces real wages. In a period of low wage growth, a devaluation that causes rising import prices will make consumers feel worse off “.

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Four West African Countries To Buy Nigeria’s Unutilised Electricity

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Four West African countries, Niger, Togo, Benin and Burkina Faso, are collaborating to buy the unutilised power produced in Nigeria. 
The Chairman of the Executive Board of the West African Power Pool (WAPP), Sule Abdulaziz, disclosed this at the WAPP meeting on the North core project in Abuja, on Wednesday. 
Abdulaziz, who is also the acting Managing Director of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), said the four countries were collaborating to make the power purchase from Nigeria through the North core Power Transmission Line currently being built.
He explained, “The power we will be selling is the power that is not needed in Nigeria.
“The electricity generators that are going to supply power to this transmission line are going to generate that power specifically for this project. So, it is unutilised power”.
He said Nigeria was expecting new generators to participate in the energy export for the 875km 330KV Northcore transmission line from Nigeria through Niger, Togo, Benin to Burkina Faso.
Abdulaziz said, “In addition, there are some communities that are under the line route, about 611 of them, which will be getting power so that there won’t be just a transmission line passing without impact”.
The WAPP chairman noted that the project, funded by World Bank, French Development Council and the African Development Bank, had recorded progress, adding that the energy ministers would be addressing security issues for the project at another meeting in Abuja.
He said, “Nigeria has the greatest advantage among these countries because the electricity is going to be exported from Nigerian Gencos (generation companies). 
“So, from that, the revenue is going to be enhanced and a lot of people will be employed in Nigeria”.
The Secretary-General, WAPP, Siengui Appolinaire-Ki, said the cost of the project was about $570 million, adding that part of the investment in each country would be funded by that particular nation.
According to him, the countries in the partnership, including Nigeria, are also being supported by donors.
He said the funding agreement was ready as partner countries were awaiting the disbursements.
Appolinaire-Ki, however, said the donor agencies had said they needed a Power Purchase Agreement between the buying and the selling countries to be executed before releasing the fund.

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Reps Probe N275bn Agric Loans Under Yar’Adua, Jonathan, Buhari

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The House of Representatives has resolved to investigate the disbursement of loans and credit facilities by the Federal Government in the agriculture sector since 2009.
The period under review covers the administrations of the late Umaru Yar’Adua, Goodluck Jonathan as well as the present President, Muhammadu Buhari.
The resolution was sequel to the unanimous adoption of a motion moved by Hon. Chike Okafor at the plenary last Wednesday, titled ‘Need to investigate disbursements of all agricultural loans/credit facilities to farmers from 2009 to date to enhance national food security’. 
Okafor said, from 2009 to date, the Federal Government had approved the disbursement of funds to farmers in various schemes to the tune of over N275billion, ranging from Commercial Agricultural Credit Scheme to the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending, to help farmers improve agricultural production and guarantee food security in Nigeria.
The lawmaker also noted that apart from increasing food supply, the schemes were to grant agricultural loans to large and small-scale commercial farmers to lower the prices of agricultural produce, generate employment and increase foreign exchange earnings.
He said, “The House is aware that since the approval, most farmers have not been able to access the loans due to stringent requirements being demanded by banks from prospective borrowers and the alleged siphoning of over N105billion meant for farmers by management of NIRSAL.
“The House is concerned that food production has not attained the expected level, despite the approval of over N275billion facilities to farmers. 
“The House is worried that the projected diversification of the economy from oil production to agricultural production and increase in agricultural output, food supply and promoting low food inflation will not be achieved if farmers are unable to access loans meant to increase agricultural production”.
Adopting the motion, the House resolved to mandate the Committee on Banking and Currency to “investigate disbursements and compliance of all agricultural loans/credit facilities to farmers from 2009 to date to enhance national food security in the country”.

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