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Senate Resumes Work On MTEF/FSP, Next Week

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The Senate Committee on Finance, yesterday, said it would begin legislative work on the 2021-2023 Medium Term Expenditure and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF/FSP) on Wednesday, August 19.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance, Senator Solomon Adeola (APC Lagos West), disclosed in a statement made available to journalists in Abuja, adding that invitations have been sent to ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) of the government with presentations to make on the document.
Adeola, in the statement signed by his media aide, Kayode Odunaro, said the MDAs were to appear before the Senate Joint Committee on Finance, and National Planning.
He noted that there was need to examine the rationale for pegging the price of crude oil at $40 per barrel and a projected crude oil production of 1.86 million barrels per day (mbpd), in the MTEF/FSP document.
He  said, ”We are kick-starting the process on Wednesday with Government-Owned Enterprises (GOEs) like NNPC, NCC, NPA, Customs Service, NIMASA, DPR and others, followed by the Ministry of Finance and its agencies, and subsequently, all revenue generating agencies”.
The lawmaker called on heads of MDAs to be prepared to defend their projections “as the Joint Committee intends to present the report to the Senate in plenary immediately on resumption from its ongoing vacation in tandem with the desire of the upper chamber to pass the 2021 budget in December.”
Adeola insisted that there was need for thorough scrutiny of the MTEF/FSP document in view of the fluid nature of the world economy following the disruptive impact of Covid-19 pandemic and the vagaries of the international market for crude oil and its attendant effects on the nation’s sources of revenue.
According to him, “There is a need for all stakeholders to come together to critically study the fundamentals of the ‘new normal’ forced on the global economy by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“With the instability witnessed in the price of crude oil at the international market and the sluggish world economy with some nations falling into recession, there is a need to assess our situation critically and be realistic about our revenues sources for budgets going forward”.

 

By: Nneka Amaechi-Nnadi, Abuja

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Wike Advocates New Re venue Sharing Formula To Favour States

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The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has advocated a new revenue sharing formula that will make the states get more money for development.
Wike made the suggestion when he received a delegation of the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission on a courtesy visit at Government House, Port Harcourt, Tuesday.
The governor pointed out that the states bear more development burden and would require more money to cater to the needs of the people.
“There cannot be a Federal Government without the states. So, we advocate a new revenue formula that should take more revenue out of the Federal Government and given to the states.
“This is because the burden is more on the states than the Federal Government. So, the states should have more revenue to cater for the people,” he said.
The governor described as unfortunate comments by the Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri over ownership of Soku Oil Well.
Wike said Soku Oil Well belongs to Rivers State, and urged the commission to continue to ensure the payment of the accruing revenue to the state.
“It is unfortunate that the Bayelsa State governor told you when you visited him that you should not pay us revenue from Soku Oil Well.
“The matter was at the Supreme Court when the National Boundary Commission admitted that they made an error in their 11th edition publication by situating Soku Oil Well in Bayelsa State.
“They were therefore, directed to correct the error in their 12th edition publication. When they also failed to effect the correction, we had to go back to the Federal High Court. The court, in its wisdom directed that all revenue accruing from Soku Oil Well should be paid to Rivers State.
“That is the position. For Bayelsa State governor to come up to say that you should not pay us our money is unfortunate.
“If they have filed a matter at the Supreme Court, it is not an injunction to stop the implementation of the subsisting judgement”, he stated.
The governor commended the commission for taking the bold step to correct fraudulent practices adopted by some states in order to gain financial advantage.
He assured that the State would continue to interface with the commission to make their work easy.
Wike reiterated his determination to deploy all resources received for the development of the state.
Leader of the delegation, Alhaji Mohammed Kabiru Usman said they were on an advocacy and sensitisation tour to the state.
He said their 2018 verification exercise was characterised by fraud because some data supplied by some states were very spurious.
According to him, such over inflated figures were to make those states get money that they do not deserve and deny others.
Usman said the visit would afford them the time to sensitise the relevant financial officers in the state on the importance of providing correct data to the commission.

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FG Launches Digital Nigeria Portal, Mobile App

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The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Pantami, on Monday, launched the Digital Nigeria Portal and Mobile App, in furtherance of the Digital Nigeria Programme, kicked off by President Muhammadu Buhari, on March 19, 2020.

This was disclosed by the minister’s spokesperson, Mrs Uwa Suleiman, who stated that the portal is part of the Federal Government’s initiatives to empower innovators and entrepreneurs with requisite skills to thrive in the emerging digital economy.

The Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, in delivering this key mandate, is in partnership with global institutions, including the African Development Bank (AFDB), Microsoft, to enable Nigerians acquire cutting edge digital skills within the comfort of their homes.

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36 States Drag FG To Supreme Court Over Executive Order

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Governments of 36 states of the federation have dragged the Federal Government to the Supreme Court, challenging the Presidential Executive Order Number 10 of 2020 signed by President Muhammadu Buhari on the funding of the courts.

In the suit, the states argued that the president, by virtue of the Executive Order signed on May 20, had pushed the Federal Government’s responsibility of funding both capital and recurrent expenditures of state High Courts, Sharia Court of Appeals and Customary Courts of Appeal to state governments.

They also prayed the court to hold that the Executive Order 10 was issued in clear violation of Sections 6 and 8(3) of the 1999 Constitution which placed the responsibility of funding the listed courts on the shoulders of the Federal Government.

The 36 states, who filed the action through their respective attorneys general, also sought an order of the Supreme Court to quash the Executive Order for being unconstitutional.

The states further pressed for an order of the apex court to direct the Federal Government to make a refund to them for funding these projects.

The suit was filed on their behalf by a consortium of nine Senior Advocates of Nigeria, led by former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr. Augustine Alegeh (SAN).

It listed the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN) as the sole defendant.

 

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