The House of Representatives, yesterday, passed the 2022 budget of N17.126trillion against the N16.391trillion presented by President Muhammadu Buhari.
This is as President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, wrote the Senate seeking approval for the virement of N276,757,232,395 to fund expenditures in the 2021 budget.
This followed a unanimous adoption of a report laid on the floor of the House during plenary in Abuja by the Chairman, Appropriation Committee, Rep. Murktar Betera.
The N17.1trillion was against the N16.39trillion that was proposed by the Executive.
The House also increased the oil benchmark to $62 as against the $52 that was proposed by the Executive, while the exchange rate was retained at N410.15
The House added that the increase in oil price was to reflect the current market values of the oil barrel in the international market.
The House stated that provision was made for more funds to critical sectors for purpose of execution of their core mandate.
The House also said that the additional revenue increase would be allocated to the agencies that came forward with additional financial report which was not provided for in the budget.
This, according to the House, include: Ministry of Works and Housing, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the 2023 general election.
Others are Defence, National Population Commission for the 2022 Population Census, Agriculture and Rural Development, National Security Adviser, National Assembly, among others.
The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate was put at 4.2per cent, while inflation was left at 13per cent.
Also, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep Femi Gbajabiamila said the passage of the 2022 budget was in keeping with the new tradition of operating an annual national budget from January to December.
He lauded the Chairmen of Committees of the House and all the members who worked hard to ensure that the budget was passed in time to maintain the record it had set.
“In the 9th National Assembly, we have, with each budget cycle, sought to improve the appropriations process to ensure more effective and efficient allocation and use of our national resources.
“A recurring challenge is how best to ensure that the ministries, departments and agencies of the Federal Government adhere strictly to the letter of the appropriation law,” he said.
Gbajabiamila added that this had always been a subject of grave concern, especially when it must contend with the reality of limited resources amid significant developmental challenges.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, wrote the Senate seeking approval for the virement of N276,757,232,395 to fund expenditures in the 2021 budget.
The request was conveyed in a letter dated December 16 and read at plenary by the Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Lawan.
It comes on the day the Senate passed a bill to amend the 2021 Appropriations Act.
The bill sponsored by the Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi, scaled through second and third reading after it was considered.
The 2021 Appropriations Act (Amendment) bill seeks to extend the implementation of the Capital aspect of the Appropriation Act 2021 from December 31, 2021 to March 31, 2022.
According to Buhari, the N276billion being requested will be sourced from the N365billion Service Wide Vote for Upscaling of National Social Investment Programme (NSIP).
The letter titled, “2021 Appropriation Act: Request for Virement to Fund Critical Expenditure” reads: “The Senate may wish to recall that I signed the 2021 Appropriation on December 31, 2020, for a total expenditure of N13.588trillion and a Supplementary Appropriation to cater for critical needs for the Security and Health Sector in the sum of N983billion on July 26.
“You may also recall that during the signing of the 2021 Appropriation Act, I mentioned that, where necessary, I will revert to the National Assembly with a request for amendment, virement or other appropriate adjustments to ensure that the core objectives of the budget are accomplished.
“Accordingly, the 2021 Budget implementation is faced with challenges that will require additional funding for some critical and urgent line items in the budget.
“The purpose of this letter, therefore, is to forward the comprehensive Virement Proposal for the consideration and approval of the National Assembly.
“The details of the expenditures proposed for the virement are attached herewith as Schedule 1 while Schedule 2 shows the sources of the funds to be vired for the items in Schedule 1.
“In the light of the above, I implore the Senate to urgently consider the virement proposals to support our efforts to improve the well-being of our citizens.”
A breakdown of the virement request detailed by the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning shows, “Federal Ministry of Finance: N199, 129, 053, 400 for payment of local contractors’ debts, public service wage adjustment for MDAs, SDGs Projects 3 and Group Life Assurance for all MDAs.
“Federal Ministry of Education: N4, 500, 821, 569; Nigerian Air Force: N2, 335, 167, 265; Ministry of Defence: N4, 617, 811, 857; National Assembly: N25billion for settling minimum wage arrears of National Assembly Staff and Intervention to settle outstanding liabilities owed local contractors; Federal Road Maintenance Agency: N20, 038, 920, 773; Nigerian Correctional Service: N762, 678, 972; Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC): N592million as financial assistance for the execution of 2021 End of Year Special Patrol Operation.
“N19, 780, 778, 558 for funding for Federal Medical Centre, Katsina, University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, Ahmadu Bello Teaching Hospital, Zaria, Usman Danfodio University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu, University of Benin Teaching Hospital and Jos University Teaching Hospital.”
See Fubara’s Victory As God’s Design, Wike Tells Rivers PDP
Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has described the victory of Hon Siminialayi Fubara at the gubernatorial primary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state as God’s design.
The PDP gubernatorial primary held, last Wednesday, at the Dr. Obi Wali International Conference Centre in Port Harcourt.
Wike, who spoke after Fubara was declared the winner of the primary, said so many people strove to clinch the slot but only one person can emerge.
The governor also declared that with the victory of Fubara, Rivers PDP now has a candidate that will fly its flag in the 2023 governorship election.
“I never knew I’ll be governor when I became governor. You have also heard what the candidate said that he never knew he will become PDP candidate.
“But to the glory of God, he is the candidate of PDP. This is because power comes from God. Whoever God says will be, will be.”
Wike pointed out that when it comes to producing the governor of the state, all tribes need to work together on it because no one particular tribe can do it alone.
He said because his administration has performed credibly well in the state, any candidate that the party presents will easily win in the 2023 general election.
“With the performance of our administration, and with what we have achieved in this state, there is no candidate that PDP will present that will not win election.
“Our campaign focus will be like this, that we made promises to the state to do roads and other projects, ask us, have we done them? Yes, we have.
“We will ask them (other parties), what have you done for Rivers State? Certainly nothing. So, who tells you that any other party can come and win this state? Let no one deceive you about that.”
Wike explained that after the presidential primary, PDP leaders in Rivers State will set up a team that will work to ensure that the party wins the 2023 gubernatorial election.
He expressed optimism that those who believe in the party will be dutiful in working for the candidate to win.
In his acceptance speech, Hon Siminialayi Fubara, the immediate past Accountant General of Rivers State, described his victory as evidence of grace.
He called on all party faithful to support his victory and the new drive to consolidate on the achievements of Wike’s administration.
“It is victory for Fubara. It is victory for the party. It is not just victory for the party, but victory for moving the state forward.
“The purpose of this special event this night is also to consolidate on the achievements, on every side, of this present administration.
“We are going to work together to sustain the work that this administration has already done for us.”
In his opening address, the Chairman of PDP in Rivers State, Amb Desmond Akawor said the party was poised to conduct a peaceful and successful gubernatorial primary.
Akawor explained that the party was delighted to have conducted peaceful congresses in the 319 wards and 23 local government areas of the state, including primaries for state and National Assembly.
Declaring the result of the gubernatorial primary, Chairman of the Electoral Committee, Prof. Walter Mboto, said Hon Siminialayi Fubara, polled a total of 721 votes to emerge PDP candidate for the 2023 governorship election.
He explained that Isaac Kamalu polled 86 votes to emerge second position, while Dax Alabo George Kelly polled 37 votes and Tammy Danagogo polled 36 votes.
Also, he said, Chief West Morgan polled 4 votes, David Briggs 4 votes and Brother Felix Obuah polled 2 votes, while eight votes were voided.
“The delegate list that we have has a total number of delegates expected to vote as 980. Total number of accredited out of this 980, 898 delegates were accredited. The total number of votes cast in this election is 898. The total number of valid votes cast is 890. 8 votes were voided.”
FAAC: FG, States, LGCs Share N656.602bn Revenue
The Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) has shared a total sum of N656.602billion as April 2022 Federation Account Revenue to the Federal Government, states and local government councils.
This was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of a virtual meeting of the FAAC for May 2022.
The N656.602billion total revenue comprised distributable statutory revenue of N461.189billion, Value Added Tax (VAT) revenue of N166.522billion, the sum of N8.891billion being excess bank charges recovered and augmentation of N20billion.
In April 2022, the total deductions for the cost of collection were N29.609billion and the total deductions for transfers and refunds were N147.651billion.
Director (Information, Press and Public Relations), Office of the Accountant General of Federation, HenshawOgubike, said in a statement, yesterday, that the balance in the Excess Crude Account (ECA) was $35.377million.
The communiqué confirmed that from the total distributable revenue of N656.602billion; the Federal Government received N257.611billion, State Governments got N201.256billion and the Local Government Councils received N149.251billion.
The sum of N48.485billion was shared to the relevant states as 13percent derivation revenue.
Gross statutory revenue of N635.037billion was received for the month of April 2022.
This was lower than the N933.304billion received in the previous month by N298.267billion.
From the N461.189billion distributable statutory revenue, the Federal Government received N217.412billion, the State Governments got N110.275billion and the Local Government Councils received N85.017billion.
The sum of N48.485billion was shared with the relevant States as 13percent derivation revenue.
In the month of April 2022, the gross revenue available from the Value Added Tax (VAT) was N178.825billion.
This was lower than the N219.504billion available in the month of March 2022 by N40.679billion.
From the N166.522billion distributable Value Added Tax (VAT) revenue, the Federal Government received N24.978billion, the State Governments got N83.261billion and the Local Government Councils pocketed N58.283billion.
The Federal Government got N4.684billion; the State Governments received N2.376billion and the Local Government Councils pocketed N1.831billion from the N8.891billion Excess Bank Charges recovered.
The N20.00billion augmentation was shared as follows: the Federal Government received N10.536billion, the State Governments got N5.344billion and the Local Government Councils received N4.120billion.
According to the communiqué, in the month of April 2022, Petroleum Profit Tax (PPT) and Excise Duties increased marginally, while Oil and Gas Royalties, Import Duty, Companies Income Tax (CIT) and Value Added Tax (VAT) all recorded significant decreases.
Children’s Day: FG Establishes Family Court In 16 States
Ahead of this year’s International Children’s Day celebration, the Federal Government has established family courts in 16 states to ensure child-friendly justice for children, either as victims or as offenders of violence.
The Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen who disclosed this at a press briefing on Tuesday noted that the establishment of family courts resulted from the effective advocacy and sensitisation for effective implementation of the Child Rights Law across the country.
According to her, the theme for this year’s celebration is ‘Strengthening Supportive Systems for the Protection of the Nigerian Child; A Wake-Up Call.’
The minister noted that despite efforts by the government and other stakeholders, children were still vulnerable and victims of abduction, ritual killings, rape, child marriage, domestic abuse, and others.
She said, “As a ministry, we are sometimes overwhelmed with these issues and it will seem as if we are not doing enough.
“More worrisome is the recent increase of violence in schools, where children are physically and sexually abused online and offline.
“In the meantime, the ministry, in collaboration with relevant stakeholders, has developed policies and carried out a series of programmes to ensure the safety of children.
“The establishment of family courts in 16 states of the federation is a direct result of the effective and sustained advocacy”.
Tallen also said that to ensure the safety and protection of children, she also reconstituted the technical working group on ending violence against children in the country.
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