Wednesday, 28 October 2020
Items filtered by date: September 2020

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday in Abuja approved a budgetary proposal of N13.08trillion for the 2021 fiscal year.

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed, made this known when she briefed State House correspondents on the outcome of the Council meeting.

She explained that the total aggregate revenue projected for the 2021 budget was N7.89 trillion with a deficit of N4.48 trillion.

According to the minister, the total capital expenditure projected in the budget is 29 percent of the aggregate expenditure, saying the 29 per cent is an improvement over the 24 percent projected in budget 2020.

“We have a total aggregate revenue of N7.89 trillion and also an aggregate expenditure of N13.08 trillion for 2021.

“There’s a fiscal deficit of N4.489 trillion, this represents 3.64%, slightly above what is required by the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 3% and also to report that the total capital expenditure that is projected in the Budget is 29% of the aggregate expenditure.

“This is an improvement over the 24% that we had in the 2020 Budget, but slightly below the 30% that we targeted in the economic recovery.

“Just to clarify that the 1.86 million barrels per day crude oil production includes 400,000 condensates, so we have complied with the OPEC quota, which is placed at about 1.5 million barrels per day. So the 1.46 is in meeting with the OPEC quota,’’ she said.

The minister disclosed that the performance of the 2020 budget, as at July for revenue, was 68 per cent, while its performance for expenditure was 92 per cent.

“The performance of the 2020 Budget as in July, for revenue, was 68 per cent We had a 68 per cent revenue performance prorated to July.

“The performance of expenditure, on the other hand, was 92.3 per cent and that is to say salaries were fully paid, pensions were paid, debt service was made, as well as transfers classified as statutory.

“In presenting the Budget 2020, we had to report to Council some slight changes that need to be made on MTEF 2021/2023, which has since July been sent to the National Assembly by Mr President.

“Specifically, the exchange rate is going to be changed from 360 that we initially presented and submitted to Council and to the National Assembly, up to 379.

“The reason why this is happening is due to the exchange rate movement that the CBN has put in place.

“Also, there were some slight changes in miscellaneous revenues and signature bonuses after interaction with DPR, which resulted in some increase in revenue,’’ she added.

The minister stated that the 2021 budget proposal was aimed at enhancing inclusive growth and also to achieve the key objectives of the government.

She said: “The total budget proposal that is made for 2021 is to enable us to attain a more inclusive growth and also to achieve the key objectives of the government.

“These include; stimulating the economy, creating jobs, enhancing growth, and creating an infrastructural investment, also promoting manufacturing and local production.’’

The minister further revealed that the budget assumptions that were presented to Council included the crude oil price benchmark at 40 dollars per barrel; oil production at 1.86 million barrels per day; exchange rate of N379 to $1; GDP growth target of 3 per cent and an inflation rate of 11.95 per cent.

She also expressed the hope that Nigeria’s economy would recover to the path of growth early in 2021, “so the total aggregate revenue that is projected for the 2021 Budget is N7.89 trillion and what is unique about the 2021 Budget is that we have brought in the budgets of 60 government-owned enterprises.

“If you recall, in 2020 we brought in 10, now we have brought in 60.

“These 60 exclude NNPC and the Central Bank and the reason being NNPC, a national oil company, internationally national oil companies are not included in the national budget.

“Also, the CBN is an autonomous body. Only those two are excluded, 60 government-owned enterprises included.

“That is to say their revenue and all categories of expenditure are now integrated into the Budget.’’

On the effect of COVID-19 on the 2021 budget proposal, the minister said provisions had been made in the budget to address such challenges.

She said: “The 2021 budget has been able to make more provision for human capital development. So, the Ministry of Health for example has its provision almost doubled.

“The Ministry of Education has a significant increase. The details of the budget will be provided to the country after Mr President submits the budget which we hope might be on the 8th of October. So, the details will be out.

“And following Mr President’s submission, the Ministry of Finance, Budget, and National Planning will also engage in a world press conference to provide the details.

“But what is unique about this is that the provision for human capital development, especially health is doubled.”

The minister disclosed that the budget proposal would be transmitted to the National Assembly on Thursday.

Published in Headliners
Wednesday, 30 September 2020 16:28

BREAKING: FEC approves N13.08tn budget for 2021

By Bolaji Ogundele, Abuja/ THE NATION

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has projected a N13.08 trillion budget for the 2021 fiscal year.

Disclosing this to State House Correspondents after the weekly virtual FEC meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, the Minister for Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, also said the oil benchmark has been pegged at $40 per barrel.

The Minister, who was accompanied by Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Clement Agba; the Minister for Information and Culture Alhaji Lai Mohammed and the Director-General of the Budget Office, Mr Ben Akabueze, also said the projected Capital Expenditure for the year is projected at N2.083 trillion.

Other indices projected to tune the 2021 Budget include oil production at 1.86 million barrels per day, including 400,000 barrels of condensate; Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth target at 3%; inflation target at 11.95%; and foreign exchange set at N379 to one dollar

Published in News & Stories
Wednesday, 30 September 2020 16:06

BREAKING: FG lifts ban on Emirates Airlines

By Samuel Oamen/ THE NATION

The Federal Government has lifted the ban on Emirates Airlines from operating in Nigeria.

The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, announced this on his Twitter handle on Wednesday.

He tweeted: “UAE has written to state that they agree to issue visas to Nigerians, consequently decision has been reached to allow Emirates to fly into Nigeria.

“Commencement of the Visa issuance is condition precedent. Please bear with this unusual situation. Many thanks.”

The FG on September 18 announced the ban of Emirates flights to Nigeria.

Sirika said it was necessary for Nigeria to implement the principle of reciprocity to all countries that had banned flights from Nigeria.

Details shortly…

Published in Business and Economy

By Samuel Oamen/ THE NATION

Winner of the Big Brother Season 5 Lockdown edition, Olamilekan Agbeleshe popularly known as Laycon has expressed delight joy at winning the show.

Speaking during the prize presentation moments ago, he thanked his fans and everyone who supported him throughout the show.

“I came to promote my song and go maybe after two weeks. But fans saw something in me to keep me in the house to win.

“I love them all,” he said.

He was presented with a cheque for N30million, an SUV from Innoson motors and a two-bedroom house from Revolution Properties.

Published in Entertainment
Wednesday, 30 September 2020 15:48

Biden faces down raging Trump in chaotic debate

Democrat Joe Biden told a raging President Donald Trump to “shut up” in a chaotic opening debate that turned almost immediately into a shouting match weeks ahead of the most tense US election in recent memory.

The debate in Cleveland, Ohio, was as bad-tempered as had been feared, with Trump leading the way in yelling over his challenger and the Fox News moderator Chris Wallace alike.

There was no handshake as the two men took the stage and while this was due to Covid-19 restrictions, the absence of the traditional greeting symbolized divisions through the country in the final countdown to November 3.

Trump went as hard on 77-year-old Biden as he’d threatened, saying the “radical left” had the centrist Democrat “wrapped around their little finger.”

And he got personal, seeking to rile the former vice president by accusing one of his sons of corruption, and telling Biden that “there’s nothing smart” about him.

Biden, though, not only gave as good as he got — he launched the kind of attack on Trump the billionaire president has rarely had to endure to his face.

“Liar,” “racist” and “clown” were just some of the missiles launched from Biden, who also branded Trump the “puppy” of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

At times, neither Biden nor Wallace could get a word in, as Trump loudly touted his economic record and went after Biden’s son Hunter.

“This will go down as one of the worst debates in history,” Aaron Kall, a presidential debate specialist at the University of Michigan, told AFP.

Conspiracy theories
At one point an exasperated Biden, who leads strongly in the polls, turned to Trump and said: “Will you shut up, man!”

That moment symbolized Biden’s performance in an arena where Trump’s campaign had for months been predicting he would crumble.

The Republican had spread lurid conspiracy theories right up until the last minute that Biden would need drugs or an earpiece secretly providing answers to get through the night.

The anger-filled event did nothing to calm fears around the country that the presidential election, taking place in the middle of an ongoing coronavirus pandemic, could end in chaos.

Asked by Wallace whether they pledged to urge calm and refrain from declaring victory if the results are not immediately known November 3, Biden said: “Yes.”

Trump, though, wouldn’t commit, saying that if he saw “tens of thousands of ballots being manipulated, I can’t go along with that.”

And when asked if he condemned far-right armed militias like the Proud Boys, Trump gave a cryptic reply: “Proud Boys — stand back and stand by.”

The paramilitary group later appeared to adopt the phrase, with a social media account linked to the Proud Boys posting a logo that read “Stand Back, Stand By.”

Direct to American people
Biden sought to tie Trump squarely to the Covid-19 pandemic that has claimed more than 200,000 lives in the United States, more than in any other country.

And he came with a visible plan to dodge the Trump rhetorical storm by frequently turning to face the cameras directly and addressing the tens of millions of people watching across the country.

“How many of you got up this morning and had an empty chair at the kitchen table because someone died of Covid?” Biden said, channeling his famed ability to show empathy for the suffering — something that Trump has long had difficulty in matching.

Mocking the 74-year-old Trump for one of his more notorious statements on supposed cures for coronavirus, Biden said: “Maybe you could inject bleach in your arm and that would take care of it.”

Tax avoidance
Before they even appeared for the first of their scheduled three 90-minute TV debates, Biden was capitalizing on bombshell revelations in The New York Times that the businessman managed to avoid paying almost any federal income taxes for years.

Trump — who has broken longtime presidential transparency by refusing to publish his tax returns — reportedly used loopholes to pay just $750 in federal tax during the first year of his presidency.

Hours before the Cleveland showdown, Biden published his own tax returns — and at the debate demanded that Trump do likewise.

Trump insisted at the debate that he has paid “millions” in taxes.

But the affair continues to provide Biden ammunition to try and chip away at Trump’s crucial support from blue collar voters or what the Republican calls “the forgotten men and women.”

Published in Business and Economy

By Kazeem Ugbodaga/ PM NEWS

As part of activities commemorating the 60th Independence Anniversary of the country, President Muhammadu Buhari will address the nation from the Eagle Square, Abuja, on Thursday, October 1, 2020.

A statement issued by Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President (Media & Publicity), on Wednesday said the live address would begin after the Anniversary Parade.

He said the address would begin at 10am which would be covered by major television and radio stations, especially the network services of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) and the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN).

“Please note that in view of the open-air live address, the traditional early morning October 1 Presidential Broadcast will not feature on Thursday,” Adesina said.

Published in Headliners
Fatima, the daughter of former EFCC chairman, Nuhu Ribadu, will be tying the nuptial knots with Aliyu, the son of former vice-president Atiku Abubakar on Saturday 3 October.

According to an invitation by the two families, the wedding Fatiha will take place at 18 Mambilla Street Aso Drive Abuja at 11am

The wedding must be one of the surprises of 2020.

Aliyu Atiku Abubakar and Fatima Nuhu Ribadu: wedding to be consummated on 3 October

The wedding invitation from Atiku Abubakar and Nuhu Ribadu

Although both parents are from Adamawa State, they belong to different political parties.

Atiku, who bears the title of Wazirin Adamawa,is a member of the PDP, while Ribadu, once flirted with PDP, but is now a member of the All Progressives Congress.

Fatima Ribadu, the beautiful daughter of the Ribadus graduated from the Nigerian Turkish International College in Abuja in 2015 before going abroad for university education.

She is in her early 20s.

Aliyu is the son of Atikus third wife, Princess Rukaiyatu, daughter of the Lamido of Adamawa, Aliyu Mustafa. He is the third child and was named after Atikus father.

He thus became a special child to his father. And no wonder he succeeded himas Turaki of Adamawa, after Atiku was promoted the Waziri.

.

Published in Arts & Culture

President Muhammadu Buhari Tuesday inaugurated the 326 KM Itakpe-Ajaokuta-Warri rail line for commercial operation, more than 30 years after construction work began.

Buhari also flagged open the ancillary facilities yard, at the recently named Goodluck Jonathan Railway Complex in Agbor (Owa-Oyibu), Delta State.

At the virtual opening of the rail line linking Itakpe to Warri, President Buhari directed the Federal Ministry of Transportation to link all the nation’s ports of origin and destination – Apapa, Tin Can, Warri, Onne, Calabar Ports- to the rail network in order to significantly improve overall transportation and economic capacities.

Buhari at the virtual commissioning of Itakpe-Warri rail line

The President declared that his administration recognised the importance of the rail mode of transportation as a vital backbone to support industrialization and economic development.

”Accordingly, I have approved the prioritization of viable railway routes for either new rail lines or the reconstruction and rehabilitation of some, to achieve effective and efficient train services supporting the country’s trade and commerce.

”The Railway Infrastructure that I have the honour to commission today is the rail line from Itakpe via the steel town complex of Ajaokuta to Warri, and is an important link for the country’s economy as the central rail line.

”This Government has also approved to link this line further from Itakpe to Abuja, thereby, connecting the Northern Zone of the country and also extending southwards to link the Warri Ports,” he said.

The President expressed confidence that the project, which serves as a vital link of South-South geopolitical zones of the country to the Northern zones, would be completed during the tenure of this administration.

”It will link people across the cultural divides and expand the frontier of trade and commerce, which will lead to better standards of living for our citizens,” he said.

President Buhari recalled that to further give recognition to Nigerian sons and daughters who have distinguished themselves at nation building and development , 11 railway stations and railway village were named after some deserving citizens.

He listed them as follows: Adamu Attah Station, Itakpe; Abubakar Olusola Saraki Station, Ajaokuta; Augustus Aikhomu Station, Itogbo; George Innih Station, Agenebode; Anthony Enahoro Station, Uromi; Tom Ikimi Station, Ekehen and Samuel Ogbemudia Station, Igbanke.

Others are Goodluck Jonathan Railway Complex, Agbor, Owa-Oyibu; David Ejoor Station, Abraka; Michael Ibru Station, Opara; Alfred Rewane Station, Ujevwu; and Michael Akhigbe Railway Village, Agbor

The President enjoined all Nigerians in the transportation industry, especially the railway sub-sector, to continue to support Government in its stride to achieve other railway infrastructure projects.

He also enlisted the support of all at realizing this milestone of a functional and full-fledged central railway, after more than 30 years during which the project has suffered several setbacks and false starts.

”I implore those who work on this line to uphold maintenance and safety culture necessary for long-lasting service in this difficult terrain.

”By the same token, I urge other sectors who will be primary beneficiaries of this transportation backbone, including, the iron and steel sector, stakeholders in agricultural and mining sectors on this corridor, as well as the host communities to protect and sustain this infrastructure and maximize the benefits that could be derived from it and which is readily available at their doorsteps.

”This project will increase the volume of their trade and kickstart and resuscitate the iron and steel complexes.

”All these, I hope will improve our industrial potentials and capacities as well as boost employment,’’ he said.

President Buhari said projections indicate that the commencement of operation of the Itakpe-Ajaokuta-Warri Rail line will account for close to one million passengers annually and also unleash approximately 3.5 million tonnes capacity of freight annually that will service all off-takers on the corridor and beyond.

Congratulating the Minister of Transportation Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi and his team on successfully completing the project, the President recognised the host communities on this corridor for their patience during the long wait of over 30 years for the realization of the project.

He also commended the host communities for their cooperation during the completion works by the Federal Government.

He assured Nigerians that his administration would continue, within available resources, to judiciously connect commercial and industrial hubs to boost trade, generate wealth and create employment.

In his remarks, Delta State Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa commended President Buhari’s bi-partisan approach to governance, saying ‘‘it is a thing of pride and joy that this rail line was completed under your watch.’’

”Deltans are excited that this day has come,’’ he said, adding that the Ika nation is glad of the recognition accorded former President Goodluck Jonathan, in naming the railway complex in Agbor after him.

Okowa urged the private sector to take advantage of the historic corridor by establishing investments that will create jobs for locals, curb youth restiveness and stem the tide of criminality.

”It is imperative that the Federal Government in collaboration with the States provide adequate security cover for this rail line corridor,” he said.

In his remarks, Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki congratulated the President on the feat of completing the project, saying it is quite fortuitous that few days to the country’s 60th independence celebration, the President has achieved the completion of this critical infrastructure.

”For us in Edo State we are excited that we have a few stops that have been completed and we are going to be working with you to utilise this infrastructure,” he said.

The Edo Governor appealed to the minister of transportation to extend the rail line to the industrial park in Benin City to facilitate the movement of goods to the northern part of the country.

In his remarks, Minister Amaechi said the project was fully funded by the Nigerian government, adding that 8 of the 10 stations are in the Niger-Delta/ South South region of the country.

‘There is no loan on this project, it was funded from the budget and I had the directive of the President to go and revive it and complete it as soon as possible,’’ he said.

According to the Transportation Minister, the project started under the military era in 1987 but ‘‘underwent protracted hiccups, prolonged abandonment and massive vandalisation,’’ before it was resuscitated by the Buhari administration.

Published in News & Stories

Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), on Tuesday, pleaded not guilty to the eight counts bordering on alleged culpable homicide filed against him in a Kaduna High Court.

Justice Gideon Kurada took the plea of the IMN leader at the resumed hearing of the motion in a no-case-submission filed by El-Zakzaky on Aug. 7.

Justice Kurada had, however, fixed Sept. 29, for ruling in the motion, after counsel to the defendant, Abubakar Marshall, holding the brief for Femi Falana, SAN, asked the court to quash the charges preferred against El-Zakzaky by the government for not “disclosing an offence known to law contrary to sections 36 (8) and (12) of the 1999 constitution as amended”.

At the resumed sitting, Kurada again reserved ruling in the motion until hearing in the substantive suit.

Also, the Judge, after taking the plea of the defendant adjourned until Nov. 18 and Nov. 19 to enable the prosecution present it’s witnesses.

The IMN leader filed the motion seeking the court to quash the State government’s case against him for lack of evidence.

The IMN leader and his wife Zinat are standing trial on allegations of culpable homicide, unlawful assembly and disruption of public peace, among other charges.

Mr Dari Bayero, who led the prosecution, told reporters shortly after the hearing, that the State has assembled more than 20 witnesses to give evidence before the court.

Bayero said personnel of Nigerian Army and that of the Nigeria Police were among witnesses assembled to give evidence in the case against the defendant.

The IMN leader and his wife Zinat are standing trial on allegations of culpable homicide, unlawful assembly and disruption of public peace, among other charges.

Abubakar Marshall, counsel to the defendant, holding brief for Falana, also told reporters shortly after the adjournment that his motion on no-case submission had been reserved until the end of hearing in the main suit.

He said that his client had taken a not-guilty-plea and ” we are waiting for the prosecution to present it’s witnesses”.

Published in Business and Economy
By Jennifer Okundia/ PM NEWS

Nollywood actress Iyabo Ojo is still in shock, after her goddaughter got her the car she has been dreaming to have: a Range Rover Evoque.

The mother of two got the surprise of her life today, when she got a white Range Rover Evoque from her goddaughter, whose name is Ololade.

Ojo revealed that she just returned from Turkey unhappy, due to the way she was extorted to pay for COVID-19 test at the airport, and then she got home to receive the amazing gift.

Iyabo Ojo and goddaughter Ololade

“2 weeks ago I prayed for a car on my page, @ololadeabuta_gracias my first god daughter called me and after we gisted for some minutes she asked me the kind of car I wish to buy, I jokingly told her range rover Evoque, next thing she started praying for me that God will provide an Evoque for me, I come say i no get money now oooooo make i jeje buy Vensa she said don’t worry before the end of this month God will bless me with an Evoque, we both laughed over it but I didn’t read any meaning to it, last week Sunday she called me that she will be coming to my house with a client that wants to do interior decor but I told her I wouldn’t be home because I was travelling to Turkey, I didn’t know she had a car gift for me Lolade my God will really bless you”

Published in Entertainment
Page 1 of 6

Xclusive Nigeria Television (XNTV)

Newsletter

- Advertisement -



Ads