Reps Move To Increase NDIC’s N5m Compensation For Depositors Of Failed Banks

Mohammed Shosanya

The House of Representatives will review the law establishing the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation, NDIC, and increase the compensation payable to depositors of failed banks.

This was considered on Tuesday following the adoption of a motion moved by Uchenna Okonkwo during plenary on Tuesday.

Moving the motion, Okonkwo said the N5 million compensation announced by NDIC is insufficient for affected depositors.

According to him,some lost billions of naira to the liquidation of the bank by the CBN.

“Limiting compensation to N5 million is deeply inadequate to alleviate the substantial losses experienced by depositors who had placed their trust in Heritage Bank, exacerbating their financial distress and uncertainty,” he said.

The House resolved to consider regulatory amendments to increase the maximum insured amount to better protect depositors’ interests.

The House stated that “this adjustment would provide greater financial security for depositors in the event of bank failures.”

The House resolved that the CBN should investigate the management of the bank for possible cases of mismanagement.

Stop Teaching Nigerians Fake National Anthem,Senate Warns NOA

Mohammed Shosanya

The Senate President, Senator Godswill Akpabio on Tuesday warned the National Orientation Agency ( NOA) to stop teaching Nigerians the wrong version of the newly adopted Old National Anthem.

Akpabio,who noted that what the agency was circulating was different from the New National Anthem approved by the Senate and by extension, the National Assembly observed that what the Senate have is different from what the NOA has.

“Take note of what we have here, what we have is different from what the NOA has.Where we have Nigerians ‘all’ are proud to say, they have Nigerians all and proud to say.

“Also, where we have ‘though’ tribe and tongue may differ, they have ‘though’ tribes and tongues.Also at the end where we have ‘Nigeria shall be blessed, they have Nigeria ‘may’ be blessed.

“We are using shall which is a compulsion that this country shall be blessed, so tell the National Orientation Agency to drop what they are circulating now,” he said.

The Senate after deliberations had gone on executive sessions for over two hours, after which the Senate adjourned plenary to July 2.

Before the Senate ended the plenary, Akpabio requested that the Senate recite the first stanza of the new National Anthem where he made the observation.

While the lawmakers recited the anthem, the Senate President looked at his book intermittently and discovered the anomaly.

After they were done, Akpabio stated that the lawmakers should take note of the wordings of the anthem approved by the Senate and discard the one being presented by the NOA.

The Senate had two weeks ago, passed the National Anthem Bill 2024 to revert to the old national anthem, “Nigeria, we hail thee.”

The Senate passed legislation to swap the national anthem from “Arise, O Compatriots” to “Nigeria, We Hail Thee.”

The bill, which speedily passed first and second readings on the same day was assented to , by by President Bola Tinubu penultimate Tuesday.

EFCC Gets 14,000 Petitions In One Year

Mohammed Shosanya

The Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ola Olukoyede, on Tuesday disclosed that the Commission had received 14,000 petitions from members of the public in the last one year.

He stated this in Abuja when the Special Envoy for West Africa, Dr. Charles Omini paid him a courtesy visit at the corporate headquarters of the Commission.

He disclosed that the Commission’s relentless efforts in ridding the country of all forms of economic and financial crimes are geared towards ensuring that Nigerians have a taste of good governance.

He added:“What we are doing is about this country, there is nothing personal in it, we are passionate about giving Nigerians a taste of good governance for once in their lifetime. In the last one year, we have received over fourteen thousand petitions, credible petitions, fourteen thousand, within the space of twelve months.

“Nigerians have no business being poor, if we manage our resources and are accountable, if we do the right things, by now we should be at par with America.

“There is nowhere in Nigeria that you dig, and you won’t see natural resources or mineral resources. The forest alone can make us in the class of advanced countries. There is no region in Nigeria that does not have tourist attractions.”

He reiterated that fighting corruption was winnable if all Nigerians come together and join hands with the EFCC to ensure good governance and a better country for all.

“The war is winnable, there are some countries where their own cases were even worse than our own. Our associates in Singapore, Hongkong told us they used to be worse than Nigeria, but we have gotten to that point where everyone will say let us come back to the discussion table and do the right thing.

“Everybody is now realizing that we have done ourselves so much evil. If all of us can come together, we will overwhelm them,” he said.

The EFCC boss charged the Envoy to strengthen the anti-corruption fight more by making Nigerians realise that corruption is robbing them of their rights to good life and good governance.

He said: “Let people know that their rights have been violated, it is not about EFCC, it is about every one of us, let us collaborate more.

Speaking,Dr. Charles Omini stated that his team was at the EFCC to appreciate the efforts of the Commission in its efforts towards ridding Nigeria of corruption, economic and financial crimes.

“We have seen the level of impact. You stood very well to make sure corruption in Nigeria is reduced at all levels. Our first phase of partnership that has brought us here is for our strategic and technical team, the crusade you are carrying on, we are going to partner with you and make sure we take this crusade at every level to every Nigerian and beyond Nigeria,” he said.

He submitted that the rights of the EFCC and its officers are important and should be protected.

Tinubu Seeks Fresh $2.5bn Loan To Fund Supplementary Budget

Mohammed Shosanya

The federal government is seeking $2.5 billion loan from the World Bank to fund the 2024 supplementary appropriation bill submitted by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to the Senate.

The Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Senator Atiku Bagudu who disclosed this on Tuesday said the proposed 2024 Appropriation Bill will also be partly funded with the N50bn Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF), which is currently domiciled in the National Sovereign Wealth Investment Authority (NSWIA).

He said the N50bn in the PIDF would not be enough to fund the Renewed Hope Transformational Projects hence the Federal Government approached the World Bank for a $2.5bn loan.

According to him,the World Bank management would meet soon to take a decision on its approval.

Bagudu,who disclosed this while briefing the Joint Senate and House of Representatives Committee on National Planning and Economic Affairs over the proposed Supplementary Appropriation Bill said President Bola Tinubu had penultimate week, told the joint session of the federal parliament that he would soon send the proposed supplementary bill to the federal lawmakers for approval.

The Minister said the Supplementary Budget, which is still being prepared, would be spent on four identified transformational projects.

He listed the projects to include Lagos – Calabar Coastal Road; the proposed Sokoto – Badagri Road; the completion of all ongoing railway projects, which the Federal Government had yet to provide counterpart funding for

Atiku Bagudu also said the proposed money Bill would fund the rehabilitation and expansion of dams and irrigation schemes in order to support increased production within the economy.

He said the supplementary budget would provide more money to support CNG, LNG projects to provide for more energy competitiveness.

He said a study done by the Federal Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation showed that CNG vehicles are cheaper to maintain than petrol-powered ones.

The Minister added the trans-Sahara highway which the current administration inherited would also be funded with the supplementary budget.

“The supplementary budget that was announced or rather was mentioned,
came about when Mr. President presented a memo to the Federal Executive Council.

“In the memo, he said that he inherited the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund, which was domiciled in the National Sovereign Wealth Investment Authority.

“He has also identified transformational projects, including Lagos – Calabar, Coastal Road; proposed Sokoto-Badagri Road; completion of all ongoing railway projects, which we have not provided counterpart funding.

“We also plan to fund the rehabilitation and expansion of dams and irrigation schemes in order to support increased production within the economy. Last but not the least, more money to support CNG, LNG.

“The three roads, dams and irrigation, and railways, is what Mr. President designated as the infrastructure, renewed health infrastructure priority items.

“So that’s what he directed that the ministry prepare for appropriation supplementary appropriation Bill.

“We have not finished work on the bill, we have not submitted the supplementary appropriation draft to the Federal Executive Council yet.

“So many people have approached the ministry and indeed leadership of the National Assembly as well as many members asking about the renewed hope the supplementary appropriation,” he said.

The Minister also said the current agitation by the organised labour minimum wage agitation might also be considered in the proposed legislation.

He said, “We are not clear how much revenue we have, given the challenges of the moment.

“Yes, we have done some scenarios given the exchange rate fluctuation and the impact of the budget and even scenarios given the current minimum wage negotiation that is ongoing.

“This is because even at N60,000, even at N62,000, that immediately doubles the minimum wage.

“So it was the forecast that even at the lowest level, it will increase inflation rate and that might affect interest rates which will affect in turn, economic activity, debt surges among others.

On the 2024 Budget performance, the Minister explained why some MDAs had not started projects.

He also said the Federal Government has mandated the Finance Ministry to take over payment of some major contractors.

He said, “unlike the usual practice where every quarter the ministry of finance sent money to MDAs depending on what the envelope size is. That has been discarded and replaced by the bottom up cash.

“Under our procurement laws, ministries and MDAs are supposed to commence procurement as soon as the budget is passed into law.

“So most MDAs are in that process now. The first quarter capital releases is not high because most MDAs have not yet awarded the contracts and consequently they have not put any request for cash.

“We believe that it will pick up in this second quarter and subsequent quarters. So the budget performance will be difficult as procurement processes are completed by MDAs.

“Equally, as part of an effort for better treasury management, the federal Ministry of Finance have now decided that for some category of contracts, they will be doing the payments.

“So again, that is intended to ensure that financial resources are pooled in one place, rather than sent to various MDAs awaiting processes. So those are the broad brief on the 2024 budget.”

The Chairman of the Senate Committee, Senator Yahaha Abdullahi suggested the amendment to the 2024 Budget instead of a fresh appropriation because of the huge cost of processing it.

He, however,said the executive arm of government is at liberty to determine how it want to get its appropriation bill approved by the parliament.

NNPC Signs FLNG Deal Wth Golar LNG To Boost Gas Commercialization In Nigeria

Mohammed Shosanya

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited has executed a Project Development Agreement (PDA) with Golar LNG for the deployment of a Floating Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) offshore Niger Delta, Nigeria.

The signing ceremony, which took place on Monday 10th June, 2024, was attended from the NNPC Limited side by the Chief Financial Officer, Umar Ajiya; Executive Vice President, Gas Power & New Energy, Olalekan Ogunleye and Executive Vice President, Upstream, Mrs. Oritsemeyiwa Eyesan while the Golar LNG team was led by – Karl Fredrik Staubo (CEO).

The PDA is another major milestone achievement towards ensuring gas commercialization through deployment of an FLNG Facility in Nigeria, which is in line with Mr. President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s resolve to rapidly commercialize Nigeria’s gas assets for the economic prosperity of the nation,Olufemi O. Soneye
Chief Corporate Communications Officer,NNPC Ltd said in a statement on Tuesday.

The statement quoted that the agreement aims to monetize vast proven gas reserves from shallow water resources offshore Nigeria.

The PDA also outlines the monetization plan that will utilize approximately 400-500mmscf/d and produce LNG, LPG and Condensate.

According to the statement,the partners, NNPC Limited and Golar LNG have both expressed their commitment to achieve Final Investment Decision (FID) before end of Q4, 2024 and first gas by 2027.

Golar LNG Limited is a renowned independent owner and operator of LNG infrastructure, including carriers, floating storage and regasification units (FSRUs), and floating liquefaction (FLNG) vessels.