Nigeria Must Address Food Crisis To Tame Rising Inflation-NESG

Mohammed Shosanya

Unless food crisis is addressed,inflation rate would continue to soar in Nigeria,Dr.Tayo Aduloju, Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG),has said.

Aduloju,who stated this at the NESG’s quaerterly media engagement in Abuja,advocated the need for concerted and collaborate commitment among all tiers of government to addressing the food insecurity plaguing the country.

Speaking on the measures to enhance food production in Nigeria,the boss of NESG, said “It must be done differently from.the way we had done it in the past.

“Every state in Nigeria should tell us their farm size and their cultivation rate today. We have had these conversations with some of the Commissioners for Agriculture across the states.

“We will now begin to get a real sense of what our problems are. May be, we should give land for farming to those that can do large scale farming.

“It needs a collaborative effort. The states have to come along. We think in the second half of the year that growth will improve, if some of these things in the pipeline happen.

“Inflationary pressure will likely amplify, if the food situation does not improve because, of course, if you look at the composite component of food inflation in the overall headline, it remains very high”,he said.

He commented on the 150-day duty-free import window for food commodities, suspension of duties, tariffs and taxes on the importation of certain food commodities recently announced by Minister of Agriculture and Food Security,saying it’s a short-term intervention to ensure that people don’t go hungry.

According to him,while it was received with mixed feelings,some people viewed it as an attack on the productivity side.

He added:”The truth is, if you go by the cultivation rate this year, we are not on track to produce enough food for ourselves this year. That’s what the numbers are showing.

“So, it seems as if the intervention is a short-term intervention to ensure that people don’t go hungry. It’s a hunger response. I don’t think it’s a food system. We should not call it a food system response. It’s actually a one-year response.

“But ultimately, it’s not sufficient, we must get this food system back to work. We must build a resilient food system in the country.”

He decried what he described as the absence of well-bundled public sequence reforms by President Bola Tinubu’s administration in the last one year, adding that the development has resulted in high volatility in the economy.

He expressed optimism that there would be economic growth, if some of the measures are implemented by the government in the second half of the year.

On the high cost pharmaceutical products such as drugs, Adeloju lauded Federal Government’s initiative to introduce zero tariffs, excise duties, and VAT on specialised machinery, equipment and pharmaceutical raw materials.

He noted that if nothing was done to reduce the cost of drugs in Nigeria, it would lead to unmanageable health outcomes in the country.

Stop Attacking NNPCL Boss,Kyari-Diaspora Group

Mohammed Shosanya

A non-governmental group, Nigerian Professionals in Diaspora(NPID), has faulted attacks and calls for the sack of the Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL),Engineer Mele Kyari.

The group conveyed this in a statement signed by its spokesperson, Dr. Segun Adeyemi,and made available to Premium News On Saturday.

The group expressed unwavering support for Kyari’s stewardship in the NNPCL as well as passed a vote of confidence in his sterling leadership.

Adeyemi said the group would stand with him to continue the great job he has been doing to reposition the oil and gas sector.

He described the recent criticisms and allegations against Kyari as unfounded and lack substantial evidence.

He noted that Kyari has a wide range of support from the stakeholders, including industry leaders, members of the Nigerian diaspora in the UK and representatives from the media.

The group agreed to ensure the real facts and right information get to the public on the ongoing discussions surrounding the NNPCL’s leadership and performance.

The Nigerian Professionals in Diaspora (NPID) comprises prominent Nigerian professionals residing in the Diaspora.

Adeyemi said: “We have carefully examined the allegations and concerns raised against Mallam Kyari, and we firmly believe that these criticisms are not only unfair but also fail to recognise the significant progress and achievements made under his leadership.

“The NNPCL, under Mallam Kyari’s guidance, has made tremendous strides in areas such as operational efficiency, financial performance, and the implementation of key industry reforms.

“These achievements have had a tangible and positive impact on the Nigerian economy and the lives of our fellow citizens, both at home and in the Diaspora.

“As Nigerian professionals living and working outside of our homeland, we have been closely following the recent discourse surrounding the leadership of the NNPCL, and we feel it is our responsibility to contribute to this important discussion.

“We have carefully examined the achievements and contributions of Mallam Mele Kyari during his tenure as the Group Chief Executive Officer of the NNPCL, and we are proud to say that he has demonstrated exceptional leadership, vision, and commitment to the transformation of the Nigerian oil and gas sector.

“Under Mallam Kyari’s stewardship, the NNPCL has undergone a remarkable transformation, transitioning from a largely opaque and bureaucratic institution to a more streamlined, transparent, and commercially-oriented entity.

“This has allowed the company to become more responsive to the needs of the Nigerian people and the broader industry, both within the country and on the global stage.

“We, the Nigerian Professionals in Diaspora, unequivocally pass a vote of confidence in Mallam Mele Kyari as the Group Chief Executive Officer of the NNPCL.

“We believe that he is the right person to lead the company through the current challenges and into a prosperous future for the benefit of all Nigerians, both at home and abroad.”

Adeyemi added that the NNPCL requires a man of experience and deep expertise.

“The oil and gas industry is a strategic sector for the Nigerian economy, and it requires steady and capable leadership to navigate the complexities and uncertainties that lie ahead.

“Mallam Kyari has demonstrated his ability to steer the NNPCL in the right direction, and we believe that his continued leadership is crucial for the company’s long-term success and the overall development of the Nigerian oil and gas industry, both within the country and on the international stage.

“We urge all Nigerians, from industry leaders to policy-makers and the general public, to rally behind Mallam Mele Kyari and the NNPCL as they work to fulfil their mandate and contribute to the sustainable growth and prosperity of our nation,” he said.

Activist Seeks Prompt implementation Of New Minimum Wage

Mohammed Shosanya

A Kwara-based local government reform activist and public affairs analyst,Comrade Ishowo Olanrewaju,has urged the federal government to finalise agreement with organised labour and commence implementation of the new minimum wage in earnest.

His comment follows President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s recent announcement of N70,000 as the new national minimum wage.

Ishowo,who made the call through an opinion piece he released on Friday morning, argued that prompt implementation of the new minimum wage was crucial to alleviating the present economic hardships faced by Nigerian workers.

He said it was disturbing that more than a year after fuel subsidy removal and promise of improved wages, the Tinubu-led government was yet to begin implementation of a new minimum wage for Nigerian workers, who he said continue to bear the brunt of the economic policies of the present administration.

He, however, described as a positive development the decision of Tinubu to meet with labour leaders and his earlier move to seek the approval of the National Assembly to increase the 2024 budget by N6.2tn to accommodate the new minimum wage.

According to him,the president’s move reflects not only his understanding of the pressing needs of the labour force but also his dedication to ensuring a fair and just economic environment for all Nigerians.

Commending the president’s commitment to workers’ welfare, Ishowo urged the federal government to strike
balance between the new minimum wage and the consequential adjustment in line with the labour demands and its capacity, stressing that “balance is crucial to avoid overburdening the government’s resources while still meeting the legitimate expectations of the workers.”

He also implored the governors to embrace Tinubu’s initiative by revising their respective states’ 2024 budgets to capture the new minimum wage, so as to ensure uniformity, effectiveness and prompt implementation of the new minimum wage across states of the Federation.

“The federal government’s initiative must be mirrored at the state level to ensure uniformity and effectiveness. We urge all state governors, led by Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, to also go back to their respective Houses of Assembly to revise their 2024 budgets. It is crucial that the new minimum wage is captured in these revisions and that the payment starts as soon as the National Assembly approves the new wage bill. This collective effort will demonstrate a unified commitment to improving the living standards of Nigerian workers nationwide,” Ishowo said.

He lamented that “it is alarming to observe that some governors have colluded with the National Assembly to avoid reviewing Section 34 of the Constitution, which empowers NASS to make laws regarding the national minimum wage.

“Decentralizing this power would constitute a sabotage by the NASS, as many governors are not even willing to review the current wage. This law, which enables their indifferent stance, undermines our democratic system and the welfare of workers. It is crucial to condemn these actions, as allowing governors to determine the minimum wage individually could lead to gross inconsistencies and exploitation across different states.

“The National Assembly holds significant power in this process. It is essential that NASS members act with the fear of God and genuine sympathy for the masses they represent. The responsibility lies with them to ensure that the new minimum wage is not only passed but that it is a living wage.

“The announced ₦70,000, while an improvement on the initial proposed N62,000, is still meagre and may not withstand the economic pressures faced by many Nigerians. The NASS has the authority to review and amend the amount proposed by the executive and they should use this opportunity to advocate for a wage that truly meets the needs of the people.”

Ishowo,appealed to the national lawmakers, especially those representing his Constituency at the National Assembly, Senator Saliu Mustapha and Honorable Mukhtar Shagaya to resist any attempt at sabotage in the National Assembly and ensure the integrity of the national minimum wage is preserved.

“In light of these concerns, I appeal to Senator Saliu Mustapha representing Kwara Central and Honorable Muktar representing Ilorin West in the Senate and House of Representatives respectively, to resist any attempts at NASS sabotage. They must ensure that the integrity of the national minimum wage is preserved and that it remains a federal mandate, ensuring uniformity and fairness for all Nigerian workers. Their proactive stance will be crucial in safeguarding the rights and well-being of their constituents and the nation at large,” he submitted.

Troops Kill 125 Terrorists,Arrest 200 Suspects In One Week

Babatunde Solanke

The Director, Defence Media Operations (DMO), Major General Edward Buba, on Friday said, troops of the armed forces of Nigeria have killed 125 terrorists and arrested 200 suspects.

He also said, troops have arrested 20 perpetrators of oil theft and rescued 140 kidnapped victims.

He stated this in a statement, while highlighting the operational successes of the military in the last one week.

He said: “During the week under review, troops neutralised 125 and arrested 200 persons. Troops also arrested 20 perpetrators of oil theft and rescued 140 kidnapped hostages.

“In the South South, troops denied the oil theft of the estimated sum of N744,153,900.00 only.

“Furthermore, troops recovered 120 assorted weapons and 1,793 assorted ammunition. The breakdown is as follows 56 AK47 rifles, 26 locally fabricated gun, 22 dane guns, one SMG rifle, 7 pump action guns, one fabricated barretta pistol, 7 locally made guns, 5 x 60mm mortar bomb Unexploded Ordinances and 2 small rubber gun powder.

“Others are 1,244 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, 383 rounds of 7.62mm NATO, 88 rounds of 7.62 x 54mm, 78 live cartridges, 24 empty case of 7.62mm ammo, 21 AK47 magazines, one baofeng radio, 6 vehicles, 11 motorcycles, 5 bicycles, 38 mobile phones and the sum of N2,737,145.00 only amongst other items.

“Troops in the Niger Delta area discovered and discovered and destroyed 11 dugout pits, 5 boats and 20 storage tanks. Other items recovered include 31 cooking ovens, 5 vehicles, 3 mobile phones and 31 illegal refining sites. Troops recovered 715,325 litres of stolen crude oil and 148,415 litres of illegally refined AGO.

“On the whole, the military is in a good and strong position in the war against terrorist with many terrorist leaders killed. Our operation continues to focus at providing security and stability for the nation and citizens.”

He also said the armed forces is engaged in multiple fronts targeting terrorist and their cohorts and dismantling their military capabilities.

The military is rejigging ongoing operations to combat crude oil theft in the Niger Delta.

He stressed that the redesigned strategy aims to curb the menace of crude oil theft through a comprehensive approach.

Operations would be conducted through a unified command structure for all security agencies operating in the Niger Delta,he said, adding that the operations would target specific areas that have significant capability to boost crude oil production.

The targeted areas, he said includes, but are not limited to enforcing and ensuring transparency by International Oil Companies operating in the region.

Others are ensuring the integrity of the metering systems deployed at flow stations. Operations will also embark on the tracking of point of loading to destination point of the crude oil.

He said:”Furthermore, operations will also concentrate on surveillance of the pipelines, jackets and well head to forestall breaches.

“Overall, operations will galvanise the support of the people of the Niger Delta as well as the stakeholders in the oil sector to support the drive to boost the nations oil production.
.Importantly,operations will ensure prosecution of culprits engaged in crude oil theft.”

Nigeria’s External Reserves Hit US$36.89bn-CBN

Mohammed Shosanya

Nigeria’s stock of external reserves increased to US$36.89 billion as of July 16, 2024,the Central Bank of Nigeria,CBN,has said.

The current figure compared with US$33.22 billion at end-December 2023, driven largely by receipts from crude oil related taxes and third-party receipts.

The apex bank Governor,Yemi Cardoso,disclosed this while briefing the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions,in Abuja.

He said:”In Q1 2024, we maintained a current account surplus and saw improvements in our trade balance.

“Our external reserves level as at end-June 2024 can finance over 11 months of import of goods and services, or 14 months of goods only. This is significantly higher than the prescribed international benchmark of 3.0 months, indicating a strong buffer against external shocks.

“The banking sector remains robust and diverse, comprising twenty-six commercial banks, six merchant banks, and four non-interest banks. Key indicators such as capital adequacy, liquidity, and non-performing loan ratios all showed impressive improvements, underscoring the sector’s growing stability and resilience.

“The equity market has shown impressive performance, with the All-Share Index rising by 33.81 per cent and market capitalization expanding by 38.33 per cent from December 2023 to June 2024, reflecting growing investors’ confidence.

“While we are encouraged by these positive trends, the CBN remains vigilant and committed to implementing policies that support sustainable growth in our financial markets, while maintaining overall economic stability.”

He expressed satisfaction at the gap-closing in foreign exchange, indicating that official and BDC rates had narrowed significantly from N162.62 in January to N47.22 in June 2024.

He also disclosed successful price discovery, increased market efficiency, and reduced arbitrage opportunities across sectors in the economy.

He further revealed statistics showing improved growth and stability in the economy.

“The spread between official and BDC rates has narrowed significantly from N162.62 in January to N47.22 in June 2024, indicating successful price discovery, increased market efficiency, and reduced arbitrage opportunities.

He assured the committee members that required measures and strategies have been mapped out to confront emerging challenges .

“To combat inflation, we have implemented a comprehensive set of monetary policy measures. These include raising the policy rate by 750 basis points to 26.25 percent, increasing Cash Reserve Ratios, normalizing Open Market Operations as our primary liquidity management tool, and adopting Inflation Targeting as our new monetary policy framework.

“In the area of banking supervision, the CBN has taken decisive actions to ensure the safety, soundness, and resilience of the banking industry.

“Key measures include intervention in three banks, revocation of Heritage Bank’s license, increasing minimum capital requirements, and enhancing AML/CFT supervision.

“We also introduced new frameworks for Cash Reserve Requirements and cybersecurity and prohibited the use of foreign currency collaterals for local currency loans.

“We are in the process of reviewing the Bank’s micro and macroprudential guidelines to reinforce the resilience of financial institutions in Nigeria to withstand tightened conditions, thus creating a secure and attractive investment climate.

“We have signaled our plans to re-capitalize deposit money banks in Nigeria to improve capital inadequacy and their capacity to grow the economy.

“Our ultimate goal is to create a more stable, resilient, and efficient financial system that can better serve the Nigerian economy, while adhering to international best practices”, he said.

Speaking,the Chairman of the Committee, Senator Adetokunbo Abiru said the overall purpose of the interaction, “is to update the committee on efforts, activities, objectives and plans of the Bank with respect to monetary policy.”

Reps Probe IOCs Over Alleged   Sabotage Of Dangote Refinery

Mohammed Shosanya

The House of Representatives,has ordered the immediate probe of international oil companies (IOCs) for allegedly sabotaging the operations of Dangote refinery.

Adopting a motion on Thursday, under matters of urgent National imports sponsored by Hon Kingsley Chinda (PDP-Rivers) during plenary in Abuja, the House also ordered the determination of the actual percentage holding of the Federal Government in Dangote refinery.

The House also resolved to investigate matters of the inability of NNPC Limited to subscribe for the 20% shares in Dangote Refinery and the lack of supply of crude oil to Dangote Refinery.

In its resolution,the House also urged the Federal Government, the Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission ( NUPRC), the Nigeria Midstream and Downstream Regulatory Agency (NMDRA), key stakeholders and well-meaning Nigerians to support Dangote Refinery to succeed.

The House also urged the Minister of Petroleum Resources, and all relevant MDAs to immediately take urgent steps and intervene in the matter of crude oil supply to Dangote Refinery.

Moving the motion which was titled “Need to investigate alleged conspiracy by international oil companies (IOCs) to frustrate the operations and survival of Dangote refinery and the actual percentage holding of the federal government in Dangote refinery,” Chinda noted the successful completion and coming into full operations of Dangote oil Refinery and Petrochemicals.

He also noted that Nigeria as a major oil producing and exporting Country for several years have continued to import refined petroleum products from other countries, to the detriment of the economic well-being of the country.

The lawmaker further noted that Dangote Refinery,with a capacity of 650,000 barrels per day (bpd) is said to be Africa’s largest refinery, and the World’s 7th largest by capacity, and its construction was meant to alleviate the petroleum products needs and accompanying pains faced by Nigerians.

“Recently, the management of Dangote Refinery accused International oil companies (IOCs) operating in the country of conspiracy, and an attempt to frustrate the smooth operations of the refinery. Also aware that the alleged conspiracy against Dangote Refinery relates to efforts by the IOCs to deliberately frustrate the refinery’ to buy local crude oil by manipulating and jerking up the premium price above the market price, thus forcing the refinery to reduce output, as well as import oil at exorbitant cost from other countries.

He further explained that according to the management of Dangote Refinery, while the Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) was trying its best to allocate crude to Dangote Refinery, the IOCs were deliberately frustrating Dangote Refinery’s effort to buy the local crude.

He also said that the management of Dangote Refinery had alleged that the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) was still granting import licenses, indiscriminately, to marketers to import sub-standard refined petroleum products into the country.

He,however,expressed concerns that whilst the IOCs are keen on exporting raw materials to their home countries and thus creating wealth and employment for their countries, thereby adding to their GDP, Nigeria continues to be a dumping ground for the refined products, thus making citizens dependent on imported petroleum products.

“The IOCs strategy/plan is capable of making Nigeria face higher rate of unemployment and poverty. There is an urgent need for the Federal Government, relevant MDAs, including the NUPRC and the MDPRA, key stakeholders and well-meaning Nigerians to support Dangote Refinery to succeed.

“Further worried that whilst the Federal Government of Nigeria subscribed 20% shares in Dangote Refinery, the Chairman (Aliko Dangote) claimed that Nigeria was unable to redeem its obligation and now owns 7.2% through NNPC LTD.

“There is an urgent need to look into these allegations by Dangote Refinery and end/break all forms of dominance and monopoly of the petroleum sector by the IOCs and confirm the quantum of Federal government interest in the refinery”.

He also explained that unless urgent steps are taken by the Federal government, as well as investigate the matter and call the IOCs to order, Dangote Refinery and its operations would be prematurely pushed/forced out of business and this would not be good for the people, adding that NNPC LTD is said to be unable to subscribe for the 20% shares.

Hardship: FG Identifies Sponsors Of Planned Protest

Mohammed Shosanya

The National Orientation Agency,NOA,says it has identified the sponsors of the proposed protest and likely flashpoints and will take measures to forestall any violent occurences in the identified locations.

Director General of the Agency, Mallam Lanre Issa Onilu,disclosed this in a statement signed by NOA’s Deputy Director, Press,Paul Odenyi,and made available to Premium News on Thursday.

The agency urged the promoters of the proposed nationwide protests to pursue dialogue instead of its recourse to disorder.

It reiterated that the channels of communication to government and its various arms remain open to dialogue sais it will continue to respects citizens’ right to protest and associate freely in line with democratic principles.

The statement added : “That the identities of many of the brains behind the protest have been known, along with their collaborators who are safely residing abroad and the government is taking necessary actions to stop their subversive plans.

“That the intentions of the elements behind the planned protest are not about governance or state of the economy but a decoy to destabilize the country, cause mayhem and carry out arson, killings, maiming of innocent citizens for narrow political reasons.

“That NOA is intensifying efforts in civil intelligence gathering and sensitization of community leaders, parents and youths across the 774 local governments on the need for vigilance and collective preventive actions.

“That the other objective of the protest is to project to the international community, a picture of an unstable country as part of the grand design to intimidate the government and seek patronage of the bigger sponsors of the planned protest”.

UI Students Protest Electricity Rationing

Babatunde Solanke

The students of University of Ibadan,Wednesday protested the school’s new policy that limits campus electricity supply to just 10 hours a day.

The peaceful protest halted all vehicular movements and transportation systems within the campus.

The institution had introduced a 10-hour daily electricity supply with effect from (Tuesday). The introduction of the new policy was contained in a memo issued by the department of works and maintenance of the institution.

The policy, which took effect onJuly 16, 2024, was announced through a memo from the university’s Department of Works and Maintenance, detailing supply hours from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.

The embattled students argue that the reduced electricity hours are inadequate for their academic needs, particularly given the absence of alternative power sources on campus.

They pleaded with the school’s administration to reconsider the policy, citing the impact on their studies, such as charging laptops , phones and completing assignments.

The student body is also begging for a reversal of recent tuition hikes, asserting that rising costs should not come alongside restricted access to essential services like electricity.

The students urged the university officials to invest in better infrastructure and renewable energy solutions to provide a more reliable power supply.

Before the protest,the students instructed the cab operators and tricyclists in the institution to stop their operation.

They also blocked the main entrance of the institution as a result of the protest in order to prevent any vehicle from entering or going out of the institution.

The memo, which was dated 16th July 2024, was signed by the Director of Works, Engineer O.A. Adetolu. Adetolu, in the memo, noted that the Vice Chancellor of the institution has approved a 10-hour daily electricity supply on the campus.

The electricity supply for the day will be supplied between 08.am and 02.0m. The supply for the nighttime will be available between 10 pm and 02.am.

The memo tasked the concerned officers to adhere strictly to the new policy.

The letter reads, “Effective immediately, the Vice-Chancellor has approved 10-hour daily electricity supply on Campus as follows: 1. Day Time: 08 a.m. 02 p.m. (6 hours) 2. Night Time: 10 p.m. 02 a.m. (4 hours) Kindly adhere strictly to the approved schedule”.

We Don’t Want Protest In South-East-Ohanaeze Youths

Babatunde Solanke

The apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council Worldwide, has cautioned the organisers of the planned nationwide protest to perish the idea of staging any form of protest in Igbo land.

The planned protest,billed to take place from August 1-10, is against the current hardship in the country.

In a statement made available to journalists on Wednesday, the National President of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council Worldwide, Mazi Okwu Nnabuike, said the youths were in tandem with the decision of the South-East Governors’ Forum.

Okwu,who said they opposed a similar protest in the past, declared that nothing had changed from their stand.

He said, “We affirm our earlier position that we are solidly behind the administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

“In as much as we admit that there are challenges facing the country, we don’t believe that protest is the way forward.

“Rather, we should all keep faith with the government as it makes conscious efforts to restore the fortunes of the country.

“Without mincing words, we restate that the entire Igbo youths have confidence in President Tinubu’s government and would not do anything to jeopardise its efforts.

“In most cases, it only gets better after it has gotten worse, and that is the current situation in the country.

“Anyone looking for Igbo youths to be used as sacrificial lambs should check elsewhere; never again shall we allow ourselves to be victims of such a nationwide action.”

Okwu advised Igbo youths across the country and in the Diaspora “to stay away from trouble and avoid anything that would lead to the destruction of their homes and businesses.”

He added that “our utmost concern now is that the Federal Government should free Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and grant the South-East additional State to be at par with the other regions.

“It should also correct all imbalances on appointments in reflection of the Federal Character Principle.”

Tinubu Writes House,Seeks Additional N6.2tr For 2024 Budget Amendment

Mohammed Shosanya

President Bola Tinubu sent a letter to the House of Representatives on Wednesday, July 17, requesting an increase of N6.2 trillion in the 2024 Appropriation Act.

The Speaker, Tajudeen Abbas, read the President’s letter during the plenary session on the same day.

The 2024 budget is set to increase to N34.9 trillion from the initial N28.7 trillion signed by the President on January 1st.

This amendment proposal aims to allocate N3.2 trillion for infrastructure projects and N3 trillion for recurrent expenditure.

He wrote: “Pursuant to section 58 (2) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, I forward herewith the above-named bills for consideration and passage by the House of Representatives.

“The Appropriation Act Amendment Bill proposes amendments to allocate N3.2 trillion for Renewed Hope Infrastructure Projects and other vital infrastructure initiatives nationwide. Additionally, it seeks N3 trillion to cover essential recurrent expenditures necessary for the effective operation of the federal government.

“They shall be funded by accruing to the Federal Government of Nigeria.”

Tinubu also asked the House to amend the Finance Act of 2023 to tax windfalls gotten by banks owing to foreign exchange gains.

Tinubu seeks amendment to 2024 Appropriation Act, 2023 Finance Act Tinubu, Abbas, Kalu others mourn Lawmaker Adams

“In addition, the proposed amendments to the Finance Acts of 2023 call for a one-time windfall tax on foreign exchange gains realized by banks in their 2023 financial statements. This initiative aims to fund capital infrastructure development, education, healthcare, and welfare initiatives, all integral components of the Renewed Hope Agenda.”

This was as the House passed a Bill for the amendment for a second reading in line with the President’s request.

It was titled: “A Bill for an Act to Amend the Appropriation Act, 2024 to authorise the issue from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation the total sum of ₦3,200,000,000,000.00 (three trillion two hundred billion, Naira) only is for Capital Expenditure and the sum of ₦3,000,000,000,000.00 (three trillion, Naira) only is for recurrent expenditure for the year ending on the 31st day of December 2024 (HB. 1610)”

Also, the Bill for an Act to Amend the Finance Act, 2023 to impose and charge Windfall Tax on Banks and Provide for the Administration, scaled second reading.

The House also considered and approved N1.9 trillion budget for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

It added:”Of this sum, N38,545,349,193 is earmarked for personal expenditure; N29,246,506,753 is for overhead expenditure; N8,785,574,130 for internal capital expenditure; N835,222,569,924 for development projects; while N1,000,000,000,000 is for Legacy Projects Funded by Borrowing for the year ending 30 April 2025.

“The House considered and approved the report of the Committee on Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) regarding the allocation from the Statutory Revenue Fund. The total sum approved is N1,911,800,000,000 (one trillion, nine hundred and eleven billion, eight hundred million naira). This allocation includes N38,545,349,193 for personnel expenditure, N29,246,506,753 for overhead expenditure, N8,785,574,130 for internal capital expenditure, and N835,222,569,924 for development projects”.

Besides,N1,000,000,000,000 is allocated for Legacy Projects funded through borrowing, for the fiscal year ending April 30, 2025. The House also approved the recommendations contained in the report.”