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2020 Budget: Nigerian Government proposes N9.79 trillion to National Assembly

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Zainab Ahmed

The Federal Government will propose to the National Assembly about N9.79 trillion as total expenditure in the 2020 budget, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, has said.

Mrs Ahmed announced this on Tuesday in Abuja at a public consultation forum with civil society groups and agencies on the draft 2020-2022 Medium Term Expenditure Framework.

The amount represents an increase of 9.75 per cent over N8.916 trillion spending for 2019.

The projection includes a proposed revenue of about N7.64 trillion and a total proposed fiscal deficit component of about N2.142 trillion.

She said the key assumptions of the budget were based on an oil production capacity of 2.18 million barrels per day, crude oil price of $55 per barrel, against $60 per barrel last year, and exchanged rate of N305 to the dollar.

Also, she said inflation rate for the year is projected at an average of 10.81 per cent, with nominal consumption figure of about N122.75 trillion and nominal gross domestic product of N142.96 trillion. The GDP growth rate is put at about 2.93 per cent.

On the expenditure, the minister said debt service is projected to increase from N2.14 trillion in 2019 to about N2.45trillion; Statutory Transfer of N526.46 billion, from N502.1 billion in 2019; and sinking fund of N296 billion, from N110billion.

Also, recurrent non-debt appropriation was put at about N4.57trillion against N4.39 trillion in the 2020 debt proposal
A breakdown of the non-debt proposal, the minister said, includes Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) personnel cost of N2.675 trillion; Government-owned enterprises (GOEs) personnel costs (N218.8 billion; overheads for MDAs (N280.3 billion; overheads of GOEs (N146.14 billion).

Also, proposals for pensions, gratuity and retirement benefits will be about N536.72billion; transfers Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading (NBET) for power sector reform programme (N59.44 billion; Service-wide votes (N418.7 billion), and Presidential Amnesty Programme (N65 billion).

Under Special Interventions (recurrent), the minister said about N350billion has been proposed for the year, while aggregate Capital expenditure has been reduced from N3.18 trillion in 2019 to about N2.05 trillion in 2020.

Details of the capital expenditure include capital supplementation (N234.2 billion); Statutory transfers for capital expenditure (N289.1 billion); capital allocation for special Intervention Programme (N150billion); MDAs Capital expenditure (N827.3 billion).

The minister said capital expenditure for 10 top GOEs have been put at about N188.23 billion; grants and donor-funded projects (N36.4 billion), and multilateral/bilateral project-tied (N328.13 billion).

On deficit financing, Mrs Ahmed said the government plans to mobilise additional financing from the sale of government property, proceeds from privatization, sale of non-oil assets, multi-lateral and bilateral project-tied loans and new foreign and domestic borrowings.

In her overview of the proposals, the minister said the draft MTEF showed the country was facing significant medium-term fiscal challenges, especially with respect to revenue generation and rapid growth in personnel costs.

To reverse the challenges, she said key reforms under the strategic revenue growth initiative will be implemented to boost revenue collection and expenditure management.

Besides, to further the objective of greater comprehensiveness and transparency in the budget process, she said the government has proposed to reflect the revenue and expenditure of government-owned enterprises and multi-lateral/bilateral project-ted loans and related expenditures in the 2020 budget.

Although the projected oil production volume is lower than the 2.3 million barrels per day in 2019, the government believes the 2.18 million barrels output projection is more realistic.

She said a lower benchmark crude oil price of $55 per barrel was adopted against $60 per barrel in 2019, because of the assumption of the expected oil glut from oversupply in 2020 as well as the need to establish a cushion against unexpected price shock.

On real GDP growth, the minister said the 2.93 per cent growth rate falls short of the National Economic Recovery and Growth Plan projection of 3.1 per cent.

She blamed the rise in personnel cost (inclusive pensions costs) from N2.45 trillion in 2019 to N3 trillion on the recent decision of the government to create five new ministries.

To contain the rising personnel costs, Mrs Ahmed said the Federal Government has taken steps to block leakages in the system, including through an October 2019 deadline by President Muhammadu Buhari for all MDAs to implement the Integrated Personnel Payroll System (IPPIS).

The minister warned that workers in MDAs that fail to move to the IPPIS platform risk losing payment of their salaries from October.

On Nigeria signing the agreement establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), the minister said although she foresees tremendous opportunities for the country in the medium term, the agreement could become a huge nightmare if the right policies and actions are not implemented to boost Nigeria’s competitiveness

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How LASCOPA recovered N18.9m compensation for consumers in Lagos

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General Manager, LASCOPA, Mrs Kemi Olugbode.

The Lagos State Consumer Protection Agency (LASCOPA) says it has recovered N18,886,754 as refund and compensation for consumers in the state

The General Manager, LASCOPA, Mrs Kemi Olugbode, disclosed this in a statement in Lagos on Saturday.

She said that the money was recovered for consumers who sought the support of the agency to get redress from infringements on their rights by retailers and traders of various consumables.

Olugbode said that LASCOPA received complaints daily from aggrieved consumers seeking redress from various unfair trade practices in the state.

She noted that 87.1 percent of the total complaints received by the agency had been amicably resolved, while 9.4 percent were receiving attention.

”About 1.5 percent of the complaints received are awaiting court judgment and two percent were dropped for lack of merit,” he said.

Olugbode said that complaints were received from transportation, banking and finance, food and beverages, Insurance, e-commerce, telecommunications and property sectors.

Other areas are; electricity distribution companies, confectioneries, Manufacturing, automobiles, pharmaceuticals, chemical and agro-allied companies, among others.

She urged consumers to take advantage of the agency`s services to seek redress whenever there was an infringement on their rights, as it was free of charge.

Olugbode said that complaints should be forwarded online through the agency’s e-mail addresses, lascopa@lagosstate.gov.ng or lascopa@gmail.com.

She said that complainants could also visit LASCOPA’s office and all complaints should be accompanied with relevant documents attached.

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Jubilations as Access Bank opens new branch in Osun

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There was profound jubilation among the people of Ipetu-Ijesha, in Oriade Local Government of Osun State, as Access Bank opened its new branch in the sleepy community.

Speaking at the event, which was graced by many dignitaries across the country, the Group Managing Director/CEO of the Bank, Dr Herbert Wigwe reiterated the commitment of the Bank to the welfare of many inhabitants of the town through inclusive banking system.

He promised to positively engage the people of the community in terms of provision of credit facilities for small scale businesses as well as employment for the youths.

According to him, such banking experience would accelerate commercial activities as well as human development, with inherent corporate social responsibility of immense value.

“The coming of this Bank to Ipetu-Ijesha is a testimony of rapid commercial growth in the town. The bank will also assist to promote and encourage the development of indigenes in all ramifications.

“We are committed to improving your standard of living economically and socially and we will do everything possible within our means to assist the community in their various entrepreneurial endeavours “, Wigwe said.

The traditional ruler of the town, Oba Adeleke Agunbiade, Ajalaye of Ipetu-Ijesha expressed excitement over the development, saying it is a new dawn of economic advancement in the community, as he eulogised the Bank for considering his domain worthy of such developmental project.

He therefore implored his subjects to reciprocate the gesture through optimal patronage and concerted efforts towards protecting the Bank and its staff jealously.

“This is indeed a dawn of a new era in our town and a move towards economic emancipation and liberation. It is a signal of more developmental projects in our domain.

“I want to beg you to reciprocate this by opening accounts with Access Bank, this is the only Bank that guarantees safety of your money at any time.

“It should be noted that anybody who refuses to Bank with Access is an enemy of the king and by extension an enemy of Ipetu-Ijesha”.

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12 filling stations sealed off in Sokoto, Kebbi

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Filling Station

The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) says it has sealed 12 filling stations in Sokoto and Kebbi states for under dispensing and operating without valid licence.

Mr Muhammad Makera, the Zonal Operations Controller of DPR in charge of Sokoto and Kebbi states, made the disclosure to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Sokoto .

Makera said the erring stations were sealed during unscheduled inspection by the department’s officials between Tuesday, Sept. 17 and Thursday, Sept. 19

He said that five filling stations were sealed for under dispensing of petroleum products while the remaining seven were sanctioned for operating without valid licence and non-adherence to required safety precautions.

According to him, the DPR officials visited no fewer than 99 filling stations in Sokoto and Kebbi staes within the period.

Makera expressed dismay that most of the stations’ managers feigned ignorance of the regulations of the Department.

 

He warned petroleum marketers to desist from such sharp practices, saying severe sanctions awaited offenders.

According to him, fuel stations ought to update their operational licences and regularize their operations promptly to avoid clampdown.

He called on consumers to report any suspicious or sharp practice noticed in any fuel station to the department for necessary action.

Makera said that current trend of short-changing customers by filling stations was unacceptable.

According to him, the department’s surveillance team is working to ensure availability of petrol at regulated price of N145 per litre.

He cautioned marketers against flouting government regulations and customers against panic buying.

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