Finance Minister Says N5.1trn Released From 2016 Budget

Finance Minister Says N5.1trn Released From 2016 BudgetThe Federal Government has so far released ‎the sum of 5.1 trillion Naira out of 6.06 trillion Naira passed by the National Assembly in the 2016 budget.

The Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, said this on Wednesday at a meeting organised by the Joint National Assembly Committee on Appropriation in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

Mrs Adeosun told the committee members that despite the shortfall in revenue in 2016, the Federal Government has so far released 870 billion Naira for capital expenditure, excluding the proceeds from the Eurobond.

However, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation, Senator Danjuma Goje, sought to know if the Ministry of Finance diverted funds from loans to finance personnel expenditure rather than capital expenditure.

He also expressed dissatisfaction with the absence of the ‎Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) at the stakeholders meeting on implementation of the 2016 budget.

Senator Goje noted that the Acting Director from CBN, Mohammed Yakubu, was not competent to speak before the Joint committee, insisting that the CBN governor must appear before the committee latest Friday morning.

“We have left serious business of processing 2017 budget to ensure the level of implementation of the 2016 budget. It is Nigerians’ right to know the level of implementation.

“The CBN governor could not call us, he only sent an Acting Director in the CBN to appear before the committee,” he said.

Giving details of releases for 2016 budget before the committee, the Accountant-General of the Federation, Hammed Idris, informed the lawmakers that 870 billion Naira was released for capital projects which constituted 55%, while 2.3 trillion Naira was released for personnel cost and 351 billion Naira for statutory transfer.

Mr Idris added that 1.3 trillion Naira was meant for debit servicing, service wide votes for 285 billion Naira while overhead was 138 billion Naira.

He explained that personnel cost and debit service were achieved 100%, overhead cost achieved 85% while capital was achieved 55%.

On his part the Director-General of Budget Office, Ben Akabueze, said there was a shortfall of 1.1 trillion Naira in targeted Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) for 2016, explaining that only 398 billion Naira was realised in 2016 IGR out of targeted 1.5 trillion Naira.

He‎ attributed poor capital funding in 2016 to revenue shortfall, stressing that projection oil revenue only accounted for 20% of the total 2016 budget.

Mr Akabueze said “the reason we are unable to implement capital budget fully is as a result of shortfall in the IGR”.

He, however, failed to give a clear picture of how the loan borrowed was utilised, but promised the lawmakers for details before the end of implementation of 2016 budget.

Lagos: Fashola Commissions Network Of Roads In Eti- Osa, Preaches Peace

Fashola LangbasaLagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola, on Thursday handed over the Ado Kekere, Langbasa, Kajola network of roads in Eti- Osa Local Government Area, reiterating the need for all residents of the state to be vigilant, tolerant of one another and live in peaceful co-existence.

The Governor, who spoke at Langbasa, explained that the community was being opened up towards bringing development to the area, noting that in addition to roads, the state was also opening up the area by water as work was virtually completed on the Jetty in Badore to start extensive ferry service to Ikorodu.

Fashola appealed to the people, that if the roads were well maintained, they would last for no less than 30 years. He added that under no circumstance must the walkways be converted to trading posts.

Fashola, while speaking on the state of insecurity in the country, noted that every community goes through some challenges at one time or the other, adding that Government was doing everything to keep the people, the city and the communities safe.

According to the Governor, he had already held a meeting with all leaders of the unions and motor parks in the state and security would be heightened at the motor parks. While advocating vigilance among the citizenry, he said that the catch word should be: “If you see anything unusual, say something about it”.

“What we are going to do is that for everybody who is travelling, you have to be vigilant, if you get to a park, take a look at the person sitting next to you. Look at him or her again. We have to be aware now, we can’t pretend anymore. If you see anyone dropping a bag, call him to come and carry his bag. If you see anything unusual, say something”, he said.

Also emphasizing the need for religious tolerance, Fashola implored the people to ignore all those preaching issues of religion because what should be of utmost importance was the people’s security and prosperity.

“Leadership is not about how people worship, did you elect leaders to go and be praying? You elected them to do this kind of work, to give you electricity, to give you roads and to secure you”, the Governor said.

Speaking earlier, the Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, said that the network of roads that consist of Langbasa, Ado Kekere and Ajah Badore that was handed over before were some of the strategies of the State Government to connect communities and make transportation network easier through road works and complimenting the ongoing road development of Lekki Epe Expressway.

The event was witnessed by the Deputy Governor, Mrs Adejoke Orelope Adefulire, members of the State Executive Council, including the Commissioners for Economic Planning and Budget, Mr Ben Akabueze; Commerce and Industry, Mrs Sola Oworu; Establishment, Training and Pensions, Mrs Florence Oguntuashe; member of the House of Assembly representing Eti Osa, Gbolahan Yishawu; and the Olumegbon of Lagos, Chief Fatai Olumegbon and several residents of the area.

Before the commissioning, the Governor and members of the State Executive Council had undertaken an inspection of the State Home Ownership Mortgage Scheme units in Lekki Peninsular II and Sangotedo.

He was conducted round the structures by the General Manager of the New Towns Development Authority, Mr Adeyemi Isiba and Special Adviser on New Towns Development Authority, Mrs Felicia Awofisayo.

Lagos Contributes A Quarter Of Nigeria’s GDP – Commissioner

Sunrise AkabuezeThe Lagos State Commissioner of Economic Planning and Budget, Ben Akabueze, has reiterated that the economy of Lagos State is very robust and vibrant.

He made this assertion while appearing on Channels Television as a guest of Sunrise Daily, to discuss the vision of the Lagos State Government for the development of its economy and the plans for its forthcoming Economic Summit.

He said that the Lagos State Government was working to ensure that a greater proportion of its budget is put into capital expenditure as that is what fuels growth in the economy. He added that it has been proven that there is a link between infrastructure development and economic growth.

He revealed that the state had a medium term budget strategy which spans over 3 years, and this creates a number of projects to be executed within the period. He said that having such medium term plan then requires that funding is provided annually to facilitate the projects involved.

He also revealed that Lagos State has a long term plan that looks as far as the year 2025, with a vision of where the state should be. The plan in this regard is to transform Lagos into Africa’s model mega city in terms of social infrastructure, healthcare, education, transportation and other modern metropolitan features.

Akabueze noted that Lagos at the moment was already a mega city by its population of over 10million people; the government was aware of this and therefore is not aspiring to achieve being a mega city but becoming a “model mega city”.

On his view about the economy of the state, Akabueze noted that Lagos contributes about a quarter of the country’s GDP, which amounts to 60% of the GDP if the oil and gas contribution is removed, with 60% of the commercial activities in the country also being done in Lagos.

In banking, “on the average, 40% of the network of all of the banks is here in Lagos”

He added that the single largest power generation plant is in Lagos along with the 2 largest distribution companies as well, which accounted for up to 50% of revenues in the entire national power company.

The Commissioner noted that for Lagos State, they are aware that Public Private Partnership was an imperative towards achieving its vision of a model mega city.

In the state’s developmental vision up till 2025, the state reckons that it must have a minimum 15,000 megawatts of power and the upcoming Economic Summit is targeted at highlighting the investment opportunities in the power sector in Lagos.

He revealed that to generate 10,000 megawatts of power which is needed on the immediate, would require about 1billion dollar investment but an additional 10,000 megawatts of power in Lagos would turn around the economy in every sector including agriculture as he emphasized the peculiarity of Lagos having a ready-made consumer base for agricultural products.

Akabueze said, “The summit is going to look at a wide variety of issues relating to the power sector… Our power sector is transiting from a public sector monopoly to a private sector controlled sector.”

Discussing the Lagos Economic Summit

The 6th Lagos Economic Summit will host eminent Nigerians.

The summit which is aimed at re-positioning Lagos as the state that will put Nigeria as one of the top economies in the world.

The Lagos State Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget; Mr.Ben Akabueze was with Esther Ugbodaga to shed light into the upcoming summit.

Lagos to hold economic summit in April

The Lagos state government has plans for the 6th Lagos Economic Summit, also known as EHINGBETI 2012 with a focus to see Lagos as the key of Nigeria’s ascension to join the league of the fast-growing BRICS economies (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and make it BRINCS.

Speaking at a media networking session at the weekend, Lagos State Commissioner for Economic Planning & Budget who doubles as Chairman of the Lagos Economic Summit Group, Mr. Ben Akabueze, unveiled the theme of the 2012 edition of the summit titled, “From BRICS to BRINCS: Lagos Holds the Key”.

He explained that in the aspiration of Nigeria to join the league of the fast-growing BRICS economies (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), which will now change the acronym to BRINCS (including Nigeria), Lagos as the nation’s economic capital with vast potentials and investment opportunities will play a central role.

It is within this context and the place of Lagos as Nigeria’s economic capital that this edition of the Summit will examine the economic potentials of Lagos.

Mr. Akabueze noted that, Lagos is undeniably the economic nerve centre as “Lagos consumes about 45% of the petroleum products in the country. This shows the high level of commercial activities in the state.”  He also noted the economic capacity of the state which spans banking, travel and power generation.

“On the average, 40% of bank branches are in Lagos because of the high level of business activities here.  Over 40% of the telecoms subscriber base is here in Lagos. Two seaports in Lagos accounts for 70% sea trade in the country. The two electricity distribution companies Eko and Ikeja Districts account for 50% of PHCN’s transmission power. About 80% of International air travel arrive in and depart from Lagos. All these point to Lagos as the economic nerve centre of the country.  So, if Nigeria is being rated as one of the major players in the emerging markets, then you will agree with us that Lagos holds the key,” Akabueze said.

He further explained that, in spite of all that Lagos contributes to the Nigerian economy, there is still a lot to be brought out in terms of the economic potentials of the State. “But it would take ideas, relationships and investment to unlock these potentials,” Akabueze noted.

Spiral effect

Also speaking at the Media Session, Economic Analyst and Public Affairs Commentator, Opeyemi Agbaje noted that this is a moment of opportunity for Nigeria as an emerging economy saying,  “at the moment Europe is back to recession but the emerging economics (BRICS) are growing at about 7 %– 8%. Interestingly Nigeria is also growing at about 7%. Lagos is not an oil producing state but because of its commercial and financial strength it dominates in other sectors like telecoms, law, medicine, architecture, engineering, transportation, power, insurance, capital market, media, entertainment, education and more. Lagos is a private sector driven economy. Growth in Lagos would have spiral effect on Nigeria as a whole. Lagos has the lowest level of unemployment in Nigeria at 7% compared to some States that has as much as 40%.”

 

Mr. Ben Akabueze noted that while the first three editions of the summit were diagnostic in trying to analyse the problems, understand the challenges and what needed to be done but government shifted attention as from the fourth edition towards implementations. This he claims as clear evidence of the resolve on the part of government to see that the Summit is not just another talk shop held biennially.

“Today, I can tell you with all sense of responsibility that we have implemented over 100 of the 119 resolutions so far reached at past editions of Ehingbeti Summits. Those that have not been implemented or are on-going are those that require other partners like the Federal Government.”

The 2012 edition of Ehingbeti which will have Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) as chief host is to focus on four key sectors, Power, Agriculture, Transportation and Housing (PATH).

Keys speakers at the Summit will include Ms.  Razia Khan, Vice President, Standard Chartered, African Region globally acknowledged as the leading analyst on African economies, Mr. Bill Richardson, former US Secretary for Energy and two term Governor of New Mexico, USA.

Others are Mr. Bisi Onasanya, Managing Director of First Bank of Nigeria Plc, Mr. Peter Stevenson, Investment Adviser & Former Director, UK Trade Investment Department, Nigeria, Mr. Bolaji Osunsanya, MD Oando Oil and Gas Company Ltd, Dr. Sam Amadi, Executive Chairman, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Prof. Banji Oyelaran Oyeyinka, Director, UN HABITAT,  Mr. Kunle Elebute, Partner, KPMG Professional Services, Mr. Solomon Adegbie-Quaynor, Country Manager, International Financial Corporation, Mr. Danladi Verheijen, Managing Director, Eko Rail, Dr. Rotimi Fashola, Lead Consultant, Lagos State Rice Project