Senate Passes 299.5 Billion Naira NDDC Budget

Constitution AmendmentThe Senate has passed a 299.5 billion Naira budget for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) for the 2015 fiscal year.

According to the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Niger Delta, Senator James Manager, the budget will be financed from a projected revenue of 300. 1 billion Naira.

This revenue is expected to be drawn from a 160 billion Naira contribution from oil companies, 70 billion Naira provision from the Federal Government, 40 billion Naira Ecological Funds as well as 20 billion Naira unpaid arrears by the Federal Government.

Furthermore, 10 billion Naira as revenue brought forward and 100 million Naira Internally Generated Revenue will be used to augment the budget.

Senator Manager also said that, “It is pertinent to mention that due to the peculiar nature of the NDDC budget, the committee finds that it is necessary to separate the capital budget meant for use internally by the commission, from capital budget meant for project development”.

Ogun Govt Denies Alleged Financial Mismanagement

ogun The Ogun State government says that medium term financial strategies have been put in place, to address the short fall from federation account and the Internally Generated Revenue, giving the state a clean bill of health.

The state Commissioner for Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, made the declaration at a press briefing held in Abeokuta, the state capital, against the backdrop of claims that the state is in financial mess, peddled by members of the opposition in the state.

While assuring business operators in the state of continued business friendly environment, the government also denied any plan to reduce its workforce, adding that the allegation by the opposition is malicious and irresponsible.

In recent development, the state government had also announced the payment of salaries deducted from workers salaries and cooperative dues.

Ogun State Government Announces Payment Of Deducted Salary

Ogun-StateThe Ogun State Government has announced the payment of salary deductions and cooperative dues, with 1.5 billion Naira released on Friday.

The payment covers deductions of salaries affecting both State and Local Government workers.

In a statement by the State  Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Yusuph Olaniyonu, the state government said the payment was in fulfillment of the agreement reached between the Governor of Ogun State, Sen Ibikunle Amosun and the workers during an interactive session held last month in Abeokuta, the State’s capital.

Prior to the downturn in Federal Allocation and the general economy, the State Government had been remitting salary deductions as and when due and had also cleared arrears inherited from the past administration.

However, the suddenness of downturn adversely affected both the Federal Allocation and Internally Generated Revenue, thereby creating fresh arrears.

The State Government said that the release of salary reduction demonstrates that it has successfully adjusted to the new financial reality and was confident that it would be able to clear the balance of arrears expediently.

Ogun State Government further assured the workers that the government would always protect their interests at all times and restated the fact that it had no plan to sack any worker.

The financial adjustment, the State Government stated, was achieved through increased spending inefficiencies and enhanced focus on Internally Generated Revenue.

The State Government further expressed gratitude to the workers for their patience, understanding and co-operation since the administration assumed office, particularly when the economic downturn led to delay in the remittance of the deductions and co-operative dues.

Yobe Governor Presents 80.6 bn Naira For 2015 Budget

2015 budgetYobe State Governor, Ibrahim Gaidam, has presented an appropriation bill of 80.6 billion naira to the State Assembly for scrutiny and subsequent passage into law for the 2015 Budget.

The Governor, while presenting the budget to the House, said that the current figure represents decrease of 22.2 billion naira, equivalent to 22 per cent less than that of 2014.

Ibrahim Gaidam said that the reduction in budget size was because of the downward projection from the federation’s account.

Governor Gaidam revealed that 37 billion naira is allocated to capital expenditure, while 43 billion naira is for the recurrent expenditure, a representation of 46% and 54% respectively.

The budget, which would be financed through Internally Generated Revenue, statutory allocation, Value Added Tax, ecological fund and access crude oil, according to him, is aimed at upgrading the performance of infrastructural facilities and identify areas of job creation, among others.

Giving highlights of the 2014 budget, the Governor said that so much was recorded despite the insurgency which claimed several lives in the state. He also condoled with those who lost loved ones, as well as properties during the chain of attacks.

The Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Adamu Dogo, said that the presentation of the appropriation bill by the Governor marked the first reading. He gave an assurance that the House would give the bill speedy deliberations, with a view to achieve immediate passage into law.

The Speaker also praised the leadership style of the Governor, which has made the return of almost all House members ahead of the 2015 election easy.

Yero Signs N200bn 2015 Budget Into Law

BudgetGovernor Mukhtar Yero of Kaduna State has signed the N200.7 billion 2015 appropriation bill into law.

Speaking during the signing ceremony witnessed by the Speaker and principal officers of the State Assembly as well as other top government officials, Yero stressed the need for improved revenue generation in the state to ensure effective implementation of the budget.

While assuring the lawmakers that the budget would be implemented on the basis of available resources, the Governor emphasised the need to improve the internally generated revenue, in view of the dwindling Federal Allocation accruing to the 36 states of the federation.

The Governor also condemned a media report that the State Assembly rejected a proposed expenditure of N30 billion SURE-P fund saying “this is misinformation because the total revenue accrued from SURE-P to Kaduna State since its inception in 2012 is not up to N30 billion.”

He also debunked allegations by some people that the internally generated revenue was being paid into a private account.

Governor Yero had on December 23, 2014 presented a budget estimate of 203.7 billion naira (N203,700,855,271) to the House of Assembly which the House passed within four weeks after reducing it by N3 billion.

In his speech, the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Shehu Tahir said that the budget was reduced by N3 billion as a reflection of the present austerity measures in the country.

Benue Politics: Tarzoor Urges States To Look Inwards For Revenue

BenueStates across the country have been urged to look inwards through internally generated revenue and harness the potentials that are abundant in the states rather than waiting for the monthly allocation from the federation account.

Former Speaker of Benue State House of Assembly, Terhemen Tarzoor, in an interactive session with the Benue community in Jos, believes that Benue State stands out to tap into available resources without depending solely on oil revenue.

Professionals from different fields, academia, traders, artisans as well as politicians of Benue State origin gathered at the Hill Station Hotel, Jos, north central region of Nigeria for the interactive session with the former Speaker.

The former Speaker urged them to remain steadfast in the Nigerian project and remain good ambassadors of Benue State wherever they might reside within the country.

Sharing of revenue which attracted attention, passion and emotion during the National Conference debate also received his attention as he stressed the importance of states looking inwards in generating funds rather than waiting for allocation from the federal purse.

He highlighted the agricultural sector which has not been fully exploited as one area to generate funds for the running of the states.

Fitch Rates Kaduna State’s Economy Stable

Kaduna StateThe global economy rating agency, Fitch, has rated Kaduna’s long-term foreign and local currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) at ‘B+’ and National Long-term rating at ‘A+(nga)’, noting that the outlooks are stable.

The agency based its rating of the State on various indicators including efforts by the State Government to increase Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) as well as provision of capital to Small and Medium Enterprises especially in the Agriculture Value Chain sector.

Fitch said that the key rating drivers are based on the expectations that Kaduna State would continue to achieve a healthy financial performance amid mild growth in local taxes and subsidies from the Federal Government.

The ratings also take into account the likely increase in financial debt due to the high infrastructure investment programme, which could potentially pressurise the budget, and the weak socio-economic environment.

According to the agency, “Federal subsidies, including VAT accounts for about 80% of the state’s revenues and Fitch believes these will grow towards NGN80bn by 2016, from NGN60bn in 2013.

Yearly debt service requirements of about NGN5bn will continue to be comfortably covered by the current balance in the medium term by 2x, supported by Kaduna’s robust cash position of about NGN20bn, which administration officials plan to stabilise.”

The agency also identified effort by the State Government to support and develop its agricultural sector, through collaboration with the local banking system, to provide small scale farmers with N1 billion pooled funds.

However, the agency said unemployment remains the biggest challenge to the State’s economy, noting that unemployment rate increased despite continued growth in agriculture and industrial projects, including operations in the re-opened Peugeot automobile company and the oil refinery, employing approximately 1,000 workers each.

Reps uncover incoherence in govt’s IGR and remittance

The House of Representatives Committee on Finance has uncovered huge disparities in figures presented by agencies on their Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and remittances to government.

The chairman of the committee, Representative Abdulmumin Jibrin, revealed on Thursday that figures presented by the Budget Office, the Accountant General’s office and the Fiscal Responsibility Commission for their IGR and remittances were not coherent.

Other agencies are the Nigeria Communications Commission, Nigeria Ports Authority and Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), gave the house different remittance figures for the years 2009 to 2012.

The figures tendered differ from the one before the house.

Mr Jibrin gave the agencies 24 hours to reconcile the figures with the relevant government bodies and come up with the figures they must remit to government.

NDDC defends 2012 budget before Senate, appeals for more fund

The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has appealed for more funds to address the devastation caused by the recent flooding in the Niger Delta area.

Managing Director of the Commission, Dr Christian Oboh made the appeal when officials of the commission appeared before the senate committee on Niger Delta to defend the commission’s 2012 budget proposal.

The commission said it has visited most of the areas devastated by the flood and was already working with state governments in order to deliver relief materials to those affected.

This will be the second time they are appearing before the committee to defend their 2012 budget proposal.

The managing director also disclosed the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the commission to the committee, while the committee promised to ensure that the budget addresses the socio-economic difficulties of the oil Niger Delta region.

Ajimobi approves N19, 987 minimum wage for Oyo workers

The agitation for a new wage by civil servants in Oyo State ended  on Monday with the approval of N19, 987.14 minimum wage for the workers across board by the state governor, Abiola Ajimobi.

The governor however, mandated the workers to work assiduously to improve on the internally-generated revenue (IGR) of the state in order to give the state the financial muscle to pay the new wage and at the same time deliver on its electioneering promises to the people.

Mr Ajimobi disclosed his target of raising the state internally-generated revenue to N100 billion per annum to enhance the government’s ability to meet increasing expenditure which has been shot up by workers’ wages.

The strategies outlined by the governor to meet the target include – the upgrading of the Bola Ige International Market in Gbagi, review of vehicle registration, land use and personal tax.

Others include introduction of land use charge, signage charges, transportation system, recertification of business premises, improved title perfection process, quarry levy and agriculture tariff.

The minimum wage issue had pitched the workers against the state government, with a factional group of labour leaders calling out workers on a strike since 19 March 2012 after the purported sack of the authentic labour leaders.