Tough Times Are Ahead For Nigerians – Udo Udoma

Udo-UdomaThe Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, has urged Nigerians to brace up for tough times ahead because of the negative economic and social issues happening across the globe.

Speaking at an interactive session with the Senate Committee on Finance and Appropriation, Senator Udoma said that the federal government would cut all frivolous expenditure in the 2016 budget and overheads will be reduced by 7%.

The Central Bank Governor, the Group Managing Director at the Nigeria National Petroleum Commission (NNPC) as well as the Ministers of Finance, were also at the forum to discuss the 2016 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) with members of the senate committee.

The Minister of National Planning explained how the federal government arrived at the indices in the MTEF while the NNPC boss, who is also Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, gave a breakdown of the oil and gas sector, including how much has been spent on petroleum subsidy in 2015.

In the Medium Term Expenditure Framework, the 6.077 trillion naira budget with a revenue target of 3.82 trillion naira, projects a deficit of 2.22 trillion naira and projects that recurrent expenditure would drop from 84% in the 2015 budget to 70% in 2016.

The Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, explained how the federal government plans to cut recurrent expenditure.

In the proposed framework, capital expenditure of 16% in the 2015 budget was raised to 30% in 2016 but with dwindling oil prices, economic analysts have expressed concern about how government intends to fund the 2016 budget.

The Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue, Mr Babatunde Fowler, said that one of the strategies which the federal government intends to use is by blocking loopholes and opening up the tax base.

Nigerian Refineries Producing At 30 Per Cent, Says NNPC Boss

Emmanuel-Ibe-Kachikwu-nnpcThe Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has said that NNPC would have sold all the refineries, but for the intervention of the President.

He told journalists in Lagos that the refineries are mostly producing at 30 per cent capacity, whereas he would have wished they were producing at a minimum capacity of 60 per cent.

The NNPC boss lamented the fact that the refineries had obsolete equipment as a result of their age, but added that his vision of making the corporation run like a company is refocusing the refineries.

Mr. Kachikwu also told journalists on Friday that as from Saturday, the Nigerian Army would begin to monitor the nation’s pipelines, beginning with the one in Arepo, Ogun State.

He further warned Nigerians against vandalising pipelines, saying it is the collective wealth of the nation.

Warri Refinery Gets 90-Day Ultimatum To Resume Full Production

Emmanuel-Ibe-Kachikwu-warriThe Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu has given the management of Warri Refineries and Petrochemicals 90 days to resume full production.

The GMD told Journalists on Thursday after a facility tour of Warri refinery that the establishment must produce 125,000 barrels of crude oil per day, on or before 60 days from now.

The GMD explained that he is ready to provide the management with the facilities to work, but they must fast-track the production process.

According to him, “whatever you need to do to get your refinery back on track, please do it now because this is the time”.

“It’s a 90 days fast-track programme. And whatever you need me to do to make that happen, let me know,” Kachikwu said.

The Warri refinery was commissioned in 1978.

The NNPC boss had earlier expressed optimism that fuel importation will reduce, with the commencement of production at the Port Harcourt refinery