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Nigeria On The Verge Of Bankruptcy, Says Emir Sanusi |The Republican News

Emir Mohammad Sanusi II

by Kolade Adeyemi

Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi 11 on Tuesday declared that Nigeria is on the threshold of bankruptcy following unfavourable economic policies such as subsidizing petroleum products and electricity tariffs. The former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), who spoke during the ongoing 3rd National Treasury Workshop organized by the office of the Accountant General of the Federation holding in Coronation Hall, Government House, Kano advised President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to cancel subsidy in petroleum subsidy and electricity tariffs if the economy must stabilize.

According to him, “the country is Bankrupt and we are heading to bankruptcy. What happened is that the Federal Government do pay petroleum subsidy, pay electricity tariff subsidy, and if there is rise in interest rates, Federal Government pays.

“What is more life-threatening than subsidy that we have to sacrifice education, health sector and infrastructure for us to have cheap petroleum.“If truly President Buhari is fighting poverty, he should remove the risk on the national financial sector and stop the subsidy regime which is fraudulent.”

He insisted that Buhari must tell Nigerians the fact about the economic situation and also act quickly on it because the nation is already bankrupt.
According to him, “since I have decided to come here, you have to accept what I have said here. And please, if you do not want to here the truth, never invite me.

“So let us talk about the state of public finance in Nigeria. We have a number of very difficult decisions that we must make, and we should face the reality. His Excellency, the President said in his inaugural speech that his government would like to lift 100 million people out of poverty, it was a speech that was well received not only in this country, but the world-wide.

“The number of people living with poverty in Nigeria are frightening. By 2050, 85 percent of those living in extreme poverty in the world will be from the Africa continent. And Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo will take the lead.

“Two days ago, I read that the percentage of government revenue going to debt services has risen to 70 percent.
These numbers are not lying. They are public numbers. I read them in the newspapers. When you are spending 70 percent of your revenue on debt services, then you are managing 30 percent.

“And then, you continue subsidizing petroleum products; and spending N1.5 trillion per annum on petroleum subsidy! And then we are subsidizing electricity tariff. And maybe, you have to borrow from the capital market or the Central Bank of Nigeria to service the shortfall in the electricity tariff, where is the money to pay salaries, where is the money for education, where other government projects.

The Royal Father lamented that for 30 years, successive governments have had this project called petroleum subsidy, insisting that this is the right time to stop it so as to save the nation’s economy.

Speaking during the workshop, the Accountant-General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris noted that, “the overall objective of the workshop is to promote accountability and transparency in all facets of the nation’s public finance and management architecture.

“It is expected that participants should appreciate that accountability and transparency remain major watchwords for prudent financial management practices and are, therefore, major prerequisite for economic growth and development.”

He charged participants to strive towards identifying the challenges to accountability and transparency the management of public funds, improving independent revenue base and profile of government, as well as proffering revenue diversification for governments at all levels so as to cut down the cost of governance.

In his address, the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu identified corruption as the bane of the country’s economic woes.

He warned public and private office holders to desist from corrupt practices, stating that his office has zero tolerance to corruption.
According to him, “transparency and accountability are twin sisters of good governance. They are the tools to tackle corruption. It is true that we can leave a good legacy.”

Magu, however, called on the Federal and state Accountant-Generals to take the lead in the fight against corruption, adding that they must insist the right thing must be done in their offices.

In his address, Kano state Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje who was represented by his Deputy, Dr. Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna said Kano state was the first to establish the Treasury Single Account (TSA) in its bid to fight corruption and block leakages.

According to him, the state also put in place, the Anti Corruption and Public Complaint Commission to checkmate corrupt practices of public servants in the state.

(thenation)

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PDP Bigwigs Behind Oil Subsidy Scam, Says Keyamo |The Republican News

Director of the Buhari Campaign Organisation Mr. Festus Keyamo (SAN) has alleged that most bigwigs in the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) were involved in the oil subsidy scam which dogged former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.
He said this on a Lagos-based national television programme, yesterday.

Keyamo also disclosed President Muhammadu Buhari is not paying oil subsidy as it was with past administrations.

He did admit, though, that the Buhari-led government is only paying “premium.

“What happened under the PDP government was that they were paying for products that did not land at all. That was the scam that was happening. It was fraud, the greatest stealing in the history of this country happened under them.

“All the PDP bigwigs were all involved in this subsidy scam. Then, you saw that many of them refunded money. As I said, they were paying for products that did not land at all, they will tell you they have brought product and you have to pay subsidy on those products.

“The NNPC officials knew, everybody knew that the products did not come at all. What did Buhari do when he came? He said he wanted to cleanse that industry, he said NNPC should take complete charge of importation.

“The government wanted to eliminate subsidy at that time, but, as the price of crude went up, the price of production went up, the price of the by-products also went up; its normal.”

He said at the point when oil was $28 to $30, government was not paying subsidy, but “the difference occurred when oil prices went beyond $43 per barrel, because that was the benchmark. As it rose beyond $43, the delta started, not subsidy. We started to pull away from N145.

“So, the landing cost came to N203/N205 and we are still selling for N145 and the president said you cannot suffer the masses. Now, how do they cover it? Not subsidy.

 

“The NNPC Act allows the NNPC to make refunds to the Federation Account. In other words, they can spend money and return the balance to the federation account, by law.”

Keyamo also described Nigeria as the best-performing economy in Africa.

“I need to remind Nigerians about the Gross Domestic Product growth. Of the 11 countries that went into recession around the world, Nigeria has exceeded all of them, in terms of GDP growth. None of them has crossed 1.4 to 1.5 percent, Nigeria is doing close to two percent GDP growth right now.

“Let us get that one clear. Forbes Africa has rated Nigeria as the best-performing economy in Africa. The results came out two-three weeks ago; we are the best-performing economy in Africa,” he reiterated.

But, the PDP fired back.

PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, accused Keyamo of defending acts of corruption.

Ologbondiyan told Daily Sun that rather than the PDP, leaders of the opposition party are actually responsible for fuel subsidy scam.

“If, indeed, he said that, Festus Keyamo is speaking off the charge. Is it PDP leaders that put N58 tax on Nigerians for a litre of PMS? How much were we buying PMS before and how much is it sold now? So, it is totally off the charge to say that PDP leaders are responsible for subsidy scam.

“Didn’t they tell Nigerians that there was no subsidy in 2014?

“How much have they paid on subsidy; between 2015 and this year. And, how many did they claim are the number of vehicles using PMS, today, in Nigeria?

“The government that Festus Keyamo has come to defend, apart from being inept, is totally and absolutely corrupt and, as such, he is defending acts of corruption.”            (The Sun)

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Governors Accuse NNPC Of Fraudulent Subsidy Payment |The Republican News

Maikanti-Baru-NNPC

 

…Seek ban on filling stations at border posts

Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja

State governors yesterday accused the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) of fraudulently doubling the nation’s daily petrol consumption from about 30 million litres to 60 million litres, and called for a thorough probe of oil subsidy payments from 2015 to date. 

They have also directed that all petrol stations located 10 kilometres to the nation’s borders be immediately shut down by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) until they are recertified. The decision followed NNPC’s excuse that the sudden hike in petrol consumption was due to illegal export to neighbouring countries.
The governors further advocated that all trucks transporting petroleum products be installed with a tracking device in order to monitor their movement to discharge stations.

They also demanded that NNPC must henceforth clearly differentiate its earnings in sales as against taxes before remitting funds to the Federation Account to avoid unexplained shortfalls.
The states chief executives who equally raised concerns over Joint Venture Cash Call claims made by NNPC directed that further payments for such should be suspended until the corporation gives details of exactly how much has been paid since 2015.

A delegation of the governors, led by the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) and Governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari, expressed these concerns when they met with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at a meeting on Wednesday night at the Aso Rock Villa, on his return from his two-day official visit to Benue State.
Also in attendance at the closed-door meeting were Governors Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom); Godwin Obaseki (Edo); Seriake Dickson (Bayelsa); Nasir el-Rufai, Kaduna; and Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi).

The Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, and that of Budget and National Planning, Udo Udoma, as well as a representative of the NNPC GMD, also attended the meeting which ended at a few minutes after 8pm.
Yari, briefing State House Correspondents at the end of the meeting, said, “this is the second time we are meeting with NNPC in respect of remittances into the federation account.  (The Sun)

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NNPC Pays N.8bn Subsidy Daily Due To Smuggling – Baru |The Republican News

NNPC pays N774m subsidy daily because of smugglers, Baru claims
By Editor

The Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr Maikanti Baru, has claimed that the corporation is currently incurring an under-recovery (another term for subsidy) of N774 million daily.

He blamed the development on dubious activities of those who smuggle the product to neighbouring countries, which have increased fuel consumption in Nigeria to 50 million litres per day.

Under-recovery in clear terms means that NNPC is paying the cost of the differential between the official pump price of petrol and the actual cost of it.

A statement released by the corporation in Abuja quoted Baru as making this claim when he led top management team of the NNPC on a visit to the Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs Service, Col. Hameed Ali (Retd).

Baru during the visit maintained that the activities of the smugglers had resulted in the recent abnormal surge in the evacuation of petrol from less than 35 million litres per day to more than 60 million litres per day.

The NNPC GMD, who said that the development was in sharp contrast to established national consumption pattern, also raised an alarm on the proliferation of fuel stations in communities with international land and coastal borders across the country, insisting that the development had energized unprecedented cross-border smuggling of petrol to neighbouring countries, making it difficult to sanitise the fuel supply and distribution matrix in the country.

According to Baru, a thorough study conducted by the NNPC showed a strong correlation between the presence of the frontier stations and the activities of fuel smuggling syndicates.

Providing a detailed presentation of the findings, Baru hinted that 16 states, having among them 61 local government areas with border communities, account for 2,201 registered fuel stations, and that the stations had a combined capacity of 144.998 million litres of petrol, about four times more than Nigeria’s average fuel consumption of 35 million litres daily.

The NNPC boss further stated that because of the obvious differential in petrol price between Nigeria and other neighbouring countries, it had become lucrative for the smugglers to use the frontier stations as a veritable conduit for the smuggling of products across the border.

This he said, had led to a thriving market for Nigerian petrol in all the neighbouring countries of Niger Republic, Benin Republic, Cameroun, Chad and Togo and even Ghana which has no direct borders with Nigeria.

He said, “NNPC is concerned that continued cross-border smuggling of petrol will deny Nigerians the benefit of the Federal Government’s benevolence of keeping a fix retail price of N145 per litre, despite the increase in PMS open market price above N171 per litre.”

In his response, Ali assured that the Customs would work with the NNPC to stop the cross-border smuggling of petroleum products.

Adding that all hands must be on deck to ensure the economic survival of the country. (Ripples Nigeria)

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I’ll Resign If Fuel Importation Continues By 2019, Says Kachikwu

ibe-kachikwu1
                           Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu

Okechukwu Nnodim Abuja

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has vowed to resign if the country fails to attain self-sufficiency in the refining of petroleum products by 2019.

Kachikwu, who spoke as a guest on BBC Hard Talk in London on Monday, also stated that he recently signed an agreement with the international oil giant, Agip, for the firm to build a refinery in Nigeria.

When asked to state the year that Nigeria would be self-sufficient in refining petroleum products, Kachikwu replied, “I have said 2019, and that is the target that I gave.”

On whether he would leave office if he failed to achieve the target, the minister replied, “Yes, of course. That is the reason why you are in government.”

Kachikwu was also told by his interviewer that the industry was totally dysfunctional considering the fact that Nigeria exports crude oil and imports refined products despite having refineries, but he stated that efforts were being made to revive obsolete facilities in the sector.

Kachikwu said, “Let me say this; yes it is wrong, we ought to process rather than ship out crude. But look at all the efforts I have made in the last few months, including working with investors to begin to reshape the refineries that were comatose for many years.

“The President is there for two years and those refineries were down before he came. Since coming, we’ve been able to get them back to produce seven million litres versus zero. That’s not the 90 per cent template. We’re now refurbishing the refineries and I’ve just signed an agreement with Agip to build a new refinery in Nigeria.”

He added, “I’ve delivered on everything I promised when I came into office. First, I took the NNPC and moved it into a profit-making organisation, which was the first time in history. I removed cash call deficit of over $6bn and we renegotiated it. Everything that I promised, I’ve delivered and I will deliver on the refineries; I’m committed to that.

“And I will also deliver a future for oil that makes sense for Nigeria. But bear in mind that one has been there for one and half years, while the President has been there for two years, so I can’t pretend that we are going to solve in one day all the problems that happened in Nigeria in the past.”

The minister stated that oil prices would not “hit the roof again” as was recorded in the past, adding that this had provided an opportunity for Nigeria to get serious.

Kachikwu also stated that the Central Bank of Nigeria, through its monetary policy, had been able to force a lot of citizens out of the consumption culture, a development he said had strengthened the naira considerably.

On the slump in crude oil production in Nigeria, the minister said the activities of militants in the Niger Delta led to the decline in crude output and denied claims that the Federal Government was buying off the restive youths in the region through the payment of huge sums to them.

He stated that over $40bn had been sunk in the Niger Delta in the last 10 years and that nothing tangible was on ground to show for it.   (Punchng.com)

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