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Nigeria’s Debt Hits N22.43trn, 85.06% Increase Under Buhari, Domestic Component 70.51%

                                File Photo: Naira and Dollars

Everest Amaefule, Abuja

 

Nigeria’s total debt now stands at N22.43tn, data obtained from the Debt Management Office have shown.

According to the DMO, the nation’s total debt as of September 30, 2018, stood at N22.43tn.

As of June 30, 2015, the country’s total debt stood at N12.12tn. This means that within the tenure of the present administration which came to power on May 29, 2015, the country’s total debt has risen by N10.31tn or 85.06 per cent.

Of the total debt, the external component of both the Federal Government and state governments’ debts including that of the Federal Capital Territory stood at $21.59bn.

As of June 30, 2015, the external debt component of the country’s total debt stood at $10.32bn. This means that the external debt component rose by $11.27bn or 109.21 per cent.

On the other hand, the omestic debt of both the Federal Government and the subnational governments stood at N15.81tn.

Analysing the debt statistics further showed that the domestic debt of the Federal Government alone stood at N12.29tn as of September 30, 2018.

The domestic debt of the Federal Government as of June 30, 2015, stood at N8.4bn while that of the states and FCT stood at N1.69tn.

The DMO added that the debt statistics as of September 30, 2018, was only slightly different from the statistics as of June 30, 2018.

On the difference between the debt statistics of the two quarters, the DMO said, “External debt declined by 2.02 per cent to $21.59bn due largely to the redemption by Nigeria of a $500m Eurobond which matured on July 12, 2018.

“The Eurobond which was issued for a tenor of five years in 2013 was the first Eurobond maturity for Nigeria and Nigeria’s ability to repay it seamlessly boosted Nigeria’s position as a good credit in the International Capital Market.

“The domestic debt of the FGN, states and the FCT grew by 1.19 per cent from N15.63tn in June 2018 to N15.8tn in September 2018. This increase of N185bn was attributed to the FGN (N135bn) and states and FCT (N50bn).”

It added, “The combination of an increase in the level of domestic debt and a decrease in the external debt stock resulted in a slight shift in the portfolio composition.

“As of September 30, 2018, the share of domestic debt was 70.51 per cent compared to 69.83 per cent in June 2018.

“This trend is expected to be reversed in Quarter Four 2018 as the new external borrowing of N849bn (about $2.78bn) provided in the 2018 Appropriation Act is expected to be raised within the quarter.”

The current strategy of the Federal Government is to raise external debt component to 40 per cent and to raise the local debt component to 60 per cent in order to take advantage of the lower interest rate on foreign debts.  (Punch)

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Buhari’s Economic Team Members Lack Requisite Knowledge – Atiku |RN

•Says NBS report on job loss terrible

Success Nwogu and Ogbonnaya Ikokwu  

 

The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, on Wednesday said Nigeria’s economy was in bad shape because members of President Muhammadu Buhari’s economic team do not posses what it takes to turn the economy of the country around.

Atiku said if voted into office in 2019, he would use the knowledge he had garnered from many years of serving as a public officer and being in business to turn the economy around.

He spoke in Aba, during a town hall meeting he had with representatives of the business community.

The presidential candidate said he was in the South-East to interact with businessmen from the zone because of the role they played in the economic development of the country and West Africa.

He said he would do whatever was obtainable within the confines of the law to promote the ease of doing business in Nigeria.

He said, “I am aware of your challenges because I am a business man like you. Whatever that is your pain is also my pain.  I face the same challenges you are facing, but the only thing we can do to change the situation is to change the government in power now.

“This present government lacks the understanding and the capacity to turn our economy around, nor promote the ease of doing business in Nigeria.

“We would ensure that policies that would encourage businesses to thrive in Nigeria are put in place.”

Atiku said the nation could not afford to have a population of 15 million unemployed youths.

Meanwhile, the presidential candidate in a statement by his media aide, Paul Ibe, described the latest report by the National Bureau of Statistics that 20.93m Nigerians had lost their jobs under Buhari as terrible and catastrophic.

He said the implication was that the unemployed population in Nigeria was twice the population of Benin Republic.

He said Nigeria could not continue to be run by an administration that lacked solution to the country’s socio-economic and political challenges.

He said, “We expected a terrible job report, particularly with the comment on live television from the President’s spokesman, Garba Shehu, that President Buhari had ordered the Statistician-General of the Federation, Dr Yemi Kale, to fudge the latest job reports.

“However, the job report released by the National Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday, November 19, 2018, is not just terrible, it is catastrophic. It shows that under the APC administration, a whopping 20.93m Nigerians have lost their jobs!

“To put this in perspective, the unemployed population in Nigeria is now twice the population of Benin Republic!”

He added, “Nigeria cannot continue like this, especially with an administration that continues to blame others for things that they should find solutions to with the latest ridiculous episode being President Buhari’s blaming of former President Jonathan for his own inability to appoint ministers for six months, an action that is directly responsible for the sorry state of unemployment in Nigeria.”

The former vice-president  urged Nigerians to note that a President who could not  create jobs or wealth in his own private business could not create jobs or wealth for the public. (Punch)

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Naira Crashes Further Against Dollar At Parallel Market |The Republican News

Naira-against-dollars

American Dollars and Nigerians Naira

The Naira on Thursday depreciated at the parallel market, exchanging at N368 to the dollar.

The News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) reports that the Naira lost N4, compared to N364 traded on Wednesday, while the Pound Sterling and the Euro closed at N470 and N410 respectively.

At the Bureau De Change(BDC) window, the Naira was sold at N360 to the dollar, while the Pound Sterling and the Euro closed at N470 and N410, respectively.

Investors bought the dollar at N364.08 at the investors’ window, trading a total of 516.57 million dollars .

Traders said that demand for dollars for import needs were exerting undue pressures on the Naira.

NAN reports that many importers at the end of the year imported a lot of fairly used items into the country. (NAN)

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Travel Ban Will Cause Capital Flight, Push Economy Into Recession, Says Atiku |RN

  Former Vice-President Atiku abubakar, President Muhammadu Buhari

Niyi  Odebode, Olusola Fabiyi, Eniola Akinkuotu, Ade Adesomoju and Oladimeji Ramon

 

President Muhammadu Buhari’s travel ban on 50 Nigerians over the Executive Order 6, on Sunday attracted more condemnations.

The Peoples Democratic Party and the Coalition of United Political Parties had on Sunday slammed Buhari for the executive order, saying it was meant to cow opposition members.

But more Nigerians and groups including the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, a human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), the Coalition for Nigeria Movement led by former President Olusegun Obasanjo and a civil society group, Access to Justice, on Sunday lambasted the President, describing his action as draconian, clearly arbitrary, repressive and illegal.

Executive order’ll lead to capital flight, recession  – Atiku

Atiku, in a statement by his media office in Abuja, warned that the Executive Order which was recently signed by Buhari would lead to capital flight and another recession.

He also said that the statement by the Presidency banning 50 unnamed Nigerians from travelling out of the country, purportedly on the strength of Executive Order 6, was undemocratic.

He described the travel ban as another form of intimidation ahead of the 2019 elections. Atiku said he abhorred  any act of criminality, either financially or otherwise.

The presidential candidate, however,  warned that the rule of law must be the guide at all times or society would descend into anarchy.

He said it was wrong for the President to act under a mere suspicion that the suspects were  believed to have property overseas and were involved in tax dodging or other alleged financial infractions.

The statement partly read, “We must be unequivocal in saying that we abhor any act of criminality, financially or otherwise, but the rule of law must be our guide at all times or society will descend into anarchy.

“Thus, we find it most undemocratic that in a nation governed by the rule of law, a President who swore an oath to abide by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, does this.

“If past events are to be the judge, these 50 individuals will conveniently be critics and opponents of the Buhari administration.

“This is nothing short of intimidation ahead of the 2019 elections. This is what the Buhari administration did in Osun where they froze the accounts of the Adeleke family and then illegally and clandestinely paid N16.7bn to the Osun State Government to facilitate the daylight electoral robbery.”

The former Vice-President said “the Nigerian constitution guarantees every Nigerian citizen freedom of movement and freedom of association.”

This constitutional right, he added, could not be taken away except by a court order.

Atiku said, “If the Buhari administration wants to curtail the rights of Nigerians, then it must go to court and obtain a court order. Anything short of this is unconstitutional and extrajudicial.

“This sudden dictatorial act brings to mind President Buhari’s comments for which he was condemned by the international community and by the generality of Nigerians.

“While delivering an address at the annual general conference of the Nigerian Bar Association on August 26, 2018, President Buhari has said ‘where national security and public interest are threatened or there is a likelihood of their being threatened, the individual rights of those allegedly responsible must take second place, in favour of the greater good of society.’

“That was not only a faulty interpretation of the constitution, the statement also betrays the dictatorial and authoritarian mindset of President Buhari because only he gets to decide who and what threatens national security.”

Atiku recalled Buhari’s Decree Number Two of 1984, which he said, criminalised truth telling if it did not please the President.

He said that the recent action of the President merely showed that “dictators can grow old, but they can’t grow into democrats.”

Atiku said, “Under the Buhari administration, Nigeria has witnessed an unprecedented capital flight out of the nation to the extent that we are not even listed amongst the top 10 recipients of Foreign Direct Investment in Africa in the latest ranking by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

“It is salient to note that we were number one under the last Peoples Democratic Party administration.

“Funnily enough, the Buhari administration was unable to stop Abdulrasheed Maina, their financier, from leaving the country after he was illegally brought back by them and reinstated to the federal service with double promotion.

“It is precisely this type of draconian orders that have chased investors away from Nigeria and it is precisely why Nigerians will chase this recession-friendly government away from power on February 16, 2019, so we can begin the job of Getting Nigeria Working Again.”

Executive order targeted at opposition – Obasanjo coalition

On its part, the Coalition for Nigeria Movement led by former President Olusegun Obasanjo lambasted the Buhari-led Federal Government for imposing a travel ban on 50 politically-exposed persons.

The CNM said this in a statement by its Director, Strategic communications, Akin Osuntokun, on Sunday.

According to the coalition, the ban, which was done in line with Executive Order 6, was a subversion of the rule of law, reminiscent of military decrees.

The CNM also described the new executive order as an attempt to muzzle the opposition.

The CNM said Buhari had been planning to use security agencies to achieve a hidden agenda hence his decision to compromise the nation’s security architecture.

The statement read in part, “Recall that journalists were jailed on account of a similar decree that criminalised any reporting that embarrassed his government. Against this background, what the Executive Order 6 portends is a significant step towards the creation of a police state.

“It is also against this background that the personalisation of the national security architecture makes sense. Otherwise, there would have been no need to continue to reinforce the lopsided and parochial subversion and subordination of the security agencies to a personality cult agenda, at every available opportunity.”

It’s counterproductive to FG’s anti-graft war – SERAP

Also, an anti-corruption advocacy group, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, also condemned the travel ban, warning that it would be counterproductive to the government’s anti-corruption campaign.

The group, in a statement by its Deputy Director, Timothy Adewale, contended that the ban was “clearly arbitrary, repressive and illegal,” demanding that the Federal Government should lift it immediately.

This was as a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chief Mike Ozekhome, argued that the travel ban was a usurpation of the power of the judiciary by the executive.

Ozekhome, who argued that the ban was targeted at the members of opposition political parties and voices critical of the Federal Government, described it as “an extreme panicky measure of desperation” by President Buhari ahead of the next year’s general elections.

SERAP, in its statement, argued that the travel ban violated both domestic and international laws that protect citizens’ human rights.

SERAP said, “The order banning 50 alleged high-profile corrupt Nigerians from travelling abroad without any legal basis and a judicial authorisation is clearly arbitrary, repressive and illegal, as it breaches constitutional rights and the country’s international obligations, which protect the rights to freedom of movement, to leave one’s country, to privacy, and to due process of law.

“Rather than performing its declared objective of preventing dissipation of stolen assets, the travel ban would seriously undermine the government’s expressed commitment to combat grand corruption and violate the country’s international human rights obligations.

“The travel ban will play right into the hands of high-profile corrupt officials by feeding into the narrative that the fight against corruption is targeted only at political opponents.”

On his own part, Ozekhome said the ban was a violation of the principle of separation of powers.

Falana, AJ ask Buhari to lift travel ban on 50 VIPs

Also,  a human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), and a civil society group, Access to Justice, faulted the travel ban.

Falana in a statement asked the President to immediately withdraw the travel ban, but Access to Justice called for the total cancellation of the entire PEO6, which it argued “is unquestionably anti-democratic and a veiled snare for citizens’ rights.”

“The PEO is also a gratuitous piece of dangerous precedent that opens the door to an uncontrollable dictatorship; it can be used arbitrarily and vindictively to fight and muzzle political opposition, and promote wholly politically-partisan objectives,” the Director of Access to Justice, Mr. Joseph Otteh, added in a statement on Sunday.

In separate statements on Sunday, Falana and Access to Justice, said the executive order could not be the basis for preventing suspects from travelling.

Falana described the travel ban as “superfluous” because either the court or the various anti-corruption agencies had already seized the passports of the affected persons.

He added that it was an “ingenious design to expose the Buhari administration to ridicule.”

He said, “If the Federal Government had done some background check it would have discovered that the names of the 50 VIPs have long been placed on security watch list while their passports have been impounded by the anti-graft agencies or the courts as one of the conditions for admitting them to bail.

“It is public knowledge that whenever the defendants wish to travel abroad for medical treatment they usually apply for the interim release of their passports. Since the courts have taken judicial notice of the perilous state of medical facilities in the country such applications are usually granted.”

He called on President Buhari to immediately withdraw the ban.

He said, “For the umpteenth time, I am compelled to caution the Buhari administration to wage the war against the menace of corruption within the ambit of the rule of law.”

On its part, the Access to Justice, in rejecting the travel ban, called for the reversal of the PEO6 which it said could be vindictively used to fight and muzzle political opponents, and promote wholly politically-partisan objectives.

Otteh said in the statement that the judgment on which the Federal Government anchored the decision for the issuance of the travel ban, made it clear that the Attorney General of the Federation who is the coordinator of the implementation of the PEO6 could not deny owners access to their assets without a court order.

Its director said in a statement, “It is also legally warrantless; the government claims the judgment of Hon. Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu on the case involving PEO 6, gives it authority to bar the named persons.

“This is so very untrue: the judgment clearly required the government to implement PEO 6 in a way that is consistent with the rule of law; the court ruled that the government (Attorney General) could not block, freeze or confiscate any funds or assets without an order of court! If the government cannot take property without an order of court, how could it legitimately bar persons (presumed innocent by the law), from exercising their rights to liberty and movement without an order of court?

“Access to Justice requests the Federal Government to immediately rescind this obnoxious Executive Order.

“In its stead, we ask for Presidential Executive Orders that mandate all persons and authorities, in line with the constitution, to obey all orders and judgments of courts immediately, release all persons ordered by courts to be set free, as well as pay reasonable living (minimum) wages to all workers!”

Why I don’t care about my travel ban – Fani-Kayode

However, a former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, says he is not moved by the decision of the  Buhari-led government to bar him from travelling.

Fani-Kayode said in a statement that his passport had been with the courts and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission since 2008 thereby making it impossible for him to travel.

The ex-minister, however, said he pitied those who needed medical attention but had also been placed on the list of 50 persons not allowed to travel.

He said, “I could not give a damn that my name is on the list of 50 members of the opposition and prominent Nigerians that have been placed on a travel ban because nothing that Buhari does surprises me.

“I have not left Nigeria since 2008 because my passport has been with the EFCC and the courts for the last 10 years and they have refused to give it to me and allow me to travel. Those on the travel-ban list that need to travel abroad for medical attention or to see their loved ones are the ones I feel sorry for.

“For me, travel ban or no travel ban, I have no intention of leaving Nigeria anytime soon because I am one of those that will be on the forefront in the struggle to liberate our country and  ensure that we get Buhari out of power in the next few months.”

Fani-Kayode said Buhari had shown repeatedly that he was a despot and would do anything to muzzle the opposition in order to retain power.    (Punch)

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You Made Illicit Money, Buhari Campaign Team Replies Atiku |The Republican News

                                                    Festus Keyamo

…says President has run economy well

 

Eniola Akinkuotu

The Director of Media for the Buhari Campaign Organisation, Mr Festus Keyamo (SAN), said Atiku made money through illegal means and cheating the system.

Keyamo said this during an interview with one of our correspondents on Tuesday.

He said Atiku was running private businesses as a customs officer in contravention of public service rules.

The senior advocate said Atiku’s only successful business was Integrated Logistics Services Nigeria Limited, popularly known as INTEL.

Keyamo said, “Firstly, the myth about Atiku’s business acumen is one of the biggest and fattest lies ever sold to Nigerians. He has never run a successful business. He only has one company, which is a cash cow through which he invests in other things and that company is known as INTELS.

“He acquired shares in INTELS in 1982 when he was still a customs officer which was in clear violation of the code of conduct for public officers where he acquired shares in a company that had something to do with the customs and government.

“The company is not run in a competitive manner but a monopolistic manner where all other persons are totally shut out. All governments in this country until now had been compromised by this company until now.”

He said Atiku’s university ran on public funds. He challenged Atiku to prove that the money used in running the institution was not government’s own.

Keyamo said the achievements recorded by the Obasanjo/Atiku administration were not extraordinary.

He said the boom in the telecommunications sector occasioned by the introduction of the GSM during the Obasanjo/Atiku era was not peculiar to Nigeria but happened simultaneously in many African countries.

The Buhari campaign director added that the debt forgiveness of $18bn under the Obasanjo was part of a mere G8 directive and was not limited to Nigeria.

Keyamo said although Buhari was not as rich as his opponent, the President had shown that he understood how to effectively run an economy.

The senior advocate added, “He has managed an economy effectively even in the time of economic recession occasioned by a terrible crash in oil prices. Under him, foreign reserves increased; he inspired investors to invest in critical infrastructure.

“He refused to retrench workers. He also released the biggest money so far for capital projects. In 2016, he released N1.2tn in capital releases and in 2017 they released N1.5tn despite an economic recession.”   (Punch)

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Minimum Wage: FG To Address Agitation For Increase |The Republican News

                                                  SGF, Boss Mustapha

Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja

 

The Federal Government on Sunday said it would soon address the agitation for the upward review of the national minimum wage in a manner that will make workers and all Nigerians smile.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, made the promise in his remarks at the 22nd Choir Anniversary of the Christ Apostolic Church, Living Water DCC Headquarters, Abuja, tagged “Bless the Lord, O my soul.”

Mustapha, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary (General Services Office), Office of the SGF, Mr. Olusegun Adekunle, said the present administration was sensitive to the plight and wishes of the masses.

He said, “While this administration is determined to bring our nation to self-sufficiency and self-reliance, it is also sensitive to the plight and wishes of the Nigerian masses.

“I assure Nigerians that the recent agitation for upward review in the national minimum wage will soon be addressed in such a way that not only Nigerian workers will smile, but the entire nation will be better for it.”

Mustapha also admitted that Nigeria needed prayers and supports of churches at this time in the nation’s history more than any other time.

He said while government was working hard to address the nation’s challenges, the church should continue to assist the government with prayers.

The SGF added, “As I sincerely appreciate your prayers of the past which have helped us this far, I wish to reiterate that this government, more than ever before, needs the prayers and support of churches and well-meaning citizens.

“I, therefore, call on the church to add more oil to its lamp of prayer and praise while government is working hard to perfect on restoration of security, peace and economic prosperity.

“I have no doubt that with the indomitable weapons of prayer and praise like what we are gathering here today to do, the walls of corruption, insecurity and economic challenges will be brought down and our nation shall possess its possessions.”

Mustapha also urged Christians to take part actively in the forthcoming elections by getting their Permanent Voter Cards and voting for leaders of their choice.

He said if they failed to elect leaders of their choice, others would elect their choices to lead them.

“The Church is not expected to sit back or fold their arms and watch others elect leaders for them.

“I call on all believers to rise to their constitutional responsibilities as patriots during the forthcoming general elections and exercise their franchise.

“If you don’t go out to elect the leader of your choice, others will elect theirs to lead you,” he added.

Pastor Ifiok Abia, in his sermon titled ‘The accomplishment of praise and worship,’ assured Christians that as they sang praises to God, the host of heaven would defend the country.

Abia expressed the conviction that the numerous vices currently bedevilling the country would soon be erased.   (Punch)

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NNPC, NPA, FIRS, Others Failed To Remit N526bn, $21bn, Says NEC |RN

Maikanti-Baru-NNPC

NNPC boss, Dr Maikanti

Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja

Eighteen Federal Government’s revenue generating agencies failed to remit N526bn and $21bn into the Federation Account between 2010 and June 2015, an audit commissioned by the National Economic Council has revealed.

The Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, has therefore recommended that the affected agencies be made to refund the money.

Gombe State Governor, Ibrahim Dankwambo, disclosed this to State House correspondents at the end of a meeting of the NEC presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Wednesday.

The council chaired by the Vice-President has all state governors, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and relevant ministers as members.

Dankwambo explained that the shortchanging by the agencies was detected by an audit firm, KPMG, which was contracted by the NEC to carry out a forensic audit of revenue remittances to the Federation Accounts by the NEC.

The governor listed the government agencies indicted of underpayment by the audit report to include the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Federal Inland Revenue Service, Nigeria Customs Service, Nigerian Ports Authority, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency and the Nigerian Communications Commission.

Others are the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Department of Petroleum Resources and the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, among others.

Apart from refunding the money, Dankwambo said a sub-committee would be set up to look into the details of the infringement.

He said those found to be criminal in nature would be handed over to the Attorney General of the Federation for action.

The governor said, “KPMG presented the report of the technical audit of RGAs, concluding that a total sum of N526bn and $21 bn was underpaid to the Federation Account.

“NEC’s Ad-hoc Committee which I head with members including governors of Edo, Kaduna, Akwa Ibom, Lagos states and the finance minister recommended refund of the amounts underpaid.

“Council adopted the presentations and reports of the KPMG and the recommendations of its Ad-hoc Committee including a resolution to identify instances where there appears to have been criminal infringements and forward such to the Attorney General of the Federation and the Legal Committee of the National Economic Council for further action.

“Council resolved to pursue the strengthening of the NNPC’s governance structure to prevent further recurrence of such gross underpayment by the NNPC and other RGAs.”

The governor said it was resolved that the audit period is extended to June 2017.

“One of the resolutions of NEC is to extend the audit to June 2017. So the audit will continue for the remaining agencies.

“It is NNOC, NPDC, DPR, Customs, Federal Internal Revenue Services, NPA, Maritime Authorities, all the revenue generating agencies and the details of the infringement are contained in the report. It is a voluminous report; there are a lot of items that are there.

“The most important decision that was taken is that a sub-committee will be set up which will be an arm of the legal committee of NEC that will look into the details of these kinds of infringements and make sure that those issues that are criminal and require prosecution will be handled by the office of the Attorney General of the Federation.”

Zamfara State Governor, Abdulaziz Yari, said the issue of whether states should henceforth determine how much is paid as fuel subsidy and not NNPC came up at the meeting.

He, however, said a final decision on the matter would be taken at the next meeting.

He said, “We are doing the nitty-gritty with the NNPC in terms of remittances. Don’t forget that the reason we got it right in 2016 on the NNPC side was that the oil prices were too low. It was easy for everyone to get fuel into the country and then make their profit.

“So, when the price started jacking up, then marketers started adjusting back because they needed to have a template of cost recovery and how they are going to make up the difference from the pump price to the landing cost of what they are importing.

“Our problem is the volume, the quantity of consumption which is not acceptable. Working with the governors, so many decisions were taken but by next month, we are going to adopt that position either for the governors to take responsibility for the subsidy in their states based on the consumption or we look at other ways.

“For instance, if you say we paid the N800bn subsidy, you will ask who are we paying the subsidy to? And if you look at the infrastructure development and capital programme of the Federal Government, it is about N1.1trn, almost 70 percent of what you are spending on developing the economy.

“If there is no infrastructure development, then you cannot talk about the development of the economy. N800bn is a huge amount that we must look at it, who is benefiting from it.

“So, we are coming up with a strategy; we are going to meet in the months of May and June. By next meeting, we will definitely come up with a position of the government at both the level of volume of what is being brought into the country and what the state and federal governments collaborate to check.”

Adeosun reported to the council that the balance in the Excess Crude Account as of May 14, 2018, stood at $1, 830, 682, 945.30.

She also reported to Council that the current balance in the Stabilisation Account as of the same day stood at N15, 725,456,963.83.

She put the balance in the Natural Resources Development Fund at N116, 104,644,763.39.

The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udo Udoma, gave an update to council on the just-concluded Economic Recovery Growth Plan Focus Labs.

Udoma told members that the Labs identified 164 projects spread across the six geopolitical zones of the country.

He said the outcome indicated that over 500,000 jobs were likely to be created by 2020 and that more labs would be conducted in due course for other sectors.  (Punch)

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