The Senate on Tuesday frowned at what it described as poor funding of the 2017 budget by the executive arm of government, warning that recession may return to Nigeria in full swing if the trend continues.
The Senate which resumed plenary sessions after about 8 weeks recess said only about ten per cent of the N7.4 trillion 2017 budget has been implemented so far notwithstanding that the fiscal year is barely three months to the end.
To tie loose ends on budget implementation, the Senate, however, summoned the Ministers in charge of Finance, Kemi Adeosun and her counterpart in Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma for appearance to explain reason behind for poor implementation of the 2017 budget.
The Senate took this decision after adopting a motion moved by Senator Yahaya Abdullahi tagged “Stabilizing and sustaining post recession growth of the economy”
Presenting the motion, the Senator expressed dismay against what he described as poor funding of the Budget, stressing that the sum of N310 billion released by the government was a far cry from what was required for effective implementation.
He lamented that the sum of $9 billion had been spent by government so far for the purpose of stabilising the naira.
Senator Yahya lamented also that failure to expeditiously fulfill all righteousness on budget implementation with correct release of require funds may drag the Nigerian economy back to recession.
The Senate, however “urged the budget managers to remain focused and ensure that the current weak growth of a mere 0.55% is built upon and increased substantially in the months and years to come”
It further urged the fiscal and monetary authorities to come together and harmonize fiscal and monetary policies with a view to drastically reducing the high interest rate that has adversely affected borrowing for investment by the real sector of the economy;
The motion also “urged fiscal authorities to drastically reduce the accumulation of domestic debt in order to free the market for better access by the private sector”
Senator Barau Jibril (APC, Kano State) who seconded the motion asked that the managers of the nation’s economy be put on their toes so that they would not be complacent.
He said the failure to release money to fund the budget has become a serious threat to the economy.
Senator Dino Melaye (APC, Kogi West) in his contribution said, “Our economic managers are just joggling the economy using ways and means to manipulate it”
He added, “If it is true that the foreign reserve has grown from $25 billion to $34 billion, why are we incapacitated in funding the 2017 budget? We must say the truth.
“We must go back to the drawing board and take key decisions. We must engage in massive production and we must engage in massive spending too. What we have done is not a geniune approach to addressing the problem of the economy and getting outbof recession.”
Senator Biodun Olujumi representing Ekiti State said Nigeria is only technically out of recession but still languishing in economic quagmire.
He lamented that barely three months to the end of the year, the 2017 budget had not recorded 10% implementation. According to her, the major problem is that the economic managers were yet to develop a viable economic blue print.
Senator Gbenga B. Ashafa (Lagos East) the Senate expressed concerns that since the 2017 budget was assented to by the President, only about N310 Billion Naira has been released by the Federal Government to Ministries, Departments and Agencies as funding for capital projects.
He said the amount is far too low to stimulate the economy to address the Nigeria’s economic challenges;
#ENDSARS: Buhari to address the Nation at 7pm on Thursday
President Muhammadu Buhari will make will make a national broadcast Thursday, October 22, 2020 at 7pm.
This was stated in a Press Statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adriana
According to him, “Following detailed briefing by security chiefs on the current situation in the country, President Muhammadu Buhari
”Television, radio and other electronic media outlets are enjoined to hook up to the network services of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) and Radio Nigeria respectively for the broadcast”.
#ENDSARS: ‘Military offensive on protesters is an abomination, Akande -Sadipe talks tough
The Chairperson, House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora Affairs, Hon. Tolulope Akande-Sadipe has called on President Muhammed Buhari to address the killing of unarmed protesters across the nation, while condemning the killing of protesters by Armed Security operatives in the country.
Tolulope Akande Sadipe in a statement made available to journalists on Wednesday said, “I weep for my beloved country, Nigeria. This is the Darkest Moment in our Nation. The Current Action is Unacceptable”.
She wondered why men of the Nigerian Army turned on the people they were meant to Protect, firing live bullets at citizens holding the Nigerian Flag and chanting the National Anthem, describing such as an “Abomination”.
“I, as a member of the House of Representatives cannot keep quiet in the midst of this abominable action. I was duly elected to be the voice of my people and my people are weeping”, she said.
She opined that the protests were about a generation trying to end the systematic rot that pervades the society, which had eaten deep into the fabrics of the Nation.
The APC chieftain continued, “We need to be honest with one another on this matter. We need to face the truth on ground. The youths were out there because they are tired and fed up of victimization, daily oppression, injustice, unemployment, untapped talents, lack of opportunity, poor healthcare, poor education and lack of infrastructure and power across the Nation. The Youths are protesting for a better future for themselves and their children. The #EndSARS PROTEST stands for the systematic ROT in our Nation.
“This was about the realities on ground. This was about the ROT since independence. This was about genuine service to the people who elected us to represent them. This was not about the President, this was not about the current administration, this was not about North and South, this was not about Religion. This was not about party affiliation. This was about a Generation trying to end the systematic ROT that pervades our society”.
Speaking against the backdrop that there are some external forces pushing for the destruction of Nigeria, the lawmaker representing Oluyole Federal Constituency said the Federal Government should genuinely address issues.
“Those alluding, that there is a 5th Columnist within or external, there is a solution. If there is a 5th columnist or external negative force, pushing for the destruction of Nigeria, if we do the right thing, by genuinely addressing the issues that have led to the distrust between leadership and our youths, by addressing the rot that has pervaded our Nation. The 5th columnist in our midst or external negative force, would fail. But with this action, what have we said to the Youth and to the world.
“This is the time to make the wrongs right and it is not by bringing out the Army to shoot its own citizens, that we achieve this. We can still put a stop to this inferno. We must realize that no position is permanent and it is the country we make that we shall all live in”, she added.
Concluding, she empathized with all the families of fallen Youth Patriots, praying that their death would not be in vain.
Nigeria Excluded From 2022 US Visa Lottery
Nigeria has been barred from the US visa lottery application for 2022, a document obtained from the US Government website showed.
In a 19-page document published on the website, Nigeria is the only African country barred from the visa lottery.
“For DV-2022, persons born in the following countries are not eligible to apply, because more than, 50,000 natives of these countries immigrated to the United States in the previous five years: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (including Hong Kong SAR), Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam,” the document read. “Persons born in Macau SAR and Taiwan are eligible.”
Although natives of other African countries are allowed to apply, the document explained that “persons born in the areas administered prior to June 1967 by Israel, Jordan, Syria, and Egypt are chargeable, respectively, to Israel, Jordan, Syria, and Egypt,” it said.
“Persons born in the Gaza Strip are chargeable to Egypt; persons born in the West Bank are chargeable to Jordan; persons born in the Golan Heights are chargeable to Syria.”
In the document captioned “Instructions for the 2022 diversity immigrant visa program (dv-2022),” applicants must meet certain guidelines to be eligible for the visa lottery.
“The Department of State determines selectees through a randomized computer drawing,” the statement added.
“The Department of State distributes diversity visas among six geographic regions, and no single country may receive more than seven per cent of the available DVs in any one year.”
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