Representatives oppose NNPC and removal of Mull Fuel subsidy


The House of Representatives could oppose the provision on the subsidy of the Premium Motor Spirit, commonly known as gasoline, in the 2022 budget.

This, we learned, is to ensure an increase in the percentage of budget allocation to capital projects.

The Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, the Honorable Benjamin Kalu, hinted to reporters yesterday that the House is concerned about the low budget allocation to capital projects which account for 26 percent of the budget. .

“The expenditure framework is 13.9 trillion naira, capital expenditure is only 26%. This worries the House, because of the maintenance of the subsidy provision, which is a drain on this government. The Chamber believes that capital expenditure should be increased from what it is to what it should be, ”he noted.

This, however, in contrast to a statement by the Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari, who said the federal government would maintain the PMS grant until 2022.

Kyari, as he was speaking at a stakeholder hearing organized by the Senate Joint Committees on Finance, National Planning, Foreign and Local Debt, Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions and Oil Resources on Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) 2022-2024 and Budget Strategy Paper (MTEF-FSP) in Abuja, said the decision to exit the subsidy regime would be determined by the outcome of negotiations in course between authorities and unions.

But Kalu, while briefing reporters on the House’s goal as lawmakers resume the start of the 3rd Session of the 9th Assembly, said: with the aim of filling the gaps in the leaks in this country, ”a- he declared.

He also noted that the House was concerned about inconsistent data from government agencies, adding that some agencies were not putting enough funds into the federation’s account.

He noted, however, that some agencies that do not pay funds to the accounts of the federation due to the provisions of their establishment laws would see their laws amended.

“We also observed that some MDAs were not paying enough into the federation account. They made remittances and there were agencies that did not remit at all because their establishment laws did not allow them to remit.

“We need to change some of these settlement laws, due to the impact of COVID the government is looking for money from left to right and center and if there are any leaks that have been encouraged by the settlement laws, this law will be considered for possible amendment, ”he said.

While raising concerns about inconsistent records in the oil industry, Kalu said the Chamber would solve the mystery around specific oil revenues by determining the actual volume of oil produced per day.

The House spokesperson said: “Inconsistent data between agencies such as Customs, NNPC, PPRA, PEF and DPR, especially on issues such as the volume of crude oil species produced by day ; Second, what is the level of our PMS consumption per day? These things are necessary because the House is determined to close the leak zones so that the federal government has enough to look after the welfare of the citizens. “

According to him, it is important to note that of the 7.26 trillion naira in aggregate revenue available to the government for 2022, 3.16 trillion naira will come from oil-related sources.

The House, however, has threatened to withhold the budget from MDAs who have yet to appear before the House Finance Committee if they do not show up on the next invitation.

The House also frowned at the revelation that some MDAs are content to recycle budgets without introducing anything new.

“Agencies that have been invited and have not done so will be invited again and if they haven’t come, we’ll make sure that we remove their capital and overhead expenses from the 2022 budget,” Kalu noted.

Meanwhile, the House said it would not approve President Muhammadu Buhari’s request to borrow an additional $ 4 billion (4,054,476,863) and € 710 million in loans from bilateral and multilateral organizations if lawmakers are happy with the details of the spending plan.

“The proposed new loans will only be approved when details of where the loan is provided,” he said.

In another development, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) described the outcry from the Chairman of the Economic Advisory Council (EAC), Dr Doyin Salami, over the debt build-up and spending of the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration ) as a confirmation that Nigeria is to be destroyed.

The opposition party added that Dr Salami’s “state of the nation” revelation that the country’s debt profile has become “unsustainable” at 35 trillion naira and is increasing, with a ratio of Alarming debt service / income of 97.7%, also confirmed that President Muhammadu Buhari and APC have mortgaged Nigeria’s national wealth to foreign interests.

PDP National Advertising Secretary Kola Ologbondiyan said Dr Salami’s revelation validates apprehensions that the president, who borrows more and more money, is completely out of touch with his economic team, “as the corrupt cabal of his presidency took advantage of the situation to plunder the vaults.

Ologbondiyan, in a statement, added: “It is sad to see that despite the already terrifying situation and with the further depreciation of our naira to N570 per dollar, President Buhari is about to take a new N2. 66 trillion ($ 4 billion and € 710 million) external borrowing, for very opaque purposes.

“More frightening is the EAC’s revelation that the country’s outstanding debt could soon reach 45 trillion naira.

“This is all the more so since rather than developing strategies to build wealth to run its affairs and repay the loans it has collected, the incompetent, lethargic and corrupt Buhari administration is only resorting to more loans recklessly.

“In addition, the fact that the APC and its government cannot cite any heritage project financed with the loans validates the apprehensions in the public space that the funds are wasted by the leaders and the cabal of the APC in the corridors of the to be able to.

“This position is corroborated by Dr. Salami’s report that federal government spending has been ‘increasing and at a faster rate’, even when there are no projects on the ground to justify such an astronomical increase. .

“In addition, corruption and incompetence, in addition to political inconsistency, insecurity and macroeconomic instability, under the APC administration led by Buhari, as the EAC also observed, had stifled investment and crippled our national economy.

In addition, the senator representing the senatorial district of Borno South, Ali Ndume, yesterday warned the executive and the legislature against what he called excessive borrowing.

He said that although it is not a crime, Nigeria should be careful in taking it.

The APC senator, who denounced the increase in loan requests by the executive branch of government and the speedy approval of the National Assembly, said the situation was worrying.

Ndume said so in an interview with Senate correspondents in the National Assembly.

He said Nigerians are now wary of how federal lawmakers quickly pass on loan applications and have labeled them with a rubber stamp.

According to him, some of those hastily approved requests in the past have not even been granted yet.

He further explained that since loans or borrowing are required by the government to address the problem of infrastructure deficits facing the country, these loans should be viewed with caution in the face of debt service reaching 80%. or 90%.

Ndume said, “Borrowing is not a crime, but when the debt service rate goes up, which I believe reaches 80-90%, you have to be careful, you have to look for alternatives.

“There are loans that are not only absolutely necessary, there are some that can be delayed, and there are some that can be negotiated or renegotiated in terms of the terms attached to them. I think that’s what the media should analyze and see if it’s necessary.

“We have an infrastructure deficit in this country and all we hear is when people come to Abuja and the allocation is made you don’t see anything happening, for me it is better to borrow that money. and drive it instead of giving it away for people to collect it and spend it without being accountable.

“What worries me again is the way the Senate is handling things. The Senate by definition is the chamber of deliberation, when things like this happen we don’t rush and just approve it.

“Such requests are supposed to be critically examined by crossing the T’s and pointing at the I’s, asking questions, taking the people you represent and not sitting here in the National Assembly to make hasty approvals that make the people we represent look. us with suspicion.

“They call us rubber stamps because we don’t transport people. We rushed to approve certain Loans which, until now, were not granted by targeted creditors ”.

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