Tag Archives: Ahmed Zainab

Storyline: Why land borders would have to be reopened – Minister of Finance

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Ahmed however did not reveal when the report will be submitted and how soon the land borders will be reopened.

Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, has given a clear hint that the country’s land borders may be reopened soon.

The borders that have been closed since August 2019.

But speaking to State House correspondents on Wednesday, Ahmed said the presidential committee set up on the matter has completed its job and has recommended its reopening.

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She said the committee would soon submit its report to President Muhammadu Buhari, following which a formal pronouncement would be made on the matter.

Nigeria closed its land borders last year, in a bid to curtail illegal importation of drugs, small arms and agricultural products into the country from neighbouring West African nations.

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#Newsworthy

Finance Minister – Nigeria to suffer recession soon.


Nigeria’s finance minister, Zainab Ahmed, says the coronavirus pandemic and falling oil prices are set to force the economy into negative growth.

Ms. Ahmed made the comments after the National Economic Summit meeting in Abuja on Thursday.

“On the economy, COVID-19 has resulted in the collapse in oil prices,” she said. “This will impact negatively, and the impact has already started showing on the federation’s revenues and on the foreign exchange earnings.

“Net oil and gas revenue and influx to the federation account in the first quarter of 2020 amounted to N940.91billion. This represented a shortfall of N125. 52billion or 31% of the prorated amount that is supposed to have been realized by the end of that first quarter.”

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She added that the economic contraction will multiply the misery of the poor.

“The crisis will only multiply this misery,” she said. “The economic growth in Nigeria, that is the GDP, could in the worst case scenario, contract by as much as –8.94% in 2020. But in the best case, which is the case we are working on, it could be a contraction of –4.4%, if there is no fiscal stimulus. But with the fiscal stimulus plan that we are working on, this contraction can be mitigated and we might end up with a negative –0.59%.”


#Newsworthy…

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Just in: NASS meet with finance minister over 2020 budget amendment. [Nigeria]


The Leadership of the National Assembly on Thursday met with the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning to be briefed by the latter on the plan by the Federal Government to amend the N10.59 trillion 2020 budget passed by the National Assembly in December last year.

The meeting which had in attendance principal officers from both chambers was presided over by the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila.

The Senate President, in his welcome address, told the Executive arm of Government to ensure that the interest of Nigerians remains protected in the proposed cut to the 2020 national budget.

Lawan also expressed the willingness of the Federal lawmakers to expeditiously consider the proposed amendment to the 2020 budget which the Minister said would be presented to the National Assembly by next week.

“The budget amendment is very important, but I believe that when we are faced with this kind of challenge (COVID-19 pandemic), it is an emergency and we should do everything and anything possible to fast track the passage and implementation of the government intervention that is so critical and crucial at this stage.

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“I believe that we shouldn’t delay it any longer. Next week, and I will suggest the early part of next week, we should have that document(MTEF) ready so that we can consider it alongside the budget. It is supposed to be the tonic of what Nigerians are waiting for.

“We have listened to the various adjustments you have made to avoid going into recession. However, to avoid going into a deeper recession, I think we need to do a little bit much more.

“After this meeting with the leadership, I suggest that you engage with our relevant committees in the Senate and House of Representatives to look at the nitty-gritty that would be considered more in detail at the presentation level.

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“On the whole, let me assure you that the National Assembly and Executive arm are on the same page, and that is to say that we will work to ensure that we have a budget 2020 amendment that will address the needs of the people of this country.

“One thing is that the net public expenditure must be targeted at net maximum performance for the benefit of the people of this country.

“In other words, we must come up with an amended budget that is operable and favorable to Nigerians,” Lawan said.

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In his remarks, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, called on the Federal Government to adopt a feasible benchmark in the proposed amendment to the 2020 budget.

“The benchmark is so critical and so important because once you passed the law, it becomes difficult to adjust that benchmark, and then what happens to the excess?

“We have always had problems with the Excess Crude Account, potentially an account which has no backing of the law. So, let’s even assume that the price remains static at $35, which means we have $10 going to the Excess Crude Account which we have no control over in terms of spending, that is why we guard that benchmark price very jealously.

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“Is there a possibility of having a provisio built-in in the budget…So that there can be an automatic kick in if the benchmark price goes beyond $26 or $27. We want you to explore that possibility.

“So, I think you should study the market and see what happens next week by the time you present the adjusted budget,” Gbajabiamila said.

Speaking on Nigeria’s debt profile, the Speaker said, “I would also want to address the issue of our deficit and tie it with the issue of debt relief. I’m not sure I heard any presentation on how much we owe and how much we are paying back in this budget.

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“The reason I asked is that at the moment, I believe, for want of a better word, some of our creditors are very vulnerable right now. And depending on how you package your case, I believe they should be the ones coming to beg you to take debt relief, if not outright cancellation.”

Earlier, the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, while briefing the leadership of the National Assembly said, “the US$57 crude oil price benchmark approved in the 2020 budget is no longer sustainable.”

The minister said further that: “it is necessary to reallocate resources in the 2020 budget, to ensure the effective implementation of required emergency measures, and mitigate the negative socioeconomic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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Ahmed stated that in line with the global economic outlook and relevant domestic considerations, the assumptions underpinning the 2020-2022 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and the 2020 Budget was revised to slash crude oil benchmark price from US$57 per barrel to US$25 per barrel; reduce crude oil production benchmark from 2.18 million barrels per day to 1.9 mbpd.

She added that the federal government also adjusted the budget exchange rate to N360/US$1; and reduced the upfront fiscal deductions by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for mandated Oil and Gas sector expenditures by 65 percent from N1.223 trillion to N424 billion.

She disclosed that the amount available for funding the 2020 Budget is now estimated at N5.548 trillion, down from N8.419 trillion, a revised revenue estimate which is 34 percent (N2.87 trillion) lower than what was initially approved.

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Federal Government’s aggregate expenditure budget was slashed by N88.412 billion; Statutory Transfer from N560.47 billion to N397.87 billion; and Overhead costs of Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government from N302.43 billion to N240.91 billion.

Debt Service provision was, however, increased from N2.453 trillion to N2.678 trillion.

On Provision of N500 billion for COVID-19 Intervention Fund, the Finance Minister in her presentation explained that N263.63 billion will be sourced from Federal Government Special Accounts, N186.37 billion from Federation Special Accounts and the balance of N50 billion expected as grants and donations.

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According to her, “the sum of N186.37 billion will be applied toward COVID-19 interventions across the federation, while an additional N213.60 billion was provided in the Service Wide Votes for COVID-19 Crisis Intervention recurrent expenditures.”

She disclosed that while a total of N100.03 billion was provisioned in the Intervention Fund for new capital spending, the Federal Government carried out a cut in capital expenditures for Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government from N1.564 trillion to N1.262 trillion.


#Newsworthy..

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2020: Nigerian govt to reduce oil benchmark from $30 to $20 per barrel – Finance Minister.

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Plans are ongoing by the Federal Government to review the 2020 budget to reflect an oil benchmark of $20 per barrel.

A report gathered by NobleReporters quoted that the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning Minister, Zainab Ahmed, who disclosed this on Tuesday during a web conference about the impact of low oil prices on Nigeria’s economy.

A further downward revision will mean that the Federal Government has now dropped the benchmark from an initial $57 per barrel to $30.

NobleReporters learnt that Mrs Ahmed also intimated on plans by FG to cut oil production to 1.7 million barrels per day (mbpd), from the 2.1 mbpd previously proposed in the budget.

“We are in the process of an amendment that is bringing down the revenue indicator to $20 per barrel.”

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Other key highlights from the conference include; plans to defer debt service obligations to 2021 and beyond until macro conditions improve.

An 80% drop in estimated net oil & gas revenue available for Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) distribution to N1.1 trillion against the N5.5 trillion previously earmarked.

A marginal drop in Customs projected revenue to N1.2 trillion in 2020 from the previous N1.5 trillion.

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While the amount accruable to the federation account is now projected at N3.9 trillion from the initial N8.6 trillion.

The government is also looking at providing support for the aviation sector as part of measures to alleviate the impact of COVID-19.


#Newsworthy…

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COVID-19: Nigeria will go into recession if epidemic continues for 6 months – Finance Minister.


Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Zaina Ahmed, has said the country will go into recession if the Coronavirus pandemic persists longer than six months.

She made this known on Friday March 27. NobleReporters learnt.

“We are hopeful that this pandemic will be limited in time. If it is an average of three months, we should be able to close the year with positive growth. But if it goes longer than that – six months, one year – we will go into recession.” she said


#Newsworthy…

Lecturers who are not on IPPIS won’t get future salaries – Minister of Finance.


Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed has stated that lecturers who have not enrolled for the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System(IPPIS) will not get their February salary.

The Minister who disclosed this at the opening ceremony of a management retreat in Kano on Thursday March 5, said the objective of capturing lecturers on the IPPIS is to check corruption.

Zainab also revealed that in spite of the resistance from the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), 55 per cent of its members have been captured on the platform.


She said;

“Unfortunately most reforms that you undertake you come across resistance. We have had resistance from ASUU on the implementation of the IPPIS and I am happy to report that at least up to 55 percent of ASUU members are registered and the ones that have not are not getting their February salary.

Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed

“It is in eliminating ghost workers because you register on the IPPIS using biometrics and we are currently working with the office of the head of service to link up the IPPIS HR management module with the payroll itself. It will help us better maximise the efficiency of the system.

“I know that we have up to 70,000 ghost workers that have been identified in this process and we hope that we will come to a time when we will say that we have no ghost workers.”


#Newsworthy…