Tag Archives: zainab

2020: FG plans to to change 100m people’s story – Finance Minister


In what may be termed the first soothing news of 2020, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed on Monday reiterated Federal Government’s plan to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty this year, in line with a pledge earlier made by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019.

Ahmed, who made the disclosure in a television programme said the fulcrum of achieving that goal would be to provide sufficient enabling environment for small businesses across Nigeria.


She said: “President Muhammadu Buhari has directed that we must pull 100 million Nigerians out of poverty and that is our major focus. Based on the president’s directives, we want to move fast to make the kind of change the president wanted in the country.

“In 2020, we want to move very fast because we realized that going at the steady rate we are doing is not going to make the kind of change that the president has directed must happen.


“So, we have to make sure that we are creating more jobs and reducing unemployment, and pulling as many Nigerians as possible out of poverty. And that is the reason why when we did the finance bill, you will find that the bill was largely targeted at making businesses easy for the small and very small businesses. This is because we believe that is where the economy needs to really grow and stabilize from.”

The World Poverty Clock shocked the federal government in 2019, when it revealed that 91,885,874 people in Nigeria now live in extreme poverty (less than $1.9 or N693.5 per day).


In June 2018, the World Poverty Clock named Nigeria the poverty capital of the world with statistics showing that 87 million people live in poverty.

The latest numbers indicate that from June 2018 to June 2019, four million Nigerians have joined the poverty club occasioned by factors such as unemployment, insecurity, among others.


Industry records show that the Nigerian economy recorded 2.3 per cent GDP growth in 2019, particularly in the telecoms sector.

More so, agricultural growth increased slightly, but remained blighted by insurgency in the northeast region, and incessant farmer-herder conflicts.

Finance Minister, Zainab Ahmed

Oil sector growth remained stable, but manufacturing production slowed due to the weaker power supply sector. Overall, the slow pace of recovery in 2019 is attributable to weak consumer demand and lower public and private investment.

According to the World Bank, the country’s growth outlook is vulnerable to domestic and global risks. It is facing a sharper than expected slowdown in the global economy, as well as geo-political and trade tensions.


#Newsworthy…

32 year old Kabiru Moh’d arrested for making video of president Buhari getting married to Minister of finance, Ahmed Zainab


A 32-year-old man, Kabiru Mohammed, has been arrested by men of the Department of State Services DSS for creating and sharing fake videos depicting President Buhari’s marrying the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed and Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development, Sadiya Farouq.

Recall that in October 2019, rumors were rife that President Buhari was set to wed Farouq. It turned out to be a false report as nothing like that ever happened.


Parading Mohammed before newsmen at its National Headquarters on Friday January 3rd, the DSS Public Relations Officer, Dr Peter Afunanya, said an investigation was launched, following a formal complaint to the Service by the Minister for Finance.

“Last year, 2019 between August and October there was a defamatory video that circulated widely across Nigeria and showing false engagement of Mr President in marriage with some members of his cabinet. One was the Minister for Finance, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed and another was that of the Minister for Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Farouq. On the 11thof October, 2019 the Honourable Minister for Finance, brought a formal complaint to the Service in which she stated that the video had cost her big embarrassment and asked that an investigation be opened into that audio/video and the materials associated with it, the infographics and all the materials that were in circulation at the moment. She asked that a detailed investigation be opened in that regard with a view to identifying the persons or groups of persons that may have been behind the circulation of such defamatory materials.


The Service went into investigation and we can announce that it had apprehended the person that is involved and the person who started this and who circulated the materials. His name is Kabiru Mohammed. He hails from Kano. He is 32 years. He holds a diploma in Hausa and Fulfulde from the Federal College of Education, Kano and also holds a diploma in Mass Communication from Aminu Kano Islamic School, according to him.

He has confessed and investigation has also revealed his involvement in the creation of these materials and the circulation of the materials. Investigation is continuing to determine the actual reasons behind his intent. What we can assure you as Nigerians is that we would continue to deepen this investigation and bring it to a logical conclusion.


We will do everything needful within the ambit of the law to bring this to a logical conclusion, as to determine whether there is or not other persons, interests and motives behind this other than what he has said.

We want to use this opportunity to once again please ask Nigerians as always that the spread of false news through the social media does not do well for any person. You may enjoy the spread of such falsehood when you are not the victim. But if you become the victim, you will know the pain. And we want to urge every citizen and residents and of course Nigerians, that anywhere they are, they should desist from spreading falsehoods, misrepresentations, rumours against one another, against then government, and against institutions of government.

Kabiru Mohammed

By the time you click that button and you spread or participate in sharing news that is not true, you are helping in causing disharmony, you are helping in bringing problem in the country. And you are also feeding on differences in the country to bring about chaos, anarchy and instability. As we go into the New Year, we urge everyone to make a new attitude and begin to find reasons to be more patriotic, to be more law abiding, and be better citizens and to help move Nigeria forward. On our part we would continue to perform our duties and responsibilities without let or fear and will always collaborate with all stakeholders particularly the media and strategic partners to make sure there is lasting peace in the country.”

A remorseful Mohammed admitted to creating and sharing the videos and pleaded for forgiveness, saying it was a mistake.


#Newsworthy…

OMG! SERAP, EiE, BudgIT dragged Moh’d Buhari to court over N37Bn.

…stop Buhari and Zainab Ahmed


Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), BudgIT, Enough is Enough (EiE) and 583 concerned Nigerians have dragged President Muhammadu Buhari and Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed before the Federal High Court, Abuja over the proposed N37 billion allocated for the renovation of the National Assembly complex.

In the suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/1633/2019 filed last week at the Federal High Court, Abuja by Kolawole Oluwadare and Opeyemi Owolabi, they described the N37 billion allocated for the renovation of the National Assembly as “self-serving, wrongful, illegal and unconstitutional expenditure of public funds,” which they said would translate to “less money for educating millions of out-of-school Nigerian children, providing access to clean water and healthcare to Nigerians including the elderly, or repairing the country’s roads and bridges.”


The groups said: “Spending N37 billion to renovate the National Assembly complex is self-serving, wrongful, illegal and unconstitutional expenditure of public funds, as it means less money for educating millions of out-of-school Nigerian children, providing access to clean water and healthcare to Nigerians including the elderly, or repairing the country’s roads and bridges.

“The National Assembly complex should be a safe and conducive environment for those who work there, but spending ₦37 billion to renovate the place is not commensurate with the constitutional commitments to public services and goods, decreasing public revenues and increasing level of debts as well as the poor economic and social realities in the country.”


They are therefore seeking an order of the court to “restrain and stop President Muhammadu Buhari and Mrs Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning from releasing N37 billion allocated for the renovation of the National Assembly complex to the Federal Capital Development Agency and the National Assembly until an impact assessment of the spending is carried out.”

They also asked the court to “restrain, prevent and stop the Senate President, Dr Ahmad Lawan; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila and the Federal Capital Development Agency from demanding or collecting the N37 billion earmarked for the renovation of the National Assembly complex until an impact assessment of the spending on critical sectors and access to public goods and services, is carried out.”


The groups argued that “the defendants are public officers who have sworn the constitutional oaths of office to perform their respective duties in the interest of Nigerian citizens. The refusal of President Buhari to object to the Budget/Appropriation Bill containing a huge N37 billion on renovation of the National Assembly complex is a gross violation of the constitution and existing laws in Nigeria.”

The 583 plaintiffs include Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) co-convener Aisha Yesufu; a former Lagos State (Eti-Osa Federal Constituency) House of Reps aspirant, Bankole Wellington also known as Banky W, Mrs Ayo Obe, Dr Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, and Fisayo Soyombo.

They are seeking from the court: “A declaration that the N37 billion proposed, prescribed, voted and allocated for renovation of National Assembly Complex in the 2020 Nigerian National Budget via Appropriation Bill/Act 2019 is a breach of the Code of Conduct for Public Officers [Fifth Schedule Part 1] of the Constitution of Nigeria 1999 [as amended] and Oath of a member of the National Assembly; a declaration that the N37 billion proposed, voted and allocated for renovation of National Assembly Complex in the 2020 Nigerian National Budget via Appropriation Bill/Act 2019 signed is a breach of the defendants’ solemn constitutional obligations to know and follow constitutional oaths governing their conduct, including their duties of care to Nigerians to faithfully protect and defend the constitution and improve the well-being and welfare of Nigerians; an order of the court restraining, preventing and stopping President Buhari and the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning from releasing the N37 billion allocated for the renovation of the National Assembly complex to the Federal Capital Development Agency and the National Assembly leadership until an assessment of the impact of the spending on critical sectors like education, health, clean water and safe roads a revision to the allocation, is carried out; an order of the court restraining, preventing and stopping the National Assembly leadership from demanding or collecting the N37 billion proposed for the renovation of the National Assembly until an assessment of the impact of the spending on critical sectors like education, health, clean water and safe roads a revision to the allocation, is carried out; Any order(s) that the Honourable Court may deem fit to make in the circumstance of this suit.”

No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.


#Newsworthy…

FG may borrow N2trn from pension fund – Mrs. Zainab.

… we’ve been able to release N1.2trn

Low revenue will constrain the implementation of the 2020 budget, Minister of Finance. Budget and Panning Mrs Zainab Ahmed said on Thursday.

She noted that 44 per cent of projected revenue would come from oil-related sources while the remaining 56 per cent is projected from the non-oil sector.

According to her, because the implementation of the budget will start on January 1, the operation of the 2019 budget has been terminated. There will be no release of capital funding henceforth.

The minister spoke on Thursday during the breakdown of the budget.

She explained that the government was doing its best to improve the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate to seven per cent

Mrs Ahmed said: “We have been able to release N1.2 trillion. We will not be making any more releases before the end of the year. We are not doing any more releases. However, there are some in various stages of processing that would be completed. The 2020 budget takes effect from January 1, 2020.”

She noted that in releasing funding for capital projects, priority was given to critical ongoing projects in rail, roads, power and agriculture sectors while debt service and the implementation of non-debt recurrent expenditure, particularly payment of workers’ salaries and pensions will continue.

On the Finance Bill and the requirement of Tax Identification Number (TIN) to operate a bank account, she said not all the provisions of the bill would be implemented from January 1, 2020, adding that the government would engage banks on the modality for implementation of the TIN requirements.

She expressed optimism that the Finance Bill which has about 83 modifications meant to improve the business environment, especially for small and medium enterprises, would soon be sent to the President by the lawmakers for assent, adding, until the Finance Bill is assented; the measures we are talking about “are just plans for now. We are confident that within this week, Mr President will have this bill from the National Assembly”

She noted that the projected N8.42 trillion revenue is 3.2 per cent or N263.94 billion over the executive proposal, and 10.9 per cent more than the 2019 Budget of N7.59 trillion) .

To promote fiscal transparency and accountability, the budget of 10 major Government-Owned Enterprises (GOEs) have been integrated in the Federal Government budget with effect from 2020.

#Newsworthy…

Buhari Regime set to pay workers consequential adjustment arrears in December – Minister.

…we have made adequate provision

Mrs Zainab Ahmed, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning says arrears of consequential adjustment for the new minimum wage will be paid to workers in December.

Ahmed gave the assurance while answering questions from stakeholders during the highlights and breakdown of the approved 2020 budget in Abuja on Thursday.

She said the Federal Government had made adequate provision to pay the arrears of the consequential adjustments of the approved new minimum wage for federal civil servants.

“I want to confirm to you that we have made adequate provision in the 2020 budget on the issue of minimum wage.

“And we are also planning to pay the arrears of the consequential adjustments in December, ” she added.

Giving a breakdown of the 2020 budget, the minister said that the sum of N4.49 trillion would be expended on recurrent expenditure.

According to her, the sum of N2.465 trillion has been earmarked for capital expenditure, while N2.453 trillion is projected for debt servicing..

She said N2.64 trillion was expected to be generated from oil revenue, while N1.81 trillion was expected to be generated from non-oil revenue .

The minister put the projected revenue from other revenue sources at N3.97 trillion, adding that a total of N8.42 trillion revenue was expected to be generated in the N10.594 trillion budget.

Ahmed added that N2.175 trillion would be used to finance deficit, N560 billion for statutory transfer, N273 billion for debt sinking fund, while N350 billion would be expended on special interventions.

#Newsworthy…

SERAP: Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed Sued For Failed $460m Abuja CCTV project.

SERAP sues minister, seeks information on failed $460m Abuja CCTV project
A rights organisation, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has dragged the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, to a Federal High Court in Abuja, over her refusal to provide information on how the $460 million loan obtained in 2010 from China to fund the failed Abuja Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) project was expended.

In the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1447/2019, SERAP contended that the minister has no legally justifiable reason not to heed its Freedom of Information (FOI) request of October 25, regarding the identities of contractors involved in the failed project as well as the reason behind Federal Government’s continuous repayment of the loan.

It noted that transparency in the spending of Chinese loans is good for everyone, as this would help to increase the effectiveness, legitimacy, and contribution of the loans to the development of public goods and services, and the general public interests.
The organisation further argued that the information being requested for does not come within the purview of the types of information exempted from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act.

“Democracy cannot flourish if governments operate in secrecy. The citizens are entitled to know how the commonwealth is being utilized, managed and administered in a democratic setting.

“By the combined provisions of Sections 1; 2; 3(4); 4; 7(1)&(5); 9; 14(2)(b); 19(2); 20 of the FoI Act, 2011, among other provisions; SERAP’s right of access to information is guaranteed and there is a statutory obligation on the minister, being public officer, to proactively keep, organize and maintain all information or records about her ministry’s operations, personnel, activities and other relevant or related information or records in a manner that facilitates public access to such information or recor

“By virtue of Section 4 (a) of the FOI Act, when a person makes a request for information from a public official, institution or agency, the public official, institution or agency to whom the application is directed is under a binding legal obligation to provide the applicant with the information requested for, except as otherwise provided by the Act, within seven days after the application is received.

“The minister is an appointee of the President of Nigeria and Head of the Ministry of Finance. Her official duties include; collecting and disbursing government revenue, formulating policies on management of the Federal Government’s finance, preparing annual budget and accounts for ministries, departments and agencies and managing federal debt.

“Obedience to the rule of law by all citizens but more particularly those who publicly took oath of office to protect and preserve the constitution is a desideratum to good governance and respect for the rule of law. In a democratic society, this is meant to be a norm; it is an apostasy for government to ignore the provisions of the law and the necessary rules to regulate matters,” SERAP argued further.

#Newsworthy…