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uSlnes~&

________ .~______~_____________ FG frets over drop in oil revenue

economy-~

Ifea n)i O n lbo , Ahuja

'T"IE

Federal on Thursday ral;ed the alarm over dl"i:lini 1& crude all protteds dill to theft and smugglinl; II .1sw: 'lit! thai the country's production volume dropped by 17 per cent in April alone. TItl" ~ inister o( Finance, Dr. Ngoti Okonjo-I.ve. la, said Ihis when n-embers or the House 01 R,'presentath-es Committ-~ on Finance led by Dr. t.bd ul-Mumini Jubrin, v:sit.:d the ministry for oversigb function. The ex un ry is currently exportin; 1.85 mi11ion barrels )f ~rude oil per day, repres 'nting a drop (rom tln: 1.1:7 million bpd loaded h lw arch and 1.96 million hpd projection for April. Addnssi 19 the lawmakt·rs. , he OkonJoh"eala, sad desl,ite the drop In p vduction, the country wa. not broke as its resen,'er Ilad been on

1. Govemm ~n t

tlle upward swillS in the past few months. According to ber, the country's reserves curre.nlly stand at S36.8bn. She said. --r1'Iere is no such thinll\ as a financial crisis in the country. We

have been having some

issues with dela)' in money being disbursed on time for the Federation Account Allocation Committee', meeting 10 hold. "Nigeria is solvenL We have many assets, we are liquid. Everybody uperiences this kind of situation from lime 10 lime. and when this happens. what do you do? You either look for other sources of fund or you adjust and wail for the money to come. and that is whitt 'he have hee.n doing. Ihe mil in challenge thai we are facing is that of declinins crude oil output as a result of theft and smug,glinll\. This is what we need to tackle because that has I direct impact on what we eam.

"Mr. President is Lakinr; all measures to curtail this phenomenon. For instance, in April, production dropped by 17 per cent. We need to {at.oe this challenr;e squarely: Okonjo-Iweala said the delay being experienced by the country in rettiving crude oil proc:eedsfrom the international market was not strange, adding thai sucil development sbould be expecled since tbe economy was dependent on oil revenue. -Nigeria is not broke. We have delays in money beang disbursed, we are dependinr; on a resource

we sell in the market, we enable the government "Employees of may nOI gel the mooey BCCes.s the S7.9bn external r;overnment minislrie$, loan planned for the 2012 departments and agendes right away, we sometimes have to wait for fcw days: fiscal year. should ordinarily get their The Minister said Mso speaking at the salaries at least three President Goodluck event, the Minister of days after FMC; now it Jonatban had put in place. State for Finan!;e, Dr sometimes gets delayed ~rilymeasures towards Yerima Ngama, said the into the next month. The addressing crudl" oil theft deJay in disbursing federal delay in paying salaries and smuggling. allocations to states was after FMC is only The minister solicited "temporal." temporary because we are thl" assistance of the He Aid, -Last year, we changing the way we pay commiltee in ensuring the used to hold FAAC on 18 salaries: speedy passage ohhe bills and 19 of every month , Responding. Jubnn on External Borrowing then we sel a higher e..:pressed fears o"oer Plan Ind Ihe Cwtoms larget for ourselvu 10 government's huge budget deficit. addinr; Reform Acts currently hold it I"arlier. 8ul that before the National expectation could oot be Ihat there was the need mel ; 50, we have returned for al1 re"'enue generating Asse:mhly. She said the speedy to the same date as agencies ofgovernml"nt to passageofthe EB,;P"A.WO""u~ITd,--_bC'C'CoC ,e.'--T_______i_nC'pc'cO_V_'_I_h_'i_,_,,--,-p_"_i_"_~~

Consumer s 'U no longer pay for e] (!cb'icity nletcrs - NERC Success l"

"·O~ .

1I0 ri n

0N.:-;UJIERS will no 101lJ:erl ,BY for electricity

C Inclers

W It II the new tanff ""pIlle tabs off on June 1, 20 2. lite Ni&l"nan ElmrtC:lty Rtgulatory Couuill~""ion has said l1te Comml.sswner. Go\'tlmme!lt and Consuml"r Afl'atn:, N!!:RC, Dr. Abba IbrahlDl, who disclosed this at Ihe ;KI....""r consumer assembly (or the North Centnl :wot' in lIorin. Qn Thursday. said technically. the ll1elt no belo"" to Po ..... er HI ,IOtng Company of NigfTia lind as 5Ucb. it should prt,vide it for free to

115 cU51olll<!n.

He saic. the conurussion l'!t I tart,et or 18 month... to pc ovide electricit) conSUlnen throughout ~ naOOn ...i l l pre-paKI meters Ibmhirt\ said under the newtariffl epme,consumen= would 00 loor;er be chatt;ed metermaintenanoc fee.. ilIl"rt' is a huge &Ii' on metering. so people oompbiO'!d on the rnodc! of estimattOlt by PUCN from those nO' metered. NERC is uyin&'o close the gap to ensutr that estimation of consumpticlQ is reduced to the bare~t minimum.~ he

twI.

said. Ibrahim also 5aJd f>reslden GoodIuck Jonalhall had approved P subsidy or N60bn for ~lecb·icitv consumers in the low InCOTll'" cadre thi5 ~ar

to cushion the effect of the tariff increase on them He said those who would benefit from the subsidy included artisans In thl" urban and rund areas, as well as thOSt" who consume below 50 kilowatt hour In • month. He added that 80 per cent o( Nigerians, who are residential consumera o( electncity, would benefil from the subsidy and CI'O!I5. subsidy, adding that they would not see • Significant rise in their current tariff. Ibrahim said the nC\\ electricity tariff would fea~ segr1!gltion o( consuml"n: inlo different classes. adding that rich consumers and industrial crossoutfits would subsidise the low income ellmers. According to him, Iht consumer assembly mealll to protl"i:l electricity consumers Ind to ensure efficient power industry.

· L-R: Commissioner for Defta Stole, Mr. Kenneth Okparu; Go~,~,""""",anu,IU'duag,'"''' Director, Finan« and PriooleSedor Deue/opmf!n'.A/riceJ/l Region, Warld &mk, Mr. Gait) Talo. during a COllrlesy call 011 the governor by the Warld Bank 'Mm. al Government House, Asaoo ...on Thurscfuy.

Group identifies N76.14bn 'wasteful expenditure' NI27·84m. in 2012 budget A further analysis of the 'TOBE Citizens Wealth 1. Platform on Thurnday raised the alarm thai the2012

budget contained N76.14ho and uuclear· expenditure by ministries,. departments and agenctes of the Feden.! GQ\1!mlllClll The CWP, a group of non-g(J\1!mmental alid faith based orgamsations, in a 31-page analysis of the. 2012 bud¢. said the fllJC8l document contained!iC\lC1'al pt'O\isions that ~ "bIooted and duplicated." ~ ....asteful

The Fadlilator, Mr. Eze

On}'l!b~atapressbriefing

inAbuja.sakltheambiguous nature of the expenditure makes it d.ifficuh lOr the budget to bI" mortilomi and implemented HelistedsomeoftheMDAs ...ith ....asteful expcndilllre to lochtdetheOffia!:ofthe Head of SeMI:e the Federation, N266.J3m; MinistJy or Police Affairs, N219.93IJ\; PoUoe Service Commission. N350.82m; arxl Minbtty of Women .AlTairs arid Social

or

lJe\'doptnent N60.09ITL

Aorotding to him. dW! Ministry of Labour and Productivity has a wasteful expenditure or NJ3.7J11; National Population Commission, N49.26m; Ministry of Niger Delta, NI60.83m;Ministryo(\'{ater Re9ourc:es,

N8s4.23ID;

Re\.'eIlue

Mobtlis1tion AHocation and rlSC3! CommISSion, N28.16m; Ministry o( the Federal Capital Territory, N2.02bn; and Ministry Defence,

or Agric transfonnation agenda: Agbekoya seeks audience with Presidency

OIaJckan Adelayo, Ahuja T HE.Agbeko)"a Farmers Association 011 TIlUtsda) sought an audience with tht I'residency in ordef few it to oontribule to die effectn~ impleneutaOonoftheFedeni agricu~ GoYenunent's transformation agenda.. l be group's Publicity 8ea'etary, Cl1ief Olanmji Bandde, said in a .statement thai the audielloc was being aoushl in line with its

--'-""--'--"--'-------"---""-"'--

commitment to partnerin& p~ments It all leo.'eIs to boost food production in the country. UequotoothelS!tOCiation's President-General, aue( Ka.!11OrUdeen 0kiki0Ia, as holding the belief'that lhough laudable. the transformation agmda couJd fail like other programmes 1M!f"ort' it if farmI"rs were not carried along. ..AgbcTwya beiif!..t!S so much in President GoodIudt

JOO3than's agric:uIlUre tnmsformation agenda. !Jut Ihe programme wiD dmrutely £ail,just likE the pn!'oiousones, if 6umezs and ISmners' group; are not carried alang. - he said. Bandele regrettoo thaI .stJCJ:eSSh'C ~menl.'i had oq)eded fanners despite their efIOrts 10 provide food focthedtizl!ns(J\~the~rs.

1bestalementreadsin part. "'The neglect cL ap;cuIllire and the N""tgerian fanners as the most important pnxIud

31id stakeholder ~ indeed, IXJl only an irony, but an ernbrarmssment that N"1&eria, a vast agricultural oountry endowed with substantial nawral resoliJUS CO\~ about 12.6 millioo heclares. 1}60 kiIomet:res cL UllIStline and an eooIogical diw!r.;;ity, whid:t enabe; the muntry 10 prnduceawKlerangecLcrops.. u.."eStock and fisheryprnducts. should find hmdf imparting food b the survr.'3I cL her teeming population.

presentation showed that the Minisl.l)' 0( Finance has N728.sm wasteful expenditure: Ministry of Communications and Technology, N]2.8om; Ministry or Imenor, N382-20m: and Ministry of lnrormation, N498.13m. Others are mrtllstries of AviatJon, Nlo.64bn; Resources, Petroleum N979.74m j Mines and Steel, N91.29m; Tourism. N91.snn: Works. N23I.94m; Tl'8de and I!westment. NI5.35m; Presidency, N6.04bn; Agriculture. N29.t3bn; Environment, Nlo5.18m; Forelgll Affairs. NI33-45ID; Power, Nm.33m; and National Poverty EradicaLion Programme, N2.2"7hn 1be Presidency, al:OOrding to Onye~re, has a vote of N80s.8m for food, refreshment and meals; N48L2m for welfart' (not salaries and perks of office); Int! N536.7ft1 (or I,DOOse' of crested ...... re5.

THE PUNCH, 18 MAY, 2012  

Agric transfonnation agenda: Agbekoya seeks audience with Presidency

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