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FG Proposes N12.66 trillion budget for 2021

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FG Proposes N12.66 trillion budget for 2021

…Deficit of N5.16trillion, loan of N4.28trillion

The Federal government has proposed the sum of N12.66trillion as aggregate expenditure for 2021 on a deficit of N5.16trillion to be financed by total loan packages of N4.28trillion .

The proposals as contained in the 2021- 2023 Medium Term Expenditure Framework ( MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper ( FSP) , forwarded to the Senate by President Muhamnadu Buhari for approval, targets N481.41billion as statutory transfers , N5.75trillion as recurrent expenditure, N3.33trillion for capital expenditure and N3.12 trillion for debt servicing .

Critical parameters and assumptions upon which the proposals are based as contained in the documents acknowledged by the President of the Senate , Ahmad Lawan, are $40 as oil price benchmark, 1.86million barrels as oil production per day , N360 to US dollar as exchange rate etc.

Also included in the proposals are N500billion intervention fund against COVID-19 pandemic , N52billion for Public Works Programme , N32.46billion for Social Intervention Programme , N5billion as bail out for the Aviation sector, N60billion for maintenance of roads through direct labour across the six geo- political zones etc.

Aside the N4.28trillion , the FG as proposed in the documents , targets the sums of N205.15billion from Privatization proceeds to fund the budget .

President Buhari in a letter attached to the documents said : “It is with pleasure that I forward the 2021 – 2023 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF/FSP) for the kind consideration and approval of the Distinguished Senate.

“Let me seize this opportunity to express my deep gratitude for the cooperation, support and commitment of the leadership and distinguished members of the Senate in our collective efforts to sustain the restoration of the January – December financial year.
“In line with our commitment, we have worked very hard to achieve and earlier submission of the MTEF/FSP. This is to allow the National Assembly enough time to perform its important constitutional duty of reviewing the framework.
“I herewith forward the 2021 – 2023 MTEF/FSP as the 2021 budget of the Federal Government will be prepared based on the parameters and fiscal assumptions of the approved 2021 – 2023 MTEF/FSP. I seek the cooperation of the National Assembly for expeditious legislative action on the submission.”

The Upper legislative Chamber at the same plenary, also received another request from President Buhari for the confirmation of Dr. Chukwuemeka Chukwu as Resident Electoral Commissioner representing Abia State.

The letter reads : “Pursuant to paragraph 14 (3) of Part one of the third schedule to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, I am pleased to forward for confirmation by the Senate, the appointment of Dr. Chukwuemeka Chukwu as Resident Electoral Commissioner representing Abia State in the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)”.

Meanwhile, President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, introduced the newly appointed Acting Clerk of the Senate, Barrister Ibrahim El-Ladan, to Senators during the plenary session.

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Our problem with #ENDSARS protest was the hijack by miscreants says Buhari

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Our problem with #ENDSARS protest was the hijack by miscreants says Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has explained to former Heads of State and Presidents of Nigeria, that the initial genuine and well-intended protest of youths in parts of the country against the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) was hijacked and misdirected.

In a virtual meeting with the former leaders, Buhari said he could not have folded his arms and allow miscreants and criminals continue to perpetrate acts of hooliganism in the country.
These were contained in a statement that was issued in Abuja Friday by his special adviser
(Media & Publicity) Femi Adesina
In the statement Buhari reeled out the initial concessions made by his administration on the demands of youths protesting against the excesses of some members of the SARS.

He recalled that the youths had demanded that the squad be disbanded, and further articulated the additional demands, including:

”The immediate release of all arrested protesters.

”Justice for deceased victims of police brutality and appropriate compensation for their families.

”Setting up an independent body to oversee the investigation and prosecution of all reports of Police misconduct within 10 days.

”Psychological evaluation and re-training of all disbanded SARS officers before they can be re-deployed; and increase in Police salary.”

The President declared: ”We accepted all the demands and proceeded immediately to scrap SARS and started the process of addressing the other demands.

”Unfortunately, the protesters refused to call off the protest and engage the Government to address their grievances. Instead, they became emboldened and gradually turned violent.”

President Buhari expressed concern that in the mayhem that ensued, many lives were lost, while a number of public and private properties completely destroyed or vandalized.
The President reaffirmed that,

”We will continue to improve good governance through our democratic process including through sustained engagement.

”We shall also continue to ensure that liberty and freedom, as well as the fundamental rights of all citizens are protected. Here, I want to also reaffirm our commitment to preserving the unity of this country.”

He thanked the former Heads of State for attending the meeting and their invaluable comments, observations and advice, adding that ”Nigerians expect nothing less from responsible statesmen.”

Each of the former leaders commended President Buhari for steps taken so far to restore calm and order to the country and also applauded the presidential broadcast of Thursday as detailed and soothing to the country.

”I commend the speech of last night. The nation had been waiting. You made points that I believe need to be commended. Peaceful demonstration is part of democratic practice. The demands of the genuine protesters were accepted, and you are working on implementation. We commend you,” former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, said.

The former heads of state were unanimous in their view that generation of employment and growing the economy including through direct foreign investments were critical to checking youth restiveness.

They also expressed their condolences to the bereaved families of civilians, policemen and soldiers killed as a result of the violent protest, and reaffirmed the commitment to respect the fundamental rights of citizens, including for peaceful protest as enshrined in the Constitution.

The former Heads of State also condemned the divisive and inciting pronouncements of separatists, and were of the opinion that such acts should be stopped.

Equally, the former Leaders commended the actions taken by Governors to address the demands of the ENDSARS protesters and their efforts to check the excesses of those who perpetrated violent acts and conduct.

Finally, they called on youths to pursue peaceful means, in seeking redress through engagement with Government and encouraged further conversation with the youths and other stakeholders in the country.
At the meeting were all living past leaders, including: Gen. Yakubu Gowon, President Olusegun Obasanjo, Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, Chief Ernest Shonekan, Gen. Abulsalami Abubakar, and former President Goodluck Jonathan.

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Lekki Killings: No Country aspires to defeat Its People – Jonathan 

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Lekki Killings: No Country aspires to defeat Its People – Jonathan

Former President Goodluck Jonathan has reminded Nigerian authorities that no nation can win any war target against it’s own citizens as he reiterated the need or peace
He spoke while condemning the killing of #EndSARS protesters by military men at Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos on Tuesday.
The former president in a statement released on Friday, indicated that the use of deadly force against citizens only worsens the tensed situation while condoling with the families of victims who lost their lives.
“My deepest condolences to the families of young Nigerians who have lost their lives in the past few days as a result of End SARS protests.
“I pray that God grants them the fortitude they need at this difficult time.
“I would Like to let everyone know that nation-building is a collective task which involves the genuine efforts of all patriotic citizens whether old or young.
“Our country cannot afford to lose the lives of our youth who we look up to take over leadership and continue our nation’s journey to greatness.
“As leaders, we must also understand that a nation can never win a battle against its own people.
“Thus, I totally condemn the use of deadly force against citizens because this only worsens tense situations.
“We must therefore move away from battlegrounds to middle grounds in our individual and national life.
This, I believe, show like cases the essence of democracy.
“I condemn any unnecessary loss of life and urge efforts to be stepped up to ensure that such incidents do not re-occur. “Finally, we all must accept that we are all brothers and sisters of one Nigeria, and always act accordingly towards each other,” he said.

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Humanitarian ministry says stolen rice from Lagos warehouse not part of its consignment

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Humanitarian ministry says stolen rice from Lagos warehouse not part of its consignment

Humanitarian ministry on Friday debunked insinuations that the consignment of stolen rice from a Lagos warehouse emanated from the ministry

Special Adviser on Media to the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Nneka Ikem Anibeze gave the indication via a statement issued in Abuja.

Anibeze clarified the mixup while reacting to trending report on the social media, alleging that the COVID-19 palliatives found in a Lagos warehouse were from the Ministry.
She said,

“The Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs Disaster Management and Social Development has been made aware of trending messages on and off social media alluding to the fact that COVID-19 palliatives found in a Lagos warehouse were from the ministry.

“This is nothing but a tissue of lies. The photos and videos recorded at the warehouse show that the bags of rice and other items were clearly marked ‘Lagos State Government and CA-COVID’.

“CA-COVID is the short form of Coalition Against COVID-19, a private sector-led task force in partnership with the Federal Government, the Nigeria Centre For Disease Control NCDC and the World Health Organization WHO with the sole aim of combating Covid-19 in Nigeria.

“The Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs Disaster Management and Social Development did not procure, distribute or facilitate the distribution of palliatives under the Ca-Covid initiative.

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