Debate on the 2018 budget which commenced Tuesday in the House of Representatives failed to galvanize any significant support across the two major parties as it was characterized by complaints over non-implementation of 2017 appropriation act and concerns of violation of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007.
The opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) staged a subtle protest by vacating the minority seats at the front roll. Most members of the party also refused to make contributions on the budget except Dennis Agbo (PDP, Enugu).
While presenting the budget for consideration, the Leader of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila (APC, Lagos) appealed to the members to overlook the ‘minor’ issues and focus on the bigger issues of economic diversification and reflating of the economy.
Noting that he has some reservations about the budget estimates submitted by President Muhammadu Buhari on November 7, Gbajabiamila however urged his colleagues to consider the bill and make relevant suggestions.
He said: “The revenue projection is audacious but lofty. The budget as it stands is in our lap; I expect some criticism, but no budget anywhere in the world is perfect same with this one.
“I have one or two reservations about the budget, such as the dedication of about 22% of our budget to debt servicing; however as we look at some of the negative aspect of the budget, let us not lose sight of the many positives and the bigger picture of this 2018 budget. The bigger picture of infrastructure development, job creation, succor to the less privileged, and the long term sustainability of our economy.”
In his submission, Kingsley Chinda (PDP, Rivers), raised the issue of violation of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007, on the ground that the House is yet to approve the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF).
Mr. Chinda stressed that having not passed the MTEF, it was wrong for the debate on the budget to occur, a point countered by the presiding officer and deputy speaker, Lasun Yusuf who appealed to members that since the question on the budget shall not be put until Thursday and by which time the MTEF would have been passed, the debate on the budget was not wrong.
Speaking on the budget, Muhammed Monguno (APC, Borno) lamented the low implementation of the 2017 budget against the claims that the government has generated 18% above the oil benchmark.
According to Monguno, “it’s easy to pass the budget, but when it comes to implementation, there is problem, there is a need for the National Assembly to take the bull by the horn.
“According to a publication by Daily trust, it was reported that the country has generated 18% above the 2017 oil benchmark; by this report, implementation should have exceeded 60%, this means there is a problem somewhere. There is a need for legislative intervention in budget implementation.
Also speaking, Isiaka Ibrahim (APC, Ogun) condemned the composition of the budget, noting that as far as he was concerned, there is nothing significant in the budget while criticizing the low implementation of the 2017 budget and abandonment of projects across the country.
He said: “With the little I have seen, there is nothing tangible to write about, Ogun/Osun RDBA is in the 2017 budget, but nothing has been done there but I can’t find it in 2018 budget, people are still sleeping on Ifo/Sango/Abeokuta road despite the fact that it was in 2017 budget and I can’t see it in 2018 budget.We currently have abandoned projects across the country.”
Mr. Ibrahim also queried the need assessment contained in the MTEF, saying “who conducted the need assessment of our various constituencies?”
P+ Measurement extends partnership with Global Communications Agency
Media monitoring and evaluation agency, P+ Measurement Services has announced an extension of its media monitoring and evaluation partnership with global communications firm, Burness Communications for 2019. The extension will enable P+ to continue providing print, online, TV and radio monitoring and evaluation services to Burness in the Ghana market.
In a bid to continue the successful rollout of the partnership signed in 2017, P+ will continue to handle Burness Communications client public relations monitoring and evaluation activity while supporting their organizations objectives. Burness Communications specializes in advocacy campaigns, media relations, public policy engagement and event planning and P+ will help the brand maximize its communications objectives by providing real-time, high-quality media monitoring and evaluation services.
Speaking about the partnership extension, Lead Consultant P+ measurement services Nigeria, Philip Odiakose said. “We are delighted to extend what has been an excellent partnership with Burness Communications to improve the availability of reliable, cost-effective media monitoring services across Africa. The media monitoring and evaluation market is a growing market and with the right frameworks and experts in place we believe we are on the right path to redefining the market with quantitative and qualitative analysis that adds value to marketing communications.“
“As we said at the start of this partnership, it remains true that the media monitoring and analytics market offers huge potentials to stakeholders. With the right partners providing support in the areas of media planning, analytics and reporting we believe we can help our clients make a difference in their business”. He continued.
Nigeria’s fast-growing media intelligence agency P+ Measurement Services continues to spur a PR measurement and evaluation literacy campaign for brands and government agencies in a bid to standardize a procedure that enables stakeholders to understand that implementing the right measurement and evaluation program will help companies get a clearer understanding of consumer habits and sentiment toward brand products and services.
FMBN disburses N114.5m home renovation loan to 139 beneficiaries in Yobe
The Coordinator, Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, in Yobe, Abdu Goni, has said the bank has disbursed N114,500,000.00 as home renovation loan to 139 staff of Federal Medical Centre, Nguru.
The coordinator disclosed this yesterday while presenting cheques to the beneficiaries in Damaturu.
He said the loan, which is under the bank’s Home Renovation Loan scheme, followed a Memorandum of Understanding MoU) signed with their employers.
Goni explained that the loan has six percent interest rate and is repayable in five years.
“Already federal government employees in 35 states of the federation and the FCT have benefited with exception of Yobe state.
“Contributors can borrow from one naira up to N1 million to renovate their homes. We solicit Yobe state government’s cooperation and understanding toward assisting and encouraging the employees who are contributing to the NHF scheme to also benefit from this window,” he appealed.
He commended the administration of governor Gaidam for according priority to welfare of its workers in terms of prompt payment of salary and gratuity and allocation of houses on owner-occupier basis.
Earlier, the special guest of honour, Governor Ibrahim Gaidam, who was represented by Permanent Secretary, Establishment, Bukar Dapchi said the government would look into the issues raised with a view to assisting its workers benefit from the loan.
PDP alleges plots to arrest Atiku, Obi, Saraki, Dogara
PEOPLE’S Democratic Party (PDP) National Chairman Prince Uche Secondus has raised the alarm, alleging plots by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to arrest some key leaders of the opposition party on trump up charges.
Secondus listed the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar; his running mate, Peter Obi; Senate President Bukola Saraki and House of Representatives Speaker Yakubu Dogara and the party’s other leaders as some of those marked for arrest.
But, the Presidency denied the reports claiming that the Buhari-led government ordered raid on the home of PDP presidential candidate’s son and the alleged blockage of the Obi’s bank accounts and his family.
A statement by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said the reports are manifestation of the PDP’s growing expertise in fake news.
He called on the public to disregard the reports.
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