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The Ondo State House of Assembly on Thursday, withdrew the appeal against the Deputy Governor of the state, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, at the appeal court sitting in Abuja.
Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court, Abuja had on September 26 restrained the Ondo State Governor, its Chief Judge, the House of Assembly, its Speaker, and others from proceeding with their planned impeachment of Aiyedatiwa pending the determination of a pending motion on notice for interlocutory injunctions.
But the Speaker and the National Assembly on October 3, 2023, filed an appeal
At the proceedings, the counsel for the applicants, Remi Olatubora, SAN announced to the court that the parties in the matter have found a political solution to the issue.
A Chief Magistrate Court sitting in Isabo, Abeokuta, Ogun State, has sentenced the Osolo of Ado-Odo, Muftau Dosunmu, to six months in prison for presenting himself as an Oba.
The Osolo title, which is one of the high chiefs in Ado-Odo, Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State, was upgraded to a coronet Oba by the past administration of Senator Ibikunle Amosun, among 74 others across the state.
But, the Governor Dapo Abiodun administration has since its assumption of office reversed the upgrade of all 75 Obas.
Though the monarchs claimed they had secured a high court judgement against the state, the government had insisted that they should stop parading themselves as traditional rulers.
In his case, the Osolo was dragged to court for alleged impersonation and disturbance of peace within the Ado-Odo magisterial district.
He was accused of parading himself as an Oba, donning regalia and a beaded crown, despite lacking the rightful title, thereby violating Section 23(2)(c) of the Obas and Chiefs Law of Ogun State.
Dosunmu was said to have installed one Alabi Afizu as Babaloja of Ado-Odo in March 2022, contravening Section 249(1)(d) of the Criminal Code Law.
Dosunmu was additionally charged for instructing a town crier to announce movement restrictions due to spiritual rites between April 2022 and August 2022, leading to charges under Section 249(1)(d) and 200 of the Criminal Code Law.
Another count stated that Dosunmu identified himself as the Olofin of Ado-Odo and paraded himself as the Osolo of Ado-Odo, a kingmaker, between April 2022 and July 2023.
The prosecution counsel, Adebayo Adesanya, had informed the court that his actions were punishable offences under Section 249(1)(d) and punishable under Section 249(3) of the Criminal Code Law.
Dosunmu was also charged for parading himself as a kingmaker without the traditional council’s approval, a violation of Section 41 of the Chief’s Law of Ogun State, 2021, punishable under Section 41(6) of the Obas and Chiefs Law.
In her ruling, Chief Magistrate E. O. Idowu declared that Dosunmu was found guilty of six counts and sentenced him to six months imprisonment.
“The convict is sentenced to one-month imprisonment on the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th counts of the charge, with an option of a fine of N50,000 on each count for which he has been convicted. The sentences shall run consecutively from today, 28th November 2023,” the court ruled.
Speaking with PUNCH Metro on Wednesday, Dosunmu said he was being persecuted by some individuals over the installation of the next of Olofin Ado-Odo, following the demise of Oba Lateef Adeniran on January 7, 2022.
In a phone conversation, Osolo said, “I got a letter of upgrading as a coronet Oba and I waited till we won a case filed before Justice Adeyemi of the State High Court before I did my traditional rites. We have a High Court judgement clearing the 75 Obas. I was joined in the case, even though I wasn’t a party initially. I didn’t do anything wrong after my traditional rites, I was only awarded honorary titles. That’s where the problem started with a few people in the town, who cooked lies against me.
“These people threatened me with the police. I was dragged to Zone 2 Police headquarters in Lagos, but the police said I didn’t do anything wrong. They returned to Ogun to continue with the police threat. But my lawyer told them that they could not be victimising a man who had a high court judgement. So, they filed a suit against me at the magistrate’s court.”
The Osolo said he tendered all necessary documents before the court, saying the written addresses were also adopted.
However, he said he was suddenly accused of lying before the court and was thereafter arrested by policemen from the Ogun State Police headquarters in Eleweran, Abeokuta.
He spoke further, “So, yesterday the court read a ruling against me. I was asked to pay N300,000, which I did. But, immediately, another suit was filed against me at Court 3. My lawyer said this is not done anywhere. I have returned to Ado-Odo after paying the fine. I am going to appeal that judgment without further delay.”
Meanwhile, Dosunmu told our correspondent that the Ado-Odo community was almost in chaos when news broke out that he was convicted.
“Crisis almost broke out this morning when people got the information. I had to go out in my car, wound down to placate the people not to fight anybody,” he stated.
Asked to state what he felt could be responsible for the crisis, the Osolo said it was as a result of who becomes the next Oba of Ado-Odo.
He explained, “They think I am the one disturbing the installation of the next Olofin of Ado-Odo because I am the Chairman of the Kingmakers; which is not true. I am not disturbing the installation of anybody as the Olofin.”
However, he kicked against the interference of external forces in the selection of the new first-class monarch, saying “I don’t how the Ministry (of Chieftaincy Affairs) or the Yewa Traditional Council will be installing unqualified persons as kingmakers. This is the time the whole of Nigeria will hear about this matter.”
It could be recalled that the late Olofin of Ado-Odo, Adeniran was in April 2013 attacked by some angry youths of the town.
The royal father was in his SUV when he was flagged down by some angry youths. He was beaten and stripped naked by the people, who were said to have earlier invaded his palace to vandalise cars and torch his house.
It was gathered that the youths at the time were protesting a Supreme Court judgment of January 12, 2009, which validated Adeniran’s appointment as the Oba of Ado-Odo.
Since 2013, the deceased Osolo has been in exile in Abeokuta. He returned to Ado-Odo in December 2020.
Economist Bismarck Rewane has stated that Nigerians are more concerned about the prices of essential commodities like rice, bread, and garri than budgetary numbers.
During his appearance on Channels Television’s Business Morning show on Thursday, Rewane, the Managing Director of Financial Derivatives Company Limited, emphasized the public’s focus on the cost of basic necessities over complex budget figures.
He said, “In the end, budgetary arithmetics, budgetary mathematics in economics is of no use to anybody except when by this time, six months’ time if we are buying rice at N40,000 a bag rather than N60,000 a bag if we are buying bread N900 a big loaf instead of N1,300 which we are doing today. If we are buying garri at lower prices.
“The people are not interested in whether the budget is balanced and what the debt is. How does it (the budget) affect their day-to-day livelihood? That is the key thing.”
President Bola Tinubu at his maiden budget presentation before the National Assembly on Wednesday said the proposed N27.5trn 2024 budget will ensure micro-economic stability, poverty reduction, and greater access to social security, amongst others.
He highlighted priority areas such as security, local job creation, macro-economic stability, investment environment optimization, human capital development, poverty reduction, and social security.
Giving a breakdown of the budget estimates, the President fixed recurrent non-debit expenditure at N9.92trn, capital expenditure at N8.73trn, debt service at N8.25trn, revenue at N18.32trn, new borrowings at N7.83trn and deficit at N9.18trn.
Rewane, analysing the budget proposal, said in the final analysis, the people are not interested in figures but want to feel the impact of the government’s economic policies as many are under pressure.
He added that the rate of poverty in the country is driving people mad.
Rewane said, “And as you know, prices are up and people are under tremendous pressure.
“You will notice that on the streets of Lagos in particular, the number of lunatics has increased and part of it is driven by poverty. Many mental health issues. People are pushed to the wall. Some of them walk across the road even in moving traffic.
“People need to feel the impact. the impact is not going to be felt because of 10 or 12% of GDP, that is N27trn; it has to be more. Where is the more going to come from? It’s going to come from investors and investors are going to come here when they are sure that their money is safe and the environment is clean, and they can look forward to a brighter future.”
The economist said the government must be honest with Nigerians on the economic realities, saying that “honesty is in short supply”.
According to him, people cannot start pretending to be happy.
He said, “You can fake news but you can’t fake prosperity.”
The Abia State government has revealed that the past administration of Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, left a vandalized old Government House and an uncompleted, unfurnished new Government House complex at Ogurube layout Umuahia.
This is in reaction to a recent media report that the state governor, Alex Otti, abandoned a newly built multi-billion naira Government House in Umuahia, the state capital, since assuming office about six months ago, accusing him of running the government from his country home.
Dismissing this report, the Chief Press Secretary, to the state governor, Kazie Uko, who conducted newsmen round the old and new Government Houses’ rooms and offices, regretted the level of vandalization of what used to be the Government House, used by the last administration.
He said, “At what was designated as the Governor’s Office, the level of vandalization was so much that not even a single furniture was left, even as cable television dishes, decoders, televisions and wires were removed. This is what we inherited.
“At the new Government House complex, a section of the peripheral wall has caved in, while inside apartments are yet to be completed as carpenter’s wastes and planks filled the rooms.
“But for the left wing of the ground floor of the new Government House, which has three air-conditioner units and some furniture, the rest of the two-storey building are yet to be completed.”
Continuing, he lamented, “This is where Governor Alex Otti is expected to live. There was no handover, and our administration did not even know what was here, except that it was an uncompleted building. They called it New Government House, when it is supposed to be Governor’s Lodge.”
Recall that the Okezie Ikpeazu administration had commissioned the new Government House on 28 May, a day before the end of its tenure, but according to the CPS, “If fully built, how come we have a bottomless pit in place of lifts, no electricity, uncompleted wiring, no furniture, dilapidation in and outside the building, unfixed doors, carpenter’s wastes and materials littering everywhere?
“The New Government House is a mere workman’s workshop. Hence, the last governor finished his building at his village and relocated there and that was where he operated from for eight years. It wasn’t until the eve of the handover that he hurriedly commissioned the so-called new Government House.
“The whole place was barren. It was like a huge carpentry workshop, with huge heaps of wastes, dusts, woods here and there, rubbles, absolutely nothing.
“That was a clear indication that they never prepared for the incumbent governor to live and work from any Government House, whether old or new. Apparently, they never believed that he, Otti, was going to win the election
“They had clear three months after the election to hand over and didn’t do anything about these facilities, to refurbish the old Government House, furnish the new Government House or build and complete it as it ought to be and furnish it adequately. So there was no provision made for him to live and work in any Government House environment.”
Domestic Market Amidst Ways And Means Outcry
The federal government has taken N4.047trn additional borrowings between January to September 2023, thereby raising fresh concerns on a repeat of the abuse of the ‘Ways and Means’ loan taken by the immediate past president, Muhammadu Buhari and the former Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele.
The borrowing was taken from the domestic market.
This was disclosed in the breakdown of the 2024 executive budget proposal.
The 2023 N24.trn budget has a projected fiscal deficit of N13.79 trillion, with a pro-rata deficit of N10.33 trillion at the end of September.
However, the actual deficit was N4.05trn, and was mainly financed by domestic borrowing.
The breakdown of the borrowing showed budgeted, “Domestic borrowing (including CBN) is N7.043bn; pro rata (January to September) N5.28trn and Actual (January to September) N4.047trn. Variance was N1.235trn.”
Nigeria’s total public debt portfolio as of June 30, 2023, was N87.37trn.
External debt component of the amount is N$43.15bn or N33.24trn, converted at N770.38 per dollar, while total domestic debt is $70.26bn or N54.13trn.
“The Domestic Debt of the FGN includes the N22.7 trillion Ways and Means Advances at the CBN for which the approval of the National Assembly (NASS) to securitize it was received in May 2023,” a statement from the Debt Management Office reads.
Section 38 of the CBN Act 2007 provides for Ways and Means, which is a facility that allows the CBN to fund the government’s short-term financing needs. It, however, must not exceed 5 per cent of previous years’ actual revenue.
But the immediate past government led by Buhari exceeded the 5 per cent prudential benchmark and pushed for the securitisation of the N22.7trn ways and means.
The DMO securitised the N22.7trn for 40 years tenor with moratorium on principal to be paid in three years at 9 per cent interest rate per annum.
Bandits have killed 18 hunters in a separate attacks in Bali Local Government Area of Taraba State.
Daily Trust learnt that 15 hunters were killed during confrontation with bandits at a mountain area near Maihula town on Tuesday.
It was gathered that the bandits numbering over 200 attempted to attack Bali town the headquarters of Bali Local Government and other surrounding villages but were confronted by the hunters.
The bandits, it was further gathered had more sophisticated weapons than the hunters leading to killing of 15 hunters.
A source in the area, Musa Umar told Daily Trust that 14 hunters were killed at the scene of the fight while many other hunters were injured and one died on the way to Jalingo Hospital bringing the number to 15.
Taraba State Chairman of the Hunters Association, Adamu Dantala told Daily Trust that 15 of his members were killed during an encounter with bandits.
He said the bandits also ambushed his members near Dakka town in Bali Local Government Area and killed three hunters.
“We need government and community support to fully armed us the hunters because we are not given any funds to support families of those killed or treat those injured” he said.
The Kur Bali Chiefdom, Alhaji Mahamud Abubakar, where 15 hunters were killed told Daily Trust that the bandits invaded his chiefdom and attempted to invade Bali town but were stopped by hunters during which 15 hunters were killed.
Police spokesman, SP Usman Abdullah did not answer calls or reply SMS sent to him by our reporter on the incidents.
Former Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Alhassan Ado Doguwa, has stated that winning an election is not just about the number of votes cast, but also about following the rules of the game.
Doguwa made this statement on Wednesday on Channels TV while reacting to the ongoing controversies surrounding the 2023 elections in Kano State.
He said that elections in a democratic setting like Nigeria are always about rules and regulations, and that contesting an election under these rules is what makes it free and fair.
He said, “For me when you ask me about what is going on in Kano, the going on is usual, Kano has always been progressive, proactive state in terms politics and ideology.
“When it comes to issues of this nature, controversies are always the landmark of our own kind of politics and everyone is entitled to his own opinion.
“What our people may fail to understand or some of our people are lacking in understanding is that elections especially in a democratic settings like the one we are operating in Nigeria is always about rules of the game, is not just about I won election.
“Winning election can be contesting to win an election under the laid down rules and regulations as provided in the electoral act and in the constitution of the Federal Republic Nigeria. It is also part of what you must have to abide by to win free and fair election.
“Free and fair election is not only about counting ballots alone more or less even when the votes were counted yet there were some votes that were said to illegal votes.
“So you must have to accept the fact that yes what obtains in our own kind of politics and democracy and even beyond Nigeria is about following the rules of the game.”
People Are Going Through Extra-Hardship, Stop Demolishing Their Properties — Obi Tells Lagos Govt, OthersWritten by Admin
Mr Peter Obi, the Labour Party’s former presidential candidate, has responded to the recent demolition of properties in Lagos State, urging the government to take into account the prevailing hardships and to approach their actions with empathy.
He stressed that while it is important to enforce reasonable regulations, all government actions should exhibit compassion.
The demolition of illegal structures in the state has sparked controversy, with affected residents expressing discontent as the government seeks to restore order.
Many have criticized the demolitions as discriminatory and unjust, particularly targeting the Igbo community.
Conversely, the government has maintained that the demolitions are in line with state laws, citing violations by the affected structures.
In a recent post, the former Anambra State governor advocated for measures to alleviate the citizens’ hardships, given the harsh economic climate. He emphasized that the timing for such actions is inopportune, considering the ongoing struggles of the populace.
Expressing his dismay, Obi emphasized the need for a responsive government to implement measures aimed at reducing poverty and to avoid exacerbating financial stress for the underprivileged population.
He urged the authorities involved to demonstrate consideration for the hardships endured by the people and to approach their actions with empathy, while still enforcing sensible regulations.
The state House of Assembly for screening and confirmation has received a list of 23 caretaker chairmen nominees from Governor Hyacinth Alia of Benue State.
This comes about five months after the dissolution of elected local government council chairmen in the state. Sir Tersoo Kula, Alia’s spokesperson, confirmed that the list had been sent to the lawmakers for screening.
The nominees include individuals such as Hon. Guda T. Daniel (Vandeikya), Philip Achua (Konshisha), and Alex T A Aka (Ushongo), among others. The list also comprises nominees such as Charles Onazi Agbese (Ado), Comfort Agbo (Gwer-East), and Henry Agba (Gwer-West).
[PRESS RELEASE] Communique Issued at The End of The Monthly General Meeting of The Afenifere Held at The Residence of Our Leader, Chief Ayo Adebanjo at Isanya Ogbo Ogun State on Tuesday 28th Day of November 2023.Written by Admin
1. 00 PREAMBLE.
1.01The Afenifere held its regular monthly General Meeting today, 28th day of November 2023, at the residence of our Leader, Chief Ayo Adebanjo at Isanya Ogbo, Ogun State.
1.02 And after intensive deliberations on the state of the Nigerian Federation, the Meeting, which was presided over by our Leader aforesaid and attended by delegates from the member states of our Organisation, observed and Resolved as follows:
2.01 Afenifere reiterated our position that Nigeria cannot peacefully, prosperously and progressively endure under the present military imposed constitution having jettisoned the foundational principles of federalism by which the country attained independence and made giant strides at the beginning of the Nigerian project.
2.02 Afenifere recalled that the 2014 National Conference was constituted by delegates from a cross-section of the Nigerian Federation including the ethnic nationalities, governments of the 36 states, the legislature, Executive and judiciary, the local governments, the armed forces, police and other security agencies, political parties, women and youths organisations, civil society groups, professional bodies, while the 2017 APC (El-Rufai) committee on True Federalism conducted Town Hall Meetings across the federation with both emerging with resolutions and reports on all essential issues in the governance of Nigeria as a true federal state.
2.03 Afenifere therefore called on the Federal Government to summon the courage to match and reconcile the Resolutions of the 2014 National Conference and the Reports of the APC (El-Rufai) Committee on Federalism for the holistic restructuring of the federation which shall be enacted into a new constitution.
2.04 Afenifere noted the salutary efforts of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu who, as Governor of Lagos State, successfully in court challenged many anti-federal provisions of the Constitution in several areas including the local government system, revenue of the federation, items in the legislative lists, usurpation of the residual powers of the states including town planning, advertising, by the federal government, control of internal waterways and water fronts, land use, value-added tax etc. Now at the central stage is the time for President Tinubu to step forward with the requisite political determination to live for history and mobilize Nigerians to truly enact for ourselves an autochonous federal constitution.
2.05 Afenifere in line with our historical duty as the initiator and unrelenting leading protagonists of a truly federal Nigeria state has put in place necessary mechanisms to soon mobilize and galvanise Nigerians to achieve this objective and called on other well-meaning Organisations and citizens to brace up for this patriotic endeavour.
3.00 Electoral Reforms
3.01 Afenifere noted the recurrent rituals of hues and cry for electoral reforms after every national election and stated that Nigerians will continue to be afflicted with electoral brigandage under a constitution which over-concentrates powers at the centre and wherein the President of the Federation openly appoints his party members and lackeys as officials of a supposedly independent electoral commission and managers of elections. It cannot be overemphasised that such scenario which will continue to set our people against one another in the evident unrestrained cutthroat competition for power.
4.00 The Economy.
4.01 Afenifere shared in the current economic anguish of Nigerians in terms of skyrocketed costs of goods, services and energy.
4.02 Afenifere decried current excuses of the state of the economy inherited by this government from its predecessor of the same political party and opined that the period of 3 months between the declaration of the President in February and inauguration at the end of May was sufficient to lay the foundations for the economy policies of the new administration which soothing effects should be now felt by the people.
4.03 Afenifere noted that the free-fall of the Naira in the foreign exchange market is having its toil on all aspects of the people’s life including prohibitive costs of pharmaceutical products which are largely imported and with dire consequences for the health of ordinary Nigerians who could not afford overseas treatment like their leaders.
4.04 Afenifere opined that without stabilising the Naira the much sought foreign direct investment will continue to be a mirage.
4.05 Afenifere noted that successive Nigerian government continued to pay only lip service to the diversification of the economy and urged governments at all levels to see beyond oil and gas and focus on agriculture, information technology and industrialisation with the Federal Government fixing the moribund steel industries and refineries.
4.01 Afenifere noted that fixing the economy and development are intertwined with security especially in agriculture wherein armed herders have driven farmers out of the land. Afenifere therefore called on the Federal Government to take the bull by the horns by ensuring and insisting on cattle ranching within the states with comparative advantage in the culture and business of animal husbandry.
4.02 Afenifere reiterated its advocacy for multi-level policing particularly state police as imperative in a federation and particularly Nigeria with its vast territory.
5.00 Judiciary and Rule of Law.
5.01 Afenifere expressed worries at the dwindling image and increasing loss of confidence in the judiciary by the Nigerian people. We consider the parade of different versions of judgment on the Kano gubernatorial elections inexplicable with disturbing implications for the security of the state and the entire nation.
5.02 Afenifere opined and reminded the Federal Government and leaders of the judiciary that most crises in Nigeria are always invariably associated with elections and prevarications of the judiciary.
5.03 Afenifere insisted that a country which judiciary cannot be trusted to interpret laws with high degree of certainty and its judgment constantly enmeshed in needless controversy cannot expect the confidence of foreign investors in its economy.
5.04 Afenifere insisted on the respect of court orders on the release of detainees like Nnamdi Kanu, Sunday Igboho and others and reasoned that continued disrespect for court orders aggravates the level of insecurity in Nigeria.
6.01 Afenifere announced the appointment of Mogaji Gboyega Adejumo as its new National Publicity Secretary.
6.02 An alumni of the prestigious University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) and indigene of Ibadan where he holds the traditional title of Mogaji Ikolaba, his working carrier spans banking, finance, management, marketing, media and Procurement consultancy. He was the National Publicity Secretary of the Yoruba summit Group and a member of the National Caucus of the Afenifere.
Dated and issued at Isanya Ogbo, this 28th day of November 2023.
Chief Ayo Adebanjo
Chief Sola Ebiseni
Musiliu Obanikoro, the former minister of state for defence, revealed on Wednesday that a sum of N1.219 billion was transported to Ekiti state ex-governor, Ayodele Fayose during the 2014 election. Fayose is currently facing trial by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, alongside his company, Spotless Investment Limited, over their alleged involvement in N6.9 billion money laundering.
During his testimony as a witness of the EFCC, Obanikoro informed Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court, Abuja, that he received the money from former National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki. Obanikoro explained that the funds were airlifted from Lagos to Ekiti in two tranches due to the aircraft’s capacity constraints.
“I was a minister under Jonathan’s administration. Sometime in 2014, we were going to have an election in Ekiti State. Some days before the election, I got a call from governor Fayose asking me if I received any message for him from ONSA, I told him I would call him later. Then I had a phone conversation with the NSA and he told me that N2.2 billion was paid into the Sylvan Mcnamara Ltd account. And I handed over the N1.219 billion cash to Mr Agbele, the bank manager for onward delivery to Fayose. I didn’t take N19 million, contrary to a publication by a Lagos based online platform.”
Regarding his association with Sylvan Mcnamara Ltd, Obanikoro mentioned that “the account was created to deal with the issue of Boko Haram in Lagos.”
The case has been adjourned to February 27, 2024, for the continuation of the trial.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described the N27.5 trillion budget for 2024 fiscal year as proposed by President Bola Tinubu to the National Assembly as deceitful, strangulating and hopeless.
The party also described it as a huge disservice which, if allowed to pass, will further asphyxiate Nigerians and plunge the nation into more economic depression and hopelessness.
The party also added that the budget has no mechanism for economic recovery, adding that the N750/$ is suffocating.
PDP, in a statement by its spokesman, Hon. Debo Ologunagba, also described the claim by President Tinubu that the budget is a Budget of Renewed Hope as conjured, unfounded and deceptive as the budget is completely devoid of concrete mechanisms to revive the economy, create jobs, address the comatose manufacturing and productive sectors, human capital development deficiencies and depleting life expectancy of Nigeria citizens.
The party said: “The 2024 budget is filled with heavily padded figures, duplicated items and several false statistics including claims of global increase in inflation rate as excuse for an impending excruciating increase in taxes and interest rate to the detriment of our productive sector.
“It is clear that the 2024 budget as proposed with its heavy provisions for luxury appetite of the presidency and All Progressives Congress (APC) leaders, which is predicated and expected to be funded from multilateral and bilateral foreign loans and increased taxes on Nigerians, is designed to further mortgage our nation and strangulate the already impoverished Nigerians.
“The budget framework with respect to recurrent expenditure vote of N9.9 trillion, capital expenditure vote of N8.7 trillion and N8.25 trillion for debt services is unsustainable and unrealizable in view of the stated outstanding debt and proposed borrowing which is targeted mainly to finance consumption, luxury appetite and debt servicing.”
The party said that the lack of concrete and verifiable action plans to revive the manufacturing, energy, agricultural and education sectors, which are the main drivers of any economy, is a pointer that the Tinubu-led APC government is bereft of ideas and completely disconnected from the reality of life being faced by Nigerians.
The party said that it is of grave concern that the president in the budget speech stated that his government has “adopted a naira to US dollar exchange rate of N750 per US dollar for 2024.”
The party said: “This is a clear admission of failure, incapacity and lack of direction by the APC administration to manage and grow the economy in such a way as to strengthen the national currency, productivity and competitiveness in the global market.
“It has further confirmed that the numerous promises by the president and officials of his government asserting a monetary policy to strengthen the naira have been a deceptive ploy which is consistent with the APC in the past eight and half years.
“By adopting a defeatist N750 per US dollar exchange rate, President Tinubu has further plunged our economy into the abyss, weakened our productive sector, wrecked the purchasing power of Nigerians and the capacity of the youths to be creative, recognising that it will be almost impossible for Small and Medium Enterprises as well as startups to access capital under such a suffocating budget.”
The party said that every responsible leadership strives to work and defend its national currency, adding that unfortunately the Tinubu-led government has surrendered the nation’s currency and pride to the whims and caprices of the so-called “market forces.”
For the umpteenth time, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Wednesday directed all banks across the country to continue to issue and accept both the old and redesigned naira notes, declaring that both monies remain legal tender in Nigeria.
A statement by the Acting Director, Corporate Communications, Mrs. Sidi Ali Hakama, which was issued to journalists on Wednesday, noted that the Supreme Court on Wednesday, November 29, 2023, granted the prayer of the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation to extend the use of old naira banknotes ad infinitum.
The statement reads in parts: “Following the order of the Supreme Court on Wednesday, November 29, 2023, granting the prayer of the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation to extend the use of old naira banknotes ad infinitum, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed all its branches to continue to issue and accept all denominations of Nigerian banknotes, old and re-designed, to and from deposit money banks (DMBs).
“For the avoidance of doubt, the Supreme Court ordered that the old versions of N200, N500, and N1000 banknotes shall continue to be legal tender, alongside the re-designed versions.
“Accordingly, in line with Section 20(5) of the CBN Act 2007, all banknotes issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will continue to remain legal tender, indefinitely.
“Members of the public are enjoined to continue to accept all naira banknotes (old or redesigned) for their day-to-day transactions and handle these banknotes with the utmost care, to safeguard and protect the lifecycle of the banknotes.
“Furthermore, the general public is encouraged to embrace alternative modes of payment, e-channels, in order to reduce pressure on the use of physical cash”.
[STATE HOUSE PRESS RELEASE] President Tinubu: Security, Job Creation, Poverty Reduction Top Priorities Of 2024 BudgetWritten by Admin
President Bola Tinubu says Nigeria's national defence and internal security, local job creation, macro-economic stability, investment environment optimization, human capital development, poverty reduction, and social security are some of the top priorities of the 2024 Budget of Renewed Hope.
Addressing a joint session of the National Assembly on the 2024 Federal budget proposal on Wednesday in Abuja, President Tinubu said the nation's internal security architecture will be overhauled to enhance law enforcement capabilities with a view to safeguarding lives, property, and investments across the country.
He said the proposed budget prioritizes human capital development, with particular attention given to children, because human capital remains the most critical resource for national development.
"To improve the effectiveness of our budget performance, the government will focus on ensuring value for money, greater transparency, and accountability. In this regard, we will work more closely with development partners and the private sector.
"To address long-standing issues in the education sector, a more sustainable model of funding tertiary education will be implemented, including the Student Loan Scheme scheduled to become operational by January 2024," the President affirmed.
Speaking on the economy, President Tinubu said a stable macro-economic environment is crucial in his administration's bid to catalyze private investment and accelerate economic growth; hence, his government shall continue to implement business and investment friendly measures for sustainable growth.
"We expect the economy to grow by a minimum of 3.76 percent, above the forecasted world average. Inflation is expected to moderate to 21.4 percent in 2024. In preparing the 2024 Budget, our primary objective has been to sustain our robust foundation for sustainable economic development. A critical focus of this budget and the medium-term expenditure framework is Nigeria's commitment to a greener future.
"Emphasizing public-private partnerships, we have strategically made provisions to leverage private capital for big-ticket infrastructure projects in energy, transportation, and other sectors. This marks a critical step towards diversifying our energy mix, enhancing efficiency, and fostering the development of renewable energy sources. By allocating resources to support innovative and environmentally conscious initiatives, we aim to position Nigeria as a regional leader in the global movement towards clean and sustainable energy.
"As we approach the COP28 climate summit, a pivotal moment for global climate action, I have directed relevant government agencies to diligently work towards securing substantial funding commitments that will bolster Nigeria's energy transition. It is imperative that we seize this opportunity to attract international partnerships and investments that align with our national goals. I call upon our representatives to engage proactively to showcase the strides we have made in the quest to create an enabling environment for sustainable energy projects.
"Together, we will strive for Nigeria to emerge from COP28 with tangible commitments, reinforcing our dedication to a future where energy is not only a catalyst for development but also a driver of environmental stewardship," he said.
The President said a conservative oil price benchmark of 77.96 U.S. Dollars per barrel and a daily oil production estimate of 1.78 million barrels per day were adopted after a careful review of global oil market trends, and that a Naira to U.S. Dollar exchange rate of 750 naira per U.S. Dollar was adopted for 2024 as well.
Giving a breakdown of the 2024 Appropriation Bill, the President said: "Accordingly, an aggregate expenditure of 27.5 trillion naira is proposed for the Federal Government in 2024, of which the non-debt recurrent expenditure is 9.92 trillion naira while debt service is projected to be 8.25 trillion naira and capital expenditure is 8.7 trillion naira. Nigeria remains committed to meeting its debt obligations. Projected debt service is 45% of the expected total revenue.
"The budget deficit is projected at 9.18 trillion naira in 2024 or 3.88 percent of GDP. This is lower than the 13.78 trillion naira deficit recorded in 2023, which represented 6.11 percent of GDP. The deficit will be financed by new borrowings totaling 7.83 trillion naira, 298.49 billion naira from Privatization Proceeds, and 1.05 trillion naira draw down on multilateral and bilateral loans secured for specific development projects."
President Tinubu said his administration remains committed to broad-based and shared economic prosperity, adding: "We are reviewing social investment programmes to enhance their implementation and effectiveness. In particular, the National Social Safety Net project will be expanded to provide targeted cash transfers to poor and vulnerable households."
He also said efforts will be made to further contain financial leakages through the effective implementation of key public financial management reforms.
The President commended the patriotic resolve of the 10th National Assembly to collaborate with the Executive on the mission to renew the hope of Nigerians and deliver on the promises made to Africa's largest population.
"As you consider the 2024 Budget estimates, we trust that the legislative review process will be conducted with a view to sustaining our desired return to a predictable January-December fiscal year. I have no doubt that you will be guided by the interest of all Nigerians. We must ensure that only projects and programs with equitable benefits are allowed into the 2024 Budget. Additionally, only projects and programs that are in line with the sectoral mandates of MDAs and those which are capable of realizing the vision of our administration should be included in the budget," the President declared.
Chief Ajuri Ngelale
Special Adviser to the President
(Media and Publicity)
November 29, 2023