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2022 budget: Kaduna Govt spends N181.6bn in 9 months – Report



2022 budget: Kaduna Govt spends N181.6bn in 9 months – Report
… As Bagudu approves N2.57bn for payment of leave grant to state, LG workers***

The Kaduna State Government has spent N181.6 billion from January to September, representing 64 percent budget performance of the N279.6 billion revised budget for 2022.

This is contained in the Third Quarter2022 Budget Performance Report produced by the Office of Accountant-General with support of the Planning and Budget Commission.

The report, which came in Kaduna on Tuesday shows that of the amount, N117.5 billion was spent on capital projects.

This represents 63.5 percent of the N185.1 billion allocated for capital projects in the 2022 budget, leaving a variance of N67.6 billion.

Similarly, N64.3 billion was spent on recurrent expenditure, representing 67.8 percent performance of the total N94.5 billion recurrent budget for the year, with a variance of N30.4 billion.

On revenue, the report shows that N188.4 billion was realised as revenue within the period, representing 67.3 percent revenue performance for the year, leaving a variance of N91.3 billion.

Of the N188.4 billion revenues, N38.9 billion was Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) with N7.4 billion collected in the first quarter, N16.7 billion in the second quarter and N14.8 billion in the third quarter.

The N38.9 billion IGR represents 55.2 percent of the N70.5 billion IGR target for the year, leaving a variance of N31.6 billion.

The report blamed low IGR collection to non-full implementation of new law on Development Levies, and noncompletion of shops in most of the markets.

It added that there was equally a low collection of tuition fees in the state’s tertiary institutions due to a hike in fees and prolonged strike action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities.

It also blamed the low performance on pending approvals for regularisation of several undocumented layouts, and high cost of land re-certification among other economic factors.

Also, a total of N64.2 billion was received as the government share of the Federation Allocation Account Committee, representing 77.1 percent performance of the N83.2 billion targeted for the year.

A total of N42.6 billion was received as Capital Receipts, representing 51.1 percent performance of the N83.6 billion target for the years.

The N42.6 billion was made up of N21.9 billion aids and grants, representing 44.7 percent performance against the 49.1 billion target and N20.7 billion representing 60.3 percent against the N34.3 billion target.

The report indicates that the low performance resulted from the global economic recession which has affected both external and domestic donor partner-funded programmes.

Further analysis of the budget shows that the Ministry for Finance has the highest budget performance of N34.1 billion representing 94 percent of the n36.3 billion allocated leaving a variance of N2.2 billion.

This was followed by the Ministry for Public Works and Infrastructure which spent N28.1 billion within the period, representing 86.8 percent of the N32.5 billion total allocation to the sector.

It was followed by the health sector, where a total of N22 billion was spent out of the N38 billion allocated for the year representing 57.8 percent performance leaving a variance of N16 billion.

The education sector trailed behind with 53.4 percent performance after spending N35.4 billion of the N66.4 billion allocation, leaving a variance of N30.9 billion.

Commenting on the development, Mr. Yusuf Goje, Coalition of Association for Leadership Peace Empowerment and Development (CALPED), observed that most of the revenue targets were lagging the 75 percent benchmark in the third quarter.

Goje, the Head of Leadership, Governance and Advocacy of the organisation. pointed out that the poor revenue generation has affected both the capital and recurrent expenditure, which stood at 63.5 and 67.8 percent respectively.

“This brought to the fore the issue of budget realism, which has remained an issue in Kaduna state where the annual budget is always above the recommendation of the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework.

“This is very unfortunate because we are not expecting a dramatic increase in spending in the 4th quarter because of the 2023 political activities that would distract the governance processes.

“This is a cause for concern because if we are not sure of generating the needed revenues to fully implement a N279.6 billion 2022 budget, how do we expect the 2023 budget of N370.3 billion will fare? he asked.

Describing revenues as a “critical component” of the budget circle, Goje advised the government to increase its taxpayers net and find creative ways to increase its revenue performance.

He explained that the government can leverage on political campaigns and economic activities within this period to increase its revenue generation.

In another development,  the Kebbi State Governor, Atiku Bagudu, has approved the release of N2.57 billion for payment of two years leave grants of 2021 and 2022 for the workers of the state, local governments and Local Education Authorities (LGEAs).

The approval is contained in a statement signed by the Commissioner of Finance, Alhaji Ibrahim Muhammad-Augie and made available to newsmen in Birnin Kebbi on Monday.

“Kebbi Government, under the leadership of Gov. Atiku Bagudu, has regularly met its obligations on human resource entitlements for its serving and retired workers.

“This fact was attested to by both the state and national chapters of the Nigerian Labour Congresses (NLC) during their nationwide rally held in Birnin Kebbi recently.

“Kebbi state under the leadership of Gov. Atiku Bagudu is among the few elite states with the best track records on staff welfare and development.

” All salaries, pensions, gratuity, leave grants, promotions, advancements, and training have been regularly maintained by the administration from inception in 2015 to date,” it said.

The statement reported the commissioner as calling on workers in the state to compliment the efforts of the government.

“This is by always putting their best to be dutiful, loyal and hardworking, to help government deliver on all the excellent Programmes pursued in uplifting the overall development of the state to greater heights,” the statement said.



LASG Issues Travel Advisory Ahead Of Students Rave Event



LASG Issues Travel Advisory Ahead Of Students Rave Event

… Says traffic will be restricted between Police Zonal Headquarters, Zone 2 and Onikan Roundabout from 7:00 am*** 

The Lagos State Government has advised Motorists to plan their movement around Mobolaji Johnson Arena, Old Onikan Stadium, Lagos Island ahead of the Students Rave 2023 event scheduled for Friday, 27th January 2023.

As a result of the above rally, the Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Frederic Oladeinde disclosed that traffic will be restricted between Police Zonal Headquarters, Zone 2 and Onikan Roundabout from 7:00 am on the aforementioned day. He assured that Officers of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, (LASTMA) will be available to manage traffic flow.

Explaining the alternative routes, Oladeinde advises Motorists plying Island Club road by Police Headquarters Zone 2, Onikan to go through Ozumba Mbadiwe road inbound Falomo Bridge (Five Cowries Bridge) to link Alfred Rewane and Osborne road to complete their journeys.

In the same vein, Motorists from Bonny Camp according to the diversion plan can access CMS/Marina Bridge after Independence Bridge (Mekunwen Bridge) and loop it down towards Cathedral Church to connect Lagos Island proper through Odunlami Street for their desired destinations,

The Transport Commissioner also advises Motorists to utilize Force road beside Muson Centre to link J.K Randle Avenue (Race Course) or go through Onikan Roundabout to connect JK Randle Avenue/Water Board area to access CMS Bridge by the State House/Old NITEL Building.

He further explained that Water Board inbound Broad Street to Tinubu Square will be available to Motorists, adding that they can equally access Old Defense road/ Ganiyu Smith from Water Board to link Igbosere/Sandgrouse to Simpson Street and connect Third Mainland Bridge to continue their journeys to other parts of the State.

The Transport Commissioner reiterated that Security and Law Enforcement Agencies will be at all strategic junctions and intersections to ensure the safety and security of all road users and the free flow of traffic within the perimeter of the venue and alternative routes outside the venue.

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Aregbesola: Immigration Produced More than 1.7m Passports in 2022



Aregbesola: Immigration Produced More than 1.7m Passports in 2022

…Agrees there are human-induced challenges***

Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, said in Abuja on Thursday that the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) produced more than 1.7 million passports in 2022.

Fielding questions at the 64th edition of the State House briefing organised by the Presidential Communications Team, Aregbesola said the figure was a landmark achievement.

He rated the Ministry of Interior and its agencies as having scored above 80 percent in terms of performance.

“By Dec. 31, 2022, we produced more than 1.7 million passports.

“In the annals of Nigeria that has not happened before; as I am talking to you, we have more than 200,000 booklets in our store.

“We are not denying the fact that there are human-induced challenges if you look at the number of applications, vis-a-vis the number of passports produced.

“We are above 80 percent in performance; in any way, take it as given that we produced more than 1.7 passports in 2022,’’ Aregbesola said.

The minister said that a presidential directive had been issued with regard to the domestication of passport production.

He said the Ministry of Interior, in collaboration with the NIS, had impanelled a “project steering committee’ with a mandate to actualise the goal.

Aregbesola also said there was a major reformation and digitisation of passport issuance and administration as a temporary electronic passport had been introduced.

“We are digitising the process; my plan was to fully digitise the Ikoyi Registry in Lagos by Dec. 2022 but I could not fully achieve that.

“What does that mean? When this process is concluded, an applicant does not need to bring anything anymore; you complete your process online and by that time, you don’t need an agent.

“There can’t be racketeering. I am on it and I want to guarantee that we will do it before we leave.

“We have also concluded arrangements on the temporary passport issue; we have the passport, but we have some issues with our sister ministry – the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and we are solving it,’’ he said.

According to the minister, the temporary passport will facilitate a return to Nigeria for Nigerians living abroad if they need to get back in emergencies and did not have current passports.

Such Nigerians would return home, carrying their expired passports also, the minister said.

“Much as that won’t be a problem for us to take at our reception desk, some airlines could be difficult.

“I can even tell you that we are discussing with South Africa now; South Africa does not allow the use of expired passports as a nation contrary to International Civil Aviation Orgnanisation (ICAO) regulation.

“ICAO says that every citizen of a nation dead or alive cannot be denied entry to his home; which is logical anyway.

“The last time I treated a file from South Africa through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, they were insisting that if one’s passport is not current, one cannot be taken in or out of South Africa’s space.

“It is their policy; you cannot deny a nation its national policies and programmes.

“To avoid that, we introduced what is called temporary electronic passport; it is a one-way passport to return home,’’ Aregbesola explained.

He said that under the temporary passport regime, citizens who had the data pages of their expired passports could take them to Nigeria’s embassies to get the temporary electronic passport after paying the appropriate fees.

“The temporary electronic passports are almost exactly the same as their expired passports.

“It does not have more than one page to take you home; when you hold the electronic passport, you cannot go anywhere but home.

“We are still in negotiation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,’’ Aregbesola said.

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Court Again adjourns, for report of settlement in suit against Dana Air MD



Court Again adjourns, for report of settlement in suit against Dana Air MD

…Ranesh still shuns Court*** 

 A Federal High Court, Abuja has fixed May 31 for report of settlement in a suit filed by the office of Attorney-General of Federation (AGF) against Managing Director (MD), Dana Air, Hathiramani Ranesh.

Justice Obiora Egwuatu fixed the date on Wednesday following an oral application for adjournment by counsel to the AGF, M. Okeya.

Though the prosecution counsel was in court when the matter was called, neither Mr Ranesh nor his lawyer was in court.

The suit, marked FHC/ABJ/CR/101/21 which was number 10 on the day’s cause list, was for the arraignment of Ranesh and two others.

Upon resuming the hearing in the case, Okeya told Justice Egwuatu that the parties in the suit were exploring settlement options.

The lawyer, who informed that a sister case was also before a Lagos court, said the matter would be coming up later in the year.

She, however, sought a longer date for a report on the outcome of settlement and the judge consequently adjourned the case until May 31 for a report.

Egwuatu had, on Oct. 13, 2022, adjourned the matter until Jan. 25 for arraignment of the defendants following the absence of Mr Ranesh and the prosecution lawyer in court.

However, Ranesh’s counsel, Ade Adedeji, SAN, was in court and he hinted that the prosecution and the defence were exploring reconciliation.

It is incisive that since the commencement of the matter, Dana Air MD had not been present in court.

On June 30, 2021, when the matter came up, while other defendants were in court, Ranesh was absent.

Adedeji had told the court that the absence of his client in court was to the knowledge of the prosecution.

When the matter was called, Adedeji, said he was in court to represent Ranesh after they were served with the notice of arraignment.

The lawyer had told the court that his client was not in the country.

“The charge before this honourable court is a serious matter.

“We came in from Lagos just to come and explain to your lordship the circumstances that informed our acceptance of service without knowing that the date is coming so soon.

“We didn’t know before we accepted it. We have an option not to accept this but as officers in the temple of justice, we felt we are under obligation to accept on his (Ranesh’s) behalf.

“But to the knowledge of counsel to the prosecution, the principal defendant is not in the country which was made known to the prosecution.

“It is on the basis of these circumstances that we shall be appealing to your lordship for an adjournment my lord to enable the defendant appear before this honourable court,” he had said.

Counsel to the AGF, Wilson Michelangelo, did not oppose the request for an adjournment, and the judge fixed Oct. 13, 2021, for arraignment of the suspects.

On Oct. 13, 2021, when the matter came up, Justice Egwuatu was said to be on an official engagement in Lagos State and the matter could not proceed.

Although the counsel who appeared for the AGF, Moshood A., and lawyer to the defendant, Adedeji, SAN, were in court, Mr Ranesh was not.

Consequently, the court then fixed Feb. 15, 2022, for the arraignment of Mr Ranesh and two other defendants in the matter and on the adjourned date, the case was also fixed for May 26, 2022, for arraignment.

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