Payment of gratuity and other emolument of 102 ex-Biafran soldiers who were granted Presidential pardon by President Muhammadu Buhari, has been approved by the federal government.
Minister of Defence, Maj.-Gen. Bashir Magashi (Rtd) made the announcement on Friday October 15, during the ministerial briefing to flag-off the 2022 Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebration at Army War College in Abuja.
The Presidential Steering Committee (PSC), on Wednesday said that civil servants would from Dec. 1 present proof of vaccination or negative Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), tests conducted within 72 hours to have access to offices. The Chairman, PSC, on COVID-19, Mr Boss Mustapha disclosed this during the presidential press briefing on COVID-19 in Abuja.
Mustapha, who is also the Secretary to Government of the Federation, said that the move was to encourage vaccination rate across the country. According to him, with effect from Dec. 1, 2021, Federal Government employees shall be required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result done within 72 hours.
He said that this was to gain access to their offices in all locations within Nigeria and the Missions, adding that an appropriate service wide advisory/circular would be issued to guide the process. He also advised Nigerians to increase vigilance during the festive period. “The PSC wishes to put Nigerians on notice that two major religious festivities, Salah and Christmas are approaching and we shall be experiencing increased passenger traffic in and out of the country.
“Similarly, events of large gatherings are likely to hold. While the PSC prepares to escalate surveillance and other control activities, we urge States and all Nigerians to also increase their vigilance and take measure to moderate activities,” he added
Mustapha said, “Statistics generated over the last four weeks on testing have shown that the trend of infection is going down in some states while in others, the trajectory is upward.
‘’The combined total for testing by PCR and RDT now stands at about 3, 141, 795 persons.
“The Aviation authorities in collaboration with the diplomatic sector have made reasonable progress in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; discussions are still ongoing with the UAE Authorities to resolve the impasse. Mustapha, however, said the decision to remove South Africa, Turkey and Brazil from restriction list had been made.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the PSC had placed a restriction on Turkey, Brazil and South Africa due to the upsurge in the number of COVID-19 cases. According to him, over several months, four countries were placed on high level restriction for travelers from such countries.
‘’The PSC has after a review of the developments in these countries, decided to remove South Africa, Turkey, and Brazil from the restricted list. ‘The Hon Minister of Aviation today, presented the position of African countries on Vaccine Passport which some economic blocks and countries wish to impose for travel purposes.
’’This is because African countries have found it difficult to access the vaccines for their citizens in sufficient number.’’ Mustapha said that ‘’the UK has eased restrictions on fully vaccinated travelers from Nigeria to the UK with effect from Oct. 11.
‘’Nigeria welcomes this development and assures that the PSC shall continue to review Nigeria’s protocols based on global developments, science and national experience. ‘A revised protocol will be issued in the next 24 hours,“ he said.
An analysis of official data has shown that the Federal Government is set to spend the total amount of N14.6tn on debt servicing between 2022 and 2024,
Projections in the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper for 2022 to 2024 shows that the government intends to spend N3.6tn on debt servicing in 2022, N4.9tn in 2023 and N6.1tn in the 2024 fiscal year, amounting to N14.7tn.
The total projected expenditure for 2022 stood at N13.95tn, comprising N3.4tn for non-debt expenditure, N3.6tn for debt servicing and N3.61tn for the implementation of capital projects.
For 2023, the Federal Government increased its total projected spending to N15.54tn, with N6.49tn allocated for non-debt expenditure, and N3.61 for capital expenditure.
In the 2024 fiscal year, the government plans to spend N16.8tn to finance its budget, with debt servicing and recurrent expenditure constituting the largest shares, at N6.1tn and N6.4tn respectively.
Only N3.61tn was projected to be spent on capital projects in the same year.
The AMB report said the 2022 and 2023 budgets would be prepared based on an oil production volume of 1.88 and 2.23 million barrels per day, respectively, with a benchmark oil price of $57 per barrel and an exchange rate of N410.15 to a dollar.
The parameters that would be applied in the preparation of the 2024 budget include an oil production volume of 2.2 million bpd, a benchmark oil price of $55 per barrel and an exchange rate of N410.15 per dollar.
The Federal Government had repeatedly defended the country’s debt level, describing it as sustainable.
Mrs Zainab Ahmed, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, had at several occasions insisted that Nigeria does not have a debt problem.
She said what the government needed to do was to increase its revenue-generating capacity in order to boost revenue to about 50 per cent of GDP.
But several economic experts have said the government’s huge borrowings and debt servicing obligations posed a danger for the economy.
A financial expert and the Chief Executive Officer of Flame Academy Consulting, Orji Udemezue, said, “Nigeria is sliding into a serious debt trap. Looking at our debt servicing to revenue ratio, Nigeria is having it very horrible because we are not getting enough revenue from our huge economic activities.
“Therefore we spend almost everything we get from revenue in servicing our debt, and that is a major liquidity problem. And that will lead to very imminent inability to meet our debt obligations and possibly begin to live at the mercy of our creditors: multilateral, bilateral and commercial creditors.”
The Federal Government has projected to spend N900 billion on subsidy payout to oil marketers in 2022.
Minister of Finance Budget and National Planning made this disclosure on Thursday at presentation of the Medium Term Expenditure Framework/Fiscal Strategy Paper for 2022-2024 in Abuja. She also disclosed the Federal Government will spend N13.98trillion in the 2022 fiscal year.
Pan-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenfere, has declared that Nigeria is bleeding in many parts as a result of the many challenges facing it.
In a communiqué issued at the end of its meeting at Ogbo-Ijebu, the home of its leader, Pa Ayo Adebanjo, Afenifere said it was ready to meet with stakeholders to discuss restructuring, devolution of power and true federalism.
The communiqué reads: “Afenifere observes that going by the rate at which terrorism and related vices are spreading, the Nigeria nation is bleeding in many parts. There is the need by the federal government to urgently put a halt to various acts of terrorism, kidnapping, the herders/farmers clashes and the like.
This, the Federal Government can do, by immediately allowing states to have their police. Security apparatus should be democratised to the local level.”
“Given the challenging situations we face, Afenifere calls for, indeed actually ready for meetings of stakeholders where the issues of restructuring, devolution of power, true federalism would be firmed up.
“The outcome of such deliberations is to be passed into law and be made operational immediately.
“It is a matter of interest that the President said that he is now favourably disposed to restructuring. We urge him to send a bill to the National Assembly on it immediately after the planned deliberations by the stakeholders in the country.
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