By Joseph Amah, Abuja
BudgIT, a civic-tech non-profit organisation, has said that projects worth over N2.4 billion in the 2022 budget were directly linked to the leaders of the national assembly. Iyanu Fatoba, communications associate at BudgIT, disclosed this in a statement.
The presidency had submitted a proposed fiscal budget of N16.391 trillion to the national assembly, but the lawmakers later raised it to N17.127 trillion — an increase of N735.
“In its analysis, BudgIT noticed that some projects linked to MDAs that do not have the mandate to execute them are directly connected to the leadership of the legislative arm of government,” the statement reads. “A case in point is the cumulative allocation of N1.45 billion to the Nigerian Stored Products Research Institution and Nigerian Centre for Agricultural Mechanisation in Ilorin, Kwara State, to construct the “Femi Gbajabiamila Public Junior Secondary School, Itire Ikate”.
“BudgIT notes that both agencies in Kwara state have no expertise in supervising the construction or staffing of a school in Lagos state when the country has a federal ministry of education. “Another case in point is the allocation of N1 billion to the Nigerian Institute of Marine and Oceanography to install street lights in Delta Central Senatorial District, represented by Hon. Ovie Omo-Agege, the deputy Senate President.”
According to BudgIT, the timeframe within which the 6,576 capital projects were generated and inserted into the FG budget by legislators raised the need for concerns.“BudgIT has valid concerns on whether the Project Design Documents (PDD) were created as required by the 2022 Budget Public Investment Guidelines. A poorly designed and costed public sector project is almost destined to fail ab initio and lead to poor value for money for taxpayers,” it added.
“Also, the insertions of these 6,576 projects bloated the budgets of different federal ministries, contributing further to a breach of the budget ceiling safeguards announced by the Budget Office of the Federation on August 19, 2021.”While speaking on capital budget padding, Gabriel Okeowo, BudgIT’s country director, said, “Several projects do not meet the definition for capital expenditures according to the Fiscal Responsibility Act
.“For example, N5.6billion allocated to over 150 Meetings, Conferences, and Board Meetings was listed as capital expenditures across different MDAs. Another case is the N28million allocated to the Federal Ministry of Information & Culture-HQTRS for Quarterly Interaction With Foreign Media/Pr Lobby in its capital budget. “Last week, BudgIT also embarked on consultative engagements with critical institutions and stakeholders in the budget process to galvanise stakeholders into action concerning these infractions.
“Likewise, BudgIT is aware that the budget is currently with the National Assembly for review; thus, we call on the citizens, CSOs, private sector, and the international community to urgently prevail on the National Assembly and Presidency to immediately redress and eliminate these violations in the FG’s 2022 Approved Budget to ensure public funds work for all Nigerians and not for a privileged few politicians.”
BudgIT also urged Nigerians, CSOs, the private sector, the international community, and reformers to join the call for urgent redress of the issues to ensure public funds work for all Nigerians and not for a privileged few politicians.
Local Content: NCDMB Holds Knowledge-Sharing Session with Mozambique
From Mike Tayese, Yenagoa
In keeping with Nigeria’s leadership role in the development of Local Content in Africa, the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has concluded a two-day Local Content development experience-sharing session with a delegation from Mozambique’s national oil company, Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos (ENH).
The engagement was held on the sidelines of the 8th Sub-Saharan Africa International Petroleum Exhibition & Conference, in Lagos.
NCDMB’s delegation was led by the Executive Secretary, Engr.
The experience-sharing session was facilitated by Aberdeen Global Strategies & Solutions, under the leadership of Dr. Mark Osa Igiehon, who consults for ENH Mozambique.
In his introductory comments, the Executive Secretary conveyed NCDMB’s commitment to supporting African oil-producing nations in developing and implementing local content policies as a strategy for improving indigenous participation and value optimization from hydrocarbons and mineral resources.
He lauded the giant strides recorded by Mozambique in its gas sector and advised against repeating the mistakes made by Nigeria in the early years of its oil and gas industry.
Represented by the Director of Monitoring and Evaluation, NCDMB, Mr. Abdulmalik Halilu, the Executive Secretary explained that every oil and gas-producing nation must choose to either focus on optimizing revenue generation or maximizing in-country value from the activities of the industry.
He stated that the revenue generation option encourages oil and gas operators to seek the cheapest and fastest route to first oil, while the Government collects maximum revenue in the form of taxes and royalties for development and pays little attention to value addition from industry operations.
He explained that the alternative option focuses on maximizing in-country value and promoting the development and use of local capacities. This model obligates operators in the industry to consider long-term value, while the Government takes lower revenue in exchange for higher in-country value and pays greater attention to life-cycle support for operators.
Speaking further, the NCDMB boss listed key parameters that are critical to in-country value addition and growth of the oil and gas sector on a sustainable basis. These factors are Regulatory Framework, Gap Analysis, Capacity Building, Funding and Incentives, Research and Development, and Access to Market.
He hinted that a Local Content policy backed with appropriate legislation is very fundamental in local content practice, adding that baseline and periodic gap analyses are essential to determine gaps that need to be closed in the areas of skills, facilities and infrastructure.
He also stressed the need to develop in-country capacities and capabilities and utilise them through oil and gas projects.
The knowledge-sharing programme also featured a presentation on Funds and Funding of NCDMB, delivered by the Director of Finance and Personnel Management, NCDMB, Dr. Obinna Ofili.
The Director was represented by the Head, Credit Analysis and Risk Management, Mrs. Chika Enwerem–Okidi, and underlined the need for dedicated funding that would be applied to developing local content in the oil sector.
The Director mentioned that the Nigerian Content Development Fund (NCDF) is provided for in section 104 of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act and is contributed by 1% of every contract awarded in the upstream section of the oil and gas industry.
He added that the NCDF has been deployed in several successful projects, including the building of human and material capacities, the $350 million Nigerian Content Intervention Fund, the ongoing development of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Parks Scheme (NOGAPS), the construction of the NCDMB 17-story corporate headquarters, and 3rd party investments, many of which created jobs for Nigerians and yield interest for the Board.
The second day of the knowledge-sharing programme featured presentations on the operating framework for planning, research and statistics, capacity building, projects certification and authorization and monitoring and evaluation.
The Director of Projects Certification and Authorization, Engr. Abayomi Bamidele highlighted NCDMB’s role in the award of contracts for oil and gas projects and how opportunities are captured for the local economy, using the Nigerian Content Plan and the Contracting Strategy submitted by operating companies for the Board’s review and approval.
He underlined that local content should be promoted as a national agenda for every country and the right data must be collected to establish current realities and gaps to the target.
He emphasised the need for in-country capacity building based on areas of strengths and weaknesses as well as continuous projects to keep the developed capacities engaged.
The knowledge-sharing programme was very interactive and the Mozambican officials sought clarifications on the Board’s model of enforcing Local Content Compliance, monitoring projects, supervising third-party investments, and many other areas.
The programme was convened in line with the Sectorial and Regional Market Linkage Pillar of the Nigerian Content 10-year strategic roadmap. The roadmap requires NCDMB to support other African oil-producing countries and to develop new markets and partnership opportunities for the benefit of competent Nigerian operating and oil service companies.
NCDMB has provided similar guidance to numerous African nations, including Senegal, Tanzania, and Uganda.
NAICOM, Ministry Collaborate on Youth Career Development, Entrepreneurship
Tony Obiechina, Abuja
The Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Youth Development Mr. Ayodele Olawande paid a courtesy visit to the Commissioner for Insurance Mr. Olorundare Sunday at NAICOM’s headquarters in Abuja.
The purpose of the visit was to discuss potential collaboration opportunities between the Ministry and NAICOM in advancing youth development initiatives, particularly in the areas of financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and career development.
The Commissioner for Insurance in his remarks welcomed the Minister and gave a brief history and overview of the Nigerian insurance industry, the administrative structure of the Commission as well as its achievements in the area of financial inclusion, transition to risk-based supervision and IFRS 17, setting up of the West African Insurance Supervisors Association and the College of Insurance Supervisors of the West African Monetary Zone.
The Minister for State in his remarks thanked the NAICOM Management for the warm reception. He expressed his desire for the Ministry to collaborate with NAICOM in engaging the Nigerian youth formally and informally to develop their skills.
He noted that the Ministry had developed a digital platform (app) called Nigerian Youth Academy (NIYA) where Nigerian youth could learn vocational and digital skills.
He requested to collaborate with NAICOM in the building of insurance educational module to be uploaded on the NIYA platform as this will go a long way in training the youths and improve their level of financial literacy, help in entrepreneurship and job creation, career development and sensitise youth on the benefits of insurances.
The CFI promised to convey the Minister’s request to relevant parties (The Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria and the College of Insurance and Financial Management) within the Nigerian Insurance Industry.
NAICOM Boss Olorundare Sunday (r) with the Minister of State for Youth Development, Mr. Ayodele Olawande during a courtesy visit
We Currently have $30bn Investment Commitments – FG
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Doris Uzoka-Anite, says Nigeria currently has about 30 billion dollars investment committment from various investors.
Uzoka-Anite said this at the ongoing Ministerial Media briefing in Abuja on Friday.
According to her, the commitments will be redeemed over the course of five to eight years.
She said investments, commitments, and pledges were also received from our oil and gas free zone, adding that last week, some of them committed an additional 10 billion dollars in investments.
“I hosted the managing director of SHELL who explained to me about the investment plans of shell.
“ I know a lot of us are aware that shell is leaving; he came to explain to me what they mean by that.And I can tell you that they are not leaving.
“Rather, they are expanding and increasing their investments in Nigeria; they are selling their onshore assets and increasing their investment in gas and offshore assets.” she said.
Uzoka-Anite, who envisaged more investments into the country, said it would not have been possible without the commitment of President Bola Tinubu led administration.
She said that with increased investments comes job opportunities and economic growth, which wss part of the priority of the government. (NAN)
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