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Zulum Presents N234.8bn Budget for 2023




Gov. Babagana Zulum of Borno on Wednesday presented N234.8 billion budget for 2023 fiscal year to the State House of Assembly.

The budget tagged: “Budget of Continuity for Sustainabilty,” is N34 billion lower than N267. 9 billion for 2022.

Presenting the budget, Zulum said it was made up of N144.1 billion capital expenditure and N90.

6 recurrent expenditure.

He said the budget would be financed through N137.8 billion Recurrent Revenue;  N33.1 billion Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), Value Added Tax of N30.1 billion, other Federation Account sources of N6.5 billion, and Capital Receipts of N95.6 billion comprising loans and grants.

“The 2023 budget like the 2022 shall be based on the Federal Government Fiscal forecast for 2023 to 2025 Medium Term Expenditure Framework which is already domesticated for the first time in the state through your support recently.

“The 2023 budget shall, therefore, be facilitated by enhanced Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) as projected,” he said.

Major highlight of the budget showed that the Ministry of Finance got the lion share of N30.3 billion followed by education with N28 billionn and N25 billion for works.

More than N19.9 billion has been allocated to Ministry of Health and N19.6 billion for Ministry of Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement.

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The Speaker, Alhaji Abdulkarim Lawan described the budget as “all inclusive”, and captured all peculiar needs of the people of the state.

Lawan said the House would ensure speedy passage of the bill, and tasks Ministries, Departments and Agencies to accord maximum cooperation to its committees during their budget defences.

“The Honourable House will accord the processing and passage of the budget proposal bill the urgency it deserve to enable your administration to start implementing it in January,” he said. (NAN)(


Experts Project Policy Retention as CBN holds First MPC Meeting in 2023




As the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) holds its first Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting on Monday, some financial experts have suggested retention of current policy rates.

Speaking in separate interviews with the newsmen, they said that such policy stance would allow for market stability in the new year.

According Umhe Uwaleke, a Professor of Capital Market at the Nasarawa State University, Keffi, increasing the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) now could jeopardise economic growth.

Uwaleke said that the MPC is likely to hold all existing parameters for two reasons.

“One, historical evidence suggests that the MPC seldom adjusts policy rates in January due to the need to allow the markets to stabilise in the new year.

“Secondly, inflationary pressure is beginning to reduce as seen in headline inflation numbers for Dec. 2022, not only in Nigeria but also in the United States.

“I do not advise a further hike in MPR, as doing so beyond the current high rate of 16.5 per cent is capable of jeopardising economic growth, ” he said.

An economist, Dr Tope Fasua, urged the CBN to shun temptation to further increase the rates.

Fasua suggested that the rates should be retained and be guided by market trends, adding that constantly increasing interest rate could spur recession.

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” I hope they hold rates as is and watch what happens.

“Already inflation trended down 0.14 per cent, they may be tempted to further increase rates to accelerate the fall.

“But they need to now think about the fact that constant raising of interest rates could spur recession as life becomes harder for manufacturers,” he said.

According to Dr Muda Yusuf, Chief Executive Officer, Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise (CPPE), Nigeria’s Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) and MPR are among the highest in the world.

“The CRR of 32.5 per cent and MPR of 16.5 per cent are among the highest globally. High CRR in particular has become a key impediment to financial intermediation by the banks.

“There is need for the CBN to ease up on its tightening stance and cut some slack on some of its liquidity mopping measures,” he said.

Analysts at Financial Derivatives Company (FDC) said that inflation is expected to ease further in January.

The analysts, however, projected that high interest rate would have to be retained if the apex bank intends to continue to tackle inflation.

“As long as the CBN remains committed to tackling inflation, the high interest rate environment will persist in 2023,” they said.

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According to analysts at Cowry Assets Limited, the policy committee may be tempted to pedal softly on its tightening stance by a token hike of 25 basis points.

” We believe that a moderate reversal in the headline numbers will skew the voting pattern of the committee members in favour of maintaining a tightening stance.

“Regardless, the lag-effect from the policy tightening may take longer in reality as Nigeria has a weak policy transmission system,” they said.

Newsmen report that the MPC is expected to hold its first meeting in the new year on Monday and Tuesday.

The committee had raised benchmark interest rate (MPR) to record high of 16.5 per cent in its last meeting in Nov. 2022 in an effort to curb the escalating inflation rate.

Inflation rate had risen to 21.47 by Nov. 2022.(NAN)

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Buhari Seeks Global South Agreement on Debt burden, Inflation Reduction





By Mathew Dadiya, Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday, urged leaders of the Global South to agree on a common agenda on ways to reduce the increasing burden of debt and inflation on that region of the world.

Addressing the Global South Virtual Summit, the President expressed optimism that the meeting, hosted by India, in its capacity as the voice of the South, will address issues of climate change, food security and access to energy.

‘‘This huge debt burden has significantly derailed many countries’ development plans. The effect of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine conflict has further aggravated the situation. 

‘‘In this regard, I wish to advise fellow leaders to agree on a common agenda to enable us to put forward our collective demands to the Global North through India as voice of the South.

‘‘I would urge India to further intensify efforts to facilitate the flow of Foreign Direct Investment to the Global South using its leverage as President of G20,’’ the Nigerian leader said .

Expressing appreciation to the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, for inviting him to participate in the Summit, President Buhari noted that the Global South was driven by historical ties and sense of deep solidarity in pursuit of bridging the gap between the South and the North.

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He described as very commendable the initiative to convene the summit entitled ‘‘the Voice of the Global South’’ under the theme: Unity of Voice and Unity of Purpose.

He hailed India’s emergence as voice of the Global South, considering the role the country played during its two-year terms at the United Nations Security Council and the humanitarian gesture it extended during the COVID-19 pandemic.

‘‘Excellencies, it is in line with the vision of One Earth, One Family, One Future that India calls for this Summit, bringing together leaders of the South to share their perspectives and priorities on a common platform ahead of the G20 Summit later this year.

‘‘Nigeria is in full support of this noble initiative and hope that the outcome of the Summit will be given top priority at the G20 meetings,’’ President Buhari said.

Leaders of India, Kazakhstan, Ecuador, Ghana, Sri Lanka, Suriname and Peru delivered statements at the Summit.

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Katsina Loses N4bn Revenue Monthly, Says PRP Guber Candidate





Alhaji Imrana Jino, the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) Gubernatorial Candidate for Katsina State, says the state is losing N4 billion in revenue every month.

He disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Katsina, stressing that it was a great loss to the state.

Jino said that he had worked with the state government as a consultant on vehicle identification, registration and revenue regeneration but resigned recently.

“We did that for four years and we were able to register 64,000 vehicles on a database which was never done in the history of the unit.

“The last time we took a proposal to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) on how they could utilise the VAT collection on sales of vehicles,“ he said.

According to Jino, in his presentation to the FIRS, he gave them Katsina data of almost 64,000 vehicles and the revenue that was lost which he put at almost N4 billion a month.

He said that the database was handed over to the state government, saying that, “we have given them this proposal but they have never done anything about it.

“The information or data could be used in tackling insecurity and other crimes in the societies.

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“In any security happening or incident, a vehicular component must be involved.

“There is a way that you can track the vehicle that was used in the crime if you have a proper database that the police could use by just picking the number plate

“With the number plate of the vehicle, the police can identify the suspects,“ he said.

Jino explained that before joining politics, along with some friends, he set up a company called Easy Geographic Information System (GIS) Ltd which they used to execute jobs.

He said GIS was the latest technology being used in developed societies to deliver services and aiding their governments to enhance internally generated revenue.

The PRP gubernatorial candidate said he was in politics to help his people.

“If we are elected into office, we are going to use our experiences to generate more revenue for the state and also provide a lasting solution to the lingering security challenges in the state,’’ Jino said. (NAN)

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