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FEC greenlights N27.5 Trillion 2024 Appropriation Bill

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FEC greenlights N27.5 Trillion 2024 Appropriation Bill

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has given the nod to the substantial sum of N27.5 trillion for the 2024 Appropriation Bill. This approval marks a notable increase of 1.15 trillion compared to the preceding bill, underscoring the government’s commitment to addressing diverse economic needs and fostering growth across various sectors.

 

Alongside the approval of the 2024 Appropriation Bill, the council has also greenlit the revised 2024-2026 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF). This revised framework incorporates essential adjustments, including accommodating an exchange rate of 700 dollars to the Naira, reflecting the government’s response to dynamic currency fluctuations. Furthermore, a benchmark oil reference price of $77.96 has been set, indicating a forward-looking approach in anticipating global oil market trends.

 

The revelation of these key financial decisions was made by the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Atiku Bagudu, during a briefing with State House Correspondents at the conclusion of the council meeting held at the Presidential Villa. The decisions made in this session are poised to shape the financial landscape of the nation in the upcoming fiscal year, influencing policies and initiatives across various sectors.

 

An Overview of the fiscal landscape: navigating economic challenges

 

The substantial increase in the 2024 Appropriation Bill reflects the government’s commitment to providing robust financial support to essential sectors, fostering economic resilience, and addressing emerging challenges. As the nation grapples with the aftermath of global economic shifts and internal dynamics, the approved budget signals a proactive approach to navigating uncertainties.

 

Minister Bagudu stated that while the approved sum is substantial, the intricate details of the budget will be unveiled when President Bola Tinubu presents it to the National Assembly in the coming week. This move aligns with the established protocol of presenting the budget to the legislative arm for further scrutiny, debate, and approval.

 

Revised Medium-Term Expenditure Framework: Adapting to economic realities

 

The approval of the revised 2024-2026 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework is a critical aspect of the government’s financial strategy. By incorporating an exchange rate of 700 dollars to the Naira, the government is acknowledging and responding to currency dynamics that impact the nation’s economic stability. Additionally, setting the benchmark oil reference price at $77.96 reflects a judicious effort to align budgetary projections with the ever-changing global oil market.

 

The revision in the MTEF serves as a testament to the government’s commitment to fiscal prudence and adaptability. Economic forecasts and variables are subject to continuous shifts, and the revised framework demonstrates a proactive stance in mitigating risks and optimising financial planning.

 

Anticipated impact: strengthening sectors and fostering inclusive growth

 

As the government prepares to present the detailed budget to the National Assembly, the approved appropriation bill and revised MTEF signal a comprehensive strategy to strengthen critical sectors. The substantial allocation is expected to have a cascading effect, providing impetus for infrastructural development, social welfare programs, healthcare initiatives, and education reforms.

 

The specified exchange rate and oil reference price in the MTEF provide a solid foundation for budgetary projections, allowing for a more accurate assessment of available resources and potential challenges. This approach is crucial in ensuring fiscal discipline and transparency, key elements in building investor confidence and sustaining economic growth.

 

Looking Ahead: The unveiling of detailed budgetary allocations

 

While the FEC’s approval sets the stage for the 2024 Appropriation Bill and revised MTEF, the intricacies of the budgetary allocations will come to light when the President presents the budget to the National Assembly. This forthcoming event will provide a comprehensive overview of the government’s financial priorities, enabling stakeholders, lawmakers, and the public to engage in informed discussions regarding the allocation of resources.

 

As the nation anticipates the unveiling of the detailed budget, there is a collective eagerness to understand how the substantial allocation of N27.5 trillion will be distributed across sectors that play pivotal roles in driving economic growth, fostering social development, and ensuring the nation’s resilience in the face of evolving global challenges. The FEC’s decisions lay the groundwork for a critical phase in the fiscal calendar, and the coming weeks will witness a focused scrutiny of the budgetary details that will shape Nigeria’s economic trajectory in the year ahead.

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Nigeria Customs Service declares war on illegal grain exports, promises support for food security

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Nigeria Customs Service declares war on illegal grain exports, promises support for food security

Nigeria Customs Service declares war on illegal grain exports, promises support for food security

 

In a bid to safeguard Nigeria’s food security and combat the illicit exportation of grains to other African nations, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has vowed to ramp up its efforts to curb this menace. Ify Ogbudu, the Zonal Coordinator of Zone B of the service, made this declaration during a courtesy visit to the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, at his palace.

During the visit, Ogbudu reiterated the NCS’s commitment to curbing the illegal exportation of Nigeria’s grains. She emphasized the importance of ensuring that the 42,000 metric tons of grains approved for distribution by the Federal Government reach those in need, as directed. Ogbudu sought the emir’s support in this critical endeavor, underscoring the pivotal role of the Customs Service in advancing the government’s agenda for poverty alleviation and food security.

In response, the Emir of Kano expressed gratitude for the Customs Service’s dedication to safeguarding Nigeria’s economic integrity, despite facing numerous challenges. He commended Customs officers for their diligence and urged them to exhibit compassion towards local traders who may inadvertently engage in illegal activities due to ignorance.

NAN reports that the emir emphasized the significance of enlightenment and community engagement in stemming the tide of illicit activities. He pledged the emirate’s full support in facilitating legitimate trade and commended the progress made in reducing disputes between traders and customs officials through stakeholder engagements.

Furthermore, the emir lauded the ongoing enlightenment initiatives aimed at supporting local traders and businessmen in conducting lawful trade activities. This collaborative effort between the Nigeria Customs Service and local authorities signals a concerted push toward ensuring food security and economic stability in Nigeria.

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Ogun seals unaccredited nursing department at Harvarde College, leaving students in limbo

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Ogun seals unaccredited nursing department at Harvarde College, leaving students in limbo

Ogun seals unaccredited nursing department at Harvarde College, leaving students in limbo

 

 

In a sweeping enforcement action, authorities in Ogun State have shuttered the Nursing Department of Harvarde College of Science Business and Management Studies in Abeokuta. The crackdown, led by officials from the Ogun Ministry of Health and the State Nursing and Midwifery Committee, comes in response to the college’s operation of an unaccredited nursing programme.

Dr. Kayode Oladehinde, the Permanent Secretary of the Ogun Ministry of Health, underscored the severity of the situation, highlighting that the private institution had been offering a degree programme in Nursing Sciences without accreditation from the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN). This unauthorized operation, spanning six years, posed a significant threat to public health and perpetuated quackery within the nursing profession.

NAN reports that during the enforcement exercise, Oladehinde, represented by Acting Director of Nursing Services, Serifat Aminu, emphasized the grave implications of pursuing a nursing degree from an institution lacking NMCN accreditation. Such degrees, he asserted, hold little to no value, rendering graduates ineligible to obtain a valid license to practice nursing in Nigeria or internationally.

“We have discovered that many institutions, including Harvarde College, offer nursing degrees to unsuspecting students,” stated Oladehinde. “Our mission is to clamp down on such institutions because they end up producing quacks in the nursing profession. This is dangerous for society. Unfortunately, most students are unaware that their time is being wasted.”

Oladehinde urged prospective nursing students and their parents to exercise caution and diligence in selecting educational institutions. He advised thorough research, including consulting the NMCN website for a list of accredited institutions, as the regulatory body updates the list annually. Additionally, he cautioned against falling prey to false claims made by unaccredited institutions, reaffirming the government’s commitment to combating quackery in nursing education and practice.

In response to the enforcement action, a 300-level student, speaking anonymously, expressed shock and dismay over the lack of accreditation at Harvarde College. The student lamented the financial investment made by her parents on her behalf, underscoring the personal toll of the college’s deceptive practices.

The closure of Harvarde College’s Nursing Department leaves students in a state of uncertainty, grappling with the realization that their academic pursuits may have been in vain. As authorities continue to crack down on unaccredited institutions, the incident serves as a sobering reminder of the importance of regulatory oversight in safeguarding the integrity of professional education and protecting public health.

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Tinubu names Lawyer Hafsat Bakari as acting Head of NFIU

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Tinubu names Lawyer Hafsat Bakari as acting Head of NFIU

Tinubu names Lawyer Hafsat Bakari as acting Head of NFIU

 

In a significant development, President Bola Tinubu has appointed Hafsat Abubakar Bakari as the Acting Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), succeeding Modibbo Hamman-Tukur. This decision, announced by Chief Ajuri Ngelale, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, underscores Tinubu’s commitment to enhancing financial intelligence and combating illicit financial activities in Nigeria.

Hafsat Abubakar Bakari, a seasoned lawyer and financial intelligence expert, brings a wealth of experience to her new role at the helm of the NFIU. Having previously served as Deputy Director within the NFIU, Bakari’s appointment signals a strategic move to leverage her expertise in areas such as anti-money laundering, counter-terrorism financing, and counter-proliferation financing.

NAN reports that, Ngelale highlighted Bakari’s distinguished career trajectory, noting her tenure in various leadership positions within the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Bakari’s roles included heading the General Services Unit, leading the Strategy and Reorientation Unit, and overseeing the Board Secretariat. Her multifaceted experience within the EFCC equips her with a comprehensive understanding of the intricacies of financial crime investigation and enforcement.

Emphasizing the significance of Bakari’s appointment, Ngelale expressed confidence in her ability to navigate the complex landscape of illicit financial flows and other nefarious activities plaguing Nigeria’s foreign exchange markets. Tinubu’s administration remains steadfast in its commitment to curbing financial crimes and fostering transparency and accountability within the financial sector.

While Bakari assumes her new responsibilities in an acting capacity, her nomination is subject to confirmation by the Senate. Nevertheless, her track record and expertise position her as a capable leader poised to advance the mandate of the NFIU and bolster the government’s efforts to combat financial crimes effectively.

As Nigeria grapples with the challenges posed by illicit financial flows and economic malpractice, Bakari’s appointment signifies a proactive step towards strengthening the nation’s financial intelligence framework. Her leadership is expected to enhance coordination between relevant stakeholders and facilitate the implementation of robust measures to safeguard Nigeria’s financial integrity.

In accepting this critical role, Bakari is poised to leverage her expertise to tackle emerging threats in the financial landscape and uphold the principles of accountability, transparency, and integrity. Her appointment aligns with Tinubu’s vision for a more resilient and prosperous Nigeria, free from the scourge of financial crimes and illicit activities.

As Bakari assumes her duties at the helm of the NFIU, stakeholders anticipate her strategic leadership and unwavering commitment to driving positive change in Nigeria’s financial ecosystem. With her appointment, the nation embarks on a new chapter in its fight against financial crimes, signaling a renewed resolve to safeguard Nigeria’s economic interests and promote sustainable development.

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