A. UPDATE ON THE ECONOMY
· Minister of Budget and National Planning gave an update on the economy to the Council
· Highlights of the presentation among others:
– Fiscal year 2016 budget is currently before the National Assembly presented by President Buhari on December 22, 2015.
– Budget is geared towards stimulating the economy and promoting inclusive growth – (poor and vulnerable).
– State of economy largely affected by the decline in oil price between June 2014 and December 2015 – this has increased domestic vulnerabilities.
Budget Objectives among others
· To deliver inclusive growth to Nigerians
· Create significant number of jobs to reduce unemployment and underemployment.
· Building an economy that is less vulnerable to oil price shocks by creating resistant divested income base and creating efficient Public Financial Management System.
· Fostering macroeconomic stability conducive for growth e.g. achieving GDP growth rate of 4.2% and increasing investors confidence.
Capital Priority Projects in 2016 in Infrastructure
· Power Projects
· Transportation, railways and roads
· Water Projects
Major Policy and Strategic Initiatives:
· Government conscious of the current rate of unemployment and underemployment – the budget is a vehicle for putting more Nigerians to work.
· Job creation drive will be private sector led.
· Government to partner States and LGAs to recruit train and deploy 500,000 unemployed graduates as teachers.
· Vice President office working to design an implementable and transparent Conditional Cash Transfer programme of N5,000 monthly to one million poorest and most vulnerable.
· Home-grown school feeding for public primary school across the country.
· Youth employment agency to train 370,000 youth in skill acquisitions and vocational training.
· Free education for science, technology, engineering and maths students.
· Microcredit scheme for one million artisans and market women at N60,000 each
Key messages to the States
· Decline in oil price may persist – will affect distributable revenues for all tiers of government.
· States are encouraged to explore innovative financing options and increase their IGRs to compliment their revenue share from the Federation Account.
· Strong partnership from the States towards implementing the social safety net programmes.
· Efficient utilization of available resources.
· FG expects combination of efforts by all tiers of government to deliver the necessary stimulus required to revive the economy.
· At this time, the Federal Government will not increase VAT rate but will improve upon VAT collection which is currently only about 20%.
· States were encouraged to help FIRS in VAT collection and remittance.
B. REPORT ON EXCESS CRUDE PROCEEDS
· Accountant-General of the Federation reported to the Council that the balance as at 31stDecember, 2015 stood at $2,257,937.98
C. REPORT ON SOME FGN AGENCIES COLLECTING REVENUE IN FOREIGN CURRENCIES BUT REMITTING TO FEDERATION ACCOUNT NAIRA EQUIVALENT
· Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance reported that, apart from NNPC, NIMASA and Port Authority, other agencies involved in revenue generating are FIRS, Shippers Council, Airport Authority and Nigerian Immigration Service.
· He reported that the introduction of TSA has now resolved the problem as all accounts are under the control of the CBN.
· The Vice President reiterated FG policy that NNPC and other agencies must present budget for approval before spending in line with TSA.
D. UPDATE BY NEC AD-HOC COMMITTEE ON MANAGEMENT OF EXCESS CRUDE ACCOUNT AND PAYMENT INTO THE FEDERATION ACCOUNT
· Governor of Edo State gave an update to the Council as follows:
· The Ad-hoc Committee has submitted a memo to the Council for approval on its findings
· 81 government revenue generating agencies were identified for forensic auditing.
· 18 core revenue generating agencies like NNPC would be audited by KPMG, an international audit firm.
· Other revenue generating agencies would also be forensically audited by SIAO a local auditing firm.
· Council approved engaging the forensic auditors
E. UPDATE ON STATES THAT HAVE RECEIVED BAILOUT FUNDS AND THOSE OUTSTANDING
· CBN Governor gave an update to the Council that 23 States have benefited from the N10 billion each ECA-backed soft loan
· Some States have not indicated interest, while some are still holding discussions with their banks
· 28 States have benefited from the Presidential bailout.
Kidnapped School ChildrenYauri FGC Students, Kebbi
91 days 10 hours 53 minutes 22 seconds,
Baptist School Students, Kaduna
73 days 12 hours 34 minutes 47 seconds
Report By: PRNigeria.com