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Buhari Set to Signs Revised N10.8 Trillion 2020 Budget into Law Today

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Buhari Set to Signs Revised N10.8 Trillion 2020 Budget into Law Today

President Muhammadu Buhari will today sign into law the revised 2020 budget of N10.8 trillion.

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Dr. Zainab Ahmed, disclosed this yesterday while briefing the leadership of the National Assembly on plans to submit the 2021-2023 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF/FSP) later this month.

Ahmed, who briefed  principal officers of the Senate and House of Representatives, led by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan and speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, said the  President had given directives for the Ministry to expedite action on next year’s budget estimates to enable him present the 2021 budget proposal to the National Assembly by the end of September this year.

“This for us is a journey towards ensuring that the progress we have made as a collective to return the fiscal year to January – December is maintained for the 2021 budget as well.

“The President has directed that we must deliver the budget to the National Assembly by the end of September,” the Finance Minister said. Ahmed, while giving an update on the 2020 budget implementation between January and May 2020, stated that the Federal Government’s retained revenue was N1.48 trillion, an amount representing 56 percent of government’s target.

She added that out of the sum generated as revenue, oil revenues accounted for N701.6 billion; non-oil tax revenues N439.32 billion; Companies Income Tax (CIT) and Value Added Tax (VAT) collections – N213.24 billion and N68.09 billion; and Customs collection N158 billion, respectively.

Also Read: Buhari Signs Executive Order Implementing Financial Autonomy for State Legislature and Judiciary

She added: “Other revenues amounted to N339.51 billion, of which Independent revenues was N80.22 billion. Recoveries and Stamp duty collected during the period are yet to be booked in the fiscal accounts.’’

On Expenditure performance for the same period (January – May 2020), the minister disclosed that N1.25 trillion was expended for debt service; and N1.32 trillion for Personnel cost, including Pensions. According to her, as at the end of May 2020, only N253.33 billion had been released for capital expenditure.

Ahmed, while giving underlying assumptions driving the macro-economic parameters and targets of the 2021 – 2023 Medium Term Expenditure Framework, said same was “revised in line with the emergent realities.”

She said oil price benchmark for the 2021 fiscal year was pegged at $35; and $40 for 2022 and 2023, respectively.

“Although Nigeria’s total production capacity is 2.5 million barrels per day, current crude production is about 1.4 million barrels per day – in compliance with the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ production quota – and an additional 300,000 barrels per day of condensates, totaling about 1.7mbpd,’’ the minister said.

She added that while the World Bank forecasts that crude oil prices would rise gradually from an average of $42 per barrel in 2021 to $44.5 per barrel in 2022; and $47pb in 2023, it was also expected that Brent crude oil prices might average $41 per barrel during the second half of 2020 and $50pb during 2021, climbing as high as $53pb by the end of next year.

“The nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is expected to increase from N130,836.1 billion in 2020 to N132,125.4 billion in 2021 and then up to N138,415.8 billion in 2023,” Ahmed said.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, said:  “This meeting is holding at the instance of the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, and the main purpose of the meeting is for the Minister to brief the leadership of the National Assembly on the 2021 – 2023 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper.

“Therefore, it will not be wrong to say that the journey to the presentation of the 2021 budget estimates by the Executive arm of Government has started in earnest.

“It is our expectation in the National Assembly, that this journey will lead to the presentation or laying of the budget estimates by the President before the end of September by the grace of God.”

 

 

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Entertainment

 Groom slaps his bride at their wedding reception

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 Groom slap his bride at their wedding reception

A groom slapped his bride at the wedding reception today and a Twitter user has taken to the platform to narrate how shocked she was after witnessing the scene.

The Twitter user identified as @MmantiUmoh noted that one doesn’t owe violent people love, said the incident was witnessed by the groom and bride’s parents including other family members. She revealed that it left her not wanting to attend weddings for some time.

The Twitter user wrote;

At the reception today, the groom slapped the bride so hard for one second I thought a helium balloon had burst. While we were taking 10 Seconds to recover from the shock… “Angel”; Please let’s march in ****is tired and under a lot of pressure, let’s please just go in and start the reception, everyone is waiting.

The only thing you owe violent people is to see and respect their humanity in ways they refuse for others. But you are not required to see their anger as acceptable. You don’t owe violent people love — ever. It’s not love.

And maybe it’s worthy of note that even the best man asked angel “what did you do to him, why is he upset?” Well, the mc called and music roared and everyone walked in like nothing had happened. Couple danced from the entrance to podium. Cycle of domestic violence begins.

 

Please don’t ask me what I did. I did absolutely Nothing! Their parents witnessed the slapping ceremony…. some of their family members did too. I went home. I had a migraine. I don’t want to attend any weddings for a bit again. I will send my gift.

For those who insist on living with domestically violent partners. Well, I imagine God doesn’t rejoice over a marriage ending, but do you think God is okay with you being abused and living without love? Do you believe it’s possible that God might hate that even more?

 

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Economy

Twitter makes Ghana its headquarters in Africa, Nigerians React

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Twitter makes Ghana its headquarters in Africa, Nigerians React

Twitter announced today that the company is now in Africa, with its headquarters in Ghana.

“Twitter is now present on the continent. Thank you Ghana and @NakufoAddo,” Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey tweeted today, April 12.

Abubakar Suleiman, the CEO of Sterling Bank, has weighed in on the conversation about Twitter making Ghana its headquarters in African.

Nigerians reacted to the fact that Ghana, and not Nigeria, was chosen to be the headquarters.

Then Suleiman tweeted: “First you tell the world Nigeria is a zoo.. Then you hear @TwitterSF has chosen @GhanaPresidency as their WA headquarters & you are wondering why.

ALSO READ;

“If you can’t sell yourself, nobody will buy you. Nigeria remains the heartbeat of Africa, our current struggles notwithstanding.”

Bank CEO, Abubakar Suleiman blames Nigerians who bad-mouth the country for Twitter’s decision to make Ghana its headquarters in Africa

See Nigerians Reactions Below;

A number of his followers took to the comments to disagree with him and he doubled down, writing: “I think everyone sells. And we should showcase the good things in our country even as we critic the shortcomings..”

 

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Health

COVID-19 Vaccination: Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine may Loose confidence to rare blood clots side-effect

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COVID-19 Vaccination

Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is the Option offered to under-30s after UK records 79 cases of rare blood clots out of 20m jabs administered

 

Experts warned of damage to confidence in the UK’s vaccine programme after 10 million adults under 30 were told they will be offered an alternative to the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab following concerns over rare blood clots.

Healthy 18 to 29-year-olds who are not at high risk of Covid should have the option of a different jab if one is available in their area, the government’s joint committee on vaccines and immunization (JCVI) said weeks after some European countries suspended the use of AstraZeneca jabs in younger people.

For older people, the benefits of the vaccine – the most widely-used in the UK – far outweigh the risks, the JCVI added. The UK has recorded 79 rare blood clots cases, 19 of whom died, out of 20m AstraZeneca jabs administered.

England’s deputy chief medical officer, Prof Jonathan Van-Tam, called the move “a course correction” and said there should be little or no impact on the vaccine rollout timeline, though he warned that under-30s could face short delays in getting inoculated.

Boris Johnson tweeted: “We will follow today’s updated advice, which should allow people of all ages to continue to have full confidence in vaccines, helping us save lives and cautiously return towards normality.”

Spain Cornella Astrazeneca Covid 19 Vaccine - 07 Apr 2021<br>Mandatory Credit: Photo by Xinhua/REX/Shutterstock (11848049c) A health worker prepares a dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination site in Cornella, Spain, April 7, 2021. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) confirmed on Wednesday that the occurrence of blood clots with low blood platelets are strongly associated with the administration of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, but should be still listed as very rare side effects. Spain Cornella Astrazeneca Covid 19 Vaccine - 07 Apr 2021

The recommendation came as it was confirmed that the European regulator is examining whether other vaccines using similar technology to the AstraZeneca jab pose any risk.

There had been three cases of venous thromboembolism blood clots with low platelets involving the Johnson & Johnson jab, a European Medicines Agency (EMA) official said.

Symptoms of the rare brain blood clots include severe headaches and blurred vision, and most cases occur within two weeks of a jab – but such events are treatable if medical help is sought, experts said.

In the UK up to 31 March, there were 79 reports of these rare blood clots with low platelets – some but not all of them in the brain, it was revealed on Wednesday. Of those affected, 19 people died, although it is not known if the blood clots were the cause in every case.

More were women – 51 – and they were all aged 18-79. Three were under 30. But the recommendation of an alternative vaccine for that age group is because their risk from Covid itself is very low.

In older age groups, the experts believe, the benefits of vaccination significantly outweigh the rare side-effect risk, but in younger people “it is more finely balanced”.

Dr June Raine, CEO of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority (MHRA), said the risk was “extremely small” and the authority had not yet concluded that the vaccine was responsible.

“The evidence is firming up. While it is a strong possibility, more work is needed to establish beyond all doubt that the vaccine has caused this side-effect,” she said.

There are concerns, however, that confidence in the AstraZeneca jab has been hit.

“Today’s decision is a severe blow to the public’s vaccine confidence, which is already fragile,” said Dr Chris Papadopoulos, principal lecturer in public health at the University of Bedfordshire. It might be the right decision, but needed to be coupled to efforts to counter vaccine hesitancy, he added.

Prof Martin Hibberd, of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said it was a sensible decision. “However, I would like to see the evidence that the other vaccines are safer.”

The Royal College of Midwives said young people and pregnant women would be concerned.

“Although pregnant women who are clinically extremely vulnerable are eligible for the vaccine, those under 30 have seen their options severely limited, as the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is not approved for use for them,” said its executive director, Birte Harlev-Lam.

Pregnant women should discuss vaccination with their doctor. Those who have any history of blood clots should not have the AstraZeneca jab.

It came as the EMA said the rare blood clots would be listed formally as a side-effect of the AstraZeneca vaccine, though it did not announce any restrictions on use. Several EU countries, including France and Germany, have already limited use to citizens aged over 55 or 60, or suspended its use entirely.

Emer Cooke, executive director of the EMA, said: “In the UK, I cannot comment on the decision-making to restrict to a certain age but what I can tell you is there is a lot more use in the younger age groups in the UK than in the EU at the moment and we will certainly take this into account in our further evaluations.”

 

Asked why European countries have different stances from the UK, Adam Finn from the JCVI said Britain had “extremely detailed data” based on a high number of administered AstraZeneca jabs.

“I think other countries in Europe that have seen clusters of cases … they are not in such a good evidence-driven position to make their judgments,” he said, adding that “the risk-benefit [equation] does vary … from one country to another”.

The EMA said it could not identify the cause of the blood-clotting event, which was mostly, but not entirely, in women under 60.

It is advising that healthcare professionals and people getting the vaccine should be made aware of the issue and the symptoms of the clots, which range from shortness of breath and chest pain to persistent headaches and blurred vision.

“It is of great importance that healthcare professionals and people coming for vaccination are aware of these risks and look out for signs or symptoms,” said Cooke.

Like the EMA, the MHRA is a regulator and an adviser on safety and efficacy to governments.

The UK recommendation that under-30s should be offered an alternative vaccine comes from the JCVI. Its head, Prof Wei Shen Lim, said it had only made the recommendation to government “out of the utmost caution rather than because we have any serious safety concerns”.

Dr Peter Arlett, the head of the EMA data analytics and methods taskforce, said the agency was examining whether other vaccines posed any risk, citing cases of rare blood clots involving the Johnson & Johnson jab.

“There have been three cases with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine of blood clots associated with low platelets which have some similarities to these cases that we’ve been describing today,” he said.

“However, the numbers are extremely small compared with the 5 million patients that have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine worldwide. This is, however, under close scrutiny, the [committee] is looking at it carefully, and I think it would be fair to say there’s intensive monitoring of this issue across the vaccines.”

A UK government spokesperson said: “The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is safe, effective and has already saved thousands of lives.

“Everybody who has already had a first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine should receive a second dose of the same brand, irrespective of age, except for the very small number of people who experienced blood clots with low platelet counts from their first vaccination.”

 

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