PRESIDENCY, OTHERS TO FUEL GENERATORS WITH N836.6m in 2014

The Presidency and other ministries, departments and agencies of government will spend N836.6m for the fuelling of plants and generators in 2014.

The amount is contained in the 2014 budget proposal before the National Assembly.

The figure is striking when considered from the standpoint that the government, had after the privatization of the power sector promised that Nigerians would begin to see significant improvement in power supply from the first quarter of next year.

Specifically, President Goodluck Jonathan had while inaugurating the Phase II 500 megawatt Omotosho National Integrated Power Project Plant in Ondo State two months ago promised reasonably stable power supply in the country by the middle of 2014.

He added that the Federal Government was targeting 4,700mw from 10 NIPPs, which he said would be completed before the end of the first quarter of 2014.

According to him, the 10 National Integrated Power Projects will be handed over to the private sector next year after their completion and inauguration.

But an analysis of the budget proposal showed that the ministry of finance accounts for the highest with a projected expenditure of N76.5m while the police formation and command, ministry of foreign affairs and health followed with N71.3m, N56.16m and N47.62m respectively.

Presidency has a budget of N33.47m; Office of the Secretary to Government of the Federation, N16.48m; Youth Development, N1.81m; Police Affairs, N16.5m; Women affairs, N901,452; Agriculture, N5.57m; Water Resources, N16.45m; Auditor-General for the Federation N11.79m; and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission N29.05m.

Others ministries are Defence (Army, Airforce, Navy) N30m; Education N36.92m; Trade and Investment N20.8m; Information N13.85m Communication and Technology N1.27m; Interior N20.75m; Office of Head of Service N40m; Justice N28.34m; Labour and Productivity N2.79m; Science and Technology N3.51m; Works N25.05m; Lands and Housing N45.55m; and Mines and Steel Development N6m.

The rest are Environment, N13.16m; Ministry of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, N2.637m; National Planning Commission, N21m; National Sports Commission N17.12m; Office of the National Security Adviser, N8.78m; Niger Delta, N16.85m; Ministry of Special Duties, N2.31m; Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission, N15.45m; and National Population Commission N22.53m.

Similarly, Code of Conduct Bureau had a budget of N6.07m for generator fuelling; Code of Conduct Tribunal N3.01m; Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission N20.05m; Federal Civil Service Commission N18.8m: Police Service Commission; N4.39m; and Federal Character Commission N5.92m.

Curiously, three ministries – power, aviation and transport – and the National Salaries and Wages Commission had no budgetary provision for the fueling of plants and generators.

Also, a breakdown of the proposed budget to the judiciary in 2014 has declined when compare with 2013.

The total sum of N4.7bn which was provided for the Federal Ministry of Justice Headquarters in proposed 2014 budget is less than the sum of N5.5bn allocated to the ministry in 2013.

In the same vein, the budget for legal services, the ministry’s major assignment, fell from N2.3bn in 2013 to N1.3bn in the proposed 2014 budget.

The sum of N3.1bn was budgeted for legal services in 2012, which means that the allocation for the assignment had fallen for a second consecutive year.

PUNCH.

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MADE IN NIGERIAN CAR TO SELL FOR 1.2 TO 1.5m NAIRA

The Federal Government, in a bid to ensure the successful implementation of its recently approved National Automotive Industry Development Plan, said it would encourage local auto manufacturers to produce less expensive models with price range of between N1.2m and N1.5m.

It also said it would collaborate with auto manufacturers, franchise holders, reputable motor dealers and selected banks to put in place an all-inclusive domestic dealership network through which a user-friendly vehicle purchase scheme could be funded by the National Automotive Council.

These are contained in a statement issued on Sunday by the NAC and obtained by our correspondent in Abuja.

The statement said, “Under market development, the NAIDP anticipated that higher-end expensive models will still be imported into the country in the initial stage, but the new strategy is to encourage local auto manufacturers to focus primarily on lower-end less expensive models with price range of between N1.2m and N1.5m; which is affordable to the middle class, coupled with other finance options.”

The statement added that the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, had constituted two committees to ensure seamless implementation of the recently approved automotive plan.

The first is the Automotive Industry Policy Implementation and Monitoring Committee, with members drawn from broad-based industry stakeholders, including the Nigerian Automotive Manufacturers/Assemblers Association and the Automobile Local Content Manufacturers Association.

Others are the Automobile Franchise Holders (Mercedez Benz, Kia, Suzuki, CFAO, Toyota, Volvo, Globe Motors, Dana, Balyn Motors, Metropolitan Motors), Used Vehicle Dealers Association, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria and the Original Equipment Manufacturers.

The second body is the Inter Agency Implementation Committee made up of representatives of relevant government Ministries, Departments and Agencies, including the Federal ministries of Power, Solid Minerals and Federal Ministry of Finance, Office of the National Security Adviser, Bank of Industry, Nigerian Ports Authority, and Raw Materials Research and Development Council, among others.

The Director-General, NAC, Mr. Aminu Jalal, said in the statement that under the NAIDP skills development, there would be extensive local and international manpower development programmes aimed at ensuring that, over the next four to six years, skilled positions in all auto industries in the country were occupied by Nigerians.

To ensure that the cars produced are of good quality, the statement said NAC was currently building automotive component test centres and laboratories to conduct vehicle homologation and other comprehensive tests of parts and components that would enhance overall product quality.

The statement said, “Under investment promotion, fiscal measures and patronage strategies are being introduced to create enabling environment, allowing existing assembly plants to flourish, while attracting new core investors like Nissan, Renault, GM and Toyota; which had expressed interest, to establish plants in Nigeria.

“For policy consistency, NAIDP is formulated as a 10-year programme (2013-2024) subject to review after five years while its major elements would be legislated over the next two years.”

[Punch]