During a media briefing with journalists on Friday night, Governor Alex Otti of Abia State disclosed plans to increase the salaries of state workers on the economic realities of the state. He revealed that he is working with stakeholders to enhance the minimum wage and will soon announce a comprehensive package to this effect....Click Here To Continue Reading>>
The governor explained that the need to adjust the minimum wage was prompted by recent exchange rate convergence, the removal of fuel subsidies, and the increasing inflation rate, which is currently at about 30%.
“We understand that times are tough for many people,” Otti said. “As such, we are working with stakeholders to find ways to improve the remuneration of civil servants in line with the current economic realities.”
Otti addressed allegations that his government had exaggerated food expenses, calling them unfounded and the work of hatchet men.
“That is not true. It is the work of hatchet men,” said Otti. “The truth is that we are very prudent in how we manage funds.”
On the issue of Modern Ceramics Umuahia, the Governor said that preliminary work did not support bringing the industry back to its current location and that they are considering moving it closer to the source of raw materials.
“We are studying and revalidating them. We do not want any industry to collapse,” he added.
Otti also addressed concerns about the higher number of opposition party members at the state House of Assembly, saying that he does not foresee any problems with them as they are there for oversight and to support the government.
The governor reiterated his commitment to paying pension arrears in the state and ensuring that recently retired permanent secretaries and directors receive their arrears of salaries and gratuities.
“We are already working towards improving remuneration, not just for the minimum wage but also across the board,” Otti said. “We will make an announcement to that effect in due course.”
Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has stated that the millions of supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state will determine the fate of his deputy, Philip Shaibu, who recently declared his intention to run for the governorship seat....Click Here To Continue Reading>>
Obaseki made this known in an interview with journalists after a meeting with Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed, at the Ramat House on Thursday.
He said their discussion centered on issues relating to the PDP Governors’ Forum, including the party’s upcoming governorship election in Edo State.
“We also discussed many other issues relating to our party as a whole and the state of the country. And as you know, things are not as we want them to be. We will keep rubbing minds to see how we can support the administration and save this country by reducing the suffering of Nigerians,” he said.
About his relationship with his deputy, Obaseki said, “The relationship as you know, has been cordial. He (Philip) wants to run for the office I currently occupy and he is free to. I think as a Nigerian, he has the constitutional right to run, nobody can or should stop him.
“The party will decide and also members of the party will decide who will be the flag bearer of the party in the forthcoming governorship election.”
Asked if he would support his deputy’s gubernatorial bid, Obaseki said his vote alone would not determine Shaibu’s fate. “I’m only one out of millions of our party members in Edo state,” he said.
The PDP governor also discussed the state of the nation, expressing concern over the rising cost of food items and the suffering of Nigerians.
According to Obaseki, “Things are very difficult as we know at this point in time. Nigerians are suffering, and the suffering is unprecedented.
“But I think, we should stop lamenting and think of what to do as leaders to confront the issues we are facing to reduce the sufferings of our people and put more food on their tables.
“The year is coming to an end and the prices of food items are going up and what can we, as PDP governors do to ameliorate the sufferings of our people. These are some of the things we talked about while preserving the unity of this country.”
Senate majority leader Opeyemi Bamidele has expressed concern over the high recurrent expenditure of the N27.5 trillion 2024 budget, which constitutes 43% of the budget. During the opening of the debate on general principles of the budget at plenary in Abuja on Thursday, Bamidele said the total fiscal operations of President Bola Tinubu’s government would result in a N9.8 trillion deficit, which is above the three per cent threshold set by the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007.
Based on the fiscal assumptions and parameters, the total federally-collectible revenue in the budget was N16.87 trillion, while the total federally distributable revenue was N11.09 trillion. Bamidele explained that to finance the deficit of N9.8 trillion would require new borrowings totalling N7.83 trillion in addition to N294.49 billion expected from privatisation. The deficit would also be financed from N1.06 trillion drawn from bilateral, multilateral loans secured for specific development projects programmes.
Bamidele also listed budget highlights as an oil price benchmark of $77.96 per barrel, a daily oil production estimate of 1.78 million barrels of condensates of 300,000 barrels to 400,000 barrels per day, and an exchange rate of N750 to one dollar. He said that the total revenue available to fund the 2024 budget was N9.73 trillion, including revenues from 63 government-owned enterprises, while oil revenue was projected at N1.92 trillion, with non-oil taxes at N2.43 trillion, among others.
While some senators commended the president for the budget, Bamidele expressed concern over continued borrowing, even though Mr Tinubu had resorted to it to finance fiscal gaps. Bamidele said the debt level of the federal government is still within sustainable limits, and these loans are used to finance critical development projects and programmes aimed at improving the economic environment and ensuring effective delivery of public services to Nigerians.