The Federal Government is developing conditional budget support facility to provide financial relief to state governments, the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun has said.
Adeosun, who spoke at a meeting with the 36 State Commissioners of Finance in Abuja, said the proposed facility would be conditional on the implementation of a comprehensive 22-point Fiscal Sustainability Plan that was unanimously agreed by the state governors during the National Economic Council meeting held recently.
The minister explained that the programme would support the states to overcome current fiscal challenges, whilst reforming financial management to ensure their long-term viability.
According to her, the FSP highlights five strategic objectives, which include improving accountability and transparency, while increasing public revenue.
Adeosun added that the plan also aimed at rationalizing public expenditure as well as improving public financial management, while ensuring sustainable debt management.
“The fiscal reform action plan to be implemented by States mirrors the ongoing public financial management reforms being undertaken by the Federal Government which include biometric capture of all civil servants, establishment of an efficiency unit within each state, implementation of continuous audit, improvement in Independently Generated Revenue (IGR) and measures to achieve sustainable debt management,” she said.
The finance minister however stated hat access to the proposed facility would be directly tied to the attainment of the fiscal reform milestones under the FSP.
She noted that the FSP was not a “bail out”, but a necessary short term intervention that is conditional on a comprehensive fiscal sustainability reform plan, ultimately intended to set the states on a path towards fiscal sustainability and to support the Federal Government’s drive to reflate the economy.
Domestic gas supply to increase soon – NPDC
By Francis Kadiri
The Nigerian Petroleum Development Company has assured Nigerians that a total of 855 million standard cubic feet of gas is expected to be added to the domestic gas supply in the next few months.
This was contained in a submission made by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation at a meeting presided over by the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola in Kano.
The NNPC said about 70 per cent of the gas would be sent to power plants across the country for use in the generation of electricity.
According to the corporation, it has been estimated that the increase in gas supply to power plants would increase generation capacity by approximately 2,000 megawatts by the middle of 2017.
Meanwhile, stakeholders have also resolved to persuade oil and gas producers to explore better ways of re-injection to boost oil production, by using water instead of gas, in order to increase the amount of gas available for domestic consumption.
In a seven-point communiqué issued after the meeting, which also had the Minister of State in the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, Hon. Mustapha Baba Shehuri in attendance, Transmission Company of Nigeria reported completion of 20 projects since the last meeting.
The TCN listed the projects to include those in Gwagwalada, Kaduna, Afam, Apo, Lekki and Omotosho in Ondo State.
The company, which said the completion of the projects should improve distribution in Abuja and Lagos, added that the continuing efforts to improve electricity transmission be reported at each subsequent meeting, assuring that it would restore power to Maiduguri, the Borno State capital in the next month, after a long period of outage.
In furtherance of aggressive metering plans, the meeting commended Kano DisCo for the launch of 68,000 out of its 100,000 meter roll out plan for 2016, while all DisCos agreed to use all available media, including social media to let the public know all the work being done to roll out metering.
Stakeholders at the meeting also recognized the need for the DisCos to reinvigorate their efforts to replace obsolete transformers and deploy new ones, “so that communities are not required to provide transformers at their own expense in order to get service they are prepared to pay for.”