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House of Reps members lament as Nigeria’s debt reaches an all-time high of N42.84trn

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Members of the House of Representatives have expressed concern over the rising debt profile of Nigeria which currently stands at N42.84 trillion.

A breakdown of the debt figures released by the Debt Management Office DMO shows that the bulk of the federal government borrowings were done domestically, with 72.53 percent being FGN bonds.

According to the DMO, Nigeria’s total public debt stock, comprising the debt obligations of the federal, state governments, and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) rose by N1.24 trillion within three months, from N41.60 trillion ($100.07 billion) as at March 30, 2022 to N42.84 trillion ($103.31billion) by June 30, 2022.

The DMO also indicated that domestic debt stock for the review period stood at N26.23 trillion ($63.24 billion) due to new borrowings by the federal government to part-finance the deficit in the 2022 Appropriation (Repeal and Enactment) Act, including fresh borrowings by state governments and the FCT.

According to the DMO, Lagos state retained its top spot as the state with the highest debt stock with N797, 305,312,602.53 in its debt profile.

Delta State is second with N378, 878,236,830.75, followed by Ogun State with N241, 782,021,304.96; Rivers State, N225, 505,011,356.83; and Imo State, N210, 394,836,519.93.

Akwa Ibom was next on the debtors’ scale with N203, 951,611,822.07, while Jigawa retained its least-indebted state profile with 45,135,377,621.30, and Ebonyi State trailed with N59,111,939,636.77.

Reacting to this development, Gbajabiamilia at resumption of plenary yesterday, expressed concerns over the rising debt profile of the country and crude oil theft.

Gbajabiamila stated that the concerns emerged from interactive sessions of the Senate and House Committees on Finance with the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the government on the Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF/FSP).

He said the issues emerged while considering the scope of deficit financing to be proposed in the new budget and the decline in crude oil production due to theft and sabotage.

Gbajabiamila said while the House appreciated that the current fiscal conditions necessitated borrowing to finance budgetary expenditures, there should be worry about the long-term effect of the debt burden on the country and the ability to pay in a responsible and sustainable way.

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Why NLC, TUC Must Protect Nigeria’s Democracy – Obasa

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The survival of Nigeria’s democracy should be a key focus of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and its affiliates, the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, has said.

Dr. Obasa gave the charge Thursday at the 2022 Independence Day Anniversary Lecture with the theme ‘Nigeria in search for an enduring political structure: imperative of structural reform’ held at the NLC Ogun State headquarters.

According to him, Nigeria can only advance positively if the various unions and individuals play roles to keep the country’s democracy thriving.

The Speaker, who was chairman of the event, said that the country is seen as practising democracy because there are legislative arms of government in place both at the national and sub-national levels.

He, however, lamented the attempts by some individuals in position of authority to ‘pocket’ these lawmaking arms of States citing how, in some instances, principal officers of Houses of Assembly are removed at the whims and caprices of single individuals in authority.

“It is hightime we all rose to protect Nigeria’s political institution, the parliament. We have seen cases where the civil society looked away while democracy faces danger from some individuals.

“We have seen cases where the parliament was closed and where a governor carried inauguration of legislature by midnight.

“When you have a legislature that is answerable to a single person, you can’t progress or meet collective goals or say we are practising democracy. We have heard of a state that already has four Speakers in less than four years.

“It is also surprising that even among the elite, you find that there are some people who do not know their representatives at the parliament. Yet, these parliamentarians make the laws that guide their activities and actions.

“As a union, our concern should not be about where we work, our salaries and welfare alone; we should also protect our institutions. I am not saying you should be partisan, but at least, play a role in guiding our democracy.

“In that way, it would be difficult for individuals to determine how the parliament, which is the true symbol of democracy, should operate,” Obasa said.

In his short remark, Rt. Hon. Olakunle Oluomo, Speaker of Ogun State House of Assembly, noted that Nigeria simply practises civil rule and not democracy.

“If you have a vibrant legislature, you have democracy,” he said.

In his address, Comrade Abinbola Bankole, chairman of the NLC in Ogun State, said though Nigeria faces many challenges, “as a labour movement, it is our considered opinion that blame-game shall take us nowhere as a people.”

He said if Nigeria must work, citizens must be interested in how their country is governed.

Guest lecturer at the event, Chief Mike Ozekhomhe (SAN), noted that the problems with Nigeria are fundamental and systemic. He suggested a new constitution for the country.

“No president who rules Nigeria will do well. Until we do serious structural adjustment or realignments, none of those who would rule Nigeria can make any spectacular difference,” Ozekhomhe said while expressing optimism that Nigeria will be successful again.

On his part, Nafiu Aiyedun, Ogun State Head of Service, who represented Governor Dapo Abiodun, promised that the government would continue to focus on the welfare of workers.

 

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Soludo reacts to killing of soldiers in Anambra, assures arrest of perpetrators

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Anambra State Governor, Prof. Charles Soludo has decried Wednesday’s deadly attack on personnel of the Nigerian Army.

JOMOGNEWS NIGERIA had reported how the so-called ‘Unknown Gunmen’ terrorising Anambra State and major parts of Nigeria’s southeast region attacked and killed five soldiers in Orumba South Local Government Area (LGA).

Among the causalities is a civilian.

According to the governor, from this point on, “these people must surely pay for this heinous and repulsive attack”.

“We condemn this wicked and cruel attack in the strongest terms. The perpetrators of this act must pay,” Prof. Soludo said, as quoted in a statement signed by Christian Aburime, his spokesman.

“We are not going to rest on our oars, including those people that attacked Senator Ifeanyi Ubah and the rest. There will be absolutely no hiding place for them,” Soludo added.

“Going forward, our actions will show, as these people must surely pay for this heinous and repulsive attack.”

 

 

 

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Over 20 Persons Burnt To Death As Explosion Rocks Kogi

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No fewer than 20 persons were burnt to death on a bridge at Maboro River, in Ankpa Local Government Area of Kogi State, on Wednesday in an explosion of a petrol-laden tanker.

The incident occurred when the tanker lost control and fell on the bridge at about 3.30pm on Wednesday.

Kogi State FRSC Sector Commander, Stephen Dawulung, who confirmed the incident, said the casualty could not be ascertained as at press time.

“‘My boys are there, putting the pieces together. We don’t know the number of dead yet. A tanker, two buses and two motorcycles were involved”, he said.

A resident of the area, Usman Ahmed, who witnessed the unfortunate incident, told Daily Trust that several persons were in the river when the tanker exploded.

He said, “Nobody knows the number of dead people now. Many People were in the river doing one thing or the other when the tanker lost control, fell and exploded on the bridge”.

 

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