A former Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Lamido Sanusi, said on Tuesday that petrol imports figures were inflated when global oil prices went up during the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan and the regime of the current President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.)
Sanusi, who spoke on Tuesday at a panel session during the 27th National Economic Summit in Abuja, said the subsidy on petrol was responsible for the inflated figures.
Until May 2016, when the Federal Government announced a new petrol price band of N135 to N145 per litre of petrol, private marketers imported petrol into the country and were paid subsidy claims by the government in order to keep the pump price lower than the expected open market price of the product.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, which has been the sole importer of petrol into the country in recent years, has been bearing the subsidy cost. It does the importation through the Direct Purchase Direct Sale arrangement.
Under the DSDP scheme, selected overseas refiners, trading companies and indigenous companies are allocated crude supplies in exchange for the delivery of an equal value of petrol and other refined products to the NNPC.
Sanusi said, “I have said this over and over again, and when I say this, I want it to be clear that I said this when I was governor of the central bank under the previous government. What I say is not about a particular government.
“In 2015 or 2016, Minister Kachikwu came out and said Nigeria was importing 30 million litres of fuel a day after eliminating corruption and having transparency. In 2019, the NNPC came out and said we were importing 59 million litres per day after oil prices have gone up. And I have been asking the question: what happened between 2015 and 2019 that our consumption doubled?
“This was the same thing that happened under the previous government; in Nigeria, when the oil price goes up – unlike all other products when it gets more expensive, you have a reduction in demand – the NNPC says we are importing more. Why because as the price of oil goes up, the arbitrage between the subsidised price and the market price is so high; there is an incentive to inflate those numbers.”
The NNPC, in the latest monthly report on its website, said a total of 1.67 billion litres of Premium Motor Spirit (petrol), translating to 55.79 million litres per day were supplied in April.
Sanusi said, “I have produced evidence before the National Assembly historically of cases where the NNPC would say we have imported fuel, use the name of a vessel – people say they imported fuel; you go and check and the vessel was nowhere near Nigeria on the day they said it was in Lagos, and people have collected subsidy on those things.
“For me, all the drawbacks of this regime, what it is costing Nigeria is not just the cost of subsidy; it is the cost of the corruption. What we need to do is to scrap it.”
The ex-CBN boss added, “This money coming from petroleum belongs to the federation account; the Federal Government does not have the constitutional right to pay subsidy on behalf of the federation.
“So, that is a fundamental constitutional issue because this is money that should go to the federal, state and local governments. Yet money that belongs to the federation is carried out as a central government expenditure. So, you can see so many complex issues – there are legal and economic issues. What we need to do is stop this thing.”
By Femi Asu
No fewer than 22 states have written to the Federal Government to indicate interest in the National Livestock Transformation Programme.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Agriculture, Andrew Kwasari, who also coordinates the NLTP, disclosed this in an interview with The PUNCH on Tuesday, adding that the Federal Government would start disbursing funds for model ranches in the next one week.
According to him, states whose governors have written the Federal Government include, Kaduna, Benue, Taraba, Adamawa, Plateau, Zamfara, Kano, Ondo, Katsina, Bauchi, Yobe, Borno, Gombe, Nasarawa, Niger, Sokoto, Ekiti, Kogi, Ebonyi and Kwara.
Following incessant clashes between farmers and herders, the Federal Government in 2018 came up with various ranching models, including Ruga and the NLTP, to settle nomadic herdsmen, who are mostly Fulani.
On Sunday, the President’s spokesman, Garba Shehu, in a write-up in response to a story published by The Economist of London, said the Federal Government’s ranching programme had reduced insecurity in the country in the last 12 months.
He, therefore, urged state governors, who had not embraced the scheme, to do so
Kwasari said, “I have the list of all the governors, who have written to participate in the NLTP. There are 22 governors, who wrote to express interest in the NLTP.
“That is the first condition in the NLTP document. This project is not just something that is done on paper. There are guidelines as approved by the National Economic Council.”
Although he did not specify the amount that would be disbursed, the presidential aide said two of the states, Nasarawa and Plateau, would be getting financial support from the Federal Government for the establishment of model ranches in about a week.
He stated, “In fact, this morning (Tuesday), I was following up with the accountant-general’s office concerning the pilot money to Nasarawa and Plateau.
“We are expecting the Federal Government to credit Nasarawa and Plateau’s accounts; their sites are ready for take-off to build the first ranch and to train pastoralists in how to build ranches.”
Kwasari said Adamawa and Kaduna states were among the 10 states that had established offices and prepared for the programme.
“The government will support them, but they have their own contributions to make. We are also working with the Dutch Government, which has also given some support,” he added.
The presidential aide explained that the model ranches would be used to train pastoralists and help them build their own ranches.
He noted that some people had described the NLTP as another Ruga project.
He stated, “But the bottom-line is that the NLTP is an ecosystem approach. It has six pillars that address all the things that have gone wrong with our livestock production system.
“I just spoke with the office of the accountant-general and by Friday or in a week’s time, I should be able to tell you that the money has been credited to the Nasarawa and Plateau NLTP accounts.
“I will also be able to tell you when work will start on the model projects; to me, that is the most important thing.”
Kwasari added that states like Nasarawa, Adamawa, Plateau, Taraba, Gombe, Kogi, Kwara and Ondo, which had met the NLTP conditions, should be supported by the Federal Government in establishing model ranches.
Asked how much the Federal Government would give as support, he stated, “To build a pilot ranch for the training of pastoralists and crop farmers costs about N400m.
“However, some states have counterpart funding; for instance, Nasarawa has counterpart funding of up to 50 per cent from the Dutch Government. So, to build the ranch and run it for three years will cost about N400m.”
Animals in the ranches will not be allowed to leave the facility all year round, while households will send in representatives, who will be trained in the model ranches in the pilot states.
Kwasari noted that once the pastoralists were able to get feed and water for their livestock, they would have no business moving cattle from one state to another.
We’ve submitted business plan, says Ondo
When contacted, the Ondo State Government confirmed that it had submitted its business plan to the NLTP.
The Special Adviser to Governor Rotimi Akeredolu on Agriculture and Agric-business, Mr Akin Olotu, said the decision was in response to the Presidency asking the governors to provide land for ranching.
Olotu, however, did not say if the state would give land for ranching or not, but noted that Ondo was waiting for the NLTP’s action on the business plan.
“We have submitted our business plan to the National Livestock Transformation Programme since last year and we are still waiting for action on their part,” he simply stated.
Animal production a private venture – Enugu
But the Enugu State Government said that rearing cattle was a private venture like every other livestock production business.
The state Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Matthew Idu, stated this in an interview with one of our correspondents.
When asked if the state government would provide land for ranching, Idu asked, “Is it the Federal Government that is rearing the cattle? There are questions you people shouldn’t be asking; cattle rearing is an individual business, just as you have people rearing fish and other livestock.”
Ekiti has keyed into FG’s NLTP – Commissioner
On his part, the Ekiti State Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr Olabode Adetoyi, said the state already had a ranch at Ikun Ekiti in the Moba Local Government Area of the state.
Adetoyi, who said there had been no discussion on the Federal Government’s appeal to states for land, said, “We already have a ranch at the Ikun Dairy Farm. There is no farm without a ranching facility there. For now, that is what we have on the ground.
“We have keyed into the National Livestock Transformation Plan. The Ikun Dairy Farm is the best ranch that any government can have in the country. It is a public-private partnership between the Ekiti State Government and Promasidor, the makers of Cowbell Milk, where we target the production of 10,000 litres of milk per day. At present, we are producing more than 100,000 litres per month.”
Herdsmen should buy land, Delta insists
The Delta State Government says it supports ranching as a panacea for the herders-farmers’ crises in the country.
The state Commissioner for Information, Charles Aniagwu, stated this in an interview with The PUNCH in Asaba.
He said, “Delta is in total support of ranching, but we do not have land to give. Without ranching, there can’t be any reasonable solution.
“Cattle rearing is a private business and anybody who engages in the business should look for land and acquire it.
“It is not the duty of the government to do so. If we begin to get land for cattle rearing, we should also get land for those who are into poultry and other businesses.”
Katsina earmarks 122,000 hectares for cattle grazing
In Katsina State, there are over 122,000 hectares of land for grazing sites out of which 7,000 hectares are currently being utilised for ranching.
It was also found out that ranching was being executed in 10 local government areas of Batsari, Jibia, Kurfi, Dutsin-ma, Safana, Danmusa, Kankara, Faskari, Sabuwa and Dandume.
Oyo rules out building ranches for herders
The Chief Press Secretary to the Oyo State Governor, Taiwo Adisa, stated that the anti-grazing law enacted by the Seyi Makinde administration would strictly guide livestock production in the state.
He stated, “Oyo State has an anti-open grazing law, which was signed into law in 2019. This has comprehensively spelt out the processes for the establishment of ranches by any intending livestock farmer.
“The Oyo State anti-open grazing law sees ranching as a personal business. Herdsmen are free to apply for land for that purpose.
“The disposition of the Oyo State Government is not in support of giving land for grazing reserves. The grazing control law does not give land, but for the herder to rent and renew land at intervals. The landowner too cannot sell land to any herdsman.”
By Okechukwu Nnodim, Peter Dada, Abiodun Nejo, Raphael Ede, Matthew Ochei, Olaide Oyelude and Olufemi Olaniyi
1,620 items including cars, houses, phones, laptops, vessels listed
The Federal Government has begun the process for the valuation of property belonging to several politically exposed persons, including the embattled former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke.
The Diezani property located in highbrow Banana Island Foreshore Estate, Ikoyi, Lagos, include 18 flats and six penthouses located at Building 3, Block B, Bella Vista, Plot 1, Zone N, Federal Government Layout.
Other notable property listed include those belonging to the late Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, whose houses in the Wuse 2 and Maitama high-end neighbourhoods of Abuja were seized.
They include No. 14 Adzope Crescent, off Kumasi Crescent; 19 Kumasi Crescent, Wuse 2; and 6 Umme Street, Wuse 2.
Other recovered items listed are 125 pieces of wedding gowns, 13 pieces of small gowns, 41 pieces of waist trainers, 73 pieces of hard flower, 11 pieces of suit, 11 pieces of invisible bra, 73 pieces of veils, 30 pieces of braziers, two pieces of standing fan, 17 pieces of magic skits, six packets of blankets, one table blanket and 64 pairs of shoes.
The Federal Government had last week begun the process of screening 613 independent valuers expected to manage the sale of the assets alleged to have been illegally acquired, which have now been permanently forfeited to it in about 25 locations throughout the country.
The total number of property marked for auction across the country is 1,620, including cars, houses, phones, laptops, vessels and other valuables.
Lagos has the highest number of property that will be auctioned, including 31 houses and 589 vehicles.
At the expiration of the deadline, 284 firms submitted bids for the valuation of landed property, including residential, commercial, institutional and underdeveloped plots of land slated for disposal.
The Chairman, Inter-ministerial Committee on the Disposal of Forfeited Assets, Mohammed Etsu, told journalists lasts week that 229 proposals were received for the valuation of plants, machinery, motor vehicles, furniture and equipment, while 75 companies submitted bids for the valuation of water vessels for disposal, and 25 companies presented bids for the valuation of jewellery, ornaments clothing materials for disposal.
Etsu, who is also the Solicitor-General of the Federation, stated that the committee would ensure a harmonised and transparent process to safeguard the recovered assets by the relevant agencies.
The solicitor-general said the sub-committee on valuation and due process had earlier conducted the technical evaluation of the bids received from interested valuers, adding that only clothing materials were available for valuation at the moment.
Etsu noted that pieces of jewellery were still subjects of litigation and therefore were not part of the process for now, reminding the successful valuers of the need to be thorough.
Diezani, who was minister under former President Goodluck Jonathan, has been in the United Kingdom since 2015 and has refused to return to Nigeria ever since.
The Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Abdulrasheed Bawa, stated before the House of Representatives in May that jewellery worth N14bn was seized from Diezani.
By Eniola Akinkuotu
People who experience poor erection due to erectile dysfunction are deprived of satisfactory sexual activities. Only vidalista 10 can do the job of turning erection weakness into stiffness because it contains the so-called sildenafil citrate component compound called PDE-5 inhibitor. The 36-48 hour interval between two doses of vidalista used for ED should be maintained by all men.