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Nigeria sacrificed health, defence, education for fuel subsidy, in past 4 years
Africa’s biggest oil producing country spent over N2 trillion on subsiding the price of fuel in four years, an amount which was far higher than funds allocated to education, health, defence, and agriculture and rural development. It could have increased the economic growth or standard of living of its over 200 million people.
Over the years, the Nigerian government has continued to subsidise electricity and petrol, paying the difference between the cost of production and the cost charged to customers in order to make them more affordable, but in the end, analysts say it is largely not worth the cost.
Data sourced from Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) show Nigeria has spent N2.032 trillion on subsidy of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) or petrol between January 2015 and September 2019.
FG’s budget review drives fiscal deficit to N5.2trn
The projected deficit embedded in the 2020 budget jumped to N5.2 trillion or 3.67 percent of GDP, as the Federal Government on Wednesday slashed its already passed budget and revenue projections in line with new economic realities.
However, the budget cut by the Federal Government to adjust fiscal plans to the grimmer realities facing the country might fail to realise the intended results for a country with a history of poor revenue realisation and budget utilisation, while the huge budget gap will pose a new financing headache to the FG.
Chinese medical personnel arrive Nigeria to boost COVID-19 effort
A 15-man medical team from China arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja on Wednesday afternoon.
The team is in Nigeria to aid in the country’s fight against the dreaded coronavirus pandemic.
Alongside the medical team, the Federal Government also took delivery of the second batch of medical supplies from China.
Materials brought in include 16 tons of test kits, ventilators, disinfectant machines, disposable medical masks, medicines, rubber gloves, protective gowns, goggles, face shields, infrared thermometers and other critical care items.
Official records intact, no casualty as fire guts Accountant General’s Office
No official records were lost to the Nigeria’s Treasury House, the headquarters of the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation in Abuja, on Wednesday, Clem Agba, minister of state for budget and national planning, confirmed.
Also, there were no casualties recorded.
The fire, which was caused by a spark from one of the air conditioners on the 4th floor of the building at about 10am Wednesday, was successfully put out by 25 fire trucks within 35 minutes, Agba told journalists.
FG trains 3,800 health workers on infection response
The Federal Government has trained over 3,800 health workers on infectious disease prevention and control as at April 5, Chikwe Ihekweazu, director-general, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), has said.
About 270 workers were trained in each state of the federation, Ihekweazu said while making his remarks during the daily briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in Abuja on Wednesday.