From Basil Obasi, Abuja
The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, has placed premium on job creation and social inclusion as a policy trajectory that would drive the Federal Government’s strategy for economic recovery in 2017.
Udoma, who stated this recently in Abuja while providing a breakdown of the 2017 budget, explained that, for growth to be sustainable, poverty and inequality must be addressed and tackled headlong, and this informed the proposal to spend N500 billion on social intervention in the 2017 budget.
The minister further noted that in addition to job creation and social inclusion, government’s economic recovery strategy technically focuses on macroeconomic stability, which seeks to ensure fiscal and monetary policy efficiency that would guarantee low-rate of inflation, stable exchange rate and strong economic growth while building competitiveness in the private sector as a road map to enhanced local production and economic diversification.
He noted that the emphasis on job creation and social inclusion was because of the need for direct interventions to create jobs, while tackling poverty and inequality, since government was interested not just in economic growth but poverty-reducing growth.
Jet A1 scarcity: We’ve imported 45m litres to address shortfall – NNPC
From Uche Usim, Abuja
As airline operators and Nigerians groan over shortage of aviation turbine kerosene (ATK), also known as Jet A1, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has given the assurance that about 45 million litres has been imported to address insufficiency, which has greatly disrupted flight operations lately.
Managing Director of NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, who stated this when the management of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) visited him, explained that the scarcity challenge mainly sprang from the inability of airlines to pay for the product upon the introduction of a “cash-and-carry” policy by marketers, on account of huge debts.
Local airlines have had to scale down their operations in recent times as a result of Jet A1 scarcity.
The NNPC boss further expressed the corporation’s commitment to carry on with its twin gas projects, Brass LNG and OKLNG, describing them as high priority ventures that promise to boost revenue for the Federal Government.
He said: “We are still committed, as NNPC, to monetising our natural gas. We have the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG), which is at the moment monetising about four billion standard cubic feet of gas on a daily basis (four billion scf/d). We also have plans for Olokola LNG as well as Brass LNG.
“We have a little challenge with market windows for these projects, which we are reviewing on a monthly basis. Once the appropriate market window opens, we will quickly get more shareholders to join us for the projects.”
He said a meeting of Brass LNG stakeholders has been scheduled for early next year to see the way forward for the project.
The GMD further disclosed that, apart from the LNG projects, NNPC was also working on gas monetisation through aggressive enhancement of domestic gas supply for power generation and industrial use.