In a report released on Monday, tge IMF said the step will enable the disbursement of grants from the CCRT for payment of all eligible debt service falling due to the IMF from its poorest and most vulnerable members from April 14, 2021, to October 15, 2021, estimated at SDR 168 (US$238) million.
This tranche of grants for debt service relief will continue to help free up scarce financial resources for vital emergency health, social, and economic support to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In March 2020, Managing Director of IMF ,Kristalina Georgieva, launched an urgent fundraising effort to raise SDR 1 billion (US$1.4 billion) in grants for the CCRT.
Thus far, donors have pledged contributions totalling about $774 million, including from the European Union, the UK, Japan, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Norway, Singapore, China, Mexico, Philippines, Sweden, Bulgaria, Luxembourg, and Malta.
The beneficiaries of the previous CCRT tranche are Afghanistan, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Ethiopia, and The Gambia.
Others are Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nepal, Niger, Rwanda, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Tajikistan, Togo and Yemen.
Executive Directors welcomed the opportunity to consider the approval of grants under the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT) to support the third tranche of debt service relief for the Fund’s poorest and most vulnerable members.
They noted that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to exact a severe human and economic toll on these countries and that the resources freed up by the first and second tranches of CCRT debt service relief had helped mitigate the impact of the pandemic.
Directors agreed that the available resources and pledges are sufficient to finance the third tranche of debt service relief for the period from April 14 to October 15, 2021.
Directors concurred that countries that received the CCRT grants for debt relief are generally pursuing appropriate macroeconomic policies in response to the economic fallout from the global pandemic.
The Fund directors noted the progress made in implementing governance safeguards commitments regarding COVID-19 related spending in CCRT-eligible countries.
NNPCL dashes Nigerians’ hope of reduction in fuel pump prices as local refining operation gets underway at Dangote refinery
The Eyewitness Reporter
Nigerians’ hope of getting refined petroleum products cheaper following the full operation of the Dangote refinery and full utilisation of the nation’s moribund refineries may have been dashed following the stance of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPCL).
In what stakeholders in the Oil and Gas industry regarded as a major step towards boosting Nigeria’s domestic refining capacity and attaining energy security (self-sufficiency), Dangote Petroleum Refinery and Petrochemicals plant has purchased 1 million barrels of Agbami crude grade from Shell International Trading and Shipping Company Limited (STASCO), one of the largest trading companies in Nigeria as well as globally, trading over 8 million barrels of crude oil per day.
The STASCO cargo contained 1 million barrels from Agbami and sailed to Dangote Refinery’s Single Point Mooring (SPM) where it was discharged into the refinery’s crude oil tanks.
The maiden 1 million barrels, which represent the first phase of the 6 million barrels of crude oil to be supplied to Dangote Petroleum Refinery by a range of suppliers, should sustain the initial 350,000 barrels per day to be processed by the facility.
The next four cargoes will be supplied by the NNPCL in two to three weeks and the final of the six cargoes will be supplied by ExxonMobil.
This supply will facilitate the initial run of the refinery as well as kick-start the production of diesel, aviation fuel, and LPG before subsequently progressing to the production of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).
This latest development will play a pivotal role in alleviating the fuel supply challenges faced by Nigeria as well as the West African countries.
Designed for 100% Nigerian crude with the flexibility to process other crudes, the 650,000 barrels per day Dangote Petroleum Refinery can process most African crude grades as well as Middle Eastern Arab Light and even US Light tight oil as well as crude from other countries.
Dangote Petroleum Refinery can meet 100% of Nigeria’s requirement of all refined products, gasoline, diesel, kerosene, and aviation jet, and also has a surplus of each of these products for export.
The refinery was built to take crude through its two SPMs located 25 kilometres from the shore and to discharge petroleum products through three separate SPMs.
In addition, the refinery has the capacity to load 2,900 trucks a day at its truck-loading gantries.
Dangote Refinery has a self-sufficient marine facility with the ability to handle the largest vessel globally available.
In addition, all products from the refinery will conform to Euro V specifications.
The refinery is designed to comply with US EPA, European emission norms, and Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) emission/effluent norms as well as African Refiners and Distribution Association (ARDA) standards.
The Country Chairman of Shell Companies in Nigeria, Mr. Osagie Okunbor stated: “We welcome the startup of a refinery that is designed to produce gasoline, diesel, and low-sulfur fuels for Nigeria and across West Africa and are happy to be enabling it.”
Buhari, Jonathan, Obasanjo, Babangida, Abdusalami, Osinbajo, Atiku, others to spend N13.8billon from N27.5 trillion 2024 budget
The Eyewitness Reporter
The Federal government has earmarked the sum of N13.8 billion in the 2024 budget as the cost of upkeep of
former presidents, vice presidents, heads of state, Chiefs of General Staff, retired heads of service, permanent secretaries, and retired heads of government agencies and parastatals.
The beneficiaries include former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, Goodluck Jonathan and Muhammadu Buhari, ex-vice-presidents Atiku Abubakar, Namadi Sambo and Prof Yemi Osinbajo.
Also expected to benefit from the windfall are ex-military Heads of State, General Yakubu Gowon and General Abdusalami Abubakar, as well as a former dictator and self-styled military President, General Ibrahim Babangida, and a former Chief of General Staff, Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe (retd.).
Also, N1tn was provisioned for the public service wage adjustment for government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (including arrears of promotion and salary increases, and payment of severance benefits and minimum wage-related adjustments).
A breakdown shows that the entitlements of former presidents/heads of state and vice presidents/chief of general staff will cost N2.3bn. At the same time, N10.5bn is proposed as benefits for retired heads of service, permanent secretaries and professors.
The payment of severance benefits to retired heads of government agencies and parastatals is proposed to cost N1bn.
Other allocations include N65bn for the Presidential Amnesty Programme for the reintegration of transformed ex-militants; N1bn for the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Energy; and N108bn for unnamed special projects.
The government is also proposing the sum of N40bn to offset electricity debts owed to power distribution companies by all MDAs.
President Bola Tinubu unveiled the N27.5 trillion budget estimates for the 2024 fiscal year.
The budget was presented to a joint session of the National Assembly on Wednesday, where it is currently undergoing scrutiny and deliberation for final approval.
In his presentation, he declared, “The 2024 Appropriation has been themed the Budget of Renewed Hope.
The proposed budget seeks to achieve job-rich economic growth, macro-economic stability, a better investment environment, enhanced human capital development, as well as poverty reduction and greater access to social security.
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