The Federal Government has so far generated a revenue of N4.25 trillion in 2019, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed said on Wednesday.
According to Ahmed, this represents a performance of 81 per cent, adding that while the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) planned for 2019 was 3.5 per cent, the third quarter GDP performance was reported as 2.28 per cent.
The minister stated this while briefing State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Ahmed added that the federal government has so far released 1.2 trillion in capital expenditure, representing a 50 per cent capital performance for the 2019 fiscal year.
According to her, on expenditure, the finance ministry had been able to release all that was required for personnel cost while debt service was also on course.
“On overhead, we have able to release eight months overhead for general MDAs and 11 months overhead for some MDAs that we classify as critical and this include the security services, the Federal Government Unity Colleges as well as NYSC and Nigerian Correctional Service.
“So, a few agencies that we classify as critical have received 11 months and we are working on the 12 month over head release for these categories of MDAs.
“So, far as at last week, we have released up to N1.2 trillion in capital expenditure and that is a 50 per cent performance of the capital for the whole year, 2019.
“And now that the president has assented to the 2020 which is a major achievement for this government; it is clear that the 2019 budget is also a six-months budget; so we achieved 50 per cent capital release for 50 per cent performance of the 2019 budget,’’ she said.
About four Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) plants have been sealed off by the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, over non-compliance and illegal operations in Lagos.
Three employees of the sealed LPG — also known as cooking gas — plants were also arrested by officers of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, in the DPR’s operation.
According to the News Reports, the gas stations sealed off include Geogas Gas Filling Plant, Oduduwa Road, Oworonsoki and Classic Gas, MKO Abiola Market, Agege, Lagos.
Also shut down by the petroleum regulatory agency were Al-Morruf Gas Plant and Vertex Gas, both located in the Agege axis of the state.
Mr Abel Igheghe, Head, Gas, DPR, Lagos Zonal Office, said over 54 gas plants had been sealed off in 2019 for not complying with international standards.
He said the LPG plants were sealed for being illegal and operating within densely populated residential areas, schools and market places.
Igheghe said: “These gas plants were sealed by DPR for not meeting international safety standard in their operations.
“Some of them, like the one inside MKO Abiola Market, pose a great threat to lives and property of people nearby.
“You cannot be refilling gas in this kind of location because fire can be ignited from any source due to its proximity to a busy road and other businesses.”
According to him, all the sealed facilities did not meet the minimum 15 meters required for such operations which is a critical safety requirement.
He said that the sealed stations were also operating without approval or license from the DPR, and the agency would continue to clamp down on such illegal plants.
“We have served them notices to dismantle these structures and we will continue to carry out surveillance to ensure that they are removed,’’ he said.
Igheghe said the DPR was collaborating with the NSCDC to enforce compliance with the closure order because the agency itself had no power to arrest or prosecute defaulters.
He appealed to Nigerians to assist the agency in reporting such illegal facilities operating within their areas to avert tragedies caused by gas explosions.