- 13 States Attract N1.9tn Investments in Three Months
Thirteen states, including the Federal Capital Territory, attracted the sum of $5.3bn (N1.9tn) investments in the last quarter of 2017, investigation by our correspondent revealed on Friday.
The investments made in 22 different sectors of the economy from October to December 2017, it was gathered, were the fallout of the new initiatives of government particularly in the area of ease of doing business.
Based on the government’s official statistics, the FCT attracted the highest investment inflow with the sum of $2.68bn.
This is about 49 per cent of the entire investment inflow into the country during the three-month period.
Lagos State followed closely with $2.54bn investment, representing 47.2 per cent of the total investments into the country.
Akwa Ibom recorded an investment inflow of $124.84m; Ogun, $8.79m; Oyo, $7.03m; Delta, $5.69m; and Anambra, $3.77m.
Similarly, Enugu attracted a total investment of $644,890; Kogi, $500,000; Kano, $483,970; Bauchi, $425,000; Rivers, $384,817; and Kaduna, $89,975.
The sectors where the $5.3bn was invested are agriculture, $62.65m; banking, $543.37m; brewing, $2.3m; construction, $92.7m; consultancy, $2.06m; drilling, $0.3m; and electrical, $5.1m.
Others are financing, $122.68m; fishing, $99.4m; information Technology, $8.45m; marketing, $0.48m; oil and gas, $23.83m; production, $317.8m; and servicing, $216.45m.
The rest are hotels, $0.3m; telecoms, $191.01m; tanning, $0.52m; trading, $12.96m; transport, $0.55m; and shares, $3.68bn.
The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, said the huge amount, which the Federal Government was spending on infrastructure projects across the country was attracting fresh investments into the country.
She said this when a delegation of about 20 investors visited him at the headquarters of the ministry to discuss investment opportunities in Nigeria.
Adeosun told the delegation led by a former Minister of Finance, Dr. Shamsudeen Usman, that in 2017 alone, the sum of N1.2tn was released by the ministry for implementation of capital projects.
She added that the ministry was ready to make such huge release this year once the 2018 budget currently before the National Assembly was signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari.
She said part of the cardinal focus of the administration of President Buhari was to address the infrastructure deficit in the country.
This, she added, would be achieved through targeted spending at projects that would unlock the economic potential of the country.
She described the level of interest from foreign investors in the Nigerian economy as huge, adding that very soon, these interests would translate into massive investments that would create jobs and reduce the nation’s poverty level.
Adeosun said, “It’s a great time for investors to be in Nigeria. For us, it’s a better time now than last year because finally, we think that we are beginning to address through deliberate policies some of the most stubborn problems that have held back Nigeria’s growth.
“We’ve gone through very difficult adjustments but we are seeing that the macroeconomic fundamentals are much more positive and the outlook is that they will remain positive.
“The good news is that we have actually begun to take steps in terms of reducing our (oil) benchmark price by keeping it low, allowing us to rebuild some buffers.
“Our budget is predicated on lower oil price, and for me, we are focusing on revenue because we think that is the missing part of the Nigeria jig-saw.”
She said the economy had started seeing the impact of the expanded budget of the Federal Government with massive investment in power, road and rail.
“Our commitment in solving the infrastructure challenges in Nigeria is firm because we think that is what will unlock growth in agriculture and solid minerals and make us to move away from our over-reliance on oil,” the minister added.
Usman gave some of the sectors where these investors were interested in as power, manufacturing, agriculture, solid minerals, among others.
More Retirees Quit Pension Scheme, Collects N28.46 Billion
114,837 Retirees Quit Pension Scheme, Collects N28.46 Billion
Thousands of retirees whose employers did not adequately fund their Retirement Savings Accounts and retired with balances below N550,000 have collected their contributions and quit the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS).
A total of 114,837 employees who retired after attaining the age of 50 and had less than N550,000 in their CPS account had collected their contributions and left the scheme as of the end of June 2020.
This includes contributors from the state, federal and private sectors.
In the quarterly report released on Friday by the PenCom, these retirees withdrew a total sum of N28.46 billion since the inception of the scheme till June.
The report showed about 6,561 of the total retirees that left the program were from the Federal Government sector while 3,879 and 104,397 were from the state and private sectors, respectively.
The report also showed that some of those who collected their contributions included foreign nationals who retired and returned to their countries of origin.
A further breakdown showed as of the end of third quarter of 2019, a total of 109,284 retirees with similar low balances withdrew N27.09 billion. While by the final quarter of 2019, 2,241 retirees withdrew about N569.27 million.
In the first quarter and second quarter of 2020, about 2,227 and 1,085 retirees withdrawn N531.95 million and N274.09 million, respectively. Bringing the total from inception to N28.46 billion.
PenCom stated in its Q2 report on en-bloc payments that, “The commission granted approval for the payment of the entire RSA balances of the categories of retirees whose RSA balances were N550,000 or below and considered insufficient to procure a programmed withdrawal or annuity of a reasonable amount over an expected life span.
“Approval was also granted for payment of RSA balances to foreign nationals who decided to return to their home countries after making contributions under the CPS.
“Accordingly, the sum of N274.78m was paid to 1,085 retirees, which comprised 140 from the public sector retirees (FGN and state) and 1,085 from the private sector retirees during the second quarter.”
Central Bank to Promote Zero Balance Account Opening to Drive Financial Inclusion
Banks Now Accept Zero Balance Account Opening to Deepen Financial Inclusion
In an effort to boost financial inclusion in the country, the Central Bank of Nigeria has said it would start promoting zero balance account opening to encourage and lure the unbanked into the banking system.
The apex bank disclosed this in its report titled ‘Monetary, credit, foreign trade and exchange policy guidelines for fiscal years 2020/2021’.
The report read in part, “As part of its effort towards promoting greater financial inclusion in the country, the bank shall continue to encourage banks to intensify deposit mobilisation during the 2020/2021 fiscal years.
“Accordingly, banks shall allow zero balances for opening new bank accounts and simplify their account opening processes, while adhering to Know-Your-Customer requirements.
“Banks are also encouraged to develop new products that would provide greater access to credit.”
The apex bank said the Shared Agency Network Expansion Facility, launched to deepen provision of financial services in under-served and unserved locations and drive financial inclusion through agent banking, would continue in the 2020/2021 fiscal years.
Banks, mobile money operators and super-agents would also continue to render returns in the prescribed formats and frequency to the CBN.
Investors Oversubscribed for FGN Bonds by N205.87 Billion in October
FG October Bonds Oversubscribed by N205.87 Billion
The Debt Management Office (DMO) has said investors oversubscribed for the Federal Government’s October bonds by N205.87 billion.
The DMO stated this after concluding the monthly FGN bonds auction on Wednesday.
Two instruments of 12.5 per cent FGN March 2035 re-opening 15-year bond and 9.8 per cent FGN July 2045 re-opening 25-year bond were auctioned.
The two bonds of N15bn each with a total auction figure of N30bn received a subscription of N235.87bn.
The 15-year tenor and 25-year tenor bonds received 99 and 67 bids but recorded 21 and 26 successful bids respectively.
The amounts allotted for each of the bids were N20bn and N25bn respectively.
According to the DMO, successful bids for the 15-year tenor bond and 25-year tenor bonds were allotted at the marginal rates of 4.97 per cent and six per cent respectively.
However, it added, the original coupon rates of 12.5 per cent for the 12.5 per cent FGN March 2035 bond and the 9.8 per cent for the 9.8 per cent FGN July 2045 bonds would be maintained.
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