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FG, States, LGs to Share N5.7tn This Year

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Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari

A total sum of N5.7tn is being planned to be distributed among the three tiers of government as allocations for the 2016 fiscal year, figures obtained from the Medium Term Expenditure Framework have revealed.

The framework covers the period 2016 to 2018 and was sent to the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari late last year for approval.

A breakdown of the N5.7tn shows that the sum of N4.3tn is being planned to be shared under statutory sources from the Federation Account, while the balance of N1.4tn is to be shared from the Value Added Tax pool account.

From the N4.3tn, the fiscal strategy paper revealed that the Federal Government would get the sum of N2.2tn, representing 52.68 per cent; the 36 states of the federation, N1.14tn or 26.72 per cent of the total; while the 774 local government councils are to get N886.5bn or 20.6 per cent.

For the VAT revenue of N1.4tn, the document states that the Federal Government is expected to get the sum of N212.4bn or 15 per cent; the states, N708bn or 50 per cent; while the local governments are to get the balance of N495.6bn or 35 per cent.

The document also states that out of the N2.2tn allocated to the Federal Government from the Federation Account, the sum of N43bn, representing one per cent, will go to the Federal Capital Territory; ecological and derivation, N43bn; statutory stabilisation, N21.5bn or 0.5 per cent; and development of natural resources, N72.3bn or 1.68 per cent.

The persistent drop in the price of crude oil in the international market has impacted negatively on the nation’s revenue as the country recorded a shortfall of N1.27tn in gross federally collectible revenue in the first nine months of 2015.

Figures obtained from the Federal Ministry of Finance showed that the country earned a total sum of N3.35tn between January and September last year from oil and non-oil sources.

Based on the revenue framework, which was approved in the budget for the 2015 fiscal period, the Federal Government had projected to earn a monthly revenue of N513.69bn from oil and non-oil sources.

When the N513.69bn is multiplied over a nine-month period, the Federal Government had expected to earn a total sum of N4.62tn as revenue.

However, owing to production shut-in occasioned by crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism, the country was only able to realise N3.35tn out of the projected figure, thus leaving a shortfall of N1.27tn for the nine-month period.

While the Federal Government had projected a monthly revenue of N513.69bn, findings showed that the revenue generating agencies were unable to meet up with target in the first nine months of 2015.

The highest amount generated as revenue in the period was in June when the sum of N485.95bn was earned from both mineral and non-mineral sources.

The N485.95bn recorded in June represents a shortfall of N27.74bn when compared with the budgeted revenue of N513.69bn.

Further analysis showed that the actual receipt from mineral and non-mineral sources was N416.04bn in January last year.

This represents a shortfall of N97.65bn when compared with the targeted amount of N513.69bn

For the month of February, the sum of N401.46bn was generated, indicating a decline of N112.23bn compared to the budgeted amount of N513.69bn

In the months of March, April and May 2015, the sums of N315.04, N282.06bn and N324.96bn were received as gross federally collected revenue, indicating shortfall of N198.65bn, N231.63bn and N188.73bn, respectively.

For July, August, and September, the amounts earned were N433.58bn, N369.14bn and N321.99bn from both oil and non-oil sources, indicating a shortfall of N80.11bn, N144.55bn and N191.7bn, respectively.

Some financial experts, who spoke to our correspondent on the issue of declining revenue, said there was a need for the government to urgently begin a readjustment of its fiscal position in a way that would enable it to generate more revenue from taxes.

The Director-General, Institute of Fiscal Studies of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Ighedosa, said, “We have so much relied on oil revenue in the last 45 years and with the decline in oil revenue, the time has come now for us to review our fiscal position.

“We need a short-term fiscal adjustment, particularly in our budgeting system, by switching from a zero-based budgeting system to a performance-based budgeting system.

“There is a need for reform of the country’s tax administration system to enable the Federal Government to raise more revenue from Capital Gains Tax. Our tax to Gross Domestic Product ratio is one of the lowest in the world and we need to address that.”

Also, the Chief Executive Officer, Safmur Investments Limited, Mr. Rislanudeen Muhammad, said the fall in revenue was making the economy to become more fragile.

He said while the economy was growing weaker by the day owing to vulnerabilities in the oil market, its external partners were beginning to have doubts about the potential in the economy.

Muhammad, a former Managing Director of Unity Bank Plc said, “We have done things wrong in the past because we should have saved a lot of money through the Excess Crude Account.

“That arrangement in the constitution that stipulates that any money generated must be shared is a major problem for Nigeria. We are not earning as much as we were earning. What the economy needs now is single digit interest rate and a little devaluation to allow for stability, support the GDP growth rate, employment and avoid recession.”

Punch

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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Government

COVID-19: Indian Travellers Regains Entry Into Nigeria

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COVID-19 Vaccine - Investors King

The federal government of Nigeria on Monday said travellers from India will no longer be denied entry into Nigeria as the country has been removed from the list of flagged countries.

In May, in an effort to curb the spread of the global health pandemic, the federal government had banned travellers from Brazil, India and Turkey from visiting the country.

Speaking on Monday during the national briefing of the presidential steering committee (PSC) on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, secretary to the government of the federation (SGF), said the situation in the Asian county has improved.

“The Global cases recorded continues to decline to about 4m cases weekly, although it is less, compared to last year and the situation calls for caution because we are not out of the woods yet. Africa and Nigeria in particular, continue to record rising cases and lots of fatalities,” Mustapha said.

“This can really be curtailed and reduced minimally if we adhere strictly to the NPIs. I recognize the fact that people are fatigued and tired but let me encourage all Nigerians not to give up. We all need to come together to defeat this dreaded disease so we can return to our normal life.

“The most potent way of getting out of this situation is through vaccines, which science and research has presented to us. I call on every eligible person to come out and be vaccinated. There are various choices now. We have AstraZeneca, Moderna, Johnson and Johnson and we expect Pfizer to be delivered very soon. There will be enough vaccines to go around soon. By the second quarter of 2022, we would have received about 52 million doses of the vaccines.

“To ease travels for fully vaccinated Nigerians, we are exploring the principles of reciprocity between Nigeria and other nations. For the time being, Nigerians are advised to always carry their vaccination card details or barcode on their electronic devices for easy access especially for those travelling outside the country.

“​Compliance with protocols laid down for quarantine to ensure control remains a source of worry to the PSC. The need to review the protocol has become expedient to align with existing global protocols and realities. On this note, the PSC will adopt a sustainable model and policy that will be unveiled soon. To begin with, India has been removed from the list of flagged countries in view of improved situation in that country.”

“On this note, the PSC will adopt a sustainable model and policy that will be unveiled soon”, he said.

Osagie Ehanire, minister of health said evidence has so far shown that the Delta strain is already dominant in Nigeria.

He warned that though the third wave of the pandemic may appear to be leveling out because there have been no catastrophic increases in infections and fatalities, it is not wise to assume that the threat is gone, especially as cases are fluctuating and have to be identified by genomic sequencing.

The minister assured that even though there is a 25 percent shortfall in CICAX supply, Nigeria will not run low on vaccines.

Ehanire further noted that there were reports of new coronavirus mutations circulating in other countries, and assured that government will monitor with all tools available to respond appropriately.

Also speaking, Faisal Shuaib, executive director of, National Primary Healthcare Development Agency noted that vaccine cards were becoming a requirement across the country.

He, therefore, warned against any attempt to produce/procure and sell fake COVID-19 vaccination cards.

“Anyone who ventures into this would be apprehended and made to face the law. This is a criminal offense, in which both the buyer and seller would be prosecuted.

“We, therefore, urge all Nigerians to report any suspected attempt by any person or group of persons to buy or sell a COVID-19 vaccination card to us via our call centre line on 0700 220 1122, any of our social media handles (Facebook and Instagram), at the nearest police station or any other law enforcement agency. No one needs to cut corners on COVID-19 vaccination.

“The vaccines are free, and the vaccination cards are given free of charge at any of our designated health facilities after your vaccination,” Shuaib said.

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South Africa Plans To Introduce Covid Passport

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South Africa has announced plans to introduce a vaccine passport amid widespread mistrust of the Covid-19 vaccine in the continent’s most affected country.

President Cyril Ramaphosa made the announcement in a televised address to the nation and assured that the immunization of the adult population was a necessary prerequisite to fully reopen the economy and avoid a fourth wave of infections, while the number of cases has dropped sharply in the country.

In two weeks, we will “provide more information on a system of ‘vaccine passports’ that can be used as proof of vaccination for various purposes and events,” he said without providing further details.

He added that the “sustained decline in infections (…) over the past few weeks” would, however, allow for a relaxation of the restrictive measures starting Monday.

The nightly curfew will be extended by one hour, to 11 p.m., and the limits on gatherings will be raised.

Restrictions on the sale of alcohol will also be eased, although protective masks will still be required in places open to the public.

The peak of a third stubborn wave due to the Delta variant is now over. Over the past seven days, the average number of new daily infections has dropped 29 percent from the previous week and 48 percent from the week before, Ramaphosa said.

“Our most urgent task is to vaccinate our population,” he said, noting that vaccine supply “is no longer a constraint.”

“If many people are not vaccinated (…) the risk of new and more dangerous variants emerging is much greater,” he warned.

After delays in the supply and distribution of doses, the vaccination campaign is now struggling to take off because of skepticism about the vaccine, especially among men.

To date, just over seven million people have been fully vaccinated in South Africa, with more than a quarter of adults have received at least one dose.

The country’s goal is to vaccinate 40 million South Africans, or about two-thirds of the population, by next March.

Authorities have recorded more than 2.8 million cases of the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic, and 84,877 deaths, making it the worst affected country in Africa by the pandemic.

South African scientists are monitoring a new local variant with an unusually high mutation rate, dubbed C.1.2, although its presence is so far marginal among new cases detected in the country.

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Government

FG Launches GEEP 2.0 Plans To Lift 100M Nigerians Out Of Poverty

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Muhammadu Buhari

The Federal Government of Nigeria on Tuesday in Abuja inaugurated the restructured Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) now known as GEEP 2.0. to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty.

Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, speaking during the inauguration said the programme was a veritable tool designed to end poverty in many ways.

She said that GEEP was one of the components of the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP).

According to her, the initial GEEP targets the unbanked poor and vulnerable but skilled population that has always been left out on credit delivery programmes and is directed at providing soft and affordable loans to finance their businesses.

“The GEEP is innovatively targeted and delivered under three unique products – the TraderMoni for marginalised youths, The MarketMoni targets vulnerable women, and the FarmerMoni specifically focuses on rural farmers.

“With President Muhammdu Buhari’s gracious approval of expansion to provide loans to an additional one million beneficiaries with emphasis to targeting smallholder farmers in the year 2020/2021, the GEEP has been restructured and is being flagged-off today as GEEP 2.0.

“The GEEP 2.0 is structured to effectively deliver soft loans and skills to a wide range of unemployed citizens including persons living with disability, marginalised women and unemployed youths amongst other vulnerable groups in our society.

“I wish to state here that the GEEP 2.0 is well-coordinated and has an implementation model that accommodates representation at the Federal, State and Local Government levels,” Farouq said.

Farouq said that part of the new strategies include an increase in the loan portfolio of TraderMon/ and Market Moni loans from N10, 000 to N50,000, while the FarmerMoni is now N300,000.

“There is also the provision of the value chain and creation of digital marketplace (E-platform) for beneficiaries to sell their products.

“In addition, there is a digital integration and coordination platform along with a strong and centralised monitoring and evaluation system aimed at enhancing loans recovery.’’

Speaking, the Minister of Youths and Sports, Mr Sunday Dare who also represented the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha said he was delighted at the inauguration of the GEEP 2.0.

Dare said whenever he saw other ministries that helped in reducing the burden of youths unemployment from his ministry, he was happy, adding that youths were the biggest beneficiaries of NSIP.

Similarly, Mr Clem Agba, the State Minister of Financial, Budget and National Planning said his ministry had been at the forefront of ensuring human dignity and protecting households from poverty.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Pauline Tallen said women and youths were always affected by humanitarian crisis and poverty.

Tallen said that the GEEP 2.0 would now help the poor and marginalised women and youths who did not have collateral to secure loans.

Also, the Minister of State for Education, Mr Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba said that the inauguration of the GEEP 2.0 was an indication to show that President Buhari meant it when he said he wanted to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years.

“It is evident that as we collaborate and corporate with all hands on deck, we shall achieve the ultimate objectives of the programme.”

Dr Garba Abari, the Director-General, National Orientation Agency (NOA) said the agency would work with state programme managers and focal persons toward the success of the NSIP.

Meanwhile, the Team Lead of the GEEP 2.0, Ms Zainab Musawa said that intended beneficiaries would be effectively supervised and monitored by desk officers in all 774 local government areas, state programme managers and the ministry in partnership with NOA.

“Essentially, GEEP 2.0 is a continuation of the Buhari administration’s laudable empowerment drive committed to the upliftment of oppressed Nigerians and we hope the programme will engender job creation.”

Ms Hadiza Hambuza, a representative of Access Bank Plc said the bank would work with the beneficiaries to achieve the objectives of the programme.

The event attracted officials from Presidency, National Assembly, NEMA, EFCC, FCTA Disability Commission among others.

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