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Domestic Debt Servicing Gulped N2.95tn in Five Years

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Buhari

The Federal Government spent a total of N2.95tn to service domestic debts for a period of five years from 2010 to 2014, investigation has shown.

Statistics obtained from the Debt Management Office in Abuja on Thursday showed that the actual amount spent on servicing the domestic component of the country’s total debt rose from N334.66bn in 2010 to N846.64bn by the end of December 2014. The amount spent on domestic debt in 2015 is not yet available.

Each year, the Federal Government sets apart funds in the budget for the servicing of both foreign and domestic debts. The actual amount paid, however, may differ from what is budgeted.

The debt service obligation of the Federal Government showed an increase of N511.98bn within the period of five years. This means that in the period, the country’s domestic debt service obligation rose by 152.99 per cent.

The increase also reflected the rise in the size of the country’s domestic debt portfolio from N4.55tn in December 2010 to N7.9tn on December 31, 2014, a difference of 73.63 per cent.

This means that while the domestic debt component rose by 73.63 per cent within the period, the cost of servicing it also increased by 152.99 per cent. However, some of the debts that had fallen due within the period might have been liquidated.

As of December 31, 2010, the domestic debt of the Federal Government was classified as FGN Bonds, N2.9tn; Nigerian Treasury bills, N1.28tn; treasury bonds, N372.9bn; and development stocks, N220m.

However, by December 31, 2014; the FGN Bonds accounted for N4.79tn; Nigeria Treasury bills, N2.82tn; and treasury bonds, N296.22bn. The development stock had been phased out by then.

In terms of interest payment in 2014, the government paid N511.78bn on FGN Bonds; Nigeria Treasury bills, N300.27bn; and treasury bonds, N34.59bn.

The previous year, FGN Bonds accounted for N464.67bn of the total interest payment; Nigeria Treasury bills, N293.88bn; while treasury bonds accounted for N35.55bn. The total interest paid on domestic debt for the year was N794.1bn.

In 2012, with a total domestic debt service obligation of N701.38bn, FGN Bonds accounted for N354.08bn; Nigeria Treasury bills, N310.79bn; and treasury bonds, N36.5bn.

For 2011, the interest paid on domestic debt amounted to N518bn, with the FGN Bonds accounting for N293.79bn; Nigeria Treasury bills, N186.72bn; and treasury bonds, N37.47bn.

The interest payment for 2010 showed that FGN Bonds gulped N231.11bn; Nigeria Treasury bills, N65.07bn; while N38.43bn was paid as interest on treasury bonds.

Within the period, some domestic debts that were due for payment were either redeemed or refinanced. For instance, in 2014, treasury bonds amounting to N865.81bn were redeemed, while in 2013, N94.17bn of domestic debt was redeemed.

In the previous year (2012), a total of N456bn of domestic debt was refinanced. In 2011, N223.67bn of the domestic debt was refinanced, just as N317.76bn was refinanced in 2010. Debt redemption means that the principal sum of a debt that is due is paid off, while refinancing means that a fresh loan is taken to pay off a debt that is due.

The interest payment in 2014 as a percentage of the total domestic debt showed that the average cost or interest on the domestic debt for the year stood at 10.71 per cent. In 2010, the rate stood at 7.35 per cent.

Generally, the nation’s domestic debt market has been very active and the rates are regarded as attractive. For this reason and because of the safety of the government’s debt instruments, a number of investors, including Pension Fund Administrators, have been very active in the market.

The PUNCH had exclusively reported on July 27, 2015 that the country’s total debt stock stood at N12.12tn as of June 30, 2015, with the domestic debt of the Federal Government accounting for N8.39tn.

For 2016, the Federal Government expects to borrow N984bn from domestic sources and N900bn from foreign sources to finance the capital component of the budget.

It has also set aside the sum of N113bn as a sinking fund for the retirement of maturing loans, while N1.36tn has been proposed for foreign and domestic debt service obligations.

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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Envoy Considers Establishment Of Chinese Banks In Nigeria To Boost Economy

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Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria- Investors king

Mr Cui Jianchun, the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, says he is in talks with Chinese owned Banks to establish operations in Nigeria.

This, the envoy said, is to boost Nigeria’s economy and expand trade relations between the two nations.

Cui made this known on Tuesday in Abuja while addressing Journalists during the commemoration of the 2021 Chinese Moon Festival and China-Nigeria Cultural week.

According to Cui, the establishment of Chinese Banks in Nigeria will also be one of the key areas of discussion during the China-Nigeria Binational Committee meeting, which he is also pushing for the establishment.

He said that an efficient financial institution was a key driver to achieving a strong economy, one Nigeria can learn from China’s experience.

“Before my departure from Beijing to Abuja, I talked to several banks in China. When you list the World’s 10 big banks, six are in China.

“The Banking sector is very important, because, without money, we cannot build our industries.

“What I am thinking here is best to talk to the governor of Central Bank and how we can allow the Chinese Banks to run office here and now, they are doing the feasibility studies on that.

“I am working hard that in the Bi-national meeting, I hope we can make a big decision and give a big push to let the banking industry and insurance industry because financial integration and institutions are key.

“If you go to China, you will find our banking industry is very powerful, not only for business but the change in the way of life.

“Because of the COVID-19, the Banking Industry is a little hesitant, but I told them Nigeria has a lot of human resources and as long as we work together, we can do big things.

“And that is why it is important to invest in the banking industry, to solve this problem,” Cui said.

Extolling the extant China-Nigeria trade relations, Cui noted that the volume of trade between China and Nigeria is nearly 20 billion US Dollars, with an increase from 2020’s 19.2 billion dollars.

Cui said the Chinese economy is restoring to the normal post-COVID-19 pandemic and both governments are working hard on how to expand imports and exports.

Speaking on the event, Cui said the China’s moon festival is a very important and significant one for China as it symbolises family reunion, national peace and social harmony.

The envoy said the 2021 celebration is also a special one as it coincides with the 50th Anniversary of China-Nigeria’s bilateral relations.

He said that both countries also share Oct. 1 as their National Days.

He said it is also on that note that the Chinese Embassy is honouring 50 Nigerian employees of Chinese Companies in Nigeria for their outstanding performance and contribution to strengthening diplomatic ties.

Dr Ifeoma Anyanwutaku, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, also lauded the Nigeria-China relations.

She said the relations had recorded great successes over the past five decades.

“The five decades of co-operation had since witnessed several cultural activities and exchanges in the spheres of arts, music, dance, exhibition, cultural administration, training and capacity building of cultural officers.

“And recently, the development of Cultural Industries centres in Nigeria, among others.

“I must add that China, through the youth-oriented programmes such as the photos competition and similar activities in the past is surely a dependable ally.

“In redirecting the energy and mind of our youth to creative ventures, thereby furthering the Nigerian government’s policy of lifting a hundred million Nigerians out of poverty in the next 10 years”, Anyanwukatu said. (NAN)

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Lagos Prohibits Open Cattle Grazing, Sanwo-Olu Signs Bill Into Law

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herdsmen

Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Monday, assented to the bill prohibiting Open Cattle Grazing and Trespass of Cattle on Land, signing the legislation into law 11 days after it was unanimously passed by the State House of Assembly and transmitted to the Executive arm for authorisation.

By implication, it is now criminal in Lagos for cattle rearers to occupy unapproved public areas and private land with their livestock for grazing. The law also prohibits the act of moving cattle round public places by herders.

The signing of the anti-open grazing law by the Governor followed the decision of Southern Governors’ Forum last August, setting the September deadline to pass the law across member States.

There have been crises witnessed in some States, resulting from alleged open grazing.

Although farmer-herder crisis is not pronounced in Lagos, the anti-open grazing law is expected to prevent the spillover of the menace into the State.

Sanwo-Olu, who assented to the bill during the State’s Executive Council meeting in Alausa, directed the security agencies to swing immediately into action and enforce provisions of the law.

He said: “By the powers vested in me as the Governor of Lagos State, I am signing the bill on Open Cattle Grazing and Trespass of Cattle on Land into law to prohibit issues associated with open grazing of livestock.”

The Governor also signed legislation transforming the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT) into a full-blown agency.

The development coincided with the commemorative month dedicated to raising awareness on gender-based violence in the State. The Governor and members of the State’s cabinet wore attire with purple shades to support the campaign against sexual violence.

The DSVRT legislation provides for the establishment of Sexual Offenders’ Register that would help the State efficiently tackle violations in the communities.

After signing the law, Sanwo-Olu said: “Raising awareness about domestic and sexual violence is an important piece of working to end the cycle of violence. It is important to reiterate the State Government’s zero tolerance to all forms of sexual and gender-based violence. We will not rest on our oars until the menace is reduced to the barest minimum in Lagos.”

The Governor appointed Mrs. Titilola Vivour-Adeniyi as the Executive Secretary of the new agency.

Vivour-Adeniyi was the coordinator of the response team before the legislation was signed into law.

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ECOWAS Imposes Sanctions on Guinea Junta Over Coups

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ECOWAS Bans Junta-Investors King

West African leaders have decided to impose travel bans and freeze the financial assets of members of Guinea’s ruling junta and their families after a coup more than a week ago.

The decisions were announced Thursday after an Extraordinary Summit on Guinea in Ghana’s capital, Accra. Mediators with the regional group had traveled to Guinea to meet with junta leaders and check on the condition of deposed President Alpha Conde.

ECOWAS president Jean Claude Brou said the West African leaders have also insisted that there should be no “need for very long transition for the country to return to democratic order.”

The targeted sanctions come after Guinea’s coup leaders set a number of conditions for releasing Conde, according to the foreign minister of Ghana.

ECOWAS had already warned it will impose penalties on the junta in Guinea unless it immediately releases Conde, who has been held at an undisclosed location since being detained during the Sept. 5 coup in Conakry.

“We are coming to address a burning issue in the region,” said Ghana’s President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the current chair of the regional bloc, ahead of the summit. He was joined by presidents or high-ranking officials from eight of the other 15 ECOWAS countries.

Members of the ECOWAS delegation that visited Conakry after the coup presented their reports at Thursday’s meeting, said Ghanaian Foreign Minister Shirley Ayorkor Botchway. The junta has set a number of conditions for complying with the demands of regional mediators, she said but declined to disclose what they are.

The delegation has spoken with Conde’s doctor “who ascertained that indeed physically, he’s very well,” she said. However, she said, the ex-president is still coming to terms with the fact that his government has been toppled after more than a decade in power.

“For anybody who has gone through such a traumatic experience like he did, mentally, it’s not the best, not to say that mentally we found anything wrong, but he was quite shocked; he’s still in a state of shock,” she added.

Meanwhile, in Conakry, junta leaders were also set to meet with mining company representatives on the third day of a special summit to chart Guinea’s political future. Junta leader Col. Mamady Doumbouya has sought to reassure the country’s most vital economic sector that the political changes will not impact existing mining projects in the country, which has the world’s largest reserves of bauxite.

Guinea’s coup leaders have yet to make public their proposed timeframe for handing over power to a civilian transitional government, nor have they outlined how quickly new elections can be organized.

Conde had sparked violent street demonstrations last year after he pushed for a constitutional referendum that he used to justify running for a third term, saying term limits no longer applied to him. He ultimately won another five years in office last October, only to be toppled by the coup 10 months later.

At the time he came to power in 2010, he was Guinea’s first democratically elected leader since independence from France in 1958.

The regional bloc also planned to tackle concerns over whether a second member state, Mali, is making enough progress toward a return to democracy more than a year after a military takeover there.

In Mali, the ruling junta led by Col. Assimi Goita has committed to holding new elections by February 2022, though mediators who recently visited have expressed concern about whether that deadline now can be met.

Goita overthrew Mali’s president in August 2020 and then agreed to a civilian transitional government and an 18-month timeframe for holding a vote. However, only nine months after the first coup he effectively staged a second one, firing the civilian interim leaders and ultimately naming himself as president of the transition.

ECOWAS has not reinstated Mali’s membership in the bloc, marking the first time since 2012 that two of the 15 member states are suspended concurrently.

ECOWAS President Brou said there was the need to revisit the organization’s 2001 protocol on good governance “because a lot of things have changed or improved.”

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