Domestic Debt Servicing Gulped N2.95tn in Five Years
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.
Asiwaju Bola Tinubu Petitions NBC to Sanction Channels TV Over Alleged Breach of Broadcasting Code
Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the President-elect, has reportedly filed a petition with the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), calling for the sanction of Channels Television for allegedly breaching the Nigerian Broadcasting Code.
The petition alleges that the TV station allowed its guest, Labour Party Vice Presidential candidate Datti Baba-Ahmed to make several incendiary comments that impugned the integrity of the 25 February 2023 Presidential elections.
According to Tinubu’s petition, Baba-Ahmed claimed that the Labour Party won the election, which is “a fallacy and not correct,” and he alleged that President Buhari should not swear in the President-elect because he did not score 25% of the vote in the FCT, which is a prerequisite for being declared the winner.
Tinubu also accused Baba-Ahmed of making subversive, inciting, and inflammatory comments, which breached the Nigerian Broadcasting Code.
The petition calls on NBC to apply sanctions against Channels TV, stating that the TV station’s guest was “not only provocative but also inciting the public and the Labour Party followers to delegitimize the outcome of the elections but also propagate resistance against the incoming duly elected administration of Bola Ahmed-Tinubu and Kashim Shettima.”
This development comes amid tensions and uncertainties surrounding the aftermath of the 2023 Nigerian Presidential elections with some political parties and their supporters contesting the results and calling for a rerun. The Nigerian Broadcasting Code aims to regulate the activities of broadcasters and ensure that they promote national unity, peace, and social harmony, among other objectives.
NBC is yet to respond to Tinubu’s petition or issue any statement on the matter. However, this petition highlights the need for broadcasters and media houses to uphold journalistic ethics and professional standards, especially during sensitive periods like elections.
Court of Appeal Upholds Adeleke’s Victory in Osun State Governorship Election
In a landmark judgement, the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has affirmed the victory of Senator Ademola Adeleke as the rightful governor of Osun State.
The ruling, which comes as a surprise to many, overturned the decision of the Osun State Governorship Tribunal which had earlier nullified Adeleke’s election victory.
Following the governorship polls in the state, an Election Petition Tribunal had sacked Adeleke from office, citing his failure to secure the majority of lawful votes during the July 16 governorship polls. However, in a unanimous agreement by a three-man panel led by Justice Mohammed Shuaibu, the Court of Appeal quashed the tribunal’s judgment and gave its verdict to uphold Adeleke’s victory.
The Appeal Court Panel revoked the tribunal’s order which directed that a Certificate of Return be withdrawn from Adeleke and issued to his predecessor and All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Gboyega Oyetola. The panel held that the Osun State Tribunal was wrong to have said that there was overvoting, a claim that only relied on the evidence by Oyetola and the APC, and as such, doesn’t prove their case in any way.
The judge faulted Oyetola and APC, that they only relied on the data from the back end server and failed to look at the voters register which forms the foundation of the whole electoral process and as such, cannot strengthen their allegations of overvoting. The court also resolved in favour of Adeleke on the issue of jurisdiction, stating that section 285(8) of the constitution as amended, the court has every right to entertain the appeal.
The ruling is a significant victory for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Adeleke, who had been locked in a legal battle with the APC over the governorship position since the election. Many Nigerians have applauded the Court of Appeal’s decision as a step towards consolidating the country’s democracy and upholding the rule of law.
The decision has also set a precedent for future electoral disputes in the country, as it highlights the importance of credible evidence in proving electoral malpractice claims. This ruling has shown that allegations of overvoting cannot be sustained without concrete evidence from the voters register, and political parties must be thorough in their investigations and presentation of evidence in such cases.
NIMC: Presidential Council Faults N1000 NIN Fee, Demands Review
The recently announced N1000 National Identification Number (NIN) verification fee for the application, issuance and renewal of international passports by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has been criticised.
The Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council, PEBEC faulted the mandated charge and called for a review.
Investors King had earlier reported that NIMC declared that Nigerians living in the country will pay N1000, while Nigerians residing in other African countries will pay $3 or its equivalent in other currencies and those in other continents across the world will pay $10 or its equivalent in other countries as NIN verification fee for application, issuance and renewal of their international passports.
Reacting to the development, the Special Adviser to the President on Ease of Doing Business/PEBEC Secretary, Jumoke Oduwole, in a statement, emphasised the need for a review to make citizens enjoy quicker and less expensive government services.
Oduwole, who commended the collaboration between NIMC and Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), said such a partnership will enhance passport services.
She noted that stakeholders are not impressed with the extra charge to be paid for the NIN verification before they can process their passports.
According to her, the outline of the Business Facilitation (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2022 signed into law by the President Muhammadu Buhari on February 8, 2023 states that where an applicant requires the service of a ministry, department or agency, the MDA involved is mandated to conduct the necessary verification or certification from relevant MDAs, in respect of the applicant.
Investors King understands that PUBEC was set up in 2016 by President Buhari with the aim of curbing hectic bottlenecks and bureaucratic limitations accompanied with owning and managing business enterprises in Nigeria.
The chairman of the council is the vice president, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo. PUBEC has since its existence periodically issued EO1 Compliance Reports containing monthly reports of Ministries, Departments and Agencies submitted to the council.
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