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Revenue Shortfall: FG Borrows N600bn in Six Months

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The Federal Government borrowed a total of N600bn between January and June this year to augment the shortfall in revenue caused by various challenges affecting oil and non-oil receipts.

The amount, which was borrowed from the domestic market, was contained in a presentation made by the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, to civil society groups on the proposed Medium Term Expenditure Framework 2017-2019.

The MTEF, which is expected to be submitted to the National Assembly in October, provides the basis for annual budget planning and consists of a macroeconomic framework that indicates fiscal targets, estimates, revenues and expenditure,  including government’s financial obligations in the medium term.

The document, prepared by the Ministry of Budget and National Planning, also sets out the underlying assumptions for these projections, provides an evaluation and analysis of the previous budget, and presents an overview of the consolidated debt and potential fiscal risks.

The N600bn borrowed in the first six months of this year, according to the document, is about 33 per cent of the N1.8tn approved borrowing in the 2016 budget.

The minister stated in the presentation that the 2016 budget performance was reflective of the low revenue output attributable to the global and domestic development.

For instance, Udoma said oil revenue fell significantly in the second quarter of this year compared to the first quarter as a result of increased pipeline vandalism and production shut-ins.

The minister stated, “Non-oil revenues declined compared with forecasts in the budget due to slow-down in economic activities and the acute shortage of foreign exchange.

“The shortfall was augmented by domestic borrowing amounting to N600bn, about 33 per cent of approved borrowing of N1.81tn.”

Since the beginning of this year, gross revenue into the Federation Account has been experiencing a huge decline owing to the shutdown of production for repairs of critical infrastructure.

For instance, there had been explosions at the Escravos oil export terminal, while force majeure was declared at the Brass terminal in January and February as a result of attacks on oil facilities.

The 2016 budget, which was signed by President Muhammadu Buhari on May 6 this year, had projected daily oil production output of 2.2 million barrels, with the budgeted oil benchmark price of $38 per barrel.

Based on the budget, the Federal Government had projected a total revenue of N3.86tn where oil-related revenues were expected to contribute N820bn.

In the same vein, non-oil revenues comprising Companies Income Tax, Value Added Tax, Customs and Excise duties and Federation Account levies are expected to contribute N1.45tn, while N1.51tn is projected to be earned as independent revenues from the Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government through strict compliance with the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007.

Speaking on the borrowing, financial analysts blamed the development on the inability of the country to effectively diversify its sources of revenue away from oil.

They said that with diversification, the government would be able to generate enough revenue to fund its operations.

Those who spoke on the issue in separate telephone interviews with our correspondent are a former Acting Managing Director, Unity Bank Plc, Mr. Muhammed Rislanudeen; and President, Institute of Fiscal Studies of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Ighedosa.

Ighedosa said, “We have a high fiscal deficit, which can only be funded through borrowing. When you borrow for investment, it improves the position on your balance sheet; and when you borrow for consumption, it can cause problems for the economy as it will affect the level of confidence in the economy from investors, because they will assume we can’t manage our economy.

“We already have a debt overhang, and as it is, we are building that up and so there is a need to reduce the rate of borrowing.”

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Ibom MRO to Bring in Forex to Nigeria 

Akwa Ibom State to open a cutting-edge smart terminal building at the Victor Attah International Airport

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The governor of Akwa Ibom State, Governor Udom Emmanuel, has announced that the state is close to opening a cutting-edge smart terminal building at the Victor Attah International Airport and that this will generate foreign exchange for Nigeria. 

Investors King has also learnt that an MRO facility for aircraft would be operational from January.

This comes on the heels of praise from his Edo State counterpart, Gov. Godwin Obaseki, who attended the Tuesday reception in Uyo for two additional A320-200 Airbus aircraft that the state’s Ibom Air fleet had leased from a European company.

Speaking at the event, the governor of Akwa Ibom said that while there were already efforts underway to persuade the government to lease the MRO, the MRO is an investment because it was built with naira, despite its current depreciation, and will therefore generate income.

The Akwa Ibom governor said “Our terminal building is world-class in Africa, our MRO is world-class. If you find one today in the entire Gulf of Guinea, tell me I’ll disassemble this one and build another.

“Look at our MRO; what you see here can accommodate two 747 aircraft as well as eight CRJ aircraft, which we are flying for servicing at the same time.”

“This is the only MRO in this part of the world today, and these facilities are not built with local currency, but we are building this MRO with naira that has no value.”

“I invest in areas where we can see a return on our money. Right now without blinking an eye, I can make over $ 30 million with this MRO if we decide to sell but we are not selling, we will make a foreign exchange from this investment.

“Airbus is on us to come and lease our MRO for all their regional flights, but we are not selling.

“We are going to open up this place ( MRO facility) from January next year for commercial activities and we are going to earn in dollars.”

He thanked Ibom Air’s Board of Directors, Management, and Staff for making him proud, emphasising that “they have done very well.”

Gov. Obaseki, who spoke at the event, stated that Akwa Ibom has become the country’s flagship state for its efforts to invest in and make significant strides in the aviation sector.

Obaseki described Akwa Ibom as the country’s flagship state for its efforts to invest in and expand the aviation sector. “Ibom Air is always completely booked.” Let me thank you on behalf of Nigerians,’’ Obaseki said.

In his remarks, the Managing Director of Ibom Airlines., Mr Mfon Udom announced plans to begin regional flights in 2023.

Udom said the new addition to the fleet of Ibom Air would expand its carrying capacity and boost employment opportunities in the state by 40 per cent.

“With this new capacity coming on board, we are delighted to inform our passengers that we have increased our offerings, providing more frequencies for their convenience.

“The Uyo-Lagos and Uyo-Abuja routes now have three frequencies each every weekday, while our Lagos-Abuja passengers will have seven frequencies to choose from both ways, every weekday,’’ he said.

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Lagos State Boosts Food Supply With Mass Sale of Rice and Cooking Oil

LAISA has commenced the massive sale of rice and soya bean vegetable oils ahead of the December festival

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Lagos state government through the Lagos State Agricultural Inputs Supply Authority (LAISA) has commenced the massive sale of rice and soya bean vegetable oils ahead of the December festival.

The sale which is taking place at different locations in the state is already attracting massive buyers. 

According to the General Manager of LAISA, Mr Bolaji Balogun, places where potential buyers can get the products include New Farm Service Oko-Oba Centre, and Gengeto Bus stop, Abeokuta Road, Lagos.

While speaking to the press, Balogun disclosed that available products include 50kg of rice and 1-3 litres of soya vegetable oil all sold at affordable prices. 

The GM added that the food sale event was a response to the yearnings of Lagosians who demanded affordable rice and cooking oil for the yuletide festival. 

He noted that several people came to LAISA stand for the request at the just concluded Lagos Trade Fair. 

Investors King understands that the Lagos State Agricultural Inputs Supply Authority (LAISA) was established with the mandate to boost food supply in the state and also provide the necessary support such as farm tools to farmers. 

” As a responsible agency of government, LAISA will continue to provide customers/farmers with high quality and healthy food supply at affordable prices as and when available. We also intend to continue to support and encourage farmers on the best farming practice as well,” Balogun noted. 

Meanwhile, the Federal Government has replied to a statement credited to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that Nigeria will face food crisis in 2023.

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development opposed the position of the global financial institution stating that Nigerians should not panic nor worry about the projection. 

The ministry added that several measures had been put in place to forestall any scarcity of food in Nigeria. 

It added that the government had approved a five-year tax break as an incentive to encourage private investments in the agricultural sector and increased food production, processing and marketing.

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U.S 2024 Elections: Donald Trump Declares For President

Former President of the United States, Donald Trump has once again showcased interest to seek the oval office after he failed re-election in 2020.

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President Trump Signs Executive Order In Oval Office Of The White House

Former President of the United States, Donald Trump has once again showcased interest to seek the oval office after he failed re-election in 2020. Trump will be expected to tussle the Republic ticket with other potential nominees. 

At his private beach on Tuesday night, Trump said “In order to make America great and glorious again, I am tonight announcing my candidacy for president of the United States”. 

Trump’s ambition might however not be “Uhuru” as his party, the Republican failed to perform as expected in the midterm election. Although the Republican has been projected to win the majority seats in the house, the party, however, lost the senate including key states. 

In addition, the former US president will likely face stiff opposition from his party as potential co-contestants include his former Vice President Mike Pence and the Governor of Florida Ron DeSantis, who won a resounding reelection victory on November 8.

Unfazed by the opposition and confident in his large following, Trump said “This is not a task for a politician or a conventional candidate. This is a task for a great movement.”

Investors King could recall that in 2020, Donald Trump lost to Joe Biden (Democrat). 

After his exit from office, there have been a number of investigations into his conduct before, during and after his first term as president which could ultimately result in his disqualification.

He is also investigated for inciting violence which led to the drastic attack on the Capitol building on January 6, 2021.

Meanwhile, analysts and observers are divided on Trump’s potential comeback. 

The mid-term election result shows that voters rejected candidates who backed Trump’s baseless claims of election fraud in 2020, and many of his high-profile picks for office struggled or lost out in the race. 

It could be recalled that Donald Trump alleged manipulation in the 2020 presidential election which produced President Joe Biden. Trump claimed he was rigged out and tried to establish a conspiracy to back up his claim.

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