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FG Begs AfDB to Fast-Track $1bn Loan

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African Development Bank - Investors King
  • FG Begs AfDB to Fast-Track $1bn Loan

The Federal Government has appealed to the African Development Bank to fast-track the $1bn loan facility it promised as support for the implementation of Nigeria’s 2016 budget.

According to the government, the loan is expected to cover the 35 per cent shortfall in the budget.

The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, made the appeal in Abuja during a meeting with the AfDB team.

The minister, in a statement issued on Sunday by the Director of Information in the ministry, Mr. Adedeji Ajibade, was quoted to have said, “I want to thank you for the support. We value the relationship with the AfDB and we appreciate the budget support. We want the AfDB also to fast-track the loan facility. It is important to note that the AfDB is standing with us.”

Udoma, while giving an overview of the government’s plan to boost the economy and spend out of the current recession, said that the Federal Government was trying to contain the militancy in the Niger Delta as the development had negatively affected oil production.

He said the government was hoping to restore production to 2.2 million barrels per day at the end of the year.

The minister also stated that the government was committing funds to infrastructure development, processing of export zones and providing loans through the Central Bank of Nigeria at a single digit interest rate to support farming.

According to him, the Economic Recovery Plan of the government was designed to consolidate and harmonise all the sectoral plans in a single document and set out in broad details an integrated road map for the growth and sustainability of the country’s economy.

The ERP, he said, was also part of the commitment that the Federal Government made with Nigerians, whether there was a recession or not.

The Director-General, Budget Office of the Federation, Mr. Ben Akabueze, said what the government was doing differently concerning budget releases was that it had shifted from the old practice of releasing funds quarterly to specific requests, which were tied to projects.

Akabueze, according to the statement, said that so far, over N750bn had been released for capital projects and expressed the hope that revenue generation would improve in the second half of the year as the Federal Inland Revenue Service and the Nigeria Customs Service would do better, having overcome some of the challenges faced in the first half of the year.

The statement noted that the AfDB team came to seek further clarifications on policy reforms and the level of budget implementation as touching on capital budget releases.

It stated that the team also requested the minister to highlight if there was any new policy introduced in the 2017 budget, as well as give updates on the Social Protection Policy of the Federal Government.

 

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

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Economy

NLNG Boosts Cooking Gas Production to 1.5 Million Metric Tonnes Annually

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cooking gas cylinder

Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG) has announced a significant milestone in its operations, boosting its annual production of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), commonly known as cooking gas, to over 1.5 million metric tonnes.

This surge in production underscores NLNG’s commitment to meeting the rising demand for clean cooking energy in Nigeria.

The entirety of NLNG’s 1.5 million tonnes production is now being sold domestically within Nigeria.

Moreover, the company has initiated a landmark shift by starting to supply LPG in naira, moving away from the traditional practice of trading in United States dollars.

This move aligns with calls from stakeholders in the oil and power sectors advocating for naira transactions, especially amidst the challenges posed by currency fluctuations.

During a panel session at the 7th Nigeria International Energy Summit in Abuja, NLNG’s General Manager of Finance, Fatima Adanan, highlighted the company’s dedication to enhancing LPG penetration across the country.

Adanan emphasized NLNG’s vision to make Nigeria a better place by promoting the use of cleaner energy sources like gas.

While NLNG’s production surge is commendable, Adanan acknowledged that Nigeria’s LPG requirements surpass the current output, necessitating imports to bridge the gap.

However, NLNG remains committed to expanding its production capacity to meet the nation’s energy needs and drive increased adoption of LPG as a cleaner cooking fuel.

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Economy

CBN Raises Benchmark Interest Rate by 400 Basis Points to 22.75%

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Dr. Olayemi Michael Cardoso

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has raised the benchmark interest rate by 400 basis points to a record 22.75%.

The decision made by the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) comes amidst rising inflationary pressures and growing uncertainty in Africa’s largest economy.

Nigeria’s inflation rate rose to 29.90% in January 2024, the highest in over two decades while the nation’s unemployment rate quickened to 5% in the third quarter of 2023. Suggesting that the rising costs have continued to drag on both new job creation and the existing ones.

This coupled with a series of policy adjustments implemented by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has plunged economic productivity and eroded consumer spending as citizens grapple with high fuel prices, electricity tariffs, a record-high foreign exchange rate, and insecurities.

Therefore, it is surprising that the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) led by the CBN will further increase borrowing costs by 400 basis points at a time when job creation is paramount.

While the economy reportedly grew by 3.46% in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2023 on the back of robust performance of the services sector, this growth is yet to crystalise as businesses and citizens have taken to the street protest against the harsh economic situation.

Economic experts have started questioning the data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) given its lack of correlation between the data and economic reality.

 

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Economy

President Tinubu Unveils Geometric Power Plant in Aba After 20-Year Wait

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Geometric Power Plant

After two decades of anticipation, President Bola Tinubu, through his representative Vice President Kashim Shettima, inaugurated the long-awaited Geometric Power Plant in Aba, a significant milestone in the city’s quest for reliable electricity supply.

The event, which also saw the commissioning of three rehabilitated roads by Abia State Governor Alex Otti, symbolizes the culmination of years of perseverance and determination to transform Aba’s power landscape.

Addressing the audience, Vice President Shettima hailed the project as a testament to the power of visionary leadership and unwavering commitment to progress.

He said the Geometric Power Plant exemplifies the transformative impact of strategic infrastructure investments on local communities.

Governor Otti echoed similar sentiments, emphasizing the importance of the power project in positioning Aba as a hub for national and international business ventures.

He commended the efforts of Geometric Power Limited while urging them to uphold transparency and avoid exploiting consumers.

The inauguration of the Geometric Power Plant comes amidst growing concerns over Nigeria’s power infrastructure and the need for sustainable solutions to address electricity shortages.

The project, with a capacity of 188MW, holds promise for significant improvements in power supply across Abia State, benefitting nine out of seventeen local government areas.

The Managing Director of Geometric Power Limited, Ben Caven, underscored the scale of investment involved, totaling $800 million.

He highlighted the comprehensive nature of the project, which includes the installation of new power substations and a 27km natural gas pipeline, signaling a comprehensive approach to enhancing Aba’s energy infrastructure.

In conclusion, the inauguration of the Geometric Power Plant represents a transformative moment for Aba, offering renewed hope for economic growth and prosperity powered by reliable electricity supply.

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