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FG Releases 50% of Funds for Capital Expenditure

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  • FG Releases 50% of Funds for Capital Expenditure

The Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Zaynab Ahmed, on Wednesday said the Federal Government had so far released about 50 per cent of the capital expenditure component of this year’s budget.

She disclosed this while answering questions at a press briefing held at the end of a meeting of the Federal Executive Council presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.

She was joined at the briefing by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed; and Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola.

Ahmed said, “On the borrowing plan that Mr. President has sent to the National Assembly for 2016; indeed, included in the borrowing plan is the amount that is required for both local and foreign borrowing to fund the 2016 budget deficit.

“The budget implementation itself is on course. The 2016 budget is fully performed to date in terms of personnel; that is to say, we are not owing any salaries at the federal level. Operational expenditure has been disbursed for eight months and the ninth month is just being processed. Capital expenditure has been disbursed to the tune of nearly 50 per cent.”

“About N720bn has been released from the MDAs’ budget of N1.4tn as of the end of September.”

Ahmed said the preparation of the 2017 budget was at an advanced stage.

She explained that the Economic Management Team had reviewed it extensively, while the next step was for the document to be taken to the Federal Executive Council for approval, after which it would be sent to the National Assembly.

The minister said the council was also presented with a progress report on the implementation of the government’s social investment programme.

She said there was already an approval from the steering committee in the sum of N150bn, adding that N25bn had been released into the account, while another N40bn was in the process of being released into the account.

Ahmed added that the Homegrown School Feeding Programme arm of the scheme had commenced in Kaduna State, noting that the Federal Government would handle Primary 1-3, while the states would be responsible for Primary 4-6.

She explained, “There is no spending yet on the national social investment programme. We are just kicking off; some funds will be released to the Bank of Industry this week for the EIP programme and for the school feeding programme, it is only after the cooks have performed that they will get their first payment.

“For the job creation programme, it is when the graduates have resumed and have worked for the first month that money will be released to them.”

Fashola, on his part, said the council approved the completion of the 215 megawatts Kaduna power plant, which began in 2009.

He said the project, which was initially meant to be completed in 2012, would now be completed in 2017.

The second project approved by the council, according to Fashola, is the construction of a substation to evacuate 40MW of power from the first phase of the Gurara hydroelectric power plant to connect to Kaduna and to enable it to interconnect to the Mamdo transmission substation, thus strengthening the transmission grid.

The minister stated, “What these two approvals will do is to complete ongoing projects, which is a commitment of this administration, and create work because contractors will return to site, and increase our power by 215MW.

“From Kaduna, we will get 40MW extra into the grid from the Gurara phase one, and we are expanding the transmission (network) across the country.”

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.

Economy

Manufacturing Firms Borrowed N570bn from Banks in 2020 – CBN

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Manufacturing firms borrowed a total of N570bn from Nigerian banks last year amid the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Banks’ credit to the manufacturing sector rose to N3.19tn as of December 2020 from N2.62tn at the end of 2019, according to the sectoral analysis of banks’ credit by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The sector received the second biggest share of the credit from the banks after the oil and gas sector, which got N5.18tn as of December.

“The manufacturing sector, which is the engine of sustainable growth, is still struggling with the debilitating impact of the pandemic and is yet to recuperate,” the Director-General, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Mr Segun Ajayi-Kadir, said in January.

MAN, in a January report, revealed that most manufacturers said commercial banks’ lending rates were discouraging productivity in the sector.

The report said 71 per cent of Chief Executive Officers interviewed “disagreed that the rate at which commercial banks lend to manufacturers encourages productivity in the sector.”

It said the cost of borrowing in the country remained at double digits even amidst the reforms meant to culminate in lower rates to engender the country’s economic recovery process.

The report said, “Special single digit loans offered by development banks are still hard to leverage as conditionalities to assess the loans through commercial banks are often overwhelming and laden with additional charges that will eventually make the interest rate double digit.

“Seven per cent of respondents were, however, of the opinion that the rate at which commercial banks lend to manufacturers encourages productivity in the sector while the remaining 22 per cent were not sure of the impact of the rate of lending on productivity in the manufacturing sector.”

The report showed that 64 per cent of respondent disagreed that the size of commercial bank loan to manufacturing sector had encouraged manufacturing productivity.

It said the very high presence of the government in the money market, particularly through the sale of treasury bills, had been crowding out the private sector from the market.

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Economy

Nigeria Earns Extra N318.4 Billion as Crude Oil Hits $67/Barrel

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FG Generates Additional Income of N318.4 Billion as Crude Oil Hits $67/Barrel

The Federal Government earned an additional N318.36 billion in February following the surge in crude oil price above $60 per barrel.

Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, average $60 throughout the month of February.

In March, it rose to $67 per barrel.

According to the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, Nigeria’s crude oil price was retained at $40 per barrel for 2021.

However, she said the nation is presently producing below its 2.5 million barrel per day capacity at 1.7mbpd. This, she said includes 300,000bpd condensates.

“Although Nigeria’s total production capacity is 2.5mbpd, current crude production is about 1.7mbpd, including about 300,000bpd of condensates, which indicates compliance with OPEC quota,” the finance minister stated.

Going by the number, Nigeria is producing 1.4mbpd of crude oil without condensates, but with an additional $20 revenue when compared to the $40 per barrel benchmark for the year. It means the Federal Government realised an additional income of N318.360 billion or $20 X 1.4mbpd X 30days in the month of February.

Crude oil jumped to $68.54 per barrel on Friday following OPEC+’s decision to role-over production cuts.

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Nigeria, Morocco sign MOUs on Hydrocarbons, Others

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The Federal Government and the Kingdom of Morocco have signed five strategic Memoranda of Understanding that will foster Nigerian-Morocco bilateral collaboration and promote the development of hydrocarbons, agriculture, and commerce in both countries.

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, led the Nigerian delegation to the agreement signing ceremony on Tuesday at Marrakech, Morocco, while the Chief Executive Officer of OCP Africa, Mr Anouar Jamali, signed for the Kingdom of Morocco, according to a statement by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board.

Under the agreement between OCP, NSIA and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Nigeria will import phosphate from the Kingdom of Morocco and use it to produce blended fertiliser for the local market and export.

The statement said Nigeria would also produce ammonia and export to Morocco.

“As part of the project, the Nigerian Government plans to establish an ammonia plant at Akwa Ibom State,” it said.

The Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Mr Simbi Wabote, and the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari, were part of the delegation and they confirmed that their organisations would take equity in the ammonia plant when the Final Investment Decision would be taken, the statement said.

Sylva said the project would broaden economic opportunities for the two nations and improve the wellbeing of the people.

He added that the project would also positively impact agriculture, stimulate the growth of gas-based industries and lead to massive job creation.

He said the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), had mandated the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and it agencies and other government agencies to give maximum support for the project.

“He mandated me to ensure that at least the first phase of this project is commissioned before the expiration of his second term in office in 2023,” he added.

According to the statement, the MOUs were for the support of the second phase of the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative; Shareholders Agreement for the creation of the joint venture company to develop the multipurpose industrial platform and MOU for equity investment by the NNPC in the joint venture and support of the gas.

Other agreements are term sheet for gas sales and aggregation agreement and MOU for land acquisition and administrative facilitation to the establishment of the multipurpose industrial platform for gas sales and aggregation agreement.

The NCDMB boss described the bilateral agreement as significant to the Nigerian economy as it would accelerate Nigeria’s gas monetisation programme through establishment of the ammonia plant in the country.

The agreement would also improve Nigeria’s per capita fertiliser application through importation of phosphate derivatives from Morocco, he added.

Wabote challenged the relevant parties to focus on accelerating the FID, assuring them that the NCDMB would take equity investment for long-term sustainability of the project.

He canvassed for the setting up of a project management oversight structure to ensure project requirements and timelines are met.

“There is also need to determine manpower needs for construction and operations phase of the project and develop training programmes that will create the workforce pool from Nigeria and Morocco and design collaboration framework between research centres in Nigeria and Morocco to develop technology solutions for maintaining the ISBL and OSBL units of the Ammonia complex,” he said.

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