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Economy

FG Bars MDAs From Spending Internally Generated Revenues

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Nigeria tax revenue
  • FG Bars MDAs From Spending Internally Generated Revenues

To stop the high incidence of unremitted operating surpluses that stood at N450bn as of last year, the Federal Government has barred its Ministries, Departments and Agencies from spending Internally Generated Revenues that are not appropriated in their annual budgets.

Also, declaring deficits will no longer provide an escape route for the MDAs to avoid payment of operating surpluses, investigation has shown.

According to a new template for reporting and payment of operating surpluses by the MDAs, which will soon be launched, the Federal Government says the presence of deficit in the account of an MDA can actually indicate an operating surplus hidden under unauthorised expenses.

Investigation showed that the new template, which is a guide to the MDAs on the payment of operating surpluses, would bar them from spending their IGR unless such funds had been appropriated in the respective MDAs’ budgets for the year.

It also specifies some items that the MDAs are barred from spending money on, which hitherto had prevented them from paying operating surpluses to the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federal Government.

The Fiscal Responsibility Commission Act, 2007 specifies that the MDAs should remit 80 per cent of their annual operating surpluses to the Consolidated Revenue Fund, but many of the MDAs have been accused of spending their operating surpluses.

The Ministry of Finance recently revealed that 33 MDAs failed to remit a total of N450bn resulting from their operating surpluses between 2010 and 2015.

Our correspondent learnt that the new template mandated investigating authorities, which could be the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation or the Fiscal Responsibility Commission to scrutinise deficit accounts of the affected MDAs in order to identify and remove unauthorised expenditures.

Sources close to finance authorities told our correspondent in Abuja on Thursday that the measure had become necessary in order to boost government revenues in view of the dwindling income from the nation’s oil resources.

The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, had recently disclosed fresh moves by the Federal Government to recover N450bn from the MDAs, which they failed to remit between 2010 and 2015.

According to her, demand notices have been issued to 33 agencies, which are responsible for the unremitted funds. The agencies include the Corporate Affairs Commission, Nigerian Communications Commission, Nigerian Maritime Administrative and Safety Agency and the Nigerian Ports Authority.

The articulation of a new template was consequent upon the audit of the accounts of the concerned agencies that revealed massive unremitted funds by the 33 agencies of the Federal Government.

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

FG Launches E-ticketing Platform to Deepen Train Usage and Convenience

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FG Launches E-ticketing Platform to Deepen Train Usage and Convenience

In a bid to improve the usage and enhance the convenience of train transport in Nigeria, the Federal Government on Thursday announced the launching of the Electronic Ticketing platform for the Kaduna-Abuja rail services.

The N900 million E-ticketing platform was introduced by the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike R. Amaechi, and the Nigerian Railway Corporation.

Amaechi said the new platform would improve efficiency, promote accountability, reduce leakage and enhance economic growth, as well as save time.

The E-ticketing platform was a Public-Private Partnership project done in conjunction with Secure ID Solutions, who provide and would manage the system for 10 years in an effort to recoup its investment before the Nigerian Railway Corporation take charge.

Kofo Akinkugbe, the Chief Executive Officer, Secure ID Solutions, said as the new E-platform issued 25,000 tickets after a successful pilot test on Thursday.

Potential Travelers can book via three ways:

1. Mobile app
2. Website
3. POS or Cash at the station

A validator would be used to scan the ticket barcode to ascertain its authenticity before boarding.

Amaechi further announced that self-service ticket vending machines at various train stations would be introduced soon.

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Economy

Nigeria’s Excess Crude Account (ECA) Balance Now $72.4 Million

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Zainab Ahmed Finance Minister

Nigeria’s Excess Crude Account (ECA) Balance Now $72.4 Million

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, on Thursday said Nigeria’s Excess Crude Account (ECA) stood at $72,411,197.80 as of January 20th, 2021.

The minister disclosed this at the first National Economic Council (NEC) meeting of the year presided over by Yemi Osinbajo, Vice President and had in attendance State Governors, Federal Capital Territory Minister, Central Bank Governor and other senior government officials.

Ahmed said “Excess Crude Account (ECA), balance as at 20th January, 2021, $72,411,197.80; Stabilization Account, balance as at 19th January, 2021, N28,800,711,295.37; Natural Resources Development Fund Account, balance as at 19th January 2021, N95, 830,729,470.82.”

The minister also said President Muhammadu Buhari has approved N6.45 billion for the setting up of gas plants in 39 locations nationwide in an effort to increase COVID-19 treatment.

What is Excess Crude Account (ECA)

Excess Crude Account (ECA) is an account used to save the disparity in the market price of crude oil and budgeted price of crude oil as stipulated in the Federal Government Appropriation Bill.

Key Takeaways of Excess Crude Account (ECA)

  • Excess Crude Account (ECA) was established in 2004 by the Federal Government to stabilize Nigeria’s economy and smooth out the effect of crude oil fluctuation on Africa’s largest economy.
  • The ECA rose to its highest of $20 billion in November 2008 during the global oil boom when prices were above $100 per barrel.
  • Controversy, allegations of corruption, and uncertain performance have trailed the ECA since creation.
  • The balance plunged from $20 billion in 2008 to $72.4 million in January 2021.

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Economy

AfCFTA: Nigeria Customs Service Requested For Detailed Role In The Free Trade Agreement

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Container Shipping

AfCFTA: Nigeria Customs Service Requested For Detailed Role In The Free Trade Agreement

Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) requested for a proper and detailed role expected to be carried out in the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement.

The NCS said detailed explanations of roles and responsibilities of all parties involved in the free trade agreement should be spelled out to avoid overlapping of duties and to achieve a seamless implementation of AfCFTA.

Mr. Joseph Attah the Public Relations Officer, on behalf of the Comptroller-General of the NCS, Col Hameed Ali (Rtd.), issued a statement to address the call for a detailed role of the Customs.

“Our functions are highly automated and primarily systems-driven, hence the need to methodically harvest and integrate all data associated with AfCFTA into our system for easy deployment, access, and use by the trading public.

“We, therefore, await the National Action Committee (NAC) on the list of duties and charges waived for liberalised goods under AfCFTA. The list of the 90 percent liberalised national trade offers (NTOs); list of the 70 percent non-liberalised exclusive goods at the regional level; and list of the 3 percent non-liberalised sensitive goods.

“The appointment of a competent authority responsible for issuing and authenticating certificates of origin and registering enterprises and products within the region.” He said.

In the statement, NCS pledges commitment to the success of the trade pact and also identifies the transformational impact the free trade agreement would have on businesses in Nigeria and the Africa continent at large.

“Also, it is pertinent to inform the public about steps which must be taken to enable its smooth and full implementation,” He added

NCS recommended that the member-country of the free trade agreement should have a representative in the continental chamber, this is to ensure transparency and build the confidence of the members in the system.

“This, in our view, should be complementary to the activities of the various chambers of commerce of each country in the region. While awaiting clear directives concerning tariffs for all goods covered by this agreement, we want to assure the public of our preparedness to fully deploy our services at the shortest notice.

“Our desire is to imbue trust in the system while guaranteeing the economic safety and wellbeing of businesses within the country,”  NCS noted.

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