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States Back FG on Probe of Bailout Spending

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  • States Back FG on Probe of Bailout Spending

The decision of the Federal Government to audit the utilisation of the N510bn stimulus package that was disbursed to states last year has received the backing of the commissioners for finance of the 36 states of the federation.

The endorsement was confirmed by the Chairman, Forum of Finance Commissioners of the Federation Account Allocation Committee, Mahmoud Yunusa.

Yunusa, while speaking during an interview in Abuja on the sidelines of this month’s FAAC meeting, said the states would cooperate with the audit firms appointed by the government to carry out the exercise.

The Federal Government had last month appointed eight accounting firms to evaluate the rate of compliance by state governments with the implementation of the Fiscal Sustainability Plan, which they signed onto in June last year.

A total of 35 states signed onto the plan, with Lagos being the only one that backed out of the agreement.

The appointment of the firms was confirmed by the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, through a statement issued by the Director of Information in the Ministry of Finance, Mr. Salisu Dambatta.

The eight accounting firms are PricewaterhouseCoopers, KPMG Professional Services, Ernst & Young, PKF Professional Services, Muhtari Dangana & Co., S. S. Afemikhe & Co., Ahmed Zakari & Co., and Ijewere & Co.

The FSP is a condition given by the Federal Government before it commenced the disbursement of the N510bn budget support facility to the states to enable them pay their workers’ salaries.

Before the conditional loan was released by the Federal Government, about 27 states were unable to pay the salaries of their workers.

Reacting to the development, Yunusa said the scarcity of resources to implement the programmes of government owing to the economic recession had made it imperative for the states to be prudent and transparent in the area of financial management.

He said, “The plan of the Federal Government to audit the fiscal sustainability plan of the states is welcome. It is welcome because we have nothing to hide in the states. The resources are no longer there; and so, whatever resources that we have must be effectively, transparently and judiciously used for the benefit of the people.

“The expectations of the people are very high and the resources are very lean day-by-day; and so, we have to add value to the people. People are clamouring for change and we have to look for a way to ensure that the lives of people are changed.”

Yunusa pledged that the states would work with the Federal Government to address the current recession in the country.

Yunusa, who is the Commissioner for Finance in Adamawa State, said the target of the states now was to generate enough revenue internally to pay salaries.

He gave an assurance that once this was done, whatever allocation received from the Federation Account would be used by the states for capital projects.

He said, “The recession is a problem but we should see it as a blessing in disguise, because before now, all the states relied solely on the Federal Government; but now, because the money is no longer there, we are now forced to look inward for the opportunities and potential in our respective states and how to exploit them.

“We have to reduce the cost of governance and plug all the loopholes in our expenditure. This problem has helped us to look at our revenue and restructure our expenditure to fit into the realities that we have on the ground.”

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.

Finance

CBN Pays N14.35 Billion for 263,860 Meters to End Estimated Billings

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CBN Pays N14.35 Billion for 263,860 Meters to End Estimated Billings

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said it has disbursed a total sum of N14.35 billion to the Distribution Companies of Nigeria (DisCOs) for the payment of 263,860 meters under the National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP).

In November 2020, the Federal Government announced that it would make funds available for 1 million meters in the first phase of President Buhari Mass Metering Initiative at no cost to consumers.

Between November 2020 and January 2021, the Federal Government through the CBN has disbursed N14.35 billion.

However, according to the apex bank DisCOs must pay back the amount disbursed based on the previously agreed amortisation schedule.

The facility disbursed is a loan that must be repaid by the DisCos on the basis of the previously agreed amortisation schedule. The repayment is to be deducted from payments made by consumers into the DisCos accounts with Deposit Money Banks (DMBs),” the CBN stated.

The maximum tenor of the facility is 10 years but not exceeding 2030, while the moratorium on the principal amount is for a period not exceeding 24 months from the date of loan disbursement.

A week ago, the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) announced it has commenced the distribution of 104,0000 free meters in Ibadan, Oyo State.

This, the IBEDC said was under the ongoing National Metering Scheme of president Muhammadu Buhari.

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FG Borrows N2.36 Trillion from Capital Market in 2020

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FG Borrows N2.36 Trillion from Capital Market in 2020

Mr. Oscar Onyema, the Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Stock Exchange, said the Federal Government borrowed N2.36 trillion from the nation’s capital market in 2020.

The CEO disclosed this at the 2020 market recap/2021 outlook held on Tuesday.

He said the Federal Government issuances account for 92 percent of the total bond issued in the market in the year.

Onyema further explained that corporate organisations leveraged on low yield environment to expand and embark on debt refinancing, raising a total of N192 billion,

Capital-raising activities in the fixed income market increased significantly in 2020. The NSE’s bond market capitalisation rose by 35.52 per cent from N12.92tn in 2019 to N17.50tn,” he said.

Onyema noted that “The year 2020 was indeed a historic one for global capital markets. Facing buffeting headwinds, world markets saw sharp swings and steep losses, but largely remained resilient and orderly amid rising uncertainty.

“For The Exchange, renewed investor optimism coupled with improved economic conditions and low fixed income yields, propelled a year end bull run. Of 93 global equity indices tracked by Bloomberg, the NSE All Share Index emerged the best-performing index in the world, surpassing the S&P 500 (+16.26 per cent), Dow Jones Industrial Index (+7.25 per cent) and other global and African market indexes, to post a one-year return of +50.03 per cent.

Speaking on product results for the year, the CEO said, “The Nigerian equities market got off to a strong start in 2020, returning 10.4 per cent by the eighth trading session. By October, the equities market entered a much-awaited bull run.

“Buoyed by the formal declaration of the US president-elect, unattractive fixed income yields and better-than-expected corporate earnings, the NSE ASI recovered from Q1’20, to close the year at 40,270.72 (+50.03 per cent) and erase losses of -14.90 per cent recorded in 2019.

“During its remarkable year end run, the ASI gained 6.23 per cent in a single trading session which triggered a 30-minute halt of trading on all stocks for the first time since the NSE Circuit Breaker was introduced in 2016 to safeguard market integrity in periods of extraordinary volatility.

“At the close of the year, the NSE’s equity market capitalisation was up by 62.42 per cent, from N12.97tn in 2019 to N21.06tn in 2020 while market turnover saw an uptick of 7.25 per cent, from N0.96tn in 2019 to N1.03Tn in 2020.

“Although Initial Public Offering activity was mute, the value of supplementary issues increased dramatically from 2019, rising by 851.37 per cent to N1.42tn, from N148.77bn.

“Also noteworthy is that for the second consecutive year, equity market transactions were dominated by domestic investors who accounted for 65.28 per cent of market turnover by value (retail: 44.98 per cent; institutional: 55.02 per cent) while foreign portfolio investors accounted for 34.72 per cent.”

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Airtel to Announce Financial Results for Nine Months Ended December 31, 2020 on 29 January 2021

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Airtel to Announce Financial Results for Nine Months Ended December 31, 2020 on 29 January 2021

Airtel Africa, one of the leading telecommunications companies in Africa, on Wednesday announced it will report its financial statements for the nine months ended December 31, 2020 on January 29, 2021.

The telecom giant disclosed in a statement signed by Simon O’Hara, Group Company Secretary.

The statement reads “Airtel Africa, a leading provider of telecommunications and mobile money services, with a presence in 14 countries across Africa, will announce its results for the nine months to 31 December 2020 on 29 January 2021.

“Management will host a conference call on the day of results for analysts and investors at 2:00pm GMT.

“Participants are requested to pre-register for the call by navigating to:
www.diamondpass.net/4467631

“Once registered, participants will receive a calendar invitation with the dial in details for the call.”

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