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MDAs Owe DisCos N88bn Nationwide – ANED

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The Executive Director, Research and Advocacy, Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors, Mr. Sunday Oduntan, said that the distribution companies were set to carry out a nationwide mass disconnection of debtor-MDAs.

According to Oduntan, as at end of April, 2016, MDAs’ debt profile stood at N88.6bn with the military being the highest with a total of N38.7bn.

The debts profile also shows that the Abuja Disco is owed N18.6bn, Benin Disco N5.8bn, Eko Disco N8.6bn, Enugu Disco N7.2bn, Ibadan Disco N6.8bn, Ikeja Disco N5. 9bn, Jos Disco N6.5bn, Kaduna Disco N8.2bn, Kano Disco, N1.2bn, Port Harcourt Disco N6.8bn and Yola Disco N2.4bn.

Similarly, federal ministries and parastatals owe N9.7bn, while state ministries and parastatals owe a total of N16.2bn debt nationwide.

With a huge N78bn debt, the Ikeja Electric Plc, an electricity distribution company, said on Thursday that the debt profile was affecting its operations.

The Head, Media Communications of the company, Mr Felix Ofulue, said that the huge debt was hindering efficient service delivery to customers in the zone.
He said, “The company’s debt profile stands at N78bn being debts owed by customers within our network.

“Out of this, the Ministries, Departments and Agencies owe over N8.9bn to date, we have designed strategies to embark on mass disconnection of all debtors.

“We have also discussed with authorities of the military, navy, police and MDAs on how to settle their debts and we have been assured of payment very soon.”

Ofulue urged consumers to pay their outstanding debts, adding that it would be difficult to sustain supply of electricity in the zone with the huge debts.

He disclosed that the company had reconnected some of the MDAs following agreed payment modalities.

On consumers who were disconnected in estates and other built-up residential areas for debts owed by the MDAs and the military, Ofule promised that the company would ensure that customers, who did not owe were not unjustly punished.

The spokesman said huge debts by some categories of consumers remained one of the major challenges in ensuring uninterrupted power supply in the country. Ikeja Electric had thrown Gowon Estate near Egbeda in Alimosho Council Area into darkness for several weeks as a result of non-payment of huge electricity bills by officers of the Armed Forces living in the estate.

The civilian population had been at the receiving end of the power cut in the estate, a situation which some residents described as unjust and worrisome.

Ofulue said, “Consumers must continue to pay for energy consumed as DISCOs pay heavily to get electricity distributed across the country; so consumers must reciprocate the gesture by paying their electricity bills promptly.

“MDAs of government are the biggest debtors and this is not helping the business of electricity distribution in the country.

“It is unfortunate that we are experiencing this situation, but that is the reality and we must face it.

“Non-payment of electricity bills is like buying “akara” (beans cake) from the seller regularly without paying. The simple implication is that such a business will not last.

“To remain in business, consumers must pay for every bit of power consumed.’’

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.

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Economy

World Bank Lauds Kogi’s 2020 Financial Statement

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The World Bank has heaped praise on the Government of Kogi State concerning the state’s audited financial statement for 2020. The financial institution was said to have described the financial report as a standard to look up to concerning transparency and accountability in the public sector.

In a statement which was dated November 21, 2021 it was said that the bank made the commendation in a letter which was sent to the Accountant General of the state.

As said in the statement, the letter which was taken by the Kogi State Accountant General on November 2025 was signed by Deborah Hannah Isser, the Task Team Leader of the States Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability Programme (SFTAS), Nigeria Country Office, Western and Central African Region.

SFTAS is a $750 million programme which has been set up to reward states for meeting any or every one of the indicators which demonstrate improvements in fiscal transparency, sustainability and accountability.

The indicators, which are nine in number were a byproduct of the former Fiscal Sustainability Plan of the federal government where States would be rewarded for meeting up to 22 targets.

The World Bank had previously backed the federal government to give incentives to the states in order to properly execute the 22-point Fiscal Sustainability Plan, which has now gone under a revamp as the nine Disbursement Linked Indicators under SFTAS.

Some of the criteria on which judgement will be based on are: improvement in financial reporting and budget reliability, improved cash management, increased openness, citizen participation in the budget process, reduced revenue leakages through the execution of State Treasury Single Account (TSA), a strengthened Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) collection, biometric registration and Bank Verification Number (BVN) used to reduce payroll fraud.

The World Bank commended the Kogi State government for preparing its audited financial statements in line with the basis of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards.

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Economy

Nigeria’s Rigid Forex Policy Discouraging Investors, Fueling Inflation – World Bank

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The World Bank has blamed the Central Bank of Nigeria’s rigid forex policy for the drop in Nigeria’s capital importation and rising inflation rate.

The bank disclosed in its November report, Nigeria Development Update.

Explaining modalities for its position, the World Bank stated that there had been constant pressure on the Nigerian Naira with the current forex policy, forcing the central bank to consistently increase its nominal official exchange rate in an effort to ease some of the pressure.

This, it blamed on the rigid foreign exchange management system of the Central Bank of Nigeria, saying the system has also been responsible for the rising inflation rate in Nigeria.

The report read in part, “The government’s exchange rate management policies continue to discourage investment and fuel inflation. Exchange rate stability is a key CBN policy objective, and to preserve its external reserves the CBN continues to manage FX demand and limit the supply of FX to the market.

“Pressure on the naira remains intense, and while the CBN has raised the nominal official exchange rate three times since the start of the pandemic (by 15 per cent in March 2020, five per cent in August 2020, and seven per cent in May 2021), FX management remains too rigid to respond to external shocks. Meanwhile, exchange-rate management has emerged as one of the key drivers of inflation.”

The World Bank further stated that the central bank foreign exchange system needs to be more flexible to withstand external shocks, especially given Nigeria’s mono-product nature. It added that the NAFEX rate does not reflect the true market rate but the central bank managed rate.

It read in part, “While the CBN supplied an average of $2.5bn to the Investors and Exporters forex window in the months just prior to the COVID-19 crisis, it only supplied an average of $0.5bn in the months thereafter.

“The NAFEX rate, which is now the guiding exchange rate for the economy, continues to be managed and is not fully reflective of market conditions. The parallel market premium over the NAFEX rate reached 29 per cent in August 2021 after the CBN cut off its weekly supply of $20,000 per bureau de change. The CBN has intermittently supplied forex to BDCs since 2005, providing ample opportunities for currency round-tripping.”

The institution however advised that Nigeria adopt a more predictable, transparent and flexible foreign exchange management system in order to attract and sustain private investment flows.

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Nigeria’s Non-oil Revenue Now N1.15 Trillion – Minister of Finance

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Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, has said that Nigeria’s non-oil revenue is now N1.15 trillion, representing 15.7 percent above the country’s target. This, she claimed, was a result of the federal government’s efforts at diversifying the nation’s economy.

Mrs. Ahmed disclosed this at the Institute of Directors (IoD) 2021 Annual Directors Conference which was held on Wednesday in Abuja.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) the event with the theme: “Creating the Future: Deepening the Corporate Governance Practice through Multi-Sectoral and Multi-Generational Collaborations,” was meant to discuss economic development.

Mrs Ahmed added that the recent development was in line with President’s commitment to further diversifying the Nigerian economy which is heavily dependent on oil. She observed that Nigeria was showing resilience in recovery from recession from coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic which intensely affected global economies.

The minister said the federal government alongside the private sector had implemented a wide range of monetary measures to stimulate economic recovery, growth and development, job creation and improved standards of living.

She also explained that the government was doing everything to improve and diversify Nigeria’s revenue generation.

Nigeria was quickly able to exit recession and is on her way to path of sustainable growth and we are intensifying efforts to grow and diversify our revenue sources to grow revenue from the current 8 per cent.”

“Our non-oil revenues have grown to N1.15 trillion, representing 15.7 per cent above set target. We are working on the 2021 finance bill and it’s nearing completion. Also, the recent approval of the medium-term national development plan is an important milestone of Buhari’s commitment to delivering sustainable growth and we require strong support and monitoring during implementation,” she said.

Mrs Ahmed reinforced the government’s decision to do something about infrastructure and reduce the cost of production for businesses in the country.

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