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Nigeria’s Debt Profile Now $57.39bn —DMO

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  • Nigeria’s Debt Profile Now $57.39bn 

The Debt Management Office, DMO, said yesterday that the nation’s total debt profile currently stood at $57.39 billion.

Director-General of DMO, Dr. Abraham Nwankwo, who disclosed this when he appeared before the Senator Shehu Sani’s Committee on Foreign and Local Debts to defend his agency’s budget proposal, said the total debt stock comprised external and domestic debts of the federal government, those of the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, as at December 31, 2016.

This came on a day the Presidency slashed its 2017 budget by N3 billion, in view of the present economic recession in the country.

Nwankwo explained that of the total debt stock, external debt stood at $11.41 billion, while domestic debt stock was put at $45.98 billion.

According to him, the 36 states and FCT accounted for about 32.45 percent of the total external debt as at December 31,2016, while the federal government accounted for about 67.55 percent.

He added that the disaggregated external debt stock of the 36 states and FCT as at June 2016 was $3.65 billion, while the disaggregated domestic debt stock of the states and the FCT as at September 2016 was N2,822.89 billion.

Explaining the increase in the debt profile, Nwankwo said: “We observed that the increase was about 6.5 percent and this was as a result of additional disbursement because we don’t disburse a good number of the external loan we take at a go.”

Nwankwo who noted that the domestic debt stock by instruments as at 31st December, 2016 stood at N11,058,204,296,592.00, adding that federal government bonds were N7,564,937,465,592.00; Nigerian Treasury Bills, N3,277,278,831,000.00; and Treasury bonds, N215,988,000,000.00.

When chairman of the committee, Senator Sani asked why the debt profile had not been forgiven, at least with the goodwill of the present government, the DMO boss said Nigeria would not beg for debt forgiveness, since the economy was in good shape.

Senator Sani, who was apparently not comfortable with the position of the DMO Director- General, said: “It is shocking that in 2016, people don’t find it easy to feed their families, pay the fees of their children, pay their rents. ‘’Now things are in very bad shape, but not typical of somebody who lives with the people, but somebody speaking from an expert point of view to say we are not in a bad position to ask for forgiveness.

‘’These are two things, if you are talking from the point of how our people live nowadays, you will not be able to say such things. But you are speaking naturally as an expert.

‘’Our most concern is the fact that most of the states simply collect money, piled up so many debts for their children and grandchildren and there is nothing to show for it. Many of them couldn’t pay salaries and we have seen how some new sets of cash disbursement were done to them from excess crude account to ecological funds.”

Meanwhile, the Senate was told yesterday that the Presidency has slashed its 2017 budget by N3 billion, even as N94.5 million was budgeted for the purchase of bullet proof tyres for state house officials.

Speaking yesterday in Abuja when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Federal Character and Inter-Governmental Affairs to defend the 2017 Budget, Permanent Secretary, State House, Jalal Arabi, said the budget cut in 2016 from N16,563,395,984 to N13, 567,979,279 in 2017 represented 18.08 percent reduction, compared with the sum appropriated last year.

The Permanent Secretary, who disclosed that the State House had proposed the sum of N4.9 billion for villa maintenance, said it also owed Abuja Electricity Distribution Company, AEDC, N552 million and an outstanding sewage charges of N52.8 million.

He said the N100 million earmarked for kitchen equipment in 2016 budget was not released, noting that “there is a proposal for the sum of N52.8 million in the 2017 budget. The committee may wish to be informed that the bills received from Abuja Environment Protection Board (AEPB) for liquid waste disposal for the state House for 2016 is N15.6 million, with outstanding liabilities of previous years standing at N37.5 million (totaling N52.8m). The figure has remained consistent.

“This informed the provision of the same amount of N52.8 million in 2017. This position was the same sought for in our 2016 proposal but only paltry sum of N6.1 million was appropriated. We have, however, commenced negotiations with AEPB to arrive at a mutually acceptable charge henceforth.’’

Commenting, two members of the committee, Senators Duro Faseyi and Joshua Lidani, expressed displeasure over the level of releases by the Ministry of Finance to the State House.

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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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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Intra-Regional Trade Potential a Key Focus in New Report

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A new focus report, produced by Oxford Business Group (OBG) in partnership with the African Economic Zones Organisation (AEZO), shines a spotlight on the continent’s rapidly developing industrial sector, which is poised to become a key driver of broader economic growth as regional integration increases.

Titled ”Economic Zones in Africa – Focus Report”, the report was launched at the AEZO’s 6th Annual Meeting II, which took place on November 25 at the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat office in Ghana, with participants also able to attend remotely. The meeting was held under the banner “Connecting African Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to Global Value Chains at the era of the AfCFTA” and explored a range of topical issues relating to SEZs, from their potential to boost trade to the impact of Covid-19 on the continent’s supply chains.

The focus report examines the wealth of benefits that the AfCFTA is expected to deliver to both Africa’s economic zones and the businesses located in them, which range from greater market access to a reduction in trade barriers and lower production costs.

The disruption that the pandemic brought to supply chains and the opportunities emerging from the health crisis for businesses to become part of nascent regional value chains across a more closely connected continent are a key focus.

The report also charts the digital transformation taking place in many of Africa’s economic zones, as businesses make the move away from traditional segments to high-tech processes and digital services, adding value to their offerings in the process.

In addition, it provides in-depth analysis of the drive evident among many SEZs to put environmental, social and governance principles and sustainable business practices at the heart of their strategies, at a time when ethical investment and alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals are high on the global agenda.

The report includes in-depth case studies and viewpoints by representatives from key industry players namely: Tanger Med; Polaris Parks; Lagos Free Zones; Ghana Free Zones Authority; Misurata Free Zone; and Sebore Farms.

It also includes a contribution from Ahmed Bennis, Secretary General, AEZO, in which he highlights the role that SEZs are playing in the continent’s industrial transformation and the importance of supporting their development.

“Economic zones can play a game-changing role in Africa’s diversification and inclusion by providing end-to-end solutions and services that support industrial upgrades and increase countries’ attractiveness for investment,” he said. “With the implementation of AfCFTA and the post-Covid-19 recovery that the world is beginning to experience, we believe that real investment opportunities exist in Africa at this moment, which can translate into job creation and social and economic development. Africa has resources that need to be developed and economic zones can play a key role in this.”

Bernardo Bruzzone, OBG’s Regional Editor for Africa, added that while African economic zones had experienced production problems during the pandemic due to global supply chain disruptions, ongoing remedial action, including new infrastructure and human capital development, would help provide resilience against future external shocks.

“Africa’s real GDP growth is forecast to reach 3.4% in 2021, with an increase in intra-regional trade and improved connectivity among the facilitators of economic recovery,” Bruzzone said. “Looking ahead, we see economic zones as having a key role to play in helping the AfCFTA achieve its potential through the development of new strategies that will lead to a more diverse, higher-value range of exports.”

The study forms part of a series of tailored reports that OBG is currently producing with its partners, alongside other highly relevant, go-to research tools, including a range of country-specific Growth and Recovery Outlook articles and interviews.

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Lagos Budget N1.4 Trillion for 2022, Budget Surpasses Five Other Southwest States Combined

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Lagos state government has proposed N1.388 trillion budget for the year 2022. The proposed budget was presented to the House of Assembly on Wednesday.

While presenting the proposed budget, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu said the State would be spending N325 billion on vital infrastructure projects in key sectors to energise and expand the growth of the State’s economy.

The key areas of growth identified by the Governor include Works and Infrastructure, Waterfront Infrastructure Development, Agriculture, Transportation, Energy and Mineral Resources, Tourism, Entertainment and Creative Industry, Commerce and Industry, Wealth Creation and Employment.

The proposed budget, christened “Budget of Consolidation”, will be the last full-year fiscal plan of the State before the next general election.

About N823.4 billion, representing 59 per cent of the 2022 budget, is earmarked for capital expenditure. Recurrent expenditure, representing 41 per cent, is N565 billion, which includes personnel cost, overhead and debt services.

Of the total proposed expenditure, N1.135 trillion would accrue from Internally Generated Revenues (IGRs) and federal transfers, while deficit financing of N253 billion would be sourced from external and domestic loans, and bonds projected to be within the State’s fiscal sustainability parameters.

The State would be earmarking an aggregate of N137.64 billion, representing 9.92 per cent of the 2022 budget, for the funding of green investment in Environment, Social Protection, Housing and Community Amenities.

This financial proposal is presented with a sense of duty and absolute commitment to the transformation of Lagos to a preferred global destination for residence, commerce, and investment. The budget projects to see a continuing but gradual recovery to growth in economic activity as the global economy cautiously recovers from the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic,” the governor said while presenting the budget to the house.

Meanwhile, the 1.388 trillion budgeted for 2022 is higher than the budget of the five other southwest states combined. For 2022, Ekiti State’s budget is 100.7 billion, Osun 129.7 billion, Ondo 191billion, Oyo 294 billion. Ogun’s budget for 2022 is not yet finalised, but going by their 2021 budget of 339 billion, the combined budget of the five South-West states then amount to 1.053 trillion. With this, Lagos state budget is higher than the five states budget with a difference of 335 billion.

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