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N1.15tn Revenue Shortfall Recorded in 2016 –FG

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Internal revenue
  • N1.15tn Revenue Shortfall Recorded in 2016

The National Assembly, on Thursday, scored the Federal Government low on the performance of the capital expenditure in the 2016 budget.

The Federal Government, however, blamed the low performance on revenue shortfall, adding that while the total revenue target was N1.506tn, only N398bn was generated in the 2016 fiscal year, with a revenue shortfall of about N1.15tn.

The government also said it had achieved 55 per cent performance on the N870bn capital expenditure.

These were made known at a forum jointly organised by the Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Appropriations.

The Chairman of the Senate Committee, Senator Danjuma Goje, had asked the Federal Government officials how much had been released and cash-backed, the percentage of releases and percentage of cash backs out of the total budget.

In her presentation, the Minister of State for Budget, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, recalled that the 2016 budget was predicated on an oil benchmark price of $38 per barrel, with an average oil output of 2.2 million barrels per day, and official exchange rate of N197 to a United States dollar.

She added that based on the aggregate revenue of N3.86tn, the size of the 2016 budget was N6.06tn, with a deficit of N2.2tn or 2.14 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product, which was supposed to be financed with local and foreign borrowings as well as recoveries.

Ahmed said, “We had last year prepared a Strategic Implementation Plan for the 2016 budget and this plan was principally prepared to guide the implementation of the budget. To this end, we identified 34 key priority areas and with very clear and verifiable targets.

“However, challenges in the economy have undermined the full realisation of the objectives set out in the SIP. Notwithstanding, for most of 2016, crude oil prices exceeded the benchmark of $38 per barrel. There had been a significant shortfall of projected revenue, which was caused largely by the disruption of crude oil production by militant activities.”

Others factors that affected the 2016 revenue target, she said, were fuel supply shortages, significant challenges with power supply and foreign exchange supply scarcity.

The minister stated, “The shortfall in the level of crude oil exports resulted in significant reduction in government revenues and foreign exchange shortages, which caused the economy to slip into recession. Since 95 per cent of our foreign exchange earnings come from the petroleum sector, this has impacted adversely on the level of non-oil revenues as well. The non-oil revenues were significantly impacted, as a lot of activities, even in the non-oil sector, depend largely on foreign exchange.

“On the expenditure side of the budget, the personnel costs were met completely; debt service obligations were fully met, but capital expenditure was behind targeted estimates. It is, however, important for us to note that by the close of the year, about N834bn was already released as capital expenditure. Let me also say that this is the highest release in the history of our country for a very long time. In fact, it exceeds the aggregate capital expenditure of the 2015 budget.”

The Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, in his presentation, stated that one critical aspect of budget implementation that concerned his office was that of funds release “as appropriated and as approved.”

According to Idris, the total capital payment or releases for 2016 as of Thursday was N870,055,792,283.

He put the amount of Internally Generated Revenue at N398,335,850,749.45, adding, “There was also receipt or approval from FAAC of N4.058tn during the year.”

He said, “In doing that, we have invited the Minister of Finance (Kemi Adeosun) and other officials of the ministry; Minister of Budget (Senator Udo Udoma); Minister of State for Budget (Zainab Ahmed); Director General, Budget Office (Ben Akabueze); the Accountant General of the Federation (Ahmed Idris); Director General, Debt Management Office (Abraham Nwankwo); and the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (Godwin Emefiele).

The session started on a dramatic note when a member of the committee, Senator Jibrin Barau, called the attention of the lawmakers to the absence of some officials from the meeting.

“Chairman, I can see that the Minister of Finance is not here and this is a very important session that the minister needs to be here. I don’t know why she is not here,” he said.

Adeosun later joined the session.

Goje also announced the absence of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, and asked to know his representative.

An Acting Director of the CBN, Mr. Mohammed el-Yakubu, indicated that he was representing Emefiele and expressed the “sincere apologies” of the governor to the lawmakers.

But the announcement angered the lawmakers.

Members of the committee asked that Emefiele’s representative to leave the meeting, insisting that the CBN governor or one of his deputies should be at the meeting.

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

India, Spain, the Netherlands, USA, Nigeria’s Major Export Markets -NBS

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India, Spain and the Netherland top Nigeria’s export markets in the final quarter of 2020, according to the latest data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

The Commodity Price Indices and Terms of Trade Q4 2020 report showed that the United States and China trailed the three.

However, the NBS revealed Nigeria exports mainly crude oil and natural gas during the period under review.

It, “The major export and import market of Nigeria in Q4 2020 were India, Spain, the Netherlands, United States and China.

“The major export to these countries were crude petroleum and natural gas. The major imports from the countries were motor spirits, used vehicles, motorcycles and antibiotics.”

The bureau stated that the all-commodity group import index increased by 0.13 per cent between October and December 2020.

This was driven mainly by an increase in the prices of base metals and articles of base metals (one per cent), boilers, machinery and appliances; parts thereof (1.03 per cent), and products of the chemical and allied industries (0.75 per cent),” it stated.

The NBS, however, noted that the index was negatively affected by animal and vegetable fats and oils and other cleavage products.

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Economy

Onyeama: Qatar To Invest $5bn In Nigeria’s Economy

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The oil-rich state of Qatar is to invest a total of $5 billion in Nigeria’s economy, the Foreign Affairs Minister, Godfrey Onyeama, has disclosed.

Onyeama, who spoke Sunday at a send forth dinner in honour of Nigeria’s Ambassador-designate to the State of Qatar, who is also the outgoing Director of Protocol (DOP) at the State House, Ambassador Yakubu Ahmed, also stated that recent career ambassadorial appointments made by the gederal government was based on merit, experience and professionalism.

The minister further said there had been discussions with Qatar on partnership with Nigeria’s Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF), for significant investments in the region of $5 billion in the Nigerian economy.

According to him, ‘‘Qatar is a weighty and strategic country and very strategic in that part of the world and we are putting our best feet forward to advance the interest of our country economically and in other areas.”

He recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari had visited the State of Qatar in 2016 and the Emir of Qatar, Tamim Bin Hammad Al-Thani, reciprocated with a State visit in 2019.

Onyeama also explained that only trusted hands with a track record of diligence, experience and professionalism in the Foreign Service were recently appointed career ambassadors by the federal government.

The minister said the appointment of Ahmed and other career ambassadors were predicated on posting dedicated and keen Foreign Service practitioners to serve as image makers of the country.

He said: ‘‘Ambassador Yakubu Ahmed is a dedicated professional with a penchant for rigour and detail. He is very capable and one of the best in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He is personable, affable, extremely friendly, dispassionate and objective.

‘‘He is going to head a very important mission, a very important country, reckoned to be one of the richest countries in the world, per capita, and there’s a lot we will be doing with the State of Qatar.”

Also speaking, the Deputy Chief of Staff, Adeola Rahman Ipaye, described the honoree as a ‘‘perfect gentleman, very even-natured and always well turned out’’.

Ipaye said he had no doubt that the newly appointed ambassador would serve the country well in Qatar, adding that: ‘‘We are further encouraged that when he completes this assignment, he would return to serve Nigeria in a higher capacity.’’

In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary, State House, Tijjani Umar, while congratulating the outgoing DOP on his appointment, lauded Ahmed for excellent service to the State House and the nation.

‘‘He served this institution and the nation with the deepest sense of responsibility and it is very important that we establish a tradition where the system appreciates those who have served it well and those who will continue to serve it well,’’ he said.

Umar urged the new envoy to keep very fond memories of his time at the Presidential Villa, assuring him of the prayers and goodwill of all the staff.

Responding, Ahmed thanked President Buhari for the great honour and privilege of making him his principal representative in Doha, Qatar.

The Ambassador-designate pledged to deplore his energy and skill to the promotion of the existing cordial relationship between Nigeria and Qatar, particularly in the areas of economic, political, cultural and consular affairs as well as other key areas.

Ahmed, who joined Nigeria’s Foreign Service in 1993, said during his years in public service he had learnt that ‘‘patriotism, selfless service, diligence, determination and perseverance will always result in the achievement of the desired objective’’.

According to him, these virtues would be his ‘‘watchword’’ in the pursuit of Nigeria’s foreign policy objectives and the attainment of national interests.

The Ambassador-designate singled out for appreciation the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, and the state Chief of Protocol, Ambassador Lawal Kazaure, saying he had learnt a lot working under their mentorship.

He expressed gratitude to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Permanent Secretary, State House for giving him the opportunity of a memorable work experience in the State House.

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Economy

France, Nigeria to Build New Partnership

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France is currently aiming at building a new partnership with Nigeria, with the dispatching of its Minister in charge of Foreign Trade and Attractiveness, Franck Riester, to Nigeria.

Riester, who was expected at the time of filing this report on Monday, is scheduled to visit Nigeria from 12-14 April, 2021.

A statement from the French Embassy in Nigeria said: “Franck Riester is visiting Nigeria from 12 to 14 April, a visit that follows up on the priorities set by French President Emmanuel Macron during his official visit to Nigeria in July 2018 and his desire to build a new partnership between Africa and France.

“As the largest economy in Africa and the economic engine of West Africa, Nigeria is indeed a major partner for France, the first in sub-Saharan Africa with bilateral trade amounting to a total of 4.5 billion USD in 2019 (2.3 billion USD in 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic).”

It disclosed that the minister will have several official meetings in Abuja and Lagos, in order to underline the importance of the bilateral economic relationship and to prepare the summit on the financing of African economies in Paris on 18 May.

It revealed that the objective of the mission is also to further strengthen the links between the French and Nigerian private sectors, and “in this regard, the minister will have in-depth discussions with the main Nigerian economic actors to strengthen bilateral cooperation and investments, both in Nigeria and in France, particularly in the logistics sector”.

It said while in the country, the minister would meet with young Nigerian entrepreneurs in the cultural and creative industries sector, to discuss the major role of their country in African creativity and the development of the African entrepreneurial ecosystem, with the support of France.

It further said: “The minister will also open the ‘Choose Africa’ conference, a €3.5 billion initiative by President Emmanuel Macron dedicated to supporting the development of start-ups and SMEs in Africa to enable the continent to benefit fully from the opportunities of the digital revolution.”

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