- Fayemi Briefs Buhari on $150m W’Bank Mining Loan
The Minister of Solid Mineral Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, on Thursday informed President Muhammadu Buhari of the $150m loan approved by the World Bank for the country’s mining sector.
Fayemi also used the opportunity of the meeting to update the President of his ministry’s efforts at curtailing the activities of illegal miners.
Speaking with State House correspondents at the end of the meeting, Fayemi said a lot of positive developments were taking place in the sector.
The minister said, “I have come to brief the President about what is going on in the mining sector and to particularly inform him of the major breakthrough we had on Friday with the World Bank approving the $150m request that we made to them during a meeting in Washington DC.
“I also briefed him on the activities of illegal miners and the work we are doing with regards to that, and my tour around the country and the gradual improvements we are beginning to see in the sector, particularly in relation to our growth.”
He added, “It is a sector that seems to have defied recession. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, it is growing while other sectors may be experiencing challenges.
“That is not to say that we have reached Eldorado. It is a journey and we are beginning to see concrete developments, and the President, as you know, also approved an intervention fund for this sector, the first of its kind in the history of the mining sector. We also discussed that.”
Fayemi said the government would spend the loan on areas such as geological data gathering and the organisation of the informal sector, adding that it was attractive, coming at one per cent interest rate and 30 years moratorium.
He added, “Geological data is very important to us, and part of this money is going to assist with geological data. It is also going to contribute to our organising the informal sector into a formal sector, providing some access to funding and helping them with technological equipment for the artisanal miners.
“There are many miners who have done extensive exploration, but to move to production has been a challenge. So, for those who are crossing over from exploration to exploitation, and to actual mining, we believe that giving them some assistance will help boost the industry, particularly the small and medium-scale players in the industry.”
On concerns over the nation’s increasing foreign loans, Fayemi said they could be valid if Nigeria was borrowing to pay salaries or to attend to recurrent expenditure.
He noted that it made sense if the country was borrowing to develop a sector that had a potential for exponential growth and multiplier effect on other sectors, particularly industrialisation.
COVID-19 Vaccine: Crude Oil Extends Gain to $48 Per Barrel on Wednesday
Oil prices rose further on Wednesday as hope for an effective COVID-19 vaccine and the news that the United States of America’s President-elect, Joe Biden has begun transition to the White House bolstered crude oil demand.
Brent crude oil, a Nigerian type of oil, gained 1.63 percent or 78 cents to $48.64 per barrel at 11:50 am Nigerian time on Wednesday.
The United States West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil rose by 1.36 percent or 61 cents to $45.52 per barrel.
OPEC Basket surged the most in terms of gain, adding 3.16 percent or $1.37 to $44.75 per barrel.
This was after AstraZeneca, Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech announced the positive results of their trials.
Moderna and Pfizer had claimed over 90 percent effective rate in trials while AstraZeneca said its COVID-19 vaccine was 70 percent effective in trials but could hit 90 percent going forward.
“The possibility of having a vaccine next year increases the odds that we’re going to see demand return in the new year,” said Phil Flynn, senior analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago.
Also, the decision of President-elect Joe Biden to bring Janet Yellen, the former Chair of Federal Reserve, back as a Treasury Secretary of the United States is fueling demand and strong confidence across global financial markets.
“President-elect Biden’s cabinet choices, particularly Janet Yellen’s Treasury Secretary position, are adding to upside momentum across a broad space of asset classes,” said Jim Ritterbusch of Ritterbusch and Associates.
Seyi Makinde Proposes N266.6 Billion Budget for Oyo State in 2021
The Executive Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, has presented the Oyo State Budget Proposal for the 2021 Fiscal Year to the Oyo State House of Assembly on Monday.
The proposed budget titled “Budget of Continued Consolidation” was said to be prepared with input from stakeholders in all seven geopolitical zones of Oyo state.
Governor Makinde disclosed this via his official Twitter handle @seyiamakinde.
According to the governor, the proposed recurrent expenditure stood at N136,262,990,009.41 while the proposed capital expenditure was N130,381,283,295.63. Bringing the total proposed budget to N266,6444,273,305.04.
The administration aimed to implement at least 70 percent of the proposed budget if approved.
He said “The total budgeted sum is ₦266,644,273,305.04. The Recurrent Expenditure is ₦136,262,990,009.41 while the Capital Expenditure is ₦130,381,283,295.63. We are again, aiming for at least 70% implementation of the budget.”
He added that “It was my honour to present the Oyo State Budget Proposal for the 2021 Fiscal Year to the Oyo State House of Assembly, today. This Budget of Continued Consolidation was prepared with input from stakeholders in all seven geopolitical zones of our state.”
World Bank Expects Nigeria’s Per Capita Income to Dip to 40 Years Low in 2020
The World Bank has raised concern about Nigeria’s rising debt service cost, saying it could incapacitate the nation from necessary infrastructure development and growth.
The multilateral financial institution said the nation’s per capita income could plunge to 40 years low in 2020.
According to Mr. Shubham Chaudhuri, Country Director for World Bank in Nigeria, the decline in global oil prices had impacted government finances, remittances from the diaspora and the balance of payments.
Chaudhuri, who spoke during the 26th Nigerian Economic Summit organised by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group and the Federal Government, said while the nation’s debt is between 20 to 30 percent, rising debt service remains the bane of its numerous financial issues and growth.
“Nigeria’s problem is that the debt service takes a big part of the government revenue,” he said.
He said, “Crisis like this is often what it takes to bring a nation together to have that consensus within the political, business, government, military, civil society to say, ‘We have to do something that departs from business as usual.’
“And for Nigeria, this is a critical juncture. With the contraction in GDP that could happen this year, Nigeria’s per capita income could be around what it was in 1980 – four decades ago.”
Nigeria’s per capita income stood at $847.40 in 1980, according to data from the World Bank. It rose to $3,222.69 in 2014 before falling to $2,229.9 in 2019.
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