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FG Plans N7.9tn Budget for 2018



  • FG Plans N7.9tn Budget for 2018

The Federal Government on Thursday said it would send the 2018 budget proposal to the National Assembly at the beginning of October this year.

The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, disclosed this in Abuja during a public dialogue with top government officials, members of civil society organisations and the Organised Private Sector, among others, on the 2018-2020 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper.

He said the decision to submit the 2018 budget proposal early was in line with provisions of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2000.

Udoma noted that the early submission of the budget proposal to the lawmakers would give them enough time to consider the fiscal document and pass it on time.

The minister said the overall goal of the government was to ensure that the country returned to a predictable budget year, which would run from January to December.

He stated, “We are having extensive consultations and all the inputs from the various consultations will be taken into consideration in preparing the MTEF and Fiscal Strategy Paper.

“The MTEF outlines the Federal Government’s fiscal policies and our macroeconomic projections for the next three years from 2018 to 2020, and it provides the broad framework for the 2018 budget.

“And as you know, we are committed to delivering the 2018 budget to the National Assembly by the beginning of October, and this is part of that process.”

Explaining the parameters for the 2018 budget, he said that the Federal Government was targeting to spend the sum of N7.9tn as against N7.44tn this year, adding that the fiscal deficit was expected to rise to N2.77tn from N2.35tn in the 2017 fiscal year and that there was no need for Nigerians to panic about the country’s debt burden.

Udoma added that the nation’s debt profile was sustainable as it was still within the threshold approved by the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2007.

According to the minister, there is no country in the world that does not borrow, nothing that the Federal Government was well capable of meeting its obligations to creditors.

“We are maintaining our deficit and debts within sustainable limits. Debt financing will be restructured gradually in favour of foreign financing as part of the strategy to lower debt service burden and free up more fiscal space for the private sector,” he added.

The minister said the government was targeting total oil production volume of 2.3 million barrels per day, with an oil price benchmark of $45 per barrel.

He added that the plan of the government in 2018 was to reduce inflation rate to 12.42 per cent with a Gross Domestic Product growth rate of 4.8 per cent and nominal GDP of N133.97tn.

In terms of revenue projections, Udoma stated that the government was targeting the sum of N5.16tn for 2018 as against N5.08tn in 2017.

Of this amount, N2.1tn is to be generated from oil revenue; non-oil revenue is expected to contribute N1.36tn; dividend from Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas, N29.58bn; and revenue from minerals and mining, N1.06bn.

Others are independent revenue from agencies of government, N847.9bn; domestic recoveries and fines, N364bn; other Federal Government recoveries, N138.43bn; and grants and donor funding, N281.6bn.

In terms of expenditure, the minister explained that the government was planning to spend the sum of N2.63tn on non-debt recurrent expenditure, while N350bn would be set aside for special intervention programmes.

For capital expenditure, Udoma said the sum of N2.4tn would be spent on capital projects’ implementation as against the N2.17tn approved for 2017.

“We are addressing the recurrent and capital spending imbalance. Government will continue to allocate at least 30 per cent of its budgeted expenditure to capital projects,” he added.

The minister described the targets of the government in 2018 as ambitious, but noted that they were achievable.

He said, “In line with the goals of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan 2017-2020, the medium term fiscal policies of government will be directed at achieving macroeconomic stability, accelerating growth, intensifying economic diversification and promoting inclusiveness.

“The need to look onwards to boost non-oil revenues cannot be overemphasized as we diversify. We are on track to achieve full recovery and return firmly to the path of growth. Fiscal prudence must be observed at all levels of governance.”

The event was attended by the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed; Director-General, Budget Office of the Federation, Mr. Ben Akabueze; and Director-General, Debt Management Office, Mrs. Patience Oniha, among others.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.


FIRS Sets N5.9 Trillion Revenue Target for 2021




FIRS to Generate N5.9 Trillion Revenue  in 2021

Mohammed Nami, the Chairman of Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, on Friday said the agency is projecting total revenue of N5.9 trillion for the 2021 fiscal year.

Nami stated this while meeting with the House of Representatives Committee on Finance led by Hon. James Falake on the Service’s 2021 budget defence of its proposed Revenue and Expenditure Estimates.

According to the Chairman, N4.26 trillion and N1.64 trillion were expected to come from non-oil and oil components, respectively.

However, Nami put the cost of collecting the projected revenue at N289.25 billion or 7 percent of the proposed total revenue for the year, higher than the N180.76 billion spent in 2020 to fund the three operational expenditure heads for the year.

He said: “Out of the proposed expenditure of N289.25 billion across the three expenditure heads, the sum of N147.08 billion and N94.97 billion are to be expended on Personnel and Overhead Costs against 2020 budgeted sum of N97.36 billion and N43.64 billion respectively. Also, the sum of N47.19 billion is estimated to be expended on capital items against the budgeted sum of N27.80 billion in 2020. The sum is to cater for on-going and new projects for effective revenue drive.

Speaking on while the agency failed to meet its 2020 target, Nami said “There’s lockdown effect on businesses, implementation directive also for us to study, research best practices on tax administration which involves travelling to overseas and we also have to expand offices and create offices more at rural areas to get closer to the taxpayers, we pay rent for those offices and this could be the reason why all these things went up.

“And if you have more staff surely, their salary will go up, taxes that you’re going to pay on their behalf will go up, the National Housing Fund contribution, PENCOM contribution will go up. Those promoted you have to implement a new salary regime for them. There’s also the issue of inflation and exchange rate differential”, he said.


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Gov Emmanuel Attracts $1.4b Fertilizer Plant to Akwa Ibom




The Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Udom Emmanuel has signed an agreement for the citing of a multi billion fertilizer plant in his State.

Governor Emmanuel was part of a Nigerian delegation led by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, that visited Morocco to set out the next steps of the $1.4 Bln fertilizer production plant project launched in June 2018.

The agreement between the OCP Africa, the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority and the Akwa Ibom State Government will birth one of the biggest investments in the fertilizer production industry worldwide.

The signing ceremony took place at the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UMP6).

Mr. Emmanuel signed one of the agreements of the partnership, which covers a memorandum of understanding between OCP Africa, the Akwa Ibom State in Nigeria and the NSIA on land acquisition, administrative facilitation, and common agricultural development projects in the Akwa Ibom State.

Speaking while signing the agreement, Governor Emmanuel said, “Our state is receptive to investments and we are prepared to offer the necessary support to make the project a reality.

“With a site that is suitably located to enable operational logistics and an abundance of gas resources, all that is left is for the parties to accelerate the project development process”, Mr. Udom said.

The agreement reached between the Nigerian Government and the OCP further links OCP, Mobil Producing Nigeria (MPN), the NNPC, the Gas Aggregation Company Nigeria (GACN), and the NSIA.

The two partners agreed to strengthen further their solid partnership leveraging Nigerian gas and the Moroccan phosphate.

This project will lead to a multipurpose industrial platform in Nigeria, which will use Nigerian gas and Moroccan phosphate to produce 750,000 tons of ammonia and 1 million tons of phosphate fertilizers annually by 2025.

The visit of the Nigerian delegation to Morocco takes place within the frame of the partnership sealed between OCP Group and the Nigerian Government to support and develop Nigeria’s agriculture industry.

Following the success of the first phase of Nigeria‘s Presidential Fertilizer Initiative (PFI) and the progress of the fertilizer production plant project launched in 2018 by OCP and NSIA, the Moroccan phosphates group and the Nigerian government delegation have agreed on the next steps of their joint project which is rapidly taking shape.

Several cooperation agreements were inked on Tuesday at the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P) by OCP Africa and the Nigerian delegation. Through these deals, OCP reaffirms its unwavering support of agricultural development initiatives in Nigeria including PFI.

OCP Africa and the NSIA have agreed, inter alia, to set up a joint venture which will oversee the development of the industrial platform that will produce ammonia and fertilizers in Nigeria.

The OCP has also pledged to supply Nigerian famers with quality fertilizers adapted to the needs of their soil at competitive prices and produced locally.

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ICPC Says Nigeria Loses $10bn to Illicit Financial Flows 



Naira Dollar Exchange Rate

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) says Nigeria accounts for 20 per cent or 10 billion dollars (N3.8 trillion) of the estimated 50 billion dollars that Africa loses to Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs).

Chairman of ICPC, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, said this during a virtual meeting to review a report on IFFs in relation to tax, Mrs Azuka Ogugua, spokesperson for ICPC, said in a statement released in Abuja on Friday.

The ICPC Chairman said, “the African Union Illicit Financial Flow Report estimated that Africa is losing nearly 50 billion dollars through profit shifting by multinational corporations and about 20 per cent of this figure is from Nigeria alone.”

The ICPC boss explained that taxes played “very strategic role in the nation’s political economy.”

He said the objective of the meeting was to improve on the awareness on IFFs, especially in the areas of taxation.

The ICPC boss added that the meeting would give participants the opportunity to openly discuss how to effectively use the instrumentality of taxation to curb IFFs through risk-based approach.

“Risk-based approach, that is: monitoring and audit; due process in tax collection; structured tax amnesty framework skewed in public interest; data privacy; timely resolution of audits and payment of tax refunds and intelligence sharing among revenue generating, regulatory and law enforcement agencies,” he said.

Owasanoye also stated that for the contemporary tax man to remain relevant, he must build his capacity in areas of technology management, solution architects and an astute relationship manager.

The Executive Chairman of Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) Mr Muhammad Nani, expressed concerns that IFFs posed a serious threat to the Nigerian economy as the act robbed the nation of resources that were needed for development.

Nani declared that tackling IFFs would expand the country’s tax base and improve revenue generation, which was required for development.

He consequently pushed for policy reforms that would make it difficult for “capital flights” from occurring so that the country would be placed on the path of growth.

Other discussants at the event identified weak regulatory framework, opacity of financial system and lack of capacity amongst others as some of the factors that fuelled IFFs.

The discussants emphasised the need for capacity building of relevant stakeholders as one of the ways to stamp out illicit financial flows.

They commended ICPC for leveraging its corruption prevention mandate to open a new vista in IFFs discourse in Nigeria. (NAN)

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