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Economy

FG, States, LGs Share N2.8tn in Six Months

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Forex Weekly Outlook March 6 - 10
  • FG, States, LGs Share N2.8tn in Six Months

The federal, state and local governments shared N2.788tn between January and June this year, representing a 38 per cent increase over the N2.019tn shared in the first half of 2016.

According to the Quarterly Review of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, which focused on disbursements from the Federation Accounts and Allocation Committee, the N2.8tn was shared among the three tiers of government by FAAC.

NEITI said the review was based on data it obtained at the meetings of FAAC, the National Bureau of Statistics, Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Debt Management Office.

It said out of $2.788tn disbursed in the first half of 2017, the Federal Government received N1.09tn; 36 state governments received N923bn; while N549.8bn went to the 774 local governments in Nigeria.

A further breakdown shows that total releases to the three tiers of government amounted to N430.16bn in January, N514bn in February, N496.4bn in March, N418.82bn in April, N418.82bn in May and N462.36bn in June.

“However, despite the 38 per cent increase in disbursements in the first half of 2017 when compared with 2016, all the three tiers of government suffered significant revenue decline in terms of projected FAAC disbursement,” the agency said in a statement issued in Abuja on Sunday.

It added, “Coupled with the low price of oil is the country’s difficulty in meeting the targeted/budgeted production rate of 2.2 million barrels per day. Production has consistently fallen below two million barrels per day since March 2016.

“Thus, the double whammy of low oil prices and lower production that hit the country since 2014 has remained.”

NEITI stated that while the expected FAAC disbursement for the three tiers of government was N4.7tn, the actual FAAC disbursement to them was N2.788tn, representing a shortfall of over 40.67 per cent.

According to the publication, “the volatile nature of disbursements to all tiers of government in the first half of 2017 would suggest difficulty in implementing budgets at federal, state and local government levels. The volatility in revenue inflows will adversely affect planning and expenditure of government and thus likely hamper efforts at stimulating growth and development.”

NEITI review further showed that a total of N513bn was spent on debt servicing by the three tiers in the first quarter of 2017. This was against the N1.276tn disbursements in the first quarter, adding that this meant that debt servicing took up 40.27 per cent of the FAAC disbursement for the first quarter of this year.

It said, “The figure reveals that debt servicing as proportion of total FAAC allocations is generally higher in the first quarter of the year, after which it falls to lower levels. Based on this, the figure of 40.27 per cent observed in the first quarter of 2017 might be an upper threshold and it would thus be expected that this figure will be lower for the remaining quarters of the year.”

It, however, noted that the Debt Management Office had yet to provide data on the figure for the second quarter of 2017.

NEITI expressed concern that the nation’s debt in relation to revenues appeared to have reached critical levels.

It further disclosed that domestic debt servicing constituted 90 per cent of total debt servicing.

It said, “Domestic debt servicing consistently outstrips external debt servicing. In the first quarter of 2015, domestic debt servicing made up over 93 per cent of total debt servicing. This figure did not change much by the first quarter of 2017 as domestic debt servicing was over 92 per cent of total debt servicing.”

On the Paris Club debt refund to the 36 states and Federal Capital Territory, the NEITI Quarterly Review confirmed that N760.18bn was released by the Federal Government to the states and the FCT.

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

Nigeria, Morocco sign MOUs on Hydrocarbons, Others

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The Federal Government and the Kingdom of Morocco have signed five strategic Memoranda of Understanding that will foster Nigerian-Morocco bilateral collaboration and promote the development of hydrocarbons, agriculture, and commerce in both countries.

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, led the Nigerian delegation to the agreement signing ceremony on Tuesday at Marrakech, Morocco, while the Chief Executive Officer of OCP Africa, Mr Anouar Jamali, signed for the Kingdom of Morocco, according to a statement by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board.

Under the agreement between OCP, NSIA and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Nigeria will import phosphate from the Kingdom of Morocco and use it to produce blended fertiliser for the local market and export.

The statement said Nigeria would also produce ammonia and export to Morocco.

“As part of the project, the Nigerian Government plans to establish an ammonia plant at Akwa Ibom State,” it said.

The Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Mr Simbi Wabote, and the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari, were part of the delegation and they confirmed that their organisations would take equity in the ammonia plant when the Final Investment Decision would be taken, the statement said.

Sylva said the project would broaden economic opportunities for the two nations and improve the wellbeing of the people.

He added that the project would also positively impact agriculture, stimulate the growth of gas-based industries and lead to massive job creation.

He said the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), had mandated the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and it agencies and other government agencies to give maximum support for the project.

“He mandated me to ensure that at least the first phase of this project is commissioned before the expiration of his second term in office in 2023,” he added.

According to the statement, the MOUs were for the support of the second phase of the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative; Shareholders Agreement for the creation of the joint venture company to develop the multipurpose industrial platform and MOU for equity investment by the NNPC in the joint venture and support of the gas.

Other agreements are term sheet for gas sales and aggregation agreement and MOU for land acquisition and administrative facilitation to the establishment of the multipurpose industrial platform for gas sales and aggregation agreement.

The NCDMB boss described the bilateral agreement as significant to the Nigerian economy as it would accelerate Nigeria’s gas monetisation programme through establishment of the ammonia plant in the country.

The agreement would also improve Nigeria’s per capita fertiliser application through importation of phosphate derivatives from Morocco, he added.

Wabote challenged the relevant parties to focus on accelerating the FID, assuring them that the NCDMB would take equity investment for long-term sustainability of the project.

He canvassed for the setting up of a project management oversight structure to ensure project requirements and timelines are met.

“There is also need to determine manpower needs for construction and operations phase of the project and develop training programmes that will create the workforce pool from Nigeria and Morocco and design collaboration framework between research centres in Nigeria and Morocco to develop technology solutions for maintaining the ISBL and OSBL units of the Ammonia complex,” he said.

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Economy

Dangote Fertiliser Plant to Commence Shipment of Urea in March 2021

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Dangote to Sells Petrol in Naira, Plans to Commence Urea Shipment in March 2021

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has said Dangote Fertiliser Plant will commence shipment of Urea in March 2021.

The CBN governor disclosed this during an inspection tour of the sites of Dangote Refinery, Petrochemicals Complex Fertiliser Plant and Subsea Gas Pipeline at Ibeju Lekki, Lagos on Saturday.

Emefiele further stated that Dangote Refinery would sell refined petroleum products in Naira when it starts production.

This he said would save the country from spending 41 percent of the nation’s foreign exchange on importation of petroleum products yearly.

Based on agreement and discussions with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and the oil companies, the Dangote Refinery can buy its crude in naira, refine it, and produce it for Nigerians’ use in naira,” Mr Emefiele said.

That is the element where foreign exchange is saved for the country becomes very clear. We are also very optimistic that by refining this product here in Nigeria, all those costs associated with either demurrage from import, costs associated with freight will be totally eliminated.

Emefiele explained that this will make the price of Nigeria’s petroleum products affordable and cheaper in naira.

If we are lucky that what the refinery produces is more than we need locally you will see Nigerian businessmen buying small vessels to take them to our West African neighbours to sell to them in naira.

“This will increase our volume in naira and help to push it into the Economic Community of West African States as a currency,” Mr Emefiele said.

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Economy

UK Budget 2021: Will Sunak’s Budget Run Into Unintended Consequences?

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Rishi Sunak’s Budget will encourage higher earners to consider their “international financial options” and will drive businesses away from the UK, warns the CEO of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory and fintech organizations.

The warning from Nigel Green, chief executive and founder of deVere Group, comes as the Chancellor delivered his 2021 Budget in the House of Commons, his second since he took on the role.

Mr Green says: “The Chancellor has got an extraordinarily difficult hand to play as he tries to stem the economic damage caused by the pandemic, support jobs and businesses and, crucially, rebuild the public finances.

“Whilst Mr Sunak is being hailed a hero for the continued and unprecedented levels of support, it should also be remembered that he is – in a stealth move – dragging more people firmly into the tax net.

“He is raising taxes under the radar.

“Yes, there is no income tax rise. However, he is freezing personal tax thresholds, meaning as incomes rise and thresholds don’t, he is able to raise money by fiscal drag.”

Earlier this week, the deVere CEO noted: “Those most impacted by this stealth move will be looking at the financial planning options available to them, including international options, in order to grow and protect their wealth.”

Rishi Sunak also confirmed that corporation tax will increase to 25% from 2023, up from the current level of 19%.

Of this tax hike, Mr Green goes on to say: “Lower corporation tax helps job and wealth-creating business to survive and thrive. It also helps attract business to move and invest in the country.

“Instead of increasing taxes, Mr Sunak should have relentlessly focussed on growth and stimulus policies for businesses.  This would have been of greater help to firms, the economy, jobs and, ultimately, the Treasury’s coffers.”

He adds: “Again, this corporation tax hike is likely to serve as a prompt for businesses to consider their overseas financial options.”

The deVere CEO concludes: “The Chancellor had to perform a tough juggling act.  But stealthily dragging more people into the tax net and raising corporation tax might have negative, unintended consequences for the Treasury’s bottom line.”

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