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2018 Budget Implementation Crucial, Experts Tell Buhari



  • 2018 Budget Implementation Crucial, Experts Tell Buhari

Economic and financial experts have expressed concerns over the Federal Government’s ability to implement the 2018 proposal, saying the current year’s budget performance has been below average.

They also conveyed divergent views over the budget assumptions and key indices as presented by President Muhammadu Buhari to a joint session of the National Assembly on Tuesday.

While some expressed doubt over its likely efficacy, others said the budget would achieve all it was set to achieve if its implementation would begin on time.

The Chief Executive Officer, Financial Derivatives Company Limited, Bismarck Rewane, described the budget proposal as good but said there were fundamental issues with some of its assumptions.

He said, “It is called the ‘Budget of Consolidation’ but the success is not fully entrenched yet. The growth is still fragile. It is a step in the right direction but it is not bold, aggressive and robust enough.

“If you discount inflation with the expenditure, then you see that it is still small. You need an increase of at least 30 per cent. The exchange rate of N305/$ is not realistic. What volume of transactions is done at that rate?

“Looking at the oil production of 2.3 million barrels per day, I don’t think that is perfect. It is a good budget but it did not go far. You need to grow expenditure by a minimum of 30 per cent. As an economist, I will say there is a lot of work to be done; you need vision, courage and integrity.”

An analyst and Managing Director, Afrinvest Securities Limited, Mr. Ayodeji Ebo, said the N8.6tn expenditure was too ambitious, saying he wondered how the Federal Government would raise such an amount.

“My concern is how the government will fund the expenditure. The government is still far behind in terms of getting revenue to fund the 2017 budget. The exchange rate of N305/dollar is not realistic considering the fact that most transactions are now being done at N363/dollar,” he stated.

Ebo stressed the need to pass the budget on time and begin its implementation by January.

An economist at Capital Economics, John Ashbourne, said the budget was too ambitious.

He told Reuters, “Mostly, I think that they are setting themselves yet more unattainable goals.

“The Federal Government falls short on its revenue and expenditure targets every year, and Buhari always responds by writing an even more ambitious target into the budget for the following year.”

An economist at Lagos-based Vetiva Capital Management, Michael Famoroti, said, “If the government will borrow externally as it has indicated, the budget has to be passed early so that it can meet up with the funding gap

“There is the challenge of getting approval from the legislature and it’s something it can’t overlook.”

In his comments, the Chief Executive Officer, Cowry Asset Management Limited, Mr. Johnson Chukwu, said, “The budget is achievable. The oil revenue projection of N2.4tn is achievable. The main condition is to ensure stability in the Niger Delta, as this will enable them to achieve 2.3 million barrels per day output target. If this budget is passed on time, the 3.5 per cent growth and 12.4 per cent inflation rate will be achievable. The year 2018 is the last full year the government has to impress the electorate. What we need is diligent implementation of the budget.

“The 2017 budget has some issues because it was passed late and the economic environment was tougher than now. This is why we must begin the implementation of the 2018 budget in January.”

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.


Transcorp Hotels Expand into Marketplace, Launches Aura to Connect People, Hoteliers, Others



Transcorp hotel

Transcorp Hotels Plc, on Thursday, announced it has launched a new digital platform, Aura, through which people can book accommodation, restaurants and experiences.

Aura, Transcorp’s first in the alternative accommodation segment, is part of the company’s asset-light model, leveraging technology to deliver true hospitality, exciting experiences, and drive shareholder value.

It’s a new dawn in the hospitality industry! I am thrilled to introduce you to Aura by Transcorp, the digital platform we are using to connect people to quality accommodation, great food, and awesome experiences,” Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Transcorp Hotels Plc. Dupe Olusola said.

For more than 30 years, Transcorp Hotels Plc has been at the forefront of creating a superior guest experience at our locations. Today, our commitment to innovation has offered us an opportunity to extend this beyond the hotel premises,” Olusola added.

The launch of Aura by Transcorp is one of the most significant developments in the company’s history as it seeks to transform the travel and tourism industry in Africa by focusing on three important components of travel, whether for leisure or business — where you stay, what you eat and how you spend your time. With its people-driven hospitality model, Aura is set to revolutionise travel and help remind Africans of our deep history of hospitality.

Speaking on the launch of Aura, Obong Idiong, Chief Executive Officer at Africa Prudential Plc, Aura’s technology partners, expressed his excitement. “Finding the right accommodation when you travel can be incredibly complex. Options available for the right prices are often limited, and travellers sometimes end up with accommodation that taints the travel experience. Transcorp Hotels Plc has been able to fix that with Aura and we are proud to be associated with them.”

To ensure topnotch user experience, we built a solution to drive digital transformation through the adoption of shared living spaces for the Aura business. With an advanced search algorithm powered by artificial intelligence, Aura determines the relevance of locations taking into consideration, the customers’ preferences and requirements to meet them at the point of their needs,” Idiong added.

Priscilla Adeboye, a travel enthusiast and early adopter of Aura, said the global pandemic has pushed international travel down her list. “But I still want to be able to take some time off work or spend a weekend away from home with the family. I have found incredible homes on Aura that meet my need for space and privacy.


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Siemens Energy Nigeria Appoints Seun Suleiman as Managing Director




Seun Suleiman is the New Managing Director of Siemens Energy Nigeria

Mr. Seun Suleiman is the new managing director of Siemens Energy Nigeria, the company announced on Wednesday.

According to the statement released by the energy company, Suleiman will be responsible for the entire management of operations and decisions on business policies and corporate strategy.

Commenting on his appointment, Suleiman said, “It is an absolute honor to lead the business for Siemens Energy Nigeria and I look forward to delivering on the brand’s promise of excellence.

Suleiman joined Siemens Energy in 2014, bringing over 15 years’ experience and deep expertise in the private sector across Europe and West Africa.

The statement said, “He is an accomplished business strategist and success-driven leader with strong business acumen. Suleiman has also been a core member of the executive management team at Siemens Energy serving in roles as Sales Director West Africa – Service Distributed Generation Oil & Gas and Vice President Service & Digital.

“Prior to this, he also held various functional and managerial positions with ABB Ltd UK, ABBNG Nigeria, Schneider Electric Nigeria and Dresser-Rand Nigeria Ltd.

It added that Suleiman was experienced in establishing operational excellence with specific competence in the power, oil and gas sectors.

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FG Reopens Osubi Airport Warri for Daylight Operations




FG Reopens Osubi Airport Warri for Daylight Operations

The Federal Government on Monday said the Osubi Airport in Warri has been reopened for daylight operations.

The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Siriki, disclosed this in a tweet.

The airport was closed in February 2020 over mismanagement and debt allegation involving aviation service providers and airport management.

However, Oberuakpefe Afe, a lawmaker representing Okpe/Sapeie/vaie federal constituency, recently moved a motion for the Federal Government through the ministry of aviation and relevant authorities to reopen the airport for flight operations.

On Monday, Hadi Siriki said “I have just approved the reopening of Osubi Airport Warri, for daylight operations in VFR conditions, subject to all procedures, practices and protocols, including COVID-19, strictly being observed. There will not be need for local approvals henceforth.

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