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Foreign Ministry to Spend N762m on Uniforms in 2018

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Geoffrey Onyeama
  • Foreign Ministry to Spend N762m on Uniforms in 2018

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has earmarked N762.4m for the purchase of uniforms and clothing in the 2018 budget.

It also proposed to spend N2.4bn on the posting and return entitlements of ambassadors.

A breakdown of the 2018 budget proposal indicates that 110 foreign missions some of which the Federal Government has concluded plans to close down, also has budgetary allocations for next year.

Curiously, each of the missions proposed between N17m and N42m on Foreign Service school fees payment.

The ministry also allocated N350m for the provision of consular assistance to the missions and N250m for monitoring and evaluation.

It earmarked N297.6m for the 73rd session of United Nations’ General Assembly, N205m for Nigeria’s economic diplomacy initiative, N90.4m for the African Union summit, and N821.9m as contributions to international organisations out of a total allocation of N12.5bn.

Purchase of ambassador’s residence in Bucharest was expected to gulp N200m.

The Ministry of Interior also planned to spend N200m on the implementation of the international public sector accounting standard and another N235.6m on the establishment of inter-agency situation room.

It would spend N200m on consultancy, survey and short term studies while N247.6m was proposed for office building rehabilitation out of a total allocation of N4.5bn.

The Civil Defence, Fire, Immigration, and Prisons Services Board proposed N189.6m for promotion and discipline while the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps allocated N433m for the construction of police stations and N150m for the provision of health centres.

The corps also planned to spend N93.8m on the provision of public schools; N54.4m on office rent; N358m on purchase of vans; N530m on infrastructure; N167m on monitoring and evaluation and N200m on arms and ammunition purchase.

The fiscal document also showed that the NSCDC allocated N254.2m for the procurement of anti-terrorism, chemical, bio-radiation and nuclear weapon equipment, budgeted N445m for operation and communications equipment, as well as N185m on anti-vandal equipment out of its N79.2b appropriation for next year.

The Nigeria Prisons Service proposed N103.6m for office rent, N2.5bn for vehicle purchase and N8bn for prisons’ construction in the fiscal year.

Its total allocation was put at N84.3bn.

The Nigeria Immigration Service earmarked N64m for office rent, N950m for trucks purchase, N600m for procurement of vehicles and N280m for boats.

The service planned to build police stations at a cost of N230m; software acquisition, N900m; surveillance and security equipment at border posts, N900m; construction and equipping of patrol bases, N750m out of the N59.2bn budget.

The Federal Fire Service provided N5.6m for the purchase of chairs for clerks, N80m for kitting of armed forces personnel and N443m for rehabilitation of police stations.

It earmarked N743.5m for the provision of infrastructure

The Nigeria Police Academy, Wudil proposed N776m for catering equipment and foodstuffs while the Nigeria Police Force headquarters budgeted N252.2m for the same item.

The force will also spend N279.2 on aircraft maintenance; N586.4m on fuel; N855.3m on vehicles’ purchase; N950m on procurement of vans and N1bn on purchase of trucks in 2018.

The NPF’s proposed school of public relations, according to the fiscal document, is expected to gulp N200m out of its N332.2bn budget.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Economy

Nigeria Aims for N2 Trillion Annual Revenue from Marine and Blue Economy by 2027

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NIMASA

Nigeria has set an ambitious target of generating N2 trillion in annual revenue from this sector by the year 2027.

The revelation came from the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola, during an ongoing ministerial briefing in Abuja on Tuesday.

Outlined within a comprehensive strategy, the plan involves a three-pronged approach to significantly increase revenue generation and operational efficiency within the marine sector.

Oyetola highlighted the imperative of automating revenue collection processes to eradicate bottlenecks and enhance transparency and accountability.

By deploying revenue assurance technologies, the aim is to ensure accurate billing aligned with established contracts and services rendered, thereby preventing revenue leakage.

The ministry plans to commission revenue enhancement studies targeting various departments and agencies to identify avenues for maximizing the use of existing assets.

This includes leveraging concessions to the private sector and fostering public-private partnerships to ensure efficient utilization of national assets.

Recognizing the vast potential of the blue economy, Nigeria intends to embark on investment promotion campaigns aimed at both domestic and international investors.

This strategy seeks to unlock new revenue streams within the marine sector, paving the way for sustainable economic growth.

Minister Oyetola emphasized the importance of harnessing Nigeria’s marine and blue economy, noting its significant role in driving economic diversification and reducing dependency on traditional sectors.

He underscored the government’s commitment to fostering an enabling environment for investment and innovation within the sector.

The ambitious revenue target reflects Nigeria’s determination to tap into its vast marine resources, which have long been underutilized.

With strategic planning and concerted efforts, the country aims to position itself as a key player in the global blue economy, unlocking opportunities for sustainable development and prosperity.

As Nigeria charts its course towards achieving this ambitious goal, stakeholders across government, industry, and civil society will play a pivotal role in driving forward the necessary reforms and initiatives to realize the full potential of the marine and blue economy.

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Investor Optimism Dwindles One Year After Tinubu’s Reforms

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Bola Tinubu

One year into President Bola Tinubu’s administration, the initial investor enthusiasm over his ambitious economic reforms is fading.

Despite significant changes aimed at revitalizing Nigeria’s economy, persistent challenges such as currency volatility and high inflation are dampening investor confidence.

Upon assuming office in late May 2023, Tinubu enacted a series of reforms intended to attract foreign investment and boost dollar liquidity.

These included eliminating costly fuel subsidies, appointing ex-Citibank executive Olayemi Cardoso as the new central bank governor, and overhauling the country’s exchange-rate policies, which effectively devalued the naira.

While these steps initially sparked optimism and increased dollar inflows, the momentum has since waned.

Kevin Daly, a portfolio manager at London-based Abrdn Investments Ltd., highlighted the need for further stability in Nigeria’s foreign exchange market before considering additional investments in local currency bonds.

“We are likely to add to local currency bonds once FX volatility declines, but the timing of that remains up in the air,” Daly remarked.

He emphasized that the central bank cannot be the sole provider of FX liquidity for the market, calling for more foreign portfolio flows and a degree of de-dollarization.

Data from Tellimer Ltd. reveals that investor inflows into Nigeria’s foreign-exchange market fell by nearly 20% in April, averaging $200 million daily, and dropped further to $180 million in the first three weeks of May.

Since June, the naira has depreciated by almost 67% against the dollar. Additionally, the reintroduction of fuel subsidies, following public backlash over rising living costs, has further complicated the economic landscape.

Inflation remains a significant hurdle, with rates soaring to approximately 33.7%, far outpacing the central bank’s policy rate of 26.25%.

This has deterred investors like Ayo Salami, chief investment officer at Emerging Markets Investment Management Ltd., from venturing into local currency bonds, deeming them unattractive under current conditions.

Another critical issue is the repatriation of funds. While Nigeria offers higher equity valuations and yields compared to some emerging and frontier markets, peers like South Africa, Egypt, Kenya, Turkey, and Pakistan present lower repatriation risks, more credible policy frameworks, and advanced policy corrections.

Ladi Balogun, CEO of Lagos-based FCMB Group, underscored the importance of consistent and clear policy direction to restore investor confidence.

“I think as long as we can be consistent and clear about policy direction, when it comes to monetary policy and the like, then I think you will see confidence return, then you will see liquidity return,” Balogun stated. “That is when you will see international investors come back.”

As Nigeria navigates these economic challenges, the road to restoring and sustaining investor confidence remains complex and fraught with hurdles. The coming months will be crucial in determining whether Tinubu’s administration can achieve the stability and growth it seeks.

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Economy

IMF Boosts China’s 2024 Growth Forecast to 5% Amid Strong Start

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growth

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has raised its forecast for China’s economic growth in 2024 to 5%, up from its earlier estimate of 4.6%.

This adjustment reflects a robust expansion at the start of the year and additional government support aimed at stabilizing and invigorating the economy.

The IMF’s latest projection aligns with China’s target growth rate of around 5% for the year.

The upward revision comes on the heels of a better-than-expected 5.3% growth in the first quarter, indicating a strong recovery trajectory despite ongoing challenges in the housing market, which continues to dampen domestic demand.

Gita Gopinath, the IMF’s First Deputy Managing Director, highlighted the dual forces driving this positive outlook.

“We certainly are seeing that consumption is recovering, but it has some ways to go,” Gopinath noted in a recent interview with Bloomberg News.

“The strength we’re seeing in public investment remains. Private investment is still weak, mainly because of the weakness in the property sector.”

The IMF’s statement emphasized the need for Beijing to enhance monetary and fiscal support, particularly addressing the protracted housing crisis.

Gopinath underscored the urgency of protecting buyers of pre-sold unfinished homes and accelerating the completion of these projects to stabilize the sector.

Earlier this month, Chinese authorities unveiled new measures to support the real estate market.

These include easing down-payment requirements for buyers and injecting 300 billion yuan ($42 billion) of central bank funding to assist local governments in purchasing excess inventory from developers. However, Gopinath argued that these steps should be expanded.

“Fiscal policy should prioritize providing one-off central government financial support for the real estate sector,” she stated, adding that the current low inflation environment offers room for further monetary easing.

Beyond the domestic landscape, the IMF is also monitoring the implications of international trade tensions. Gopinath expressed concerns over the rising number of trade restrictions globally, noting that about 3,000 new trade barriers were introduced in 2023 alone, triple the number in 2019.

These developments are contributing to an emerging trend of geopolitical fragmentation in global trade.

“There has been an increase in more restrictive trade policies across countries,” Gopinath said. “Trade across countries that are more geopolitically aligned is holding up better than trade across countries that are less geopolitically aligned.”

The IMF’s revised forecast underscores a cautiously optimistic outlook for China’s economy.

While strong public investment and government support are driving growth, the ongoing weaknesses in the property sector and global trade tensions present challenges that need to be carefully navigated.

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