- Nigerian States’ Debts Increase to 4% of GDP – W’Bank
Although the second quarter report of the National Bureau of Statistics showed that Nigeria had exited recession, several challenges remain at different levels of government, the World Bank has warned.
In a report released in Abuja on Wednesday, the World Bank pointed out some of the challenges at the level of state government in the country, including increasing debts and fiscal deficits.
According to the biannual report, the debts of the states increased from 2.4 per cent in 2014 to four per cent of the Gross Domestic Product by the end of 2016.
Similarly, the fiscal deficit of the states increased from an estimated 0.2 per cent of the GDP in 2014 to one per cent in both 2015 and 2016.
In a statement heralding the report, the World Bank said, “Nigeria’s GDP expanded by 1.4 per cent in the third quarter of 2017 (year-on-year), the second quarter of growth after the recession of 2016, reflecting recovery in oil production, good performance in agriculture, and stronger non-oil industry growth due to the easing of foreign exchange constraints.
“Yet, many fiscal challenges remain at different levels of government, and effort is needed to successfully address those. With shortfall in revenue, fiscal pressure persists at subnational government levels, putting a strain on service delivery.
“The fiscal deficit of states increased significantly from an estimated 0.2 per cent of GDP in 2014, to one per cent in 2015 and 2016. Also, total state debt increased from 2.4 per cent in 2014 to four per cent of GDP by the end of 2016.”
It added, “The states’ fiscal crisis led to two sets of financial assistance packages by the Federal Government. The second – the Budget Support Facility (hinged on a 22-point Fiscal Sustainability Plan) – was advanced in mid-2016 and due to close in mid-2017.
“While all states have made progress on the reform measures included in the 22-point Fiscal Sustainability Plan, implementation is incomplete. The need to strengthen fiscal performance through sustaining the state fiscal reforms that have been accelerated in the past two years is of paramount importance.”
The statement quoted the World Bank Lead Economist for Nigeria, Ulrich Bartsch, as saying that internally generated revenues and spending efficiency needed to increase at the state level.
“In the light of the continuing fiscal pressures, there is a strong need to strengthen the performance of the states through the full and sustained implementation of reforms to increase internally generated revenues and state spending efficiency, and to strengthen state debt management and fiscal transparency,” Bartsch stated.
The World Bank added that its 2018 Doing Business report had highlighted improvements in Nigeria’s investment climate as well as the efforts to diversify the government’s sources of revenue.
Nigeria, Morocco sign MOUs on Hydrocarbons, Others
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.
Dangote Fertiliser Plant to Commence Shipment of Urea in March 2021
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.
UK Budget 2021: Will Sunak’s Budget Run Into Unintended Consequences?
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.”
News3 weeks ago
Doctors Warn Covid Will Become Endemic and People Need to Learn to Live With it
Bitcoin2 weeks ago
Bitcoin Surges Above $50,000 Per Coin on Tuesday, Sets a New All-Time High
News1 week ago
U.S. COVID-19 Deaths Hit 500,000
Economy2 weeks ago
Petrol Subsidy May Hit N11.2bn Per Week
Economy3 weeks ago
Petrol Landing Cost Rises to N180, Oil Crosses $60
Bitcoin1 week ago
Bitcoin Rebounds To $50,881 Per Coin on Wednesday
Cryptocurrency4 weeks ago
Why CBN Bans Banks from Facilitating Cryptocurrency Exchanges
Banking Sector2 weeks ago
Banks Turning Female Marketers to Sexual Slaves – Senator