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N1.58tn Released for Capital Projects, Says FG

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  • N1.58tn Released for Capital Projects, Says FG

The Federal Government on Tuesday said it had released N1.58tn to its Ministries, Departments and Agencies for the execution of capital projects as contained in the 2017 budget.

The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, gave the figure in a statement issued in Abuja.

The 2017 budget, christened ‘Budget of Recovery and Growth’, was presented to the National Assembly on December 14, 2016, and passed by the lawmakers on May 11, 2017.

The fiscal document, which was signed into law by the then Acting President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, on June 12, 2017, had a total expenditure of N7.44tn, out of which N2.99tn was for non-debt recurrent spending, N2.36tn for capital expenditure, while debt servicing was to gulp N1.66tn.

In the statement signed by the Director of Information, Ministry of Finance, Hassan Dodo, the minister said the N1.58tn released for capital projects for 2017 was N370bn higher than the N1.21tn that the government made available to the MDAs for 2016.

Out of the N1.58tn, Adeosun stated that the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing received the highest amount of N523.01bn.

This, she noted, was 33.1 per cent of the total capital release for the 2017 fiscal period.

The sector, according to her, also received the highest release in the 2016 capital budget of N307.41bn, representing 25.21 per cent of the entire capital budget for the year.

She said defence received the second highest capital release of N197.59bn, which was 12.50 per cent of the total N1.58tn released for 2017.

This was N120.06bn higher than the N77.53bn that the sector got from the 2016 budget.

The statement said agriculture and water resources received a total of N149.48bn, which was 9.46 per cent of the capital budget received for the 2017 budget.

The sector had received N143.12bn, which was 11.74 per cent of the capital release in 2016.

Transportation followed with total capital receipt of N126.25bn, which was 7.99 per cent of the 2017 capital budget as against the N171.9bn that the sector got in 2016.

The statement also said health and education together received a total of N98.19bn, representing 6.21 per cent of the capital budget released for 2017, as against N56.27bn they got for 2016.

The statement added that other sectors combined received a total of N485.73bn, which was 30.74 per cent of the 2017 capital release.

In 2016, it said a total of N463.23bn was disbursed to these sectors.

Adeosun noted that despite the economic challenges experienced in 2017, the Federal Government was able to fully cash-back the capital releases.

She explained that the sustained high allocation to key sectors was a reflection of the Federal Government’s commitment to infrastructure development in the country.

The finance minister added that the Federal Government was working assiduously to attract private capital to complement its spending in the key areas.

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

NLNG Boosts Cooking Gas Production to 1.5 Million Metric Tonnes Annually

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Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG) has announced a significant milestone in its operations, boosting its annual production of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), commonly known as cooking gas, to over 1.5 million metric tonnes.

This surge in production underscores NLNG’s commitment to meeting the rising demand for clean cooking energy in Nigeria.

The entirety of NLNG’s 1.5 million tonnes production is now being sold domestically within Nigeria.

Moreover, the company has initiated a landmark shift by starting to supply LPG in naira, moving away from the traditional practice of trading in United States dollars.

This move aligns with calls from stakeholders in the oil and power sectors advocating for naira transactions, especially amidst the challenges posed by currency fluctuations.

During a panel session at the 7th Nigeria International Energy Summit in Abuja, NLNG’s General Manager of Finance, Fatima Adanan, highlighted the company’s dedication to enhancing LPG penetration across the country.

Adanan emphasized NLNG’s vision to make Nigeria a better place by promoting the use of cleaner energy sources like gas.

While NLNG’s production surge is commendable, Adanan acknowledged that Nigeria’s LPG requirements surpass the current output, necessitating imports to bridge the gap.

However, NLNG remains committed to expanding its production capacity to meet the nation’s energy needs and drive increased adoption of LPG as a cleaner cooking fuel.

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Economy

CBN Raises Benchmark Interest Rate by 400 Basis Points to 22.75%

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Dr. Olayemi Michael Cardoso

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has raised the benchmark interest rate by 400 basis points to a record 22.75%.

The decision made by the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) comes amidst rising inflationary pressures and growing uncertainty in Africa’s largest economy.

Nigeria’s inflation rate rose to 29.90% in January 2024, the highest in over two decades while the nation’s unemployment rate quickened to 5% in the third quarter of 2023. Suggesting that the rising costs have continued to drag on both new job creation and the existing ones.

This coupled with a series of policy adjustments implemented by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has plunged economic productivity and eroded consumer spending as citizens grapple with high fuel prices, electricity tariffs, a record-high foreign exchange rate, and insecurities.

Therefore, it is surprising that the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) led by the CBN will further increase borrowing costs by 400 basis points at a time when job creation is paramount.

While the economy reportedly grew by 3.46% in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2023 on the back of robust performance of the services sector, this growth is yet to crystalise as businesses and citizens have taken to the street protest against the harsh economic situation.

Economic experts have started questioning the data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) given its lack of correlation between the data and economic reality.

 

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Economy

President Tinubu Unveils Geometric Power Plant in Aba After 20-Year Wait

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Geometric Power Plant

After two decades of anticipation, President Bola Tinubu, through his representative Vice President Kashim Shettima, inaugurated the long-awaited Geometric Power Plant in Aba, a significant milestone in the city’s quest for reliable electricity supply.

The event, which also saw the commissioning of three rehabilitated roads by Abia State Governor Alex Otti, symbolizes the culmination of years of perseverance and determination to transform Aba’s power landscape.

Addressing the audience, Vice President Shettima hailed the project as a testament to the power of visionary leadership and unwavering commitment to progress.

He said the Geometric Power Plant exemplifies the transformative impact of strategic infrastructure investments on local communities.

Governor Otti echoed similar sentiments, emphasizing the importance of the power project in positioning Aba as a hub for national and international business ventures.

He commended the efforts of Geometric Power Limited while urging them to uphold transparency and avoid exploiting consumers.

The inauguration of the Geometric Power Plant comes amidst growing concerns over Nigeria’s power infrastructure and the need for sustainable solutions to address electricity shortages.

The project, with a capacity of 188MW, holds promise for significant improvements in power supply across Abia State, benefitting nine out of seventeen local government areas.

The Managing Director of Geometric Power Limited, Ben Caven, underscored the scale of investment involved, totaling $800 million.

He highlighted the comprehensive nature of the project, which includes the installation of new power substations and a 27km natural gas pipeline, signaling a comprehensive approach to enhancing Aba’s energy infrastructure.

In conclusion, the inauguration of the Geometric Power Plant represents a transformative moment for Aba, offering renewed hope for economic growth and prosperity powered by reliable electricity supply.

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