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Edo: Blackout Temporary, we’re Addressing it, Says BEDC

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Electricity - Investors King
  • Edo: Blackout Temporary, we’re Addressing it, Says BEDC

The Corporate Affairs Manager of Benin Electricity Distribution Company Plc, Mr Tayo Adekunle, has described the current power crisis rocking the state as temporary.

He said this in a statement made available to our correspondent in Benin.

The statement came on the heels of the call made by the members of Benin Indigenous People Assembly for the immediate withdrawal of the operational licence granted to the BEDC.

The group, in a statement signed by Ehiogie West-Idahosa and Orobosa Omo-Ojo, urged the Federal Government and the regulatory bodies to promptly withdraw the operational licence or, at the least, refuse to renew it, as a way to prevent the present battle with the BEDC from degenerating into anarchy.

But BEDC’s spokesman assured that the management “is doing everything possible to ensure that adequate power supply is restored in the state.”

He urged the people to exercise patience, adding that the company had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Rubitec Nigeria Limited and Rocky Mountain Institute to provide mini-grid electricity solution.

The statement added, “BEDC boss is working assiduously to resolve all challenges with a view to improving power availability to the affected areas in the state and all states under its jurisdiction.”

The group alleged that the reality on ground indicated that the BEDC lacked the capacity to distribute electricity to Edo State.

It said the BEDC was bogged down by poor and inadequate distribution system due to obsolete cables and ailing power transformers.

It further alleged that despite the abysmal service by the BEDC, the company had continued to punish its customers with arbitrary billings.

The group said, “In the circumstances, we declare our support for the call by the Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, for the sacking of the BEDC because of its non-performance.

“We, the people and residents of Edo State, have noticed with utter consternation, indignation and dismay the reckless and callous abandonment of BEDC statutory mandate to provide decent and sufficient energy supply for the needs of our people.

“The BEDC has clearly failed in its duties and responsibilities to supply energy to the people and residents of Edo State. Indeed, in the last one year, Edo State has been thrown into one hell of darkness by the electricity company.

“Consequently, the state has witnessed capital flight with businesses shutting down and relocating to areas where it can find better and regular energy supply.”

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.

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Economy

World Bank Calls on Nigeria to Impose Special Taxes on Alcohol and Tobacco

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The World Bank Group has made a call to the Federal Government of Nigeria, urging the government to impose special taxes on alcohol, cigarettes and beverages that are highly sweetened in order to improve primary healthcare conditions in the country.

Shubham Chaudhuri, who is the Country Director for Nigeria in the World Bank Group, said that an improvement in healthcare in Nigeria will come by taxing the things that are “killing us.” He said that the economic rationale for the action is quite strong if lives are to be saved and a healthier Nigeria achieved.

Chaudhuri made the call on Friday, at a special National Council on Health meeting which was organized by the Federal Ministry of Health in Abuja. Chaudhuri stated that placing special taxes on tobacco, sweetened beverages and alcohol would reduce the health risks which come with their consumption and expand the fiscal space for universal health coverage after COVID 19.

The country director also said that investing in stronger health systems for all would make significant contributions to the fight against inequality and the rising poverty situation in the country. He went on to add that increasing health tax would provide an extra advantage of reducing healthcare cost in the future, by hindering the growth of the diseases which are caused by tobacco, alcohol and sugar-sweetened beverages.

The representative of the WHO in Nigeria, Dr Walter Mulombo said that he could confirm the large health needs of Nigerians, as well as the efforts being made to meet those needs. He said this was based on the fact that he had been to over half of Nigeria’s states in less than two years of being in the country.

Mulombo then noted that although the coronavirus exposed weaknesses in the global economy (not excluding health), it could be considered as a unique opportunity for a thorough examination of existing resources and mechanisms to prepare for a more resilient future.

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Economy

Nigeria’s VAT Revenue Falls to N500 Billion in Q3 2021, Manufacturing Sector in the Lead

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Value added tax - Investors King

In the third quarter of 2021, Nigeria generated a total sum of N500.49 billion as value-added tax which represents a 2.3% decline when compared to the N512.25 billion recorded in the second quarter of the year.

This is as seen in the VAT report which was recently released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). The report revealed that the manufacturing sector was in the lead as it remitted a total of N91.2 billion, representing about 30% of the total local non-import value added taxes in that period.

In spite of the quarter-on-quarter decline of VAT collections in the reviewed period, it grew by a further 17.8% when compared to N424.7 billion generated in the same period of the previous year. The report also shows that an amount of N1.5 trillion has been generated from value added taxes from January 2021 to September 2021.

That is 40.2% higher than the N1.08 trillion recorded in the same period of 2020, and 72.3% higher than what was recorded in the same period of 2019.

To break it down, the Value Added Tax collected in the first, second and third quarter of 2021 was recorded at N496.39 billion, N512.25 billion and N500.49 billion respectively. It is higher than the corresponding figures of 2020, which sat at N324.58 billion, N327.20 billion and N424.71 billion for the first, second and third quarters respectively.

In the third quarter of 2021, the Manufacturing activity accounted for the largest share of total revenue collected across sectors, with a huge 30.87% (N91.2 billion) coming from that sector. The Information & Communication sector came in second with 20.05% (N53.9 billion) contributed, while the Mining & Quarrying sector came in third with 9.62% (N28.4 billion).

Nigeria has continued to ramp up its efforts to increase revenue from non-oil sectors by increasing its tax collection rates, which has recorded largely significant growth since the federal government increased the VAT rate from 5% to 7.5% in the 2019 Finance Act, which was signed and made effective in 2020.

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Nigeria’s Economy to Close 2021 at 2.5% Growth Rate

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Trade - Investors King

The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has predicted that the Nigerian economy will close its growth rate for the year at 2.5%.

This was said by the President of the LCCI, Toki Mabogunje at the 133rd Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the chamber in Lagos on Thursday, as reported by the News Agency of Nigeria.

The LCCI leader advised that Nigeria’s monetary and fiscal aspects of the economy should encourage policies that enhance growth and build confidence which would invigorate private capital flows to the economy to achieve the growth. She also encouraged a medium-term recovery plan which is anchored on local productivity, attracting private investment, developing physical and soft infrastructure, and ease of business.

Mabogunje disclosed that Nigeria’s inflation would be maintained at its double digit level within the short to medium term, due to food supply shocks, foreign exchange illiquidity, higher energy cost, social unrest in the Northern region, possible removal of fuel subsidy, and insecurity. She stated that these structural factors will keep on mounting pressure on domestic consumer prices.

She also added that in spite of the non-oil economy’s growth by 5.4%, insecurity problems in some areas of the country may lead to shrinking in production and a disruption of the supply chain. She states that the important drivers of the non-oil sector growth were finance and insurance holding 23.2%, transport and storage 20.6%, trade carrying 11.9% and telecommunications 10.9%.

Others include manufacturing, construction, real estate and agriculture with 4.3%, 4.1%, 2.3% and 1.2% respectively throughout the year.

Speaking on the decision of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Monetary Policy Committee’s decision to retain policy parameters, she mentioned that although the apex bank has been keen to extend credit to the real economy as a way of supporting it, it is a fact that the provision of credit recently has proven ineffective in improving output growth and stabilizing consumer prices.

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