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Fuel Subsidy Removal Will Reduce Fiscal Burden by 8%

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Petrol
  • Fuel Subsidy Removal Will Reduce Fiscal Burden by 8%

As the debate over fuel subsidy removal rages on, the latest economic bulletin of Financial Derivatives Limited has revealed that the country’s fiscal burden will reduce by eight per cent if it stops subsidising petrol.

The federal government had Thursday said it was yet to devise a workable formula for the removal of fuel subsidy.

Minister of Finance, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, who said this, added that the removal of subsidy would have negative effect on vulnerable Nigerians.

She said this few days after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had advised Nigeria to remove fuel subsidy and channel the funds spent on subsidy to the health and education sectors.

The Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, recently disclosed that the landing cost of petrol was N180 per litre and the amount spent on subsidy daily was put at N1.86 billion.

But the Lagos-based financial advisory and investment firm in the report stressed that although subsidy removal was not without its costs, the potential benefit far outweighs its cost.

It stated that subsidy savings could be utilised in the provision of essential social needs such as access to free education and quality healthcare services.

These services, according to the report, are crucial to the improvement of living standard and the quality of life of the average Nigerian.

It stated: “More importantly is the reduction in the fiscal burden by at least eight per cent. Economic prudence, which emphasises the need to be discerning and forward-looking, has been the clamour for pro-subsidy advocates like the IMF.

“The fund is now sounding like a broken record on the call for the removal of subsidies. In the last three decades, it has become a vicious cycle – IMF recommendation on subsidy removal, followed by fuel queues, adjustment and in some cases the IMF is ignored and then intended and unintended consequences that follow.”

Nevertheless, while it reiterated that subsidy was not disdained in itself, it noted that its abuse and inefficient administration of the incentive, “has made it a fraud that must be checked.”

The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) had disclosed that Nigeria’s daily consumption increased by two million litres to 56 million litres in 2019.

This was a 22 per cent surge over 2017 daily consumption of 46 million litres.
This increase, according to the report, was largely not in line with “our consumption pattern during the time.”

“There has been a drastic decline in the importation of new cars over the period due to high import duties and levies. “Similarly, the increased traction of diesel engine vehicles and other modes of transportation such as air, water and rail, also do not support the supposed rapid growth in daily fuel consumption.

“Another bane of fuel subsidy is the arbitrage and smuggling opportunities across national borders. This means the Nigerian government is indirectly subsidising the petrol consumption of some neighbouring countries and it could justify the increase in consumption over the last three years,” it added.

Furthermore, the report noted that the impending expenditure cut from the removal of fuel subsidies would free up resources to embark on other social safety nets. But, it pointed out that the fact that there are no guarantees that these savings would be used to improve the quality of life of the economically vulnerable affects the case for subsidy removal.

“Reduction of other subsidies will aid fiscal consolidation. Fuel subsidy is not the only item that needs to be priced efficiently.

“The government also needs to allow for efficient resource allocation in the power sector and foreign exchange market. “Resource allocation through the interplay of market forces (demand and supply) limits market distortions. The adoption of cost reflective electricity tariffs will help address the power sector’s liquidity issues, improve the capacity of players across the power value chain and eventually output.

“Similarly, the gradual convergence of exchange rates will also ease pressure on external reserves, improve transparency and bolster confidence in the forex market.

“The reality is that petrol subsidies are being abused and ripping off the people who are the victims of inefficiency and fraud.

“Therefore, it is necessary to change the template and tie it to parameters – mainly the price of crude oil, the exchange rate and other costs metrics,” it added.

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.

Business

NAHCO Recalls Suspended GMD/CEO, Mrs Adetokunbo A. Fagbemi

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NAHCO Recalls Suspended GMD/CEO, Mrs Adetokunbo A. Fagbemi | investorsking.com

Mrs. Adetokunbo A. Fagbemi Resumes Work With NAHCO

The Board of Directors of Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc (NAHCO) has recalled Mrs. Adetokunbo A. Fagbemi, the Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, who was suspended over Management’s failure to diligently secure the delivery of a purchased equipment from vendor within the contracted period and Management’s inability to provide satisfactory/acceptable reason for the unreasonable long delay.

Mrs. Fagbemi was suspended by the Board at a meeting held on 27th of January 2021 in line with the Board’s earlier decision that if a certified bill of lading for the equipment was not received by 2nd February 2021, the GMD/CEO shall proceed on suspension with half pay until receipt of acceptable evidence of equipment shipment from the manufacturer.

Since Mrs. Fagbemi commenced her suspension on February 3rd, 2021, Mr. Olumuyiwa A. Olumekun, the Group Executive Director, Corporate Services, has been acting as the GMD/CEO, according to a statement put out by the company.

It said “the Board is however pleased to inform the investing public and the Exchange that on, Tuesday, February 24, 2021, a satisfactory evidence of departure and arrival dates of the equipment has been received by the board from the equipment manufacturer.

“Consequently, the Board at its emergency meeting today, February 24, 2021, has recalled the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mrs. Adetokunbo A. Fagbemi from the suspension and she has resumed work.”

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Businesses Groan as Price of Diesel Rises to N250 Per Litre

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Petrol Importation

Businesses Groan as Price of Diesel Rises to N250 Per Litre

Businesses have started feeling the negative impact of the rising price of Automotive Gas Oil, known as diesel.

A single litre now goes for N250 in some parts of Lagos, with businesses taking a beating on the back of rising energy costs.

Our correspondent observed that some filling stations in Lagos had increased the price of the product to N250 per litre, while many others sold it at between N220-N245.

Northwest Petroleum along the Oshodi-Apapa road increased the pump price of diesel to N250 per litre; AP (Ardova Plc), along Airport road, Ikeja, N248; and Oando, along Acme Road, N240.

The National Bureau of Statistics, in its AGO price report on Tuesday, said the average price paid by consumers for diesel increased by 0.22 per cent to N224.86 per litre in January 2021 from to N224.37 in December 2020.

It said states with the highest average price of diesel were Adamawa (N268.33), Zamfara (N262.78) and Kebbi (N257.50).

“States with the lowest average price of diesel were Osun (N194.60), Anambra (N195.83) and Enugu (N198.24),” the NBS added.

Crude oil price accounts for a large chunk of the final cost of petroleum products, and the deregulation of the downstream oil sector by the Federal Government means that the pump prices of the products will reflect changes in the international oil market.

The international oil benchmark, Brent crude, has risen by more than 25 per cent this year from the $51.22 per barrel at which it closed last year. It rose to $65.25 per barrel as of 6:30pm Nigerian time on Tuesday.

Diesel is mostly used by businesses to power their generators amid a lack of reliable power supply from the national grid.

The President, Association of Small Business Owners of Nigeria, Mr Femi Egbesola, lamented that the recent increase in the price of diesel was taking a heavy toll on businesses, especially Small and Medium Enterprises.

“The cost of diesel and raw material is giving us a nightmare. The price of diesel has been skyrocketing in a way that creates fear in particularly manufacturers,” he told our correspondent on Tuesday.

According to him, it is difficult for businesses to factor all the increase in diesel price in their final product prices.

Egbesola said, “That is why a lot of companies are downsizing and are making sure that they only produce products that they are so sure will sell in the market.

“Many companies have reduced their product lines significantly just to be able to cope. And that is not good for us because by the time this goes on, unemployment will increase. I believe government should be able to do something about this.”

He said although the downstream petroleum sector had been deregulated, there should be checks and balances.

Egbesola said many small businesses’ savings had been eroded already because ‘we keep spending our savings to make sure we don’t close shop’.

He said, “If things continue this way, there is no way we are not going to close shop. We are still struggling with the recent increase in electricity tariff.

“Many small businesses still depend so much on diesel generators because there is no alternative power supply. It is only the big players that have the facilities to use gas. And we cannot use solar installation because it is very expensive.”

Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer, relies largely on importation for petrol and other refined products as its refineries have remained in a state of disrepair for many years.

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United Capital Appoints Latunji Head, Marketing/Corporate Communications

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United-capital

United Capital Appoints Latunji Head, Marketing/Corporate Communications

United Capital Plc has been appointed, Tolu Latunji as its Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications.

In the new role, he is expected to drive a strategic communications, marketing and brand management programme for the investment banking group.

Latunji is a communication and marketing expert with 12 years’ experience in products development, marketing, brand & franchise building, effective management and communication of strategic objectives whilst ensuring adequate visibility for both organisation and product/service offerings through product, content and brand initiatives.

“With a 360 degree knowledge of communications and marketing, which includes but not limited to – brand management and initiatives, corporate affairs, internal and external affairs, product and brand marketing, event management and experiential marketing, cluster/segment marketing, Tolu has served at various capacities on government constituted sub-committees on financial inclusion,” a statement explained.

Prior to joining United Capital Plc, he was the Managing Partner of Ten & Square Media Co., a bespoke creative ideation and brand/crisis management firm, based in Lagos, Dakar and London.

Latunji was recently the Strategic Communications lead at FMDQ Securities Exchange, Nigeria’s first integrated financial market infrastructure (FMI), where he had the responsibility of effectively positioning the group, together with its subsidiaries, as the most sophisticated and technologically driven securities exchange in Africa.

Prior to that, he worked in Guaranty Trust Bank for nine years with roles in brand management & monitoring, events and experiential marketing, products and content marketing and user experience.

He led the marketing team to the successful development and launch of various retail, SME and corporate products. He was also instrumental in curating and developing the bank’s social footprints. Outside the corporate environment, Tolu engages in various humanitarian activities with food banks and empowerment programmes. He holds a B.Sc. Economics from University of Lagos.

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