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Report: Nigeria’s Rising Population a Ticking Time Bomb

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  • Report: Nigeria’s Rising Population a Ticking Time Bomb

The failure by policymakers in Nigeria to match the rising rate of reproduction with a corresponding level of productivity in the country, “has set the stage for a ticking time bomb,” a report has warned.

Lagos-based investment and financial advisory company, the Financial Derivatives Company Limited (FDC), stated this in its latest bi-monthly economic update obtained yesterday.

While Nigeria recorded Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of 1.93 per cent in 2018, the country’s population growth rate is currently at about three per cent.

In fact, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) on Monday stated that Nigeria’s population currently stands at an all-time high of 201 million, representing an increase of 5.1 million from the 195.9 million it said the country had in October last year.

The UNFPA in its 2019 State of the World Population report published on its website, had said the country’s annual growth rate has been at an average of 2.6 per cent from 2010 to 2019.

But the FDC in the report, stressed that Nigeria’s population “is large and growing.”

“According to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), Nigeria’s population is set to more than double by 2050 to reach 400 million and overtake the United States as the third most populated country in the world.

“This forecast of seemingly exponential growth in population is not necessarily a dire development. However, a failure to match the high rate of reproduction with a corresponding level of productivity has set the stage for what is a ticking time bomb.

“The year 2050 may still be more than 30 years down the road from today but Nigeria will not have to wait till then to be faced with the consequences of its population explosion and the lack of adequate infrastructure and development. “Much of it is clear and apparent. Nigeria was recently named the poverty capital of the world – overtaking much larger India, projected to rise sharply as the population boom continues without matching economic growth,” it added.

According to United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), the number of out of school children in Nigeria has risen to over 10 million – the largest in the world – even though primary education is free and officially compulsory.

The university system is in dire need of increased capacity as less than 30 per cent of the over 10 million applicants gained admission, the FDC report stated.

For the few that manage to pass through the educational system, rapidly rising unemployment remains a major source of anxiety.

The latest data from the National Bureau of Statistics also showed the unemployment rate has more than doubled since the end of 2015.

It currently stands at 23.1 per cent compared to 10 cent at the end of 2015. This, the report noted was likely to worsen in the years to come as population growth currently exceeds GDP growth.

“This implies that there are more people being born, and in turn, more people joining the laboußr force than there are jobs being created,” it stated.

Continuing, the report pointed out that even the highly educated and skilled Nigerians are not left out of the scramble, “to escape the current economic uncertainty for a better life overseas.” “Canada is the new destination of choice due to its liberal immigration policies. However, this emigrant demographic does present one of the few bright spots for Nigeria.

“Remittances by Nigerians in Diaspora have been on the rise for over a decade now,” it added.

According to PwC, Nigeria has become one of the top five nations with high remittance inflows globally, and the largest remittance-receiving country in Africa.

“Faced with dire employment prospects, Nigerians are fleeing Many Nigerians have left and are still fleeing the country in search of proverbial greener pastures.” According to the world population review, Nigeria has a net migration per day of -164.

“This number means that 164 people emigrate more out of Nigeria than immigrate on a daily basis. “This works out to one net migrant every nine minutes. Many are sold on the promise of a better life and brave terrible odds in an attempt to reach Europe via the Sahara desert and the Mediterranean Sea.

“Sadly, many have ended up in a life of slavery or have become trapped in sex trafficking rings. The number of Nigerian men, women and children being registered at landing points in Italy has risen dramatically in recent years,” the report stated.

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

US Senate Passes $1.9 Trillion Stimulus Package

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US Senate Passes $1.9 Trillion Stimulus Package

President Biden’s $1.9 trillion economic stimulus plan would have far-reaching effects on society as the country tries to turn the corner on a pandemic that has killed more than half a million people in the United States.

The mammoth bill approved by the Senate on Saturday would provide direct payments to Americans, extend jobless benefits and provide a huge financial infusion to states and local governments as well as to schools to help them reopen. It provides funding for priorities like coronavirus testing and vaccine distribution. And it amounts to an ambitious antipoverty program, offering significant benefits for low-income people.

Here’s a guide to what’s included in the plan, which is scheduled to go before the House for final approval on Tuesday and then would head to Mr. Biden for his signature.

Individuals making under $75,000 and married couples making under $150,000 would receive direct payments of $1,400 per person. The bill would also provide $1,400 per dependent.

The payments would gradually decrease above those income levels and disappear entirely above an income cap: $80,000 for individuals and $160,000 for married couples.

Those caps were lowered from the thresholds in the House’s version of the stimulus plan, which set the cutoffs at $100,000 for individuals and $200,000 for married couples.

The Senate bill extends unemployment programs through early September, including the $300-per-week federal supplement provided in the last stimulus plan passed in December.

Mr. Biden had proposed bumping up that supplemental benefit to $400 per week, which the House agreed to, but the Senate kept it at $300 weekly.

The Senate bill also includes a provision intended to avert surprise tax bills for people who lost jobs, waiving federal income taxes for the first $10,200 of unemployment benefits received in 2020 for households earning under $150,000.

For 2021, the bill would temporarily expand the child tax credit, which is currently worth up to $2,000 per child under 17. Under the legislation, the tax credit would be as much as $3,600 for children up to age 5 and as much as $3,000 for children 6 to 17.

The bill would make the full value of the credit available to low-income people who are currently ineligible or receive only a portion. And for the second half of this year, it would have the federal government send advance payments of the credit to Americans in periodic installments, akin to a guaranteed income for families with children.

The legislation would also expand the child and dependent care tax credit for 2021, and it would expand the earned-income tax credit for workers without children for this year as well. Through 2025, it would exempt student loan forgiveness from income taxes.

The bill would provide funding for vaccine distribution as well as coronavirus testing, contact tracing and genomic sequencing. It would give money to the Federal Emergency Management Agency as well.

It would provide $350 billion for states, local governments, territories and tribal governments, and it contains about $130 billion for schools. It also includes funding for colleges and universities, transit agencies, housing aid, child care providers and food assistance.

In addition, the bill contains funding to help businesses, including restaurants and live venues, and it includes a bailout for multiemployer pension plans that are financially troubled.

The bill would temporarily increase subsidies for people purchasing health insurance through the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces. It includes billions of dollars for public health programs and veterans’ health care.

It also seeks to help those who have lost jobs keep the health insurance coverage they had through their employer, covering the full cost of premiums through a federal program called COBRA through September.

As part of the stimulus plan, Mr. Biden wanted to raise the federal minimum wage, which is now $7.25 per hour, to $15 per hour.

The stimulus bill passed by the House would increase the wage to $15 per hour by 2025, but the Senate parliamentarian said the provision violated the strict rules that Senate Democrats had to follow to pass the bill through a special process that shielded it from a filibuster and allowed for its approval with only Democratic support. A vote in the Senate on Friday to add the wage increase back to the bill failed.

The Senate bill also dropped funding for a rail project in Silicon Valley in Northern California and a bridge between upstate New York and Canada, two provisions that were included in the House bill and drew criticism from Republicans.

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Economy

Seplat Petroleum Pays US$564.165 Million to Federal Government in 2020

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Seplat Petroleum, an indigenous Nigerian upstream exploration and production company, announced it paid a total sum of US$564.165 million to the Federal Government in 2020.

In the report on payments made available to the Nigerian Stock Exchange and seen by Investors King, Seplat Petroleum paid US$389.576 million to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) as production entitlement in 2020.

Production entitlement is the government’s share of production in the period under review from projects operated by Seplat.

This comprises crude oil and gas attributable to the Nigerian government by virtue of its participation as an equity holder in projects within its sovereign jurisdiction (Nigeria).

Also, Seplat paid US$130.009 million to the Department of Petroleum Resources in 2020. A breakdown of the amount showed US$111.633 million was paid as royalties while US$18.376 million was paid as fees.

Similarly, US$579,361 was paid as a fee to the Nigeria Export Supervision Scheme.

The energy company made another payment of US$17.935 million in fee for 2020.

While the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board received US$4.826 million in fee from Seplat in 2020.

Seplat paid US$21.239 million in taxes to the Federal Inland Revenue Service in 2020.

Therefore, Seplat Petroleum paid a total sum of US$564.165 million to the Federal Government in the 2020 financial year. See the details below.

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Economy

FIRS Sets N5.9 Trillion Revenue Target for 2021

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FIRS to Generate N5.9 Trillion Revenue  in 2021

Mohammed Nami, the Chairman of Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, on Friday said the agency is projecting total revenue of N5.9 trillion for the 2021 fiscal year.

Nami stated this while meeting with the House of Representatives Committee on Finance led by Hon. James Falake on the Service’s 2021 budget defence of its proposed Revenue and Expenditure Estimates.

According to the Chairman, N4.26 trillion and N1.64 trillion were expected to come from non-oil and oil components, respectively.

However, Nami put the cost of collecting the projected revenue at N289.25 billion or 7 percent of the proposed total revenue for the year, higher than the N180.76 billion spent in 2020 to fund the three operational expenditure heads for the year.

He said: “Out of the proposed expenditure of N289.25 billion across the three expenditure heads, the sum of N147.08 billion and N94.97 billion are to be expended on Personnel and Overhead Costs against 2020 budgeted sum of N97.36 billion and N43.64 billion respectively. Also, the sum of N47.19 billion is estimated to be expended on capital items against the budgeted sum of N27.80 billion in 2020. The sum is to cater for on-going and new projects for effective revenue drive.

Speaking on while the agency failed to meet its 2020 target, Nami said “There’s lockdown effect on businesses, implementation directive also for us to study, research best practices on tax administration which involves travelling to overseas and we also have to expand offices and create offices more at rural areas to get closer to the taxpayers, we pay rent for those offices and this could be the reason why all these things went up.

“And if you have more staff surely, their salary will go up, taxes that you’re going to pay on their behalf will go up, the National Housing Fund contribution, PENCOM contribution will go up. Those promoted you have to implement a new salary regime for them. There’s also the issue of inflation and exchange rate differential”, he said.

 

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