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2018 Budget Underfunded by N2.1tn – Investigations

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  • 2018 Budget Underfunded by N2.1tn – Investigations

The inability of the Federal Government to generate enough revenue to finance its operations had resulted in a N2.18tn financing gap of the 2018 budget.

The 2018 budget, signed by President Muhammadu Buhari on June 20 last year, had total spending of N9.1tn.

The capital expenditure was to gulp 31.5 per cent of the total expenditure at N2.87tn, while recurrent non-debt spending was put at N3.51tn in 2018.

There was also a provision of N2.01tn for debt servicing which is 21 per cent of the total budget while a provision of N177bn to retire maturing bond to local contractors was made by the government.

The Ministry of Power, Works and Housing had the highest allocation with N715bn for both recurrent and capital expenditure, while Ministries of Interior and Defence were allocated N577bn and N576bn respectively.

The Ministry of Education was allocated N542bn; Health, N356bn; Transportation, N267bn; and Agriculture, N203bn.

Investigations by our correspondent revealed that out of N9.12tn total expenditure approved for the 2018 budget, the sum of N6.94tn was released by the Ministry of Finance to Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government.

This, according to findings, represents about 79 per cent of the budget performance.

It was gathered that debt service and the implementation of non-debt recurrent expenditure such as payment of workers’ salaries and pensions recorded the highest rate of funding, while capital releases commenced after the signing of the budget on June 20, 2018.

For the capital components of the budget, it was learnt that the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing got the highest amount of N347.52bn.

This is about 42.95 per cent of the N809.05bn which was allocated to the ministry in the 2018 budget.

This is followed by defence and security, which got N205.89bn. The amount received by the sector is about 66.85 per cent of its N308bn allocation in 2018.

Also, the sum of N152.5bn was released to the agriculture and water resources sector. The amount is about 51.45 per cent of its N296.39bn allocation

In the same vein, out of the N251.42bn allocated to the transport sector in the 2018 budget, about N127.68bn, which is 50.79 per cent of the sector’s budget, had been released.

For the health and education sector, the sum of N115.43bn had been released out of the N189.39bn allocated to the sector in the 2018 budget.

Further findings showed that N456.5bn, which is 86.07 per cent of the N530.42bn allocated for statutory transfers, had been released by the government.

For capital supplementation, the sum of N254.27bn had been released by the government.

This is about 33.54 per cent of the N758.12bn allocated for the expenditure sub-head in the 2018 budget.

It was gathered that the Federal Government could not achieve its 2018 revenue target as some one-off items listed for implementation in the fiscal year could not be actualised.

Some of the one-off items are the N710bn from Oil Joint Venture Asset Restructuring and N320bn from the revision of the Oil Production Sharing Contract Legislation.

These one-off financing items, according to findings, have already been rolled over to 2019 budget.

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.

Economy

India, Spain, the Netherlands, USA, Nigeria’s Major Export Markets -NBS

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India, Spain and the Netherland top Nigeria’s export markets in the final quarter of 2020, according to the latest data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

The Commodity Price Indices and Terms of Trade Q4 2020 report showed that the United States and China trailed the three.

However, the NBS revealed Nigeria exports mainly crude oil and natural gas during the period under review.

It, “The major export and import market of Nigeria in Q4 2020 were India, Spain, the Netherlands, United States and China.

“The major export to these countries were crude petroleum and natural gas. The major imports from the countries were motor spirits, used vehicles, motorcycles and antibiotics.”

The bureau stated that the all-commodity group import index increased by 0.13 per cent between October and December 2020.

This was driven mainly by an increase in the prices of base metals and articles of base metals (one per cent), boilers, machinery and appliances; parts thereof (1.03 per cent), and products of the chemical and allied industries (0.75 per cent),” it stated.

The NBS, however, noted that the index was negatively affected by animal and vegetable fats and oils and other cleavage products.

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Economy

Onyeama: Qatar To Invest $5bn In Nigeria’s Economy

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The oil-rich state of Qatar is to invest a total of $5 billion in Nigeria’s economy, the Foreign Affairs Minister, Godfrey Onyeama, has disclosed.

Onyeama, who spoke Sunday at a send forth dinner in honour of Nigeria’s Ambassador-designate to the State of Qatar, who is also the outgoing Director of Protocol (DOP) at the State House, Ambassador Yakubu Ahmed, also stated that recent career ambassadorial appointments made by the gederal government was based on merit, experience and professionalism.

The minister further said there had been discussions with Qatar on partnership with Nigeria’s Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF), for significant investments in the region of $5 billion in the Nigerian economy.

According to him, ‘‘Qatar is a weighty and strategic country and very strategic in that part of the world and we are putting our best feet forward to advance the interest of our country economically and in other areas.”

He recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari had visited the State of Qatar in 2016 and the Emir of Qatar, Tamim Bin Hammad Al-Thani, reciprocated with a State visit in 2019.

Onyeama also explained that only trusted hands with a track record of diligence, experience and professionalism in the Foreign Service were recently appointed career ambassadors by the federal government.

The minister said the appointment of Ahmed and other career ambassadors were predicated on posting dedicated and keen Foreign Service practitioners to serve as image makers of the country.

He said: ‘‘Ambassador Yakubu Ahmed is a dedicated professional with a penchant for rigour and detail. He is very capable and one of the best in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He is personable, affable, extremely friendly, dispassionate and objective.

‘‘He is going to head a very important mission, a very important country, reckoned to be one of the richest countries in the world, per capita, and there’s a lot we will be doing with the State of Qatar.”

Also speaking, the Deputy Chief of Staff, Adeola Rahman Ipaye, described the honoree as a ‘‘perfect gentleman, very even-natured and always well turned out’’.

Ipaye said he had no doubt that the newly appointed ambassador would serve the country well in Qatar, adding that: ‘‘We are further encouraged that when he completes this assignment, he would return to serve Nigeria in a higher capacity.’’

In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary, State House, Tijjani Umar, while congratulating the outgoing DOP on his appointment, lauded Ahmed for excellent service to the State House and the nation.

‘‘He served this institution and the nation with the deepest sense of responsibility and it is very important that we establish a tradition where the system appreciates those who have served it well and those who will continue to serve it well,’’ he said.

Umar urged the new envoy to keep very fond memories of his time at the Presidential Villa, assuring him of the prayers and goodwill of all the staff.

Responding, Ahmed thanked President Buhari for the great honour and privilege of making him his principal representative in Doha, Qatar.

The Ambassador-designate pledged to deplore his energy and skill to the promotion of the existing cordial relationship between Nigeria and Qatar, particularly in the areas of economic, political, cultural and consular affairs as well as other key areas.

Ahmed, who joined Nigeria’s Foreign Service in 1993, said during his years in public service he had learnt that ‘‘patriotism, selfless service, diligence, determination and perseverance will always result in the achievement of the desired objective’’.

According to him, these virtues would be his ‘‘watchword’’ in the pursuit of Nigeria’s foreign policy objectives and the attainment of national interests.

The Ambassador-designate singled out for appreciation the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, and the state Chief of Protocol, Ambassador Lawal Kazaure, saying he had learnt a lot working under their mentorship.

He expressed gratitude to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Permanent Secretary, State House for giving him the opportunity of a memorable work experience in the State House.

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Economy

France, Nigeria to Build New Partnership

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France is currently aiming at building a new partnership with Nigeria, with the dispatching of its Minister in charge of Foreign Trade and Attractiveness, Franck Riester, to Nigeria.

Riester, who was expected at the time of filing this report on Monday, is scheduled to visit Nigeria from 12-14 April, 2021.

A statement from the French Embassy in Nigeria said: “Franck Riester is visiting Nigeria from 12 to 14 April, a visit that follows up on the priorities set by French President Emmanuel Macron during his official visit to Nigeria in July 2018 and his desire to build a new partnership between Africa and France.

“As the largest economy in Africa and the economic engine of West Africa, Nigeria is indeed a major partner for France, the first in sub-Saharan Africa with bilateral trade amounting to a total of 4.5 billion USD in 2019 (2.3 billion USD in 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic).”

It disclosed that the minister will have several official meetings in Abuja and Lagos, in order to underline the importance of the bilateral economic relationship and to prepare the summit on the financing of African economies in Paris on 18 May.

It revealed that the objective of the mission is also to further strengthen the links between the French and Nigerian private sectors, and “in this regard, the minister will have in-depth discussions with the main Nigerian economic actors to strengthen bilateral cooperation and investments, both in Nigeria and in France, particularly in the logistics sector”.

It said while in the country, the minister would meet with young Nigerian entrepreneurs in the cultural and creative industries sector, to discuss the major role of their country in African creativity and the development of the African entrepreneurial ecosystem, with the support of France.

It further said: “The minister will also open the ‘Choose Africa’ conference, a €3.5 billion initiative by President Emmanuel Macron dedicated to supporting the development of start-ups and SMEs in Africa to enable the continent to benefit fully from the opportunities of the digital revolution.”

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