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Siriki Pleads With Lawmakers Not to Reduce Aviation Sector’s Allocation

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hadi-sirika

Siriki Appeals to National Assembly Not To Reduce Aviation Sector’s Allocation

Senator Hadi Sirika, the Minister of Aviation, has pleaded with the National Assembly not to reduce the Aviation sector budgetary allocation.

Sirika made this appeal on Monday when he appeared before the Senate Joint Committee on Finance and National Planning at the ongoing stakeholders’ interactive session on the 2021-2023 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper.

The Senate panel categorised agencies in the aviation sector as revenue – generating agencies that do not need allocation in the national budget because they were self-reliance.

Sirika, therefore, made it know to the lawmakers that from now till the first quarter of 2022 there would decline in revenues from the aviation sector due to the negative effects of COVID-19  on the sector.

He also disclosed that the aviation sector had been the fastest-growing sector prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, but due to the effect of COVID-19, the sector has not been able to generate as it used to.

Sirika said, “On the questions regarding the challenging times and whether the overhead of the agencies will be mopped up to fund the national budget, I don’t think so.

“Take for example the COVID-19, we are the greatest hit sector. At the time when we came and in order to implement our agenda, which is called aviation road map, when we began to implement it, we slowly became the second fastest growing sector.

“Within the three years of implementation of that roadmap, we became in 2018, the second fastest growing sector of the Nigerian economy and just before COVID-19, we became the fastest growing sector in the Nigerian economy.

“Unfortunately, COVID-19 came and we shut down. I think until quarter four of 2021 and perhaps quarter one of 2022, we will continue to see sharp decline in passengers and that is directly proportional to the revenue that we collect.

“People’s confidence has to be raised. They have to begin to want to fly again and certain factors that encourage propensity to fly are also being eroded during this period.

“So, we are in difficult and challenging times and we do not have solutions even as advanced countries are spending huge amounts of money to support civil aviation businesses.

“The government, because of the challenge of funding, has not been able to respond to civil aviation requests and civil aviation funding like other countries have done.

“If government is not able to fund us because of the challenge of income, then government should not take the little that we have.

“Every single agency in civil aviation is so critical that we need to fund it and because we understand the nature of this business, that was why we have now introduced the concession of our airports.

“We have now done the outline business case; we are now going ahead for the procurement to concession these airports.

“The reason is simple and that is because this government, the APC administration, is social democratic in nature; it does not want to sell national assets.

“It wants to keep the assets with the people but we can concession them and improve them to make them better.”

Finance

Stanbic IBTC Obtains Approvals, License to Establish Life Insurance Subsidiary

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Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc on Friday announced that it has obtained all required Regulatory Approvals and a license from the National Insurance Commission to establish a wholly-owned Life Insurance subsidiary, Stanbic IBTC Insurance Limited (SIIL).

In a statement signed by Chidi Okezi, Company Secretary, Stanbic IBTC and released on Friday, the bank said “The establishment of this new subsidiary essentially complements the bouquet of product offerings by Stanbic IBTC as it continues its goal of being the leading end-to-end financial solutions provider in Nigeria. In this regard, SIIL will aim to facilitate long term insurance for already financially included individuals and will seek to become the preferred Insurer in the Life Insurance Business.

“Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, a member of Standard Bank Group, is a full-service financial services group with a clear focus on three main business pillars – Corporate and Investment Banking, Personal and Business Banking and Wealth Management. The group’s largest shareholder is the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the world’s largest bank, with a 20.1% shareholding. In addition, Standard Bank Group and ICBC share a strategic partnership that facilitates trade deals between Africa, China and select emerging markets. Standard Bank Group is the largest African financial institution by assets. It is rooted in Africa with strategic representation in 21 countries on the African continent.

“Standard Bank has been in operation for over 158 years and is focused on building first-class, on-the-ground financial services institutions in chosen countries in Africa; and connecting selected emerging markets to Africa by applying sector expertise, particularly in natural resources, power and infrastructure.”

 

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World Bank to Discuss New $1.5 Billion Loan Request From Nigeria

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Zainab Ahmed

The Finance Minister, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, on Friday said the Federal Government has met all the conditions for a fresh loan of $1.5 billion from the World Bank.

The minister disclosed this on Bloomberg TV.

She said the multilateral financial institution is in the final stage of approving the loan. The minister explained that the loan will be discussed in the bank’s next meeting and possibly be approved in the same meeting.

In June, the Senate approved the borrowing plans but the World Bank pushed back demanding Nigeria fulfill the conditions attached to the $3.4 billion loan received from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in May.

Some of the conditions were to increase revenue generation by upping VAT, the introduction of tariff reflective electricity bill, the removal of subsidy and the unification of the nation’s foreign exchange.

Most of which the Federal Government has done despite protests from most Nigerians who called the new policies anti-people given their current situation.

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Nigeria Realises Over N400 Billion from Company Income Tax in the Third Quarter of 2020

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The Federal Government realised N416.01 billion from Company Income Tax (CIT) in the third quarter of the year, according to the latest report from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

This was 3.48 percent higher than the N402.03 billion generated in the second quarter of the year and represents a decline of 20.13 percent year-on-year from N520.89 billion realised in the third quarter of 2019.

A breakdown of the report showed the professional services sector including the telecoms generated the highest amount of CIT at N55.52 billion during the quarter, while the manufacturing sector followed with N42.03 billion.

The banking and financial institutions realised N24.05 billion while the mining generated the least and closely followed by Textile and Garment Industry and Local Government Councils with N120.93 million, N167.51 million and N321.72 million generated, respectively.

The report added that out of the total amount realised during the quarter under review, a sum of N244.70 billion was generated as CIT locally. The federal government collected N70.34 billion as foreign CIT payment and the remain N100.97 billion was received as CIT from other payments.

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