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Senate Receives Buhari’s Request For $4.054B, €710M, $125M External Borrowing Approval

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The Senate has received a formal request from President Muhammadu Buhari to consider and approve an external loan to fund projects captured under the 2018-2021 borrowing plan.

The letter dated 24th August 2021 was read during the plenary by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan.

Buhari in the letter explained that the projects listed in the 2018-2021 Federal Government Borrowing Plan are to be financed through sovereign loans from the World Bank, French Development Agency (AFD), China-Exim Bank, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Credit Suisse Group and Standard Chartered/China Export and Credit (SINOSURE) in the total sum of USD 4,054,476,863.00; Euro 710,000,000.00 and Grant Component of USD125,000,000.00.

He explained that the amount would be used to fund Federal and States Government projects cut across key sectors such as Infrastructure, Health, Agriculture and Food Security, Energy, Education and Human Capital Development and COVID-19 Response efforts.

According to the President, the projects which are spread across the six geo-political zones of the country would bring about employment generation and poverty reduction, as well as protection of the most vulnerable and very poor segments of the Nigerian society.

The letter reads: “I write in respect of the above subject and to submit the attached addendum to the proposed 2018-2021 Federal Government External Borrowing (Rolling) Plan for the consideration and concurrent approval of the Senate for same to become effective.

“The Senate President may wish to recall that I earlier transmitted a request on the proposed 2018-2020 Federal Government External Borrowing Plan for the concurrent approval of the Senate in May 2021.

“However, in view of other emerging needs and to ensure that all critical projects approved by FEC as at June 2021 are incorporated, I hereby forward an addendum to the proposed Borrowing Plan.

“The Projects listed in the addendum to the 2018-2021 Federal Government External Borrowing Plan are to be financed through sovereign loans from the World Bank, French Development Agency (AFD), China-Exim Bank, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Credit Suisse Group and Standard Chartered/China Export and Credit (SINOSURE) in the total sum of USD4,054,476,863.00; Euro 710,000,000.00 and Grant Component of USD125,000,000.00.

“The Senate is kindly invited to note that the projects and programmes in the Borrowing Plan were selected based on positive, technical and economic evaluations and the contribution they would make to the socio-economic development of the country including employment generation and poverty reduction as well as protection of the most vulnerable and very poor segments of the Nigerian society.

“The Senate may also wish to note that all the listed projects in the addendum form part of the 2018-2021 External Borrowing Plan and cover both the Federal and States Government projects and are geared towards the realization of the Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan that cut across key sectors such as Infrastructure, Health, Agriculture and Food Security, Energy, Education and Human Capital Development and COVID-19 Response efforts.

“A summary of some key projects in each of the six geo-political zones and a summary on the expected impacts on the socio-economic development of each of the six (6) geo-political zones are attached herewith as Annex II and III.

“Given the importance attached to the timely delivery of the projects listed in the proposed Borrowing Plan and the benefits both the Federal and State Governments stand to gain from the implementation of same, I hereby wish to request for the kind consideration and concurrent approval of the Senate for projects listed in the addendum to the 2018-2021 Federal Government External Borrowing Plan to enable the projects to become effective.”

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Economy

NNPC Identifies Reasons for Nationwide Fuel Crisis, Takes Steps to Tackle Menace

NNPC revealed that another reason for the crisis was that some corrupt marketers were smuggling petrol to neighbouring countries

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Petrol - Investors King

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) has identified shortage in the evacuation and distribution of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) popularly called petrol to marketers as one of the reasons for fuel crisis in Nigeria.

Investors King had reported that long queues had been recorded at petrol stations across the country in the last few months as retailers sell at exorbitant rates ranging between N350 and N600 per litre.

The crisis in the petroleum industry had also forced commercial transporters to jack up their fares as Nigerians, especially commuters, groan owing to the negative effects the crisis has brought on prices of food and other items.

Also, NNPC revealed that another reason for the crisis was that some corrupt marketers were smuggling petrol to neighbouring countries and poaching investors to these countries to sell the smuggled commodity to them.

These were disclosed by the Group Chief Executive Officer, NNPC, Mele Kyari, while
explaining the fuel supply data for the country since January 2022, during a meeting with stakeholders in Abuja.

He announced that the queues being witnessed at filing stations across the nation would soon clear as the petroleum company has released about 67 million litres of PMS to marketers.

Explaining further how the fuel crisis came to being, Kyari said the moment NNPC goes down below 60 million litres of evacuation consistently for more than three days, there would be a crisis in the sector.

For him, there may be no valid consumption figure, but the evacuation figure is always known, stressing that anytime the evacuation figure goes below 60 million litres daily, crisis would be inevitable across the country.

He recalled when the company recorded the contaminated fuel in early 2022, saying that evacuation came down to 56 million litres on average and that was what caused a crisis then.

Normalcy was then returned, according to the Group Chief Executive Officer when the company ramps up by adding volumes to the market to fill the gaps.

Ever since then, Kyari said NNPC had done everything possible to keep the supply or evacuation above 60 million litres consistently, as he argued that there was no shortage of fuel going into the market, rather the products might be in the wrong destination.

Speaking on the smuggling of the product to neighbouring countries, Kyari said NNPC officials and oil marketers were responsible.

Kyari said the company has evidence that fuel was being smuggled out of Nigeria in marine containers and that some of its customers take investors to other countries.

While promising to investigate the illegal acts and get to the root of it, Kyari assured that appropriate government security agencies would deal with it.

He said there is cross-border smuggling, either in form of round-tripping or whatever name m, stressing that fuel leaves Nigeria through smugglers and thus creating scarcity in the country.

Meanwhile, with the release of the fresh 67 million litres to oil marketers to circulate across the nation, it was observed that long queues that had been the hallmark of most filing stations have been phasing out, even though the price is yet to reduce.

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IMF Releases Fresh Economic Performance Ratings of Nigeria, Others

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IMF global - Investors King

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has released its World Economic Outlook Update (January 2023) report where it gave detailed economic performance ratings of some countries and regions of the world.

In the report, IMF projected that Nigeria’s economic growth would reduce from 3.2 per cent in 2023 to 2.9 per cent in 2024.

However, owing to measures taken by the Federal Government to tackle oil pipelines’ vandalism and theft, the financial organisation disclosed that Nigeria’s economic outlook is better as it would grow from 3.0 per cent in 2022 to 3.2 per cent in 2023.

IMF had Also, this year’s 3.2 per cent growth projection is an upgrade from the lender’s previous 3.0 growth projection for the year in its October outlook report.

Investors King had reported that Nigeria started experiencing shortfall in its crude oil production when oil thieves and pipeline vandals started causing havoc at the nation’s oil regions. It was so bad that the production was as low as 0.937mbpd in September 2022.

But, in December, last year, the production increased to 1.235 million barrels per day.

Also predicting that the Nigeria’s economic growth would jump to three per cent this year, the United Nations said a strong commodities trade and active consumer goods and services markets would make the projection possible.

According to the international organisation, high inflation and epileptic power supply were affecting economic development in Nigeria.

Similarly, the World Bank postulated that the Nigerian economy would grow at 2.9 per cent this year, adding that the poor economic growth of 2.9 per cent in 2023 was barely above population growth.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government has expressed optimism that it would grow the economy as high as 3.5 per cent this year, and that its efforts at tackling insecurity in oil production was yielding desired results.

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, while speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, said the nation had to moderate its year projections to reflect the decline it suffered in 2022.

She said increase in revenue from the non-oil sector and and oil production boost would assist the country in meeting its 1.6 million barrels per day target in 2023.

The minister said the nation could achieve it and that the nation is currently producing between 1.25 million and 1.3 million per day

Making further projections, IMF said growth across sub-Saharan Africa would moderate at 3.8 per cent in 2023 amid prolonged fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The global money lender noted that power shortage is expected to reduce South Africa’s growth economy from 2.6 per cent in 2022 to 1.2 per cent in 2023.

The Washington-based lender explained that growth in the global economy would slow down in 2023 before regaining in 2024.

It attributed this to the global fight against inflation and Russia’s war in Ukraine.

IMF further noted that growth would slow from 3.4 per cent in 2022 to 2.9 per cent in 2023, then rebound to 3.1 per cent in 2024.

The money lender compared it’s January forecast to that of October saying economic growth proved resilient in the third quarter of 2022 with strong labour markets, robust household consumption and business investment, and better-than-expected adaptation to the energy crisis in Europe.

 

 

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Economy

Buhari Gets Lawmakers’ Nod to Borrow N1tn From CBN’s WMAs

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President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has obtained the approval of the House of Representatives, to access a fresh N1 trillion loan from the Ways and Means Advances (WMAs) by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The Ways and Means Advances where the federal government can access funds is a loan facility by the CBN to finance the government during temporary budget shortfalls subject to limits imposed by law.

The President had in a letter he sent to the Senate and House of Representatives in December last year, requested the approvals of the National Assembly to its restructuring of N1tn WMAs, and another N22,719,703,774,306.90 loan from the CBN.

Upon reception of the letter, the duo of President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan; and Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, read out Buhari’s request to members of their respective chambers and the lawmakers had debated it.

President Buhari had titled the letter, ‘Restructuring of Ways and Means Advances,’ and explained that WMAs by the apex bank to the Federal Government is a funding option that caters for short-term or emergency finance to fund delayed government anticipated cash receipt of fiscal deficit.

Buhari had said that the WMAs balance as of December 19, 2022, is N23,719,703,774,306.90, adding that the N23.7tn loan would be repaid in forty years and that the moratorium on principal repayment is three years while the pricing interest rate is 9 per cent.

However, the House of Representatives during plenary on Tuesday okayed N1tn WMAs after receiving the recommendation by the Joint Committees on Finance; Banking and Currency; and Aids, Loans and Debts Management.

Because the report presented to the House by the Deputy Chairman of the House Committee on Finance, Musa Abdullahi, sought further explanation and convictions from the presidency on N22.7tn loan, the lawmakers rejected Buhari’s request for N22,719,703,774,306.90.

The committee had said it approved the N1tn because of its observations and the exigencies of the Federal Government current fiscal situation,

Similarly, the Senate opposed to Buhari’s request for the loan despite earlier assurances of the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, to Buhari that the Senators would consider it.

Investors King had reported how CBN noted that the Federal Government’s excessive borrowing from the bank’s Ways and Means Advances (W&M) window could frustrate its monetary policy.

The apex bank had said that overdrafts due to the increasing reliance on the WMAs overdrafts would negatively impact its monetary policy.

Notwithstanding, the Federal Government had been running to the WMAs for any sign of budget deficit.

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