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Federal Government Recovers N2.6 Trillion From International Oil Firms

Federal Government N2.6 trillion revenue from international oil companies and other players in the extractive industry ecosystem.

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The Federal Government recently revealed that following the intervention of the national assembly it has recovered the sum of N2.6 trillion revenue from international oil companies and other players in the extractive industry ecosystem.

The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji disclosed this in a recent meeting at the Civil Society Engagement on EITI Validation.

Mr. Orji explained that the amount recovered was a result of the active role the National Assembly played after NEITI defended its report before its committee. 

Recently, NEITI released a 2020 report that listed 77 oil and gas companies that owed the government up to 6.8 billion dollars.

Following the intervention of the National assembly, international oil companies that wanted their names protected, rushed to the relevant agencies to pay up the money they owed.

While thanking the national assembly for its support in achieving the aforementioned feat, Mr. Orji issued a warning to companies still defaulting, to pay up as soon as possible or have all relevant anti-graft agencies swoop on them to recover the government’s monies.

He further explained that the federal government was in dire need of funds to operate, saying it was only rational that those indebted to the country pay up.

The NEITI CEO also revealed that the agency was warming up for another round of EITI validation audits by February 2023, assuring that all hands were on deck to come out successful.

He said; “The forthcoming validation exercise will be conducted using the 2019 EITI standard. It’s done every three years. The global assessment is on and about Nigeria, not NEITI; our agency is only a platform to guide our country’s assessment.

“NEITI as an agency has developed a plan of action to prepare other stakeholders including its staff and board for the exercise based on what our country has accomplished as an EITI member country during the period under review,” he said.

He also revealed that the 2007 Act which the agency operates has become obsolete in view of the dictates of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) and global realities, adding that plans were afoot to have it amended for greater efficiency of the agency.

“Part of what the amendment is to give us financial independence. We’re about the only government agency relying completely on FG funding.

“FG remains our partner but we should not burden them with funding issues. We need to move fast with the amendment now that we have an administration that has the political will to amend it”.

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CBN Starts Debiting Defaulters of Its Intervention Loans

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has begun debiting the account of intervention loan defaulters.

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has begun debiting the account of intervention loan defaulters.

The apex bank declared this at the last Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting held in Abuja. It further noted that States Governments and smallholder farmers form a large part of the defaulter. 

It will be recalled that the Central Bank disclosed in August that about N791 billion was disbursed to more than 3 million farmers under the Anchor Borrowers’ Program (ABP) and Commercial Agric Credit. 

ABP was launched by Muhammad Buhari on November 17, 2015 to assist Smallholders Farmers. ABP was created to reduce the pains faced by farmers in accessing credit for their operations. It had a single interest rate of nine percent.

Some of the benefiting smallholder farmers are those engaged in the production of rice, maize, wheat, cotton, cassava, potatoes, yam, ginger, oil palm, cocoa, rubber tomatoes, fish and poultry among others.

According to the director of development finance of the CBN, Yusuf Yila, state governments’ monthly federation account allocation committee (FAAC) accruals are already being debited directly every month. He however did not specify the states involved.

“Every person(s) or state that took that loan (ABP) is going to pay. We have their BVN. These persons are smallholder farmers, who received funds for farming. We have started recovering loans from state governments. We have been doing a loan workout programme with them, and we are debiting their monthly Federal Allocation Account (FAAC) accruals directly for the loans”, he stated.

“If a state government has taken N1 billion and is already in default, over six months, we debit them N150 million every month. So, we’ve started that programme.” He continued. So, every single loan that has been given out through any of our intervention programmes must be paid back.” He added

Yila, also mentioned that the CBN has put sentiment aside and is determined to collect the money it is owed. 

 “There is absolutely no mercy. We have started; we are in recovery mode. At the development finance department, we have begun to recover the loans”, he stated.

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Five Million Passengers Used Abuja Airport in 2021

More than five million passengers used Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, (NAIA) Abuja, between January and December 2021.

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More than five million passengers used Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, (NAIA) Abuja, between January and December 2021.

The Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has disclosed that 5,323,905 passengers were processed through the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA) Abuja in 2021. This represents a 37.23 per cent increase from 2020.

Speaking in Abuja at the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Airport, the Managing Director of FAAN, Captain Hamisu Yadudu noted that the airport continued to wax stronger and higher. 

Captain Hamisu further noted that for easy movement of passengers, the Federal Government has completed and commissioned a world-class, brand-new international terminal. 

“I am glad that the airport has continued to grow in leaps and bounds since then. In the year 2021 for example, a total of 5,323,905 passengers were processed through the airport, which was a whopping 37.23% increase on the year 2020 figures. In terms of the facility upgrade, the airport also has been quite progressive”. The MD stated.

Hamisu also noted that Abuja airport was adjudged the Best Airport in Safety for the year 2018 by Airport Council International, Africa Region while the airport also received ACI’s Airport Service Quality Award in the year 2020, among several others laurels. 

The MD, therefore, laud the contributions of all staff, both past and present, as well as partners and stakeholders for the last 40 years.

Meanwhile, the Regional General Manager/ Airport Manager of NAIA, Abuja, Kabir Mohammed revealed that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the construction of a new runway at Abuja airport. 

He added that the new runway will come with a new terminal and a new fire station. 

Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA) is one of the most used and functional airports in Nigeria. It was established on the 29th of September, 1982. Sited at the seat of power, the airport is often used by the president, majority of the public office holders, visiting presidents and foreign diplomats. 

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World Bank Approves $750 Million Loan For Nigeria

The World Bank has approved a sum of $750 million to help Nigeria in its efforts to create more jobs. 

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The World Bank has approved a sum of $750 million to help Nigeria in its efforts to create more jobs. 

A statement released by the World Bank on Thursday commended the Nigerian government in its efforts to eliminate constraints in the business environment through the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC). 

The world bank further noted that although Nigeria’s ability to attract both domestic and international foreign investment remains low when compared to its peers, the country is capable to drive private investment to high growth

According to the statement which was released on Thursday,  the World Bank nonetheless stated that the fund will help Nigeria to accelerate the implementation of critical actions that will improve the business-enabling environment in the country.

Investors King learnt that though Nigeria moved by 38 places on the global ranking of ease of doing business between 2016 and 2019 from 169 to 131, the previous gains seem to have been wiped out after the adverse effect of covid19 and the current economic challenges. 

Similarly, in June 2022, a publication by the World bank also decried the cumbersome customs procedures in Nigeria, especially at the Nigeria port. 

The report stated that Nigeria’s tariffs are among the highest in the world, especially for capital, intermediate and consumer goods. 

In recent times, there has been a series of complaints about the activities of the Nigerian Customs Service which could be detrimental to goods importation. Manufacturers and importers have an alleged arbitrary approach that the Nigeria Custom is using for duty valuation. 

They argued that it was not helpful for Customs to use the Consumer Price Index (CPI) to compute value and charge duty, given the high cost of local production.

Consumer Price Index is used to measure the overall change in consumer prices based on a representative basket of goods and services over time. 

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