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Details as President Buhari Presents N20.5 Trillion Budget Proposal to the National Assembly.

President Muhammadu Buhari presented the N20.5 trillion budget proposal to a joint session of the National Assembly. 

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President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari presented N20.5 trillion budget proposal to a joint session of the National Assembly on Friday.

According to a copy of the budget proposal seen by Investors King, the Federal Government proposed a total expenditure of N20.51 trillion for the 2023 financial year. 

This is above the earlier proposal of N19.76 trillion approved in the 2023-2025 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF/FSP) submitted to the National Assembly.

The budget which was christened ‘Budget of Fiscal Sustainability and Transition’ is the last annual budget to be presented by President Buhari before the expiration of the present administration. 

Some of the parameters and fiscal assumptions captured in the 2023 budget proposal include an oil price benchmark of $70 per barrel, an estimated daily oil production of 1.69 million barrels, an exchange rate of N435.57/$1, a projected Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate of 3.75 percent and an inflation rate 17.16 percent.

Furthermore, revenue parameters as contained in the budget proposal include N16.87 trillion as collectables, while the total revenue available to fund the 2023 Federal Budget is estimated at N9.73 trillion. 

The budget proposal has an oil revenue projection of N1.9 trillion and a non-oil tax estimate of N2.43 trillion. Revenue from Government Owned Enterprises is estimated at N2.42 trillion. 

In regard to the expenditure, the federal government plans to spend N20.5 trillion in 2023. A statutory transfer of N744.11 billion will be made from the overall expenditure. Personnel cost was estimated at N4.99 trillion, overhead cost will consume N1.11 trillion, pensions, gratuities and retirees’ benefits will take N854.8 billion while a sum of N5.35 trillion will be expended on capital expenditure.

Meanwhile, the federal government has also earmarked N6.31 trillion for debt servicing. 

Our correspondent also observed that the 2023 budget proposal has a deficit of N10.78 trillion which represents more than 50 percent of the entire budget. 

As expected, the government planned to finance the budget deficit by making new borrowings which will total N8.80 trillion. A sum of N206.18 billion will be sourced from privatisation proceed while N1.77 trillion Naira will be harnessed from bilateral/multilateral loans. 

While presenting the budget, the President used the occasion to highlight both the challenges and the achievements of his administration. Some of the achievements which the president highlighted include the construction of the Second Niger Bridge, the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and the Abuja-Kano Road. 

Others include completing and commissioning the 156km Lagos-Ibadan Standard Gauge Rail (and its 8.72km extension to Lagos Port); the 186km Abuja-Kaduna Standard Gauge Rail; and the 327km Itakpe-Warri Standard Gauge Rail.

President Buhari also highlighted his achievements in the aviation industry, mentioning the completion of new Airport Terminals at Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt.

On the other hand, the president disclosed that the adverse impact of Covid 19 pandemic dealt a big blow to the country’s economy. He also mention that unemployment, insecurity and high inflation rates are some of the challenges that his administration tried to address. 

Our correspondent learnt that top government officials who accompanied the president to the National Assembly include the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, the President’s Chief of Staff, Prof Ibrahim Gambari and virtually all the ministers. 

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Banking Sector

Ecobank Reports $401 Million Before Tax in Nine Months to September 2022

Revenue grew by 7% from $1.26 billion in recorded the same period of 2021 to $1.35 billion in the period under review.

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Ecobank - Investors King

Ecobank Group on Thursday reported a 7% increase in revenue for the nine months ended September 2022, the leading financial institution announced in its audited financial statement.

Revenue grew by 7% from $1.26 billion in recorded the same period of 2021 to $1.35 billion in the period under review.

The bank’s operating profit expanded by 12% to $593 million, up from $528 million filed in the corresponding period of 2021, Investors King reports.

Profit before tax rose to $401 million, a 14% increase from $352 million achieved in 2021. Profit paid to shareholders grew by 7% from $182 million to $196 million.

Gross loans and advances to customers increased 5% from $9.469 billion to $9.917 billion. Similarly, deposits from customers increased by declined by 2% to

Commenting on the bank’s performance, Ade Ayeyemi, CEO, Ecobank Group, said: “We continued to deliver on our strategic priorities and are on track to meet full-year targets despite the complex operating environment. Group-wide return on tangible equity reached a record 21%, and profit before tax increased by 14%, or 48% at constant currency (i.e., excluding currency movements).

“These results reflect the resilience, strong brand and diversification of our pan-African franchise. We saw decent client activity in consumer and wholesale payments, trade finance and foreign currency markets. Additionally,
despite inflationary pressures, we maintained a tight lid on costs, thereby improving our cost-to-income ratio to 56.3% from 58.3% in the previous year.

“The dampened economic outlook necessitated maintaining a sound balance sheet with adequate levels of liquidity and capital. As a result, our total capital adequacy ratio at 14.4% is well above our internal and minimum regulatory limits. Also, we hold sufficient gross impairment reserves that fully cover our non-performing loans. Moreover, we have fully repaid the five-year $400 million convertible debt we issued in September and October of 2017.

“Ecobankers have worked extremely hard to serve our customers’ financial needs, and I am proud of them. As always, we will passionately work towards realising our vision and remaining the bank that Africa and friends of Africa trust.”

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Finance

POS Operators Kicked Against CBN Withdrawal Policy

Nigeria does not have the infrastructure to run a cashless society given the size of cash transactions done daily.

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POS Business in Nigeria

Point of Sale (POS) operators in Nigeria under the umbrella of the Association of Mobile Money and Bank Agents in Nigeria (AMMBAN) have kicked against the new CBN policy which pegs withdrawal on POS to N20,000 daily. 

Investors King earlier reported that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) plans to limit daily withdrawals for both POS and ATMs to N20,000 daily and N100,000 per week.

The policy which was announced in a circular sent to commercial banks yesterday also restricted cash withdrawals from over-the-counter, Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) to N100,000 and N500,000 per week for individuals and corporate organisations, respectively.

Similarly, the memo directed commercial banks to load only N200 and lower denominations into their ATMs

While commenting on the new policy, AMMBAN President, Olojo Victor stated that the new policy is capable of sending members of the association out of business. 

“They want to send us out of business. We are against this. It is counter-productive. It does not represent what the CBN initially stood for in terms of financial inclusion. This is not driving us forward” Olojo lamented. 

He wondered how an average Nigerian will be able to cope with the new policy, stating that not many Nigerians can transact without the use of cash. 

“We don’t have the technological infrastructure to support this policy. Nigerians have not been sensitised.

“There is no alternative and you are taking out cash. You are running a cash-dominant economy as we speak.

“Cash still remains king whether we like it or not. Go to the average market we still have more cash transactions than PoS and suddenly you want to seal cash without bringing alternatives and education and sensitising Nigerians on how the alternatives work.

“This will not fly. It is not suitable. It is a good idea but not at the right time,” he concluded. 

Meanwhile, the president of the Bank Customers Association of Nigeria, BCAN, Dr. Uju Ogubunka, commended the CBN on the policy.

He, however, noted that the policy would be difficult to implement owing to some issues such as broadband connection and sensitisation among others. 

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Finance

Nigeria’s External Debt Rose From $18.3bn in 2010 to $103bn in 2022; Says World Bank

Nigeria spent $9.6 billion on debt servicing in 12 years

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debt

The World Bank stated yesterday that Nigeria’s external debt increased from $18.3 billion in 2010 to $103 billion in 2022. The bank added that the country spent $9.6 billion on debt servicing in 12 years. 

According to the “International Debt Report” released by the bank, Nigeria’s foreign debts rose astronomically by 305 per cent during the 12 years.

The report added that external debt stood at $76.21 billion in 2021 but rose quickly to $103 billion by the first half of 2022 (H2 2022).

Furthermore, cumulative annual interest payments on external debts rose sharply by 2,819 per cent to $1.73 billion in 2021 from $59.3 million in 2010.  

Investors King understands that the implementation of Nigeria’s budget heavily relies on external borrowings.  

An example is the construction of railway tracks which are heavily funded by the Chinese loan while the country’s 2023 budget proposal also has a deficit of about N10 billion which will be significantly sourced from international creditors.

Experts have warned that Nigeria’s rising debt could hamper the nation’s overall development, especially if the debts are not tied to projects with economic value.

Meanwhile, the report added further that principal repayment on the external debt gulped $30.66 billion during the 12 years period with annual principal repayment rising by 469 percent to $6.77 million in 2021 from $1.189 million in 2010. 

In the executive summary, the report noted that Nigeria and other developing countries are at risk of serious debt-related issues. The report cautioned that rising interest rates coupled with the recent sluggish economic movement may force a number of developing countries into a debt crisis. 

Speaking on the report, World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri stated that Nigeria’s economy does not reflect the huge level of debt stock, adding that multilateral institution is worried that the cost of servicing debt could exceed the nation’s revenue.  

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