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FG Proposes to Spend N2.26tn on Debt Servicing

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  • FG Proposes to Spend N2.26tn on Debt Servicing

The Federal Government has proposed to spend a total of N2.26tn on debt servicing in the 2019 fiscal year.

This was contained in the detailed budget proposal which was obtained by our correspondent in Abuja.

The proposal for debt servicing is more than 25 per cent of the N8.83tn which the Federal Government proposed for 2019.

The government had proposed to spend N2.01tn on debt servicing in 2018. This means that the proposal for debt servicing in 2019 is 12.44 per cent higher than what was proposed for the same purpose in 2018.

However, actual debt servicing expenditure can vary from proposed debt servicing expenditure. In the first nine months of 2018, for instance, the Federal Government had spent N2.21tn on domestic debt servicing which was more than it had proposed to use for debt servicing in the entire year.

A number of economic actors, including the International Monetary Fund, had said that the debt servicing had been gulping a large percentage of the country’s revenue.

The IMF had, for instance, in November 2018 said that Nigeria was spending more than 50 per cent of its revenues on servicing of debts.

Speaking at the presentation of the Regional Economic Outlook for Sub-Saharan Africa – Capital Flows and the Future of Work in Abuja on November 8, 2018, Senior Resident Representative and Mission Chief for Nigeria, African Department, Amine Mati, said Nigeria’s expenditure on debt servicing was high compared to its income.

Mati said that although Nigeria’s debt to Gross Domestic Product remained low at between 20 and 25 per cent, the country spent a high proportion of its revenue on debt servicing as a result of low revenue generation.

He added that the debt servicing to revenue ratio was more than 50 per cent while for sub-Saharan Africa, the rate was about 10 per cent; a figure he said was too high and reminiscent of what the region went through in the period of following debt relief at the beginning of the 21st century.

Mati said, “Security issues are exacting a significant human toll in a number of countries. Debt to GDP ratio is increasing in the past five years. Public debt is diverting more resources towards debt servicing.”

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 long experience in the global financial market.

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Economy

Lagos Lowers Land Use Charges, Waives N5.75bn in Penal Fees

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land use charges

Lagos Reduces Land Use Charges to Pre-2018 Fees

In a bid to ease economic burden and support growth across Lagos State, the commercial hub of Nigeria, the state government has reduced land use charges and other penal fees.

Dr. Rabiu Olowo, the Commissioner for Finance, disclosed this on Wednesday in a statement titled ‘Speech delivered by the honourable commissioner for finance at a press briefing on the 2020 new land use charge law.’

Lagos State Government said land use charges and other fees are revised down to pre-2018, adding that the state will henceforth uphold the 2018 method of valuation.

Accordingly, the state waived the penal fees for 2017, 2018 and 2019. Translating to N5.75 billion in potential revenue.

“In addition to this, there is also a 48 per cent reduction in the annual charge rates,” Olowo stated.

He further stated that owner-occupied residential property was lowered from 0.076 per cent to 0.0394 per cent; industrial premises of manufacturing concerns, from 0.256 per cent to 0.132 per cent; and residential property/private school (owner and third party, from 0.256 per cent to 0.132 per cent.

Olowo added that commercial property — used by the occupier for business purposes — was reduced from 0.76 per cent to 0.394 per cent; and vacant properties and open empty land, from 0.076 per cent to 0.0394 per cent.

While the annual charge rate for agricultural land was revised down by 87 per cent from 0.076 per cent to 0.01 per cent.

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Economy

FG Spends N2.37 Trillion on Petrol Importation in 13 Months, Says NNPC

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Petrol Importation

NNPC Sells 950.67m Litres of Petrol In May

The Federal Government imported petrol valued at N2.37 trillion into the country in thirteen months, according to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

On Wednesday, the corporation said revenue from the sales of white products stood at N2.39 trillion between May 2019 and May 2020.

It, therefore, stated that petrol contributed about 98.84 percent or N2.37 trillion of the total sales generated during the period.

In May, the corporation said it realised N92.58 billion from the sale of petrol. NNPC said the product was sold through its subsidiary, the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC).

According to the May 2020 version of the corporation’s Monthly Financial and Operations Report quoted by Kennie Obateru, the Group General Manager, Public Affairs Division, NNPC, 950.67 million litres of white products (only petrol) was sold by PPMC in the month.

This, he said “comprised 950.67 million litres of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol, only, with no Automotive Gas Oil or Dual Purpose Kerosene.”

“There was also no sale of special product in the month.”

Nigeria continues to depend on importation for its petrol supplies due to local dilapidated refineries that have failed to operate at optimal level despite billions of dollars budgeted for maintenance yearly.

Experts have said petrol importation is one of the main reasons the nation’s foreign reserves continues to struggle, especially at a period when oil prices are trading at a record low with broadly low demand for the commodity.

Nigeria’s foreign reserves is presently hovering around $36 billion, down from its record high of $45 billion attained in June 2019. The decline has also impacted the ability of the Central Bank of Nigeria to support the Nigerian Naira.

The Naira has been devalued by 15 per cent in the last four months and was recently adjusted from N361 a US dollar to N381 per US dollar on the Investors and Exporters forex window to ease the pressure on the reserves.

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Amaechi Urges National Assembly to be Careful Probing Chinese Loans

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Amaechi Says China is Becoming a Bit Apprehensive About Giving Money to Nigeria

The Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, on Tuesday said he specifically urged the National Assembly to be careful about the ongoing probe of Chinese loan agreements.

The minister who appeared in a live television programme with the Minister of Justice/Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, said China is becoming a bit apprehensive about releasing additional loans to the country.

He said, “You know, I specifically urged the National Assembly to please be careful about this probe on the loan agreements. It is because we are trying to make an application for the Port Harcourt Maiduguri rail.

“If nothing else is happening, you know that our brothers are already saying that we don’t want to do any rail project in the South-East.

He added, “Now that we are planning to say that they should give us some loan for us to construct Port Harcourt to Maiduguri, and we are about to go to cabinet for approval, you are now shouting these terms are bad, Chinese people are wicked.

“How will they give you the money? I have documents to the effect that we are getting signals that they are becoming a bit apprehensive on whether we are doing this because we don’t want to pay them back.

Amaechi said the nation must learn to pay back procured loans, saying the $500 million loan obtained for the Abuja-Kaduna railway was presently being serviced.

He said, “Nobody has signed out anything. A sovereign nation is a sovereign nation; nobody can recolonise us. We must learn to pay our debts and we are paying, and once you are paying, nobody will come and take any of your assets.”

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