- FG to Raise $600m From SWF, NSE for Mining
The Federal Government has started the process of raising $600m for the development of the solid minerals sector, Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has said.
Osinbajo said this in a keynote address delivered at the opening of the National Mining Summit in Abuja on Tuesday.
According to him, the fund will be raised through the Nigerian Sovereign Wealth Investment Authority and the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
He said, “We are currently working with the Nigerian Sovereign Wealth Investment Authority, the Nigerian Stock Exchange and others to assemble a $600m investment fund for the sector.
“We have secured funding from both domestic and international sources for investment in the solid minerals sector. From the public purse, the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development has been granted access to the mining sector component of our Natural Resources Development Fund for the sum of N30bn, an intervention fund from the Federal Government. This is to help provide cheap loans and grants to industry participants as well as for directly investing in foundational infrastructure.
“Internationally, we have secured $150m in funding from the World Bank for the minerals sector’s economic diversification. This will provide technical assistance in restructuring and operationalisation of the Solid Minerals Development Fund, which will make finance available to artisanal and small mining operators through mining finance and lease institutions.”
Osinbajo added, “The mining sector is a priority for the Nigerian government and a crucial part of our economic growth and diversification agenda. The President has seized every opportunity over the last two years to highlight the diversification vision and central role of the mining sector in it.
“The argument for diversification is a straightforward one. We are all witnesses to the impact on our revenues and our economy generally of the recent decline in oil prices, and this is so for many countries such as ours that are one-commodity based.”
The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, said it was important for the nation to bring critical stakeholders together in order for Nigeria to become a destination to be reckoned with in the international mining community.
Nigeria: Bread Scarcity Rages As Bakers Strike in Lagos, Abuja Over Price Hikes
Post Covid-19 Economy in Nigeria Sees Scarcity And Price hike in Bread Production
Residents of Abuja and Lagos are lamenting the increased scarcity in bread and a hike in its price as bakers went on strike to protest the hike in price of flour and other ingredients.
“I have asked around for bread but I can’t find any, and this is strange,” said Amos Idoko, a resident of Utako area in Abuja.
The strike affected roadside kiosk operations and families who rely on bread for a breakfast staple with many running out of bread last weekend across some communities surveyed in the FCT, Nasarawa and Niger state.
Some of the bakers said the strike started Friday and may end today, but there will be a hike in the price of bread.
A leader of the bakers group in the FCT and an official of Zuma Bread in Abuja, Abdullahi Muhammed, said the strike action was to protest the hike of flour and other ingredients for bread making.
Daily Trust reported exclusively recently that foreign-dominated flour millers have increased the price of flour for more than three times between March and August 2020, even with the COVID-19 pandemic.
“For instance, a bag of wheat flour sold between N10,000 and N12,000 last year now sells for N14,000,” he said
“Bag of sugar sold for about N11,000 last year now sells at N18,000. A 25-litre cooking oil previously N8,000 is now N15,000,” he said.
A dealer in wheat flour and baking ingredients in Kubwa – Abuja, Shehu Lawan, said dealers now rely on the parallel market to source for forex instead of the Central bank of Nigeria (CBN), making it difficult for them to maintain previous prices.
Lawan also said other issues that affect cost in bakery commodities, include government tax increment, cost of transport, among others.
In Lagos, Mr Ajao Ismail, who works at Royal Bite bakery in Palm Avenue of Mushin, said there was an earlier scarcity of bread in Lagos but that most bakers have resumed operations as of Sunday evening but with the bread price increasing.
“The market is dull at the moment because we have lots of bread that we have not sold. When there was scarcity, the demand was higher than the supply, now that most of the bakers are no longer on strike, there is more bread. People are reacting to the price.”
Ajao explained that the price of bread can return to how it was pre-COVID provided the government intervenes.
“If the government can work towards ensuring the price of flour, sugar, milk and butter is reduced to what it was in January 2020, we promise to reverse the price of bread to what it was.
“Bread now sold for N300/350 will return to N250 and the one sold for N500 will return to N400,” she noted.
The bakers had shut down for a number of days last week in Lagos. Premium Bread makers Association of Nigeria (PBAN) and Association of Master Bakers and Caterers Association of Nigeria (AMBAN) in briefing said the prices of ingredients
The spokesperson of PBAN, Emmanuel Onuoha, confirmed the scarcity. “If we don’t do this, people will think it is their right to buy cheap bread,” he said, adding that bakers now run at a loss even as most of them could no longer meet their loan repayment obligations.
It was also learnt that other states might also embark on the temporary cessation of production in response to the high cost of baking ingredients comprising flour, sugar, margarine, among others.
FG Spends N10 Trillion on Petrol Subsidy in 14 Years – NNPC
NNPC Says FG Has Spent N10 Trillion on Petrol Subsidy in the Last 14 years
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation said the Federal Government spent a total sum of N10 trillion on petrol subsidy between 2006 and 2020.
This was disclosed on Saturday by Mele Kyari, the Group Managing Director, NNPC, during an interview on Liberty FM, Kaduna.
According to the NNPC boss, the federal government removed petrol subsidy because of the fraud perpetrated by some cabals in the oil industry.
He said the beneficiaries of petrol subsidies were marketers who smuggled federal government subsidised product into neighbouring countries for bigger gains.
The NNPC boss said these marketers made more profits by producing fake documents to collect subsidy for fuel they never imported or sold.
He said, “The crude oil is a global commodity and its price is not hidden. Everyone can calculate and know how much the cost of every final product from the crude at international market is.
“Since the inception of the country, the government has been paying subsidy on petrol to make it cheaper for Nigerians to buy below the cost price.
“This subsidy is designed to assist the masses of Nigeria; that is the intention, but in reality, the masses are not the beneficiaries. First, the masses are not the owners of the exotic cars buying fuel, owning the filling stations and doing the oil business.
“This subsidy that the government has been paying over the years is the root of all the atrocities and fraud committed in this country.
“If you look at it from 2006 till 2020, we have spent over N10tn on fuel subsidy. Apart from that, there is also subsidy on foreign currencies. Everybody knows how much is dollar in the market, but government is also subsidising it. So, this and the fuel subsidy within this period is around N14tn to N15tn.
“What was happening with the subsidy is that, some marketers were smuggling fuel to other neighbouring countries because it was cheaper in Nigeria due to the subsidy.
“Another one is those who use fake documents and bring to government to collect subsidy for fuel they never imported and the previous government was paying them.
“So, it was not the masses of Nigeria that were enjoying this subsidy except some cabals, who are rich and powerful.”
Nigeria’s Oil Sales Revenue Plunges by 75 Percent
Oil Sales Revenue Declined by 75 Percent to $55.29 Million
Nigeria’s oil revenue plunged by 74.89 percent in July, according to the latest report from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
Oil sales revenue declined to $55.29 million in the month under review, down from $219.58 million recorded in June and $120.50 million in May.
The record fall in global oil prices and demand due to COVID-19 plunged Nigeria’s crude oil sales from $336.65 million posted in January to $281.14 million in February, $184.59 million in March and $148.86 million in April.
This was after Brent Crude oil, against which Nigerian crude oil is priced, plunged to as low as $15.98 per barrel in April, down from $70 per barrel it was sold in January.
Oil and gas constitute 50 percent of the Nigerian government revenues and over 90 percent of export earnings despite accounting for just about 10 percent of the nation’s GDP.
“A total export sale of $84.63m was recorded in July 2020, decreasing by 66.95 per cent compared to last month. Crude oil export sales contributed $55.29m (65.34 per cent) of the dollar transactions compared with $219.58m contribution in the previous month,” the NNPC said in its latest monthly report.
NNPC said gas exported in the month stood at $29.33 million.
“July 2019 to July 2020 crude oil and gas transactions indicated that crude oil and gas worth $3.91bn was exported,” it added.
According to the report, the federation crude oil and gas lifting are broadly classified into equity export and domestic, and are lifted and marketed by the NNPC while the proceeds remitted into the Federation Account.
It said, “Equity export receipts, after adjusting for joint venture cash calls, are paid directly into Federation Account domiciled in the Central Bank of Nigeria.”
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