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FG Urged to Improve Efficiency in Public Sector

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  • FG Urged to Improve Efficiency in Public Sector

The federal government has been advised to pursue economic liberalisation policies, including privatisation policies so as to improve efficiency in the public sector.

Analysts at Afrinvest West Africa Limited that gave the advice in a report at the weekend said this was neccessary to generate the much-needed cash flow to invest in capital projects and increase borrowing capacity.

Nigeria’s fiscal deficit had been projected to grow by 22.3 per cent from N2.2 trillion in 2016 to N2.7 trillion 2017 fiscal year, thus deficit/GDP ratio is expected to settle at 2.5 per cent in 2017 from 2.1 per cent in 2016.

Whilst the government’s decision to aggressively borrow from the local debt market to fund the budget deficit in 2016 reduced its susceptibility to exchange rate risk, the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) for 2017 suggests that over the medium term, the federal government will be more skewed towards external financing options, in order to free up local funds for private sector investment.

“However, high debt servicing cost to revenue ratio remains a constraint on ability to continue running below 2.5 per cent fiscal deficit to GDP ratio notwithstanding low debt to GDP ratio (17.0%). Also, given the bearish outlook for the naira, the plan to redirect attention towards external financing options suggests the projected amount for debt servicing will shoot up in 2017 – depending on the performance of the naira.

“The 2016 fiscal year has been largely synonymous with a sharp slowdown in economic activities largely as a result of lower oil earnings which constrained fiscal revenue and foreign exchange supply, as well as underwhelming policy responses and a brooding sub-national fiscal crisis which peaked in the first half of 2016,” the report added.

With a change in monetary policy tact to inflation targeting in first quarter 2016 – demonstrated by two rate hikes – in a bid to bolster FX supply, the federal government has been clear on its intent to counterbalance monetary tightening by utilising available fiscal space to buoy expenditure as a strategy to deepen economic diversification and stimulate economic activities.

Also, it pointed out that despite government’s intent to diversify revenue base and relegate oil earnings to the third most important in 2016, data compiled from first half 2016 budget performance puts oil revenue’s contribution to 42.6 per cent of total, the highest amongst all sources.

Indeed, all non-oil revenue sources ran below projected run rates in the first half of 2016. Income from corporate income tax (CIT) was 62.7 per cent less than expected while independent revenue was only 14.2 per cent of projections for half year.

“Thus, the FGN has largely relied on deficit financing to balance its books, with fiscal deficit as at first half of 2016 reported at N1.5trillion (66.6% of total approved for FY:2016), implying a fiscal deficit to GDP ratio of 3.2 per cent compared to 2.1 per cent legislated and three per cent ceiling for a full fiscal year.

Of N1.5 trillion deficit raised, only N159.1bn was released to cash-back capital projects in the period.

“We largely expect revenue to improve in H2:2016 – as observed from FAAC allocations in Q3:2016 – due to translation of oil earnings at lower exchange rate, but still expect fiscal deficit (as percentage of GDP) at year end to exceed 2016 target by a minimum of 0.7 per cent,” the report added.

Nevertheless, last week, the FGN submitted the MTEF and Fiscal Strategy Paper for 2017 – 2019 to the National Assembly with ambitious expenditure targets.

The MTEF provided the framework for the 2017 budget and illuminated the expenditure outlook and revenue expectations for the period.

Aggregate expenditure in the proposed 2017 budget was projected to surpass the N6.1trillion in the 2016 budget by 13.3 per cent (circa N805.9bn) to N6.9 trillion in line with objectives to reflate the economy.

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 experience in the global financial markets.

Government

Edo Election: Governor Obaseki Cries Out, Says ‘They Are Rigging Me Out’

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Governor Obaseki ‘They Are Rigging Me Out’

Godwin Obaseki, the executive governor of Edo State, has cried out that “there is an ongoing deliberate election manipulation in areas where he has strongholds.”

In a statement issued through Crusoe Osagie, the Special Adviser to the Governor, Osagie said “Suddenly, card readers are not working in areas where Governor Godwin Obaseki is very popular.

“Voters are being disenfranchised and we are constrained to say that this is sabotage,” Osagie said in a statement to media on Saturday during the polls.

“Specifically, in Oredo Ward 1, Unit 20 and other places where the Governor is clearly popular, the card readers are not working.

“The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should prove to Edo voters that it can conduct a credible election in Edo State.”

Earlier in the day, after casting his vote at polling unit 19, ward 4, Oredo local government, Governor Obaseki, who spoke to the media present, said “I expected that INEC would have prepared better for this election. I waited for one and half hours on the queue before exercising my franchise, it’s a beat disappointing,” he said.

“Giving that this is a sole day election, I expected a better planning for this election. Card readers were very slow and that’s the situation everywhere.”

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1.7 million People Registered to vote in Edo, Says INEC

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INEC Says 1.7 million Voters Registered to vote in Edo

No fewer than 1.72 million persons are eligible to vote in the September 19, Edo governorship polls while 483,796 eligible voters will not participate.

This is according to a document obtained from the Independent National Electoral Commission titled, ‘Delimitation of Edo State’.

The document shows that the identified ineligible voters in Edo failed to collect their Permanent Voter Cards.

The document further showed that as of August 2018 there are 2,210,534 registered voters in the state,

However, only 1,726,738 collected their PVCs.

It also indicated that the election will hold in 18 Local Government Areas, 192 Wards, and 2,627 polling units.

A further breakdown of the registered voters shows that male accounts for 1,159,325 (representing 52 per cent), while 1,051,209 (48 percent) are female.

Similarly, from the total registered voters, the youth (18 – 35 years) account for 50 per cent (1,105,338); Middle Aged (36 – 50 years), 29.1 per cent (643,551); and Elderly (51 – 70 years) has 15.99 per cent (353,508).

Eligible voters classified as the Old (70 years and above) account for 4.89 per cent (108,137).

According to the number of collected PVCs, Oredo zone has 240,197; Ikpoba-Okha, 214,882; Egor, 158,817; Etsako West, 128,188 and Akoko Edo, 115,343.

Further distribution of registered voters in the three senatorial districts of the state shows that Edo South has the highest figure of 1,281,414; the North with 564,122; and Central senatorial district has 364,998.

Edo South has seven council areas, the North has six, while Central has five Local Government Areas.

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Kenya Partners Private Sector and Development Partners to Outline Roadmap towards Achieving Energy Efficiency Goals

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Barclays Plaza, Kenya

The Kenyan Government through the Ministry of Energy (MOE) today launched the Kenya National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy (KNEECS or The Strategy) placing Kenya firmly on track toward sustainable consumption and production including renewable energy generation.

The Strategy was developed in collaboration with key stakeholders including the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) with support from the World Bank and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

To date, Kenya has made significant progress in energy efficiency and conservation. In 2006, MOE and KAM signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish a Centre for Energy Efficiency and Conservation (CEEC). Its activities include undertaking energy audits of industries, SMEs and public institutions on behalf of MoE, provision of capacity-building in energy efficiency and conservation, public education and awareness activities and administration of the annual Energy Management Awards (EMA). CEEC has achieved over KES 13 billion (USD 152.8 Million) in energy cost saving equivalent to 2014.8 GWh, translating into a deferment of a 230 MW power plant.

The Strategy now seeks to guide the country further towards achieving its established Energy Efficiency (EE) goals within a defined timeframe. These goals are reducing the national energy intensity by 2.8% per year, and enabling the country achieve a 30 per cent greenhouse gas emission reduction by 2030 relative to Business as Usual (143 MtCO2e) and meet its national targets for Sustainable Development Goal 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy) by 2030.

Through the adoption of The Strategy, the country is expected to use less energy to produce goods and services without compromising on quality and quantity. Further, The Strategy will promote the use of technology that requires minimum energy to perform the same function and adoption of changes in behavior that encourage citizens to use a reduced amount of energy in their daily undertakings.

The Strategy sets targets for five key sectors to achieve its objectives, all of which are to be accomplished within a five-year timeline up to 2025: Households, Power Utilities, Transport, Buildings and Industry & Agriculture. Under the Households Sector, energy efficiency in domestic power consumption is expected to increase by 3%. This will be realized by increasing the number of household appliances such as television sets, subjected to Minimum Energy Performable Standards (MEPS) from the current six to ten and increasing the use of improved efficient biomass cook stoves by 50% of all households currently using biomass cook stoves. In the Utilities Sector, the strategy focuses on reducing transmission and distribution system losses from 23 to 15 % .The Strategy recommends the installation of 1 MW of energy storage facilities, whereby a total KSH. 5 Billion in investments will be required for implementation of energy conservation measures. Further, in the Transport Sector, improvement of fuel economy, increasing the share of electric vehicles to reach five per cent and raising the number of passengers using commuter trains from 116,000 to 150,000 per day are proposes. Similarly, the Building Sector has six targets while the Industry & Agriculture Sector has two.

Alongside these sectoral targets, Kenya aspires to strengthen implementation of energy efficiency and conservation measures. All involved agencies will mobilize resources to improve access to finance for energy efficiency projects and accelerate actualization of the Strategy, particularly the Directorate of Renewable Energy and CEEC. Gender-focused and targeted approaches will be implemented for inclusive participation and benefit. Additionally, awareness creation, citizen engagement, training and capacity-building will be implemented. This Strategy, therefore, calls for private and public sector players to mainstream energy efficiency and conservation in education by establishing a long-term mechanism to achieve a high level of government and public awareness on their importance. This will be accomplished by bolstering relationships and engagements among ministries, inter-ministerial forums, county governments, national governments and climate change units countrywide.

Ultimately, the KNEECS will contribute significantly to the essential areas outlined in the Big Four Agenda of food security, affordable housing, manufacturing and affordable healthcare for all.

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