Nigeria Customs Generate N573 billion in the First Five-Month of 2020
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has said it will exceed its revised 2020 revenue target of N957 billion in 2020.
Sanusi Umar, the Deputy Comptroller General, NCS, disclosed this on Thursday while representing the Comptroller General, Colonel Hameed Ali at the Senate in Abuja.
Umar said “The target given to the NCS in the initial 2020 budget approved by the National Assembly in December last year was N1.6tn but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the target was reviewed to N957bn.
“As of January to May, the service has collected N573bn.”
The Senate had revised down the service target for the year from N1.6 trillion to N957 billion following the negative impact of COVID-19 on the nation’s economy.
The Senate urged the service to exceed its revised target by blocking all revenue leakages in 2020.
However, Senator Admanu Aliero, a member of the Senate Committee, expressed concerns over the possibility of the customers to meet its revised target given the drop in oil revenue and lack of forex needed by the nation’s importers to bring in goods.
He, therefore, urged his colleagues to consider another downward review of the service revenue target for 2020 in order not to overstretch the service.
Inflation, Forex Scarcity Push Food Prices Up in August
Food Prices Riese in August Amid Surge in Inflation
Persistent increase in prices amid forex scarcity bolstered food prices in the month of August, according to the recent report from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
In the report released on Tuesday, the bureau said the average price of 1kg of imported high-quality rice rose by 40.69 percent year-on-year in August.
On a monthly basis, this increased by 2.30 percent to N501.71 in August 2020, up from N490.44 in July 2020.
Nigeria’s consumer prices that measures prices of goods and services rose to 13.22 percent in August as forex scarcity amid economic uncertainties weighed on Africa’s largest economy.
The statistic office said the average price of 1kg of yam rose by 34.74 percent year-on-year and decreased on a monthly basis by -0.15 percent from N256.44 in July to N256.06 in August 2020.
Similarly, the price of 1kg of tomato expanded by 29..48 percent year-on-year while it decreased on a monthly basis by 4.65 percent from N301.01 posted in July 2020 to N289.86 in August 2020.
NBS noted that selected food price watch data “reflected that the average price of one dozen of agric eggs medium size increased year-on-year by 3.70 per cent and month-on month by 1.02 per cent to N478.97 in August 2020 from N474.12 in July 2020 while the average price of piece of agric eggs medium size (price of one) increased year-on-year by 5.44 per cent and month-on month by 0.76 per cent to N42.78 in August 2020 from N42.45 in July 2020.”
The report noted that the recent flood caused by the sudden release of water from Kainji Hydro Power Dam in Niger State wreaked havoc on the N60 billion sugar investment project in the state.
According to Latif Busari, the Executive Secretary, National Sugar Development Council (NSDC), who spoke in Abuja, said the destruction was a huge setback for the flour mills industry and the entire nation as it would affect the 4,500 metric tons of sugarcane daily processing projected by the company and the one million tones of sugar production agreed with major sugar producers recently.
Busari, however, noted that said the flood, which affected N60 billion investment, was not natural, but man-made from Kainji Dam.
FG Reduces Expenditure on JV Oil Assets by 62%
NNPC Lowers Spending on JV Oil Assets as Demand Drops
In a bid to reduce expenditure following a plunge in revenue generation, the federal government has cut down on spending on oil and gas assets currently being developed through a joint venture with private companies.
Federal Government lowered its expenses by 61.83 percent in the month of July, according to the latest report from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.
The report showed NNPC, which has an obligation to make cash call payment for the development of the assets, only made $94.84 million or N34.14 billion cash call in July, down from $248.48 million or N89.45 billion in June.
The joint venture is managed by both the NNPC and private firms in proportion to their equity holdings and receives produced crude oil the same ratio.
This was largely due to the plunge in NNPC’s export receipt from $378.42 million in June to $122.44 million during the month under review.
“Of the export receipts, $67.45m was remitted to the Federation Account while $54.98m was remitted to fund the JV cost recovery for the month of July 2020 to guarantee current and future production,” it added.
In addition to the dollar allocation of $54.98 million to the JV cash call account, the naira portion of N14.35bn ($39.86m) was transferred to the account from domestic crude oil receipts in July, according to the NNPC.
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.
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