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NSIA Faults IMF’s Ranking on Nigeria’s SWF

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  • NSIA Faults IMF’s Ranking on Nigeria’s SWF

The Managing Director, Nigerian Sovereign Investments Authority (NSIA), Mr. Uche Orji, has faulted the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) ranking of Nigeria as the second worst country in the world in the use of Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWF).

Orji, in a noted yesterday, argued that the IMF in the report quoted third-party data and not the output of the Fund’s research.

The IMF’s report and its conclusions were based on the report by the Natural Resources Governance Institute, which Orji said he found it strange that the Washington-based institution would adopt third party data and graphs in its reports, without providing a detailed context whatsoever.

“Whilst the report does not mention that NSIA, its sweeping generalisation and use of third-party data, raises concerns that diminishes its usage. More importantly, graphing governance against asset size to GDP has limited correlative value. This is basically, for lack of a better word, a flippant piece of work.

“It is obvious in this report that the IMF prefers SWFs of countries that do not invest in their domestic economies and dislikes countries that want to use part of their resources to develop their own domestic infrastructure.

“So countries such as Nigeria are ranked poorly because they use part of these funds in local domestic investment which conflicts with a long-held view of the IMF against domestic investment by the SWF,” he said.

Orji explained that the NSIA Act mandates the organisation under his leadership to run three ring-fenced funds – stabilisation fund, future generations fund, and Nigeria infrastructure fund with asset allocation of 20:30:50 respectively.

The first two funds invest globally and the last fund is focused on Nigeria domestic infrastructure needs, he said.

“Whilst we understand the theory of “Dutch disease” and its effect of domestic investment, we believe that investing in commercially viable domestic infrastructure should be the focus of funds such as the NSIA.

“There is no real value added in a sovereign wealth fund keeping all its funds in its foreign reserve accounts if it can use portions of said fund to address commercially viable infrastructure projects at home.

“This philosophy of domestic infrastructure development underpins the operation of the Infrastructure Fund of the NSIA.

“The governance process of NSIA is well documented in its Establishment Act. NSIA has an independent professional Board that through five committees, rigorously oversees the operations of the fund.

“The NSIA is subject to several audits during the year – quarterly audit review by its external auditors, Price Waterhouse Coopers and Annual audits reports are published, the Auditor General and Accountant General all independently audit the accounts and operations of the fund,” he explained.

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

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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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