- Spending on Infrastructure Attracting New Investments – Adeosun
The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, on Wednesday said the huge amount that the Federal Government was spending on infrastructure projects across the country was attracting fresh investments into the country.
The minister stated this when a delegation of about 20 investors visited her at the headquarters of the finance ministry in Abuja to discuss investment opportunities in Nigeria.
Adeosun told the delegation, which was led by a former Minister of Finance, Dr. Shamsudeen Usman, that in 2017 alone, the sum of N1.2tn was released by the ministry for implementation of capital projects.
She added that the ministry was ready to make such a huge release this year once the 2018 budget, which is currently before the National Assembly, was passed and signed into law by the President.
One of the cardinal focus of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, according to Adeosun, is to address the infrastructure deficit in the country.
This, she added, would be achieved through targeted spending on projects that would unlock the economic potential of the country.
She described the level of interest from foreign investors in the Nigerian economy as huge, adding that very soon, the interests would translate to massive investments that would create jobs and reduce the level poverty in the country.
Adeosun stated, “It’s a great time for investors to be in Nigeria. For us, it’s a better time now than last year because, finally, we think that we are beginning to address through deliberate policies some of the most stubborn problems that have held back Nigeria’s growth.
“We’ve gone through very difficult adjustments but we are seeing that the macroeconomic fundamentals are much more positive and the outlook is that they will remain positive.
“The good news is that we have actually begun to take steps in terms of reducing our (crude oil) benchmark price by keeping it low, allowing us to rebuild some of our buffers.
“Our budget is predicated on lower oil price, and for me, we are focusing on revenue because we think that is the missing part of the Nigeria jigsaw.
“We also want to increase our tax to Gross Domestic Product ratio from six per cent to an initial target of 10 per cent and the long-term goal is to be around the 15 to 20 per cent range.”
She said the economy had started seeing the impact of the expanded budget of the Federal Government with massive infrastructure investments in power, roads, and rails.
“Our commitment to solving the infrastructure challenges in Nigeria is firm, because we think that is what will unlock growth in agriculture and solid minerals, and make us move away from our over reliance on oil,” she added.
Usman gave some of the sectors where the investors were interested in to include power, manufacturing, agriculture and solid minerals, among others.
Central Bank to Promote Zero Balance Account Opening to Drive Financial Inclusion
Banks Now Accept Zero Balance Account Opening to Deepen Financial Inclusion
In an effort to boost financial inclusion in the country, the Central Bank of Nigeria has said it would start promoting zero balance account opening to encourage and lure the unbanked into the banking system.
The apex bank disclosed this in its report titled ‘Monetary, credit, foreign trade and exchange policy guidelines for fiscal years 2020/2021’.
The report read in part, “As part of its effort towards promoting greater financial inclusion in the country, the bank shall continue to encourage banks to intensify deposit mobilisation during the 2020/2021 fiscal years.
“Accordingly, banks shall allow zero balances for opening new bank accounts and simplify their account opening processes, while adhering to Know-Your-Customer requirements.
“Banks are also encouraged to develop new products that would provide greater access to credit.”
The apex bank said the Shared Agency Network Expansion Facility, launched to deepen provision of financial services in under-served and unserved locations and drive financial inclusion through agent banking, would continue in the 2020/2021 fiscal years.
Banks, mobile money operators and super-agents would also continue to render returns in the prescribed formats and frequency to the CBN.
Investors Oversubscribed for FGN Bonds by N205.87 Billion in October
FG October Bonds Oversubscribed by N205.87 Billion
The Debt Management Office (DMO) has said investors oversubscribed for the Federal Government’s October bonds by N205.87 billion.
The DMO stated this after concluding the monthly FGN bonds auction on Wednesday.
Two instruments of 12.5 per cent FGN March 2035 re-opening 15-year bond and 9.8 per cent FGN July 2045 re-opening 25-year bond were auctioned.
The two bonds of N15bn each with a total auction figure of N30bn received a subscription of N235.87bn.
The 15-year tenor and 25-year tenor bonds received 99 and 67 bids but recorded 21 and 26 successful bids respectively.
The amounts allotted for each of the bids were N20bn and N25bn respectively.
According to the DMO, successful bids for the 15-year tenor bond and 25-year tenor bonds were allotted at the marginal rates of 4.97 per cent and six per cent respectively.
However, it added, the original coupon rates of 12.5 per cent for the 12.5 per cent FGN March 2035 bond and the 9.8 per cent for the 9.8 per cent FGN July 2045 bonds would be maintained.
Lafarge Africa Sustains Growth in Third Quarter, Reports N53.3bn Revenue
Lafarge Africa Grows Revenue by 31.4 Percent to N53.3bn Revenue in Q3 2020
Lafarge Africa Plc, a cement manufacturer headquartered in Lagos, sustained its strong growth in the third quarter (Q3) ended September 30, 2020.
In the company’s financial results released on the Nigerian Stock Exchange on Friday, the cement manufacturer’s revenue rose by 31.4 percent from N45.172 billion posted in the third quarter of 2019 to N59.337 billion in the third quarter of 2020.
Similarly, operating profit grew by 7.2 percent from N7.746 billion in the corresponding quarter to N8.302 billion in the quarter under review. This strong performance continues across the board as net income expanded by 2.8 percent to N4.867 billion, up from N4.734 billion posted in the third quarter of 2019.
Lafarge earnings per share rose by 2.8 percent to 30 kobo in the third quarter, again up from the 29 kobo posted in the same period of 2019.
On the outlook for the company going forward, the company said:
Market demand is expected to remain strong in Q4.
Naira devaluation and inflation remain a concern in Q4.
The implementation of our “HEALTH, COST & CASH” initiatives would continue to deliver
improvement in our performance.
We will maintain a healthy balance sheet.
Speaking on the company’s performance, Khaled El Dokani, CEO, Lafarge Africa Plc, said “Our robust results for the first 9 months reflect the strong recovery of the demand in Q3 and the successful implementation of our “HEALTH, COST & CASH” initiatives. Both have delivered considerable improvement in recurring EBIT, net income and free cash flow, despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and Naira devaluation, particularly in Q3.”
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