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States’ External Debt Surges $1.37bn in Five Years

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Dollar Scarcity

The 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory grew their external debts by $1.37bn (N270bn at the current interbank exchange rate of N197 to a dollar) in five years, investigation has shown.

Statistics obtained from the Debt Management Office on Sunday showed that the external indebtedness of the subnational governments as of December 31, 2010 stood at $2bn.

However, by December 31, 2015, the indebtedness of the states and the FCT to external creditors had grown to $3.37bn. This shows that the subnational governments’ external debts rose by 68.44 per cent in the five-year period.

The Punch had exclusively reported last week that the debt profile of the entire nation rose by N1.2tn in one year.

Some states, over the period, maintained their positions on top of the borrowers’ club, while others jumped on the list.

Lagos State maintained the top position within the period. In 2010, it owed external creditors $400.59m. However, by December 2015, the debt had climbed to $1.207bn.

This means that within the period, the Lagos State Government grew its external debt by $807.31m. This reflects a growth rate of 201.53 per cent. The state holds 35.84 per cent of the country’s subnational external debts.

The external debt of Kaduna State stood at $157.36m by December 31, 2010; making it to occupy the second position on the list of the most externally indebted states of the federation.

By the end of December 2015, the state still maintained the second position with a total of $226.37m. This means that within the period, the state’s external debt rose by $69.01m, reflecting 43.86 per cent increase.

With an external debt of $41.19m in 2010, Edo State was not among the most indebted in the country. However, by the end of December 2015, the state’s external debt profile had leapt to $168.19m, showing a difference of $127m. This means that the state’s external debt rose by 308.34 per cent within the five-year period.

Cross River State owed external creditors $110.91m as of December 31, 2010. By the end of 2015, the figure had risen to $136.4m. This shows an increase of $25.5m, or 22.99 per cent.

Ogun State had an external debt of $81.64m as of December 31, 2010. By the end of last year, it had risen to $103.33m. This reflects an increase of $21.68m or 26.56 per cent.

Katsina and Oyo states were among the most externally indebted states in the country in 2010, but by the end of December 2015, they had reduced their exposure to foreign debts although they remained among the most exposed states.

While Katsina State’s external debt went down from $81.14m to $72.15m; Oyo State’s was reduced from $87.43m to $66.75m.

Among the states least exposed to foreign debts by the end of December 2015 are Taraba, $22.93m; Borno, $23.19m; Plateau, $30.46m; Kogi, $33.63m; and Jigawa, $34.08m.

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.

Finance

Adesina, Godwin Emefiele, Others to Deliver Keynote Address at ASA 2020

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Akinwumi Adesina

Adesina and Godwin Emefiele to Deliver Keynote Speech at Agriculture Summit Africa (ASA) 2020

The President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), President Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, is expected to deliver the keynote address at the 2020 Agriculture Summit Africa (ASA) holding this week.

The yearly summit organised by Sterling Bank is titled ‘Fast forward agriculture: Exploiting the Next Revolution’ this year.

According to the organisers, participants were expected to log in online while a few others would be in Lagos and Abuja studios.

In a statement released on Tuesday, Yemi Odubiyi, the Executive Director of Corporate and Investment Banking, Sterling Bank said other dignitaries were expected to deliver goodwill messages at the summit.

Some of the names mentioned were the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele; Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Muhammad Sabo Nanono; Cross River State Governor, Prof. Ben Ayade; his Kebbi counterpart, Senator Atiku Bagudu; and the Oniru of Iru Kingdom, Oba Abdulwasiu Omogbolahan Lawal.

Director, Advocacy and Country Alignment Function (ACAF), Director-General’s Office, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Dr. Kwasi Attah-Krah, is expected to deliver another keynote address on the second day.

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Finance

FG to Manage Revenue of NNPC, FIRS, Others as COVID-19 Plunges Revenue

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Zainab Ahmed

FG Takes Control of NNPC, Customs, FIRS, Others Revenue Management

Federal Government on Tuesday said it will henceforth take charge of 10 Government-Owned Enterprises (GOE) to better manage and boost its resources amid dwindling revenues.

Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, disclosed this at the opening of a three-day orientation programme for 50 directors of revenue that are to be posted to various GOEs in Abuja.

She listed the 10 GOE as the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and Nigeria Customs Service (NSS).

Others include Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and Nigeria Shippers’ Council (NSC).

This, she said was in line with Presidential approval conveyed via SGF’s circular reference SGF.50/S.3/C.9/24 dated 16th October 2018 on the approved Revenue Performance Management Framework for Government Owned Enterprises (FGOEs).

According to her, “government is increasingly concerned with the dwindling profile of Revenue and this trend has to be quickly arrested particularly with Key revenue generating agencies of the Government.”

“It is my considered opinion that the presence of Directors of Revenue at the FGOEs will ensure strict adherence to extant rules and regulations in the areas of compliance to approved budget and due process mechanism in procurement and payments.”

“The Directors of Revenue, in the course of the discharge of their functions, shall be involved in the revenue operations of the FGOEs, have a better understanding of business processes and operations of the FGOEs and cause improved transparency and accountability in revenue reporting by the FGOEs.”

“In addition, they are expected to seek opportunities and avenues for revenue improvements which are the ultimate aim of the Government. I am pleased to inform you that the discharge of these duties will be aided with the deployment of Information Technology.”

“The Integrated Revenue Monitoring System is being put in place to help the monitoring of the revenues of the FGOEs online real-time and to ensure its improved transparency and accountability.”

“This programme is designed as an orientation to the officers that will be posted as Directors of Revenues and is hoped that this will help them to discharge their duties effectively and efficiently and most importantly in utmost good faith.”

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Finance

CBN Reduced Interest Rate by 100 Basis Points to 11.5%

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CBN-Led Monetary Policy Reduces Benchmark Interest Rate to 11.5%

The Central Bank of Nigeria led Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) on Tuesday lowered the official interest rate by 100 basis points from 12.5 percent to 11.5 percent to stimulate growth and ease access to funds for businesses in the real sector.

The MPC had refused to reduce the interest rate from 12.5 percent despite the COVID-19 negative impacts on businesses and the economy at large. However, the change in tone may not be unconnected to the severity of Nigeria’s economic situation following a series of negative economic data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

Nigeria’s economy contracted by 6.10 percent in the second quarter while the unemployment rate rose to 27.1 percent or 21.8 million people and inflation hovering above 13 percent. This was after the apex bank adjusted the nation’s exchange rate twice to accommodate falling foreign reserves and discourage capital flight by most foreigners looking to exit the economy as uncertainties jumped to a record-high.

Still, with fast falling consumer spending amid huge unemployment numbers, the new monetary policy rate may not be effective as businesses need demand to thrive, a situation Nigeria may not experience in the near-term given recent increases in electricity tariff, petrol pump price and Value Added Tax.

Again, while Nigerians are being taxed to death and forced to pay more even with the decline in the value of the Naira, the same people are expected to patronise and sustain businesses without jobs.

The committee retains Cash Reserve Ratio at 27.5 percent while the liquidity ratio stood at 30 percent and the asymmetric corridor from +200/-500 around the MPR.

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