• Foreign investors, companies flee Nigeria, stock market turnover drops to N10.3bn as Buhari's economic policies backfire

    12/Sep/2016 // 535 Viewers

     

    The country’s stock market recorded a drop in liquidity to the tune of N411m in one month.

    The drop reflected on the volume and value of shares traded between August 12 and September 9, 2016.

    A turnover of 1.183 billion shares worth N10.300bn in 16,522 deals were traded last weekend by investors on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange. This, however, is in contrast with a turnover of 1.361 billion shares worth N10.711bn in 16,070 deals, which were traded four weeks ago (one month) by investors on the Exchange.

    Share turnover is a measure of stock liquidity calculated by dividing the total number of shares traded over a period by the average number of shares outstanding for the period. Thus, the lower the share turnover, the less liquid the shares of companies quoted on the Exchange and vice versa. 
    As of September 9, the financial services industry (measured by volume) led the activity chart with 1.015 billion shares valued at N7.136bn traded in 11,012 deals; thus contributing 85.83 per cent and 69.28 per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively.

    The conglomerates industry also followed with 69.777 million shares worth N473.308m in 564 deals.

    The third place was occupied by the services industry with a turnover of 42.223 million shares worth N75.881m in 202 deals.

    Trading in the top three equities namely – United Bank for Africa Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc and FBN Holdings Plc (measured by volume) accounted for 444.004 million shares worth N4.958bn in 4,153 deals, contributing 37.53 per cent and 48.13 per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value, respectively.

    However, as of August 12, the financial services industry (measured by volume) led the activity chart with 1.237 billion shares valued at N7.913bn, traded in 9,544 deals; thus, contributing 90.87 per cent and 73.88 per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value, respectively.

    The conglomerates industry followed with 46.182 million shares worth N77.192m in 637 deals. The third place was occupied by the consumer goods industry with a turnover of 38.102 million shares worth N1.372bn in 2,907 deals.

    Trading in the top three equities namely – Wapic Insurance Plc, FBN Holdings Plc and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (measured by volume) accounted for 666.721 million shares worth N5.064bn in 3,205 deals, contributing 48.99 per cent and 47.27 per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value, respectively.

    The Chief Executive Officer of the NSE, Mr. Oscar Onyema, at the end of last month, said the Exchange would continue to do its part in ensuring that a competitive platform was provided for players to participate in the financial market.

    He said in addition to the Minimum Operating Standards recently launched by the Exchange, “We have executed several initiatives to strengthen the operations of our dealing members and to make them comparable with their foreign counterparts.

    One of the initiatives, according to him, is X-Boss, which automates and enhances the regulatory and oversight function of the NSE over its dealing members in the area of rendition of regulatory filings, analysis of financial renditions, capital and liquidity monitoring as well as compliance monitoring and reporting in line with global best practices.

    Onyema further explained that the Exchange had implemented a strong regulatory environment to protect investors against infractions while enhancing investor confidence in the market.

    The National Bureau of Statistics had said the country in the second quarter of this year recorded its lowest investment inflow in nine years.

    The participation of foreign investors in the NSE fell by 15 per cent between January and February this year, according to data from the bourse.

    The NSE had put the level of participation by the foreigners at 51.57 per cent for January 2016. But for February 2016, the number dropped to 36.48 per cent.

    To this end, the President and Chairman, Governing Council of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers, Mr. Oluwaseyi Abe, in an interview, said Nigeria’s natural endowments still made it a very attractive investment destination.

    However, he noted that this must be strategically supported by well thought-out policies.

    He added, “The truth of the matter is that many foreign investors still regard Nigeria as a good investment destination because of our current political stability. However, they will be further encouraged if we also have some consistency with our foreign exchange policies in line with the global best practices. At the heart of the capital market is the issue of participation of local investors. Expectedly, it is the local investors who ultimately will bring stability to the equity market.”

    He said the stakeholders in the market were bound to worry when the market was in a downward swing.

    But this, he noted, was one of the attributes of stock markets globally, stressing that it was only normal for the market to swing upward and downward because “that is what makes it a market.”

    Abe explained that the direction of the capital market at any given time was a reflection of the economy and “it’s been known that the economy has not been doing too well lately.  In this regard, it is even the best time to invest in the capital market because once the economy gets better, the capital market will recover as well.”

    Some of the factors that draw investors into the capital market, according to him, are positive expectation about the economy; adequate and positive information about the market; security of investment; good returns in the form of dividends and / or capital gains, and favourable government policies.


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  • Nigerians will lose millions if MMM collapses - Founder warns

    13/Dec/2016 // 691 Viewers

     

    The founder of Mavrodi Mondial Movement, popularly known as MMM, Sergey Mavrodi,  has warned that millions of Nigerians will suffer, because “the scheme is their only means of livelihood”.

    In a letter written to the Nigerian government to justify the importance of the popular Ponzi scheme, seen by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Mavrodi warned the federal government should not allow the Ponzi scheme to collapse.  NAN said the letter was displayed on the page of all participants of the scheme.

    He stated that the money being made from the scheme was being redistributed among Nigerians as a way of “restoring social justice”.

    The letter reads in part: “So far MMM has come under a constant attack from you. In this regard, I would like to ask you a few simple questions. Since you are concerned with the interests of millions of your fellow citizens, I hope that you would be so kind to answer them.

    “What are you trying to get? Do you want the MMM System to collapse and millions of people to suffer? Who will support them then if now MMM is their only means of livelihood? Will you? You even don’t pay wages to people? Or might you not care about them? Might you be using a trendy topic to make a good name for yourselves? What will you say to a mother who will have no money to buy food for her child? Will you let her child die for the sake of the higher interests of the economy?

    “You say that MMM is a scam. What is the scam here, if all members are warned in advance about all the risks, the possible and impossible ones? They know there are no investments at all. The warning is a red text on a yellow background placed on most prominent place of the website.

    “You say that MMM is bad. Why? Yes, it produces nothing, but nothing gets out of the country either. The money is just redistributed among the citizens of Nigeria. It gets from those who are richer to poorer ones, in this way restoring social justice. What’s wrong with that?

    “You have repeatedly stated that “it should be investigated!.. researched!..” It means you know nothing about this System yet; you even haven’t understood how it works.

    “And finally. If you know what is right for people, why is the life so bad in the country?”

    He further noted that the MMM “has been working in Nigeria for a year, and according to your estimates, the total number of members now is about 3 million people”.

    The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) have previously warned Nigerians against participating in the scheme while the House of Representatives also ordered an investigation into the operation of the scheme, in October.


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  • ‘Calm down and watch MMM unfreeze accounts in January’

    13/Dec/2016 // 308 Viewers

     

    An MMM participant has told other members that the freeze will help the community weed out the “bad eggs”.

    He also said the freeze will be lifted in January.

    The participant, who introduced himself as “Alpha Romeo”, assured participants that their money is safe with the scheme.

    News broke on Tuesday that the accounts of “Mavros” have been frozen and withdrawals have been suspended till January.

    “I want you to understand that MMM began in November 2015, it saw December 2015 and crossed into 2016,” he wrote.

    “Today, 2016 December, we are faced with many challenges. So many people are running multiple accounts and this is killing the system. They take money from A and pay to B, then C and D without bringing new spare money into the system thereby shortchanging the system and this has caused a lot of issues.

    “In situations where they are unable to pay, they upload a fake BOP. Many of us have issues of fake BOP and the issue of fake BOP is in thousands. CRO has too many fake BOP issues in their hands and that is why they have been unable to reply us quickly as they used to.

    “When I joined MMM in March, there was nothing like fake BOP, all those who were matched to pay were payed. Everything was fine until the bad eggs came into the system.”

    According to him, the freezing is a welcome development.

    “Now, this freezing of confirmed Marvodi is a very welcome development because it will the community and CRO the opportunity to weed out the bad eggs. Those people who have multiple accounts, who are cheating the system and uploading fake BOP will be trashed out this December.

    “Even guiders are very strong culprits of having multiple accounts and when participants are unable to meet up payments, they upload fake BOP thereby killing and wasting another participant’s time. I can assure everybody that the issue of fake BOP will be resolved this December maybe before 20th.

    “It is better to have 1 million faithful participants than to have 3 million participants where 2 million are criminals.

    “Be calm, be happy and know that your Mavrodi is safe. The freeze will be lifted in January and those of us who are genuine can GH in peace. By next year, there will be nothing like fake BOP. MMM cares about you.”


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  • President Buhari records major victory as World Bank makes heart-warming prediction on Nigerian economy

    13/Oct/2016 // 472 Viewers

     

    After going through economic recession in 2016, Nigeria will experience moderate rebound in 2017, the World Bank has said.

    The bank, which stated this in its report, Africa’s Pulse, anchored the nation’s revival on the Federal Government’s expansionary budget, expected to begin to yield result only in 2017 because of slow implementation.

    It also hinged its optimism of early exit from recession on stable oil prices in the international oil market as well as expected increased production of oil.
     
    The World Bank report said, “Among the region’s three largest economies, Nigeria is expected to endure an economic contraction in 2016, as declining oil production and manufacturing weigh on activity.

    “The economy is expected to rebound moderately in 2017 as the long-delayed expansionary budget begins to be implemented, oil prices stabilise, and oil production increases. The shift to a more flexible exchange rate regime is also expected to encourage some Foreign Direct Investment to return.

    “Investment growth is expected to pick up gradually in commodity exporters in 2017, following a sharp slowdown in 2016. In Nigeria, policy reforms are helping to improve the environment for private investment.

    “The fuel shortages that had severely impacted activity in the first half of 2016 have eased following an increase in fuel prices. The tightening of monetary policy should help stabilise the naira, strengthen real interest rates, and encourage a return of international investment in the economy.”

    It added, “Private consumption growth in commodity exporters, which weakened significantly over the past two years, is expected to improve gradually. The increase in headline inflation and hike in the interest rate by the Central Bank of Nigeria, which have accompanied the shift to a more flexible exchange rate, have weighed on private consumption in the country.

    “However, the exchange rate policy adjustment, coupled with the modest improvement in oil prices, should help boost oil revenues in naira terms.”

    This, in turn, it said, should enable the federal and state governments to meet their financial obligations, including the clearance of salary arrears, and help boost demand.


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  • Nigerians have no option but to be patient because we took the best economic decision - CBN Governor

    14/Aug/2016 // 253 Viewers

     

    The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, on Saturday said the apex bank took the best monetary policy option in addressing the current economic challenges facing the country.

    He also said that except Nigerians embrace fully the concept of diversification, the country would not be able to generate enough foreign exchange to cushion the effect of the drop in the value of the naira.

    He further said the inability of the country to increase its stock of foreign exchange, owing to the drop in global oil prices, was the major reason for the persistent decline in the value of the naira against the dollar.
     
    Emefiele, while speaking during an interview on the sidelines of a career conference in Abuja, said the Monetary Policy Committee of the CBN could not have taken a better decision in view of the current challenges facing the country.

    The event, put together by The Everlasting Arms Parish of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, had as its theme,” Your life, your future — not a laughing matter.”

    The CBN governor who was responding to a question from journalists on the criticism of the CBN policy by eminent Nigerians, including the Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir el-Rufai, said it would be difficult for the apex bank to achieve price stability without the current monetary policy stance.

    el-Rufai had on Wednesday faulted the decision of the Central Bank of Nigeria to increase the Monetary Policy Rate from 12 per cent to 14 per cent.

    He had said, “We have a Central Bank that has an MPR at 14 per cent and banks lending at 20 per cent. I have said it before and I will repeat it again, unless the Central Bank and the banking system make a conscious decision to bring the interest rate down, one day it would be legislated.”

    Represented at the event by the Deputy Governor, Economic Policy, Mrs. Sarah Alade, the CBN governor said once the objective of price stability was achieved, the economy would begin to experience growth.

    He said, “At this moment, what we are doing is what is best for the economy. The concern even among the youth is the slide in the value of the naira and I told them that we also need to diversify the economy so that we could have more exports; we are also supporting the efforts of the government on this. Once we are able to achieve this, we would have the kind of interest rate that we want.

    “But at this particular time, to be able to get through the situation, we would have to take the decisions. And the Monetary Policy Committee considers all these factors before we take decisions.”

    Earlier, the governor admonished the youth on the importance of hard work, dedication to excellence and perseverance in achieving one’s goal.

    He said by imbibing these qualities, coupled with the requisite skills, they would be able to become great leaders in any area of their endeavours.


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  • Again, Naira falls abysmally low against U.S. dollar on Friday, currency experts say Naira to depreciate further in 2017 (See exchange rate)

    14/Jan/2017 // 3247 Viewers

     

     
    PARIS, JANUARY 14, 2017: (DGW) THE Nigerian Naira again fell against all major currencies on Friday on the parallel market as scarcity of the greenback continues, DailyGlobeWatch reliably gathered.

    Recall economic and currency experts predicted the Naira will depreciate further this year to hit above N500.

    The US dollar, our reporter gathered exchanged for as high as N497 as of Friday, January 13, 2017.

     However, the President, Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria, Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe, told Reuters that he expected dollar supplies to the BDCs to resume next week.


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  • BUHARI’s INEPTITUDE, POOR MANAGEMENT, responsible for NIGERIA’s economic woes – IMF

    14/Jan/2017 // 639 Viewers

     

    The International Monetary Fund has said that efforts by the Muhammadu Buhari administration to save the naira by rationing foreign exchange have failed.

    IMF stated this in its policy paper on macroeconomic developments and prospects in low-income developing countries on Thursday.

    The fund attributed economic failures in the country to “delayed/poorly managed policy adjustment.”

    It stated, “Domestic policy failures cited include delayed/poorly managed policy adjustment to lower commodity prices (as in Nigeria, where foreign exchange rationing adversely affected debt service capacity of many corporates).”

    The IMF also blamed the failures on lack of business confidence and delay in policy adjustment by Nigeria’s leadership.

    It said that the challenges concerning foreign exchange had pushed inflation to double digits in Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy.
    The IMF added, “There were sharp movements in currencies across many LIDCs during 2015. Further sizeable depreciations were recorded in 2016 in commodity exporters under stress,” the paper read.

    It added, “Mongolia, where reserve levels have been significantly eroded, and Nigeria, where efforts to support the naira through foreign exchange rationing, have gradually crumbled.

    “Inflation has risen to troubling levels in a handful of cases, concentrated in sub-Saharan Africa. Among commodity exporters, large exchange rate depreciations were a key contributor in Mozambique, Nigeria, and Zambia.”

    According to the fund, Nigeria is affected by Boko Haram-led attacks in the North and disruptions to oil production in the Niger Delta region.
    “Aside from direct damage and increased security outlays, conflict situations undermine business confidence, investment, and tourism,” it stated.
    It added that Nigeria’s economic problems affected neighbouring countries such as Chad and Benin Republic.

    The fund stated, “External developments have predictably played an important causal role in the emergence of financial sector stress, through falling commodity prices, declining remittances, and adverse spillovers from neighbours — as in the impact of Nigeria’s economic difficulties on Benin Republic.

    “That said, teams’ assessments indicate that poor macroeconomic policies and weak supervision have also played a significant contributory role.”
    It said that the recent experience of LIDCs underscored the relevance of some general messages for developing countries in terms of building economic resilience, which include “the value of having a diverse export base to allow countries handle adverse external shocks, and hence the importance of promoting economic diversification.

    Others are the importance of building large foreign reserve/asset positions during “good times” in countries where exports remain highly concentrated; and the need to build a strong broad based domestic tax system drawing from a diverse set of sectors and tax instruments, to strengthen self-reliance in financing essential public service.


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  • SEC chair to step down, clearing path for Trump to eliminate tough Wall Street regulations

    14/Nov/2016 // 232 Viewers

    SEC Chairman Mary Jo White appears before the Senate Banking Committee on Capitol Hill, June 14, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

     

    NEW YORK – Mary Jo White, the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission, announced Monday that she will step down nearly three years before the end of her term, clearing the way for President-elect Donald Trump to reshape the way Wall Street is regulated.

    The SEC, which polices Wall Street and the financial markets, has been a key part of the Obama administration’s effort to rein in big banks following the 2008 financial crisis and prevent future taxpayer bailouts of the industry. The agency has pushed for more oversight of hedge funds and other asset managers, and established rules that make it more difficult for big banks to make risky bets on the markets.

    White, a former federal prosecutor, is known for a no-nonsense style and attempted to beef up the agency’s enforcement efforts over the last three years, pushing for more companies to admit guilt and taking more cases to trial. But progressive Democrats were often critical of her efforts, complaining they did not go far enough.

    Trump has already indicated he would usher in a period of deregulation, including dismantling 2010’s financial reform legislation, known as the Dodd Frank Act. He appointed Paul Atkins, an industry veteran, who has called Dodd Frank a “calamity,” to lead the agency’s transition.

    Atkins “is a guy in general who wants to let companies do their thing and not get in the way very much,” Ian Katz, a financial policy analyst with the research firm Capital Alpha Partners, said of Atkins. “You would see a lighter touch on enforcement and a lighter hand on corporate governance issue broadly.”

    Atkins served as an SEC commissioner for six years during the President George W. Bush administration. He could not immediately be reached for comment.

    In addition to replacing White, Trump will be able to fill two openings on the five-member commission. Trump could also chose to ignore the more than 20-year old tradition of allowing the opposing political party to pick its own representative on the commission, one industry official said, further bolstering his influence over the agency. Also, Thomas Curry, the head of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, another important Wall Street regulator, has less than six months on his term. Together, the openings should give the Trump administration wide latitude to change the way Wall Street is regulated.


     “It is a game changer at the SEC. The commission is going to have a very different agenda over the next four years than it would have,” said Edward Mills, a policy analyst at investment bank FBR Capital Markets. “In the long-term it is going to be a big tilt towards free markets.

    White took office with high expectations. The SEC had long suffered under the popular notion that it was slow, toothless tiger. White appeared to be someone who might change that reputation. Prior to her appointment, she had been a federal prosecutor who took on the terrorists behind the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993 and the Mafia boss John Gotti.

    “You don’t want to mess with Mary Jo,” President Obama proclaimed while announcing her nomination in 2013.

    White moved quickly to set a new tone at the agency. Soon after taking office, she announced the SEC would begin requiring more companies to admit guilt as part of their settlements with the agency. It was a break from the SEC’s nearly 100-year history of extracting monetary penalties from companies, which typically would neither admit or deny the charges lodged against them.

     “The SEC had more leverage than it realized,” White said in a recent interview. Not requiring admissions of guilt could “undermine, at least, the perception of the strength of a settlement, the strength of its deterrence. In certain cases that public accountability, I think, is very important.”

    Critics would later complain that many large banks were still able to settle SEC cases without admitting guilt and that the agency’s toughest actions were reserved for smaller banks.

    The SEC also poured resources into improving its technical capabilities, hiring experts who could help it better track stock trading and catch fraud. The SEC’s technical capabilities have “really been transformed over the last three years,” White said. There have been several cases, including some involving insider trading, that would have been impossible without these advancements, she said. Examinations of trading patterns that used to take months, can now be done in hours, she said.


    But in the years since, the SEC has also been overwhelmed by the task of implementing dozens of rules called for under the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law and the 2012 JOBS Act, which aims to make it easier for small businesses to raise money. The 4,000-person agency has tussled repeatedly with Congress and complained that as Wall Street became more complex it needed a bigger budget to keep up

    White ultimately became a target of progressive groups who questioned her resolve to crack down on Wall Street. In addition to serving as a prosecutor, White also spent years defending big banks, including Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase, as a white-collar lawyer, they noted. And while White trumpeted that she had secured settlements with nearly 90 high-level executives for financial-crisis related misdeeds, critics noted that officials at some of the country’s largest banks had emerged largely unscathed.

    Last year, CREDO Action, a liberal advocacy group, sent a  “Dump (Mary Jo) Truck” around D.C. to mark the anniversary of the collapse of Lehman Brothers. - The Washington Post
     


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  • Finally, BUHARI dumps N'Delta OIL, focuses on other sources to fund 2017 budget

    15/Dec/2016 // 701 Viewers

     

    The 2017 budget of N7.298 trillion presented by President Muhammadu Buhari to the National Assembly yesterday will be funded more by non oil revenues.

    This year’s budget of N6 trillion is equally being funded more by non oil revenues.

    About N1.985 trillion or 27 percent of the 2017 budget total is projected to come from oil earnings.

    President Buhari said the budget proposal was based on a benchmark of $42.5 per barrel and an oil production estimate of 2.2 million barrels per day with an average exchange rate of N305 to the US dollar.

     The aggregate revenue available to fund the federal budget is N4.94 trillion, which is 28 percent higher than that of 2016, he said.

    The non-oil revenues, comprising Companies Income Tax, Value Added Tax, Customs and Excise duties, and Federation Account levies are estimated to contribute N2.8 trillion including N565.1 billion from various recoveries

    He said the budget has a deficit of N2.36 trillion, which is about 2.18 percent of GDP and that it would be financed mainly by borrowing, projected at about N2.32 trillion.

    “Our intention is to source N1.067 trillion or about 46% of this borrowing from external sources while, N1.254 trillion will be borrowed from the domestic market.”

    Tagged, “budget of recovery and growth”, out of the N7.298 trillion budget size, N419.02bn is for statutory transfers; N1.66trn for debt service; N177.46bn for sinking fund to retire certain maturing bonds and N2.98trn for non-debt recurrent expenditure, while the sum of N2.24trn is for capital expenditure, including capital in statutory transfers.

    He said 30.7 percent is dedicated to capital projects with the ministry of power, works and housing getting the lion’s share of N529bn.

    The sum of N500bn is retained for special intervention programme, comprising home-grown school feeding programme, government economic empowerment programme, N-Power Job Creation Programme, Conditional Cash Transfers to the poorest families and the new Family Homes Fund (social housing scheme), he added.

    The ministry of power, works and housing got the lion’s share of the capital component with N529bn, followed by the ministry of transportation, which has N262 billion, Defence, N140bn; water resources, N85bn; industry, trade and investment, N81bn; interior, N63bn; education N50bn; Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), N92bn; health, N51bn; Federal Capital Territory, N37bn; Niger Delta ministry, N33bn and Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), N61bn with N92bn for agriculture.

    Buhari also said that the allocation for the Presidential Amnesty Programme has been increased to N65bn from N20bn in 2016 budget, N45 billion for the rehabilitation of the North East to complement the funds domiciled at the Presidential Committee on the North East Initiative as well as commitments received from the multinational donors.”

    The sum of N15 billion has been provided for the recapitalization of the Bank of Industry and the Bank of Agriculture. In addition, the Development Bank of Nigeria will soon start operations with US$1.3 billion focused exclusively on Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises.”

    The judiciary budget has been increased from N70bn in the 2016 budget to N100bn in the 2017 proposal.

    As for recurrent expenditure, the president said a significant portion has been allocated for the payment of salaries and overheads in institutions that provide critical public services.

     

    The proposed amounts for such services are:

    N482.37bn for the ministry of interior;  N398.01bn for education ministry ; N325.87bn for defence ministry and N252.87bn for the ministry of health.

    As part of efforts to fast-track the modernization of the railway system, he said, the sum of N213.14 billion has been allocated as counterpart funding for the Lagos-Kano, Calabar-Lagos, Ajaokuta-Itakpe-Warri railway, and Kaduna-Abuja railway projects.

    The sum of N50bn has been set aside as Federal Government’s contribution for the expansion of existing as well as the development of new Export Processing and Special Economic Zones, which would be developed in partnership with the private sector, he said.

    He said the ministry of finance was directed to cut some overheads by 20 percent to eliminate all non-essential costs so as to free resources to fund capital expenditure.

    “We have maintained personnel costs at about N1.8 trillion.

    “The effort to diversify the economy and create jobs will continue with emphasis on agriculture, manufacturing, solid minerals and services. Mid- and Down-stream oil and gas sectors are also key priority areas.”

    Buhari said the implementation of the 2016 Budget was hampered by the combination of relatively low oil prices in the first quarter of 2016, and disruptions in crude oil production which led to significant shortfalls in projected revenue.

     

    “As at 30 September 2016, aggregate revenue inflow was N2.17 trillion or 25% less than projected projections. Similarly, N3.58 trillion had been spent by the same date on both recurrent and capital expenditure. This is equivalent to 79% of the pro-rated full year expenditure estimate of N4.54 trillion as at the end of September 2016, “he said. 

     

    The president said in spite of these challenges,”we met both our debt service obligations and personnel costs. Similarly, overhead costs have been largely covered.

    “Although capital expenditure suffered as a result of project formulation delays and revenue shortfalls, in the five months since the 2016 Budget was passed, the amount of N753.6 billion has been released for capital expenditure as at the end of October 2016.

    “It is important to note that this is one of the highest capital releases recorded in the nation’s recent history. In fact, it exceeds the aggregate capital expenditure budget for 2015,”he said.

    “We continue to face the most challenging economic situation in the history of our Nation. Nearly every home and nearly every business in Nigeria is affected one way or the other. Yet, I remain convinced that this is also a time of great opportunity.

    In the past 18 months, the President said the country has experienced low oil prices that brought down the foreign exchange earnings  by about 60 percent.

     

    “I will stand my ground and maintain my position that under my watch, that old Nigeria is slowly but surely disappearing and a new era is rising in which we grow what we eat and consume what we make. 

     

    He said the demand of the urban consumer has presented an opportunity for the rural producer.

    “Across the country, our farmers, traders and transporters are seeing a shift in their fortunes. Nigerians who preferred imported products are now consuming made in Nigeria products. From Argungu in Kebbi to Abakalaki in Ebonyi, rice farmers and millers are seeing their products move.

    “We must replicate such success in other staples like wheat, sugar, soya, tomato and dairy products. Already, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Organised Private Sector and a handful of Nigerian commercial banks, have embarked on an ambitious private sector-led N600 billion program to push us towards self-sufficiency in three years for these products,” he said.

    He said the country’s partnership with Morocco on fertiliser production would create thousands of jobs and save Nigeria US$200 million of foreign exchange and over N60 billion in subsidy.

    “Let it not be lost on anyone that the true drivers of our economic future will be the farmers, small and medium sized manufacturers, agro-allied businesses, dressmakers, entertainers and technology start-ups. They are the engine of our imminent economic recovery. And their needs underpin the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan,” he said.

    Government will however at all times ensure the protection of public interest,” he said.

    Buhari said, “we clearly understand the paradox that to diversify from oil we need oil revenues. You may recall that oil itself was exploited by investment from agricultural surpluses. We will now use oil revenues to revive our agriculture and industries”.

    To meet daily 2.2m barrel oil production, he said they will continue their engagement with the communities in the Niger Delta to ensure that there is minimum disruption to oil production.

    To enhance the efficiency of the management of oil and gas resources, he said from January 2017, the Federal Government will no longer make provision for Joint Venture cash-calls. Going forward, all Joint Venture operations shall be subjected to a new funding mechanism, which will allow for Cost Recovery.

    “This new funding arrangement is expected to boost exploration and production activities, with resultant net positive impact on government revenues which can be allocated to infrastructure, agriculture, solid minerals and manufacturing sectors, “he said.


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  • Buhari has no IQ to manage economy, better off fighting Boko Haram - OBJ

    15/May/2016 // 861 Viewers

     

    Former President Olusegun Obasanjo says President Muhammadu Buhari may not do well in economy and foreign affairs, except in military matters.

    “Buhari is not a very hot person on the economy and foreign affairs,” Obasanjo said.

    The former President stated this on Monday at the third International Conference on African Development Issues — themed, “Driving inclusive and sustainable development in Africa: Models, methods and policies” — organised by Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State.

    While reacting to a question posed to him by a member of the audience: “Is there any hope for Nigeria under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari?”, Obasanjo replied, “Is there any hope for Nigeria under this administration? I came back from Geneva, Switzerland a few days ago to attend a conference titled, ‘Are elections giving democracy a bad name?’ We had an election, we elected a leader and the good thing about democracy is that the power you have to elect a leader is also the power you have to remove him. I am saying this because I said earlier that if you don’t see any leader that has done well in the 56 years of Nigeria’s independence, then let us forget about Nigeria.

    “I will tell you what I know and I will tell you what I don’t know. I know Gen. Muhammadu Buhari. He served under me in the military. His characteristics that I know, his behaviour that I know, he has not deviated from them. He was never a perfect man, he is not a perfect man and no leader can ever be a perfect man because they are human beings. But if you read my book, what I said about him is correct. He is not a hot person when it comes to economy. He is not a very hot person when it comes to foreign affairs. But he will do well in matters of military and he will do well in fighting Boko Haram.”

    The former president also said he tried his best in fighting corruption, especially in the recovery of funds looted by the late Gen. Sani Abacha and that as of the time he left the government, about $1bn was still to be recovered.

    Obasanjo said, “For me, we have no hope if we have no future. I am an optimist as far as Nigeria is concerned. If somebody doesn’t get it all right for now, we will get somebody who will come up and fix whatever is missing. The administration before this had no clue on how to deal with Boko Haram, there is no doubt about that.

    “You may not like the way he (Buhari) is fighting corruption. I fought corruption. We recovered over $1.25bn from Abacha and his men. We didn’t make noise. Also, we recovered £100m and about N30m and those who were helping us, the lawyers and the rest said there was still at least $1bn to be recovered at that time. I put it in my handover notes. But rather than encourage scrupulous persons, we had another spate of corruption.”

    Obasanjo added that fighting corruption would not be effective if it did not translate to better life for the citizens.

    He said, “Fighting corruption is not a one-day or a one-regime affair. If where we left it, they continued, we would have gone far. For me, the questions are: Is corruption being fought? And if it is being fought, is it being effectively fought? Are we getting the desired results? And if we are getting the desired results, what impact is it having on our society and on our nation?”

    Other speakers at the event included Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Prof. Joy Ogwu, and the Associate Vice-President, Research, McMaster University, Canada, Prof. Bonny Ibhawoh.

    They both said if Africa was to experience any development, leaders must match their words or policies with action. - Punch


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