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

    15/Dec/2016 // 735 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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  • : Nationwide jubilation as FG shows 'proof' of Nigeria's economy going out of recession

    15/Feb/2017 // 1712 Viewers

     

    PARIS, FEBRUARY 14, 2017:(DGW) THE  Federal Government yesterday tendered proof that the Nigerian ailing economy which slid into recession is showing signs of receding  which has almost grounded all means of production thereby forcing foreign investors to flee the country and causing untold hardship to Nigerians across the country, The Nation has reported.

    Tendering proof the Federal Government reportedly said  'about eight-fold over subscription of the government’s Eurobond (orders in excess of US$7.8 billion compared to a pre-issuance target of US$1bn).

    Besides, the oversubscription, the government believes, has confirmed the confidence level of the international investment community in Nigeria’s economic reform agenda.

    A report in Issue 23 of Aso Villa’s Newsletter, Government at Work, released on Monday, also gave 11 other reasons why the government believes that the economy is on its way out of recession.

    After two consecutive quarters of negative growth, according to the newsletter, the non-oil economy witnessed in Q3 2016 a modest return to positive territory at 0.03%.

    It attributed this marginal growth to the continued good performance of agriculture and solid minerals, two sectors prioritised by the Federal Government.

    According to it, agriculture grew by 4.54% in the quarter; crop production is at nearly 5% – its highest since the first quarter of 2014.

    Growth in the solid mineral sector, the newsletter said, averaged about 7%.

    The second reason why the government believes the economy is recovering is the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) of the Central Bank of Nigeria, which it said substantially raised local rice production in 2016 (yields improved from two tonnes per hectare to as much as seven tonnes per hectare, in some states) and produced a model agricultural collaboration between Lagos and Kebbi states.

    Thirdly, it said that the Fertiliser Intervention Project (which involves a partnership with the Government of Morocco, for the supply of phosphate) is on course to significantly raise local production, and bring the retail price of fertiliser down by about 30 percent.

    Another reason given by the government is the taking off of the newly established Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN), with initial funding of US$1.3bn (provided by the World Bank, German Development Bank, the African Development Bank and Agence Française de Development) to provide medium and long-term loans to MSMEs.

    The newsletter states: “A new Social Housing Programme is kicking off in 2017. The ‘Family Homes Fund’ will take off with a 100 billion naira provision in the 2017 Budget. (The rest of the funding will come from the private sector).

    “More than N800 billion  has been released for capital expenditure in the 2016 budget, since implementation started in June 2016. This is the largest ever capital spend within a single budget year in the history of Nigeria. These monies have enabled the resumption of work on several stalled projects – road, rail and power projects – across the country.”
    The government also gave the implementation of the Social Investment and Empowerment Programme (SIP) as a reason for growth of the economy.

    All the four components of the SIP, it noted, have now taken off.
    The newsletter described the SIP as the largest and most ambitious social safety net programme in the history of Nigeria, with more than 1 million beneficiaries so far: – 200,000 N-Power beneficiaries, 23,400 Government Enterprise and Empowerment (GEEP) Scheme beneficiaries, 1,000,000 Homegrown School Feeding Programme (HGSFP) beneficiaries, and ongoing Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) payments across nine pilot states.

    It said: “Strategic Engagements with OPEC and in the Niger Delta have played an important part in raising our expected oil revenues. Already, Nigeria’s External Reserves have grown by more than $4 billion in the last three months.

    “Collaboration with China, proceeding from President Buhari’s April 2016 visit, has unlocked billion of dollars in infrastructure funding. Construction will begin on the first product of that collaboration, a 150km/hour rail line between Lagos and Ibadan, in Q1 2017.

    “The National Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (NERGP), the Federal Government’s medium-term Economic Plan, is due for launch in February 2017, and will chart a course for the Nigerian economy over the next four years (2017 – 2020).” it stated.


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

    15/May/2016 // 883 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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  • Domestic routes air tickets up by 40% , aviation fuel now sells for over N240 per litre as economy sinks (See prices)

    16/Dec/2016 // 1207 Viewers

     

    PARIS, DECEMBER 16, 2016: (DGW) REPORTS  reaching our Paris newsdesk tonight have it that the price of air ticket within Nigeria has jumped by over 40% as scarcity of Jet A1 - aviation fuel bites harder.

    According to the report emailed to our newsroom a while ago, major airline operating in the country complained of their inability to get aviation fuel to fly their planes and where it is available the cost is prohibitive thus forcing the airline operators to increase prices of air tickets.

    One of the airline operators who spoke to our reporter at the airport of Lagos said, “As I am talking to you now Jet A1 has increased to N240 per litre from N210. Honestly, it is not easy at all. We are now running after marketers to get fuel.” 

    Information obtained by our reporter in Lagos, Nigeria shows that Medview Airlines takes between N86,000 and N88,000, Arik Air charges between N70,740 and N76,000 while Dana Airlines takes N73,000 for a round trip ticket on the same route.


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  • Again, Naira falls abysmally low on Friday (Exchange rate outrageous!)

    16/Dec/2016 // 1778 Viewers

     

    PARIS, DECEMBER 16, 2016: (DGW)  Again the Nigerian Naira reportedly fell on Friday on the parallel as the US dollar scarcity worsens ahead o the f Christmas season, information reaching DailyGlobeWatch has confirmed.

    The Nigerian currency exchanged at N487 to a dollar, from N485 it had maintained for close to two weeks, while the Pound Sterling and the Euro closed at N605 and N510 respectively.

    At the Bureau De Change (BDC) window, the Naira closed at N399 to a dollar, CBN controlled rate, while the Pound Sterling and the Euro traded at N606 and N515 respectively.

    The Naira remained stable at the inter-bank market, trading at N305 to a dollar.

    Traders said that the demand for dollars was putting pressure on the Naira. (NAN)


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  • Buhari suffers major national disgrace, as another APC policy fails woefully

    16/Dec/2016 // 1530 Viewers

     

    (POST NIGERIA) Some Graduates recently enlisted for the Federal Government’s N-Power Programme in Oyo State, have decried their non-posting, to start the work the government claimed it had secured for them.

    They also urged the Federal Government, especially the office of the Vice President, to investigate, and save them from the improper ways some Local Government Areas in the State are currently managing the scheme.

    Recall, that the Special Adviser to the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, Mr. Laolu Akande, had in recent reports, claimed that the 200,000 unemployed youths across the 36 States, and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, have been posted to their respective places of work.

    He claimed that those employed, will start work and receive their stipend from December 1.

    However, those who spoke at different locations on Thursday, in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, commended the Federal Government’s efforts to employ 200,000 youths in the first batch of the employment scheme, out of the 500,000 the government promised to employ.

    They however, condemned a situation where none of them have bearing of when, and how to be placed in the scheme.

    They also lamented the way some Local Government Councils in the State, are managing the scheme.

    One of the N-Power beneficiary, who identified herself as Yinka, said she was surprised that in Lagelu Local Government Area, Iyana Offa, there was no one to attend to them, during the submission of their credentials, except serving NYSC corps members.

    She said: “How can serving corpers be given the task of screening us, when some of us have graduated even before some of the serving corpers got admission. It is very ridiculous that in Lagelu Local Government Area, it is the serving corpers that are screening us. It is like when you said the children should screening their parents. Very bad.

    “Even though we have submitted our details, up till now we have not been called, placed, or posted to where we suppose to work.

    “Even, the process is too cumbersome, where they ask unnecessary documents, such as NEPA bill, and National ID card. What does NEPA bill has to do with verification, when they have seen our names and other things on their list. They have the list already, do they need to ask for NEPA bill, before they screen us”.

    Another beneficiary in Akinyele Local Government Area, who simply gave her first name as Kehinde, a graduate of the Polytechnic in Ibadan, said: “Yes, we have submitted our print out, but up till now, we have not been posted. What is worrisome, is the government said we have started to work, they promised that we will collect salary of this month of December, I pray it works out, though, we have not heard anything from them”.

    Similarly, another beneficiary in Ibadan North East Local Government Area, Mr. Abass said: “I don’t know why Oyo State is different, I have a friend who is in Osun State, he said he has been posted, but we are yet to be posted. Even the way this thing is being handled is bad”.

    In his own submission, another yet to be placed beneficiary, Mr. Femi from in Akinyele Local Government Area, urged the State Government, to put the necessary machinery in place, to ensure that it is done properly, so that the benefit will not elude them.


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  • JUST IN: End of the road, more pain, hunger for Nigerians, as inflation hits 18.72%

    16/Feb/2017 // 263 Viewers

     

    Nigerians are in for more pain and hunger as inflation appears unabated with sharp increase in the prices of major food items across the country.

    A report from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), yesterday, indicated that the inflation rate, which stood at 18.55 percent in December 2016, climbed to 18.72 percent in January 2017.

    The NBS report showed that the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which measures inflation, increased in January by 0.17 percent from the rate recorded in December, just as increases were recorded in all divisions that yield the Headline Index.

    Yesterday’s report stated that communication, restaurants and hotels, again, recorded the slowest pace of growth in January, growing at 5.1 per cent and 8.4 per cent (year-on-year), respectively.

    “The faster pace of growth in headline inflation, year on year, were bread and cereals; meat, fish, oils and fats; potatoes, yams and other tubers; wine and spirits; clothing materials and accessories.

    “Others are electricity, cooking gas, liquid and solid fuels; motor cars and maintenance; vehicle spare parts and fuels; and lubricants for personal transport equipment as well as passenger transport by road,” the report said.

    The report also showed that, on a monthly basis, headline inflation was driven by passenger transport by air, fuels and lubricants for personal transport equipment; liquid fuels, cooking gas, oils and fats; fruits, cheese and eggs; fish, meat and bread; as well as cereals.

    The bureau noted that the food index increased by 17.82 per cent (year-on-year) in January,  by 0.43 percent from the rate recorded in December, 2016, (17.39 percent).

    “During the month, all major food sub-indexes increased, with soft drinks recording the slowest pace of increase at 7.8 per cent(year on year).

    “The highest increases were seen in housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels, with education and transport growing at 27.2, 21.0 and 17.2 per cent, respectively,” NBS said.

    The report further showed that on a month-on-month basis, the headline index increased, although at a slower pace last month. It stated that index increased by 1.01 percent point in January, 0.05 percent from 1.06 percent rate recorded in December 2016.

    “The urban index rose by 20.31 percent (year-on-year) in January from 20.12 percent recorded in December, and the rural index increased by 17.34 percent in January from 17.20 percent in December.

    “On month-on-month basis, the urban index rose by 1.03 per cent in January from 1.08 per cent recorded in December, while the rural index rose by 1.00 per cent in January from 1.04 per cent in December.

    The bureau said the corresponding 12-month year-on-year average percentage change for the urban index increased from 17.05 percent, in December, to 17.91 percent in January, while the corresponding rural index also increased from 14.54 percent, in December, to 15.18 percent in January.

    According to the NBS, the Composite Food Index rose by 17.82 per cent in January, 2017. It attributed the rise in the index to increase in prices of bread and cereals, meat, fish, oil and fats.

    “On a month-on-month basis, the food sub-index increased by 1.29 percent in January and reduced by 0.04 percent points from 1.33 percent recorded in December.”

    Meanwhile, the “All Items Less Farm Produce” or Core sub-index, which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural produce eased by 17.9 percent during the month, 0.20 per cent points from 18.1 percent recorded in December, as all key divisions which contribute to the index increased.

    The report further showed that the core sub-index increased by 0.68 percent in January, 0.06 percent points higher from 0.62 percent recorded in December. The highest increases were recorded in electricity, gas, passenger transport by air, liquid fuel and lubricants for personal transport equipment and solid fuels.

    “Nigeria’s inflation rate increased from 9.6 percent recorded in December, 2015, to 18.55 percent in December, 2016, as a result of sharp increase in the prices of meat, bread, fish, vegetable, and other products,” the NBS said.


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  • Tension as DR. ABRAHAM NWANKWO, DG, Debt Management Office reveals Nigeria's total debt profile

    16/Feb/2017 // 1936 Viewers

     

    Abraham Nwankwo, director-general of the Debt Management Office (DMO), on Thursday revealed that the nation’s total debt profile as of December 31, 2016, was $57.39 billion dollars (N17.36 trillion).

    He made this known while defending the agency’s 2017 budget before the senate committee on local and foreign debts in Abuja.

    Nwankwo said the amount included domestic and foreign debts owed by the country.

    He said the external debt profile stood at $11.41 billion (N3.48 trillion), while the domestic debt stock stood at $45.98 billion (N13.88 trillion).

    According to him, the debt stock of N17. 36 trillion owed by the country included debts of the federal government, the 36 states of the federation and the federal capital territory (FCT).

    Nwankwo also said that the difference was due to the projected debt service payments in respect of new financing that was not fully utilised, as only few loans became effective during the period.

    He said the domestic debt stock of the federal government, the 36 states and the FCT accounted for about 80 percent of the total debt, while their external debt stock accounted for about 20 per cent.

    Nwankwo said though Nigeria’s debt profile was on the increase, it was not in a precarious economic situation that would warrant seeking for debt relief.

    He added that in spite of the recession, the economic indices had not portrayed Nigeria as a weak economy to warrant seeking for debt relief.

    “Nigeria is not in a position to beg for debt forgiveness,” he said.

    “In spite of the present state of the economy, the country is still counted as a strong economy among other countries. The economic indicators show that Nigeria has a strong economy.”

    He said if borrowing would be genuinely committed to infrastructural development, it would go a long way in the move to develop the economy.

    On repayment of the debt, he said the ministry of finance was making effort to expand the nation’s tax base.

    According to him, this will be done by ensuring that people and companies that are not paying taxes begin to pay to boost the revenue base and reduce the need for borrowing.

    He lamented that tax collection in Nigeria had been poor, contributing to reduced revenue generation.


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  • JUST IN: Again, returning INVESTORS 'flee' as IMF releases another damning report on NIGERIA

    16/Jan/2017 // 1514 Viewers

     

    The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has blamed the double digit inflation rate in Nigeria on the challenges around foreign exchange (forex), adding that efforts of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to defend the naira by forex rationing crumbled like soap bubbles.

    About a year ago, its Managing Director, Christine Lagarde, met with the major players in the Nigerian economy, including President Muhammadu Buhari, Finance Minister, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, and CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele.

    The IMF chief canvassed the removal of fuel subsidy and naira devaluation— both of which have been done.

    In its policy paper on macroeconomic developments and prospects in low-income developing countries (LIDCs), unveiled at the weekend, IMF said the failures in the economy were due to “delayed/poorly managed policy adjustment”.

    “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.

    IMF said this includes “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”.

    The IMF blamed the failures on lack of business confidence in conflict zones and delay in policy adjustment by the country’s leadership.
    “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.

    “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.”
    The fund also said Nigeria’s financial developments affected neighbouring countries like Chad, which also plunged into a recession, and Benin.

    “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 neighbors — as in the impact of Nigeria’s economic difficulties on Benin.
    “That said, teams’ assessments indicate that poor macroeconomic policies and weak supervision have also played a significant contributory role,” IMF said.


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  • Marriages broken, suicide rate increase among MMM customers as SERGEY MAVRODI absconds from Nigeria

    17/Dec/2016 // 916 Viewers

     

    Millions of Nigerians are counting their losses after the announcement of suspension of activities by online banking outfit, Mavrodi Mondial Movement (MMM), to which many Nigerians have committed their hard-earned money. In an announcement that sent shock waves than the spines of millions of MMM customers across the country, the online banking outfit said it had decided to suspend operations for one month from December 12, 2016 to January 12, 2017.

    Similar operations of the outfit in countries like Russia, Zimbabwe and South Africa were said to have ended unceremoniously after people had committed huge sums to it, disrupting families, bringing marriages under severe pressure and leading many individuals to commit suicide. The ugly experiences of the aforementioned countries at the hands of MMM has naturally led many to conclude that Nigeria is about to have its own share of the bank’s bitter pill.

    The current crisis has exposed many family members who had been patronising the outfit secretly, and the consequent feeling of betrayal has led a woman in Port Harcourt to declare an end to her marriage with her husband who had been patronising MMM without her knowing about it until the bubble bust.

    Margret departed her matrimonial home on Wednesday after discovering that her husband was among the victims of MMM after previously denying having anything to do with it.

    Margaret said: “I am leaving because I cannot live with a liar. He told me to lend him my business money, saying that he was going to pay back after one month. I warned him that he should not join the MMM, and he said he was going to use the money to execute a contract.


     
    “Seeing his body language, after one week, I told him to promise me that the money I lent him was not for MMM. He said he could not lie to me and vowed that he would never have anything to do with them. But I was surprised when the news of the suspension of MMM’s operations broke yesterday, he went out, got himself drunk and came back to tell me that he was finished.

    “It was then that I realised that my husband was into MMM, He borrowed N500,000 from me. He is a minister in our church. I have just told the pastor everything. I also told the pastor that I’m not going to continue with the marriage again.”

    Mrs. Chiamaka Udu, who said she had invested N2 million in the venture, told our correspondent during the week that she was going to die.

    She said: “Look I am going to die. I just provided help for some persons as directed by the website. Now I’m hearing this kind of news. I will not agree. How can I see them? I’m going to die. Tell me what to do now. Please sir, what do you think I should do? They paid me recently and I added all the money I have to provide help. They said they are coming back in January, but how sure?”

    Another victim, Mr. Geoffrey Nnamdi, said: “Please, I don’t want to say anything. All I believe is that God will make a way. You can see me now I’m drinking to forget about it. If they reopen in January, I will thank God. If they fail to open, I will bear it. At least I will drink more.”

    But another MMM customer, who identified himself simply as Mr. Jude, believes that what the outfit had taken from him was little compared to what he had taken from it.

    He said: “We were the one that started MMM. While others are crying today, we are celebrating because I have since recovered my money. The money with them now is just a change. So if they want to take it, they should go ahead. But to be frank, I don’t think they are running away. People are just panicking.”


     
    Mr. Chinedu Ejimadu, an MMM referee who said he had registered about 40 people, said that people were only panicking, adding that many people were ignorant of the letter posted on the website.

    He said: “I can quote the letter for you. The letter said as usual, in the New Year season, the system is experiencing heavy workload. Moreover, it has to deal with the constant frenzy provoked by the authorities in the mass media.

    “Things are still going well. The participants feel calm. Everyone gets paid. As you can see, there hasn’t been any payment delay or other problems yet. Moreover, there are almost three weeks left to the New Year. Hence on the basis of the above mentioned, from now on, all confirmed Mavro will be frozen for a month.

    “The reason for this measure is evident. We need to prevent any problems during the New Year season, and then when everything calms down, this measure will be cancelled, which we will definitely do.

    “Now tell me, what is wrong in this letter? But Nigeria media is today celebrating with the news, which is bad. This will make some ignorant people to feel bad or even commit suicide.”

    A particularly pathetic case is one involving a primary school teacher and mother of three and her bedridden husband. Her son, who gave his name as Sopulu, said they had received the pension of his bedridden father from the Pensions Commission.

    Sopulu said: “The money came directly to our mum who is the next of kin, according to the form filled by our dad. Mummy’s friend, who lives four houses away from us, convinced her to invest the money in MMM. This she did after deducting an amount for our immediate needs. The rest she sent to MMM and here we are.”

    He said they could not tell their dad about the development because of his precarious health condition. “To be fair to our mum, we were not against her investing the money in MMM. Even now that the venture seems to have collapsed and she has developed high blood pressure, we are giving her all the support, hoping that it shall be well by January as they promised.”

    Sopulu is a 400 level engineering student of Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT).

    Lamentations in Anambra

    In Anambra State, there have been lamentations among many MMM customers, some of who invested close to N10 million and had been using the proceeds to build houses.

    A woman who was said to have registered one million naira cried all day, having failed to heed the advice of her husband not to venture into it. The husband (name withheld) told The Nation that his wife disobeyed him by registering one million naira in the MMM venture but had since been regretting and crying her eyes out.

    But a cyber café operator at Aroma Junction, Awka, Mr. Martin Okafor, told The Nation that he had no regrets being a part of the MMM saga. He said the business outfit was meant to help the poor as recession had hit the country, adding that the business would resume on January 12, 2017.

    The reason it was shut down, according to Okafor, was to stop people travelling for Christmas not to upload fake tellers and to stop the imbalance of the system during the Yuletide, getting help than providing it.

    Panic in Ekiti

    In Ado-Ekiti, anxious customers trooped to various banks to withdraw cash. They lined up for several hours inside the banking halls and in front of automated teller machines (ATMs) but went home frustrated.

    Frustrated MMM customers were noticed at banks located in areas like Ijigbo, Ajilosun, Okeyinmi, Okesa and Secretariat Road, which has the largest concentration of banks in Ado Ekiti, the state capital. The same scenario played out in towns like Ikere, Ikole, Ilawe, Aramoko, Igede, Omuo, Ifaki, Oye, Ise and Emure.

    An investor in MMM, Tunde Ogunsakin expressed frustration at the turn of events, saying he found it difficult to believe that the financial network would return on January 12 as promised.

    “My brother, this development came to me as a rude shock because I just recently invested about N350,000 from my textile business hoping to reap returns very shortly, but see what has happened now.”

    Another MMM investor was heard telling his friend: “My parents warned me against investing my money in MMM but I told them that nothing ventured nothing gained. But you can see now that the risk taken has backfired.”

    Segun Asubiojo, who declined to reveal the amount he invested, said: “I logged into my personal system only to find a message that all my confirmed mavros had been frozen till January 2017 due to overload.

    “This will be detrimental to the community because Nigerians are easily scared and they will panic so badly that no one would even portray fraudulent behaviours to Nigerian population hindering newcomers from joining.”

    A student, Dupe Esan said: “When we started putting our funds in the scheme, one could get assistance within seven days. But this later changed to 14 days. And when we were shut out, the waiting period was 21 days.

    “What it simply means is that the number of people in need of help has outnumbered the number of people joining. Right now, we have nowhere to get our money which we invested.”

    In Warri where many residents have joined the scheme, the reactions to the freezing of the scheme has been diverse. While some are still very optimistic of a comeback, others, who are also waiting to ‘get help’, see it as the back side of a risky venture.

    Checks around Warri showed that many residents, especially those in the lower cadre of the economic scale, have invested varying sums. Some of the investors have put their funds in at multiple times, hoping to ‘Get Help’.


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