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Nigeria’s foreign reserve rises to $44.14bn

Foreign exchange reserves have risen to a six-month high of $44.14bn, data obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), shows. It gained over $1.8bn to strengthen against a dip in Februrary 28 when it dropped to $42.296bn. The CBN data shows the reserves rose slightly from $43.116bn on December 31, 2018, to $43.174bn on January 31, 2019, before falling…

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Tinubu kicks against 50% VAT increase

National leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, has kicked against reports of government's plan to increase the Value Added Tax (VAT). The VAT which is charged at 5% could be hiked to 50% considering statement attributed to Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, that the Nigerian government has concluded plans to increase revenue by introducing new taxes. Officials…

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Read more about the article N100 billion Nigeria bonds go on sale March 27
Federal Government of Nigeria to auction 100bn Bonds on March 27

N100 billion Nigeria bonds go on sale March 27

The Debt Management Office (DMO), announced on Tuesday that the Federal Government will be auctioning bonds of N100 billion come March 27. Bonds are categorised into three based on their maturation period. The five-year re-opening bonds of N40 billion with maturation period in April 2023 is offered at 12.75 per cent. Seven-year re-opening bonds also of N40 billion, maturing in…

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Nigeria, France Trade Volume Hits $7bn – Envoy

Trade between Nigeria and France currently stands at $7 billion, Nigeria’s envoy to France, Amb. Akin Fayomi, has said.

Fayomi, who spoke with the Western Europe Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday, in Paris, said that the figure represented the volume of trade in 2012.

"As at 2012, the volume of trade was about $7 billion which translates to about 4.5 billion euro. It is a lot of money considering the economic recession, though given the potentials of Nigeria we feel it is not enough.

"We are France's second largest trading partner in sub-Saharan Africa, and the trade is in favour of Nigeria as oil is our main export," he said.

The envoy, however, said that French investors were keen on exploring other areas of investment.

"Already, there is a lot of involvement in other sectors like construction, manufacturing and others.  The oil sector is saturated; Total has been operating in the country for many years.

"Also in Pharmaceuticals, there are some companies that manufacture drugs in partnership with some Nigerian companies,’’ Fayomi said.

He added: "Similarly, in waste management and maintenance culture, some state governments are in partnership with French companies."

Fayomi further said that the embassy was liaising with some French institutions for exchange programmes for Nigerian students and teachers in order to encourage the study of French as a language.

NAN reports that upon its attainment of independence in 1960, Nigeria immediately established diplomatic relations with France.

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Nasarawa Assembly Passes N110bn Appropriation Bill For 2013

The Nasarawa State House of Assembly on Wednesday passed the state's 2013 appropriation bill of N110 billion into law.

The Majority Leader of the House, Mr Godiya Akwashiki, moved the motion for speedy passage of the bill to enable the State Government deliver dividends of democracy to the people.

Akwashiki (PDP-Nassarawa Eggon West), urged his colleagues to pass the bill to enable the government execute development projects for the benefit of the people.

He said: ``The total amount approved is N110 billion comprising recurrent expenditure of N42.3 billion, representing 38.4 per cent, and capital expenditure of N67.7 billion, representing 61.6 per cent, for the 2013 fiscal year.”

The Minority Leader of the House, Alhaji Adamu Maikatako (CPC-Lafia Central), seconded the motion for speedy passage of the bill.

Maitakato said the passage of the bill would also enable the government to complete various ongoing projects and embark on new projects for the development of the state.

After listening to various contributions, the Speaker, Alhaji Musa Ahmed, directed the clerk to produce a clean copy of the bill for the governor's assent.

Ahmed (PDP-Nasarawa Central), urged the executive to ensure proper implementation of the budget and prompt release of funds to  various ministries and agencies.

The speaker commended his colleagues for passing the budget into law, urging them to closely monitor the implementation of the fiscal policy for effective result.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that Gov. Umaru Al-Makura had on Dec, 12, last year, submitted a budget estimate of N107 billion for the 2013 services for approval by the assembly.

NAN also reports that there was an increase of three billion naira from the initial budget, submitted to the house to enable the executive complete some abandoned projects across the state.

A breakdown of the allocation shows that works got the lion share of N15.7 billion, housing N6.6 billion, education N4.2 billion, commerce N3.9 billion, health N3.7 billion as well as land and survey N3.1 billion.

Other sectorial allocations are: water resources N2.9 billion, sports N1.7 billion, information N1.6 billion, agriculture N1.4 billion and judiciary one billion naira.

Meanwhile, the house has also passed into law a bill for a law to establish the College of Selectors of Chun-Mada and a bill for a law to amend the Nasarawa State Local Government Laws 2003, to create additional chiefdoms in the state.


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Security Tribunal Critical To Growth, Smooth Operation Of Capital Market – Minister

The Minister of State for Finance, Dr Yerima Ngama, on Monday said the Investments and Securities Tribunal (IST) was critical to the growth and smooth operation of the capital market. Ngama, who made this known in Abuja at the inauguration of the IST b...

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FG Slashes N100bn Off Allocation To MDAs With Overlapping Functions

The federal government is to save a whopping N100 billion from reduced allocation to Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) with overlapping functions. The government, which has started implementing the Steve  Oronsaye Report which proposed t...

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2013 Budget: Collectible Revenue Projected At N11trn – Okonjo Iweala

The Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr  Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said that the gross federally collectible revenue in 2013 budget was projected at N11.34 trillion.

Okonjo-Iweala made this known at a press briefing on the breakdown of  the 2013 Budget, on Thursday in Abuja.

She said, ``The gross federally collectible revenue is projected at N11.34 trillion, of which the total revenue available for the Federal Government’s Budget is forecast at N4.1 trillion.''

This she said represented an increase of 15 per cent over the estimate for 2012.

According to the minister, the projection is based on oil production of 2.53 million barrels per day compared to 2.48 million barrels per day in 2012.

``Benchmark oil price of 79 dollars per barrel, up from 72 dollars per barrel in 2012, Projected real GDP growth rate of 6.5 per cent and average exchange rate of N160 per dollar,’’ she said.

The minister said that the non-oil sector was expected to sustain the 2013 budget.

She commended the Federal Inland Revenue Services for  attaining 20 per cent growth in non-oil tax revenue between 2007 and 2012.

On the expenditure provision, she said that budget made provision for an aggregate expenditure of N4.987 trillion.

This she said represented a modest increase of 6.2 per cent over the N4.697 trillion appropriated in 2012.

``This is made up of N387.97 billion for statutory transfers; N591.76 billion for debt service; N2.38 trillion for recurrent (non-debt) expenditure.

``Of which N1.717 trillion is the provision for personnel cost, while overhead cost is projected at N208.9 billion.

``And a total of N1.62 trillion has been provisioned for capital expenditure,’’ she said.

The minister added that an additional N273.5 billion had been provisioned for the subsidy reinvestment (SURE-P) programme.

Okonjo-Iweala said that with the development, the fiscal deficit was projected to improve to about 1.85 per cent of GDP in the 2013 Budget when compared with the 2.85 per cent in 2012.

She said that N497 billion was marked out for critical infrastructure such as power, works, transport, and aviation.

The minister said that another N705 billion was set aside for human capital development under education, water, agriculture and health sector

``We also allocated over N950 billion for national security purposes, comprised of N320 billion for the police, and N364 billion for the Armed Forces, N115 billion for the Office of the NSA, and N154 billion for the Ministry of the Interior.

``For 2013, the SURE-P programme has a projected allocation of N180 billion, augmented by the 2012 unspent balances of N93.5 billion.

``This amount will be used to make further progress in the provision of social safety net schemes, maternal and child healthcare, youth development and vocational training for Nigerians,’’ she said.

Okonjo-Iweala said that budget had key priorities, which included the reduction in cost of governance, and debt management.

Others are infrastructure investments, job creation and the development of the manufacturing sector.

She said that the recurrent spending in total expenditure had reduced from 74.4 per cent in 2011 to 67.5 per cent in 2013 while capital spending increased from 25.6 per cent in 2011 to 32.5 per cent in 2013.

The minister said that N100 billion was saved for 2013 budget from the implementation of IPPIS.

On debt management, she said that N75 billion of maturing debt obligation payment was made last week and N25 billion had been set aside in a sinking fund to be used for retirement of maturing debt obligations in the future.

The minister said that government had reduced annual domestic borrowing to finance the budget deficit from N852 billion in 2011, to N744 in 2012, and now to N577 billion in 2013.

She said, ``We are also making concerted efforts to defray the debts of our foreign missions.

``We have made a provision of N13 billion in the 2013 budget to help clear accumulated debts as at the cut-off date of June 2012.'' (NAN)

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