Economy

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The federal government is yet to pay over N300 billion subsidy claims of major oil marketers for fuel imports between 2014-2015, says Akin Akinfemiwa, group chief executive officer of Forte Oil Nigeria.

Akinfemiwa made the disclosure on Thursday when he appeared before the house of representatives ad hoc committee investigating debts owed to the Petroleum Pipeline Marketing Company (PPMC) by oil marketers.

According to the oil chief, his company owes N5.9 billion to the PPMC but was also being owed N13.8 billion in subsidy claims.

He informed the Abdullahi Mahmud Gaya-led committee that steps were being taken to settle the subsidy arrears by the federal government.

“So far, the government, led by the Chief of Staff to the President invited us to a meeting with other stakeholders to address two issues. One was to continue petrol supply, and two was for Federal Government to pay its debts. For the debts, a committee was set up to settle them.

“The total stands at over N300 billion. Right now, we cannot even do much, but we do not want a situation where there will be queues in the country,” Akinfemiwa said.

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Dr Yemi Kale, Statistician General of the Federation

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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CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele, and Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun

The World Bank has agreed to give Nigeria $2.5bn loan.

One of the conditions for the release of the initial tranche of $1.5bn is a reform of Nigeria’s Forex market.

Business Day, a leading newspaper, tweeted this on Wednesday.

 

Since January 2016, the federal government has been in talks with the bank on the loan.

After a meeting with the executive of bank in Washington DC in May, Kemi Adeosun, minister of finance, said the loan was required to bridge the N1.8trn  deficit in the budget, and also to fund infrastructural projects.

“We had discussions with the World Bank around our budget support request and we have been able to have very productive meetings to understand what the next steps are in the process and we are very positive of a good outcome,” she had said.

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EFCC Acting Chairman, Ibrahim Magu

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has debunked a report that it has indicted all the governors of the 36 states of the Federation and the Senate President, Bukola Saraki over the uses and abuses of the Paris Loan refund.

The anti-graft agency said there was no truth in the story and that it is premature to jump to such conclusions.
“The Commission wishes to state unequivocally, that no state governor or Senate President has been indicted so far by the investigation which is still at a preliminary stage.
“Also, insinuations about cover up by some officials of the Commission are untrue as there is no incentive to do so.
In recent times, the media reported about an unidentified governor in the Niger Delta who diverted $10million out of the bail out fund given to his state.
On Sunday, Saharareporters  reported that Nigerian State Governors, Senate President Saraki Pocketed Billions of Naira from Paris Loan Refund.
The EFCC has now cleared the air that investigation about the fund has just begun,

“The Commission implores the Media to be circumspect in the reportage of this delicate issue in order not to jeopardize ongoing investigation, and be assured that they would be fully briefed of developments as soon as breakthrough is achieved”, said Wilson Uwujaren, the spokesman of the commission.

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The House of Representatives will on Tuesday inaugurate a tactical committee to arrest the country’s current economic recession.

The committee would liaise with relevant stakeholders in the sector to achieve the goal of taking Nigeria out of recession.

The committee is expected to monitor various steps and policies initiated by the Federal Government toward returning the country’s economy to the path of growth.

The committee will interface with government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and interact with Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and civil society organisations in a bid to arrest the recession.

 

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Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State has made a firm commitment to partner with the Federal Government for the renovation of the National Theatre, saying it is necessary to join hands to uplift national monuments.

 

The Governor made the commitment when he paid a join inspection visit to the National Theatre with the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, in Lagos on Sunday.

 

”I am going to support the whole concept of bringing this National Theatre back to life. This is not an investment for Lagos state, but a support for the rebirth of national heritage,” he said after the inspection.

 

The Governor said if the National Theatre becomes functional, Lagos

State, Nigeria and indeed the international community will benefit from it, adding that helping to revive the National Theatre is also part of his Administration’s vision to to use arts and culture to promote national heritage.

 

In his remarks, the Minister said he is excited and fulfilled at the

Governor’s expression of his firm commitment to the resuscitation of the National Theatre

 

”Frankly speaking, I cannot be happier than I am today that I have got the firm commitment of the Governor that he is going to partner with the Federal Government to bring back the National Theatre to what it used to be.

 

”I see this as a hand of friendship between the State and the Federal

Government in the area of reviving the creative industry and actually, this is the first major step in transforming the creative industry to a creative economy,” he added.

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President Muhammadu Buhari

The Federal Government has so far recovered N15 billion and another $10.5 million US Dollar from looters, Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and minister of Justice, Alhaji Abubakar Malami (SAN) said.

Speaking yesterday when the Senate committee on judiciary, human rights and legal matters visited his ministry during oversight functions, Malami said the broad policy objectives of government was in four major priority areas.

He listed the areas as; anti-corruption campaign, recovery of stolen national assets, the rule of law component of the anti-terrorism war and the institutionalization of law and order in all aspects of national life.

The minister said the total revenue profile of the ministry as at 31st December , 2016 was N12, 405, 540:00 while the total expenditure profile during the same period was N3, 672, 730, 661.

Chairman of the Senate committee, Senator David Umaru  said the 2016 budget ran into difficulties, hence the committee was preparing for the current economic realities adding that the National Assembly was ready to work with the ministry of justice to ensure that budget was passed.

In his contribution, chairman Senate committee on anti- corruption and financial crimes, Senator Utazi Chukwuka said Nigeria was yet to become a member of Financial Asset Taskforce, Paris adding that past administrations were only able to submit forms without moving further.

He commended government for the recovery of funds and the revenue generation of N12.4 million but added that the minister did not honour the invitation of the Senate committee that was mandated to look into the recent raids on Judges’ homes.

In his swift reaction, the minister apologized for not attending the Senate session adding that he never got their invitation. The minister added that he appeared before the House of Representatives when he got an invitation on the same matter.

On Nigeria’s membership of the Financial Asset Taskforce, Paris, the minister said that it was the NASS’s non passage of certain laws such as the Money laundering Act that has prevented Nigeria’s membership.

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Walter Wagbatsoma and Adaoha Ugo-Nnadi, two suspects being tried for their involvement in defrauding the country through the Federal Government’s petrol subsidy scheme, have been sentenced to 10 years in prison by a Logos High Court judge . Their company, Ontario Oil, has also been ordered to refund N754m to the government.

 

Details later

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Mr and Mrs Chudi Ugorji, MMM Nigeria's top guider

Mr. Chuddy Ugorji, the initiator of the Nigerian faction of the mavrodi mondial moneybox ponzi scheme (MMM) has fled the country with his wife, Amaka.

Unconfirmed report says the MMM Number one Guider has absconded and relocated to Philippines.

He fled the country when many investors were awaiting anxiously to be paid back their money with the agreed interest.

Chuddy’s relocation came barely 24 hours after he released condition for the payment of some three million Nigerian investors.

He had given the impression that the Ponzi scheme has started paying outstanding mavro (money) to Mavrodians, the participants of the scheme. But the payment is just symbolic.

 

Meanwhile, the scheme on Wednesday issued new guidelines on its blog. The guidelines are:

1.As a necessary measure, we decided to set limit to withdrawal this week thus the N31000 maximum withdrawal on your PO.

2.We are still committed to prioritise paying smaller amounts first and gradually increase the amount to higher ones.

3.The system does the calculations and knows how to calculate everyone’s mavros.

4.Between Friday that we opened and today, hundreds of thousands of GH orders have been matched.

5.More and more GH orders will be matched as time goes on. If you see error notification when trying to GH, just keep trying.

6.PH to GH is still a suggestion to be tabled before Sergey Mavrodi for consideration. Disregard any info suggesting that you must PH to GH till further announcement in your PO.

7.Freezing of bonuses for now is another suggestion to be tabled before Sergey Mavrodi for his consideration. Which means if approved, you will only be able to GH your personal contributions for now until the system recovers and stabilizes.

8.Another suggestion for consideration is whether Mavro growth should stop on the 30th day or continue till you GH your confirmed PH.

9.How early the system recovers depend on our positivity. If we work to make it recover, it will recover in a very short time. Don’t spread panic.

10.Let’s do more promo tasks to create further awareness that MMM Nigeria is open, working and paying.

11.We will keep you informed of any updates as soon as possible.

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Forer GMD of UBA, Tony Elumelu

Chairman of Transcorp Group and United Bank for Africa (UBA), Tony Elumelu,  believes that the Nigeria’s power sector is a walking corpse, and it may collapse soon if no urgent action is taken.

Speaking to CNBC Africa, Elumelu says, The agency of government that has responsibiity for making sure that this sector delivers on its potential is not doing well enough. We are owed a lot of money.”

“Transcorp Power Holdings is owed almost N50 billion. When we put in the invoice for this month, we should be owed almost N54 or N55 billion. How do you survive in business like this? How? Other GenCos I know are actually dying.

“We are struggling because of our diversified resource base, what of others? Something urgent and drastic must be done. It is as urgent as yesterday.

“The truth is Transcorp power, as a key operator in the sector, is struggling. And if we are struggling, you can imagine what others are going through.”

Elumelu went on to ask the government to allow it generate its own gas, adding that “where we are located, we are sitting on a lot of gas”.

He said the government started owing Transcorp when a dollar was N168, but may now pay back (in naira) when the dollar goes for 300 to N500, a massive depletion of value to shareholders.

“Now you put in an invoice and you get paid 15-20%. And they started owing us when the naira was N168 to the dollar. Today, it’s N300 officially and N500 on the black market to the dollar so imagine the depletion, the erosion of value to shareholders of Transcorp.

“Is that going to encourage more investment in the sector? How? We are all living on borrowed time.”

He said Transcorp was negotiating with GE to bring in turbines worth $500 million, but had to shelve the plan because the company could not secure the necessary foreign exchange for the deal.