ICAN Demands Financial Accountability From Public Officials

ICAN, Financial Accountability, Public OfficialsThe Institute for Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) has called on Nigerians to ask questions and make public office holders account for their stewardship.

The President of ICAN, Mr Titus Soetan, made the call at the 46th annual accountants’ conference in Abuja where chartered accountants from across Nigeria and top government officials all gathered.

According to him, the lack of accountability in public and private offices has contributed greatly to Nigeria’s underdevelopment.

The theme for the conference is “Accountability Now Nigeria” and the President of the International Federation of Accountants, Ms Olivia Kirtley, explained the relevance of the theme for Nigeria.

The conference is expected to come up with a communique which organisers hope will help enhance accountability in public and private offices, going forward

On his part, the Vice President, professor Yemi Osinbanjo, explained the importance of accountability to national development, while the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, also explained the benefits of some recent economic reforms of the government.

Senate Blocks Provision of Special Grants To Lagos

Senate, gender equality,The Nigerian Senate has thrown out a bill which seeks the provision of special grants to Lagos state.

The bill entitled the ‘Lagos State Special Economic Assistance Programme’, is seeking a one per cent grant from the Federal Government for the share of the revenue accruing to the Federal Government.

The sponsor of the bill, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, argued that although Lagos State generated much of Nigeria’s income outside the oil sector, the economic activities and huge population of the state places a huge strain on infrastructure and services in the state.

Lagos state is one of Nigeria’s richest states, with huge internal revenue coming from tax and the state recently joined the list of oil producing states.

The request for economic assistance for Lagos State is coming at a time that the nation’s economy is in recession, with a report of the National Bureau of Statistics showing that the nation’s Gross Domestic Product index contracted by 2.06% in the second quarter of 2016.

Lagos, Special Status
There have been calls for a special status for Lagos due to its position as Nigeria’s economic epicenter

Plan Has Not Changed

Every revenue counts now for the nation that depends largely on crude oil sales for revenue and the Federal Government had in the past months handed down a bailout to states that could not pay workers salaries.

On what the government is doing to address the economic crisis, the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, said the tactical plan of the Nigerian government to address its economic challenges had not changed in spite of the official confirmation that the country had gone into a recession.

Mrs Adeosun was the guest of Channels TV’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily on Tuesday, September 20, where the conversation centered on the state of the Nigerian economy.

She recalled that the country had been in negative growth since 2012 with the hope that it would avoid recession but since the reality of the recession has dawned on the nation, the government is prepared to address it.

“Our plans haven’t changed. We need to stimulate the economy and we are going to do so largely by redirecting expenditure from recurrent into capital because we believe that capital expenditure will create jobs and create more productivity in the economy in the long run and help us to diversify,” she said.

The Finance Minister noted that the solution to Nigeria’s problem has been the same and getting out of recession remains dependent on how productive the economy becomes as well as how well it can create jobs.

“To do so, we’ve got to invest in our capital infrastructure,” she maintained.

National Economic Council Approves FG’s Strategies To End Recession

Adeosun, GovernorsThe National Economic Council has approved President Muhammadu Buhari’s strategies to pull the economy out of recession.

This was done during its meeting in Abuja, chaired by the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.

The council of ministers and governors debriefed the Finance Minister, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun and the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Mr Udoma Udo Udoma as well as the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele on the strategies to take the country out of the woods.

Briefing State House correspondents after the closed-door meeting, the Deputy Governor of Ogun State, Yetunde Onanuga, said that the Central Bank would henceforth adopt best options to manage the situation.

Other areas of urgent intervention were also agreed upon by the council to immediately inject larger funds into the economy, including meaningful diversification and more stringent importation cuts.

Intervention of affordable housing was also among urgent issues discussed, which the council said a target of one billion naira fund has been set up to create a blended pool of long term funds for housing development finance and mortgage provision aimed at delivering 500,000 housing units annually.

The council commended members of the National Economic Team for their diligence and hard work.

The council’s declaration comes barely 24 hours after the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, asked President Muhammadu Buhari to reshuffle his cabinet and redeploy the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Budget and National Planning from their present ministries.

Senate-Ike-Ekweremadu
Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu

As the Senate began debate on the state of the economy on Wednesday, Ekweremadu said that he was not impressed with the performance of the two ministers and believes they would perform better in other ministries.

Nigeria’s economy had slipped into recession after a report of the National Bureau of Statistics showed that the nation’s GDP contracted by 2.06% in the second quarter of 2016.

The report came just as militant activities have resurged in the Niger Delta, causing the revenue of the nation which comes largely from crude oil sales to drop.

The price of crude, which had dropped in the international market, already taking its toll on the nation’s economy was compounded by the attacks on oil installations in the Niger Delta.

Negative Growth Since 2012
The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, had recently said that the country had been in negative growth since 2012 with the hope that it would avoid recession but since the reality of the recession has dawned on the nation, the government was prepared to address it.

Kemi-Adeosun-Minister-of-Finance-Nigeria-on-Economy
Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun

She said that the tactical plan of the Nigerian government to address its economic challenges would not change in spite of the official confirmation that the country had gone into a recession.

Mrs Adeosun was the guest of Channels TV’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily on Tuesday, September 20, where she explained that the solution to Nigeria’s problem remained the same from years past.

“Our plans haven’t changed. We need to stimulate the economy and we are going to do so largely by redirecting expenditure from recurrent into capital because we believe that capital expenditure will create jobs and create more productivity in the economy in the long run and help us to diversify,” she said.

She maintained that getting out of recession remains dependent on how productive the economy becomes as well as how well it can create jobs. “we’ve got to invest in our capital infrastructure,” she said.

Set To Inject Funds
The Minister had few days earlier said that the government was set to inject an additional 350 billion Naira ($1.1 billion) into the economy and raise $1 billion from Euro-bonds by mid-December to ease the recession.

She had told reporters in Abuja that the additional funding, on top of the initial 420 billion Naira released in May, was primarily for capital expenditure projects that would also involve support from local banks and transaction partners.

“We are raising money. As you know the Euro-bond capital raise is on.

Udoma-Udoma
Minister of Budget and National Planning, Mr Udoma Udo Udoma

“We are about to appoint advisers so we we will be raising additional $1 billion.

“Two weeks ago we approved the external borrowing plan and that was very important,” the Minister said.

While local investors feel neglected despite being in greater majority than the foreign investors for which the government is looking to attract back to Nigeria, the Minister for Budget, Senator Udoma Udoma, had reassuring words.

“We are determined to make it easier to do business in Nigeria and we believe that, working together with the private sector, we must surely transform this economy,” he told businessmen during a quarterly business briefing at the Presidential Villa with private sector stakeholders.

Recession: Reducing Interest Rates Would Do Nothing To The Economy – CBN

Moses_TuleThe Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Wednesday said reducing interest rates “will do virtually nothing” in taking Nigeria’s economy out of a recession.

The apex bank also maintained that there is no quick fix out of the recession Nigeria is currently in.

The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, had expressed hope that the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) would lower key interest rates.

“We would love to see the MPC reduce interest rates because we think in terms of business activity that would deliver greater results to Nigeria”, she told Channels Television in an exclusive interview.

However, speaking on Sunrise Daily, the Director, Monetary Policy Department of CBN, Mr Moses Tule said the MPC had to look at the fundamentals before taking the decision to maintain the rates at 14 per cent.

Mr Tule said a country like Japan has been in recession for more than ten years despite having an interest rate of less than 2 per cent, adding that the Bank of England has also reduced its interest rate from 0.5 per cent to 0.25 per cent and “still nothing is happening, so the solution does not lie in the reduction of interest rates”, he said.

He also noted that despite the interest rate reduction in the past, the CBN has not seen “that response, in terms of growth in credit”.

He further noted that “we are not just in recession but we are in a stagflation, where growth has reduced precipitously to the negative and you have prices rising, so it is insufficient for the Monetary Policy Committee to just meet and say we are reducing interest rates to address a complex economic situation like stagflation”.

To get out of the economic quagmire Nigeria is in, Mr Tule said the “monetary policy, fiscal policy, trade policy, budget policy need to sit together in a retreat to fashion out comprehensively what the policy response is going to be.

“All the key policy parameters must be brought to the table to fashion out what the way forward is for the country”, he said, insisting that “you can’t clap with one hand”.

Mr Tule added that with the inflation rate at 18 per cent, a reduction in interest rate will lead to an increase in money supply which in turn means higher inflation, wondering “if the government has the resources to increase salaries when there is higher inflation.

“The current inflationary trend are not strictly monetary policy induced factors. Some are legacy factors that rose as a result of reforms, like in electricity tariff, petroleum pricing model and foreign exchange market”, he maintained.

Key Constraints To The Economy

Mr Tule, who maintained that the CBN is not averse to lower interest rates, however stressed the need for the government to correct the structural deficiencies inherent in Nigeria.

He added that an economy does not deliver low interest rates if it has key structural deficiencies like infrastructure, insisting that “these are key constraints to the economy.

“You cannot compare the infrastructural level to the structural deficiency in this economy with what you have in the UK, Japan or in the United States. If the UK went through a recession, which they are still going through and not completely out, Japan over the last ten years is being struggling with a recession, the European Union since 2007/2008 global financial crisis still going through a financial crisis and are not yet through despite putting all the policy arsenals, then for an economy like Nigeria, where there are key structural deficiencies, there is an urgent need to harmonize the policy reaction that would address this stagflation”, he maintained.

Mr Tule maintained that the issues are “deeper and comprehensive than the current solution kit that is on the table”, hinting that we are “misdiagnosing what the issues – stagnation or recession – are”.

The CBN had at the last MPC meeting in July raised the benchmark Monetary Policy Rate from 12 percent to 14 percent, while the Cash Reserve Ratio and Liquidity Ratio were both retained at 22.50 per cent and 30 per cent each.

Osinbajo Explains How Militants’ Activities Triggered Nigeria’s Economic Recession

Yemi Osinbajo on economic recession Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, says activities of the Niger Delta militants are the reasons the country is in its current state of recession.

Professor Osinbajo believes that no country can lose one million barrels of oil per day without suffering tremendously.

Nigeria’s economy had slipped into recession after a report of the National Bureau of Statistics showed that the nation’s GDP contracted by 2.06% in the second quarter of 2016.

The report came just as militant activities have resurged in the Niger Delta, causing the revenue of the nation which comes largely from crude oil sales to drop.

The price of crude, which had dropped in the international market, already taking its toll on the nation’s economy was compounded by the attacks on oil installations in the Niger Delta.

Peculiar Circumstances

The Vice President pointed out that Nigeria could only get out of recession by looking at only those solutions that would take full consideration of Nigeria’s peculiar circumstances and composition.

At a quarterly business briefing at the Presidential Villa with private sector stakeholders on Monday, the Vice President said Nigeria could not afford the usual error of generalisation and speculations that would not take the country out of recession.

Kemi-Adeosun-Minister-of-Finance-Nigeria-on-Economy
Finance Minister Mrs Kemi Adeosun
Udoma-Udoma
Minister for Budget Senator Udoma Udoma

The presidential quarterly business forum, which has in attendance the ministers of budget, finance, trade and industry and captains of industries, is part of efforts to tackle headlong, the economic recession.

The Vice President told the gathering that power, security in the Niger Delta region and improved business environment among important things must be addressed in the short term.

Set To Inject Funds

The recession notwithstanding, the Finance Minister, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, said Nigeria would borrow to pump into the economy for capital projects even as she insisted that interest rates must be reduced.

The Minister had few days ago said the government was set to inject an additional 350 billion Naira ($1.1 billion) into the economy and raise $1 billion from Euro-bonds by mid-December to ease the recession.

She had told reporters in Abuja that the additional funding, on top of the initial 420 billion Naira released in May, was primarily for capital expenditure projects that would also involve support from local banks and transaction partners.

“We are raising money. As you know the Euro-bond capital raise is on.

“We are about to appoint advisers so we we will be raising additional $1 billion.

“Two weeks ago we approved the external borrowing plan and that was very important,” the Minister said.

While local investors feel neglected despite being in greater majority than the foreign investors for which the government is looking to attract back to Nigeria, the Minister for Budget, Senator Udoma Udoma, has reassuring words.

“We are determined to make it easier to do business in Nigeria and we believe that, working together with the private sector, we must surely transform this economy,” he told the gathering.

Nigeria Set To Inject $1.1 Billion To Boost Economy

Kemi-AdeosunThe Nigerian government is set to inject an additional 350 billion Naira ($1.1 billion) into the economy and raise $1 billion from Euro-bonds by mid-December to ease the recession.

The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, told reporters in Abuja on Friday that the additional funding, on top of the initial 420 billion Naira released in May, was primarily for capital expenditure projects that would also involve support from local banks and transaction partners.

“We are raising money. As you know the Euro-bond capital raise is on.

“We are about to appoint advisers so we we will be raising additional $1 billion.

“Two weeks ago we approved the external borrowing plan and that was very important,” the Minister said.

Plans To Borrow

According to her, the government plans to borrow a total of 1.8 trillion Naira at home and abroad to fund an expected budget deficit of 2.2 trillion Naira.

In an attempt to reviving the crashed economy, the government has approved borrowing from the African Development Bank, China, Japan and World Bank with rates of 1.25 per cent and a 20-year maturity.

“When we said we will borrow, we said we will borrow the cheapest money first.

“We have approvals in that plan from the World Bank, ADB, with interest rates as low as 1.5 per cent and tenures as low as forty years to intervene in some specific areas which include agriculture, education, health, rebuilding of the northeast and of course the railway project that are very key to what we are doing,” Mrs Adeosun explained.

Bureaucracy in the civil service is an issue that critics have asked the government to address to hasting the release of funds that would provide needed infrastructures and add impetus to the economy to cushion the effect of the recession on Nigerians.

The Minister also pointed out that the issue with fiscal initiatives was that “there is always a lag”.

“There is always a time difference between when you release money and when it has an effect. We are trying to work on how we can shorten that lag,” the Minister stated.

She highlighted that some of the delays were in the procurement process, which, according to her, were being looked into, with the government doing its best to speed up the process.

Another area that the government is looking to push funds to, according to the Minister, is the Social Intervention Programme, which she said would receive 60 billion Naira. “That is very important in terms of putting money into peoples pocket,” she stressed.

She had on August 19 said that the government would allocate 60 billion Naira ($180 million) more spending on capital projects, as part of the 2016 budget.

She told reporters that the allocation was an addition to earlier releases, aimed at boosting the economy.

Mrs Adeosun said that before the allocation of the 60 billion Naira the government had spent over 400 billion Naira on capital.

Economy In Recession

Nigeria’s economy had glided into recession few weeks ago, after a report by the National Bureau of Statistics showed that the nation’s Gross Domestic Product contracted by by 2.06% in the second quarter of 2016.

According to the report, the decline has caused the Naira to get weaker while lower oil prices dragged the oil sector down.

The output shrunk by 0.36 in the first quarter.

During the quarter, nominal GDP was 2.73% higher at 23.48 million Naira at basic prices.

The oil-rich nation’s economy suffered a set-back when the price of crude oil dropped, dipping the nation’s revenue.

The situation was, however, compounded by the resurgence of militants activities in the south-south region where there nation’s wealth is.

A group that calls itself the Niger Delta Avengers have attacked different oil installations in Niger Delta, forcing some oil companies to declare force majeure.

Their activities have lowered the nation’s crude oil output by 700,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 1.56 million bpd in the last few months.

Changes Would Come

After the report of the bureau was published, the government had at different occasions reassured Nigerians that the economic recession would be short-lived.

Osinbajo
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is optimistic that the economic recession will be short-lived

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo last week expressed optimism that the economic recession the country is battling with would ease out soon.

He said changes would come ‘once the Federal Government is able to resolve the issues concerning the pipeline vandalism and focus on sustainable diversification policy’.

The Vice President gave the assurance while speaking to reporters at the Redeemers University in Ede, Osun State.

The current administration of the All Progressives Congress has also blamed the administration of the Peoples Democratic Party for the recession, saying that the previous administration refused to invest in infrastructure and save money for the nation when the price of crude oil was over $100 per barrel.

Promising to correct the maladministration of the past government, President Muhammadu Buhari decried what he inherited from past administrations.

He said he would correct them with the help of Nigerians.

Muhammadu-Buhari-on-Nigeria-economy
President Muhammadu Buhari said his administration is making effort to correct the maladministration of the previous government

“I want Nigerians to realise what this government inherited after 16 years of PDP [Peoples Democratic party] and eight consecutive government.

“There was no savings, no infrastructure was done, no power, no rail, no road and security. This is what the other party left for Nigerians.

“Now they have seen what we have done from Boko Haram to what we are trying to do now with the militants.

“We have identified these problems, three of them – security, economy and fighting corruption.

“You have to secure our country to efficiently manage it. You have to create jobs for our youths and then we are fighting corruption which is continuous,” President Buhari said.

Jibrin Tackles Senator Melaye, Says Buhari Not To Blame For Economic woes

Budget Padding, Abdulmumin JibrinA member of Nigeria’s House of Representatives, Honourable Abdulmumin Jibrin, has made a defence for President Muhammadu Buhari and his economic team which a Senator had asked the President to sack.

Senator Dino Melaye, who is a member of the President’s party, the All Progressives Congress had called for the sacking of the Ministers or their voluntary resignation, saying ‘they are incompetent’ for the positions they man.

He said they lacked the capacity to get Nigeria out of its current economic state.

The nation’s economy had glided into recession with the value of the Naira dropping in the international market.

In a statement on Monday, Mr Jibrin said that the President was not to blame for the state of Nigeria’s economy, insisting that it was unfair and very wicked to push such blame on a man who just came on board barely a year ago.

He also made a defence for the Ministers, saying that they are competent and capable of handling their positions.

The Statement read: “I’m compelled to say a few words on the attempt by some people to apportion blame on President Muhammadu Buhari on the state of the economy and also share my view on the call by Senator Dino Malaye on the President to sack some ministers and Central Bank Governor as the solution to the problem.

“As a former Chairman of the House Committee on Finance, and until recently Appropriation, I am in a good position to contribute and proffer solutions to the problem.

“Let me state very categorically that the President is not to blame on the state of our economy today. It is unfair and very wicked to push such blame on a man who just came on board barely a year ago. Not even a magician can turn around the economy within a period of one year. The biggest spending in our economy, that is the budget, hasn’t even run a full course of one year. Yet, some people want to crucify President Buhari. Haba! Let’s face reality!

“We all know how badly oil price has gone, a situation that adversely affected our foreign reserves and mounted pressure on the naira. No matter what approach we adopt to manage and deal with the situation, recovery will be slow. It is not President Buhari’s fault. Everyone seems to forget when the whole country was supporting more spending as against saving. But here we are today, soaked in the rainy day. President Buhari should not be used as anybody’s scapegoat!

“The recurrent expenditure, which has escalated and constituted a huge burden on our yearly budget rose from 950.32 billion Naira in 2006 to 1.372.20 trillion Naira in 2008 and 2.593.62 trillion Naira in 2015. This was not created by President Buhari.

“Similarly, the total cash call (oil production cost) which rose from about 200 billion Naira in 2006 to about 1.2 trillion Naira in 2015 was not a creation of President Buhari. The cash call has remained another tale of burden on our yearly budget. Statutory transfers including that of the NASS are not left behind. Statutory transfers rose from just about 100 billion Naira in 2006 to 375.62 billion Naira in 2015. President Buhari was not the President then.

“Debt servicing also rose from about 300 billion Naira in 2006 to 953.62 billion Naira in 2015. These expenditures have over the years constrained the budget and made it difficult to channel sufficient funds towards productive sectors that can sufficiently grow the economy. Domestic borrowing also skyrocketed during this period and created devastating consequences on the economy.

“Government at that time continued to mop up money from commercial banks at a rate considered one of the highest in the world, while the real sector is left with nothing. And even when they were able to access funds, it came with an unbearable interest rate. President Buhari met this situation on ground. He did not create it, but is doing his very best to take us out of the economic quagmire. We should all support him.

“On the call by Sen. Melaye on Mr. President to sack some ministers, I disagree with that proposition. Nigerians are of the habit of asking for the sack or removal of public officers, often for sentimental reasons, envy or simply for an opportunity to join the fray. In my assessment, I have not seen any member of the President’s cabinet today — from SGF, HOS to ministers — that is not good enough to hold the office. At worse, the President may wish to reshuffle a couple of or more ministers based on their strength and weaknesses for better service delivery.

“A minister doesn’t have to know everything. A minister has an ample latitude to draw knowledge from the MDAs staff or within the larger society to achieve result in his ministry. I believe that most of the present cabinet ministers can source information or knowledge from these reservoir when the need arises. I have worked very closely with most of them and I am convinced that they have proved their mettle despite managing a very difficult situation that they did not create.

“I am sure nobody can question the competence of Udoma Udoma. Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun is also doing her best, and having worked with her, I am convinced she has all it takes to turn around the economy. The Central Bank Governor is managing the most challenging period the apex bank has ever witnessed. I think the president has worked with this team for about a year. His cabinet team understands him better and vice-versa.

“I believe if they stay focused and refuse to be distracted, we shall soon start seeing the dividends. The President must not fall for the trap of people trying to distort the progress made so far. Whoever he appoints again, the call for sack will never stop.

“I am therefore calling on my colleague, brother and friend, Senator Dino Malaye that we should rather look inward and address our own contribution to this problem as lawmakers. We can start by addressing the budget and other monumental fraud under the watch of Speaker Yakubu Dogara, a systemic corruption that affected and continued to derail the economy of our dear country. That is the appropriate place to start. Remember, charity begins at home”!

 

Chinese Company Wins $1.85 Bln Kano Railway Contract

Railway, Chinese company, KanoChina’s state-owned railway construction firm has been awarded a $1.85 billion contract to build a light railway line in Kano State, north west Nigeria.

The China Railway Construction Corporation Ltd issued a statement saying two of its subsidiaries had been provisionally awarded the light railway project in Kano.

“The contract amount of the project is approximately $1.851 billion, accounting for approximately 2 percent of the operating revenue of the company for the year 2015,” it said in the statement, issued to the Hong Kong stock exchange.

The contract is for four lines, totalling 74 km (46 miles) and capable of carrying trains travelling at a top speed of 100 km per hour.

“This award is subject to the fulfilment to all conditions spelled out in the letter of intent from the financing bank and the final approval by the presidency of Nigeria,” it said. A spokesman for the president declined to comment when contacted by Reuters.

A government source said contracts of this nature are usually passed to the cabinet for approval.

The company said it expected the first and second phases of construction to each last for two years, but did not give details of when work was expected to start if approved.

The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun said earlier this month that 60 billion naira ($180 million) in additional spending would be allocated for capital projects as part of the 2016 budget to boost the economy.

Adeosun said Nigeria would tap partnerships with the private sector to boost investment and the government was also in talks with General Electric to develop and operate rail services to improve transport for goods.

Nigeria’s Economy Should Be Built To Adapt To Current Trends – Osinbajo

Yemi Osinbajo on NigeriaNigeria’s Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, says there is need to ensure that the economy of the nation is built to adapt to the physical, social and technological trends of the present generation.

Professor Osinbajo made the statement on Friday during a two-day economic and investment summit in Delta State, south-south Nigeria.

He further stressed the need for Nigerian leaders to build relationships based on trust with the citizenry.

“Truth on the part of a leader, plays a critical role in the development and prosperity of Nigeria,” he stated.

The summit was organised by the Delta State government, as part of the activities to mark the 25th anniversary since Delta State was created.

Speaking to delegates at the event, the Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, emphasised the need to build a strong, robust and resilient economy.

Present at the summit are the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun and a former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Professor Charles Soludo among others.

Nigeria To Establish A Development Bank

mohammed dutse, Nigeria, Permanebnt secretary ministry of finance, on development bankThe Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Finance, Mr Mohammed Dutse, says Nigeria is considering establishing a Development Bank.

Mr Duste said the government is looking at boosting the economy with the bank, considering its benefits.

“It will help provide funds to operators of small businesses in Nigeria at low interest rates,” he said.

On how the project will be implemented, he explained that there would be a screening committee to look at those who had applied and they would concentrate on financing small and medium scale enterprises which were major components of the government’s diversification programme.

“We will also ensure that the project succeeds,” he added

Jobs For The Unemployed

This, according to him, will provide jobs for the nation’s unemployed youths and boost other economic activities.

The oil rich nation’s economy is in its worst period in decades and the Central Bank has said it is heading towards recession.

To cushion the harsh effect of the economy on its citizens, the government said it would allocate 60 billion Naira ($180 million) more spending on capital projects, as part of the 2016 budget.

The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, gave the figure on August 19.

She said that the allocation was an addition to earlier releases, aimed at boosting the economy.

Mrs Adeosun said that so far, the government had spent over 400 billion Naira on capital.

FG Seeks Support Of IDB On Economic Development

Islamic Development Bank, IDB, Economic DevelopmentNigeria’s Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, has appealed for support of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) towards the attainment of financial inclusion and economic diversification.

She also asked for contributions from the bank towards the rebuilding of the northeast region that had been devastated by the Boko Haram insurgency.

The Minister expressed hope that this would enhance the provision of infrastructure for the Nigerian populace, as well as speed up economic development in Nigeria.

She made the appeal on Monday at a meeting with officials of the IDB in Abuja, to flag off the business activities of the bank in Nigeria.

The President of the bank, Mr Ahmad Al-Madani, explained the relationship between Nigeria and the IDB and added that the bank looked forward to a prosperous future together through the provision of basic infrastructure for Nigerians.

The meeting was later followed by the official opening of the IDB office in Nigeria.

The Nigerian government has said it is making efforts to cushion the effect of harsh economic times on Nigerians by ‘pumping money’ into the economy that the Central Bank said was near recession.

On Friday, The Minister of Finance told reporters that the government would allocate 60 billion Naira ($180 million) more spending on capital projects, as part of the 2016 budget.

Mrs Adeosun said that the allocation was an addition to earlier releases, aimed at boosting the economy.

Mrs Adeosun said that so far, the government had spent over 400 billion Naira on capital.

Nigeria’s Agency Secures $700m Loan To Develop Agriculture, Real Estate

Agriculture and real estate sector in NigeriaThe Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority has secured a $700 million loan for the development of the nation’s real estate and agriculture sector.

The Managing Director of the organisation, Mr Uche Orji, gave reasons for the securing the loan on Friday at the signing ceremony of the deal in Abuja.

Mr Orji said both sectors had potentials of providing jobs and reducing poverty.

Giving a breakdown of the loan, he explained that $500 million had been earmarked for the real estate sector while $200 million would be invested into the agriculture sector.

On her part, the Minister of finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, also stated that the initiative was part of the Federal Government’s plan towards attaining economic diversification.

Nigeria’s dire need for economic diversification had become more glaring, with the drop in the price of crude oil which the nation depends hugely on for its revenue.

The nation’s vast arable land has remained unused since the nation shifted focus from agriculture as its economic mainstay to crude oil mining over three decades ago.