The Senate on Thursday approved President Muhammadu Buhari’s request for ongoing external loans to the tune of $8,325,526,537 (USD) and €490,000,000 (Euros) under the 2018-2020 External Borrowing (Rolling) Plan.
The approval followed the consideration of a report on the 2018-2020 External Borrowing (Rolling) Plan by the Committee on Local and Foreign Debt.
Chairman of the Committee, Senator Clifford Ordia, in his presentation, said the Committee noted with utmost importance, the genuine and very serious concerns of Nigerians about the level and sustainability/serviceability of the country’s borrowings in the last Decade.
According to the lawmaker, “our (Nigeria’s) debt service figures constitute a huge drain on our revenue to the extent that it account for over 30 percent of our expenditure in the annual budget.”
He explained that due to the shortfall in the country’s annual revenues in relation to the need for rapid infrastructural and human capital development, “we have had to pass deficit budget every year, requiring us to borrow to finance the deficit in our budget.”
Ordia noted that out of the total borrowing request of $36,837,281,256 contained in the re-forwarded request of Mr. President, a sum of $26,154,536,533 is for funds proposed to be borrowed from various financial institutions from the Peoples Republic of China.
He stressed that the proposed projects in the Ministries’ of Transportation, FCT, Aviation, Works & Housing, Agriculture and Water Resources and some Commissions such as National Universities Commission, North East Development Commission and the National Identity Management Commission are mostly ongoing projects and programmes in respect of which External Borrowed funds have been spent in the past, including loans.
“These projects have a great multiplier effect on stimulating economic growth through infrastructure Development, Job creation and Poverty alleviation, stimulation of Commercial and Engineering activities and the consequent tax revenues payable to Government as a result of these productive activities” Ordia explained.
The funding agencies are: World Bank – $796,000,000; China Exim Bank – $2,901,026,509; Industrial Commercial Bank of China – $2,484,555,304; African Development Bank – $104,200,000; Africa Growing Together Fund – $20,000,000; French Development Agency – €240,000,000; European Investment Bank – €250,000,000; European ECA/KfW/IPEX/AFC – $1,959,744,724; and International Fund For Agricultural Development (IFAD) – $60,000,000.
President Buhari transmits Business Facilitation bill to N’Assembly
The Senate has received the Business Facilitation (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2022, forwarded to the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari, for consideration and passage.
The bill was accompanied by a letter dated 17th June, 2022.
The letter, addressed to the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, was read during plenary on Tuesday.
President Buhari, in the letter, explained that the expeditious consideration and passage of the bill would promote the ease of doing business in Nigeria.
It reads, “Pursuant to Sections 58(2) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), I forward herewith the Business Facilitation (Miscellaneous Provision) Bill 2022 for the kind consideration of the Senate.
“Business Facilitation (Miscellaneous Provision) Bill 2022 seeks to promote the war of doing business in Nigeria by amending relevant legislation.
“While hoping that this submission will receive the usual expeditious consideration of the Senate, please accept, Distinguished Senate President, the assurances of my highest consideration.”
N5 trillion urgently needed to cushion effects double digits increase on ordinary Nigerians – World Bank
The World Bank has warned that Nigeria could lose about N5trillion in 2022 from gasoline subsidies.
The bank also said that N5 trillion is urgently needed to cushion ordinary Nigerians from the crushing effect of double-digit increases in the cost of basic commodities.
The World Bank said in it Nigeria Development Update (NDU) released on Tuesday in Abuja.
The report said: “When we launched our previous Nigeria Development Update in November 2021, we estimated that Nigeria could stand to lose more than N3 trillion in revenues in 2022 because the proceeds from crude oil sales, instead of going to the federation account, would be used to cover the rising cost of gasoline subsidies that mostly benefit the rich”.
World Bank Country Director for Nigeria Shubham Chaudhuri, however noted: “Sadly, that projection turned out to be optimistic. With oil prices going up significantly, and with it, the price of imported gasoline, we now estimate that the foregone revenues as a result of gasoline subsidies will be closer to 5 trillion Naira in 2022.
“N5 trillion is urgently needed to cushion ordinary Nigerians from the crushing effect of double-digit increases in the cost of basic commodities, to invest in Nigeria’s children and youth, and in the infrastructure needed for private businesses small and large to flourish, grow and create jobs.”
The report noted: “Nigeria is in a paradoxical situation: growth prospects have improved compared to six months ago but inflationary and fiscal pressures have increased considerably, leaving the economy much more vulnerable”.
Nigeria’s banking sector now immune to economic shock – NDIC
Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) has said that the banking sector is now immunized to withstand shocks that may impact the economy and the financial system.
Mr Bello Hassan, Managing Director of NDIC said this at a retreat for members of the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions with the NDIC, in Lagos.
Any change in fundamental macroeconomic variables or relationships that has a significant impact on macroeconomic outcomes and measures of economic performance, such as unemployment, consumption, and inflation, is referred to as an economic shock.
Mustapha Ibrahim, Executive Director (Operations), who represented the NDIC boss, said Nigerian banking industry was currently resilient to most of these difficulties, particularly external shocks over which the Corporation had no control.
He said: “We have tried to immunise the system to withstand shocks that may be impacting on the economy and the financial system”.
Hassan, further said that effective risk-based management remained critical to a safe and sound financial system.
“The NDIC and the Central Bank of Nigeria have a very robust supervisory framework under the risk-based supervisory format the risk-based approach is actually proactive. For the most part, we try to anticipate all these risks – Macro, micro, domestically and globally – to address them continuously.
“So, it is so dynamic that we also are constantly on a real-time basis, monitoring the industry continuously and fine-tuning our supervisory tools, both onsite and offsite, to mitigate some of the challenges the banks may be facing,” he said.
On his part, Chairman, Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions, said the retreat demonstrated progress in creating lasting and workable relationships in the national interest.
Sani, who was represented by Senator Olubunmi Adetunbi, was optimistic that the outcome will aid in the strengthening of the financial and banking sectors, particularly the corporation’s supervisory and regulatory role.
“The National Assembly and NDIC are key institutions critical to the growth and development of the Nigerian economy. While we provide the legal and institutional frameworks, NDIC carries out its regulatory or supervisory responsibilities in order to safeguard the banking sector.
“Engagement of this nature gives us the platform to deeply look into our activities and responsibilities and also examine how far we have gone in carrying out our mandate as required. It helps in injecting fresh ideas into our operations which will materialise into an improved, effective and efficient service delivery to Nigerians,” he said.
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