Connect with us

Business & Economy

With Over $400bn GDP, Nigeria’s economy Still The Largest In Africa with – Zainab Ahmed

Published

on

Zainab Ahmed - Minister of Finance and National Planning
Share

By Ossom Raphael

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed has said that Nigeria’s economy remains largest in Africa with with over $400 billion in Gross Domestic Products (GDP).

The minister, who said this at the 21st edition of Town Hall Meeting on the achievements of the Federal Government in infrastructure development held on Tuesday in Abuja, also said that the country’s huge and growing population offer both an economic challenge and opportunity.

She noted that despite constrained revenue proceeds brought on by several multi-dimensional factors, including the global pandemic and its impact on the domestic economy, the country still boast of the largest economy in Africa.

Ahmed who pledged Federal Governments commitment to continue to prioritise spending on infrastructure, said the ministry planned to spend about N1.42 trillion in 2022.

She said: “Nigeria’s economy and population remain the largest in Africa with over $400 billion in GDP and over 200 million people. The country’s huge and growing population offer both an economic challenge and opportunity, in the light of constrained revenue proceeds brought on by several multi-dimensional factors, including the global pandemic and its impact on the domestic economy.

“Against this backdrop of challenges, this Administration has successfully implemented a range of infrastructure programmes that have had a positive impact on the lives and livelihoods of the citizenry.

“Subsequently, this Administration continues to prioritize spending on infrastructure and human capital to catalyze rapid economic development. In 2022 alone, we plan to spend about N1.42 trillion on infrastructure and N2.11 trillion on human capital development.”

Speaking further, Ahmed said that bilateral and multilateral loans financing critical infrastructure were contracted within the framework of the 2020-2023 Medium-Term Debt Management Strategy (MTDS).

According to her, the MTDS provides a guide to the borrowing activities of government in the medium-term, usually four years.

“The ministry under the International Economics Relations Department (IERD) contracts external loans on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria from bilateral and multilateral development partners to finance critical infrastructure.

“The Debt Management Office (DMO), in collaboration with relevant stakeholders set targets under medium-term debt management strategy.

“These includes total public debt maximum of 40 per cent from the GDP, portfolio composition of maximum 70 per cent and minimum 30 per cent and domestic debt mix with the minimum of 75 per cent and maximum 25 per cent.

“In the light of constrained revenue, proceeds brought on by several multi-dimensional factors, including the global pandemic had its impact on the domestic economy.

“Ongoing projects under the Chinese EXIM bank include the Zungeru Hydropower Plant Project funded with 984.32 million dollars and Lagos – Ibadan railway project received 1.26 billion dollars.

“The upgrading and rehabilitation of Keffi-Akwanga-Lafia Road project was funded with 460.82 million dollars, supply of rolling stock and depot equipment for Abuja light rail phase 1 project was funded with 164.91 million dollars.

“The NICTIB Phase II (Galaxy Backbone), four airports terminal expansion project phase II and ancillary works on four airports terminal expansion were funded with 328million, 208.91 million and 183.62 million dollars respectively,” Ahmed said.

The Minister acknowledged the contributions of the World Bank, African Development Bank and French Bank in funding relevant infrastructure development in the country.

She said: “World Bank funds the Nigeria electrification project, north core interconnection power transmission line and Nigeria electricity transmission and access project with 350 million dollars, 32.3 million dollars and 486 million dollars respectively.

“The African Development Bank has also funded the Nigeria electrification project, Nigeria transmission and expansion program with a total of 410 million dollars.

“French Development Bank funds the Abuja Power Feeding Transmission Scheme with 170 million dollars and Northern Corridor Transmission Line with 245 million dollars”.

The event organised by the Ministry of Information and Culture was aimed at sensitizing the impacted communities, key stakeholders, the public and the nation on the infrastructure projects and programmes undertaken by the current Administration to create the enabling environment for socio-economic growth and development.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Business & Economy

We Have No Magic Wand, Tackling Inflation Will Take Time — Cardoso

Published

on

Yemi Cardoso,CBN Governor
Yemi Cardoso,CBN Governor
Share

The Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Olayemi Cardoso has urged the citizens to be patient over the fight against current inflation and hike in food items in the country.

Cardoso disclosed this while briefing journalists at the end of the Monetary Policy Committee, MPC, meeting in Abuja.

The CBN governor mentioned that there was no magic needed to solve inflation in Nigeria but rather patience.

Also, Cardoso noted that despite pressure from food inflation, the general inflation rate was “moderating”, pointing out that “the tools the Central Bank is using are working”.

He stated, “I have several times and I will say again, there is no magic wand. These are things that need to take their time.

“I am pleased and confident that we are beginning to get some relief and in another couple of months we will see the more positive outcomes from the Central Bank have been doing.”

He added, “The committee thus reiterated several challenges confronting the effective moderation of food inflation to include rising costs of transportation of farm produce, infrastructure- related constraints along the line of distribution network, security challenges in some food producing areas, and exchange rate pass-through to domestic prices for imported food items.

“The MPC urged that more be done to address the security of farming communities to guarantee improved food production in these areas.

“Members further observed the recent volatility in the foreign exchange market, attributing this to seasonal demand, a reflection of the interplay between demand and supply in a freely functioning market system.”

The Central Bank of Nigeria has also blamed the recent volatility of the country’s foreign exchange market on seasonal demand for dollars.

“Members further observed the recent volatility in the foreign exchange market, attributing this to seasonal demand, a reflection of the interplay between demand and supply in a freely functioning market system,” a communique issued by the committee on Tuesday stated.

Continue Reading

Business & Economy

Port Harcourt Refinery Begins Full Operations Next Month

Published

on

Port Harcourt Refinery
Port Harcourt Refinery
Share

The 210,000-barrel-per-day Port Harcourt refinery is expected to commence operations by the end of July, following multiple delays.

National Public Relations Officer of the Independent Marketers Association of Nigeria, Chief Ukadike Chinedu, revealed this new timeline on Monday. He noted that the refinery’s operation would boost economic activities, reduce petroleum product prices, and ensure an adequate supply.

In December last year, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Heineken Lokpobiri, announced the mechanical completion and flare start-off of the Port Harcourt refinery, the largest in the region.

The refinery consists of two units: an older plant with a 60,000-barrel-per-day capacity and a newer plant with a 150,000-barrel-per-day capacity. The refinery was shut down in March 2019 for the first phase of repairs after the government enlisted Italy’s Maire Tecnimont as a technical adviser and appointed oil major Eni as a technical adviser.

On March 15, 2024, NNPC Limited’s Group Chief Executive Officer, Mele Kyari, announced that the Port Harcourt refinery would begin operations in about two weeks. He made this statement during a press briefing following his appearance before the Senate Ad hoc committee investigating the various turnaround maintenance projects of the country’s refineries.

“We achieved mechanical completion in December,” Kyari stated. “We now have crude oil stocked in the refinery and are conducting regulatory compliance tests. The Port Harcourt refinery will start within two weeks.”

However, two months later, the refinery had yet to commence operations.

In an interview, IPMAN’s Ukadike emphasized that the work done on the refinery represented a complete overhaul rather than mere rehabilitation. He assured that every effort was being made to meet the July deadline.

Ukadike said, “When we visited, the MD informed us that the refinery was nearly ready and would start production by the end of July. The overhaul is extensive, with all the armoured cables replaced and everything almost brand new. The maintenance turnaround is massive, with work being done day and night. All hands are on deck to meet the target. By the end of July, the refinery should be operational.”

When asked about the government’s previous unfulfilled promises to restart the refinery, Ukadike acknowledged the delays but noted that no reasons were given for missing the last deadline in April

Continue Reading

Business & Economy

CBN Halts 0.5% Cybersecurity Levy

Published

on

CBN Headquarters Abuja
CBN Headquarters Abuja
Share

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has withdrawn the circular directing banks to implement a 0.5 per cent cybersecurity levy on electronic transactions in the country.

The CBN announced this in a revised circular dated May 17, 2024.

The circular was addressed to commercial banks, Payment Service Providers (PSPs), non-interest, and merchant banks, among others.

It was signed by the CBN Director of Payment Systems Management, Chibuzor Efobi, and the Director of Financial Policy and Regulation Department, Haruna Mustafa.

The circular read: “The Central Bank of Nigeria circular dated May 6, 2024 (Ref: PSMD/DIR/PUB/LAB/017/004) on the above subject refers.

“Further to this, please be advised that the above-referenced circular is hereby withdrawn.”The withdrawal of the circular on the cybersecurity levy followed its suspension by President Bola Tinubu.

it would be recalls that Tinubu suspended the controversial cybersecurity levy on electronic transfers on May 14.

Minister of Information and National Orientation Mohammed Idris, who made this known while speaking to journalists after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, disclosed that Tinubu directed the CBN to suspend the implementation and review the modalities for the implementation of the levy.

Idris added that the levy was thoroughly discussed at the FEC meeting, saying the president was not oblivious to the feelings of Nigerians.

It would be recalled that CBN, in a circular dated May 6, directed banks to start charging a 0.5 per cent cybersecurity levy on all electronic transfers.

The apex bank stated that the deduction and collection of the cybersecurity levy is a sequel to the enactment of the Cybercrime (prohibition, prevention etc) Amendment Act of 2024.

This was greeted with wide condemnations by Nigerians, with many groups and individuals calling for the immediate reversal of the levy.

The House of Representatives also asked the CBN to withdraw the directive.

Continue Reading