Cost of Doing Business in Nigeria Very High—IMF
By Dipo Olowookere
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said that the cost of doing business in Nigeria remains very high, attributing this to the poor electricity supply in the country.
Speaking at the April 2021 sub-Saharan Africa press briefing on Thursday, the Director, African Department at the IMF, Mr Abebe Aemro Selassie, said efforts must be made to address the energy situation in Nigeria to stimulate economic growth.
Yesterday, the Minister of Power, Mr Mamma Sale, had to apologise to Nigerians for the poor electricity supply being experienced at the moment.
He blamed the situation on the break down in 13 power generation plants across the country but assured that engineers were doing everything possible to rectify the issue.
“The Ministry of Power is not unaware of the current power outages/shortages bedevilling many parts of the country. This unfortunate development has drastically affected Power generation, thus effectively minimizing the national grid,” he had said in a statement issued by his media aide, Mr Aaron Artimas.
To avoid a situation like this, Mr Selassie has advised the federal government to urgently come up with reforms in the energy sector and the issues looked into holistically.
“I think reforms in the energy sector are going to be paramount. The cost of doing business [in Nigeria] is very high on account of the inefficiencies in the energy sector, power supply interruptions and the famous recourse of the use of highly inefficient and harmful generator use up and down the country.
“Again, getting power supply, getting policies to make sure that Nigeria resolves this problem once and for all, I think, is also paramount,” the IMF senior staff said.
He also urged the government to look into two other reforms, including “macroeconomic policy calibration,” noting that “things like creating deep and liquid foreign exchange markets will be important.”
On the third reform, Mr Selassie said it is the “fiscal space,” which he emphasised that “needs to be created through domestic revenue mobilisation to pay for investments in health, in education, in infrastructure, which Nigeria swiftly needs.”
However, he expressed optimism that Nigeria has the potential to meet the 2.5 per cent economic growth projection of the IMF for 2021.
“We are seeing quite a lot of countries going through recovery this year, simply by virtue of the fact that economic activity which had, by design, been held back through the containment measures countries needed to adopt last year is now going to achieve results, provided that the pandemic continues to remain under control.
“And so, that will give strong growth outcomes this year in many cases. This is very different from saying that the fundamental drivers of growth over the medium to long term have been improved in a dramatic way, allowing stronger growth. So, that’s a point I would stress,” he stated.
Nigeria Upgrades Tax-to-GDP Ratio to 10.86% From 6%
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has disclosed that Nigeria’s tax to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio has been upwardly reviewed to 10.86 per cent from the 6 per cent earlier reported to reflect better data sources and improved estimation using the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) manual.
The OECD manual is an improvement over the System of National Accounts (SNA 2008) classification of taxes.
Although the System of National Accounts conceptual framework and its definitions of the various sectors of the economy are reflected in the OECD’s classification of taxes, the OECD classifications provide the maximum disaggregation of statistical data on what is generally regarded as taxes by tax administrations.
In a disclosure, the statistics office said the country’s total tax revenue compared with its GDP was at that level in 2021, higher than 8.40 per cent in 2020, which was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the previous year, the ratio was 10.20 per cent, marginally lower than the 10.36 per cent recorded in 2018 but higher than the 9.02 per cent in 2017.
The NBS said the revised computation considered more comprehensive coverage of data at the federal, state, and local government levels and revenue items not previously included in the computations, particularly relevant revenue collected by other government agencies.
The review of the tax-to-GDP ratio was initiated by the Federal Inland Revenue Service, which collaborated with the Federal Ministry of Finance and the NBS for better measurement of the ratio.
The data used were sourced from the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF), FIRS, NBS, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), the Joint Tax Board (JTB), and other relevant agencies of government that collect revenue.
VFD Group to Join Nigerian Exchange After Exit From NASD
By Adedapo Adesanya
VFD Group Plc has announced its intention to list its shares on the Nigerian Exchange Group (NGX) after leaving the NASD Over-the-Counter Securities Exchange, where it has been trading its stocks for the past three years.
This development, according to analysts, is a strategic move that would allow the company to gain access to public equity markets, increase its visibility, and strengthen its financial position.
VFD Group Plc is a leading proprietary investment company with a proven track record of generating attractive returns for its investors through a variety of investment strategies.
The company has a diverse portfolio of investments in various sectors, including banking, technology, media, energy, and real estate. The group has been listed on the NASD OTC Securities Exchange since 2020.
Speaking on this big step, Mr Nonso Okpala, Group Managing Director of VFD Group, stated, “We are excited to take this next step in the evolution of our company.”
“Listing on a major stock exchange will give us access to a larger pool of investors, enhance our profile, and provide superior returns to our investors,” he added.
With the intention of listing on the NGX, the company will delist from the NASD and is subject to regulatory approvals and market conditions.
VFD Group noted that it would provide additional updates as the listing process progresses.
At the close of business on Tuesday, the securities of the organisation closed on the NASD OTC exchange at N244.88 per unit, the same rate they finished in the preceding trading session.
Business Post reports that the NASD was created to provide an avenue for public companies to transition smoothly into the country’s main stock exchange.
However, it has witnessed the movement of firms from the NGX to the NASD, especially due to the very strict regulatory requirements by the former.
Friesland, NDEP Drag Down NASD OTC Bourse By 0.28%
By Adedapo Adesanya
The NASD Over-the-Counter (OTC) Securities Exchange registered a 0.28 per cent drop on Tuesday, June 6, as the duo of Niger Delta Exploration and Production (NDEP) Plc and FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria Plc made losses.
FrieslandCampina Wamco Nigeria Plc lost N1.26 in value to trade at N69.74 per unit versus N71.00 per unit, as NDEP Plc depreciated by N1.06 to close at N245.15 per unit compared with the previous day’s N246.21 per unit.
The duo suppressed the 1 Kobo price appreciation reported by Acorn Petroleum Plc, closing at 16 Kobo per share compared with the preceding session’s 15 Kobo per share.
This development weakened the market capitalisation of the NASD OTC bourse by N2.78 billion to wrap the day at N1.005 trillion compared with Monday’s N1.008 trillion, as the NASD Unlisted Securities Index (NSI) moved down by 2.00 points to 726.86 points from 728.86 points.
At the market yesterday, the trading value slumped by 75.0 per cent as a total of N35.7 million stocks were transacted in comparison to Tuesday’s N142.9 million worth of securities.
At the close of business, the trading volume slid by 93.9 per cent to 1.4 million units from the previous day’s 22.7 million, as the number of deals carried out during the session decreased by 43.8 per cent to 27 deals from the 48 deals executed in the previous session.
Geo-Fluids Plc remained the most traded stock by volume on a year-to-date basis with a turnover of 832.1 million units valued at N1.3 billion, Industrial and General Insurance (IGI) Plc has transacted 628.3 units worth N49.5 million, while UBN Property Plc has traded 395.9 million units valued at N336.6 million.
On its part, VFD Group Plc remained the most traded stock by value on a year-to-date basis with 11.0 million units worth N2.5 billion, Geo-Fluids Plc has exchanged 832.1 million units worth N1.3 billion, and FrieslandCampina Wamco Nigeria Plc has sold 17.5 million units for N1.2 billion.
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