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FG Must Reduce Debt Burden Ratio Below 20%—FSDH

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FG Must Reduce Debt Burden Ratio Below 20%—FSDH

FG Must Reduce Debt Burden Ratio Below 20%—FSDH

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

Federal Government has been advised to development ways to reduce its debt burden ratio below 20 percent, at least in the main time.

FSDH Research, in its latest report titled ‘Nigerian Public Debt: A Comparative Analysis,’ said the fact that interest payment is such a significant part of government revenue limits the revenue left for the government to undertake other developmental projects in the short-term.

“We expect this position to improve as government revenue increases as a result of the ongoing economic measures in the country to raise the level of revenue.

“We are of the opinion that government should develop strategies to reduce the ratio of interest payment to revenue below 20 percent in the medium-term,” the firm suggested.

It said further that although the debt stock in Nigeria has increased substantially, it believes this is sustainable in the short-to-medium term given the economic growth potential of the country.

In the short-to-medium-term, government will need to borrow both from external and domestic sources in order to augment the low revenue facing the country as a result of the current economic challenges.

The FGN needs to improve critical infrastructure in the country to increase the competitiveness of the economy to attract investments. This requires more money than current government revenue. The FGN is also working to diversify its revenue base through the issuance of the FGN Savings Bond, Diaspora Bond, and Sukuk.

The efforts of the FGN coupled with the improvement in the macroeconomic environment should help to lower interest rate, it noted.

“We will also continue to encourage the government to partner with the private sector in the provision of critical infrastructure. In addition, government should ensure that any debt contracted is judiciously utilised on projects that promote economic growth and development,” FSDH Research said.

The firm said it observed that the public debt (total of both external and domestic debt) in Nigeria has been increasing over the last five years and the issue of the sustainability of the debt level has generated a lot of debate.

A comparative analysis of the debt-to-Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of a number of countries shows that the ratio of debt-to-GDP is very low in Nigeria.

“Amongst the countries we monitored, Japan recorded the highest debt-to-GDP of 250.40%. This was followed by the United States of America (U.S) with 104.17%; France 96%, United Kingdom (UK) 89.30%; and Germany 68.30%. India and China have a debt-to-GDP of 69.50% and 42.90% respectively. South Africa and Venezuela have debt-to-GDP of 50.10% and 49.80% respectively,” it said.

Available data from the Debt Management Office (DMO) shows that Nigeria’s total debt stock as at March 2017 stood at N19.16trn, representing an increase of 10.37% from the December 2016 figure of N17.36trn.

This also represents growth of 153.63% from N7.55trn in 2012. A breakdown of the debt stock shows that external debt accounted for 22.08% (N4.23trn), while domestic debt stock accounted for 77.92% (N14.93trn).

The increase in the total debt is attributable to the following factors: the need to fund infrastructure and to supplement the declining government revenue. Many analysts have argued that the increase in government’s appetite for borrowing has crowded out the private sector.

The proportion of domestic debt to total public debt dropped consistently between 2013 and Q1

2017.

On the average, the proportion of domestic debt to total debt was 85% between 2012 and 2015; but reduced to 78% between 2016 and Q1 2017.

The increase in external borrowing and the impact of exchange rate depreciation were the main reasons for the reduction in the proportion of the domestic debt stock. The FGN has set what it believes to be an optimal domestic debt to external debt ratio at 60:40. At the current (external to domestic debt) level of 78:22, it appears that there is still room to increase the external debt component of the total debt stock.

The debt-to-GDP in Nigeria as at December 2016 stood at 17.11%. This is far below the critical limit of 40% the FGN has set for the Nigerian economy.

This means that, by this metric alone, there is substantial room for the government to increase its borrowing.

However, the debt-to-GDP ratio is not the only issue. The major stress point is the rising level of interest payment relative to government revenue. The ratio of interest payment-to-government-revenue increased from 24.48% in 2012 to an estimated 35.32% in 2016.

The FGN expects that this ratio will moderate slightly to 33.67% in 2017.

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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Economy

Jumia, Churches, POS Operators, Others Reject Old Naira Notes

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old Naira notes

By Dipo Olowookere

One of the leading e-commerce companies in Nigeria, Jumia, has announced that from Monday, January 30, 2023, it will no longer accept the old Naira notes as a form of payment for goods purchased on the platform.

In a message to its customers on Thursday, the company said this action followed the decision of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to stop the use of the N200, N500, and N1,000 for financial transactions in Nigeria from February 1, 2023.

On October 26, 2022, the governor of the CBN, Mr Godwin Emefiele, announced that the three denominations would be redesigned. The new banknotes were introduced into circulation on December 15, and Nigerians were asked to return the old notes on or before January 31, 2023.

In order not to miss the deadline, and with the central bank insisting that it would not extend the deadline, Jumia has said its customers have till Sunday to pay for its goods and services with the old notes.

“From Monday, January 30, 2023, Jumia Delivery Associates will not be able to accept the old notes of N200, N500, and N1,000 sequel to the directive by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

“Should you wish to pay by cash, our delivery associates will only accept the new series of notes.

“Alternatively, you can find details on how to prepay on Jumia using JumiaPay or call us if there are any further questions.

“We will communicate further in case of any change from the federal government or central bank,” the notice from the firm, which was seen by Business Post, stated.

Meanwhile, a few churches in Lagos have asked their members not to pay tithes and offerings with the old banknotes from Sunday, January 29, 2023, due to the CBN directive.

“In reference to CBN’s directive and policy on old Naira notes, we hereby appeal to members not to come to church starting from this Sunday with old Naira notes (200, 500 & 1000).

“Please kindly make your payments (tithes, offerings, project donations and other payments) in new Naira notes.

“You can as well make an online transfer to the designated accounts (check the flier for details).

“Please share this message with members that are not on this platform,” a message from one of the parishes of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) said.

Also, checks by this reporter indicated that some POS operators have said they would no longer accept the old notes from their customers from Saturday, January 28, 2023.

“I will not accept cash deposits with the old notes from Saturday because I know the banks will be filled up next week with people who want to deposit their cash.

“This morning, I was at one of the banks to deposit the cash with me, but the crowd there scared me.

“The banks were still giving customers the old notes. I am just confused about the situation. We do not have the new notes. Almost all the ATM terminals in this area are not dispensing cash to customers,” a POS operator in the Egbeda area of Lagos, Mrs Modupe Adediran, told Business Post.

Similarly, a trader at Computer Village, Ikeja, Lagos, Mr Ikenna Okechukwu, informed this reporter that he has stopped accepting the old banknotes from his customers.

However, some commercial bus drivers in Lagos said they will still accept the old banknotes next week.

“I don’t have any issue with the money. I have a strong belief that the central bank will extend the deadline. The announcement will be made next week,” a danfo driver in Ikeja, who identified himself as Mr Tajudeen, said.

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Economy

SFS Fund Mobile App Sees 300% Rise in Downloads

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SFS Fund Mobile App

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

The mutual fund investment app of SFS Capital, the SFS Fund Mobile App, has recorded a 300 per cent uptick in downloads less than one year after it was launched.

The SFS Fund Mobile App has exciting features that have endeared it to new and existing users. The app has an easy-to-use interactive dashboard; it also allows retail investors with N5,000 to start an investment.

In addition, users can make direct transfers from their banks to their virtual accounts and have access to third-party payments to make payments directly into users’ investment accounts.

In the second half of 2022, the SFS Fund Mobile App was launched to enable individuals to begin their investment journey with ease.

“There’s no doubt that investment apps became really popular last year, and we are extremely excited about the growth of the SFS Fund Mobile App and how it is playing a role in encouraging more individuals to start their investment journey with Mutual Fund,” the Managing Director and CEO of SFS Capital, Mr Patrick Ilodianya, said.

Globally, there has been a rise in the usage of retail investment apps. The COVID-19 pandemic induced pragmatic investment decisions by individuals, coupled with increased accessibility to mobile, enabled more individuals to start investing.

The SFS Fund Mobile App is apt for individuals who need a trustworthy, secure and easy platform for high-yield investments in mutual funds.

The app is available for download on Android and iOS. Investments made via the app are managed by seasoned investment experts in the Nigerian financial market who ensure that the returns paid to investors range from 11 per cent to 17 per cent per annum.

The fund has consistently maintained an “AA+” rating which is the 2nd highest possible rating for a mutual fund, and has a highly competitive return on investment and no pre-termination charge.

Investment in mutual funds is a proven recipe for wealth creation, given the opportunities and flexibility it presents to investors.

“This year, we will like to encourage more individuals to make a more decisive move concerning their finances. Investing in mutual funds via the SFS Mobile Fund App makes it possible for individuals to begin to build wealth, especially in an economy like ours that is characterised by downturns and uncertainties,” Mr Ilodianya added.

The SFS Mobile Fund App is part of SFS Capital’s digitisation narrative as the investment management company builds on the legacy it has as a leading Nigerian non-bank financial institution.

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Economy

Julius Berger Offers for Sale N30bn Commercial Paper in Two Series

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Julius berger

By Dipo Olowookere

Commercial paper worth N30 billion is being offered for sale to investors by Julius Berger Plc in two series to raise funds for its operations.

Business Post gathered that the exercise commenced on Tuesday, January 24, 2023, and is expected to end on Monday, January 30, 2023.

The company, which is a leading player in the construction industry, is selling the debt instrument across two tenors, 182 days and 267 days.

The discount rate of the 182-day paper is 13.09 per cent, with an implied yield of 14.00 per cent, while the 267-day paper has a discount rate of 13.52 per cent and an implied yield of 16.00 per cent.

To buy the commercial paper of the construction firm, subscribers will have to pay at least N5 million. This can be done through registered brokerage companies.

In the 2021 fiscal year, Julius Berger grew its revenue by 40.13 per cent to N338.8 billion from N241.8 billion in 2020, as its net profit jumped by 574.96 per cent to N8.3 billion from N1.2 billion in the preceding accounting year.

Julius Berger is a leading Nigerian company offering holistic services covering the planning, design, engineering, construction, operation and maintenance of buildings, infrastructure and industry projects in Nigeria.

Since the execution of its pioneer project in 1965 by Julius Berger Tiefbau AG, a related entity, Julius Berger has played a pivotal role in the development of Nigeria’s industrial and civil infrastructure.

It was incorporated as a private company in 1970 and was later converted to a public company and joined the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited in 1991.

Julius Berger has completed over 600 buildings, 20 industrial facilities and 130 infrastructure projects in Nigeria.

Infrastructure projects carried out by the firm include the construction of roads, bridges, seaports, airports, automobile assembly plants, dams, factories, petrol stations, independent power plants, development of the capital city (Abuja), amongst other projects.

Some of the landmark projects successfully executed by the company were the recent construction of the landmark Second River Niger Bridge aimed at strengthening socio-economic development across the East-West region, the construction of the Second Mainland Bridge (Eko Bridge), the repair of the Onitsha bridge in seven weeks, construction of the 500m long and 25m high Laminga Dam, with spillway system, water-treatment plant and 48km pipeline distribution network, completion of construction work for Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, etc. The Company specialises in executing complex works requiring the highest level of technical expertise and Nigeria-specific know-how.

Julius Berger has seven subsidiaries that enable it to complete multifaceted projects at the highest level of performance. This structure allows the organisation to effectively manage and fulfil construction projects, starting from the initial idea through to planning, design, engineering, construction, operation and maintenance.

Julius Berger, together with its subsidiaries, is guided by a value system which has, over time, defined and differentiated its business, thereby setting a benchmark in the Nigerian construction industry. Julius Berger offers its industrial clients forward-looking solutions that preserve the high value of assets and guarantee their sustained availability.

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