Governors Quickened Nigeria’s Economic Recovery—NGFS
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The Nigeria Governors’ Forum Secretariat (NGFS) has disclosed that the contributions of Governors in the country have been tremendous.
A statement signed by the Head, Media & Public Affairs of the NGFS, Mr Abulrazque Barkindo, quoted an Economist at the NGFS, Mr David Nabena, as saying during a meeting of the Fiscal Sustainability Plan (FSP) committee in Abuja that, “Thanks to governors and their reforms at the sub-national level, there is a 69 percent success in Public Expenditure Reforms being implemented by governments at the sub-national level.”
It was disclosed that this may have contributed immensely to the quick turnaround of the national economy which wriggled itself out of recession much faster than the public had expected.
The FSP committee comprises officials of the NGF, and Federal Ministry of Finance.
The FSP, the framework for the sustenance of state governments in Nigeria, which is a product of an agreement between federal and state governments, has been hailed as a strategic game-changer for fiscal governance at the state level.
The FSP seeks to improve transparency and accountability, increase public revenue, rationalize public expenditure, improve public finance management and facilitate sustainable debt management. The meeting was to review the 22 core action points of the FSP from its last workshop held in April.
According to the NGFS findings, “the action point with the highest percentage of implementation is that of Public Expenditure Reform, which recorded 69% success,” the NGFS Economist, Nabena disclosed.
Several economists have argued that since most economic activities take place in the states, they might have indirectly assisted the economic recovery that the nation is now celebrating.
However, Nabena still believes more can be done by states to get the country out of the doldrums. Others with encouraging results according to him were public revenue reforms 63% and 54% for debt management reforms.
These are laudable goals, according to many economists, but above all it shares a very special affinity with the Open Government Partnership OGP which carries with it huge financial relief for governments that are able to meet its conditions.
A consultant at the Kaduna Business School concludes that the first point to note is that states are in dire financial straits today because of poor management of fiscal and other resources that occurred in the years preceding the report.
Funds meant for development have been stolen outright and laws and policies, where they exist, have been ignored. In some states, there is an absence of good fiscal laws, according to the findings.
Nabena noted that the purpose of the meeting was to share findings of the 22 core action points of the FSP from the workshop held in April, as well as acquaint the ministry of the plans of the NGF Secretariat going forward.
During his presentation, Nabena noted that around 15 out of the 22 action points of the FSP have been implemented by most States, stating however that, this finding was contained in the states’ self-assessment reports.
He also highlighted the actions with the weakest implementation status, among which Nabena lamented were those targeted at accountability and transparency.
Even here, Nabena explained, there is light at the end of the tunnel because there is a 44% success in implementation despite the fact that many states find the adoption of IPSAS cumbersome, expensive and challenging.
In conclusion, the NGF Economist regretted that the picture is not all rosy for governance at the subnational level.
In many states that work was conducted Nabena stated that there is no consolidated debt service account or sinking fund, 9 states do not have an active and functional website, seven states have not yet concluded their biometric staff audit, and up to 31 states have recorded success in the internal audit of their accounts. “Only sixteen states” Nabena added, “have an efficiency unit.”
Responding, the Director, Home Finance at the Finance Ministry Mrs Olubunmi Siyanbola congratulated the Forum for the brilliant and thorough work that they had done and also added that the figures given by the Forum is not far from that of the Consultants they deployed for the same reason.
Olubunmi Siyanbola also disclosed that 6 Consultants have been sent to the different geo-political zones to make a report on the activities of the states around the 22 action points of the FSP and their success stories so far.
She added that the way forward will be determined when all the consultants are back from the field with the complete report.
However, at a glance, the consultants recorded a 42% level of implementation across the 36 states, other percentages are 60% for Public expenditure reforms as against 69% from the NGF, 56% for PFM which is the same with what the Forum recorded and 35% level of implementation for public debt as against 54% recorded by the NGF.
NGX Index Contracts by 0.03% on Renewed Selling Pressure
By Dipo Olowookere
Selling pressure on large and mid-cap stocks like GTCO, Lafarge Africa, FBN Holdings, Flour Mills and others weakened the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited by 0.03 per cent on Wednesday.
The renewed profit-taking came a day after the local stock market rebounded, as investors embarked on cautious trading, monitoring happenings in the macroeconomic environment.
This left the sectorial performance index mixed at the close of transactions in the midweek session, with the banking space losing 0.25 per cent, the industrial goods index shedding 0.02 per cent, and the consumer goods counter depreciating by 0.01 per cent.
However, the insurance sector appreciated yesterday by 3.61 per cent, while the energy space went up by 0.42 per cent.
The All-Share Index (ASI) could not withstand the pressure and lost 14.22 points to the bears to close at 56,024.52 points, in contrast to Tuesday’s 56,038.85 points.
In the same vein, the market capitalisation of the NGX depleted by N8 billion to settle at N30.506 trillion compared with the preceding day’s N30.514 trillion.
NPF Microfinance Bank was the most actively traded stock yesterday for exchanging 100.8 million units valued at N181.4 million, GTCO traded 43.0 million units worth N1.2 billion, Japaul transacted 27.8 million units worth N11.5 million, Fidelity Bank sold 24.3 million units valued at N140.9 million, and Access Holdings traded 23.0 million units for N293.0 million.
In all, investors bought and sold 397.6 million shares worth N6.5 billion in 5,613 deals on Wednesday compared with the 322.5 million shares worth N5.8 billion transacted in 6,165 deals on Tuesday, representing a decline in the number of deals by 8.95 per cent, an increase in the trading volume and value by 23.29 per cent and 12.07 per cent, respectively.
Union Bank topped the losers’ chart after dropping 4.20 per cent to trade at N7.20, Flour Mills also shed 4.20 per cent to close at N33.10, NGX Group declined by 3.11 per cent to N28.00, Prestige Assurance went down by 2.44 per cent to 40 Kobo, and Courteville slumped by 2.08 per cent to 47 Kobo.
On the flip side, Honeywell Flour gained 9.87 per cent to settle at N3.45, Eterna improved by 9.87 per cent to N12.25, FTN Cocoa rose by 9.86 per cent to 78 Kobo, Cornerstone Insurance expanded by 9.78 per cent to N1.01, and Coronation Insurance grew by 9.52 per cent to 46 Kobo.
Subsidy Removal: CNG at N130 Per Litre Cheaper Than Petrol—IPMAN
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Independent Petroleum Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has advised Nigerians to begin to look into the direction of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) as an alternative energy source to cushion the effect of subsidy removal.
The National President of IPMAN, Mr Chinedu Okorokwo, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Wednesday, as the federal government continues its dialogue with the organised labour over the hike in the price of premium motor spirit (PMS), otherwise known as petrol.
On May 29, 2023, during his inaugural speech, President Bola Tinubu said the payment of subsidy for fuel had ended because there was no provision for it in the 2023 budget beyond June 30.
His announcement triggered the hoarding of fuel by marketers, and when the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited increased the price of the product across its retail outlets, prices of food, transportation and services went up, forcing the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) to threaten a nationwide strike, which was supposed to start today but was stopped by the National Industrial Court.
At a meeting on Monday night between the government and the labour unions, it was agreed that the adoption of CNG as an alternative fuel would be the best option, and it was agreed that the CNG conversion programme earlier planned in 2021 should be revived.
CNG, which is a gas mainly composed of methane and produces less emission, is the cleanest burning fuel operating today with less vehicle maintenance and longer engine life.
In the interview with NAN, Mr Okoronkwo said bringing CNG, which was cheaper than even firewood, as an alternative energy, would create relief for the government and its citizens.
“We have also discovered that bringing an alternative that is cheaper than even firewood which is CNG, will not only create relief for the government and its citizens but it is environmentally friendly.
“The CNG is abundantly available in Nigeria than anywhere in Africa.
“In the Niger Delta region, you see billions of tonnes of gas flare being wasted daily, these are huge amounts that should be accruing to our GDP, but we are wasting it because there is no market for it.
“So, we are asking the government to create the market. How do you create the market?
“What Egypt and India did was to give soft loans to be paid back within stipulated periods; from there, you can get vehicles to use gas instead of fuel,” he said.
“There’s a franchise for the bottling of CNG so that an average woman in the kitchen can use it,’’ he added, noting that the introduction of CNG would cushion the effect occasioned by the high price of fuel currently as a litre of CNG would not cost more than N130.
He advised that repairing the local refineries as well would reduce the impact of the removal as it would eliminate the cost of importation and exportation.
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.
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