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Why We Want N500b Bond—Ambode

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By Dipo Olowookere

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State has explained why the state government sought the approval of the state House of Assembly to obtain a N500 billion bond.

Mr Ambode, speaking with newsmen on Wednesday, said the bond was a pool fund that would span over a period of time and not just for the current appropriation year.

He said only N60 billion would be accessible in 2016.

Explaining the modalities of the bond programme, which was ratified by the Assembly this week, Mr Ambode said the State, since 2007, has had two Bond Issuance Programmes, adding that the one recently approved by the Assembly was the third and would run for a period of three to five years.

The Governor said the State would draw from the fund for subsequent years as approved by the House.

“Before you can actually even appropriate it in your budget, you need that programme and that programme was what was approved by the Assembly.

“But in the appropriation of 2016, what is in the appropriation law for 2016 is just N60 billion. So, it’s from this programme that we are pulling out this N60 billion.

“So, for next year’s budget, if the House approves for instance N80 billion as bond, we don’t need to go back to the House again after they have approved that budget, you draw from that issuance programme and take another amount which is approved for 2017 budget.

“If they approve any amount for 2018 budget, you take from that pool of N500 billion, which can take the next five to 10 years.

“So it’s just a lump sum which you now draw down based on the authorization by the House. That is the technical explanation. It’s not as if the State wants to go and take another N500billion, it’s just a requirement by Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) so that you follow the procedure on a yearly basis,” Mr Ambode explained.

The Governor also assured that the N60 billion Bond Programme approved for the current year would be used to accelerate the aggressive infrastructural development ongoing in the State.

He said the funds would be channelled towards the completion of the Ajah Flyover, Abule Egba Flyover, Pen Cinema Flyover, as well as the construction of more lay-bys, bus parks, improve health facilities and the building of more public schools among many other infrastructural projects.

He said that the financial arrangement of the State is such that Bond Programmes embarked upon are easily repayable through Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), adding, “all we are just doing is to accelerate development for the future prosperity of Lagos.”

Governor Ambode also thanked members of the House of Assembly for approving the bond, saying that their actions have also shown their passion and commitment to see the State make appreciable progress.

It would be recalled that the Lagos State House of Assembly on Tuesday approved the sum of N500 billion worth of bond for the State Government spanning between 2016 and 2019, which according to them was necessary for the development of the state and would be repaid through the State’s IGR.

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via dipo.olowookere@businesspost.ng

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Economy

FG to Make TIN Compulsory for Bank Account Holders

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Africa's Tax Revenue

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

From 2022, bank account holders in Nigeria will likely have to obtain a tax identification number (TIN) to operate as the Finance Bill sent to the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari is planning to make it mandatory.

This move, according to observers, is to expand the tax net of the country in the midst of shrinking revenue and make the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) pay tax to the government.

In his lead debate on Wednesday, the Senate Leader, Mr Yahaya Abdullahi, said the bill, when passed and signed, will make financial institutions request for TIN from customers for them to operate new and existing accounts.

“Banks will be required to request for Tax Identification Number before opening bank accounts for individuals while existing account holders must provide their TIN to continue operating their accounts,” he disclosed.

According to him, “Going forward, we hope that changes to the tax laws will be on an annual basis to ensure that Nigeria’s tax system continues to evolve in line with economic conditions.”

The lawmaker further said the bill intends to make it an offence to refuse to deduct tax.

“This penalty is 10 per cent of the tax not deducted, plus interest at the prevailing monetary policy rate of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

“The conditions attached to tax exemption on gratuities have been removed. Therefore gratuities are unconditionally tax exempt.

“The duties currently performed by the Joint Tax Board as relates to administering the Personal Income Tax Act will now be performed by the Federal Inland Revenue service.

“This seems to be an error in the process of amendments to replace the word “Board” as it appears in Federal Board of Inland Revenue,” Mr Abdullahi stated.

He also said the bill made electronic mails as the only channel that tax authorities would accept as a formal means of correspondence with taxpayers and concerning the late filing of Value Added Tax (VAT), the fine has been raised to N50,000 for the first month and N25,000 for subsequent months of failure.

“The penalty for failure to register for VAT is reviewed upwards to N50,000 for the first month of default and N25,000 for each subsequent month of default.

“The penalty for failure to notify FIRS of change in company address to be reviewed upwards to N50,000 for the first month of default and N25,000 for each subsequent month of default.

“This penalty also covers failure to notify FIRS of permanent cessation of trade or business.,” he said.

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Economy

Unlisted Stocks Languish in Red Zone after 0.25% Fall Wednesday

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By Adedapo Adesanya

The NASD Over-the-Counter (OTC) Securities Exchange extended its stay in the bearish zone on Wednesday, December 8 as the trio of FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria Plc, NASD Plc, and Central Securities Clearing Systems (CSCS) Plc compounded its woes by 0.25 per cent.

FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria Plc depreciated by N1 or 0.9 per cent at the midweek session to settle at N110.80 per share in contrast to the preceding day’s value of N111.80 per share.

It was followed by NASD Plc, which closed at N27.00 per unit compared with the previous day’s N27.15 per unit, indicating a decline of 15 kobo or 0.6 per cent.

On its part, CSCS Plc declined yesterday by 9 kobo or 0.5 per cent to close the session at N16.91 per share in contrast to N17 per share of the previous session.

The losses posted by these unlisted stocks chopped off N1.49 billion from the market capitalisation of the bourse during the session to close the day at N602.96 billion versus N604.45 billion it ended on Tuesday.

In the same vein, the NASD Unlisted Security Index (NSI) closed lower by 1.8 points to wrap the session at 729.82 points compared with 731.62 points of the previous session.

At the market on Wednesday, there was an increase in the volume of securities traded by investors and this was by 168.9 per cent as 1.9 million units of stocks exchanged hands compared with the earlier day’s 694,849 units of securities.

In the same vein, the value of shares traded at the midweek amounted to N37.9 million, which by evaluation is 72.5 per cent higher than the N22.0 million posted on Tuesday.

All these transactions were executed in 14 deals, according to data from the exchange, 12.5 per cent lower than the 16 deals carried out at the preceding day.

Food Concepts Plc closed the day as the most active stock by volume (year-to-date) for selling 11.4 billion units for N14.4 billion, Lighthouse Financial Services Plc has traded 1.1 billion for N546.2 million, while Geo Fluids Plc has sold 1.0 billion units for N700.1 million.

Also, Food Concepts Plc finished the day as the most active stock by value (year-to-date) with a turnover of 11.4 billion units worth N14.4 billion, Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Group Plc, which is no longer on the platform maintained its second spot with 456.5 million units worth N9.2 billion, while the third spot was taken by VFD Group Plc with 10.4 million units valued at N3.5 billion.

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Economy

Naira Trades Flat at I&E as Bitcoin, Ethereum Fall at Crypto Market

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Ethereum

By Adedapo Adesanya

It was a stalemate between the Naira and the US Dollar at the Investors and Exporters (I&E) segment of the foreign exchange (forex) market on Wednesday, December 8.

This was because, at the specialised window where investors source FX for approved needs, the local currency closed against the greenback at N415.07/$1, the same value it was sold at the previous session.

This happened despite a 51.7 per cent or $76.98 million rise in the demand for forex at the market window, as data obtained by Business Post from FMDQ Securities Exchange showed that yesterday, the turnover rose to $225.99 million from the previous day’s turnover of $149.01 million.

Also, the Naira recorded the same outcome at the interbank window of the forex market as the exchange rate of the domestic currency compared with its American counterpart remained unchanged at N411.74/$1 at the close of transactions at the midweek session.

However, the Nigerian Naira appreciated against the British Pound Sterling during the session by N2.68 to settle at N543.04/£1 versus Tuesday’s closing rate of N545.72/£1 and against the Euro, the local currency performed badly as it lost 53 kobo to trade at N474.07/€1 compared with N463.54/€1 it closed a day earlier.

Meanwhile, the scales tilted to the bullish side on aggregate at the crypto market yesterday as six of the 10 cryptocurrencies tracked by this newspaper closed on the green side.

The highest gainer was Tron (TRX) as it appreciated by 9.1 per cent to sell for N52.50, just as Dash (DASH) rose by 6.6 per cent to sell at N85,000.00, with Ripple (XRP) appreciating by 5.9 per cent to N487.19.

In addition, Binance Coin (BNB) gained 5.3 per cent to trade at N249,686.22, Litecoin (LTC) rose by 1.5 per cent to sell at N96,110.37, while Cardano (ADA) pointed north by making a 0.9 per cent gain to quote at N815.96.

On the losers’ side, Ethereum (ETH) made a 3.4 per cent slump to trade at N2,300,500.02, Bitcoin (BTC) fell by 0.9 per cent to trade at N28,330,347.37, Dogecoin (DOGE) retreated by 0.6 per cent to sell at N103.74, while the US Dollar Tether (USDT) depreciated by 0.5 per cent to sell for N571.85.

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