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NNPC owes FAAC $1.7 billion

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Another round of trouble is brewing between the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) and Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) following delay by Nigeria  Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), an NNPC subsidiary, to offset the $1.7 billion owed FAAC.

According to a document, FAAC was angry that the NNPC had reneged on its pledge to pay the money.

The document, presented to members at the last FAAC meeting in Abuja, reminded members of “a report at its October meeting where NNPC claimed to have obtained government approvals to procure a loan to offset the outstanding $1.74 billion good and valuable consideration on Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) assets acquired by NPDC. The NNPC promised to obtain the financial value of the loan by the end of the fourth quarter, 2018.”

A summary presented by FAAC’s Acting Chairman and Accountant General of the Federation (AGF) Mr. Idris Ahmed noted that NNPC lifted 100,000 barrels of petroleum twice as ‘good and valuable consideration’ due for payment in December.

Ahmed told members that “NNPC at the point of lifting crude oil barrels confirmed that the liftings were the option considered by it to offset the $1.74 billion owed by NPDC.”

FAAC members particularly state decried NNPC’s handling of the NPDC debt.

Ahmed added “the sub-committee was worried that the option of using 100,000 barrels of crude oil lifting per month would take up to 20 years to settle the NPDC debt. There were still outstanding Royalty and Petroleum Profit Tax (PPT) that NPDC was yet to settle with DPR and FIRS. NNPC should come up with concrete and a more acceptable option of settling the NPDC debt.”

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SEC probes MTN listing on NSE

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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is investigating the process that led to the listing of MTN Nigeria on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) last Thursday. A source said the application of the telecom firm was initially turned down by the NSE Council before it was later reconsidered, without the authorization of SEC.

The source spoke amid allegations of unapproved waivers that the NSE granted MTN Nigeria to enable it to be listed on the stock exchange.

The source said: “The application was turned down when MTN brought it to the council due to grey areas and requests for certain waivers made by the company.”
According to the source, the investigation will cover all aspects of the listing, the share crossing, the activities of the preference shares, all the transactions on MTN Nigeria shares so far and the entire listing to see if it is in compliance with the listing rules.

“I can assure you that SEC will conclude this investigation as soon as possible.”
Meanwhile, the shares of MTN continued on the upswing, chalking up 9.9 percent or N10.85 to close at N119.75. This showed that the stock has gained 33 percent in three days of its listing on the NSE.

Investors yesterday traded 51.406 million shares of the stock valued at N6.155 billion in 61 deals.
It was gathered that there was induced scarcity of the listed MTN shares in order to drive up the value.
Analysts had told newsmen that the intention of the pent-up demand on MTN Nigeria’s shares was to drive the price of the stock very high before any share offering through an Initial Public Offering (IPO).

In addition, an analyst had said the IPO might take a longer time to come, as the MTN was said to be hiding under the alleged $2 billion tax liabilities the Office of the Attorney General (AGF) imposed on it, instead of the Federal Inland Revenue Service( FIRS), to delay the public share offering.

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Nigeria’s GDP grows by 2.01% in Q1 2019

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Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 2.01 percent at the end of the first quarter of 2019, according to a report released yesterday by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). The NBS, in its “Nigeria GDP Report for First Quarter 2019’’, said the figure is 0.12 percent higher than the growth rate of 1.89 percent recorded in the first quarter of 2018. However, when the figure is compared with the fourth quarter of 2018, the real GDP growth rate declined by -0.38% points. Aggregate GDP stood at N31,794,085.85 million in nominal terms.

“This aggregate was higher than in the first quarter of 2018, which recorded N28,438,604.23 million, representing a year on- year nominal growth rate of 11.80%. “The aggregate was, however, lower than in the preceding quarter of N35,230,607.63 million, by -9.75%. The nominal GDP growth rate in Q1 2019 was higher than the rate recorded in Q1 2018 by 2.54% points,” the report stated. The agency said in the first quarter of 2019, average daily oil production stood at 1.96 million barrels per day (mbpd), lower than the average daily production of 1.98mbpd recorded in the same quarter of 2018 by -0.02mbpd, but higher than the fourth quarter 2018 production volume by 0.05mbpd.
The level of oil output during the quarter was the highest recorded over the past one year and the second highest since mid-2017. The real GDP growth in the oil sector was -2.40% (year-on-year) in Q1 2019 indicating a decrease by -16.43% points relative to the rate recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2018. Growth decreased by -0.79% points when compared to Q4 2018 which was -1.62%. Quarter-on-quarter, the oil sector recorded a growth rate of 11.60% in Q1 2019. The oil sector contributed 9.14% to total real GDP in Q1 2019, down from figures recorded in the corresponding period of 2018, but up compared to the preceding quarter, where it contributed 9.55% and 7.06% respectively. The bureau noted that the non-oil sector grew by 2.47% in real terms during the reference quarter. “This was 1.72% points higher compared to the rate recorded in the same quarter of 2018 but -0.23% points lower than the fourth quarter of 2018. “During the quarter, the sector was driven mainly by information and communication technology. Other drivers were Agriculture, Transportation and Storage, Trade and Construction. In real terms, the non-oil sector contributed 90.86% to the nation’s GDP, higher than recorded in the first quarter of 2018 (90.45%) but lower than the fourth quarter of 2018 (92.94%).”

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FG inaugurates committee on salary adjustment

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The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, has inaugurate a committee to negotiate the consequential adjustment in salaries arising from the new national minimum wage.

Mustapha, who inaugurated the committee on Tuesday in Abuja, said the gesture was in accordance with President Muhammadu Buhari’s remarks at the signing of the new National Minimum Wage Act, 2019.

He said the president had said there would the constitution of another committee to negotiate the issue of relativity over the new wage with relevant labour unions.

“Government has carefully appointed members of the committee under the chairmanship of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation with the SGF as Alternate Chair,”NAN quoted him as saying.

Members of the committee from the side of government include Ministers of Labour and Employment, Finance, Budget and National Planning, Health, Education and the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.

“Others are the Director General, Budget Office of the Federation, Secretary, Federal Judicial Service Commission, Secretary, National Assembly Service Commission and the Chairman, National Salaries, Incomes & Wages Commission.

“On the side of the Trade Unions, ten representatives have been nominated by the Joint National Public Service Negotiation Council as members of the Committee,” he said.

The SGF said that the mandate of the Committee would be to negotiate the consequential adjustment in salaries arising from the new national minimum wage.

He urged members to amicably consider the issue of relativity and consequential adjustment with thoroughness, bearing in mind the welfare of the nation’s workforce vis-à-vis the current economic reality.

Mustapha expressed optimism that the committee would have abundant literature, reports and other materials to help in its assignment, adding that the committee had four weeks from this inauguration to submit its report.

The SGF said President Buhari has the interest and welfare of workers at heart and believed that, for government to succeed in its fight against corruption; Nigerian workers must be adequately remunerated.

In her remarks, the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita commended the Federal Government for considering members of the committee worthy to serve.

She said that the commitment of the Federal Government to prioritise the welfare of workers towards engendering productivity and sustainable service delivery in the public service was a step in the right direction.

“I also appreciate the leadership of Nigerian workers for the understanding they have exhibited during and after the negotiation of the new national minimum wage.

“In carrying out this national assignment, the committee, as constituted will do its best to deliver on its mandate within the stipulated time frame,” she said.

Oyo-Ita said that the committee would do its best to ensure that the benefit from the new minimum wage cuts across all levels of workers in the public service.

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TSA: Fed Govt records N30tr turnover in seven years

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Seven years after it was created, the Treasury Single Account (TSA) has yielded more than 30 trillion turnover for the Federal Government, the Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF), Idris Ahmed, said yesterday.

He told reporters on the sideline of a study visit by Gambian delegates to Abuja, that the turnover was in terms of transactions.

Ahmed, who was represented by the Director of Funds in the Office of the AGF, Mohammed K. Usman, said: “From 2012 when we started the full implementation of the TSA, and if you are looking at the volume of transactions, I think you will be looking at something in the region of N30 trillion; that is in terms of transaction volume, not in terms of balances or anything. So, if we are looking at turnover, it should be over N30 trillion.”

The TSA, he said, “is a fluid account and so, it will be difficult to state specifically how much is in the account at any point in time”.
Speaking earlier on controversy over bringing foreign missions into the TSA, Finance Minister Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, said the government was considering another option of capturing all accruals by foreign missions to into a single account.

Speaking at the event, Mrs. Ahmed admitted that bringing in revenue generated in different currencies by foreign missions has been one of the major challenges facing the full implementation of the TSA.

To address the challenge, the finance minister said: “The government is looking at a different option to interface with TSA for foreign missions.”

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