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Economy

GDP growth projected at 4.2% in 2022–FG

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Nigerians to pay more taxes in 2022- Finance minister hints

…. As LCCI, others cautiously optimistic as NASS passes PIB***

The Federal Government has projected a rise to 4.2 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2022.

Mrs Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning said this at the Public Consultation on the Draft 2022 to 2024 Medium Term Fiscal Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTFF/FSP) on Thursday.

Ahmed said the GDP projected in 2021, to close at three per cent, had been adjusted downwards to close at 2.5 per cent.

“In 2022, we are expecting an uptake to 4.2 per cent, then a dip to 2.3 per cent in 2023 and up to 3.3 per cent in 2024.”

The minister further said the Nominal GDP projected for 2022 was N184.38 trillion up from N168.6 trillion in 2021, and then to N201 trillion in 2023 and N222 trillion in 2024.

She also said the inflation rate was expected to drop slightly to 13 per cent in 2022 from 15 per cent in 2021.

She noted that the increase in inflation was due to the exchange rate.

“Inflation rate, which was planned for 11.95 per cent in 2021, has been reflected in reality because the exchange rate is high. The average we have so far is 15 per cent.

“We are expecting 2022 to go down slightly to 13 per cent, then 11 per cent in 2023 and 10 per cent in 2024.”

She, however, said the Federal Government had put the Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange Rate Fixing (NAFEX) rate of N410.15 to one US dollar for 2022 to 2024.

“The exchange rate of the Naira to the dollar, which was N379 in the 2021 budget, has been adjusted to the NAFEX rate of N410.15 to one US dollar.

“We are assuming, for now, the same rate for 2022, 2023 and 2024.”

Furthermore, Ahmed took an overview of the federation and fiscal outcomes for the Federation and Value Added Tax (VAT) Pool Accounts Distributable for January to May.

She said the amount available for distribution from the Federation Account was N2.78 trillion.

“Of this amount, the Federal Government received N998.57 billion, while the states and Local Governments received N506.59 billion and N390.48 billion respectively from the Main Pool Account.

“Federal, state and local governments received N132.70 billion, N442.33 billion and N309.63 billion respectively from the VAT Pool Account.”

Also read: PTAD receives £26.5m from investment firm

Also, the minister said the gross oil and gas revenue was projected at N5.19 trillion for January to May.

“As of May, N1.49 trillion was realised out of the prorated sum of N2.16 trillion. This represents 69 per cent performance.

“Oil and gas deductions were N194.31 billion (or 45.8 per cent) more than the budget.

“This is mainly attributable to petroleum subsidy costs which was not provided for in the 2021 Budget.

“After netting out deductions (including 13 per cent derivation) net oil and gas revenue inflows to the Federation Account amounted to N872.16 billion.”

She noted that the inflow was N864.20 billion or 49.8 per cent less than the projection as of May.

Giving an update on the revenue performance of 2021 budget implementation for January to May, Ahmed said the Federal Government’s retained revenue was N1.84 trillion, 67 per cent  of pro rata target.

She said the share of oil revenues was N289.61 billion, which represented 50 per cent performance.

She also added that non-oil tax revenues totalled N618.76 trillion, 99.7 per cent of pro rata.

“Companies Income Tax (CIT) and VAT collections were ahead of the budget targets with N290.90 billion and N123.85 billion, representing 102 per cent and 125 per cent respectively of the pro rata targets for the period.

“Customs collections was N204.0 billion (86 per cent of target).

She said other revenues amounted to N762.70 billion, of which Independent revenues were  N487.01 billion.

On the expenditure side, the minister said N4.86 trillion, representing 92.7 per cent of the prorated budget had been spent.

“This excludes GOEs’ and project-tied debt expenditures.”

She noted that of the expenditure, N1.80 trillion was for debt service representing 37 per cent of Federal Government’s expenditure and N1.50 trillion for Personnel costs, including Pensions, representing 31 per cent of Federal Government’s revenues.

The minister further said that as at May, N973.13 billion had been released for capital expenditure.

In the meantime, Stakeholders in the oil and gas sector on Thursday welcomed the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) by the National Assembly after almost two decades.

The stakeholders in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, noted that the passage of the bill was being greeted with caution until its contents are made public.

The stakeholders are: Mr Muda Yusuf, Director General, Lagos State Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) and Mr Tunji Oyebanji, Chairman, Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN).

It also included Mr Chinedu Okoronkwo, President, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN).

NAN reports that the bill, which has five parts, eight schedules and 319 clauses was passed by both the Senate and House of Representatives on Thursday.

The legislation is aimed at “promoting transparency, good governance and accountability in the oil and gas sector.”

Yusuf said the LCCI was pleased with the passage of the bill with the proviso that the concerns raised by stakeholders have been dealt with by the lawmakers in the final draft.

He said: “I think the passage of the PIB is a very good development. It is a major instrument of reforms in the petroleum sector and it has quite a number of significant implications.

“First, it has investment implications. It provides better clarity around the policy regime, the regulatory regime in the petroleum sector.

“We are likely to see more investments because investors confidence is likely to grow with this new policy environment.

The delay in the passage of the bill for many years created a lot of uncertainty around the petroleum industry.

“So what has happened has a very positive implication for investment.”

Yusuf said the bill would also increase quality job creation as investments in the sector grows.

He said the PIB would also improve tax revenue accruing to government while at the same time transforming Nigeria into a petroleum refining hub.

“It will not only save our foreign exchange but will improve our capacity to export downstream products such as petrochemicals, fertiliser, diesel, fuel and gas-based products.

“This will come from the boost in private investments in the downstream sector.

“However, there is a proviso. I am hoping that all the concerns investors raised during the public hearing were incorporated or taken account of in the passage of this bill.

“Otherwise, we might not achieve the kind of results we want,” Yusuf added.

Also, Oyebanji said the passage of the PIB after several years of delay was a welcome news.

“But I don’t know what has been passed finally. I hope it is something that will move the industry, both upstream, downstream and host communities forward.

“I know what we recommended but I don’t know what has been passed,” he said.

Similarly, Okoronkwo said IPMAN would only respond to the passage of the bill when all the items are made available.

 

 

Economy

Unstable Economy: UK Firm Presents Solutions To Nigerian Business Leaders

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SOAN Inaugurates New Leadership, Boosting Hopes Of Crushable Inflation

Nigerian business leaders are to benefit from the programme of United Kingdom-based leadership development organisation TEXEM UK on how to win despite the exodus of staff, very high inflation and turbulent operating landscape.

TEXEM’s Director of Special Projects, Caroline Lucas, said on the organisation’s website, www.texem.co.uk, that the programme with the theme “Strategies for Sustainable Organisational Success” is slated for April 24 and April 25 in Lagos.

According to Lucas, in today’s volatile and disruptive business landscape, organisations face numerous strategic challenges.

“TEXEM’s programme, “Strategies for Sustainable Organisational Success,” offers tailored solutions to address these pressing issues.

“Senior leaders grappling with skyrocketing costs, high currency risks, and disruptive technologies require practical insights and tools to navigate uncertainty effectively.

“This programme provides actionable strategies for sustainable success amidst turbulent times,” she said.

Lucas asserts that exceptional crisis management skills are essential in the face of staff exodus and geopolitical disruptions.

“TEXEM equips participants with the necessary leadership capabilities to lead through crises, ensuring organisational excellence even amidst adversity.

“Innovation becomes imperative in turbulent waters.

“TEXEM’s programme fosters a culture of innovation and provides guidance on harnessing adversity as a catalyst for profitable growth,” she said.

According to her, participants will learn to turn challenges into opportunities, driving sustained profitability.

Lucas said resilience and effective risk management are crucial in today’s volatile landscape.

She said through interactive sessions and case studies, TEXEM helps senior leaders develop unshakable qualities, enabling them to navigate uncertainty and confidently mitigate risks.

“Optimizing resource utilisation is paramount amidst soaring costs.

“TEXEM offers insights on managing resources efficiently, ensuring optimal impact even amidst cost pressures. Decisive problem-solving is paramount.

“TEXEM enhances participants’ decision-making capabilities through peer learning and observation practice, empowering them to make better decisions that drive organisational success,” Lucas said.

She said that beyond the curriculum, networking opportunities with industry peers enrich the learning experience, abound.

“Professional exchange provides valuable insights into different approaches to overcoming challenges, enhancing overall learning and impact.

“TEXEM’s programme aims to develop leadership strategies for optimum performance in an era of uncertainty.

“By helping participants understand how to manage and deploy resources more efficiently, it equips them with the skills needed to thrive in turbulent times,” Lucas said.

Saying that adversity is the mother of innovation, she added that TEXEM empowers individuals and organisations to thrive in volatile times, fostering innovation and sustained profitability.

“At the end of the programme, participants can expect to develop leadership skills for better decision-making and possess survival skills to navigate crises effectively.

“Through its comprehensive approach and proven methodology, TEXEM ensures participants unlock their potential, foster innovation, and drive sustained profitability in today’s challenging environment,” Lucas said.

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Economy

Sanwo-Olu Urges Use of Innovative Technologies in Solving Challenges

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Sanwo-Olu Urges Use of Innovative Technologies in Solving Challenges

Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State has called for the use of innovative technologies in resolving the economic and social challenges of the country.

Sanwo-Olu said this on Wednesday during the pioneer graduation of the Lateef Jakande Leadership Academy (LJLA) at Konga Place in Lekki.

He said that the new platform of globalisation and Internet of things must be significantly employed to resolve new challenges encountered in the course of improving the living standards of citizens.

30 students, 15 men and 15 women, between 18 and 35 years, graduated from the academy after a one-year course and mentorship in leadership.

The Lagos Leadership Summit (LLS) is a pivotal platform dedicated to empowering Nigeria’s young professionals with the skills and insights essential for success in various leadership roles.

With a focus on leadership excellence, ethical governance, and youth inclusion in governance, the summit offers a unique opportunity for participants to engage with renowned leaders and industry experts.

” You have to be able to innovate for us, you are here as leaders of not tomorrow but today. Proffer solutions that the government can use as a tool, to solve the challenges that we are facing today but more importantly to solve global issues.

“And that is why we started the Lateef Jakande Leadership Academy. For us as a government, we felt how well can we honour a man than for us in public sector to set up a cream of new leaders.

“So we set up this school that has the first set, the one-year fellowship, who indeed have not only shown us that we took the right step, they have been outstanding individuals,” the governor said.

The guest speaker and former governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola, noted that it was important for followers to trust their leaders for a successful outcome.

“The people need to trust the government, they must know the capability of their leaders so that when issues beyond human expectations happen, the followers can show empathy to the plight of their leaders.

” I have always been an advocate that believes that the process is as important as the result, the end shouldn’t justify the means, the process is crucial, it serves as a blueprint for others coming behind,” he said.

Similarly, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, Deputy Governor, who spoke on “Leadership And Community Engagement”, stated that to achieve effective leadership in Nigeria, there was the need to navigate complex political, economic and social landscapes.

Hamzat urged the citizens to be involved in governance while stressing the need for collaborations with private stakeholders and the public sector.

According to him, community engagement with government at all levels is pivotal to the nation’s development.

In her address, Mrs Ayisat Agbaje-Okunade, LIJA’s Executive Secretary, noted that the challenges faced required leaders who are not only capable but compassionate, visionary, and adaptable.

According to her, leadership must transcend rhetoric and manifest tangible outcomes.

“We need leaders who inspire confidence, foster unity, and drive transformation.”

Agbaje-Okunade urged the participants to embrace the responsibility that comes with leadership and pave the way for a generation of new leaders.

The keynote speaker, Mr Abubakar Suleiman, Chief Executive Officer, Sterling Bank, said that leadership is about leading people on a new purposeful journey.

Suleiman said being a strategic thinker and a transformational leader was what makes leadership different from management, adding that the future is being crafted in leadership.

“In essence, as a leader, you must be able to lead people to the future hence, you must be convincing for people to be bold to follow you, able to trust and believe in you.

“For one to be a leader, the people must be able to believe and trust you to take them to the future where you have never been to,” he said.

Also speaking, Mr Tunbosun Alake, Commissioner, Innovation, Science and Technology, stressed that leadership had nothing to do with being young or old but having good values and character.

The commissioner advised the participants to pursue excellence in their various career paths to succeed in life.

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Economy

Eid-el-Fitr: Tinubu Urges Sacrifice, Integrity For National Rebirth

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Eid-el-Fitr: Tinubu urges sacrifice, integrity for national rebirth

 President Bola Tinubu has urged Nigerians to continue to make sacrifices and exhibit integrity for national development.

Tinubu said this after observing the Eid-el-Fitr prayer at the Eid Ground at Dodon Barracks on Wednesday in Lagos.

The President also called on Nigerians to continue to have faith in his government and remain patriotic citizens.

Tinubu said that the Renewed Hope Agenda of his administration, aimed at bringing prosperity to Nigerians, was being diligently implemented.

Encouraging Muslims to extend the values of sacrifice and resilience beyond the fasting period, Tinubu emphasised the need for Nigerians to prioritise the exhibition of love for their country.

‘’The resilience and sacrifice that we have shown and made during these months should be preserved.

“Be a kind and cheerful giver. We must love our country more than any other country because this is the only one we have.

‘’We must continue to protect the integrity of our government and leadership. The Renewed Hope Agenda is alive, well and fine, and Nigerians should continue to be very hopeful. Without hope, there is no salvation.

“Without hope, there is no development. Without hope, there is no life. Eid Mubarak,’’ the President said at the end of the prayers led by the Chief Imam of Lagos State, Sheikh Sulaiman Abou-Nolla.

Earlier in his sermon, the Chief Imam urged Nigerians to shun all acts of violence, ensure peaceful co-existence, and continue to have faith in the country.

He asked those in leadership positions to remain faithful to their oaths of office and work towards alleviating the suffering of the less privileged.

‘‘Let us not forget our brothers and sisters in Gaza and other areas of conflict,’’ the Chief Imam said.

He offered prayers of God’s guidance, wisdom, and protection for the President and the Lagos State government, as well as for peace and stability in the country.

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