The Nigerian Senate has increased the proposed 2020 budget to N10.729 trillion from the initial N10.002 trillion. This was disclosed at the Senate on Thursday while the 2020-2022 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF/FSP) was being passed. Also, the Senate approved all the 16 recommendations contained in the report of the National Assembly joint committee on Finance and National Planning, on the 2020-2022 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper. The Senate also increased the oil benchmark from $55 per barrel to $57 per barrel, representing a $2 increase. The 2020 revenue target for Nigerian Customs Service also increased by N557.4 billion, that is, from N942.6 billion to N1.5 trillion. Meanwhile, the Senate retained the exchange rate at N305 per dollar and oil production benchmark at 2.18mbpd as proposed in the MTEF/FSP by the executive.
The ongoing dispute between the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and BUA Ports and Terminals Limited (a subsidiary of BUA Group) is gradually having a negative impact on the Nigerian economy. The contract disagreement, which has gone through a handful of courts, will affect 1000 jobs as it continues to linger, and BUA Group is losing more than $500,000 monthly revenue. The conflict resulted from the BUA Group’s Concession in the Port Harcourt Ports area. The port authority had decommissioned the whole concession arrangement which BUA Group got in 2006. NPA had decommissioned the concession, claiming that the unsafe operational environment of the jetty (BUA concession area) needed urgent repairs and reconstruction. But the General Manager, BUA Ports, and Terminals Limited, Mohammed Ibrahim, said the withdrawal of license by the Managing Director of NPA, Hadiza Bala-Usman was against the requirement of global judicial/dispute resolution and undermined the NPA concession agreements. The concession is expected to last for 20-years before the need for renewal but the company has only been in charge for 13-years, and according to Ibrahim, BUA had on several occasions sought approval from NPA to perform remedial works on the terminal. However, the NPA didn’t grant the approval, yet it shut down the terminal or decommissioned the concession.
The Central Bank of Nigeria ( CBN ) has fined twelve Nigerian banks for breaching the regulator’s directive on lending to the real sector of the economy. The CBN fined the banks N499.1 billion, with the funds debited from their Cash Reserve Requirement ( CRR ) with the CBN. The CBN directed banks to maintain a minimum Loan Deposit Ratio (LDR) of 60% by September 30, 2019. The LDR was reviewed upwards from 58.5% to 60% with the banks informed to maintain the LDR till September end. LDR has now been increased to 65%. All DMBs are to now attain a minimum LDR of 65% by December 31, 2019. The affected banks include Citibank (N100,743,055, 321);
First Bank of Nigeria, FBNQuest Merchant Bank, First City Monument Bank(FCMB), Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank) and Jaiz Bank. Others are Keystone Bank, Rand Merchant bank, Standard Chartered Bank SunTrust Bank, United Bank for Africa and Zenith bank.
Sixteen years after the administration of Olusegun Obasanjo dismantled tollgates on Federal highways, President Muhammadu Buhari is planning to revive it as the Federal Government continues to seek ways to generate more revenue for road maintenance and rehabilitation. The decision to return the tollgates on Federal roads was announced by the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola. He said the government approved the return of the tollgates after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Buhari in Abuja. Obasanjo had scrapped the tollgates, stating that it had outlived its usefulness to Nigerians. While giving his reasons for destroying the tollgates, Obasanjo said its daily returns of N63 million wasn’t that significant, considering the corruption surrounding the funds and the inconvenience motorists experienced due to the tollgates.
The Namibian Ministry of Mines and Energy has announced that fuel pump prices will remain unchanged, with 95 Octane unleaded petrol staying put at N$13.05 per liter and Diesel 50 ppm at N$ 13.63 per liter. Energy Minister Tom Alweendo said that the National Energy Fund, which absorbs under-recoveries on behalf of consumers from time to time, is in a stable financial position and will thus absorb the under-recoveries recorded during September. "The Ministry will thus keep fuel pump prices for the month of October unchanged," Alweendo said. Alweendo further said that the highlight of September in the global oil market was the attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities, adding that initial fears that oil prices will drastically rise were quelled when the state oil producer, Saudi Aramco, announced that the facilities will be restored back to full capacity as soon as possible.