FG posts N7 trn deficit

By Favour Nnabugwu


The federal government recorded a budget deficit of N7. 052 trillion as at November last year, in the implementation of the 2021 budget.

The aggregate 2021 budget deficit had been put at N6.449 trillion, however, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, disclosed at the Public Presentation of 2022 budget, in Abuja, yesterday, that as at the end of November, deficit spending rose N7.052 trillion, instead of the prorata figure of N 5.911trillion.

She noted that the 2021 budget implementation report was provisional, capturing only the first 11 months, an indication that the deficit figure could be higher when the entire year’s budget implementation report is concluded.

Mrs. Ahmed who disclosed that as at November 2021, the federal government aggregate revenue was N5.51 trillion (74% of target), justified the deficit spending, as according to her, it would not have been possible for the economy to exit the recent recessions without such a strategy.

Her words, “Having witnessed two economic recessions we have had to spend our way out of recession, which contributed significantly to the growth in the public debt.  It is unlikely that our recovery from each of the two recessions would have been as fast without the sustained government expenditure funded partly by debt.”

Giving details of the 2021 budget performance, she said, “FGN share of oil revenues was N970.3 billion (representing 53% performance of the prorated sum in the 2021 budget).

“FGN share of non-oil tax revenues totaled N1.62 trillion (118.8% over and above the target). Companies Income Tax (CIT) and Value Added Tax (VAT) collections were N718.58 billion and N360.56 billion, representing 115% and 165% respectively of the prorata targets for the period.”

According to the minister, non-oil revenue exceeded its target of N1.488 trillion, as it recorded N1.621 trillion, showing a positive variance of 256.4 billion or 18. 8 percent.

Out of the N2.011 trillion Non-Oil revenue forecast in the 2021 budget, the sum of N1.843 trillion should have been realized as at the end of November.  However, only N970.33 billion was recorded, indicating a shortfall of about 47 per cent.

“On the expenditure side, N12.56 trillion (or 94.1%) has been spent out of the N13.57 trillion prorata budget. This performance is inclusive of expenditure estimates of the GOEs but exclusive of Project-tied Loans.

“Of the expenditure, N4.20 trillion was for debt service, and N3.02 trillion for Personnel costs, including Pensions.

“As at November 2021, N3.40 trillion had been expended for capital. Of this, N2.98 trillion represents 83% of the provision for MDAs’ capital, N369.9 billion for Multi-lateral / Bilateral Project-tied loans, and N49.52 billion as GOEs capital expenditure.”

The minister was elated by growth in the non-oil sector, saying that the sector showed greater resilience, recording 5.44% in real terms during the reference quarter (Q3 2021).

Her words, “In real terms, the non-oil sector contributed 92.51% to GDP in Q3 2021, higher from the share recorded in the Q3 2020 which was 91.27.

“As at November, 2021, we had surpassed all collections for FGN independent revenues from 2017 to date. This reflects performance of our revenue growth initiatives for this revenue stream.

“We have now for the first time surpassed the 1 trillion mark collection for independent revenues (

W/Bank approves $700m credit for Nigeria’s agro-climate project

By Favour Nnabugwu


The World Bank has approved a $700 million credit from the International Development Association (IDA)* for the Nigeria Agro-Climatic Resilience in Semi-Arid Landscapes (ACReSAL) Project.

According to the bank, the project would increase the implementation of sustainable landscape management practices in northern Nigeria and strengthen the country’s long-term enabling environment for integrated climate-resilient landscape management.

The bank said that the productivity of major crops in Nigeria has been steadily declining over the past two decades, in part due to climate change, forcing an expansion of the area under agriculture and increased imports to meet the food needs of Nigeria’s growing population.

It added that persistent water shortages, especially in the extreme north, continue to exacerbate land degradation, desertification, and habitat loss.

Resource shortages, violent conflict, outdated agricultural systems not adapted to changing dryland conditions, lack of access to finance, weak value chain linkages, an uncompetitive environment for agribusiness, and poor market access were identified as other key barriers to increased agricultural productivity in Nigeria.

Consequently, the global body said that better environmental and water resources management and resilience against disaster and climate risks (largely water-related) were needed to sustain economic growth and protect the most vulnerable.

The World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri, was quoted as saying, “Nigeria is faced with water scarcity and droughts which occur every five years, on average, with the potential to increase in frequency due to climate change.

“This scenario not only threatens food security, livelihoods, and productivity, but also exacerbates fragility and increases the risk of violence. With communities and households that are most dependent on natural resources for their survival and vulnerable to desertification, this intervention will improve multi-sectoral watershed planning and investments to help about 3.4 million direct beneficiaries adapt to evolving dryland conditions.”

Also speaking on the project, the Task Team Leader, ACReSAL, World Bank, Joy Iganya Agene, said, “The project will specifically target the inclusion of vulnerable and marginalized groups, including women, youth, the elderly, persons with disabilities, internally displaced people, and ethnic and religious minorities using an integrated watershed approach across sectors and levels of governance.

“This will help reduce the vulnerability of millions of the extreme poor in northern Nigeria, strengthening their own role in the management of their natural resources while also addressing land degradation, strengthening climate resilience, and lessening livelihood vulnerability in dry, semi-arid and dry sub-humid regions in the northern states.”

The ACReSAL Project is a 6-year strategic project prioritizing actions within four components: Dryland Management, Community Climate Resilience, Institutional Strengthening and Project Management, and Contingent Emergency Response.

It will improve the capacity of the country to adapt to a changing climate, largely through enhancing multi-sectoral convergence (across environment, agriculture and water) and technology modernization, including improved use of data, analytics, and connectivity.

CBN Stops Banks from Processing Form ‘A’ Hard Copies, NCX on TMS

By Favour Nnabugwu



The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed that banks are no longer allowed to process hard copies of Form A and Non commercial Export (NCX) Form on the Trade Monitoring System (TMS) with a N5,000 processing charge also taking effect.

The apex bank in two separate circulars sent to the authorised dealers, the Nigeria Custom Service (NCS), shipping lines, airlines National Museum and Monuments as well as the general public, said henceforth, the forms will only be processed in electronic form.

In the circulars signed by the Director, Trade and Exchange department, CBN, Mr. O.S Nnaji, the central bank stated that the electronic form A will replace the hard copy of Form ‘A’ for invincible transactions such as Personal and business travel allowance (PTA/BTA) medicals, education, other remittances amongst other while the e-Form ‘NCX’ shall replace the hard copy of Form ‘NCX’ for non-commercial exports, with effect from November 30, 2021.

For those filling the e-Form A, the CBN said they are required to obtain o valid Bank Verification Number (BVN) from their banks, as the BVN is a prerequisite for customers to access the Trade System for e-Form ‘A’ application;

According to the central bank, “The e-Form ‘A’ is web based and allows the General Public to initiate the Form from their offices/homes and submit same to the Authorized Dealer Bank. A charge of N5,000 as fee per declaration of e-Form ‘A’ is applicable with effect from November 30, 2021 and henceforth.

“There will be a direct debit of the processing bank’s current account for each declaration which should be recovered from the customer by the bank. However, the charge on the Customer for the e-Form ‘A’ should be separated from other bank charges;

“All hard copies of Forms ‘A’ established on or before November 30, 2021, prior to the commencement of the e-Form ‘A’ shall be utilized within 15 working days of the establishment of the Form. For avoidance of doubt, all established hard copies of Forms ‘A’ for which disbursement had not been made within the transition period of 15 working days shall be deemed cancelled.”

For those filling out the e-Form NCX, the apex bank said, “Authorized Dealer Banks are to ensure that their customers obtain a valid Tax Identification Number (TIN) from Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS)/Joint Tax Board (JTB). The TIN is a prerequisite for customers to access the Trade System for e-Form ‘NCX’ application.

“The N5,000 charge is also applicable for the e-Form NCX and “there will be a direct debit of the processing bank’s current account for each declaration which should be recovered from the customer by the bank. However, the charge on the customer for the e-Form ‘NCX’ should be separated from other bank charges.

“All hard copies of Forms ‘NCX’ established on or before November 30, 2021 (prior to the commencement of the e-Form ‘NCX’) shall be utilized within 90 days of the establishment of the Form. For avoidance of doubt, all established hard copies of Forms ‘NCX’ for which shipment has not taken place within the transition period of 90 days shall be deemed cancelled.”

By admin


First Bank Nigeria Limited says it will leverage its vast experience in supporting trade businesses, especially the SME to support the Federal Government’s efforts to diversify the revenue base of the economy.

Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, Chief Executive Officer, FirstBank, said this during the bank’s Non-Oil Webinar Series on Tuesday.

The webinar was titled; “Roadmap to Building Sustainable Non-Oil Export in Nigeria: Harnessing AfCFTA and Agro Commodities.”

Adeduntan noted that the bank would leverage its expertise to drive discussions that would enable existing exporters to expand their export businesses and also encourage new entrants into the non-oil export industry.

According to him, the non-oil sector holds tremendous value and opportunities for the country to enhance job and wealth creation, foreign exchange earnings, and gross domestic product (GDP) growth.

He noted that the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) presents an opportunity for Nigeria to be deliberate and position itself appropriately to become Africa’s export hub.

“This can be achieved considering our population, resources, and economic size. At FirstBank, we have been at the front burner of driving economic growth and we will use our reach and connection to orchestrate growth in the non-oil sector,” he said.

Adeduntan said that to drive the goal, the bank had created an Export Desk to support the needs of exporters, including designing export products and solutions to cater for pre and post-export financing and services.

Also, Dr. Biodun Adedipe, Chief Consultant, B. Adedipe Associates Ltd., said that the country needs to change its orientation to an export-led growth or import substitution economy.

Adedipe noted that the world that Nigeria operated on pre-COVID-19 pandemic was fast disappearing, stressing the need to give more attention to the country’s non-oil export industry.

According to him, there is a need to build supporting infrastructure to aid export business, as deliberately done by China toward boosting economic growth.

He added that aggressive targets should be set and rigorous measures implemented.

“If Nigeria does not act, other countries will act on us,” he said.

Commenting, Dr. Ezra Yakusak, Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), said that the council in 2016 developed the zero oil plan as a strategy to shore up the foreign exchange in the non-oil sector.

Yakusak, represented by Mr. Folorunsho Akintunde, Deputy Director, NEPC, said that through the plan an export policy for 22 major products that could generate 30 billion dollars annually was evolved.

According to him, the council is preparing and positioning SMEs for AfCFTA through various training, programmes, and incentives.

He said that the NEPC was working closely with Afrexim Bank and ITC, to ensure that Nigeria was ready for AfCFTA, especially on the Export Trading Company.

Also, Comptroller Malanta Yusuf, Customs Area Controller, Apapa, advised exporters to familiarise themselves with items allowed to be exported and those on prohibited lists.

He also advised them on clear descriptions of goods and proper packaging to facilitate the acceptance of goods.

Also speaking, Mr Eric Intong, Regional Chief Operating Officer, Anglophone West Africa, the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), said the bank developed various products, programmes, and initiatives to boost intra-African Trade.

Intong said that to support AfCFTA, the bank would spend 40 billion dollars in intra-Africa trade and investment in the next five years.

He added that this was twice the amount disbursed for the same purpose in the last two years. (NAN

World Bank says CBN FX policies discourage foreign investment, fuel inflation 

The World Bank has stated that  the Central Bank of Nigeria’s exchange rate management  policies continue to discourage investment and fuel inflation.

This was disclosed by the World Bank  in the November 2021 edition of its Nigeria Development Update tagged “Time for Business Unusual”.

The World Bank said the whole of Nigeria’s debt burden remains manageable for the time being, maintaining sustainable debt dynamics will require curbing the use of CBN financing for the deficit and addressing fiscal pressures to break the cycle of low growth and rising public debt.

What the World Bank is saying  The primary macroeconomic challenges disturbing growth, according to the World Bank, are issues around the predictability and credibility of exchange-rate management, as well as an insufficient supply of foreign exchange (FX).

The report stated, “The government’s exchange rate management policies continue to discourage investment and fuel inflation. Exchange rate stability is a key CBN policy objective, and to preserve its external reserves the CBN continues to manage FX demand and limit the supply of FX to the market.”  

The World Bank stated that the Nigerian central bank’s exchange rate cannot handle external shocks to the economy, as exchange-rate management emerges as one of the key drivers of inflation.

“Pressure on the naira (₦) remains intense,  while the CBN has raised the nominal official exchange rate three times since the start of the pandemic (by 15% in March 2020, 5 per cent in August 2020, and 7% in May 2021), FX management remains too rigid to respond to external shocks. Meanwhile, exchange-rate management has emerged as one of the key drivers of inflation,” the World Bank added .

Naira lost pace against the US dollar at the parallel market, falling to as low as N560/$1 from N545/$1 that it had maintained in almost two weeks. There is still a significant gap between the N415.07/$1, at the official Investors and Exporters (I&E) window and the parallel despite cries of devaluation.

‘Over 97% of eligible depositors fully covered by NDIC’

Over 97 per cent of eligible bank deposits are fully covered by the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), the Managing Director of the organisation, Bello Hassan, disclosed at the weekend.

Hassan, who spoke at an editors’ forum in Lagos, said the Corporation has covered 99.4 per cent, 97.6 per cent, 97.5 per cent and 97.6 per cent of accounts of N500, 000 coverage limit in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 respectively.

The coverage, he said, was enough to boost confidence in the banking sector.

“The Corporation’s deposit insurance coverage limits are not only adequate but robust enough to engender confidence in our banking system. For instance, in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019, the total number of accounts in the deposit money banks stood at N83 million, N99.1 million, N112 million and N128.4 million respectively,” he noted.

Hassan highlighted several ongoing reviews on NDIC’s processes and approaches to further de-risk the banking and protect the Corporation.

He said part of the review would ensure that “the probability of the risk crystallising becomes a major factor in the pricing methodology of our premium going forward.

He stated, “On timely support to insured institutions, we have identified the need to reconsider our criteria for qualification of financial institutions to provide realistic terms and conditions to facilitate prompt access to technical and/or financial support in line with Section (2)(1)(b) of the NDIC Act whilst also protecting the Corporation from possible downside risk.”

He noted the various settlements made by the Corporation, saying it has accomplished “the payment of guaranteed sums and liquidation dividends speaks volumes of its commitment to the discharge of its unique mandate. NDIC had paid a cumulative sum of ₦N8.268 billion to 443,946 insured depositors and ₦100.08 billion to uninsured depositors of deposit money banks (DMBs) in-liquidation as of September 30, 2021, while N3.413 billion was paid to 90,945 insured depositors of microfinance banks and ₦1.218 million to uninsured depositors.

“In the same vein, the cumulative insured amount paid to 1,553 depositors of closed primary mortgage banks as of September 30, 2021, stood at N110.15 million while ₦N7.965 million was paid as uninsured deposits.

“Most importantly, the payment of N1.274 billion to 991 creditors and ₦4.886 billion to 965 shareholders of banks in-liquidation as of September 30, 2021, underscored the Corporation’s success story in bank liquidation. What this implies is that the Corporation had realised enough assets to pay all the insured and uninsured depositors of the banks that present themselves for payment. Currently, 19 out of the 49 DMBs in-liquidation fall into this category.”

The Director, Insurance and Surveillance Department, Galadima Gana, said Nigerian banks were stable. He listed symptoms of a failing bank as illiquidity, increased petitions by aggrieved customers who cannot withdraw, distress borrowing at the money/interbank market and frequent requests for cash assistance from the regulatory authorities.

Others listed are patronage of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s discount window, low earnings/huge operational losses, inability to meet the regulatory thresholds and high staff turnover.

According to Gana, the total deposits of banks in liquidation from 1994 till date is N228.42 billion. The amount cut across DMBs, microfinance and primary mortgage banks. The amount, he said, is owned by 3.94 million depositors.

The insured paid amount, according to statistics presented, was N11.79 billion while the uninsured paid deposit was N107.25 billion, bringing the cumulative amount paid by the Corporation to 119.04 billion.

CBN awards N5m loans to graduates under new scheme

Favour Nnabugwu



The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele, has launched the Tertiary Institutions Entrepreneurship Scheme designed to tackle underemployment and unemployment in the country.

Emefiele, at the launch in Abuja yesterday, also presented loans ranging from N4.1m to N5m to graduates who applied and were selected.

“The scheme, developed in partnership with Nigerian polytechnics and universities, is designed to harness the potentials of graduate entrepreneurs by creating a paradigm shift from the pursuit of white-collar jobs to a culture of entrepreneurship for economic development and job creation,” he said.

He noted that it had become imperative that government at all levels put in place policy measures to support entrepreneurial development among youths amid the lack of adequate employment opportunities.

The governor said such measures would create an enabling business ecosystem that supports innovation and enables the youth to unleash their entrepreneurial potential, by redirecting their focus from seeking white-collar jobs to a culture of entrepreneurship development.

“The ecosystem should provide support in re-orientating, training, and providing a financing model apt to the peculiarity of the sector within which the businesses operate,” he added.

Local stock market dips further as Investors lose N71bn

By admin


Equities trading at the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) extends negative outing into the fourth trading session of the week leaving Investors with N71 billion loss.

Basically, on Thursday, the All-Share Index dipped further by 0.32 per cent to peg the ASI at 43,108.77 basis points, bringing the month-to-date and year-to-date outings of the benchmark index to stand at 2.55 per cent and 7.05 per cent respectively.

This also pegged the Equities market capitalization at N22.494 trillion as investors lost N71 billion in the session.

Market breadth closed in favour of the bears with 24 counters in the losers’ chart pitted against 14 counters in the gainers’ chart.

Honeywell Flour Mills was the best performing stock in the session, on the back of the assurance on the recent announcement by Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc of their agreement to acquire a majority shareholding interest in the stock.

HFM was flanked by AIICO Insurance, Regal Insurance, Ikeja Hotels and University Press Limited to complete the list of the top five gainers.

From the rear of the chart, MRS Oil sheds the most weight to lead the laggards’ chart as it was flanked by CHAMS, ETI, CHI PLC, and Unity Bank to complete the top losers’ chart.

Most sectoral indices closed in the same direction with the ASI save for NGX Insurance that gained 0.64 per cent, while NGX Growth and NGX ASEM closed flat.

Market activity as measured by both volume and value of trades gained weight in the session with daily traded volume standing at 266 million units, representing a 9.43 per cent increase from a volume of 243 million units traded in the previous session.

The value of traded stocks inched up by 12.54 per cent in the session to stand at N4.216 billion as against a value of N3.747 billion recorded in the previous trading session.

Seplat dominated the volume charts as the top traded stock by volume for the trading session. This is followed by FBN Holdings, Zenith Bank, Access and Honeywell Flour Mills to complete the list of the five most traded stocks by volume.
With regards to the value of traded stocks, GTCO took the lead of the top five performers. It is flanked by Zenith Bank, Nigerian Breweries and HFM.

Claim: A national newspaper and multiple online platforms claim Brazil has adopted Yoruba as its official language and that the language would be included in primary and secondary schools curriculum.

Verdict: The claim is false. The content of the article published by these online platforms is not new; it has been recirculated several times and has been debunked.Local stock market dips further as Investors lose N71bn

NDIC Pays N11.76bn to 535, 815 Depositors of Closed Banks


By Sandra Adesiyan


The Nigerian Depositors Insurance Corporation (NDIC) has paid a total of N11.76 billion as insured sum to 535,815 depositors, while N101.666 billion was also paid as uninsured sum from 1989 to June ,2021.

The Managing Director of NDIC, Mr. Bello Hassan,made this know at Edo International Trade Fair.

Represented by the Corporation Senior Manager, Benin Zone, Mr. Udofor Ukpom, Hassan said since the establishment of NDIC in 1989 as a statutory agency of government with four broad mandates, it has been protecting depositors by providing an orderly means of resolution and reimbursement in the event of bank failures.

He listed the four mandates of NDIC as deposit Guarantee, bank supervision, distress resolution and bank liquidation, with the primary public policy objectives of contributing to financial system stability.

He said:”From inception till date, NDIC has been living up to its mandate and public policy objectives of contributing to financial system stability and has paid cumulative amount of N11.76 billion as insured sums to 535, 815 depositors of closed banks while a total of N101.666 billion had been paid as uninsured sum as at 30 June, 2021. In addition, a total of N6.159 billion had been paid as liquidation dividend to 1,955 creditors and shareholders of closed banks.”

Instructively, the corporation has declared full payment of insured and uninsured sums to depositors of 18 banks in-liquidation.”

This implies that the Corporation has realized liiquidation dividend to pay all depositors of the banks who present themselves for payment.

“Likewise, NDIC has continued to strive for a sound, safe and stable financial system which is pivotal for sustainable economic growth and in that regard, has responded to innovations in the financial system by extending deposit insurance cover to MFBS, PMBs, NIBs and MMOs and also to the recently licensed Payment service banks (PSBs) in order to engender confidence in the financial system.”

The NDIC boss advised Nigerians to remain vigilant and not disclose their ATM details and account information inadvertently and also not patronise the services of Ponzi schemes and illegal fund managers, who parade themselves as deposit taking institutions.

Earlier, the Managing Director, of Benin Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (BENCCIMA), Mrs Aina Omo-Ojo, thanked NDIC for coming to the fair to enlighten the public on its operations and also how to make sure that as business people they don’t lose their hard earned money through banks.

CBN to publish names of agric loan defaulters

By Favour Nnabugwu


The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said it would soon publish in the newspapers names of loan defaulters under its Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme.

This is according to a document titled: “Guidelines for the Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme” recently released by the CBN.

The CBN also warned that borrowers who divert the funds provided under the Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund (ACGSF) might earn a five-year jail term.

According to the CBN, the Fund aims to provide a guarantee in respect of loans granted by lending banks for agricultural purposes under the scheme, adding that in furtherance of the scheme, the bank will do what it must to recover loans from defaulters.

“The Fund, if considered necessary, will publish names of defaulters in the newspapers and report the same to the Credit Information Bureau of Nigeria,” the bank stated.

The apex bank, however, cautioned that the agriculture loans must be used for purposes for which they were obtained, as a diversion would attract a five-year jail term.

“Banks should remind prospective borrowers under the Scheme that it is an offence for which one may be imprisoned for five years, to apply the loan for purposes other than those for which they are given,” the new guidelines instructed.

The programme intends to boost the level of bank credit to the agricultural sector. Loans under the amended act include advances, overdrafts and any credit facility.

The purpose of the Fund is to provide guarantee in respect of loans granted by lending banks for agricultural purposes under the scheme with the aim of increasing the level of bank credit to the agricultural sector.

“Loan under the amended act, according to the apex bank, includes advances, overdrafts and any credit facility and should be taken as such wherever it is used in these guidelines and other circulars.