Banning More Imports Will Cripple Economy-Expert
From Udo Onyeka, Lagos
President of the Shippers Association, Rev Jonathan Nicole has said that Nigerian ports would continue to suffer, just as the manufacturing industries have suffered, if the Federal Government decides to place ban on importation of certain goods items.
Rev Nicole who raised the concerns noted that already, the 41 items banned from accessing foreign exchange by the Central Bank of Nigeria has caused most industries to fold up.
According to him, the policy has had a ripple effect on most Nigerian Shippers, the port system has suffered tremendously and poor Nigerians have also suffered effect of these policies.
“If the government now places ban on some of the items that Industries need to produce, because most of the 42 items already on ban has to do with Industries, so if the government wants to place more items on ban, it means that the industries will suffer. In fact, some of them are already packing up their load because they cannot even sell their goods,” he said.
Further he said “I know one or two who found it difficult to import this year, their workforce is about 500 Nigerians, they work three shifts before, now they hardly do two shifts because they are reducing, and even then, reduction of overhead cost, the regular machineries they have to service, they have to buy diesel to fuel their generators and vehicles and other sundry expenses.
“With all these, the manufacturers cannot cope because there is no income, check through their warehouses, they are sealed up because they cannot sell their goods because their is no money in the country for citizens to buy goods,” Rev Nicole added.
“The Shippers Association boss asked how many of the factories will survive if the government places ban on some more items? It means that our port system will be empty” he said
Rev Nicol noted that most of the importers from the informal sector are still surviving because they source their foreign exchange by themselves because most of them are not valid for foreign exchange
He said most of them enjoy the ninety days payment schedule from the manufacturer who gives out the goods and collect money after ninety days.
The shipping expert was reacting to the latest import restriction announced last week when the Federal Government directed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to stop issuance of foreign exchange for food importation, so as to increase local production of food in the country.
It would also be recalled the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, had also announced plans to put forex restriction on dairy products during the last Monetary Policy (MPC) meeting held on July 23 in Abuja.
FAAC Shares N722.677bn February Revenue to FG, States, LGCs
By Tony Obiechina, Abuja
The Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) has shared a total sum of N722.677 billion February 2023 Federation Account Revenue to the Federal Government, States and Local Government Councils.
This was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting for on Wednesday and made available in a statement signed by Mr Bawa Mokwa, Director of Press & Public Relations, Office of Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF).
The N722.677 billion total distributable revenue comprised distributable statutory revenue of N366.800 billion, distributable Value Added Tax (VAT) revenue of N224. 232 billion, Electronic Money Transfer Levy (EMTL) of N11.645 billion and N120.000 billion Augmentation from Forex Equalisation Account.
In February 2023,, the total deductions for cost of collection was N27.449 billion and total deductions for transfers, savings, recoveries and refunds was N109.909 billion.
The balance in the Excess Crude Account (ECA) was $473,754.57
The communiqué confirmed that from the total distributable revenue of N722.677 billion; the Federal Government received N269.063 billion, the State Governments received N236.464 billion and the Local Government Councils received N173.936 billion. A total sum of N43.214 billion was shared to the relevant States as 13% derivation revenue.
Gross statutory revenue of N487.106 billion was received for the month of February 2023. This was lower than the sum of N653.704 billion received in the previous month by N166.598 billion.
From the N366.800 billion distributable statutory revenue, the Federal Government received N178.683 billion, the State Governments received N90.630 billion and the Local Government Councils received N69.872 billion. The sum of N27.614 billion was shared to the relevant States as 13% derivation revenue.
For the month of February 2023,, the gross revenue available from the Value Added Tax (VAT) was N240.799 billion This was lower than the N250.009 billion available in the month of January 2023 by N9.210 billion.
The Federal Government received N33.635 billion, the State Governments received N112.116 billion and the Local Government Councils received N78.481 billion from the N224.232 billion distributable Value Added Tax (VAT) revenue.
The N11.645 billion Electronic Money Transfer Levy (EMTL) was distributed as follows: the Federal Government received N1.747 billion, the State Governments received N5.822 billion, and the Local Government Councils received N4.076 billion.
From the N120.000 billion Augmentation, the Federal Government received N54.998 billion, the State Governments received N27.896 billion, the Local Government Councils received N21.506 billion and a total sum of N15.600 billion was shared to the relevant Sates as 13% mineral revenue.
According to the communiqué, in the month of February 2023, Petroleum Profit Tax (PPT), Companies Income Tax (CIT), Oil and Gas Royalties, Import and Excise Duties all decreased significantly while Value Added Tax (VAT) and Electronic Money Transfer Levy (EMTL) decreased marginally.
Afreximbank Supports Fidelity Bank With $180m Credit To Finance Trade, Others
By Tony Obiechina, Abuja
The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has announced the enhancement of the financing facility provided to Fidelity Bank plc, Nigeria under the Afreximbank Trade Facilitation Programme (AFTRAF).
The decision to increase Afreximbank’s support is consistent with the economic and commercial success of the financing facility, the first $125 million of which has been fully utilised by Fidelity Bank.
The expansion to $180 million was also bolstered by the continued strong financial performance of Fidelity Bank, Nigeria’s largest Tier 2 bank.
The augmented financing facility will allow Fidelity Bank to scale up and accelerate its activities and programmes in trade and related activities.
Commenting on the development, Prof Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Afreximbank, commented said Afreximbank is keen to support a leading African bank that supports African businesses and entrepreneurs.
He said, “Fidelity Bank has proven its ability to make smart use of this type of financing, with consequent benefits for the Nigerian economy. Afreximbank is keen to support a leading African bank that supports African businesses and entrepreneurs.”
Afreximbank deploys innovative structures to deliver financing solutions that support the transformation of the structure of Africa’s trade, accelerating industrialization and intra-regional trade, thereby boosting economic expansion in Africa.
A staunch supporter of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), Afreximbank has launched a Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS) that was adopted by the African Union (AU) as the payment and settlement platform to underpin the implementation of the AfCFTA.
The bank is working with the AU and the AfCFTA Secretariat to develop an Adjustment Facility to support countries in effectively participating in the AfCFTA.
Nigeria’s Currency in Circulation Drops to N982bn
By Tony Obiechina, Abuja
The currency in circulation in the country dropped by a 235.03 per cent to N982.09bn at the end of February from N3.29tn recorded at the end of October 2022.
According to figures obtained from the CBN, this followed the naira redesign policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) which revealed that N2.3tn was mopped up from circulation during the period under review.
According to the CBN, the currency in circulation moved from N3.16tn to N3.29tn and N1.38tn in November 2022, December 2022 and January 2023 respectively.
The Governor of the CBN, Godwin Emefiele, had in October 2022, announced plans to redesign the old N200, N500 and N1,000 notes.
Emefiele also announced deadlines for Nigerians to swap their old notes with the new notes.
The governor decried the challenges associated with currency management, including the hoarding of banknotes by members of the public, with statistics showing that over 80 per cent of currency-in-circulation was outside the vaults of commercial banks.
Other challenges, according to him, included a shortage of clean and fit banknotes with an attendant negative perception of the CBN and increased risk to financial stability and increasing ease and risk of counterfeiting evidenced by several security reports.
At the expiration of the deadline for the old notes, due to the scarcity of the new naira notes, President, Muhammadu Buhari had approved the continued use of the old N200 as legal tender till April 10.
However, the Supreme Court on Friday, 3 March 2023, ruled that the old Naira notes should remain legal tender till 31 December 2023, thereby setting aside the deadline of the CBN.
However, in its new ruling, the Supreme Court said that all the old notes would remain legal tender until December 31, 2023, while nullifying the Naira redesign policy.
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