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Economy

FG to Release N600bn for Capital Projects – Buhari

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President Muhammadu Buhari
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President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning to release N600 billion for Capital Expenditure in the next three months.

The President gave the directive in his nationwide broadcast to mark the Nigeria’s 59th Independence Anniversary on Tuesday in Abuja.

He stated that the directive was informed by his administration’s desire to significantly increase investments in the nation’s critical infrastructure.

According to him, the implementation of the 2019 Capital Budget, which was only approved in June 2019, will be accelerated to ensure that critical priority projects are completed or substantially addressed.

He revealed that the Federal Government had so far released N1.74trillion for execution of various capital projects in the 2018 fiscal year.

“In this regard, we are significantly increasing investments in critical infrastructure. Last year, capital releases only commenced with the approval of the Budget in June 2018.

“However, as at 20th June this year, up to N1.74 trillion had been released for capital projects in the 2018 fiscal year,’’ he said.

The president noted that the exchange rate in the last three years had remained stable, with robust reserves of 42.5 billion dollars, up from 23 billion dollars in Oct. 2016.

He added that, to maximise impact, the federal government would continue to increasingly welcome and encourage private capital for infrastructure development through Public Private Partnerships.

“Through the Road Infrastructure Tax Credit Scheme, which I initiated in January this year, we are giving incentives to private sector inflow of over N205 billion in 19 Nigerian roads and bridges of 794.4km across in 11 States of the Federation.

“As we push to diversify the economy, we still remain focused on optimising the revenues generated from the oil and gas sector.

“We will, working with the Legislature, soon pass the Petroleum Industry Bill and amendments to the Deep Offshore Act and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contracts Act into law, to ensure Government obtains a fair share of oil revenues, whilst encouraging private sector investment,’’ he said.

Buhari maintained that his administration would also continue the fight against illegal bunkering of crude oil and the smuggling of refined petroleum products across the borders.

He said this would include the diligent prosecution and conviction of offenders found guilty of these acts.

“Whilst Nigeria remains committed to free and fair continental and international trade, we will not hesitate to take all necessary steps to tackle illegal smuggling, transshipment and other predatory trade practices that destroy jobs in our country,’’ the president added.

On power, Buhari reiterated his administration’s determination to reform the power sector to ensure speedy socio-economic transformation across the country.

“We are resolute in reforming the power sector. In August this year, we launched the Presidential Power Initiative to modernize the National Grid in 3 phases: starting from 5 Gigawatts to 7 Gigawatts, then to 11 Gigawatts by 2023, and finally 25 Gigawatts afterwards.

“This programme, in partnership with the German Government and Siemens, will provide end-to-end electrification solutions that will resolve our transmission and distribution challenges,’’ he disclosed.

According to him, the programme will also localise the development and assembly of smart meters as well as the operations and maintenance capabilities of transmission and distribution infrastructure.

He expressed delight with the improved inter-agency collaboration between the Ministry of Power and the regulators in the banking and power sectors to ensure that electricity sales, billings and collections were automated and become cashless.

“These initiatives are important to ensure that the technical and collection losses in the sector are substantially reduced.

“I remain confident that Nigerians will have affordable and uninterrupted electricity supply in the not too distant future.

“Our efforts to improve the power sector will complement other infrastructure investments projects under the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund,’’ he said.

He acknowledged that the fund was investing in the Mambilla Power Plant project, as well as key economic road infrastructure such as the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Second Niger Bridge and Abuja-Kano Expressway.

The President expressed optimism that the first set of these projects remain on track to be completed by 2022. (NAN)

Economy

Selloffs in Dangote Cement, MTN, others Push Equity own by 1.23%

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Selloffs in the shares of Dangote Cement, Conoil, MTN Nigeria, among others, on Friday, dragged the equity market’s performance indices down by 1.23 per cent to close the week’s trading sessions.

Specifically, investors lost N672 billion or 1.24 per cent, as the market capitalisation, which opened at N54.

707 trillion, closed at N54.035 trillion.

The All-Share Index also lost 1.

24 per cent or 1.228.32 point, to settle at 98,751.98, as against 99,980.3 recorded on Thursday.

Consequently, the Year-To-Date (YTD) return on the index dropped to 32.07per cent.

Selloffs in Dangote Cement, MTN Nigeria,  Fidelity Bank, Sovereign Trust Insurance and Nestle made the market performance to be on a negative terrain.

Analysis of the market activities showed trade turnover drop when compared to the previous session, with the value of transactions down 22.01 per cent.

A total of 367.62 million shares valued at N6.78 billion were exchanged in 9,168 deals, compared to 542.95 million shares valued at N8.70 billion exchanged in 9,650 deals posted previously.

Meanwhile, Dangote Cement and Conoil led the losers table by percentage terms of 10 each to close at N135, N90.90 per share respectively.

MTN trailed by 9.96 per cent to close at N200.70, Thomas Wyatt Nigeria lost 9.78 per cent to close at N2.03, while Sovereign Trust Insurance shed 6.52 per cent to close at 43k per share.

On the gainers table, The Initiative Plc and FTN Cocoa Processors led by 10 per cent each to close at N1.98 and N1.65 per share respectively.

Juli Plc followed closely by 9.97 per cent to close at N3.75, Champion Breweries Plc gained 9.94 per cent to close at N3.76 and PZ Nigeria rose by 9.93 per cent to close at N33.75 per share.

On the activity table, Transcorp led in volume with trade of 57.00 million shares valued at N792.05 million, while Access Corporation sold 31.77 million shares worth N667.8 million.

United Bank of Africa (UBA) traded 28.50 million shares valued at N674.07 million and Fidelity Bank transacted 28.07 million shares worth N297.65.

Also, First City Monumental Bank(FCMB) sold 27.92 million shares worth N227.22 million.

However, market breadth closed positive with 43 gainers and eight losers on the trading floor.(NAN)

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Economy

We Currently have $30bn Investment Commitments – FG

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The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Doris Uzoka-Anite, says Nigeria currently has about 30 billion dollars investment committment from various investors.

Uzoka-Anite said this at the ongoing Ministerial Media briefing in Abuja on Friday.

According to her, the commitments will be redeemed over the course of five to eight years.

She said investments, commitments, and pledges were also received from our oil and gas free zone, adding that last week, some of them committed an additional 10 billion dollars in investments.

“I hosted the managing director of SHELL who explained to me about the investment plans of shell.

“ I know a lot of us are aware that shell is leaving; he came to explain to me what they mean by that.

And I can tell you that they are not leaving.

“Rather, they are expanding and increasing their investments in Nigeria; they are selling their onshore assets and increasing their investment in gas and offshore assets.” she said.

Uzoka-Anite, who envisaged more investments into the country, said  it would not have been possible without the commitment of President Bola Tinubu led administration.

She said that with increased investments comes job opportunities and economic growth, which wss part of the priority of the government. (NAN)

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Economy

Nigerian Breweries Records N106bn Loss in 2023

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Nigerian Breweries Plc has recorded a net loss of N106 billion for the year ended 2023, as against N13.93 billion posted in its 2022 financials, indicating 860 per cent loss.

Mr Uaboi Agbebaku, Company Secretary, Nigerian Breweries stated this in the audited financial result of the company for the year ended 2023 sent to the Nigerian Exchange Ltd.

(NGX)

Agbebaku said the gross profit of the company for the year under review also fell by 0.

3 percent to N212.5 billion, compared to N213.20 billion posted in the previous year.

He stated that the operating profit of the company declined by 15.3 per cent to 45 billion, as against N53 billion recorded in the corresponding year.

The company secretary said that the firm recorded loss in its operating profit due to higher input cost and one-off reorganisation cost despite strong and aggressive cost savings and other efficiency measures.

According to him, the company however was able to grow its revenue by nine per cent to N599 billion, compared to N551 billion posted in the previous year, which was aided by positive price mix.

Agbebaku stated that the Nigeria business landscape experienced significant shifts in 2023, with substantial impact on businesses and livelihoods nationwide.

He explained that the Naira notes redesign which resulted in cash shortage that severely hampered social and economic activities nationwide set the tone for a turbulent year.

Agbebaku said: “High double-digit inflation rates with food inflation at more than 30 per cent and removal of subsidy on fuel.

“Coupled with the impact of the devaluation of the naira which resulted in a foreign exchange loss of N153 billion further exacerbated the already difficult environment for the populace and businesses.

“In a difficult operating environment, the Board will ensure that the company builds on its more than 77 years’ experience of operating in Nigeria to cope with current realities.

He said the company would continue to be resilient and forward-thinking, leveraging on its broad portfolio, strong supply chain footprint and passionate workforce to drive long-term value creation for its shareholders and other stakeholders.(NAN)

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