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Nigeria’s Debt Profile Worrisome – Atiku

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Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has called attention to Nigeria’s rising debt profile, which he said had become worrisome.

According to him,  the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration was bereft of ideas in managing the economy.

In a statement by Paul Ibe, his media adviser, Atiku, observed that the amount spent on servicing domestic debts was far more than the combined entire budget for education and youth development for 2019.

He added that the government was borrowing because the President does not know how to create wealth.

The statement reads:

Again, Atiku Abubakar wishes to draw the attention of stakeholders in the Nigerian project to the existential threat affecting Nigeria and for which the General Buhari led administration has chosen to ignore.

Recall that last week, Atiku Abubakar urged immediate action to address Nigeria’s unsustainable debt burden. This is especially as the National Economic Council which he chaired in 2006, paid off Nigeria’s entire debt under the leadership of President Olusegun Obasanjo.

As if to vindicate the former Vice President, the National Bureau of Statistics has released Q1 statistics which revealed that in the first quarter of 2019 (January to March), General Buhari’s regime spent a whopping ₦610.2 billion on debt servicing for domestic debts. Note that these monies were spent on servicing (paying interest) debt, not in repaying debt.

To put this in perspective, in the first three months of 2019, what Nigeria has spent on servicing domestic debts, so far, is more than the combined entire budget for education and youth development for the whole of 2019.

How did this happen? How could an administration double our national debt from ₦12 trillion in 2015 to ₦24.9 trillion today and still have no tangible evidence of development to show for it?

The reason is that no matter how much resources you give a man who does not know how to create wealth, it will never be enough.

If the current trend continues, Nigeria will have spent ₦2.5 trillion on debt servicing by the end of 2019, a figure that is more than our capital budget. Can a nation survive like this?

Atiku Abubakar wishes to sound a note of warning, that the deeper we go into unsustainable debt, the more of her independence Nigeria loses to her creditors. The older generation should sacrifice for the youth. We must not be a vampire generation that squanders the financial lifeblood of Nigeria and bequeath financial bondage to the next generation.

For the avoidance of doubt, not long ago, Atiku Abubakar had outlined a robust strategy for the funding of the country’s development needs without resort to indiscriminate borrowing.

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DMO Offers N150bn Sukuk Bond for Subscription at N1, 000 Per Unit

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The Debt Management Office (DMO) on Tuesday offered for subscription, Ijarah Sukuk valued at N150 billion.

According to a statement by the DMO, the Sukuk is issued by Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) Roads Sukuk Company PLC, on behalf of the Federal Government.

It said that the Sukuk were offered at N1,000 per unit, subject to a minimum subscription of N10,000 and in multiples of N1,000 thereafter.

“Rental payment is made half-yearly, and bullet repayment is done on the date of maturity.

“Proceeds will be used solely for the construction and rehabilitation of key road projects and bridges across the six geopolitical zones of the country,” the DMO said.

It added that the Ijarah Sukuk was backed by the full faith and credit of the Federal Government.

“It qualifies as securities in which trustees can invest under the Trustee Investment Act.

“Qualifies as government securities within the meaning of Company Income Tax Act and Personal Income Tax Act for tax exemption for pension funds among other investors.

“To be listed on the Nigerian Exchange Limited and FMDQ Securities Exchange Limited, ” it said.

It added that the Ijarah Sukuk was classified as liquid asset by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and certified by the Financial Regulation Advisory Council of Experts of the CBN.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Sukuk is a Sharia-compliant instrument that represents the interests of the owner in an asset or pool of assets.

It ensures that every financial activity is backed by real economic activity, is usually linked to specific infrastructure projects.(NAN)

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Ooni partners Chinese company to create over 50000 jobs

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The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a Chinese company to create employment opportunities for over 50,000 indigenes of the state.

Ooni signed the MoU with China Overseas Energy Development Technology Ltd on Tuesday in Ile-Ife under Community and Private Partnership arrangement.

He said that the company would invest in agriculture, green energy, gold, lithium and other mineral resources in Ile-Ife and the state at large.

According to him, the Chinese company will also focus on the development of agriculture; mechanised farming and the production of cocoa in large quantity.

The traditional ruler stated that the MoU would help the indigenes of the state to enjoy unprecedented investment flow, while assuring that the company would not disappoint in the area of funds.

“The partnership we are signing today with China Overseas Technology Development Company Ltd is going to create over 50,000 employment opportunities to Osun indigenes.

“The company would first invest in agriculture and would set up a cocoa processing plant in Ife-ife, which will serve as its agricultural hub.

“The company will farm on over 20,000 hectares of land, generate green energy using solar which is starting from this palace.

“This palace will be powered by solar 100 per cent within the next 30 to 60 days when it is completed,” Ooni stated.

Continuing, Oba Ogunwusi said the future of Nigeria oil and gas lies in lithium, noting that soonest lithium would be the only means to power battery, electric cars among others.

He added that partnership with the Chinese company would be Community and Private Partnership driven which would help to grow the economy at the community level.

Ooni, who emphasised that the investment would be on a large scale both for Osun and the Federal Government, called for the support of all and sundry.

“In Dubai alone, the Chinese company has investment more than 10 billion U.S. dollars. In South Sudan right now, they are investing over 4 billion dollars. They are now ready to invest double of such investment in Nigeria,” he stated.

Speaking at the occasion, Gov. Ademola Adeleke lauded Ooni for the initiative and the management of the Chinese company for agreeing to invest in the state.

Adeleke restated his commitment to promote culture, tourism and entertainment in the state to improve the wellbeing of residents.

In his remarks, Mr Zhang Xiaolin, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, China Oversea Energy Development Ltd, congratulated Ooni on the celebration of Olojo 2023.

Xiaolin also applauded the traditional ruler for partnering with the company and pledged that the company would adhere to the agreement terms. 

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KDSG reiterates commitment to enhance capabilities of KADBUSA’s operations 

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The Director-General (DG), Kaduna Bureau of Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment (KADBUSA), Joseph Ike, said, Kaduna State Government has reiterated its commitment to enhance the capability of KADBUSA.

The DG stated this on Tuesday at the Capacity-Building Training for operatives of KADBUSA in Kaduna.

He said the training which is in alignment with Gov.

Uba Sani’s administration’s agenda, emphasizes Human Capital Development and Citizens’ Engagement.

“It is also important in diligently carrying out the important mandate of the Bureau.

“This collaborative initiative between KADBUSA, the Kaduna State Ministry of Health, and the  United Nation Office on Drugs and Crime ( UNODC), underscores the commitment to address the pressing issue of substance abuse within the state.

He said by enhancing the capabilities of KADBUSA’s operations staff, the programme aims to make a tangible difference in the lives of those affected by drug abuse and addiction.

“This two-day, Capacity-Building Training is a significant step towards a healthier, more secured, and prosperous Kaduna State,” he said.

On his part, Project Officer, UNODC, Dr. Akanidomo Ibanga, called for development of policies that will address the prevalence of drugs abuse in the country.

He said people with drug disorder who come in contact with the criminal justice system, should be treated rather than sent to prison.

According to Dr. Ibanga, 14.3 per cent of Nigerians have used drugs within the past years, “that is 14.4 million people. Now, that is three times more than the global average. We have a serious drugs problem on our hands.

“The Nigerian situation is peculiar because it has the drugs problem but doesn’t have enough treatment facilities to handle the issues of people that have drugs disorder.

“This is even a 2018 data. From that time till date, the number of people using drugs have probably increased.

“From projections from WHO and UNODC, there would be 40 per cent increase in drug use by 2030 in Africa, and Nigeria, being the most populous country in Africa, will have most of the number.

“So, we are saying that, we are sitting on s time bomb, because come 2030, we are talking about 20 per cent prevalence, that is, one in every five people you meet on the street.

“There are certain things we can do to avert this. UNODC has evolved certain responses and developed certain models, which can be run by both National and state governments,” Dr. Ibanga added. 

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