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Is Nigeria’s appropriation bill a scam?

It’s been seven days ago since the National Assembly passed the rather expensive N8.9 trillion appropriation bill for the 2019 fiscal year.

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It’s been seven days since the National Assembly passed the rather expensive N8.9 trillion appropriation bill for the 2019 fiscal year. The document is currently awaiting presidential approval, even as Nigerians continue to dissect it for details in the meantime.

One of the latest analysis that caught Nairametrics‘ attention is the one by a young professional identified as Laolu Samuel-Biyi.  The London-based, Chevening Scholar recently shared his analysis on Twitter, basically arguing that the Nigerian budget is a scam.

Why this outrageous perspective? According to Mr Samuel-Biyi, the budget is a scam because most of the allocations to Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) are absolutely unnecessary/questionable; thereby indicating the Government’s misplaced priority.

Basing his analysis on the 2018 appropriation bill, he argued that a simple glance at the document reveals to anyone just how misguided the Government is about governance/administration.

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He gave examples to prove his point: Samuel-Biyi, who was very determined in his “table-shaking” mission, went ahead to name Government establishments he doesn’t believe deserve the allocations earmarked for them in the 2019 appropriation bill. One of such establishments is the Nigerian Stored Product Research Institute which received a budget allocation of N9 billion last year.

Samuel-Biyi was also rather discomfited by the fact that the Ministry of Communication Technology and the Nigerian Communications Satellite Agency received millions-of-naira-worth of allocations just to build computer centres and buy desktops.

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Allocation for the Ministry of Budget and Planning is probably the biggest scam! Mr Samuel-Biyi questioned why the Ministry of Budget and Planning needed N2 billion to fund “sporting activities” in 2018. By the way, all of us here at Nairametrics are questioning the same thing too.

Come to think of it, what is the relationship between Budget and Planning with sporting activities? Is the Ministry now in charge of organising the Africa Cup of Nations? Oh well, there you have it!

By the way, the National Board of Arabic and Islamic Studies received the same allocation as Yabatech. Enough said…

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A laughable capital expenditure: Mr Samuel-Biyi continued to poke holes in Nigeria’s appropriation bill by pointing out the fact that much of the earmarked capital expenditure (which comprised 30% of the total 2018 budget), was spent buying cars, among other things.

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This should really concern us all: The Code of Conduct Tribunal received N221 million just to furnish its office, in addition to another N154 million to build a new office. CCT also needed an additional NI billion for “governance reform” and “digitisation of operations”. Mind you, millions of Nigerians are unemployed and hungry.

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Still on the need for us to be concerned, a Kano-based institution that has trained 2,000 people “over the years”, received N1.5 billion. Wondering how many people they trained with that; maybe three people?

Based on these revelations, it is safe to say that the 2019 budget is probably yet a scam after all. It is, however, unfortunate that this is the standard the Nigerian citizenry have been subjected to overtime. There is no gainsaying the fact that we deserve a better standard than this.

Emmanuel is a professional writer and business journalist, with interests covering Banking & Finance, Mergers and Acquisitions, Corporate Profiles, Brand Communication, Fintech, and MSMEs.He initially joined Nairametrics as an all-round Business Analyst, but later began focusing on and covering the financial services sector. He has also held various leadership roles, including Senior Editor, QAQC Lead, and Deputy Managing Editor.Emmanuel holds an M.Sc in International Relations from the University of Ibadan, graduating with Distinction. He also graduated with a Second Class Honours (Upper Division) from the Department of Philosophy & Logic, University of Ibadan.If you have a scoop for him, you may contact him via his email- [email protected] You may also contact him through various social media platforms, preferably LinkedIn and Twitter.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Adenike Oyalowo

    May 7, 2019 at 4:12 pm

    I am surprised to say the least, that you, or anyone for that matter, is just coming to the conclusion that the Nigerian budget is a scam. And I am not just talking about the 2019 edition. The fact that pots & other kitchen wares and generators and inverters and UPS for Aso Rock feature faithfully in our budget every year without fail long led me to reach that conclusion.

    And what about hundreds of millions for building and maintaining non-functional or at best unimaginative websites for Ministries and MDAs? I once thought this government will be different, alas…

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Coronavirus

FG yet to purchase Covid-19 vaccines – Minister of State for Health

According to a disclosure made by the Minister of State for Health, the FG is yet to purchase any COVID-19 vaccine.

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NPHCDA to address infrastructural gaps in COVID-19 vaccine supply, FG to focus on procurement of Covid-19 vaccine in first quarter 2021

The Federal Government has said that it is yet to purchase any Covid-19 vaccines as the country is still assessing the prices of different shots, their availability and the logistics required for a nationwide roll-out.

This is coming at a time when developed economies are rolling out the vaccines in their countries and concerns have been raised about the availability of the Covid-19 doses in the African continent.

This disclosure was made by the Minister of State for Health Adeleke Olurunnimbe Mamora, during a telephone interview with Bloomberg.

What the Minister of State for Health is saying

Mamora said that once the government determines which vaccines are accessible and affordable, authorities then have to consider storage and distribution issues as they prepare to give shots to 200 million people.

He said, “We haven’t made any purchases at this point in time.’’ He added that the government expects to have a definitive plan by the end of January.

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Nigeria is working with the World Health Organization backed COVAX programme and hopes to receive its first doses in January. The Minister for Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, had said that the country is working on what type and quantity of Covid-19 vaccines to procure and financial provision will be made in the 2021 budget for the vaccines.

COVAX is a global initiative backed by the World Health Organization which aims to provide equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines, especially to poor countries.

What you should know

  • It can be recalled that Bloomberg had reported that experts and a state governor had expressed doubts about the ambitious plan by Nigeria to vaccinate as much as 40% of its population this year due to lack of resources and infrastructure.
  • The Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria’s National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Faisal Shuaib, said on Thursday the country expects to receive 100,000 doses of Pfizer Inc’s shot at the end of January through the Covax initiative.
  • Nigeria has officially reported 107,345 Covid-19 cases, with 1,413 casualties, but testing is not easily accessible for most people, with only about 1.1 million tests conducted so far.

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Economy & Politics

Nigerian government spends equivalent of 83% of revenue to service debt in 2020

The Federal Government of Nigeria achieved a debt service to revenue ratio of 83% in 2020.

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The Federal Government of Nigeria achieved a debt service to revenue ratio of 83% in 2020. This is according to the information contained in the budget implementation report of the government for the year ended December 2020.

According to the data seen by Nairametrics, total revenue earned in 2020 was N3.93 trillion representing a 27% drop from the target revenues of N5.365 trillion. However, debt service for the year was a sum of N3.26 trillion or 82.9% of revenue.

Nigeria’s debt service cost of N3.26 trillion has now dwarfed the N1.7 trillion spent on capital expenditure of N1.7 trillion incurred in 2020. This is also the highest debt service paid by the Federal Government since we started tracking this data in 2009.

The total public debt (External and Domestic) balance carried by Nigeria as of September 2020 stood at N32.22 trillion ($84.57 billion). Included in the total debt is a domestic debt of about N15.8 trillion.

 

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What this means: Nigeria’s debt to GDP ratio is estimated at about 22%, one of the lowest in the world and much below what is obtainable in most emerging markets.

  • However, the challenge has always been the debt service to revenue ratio, a metric that reveals whether the government is generating enough revenues to pay down its debts as they mature.
  • Since the first recession experienced in 2016, Nigeria has struggled with higher debt service to revenue ratio as revenues slid in direct correlation with the fall in oil prices.
  • Nigeria’s government spent about N2.45 trillion in debt service in 2019 out of total revenue of N4.1 trillion or 59.6% debt service to revenue ratio.
  • At 83%, 2020 ranks as the highest debt service to revenue ratio we have incurred. Before now it was 2017 with 61.6%.

Breakdown of what debts were serviced

The following amount was spent on debt service during the year

  • To service domestic debt, the government spent N1.755 trillion in 2020 as against a budget of N1.87 trillion.
  • For foreign debts, a sum of N553 billion was spent against a target budget of N805.47 billion. The drop here is likely a result of lower interest rates on foreign borrowing as well as very limited borrowing from the foreign debt market during the year.
  • The government only contributed N4.58 billion into its sinking fund instead of the budgeted N272.9 billion.
  • The sinking fund is required to set aside funds that will be used to pay down on other loans such as bonds when they mature in the future.
  • Finally, a sum of N912.57 trillion was spent on servicing CBN’s loans, granted via its Ways and Means provisions.
  • Nairametrics reported last week that a total sum of N2.8 trillion was extended by the CBN to the FG as Ways and Means.

What happens next: In 2021, the government projects a debt service of N3.1 trillion against revenue of N6.6 trillion or a debt service to revenue ratio of 46.9%.

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  • The government plans to spend N4.3 trillion on capital expenditure during the year.

 

 

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Tech News

Top 10 Nigerian tech companies and capital raised in 2020

These are the top 10 tech companies and the capital they raised in 2020.

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Startup funding in Africa, Fintech, Disrupt Africa

African startups raised over $1 billion in funding in 2020, with Nigerian startups raising 17% of this amount – $55.37million in Q1 2o2o and $28.35million in Q2 2020, according to Techpoint.

These are the top 10 rankings of the highest fundraisers for 2020.

Flutterwave

The startup provides digital payments infrastructure and services which enable global merchants, payment service providers, and pan-African banks to accept and process payments across various channels.

It raised a $35M Series-B round led by US venture capital firms Greycroft and eVentures in January 2020. The funding was invested in technology and business development to grow market share in the countries it operates in.

54gene

The startup is equalizing precision medicine by including underrepresented Africans in global genomics research. It raised $15M in a Series A funding round in April 2020 led by Adjuvant Capital – a life sciences fund backed by the International Finance Corporation, Novartis, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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These new funds will be used to address the gap that exists in precision medicine for people on the African continent.

Aella Credit

The startup is a one-stop app for all your financial needs. Aella makes it super easy for anyone to borrow, invest, and make payments. It secured a $10 million debt financing round from a Singaporean company – HQ Financial Group.

The new capital raised from Singapore is expected to facilitate the credit company’s effort to provide financial inclusion to many more of the people who are currently unbanked across Nigeria, West Africa, and other emerging markets.

Helium Health

The startup has become the leading provider of full-service technology solutions for healthcare stakeholders in Africa. It raised a $10 million Series A round in April 2020.

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Global Ventures and Africa Healthcare Master fund (AAIC) co-led the investment round. Helium plans to use the latest funding round to hire and expand to North and East Africa, including Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, and Morocco.

Kuda Bank

The startup provides a full banking service on your smartphone. It secured a US$10 million seed round in November 2020 – the biggest seed round ever to be raised in Africa, led by Target Global with participation from Entrée Capital and SBI Investment.

The funding will be used to help accelerate its growth plans and keep up with customer demand. Specifically, funds will be used for key hires, product development, and to expand operations across Africa.

Trade Depot

The startup is a Nigerian B2B eCommerce company that utilizes an end-to-end distribution platform aimed at connecting the world’s top consumer goods companies directly to retailers in Africa.

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It raised $10-million in a pre-Series B equity round co-led by Partech, International Finance Corporation, Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi), and MSA Capital in July 2020.

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The new investment will enable Trade Depot to continue connecting international brands with small businesses in Nigeria, expand into other African cities, launch a suite of financial products, and credit facilities aimed at supporting its retailers.

Field Intelligence

The startup is helping governments and businesses make good on the promise of healthcare in the fastest-growing parts of the world by making the pharmaceutical supply chain radically simple, affordable, and easily accessible.

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It raised a $3.6 million Series A round in March 2020, led by Blue Haven Initiative, with investors including Newtown Partners via the Imperial Venture Fund and Accion Venture Lab.

The investment will be used to scale Shelf Life expansion throughout Nigeria and Kenya, as well as the development of additional services for Shelf Life clients and their patients.

MedSaf

The startup connects suppliers to hospitals and pharmacies directly to make the pharmaceutical supply chain more efficient. The health start-up raised $3.5M in a seed funding round in December 2020.  It will use this funding to expand to other African countries.

Auto Chek

The company is an automotive technology company that aims to build solutions for the African market. It raised $3.4 million in pre-seed funding round in November 2020, co-led by TLcom Capital and 4DX with inclusion from Golden Palm Investments, Lateral Capital, Kepple Africa Ventures.

Auto Chek will use the investment to grow its Nigerian and Ghanaian markets, invest in its tech, and grow its team.

Despite the ravaging impact of Covid-19, Nigerian tech start-ups raised millions of dollars in funding. We hope to see more investors in the first quarter of 2021.

Rensource Energy

The startup allows qualifying companies throughout Nigeria and West Africa to start selling Power-as-a-Service (PaaS) to their customers.

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It raised $3 million from Proparco, with the support of the European Union under the Africa Renewable Energy Scale-Up facility (ARE Scale-Up). The funding will be used to contribute to facilitating energy access in the context of a significant and growing energy gap in Nigeria and support the development of innovative solar energy solutions.

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