Earlier this week while delivering a speech during the 3rd National Treasury Workshop organised by the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, former CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido, declared that Nigeria is “bankrupt and the country is heading to bankruptcy”.
As expected, the media space was set agog by Sanusi’s utterance, even as Nigerians reacted with the respective biases.
To say the least, the question on everyone’s lips is if Nigeria is indeed bankrupt or broke? Here are some insights into Sanusi’s claims that may further affirm that Nigeria is on the threshold of bankruptcy.
Nigeria’s rising Debt and Cost: Data obtained from Nigeria’s Debt Management Office (DMO) as at the end of 2018 shows that the country’s public debt (domestic and external) stood at a whopping N24.3 trillion. This is about 19% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product.
- Nigeria’s rising debt has attracted wide criticisms both locally and internationally. For example, earlier this year the International Monetary Fund (IMF) questioned Nigeria’s ability to repay its N24.39 trillion debt.
- The IMF also expressed concern about the rollover risks, arguing Nigeria’s capacity to refinance debt might drop in the future. Meanwhile, the Federal Government has since rebuffed such claims, stating that the nation’s debt burden is sustainable.
However, the cost of servicing such debts has become worrisome in recent years. Analysis of data obtained from the budget office and DMO reveals the following:
- Nigeria spent the sum of N2.16 trillion for service debts in 2018
- The cost of debt service rose by 2.16% between 2017 and 2018
- In the last four years (2015-2018), Nigeria spent a whopping N6.46 trillion to service debt.
Some recent claims: Recently, the African Development Bank (AfBD) revealed that Nigeria spends more than 50% of its revenue on debt servicing. The president of the AfDB, Akinwunmi Adesina, revealed this while speaking at the annual general meeting of AfDB in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.
While the Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris recently admitted that Nigeria’s debt servicing is worrisome, he was quick to dismiss the report that servicing the country’s debt at the rate of over 50% of the total national income will destabilize the economy.
Fact check: According to the report from AfDB, the debt service rate of over 50% of Nigeria’s revenue is indeed damaging. A cursory look at Nigeria’s debt and revenue becomes quite fundamental.
- Nigeria’s debt service in 2018 was N2.16 trillion, while Government revenue stood at N3.96 trillion
- Total debt service in four years stood at N6.46 trillion, while the country’s revenue for the same period was estimated at N12.32 trillion.
- Hence, in 2018, Nigeria’s debt service is 54% of the total revenue.
- In the last four years, Nigeria’s debt service gulps 52% of the total country’s revenue.
Based on the foregoing, it is crystal clear that in order to fund Nigeria’s N8.83 trillion budget, the country will have to borrow a lot of money. This only affirms Sanusi’s claims. Just recently, the Former Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, stated that the Federal Government of Nigeria will borrow N1.6 trillion this year to fund the budget.
Subsidy gulps Trillions: Again, the Emir Sanusi was critical of the Buhari Government’s continued payment for fuel subsidy which is gulping trillions of naira. Interestingly, the Buhari camp moved against a similar subsidy payment during the former administration of Goodluck Jonathan.
“What is more life-threatening than the subsidy that we have to sacrifice education, health sector and infrastructure for us to have cheap petroleum? If truly President Buhari is fighting poverty, he should remove the risk on the national financial sector and stop the subsidy regime which is fraudulent.” – Emir Sanusi
To establish Sanusi’s claims, it has been revealed that Nigeria spent N11 trillion on outstanding subsidy claims in the last six years. Recently, the committee headed by Senator Kabir Marafa approved the payment of N129 billion as outstanding subsidy claims to 67 petroleum marketers. It can only get worse if urgent action is not taken.
To say the least, the banking sector is also bearing the brunt. Much has been said of non-performing loans threatening the Nigeria banking sector. However, a look into bank loan data obtained from the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS) shows that Nigeria government loan portfolio from banks is estimated at a whopping N1.36 trillion as of April 2019. On the chart, the Government loan portfolio ranks third, just after Oil and Gas and Manufacturing sectors.
But is Nigeria Bankrupt? By definition, being bankrupt is a state of being legally unable to pay once debt as and when due. While bankruptcy is the legal process of declaring this debt and how creditors will be paid. Nigeria is nowhere near bankruptcy by this definition.
However, Sanusi is right after all: Without gainsaying the fact, Nigeria is on the verge of bankruptcy if it continues on this economic pathway. The government has not done enough to demonstrate how it intends to grow its revenues enough to cover for its rising debt service. Whilst it focusses on dishing out government handouts, bailouts, and subsidies, it hasn’t presented cogent plant of boosting its revenues.
Multiverse forecasts N39.5 million profit in Q1 2021
The management of Multiverse Plc has projected a revenue of N76 million and a profit of N39.5 million in Q1 2021.
Multiverse Mining and Exploration Plc has projected that in the first quarter of 2021, the mining and exploration company will generate N76 million in revenue, and post a profit of N39.5 million.
These projections were made by the company in a recent earnings forecast issued by the Management, and signed by the Corporate Secretaries of the company.
Key highlights of the earnings forecast for Q1 2021
- Total revenue is projected at N76 million.
- Turnover from agency sale is projected at N1 million.
- Agency cost is s projected at N850 thousand.
- Total expenses are projected at N7.8 million.
- Operating Profit is projected at N67.3 million.
- EBIT (Earnings Before Interest and Taxation) is projected at N67.3 million.
- Interest Expense is projected at N27.8 million.
- Profit after tax is projected at N39.5 million.
Key assumptions made to support the earnings forecast and projection of the company
The earnings forecast was made on the ground that there won’t be any significant change in the economic policies of the Federal Government, while the monetary policies of the CBN would not be altered significantly.
The company also maintained that there would not be any industrial unrest that would affect its production and sales volume, while the profit of the company would not be pressured by rising costs of inputs, as prices of materials used in production shall be stable in the period under review.
GCR affirms Dangote Cement issuer ratings of AA+(NG) and A1+(NG)
Global Credit Ratings has affirmed Dangote Cement issuer ratings of AA+(NG) and A1+(NG).
Dangote Cement Plc has announced that Global Credit Ratings has affirmed the cement manufacturer a long-term and short-term national scale issuer ratings of AA+ (NG) and A1+(NG) respectively.
According to the press release issued by the company, the rating which maintains a stable outlook on Dangote Cement would expire by November 2021.
In line with this, GCR reviewed existing bonds of the company and assigned the N100bn Series 1 Fixed Rate Bond of Dangote Cement a rating of AA+.
Why this matters
- The ratings reflect Dangote Cement Plc’s status as Africa’s leading integrated cement manufacturer with a group-wide installed capacity of 45.6 million metric tonnes per annum across ten countries.
- The stable outlook which was maintained by GCR reflects the extensive distribution network, significant scale economies and position as the largest corporations on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, with sound access to capital.
- It is important to note that a rebound is expected within 18-24 months, on the back of strong base domestic demand.
What they are saying
Michel Puchercos, Chief Executive Officer, said:
- “Dangote Cement has shown great resilience in 2020 despite the COVID-19 pandemic and a challenging environment. The Group continues to report strong cash generation while maintaining strong financial discipline. As Africa’s leading cement producer, we are committed to maximizing shareholder value creation.”
Governor Sanwo-Olu says 24,000 students yet to resume in public schools
24,000 students in public schools are yet to return back after the reopening of schools, according to Governor Sanwo-Olu.
The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has revealed that about 24,000 students in public schools are yet to come back after the reopening of schools following last year’s lockdown necessitated by the first wave of Covid-19 across the country.
This is as the governor said that resumption of school activities Monday, January 20, 2021, was a difficult decision to make in light of the second wave of Covid-19.
This disclosure was made by the governor while peaking during a press conference on Covid-19 update at the Lagos House, Ikeja on Tuesday.
Sanwo-Olu assured that it was the best decision for the children’s safety and long-term development, especially the most vulnerable ones.
What the Lagos State Governor is saying
Sanwo-Olu in his statement said, “Last year after the first lockdown and kids have to come back to school, we are still looking for about 24,000 of them that have not come back to school. So, there is a challenge if you keep them out for that long and their parents or guardians now turn them to other things instead of ensuring that they have time to come back for learning even if it is twice or thrice a week.
“At least they have been registered since the beginning of a session and they can be monitored. If not, they will just be roaming the streets and become endangered. We have seen incidents of child abuse and all unprintable things that are being done to these children. So, we believe to a large extent that schools sometimes happen to be the safe haven for them. We have done the roster in which we ensure they keep social distance and we are monitoring,” he said.
What you should know
- It can be recalled that public and private schools below the tertiary level in Lagos State, On Monday, January 18, 2021, reopened for academic activities despite opposition from some stakeholders due to the second wave of coronavirus pandemic in the state.
- Following the surge in the number of infections in the state, which is the epicentre of the disease in the country, there were complaints about the state of preparedness of the schools, especially the public ones, in adhering to the strict Covid-19 protocols and guidelines.