Yesterday, news filtered into the mainstream media that the Federal Government spent a whooping sum of N650.1 billion (US$1.8 billion) on subsidizing petrol consumption between April 2018 and March 2019. According to the media sources, the statistics were obtained from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). We recall that the NNPC became the sole importer of petrol into the country in 2017 following the successive devaluations suffered by the naira which pushed the landing cost of petrol significantly higher.
Several controversies have trailed the propriety of the decision to subsidise petrol costs. Nevertheless, the NNPC announced that it classifies the alleged subsidy payments as “under-recoveries” rather than making actual payments for subsidy. In our view, this amounts to the NNPC losing income that ought to be remitted to the Federal Government. The landing cost of a litre of petrol according to marketers hovered between N170/litre and N200/litre in Q2 2019.
With a fixed pump price of N145/litre, it implies the NNPC loses revenue of N25/litre – N55/litre on imported petrol. Based on our estimates, the NNPC loses about N33.60/litre on imported petrol – our estimate is based on 19.3 billion litres of petrol between April 2018 and March 2019, according to data obtained from NBS.
To put into perspective, as at 20 December 2018 when the 2019 budget was presented, only N820.6 billion was spent on capital expenditure, indicating that subsidy payments equalled 79.2% of Capex spending. Furthermore, data from the CBN’s Q1 2019 statistical bulletin revealed the Federal Government generated an estimated N1.17 trillion in revenue, implying that subsidy spending by the NNPC in Q1 2019 equates to 20.3% of government revenue.
In our opinion, the removal of petrol subsidy may not be a politically popular opinion, nonetheless, we believe a complete elimination of the “under-recoveries” made by the NNPC will help the Federal Government in liberating itself from the current fiscal struggles. Indeed, this would free up more funds that can be channelled to more productive sectors of the economy, helping to accelerate the growth of a struggling economy.
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Engineer Sanusi Garba assumes office as Chairman of NERC
The new NERC boss has assumed office today in an investiture event witnessed by other Commissioners of the Commission.
Engineer Sanusi Garba, today, December 3, 2020, formally assumed office as the Chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).
This is according to the statement issued by the media team of the NERC via the official Twitter handle of the Commission.
Professor Momoh hands over to Engineer Sanusi Garba
Professor James Adeche Momoh has handed over to Engineer Sanusi Garba in a ceremony witnessed by Commissioners of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission. Engineer Sanusi thanked Professor Momoh @NERCNG
— NERC Nigeria (@NERCNG) December 3, 2020
Engineer Garba whose appointment was confirmed by the Nigerian Senate on Tuesday will be replacing Professor James Momoh, the outgoing chairman of the Commission.
Speaking at the handover ceremony today, the New Chairman of the Commission recognized the efforts and the hard work of Prof. Momoh and thanked the outgoing chairman for his contributions to the development of the Commission and the sector in general.
However, Professor Momoh on his part pledged his continuous support to the Commission and thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for the opportunity to serve the country.
What you should know
- The new Chairman of Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Engineer Sanusi Garba is a seasoned professional in the Nigerian Energy Supply Industry (NESI), and also a top officer in the Commission.
- Prior to his nomination as the Chairman of NERC, Garba served as the Vice Chairman of NERC, under the leadership of Prof. Momoh. He also served as the Chief Executive of Katsina Steel Rolling Co. Ltd and the Director (Power) in the Federal Ministry of Power with responsibility for the Generation, Transmission and Distribution aspects of the electricity industry.
- He also served as Executive Director (Generation) at the Niger Delta Power Holding Co. Ltd during which he provided technical and commercial leadership for the efficient operation of seven (7) NIPP thermal power plants.
- Engr Garba, who is a seasoned professional has served on many Federal Government Committees including the Presidential Committee on Power Sector Reform (2007/8) and the Presidential Task Force on Power (2009/10).
#EndSARS: Sanwo-Olu gifts families of slain police officers N10 million each
Governor Sanwo-Olu has compensated the families of slain police officers with the sum of N10 million each.
The Executive Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has brought respite to the families of police officers killed during the violence witnessed in the aftermath of the #EndSARS protests.
According to the disclosure on the Twitter page of the Lagos State Government, the families were handed a cheque of N10 million each and the children of the slain officers awarded scholarships by the government.
Governor @jidesanwoolu handing over a cheque of 10 million naira each to the families of police officers who lost their lives during the unrest that followed the EndSARS protest and awarding scholarship to their children. @followlsstf @ceolsstf @LagosPoliceng#LASG #SecureLagos pic.twitter.com/XdjPPRsRf7
— The Lagos State Govt (@followlasg) December 3, 2020
What they are saying: Commenting on the recent development, a tweet by the Lagos State Government read thus: “Governor @jidesanwoolu handing over a cheque of 10 million naira each to the families of police officers who lost their lives during the unrest that followed the EndSARS protest and awarding scholarship to their children.’’
Why this matters: The recent effort by the Governor is in fulfillment of the promise he had earlier made to compensate affected victims of the post-EndSARS protest which led to the loss of lives and valuable properties both in the state and the country at large.
The compensation will be viewed by serving officers as a motivation, aimed at promoting patriotism, loyalty, commitment and dedication to national service.
What you should know
How digital transformation will impact Nigeria’s projected $8.79 billion economic expansion
Businesses will need to invest in appropriately reskilling and upskilling the national workforce to create a better digital Nigeria.
The Nigerian economy is projected to grow by $8.79 billion in the next three years to 2023, driven largely by the ICT, agriculture, health, finance and insurance sectors, according to a new study by global training providers elev8 and the BusinessDay Research and Intelligence Unit (BRIU).
More than half of the projected growth will come from the ICT sector, as companies continue to create innovative products and services leveraging ICT and telecoms. To take advantage of this growth, however, businesses will need to invest in appropriately reskilling and upskilling the national workforce to create a better digital Nigeria.
The research comes off the back of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has laid bare the digital divide, with those businesses having invested sufficiently in their digital capabilities overtaking those firms who failed to do so.
However, this trend of digitally forward businesses outperforming their technology-inferior counterparts isn’t new, the study reveals. Analysis of the data, which went back as far as 1992, showed that the major companies outperforming others in Nigeria are those that spend more on upskilling, research and development, and technology acquisition.
Economic rewards await
In recognition of its benefits, Nigeria has made efforts in the past, and continues to make more efforts at digitalizing its economy. The progress made in Nigeria’s ICT sub sector has had a positive effect on its gross domestic product (GDP). Research shows that the sector’s contribution to GDP has risen from 7.70 percent in 2012 to 14.30 percent by Q2 2020.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian government’s National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy, launched in 2019, aims to improve digital literacy and skills to build out the country’s digital capabilities.
However, the digital infrastructure readiness in Nigeria is still far below the global average. For this to be upgraded, the current skill set of government employees working in this area will need to be updated. This should warrant the designing of training programs that will help the government raise the level of digital infrastructure in Nigeria in the shortest possible time and at affordable costs.
The high economic rewards from closing the digital skills gap should see this become an even greater priority. If the entire Nigerian economy is digitalized, the country could take a bigger bite of the global digital economy, which is estimated at $11.5 trillion.
Where digital leaders are made
Global training provider elev8 offers training programs focused on the latest technologies, and is uniquely placed to help businesses and the Nigerian government connect to opportunities as highlighted in the report.
Bringing together renowned industry experts, elev8 offers the flexibility of virtual classrooms or face-to-face programs, depending on what’s best for the organization and its learners.
Taking a holistic approach, power skills like communication, collaboration and analytical thinking are embedded into elev8’s technical training in order to develop well-rounded digital experts who can bring the most value to their employers.
Training methods are practical and action-based – built around projects, tackling real business challenges – enabling learners to put theory into practice from the day one.
No matter the technical need, elev8 can design and implement bespoke solutions tailored to a company’s individual requirements.
elev8’s global academy equips business leaders, teams and organizations with the skills they need to leverage the technologies of the future and transform Nigeria into a knowledge-based economy.
To read the report in full, or to discover more about the elev8 training academy, go to www.elev8me.com/en-us/africa.