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President Buhari presents 2020 federal budget to national assembly 

Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, has presented the 2020 appropriation bill before a joint session of the national assembly.

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Nigeria signs African Trade Insurance Agency agreement, Xenophobia, FG returns tollgates sixteen years after Obasanjo scrapped it from federal roads

Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, has presented the 2020 appropriation bill before a joint session of the National Assembly. According to the President, the revenue generation estimated to fund the 2020 national budget is N8.155 trillion.

The money will be sourced from oil (N2.64 trillion), Non-oil (N1.81 trillion), and others (N3.7 trillion).

In the meantime, the 2020 budget itself has been set at N9.79 trillion, indicating that there is a deficit of about N1.5 trillion. What this means, therefore, is that the Federal Government will need to borrow in order to balance up the budget.

Already, Nigeria has approached The World Bank to borrow the sum of $2.5 billion, a loan it will most likely receive once negotiations are concluded. But even with this, the government will need to borrow additional money.

How the money will be spent

The breakdown below shows how the 2020 Nigerian National Budget has been allocated:

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  • Works and Housing: N262 billion
  • National Assembly: N125 billion
  • Judiciary: N110 billion
  • Power: N127 billion
  • Transportation: N123 billion
  • Universal Basic Education Commission: N112 billion
  • North East Development Commission: N37.83 billion
  • Defence: N100 billion
  • Industry, Trade & Investment: N40 billion
  • Social Investment Programmes: N30 billion
  • FCT: N28 billion
  • Health: N46 billion
  • Niger Delta Ministry: N24 billion
  • Interior: N35 billion
  • Zonal Intervention Projects: N100 billion
  • Agriculture and Rural Devt: N83 billion
  • Water Resources: N82 billion
  • Niger Delta Development Commission: 81bn Education: N48 billion
  • Capital Projects: N2.46 trillion

[READ: Buhari blames Nigerians for rising unemployment and economic woes]

President Buhari noted that he hopes the 2020 Appropriation Act will come into effect as early as January next year. But this may never happen, going by past precedents. He also stated that focus will be on the completion of already ongoing projects instead of merely starting new ones.

Other comments by the President

Meanwhile, the President used the occasion to briefly highlight the supposed economic successes recorded by his administration. According to him, the Nigerian economic has recorded consecutive GDP growth over the past nine quarters.

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Between January 2017 and August 2019, the country’s inflation has reduced from 18% to 11%, he said. Similarly, Nigeria’s external reserves went up from $23 billion in October 2016 to about $42 billion in Sept 2019.

He even touted his anti-corruption agenda once more, emphasising that his administration is determined to maintain strict adherence to the Treasury Single Account which has supposedly helped to curb corruption.

[READ: See list of members of the National Economic Council]

“I have directed the stoppage of salaries for any government staff not captured in the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) by end of October 2019.”

Lastly, he noted that it has become very essential for the government to intensify its revenue generation efforts, albeit in a way that the extremely poor people in society will be very much affected. Now, while this sounds considerate, it is rather problematic nonetheless because the people are already complaining. The government’s recent policies such as its proposed Communications Service Tax, VAT increments, and proposed re-introduction of tollgates do not exactly augur well for the poor.

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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.

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Financial Services

NAICOM issues operational licences to 6 insurance firms and 1 reinsurer

Six new insurance firms and one reinsurance company have been issued operational licenses by the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM).

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The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has issued operational licenses to six new insurance firms and one reinsurer.

This was disclosed by the NAICOM boss, Mr. Sunday Thomas, while handing over operational licenses to the five firms at the NAICOM Head Office in Abuja today.

The new firms are Heirs Insurance Limited (General); Stanbic IBTC Insurance Limited; Heirs Life Assurance Limited; Enterprise Life Assurance Company Nigeria Limited; and FBS Reinsurance Limited, Salam Takaful, and Cornerstone Insurance Co. Limited.

According to Mr. Thomas, “The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) received applications from the under listed companies for registration as Insurance and Reinsurance Companies to transact insurance and reinsurance business in Nigeria. In fulfilment of the statutory provisions of extant laws for the registration/licensing of insurance Companies, the general public is hereby informed that the Commission has commenced the process of registering the companies.”

What you should know

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Heirs Insurance Limited (General) has Mr. Olaniyi Stephen Onifade as its Managing Director; Mr. Akinjide Orimolade, Stanbic IBTC Insurance Limited; Mr. Abah Okoriko, Heirs Life Assurance Limited; and Mrs. Fumilayo Abimbola Omo, Enterprise Life Assurance Company Nigeria Limited.

FBS Reinsurance Limited is to be led by the former Commissioner of Insurance, Fola Daniel, along with other seasoned professionals from the brokerage and underwriting units of the industry like Bala Zakariyau, the former Managing Director of Niger Insurance, Ahmed Olaniyi Salawu of the Standard Insurance Consultants, and Wole Oshin of the Custodian Investment Plc.

Takaful Insurance is based on sharia or Islamic religious law, which explains how individuals are responsible for the protection of one another. Takaful Insurance policies cover health, life, and general insurance needs. It is introduced as an alternative to those in the commercial insurance industry, which is believed to go against Islamic restrictions on interest, gambling, and uncertainty principles – all of which are outlawed in sharia.

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Economy & Politics

Nigeria edges closer to getting World Bank loan, in the final stages of talk

The Finance Minister has disclosed that Nigeria has fulfilled the conditions and is in the last stages of securing a World Bank loan.

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FG projects spending plan of N11.86 trillion and deficit of N5.16 trillion,IMF, International monetary fund, Zainab Ahmed, Nigeria's Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning

Nigeria is set to achieve its plans of getting the $1.5 billion World Bank loan package as it is in the closing stages of the deal following its fulfilment of the conditions set by the international multilateral organization.

This disclosure was made by the Minister for Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, during an interview on Friday, November 27, 2020, with Bloomberg Television.

While pointing out that Nigeria’s senate approved the borrowing plan from the World Bank in June, Ahmed said the board of the multilateral institution will discuss the loan package at their next meeting.

What you should know

It can be recalled that the World Bank loan which had been sought by Nigeria in the wake of the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic, was being delayed by the Brettonwood institution due to concerns over reforms as it feels that Nigeria has not shown enough commitment towards achieving them.

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Some of the reforms include the unification and flexibility of the exchange rate, removal of fuel subsidy, increase in electricity tariffs amongst others.

However, it seems that with the recent deregulation of the downstream sector of the oil industry with the attendant removal of fuel subsidy and increase in electricity tariff, some of those concerns of the World Bank are gradually being sorted out.

Ahmed also said that Nigeria is considering joining the G-20 debt-relief initiative and is talking to commercial lenders to secure their backing.

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She said, “We will consider joining as long as it is safe for us to do so. Nigeria couldn’t participate initially because some of the conditions were unfavourable for existing loan commitments with bilateral lenders and other international borrowings.”

On the increased gap between the official rate and parallel market rate, the minister said the government is concerned about the widening gap in the naira’s exchange rate on the official and parallel markets.

She said, “We have been taking measures to close the gap. We hope to get to an even level very soon so the impact of the exchange rate will become moderated.”

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Coronavirus

Covid-19: Africa prepared for possible second wave – Africa CDC

Africa CDC has confirmed its preparedness for the possibility of a second wave of COVID-19 pandemic in Africa.

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Covid-19: African Union in talks with China and Russia over vaccine

The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed its preparedness for the possibility of a second wave of COVID-19 pandemic in Africa, especially with the current upsurge of active cases.

This disclosure was made by the Director, Africa CDC, Dr. John Nkengasong, during the teleconference Weekly Press Briefing on #COVID-19 on November 26, 2020.

According to him, Africa CDC has started to distribute 2.7 million rapid antigen tests with the hope that by mid-2021, the health officials would have been able to vaccinate about 60% of the continent’s population with one of the several promising new vaccines — it all depends on the cooperation and support of the continent’s leaders.

(READ MORE: Reps Committee warns MDAs against failure to render accounts to Auditor-General)

What they are saying

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According to Dr. Nkengasong: To achieve 60% vaccination, we will need to mobilise up to about $10 to $12 billion, including the cost of buying the vaccines and the cost of delivering the vaccines. So, that is the 60% mark that we really want to achieve. And I just really want everyone on this platform and our partners to understand that as a continent, that is our aspiration and goal.”

As the end-of-year holidays are around the corner, Dr. Nkengasong advised: “Do not relent in wearing masks. One message that is emerging across the visits we are conducting across the continent is that people are not masking enough. And in some settings, absolutely it seems like they are not masking at all. And that is extremely dangerous.”

What you should know

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  • As of November 26, 2020, Africa had 2,106,931 confirmed caseloads, with a death toll of 50,628 and 1,781,744 persons recovered.
  • The Southern African region is the worst hit both in terms of the number of confirmed positive cases and deaths.
  • South Africa, Morocco, Egypt, and Ethiopia are the most affected countries in terms of number of positive cases.
  • South Africa is presently the worst hit with active cases of 775,502.

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