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Ahmed explains why FG needs fresh $3 billion debt from World Bank 

Zainab Ahmed has disclosed that the Federal Government requested a fresh $3 billion loan from the World Bank to reform the power sector. 

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The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, has disclosed that the Federal Government requested a fresh $3 billion loan from the World Bank to reform the power sector.

Ahmed, who disclosed this in an interview with journalists on the sidelines of the World Bank/International Monetary Fund meetings, Washington DC, United States, explained that her team would be holding further discussions with the management of the Bank to present how the fund would be disbursed for the project.

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[READ MORE: GTBank, Access, Zenith, UBA, FBN loans rise to N9.28 trillion in six months]

What it means: FG wants to use the fund for the development of transmission and distribution networks to enhance the delivery of electricity and to address some of the challenges that the country is currently facing in the power sector.

She said, “There is a proposed $2.5 billion to $3 billion facility for the power sector development programme in Nigeria and this will include development of the transmission networks and the distribution networks as well as removing the challenges that we currently have now in the electricity sector. 

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“We are going to have a full meeting to discuss the power sector recovery programme and back home we have been working a great deal with the World Bank to design how this programme will be implemented. 

“So we have an opportunity now to have a direct meeting with the leadership of the bank and to tell them the plan we have and how much we need from one to five years.” 

How fund will be disbursed?: FG would be pushing for the disbursement of the $3 billion facility in two tranches of $1.5 billion each.

Contrary to the fear of some critics that the debt status of the nation, which stands at N25.7 trillion, is overwhelming, the minister insisted that Nigeria does not have a debt problem.

[READ ALSO: Zainab Ahmed to head Nigeria’s delegation to World Bank, IMF]

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According to her, what FG needs to do is to increase its revenue-generating capacity in order to boost the revenue to about 50% of Gross Domestic Product and that Nigeria’s current revenue to GDP ratio stands at just 19%, it’s underperformance is significantly straining the government’s ability to service its debt obligation.

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She said, “Nigeria does not have a debt problem. What we have is a revenue problem. Our revenue to GDP is still one of the lowest among countries that are comparable to us. It’s about 19 per cent of GDP and what the World Bank and IMF recommended is about 50 per cent of GDP for countries that are our size. We are not there yet. What we have is a revenue problem. 

“The underperformance of our revenue is causing a significant strain in our ability to service debt and to service government day-to-day recurrent expenditure and that is why all the work we are doing at the ministry of finance is concentrating on driving the increase in revenue.” 

Abiola has spent about 14 years in journalism. His career has covered some top local print media like TELL Magazine, Broad Street Journal, The Point Newspaper. The Bloomberg MEI alumni has interviewed some of the most influential figures of the IMF, G-20 Summit, Pre-G20 Central Bank Governors and Finance Ministers, Critical Communication World Conference. The multiple award winner is variously trained in business and markets journalism at Lagos Business School, and Pan-Atlantic University. You may contact him via email - abiola.odutola@nairametrics.com.

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Business News

Dangote, BUA Cement drag Nigerian Stock market down, investors lose N154.28 billion

Investors lost N154.28 billion in value, as market capitalization dropped to N13.04 trillion at the Nigerian Stock market.

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Dangote Cement Plc

Nigeria’s stock market finished the week on a poor note, extending its previous day’s loss. The ASI declined by -1.17% to 25,016.00 index points. Consequently, the Year to Date loss dipped to -6.88%. Also, investors lost N154.28 billion in value, as market capitalization dropped to N13.04 trillion.

In terms of activity levels, market activity mirrored the broad index as total volumes and values declined by -20.61% and -52.51% to 214.49 million units and 2.51 billion respectively. ZENITH BANK was the most traded stock by volume at 22.2 million units, while NB topped by value at N666 million.

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Market sentiment, measured by market breadth, was however positive with 22 gainers led by BOCGAS (10.00%), against 18 losers topped by CABDURY (-9.47%).

Across the major indexes we cover, four out of five indexes closed negative. The Industrial goods (-3.91%) index was the worst performer, due to BUACEM (-5.44%) and DANGCEMENT (-2.04%) price decline. The Consumer Goods (-1.23%) and Energy (-0.96%) indices followed, owing to sell-offs in CADBURY (-9.47%); NB (-4.55%); GUINNESS (-3.68%) and OANDO (-2.22%).

Also, the Banking (-0.28%) index lost points, as prices of GUARANTY (-2.45%) and FBNH(-1.82%) fell. The Insurance index was the lone gainer, up +0.06% on price appreciation in CHIPLC, CUSTODIAN & AIICO Insurance.

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Top gainers

BOCGAS up 10.00% to close at N4.4; SKYAVN up 9.64% to close at N2.73; NASCON up 1.77% to close at N11.5; CUSTODIAN up 3.42% to close at N6.05; and NEIMETH up 9.94% to close at N1.77.

Top losers

CADBURY down 9.47% to close at N7.65; BUACEMENT down 5.44% to close at N40; NB down 4.55% to close at N42; GUINNESS down 3.68% to close at N18.3; and DANGCEM down 2.04% to close at N139.

Outlook

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Market dropped close to the N13 trillion market capitalization support level, as heavy selling was observed among blue-chip stocks. Nairametrics recommends caution as price swing momentum strengthens.

Patricia

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Business News

Buhari reappoints Danbatta as NCC Vice Chairman/CEO

With the reappointment, Danbatta will continue serving in the capacity of NCC Vice Chairman and CEO for another 5 years.

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President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the reappointment of of Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta as Executive Vice Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

This means that Danbatta will continue serving in the capacity of NCC Vice Chairman and CEO for another 5 years.

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Personal assistant on New Media to President Muhammadu Buhari, Bashir Ahmad announced this via his twitter handle on Friday evening.

This reappointment was based on the recommendations of the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Ali Ibrahim Pantami, and contained in a Press statement from the ministry.

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https://twitter.com/FMoCDENigeria/status/1268927885726924808/photo/1

While wishing him well in his second tenure, Pantami urged Professor Danbatta to consolidate on gains and achievements of his first term.

“The honourable minister directed him to significantly improve on the overall performance of the commission as well as ensure that adequate mechanisms are put in place to facilitate the implementation of all policies of the Federal Government through the ministry” the statement read.

The professor of Telecommunications engineering had lectured for about three decades before his previous appointments. At different times, he also served as a member of the Implementation Committee of the Northwest University Kano, as well as served as the Acting Vice-Chancellor of the Kano University of Science & Technology, Wudil.

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Just In: CBN debits banks another N459.7 billion for failure to meet CRR target

Sadly, this move, in addition to similar policies by the CBN, has left many banks cash-strapped and unable to pursue various profitable ventures.

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CBN

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has debited twenty-six banks, including merchant banks, to the tune of N459.7 billion for failure to meet their CRR (Cash Reserve Ratio) obligations. The fresh debit, which Nairametrics reliably gathered occurred yesterday, has left many stakeholders in the banking sector very upset.

The details: Among the banks that were most affected are United Bank for Africa Plc (N82.3 billion), First Bank of Nigeria Ltd (N59.3), Zenith Bank Plc (N50 billion), First City Monument Bank (FCMB) Limited (N45 billion), and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (N40 billion). The rest of the affected banks can be seen in the table below.

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Note that the latest CRR debits are coming barely one month after a lot of banks were collectively debited to the tune of N1.4 trillion for the same reason in April. Between then and now, a lot of other minor CRR debits have occurred. Nairametrics understands that the apex bank now debits banks on a weekly basis.

Some backstory: During the CBN’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting that was held last month, committee members voted to retain CRR rate at 27.5%. The rate was increased in January this year from 5% to its current level after the apex bank cited inflationary pressure concerns. What this means, therefore, is that Nigerian banks are required to keep 27.5% of their deposits as CRR with the Central Bank of Nigeria.

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But banks are silently upset: Sadly, this move, in addition to similar policies by the CBN, has left many banks cash-strapped and unable to pursue various profitable ventures. While reacting to the latest development, a banker who refused to be identified, said:

“What we’ve seen in recent times is that the CBN just indiscriminately debits banks, usually towards the stale-end of every week. They will look at your bank account and if your liquidity is plenty, they will debit you.

“You know the central bank also does what we call retail FX intervention, that is when they sell FX to corporates. Now, because they don’t want banks coming with huge demands, what they do is that a day before the FX sales, they debit the banks so that the naira you have available is small and you cannot put them under pressure because of your FX demands. That has really been the driver.

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“We understand that the central bank had set up a special CRR team that is supposed to monitor banks’ CRR once a month. But now, the team monitors banks’ CRR on a weekly basis. This is why the central bank is effectively debiting banks on a weekly basis. Some weeks ago, they debited some banks about N1.4 trillion. That was one of many. Between that time and now, there have been more debits that have happened. But the debits that are huge/significant are what is troubling the banks. There was a N300 billion that happened about two weeks ago. and then yesterday that was this N459.7 billion that was also debited.

“These are huge amounts that are leaving the banking sector. It’s a squeeze on the banks. A bank like First Bank, for instance, has about N1.4 trillion in CRR with the Central Bank. And there is Zenith Bank with equally as much as N1.5 trillion. These are monies that banks can potentially put in loans at 52% at 30%, or even put in money market instruments at maybe 10%. So, for a shareholder of these banks, this CRR debits are impairing the banks’ ability to increase their earnings because now are not able to use the funds that are legitimately theirs to create money for their shareholders. And the question is that under what framework is the Central Bank choosing to take people’s money?”

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Patricia
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