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Ban to curtail generator importation faces strict resistance by Senate 

A motion by Senator Chukwuka Utazi targeted at solving Nigeria’s epileptic power supply has been rejected by the Nigeran Senate.

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A suggestion put forward by Senator Francis Fadahunsi, to enforce a five-year ban on generator importation has been rejected by the Nigerian Senate, according to Punch.

The Details: The suggestion was rejected after Senate President, Ahmed Lawan subjected the matter to a voice vote, while the house deliberated on a motion sponsored by Senator Chukwuka Utazi.

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The motion was on the need to address Nigeria’s electricity woes.

Ban to curtail generator importation faces strict resistance by Senate 

Senator Chukwuka Utazi

The Result: Failure of the lawmakers to accept the idea led the Senate to task its Committee on Power to look into the matter of erratic power supply in Nigeria. The Senate also tasked the committee to examine the activities of power generating and distribution companies in Nigeria.

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Recent Developments: The decision to ban generator sets was once successful in 2015 when the Federal Government banned the importation of the most commonly used type of generating set in Nigeria popularly known as “I better pass my neighbour.”

[READ MORE: Senate receives six aviation sector bills from Buhari]

According to the Comptroller, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Federation Operations Unit Zone A, Lagos, Madugu Sanni Jubrin at the time, the reason for the ban was health-related.

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The smaller generators have been banned by the Federal Government because it is causing air pollution and destruction of our lungs and breathing system,” he said.

Recently, in a Bloomberg report, it was disclosed that business owners and individuals in Nigeria spend about $12 billion fueling generators annually. Furthermore, it was disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari’s office was expected to spend N46 million in fueling generators in 2019 alone.

The report read in part, “To keep out the darkness, households own and operate an estimated 22 million small gasoline generators, whose combined generating capacity is eight times higher than on-grid supply, according to a June 2019 presentation by Dalberg, a global policy and advisory firm. Businesses and individuals spend about $12 billion a year, twice the country’s annual infrastructure budget, fueling these generators.”

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Ban to curtail generator importation faces strict resistance by Senate 

Senator Francis Fadahunsi

What you should know: According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), lack of access to electricity and unreliable power supply are key constraints to doing business in Nigeria. The IMF estimated the annual economic loss at about $29 billion.

Similar to IMF’s stance, a 2014 World Bank survey disclosed that 27% of Nigerian firms identified electricity as the main obstacle to doing business. World Bank was also quoted to have stated that, “power outages and deficient power infrastructure in Sub-Saharan Africa had a measurable negative impact on economic growth over the period of 1995−2007.” 

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Patricia

Reincarnated as a lover of stocks, Angel investors, seed funds, and anything aligned to tech or startups raising money, Joseph's work at Nairametrics involves following the money to wherever it leads. Before joining Nairametrics, he won an investigative journalism fellowship with ICIR, appeared in several national dallies, with hard-hitting opinions, features and investigative pieces. He has also engaged in content marketing and copywriting for a top e-commerce firm in Nigeria.

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Economy & Politics

Nigeria only hit 56% of its target revenue in first five of months of 2020 

Nigeria’s earnings in the period were N1.48 trillion which is 56% off its main target.

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Nigeria only hit 56% of its target revenue in first five of months of 2020 , Zainab Ahmed, Pres. Buhari to review Finance Bill, tax reform yearly to finance budget 

Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed revealed that Nigeria was only able to meet 56% of its target revenue from January to May as the global oil price crash affected government revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Nigeria’s earningin the period were N1.48 trillion which is 56% off its main target, crude oil revenues accounted for half of Nigeria’s revenues, while non-oil revenues made up the rest in the first 5 months of the year. 

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On Friday, President Muhammadu Buhari signed the new 2020 revised budget of N10.8 trillion with the crude oil benchmark reduced from $57 per barrels in the earlier budget to $25 in the new budget.

The Minister said the budget had to be revised because of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on Nigeria’s economy. She added that Nigeria’s crude oil production would be an average of 1.86 million barrels per day next year and rise to 2.09 million the following year. 

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 “Although Nigeria’s total production capacity is 2.5 million barrels per day, current crude production is about 1.4 million barrels per day — in compliance with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ production quota – and an additional 300,000 barrels per day of condensates, totaling about 1.7 million barrels per day,” she said. 

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Coronavirus

African Union begins COVID-19 vaccine trial group

CONCVACT plans to capture more than ten late-stage vaccine trials at the earliest.

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coronavirus, COVID-19: Infections rise to 42 as 2 new cases are confirmed, COVID-19: Western diplomats warn of disease explosion, poor handling by government

The African Union Commission just recently facilitated a program called the new Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) Consortium for COVID-19 Vaccine Clinical Trial (CONCVACT).

The program is part of the Africa Joint Continental Strategy for stopping the deadly COVID-19 onslaught that has disrupted human activities. The goal is to prevent severe COVID-19 infections and deaths in African countries, reduce the economic damage caused by the pandemic, and help minimize the general disruption to everyday life.

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READ MORE: Covid-19: Pfizer, BioNTech’s vaccine ready before end of the year

Quick fact about COVID-19: Although for some individuals, the COVID-19 virus causes only mild illness, it can make other individuals seriously ill. The disease can be very fatal, especially among older individuals, and those with compromised immunities (such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart problems) appear to be more susceptible.

South Africa’s leader, Cyril Ramaphosa, said, “Success in developing and providing access to a safe vaccine requires an innovative and collaborative approach, with significant local manufacturing in Africa.

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“We need to support the contribution of African scientists and healthcare professionals. We need to act with urgency.”

CONCVACT plans to capture more than ten late-stage vaccine trials at the earliest, via collaborations with global vaccine developers, sponsors, and African businesses that enable clinical studies.

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The African group also hopes to secure the safety and efficacy data of promising vaccine candidates for the African population in order to validate their launch after approval.

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Economy & Politics

2021 Budget: FG projects spending plan of N11.86 trillion and deficit of N5.16 trillion

This tops 2020 budgeted expenditure of N10.8 trillion.

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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

The Federal Government is projecting to spend N11.86 trillion for 2021. This was disclosed by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed at a virtual presentation of the 2021-2023 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF/FSP) held on Friday.

According to the finance minister, the government is planning to spend N11.86 trillion against revenue of N6.98 trillion meaning the government will have to grapple with a fiscal deficit of  N5.16 trillion.

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Zainab Ahmed;

“The 2021-2023 MTEF&FSP is the pre-budget statement that provides the framework for the development of the 2021 budget. It is being framed against the backdrop of challenging global macroeconomic environment as well as domestic factors.

“We aim to keep the deficit within the three percent ceiling over the medium term and are therefore working on identifying new revenue sources and or cost of reduction.”

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The minister noted that the 2021-2023 draft had been prepared against the backdrop of heightened global economic uncertainty.

READ MORE: Lawmakers now closer to an agreement with stakeholders on free electricity supply

Earlier today President Buhari signed the revised 2020 national budget of N10.8 trillion, which was passed by the National Assembly in June. The National Assembly passed a revised budget of N10.8 trillion on the 11th of June after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved a revised budget of N10.523trillion in May. 2020 Budget is based on a revised oil benchmark of $25 per barrel as against $57 while crude production was reduced from 2.18 million to 1.94 million barrels per day  Budget deficit for 2020 is estimated at N5.365 trillion.

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As of March 2020, the FG was running a 52% shortfall in the first quarter of the year with actual revenue collected of N950 trillion compared to budgeted revenue  N1.96 trillion.

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What this means: Nigeria is facing an unprecedented revenue crisis exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic and the crash in oil prices. At N5.16 trillion, Nigeria’s projected budget deficit will be 43% of spending and about 3.6% of GDP if the budget is passed. A budget deficit means the government will have to borrow heavily next year to fund its expenditure programs.

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The government received a $3.4 billion funding from the IMF in April and expects another $3.5 billion from the World Bank in August 2020. The government also revealed it has no plans to access the commercial market for foreign debts as it takes advantage of lower interest rates in the domestic market.

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