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Nigeria is in a weak financial position to absorb recession shocks —Bismark Rewane

Nigeria does not currently have enough buffers to withstand the shocks of the global recession which the International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently projected will happen post Covid-19.

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Recession

Nigeria does not currently have enough buffers to withstand the shocks of the global recession which the International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently projected will happen post Covid-19. This was disclosed by Bismarck Rewane, the Chief Executive Officer of Financial Derivatives Ltd.

Speaking to CNBC Africa during the station’s Power Lunch West Africa programme, Rewane explained that Nigeria is broke and that the situation has left the country in a rather precarious financial position as far as dealing with the looming recession is concerned. He also pointed out that unlike in 2008 and 2016 when the country had enough buffers to cushion the effects of the recessions recorded in those years, the same cannot be said for the Nigeria of 2020.

READ ALSO: Moody’s affirms B2 rating for Nigeria, maintains negative outlook

He, however, expressed optimism that the country will be able to quickly recover from the recession, but on the proviso that the President Buhari-led government will be ready to adjust to the structural changes which the IMF has recommended. Rewane said:

“I think the IMF projection is realistic in the sense that it’s not just Nigeria but there’s a global recession. But Nigeria in 2020 has buffers that are much less than it had in 2016 and much more less than it had in 2008. Therefore, the ability to withstand the shock, which were never anticipated at this point in time, is actually limited. To a large extent and in reality, Nigeria is in a very weak position.

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“Having said that, the IMF is looking at a quick recovery; assuming that Nigeria will make some structural changes that are more than required at this point in time.”

READ MORE: Fitch downgrades Nigeria’s IDR to “B”, says CBN’s remedial policy not enough

The Economist also commented on Moody’s latest affirmation of its negative outlook for Nigeria’s B2 long-term issuer rating, as well as the country’s senior unsecured loan rating. According to him, Moody’s and other rating agencies based their affirmations on the likelihood that Nigeria may default on its loan obligations. Considering the fact that much of Nigeria’s revenue comes from oil sales, and also bearing in mind what is happening in the global oil sector, there is a high possibility that loan defaults are inevitable for the country.

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“When you look at our dependence on oil and the sharp fall in the price of oil and the output cuts as well, you find that our revenues are very vulnerable. To that extent, there’s the likelihood that there could be a default, even though as much as it may be is what the ratings agencies have suggested. The IMF, on the other hand, is looking at the broad picture; looking at growth, looking at inflation, looking at the ability to come out of this without massive unemployment and corporate mortality,” Rewane said.

He added that the Nigerian government is taking the current economic situation very seriously and is taking the necessary actions to mitigate its impacts. On the fiscal side, the country is seeking to borrow about $6.9 billion from multilateral lenders like the World Bank and the IMF. The loan is expected to help the country to meet the fiscal gap of about $14.4 billion which has been created by the Coronavirus pandemic.

You may watch the rest of the interview by clicking here.

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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Economy & Politics

FAAC disburses N682.06 billion to 3 tiers of govt in September [Full-List]

FAAC disbursed the sum of N682.06bn to the three tiers of government in September 2020.

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States lose N35.51 billion to bail-out , FAAC disburses N650.8 billion as South-South states receive highest share

The Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) disbursed the sum of N682.06bn to the three tiers of government in September 2020. This is contained in the latest monthly FAAC report released by the National Bureau of Statistics.

According to the report, the federal allocation of N682.06bn disbursed to the three tiers (FG, States and LGAs) indicates a 1% marginal increase when compared to N676.4 billion disbursed in August 2020.

The Breakdown

A cursory look at the report showed that in September, the Federal Government received a total of N272.90bn (40%), States received a total of N197.65bn (21.6%) and Local Governments received N147.42bn (21.6%). The sum of N30.88bn (4.5%) was shared among the oil producing states as 13% derivation fund.

In addition, revenue generating agencies such as Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) received N6.66bn (1%), N13.48bn (2%) and N5.70bn (0.8%) respectively as cost of revenue collections.

Further breakdown of revenue allocation distribution to the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) revealed that the sum of N196.56bn was disbursed to the FGN consolidated revenue account; N4.78bn was disbursed as share of derivation and ecology; N2.39bn as stabilization fund; N8.03bn was for the development of natural resources; and N6.12bn to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja.

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States federal allocation rose marginally

In September 2020, allocation to states rose by 3.4% to N197.65 billion compared to N198.8 billion recorded in the previous month.

The top five states with the largest share of monthly allocation in September are Delta (N13.8 Billion), Lagos (N11.44 billion), Rivers (N11.04 billion), Akwa Ibom (10.33 billion) and Bayelsa (N8.33billion). On the other hand, the top five states at the bottom of the ranking are Ekiti (N3.8 billion), Ogun (N3.7 billion), Plateau (N3.6 billion), Osun (N3.24 billion), and Cross River (N3.23 billion).

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Key Takeaway

The federal allocation disbursed to the three tiers in September showed consistent improvement, when compared the previous months. However, this is still a short fall when compared to N740.87bn disbursed to the three tiers in the corresponding period of 2019.

The marginal growth recorded in the disbursed federal allocation may be due to the rise in revenue generation, on the back of earlier improvement in both domestic and cross border economic activities.

For states in Nigeria that largely depend on federal allocation to meet recurrent obligations, this may represent some sort of boost. However, the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic (second wave) currently emerging in some developed economies may threaten oil price (the country’s main revenue source), as industrial activities may collapse globally for the second time in the year.

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Economy & Politics

WTO: Nigeria to persuade the US to join the consensus on Okonjo-Iweala – Trade Ministry

Nigeria is making moves to reach out to the US to agreed to appoint Okonjo-Iweala as Director-General of the WTO.

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WTO, Okonjo-Iweala joins South Africa's presidential economic advisory council as nation struggles with recession, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala officially declared candidate with the largest and broadest support among members

The Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade & Investment has said that Nigeria is currently reaching out to the United States and South Korea to back the WTO preferred candidate, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, for the role of DG of WTO.

This was disclosed in a statement by the Ministry and reported by Reuters on Saturday morning.

Recall that Nairametrics reported this week that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced in a statement that Nigeria’s candidate for Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, had secured the support of the majority of the member-nations – but was yet to be declared and returned as the winner, as the United States opposed the consensus.

Nairametrics also reported this week that Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was close to being appointed as the new Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). A group of ambassadors also known as “troika” had proposed Okonjo-Iweala to lead the WTO, giving her a clear path to becoming the first woman to head the WTO since it started 25 years ago.

The U.S President, Donald Trump, blocked the appointment of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the WTO’s next DG on Wednesday, declaring support for South Korea’s Yoo Myung-hee instead.

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The Ministry said that the FG would try to persuade the United States to join the consensus, as most of the WTO’s members had agreed to appoint Okonjo-Iweala as DG.

Nigeria is currently reaching out to all members of the WTO including the United States and South Korea to overcome the impasse as well as persuade the United States to join the consensus,” the trade ministry said.

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Appointments

Dangote Sugar appoints Ravindra Singhvi as GMD/Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Ravindra Singhvi has been appointed as the substantive Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc.

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The Board of Directors of Dangote Sugar has appointed Mr. Ravindra Singhvi as substantive Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc, effective October 30, 2020.

This disclosure was made by the company in a notification of the resolution of its board meeting, to the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

The statement partly reads:

“Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc. wishes to notify the Exchange and the investing public that at the Board of Directors Meeting of the Company held today, Friday October 30, 2020, the Board approved (a) the Unaudited Financial Statement for the Quarter Ended September 30, 2020, and (b) the appointment of the current Ag. Managing Director, Mr. Ravindra Singhvi as substantive Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc. effective October 30, 2020.”

What you should know

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Prior to his new appointment, Mr Singhvi had been the ag. Managing Director of Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc since 18th June, 2019, after serving as the company’s Chief Operating Officer.

The Board’s stance on the appointment

The Board has stated that it is “confident that he is a great asset to the Company, particularly at this time when it is on a rapid growth trajectory, in view of its recent acquisition and it’s several backward integration projects (BIP) to position itself for further job creation in local plantations and factories, import substitution and deeper contribution to national economic development.”

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Mr. Singhvi is wished the very best in his endeavors.

About Mr. Ravindra Singhvi

He has over 39 years of proven experience in leadership positions in Manufacturing and Processes in Sugar, Petrochemicals, Cement, and Textiles products industries in India.

He is a Chartered Accountant with background in Company Secretarial Practice, Corporate Governance and Management, and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in B.Com (Hons) and Law(I) from the University of Jodhpur, India.

Prior to joining Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc, Mr. Singhvi had served as the Managing Director & CEO of NSL Sugar Limited, Hyderabad, India, and Managing Director, EID Parry (1) Limited, Chennai, India, one of top three sugar producing companies in India.

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