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African free trade will boost development of manufacturing in Nigeria – NEPC

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African free trade will boost development of manufacturing in Nigeria - NEPC, Head of States at African Continental Free Trade Agreement

The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) says that the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) will serve as a catalyst for industrialization and development of the manufacturing sector in Nigeria.

This was disclosed by the NEPC Director Export Trade, Mr. Sidi-Aliyu Abdulahhi on Thursday at the AfCFTA Sensitization Seminar organized by the National Action Committee of the implementation of the agreement.

Explore the Nairametrics Research Website for Economic and Financial Data

Mr. Abdulahhi said the AfCFTA is the largest free trade area since the WTO (in terms of countries participating) and will cover a market of 1.3 billion customers which would be beneficial for Nigerian producers. The trade agreements will promote infrastructural development for easy transportation of goods and services across the continent.

The liberation of trade in Africa will strengthen Nigerian SMEs for regional trade and be a catalyst for extending operations outside Africa. “The AfCFTA will promote diversification of the economy from extractive products like oil and minerals to non-oil products that were previously underutilized,” Abdulahhi added.

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READ: Nigeria’s export earnings dropped to $13.39 billion in April due to COVID-19 – CBN

He disclosed that AfCFTA stakeholders are currently working to develop a digital framework to support an e-commerce platform to enable member nations to trade safely in the midst of the pandemic.

On challenges facing the implementation, he urged the need to conduct a gap analysis on the readiness of Nigeria to AfCFTA, for a successful implementation.

READ: FEC approves $1.96 billion for Kano-Niger Republic railway

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He said the implementation constraints primarily lies with the government while the private sector may experience capacity constraints.

Other challenges will include high-interest rates, unreliable power supply, inadequate power supply, ease of doing business environment and SME  capacity development for the requirements to participate in regional and global value chains.

READ: The opportunities in Africa’s $100 billion infrastructure deficit

He urged for the institutional framework to address rule of origin of goods and also technical barriers to trade SPS through the implementation of verification mechanisms.

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READ: AfCFTA: Nigeria not ready for restrictive Rule of Origin

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Economy & Politics

FG receives N144 billion in dividends from NLNG in 2020

NLNG, paid the Federal Government a dividend of N188 billion in the fiscal year ended December 2020.

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LNG

Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas Company, NLNG, paid the Federal Government a dividend of N144 billion in the fiscal year ended December 2020.

This is according to the information contained in the Ministry of Finance Budget implementation report for the period of January 2020 to December 2020 and presented by the Minister for Finance Dr. Zainab Ahmed.

During the year, the Federal Government budgeted a sum of N80.3 billion as its share of dividends from NLNG, however, the actual sum received as its share was N144 billion, N63.2 billion more or 79% higher than projected.

The year 2020 was a difficult year for the government as the fall in crude oil prices and the economic shutdown that was triggered by the Covid-19 Pandemic dented projections and ravaged revenues.

READ:  NLNG says Train 7 project will surge production capacity to 30 million MPTA 

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NLNG Dividend Bliss

The dividend received from NLNG was a major bright spot in the government’s revenue performance for the year.

  • During the year, the government projected revenue of N5.36 trillion but only received N3.9 trillion in revenues representing a shortfall of N1.4 trillion or 27% for the year.
  • The huge dividend windfall received in 2020 is a stark contrast from 2017 when Nigeria just exited a recession triggered by falling oil prices and a sharp exchange rate devaluation.
  • In that year, the Federal Government’s share of dividends from Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) dropped by as much as $687 million, from $1.04 billion in 2015 to $365 million in 2016, a 65% drop.
  • The N144 billion received in 2020 topped the amount received from signature bonuses only N78.2 billion and complimented the N192 billion received by VAT.
  • It is the most effective form of revenue generation for the government.

READ: NLNG signs 10 year sales deal with Eni

NLNG Controversies

Back in July Nairametrics reported that the House of Representatives planned to investigate the alleged illegal withdrawal of $1.05 billion from the NLNG account by NNPC without its knowledge and appropriation.

  • They had accused the NNPC of illegally tampering with the funds at the NLNG dividends account to the tune of 1.05 billion dollars thereby violating the nation’s appropriation law.
  • NLNG is a company jointly owned by Nigerian owned NNPC(49%), Shell (25.6%), Total (15%), and ENI (10.4%).
  • The company is located in Bonny Island and has six trains with a total capacity to process 22 million tonnes of LNG a year and as much as 5 million tonnes of natural gas liquids.
  • NLNG currently accounts for about 7% of the total LNG supply in the world. Nigeria is ranked as the 4th exporter of Natural Gas in the world.

READ: NLNG signs supply agreement with Galp Trading SA

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Upshots: The FG is targeting a revenue of N208 billion from NLNG as dividends in 2021. If this materializes, it will be a significant payout in dividend (in naira terms) competing with the N238.4 billion expected from VAT.

  • Important to note that the recent devaluation of the naira will increase the naira value of dividends and other government revenue, as it did in 2020.
  • The government also targets N6.6 trillion in revenue for the period under review.

Updated: An earlier version of this article captured the dividend as N188 billion instead of N144 billion. It has now been corrected. 

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Coronavirus

COVID-19 Update in Nigeria

On the 16th of January 2021, 1,598 new confirmed cases and 7 deaths were recorded in Nigeria

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The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continues to record significant increases as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 108,943 confirmed cases.

On the 16th of January 2021, 1,598 new confirmed cases and 7 deaths were recorded in Nigeria.

To date, 108,943 cases have been confirmed, 85,367 cases have been discharged and 1,420 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 1.13 million tests have been carried out as of January 16th, 2021 compared to 1.03 million tests a day earlier.

COVID-19 Case Updates- 16th January 2021,

  • Total Number of Cases – 108,943
  • Total Number Discharged – 85,367
  • Total Deaths – 1,420
  • Total Tests Carried out – 1,135,535

According to the NCDC, the 1,598 new cases were reported from 24 states- Lagos (461), FCT (206), Plateau (197), Rivers (168), Kaduna (116), Anambra (53), Ogun (49), Ebonyi (47), Edo (42), Sokoto (32), Imo (31), Katsina (31), Oyo (30), Akwa Ibom (27), Delta (16), Kano (16), Abia (15), Niger (15), Ondo (11), Bayelsa (10), Borno (9), Kebbi (8), Ekiti (7), Jigawa (1).

Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 39,723, followed by Abuja (14,544), Plateau (6,617), Kaduna (6,121),  Oyo (4,679), Rivers (4,382), Edo (3,246), Ogun (2,831), Kano (2,577), Delta (2,102), Ondo (2,070), Katsina (1,723), Enugu (1,583), Kwara (1,566), Gombe (1,489), Nasarawa (1,269), Ebonyi (1,206), Osun (1,186),  Abia (1,129), and Bauchi (1,107).

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Borno State has recorded 859 cases, Imo (841), Sokoto (677), Benue (653), Akwa Ibom (615), Bayelsa (608), Niger (547), Adamawa (540), Anambra (513), Ekiti (466), Jigawa (425), Taraba (258), Kebbi (248), Yobe (207), Cross River (169),  Zamfara (162), while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases only.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Western diplomats warn of disease explosion, poor handling by government

Lock Down and Curfew

In a move to combat the spread of the pandemic disease, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days, which took effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.

The movement restriction, which was extended by another two weeks period, has been partially put on hold with some businesses commencing operations from May 4. On April 27th, 2020, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari declared an overnight curfew from 8 pm to 6 am across the country, as part of new measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19. This comes along with the phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos, and Ogun States, which took effect from Saturday, 2nd May 2020, at 9 am.

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On Monday, 29th June 2020 the federal government extended the second phase of the eased lockdown by 4 weeks and approved interstate movement outside curfew hours with effect from July 1, 2020. Also, on Monday 27th July 2020, the federal government extended the second phase of eased lockdown by an additional one week.

On Thursday, 6th August 2020 the federal government through the secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 announced the extension of the second phase of eased lockdown by another four (4) weeks.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State announced the closed down of the Eti-Osa Isolation Centre, with effect from Friday, 31st July 2020. He also mentioned that the Agidingbi Isolation Centre would also be closed and the patients relocated to a large capacity centre.

Due to the increased number of covid-19 cases in Nigeria, the Nigerian government ordered the reopening of Isolation and treatment centres in the country on Thursday, 10th December 2020.

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READ ALSO: Bill Gates says Trump’s WHO funding suspension is dangerous

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Economy & Politics

Uganda Elections: Museveni re-elected for 6th term with 58.6% of the votes

Uganda’s President Museveni has won a 6th term in office as the opposition alleges wide-scale rigging.

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The President of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni, has been re-elected as President, gathering 5.85 million votes compared to 3.48 million votes by main opposition leader, Robert Kyagulanyi, a.k.a Bobi Wine.

According to Reuters, this victory represents 58.6% of the vote cast while Bobi Wine got 34.8%

Bobi Wine announced that the election results show this is the most fraudulent election in the history of Uganda and urged his followers to reject the result.

What you should know

  • Yoweri Museveni, aged 76, has been President of the East African nation since 1986.
  • Bobi Wine claimed via his official Twitter handle that military men jumped over his fence and took control of his home yesterday.

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