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FG unveils N348.7tn National Development Plan

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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo
  • Private sector to drive initiative with 85% contribution

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is to lead the federal government’s National Economic Development Plan (NDP) of N348.7 trillion.

The ambitious project, which some experts tagged as a “serious stimulus package if well-coordinated and executed” would be driven by the public and private sectors.

Atedo Peterside, an entrepreneur, investment banker and founder of Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc, is to serve as co-chair.

The amount earmarked for the five-year plan almost doubled Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) which was estimated at $429.42 billion (N176.315tr) as of 2020.

GDP is the total monetary or market value of all the finished goods and services produced within a country’s borders in a specific period.

The approval was announced Wednesday after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

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The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, told reporters that the new initiative replaced the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) set to elapse in December this year.

The minister said the public sector would contribute N49.7 trillion (14.3%) to the investment size, and the private sector N298.3 trillion (85.7%).

She said the plan was structured on economic growth and development, infrastructure, public administration, human capital development, social development and regional development.

According to her, the funding strategy includes broadening the tax base and expanding the capacity of the private sector through creating investment opportunities and delivering quality engagements and incentives.

She added that the plan was underpinned by a macroeconomic framework that projects average GDP growth of 5% over the plan period.

How Osinbajo, others will drive initiative

The finance minister said there will be a Development Plan Implementation Unit that would report to the National Steering Committee, which will be headed by the vice president with the minister of finance, budget and national planning as vice-chair.

The minister said the Development Plan Implementation Unit would be in the planning arm of the ministry.

Zainab said the coordination of the implementation of the plan would be carried through to ensure that MDAs, state governments, private sector operators, civil society organisations, among others, were all working in a coordinated fashion.

Speaking further, the minister of state for Budget, Clem Agba, said the governance structure of the plan would have Mr Atedo Peterside as co-chair from the private sector.

He said the National Steering Committee had 42 members comprising key ministers, representatives of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, other organs of the private sector and six governors representing the geo-political zones.

Good news but…

A financial expert, Umar Mohammed, said it was cheering news from the federal government.

“Development planning is necessary for any serious government and it is not late that we have this one. I am impressed with some of the names I heard.

“All over the world, it is public-private partnership that drives the economy. I am sure that if properly managed, the resources would reduce poverty through job creation. I also hope that the federal government will expand its tax net by tracking taxable incomes and channelling them to viable ventures.

“Similarly, investors from the private sector should be assured that their investment is secured. We should also improve security to attract direct foreign investment,” he said.

An economic commentator and lecturer at the University of Nigeria (UNN), Mr David Aku, said while development plans are great, it is the follow-through that made the difference.

“We have had so many development plans in the past in Nigeria. Can we say any of them has been followed through? I guess not. None has been followed through from the beginning to the end. So I am not excited about this economic development plan by the Buhari administration,” he said.

He said it was more worrisome when you realise that Buhari’s government had less than two years to end, adding that not much of the implementation will happen in the lifetime of this government.

The “2021 to 2025 development plan for the medium term and this government’s life ends in 2023. I don’t know how much of the implementation would happen. I am not excited really,” he said.

Daily Trust

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Oil price falls to $95 a barrel over plans to restore Iran nuclear deal

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Oil prices plunged on Tuesday amid a considerable progression in restoring Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.

Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, fell $1.3 percent to $95.31 a barrel.  

US West Texas Intermediate, on the other hand, fell $1.2 percent to $89.51. 

The agreement is expected to clear the way for Iran to boost its crude exports in a tight market.

The Iran nuclear agreement, formally known as the joint comprehensive plan of action (JCPOA), is a landmark accord reached between Iran and a group of world powers known as the P5+1 – the US, UK, France, China, Russia and Germany, in July 2015. 

Under its terms, Iran agreed to limit its nuclear activities and open its facilities to more extensive international inspections in return for the relaxing of economic sanctions. 

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In 2018, Donald Trump, former US president, pulled out of the nuclear agreement but recently efforts were renewed to restore the deal.

On Monday, the European Union put forward a “final” text to revive the deal. 

“What can be negotiated has been negotiated, and it’s now in a final text,” Josep Borrell, the bloc’s foreign policy chief, said in a tweet on Monday after the talks concluded and negotiators headed back to their nations’ capitals for consultations.

“I’m not sure traders are particularly hopeful considering how long it’s taken to get to this point and with there still reportedly being points of contention,” Craig Erlam of brokerage OANDA told Reuters. 

In Nigeria, an embattled oil sector has continued to experience dwindled crude oil production, which steadily dropped in July to an average of 1.08 million barrels per day (bpd). 

Oil theft and diminishing investments are issues the sector has to contend with. 

On Monday, Mele Kyari, group chief executive officer (GCEO), NNPC Limited, said Nigeria loses $1.9 billion monthly to crude oil theft.

The Cable

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FG moves to stop $1.9bn monthly loss to oil theft

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The Federal Government has stepped up moves to halt oil theft, costing Nigeria a monthly loss of $1.9bn, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, has said.

He said Nigeria was not meeting its production quota at the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, due to oil theft.

Sylva, who led a Federal Government delegation on anti-oil theft to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, said the team was in Asaba to seek the support and buy-in of the state government on measures to be adopted to check oil-theft in the country.

He said, “As a country, we cannot sustain this kind of theft perpetually, oil theft has become a national emergency, especially as the nation has not been able to meet its OPEC production quota.

“Our production has dropped drastically to very unsustainable levels. So, we have decided to take the bull by the horn by putting some structures in place and those structures cannot function effectively without the collaboration of the state government.”

On his part, the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, who is coordinating the security intervention against oil theft, said security agencies had been dealing with issues of illegal refineries and oil bunkering across the Niger Delta in the last five months.

Irabor advocated the engagement of indigenes and host communities in the fight against the criminal activity.

Mele Kyari, who was also part of the delegation, lamented that Nigeria was currently losing about $2 billion monthly to the activities of oil vandals, with its attendant effect on environmental degradation.

Kyari said, “As a country, we hardly meet our OPEC production quantum of 1.99 million barrels per day with our current production level of 1.4 million barrels per day, which is currently being threatened by the activities of these economic saboteurs.

“This has done extensive damage to the environment and losing 1.9 billion dollars every month is colossal, considering the nature of the global economy at the moment.”

He held that the team needed the support and buy-in of Delta State government “because stopping this oil theft requires the concerted efforts of the Federal, State Governments, oil companies and security agencies”.

In his remarks, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa advocated a review of surveillance contracts on oil facilities to involve host communities in order to check the high rate of oil theft in the country.

Okowa insisted that reviewing oil surveillance contracts based on performance of the contractors and engagement of host communities would ensure effectiveness in securing the nation’s oil and gas assets.

While admitting that the challenge of oil-theft was huge, given the level it had assumed, the governor expressed joy with the steps being taken by the authorities to curb the menace.

He said: “I am glad that we are discussing this hydra-headed issue which impacts directly on our economy and the environment.

“It impacts on the health of the people and sustainability of the environment and I am glad that we are taking some steps because there are so many issues that led us to this.

“We went through situations where gaps where created between host communities and oil companies, and unfortunately criminality set in.

“It has gone so bad but we are doing our best as a state. I am also glad about this collaboration,’’ pointing out that it was often difficult to secure the facilities, especially when the persons given the contracts did not have adequate information on the environment or not have the buy-in of host communities.

“We know that the impact of the nefarious activities on the health of the people cannot be immediately ascertained, and this collaboration is, therefore, very imperative.

“Any measure that will deliberately reduce the level of oil thefts is definitely worth supporting, and as a state government, we pledge our continued support.

“Why investment of the communities is needed is because there are some parts of the creeks that cannot be accessed by the surveillance contractor. Therefore, surveillance contracts should not be such that communities are not involved.

“The surveillance contracts should be tied to performance such that when there are oil thefts you terminate the contract and it is always good that communities are involved because they know the environment better”.

The governor berated oil companies for not keeping faith with their Memorandum of Understanding, MOUs, thereby making the stakeholders to lose confidence in the system.

He explained that when oil companies failed to sign or implement MoUs, “it becomes very difficult for the state government to mediate when there are issues.

“The security agencies must heighten their operations and they need to be resourced to enable them to also increase their level of surveillance and for this to succeed, there must be sincerity on the part of all stakeholders.

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We are not auctioning 7,000 cars – Customs

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The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has dismissed a report that it is planning a special auction of over 7,000 cars.

The Public Relations Officer of Customs, Deputy Comptroller Timi Bomodi, made this known in a statement signed on behalf of the Comptroller General of Customs in Abuja.

He urged Nigerians to always refer to the electronic auction (e-auction) platform (https://app.trade.gov.ng/eauction/) for authentic information concerning auction.

According to him, the e-auction remains the only authentic means of auctioning goods to members of the public.

“Auctions are periodic and advertised in advance on our website to avail the public the opportunity of selecting and bidding for items of their choice.

“It will be recalled that the service deployed the e-auction platform in July 2017 to improve efficiency in revenue generation to the federal government.

“It was also deployed to provide equal opportunities to all Nigerians in the seamless disposal of seized and condemned, and overtime and abandoned cargoes.

“Since its implementation, the e-auction has lived up to expectations by guaranteeing transparency and integrity in the auctioning process,” Bomodi said.

The spokesperson said that the requirements to take part in the e-auction bidding process by interested members of the public were clear.

He said that applicants must process valid Tax Identification Number (TIN), issued by Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), with an active e-mail account.

Bomodi added that the conditions and terms of auction must be carefully considered by an interested person before acceptance.

Bomodi further said an applicant must have an authentic and nationally accepted means of identification.

He explained that those means of identification include international passport, driver’s licence, national identity card or voter card.

He referred the public to the service’s e-auction portal at https://app.trade.gov.ng/eauction/ for further guidelines.

Bomodi used the opportunity to call on owners of vehicles at the various ports to avail themselves of the VIN-Valuation protocols to clear them.

He said the clearance procedure had been simplified, automated and made more user-friendly.

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