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Fuel subsidy a threat to Nigeria’s survival – World Bank

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The World Bank has raised the alarm that Nigeria is facing an existential threat should it continue to pay trillions of naira on fuel subsidy in the face of dwindling revenue inflow.

The international financial institution warned that if the country failed focus on other areas to boost its revenue, the already low revenue would continue to drop.

It noted that despite the rise in the price of oil in the international market, Nigeria had not reaped the benefits because of the huge amount spent on fuel subsidy.

The Senior Public Sector Specialist, Domestic Resource Mobilisation, at the World Bank, Mr Rajul Awasthi, made the submissions at a virtual pre-summit, with the theme ‘Critical Tax Reforms for Shared Prosperity’, organised by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group on Wednesday.

Awasthi explained that between 2015 and 2019, Nigeria’s non-oil revenues were among the lowest in the world and as a result the second lowest in spending, and that oil revenues were also falling even when oil prices were higher.

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He stated, “Nigeria has the largest economy in Africa and the largest country in Africa by population, so it is critical to Africa’s progress. There is no doubt about that. But the government of Nigeria, from the public finance perspective, is really facing an existential threat. Let’s not downplay the situation. That is the actual reality.”

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, said recently that the Federal Government might spend a whopping N6.72tn as fuel subsidy in 2023.

Also, the minister had consistently said the nation was facing revenue problems, compelling the FG to keep borrowing.

The debt stock had risen to N41.6tn in the first quarter of 2022 with projections that it could peak at N45tn by the end of the year.

Nigeria is rated the fifth among the World Bank’s debtors, with $11.7bn debt stock as of June 30, 2021.

The minister also disclosed a few weeks ago that about 119 per cent of the country’s revenue was spent on debt servicing.

This implies that government has to borrow to meet its debt financing obligations.

The virtual event, anchored by the PwC’s Fiscal Policy Partner and Thematic Lead, NESG Fiscal Policy and Planning Thematic Group, Mr Taiwo Oyedele, was attended by several stakeholders, including the representative of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria and the Executive Secretary of the Joint Tax Board, Mrs Nana-Aisha Obomeghie.

Business

FG sues Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta over adverts, demands N30bn

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Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta

The Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON) has said it filed a lawsuit at the Federal High Court, Abuja against Meta Platforms Incorporated (owners of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp) and its agent AT3 Resources Limited.

The country’s apex advertising governing agency revealed on Tuesday that the advertisements on Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp in the Nigerian markets are not vetted and approved by the federal government.

ARCON then asserted that such continued unscrutinised adverts and other publications emanating from Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta-owned social media platforms are illegal, unlawful and a violation of the extant advertising Law in Nigeria, thus seeking N30 billion for punitive damages.

It revealed this in a statement titled “ARCON sues Meta platforms incorporated, seeks N30b in sanction and penalties.”

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The statement read:  “The Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON) has instituted a suit against Meta Platforms Incorporated (owners of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp platforms) and its agent AT3 Resources Limited at the Federal High Court, Abuja Judicial Division.

“ARCON is seeking declaration among others that the continued publication and exposure of various advertisements directed at the Nigerian market through Facebook and Instagram platforms by Meta Platforms Incorporated without ensuring same is vetted and approved before exposure is illegal, unlawful and a violation of the extant advertising Law in Nigeria.

“ARCON stated that Meta Platforms Incorporated’s continued exposure of unvetted adverts has also led to a loss of revenue to the Federal Government.

“ARCON is seeking N30b in sanction for the violation of the advertising laws and for loss of revenue as a result of Meta Incorporated’s continued exposure of unapproved adverts on its platforms.

“ARCON reiterate that it would not permit unethical and irresponsible advertising on the Nigeria’s advertising space.

“ARCON further stated that it’s not regulating the online media space but rather advertisement, advertising and marketing communications on the online platforms in line with its establishment Act.”

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NNPC declares over 100% profit in one year, with N674bn for 2021

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited recorded a profit after tax (PAT) of N674 billion for the year ended 2021.
This is more than 100 per cent profit over the N287bn declared in the previous year (2020).

The Group Chief Executive Officer, NNPC Limited, Mele Kyari,  disclosed this at a briefing on Tuesday.

He said, “Today, I’m happy to announce that the Board of NNPC has approved 2021 audited financial statements & NNPC has progressed to a new performance level, from N287bn profit in 2020 to N674bn profit after tax in 2021, climbing higher by 134.8% YoY profit growth.”

The 2021 financial year made it the fourth consecutive year that the NNPC will be opening its book for public scrutiny.

In 2018, when the NNPC first made account statement public, it reported a loss of N803.9bn.

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GM raises production of electric vehicles, repositions Chevrolet Bolt

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General Motors Company says said it is increasing its electric vehicle assembly plans, raising production of the EV Chevrolet Bolt and other vehicles.

GM reported its highest quarterly sales of the Chevrolet Bolt EV and Bolt EUV, which totalled 14,709 vehicles. Bolt sales are down by 11 per cent for the first nine months of the year compared to the same period last year.

In June, GM said it would sharply cut Bolt prices after it halted sales for six months following a battery recall.

Autoblog reported the GM as saying on Monday it would specifically boost Bolt production for global markets to more than 70,000 in 2023 from about 44,000 vehicles this year.

Bolt sales in 2021 hit a record annual high of 24,828 vehicles.

The largest US automaker said it was moving up body shop upgrades at its Detroit Factory ZERO for Silverado EV production in 2023 and taking other steps to prepare.

GM will suspend the production of the GMC HUMMER EV pickup for several weeks starting in late November to prepare for that production jump, it said.

Cadillac Lyriq production will increase in the fourth quarter and GM plans additional production shifts for GMC Hummer EVs in 2023, it said.

The automaker stated that its 2023 EV launches, including the Chevrolet Silverado EV, Chevrolet Blazer EV and Chevrolet Equinox EV, were on schedule.

GM’s EV sales are still a small fraction of US sales. Out of 1.65 million US vehicles sold in the first nine months of the year, GM sold 22,012 Bolts, 782 Hummer EV pickups and 36 Lyriq SUVs.

GM and LG Energy Solution’s joint venture Ultium Cells LLC is considering a site in Indiana for a fourth $2.4 billion US battery cell manufacturing plant, the venture said in August.

 

-Autoblog

 

 

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