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Why Nigeria’s Debt Profile Is Increasing -DMO

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Why Nigeria's Debt Profile Is Increasing -DMO

Patience Oniha, the Director-General of the Debt Management Office (DMO), has revealed that Nigeria’s debt profile is increasing due to COVID-19.

In an interview with Punch where she made this known, Oniha explained that the raging infectious disease was responsible for the country’s crash revenue, hence, the need to borrow for the economy to thrive.

According to her, the rate of borrowing had started to come down until COVID-19 forced Nigeria, like many other countries, to increase its borrowing in order to buoy the economy.

In her words “The higher level of borrowing from 2015 due to the revenue crash occasioned by crude oil started trending downwards thereafter.

“Unfortunately, COVID reversed that trend. That became necessary and many countries including the UK and USA also embarked on new borrowing.

“It is not correct to say that the economic team is not concerned about how the debt will be repaid. You know that a Debt Sustainability Analysis and Medium Term Debt Strategy are done.”

The DMO boss noted that apart from the Federal Government, the states are also borrowing increasingly too.

“I am unable to comment on the ‘top-up’ at Federal Accounts Allocation Committee as the DMO is not involved in the determination of how much is shared at FAAC.

“I am not sure how His Excellency arrived at N15-16tn of total borrowings,” she added.

Meanwhile, Nigeria’s total public debt rose to N32.9 trillion at the end of December 2020, according to a statement released by the DMO in March 2021.

“Nigeria’s total public debt as of December 31, 2020, was N32.92 trillion. The figures include the debt stock of the federal and state governments, as well as, the Federal Capital Territory,” the statement read.

Due to the alarming debt profile, economists and political stakeholders have been airing their concerns, lamenting how it could affect the economy. Amongst them was Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, who stated that the country printed N60 billion to augment what the three tiers of government shared in March.

The Edo governor also expressed worry over the country’s increased borrowing, saying it was wrong to continue borrowing without a tangible plan for debt repayment.

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Economy

Why NRC Suspended Abuja-Kaduna Train Indefinitely

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Why NRC Suspends Abuja-Kaduna Train Indefinitely

The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) has suspended the Abuja-Kaduna train from resuming operations on Monday, May 23, 2022, as earlier announced.

In a statement cited by Newsrand on Friday, May 20, NRC announced that the suspension is indefinite, as no new date was communicated.

Since NRC announced that the Abuja-Kaduna train would resume three days from now, relatives of the March 28 attack on the Abuja-Kaduna train have been protesting the move, saying it is insensitive while their loved ones are in captivity.

Announcing the suspension, NRC, however, apologised and assured the families of the kidnapped victims that it was working very hard to safely rescue them.

The statement read: “In the same vein, we once again identify with the relatives of those in captivity on the account of the recent attack on AKTS to be rest assured that the Federal Government is alive to its responsibility for the safe rescue of all persons being held hostage.

We, therefore, appeal, particularly to the relatives of persons held hostage to be patient and cooperate with the Corporation and the Security Agencies as the Federal Government is exploring all possible ways and means to ensure the safe release of their loved ones from captivity, soonest.

The NRC expresses its profound gratitude to the security agencies for the continued support.”

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Business

Osinbajo Drums Support For FIRS Digitisation Agenda

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Osinbajo Drums Support For FIRS Digitisation Agenda

The Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) has been urged to support the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) in its drive towards full digitalisation of tax administrative processes.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo SAN made this call in his speech at the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria’s (CITN) 24th Annual Tax Conference held at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.

The Vice President was represented at the event by the Executive Chairman of the FIRS, Muhammad Nami who delivered the address on his behalf.

Professor Osinbajo noted that the theme for the tax conference, “Global Disruption, Taxation and Digitalisation: Implication for Socio-Economic Development” aptly captures the prevailing realities within the national and global fiscal space.

He said, “Nigeria’s economy is fast digitalising. The digitalisation of the Nigerian economy means that the ways and manners of organising and doing businesses have changed. Indeed, the radical changes brought about by digitalisation have displaced the traditional approach to tax administration. Consequently, the digitalisation of tax administration is unavoidable, that is why our government has continued to heavily invest in the automation of tax administrative processes and digital infrastructure.

He further noted that the government had provided the enabling environment for digitalised tax administration by making necessary tax policy changes, developing rules for taxation of the digital economy, enactment of required legislation, and providing necessary political backing for the team negotiating the new international tax rules for the digitalised economy.

The Vice President urged the institute to see its role in society as a pillar for the country’s socio-economic development.

The possible impact of non-compliance by taxpayers—whom you hold briefs for—on the government’s revenue and the larger society is crucial and must be given topmost priority while holding briefs for them.

In doing so, you must always bear in mind the pronouncement of the Court of Appeal in Phoenix Motors v. National Provident Fund Management Board (1993) that it is in the best interest of the society at large that government be in revenue.

It is through this prism that I see your Institute as a pillar for the socio-economic development of Nigeria and the emancipation of the downtrodden of our society. Without a doubt, your members will continue to discharge the solemn and sacred responsibility of ensuring that the interest of the larger society in Nigeria is not trodden upon; and this you must do with patriotic zeal,” he noted.

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Economy

Dollar To Naira Exchange Rate Today (Fri. May 20, 2022)

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Dollar To Naira Exchange Rate Today (Thur. May 12, 2022)

Dollar to naira, on Friday, May 20, 2022, opened at (undisclosed) at the Investors & Exporters FX window ( I&E FX Window), where the currencies officially trade.

According to the data at the FMDQ Security Exchange where forex is traded officially, dollar to naira exchange rate stood at (undisclosed).

This would mean that the Nigerian currency either gained or lose against the United States dollar, as foreign exchange (forex) trading closed at N415.12 per $1 on Thursday, May 19.

How much is dollar to naira at the black market today?

Going by sources at the Bureau De Change (BDC) in Lagos, dollar to naira was bought for N570 and sold for N586 in the black market in the state.

It is however pertinent to note that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) does not recognise the parallel market (black market), as it has directed individuals who want to engage in forex to approach their respective banks.

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