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Nigerian press focuses on Nigeria’s N28 trillion public debt portfolio, drop in govt. revenue

Nigeria's N28 trillion public debt portfolio and drop in government revenue are some of the leading stories in Nigerian newspapers…

Nigeria’s N28 trillion public debt portfolio and drop in government revenue are some of the leading stories in Nigerian newspapers on Wednesday.The Sun newspaper reports that the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has put Nigeria’s total public debt portfolio at N28.63 trillion with Lagos State accounting for 10.8 percent of total domestic debt stock while Yobe State has the least debt stock in this category with 0.7 percent.

According to the document published in its website, the figure which is for both the state and the Federal Government includes N4.11 trillion domestic debt allocated to states and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) whilst N9.99 trillion or 34.89 percent of the debt is external, with N18.64 trillion or 65.11 percent of the debt is domestic.

“Nigerian states and federal debt stock data as at March 31, 2020 showed that total public debt portfolio stood at N28.63 trillion.

A further disaggregation of Nigeria’s total public debt showed that N9.99 trillion or 34.89 percent of the debt was external while N18.64 trillion or 65.11 percent of the debt is domestic.

ThisDay says that Nigeria’s federally-collected revenue fell by 11.3 percent to N845.14 billion in February, compared with the N952.49 billion recorded the previous month, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said.

The CBN, in its monthly economic report for February that was posted on its website yesterday, noted that at N845.14 billion, the estimated federally-collected revenue (gross) in February also fell below the monthly budget estimate of N1.246 trillion by 32.2 per cent.

The underperformance relative to the monthly budget estimate was attributed to shortfalls in both oil and non-oil revenues.

A breakdown of the report showed that oil receipts, at N496.63 billion or 58.8 per cent of total revenue was below the monthly budget estimate of N798.83 billion and the preceding month’s receipt of N556.82 billion, by 37.8 percent and 10.8 percent, respectively.

The newspaper also says that Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) has called on the federal government to suspend all increases in taxation and tariffs until the economy recovers from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The association made this call in its Quarterly Economic Review report for the second quarter of the year 2020. While commending the recent decision to suspend the proposed hike in electricity tariff, ABCON urged that the same decision should be extended to proposed increases in taxation and tariffs, stressing that shortfalls in the budget as a result of the suspension should be covered with COVID-19 related donations.

“Most importantly, government should as a major policy during this COVID-19 recovery period suspend any imposition or increase in taxation instead such shortfalls that might have emerged between national budget adjustments and expenditures should be covered by various financial support to COVID-19 from foreign and local contributors.

The Punch says that the Federal Government on Tuesday announced that the runway of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu would be ready for use on August 30, 2020.

On August 24, 2019, the government through the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, closed the airport for the rehabilitation of its runway and the provision of airfield lighting.

But speaking at the facility on Tuesday, Nigeria’s Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, declared that construction work at had been completed by about 95 percent.

In his address at the airport, which was made available to our correspondent in Abuja by the Director, Public Affairs, Federal Ministry of Aviation, James Oduadu, the minister said the initial plan was to complete the project earlier than August 2020.

The newspaper also reports that the Senate on Tuesday urged the Federal Ministry of Transportation to prioritise the commencement of the rehabilitation and concession agreement for the Eastern railway corridor.

The Senate resolution followed the consideration of a motion on the “urgent need to resuscitate and reactivate the rehabilitation and concession of the Eastern Rail Line Project”.

The motion was sponsored by the Chief Whip of the Senate, who is also the representative of the Abia North Senatorial District, Orji Kalu, and co-sponsored by 102 other senators.

The upper chamber also mandated its Committee on Land Transport to interface with the relevant federal ministries and agencies to facilitate the commencement of the Eastern corridor.

The Nation newspaper says that the shareholders of Dangote Sugar Refinery (DSR) Plc have approved the creation of three billion new ordinary shares of 50 kobo each to increase the authorised share capital of the sugar company from N6 billion to N7.5 billion.

At their extra-ordinary general meeting in Lagos, shareholders approved resolutions increasing the authorised share capital of DSR N6 billion of 12 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each to N7.5 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each through creation of three billion new ordinary shares of 50 kobo each.

The shareholders also authorised the change in the memorandum of association of the company to reflect the new increased share capital. The company also effected many changes in its memorandum of association to comply with increasing digitisation and automation of messages and meetings.

With the approvals by the shareholders, written resolutions given by letter or electronic mail purporting to have been initialed by or signed by a director shall be assumed to have been so initialed or signed.