The Nigerian government’s drive for N18 trillion revenue and the concerns raised by stakeholders over the rising debt profile of the government are the leading stories in Nigerian newspapers on Friday.ThisDay reports that Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, has said the federal government has identified new revenue initiatives that can fetch it between N13 trillion and N18 trillion from both oil and non-oil revenue sources.
This, according to her, will be done under the federal government’s Strategic Revenue Growth Initiative (SRGI) that was
She also emphasised the commitment of the government to the achievement of the 15 percent revenue-to-GDP target by 2023.
Ahmed said during a web conference with the theme: “Leveraging Data to Drive Inclusive Policy, Revenue Generation and Improved Governance,” organised by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in collaboration with Softcom, that the country’s revenue to GDP stood at eight percent since 2018.
The Punch says that the Manufacturers with factories situated in industrial clusters around Apapa, Epe and Badagry Expressway have expressed concerns over the closure of the third mainland bridge on Friday.
The manufacturers under the aegis of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Apapa Branch, in a statement on Thursday, said alternative roads for commuters were in a state of partial closure.
The Chairman, MAN, Apapa Branch, Frank Onyebu, appealed to the government to delay commencement of work on the Third Mainland Bridge until some of the alternative access routes had been completed and opened to traffic.
He identified the closed alternative routes to include Eko bridge and Apapa bridge.
The newspaper reports that stakeholders in the Nigerian economy have expressed worry over the capacity of the country to service its rising debt profile.
In an interview with the newspaper, the Director-General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dr. Muda Yusuf, said the growing national debt was a cause for concern.
The debt profile grew by 127 percent from N12.6tn in 2015 to N28.6tn as of the end of March 2020.
Yusuf said although 14.3 percent of the debts were debts owed by the state governments and the Federal Capital Territory, there was cause for worry, adding that the capacity to service the current stock of debt raises serious sustainability concerns.
The Vanguard reports that the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, has declared Friday July 31 as Eid-el-Kabir Sallah day and urged Muslims to observe prayers in mosques.
Abubakar, who is also the President General Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), made the call in a statement signed by Prof. Sambo Junaidu, Chairman Advisory Committee on Religious Affairs, Sultanate Council issued to newsmen on Thursday in Sokoto.
The statement reads: “In view of the current situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Sultan hereby advises all District Heads and Imams in Sokoto State, to observe Eid prayers at their Juma’at Mosques.
“This, in their respective towns and villages and not at Eid Grounds. Also the Muslim Communities throughout the country to do same to help curb the spread of COVID-19 pandemic in the country.”
The Sun says that fish farmers, under the aegis of Fisheries Cooperative Federation of Nigeria, has solicited the support of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Nigeria Incentive-based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Landing (NIRSAL) to boost production, especially as COVID-19 hardship bites harder.
Its acting National Secretary, Usman Shettima, who recently spoke at the opening of fish market in Abuja, noted that the pandemic and rising insecurity, have led to the high cost of fish feeds.
He said: “COVID-19 has affected our business. Our people are finding it difficult to go to the farm. They are finding it difficult to market and transport our goods even if they have it.
The northeast produce fish a lot but because of insecurity and movement restriction it has affected us a lot.
The newspaper reports that the Ebonyi State Government in south-eastern Nigeria has warned that the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) that the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) is not for those they called ‘political farmers.
The Chief of Staff, Ebonyi State Government House, Chief Okechukwu Nwakpu, stated this at a sensitization programme organised by the apex bank in collaboration with NIRSAL in Abakaliki, for poultry, piggery and fishery farmers.
Nwakpu, who is facilitator of the Poultry Farmers’ Association Anchor Borrowers Value Chain Programme, explained that the event attracted by the state Governor, Chief David Umahi, was to prepare the farmers towards benefitting from the programme.
Nwakpu explained that the initiative was in line with the state government’s plan towards developing the agricultural sector, especially as it concerns livestock production; stating that the campaign would be taken to all the 13 council areas where the farmers would be visited in their various localities.
The Daily Trust says that Travel agencies in the country have renewed their call to the Federal Government to reopen the nation’s airports for international operations to avoid the collapse of the downstream sector of the aviation industry.
There is still uncertainty over the resumption of international flights four months after the suspension by the government to contain the spread of COVID-19.
On Tuesday, there was confusion in the industry over a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) issued by the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) announcing the extension of international flights’ ban till October.
This triggered commotion, especially among the travel agents, who are already suffering huge losses due to the flight ban and looking forward to the lifting of the ban.