Everyday, we bring you the best stories the media is reporting about the Government of Nigeria

“The Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) said the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has approved compensation via loans for over 550,000, rice farmers affected by the 2018 flood disaster. The RIFAN National President, Aminu Goronyo, on January 9th, in Abuja told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the CBN governor had directed the loans should be restructured for a period of four years. “Instead of paying the loan three instalments within a year, the loan will be restructured to be paid within four years now and be paid by instalments.’’ Mr Goronyo said only the affected farmers under the RIFAN/CBN/ ABP model programme would benefit from the ‘compensation’.” Premium Times reported that the RIFAN National President “said the resolution was an outcome of a meeting with the Director, Developing Finances of CBN and RIFAN executive. He said that RIFAN only championed the case of affected farmers under its care but expressed the hope that all the registered farmers under the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) that were affected would benefit from it. Mr Goroyo said the bank had also directed that a fresh loan should be given to the affected farmers so that they could go back to the field and recover their losses.”

Guardian reports that “the National Bureau of Statistics said the country yearly inflation dropped to 11.37 per cent in January, down from the seven-month high it reached in December, at 11.44 per cent. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has had a running battle taming inflation numbers in nearly two years, with a mix of interest rate hike and foreign exchange management. By analysts’ estimates, the efforts have been largely successful.” The report continued: “However, the ongoing electioneering may have something contrary for the assessed monetary policy successes by reason of the alleged monetisation of voters’ interests, long standing investors’ confidence crisis and ensuing economic management issues.Basic economics holds that increases in the money supply, arising from autonomous sources, government spending and foreign demand and growth, are naturally inflationary, ultimately pulling prices higher.”

“The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has through its letter dated 15 February 2019 directed banks to suspend its lien on bank accounts of alleged tax defaulters for a period of 30 days with immediate effect. The directive became necessary to allow the affected large number of taxpayers with frozen bank accounts to regularize their tax positions and alleviate the inconveniences they are going through. This is a welcome development as the suspension should allow the banks to notify their customers of the directive so that they can engage with the FIRS to resolve their outstanding tax issues, and enable a positive outcome for all the parties. While it is doubtful that the 30-day window would be sufficient to resolve the disputes involving the acknowledged large number of affected taxpayers, it is a positive response by the FIRS to complaints from taxpayers and other stakeholders, and a demonstration of its willingness to engage with them when occasions demand.” Pro Share Ng reported that “it is expected that the FIRS will use the opportunity of the break to refine the process of exercising its statutory power of substitution in a manner that respects taxpayers’ rights and ensures that the sanctity of bank-customer relationship is not jeopardized. Doing this will repair any damage that might have been done, and thereby revamp the credibility of the Nigerian tax system and restore investors’ confidence in the economy.”

“President Muhammadu Buhari has warned potential troublemakers to stay away from ballot boxes on February 23. At an emergency caucus meeting of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abuja on Monday morning, the president warned that anyone who foments trouble, especially by carrying ballot boxes, would be doing so at the “expense of his life”. Premium Times reported that the President “made the statement after reprimanding the Independent National Electoral Commission for postponing the general elections from February 16 to 23. The president repeated that he gave INEC all necessary support to ensure a smooth exercise, but the electoral body still displayed “incompetence” and failed to let Nigerians go to the poll as originally scheduled. Electoral chiefs cited widespread logistics mishaps for the “painful” postponement, and promised everything would be in order before the new date of February 23 for presidential and federal parliamentary elections. Statewide elections would now hold on March 9, from the initial March 2.”

Daily Trust reports that “the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has directed all Distribution Companies (DisCos) to complete the enumeration of their customers by March 31, 2019. The Commission also urged all electricity consumers to cooperate with the DisCos in this exercise within the 42 day period that is left from today. In a publication directed at the DisCos, NERC said: “This is very important and it is in the interest of consumers as it would improve metering and help DisCos to respond to electricity issues quickly.” The Commission said the enumeration when completed will help to promote easy metering of existing and new customers, improve the accuracy of billing, and to improve the quality of supply and quicker fault response time.””

“Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Emmanuel Kachikwu, disclosed that the Federal Government had recovered no less than N1.2 trillion in unpaid royalty from crude oil sales, following the Ministry’s automation initiatives.With some oil firms yet to remit their royalty to the Federal Government at the expiration of the statutory deadline, the Minister said such firms may lose their licences if they failed to make remittances within the extended timeline. Having generated $1.5 billion from renewal of licences, Kachikwu said the Ministry is speeding up licensing procedure in Nigeria, by taking away the discretionary parameters of directors as well as creating a platform for the resolution of issues that may arise.” According to Guardian, “addressing journalists on the Crude Oil and LNG Tracking (COLT) and other automation initiatives embarked upon by the Ministry through the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Kachikwu explained that the automation of many of the processes in the crude oil value chain has aided tracking of revenue by the government”.

“A step for attaining sufficiency in domestic gas supply was taken by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) (last week) Wednesday. The corporation took the Final Investment Decision (FID) on the 4.3 trillion cubic feet Assa North/Ohaji South Fields development. The field located in oil mining lease (OML 21) is operated by NNPC and its Joint Venture partners, namely Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), Total Exploration and Production Nigeria (TEPNG) and Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC). NNPC spokesperson, Ndu Ughamadu, said the project, when fully developed, would add about 600 million standard cubic feet of gas per day (mmscfd) to the national gas grid. The field can expand to about 1.2 billion cubic feet per day, with another 197 million barrel (mmstb) of condensate realised. The Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Maikanti Baru, described the Assa project as a critical gas supply hub in Nigeria’s burgeoning gas-infrastructure network designed to provide the linkage between the Eastern, Western and Northern gas pipeline system.” This is according to Premium Times.

According to Daily Trust “President Muhammadu Buhari has said that any politician that decides to sponsor political thugs to cause trouble or to snatch ballot boxes in the rescheduled elections will be doing so at great risk. The President read the riot act at the All Progressives Congress (APC) emergency National Caucus meeting on Monday in Abuja at the party’s national secretariat. He stressed that security operatives had been ordered to deal with any such persons ruthlessly. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the APC caucus meeting was called by the party’s national leadership to discuss matters arising from the postponement of the earlier scheduled Feb.16, Presidential and National Assembly elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).” The report explained that “the APC caucus is a statutory organ of the party, and it is chaired by President Buhari. Its members include the Vice President and all the party’s former and serving governors and members of its National Working Committee (NWC), among others. “Anybody who decides to snatch ballot boxes or be a thug, will be dealt with ruthlessly,” President Buhari said.”