Aso Villa Reads for 4/09/18
Every day, we bring you the best stories the media is reporting about the Government of Nigeria
Premium Times reports that “the federal government has offered for subscription two-year savings bond at 11.36 per cent and three-year savings bond at 12.36 per cent, the Debt Management Office (DMO) has said. According to the offer circular obtained from the DMO website on Tuesday, the two-year bond will be due in September 2020 while the three-year bond will be due in September 2021. It, however, did not state how much was offered, but added that the maximum subscription was N50 million at N1,000 per unit, subject to minimum subscription of N5,000 and in multiples of N1,000. The circular also said that the offer would close on Friday.”
“The People’s Republic of China has identified the Abuja Light rail project as one of the successes recorded in its growing cooperation with African nations.” People’s Daily reports that this assertion was made “by Chairman, China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, Jiang Zengwei, at a world press conference ahead at the ongoing Forum on China-African Cooperation, (FOCAC). Zengwei declared that besides assisting in funding the Abuja Light rail project, China and Nigeria has exchanged technology and enrich the bilateral relationship between the most populous nation in Asia and that of the African continent. He said China’s decision to assist financially in the construction of key infrastructure is borne out of its resolve to boost its trade relationship with Nigeria. Zengwei said China will remain committed to a symbiotic relationship with the African continent denying allegations from the west that it is indirectly enslaving Africa with juicy loans.”
“As part of efforts towards ensuring transparency in the foreign exchange market, Travelex Nigeria Limited, a subsidiary of Travelex UK, in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has concluded plans to engage the Bureau De Change (BDCs) on international best practices. The engagement, which is a national seminar on best practices in the BDC segment of the foreign exchange market in Nigeria, is scheduled for September 6–7, 2018 in Lagos.” Business Day (Tuesday, 4 September, 2018, Page 4) reported that “the seminar will highlight a major cooperation between Travelex, the CBN, and financial services regulatory authorities in the Country.”
Daily Trust reports that “Nigeria’s external debt commitment rose by $11.77bn in the last three years, investigation has shown. According to debt statistics obtained from the Debt Management Office, the country’s external debt rose from $10.32bn in June 30, 2015 to $22.08bn as of June 30 this year. This means that the country’s external debt commitment has grown by 114.05 per cent in the last three years.” According to the paper, “although multilateral debt made up $10.88bn or 49.28 per cent of the country’s external debt profile, most of the increases in the last three years occurred in the area of commercial loans. According to the DMO, commercial foreign loans, which stood at $1.5bn as of June 30, 2015, had risen to $8.8bn as of June 30 2018. This means that in the last three years, the country’s exposure to commercial foreign loans has risen by $7.3bn or 486.67 per cent.”
According to Business Day (Tuesday, 4 September, 2018, Page 5), “the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) recorded over $16.98m as Ticket Sales Charge (TSC) from international airlines and another N9.16billion from local airlines in the first eight months of 2018. This is as passenger traffic in between January and August hit 2.4 million with 27, 100flights so far. The regulatory agency said it earned the sum through its recently upgraded automation system. Capt. Muhtar Usman, Director General, NCAA, revealed this over the weekend in Lagos in an interview with journalists. According to the civil aviation regulator, international passenger traffic from January to August indicated that 10 of the airlines were carrying the traffic with Ethiopian Airlines taking the lead with over 134.104, followed by Emirates with 107.217, British Airways, 86.249 and Turkish Airlines,70.392 passengers.”
“President Muhammadu Buhari says Nigeria’s partnership with China through the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) has resulted in the execution of vital infrastructure projects across the country, valued at over $5 billion. The president disclosed this in Beijing, in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu. He added that the president’s disclosure was at the FOCAC Round Table meeting, attended by African leaders and Chinese President Xi Jinping.” Premium Times reports that Shehu “quoted Mr Buhari as listing specific projects executed through the Chinese support under FOCAC in the last three years to include areas of infrastructure and human capacity development. According to the president, the Chinese support to Nigeria has also impressively addressed significant challenges in the areas of power, transport, agriculture and humanitarian assistance.”
“The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), arrived at the decision to punish MTN Nigeria and four banks for FX infractions after a pain-staking investigation spanning a period of over 30 months, Governor Godwin Emefiele of the CBN told Business Day on Monday. Speaking to Business Day (Tuesday, 4 September, 2018, Front Page) from China, the Governor said he wanted to clear the air because the matter/offences committed by the entities concerned were very weighty and had attracted global attention. He however seized the opportunity of the interview to assure both local and foreign investors that there was no need for anyone to express worries as the CBN will continue to honor all CCIs that are issued in Nigeria to support their investment. He however cautioned that it is absolutely necessary that investors must ensure that they abide by the extant laws and FX regulations governing the operations of banking business in Nigeria.
“Edo State looks set to secure the Chinese President Xi Jinping’s $60 billion financial support for Africa, which was announced at the 2018 Beijing Summit under the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in China. Jinping noted that in the next three years, China would float eight major initiatives with African countries to realise a closer China-Africa community of shared destiny. He said China was interested in industry, investment, trade, infrastructure, health, culture, environmental protection and security. Speaking, Governor Godwin Obaseki with Federal Government officials in Beijing yesterday engaged representatives of the Chinese government and China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) Limited, in discussions to secure final investment decisions and commence development of the Benin River Port project, Benin Industrial Park and Modular Refinery.” The Guardian writes.
“China will provide $60 billion in financial support to Africa, President Xi Jinping said on Monday at the opening of a major China-Africa summit. The package includes $20 billion of credit lines; $15 billion of grants, interest-free loans and concessional loans; $10 billion for a special fund; and $5 billion to support imports from Africa. The support will be provided in the form of government assistance as well as investment and financing by financial institutions and companies, Xi said in a speech carried live on state television. China will also expand its imports from Africa, especially for non-resources products, and will facilitate African financial institutions’ bond issuances in China, Xi added. Business Day (Tuesday, 4 September, 2018, Front Page) reported this.”