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BUSINESS & ECONOMY

May 29: Blighted By COVID-19, Inflation, Subsidy, Nigeria’s Economy Wobbles

Although the second term of President Muhammadu Buhari started with a glimpse of hope, recent developments have poured cold water on such hope.

After the 2019 general election which signaled continuity of the Buhari administration, there were expectations that the fleeing foreign investors as well as the new ones will flood the country’s economic space.

A form of stability returned to the economy, but the insecurity bred by insurgency, bandits’ attacks and kidnapping, among others, cast doubt on any optimism that the business operating environment is now conducive for local and foreign businesses.

These are joined by harsh operating environment, galloping inflation, high food cost, low disposable income, insecurity, unemployment, the heavy cost of subsidizing the premium motor spirit (fuel) and the lockdown occasioned by the outbreak of the deadly Covid-19 pandemic – all posing serious hurdles to Nigeria’s economic stability.

Nigeria’s economy entered a recession in 2020, reversing three years of recovery, due to fall in crude oil prices on account of falling global demand and containment measures to fight the spread of COVID–19. The containment measures mainly affected aviation, tourism, hospitality, restaurants, manufacturing, and trade.

Nigeria pumped $8.5 billion as fiscal stimulus package bailout funds to assists citizenry and businesses cope with the ripple effect of Covid-19 pandemic on economies across the continent in 2020.

The package provides support to the three groups that bear most of the brunt from the crisis – healthcare industry, small and medium-scale businesses (SMEs), and the vulnerable.

Contraction in these sectors, according to African Development Bank (AfDB), offset demand-driven expansion in financial and information and communications technology sectors.

Nigeria’s overall real GDP was estimated by the bank to have shrunk by 3% in 2020, although mitigating measures in the Economic Sustainability Programme (ESP) prevented the decline from being much worse.

Inflation rose to 12.8% in 2020 from 11.4% in 2019, fueled by higher food prices due to constraints on domestic supplies and the pass-through effects of an exchange rate premium that widened to about 24%. The removal of fuel subsidies and an increase in electricity tariffs added further to inflationary pressures.

The fiscal deficit, financed mostly by domestic and foreign borrowing, widened to 5.2% in 2020 from 4.3% in 2019, reflecting pandemic-related spending pressures and revenue shortfalls.

Towards the end of the year, the #EndSARS protests nationwide left the country bleeding as several national and state assets including private properties were destroyed by hoodlums who hijacked their earlier peaceful protest. It left the country needing trillions of hair to replace the damaged assets at a time the country was battling recession.

Nigeria and four other African countries were granted $43.4billion as fiscal stimulus package bailout funds to assist their respective citizenry and businesses cope with the ripple effect of Covid-19 pandemic on economies across the continent in 2020.

However, Nigeria’s GDP grew by 0.51 per cent year-on-year in real terms in the first quarter of 2021, making it two consecutive quarters of growth following the negative growth rates recorded in the second and third quarters of 2020.

The Q1 2021 growth rate was slower than the 1.87 per cent growth rate recorded in first quarter of 2020, higher than 0.11 per cent recorded in the last quarter of 2020, indicative of a slow but continuous recovery.

Latest data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) show that quarter on quarter, real GDP grew at 13.93 per cent in Q1 2021 compared to Q4 2020, reflecting a generally slower pace of economic activities at the start of the year.

Aviation

Following the incursion of a Covid-19 pandemic into the shores of the country, the national lockdown and its impact on businesses last year, the federal government approved and disbursed N5billion as bailout for airline operators and other business owners in the aviation sector to cushion the effects of COVID-19 on the Nigerian aviation industry.

N4 billion was approved as a bailout for airline operators, while N1 billion was approved for other business owners in the aviation sector, with the federal government saying a new national carrier is expected to commence operation by the first quarter of 2022.

Sirika explained that the new national carrier was long overdue and the private sector-run airline will be in operation by early 2022, with possibly cheaper rates.

Also, in the last one year, new airlines are emerging in Nigeria to take care of the low capacity in the air transport industry.

A new airline, United Nigeria Airlines, took to the sky. Green Africa Airways is set to hit the sky in June 2020 why NG Eagle and Binani Air are queuing for Air Operator Certificate (AOC).

 

Maritime

Finding lasting solution to the Apapa gridlock had been one of the challenges of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, but in February this year, as part of efforts aimed at finding a permanent solution to the problem of truck congestion around Apapa and its environs, the authority announced the commencement of Eto, the Electronic Truck call-up system designed for the management of truck movement and access to and from the Lagos Ports Complex and the Tin Can Island Ports, Apapa, Lagos.

According to NPA, All trucks doing business at the ports were required to park at the approved truck parks until they are called up into the port through the Eto app.

Therefore, since the launch, all transporters, trucks owners and truck drivers have been accessing the Apapa and Tin-Can Island port through the app. Though, the initiative firstly experienced teething problems the authority has planned to fine-tune the initiative to achieve desired result.

Also, in the last one year, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has put finishing touches to put an end to pirate activities on the nation’s coastal waters and the Gulf of Guinea (GoG)

NIMASA director-general, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, said piracy will no longer be allowed to thrive as the assets acquisition and installation phase of the Deep Blue Project moved towards completion and set to be launched before the start of third quarter.

Last year, immediately economic activities resumed after the lockdown, the federal government took a bold step to protest indiscriminate charges by multinational shipping firms, who have continued to slam huge surcharges on Nigerian-bound cargoes.

The surcharge about 400 per cent increase from the regular charges, according to stakeholders, would cripple industries, claim jobs, and shrink revenue accruable to the government.

 

Capital Market

The 22 years of uninterrupted democracy in Nigeria has earned the country enormous goodwill as one of the few stable democracies in Africa.  The economy has benefited from this goodwill as investors are generally more comfortable with a democratic environment.

The Nigerian capital market, despite its high volatility in the last two years, has performed well under the present administration. The Exchange was fully demutualised this year. Demutualisation of the NSE is pivotal in that it creates new strategic opportunities that will enable the Group realise its vision of becoming Africa’s leading capital market infrastructure provider.

Reviewing market activities from January 2019 to May 27, 2021 showed that the market capitalisation went up by N8.109 trillion to close on May 27 at N19.830 trillion from N11.721 trillion in December 31, 2018. Also, the All-Share Index rose by 21.04 per cent to close at 38,044.58 points from 31,430.50 at which it opened trading for the year 2019.

The founder of Tradelines DotBiz Investment Limited, Mr Tunde Jeariogbe, said, the journey to making the Nigerian capital market one of the largest, most liquid, most diversified and most sophisticated emerging markets by 2025 as envisioned by the Capital Market Master Plan (CMMP) seems very far, saying that the market is still shallow and yet to be properly positioned to support Nigeria’s economic priorities.

 

Going Forward

Speaking on Nigeria’s democracy, the director-general of Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Muda Yusuf said that Nigeria is marking the longest stretch of uninterrupted democracy in its history, saying it is worthy celebration.

He, however, noted that a strong and virile economy is critical for a sustainable democracy, noting that worsening poverty poses a great deal of risk to the democratic process and the security of the nation.

He pointed out that a strong economy driven by the private sector is fundamental to the building of strong democratic structures and processes.

“This is, therefore, the time to reflect on the critical gaps in our democratic structures and processes as well as our economic architecture.

“The political leadership at all levels should rededicate themselves to the creation of enabling environment for private sector development with emphasis on the streamlining the democratic structures for cost effectiveness and better economics,” he said.

Others, he said “Reduction in cost of doing business through the provision of critical economic infrastructures; creation of a level playing field for all economic players; tackling corruption at all levels and spheres of the polity.

“Strengthening macroeconomic fundamentals of the Nigerian economy; promotion of transparency and accountability in the conduct of government business; strengthening of national institutions; promotion of inclusiveness and engagement in the democratic process; and development of human capital.”

 

Kaduna IGR, Debts, Minimum Wage

As states battle for survival amidst economic crisis facing the country, Kaduna State is not left out, though the government said it has developed strategies to keep governance alive.

 

Internally Generated Revenue (IGR)

According to officials, Kaduna State under governor Nasir el-Rufai has over the years witnessed a consistent rise in IGR; from N13.6 billion in 2015 to N23 billion in 2016, representing a 69.8 per cent growth.

Official statistics further showed that the Kaduna’s IGR also increased to N26.9 billion in 2017 and to N29.4 billion in 2018.

Executive chairman of Kaduna State Internal Revenue Service (KADIRS), Dr. Zaid Abubakar, said the agency generated IGR of N44. 2 billion in 2019 for the first time, surpassing the N41.7 targeted for the year.

KADIRS further said it targets to generate N60 billion for 2021.

 

Kaduna’s Debt Profile

A former senator who represented Kaduna Central zone, Shehu Sani, revealed why he rejected a loan request of $350 million for Kaduna State: “My state is indebted to the tune of about $225 million, the second most indebted state in the country and you tell me to approve another loan of $350 million,” he said.

The $350 million World Bank loan was later approved by the National Assembly.

 

Minimum Wage

Meanwhile, Kaduna State Government, was the first to start paying civil servants N30,000 minimum wage in September 2019, just as it also increased the pension to the minimum wage of N30,000 for every pensioner.

 

However, despite Kaduna State government running battle with the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, over the sacking of some civil servants and political appointees, Governor el-Rufai said his administration will continue with the payment of minimum wage to workers.

 

El-Rufai’s Promises

In his second term, governor Nasir El-Rufai promised to vigorously improve health, education, agricultural and other sectors as well as continue with his administration’s Urban Renewal Programme. To back his promises with action, el-Rufai has aggressively embarked on construction and rehabilitation of roads, primary health centres, primary and secondary schools across the state. The governor has also pulled down many markets across the state for reconstruction. Some residents welcomed the governor’s developmental strides with mixed feelings as some businesses affected as a result of demolition.

Enugu State

Since the ongoing rapid fall in the price of crude oil, Enugu State under the administration of Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has continued to pay attention to ways of improving its IGR.

According to a recent report, Enugu was among the top 10 states in the federation with the best IGR of about  N31,069,466,913.00 (N31bn)  in 2019.

Although Enugu State is among the states with the least FAAC  amount from 1999 to date,  the state’s robust IGR growth has been a consistent  since 2015 that Ugwuanyi took over the mantle of leadership.

The governor, since the inception of office, seen diversification of revenue as an imperative and alternative means of devoting the state.

The giant stride was achieved without an increased tax burden on the people and businesses.

It was once declared that Ugwuanyi’s  commitment had propelled Enugu to Nigeria’s second best performing state on Ease of Starting a Business because he reduced the tax burden on people.

As part of efforts to tackle unemployment, the revamped the Enugu SME Centre.

The development led to the centre’s training of over 35,000 MSME owners and budding entrepreneurs since inception to date.

As part of efforts to boast commerce, the governor established the  Enugu State Traders Empowerment programme which  has far empowered over 2400 traders with N50,000 each through a raffle open to all MSMEs in 54 local markets in the state .

Our investigations revealed that despite the harsh economic environment in the country Ugwuanyi has been consistent in the payment of the N30,000 minimum wage.

Akwa Ibom State

 Economic activities:

Akwa Ibom State is a predominantly civil service state with the government being the major engine of growth.

The state is the highest oil producing state in the country,  recording  504,000 barrels per day, which is 31.4% of the total oil produced in Nigeria per day.

The government has diversified the state economy along the lines of new industries, Aviation, mechanized agriculture, and tourism

This is typified by the Ibom Rice, King’s flour mills, coconut oil industry, metering company and the 5-star Ibom Meridien Hotel and Resort, and world class golf course.

IGR:

The state generated N32.29 billion in 2019 and N240.0 billion in 2020.

The state IGR is decreasing partly because of the impact of Covid-19.

Domestic Loan Profile:

A/Ibom domestic Loan profile stood at   N48bn in 2019, N38.1bn in 2020.

The loans were obtained from commercial banks with high-interest rates.

According to a  Civil  Society Organization in the  State, Policy Alert,  substantial  part  of the loans were  spent on the Coconut Refinery Project and the 21-Storey Intelligent  Building Project

 

Minimum wage:

Akwa Ibom pays the approved N30,000  as minimum wage to  workers

 

Aviation:

The state government has been focusing attention on the development of the Victor Attah International Airport in Uyo, to bring it up to the standard at which it would take advantage of its strategic location as a Nigerian gateway to the Gulf of Guinea to help drive the state’s economy. A major feature of this development is the ongoing building of a new terminal to serve the growing number of passengers that pass through the airport, and to give it the capacity to handle international operations.

Last year, Akwa Ibom state became the first state government-owned Airline in Africa after launching services with three Bombardier aircraft.

The state has established a good number of industries through Public-Private Partnership

 

Imo State

The Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma has not hidden his intention to work assiduously for the development of the State and take same to greater heights.

The governor eager to hit the ground running rolled out three cardinal programmes encapsulated in the 3R mantra of his administration, namely Rehabilitation, Reconstruction and Recovery.

To display the  willingness of the administration in placing structures on the ground, road construction of massive magnitude is ongoing in the three Zones of the State. Okigwe, Orlu and Owerri Zones are all wearing a new look as a result of the massive infrastructural development.

In his quest to display the seriousness of his administration, the governor embarked on a reform of the civil service which saw to the physical rehabilitation of the state secretariat, provision of water and power supply, and provision of official cars for permanent secretaries and free buses for civil servants.

Aware of the debilitating effect of corruption in the payroll system, the governor carried out a staff audit of the civil service and pensioners and introduced automation of government financial services. A total of N2billion was saved monthly from the exercise.

The state revenue base continues to increase from an initial monthly N3 billion to N4.5 billion monthly.

However, this administration has put in place mechanism to borrow the sum of N10 billion aimed at augmenting the funds for dualization of Owerri-Okigwe road and Owerri-Orlu road respectively.

Conversely, a whopping debt portfolio of N169.7 billion hangs on the neck of the State government, thereby showcasing the State as one of the highest debtors in the country.

Consequently, Uzodinma moved quickly to address the sorry state of the roads neglected by past administrations. As of today, a total of 57 road projects have been embarked upon by Uzodinma. Out of these, 8 have been completed and commissioned, 25 are nearing completion while the rest are ongoing, including the dualization of Okigwe, Owerri road and Owerri Orlu road respectively, valued to cost N65billion.

Governor Uzodinma had seen the need to empower the youth to end restiveness and criminality. At the last count, no fewer than 10,000 youths have undergone skills acquisition programme and empowered by the administration. N6billlion has been set aside for that purpose.

The governor also rehabilitated the moribund Adapalm Nig ltd, thus creating jobs for Imo youths and stimulating the state’s economy. Through his network of connection, Senator Uzodinma attracted the establishment of a modular refinery in the state, with the attendant employment and economic benefits to the state.

Statistics Shows A Decline In Benue IGR

According to the analysis of debt profile of the Nigerian States based on the data obtained from Debt Management office (DMO) in 2019, Benue State has a domestic debt stock of N116 billion.

According to the analysis, the State generated N17. 85 billion as IGR.

In 2020, according to information Published by the National Bureau for statistics, Benue State was one among the States that recorded a high year-on- year decline of 41.38 per cent.

According to the analysis of debt profile of the Nigerian states based on the data obtained from DMO in 2019, Benue State has a Domestic debt stock of N116 billion.

According to the analysis, the State generated N17. 85 billion as IGR.

In 2020, according to information Published by the National Bureau for statistics, Benue State was one among the States that recorded a high year-on- year decline of 41.38 per cent

Governor Simon Lalong has signed a number of MoUs with both local and foreign partners to resuscitate moribund government owned industries such Jos International Brewery, BARC Farms, Rebuilding of the burnt Jos Terminus market and the Zaria road Olympic size stadium  among others which have remain comatose for a very long time.

Jos International Breweries PLC JIB is the former producer of Rock and Class Larger beer. The company also produced Royal Malt

The State Government remits N600 million every month from its allocation from the federation account.

However, it was alleged that the irredeemable standing payment order for the funding of the Lalongs legacy projects, as evidenced by the contract agreement, is for a duration of seven (7) years commencing from 2018, a period exceeding beyond the lifespan of the Lalongs administration.

Investigation by our correspondent revealed that a contract was signed between the State government through the ministry of Finance and Abuja based Bleneson Services Nigeria Limited -for the construction of 22 Lalong legacy projects (8 Model Primary Schools, 6 Model Secondary Schools and 6 Model Hospitals in Plateau State) at a sum of N59Billion before it was rescoped.

Governor Lalong while addressing newsmen in Jos said they discovered that the contractor was slow, “to cut the matter short we have given him a letter of termination.  I want to assure the people  of Plateau State that  we would finish all the legacy projects  before the end of our administration.”

In addition the African Development Bank (AfDB) and Federal Ministry of Finance has signed a loan of $11.2 million for the benefit of Plateau State . Of this loan, 70% is being committed to Infrastructure, 20% for Capacity Building and 10% for Project Management. Disbursement of the loan to Contractors and Consultants and  is paid directly by the AfDB under strict guidelines that are set by the bank.

Again the Plateau State House of Assembly approved a N1 billion loan from Fidelity Bank Plc for the state government to complete an ultra-modern stadium in the state in 2018.

Anambra Annual IGR Hits N27billion

The Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Anambra state, Mr. C. Don Adinuba has said that the states Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) has been on tremendous improvement since the inauguration of the incumbent Governor Willie Obiano administration seven years ago.

He told LEADERSHIP WEEKEND exclusively that the IGR two years ago hit N26billion and increased to N27billion last year.

“We generated N26billion from internal revenue source two years ago, and, the amount increased to N27billion last year. The amount would have been higher but for the restrictions imposed on commercial and social activities for the control of COVID-19 pandemic. What this means is that our state monthly IGR is more than N2billion.

The monthly IGR of Anambra state, when Obiano administration was inaugurated for the first tenure seven years ago LEADERSHIP WEEKEND learnt, was about N500million.

Mr. Adinuba also stated that the state government is implementing the National Minimum Wage of N30,000 for the civil servants.

But, chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in the state, Comrade Jerry Nnubia told this reporter that Mr. Adinuba’s claim that the government is paying minimum wage to workers is not true.

He, rather stated that the NLC would soon engage the state government on the issue, saying that the labour leadership only kept quiet over the issue because the obvious constraints of the state finances due to COVI-19 restrictions.

The information Commissioner stated further that except the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) current loan of about  N2billion to the state for agricultural development the incumbent administration in the state has not taken any other loan, but, has been servicing the ones it inherited.

He stated that the initial CBN agricultural loan to the state was N1.5billion, it, that the apex bank currently increased it to N2billion because of the excellent performance of the initial N1.5billion.

He stated that the CBN agric loan is being managed by the State Small Business Agency (ASBA).

They present administration of Chief Willie Obiano in Anambra state has not borrowed a kobo since its inauguration in office. Instead the administration has been managing the loan it inherited in coming into office by paying the interests regularly.

Mr. Adinuba had on various occasions stated that the state government did not borrow even a kobo to build the state international cargo/passenger airport located at Umueri, Anambra East local government area of the state.

He stated that besides the N8billion earmarked in the 2020 state budget for the Anambra state Cargo/Passenger International Airport, and, the N500million in the current state budget, the state government has not deployed any other money to the construction of the airport which the test run was done successfully about three weeks ago with two aircrafts belonging to Air Peace Airline and a private helicopter landing and taking off safely at the new airport site.

Jigawa State

Jigawa state is one of the state in the federation with high rate of poverty, out of school children and other related indices that manifest social and economic challenges.

Successive governments in the state had made efforts to liberate the state from these challenges and make it  a reference point for infrastructures and human capital development in the country.

Since his inception in to office in 2015 and his subsequent reelection in 2019 to date Governor Muhammad Abubakar of Jiigawa state  did not initiate or secure any internal or external loan with the exception of bailout distributed by Central Bank of Nigeria.

Even though all effort to get internal and external debt profile of the state was abortive, it was confirmed that the state had secured a loan from Islamic Development Bank in 2020.

The state had succeeded in boosting its internally generated revenue from N2.3 billion in 2015 to N8.9 billion in 2019 and N20.1 billion in 2020.

To achieve poverty eradication and wealth creation, over 152,593 benefited from various empowerment program by the state government that cut across various sector included, Agriculture, Artisanship, Transport, and Commerce.

By recognising civil servants as engine room for propelling and implementing government policy , Jigawa state  approved and implement implemented N30,000 minimum wage in 2019 and it keep the payment up to date despite economic  downturn in the country.

Also the state maintained timely payment of pension gratuity, death benefit and other related workers’ entitlements.  The sum  of ,N27.8 billion was expended  between 2015 to 2020 on the payment of these entitlement.

In the area of infrastructure the state had completed the construction of 1,537.15  kilometer roads from 2015-2020/this included Regional roads, Feeder roads and township roads  while 19 new road projects with total distance of 230.25km was awarded at the cost of N25.5 billion in 2019/2020.

In the Education sector the state has recruited 1,363 teachers for Basic Education and 500/for senior secondary schools between 2015_2020 and it approved for the recruitment of 4,000 temporary teachers under J- teach program in 2021 and the recruitment exercise has already commenced.

The state had constructed 1,975 new classroom and renovated 4,704. It also provided 186,086 set of three-seater students’ furniture and  6,963  for teachers,  constructed 254 teachers house  all in  Basic education , and 516 classroom for Islamiyya and Tsanhaya schools .183 new classroom was constructed in Senior secondary schools, 26,716  three seated students seat were also procured between 2015-2020. While over N7 billion Intervention projects was attracted for nthe state own Higher institution.

N5.6  billion was spent as a scholarship for 72,201  state indigenous students including N1.4 billion in 2018, N1.4 in 2019  and 1.2 in 2020.

In the Health sector,  Jigawa state government has spent over N14.4 billion for Infrastructure between 2015-2020, ningt tincluded  the constitution of 83 new Basic Primary Healthcare Facilities, 1 infectious disease centre,  2 new specialist hospitals and 9 new general hospitals. 750 health workers were also recruited including Doctors Nurses and Midwives.

The state had also achieved the provision of potable drinking water to over 87% of its population according to UNICEF 2020 report

Delta State

The Governor lfeanyi Okowa administration took off in 2015 amidst paucity of funds occasioned by the dwindling price of crude oil in the international market and the state government high fiscal exposure with a monthly repayment of over N4billion to financial institutions and advances from the federal government.

By last year, the State Government said it got IGR of N30.5 billion from January to June 2020.

In line with the promise made to the people since 2019, Governor lfeanyi Okowa initiated five-point agenda called The SMART Agenda: Strategic Wealth Creation Projects and Provision of Jobs for all Deltans, Meaningful Peace Building Platforms aimed at Political/Social Stability, Agricultural Reforms and Accelerated industrialization, Relevant Health and Education Policies and Transformed Environment Through Massive Urban Renewal.

The established Delta State Capital Territory Development Authority, and followed it up with Warri, Uvwie and Environs Development Authority. Since the agency has embarked on the repair of dilapidated roads and undertaken construction of mega Storm Water Control measures in Warri Areas. There was also intervention in road infrastructure through Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, and Delta State Direct Labour Agency.

In order to guarantee the durability and quality of the roads constructed across the state, by contractors, legal instrument were initiated by the state government with a view to implementing a two-year Defect Liability Clause in all road contracts agreement which seek to hold the contractor liable for repairs of any defect on a project within two years of its completion.

Under the job creation scheme, more than 8,000 persons have so far benefitted in the Skills Training Entrepreneurship Programme, STEP, and the Youth Agricultural Entrepreneurship Programme, YAGEP.

Some achievements in the health sector recently include Asaba Central Hospital, renovation/Remodeling of the Clinical building at the Delta State University Teaching Hospital, Oghara, (on-going), construction of 80-bed ward at the Delta State University Teaching Hospital, Oghara (completed), comprehensive rehabilitation six Central hospitals: Central hospitals Agbor, Kwale,Ughelli, Oleh, Warri, and Sapele with the view to improve the quality of services rendered to patients particularly enrollees of the Contributory health Scheme (completed), Control of various outbreaks such as gastroenteritis, Lassa fever and COVID-19, promoting Primary Health Care Under One Roof by establishing Local Health Authorities in all 25 LGAs etc.

 

Bauchi State

By Haruna Mohammed, Bauchi

During his swearing-in ceremony at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium, Governor Bala Mohammed informed the people of Bauchi State that he inherited a debt of N96 billion from the previous administrations.

Governor Bala further claimed that the immediate past administration incurred an additional N40 billion to round the figure to N136 billion.

“The unfortunate impact of this is that debt servicing will now significantly encroach on funds and short-change our cash flow. It means we shall be compelled to seek financial support for an ambitious economic recovery plan; the difference however is that for every naira we attract, there shall be a commensurate return on investment,” Mohammed was reported to have said.

Records available from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) show that in the year 2020, Bauchi state’s IGR stood at N12.50 billion, representing 0.96 percent.

The governor said the state government deliberately allocated a ratio of 40:60 of the budget to recurrent and capital expenditures to ensure development.

Mr Abubakar said the recurrent revenue estimate of N17.14 billion would be generated from IGR and N108.39 billion as statutory allocation.

In the 2021 budget, the state government projected N24.85 billion as IGR out of the total budget of N213.9 billion.

Checks on the website of the Debt Management Office (DMO) indicated that external debt of Bauchi state as of 31 December 2019 stood at USD133,895, 440.95 while domestic debt stood at N101,423,864,254.87 only.

According to the DMO, the 2020 external debt under multilateral as of December 31, 2020, is USD134,910,555.23 while domestic debt stood at N102, 817,667,316.63.

Going by the above two figures, it is clear that external debt under multilateral witnessed an increase of USD 1,015,114.28 while domestic debt witnessed an increase of N1,393,803,061.76

Efforts to reach the Commissioner of Budget and Economic Planning in the state to shade more light on the current state of Bauchi’s IGR and how it is being put to use were unsuccessful as his mobile phone number has not been going through, while a text message sent to him has not received any response at the time of filing this report.

Our correspondent who visited his office on Wednesday and Thursday found out that he was away for an official engagement.

Cross River State

RICHARD NDOMA, Calabar

When the present administration came on board for the second term, which had ushered him in as governor in 2015, a lot wasn’t all that achieved in the first tenure because of series of court cases suffered by the 2019 administration from political opponents.

Cross River state is one of the  states in the country with a poverty index that stood at 36.3%.To mitigate this problem, the governor granted tax relief to low income earners, so that to prevent the poverty index from impacting negatively on other businesses in the state.

On agriculture, which is known to be a main-stay of economy of the state, small holders schemes have been given to small scale farmers.  The state government through its Special Adviser Cocoa Development and control, Dr. Oscar Ofuka made available millions of seedlings in form of cocoa nursery to cocoa farmers as an intervention  in that sector.  With the seedlings distributed last year to farmers, a vast acres of cocoa plantations which had become moribund would again be brought back to life. All these would boost production of cocoa cash crop a development that helps in reviving and creating a boost to the economy of the state.

Education. In educational sector, government is constructing a multi-million naira British-Canadian International school in Obudu, which according to officials of state government, upon completion, will cause a boost in the educational sector.

In the area of health, the state governor has built and renovated several primary health centres across the three senatorial districts of the state.

The state governor has introduced the use of drones to enable medical personnel distribute particularly vaccines to hard-to-reach area to take care of the health care need of residents of the state who are at hinterland.

With the help of the world bank and certain international donor agencies in collaboration with the state ministry of international development cooperation has exploited one of its components which is called cash transfer to very low income earners like artisans and several underprivileged persons to step down the poverty index which was identified as hitting 36.3% in Cross River State.

Beneficiaries of that package received N10,000 each every two months. Through that initiative a number of unemployed youths were trained in various areas of entrepreneurship and given starter packs of up to N150, 000 each to enable begin their small and medium scale enterprises. The reason that this would help them become self-reliant rather than roam the streets of the city to look for jobs that hardly exist.

When LEADERSHIP Weekend visited the Acting Auditor General of the State, Mr. John Odey to find out what the internally generated revenue IGR of the state is, he declined and said, ‘We don’t give out information like that to the media, except you go and write an official letter to us before we can attend to you.”

On the  issue of whether the Cross River state government has implemented the N30,000 minimum wage,  a labour leader Comrade Godwin Otei, said no.

Attempt to get information concerning the loan portfolio of Cross River State failed as the director general of Due process office, Barr. Alphonsus Eba refused to grant audience to our correspondent who visited his office.

The industrialisation policy where the Calabar garment factory, Rice City, Ultra-modern Rice Processing factory in Ogoja and the cocoa processing factories, the Feed Mill, and others are attestation to the fact that industrialisation drive was a fulfilment of his campaign promise.

Areas the Cross River state governor spent on in building of industries include the Calabar Garment factory where over 3,000 widows and young persons had been employed.

Through whatever had been borrowed, the state governor has channeled that into the construction of many industries, which include Calapharm, Calachika, Ekori Tooth pick factory, the British Canadian International Model school, renovation and building of  new  Primary Health care delivery Centres across the 18 LGAs of the state to cater for the health care need of residents of the state.

Taraba State

By John Mkom, Jalingo

The IGR in Taraba state has increase within the last two years of Governor Darius Ishaku’s second term from N6,533,106,447.27 when the governor won his second term in office on 2019 to N8.114,973,143.1bn in 2021.

This was achieved through blockage of revenue leakages and new innovation introduced by the management within the two years.

 

Ekiti State 

By Alo Abiola, Ado Ekiti

Like many other states of the federation, Ekiti state has been experiencing economic fluctuation in the last two years.

The present government in the state, led by Dr Kayode Fayemi came to power in October, 2018 with a five pillars of development agenda to transform the state.

The internally generated revenue (IGR) of the state about three years ago was said to be around N350 million monthly, but the state is now generating N700 million per month with the plan to increase it to N1.2 billion.

The state government began the implementation of the N30,000 new minimum wage for workers of grade level 01 to 07 in January 2020.

The consequential adjustments of the minimum wage was later effected for senior category of workers.

Few weeks ago, the state government suspended the new minimum wage consequential adjustment until the state’s finances improve.

The governor who said the state government needs to cut over N680 million expenses per month to survive the current economic crises.

What is spent or borrowed to develop all sectors as well as loan portfolio of the state is not available as of the time of filing this report.

The government is making efforts at impacting the lives of the people in all sectors and diversify the economy, as tremendous success has been recorded in Agriculture sector.

The 40-year old moribund Ikun Dairy farm has been resuscitated in partnership with Promassidor Limited with assistance from the Central Bank and is estimated to attract over $5million investment with 10,000 litres daily production of milk.

Also, the largest snail farm in Africa, Farmkonnect, with annual production of 3.6 million snails with slime extraction, was recently commissioned at Egbeja snail village, Oke-Imesi Ekiti.

Several other agribusinesses and agro-allied industries are at various stages of completion – in cassava, cocoa, oil-palm, forestry, and aquaculture and livestock management. Ekiti Rice Pyramid Project was also launched in the state to provide job for no fewer than 12,000 farmers

Rivers State

By Anayo Onukwugha, Port Harcourt

While the Rivers State government recorded the sum of N140.4bn IGR in 2019, it decreased to N117.1bn in 2020 mainly due to Covid-19 crisis.

In the area of payment of minimum wage, the Rivers State government officially commenced the payment of the N30,000 minimum wage to civil servants in the state in January 2021.

The loan portfolio of Rivers State could not be ascertained but the last loan request of Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, which was approved by the State House of Assembly, was N18 billion in November 2020.

The Wike-led administration has so far fulfilled its promises in the area of infrastructure, security, education and health sectors.

These can be seen through the massive construction of nine flyover projects in Port Harcourt metropolis, road infrastructure in rural communities in the states, as well as the renovation of existing hospitals and schools as well as the construction of new ones.

 

PMB Recording Giant Strides To Make Nigerians Proud—Presidency

By Jonathan Nda- Isaiah

However, despite all the economic hardship faced by the citizens, the residential spokesman, Femi Adesina said from infrastructure, to finance, education, healthcare, sports, anti-corruption, human development, housing, oil and gas, foreign relations, and many others, the Administration is recording giant strides, enough to make Nigerians proud.

“That is, those who are dispassionate and fair-minded, not beclouded by political partisanship and undue cynicism,” he said.

“Some people claim: we don’t see what they are doing. We don’t hear about it. Well, here it is. A Fact Sheet, a report card on the Buhari Administration, just a bit of the success, as the milestone of six years is attained.

“As it is said, the past is but a story told. The future may yet be written in gold. When the Administration breasts the tape in another two years, by the grace of God, the applause will be resounding, even from the worst of skeptics. Facts are undeniable and always remain so. They are stubborn things.”

SOURCE; https://leadership.ng/may-29-blighted-by-covid-19-inflation-subsidy-nigerias-economy-wobbles/

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