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Excess crude account depleted by N6.48tn in seven years



In seven years, the Federal Government withdrew the sum of N6.48tn from the Excess Crude Account meant for the ‘rainy day’. However, within the same period, only N4.7tn was transferred into the account; IFEANYI ONUBA reports.

Between January 2012 and December 2018, the Federal Government withdrew a whopping sum of N6.48tn from the Excess Crude Account, statistics obtained from the Ministry of Finance have revealed.

The ECA, which was created by former President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2004 for the purpose of saving oil revenue in excess of the budgeted benchmark, had a balance of $20bn in January 2009.

But persistent demand by states to fund various programmes and the inability of the Federal Government to generate adequate revenue to fund its operation had put pressure on it to draw down the account.

An analysis of the account showed that while N6.48tn was the total outflows from the ECA in seven years, the government was able to transfer N4.73tn into the account in six years.

A further analysis of the withdrawal showed that in 2012, the account recorded total outflow of N2.07tn. Out of this amount, the sum of N1.39tn was used to augment revenue distribution among the three tiers of government.

Similarly, the sum of N483bn was used for fuel subsidy payment while N190.58bn was transferred to special intervention fund.

For the 2013 fiscal period, the sum of N1.99tn was taken out of the account by the Federal Government.

Out of this N1.99tn, about N1.08tn was withdrawn to augment revenue shortfall to the three tiers of government, while N505bn and N405.63bn were used for fuel subsidy payment and special intervention fund, respectively.

For 2014, the account was drawn down by N927.33bn. From this amount, N400.23bn went for fuel subsidy; N303.56bn for revenue augmentation and N223.54bn went into special intervention fund.

In the 2015 fiscal period, the Federal Government gave approval for the withdrawal of N458.14bn from the ECA. From this amount, N359.39bn went into petroleum subsidy payment; N98.19bn was used for revenue augmentation to the three tiers of government.

For the 2016 fiscal period, the Federal Government withdrew the sum of N85.17bn to augment revenue to the three tiers of government, while the sum of N76.25bn was transferred to the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority in 2017.

The Federal Government withdrew the sum of $2.87bn from the Excess Crude Account in the 2018 fiscal year, documents obtained from the Budget Office of the Federation revealed.

The document, which was obtained on Friday in Abuja, showed the amount was used to settle various obligations of the Federal Government.

The withdrawal for 2018 is significantly higher than the $250m taken in the 2017 period by about $2.62bn.

Based on the analysis of the figures from the Budget Office, the sum of $1.76bn was withdrawn in the fourth quarter of 2018 by the government for the Paris Club refund to state governments.

The $1.76bn represents about 61 per cent of the entire $2.87bn withdrawn during the 12-month period.

A further analysis of the figures showed that the sum of $496.37m was approved by President Muhammadu Buhari and withdrawn for the purchase of Super Tucano Aircraft.

The withdrawal of the amount, according to the Budget Office, was made in the first quarter of 2018.

Similarly, the President gave approval that the sum of $380.51m be withdrawn for the first batch of procurement of critical equipment for the Nigerian Army, Navy and Defence Intelligence Agency.

The withdrawal of the $380.51m according to the document was made in the fourth quarter of 2018.

In the same vein, the Federal Government also gave approval that the sum of $233.29m be withdrawn for states matching grant to the Universal Basic Education Commission.

The amount was taken out of the ECA in the fourth quarter of 2018.

The account also incurred bank charges of $122.23 during the 12-month period.

In terms of inflows, the ECA recorded deposit of N2.31tn in 2012, N855.41bn in 2013, N796.7bn in 2014, N48.94bn in 2015, N242.72bn in 2016, N151.54bn in 2017 and $1.08bn or N329.4bn in 2018.

The inflows of $1.08bn came in through two major sources. They are transfers made to excess crude oil account in the sum of $1.06bn while the balance of $22.18m came in through accrued interest on fund investment.

However, the total inflow of $1.08bn for 2018 was significantly higher than the $151.54m received in 2017 by $928.46m.

The Registrar, Chartered Institute of Finance and Control, Mr Godwin Eohoi, said that the country’s over dependence on oil had been having a lot of pressure on the ECA.

He said since the country had comparative advantage in many sectors of the economy, there was a need to come up with deliberate policies that would improve non-oil revenue.

He said, “We have so much depended on oil to the extent that it is hurting our economy and this shouldn’t be the case.

“Nigeria would have been one of the greatest countries if we had effectively managed our resources. We have so many resources especially in the agricultural sector.”

Eohoi said for the sole reason that crude oil sales would give quick money, attention was shifted to the sector, adding that this shouldn’t have happened.


AfDB, GGBI partner to strengthen Africa’s green bond market



The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group, has signed a declaration with the coalition of development finance institutions to promote green bond markets in Africa.

AfDB’s Group Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Ms Hassatou N’Sele, said this in a statement issued on the bank’s website.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Africa’s engagement in the green bond market currently represents less than one per cent of the more than 2.2 trillion dollar community green bond issued in 2022.

N’Sele said the institutions in the Global Green Bond Initiative (GGBI) comprised the European Investment Bank,  European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and Italy’s Cassa Depositi e Prestiti.

Others are the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation, Green Climate Fund and Germany’s KfW development bank, while PROPARCO of the AFD Group act as consortium of European development finance institutions.

The AfDB’s chief financial officer signed the declaration with representatives of the coalitions’ institutions on the sidelines of the 2023 UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

N’Sele said the engagement was to tap from the Global Green Bond Initiative technical assistance programme announced by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in June 2023.

”The Initiative will help private capital flow from institutional investors into climate and environmental projects in EU partner countries, increasing their access to capital.

”Providing technical assistance to green bond issuers in emerging markets and developing economies (EMDEs), and crowding in private investors through a dedicated de-risked fund.

”This will act as an anchor investor in green bonds issued in EMDEs.

“The anticipated impact can be up to 15-20 billion euro in green investments,” she said.

N’Sele said the partners supported the origination of green bonds, development and identification of pipelines of green projects, and the development of credible and coherent green bond frameworks.

“This joint declaration among us to collaborate on technical assistance on green bonds in Africa is our commitment to work together and it is significant and impactful.

”There cannot be impactful development in Africa without vibrant local capital markets,” the AfDB official said.

N’Sele highlighted the AfDB’s engagements in the green bond market, including issuing over 10 billion dollar worth of green and social bbondsin 2022 to support sustainable progress across Africa.

“Let’s help Africa fully leverage the power of green bonds, and we can contribute together towards a sustainable future for Africans,” she said.

Mr Stefano Signore of the European Commission’s partnerships directorate, described the partnership with the AfDB as an important milestone in efforts to mobilise green bonds in emerging developing economies.

Also, representative of the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) expressed hope that the partnership would contribute to the intensification of climate and environmentally relevant projects.

”We hope to also contribute to pipelines that can set off the mobilisation of the global green bond initiative.” 

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NIS opens passport office in Ikorodu



The Comptroller- General of Nigeria Immigration Service(CGI), Mrs Caroline Adepoju ,on Friday assured Nigerians that they would get their passports within three weeks of submitting their applications.

Adepoju gave the assurance while  inaugurating  a new passport office in Igbogbo community in  Ikorodu, Lagos State .

Adepoju said  passports  would now be processed and  issued speedily  provided applicants submit all the required  details in their applications.

She advised the public to ensure that they renew their passports six months  before its expiration to avoid problems while applying for visa to some countries.

Adepoju thanked the people of Igbogbo for their support and for  providing all that was needed to start  operation in the area.

“I thank the traditional ruler  and the people of Igbogbo for their support and for  ensuring the realisation of this project.

“This is my first assignment after my confirmation as the substantive  Controller General of Nigeria Immigration Service.

“I want to advise the public to ensure they renew their passport  six months before expiration to avoid being denied visa by  some countries,” she said.

Speaking, Gov. Babajide Sanwoolu  said the establishment of the passport office in Igbogbo would improve service delivery i to Nigerians and save the  people of Igbogbo and environs the stress of  traveling far to obtain tbeir passports..

Sanwoolu, represented by Mr Ibrahim Layode,  Commussioner for Home Affairs,  said the role of Immigration in any country could  not be over- emphasised.

He said that the establishment of the  passport front office in Igbogbo was a testament to Federal Government’s commitment to providing world -class immigration  services in line with global standard.

Also speaking, the council Chairman of Igbogbo Baiyeku Local Counvil Development Area(LCDA) Mr Olusesan Daini, urged the CGI to consider expanding operations  at the new   passport front office .

Daini said the council would synergise with NIS to ensure the edifice was  maintained.

“We will also improve our  security architecture to ensure the office is secure.”he said.

He said that the new passport office was a welcome development as residents  would no longer have to travel far  to obtain or renew their passports.

“The establishment of this passport front office in Igbogbo will improve commercial activities.

“The council will also improve its  security architecture to provide adequate security  in the area,” he said.

Adeboruwa of Igbogbo, Oba Orimadegun Kasali ,who spoke on behalf of  all the  traditional rulers in Ikorodu Division , said he was very happy that the passport front office was established in  his domain.

He added that it would go a long way in improving commercial activities in the area.

Adeboruwa commended  all those who facilitated the establishment of  the passport office in  the community.

“I cannot say  how happy I am today, infact ,this office will  put Igbogbo community in world map.

” I appreciate everybody that has contributed in one way or the other to make this  a success,especially  the family that donated the land .

“I am glad that Igbogbo  passport office has come to  stay,” he said.

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Nigeria, Germany sign Siemens power project accelerated implementation agreement



President Bola Tinubu and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz were witnesses to the signing of an accelerated performance agreement in Dubai on the Siemens power project in Nigeria.

The agreement was signed on the side-line of the on-going 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP28 by Mr Kenny Anuwe, Managing Director of FGN Power Company on behalf of Nigeria.

Ms Nadja Haakansson, Siemens Energy’s Senior Vice-President and Managing Director for Africa signed on behalf of the German company.

Speaking after signing the agreement, Anuwe highlighted Siemens Energy’s effective delivery of crucial equipment worth more than 63 million Euros to Nigeria since the commencement of the project.

This includes 10 units of 132/33KV mobile substations; three units of 75/100MVA transformers, and seven units of 60/66MVA transformers, currently being installed by FGN Power Company at various sites.

The Dubai agreement was signed to expedite the implementation of the Presidential Power Initiative (PPI) to improve Nigeria’s electricity supply.

The PPI, formerly known as the Nigeria Electrification Roadmap Initiative, was the outcome of the visit by former German Chancellor Angela Merkel to Abuja in August 2018.

An agreement was signed between the governments of Nigeria and Germany in 2019 to improve Nigeria’s power sector.

Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Chief Ajuri Ngelale, stated on Friday in Abuja that since assumption of office, Tinubu had advocated the accelerated realisation and expansion of the PPI.

To achieve this, the project has been a major focal point in three rounds of bilateral discussions at meetings between President Tinubu and the German Chancellor in New Delhi, in Abuja and in Berlin.

The Dubai agreement will facilitate the modernisation and expansion of Nigeria’s electric power transmission grid with full supply, delivery and installation of Siemens-manufactured equipment within 18 to 24 months, Ajuri stated.

It will ensure project sustainability and maintenance with full technology transfer and training of Nigerian engineers at the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), he added.

The project will also focus on identified load demand centres with particular emphasis on economic and industrial hubs nationwide and the execution of new 330kV and 132/33KV substations in target load centres with economic priority.

These are in addition to thousands of kilometres of overhead transmission lines to connect new substations with existing ones, Ajuri also stated.

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