Archive for the ‘The Economy’ Category

image

The  Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Tuesday said about $129 billion (N20.6 trillion) was fraudulently transferred out of Nigeria in the last 10 years through various sources.

The commission, quoting Global Financial Integrity, based in Washington D.C., cited some of the sources to include  tax avoidance, corruption, tax evasions, illegal mining activities, drugs and human trafficking.

In 2012 however, the commission collaborated with the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to address illicit financial flows out of the country  and recovered about $13 million suspected to be proceeds of criminal activities.

EFCC Chairman, Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde, made these disclosures in Abuja at the opening of a regional workshop on “Improving Cash Transactions Reporting Regime in the Designated Non-financial Businesses and Professions (DNFBPs) and cross border cash and bearer negotiable instruments movements for North and West African countries.
The seminar was organised by the Swiss Confederation and the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA), in conjunction with the federal  Government of Nigeria.

Lamorde also cited a report by the  Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), located within EFCC, as having estimated that $25.4 billion, comprising cash and  financial instruments,  were moved out of Nigeria through the borders between 2009 and 2013.
“While these figures may not necessarily be indicative of the proceeds of crime, they do however show how the AML/CFT vulnerabilities associated with cash movements,” he said

Advertisements
image

CBN Governor, Lamido Sanusi

The Central Bank of Nigeria has said it will  start printing the naira in paper notes in 2014.

It signed a deal in 2006 with Australia’s Securency International to print lower more-circulated units of the naira in polymer, while higher denominations were kept in paper form.

But six years after and following allegations that the manufacturer had bribed foreign officials to secure contracts, including in Nigeria, the CBN said it was being forced to reverse the policy.
“We only used polymer for N5, N10, N20 and N50, while N100, N200, N500 and N1,000 are in paper form. We soon discovered that the [polymer] notes easily fade out because of our peculiar hot climate in Nigeria… making them look tattered when in use over time.”

First Bank of Nigeria is in talks to acquire 100 per cent of the West African banking assets of the Switzerland’s International Commercial Bank Financial Group Holdings, which has operations in four West African countries.

First Bank said in a filing through the stock exchange that it had received approvals for the transaction from the Central Bank of Nigeria and regulators across West Africa, a Reuters report indicated on Monday.

It hoped to conclude the deal soon for the bank’s assets in Ghana, Sierra Leone, Gambia and Guinea.

First Bank gave no details on how much it was paying to acquire the stake.

First Bank said it remained the Nigerian bank with a total asset base of N3.3tn ($21.3bn) as at June 30, 2013.

image

Coordinating General Manager (Communications) for Aviation Parastatals, Mr. Yakubu Dati

The Federal Government will rake in about N32bn annually as luxury tax from owners and operators of private jets in Nigeria.

This is if the attempts by the government through the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority to impose luxury tax on private jet owners and operators sailed through.
It read, “In compliance with the provisions of Section 30 (2) (q) & (s) of the Civil Aviation Act of 2006, the authority hereby orders: All foreign registered aircraft engaging in non-scheduled operations to forthwith pay $4,000 as fees under the provisions of the law set out above for every departure, except round trips without changes in passenger manifest, or return ferry. Such fees shall be paid in advance and prior to departure.

“All Nigerian-registered aircraft engaging in non-scheduled operations shall forthwith pay $3,000 as fees under the provisions of the law set out above for every departure, except round trips without changes in passenger manifest, or return ferry. Such fees shall be paid in advance and prior to any departure.

Nigeria’s debt rises to N8.32tn

Posted: November 12, 2013 in The Economy
image

Finance Minister, Okonjo-Iweala

The nation’s total debt now stands at N8.32tn ($53.42bn), the Debt Management Office has said

Odilim Basil Enwegbara

Odilim Basil Enwegbara
| credits: File copy

Is there any Nigerian who should say that he or she is happy about how our country is grossly mismanaged especially given how the country has been constituted so far is inhibiting our journey to greatness?

If any Nigerian in his or her right mind believes that so far all is well with Nigeria, with it spending 75 per cent of its annual budget on maintaining its imperial rulers and their large foot soldiers, shouldn’t that person need some help?

For those arguing that President Goodluck Jonathan is not sincere in proposing a national dialogue, are they saying that all is well with Nigeria as it is presently constituted or that talking is harmful? Or how long should we go on with our endless quarrelling and gossiping while Nigeria is on its way to a state of coma?

File Photo: Cross section of  House of Representatives members at the National Assembly in Abuja Photo : Gbemiga Olamikan

The House of Representatives is threatening to issue a bench warrant for the arrest of embattled Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, if, by Tuesday, she fails to appear before its Committee on Aviation.

Oduah had been summoned to answer questions on aviation related issues on the heels of the Associated Airlines plane crash last month.
The minister will obviously also respond to the lawmakers on the two controversial armoured BMW cars said to have been bought for her by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).

Oduah was, as at last night, in Israel to sign a Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA), alongside President Goodluck Jonathan, with Israeli officials.

“If she fails to show up (for the House Committee hearing), we will issue a bench warrant to get her arrested”, the House of Representatives, spokesman, Hon. Zakari Lafia Mohammed, said.

Mohammed, who spoke in an interview with Sunday Vanguard, went on: “This is a national issue that must be properly thrashed out with the zeal of a wounded lion. If need be, we will ask the Speaker to issue a bench warrant immediately she fails to show up and she will be arrested. We’ve given her enough grace as the committee will sit on Friday, Monday and Tuesday. All those excuses given on her behalf will not hold by the time we conclude our findings.”

Meanwhile, NCAA has said it followed due process in procuring the two armoured vehicles.

 

Stella Oduah

Stella Oduah
In its presentation to the House of Representatives Committee on Aviation, the agency said: “Procurement of operational vehicles is provided for in NCAA 2013 Budget on line 6, page 10 and is in line with NCAA Condition of Service”.

Coordinating-Minister-for-the-economy-and-Minister-of-Finance-Dr.-Ngozi-Okonjo-Iweala-360x231

The Federal Government has said it expects to garner $3.2bn (N512bn) from the sale of the 10 power plants constructed under the National Integrated Power Project.

The Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said this in a speech delivered at the stakeholders’ forum organised by the Investments and Securities Tribunal to mark its 10 years anniversary in Abuja on Thursday.

At the forum, the Chairman, IST, Dr. Ngozi Chianakwalam, also stated that the tribunal had, in its 10 years of existence, settled 256 cases with a financial value of N351.9bn.

Okonjo-Iweala said with a growth rate of more than six per cent per annum, Nigeria had become one of the top 20 destinations in the world for Foreign Direct Investment, adding that the nation attracted $8.9bn in FDI in 2012.

She said, “The government has been growing the non-oil sector by creating the right environment to attract investments in the sector.

“The power sector has just completed the first phase of its privatisation process with the bulk of the funding for the purchases coming from the banks. The government earned about $2.5bn from a privatisation that many thought would never happen.

“A second phase of power privatisation involving the NIPP assets is estimated to bring about $3.2bn into government coffers. We have similar investments in the agricultural sector and the real estate market.”

The minister said with a market capitalisation goal of $1bn, the Nigerian Stock Exchange continued to encourage foreign and local investors to list their companies on the Exchange for broader reach.

According to the minister, the establishment of the IST in 2003 has been instrumental to infusing the much needed confidence in the nation’s securities market.

She said Nigeria had to be recognised for being the only capital market in sub-Sahara Africa that combined both regulatory and formal adjudicatory functions.

Okonjo-Iweala praised the tribunal for its work in stabilising the securities market in the past 10 years, but added that its processes needed to be simplified to accommodate less privileged and illiterate investors.

“Getting it right with the small investors will certainly boost the confidence of bigger and more sophisticated investors coming before the tribunal,” she said.

In a welcome address, the IST chairman bemoaned the lack of funds for the effective operation of the tribunal.

She called for the funding of the tribunal through fees paid form market transactions as other agencies in the capital market, including the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Nigerian Stock Exchange and the Central Securities Clearing System.

“Though enhanced budgetary allocation will, in the interim, serve to obviate the funding constraints of the tribunal, it is desirable that a more lasting and permanent solution is sought,” Chianakwalam said.

The Chairman, SEC, Dr. Suleiman Ndanusa, praised the work of the IST in the past 10 years, adding that it needed to be expanded to include jurisdiction in the entire financial services industry.