CBN GRANTS BANKS PERMISSION TO LEND TO FARMERS AT 5% INTEREST
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has agreed that loans by banks to farmers in the country should attract only five percent interest, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh said. Mr. Ogbeh made this known recently while delivering a keynote address at the opening of a two-day national workshop on a ‘New Agricultural Policy for Nigeria’.
BUDGET PADDING: N’ASSEMBLY DEMANDS PROBE OF MINISTER, TOP OFFICIALS
The National Assembly has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to institute a high-powered probe panel to investigate the alleged padding of the 2016 budget by some top civil servants. The House of Representatives said top civil servants responsible for the padding should be prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission. The Senate, on its part, said besides probing the padding, the Minister of National Planning and Budget, Senator Udo Udoma, should also be sanctioned.
GOVERNORS BEGIN SECRET TALKS FOR FRESH BAILOUT
Nigerian state governors are seeking a new round of bailout from the Federal Government, less than a year after the previous one, sources privy to the discussions tell BusinessDay. President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration announced a bailout for struggling Nigerian states six-weeks after being sworn in, of as much as 43 billion to help them pay salaries and other debts. Now the states are seeking further propping up as their revenues slump and debt service burden rise from the collapse in oil prices.
Governors should intensify efforts to generate revenues internally as well. It’s not easy, but it can be done.
STATES’ EXTERNAL DEBT ROSE BY N270bn IN FIVE YEARS – DMO
The 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory grew their external debts by $1.37 billion (N270 billion at the current interbank exchange rate of N197 to a dollar) in five years, investigation has shown. Statistics obtained from the Debt Management Office on Sunday showed that the external indebtedness of the sub-national governments as of December 31, 2010 stood at N42 billion. However, by December 31, 2015, the indebtedness of the states and the FCT to external creditors had grown to $3.37 billion.
EXPORT EARNINGS FROM OIL, GAS DROP BY 50 PERCENT
Owing to a further slide in prices and additional shut-in of about 35,000bpd in Usan and Yoho Terminals, Nigeria’s export earnings in 2015 from the sale of crude oil declined by 50 percent. Other factors responsible for the shortfall in earnings, according to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), include the non-receipt of Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) feedstock of about 474.47 million following payment slippage into new year and 57.08 percent drop in liquefied petroleum gas/natural gas liquids lifting.