18 Dec

Daily Watch – FEC to meet today over budget, MTN to challenge fine in court

  • An emergency meeting of the Federal Executive Council is scheduled to hold today. The meeting to be presided over by President Buhari, is expected to consider and approve the 2016 Budget so it can be forwarded to the legislature. Buhari will present the budget to a joint session of the National Assembly on Tuesday. The FEC had at its last meeting approved the Medium Term Expenditure Framework which was forwarded to the National Assembly. Meanwhile, the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, has said that the Federal Government is considering selling Eurobonds to fund the N6.07 trillion 2016 Budget. The last time the Nigerian Government issued an international debt was in 2013. Speaking with Bloomberg, Adeosun said that the decision will be based on a medium-term fiscal plan projecting spending to increase about 25 percent from 2015 to N6 trillion.
  • The MTN Group will contest the $3.9 billion imposed on it by the NCC in a Lagos court after claiming that the imposition of the sanction was not in accordance with the powers of the country’s telecommunications regulator. The telecommunication company was dealt a major blow in late October when the NCC initially fined it $5.2 billion over a failure to disconnect subscribers with unregistered SIM cards bought before January 2012. The fine was later slashed, and MTN given until December 31 to pay.
  • The NBS has released its foreign trade statistics Q3 2015 report which shows that the total value of Nigeria’s merchandise trade at the end of Q3, 2015 was N4 trillion. This was 7.8% less than the value of N4.3 trillion recorded in the preceding quarter. The value of Nigeria’s imports stood at N1.6 trillion, at the end of Q3, a decrease of 1% from the value recorded in the preceding quarter. Imports were dominated by “Boilers, machinery and appliances”; which accounted for 24% of the total value of imports; followed by “Mineral products” (15.3%), “vehicles, aircraft and parts thereof, vessels” (8.8%), “chemical and allied products” (8.6%) and “base metals” (8.4%). The value of merchandise exports was N2.3 trillion in Q3, a decrease of N320.6 billion from Q2. This decline was attributed to a fall in crude oil exports by N372.8 billion in Q2. Nigeria exported goods mainly to India (N408.2 billion), the Netherlands (N245 billion), Spain (N211.3 billion), the United Kingdom (N192.2 billion) and Brazil (N169.4 billion).
  • Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has said that seven additional rail corridors of standard gauge railways under the public-private partnership (PPP) initiative are to be created. This is with a view to modernize and expand Nigeria’s railway transportation network. Amaechi said the FG will in the next quarter, sponsor five Bills for passage by the National Assembly in order to pave the way for effective private sector participation in the transport industry.

SBM Intelligence will release a year end report at 12 noon, West Africa Time today, then close for the end of the year. Daily briefings resume on Monday, January 11, 2016.