15 Mar

Daily Watch – NASS settles on $36 budget benchmark, Ogun workers strike on

  • BusinessDay is reporting that the National Assembly has adopted a $36 per barrel oil benchmark for the 2016 budget as against the $38 benchmark earlier proposed by the Executive. This conservative stance is aimed at reflecting the current realities of crude oil price at the international market. The National Assembly has promised to pass the 2016 Appropriation Bill on Thursday, rekindling hope for economic activity, especially for the critical sectors of the Nigerian economy, including the real, power and construction sectors.
  • The Lagos State Government may have finally terminated the controversial Falomo Shopping Mall project being developed by Afriland Properties formerly known as UBA properties. Afriland and the Lagos State Development Property Corporation (LSDPC) had earlier established an SPV for the specific purpose of developing the Falomo project. Under the terms of the agreement, the SPV- Falomo Shopping Centre Development Company Ltd – was granted a concession to, amongst other things, develop, build, operate and maintain the Project on a Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis. Afriland paid N50 million to LSDPC as an expression of interest in the redevelopment project. The new facility was to comprise a state-of-the-art shopping mall, office complex and generous parking facilities.
  • In Ogun state, the police and Civil Defence Corps were called in to prevent protesting Ogun state civil service workers from hitting the streets to protest against the state government’s inability to pay their deductions and other obligations. The government had at the weekend ordered the striking workers to report to work on Monday,and issued a “no work no pay” circular, which was signed by the State Head of Service, Sola Adeyemi. The workers however made use of another gate to access the Government Secretariat, Oke Mosan. The indefinite strike, which is now in its second week, has seen schools, hospitals and government ministries closed down.
  • Most petrol stations in the Lagos area have remained closed, while the few that had the commodity were besieged by a deluge of motorists queuing to get the products. A director in the PPMC, Justin Ezeala, told the Vanguard that the current wave of scarcity is as a result of hoarding, claiming that the agencies responsible have increased truckloads to Lagos to about 300 trucks daily, up from 200, and Abuja to 268 daily, from 180 trucks. On his part, the Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu has said that collaboration between the CBN and NNPC would ease the burden on the NNPC, which is currently the sole importer of petrol. Kachikwu said this was because other marketers have stopped importing the product, citing difficulty in accessing foreign exchange. According to Kachikwu, the ongoing talks with the CBN will help ease marketers’ access to forex and consequently improve fuel supply situation in Nigeria.