07 Sep

Daily Watch – NBS says trade a bright spot in recession hit economy, LNG lobbies against plans to repeal act

  • The NBS merchandise trade data for Q2 shows Nigeria recording a 49 percent increase in trade from ₦2.65 trillion in Q1 to ₦3.94 trillion. The bureau said the increase in trade was a result of a rise of ₦725.6 billion in the value of imports against what was recorded in the preceding quarter. As a result of the improvement in Q2 trade figures, the country’s negative balance of trade has now reduced by ₦154.8 billion to ₦196.5 billion.
  • NLNG says it generated $20 billion in revenue for the country through the NNPC, which holds a 49 percent stake in the gas producer. The new NLNG MD, Tonny Attah, who met with information and culture minister, Lai Mohammed in Abuja, added that the company has paid over $6 billion in taxes during the period. “We contributed more than $20 billion, with over $6 billion in tax over the last five years through the NNPC which owns 49% of NLNG.” Attah is on a lobbying spree to win government officials over plans by federal lawmakers to repeal the NLNG Act, calling the development detrimental to the reputation of the country in the global market.
  • The Daily Trust reports that forty Chinese engineers have visited the site of the 3050MW Mambilla hydro-power project at Gembu in Taraba, in what is seen as preparation for the commencement of the long-awaited project. The paper cites official sources as saying that this is the first time experts have visited the site since the plan to construct the dam was conceived several decades ago. The dam, according to its design, will also boost irrigation, a welcome relief to the predominantly farming communities which will host the project.
  • The NCC says broadband penetration in the country has moved from 10 percent in 2014 to 14 percent this year while promising to ensure that it will help the nation attain 30 percent broadband penetration by 2018, as projected in the National Broadband Plan. “As we speak, Nigeria has moved from 10 percent broadband penetration to 14 per cent, and the penetration is expected to increase more with the rollout of 2.3GHz broadband services by Bitflux Consortium that won the 2.3GHz broadband spectrum licence,” NCC’s EVC, Umar Garba Danbatta said. The regulator has licenced two infrastructure companies to build broadband infrastructure for Lagos (MainOne) and the North Central (IHS) geopolitical zone, including Abuja. Five more licencing rounds are underway for the North-west, North-east, South-west, South-south and South-east zones. “The InfraCos will deploy metropolitan fibre infrastructure within its assigned territory on an open access, non-discriminatory, price regulated basis,” a statement from the regulator said.
  • The Lagos House of Assembly has approved a ₦500 billion bond sale for the state government spanning between this year and 2019. According to the chairman of an ad-hoc committee set-up by the House on the matter, Hon. Oluyinka Ogundimu, the bond was necessary and would be repaid through a 23 percent increase in the state’s internally generated revenue (IGR). In his contribution, the chairman of the House Committee on Budget and Economic Planning, Hon. Rotimi Olowo sounded an optimistic tone. “We have enough to take care of the bond. By 2019, Nigeria would be out of recession and Lagos would be better for it,” he said.