27 Jan

Daily Watch – AFC issues Sukuk, Subsidy fraudster gets 69 years

  • Economic setbacks among Nigeria’s states as a result of dwindling revenue may be far from over, as federal allocations remain low, while businesses face the challenge of recession, leading to failing tax earnings for government. A Partner, Tax and Regulatory Services at Deloitte Nigeria, Lagos, Abayomi Olugbenro, warned that the troubling operating environment would reflect in the revenue of state governments and VAT. Speaking on recessionary impact on states’ budgets and taxation, at the 2017 Tax Week, organised by the Lagos District Society of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria, Olugbenro said that their inability to meet recurrent obligations may continue, especially with their internal revenue generation nearly non-existent.
  • The Africa Finance Corporation has issued its maiden Sukuk, the highest-rated ever Sukuk issuance from an African institution. The initial target of $100 million was more than twice oversubscribed, resulting in the transaction being upsized to $150 million and a final order book of approximately $230 million. In addition to being the first Sukuk transaction of 2017, it is also the first Sukuk to be issued by an African supranational entity. The issue would offer global investors the chance to be involved in high-impact infrastructure projects that not only promote social and economic development across Africa but also generate economic returns for investors.
  • Despite the CBN selling $1.1 billion to 4,328 firms in November under its foreign exchange allocation guideline, manufacturers have decried non-implementation of the 60 percent allocation directive given by the regulator to commercial banks. According to the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, there are concerns over the non-implementation of the regulator’s directive as manufacturers are yet to get access to the much needed foreign exchange to boost their operations. MAN President, Frank Jacobs, said most of its members still depend hugely on the black market to source for forex in carrying out their daily production activities which he said has made many of its members close shops or have reduced their capacity utilisation. According to the MAN president, the commercial banks have refused to implement this policy since the regulator is yet to make forex available in the country, stressing that the commercial banks have refused to implement the policy since they source for forex from alternative means.
  • Justice Latee Okunnu of the Lagos State High Court in Ikeja on Thursday sentenced the MD of Ontario Oil and Gas Limited, Ada Ugo-Ngali, to a cumulative jail term of 69 years on eight counts for petrol subsidy fraud of ₦754 million. The jail term would run concurrently for 10 years. Justice Okunnu had on January 13, 2017 convicted Ugo-Ngali, Ontario Oil and Gas Limited and its Chairman, Walter Wagbatsoma, of eight counts pressed against them by the EFCC.