09 Jun

Daily Watch – Whistleblowers get big payday, Diaspora bond roadshow begins next week

  • Nigeria will start an international roadshow next week for the sale of a diaspora bond and has named Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Standard Bank of South Africa as joint lead managers. Nigeria first unveiled plans to sell diaspora bonds worth between $100 million to $300 million from Nigerians living abroad in 2013, but the government at the time did not appoint a book runner until an election brought the current APC government into office. A roadshow will start on June 13 with meetings planned in Britain, Switzerland and the United States.
  • NERC is set to cut the minor review period of Multi-Year Tariff Order methodology from six months to either monthly or quarterly. The commission stated the intent in a consultation paper issued on May 30, to stakeholders in the power sector, calling for suggestions. The MYTO was first reviewed in 2012 and spans a 15 years period with a major review every five years, and a minor review every six months. Every six months, NERC reviews the MYTO by considering changes in parameters like inflation, exchange rate, gas price, power generation capacity, transmission capacity and the operators’ Capital Expenditure requirement to adjust the tariff. The paper endorsed by the acting Chairman, Sanusi Garba, said reducing the review period would provide incentives for continued improvement in services as shortfalls would be promptly recognised and computed into tariffs. However, it said raising the review frequency, “may deliver higher tariffs to consumers in the long run resulting from associated finance costs where retail tariffs are not adjusted immediately.” NERC is also considering changing the period of adjusting the tariff from every six months after the minor review.
  • Nigerian stocks extended gains to hit a new 23-month high on Thursday as the reopening of the Forcados crude oil terminal helped to boost confidence in the country’s largest local oil exploration company. Royal Dutch Shell lifted force majeure on exports of Nigeria’s Forcados crude oil on Wednesday, bringing all of the West African country’s oil exports fully online for the first time in 16 months. Shares in Seplat, the indigenous oil and gas company with the largest capitalisation, gained 10 percent on Thursday. The company, in a statement to the Nigerian stock exchange, said the lifting of the force majeure helped it to successfully reinstate gross production at OMLs 4, 38 and 41, to levels last seen before the terminal’s closure. Gains in banking stocks and food sector also helped to sustain the rally in the market. The index rose 0.77 percent by the close of trading to 32,937 points. The bourse had gained more than 21.63 percent year-to-date.
  • The FG has paid a total of ₦375.8 million to 20 whistleblowers, who facilitated the recovery of ₦11.6 billion. Salisu Dambatta, a spokesman at the ministry of finance said it received 2,150 communications and 337 tips through its dedicated channels from many patriotic Nigerians. “The Federal Ministry of Finance has confirmed the release of the money to the first batch of 20 providers of information under the Whistleblower Policy. The payment, of various amounts totalling ₦375,875,000, relate to the recovery of ₦11,635,000,000,” Dambatta said.
  • Babatunde Fowler, the chairman of the FIRS has dismissed claims that his agency awarded huge contracts to a young company, Active Solution Integrated Synergy without following the procurement process. Fowler told the Ad-Hoc Committee on Procurement that the emergence of the company was on account of the national revenue emergency, which made the FIRS think outside the box to generate revenue for the nation. “The proposal from Active Solution Integrated Synergy Ltd, came in the nick of time when FIRS tax revenue collection was nose-diving as a result of the recession in the economy and the perpetual fall in crude oil prices which exerted more pressure on non-oil revenue. The only way to crack into such systems was to allow for operators who understand the terrain to lend a helping hand with a view to achieving more tax revenue,” Fowler said. In continuation of this drive for automation, Fowler said the FIRS launched the following solutions recently e-Registration); e-Stamp Duty); online payment: e-tax pay, Remita); e-Receipt), and online Tax Clearance Certificates and added that it acted in the national interest.