18 Aug

Daily Watch – FG to investigate TSA compliance, Cooking gas prices plummet

  • The FG has started an independent audit to ascertain the rate of compliance by Deposit Money Banks in the remittance of government funds into the Treasury Single Account. The TSA, which took off fully in September 2015, had been complied with by over 900 agencies of government with 20,000 bank accounts closed while over ₦5 trillion had been moved from banks to the CBN. There have been controversies over whether all the banks actually complied fully with the directive following a discovery last week that about seven banks had yet to remit $793 million in government funds into the TSA. A director at the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, Alexander Adeyemi, said his office was coordinating a comprehensive audit of the remittances by banks, which is being conducted by renowned accounting firms such as PwC and Ernst and Young, and is focused on the size of government funds in banks prior to the TSA, how much was transferred and what was still being held by banks.
  • Almost a third of adult Nigerians pay civil servants and other public officials bribes totalling ₦400 billion ($1.27 billion) annually, the NBS said in a survey on graft. The poll among households showed that Nigerians spent ₦400 billion – the equivalent of 39 percent of the combined federal and state education budget in 2016 – to bribe officials between June 2015 and May 2016, according to the office. The survey, released on Wednesday, does not necessarily include high-profile executive corruption cases such as the theft of oil revenues, which have made headlines in the past. “The average sum paid as a cash bribe in Nigeria is approximately ₦5,300”, or the equivalent of an eighth of monthly salaries, the report said. Some 42 percent of those polled had to pay bribes to speed up or finalise administrative work which civil servants would otherwise have delayed or refused to do. Some 18 percent of bribes were paid to avoid a fine and 13 percent to avoid cancelling of state services such as a water supply.
  • Transactions on the NSE rose 7.13 percent to ₦220.27 billion ($699.3 million) in June from a month earlier, lifted by increased flows from foreign investors, stock exchange data showed on Thursday. The value of foreign transactions on the local bourse rose by 6.66 percent to ₦101.53 billion in the period, according to the data. Nigerian assets, largely shunned by foreign investors over the past three years, are back on their radar thanks to a drop in valuations and improved liquidity. The equity market has benefited from the introduction more than four months ago of a new window for investors to trade the naira at market-determined exchange rates. The report showed that foreign investors’ transactions on the local bourse rose 59.81 percent to ₦430.23 billion in the first half of this year, compared with ₦269.22 billion a year earlier. Last week, the market had rallied for an eighth consecutive week and peaked at a 33-month high before profit-takers took advantage of the gains to sell their holdings. The market’s main index has gained about 34 percent year-to-date.
  • The price of cooking gas, has dropped by 30 percent from ₦400 per kilogram (kg) in May to ₦280 per kg currently. According to a national market survey by the Daily Trust newspaper, major retailers such as NIPCO Plc and IK Gases Ltd sold LPG at ₦280/kg while other small retailers retailed at ₦300 per kg. In the first half of 2017, the product averaged ₦400/kg in many parts of the country. In Abuja, the price of refilling a 12.5kg of LPG went as high as ₦6000 in the first quarter of the year. Also, LPG users reported a drop in the price in Lagos, Kano, Kogi and Kaduna in the beginning of the second half of the year. LPG dealers attributed the drop in price to improved supply and distribution. “There is more product coming in, that is the reason,” said President of the Nigerian Liquefied Petroleum Gas Association, Dayo Adeshina.
  • Dangote Group has commenced the disbursement of more than ₦850 million as compensation to land owners affected by its sugar refinery project in Tunga, Awe Local Government Area, Nasarawa. 60,000 hectares of land was acquired by the group for the construction of the refinery. The state’s deputy governor, Silas Agara, who disbursed the funds to the beneficiaries on Thursday in Lafia, cautioned against impersonation and any act capable of disrupting the project. He said that government would sanction anyone sabotaging the effort, and assured that all those whose land was taken would be duly compensated.