01 Mar

Daily Watch – Lagos signs ₦897 billion budget into law, CBN begins fight against lower denomination scarcity

  • Lagos Governor, Akinwumi Ambode has signed the 2018 appropriation bill into law with a projected internally generated revenue of ₦897 billion with the remaining part of the budget to be funded by deficit financing. Capital expenditure under the spending plan is pegged at ₦699 billion while recurrent Expenditure will take ₦347 billion, a capital/recurrent ratio of 67 percent to 33 percent and a 28.67 percent increase over the 2017 budget. Education spending is billed to be ₦126.302 billion, Social Protection ₦8.042 billion; General Public Services got ₦171,623 billion; Public Order and Safety, ₦46.612 billion; Economic Affairs, ₦473.866 billion and Environmental Protection will receive ₦54.582 billion. The state government has commenced the distribution of the 2018 Land Use Charge demand notices for properties across the state in a bid to further enhance its IGR profile.
  • The Nigerian Petroleum Development Company owes the Department of Petroleum Resources $1.8 billion (about ₦549 billion) in oil and a further ₦1.3 billion in gas royalties, a House of Representatives ad-hoc panel has been told. The amount said to have been accumulated between 2010 and 2015, is currently the subject of an EFCC investigation. The ad-hoc panel chaired by Jarigbe Agom (PDP, Cross River), which is investigating revenue leakages and other activities at the DPR, during its meeting with NPDC Managing Director, Yusuf Matashi, raised several issues regarding how the amount would be settled. Matashi told the lawmakers that the company plans to settle the debt with $10 million in monthly crude oil disbursements, an arrangement which he said had been by the DPR and the NNPC.
  • The NCC has sanctioned three companies and barred 750,000 numbers found to be connected to call masking. Call masking is a technique used to hide numbers when making calls or sending messages. In some cases, international numbers are masked with local numbers which are not charged, because the caller’s identity is completely hidden on the network. In a statement signed by spokesman Tony Ojoboy, the commission said the sanctioned entities were found to be directly and indirectly involved in several infractions. According to the statement, the licensees whose numbers have been barred are Vezeti Communications Services, Voix Networks, Mobitel, Peace Global Satellite Communications, ABG Communications, Vodacom Business Africa, Swift Telephone Networks, QVODA Telecoms, Wireless Telecoms and Emcatel Networks.
  • The CBN has begun an exercise aimed at increasing the circulation with ₦100, ₦50, ₦20, ₦10 and ₦5 notes in a bid to address the acute shortage of lower denomination currencies. The regulator also warned against the hoarding and cloning of lower currency notes, stating that anyone caught would face the full wrath of the law. Speaking at an outreach programme at Abuja’s Wuse Market, the bank’s Director of Currency Operations, Priscilla Eleje said the bank was mindful of the currency shortages and had decided to address the challenge, starting with traders. She warned that hoarders of lower denomination naira will be prosecuted.
  • The FAAN has said it will include the construction of perimeter fence in the country’s airports in the 2019 budget. Henrietta Yakubu, GM Corporate Affairs said that the spate of runway incursions and security breaches across the airports in the country remained of grave concern to the agency. “FAAN is worried about the issues of security across airports in the country, and has resolved to capture the construction of perimeter fences in all airports in the 2019 budget,” she said. Yakubu also stated that the incident at the Akure airport was being addressed, adding that the gap in the perimeter fence which enabled the cattle to enter the runway was being closed by agency engineers.