09 Mar

Daily Watch – FG to sue tax dodgers, New airlines apply for permits

  • Nigeria’s external reserves hit $43.2 billion on 6 March, CBN data showed on Wednesday. Forex reserves had recorded a four-year high at $42.76 billion on 2 March, after commencing this year at $38.77 billion. They have gained about $3.99 billion or 10.3 percent this year, having been at $38.77 billion in December 2017 and $40.69 billion in January 2018. The reserves have risen on a steady rise increase in global oil prices and FG Eurobond borrowing, among others. CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele thinks the reserves might hit $60 billion in 2019 on the back of rising oil prices, increased oil production and improved investor confidence.
  • FIRS Executive Chairman, Babatunde Fowler says the FG is processing court documents that will allow it sell properties of companies who have been evading taxes. Speaking on Channels Television, Fowler said the ₦20 billion realised from the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme was paid by 262 people. “We have identified properties worth ₦2 trillion that belong to corporate organisations that have never filed any tax and now we are in the process of getting a court order to start selling those properties if the owners do not come and pay the taxes,” the former LIRS executive chairman told Kadaria Ahmed. “And this is a programme we going to roll over across the whole country and we’ve concluded in Kaduna and in Lagos, and we are going to other states,” he added.
  • The NSE has not recorded any IPOs for private companies to generate capital in the last two years, a PwC report said. The research firm in its 2017 Africa Capital Markets Watch said in contrary, capital raised from IPOs by companies on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in US dollar terms increased by 178% in 2017 with $424.1 million as compared to 2016. The report said in the last five years only 4 IPOs were recorded by the NSE with total proceeds of $760 million. The report said that in 2017, capital raised from IPOs by companies on African exchanges, excluding the JSE, decreased in US dollar terms by 33 percent as compared to 2016, largely driven by reduced or no activity in markets such as Algeria, Morocco, Ghana, and Mauritius, partially offset by an increase in IPO value in Tanzania.
  • About 15 new private and commercial airlines have applied for operating permits as the demand for air travel picks up in the country. NCAA spokesman, Sam Adurogboye said the applications were under consideration and any airline that met the laid down conditions would be granted operating permits. Increasing air travel demand align with NBS year-on-year growth projections of 12.08 percent for the sector. The picture remains mixed as NCAA data show year-on-year drops in passenger numbers for 2015, 2016 and 2017, where passenger traffic dropped by about four million compared to the previous year.
  • A glut of Nigerian cargoes reckoned to be near 50 cargoes was weighing on the market, Reuters quotes traders as saying. Total was heard to have won an Indian Oil Corp. buying tender that closed on Wednesday. Ample supply of light and medium grades from the North Sea and the Mediterranean are limiting buying interest for Nigerian crude, traders said. Much of the glut could end up heading into the refining systems of major oil companies like Shell and Total, a trader said, meaning the excess is effectively lower than 50 cargoes. Demand for Agbami and Qua Iboe has been higher than for other grades so far. Qua Iboe was being offered at about dated Brent plus $2, steady from levels heard on Tuesday. Indonesia’s Pertamina is running a tender to buy crude including for 15-16 May delivery of cargoes including Bonny Light, Qua Iboe, Pennington, EA or Okwuibome.