08 Jun

Daily Watch – Power sector bleeds ₦201 billion in H1, Islamic Development Bank mulls Nigeria hub

  • FEC approved two executive orders and five amendment bills to remove a value-added tax on residential properties and amend the company income tax law. Finance minister Kemi Adeosun told the press that the amendments will reduce the tax burden and boost ease of doing business in the country. She said the approval is based on a report by the National Tax Policy Implementation Committee on Tax Laws Reform. She added that the FG was proposing an amendment to the company income tax law aimed at reducing the Right of Tax on SMEs from 20 per cent to 15 per cent.
  • A new report by the advisory power team under the Office of the Vice-President says Nigeria’s power sector lost ₦201 billion in revenue over the first half of the year, between 1 January and 5 June. The report detailed the repeated shortfalls in gas supply to the GenCos. On 5 June 5, for example, the sector lost about ₦1.7 billion due to insufficient gas supply to GenCos, the report said. The sector lost ₦1.266 billion every day within this review period while 365MW was lost due to water management constraint. The inability of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to effectively transport electricity from GenCos and the operational limitations of DisCos were highlighted as reasons for continued revenue loss in the sector.
  • Nigerian exports slowed for the first time in five months in March, the statistics office said on Wednesday, in line with a wider easing of the pace of growth in Africa’s biggest economy following its emergence from a recession last year. Growth rates have bounced back since the third quarter of 2016 when the country’s first recession in 25 years was at its deepest. But the expansion slowed in the first quarter of 2018. The balance of trade from January to March was ₦2.18 trillion, the NBS said. The net trade balance stood at ₦677 billion in the same period of 2017. The NBS said crude exports accounted for more than 75 per cent of exports in the first quarter, with cocoa bean exports, largely to Europe and Asia, making up 0.50 per cent. Total exports rose for the eighth straight quarter, taking their value to ₦4.69 trillion in the first quarter. imports in the quarter rose for the first time since second quarter 2017, to ₦2.52 trillion, the NBS said.
  • The Distillers and Blenders Association of Nigeria says it is not in support of the FG’s new tax regime. Speaking at a press conference, DIBAN chairman, Patrick Anegbe said the increased excise duty is contradictory to the government’s ease of doing business initiative. Anegbe said the new excise duty will put 25,000 Nigerians who are direct employees in the sector at risk of losing their jobs as well as workers in the packaging industries – bottles, cartons, labels, cork, laminates, glue, ink, printing, laboratory, as well as marketing, consulting, and the media.
  • Jeddah-based Islamic Development Bank will move hundreds of its staff outside Saudi Arabia and play a lead role in designing investment projects as the multilateral lender changes strategy under a new president. With 57 member countries across four continents, operating assets of $16 billion and subscribed capital of $70 billion, the IsDB is a major lender to much of the Muslim world. It now aims to decentralise in order to get closer to its member countries, while playing a more aggressive role conceiving projects rather than simply serving as a minority investor, according to president Bandar Hajjar. About 95 per cent of the IsDB group’s 1,200 staff work in Jeddah. The bank has seven regional hubs for its operations and intends to create more; with plans to make Nigeria a hub and plans to expand its group office in Cairo.