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News Economy (97)

Governor Udom Emmanuel has presented a budget proposal of N597, 800billion for the 2020 fiscal year to Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly.

A breakdown of the budget estimate as presented at the chambers of the state assembly in Uyo on Wednesday indicates that capital expenditure has N369, 642b, recurrent expenditure is estimated to take N111,225b, while N116,933 has been estimated for consolidated revenue fund charges.

The 2020 budget which indicates a shortfall from the 2019 budget with its approved provision of N672,985, is according to the governor,predicated on an oil benchmark of $55 per barrel at a production rate of N2.18 million barrels per day, and with an estimated exchange rate of 305/USS, in line with the national budget benchmark projection.

Mr Emmanuel said the 2020 budget christened “A budget of industralization for poverty alleviation Phase II” has a total projected revenue estimated of N381,556b as against the approved provision of N374,758b for 2019.

A breakdown of this further indicates that Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) -N52.556 billion, Statutory Allocation – N 52.000 billion,.Derivation Fund -N255.000 billion, Retained Revenue from Parastatals -N2.000 billion, Value Added Tax (VAT) -N 20.000 billion, total.- N381.556 billion
Emmanuel said the 2020 budget is further anchored on his Eight-Point policy thrust which rests squarely on his initial Five-Point Agenda that shaped his First Term in office to wit; Job Creation, Poverty Alleviation, Wealth Creation, Economic and Political Inclusion, and Infrastructural Consolidation and Expansion for continuous transformation of the State into an industrialized entity.”

“We are committed to complete all our ongoing projects and other star projects in our completion agenda”, he assured.

The Speaker, Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Mr Aniekan Bassey applauded governor Udom Emmanuel for the purposeful implementation of the 2019 budget and pledged to ensure a speedy consideration and passage of the 2020 appropriation budget.

He however charged the various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDGs) to ensure they provide all the necessary supporting budget data and stick to the time table that will be announced by the house for their appearance.

On his part, the leader of the state Assembly Udo Kierian Akpan said the Governor has been able to bring about accountability in governance and promised that he and his colleagues will continue to support his efforts in service.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has vowed to rebuild South Africans’ confidence in the economy, based not merely on hope or expectation of change, but on concrete things.

South Africans want concrete things that can make a difference in the economy and real actions that “move the needle,” the president said in his first weekly message “From the Desk of the President,” a new platform through which the president said, “I will discuss some of the issues that interest and concern South Africans, and talk about the work we are doing in government to tackle these issues.”

After a decade of low growth and deepening poverty, people are looking for signs of progress in tackling the many challenges confronting the country, the president said.

This year the economy will record growth lower than expected, with the government’s finances being stretched and several industries looking at retrenching workers, he said. South Africa’s GDP growth forecast for 2019 has been revised by the National Treasury to 1.5 percent, from an estimated 1.7 percent in 2018. “Much of the confidence that the country had 20 months ago has dissipated as the reality of the problems we face became clearer,” he added.

The important issue is that the government should move in a determined way to effect change while remaining irrevocably committed to rooting out state capture, corruption and malfeasance, Ramaphosa said. South Africans want to change the narrative of doubt to a narrative of opportunity not through clever spin, but through action, he added. As part of efforts to rebuild confidence, funds have been redirected to stimulate economic activity in areas where the majority of South Africans live, Ramaphosa said.

These include finance to support black commercial farmers, the revitalization of industrial parks in townships and the establishment of a Township Economy Fund.The government is also increasing the value of goods and services it procures from small business and cooperatives, Ramaphosa said.Much work is underway to improve the ease and reduce the cost of doing business, as are efforts to restructure state-owned enterprises and ensure that they perform better in meeting the country’s needs, the president said.

South Africa is taking firm action to grow the economy and create jobs, he said.Building on the stimulus and recovery plan, the government will finalize a clear economic growth strategy within the next few weeks, the president promised.”I am certain that with the active involvement of all sectors of society, this will be achieved,” Ramaphosa said.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said in a CBS interview aired Sunday that a war between his country and Iran would destroy the global economy.
 
“The region represents about 30% of the world’s energy supplies, about 20% of global trade passages, about 4% of the world GDP. Imagine all of these three things stop,” he told CBS’s “60 Minutes”.
 
“This means a total collapse of the global economy, and not just Saudi Arabia or the Middle East countries.”
 
Prince Salman said oil prices could spike to “unimaginably high numbers” if the world does not come together to deter Iran, but said he would prefer a political solution to a military one.
 
In the interview, he also denied that he ordered the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi operatives nearly a year ago, but said he ultimately bears “full responsibility” as the leader of his country.
 
Days before the anniversary of the killing of Khashoggi in a Saudi consulate in Turkey, the crown prince said: “Absolutely not,” when asked if he ordered the murder.
 
But he said he took full responsibility for the killing, “since it was committed by individuals working for the Saudi government.”
 
“This was a mistake. And I must take all actions to avoid such a thing in the future,” the crown prince said of the killing, which he called “heinous.”
 
The CIA and some Western governments have said they believe he ordered it, but Saudi officials have repeatedly said he had no role.
 
After initial denials, the official Saudi narrative blamed the murder on rogue operatives. The public prosecutor said the then-deputy intelligence chief ordered the repatriation of Khashoggi, a royal insider who became an outspoken critic, but the lead negotiator ordered him killed after discussions for his return failed.
 
Asked how the killing could have happened without him knowing about it,” the crown prince said: “Some think that I should know what 3 million people working for the Saudi government do daily? It’s impossible that the 3 million would send their daily reports to the leader or the second highest person in the Saudi government.”
 
He insisted that “the investigations are being carried out, and once charges are proven against someone, regardless of their rank, it will be taken to court, no exception made.”
 
While Khashoggi’s death sparked a global uproar and tarnished the crown prince’s reputation, the Trump administration’s tense standoff with Iran, Saudi Arabia’s arch-foe, has more recently dominated U.S. policy toward Riyadh, especially after the Sept. 14 attacks on the heartland of the Saudi oil industry.
 
“If the world does not take a strong and firm action to deter Iran, we will see further escalations that will threaten world interests,” the crown prince said. “Oil supplies will be disrupted and oil prices will jump to unimaginably high numbers that we haven’t seen in our lifetimes.”
 
The crown prince, in an interview conducted on Tuesday in Saudi Arabia, said he agreed with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that the Sept. 14 attacks, which damaged the world’s biggest petroleum-processing facility and knocked out more than 5% of global oil supply, were an act of war by Iran.
 
The United States, European powers and Saudi Arabia have blamed the attacks on Iran. Tehran has denied any involvement. Instead, the Iran-aligned Yemeni Houthi rebel group claimed responsibility.
 
“The political and peaceful solution is much better than the military one,” he said.
 
The crown prince also said U.S. President Donald Trump should meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to craft a new deal on Tehran’s nuclear program and influence across the Middle East.
 
Efforts to bring the two together last week at the United Nations General Assembly failed.
 
Tensions between Washington and Tehran have escalated over the U.S. withdrawal from an Iranian nuclear deal and its reinstatement of sanctions against Tehran.
 
The crown prince also repeated a Saudi call for Iran to halt its support for Houthi forces in Yemen and said he was open to “all initiatives for a political solution” to end the war there.
Namibia’s annual inflation rate slowed to 3.7 percent in August 2019 from 4.4 percent registered during the same period last year, according to statistics released on Thursday.
 
The decrease resulted mainly from a downturn registered in transport, housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels, health, alcoholic beverages and tobacco, miscellaneous goods and services and Hotels, cafes and restaurants, according to Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA).
 
The 12 months average annual and average monthly inflation rates from September 2018 to August 2019 stood at 4.5 percent and 0.3 percent. Corresponding rates recorded during the same period a year earlier stood at 4.3 percent and 0.4 percent respectively, it said.
 
The average annual and average monthly inflation rates for the period January 2019 to August 2019 were estimated at 4.2 percent and 0.3 percent respectively, according to Statistician-General, Alex Shimuafeni.

Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) declined by 0.16 per cent in the second quarter of 2019, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Tuesday.


The NBS also revealed that the GDP grew by 1.94 per cent in real terms within the same period.

According to the report, if compared to the second quarter of 2018, which recorded a growth of 1.50 per cent, the growth observed in Q2 2019 indicates an increase of 0.44 per cent.

However, when compared to 2.10 per cent recorded in the first quarter of 2019, the Q2 2019 real growth rate indicates a decline of 0.16 per cent.

“During the quarter, aggregate GDP stood at N34,944,151.61 million in nominal terms, an increase of 13.83% over the performance in the second quarter of 2018 and 9.8% over the preceding quarter,” the report noted.

The NBS said that the performance observed in Q2 2019 follows an equally strong first-quarter performance, and was likely aided by stability in oil output as well as the successful political transition.

Overall, a total of 15 activities grew faster in Q2 2019 relative to last year, while 13 activities had higher growth rates relative to the preceding quarter.

On a half-year basis, real growth in the first half of 2019 stood at 2.02 per cent, higher than in 2018 which was 1.69 per cent.

Further analysis on the quarter on quarter shows that the real GDP increased by 2.85 per cent compared to a decline of –13.69 per cent in the preceding period.

Kenya has joined the league of crude oil exporters in Africa. President Uhuru Kenyatta flagged off the maiden oil shipment today at a ceremony in the port of Mombasa, with a warning against corruption that may deny people the opportunity to benefit from the resource.
 
The crude oil will be shipped by Chinese state-owned firm ChemChina which won the tender to buy the maiden Kenyan oil at a premium early this month, the Standard of Kenya reported.
 
The Government on August 1 announced that the oil produced in Turkana and stacked at the Kenya Petroleum Refineries Ltd’s (KPRL) storage facilities in Mombasa would be sold at Sh1.2 billion ($12 million).
 
Uhuru said the country with its partners will continue to pursue natural resources but without compromising the future generation.
 
He said more resources would be channelled into upgrading infrastructure that would ease transport of oil from the fields to the port.
 
“The government will ensure that the local communities benefit from the oil and that the fruits of the resource are also shared in an equitable and sustainable manner.
 
“I urge all those in charge to avoid any misuse of the resource that would deny others from its benefit,” he added.
 
Petroleum Cabinet Secretary John Munyes said plans are underway to have a pipeline between Turkana and Lamu Port to ease transportation of the oil.
 
“The 2020 plan for a pipeline connecting Lokichar-Lamu are on track, we need more commitments on land and water to enable us to move faster with everything,” he added.
 
Representatives from Tullow Oil, Total, and governors from Lamu, Mombasa, West Pokot, Kwale, Taita Taveta and Turkana Deputy Governor attended the Monday event.
 
The export of the Crude Oil will start with a shipment of 200,000 barrels marking Kenya’s entry into the league of oil-exporting countries, the Standard said.
 
Tullow estimates that Kenya’s onshore fields in Turkana hold 560 million barrels of oil and expects them to produce up to 100,000 barrels per day from 2022.

Japan said on Friday its economy had slowed in the April-to-June quarter amid escalating trade tensions between China and the United States.

The economy expanded at an annualized rate of 1.8 per cent for the third straight quarter of growth, slowing from the 2.8-per-cent expansion in the first three-month period, the Cabinet Office said in a statement.

The reading beat the 0.4-per-cent growth forecast by analysts polled by the Nikkei Business Daily.

The country’s 10-day holiday during the imperial succession in May helped boost consumption, analysts said.

Private consumption rose 0.6 per cent quarter-on-quarter, compared with a 0.1-per-cent increase in the January-to-March period,

Corporate investment climbed 1.5 per cent, following a 0.4-per-cent rise in the previous quarter.

The office also reported exports edged down 0.1 per cent in the April-to-June period, compared with a 2-per-cent contraction in the first quarter of this year.

Imports grew 1.6 per cent in the second quarter after shrinking 4.3 per cent in the previous period.

The consumer price index, (CPI) which measures inflation increased by 11.22 percent (year-on-year) in June 2019.

This is 0.18 percent points lower than the rate recorded in May 2019 (11.40) percent.

This was contained in a report released on Monday by the National Bureau of Statistics.

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Monday approved the rate of 0.2 per cent as the new import levy of Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF) on goods coming into Nigeria.

The Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, disclosed this while addressing the State House correspondents after the FEC meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa.

She said, however, there were exemptions to the new levy.

“Council approval a rate of 0.2 per cent as the new import levy of CIF that will be charged on imports coming to Nigeria but with some exceptions.

“The exceptions include goods originating from outside the territory of member countries that are coming into the country for consumption.

“It also includes goods that are coming for aid and also it includes goods that are originating from non-member countries but are imported through specific financing agreement that ask for such kind of exemptions.

“It also exempts goods that have been ordered and are under importation process before the scheme is announced into effect.

According to her, the purpose of the new levy is to enable African Union (AU) members pay on a sustainable basis, their subscription to the AU.

Ahmed said that Nigeria knowing that what would accrue from the new levy would be more than what was required as subscription to the AU, that the balance would be put in a special account.

She said that the special account would be used to finance subscriptions in multilateral organisations such as the World Bank, African Development Bank (AfDB), the Islamic Development Bank, and institutions like that.

The minister said that if there was any excess left from that revenue pool, it would be used to finance the budget.

She said the second approval was for the setting up of the Steering Committee to be chaired by the vice president for the design and implementation of a National Single Window.

“The National Single Window is a web portal that will be able to integrate all the government agencies that are implementers in the port system or trading in the port system.

“The trading platform will enable better efficiency of port operations; also, we are projecting that it will significantly increase government revenue.

“The third approval is for the extension of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) intervention that will be used to continue to support the power sector particularly, the generation arm of the power sector.

“This is based on a commitment that we signed into as a country where we gave seven guarantees to the Generating Companies (GenCos) to bridge any gap that they may have after the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading (NBET) Plc has settled them,” she said.

On his part, the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Sen. Udo Udoma, said he briefed the FEC on the first quarter of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) performance numbers released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), a parastatal under his ministry.

He said that the GDP indicated continuing economic growth.

According to him, the economy recorded a real GDP growth of 2.01 per cent in the first quarter of 2019.

Udoma said that the growth reflected the strongest first quarter performance in GDP since 2015—a development which he said pleased the council.

“FEC is most encouraged that the economy continues to be driven by the non oil sector which affects most of our population.

“Also, Agriculture grew by 3.17 per cent and this represents the strongest growth in agriculture since the first quarter of 2017.

“FEC is also pleased to note that are improvements in other economic indicators such as the inflation rate which tend to be high during the election period but it has been stable.

“Our trade balance has also remained healthy during the period while our exchange rate to the dollar has also been stable notwithstanding the elections, there has been stability,” he said

The minister said that the council believed that the dividend arising from the peaceful elections and the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari would lead to a further boost in economic growth.

He said that the country would expect faster growth rate as the incoming cabinet would continue to intensify work on the implementation of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.

Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has announced that it generated N311.2 billion revenue in the first quarter of 2019.

This was contained in a document released in Abuja by the office of the Public Relations Officer of the service, Joseph Attah, showing the revenue generated between January and March.

A revenue target of N887 billion was set for NCS in 2019 by the federal government.

However, the Comptroller-General of Customs, Hameed Ali, had promised that the figure would be surpassed as the management had earlier set a higher target for the organisation.

The NCS generated about N116.5 billion in January, N84.9 billion in February, and N109.8 billion in March.

It showed that the revenue, which is from; import duty, levy, exercise duty and other fees, was gotten from the 29 various commands of the service across the country.

Apapa Customs’ command has the highest revenue generated followed by Tincan.

Ogun State Command of NCS had, earlier in the month, announced that it generated N3,258,628,190 revenue in the first quarter of 2019.

The command’s Area Comptroller, Michael Agbara said the command intercepted 1.8 tons of cannabis sativa (Indian hemp), 12,720 bags of foreign rice, 83 units of “tokunbo” vehicles, 446 kegs of vegetable oil, 4 units of motorcycle and 778 pairs, three jumbo and six sacks of used foot wears, within the period.

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