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FG increases minimum wage offer, proposes to pay N62,000

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We’ll pay affordable minimum wage - Tinubu assures Labour

The Federal Government has increased its minimum wage offer from N60,000 to N62,000.

This follows the meeting of the Tripartite Committee on New National Minimum Wage held on Friday.

Meanwhile, organized labour has tabled a N250,000 minimum wage proposal. The private sector, however, supported the government’s offer of N62,000.

The meeting was adjourned without reaching a consensus.

The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) had earlier rejected the Federal Government’s N60,000 proposal, deeming it unsustainable.

The governors argued that such a wage would deplete state resources, leaving nothing for development purposes, and might even necessitate borrowing to pay workers’ salaries.

Labour unions, led by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), embarked on a strike Monday, protesting the government’s proposed wage as unacceptable.

The strike was however halted a day later.

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Economy

Wale Edun: Benefits of Tinubu’s economic reforms will be felt soon | Food distribution underway

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The federal government plans to provide subsidy to developers and operators of solar mini-grids in unserved and underserved areas

Wale Edun, minister of finance and coordinating minister of the economy, says the country’s economy has been revamped and Nigerians will soon feel the benefits.

Edun spoke in an interview with Arise on Wednesday during the celebration of Nigeria’s Democracy Day at the Eagle’s Square, Abuja.

He said better days are ahead under President Bola Tinubu’s leadership as the country is set to witness substantial economic progress.

“There is hope for better days to come. We are on the right track. We have turned the economy around and now the benefits are about to be felt by Nigerians. That is the commitment of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu,” Edun said.

“Food distribution is underway, and in addition to that we have revamped and started direct payments to individuals to cover 75 million Nigerians at the end of the day, and that process has integrity, transparency and visibility.

“And it’s just a question of speeding it up, scaling it up.

“We know that before it was not what it should have been but it was stopped in the interest of integrity. But now, funding is being rolled out that will allow people to take money to go to the market and buy.

“And at the same time, there is tremendous focus on food production. That is the key area to focus on now because the economy has been put on track. People must feel it and must feel it soon.

“And Mr. President is aware of that and committed to that, he’s a man of the people, he’s from the grassroots.”

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During his Democracy speech, Tinubu said an executive bill on the new minimum wage would soon be sent to the national assembly.

He said the federal government has negotiated with organised labour “in good faith and with open arms” on a new national minimum wage.

Tinubu also said in the process of reforming the economy, he will always listen to the people and never turn his back on them.

 

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Economy

Be transparent on fuel subsidy claims — NANS tells FG

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Be transparent on fuel subsidy claims — NANS tells FG

The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has urged the Federal Government and the management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), to be transparent regarding fuel subsidy claims.

Previously, the Tinubu-led government had maintained that it would no longer subsidise fuel costs.

In December, the government said contrary to the claim by the World Bank that the government is still paying subsidy on petrol, the era of petrol subsidy is “gone for good”.

Briefing newsmen Wednesday in Abuja, NANS President, Pedro Obi, said: “during the inauguration ceremony of our President, H.E. Bola Ahmed Tinubu GCFR, a significant and bold announcement was made regarding the removal of fuel subsidies.

“This decision caused widespread concern across the nation’s energy sector, leading to a dramatic increase in the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), with some areas experiencing prices exceeding 800 Naira per liter.

“We are now left confused about the current status of fuel subsidies. Is the subsidy back through the back door? If so, why are fuel prices still beyond the reach of ordinary Nigerians? In light of these concerns.”

NANS, therefore, called for clarification on fuel subsidies.

“NANS calls on the Federal Government and the management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to provide transparency regarding the fuel subsidy claims. Specifically, how much is being paid and to whom? Failure to do this, will leave us with no option but to call on Nigerian Students to take to the streets to demand answers.

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“Addressing Hunger and Inflation: NANS urges the Federal Government to take immediate action to combat the rising tide of hunger in the country as we grapple with ongoing inflation,” Obi said.

NANS also demanded that the government urgently intervene to secure campuses nationwide.

Source: The Vanguard

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Economy

Fuel, foods lead as imports hit N12tn

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Fuel, foods lead as imports hit N12tn

Refined petroleum products and agricultural food imports constituted the major items imported by Nigerians into the country in the first quarter of 2024, the National Bureau of Statistics has stated in a new report.

This was as total imports for Q1 2024 stood at N12.64tn representing a 39.65 per cent increase from N9.05tn in Q4 2023 and a 95.53 per cent rise from N6.47tn in Q1 2023.

While the import of raw materials by manufacturers gulped N1.5tn, citizens spent N920.54bn to bring in agricultural goods, the NBS in its Foreign Trade Statistics disclosed on Sunday.

“The share of total imports accounted for 39.75 per cent of total trade in the first quarter of 2024 with the value of imports amounting to N12.64tn in Q1, 2024. This value indicates an increase of 39.65 per cent over the value recorded in Q4 2023 (N9.05tn) and rose by 95.53 per cent compared to the value recorded in Q1 2023 (N6.46tn). The merchandise trade balance for Q1 2024 stood positive at N6.5tn,” the NBS report stated in part.

The NBS said China was Nigeria’s top trading partner on the import side, contributing 23.18 per cent to the total imports. Other significant import partners included India (8.46 per cent), the United States (7.98 per cent), Belgium (7.56 per cent), and the Netherlands (4.68 per cent).

It said agricultural goods imported were valued at N920.54bn, reflecting a 29.45 per cent increase compared to N711.14bn in Q4 2023 and a 95.28 per cent rise compared to N471.39bn in Q1 2023.

Similarly, raw material imports by manufacturers stood at N1.47tn, a 51.78 per cent increase from N966.80bn in Q4 2023 and a 164.18 per cent rise from N555.47bn in Q1 2023.

Key imported commodities included motor spirit ordinary, gas oil, durum wheat, cane sugar meant for sugar refinery, and other liquefied petroleum gases.

The report added, “In the first quarter of 2024, China ranked highest among the top trading partners on the import side, followed by India, United States of America, Belgium, and The Netherlands. The most traded commodities were motor spirit ordinary, gas oil, durum wheat (Not in seeds), cane sugar meant for sugar refinery, and other liquefied petroleum gases and other gaseous hydrocarbons.

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“The value of agricultural goods imported in Q1 2024 was N920.54bn, reflecting an increase of 29.45 per cent when compared to N711.14bn in Q4 2023, and a 95.28 per cent rise compared to N471.39bn in Q1 2023.

“In Q1 2024, raw material imports were valued at N1,467.41 billion. This represents a 51.78 per cent increase from N966.80 billion in Q4 2023 and a significant rise of 164.18 per cent from N555.47bn in Q1 2023.

“In the first quarter of 2024, solid mineral imports were valued at N71.38bn. This represents a 21.15 per cent increase from N58.92bn in Q4 2023 and a 59.23 per cent increase from N44.83bn in Q1 2023.”

In the recent past, there have conflicting and contrary views by various stakeholders to open the border for the import of food products as a measure to curb surging inflation.

Although President Bola Tinubu has refuted plans to permit food imports from neighbouring countries, the government has set in motion a plan to suspend the payment of import duties on staple food items, drugs, and other essential items for an initial period of six months as a measure to curb inflation, the Chairman of the Presidential Committee on Fiscal Policy and Tax Reforms, Taiwo Oyedele informed Journalists last week.

In Nigeria, a food crisis looms large, challenging the nation’s stability. Food prices have surged, with food inflation reaching 40.5 per cent.

Among the hardest-hit commodities is rice, a dietary staple. In the past year alone, rice prices have skyrocketed by 169 per cent, reaching nearly N90,000 per bag in March and April. This sharp increase in food costs is placing immense strain on households across the country, exacerbating an already fragile economy.

It’s estimated that around 31 million Nigerians may face severe food shortages by August this year.

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Based on international standard classification, the statistics agency said that the top-ranked group import was “mineral fuels” with N4.436tn representing 35.09 per cent of total imports; this was followed by “machinery and transport equipment” with N3.17tn (25.08 per cent of total imports) and “Chemicals & related products” with N1.786tn (14.13 per cent of total imports).

“On the other hand, total imports of agricultural goods in Q1, 2024 stood at N920.54bn or 7.28 per cent of total imports.

The major agriculture goods imported in Q1, 2024 included ‘Durum wheat (not in seeds)’ from Canada with N130.26bn and Lithuania with N98.63bn. This was followed by ‘Blue whitings (Micromesistius potassium, Micromesistius australis) meat, frozen.’ from the Netherlands valued at N16.67bn.

Meanwhile, Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings grew in the first three months of 2024 as the foreign trade surplus rose to N6.52tn due to naira devaluation.

According to new data from the National Bureau of Statistics, Nigeria’s total import bill stood at N12.64tn, while total exports amounted to N19.17tn, indicating that the country was able to earn N6.52tn worth of foreign exchange in the process.

This figure is a significant recovery from the N1.41tn trade deficit recorded in the previous quarter (Q4 2023) and the N927.2 billion in the same period (Q1) of 2023.

The first quarter trade surplus marks a historic peak, surpassing previous records dating back to 2009, with the closest figure being N5.74 trillion in Q4 2011.

The record data is also fueled by exchange rate depreciation which means the trade surplus when converted to Naira will be higher than in any other period in history.

The report stated that total exports for Q1 2024 were valued at N19.17tn, representing a 51 per cent increase from the previous quarter’s N12.69tn and a 195.47 per cent rise from N6.49tn recorded in Q1 2023.

France emerged as the leading destination for Nigerian exports, accounting for 11.09 per cent of the total export value, followed by Spain (10.56 per cent), the Netherlands (8.85 per cent), India (8.41 per cent), and the United States (6.84 per cent).

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The statistics agency added that major export commodities included crude oil, liquefied natural gas, sesamum seeds, urea, and superior-quality cocoa beans.

Crude oil exports accounted for 80.80 per cent of total exports with a value of N15.49tn, representing a 50.20 per cent increase from N10.31tn in Q4 2023 and a remarkable 200.79 per cent rise from N5.15tn in Q1 2023.

Revenue from agricultural exports also saw significant growth, amounting to N1.04tn, up by 123.08 per cent from N463.97bn in Q4 2023 and by 270.13 per cent from N279.64bn in Q1 2023.

The report read, “Total exports in Q1 2024 we’re valued at N19.17tn, reflecting a 51.00 per cent increase compared to N12.69tn in Q4 2023 and a 195.47 per cent rise compared to N6.49tn in Q1 2023.

“In Q1 2024, the top trading export partners were France, Spain, the Netherlands, India, and the United States of America. The most exported m commodities included crude oil, liquefied natural gas, sesamum seeds, urea (whether or not in aqueous solution), and superior-quality cocoa beans.

“Exports of agricultural goods in Q1 2024 amounted to N1.04tn, a 123.08 per cent increase from N463.97bn in Q4 2023 and a 270.13 per cent rise from N279.64bn in Q1 2023.

“The value of manufactured goods exports in Q1 2024 was N268.70bn, reflecting a 14.36 per cent increase from N234.96bn in Q4 2023 and a 104.88 per cent increase from N131.15bn in Q1 2023.

“Crude oil exports in Q1 2024 were valued at N15.49tn, a rise of 50.20 per cent from N10.31tn in Q4 2023 and by 200.7 per cent from N5.15tn in Q1 2023.”

The FX reform implemented last June as part of the Federal Government’s measures to revive the economy has led to a large devaluation of the naira.

While the naira has continued to depreciate, the West African CFA franc, a legal tender in Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo, has appreciated.

Source: The Punch

 

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Economy

FG spent N697bn on revenue collection in 11 months

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Don’t devalue naira after implementing new national minimum wage – Workers tell Tinubu

The Federal Government of Nigeria has spent a total sum of N697bn to collect the N15.8tn shared by the three tiers of government in the first 11 months of the current administration, Saturday PUNCH investigation has shown.

This was derived through an analysis of the monthly disbursement statements issued by the Federal Account Allocation Committee between June 2023 and April 2024.

FAAC has the duty of examining and approving the distribution of financial resources to the states and the Federal Government.

Monthly, this committee is tasked with the disbursement of funds across Nigeria’s 36 states and its 774 local government areas.

This allocation is anticipated to drive progress and support governmental bodies across various tiers in executing their duties.

According to a statement issued in May by the Director of Press and Public Relations in the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation, Bawa Mokwa, the three tiers of government shared a total sum of N1.2tn in April out of the total revenue of N2.192tn available for the month.

Mokwa said, “The revenue was shared at the May 2024 meeting of the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee held in Abuja.

“A communiqué issued by the Federation Allocation Account Committee revealed that the N 1,208.081bn total distributable revenue comprised distributable statutory revenue of N284.716 billion, distributable Value Added Tax revenue of N466.457bn, Electronic Money Transfer Levy revenue of N18.024bn and Exchange Difference revenue of N438.884bn.

“Total revenue of N2,192.077bn was available in the month of April 2024. Total deduction for cost of collection was N80.517bn; total transfers, interventions and refunds was N903.479bn,” he stated.

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However investigation by Saturday PUNCH revealed that since President Bola Tinubu administration came into power, the three revenue generating agencies of the government comprising Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Inland Revenue Service and Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission have received the sum of N696.7bn as cost of revenue collection for the Federation.

As of May 2023 when the last regime of General Muhammadu Buhari left office, the total amount received by the three agencies as cost of revenue collection for that month alone was N31.07bn.

However, the three agencies collected N80.5bn as cost of revenue collection for April 2024, which was N49.43bn higher than the May 2023 funds they received.

This implies that the cost of monthly revenue collection for the country increased by 159 per cent in the first 11 months of the current administration.

Similarly, the three agencies received a total sum of N697bn as cost of revenue collection for the first 11 months of the current administration, but got approximately N403bn in the last 11 months of the immediate past Buhari regime. This gives a difference of N294bn, indicating an increase of 72.9 per cent.

Meanwhile, out of the N402.8bn doled out for revenue collection in the last 11 months of Buhari regime, the Nigerian Customs received N116.4bn, FIRS got N198.2bn, while NUPRC received N88.26bn.

However, from June 2023 to December 2023, Nigerian Customs received N97.16bn, FIRS received N236.93bn, while NUPRC got N69.14bn out of N402.17bn paid to the three agencies by FAAC as cost of revenue collection for the seven months.

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In the first four months of 2024, the three agencies have received a total sum of N294.8bn from FAAC as cost of revenue collection. However as of the time of filing this report, it could not be verified how much each of the agencies has received out of the total sum for the four months (January 2024 to April 2024).

In a month by month basis in 2024, the three agencies received N78.4bn in January, N66.4bn in February, N69.5bn in March, and N80.5bn in April.

In the last seven months of 2023, they received N38bn in June, N73.17bn in July, N62.3bn in August, N54.3bn in September, N53bn in October, N60.2bn in November, and N61bn in December.

However, in the last 11 months of Buhari regime, the agencies received N44.5bn in July 2022, N47bn in August 2022, N35bn in September 2022, N34bn in October 2022, N34bn in November 2022, and N41bn in December 2022.

The agencies received N42.56bn in January 2023, N40bn in February 2023, N27bn in March 2023, N31bn in April 2023 and N31.07bn in May 2023.

Source: The Punch

 

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Economy

Nigeria lost about N7 billion in cargo transport due to NLC, TUC strike: Agents

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Nigeria lost about N7 billion in cargo transport due to NLC, TUC strike: Agents

The Domestic Airports Cargo Agents Association (DACAA) has estimated that Nigeria lost about N7 billion during the two-day NLC and TUC nationwide strike.

The Domestic Airports Cargo Agents Association (DACAA) has estimated that Nigeria lost about N7 billion during the two-day NLC and TUC nationwide strike.

The chairman of the board of trustees of DACAA, Ikpe Nkanang, said this in an interview on Friday in Lagos.

Mr Nkanang said about 30 tonnes of cargo were lifted daily across the country’s domestic airports.

He said the cargo volume dumped during the two-day strike could only be imagined.

He said many cargoes had been gathered and made ready for freight on Monday morning before the strike began.

“For those two days, the airlines were not working, and once the airlines are not working, cargoes cannot move, and it is a great loss to all of us. You needed to see the volume of cargoes that was dumped over those two days; of course, you know we gathered cargoes during the weekend, hoping that by Monday and Tuesday, we would be able to send them out.

“It was a colossal loss to us in the cargo world. It affected our income and, of course, the economy of the country. For those few hours of the strike, the country lost about N7 billion across all local airports,” he said.

According to him, transporting a kilogramme of cargo costs N300.

Mr Nkanang urged the Federal Government to reach an agreement with organised labour before the strike resumes.

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The labour unions suspended the strike on Tuesday afternoon to enable continued negotiations on a new minimum wage.

Airport operations were grounded during the strike as aviation unions blocked all access points to domestic terminals.

Source: Gazzetengr

 

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Customs laments ban on sale of carbonated drinks, says it’s shrinking revenue generation

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has slashed the exchange rate for calculating Customs duties at the nation’s seaports by 0.7 percent

The Nigeria Customs Service NCS has said that the ban on the sale of carbonated drinks by the National Agency for Drugs Administration and Control NAFDAC is affecting the revenue generation by the agency.

The Comptroller-General of NCS Mr Adewale Bashir Adeniyi gave the hint at the House of Representatives Committee on Finance revenue monitoring excercise with all the federal government owned Ministries, Departments and Agencies MDAs on Thursday.

He said that the first mandate of the Nigeria Customs Service is revenue collection which statutorily is paid into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the federal government.

He also stated that the revenue generation is set by the agency on a quarterly basis adding that the revenue generation capacity of the agency is hinged on many extrenous factors

He informed the House Committee that in 2024 fiscal year, the agency had set a target of N5.079 trillion and a monthly target of N423 billion and N1.369 billion for each quarter.

Speaking further on seizures, he said that the agency recorded 468 siezures in the first quarter of the year 2024 which was worth N1.9 trillion.

He said that most of the siezures carried out by officers of the agency were mostly on carbonated drinks adding that the bank on the product is affecting the agency’s revenue generation capacity.

He also said that the revenue generation profile of the agency is affected by the volume of cargoes coming into the nation’s ports.

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He said:” The reduction in the volume of cargoes coming into the nation’s ports have affected our revenue.

“We are looking at the projection for the second quarter of 2024 and we believe that by the end of June 2024, we would ‘ve been able to generate N3 billion”.

On the non-inclusion of the cost of collection of the revenue in the document submitted to the House Committee, he said it was deliberate.

He however said that the Act establishing the agency had empowered it to collect 7% of the total revenue as the cost of collection.

The Deputy Chairman of the House Committee Hon. Seidu Abdullahi in remark commended the revenue drive and generation capacity of the agency saying that it had surpassed the expectation of the House and revenue authorities.

He nonetheless urged the NCS CG to properly look into the issue of granting of waivers to importers of goods into the country insisting that if there must be waivers, it must have huge benefits for the nation’s economy.

Source:  Championsnews

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