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Nigeria’s Debt Hits N22.43trn, 85.06% Increase Under Buhari, Domestic Component 70.51%

                                File Photo: Naira and Dollars

Everest Amaefule, Abuja

 

Nigeria’s total debt now stands at N22.43tn, data obtained from the Debt Management Office have shown.

According to the DMO, the nation’s total debt as of September 30, 2018, stood at N22.43tn.

As of June 30, 2015, the country’s total debt stood at N12.12tn. This means that within the tenure of the present administration which came to power on May 29, 2015, the country’s total debt has risen by N10.31tn or 85.06 per cent.

Of the total debt, the external component of both the Federal Government and state governments’ debts including that of the Federal Capital Territory stood at $21.59bn.

As of June 30, 2015, the external debt component of the country’s total debt stood at $10.32bn. This means that the external debt component rose by $11.27bn or 109.21 per cent.

On the other hand, the omestic debt of both the Federal Government and the subnational governments stood at N15.81tn.

Analysing the debt statistics further showed that the domestic debt of the Federal Government alone stood at N12.29tn as of September 30, 2018.

The domestic debt of the Federal Government as of June 30, 2015, stood at N8.4bn while that of the states and FCT stood at N1.69tn.

The DMO added that the debt statistics as of September 30, 2018, was only slightly different from the statistics as of June 30, 2018.

On the difference between the debt statistics of the two quarters, the DMO said, “External debt declined by 2.02 per cent to $21.59bn due largely to the redemption by Nigeria of a $500m Eurobond which matured on July 12, 2018.

“The Eurobond which was issued for a tenor of five years in 2013 was the first Eurobond maturity for Nigeria and Nigeria’s ability to repay it seamlessly boosted Nigeria’s position as a good credit in the International Capital Market.

“The domestic debt of the FGN, states and the FCT grew by 1.19 per cent from N15.63tn in June 2018 to N15.8tn in September 2018. This increase of N185bn was attributed to the FGN (N135bn) and states and FCT (N50bn).”

It added, “The combination of an increase in the level of domestic debt and a decrease in the external debt stock resulted in a slight shift in the portfolio composition.

“As of September 30, 2018, the share of domestic debt was 70.51 per cent compared to 69.83 per cent in June 2018.

“This trend is expected to be reversed in Quarter Four 2018 as the new external borrowing of N849bn (about $2.78bn) provided in the 2018 Appropriation Act is expected to be raised within the quarter.”

The current strategy of the Federal Government is to raise external debt component to 40 per cent and to raise the local debt component to 60 per cent in order to take advantage of the lower interest rate on foreign debts.  (Punch)

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EXPOSED: Leaked Tapes: ‘Nigerians Are Hungry, Crying, Poverty Growing |RN

Amaechi: I’m not aware of any recording

Though the veracity of the tapes is still not clear, Amaechi was heard in the recording saying the Buhari administration has brought misery to Nigerians.

Aidoghie Paulinus and Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja, (with agency report)

Controversy has continued to trail leaked audio tapes exposing where Transportation Minister, Chibuike Amaechi, allegedly lamented the situation in the country under President Muhammadu Buhari.

Although the veracity of the tapes is still not clear, Amaechi was heard, in the audio recording, figuratively saying the Buhari administration has brought only misery, poverty and hunger to Nigerians.

In the audio recording, shared with PREMIUM TIMES, by spokesperson for the Atiku Abubakar Campaign, Phrank Shaibu, Amaechi, who is director general of Buhari’s Presidential Campaign Organisation, said in the three years Buhari has been in power, Nigerians are lamenting.

He said in the audio recording: “These are not things you publish ooo. If you publish them, you will never sit with me any day.

“Three years of Buhari oo, everybody is crying, crying…pressmen are crying, farmers are crying, workers are crying, politicians are crying, students are crying, three years oo!

“The rate of poverty is very high. The people are hungry. Nigeria will divide!”

The audio recording presented Amaechi as describing the president as a leader who neither listens nor cares about what is written about him, as the voice said: “The president does not listen to anybody. He doesn’t care. You can write what you want to write. The president doesn’t care. Does he read? He will read, he will laugh. He will say ‘come, come and see, they are abusing me here’. In fact, there was one case of somebody in Onitsha, a trader in Onitsha who couldn’t sell his goats during Sallah; and, I was with Oga on the plane and the man was busy abusing Buhari. He said, ‘Amaechi, come, what is my business with Onitsha goat seller?’”

Reacting to the audio recording, Amaechi dismissed it, saying he was not aware of such audio now being played on several internet platforms.

He vehemently denied knowledge of any audio recording to Daily Sun, yesterday evening.

“I am not aware of any audio recording.”

Further told that the audio is gaining momentum on different online websites, the immediate past governor of Rivers State said: “Do I do website?”

Meanwhile, the PDP has said that Amaechi has a huge responsibility to defend himself on the alleged audio tape.

PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, told reporters in Abuja, yesterday, that if the president believes the alleged tape is normal, it is not the business of the opposition party.

“What is out in the public domain is just a demonstration to Nigerians about the lies, deceptions, contrivances and beguilement that APC deployed to win the 2015 election.

“It shows that they have no plans, no agenda, no vision in whatever form as far as governance is concerned for Nigerians…”    (The Sun)

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2019: Kidnappings, Killings, Hardship Not Enough Reason To Vote Out Buhari – Sani, ACF Scribe

As the 2019 general elections approach, Secretary General of Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Mr. Anthony Sani, has said kidnappings, killings and economic hardship in the land are not enough reasons to vote out President Muhammadu Buhari at the coming polls.

Sani noted that even in advanced countries where democracy is being practised, bombings and killings cannot be ruled out, and citizens of such countries never called for dethronement of their Presidents. The ACF scribe therefore called on Nigerians to be patient with Buhari and give him a second chance to take the country to the promisedland. He spoke to NOAH EBIJEin Kaduna.

Sir, how has our country, Nigeria fared in the past year 2018, considering the fact that it witnessed a lot of challenges like kidnappings, bombings and killings by Boko Haram and herdsmen?

Nigeria has been going through challenges just like any other growing nation. And the government is trying its best to overcome the challenges. Such challenges should bring about purposeful leadership and the best in every one rather than frustrations. This is noteworthy considering that order, justice, liberty, peace, common decency and prosperity for all, are never natural order of things but attained through ceaseless hardwork by both leaders and the led.

This government inherited many of these challenges and there was even prediction by some group in America that the country would reach a tipping point by 2015, and the government promised to tame some of the challenges. The government is now three and half years old, it is therefore left for fair minded and public spirited Nigerians to do the fact-check and know whether the fight against Boko Haram has yielded positive results by way of reduction of spread and frequency of attacks or not, whether killing of high profile Nigerians has reduced or not compared to the past or not, as well as noting whether there are consciously directed efforts to tame kidnapping and killings by gunmen compared to the past or not. The records should inform judgement of Nigerian voters during elections.

I say so because challenges are natural concomitant of mechanism of community living. And that explains why there are still reports of killings by gunmen in developed democracies, including America that is 241 years old, and the fact that people rate their leaders on the basis of effectiveness of consciously directed efforts at overcoming the challenges. Nigerians should use the records for informed judgement during elections.

How worried are you that Nigeria is rated as the 3rd world most terrorised country?

Whatever level of worries does not result in wiping away terrorism in Nigeria but what is required has to do with consciously directed efforts to reduce the challenges substantially. I have stated that these challenges predate this regime, which promised to tame them. Whether Nigeria is number one, number two or number three among terrorist nations is beside the point. It is the efforts by the government at taming the menace that should concern most Nigerians as to whether there are notable improvements or not.

There is no doubt that there is economic hardship in the land, and people are blaming it on bad leadership. What do you think is the way out because some people have already concluded to vote out President Buhari in 2019 as the only way to solve the problem of hardship?

The complaints by Nigerians of failure of leadership is not new. Even developed countries complain of failure of leadership. This is precisely because however developed a country is, there would still be people who would suffer from poverty, since no nation can wipe out poverty completely. Recall the import of what Jesus Christ told Judas that “the poor would always be with you”. And that is why multi party democracies provide for people to retain performing leadership and vote out feckless leaders at specified periods.

This government inherited an economy that was in shambles that made the president to admit he almost considered abdication. The recession was foretold by the trio of Soludo, Sanusi and Ngozi Iweala which explained the setting in of the recession in the third quarter of 2015.

The government has exited the recession and trying to diversify the economy starting from agriculture and solid minerals. These cannot be a day’s job. But it is left to Nigerians to decide whether the efforts have yielded enough improvement over those of the past or not.

Leader of Northern Elders Forum (NEF), Professor Ango Abdullahi and Chairman, Northern Elders Council (NEC), Ahaji Tanko Yakassai have reportedly and respectively kicked against the re-election of President Buhari. These are founding members of ACF and elder statesmen who are supposed to stand firmly with ACF. Do you think ACF membership will ever be the same again?

I hope you are aware of the fact that the two groups of Northern Elders Forum and Northern Elders Council were formed because they thought ACF was not politically partisan enough. ACF has been political on issues most northerners share but not partisan. This is because membership of ACF cuts across partisan lines, and any partisan disposition on the part of ACF would be counter productive. More so that the North is hardly one when it comes to partisan politics right from first republic through second republic to the current dispensation. And given the nature of partisan politics, you may wish to note that NEF is in factions where the one led by Alhaji Sani Zango Daura, Paul Talfa and co have endorsed President Buhari while Ango’s faction has passed vote of no confidence on the present regime.

What is more, most members of other fora and platforms in the North belong to ACF which serves as umbrella body. For example, Prof Ango has been a member of ACF and contested Chairman of NEC with Coomasie and was later made the chairman of the ACF’s political committee. It is not long ago that we started hearing him declaring ACF a rival of his Northern Elders Forum. Alhaji Tanko Yakassai has not resigned his membership of BoT of ACF. He has even resigned from partisan politics. I am therefore sanguine that after the topsy-turvy of the electioneering campaigns and temper comes down, most of them will be active members of ACF again. There is no cause for alarm. What has happened is a result of nature of partisan politics.

There are reports that a bill for change from presidential system of government is being considered in the National Assembly. What is your take on it?

I am not sure if the problems of this country have something to do with structure of the country or form of government. This is because we have tried the parliamentary system during the first republic and jettisoned it as feckless. We tried military dictatorship and said it was aberration, and now we are trying the presidential system, which we say is expensive. But when we consider the fact that all these models have worked in some other climes, then it is hard to avoid the conclusion that our problems are inability to manage our national resources prudently and not structure or form of government. See how Lagos state is performing creditably under the same structure and form of government, which some groups believe are not workable. I am therefore more in favour of effective and efficient management of our national resources which come with integrity and credibility devoid of corrupt practices that have collapsed our national ideals, moral values and of our sense of what is right and what is evil.

What is your view about the effect of the president’s refusal to sign the amended electoral bill on the coming elections?

The President has his own reasons for withholding his assent to the bill, one of which is the time factor that does not allow for proficiencies in exclusive use of electronic voting that include electronic transmission of results amid prevalent hacking. He would prefer there is enough time for INEC to master exclusive electronic voting before it is put to use, which cannot happen now. He seems to have a case there. The President also does not want fusion of votes of political parties that have not merged. He may want political parties to merge and promote true multiparty democracies based on distinct manifestos as against the current practice that are devoid of ideology that inspire defections.

Other areas of concern is ECOWAS protocol which does not make for any amendment less than 90 days to the day of the elections.

And so, given those observations and the fact that the current electoral act sired by opposition PDP which claims credible elections in 2015, I think there should be no qualm for its use in 2019. But if wishes were horses, I would have preferred a situation where the two arms of government should come together and single out the card reader for inclusion in the electoral act. This is because INEC has already mastered the use of card reader and the only draw back is its lack of legalization.

What was your reaction to Gov El-Rufai’s committee’s recommendations to the ruling party on restructuring?

Though Governor El-Rufai is a member of Northern States Governors Forum, a member of the ruling party and may have the ears of the President, I do not think the committee consulted the North on this serious issues of far reaching reforms of the polity that include recommendations for resource control, scrapping of local government, merger of some states and introduction of state police. That report cannot be outcome of consultations across the North. This is because the term restructuring means different things to different people, and those who want restructuring that will allow different sections to develop at different pace are those who want unbridled inequality to push the country to a tipping point.  (The Sun)

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Buhari’s Economic Team Members Lack Requisite Knowledge – Atiku |RN

•Says NBS report on job loss terrible

Success Nwogu and Ogbonnaya Ikokwu  

 

The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, on Wednesday said Nigeria’s economy was in bad shape because members of President Muhammadu Buhari’s economic team do not posses what it takes to turn the economy of the country around.

Atiku said if voted into office in 2019, he would use the knowledge he had garnered from many years of serving as a public officer and being in business to turn the economy around.

He spoke in Aba, during a town hall meeting he had with representatives of the business community.

The presidential candidate said he was in the South-East to interact with businessmen from the zone because of the role they played in the economic development of the country and West Africa.

He said he would do whatever was obtainable within the confines of the law to promote the ease of doing business in Nigeria.

He said, “I am aware of your challenges because I am a business man like you. Whatever that is your pain is also my pain.  I face the same challenges you are facing, but the only thing we can do to change the situation is to change the government in power now.

“This present government lacks the understanding and the capacity to turn our economy around, nor promote the ease of doing business in Nigeria.

“We would ensure that policies that would encourage businesses to thrive in Nigeria are put in place.”

Atiku said the nation could not afford to have a population of 15 million unemployed youths.

Meanwhile, the presidential candidate in a statement by his media aide, Paul Ibe, described the latest report by the National Bureau of Statistics that 20.93m Nigerians had lost their jobs under Buhari as terrible and catastrophic.

He said the implication was that the unemployed population in Nigeria was twice the population of Benin Republic.

He said Nigeria could not continue to be run by an administration that lacked solution to the country’s socio-economic and political challenges.

He said, “We expected a terrible job report, particularly with the comment on live television from the President’s spokesman, Garba Shehu, that President Buhari had ordered the Statistician-General of the Federation, Dr Yemi Kale, to fudge the latest job reports.

“However, the job report released by the National Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday, November 19, 2018, is not just terrible, it is catastrophic. It shows that under the APC administration, a whopping 20.93m Nigerians have lost their jobs!

“To put this in perspective, the unemployed population in Nigeria is now twice the population of Benin Republic!”

He added, “Nigeria cannot continue like this, especially with an administration that continues to blame others for things that they should find solutions to with the latest ridiculous episode being President Buhari’s blaming of former President Jonathan for his own inability to appoint ministers for six months, an action that is directly responsible for the sorry state of unemployment in Nigeria.”

The former vice-president  urged Nigerians to note that a President who could not  create jobs or wealth in his own private business could not create jobs or wealth for the public. (Punch)

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Inflation Hits 11.28% In November, Says NBS |The Republican News

Inflation notches up to 11.28% in November, says NBS

“The urban inflation rate increased by 11.61 percent (year-on-year) in November 2018 from 11.64 percent recorded in October 2018…”

Isaac Anumihe, Abuja

National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has said that inflation rate in November has moved up to 11.28 percent, 0.02 percent points higher than the 11.26 percent rate recorded in October 2018.

Recall that the inflation rate dropped to 11.26 percent in October from 11.28 percent in September because food prices had a negative inflation between September and October 2018.

But in a statement, at the weekend in Abuja, NBS said that in November, increases were recorded in all classifications of individual consumption according to Purpose (COICOP) divisions that yielded the headline index.

“As regards month-on-month basis, the headline index increased by 0.80 percent in November 2018, up by 0.006 percent points from the rate recorded in October 2018 (0.74) percent. The percentage change in the average composite Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the 12 months period that ended in November 2018 over the average of the CPI for the previous 12 months period was 12.41 percent, showing 0.37 percent point decline from 12.78 percent recorded in October 2018.

“The urban inflation rate increased by 11.61 percent (year-on-year) in November 2018 from 11.64 percent recorded in October 2018, while the rural inflation rate increased by 10.99 percent in November 2018 from 10.93 percent in October 2018. On a month-on-month basis, the urban index rose by 0.83 percent in November 2018, up by 0.07 from 0.76 percent recorded in October 2018, while the rural index also rose by 0.78 percent in November 2018, down by 0.06 percent from the rate recorded in October 2018 (0.72 per cent). The corresponding 12-month year-on-year average percentage change for the urban index was 12.83 percent in November 2018. This is less than 13.21 percent reported in October 2018, while the corresponding rural inflation rate in November 2018 was 12.05 percent compared to 12.42 percent recorded in October 2018,” NBS said.

The CPI measures the average change over time in prices of goods and services consumed by people for day-to-day living.    (The Sun)

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Naira Loses Value Against Dollar |The Republican News

The Naira on Wednesday depreciated marginally against the dollar at the investors’ window, trading at N364, weaker than N363.72 posted on Tuesday.

Market turnover stood at 264.04 million dollars, while it traded at N306.35 to the dollar at the official CBN window.

At the parallel market, the Naira closed at N359.5 to the dollar, while the Pound Sterling and the Euro closed at N482 and N421.

Trading at the Bureau De Change window saw the Naira close at N360 to the dollar, while the Pound Sterling and the Euro closed at N482 and N421.

The Nigerian currency remained stable at the market largely due to series of interventions by the CBN.

(NAN)

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Bad Economy: APC Berates The Economist, HSBC For Predicting Buhari’s Defeat |RN

Yekini-Nabena

APC National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena

Niyi  Odebode, John Alechenu, Olusola Fabiyi, Olaleye Aluko, Ted Odogwu,  Enyioha Opara, Olaleye Aluko and  Godwin Isenyo

 

The All Progressives Congress has rejected what it described as doomsday prophecies by two British-based institutions about Nigeria’s economy and the 2019 presidential election.

The APC position was contained in a statement by its acting National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena, in Abuja on Wednesday.

The statement was the APC’s response to reports by The Economist Intelligence Unit, the research unit of The Economist, and a multinational banking and financial services company, HSBC.

The Economist had in a report by its EIU predicted that the Peoples Democratic Party would win the 2019 presidential election.

The HSBC also said the second term of President Muhammadu Buhari would stunt the economy of the country.

But Nabena said the reports were nothing but the usual doomsday prophesies about Nigeria, which had serially proved false, deceptive and unreliable.

The statement read in part, “The All Progressives Congress urges Nigerians to regard these ‘expert analyses and prophecies’ for what they are and dismiss them accordingly.

“We should remember similar prophesies and analyses about the political situation in Nigeria made some years back by similar Western institutions.

“It was prophesied that Nigeria would collapse in 2015, resulting in some ethnic nationalities going their separate ways.

“Here we are, nearly four years after the doomsday prophecy; the Nigerian federation rather than collapse is waxing stronger with President Buhari administration striving to unite the country and consolidate positively on the strength of our diversity.”

The party wondered why it was only negative reports that The Economist, HSBC and similar institutions had about Nigeria.

It added that the two institutions did not see all the positive impacts that the APC administration was making in relation to ongoing economic reforms, fight against corruption, infrastructure drive and counter-insurgency.

The APC listed some of the recoveries made from officials of the immediate past administration by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission as well as increases in remittances by public institutions such as the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board and the Federal Inland Revenue Service as evidence of the Buhari-led administration’s success in transparency.

In a veiled reference to the ex-minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, the statement read, “A former minister in the immediate-past administration who is resident in the United Kingdom is alleged to control enough corruptly-obtained assets whose value if put to productive use could have employed thousands of Nigerians.

“How much of this loot has the United Kingdom, the base of these experts, returned to Nigeria? Of course, these experts are conveniently oblivious of these and many similar cases.

“Rather than consider the plight of Nigerians and campaign for the return of the stolen funds, these institutions have chosen to dissipate energy spewing doomsday prophecies on Nigeria.

“We advise these economic experts to focus on their pressing domestic issues and ponder, for example, on the important question of the role Britain will play in the world, post Brexit.”

Nigeria is doomed if Buhari is elected –SDP, ADC

The Social Democratic Party and the African Democratic Congress have lambasted the APC for defending Buhari.

The SDP National Publicity Secretary, Alfa Mohammed, said, “The APC is only denying what is obvious. The reports are genuine and we know these things already. Of course, we all know that Nigeria will be doomed if a President, who is not in charge, returns for another four years.”

In his reaction, the ADC National Chairman, Chief Okey Nwosu, said, “I wish I could rewind to four years back when the APC was condemning Nigeria’s economy based on the same foreign reports.

“Are these reports true? Yes. The poverty and unemployment index in the country is obvious. Even in agriculture and healthcare, we are not catching up. Our President still goes to same Britain periodically for medical attention.

“The APC has closed its eyes to the truth and has tried to suppress the opposition by all means. It has now extended this condemnation to the international community.

PDP hails reports

The PDP said the reports confirmed its position that Nigerians had rejected Buhari ahead of the 2019 presidential election.

The PDP said Buhari’s rejection was predicated on his alleged failure and the deception of the APC in the last three years.

The National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday said the findings by the two organisations that President Buhari stood no chance in the general elections and that his winning portended grave danger for Nigeria was in tandem with the stance of majority of Nigerians.

He noted that Nigerians were fed up with Buhari due to his alleged incompetence and unprecedented corruption under his watch.

This, he said, had resulted in the ruining of the nation’s once robust economy, “with attendant mass job loss, ravaging hunger, starvation and disease, as well as escalated insecurity.”

“The world knows the reason the Buhari-led APC administration has resorted to harassment and vicious attacks on the opposition, assaults on the judiciary and the National Assembly, as well as unrelenting machination to compromise the Independent National Electoral Commission to rig the elections.

“This is also the reason President Buhari rejected the amendment to the Electoral Act passed by the National Assembly, which practically checks all APC’s rigging strategies ahead of the 2019 general elections,” Ologbondiyan added.

He said the fear of imminent defeat was the reason Buhari was allegedly against the amendment that checked the use of underage voters, provided for online publication of voter register in addition to instant transmission of results from the polling to collation centres, thus eliminating interferences and planned alteration of results by the APC.

“Nigerians are aware that this APC and INEC have been conniving to secretly create 30,000 illegal polling units in remote areas, as well as registration of compromised observers to validate their machinations.

“Now that Mr President is aware that his approval rating among Nigerians and across the world has hit the rocks despite the many choreographed endorsement stunts by his handlers, the PDP urges him to rein in his lackeys, bury the idea of rigging the elections and get ready to accept an inevitable defeat.”

The National Chairman of the Labour Party, Abdulkadir Abdulsalam, also said the APC would lose the 2019 election as predicted.

He spoke to one of our correspondents on the telephone on Wednesday.

Abdulsalam said, “The British groups merely stated what some of us already know, Nigerians are tired of this government and will vote it out in 2019 if we have a free and fair election.”

APC’s change brought hunger – Kwankwaso

In a related development, a PDP presidential aspirant and a former Governor of Kano State, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, on Wednesday said he and others who supported Buhari in 2015 made the “greatest mistake.”

Addressing the Niger State PDP supporters at the party’s secretariat in Minna, the former governor said the much talked about change only brought hunger, killings and unemployment.

He said, “I will not support or remain in that type of change. That is why I am back to the PDP to change the change that has brought untold hardship on Nigerians.”

In Kano State, a former Vice-President and PDP presidential aspirant, Alhaji  Atiku Abubakar,   promised a turnaround in the “current misfortune of Nigerians.”

He spoke while addressing the PDP chieftains and supporters at the residence the party’s state Chairman in Kano, Ma’sud El-Doguwa.    (Punch)

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