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Ogun Signs Over $300m Agreements For Three Projects

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Gov Abiodun Calls For Moderate Christmas Celebrations

The Ogun State government has signed agreements for the execution of three Development Finance Institutions-funded projects in line with Governor Dapo Abiodun’s economic development agenda in the state.

The projects include the Ogun State Economic Transformation Project (OGSTEP), Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project (RAAMP) and Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP).

The state Commissioner for Finance and Governor’s Chief Economic Adviser, Mr Dapo Okubadejo, signed the agreements on behalf of the state while the Minister for Finance, Budget and National Planning, Dr (Mrs.) Zainab Ahmed, signed on behalf of the Federal Government.

On the projects’ significance, Okubadejo said OGSTEP deal worth $250m was a World Bank-funded project aimed at increasing the participation of the private sector in the state’s economy with focus on improving the business-enabling environment, strengthening agri-food value-chains and upgrading skills.

He noted that the project had commenced in 2017 with the payment of $5m as Project Preparation Advance (PPA) to support the state government in preparing for the formal application of the project.

“After a very rigorous evaluation and documentation requirements, which intensified from June 2019, OGSTEP was formally approved by the World Bank Board on February 18, 2020. Consequently, the main financing agreement and the subsidiary financing agreement were executed with the Federal Government of Nigeria,” he said.

The commissioner submitted that OGSTEP would make the state more attractive for private sector investments, thus increasing its internally generated revenue base.

He added that the World Bank would provide the much- needed financial and technical support towards implementating various economic reforms and initiatives.

READ ALSO: Makinde Reopens Sasa Market, Lifts Curfew
On the $45m Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project (RAAMP), Okubadejo disclosed that Ogun State, with three projects, was a prime beneficiary of six projects approved by the World Bank across the country on February 18, 2020.

He said: “RAAMP, which has the mandate of fixing select rural roads and markets across the three senatorial districts of the state, has been running at a preparatory stage with state counterpart fund before the signing of the $44.23m credit agreement.

Ogun State and the Federal Government, according to him, signed the Subsidiary Loan Agreement on February 11, 2021 to finance rural roads and develop select markets for enhanced prosperity to local farmers, mainly youths and market women.

“The signing of the agreement for the upgrade, rehabilitation, routine maintenance, spot improvement and performance based maintenance, will culminate in the improvement of no fewer than 1495km of rural roads,” he said.

On the VCDP worth $15m, the commissioner stated that the project was being implemented in only nine states of the federation with Ogun State as the only one from the South-West. He listed other states as Anambra, Benue, Ebonyi, Niger, Nasasrawa, Kogi, Taraba and Enugu.

“The objective of the programme is to enhance on a sustainable basis, incomes and food security of small holder farmers engaged in the production, processing and marketing of rice and cassava in the eight participating LGAs in the state,” he said.

Okubadejo revealed that the state government had supported 8,534 small farmers to access improved farm inputs as well as linkage to the market with recommended seeds, fertilizers and agrochemicals, adding that over 1000 youths were trained on modern rice and cassava farming techniques.

He disclosed that rice production recorded an increased yield of 47 percent for VCDP beneficiaries from 1.5mt/ha to 3mt while cassava recorded increase in yield of 61 percent for VCDP beneficiaries from 18mt/ha to 32.3mt/ha.

The commissioner also said with Additional Financing (AF1) of $89.1m, which was provided to the programme by IFAD at the request of the Federal Government VCDP, the programme implementation has been extended by three years period, bringing its completion to December 31, 2022 and the loan closing date to June 30, 2023.

“The total amount is $136.9m of which $89.1m from IFAD Loan and $19.3m from co-financiers. The Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) counterpart fund of $5.8m; State Governments counterpart fund of $12.4m; Local Governments counterpart fund of $0.6m; Beneficiary Contribution $7.2m and beneficiary savings of $2.5m for all the nine participating states,” he added.

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Nigeria’s Headline Inflation Rises To 21.9%

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Nigeria's Headline Inflation Rises To 21.9%

Nigeria‘s headline inflation has risen to 21.09 per cent according to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) report for the month of October.

The CPI report which was released on Tuesday by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said that there was an increase of 0.32 per cent from the 20.77 per cent recorded in September.

The data suggests that the headline inflation rate climbed by 5.09 per cent in October 2022 as compared to the same month the year before (October 2021).

“In October 2022, on a year–on–year basis, the headline inflation rate was 21.09%. This was 5.09% points higher compared to the rate recorded in October 2021, which was 15.99%.

READ ALSO:  Nigeria’s Inflation Rises Over 18 Per Cent

“This shows that the general price level for the headline inflation rate increased in October 2022 when compared to the same month in the preceding year (i.e., October 2021) by 5.09%,” the report read.

The report added that “On a month-on-month basis, the headline inflation rate for October 2022 was 1.24%, this was 0.11 % lower than the rate recorded in September 2022 (1.36%).

“The percentage change in the average CPI for the twelve months ending October 2022 over the average of the CPI for the previous twelve months period was 17.86 percent, showing a 0.91 percent increase compared to the 16.96 percent recorded in October 2021.”

The year-on-year food inflation rate in October 2022 was 23.72 per cent, an increase from the previous month’s rate of 23.34 per cent.

“On a month-on-month basis, the food inflation rate in October was 1.23%, this was a 0.21% decline compared to the rate recorded in September 2022 (1.43%).

“This decline was attributed to the reduction in prices of some food items like tubers, palm oil, maize, beans, and vegetables,” the report further stated.

 

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N52b Cash Deposited In Banks Over Naira Re-design Policy

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N52b Cash Deposited In Banks Over Naira Re-design Policy

About N52 billion cash has been deposited in banks barely two weeks after the announcement of plans by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to redesign some naira notes.

There were indications that the deposit sum may increase in the next few days because it is suspected that about N3 trillion cash was in circulation at the time the apex bank announced the policy.

The CBN claimed that some of the identified depositors were politicians, bureau de change operators, businessmen, real estate financiers, and traders.

It was also learnt that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and other security agencies have directed banks to keep records of depositors, including institutions.

 READ ALSO: I’m Fully Behind CBN Governor On Redesigning Naira Notes – Buhari

The screening of high-profile depositors, especially currency hoarders and money launderers, may begin soon.

There was the fear that the redesigning of some naira notes may affect cash haul during the ongoing 2023 campaign.

According to a reliable source, who was armed with facts and figures, security and intelligence agencies have confirmed huge cash deposits of N52 billion in banks in less than two weeks.

The source said some representatives of one of the agencies appeared before a Senate Committee on Tuesday in Abuja behind the curtains.

The source said: “As the cash was being taken to banks, we were getting the details of all the depositors and in some cases, we could trace the sources.

“As of Tuesday, over N52billion cash has been deposited in various banks. Some of the deposits have been traced to some politicians, bureau de change operators, suspected money launderers, middlemen, drug barons, businessmen and traders.

“All the banks have been directed by the EFCC and other anti-graft agencies to keep records of cash depositors and their KYC. They are also mandated to make the list available when required.
“With this directive, it will be easier to uncover currency hoarders, speculators and those sabotaging the nation’s economy.”

Responding to a question, the source said: “Some politicians, governors and suspected fronts of Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) have been on the radar of some anti-graft agencies.

“Some state governments cannot pay salaries because the corrupt table payment system they have adopted is not practicable with the CBN directive.

“Apart from redesigning the notes, the CBN is also complementing the anti-graft agenda of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

READ ALSO: Redesigning Of Naira May Not Hold As Finance Minister Disagrees With Emefiele

“Nigerians have virtually abandoned the cashless economic policy for cash transactions.

“We may be on our way to addressing basic issues compounding our anti-corruption campaign as a nation.”

On October 26, the CBN announced its decision to redesign the naira.
It cited significant hoarding of banknotes, worsening shortage of clean and fit banknotes, and increasing ease and risk of counterfeiting.

It added that over 85 per cent of the currency in circulation is outside the vaults of commercial banks.

CBN said as of the end of September, N2.73trillion out of the N3.23 trillion currencies in circulation was outside the vaults of commercial banks and supposedly held by the public.

 

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Lagos To Spend N1.6 Trillion Next Year

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Lagos To Spend N1.6 Trillion Next Year

The Lagos State government plans to spend N1.692 trillion next year.

The state governor,  Babajide Sanwo-Olu, presented the estimated N1.692 trillion budget estimates for the 2023 to the House of Assembly.

The ‘Budget of Continuity’ comprises revenue of N1.342 billion and deficit financing of N350,000 billion.

READ ALSO: Why We Aren’t Surprised By Wike’s Endorsement Of Sanwo-Olu – Jandor

This further comprises total Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of N1.108 billion and federal transfers of N234 billion.

The estimate also proposes a recurrent expenditure of N759 billion and Capital expenditure of N670 billion.

 

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