Imo govt faults NBS report on foreign investment

Imo state Commissioner for Budget, Economic Planning and Statistics, Dr C.C. Osuala has described reports pitching Imo among states which foreign investments dropped or  failed to attract foreign investments during the year as a poor reflection of the true picture of developments on ground.

A recent report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on the latest Nigerian Capital Importation for 2021 said the value of capital importation into Nigeria fell by 30.78 percent to $6.7 billion in 2021; from $9.68 billion in 2020 and stated how the 36  states of the federation fared.

Speaking to Blueprint in Owerri on the report, Dr Osuala noted that the Bureau was not vivid on the area of focus, adding that in capital importation, different areas or fields could be considered.

Explaining further, he said NBS could not say whether it was in agriculture, commerce or any other field that it based its analysis, because capital importation could also be carried out in those areas as well as in many other areas of human endeavour.

He pointed out that Capital Importation “does not only mean capital or physical cash” as it could also come in form of importation of equipment, skilled labour, drugs etc and when done, capital is still attached to them or imported.”

He frowned at a situation in which the report said Imo performed below states like Anambra, which attracted $4.7 million; Kano which attracted $2.55 million; Oyo, $2.0 million; Ogun, $1.06 million etc, saying the foreign investments attracted in the Ministry of Budget, Economic Planning and Statistics alone, without taking into consideration those of other ministries, was far more than what the aforementioned states attracted as foreign investments in 2021.

He further disclosed that the World Bank’s SFTAS grant attracted by his ministry for the state as a result of transparency in budgeting was more than what these states attracted as foreign investments, “a situation which leaves the report with some error.”

He said the state has continued to attract more as it just attracted $500, 000 from World Bank as a result of its budgeting performance in the first quarter of the year


Nigeria’s eNaira goes live after official launch by Buhari

Nigeria’s central bank digital currency (CBDC), the eNaira, has gone live after an official launching by President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday.

The launch took place at the State House in Abuja. An earlier plan to unveil the digital currency on October 1 was shelved.

Nigeria is one of only a few countries in the world to develop an official digital currency.

The eNaira was developed by fintech company Bitt, which is also behind the creation of CBDC in some East Caribbean countries.

At the launch Monday, the Central Bank of Nigeria governor, Godwin Emefiele, said 500 million eNaira ($1.21 million) has already been minted.

The CBDC’s digital currency app and its merchant wallet are now live and available for download.

The two apps, eNaira speed wallet and eNaira merchant wallet, are now available on Google playstore and Apple store.

A notice on the enaira website gives details into how the currency and the wallet will work.

“Get Ready With Your Accurate BVN Data For Your Hitch-Free Enrolment,” it says.

“To sign-up on the eNaira speed wallet, you would be required to input the following details exactly as captured during your BVN enrollment.

“First Name, Last Name, Date of Birth, State of Origin, and Email.

“Your Banks are waiting to assist you in validating and updating your BVN details to ensure seamless enrolment to the eNaira Platform,” it says.

The central bank has also published the regulatory guidelines of the currency on its website.

“The guideline seeks to provide simplicity in the operation of eNaira, encourage general acceptability and use, promote low cost of transactions, drive financial inclusion while minimizing inherent risks of disintermediation of any negative impact on the financial system,” it says.

Source: Premium Times

“Kaduna State Will Be a Big Market” – Emir Sanusi

The former Emir of Kano, North-West NIgeria, Muhammad Sanusi II, has said that Kaduna State will be a big market very soon and it will encourage Investment.

He made this assertion while speaking at the ‘Day Two’ of the Kaduna State Investment Summit on Friday.

While calling on the government to encourage market access, he said, “If Kaduna state government continues with its e-government plan it will be a big market itself and it will encourage investment which are all knowledge economy aspiration and a shift in government spending to match the priority,” he said.

According to him, that job creation in a knowledge economy is not about creating jobs in Kaduna but equipping citizens with skills to participate in the global economy. “You have global platforms now that enable people with development skills to find employment anywhere in the world which is the future of knowledge economy,” he said.

According to him, today, Nigeria is having difficulties in oil production and noted that the product is now being rejected globally because there is no longer a future in carbon.

Sanusi who was a former Governor of the Central Bank pointed out that, the future lies in a knowledge-based economy, however, lamented that, Nigeria is far behind many African countries in the innovation index and ranking 114th globally.

According to him, while Ghana with a smaller economy invests more in education, Nigeria spends seven per cent of its budget in that direction, saying that, only eight of every 100 Nigerians who start primary school, complete university.

“Globally, work is being redefined. 30 to 40 per cent of workers in developed economies will need to significantly upgrade their skills by 2030. And what are the major drivers of this redefinition? ICT and remote working, which we have seen even here with COVID.

‘There is increased automation and artificial intelligence. Very soon, robots will take over work in most countries and those who would have hob are those who operate the robots or manufacture the robots or service the robot.

“And you have decarbonisation. For us in Nigeria, the enclave economy that we have, the so-called goose that lays the golden egg is about to die. There will be no eggs. The future is not in the carbons.

“A few months ago, Germany was able to produce enough renewable energy for the entire country’s need. Today, we are having difficulties selling Nigerian oil. So, not only are we having problems producing, even when we produce, the market is not there.

“So, this is forcing a change, and for us a country that depends on oil, things need to change.

“Nigeria is ranked 114th in the global innovation index. We are lower than other African countries such as Kenya, Rwanda and Senegal. We are in fact ranked 14th in sub-Saharan Africa. I think we should have this reality check and know where we are as a country. Let’s stop calling ourselves the giant of Africa because we are the giant with clay feet.

“Countries like Kenya, Rwanda and Senegal are ahead of us. I am not even talking about South Africa. Our expenditure on education is only seven per cent of the budget. We are spending less on education than Ghana; I am not talking about as per the percentage of the budget; in absolute terms, even though the Ghanaian economy is much smaller than the Nigerian economy, even though the Ghanaian government revenue is less than Nigerian revenue, Ghana is spending more on education than Nigeria.

“And we are surprised that Industries are moving to Ghana. We are surprised that the Ghanaian President has become the leading President in Africa? We are not investing in education and human capital.

“We have a 68 per cent missing job requirement and the major areas being IT, communication and decision making. And the completion rate between entry into primary one and completing university is eight per cent, meaning that out of every 100 pupils who go into primary school, only eight come out of university. And out of those eight, nine per cent, which is one of the eight will get a job.

“So, this is the reality in addition to what is happening globally. Now, digitization to level the playing field is required, if we are deliberate and we shift from consumption to value creation. But, part of our problem is that, even when we have the solution at our feet, we do not take it,” he said.

Sanusi also noted that there is a need for skill creation for the young people which will create enabling environment for economic growth and development.

He asserted that data is one of the most crucial support that can be given to entrepreneurs for innovation.

“If somebody wants to innovate in the health sector it is to have data of people who use medical service, the location of the hospital to create and innovate solutions that will provide easy access to health care delivery and education.

He also stressed there is a need to give data access to the private sector adding that data support is very important and market access.

Source: Tribune online

​COVID-19: Lagos govt dismisses purported plan to lockdown economy

Lagos State Government on Sunday dispelled widespread rumour of plans to reimpose lockdown in the state, describing it as baseless, untrue.

This came following panic buying of foodstuff and other household items by residents as a result of viral rumour of reimposition of lockdown by the state government any moment from this week.

Also, recall that Sanwo-Olu, had last Friday, read the riot acts banning carnivals, concerts, and street parties until further notice, following the increase in coronavirus cases in the state.

Sanwo-Olu, in a statement, also returned the restriction that in places of worship in the state, no gathering must exceed 50 per cent of the maximum capacity of the venue.

He said, “This same disregard for Coronavirus guidelines is also being observed with Places of Worship across the State, in both their regular gatherings and the special gatherings organized to commemorate this Season.

“This is certainly not the time to lower our guard against the Coronavirus; it is instead time to step up our battle against this stubborn virus that has gripped the world for several months now.

“We cannot afford another lockdown of the economy. Amid an economic recession we must find a way to delicately balance the imperatives of life and livelihood. With this in mind, the only solution available to us is to take responsibility for all our actions, and to understand that we must stay safe not only for ourselves but for the sake of the entire society.

“We will not hesitate to bring the full weight of the law to bear on any person or organization caught breaching our public health regulations and protocols with regards to the Coronavirus disease.”

The state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso, who gave the clarification when contacted, urged residents to ignore such statement and go about their lawful businesses.

While giving clarification to Vanguard, Omotoso, simply said, ” There is no such plans. We have issued guidelines that people should follow to keep us safe and sound. Lagosians are urged to obey the guidelines.”

On the free testing, the commissioner stressed that the state government had reiterated its call on residents to avail themselves of the free COVID-19 testing services offered at approved public laboratories across the State.

A statement issued by the Ministry of Information and Strategy, listed the four locations as Lagos State Bio-Bank (Located inside the Infectious Disease Hospital, Yaba); Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH, CHAZVY); Nigeria Institute of Medical Research, Yaba; and Central Public Health Laboratory, Yaba (Operated by NCDC).

While advising anyone with symptoms that fit the case definition of COVID-19 to visit any of the Centres for testing free-of-charge, the State Government also urged residents to call the EKOTELEMED toll-free line on 08000356633 to speak with any of its medical personnel “24 hours a day, seven days a week for inquiries.”

Though, the state government had earlier said it might impose a new lockdown and return other measures if there was a recurrence of high cases of coronavirus in the state.

This was contained in a press statement by the state Ministry of Health few weeks back, titled, ‘Lagos calls for precautions against second wave of COVID-19’.

The statement quoted the Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, as saying that many countries around the world have found it necessary to impose a second lockdown and restriction of movements, which have significant socio-economic and security consequences.

The commissioner, however, warned that “the continuous flagrant disregard of safety guidelines by citizens heralds’ danger and may lead to a second wave of new infections in Lagos”.

Part of the statement read, “The Lagos State Government has once again stressed the need for residents to strictly adhere to precautionary measures against COVID-19 infection transmission to prevent a recurrence of the situation that led to the lockdown of the economy.

“A resurgence of cases in Lagos may lead to the reversal of the strategically calculated measures put in place by the Government to open up the economy.

“The first wave of coronavirus started in December 2019 and swept through an unprepared world. The first case of COVID-19 in Nigeria was recorded in Lagos on the 27th of February 2020. Lagos has since become the epicentre of the outbreak in Nigeria with a record of 21,107 confirmed cases and 212 deaths from the virus till date.”

Abayomi advised citizens against unnecessary movement and social gatherings, “unless it is absolutely necessary stressing that travelling into and outside the country should be discouraged except when absolutely necessary”.

He said, “The erroneous belief that COVID-19 has been conquered and is no more in Nigeria should be discarded. Based on our data, this assumption is invalid. It creates a false sense of security among the citizens causing many to abandon the use of face masks and other safety measures and protocols put in place by the Government.

Food price hike, others push inflation to 14.23% —NBS

The hike in food prices and other individual consumption across the country further increased the rate of inflation in Nigeria to 14 .23 per cent in October 2020 .

Figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics on Monday showed that the country ’s inflation increased again in October, moving up by 0 .52 per cent when compared to what was recorded in the preceding month.

The bureau said , “The Consumer Price Index , which measures inflation increased by 14 .23 per cent ( year -on -year ) in October 2020.

“This is 0 .52 per cent points higher than the rate recorded in September 2020 ( 13 .71 per cent ) .”

It was observed that increases were recorded in all Classification of Individual Consumption by Purpose divisions that yielded the headline index.

On a month- on- month basis , the headline index increased by 1 .54 per cent in October 2020, representing 0 .06 per cent rate higher than the rate recorded in September 2020 ( 1. 48 per cent) .

The percentage change in the average composite CPI for the 12 months period ending October 2020 over the average of the CPI for the previous 12 months period was 12 . 66 per cent.

This showed a 0 .22 per cent point rise from 12 . 44 per cent recorded in September 2020.

The urban inflation rate increased by 14 . 81 per cent ( year – on- year ) in October 2020 from 14 .31 per cent recorded in September 2020 .

Rural inflation rate on the other hand , increased by 13 .68 per cent in October 2020 from 13 . 14 per cent in September 2020.

On a month- on- month basis , the urban index rose by 1 .6 per cent in October 2020 , up by 0. 04 from 1 .56 per cent recorded in September 2020.

The rural index also rose by 1 .48 per cent in October 2020, up by 0 .08 from the rate recorded in September 2020 ( 1 .40 per cent) .

The corresponding 12 -month year -on -year average percentage change for the urban index was 13 .29 per cent in October 2020 .

This was higher than 13 .07 per cent reported in September 2020 , while the corresponding rural inflation rate in October 2020 was 12 .09 per cent compared to 11 .86 per cent recorded in September 2020 .

​CBN’s policy blocks banks, investors from N622bn illegal earnings

The new Treasury Bills policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has effectively obstructed about N622 billion interest earnings that would have accrued to banks and other individual and corporate investors in the money market.

The banks had mobilised their customers to invest in the NTB at mouth watering yields (interest rate) shortly after the apex bank increased the Loan-to-Deposit Ratio, LDR, requirement to 60percent in September last year.

Instead of lending to real businesses as required by the new LDR directive, banks embarked on aggressive loans to individuals and companies for investment in the NTB to meet the CBN’s LDR requirements.

In response to this the CBN tweaked its NTB policy in October last year cutting off local investors, individuals and corporates, from investing in NTB through the Open Market Operations (OMO) auctions.

Consequently, the interest cost which the apex bank pays to the investors has recorded a massive crash in the first half of 2020 to N675 billion as against N1.3 trillion it dolled out to the investors before the policy (in the first of 2019, H1’19), leaving a balance of about N622 billion that would have gone to the investors.

The blocking of the investors from the OMO segment of the NTB also resulted in a huge decline in the volume of transaction in the instrument.

Investigations revealed that the ban has triggered a 45 percent year-on-year (YoY) decline in the volume of OMO NTBs issued and sold by the CBN, in the first half of the year (H1’2020).

According to the apex bank, OMO NTBs issued during the period fell by 45 percent YoY to N6.39 trillion and N6.45 trillion in H1’2020 from N11.85 trillion and N11.83 trillion respectively in H1’19.

Also reflecting the impact of the exclusion of local investors from OMO auctions, demand for OMO NTBs (public subscription) fell by 34 percent, YoY, to N8.57 trillion in H1’2020 from N13.05 trillion in H1’19.

This trend continued in July and August, with OMO NTBs issued during the two months falling by 81 percent, YoY to N231 billion from N1.24 trillion in the corresponding period of 2019.

Similarly, OMO sales fell by 74 percent, YoY, to N218 billion in July and August, from N855 billion in the corresponding period of 2019.

During this period, demand for OMO bills also fell by 83 percent, y/y to N512 billion from N3.05 trillion in the corresponding period of 2019.

Meanwhile, there are indications that the NTB OMO market would remain on the bullish sentiment this week despite a similar trend in the equities market, money market analysts said.

Last week, performance in the NTB market was bullish as excess funds from the primary auction filtered into the secondary market.

Consequently, average yield across benchmark tenors declined 28 basis points (bps) Week-on-Week, WoW to close at 0.1 percent.

At the close of the week, the mid-term instrument enjoyed the most buying interest as the average yields declined 52bps WoW to 0.1 percent while yield on the short and long-term instruments dived 27bps and 4bps WoW to 0.1 percent and 0.2 percent respectively.

According to analysts at Afrinvest West Africa Limited, a Lagos based investment house, “In the coming week, we expect the CBN to resume its liquidity intervention as OMO worth ¦ 103.1billion would hit the system. We expect rates in the secondary NTB market to remain low due to huge money supply.”

​NNPC announces N153.17 ex-depot price for petrol

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has announced N153.17 ex-depot price for Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) also known as petrol for the month of November.

The corporation announced this in a statement signed by its spokesman, Dr Kennie Obateru, in Abuja on Friday.

The ex-depot price is the amount at which the depot owners sells the commodity to retail outlets owners and fuel marketers across the country.

He said: “The correct prices, as can be seen on PPMC’s ‘Customer Express’ platform (online portal for procurement of petroleum products) are: Ex-Coastal Price – N128, and Ex-Depot Price (with collection) – N153.17.”

Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC) is a subsidiary of the NNPC.

He advised marketers to make their purchases through the online “Customer Express” platform (PPMCCustomer.Express/login/authenticate) at the recommended prices.

He faulted the widely circulated memo in the media purporting an increase in the PPMC Ex-Coastal Price and Ex-Depot Price (with collection) to N130 and N155.17, respectively.

“We wish to clarify that there was a slight increase in the price based on the prevailing realities of market forces of demand and supply,” he stated.

The News Agency of Nigeria ( NAN) reports that the PPMC did not make public the October ex- depot price but in September, it announced ex-depot price of N151.56k.

The November price of N153.17 has an increament of N1.61 from the September price.

‘Bauchi Rank 8th Poorest State, We Must Turn The Tide’—Bauchi Gov

Bala Mohammed Abdulkadir, Bauchi State governor says the state is the 8th poorest state in Nigeria despite the abandoned resources at its disposal.

The governor gave the indication on Wednesday when he hosted the Senate Committee on Poverty Alleviation and Social Investment Programmes at a town hall meeting in Bauchi.

Governor Mohammed who was represented by his deputy, Alhaji Baba Tela said the rate of poverty and social inequalities were partly aided by the Boko Haram insurgency in the north east.

The governor said the state was ranked 8th poorest state in Nigeria due to the activities of the insurgents which had a trickle down effect on the State.

“In Bauchi here, poverty and social inequalities is sustained by the ongoing conflict with the Boko Haram and the effect of migration in the Northeast which has greatly overstretched our limited resources and exerted pressure on the little we have.

Tela said existing data has shown that 83 million Nigerians are now living below the poverty line, even by Nigerian standard.

Tela argued that it was necessary for the state to rise up to the challenges by taking decisive measures to revise the trend.

The Deputy Governor said the town hall meeting was organised by the state government in collaboration with the senate committee and the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs.

He said the town hall meeting was conducted with the view to creating an enabling environment to better the lives of the people of Bauchi State especially the youths in terms of skills acqu
isition programmes.

​CBN intervention in cassava production

The Anchor Borrowers financial intervention of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has continued to provide interventions for agricultural revival in the country. Through the intervention, the apex bank is carrying out its five-year policy to grow the real economy from 2019 to 2024.
CBN acting Director, Corporate Affairs Communications, Mr. Nwanisobi Osita, who disclosed this in Lokoja, Kogi state, recently indicated that the policy which centres around establishing a firm and stable micro economic environment would pave room for low inflation, financial stability, exchange rate stability and efficient payment system.

The acting director’s opinion, however, is that the country cannot continue to import items and consumables which it has the capacity to produce.

As a result, he said the Anchor Borrowers financial intervention of the CBN, will lead to the production of a minimum of ten commodities that would make food to become readily available to Nigerians.

Osita remarks: “There must be a limit to importation of goods. We can grow tomatoes, rice, wheat, cotton and other consumables and CBN will continue to provide finance for farmers to grow those commodities and create jobs for Nigerians.” 

He explains that only a positive result from the Central Bank’s intervention can lead to reduction in the youths unemployment and underemployment of the country standing presently at a frightening 60 percent.

As a stakeholder in the agriculture sector in the country, one other commodity that the CBN has shown noticeable interest in is cassava production. Though Nigeria is the world’s largest producer of cassava tubers with 53 million metric tonnes per annum, the country imports cassava derivatives worth over $600 million each year.

Emefiele said the CBN places a high premium on cassava because the commodity can generally be used for different uses along several value chains. The value chains have enormous potential for employing over two million people in Nigeria if well harnessed. This is because of the diverse secondary products that it offers.

But the cassava industry suffers as a result of low yield varieties, poor farm practices, lack of good quality farm inputs, non-utilisation of available cultivable lands, manual system of production, inadequate funding for smallholder out-grower schemes and low processing capacity.

To rectify this, the Central Bank of Nigeria has sponsored about 15,000 farmers to cultivate over 15,000 hectares of cassava farmland in 19 states as part of its efforts to use cultivation of 10 crops to create 10 million jobs in five years.

The big question, however, is how far has the intervention helped cassava farmers and processors in maximising profitability, creating employment opportunities and in diversifying the economy?

Most cassava farmers commended the intervention of the apex bank through collaboration with the Nigeria Cassava Growers Association to boost production.

They said the intervention has made it possible for cassava farmers to have ready markets for their produce, but they add that as good as the intervention by the apex bank is, the implementation has not been too good.

Some of the farmers want the apex bank to be more involved in the implementation of the Anchor Borrowers financial intervention in the commodity. They are asking the Central Bank of Nigeria to deploy its personnel to monitor the farms of beneficiaries.

They assert that the involvement of the apex bank’s personnel from land preparation to harvesting will boost cassava production in the country as it will afford the bank the opportunity to understand the challenges being faced by the beneficiaries first hand.

One of the challenges identified is the complaint about imposition of input suppliers on beneficiaries by those in charge. The farmers cited the issue of fertilisers supplied to them, which they commended, but said the packaging were poor.

They also note that most of the inputs like root cuttings, herbicides and fertilisers are more expensive from the accredited suppliers compared to what they are sold in the open market.

One of the farmers said: “Herbicides that we can get for N1,300 per litre in the open market are sold to us for N1,600. This is enriching the input suppliers to the detriment of we the farmers. Farmers should be allowed to buy inputs from anywhere they like and not be forced to buy from the accredited suppliers.”

Another challenge the CBN should address urgently is the non release of funds as at when needed. A farmer said land preparation fund was just released some weeks ago since last year with other funds still being awaited. “Why are they stopping farmers from withdrawing money from their accounts?” he queried.

If the CBN intervention is well implemented, the farmers believe that cassava cultivation has the power to create the necessary employment. By paying more attention to the implementation of the Anchor Borrowers financial intervention by the Central Bank of Nigeria in cassava the country can harnessed the economic benefits of the commodity.

FG, States owe N154Bn in taxes — RMAFC

The Chairman Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission, RMAFC, Mr Elias Mbam, on Tuesday, disclosed that the federal government, its ministries and agencies, and states were owing taxes, to the tune of over N154billion.

Mr. Mbam raised the alarm, at a budget defence session with the House Committee on Finance, chaired by Rep. James Faleke(APC-Lagos).

According to him, “The Commission over the years, despite its poor funding recorded tremendous achievements including revenue monitoring and recoveries from both the oil and non-oil sectors. The activities and recoveries, apart from enhancing the Federation Account, have had deterrent effects on the revenue-generating agencies and helped to minimise revenue leakages. 

These achievements include:“Recovery from Banks/Companies the monitoring, verification and reconciliation exercises which are still ongoing by the Commission on revenue collections and remittances by Commercial Banks, Companies and the agencies that collect/remit revenue to the Federation Account have helped to minimise leakages. 

The verification which took effect from 2008 is still ongoing and was reported to the Stakeholders through the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) and the National Economic Council (NEC). 

Sequel to the submission of Interim Report on the verification exercise and because of the tremendous result in terms of revenue recovery, NEC approved that the exercise is extended to 2019. As at date, over N75Billion has been recovered by the Commission. 

Furthermore, a sum of over N474Million was recovered in the ongoing recovery exercise by the Custom monitoring Committee of RMAFC Recovery from the Three (3) Tiers and Agencies of Governments. He said.

“The Commission in collaboration with FIRS in 2020 conducted an exercise on the reconciliation and recovery of tax liabilities owed the Federation Account from 2008 to 2019 by some Federal Ministries, Agencies and Department (MDAs), States & their MDAs and Local Government Councils respectively. The exercise is ongoing! and over N79Billion liabilities have been established”.

On revenue from Solid Minerals, the agency disclosed that over N27 billion was shared to states, from revenue of N27billion in 2020, he, however, decried that government had incurred a loss of over a trillion naira in the sector.

“Through the efforts of the Commission, an account for the solid minerals sector was opened at me Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) where proceeds from the sector were being paid. However, it is important to note that before the intervention of the Commission, the Solid Minerals Sector never contributed to the Federation Account. So far, over N31 billion has accrued into the account, out of which over N27 billion has been disbursed to the three (3) tiers of government, including the 13% derivation in which all the thirty-six (36) States benefited.

“The outstanding balance of about N4billion is awaiting relevant data from the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development for distribution to the 3-tiers of Government. Furthermore; the Commission conducted a nationwide monitoring exercise for the Solid Minerals Sector with the aim of examining royalty collections to the Federation Account & activities of Miners at the States & Local Government Councils for the period 2009 to 2015. This exercise is still ongoing; From the exercise, analysis carried out on ten (10) mineral types, namely; Gold, Tin-ore, Coal, Columbite, Kaolin Crude, Lead, Gypsum, Tantalite Crude, Zinc and Manganese taking into consideration their qualities, quantities and their international value, showed that the Federation was losing an estimated revenue of about N1.3 trillion annually”.

RMAFC, also sought the intervention of the House, to access enough funding to alter the revenue-sharing formula in the Federation.

The federal government has always taken the lion share from the Federation account, leaving the 36 states to share a lower percentage.

“The Commission has started the process of reviewing the existing Revenue Allocation Formulae. Preliminary works, including literature review, engagement with the major stakeholders, and collection of relevant data has commenced. However the process has been slowed down due to paucity of funds”, he pleaded.

The agency also sought independent management of Special Funds, i.e. Stabilisation Fund, Ecological Fund and Development of Natural Resources Fund for their respective purposes have been a source of concern to the commission because of the absence of an all-embracing management structure to manage the funds”.

Mbam, said “these funds sometimes are applied outside the objective of their establishment. The commission wishes to state that these funds are supposed to be kept in trust by the Federal Government on behalf of the Federation. Therefore, their management and operation should clearly reflect the purposes for which the funds were established. Accordingly, it is necessary that a management structure, which should include major stakeholders, be put in place to manage the Funds, with the secretariat domiciled in the Revenue Mobilisation”.

The Chairman of RMAFC, also pleaded with the House to amend certain sections of the Constitution, to enforce the direct allocation of Local Government funds, to beneficiary councils.

“The payment of statutory allocations due to Local Government from the Federation Account has been a major grey area in Nigeria’s fiscal operations. Allocations to the Fedéral and State Governments are paid directly to them while that of Local Governments are paid into the respective State Joint Local Government Accounts established by Section 162 (6) of the Constitution. However, these Joint Accounts are often subjected to manipulation and abuse by the supervisory authority of some State Governments.

“For an orderly and transparent fiscal operation at the Local Government level, their statutory allocations from the Federation Account should be paid directly to them instead of the Joint Account to avoid possible diversions and illegal deductions. This may require the amendment of the relevant provisions of the Constitution.

“Conflict between Provision of Section 162(1) and Laws Establishing Some Agencies of Government.

“Whereas Section 162 1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (As Amended) provides that All Revenues with few exceptions should be paid into the Federation Account, the laws establishing some Agencies of Govern ent grant them authority to collect, retain and use revenues but remit on y the operating surplus to Government Coffers. In most cases, these Agencies do not even remit anything at all to Government. The Commission is of the view that such laws should be reviewed and all revenues collected by such Agencies of Government paid to the Federation Account as provided in the rule ant Sections of the Constitution. Furthermore, the Commission recommends that necessary steps be taken to reconcile Section 162 (1) and Section 80 (1) of the Constitution with the view to determining which agencies of government should remit revenue into the Federation Account”.

The Chairman of the Committee, while commenting on the presentation of the Commission, said the Committee will address their concerns.

He, however, warned the agency not to operate beyond its statutory mandate of mobilizing funds.