NEPC says Port Harcourt ready for export drive

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Officials of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) say Port Harcourt is ready to join export drive, as about 42 persons from the South-South geo-political zone have benefited from the zero to export training organised by the NEPC.

Congratulating the participants, the project coordinator, Kola Awe, enjoined them to bring what they learnt to bear in the quest for diversification of Nigeria’s economy by assiduously searching for markets for their products, assuring them of support.

“Port Harcourt has shown itself to be ready for export. Port Harcourt is the flagship of the South-South,” he said. The 42 persons received their certificates of participation on Thursday at a graduation ceremony held at Aldgate Hotel, Sani Abacha Road, Port Harcourt.

Addressing the graduands during the ceremony, Joe Ita, who represented the CEO of NEPC, Segun Awolowo, urged them to apply the knowledge they acquired during the training towards the quest for diversification of Nigeria’s economy by exploring the export business.

The CEO said NEPC would continue to create opportunities for Nigerians to imbibe the culture of exportation through capacity building training programmes as it celebrates the passing out of 42 trainees of Zero to Export Capacity Building Programme.

Awolowo made this known at the Batch 5 Zero to Export Graduation Ceremony in Port Harcourt. He said that the Zero to Export Programme had been part of the Council’s efforts to reposition the non-oil sector, enforcing the narrative of the Council through job creation and inclusive growth – thereby making it a major contributor to the Gross Domestic Product of Nigeria.

“There is no doubt that the essence of our gathering today underscores the crucial role that non-oil export sector plays in the present administration’s effort at diversifying the Nigerian economy away from over reliance on oil as … Read More...

Finance minister calls for intensified efforts to boost revenue

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Nigeria’s minister of finance, Zainab Ahmed, has called for intensified efforts to boost revenue generation in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s emphasis at his 2019 budget speech.

Speaking at the quarterly world press conference held in Abuja, the minister discussing the trends and achievements of the economy over the last quarter, underscored the vital role of domestic revenue mobilisation for continued economic success and inclusive growth in Nigeria.

Pointing to the directive of the President for the acceleration of all revenue initiatives, Ahmed said, “The time to act is now – if we do not address the long standing issue of ‘unsatisfactory revenue performance’ in our country, particularly in the non-oil sector, we will never realize our shared goal of ensuring appropriate financing for critical sectors such as health, education, infrastructure, and ultimately to co-creating a Nigeria leaving no one behind.”

As minister of finance, Ahmed has taken on the President’s important call to action by prioritising revenue generation and formally launching in January 2019 the Strategic Revenue Growth Initiatives (SRGI), a suite of comprehensive cross-cutting interventions aimed at boosting revenue performance.

Since the launch of the initiative, revenue performance, in her opinion, continues to show improvements, with revenues amounting to N3.96trillion as at the end of fourth-quarter (Q4) 2018, this represents a 31percent increase over the performance in 2017. However, this performance of 3.96 trillion still falls short of this Administration’s budgeted target as the aggregate revenue performance is still only 55percent of the projected revenue of N7.16 trillion.

Consequently, the Ministry of Finance would continue to prioritize revenue generation, and the implementation of the Strategic Revenue Growth Initiatives (SRGI).

Whereas there has been progress since the launch of the initiatives, the global economy, as anticipated, has slowed down in 2019 with a revised … Read More...

Emefiele assures proactive approach against external pressures on the economy

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Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, has again assured that the apex bank will continue to take a proactive approach in easing any likely adverse effects on the economy from external pressures as he prepares for a second term as the head of the apex bank in June 2019.

Emefiele particularly promised that the apex Bank will promote policies that will enhance domestic production of goods that can be produced in Nigeria along with measures that improve the stability of the financial system.

Delivering the third in the university’s series of Eminent Persons’ Lecture at the University of Benin, Emefiele stressed the need for increased coordination between fiscal and monetary policies in deploying measures that will support economic growth and reduce unemployment.

At the event held on Wednesday, Emefiele passionately preached the message of economic patriotism, where he urged actors in the public and private sectors to look inwards in developing the Nigerian economy.

The governor urged Nigerians to think of what they can do to improve the fortunes of the Nigerian economy, rather than what they stand to benefit from the ailing system.

In his lecture titled: “Beyond the Global Financial Crisis: Monetary Policy under Global Uncertainty”, Emefiele noted that there was much potential within the Nigerian economy to developed it as many other countries, which were its peers at independence but had gone ahead.

 He said the lecture was part of the Bank’s efforts at promoting research and collaboration with Universities, towards developing policies and programmes that will enhance the economic well-being of all Nigerians, as he highlighted how the crisis had helped to reshape monetary policy tools used by Central Banks to address dips in their economies.

Giving an overview of how central banks across different economic blocs

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Udoma blames lack of synergy in government for delayed budgets

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Udoma Udo Udoma, minister of budget and national planning on Tuesday said that achieving a January to December budget cycle require a very close working relationship of trust and synergy between the executive and the national assembly arms of governments which unfortunately was not achieved in the last four years.

He said “The only way to return to a January to December fiscal year, is for there to be agreement  between the executive and  the national assembly to produce a budget on the basis of significant assumptions. Unfortunately, we were unable to achieve this in the last four years”.

During his end of tenure press briefing in Abuja, Udoma said that there is no legal requirement for the budget year to run from January to December adding that a January to December fiscal year is however  more predictable and would help the private sector and other economic players in planning.

“It is much easier to track budget performance if both the recurrent and the capital budgets run from the same dates. It is therefore desirable to return to the January to December fiscal year.

It is therefore desirable to return to the January to December fiscal year”, he added.

The minister also stressed that returning to the January to December fiscal year for a budget when the operation of the current budget only commenced in June or July is a very challenging assignment adding that in order to achieve a return to a 1st of January commencement date the budget must ideally be delivered to the National Assembly by September. 

“But when you are operating a budget which commenced only in June, or July, by September you would have had no idea how the existing budget is likely to perform. Indeed, given the procurement process, Read More...

Q1 GDP slows to 2.01% on lack of reforms, elections uncertainty

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The Nigerian economy expanded at a slower rate in the first quarter of 2019, compared to the fourth quarter (Q4), as a lack of broad-based reforms and election-related uncertainty crimped growth. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for Q1, 2019 expanded by 2.01 percent, compared to the 2.38 percent hit in Q4, 2019, the National Bureau of…

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