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Commercial banks’ loan exposure to government hits N1.8 trillion

Commercial banks’ loan exposure to government hits N1.8 trillion

Finance
As commercial bank loan portfolio exceeds 20tr The total commercial loans to the government, at all levels, rose to N1.77 trillion at the close of last year, about 18 per cent increase from the N1.5 trillion reported in December 2019.  This comes as the total outstanding commercial loans written by the banks rose to N20.4 trillion in December, putting the exposure to government alone at 8.7 per cent.   The figures are contained in the industry data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) yesterday.  Public sector loans have increased steadily despite caution that the governments’ rising penchant for domestic loans is inadvertently crowding out the private sector. Manufacturers have pointed out access to funding as one of the major challenges limiting their competitivene...
‘NPA to Save Nigeria Multi-million Dollars through Local Dry-docking’

‘NPA to Save Nigeria Multi-million Dollars through Local Dry-docking’

Economy
The Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala-Usman, has said the agency has granted the necessary approval to ensure that vessel owners dry-dock their vessels in Nigeria to save the country multi-million dollars spent on ship repairs outside the country. Bala-Usman disclosed this while speaking during a webinar, titled: “COVID-19 and the Nigerian Maritime Sector: Lessons and Way Forward,” organised by maritime lawyer, Mike Igbokwe. According to her, “NPA has given a waiver for vessels that are meant for servicing and dry-docking and this has enabled vessel owners to competitively dry-dock in Nigeria. “This is important for us to build that sector and retain jobs in Nigeria. We have done our bit in promoting that sector and I call on the associations to brin...
‘Border reopening, financial support to save airlines from collapse’

‘Border reopening, financial support to save airlines from collapse’

Aviation
World airlines yesterday rallied governments to reopen international borders, and give financial bailouts to save economies and airlines from collapse. The airlines, under the aegis of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), said the measures would hasten the recovery and slow current losses that are plundering the airlines out of business. IATA, Tuesday, released its financial outlook for the global air transport industry showing that airlines are expected to lose $84.3billion in 2020 for a net profit margin of -20.1 per cent. Revenues will fall by 50 per cent to $419billion from $838billion in 2019. In 2021, losses are expected to be cut to $15.8billion as revenues rise to $598billion. IATA’s Director General and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac, said financially, 2020 w...
UNEP Report: Ogoni accuse Buhari of being slow on implementation

UNEP Report: Ogoni accuse Buhari of being slow on implementation

Oil & Gas
Ogonis in South Africa, under the auspices of Ogoni Solidarity Forum, OSF, have described the steps taken so far by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration since August 2015 to implement the UNEP recommended clean-up of Ogoni environment as slow and a contrast to the president’s promise to fast-track the exercise. A statement signed by the International Coordinator of OSF in South Africa, Pastor Barry Wuganaale, said Ogonis in that country wished the plans to commence the implementation of the UNEP report as recently announced by the Minister of Environment, Hajia Amina Mohammed, would not amount to “a public relations gimmick or political rhetoric devoid of any action as it has been in the past”. Wuganaale, in the statement, also urged all Ogoni to focus on how to maximise...
Challenged to Up His Game

Challenged to Up His Game

Economy
Nseobong Okon-Ekong and Vanessa Obioha write that a significant part of the legacy of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State may be tied to how he passes the COVID-19 test Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s name is on everyone’s lips again. This time for a good cause. The governor is venerated for his leadership style in handling the novel COVID-19 outbreak in the state. Since the state recorded its first index case one month ago, Sanwo-Olu has been behind the wheel, steering the state in the right direction to curtail the spread of the virus that originated from Wuhan, Central China last December. His first step was to activate the State Emergency Operations Centre while working closely with the Federal Ministry of Health and Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). H...
Experts seek review of entire national budget

Experts seek review of entire national budget

Economy
Experts that gathered at the just concluded 2020 Budget and the Finance Act forum, organised by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), in Lagos, at the weekend, have called for review of the entire budget process to ensure meaningful economic growth and improved per capital income as the outcome. The stakeholders bemoaned the sustained growth in annual budget deficit, caused by weak public revenue. They argued that the anomaly has necessitated that government at all levels should do the right things consistently for sustainable economic growth and development. Speaking on key initiatives capable of supporting economic growth, during the panel discussion at the seminar, Tax Advisory partner at PwC, Taiwo Oyedele, noted that over the past five years, budget variances have be...

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