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Each Nigerian Now Owes N165,500

Nigerian

Each Nigerian now owes N165,500 as country’s debt rises to N35.5tn

As at the end of June 30, each Nigerian now owes about N165,500 to countries, international organisations and domestic Investors as government borrowing increased to N35.5 trillion.

Data obtained for the Debt Management Office (DMO) published on Wednesday showed that Nigeria’s today debt stock increased in the last six months to 7.75 percent higher than the N32.9 trillion recorded at the close of last year

In terms of Debt per capita which is calculated as the total public debt of a country divided by the country’s population, within the last six months, Nigerians debt increased by 0.60 percent from N164,500 in December.

The population figure used for the calculation is 200 million, as there is currently no official figures.

Giving a breakdown of Nigeria’s debt stock, the Director-General of DMO, Patience Oniha, revealed that external debt accounted for N13.7 trillion or 38.7 percent while approximately N21.8 trillion was sourced from the local market.

China accounted for about 10 percent of the external debt (which amounts to approximately N1.37 trillion), while the multilateral organisations had the largest share of 54.9 per cent.

Oniha also revealed that of the total value, 83.07 per cent was held by the Federal Government while the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) borrowings accounted for 16.93 per cent.

“The percentage of FG’s share of the national debt had increased from 81.94 per cent as at December 2020.

She however noted that the current debt stock remained within fiscally accepted bound but fears Nigeria’s low revenue can be a serious problem.

“The debt stock is within the acceptable limit; the challenge is not much is done to shore up poor revenue, if this is not done the country risks the debt sustainability issue”

“We should focus on revenue. The good thing about it is that the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning has started a programme aimed at growing the revenue profile. We must discipline ourselves to follow through to grow our revenue. If we continue to borrow and do nothing about growing our revenue base as other countries have done, we may have a debt sustainability challenge,” she said.

Oniha expressed concern that the country’s huge GDP has not translated to revenue, calling on authorities to aggressively pursue income-yielding policies.

“The country’s debt to GDP remained considerably low at 21.92 per cent, up from 21.61 per cent last year,

She, however, said it could increase to 35 per cent when the ways and means facility (WMF) that is, overdrafts with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is added to the debt stock.

On the current value of the WMF, the DG said she could only give information on the status at the beginning of the year, when it was estimated at N10 trillion, suggesting that the figure could be higher.

She admitted that the government had overreached the limit set by the CBN Act, stressing that the government is compelled to do so owing to the revenue shortfall.

“We are currently working at converting it to a tenor facility. This is because overdrafts should be cleared when they are due,” the DMO boss stated.

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Peace Accord With Jonathan Secured 2015 Polls- Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has disclosed that signing of the Peace Accord with former President Goodluck Jonathan and other presidential candidates in the build up to the 2015 elections contributed largely to the peaceful outcome of the polls.

The president stated this when he received the National Peace Committee (NPC), led by former Head of State, retired Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, on Thursday at State House, Abuja.

“The timing of the First National Peace Accord is significant considering political party campaigns have already commenced in the country.

“The initiatives undertaken by the NPC are commendable as these efforts would ensure issue-based campaigns.

“I look forward to the second phase of the signing of the National Peace Accord coming up in January 2023.

“You may recall that President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and I signed the first National Peace Accord before the 2015 elections.

“It is my conviction that it contributed significantly to the peaceful outcome of the 2015 election.

“It is my hope that the National Peace Committee continues this important work post 2023,” the president said.

Buhari reiterated that credible, free and fair elections could only be achieved in a peaceful environment.

He added that the signing of the Electoral Act 2021 as amended with landmark provisions underlined his resolve for a transparent and all-inclusive Electoral Process.

He, therefore, urged all stakeholders to conduct themselves in a manner that would ensure the successful conduct of the 2023 elections as well as smooth transition from one democratically elected government to another.

Abubakar, who briefed the president on the activities of the Committee in the build-up to the 2023 elections, said they met with various stakeholders, including the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Heads of security agencies.

He affirmed that the meetings further reassured the readiness and preparedness of the affected stakeholders to conduct the polls creditably.

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Supreme Court Dismisses Suit Challenging Adeleke’s Candidacy

The Supreme Court has affirmed Ademola Adeleke as the authentic candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in the just concluded Osun State Governorship Election.

This has laid to rest the suit filed by Dotun Babayemi, a governorship aspirant of the party who sought the invalidation of Adeleke’s victory.

In a judgement delivered by Justice Amina Augie, the five-member panel held that the court lacked jurisdiction to hear the suit after counsel for the appellant, Adebayo Adelodun, withdrew the earlier notice of appeal that was filed within time.

At the resumed hearing, Adelodun, who represented the appellant and Babayemi informed the court that he sought to withdraw the earlier notice of appeal to replace it with the fresh application he filed.

But the panel held that Section 285(11) of the constitution stipulated that an appeal on a pre-election matter must be filed within 14 days from the day of the decision, and that having filed the second appeal out of time, the apex court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the matter.

Justice Augie, therefore, dismissed the appeal for lack of jurisdiction.

Babayemi had asked the court to invalidate the primary election that produced the governor-elect, citing non-compliance with a court order.

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400 Staff To Lose Jobs As BBC Goes Digital

The British Broadcasting Corporation BBC world service has on Thursday disclosed that about 400 of its staff will lose their jobs as part of a cost-cutting programme and move to digital platforms,

The BBC said its international services needed to make savings of £28.5 million ($31 million) as part of wider reductions of £500 million.

In July it detailed plans to merge BBC World News television and its domestic UK equivalent into a single channel to launch in April next year.

BBC World Service currently operates in 40 languages around the world with a weekly audience of some 364 million people.

But the corporation said audience habits were changing and more people were accessing news online, which along with a freeze on BBC funding and increased operating costs meant a move to “digital-first” made financial sense.

BBC World Service director Liliane Landor said there was a “compelling case” for expanding digital services, as audiences had more than doubled since 2018.

“The way audiences are accessing news and content is changing and the challenge of reaching and engaging people around the world with quality, trusted journalism is growing,” she added.

 

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