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Economy

We’ve No Plans to Increase Fuel Prices, Says NNPC

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation on Thursday advised motorists and other petroleum product consumers to disregard the trending rumour of a planned hike in the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly known as petrol.

It explained that the statement of the corporation’s Group Managing Director, Mele Kyari, at the National Assembly on Wednesday did not suggest any plan to increase the price of the white product.

NNPC Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr Ndu Ughamadu, clarified that what the NNPC GMD stated during his engagement with the Senate President, Senator Ahmed Lawan, was that the price of petrol was abysmally low in Nigeria compared to what obtained in neighbouring West African countries.

Ughamadu noted that Kyari had observed at the event that the huge disparity in the pump price of petrol between Nigeria on the one hand and her neighbouring countries, on the other hand, tended to encourage cross-border leakages.

This, according to Ughamadu, was why the NNPC boss sought the support of the leadership of the National Assembly to curb the malaise of smuggling.

The oil firm advised Nigerians to disregard the insinuation of a planned hike in the price of petrol by NNPC.

It stated that statutorily, NNPC was not even in a position to regulate the price of petroleum products, adding that the corporation’s role as an operator must be differentiated from that of any of the industry regulators.

Ughamadu stated that as directed by relevant agencies of the government, the pump price of petrol remained N145 per litre.

NNPC cautioned petroleum products’ marketers not to sell petrol above N145 per litre following the disclaimed rumour.

It advised Nigerians to remain vigilant and volunteer information to the Department of Petroleum Resources, the industry regulator, or to any law enforcement agency around them, on any station selling petrol above N145 per litre.

The Punch

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Economy

CBN Denies Devaluating Naira, Says Trending Story Fake

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has debunked a report by a national daily that it has devalued the naira to N631 per dollar at the Importers and Exporters’ (I&E) window.

A top official of the apex bank, who told this medium that the report is completely false , warned that such reports could have serious adverse consequences for the economy.

According to the top official, the CBN has not changed its strategy of allowing a gradual convergence of the parallel and official market exchange rates.

“The report is not true. The CBN has not devalued the naira. The exchange rate of the naira on the FMDQ website as at yesterday was N464.67 per dollar. The authors of the report may have their own agenda, but the CBN’s plan is that the best approach is to allow for a gradual convergence of all the rates.”

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Business

Rotary Should Continue to Inspire Women for Economic Growth- Alaba Lawson

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Mrs Geetika Tandon, Rtn Gabriel Otsu, Chairman, organising Committee, Iyalode Alaba Lawson, Keynote Speaker, District Governor, Rotary District 9110, Rtn Omotunde Lawson & Rtn Francis Lawson
A call has gone to Rotary International District 9110 and indeed organisations around the country to  consistently inspire and promote women for economic and national growth
The appeal was made by former President, Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Chief Alaba Lawson while presenting the keynote address at the first Rotary District 9110 Women in Rotary Conference held at the Nigeria Law School Auditorium, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Rtn Francis Lawson, District Governor, Rtn Omotunde Lawson, Mrs Angela Emewa, Chairman, Punch and award recipient & Rtn Gabriel Otsu, Chairman, Organising Committee

Speaking on the topic “ The Transformational Woman: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion For Socio-Economic Change”, Chief Lawson stated that Rotary as an organization has made giant strides in the area of women empowerment and advised that the body should do more as it will ultimately lead to the nation’s growth.

Rtn Gabriel Otsu, Rtn Francis Lawson, District Governor, Rtn Omotunde Lawson, Chief (Mrs) Alaba Lawson & guest speaker

She noted that women are the key to Nigeria’s economic and political advancement, and the more women involved at the top echelon and decision-making process, the better.
 According to her“When more women work, economies grow. Women’s economic empowerment boosts productivity, increases economic diversification and income equality in addition to other positive development outcomes”.
Describing women as the future, she stated that studies have shown that companies with more women on their boards outperform those without them by a significant margin, and organisations with greater gender diversity globally grew to 32% in 2022.
According to her, women often excel at soft skills required for business leadership and they represent a significant economic force and provide valuable consumer insight that any nation needs to thrive.
She further highlighted the fact that Nigeria needs traits such as ability to connect, collaborate, empathize, communicate and be prudent which are inherent in women to make progress in key sectors including economy, politics and more.
She, however, lamented that despite the fact that women are in the majority in terms of population, the opportunities for them to show their skills and contribute meaningfully have been hampered by systemic bottlenecks.
She therefore advised that to fuel its fire of progress and revolutionize its economic, political and social structure, women must be given adequate representation in government and key sectors of the economy.
Also speaking, Tax expert and  management consultant, Mr Gbenga Badejo who spoke on “10 Top Financial Challenges for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises” noted that if women can overcome these challenges, they would be able build formidable businesses and play in the big league.
He gave the challenges as: limited or inconsistent cashflow, not using budgetary control mechanism, no preparation for unforeseen expenses, not raising enough capital, too much debt, neglecting necessary financial reporting and book keeping, , poor regulatory compliance, mixing business and personal finances, poor marketing tactics and poor managing of receivables and payables.
Earlier in her welcome address, Rotarian Omotunde Lawson, District Governor, Rotary International District 9110 noted that the conference, the first in the 41 -year history of the District, which covers Rotary Clubs in Lagos and Ogun States, was aimed at equipping women with the right support for personal and financial growth.
The conference was rounded off with a dinner and awards ceremony at the same venue where eminent women were honoured for their contributions to national development.

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Economy

Nigeria Fast Exceeding Borrowing Limit, Budget Office Warns

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The Director General, Budget Office of the Federation, Mr. Ben Akabueze, has expressed concern that Nigeria is fast exceeding its limited borrowing space.

Akabueze stated this at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, during the induction of newly-elected lawmakers of the 10th National Assembly, on Wednesday.

He said: “While the size of the FG budget for 2023 created some excitement, the aggregate budgets of all governments in the country amount to about 30 trillion Naira. That is less than 15 percent in terms of ratio to GDP.

“Even on the African continent, the ratio of spending is about 20 percent. South Africa is about 30 percent, Morocco is about 40 percent and at 15 percent, that is too small for our needs.

“That is why there is a fierce competition for the limited resources. That can determine how much we can relatively borrow. We now have very limited borrowing space, not because our debt to GDP is high, but because our revenue is too small to sustain the size of our debt. That explains our high debt service ratio.

“Once a country’s debt service ratio exceeds 30 percent, that country is in trouble and we are pushing towards 100 percent and that tells you how much trouble we are in. We have limited space to borrow.

“When you take how much you can generate in terms of revenue and what you can reasonably borrow, that establishes the size of the budget. The next thing would be to pay attention to government priority regarding what project gets what.

“The budget is not a shopping list. In the end, the budget only contained expenditure,” he said.

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