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Budget: Morocco’s House Of Representative Approves 2021 Finance Bill

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Morocco’s House of Representatives has approved the country’s 2021 Finance Bill. This defines the state budget for the next year.

The proposed 2021 Finance Bill got the backing of 59 members of the Parliament. Meanwhile, 29 MPs voted against it.

The House of Representatives’ approval of the legal text pushes it closer to its being signed into law. The bill was first approved by the Moroccan Government Council on October 16.

According to a presentation by Government Spokesperson Saaid Amzazi, the 2021 Finance Bill seeks to facilitate the creation of new jobs, social security coverage, and the reform of public establishments and enterprises.

The legal text will cover three major axes, with the main objective being to revive the Moroccan economy after the COVID-19 crisis.

The first axis of the bill concerns the protection of jobs through easing the flow of cash for companies, especially small and mid-sized businesses.

Morocco’s 2021 Finance Bill will make this possible through a reinforced budget for public investments. The text allocates a budget of 230 billion Morocco Dirham or $25.19 billion for investments, including 45 billion Morocco Dirham  or $4.93 billion for the King Mohammed VI Fund for Investment.

King Mohammed VI announced the investment fund during his Throne Day speech on July 29.

The second axis of Morocco’s 2021 Finance Bill concerns the generalization of basic medical coverage over two years, 2021 and 2022.

This section of the bill also follows royal directives. In his Throne Day speech, King Mohammed VI called for the generalization of various social security programs to cover all Moroccans in the next five years.

The recently-approved legal text provides for an increased budget to upgrade Moroccan hospitals and medical infrastructures as well. The third axis of the 2021 Finance Bill relates to the reform of Morocco’s public establishments and enterprises. The bill provides for the liquidation of public companies that do not provide an added value and the regrouping of establishments operating in similar fields

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Business Edge| Kenya Seeks $2.3 Billion Loan from IMF to Aid Economic Recovery

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On Business Edge today, News Central’s Joe Hanson and Global Tax Advisor, Mtwalo Msoni, talked about; Zimbabwe Begins Re-claiming Under-Utilized Farms and how Kenya Seeks $2.3 Billion Loan from IMF to Aid Economic Recovery.

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Nigeria’s Monetary Policy

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The Monetary Policy Committee of Nigeria’s Central Bank (CBN) has retained key lending rates at 11.5 percent. CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, announced this on Tuesday, saying it is part of efforts to boost the economy towards a sustainable recovery from the recession.

Earlier today The Managing partner, Comercio Partners, Nnamdi Nwizu joined us on the News Central Now to discuss this.

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Nigeria’s House of Reps to Pass Petroleum Industry Bill into Law By March 2021

“We are confident that this piece of legislation will stand the test of time. In as much as we are eager to pass the bill, we will not circumvent legislative process. It is our hope and belief that the bill will be passed by the end of the first quarter of year 2021.”

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The House of Representatives has announced its plan to pass the Petroleum Industry Bill by end of the first quarter of 2021.

The House had on Tuesday passed the bill for second reading, and the Ad Hoc Committee on PIB disclosed this in Abuja on Wednesday.

The Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, had referred the bill to the committee for further legislative processes.

The legislation was titled, “A Bill for an Act to Provide for Legal, Governance, Regulatory and Fiscal Framework for the Nigeria Petroleum Industry, Development of Host Communities and for Related Matters.”

The Chief Whip of the House and Chairman of the committee, Mohammed Monguno, in his opening speech at the inaugural meeting of the panel on Wednesday, noted that the PIB, when passed into law, will improve clarity of structures, roles accountability, transparency and overall efficiency and effectiveness of the institutions in the oil industry.

He said, “Under our watch as a committee, which I am privileged to chair, it is a general consensus that the passage of this Bill is long overdue. We are taking time to review what has been done by the previous Assemblies and what we need to do differently.

“Prior to the referral of the bill, the leadership of the House, the Senate and the relevant committees of the National Assembly have been briefed by the Hon. Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, with his team, wherein most of the concerns and controversies contained in the previous drafts has been significantly addressed in this present draft.”

The lawmaker stated that the committee would do its best by engaging various stakeholders, civil society and the general public by subjecting the bill to detailed and public scrutiny, to ensure that Nigerians are carried along.

“We are confident that this piece of legislation will stand the test of time. Inasmuch as we are eager to pass the bill, we will not circumvent legislative process. It is our hope and belief that the bill will be passed by the end of the first quarter of year 2021.”

“The committee has also taken the liberty to create a website, www.hrpib.org.ng, as one of the platforms where stakeholders and interested members of the general public can download the text of the bill and also upload comments/inputs/memoranda to same.

“The website is particularly important because it enables all Nigerians, so long as you have internet access, irrespective of where they might be or live, to participate in the legislative process.”

Monguno recalled that the journey to pass the PIB commenced in 2007 when it was first introduced on the floor of the House. However, the passage of the bill has evaded three successive Assemblies, i.e. the 6th, 7th and 8th.

The Chief Whip further said, “I am particularly alarmed that though the exploration of fossil fuel in Nigeria dates back to the 60s, commercial exploration may only last for another 25 years.

It is not to say that we might exhaust the deposit, but that the entire world is focusing on research to develop, renewable energy that could turn out to be cheaper and environmentally friendlier.

“That is why it has become expedient, more than ever, to leverage on this window of opportunity that the oil exploration presents to us as Nigerians, by ensuring that the Petroleum Industry Bill is passed without further delay.”

Monguno also noted that, in spite of all the efforts of the preceding administrations to diversify the monolithic economy, the oil industry still remained the mainstay of the country.

“Every time there is significant fluctuations in the price of crude oil, all other sectors of our national lives suffer,” he said.

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