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Nigeria’s Finance Minister Predicts N38.68 Trillion Debt By 2021

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Nigeria is showing more signs of being broke and her insolvency is growing. Evidence of this came during budget briefing. Nigeria’s Minister of finance, budget and national planning, Zainab Ahmed, predicts that the total public debt of the country will be N38.68 trillion by December 2021.

The minister made the prediction during her presentation on status of 2019 and 2020 budgets and 2021 appropriation bill to the Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts. Ahmed added that “the total public debt which comprises the external and internal debts of the federal, state governments and the federal capital territory (Abuja) currently is N31.01 trillion ($85.90 billion) as of June 30, 2020.

“The projection is based on existing approval (for more loans), and it will rise to N32.51 trillion by December 31, 2020 and N38.68 trillion by December 31, 2021.”

The minister explained that the abandoned road projects across the country were because of lack of funds and the dwindling revenueof the nation. She noted that the current Sukuk fund was N162 billion and meant for 45 roads cutting across the six geopolitical zones.

She added that “I am one person who feels that we should just take one major road in one geopolitical zone and finish it. We were not able to do that because of the processes in which appropriation is made both at the executive as well as the legislative arms of government.

“But truly, if we can just take one or two projects at a time and complete it before going to the next one, it will be better.

“What the contractor does is the bit that has been cut out for him to do in that particular area.

“Once the fund is released and it is finished, we stop again. That’s the consequence of these numerous projects that we put in the budget.

“It is not related to Sukuk financed projects alone, it cuts across all the projects.

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Business Edge | Nigeria, UAE Signs MOU, Eskom Faces R5 Million Over Kendal Power Station Pollution

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The Nigerian Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which provides a platform for both countries to establish a Joint Commission between the two friendly countries, seeking to enhance cooperation and coordination between both countries in all fields.

Also, Eskom could face fines of up to R5-million under South Africa’s air quality legislation for supplying blatantly false and misleading information about its toxic pollution at the Kendal coal-fired power station to authorities.
On 28 January 2021, the state-owned energy utility will appear in the Emalahleni regional court on four counts of environmental transgressions.

Tolulope Adeleru-Balogun and Mukhtar Mohammed, CEO Asher Dynamic Solutions, discussed these on Business Edge.

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Nigeria’s Federal Government Approves N117 Billion for Road Rehabilitation

The Ministry of Works and Housing presented three memoranda, two relating to roads, and one relating to a banking application.

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The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday approved N117.6 billion for the rehabilitation of some major roads across Nigeria.

This was disclosed to journalists by the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, after the meeting chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Ministry of Works and Housing presented three memoranda, two relating to roads, and one relating to a banking application.

Read also: Full Text Of Nigeria’s President Buhari Budget Proposal Speech

“The first set of roads is for a total sum of N18,923,846,198.47, and it is with respect to roads and bridges as follows: rehabilitation of 26 km road linking Kano, Jigawa and the Katsina States, N8.767 billion; Omo-Umulokpa road in Anambra and the Enugu States, N1.712 billion; rehabilitation of Oye-Oranta road in Anambra, N2.504 billion; Okpoko bridge along Benue-Cross River road, N1.057 billion; the bridge at km 22.7 along Bida-Zungeru road in Niger State, N1.022 billion; Nkumi bridge linking Abia and Enugu States, N1.0.72 billion, and Challawa-Nunku road in Kombotso, Kano State, N2.787 billion.

“The other memorandum relating to roads is also for the total sum of N98,073,840, 842.81. The roads are Rijiya-Gusau road in Zamfara State, N7.799 billion; Jegga-Kwana-Sanagi-Gumi road in Kebbi State, N31.539 billion; Koko-Mahuta road in Kebbi, N19.713 billion; Kuka Babbangida-Ganagara road in Katsina State, N11.731 billion; Ihiala-Olu-Umudu road, N16.750 billion; Oye-Ama-Etite-Umuawulu road in Anambra, N2.155 billion and Bichi road in Kano State, N8.384 billion,” Fashola said.

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Arik Air Workers Ground Operations

They alleged that several members of staff had been furloughed, adding that pensions were being owed.

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Operations of Arik Air, one of Nigeria’s carriers have been grounded by the National Union of Air Transport Employees over poor working conditions.

The workers on Thursday blocked the entrance of the airline’s headquarters in Lagos, the country’s commercial capital in the South West, carrying placards with different inscriptions.

Some of the inscriptions read, “End Arik brutality”, and “Sign our condition of service and recall all staff.”

They alleged that several members of staff had been furloughed, and that pensions were being owed.

The Lagos state Secretary of NUATE, Ijeh Anthony, said the issue had lingered for long, vowing to continue the strike till all demands are met.

He said, “The contentious issue is the signing of the Conditions of Service which we have been negotiating for the past three years.

Read also: Unions Shut Down Nigeria’s Arik Air Operations Over Anti-Labour Practices

“But the only aspect remaining in the CoS is the issue of the severance package. We have sought interventions from the Ministry of Aviation, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority.

“However, in most discussions, Arik Air Management will always renege.”

At the Murtala Muhmmed Airport 2 terminal, several passengers booked for 8 am flights were stranded.

Some of the passengers were distraught after waiting for several hours.

Officials from the airline were seen trying to manage the situation.

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