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Eurozone Economy Grows By 0.1% …As Germany Disappoints

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The 16 countries that use the euro barely grew in the fourth quarter, as a modest recovery stalled amid turmoil in financially troubled members such as Greece and a disappointingly flat performance from Germany, the biggest euro economy.

The figures lagged well behind fourth-quarter growth in the United States and raised concerns that Europe could slip back into recession as government stimulus efforts expire and the continent struggles with a government debt crisis in some countries.

Eurozone gross domestic product grew by only 0.1 percent in the last three months of 2009 from the previous three-month period, EU statistics agency Eurostat said Friday.

Export powerhouse Germany turned in zero growth as consumption levels remained weak, reinforcing analysts’ thinking that sustained growth in Europe will have to wait until household spending picks up decisively.

The eurozone growth figure fell short of expectations for a 0.4 percent increase and stoked worries the eurozone may dip back into recession.

The euro took a further battering for the euro on currency markets. By late morning London time, the euro was trading at near nine-month lows $1.3535, a full cent lower than where it was when the German figures came out. 

‘On Friday, data shows that the recovery in the euro area is a long way off from being self-sustained,” said Jorg Radeke, an economist at the Centre for Economic and Business Research.

The third quarter increase of 0.4 percent had encouraged hopes that the eurozone recoveiy wuulu be solid, especially as U.S. growth spiked sharply higher, it was up a quarterly 1.4 percent -­during the period and China continues to grow strongly.

However, the recovery in the third quarter now appears likely to have been due to temporary factors like government spending boosts, a build-up in inventory levels and car scrappage schemes that pay people to trade in old cars, particularly in Germany.

A real concern in the markets now is that upcoming austerity programs in places like Greece, Spain, Portugal and Ireland will continue to depress activity in those countries and further undermine the overall eurozone recovery.

“Given the state of the public finances across many euro member states, fiscal tightening may be too early in many of those countries struggling to maintain growth,” said Radeke from the Centre for Business and Economic Research.

The Eurostat figures clearly showed that the countries most affected by the debt crisis are struggling.

Greece, which is in the midst of a debt crisis that made EU leaders to pledge support on Thursday, saw its output shrink by 0.8 percent. Portugal’s output was unchanged following two solid quarterly increases, and Spain’s economy contracted by a further 0.1 percent as it continues to suffer from its property market collapse and near 20 percent unemployment levels.

The third quarter recovery in Italy also proved to be short-lived as the eurozone’s third largest economy shrank by 0.2 percent during the period.

France, the eurozone’s second-largest economy, appears to have been the main reason behind the overall rise in the fourth quarter in the eurozone, as it posted a respectable 0.6 percent increase in output.

The fourth quarter figures cap a miserable economic year — for 2009 as a whole, the eurozone economy, which includes around 330 million people, contracted by a massive 4 percent.

Though most economists as well as the European Central Bank expect growth this year, it’s unlikely to be remarkable, especially as there are signs of underlying weakness in France — much of the growth there in the fourth quarter was due to car sales, which were boosted by the upcoming scaling back of the car scrappage scheme at the end of the year.

“An anaemic core and a deflating periphery point to weak eurozone GDP growth this year,” said Michael Taylor, an economist at Lombard Street Research.

As if further proof were needed that the euro area recovery is not going to plan, separate Eurostat figures showed that industrial production plunged 1.7 percent in December from the previous month.

The wider 27-country ED, which includes non-euro members such as Britain and Sweden as well as east European countries including Poland and Hungary, saw fourth quarter GDP rise by 0.1 percent, the same as the eurozone.

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Navy Destroys 14 Illegal Refineries, Confiscates N2.7bn Refined Products

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Troops of the Nigerian Navy conducting Operation “Dakatar Da Barawo” confiscated crude oil and other illegally refined products worth N2.7billion in June.
This is contained in a statement issued by the Director of Information, Naval Headquarters, Commodore Adedotun Ayo-Vaughan in Abuja.
“The various NN platforms deployed for ‘Operation Dakatar Da Barawo, Calm Waters 11’ and Tripartite Joint Border Patrol, have continued to sustain aggressive patrols to curb the menace of crude oil theft and illegal oil bunkering.
“Accordingly, several Illegal Refining Sites (IRS), metal storage tanks, wooden boats, dugout pits and ovens were destroyed between June 13 and June 19”.
He said five suspects were and the operatives destroyed 14 Illegal refining sites.
The Navy also said that 80 storage tanks, 22 wooden boats, 40 ovens, two-speed boats, a tanker, truck, barge and a Toyota Sienna car were recovered during the various operations during the period.
Similarly, Navy ship VICTORY in Cross River intercepted and impounded three wooden boats laden with drums of suspected illegally Refined Petrol (PMS) around Ikang channel, suspected to be transported to Cameroon.
However, the Navy said, the boats, as well as the products, were taken into custody.
Ayo-Vaughan said,”Forward Operating Base (FOB) Bonny in Rivers” also intercepted two wooden boats laden with about 400,000 litres of suspected stolen crude oil at Iwokiri.
The wooden boats and products, he said, were destroyed.
Similarly, he said, the Navy ship SOROH in Bayelsa intercepted a wooden boat laden with about 60,000 litres of suspected illegally refined AGO.
Subsequently, the boat and contents, he added was destroyed.

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FAAC: Federal, States, LGs Share N680.780bn May Revenue Allocation

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The Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) has shared May 2022 Federation Revenue Allocation to the federal, states and local government councils to the tune of N680.783billion.
This is contained in a communiqué issued at the end of June 2022 FAAC meeting held in Abuja.
According to the communiqué, the N680.783billion total distributable revenue comprised distributable statutory revenue of N385.004billion, distributable Value Added Tax (VAT) revenue of N198.512billion and Electronic Money Transfer Levy (EMTL) revenue of N97.267billion.
In May, 2022, the total deductions for cost of collection were N36.996billion and total deductions for transfers and refunds were N186.672billion.
The balance in the Excess Crude Account (ECA) was $35.377million.
The communiqué confirmed that from the total distributable revenue of N680.783billion; the Federal Government received N229.563billion, the state governments received N241.824billion and the local government councils received N175.942billion.
The sum of N33.454billion was shared to the relevant states as 13percent derivation revenue.
Gross statutory revenue of N589.952billion was received for the month of May, 2022.
This was lower than the N635.037billion received in the previous month by N45.085billion.
From the N385.004billion distributable statutory revenue, the Federal Government received N185.197billion, the state governments received N93.934billion and the local government councils received N72.419billion.
The sum of N33.454billion was shared to the relevant states as 13percent derivation revenue.
In the month of May, 2022, the gross revenue available from the Value Added Tax (VAT) was N213.179billion.
This was higher than the N178.825billion available in the month of April, 2022 by N34.354billion.
From the N198.512billion distributable Value Added Tax (VAT) revenue, the Federal Government received N29.777billion, the state governments received N99.256billion and the local government councils received N69.479billion.
The Federal Government received N14.590billion; the state governments received N48.634billion and the local government councils received N34.043billion from the N97.267billion Electronic Money Transfer Levy (EMTL).
According to the communiqué, in the month of May, 2022, Companies Income Tax (CIT) and Value Added Tax (VAT) recorded considerable increases, Import Duty increased marginally while Petroleum Profit Tax (PPT) and Excise Duties decreased marginally.
Oil and Gas Royalties decreased significantly.

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FG Hands Over Licences To 57 Marginal Oil Field Investors, ‘Morrow

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The Federal Government has announced that the successful investors in Nigeria’s 57 marginal oil fields for the 2022 bid round would get their various Petroleum Prospecting Licences, tomorrow.
On May 31, 2021, the defunct Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) issued letters of award to investors for the production of crude oil from 57 marginal fields.
Last January, the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) announced that a total of 128 awardees emerged as successful bidders in the bid round and had made complete and part payments for signature bonuses in the oil fields.
It also disclosed at the time that 33 awardees did not make payments during the 45 days window given to successful bidders to pay the required signature bonuses for the oil fields and as such had lost their awards to suitably qualified reserve bidders.
Providing updates on the bid round in Abuja, last Saturday, the Chief Executive, NUPRC, Gbenga Komolafe, announced that the successful awardees would get their licences by Tuesday.
He said, “In fulfillment of the promise made early this year, the NUPRC will on Tuesday in Abuja, issue Petroleum Prospecting Licences to successful awardees of marginal fields in the 2020 bid round, pursuant to the provisions of the Petroleum Industry Act 2021.
“It will also unveil the implementation template for the host communities’ development trust for commencement of the provisions under Section 235 of the PIA, 2021, to positively impact against restiveness in the host communities.”
Komolafe said implementing the development trust would guarantee seamless operations, boost investors’ confidence and provide enabling environment for sustainable improvement of the country’s hydrocarbon resources.
“These will mark the conclusion of some of the most urgent and critical tasks inherited by the commission when it was inaugurated in October, 2021, after the signing into law of the PIA 2021,” he stated.
The commission had in March this year informed all participants in the 2020 marginal field bid round programme that it had put all necessary machinery in place to progress the bid round exercise to conclusion in line with the PIA 2021.
In furtherance of that resolution, the commission constituted an in-house work team to distill and address the concerns of awardees with a view to close out issues affecting multiple awardees per asset and formation of Special Purpose Vehicles by awardees in line with the respective letters of award.
“Awardees were therefore enjoined to avail themselves of the resolution mechanism provided by the commission in the overriding national interest,” Komolafe stated.
He added, “The successful coordination and resolution of the issues culminated in the emergence of the successful awardees that would be handed over licences on Tuesday.”

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