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Nigeria’s Debt Profile Now Hits N26.22trn

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The Federal Government and the 36 states as well as the Federal Capital Territory owed a total N26.22tn as of September 30, 2019, the Debt Management Office has disclosed.
The amount indicated that the total public debt rose by 2.02 per cent in the 12 months from September 2018, when the federal government, the states and the FCT owed a total of N25.7tn.
The Director- General of the DMO, Patience Oniha said this at a ‘Presentation on Public Debt to Stakeholders’ in Abuja.
She explained that the figures for December 2019 were not ready, adding that the DMO saw the need to make some clarifications concerning the country’s debt profile.
“There has been so much about debt in the public forum and we want to clarify some of the issues,” Oniha said.
Noting that the National Assembly approved all the borrowings made by the federal government, the DMO boss suggested that all Nigerians were collectively responsible for the debt since they were represented at the National Assembly.
She said, “Borrowing is not approved by one man. It is not determined by one man.
“Borrowing is not ad hoc there are laws and laid down provisions for borrowing.”
She added that the public debt stock was cumulative, involving borrowings made by previous administrations.
According to Oniha, the devaluation of the exchange rate, brought about by the economic downturn, considerably hiked the country’s debt profile.
“Exchange rate devaluation increased external debt stock by over N1tn,” she noted.
Oniha explained that the total public debt as of September 2019 included promisory notes amounting to N821.65bn which had been issued to settle the Federal Government’s arrears to oil marketing companies and state governments.
According to her, the issuance of the promisory notes was in line with the promisory programme approved by the Federal Executive Council and the National Assembly.
The DMO boss said out of total new borrowing of N1.61tn provided for in the 2019 Appropriation Act, only the domestic component of N802.82bn was raised due to the late passage of the budget.

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Road Transport Owners To Withdraw Services Over COVID – 19 …Order Drivers To Stay Away From Petroleum Depots Nationwide

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National Association of Road Transport Owners  (NARTO) has urged drivers to withdraw services from Friday (today).
Its National President, Alhaji Yusuf Lawal Othman,  said the directive became imperative as part of measures taken by  Federal Government  to manage the identified cases of COVID-19 and curtail its spread.
The president also ordered drivers to stay away from petroleum depots nationwide.
In a statement in Lagos, the NARTO boss said: “NARTO owes it a duty to take all necessary steps to minimise their exposure to the deadly virus and thus joined the Nigerian health authorities to curtail the spread of the disease in our country.
“At this daring time, NARTO would continue to monitor the trend of events as we also consider the safety and welfare of our employees who form the vulnerable and integral part of the downstream sector of the petroleum industry.
“In compliance with government directive banning the gathering of more than 50 persons in one place, directive, we have similarly directed all our employees (tanker drivers) to keep away from the depots and stay at home with effect from Friday, March 27, 2020, pending when the situation is brought under control. This action is necessitated by the fact that our loading depots across the country are places of beehive of activities containing more than 500 persons at any one time.
“Our workers should be rest assured that the national leadership of NARTO would stand by them at this critical moment as we equally implore them to be of good conduct and law abiding.
“Finally, we join millions of our country men and women in prayers against the continued proliferation of the disease throughout the world and, are confident in the capacity of our health institutions to address the challenges which Covid – 19 poses to our country and humanity as a whole.”

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COVID-19: CBN Issues Stay-At-Home Order To Staff

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele has given a new directive to junior staff of the bank due to the spread of the novel COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement obtained by The Tide the apex bank disclosed that although it’s not shutting its doors to business, only selective staff members would report to work daily.
The statement read: “As a responsible public institution and regulator, we have triggered our business continuity plans to ensure that the bank’s operations remain largely undisrupted at this present time when social distancing has become key to checking further spread of the virus. We have also directed Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) and other financial institutions to do same.
“The welfare and safety of our staff and their families, and indeed all Nigerians, remain top priority to us. Consequently, with effect from Wednesday, March 25, 2020, till further notice, only essential staff of the CBN Head Office and the 37 branches of the bank will be expected to report for duty daily. In other words, our staff in non-critical roles have been directed to stay at home and work remotely, when their services are required.”
Meanwhile, the Federal Government has injected additional N6.5billion as an emergency intervention to the National Centre for Disease Control(NCDC).
This is according to a statement by Mr Bashir Ahmad, the Personal Assistant on New Media to President Muhammadu Buhari who made this known via his statement.
According to Mr Ahmad, the move which was confirmed by Nigeria’s Finance Minister, Zainab Ahmed, was aimed at aiding in the fight to curb the spread of the COVID19 in the country.

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DPR Warns Against Panic Buying Of Fuel

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The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has warned consumers of the Petroleum Motor Spirit (PMS) in its Port Harcourt zone to desist from panic buying, saying it had adequate stock despite the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic.
The department said the zone comprising Rivers State and neighboring states currently had 107million litres of PMS in eight of its depots in Port Harcourt and was expecting more product in a few days.
It also warned against buying the product above the current price regime of N125 per liter, explaining that most filling stations had adjusted to the new price.
The Port Harcourt Zonal Head of Downstream, Anthony Oyom, who was accompanied by Mohammed Akwa, an engineer in charge of the zone’s projects, depots and jetties, spoke in Port Harcourt while monitoring the compliance of depots and filling stations to the new price of PMS.
The investigations showed that the depots where the Nigerian National Petroleum Products (NNPC) stored imported fuel had enough of the product.
For instance, depots at TSL Logistics had about 24m litres; Conoil had 5million and was expecting 27million in a few days; Stock-Gap, 22m litres; Liquid Bulk, 42m litres, among others.
Operators of the depots said they were trucking out the product at the new regulated depot price of N113, insisting that they were not lacking fuel at their facilities.
Oyom said: “We went out to do surveillance to all the depots within this axis and also some filling stations to confirm that the depots are selling at the new depot price and also the retail outlets are selling at the new pump price that the minister gave the directive on March 18, 2020.
“We checked six depots and in all of them we saw that they had enough products. Currently we have over 100m liters of stock in Port Harcourt. We are expecting millions of litres in a few days. At the end of this week, we should have at least 150 million litres stored in Port Harcourt.
“We have enough fuel for Rivers State and the immediate environment. Also, retail outlets are complying with the new pump directive. There is absolutely no reason for anybody to engage in panic buying.

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