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IMF Forecasts Higher Economic Growth For Nigeria

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has projected an economic growth of 2.5 per cent for Nigeria in 2021.
This is higher than the 1.5 per cent IMF’s 2021 forecast earlier announced for the country in January.
The Washington-based institution made this known in its April World Economic Outlook report obtained, yesterday.
Nigeria exceeded recession as its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) recorded a slight growth of 0.11 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2020, according to figures from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed in February, 2021.
The organisation also forecast a 3.4 percent growth for the Sub-Saharan Africa region in 2021.
This is 0.2 per cent higher than the previous forecast for the region.
Part of the report read, “Following a sharp drop in 2020, only a mild and multispeed recovery is expected in Latin America and the Caribbean in 2021. Thanks to the global manufacturing rebound in the second half of 2020, growth exceeded expectations in some large exporting countries in the region (for example, Argentina, Brazil, Peru) bringing the 2021 forecast to 4.6 percent (a 1 percentage point revision).
“The longer-term outlook continues to depend on the path of the pandemic, however. With some exceptions (for example, Chile, Costa Rica, Mexico), most countries have not secured enough vaccines to cover their populations.
“Moreover, 2021 projections for the tourism-dependent Caribbean economies have been revised down by 1.5 percentage points to 2.4 percent. The pandemic continues to exact a large toll on sub-Saharan Africa (especially, for example, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa).
“Following the largest contraction ever for the region (–1.9 percent in 2020), growth is expected to rebound to 3.4 percent in 2021, significantly lower than the trend anticipated before the pandemic. Tourism-reliant economies will likely be the most affected.”

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FG Okays Five-Year Revised MSMEs Policy

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The Director General, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency (SMEDAN), Dikko Radar says said the Federal Government has approved a revised national policy on Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) for 2021-2025.
Radar stated this during a briefing in Abuja, on Monday, adding that there is the need to keep stakeholders abreast with the  newly approved revised National Policy on MSMEs.
According to him, before now there was no strategic policy document to guide the development of MSMEs prior to the establishment of the agency in 2003.
The agency ensured that the first official national policy on MSMEs was approved in 2007 with a provision for four year review.
He said that in addition to the provision for the timed review of the national policy, there were some other key regional, national and global changes that underscored the review of the policy like the macroeconomic policy thrust embedded in the medium term expenditure framework and fiscal strategy  2019-2021.
Again, there are major positive changes in the reviewed policy  like the change in the departure from the use of assets to turnover in classifying MSMEs, with several reasons to justify this, again inflation and naira depreciation have eroded the asset levels set in 2007 when the first national policy was approved, he said.
The DG said the reviewed national policy on MSMEs has split the micro enterprises sub-sector into two sub-groups like Nano/Homestead and Micro Enterprises.
According to him, need for the split is based on certain consideration like in 2013, 83.2 percent of micro enterprise had an initial set up capital of N100,000 or less. To improve policy targeting it is important to separate these tiny enterprises from their slightly more formal counterparts.

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‘Lagos, Rivers, FCT, Delta Generated Nigeria’s 52.67 % IGR In 2020’

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With the generation of 32.08 per cent, 8.97 per cent, 7.05 per cent and 4.57 per cent share of the 2020 Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), Lagos, Rivers, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and Delta States respectively generated 52.67 per cent of the nation’s IGR in the year under review.
The other 33 states generated 47.33 per cent of the total IGR the 36 states of the federation and the FCT raised in 2020 . The total revenue generated was N1.306 trillion.
This is contained in the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) document titled: “Internally Generated Revenue at State level Q4 and Full Year 2020”, obtained by The Tide, yesterday..
According to the data, Yobe, Taraba, Adamawa, Gombe and Jigawa States recorded 0.60 per cent, 0.62 per cent, 0.64 per cent, 0.65 per cent and 0.66 per cent respectively, indicating that Yobe generated the least revenue of N7.77 billion.
Lagos State, with the highest IGR, recorded N418.98 billion in the year under review.
On growth rate, the NBS data showed that Kebbi State had 87.02 per cent in 2020.
It noted that Ebonyi, Oyo, Borno and Katsina State recorded 82.30 per cent, 42.23 per cent, 42.63 per and 34.16 growth rate respectively.
From the NBS data, Benue State recorded the least growth rate of -41.38 per cent, while Sokoto, Kwara, Jigawa, and Ogun States recorded -37.93 per cent, -36.03 per cent, -32.95 per cent and -28.44 per cent growth rate respectively.
Whereas Lagos with the highest IGR of N418.98 billion had a growth rate of 5.0 per cent, Kebbi that recorded the highest growth rate of 82.02 per cent generated N13.778 billion revenue in the period under review.
The NBS document revealed that Lagos with the highest revenue of 32.08 per cent and N418.98 IGR , contributed 21.67 per cent to the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) and shared 5.05 per cent from it in the period under review.

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No Intention To Increase Petrol Ex-Depot Price In May – NNPC

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) says it will not increase the ex-depot price of Premium Motor spirit also known as petrol next month.
The Group Managing Director, Malam Mele Kyari, made this known at the end of a closed door meeting with Petroleum Transport Drivers (PTD), National Association of Road Transporters Owners (NARTO) and oil marketers in Abuja, on Monday.
Ex-depot price is the price marketers buy products from depot owners; it determines the pump price at filling stations.
The NNPC’s assurance was coming against the backedrop of reports that queues resurfaced in most filling stations around the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) with visibility of black marketers along the major highways.
“We want to inform oil marketing companies that NNPC will not increase the pump price of PMS in May.
“I am giving the assurance and I ask Nigerians to go about their normal businesses; we have over 20 billion litres of petrol in our custody.
“Many of you are aware of this and with the assurance with tanker drivers and NUPENG, there is no need for panic buying of the product.
“Petrol will be available in all the depots in the country including NNPC dispatched depot across the country, so nobody should panic in buying the product,” he said.
On the strike by PTD, the NNPC boss said the strike was associated with NARTO’s inability to increase their compensation which was not resolved last week.
“We have given commitment to both NARTO and PTD that we will resolve the issue within a week and come back to the table to have a total closure on the issue.
“We also have a robust engagement with our oil marketing partners in respect of increase in the volume product that is check in the Nigerian market.
“We have agreed to work jointly with all the security agencies to contain any possible infractions seen in our borders.
“We will work as a team to curtail this fraudulent practice with the help of the security agencies,” he said.
NARTO President, Alhaji Yusuf Orthman, commended the NNPC for the intervention and assured that within the next seven days, things will normalise in the adjustment of allowances of PTD.
“We have requested that they bring three persons so that we discuss the issues but that would not have been possible without this intervention.
“We hope that within the next seven days things will normalise and I want to assure Nigerians that we are committed to it,” he said.
Also, PTD president said that the strike has been suspended until the next seven days
He commended the NNPC and all the stakeholders for their quick intervention.

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