The Minister of Finance, Dr Olusegun Aganga, has said that the Federal Government has commenced a review of Nigeria’s import policy, especially tariffs and items on the importation list, in line with government’s economic growth and development objectives.
Aganga who said this at a press briefing in Lagos on Friday also stated that the policy review became necessary to enable the country achieve set objectives on domestic production and diversification.
Even though the deliberations are ongoing, said the minister, no item that was originally on the import permissible list has been banned.
Responding to reports that some permissible imports have already been listed for prohibition, Aganga said before the decision is taken to ban or not to ban, there would have been wide consultations with stakeholders to make sure that all issues or possible negative outcomes are taken care of.
He disclosed that tariff on certain items must be reviewed upward or downward to ensure that economic policy objectives are not truncated.
“The government had in the past extended a bailout to the textile industry, but that did not impact on domestic textile production. That is partly due to the tariff and import policy regime in place. We are reviewing our tariff and import guidelines and can assure that whatever decision we take, the economy does not suffer,’ he said.
The minister said the economic team has set priority areas for the economy, stressing that whereas some of the priority areas can be achieved within the one year remaining for the present administration, the foundation will be laid on some of the priority areas for future governments to build on.
Aganga listed the priority areas to include facilitation of capital for cheaper credit to businesses; creation of jobs and employment; promotion of productivity; diversification of the country’s revenue base and foreign investment as well as ensuring value from every spending of government.
He said government would improve power supply and check multiple taxation as part of measures to remove impairments to private sector development. He added that government is also thinking about financial instruments to hedge its exposure.
The minister disclosed that the federal government is reviving the country’s development financial institutions such as the Bank of Industry, the Federal Mortgage Bank and the Nigerian Export and Import Bank among others, to make them real contributors to the country’s development process and the attainment of priority goals.
Also, as part of measures to ensure the objectives are met, the minister said the federal government and the Central Bank of Nigeria are collaborating to ensure effective transmission of fiscal and monetary policy. Describing the relationship between the finance ministry and the CBN as cordial, the minister said a sub-committee has been created to co-ordinate both monetary and fiscal policies.
He said that with the CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido, as a member of the economic team, there is good collaboration among policy makers at that level.
Construction, Real Estate Sectors Contribute N20trn To GDP – NBS
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has said economic activities in the construction and real estate sectors contributed N20trllion to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the first three quarters of 2022.
The NBS report also showed that construction services earned N12.9trllion, while real estate contributed N7trllion to the GDP.
It further revealed that the construction sub sector contributed 9.5 per cent to nominal GDP in the third quarter of 2022, which is higher than the 9.26 per cent it contributed a year earlier and higher than the 7.95 per cent contributed in the second quarter of 2022, and also grew by 18.92 per cent in nominal terms (year-on-year) in the 2022 third quarter.
However, the sector dropped 28.75 per cent points, as compared to the rate of 47.67 per cent it recorded in the same quarter of 2021.
According to the national statistics body, real estate services in nominal terms grew by 9.13 per cent, higher by 0.50 per cent points than the growth rate reported for the same period in 2021, and lower by 3.68 per cent points compared to the preceding Quarter.
On a Quarter-on-Quarter, the sector growth rate was 16.38 per cent. The contribution to nominal GDP in Q3, 2022 stood at 4.96 per cent, relative to 5.27 per cent recorded in the third quarter of 2021 and higher than the 4.95 per cent accounted for in the second quarter of 2022.
The NBS calculates the sector’s contribution by adding up gross outputs such as a sum of fees, the value of work done, commissions receivable for the services rendered and other incomes.
It also considers intermediate consumptions such as details of the cost structure, including transportation fees, operational expenditure, minor repairs and maintenance etc.
“From the foregoing, it is clear that the contributed amount had revealed what the private sector could achieve in the nation’s GDP.
“When we talk about real estate, it is driven by private investors. This implies that for any economy to thrive, the private sector must be given a platform and a level playing ground for them to perform.
“It will be of note also that the real estate industry does not require an incubation period. Anytime you start building a house, at least 25 persons will get a job. So, if the government wants to support the economy of the country, more opportunities should be given to the private sector to thrive”, the report stated.
By: Corlins Walter
Expert Urges Domestic Airlines To Apply As Flag Carriers
Sequel to disagreement between the Federal Government and domestic airline operators over the Nigerian Carrier, which is a subject of litigation, a stakeholder in the aviation industry and Chief Executive Officer, Centurion Security Limited, Capt John Ojikutu, (rtd.) has urged domestic airlines to seek government approval to designate one or two of them as flag carriers instead of going to court over the Nigeria Air deal.
He said he had reservations about the lawsuit filed by the Airline Operators of Nigeria against the Federal Government and its foreign technical partners, and majority shareholders, saying there are so many things wrong with the FGN-ET deal.
“What I believe that the private airlines can do instead of wasting their time is to seek government approval to designate one or two of them as flag carriers on at least five Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement routes.
“As far as I am concerned, the airline will die the same way defunct Virgin Nigeria died, and that is my displeasure over that ET partnership.
“So, it is not something that will be forced on the next administration. It is not a government policy that we must have a partnership with ET. So, I am sure the next government will not succumb to that.
“What they have now is a government airline, not a national carrier. Government just called one or two persons. In SAHCOL, two people there have 78 per cent shares, and one person in MRS, who is a foreigner, has 60 per cent. So, invariably, it is the government and one or two people as far as I am concerned”, he stated.
FAAN Boss Orders Allocation Of PH Airline Building To Airlines
Managing Director and Chief Executive of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Capt. Rabiu Yadudu, has urged the Port Harcourt International Airport Manager/Regional General Manager, South-South/South East, Mr Felix Akinbinu, to ensure that airlines are immediately allocated the new airline building without delay.
He noted that the new airline building project is one of the important projects that have been executed at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, and would want the immediate use of the building.
The Managing Director, who gave the directive during the commissioning of the airline building, described the Port Harcourt airport as one of the busiest in Nigeria.
Represented by the Director, Airport Operations, Capt. Mukhtar Muye, Akinbinu noted that there are about 27 airports in the country, and described the airline building as a good edifice.
“This project is very important to us, and I would urge the Regional Manager to ensure that airlines are immediately allocated the building without delay.
“We are very happy to commission this airline building to decongest the terminal building they currently occupy. We know that this is a good edifice that will attract other airlines, includi international airlines, to Port Harcourt Airport”, he said.
Earlier in his address, Akinbinu said the commissioning of the building will go a long way in the provision of office space for airlines and other stakeholders in the airport.
“This building will also help to decongest the domestic terminal building of people who troop in and out to purchase tickets, do sundry enquiries, thereby ensuring effective access control into the terminal building.
“The building consists of eight suites, which are suitable for multipurpose, including banking halls and offices, a large packing space and a gate house for security.
“One of the buildings has been designated as a Magistrate Court, which will serve the airport in the quick dispensation of service”, he stated.
Highlight of the occasion was presentation of goodwill messages from stakeholders at the airport, such as the host community, the League of Aviation Correspondents.
Alsos, the new Airport Area Command of the Police, and former Police spokesperson in Rivers State, ACP Ireju Barasua, assured of adequate security at the airport, expressing delight that more projects will come to the airport.
In his vote of thanks, the Head of Corporate Affairs at the airport, Mr Kunle Akinbode, thanked all for making the programme a successful one.
The representative of the Managing Director also cut the tape to declare the building open for business.
By: Corlins Walter
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