The World Bank has claimed that subsidies benefit only rich households and reduce government spending on poor Nigerians.
This was contained in a statement on the bank’s website announcing the launch of the new Nigeria Public Finance Review report.
According to the bank, Nigeria’s resources had been consumed by inefficient and regressive subsidies on petrol, electricity and foreign exchange.
It added that the subsidies were far more than what was spent on education, health and social protection in 2021.
The statement read, “For years, a large share of Nigeria’s resources have financed inefficient and regressive subsidies for petrol, electricity, and foreign exchange. Not all these subsidies are accounted for in the budget, which makes them difficult to track and scrutinise.
“However, available data suggest that these subsidies, which accounted for more than the amount spent on education, health, and social protection in 2021, benefit primarily wealthy households. They also distort incentives, discourage investment, and crowd-out spending on pro-poor programs, thereby hindering progress in Nigeria’s social development.”
It further noted that Nigeria had one of the lowest public expenditure and revenue levels in the world, undermining the government’s ability to improve service delivery.
The bank added that low tax rates and poor utilisation of tax bases, weaknesses in tax administration, and large deductions from oil revenues were limiting Nigeria’s ability to generate enough revenues.
The World Bank Group President, David Malpass, was quoted as saying, “Nigeria’s government urgently needs to strengthen fiscal management, create a unified, stable market-based exchange rate, phase out its costly, regressive fuel subsidy and rationalise preferential trade restrictions and tax exemptions. These would lay the groundwork for the increases in public revenues and spending needed to improve development outcomes.
“Decisive moves would significantly improve the business enabling environment in Nigeria, attract foreign direct investment, and reduce inflation. The World Bank is ready to increase support to Nigeria as it designs and implements these critical reforms.”
On his part, the bank’s Nigeria Country Director, Shubham Chaudhuri, said, “Nigeria is at a critical historical juncture and has a choice to make. A child born in Nigeria today will be only 36percent as productive when she grows up as she could be if she had access to effective public education and health services, and has a life expectancy of only 55 years.
“These stark indicators illustrate the urgency for action by Nigeria’s policymakers to improve the macroeconomic and fiscal framework, so as to sustainably enhance the quality of spending and public services at federal and state levels.”
At the launch in Abuja, last Monday, there was a panel session, which featured the Director-General, Budget Office of the Federation, Ben Akabueze; the Chief Economic Adviser to the President, Dr Doyin Salami; and the Director-General of the Debt Management Office, Patience Oniha.
Each of the panellists stressed the need for the government to increase taxes and cover up compliance gaps.
The DMO DG also said that Nigeria should not continue to depend on debts but needed to enhance revenue generation.
We Get Petrol At N200 Per Litre From Depots, IPMAN Cries Out
The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has decried the ‘unsustainable’ price that the private depot owners sell the premium motor spirit, otherwise known as petrol in the country.
Speaking, yesterday, on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, the Deputy National President of IPMAN, Zarama Mustapha, revealed that the private depots get petrol at the approved price of N148/litre from the sole importer of the commodity, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, however, sell it for as high as N195 to N210 to independent marketers, which is not sustainable.
“Though marketers get petrol at the approved price of N148/litre from NNPC depots, the company does not have enough storage facilities to cater to the needs of marketers, hence, the latter resorts to private depot owners. It is more of the issue of private depots collecting the products at the approved price and not selling to the independent marketers at a price approved by the mainstream, downstream regulatory authority.
“You cannot get a product at N195 to N200 and expect to sell it at N175,” he noted.
The IPMAN official said depot owners give excuses such as the cost of transporting the product from the mother vessel to their depots and escalation of the dollar as reasons for the price hike.
Mustapha lamented that most Lagos depots are in a chaotic situation and marketers spend three days to load refined petrol that they are not supposed to spend more than three hours to lift.
He urged the NNPC to engage depot owners to sell the product to marketers at the recommended price, saying the common man is at the receiving end.
For weeks, vehicle owners have had a tough time getting petrol from filling stations, especially in Lagos and Abuja.
Whilst many outlets are closed, the few open ones sell the indispensable commodity for as high as N250 per litre from the uniform price of N169/litre.
The supply shortage has led to long, gruelling snake-like queues at the few open filling stations as motorists and business owners jostle to buy fuel while others resort to the black market.
The situation has also worsened traffic on major roads as vehicle owners block at least one lane to join queues to filling stations.
Make Nigerian Youths Innovative, Buhari Tells Corporate Leaders
President Muhammadu Buhari has tasked leaders of corporate organisations to build the capacity of Nigerian youths to be innovative and embrace technology to make positive contributions to their organisations and the nation.
The president, represented by the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami, said this at the Institute of Directors (IoD) 2022 Annual Director’s Conference (ADC), yesterday, in Lagos.
The ADC had as its theme: “Corporate Governance and Digital Transformation: Leading Purposefully for Growth and Sustainability.”
Buhari, noting that the challenges associated with corporate governance were multifaceted, stressed the need for heads of organisations to harness technology to achieve effective governance.
He reiterated the commitment of his administration to providing the necessary legal support and framework to support the entrenchment of good corporate governance practices across various sectors of the economy.
Buhari also pledged his commitment to supporting the IoD by giving the institute’s chartered bill the necessary consideration to enable it to achieve its mandate.
Deputy Secretary General, United Nations, Ms Amina Mohammed, said the world was hit by a series of global crises which have affected the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
Mohammed said technology and digitalisation would set the era of digital transformation in areas of health, education, agriculture and finance.
Nigeria Does Not Belong To North, Arewa Youths Tell Northern Elders
The Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) has said that Nigeria does not belong to the North ahead of the 2023 general election.
Apparently reacting to the recent interview granted by a member of the Northern Elders Forum, Alh Sani Zango Daura, in which he called on the North to support a Northern candidate.
The AYCF, in a statement issued by its National President, Yerima Shettima, noted that supporting a southerner was clearly a demonstration of justice.
He noted that this was because Nigeria does not belong to the North alone, or Muslims and Christians of the North, insisting that “even on moral grounds, the most responsible political action by the North was the decision on powershift in 2023, because the Presidency cannot be hereditary and Nigeria is not a Banana Republic”.
Shettima further said, however, that the elder was expressing his personal opinion and not the stand of the North in general, saying that a “ little balancing was needed in position of our father Zangon Daura, more so when he admitted that the elders are mere escorts for the younger generation today”.
The AYCF noted that when 13 Northern governors led by Kaduna State Governor, Mal Nasirel-Rufai endorsed a Southern candidate for the 2023 presidency, they repeatedly cited political justice.
“Though we are not card-carrying members of the APC, we shared the view that the decision was in line with being fair to the South in 2023.
“We are aware, as well as our father ZangonDaura, that the North is respected for honouring its promises to the South and this one absolutely undeniable character of all Northerners.
“We are not known to break promises and that explains why our son, President MuhammaduBuhari never objected to the idea of a Southern presidential candidate in the ruling party. In the North, like our father ZangonDaura knows, promises are sacred and in fact a culture”.
It would be recalled that in a viral audio of AlhajiZangonDaura while addressing a group of youths, suggested that they should throw their weight behind a fellow Northerner for the presidency in 2023, citing historic and religious instances, something the AYCF said it believed was “overtaken by events, current realities, and the spirit of justice and fairness in the Nigerian project”.
Business4 days ago
Cooking Gas Price Increases By 0.21%
News4 days ago
NYCN Dismisses Bani As Impostor
News2 days ago
Court Sacks Tonye Cole As Rivers APC Guber Candidate
Politics2 days ago
Group Blames Electoral Violence On Tinubu, Atiku’s Desperate Ambitions
Nation4 days ago
N6.5bn Benue Land Administration Complex Ready In December-Official
Politics4 days ago
S’Court Orders Retrial Of Ogun PDP Guber Primary Suit
News4 days ago
Integrity Group: We’re Not Greedy In Politics, Wike Declares
News4 days ago
Nigeria In Dire Need Of True Unifier, Wike Affirms …Pledges Logistics Support For Kwankwaso’s Presidential Campaign