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Project Finance Fundamentals for Infrapreneurs

Brickstone Dealcamps Series were designed for the African Infrapreneur developing projects but lack the knowledge of basic limited recourse financial principles in making the deal happen. 

We define “Infrapreneurs” as Entrepreneurs or business owners who are typically in corporate business but now wants to develop a new project. They also called Project Sponsors in the Limited Resource Finance space. These individuals often point to project finance being the most important skill they cherish. What complicates the matter further is that debt and equity financial decision making in the context of new project ventures is different from materials taught in most finance & accounting courses.


This course is aimed primarily at CEOs with little or limited finance knowledge but who are incubating projects in Energy and Infrastructure space. Brickstone believes it is also important important that CEOs have a solid grasp of basic project finance awareness in order to agree with other project stakeholders and appreciate project finance principles that affect the value of their large scale projects

Programme Overview

  • A Two (2)-day training covering the basic project finance knowledge for infraprenuers
  • Consists of lectures, hands-on group exercises and case studies.

At the end of the programme participants would be able to:

  • Explain key Project Finance Elements
  • Understand financial terms and confidently discuss issues that affect project company finance
  • Discuss basic Project Finance Terminology and Concepts;
  • Highlight the basic components of project finance;
  • Understand project participants and their roles;
  • Structuring the Project Vehicle
  • Preparing the Project Financing Plan

Who Can Participate?

Entrepreneurs wishing to gain a clearer understanding of the fundamentals of business finance and how finance impacts on the decisions they make on a day-to-day basis either at a departmental or company-wide level.

Content Outline

The course provides important experience and practical examples in the following areas:

Day One : Module 01 – Understanding Key Project Finance Elements

◎ Conceptual Differences Corporate Finance vs Project Finance
Helping participants appreciate how Project Finance Differs from Corporate Financing most entrepreneurs are used to.

◎ An Overview of International Project Finance
Discuss basic Project Finance Terminology and Concepts; and Highlight the basic components of project finance; project participants and their roles

◎ Basic Considerations & Sources of Project Finance
Explain the motivations of Project Finance or Corporate Finance? Discuss Structuring, Structuring Vehicles and Sources of Project Finance

◎ Introduction to Project Development Stages 
Helping participants to understand the project development stages in Project Finance transactions: Pre-Bid, Contract Negotiation Stage and Money-Raising Stage

Day Two : Module 02 – Project Development through Project Finance

◎ Developing a Limited Recourse Finance Project
Recap of the Stages issues within the project development phases

◎ Re-bid stage 
Selecting the right project; Determining whether to submit an unsolicited proposal, Selecting the “right” advocacy, Conducting a technical feasibility study, understand the Length and cost of development process

◎ Contract negotiation stage
Market study for projects with no off-take agreement, Negotiating the project agreements, understand the need for a Environmental/social resettlement report

◎ Financing stage
Securing lowest financing costs, Understanding how to achieve the highest risk-reward trade-off possible, Minimizing exposure to the project

Duration

2 Days

Location

Lagos ( 22 and 23 November 2019)

Source: brickstone

AGF Malami Meets Lawan, Gbajabiamila Over Passage Of Bills

The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, on Thursday met with the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, and some principal officers of the Senate.

His meeting with the leadership of the National Assembly was centered on developing a working relationship that would ensure a seamless passage of bills.

The AGF told his hosts that the major issue of interest to the Office of the Attorney General and the government is having a harmonious working relationship that is targeted at advancing the interest of the nation.

He lamented that several bills presented to the eighth National Assembly were never passed nor assented to because of certain inadequacies or constitutional issues.

He said many bills were proposed during the 8th National Assembly, while additional ones will be presented during the 9th Assembly.

“Enormous resources, energy and cost have gone into legislative process of lawmaking, and I feel the time is now right for us to work together for the purpose of eliminating the associated bottlenecks that have constituted hindrances to the passage of the bills and assenting thereto.

“My beneficial approach is to look at the possibility of working together between the executive and legislature; and where the need arises, the judiciary, in working on the bills before they proceed to the stages of public hearing.

“We cannot afford to expend resources, time and energy in formulating and drafting bills that will eventually not be passed or assented,” he said.

Way forward

The AGF also suggested, as a way forward, sending advance legislative proposals for possible review and inputs of the lawmakers even before the final consideration of the draft bill by the executive.

In his response, the Senate President commended the approach of the Executive.

He said the present cordial relationship between the Executive and the National Assembly should be one driven by mutual respect and consultation between both arms of government.

“Our relationship should be based on mutual respect and consultation. This is a clear demonstration of the kind of consultation we have been talking about. We shouldn’t work at cross purposes; and beyond bills, we need to extend the consultation to other spheres of engagements for us to achieve optimal performance.

“This shows the kind of relationship that characterise the ninth National Assembly and the executive arm of government, which essentially is for the benefit of Nigerians, the people we represent.

“There are three major functions of the legislature; the oversight, representation and legislation.

“Legislation is a fundamental pillar of what we do here. Your office is in charge of executive bills that find their way to the National Assembly and therefore, this is an effort by the executive arm of government to ensure legislative processes that will start from the executive to the legislature or vice versa, should be seamless, speedy passage and effective implementation for good governance.

“When we process a bill, so much resources, effort and commitment are put into it; so we have to do everything possible to ensure that the processes are such that the outcomes justify the enormous resources put into the processing of the bills,” he explained.

Panacea

To ensure a hitch-free passage of bills, both parties stressed the need for committees to be constituted on both sides of government for the purpose of engagement.

“If there’s anything we identify that will cause us not to pass a bill, we will draw the attention of the executive to it and mandate our relevant committees to engage with the concerned agency and the AGF’s office so that all such issues are sorted out.

“We should have our bills assented to, whether they are executive bills or private members’ bills.

“This relationship is productive so far, it is working and helping this country and we will continue with it. However, that is not to say that we will compromise on things that are our mandate,” Mr Lawan said.

The Senate President also called on the AGF to ensure that heads of agencies are carried along in the process of drafting executive bills “to avoid sabotage from any quarter”.

 

This, he said, will help ensure that some members of agencies do not end up frustrating the efforts of the lawmakers.

“I want to advise, that when an executive bill emanates from you, exhaust all opportunities for heads of agencies that will be affected by the eventual passage of the Bill into law to participate. Let them put in their ideas before you round up work on the draft that will be sent to the National Assembly for consideration.

“Often times, heads of agencies deliberately refuse to attend public hearings, and when the bills are passed and sent to the president to sign, then they go around saying things about the bill stopping government from working and so on.

“The National Assembly would do everything to ensure optimal productivity, but those civil servants who sometimes feel they would lose power and authority would attempt to jeopardise the assent of the President,” he added.

Housing Deficit

“This is something that we have to address. When there’s a public hearing on a bill, we will make it mandatory for heads of agencies that are supposed to participate to attend. If they don’t attend, they shouldn’t go back to the President to advise against the assent to such bills.

 

Well-attended session

Lawmakers at the meeting include the Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi; Deputy Minority Leader, Ajayi Boroffice; Deputy Chief Whip, Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi and Deputy Minority Leader, Emmanuel Bwacha.

Others are Deputy Minority Whip, Sahabi Ya’u Alhaji; Albert Bassey (PDP, Akwa-Ibom North), and James Manager (PDP, Delta South).

The Bukola Saraki-led 8th Senate had bragged about passing the highest number of bills since inception but one flaw was the shaky relationship it had with the executive.

Mr Lawan has, however, promised that this new assembly will establish and maintain a good relationship with the executive.

Source: premiumtimesng

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Unveil New Mortgage Application Form

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac this week unveiled the redesigned Uniform Residential Loan Application, following a directive from the Federal Housing Finance Agency to remove the language preference question and housing counseling information from the updated URLA form.

Earlier this year, the FHFA ordered the government-sponsored enterprises to remove the language preference question and housing counseling information from the new URLA form, which is the standardized form used by borrowers to apply for a mortgage.

The move was welcomed by the mortgage business, namely the Mortgage Bankers Association, claiming the language preference question may cause more problems than it solves.

But not everyone welcomed the changes.

Last week, a group of nearly 20 prominent Senate Democrats, including five who are currently running for president, called on the FHFA to undo the alterations to the URLA, claiming the changes could reduce access to credit for mortgage borrowers who are already underserved.

Under the changes proposed earlier this year by the FHFA, the language preference question and housing counseling information are being moved to separate voluntary forms, a change that concerns the Democrats.

The senators believe the decision to move those sections to a separate form “could reduce access to mortgage financing for limited-English proficient mortgage-ready homebuyers and lead to serious financial repercussions.”

The senators also stated that the revised URLA language preference section “clearly informed borrowers that selecting a non-English preference would not guarantee service in that language.”

Therefore, the senators viewed it as “surprising” to see the FHFA “arbitrarily” decided to make the changes to the form.

“Voluntary forms are not adequate disclosures,” the senators wrote. “Lenders will be under no obligation to use the new, voluntary form, and it is unclear how many will elect to do so. This will result in disparate treatment among borrowers who use different lenders.”

But despite those protestations, the GSEs rolled out the new mortgage application form this week without the language preference question and housing counseling information sections, as directed by the FHFA.

According to the GSEs, they are releasing a static version of the URLA form to give the mortgage industry time to “scope additional work needed to implement the redesigned form.”

Beyond removing the language preference question and housing counseling information, the GSEs also state that the new form contains changes to the Borrower Information, Additional Borrower Information, Lender Loan Information, Continuation Sheet, and Unmarried Addendum sections of the form.

Previously, the redesigned URLA, which was originally announced more than three years ago, was scheduled for mandatory use by the mortgage industry by Feb. 1, 2020.

But when the FHFA announced the changes in August, it delayed the implementation of the URLA form to an undetermined date in the future.

The GSEs now state that they are now on track to publish their respective updated automated underwriting system specifications and supporting documents next month and will announce the updated implementation timeline and mandate “before the end of the year.”

The GSEs also state that they will release an interactive PDF version of the redesigned URLA in early 2020.

Source: housingwire

Nigerian Federal Government Moves To Deepen Digital, Online Presence

The Nigerian government has started making moves to seriously imbibe the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) into its operations at all levels, saying that it has realised that one of the ways to reverse cases of huge unemployment, corruption, crime, low internally-generated revenue (IGR) and leakages in government revenue, among other issues is to use ICT to drive government’s internal processes and service delivery to its citizens and other stakeholders.

Electronic government or “e-Government” constitutes the use of ICT in governance to provide public services, improve managerial effectiveness and promote democratic values, as well as provide a regulatory framework that facilitates information dissemination.

Governments around the world use ICT for the exchange of information with citizens and businesses on topics such as tax compliance, public utility services, as well as vehicle and voting registration. Often, the introduction of e-government services creates a more customer-friendly culture.

At the Nigeria e-government conference organised by Digiserve Network Services in Lagos on Thursday, October 24, 2019, Umar Garba Danbatta, executive vice-chairman, Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) said that government had realised that ICT has the capacity to enhance efficiency and convenience in the delivery of government services.

Danbatta who was represented by Henry Nkemadu, Director, Public Affairs, NCC, in his speech said that the theme of the conference, “e-Government: Powering Governance with Information and Communications Technologies (ICT)”, is apt, as it presents another unique opportunity for government agencies and parastatals to look inwards and re-examine Nigeria’s e-government initiatives within the broad context of the global trend where ICT had become a driving force for all sectors across economies around the world.

A United Nations’ report titled: Gearing E-Government to Support Transformation towards Sustainable and Resilient Societies, noted that since 2014, all 193 UN Member States, including Nigeria, had been delivering some form of an online presence. Not only this, the report particularly draws a positive correlation between the level of e-government status achieved by a country and the successes being recorded in the area of advancing each of the 17 targets in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030.

Also, in a February 2019 report titled: Digital Government and Open Data Readiness Assessment, the World Bank noted that governments around the world are continually facing the challenges of improving the access to and the quality of public services that they deliver to citizens and businesses. The report further stated that governments do these more efficiently and with lower costs and that for many years “e-Government” has been expected to be a major contributor to meeting these challenges.

The World Bank report, however, pointed out that, while some countries are grappling with implementing their e-government strategies, others that had been seen as some of the leaders in e-Government have now embarked on the next stage of their service transformation journey – often referred to as “Digital Government”.

According to Danbatta, “In Nigeria, the deliberate decision to deploy ICT for public service delivery is, in part, traceable to the formulation of the Nigerian National Telecommunications Policy in 2000.  The policy seeks to make Nigeria an ICT-driven country in Africa and a key player in the information society and also use IT for education; creation of wealth; poverty eradication; job creation; governance; health; and agriculture.”

“Through the policy, the Federal Government expressly announced the initiative of the government to deepen its digital and online presence to enhance its operation of the government in providing public services in a transparent, effective and efficient means,” he said.

Housing Deficit

Also speaking during the panel session, Gbenga Adebayo, president, Association of Licensed Telecommunications Companies (ALTON) prompted the government to keep up with its plans to enhance public services by going digital, saying that it is also as important to ensure that the ICT industry is protected and encouraged to grow.

Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Communications was recently renamed to become the ‘Federal Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy’ as part of a new strategy to make the ministry reflect the dynamics of technology industry and achieve government’s policy thrust to enable a digital economy.

Source: Businessdayng

Ilubirin Foreshore Housing Scheme To Be Ready Soon –LASG

The Lagos State government has indicated that work is presently ongoing at the construction site of Ilubirin Foreshore housing scheme while also expressing eagerness to complete the first phase of the scheme within two years.

This was the assertion of the Commissioner for Housing, Hon. Moruf Akinderu-Fatai at a meeting with the representatives of Messrs First Investment Property Company (FIDC).  While reacting to speculations that the Ilubirin Foreshore housing Scheme had been abandoned, the Commissioner assured of the completion and delivery of the scheme at record time.

According to him, “the Ilubirin Scheme has not been set aside, we are working on it. We have a solid plan to deliver the first phase of the scheme not later than the third quarter of 2021.” He declared. Hon Akinderu-Fatai said & quot; as part of the commitment to ensure that more Lagosians became homeowners, the State Government is determined to complete the first phase of the on-going Ilubirin Foreshore Housing Estate project in Lagos Island Local Government Area of the State. & quot. The Honourable Commissioner also revealed that the project which is presently a public-private collaboration endeavour will be reviewed in its entirety so as to actualize the vision of an upscale and captivating residential, commercial and leisure environment befitting of its strategic location along the lagoon.

Furthermore, Akinderu-Fatai disclosed that the plan of the present administration to create livable cities and regenerate existing ones will be fully incorporated in the review process so as to inject new life in the neighbouring communities.

However, according to him, the process of re-examination will be accelerated because the need to close the housing deficit gap is quite urgent. Akinderu – Fatai further stated that the present administration is committed to completing all abandoned housing estates in the state in accordance with global specifications & quot; We are here to set new bars in housing development. We intend to do that through setting good examples with our own estates." he said. He added that we are determined to complete the Ilubirin Foreshore Housing Scheme and other ongoing housing projects so as to make more Lagosians homeowners irrespective of their ethnicity or political dispensation.

Earlier, Mr. Wale Bamgbelu of Messrs First Investment Property Company (FIDC) said the master plan for the scheme is based on a world class housing estate scheme anchored on the Live Work and Play pattern having not only residential facilities but also other facilities of global standard including cinema halls and shopping arcades.

Source: sunnewsonline

Bishop Oyedepo Approves N650 Million For Construction of Roads in Nigeria.

According to reports, the repairs will cover the old toll gate bordering Lagos and Ogun States as well as stretches of the Idi-Iroko expressway from Oju Ore to Iyana Iyesi.

FCMB wins Excellence Award in Customer Experience as MD Emerges CEO Of The Year

First City Monument Bank (FCMB) Plc has won the award of ‘‘Excellence in Customer Experience Enhancement’’ at the Finnovex West Africa Awards held recently in Lagos. 

Also, its Managing Director, Mr. Adam Nuru,  emerged the CEO of the year. They were elected to the positions after a survey conducted by the organisers which involved bank customers.

The event, co-located with Finnovex West Africa and organised with the approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), provided a platform for industry shaping discussions with experts, thought-leaders and innovators across the financial services community worldwide. The two-day conference focused on global trends, disruptions and how market players can determine opportunities and respond to the threats. The gathering also provided an opportunity for financial experts to share knowledge on big and pressing issues, ranging from Financial Technology (FinTech) disruptions to financial inclusion, blockchain and regtech.

According to the organisers, the conferment of the ‘‘Excellence in Customer Experience Enhancement’’ on FCMB, is in recognition of its outstanding achievements, consistent demonstration of customer service excellence and convenience as well as robust technology. Moreover, FCMB was recognised for promoting financial inclusion through the deployment of digital banking solutions and other offerings that align with the lifestyles of various segments of the society.

‘’FCMB pioneered deployment of Over-The-Counter transactions (OTC) using biometrics on Point of Sales (PoS) for both inter and intra-bank transfers and withdrawals; the first in deploying OTC transactions on PoS through card and biometrics means and the first to release a wallet account in the industry’’.

Among the offerings of the Bank in the digital banking space are, the FCMB *329# USSD code, enhanced FCMBMobile, artificial intelligence chatbot, named Temi, among other digital platforms that have continued to make waves and redefine financial services.

Source: sunnewsonline

Fashola Seeks NASS Approval of N10trn Infrastructure Bond

.Says FG can invest available N9bn pension funds on road sector

To address the humongous infrastructure deficit in the country, the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola has appealed to the National Assembly to facilitate the approval of a N10 trillion National Infrastructure Bond to especially attend to the road infrastructural needs. Rallying the support of the legislature, the minister it is obvious that annual appropriation would be grossly inadequate to fix the decay in Nigeria roads and other infrastructural facilities.

Babatunde Fashola On Thursday Fashola was at the National Assembly to defend the ministry’s 2020 appropriation before the joint session of Senate and House of Representatives committees on Works. FG Pledges Full Support for AFRIMA as Nigeria Hosts 2019 Edition He said it is expedient that the Ministry and the Debt Management Office work out details of a N10 trillion infrastructure bond to be submitted to the National Assembly for approval.

Assuring the lawmakers of a well thought out plan, the minister said: “I have done an envelope size of say N10 trillion; that does not mean we want to raise N10 trillion this year but if we launch such an instrument with a very competitive coupon rate backed by law as a very secure investment that people can put their money. “I think that is one way to entice and inspire agencies like the pensions fund to invest money in a secured Government backed instrument.

They are investing in Treasury bills because it is Government instrument and it is secured. The issue is the money of workers in that bond must never be lost. That is the whole idea. “If Government backs it any time we need to raise money like N10 trillion over four or five years, any period we need to fund project, we issue a demand for subscription and raise N2 trillion and the more important thing is it is not a proven concept but just my idea is that we should disaggregated the sizes of investment that people can make.” Fashola further suggested the utilisation of about N9 billion floating in the pension funds to tackle infrastructural shortcomings.

He said: “Equally important is the issue of pension fund that you mentioned. We have well over N8 trillion to N9 trillion. Not all of it is available for investment in the road sector. Quite a number of it is already in treasury bills. We are told the money is available if  there is assurance that it will be repaid and equally important is the PPP arrangement and we feel it is  a way of relieving government of the burden of road construction.

“We have well over 500 roads in the country and we required close to about N10 trillion to complete these projects without bringing new ones and that is the entire budget of this country. If we can get private sector to come in and invest in our infrastructure”.

Fashola told the committee members that the ministry is currently undertaking a total of 540 highway projects at an estimated sum of N4.8 billion spread over the six geopolitical zones in the country. He further explained that some of the 540 ongoing projects are categorized in accordance with special funding mechanism as follows: Highway projects financed with Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF), Highway Projects Financed with the Sovereign Sukuk Fund, Highway Project Financed Under Tax Credit and Highway Projects Funded from Multilateral Loans.

According to him, the alternative sources of funding the nation’s road projects could be through the Sukuk. “The Federal Government has tried Sukuk and I don’t see why it should not be repeated especially we approaching November, it is the month we float the process.

On the 2020 budget, the Minister explained that his Ministry and its Parastatals proposed an estimated sum of N287.1 billion. A breakdown of the proposal shows that Capital budget is N197 billion; Main Ministry (Works) N171.5 billion; FERMA N22.8 billion; Overhead N15.9 billion and Personnel cost-N12 billion.

He lamented that the major challenge of the ministry lies in the insufficient budgetary provision and releases for completion of its projects unscheduled. He noted that the total amount outstanding for payment to contractors for duly certified and approved works as at October 15th 2019 is the sum of N321,137,955,706,279.05 billion in 2018 and N53,319,919,988.45 in 2019 respectively.

Source: dailytimesng

Local, Foreign Investors Shun Cheap Nigerian Stocks As Outlook Worsens

…CBN extends OMO ban to secondary market

Nigerian stocks are getting cheaper but nobody is buying, as hopes of a rebound in the market now falter on higher yields on fixed income securities and declining interest of foreigners in Nigerian assets.

Foreigners have been dumping stocks for the most of the year in the market now trading at its lowest valuation ever, but big domestic investors who are mostly pension fund managers are unmoved even by a possible earnings recovery in the near-term.

Analysts at Cario-based EFG Hermes forecast a 14 percent earnings growth between 2019 and 2021, with non-banks’ earnings expected to recover strongly in 2020 after an expected difficult 2019, and a 2019 dividend yield forecast of 10 percent (11.2 percent for banks).

“Despite this, policy uncertainty makes it very difficult to become bullish,” the analysts said. “These factors keep us underweighted on Nigeria relative to frontier and emerging market peers.”

The policies include moves by the government to close its land borders to all trade and the Central Bank of Nigeria’s increase in minimum loan to deposit ratio to 65 percent by the end of 2019.

“The latter policy may support earnings growth for stronger banks, but it is hard to reconcile policies that force private-sector lending with those that severely restrict trade,” the analysts said in a recent note to clients.

With foreign inflows of N34.92 billion in August 2019, foreign portfolio investment (FPIs) into equities outweighed outflows of N28.98 billion for the first in one year before the period, according to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). The trend shows the disinterest that has trailed the market so far in the year.

On the other hand, Nigerian pension funds have seen growth in their asset under management up to a compounded annual growth rate of 16 percent as at August from about N4.5 trillion in August 2014 to more than N9 trillion in August 2019. However, their exposure to stocks has reduced considerably, no thanks to high-yield on OMO bills.

In recent years, the OMO window has become an avenue for local investors including non-banks as well as foreign investors to benefit from the attractive rates offered by an aggressive CBN which has attracted hot money into Nigeria but has seen a rotation of funds from stocks to the money market.

Portfolio inflows into equity and bond markets tanked in the second quarter of 2019 to $496.84 million and $316.28 million from N1 billion and $400 million in the same period a year earlier. However, inflows to money market recorded a 30 percent surge to $3.5 billion within the period.

Similarly, OMO issuances by the CBN have surged from $600 million in 2016 to $2.4 billion in 2018, according to US-based Citigroup Inc., while total issuance up to August 2019 is around $1.4 billion.

This is despite the continuous depreciation of equities on the Nigerian market. Nigeria’s equity market is down 16.14 percent since the start of the year and is below its December 2010 levels.

The market, however, currently has a 4.8x 12-month forward Price to Earnings but a rally in the stock market is near impossible, if history is any guide, following the persistent decline in net foreign assets. An increase in the nation’s net foreign assets has always correlated with recent stock market rallies.

The bullish trend of stocks between August and December 2015 was accompanied with corresponding growth in net foreign assets. A similar trend was always observed between April and August 2017 as well as the first three months of 2018.

Meanwhile, the Central Bank of Nigeria said it has barred local corporates and individuals from participating in both primary and secondary activities of OMO market, as it makes extra efforts to boost credit flow to the real sector of the Nigerian economy.

In a circular released Thursday titled “LETTER TO ALL BANKS, RE: OPEN MARKET OPERATIONS AUCTIONS”, the CBN said: “Please note that the restriction on Open Market Operations Bill purchase by DOMESTIC corporates (inclusive of non-bank financial institutions) and individuals applies to both primary and secondary market activities.”

The directive restricting participants that can buy the high-yielding central bank bonds does not include foreign portfolio investors, as they currently hold around $18 billion worth of outstanding OMO bills and their carry-trade activities support the naira.

Source: Businessdayng

housing fund

Reps Demand Explanations On $460m Abuja CCTV Camera Project

The House of Representatives Committee on Finance has demanded further explanation on the 469 million dollars Abuja CCTV camera project from the Ministry of Finance.

The Chairman of the committee, Rep. James Faleke (APC-Lagos), at a budget defence session with the ministry on Thursday in Abuja,  said that there was a need for Nigerians to get value for monies paid.

“Before this administration, we collected some loans and the one that strikes me the most is the 460 million dollars for CCTV installation in Abuja.

“I want to know the position of this loan, I am sure we are paying back but the CCTV is not working.

“Any time we take loan from China, the Chinese will come and do the job, they will bring all their equipment, the personnel and the goods and yet we do not have value for the money, especially that of the CCTV.

“Where are we? I need you to look into it and send us a memo on this particular aspect, “ he said.

Responding, the Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, said that Nigeria was servicing the loan but she had no explanations on the status of the project.

“We are servicing the loan but on the project, we will have to ask the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Authority because the project was deployed in the FCT, I have no information on the status of the CCTV.

“The the conditions of the loans that we take from China always will be that a Chinese company will provide the infrastructure services.

“These are loans that are of three per cent, the rail lines are being rolled out, the Abuja-Kaduna, Lagos-Ibadan rails are all loans from China and are being executed by Chinese companies,” she said.

Ahmed said that the Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt and Kano airport rehabilitation projects were done by Chinese companies and were supervised by the relevant ministries and the National Assembly to ensure quality work.

She said that there were a lot of Nigerians working with Chinese on the projects.

On the 2019 budget releases, the minister said that by October, the ministry had released 100 per cent for personnel cost.

Ahmed said that for debt service, payment was also 100 per cent and that for overhead, six out of 10 months had been released.

She said that some critical ministries had, however, received overhead for nine months.

The minister said that as at October 15, N654 billion had been released for capital expenditures.

According to her, the plan is to ensure that by December, every Ministry, Department and Agency  has received at least 40 per cent of its capital expenditure.

The Permanent Secretary, Mr Mohammed Dutse, said that N1.3 billion was earmarked for overhead in the ministry and N664 million released.

He said that N3.3 billion was allocated for capital expenditure in the ministry but only N1.8 million had been released.

For the ministry’s 2020 budget, the permanent secretary said that N4.36 million was proposed for personnel cost, N1.3 billion for overhead and N3.3 billion for capital expenditures.

Meanwhile, that Minister of Health, Dr Emmanuel Osagie, has said that plans were on to maximise the skills of Nigerian medical experts in the Diaspora to develop the medical system in Nigeria.

The minister made this known at an interactive session with the House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora on Thursday in Abuja.

He said that Nigerian medical experts abroad, especially in the U.S. and the UK, had often organised themselves to give back to the Nigerian society through free medical services.

Housing Development

Osagie said that a structure that would maximise the benefits of such missions and aid transfer of knowledge and experience to local experts was being designed.

The minister said that there was a need to also make the Nigerian medical environment more comfortable for the experts to return to Nigeria.

The Chairman of the committee, Rep. Tolu Shadikpe (APC-Oyo), said that the committee had made a commitment to prioritise the life of  every Nigerian in the Diaspora.

She said that everything legally possible would be done to safeguard their lives for them to live side by side with other Nigerians peacefully.

Shadikpe said that the committee was willing to work with relevant agencies to maintain a progressive relationship that would benefit Nigerians in the Diaspora.

NAN

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