• Key stakeholders in the country’s information and communications technology have been left out in the newly reconstituted Nigeria National Broadband Council. Nigeria CommunicationsWeek quoting a document containing a list of members of the council showed that no telecommunications operators in the country, or industry associations such as Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria, or Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria, among others, were represented in the council as against the practice in the old council membership where telecommunications operators and representative of ATCON, ALTON and others were represented. This raises doubt over the ability of the council to supervise effectively the implementation of the national broadband plan to achieve 30 per cent broadband penetrative by 2018 without the people that will implement the policy.
  • The FG has proposed a smaller budget size of ₦8.6 trillion for the 2019 fiscal year in contrast to ₦9.1 trillion for 2018. It also projected a total revenue of ₦7.9 trillion as well as reductions in both borrowing and deficit financing, according to details of the 2019-2021 Medium Term Expenditure Framework/Fiscal Strategy Paper announced in Abuja by the Minister of Budget and Planning, Senator Udo Udoma. Udoma said the government would drastically cut down on borrowing in 2019, as he outlined key assumptions in next year’s proposed budget to include oil production volume of 2.3 million barrels per day at a price of $60 per barrel and an exchange rate of ₦305 to one dollar; inflation rate of 9.98 per cent; and Gross Domestic Growth rate of three per cent.
  • The NNPC has extended its crude-for-product swap contracts, the country’s main avenue to meet the bulk of its fuel needs, until June 2019. The contracts allow companies to lift crude oil in return for the delivery and supply of petroleum products under the direct sale of crude oil and direct purchase of petroleum products model. Nigeria has become increasingly reliant on the NNPC for fuel imports via swaps after a currency devaluation and recession in the last few years, which priced independent importers out of the spot market. The NNPC’s swap contracts currently account for about 70 per cent of the country’s imports, while 30 per cent is done through the spot market, one of the sources added. The swap contracts, known as Direct Sale Direct Purchase, came into effect in July last year and were due to end after one year. They were already extended once earlier this year to December.
  • The FG has said it would soon commence the payment of ₦5,000 to vulnerable poor Nigerians in three states, using the newly introduced financial services of NIPOST for the cash transfer. Under the new contract, NIPOST is expected to dispense the ₦5,000 cash to the poor in three states including Nasarawa, Benue and Anambra. Postmaster-General, Bisi Adegbuyi, said NIPOST was able to win the contract due to its use of technology to advance its services to the people across the country.