The Nigerian Ports Authority through the Delta Ports generated over $45.2 million within January and June 2019. The significant increase, the NPA said, is attributed to the improved security in the area. The ports authorities said the rise in revenue when compared to 2018’s $35.39 million, represents a 28 percent increase, which is also due to the dredging of the Escravos channel. The NPA also said $2,904,377 debt was recovered within the same period, leaving the total revenue collected at the sum of $48,150,644.17. The NPA chairman, Emmanuel Adesoye whose visit was to assess the progress made by the port since November 2016, denied any sale of some of Delta Ports terminals. It had been reported that five out of the six terminals of Delta Ports to have been conceded at different dates to respective operators for a duration of 15 years for one, and 25 years each for the others. Adesoye noted that the major challenge raised during the forum is the dredging of the channel within the port to allow bigger vessels go in, but declined to give a time frame for the needed development to take place, explaining that some technicalities may cause a prolongation.
Data from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority has shown that that 55 percent or 16,429 of the domestic flights operated in the first six months of 2019 were delayed. A total of 30,040 flights were operated in the country, out of which 16,429 were delayed as a total of 241 flights were cancelled. Nine domestic airlines; Air Peace, Aero Contractors, Dana Air, Arik Air, Max Air, Azman Air, Overland Airways, Medview Airline and Ibom Air operated in the country during the period with Air Peace having the highest number of delayed flights, 6,359 (39%) and 91 cancelled flights. Arik Air operated 5,378 flights in the first half of 2019, with 2,306 (14 percent) of total flights delayed. Aero Contractors recorded 2,181 delayed air flights out of 3,293, representing 13% of total flights delayed. Max Air operated 2,652 flights, 1,538 were delayed, representing 9 percent of total flights. For international flights, out of a total of 7,640 International flights between January and June, 2,241 were delayed and 55 were cancelled.
Members of the Monetary Policy Committee of the CBN have expressed concern over the rising debts owed by the FG and states in the country two days after the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, faulted financial experts, and insisted that the country’s ₦24.9 trillion debt was not a problem. Robert Asogwa, a member of the MPC, said the rising public debt levels in Nigeria when added to a variety of other financial sector-specific risks seem to dampen the prospects of growth in the near term. While noting that the debt-to-GDP ratio in the country remained arguably sustainable, Asogwa, however, said that public debt levels continued to rise and “the current levels appear to be the highest since the HIPC initiative of a debt moratorium by the Paris Club in 2004. According to Asogwa, the stock of total public debt rose from $79.4 billion at the end of December 2018 to $81.2 billion at the end of March 2019, adding that the external debt component had moved from $18.9 billion in December 2017 to $25.2 billion in December 2018 and further to $25.6 billion by March 2019. Another member, Mike Obadan, described the accumulated public debt as worrisome, considering the monetary policy implications, among others. He said the FG debt poses a serious burden with nearly 30 percent of the budget devoted to debt servicing. Although the debt-GDP ratio is relatively low, the debt – revenue ratio is very high. According to Obadan, the available data indicate that state governments are relying too much on bank loans compared to the other tiers, as they account for 74 percent of bank credit to the governments.
MTN has launched a mobile money transfer service targeting those without bank accounts and said it plans to become a payment services bank once it obtains approval from the CBN. MTN Nigeria CEO, Ferdi Moolman, said its Yello Digital Financial Services unit would extend access to simple money transfer services and other financial services. More than half of Nigeria’s population do not have a bank account.