The FG has reviewed the ₦50 stamp duty charges on electronic payments in the country following a backlash from Nigerians and industry stakeholders. The ₦50 charge would be imposed on transactions above ₦10,000 as against payment above ₦1,000 that had taken effect across the country in September. This is included in a Financial Bill currently before the National Assembly. The new bill, which aims to repeal a provision of the Stamp Duty Act 2014 that had a threshold for receipts chargeable with stamp duty as ₦4 and above, exempted bank transfers between two accounts owned by the same person or organisation. The CBN in a 17 September circular to banks, processors and switches authorised banks to unbundle merchant settlement amounts and charge applicable taxes and duties on individual transactions. The banks were asked to charge a duty of ₦50 for services rendered in respect of electronic transfers and teller deposits from ₦1,000 and above on behalf of the Nigeria Postal Service. The directive was, however, condemned by mobile money agents, retailers, merchants and bank customers who said it would discourage the cashless transaction and financial inclusion agenda of the FG. Some merchants had started charging customers ₦50, while others had stopped using the terminals due to the refusal of customers to pay the extra charges.
FrieslandCampina WAMCO, an affiliate of Dutch dairy company, FrieslandCampina, and the Niger State government, have signed an MOU for 10,000 hectares of land for milk production. The agreement signed by the Governor of Niger State, Abubakar Bello, and the President of FrieslandCampina Consumer Dairy, Roel van Neerbos, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, will see the dairy company utilise Grazing Reserves in Niger State for its Dairy Development Programme. The deal is in line with the FG’s National Livestock Transformation Plan which seeks to grow livestock farming and transform the dairy sector to help boost the economy. The agreement is expected to see the replication and expansion of local dairy production at the reserve similar to what has been done in Oyo, Ogun, and Osun states and train dairy cooperatives in Niger State on best practices. The company said it has developed pasture on 1,000 of the 10,000 hectares of land assigned to it at the Bobi Grazing Reserve and established key infrastructure including a milk collection centre with a high capacity cooling tank and high-quality milk testing equipment.
Data from the DMO has shown that investors got a total of ₦112.42 billion as interest on FG fresh bonds issued from July 2018 to May 2019. The interest payments were made between January and November this year. The breakdown of the data showed that in January, the FG paid ₦9.11 billion as interest on the ₦66.9 billion worth of bonds issued and allotted in July 2018 bonds. The ₦66.9 billion further broken down consisted of ₦8.93 billion allotted at 12.75 percent, ₦11.58 billion allotted at 13.53 percent and ₦46.39 billion allotted at 13.98 percent. In February, ₦5.44 billion interest was paid on ₦39.7 billion worth of bonds that were allotted in August 2018 at the same interest rates. The DMO, maintaining the same interest rates, allotted ₦96.74 worth of bonds in September 2018, of which the FG paid ₦13.28 billion as interest in March this year. ₦12.07 billion was paid in April as interest on the ₦88.08 billion bonds allotted in October 2018 at constant interest rates. Investors, in May, received ₦722.76 million as interest on the ₦39.52 billion investment poured into bonds in November 2018. A total of ₦775.59 million interest was paid to investors in June for their ₦5.75 billion investment in the FGN bonds offered in December 2018. Investors got ₦16.19 billion as interest in July on the ₦116.99 billion investment made in FGN bonds offered in January 2019 at the same interest rate with previous ones. Another ₦20.71 billion interest was paid to investors in August on the ₦150 billion investment made in February this year. Investors, who subscribed to the March FGN bond auction to the tune of ₦29.35 billion, received N4.03 billion as interest in September. The FG increased interest rates in its April bond auction to 12.75 percent, 14.55 percent and 14.80 percent, paying a total of ₦14.18 billion to investors in October. The government, sustaining the momentum in April, paid ₦15.83 billion as interest to investors in November for their ₦111.76 billion investment made in May.
President Buhari has re-sent the 2016-2018 external borrowing plans to the National Assembly for consideration and approval. President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan read Buhari’s letter for the fresh external borrowing before the Senate. Lawan while reading the letter was however silent on the total amount being sought and did not give details of the executive communication. The Federal Executive Council had approved the financial plan in August 2016 and sent to the 8th Assembly in September 2016. At the time, the leadership of the federal parliament led by Senator Bukola Saraki and Yakubu Dogara rejected the request in November 2016. According to Buhari, only the FG emergency project for the North-East, four states projects and one China Exim bank assisted railway modernisation project for the Lagos-Ibadan segment were approved out of a total of 39 projects.