Nigeria’s Senate will advise the finance ministry to remove up to 60 federal agencies from receiving allocations from the national budget starting from next year. The Federal Inland Revenue Service, Nigeria Customs Service, Security and Exchange Commission, National Broadcasting Commission, and Oil and Gas Free Trade Zone Commission are some of the names of federal agencies to be deprived of the allocation. The decision was premised on the conviction that the agencies generate enough revenue to fund their overheads and payment of salaries, and would therefore not need to be funded from the national budget. Two newspapers noted that the Joint Committee on Finance and National Planning had concluded plans to include the proposal in its report which would be submitted when the Senate resumes on 15 September. The panel is not happy with the poor revenue profiles, huge wage bills, and poor remittances to the Consolidated Revenue Fund account from these agencies. Chairman of the joint committee, Senator Solomon Adeola, told the heads of the agencies after the session that many of them had no business receiving allocations from the federation account. He said the Senate would update the Fiscal Responsibility Act to limit the agencies power to spend money as they choose to, and pointed out that some of the agencies, such as the Oil and Gas Free Trade Zone Commission, had willingly pulled out of being funded from the federal budget, meaning they would no longer collect allocation for salaries and overhead from the federation account.
14 people were killed on a Cameroonian island on Lake Chad near the border with Nigeria by jihadists following Cameroon’s decision to block food supplies to the insurgents. A security source told AFP that fighters from the so-called Islamic State West Africa Province landed on the island of Bulgaram aboard speedboats from an enclave on the Nigerian side late Tuesday, they said. They came around 1830 hours while people were preparing for evening prayers and shot dead 14 community leaders. Some of the victims were shot in their homes while others were killed in the mosque where they had gone to pray. The terrorists believe the blockade is part of the ongoing military operation aimed at starving them while they are under bombardment, a source added. Recently, local chiefs had invoked the Koran at a town hall meeting and placed a curse on any resident allowing supplies to the jihadists. The insurgents viewed the decision as a betrayal and a show of support for the local authorities.
Foreign capital inflows into Nigeria fell by $4.46 billion to $1.29 billion in the second quarter of 2020 from $5.85 billion in Q1. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the total value of capital importation into the country showed a decrease of 77.88 percent, compared to Q1’20 and 78.60 percent in Q2’19. The breakdown of the figure showed that foreign direct investment in the country accounted for a mere 11.47 percent of the total capital imported. It fell by 30.65 percent to $148.59 million from $214.25 million in Q1’20. Portfolio investment, which accounted for 29.76 percent, dropped by 91.06 percent to $385.32 million from $4.31 billion in Q1. NBS said that the largest amount of capital importation by type was received through “other investments” (58.77 percent) declining to $761.03 million from $1.33 billion in Q1. Capital importation by shares reached $464.57 million in the Q2’2020. The NBS said the United Kingdom was the top source of capital investment in Nigeria in the period with $428.83 million. The country accounted for 33.12 percent of the total capital inflow in Q2’20 as Lagos topped the list of destinations of capital investment in Nigeria in the reviewed period with $1.13 billion. The state accounted for 87.30 percent of the total capital inflow in Q2’20. Nigeria’s capital imports fell from a peak of $21.32 billion seven years ago to $5.12 billion in 2016 as investment dried up in the wake of a recession, and have barely recovered since then.
Cameroon has blocked cereals exports, including millet and corn, to Nigeria as a food security measure after a production drop. According to authorities, the threat from Boko Haram terrorists is responsible for the decrease in food production on its northern border. The country intercepted about 6,000 metric tons of corn, millet and rice while being transported to Nigeria, Damian Kinkoh of the food control unit of Cameroon’s Trade Ministry says. He added that the ministry will return the cereals when the owners commit to only sell the corn, rice, and millet in Cameroon. The interceptions were made in several northern border towns and villages including Maroua, Mora, Kolofata, and Limani last week, Kinkoh says. The president of the Association of Millet farmers in Mora, Yakoubou Ousmaina said they prefer to only sell in Nigeria because his members will not make any profit if they sell their millet locally. Ousmaina said a 50-kilogram bag of millet and corn sells at between $40 and $50 in Cameroon and between $70 and $75 in neighboring northern Nigerian markets. He asked the government of Cameroon to give subsidies to farmers to prop up cereal production. Villagers who provided labour in millet farms escaped and his association invested much money to bring workers from safer northern towns and villages to work in their farms. He says Boko Haram scared fertilizer sellers, and the few who have remained in northern Cameroon charge very high prices. Governor of Cameroon’s Far North region, which borders Nigeria, Midjiyawa Bakari, says the ban is aimed at assuring food security for its population. Midjiyawa said production dropped drastically because terrorism drove farmers from their farms. However, he said, exports to Nigeria increased when Cameroon began a gradual reopening of its borders, which had been partly closed because of the Boko Haram conflict, in February. Economist Ebenezer Ndjock of the University of Yaoundé I says northern Cameroon’s cereal deficit is now 200,000 metric tons and that it is likely to increase if the few farmers who have returned are not encouraged by the government.