An analysis of various IGR and FAAC reports obtained from the National Bureau of Statistics showed that the states’ total revenues dropped by₦180.4 billion in the first half of this year when compared to what they made in the second half of 2019. Findings showed that the total IGR and federal allocations to the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory in the second half of last year amounted to ₦1.914 trillion. But this dropped to ₦1.121 trillion in the first half of 2020, indicating a crash of ₦181 billion or 9.45 percent when compared to the preceding half year’s revenue generation of the states. This came as economists and financial analysts explained that the drop in IGR and FAAC allocations of the states would impact on the delivery of capital projects in most of the states. They also noted that this could adversely impact on the payment of workers’ salaries by some states with lower IGR and FAAC allocations. The Director General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Muda Yusuf, said the drop in both IGR and FAAC allocations to the states was expected. Yusuf said, “The decline in the IGR and FAAC allocations to states are reflections of the general economic performance. Practically all major macroeconomic indicators have been in negative territory since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Revenue outcomes cannot outperform the state of the economy. Naturally, infrastructure investments in the states will be adversely impacted. For some states, even their recurrent expenditure is at risk.”
With three new fatalities, the death toll from a disease suspected to be yellow fever has climbed to 20 at Okpeilo-Otukpa in Ogbadibo Local Government Area of Benue. The State Ministry of Health through its Permanent Secretary, Andrew Amee, had raised the alarm on Tuesday over a “strange illness” that had claimed 17 lives. Speaking in a phone interview, the state epidemiologist, Dr Sam Ngishe, said three more deaths had been recorded, bringing the number of deaths to 20 – 19 males and a female – all aged between seven and 40. Ngishe also said 26 people, two females and 24 males, had fallen ill with the sickness. “We have collected samples and sent them to the National Reference Laboratory to be able to establish the kind of organism that is causing the problem. But we are thinking in the direction of yellow fever. When the result comes out, we will be able to say for sure what it is. As we speak, the state is planning to initiate a yellow fever campaign which is coming up very soon. And, of course, we will continue with the management of the patients.” Ngishe lamented that the community had a wrong perception of what was happening to them. “They are thinking that they have offended the gods of the land, and this has caused what is happening,” he said.
The FG is considering the creation of an unclaimed dividend and unutilised bank balance trust fund where dividends declared and unclaimed will be held. Providing highlights of the 2020 finance bill at a webinar organised by KPMG in collaboration with the ministry of finance, budget and national planning on Friday, the finance ministry said the funds would be owed as a perpetual debt to shareholders. Explaining the justification for the policy direction, Ahmed said the plan corrects an anomaly in the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) which provides that shareholders will lose their rights to unclaimed dividends after 12 years. The CAMA states that such monies will be returned to the company for redistribution to other shareholders. “In place thereof, it is proposed that such unclaimed dividends should be handed over to the government, as trustee, in a perpetual fund created under the supervision of the CBN & DMO etc with private sector involvement in the governance of the fund,” a presentation at the webinar read. “The liability to shareholders will no longer be extinguished after 12 years.” The ministry further explained that such funds could be used to fund infrastructure projects. According to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the value of unclaimed dividends hit ₦158.4 billion at the end of 2019. Some bank accounts have also become dormant after the owners died or the accounts have been left unoperated for years and the owners did not register for bank verification numbers.
Egypt’s Mostaqbal Watn (Nation’s Future) Party took a commanding lead in parliamentary polls on Sunday as the election commission announced results from a second round of voting. Pre-selected lists headed by the party, which strongly supports Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, won all 284 seats allocated for the 596-seat chamber through a winner-takes-all system. Its candidates also won 59 of the 73 seats contested by individual candidates that have so far been declared by the commission. Remaining individual seats will be decided in run-offs later this month and in early December. Sisi can appoint 28 legislators directly. Turnout in the two rounds of voting in an election that began on Oct. 24 was 29% so far, according to the election commission. Many candidates and parties filed legal complaints to the commission alleging electoral fraud, but all have so far been dismissed. Some have also taken complaints to the courts. Sisi has overseen a sweeping crackdown on political dissent since leading the removal in 2013 of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Mursi, who was freely elected in 2012 before mass protests engulfed his rule.