Despite requesting for a higher baseline in August, Nigeria failed to meet the existing crude oil supply quota allocated to it by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) during the month, Thisday reports. The country lost 90,000 barrels per day in August, or roughly 2.8 million barrels in the month, making last month’s production of 1.43 million bpd one of the lowest in five years. While Saudi Arabia and Iraq were the main drivers of OPEC’s production for August, with additional production of 290,000 bpd and 200,000 bpd, respectively, Nigeria, which can produce two million bpd, other things being equal, slumped from its July figure of 1.520 million bpd, according to an OPEC document. Production growth in Africa’s highest oil producer is proving a major challenge due to infrastructure challenges and technical difficulties, leading to shut-ins. In addition to the above problems, there have also been instances of community or workers’ protests, which incessantly disrupted operations, leading to severe losses. Thisday quoted a Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) document showing that the company and its partners lost 6.035 million barrels of crude oil to emergency shutdowns in the previous month. In its August presentation to the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC), which was held between the 18th and 19th of August, the corporation recorded 32 such incidents throughout its facilities in the country. In April last year, OPEC and its allies, known as OPEC+, embarked on production cutbacks in a bid to rescue the global oil industry, which at some point hit the negative territory mainly due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the oil price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia. If Nigeria, Angola, and other countries are unable to meet production due to a build-up of the technical problems resulting from years of investment constraints and market supply remains in a deficit, countries with spare production capacity, including Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and the United Arab Emirates may be called upon to make up the shortfall.
The FG recorded a revenue shortfall of ₦1.76 trillion in the first half of this year, new official data showed. According to a revenue performance report, which was obtained from the Budget Office of the Federation, the FG’s projected revenue for the 2021 fiscal year was ₦7.9 trillion, of which ₦3.9 trillion was earmarked as a pro-rata target for the first six months. As of June 2021, the government had only generated ₦2.3 trillion, or 44.1 per cent of the pro-rata estimate, indicating a revenue gap of ₦1.8 trillion. During the period under review, the aggregate revenue of ₦2.23 trillion comprised oil revenue of ₦492.4 billion, non-oil revenue of ₦778.2 billion and ₦922.1 billion from other revenue sources including independent revenue of ₦558.1 billion. The report said, “FGN share of oil revenues was ₦492.44 billion (which represents 49 per cent performance), while non-oil tax revenues totalled ₦778.18 billion (104.5 percent of pro-rata). Companies Income Tax and Value Added Tax collections were ahead of the budget targets with ₦397.02 billion and ₦129 billion, representing 116.5 per cent and 108.2 per cent respectively of the pro-rata targets for the period. “Customs collection was ₦234.02 billion (92.1 percent of target). Other revenues amounted to ₦922.09 billion, of which Independent revenues was ₦558.13 billion.” In 2018, the FG introduced the Strategic Revenue Growth Initiative to address the challenge of low revenue generation. The SRGI, which was instituted by the finance ministry, contains a robust set of initiatives that were cascaded down as programme portfolios to revenue-generating entities. Finance minister Zainab Ahmed had said the initiative was aimed at harmonising efforts of all the revenue-generating agencies in increasing revenues to government’s coffers and grow Nigeria’s revenue to Gross Domestic Product ratio from the current eight per cent to 15 percent by 2023.
Lagos and Rivers have expressed their readiness to begin the collection of Value Added Tax in accordance with the judgement of a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, which ruled that states, and not the Federal Inland Revenue Service, should be collecting VAT and Personal Income Tax. Already, Rivers Governor Nyesom Wike had signed into law the bill that empowers the state to collect VAT, while the Lagos State Government said it had already notified all the stakeholders involved in the payment and receipt of VAT of its resolve to enforce the judgement to the letter. This is in spite of the opposition by the FIRS, which already filed an appeal against the judgment, and some northern states, who said they preferred the Federal Government to continue collecting the tax. Justice Stephen Pam, who delivered the judgment on August 10, 2021, also restrained the FIRS and the Attorney General of the Federation from demanding the taxes from the residents of the Rivers State, which by implication affects other states. While signing the Valued Added Tax Law No. 4 of 2021 and some other bills into law, Wike said, “We (Rivers State) are standing on the part of history as representatives of the state to have taken the bull by the horns to challenge the illegality of the Federal Government through the Federal inland Revenue Services.” In Lagos, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotosho said the state government would soon commence the implementation of the court judgment even if it had to send a bill to the House of Assembly to amend the relevant laws. He said the judgment was a reflection of true federalism and the state government had already notified all the stakeholders involved in the payment and receipt of VAT of its resolve to enforce it. Omotosho stated, “We are aware of the judgment and we applauded it. In a federation, that is the way it goes. In our pursuit of true federalism, it is a giant step forward. And in fact, we have notified all our stakeholders about the judgment that the Lagos State Government will implement. We are writing to all the stakeholders to let them know that this is a judgment we are going to obey to the letter.” Asked when it would take effect in the state, he said, “We are working on it. It is a matter of law. (It will commence) very soon except if we will be sending a bill to the House of Assembly to officially notify the Assembly about the judgment and adjust our own law that will compel those who pay VAT to the state government in obedience to the judgment.”
Soldiers who staged an uprising in Guinea’s capital on Sunday said in a short broadcast on state television that they have dissolved the constitution and the government in the West African state. However, the defence ministry said an attack on the presidential palace by mutinous forces had been put down. Heavy gunfire had broken out near the presidential palace in Conakry on Sunday morning, with several sources saying an elite national army unit led by a former French legionnaire, Mamady Doumbouya, was behind the unrest. An unidentified soldier, draped in Guinea’s national flag and surrounded by eight other armed soldiers, said in the broadcast that they planned to form a transitional government and would give further details later. The soldier spoke after videos shared on social media – which Reuters could not immediately authenticate – showed President Alpha Conde surrounded in a room by army special forces. The defence ministry said the attempted insurgency had been put down. “The presidential guard, supported by the loyalist and republican defence and security forces, contained the threat and repelled the group of assailants,” it said in a statement. “Security and combing operations are continuing to restore order and peace.” Earlier, videos shared on social media showed military vehicles patrolling Conkary’s streets and one military source said the only bridge connecting the mainland to the Kaloum neighbourhood, which houses the palace and most government ministries, had been sealed off. Many soldiers, some heavily armed, were posted around the palace, the source added.