In line with the extant protocols rolled out by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has resolved that no staff and visitors alike would be allowed into its offices nationwide without evidence of full vaccination.
In line with this entry protocol, staff and visitors or clients are to present acceptable evidence which is: COVID-19 Vaccination Card, any identification card connecting the holder to the vaccination card, preferably the National Identity Card; Driver’s Licence or International Passport.
JAMB in its bulletin said from available statistics from relevant agencies, the virus is spreading like wildfire, hence the clarion call for all to be vigilant, observe all protocols, and for institutions, be it public or private, to adopt relevant protocols to nip the spread of the virus in the bud.
“As a proactive agency, the Board is adopting this protocol in the light of its heightened preparations for the commencement of the 2022 UTME/DE Registration exercise.
“We implore all not to be lulled into a false sense of security as pertains to the COVID-19 pandemic as the increasingly dangerous dimension the virus is assuming should be a source of concern to all, especially with the emergence of a more-virulent Omicron variant.”
There was confusion among power sector operators on Tuesday after the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), fired the management of the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company as a result of the strike embarked upon by the AEDC workers the preceding day.
Officials of the Federal Ministry of Power said the management of AEDC had been replaced with an interim governing council, stressing that the directive came from the Presidency.
“Indeed, the management of the AEDC has been dissolved through the initiative of the BPE (Bureau of Public Enterprises),” the Deputy Director, Press, FMP, Austin Asoluka, told our correspondent in Abuja.
He added, “A new interim management team formed by NERC (Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission) has been put in place.”
But many operators in the sector viewed the move by government as confusing because the government’s shares in power distribution companies is 40 per cent each, while private investors in the firms control 60 per cent shares.
However, it was learnt that the strike by workers of the AEDC on Monday was embarrassing to government, after their industrial action grounded power supply in the nation’s capital and five other states for about 10 hours.
Power supply was grounded on Monday in Abuja, Nasarawa, Kogi, parts of Edo, Niger and Kaduna states following the strike embarked upon by workers of AEDC.
Both the Transmission Company of Nigeria and the management of the AEDC confirmed that the strike by the in-house union of the power firm led to the blackout witnessed in most states that got their supply from the Disco.
Although the strike was eventually lifted on Monday night, it was initially embarked upon due to the failure of AEDC to pay outstanding entitlements to its workers.
Also confirming the sacking of the AEDC management, the media aide to the Minister of State for Power, Ofem Uket, said Buhari approved the move and a new interim governing board had been appointed to oversee the day-to-day operations of the firm.
He said in a statement that the dissolution of AEDC management was “following the recent industrial action embarked on by its staff over non-payment of arrears of pensions, allowances, salaries and promotion.”
The statement added, “The sack of the management team conveyed by the Presidency to the Federal Ministry of Power takes immediate effect.”
The Minister of Power, Aliyu Abubakar, and Minister of State for Power, Goddy Jedy-Agba, had earlier intervened through dialogue with the Ministry of Labour, BPE and NUEE to resolve and call off the 14-hour strike.
The statement further stated that a Memorandum of Understanding was jointly signed by the power ministry, NERC, BPE and NUEE, as the Federal Government ordered the suspension of the strike and that the outstanding entitlements would be paid within 21 days.
But operators in the power sector described the development as confusing, stressing that it might lead to litigation.
Reacting to it, the Chairman, Nigeria Electricity Consumers Advocacy Network, Tomi Akinbogun, said, “I sincerely think this is uncalled for. Does it mean that if there’s any disagreement with staff or labour issues in a Disco, government takes over, even before investigation is conducted?
Another operator in the sector, who spoke on condition of anonymity said, “I do not have the full details of the facts leading to this action. But I see this as a political move which may not be correct.
But another industry player argued in favour of government, saying, “Was the AEDC management dreaming, don’t they understand the strategic importance of the FCT especially with regards to security?
“How could they allow that lockdown of power supply to happen? They could even face treason. Pray that the security agencies do not come up with any serious security breach due to the power shutdown, in which case they (AEDC) would have known that there is no absolute freedom given to anybody or company to behave recklessly.”
The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has raised an alarm over the increasing cost of food and cooking gas in the country.
In a statement jointly signed by its President – Festus Osifo, and General Secretary – Lumumba Okugbawa, the union lamented that the nation was degenerating into a land plagued with hunger.
The people’s purchasing power, according to its, has seriously worsened as the prices of food in the market have continued to rise in the last three years.
It blamed the situation on the devaluation of the naira against major currencies, displacement of farmers by bandits and terrorists, and inconsistent policies of the government, among others.
According to PENGASSAN, farmers in Benue, Plateau, Katsina, Nasarawa, and Taraba States cannot readily access their farmlands due to security threats.
On the cost of Liquified Natural Gas (LPG), commonly referred to as cooking gas, it lamented that the price of refilling a 12.5kg-cylinder has risen by almost 100 per cent.
The union believes poor families are going through harrowing experiences in their struggle to cope, even as the price of kerosene has since surged despite the unavailability of the product
It also asked the government to encourage its workers rather than making it mandatory to take the COVID-19 vaccine, adding the deregulation of the downstream oil sector must be based on domestic refining and not import-dependent.
Read the statement dated November 30, 2021, below:
PENGASSAN ON THE STATE OF NATION
The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) wishes to bring to the attention of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and other critical stakeholders to some of the burning issues in our national polity and the existential need for Government to put the interest of the citizens first in all its dealings.
We strongly advocate that Government must develop a strong mechanism in tracking how its macroeconomic policies, be it fiscal or monetary, affect the disposable income of individuals and households in the country.
The Association has noted and sadly so, that most of the recent macro-economic policies of the Government have further exacerbated the economic hardship faced by our members and Nigerians in general.
If this poverty induced policies are not urgently checked and correctional measures put in place, we could assure you that the little shred of hope that the citizens have in the country will fast erode and this could degenerate the already challenging security situation and grossly affect the level of governance.
Some of the prevailing issues that are affecting the general populace and require urgent attention are as follows:
FORCED VACCINATION ON NIGERIANS
PENGASSAN have observed with dismay the recent directive accompanied with threats by the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) that Civil Servants, specifically Federal Government Employees, would from December 1 st 2021, shall be required to present proof of vaccination or negative Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests, conducted within 72 hours to gain access to their offices in all locations in Nigeria and the Missions.
We consider this directive and threats as unbecoming, draconian and against the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria that the Government pledged to always uphold. The Association has earlier admonished providers of labour to sensitise and advocate to its employees on the advantages of taking COVID-19 vaccines and not to issue threats to the workforce.
We wish to request that the undemocratic and anti-masses directives, that infringes on the right of the citizens be stopped and withdrawn with immediate effect.
HIGH COST OF FOOD
The Nation is fast degenerating into a land plagued with hunger as if famine has descended on our beloved Nation. The purchasing power of the already pauperised disposable income of the citizens has greatly degenerated as the cost of food in the market has gone up astronomically in the last three years.
Whereas the astronomically increase in the cost of food, wages are at best stagnant and in some cases reduced unilaterally and drastically. This could be attributable to several factors that are not limited to the gross devaluation of the Naira against major currencies, displacement of farmers by bandits and terrorists, inconsistent policies of Government, etc.
To further exacerbate the looming dangers caused by food insecurity, farmers in states such as Benue, Plateau, Katsina, Nasarawa, and Taraba cannot readily access their farmlands due to myriads of security challenges occasioned by incompetence and lack of patriotism.
It is necessary to secure the farmers and their farmlands as aggregate food production by the local farmers is the bedrock on which the systems of our food security rest.
HIGH COST OF LPG
The Association wishes to further bring to the attention of Government the hyperinflation that has greeted Liquified Natural Gas (LPG), commonly referred to as cooking gas. It is disheartening to note that the price of refilling a 12.5kg cylinder of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (cooking gas) has risen by almost 100% percent over the past one year.
This is one singular product that is used by several households in the country. Currently, the cost of cooking gas has continued in steady climb from an average of 4,500 Naira at the beginning of 2021 to the current price of between 8,750 and 10,000 Naira for the popular 12.5kg cylinder.
We are worried that most middle to upper-class homes, especially in the urban areas, are feeling the pinch. The poorer families are going through harrowing experiences trying to cope, more so as the price of kerosene had long taken flight in addition to being scarce in many places. Despite Nigeria sitting on one of the largest gas reserves in the world, we still depend largely on imported gas. Up to 70 per cent of the gas we consume in the country is imported.
Some of the reasons attributable to this skyrocket increment is the devaluation of the Naira against major currencies and the introduction of a value-added tax of 7.5% on imported gas, an increase in the international price of gas, etc. We hereby call on the President to immediately abolish the VAT on gas importation, prevent further slide of the Naira, channel some of the exported gas to domestic use, and provide some form of verifiable palliatives for the lower-class citizens.
DEREGULATION OF PMS
The history of deregulating the downstream oil sector through gradual or total subsidy removal has engendered intense debates between PENGASSAN, successive Governments, stakeholders, and experts in the oil and gas sector with each claiming that it will guarantee long term stability in product supply and price. And that it will lead to an advance and well-developed economic transformation in the country.
PENGASSAN as an Association and a major stakeholder in the industry do not have issues with all the advantages, they claim that deregulations will usher into the economy because we understand the workings within the industry and therefore stand in a pole position on issues that border it. While maintaining our support for the full deregulation of the sector, we however reiterate that we will only support a deregulation exercise based on domestic refining and not import-dependent.
Therefore, effort should be made to increase the pace of the current Refinery rehabilitation and support the continuous strengthening of the Naira.
Conclusively, we wish to admonish the Government at all levels to quickly come together and find urgent solutions in the short and long term to the myriad of issues plaguing the Nation to reduce the difficulties faced by the citizens.
A stitch in time saves nine.
For: PETROLEUM AND NATURAL GAS SENIOR STAFF ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (PENGASSAN).
Oyo’s VAT revenue higher than total collection of 17 northern states
•South West generates more VAT revenue than other 5 zones
•North Central generates least revenue
LAGOS, Oyo and Rivers states, with the highest Value Added Tax (VAT) revenue, subsidise the other 33 states with respect to VAT as the trio take far less than they generate while the other states earn more from the sales tax than they contribute into the federation account.
An indepth analysis of VAT revenue generation and allocation between January and August 2021 revealed that although Lagos State generated N429.203 billion, the state only got N139.587 billion (32.52 per cent) of VAT revenue generated.
In the same vein, Rivers State generated N90.293 billion within the same period but got N46.270 billion (51.24 per cent), while Oyo State generated N64.646 billion but was allocated 45.136 billion (69.8 per cent).
Our findings also showed that the revenue generated by Oyo State in the period under review is more than the total amount generated by 17 of the 19 northern states.
While the VAT revenue generated by Oyo State within the period under review was N64.646 billion, the combined VAT revenue of Benue (N1.268 billion), Kogi (N3.286 billion), Kwara (N3.471 billion), Nasarawa (N2.495 billion), Plateau (N5.208 billion), Niger (N3.723 billion), Adamawa (N3.689 billion), Bauchi (N5.309 billion), Borno (N3.442 billion), Gombe (N4.028 billion), Taraba (N1.756 billion), Yobe (N9.445 billion), Jigawa (N3.375 billion), Katsina (N3.738 billion), Kebbi (N1.284 billion), Sokoto (N4.978 billion) and Zamfara (N598.33 million) states stood at N61.174 billion, which is N3.472 billion less than the amount generated by Oyo State.
Similarly, Rivers State generated N90.293 billion, which is higher than the N85.666 billion combined revenue generated by Benue, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Plateau, Niger, Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba, Yobe, Jigawa, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto, Kano and Zamfara, 18 of the 19 northern states within the period under review, while Lagos State generated N429.203 billion, which is more than the N339.722 billion generated by all the 19 northern states and the FCT.
In the period under review, the South-West geopolitical zone generated N518.856 billion, which is more than the N499.084 billion generated by the other five zones and the FCT.
North-Central zone with N19.451 billion had the lowest VAT revenue in the period under review.
The South-East had N23.548 billion, the North-East generated N27.75 billion, North-West had N56.727 billion, the South-South had N135.814 billion, while the FCT generated N235.794 billion.
The South-West had the largest share of the VAT revenue shared during the period under review as it got a total of N276.493 billion but that is just 53.28 per cent of the N518.856 billion it generated.
North-West zone got the second highest allocation of N219.813 billion.
This is 387.49 per cent of the N56.727 billion generated. South-South got N162.598 billion, which represents 119 per cent of the N135.814 billion generated by the zone.
North-East zone, in the period under review, was allocated N130.413 billion, which is 469.9 per cent of the N27.75 billion it generated.
The North-Central got N129.154 billion, representing 663.9 per cent of the N19.451 billion generated by the zone, while the South-East got N109.629 billion, representing 465.5 per cent of the N23.548 billion it generated during the period under review.
Zamfara State, which generated the lowest amount of N598 million during the period under review, had the fifth highest allocation of N35.716 billion within the same period. This is 5,972.6 per cent of what it generated.
Similarly, Benue State, which generated N1.268 billion, got N24.527 billion, representing 1,934 per cent of what it generated.
Kebbi State got N22.162 billion, which is 1,726 per cent of the N1.284 billion it generated, while Imo State got N25.111 billion, amounting to 1,293.7 per cent of the N1.941 billion it generated.
Under the current VAT sharing formula, the Federal Government gets 15 per cent of the total revenue. Fifty per cent goes to the states, while 35 per cent is shared by the 774 local governments.
In addition, each state keeps 20 per cent of the VAT revenue derived from it, while 30 per cent of the VAT is allocated based on the population of the states, and 50 per cent is then shared equally.
The sharing formula has come under serious attack in recent times as, at least, three states are seeking the intervention of the courts to effect a change of the current arrangement so that states can keep the VAT revenue they generated.
On Monday, August 9, 2021, the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt and presided over by Justice Stephen Dalyop Pam, in Suit No. FHC/PH/CS/149/2020, filed by the Attorney General for Rivers State (plaintiff) against the Federal Inland Revenue Service (first defendant) and the Attorney-General of the Federation (second defendant), declared that it is the Rivers State government and not the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS), that should collect VAT and Personal Income Tax (PIT) in the state.
The court also issued an order of perpetual injunction restraining the Federal Inland Revenue Service and the Attorney-General of the Federation from collecting, demanding, threatening and intimidating residents of Rivers State to pay to FIRS, personnel income tax and Value Added Tax.
But the FIRS approached the Appeal Court to stop the execution of the judgment.
The Appeal Court, in an interim order given on September 10, 2021 ruled that both Rivers State and the FIRS should maintain status quo on the issue of VAT collection.
Not satisfied with the order, Rivers State approached the Supreme Court, praying it to set aside the Appeal Court’s ruling and asking it to disband the panel of the court which gave the interim order, and order another one to be constituted to hear the case.
The Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, has said that President Muhammadu Buhari is aware and concerned about the hike in the price of gas and is promising action to ameliorate the situation.
He said this while addressing State House correspondents after a meeting with the President in his office where he presented CEOs of two new agencies: the Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission (NURC) and the Nigerian Downstream and Midstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) at the state house.
The minister explained that the government has no control of the prices and rather, it is the international market that primarily determines the price of the commodity.
Sylva, however, assured Nigerians that some elements of the pricing will be adjusted internally to enable a reduction, particularly in view of the Yuletide season.
The US has said it is releasing 50 million barrels of oil from its reserves in an attempt to bring down soaring energy and petrol prices.
The move is being taken in parallel with other major oil-consuming nations, including China, India, Japan, South Korea and the UK.
US President Joe Biden has repeatedly asked the Opec group of oil-producing nations to boost output more rapidly. It says it is concerned that a resurgence of coronavirus cases could drive down demand, as happened at the height of the pandemic.
Crude oil prices recently touched seven-year highs, amid a sharp uptick in global demand as economies recover from the coronavirus crisis.
It’s driven up petrol prices and energy bills in many countries.
But Opec has stuck to an agreement to only increase production gradually. In a statement the White House said: “American consumers are feeling the impact of elevated gas prices at the pump and in their home heating bills, and American businesses are, too, because oil supply has not kept up with demand.
“That’s why President Biden is using every tool available to him to work to lower prices and address the lack of supply.”
As part of the coordinated effort, the UK government will allow firms to voluntarily release 1.5 million barrels of oil from privately-held reserves.
It said the action would support the global economic recovery but “any benefit for UK drivers is likely to be limited and short in nature”.
India will release five million barrels, while South Korea, Japan and China will announce the amount and timing of their releases in due course.
‘Not large enough’ Officials said it was the first time that the US had coordinated such a move with some of the world’s largest oil consumers. But analysts questioned whether it would have much impact.
“It’s not large enough to bring down prices in a meaningful way and may even backfire if it prompts Opec+ [which includes Russia] to slow the pace at which it is raising output,” said Caroline Bain, chief commodities economist at Capital Economics.
But the effort by Washington to team up with other major economies to lower energy prices sends a warning to Opec and other big producers that they need to address concerns about high crude prices, which are up more than 50% this year
Opec+, which includes major producers such as Saudi Arabia and Russia, has repeatedly rebuffed requests to pump more oil at its monthly meetings, causing frustration in the US.
“We will continue talking to international partners on this issue,” a senior US administration official told reporters on Tuesday.
“The president stands ready to take additional action if needed, and is prepared to use his full authorities working in coordination with the rest of the world.”
Kano State collected more money as Value Added Tax (VAT) than the entire South East zone in the first eight months of 2021, an exclusive data obtained by Daily Trust show.
Records of VAT receipts from Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) seen by Daily Trust indicate that the state collected N24.4bn, ahead of the five south-eastern states with accumulated collection of N20bn.
The data further revealed that Kaduna State with N19bn accrual also did better than Akwa Ibom (N9.3bn), Bayelsa (N13bn), Delta (N13bn), Edo (N9bn), and Ogun (N11bn).
For instance, Kaduna’s N19.8bn is higher than the combined collection of Abia, Cross River, Osun, Ekiti, Ondo and Imo.
Abia, according to the chart, collected N2.2bn representing 0.22%; Cross River collected N1.9bn or 0.19%; Osun collected N2.07bn or 0.20; Ekiti made N6.2bn or 0.62; Ondo collected N4.8bn or 0.48, while Imo collected 1.01bn or 0.10 %.
Yobe in the North East collected N9.3bn rubbing shoulders with Akwa Ibom (N9.3bn), Edo (N9bn), Ebonyi (N7.2bn) and Ekiti (N6.2bn).
Lagos and the FCT, combined, contribute 65.22% of the total, while all the remaining 35 states contribute 34.78 percent of the total.
This revelation is coming amidst VAT row between the federal government and some states, and allegations that some states, majorly in the North, benefit more than what they contribute to the central pool.
The statics show that Lagos is on top of the chart with 41.5 percent of the total VAT amounting to N421.2bn while Zamfara collected the least recording, N762.5m or 0.08 percent of the total sum.
Lagos is followed by the FCT which collected N241bn or 23.74 %; Rivers collected N92.3bn or 9.09 % while Oyo followed with N61bn representing 6.01%.
Other top performers in the chart are Kano with N24.4bn or 2.40% and Kaduna with N19.8bn or 1.95%.
However, in spite of Zamfara, a state in the North West recording the least performance, more northern States performed better than the southern states as the figure indicated.
Despite the crisis in some of the North East states, the region collected a total of N27.7bn compared to N21bn collected by the south-eastern region of the country.
Exclusive of Lagos, the other South West states collected a total of N85.8bn only while the North East and North West, which have been heavily bedevilled by insurgency and other security challenges, have collected N86.5bn within the same period.
With the exception of Lagos (N421.2bn), Rivers (92.3bn), Oyo (N61bn), Kano (N24bn) and Kaduna (19bn) most states have posted an average performance lower than N10bn.
How VAT pitched southern, northern states
A verdict by a Federal High Court in Rivers on August 9, 2021, on who has the power to collect VAT favoured the state government; a development seen as a victory for those clamouring for decentralised collection.
Daily Trust reports that both Rivers and Lagos had sued the federal government over the continued collection of VAT by the FIRS.
The controversy spiked after a meeting of the Southern Governors Forum (SGF) endorsed the position of Lagos and Rivers and insisted on allowing every state to collect its VAT revenue individually.
Members of the Northern Governors Forum (NGF) shot back at their southern counterparts, saying the southern governors were confusing the value-added tax (VAT) with sales tax.
The Governors noted that the reason Lagos would account for 50 percent of VAT collection was that most telecommunication companies, banks, manufacturing and other trading activities had their headquarters in the state.
“VAT is being confused by these state governments as a sales tax. If every state enacted its own VAT Law, multiple taxations will result in increases in prices of goods and services and collapse in interstate trade. VAT is not a production tax like excise, but terminal tax which is paid by the ultimate consumer,” chairman of the forum, Governor Simon Lalong had said.
‘Claim VAT sharing benefits northern states more than the southern erroneous’
An economist and a former presidential candidate, Mr. Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim, said those who have “managed the information about the VAT wars have created the impression that the present distribution benefits the northern states more than the southern states.
“They try to make it look like the VAT is part of the ‘hegemonic domination’ of the North. Many commentators hardly look at the data before they hit their keyboards online. Many swallowed hook line and sinker very obvious lies.”
Olawepo-Hashim argued that apart from Lagos, Rivers and the FCT who benefit from the fact that they host the headquarters of major economic, political and oil-related institutions, most states apart from Oyo are doing badly in VAT generation and a lot of southern states are woeful.
“Most states, whether they are in the North or South are doing badly in production of goods and services except for Lagos, Rivers, Oyo, Kano and Kaduna states. The present centrally collected VAT which is then distributed subsidizes everybody,” he noted.
He maintained that in comparison to eastern states, Kaduna, Kano and Katsina are doing better than Abia, Anambra, Imo, and Enugu, adding that based on available data in the past eight months, total VAT generated in Abia was N2.290b, Anambra -N5.938b, Imo -N1.941 compared to Kaduna -N18.262b and Kano -N24.492b.
“Conversely, when it came to distribution, Abia State got N20.020b for generating N2billion. Abia got 10 times what it contributed whereas Kaduna and Kano did not get as much as twice what they contributed. Lagos, Rivers and Oyo got lower.
Similarly, President of Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF), Alhaji Yerima Shettima in a chat with Daily Trust said he was not surprised with the figure, insisting the North is not doing badly as it is being portrayed in the VAT war.
He said, “We are not good at talking too much. We are more real and more practical. If there is any region who believes more in Nigeria is the Northern part of this country that believes we must work together.
“When Wike started the issue, some of us were shocked. The man who believes he wants to be a national leader, a nationalist, came up with that idea, making it as if he is fighting the North. Some of us took his pronouncements at that time very personal because the way he presented it was funny.
“The truth of the matter is that we must try as much as possible to discourage what will disunite us. Let us promote things that would unite us. Together, we can do better.
“There is no region in this country that has nothing to bring to the table. But because you have a system that encourages people to only eye the oil and as a result of this out of 1001 things we have on the ground in terms of mineral resources, today we are receiving a lot of abuses and insults from people. We could have done better if we were running a regional system of government where all regions will go back and harness their resources, then pay 13 percent to the centre. These arrogances and abuses on our sensibilities as a nation would not come to play anymore,” he said.
States will bear the brunt of decentralised collection – Experts
Fiscal Policy Partner and Africa Tax Leader at the PriceWaterCoopers (PwC), Taiwo Oyedele said if the right to collect VAT is given to states, “the biggest losers will be the states except for Lagos. A few states like Kano, Rivers, Oyo, Kaduna, Delta and Katsina may experience minimal impact, while at least 30 states, which account for less than 20 percent of VAT collection will suffer significant revenue decline.
“The Federal Government may be better off given that FCT generates the second-highest VAT (after Lagos) in addition to import and non-import foreign VAT,” he said.
Commenting, Ogbeide E. Benjamin, a tax expert and former chairman, Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN), Abuja Chapter, said, “The impact of this judgment on the finances of the states will be enormous.”
According to him, “VAT is consumption-based and on several items, some of which are outlawed in some states. I believe the country stands to profit by allowing states to administer VAT. By this, states will be further encouraged to scale up their economic drive to attract more foreign direct investments and local investments since they will be the ones to get the VAT benefits.”
Libya overtakes Nigeria as Africa’s biggest oil producer
Nigeria has lost its Africa’s top oil producer status to Libya as its crude oil production fell further last month amid lingering supply disruptions, according to a new report by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.
Nigeria told OPEC that its oil output fell to about 1.23 million barrels per day in October from about 1.25 million bpd in the previous month, the cartel’s latest report released on Wednesday revealed.
Libya, which overtook Angola as the second-biggest producer on the continent in December last year, saw its oil production rise to 1.24 million bpd in October from 1.16 million bpd in September, based on direct communication, according to OPEC.
OPEC uses secondary sources to monitor its oil output, but also publishes a table of figures submitted by its member countries.
According to secondary sources, Nigeria’s production declined by 45,000 bpd to 1.35 million bpd in October from about 1.40 million bpd in September.
Nigeria recorded the second biggest drop in output in October among its peers in OPEC, after Iraq, based on direct communication. The country’s production fell the most in the month, according to secondary sources.
The 13-member oil cartel said its total crude production averaged 27.45 million bpd in October, higher by 220,000 bpd month-on-month, according to secondary sources.
“Crude oil output increased mainly in Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, the UAE, and Kuwait, while production in Nigeria, Gabon and Equatorial Guinea declined,” it said.
OPEC said crude differentials of light and medium sweet crude rose in the Mediterranean and West African markets in October on good buying interest from European buyers, strong refining margins, supply disruptions in Libya and Nigeria.
“However, soft demand from Asian refiners for Atlantic Basin crude amid unfavourable west-to-east arbitrage capped the rise. Crude differentials of Bonny Light, Forcados, and Qua Iboe rose firmly on a monthly average in October by 70¢, $1.06, and 75¢, respectively, to stand at premiums of 10¢/b, 27¢/b, and 4¢/b,” it added.
A London-based economic research firm, Capital Economics, said in a note that the increase in OPEC’s oil output in October was below its target of 400,000bpd.
“Once again, Angola and Nigeria were largely responsible for this undershoot. Operational issues brought about by a lack of investment in oil-producing facilities continue to plague output in both countries, while Nigeria is also grappling with recurring militant attacks on key pipelines,” it said.
The firm said with these issues unlikely to be resolved soon, OPEC would probably continue to undershoot its planned increases in output in the months ahead.
It said, “This will do little to alleviate the signs of undersupply in the oil market. For example, the price spreads between front-month futures and longer-dated futures are now as negative as any time in recent years, which normally indicates a lack of near-term supply.
“Despite persistently undershooting its target, we doubt OPEC will make any major changes to its output policy at its next meeting on December 2. Admittedly, external pressure on the group has continued to grow, with the US now reportedly considering a release of oil stocks from its strategic reserve.”