BusinessDay
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Nigeria without agric policy for first time in 10 years

If words alone suffice, agriculture is to become the cornerstone of Nigeria’s economy. But the country currently does not even have an agriculture policy since the last one code-named ‘Green Alternative’ terminated in 2020. Yet, the President Muhammadu Buhari administration has repeatedly claimed agriculture is what it is betting on to stimulate Nigeria’s ailing economy, and contribute towards creating the millions of jobs it envisages.

Apart from the attention the sector should be getting, if government rhetoric is anything to go by, the existence or not of a policy would not be a big deal. But this is also the first time in 10 years that Nigeria would be without an agric policy.

However, with rising food prices and struggling agricultural productivity, a policy could have helped give direction to the sector, while also giving confidence to those that would want to consider investing. At the time of filing this report, Nigeria has not unveiled any such new policy.

“There is no clear-cut advertised policy,” said Kabir Ibrahim, national president, All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), saying, “The minister of agriculture is not hands-on in how to drive agriculture.

In search of more money, Nigeria changes oil reform

In a bid to attract more investment, Nigeria is renegotiating commercial contract terms in its proposed oil reform bill in a move it hopes will keep investment flowing into a sector crucial for its economy at a time spending is being slashed.

This development showed a shift by Africa’s largest oil producer, who is getting more concerned about growing competition from other Africa countries making exploration terms more attractive as they compete for a limited pool of capital. Lower oil prices and concerns about the future of fossil fuel because of climate change are curbing the desire to invest by oil majors.

Read Also: In search of more money, Nigeria changes oil reform

Some of the changes to Nigeria’s Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) include the reduction of royalties for new production from deep water oil-fields to 5 percent from 7.5 percent and boosting the production level that triggers higher royalties from 15,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 50,000bpd, according to Reuters, who cited people close to drafting the bill and revealed a letter from interested oil companies.

It also involves the reduction of hydrocarbon tax to 30 percent for converted leases, down from 42.5 percent in its original bill plan, in a bid to attract more investors to Nigeria’s oil and gas sector.

The report added that the changes would also guarantee that the state oil company, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation’s (NNPC) assets and liabilities would be transferred to a limited liability corporation. This will help oil companies to collect money owed by the NNPC.

“The changes should give green light to IOCs who are getting weary of Nigeria’s oil and gas sector,” Kelvin Atafiri, who runs Cavazanni Human Capital Limited, an investment firm exposed to the oil and gas sector, said.

Nigerian talents face competition as Andela plans global recruitment

Andela is expanding its global talent portfolio to tap into regional expertise and nuances that can support international growth which could mean Nigerian talent would need to upgrade their skills to stay competitive.

It is the first move the New York-based talent platform is making after going exclusively remote in July 2020.

The company said in a statement that the expansion into new regions would allow its clients to have access to a “truly” global network of talented engineers. The company plans to recruit engineers from 37 countries across five continents.

Andela is already seeing growing interest from talents across the world with applications from qualified engineers outside of Africa rising by more than 750 percent in the past six months. In March alone, more than 30 percent of Andela inbound engineer applications came from outside of Africa. Half of those applications came from Latin America.

“This expansion has always been part of our long-term roadmap, and we’re excited that the world is ready for it. When we began inviting developers from across Africa to apply last year, we more than doubted the number of countries represented. We’re already seeing the same effects in new regions, and we’re excited to welcome new talent into our growing community,” Jeremy Johnson, CEO of Andela said.

How big money is at heart of rebel Euro league

The plan of Europe’s big clubs to break away and form a new Super League is being driven by the astonishing cash which has been guaranteed the clubs according to press reports.

All twelve football clubs that have signed a binding agreement to form a new European “Super League” have been guaranteed a “welcome bonus” worth €200m-€300m each and to be underwritten by JPMorgan Chase

The announcement on Sunday of the breakaway league shook the world of soccer and has kicked off an intense power battle within the soccer, with politicians including UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and French president Emmanuel Macron as well as fans’ groups all expressing fierce opposition.

The move has also sparked threats of legal action between the sport’s power brokers.

The teams that have declared they plan to join the competition are the top three Spainish sides of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atlético Madrid; England has six clubs in the rebel group and they are Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur. Italy’s Juventus, AC Milan and Inter Milan make up the balance.

How States, LGs are paying for Nigeria’s failure to reform

The delay by Nigeria’s central government to end the controversial petrol subsidy regime, as well as other long-awaited fiscal and monetary reforms means nearly N200billion is locked out of the FAAC allocations every month, according to BusinessDay analysis.

Nigeria runs a federal system of government in which the central government is responsible for monetary and fiscal policy and the federal government also calls the shot when it comes to rules governing the operations of the national oil corporation and the price of petrol. In this case, the other tiers of government – states and local councils – are made to pay the price of the failure of the central government.

In the Nigerian context, states are so poor they cannot pay workers’ salaries or make the needed investment in the future of their citizens by way of meaningful capital expenditure. In fact, the finances of the states and local councils are getting weaker while the federal government regularly provides them with bailout.

According to data by the National Bureau of Statistics, the internally generated revenue of Nigeria’s 36 states and Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, amounted to N1.31trn in 2020 compared to N1.33trn recorded in 2019 indicating a negative growth of -1.93 percent year on year.

By official estimates, it costs Nigeria between N80bn and N100bn monthly by way of the so-called “under-recovery”, a new term to describe the unappropriated funds with which Nigeria’s national oil corporation covers the cost of petrol subsidy each month.

What is more, because this cost or spending is not appropriated by the national assembly, it is treated as cost of doing business by the oil corporation and all of this almost N100bn can drop into FAAC’s monthly pot at current crude oil price.

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