Press focuses on plans by Nigeria to raise debt stock to over N50tn, others

APA– Lagos The report that the Nigerian Government hopes to push its public debt stock to N50.22 trillion by 2023, with domestic debt at N28.75tn and external debt at N21.47tn is one of the trending stories in Nigerian newspapers on Tuesday. This shows that the government headed by President Muhammadu Buhari, plans to accumulate about N12tn debt in two years…

APA – Lagos (Nigeria) The report that the Nigerian Government hopes to push its public debt stock to N50.22 trillion by 2023, with domestic debt at N28.75tn and external debt at N21.47tn is one of the trending stories in Nigerian newspapers on Tuesday.

The Punch reports that the Federal Government hopes to push its public debt stock to N50.22tn by 2023, with domestic debt at N28.75tn and external debt at N21.47tn.

This is according to the projections in the National Development Plan 2021-2025.

The Debt Management Office had disclosed that Nigeria’s public debt was N38tn as of the end of the third quarter of 2021, with the total debt stock rising by N2.540tn in three months from July to September 2021.

This shows that the government headed by President Muhammadu Buhari, plans to accumulate about N12tn debt in two years from 2021 to 2023.

However, based on the plan, the government targets a reduction in total public debt by 2025.

The newspaper says that data obtained from the health facilities register of the Federal Ministry of Health has revealed that Nigeria only has 40,017 functional hospitals and clinics across the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory.

The health facilities are jointly owned by the government and private sector operators.

It was observed that Bayelsa, Borno and Ekiti states had the least number of functional hospitals and clinics in the country.

According to the data, 10,655 of the functional facilities are managed privately and exist on different levels of care; namely, primary, secondary and tertiary.

The Punch reports that in states like Bayelsa, Borno, Ekiti, the FCT, Gombe, Rivers, Yobe and Zamfara, the number of functional hospitals and clinics is below 800.

The Guardian reports that many listed firms on the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) may, in the near future, be controlled by foreign investors due to failure of existing shareholders to subscribe to rights issues offered by their companies as a result of rising poverty, inflation and devalued currency.

Right issues are the options given by a company to the existing shareholders to buy the shares of the company.

Already, stakeholders are worried that Nigerian shareholders, many of whom are already old and without proxies, are losing out in controlling stakes in some of the listed firms as their foreign counterparts and institutional investors are mopping up available rights, extending their controlling interests in the entities.

With many shareholders unable to take their rights, firms are increasing their exposure to foreign debts, especially to address challenges with access to foreign exchange for raw materials.

Indeed, the nation’s capital market has witnessed substantial rights issues in the last two years, as many listed firms explore fund raising options outside debt.

With many firms declaring very little profit and offering insignificant return on investment, shareholders have become weary and wary of renewing their stakes in the companies. This leaves a huge financing gap that foreigners, with foreign currencies easily fill and expand their grip on the firms.

The newspaper says that barely a week after it was passed by the National Assembly, the 2022 budget is yet to be transmitted to President Muhammadu Buhari for assent.

With only working three days to January 1,2022, the piece of legislation is facing implementation challenge.

The President is required to diligently study the document, particularly the areas of difference between his original proposal and the one eventually passed by the National Assembly.

The Senate had, last Wednesday, passed N17.126 trillion as Nigeria’s 2022 national budget, a day after the House of Representatives approved same figure.

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, had assured that bill would get to the Nigerian leader the following day for signing.

In his speech moments before the upper legislative chamber proceeded on recess last Wednesday, Lawan, who noted that the timely passage of the 2022 budget would ensure the commencement of its implementation by January next year, had stated: “For the 2022 Appropriation Bill, we are expecting that the bill will be cleaned up between today (last Wednesday) and tomorrow (last Thursday) and we hope that by tomorrow (Last Thursday), the bill will be sent to Mr. President for his assent.

But checks by The Guardian, yesterday, revealed that the bill is still in the National Assembly.

A source disclosed that the necessary clean-up on the document was yet to be completed, a development, he said, made the sending of the bill to the President impossible.

The Nation reports that the Federal Government is set for the deployment of 12 Super Tucano jets against bandits as part of concerted efforts by President Muhammadu Buhari to end terrorism before 2023.

As a prelude to the deployment, government has also started perfecting the conditions for the release of a gazette, which will legally classify bandits as terrorists.

Already, the government has secured a court order declaring bandits as terrorists.

But, the United States (U.S.) has not given a blank cheque to Nigeria on the use of the fighter jets.

The U.S. has floated a monthly schedule to monitor the deployment of the jets, the battle grounds and the purpose of the deployment.

Some U.S. officers have been coming to Nigeria to evaluate the use of the jets in line with the terms of sale, it was learnt yesterday.

Sources said the Super Tucano jets will be deployed as soon as the gazette against bandits is out.

The Sun says that Solar Applications Standard (SOLAPS) has stated that it is targeting 20 million users via its soon-to-be launched app in a bid to address the power challenge and unemployment scourge in Nigeria.

The solar firm said this will ensure the rapid acceleration of solar renewable worldwide and make opportunities for the growth of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

Speaking to newsmen in Lagos during a briefing on its operations, the Chief Executive Officer, SOLAPS, Omololu Williams, expressed excitement on the current growth of the solar industry in Nigeria, adding that he would like to see a situation where Nigerians have ownership of companies, technologies that are being used as opposed to having some products shipped from China.

According to him, the soon-to-be launched app gives Nigerians the opportunity to have power in their hands to solve the challenge of accessing power.

Williams said, “With regards to the challenges we faced at the test market stage in 2013, the challenges were around product quality and user experience.

“With the quality of product, we made certain improvements and we got to a thousand units in which we added new features but we found out that we had to be more innovative and it took us quite some time to get to the right solution. We also met with telcos as well as investors and that is where we found the idea of creating an app which is now the solution.

The system can really work with any number but I will say that we can start with 100,000. However, our target is 20 million users. We will need good vendor support to make it work.

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