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CBN Pegs Interest Rate At 13.5%; FG’s Planned Increase In Phone Call Tax Worries Telecos; NSIA’s Net Assets Grow To N919.7bn

The Central Bank of has raised the benchmark interest rate to 13.5%, odunews.com reports.

CBN Pegs Interest Rate At 13.5%; FG’s Planned Increase In Phone Call Tax Worries Telecos; NSIA’s Net Assets Grow To N919.7bn;

The monetary policy rate (MPR) is the baseline interest rate in an economy, every other interest rate used within an economy is built on it.

CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, disclosed the raise on Tuesday while addressing the reporters after the Monetary Policy Committee meeting in Abuja.

Emefiele noted that the MPC is suspicious that “there might be an aggressive accretion of inflation”.

To prevent the looming inflation, he said, the MPC had to increase the monetary policy rate by 150 basis points.

Emefiele said the committee also voted to retain the asymmetric corridor at +100 and -700 basis points around the MPR and liquidity ratio at 30 per cent.

FG’s Planned Increase In Phone Call Tax Worries Telecos

CBN Pegs Interest Rate At 13.5%; FG’s Planned Increase In Phone Call Tax Worries Telecos; NSIA’s Net Assets Grow To N919.7bn;

Telecommunications companies in have expressed worry over the Federal Government’s planned increase in the tax on phone calls.

The Federal Government has proposed a new tax on phone calls in its efforts to meet the needs of citizens considered to be most vulnerable to health challenges.

This comes in addition to moves by telecommunication companies to increase the cost of their services as a result of the harsh economic realities.

The telecom tax is the equivalent of a minimum of one kobo per second for phone calls to boost the funds required to finance free healthcare for the vulnerable group in Nigeria.

Reacting to the planned increase, the telcos under the aegis of the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) said the decision was contrary to the position of the government recently when they (the operators) announced plans to increase tariffs because of the high cost of diesel powering their base stations.

Chairman of ALTON, Engr. Gbenga Adebayo, telecom subscribers will bear the brunt of the new tax because they will now get less value for what they pay for. He adds that the operators will have no choice but to start deducting the tax from the subscribers’ recharge once mandated by the government.

Adebayo noted that tax could be introduced to another service, not a service that is so live-impacting as telecommunications.

In his words, “The reason for it is understandable, but we think it can be sourced from other sources, not telecoms subscribers, whom the government itself has said are suffering because of the high cost of living lately. We will not complain as operators because we will remit, it is the subscribers that will bear the brunt.

“I say again that for us to have a sustainable industry, we must price right. Government cannot escape from this responsibility for a long time,” he added,

NISA’s Net Assets Grow To N919.7bn In 2021

The Sovereign Investment says its net assets have grown to N919.73 billion in 2021, against N772.75 billion posted in 2020, representing a 19 per cent increase.

The authority recorded continuous earnings for the 9th year, despite risks across markets last year.

This is contained in a report by the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Uche Orji, on Monday.

The report indicated that the NSIA recorded a total comprehensive income of N147.0 billion in 2021, which includes forex gains of N45.8 billion in the year under review.

Orji said the NSIA, last year “delivered a strong performance,” adding that “the results are in line with the Authority’s expectations.”

He said the performance of the authority’s developed market investments “were offset by challenges in our emerging market asset allocation, particularly in China equities, which saw significant underperformance by technology company stocks.”

“In addition to expanding our direct investment footprint in innovation and technology in Nigeria, we have also designated ESG as an investment focus area. We will remain unrelenting in our quest to deliver the authority’s clear 3-fold mandate. I am confident that the actions we are taking will create value for all our stakeholders in the medium to long term,” he said added.

Breaking down the performance, he said in the areas of Infrastructure Fund (NIF, the “NSIA reached major milestones across domestic infrastructure projects specifically in motorways, agriculture, healthcare, technology, and gas industrialization among others.

On agriculture, he said 51 blending plants have been included in the programme, starting from 11 in 2017.

“The operating entity of the programme NAIC-NPK (now PFI-NPK) has been divested to the Ministry of Finance Incorporated (MOFI) and is being managed by the Authority as a third-party asset. The restructured entity also turned a profit for the first time which is remarkable for what has been perenially a subsidized programme,” he said.

Orji said NSIA expects to commission, mid-to-late 2022, Panda Agric, “an investee company under the NSIA-UFF US$200m Agriculture Fund set up in 2016. Panda farm is engaged in the two-phase development of an animal feed processing business with backward integration through the of maize and soybean on about 3,500Ha of land in Nasarawa State.”

 

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