BusinessDay-09-Apr-2020.pdf - Fiscal deficit jumps to...

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NEWS YOU CAN TRUST I ** THURSDAY 09 APRIL 2020 I VOL. 19, NO 538 IN300@gggwww.InsideP. 2Zenith Bank introduces automated voice banking serviceFBN Holdings to sell insurance stake to South African SanlamFBNHoldings is in talks with its Sanlam partners that may lead to sale of its insurance arm, FBNInsurance, to the South Africa financial ser-vices giant, BusinessDay learnt Wednesday afternoon. FBNInsurance is an FBN-Holdings company in associa-tion with the Sanlam Group of South Africa, which holds about 30 percent equity stake in the Nigerian insurer.FBNInsurance was incor-porated in 2010 to transact life insurance business in Nigeria and currently operates out of three branches and over 40 sales outlets nationwide.A senior industry source told BusinessDay that both com-panies were already in talks to finalise the arrangement, which may not be unconnected with the ongoing recapitalisation in the insurance industry.“I can confirm to you that a discussion is going on currently, but its yet to be concluded,” the source said.A call to the company’s man-agement in Lagos was not suc-cessful as the managing director of FBNInsurance did not pick Continues on page 30DIPO OLADEHINDEMODESTUS ANAESORONYEA 15-man medical team from China arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, yesterday. They are in Nigeria to boost the country’s effort to conbat coronavirus. Inset: Medical supplies from China.Africa’s biggest oil pro-ducing country spent over N2 trillion on subsiding the price of fuel in four years, an amount which was far higher than funds allocated to educa-tion, health, defence, and agri-culture and rural development that would have increased the economic growth or standard of living of its over 200 million people. Over the years, the Nigerian government has continued to Nigeria prioritised fuel subsidy over health, defence, education, in past 4 yearsContinues on page 30subsidise electricity and petrol, paying the difference between the cost of production and the cost charged to customers in order to make them more afford-able, but in the end, analysts say it is largely not worth the cost.Data sourced from Nigeria National Petroleum Corpora-tion (NNPC) show Nigeria has spent N2.032 trillion on subsidy of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) or petrol between January 2015 and September 2019.According to NNPC, Afri-ca’s biggest economy spent N306.4bn subsidising petrol in 2015, the same year the corpora-tion started releasing its monthly financial statement.Although NNPC’s books said no money was expended as subsidy on PMS in 2016, the government introduced another form of subsidy in 2017 which it described as “under-recovery”.The subsidy incurred by the NNPC as under-recovery that year was N476.5 billion, which rose to N1.0 trillion in 2018, representing about 99.7 percent increase.

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