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BUSINESS ROUNDUP: Nigeria’s debt profile to hit N72trn; Train revenue drops to N734.47m amid terror attack; other stories



Hello, and welcome to the Business Roundup this week. Here, we bring you highlights of events that happened during the week -from the capital market to the mainstream business activities, while not forgetting the tech/economy build up.

Here are the Headlines:

· CBN says Nigeria to become cashless by 2025

· Nigeria’s debt profile to hit N72trn, as govt plans another N8.8tn loan

· Revenue from Nigeria’s train service drops to N734.47m, amid terror attack

· NFIU bans cash withdrawals from govts’ accounts

· Chinese billionaire, Jack Ma, loses controlling stake in Ant Group


Chinese billionaire, Jack Ma, has lost the controlling stake in China’s payment company, Ant Group, following the restructuring of the firm’s ownership structure.

In a statement issued on Saturday, Ant Group said Jack Ma’s 34 per cent stake has been reviewed downwards to 20 percent, putting him at the same level with other shareholders.

The company’s other shareholders are – Mr. Cyril Xinyi Han, Ms. Yu Zhang, Mr. Chenli Huang and Ms. Yun Zhou.

The Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) has banned cash withdrawals from all bank accounts belonging to the federal, states, and local governments.

The Chief Executive Officer of the NFIU, Modibbo Tukur, who disclosed this in a statement on Thursday in Abuja, said the directive would take effect from March 1.

He said all government transactions that exceed the approved daily withdrawals by the Central Bank of Nigeria under the new monetary policy would be done through electronic transfer.

The revenue generated by the Nigerian railway service fell significantly in the second quarter of 2022, amid a rise in its debt service to loans obtained to build the infrastructure.

In the last six years, Nigeria has earned N18.09 billion, the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS), disclosed in its Rail Transportation reports.

READ ALSO:BUSINESS ROUNDUP: Nigeria’s debt rises to N44.06trn; Emefiele laments effects of forex scarcity; and other stories

Ripples Nigeria had reported that during the same period, the Federal Government spent $528.6 million (N237.13 billion using the Central Bank of Nigeria’s official exchange rate of N448.55/$1) to service railway debt.

The Debt Management Office (DMO) has raised concerns as Nigeria’s public debt is set to hit N72 trillion.

Patience Oniha, the DG of DMO raised the concerns on Wednesday at the public presentation and a breakdown of the highlights of the 2023 Appropriation Act in Abuja.

Oniha stressed that the huge fiscal deficit in the budget can only be reduced by an improvement in revenue generation.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said the use of cash will naturally slow by 2025.

In its Payments Vision 2025 document, the CBN said by 2025, Nigeria aspires to have a cashless and efficient electronic payment system infrastructure that facilitates financial services in all the sectors of the economy.

It also noted that it intended to provide secured, reliable, and user-centric financial solutions in compliance with international standards.

On NSE ROUNDUP: Nigeria’s capital market rebounds from losses as NPF, Eterna, others gain N192.7bn

The Nigerian capital market recovered from Thursday’s losses with a 0.69 percent in equity capitalization at the close of trading on Friday.

This represented a N192.71 billion growth in equity capitalization from N27.70 trillion to N27.89 trillion after eight hours of trading today.

Similarly, the All Share Index rose by 353.82 basis points from 50,868.52 to 51,222.34.

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