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Special Report

FG, States, LGAs share N3.879 trillion in 6 months

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The Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) shared N3.879 trillion to the Federal Government, states, local government areas and other statutory recipients in the first half of 2020.

This was contained in the latest edition of the quarterly report on the review of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) released in Abuja, on Tuesday.

A breakdown of the disbursements showed that N1.53 trillion went to the Federal Government, while the states got N1.29 trillion and the 774 local government areas received N771.34 billion

The N1.53 trillion received by the FG in H1 2020 was 4.28% lower than the N1.599 trillion it got in the first half of 2019 and 7.36 per cent lower than the N1.652 trillion it received in the first half of 2018.

“For states, a total of N1.29 trillion was disbursed in the first half of 2020. This was 2.8% lower than the N1.35 trillion disbursed in the first half of 2019, and 5.6% lower than the N1.37 trillion disbursed in the first half of 2020,” the report stated in part.
For local government areas, the 2020 first half disbursements were 2.64 and 3.04% lower than the corresponding disbursements for 2019 and 2018, respectively.

However, disbursements in second quarter(Q2) 2020 were 1.09 per cent higher than total disbursements in Q2 2019 and 3.66 per cent lower than the one for Q2 2018.

“FAAC disbursements in the second quarter of 2020 stood at N1.934 trillion.This was made up of N739.2 billion to the Federal Government, N629.3 billion to state governments, and N375.4 billion to the 774 local government areas.”

According to the report, the total FAAC disbursements in the second quarter of 2020 was slightly lower than the N1.945 trillion disbursed in the first quarter of 2020.

This aligned with the projections made in the previous issue of the NEITI Quarterly Review, which projected lower FAAC disbursement in the second quarter.

The report attributed the 0.55% decrease in Q2 2020 to a couple of factors, including rebound in oil prices in the second quarter as a result of ease of lockdowns by countries across the world.
The other was the adjustment of the official exchange rate by the CBN from N307 to a dollar to N360 to a dollar in March resulting in higher naira disbursements.
FAAC disbursements in the first quarter and second quarter of 2020 were very volatile, with the difference in total disbursements between months ranging between N58.9 billion and N199.3 billion.
“During this period, the disbursements were very volatile in the first half of 2020, compared to 2018 and 2019.
“Unlike 2018 and 2019 where aggregate disbursements increased and decreased in successive months, in 2020 they fell for two straight months, increased in one month, and then decreased for two straight months.”
In the months under consideration in 2020, aggregate disbursements fluctuated by large amounts, compared to 2018 and 2019.
“Aggregate disbursements were N716.3 billion in January and this fell to N647.4 billion in February.
“Thereafter, disbursements fell to N581.6 billion in March, before increasing to N780.9 billion in April.
“Disbursements then fell to N606.2 billion in May and to N547.3 billion in June.
“These figures indicate differences of N68.9 billion between January and February, N65.7 billion between February and March, N199.3 billion between March and April, N174.7 billion between April and May, and N58.9 billion between May and June.
” For comparison, the highest inter-month difference in the first half of 2018 was N62.9 billion, while the corresponding figure for 2019 was N63.5 billion.
“Thus, there have been very wide fluctuations in aggregate disbursements so far in 2020,” the report also stated in part.
NEITI in the report also disclosed that from January to May 2020, actual government revenue was N1.62 trillion, representing 62 per cent of the expected pro-rata revenue of N2.62 trillion from the revised budget.
This, the NEITI said explained a shortfall of 38 per cent in government revenue for the first five months of the year.
As oil prices continue to rise, and with the increased pace of economic activities, it projected that Government revenue will perform better in the second half of 2020, with the possibility of shortfalls in revenue compared to budgeted figures.
On total net FAAC disbursements and deductions for states for the first half of 2020, the report observed wide disparities.
Osun State had the lowest net disbursement of N13.13 billion, while Delta State had the highest net disbursement of N100.81 billion.
“This implies that Delta State received seven times the disbursement that Osun State received.
“Total net disbursements received by Delta State (N100.81 billion) was higher than the combined total net disbursements of N99.47 billion received by six states – Osun, Cross River, Plateau, Ogun, Gombe and Ekiti.

“Also, the combined total net disbursements of N321.29 billion received by the four highest receiving states of Delta, Akwa Ibom, Rivers, and Bayelsa were higher than the combined total net disbursements of N314.08 billion received by 16 states.

The States are Osun, Cross River, Plateau, Ogun, Gombe, Ekiti, Zamfara, Kwara, Nassarawa, Ebonyi, Taraba, Benue, Adamawa, Ondo, Bauchi, and Abia.
“While Lagos State had the highest deductions, Yobe State had the lowest.

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Special Report

Aviation ground handling firms count losses amid Featured

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Major ground handling companies in Nigeria are facing a revenue crisis following published results in the first nine months of 2020. Reports from two of the major listed ground handling companies listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, reveals a revenue decline of over 20%, due to a fall out of the COVID-19 induced lockdowns and travel restrictions.

The state of their financials led some of them to consider job cuts, and cost reduction measures in a bid to survive even after the lockdown was eased.

Since the breakout of COVID-19 in March 2020; the FG approved lockdown in Abuja and Lagos State, both international airport hubs, forcing most airlines to shut down operations. This further affected the operations of the ground handling firm, as the government sought to contain the spread of the virus.

Aside from the COVID-19 pandemic dilemma, the sector was also affected by the activities of #EndSARS protesters that blocked the entrances of the Lagos airport to express their grievances against police brutality and extortion in the country.

The companies are Skyway Aviation Handling Company Plc (SAHCO) and the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc (NAHCO). Their combined revenue for the nine-month period ended September 30 dipped by N2.7billion to N10.1bllion from N12.8billion in the same period of 2019.

According to their financials, the drop represents a 21% reduction in revenue in the period under review.

NAHCO

Revenue for the first nine months of the year dipped by 29.8% from N7.4 billion to N5.2billion.
A loss before tax of N76.1 million for the nine months of 2020, as against a profit before tax of N973.1million in the corresponding period of 2019.
A loss after tax of N65.9million for the nine months of 2020, as against a profit after tax of N782million in the corresponding period of 2019.
Less income for passenger/aircraft handling for the first nine months of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019.
Passenger/aircraft handling for the nine months of 2020 was N1.7billion compared to the N4.1billion recorded for the same period of 2019, representing a revenue reduction of 56%.

SAHCO

It recorded a revenue decline of N4.9billion for the first nine months of 2020, as against N5.4billion recorded within the same period in 2019 – a drop of 9%.
Profit before tax stood at N549million, compared to the N599million recorded in 2019.
It recorded N318.8million profit after tax for the first nine months of 2020, compared to N341.8million in the corresponding period of 2019. This represents a decline of 6.7%.
Revenue from foreign handling dropped to N605.6million from N950.4million.
Revenue from domestic handling was down N278.9million compared to the N447.7million recorded for the same period of 2019.

What they are saying

Country Manager, Nigeria & West Africa, Qatar Airways, Kennedy Chirchir, explained that the state of the sector is the result of the new normal of the industry, which means a total paradigm shift.

He said, “We are moving to the digital space where physical interaction would be reduced drastically. Most of the operations will be on a digital platform. There will be more requirements in terms of the turnaround of aircraft. Before now, it takes about 1 hour for aircraft to turnaround, but now it may take as long as 2 or 3 hours because there would be stricter checks. These will happen but will not stop people from travelling and that means the future is bright for the sector.”

On the part of travel agencies, Managing Director, BTM Travels Limited, Lola Adefope, explained that the adoption of technology would be emphasized. Before this, she insisted that it was important for operators and regulatory authorities to ensure that right policies and processes were in place to drive the technology, else the nation would be placing the cart before the horse.

“What we need to do is to implement a proper education process and platform. That is to ensure people understand the risk of travel and the safety measures in place with the technology to support the process. The technology will push notifications to people directly.

“We are going to see a move to much smaller groups when it comes to actual leisure travel. Leisure travel won’t develop at the international scene immediately, but we have to develop domestic tourism. We must put in place policies and processes before we open our borders for intercontinental or international tourism,” she said.

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COVID-19

What the ‘New Normal’ holds for Nigerian Cinema industry

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When cinemas across Lagos shut down activities on March 24, following the advice of the state government, most expected that the shutdown would not last for long.  

Genesis Cinema, in its announcement, stated, “As this is an evolving situation, we will keep you updated and we look forward to welcoming you back soon with the best cinema experience. 

Filmhouse also released an official statement saying“We look forward to welcoming you with the best possible cinema experience as soon as things return to normal. 

Little did they know that the word “normal” would be redefined over the next couple of months to become “new normal. 

Impact of the lockdown 

Now, the various state governors have commenced easing of the lockdown (which had been placed nationwide to curb the spread of covid-19) and a gradual reopening of the economy. In spite of this, the fate of cinemas, just like most entertainment outlets, is largely uncertain.  

Nairametrics had done an analysis of the Q1 performances of cinemas in Nigeria, and findings in that article showed a significant drop in their weekly revenues between February and March 2020.

 Also, available data from CEAN  shows that the last filming week for cinemas was 20 to 26 March, 2020, and since then no income has been recorded.  

As a result of this, several movies selling at the box office were suspended, while others scheduled for release were postponed. In fact, the film calendar for Nigerian cinemas has been completely upturned, courtesy of the pandemic.  

Movies like Going Bananas2 Weeks in LagosLemonadeThe Good Husband, and others slated for release in April and May have been postponed indefinitely. Omoni Oboli, notable Nigerian actress and filmmaker, who was shooting a new Tv series, Last Year Single, had to halt the production abruptly, and no one could say for sure when things would become normal again. 

Seeking possible solutions  

There may yet be hope for the industry, even as it proceeds into the second half of the year. However, there will have to be huge sacrifices and adjustments made, and the result is that cinemas will no longer be what you used to know.  

So, here’s what you should expect from the ‘new normal’ in the industry.  

 

Drive-in screening of movies 

Just recently, the drive-in cinema was experienced for the first time in Nigeria. Foremost filmmaker, Charles Okpalekehas pioneered the concept with the screening of the Living in Bondage sequel, which was screened at the drive-in cinema holding at Transcorp Hilton car park, Abuja. 

Silverbird cinemas also had its first drive-in cinema experience, when it screened the Legend of Inikpi on Sunday June 7, in Abujawith plans to replicate it in Lagos and Port Harcourt. 

Genesis Cinemas has also announced similar plans to commence the drive-in cinema experience.  

Bukunmi Sobowale, Public Relations Officer of Trina Studios, a movie production firm, insists that Nigerians should definitely expect more of the drive-in cinema experience as we move forward towards a total ease of the lockdown 

A drive-in theatre or drive-in cinema is structured with a large outdoor movie screen, a projection booth, a concession stand, and a large parking area for automobiles where customers can view movies from the privacy and comfort of their cars. 

As we can easily deduce from Okpaleke’s statement, this is an attempt to keep business moving, without violating the physical distancing guidelines.  

 

More checks for traditional cinema 

Even when the normal theatres resume, adjustments are expected. In a bid to check the number of admitted persons, ticket reservation will now be done strictly online and there will be a controlled seating arrangement. This is only one of the guidelines which the Cinema Exhibitors Association of Nigeria CEAN has put in place.  

For movie-lovers, getting into the cinema is going to require more than a ticket check. Guests will have to undergo temperature checks and other safety measures before being allowed in, and of course, everyone is expected to wear a nose mask.  

Rest rooms will now also be strictly regulated to allow for usage based on capacity 

Naturally, the cinema staff will also be expected to use nose masks and gloves while carrying out their duties.  

Change of viewing schedules and seating arrangements 

Among the directives which the authorities have passed down to cinema owners, they will have to increase clean-up time in between shows to allow for deep cleaning, and all movie schedules will take the existing curfew laws into consideration.  

Like the Lagos state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Oluhad said in a recent briefingcinemas will have to recalibrate their space management strategy as part of the Register-to-open initiatives before they can be allowed.  

This could mean anything from taking some seats out of the cinema halls, to completely altering the hall arrangement. Physical distancing also has to be strictly applied at the receptions to ensure that no one is within a two metre distance of another person.  

Specifically, the cinemas are no longer allowed to seat more than 50% viewing audience per screen, and physical distancing is to be strictly enforced. 

The 20 minutes end-time in between shows will also keep traffic in the foyers in check.   

 

Embracing the new normal 

Despite adjustments madeone wonders how ready Nigerians are to get back to the cinema viewing experience. Most people would likely still be wary of potentially crowded places for a long time, except where it is absolutely unavoidable.  

In this covid-19 era, I think cinema culture as we know it is gone. Even if people continue going to the cinemas, the little intimates we take for granted would be absent – no more leaning over to the next seat to have whispered conversations with loved ones as the moviego on.  

Most irksome is the fact that you may not even get to scream or laugh out loud, courtesy of the compulsory nose masks you have to put on.  

For all we know, the fun days of the cinema may be gone!

At least, until a vaccine is found for the virus

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Special Report

GTBank, Access, Zenith, 8 other banks spend N13.5 billion on adverts Q1 2020

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Emefiele

Eleven of the Nigerian banks that are listed on the NSE spent a total of N13.5 billion on marketing and advertising in Q1 2020, according to checks by Nairametrics Research. The figure indicates a 15.7% increase when compared to N11.6 billion which the banks collectively spent for the same purpose in Q1 2019.

As expected, all the tier-1 banks (FUGAZ) spent big on advertising/marketing during the first quarter of the year. However, the biggest spender was Fidelity Bank Plc, a tier-2 bank which incurred as much as N2.6 billion. This is then followed by First Bank which spent about N2 billion. Meanwhile, Sterling Bank Plc spent the least amount which is N223 million.

See below for a full list of the banks and their expenses on adverts/marketing in Q1 2020.

Fidelity Bank Plc: N2.6 billion
First Bank: N2 billion
Guaranty Trust Bank Plc: N1.8 billion
Zenith Bank Plc: N1.8 billion
United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc: N1.7 billion
Access Bank Plc: N1.4 billion
FCMB Group Plc: N790 million
Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc: N394 million
Wema Bank Plc: N329 million
Union Bank of Nigeria Plc: N267 million
Sterling Bank Plc: N223 million

It should be noted that virtually all the banks spent more on marketing and advertising in Q1 2020 except for the likes of Sterling Bank and Union Bank; both of whom significantly reduced their expenses. First Bank, on the other hand, kept its advertising expenditure constant year on year.

Meanwhile, the banks collectively generated gross earnings of about N935 billion during the first quarter period. Further analysis also showed that Fidelity Bank, which spent the most on advertising and marketing, did not generate the most revenue during the period. Instead, Access Bank did, having recorded a whopping N181.6 billion.

On average, Nigerian banks tend to spend more on advertising compared to companies in other sectors of the economy. And this usually influences their financial performances.

Advertising and Public Relations are two of the most powerful tools that are utilised in the business world to communicate brands’ benefits and create awareness about new or existing products. These, in turn, helps companies to reach newer markets or consolidate existing ones. In light of this, the importance of advertising and public relations can never be underestimated, as no company can really survive without them.

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