*16 billion:* Value, in Chinese Renminbi (RMB), of the 3-year Currency Swap Agreement signed between the Central Bank of Nigeria and the People’s Bank of China, on Friday 27th April, 2018. The Agreement will provide RMB liquidity to Nigerian businesses doing business with China, and Naira liquidity to Chinese businesses doing business with Nigeria. It will improve the speed, volume and ease of transactions between the two countries, and also remove the challenges and risks of having to do business using a third currency. Nigeria is the 3rd African country to sign a Currency Swap Agreement with the People’s Bank of China. The signing came after 2 years of painstaking negotiations, and is the latest outcome of President Buhari’s State Visit to China in April 2016 (See the most recent edition of the newsletter for details and impact of that China Visit).
*156km:* Length of the new standard-gauge rail line currently being constructed between Lagos and Ibadan. It will have a total of nine stations: Apapa, Ebute Metta, Agege, Agbado, Papalanto, Abeokuta, Olodo, Omi Adio and Ibadan. More details in ‘Infrastructure’ section, above.
*7,125 MW:* capacity of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to transport energy, as at December 2017, up from about 5,000MW in 2015.
*459MW:* Capacity of the just-completed, privately-owned Azura Power Plant, Nigeria’s first large-scale project-financed Independent Power Plant. Construction started in early 2016, and the first of three turbines was completed in December 2017, seven months ahead of schedule. The plant is now ready for commissioning. It’s 459MW output will add roughly 10 percent to Nigeria’s current generation.
*500 Billion Naira:* Amount recovered by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) – comprising 473 billion in Naira, 98 million in USD, 7 million in Euros, and 294,000 in Pounds Sterling – in 2017.
*US$322.5m:* Amount recovered in December 2017 from Abacha loot stashed away in Switzerland. Upon handover of the money by the Swiss Government, it was deposited into a special account in the Central Bank, and has been earmarked for the National Social Safety Nets programme of the Federal Government.
*5 million:* Increase in Nigeria’s taxpayer base between 2016 and 2018, as a result of combined efforts of the Federal Inland Revenue Service and State Tax Authorities to expand the tax base and enforce tax payment. Nigeria has one of the lowest Tax-to-GDP ratios in the world, at 6 percent, and the Buhari Administration is keen to raise this to at least 15 percent by 2020.
*Central Bank of Nigeria:* Nigeria’s foreign reserves are now almost US$48 billion, from $40 billion at the beginning of January 2018, and $24 billion in October 2016. The current figure is the highest in more than four years.
*Central Bank of Nigeria’s Anchor Borrowers Programme:*
Amount disbursed so far: N55.526 billion
Beneficiaries: 250,000 farmers
Hectarage Cultivated: 300,000
Jobs Created: 890,000 direct; 2.6 million indirect
*7.9 million:* Number of persons who have so far benefited directly from the Federal Government National Social Investment Programme (NSIP), since it launched two years ago. The NSIP is present in all 36 States of the Federation, and the FCT.
*Ministry of Finance:* 3-month Extension of the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) Tax Amnesty Window. It will now end on June 30, 2018. Avoid investigation and prosecution for tax offences by taking advantage of VAIDS today.