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Nigeria, Morocco team up to build world’s longest offshore gas pipeline

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Nigeria’s Presidency has revealed that the government is teaming up with the Kingdom of Morocco to build the world’s longest offshore pipeline.

The pipeline would also be the second-longest in the world and intended to carry gas from Nigeria to Morocco, running across 11 West African countries.

The Nigerian government made the disclosure on Sunday after President Muhammadu Buhari who is on a 2-day Official Visit to Morocco. was received by a large crowd from the airport in Morocco to the Rabat Royal Palace.

The 2 countries signed agreements on  the gas pipeline, a basic chemicals platform, and agriculture cooperation

Buhari assured King Mohammed VI of Nigeria’s full commitment to the actualization of all the agreements signed.

Abuja believes that “the Nigeria Morocco Gas Pipeline (NMGP) will further encourage utilization of gas in the sub-region for domestic needs (cooking, etc) and discourage desertification.”

NMGP is designed to be 5,660km long, will reduce gas flaring in Nigeria, and encourage diversification of energy resources in the country while cutting down poverty through the creation of more job opportunities.

Nigeria holds 187 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of proven gas reserves as of 2017, ranking 9th in the world and accounting for about 3% of the world’s total natural gas reserves of 6,923 Tcf. Nigeria has proven reserves equivalent to 306.3 times its annual consumption.

A separate 677-kilometer gas pipeline runs through West Africa operated by the West African Gas Pipeline Company Limited, which links natural gas from fields in Nigeria to markets in Benin, Togo, and Ghana.

Some observers have suggested that it could have been better if Nigeria chose to upgrade the existing gas pipeline rather than get into a new one with Morocco.

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IMF predicts Nigeria’s inflation to drop to 18% by 2026

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has predicted that inflation rate in Nigeria will drop to 23 per cent in 2025 with a further drop to 18 per cent by 2026 from the current rate of 33.20 per cent.

The IMF, which made the protection in its Global Economic Outlook released on Tuesday at the ongoing IMF/World Bank Spring Meetings in Washington D.C, said Nigeria was moving in the right direction with economic reforms including exchange rate reforms which it believes contributed to the surge in inflation rate in March.

The report endorsed by
Division Chief, IMF Research Department, Daniel Leigh, noted that with oil prices being on the rise in part due to geopolitical tensions and services, inflation had remained stubbornly high in many countries, including Nigeria.

“We see inflation in (in Nigeria) declining to 23 per cent next year and then 18 per cent in 2026,” Leigh said.

“Growth in Nigeria, steady but actually rising this year, from 2.9 per cent last year to 3.3 percent this year. We have seen an expansion from the recovery in the oil sector, with a better security situation and also improved agriculture, benefiting from the better weather conditions and the introduction of dry season farming.

“So, there’s a broad based increase also in the financial sector, in the IT sector. Inflation, yes, it has increased.

“Part of this reflects the reforms, the exchange rate and its pass through into other goods from imports to other goods.

“So, this explains also why we revised up our inflation projection for this year to 26 per cent. But with the tight monetary policies and that interest rate increase, significant interest rate increases during February and March,” he added.

On his part, head of IMF Research Department, Pierre Olivier Gourinchas, said Nigeria has six to nine per cent inflation target which has been missed by over a decade, but he however, believes bringing inflation back to target should remain the priority for the country.

“There are stark divergences also between countries that call for careful calibration of monetary policy.

“Going forward, policymakers should prioritize measures that help preserve or even enhance the resilience of the global economy.

“A key priority is to rebuild fiscal buffers, especially in an environment with high real interest rates, modest growth, and elevated debts.

Unfortunately planned fiscal adjustments are often insufficient and could be derailed further given the record number of elections this year,” Gourinchas said.

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Nigeria’s finance ministry unveils system to monitor tax exemptions

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Nigeria’s Ministry of Finance has unveiled the Incentive Monitoring and Evaluation Platform (IMEP), a cutting-edge computer system meant to make it easier to keep an eye on the tax costs connected to import duty exemption certificates.

In a statement released on Tuesday, Wale Edun, Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, said it was part of a larger plan to cut down on tax spending and make sure that fiscal policies were helping the country’s economy grow.

Edun said the IMEP was meant to change how the Federal Ministry of Finance figures out how much the tax breaks for businesses, non-governmental organizations, and foreign groups affect the economy.

Since President Bola Tinubu took office, Nigeria’s government has been trying to change the country’s fiscal and monetary policies. This has led to bold moves by both the central bank and the tax advisory committee run by Taiwo Oyedele.

Edun said the ministry wanted to improve the monitoring and review of these exemptions by putting in place a strong automated tool. He talked about how the IMEP has many useful features, such as a mechanism for clawing back duties, electronic report generation, a central database for tracking, factory geo-location tagging, industry qualification status validation, integration with many government agencies, and sending demand notices to people who don’t pay their taxes.

“One of the critical objectives of the IMEP is to provide a framework that will prevent ineligible applicants from receiving tax benefits, enforce compliance with fiscal policy measures, and offer a comprehensive analysis of the economic impact of tax incentives.

“By doing so, the ministry hopes to curb the misuse of tax expenditures, support the realisation of economic outcomes from fiscal incentives, and enhance the direct measurement of tax incentives’ effects on the economy,” he noted.

Edun says the system is meant to give a framework to checkmate and limit applicants who aren’t qualified, make sure that strict fiscal policy measures are followed, and give a strong analysis of how tax incentives affect the economy.

“Overall, the introduction of the IMEP represents a significant step towards reducing the cost of tax expenditure and ensuring that tax incentives have a positive impact on the Nigerian economy. This initiative is part of the government’s commitment to fostering transparency, accountability, and efficiency in the management of the nation’s resources,” he explained.

In December, the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) said it granted three years of tax exemption to 34 companies in 2023.

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