In today’s review of Nigeria’s national newspapers, The Quest Times brings you the latest updates on the front pages for Wednesday, August 9th, 2023.
ECOWAS Strengthens Sanctions on Niger Junta and Supporters
ECOWAS has intensified its financial sanctions against the Niger junta and those who offer them support, including Mali and Burkina Faso. Following a diplomatic effort by the African Union, ECOWAS, United Nations, and the United States to mediate the political deadlock in Niger, the military junta declined to meet with the delegations, marking a significant setback.
Concerns Arise Over Potential Impact of African Governments’ Debt Distress on Nigeria’s Banks
Amidst African governments’ struggles to avert debt distress, concerns have arisen about the potential consequences for Nigeria’s banks. Experts worry that a potential default could lead to substantial losses for Nigeria’s banks and erode their profitability. Notably, First Bank, Zenith Bank, GTCO, Access Corp, and United Bank for Africa collectively invested N11.84 trillion in government securities in 2022, up from N9.99 trillion the previous year.
President Bola Tinubu’s Pledge to Curb Reliance on Borrowing and Debt Servicing
President Bola Tinubu has committed to breaking the cycle of excessive borrowing for public spending, which places a heavy burden of debt servicing on Nigeria’s limited revenues. His aim is to reduce the country’s dependency on borrowing and ensure more effective management of Nigeria’s financial resources.
Nigeria’s Ongoing Struggle with Tax Gaps and Revenue Loss
Taiwo Oyedele, Chairman of the Presidential Committee on Fiscal Policy and Tax Reforms, revealed that Nigeria faces an annual loss of N20 trillion due to tax gaps. President Bola Tinubu inaugurated the committee with the mandate to achieve an 18% Tax-to-Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio within three years, aligning with the administration’s goals.
ECOWAS Takes Further Action Against Niger Republic Coup
ECOWAS, under the leadership of President Bola Tinubu, has announced additional sanctions in response to the coup in Niger Republic. The regional body’s spokesperson, Ajuri Ngelale, conveyed this development on Tuesday, reflecting ECOWAS’s commitment to addressing the ongoing crisis.