Ogun State government has put the balance of the infrastructure loans under the Ibikunle Amosun administration as at the end of December 2013 at N35.6 billion. The administration has, since May 2011 , repaid approximately N20.3 billion in capital in line with its medium term financial strategy, the government said in a statement signed by the Commissioner for Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun yesterday. The government said the figure included loans taken from banks as well as the balance of loans inherited from the past administration. It explained: "Also inherent in the loan profile is the sum of N1.7bn which remains unused. The unspent loan included counterpart funds relating to the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) and Millennium Development Goals (MDG) which are awaiting rollout. "The loans have been utilised to finance its investments in security, education, environment as well as the massive ongoing state-wide urban renewal programme, all of which have positively reshaped the economic and physical landscape of the state." The government noted that in line with the state's law relating to the process of obtaining loans, the House of Assembly gave approvals before the loans were obtained, stating that in the 2014 appropriation law, the lawmakers approved that the government could source N29.3 billion of its total proposed expenditure of N201 billion through loans. However, the government added that it was able to maintain the loan profile at that level because it has continued to comply with the repayment schedule which qualifies it to take new loans as it has a high level of credibility with lenders. Other commitments, according to the government, "included the N6.4 billion Contractor Finance obligations and the N16.9 billion foreign denominated long term debts advanced by the World Bank , and other multilateral agencies of which N14.4 billion (86 per cent) was inherited from past administration." He disclosed that the state was working with the World Bank to implement the Public Financial Management (PFM) reform programme, saying that the government had expressed its commitment to the highest standards in public accounting. Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN Market Remains Bearish on Losses by Blue Chips Nigerian equities remained in the red territory as losses suffered by the blue chip stocks made the market to close 0.45 per cent lower. The market had witnessed a rebound on Monday after a week-long bear run. However, the recovery on Monday could not be sustained on Tuesday as the market caved in to selling pressure. The downward trend persisted yesterday as stocks such as Dangote Cement Plc , Nigerian Breweries Plc , Guinness Nigeria Plc and Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc depreciated. As a result, the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index fell from 41,064.91 to close at 40,878.71, bringing its year-to-date performance to negative 1.09 per cent. Market capitalisation shed N60 billion, falling from N13.164 trillion to N13.103 trillion yesterday. A total of 35 stocks depreciated compared with 27 stocks appreciated. Guinness Nigeria Plc led the price losers' table with N2.96 to close at N219 per share. Dangote Cement Plc followed with a loss of N2.50 to close at N238. Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc went down by N0.95 to close at N87 per share. The flour milling company had the previous day reported a decline of 27 per cent in profit for the nine months ended December 31, 2013 . FMN posted a decline of 27 per cent in profit after tax (PAT) in spite of recording a growth of 17 per cent in turnover. The company recorded a revenue of N240 billion in 2013, up from N205 billion. But PAT fell by 27 per cent from N8.167 billion to N5.932 billion, while earnings per share depreciated by 32 per cent from 319 kobo to 217 kobo. The company's bottomline was affected by high cost of operations. Selling and distribution costs rose 37 per cent from N2.561 billion to N3.517 billion. Financing cost also rose by 19 per cent from N8.857 billion to N10.574 billion. Meanwhile, Total Nigeria Plc led the price gainers' chart with N4.50 followed by Forte Oil Nigeria Plc with a gain of N2.81.
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