Category: Economy

Nigeria Places High Premium On Labour Matters – Udoma

(Sundiata Post) — Budget and National Planning Minister, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma on Wednesday told a team from the International Labour Organization (ILO) which visited him in Abuja that the importance the administration attaches to labour issues is evident in the pride of place given human capital development in the country’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), as investing in our people is one of the three broad objectives of the plan. The team, led by the Assistant Director of ILO who is also the Regional Director for Africa, Ms Cynthia Samuel-Olajuwon, was in the Minister’s office to brief him ... Read more

Reps committe commends $18bn Dangote refinery, promises to deepen implementation of local content law

By Yunus Yusuf Lagos –   Mr Emmanuel Elon, the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Local Content, on Wednesday commended Dangote for its huge investment on the refinery and petrochemical industry. He said that the refinery would improve socio-economic development of the nation. Ekon gave the commendation during the oversight visit of the committee to Dangote refinery and petrochemicals in Lekki Free Trade Zone in Ibeju Lekki, Lagos. Ekon assured Dangote of lawmakers’ support to indigenous companies, while also promising to create enabling environment for businesses in Nigeria to thrive. According to him, “we are going to work with ... Read more

Okorocha presents N190.92bn budget estimate for 2018

By Ugonne Uzoma Owerri –   Gov. Rochas Okorocha of Imo on Wednesday in Owerri, presented a N190. 92 billion budget estimate for the 2018 fiscal year, to the State House of Assembly. The 2018 budget which was higher than that of 2017 by N59 78 billion was tagged “Budget of Consolidation and Continuity III.” A breakdown of the estimate showed that N132.98 billion (69.70%) was for capital expenditure while N57.943 billion (30.30%) was for the recurrent expenditure. The breakdown showed that the Ministry of Works and Transport received the highest allocation of N39.811 billion, followed by the Ministry of ... Read more

Buhari Approves $2.7bn for Abuja-Kano Gas Pipeline

N3bn for Lagos Lighter Terminal By Nse Anthony-Uko (Sundiata Post) – The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday approved $2.7 billion for the completion of Abuja-Kaduna-Kano gas pipeline. The council also approved the sum of N3 billion for Ikorodu Lighter Terminal. Another $500 million contract was also approved for rolling stocks, coaches, wagons, locomotives for Lagos- Ibadan and Itakpe-Wari railways. Minister of State (Petroleum Resources) Ibe Kachikwu and the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi disclosed these while briefing State House correspondents yesterday after the FEC meeting presided over by Vice president Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa. Amaechi said: “FEC ... Read more

Police, DSS Nab 13 In PH Over Sale of Naira Notes

PORT HARCOURT (Sundiata Post) – T he Police, working in collaboration with the Department of State Services (DSS), have arrested 13 naira note sellers in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State in a sting operation that included officials of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Briefing the media on Wednesday, December 13, 2017, the Police Public Relations Officer, Rivers State Command, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Nnamdi Omoni said the sting operation, which was carried out in line with the provisions of Sections 20 and 21 of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Act (2007), was aimed at checking illicit sale of the Naira ... Read more

$250m un-remitted fund: Reps threaten to issue arrest warrant on 10 oil firms

By Raji Rasak Lagos –   The House of Representatives Committee on Oil and Gas, on Wednesday threatened to issue warrant of arrest on Managing Directors of 10 oil firms, if they failed to appear before it on Thursday to account for unremitted 250 million dollars to the Federal Government’s purse. Mr Jerigbe Agom, the Chairman of the committee, issued the warning at its sitting in Lagos. The Chairman berated the companies, including, Aiteo Energy, Neconde Energy, Frontier Energy and seven indigenous oil companies for allegedly not showing interest to remit the fund. Agom also ordered the Managing Director of ... Read more

Nigeria Still Investors Destination – IMF

By Nse Anthony-Uko (Sundiata Post) — Monetary and regulatory authorities in Nigeria have been enjoined to roll out policies that would bring down the inflation rate in the country as well as increase access to domestic funds in order to ensure that the economy attains further growth in 2018, adding that Nigeria is still an investor’s destination. The call was made by Senior Financial Sector Expert, Debt and Capital Market Instruments Division, Monetary and Capital Markets Department, International Monetary Fund (IMF), Miriam Tamene, during a visit of IMF Team to Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in Abuja. Tamene disclosed that ... Read more

FG generates N17bn from tax amnesty programme VAIDS- Fowler

By Chinyere Joel-Nwokeoma and Wunmi Ashafa Lagos –  The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) says that the Federal Government has realised the sum of N17 billion from the Voluntary Asset and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) inaugurated in July. Mr Babatunde Flower, the FIRS Executive Chairman, said this in Lagos on Wednesday, at a media workshop on VAIDS. Flower said that the N17 billion was voluntarily paid by some companies through VAIDS, an amnesty programme inaugurated by the government for taxpayers to regularise their tax status relating to previous tax periods. According to him, the initiative is making progress as additional ... Read more

Gwarzo, His Suspension And Many Allegations Begging For Answers

By Nse Anthony-Uko These are not the best of times for the suspended Director General of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mounir Gwarzo given the allegations of a variety of fraudulent activities leveled against him. When the Minister of Finance Mrs Kemi Adeosun announced his suspension on November to 29, 2017, to pave way for investigations, Gwarzo’s case seemed like that of a victim who got caught in the midst of a power play involving his superiors for insisting on doing the right thing, a situation he immediately made good use of. Two days later, the media became awash with  ... Read more

Association urges FG to ban importation of maize

Kano –  The President, Maize Association of Nigeria (MAN), Alhaji Bello Abubakar-Funtua, has called on the Federal Government to ban importation of maize into the country to boost local production . Abubakar-Funtua made the call while addressing a news conference in Kano on Wednesday. He said the call was necessary in order to encourage farmers to produce the commodity locally and boost food production in the country. “There is urgent need to effect measures aimed at stopping importation of maize into the country for local production of the commodity to be realistic,” he said. According to him, if the Federal ... Read more

Afreximbank pledges up to $1.5 billion to post-Mugabe Zimbabwe

HARARE   –  The African Export and Import Bank has pledged up to $1.5 billion in new loans and financial guarantees to Zimbabwe in a major boost for new President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government, the bank’s president and chairman said on Tuesday. Mnangagwa, who took over last month after veteran autocrat Robert Mugabe quit following a de facto military coup, has vowed to focus on reviving the struggling economy and provide jobs in a nation with an unemployment rate exceeding 80 percent. Afreximbank was only international lender that stood by Zimbabwe throughout Mugabe’s repressive 37-year rule, but its quick announcement of ... Read more

South Africa’s CPI slows to 4.6 % year/year in November

JOHANNESBURG  – South Africa’s headline consumer inflation slowed to 4.6 percent year-on-year in November from 4.8 percent in October, data from Statistics South Africa showed on Wednesday. On a month-on-month basis, inflation slowed to 0.1 percent in November from 0.3 percent in October. Core inflation, which excludes the prices of food, non-alcoholic beverages, petrol and energy, fell to 4.4 percent year-on-year in November from 4.5 percent in October, while on a month-on-month basis it slowed to 0.0 percent from 0.1 percent previously. (Reuters)

Nigeria Signs Joint Declaration on Economic Cooperation with EFTA

By Nse Anthony-Uko (Sundiata Post) – The Federal government has signed a joint declaration on Economic Cooperation with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) in Argentina that would allow a framework that facilitates increased trade and investment flows. The Strategy & Communications Adviser to the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Constance Ikokwu, in a statement said the areas of cooperation include trade in goods; customs and tariffs and trade facilitation; trade in services; investment; protection of intellectual property rights including enforcement; trade and sustainable development. Others include digital economy encompassing ecommerce; trade and investment related issues pertaining to small ... Read more

FG’s priority is to create better environment for investments – Udoma

By Cecilia Ologunagba Abuja –   The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Sen. Udoma Udo Udoma, says Nigeria’s priority is to create a better environment for businesses to thrive in the country. Udoma said this in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Mr Akpandem James, on Tuesday in Abuja. The minister said this when he received the delegation of French businessmen, accompanied by the French Ambassador to Nigeria, Denys Gauer. A 30-man delegation, comprising investors in the oil and gas, energy, manufacturing, banking and logistics sectors, came to Nigeria to explore possible areas of investment. He said ... Read more

PTAD verifies 6,000 civil service pensioners in FCT

By Kingsley Okoye Abuja –   The Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) on Tuesday disclosed that 6,000 pensioners would be verified at the FCT center of the on-going final verification of civil service pensioners in the North Central Zone. The Executive Secretary of PTAD, Mrs Sharon Ikeazor, disclosed this after inspecting the verification process in the Abuja centres. She described the exercise, which is the final for civil service pensioners, as seamless, adding that pensioners had turned up with high expectations. She, however, said PTAD would meet their expectations by verifying them and ensuring they got their right payment when ... Read more

CBN Boosts Forex Market With Fresh $210m

By Nse Anthony-Uko ABUJA, (Sundiata Post) – The interbank window of Nigeria’s Foreign Exchange market on Tuesday, December 12, 2017, received yet another boost of $210,000,000.00 from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). According to figures obtained from the Bank, Tuesday’s interventions were for the Wholesale, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and invisibles segments of the market. The Acting Director, Corporate Communications at the CBN, Mr. Isaac Okorafor disclosed that the Bank offered the sum of $100million to the wholesale segment, while the SMEs and invisibles segments each received the sum of $55 million. He reiterated that the releases were ... Read more

Our ongoing recruitment is transparent – NPA

By Aisha Cole Lagos –  The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) says its ongoing recruitment is transparent, as it followed the procedures laid down by the Federal Government. Alhaji Abdullahi Goje, the General Manager, Corporate and Strategic Communications, made the clarification on Tuesday in Lagos. Goje said that the exercise was in accordance with the extant requirements by Nigerian laws. He said in a statement that the recruitment process started over one year ago as evident in the advertisements placed for recruitment in the newspapers. “The vacancies were widely advertised in the national dailies and examinations conducted across the six geo-political ... Read more

DMO set to redeems N198b NTB in December

By Abdulfatah Babatunde   Lagos    –      The Debt Management Office (DMO) says it will repay the N198.03 billion Nigerian Treasury Bills fully at maturity in December 2017. A statement from the office made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Lagos indicated that the amount consisted of two bills. Details provided by the DMO show that N131.415 billion and N66.617 billion of NTBs will mature on Dec. 14 and Dec. 21 respectively. “Before now, the practice was to rollover NTBs at maturity. “It will be recalled that the Federal Government had announced plans to refinance some ... Read more

South Africa’s Steinhoff considers sale of PSG, KAP stakes to lift liquidity -sources

JOHANNESBURG/ FRANKFURT – South Africa’s Steinhoff is considering selling stakes worth a combined $1.4 billion in local companies PSG Group and KAP Industrial to help plug a liquidity gap at the retailer, two sources familiar with the matter said. Steinhoff, the owner of more than 40 retail brands including Conforama, Mattress Firm and Poundland, is fighting for survival after more than $14 billion was wiped off its market value last week following its disclosure of accounting irregularities and the exit of its chief executive. The company has said it planned to raise around 2 billion euros ($2 billion) from the ... Read more

South Africa’s October manufacturing output up 2.2% year to year

JOHANNESBURG  – South Africa’s manufacturing output rose 2.2 percent year-on-year in October, beating market expectations, after falling by a revised 1.7 percent in September, Statistics South Africa said on Tuesday. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast manufacturing volumes would rise by 0.75 percent year-on-year in October. Factory production on a month-on-month basis was up 0.7 percent, and rose 0.8 percent in the three months to October compared with the previous three months. (Reuters)

DMO Redeems N198.032bn Maturing Treasury Bills

By Nse Anthony-Uko (Sundiata Post) – The Debt Management Office (DMO) said N198.032 billion Nigerian Treasury Bills (NTBs) which will mature in December 2017 will be repaid in full at maturity. Details provided by the DMO show that N131.415 billion and N66.617 billion of NTBs will mature on December 14, 2017 and December 21, 2017 respectively. A statement from the office of DMO said before now, the practice was to rollover NTBs at maturity. It will be recalled that the government had announced plans to refinance some maturing domestic debt with external borrowing as part of its overall debt management ... Read more

Morocco announces auto industry deals worth $1.45 bln

RABAT   –  Morocco said on Monday it had signed deals for 26 auto industry projects worth a total of 1.23 billion euros ($1.45 billion) as it seeks to build its position as an international hub for the sector. The deals include six agreements with French company Renault to expand an “industry ecosystem” allowing the firm to increase local sourcing of car components to 55 percent, according to a government statement. Renault has a large factory in the northern Moroccan city of Tangiers that opened in 2012, and an older assembly plant in Casablanca. Another 13 of the new projects are ... Read more

KEDCO urges Senate committee to prevail on Jigawa, Kano, Katsina to pay debts

By Tukur Muntari Kano –  The Kano Electricity Distribution Company (KEDCO) has urged Senate Committee on Privitisation to prevail on Jigawa, Kano, and Katsina governments to pay the over N2 billion debt they are owing the company. The Managing Director of the company, Dr Jamilu Gwamna, made the call on Monday when the committee, led by its Chairman, Sen. Ben Bruce, visited headquarters of the company in Kano. Gwamna said “while Jigawa Government is owing us over N1 billion, Katsina State Government and Kano State Government are owing N700 million and N600 million.\\ He added that Federal Government agencies in ... Read more

Why Nigeria lost international maritime category `C’ election – Peterside

By Aisha Cole Lagos –  The Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Dakuku Peterside, said on Monday that Nigeria lost election into Category `C’ of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) due to late preparations. Peterside, who said this while addressing newsmen after a meeting of the G7++ Friends of the Gulf of Guinea Group in Lagos, noted that Nigeria started late in its quest to be elected into the council. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the election was held from Nov. 27 to Dec. 8 in London. The director-general also noted that Nigeria did ... Read more

Nigeria’s Trade Surplus Hits N1.2trn On Recovering Oil Price

By Nse Anthony-Uko (Sundiata Post) –Nigeria’s trade surplus hit the N1.2 trillion mark in the third quarter of 2017 for the first time since 2014, buoyed by oil price recoveries since the beginning of the year, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Monday. Nigeria’s oil exports rose by 99.13 per cent year on year jump, as the economy gradually recovers from its worst economic slump in almost three decades, recorded a trade surplus of N1.2 trillion in the period under review, as the value of exports rose 54 per cent from last year to N3.5 trillion while imports declined ... Read more

French Entrepreneurs Visit Nigeria, Say ‘Country Land Of Investment, Opportunities’

By Alayo Tunde Oso A delegation of the Movement of French Businesses (MEDEF), the first network of entrepreneurs in France is visiting Nigeria (Abuja and Lagos) from Monday December 11 till December 13, 2017. Giving reasons for their visit, Deputy CEO of Bolloré Transport & Logistics and Vice Chairman of the Africa Committee of MEDEF International, Mr Philippe Labonne, said: “Nigeria is a land of investment and opportunities for French companies through local partnerships.” This is the main message that MEDEF International, the powerful French Business Confederation representing 75 per cent of the private sector in France, will disseminate throughout ... Read more

Customs seizes 300 bags of foreign rice in Sokoto

By Muhammad Nasir Bello Sokoto  –   The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Sokoto state Command, says it has seized a truck containing 300 bags of foreign rice concealed within 350 bags of made in Nigeria ones. The state Comptroller, Alhaji Nasir Ahmed, disclosed this on Monday at the command’s headquarters while displaying the seized items. Ahmed said that the team of the state task force had on Dec. 9, intercepted the truck on the Sokoto, Gusau road containing the 650 mixed bags of rice. He assured that the command would not relent in its effort to ensure that no person ... Read more

Buhari Releases N1.2trn for 2017 Capital Expenditure

By Nse Anthony-Uko (Sundiata Post) – The President Muhammadu Buhari led administration said it has so far released N1.2 trillion to Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government for implementation of capital projects contained in the 2017 budget. The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun on Monday, gave the figure during a meeting with a delegation of investors from France in Abuja. Adeosun told the delegation, made up of 30 companies from France, that government had previously released N450 billion for capital projects, and with additional N750 billion, a total of N1.2 trillion would have invested in infrastructure in the ... Read more

Edo Govt earmarks N100m for monthly pension arrears – Obaseki

By Joy Odigie Benin –   Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo on Monday said N100 million had been set aside monthly to settle arrears of pensioners. He said his administration was making efforts to settle the backlog of pension arrears owed state government pensioners before December 2018. The governor made the disclosure at the 16th Annual National Pensioners Day at the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Edo Chapter in Benin. Obaseki said that his administration had been able to reduce the pension arrears from about N10 billion to about N3.9 billion. He said that the arrears were accumulated between 1996 and ... Read more

South African exchange investigates Steinhoff disclosures

JOHANNESBURG   –  South African exchange operator JSE launched an investigation on Monday into whether Steinhoff broke disclosure rules, heaping pressure on the retailer as it tries to contain an accounting scandal. Shares in Steinhoff fell by 80 percent last week after the international retail group, whose brands include Poundland and Mattress Firm, disclosed “accounting irregularities” and parted ways with veteran chief executive Markus Jooste. The JSE said in a statement it was investigating whether there had been any breaches of its listing requirements, adding this included “any breaches in relation to previous financial disclosures made to the public by ... Read more

Battered Steinhoff shares bounce after traumatic week

JOHANNESBURG   –  Shares in South African retailer Steinhoff jumped as much as 40 percent on Monday, regaining some ground after calling on its lenders to help stabilise the company following the discovery of accounting irregularities last week. Steinhoff has hired U.S. investment bank Moelis & Co to advise it and asked management consultancy AlixPartners “to assist on liquidity management and operational measures”. “The group is asking for and requires continued support in relation to existing facilities from all its lenders to achieve an immediate stabilisation of the group’s financing,” Steinhoff said in a statement late on Sunday. The company has ... Read more

CBN Reviews Stringent Criteria For Accessing MSMEs Funds, Cuts Rate to 5%

No Kobo of N26bn AGSMEIS Disbursed, Funds to Hit N60bn By Year End By Nse Anthony-Uko (Sundiata Post) – The Central Bank of Nigeria has expressed concern that “not a penny” of the N26 billion Agri-Business, Small and Medium Enterprises Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS) has been disbursed nearly one year after its establishment, even as it expects the fund to hit N60 billion by the end of the year. To the end, it said the framework for accessing the fund as well as the N220 billion Micro Small and Medium Enterprises development fund is being reviewed to allow easy access by ... Read more

SEC, DMO, Others Move To Deepen Capital Market

By Nse Anthony-Uko (Sundiata Post) — Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Debt Management Office (DMO) and other stakeholders have brainstorm on the need to collaborate, develop and deepen the capital market for economy growth. They expressed that for the nation’s capital market to grow, there must be mechanism for efficiency, accountability and transparency across major economy players including the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Speaking at the 2017 workshop of the Capital Market Correspondents Association of Nigeria, the acting director-general, SEC, Dr. Abdul Zubair, at the weekend in Lagos said, apex capital market regulating body in deepening the market over ... Read more

CBN Revamps N500bn Non-oil Export Stimulation Fund

By Nse Anthony-Uko (Sundiata Post) — In its bid to diversify the country’s economy away from oil, in line with the Federal Government’s economic plan, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced a revamp of the N500 billion Export Stimulation Fund for the promotion of non-oil exports in the country using the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme model. This is even as the Bank has introduced a N50 billion direct intervention funding for the Nigeria Export Import Bank (NEXIM). The Governor of the CBN, Mr. Godwin Emefiele disclosed this during the weekend while addressing the media following a meeting in Lagos ... Read more

Nigerian capital market issuance hit N1.55trn in September — SEC DG

By Chinyere Joel-Nwokeoma   Lagos  –    The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Sunday said that the total value of issuance in the Nigerian capital market amounted to N1.55 trillion in September. Dr Abdul Zubair, SEC Acting Director-General, made the disclosure at the 2017 annual conference of Capital Market Correspondents Association of Nigeria (CAMCAN) in Lagos. Zubair said that the issuance included equities, bonds and unlisted securities among others. Zubair said that the equities accounted for 12 per cent of the total value of issuance in the market during the period. He said that the secondary market total equities transactions ... Read more

CBN to continue supporting financial service penetration –Emefiele

By Olawunmi Ashafa Lagos –  The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, on Saturday said that the bank would continue to support measures that would deepen penetration of financial services in the country. Emefiele said while delivering a welcome address at the 9th annual Bankers Committee Retreat in Lagos. According to him, the measure will capture those who are financially excluded from the system. The theme of the retreat is “Improving Financial Access, Enabling Job Creation and Driving Inclusive Growth in Nigeria’’. He said such measures would also consider Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) ... Read more

Ugwuanyi calls for revival of oil palm production nationwide

Enugu –  Gov.Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State has called for the revial of oil palm production nationwide to boost oil palm production and restore its lost glory as a prime income earner for Nigeria. Ugwuanyi made the call in Enugu on Saturday at an enlightenment workshop on “making oil palm produce value chain a strategic tool for sustainable economic recovery’’. The workshop was organised by the State’s Ministry of Science and Technology in collaboration with the Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC). The governor, represented by his deputy, Mrs Cecilia Ezeilo, said that Nigeria had over the years continued ... Read more

Science, Technology and Innovation Roadmap will save Nigeria $11Bn in 5 years-Minister

By-Oluwafunke Ishola Lagos –   Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, the Minister of Science & Technology, says the Federal Government’s National Science, Technology and Innovation Roadmap will save the country about 11 billion dollars in five years. Onu made the disclosure at the South West Sensitization Programme on National Science, Technology and Innovation Roadmap on Friday in Lagos. The minister said that the road map would aid the country’s transition from a resource-based to a knowledge-based, innovation-driven economy that would drive the country’s economic diversification process. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Federal Government in August approved the 13-year ... Read more

CBN inaugurates N6bn world-class Postgraduate Business School in ABU

By Mohammed Lawal Zaria (Kaduna State) –   The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Friday inaugurated a N6bn World-Class Postgraduate Business School at the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports. Speaking at the inauguration ceremony held at ABU main campus, Samaru, Zaria, the CBN Deputy Governor, Alhaji Suleiman Barau, said the gesture was part of the bank’s corporate social responsibilities. He appreciated the pivotal role education played in driving the economy. Barau said part of the bank’s developmental functions was to support the educational sub-sector in Nigeria through the provision of physical structures. ... Read more

Steinhoff scandal knocks $12 bln off value in blow to tycoon Wiese

JOHANNESBURG/BERLIN    –     Shocked Steinhoff shareholders have wiped more than $12 billion off its value since it revealed “accounting irregularities” and parted ways with its chief executive, in a dramatic fall from grace for the South African retailer. Once a must-have for investors who backed its reinvention as an international retail empire including brands such as Mattress Firm and Poundland under veteran CEO Marcus Jooste, Steinhoff shares fell by a third on Thursday, compounding the previous day’s more than 60 percent fall. This collapse also leaves South African tycoon Christo Wiese, Steinhoff biggest shareholder and chairman, seriously out of pocket, eroding ... Read more