Economic News Update

Business & Economic News Update: Tuesday, 3rd October, 2017

Banks cut lending, opt for investment in securities

The loan books of Deposit Money Banks are shrinking by the day as lenders step up investments in securities and money market assets at the expense of lending. Investigation by our correspondent revealed that the DMBs in the country, which before now were recording double-digit growth in their loan books year-on-year, were barely managing to hit nine per cent, with most banks recording around five per cent growth.

Top sources said the 18-month recession and weak growth recently witnessed by the country had affected the banking sector adversely, pointing out that most banks with high non-performing loans had reduced lending significantly.

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MfBs eye bonds issuance for fresh capital

Microfinance Banks (MfBs) have been urgd to consider issuing bonds  as an alternative source of raising capital needed to meet their customers’ credit needs. The International Finance Corporation (IFC) Vice President and Treasurer, Jingdong Hua, said MfBs have capacity to issue bonds, raise fresh capital and deepen capital market liquidity. He said Nigeria’s capital market has huge potentials and should be tapped into by all segments of the economy.

Speaking atthe weekend, during a seminar to mark 10th year anniversary of Accion Microfinance Bank, held in Lagos, he said MfBs have potentials that should be tapped to grow the economy. In the policy framework for MfBs, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) classified operators into three categories with correspondent capital requirement. They are unit MfB with N 20 million minimum capital base, State MfB with N100 million and National MfB with N2 billion capital requirements.

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FG Receives Knocks over New National Gas Policy

Operators in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry have picked holes in the 2017 National Gas Policy unveiled by the federal government, saying the new policy document would not encourage new investments for gas development.

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) at a meeting presided over by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo then in his capacity as the Acting President, had on June 28, 2017, approved the National Gas Policy, following a presentation by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu.

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Nigeria Recovers $3bn Unpaid Oil Monies, Says NEITI

The total amount of unpaid oil and gas monies that Nigeria’s government has recovered using audit reports of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has hit $3billion, the Executive Secretary of NEITI, Mr. Waziri Adio has disclosed.

Adio stated in a presentation he made at the 2017 edition of the annual lecture series of the Dauda Adegbenro Foundation held at the University of Ibadan, Oyo State, that through the instrumentality of NEITI’s audit reports, the various agencies of government relevant in this regard have reclaimed $3 billion of the unpaid oil revenues from operators in the oil industry.

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Dangote denies tax holiday for Apapa road construction

The management of Dangote Group has debunked speculations that the company would benefit from a 10-year tax holiday after constructing the 35-kilometre Apapa to Oworonshoki end of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. The company made this denial at a media briefing in Lagos on Monday.

The Group Executive Director, Strategy, Portfolio Development and Capital Projects, Dangote Industries Limited, Mr. Devakumar Edwin, explained that rather than being granted a tax holiday for the construction of the road, the firm would be bankrolling the road construction project and since the government would not be paying for the work, the firm would use its tax to offset the payment over a period of three years.

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Firm unveils solution to curb ATMs cash withdrawal challenges

Integrated Cash Management Services Limited (ICMS) has come up with interventions to ensure unavailability of cash across Automated Teller Machines (ATM) points in Nigeria becomes a thing of the past.The move would ensure that naira notes will be readily available at every transaction across ATMs, providing solution to the challenges bank customers face over the issue.

The Managing Director, ICMS, Oluwaseun Bamisile, said this when the firm was awarded Best Cash In Transit (CIT) in West Africa, at the Nigeria Brands Awards 2017, in Lagos.ICMS provides services to assist Nigerian banks in managing their risks with the cash supply chains provide cash in transit, vault management, among others.

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Dangote denies proposed 10-year tax holiday rumor

Dangote Group is not aware of any upcoming 10-year-tax holiday arising from its ongoing construction  of the 35 kilometre Apapa to Oworonshoki  end of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway The Group Executive Director, Strategy, Portfolio Development and Capital Projects, Dangote Industries Limited,  Devakumar Edwin, said the company has never benefited from any tax waivers or credits in its entire history, except when it is industry-based and when applicable to all its competitors.

Edwin, who spoke yesterday to cross section of journalists in his Ikoyi office, said while the company has volunteered to repair the Apapa road as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) at no cost at all to the Federal Government, the construction of Apapa to Oworonshoki long highway would be done at 15 to 25 per cent less than the lowest bid.

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How to expand nation’s debt capital market , by experts

Participants at the 2017 Nigerian Debt Capital Markets Conference and Awards, organised by the FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange in Lagos, at the weekend, have urged Federal Government-owned firms companies to issue bonds for infrastructure project in order to expand the nation’s debt capital market.

Besides, they also urged government to ensure that all interventions and assisted funding must be issued in bonds, note form, and subsequently listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), or FMDQ platform. A debt issue is a fixed corporate or government obligation, such as a bond or debenture. A debt issue is a financial obligation that allows the issuer to raise funds by promising to repay the lender at a certain point in the future and in accordance with the terms of the contract.

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MTN disputes ruling on N4.83bn employee compensation

MTN Nigeria has said it will approach a higher court for justice to be served in the case between it and a former employee, Paul Odunewu. The National Industrial Court of Nigeria, Akure, in a judgement by Justice Oyejoju Oyewunmi, had ordered MTN Nigeria Communications Limited and MTN International, Mauritius to pay the former Network Group Operations Manager, Odunewu, a sum of N4,825,036,735.9 as compensation for wrongful termination of employment.

In a statement on Monday, the General Manager, Corporate Affairs, MTN Nigeria, Omasan Ogisi, said following the review by the company’s legal partners, it had approached a higher court requesting that the decision of the industrial court be set aside.

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CBN: why Nigerians are scared of retirement

The Programme Director of the North Central Zonal Outreach of the Central Bank of Nigeria Entrepreneurship Development Center (CBN-EDC), Professor Cashmir Obialom,  said civil servants are scared of retirement because they have not embraced entrepreneurship which could secure their future.

Cashmir who delivered an entrepreneurship talk at Independence Day Party organized by ATM Beauty Empire in Minna, said after retirement, the future of the civil servant is unsecured as their gratuity and pension is not been given as at when due. He said entrepreneurship can secure the future of every civil servant and individuals, and urged  civil servants to acquire a skill that will help them to be entrepreneurs.

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‘Lagos controls over 90% of Nigeria’s forex inflows’

The Lagos State Government has said it controls over 90 per cent of foreign exchange inflows into the country. The Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Akinyemi Ashade, said this in a presentation made to capital market stakeholders in Lagos titled: ‘Funding Lagos State Government’s Economic Agenda through Debt Capital Market’.

He said with over 23 million residents, Lagos was now the most populous city in Africa. Ashade described the city as Africa’s fastest growing market and the fifth largest economy on the continent, contributing over 30 per cent of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product. “Lagos State accounts for over 90 per cent of Nigeria’s forex inflows,” he stated.

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NERC Mulls Three Metering Options to Eliminate Estimated Billing

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) is considering three innovative options to improve the metering obligations of electricity distributions companies (Discos) to their customers, with a view to eliminating the regime of estimated billing of consumers by Discos.

According to a document the commission posted on its website, the three options under consideration are Meter Service Providers (MSP) scheme, modified Credited Advance Payment for Metering Implementation (CAPMI), and franchising in rural an urban settlements.

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US buys $2.7bn Nigerian crude in six months

The import of Nigeria’s crude oil by the United States increased by 32.1 per cent to 52.36 million barrels in the first half of this year, compared to the same period in 2016. The US Energy Information Administration, the statistical arm of the Energy Department, revealed in its latest data that the country bought a record 10.24 million barrels from Nigeria in March, the highest monthly import since July 2013.

It imported 9.78 million barrels in January; 5.96 million barrels in February; 9.16 million barrels in April; 8.69 million barrels in May and 8.53 million barrels in June. With Bonny Light, Nigeria’s main export grade, averaging $51 per barrel in the first half of the year, the 52.36 million barrels imported by the US translate to an income of about $2.67bn for the country.

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