Finally, Nigeria Exits Recession, Reports 0.55% GDP Growth in Q2
After contracting for five consecutive quarters, the Nigerian economy has finally exited the recession, as data on the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate to be released at 10 a.m. today by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has shown that the economy grew at 0.55 per cent in the second quarter (Q2) of 2017.
The preliminary Q2 2017 GDP results, which THISDAY had exclusively obtained from presidency sources, had been embargoed by the NBS at the weekend until the official release of the report today. But THISDAY decided to go to press last night with the report because Reuters had flouted the embargo.
Buhari rejects same currency for W’Africa
President Muhamadu Buhari on Tuesday in Niamey, Republic of Niger, urged member countries of the Economic Community of West African States to tread carefully in pushing for a single currency for the sub-region by 2020.
He cited the challenges faced by the European Union in realising the same goal to buttress his position. According to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, the President made his position known in his speech at the fourth meeting of the Presidential Task Force on the ECOWAS Currency Programme.
‘Q3 growth attributable to consolidation of pan-African investments’
The management of Dangote Cement Plc has attributed the growth of the company’s third quarter revenue to the consolidation of its pan-African investments in the cement industry across 10 countries. According to the firm, the compnay has maintained its strong hold in the Nigeria domestic cement market accounting for 65 percent of the Nigerian market volume, while other African plants volumes went up by 7.5 percent to 7.0 mta.
The Cement company has in the past months expanded its operations across Africa with the coming on stream of the 1.5 mta integrated cement plant in Mfila, Republic of Congo even as an acting chief executive officer has been appointed for the company.
Oando gave false financial statements, dividend – SEC
The apex regulator of the Nigerian capital market, Securities and Exchange Commission, said there were misstatements in Oando Plc’s audited financial statements for the 2013 and 2014 financial year arising from Oando Exploration and Production Limited transaction.
This revelation was contained in a letter addressed to the Group Chief Executive Officer of Oando, Adewale Tinubu, by SEC. In the letter obtained by our correspondent on Tuesday, the commission alleged outright disregard to laid-down rules and regulations
NASCON grows profit by 130% to N6b in Q3
NASCON Allied Industries Plc, a member of the Dangote Group, recorded significant growths in sales and profitability in the third quarter, putting the company in good stead to increase dividend payout for another consecutive year. Key extracts of the interim report and accounts for the third quarter ended September 30, 2017 showed that gross earnings rose by 62 per cent while profit before tax jumped by 130 per cent. Net earnings per share doubled by 129 per cent from 89 kobo in third quarter 2016 to N2.04 in third quarter 2017.
NASCON had paid a dividend per share of 70 kobo for the 2016 business year, 27 per cent above 55 kobo paid for the 2015 business year. Earnings per share had improved from 79 kobo in full-year 2015 to 91 kobo in full-year 2016. The latest report showed that turnover rose from N12.8 billion in third quarter 2016 to N20.71 billion in third quarter 2017. Profit before tax doubled from N2.59 billion to N5.96 billion while profit after tax leapt from N1.76 billion to N4.05 billion.
BVN: Presidential aide wants more time for Nigerians in diaspora
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has said more time should be given to Nigerians in the diaspora to obtain the bank verification number.
She made the plea in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja in response to the move by the Federal Government to seize money in bank accounts without the BVN. The presidential aide in the statement by her media assistant, Abdur-Rahman Balogun, urged the Central Bank of Nigeria to make it possible for all Nigerians in diaspora to have their BVN obtained in their countries of abode.
Fashola: Buhari Will Give Nigerians Uninterrupted Power
The Minister of Power, Works, and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, has reassured Nigerians that plans by the federal government to provide them with uninterrupted electricity supply would be achieved meticulously, but not with any ‘magic wand’.
Fashola said there was no magic wand to getting uninterrupted power supply to Nigerians, but that it required a process which involved all stakeholders in the sector including users of electricity conserving and efficiently using whatever energy the country generates.
Nigeria open to more investments, says Osinbajo
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo on Tuesday said Nigeria was open to business and more investments. Osinbajo, who chairs the nation’s Economic Management Team, said this at a bilateral meeting he held with his Indonesian counterpart, Vice President Jusuf Kalla, on the sidelines of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative Beneficial Ownership Transparency Conference in Jakarta, Indonesia.
According to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr. Laolu Akande, the Vice-President also said Nigeria and Indonesia would work together to increase the level of economic cooperation between the two countries.
Fidelity Bank grows profit to N16b in nine months
Fidelity Bank Plc has sustained a robust performance outlook in the third quarter as the commercial bank grew pre-tax profit by 65 per cent to N16.2 billion within nine months. Key extracts of the interim report and accounts for the nine-month period ended September 30, 2017 showed that Fidelity Bank grew its top-line by 17.9 per cent while profit after tax also rose by 65.1 per cent. Earnings per share thus increased to 67 kobo in third quarter 2017, considerably above 40 kobo recorded in comparable period of 2016.
The report showed that gross earnings rose to N130.1 billion in third quarter 2017 as against N110.3 billion reported the same period in 2016. Profit before tax rose from N9.8 billion to N16.2 billion while profit after tax increased to N14.45 billion in 2017 as against N8.75 billion recorded in third quarter 2016.
Insurance Penetration: Operators Grapple with Innovation, Competition
One of the greatest challenges facing insurance industry operators in Nigeria is how to combine and manage the triangular relationship between the forces of innovation, competition and growth to deepen insurance penetration and control a fair share of the GDP of the national economy.
The Director, Inspectorate Department at the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), Thompson Barineka expressed the view at a recent media seminar organised by the commission at Kaduna, Kaduna state.
States rule out borrowing to fund revenue gaps
State governments on Tuesday ruled out resorting to borrowing to fund gaps resulting from dwindling revenues accruing to the Federation Account, which are shared by the three tiers of government.
Speaking with journalists in Abuja after the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee meeting for the month of October, the Chairman of the Finance Commissioners Forum, Mr. Mahmood Yunusa, said the states were looking at cost-cutting measures rather than resorting to borrowing.
BVN: Naira scarcity pushes interbank rate to 120%
The Federal High Court, Abuja, ruling, granting a temporary forfeiture order on accounts not linked to Bank Verification Number (BVN) has raised the interbank rate to record high of 120 per cent. The court had ruled that funds in the affected accounts will be forfeited to the government within the next two weeks unless they can justify their ownership of such accounts. The ruling was also meant to enable the government seek stakeholders’ compliance with money-laundering rules.
The Nigerian overnight lending rates were quoted around 120 per cent yesterday after a court ordered a freeze on millions of bank accounts with incomplete identity documents and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) sold treasury securities to tighten liquidity, traders said.
We need $36bn to connect all states by rail – Amaechi
The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, on Tuesday said that the $36bn being sought by the Federal Government for rail lines construction across the country would be used to connect virtually all state capitals in Nigeria by rail.
Speaking as a guest during a radio programme monitored by our correspondent in Abuja on Tuesday, the minister said, “When I spoke I didn’t say the money ($36bn) was there. I was asked how much we would need to take the rail transport to various state capitals. I said that we would need about $36bn and that includes the two deep seaports that we want to construct, one in Bonny and the other in Warri.
Senate to probe Etisalat’s $1.2b debt crisis
The Senate yesterday resolved to investigate the management and utilisation of the $1.2 billion loan facility obtained by Etisalat (Nigeria) from 13 local banks. The upper chamber mandated its Committees on Banking, Communications, Capital Market and National Security and Intelligence to probe the deal.
It also asked the joint committee to make recommendations on ways the country’s financial governance structure could be strengthened by legislations to prevent any future similar reoccurrence of such crisis. The Senate urged relevant financial intelligence agencies of the Federal Government to investigate the management of Etisalat (Nigeria) and hold the defaulting parties accountable for their actions.
US Congressmen Explore Areas of Intervention in Nigeria’s Power Sector
An eight-member Congressional delegation from the United States led by Senator Christopher Coons (D-Delaware), a member of the Appropriations, Foreign Relations, Judiciary, Small Business and Entrepreneurship, and Ethics committees, recently visited Egbin Power Station in Lagos to explore areas of intervention in Nigeria’s power sector.
Other members of the delegation, accompanied by the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Stuart Symington are Senator Gary Peters (D-Michigan); Senator Michael Bennet (D-Colorado); Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Delaware); Representative Terri Sewell (D-Alabama); Representative Charlie Dent (R-Pennsylvania); Representative Barbara Lee (D-California); and Representative Frederica Wilson (D-Florida).
PENGASSAN rejects plan to tax pension, terminal benefits
The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria has rejected the plan by the federal and state governments to impose tax on pensions, gratuities and terminal benefits of workers in the country. The senior staff trade union vowed to resist the implementation of the plan which it claimed was to further impoverish Nigerian workers, who served the country.
In a communiqué issued at the end of its National Executive Council meeting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, PENGASSAN condemned what it called a unilateral decision by the Federal Inland Revenue Service and States Internal Revenue Service to act outside the provisions of the federal tax laws, thereby infringing on the rights of the workers.