Economic News Update

Economic News Update: 17th March, 2017

CBN injects fresh $100m into forex market

The Central Bank of Nigeria on Thursday said it would on Friday release the sum of $100m to authorised dealers to meet the requests of genuine customers in the interbank segment of the foreign exchange market.

The release of the forex, according to the apex bank, followed bids from authorised dealers for the amount. The CBN Director, Corporate Communications Department, Mr Isaac Okoroafor, while confirming the release in a statement said no intervention was made on Thursday in the market.

Read More

Only 14m Nigerians pay tax –FIRS 

The Federal Government said it is targeting an estimated revenue of $1 billion from the proposed Nigeria Voluntary Asset and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS). The scheme takes off on May 1 for up to six months and will offer a window for those who, before now, have not complied with extant tax regulations to remedy their positions by the provision of limited amnesty to enable voluntary declaration and payment of liabilities.

The scheme will also have incentives in place to encourage early participation. Under the scheme, taxpayers will be allowed up to three years to settle their liabilities. The National Economic Council (NEC) approved the scheme following a briefing by the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adesoun, at the meeting where she stated that the underpayment of tax via the use of tax havens and other evasion strategies, have not been helpful to Nigeria.

Read More

Outage pushes petrol demand to 51.8m litres daily

With a shortfall of 16,256 Megawatts (MW) in electricity requirement in Nigeria, the demand for Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) or petrol has increased astronomically, as national daily average consumption has risen from 40 million litres to 51.8 million litres, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

The increase contradicts the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu’s recent broadcast earlier in the year that the government had succeeded in blocking fraud impacted volumes of PMS consumed daily from 50 million litres to 28 million litres.

Read More

Nigeria to exit recession soon –W’Bank

The World Bank Group, yesterday, hinted Nigeria will soon recover from its current economic recession. Mrs. Eme Essien-Lore, Country Manager in Nigeria, International Finance Corporation, a member of the Group, who made the observation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Thursday, noted that there were several indications to show that the country’s economy was beginning to rebound after several months of decline.

She stated: “In our perspective and with the numbers that we have seen coming from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Nigeria’s economy has recorded about one per cent real growth.

Read More

Ajaokuta Steel Company to Function as Private Entity, Says Fayemi

The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi has said that the Ajaokuta Steel Company is to function as a private entity.

A statement made available to journalists by Head of Media to the Minister in Abuja, stated that Fayemi reiterated this position during a facility tour of Abuja Steel Mill complex, a subsidiary of African Steel Company, located along Abuja-Kaduna Road.

Read More

Pensioners storm Finance Ministry, protest 15 months arrears

Retired civil servants yesterday stormed the Finance Ministry over nonpayment of 15 months gratuity under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS). The aggrieved pensioners, numbering about 100, protested on the platform of League of Federal Public Service Contributory Pension Retirees (FPSCPR).

They were armed with placards with various inscriptions, even as they chanted zestful songs of protest. “Ministries of Finance and Budget and National Planning are killing contributory pension scheme”; “Minister of Finance, Minister of National Planning, is it a crime to serve the nation and retire meritoriously?”; “Minister of Finance, stop encouraging corruption. Pay honest retirees their pension”;  “Clear the 15 months backlog now”; and “Refusal to pay pensioners is not change”, some of the placards read.

Read More

FG raises panel to probe Fanta, Sprite content

The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, has set up a panel of experts to investigate the controversies surrounding the level of benzoic and ascorbic acid in the soft drinks being produced by the Nigerian Bottling Company.

Adewole, in a series of tweets on his verified Twitter handle on Thursday, assured Nigerians that the Federal Government had convened a group of experts, including food scientists and nutritionists, to access the safety of preservatives being added to the beverages.

Read More

CBN clears $150m forex forwards

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Wednesday, sold a total of $150 million to authorised forex dealers in the interbank at the highest bid rate of N335/$1 and a marginal rate of N320/$1.

Confirming the details of the sale to the dealers, the Acting Director in charge of Corporate Communications of the apex bank, Isaac Okorafor, said the highest rate of N335 was the same as the last auction rate of March 8, 2017. He, however, added that there was a change in the marginal rate from N315/$1 during the last auction to Wednesday’s marginal rate of N320. The CBN spokesman expressed confidence that the pressure hitherto faced by both small and big-end users would be totally overcome soon.

Read More

‘Forex Volatility Kills Businesses in Nigeria’

President and Chief Executive Officer of Sabre Network NMC West Africa, Gabriel Olowo has said that the instability of the naira over other international currencies has adversely affected many businesses in Nigeria, leading to collapse of indigenous companies and the withdrawal of some multinational organisations from the country.

Olowo who made the remark in an interview with THISDAY in Lagos on Wednesday recalled that Nigeria has had problems with forex, which sometimes affect the country’s international trade.

Read More

$1.2bn loan: Etisalat, banks disagree over naira payment

The consortium of banks that arranged a syndicated loan for Etisalat Nigeria and Abu Dhabi telecoms group are urging its parent company to recapitalise the $1.2 billion loan, but the telco is insisting on the conversion of the $1.2 billion loan to

According to Reuters, the seven-year syndicated loan on which Etisalat Nigeria missed a payment has a dollar component of $235 million, which the telecoms operator wants to convert into naira to overcome its hard currency shortages on Nigeria’s interbank market. Etisalat is asking for us to convert the dollar component to naira but banks don’t want that option and have urged it to talk to its parent company to settle the loan.”

Read More

Enhancing capacity as CIBN hosts world banking institutes

The task of raising capacity in the nation’s financial institutions in line with global best practices has become necessary now than ever, especially with rising debts overhang in the banking industry and the ongoing recession.

But the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) said it has always been ready, particularly as it is saddled with a role in the country’s Financial System Stability 2020 (FSS 2020). It is vested with the responsibility of developing qualified professionals to meet the defined standards and attracting talents to Nigeria, hence it has raised its bar in capacity building.

Read More

Paris Club refund: Buhari orders release of 2nd tranche to states

President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, to immediately release the second tranche of the London-Paris Club refunds to states in order to ease their financial hardships. This was even as he urged state governors to use the money for the settlement of unpaid salaries and pension liabilities of their workers.

Twenty-five per cent of the sum of N552.74 billion (N138.185 billion) being owed the states was released last December to all 33 states entitled to the refund. The refunds arose from claims by states that they had been overcharged in deductions for external debt service between 1995 and 2002. The states were given bail out loans twice to enable those who were behind in payments to their workers, pay up. The first batch of the bail out fund amounting to about N300 billion released in 2015.

Read More

Senate turns back Customs CG Ali over uniform

THE Senate yesterday sent the Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Col. Hameed Ali (rtd), packing from its chamber over his failure to comply with the directive to wear service uniform to the session.

The upper chamber had summoned the Customs boss to appear before it to throw light on the controversial policy on retrospective payment of duty on vehicles. The invitation also mandated the CG to wear Customs uniform. In line with the resolution, Ali appeared yesterday.

Read More

Aero lays off 60% of workforce

Aero Contractors Nigeria Limited has issued letters of redundancy to about 60 per cent of its total workforce.

The airline said it had been grappling with huge and unrealistic personnel costs as well as other operational challenges worsened by lack of enough aircraft to keep all the workers meaningfully engaged. Aero said in a statement issued on Thursday that the issuance of notification of redundancy was a business decision that would ensure its survival.

Read More

Fashola, Adeosun, others for IIM’s economic recovery confab

The Minister of Power, Works & Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, Minister, Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo-Udoma are set for this year’s annual lecture of the Institute of Information Management (IIM).

The lecture is slated for tomorrow at the University of Lagos. Other members of the Federal Executive (FEC) expected at the occasion are the Minister of Industry, Trade & Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, Minister of Solid Minerals, Dr. Kayode Fayemi and the and his counterpart in the  Labour & Employment Ministry, Dr. Chris Ngige.

Read More

Total Recommends Final Dividend of N7 as Profit Hits N147bn

Total Nigeria Plc thursday recommended a final dividend of N7.00 per share for the year ended December 31, 2016, bringing total dividend to N17.00 per share. The company had paid an interim dividend of N10.00 per share before now.

The final dividend, which amount to N2.377 billion would be paid out of a profit after tax of N14.769 billion recorded for the year, indicating a jump of265.6 per cent over the N4.1 billion posted in 2015.

Read More

NLC to Fed Govt: expedite action on minimum wage

The President, Nigeria Labour Congres (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabba, has said Labour may be forced to take action on the issue of mnimum wage. He said this administration was dragging its feet in constituting a tripartite committee as is the practice to negotiate a new minimum wage. Wabba said with  the harsh economic realities and their impact on workers Labour could not wait indefinitely for the government to respond at its own time.

“We have since submitted a request for an upward review of the National Minimum Wage which was signed into law in 2011 by President Goodluck Jonathan, by the administration. Despite that the minimum wage was due for renegotiation after five years, the current administration is dragging its feet in constituting a tripartite committee as is the practice to negotiate a new minimum wage.

Read More

Explore mergers, acquisitions, experts tell domestic airlines

Following the frequency at which domestic airlines go out of business, experts in the sector have said that the option of mergers and acquisitions may be a long lasting solution for airline operators.

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority recently said that in the last 17 years, the number of registered domestic airlines operating in the country had dropped from 150 to about nine. The NCAA said most of the operators collapsed because they were unable to meet the stringent regulatory requirements of the industry.

Read More

FG Urged to Probe Mismanagement of Scanners at Ports

The National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA) has called on the federal government to constitute a committee to probe the breakdown of Scanners at the ports and the need to evaluate them for possible repairs.

In a petition to President Muhammadu Buhari and signed by its national president, Mr. Lucky Amiwero,  the group said the present state of the scanning equipment at the ports was a result of total neglect by the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) personnel who supervised the transfer of the equipment from the providers.

Read More

Comment here

Economic News Update

Economic News Update: 17th March, 2017

CBN injects fresh $100m into forex market

The Central Bank of Nigeria on Thursday said it would on Friday release the sum of $100m to authorised dealers to meet the requests of genuine customers in the interbank segment of the foreign exchange market.

The release of the forex, according to the apex bank, followed bids from authorised dealers for the amount. The CBN Director, Corporate Communications Department, Mr Isaac Okoroafor, while confirming the release in a statement said no intervention was made on Thursday in the market.

Read More

Only 14m Nigerians pay tax –FIRS 

The Federal Government said it is targeting an estimated revenue of $1 billion from the proposed Nigeria Voluntary Asset and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS). The scheme takes off on May 1 for up to six months and will offer a window for those who, before now, have not complied with extant tax regulations to remedy their positions by the provision of limited amnesty to enable voluntary declaration and payment of liabilities.

The scheme will also have incentives in place to encourage early participation. Under the scheme, taxpayers will be allowed up to three years to settle their liabilities. The National Economic Council (NEC) approved the scheme following a briefing by the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adesoun, at the meeting where she stated that the underpayment of tax via the use of tax havens and other evasion strategies, have not been helpful to Nigeria.

Read More

Outage pushes petrol demand to 51.8m litres daily

With a shortfall of 16,256 Megawatts (MW) in electricity requirement in Nigeria, the demand for Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) or petrol has increased astronomically, as national daily average consumption has risen from 40 million litres to 51.8 million litres, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

The increase contradicts the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu’s recent broadcast earlier in the year that the government had succeeded in blocking fraud impacted volumes of PMS consumed daily from 50 million litres to 28 million litres.

Read More

Nigeria to exit recession soon –W’Bank

The World Bank Group, yesterday, hinted Nigeria will soon recover from its current economic recession. Mrs. Eme Essien-Lore, Country Manager in Nigeria, International Finance Corporation, a member of the Group, who made the observation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Thursday, noted that there were several indications to show that the country’s economy was beginning to rebound after several months of decline.

She stated: “In our perspective and with the numbers that we have seen coming from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Nigeria’s economy has recorded about one per cent real growth.

Read More

Ajaokuta Steel Company to Function as Private Entity, Says Fayemi

The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi has said that the Ajaokuta Steel Company is to function as a private entity.

A statement made available to journalists by Head of Media to the Minister in Abuja, stated that Fayemi reiterated this position during a facility tour of Abuja Steel Mill complex, a subsidiary of African Steel Company, located along Abuja-Kaduna Road.

Read More

Pensioners storm Finance Ministry, protest 15 months arrears

Retired civil servants yesterday stormed the Finance Ministry over nonpayment of 15 months gratuity under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS). The aggrieved pensioners, numbering about 100, protested on the platform of League of Federal Public Service Contributory Pension Retirees (FPSCPR).

They were armed with placards with various inscriptions, even as they chanted zestful songs of protest. “Ministries of Finance and Budget and National Planning are killing contributory pension scheme”; “Minister of Finance, Minister of National Planning, is it a crime to serve the nation and retire meritoriously?”; “Minister of Finance, stop encouraging corruption. Pay honest retirees their pension”;  “Clear the 15 months backlog now”; and “Refusal to pay pensioners is not change”, some of the placards read.

Read More

FG raises panel to probe Fanta, Sprite content

The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, has set up a panel of experts to investigate the controversies surrounding the level of benzoic and ascorbic acid in the soft drinks being produced by the Nigerian Bottling Company.

Adewole, in a series of tweets on his verified Twitter handle on Thursday, assured Nigerians that the Federal Government had convened a group of experts, including food scientists and nutritionists, to access the safety of preservatives being added to the beverages.

Read More

CBN clears $150m forex forwards

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Wednesday, sold a total of $150 million to authorised forex dealers in the interbank at the highest bid rate of N335/$1 and a marginal rate of N320/$1.

Confirming the details of the sale to the dealers, the Acting Director in charge of Corporate Communications of the apex bank, Isaac Okorafor, said the highest rate of N335 was the same as the last auction rate of March 8, 2017. He, however, added that there was a change in the marginal rate from N315/$1 during the last auction to Wednesday’s marginal rate of N320. The CBN spokesman expressed confidence that the pressure hitherto faced by both small and big-end users would be totally overcome soon.

Read More

‘Forex Volatility Kills Businesses in Nigeria’

President and Chief Executive Officer of Sabre Network NMC West Africa, Gabriel Olowo has said that the instability of the naira over other international currencies has adversely affected many businesses in Nigeria, leading to collapse of indigenous companies and the withdrawal of some multinational organisations from the country.

Olowo who made the remark in an interview with THISDAY in Lagos on Wednesday recalled that Nigeria has had problems with forex, which sometimes affect the country’s international trade.

Read More

$1.2bn loan: Etisalat, banks disagree over naira payment

The consortium of banks that arranged a syndicated loan for Etisalat Nigeria and Abu Dhabi telecoms group are urging its parent company to recapitalise the $1.2 billion loan, but the telco is insisting on the conversion of the $1.2 billion loan to

According to Reuters, the seven-year syndicated loan on which Etisalat Nigeria missed a payment has a dollar component of $235 million, which the telecoms operator wants to convert into naira to overcome its hard currency shortages on Nigeria’s interbank market. Etisalat is asking for us to convert the dollar component to naira but banks don’t want that option and have urged it to talk to its parent company to settle the loan.”

Read More

Enhancing capacity as CIBN hosts world banking institutes

The task of raising capacity in the nation’s financial institutions in line with global best practices has become necessary now than ever, especially with rising debts overhang in the banking industry and the ongoing recession.

But the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) said it has always been ready, particularly as it is saddled with a role in the country’s Financial System Stability 2020 (FSS 2020). It is vested with the responsibility of developing qualified professionals to meet the defined standards and attracting talents to Nigeria, hence it has raised its bar in capacity building.

Read More

Paris Club refund: Buhari orders release of 2nd tranche to states

President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, to immediately release the second tranche of the London-Paris Club refunds to states in order to ease their financial hardships. This was even as he urged state governors to use the money for the settlement of unpaid salaries and pension liabilities of their workers.

Twenty-five per cent of the sum of N552.74 billion (N138.185 billion) being owed the states was released last December to all 33 states entitled to the refund. The refunds arose from claims by states that they had been overcharged in deductions for external debt service between 1995 and 2002. The states were given bail out loans twice to enable those who were behind in payments to their workers, pay up. The first batch of the bail out fund amounting to about N300 billion released in 2015.

Read More

Senate turns back Customs CG Ali over uniform

THE Senate yesterday sent the Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Col. Hameed Ali (rtd), packing from its chamber over his failure to comply with the directive to wear service uniform to the session.

The upper chamber had summoned the Customs boss to appear before it to throw light on the controversial policy on retrospective payment of duty on vehicles. The invitation also mandated the CG to wear Customs uniform. In line with the resolution, Ali appeared yesterday.

Read More

Aero lays off 60% of workforce

Aero Contractors Nigeria Limited has issued letters of redundancy to about 60 per cent of its total workforce.

The airline said it had been grappling with huge and unrealistic personnel costs as well as other operational challenges worsened by lack of enough aircraft to keep all the workers meaningfully engaged. Aero said in a statement issued on Thursday that the issuance of notification of redundancy was a business decision that would ensure its survival.

Read More

Fashola, Adeosun, others for IIM’s economic recovery confab

The Minister of Power, Works & Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, Minister, Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo-Udoma are set for this year’s annual lecture of the Institute of Information Management (IIM).

The lecture is slated for tomorrow at the University of Lagos. Other members of the Federal Executive (FEC) expected at the occasion are the Minister of Industry, Trade & Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, Minister of Solid Minerals, Dr. Kayode Fayemi and the and his counterpart in the  Labour & Employment Ministry, Dr. Chris Ngige.

Read More

Total Recommends Final Dividend of N7 as Profit Hits N147bn

Total Nigeria Plc thursday recommended a final dividend of N7.00 per share for the year ended December 31, 2016, bringing total dividend to N17.00 per share. The company had paid an interim dividend of N10.00 per share before now.

The final dividend, which amount to N2.377 billion would be paid out of a profit after tax of N14.769 billion recorded for the year, indicating a jump of265.6 per cent over the N4.1 billion posted in 2015.

Read More

NLC to Fed Govt: expedite action on minimum wage

The President, Nigeria Labour Congres (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabba, has said Labour may be forced to take action on the issue of mnimum wage. He said this administration was dragging its feet in constituting a tripartite committee as is the practice to negotiate a new minimum wage. Wabba said with  the harsh economic realities and their impact on workers Labour could not wait indefinitely for the government to respond at its own time.

“We have since submitted a request for an upward review of the National Minimum Wage which was signed into law in 2011 by President Goodluck Jonathan, by the administration. Despite that the minimum wage was due for renegotiation after five years, the current administration is dragging its feet in constituting a tripartite committee as is the practice to negotiate a new minimum wage.

Read More

Explore mergers, acquisitions, experts tell domestic airlines

Following the frequency at which domestic airlines go out of business, experts in the sector have said that the option of mergers and acquisitions may be a long lasting solution for airline operators.

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority recently said that in the last 17 years, the number of registered domestic airlines operating in the country had dropped from 150 to about nine. The NCAA said most of the operators collapsed because they were unable to meet the stringent regulatory requirements of the industry.

Read More

FG Urged to Probe Mismanagement of Scanners at Ports

The National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA) has called on the federal government to constitute a committee to probe the breakdown of Scanners at the ports and the need to evaluate them for possible repairs.

In a petition to President Muhammadu Buhari and signed by its national president, Mr. Lucky Amiwero,  the group said the present state of the scanning equipment at the ports was a result of total neglect by the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) personnel who supervised the transfer of the equipment from the providers.

Read More

Comment here