Naira appreciates further, sells at N425/dollar in parallel market
The naira continued to regain strength and appreciate in value in the parallel market on Tuesday as it was sold for N425 to a dollar. However, it was N450 to a dollar at the close of transactions on Monday. At the Bureau De Change market in Abuja on Tuesday BDC operators bought at the rate of N415 and sold at N425.
The BDC operators bought the Pound Sterling at N500 and sold at N510, while the Euro was bought for N420 and sold for N425. For the inter-bank rate, the dollar exchanged for N331.6, Euro 335.75, while the pound exchanged for N394.25
BoI, Benue Govt Increase SME Funding to N4bn
The Benue State Government and the Bank of Industry (BoI) have agreed to increase the base lending fund to small medium enterprises (SMEs) to N4billion in order to spur rapid economic development in the state. Already, there’s a N2billion-matching fund contributed by both parties for the provision of concessional financial assistance to entrepreneurs operating in the state.
The acting Managing Director of BoI, Mr. Waheed Olagunju said at the official commissioning of the bank’s branch office in Makurdi, that the Benue State Governor, Mr. Samuel Otorm had further agreed to raise the fund to N4 billion.
SEC seeks international collaboration on mergers, acquisitions
The Securities and Exchange Commission has expressed its readiness to collaborate with relevant international agencies to ensure that the growth of merger and acquisition options in the country is sustained.
The Director-General, SEC, Mounir Gwarzo, stated this when he received a delegation of experts in mergers and acquisitions from the United States of America and South Africa, led by Molly Askin in Abuja on Tuesday.
South Africa’s Nedbank Slashes Value of Ecobank Stake
South Africa’s Nedbank booked a $293 million writedown on the value of its stake in sub-Saharan lender Ecobank on Tuesday and reported its slowest growth in annual profit since 2009.
Ecobank Transnational Incorporation’s operations in central and west Africa are exposed to some economies that have been pressured by the commodity price slide and unfavourable currency swings since Nedbank bought a 20 percent stake for $500 million in 2014.
Local debts killing economy, Senate tells FG
The Senate, on Tuesday, asked the Federal Government to settle all its debts to local contractors in the interest of Nigeria’s economy.
The upper chamber of the National Assembly, specifically, “Urge the Federal Government to appraise its indebtedness to the local contractors; and urge the Federal Government to propose a framework and repayment plan for servicing of these debts.”
Stakeholders Bullish on Green Bond as Global Demand Hits $60trn
Stakeholders in the Nigerian capital market have said the bid by the federal government to raise funds through Green Bonds issuance would be successful given the high demand for the instrument by investors globally.
The federal government is planning to raise N20 billion via Green Bond before the end of the first quarter to fund projects that have environmental benefits. As part of the programmers, leading to the bond issuance, the Green Bonds Capital and Investors Conference was organised last week in Lagos by the Federal Ministry of the Environment, Federal Ministry of Finance and the Debt Management Office (DMO).
Recession: Acquisitions, mergers loom in insurance sector
The Nigerian insurance sector is set to enter a period of consolidation as insurers struggle to raise cash to meet new regulatory requirements amid the worst economic recession in over two decades.
With markets largely shut for companies to raise equity or debt, takeovers by foreign insurers or mergers between smaller local firms seeking to grow are among the best ways for underwriters to bolster capital levels so that they can take on more risk, Bloomberg quoted the Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Insurance Association, Olorundare Thomas, as saying.
Communications Minister, CPC Seek Synergy to Curb Telecom Abuses
Minister of Communications Technology, Mr. Adebayo Shittu has called for closer ties between his Ministry and the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) in order to save Nigerians from increasing consumer abuses in the telecommunications sector.
Speaking in Abuja when the Director General of CPC, Mrs. Dupe Atoki led the agency’s Management team on a courtesy call on him, Shittu said the collaboration has become necessary given that Information Communication Technology, particularly telecoms, has the greatest impact on the Nigerian consumer community.
NAFDAC, SON reduce approval time for MSMEs
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control and the Standards Organisation of Nigeria have resolved to considerably reduce the period of granting approval to Medium Small and Micro Enterprises.
This is in consonance with the Federal Government’s resolve to improve the ease of doing business in the country as well as encourage MSMEs.
Flour Mills: Still Burdened by High Operating Costs
Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc (FMN) has suffered significant reduction in revenue and profitability in recent times due to high cost of doing business. While all manufacturing firms groan under the negative impact of poor infrastructure, rising inflation, poor energy supply, some are worst hit due to their heavy reliance on borrowings to finance their operations.
FMN is one of such firms whose performances are affected by high costs of borrowings. Although FMN recorded an impressive growth in revenue for the nine months ended December 31, 2016, high financing and other operating costs have, again, depressed its bottom-line.
Petroleum products’ importation a fraud, must end –Kachikwu
The importation of petroleum products into the country is a fraud and must be put to an end if the nation is to make progress in the oil and gas sector, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has said.
According to him, aside the fact that it is a shame that Nigeria has been importing finished petroleum products over the years despite having abundant oil resources, the system has been opaque for a long period.
Manufacturers deploy resources to farming over raw materials’ scarcity
Despite the resolve to substitute importation through local production, lack of access to raw materials may have driven many manufacturers into farming and value-chain activities outside their core competence, The Guardian has learnt.
According to the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), dollarization of locally sourced raw materials needed for production has further increased the burden of many local producers as they have had to further invest in primary activities and increased infrastructural spending outside the core business.
Economy shrank by -1.5% in 2016 – NBS
The National Bureau of Statistics on Tuesday released the Gross Domestic Product growth rate for the country, with the economy recording a contraction of -1.3 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2016 and – 1.5 per cent for the year.
The NBS explained that in real terms, the economy recorded a decline of N240.8bn from N18.53tn in the fourth quarter of 2015 to N18.29tn in the fourth quarter of last year.
N6bn vehicles rot in Customs warehouses
Seized vehicles with Duty Paid Value (DPV) worth over N6 billion are rotting away in various Customs warehouses and premises across the country following the suspension of auction by its management since August 2015. The vehicles numbering over 2,000 units, most of which were seized by Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) as part of its anti-smuggling drive, have started depreciating in value. Some of the vehicles were impounded along some inter-state highways when their owners could not produce proofs of Customs duty payment.
However, while the vehicles, which include cars, buses, trucks and tankers were intercepted during attempts to smuggle them into Nigeria, others were seized for being used to convey smuggled items. Hameed Ali, a retired army colonel and Controller General of Customs suspended auction of seized goods upon taking charge of the NCS in August 2015.
Grimaldi introduces new e-payment options for port users
For easy payment, Grimaldi Agency Nigeria Limited has developed and introduced multiple payment options for port users. The Deputy Managing Director, Grimaldi Agency Nigeria, Nitin Senan, who disclosed this recently, said the shipping agency’s customers can now obtain and pay provisional invoices at any quick teller enabled ATM machines and select banking platforms.
“Grimaldi remains at the forefront of innovative solutions for the Nigerian shipping industry. We had introduced e-bill payment solution a year ago successfully. Now we are pleased to advise that customers can pay our provisional invoices at any quick teller enabled ATM machine as well,” Senan said.
Local contractors’ debts hit N2trn
The Senate, yesterday, revealed that local contractors’ debt in the country has risen to over N2 trillion. The debts, the Senate noted, are those owed contractors operating in the oil and gas sector, as well as others in the pharmaceutical industry. This is even as the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, warned that the inability of the Federal Government to repay its debts would adversely affect the economy.
Saraki noted that, “the inability of the government to pay its debts will have serious impacts on our economy. In a motion entitled, “The urgent need for the Federal Government to redeem local contractors’ debts” and sponsored by Senator Oluremi Tinubu, the Senate expressed worry that the inability of the Federal Government to repay these debts was negatively affecting the economy.
NAFDAC busts forgery syndicate linked to Indians, Mexicans
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control says it has arrested some members of a syndicate who specialise in the forgery of NAFDAC numbers, certificates and documents of other government agencies.
Disclosing this to the media in Lagos on Tuesday, the Acting Director-General, NAFDAC, Mrs. Yetunde Oni, who was represented by the Director of Enforcement, Mr. Kingsley Ejiofor, said among the documents recovered from the suspects were certificate of registration bearing forged signature of the acting DG of NAFDAC; documents from government agencies, including the Corporate Affairs Commission, Federal Inland Revenue Service, Federal Ministry of Justice and Federal High Court; as well as a payment verification form from a non-existent Barclays Bank.
$68bn telecoms investment under threat
Despite a recent positive assessment of the Nigeria telecoms sector by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) as the fastest growing industry, emerging economic trends appear to be working against an estimated $68 billion investment by stakeholders.
Among its many challenges, stakeholders in the industry believe that dollar instability may spell doom for the almost established industry, if care is not taken. They expressed concern over the rate at which the dollar is fluctuating, saying it is affecting network expansion and resulting in many more dropped calls, adding that undirected and congested data traffic may be experienced by subscribers. They also noted that there is a decline in telecommunications subscribers as against the monthly growth.
Government, Turkish investors partner to revive moribund Sokoto factory
Conducting the visiting investors round the factory, Managing Director of Sokoto Investment Company, Aliyu Bala Sokoto, said government is determined to bring the company back to its former glory.
“We are talking with the Turkish investors, under the auspices of the MUSIAD Group, with a view to collaborating in various sectors. Apart from our understanding on the furniture company, we are also working on establishment of a light tractor and agricultural implements assembly plant as well technical partnership on women empowerment through skills transfer,” he said in a statement made available to The Guardian.
FG to enforce buying of ‘Made in Nigeria’ products
The Federal Government says it has put plans in motion to enforce the buying of Nigerian products by government agencies. The Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said that the Act establishing the Bureau of Public Procurements would be reviewed to enforce the buying of Nigerian products which would, in turn, boost the economy.
Mohammed said this on Monday at a town hall meeting held at Umuahia on Monday. He said, “Talking about Made-in-Nigeria products, let me use this important national platform to announce that the Federal Executive Council has already approved measures to sensitise Nigerians to patronise such products.
Dangote exports 400,000 metric tons cement
Following continuous increase in its production capacity, foremost cement manufacturer, Dangote cement Plc has finally ended the era of Nigeria’s dependence on importation as the company exported 0.4 million tons of the product to other countries in 2016.
In its 2016 full year audited results presented on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) in Lagos yesterday, Dangote Cement sold 8.6 million metric tons of cement outside Nigeria, which is 54 per cent more than what was sold in 2015.
Development Bank positioned to catalyse SMEs’ growth, says Adeosun
The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun has stated that the Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN) is being positioned to galvanise the Small and Medium Scale Enterprises sector for the overall development of the nation’s economy.
According to her, the present administration is aware of the role of SMEs in national economy, hence the resolve to position the DBN as a catalyst for the development of the SMEs, noting that the wide range of SMEs is a reflection of the nation’s economic diversity.
SMEs plead for forex rules’ relaxation
Association of Micro Entrepreneurs of Nigeria (AMEN), President Saviour Iche has called on the government to relax foreign exchange rules hindering small businesses from importing critical production raw materials .
Speaking with The Nation, Iche said businesses have been hampered by a number of factors this year – from rising raw materials prices, to dwindling industrial output attributed to the depreciation of the Naira against US dollar. Iche expressed fears that the sector was not expecting a robust economic growth over the long term, with the difficulties experienced by businesses depending on foreign sourced raw materials to produce goods at prices affordable to Nigerians.