Fitch revises Nigeria’s outlook to negative
Fitch Ratings yesterday revised the Outlook on Nigeria’s Long-Term Foreign and Local Currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) to negative from stable and affirmed the IDRs at ‘B+’. The issue ratings on Nigeria’s senior unsecured foreign currency bonds have also been affirmed at ‘B+’. The country ceiling has been affirmed at ‘B+’ and the short-term foreign and local currency IDRs have been affirmed at ‘B’.
The revision of the outlook reflects tight forex liquidity and low oil production that contributed to the country’s first recession since 1994. The economy contracted through the first three quarters of last year and Fitch estimates gross domestic product (GDP) growth of -1.5 per cent last year as a whole.
Fashola explains why Nigerians are experiencing power outages
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, on Wednesday attributed the collapse being witnessed in the power sector to liquidity problems and vandalism of key facilities, among others. Fashola spoke at a press briefing at the end of a meeting of the Federal Executive Council presided over by the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.
He was accompanied by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed. Fashola identified one of the problems as liquidity challenge, saying gas suppliers had not been fully paid, therefore causing back and forth between the electricity distribution and generation companies.
Cement industries can now source gypsum locally – RMRDC
RAW Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC), said yesterday, that cement industries can now source gypsum from local miners. The Director General, Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC), Dr. Hussaini Doko Ibrahim, disclosed this at a press briefing for the Nigeria Raw Material Expo (NIRAM) and the Nigeria Manufacturing & Equipment Expo (NME) in Lagos.
Guinness gets shareholders’ nod to raise N40b rights issue
Shareholders of Guinness Nigeria Plc, yesterday approved the plan by the board to raise a total of N40 billion by way of rights issue to the existing shareholders.
This is the first offer in the market for the year, and already there are scepticisms about the ability of the shareholders to fully subscribe to the offer, given the prevailing economic recession. This is particularly so given the very high inflation of about 18.5 percent and weakening purchasing power, thereby compounding the illiquidity in the stock market.
Electricity: Consumers groan as power firms, others trade blame
Power consumers in Nigeria are unhappy with the abysmal supply of electricity from the distribution and generation companies across the country. The latest data from the Power System Operator on Wednesday showed that electricity generation was still low as the country generated 2,815.1 megawatts on Tuesday, a development that resulted in outages in many parts of Nigeria.
Stockbrokers seek extension of grace for recapitalization
STOCKBROKING firms under the aegis of Association of Stockbroking Houses of Nigeria, ASHON, have appealed to the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, to extend the grace period for recapitalization by another three months. SEC had, last month, sanctioned some stockbroking firms who were unable to meet its deadline for recapitalisation having given them three months grace period to comply with the new minimum capital base requirement and the Minimum Operating Standards, MOS.
NNPC lacks oil trading skills, says GMD
The Group Managing of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Dr. Maikanti Baru, on Wednesday said the firm lacked international oil trading skills.
According to him, several attempts made by the national oil firm’s management in the past to have a stronghold on oil trading have not yielded the expected dividend. This, he said, was because the corporation relied on the so-called big trading companies to transfer skills to its employees during routine secondments.
CBN sold $1.1bn to importers in Nov 2016
THE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), yesterday, said that it sold $1.1billion to 4,328 firms in November with Crown Flour Mills and five fuel importers receiving the largest share. The apex bank which revealed this in its report on foreign exchange utilisation for the month of November 2016 on its website, indicated that 20 firms received the largest share of $322.79 million, led by Crown Flour Mills which got $52.5 million through Access Bank and Coronation Merchant Bank for importation of Russian wheat.
NEITI unveils roadmap to accountability, transparency
The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has unveiled two documents designed to enhance transparency and accountability in the extractive industries.
NEITI, which made this disclosure in a statement signed by its Communication Director, Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, was quoted as saying that the document seeks to outline Nigeria’s strategy towards the implementation and fulfillment of Requirement 2.5 of the EITI standard which among other things, demands public disclosures of the real owners of oil, gas and mining companies that operate in Nigeria.
OPEC, non-OPEC Joint committee praised for output cut
The Joint Organisation of Petroleum exporting Countries (OPEC), and the non-OPEC Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC) have commended members’ compliance with the oil production cut that has boosted price.
At its inaugural meeting at the OPEC Secretariat in Vienna, Austria, chaired by the Minister of Oil, Electricity and Water, Kuwait, Issam A. Almarzooq, the JMMC agreed to facilitate the exchange of joint analyses and outlooks, which will provide valuable input to the evaluation of the conformity.
Fast-track infrastructure projects in Nigeria, FG begs China
The Federal Government on Wednesday called on the Chinese Government and private companies handling key infrastructural development projects in Nigeria to speed up the execution of such in order to accelerate the nation’s quest for economic recovery and rapid industrialisation.
The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, made the request in Abuja when a Chinese business delegation led by the country’s Ambassador to Nigeria, Zhou Pingian, met him in his office.
NLNG’s vessel with 13,000mt of cooking gas berths in Lagos
Avessel chartered by the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG) and laden with 13,126.6 metric tons of cooking gas or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) will today berth in Lagos for discharge in continuation of the firm’s efforts to ease scarcity and reduce the price of the commodity that is currently between N5,000 and N6,000 for a 12.5kg cylinder depending on the area of purchase.
The General Manager, External Relations, Kudo Eresia-Eke said the vessel – Gaz Providence, as at yesterday was at Lagos offshore, alongside the NOJ jetty waiting for berth to clear before proceeding to discharge and will certainly berth today.
CBN Moves To Clear Backlog Dollar Demand By Fuel Importers, Others
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has called on all commercial banks in the country to submit the backlog of dollar demands from fuel importers, airlines, manufacturers of raw-material and agricultural chemicals and machinery for manufacturers. The CBN in a memo to the banks asked the banks to bid in a special currency auction to clear the buildup of dollar obligations owed the operators in the various sectors, Reuters reported on Wednesday.
Although they did not specify the amount of dollar to be sold to the banks, some of the traders who spoke on the issue quoted the apex bank as saying it would hold a retail foreign exchange auction yesterday to sell two- to five-month dollar forwards to clear the outstanding dollar demands.
No steady power supply unless tariff rises – NERC
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission on Wednesday declared that without an increase in electricity tariff payable by consumers or an intervention in form of subsidy from the Federal Government to the power firms, the country would not be able to get the steady power supply.
But NERC’s position was rejected by members of the Senate Committee on Privatisation, who were at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja on an oversight visit.
Fraud: Financial institutions’ staff to adopts whistle blowing
FOLLOWING growing complaints by customers of financial institutions especially banks as well as fraud reports from the regulatory authorities, senior officers of the sector under the umbrella trade union, the Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions (ASSBIFI) may have begun the process of deploying whistle blowing windows in addressing the issues.