Employers pay N5.2bn fine for not remitting workers’ pension contributions
Some employers of labour have paid N5.2bn as fines for their failure to remit the pension deductions of their workers under the Contributory Pension Scheme into their respective Retirement Savings Accounts with their Pension Fund Administrators, investigation has revealed.
According to a report on unremitted pension funds obtained by our correspondent, the National Pension Commission also recovered N6.2bn unremitted pension contributions from the concerned employers.
NIRSAL Targets N60bn in Fresh Bank Lending, Private Capital to Agriculture
In continuation of its drive towards de-risking agriculture and facilitating agribusiness aimed at attaining sustainable flow of finance to private sector, the Nigerian Incentive Based Risk Sharing for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) has stated that one of its key priorities for the year 2017 is to leverage 10 times the value of its balance sheet in fresh commercial bank lending to agriculture.
We won’t change forex policy, says CBN
The Central Bank of Nigeria on Thursday stated that no amount of criticism and blackmail from “self-centred individuals” would make it change its current flexible foreign exchange rate policy.
The apex bank said this in a statement titled: ‘Nigeria’s current economic situation: Our case’, signed by its Acting Director, Corporate Communications Department, Mr. Isaac Okorafor.
No one can force Buhari to talk, says presidency
President Muhammadu Buhari is not ill and admitted in any hospital in London as being speculated. But he cannot be forced to speak to Nigerians, the presidency declared yesterday.
The clarification came amid rumours that Buhari is critically down with an undisclosed sickness that may lead to his death. But according to the presidency, Buhari is in London on vacation.
Import Tariffs, Excise Duties and FG’s Revenue Projections
Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun’s announcement of import tariff hike on selected consumables and luxury products such as rice, salt, sugarcane and SUVs, boats, sports cars and tobacco products was welcomed as a complement to the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN)’s forex prohibition list. In an economic recession, what better way to quickly halt the downturn and ensure the country’s production base is not damaged?
It is to impose higher taxes on lifestyle and luxury goods, while encouraging the local production of staples and other consumables particularly those that the country has comparative advantage in producing.
We won’t abandon economic recovery plan – Udoma
The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, has said that there is a strong political will on the part of the Federal Government to implement the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.
Udoma said that the plan, which will be launched by President Muhammadu Buhari next month, was vital as it would help to restructure and reset the economy on the path of growth.
Manufacturers still depend on black market for forex, says MAN
Despite the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) selling $1.1billion to 4,328 firms in November under its foreign exchange allocation guideline, manufacturers have decried non-implementation of the 60 per cent allocation directive given by the apex bank to commercial banks.
According to the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), there are concerns over the non-implementation of the apex bank’s directive as manufacturers are yet to get access to the much needed foreign exchange to boost their operations.
External reserves rise by 12% in three weeks
The country’s external reserves increased by 12 per cent within a period of three weeks, it has been learnt. The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, had on Tuesday said the country’s external reserves had hit $28.9bn.
This means that the reserves have increased by $3.1bn within the first three weeks of this year. This is approximately a 12 per cent increase when compared to the $25.8bn the reserves recorded on the last day of 2016. However, on the CBN website, the reserves rose to $27.82bn on January 25 from $27.76 on January 24, after hitting $27.69 on January 23.
There will be no reduction on petrol price, says PPPRA
Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), has said there is no going back on the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) also known as petrol, saying that under current realities, it should have been higher.
PPPRA’s defence follows recent allegations by the House of Representative, accusing the Agency of impoverishing Nigerians by making them incur unnecessary costs in its pricing template. But the Agency said it cannot be held responsible for the prevailing pump prices for petroleum products, as it cannot on its own determine the pricing template.
Recession: Number of passengers travelling by air falls
The Managing Director, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, Mr. Saleh Dunoma, has said that the number of people travelling by air in the country has dropped due to the current economic recession.
Dunoma, who spoke at the 2nd quadrennial national delegates’ conference of the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association in Ijebu Ode, Ogun State, said the situation called for collaboration among stakeholders in the industry to restore the aviation sector to profitability.
‘Bank of Industry funds bankable ventures not religious activities’
To address concerns and misrepresentation of intent among stakeholders, the Bank of Industry (BoI) has reaffirmed its mandate of supporting only bankable ventures that aid industrial growth and promote economic development.
The Bank, while reacting to reports in sections of the social media on its purported partnership with religious institutions, explained that BoI has never financed any empowerment programme by religious institutions neither did it participate in the programme being referenced.
60% forex allocation to manufacturers poorly implemented – MAN
The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria has faulted the implementation of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s directive on 60 per cent forex allocation to manufacturers, describing it as very poor.
The President of the association, Dr. Frank Jacobs, stated this in Lagos on Thursday during the MAN Annual Media Luncheon. MAN, Kwara and Kogi branch also on Thursday urged the Federal Government to boost industrialisation of Nigeria through good policies.
Nigeria okays WTO trade pact
Nigeria has ratified the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA),this makes her the 107th World Trade Organisation (WTO) member to endorse the agreement, the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, has said.
The minister’s Strategic Communications Adviser, Constance Ikokwu, in a statement in Lagos, said Enelamah submitted Nigeria’s instrument of acceptance to WTO Director-General Mr. Roberto Azevêdo at the just-concluded World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland.
Government may miss oil revenue target in 2017 budget
Revenue from crude oil may drop further from the $41.8 billion in 2016 to $38.5 billion (N1.174 trillion) this year. At yesterday’s Brent crude price of $55.53 and with an improved production of 1.9 million barrels per day, the country is expected to earn N1.174 trillion by the end of 2017 if prices do not fall.
This is below the N1.985 trillion, which the Federal Government expects from crude oil sales to finance the 2017 budget. The current outlook will impact negatively the Federal Government’s capacity to deliver infrastructural projects, which have been mapped out for execution this year.
Budget 2017: Saraki seeks equitable distribution of projects
Senate President, Bukola Saraki, yesterday urged Senate standing committees to ensure equitable distribution of projects in budget 2017.
He spoke while committing the 2017 Appropriation Bill to the Appropriation Committee after a three-day debate of the general principles of the fiscal document. Saraki noted that only equitable distribution of projects would assuage the feeling of those who felt that their zones were not adequately represented in the budget.
CIBN Set to Make Record as Host of WCBI
Come April 24, the Chartered Institute of Bankers Nigeria (CIBN) will play host to thousands of participants from over a 100 organisations and banking institutes across the globe that will converge in the commercial city for the 22nd edition of the World Conference of Banking Institutes (WCBI), scheduled to hold from April 24 – 28, 2017 at Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria.
The CIBN won the rights to host the biennial conference for all banking institutes across the globe on April 7, 2015 after it was unanimously voted in Seoul, South Korea, at the 21st edition of the Conference organised by the Korea Institute of Bankers.
‘States’ revenue crisis will persist over recession’
Revenue-induced economic setbacks among Nigeria’s federating states may be far from over, as federal allocations remain low, while businesses face the challenge of recession, leading to failing tax earnings for government. The situation would sustain and aggravate development challenges in majority of the states, where physical infrastructure and provision of social services are near non-existent, as well as non-payment of salaries.
The Partner, Tax and Regulatory Services at Deloitte Nigeria, Lagos, Abayomi Olugbenro, warned that the troubling operating environment would reflect in the revenue of state governments and the Value Added Tax (VAT).
Don’t Relocate Your Headquarters From Rivers , Peterside Begs Shell
The director-general of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Adol Peterside, has appealed to the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) not to relocate its corporate headquarters from Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital.
The appeal came following a petition to the National Assembly, by the Rivers State government on Wednesday, through its Attorney-General, Mr. Emmanuel Aguma, over the planned relocation of SPDC headquarters from Port Harcourt to Lagos State. Speaking to newsmen in Port Harcourt yesterday, Peterside, stated that if the petition of the state government against Shell is true, then it portends grave consequences for the state.
Govt ‘ll support SMEs, says Osinbajo
Vice President Prof Yemi Osinbajo has reinstated the commitment of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s led administration to support the Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) in Abia and other states of the federation to grow the country’s economy.
He stated this while flagging off the Nationwide Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Clinics for Viable Enterprises (MSME) in Aba, the commercial hub of Abia State.