Leveraging on trade facilitation to grow Nigeria’s economy
Nigeria took a major step in its commitment to improve ease of doing business through trade facilitation on January 20 2017, when it submitted the instrument of acceptance of World Trade Organisation’s Protocol on Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) on the sideline of World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Nigeria’s Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Okechukwu Enelamah submitted Nigeria’s instrument to the Director General of WTO, Roberto Azevêdo at an event to mark the deposit.
CBN Raises N177bn Via Treasury Bills At 18.5%
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday raised N177.22 billion through the sale of a one-year treasury bill with yields matching the inflation rate in the country to lure investors. With inflation figure for December 2016 put at 18.55 per cent, the apex bank sold the one-year bill yielded 18.54 percent, far higher than the central bank’s benchmark interest rate of 14 percent.
Yesterday’s auction was the third this year at which the apex bank has offered the one-year bill at a yield of above 18 percent. The central bank had previously sold short-term debt at yields below inflation for months. The sale drew subscriptions of almost four times the amount initially targeted and the issue amount was increased. December’s inflation reading marked the 11th monthly rise in a row and was more than an 11-year high.
Aso Rock yet to get N5.7bn from 2016 budget
The State House has said, it is yet to receive about N5.745 billion of its 2016 budget representing 52.5 per cent of N10.9 billion approved. The Villa said it has so far received a total of N5.196 billion as capital release from the 2016 budget amounting to 47.5 per cent of its budget.
This was disclosed on Thursday by the Permanent Secretary, Jalal Arabi, to members of the House Committee on Special Duties during their oversight visit to the State House, Abuja. According to Arabi, the released amount of N4.8 billion (93.1 per cent) has so far been expended on the projects for which the funds were tied and released.
FG To Retain 75% Import Duty Rebate At Oil And Gas Free Zones
The managing director of the Oil and Gas Free Zones Authority (OGFZA),Mr Umana Okon Umana has given the assurance that government will retain incentives that have been put in place to attract investment in the oil and gas free zones across the country. He said the incentives were specifically designed to support investors operating in the zones.
Speaking during official visit to Indorama and Brawal offices in Onne, Rivers State, Umana commended the companies for their show of strong confidence in the nation’s economy and pledged to create the enabling environment for Brawal, a free zone developer, and Indorama, a free zone investor, to optimize returns on their investments.
Investors seek regulatory action over N4.8b investment fraud
Over 300 investors of Partnership Investment Plc whose stocks total N4.8 billion have urged the nation’s capital market regulator to ‘wield the big stick’ and ensure that investors are protected from suffering losses arising from fraudulent actions.The investors who used partnership Securities Limited as their broker were persuaded by the company to deposit their portfolio with the Partnership Securities Deposit Account (PSDA) for trading activities.
PSDA allows investors to deposit their portfolio with the company for trading while the company pays the investor interest for the use of his shares. Also, the value of the shares in terms of dividend is maintained while the usual tenor of such investments is 365 days.
NECA to CBN: obey N50 stamp duty ruling
The Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to comply with the Court of Appeal’s ruling stopping the deduction of N50 stamp from deposits of N1000 and above.
In January, last year, CBN directed banks to deduct duty from deposit of N1,000 and above into current account. Last April 21, the appeal court ordered that the deductions be stopped, because they were illegal. NECA Director-General Mr. Segun Oshinowo accused CBN of not complying with the ruling. He said the deduction affected corporate bodies, among others.
FCMB partners CBN, others on export trade
First City Monument Bank Limited says it has partnered the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigerian Export Promotion Council as well as the Nigerian Export-Import Bank to boost export trade as the country steps up efforts to diversify the economy.
In a statement on Thursday, the lender said the partnership which included the Nigeria Customs Service and 3T Impex Trade Academy, was aimed at further empowering and enhancing the capacity of its customers and other stakeholders on the rudiments and benefits of export trade.
Forex ban on 41 items stays, says CBN
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has rejected calls by the Organised Private Sector (OPS) to reverse its foreign exchange (forex) ban on 41 goods, which the country can produce. The CBN said it would continue to support the real sector rather than lift the ban.
CBN’s Acting Director, Corporate Communications, Mr. Isaac Okoroafor, said despite criticisms, CBN would not drop the policy nor bow to “self-serving” interests. “We have observed with great concern the continued and unwarranted attack on our policies by a group of Nigerians, whose real interests, findings have shown, are anything near altruistic, but rather self-serving and unpatriotic,” Okoroafor said.
FG awards contract for dredging of River Benue
The Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, has confirmed that the Federal Government has awarded contract for the dredging of the critical part of River Benue. Amaechi, who disclosed this at the 2017 budget defence before members of the Senate Committee on Marine Transport yesterday in Abuja, said that work will soon commence on the project.
He said the project was a fall out of the decision of the Federal Government to maximise the use of the resources of 12 major rivers in the country. The Minister said that the capital dredging of the Lower River Niger from Warri to Baro, covering a distance of 572 kilometers had also commenced.Read More
Airport Closure: Security Committee Assures Passengers Of Safety
The security sub-committee for the closure of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja has assured passengers and travellers of adequate security during the closure of the Abuja airport and temporalmovement to Kaduna. Speaking during the inauguration of the Security sub-committee by the minister of state, Aviation, Hadi Sirika, the chairman of the committee, AIG Alkali Baba Usman said, “There will be air surveillance, motorised patrol, providing the rail tracks with necessary security from and to Kaduna.”
On logistics needed to ensure the desired security, he said: “We require patrol vehicles and the vehicles will need to be fuelled,serviced and we require dry ration for officers who will be on special duty and other things.”
Weighing the options for infrastructure financing
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has never stopped declaring his confidence that the economy would bounce back. At local and international fora, he spoke of the Buhari administration’s commitment to pulling the economy out of recession, hinging his optimism on massive investment in infrastructure.
For instance, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Osinbajo said: ‘’The Muhammadu Buhari administration is committed to investing more in infrastructure than in previous times by ensuring that 30 per cent of the budget goes into capital expenditure”.
SEC bans Okumagba, Edozie for life
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), has slammed a life ban on Mr Albert Okumagba, the group Managing Director, BGL Group and his deputy, Mr Chibundu Edozie. A statement pasted on the commission’s website on Wednesday said SEC has also cancelled the licenses of Assets Management Limited and BGL Securities Ltd belonging to Okumagba.
It said the duo were also banned from ever holding office in any public company in the country. The commission said that these were the final decisions of the SEC Administrative Proceedings Committee (APC) in the matter of APC/1/2015: Rivers State Ministry of Finance & 31 Others V. BGL Plc & 31 Others.
UNCTAD worried about Nigeria’s recovery as capital importation slumps
Despite a slump in the nation’s capital imports to a nine-year low in 2016 to $5.12 billion from $9.64 billion in 2015, there are indications that 2016 may not be entirely bad in the area of foreign direct investments for the country as it is for other countries as inflows hit $1.044 billion.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), capital importation into Nigeria fell 47 percent last year to $5.12 billion, largely because the weak currency meant fewer dollars were required for the same naira investment from $9.64 billion imported in 2015.
Stockbroker in N4.8bn share scam, remanded in Ikoyi prison
The Managing Director of Partnership Inves-tment Company Plc has been arraigned before a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria.
He was remanded in Ikoyi Prison following his arrest and arraignment. His arrest, arraignment and remand in Ikoyi Prison were sequel to a petition by the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), which accused him of fraudulent misappropriation of the sum of N 1,237,245,000 and US$80,000.00. and for sundry offences including stealing and dishonest conversion of proceeds of share sale.
Corporate governance: GTBank named ‘Best Bank in Africa’
Guaranty Trust Bank Plc has been named the ‘Best Bank in Africa’ in the financial services category at the 2017 Corporate Governance Awards. The event, organised by the Ethical Boardroom Magazine, recognises outstanding companies who have exhibited exceptional leadership in the area of governance and professional ethics.
Over the years, Ethical Boardroom magazine’ editorial team, together with a host of distinguished contributors, has tackled the most complex and pressing issues that have a positive and negative influence on boardroom leadership, committees and quorum, ethics and compliance, shareholder engagement, activism and risk management strategies.
Manufacturing: Capacity utilisation to grow by 4% in 2017 — MAN
CAPACITY utilisation in the manufacturing sector is expected to grow by four percent from the 44.8 percent witnessed in the first half of last year, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, MAN, has said.
Disclosing this in an interview with Vanguard in Lagos, Director in charge of Economics and Statistics Department of MAN, Mr. Ambrose Oruche, said they were still computing figures for the second half of last year and will be ready by next month. Oruche explained that with the budget presented by the federal government and the economic outlook in the country presently, the capacity utilisation is expected to improve.
Fed Govt begins bond roadshow
Nigeria will soon meet investors before a Eurobond sale and plans to apply for a $1 billion loan from the World Bank once lawmakers approve this year’s budget, Finance Minister Mrs Kemi Adeosun has said.
“We are about to embark on the roadshow” for the dollar bond, Adeosun said by phone from the capital, Abuja, yesterday, without giving more details. She and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo previously said they want to raise $1 billion in what would be Nigeria’s first Eurobond since 2013.
FG Moves to Drive Agricultural Devt
The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, in collaboration with Synergos (a global non-profit organisation that fights poverty and its effects), held a two-day strategy retreat for Directors in the ministry to unlock institutional effectiveness for the new agriculture sector roadmap – the Green Alternative.
The strategy retreat discussed options and provided guidance on the development of a post 2016/pre 2017-2019 strategic framework for the Green Alternative. The retreat also prioritized in-house findings of key intersections of policy making to enable effective delivery of pre-determined objectives.
128 companies jostle for NNPC’s 800,000 barrels crude contract
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), yesterday disclosed that 128 companies participated in its technical bid tender for about 800,000 barrels of crude oil under the Direct Sales and Direct Purchase (DSDP) arrangement. Speaking in Abuja at the formal bid opening, the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, said DSDP remains a major component of national oil company’s business, even as he assured Nigerians will not be left out in the deal.
His words: “Those companies that will emerge, whether as a consortium or single entities, must have physical presence in Nigeria. That means they must have depots or retail outlets as a minimum. They must be involved with exploration and production. So, we’ll ensure most of the proceeds are domiciled in Nigeria,” he said.
FMDQ records N113.67trn market turnover in 2016
FMDQ Securities Exchange Plc has recorded N113.6 trillion in market turnover for the year ended December 31, 2016. Trading activities in treasury bills contributed the highest, accounting for 40 per cent of the total market turnover. Secured market transactions (Repos/Buy-backs) accounted for 27 per cent, whilst foreign exchange (FX) market transactions accounted for 22 per cent of the transactions.
Trading in bonds contributed eight per cent, while money market transactions, which include Unsecured Placement & Takings, Commercial Papers and Money Market Derivatives accounted for three per cent of the overall market turnover.
Agip records 2,418 oil spills
The Ministry of Petroleum Resources on Thursday said 2, 418 oil spills were recorded in Nigerian Agip Oil Company’s operations between 2010 and 2016.
The Director, Petroleum Resources in the ministry, Mr Mordecai Ladan, made this known at the public hearing on “Despoliation of the Niger Delta and Activities of Nigeria Agip Oil Company” by the House of Representatives in Abuja. Giving details of the incidents, Ladan said 10 spills each were recorded in 2010 and 2011; 2012, 575 spills; 2014, 788 spills; 2015, 498 spills and 332 in 2016.
CBN to sanction banks borrowing without security
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has threatened to suspend deposit money banks that borrow without adequate security from its Standing Lending Facility (SLF).
In a circular released on Wednesday, the CBN announced new rules to be followed by banks wanting to borrow cash from fellow banks or the CBN to cover their temporary shortfalls or meet their obligations. The regulator said that any commercial bank that fails to comply with the new directives will be suspended from its window for eight weeks.
Customs, NACCIMA Endorses Proposed Nigeria Export Trade Hub
The Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) and the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines, and Agriculture (NACCIMA) have endorsed plans by the concessionaire of the Lagos International Trade Fair Complex, Aulic Group of Companies in collaboration with the Kirikiri Lighter Terminal (KLT) Customs Command to establish the Nigeria Export Trade Hub (NETH) at the Lagos Trade Fair Complex.
NACCIMA gave the endorsement when its national President, Dr. Bassey Edem led a delegation to visit the proposed site for the project, off Badagry Expressway, Lagos.
2017 budget: N1.67trn external borrowing projections unrealistic- Expert
The President, Time Economics, Dr Ogho Okiti says the Federal Government’s plan to borrow N1.67tn from foreign institutions to fund part of the N2.36tn deficit in the 2017 budget is not a viable option.
Okiti, at the 2017 Nigeria Economic Outlook Conference held on Thursday in Abuja, said Nigeria’s main hurdle to borrowing externally was the current poor economic performance. According to him, institutions like the World Bank requires credible economic growth and recovery plan as prerequisites to borrowing.
Aviation Sector Lost $2 Billion Investment in Two Years
THISDAY investigations have revealed that the aviation industry in 2015 and 2016 lost over $2 billion investment from international financiers who wanted a stake in Nigeria air transport sector due to the prevailing economic downturn.
Considering the huge potential market for aircraft maintenance in Nigeria, THISDAY gathered that in mid 2015, one European based aircraft maintenance company opened discussions with a Nigerian carrier to establish Maintenance, Overhaul and Repairs (MRO) facility in Lagos.