Buhari inherited a bad economy, made it worse – Soludo
A former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, on Thursday said President Muhammadu Buhari had worsened the “very bad” economic situation he inherited when he assumed power in 2015.
Soludo spoke at the ‘Big Ideas Podium’, a public policy debate organised by the Afri Heritage Institution in Enugu, where he canvassed what he termed a “citizens united” campaign by Nigerians to demand change and accountability from government at all levels.
IEI to Raise Operating Capital to N13 Billion
International Energy Insurance (IEI) Plc, has perfected plans to raise its operating capital to N13 billion. Approval for this was given by the shareholders at the company’s 42nd annual general meeting held in Kano recently. Prior to this, the shareholders had at the 41st AGM of the company given their nod to raise the working capital of the company to N4 billion.
Kaduna airport ready as Abuja runway shuts down next Wednesday
After much hues and cries, all appears set for traffic diversion to Kaduna airport beginning from Wednesday, when the runway at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja, closes for the much-awaited reconstruction.
The Guardian learnt that government agencies have fully deployed and installed relevant equipments to receive Abuja-bound domestic and international carriers. Similarly, logistic services for ground handling services and 240km road travel to Abuja and its environs have been organised to cater for the passengers.
AMCON may sack over 1,500 at Arik over low revenue
There were strong indications yesterday that more than 1,500 of Arik Airline’s estimated 2,000 workforce may be retrenched this month as new management’s cost-saving measures to keep the airline alive. Arik Air has about 2,000 workers spread across its local and foreign operations, while it operated a fleet of 28 aircraft at optimal capacity, which enabled it to generate enough revenue to meet its over N1 billion wage bill.
But reliable insider sources told Daily Sun yesterday that the airline currently under the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) receivership is now operating with only eight functional aircraft in its fleet which makes retain its 2,000 workforce uneconomical.
Digital currency: ‘CBN not against financial innovations’
The Central Bank of Nigeria says it is not against the use of financial technology as the country steps up efforts to enhance its payment system. The central bank said it was in support of innovations that would propel e-payment system growth in the country.
The Director, Banking and Payments System, CBN, Mr. Dipo Faitokun, who said these, however, emphasised the need for the regulator to examine the proposed usage of any innovation and put necessary guidelines in place for its success.
MTN Group loses $200m in 2016
MTN Group has announced that it lost $200 million in 2016, the first full-year loss of the company in its 22 years of existence. The South African telecommunications firm had hinted earlier that its full-year operation may end in a loss following the N330 billion regulatory fine imposed on it by the Nigerian government. The Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC) had last year slammed a fine of N330 billion on MTN over its failure to disconnect 5.1 million unregistered SIM cards from its network.
Nigeria’s gas sector suffers N10tr foreign investment loss
Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG) has put the immediate loss of foreign investment due to the delay in the takeoff of its Train 7 plant at $25 billion (N10 trillion).
According to the company, another impact will be the potential loss of about 18,000 jobs required for the construction activities of Train 7. Speaking at the on-going 2017 Nigeria Oil and Gas Strategic Conference and International Exhibition in Abuja titled: “Nigeria’s Gas Sector – The Catalyst for Economic and Industrial Growth,” the Managing Director of NLNG, Tony Attah, said the Federal Government should focus on how to grow the Nigeria oil and gas sector.
Reps order CBN to check ATM fraud
The House of Representatives yesterday ordered the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to check sharp practices associated with Automated Teller Machines (ATM) in the country. The House urged the apex bank to direct the various commercial banks and other financial institutions to put in place online monitoring mechanisms, so as to determine the functionality of ATM and vault cash levels with a view to minimising the incidence of debiting customers without dispensation of cash by the machine.
Metering deadline: NERC verifies power firms’ data
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, on Thursday, said it had commenced the compilation and verification of data from electricity distribution companies following the expiration of the deadline given to them to meter all maximum demand customers.
NERC had in December 1, 2016 extended the deadline given to the Discos to conclude the metering of all maximum demand customers in their networks by three months, saying it would commence regulatory action against any defaulting firm from March 1, 2017, a day after the deadline expired.
More Nigerians turn to virtual currency, ignore CBN ban
The current depreciation of the Naira, growing popularity of Ponzi schemes and other electronic transactions, have all paved way for virtual money (computer generated currencies) such as Bitcoin, to continue thriving in the country despite a recent ban by CBN. FRANKA OSAKWE, takes a look at the impact of this on criminal and money laundering activities in the country.
In January, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) issued a circular to banks and other financial institutions requiring them not to use, hold, trade and/or transact in any way in digital currencies. The CBN cited money laundering and terrorism financing as reason for ban, specifically naming “Bitcoin, Ripples, Monero, Litecoin, Dogecoin, Onecoin,” and similar virtual currencies.
Why we intervened in forex market –CBN
The Central Bank of Nigeria on Thursday said that its current intervention in the foreign exchange market was purely to ease the pressure on the naira and had nothing to do with succumbing to blackmail from some quarters.
The Acting Director, Corporate Communications Department, CBN, Mr. Isaac Okoroafor, stated this while reacting to some trending posts in the social media to the effect that the current appreciation of the naira was as a result of the alarm raised about the illegal sale of forex at ridiculous rates to some people.
Stakeholders hinge growth of non-oil export on adherence to standards
Stakeholders in the nation’s non-oil sector have urged exporters to comply with regulations guiding the entire value chain of export business in Nigeria to enable them to access global markets.
The experts, who spoke at GTBank’s Non-Oil Expert Seminar 2017, held in Lagos recently, explained that absolute compliance to regulatory standards in export would reduce rejection of Nigeria’ s agric produce at the international markets to the barest minimum.
Pay duties on imported vehicles by April 12 –Customs
The Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (retd.) has approved a grace period of one month, which will end on Wednesday April 12, 2017, for owners of all vehicles whose Customs duties have not been paid to do so.
The Acting Public Relations Officer, Nigeria Customs Service, Mr. Joseph Attah, disclosed this in a statement issued on Thursday. The statement advised all motor dealers and owners of such vehicles to visit the nearest Customs zonal office to pay the appropriate duties on them.
BoI reaffirms commitment to MSME development, youth empowerment
Acknowledging that Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are veritable tools for economic growth, the Bank of Industry (BoI) has restated its commitment to drive Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) development in Nigeria. Indeed, the bank stated the need to support the SME sub sector to get the economy back on track, saying that over the years, the Development Finance Institution (DFI) had developed a lot of products to empower youths in the country.
The acting Managing Director, BoI, Waheed Olagunju, during an MSME forum jointly organized by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) in Lagos, said: “There are a whole lots of things we do yearly to provide support for MSMEs. We need to support SMEs to get our economy to the level that we desire economically. The youth population in our country is very huge and it is a major opportunity for us to take advantage of, but if we do not harness it properly, we can actually have ourselves to blame for it.
BPE selects advisers for commodity exchange transactions
In its bid to grow the country’s non-oil exports, the Bureau of Public Enterprises on Thursday selected three successful consortia as prospective advisers for transactions on the Nigeria Commodity Exchange.
The Acting Director-General, BPE, Dr. Vincent Akpotaire, disclosed this in Abuja during the opening of financial proposals submitted by prospective transaction advisers on the strategic equity investment in the Exchange by the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority.
Insurance Experts Advocate Increased Collaboration to Achieve Growth
Experts in the insurance industry have called for increased collaboration with relevant stakeholders in order to achieve a projected N1.5 trillion gross premium growth.
Disclosing this in a presentation at the KPGM Insurance Conference 2017, the Chairman, Wapic Insurance Plc, Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, urged operators in the industry to play in line with the strength of their capital, adding that a lot of insurance businesses were being given to foreign because the sector does not have the required capacity.
Pass Audit Bill, ICAN tells lawmakers
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria on Thursday expressed concern over the delay in the passage of the Audit Bill 2014 by the National Assembly.
The accounting body said nothing had been heard about the bill since it was passed by the House of Representatives in 2015 without a concurrence by the Senate before the end of the seventh National Assembly. The 1st Deputy Vice President, ICAN, Alhaji Razak Jaiyeola, stated this during a courtesy visit by the institute’s President, Deacon Titus Soetan, to The Punch Place, headquarters of Punch Nigeria Limited in Ogun State on Thursday.
EFCC, Court Order Heritage Bank to Freeze Firm’s Accounts
Heritage Bank Plc said its attention has been drawn to a malicious and untrue report trending online, titled, “Heritage Bank Should be Shut Down- Company Tells Court, CBN” and about the bank’s financial and liquidity condition that questioned the ability of the bank to honour its obligatory engagements with a customer, Geonel Integrated Services Limited.
The bank in a statement however stated that the allegation was not true as the Geonel Integrated Services Limited’s account is currently being investigated for financial crimes by the EFCC.
West African Tax Institutes Move to Check Illicit Financial Flows
Tax institutes in West Africa, including the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) are evolving new strategies to check revenue leakages occasioned by humongous illicit financial flows out of the region.
Converging on Abuja under the auspices of West African Union of Tax Institutes’ (WAUTI) 5th annual international conference, the sub-region’s eggheads on tax matters and revenue are brainstorming on how to boost domestic resource mobilisation in the face of global fall in commodity prices and an almost non-existent donor support.