The Sun News » Business http://sunnewsonline.com/new - Voice of The Nation Thu, 26 Nov 2015 14:08:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.8 ‘Most sub-standard goods not from China’ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/most-sub-standard-goods-not-from-china/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/most-sub-standard-goods-not-from-china/#comments Thu, 26 Nov 2015 13:19:57 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=144323 Contrary to the understanding of most Nigerian consumers, many of the substandard products in the country may not have been imported from China after all. Vanguard Consular Advisory (VCA) has authoritatively gathered that the mess we are witnessing in respect of the influx of sub-standard products into the Nigerian market is wreaking havoc on the fortunes [...]]]>

Contrary to the understanding of most Nigerian consumers, many of the substandard products in the country may not have been imported from China after all. Vanguard Consular Advisory (VCA) has authoritatively gathered that the mess we are witnessing in respect of the influx of sub-standard products into the Nigerian market is wreaking havoc on the fortunes of Nigerian importers and consumers.

A few Nigerian importers, especially those who import products from China, are devastated by the deleterious effect on the reputation of genuine brands.

They assert that the way out is for Nigerian authorities to make concerted efforts to restructure and or implement laws that will checkmate and fish out substandard brands in the Nigerian market.

Although, it is clear that not all the importers engage in the act, the devastating effect touches all, especially importers who would not compromise on the standard of goods brought into the Nigerian market. As a result, they demand a quick intervention of the Standard Organisation of Nigeria, SON, to salvage the situation.

Proferring ways the Nigerian government can checkmate the influx of sub-standard and counterfeited brands into the country, China-based Nigerian business mogul and industrialist, Mr Festus Uzoma Mbisiogu, while commending the present leadership of SON, noted that when the director general of SON, Dr. Joseph Odumodu visited China, he stated that the purpose of his visit was to ensure that quality products are being exported into the country from China.

Mbisiogu said, “When you want to make an order from China, they will ask you where you are from. If you say that you are from America, they will give you American standard, if you tell them that you come from Europe, they will give you European standard, but if you say you are African, they will lower the quality, believing that Africans are poor and do not have enough funds to match up good quality products.”

He told VCA that the visit of the director general of SON to China was having beneficial effects as a good number of Chinese manufacturing companies are now mindful of the products sent to Nigeria, no matter the pressure from some unscrupulous individuals who are bent on damaging the reputation of good quality products from China.

“In other words, the understanding that all African countries are poor and cannot afford quality brands no longer apply to Nigeria”, he said, stressing that “Apart from what SON is doing, the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, is also making sure that Chinese manufacturing companies supply only standard products to Nigerians. Recently, some NAFDAC officials visited China to deliberate on ways to stop the iportation of counterfeit and sub-standard brands which are often suspected to come from China.”

Continuing, the business mogul, who is also the CEO, Shanghai Construction and Engineering Company and Blue Diamond Logistics, pointed out that 99 per cent of what the world consumes today come from China.“In terms of quality, China is number one. There is a speculation that most of the importers specifically demand that manufacturing companies abroad lower the quality of the products they are importing into the county so as to maximize profit and this is a huge challenge to a good number of us who will not compromise on the standard of products we import into our dear country, Nigeria.“

They assert that the way out is for Nigerian authorities to make concerted efforts to restructure and or implement laws that will checkmate and fish out substandard brands in the Nigerian market.

Although, it is clear that not all the importers engage in the act, the devastating effect touches all, especially importers who would not compromise on the standard of goods brought into the Nigerian market. As a result, they demand a quick intervention of the Standard Organisation of Nigeria, SON, to salvage the situation.

Proferring ways the Nigerian government can checkmate the influx of sub-standard and counterfeited brands into the country, China-based Nigerian business mogul and industrialist, Mr Festus Uzoma Mbisiogu, while commending the present leadership of SON, noted that when the director general of SON, Dr. Joseph Odumodu visited China, he stated that the purpose of his visit was to ensure that quality products are being exported into the country from China.

Mbisiogu said, “When you want to make an order from China, they will ask you where you are from. If you say that you are from America, they will give you American standard, if you tell them that you come from Europe, they will give you European standard, but if you say you are African, they will lower the quality, believing that Africans are poor and do not have enough funds to match up good quality products.”

He told VCA that the visit of the director general of SON to China was having beneficial effects as a good number of Chinese manufacturing companies are now mindful of the products sent to Nigeria, no matter the pressure from some unscrupulous individuals who are bent on damaging the reputation of good quality products from China.

“In other words, the understanding that all African countries are poor and cannot afford quality brands no longer apply to Nigeria”, he said, stressing that “Apart from what SON is doing, the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, is also making sure that Chinese manufacturing companies supply only standard products to Nigerians. Recently, some NAFDAC officials visited China to deliberate on ways to stop the iportation of counterfeit and sub-standard brands which are often suspected to come from China.”

Continuing, the business mogul, who is also the CEO, Shanghai Construction and Engineering Company and Blue Diamond Logistics, pointed out that 99 per cent of what the world consumes today come from China.“In terms of quality, China is number one. There is a speculation that most of the importers specifically demand that manufacturing companies abroad lower the quality of the products they are importing into the county so as to maximize profit and this is a huge challenge to a good number of us who will not compromise on the standard of products we import into our dear country, Nigeria.“

(Source: VANGUARD)

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Okowa at UN, says job creation key to global peace http://sunnewsonline.com/new/okowa-at-un-says-job-creation-key-to-global-peace/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/okowa-at-un-says-job-creation-key-to-global-peace/#comments Thu, 26 Nov 2015 00:29:58 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=144257 DELTA State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, has called on the international community to partner African nations on job and wealth creation “as a means to ensuring global peace and security.” Delivering a keynote ad­dress at the Africa Industri­alisation Day at the United Nations Office in New York Tuesday, Okowa said beyond creating awareness of the [...]]]>

DELTA State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, has called on the international community to partner African nations on job and wealth creation “as a means to ensuring global peace and security.”

Delivering a keynote ad­dress at the Africa Industri­alisation Day at the United Nations Office in New York Tuesday, Okowa said beyond creating awareness of the challenges of industrialisation in Africa, the Forum should address the need for “firm commitments to strengthen partnerships that will drive industrialisation in Africa, cre­ate jobs and sustainable op­portunities for youths, women and all people to enjoy better social and economic well-being.”

The Africa Industrialisation Day is celebrated on Novem­ber 20 every year under the auspices of the United Na­tions Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) to mobilise the commitment of the international community to the industrialisation of Af­rica. The theme for this year’s event was, “SMEs for Poverty Eradication and Job Creation for Women and Youth.”

At a symposium to mark the day, Okowa commended “UNIDO’s passion and dedi­cation to spurring Africa’s industrialisation,” pointing out that the occasion “is a re­minder to all of us, of the need to redirect Africa’s economic development position from being a global supplier of raw materials and primary com­modities to one with progres­sive value addition through agro-processing, agro-indus­trialisation and beneficiation of solid minerals.”

“SMEs are engines for cost-effective employment generation, social inclusion, equitable development and self-reliant industrialisation using local raw materials,” he said. The Governor lamented that objectives have not flour­ished in Africa due to “fund­ing gaps, infrastructure deficit, energy problems and poor governance structures.”

Okowa informed the global audience that Nige­ria’s policies through suc­cessive administrations have revolved around the growth and development of SMEs as catalysts for economic de­velopment. According to him, “the Federal Government, through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Bank of In­dustry (BoI), and Small and Medium Enterprises Devel­opment Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) are frantically taking measures to enhance the performance and growth of youth and women-owned micro and small enterprises through a host of concessional financing initiatives spanning equity, debt financing, loan guarantees and grants.

“In Delta State where I am Governor, we have devel­oped a roadmap to engage our youths and women in produc­tive enterprises and ensure in­clusive growth. Our strategic approach is a comprehensive programme of youth training, development and empower­ment in agricultural enterpris­es and vocational skills, mi­crocredit to support small and medium scale enterprises, and the creation of a conducive business and investment envi­ronment. Also, we are under­taking concerted measures for the integration of agricultural and agro-industrial develop­ment based on our compara­tive-advantage commodities, particularly cassava, oil palm and aquaculture.”

He called for international support for the state’s job and wealth creation scheme, which is in its six months of operation.

 

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Smugglers flood Nigerian markets with expired rice http://sunnewsonline.com/new/smugglers-flood-nigerian-markets-with-expired-rice/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/smugglers-flood-nigerian-markets-with-expired-rice/#comments Thu, 26 Nov 2015 00:27:19 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=144249 SMUGGLERS seem to have taken over the Nigerian rice market, flooding the country with toxic and expired prod­ucts. Reports of hundreds of trailers crossing the porous borders of the country are be­coming worrisome in recent weeks, endangering govern­ment’s plans to achieve self-sufficiency in rice production. Consequently, stakehold­ers have urged the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to [...]]]>

SMUGGLERS seem to have taken over the Nigerian rice market, flooding the country with toxic and expired prod­ucts. Reports of hundreds of trailers crossing the porous borders of the country are be­coming worrisome in recent weeks, endangering govern­ment’s plans to achieve self-sufficiency in rice production.

Consequently, stakehold­ers have urged the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to curb smuggling while call­ing on NAFDAC to take ur­gent action by inspecting rice stored at several locations across the country. Supply of expired and poisonous rice to unsuspecting consumers could rapidly develop into a major health disaster if left unchecked. The group asked the attention of the Presidency and concerned departments so that corrective action could be taken immediately.

With unmet demand of more than 3 million tonnes annually and owing to inade­quate local production, Nige­ria’s rice needs are currently restricted for legal imports due to high import tariff and lack of cohesive policy.

Nigerian importers are ex­pected to pay full tariff of 70 per cent compared to smug­glers who enjoy a free ride into the market, with little tariffs in neighbouring Cam­eroon and Republic of Be­nin, taking advantage of po­rous borders. This is even as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had since restricted access to foreign exchange for rice imports, among other products, choking the import supply chain.

Observers believe the shortage in the market was now being exploited by smugglers.

Recently, the National Rice Millers Association of Ni­geria (NRMAN), had com­plained that the NCS erred in its decision to lift the ban on importation of rice through the land borders. The Chair­man of the association said if the customs succeeds in its decision, it would destroy Nigeria’s rice value chain at­tained by the previous admin­istration.

There have been reports that huge influx of imported rice have been noticed in the market from last Saturday, the worst affected being Lagos and South West. Rice arrives in big trailers with 1200- 1500 numbers of 50kg bags from Cotonou. There is sub­stantial under-declaration and non-payment aspects in these shipments, making it non-via­ble for legal importers and lo­cal producers to compete with these shipments.

The Chairman of Seaport Terminal Operators Asso­ciation of Nigeria (STOAN), Vicky Haastrup, puts the lo­cal production capacity at 30 per cent. “It is a fact that local production cannot match local demand, which creates a rec­ipe for smuggling,” she said.

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NSE:‘Online trading to attract N1.5trn investments’ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/nseonline-trading-to-attract-n1-5trn-investments/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/nseonline-trading-to-attract-n1-5trn-investments/#comments Thu, 26 Nov 2015 00:26:08 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=144246 By Omodele Adigun BASKING in the euphoria of the recent launch of its online trading platform,Trade Smart, the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) says the new initiative will bring investments worth N1.5trillion into the capital market in one year. According to its Executive Director, Market Operations and Technology, Mr. Ade Bajomo, the anticipated investments are based [...]]]>

By Omodele Adigun

BASKING in the euphoria of the recent launch of its online trading platform,Trade Smart, the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) says the new initiative will bring investments worth N1.5trillion into the capital market in one year.

According to its Executive Director, Market Operations and Technology, Mr. Ade Bajomo, the anticipated investments are based on the demography of the nation and its working population:

“To be conservative, let’s say 25 million individuals represent the working population in Nigeria and each individual sets aside N5,000 monthly. In 12 months, a total amount of N1.5trillion will have been invested in the stock market. And with a 1.35 per cent charge on transactions, brokerage firms will have a cumulative gross income of N20.25 billion”, he said.

Bajomo explained that through the trading applications, investors would have instant information to aid investment decisions to make the market more effective, adding that the thrust of TradeSmart is to make the market more accessible to 25million people and boost financial inclusion in the country.

Financial Inclusion is a state where financial services are delivered by a range of providers, mostly the private sector, to reach everyone who could use them. Specifically, it means a financial system that serves as many people as possible in a country.

He explained that the launch of the online trading will enable Nigerians resident in remote villages across the country play the market with their moble phones. Rolling out statistics to support this, Bajomo said:

“In 2,000, Nigeria had just under 200,000 internet users. In 2007, that number shot up to 10million.In 2010, we reached about 43million.We are currently at over 55million subscribers. Active Internet subscriptions (GSM) between August 2013 and July 2014, according to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) data, shows that 47 per cent of phones are Internet enabled; average surfing hours per day is three hours; two-thirds are male, three quarters are aged between 19 to 35years; four out of 10 are students; one third access the Internet via PCs(personal computers) and eight out of 10 active users are active on social media. What drives the market is that everyone participates, operates and nurture his or her investment. The applications will provide users real-time market data with availability of various technical indicators to analyse the trend and momentum of the market. At the end of the day, they will make informed decisions based on the latest data,” he said. Addressing the fear that the platform would erode the functions of brokers and take away their jobs, he stated:

“Online trading will free up the brokers and move them to the value chain; make them to help package this kind of initiative; send them out to the grassroots to promote financial inclusion and give them the time and opportunity to deliberate with the government on what is needed to be deliberated upon. It will also bring out more transparency and grow the market.”

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World Bank approves $16bn carbon credit for African countries http://sunnewsonline.com/new/world-bank-approves-16bn-carbon-credit-for-african-countries/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/world-bank-approves-16bn-carbon-credit-for-african-countries/#comments Thu, 26 Nov 2015 00:25:57 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=144243 By Amechi Ogbonna THE World Bank Group yesterday unveiled a new plan that calls for $16 billion in funding to help African coun­tries adapt to climate change and build up the continent’s resilience to climate shocks. The project titled, Accelerating Climate-Resilient and Low-Carbon Development, the Africa Climate Business Plan, will be presented at COP21, the [...]]]>

By Amechi Ogbonna

THE World Bank Group yesterday unveiled a new plan that calls for $16 billion in funding to help African coun­tries adapt to climate change and build up the continent’s resilience to climate shocks.

The project titled, Accelerating Climate-Resilient and Low-Carbon Development, the Africa Climate Business Plan, will be presented at COP21, the global climate fo­rum in Paris, on November 30. It lays out measures to boost the resilience of the continent’s assets including – its people, land, water and cities – as well as other mea­sures that will boost renewable energy and strengthen early warning systems. According to the World Bank President, Jim Yong Kim, “sub-Saharan Africa is highly vulnerable to climate shocks, and our research shows that could have far-ranging impact – on everything from child stunting and malaria to food price increases and droughts.

This plan identifies concrete steps that African gov­ernments can take to ensure that their countries will not lose hard-won gains in economic growth and poverty reduction, and they can offer some protection from cli­mate change.” Per current estimates, the plan says the region requires $5-10 billion per year to adapt to global warming of 2°C just as the WBG and the United Nations Environment Programme estimate that the cost of man­aging climate resilience will continue to rise to $20-50 billion by mid-century, and closer to $100 billion in the event of a 4°C warming.

Meanwhile, out of the $16.1 billion that the plan pro­poses for fast-tracking climate adaptation, about $5.7 billion is expected from the International Development Association (IDA), the arm of the World Bank Group that supports the poorest countries. Another $2.2 billion is expected from various climate finance instruments, $2 billion from others in the development community, and $3.5 billion from the private sector, and $0.7 billion from domestic sources, with an additional $2 billion needed to deliver on the plan. Also commenting, Makhtar Diop, WBG Vice President for Africa, stated that “the Africa Climate Business Plan spells out a clear path to invest in the continent’s urgent climate needs and to fast-track the required climate finance to ensure millions of people are protected from sliding into extreme poverty.

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AIICO Pensions Managers hosts PDOs, retirees in North Central http://sunnewsonline.com/new/aiico-pensions-managers-hosts-pdos-retirees-in-north-central/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/aiico-pensions-managers-hosts-pdos-retirees-in-north-central/#comments Wed, 25 Nov 2015 19:42:24 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=144229 In line with its plan to improve the quality of its services, and to continuously keep clients up-to-date with information, AIICO Pension Managers Limited recently organized an enlightenment forum for Pension Desk Officers (PDOs) in Abuja. AIICO Pension Managers Limited is a licensed pension fund administrator with over 40 locations spread across Nigeria. APML is [...]]]>

In line with its plan to improve the quality of its services, and to continuously keep clients up-to-date with information, AIICO Pension Managers Limited recently organized an enlightenment forum for Pension Desk Officers (PDOs) in Abuja.
AIICO Pension Managers Limited is a licensed pension fund administrator with over 40 locations spread across Nigeria. APML is managed by seasoned and well-tested executives with vast experience in Pension Administration, Risk Management, Banking, Capital Market and Asset Management.

 

Aiico logo png
PDOs from organisations in and around the Abuja axis were invited and the level of participation by way of questions and answer and the feedback received gave credence to the quality of enlightenment received by participants.
Managing Director of AIICO Pension Managers Limited (APML) Mr. Eguarekhide Longe, while welcoming participants to the forum, stated that the event was organised as part of APML’s resolve to continuously satisfy and respond to the yearnings of clients, especially the PDOs who are the drivers of the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) processes in their various organisations.
According to Longe, part of the reason why the Forum was organised was to engage the PDOs on the challenges they face in discharging their duties and also to ensure that both the PDOs and APML were on the same page.
Participants were enlightened on various issues including the use of the Electronic Pension Contribution Collection System (EPCCOS) for seamless remittance of pension contributions, updates on the Benefit Administration processes; updates on new guidelines issued by PenCom and general challenges encountered by PDOs and RSA holders.
Nigerian Security & Civil Defence Corps’s PDO, Barr. Ezon, who spoke on behalf of other participants, thanked the management of APML for the opportunity given them for the event. He assured organisers that the lessons learnt at the forum would help enhance their jobs as PDOs and ultimately help to sustain the pension industry.
AIICO Pensions Managers were not done with the PDOs but they also held a Forum for retirees of the company. For the management of APML, retired employees require knowledge of three basic facts of life which had been the undoing of most retired workers in the country.
At the Retirees Forum, APML management enlightened retirees on three key but basic facts of life which are management of finances after retirement, need to maintain healthy living after retirement and what it called retiring the AIIOC way.
At the forum, APML harped on the importance of investing hard earned savings of the retirees for future use after service. On the issue of healthy living, APML informed its retirees as well as serving personnel that the right attitude to eating, performing light body exercises on a daily basis or routinely, taking time out to rest and subjecting oneself to routine medical check-ups should be part of their retirement chores.
As pensions managers, the company also urged the retirees not to be oblivious of the need for retirement benefit financial plans as approved by the National Pension Commission and National Insurance Commission.
Several APML bigwigs, ranging from the Managing Director, Mr. Longe, Regional Controller (North), Mr. Sani Mustapha, and some others shared their wealth of knowledge at the twin events.

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Builder urges CBN to enforce COT regulation http://sunnewsonline.com/new/builder-urges-cbn-to-enforce-cot-regulation/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/builder-urges-cbn-to-enforce-cot-regulation/#comments Wed, 25 Nov 2015 01:33:49 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=144175 A building and homes solutions provider, Mr. Ayobami Biobaku, Chairman of Builders’ Mart, has appealed to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to enforce Commission on Turnover (COT) contained in 2013 regulations.]]>

By Maduka Nweke

A building and homes solutions provider, Mr. Ayobami Biobaku, Chairman of Builders’ Mart, has appealed to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to enforce Commission on Turnover (COT) contained in 2013 regulations.

Biobaku who is the chairman of Builders’ Mart called on the CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, to enforce the apex bank’s directive to all banks to reduce COT because it is threatening the existence of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

He lamented that the CBN has not been able to enforce the COT rule it set in 2013, adding that its inaction gave the impression that it had decided to look the other way while the banks engaged in all forms of unapproved practices as well as collection of spurious charges.

He said the CBN should check the banks on COT charged so as not to cripple SMEs, adding that COT was “like cancer that is slowly and silently killing SMEs.”

According to him, the controversial COT is a charge levied on customers’ withdrawals by banks and it is calculated at the end of every month applying the percentage on a customer’s aggregate withdrawals from the first day of the month to the last day of the month.

“Worried by the harmful effect of COT on SMEs, the CBN in 2013 met with the Bankers’ Committee to find lasting solution to the issue and the result was the production of a special guide on bank charges that both parties endorsed, but up till date that agreement has not been enforced by CBN.

“On June 11, last year, the CBN in a circular to all deposit money banks entitled, “Implementation of the Revised Guide to Bank Charges: Commission on Turnover” reminded all banks that “the CBN, in conjunction with the Bankers Committee, issued the Revised Guide to Bank Charges (the Guide) on March 27, 2013. The Guide sought to standardise charges for various products and services offered by banks.

“Section 3.1 of the Guide provides that COT is negotiable subject to a maximum of N3 per million in 2013; N2 per million in 2014; N1 per million in 2015; and that no COT would be charged from 2016. Information available to the CBN indicates that some banks are still charging COT at the rate of N3 per million, which was the agreed rate for 2013.” The CBN reiterated in its 2014 circular that the maximum COT allowed by the Guide for 2014 is N2 per million.

The Builders’ mart boss stated that, “consequently, all banks that have charged excess COT since the effective date of the Guide are hereby required to refund same to the affected customers not later than 30 days from the date of this circular. Our attention has also been drawn to the practice, by some banks, of charging fees which are alien to the Guide. For example, some banks offer accounts that are supposedly COT-free but impose a maintenance or similar fee – a fee not covered by the Guide.

“For the avoidance of doubt, paragraph 4 of the Preface to the Guide states that the charges on products and services are not exhaustive. It, however, requires banks wishing to levy charges not covered by the Guide to obtain the prior approval of the CBN. Banks that have charged customers maintenance fee (or any fee for that matter), that is neither covered by the Guide nor has been prior- approved by the CBN, are hereby required to refund the fee to the customers not later than 30 days from the date of this circular,” he stated.

Biobaku said not one bank has heeded the instruction of the CBN to refund money collected from customers since 2013 and that they were still being charged by these banks in violation of the CBN directive, urging the apex bank governor to come to customers rescue because they are losing a lot of money that should improve their businesses with the banks.

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CBN reduces MPR to 11%, CRR too http://sunnewsonline.com/new/cbn-reduces-mpr-to-11-crr-too-2/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/cbn-reduces-mpr-to-11-crr-too-2/#comments Wed, 25 Nov 2015 01:29:21 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=144173 The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday reduced the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) from 13 per cent to 11 per cent as well and the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) from 25 per cent to 20 per cent.]]>

…Blasts banks for withholding credit to real sector

From Isaac Anumihe, Abuja and Blaise Udunze

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday reduced the Monetary Policy Rate  (MPR) from 13 per cent to 11 per cent  as well and the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) from  25 per cent to 20 per cent.
It also changed the symmetric corridor of 200 basis points around the MPR to an asymmetric corridor of +200 basis points and -700 basis points around the MPR.
The bank also stated that the liquidity arising from the reduction in the CRR to 20 per cent will only be released to the banks that are willing to channel it to employment generating activities in the economy including agriculture, infrastructure and solid minerals.
Speaking after the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) in Abuja, the Governor of CBN, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, explained that the committee took the decision following the weakening fundamentals of the economy, particularly the low output growth, rising unemployment and the uncertainty of the global economic environment.
“The MPC was particularly concerned that the previous liquidity injections embarked upon through lowering of the CRR in the last MPC, has not transmitted significantly to improved credit delivery to key growth and employment in sensitive sectors of the economy. Rather, more credit was given to sectors with low employment elasticity.”
It restated its commitment to evolve and implement measures that would be supportive of consolidating and strengthening output growth with an eye on price stability.
On unemployment situation in Nigeria, Emefiele said CBN is  concerned  about the problem, hence its efforts at ensuring increased credit delivery to the key growth sectors of the economy capable of generating employment opportunities and improving productivity and growth.
Meanwhile, Standard Chartered’s chief Africa economist, Razia Khan, said the easing of monetary policy was aimed at boosting the real economy but their success would also depend on the availability of foreign exchange.
The central bank has restricted access to foreign currency to stop a slide in the naira, effectively pegging it at N197 to the dollar. Emefiele gave no hints about a relaxation of this policy, which importers say is crippling their operations.
“The inference from today’s policy choice is that there are no plans for imminent change to the fixed FX regime currently in place,” Khan said in a note.
Also reacting to the reduction of MPR, development economist, Mr. Odilim Enwegbara, described it as a welcome development but noted that more needs to be done if Nigeria was to achieve its economic diversification expectations.
“First, let me say that it’s a welcome development even though more needs to be done and must be done since this administration wants to diversify the economy away from oil with jobs.
That they have now decreased MPR from 13 per cent to 11 per cent is because TSA fully implemented members of the Bankers’ Committee being the ones insisting on keeping the interest rates as high as possible have finally discovered that any more such insistence would be counterproductive if not shooting themselves in the foot, especially without anymore public deposits to earn them some easy money by hiking the country’s interest rates. No doubt, next MPC meeting, we’ll expect MPR further decreased to about 9 per cent, after all, there’s no genuine reason for Nigeria’s interest rates to be among the highest rates in the world.
“Harmonised CRR reduced from 25 per cent to 20 per cent is equally the beginning of the drastic reduction of CRR since that is the only way as fractional reserve banks, our commercial banks can have less of their depositors’ money in CBN vaults so that they have more to lend to make more returns on those deposits for their depositors and for themselves. I will expect the so-called harmonised CRR next year to get to as low as 5 per cent.
The reduction of MPR will equally reduce financial speculations caused by the present level of high arbitrage caused by our high interest rates against low interest rates in other peer countries. Also, next year will witness low level of economic financialisation since the absence of free and easy money will force our banks to begin to work together with the real sector economy to promote the kind of economic activities that grow both the real returns and banks’ profits. So all in all, the Buhari effect is forcing both the CBN and banks change the old game.”

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Reps to probe National Housing Fund http://sunnewsonline.com/new/reps-to-probe-national-housing-fund/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/reps-to-probe-national-housing-fund/#comments Wed, 25 Nov 2015 01:28:05 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=144171 The House of Representatives yesterday moved to launch an investigation into the management and status of monies contributed to the National Housing Fund (NHF) by civil servants 23 years after its inception.]]>

From Fred Itua and Kemi Yesufu, Abuja

The House of Representatives yesterday moved to launch an investigation into the management and status of monies contributed to the National Housing Fund (NHF) by civil servants 23 years after its inception.
The lawmakers also held that individuals with contributions above 10 years should be allowed to withdraw their money and seek for alternative options to their housing needs due to the unrealistic status of the funds in the hands of government.
These resolutions followed a motion on the “Need to Investigate the Funds that have Accrued to the National Housing Fund since Inception”, brought by Johnson Odionwele (PDP, Edo).
The lawmaker, while leading debates on the matter, told the House that since subscription to the NHF commenced 23 years ago, nothing has been heard from the government as to how the funds are being managed and the status of monies so far contributed.
He said those charged with the management of the Fund have maintained a blind eye to the plight of civil servants, adding that most of these civil servants who subscribed to this fund have died leaving behind their entitlement.
“As we speak, 23 years after the establishment of the fund, there are no visible signs of the envisaged mass housing project or any known beneficiary of the scheme, yet the contributions have continued as deductions are still being made at source,” Odionwele said.
Contributing to the debate, Joseph Adelaja (PDP, Ondo), said: “I support this motion totally and I urge my colleagues to key into it that something must be done about this issue. It is time to call the attention of government as the peoples parliament that the rights of Nigerians must not be trampled upon.”
Darlington Nwokocha (PDP, Abia), stated that many people who have invested their money should reap the benefit of their investment. “So I’m in support that this Fund be investigated and those whose money had been taken should be made to benefit through government investment in the housing sector to reduce the huge housing deficit in the country.”
Another lawmaker from Edo State, Johnson Agbonayiemen, told his colleagues that the development must be looked into and examples made of those responsible for the management and delivery of the housing scheme for future reference.
“Mr. Speaker, for monies to be collected from Nigerians for 23 years and not been put to use for the benefit of the people is a total failure and unacceptable to this House.
I support this motion wholeheartedly because this motion stands to defend the people of this nation that those who rob others of their legitimate rights must be made to pay for their atrocities against the people,” he said.
Chike Okafor (APC, Imo), said: “From available records, we have about 6.7 million workers in Nigeria. These workers have contributed parts of their earnings to this housing fund. This amount has not been accessed by these people, and we must know what happened to this money over the years.
Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Abdulrazaq Namdas, however, said: “I just want to add that its like each time people want to do things to better their future, the state sabotages them. If I was a civil servant and I contribute to a fund for 23 years without knowing the fate of my money, then I wont be a happy man. So I urge this House to look into this matter and do justice accordingly.”
The motion was amended and passed via  voice votes following question by Speaker, Yakubu Dogara.

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FG narrows oil, non-oil tax collection gap http://sunnewsonline.com/new/fg-narrows-oil-non-oil-tax-collection-gap/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/fg-narrows-oil-non-oil-tax-collection-gap/#comments Wed, 25 Nov 2015 01:26:57 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=144169 The Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) has attributed the increase in Nigeria’s tax revenue in recent time to the gap close-up between oil and non-oil taxes.]]>

By Maduka Nweke

The Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) has attributed the increase in Nigeria’s tax revenue in recent time to the gap close-up between oil and non-oil taxes.
Speaking to stakeholders at a KPMG organised programme in Lagos, the Executive Chairman FIRS, Mr. Babatunde Fowler, said that statistics have shown that tax collection has been shoring up Federal Government revenue and that the gap in collection from oil and non-oil taxes has been narrowed down in the last few years.
According to him, the effect of the fall in crude prices has reflected in revenue accruable to the government and projections do not indicate that there will be an upward change in the near future, adding that there was an increased focus on FIRS to close the revenue gap by improving collection from taxes.
Fowler noted that tax collection depends heavily on economic activities and income generated therefrom, urging government at all levels to grow their respective economies, boost GDP and widen the tax base while FIRS would continue to engage taxpayers and adopt creative strategies to ensure 100 per cent voluntary compliance.
He noted that it was a challenge and opportunity for FIRS to put in place structures that could sustainably diversify the revenue base of government away from oil and towards taxation. “Voluntary compliance is the best approach for achieving operational efficiency and effectively managing taxpayers and our efforts are aimed at creating a system which ensures that the cost of non-compliance is far higher than that of voluntary compliance.”
“We will therefore continue to collaborate and engage with stakeholders so that our message of voluntary compliance as the first line approach for managing taxpayers is understood and internalized by tax consultants, taxpayers and all other stakeholders. We commend KPMG for this forum and the opportunity to share these ideas with you. We look forward to further collaboration with you and other stakeholders.” He said.
Meanwhile, following an appeal by one of the participants at the programme that the FIRS should use consultants in the collection of taxes, Mr. Bonny Okezie, Chairman, Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria (PSAN), said it was wrong to use go-between in tax collection.
He, however, advised that the current Chairman should tow the line of the immediate past Chairman, Mr. Samuel Odungbesan, who did not use consultants adding that the use of consultants make the public to pay double taxes that eventually do not get the government purse. “The local government should collect tax and not remit to the state government because the public must be in the know, who is authorised to collect tax revenue,” Okezie said.

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FG shuts Obat Oil jetty over security lapses http://sunnewsonline.com/new/fg-shuts-obat-oil-jetty-over-security-lapses/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/fg-shuts-obat-oil-jetty-over-security-lapses/#comments Wed, 25 Nov 2015 01:25:41 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=144167 Worried by major security lapses at its jetty in Ibafon, Apapa, Lagos, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) yesterday shut down Obat Oil and Petroleum Limited jetty. ]]>

By Uche Usim

Worried by major security lapses at its jetty in Ibafon, Apapa, Lagos, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) yesterday shut down Obat Oil and Petroleum Limited jetty.
NIMASA, it was learnt, stormed the place Tuesday afternoon and sealed the facility pursuant to its mandate as the Designated Authority (DA) for the implementation of the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code, stressing that Obat Oil jetty was non-compliant with the provisions of the code.
The ISPS Code is a set of measures to enhance the security of ships and port facilities. It is an amendment to the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention (1974/1988) on minimum security arrangements for ships, ports and government agencies. According to NIMASA’s spokesperson, Lami Tumaka, the closure was in exercise of the agency’s powers in line with provisions of Part VIII of the ISPS Code Implementation Regulations 2014. “The facility was adjudged to be non-compliant despite repeated warnings and extension of time graciously granted its management over the past year.
“Any shut facility will remain closed until its managers correct the identified deficiencies and pay a prescribed fine before they will be reopened for business,” she explained.
Recall that NIMASA, which formally became the DA for the implementation of the code in May 2013 when compliant facilities were less than 10, has progressively grown the number to over 80 per cent of the nation’s 129 facilities.
Its goal is to achieve 100 per cent compliance to guarantee the security of ships and port facilities especially in this period when terrorist activities have been heightened. This exercise is a continuous one.

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CBN reduces MPR to 11%, CRR too http://sunnewsonline.com/new/cbn-reduces-mpr-to-11-crr-too/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/cbn-reduces-mpr-to-11-crr-too/#comments Wed, 25 Nov 2015 00:04:47 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=144133 The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday reduced the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) from 13 per cent to 11 per cent as well and the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) from 25 per cent to 20 per cent.]]>

…Blasts banks for withholding credit to real sector

From Isaac Anumihe, Abuja and Blaise Udunze

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday reduced the Monetary Policy Rate  (MPR) from 13 per cent to 11 per cent  as well and the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) from  25 per cent to 20 per cent.
It also changed the symmetric corridor of 200 basis points around the MPR to an asymmetric corridor of +200 basis points and -700 basis points around the MPR.
The bank also stated that the liquidity arising from the reduction in the CRR to 20 per cent will only be released to the banks that are willing to channel it to employment generating activities in the economy including agriculture, infrastructure and solid minerals.
Speaking after the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) in Abuja, the Governor of CBN, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, explained that the committee took the decision following the weakening fundamentals of the economy, particularly the low output growth, rising unemployment and the uncertainty of the global economic environment.
“The MPC was particularly concerned that the previous liquidity injections embarked upon through lowering of the CRR in the last MPC, has not transmitted significantly to improved credit delivery to key growth and employment in sensitive sectors of the economy. Rather, more credit was given to sectors with low employment elasticity.”
It restated its commitment to evolve and implement measures that would be supportive of consolidating and strengthening output growth with an eye on price stability.
On unemployment situation in Nigeria, Emefiele said CBN is  concerned  about the problem, hence its efforts at ensuring increased credit delivery to the key growth sectors of the economy capable of generating employment opportunities and improving productivity and growth.
Meanwhile, Standard Chartered’s chief Africa economist, Razia Khan, said the easing of monetary policy was aimed at boosting the real economy but their success would also depend on the availability of foreign exchange.
The central bank has restricted access to foreign currency to stop a slide in the naira, effectively pegging it at N197 to the dollar. Emefiele gave no hints about a relaxation of this policy, which importers say is crippling their operations.
“The inference from today’s policy choice is that there are no plans for imminent change to the fixed FX regime currently in place,” Khan said in a note.
Also reacting to the reduction of MPR, development economist, Mr. Odilim Enwegbara, described it as a welcome development but noted that more needs to be done if Nigeria was to achieve its economic diversification expectations.
“First, let me say that it’s a welcome development even though more needs to be done and must be done since this administration wants to diversify the economy away from oil with jobs.
That they have now decreased MPR from 13 per cent to 11 per cent is because TSA fully implemented members of the Bankers’ Committee being the ones insisting on keeping the interest rates as high as possible have finally discovered that any more such insistence would be counterproductive if not shooting themselves in the foot, especially without anymore public deposits to earn them some easy money by hiking the country’s interest rates. No doubt, next MPC meeting, we’ll expect MPR further decreased to about 9 per cent, after all, there’s no genuine reason for Nigeria’s interest rates to be among the highest rates in the world.
“Harmonised CRR reduced from 25 per cent to 20 per cent is equally the beginning of the drastic reduction of CRR since that is the only way as fractional reserve banks, our commercial banks can have less of their depositors’ money in CBN vaults so that they have more to lend to make more returns on those deposits for their depositors and for themselves. I will expect the so-called harmonised CRR next year to get to as low as 5 per cent.
The reduction of MPR will equally reduce financial speculations caused by the present level of high arbitrage caused by our high interest rates against low interest rates in other peer countries. Also, next year will witness low level of economic financialisation since the absence of free and easy money will force our banks to begin to work together with the real sector economy to promote the kind of economic activities that grow both the real returns and banks’ profits. So all in all, the Buhari effect is forcing both the CBN and banks change the old game.”

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Tourism can boost Nigeria’s economy Vietnam says Bamidele, Tourism expert http://sunnewsonline.com/new/tourism-can-boost-nigerias-economy-vietnam-says-bamidele-tourism-expert/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/tourism-can-boost-nigerias-economy-vietnam-says-bamidele-tourism-expert/#comments Tue, 24 Nov 2015 20:35:53 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=144126 Mr Solomon Bamidele is the CEO/Founder, SBJ Foundation & Consultancy Company and S&M Trading, Tourist and Service Company Ltd in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Recently he spoke to ]]>

Mr Solomon Bamidele is the CEO/Founder, SBJ Foundation & Consultancy Company and S&M Trading, Tourist and Service Company Ltd in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Recently he spoke to BROWN CHIMEZIE on the challenges facing Nigerians seeking the Golden Fleece abroad and ways to avoid straying into wrong paths that could lead to exploitations. He also speaks on the tourism potential that abound in Nigeria and Vietnam and how both countries can work together for good. He speaks further
Excerpts

How long have you been living abroad?  And why did you choose Vietnam as your destination?
Having obtained B.Sc. in Economics, I have always wished to be a professional football player abroad but my Dream has been changed when I ended up in Asia instead of Europe due to some changes of traveling legal documents. The story of changes began in late 2008 early 2009 when I realized Football is not the only thing one can do here in Vietnam, a country located by the side of China and also having border with Cambodia and Laos. I realized Vietnam has much of potentials than many other Asian Countries in many areas. Industries are developing here and it offers many opportunities for business people around the world including Nigerians.

Can you share some employment, business and other opportunities in Vietnam?
Vietnam has all kinds of industries one could imagine and some of them are among the best industries in the world in areas like Machineries, Textiles, Rice, Plastic, Tourism, Commodities industries and so on. This country offers many opportunities for business and also employment. To be more specific, employments are for professionals. Vietnam is not a Country where foreigners can get Job offer easily especially for Africans who are not Professionals or educated but there are still lots of areas that Africans (Nigerians) can venture.
As a Professional one can venture into: IT, Sport, Management, Lecturers etc. and as Non-Professional: Investment, Trading (Import – Exports) of Textile, commodities, machinery and Accessories.

What do you think one need to know before travelling abroad?
One needs to have full knowledge of the Country where they are going. Knowing what they plan to do in that country though that plan might change later but they must know what they want and can do initially.
Having checked all information (through internet/embassy etc.) about that country first: Understand what the Country can offer before making decision to go there instead of following someone’s or agents baseless advice.
Finance capability is also very important because many Nigerians travel abroad without sufficient amount of money just because of their determination, lack of information about where they are going, and also ill advice from agents etc., and because of these reasons, many Nigerians ended up in Crime acts just because they have no finance at first place. Many young men have borrowed money from different sources hoping to pay back later but the plan fail due to unemployment. The hardship will push them to illegality and results behind bars.
It is also important to study well about the agent before making any contract with them for Travel plans. Many people got cheated and misleading due to unreliable Travel agents for their Entry Visa. They pay big sum of money for what being promised but not able to receive at the end. Their Visa will be expired before they get anything fixed and finally got stuck where they are not supposed to be.

Is there a Nigeria Embassy in Vietnam? How effective is the relationship between the embassy and its nationals over there?

Yes, the Nigeria Embassy is here in Vietnam (Hanoi) and many Nigerian businessmen are based in Ho Chi Minh City (2 hours flights from Hanoi). One of the major reasons why the Embassy has been established is for the purpose of its national’s benefits and I believe this culture is carried forward. In my previous article in Daily Sun Newspaper published on 14th October 2015 addressing the similar topic of Nigeria Embassy’s activities abroad. I have not made it clear that the Head of the Embassy is playing biggest role and it decide the attitude of the whole Embassy. The Nigeria Embassy in Vietnam is not an exceptional. The life of Nigerians community in Vietnam has been much developed and I must say a big thanks to our previous former head of Mission Ambassador Babatunde Ajisomo, also previous officers at our embassy Mr. Stephen Chitau and Mr. Ibrahim Hong. They have really contributed in assisting our Nationals here in Vietnam and promote the Business relationship between the 2 countries bringing more opportunities for Nigerians in Vietnam.
In recent years, the Embassy of Nigeria in Vietnam has also assisted us in getting E-Passport which has saved us from high expenditures. I have mentioned before, things would have been much better if the Embassy only work toward the community’s benefit but not individual’s or party’s. All the activities of the Embassy or individual at the Embassy must be based on the capacity of a Government body, Neutralized and fairness are what is lacking in recent past. One of the Embassy’s duty is to unite its Nationals and build a strong as well as healthy living environment for everyone. Its quite sad that this principle has not been followed and it left much of confusion among Nigerians in Vietnam. Despite many issues have happened, Nigerians in Vietnam still acknowledge the good works of some Embassy staffs. They have been giving positive assistance to Nigeria Community in Vietnam (ANCV) on the way forward. I myself appreciate their efforts so far and hope they will continue to play a roll of professional diplomat persons so that the Embassy can be operated effectively, bringing more benefits to its Nationals life in this foreign land.

Kindly tell us briefly more about yourself?
I am from Ibadan Oyo State, a businessman and also a consultant. I have traveled to many countries around the world but decided to choose Vietnam as my second home. I am married to a Vietnamese and we are blessed with a child. My business is involved in Textiles, Commodities, Entertainment and Legal consultancy. I am also the President of Nigerian Community in Vietnam (ANCV) since 2009 till date. Recently I just obtain a diploma in Business and Legal Studies. You can find out more about me on my website: solomonbamidele.com.

What is your advice for Nigeria Youths who plan to travel abroad?
There are many found success abroad but also many still achieve greatly in their father’s land. Home country is not having everything one asked for but it still offers many jobs and business for those who keen to do what they pursue in life. We all know some Nigerians abroad now make money from illegality (Internet cheating, 419 scams, drug trafficking, prostitution etc.) and came back showing their wealth, building their mansion, living large etc. This created temptation and pushed many young Nigerians to follow. My truly advise to all young Nigerians out there is that to know what you can do best in life, go for it with wisdom no matter where you are. Respect yourself and respect the host Country’s law. Be patient and never let yourself ever involved in crime.

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BREAKING NEWS: CBN cuts interest rates http://sunnewsonline.com/new/breaking-news-cbn-cuts-interest-rates/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/breaking-news-cbn-cuts-interest-rates/#comments Tue, 24 Nov 2015 16:04:26 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=144104 The Central Bank of Nigeria on Tuesday cut policy interest rate for the first time in almost four years. At the end of its two-day rate setting meeting, the CBN Chief, Godwin Emefiele announced a 200 points cut to 11% in headline interest rate from 13% previously. The financial regulator also shaves-off the Cash Reserve [...]]]>

The Central Bank of Nigeria on Tuesday cut policy interest rate for the first time in almost four years.
At the end of its two-day rate setting meeting, the CBN Chief, Godwin Emefiele announced a 200 points cut to 11% in headline interest rate from 13% previously.
The financial regulator also shaves-off the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) sharply from 25% to 20%, the deepest cut in the harmonised rate following a smaller easing done by the CBN last September.
The decision to cut both the policy rate and the harmonised cash reserve ratio, the CBN Governor said, was to engineer growth by increasing the flow of lending to critical sectors of the economy like agriculture, solid minerals, critical social infrastructure and manufacturing.

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Nigeria bucks Africa trend by cutting benchmark rate to 11% http://sunnewsonline.com/new/144094/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/144094/#comments Tue, 24 Nov 2015 15:31:53 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=144094 Nigeria’s central bank reduced its benchmark interest rate for the first time in six years, diverging from its counterparts in most of Africa that have tightened monetary policy in the face of weakening currencies. The key rate was cut to 11 percent from a record high of 13 percent, Governor Godwin Emefiele told reporters on [...]]]>

Nigeria’s central bank reduced its benchmark interest rate for the first time in six years, diverging from its counterparts in most of Africa that have tightened monetary policy in the face of weakening currencies.

The key rate was cut to 11 percent from a record high of 13 percent, Governor Godwin Emefiele told reporters on Tuesday in Abuja, the capital. Seven of the 20 economists surveyed by Bloomberg predicted a lower rate, while the rest forecast it would stay unchanged.

Central Banks from Uganda to South Africa have raised interest rates this year to ward off inflation threats stemming from weaker currencies. Policy makers in Nigeria, Africa’s biggest oil producer, have protected the naira in the face of plunging crude revenue by imposing foreign-exchange restrictions instead.

Lower interest rates may help the government as it ramps up borrowing to finance its budget. President Muhammadu Buhari asked lawmakers last week to approve a supplementary budget for this year that seeks to raise spending by 10 percent and boost borrowing by an additional 1.6 trillion naira ($8 billion).

Inflation slowed for the first time in almost a year in October to 9.3 percent, staying above the bank’s target band of 6 percent to 9 percent. The economy expanded 2.8 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier, slightly higher than the 2.4 percent recorded in the previous month.

The cash reserve ratio was reduced to 20 percent from 25 percent, while the range around the monetary policy rate was changed to plus 200 basis points, minus 700 basis points.

(Source: BLOOMBERG)

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Implications of MTN N1.4trn fine –Stakeholders http://sunnewsonline.com/new/implications-of-mtn-n1-4trn-fine-stakeholders/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/implications-of-mtn-n1-4trn-fine-stakeholders/#comments Tue, 24 Nov 2015 01:07:42 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=144034 Controversy has continued to trail the fine of N1.4trn slammed on MTN Nigeria by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC). ]]>

Stories Olabisi Olaleye
bisiolaleye@gmail.com
08094000013, 08111813040

Controversy has continued to trail the fine of N1.4trn slammed on MTN Nigeria by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
The latest from that saga came from governors of the 36 states of the Federation who unanimously asked MTN to pay up the fine , while other stakeholders believe the company needs a soft landing.
Commenting on this development, an industry analyst, Femi Fasanya,  said,  “governors are saying that MTN should pay the whole fine, but  many of them are yet to pay salaries of their workers.
“If there is a lay off after the payment, will NCC, the Federal Government and the governors absolve and pay those that may be laid off?”
Also reacting, Taiwo Jacobs, another stakeholder believes that if MTN is asked to  pay all the money, it may affect the capacity of Nigerian financial institutions especially as many of them are not healthy enough to withstand financial pressure any more owing to the current state of the economy.
But some other financial experts believe that MTN can convieniently pay the fine except that it would erode on its profitability for the year.
In a phone interview, Dr. Mustapha Ojo, a financial expert explained that contrary to the belief that Nigerian banks don’t have the financial muscle to pull the fine, “only three banks can covieniently loan MTN from their minimum capital assuming it has not borrowed money to service other projects. Banks are intermediaries between the deficit and the surplus side of the economy. The question should be, where will MTN get the money? Will it borrow it from Nigerian banks or bring the money from its stock exchange in Johanesbourg?
“Although, I am certain that it can raise from Nigerian banks because they are not loaning out because economy is not viable . Nothing is currently moving, however, they will feel more comfortable to loan MTN because it is exposed to banks.
“Exposure is rooted in behavioural finance and banking is based on Other Prople’s Money (OPM). OPM is the pscychology of the poor and rich towards investment. The rich invest their money and spend what is left. While, the poor spend thier money and invest the rest.”
On the other hand, Sola Carew, a banker allayed fears that it won’t affect financial system liquidity but that more drop calls and poor service delivery may be experienced by susbcribers.
He further explained that MTN is not an indigenous company that retains its profits in Nigeria. They take it back to South Africa.
“The fine is an indirect way of retaining income made by MTN into the Nigeria’s tax web of a fine”.
However, he cautioned that MTN may not be able to declare much profit for the year and might need to sack workers to be able to remain in operation”.
Meanwhile, some industry watchers believe that with  N1.4trillion ( $5.2bn), about 1/4 of Nigeria’s total budget for 2015 is slammed on a company. This may discourage foreign investors and destroy a workplace with over 90 per cent of Nigerians.
“This amount could transform any country, but may end up killing the dominant operator and discourage foreign investors”.
A stakeholder and President of Association of Licensed Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), Mr. Gbenga Adebayo said: “There is no two way about it. This kind of fine is extremely outrageous for any business. Government needs to decide whether it wants to destroy or help build the nation.
“The truth is that foreign investors will not only be discouraged, Nigeria will find it difficult to convince any foreign investor it has conducive atmosphere. As if that was not enough, if all these companies collapse and many Nigerians are thrown back into the unemployment market, has NCC’s effort at regulation become a plus or minus?”
A source in MTN, who pleaded anonymity, stated that it is not too good to throw away a baby with his bathwater.
According to the source, since MTN Nigeria started its operations, it has paid well over N4billion yearly to NCC as operating levies and even during this fine issue, NCC has renewed our licennse for another five years.
“MTN is law abiding, it has paid over N1trillion in taxes and levies since August 8, 2001 when it started operation and invested well over $15bn on network roll out. When NCC slammed the $5.2 billion sanction, a network operator has to cross check, everyone has a right. It need to respect its subscribers’ right and it took a while to deactivate the 5.1 subscribers, before it realised what was happening again, the regualtor has slammed yet another fine.
“NCC has to look inwards so that many operators will not become history, “ the source said.
It will be recalled that MTN Group CEO Mr. Sifiso Dabengwa resigned his appointment because of his inability to settle the issue amicably.

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Rate retention, CRR adjustment likely as MPC ends 2015 meetings http://sunnewsonline.com/new/rate-retention-crr-adjustment-likely-as-mpc-ends-2015-meetings/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/rate-retention-crr-adjustment-likely-as-mpc-ends-2015-meetings/#comments Tue, 24 Nov 2015 01:05:24 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=144032 AS the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) concludes the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting for 2015 today, financial industry experts are already predicting it would leave rates unchanged, especially with the expansion in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and marginal ease in inflation figures.]]>

By  Blaise Udunze

AS the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) concludes the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting for 2015 today, financial industry experts are already predicting it would leave rates unchanged, especially with the expansion in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and marginal ease in inflation figures.

There were, however, indications the development could make the CBN to try out further use of administrative measures to manage foreign exchange rates (and conserve external reserves) while also keeping the financial system liquid to stimulate lending and growth.

The meeting is coming against the backdrop of concerns surrounding CBN’s handling of FX rate and calls for further devaluation of the local currency, slow GDP growth, unrelenting inflationary pressure, robust liquidity levels in the financial system as well as the increasing expectation for a FED rate hike in December 2015.

This was as recent statistics by National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed the GDP figures for Q3:2015 expanded 2.8 per cent Year- on-Year (to N18 trillion) in Q3:2015, 0.5 per cent higher than 2.4 per cent recorded in Q2:2015 but 3.4 per cent lower than 6.2 per cent recorded in prior year.

In a pre-MPC meeting outlook at the weekend, London-based, Chief Economist, Africa Global

Research, Standard Chartered Bank, Razia Khan, said she expects the CBN to keep its monetary policy rate unchanged with further adjustment to the cash reserve ratio (CRR) tentatively, while policy decisions will be scrutinised for clues on future FX regime intentions.

She, however, noted that inflation was unlikely to be the key policy consideration.

According to her, any policy shifts announced today will be scrutinised for clues on future FX regime intentions, rather than a view of where inflation is likely to head.

“We expect the CBN to keep the MPR unchanged at 31per cent on Tuesday. There is a greater likelihood of an adjustment to the cash reserve ratio (CRR), in order to ease pressure on liquidity, following Nigeria’s Treasury Single Account (TSA) being made operational.

“Consistently low rates of private-sector credit growth, economic slowdown concerns, and a doubling in the mandatory provisioning for performing loans, to 2 per cent in November, may encourage efforts to provide further relief to Nigerian banks by cutting the CRR yet again,” Khan stated.

She further hinted that as- yet-unclear plans for a more expansionary fiscal stance may also require lower rates, easing the authorities’ ability to finance any deficit through domestic borrowing.

According to her, the magnitude of a CRR cut – if it is forthcoming – is likely to be determined by the need to achieve consensus amongst MPC members, as some may not favour further easing.

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BVN for forex: We saved $300m in 3 weeks –Emefiele http://sunnewsonline.com/new/bvn-for-forex-we-saved-300m-in-3-weeks-emefiele/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/bvn-for-forex-we-saved-300m-in-3-weeks-emefiele/#comments Tue, 24 Nov 2015 01:01:52 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=144030 THE Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, has disclosed that the decision to tie all transactions by Bureau De Change (BDC) operators to the Bank Verification Number (BVN) has saved the nation about $300 million in the first thee weeks.]]>

THE Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, has disclosed that the decision to tie all transactions by Bureau De Change (BDC) operators to the Bank Verification Number (BVN) has saved the nation about $300 million in the first thee weeks.

Emefiele, who spoke at the 49th Annual Bankers Dinner organized by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) in Lagos at the weekend, said that the directive had cut down the number of BDCs requesting foreign exchange thereby reducing foreign exchange sales by $100 million every week.

“We have seen that the number of BDC operators who purchase forex from the Central Bank every week dropped from an average of about 2,886 to just below 1,200 BDCs, thereby giving the CBN forex savings of almost $100 million per week. This policy seems to have chased away unscrupulous BDC operators to allow only genuine operators to remain in the market” he said.

Noting that while “it may be too soon to completely adjudicate on the merits of our policies, preliminary signs indicate that we are headed to the right direction as a people”, Emefiele said

He, however, noted that through its various policies, the CBN has “managed to attain stability in the exchange rate at about N197/$1 since February 2015, although some are not happy with us for that action. Most speculators and rent- seekers have been eliminated from the forex market.

“Domestic production of excluded items such as tomato paste, rice, fish, aluminum items, and others are picking up gradually. Despite the sharp drop in inflows, our forex reserves is still at about $30 billion which is enough to cover about six months of Nigeria’s imports as against the traditional benchmark of three months.

Emefiele said “this is an opportunity for us to look inwards, diversify our economy away from oil, produce locally and create jobs for our unemployed youths.

“We definitely cannot survive as a people by importing everything and anything. We are a resilient and hardworking people and I am confident that out of these difficulties would come out the best ideas. I am assured that better days are around the corner and we just cannot lose faith. This is the time to display our resilience as a nation and we must all put our hands on the deck to ensure a better economy for Nigeria.”

Also speaking, the President of the Institute, Mrs. ’Debola Osibogun, affirmed that a lot has happened not only in the economic landscape but also in the nation’s political arena while other far reaching initiatives introduced have in one way or the other had impacted the banking industry and the economy.

She, however, charged the new Ministers to fulfill the promises of the government creation of an enabling environment for all stakeholders with unprecedented rebuilding of Nigerian infrastructure, to diversify the economy through agriculture, solid minerals and the revival of the textile industry which would contribute to helping the economy move forward and act as major revenue earners thus helping to enhance employment generation.

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Buhari restates commitment to global gas supply chain http://sunnewsonline.com/new/buhari-restates-commitment-to-global-gas-supply-chain/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/buhari-restates-commitment-to-global-gas-supply-chain/#comments Tue, 24 Nov 2015 00:57:57 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=144028 President Muhammadu Buhari has assured the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) of his government’s continuous support for the global gas supply chain.]]>

From Dennis Mernyi, Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari has assured the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) of his government’s continuous support for the global gas supply chain.
The President stated this at the third Summit of Heads of State and Governments of the GECF member countries in Tehran, the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Buhari stated that trying times call for more cooperation and coordination among member countries, while thanking President Hassan Rouhani of Iran for the invitation to discuss issues affecting the GECF and reaffirm commitment to the objectives of the forum.
Speaking at the 17th Ministerial Meeting of the GECF at the weekend, in Tehran, the GECF President and Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, identified market volatility, increasing competition, price war and escalating cost of infrastructure development as the key challenges facing the gas industry in general and the GECF in particular.
Kachikwu said that volatility has brought so much uncertainty and instability to the market thus affecting decisions on investment for long term supply of gas. He noted that increasing competition occasioned by the surge in new gas producers has led to a price war at a time when the cost of infrastructure development is escalating. These developments, he argued, are setting the stage for even more challenges for the industry and GECF member countries in the future.  However, Kachikwu cautioned against reacting to the current challenges by failing to invest in the industry. He assured that the current challenges will come to pass and the market will rebound given the world’s need for energy and the environmental credentials of gas as the cleanest hydrocarbon fuel.
Commending the forum for the success it has achieved since inception in 2001, the GECF President urged member countries to continue to give it the required support to make it realise its fullest potentials. He paid tribute to the government and people of Iran for hosting the 3rd Summit of the GECF Heads of State and Governments, noting that it was a great achievement for the GECF that it was able to hold three successful summits within a period of five years, 2011 in Doha, 2013 in Moscow and 2015 in Tehran.
The forum announced the re-appointment of Dr. SM Hossein Adeli, as GECF Secretary General for another period of two years. Adeli, an Iranian Professor of Economics and former Governor of the Iranian Central Bank had competed for the position with Nigeria’s Ambassador Shuaibu Adamu Ahmed, a diplomat, Chartered Accountant and Financial Consultant.
The Ministers also appointed Dr. Mohammed Bin Saleh Al-Sada, Minister of Energy of Qatar, as President of the Ministerial Meeting from January 1 until December 31, 2016, and Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, Minister of Petroleum of Iran as Alternate President for the same period.
The GECF Summit was attended by nine Heads of State and Governments of the forum’s member countries and five representatives of other member and observer countries.

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How loan restructuring reduced states’ debt service obligations – DMO boss http://sunnewsonline.com/new/how-loan-restructuring-reduced-states-debt-service-obligations-dmo-boss/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/how-loan-restructuring-reduced-states-debt-service-obligations-dmo-boss/#comments Tue, 24 Nov 2015 00:56:48 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=144026 The Debt Management Office (DMO) has restated its commitment to deepen the participation of retail investors in investment and trading of the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) bonds. ]]>

By Chinenye Anuforo

The Debt Management Office (DMO) has restated its commitment to deepen the participation of retail investors in investment and trading of the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) bonds.
Speaking after a meeting with the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) officials and ringing of the closing gong at the NSE yesterday in Lagos, the Director General of DMO, Dr. Abraham Nwankwo, said since 2012 there have been conscious efforts to ensure that FGN bonds are democratised to allow retail investors participate.
“The move led the DMO to appoint Stanbic IBTC Stockbrokers as government stockbrokers. It was part of our efforts to ensure that whatever service we deliver is democratised not just for the upper echelon alone but also for retail investors. We wanted Stanbic IBTC to assist us in making sure that even retail investors with little money can also participate in the investment of FGN bonds, so that those investments can also be traded on the NSE. The NSE is not an elitist platform; it is not only for millionaires and billionaires but also for those with little money as N10,000. With N10,000 you can invest in FGN bond and have it listed on the NSE,” he said.
Nwankwo said the move also yielded some positive results, explaining that the visit to the NSE was part of continued engagement in ensuring that more retail investors are encourage to invest and trade in FGN bonds. “Our job is to encourage retail investors to buy FGN bonds and have their bonds traded on the NSE just as those of big investors. The DMO works in collaboration with other institutions both in public and private sectors so that we strategise and produce maximum results for the Nigerian economy. That is why we are here at the Exchange,” he stated.
On the impact of the recent restructuring of states’ banks loans into FGN bonds, the DMO boss said it has led to drop in the deduction for debt services.
“For some states, debt services deduction dropped by as high as 95 per cent. This means it has given the states some breathing space to enable them meet other obligations, particularly paying of salaries. However, the focus of government and DMO in making its contributions is to ensure that  there will be   medium to long term stabilisation of the fiscal conditions,  particularly the establishment of state sustaining growth, which generate jobs,” he said.
According to him, the emphasis of government is that in the next couple of years, there will be a self-sustaining growth where employment will be generated, where the economy is well diversified so that there are many sources of foreign exchange revenue for the government.
In doing this, the onus is on Nigerians, individuals, institutions, public and private sectors to make their contributions so that the noble  objective of the government to quickly diversify the economy so that there is an inclusion growth is achieved,” he said.

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