The Sun News » Business http://sunnewsonline.com/new - Voice of The Nation Mon, 06 Jul 2015 00:04:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.5 Invasion of Public Relations space by charlatans, bad business for Nigeria –Rotimi Oladele, NIPR boss http://sunnewsonline.com/new/invasion-of-public-relations-space-by-charlatans-bad-business-for-nigeria-rotimi-oladele-nipr-boss/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/invasion-of-public-relations-space-by-charlatans-bad-business-for-nigeria-rotimi-oladele-nipr-boss/#comments Sun, 05 Jul 2015 23:48:14 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=126105 By UCHE USIM Dr. Rotimi Oladele can be described as a ball juggler. Aside being the President and Chairman of Council of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), he is also the Managing Director of Megabond West Africa Limited, a security and commercial press. In his quest to broaden his intellectual horizon, Oladele literally [...]]]>

By UCHE USIM

Dr. Rotimi Oladele can be described as a ball juggler. Aside being the President and Chairman of Council of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), he is also the Managing Director of Megabond West Africa Limited, a security and commercial press.

In his quest to broaden his intellectual horizon, Oladele literally became an educationist, bagging six Masters Degrees in different fields of endeavour.

Unassuming, calm and suave, Oladele is a believer of excel­lence and professionalism.

He thus advised the government to ensure that only pro­fessionals handle Public Relations business in the country as allowing charlatans do such critical jobs would hurt the economy adversely.

He has steered the ship of NIPR since December 2013 till date and on assumption of office, he saw there were lots to do to reposition NIPR.

In this exclusive interview with Daily Sun in Uyo recently on the sidelines of a training programme for Customs Public Relations Officers, he shares his experiences, views and chal­lenges as NIPR President and Megabond Chief Executive.

Excerpts:

  • Oladele

NIPR before we took over

Well, I came in as the Presi­dent of NIPR in December 2013. Before then, we were patching on. We could say that professional­ism in terms of standards was not too high but it wasn’t the fault of my predecessors. Situations beyond their control were responsible. But myself and my colleagues now onboard believed we will put in everything it takes into it to ensure that we compete professionally and standard wise with other professional bodies. So, we are re-engineering everything and that is why we put some reform agenda in place, which we have been pursuing since then.

Functions of NIPR

The functions of NIPR include regulating the practice of Pub­lic Relations as a profession. Again, it is to develop it as a career and to train professionals along structured syllabus, which you can stand as tools of engagement and portfolios of skills, which people must acquire before the practice, professionally and educationally. Therefore, it must be done in a proper way just like lawyers, accountants, medical prac­titioners, engineers, among others, do their own. So, it is not something someone just wakes up one morning and say, I’m a Public Relations prac­titioner. It is not done that way.

Requirements for member of NIPR

Primarily, any member of the public who wishes to be a PR practitioner must pass our own professional examinations; which are in two parts. We have the certificate examination and the diploma. But if you have similar or related qualifica­tions, you can move your member­ship ahead faster than those who are far away from it. So, that is why Mass Communication, Marketing, Journalism and Advertising gradu­ates could have shorter process of becoming members. But ordinarily, there’s need to have good knowledge of principles and practice of PR. PR is not same thing as Journalism, Marketing, Advertising ad Mass Communication but there are related areas. It’s just like if you’re talking about someone being a medical prac­titioner; if he is a nurse or laboratory scientist, pharmacist, that doesn’t make him a medical doctor. So, it’s the same thing in PR. They can have fair knowledge or peripheral knowl­edge of the profession or similar things in common, but it is not the whole of their profession. They must professionalise.

Affiliate global groups

NIPR is a very strong member of the Global Alliance for Public Relations Institute in the whole world. I was a co-Chair in last year’s annual conference in Madrid, Spain. So, we are financial and bonafide member of Global Alliance for Public Relations.

Future of NIPR in Nigeria

NIPR in Nigeria will grow. PR itself will grow as a profession in Nigeria because of our population advantage. Our popula­tion creates the market. Our political maturity that is emerging also creates that market. Like in the USA, almost every politician has a PR practitioner managing him or her, like a legal adviser managing a man in terms of legal issues or a medical practitioner managing someone’s health. This is because corporate and individual reputation are becoming a neces­sity now globally. So definitely, the market is being created gradually and aside from that, almost every organisation has a PR Department to handle its corporate image and perception. All companies and estab­lishments require one PR service or the other. It is vital for their success and sustaining same.

Challenges as NIPR president

Government itself should comply with the law or the pact. Decree 16, which is now Act of the National Assembly of 1990 established the NIPR as the regulator of that career and profession. So, it is important that the government ensures that in all the local govern­ments, states and parastatals, profes­sional PR practitioners are engaged to run the PR business for them. We want the incoming government to know that part of the integrity they can build is to put round pegs in round holes by using professionals for managing their PR challenges. Running PR businesses by non-professionals and charlatans would not augur well for this country, as we need to build reputation for this country.

Megabonds West Africa Lim­ited

It is a security and commercial press. Originally, it was jointly owned by the five English speaking West African nations. But right now, Nigeria is having about 97 per cent equity in it and we are doing well.

Expansion plans

The company has actually expanded very well in the last five years and we still have the dreams to expand further. We actually have a dream of build­ing a publishing division that will drive infrastructure in terms of instructional materials for primary, secondary and tertiary institutions. But we found out that the kind of instructional materials that Nigerians need for education now should be talking about entrepreneurship and skill education. And that is why we want to start from the scratch, work­ing through relevant agencies like Nigerian Research and Development Council (NRDC), Federal and State Ministries of Education, the Univer­sal Basic Education Board (UBEC), among others.

We also have the dream of having a training centre for Print Technology because that is not very common in Nigeria. Unfortunately, our polytechnics and universities are not equipped for printing and publishing studies. And Nigeria has a large need for professionals in that area. We have so many printers who are literate and semi-illiterate but we are talking about those who will be modern day printers with good knowledge of ICT. So, that is what we are looking at.

Challenges in Megabond

For Megabond, the major chal­lenge is that the consumables and inputs as well as machinery for that business are all import depen­dent. In Nigeria, we don’t have a paper mill of our own. The only one working, Jebba, only does brown paper with 30-40 per cent capac­ity; while Oku-Iboku and Owopin are moribund. Aside those I listed, there is no other one. Papers are imported and same with plates, film, machines, etc. These cost money. So, it is a serious challenge. Worse still, banks are not helping because we don’t have printing and publishing desks in any of the banks. You can see agriculture, oil and gas, aviation, etc. But you can’t see printing and publishing desk, which is import dependent and very critical to devel­opment of education, information, commerce, administration, among others. So, despite ICT, we still do a lot of high volume of paper, which, of course, we need.

Success secrets

Self-organisation is number one. Prayer and believing in God is number two. Hard work is number three; determination is number four and finally, self-confidence is number five. Those are my success secrets.

About NIPR

Established in 1963, NIPR, the professional body of quali­fied Public Relations practitioners, attained charter status in 1990 with Decree 16 (now Act of the Federal Republic of Nigeria).

The law mandates NIPR to regulate the practice and direct the development of Public Relations as a profession in Nigeria. The law also makes it illegal to practice Public Relations, under any title, in Nigeria without NIPR certification.

Objectives

To promote and develop the art and science of Public Rela­tions practice in Nigeria. To establish, prescribe and ensure the observance of high standards of professional and ethical practice.

To provide facilities, advice and opportunities for executives to meet and discuss Public Relations problems and case studies, thereby improving the standards of Public Relations practice in Nigeria.

To encourage the acquisition of professional qualifications in Public Relations through the provision of examinations and other facili­ties, while building a credible and dynamic professional institution that is responsive to Nigeria’s needs.

To conduct research, collect and disseminate information on all aspects of Public Relations, publish journals, books, practice papers and guidelines.

It is also aimed at promoting professional excellence through members upholding the Code of Ethics, Code of Conduct and through the Professional Standards Guide (PSG). The PSG entrenches a system of life long learning as well as gain­ing stakeholders’ commitment to high standard of PR practice to give more value to those the professional serves. Encourage a more relevant institute and more reputation-sensitive society by working with appropriate associations to generate sustained focus on the contributions of stakeholders in different sectors.

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Incessant robbery attacks threaten banks’ existence http://sunnewsonline.com/new/incessant-robbery-attacks-threaten-banks-existence/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/incessant-robbery-attacks-threaten-banks-existence/#comments Sun, 05 Jul 2015 23:41:51 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=126095 …As S’West states lead in recorded incidents By BLAISE UDUNZE The recent upsurge in robbery attacks on financial institutions across the country may have heightened apprehension over the fate of Nigeria’s banking industry. This is worrisome because despite attempts to stem the tide, available statistics show the problem is rather escalating. Checks by Daily Sun [...]]]>

…As S’West states lead in recorded incidents

By BLAISE UDUNZE

The recent upsurge in robbery attacks on financial institutions across the country may have heightened apprehension over the fate of Nigeria’s banking industry.

This is worrisome because despite attempts to stem the tide, available statistics show the problem is rather escalating.

Checks by Daily Sun revealed that armed robbery cases are more pronounced in eight of the 36 states, including Lagos, Ondo, Oyo and Ogun states. In the past seven months after sev­eral robberies on banks in Owo, in Ondo, most banks refused to open shop in places like Ondo, Lagos, Oyo, Ogun, Kano, Cross River, Imo and the Federal Capi­tal Territory (FCT).

The crime figures, which are contained in a report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), are based on cases re­ported to the police as the break­down of the armed robbery cases in the states since 2007 shows Oyo leading with 224 while the FCT had 172 and Imo follow­ing with 176. Rivers had 145; Cross River, 137; Kano, 108; and Ogun, 107.

While Lagos, which in the past recorded a drastic fall in armed robbery cases from 300 to 70 is now rising instead of abat­ing, eight states had less than 28 armed robbery incidents.

In less than two months after they held the Lekki area of La­gos hostage and robbed a First City Monument Bank (FCMB) branch in Lekki, Lagos carting away N15 million, about N100 million was said to have been stolen from Zenith and First Bank branches in Ebute-Ipakodo in Ikorodu. These robbery cases also come with human cost as the Owo bank robbery resulted in the death of no fewer than 20 persons. In that operation, armed robbers attacked four banks, namely, Wema Bank, Ecobank, First Bank and Skye Bank. Eye­witness accounts put the number of the hoodlums that carried out the operation at about 40 and that they arrived in about 10 vehicles.

The siege, on the banks by the daring robbers and the general sense of insecurity prevailing in the country, are major concern to financial analysts, who bemoan the frequency of successful bank robbery in Nigeria and the losses associated with each operation.

According to the MD/CEO of Cowry Asset Management Ltd, Johnson Chukwu, there is need for government to drive the cashless policy to a higher level of adoption such that it will be difficult for large sums of cash to be deposited into the banks. With that, banks would not need to keep large volume of cash in their vault while robbers will also find it difficult to deposit their loot in the banks.

Chukwu noted that the suc­cessful implementation of the national identity card system would help in tracing and appre­hending criminals through their fingerprints.

“To reduce the rate of rob­bery, the government needs to strengthen internal security as well as improve the investigative capacity of the police,” he said. So far police appears helpless in this orgy of violance.

Head of BGL’s Research and Intelligence Unit, Femi Ade­mola, lamented that bank rob­bery, which had reduced over the years, is currently rearing its ugly head again. He disclosed that there is always the probabil­ity that banks’ officials may be involved in the robbery.

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Biometric duplicity:  Nigerians protest multiple ID cards registration http://sunnewsonline.com/new/biometric-duplicity-nigerians-protest-multiple-id-cards-registration/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/biometric-duplicity-nigerians-protest-multiple-id-cards-registration/#comments Sun, 05 Jul 2015 23:40:19 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=126092 By OLABISI OLALEYE With the introduc­tion of chip and pin cards in the country, many federal agen­cies suddenly flew into fren­zy, falling over one another to issue biometric identifica­tion to Nigerians. So far, Nigerians now have the international passport, Per­manent Voter’s Card (PVC), Driver’s licence, Nationa, Identity card, Bank Verifica­tion Number (BVN) and Tax clearance [...]]]>

By OLABISI OLALEYE

With the introduc­tion of chip and pin cards in the country, many federal agen­cies suddenly flew into fren­zy, falling over one another to issue biometric identifica­tion to Nigerians.

So far, Nigerians now have the international passport, Per­manent Voter’s Card (PVC), Driver’s licence, Nationa, Identity card, Bank Verifica­tion Number (BVN) and Tax clearance card and even the now scrapped e-CMR not to talk of ATM cards as various forms of identification. The list is endless and an indication that one needs a special hand bag to carry these cards if there is no harmony in that dispen­sation.

With the cost implication of all these, Nigerians can not but wonder why should issu­ing means of identification by numerous agencies be the top agenda? Why should these government agencies dissipate efforts in multiple data captur­ing exercises, all in the name of issuing an identity card, and end up wasting the nation’s scarce resources.

Nigerians, more often than not, even to their chagrin, discover that, for any serious financial transaction, the In­ternational Passport is always requested. The question beg­ging for an answer now is whether, is it not possible for the government to come up with a unifying data bank for all its agencies working on the citizens’ biometric captur­ing? In all these projects it is the citizens that are being held hostage.

Just last week, owing to the then impending deadline, ten­sion heightened and several man hours were wasted as Ni­gerians trooped out in droves to beat the deadline for the BVN, and very soon, it would be the turn of National Iden­tity Management Commission (NIMC) to host Nigerians in their million to beat its Sep­tember deadline.

Before the new October 31 deadline for the BVN was set, many Nigerians had besieged the banks to have their bio­metrics captured. Recall that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), last year, introduced the BVN, mandating banks to act upon as part of the Know Your Customers (KYC) initia­tive.

On the other hand, the NIMC has also set September 1, 2015 deadline, in which all transactions involving iden­tification of individuals must be done with the National Identification Number (NIN). It had urged Nigerians to avail themselves the opportunity of enrolment into the National Identity database.

NIMC started the aware­ness about two years ago , while some failed to register, others, who registered, are yet to get their new national ID cards. The Commission had, in recent newspaper advertori­als between April 27 and May 4, 2015, said that the use of NIN shall become mandatory as from September 1, 2015, for all transactions offered by applicable government institu­tions.

These transactions, pursuant to section 27 (1) and (2) of the NIMC Act, 2007 include: ap­plication for and issuance of an International Passport; open­ing of individual and/or group bank accounts, all consumer credits; purchase of insurance policies; the purchase, transfer and registration of land by any individual; National Health In­surance Scheme, such transactions that have social security implications, registration of voters, payment of taxes, and pensions.

The General Manager, In­spectorate, Regulatory and Compliance Services, Mrs. Hadiza Dagabana, said: “Consequently, any govern­ment agency/institution, bank, insurance company and all other institutions offering ser­vices and/or involved in trans­actions requiring the identity of an individual must first de­mand for the NIN. Any indi­vidual, institutions/body who fails to comply with the above has committed an offence punishable under section 28 of the NIMC Act” .

But the processes and pro­cedures leading to obtaining the new national ID card is not as simple as it was made to look. A visit to any local gov­ernment headquarters where the data capturing is done would leave you in no doubt that a thug-infested political rally can be more orderly com­pared with a free-for- fall show happening there every time. Daily Sun learnt that agents of the NIMC in various location collect as much as N500 per person to fill the form before one can now go to the local government for capturing.

The experience is similar to the nightmare Nigerian go through trying to acquire a driver’s licence, with endless visits to FRSC offices for data capturing. Despite this, many Nigerians, according to checks by Daily Sun, have not been able to get thier biometrics captured, unless goes through the back door.The usual re­frain is ‘there is no paper’ for the exercise.

BVN technology is the cap­turing of an individual’s basic biometric data information, including the facial image, the two thumbs and index finger­prints as well as other unique features of that individual. It will utilise the biometric tech­nology system for verification and secure authentication of the identity of the bank. And a permanent unique number will be generated in that process and synchronised for other banks transaction. While the new Electronic Identity Card (e-ID), also involve the bio­metrics technology and the generation of a unique num­ber, which is known as the Na­tional Identification Number (NIN), that will enable an indi­vidual perform other functions under the harmonised National Identity Database that was or­dered by the Jonathan admin­istration in October, 2013.

However, the question on every lip is whether this is not a duplicity of similar exercise because both will address the same issue of identification?

According to an industry analyst, Uchenna Ezeigbo, Nigeria just preferred to waste resources and time unneces­sarily.

“If the e-ID card will solve some banking issues, one would have expected har­monisation or a convergence of these things rather than the duplication of biometrics tech­nology to be deployed by the CBN. There are implication for these things. How many Nigerians will remember their NIN, driver’s licence and BVN numbers? For instance, I have four mobile numbers, I only remember two out of the four. It’s not easy for an adult to put up these things. Tech­nology is about convergence and I think it is something that should be looked into”.

Another industry watcher, Uche Ilomuanya, said that both the electronic identifica­tion card and the BVN can be used for the same purpose, rather than bringing up anoth­er biometrics format.

“Why can’t the Federal Government come up with a unified identification just like the security number that is used abroad for easy authen­tication.

“Can you imagine? My BVN is 11 digit, while my new national Id card has an­other 16 digits. In fact, my driver’s license is there and not to talk of my International Passport as well as my ATM Pin how many more can I memorize? It is worrisome and this is one of the things the Buhari administration should address. We should be more serious with development is­sues and not waste time on ir­relevance”.

He reiterated that since the e-ID card has the functionality of a payment card, a platform that includes the CBN and others banks. He maintained that there shouldn’t have been any duplicity of ideas and card technology.

 

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Analyst faults use of BVN to pay unclaimed dividend http://sunnewsonline.com/new/analyst-faults-use-of-bvn-to-pay-unclaimed-dividend/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/analyst-faults-use-of-bvn-to-pay-unclaimed-dividend/#comments Sun, 05 Jul 2015 23:35:47 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=126080 By OMODELE ADIGUN The plan to settle over N80 billion unclaimed divi­dend through the Bank Verification Number (BVN) may turn out to be an exercise in futility, as an analyst has punc­tured holes in the pro­posal. According to Mr. Olu­tola Mobolurin, the Chair­man of Capital Bancorp Plc, the initiative may pose identity problem for its [...]]]>

By OMODELE ADIGUN

The plan to settle over N80 billion unclaimed divi­dend through the Bank Verification Number (BVN) may turn out to be an exercise in futility, as an analyst has punc­tured holes in the pro­posal.

According to Mr. Olu­tola Mobolurin, the Chair­man of Capital Bancorp Plc, the initiative may pose identity problem for its proponents as they may find it difficult to iden­tify the real owners of unclaimed dividend from thousands of people with name-sake.

Recall that the Man­aging Director/CEO of First Registrars, Mr. Bayo Olugbemi, in a chat with Daily Sun recently said that an effort was ongo­ing by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Se­curities and Exchange Commission(SEC), regis­trars and the Nigeria Inter- Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) to use BVN to resolve the issue of un­claimed dividend in the country.

His words: “Normally, we can not just pick your account number, you must fill a form, and that form must be endorsed by your bank for us to be able to capture it.

But now there is an initiative by CBN, SEC, registrars and NIBSS, to ensure that if everybody is registered on the BVN, if everybody has BVN, with that, we can pick account number of shareholders from NIBSS, go to the bank to confirm.That is ongoing. CBN is involved, SEC is involved, registrars are involved, NIBSS is involved. I believe when the enrolment has been concluded, with that, it will be easier for us to cap­ture shareholders account number straight from that” and transfer the unclaimed dividends to their bank ac­counts.

But as if to liken such scenario to the now rested TV series, Fuji House of Commotion, Mobolurin said: “That is a very am­bitious initiative. Let me pose a problem for you. For those who bear simi­lar names, I can tell you that if you say Ayo Ajayi, it would produce in Lagos alone over a thousand. So into which Ayo Ajayi’s BVN account are they go­ing to pay the unclaimed dividend. Do they have the finger prints to match the names?”

He advised the registrars to go extra mile to do what is needful by pursuing the shareholders and get them to take their unclaimed dividend. The issue of unclaimed dividend con­tinues to occupy the front burner at the capital mar­ket as available statistics show that it continues to mount. Currently, it is put at about N80 billion.

By December 2013, it was estimated to be about N60 billion. Going down memory lane, the increase in the past 15 years has been rated at over 600 per cent. For instance, in 1999, it was put at about N2bil­lion; 2008, N8billion; 2011, N41billion; N60bil­lion in 2013 and N80 bil­lion at the end of 2014.

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I became filmmaker by accident –Ikechukwu Onyeka, CEO, Iykon Productions Inc. http://sunnewsonline.com/new/i-became-filmmaker-by-accident-ikechukwu-onyeka-ceo-iykon-productions-inc/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/i-became-filmmaker-by-accident-ikechukwu-onyeka-ceo-iykon-productions-inc/#comments Sat, 04 Jul 2015 23:28:58 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=125962 BY AYO ALONGE ayhalliday@yahoo.com Ikechukwu Onyeka is a filmmaker and a graduate of Colorado Film School, USA. He runs Iykon Productions, a film production outlet situat­ed in Lagos. The successful cinematographer recalls how he grew from grass to grace in business despite his hum­ble background in the much spoken about Ajegunle axis of Lagos State. [...]]]>

BY AYO ALONGE ayhalliday@yahoo.com

Ikechukwu Onyeka is a filmmaker and a graduate of Colorado Film School, USA. He runs Iykon Productions, a film production outlet situat­ed in Lagos. The successful cinematographer recalls how he grew from grass to grace in business despite his hum­ble background in the much spoken about Ajegunle axis of Lagos State.

Interestingly, a five to 10 minute interview with the re­nowned filmmaker dramatically turned out to be a long movie in itself as the actor, producer cum director revealed a lot on issues about his life and career. The en­counter was also an opportunity to have a deeper insight into the challenges of film making .Excerpts:

Could you tell us about your childhood?

I come from a very hum­ble background and I am the second child of my parents and the first male. So, in this part of the world, you know what that means. I grew up in the ghetto and I think I really need to emphasize that. I grew up at Amukoko. It’s a slum between Ajegunle and Ijora plagued by the challenges of vice and squalor and I think so far, that has shaped who I am.

What motivated you into cinematography?

I don’t know about motivation but I know it was the hand of God, because prior to getting into the industry, I never met great people who could help and so I would say I am a child of circumstance here. I was an Okada rider at Surulere and one day, I had an encounter with one Charles Ugbonma. An argument ensued between us and it got to a point we settled our quarrel. He just told me “You speak good English. Why are you not into acting?” He gave me an address where I could meet him. I searched out the address and it turned out to be a particular hotel. Along the line, something caught my interest. I saw people I only see on screen like Zack Orji, Eucharia Anunobi and the like. I felt like being like these people and that turned out to be the beginning of my journey in the movie industry. Soon, I began as a Property Assistant, then I became a Production Manager. Later, I started producing and directing.

Can you recollect your first job?

My first job was The Twist featuring 2-Face Idibia, Caro­line, and some other great acts.

What are the challenges in the Nigerian film industry?

The challenges are numerous. One, the business climate in Nigeria is poor. The potential of the industry is not being harnessed. Look at Hollywood today. The impact of Hollywood on the American economy can never be overemphasized and that’s why Hollywood stakeholders have a very strong say on who rules Americans. Once Hollywood endorses a candidate, the candidate wins that election. These things are not by accident. It’s a matter of positioning. We have relegated the entertainment industry to the background,which ought not to be. Another challenge is that of poor funding. That’s also because of the business climate. Our climate here does not guarantee a return on in­vestment. Insurance companies run towards you because they believe you will want to insure your movie which does not happen here all because of the business climate and this affects the quality of what you turn in at the end of the day. We also have the challenge of untrained practitioners.

Most people throng the indus­try and start acting, producing and directing. You even see them shoot films, write scripts and in the process, win awards, and for them, there is no need to train again.

We also have the challenge of trust which is also a fall-out of the business climate of Nigeria. The international community has an issue over working with Nigerians. I had this deal with a company in Italy and the company would not even make any concrete deal with me until I flew down to Italy. They wouldn’t even pay for my flight ticket, but because I believed in the deal, I had to travel to Italy. I don’t blame them but the Nigerian system. So, there are challenges here and there.

You mentioned the chal­lenge of poor business climate. Are you saying that federal government has not been supportive in this regard?

No, no, no! I am not saying the government has not been supportive. If I say so, that sounds ungrateful. The govern­ment has been supportive but it’s not commensurate with the impact the industry has on this nation.

You went abroad for train­ing. What impact has this had on the movies you now make?

I am not in the best position to say that. When I came back, I shot a movie titled Brother’s Keeper and it got the highest nomination any of my films had ever got. It garnered over forty nominations. I have also done a number of jobs which stand out from the ones I did prior to my sojourn abroad. Generally, I think viewers are the better judge.

How do you cope with the ego trips of your actors and actresses?

Well, that is one thing you can’t take away from the enter­tainment industry. Once you become a star, there is the ten­dency of getting carried away, but because some of us have known these stars before they attained stardom, it becomes very easy managing them. On a personal ground, I have not had any issue of ego with the stars I have worked with. I must still say that it’s usually not possible to be friendly with everybody. So, it’s usually not the fault of these stars.

What specifically, do you find interesting about your job?

I think the most interesting part is your job not looking like a job. It looks more like you are playing.

Tell us about your family…

I am married and I have three lovely kids. I am not planning to have a second wife (laughs).

With your busy schedule, how do you create time for your family?

That’s the craziest part of what I do and sometimes, I feel so bad. I love my family and I always want to be with them always. It has not been easy, because I have bills to pay. My wife is used to it already, and we have been able to build a setting that works for us. Any time I am around, I remain indoors, take the kids to school and even drive my wife to the market. I just try to make up for my absence. Marriage is not, alto­gether, easy and you just have to find a way to make it work. I think it has worked for us, because we have been married for about 12years now and we have never had any issues in our relationship.

What’s your assessment of Nollywood?

I think Nollywood has done fantastically and enormously well. Nollywood should be the wonder of the world as far as I am concerned.

Based on what yardstick, sir?

Nollywood started from nothing and today, we are the third largest after Hollywood and Bollywood.

So, tell us about the factors responsible for your success in film-making…

I think it’s just God. I have not really seen myself to have done something that anyone has not done.

One of my favourite slogans is “By creation, all men are equal but when a man finds fa­vour before God, he stands out”. I only have God with me and that is what stands me out. I see my jobs and I don’t see anything special about them but people call and say “this is fantastic”. It’s just God.

What’s your advice for young people planning to come into the industry?

I used to tell people that first, you need to find out if this is what you want to do. Secondly, find out if this is what you have to do.

The industry is not all about the fanfare and fame. Most people come into the industry because they want to be popu­lar. There are certain traits you must have in certain professions and if you’re lacking in these then you don’t belong there. It’s like a stammerer wanting to study Law.

What would you like to be remembered for?

Fighting hard to impact as many lives as possible. I was given the opportunity to thrive in life, so if I don’t give people the opportunity to grow that amounts to wickedness.

 

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Economic devt: NECA drums support for Buhari http://sunnewsonline.com/new/economic-devt-neca-drums-support-for-buhari/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/economic-devt-neca-drums-support-for-buhari/#comments Fri, 03 Jul 2015 00:39:52 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=125759 In a bid to reposition Africa’s economic giant, the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA),]]>

…Says delay in ministerial appointment understandable

By Bimbola Oyesola

In a bid to reposition Africa’s economic giant, the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA), has called for understanding and cooperation of all members of the Organised Private Sectors (OPS) and other stakeholders for the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.

This is even as NECA, yesterday in Lagos, pledged to show understanding to support the new administration in its drive to chart a new course for the nation’s economy.

The Director-General of NECA, Mr. Olusegun Oshinowo, said that all the OPS members needed to give more time to Buhari to fashion out his plan of action on good governance.

According to Oshinowo, government has realised the importance of structure in ensuring that it delivers on good governance. He said the government had to put a new structure in place that would help in delivering its objective.

“You have to put structure in place before searching for competent persons that will man the various positions, that is why the president is not in a hurry to appoint ministers.”

He said that although it was taking too long for the government to set the economy rolling, the president should make up his mind on what the structure should be.

“We urge him to put some speed to the restructuring but we can afford to wait a little bit more.’’

Oshinowo also said that non-payment of workers’ salaries by some states of the federation had continued to take its toll on the psyche of Nigerians. According to him, this development has become a threat to the national economy.

He said that due to non-payment of salaries to thousands of workers, the purchasing power of Nigerians had been reduced with its adverse effect on national output.

The NECA boss noted that the public and private sectors were contributors to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product in a chain of economic and social activities with negative or positive impact on the economy.

The director-general said the number of those owed salaries had contributed to the low purchasing power of consumers of goods and services resulting in low sales by manufacturers.

“This has become evident in factories run by OPS members,” he said.

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FX restriction on 41 items: Time for honest conversation http://sunnewsonline.com/new/fx-restriction-on-41-items-time-for-honest-conversation/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/fx-restriction-on-41-items-time-for-honest-conversation/#comments Fri, 03 Jul 2015 00:38:07 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=125757 Although the recent decision by the Central Bank of Nigeria ( CBN) to bar banks and bureau de changes from extending foreign exchange to importers of 41 restricted items may be considered an unpopular policy by stakeholders in the import sector, it is by all intent, one of the most ]]>

By AMECHI OGBONNA

Although the recent decision by the Central Bank of Nigeria ( CBN) to bar banks and bureau de changes from extending  foreign exchange to importers of  41 restricted items may be considered an unpopular policy by stakeholders in the import sector, it is by all intent, one of the most strategic steps so far taken by the management of the apex bank in the bid to halt the massive erosion of the nation’s foreign reserves now hovering around $29billion.

The development is coming at about the same time lessons of the Eurozone countries are steering us in the face as they were to resolve their issues with Greece over its default in repaying the $1.6billion debt owed the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The reason for Greece is inability to honour its obligation cannot be separated by government’s inactions in handling its prolonged economic challenges over the years.

Today that government is being forced to implement far more reaching policies including capital controls where citizens are now compelled to withdraw a maximum limit of 60 Euros per day to run their homes.

With crude now selling at less than 50 per cent of its peak since the second half of last year, Nigeria appears from all indications to be in the same mess Greece found itself years ago before the whole process later snowballed into full blown recession.

It therefore means that for the monetary and government to forestall a repeat of the Greece Disease in today’s Nigeria, there may be need for some drastic measures which may be considered harsh by some people but which would certainly be in the best interest of the country.

One of such policies could be the recent decision by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to suspend foreign currency funding for about 41 imported items considered a source of strain on the already dwindling foreign reserves stock.

The items include, vegetable oil , metal boxes, galvanised steel cement, margarine, palm kernel,  poultry products (chicken, eggs and turkey), Indian incense, tinned fish in sauce (Geisha, Sardines), cold rolled steel sheets, roofing sheets, wheelbarrows, head pans  and containers, and enamelware.

Others are cosmetics, soap, plastic and rubber products, steel drum, steel pipes, wire mesh, steel nails, wire rods, security wire, wood particle and board, wood fibre boards and panel, plywood board and panel, wooden doors, toothpicks, glass and glassware, kitchen utensils, tableware, tiles and wooden fabrics CBN had  earlier released a list of the 41 restricted items in its circular, saying that  the implementation of the policy would go a long way to conserve the nation’s hard earned foreign exchange and boost production activities in the country. Already, President Muhammadu Buhari and indeed the 36 state governors are aware of the dire straits the Nigerian economy has cascaded to and are ready to support patriotic initiatives that would move the country forward.

But while speaking in Abuja, during a press conference to clarify issues raised by the circular, the CBN governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, disclosed that although the apex bank does not have the power to ban importation outrightly, it would no longer make available foreign exchange to importers of those products.

He noted “Four years ago, Nigeria had four rice mills. Today, Nigeria has 30 if not more rice mills. This happened because of the efforts of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, the banks and the CBN, trying to redirect peoples’ focus that we need to increase the production of rice. And indeed, we have achieved great mileage in this direction.

Only last week, I met the Governor of Kebbi State and he lamented the unfortunate situation in his state which is a major rice belt in Nigeria where people, our own farmers who have committed their sweat to produce rice have produced paddy. We have paddy glut in Kebbi State today.

As I speak with you the government has spent its own money buying close to 200,000 tons of paddy rice from farmers.

Aside from that, Kebbi State Government has purchased close to 800,000 tons of paddy and yet we patronize imported rice. Those rice that are imported into Nigeria are not less than seven years old on the shelves and yet we have rice that is produced today in the country and we are running away from them.

For the avoidance of doubt, please note that the importation of these items are not banned, thus importers desirous of importing these items shall do so using their funds without any recourse to the Nigerian foreign exchange market.

The implementation of the policy will help conserve foreign reserves as well as facilitate the resuscitation of domestic industries and improve employment generation.”

Emefiele promised to deal decisively with  any Deposit Money Banks or Bureau de Change operators  who make available Foreign Exchange to the importers.

“I am not saying importers should not import any of the prohibited items, what I am saying is that the importers will not be able to access Foreign Exchange from our markets, which are the CBN, banks and Bureau de Change.  If we find any of our market operators flouting this order, we know how to deal with them”  the governor said.

According to him, the era of unbridled importation of all unnecessary items that have now turned the country into a dumping ground was over in Nigeria  as the country  cannot achieve the much desire greatness by simply importing everything it needs.

“Time is ripe for honest conversation.  Central Bank in developing countries can’t concentrate on price and monetary stability alone, what we are doing is to identify productive sector and channel money there” he said.

Although CBN would no longer provide foreign exchange to import items that can be produced locally, he said that the bank will increase credit allocation to the productive sectors of the economy to reduce  import bill.

“We are  spending  huge money importing things we can produce locally, it is affecting our Foreign Reserves. Nigeria spends N1,3 trillion on average annually to import consumable goods such as rice, oil, etc which can be produced locally. It is not necessary how much that we save, it is by the fact that we are saying that it is  shameful. Even if  it is $1 that we  spent in importing toothpick, I am saying that it is shameful that we have to import toothpick. I  am saying that it is shameful for us to import fish in sauce, canned fish in sauce into the country and sardine.  I am saying that for instance, before I was born, palm kernel was taken out of this country to Malaysia and today we go to that country and import palm oil, it is shameful. It is shameful that items that we used to produce in this country we now begin to import them into this country. It is shameful,  and I think we need to stop it.  That is what we are saying.  Current situation calls for self sufficiency.  Through this policy, we can conserve foreign exchange and provide jobs for our people, we will look for areas where we can provide catalytic role, this we are resolved to do” he reiterated.

Reacting to the CBN policy, a former chairman of Manufacturing Association of Nigeria (MAN) in Anambra State, Enugu and Ebonyi States, Dr. Chike Obidigbo, called on the Federal Government to address holistically the problems of indigenous manufacturers by providing the enabling environment including stable power supply, security of lives and property to the citizens.

Dr. Obidigbo who is the chairman of Hardis Group of Companies said that the latest ban on about 41 items by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), merely scratches the problem of indigenous manufacturers, rather than solving them, urging the apex bank to take more decisive actions to salvage the economy.

The industrialist agreed that the ban may help in reducing the pressure on Nigeria’s N29 billion foreign reserves but may not comprehensively address the problem of local manufacturers.

He said “the ban CBN is imposing is okay but it would be most beneficial if the pressure also goes to the government to provide us with electricity, security of lives and property. If the government can provide these things and enforce the ban, then manufacturers could breathe a sigh of relief.”

According to the Head of Research at Sterling Capital, Sewa Wusu, the market is expecting a lot from the Central bank in terms of exchange rate policy, stressing that the apprehension that the CBN may devalue again has been going on and we cannot rule that out because the reserve is under pressure and there is need to do just that.

‘We see this move as a confirmation that the supply of foregn exchange is extremely tight.says Yvonne Mhango, Renaissance Capital, economist for sub Saharan Africa.

On his part, Angus Downie at the Economic Research of Ecobank said the policy shows the difficulty the CBN is facing managing foreign exchange reserves of the country and which points to possibly greater exchange rate policies to come.

Meanwhile in what appears to be an attempt to derail the policy, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has alerted Nigerians that those offended by its recent policy of restricting foreign currency to importers of 41 blacklist items have resorted to exporting hard currency across the nation’s borders with neigbhouring countries. However, in a statement in Abuja Thursday, CBN said large quantum of cash are now being transported through the borders following its foreign exchange denial to importers of restricted products.

But it however, said that it is collaborating with relevant agencies to ensure that the culprits are apprehended.

“The  apex bank  has noted the unwholesome practice of movements of huge foreign currency cash across Nigerian borders by individuals and corporate bodies without compliance to extant law of declaration to the appropriate authorities. The bank is already collaborating with other relevant agencies of government to ensure compliance to the provisions of the law” the statement, noted.

It reminded the Bureau de Change operators that they are not allowed to sell more than $5000.00 to any individual customers for Business Travel/Personal Travel Allowance, monthly mortgage payment,  School fees abroad,  credit card payment,  Utility bills,  Life insurance premium payment.

“The bank however, stated that the BDCs are only authorized to deal in foreign currency cash and to sell not more than US$5000.00 to an individual customer and strictly for the following transactions: (i)Business Travel/Personal Travel Allowance; (ii) Monthly mortgage payment; (iii) School fees abroad; (iv) Credit card payment; (v) Utility bills vi) Life insurance premium payment” it noted, insisting that the BDCs are not authorized to fund import transactions in any form whatsoever.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the Central of Nigeria has directed that BDCs are not authorized to fund import transactions in any form whatsoever, either by cash or wire transfer. Accordingly, authorized dealers are hereby barred from effecting wire transfers from the account of their BDCs’ customers henceforth” it said.

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Import restriction: CBN alarmed over cross-border cash export http://sunnewsonline.com/new/import-restriction-cbn-alarmed-over-cross-border-cash-export/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/import-restriction-cbn-alarmed-over-cross-border-cash-export/#comments Fri, 03 Jul 2015 00:35:48 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=125755 In what could be termed an attempt to sabotage its recent policy of excluding over 41 imported items from the foreign exchange window, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday raised the alarm over the discovery of large sums of cash being transported through the borders following its foreign exchange denial to importers of restricted products.]]>

From ISAAC ANUMIHE, Abuja

In what could be termed an attempt to sabotage its recent policy of excluding over 41 imported items from the foreign exchange window, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday raised the alarm over the discovery of large sums of cash being transported through the borders following its foreign exchange denial to importers of restricted products.

The restricted items were those considered not too critical to the nation’s economic wellbeing and which can be manufactured locally. In a statement, the apex bank said it is collaborating with relevant agencies to ensure that the culprits are apprehended.

“The  apex bank  has noted the unwholesome practice of movements of huge foreign currency across Nigerian borders by individuals and corporate bodies without compliance to extant law of declaration to the appropriate authorities. The bank is already collaborating with other relevant agencies of government to ensure compliance to the provisions of the law,” the statement noted.

It reminded Bureau de Change operators that they are not allowed to sell more than $5000 to any individual customers for business travel/personal travel allowance,  monthly mortgage payment, school fees abroad,  credit card payment,  utility bills,  life insurance premium payment.

“The bank, however, stated that the BDCs are only authorised to deal in foreign currency cash and to sell not more than $5000.00 to an individual customer and strictly for business travel/personal travel allowance, monthly mortgage payment, school fees abroad, credit card payment, utility bills, life insurance premium payment,” it noted, insisting that the BDCs are not authorised to fund import transactions in any form whatsoever.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the Central Bank of Nigeria has directed that BDCs are not authorised to fund import transactions in any form whatsoever, either by cash or wire transfer. Accordingly, authorised dealers are hereby barred from effecting wire transfers from the account of their BDCs’ customers henceforth,” it said.

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FG rakes in N1.8trn in 6 months –FIRS http://sunnewsonline.com/new/fg-rakes-in-n1-8trn-in-6-months-firs/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/fg-rakes-in-n1-8trn-in-6-months-firs/#comments Fri, 03 Jul 2015 00:34:49 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=125753 Acting Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Samuel Ogungbesan, yesterday said the Federal Government got about N1.842 trillion revenue generated from taxes in the first half of 2015.]]>

…Says oil firms now default in tax payment

From ADETUTU FOLASADE-KOYI, Abuja

Acting Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Samuel Ogungbesan, yesterday said the Federal Government got about N1.842 trillion revenue generated from taxes in the first half of 2015.

Ogungbesan said the money was paid into the Federation Account shared by the three tiers of government.

The FIRS boss said this while briefing Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, on the activities of his agency, accompanied by his senior management officers.

Ogungbesan,  however, noted that Nigeria could have got more if not for the numerous social, political and economic challenges.

In a breakdown given to the Senate President, he said the agency raised N697 billion from Petroleum Profit Tax;  N778 billion from the Company Income Tax and N376 billion as Value Added Tax, adding also that between N12 billion and N15 billion import VAT was still being expected from the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS).

The agency’s annual target for the oil and gas sector is N1.4 trillion with an expected monthly target of  N123.74 billion.

“We have oil but most of the foreign companies are not picking up our oil anymore because they have developed their own oil. Oil and gas, which is key to the economy, has not been doing too well.

This is as a result of many factors.  Many of these are completely outside our control, including the crash of price of oil in the international market.

“Although it started gathering some momentum in the last three months, as at today, it is $59 per barrel. What is within our purview is basically what intervention we can make to shore up from the revenues in the non-oil sector.”

Ogungbesan said his agency had perfected arrangement with the operators of the non-oil sector on how they could be making contributions to government on a regular basis instead of the current annual or bi-annual remittances so that there would always be money to fund the budget.

Responding, Saraki noted that the country’s over dependence on oil could no longer be a way forward for the country, stressing the need to look at the area of taxes which is more stable and reliable.

The Senate President cautioned the FIRS management on the implementation of the  luxury tax, especially as it concerned the private jet owners because the issue is sensational.

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Economic crunch: Politicians urged to be prudent in managing Nigeria’s resources http://sunnewsonline.com/new/economic-crunch-politicians-urged-to-be-prudent-in-managing-nigerias-resources/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/economic-crunch-politicians-urged-to-be-prudent-in-managing-nigerias-resources/#comments Thu, 02 Jul 2015 17:53:59 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=125718 FROM CLEMENT ADEYI, OSOGBO Following the economic crunch that has hit the country lately, culminating in some states’ inability to pay workers’ salaries, a renowned industrialist and member of National Constitutional Conference held in Abuja last year, Dr Segun Aina, has urged the Nigerian politicians to be prudent in the application of Nigeria’s resources. Dr [...]]]>
FROM CLEMENT ADEYI, OSOGBO
Following the economic crunch that has hit the country lately, culminating in some states’ inability to pay workers’ salaries, a renowned industrialist and member of National Constitutional Conference held in Abuja last year, Dr Segun Aina, has urged the Nigerian politicians to be prudent in the application of Nigeria’s resources.
Dr Aina who spoke at a workshop organised by his Non-Governmental Organisation, Segun Aina Foundation (SAF), for its members of Board of Trustees, Advisory Council and beneficiaries,  blamed the cash crunch being experienced at all the levels of government on lack of prudence on the part of some of the custodians of the country’s common patrimony.
The former president of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) expressed dissatisfaction with the situation, noting: “Many states of the federation can no longer pay salaries of workers they employed due to recklessness with public funds.”
Speaking on the NGO, Aina explained that he founded the Segun Aina Foundation in 1994, enthusing that beneficiaries of  its scholarships programmes were doing well in their chosen careers.
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Fuel scarcity returns to Lagos, Abia, Abuja http://sunnewsonline.com/new/fuel-scarcity-returns-to-lagos-abia-abuja/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/fuel-scarcity-returns-to-lagos-abia-abuja/#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2015 23:36:07 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=125671 … NNPC allays fears By ADEWALE SANYAOLU Fuel queues have returned to major parts of Lagos and Abia states as at yester­day, a development which suggests that the queues that disappeared over three weeks ago was a temporary reprieve. The situation has fur­ther compounded the cha­otic traffic movement in and around the metropolis, leading to long [...]]]>

… NNPC allays fears

By ADEWALE SANYAOLU

Fuel queues have returned to major parts of Lagos and Abia states as at yester­day, a development which suggests that the queues that disappeared over three weeks ago was a temporary reprieve.

The situation has fur­ther compounded the cha­otic traffic movement in and around the metropolis, leading to long queues of vehicles in search of petrol.

On the ever busy Iju Road in Ifako Ijaiye, the Nigerian National Petro­leum Corporation (NNPC) retail outlet witnessed long queues of vehicles waiting to get the commodity same as the Megfom fuel station on Dayo Adeniji Street, also in Ifako Ijaiye.

The situation played out on the ever busy Awolowo Road in Ikoyi, Lagos, as long queues of motorists dotted the over five fuel sta­tions on the road.

On the Ikorodu Road axis, the situation was not different with just a few of the stations dispensing products while others were under lock and key.

Recall that the Chief Ex­ecutive Officer of Seplat Petroleum Development Co Plc, Mr. Austin Avuru, had last week said that Nigeria will probably be hit by fuel shortages in three weeks as the government does not have enough money to pay for petrol subsidies.

“In three weeks we will be back to scarcity because we simply don’t have the money to pay for subsidy,” said the Seplat boss at a Bloomberg conference at the Nigerian Stock Ex­change (NSE).

Nigeria was almost grounded to a halt last month during the coun­try’s worst fuel shortage in decades due to a dispute between oil-product mar­keters and the outgoing government. President Mu­hammadu Buhari disclosed this week that his govern­ment is facing severe finan­cial strain from a treasury that is “virtually empty” and billions of dollars in debt.

But NNPC said there was enough supply of the product. The corporation, in a statement issued by Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Divi­sion, Mr. Ohi Alegbe, cau­tioned members of the pub­lic against panic buying of petrol.

Alegbe said NNPC had stepped up efforts to main­tain stability in the supply and distribution of petro­leum products nationwide.

He said there was enough stock of petrol to service the country for 25 days at a national consumption rate of 40 million litres per day even as the corporation had stepped up product distribu­tion to petroleum marketers and NNPC retail outlets across the country.

The NNPC said it had sufficient stock of petrol at its coastal depots in Port Harcourt, Warri and Cala­bar, besides the stock in the national strategic reserves.

 

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Budgeting: World Bank approves $200m for Lagos http://sunnewsonline.com/new/budgeting-world-bank-approves-200m-for-lagos/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/budgeting-world-bank-approves-200m-for-lagos/#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2015 23:29:54 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=125660 From ISAAC ANUMIHE, Abuja The World Bank yester­day, approved $200 million credit to Lagos State to support a range of reforms pertaining to fiscal sustainability, budget plan­ning, budget execution and the investment climate in the state. In a statement, the bank said the facility will help sustain the state’s recent economic growth and poverty reduction [...]]]>

From ISAAC ANUMIHE, Abuja

The World Bank yester­day, approved $200 million credit to Lagos State to support a range of reforms pertaining to fiscal sustainability, budget plan­ning, budget execution and the investment climate in the state.

In a statement, the bank said the facility will help sustain the state’s recent economic growth and poverty reduction while continuing to deliver social ser­vices to the city’s expanding population.

The credit, which was from the International Development Association (IDA) will equally support the Third Lagos State Development Policy Opera­tion, and it is the last in the series of two development policy oper­ations aimed at improving pub­lic finances and the investment climate in a fiscally sustainable manner. In the past decade, La­gos State achieved significant economic growth, improved its infrastructure and services, significantly reduced crime and brought millions of people out of poverty.

World Bank Task Team Lead­er for the Project, Jariya Hoff­man, said: “The operation’s fo­cus on furthering improvements in­

in the transparency of the budget system, effectiveness of public expenditures, and the business climate will help sustain the pace of economic growth and thus the state’s positive momentum towards income equality and the delivery of public services. With enhanced budget transparency and efficiency, adequate funding can be shifted to programmes to benefit the state’s booming population, especially the poor­est families.

“The operation will enhance the state government’s fiscal sus­tainability by anchoring the bud­get in a framework that accounts for key fiscal risks and improves revenue collection. Support for adopting a new approach to budget planning and preparation will ensure adequate allocation of budgetary resources to social services such as education and health.

Support for reforms of budget execution including increased operationalisation of the Oracle-based Financial Management System as well as reform of pub­lic procurement will create great­er transparency and efficiency in the use of budget resources. In addition to budgetary improve­ments, the project’s support for a reduction in the cost of land transactions as well as the devel­opment and introduction of an electronic web-based system for processing of planning permits will help to improve the business climate and attract new invest­ments,” the statement said.

Also speaking, World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly, said: “This operation is designed to assist Lagos State in its quest to continue its recent success despite the challenges brought on by rapid economic and popu­lation growth. As an urban ag­glomeration that has reduced income inequality during double digit economic growth, Lagos is an example of inclusive growth in Nigeria.

If the Lagos experience is sus­tained, there is strong potential for this type of inclusive growth to spread to other parts of Nige­ria.”

Meanwhile, IDA, established in 1960, helps the world’s poor­est countries by providing grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programmes that boost economic growth, re­duce poverty and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 77 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Re­sources from IDA bring positive change for 2.8 billion people, the majority of whom live on less than $2 a day.

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Our problem with GTBank –Innoson http://sunnewsonline.com/new/our-problem-with-gtbank-innoson/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/our-problem-with-gtbank-innoson/#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2015 23:28:50 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=125633 The management of foremost auto manu­facturer, Innoson Nigeria Limited, has been speaking on the circumstanc­es surrounding a prolonged frosty relationship with one of its bankers, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc. (GTB Plc). The explanation is coming as Innoson said it has instituted a N30 billion suit against GTB Plc for damages over its efforts to freeze [...]]]>

The management of foremost auto manu­facturer, Innoson Nigeria Limited, has been speaking on the circumstanc­es surrounding a prolonged frosty relationship with one of its bankers, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc. (GTB Plc).

The explanation is coming as Innoson said it has instituted a N30 billion suit against GTB Plc for damages over its efforts to freeze the firm’s account in all Nigerian commercial banks.

In a statement issued by its spokesman, Mr. Andrew Udeh, the company explained that trouble started a few years ago when it discovered about N560 million excess and il­legal transaction charges, slammed on its current account with the bank by its managers.

According to Udeh, upon the startling discovery, the firm sought explanations from the bank but no convincing reasons were given to justify the charges following which it headed to the court to seek ju­dicial redress.

Consequently, in its suit No FHC/Awka/CS/139/2012, In­noson said it got a judgement debt of N4.7 billion from the Federal High Court in Awka, Anambra, which was later ap­pealed by the bank.

This was as an independent investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Com­mission (EFCC) and the Nige­ria Deposit Insurance Corpora­tion (NDIC) equally affirmed the company’s position that the N560 million charges were illegal, wondering why GTB Plc. was making such claims.

Worried by the unfolding scenario, Innoson said it was further disturbed by the failure of the bank to provide transac­tion documents and register of its records of import with it as requested by the police and other law officers.

To confirm the authentic­ity of its claim in law, Innoson said the bank’s appeal filed at the Appeal Court in Enugu also suffered similar fate as its ob­ligation to Innoson was rather increased to N5.7 billion, to accommodate accrued interest charges.

The auto manufacturer pointed out that it has won all cases it instituted against and by GTB, including the N2.4 billion judgement debt against the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), which the bank ap­pealed against at the Appeal Court in Ibandan, which in­sisted it must pay the debt. It, however, called on the GTB Bank to pay an estimated N10 billion judgement debt against it, stressing that it still made an­other futile attempt to freeze its accounts with other Nigerian banks.

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Many thought I’ll fail –Prince Nebe, Pharmatex boss http://sunnewsonline.com/new/many-thought-ill-fail-prince-nebe-pharmatex-boss/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/many-thought-ill-fail-prince-nebe-pharmatex-boss/#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2015 23:28:02 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=125655 Pharmatex might not be a household name yet it is a brand that has grown to be reckoned with in the health care industry. This is a company that holds exclusive rights to market several global pharmaceutical brands like Hovid Berhad – a lead­ing pharmaceutical manufacturing company in Malaysia. The Managing Director of this fledgling [...]]]>

Pharmatex might not be a household name yet it is a brand that has grown to be reckoned with in the health care industry. This is a company that holds exclusive rights to market several global pharmaceutical brands like Hovid Berhad – a lead­ing pharmaceutical manufacturing company in Malaysia.

The Managing Director of this fledgling pharmaceutical venture, Prince Christopher Nebe, is an en­trepreneur that is poised to steer his company to greater heights. Hence, one of his adopted business mantra is “to always ensure quality” delivery to clients. “My watchword in business is to consistently ensure quality in all our processes and to manufacture only high quality products of interna­tional standard.” In a chat with Chris­tine Onwuachumba Nebe disclosed how many wrote off his business be­cause of his insistence on quality. He also did an exposé on the bottlenecks working against pharmaceutical ven­tures in Nigeria.

Excerpts:

The Pharmatex brand

Pharmatex Nigeria Limited is the exclusive agent to Hovid Pharma­ceuticals in Malaysia since 1990. I’ve also delved into manufacturing. We produce bottled and sachet water and our factory is located in Ota, Ogun State. The pharmaceutical arm of our venture is at Amuwo Industrial Es­tate, Lagos. Pharmatex has gainfully employed a lot of Nigerians, and over 300 youths have been taken off the streets to work in our company.

Manufacturing

Of course, Nigeria’s manufactur­ing sector is a tough one. Everybody knows that manufacturing is not an easy business because we are faced with loads of factors like epileptic power, water and high taxes by the government. So it’s really difficult for manufacturers to get their busi­nesses going in Nigeria. It is not easy, because manufacturers are not being encouraged in any way. The Federal Government should please support Nigerians going into manufactur­ing because they are the ones actu­ally contributing to the growth of the economy. The government should strive to provide stable power. Stabi­lising power sector would reduce the cost of manufacturing and this would rub off positively on manufacturers and employees. They should also pro­vide good roads to aid timely move­ment of goods.

To excel in the pharmaceutical manufacturing business, you have to follow the process, or else you’ll get your fingers burnt. The process is what I call “start before you start.” This means that you have to employ people to start doing things from the scratch, and it takes time for them to get the process running.

Being an entrepreneur

The best thing about being an en­trepreneur is looking back and seeing that your business idea has succeeded, and that you have built it up from the very beginning following your own lead, motives and ethics. You are hap­py this is your work, lifestyle and atti­tude rolled into one, and you are doing something useful for society and the environment.

Also, the satisfaction you get when decisions you make turn out to be right, getting results and seeing my employees participating enthusiasti­cally in the development of our busi­ness; these make me feel good as an entrepreneur and encourage me to remain focused.

Coping with adulterated drugs

When the drugs are doing very well, there is every tendency that it will be faked. It is a problem and I do not know how it can be stopped en­tirely. Perhaps there can be a small re­prieve through establishment of drug marts. To curb this scourge, I suggest we have a drug mart in every region or city in Nigeria. These are desig­nated centres constructed wholly for the purpose of selling drugs. In these marts, drugs will be regulated. Gov­ernment agencies will take charge and duly register and regulate companies selling drugs in such premises. I think this formula could help alleviate the problem. It is really a bad situation we are in.

CSR initiatives

The health crises in Nigeria are escalating because of lack of knowl­edge. People are not aware of the dan­gers of the lifestyle they are living or the neglect of it. Take a look at how cases of cancer are on the increase everyday in our society. This is why we want to catch them young through our initiative – the Pharmatex Health Initiative. We aim to inculcate in the young generation the awareness of having good health through self ex­amination, healthy lifestyle and regu­lar health checks.

We have a health club of over 7,000 members. The club members are primarily drawn from secondary and primary school students. We give out free drugs quarterly through this initiative. We also publish informative health pamphlets, which we distribute to schools to educate them. And on the fun side, we host health fairs for these children. We create a platform where they can have fun, play games, enjoy music from Nigerian artistes and yet get informed as regards health issues.

Maintaining brand standard

When we started getting drugs from Malaysia, nobody gave us any chance because our prices were higher than those imported from India. But we remained resolute and still maintained our quality. And after many years of perseverance and refusal to reduce our quality, it finally paid off because people believe and trust our products.

We give out a lot of our drugs for samples to people. When they see re­sults, they become believers. So far, we have been able to maintain this policy. Therefore, to attain success, you must maintain the high quality of your product and services and even maintain your staff.

Quality has been the only thing we considered. We did not compromise on quality. We have set up a standard laboratory for the factory because we know that the laboratory is the body and soul of our company. We procured all our equipment from the best companies around the world. We have been relating very well with NAFDAC and getting the agency’s approval for our products. We are committed to producing products of international standards.

Advice bidding entrepreneuers

Never fear those who are larger and more powerful than you. Instead, set your goals high too and do not forget to be confident in achieving them. The real obstacles exist only in your own mind. If you are self-confident, the obstacles become solutions. Also, don’t be afraid of starting out and fol­lowing your instinct. However, do this only with a background of sound knowledge and excellent skills, other­wise, you’re just being naive. Don’t give up at the first hurdle – challenges should be taken head on and seen as learning opportunities.

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Alleged $2.1bn ECA spend: Okonjo-Iweala ready to explain http://sunnewsonline.com/new/alleged-2-1bn-eca-spend-okonjo-iweala-ready-to-explain/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/alleged-2-1bn-eca-spend-okonjo-iweala-ready-to-explain/#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2015 00:50:21 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=125504 Former Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has refuted the allegation of $2.1 billion ]]>

…Says allegations false

From ISAAC ANUMIHE, Abuja

Former Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has refuted the allegation of $2.1 billion Excess Crude Account (ECA) spent without authorisation, saying it was full of falsehood, without foundation and that she was ready to give explanations on that if called upon.

Reacting to the governors’ claim that the immediate past Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance drew down the ECA from $4.1 billion in November 2014 to $2.1 billion  without approval, the Minister denied  any  unauthorised expenditure from the ECA  under her  watch in the Finance Ministry.

The Minister who spoke through her Special Adviser on Media, Mr. Paul Nwabuikwu, said: “We want to state categorically that no unauthorised expenditure from the ECA was made under Okonjo-Iweala’s watch in the Finance Ministry. Decisions on such expenditure were discussed at meetings of the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) attended by finance commissioners from the 36 states.

“It is curious that in their desperation to use the esteemed National Economic Council (NEC) for political and personal vendetta, the persons behind these allegations acted as if the constitutionally recognised FAAC, a potent expression of Nigeria’s fiscal federalism, does not exist.

“But Nigerians know that collective revenues, allocations and expenditures of the three tiers of government are the concern of the monthly FAAC meetings.

“It is important to acknowledge the efforts of governors who are working hard to overcome the current revenue challenges facing their states without resorting to character assassination and blame games.

“The former Minister is ready and willing to respond to legitimate enquiries about issues under her purview as Finance Minister. But it is clear that this is the latest chapter of a political witch-hunt by elements who are attempting to use the respected NEC for ignoble purposes having failed abysmally in their previous attempts to tar the Okonjo-Iweala name.

“It will be recalled that one of such attempts took place in May when some of these governors, hiding under the auspices of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) asked Okonjo-Iweala to explain $20 billion alleged to be missing from the same ECA.

“The Finance Ministry subsequently issued a news release and published an advertorial in national newspapers on May 25, 2015 giving details of what the Federal Government and states received from the ECA in the last four years. It also provided details of the use of the funds for payment of petrol subsidies for the Nigerian public and SURE-P allocations to the three tiers for development purposes.

“After the publication, the accusers lost their voice. But the latest allegations show that these persons are still in the business of throwing up wild, unsubstantiated figures to damage Okonjo-Iweala’s name. For instance, within the last few months, Governor Adams Oshiomhole and his fellow travellers have asked Okonjo-Iweala to account for “missing” $30 billion, $20 billion and now $2.1 billion. What they don’t seem to understand is that the strategy has lost all credibility because the falsehood is clear for all to see.

“How can some governors who fought FG’s efforts to leave robust savings in the ECA and even took the Federal Government to court over the matter turn around to make such unfounded allegations?

“The world knows that it was Okonjo-Iweala who pioneered, during her first stint as Minister of Finance in the Obasanjo administration, the practice of publishing monthly updates of all allocations to different tiers of government to empower Nigerians with information and knowledge of government revenues and expenditure. This enabled the Nigerian public to ask questions about the utilisation of these resources. Of course, many elected and appointed public officials were not happy with this development.

“She continued this practice when she returned in 2011 and even added periodic updates on the ECA, subsidy payments for verified claims by oil marketers for fuel imports as well as SURE-P payments to the three tiers of government.

“Against this background, the idea that she spent $2.1 billion ‘without authorisation’ is simply not credible given that details of government receipts and expenditure are public knowledge.

“We believe that Nigerians are too smart to be hoodwinked by this partisan desperation to tar the name of Okonjo-Iweala.

“In the interest of the country, we advise that public officials should avoid the temptation to politicise economic issues so that balanced analysis can lead to real solutions,” she said.

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Why Nigeria needs unified corporate governance code –FRC chair http://sunnewsonline.com/new/why-nigeria-needs-unified-corporate-governance-code-frc-chair/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/why-nigeria-needs-unified-corporate-governance-code-frc-chair/#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2015 00:47:39 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=125502 The Federal Government yesterday took another giant step towards re-enforcing the culture of corporate governance and fiscal responsibility in private and public sectors of the economy with the hosting of a one day public hearing on unified National Code of Corporate governance to regulate the operations of public and private entities in the country.]]>

By AMECHI OGBONNA

The Federal Government yesterday took another giant step towards re-enforcing the culture of corporate governance and fiscal responsibility in private and public sectors of the economy with the hosting of a one day public hearing on unified National Code of Corporate governance to regulate the operations of public and private entities in the country.

The session was holding amidst damning revelations on how various revenue generating agencies of government had fleeced the citizens of their commonwealth due to absence of a unified and enforceable national corporate governance code to monitor such abuses.

Speaking in a welcome address at the event held at Lagos Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja, Chairman of the Financial Reporting Council, (FRC), Hajia Maryam Ladi Ibrahim, said it had become important for Nigeria to join the fray for adoption of the code considering that majority of companies with substantial financial difficulties across the globe suffered from to weak corporate governance structures.

She said that its adoption by Nigeria has become more compelling given the mass outcry by the citizens against financial recklessness and system abuses by government officials and other individuals in position of leadership.

She regretted that weak governance structures in most facets of the nation’s corporate and business lives has given rise to a situation where certain individuals in leadership positions have become more powerful and even richer than the nation or the institutions they represent.

According to her, effective corporate governance requires a proactive, focused state of mind on the part of everyone charged with the responsibility as well as other stakeholders who must be committed to business success through maintenance of highest  standards of responsibility and ethics.

But in order to achieve this objective, the FRC chair said there was need for a unified statutory document that would serve as a reference material for directing and controlling companies in the country to minimize corporate failures.

“It is in the light of that that the Federal Government inaugurated a steering committee on January 17, 2013, led by the private sector to propose a National Code of Corporate Governance to guide the reporting activities of private, public and Not for profit organizations in Nigeria,” she noted.

Ibrahim listed some of the objective of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria Act N0 6 of 2011 to include, developing principles for corporate governance, promoting highest standards of corporate governance and encouraging sound systems of internal controls and information systems controls to safeguard stakeholders information and assets of public interest among others.

Before the public hearing, the FRC, said it had received about 45 comments on the code from professional bodies and other entities.

In his brief remarks on the benefit of the code on adoption, Chairman of the Steering Committee on National  Code of Corporate Governance,  Mr Victor Odiase, said it covered a wide range of areas including tenures of board and management, appointment and tenure of auditors and committees  for private, public and Concepts of Donor Trust and Mission fulfillment for not for profit organizations.

 

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Oando sells 60% downstream business for $461m http://sunnewsonline.com/new/oando-sells-60-downstream-business-for-461m/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/oando-sells-60-downstream-business-for-461m/#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2015 00:45:46 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=125500 Oando Plc has announced an equity stake sale of its downstream business to HV Investments for $276 million.]]>

By OMODELE ADIGUN

Oando Plc has announced an equity stake sale of its downstream business to HV Investments for $276 million

HV Investments is a joint venture owned by Helios Investment Partners and the Vitol Group.

A statement from the company says the partial acquisition was conditional upon the receipt of regulatory approvals and subject to customary purchase price adjustments including working capital.

The indigenous energy group explains that the total consideration of $461.3 million will be funded by a $276.8 million cash contribution from HVI and $184.5 million in preference shares issued to Oando Plc, subject to customary purchase price adjustments, including working capital and long-term debt.

At closing, HVI will own 60 per cent of the special purpose vehicle, while Oando will hold a 40 per cent stake.  For local content reasons, the voting rights structure is as follows -HVI and Oando will each have 49 per cent voting rights and a Nigerian Helios Affiliate 2 per cent voting rights.

Commenting on the new partnership agreement, the Oando boss, Mr. Wale Tinubu, said: “This transaction is an exciting development in downstream West Africa. By working with Vitol, a global energy and commodities company as well as the largest independent trader of energy products, and Helios, a premier Africa-focused private investment firm, we have repositioned Oando Downstream for a new era of investment growth and profitability, and this venture holds unprecedented opportunities for the business.

“Importantly, this divestment also enables us to increase our focus on our upstream and midstream businesses. Even as proceeds of the sale will be applied almost entirely to reducing Oando’s leverage, we underscore the portfolio rationalisation achieved alongside the balance sheet optimisation.”

During a mid-year teleconference with investors and analysts in July 2014 to announce the conclusion of Oando’s game-changing $1.56 million acquisition of ConocoPhillips Nigerian assets, Tinubu had hinted at the probability of a shift in Oando’s strategy to focus on the implementation of a three-pronged approach to reduce debt, diversification into the higher margin upstream, and an increased growth margin value for shareholders through an augmented production portfolio and cash flow.

Analysts indicate that Oando had decided against an outright sale of its downstream subsidiary, but entered into an agreement with HV Investments due to the strategic partnership, accelerated expansion and increased investment on offer.

“This partial equity agreement presents a unique opportunity for a significant growth in the size and scale of our operations, while substantially strengthening our position in the downstream sector. Though we employ a multifaceted approach across the energy value chain, we have immense pride in our origins as a predominantly downstream company, and we had no reason to sell, as our brand deeply resonates with many in Africa and globally,” said Tinubu.

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Reform policies to boost oil, gas revenue underway –Buhari http://sunnewsonline.com/new/reform-policies-to-boost-oil-gas-revenue-underway-buhari/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/reform-policies-to-boost-oil-gas-revenue-underway-buhari/#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2015 00:43:10 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=125498 President Muhammadu Buhari has disclosed that appropriate reforms and policies to boost national revenue from oil and gas production would soon be released as part of measures to diversify the country’s income streams.]]>

From JULIANA TAIWO-OBALONYE, Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari has disclosed that appropriate reforms and policies to boost national revenue from oil and gas production would soon be released as part of measures to diversify the country’s income streams.

The reforms, he said, would include the removal of bureaucratic bottlenecks created by multiple government agencies that currently impede the operations of companies in the oil and gas sector.

He said this at separate meetings with delegations from Exxon-Mobil and the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Company (NLNG), yesterday at the Presidential Villa.‎

The President said that his government will also give priority attention to the security of oil and gas installations as well as maritime security in its bid to boost national earnings from the sector.

“It is the responsibility of the Federal Government to secure the environment. The vandalism of oil installations and pipelines, piracy, oil theft and the fall in the international price of oil have made our economic situation very disturbing.

“This government will do all within its powers to secure the environment and encourage more investments in the oil sector,” President Buhari said, adding that his administration will  ensure that Nigeria’s oil and gas industry becomes more globally competitive.

Assuring the NLNG delegation of his administration’s full support for plans to expand its production capacity, the President regretted that political squabbles and interference in the past had prevented the country from attaining its full potentials.

“Today, we are celebrating six trains. It could have been 12 trains if all had gone according to plan,” he said.

Earlier, the Managing Director of NLNG, Mr. Babs Omotowa, requested the President’s support for Train 7 of the NLNG, which, he said, would create additional 18,000 construction jobs and an additional $3 billion dividend to government when operational.

He also solicited the President’s intervention in reducing the number of multiple government agencies around the plant that have made its business globally uncompetitive.

The NLNG delegation  also included the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Dr. Joseph Dawha.

The  Exxon-Mobil delegation was led by its Managing Director, Mr. Nolan O’Neal.

 

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CBN extends BVN registration to Oct 31 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/cbn-extends-bvn-registration-to-oct-31/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/cbn-extends-bvn-registration-to-oct-31/#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2015 00:00:24 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=125463 Following widespread apprehension and outcry by customers across the country over the expiration of its earlier deadline, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has extended the Bank Verification Number (BVN) registration exercise to October 31, to accommodate those who had thronged the banking halls to beat the June 30 closing date.]]>

…To release guideline for enrollment of Diaspora account holders

By BLAISE UDUNZE

Following widespread apprehension and outcry by customers across the country over the expiration of its earlier deadline, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has extended the Bank Verification Number (BVN) registration exercise to October 31, to accommodate those who had thronged the banking halls to beat the June 30 closing date.

In a circular issued by the apex bank and signed by the Director, Banking and Payment System Department, Dipo Fatokun, yesterday, the CBN said, “it has come to our notice that the BVN registration has elicited tremendous interest from Nigerian bank customers who crowded the banking halls in order to beat the deadline.

“In view of the foregoing, it has become imperative for the banks to extend the timeline for all customers to have the BVN. The deadline for the enrolment is hereby extended from June 30 to October 31.”

According to the statement, the extension is expected to facilitate a smooth completion of the registration exercise.

It further stated that the extension would give Nigerian bank customers in the Diaspora, ample time to enrol for the programme.

The statement, however, said that guidelines for the enrolment of the Diaspora account holders was being finalised and would be released soon.

Daily Sun checks in some banks in Lagos showed that customers had a hectic day trying to register their account numbers due to poor network and insufficient bank officials to attend to them, with chaotic situations being recorded in most banks’ premises.

Some customers told Daily Sun they had trooped to the banks as early as 4am to ensure they registered their account numbers. Sadly, the entire process became epileptic as only a few of them were able to have their account numbers verified, forcing them to spend several hours waiting to be attended to.

As at 5pm, banks were attending to customers, while some of them that have more than one bank account were also seen with pieces of white papers at the banks where they had registered writing their unique BVN numbers to take to other banks to key in.

Reacting to the initial development, most of the customers who called for the extension of the deadline to enable them register their numbers complained of poor awareness.

A customer, Ola Oladeju, who spoke to Daily Sun in a banking premise commended CBN for the extension of the exercise.

According to him, this is a good development, as it will help accommodate millions of customers who would have been left out of the BVN exercise.

Another customer, who thanked CBN for the extension, requested that the apex bank should come up with a robust strategy to assist those living in the Diaspora.

He advised customers in the country to take advantage of the extension before the deadline rather than wait till the last minute.

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BVN: Customers call for extension http://sunnewsonline.com/new/bvn-customers-call-for-extension/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/bvn-customers-call-for-extension/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 13:16:31 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=125429 From PAUL OSUYI, Asaba Customers in commercial banks operating in Asaba, the Delta State capital have appealed to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to extend the deadline for the registration of the mandatory Bank Verification Number (BVN) which officially ended yesterday. The customers who thronged respective branches of their banks making frantic efforts to [...]]]>

From PAUL OSUYI, Asaba
Customers in commercial banks operating in Asaba, the Delta State capital have appealed to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to extend the deadline for the registration of the mandatory Bank Verification Number (BVN) which officially ended yesterday.
The customers who thronged respective branches of their banks making frantic efforts to get enrolled into the system, blamed their failure to register on faulty equipment by the operators of the system.
They lamented that each time they come forwarded to be enrolled, the excuse by the operators was that the machine was faulty and that they should come back on a later date, noting that it was always going to be difficult to wait for last minute rush.
However, an Assistant Director in the department of Banking and Payment of the apex bank, Mr. Sola Agboola though did not completely rule out any possible extension, stated that customers should wait for further pronouncement from the CBN and the bankers’ committee on the issue.
Mr. Agboola said the implication of failing to enroll was that the affected customer will no longer have the leverage of convenience in making bank transactions, noting that such customer would have to be physically present to authenticate his or her account.
He spoke during an interactive session at the day two of the on-going CBN stakeholders’ sensitization forum tagged: ‘Promoting Financial Stability and Economic Development,’ in Asaba.
He said: “As far as the CBN is concerned, today (yesterday) is the deadline for the BVN registration. However, if you have not registered, it does not mean that you will not have access to your account. The convenience will no longer be there. You have to be physically present to authenticate your account in any transaction.”
Meanwhile, the Director of Corporate Communications of CBN, Mr. Ibrahim Mu’azu who explained that the forum was to get feed back from customers, disclosed that the apex bank will no longer tolerate the attitude of neglecting customers’ complaints by some commercial banks.

Mu’azu said the CBN would not hesitate to sanction any commercial bank that fails to address customers’ complaints within two weeks, urging affected customers with genuine complaints to register such at the Customer Protection Department (CPD) of the CBN for proper action.

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