NEWSPAPER REVIEW FOR DECEMBER 14, 2018

NEWSPAPER REVIEW DECEMBER 14, 2018

MANUFACTURING/INDUSTRY NEWS

Eczellon Capital Seeks MAN’s Partnership (This day pg. 42)

Eczellon Capital has expressed its preparedness to support manufacturers in Nigeria exploit alternative means of accessing capital.

The company’s chief executive, Diekola Onaolapo, made this known during a courtesy visit to the leadership of MAN in Lagos recently.

The Eczellon Capital boss said the firm has a plan to help manufacturers in Nigeria address some of the challenges they face in the area funding.

Onaolapo said: “Manufacturing is at the core of what we need to get right as a continent. We are in the business of creating and allocation of capital; one of the most important tools for any economic activity and even economic development.

“One of the issues we found for companies in Nigeria and Africa has been the wrong mix of capital, its inadequacy, the lack of access to it in its efficient form, in a way that it can facilitate economic activities. “That is what we have dedicated ourselves to doing and in the last eight years. We have been able to achieve some remarkable feat for both the public and private sector.”

Source: This day

SON mops up substandard lubricants nationwide (Punch pg. 31)

The Standards Organisation of Nigeria has announced that it was mopping up substandard lubricants in different parts of the country.

It explained that the action became necessary after it discovered that most lubricants in the market failed to meet quality parameters of the Nigerian Industrial Standard.

The Director- General, SON, Osita Aboloma, who was represented by the Coordinator, Surveillance, Intelligence and Monitoring unit, SON, Isa Suleiman, at an enforcement exercise in ASPAMDA market, Lagos, disclosed that over five containers  of substandard lubricants were seized to prevent the goods from finding their way into the hands of unsuspecting buyers.

A statement quoted him as saying, “Before now, we did a lot of surveillance activities where most of the brands of this engine oil and lubricants were tested.

“Quite a number of them failed the test, including this particular brand we have intercepted.

“This activity is just the beginning; we are going to follow up while also talking to the market leaders for self-regulation.”

He urged members of the public to always look out for the Mandatory Conformity Assessment Programme number and logo to ensure that they purchase standard and certified products.

Source: Punch

FG loses $325m revenue yearly to smuggled textiles (Punch pg. 31)

The Federal Government is losing about $325m revenue annually to the smuggling of garments into the country.

The Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Aisha Abubakar, gave the figure on Thursday in Abuja during the opening session of a high-level stakeholders’ retreat on the cotton, textile and garments policy.

The event was convened to build consensus and understanding on a clear revitalisation roadmap for the sustainable growth and development of the cotton, textile and garments sector across the value chain.

Abubakar told participants at the event that while the government had in 2015 approved a national cotton policy improving investments and competitiveness of the sector, the expected outcomes of the policy intervention had yet to be realised due to challenges.

Some of the challenges, according to the minister, are insufficient cotton seeds for production, high costs of operations, smuggling and counterfeiting, high influx of cheap textiles and garments products into the country and lack of quality and standards.

Abubakar said despite the challenges, the government was committed to the growth of the sector as encapsulated in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.

Source: Punch

Ban of fertilizer import may cripple farmers (Daily trust pg. 3)

Some agriculturalists have cautioned the Federal Government against the ban on importation of fertilizer, saying the action will impact negatively on farmers’ productivity.

They said that the nation’s fertiliser sector is not ripe yet for such a ban and warned that there may be dire consequences for such action.

The CBN, through a circular by Ahmed Umar, Director, Trade & Exchange Department, said that effective December 7, fertiliser was included as one of the imported goods and services not valid for foreign exchange.

The apex bank said that fertiliser was included in the listed items to promote the activities of the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative (PFI) established in 2016.

But Prof. Simon Irtwange, President, Yam Farmers, Processors, and Marketers Association of Nigeria, said that farmers’ access, a high cost of fertiliser and availability of NPK and other brands still remain a huge challenge for farmers in the country.

“The challenge we have with most of these policies is that they come ahead of things that we ought to have been done in the first place.

Source: Daily trust

BUSINESS/ECONOMY NEWS

FDI increases to $208.7m in Q2, says MAN (The Nation pg. 14)

The manufacturing sector’s Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) increased to $208.7 million in the second quarter of 2018, from $141.42 million in corresponding period of 2017. This indicated $67.3 million or 47.6 percent increase over the period.

Making this known in a report made available to The Nation, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) stated that the investment also increased by $64.83 million or 45 percent when compared with $144.0 million recorded in the preceding quarter.

MAN Director-General Mr. Segun Ajayi-Kadir, said the manufacturing sectors’ performance in the firt half of 2018 was strongly influenced by macroeconomic developments in the period under review.

‘Generally, macro-economic indices slightly improved in the period given the decleration in inflation rate, growing external reserves, stable forex and the steady high crude oil price in the international market,’ he said.

Source: The Nation

NECA worried by weakening economic outlook, cautions on ratifying AfCFTA (Business day pg. 1)

Recent reversals in the economic outlook for Nigeria, including cuts in growth forecasts for the economy by the two Bretton Woods institutions, are worrisome as they portend grave consequences for the economy, the Nigerian Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) has said.

These downward trends should spur the government to intensify efforts aimed at diversifying the economy away from dependence on oil revenue, Mohammed Yinsua, president of NECA, said yesterday at a media briefing Lagos.

Source: Business day

Nigeria signs $1b Intra-Africa trade deal with Afreximbank (The Nation pg. 1)

Nigeria  yesterday signed a $1billion Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Africa Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) to promote  trade.

The trade facilitation instrument will be managed  by the Nigeria-Africa Trade and Investment Promotion Programme (NATIPP), AFREXIM, the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), and the Nigerian Export Import Bank (NEXIM).

Afreximbank Chairman Dr. Benedict Oramah, NEPC Executive Director Segun Awolowo, NEXIM Managing Director Abubakar A. Bello and Intra-African Trade Initiative Managing Director  Mrs. Kanayo  Awani signed the agreement.

The event, which was held at the IATF Conference Centre, was flagged off by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, who flew into Cairo, the Egyptian capital yesterday morning to unveil Nigeria’s Day at the first ongoing Intra-African Trade Fair.

He said Intra-African trade remained a veritable tool to develop the continent in the light of its growing population.

Source: The Nation

NEWSPAPER REVIEW FOR DECEMBER 13, 2018

NEWSPAPER REVIEW DECEMBER 13, 2018

MANUFACTURING/INDUSTRY NEWS

Alcoholic beverage: MAN tasks FG on lawmaker' intervention (New Telegraph pg. 31)

Following the directive by the Senate for the suspension of implementation of tariff increment on alcoholic beverages and tobacco products, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) hs urged the Federal Government to comply without further delay in order to salvage more industries from being shut down.

MAN Director-General, Segun Ajayi-Kadir, in a chat with New Telegraph in Lagos, flayed Federal Government’s failure to comply with the directive, despite also receiving the Association’s presentation letter on need to maintain status quo.

Ajayi-Kadir explained that some of its members in National Union of Food Beverage and Tobacco Employees (NUFBTE) had suffered eroded market share and downsiding following the implementation of the excise tariff increment since June this year.

Source: New Telegraph

Fertilizer producers laud FG’s import restriction (Daily trust pg. pg. 18)

The Fertilizer Producer and Suppliers Association of Nigeria (FEPSAN) has welcomed the policy of government to restrict fertiliser import into the country.

Mr Gideon Negedu, liaison manager of the association in an interview with Daily Trust in Abuja said Nigeria has more than enough local capacity to blend any NPK it wants, stressing that it will be unwise for the country to keep bringing in the finished product.

Now, where we as an association have problem is with open market. We recognize that the blending industry is still a very young industry that cannot compete with imported fertilizer, so we have to ask and push that let us have a ban that will help the industry to grow, that way we will attract local investment.

“Today we have what we call the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative where we revived dead blending plants through private sector money because government created the environment and we key into it, which led to the revival of almost 18 blending plants producing a lot of the NPK that we are using today,” he stated.

Source: Daily trust

Trade deficit in local goods hits N2.3trn in Q3 (Daily trust)

Nigeria’s trade deficit in manufactured goods stood at N2.3 trillion in the third quarter of 2018.

A report released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed that out of its total trade in manufactured goods of N2.69 trillion in the third quarter of 2018, its export component was valued at N65.8 billion while imported manufactured goods stood at N2.62 trillion.

Analysis of the report showed that during the quarter, imported manufactured goods increased by 122.97 per cent over the level recorded in the second quarter of 2018.

Similarly, the export of manufactured products was 116.1 per cent higher than the level recorded in third quarter of 2017.

Under the manufactured goods sector, vessels and other floating structures for breaking up were exported to Cameroun, Congo and Hong Kong in values N9.0 billion, N2.9 billion and N1.3 billion.

During the quarter, Nigeria also exported airplanes and other aircraft of an unladen weight but not exceeding 15000kg to Ghana in the value worth N5.6 billion.

Aluminium alloys, unwrought worth N4.2bn was exported to Japan while polyethylene in primary forms worth N2.4bn was exported to China.

Source: Daily trust

LCCI to FG: Harsh policies stifling real sector growth (New Telegraph pg. 22)

Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has admitted that many entrepreneurs, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) operating in the country experienced frequent incidence of regulatory challenges leading to increased burden on businesses, higher cost of operation, waste of executive time and reputational consequences this year.

President, LCCI, Babatunde Ruwase, made this known in a chat with New Telegraph In Lagos, while speaking on the performance of the economy so far this year.

He urged the federal and government to foster mechanisms targeted at improving the country’s business environment in a bid to restore investor confidence in the economy and also tame the exodus of companies outside Nigeria.

He noted that it was not yet rosy for the country despite efforts put in place by the Federal Government and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) via fiscal and monetary policies.

Ruwase mentioned that failure to curb incidence of regulatory challenges in the country following various hash regulations by the government agencies had impeded and stifled the country’s economic growth and development this year.

Source: New Telegraph

Product standardisation: SON’s presence at ports critical (New Telegraph pg. 23)

It is already a known fact that Nigeria is a dumping ground for most illicit and substandard goods from different parts of the globe.

The reasons for this are not far-fetched, as corruption and maladministration among government agencies saddled with the responsibility of monitoring goods coming into the country have been heightened at the various point of entry.

Particularly, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has lamented that this problem has been responsible for the inability of local goods to compete favourably at the international market.

As the influx of illicit products continues, SON is once again calling on the Federal Government to give it the opportunity to return to the ports in a bid to ensure sanity by 75 per cent next year.

Source: New Telegraph

Wabote: No Local Content Defaulter will be spread (This day pg. 1)

The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) will sanction a local and international company that flout the local content, its Executive Secretary, Mr Simbi Wabote, has warned.

Wabote, who gave the warning in an exclusive interview with Thisday yesterday in Lagos, said there would be no scared cows in the implementation of the local content law as well as sanctions against defaulters, insisting that any company, contractor or operator that contravenes the law, would be sanctioned accordingly.

He said, ‘In Implementing the act, there is no doubt that there will be people who deliberately want to circumvent the process, who try to flout the law and do what is not right. We have a very robust monitoring outfit, when we discover such, we sanction them and we ask them to restitute for what they have done.

Source: This day

DBN Well Suited for Real Sector Financing, Say Experts (This day pg. 40)

A Professor of Finance and Capital Market at the Nasarawa State University, Keffi, Prof. Uche Uwaleke has said the Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN) is currently well suited to serve the real sectors of the economy “since commercial banks are profit oriented and the real sectors which are growth drivers are highly risky”.

Speaking in a chat with THISDAY, He said the importance of a strong Development Bank to the Nigerian economy cannot be overstressed.

He added: “The experience of many emerging economies especially the Asian Tigers illustrates the critical role of these specialised banks in funneling credit to the real sector.

“At present, a few banks in Nigeria are performing these roles. These include the Bank of Industry and Bank of Agriculture. But these banks are grossly undercapitalised. Their functions also overlap.”

The Managing Director, DBN, Mr. Tony Okpanachi recently said the bank had signed on at least 35,000 Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs)/end borrowers within its first full year of operation.
He added that the number translated to a 75 per cent increase over the 20,000 MSMEs projection earlier announced for the year, stressing that the development further underscored the significant progress which the institution had made since it commenced formal lending activities in October 2017.

Source: This day

BUSINESS/ECONOMY NEWS

ECA scribe urges Nigeria, others to sign AfCFTA (New Telegraph pg. 23)

Deputy Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Giovanie Biha, has appealed to countries, which have not signed the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) to do so.

Biha issued an impassioned plea for countries that are yet to sign the historic AfCFTA to do so in her opening remarks to the 2018 African Economic Conference that began in Kigali, Rwanda.

He also urged those that had already signed to ratify the accord so it can go into force.

Speaking under the theme, “Regional and continental integration for Africa’s development”, Biha said it was time everyone interested in Africa’s future and the continent took its rightful place on the global arena galvanised around the AfCFTA.

“I urge all interested in building better lives across Africa to collectively promote the AfCFTA through our respective national legislative processes,” she said.

Source: New Telegraph

FG plans to increase manufacturing sector exports to $30bn annually by 2025 (Daily trust pg. 20)

IN line with the Federal Government mandate to create a Made-in-Nigeria for Exports, MINE, project, the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Investment, MITI, said the government would be increasing manufacturing sector exports to at least US $30 billion annually by 2025.

To this effect, the Ministry is partnering with the Abia State Government and Crown Realties Plc, for the development of Enyimba Economic City in the State. In a statement made available to Vanguard, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Okechwuku Enelamah, said: “The Federal Government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan identifies the development of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) as a major strategic tool to accelerate the implementation of the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan through the manufacturing of goods for exports.

Source: Daily trust

Why Nigeria’s trade sector exited recession in Q3 2018 (Business day)

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) intervention in the Foreign Exchange (FX) market, improvement in profit margins of businesses, stability in prices and amongst others may be the reason for the positive growth in the trade sector, economic experts said.

Johnson Chukwu, CEO, Cowry Asset Management Limited said, towards the third and fourth quarter of the year the demand for goods imported.

Source: Business day

NEWSPAPER REVIEW FOR DECEMBER 12, 2018

NEWSPAPER REVIEW DECEMBER 12, 2018

MANUFACTURING/INDUSTRY NEWS

Manufacturers’ investments rebound in H1’18 (Vanguard pg. 19)

Manufacturing sector may have recorded a rebound in investment flows in the first half of 2018, H1’18, with a total of N305.56 billion new investments, a huge 72.9 percent jump over N176.69 billion recorded in the preceding half, H2’17.

The sector had witnessed a huge dip in investment in H2’17 against H1’17 which had recorded a N329.28 billion investment, indicating that the rebound in H1’18 was still behind the corresponding period of 2017 by about 7.2 percent. These are contained in the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) H1’18 review obtained by Vanguard, which also put investments in Nigeria’s manufacturing sector between 2013 and 2017 at N4.12 trillion, based on data generated from its surveys over the period.

In the survey report, MAN stated: “Assets under Construction ranked highest with investment worth N149.14 billion; investment in Plant and Machinery was N110.47 billion; Land and Building was N32.84 billion; Motor vehicle was N9.93 billion; and Furniture and Equipment was N4.18 billion in the first half of 2018.

“Sectoral group analysis shows that the highest proportion of total manufacturing investment in the first half of 2018 went to Food, Beverage and Tobacco group. Investment in the sector stood at N86.94 billion, N4.13 billion (4.5 percent) lower than N91.07 billion of the corresponding half of 2017 and N14.2 billion (19.5 percent) of N72.74 billion of the preceding half.”

Source: Vanguard

SON targets 50% reduction in importation of substandard goods by 2019 (Vanguard pg. 5)

The Standard Organisation of Nigeria, SON, has disclosed that it aims to reduce importation of sub-standard goods into the country next year by about 50 per cent.

This was disclosed at a maritime stakeholders’ sensitisation workshop by the Director in charge of Inspectorate and Compliant Directorate in SON, Mr Obiora Manafa. Manafa said that SON hopes to achieve the above objective through effective inspection and ensuring of compliance to the law for all imports into the country.

He also said that as from next year, SON intends to go into markets to take samples of goods, then go to the laboratory and test them. He also disclosed that in some instance they may go and buy from the market and take to testing.


He pointed out that after testing, if such products are found to be substandard, they would go back to evacuate the products and arrest the owner of the shop to provide the supplier. He stressed that the objective is to ensure that such fake products are not allowed into the country and the importers are prosecuted to serve as deterrent for others who may wish to do the same.

 He also mentioned that some companies are faking Nigerian made products by taking samples abroad and asking for sub-standard version to be made and package in the name of the original product which are sold cheaper when brought into the country.

Source: Vanguard

Obasanjo pushing $27b free trade agreement (The Nation pg. 1)

ormer President Olusegun Obasanjo has advised African leaders to sign  the African  Continental Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA), which promises $27billion investments.

Obasanjo, who spoke yesterday in Cairo, Egypt at the opening of the Intra-African Conference prior to the unveiling of the first Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF), said the fair was necessary to actualise ACFTA, which, he stressed, is vital for the continent’s transformation. “It is, therefore, imperative that all African governments, who believe in Africa’s progress, should not only sign the  ACFTA, but should ratify it at once, making a way for its implementation,” Obasanjo said.

The first of its kind in Africa, IATF is expected to churn out deals worth over $27 billion. Obasanjo said the event had been designed to drive inter-African trade and support the implementation of ACFTA. He tagged ACFTA    a landmark agreement in the context of its value in economic integration, transformation and progress in Africa’s development.

The trade fair, in his words, “will give each participant a platform for sharing in the context of African trade, investment and economic integration, leading to the transformation and development of the continent.

Source: The Nation

NESREA forum explores waste to wealth, environmental governance (Daily trust pg. 28)

The 12th National Stakeholders Forum of the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) will explore opportunities inherent in circular economy with regards to creation of wealth from waste as well as environmental governance.

The stakeholders will consider common available wastes in Nigeria such as nylon, plastics paper, metal scrapes among others

Speaking, yesterday, in Abuja at the forum tagged ‘Circular Economy and Environmental Governance’, the Minister of State for Environment, Ibrahim Usman Jibril, said for any development to be sustainable, it must go hand in hand with environmental protection.

The Minister, who was represented by the Director of EIA John Alonge, said the concept of green and circular economy is geared towards sustainable development.

“Green economy supports a circular economy in which the use of materials and generation of waste are minimised and any remaining waste recycled, remanufactured or retreated in a way that causes the least damage to the environment and human health,” he said.

The minister said as a clear demonstration of government’s effort to ensure the protection of the environment and achieve sustainable development is eminent in the amendment of NESREA Act by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Source: Daily trust

BUSINESS/ECONOMY NEWS

Nigeria’s trade balance nosedives by 67% to N681bn in Q3’18 (Vanguard pg. 20)

Nigeria’s trade balance nosedived by 67.6 percent, quarter-on-quarter, to N681.3 billion in third quarter of the year (Q3’18), due to upsurge in import. Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS) disclosed this yesterday in its foreign trade report for Q3’18. The report revealed that foreign trade rose by 30 percent with total imports rising by 73.8 percent while exports rose by 7.8 percent during the quarter.

The report stated: “Nigeria’s external trade totalled N9.025 trillion during the third quarter of 2018.Compared to the value of N6.903 trillion recorded against the second quarter; a rise of N 2.12 trillion or 30.7 percent was indicated.

Component of this trade was recorded N4.9 trillion, representing increase of 7.8 percent over Q2’18 and 35.7 percent over Q3’17.

“The import component stood at N4.2 trillion in Q3’18 showing 73.8 percent higher than Q2’18. This was due to importation of submersible drilling platforms in August which was quite expensive and of course occasional importation. In the same way, there was a rise of 67.7 percent when compared with the import value of the corresponding quarter in 2017.

Source: Vanguard

Investment inflows into economy dropped by $2.66bn in Q3 –NBS (Punch pg. 25)

Between the second and third quarter of this year, the total amount of investment inflows into the Nigerian economy declined by $2.66bn, figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics have revealed.

 The NBS said this in its capital importation report for the third quarter of this year which was posted on its website on Tuesday.

The report put the amount of investment that the economy attracted in the third quarter at $2.85bn noting that this represents a decline of 48.21 per cent over the $5.51bn which the economy attracted during the second quarter of this year.

 The report said when compared to the third quarter period of 2017, the $2.85bn investment for the economy in the third quarter of this year represents a decline of 31.12 per cent.

 Overall, the economy attracted about $14.66bn between the first nine months of this year.

Source: Punch

Naira down to N365.21/$ in I&E window (Vanguard pg. 41)

The Naira yesterday depreciated to N365.21 per dollar in the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window even as the volume of dollars traded rose by 12 percent.

Data from FMDQ showed that the indicative exchange rate for the window rose to N365.21 per dollar yesterday from N365.03 per dollar on Monday, translating to 18 kobo depreciation of the naira.

 The volume of dollars (turnover) traded yesterday in the window rose by 12 percent to $315.68 million from $281.07 million on Monday. Meanwhile, the Naira, yesterday, appreciated to N363 per dollar in

Source: Vanguard

 

 

NEWSPAPER REVIEW FOR DECEMBER 11, 2018

NEWSPAPER REVIEW DECEMBER 11, 2018

MANUFACTURING/INDUSTRY NEWS

Manufacturing expands on better FX access (Business day pg. B2)

Activities in Nigeria’s manufacturing sector soared in Q3 2018, Nigerian Bureau of Statistics revealed (NBS). Growth rate of the manufacturing sector, on a quarter-on-quarter basis, stood at 3.86 percent and the sector contribution to GDP in the review quarter was 8.84 percent.

While on a yearly basis, the real GDP growth in the manufacturing sector in the review quarter was 1.92 percent (year on year), which is higher than the same quarter of 2017.

Analysis of the sector’s nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP) contribution in the same period stood  at 10.01 percent, higher thaan contribution recorded in the corresponding period of 2017 at 8.57 percent and the second quarter of 2018 at 9.49 percent.

The Manufacturing sector is comprised of thirteen activities: oil refining; Cement; Tobacco; Textile; Apparel, And Footwear; Wood And Wood Products; Pulp Paper And Paper Products; Chemical And Pharmaceutical Products; Electrical And Electronics; Basic Metal And Iron Steel; Motor Vehicle And Assembly; And Other Manufacturing.

Source: Business day

CBN Includes Fertiliser among Items ‘Not Valid for Foreign Exchange’ (This day pg. 10)

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday announced its restriction of access to foreign exchange (FX) for the importation of fertilizer from the official FX window. This is coming exactly 10 days after the CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, hinted of plan to expand the number of items not valid for FX from the official window.

The latest development brings the list of items not eligible for FX to 42.
The central bank disclosed this in a circular titled: “Re: Inclusion of Some Imported Goods and Services on the List of Item ‘Not Valid for Foreign Exchange’ in the Nigerian Foreign Exchange Market,” that was obtained yesterday.

The two-paragraph document dated December 10, 2018, was signed by the Director, Trade and Exchange Department, CBN, Ahmed Umar.
The CBN had in July 2015, restricted 41 items, including vegetable oil, poultry products, toothpicks, cosmetics, plastic and rubber products, among others, from accessing foreign exchange from the interbank foreign exchange market. Importers of the restricted items were asked to source their forex requirements from autonomous sources.

However, in the latest circular, the banking sector regulator explained: “In the continued effort to sustain the achievement recorded from the classification of 41 import items as ‘Not Valid for FX’ in the Nigerian FX market, authorized dealers and the general public are hereby notified of the inclusion of “fertiliser” on the list effective from Friday, December 7,2018.

Source: This day

Re-enactment of CAMA to Boost Investment (This day pg. 30)

The passage into law of the bill for the re-enactment of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) will boost investment in the country.

Disclosing this at the second induction ceremony of the Compliance Institute with theme: ‘Implementation of Beneficial Ownership Disclosure in Nigeria, the Director, Compliance and Litigation, Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Alhaji Garba Abubakar, revealed that the issue of money laundering and terrorist cannot be discussed without examining ownership and control of corporate entities.

“As we speak, the drag bill for the re-enactment of CAMA Act has passed through the Senate and we are hoping that it will soon be taken by the House of Representatives and once it is passed it will be taken to Mr. President for assent.

“It is a very major development in our law because for us to compete globally and have an enabling environment and improve in our ease of doing business, our laws have to be modern”.

He explained that companies and corporate bodies are the major instruments people use to channel illicit funds and conceal the source of funds either through surreptitious connection and control of natural resources, or illicit financial flows through fictitious contract and other issues.

Source: This day

We Will Continue to Advocate Policies to Support Private Sector, Says LCCI (This day pg. 24)

The President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Babatunde Ruwase, has reaffirmed that the chamber is resolute in promoting policies that supports private sector development and the general progress of the economy.

According to him, LCCI has been consistent in policy advocacy and providing business development services to the larger business community led to the notable rise of the chambers profile within the last one year.

The president made this remarks in Lagos during the 130th Annual general Meeting of chamber recently.
However, Ruwase highlighted the challenges that affected growth of the economy during the year.

According to him, “there was high interest rate, weak GDP growth, weak consumer demand and the traffic gridlock on the Lagos port roads.”
According to him, the Lagos ports have been classified among the worst ports in the world in 2018, due to challenges bordering on delays of imports/exports processes, heavy human and vehicular congestion to and within the ports and also the difficulty in gaining access to the ports due to bad roads and security concerns.

Ruwase stressed that 40 per cent of businesses located around the ports communities have been stifled and forced to relocate to other areas, scaled down operations and completely shut down.

Source: This day

BUSINESS/ECONOMY NEWS

Raw materials policy to boost economy (Daily trust pg. 19)

The National Competitiveness in Raw Material and Products Development policy is to make Nigeria to be self-sufficient and less reliant on other nations, the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu has said.

Dr Onu disclosed this while presenting the keynote address at the meeting of National   Consultative Committee on Competitiveness (NCCC) in Abuja yesterday. Dr Onu decried the situation in which Nigeria spent over N43trillion on the importation of raw materials in the past seven years, adding that “effort is being made to ensure that we don’t depend entirely on other people to meet our basic needs”.  He lamented that a great nation like Nigeria was importing raw materials and not adding value to our exportable raw materials in line with international best practices, adding that this had affected job creation and depreciated our currency.

According to him, if the policy is vigorously pursued, Nigeria will save N3.6 trillion in five years of its implementation. The policy, he added, will give more opportunity to Nigerians on the job value chain, redirect the nation’s economy and make us to be self-reliant. Dr. Onu enjoined the committee to ensure successful implementation of the programme.

Source: Daily trust

Trade sector exits recession (Business day pg. B3)

The trade sector in Africa’s biggest economy exited recession for the first time in 2018 after recording tow negative growth rates, a National Bureau of Statistic (NBS) said. From the report, it grew by 0.98 percent in Q3 2018 after contracting by -2.14 percent and -2.57 percent in Q2 and Q1 respectively, making it the second positive growth since it exited recession in Q2 2017.

Ibrahim Tajudeen, Head of Research, Chapel Hill Denham attributed the positive growth to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) intervention in the Foreign Exchange (FX) market.

Source: Business day

Nigeria’s Foreign Trade Rises to N9.02tn in Q3 (This day 12)

Nigeria’s total external trade increased significantly to N9.02 trillion in the third quarter of the year (Q3, 2018) compared to N6.90 trillion in the preceding quarter, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). The increase indicated a rise of N2.12 trillion or 30.7 per cent against Q2 estimates.

The total value of export stood at N4.85 trillion, representing an increase of 7.8 per cent over the N4.50 trillion recorded in Q2 and 35.7 per cent over the N3.58 trillion in Q3, 2017.

On the other hand, the import component stood at N4.17 trillion in Q3, indicating a 73.8 per cent increase over the N2.40 trillion in the preceding quarter.

According to the Foreign Trade Statistics for the third quarter, which was released by the statistical agency Monday, the import position was “due to importation of submersible drilling platforms in August which was quite expensive and of course occasional importation.

Source: This day

Economy still weak as GDP grows 1.81% in Q3 (Daily trust pg. 17)

Experts yesterday said Nigeria’s economy is still fragile as Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 1.81 per cent (year-on-year) in real terms in the third quarter of 2018.

The GDP report released, yesterday, by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed that when compared to the third quarter of 2017 which recorded a growth of 1.17 per cent, there was an increase of 0.64 per cent points.

Analysis showed that the second quarter of 2018 had a growth rate of 1.50 per cent showing a rise of 0.31 per cent points.

Daily Trust further observed that quarter on quarter, real GDP growth was 9.05 per cent.

In the third quarter of this year, aggregate GDP stood at N33.37 trillion in nominal terms, a performance that is higher when compared to the third quarter of 2017 which recorded a GDP aggregate of N29.38 trillion, thus, presenting a positive year on year nominal growth rate of 13.58 per cent.

Source: Daily trust

NEXIM energises exporters with N15bn (Daily trust pg. 18)

The Nigerian Export Import Bank (NEXIM) has disbursed over N15 billion to boost export activities by select exporters in the South West of the country.

The Executive Director, Business Development of NEXIM, Stella Okotete, disclosed this on the sideline of the facility tour of some of the recipients of the funds in Lagos.

Okotete said the disbursement was to let everyone see that non-oil export is growing and NEXIM is meeting its mandate of increasing the contributions of non-oil to the Gross Domestic Product of Nigeria.

She however lamented the state of Apapa road, noting that “Apapa road is militating against the progress in the non-oil export. The number of trucks on the road is increasing the turnaround time from 90 days to 180 days, thereby reducing revenue contribution from that sector.

“We have an office in Calabar and we expect that we should reduce the traffic of everything coming to Lagos port.”

Speaking on the need to increase the bank’s intervention from the average of N1.5 billion disbursed, she said, “Because they are new on our books, we wanted to see capacity and coming here today, we have seen that they have the capacity and they will get more.

Source: Daily trust

NEWSPAPER REVIEW FOR DECEMBER 10, 2018

NEWSPAPER REVIEW DECEMBER 10, 2018

MANUFACTURING/INDUSTRY NEWS

SON Seeks Support to End Contraband Business (This day pg. 27)

The Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has called for the cooperation of importers in the country in order to end contraband importation.

This is just as the agency disclosed that it intercepted N22.7 billion worth of substandard products this year.

The Director General of SON, Osita Aboloma dislcosed this during a sensitisation workshop organised for maritime stakeholders in Lagos.

He stated that substandard products which posed grave dangers to lives and properties, as well as the economy of the nation had been seized and destroyed by the agency.

The SON DG, who was represented by the director, DG’s Office, Alhaji Mohammed Kabiru, lauded the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) and other key stakeholders in the maritime sector for their continuous support and collaboration with SON.

Source: Thisday

SMEs’ apathy threatens implementation of micro insurance (Vanguard pg. 30)

The implementation of micro insurance across the country is being threatened by apathy and lack of awareness on the part of Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) operators.

Insurance Vanguard investigations revealed that SME operators are indisposed towards micro insurance due to some factors including lack of awareness and hash operating environment. In January, National Insurance Commission, NAICOM, signaled the commencement of micro insurance with the introduction of the guideline for the new policy.

The guideline defines micro insurance as, “insurance developed for low income populations, low valued policies, micro and small scale enterprises, MSMEs, provided by licensed institutions, run in accordance with generally accepted insurance principles, and funded by premiums”. According to NAICOM, “micro-insurance products are insurance products that are designed to be appropriate for the low income market, low valued policies, micro and small scale enterprises in relation to cost, terms, coverage, and delivery mechanism.”

Source: Vanguard

BUSINESS/ECONOMY NEWS

Stakeholders Seek Special Ministry for Maritime Sector (This day pg. 35)

Following the huge potential that the maritime industry holds, some stakeholders have called on the National Assembly to champion a complete reform of the maritime sector by sponsoring and enacting a bill that will lead to the creation of Ministry of Maritime Industry (MoMI).

When created, the stakeholders said the ministry, would assist the federal government to restore the lost glory of shipping and maritime sector of the economy.

Speaking at a forum organised by the Senate Committee on Marine Transport in collaboration with the Federal Minister of Transport in Lagos,  the founding president of the Nigerian Chamber of Shipping (NCS), Mr Olisa Agbakoba and other stakeholders urged members of the National Assembly to impress it on the federal government to create a special ministry for  the maritime sector and introduce other reforms that will bring about efficiency and productivity at the nation’s sea ports.

Agbakoba, a front line maritime lawyer also bemoaned the collapsed of the ports access roads and decried the situation, which has resulted to additional transportation costs as a result of inaccessibility to the ports, which warranted demurrage on both empty and loaded containers.

Source: This day

CBN decries non-performing N500b export stimulation fund (Guardian pg. 7)

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has condemned the non-accessibility of the N500 billion export stimulation fund set up basically for the promotion of non-oil exports in the country.

As such, the CBN has set up a committee to look into the challenges confronting accessibility of the funds.The apex bank and Nigeria Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) had in 2017 approved an export facility of N500 billion for exporters in the country, which till date farmers find difficult to access.

The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, disclosed this yesterday at a media conference on the sidelines of the ongoing 10th yearly bankers’ committee retreat in Lagos.

Emefiele said the apex bank had discovered that farmers and small businesses within the non-oil sector found it difficult to access the funding facility.

He said: “We need to set up a committee headed by a bank chief executive officer. What that committee will do is to take a deep dive into some of the issues and challenges that are faced by exporters and report back to the bankers’ committee meeting in February 2019 to raise some of the issues and through that, the banks themselves will commit to ensuring that we deploy funds either on a commercial basis through the banks or some of our intervention funds at the CBN to support the initiative.

“We took a review of it, we must confess that that aspect has not permeated the system and we wanted to hear from some of the export companies what their challenges were, hence the reason we set up a committee to look into the issue.

Source: Guardian

 

NEWSPAPER REVIEW FOR DECEMBER 7, 2018

NEWSPAPER REVIEW DECEMBER 7, 2018

MANUFACTURING/INDUSTRY NEWS

Leveraging investment in agribusiness for food security (The Nation pg. 14)

Efforts to achieve self-sufficiency in food production, promote industrialisation and create jobs are on course.

Those behind the push to halt or significantly cut down on Nigeria’s humongous foreign exchange for the importation of foods that should be produced locally and even exported are private sector investors whose massive investments in agribusiness hold promises.

Leading this charge BUA Group and Dangote Group. For instance, BUA Sugar has since anouncd an investment of $300 million in Lafiagi Sugar Company (LASUCO), in Kwara State. This will help grow the country’s sugar output by two million tonnes (mmt) per annum.

According to the Managing Director, BUA Sugar, Mr. Ibrahim Yaro,  BUA remained committed to becoming a mega local sugar producer and first sugar exporter in the country. According to him, the company remains committed to partnering with the government in ensuring the success of the backward integration policy of the sugar industry as well as in its drive to resuscitate and develop other areas of the Nigerian agric sector.

He explained that BUA’s interest in the local production of raw sugar brought about the acquisition of LASUCO, which he said has over 20, 000 hectares of arable land, suitable for sugar cane plantation and is strategically located to serve the northern and southern markets of the country.

Source: The Nation

LCCI worried about citizens’ welfare, frequent regulatory burdens (Guardian pg. 26)

The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), has expressed worry about the fragile nature of the economy and its implications for poverty and citizens’ welfare, considering the rising population growth rate.

Besides, the chamber described year 2018 as challenging for many businesses, as operators experienced frequent incidence of regulatory challenges leading to increased burden on businesses, higher cost of operation, waste of executive time and reputational consequences.

According to the LCCI, these challenges manifested in form of arbitrary fines and charges, sanctions and frequent summons of corporate executives by the National Assembly, noting that the regulatory environment was a major source of distraction for many corporate entities during the outgoing year.

The President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Babatunde Ruwase, said the Federal Government has a huge task in fostering an environment where businesses can thrive better. Ruwase stated this during the Chamber’s yearly general meeting in Lagos on Thursday.He said that sound and result-oriented business regulations were critical for private sector development.

Source: Guardian

Osinbajo unveils AfDB funded $258m intervention in north-east (Daily trust pg. 17)

About $258million African Development Bank (AfDB) funded intervention projects in the north-east region of the country was unveiled in Abuja yesterday by the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

The programme will be in partnership with the Nigerian government and is to activate critical impact areas of recovery in the region, ravaged by the insurgent group Boko Haram.

Speaking at the launch of Inclusive Basic Service Delivery and Livelihood Empowerment Integrated Project (IBSIP) for the people of Northeast Nigeria, Vice President Osinbajo said the IBSIP, which will be implemented by the Federal Government of Nigeria and AfDB, is an intervention focused on investing in infrastructural restoration, the reactivation of social services and the rejuvenation of livelihoods and the culture of enterprise which are necessary for sustainable post-conflict communities

“The AfDB is investing roughly $258 million in the effort to activate critical impact areas of recovery in the North East identified in the Buhari Plan,” he said.

Source: Daily trust

BUSINESS/ECONOMY NEWS

Global export near $19.6tr in 2018 amid slow economic recovery (Guardian pg. 21)

Although Nigerian non-oil exporters express optimism of recovery in 2019, latest data from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), has shown that global merchandise exports could grow by 10.4 per cent this year, hitting almost $19.6 trillion.
  
According to UNCTAD in its Handbook of Statistics 2018, the figures are the result of “nowcasts” based on the most recent information provided by a large number of economic indicators.This follows substantial growth in 2017, when global trade in goods increased by 10 per cent (after two years of decline).
  
Non-oil exporters had told The Guardian that the possibility of experiencing a revamped non-oil sector before year end appears elusive going by the lingering challenges, and government’s inability to implement key incentives needed to stimulate the sector’s operations.

According to Manufacturers Association of Nigeria Export Promotion Group (MANEG) Chairman, Chief Ede Dafinone, and other operators, the sector has been experiencing slow recovery as a result of the negative impact it suffered between 2015 and 2016.
    
While the sector awaits the Q3 data, operators noted that the sluggish growth rate of 1.5 per cent the Nigeria economy recorded in Q2 2018, called for urgent policy measures and engagements to boost economic activities. This is because dominant sectors in the non-oil sector of the economy either recorded low growth or contracted in Q2, which indicates that urgent actions are required.

Source: Guardian

Economy loses N22.7bn to substandard imports this year (Vanguard pg. 19)

The nation’s economy lost about N22.7 billion to importation of substandard goods this year, the Director General of the Standard Organisation of Nigeria, SON, Osita Aboloma, has said.

Disclosing this yesterday at a sensitisation workshop for maritime stakeholders held in Lagos, Aboloma said the substandard goods which were seized during this period have either been destroyed or awaiting destruction.

He, however, noted that the destruction of the products is not just a loss to the economy but a means of safeguarding the lives and properties of Nigerians from the harmful effect of these products.

He said some of the affected items include tyres, electric cables, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cylinders; lubricants, communication cables, unfortified sugar, among many others.

He stated: “The Nation’s economy and the lives of Nigerians are also further endangered due to the influx of substandard goods. It is worthy to note that the value of substandard products that the SON has seized in the past one year is estimated to be over N22.7 billion, both destroyed and awaiting destruction.

Source: The Nation

State govts. revenue to be strained over high debt-to-revenue ratio (Vanguard pg. 20)

The revenue of the states in the country will be further strained in the coming months owing to their rising debt portfolio and cost of servicing those debts.

This is coming on the back of the latest report on the states’ internally generated revenue by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), tagged, “Internally Generated Revenue at State Level”, which showed a high debt to revenue ratio for the first half of 2018 (H1’18).

The report showed that total states’ Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, grew by 27.7 percent year-on-year (y/y) to N579.40 billion from N453.83 billion in H1’17. Of the 36 states, 28 states grew their IGRs, while states such as Ebonyi, Anambra, Benue, Abia and Kebbi recorded declines in IGR by 21.79 percent to N2.46 billion, 21.62 percent to N7.07 billion, 18.86 percent to N6.06 billion, 12.29 percent to N6.98 billion and 10.85 percent to N2.03 trillion respectively in H1 2018.

Source: Vanguard

LCCI: economy grows lower than IMF’s, ERGP’s projections (The Nation pg. 12)

The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) said the economy grew lower than the projections of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Federal Government’s Economic Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP).

Its President, Babatunde Paul Ruwase, lamented that the economy performed below the growth forecasts of 2.1 per cent and 4.1 per cent  of the IMF and ERGP and IMF .

He said unemployment as at Q3 2017 stood at 18.8 per cent which translates to over 16 million unemployed people. He said this was made worse by an average of three per cent growth and population of about 200 million without a corresponding economic growth and prosperity.

He underscored this further with data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) that showed that real GDP grew by 1.5 per cent in the second quarter of 2018 from 1.95 per cent in the first quarter.

He said the good news is that before now, rising global oil prices and stable local production levels of crude oil are the two key critical factors that helped to restore calm in the forex market.  He said confidence has returned to the market and hoped this would be sustained next year.

Source: The Nation

Govt, AfDB in $258m rehabilitation programme for Northeast (The Nation pg. 16)

The Federal Government and the African Development Bank (AfDB) have launched a $258 million comprehensive multi-sectoral intervention aimed at bolstering rehabilitation efforts in the Northeast.

Known as the Inclusive Basic Service Delivery Livelihood Empowerment Integrated Programme, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo launched the programme at the AfDB premises in Abuja yesterday.

“It has been gratifying to note how enthusiastically our friends and partners have rallied to our support, mobilising resources to tackle the crisis in the northeast. We would like to express the profound appreciation of the Federal Government to the AfDB for being a partner in progress with us. When the story of the region’s recovery is told, the work of the AfDB will occupy a well-merited and prominent chapter,” Osibanjo said.

The VP lauded the programme as a landmark intervention in support of the region, which has suffered devastation from insurgency. State governments of the northeast will implement AfDB’s $258 million programme with the Federal Government’s support, he added.

In terms of impact, 14 million affected people including 2.3 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) will benefit from health, nutrition, education, water and sanitation services.

Source: The Nation

 

NEWSPAPER REVIEW FOR DECEMBER 6, 2018

NEWSPAPER REVIEW DECEMBER 5, 2018

MANUFACTURING/INDUSTRY NEWS

The African continental free trade agreement (‘Afcfta’): Strengthening Africa’s trade capacity (Business day pg. 29)

Historically, Africa has always been known for its ancient trade routes that criss-crossed the continent promoting commerce, ensuring political interaction and of course sometimes resulting in war. The emergence of sea travel and cross ocean movement and trade played a significant part in diminishing traditional internal trade amongst African nations. With present-day focus on the digital and knowledge economy, including the drive to bridge Africa’s so called infrastructure and technological gap, free trade movement still unfortunately occupies the back seat.

Intermediately, in 1980 the then Organisation of African Unity (‘OAU’) the precursor of the African Union (AU) concluded the ‘Lagos Plan of Action’ for Economic Development of Africa 1980-2000 in which it proposed a regional development plan that conceived and included an ‘African Common Market’.

The next stepping stone was the 1991 Abuja Treaty establishing an African Economic Community in pursuit of Art. 3 of the AU statute objective in ‘accelerating the political, socio-economic integration of the continent’.

Source: Business day

Nigeria needs local content for growth (The Nation pg. 35)

Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (CDMB) will not relent in its efforts to propagate the use of local contents in every aspect of the economy for growth, its Executive Secretary, Simbi Wabote, has said.

He said the need became imperative in order to encourage the use of local contents, by successive administrations in the country, urging research institutes and oil companies to play key roles in this regard for the growth of the economy.

Speaking during its induction as a fellow member of the Institute of Petroleum Studies (IPS) Port Harcourt, recently, he said the institute is partner in progress in the search for quality materials, needed to achieve a truly grown nation.

The institute awarded him for his exceptional accomplishments in engineering, strategic management and local content leadership in the Oil and Gas Industry. The award was part of the flagship programme of the institute’s 15th Induction Ceremony/Exhibition which took place at Ebitimi Banigo Auditorium, University of Port Harcourt.

Source: The Nation

BUSINESS/ECONOMY NEWS

ETLS: Much ado about sub-region’s free trade pact (New Telegraph pg. 23)

Over time, statistics have shown that many African countries prefer to trade with their European, American and Chinese counterparts rather than within the same region. The reason for this is not far-fetched; as some of them believe that economic trading within the continent does not bring the desired results.

However, findings have showed that one of the greatest obstacles hindering successful capital inflow during trading in the continent has been smuggling of goods.

ndeed, ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme (ETLS) is one of the protocols adopted to boost intra – regional trade and stipulates a token of 0.5 per cent tax on goods manufactured within the Economic Community of West African States.

Illicit financial flow

The High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows (IFF) from Africa, chaired by a former President of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki, when it submitted its final report to the African Union Commission/United Nations Economic Commission Agency (UNECA) in February 2015, reported that Africa was losing over $50 billion through illicit financial flows annually.

Particularly, UNECA suggested on its website that the $50 billion “may well be short of reality as accurate data does not exist for all transactions and for all African countries.”

Even at that, the conservative figure of $50 billion is said to be “approximately double the official development assistance that Africa receives”.

The effects of the huge losses on Africa are glaring – “the draining of foreign exchange reserves; reduced tax collection; cancelling out of investment inflows and worsening of poverty.”

Source: New Telegraph

CBN Intensifies Excess Liquidity Mop Up (This day pg. 8)

Following the closure of Nigeria's Treasury Bills (NTBs) issue calendar for 2018, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has intensified its mop up of excess liquidity in the system through open market operations (OMO).

OMO is one of the central bank's liquidity management instruments, whereas treasury bills are government debt, basically to support the budget deficit.

THISDAY's findings showed that the central bank auctioned OMO bills totaling N147.11 billion on Monday and wednesday.

A breakdown of this showed that while wednesday, the regulator auctioned N400 million of 92-day bills; N1.19 billion of 183-day bills and N90.89 billion of 351-day bills; it sold a total of N54 billion bills on Monday. The breakdown of Monday's issuance was N14.06 billion of 192-day bills and N40.56 billion of the 353-day instrument.

According to the NTB calendar for the fourth quarter 2018 that was released earlier by the CBN, there would not be any treasury bills auction this month. The idea was not to roll over any maturing instrument this month, but to fully repay.

Source: This day

NERC furious at DisCos’ slow MAP process as overbilling persists (Daily trust pg. 20)

The Chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Prof. James Momoh, has registered displeasure at heads of the Distribution Companies (DisCos) for their slow and poor process of engaging Meter Assets Providers (MAPs) despite rising agitations by electricity users to be metered amid complaints of high estimated billings.

Speaking on Tuesday at a MAP conference in Lagos organised by NERC, Prof. Momoh said despite the urgent nature of closing the metering gaps and calming agitations on over-estimated power bills, some DisCos were still “taking it as something for play.”

MAP regulations became effective on April 3, 2018, from when the DisCos were to procure and engage MAP firms that obtained “No Objection” certificates from NERC in 120 days. NERC, in July, extended it by 90 days, elapsing in November, but with no visible customer metering so far.

Prof. Momoh was displeased over the absence of nine of the 11 DisCos’ managing directors at the conference which had the full NERC commissioners in attendance and the prospective MAPs.

Source: Daily trust

 

NEWSPAPER REVIEW FOR DECEMBER 5, 2018

NEWSPAPER REVIEW DECEMBER 5, 2018

MANUFACTURING/INDUSTRY NEWS

Enelamah Calls for Collaboration of Tiers of Govt. (Vanguard pg. 19)

The minister of industry, trade and investment, Okechukwu Enelamah, has said the current administration believes a conducive business environment is crucial to achieving the government’s diversification agenda.

He pointed out, on Friday, that even though significant milestones have already been recorded, the greatest effect is only be possible with the active collaboration of state and local governments.

Mr Enelamah was speaking at the 10th meeting of the National Council on Industry, Trade and Investment, with the theme, “Ease of Doing Business: The Role of States and Local Governments” which took place in Umuahia, Abia State.

In a statement signed by Bisi Daniels, strategy and communications adviser to the minister of industry, trade and investment, which was made available to PREMIUM TIMES, the minister pointed out that the president, Muhammadu Buhari, has shown strong political will by establishing and supporting the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC).

This, he did, with an ambitious mandate of removing constraints and bottlenecks in doing business in Nigeria; and by signing the Executive Order 001 which promotes transparency, default approvals and one government.

The minister took stock of some of the successes recorded by the government so far in diverse areas. “Business registration in Nigeria can now be concluded within 48 hours with the automated platform by the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC),” he said.

Source: This day

NIMASA protests piracy report on Nigeria (Vanguard pg. 19)

The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Dakuku Peterside, has called on the International Maritime Bureau, IMB, to ensure fairness and balance in its reportage of piracy issues on nation’s territorial waters.

Dakuku expressed displeasure in exaggerated reports on incidences on the country’s waterways by the IMB.

IMB is a specialised department of the International Chamber of Commerce, ICC dedicated to fighting maritime crime and malpractice. The NIMASA helmsman made the assertions yesterday in Lagos, when a delegation of the International Maritime Security Operations Team (IMSOT) from the United Kingdom paid a working visit to the Agency.

He bemoaned the distortion of facts in the coverage of Nigeria by the Bureau, saying such distortions can do reputational damage to the country within the international community.

Source: Vanguard

SMEs seek tax relief, ease of business climate (The Nation pg. 36)

Operators of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria are seeking tax incentives to counter competition from regional rivals, offering lower rates.

Speaking in Lagos, President, Association of Small Business Owners (ASBON), Dr Femi Egbesola, said SMEs are suffocating under multiple tax regimes observed across the various tiers of government.

He said small and medium enterprises must be given enough tax incentives and improved access to financing to become significant contributors to economic growth, adding that despite the increasing contribution of SMEs to job creation, their full potential has yet to be harnessed.

Although SMEs comprise 70 per cent of all businesses in Nigeria, employing 65 per cent of its workforce, they face a host of growth challenges including lack of technical capacity, difficulty in accessing markets and, most notably, lack of access to finance.

According to him, the foremost problem is the lack of access to financing as bank requirements on collateral and business plants are strict.

Source: The Nation

Large industrial firms still dominating credit allocation to manufacturing sector (Guardian pg. 29)

Although the latest data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) show that Nigerian Bank’s total lending to the private sector from Q1 2018 to Q3 2018 stood at N15.5 trillion as at September 30 2018, the volume of exposure to small-scale industrial firms and businesses remains a source of concern to operators.

Indeed, the data revealed that in the third quarter of 2018, a total volume of 5,294,871,285 transactions valued at N340.15 trillion were recorded.

In terms of credit to private sector, the total value of credit allocated by the bank stood at N15.59 trillion as at Q3 2018, with the oil & gas and manufacturing sectors receiving credit allocation of N3.59 trillion and N2.15 trillion to record the highest credit allocation as at the period under review.

Of the N2.15 trillion allocated to the manufacturing sector during the quarter under review, the Director-General of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Muda Yusuf stated that it would be insightful to see the breakdown of sectors accessing the credit and size of businesses accessing the credit.

On a quarter on quarter basis, growth was negative for the first two quarters of 2018.

Q1 credit stood at N15.6 trillion, dropped to N15.3 trillion in the second quarter of 2018, before rebounding slightly to N15.5 trillion in the third quarter of 2018.

Source: Guardian

BUSINESS/ECONOMY NEWS

Nigeria needs single local content policy to harness potential (Guardian pg. 7)

If Nigeria is really committed to developing local capacities and harnessing its economic fortunes, it needs a single local content policy framework for all sectors of the economy.

Executive secretary of Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Simbi Wabote, said this yesterday at the eighth Practical Nigerian Content Forum in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.

Wabote was responding to calls by stakeholders in some critical sectors of the economy for different local content acts for their sectors.

He said that any attempt to duplicate the local content policy would weaken the policy drive, giving room for breaches.

Stressing the need for a single local content framework covering critical sectors of the economy like oil and gas, construction, information and communications technology (ICT), power, manufacturing, among others, he added: “If all sectors seek their specific local content acts, such development will destroy the agenda. We should have one strong local content act.”

According to the NCDMB boss, there is need to further develop the current local content act to encompass all the sectors of the economy, as the concentration on the oil and gas sector would not earn optimal dividend for the nation.

Source: Guardian

Nigeria, others must deepen intra-African trade for economic integration (Guardian pg. 23)

Participants at the 13th African Economic Conference called on African countries to leverage the full range of their strengths and resources to accelerate the region’s drive towards continental integration.
   
Indeed, the experts agreed that a self-reliant approach that emphasizes intra-African trade, would not only help deepen regional economic integration, but also contribute significantly to sustainable economic growth, job creation, poverty reduction, and inflow of foreign direct investment.
   
Themed, “Regional and Continental Integration for Africa’s Development,” the 2018 AEC, the conference jointly organised by the United Nations Development Programme, UN Economic Commission for Africa, and the African Development Bank (AfDB), follows the launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA) eight months ago in Kigali.

Speaking during the opening ceremony, Rwanda’s Minister of State in charge of Economic Planning, Claudine Uwera, said: “Africa’s integration is no longer a choice. It’s a must for the continent and its people. To become the global player that it deserves to be, Africa should integrate speedily.”

Source: Guardian

Nigeria: Economic Evolution Through Industrialisation, Public-Private Sector Scheme (Guardian pg. 26)

ndustrialization is the process by which an economy moves from primarily agrarian production to mass-produced, technologically advanced goods and services. This phase is characterized by exponential leaps in productivity, shifts from rural to urban labor, and increased standards of living.

By typical measurements, such as income per capita or labor productivity, industrialization can be considered the most important economic development in human history.

Economic historian Deirdre McCloskey, writing in the Cambridge University Press in 2004, argued that industrialization was "certainly the most important event in the history of humanity since the domestication of animals and plants, perhaps the most important since the invention of language."

Not all historians agree with the spark that ignited the Industrial Revolution. Most economists point to the changes in legal and cultural foundations in Great Britain that allowed free trade and gave entrepreneurs, the room and incentives to take risks, innovate, and profit.

But it is pertinent to bring to the fore, the improvements that have been recorded in Akwa Ibom State, under its Governor, Emmanuel Udom.

Before he came into office on May 29 2015, Akwa Ibom was rated as one of the states with the highest income inequality, peaking at over 0.54 for the self-employed (predominantly farmers) and 0.44 for the employed-salary paid/wage earners, according to United Nations Development Programme (UNDP 2012).

Source: Guardian

Rural Electrification: Nigeria Gets $200m AfDB, China Loan (This day pg. 50)

Nigeria’s efforts at extending electricity supply to semi-urban and rural communities received a boost Tuesday with a $200 million loan from the African Development Bank (AfDB) and China via the Africa Growing Together Fund (AGTF), managed by the AfDB on behalf of China.

A statement by the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), the $200 million financial package was approved on Monday by the board of directors of the AfDB.

The facility comprises a $150 million sovereign loan to the Federal Government of Nigeria to finance the Nigeria Electrification Project (NEP), as well as $50 million from a $2 billion AGTF facility sponsored by the People’s Bank of China and administered by the AfDB.

The statement added that the financing will support rural electrification efforts in Nigeria by facilitating private sector development and roll out of off-grid solutions, as well as the installation of dedicated power systems for federal universities.

The AGFT, it added, would co-finance the project.

Source: This day

Nigeria to partner other African countries on ‘blue economy (Vanguard pg. 3)

The Federal Government of Nigeria has expressed its readiness to cooperate with sister countries and development bodies to advance Africa’s prosperity through the safe and sustainable use of the continent’s vast sea and ocean resources.

The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, made this known in his speech at the first Sustainable Blue Economy Conference, which held in Nairobi.

Amaechi, who was represented by the Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and Chairman of the Association of African Maritime Administrations (AAMA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside, conveyed Nigeria’s statement of commitment to the blue economy initiative and said its growth was the most viable option for Africa’s development in the wake of declining mineral and commodity prices.

Source: Vanguard

CBN, SGF, FIRS shun FOIA requests over N20trn stamp duty revenue (Daily trust pg. 12)

Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS), and Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF) have turned down Freedom of Information requests to provide details of the revenues realized from stamp duty estimated at N20 trillion, findings by a consortium of newsrooms and civil society have shown. 

The status of unremitted revenue from stamp duties said to have run into several trillions of naira over the years, has been shrouded in secrecy.

In November 2017, the Senate kick-started a probe into the allegation that stamp duties revenue which accumulated over a period of five years and is valued at over N20 trillion has not been paid into the federation account.

Following a motion raised by John Owan Enoh, the senator representing Cross River Central district, the House had instructed committees on finance and banking, insurance and other financial institutions to investigate the scandal and report back to it within a period of eight weeks.

“The Senate is worried that the provision for stamp duty in the revenue framework of the nation’s annual budget for 2015, 2016 and 2017 has been N8.7 billion, N66 billion and 16.9 billion respectively despite the above reports; apprised of the anti-stamp duties collection stance of the Nigerian Inter-Bank Settlement System,” Enoh said.

Source: Daily trust

NESREA act amended to enforce environmental compliance (Daily trust pg. 28)

The National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) Act, first enacted in 2007, has been amended to empower the agency in the protection and development of the environment.

The new Act, signed by President Muhammadu Buhari, gives the agency discretionary powers and authority to promptly tackle perceived environmental threats, pollutants and other vices, a statement from the agency said.

According to the statement, the revised Act also empowers the agency with strong deterrents such as the imposition of stiffer penalties and fines against a wide range of environmental crimes, such as illegal trafficking in wildlife, endangered species and poaching.

Under the amended Act, law officers of the agency can go ahead and carry out their duties particularly where delay may pose threat to human life and the environment.

Source: Daily trust

Naira struggles to benefit from US-China trade truce (Business day pg. 17)

The combination of Dollar weakness and improving risk appetite is a welcome development for most major emerging market currencies. However, the Nigerian Naira has yet again struggled to benefit from such welcome market conditions with prices hovering around 365 on the parallel exchange.

It is becoming clear that the Naira’s stability against the Dollar was the product of repeated intervention by the Central Bank of Nigeria. With falling oil prices weighing on the Naira’s peg against the Dollar on the official exchange and complicating the CBN’s effort to defend the Naira on the parallel, further weakness seems to be on the cards.

While fading trade tensions and Dollar weakness is seen limiting capital outflows, falling oil prices are poised to negatively impact government revenues and the implementation of the 2019 budget.

While the short-term outlook for the Nigerian economy may look discouraging, confidence in the nation will most likely receive a boost in the medium to longer term if increased government spending ahead of the elections next year stimulates economic growth.

Away from Nigeria, all of the currencies in the APAC region are trending higher against the Dollar, with the exception of the Indian Rupee that has declined 1.03% at the time of writing as a result of local data missing expectations.

Source: Businessday

 

 

 

 

NEWSPAPER REVIEW FOR DECEMBER 4, 2018

NEWSPAPER REVIEW DECEMBER 4, 2018

MANUFACTURING/INDUSTRY NEWS

SON to shut down producers of substandard electric poles (Daily sun pg. 37)

The Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) has vowed to shut down industries that produce substandard electric poles.

The coordinator Rivers/Bayelsa State of SON, Mr. Ololade Ayoola, gave the warning at the weekend, after visiting some of the industries that are complying with the Organization’s specifications for electric pole production, in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. Ayoola, while speaking at the Premises of SSK Integrated Service Limited, said SON is not interested in closing down people’s businesses, but would invoke the Act that established the Organization against defaulters.

Source: Daily sun

Enelamah urges collaboration on ease of doing business (The Nation pg. 35)

The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, has said the current administration believes that a conducive business environment was crucial to achieving the government’s economic diversification agenda.

He, however, pointed out that even though significant milestones have already been recorded, the greatest effect will only be possible with the active collaboration of state and local governments.

Enelamah spoke at the 10th meeting of the National Council on Industry, Trade and Investment, with the theme, “Ease of Doing Business: The Role of States and Local Governments,” which took place in Umuahia, Abia State, during the weekend.

He pointed out that President Muhammadu Buhari has shown strong political will by establishing and supporting the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) with an ambitious mandate of removing constraints and bottlenecks in doing business in Nigeria.

The Minister added that the Federal Government also signed the Executive Order 001, which promotes transparency, default approvals and one government.

Source: The Nation

Fed Govt goes tough on arbitrary port charges (The Nation pg. 16)

The Federal Government, it was gathered, has finished its study of the various tariffs across ports in West Africa, and determined to ensure that Nigerian ports are competitive compared to its neighbours.

Speaking with The Nation at the weekend, a senior official of the Federal Ministry of Finance (FMoF), who craved anonimity, said the government was reviewing the concession agreement to make the ports attractive and competitive by eliminating the legion of arbitrary charges importers and their clearing agents are being made to pay by the private terminal operators.

The President Muhammadu Buhari administration, the official said, was going tough on arbitrary charges based on the economic diversification agenda of the government.

“Through the on-going review of the concession agreement, the Federal Government was determined to check the excesses of the private terminal operators by ensuring that things like arbitrary tariff by terminal operators will be checked

“The review of the concession agreement by the government  will further sanitise the sector and enhance smooth operations and clearance of cargo at the ports.

Source: The Nation

NCDMB to Strengthen Local Content with Development Fund (This day pg. 24)

The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has said it will soon unveil a programme aimed at supporting no fewer than 100 indigenous companies in the oil and gas industry with funding from the Nigerian Content Development Fund as well as getting jobs for them.

This came as the board commended multinational oil giant, ExxonMobil, for encouraging and building a Nigerian company, Global Process and Pipelines Services Limited (GPPS), into a world-class player in the oil and gas industry.

NCDMB Executive Secretary, Mr. Simbi Wabote, spoke in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital at the inauguration of GPPS headquarters and operational base.
Wabote said: “The NCDMB in conjunction with the Minister of State for Petroleum has started a programme we call Project 100. I know some of your may have received mail from NCDMB’s team working on Project 100, perhaps to identify your capacity.

“The whole idea, which in the next couple of weeks will be unveiled by the minister himself is to get behind those companies and see how we can support them both by fighting for jobs for them and also supporting them with the Nigerian Content Development Fund to grow to them next level.

Source: This day

BUSINESS/ECONOMY NEWS

Why Nigeria must develop vibrant commodity exchange (Guardian pg. 21)

The need for Nigeria to develop a vibrant commodities exchange capable of attracting investors into the agriculture value chain, and enhancing job creation has been stressed. Capital market experts who spoke in an interview with The Guardian linked Nigeria’s inability to diversify its export base away from oil over the years to the absence of an efficient commodities market.
     
They noted that vibrant commodities exchange would help increase incomes for farmers and agro-businessmen since as it ensures appropriate pricing of produce.The Nigeria Commodity Exchange (NCX), formerly known as the Abuja Commodities and Securities Exchange, was originally incorporated as a Stock Exchange on June 17, 1998. It commenced electronic trading in securities in May 2001, and was converted to a commodities exchange on August 8, 2001.
   
The conversion was premised on the need for an alternative institutional arrangement that would manage the effects of price fluctuations in the marketing of agricultural produce, which adversely affected farmers’ earnings since the abolishment of Commodity Boards in 1986. But the exchange had challenges living up to expectations till date.

Source: Guardian

Nigeria’s agro-commodity export revenue to hit N100bn by end of 2018 (Daily trust pg. 17)

Revenue from Nigeria’s agro-commodity export is expected to rise above N100 billion before the end of 2018, the Managing Director of Connect Rail Services Limited, Edeme Kikelume, has said.

Kikelume, in an interview with Daily Trust in Lagos at the weekend, also said the sector had the potential to do even more than that if the Federal Government’s directive on export was respected by various agencies in charge of export trade.

The MD who hailed the effort of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) at ensuring that the Federal Government benefited from the agro-commodity sector, said Connect Rail was synonymous with powering agro-commodities export.

Kikelume stressed that Connect Rail’s objective in the maritime sector was to support the Federal Government’s effort to diversify the economy from oil to non-oil export.

He said: “Our operations at the Ikorodu Light Terminal, designated by the NPA as an agricultural export terminal, has significantly improved the challenges that agro-commodities exporters have been facing moving their cargo as a result of the port’s congestion in Apapa.”

Source: Daily trust

Emefiele upbeat as forex policy lifts production (The Nation pg. 2)

The Central Bank of Nigeria’s, CBN’s restriction on 41 items from accessing foreign exchange (forex) at official windows is one of such decisions.

More than two years after the policy, its objectives, such as encouraging local production of the items and boosting local industries suffocated by the importation of competing products, are being realised.

The policy implementation was part of the home-grown solutions introduced by CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele to sustain forex market stability and ensure the efficient utilisation of available forex to grow critical segments of the economy.

The policy implies that those who import these items can no longer buy forex from the official window to pay their suppliers. Rather, they will have to source forex from the parallel market or Bureaux De Change (BDCs) to pay for imports.

Emefiele said the bank had been developing home-grown policies to surmount challenges that confronted the economy lately.

“As I have always emphasised, it is our collective duty to ensure that the potential and prospects of the economy are optimally realised. The ongoing economic recovery requires the joint efforts and wise counsel of everyone, if we must take giant strides forward. The CBN is more determined now than ever to remain at the forefront of efforts to ensure that the rebound is not overturned,” he said.

Source: The Nation

Reduce high interest rate, CBN urged (The Nation pg. 16)

In an interview with The Nation in Lagos, stakeholders urged the government to build a vibrant investment climate for the maritime sector.

Former Chairman, House Commit-tee on Legislative Compliance, Mr. Moruf Akinderu-Fatai, said there should be policies to create linkages between the maritime industry and other sectors, such as banking and manufacturing.

He suggested measures like dedicated institutional financing mechanism for the shipping and maritime sector, a comprehensive maritime regulatory policy, to clearly delineate the role and responsibilities of the government and private sector in the development of the maritime sector.

The purchase of modern vessels, Akinderu-Fatai, a shipper, said, would also provide jobs for millions of Nigerians and the restive youths across the country.

He said there was need for a sustained partnership between the private and public sectors for effective funding.

The country, acccording to him, has not enjoyed the commercial benefits of transporting large quantities of cargoes because local ship owners lack the necessary capital.

Source: The Nation

 

 

 

NEWSPAPER REVIEW FOR DECEMBER 3, 2018

NEWSPAPER REVIEW DECEMBER 3, 2018, 2018

MANUFACTURING/INDUSTRY NEWS

MAN carpets regulators over duplicated charges (Business day pg. 33)

Members of the Petroleum Products sub-group of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) have voiced displeasure regarding over-regulation of their activities in the sector, stressing that paying duplicated fees for the same services to different regulatory agencies is burdensome.

Adesoji Fagbemi, chairman of the Petroleum Products Group of MAN, said at an interactive forum with the National Environmental Standards Regulatory and Enforcement Agency (NESREA) and National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA).

Source: Business day

Updated: Manufacturing sector sustains growth as PMI expands for 20th month (Business day pg. A2)

Nigeria’s manufacturing sector sustained its growth as the Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) expanded for the 20th consecutive month in November, the Central Bank of Nigeria said in a report released Thursday.

The manufacturing PMI in the month of November 2018 stood at 57.9 index points, indicating a 1.1 index point increase when compared to the 56.8 recorded in October, the report said. Manufacturing sector index grew at a faster rate when compared to the index in the previous month, the Central bank explained.

‘All sub-sectors recovered from contraction; production level, new orders, supplier delivery time, employment level and inventories grew at a faster rate in November 2018’, CBN said.

Source: Business day

Enhancing standards to reduce rejection of Nigerian products in global market (Business day pg. 33)

Nigerian exporters often suffer losses resulting from rejections at the borders of destination countries.

 The European Food Safety Authority rejected beans from Nigeria in 2015 because it contained between 0.03mg per kg and 4.6mg/kg of dichlorvos pesticide, when the acceptable maximum residue limit was 0.01mg/kg. The ban has been extended to 2019, which shows that Nigerian food processors and exporters are yet to change.

A Nigerian businessman recently exported cans of 35cl malt drink numbering into hundreds of thousands to Kenya. The Products were on display in the East African Country until they caught the attention of the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS), which subjected them to measurement tests. The products were subsequently found to be 32cl, rather than 35cl.

Source: Business day

Industrialists Decry Harsh Operating Environment in Ota-Agbara Axiss (This day pg. 61)

Industrialists have decried the poor state of infrastructure and operating conditions at the Ota-Agbara areas of Ogun State.

Members of the Ota-Agbara Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and  Agriculture(OTAGCCIMA), who raised the alarm after a recent statutory meeting to deliberate on the state of the operating environment, cited the poor state of most roads in Ota and Agbara, multiplicity of taxes, illegal collection of tolls and epileptic power supply.

The Ota-Agbara Axis parades one of  the  highest  concentrations of industries in Nigeria, and is well known as the commercial nerve centre of Ogun State, with businesses collectively generating billions of naira monthly and supporting the local economy.

But OTAGCCIMA said the disturbing lack of government presence in terms of provision of social infrastructure poses a great threat to the survival of businesses in the areas.

The crucial meeting to review the conditions was attended by the President of TAGCCIMA, Mike Akingbade; First Deputy President, Dr. Kayode Bowale; and the Treasurer, Evang. Bello, among others.

The members lamented that the harsh operating conditions were already affecting their productivity, profitability, and the continued survival of their businesses.  

Source: This day

BUSINESS/ECONOMY NEWS

How FGN’s preference for commercial debts cost additional N127bn in interest (Daily trust pg. 17)

Over the past few months, concerns have been raised on the sustainability of the bourgeoning debt profile of the Federal Government, with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) stressing the need to cut down on excessive borrowing.

In November, the Senate approved President Buhari’s request to issue $2.8bn worth of foreign currency denominated paper to help finance the 2018 budget and the Federal Government had since raised the amount in Eurobond.

At the end of the first half of 2018, FGN debt stock stood at $73.2bn, with foreign debt accounting for 30 per cent ($22.4bn) of the total.

A breakdown of the Nigeria external debt of $22bn shows that multilateral loans account for $10.883bn, which translates to 49.28 per cent. Bilateral loans account for $2.399bn, while the commercial loan, which is largely Eurobond, amounts to $8.8bn, which amounts to 39.89 per cent.

When the number is viewed in terms of debt service-to-revenue ratio, as at 2017, FGN’s total debt service amounted to N1.82trn.

Source: Daily trust

Forex restriction on 41 items lifting eonomy, says Emefiele (The Nation pg. 22)

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele, has said its policy restricting  foreign exchange access on 41 items that can be produced locally has lifted the economy.

Speaking in Lagos at the 53rd annual Bankers dinner held in Lagos, he said  CBN’s policy restricting forex access to 41 items has helped to move the economy out of recession. He said there are new calls on the apex bank to increase the  list of 41 items  to cover more goods that can be produced locally.“As I have always emphasised, it is our collective duty to ensure that the potentials and prospects of the Nigerian economy is optimally realised. The ongoing economic recovery requires the joint efforts and wise counsel of everyone, if we must make giant strides forward. The CBN is more determined now than ever to remain at the forefront of the effort to ensure that the rebound is not overturned,” he said.

He said that Nigeria’s political-economy experienced significant challenges over the last few years revealing its structural deficiencies particularly with regards to its dependence on crude oil, as a major source of its revenue and foreign exchange, as well as over dependence of our people on imported items even when these goods could be produced locally. The 60 percent decline in crude oil prices between 2015 and 2016 helped shape the trajectory of our economy, ultimately triggering the economic recession in first quarter of 2016.

Source: The Nation

Divergent naira outlooks as CBN increases forex intervention to forestall depreciation (Vanguard pg. 19)

The foreign exchange market is enveloped with a cloud of uncertainty, with analysts offering divergent outlooks over direction of naira exchange rate this week, following last week’s sharp depreciation of the nation’s currency in the parallel market last week.

The naira last week suffered its biggest depreciation this year as it lost N7 or 1.9 percent in the parallel market. According to naijabdcs.com, the live exchange rate platform of Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON), the parallel market exchange rate rose to N369 per dollar last week Friday from N2 the previous week. The represents the third weekly depreciation of the naira in the parallel market, during which it lost N8.5 or 2.4 percent. Analysts however attributed the sharp depreciation of the naira to different factors. According to analysts at Lagos based Afrinvest Plc, the depreciation was due to increased demand for dollars for Personal/Business Travel Allowance (PTA/BTA).

Analysts at Lagos based Financial Derivatives Company Limited however attributed the depreciation to speculation triggered by apprehension over the forthcoming general election, stressing that there is no justification for such naira depreciation at this time of the year.

Source: Vanguard

 

NEWSPAPER REVIEW FOR NOVEMBER 30, 2018

NEWSPAPER REVIEW NOVEMBER 30, 2018

MANUFACTURING/INDUSTRY NEWS

FG plans to facilitate local manufacture of HIV medicines (Guardian pg. 7)

The Federal Government has said that it is set to facilitate local manufacture of medicines and other relevant commodities needed for the treatment and care of people living with Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV)/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and inaugurate an HIV Trust Fund.

Director-General, National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), Dr. Sani Aliyu, who stated this yesterday in Abuja at the 2018 World AIDS Day (WAD) commemoration event, said it is another important priority as part of the long-term sustainability agenda for the national response.

He said local production of high commodity and affordable medicines represent the most effective means of ensuring sustainable access to essential medicines.

Also at the event, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo noted that more than ever before, Nigeria is closer to ending AIDS epidemic, adding that having HIV diagnosis today implies something different from what it did 20 years ago.

He said: ‘’Research has delivered improved medicines, technologies and approaches to service delivery and holds even greater promise for what will obtain in the future. Today, with more access to treatment and care, people living with HIV can live healthier and more fulfilling lives.

Source: Guardian

Manufacturers lament over-regulation in petroleum products sector (Guardian pg. 23)

Manufacturers operating under the Petroleum Product Sectoral Group of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) have decried over-regulation of their activities in the sector, describing such regulations as imposing additional financial burden on them, as well as making the business environment unfriendly.

According to the manufacturers, there is a need for the agencies to clearly define and harmonise their responsibilities with a view to ensure that operators are not over-burdened with the same regulatory requirements from different agencies.

In an interactive session with National Environmental Standards Regulatory and Enforcement Agency (NESREA) and National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), the manufacturers noted that there is an increasing overlapping function of regulatory agencies ‎hindering operations in the industry.

They added that numerous charges and fees imposed by the agencies such as environmental development charge; chemical storage permit; laboratory analysis and the other charges have compelled companies to use the associates of the agencies’ officials for the assessment and audit report at ridiculous prices.

Source: Guardian

Why Nigeria’s auto industry is going nowhere (Business day pg. 1)

Back in 2012, Nigerians could afford to buy new cars at N4 million each. Six years after, prices of new cars have shot up to N20 million per car on the average, pricing out the middle-class who often make up a large percentage of buyers.

 The reason for prohibitive prices of new cars can be found in the 2013 National Automotive Policy which, first, imposed 35 percent levy and 35 percent duty on imported vehicles, amounting to a total of 70 percent.

Even with 70 percent fees paid on imported vehicles, importers of damaged or accidented vehicles officially enjoy a rebate of 30 percent. What this has done is to encourage the importation of rickety vehicles, which make up 70 percent of imported cars today.

Source: Business day

BUSINESS/ECONOMY NEWS

Nigeria’s PMI records growth for 20th time, says CBN (Guardian pg. 4)

Purchasers’ Manager Index (PMI), which records activities in the manufacturing and non-manufacturing sectors of the economy, including employment, continue to record growth for the 20th consecutive time in November this year.

The PMI report for November released by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday pointed out that all sub-sectors recovered from contraction, including production level, new orders, supplier delivery time, employment level and inventories, as they grew at a faster rate.

According to the report, the manufacturing PMI in the month under review stood at 57.9 index points, indicating expansion in the manufacturing sector for the 20th consecutive month. “The index grew at a faster rate when compared to the index in the previous months.”

It added that all the 14 subsectors surveyed reported growth in the review month in the following order: electrical equipment; furniture and related products; cement; food, beverage and tobacco products; paper products; transportation equipment; plastics and rubber products.

Source: Guardian

 

NEWSPAPER REVIEW NOVEMBER 28, 2018

 

NEWSPAPER REVIEW NOVEMBER 28, 2018

BUSINESS/ECONOMY

SON, others move to address false declaration of cargoes-(Guardians, Pg.29)

To further check the influx of sub-standard goods in the country, key stakeholders in the maritime industry have pledged their support to collaborate with the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), to address the issue of false declaration of cargoes at the nation’s point of entry.

The stakeholders said false declaration by some importers is one of the ways by which substandard goods find their ways into the shores of the country.

They said at a one-day national stakeholders’ sensitization forum, for maritime operators in Lagos, entitled, ‘‘Collaborations as tool for zero sub-standard imports” that they would work with SON to reduce the influx of substandard products.The Vice President, ANLCA, Dr. Kayode Farinto, said: ‘‘we are going to say no to clearing of substandard goods. For instance, if your bill of lading is containing fridges and at the point of examination, we realise it is not carrying fridges.

‘‘It is my responsibility as a patriotic citizen to invite SON to show that the consignment does not meet the specifications or guidelines despite having SONCAP. This is the only way we can stamp out substandard products in our society.’’

‘‘We would also sensitise our members so that whenever they see something, they must say something. We must make sure that they do not clear substandard products out of our ports. We are the middlemen between the importers and the trading public so if we assist in clearing these goods, we would not know who will be injured by these goods tomorrow. We encourage our importers to get their SONCAP,’’ he said.

The President, National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Increase Uche, added that combating the preponderance of fake and substandard goods cannot be achieved without the support of all stakeholders, pointing out that cooperation must be established between SON and other government agencies, greater cooperation between the agency, freight forwarders and the importing public.

He assured that NAGAFF has always thrown its weight in support of the activities of the SON through its public policy advocacy and information service.

‘‘We are also aware of the menace of smuggling activities predominately carried out through the border entry points which most times hampers the operation of the Agency.

“It has always been our view that collaboration, partnership, cooperation and synergy amongst the relevant stakeholders must be sustained in achieving zero substandard imports and other trade malpractices in our Seaports, Airports, Land Borders and the overall Logistics Supply Chain.

“Regrettably, the major constraint that hinders adequate check against this nefarious act in the entire system has been the lack of collaboration among critical stakeholders,’’ he said.

He pointed out that collaborations would help to identify and mitigate risk, help to quicken the process of accomplishing inherent task, lead to both timely and appropriate decisions and moral support, as well as promoting inter agency cooperation and reduce overlap of agency functions.

Earlier, the Director General, SON, Osita Aboloma stated that there was no better way to sensitize the industry than to collaborate with key players who have direct dealings with the importers.

Aboloma who was represented by the Director, Inspectorate and Compliance (ICD), Obiora Manafa said 80 per cent of Nigerian imports come through the seaports and waterways and it will therefore be difficult to ignore the maritime sector operators in the quest for zero-import of sub-standard and unwholesome products in furtherance of the Federal Government’s Ease of Doing Business initiative.He further described the forum as an avenue for adequate stakeholders’ enlightenment on SON’s regulatory tools and requirements and to disabuse their minds of negative issues relating to the Organisation’s enforcement of quality and regulations.

‘‘SON’s continued advocacy is to reduce substantially, seizure and destruction of goods, which are injurious to human lives, amount to large economic and financial losses and a threat to our environment.Our greatest challenge with cargo clearance is that of false declaration by clearing agents”, he added.

Assistant Director, SONCAP, Pious Maji, said the influx of substandard products can be best controlled by effective collaboration with stakeholders in the industry, pointing out that key stakeholders in the maritime industry have agreed to work with SON as a team to salvage Nigeria from being a dumping ground for substandard products.

 

 

Senate asks FG to suspend excise duty on alcoholic drinks, tobacco-(Businessday, Pg.38)

The Senate on Tuesday asked the Federal Government to immediately suspend the implementation of the Excise Tariff increment on alcoholic beverages and tobacco until all relevant stakeholders are adequately consulted.

This, the upper legislative chamber believed, will give an avenue for consensus rates and implementation approach amongst stakeholders in the beverage and tobacco industries.

It also tasked the Federal Government to sensitize producers and consumers of alcoholic and tobacco products to understand the need for the increase and its advantage in adding to the economic fortune of the country as well as providing the government with more resources to invest in health services of the nation.

This followed the adoption of the report of the Senate Committee on Finance on the Urgent Need to Review the Excise Tariff Increment in order to save Local Distillers of Beverages from Looming Extinction.

It would be recalled that in May 2018, sequel to a motion on the floor the the Senate, it mandated its Committee on Finance to organise unfettered discourse between the Federal Government and relevant stakeholders on the matter.

In June this year, the Federal Government had raised excise duty on alcoholic beverages and tobacco. Although President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the amendment to the excise duty rates in March, implementation of the upward review, however, took effect from June 4, 2018.

The immediate past Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, had stated that the new excise duty rates were spread over a three-year period from 2018 to 2020 in order to moderate the impact on prices of the affected products.

Under the rates for tobacco, in addition to the 20 percent ad-valorem rate, each stick of cigarette now attract a N1 (N20 per pack of 20 sticks) in 2018, N2 specific rate per stick (N40 per pack of 20 sticks) in 2019 and N2.90k specific rate per stick (N58 per pack of 20 sticks) in 2020.

Similarly, the new specific excise duty rates for alcoholic beverages cut across Beer and Stout, Wines and Spirits from 2018 to 2020. Also, Beer & Stout attract N0.30k per centiliter (Cl) in 2018 and N0.35k per Cl each in 2019 and 2020.

In the same token, Wines attract N1.25k per Cl in 2018 and N1.50k per Cl each in 2019 and 2020, while N1.50k per Cl was approved for Spirits in 2018, N1.75k per Cl in 2019 and N2.00k per Cl in 2020.

The former Minister had disclosed that the new excise duty regimes followed all-inclusive stakeholder engagements by the Tariff Technical Committee of the Federal Ministry of Finance with key industry stakeholders.

But in a report presented by the Vice Chairman of the the committee, Umaru Kurfi (APC, Katsina State), the panel observed that most industry players in the beverage and tobacco industries were not properly engaged during the consultative process that led to the adoption of the new excise tariff rate.

The committee recommended an upward review of not more than 50 percent Excise Tarrif increment on alcoholic beverages and tobacco.

Specifically, the panel recommended that: “An increment of not more than 50% at maximum should be adopted, as it becomes necessary for the Federal Government to increase the tariff rate in order to boost revenue generation as the rate will provide more leniency to the affected manufactures and give more hope for the survival of the indigenous companies.

“There is the need to increase the import duties of foreign alcoholic beverages and tobacco products in order to give local indigenous companies more competitive edge as this will provide for a less price differentiation”

 

 

‘BoI committed to attracting cheap funds for industrialization, developing linkages’-(Businessday, Pg.38)

Acknowledging the vital role Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) play in the country’s quest to diversify its economy, the Bank of Industry (BoI), has reaffirmed its commitment to attracting foreign investments into the country.

Indeed, the Development Finance Institution (DFI) pointed out the need to boost the confidence of foreign investors in the Nigerian economy while also providing access to capital for investments in a bid to create wealth and job opportunities for the teeming unemployed youths.

The Managing Director, BoI, Olukayode Pitan, at a meeting with the Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to Nigeria, Fahad Obaid AlTaffag, in Lagos, said the bank is ready to support genuine foreign businesses that are willing to invest in Africa’s biggest market.

In his words: “So if you are thinking about bringing in companies to invest in the country, we will be willing to partner with you and give those companies the kind of facilities we have to support their investments.

“We know that we have a good relationship with your country. I understand you want to know what we do and how we can mutually cooperate for the benefit of the two countries. We are the leading DFI in Nigeria. We focus on many areas for development, but the major areas are emphasis of government, such as light manufacturing, oil and gas, creative industry, agric processing, technology and many more.”

He added that the bank just concluded a syndication trying to raise about $5 million to support industrial development in the country.

“We cover the whole industrial sector to ensure that Nigerian companies become competitive. We know that borrowing money between 20 and 30 per cent is a big drag on companies and most of the banks in Nigeria are not able to give long term facilities. We are able to grant loans between seven and 10 per cent per annum for 10 years,” he added.

In his response, the Ambassador said the meeting was to understand the mechanism at which the bank operates, while also seeking areas of cooperation where both countries could explore in the nearest future.

“We have many interested companies in the UAE who have been looking at the economic structure of Nigeria to arrive at a win-win situation with their partners in Nigeria. We are also looking at ways to access capital in the Nigerian market.

“We look forward to a very rewarding partnership. We want to also understand the way the bank deals with the private sector and the facilities provided to the SMEs through seed funds, micro finance and soft loans,” he said.

Corporate Affairs Department,
Manufacturers Association of Nigeria,
Tel: 01-4542691, GSM: 08164043809, 0803-4307581 , 0703-0338185

newspaperreview@manufacturersnigeria.org

man@manufacturersnigeria.org

mancorporateaffairs@gmail.com

Facebook Account: Manufacturers Association of Nigeria

Twitter Account: @MAN_NGR

 

 

NEWSPAPER REVIEW FOR NOVEMBER 26, 2018

NEWSPAPER REVIEW NOVEMBER 26, 2018

BUSINESS/ECONOMY

LCCI Kicks against Postal Commission Bill 2018-(Thisday, Pg.9)

The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), has rejected the Nigeria Postal Commission Bill currently before the National Assembly.

According to the chamber, the bill is inimical to private sector investments in the courier business; and a negation of the Ease of Doing Business agenda of the federal government.

Furthermore, the group said the bill was not in consonance with the fundamental principles of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).

In a statement yesterday and signed by the Director General, LCCI, Mr. Muda Yusuf, the chamber regretted that the bill had been passed by the Senate, awaiting concurrence by the House of Representatives.

He, however, appealed that the progression of the bill be halted and the hurtful provisions expunged.

The LCCI said it was worried, in particular, about the, “Imposition of an annual levy of 2.5 per cent of the turnover of courier companies to be paid to the proposed Postal Services Commission; Powers conferred on the proposed Postal Services Commission to fix rates for courier services; and monopoly privilege conferred on the Nigerian Postal Service for delivery of items weighing 1kg and below.”

The Chamber argued that the provisions are not consistent with the espoused commitment of the National Assembly to private sector development, which was affirmed by the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, at the inauguration of the National Assembly Business Environment Roundtable [NASSBER] in March 2016.  

He said, “No sector of the Nigerian economy is subjected to such an arduous regulatory provision.  We request that the bill be urgently reviewed by the National Assembly in the interest of economic progress and the welfare of citizens.

“The passage of the bill in its current form will put over 100,000 jobs in the courier sector at risk.   It will as well put over N300 billion investments in courier services business in jeopardy. This would further worsen the country risk rating of Nigeria.  The country is already grappling with enormous perception problems by investors.

“Over-regulation of any sector of the economy will not serve the best interest of the Nigerian economy and would undermine the capacity of investors to create jobs.”

 

Nigeria: World Bank - Nigeria's Fiscal Deficit May Widen-(Thisday, Pg.9)

The World Bank has stated that fiscal deficits in Nigeria will likely widen further in 2018 due to increased pre-election spending and sustained revenue shortfalls.

 

It also noted that Nigeria's 2018 budget implementation was expected to be assertive as the federal government intensifies efforts to complete projects before elections.

The Washington-based institution stated this in its Bi-annual Economic Update on Nigeria, titled, "Investing in Human Capital for Nigeria's Future," that was obtained yesterday.

It stressed that the Nigerian economy remains dependent on "the small oil sector (under 10 percent of GDP) for the bulk of its fiscal revenues and foreign exchange earnings."

This, it pointed out makes Nigeria's balance of payments and government budgets vulnerable to volatilities in oil prices, which plunged to a one-year low of $58.41 a barrel at the weekend, down more than 22 percent, following global oversupply.

Continuing, the World Bank stated, "Indeed, growth and investment in Nigeria have been negatively impacted by repeated oil-price driven boom-bust cycles. The oil price shock of late 2014 and its aftermath pushed the economy into recession and precipitated a major budgetary crisis at the national and state levels, which brought to light the longer-term trend of weak domestic revenue mobilisation.

"Nigeria's weak revenue mobilisation has major implications for growth and development, including for improving its dire social service delivery outcomes. Thus, the country needs to take concrete steps to break its oil dependency to improve its economic and social outcomes," it added.

Nigeria's Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) 2017-2020 aims to achieve macroeconomic stability and economic diversification and there is thus the need to accelerate its implementation progress.

But the report noted that Nigeria's emergence from recession remains very slow as sectoral growth patterns have remained unstable.

Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth strengthened from 0.8 per cent (year-on-year) in 2017, to two per cent in the first quarter (Q1) 2018 but slowed to 1.5 per cent in Q2.

The World Bank noted that a relatively tight monetary stance has kept the exchange rates stable and helped control inflation, which reached a two-year low of 12.5 per cent (year-on-year) in April.

The headline inflation declined further to 11.1 per cent in July 2018.

It stated, "However, with declining inflation, the CBN began to cut back on its liquidity draining operations from March 2018. In August, inflation increased slightly to 11.2 percent, on account of increasing food inflation.

"The recent ease in liquidity and partially-improving health of the banking sector did not however stimulate private sector lending, due to persistent risk aversion, stagnating consumer demand, and still high government security yields.

"The central bank maintained key exchange rates (particularly, the official and IEFX) stable through direct intervention and greater convergence was achieved between the interbank wholesale and retail rates on the one hand and the IEFX rate on the other hand.

It, however, argued that the divergence in exchange rates remains and continues to create "a complex scheme of implicit subsidies and distorting national accounting."

It added, "Oil revenues are recovering with increasing oil prices, but distributions to the tiers of government are constrained by the unbudgeted fuel subsidy and other deductions.

"The fuel subsidy, no longer an explicit first line deduction from oil revenues, mostly benefits the affluent and it is also widely-known that a portion of Nigeria's imported petrol is smuggled out to neighbouring countries where petrol is more expensive.

"The constrained net oil revenues, combined with non-oil revenues that are constrained by limited tax policy reforms and are thus stagnated (relative to GDP), limit overall revenue realization, thus constraining budget execution and the build-up of fiscal buffers.

"The growth in the public debt stock between the first half of 2017 and the first half of 2018 was mainly attributable to the increased Eurobond issuances, some of which were used to liquidate costlier domestic short-term debt.

"Nigeria is in a pre-election period, and fiscal and inflationary pressures are increasing. The agriculture sector outlook remains weakened due to ongoing conflicts, despite targeted government support (import restrictions and subsidized financing schemes).

"Oil production is projected to remain relatively stable, but below the government's ambitious targets. The growth in non-oil non-agriculture sector - the biggest share of the economy - will remain limited by a slow recovery in private demand, but with its momentum likely strengthening by the election-related public and private spending in the second half of 2018 and early 2019. "Overall annual growth is expected to be around 1.9 per cent in 2018, undermined by the slowdown in agriculture and oil sector growth, gradually rising in the medium-term with reduced political uncertainty and returning consumer confidence. The central bank is expected to closely control the level of liquidity."

A special focus in the report was on human capital development in Nigeria, which revealed that "the economic burden of malaria alone in Nigeria, accounting for direct and indirect costs, excluding mortality, is estimated at 13.5 percent of GDP."

"However, in the quest for sustainable growth, Nigeria, like many other countries, has underinvested in human capital. While physical capital remains critical, it does not fully account for improvements in growth," it added.

Recognizing the importance of human capital outcomes for social and economic well-being of all countries, the World Bank recently launched the Human Capital Project (HCP) in October 2018 to help countries improve their education, health and social protection systems to raise the next generation of well-equipped and healthy people.

The Human Capital Index (HCI) is one of the key pillars of the HCP and it measures how human capital contributes to productivity.

It captures three main indicators, namely: survival, education and health. Despite some progress against some of the indicators, Nigeria lagged in all three components of the index, partly because it spends too little and inefficiently on human capital.

 

Lack of investment by DISCOs, problem of power sector – TCN boss-(Businessday, A3)

The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (MD/CEO) of Transition Commission of Nigeria (TCN), Usman Gur Mohammed, has identified non-investment by the Power Distribution Companies of Nigeria (DISCOs) as one of the major challenges faced by the power sector in country He said lack of long term investment in the the sector has made…

Read more: https://www.businessdayonline.com/companies/power/article/lack-investment-discos-problem-power-sector-tcn-boss/

 

European Investment Bank, Afreximbank sign EUR 200m loan agreement-(Businessday, A4)

The European Investment Bank has signed a new fifteen year EUR 200 million loan agreement with the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), aimed at supporting trade-related productive investments, including in renewable energy projects, in Africa. The facility will support promoters in more than 40 countries across Africa with long-term funding. By improving access to finance for…

Readmore: https://www.businessdayonline.com/exclusives/article/european-investment-bank-afreximbank-sign-eur-200m-loan-agreement/

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NEWSPAPER REVIEW FOR NOVEMBER 23, 2018

NEWSPAPER REVIEW NOVEMBER 23, 2018

MANUFACTURING/INDUSTRY NEWS

Customs intercepts 40 containers of tramadol, aircraft (This day pg, 53)

The Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Hameed Ali, on Thursday said the Apapa command of the service intercepted 40 × 40ft containers of pharmaceutical products with Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N7.31 billion.

Mr Ali, a retired colonel, disclosed this while addressing journalists in Lagos on intercepted pharmaceutical products, including tramadol.

According to him, the service is able to achieve the feat through vigilance and intelligence gathering within the system as well as information from the National Agency for Foods, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), a strong ally of the NCS.

”I commend the Director-General of NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye and her management team for their collaboration in the attainment of the interception.

“It is indeed worrisome to note that there are Nigerians who are ready to make money at the expense of human lives by bringing in such quantity of drugs that have grave consequences on health and national security.

Source: This day

Tomato paste importation ban lacks enforcement (Punch pg. 31)

The President and Chief Executive Officer, Erisco Foods Limited, Chief Eric Umeofia, has lamented the poor implementation of the ban placed on importation of tomato paste by the government.

The Federal Government had in March 2017 banned the importation of tomato paste, powder or concentrate, and increased the tariffs on imports of tomato concentrate from five per cent to 50 per cent in a move aimed at reviving the local tomato sector.

Umeofia said although the ban had been imposed for over a year now, there was no implementation in sight.

He said the Federal Government was not to blame for the situation, but the system that had refused to enforce the ban because some people were benefitting from the continued influx of substandard tomato paste into the Nigerian market.

Umeofia stated this while unveiling a Nollywood actress, Chioma Chukwuka-Akpotha, as the brand ambassador of Erisco Foods Limited and its new product range — Nagiko 3-in-1 Garri mix, Erisco Milk cubes, Ric-Giko and Nagiko brand of tomato paste.

Source: Punch

 

BUSINESS/ECONOMY NEWS

Nigeria Greatest Beneficiary of ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme (This day pg. 21)

Former Deputy Executive Secretary of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS Commission), Dr. Sola Afolabi, has stated that Nigeria is the greatest beneficiary of the ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme (ETLS).

He stated this while delivering a paper titled: “The Trajectory of Intra-West Africa Trade and Travel 1975 till date,” at the inaugural lecture to mark the 10th anniversary of Inside Watch Africa (IWA) magazine in Lagos.

He said ETLS and Free Movement Protocol are the most promising tolls for enhancing regional integrations in West Africa.

“The success of the schemes today has made ECOWAS to stand out among the regional economic communities in Africa.
“The entry of Morocco into ECOWAS and the entry into force of AfCTA should be prudently managed to achieve the desired objectives. With greater sensitisation and efficient application, the schemes can continue to contribute to the enhancement o the welfare of the ECOWAS citizens.”

Source: This day

Naira appreciates to N364.10 in I&E window (Vanguard pg. 41)

The Naira, yesterday, appreciated to N364.10 in the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window due to an eight percent rise in the volume of dollars traded. Data from FMDQ showed that the indicative exchange rate for the window dropped to N364.10 per dollar yesterday from N364.26 per dollar on Tuesday , translating to 16 kobo appreciation of the naira.

The volume of dollars (turnover) traded yesterday in the window rose by eight percent to $374.58 million from $348.02 million on Wednesday. However, the naira yesterday was stable at N362.5 per dollar in the parallel market.

Source: Vanguard

Experts proffer ways to achieve economic growth (The Nation pg. 14)

Nigeria can grow its economy by embracing technology, promoting local content and industrialisation, some experts have said.

They spoke at the celebration of this year’s African Industrialisation Day, with the theme: “Promoting regional value chains in Africa: A pathway for accelerating Africa’s structural transformation, industrialisation and pharmaceutical production”.

The day was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1989 to enable African governments to examine ways to stimulate industrialisation process and draw worldwide media attention to the problems of industrialisation on the continent.

The International Institute for Training, Research and Economic Development (IITRED) President, Mr. Sani Dawop, said inclusive industrialisation could take place in the country when local products were given priority.

He asked the government to insist that whatever is used within the purview of government is locally made. He said when that is done, Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) will follow suit.

Source: The Nation

 

 

 

NEWSPAPER REVIEW FOR NOVEMBER 22, 2018

NEWSPAPER REVIEW NOVEMBER 22, 2018

MANUFACTURING/INDUSTRY NEWS

MAN: FG’s N13.2bn grant’ll buoy non-oil export revenue (New Telegraph pg. 22)

The Federal Government’s N13.28 billion Export Expansion Grant (EEG) reactivation meant to stimulate the exports of locally produced goods in Nigeria, will buoy the export of non-oil products and boost forex earnings for the country, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has said.
Its Director-General, Segun Ajayi-Kadir, said this in an interview with New Telegraph in Lagos.
He commended the Federal Government for capturing the EEG in this year’s budget, saying that it will spur the country’s non-oil export re-basement, which has remained undervalued for decades due to lack of export incentive.

Particularly, Ajayi-Kadir explained that the timing of the EEG reactivation was peculiar in the life of the Nigerian export market, saying that local manufacturers had been yearning for the release of the incentive grant to cushion their export needs.

He admitted that the scheme had faced lots of challenges, adding that MAN made frantic efforts in meeting the Ministry of Budget and Planning, its finance counterparts and the lawmakers in the National Assembly on why the grant should be released for local exporters.

Source: New Telegraph

BPE seeks EFCC support for transaction transparency (Guardian pg. 23)

The Director-General, Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Alex A. Okoh, has expressed the willingness of the Bureau to partner with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), to ensure transparency in all the processes of the reform and privatisation programme of the Federal Government.

Okoh, who made this known during a courtesy visit to the Acting  Chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, at the Commission’s Corporate office in Abuja, recently, said the activities of the Bureau reflect the principles of transparency that the EFCC is known to propagate.He commended the EFCC for its achievements over the years, especially in the sanitisation of the nation’s economy, which he said had increased investors’ confidence.

The DG, who was decorated during the visit as Anti-Corruption Ambassador by Magu, said he was at the Commission to solicit the EFCC’s support in ensuring that the activities of the BPE are better monitored.

Source: Guardian

 Experts proffer leeway to grow small businesses (Guardian pg. 23)

For small businesses to grow and scale up, experts have advocated practical ways in which micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the country can create purposeful and sustainable innovation.

Experts, who gathered at the Lagos Small Business Summit, organised by SME 100 Africa, stressed the need for business owners to build relationships, and do proper due diligence while accessing capital.

Speaking at the event, Executive Secretary, Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF), Akin Oyebode, said access to capital was a necessary but not a sufficient condition for success. Capital in any capacity will optimise refund/return that is either guaranteed or closed to.

Oyebode said investors are always seek to put their money in businesses that would guarantee them returns, stressing that it was also important for business owners themselves to do due diligence on investors before allowing them in.

Source: Guardian

BUSINESS/ECONOMY NEWS

Imperative of Diasporan investment real sector growth (New Telegraph pg. 23)

Recently, data from the National Bureau of Statistic (NBS) showed a decline in the performance of the real sector in second quarter of 2018, especially in the agric and manufacturing sectors, despite the backing of the Federal Government to support the real sector growth in pursuance of its diversification agenda programme.

Particularly, the agricultural sector performance dropped from three per cent growth in the first quarter to 1.2 per cent in second quarter of 2018, while that of the manufacturing sector also declined from 3.4 per cent in the first quarter to 0.7 per cent in second quarter.
In fact, the decline in the growth of the country’s real sector of the economy has been a cause of concern for the organised private sector (OPS) in Nigeria.

For them, it is alarming to note that the decline in performance of the real sector was attributed to enormous productivity challenges arising from the constraint of infrastructure, particularly power and logistics.
The private sector group had solicited for greater investment and policy focus on improving logistics and strengthening the power sector in order to bounce back.

Source: New Telegraph

Inflation declines first time in three months (The Nation pg. 11)

Nigeria’s inflation rate declined for the first time in three months in October even as food-price growth accelerated.

The consumer-price index rose 11.26 per cent from a year earlier compared with 11.28 per cent in September, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said yesterday. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey was for 11.4 per cent. Prices increased 0.7 per cent in the month.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN’s) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) is due to announce a decision today on its key policy rate, which is at a record-high 14 per cent. Most analysts expect the committee to hold it despite inflationary pressures.

Food prices climbed 13.3 per cent from a year earlier, a third month of acceleration.

Price growth in the country has been above the central bank’s target band of 6 percent and nine perc ent for more than three years.

Source: The Nation

CBN supplies $210m to forex market as BDCs get $85m allocation (Business day pg. 6)

Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Wednesday injected a total of #210 million into the foreign exchange market. A breakdown of the dollar supply indicated that it offered the sum of $100 million to the wholesale segment, while the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) segment received $55 million. Similarly, the invisibles segment, compromising tuition fees, medical payments and Basic Travel Allowance (BTA), among others, also received a $55 million on boost.

The Bureau De Change operators numbering 4,250 across the country received about $85 million as part of their weekly allocation. Consequently, naira trade stable at the BDC segment of the foreign exchange market, closing at N360 per dollar.

Isaac Okorafor, director, Corporate communications at the CBN, while confirming the figures, said the CBN was pleased with the state of the forex market, adding the bank would continue to intervene in order to sustain the liquidity in the market and guarantee the international value of naira.

Source: Business day

 

 

NEWSPAPER REVIEW FOR NOVEMBER 21, 2018

NEWSPAPER REVIEW NOVEMBER 21, 2018

MANUFACTURING/INDUSTRY NEWS

Shippers’ council plans new tariff to check arbitrary charges (Vanguard pg. 22)

The Nigerian’s Shippers’ Council, NCS, has commenced moves to bring about a port tariff mechanism that will put to rest the issue of arbitrary charges by foreign shipping companies operating in Nigeria.

Speaking during a courtesy visit to the Headquarters of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, MAN, Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers Council, Mr. Hassan Bello, said the tariff mechanism will be such that it will not go below or above certain levels of charges so that there could be competition in-between.

Bello said that there will be a systematic way of bringing the cost of cargo clearance or work out a reasonable tariff mechanism. He explained that the era of haphazard, unauthorized or arbitrary increase in port charges is gone adding that all charges must be cleared by the Nigerian Shippers Council.

Source: Vanguard

Manufactures urged to improve product innovation (Guardian pg. 23)

The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu has urged manufacturers to improve on the innovation of their products, adding that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration is committed to encouraging indigenous companies to diversify the economy.

He made this statement during an inspection visit to Cutix Plc in Nnewi.

Dr Onu commended the initiatives of the private sector in playing its rightful role in driving the economy, adding that they have helped the government in job creation and poverty eradication.

He called on industrialists to explore their enterprising potential in technological development of the region, as, according to him, his ministry would send some of the federal agencies to assist them in the areas of innovation.

Source: Guardian

AFBTE Condemns NLRC’s Closure of Companies (This day pg. 24)

The Association of Food Beverage and Tobacco Employers (AFBTE), an umbrella body for manufacturers in the food, beverage and tobacco industry in Nigeria has described the recent actions of the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC) that led to the closure of some companies as illegal.

A statement made available by the association noted that the “brazen step is unacceptable especially in a democratic setting where the actions of all and sundry and especially those of government and its agencies should be guided by the rule of law and respect for the country’s judicial institutions and process.”

It added: “We are more worried that this is happening at a time when all hands should be on deck to increase the productive base of the Nigerian economy, promote commerce and step up development efforts.”

It further urged the federal government, through the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, who supervises the Commission, as well as the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment to “help us in reminding the management of the NLRC that the law setting it up, that is the National Lottery Act, 2005 does not empower it to act in the manner it has resorted to of late.”

Source: Thisday

Fertilizer producers praise govt’s ban of NPF fertilizers (The Nation pg. 15)

The Fertilizer Producers and Suppliers Association of Nigeria (FEPSAN) has commended the Federal Government  for the total ban it placed on the importation of all blends of the nitrogen Phosphorous and Potassium (NPK) fertilizers.

FEPSAN believes the move will go a long way in stemming the importation of poor quality NPK fertilizer blends, boost local capacity and protect the soil from toxic fertilizers imported by unscrupulous business people.

Its President, Mr. Thomas Etuh, said  the only way the government can demonstrate its commitment to improve agricultural production and boost local capacity is by taking such strong purposive steps.

He said with the move alone, the government was already on the verge of saving more than N720 billion in foreign exchange, saved thousands of jobs while also creating the enablers for even more job creation in the agro-allied industry.

Source: The Nation

BUSINESS/ECONOMY NEWS

How Customs Stalled Ease of Doing Business at Ports - Maritime Stakeholders (Vanguard Pg. 5)

The Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, has been accused for stalling the ‘Ease of Doing Business’ at the nation’s seaports, a directive of the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osibanjo, aimed at enhancing businesses and encouraging investments in the country.

Some stakeholders who spoke with Vanguard Maritime Report noted that the Service, through multiple checks, within and outside the ports, duplicates its functions making clearing processes cumbersome.

They noted that despite the Pre-Arrival Assessment Report, PAAR, introduced by the Service to ease the clearing process, it has since been abandoned as officers now require value issues through PAAR.

Chairman of Shippers Association of Lagos State, SAL, Jonathan Nicol, told Vanguard Maritime Report, that the Federal Government annual target given to Customs is a big factor to the attitude of officers and men of the Service.

Source: Vanguard

Debt sustainability hinged on real sector growth, investments (Guardian pg. 29)

Citing inconsistencies in population growth rate and the pace of the economy, stakeholders in the private sector have raised concerns about the sustainability of Nigeria’s debt profile considering the level of development in the real sector and other key drivers of the economy.

Indeed, they noted that Nigeria’s debt profile may increase if managers of the economy do not address key indices hindering economic growth.

These were words of the Chief Economist, PWC, Andrew Nevin, at a roundtable on Nigeria’s debt sustainability organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), in Lagos.

“Unless Nigeria gets its growth rate up, we are not going to address our debt crisis,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Financial Derivatives and Company, Bismarck Rewane, expressed concerns that Nigeria’s debt profile is not yielding investments, but being used to finance deficits.

Source: Guardian

Nigeria: Naira Faces Pressure On Rising Dollar Demand, Outflows (This day pg. 1)

The combination of tightening global financing conditions, which has resulted to capital outflows in the country, the elevated global risk aversion, 2019 election uncertainties and high services payments are likely to put pressure on the naira going into next year, THISDAY has learnt.

Analysts at CSL Stockbrokers Limited and the Financial Derivatives Company Limited (FDC), who stated this in two separate reports obtained by THISDAY, argued that capital repatriation by foreign investors was also expected to heighten dollar demand.

While on the parallel market, the naira trades relatively stable at N361 per dollar - N362 per dollar, currency pressures are building at the Investors' and Exporters' foreign exchange (I&E) window, where transactions are now being executed at an average rate of N364 per dollar, compared to N362 per dollar-N363 per dollar in previous months.

Source: Thisday

Senate mulls laws to encourage new listings (The Nation pg. 37)

The Senate plans to make laws that will encourage listing of companies on the Nigerian stock market.

Deputy Chairman, Senate Committee on Capital Market, Mr. Foster Ogola said Senate will make laws that will encourage new listings as well as help to revamp the capital market and make it more vibrant.

Ogola spoke when he led members of Senate Committee on Capital Market on oversight visit to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in Abuja.

According to him, the Senate will consider legislation that will improve investments in the capital market by ensuring that the regulator is able to perform its responsibilities efficiently.

Ogola stated that the Senators were on oversight visit which is done periodically look at what the Commission is doing and see how the Senate can support the SEC in their work.

Source: The Nation

 

 

NEWSPAPER REVIEW FOR NOVEMBER 19, 2018

NEWSPAPER REVIEW NOVEMBER 19, 2018

BUSINESS/ECONOMY NEWS

Currency swap: CBN released N15.8bn in 3 months to Nigerian importers (Daily trust pg. 17)

The Central Bank of Nigeria has released N15.79 billion (297.99 million Chinese Yuan) to Nigerian businessmen under the currency swap deal.

The money is to enable local businessmen to import goods from China in the three months post implementation period of the Nigeria China currency swap deal.

Data collated from the CBN from July 27, 2018 when the first tranche of CNY69.858 million  was released by the apex bank to October 19, 2018 when it released CNY53.444million showed it had released CYN290.2 million to importers.

The Yuan was for Renminbi denominated Letters of Credit raw materials and machinery and agriculture and within the period under review, the CNY1 exchanged for N53.35. The dollar remained at N305 CBN rate.

There is no official data showing how much Naira the Chinese businesses have drawn based on the deal as the CBN didn’t provide the data when requested by our correspondent.

Source: Daily trust

Persistent revenue shortfall counts against Nigeria (Guardian pg. 19)

Nigeria’s debt profile, expectedly, would notch up by $2.93 billion by the end of this week, with a mix of increased costs, courtesy of the ongoing Eurobond debt offering, which government earmarked for capital projects in the 2018 fiscal plan.This is coming barely seven weeks to the end of the constitutionally approved fiscal calendar, which has over the years been oscillating between April and June of every other year.

The new debt consists of $1.18 billion seven-year series; $1billion 12-year series; and $750 million 30-year series. The seven-year series is priced at 7.62 per cent; while the 12-year series would bear 8.75 per cent rate; and 30-year series has 9.25 per cent interest rate. All represents an increase in interest charges and consequent boost to debt service bill’s profile.

For example, Nigeria raised $3 billion Eurobond in 2017. The Notes comprise a $1.5 billion 10-year series and a $1.5 billion 30-year series. The 10-year series has a rate of 6.5 per cent, compared with a lower offer of $1.18 billion at shorter seven-year period now, but at 7.62 per cent.

Source: Guardian

Petrol subsidy rises as NNPC increases imports by 34% (Punch pg. 31)

The nation imported a total of 15.21 million litres of petrol in the first nine months of this year, up from the 11.33 million litres imported in the same period in 2017.

The NNPC has been the sole importer of petrol into the country for more than a year as private oil marketers stopped importation due to a shortage of foreign exchange and increase in crude oil prices, which made the landing cost of the product higher than the official pump price of N145 per litre.

PMS import, which averaged 56.5 million litres per day in January, jumped to a high of 86.4 million lpd in February, according to data obtained by our correspondent from the Pipelines and Product Marketing Company, a subsidiary of the NNPC.

It stood at 66.8 million lpd in March, 70.7 million lpd in April, 36.7 million lpd in May, and 34.5 million lpd in June. It was 36.5 million lpd in July, 58.4 million lpd in August, and 57.8 million lpd in September.

Source: Punch

MPC to maintain rates to sustain foreign portfolio inflows (Vanguard pg. 19)

With dollar inflow into the Investors and Exporters window, I&E, falling by 42 percent in October, and the external reserves maintaining its downward trend, losing another $2.639 billion since the last meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee, MPC, of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, in September, economic analysts have projected that the committee, at the end of its meeting this week, will maintain its policy rates in deference to the need to sustain dollar inflow from foreign portfolio investors in the nation’s debt market with a view to forestall the declining trend in the reserves and demand pressure in the nation’s foreign exchange market.

At the end of its meeting in September, the MPC maintained all its policy rates, retaining the Monetary Policy Rate, MPR, at 14 percent, with the asymmetric corridor at +200 and -500 basis points around the MPR. It retained the Cash Reserve Ratio, CRR, and Liquidity Ratio, LR, at 22.50 percent and 30 percent respectively. Among other things the committee’s decision was influenced by rising inflation and declining external reserves due to exit of foreign investors from the financial markets.

Source: Vanguard

 

NEWSPAPER REVIEW FOR NOVEMBER 16, 2018

NEWSPAPER REVIEW NOVEMBER 16, 2018

MANUFACTURING/INDUSTRY NEWS

AFCFTA could drive Africa to attain 7% economic growth annually – ECA (Vanguard pg. 19)

UN Economic Commission for Africa, ECA, has projected that the African Trade Agreement can shore up the continent’s economic groth rate by seven percent annually.

Its Executive Secretary, Ms. Vera Songwe, disclosed this at the just concluded Africa Trade Forum, organized by ECA and the African Union Commission, hosted by Union Commission, HOSTED BY Ministry of Trade and Investment in Lagos. In a statement, Songwe said that the AFCFTA could transform Africa’s economy, making it competitive on a global level and unlocking the potential to create and share prosperity on the continent, saying “But getting to ratification requires a collaborative process, and multi-sector input.”

Source: Vanguard

Agents Battle Customs over Multiple Checks in Cargo Clearance (This day pg. 21)

There is a growing agitation among freight forwarders plying their trade at the Lagos ports over what they described as the proliferation of Customs units which they alleged are being used for extortions and to encumber the clearance procedures at the ports.

The concerned agents, who warned that their patience was running out over what they claimed was the mindless extortions they are being subjected to, alleged that the multiple Customs units not only complicate and elongate the clearing process, but have also added to the cost of doing business at the ports.

Speaking on behalf of agents, Vice-President, Western Zone of National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Tanko Ibrahim, lamented that apart from the resident Customs officers and Federal Operations Unit (FOU), the Customs authority has created what it called Strike Force team and Customs Police.

Source: This day

Coalition protests EU’s planned ban of palm oil (Punch pg. 32)

A coalition of palm oil farmers, under the aegis of Farmers Unite, on Tuesday protested what it described as the discriminatory campaign and trade policy by the European Union against the producers of palm oil.

The farmers also objected to the ongoing campaign by the EU Parliament “to ban and restrict the use of palm oil in renewable energy programmes and the food sector.”

Members of the coalition, according to its promoters and a non-profit organisation, Initiative for Public Policy Analysis, have vowed to commit themselves to fighting threats against their livelihoods by western politicians, the political elite, media, and European- funded Non-governmental Organisations.

The coalition consists of small farmers and their families in Africa and Asia.

“Their campaign is based on junk science, deceit and falsehoods. If they succeed, this would have a chilling, negative impact on livelihoods, investment and trade for small farmers of oil palm across the world. Farmers Unite is organised to defeat them, their policies and to protect our way of life,” IPPA stated.

Source: Punch

Stakeholders want tobacco tax increment to fund SDGs (Daily trust pg. 20)

The Nigeria Tobacco Control Alliance (NTCA) has urged the Federal Government to increase the taxes payable on tobacco products in the country to meet the World Health Organisation (WHO) global standard and also to fund parts of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The alliance made the call in Abuja during the multi-stakeholder workshop on promoting the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) implementation as a priority within the Nigerian Sustainable Development Agenda.

The meeting which considered tobacco control and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Nigeria also considered innovative funding mechanism for the SDGs through tobacco taxation.

The communiqué of the meeting signed by the Programme Coordinator, Mr. Olu’Seun Esan, said that participants discussed mainstreaming of Tobacco Control into Development Agenda as one of the ‘means of implementation’ to reach the overall health goal.

Source: Daily trust

BUSINESS/ECONOMY NEWS

Nigeria to become 2nd largest rice importer in 2019 — USDA (Vanguard pg. 19)

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has projected Nigeria to be the second largest rice importer come 2019.

The department disclosed this in its latest Rice Outlook released on Tuesday. The Outlook stated: “China and Nigeria are projected to remain the largest rice importing countries in 2019, followed by the EU, Cote d’Ivoire, and Iran.

 “Nigeria and Egypt are projected to account for the bulk of the 2019 import increase. Imports in 2019 are also projected to be larger than a year earlier for Benin, Burkina, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, EU, Iran, Iraq, Kenya, Malaysia, Mali, Senegal, the United Arab Emirates and the United States.

“Global rice consumption (including a residual component) in 2018/19 is projected at a record 488.4 million tons, down 0.1 million tons from the previous forecast but up more than one percent from a year earlier.”

Source: Vanguard

Experts identify strengths, pitfalls for N30,000 minimum wage (Daily trust pg. 17)

The proposed N30,000 minimum wage being considered by the Federal Government may have its obvious highs and lows in shaping the immediate economic.

Daily Trust reports that governors at a meeting on Wednesday picked holes in the increment arguing that paying the amount could lead to the sack of civil servants.

However, some experts have provided their viewpoints on this.

The Managing Partner, Trispeed Consulting, Mr. Rislanudeen Muhammad, in a chat with our reporter on the issue, said, “Definitely the present minimum wage is not realistic and is out of tune with any economic reality.”

Source: Daily trust

NERC Accuses Discos of Withholding Electricity Market’s Monthly Revenues (This day pg. 12)

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has accused the electricity distribution companies (Discos) of deliberately capping their monthly revenue remittances and keeping more money for themselves.

This is coming as President Muhammadu Buhari has rejected the request by NERC to buy brand new Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) for its chairman and seven commissioners.

In its first quarter 2018 assessment report on Nigeria’s power market, the regulatory agency stated that the Discos were issued a total invoice of N163.1 billion but they remitted only N51.2 billion of the invoice, leaving a total deficit of N112 billion within the period under review.

NERC explained that there was a noticeable difference between the level of money collected by the Discos for electricity supplied to them and what they paid back to the market every month.

Source: This day

 

NEWSPAPER REVIEW FOR NOVEMBER 15, 2018

NEWSPAPER REVIEW NOVEMBER 15, 2018

MANUFACTURING/INDUSTRY NEWS

Manufacturers Smile as Stable FX Brings Down Financing Cost (This day pg. 8)

Major manufacturing companies are now witnessing a decline in their financing cost following stable exchange rate, their resort to cheaper sources of borrowing as well as the adoption of other cost reduction strategies, This day’s investigation has revealed.

It was gathered that reliance on bank loans by many companies and the forex scarcity experienced in the country in 2016 had pushed up cost of finance of most companies to very high levels.

This, it was learnt, had led to some of them recording decline in profitability between the 2016 and 2017 financial year.

However, This day checks showed that the situation has improved significantly as most manufacturing firms continue to witness decline in financing cost, a development analysts attributed to the stable exchange rate and recourse to cheaper sources of funding such as equity capital injection and issuance of commercial papers (CPs).

Source: This day

Lawyers, others confident AFCFTA would be signed sooner than later (Business day pg. 25)

The Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association Section on Business Law (NBA-SBL), Seni Adio, SAN has expressed optimisim that the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AFCFTA) would be successfully signed in the nearest future.

Seni who was recently inaugurated into the presidential committee for impact and readiness Assessment of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA), by President Muhammadu Buhari, spoke at the Africa Trade Forum 2018 in Lagos, Nigeria.

Adio, who spoke exclusively to Businessday Law Editor, stated that he was confident that the impact and readiness assessment committee, whose report is due in nine weeks, would make a good case for the signing of the AFCFTA.

Source: Business day

NCAA, NASENI plan local manufacturing of helicopters (Punch pg. 25)

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority and the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure are set to collaborate on local manufacturing of helicopters.

The NCAA is expected to provide relevant guides for NASENI, an agency designed to conduct developmental work in the areas of manufacturing.

The Executive Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of NASENI, Prof. Muhammed Haruna, during a courtesy visit to the NCAA on Wednesday, said the agency had placed an order for a Dynali H3 easy flyer sport ultralight helicopter for the purpose of reverse engineering.

He explained that in line with the agency’s mandate in aviation and aeronautics technology, NASENI had reached out to potential partners and manufacturers of helicopters, and Dynali Helicopter Manufacturing Company of Belgium was found to be a willing partner.

Source: Punch

Manufacturing sector report: PMI, BCI data portend mixed fortunes for real sector (Vanguard)

The expansion recorded in the manufacturing sector in October as indicated by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) would likely sustain its uptrend till year end. But whilst this is a position given by economy watchers at Cordros Capital Limited, a Lagos-based finance and investment house, another group of analysts have punctured this position with the current Business Confidence Report which shows a dim picture of the short term economic outlook.

The optimists have said the expansion was largely driven by stability in the foreign exchange market, which commenced since the introduction of Investors & Exporters FX window by the CBN in April 2017.

They observed that the expansion would be sustained for the rest of the year following the Yuletide sentiment which they believe plays a key role in driving the positive business sentiment. However, the Organised Private Sector, OPS, under the aegis of Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, LCCI, said that despite the growth recorded during the period, some of challenges facing the manufacturing sector still persist.
 

Source: Vanguard
 

BUSINESS/ECONOMY NEWS

Much ado about FG’s ease of doing business (New Telegraph pg. 23)

Last year when the World Bank reported that Nigeria moved up from 24 places to 145th in its ‘Doing Business’ report and also for the first time the country was recognized as one of the top 10 most improved economies in the world, it was greeted with wide jubilation by the Federal Government, organised private sector (OPS) and key government agencies.

Particularly, the reason behind last year’s impressive performance on the ease of doing business may not be unconnected with the various economic reforms of the Federal Government, particularly, the active implementation of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) under the Presidential Ease of Doing Business Council (PEBEC).

While commenting on 2017 World Bank report, Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo said: “Improving the business environment is at the heart of President Buhari administration’s reform agenda.

Source: New telegraph

 

NEWSPAPER REVIEW FOR NOVEMBER 14, 2018

NEWSPAPER REVIEW NOVEMBER 14, 2018

MANUFACTURING/INDUSTRY NEWS

SON releases new standards for beans processing (Vanguard pg. 19)

The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) on Monday, gave highlights in line with the Nigerian Industrial Standards (NIS) and Codes of Practices for beans processing across the country.

The Director General, SON, Osita Aboloma in a statement to commend a consumer for reporting a beans vendor who preserves beans with pesticide, stating that the standards are relevant Nigeria Industrial Standards and Codes of Practice for beans along the value chain, to take care of issues concerning the proper preservation of the crop from planting to the table while also assuring the safety of consumers.

He enumerated the Standard and Codes of Practice as follows; Standard for Dry Beans (NIS 1030: 2018); Code of Good Agricultural Practice: Planting of Dry Beans (NCP 065: 2018), Code of Good Practice: Harvesting of Dry Beans (NCP 067: 2018); Code of Practice for Packaging of Dry Beans (NCP 064: 2018), Code of Practice: Storage and Transportation of Dry Beans (NCP 066: 2018).

Source: Vanguard

Experts tell FG to open Tin-Can Port trailer park for use (Business day pg. 27)

Worried by the persistent traffic congestion on roads leading to the nation’s seaports, port users have called on the Federal Government to open-up the trailer park located at the Second Gate axis of the Tin-Can Island Port for the shipping companies and truck owners to use.

According to them, Rotimi Amaechi, the Minister of Transportation and the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola need to synergise and allow shipping companies begin to utilise the trailer park as a container holding bay to reduce the number of trucks and trailers queuing on the port roads.

BusinessDay understands that the building of the trailer park project, which has been within the purview of the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, was initiated during the Goodluck Jonathan administration, and has since been delayed for several years without completion.

Source: Business day

Tackling MSMEs difficulties in accessing funds (Daily trust pg. 23)

Access to business finance is one of the major challenges to operators in the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) space across economic sectors. This has hampered competitiveness not just in the production processes, but indeed the entire value chain operations in the MSMEs sub-sector.

In order to address the issues, the Federal Government provided various interventions across the economic sector, e.g the Small Scale Farmers’ funds, artisanal and mining funds and quite recently, the Bankers Committee Special Intervention funds for access by MSMEs operators.

Despite these economic diversification efforts of government, however, the operators and target beneficiaries for the funds still find difficulty accessing the finances.

This has necessitated the organisation of focused group discussions with the MSMEs operators and Small Scale Farmers with the view to restrategising on ways to make the intervention more easily accessible.

Source: Daily trust

BUSINESS/ECONOMY NEWS

ERGP Focus Labs shine light on investment projects (The nation pg. 14)

The Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) has attracted positive responses from the public. This shows there are many opportunities for investments in Nigeria beyond the oil sector.

Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma  said the focus of the ERGP is to generate more revenue and revive key sectors of the economy.

President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration had over a year ago, launched the ERGP to unlock potential in the non-oil sector for the purpose of diversifying the economy to reduce dependence on oil as the mainstay of the economy.

The ERGP scheme was designed as a catalyst to drive the much needed recovery and growth of an economy that had been in the woods for many years, especially one that is just coming out of recession. The programme, analysts said, is on the right track to achieving its objectives.

Source: The Nation

CBN injects $210m into forex market (The Nation pg. 38)

The Central Bank of Nigeria has again intervened in the inter-bank foreign exchange market to the tune of $210m.

Figures obtained from the CBN on Tuesday showed that the bank offered $100m to authorised dealers in the wholesale segment of the market, while the Small and Medium Enterprises segment received $55m.

Customers requiring foreign exchange for invisibles such as tuition fees, medical payments and Basic Travel Allowance were also allocated $55m.

Confirming the figures, the Director, Corporate Communications Department, CBN, Mr Isaac Okorafor, reiterated the bank’s commitment to continue to intervene in the country’s interbank foreign exchange market.

He stressed that the apex bank would continue to ensure liquidity in the market and sustain the stability in the market.

Source: The Nation

Solid Minerals Contributed N43.2Bn Govt Revenue in 2016-NEITI report 9 (Business day pg. 8)

The solid minerals sector contributed a total sum of N43.22billion to government coffers in 2016, reports the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI).

A breakdown of the figure shows that taxes collected by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) accounted for N40.38 billion or 93.43%, while fees collected by the Mining Cadastral Office stood at N1.15 billion or 2.66%.

 The Mining Inspectorate Department (MID) recorded N1.64 billion as royalty payments, an increase of 30.15% over the N1.27 billion reported as royalty payments in 2015. These are some of the highlights of the 2016 audit report of the solid minerals sector released today by NEITI. The audit conducted under the EITI principles and standard reconciled payments made by mining companies in terms of taxes, royalty and rents against receipts of such payments by relevant government agencies. From the report, total minerals production for 2016 was 41.87 million tons valued at N34.09 billion, representing 33% increase on the N25.56 billion reported in 2015.

Source: Business day

IMF predicts weak revenue generation for Nigeria (Punch pg. 26)

The International Monetary Fund’s prediction of a weak revenue generation for Nigeria in the short term may have some implications, according to reports.

This is coupled with the Federal Government’s recent projections of lower revenue for 2019 than budgeted for 2018.

According to a research report by the FSDH Merchant Bank Limited titled ‘Low revenue generation: Implications for Nigerian economy and financial market,’ the declining crude oil price may place additional macroeconomic pressure on Nigeria in the short term.

The Federal Government would need to urgently adopt active partnership arrangements with the private sector to improve infrastructure, the researchers noted.

Source: Punch

 

NEWSPAPER REVIEW FOR NOVEMBER 13, 2018

NEWSPAPER REVIEW NOVEMBER 13, 2018

BUSINESS/ECONOMY NEWS

FG targets five percent interest rate loans for farmers (Daily trust pg. 7)

The Federal Government is targeting five percent interest rate loans for farmers through the reformed Bank of Agriculture (BOA) in order to achieve food sufficiency in the country.

The minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh said the reform which is expected to be concluded by December will have farmers as shareholders of the bank and will give out loan with interest rate of 5% for their farming.

Ogbeh stated this on Monday in Dutse, Jigawa State at the special Town Hall meeting on Agriculture organised by the ministry of Information and Culture.

He said the low interest rates would be achievable with the restructuring of the Bank of Agriculture.

Source: Daily trust

Focus Labs and economic benefits of implementing ERGP (Daily sun pg. 39)

It is a little over one year since President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration launched the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) to unlock potential in the non-oil sector for the purpose of diversifying the economy to reduce dependence on oil as the mainstay of the Nigerian economy.

This timeframe however, may therefore not be long enough to correctly assess the impact of a programme that was designed as a catalyst to drive the much needed recovery and growth of an economy that had been in the woods for many years.

It is also instructive that it is the same economy that had just exited recession a couple of months ago. But in the mind of some ardent watchers of the nation’s economic train, the signs are already very clear that the programme is on the right track to achieving its objectives.

Source: Daily sun

Fed Govt gives conditions for electricity tariff hike (The Nation pg. 12)

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola and the Chairman, Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Prof. James Momoh, yesterday gave conditions that must be met before there can be any electricity hike.

Fashola who gave the score card of his three years in office in Abuja, said the consumers of electricity must experience efficiency in supply before there can be any hike. The Minister said “there are dynamics for tariff. Tariff review does not mean that it must necessary go up. It could come to a time when it will come down. “He said there was already a deluge of complaints about cut-throat estimated billing.

Source:  The Nation

Discos cap remittance to power sector at 31% -NERC (Punch pg. 25)

Power distributors seem to have capped their fair share from the market funds, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission has said.

But the Discos argued that it was impossible to make 100 percent remittance to the sector when what they collect as power tariff was far lower that than the actual unit cost of electricity.

Theregulator, in its latest post report on the performance of the sector in the first quarter of 2018, obtained by our correspondent in Abuja, accused the Discos that their remittance was significantly lower than their collection efficiency.

Source: Punch

 

 

 

NEWSPAPER REVIEW FOR NOVEMBER 12, 2018

NEWSPAPER REVIEW NOVEMBER 12, 2018

MANUFACTURING/INDUSTRY NEWS

FG bent on signing AfCFTA despite opposition from MAN (Business day pg. 39)

Despite opposition from the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), sources from the federal government told Real Sector Watch over the weekend that Nigeria will soon join other 49 countries in the African Continental Free Trade (AfCFTA) party.

One of the sources said though the government was being circumspect to ensure that it would not be party to any trade treaty that would destroy Nigeria’s manufacturing sector, it had considered the merits and demerits of the trade treaty and decided that the former outweighed the latter.

We are looking at the first quarter of next year”, one source, who did not want to be quoted, said “The thinking is that we can’t be left out of the treaty at this critical point of our history. Pressure is being mounted on the President, but beside that, we see that AFCFTA as a no-brainer,” a source added.

Source: Business day

Struggling pharma industry wants implementation of Executive Order 03 (Business day pg. 38)

Nigerian drug makers want the federal government to ask its ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to implement Executive Order 03 to drive patronage of locally manufactured medicines.

Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari came up with Executive Order 03 in 2017 to enhance local content and boost patronage of made-in-Nigeria goods and services. It provides that local firms should be involved in any contract or patronage by MDAs at about 40percent.

However, drug makers say implementation of the Executive Order has not been strong as no big tender has been seen from the government side. One Chief executive of a lagos-based drug film complained that the industry was gradually dying for lack of patronage, wondering what would become of the country’s medicines security if over 120 drug firms in the country were forced to collapse.

Source: Business day

FG still enforcing ban on imported goods (Vanguard pg. 14)

Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige has said the Federal Government will not compromise its resolve to enforce existing law banning of importation of certain goods that Nigeria has a comparative advantage to produce.

Senator Ngige said this weekend during the National Directorate of Employment, NDE, Special Day, at the just concluded Lagos International Trade Fair, organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, LCCI.

Speaking at the event, Ngige, who was represented by the Lagos State representative on the board of NDE, Bashorun Olorunfumi noted that government would continue to check the tide of unnecessary importation of goods and services which could be sourced locally.

Source: Vanguard

Standards vital for global Competitiveness, Profitability (Vanguard pg. 31)

The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has charged the business community to adhere strictly to global best practices, saying that this is the only way to be competitive globally.

The Director General, SON, Osita Aboloma, explained that complying to standards would also make business operators smile to the bank while also boosting consumer confidence on locally produced goods.

Aboloma who made the call on Special Day of SON at just concluded, Lagos International Trade Fair, however assured local and foreign investors of the agency’s unrelenting support to protect their brands from fakers and counterfeiters. He also tasked Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) on standards, pointing out that the agency would continue to create the enabling environment for SMEs to thrive.

Source: Vanguard

Adulteration is killing paint industry in Nigeria (Guardian pg. 32)

Mr. Abimbolu Babatunde is the new chairman of the Paints Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (PMA). He is also the Managing Director, Blentech Limited. In this interview with Bertram Nwannekanma, he outlines the challenges of paint manufacturing and how the association is tackling adulteration and other issues in the industry.

The increasing cost of paints is becoming a major source of worry to stakeholders in the built environment. What do you think is responsible for this?
It is a reflection of the economy. Everything now is increasing in price; therefore paint is not an exemption. So, it would be wrong to say paint cost is going up because petrol is going up and everything.

How can the high cost be mitigated?
The major cause of the problem is infrastructure. For example, energy alone accounts for 20 per cent of the cost of production. There is no way, you will be able to compete when you compare it with an imported paint even from those produced in Ghana. For those in technical area of paints, you have to run your plants for 24 hours. In some cases, you start production when light comes up and stop, when it is off. But for some production, it has to be continuous until you finish. That is the problem.

Source: Guardian

BUSINESS/ECONOMY NEWS

Stakeholders seek review of ECOWAS transhumance regulations (Guardian pg. 11)

Stakeholders have called for the review of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) protocol on free movement of persons, goods and animals. The call was made yesterday during the consultative security meeting on herders/farmers crisis at the multipurpose hall of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) in Jalingo, Taraba State.

Seeking permanent solutions to herders/farmers upheaval in the state, the stakeholders unanimously agreed that ECOWAS transhumance regulations approved in 2003 “is not the problem, but absence of movement control structures in the country.”Led by the secretary of the committee on herders/farmers crisis, Andre Akwasari, they opined that cases involving grazers and farmers should not be swept under the carpet.

They suggested strengthening of the peace and reconciliation committee in the state, as well as employment of advisers on farming and livestock in every council of the state.

Source: Guardian

How Nigeria’s economic woes hobble continental integration (Guardian pg. 19)

Nigeria’s economic structure, dominated by commodities and primary products offerings, with a slow-paced, but painful infrastructure development strategy, is now running against its plans to participate in the continent’s market integration agenda.The integration plan, under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), which Nigeria played a major role from initiation to development of framework, is now scaring the country, due to assessed lack of capacity to stand ensuing competition, after long years of neglect of the domestic market’s environment.
 
The development is putting at stake Nigeria’s share of the $80 billion targeted intra-Africa trade deals, which would be facilitated by the take off of the agreement in the next three years.
  
According to Afreximbank, intra-African trade encompasses trade in goods and services between or among African countries and between Africa and Africans in the Diaspora.Worrisome for Nigeria, is the fact that hopes to get the major infrastructure inputs in development fixed, especially the power and road networks, have remained illusive, with statements credited to government’s officials creating more doubts over a possible solution soon.

Source: Guardian

LASG seeks partnership with private sector to grow economy (Business day pg. A2)

Lagos State governor, Akinwunmi Ambode on Sunday called for a broader partnership with private sector players to further grow the economy of the state.

Lagos is Nigeria’s economic and business hub accounting for most of the quoted companies in the country.

Lagos, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) latest figure, generated N334 billion in 2017, higher than the combined revenue of 30 states in Nigeria.

But Ambode believes that the state can achieve even more together with the private sector and thereby further raising its Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The governor spoke at the closing of the 2018 edition of the Lagos International Trade Fair, on Sunday, while also expressing the belief that participants and exhibitors in the just concluded fair would take the business and investment opportunities that Lagos economy offers.

Source: Business day


 

NEWSPAPER REVIEW FOR NOVEMBER 9, 2018

NEWSPAPER REVIEW NOVEMBER 9, 2018

MANUFACTURING/INDUSTRY NEWS

Ease of doing business: ‘IoD should improve Nigeria’s performance (Daily trust pg. 7)

The Institute of Directors (IoD) should help to improve Nigeria’s ranking in the ease of doing business, former Director General, Nigerian institute of International Affairs (NIIA) Prof. Bola Akinterinwa has said.

Delivering his keynote address at the 2018 Annual Directors Conference organized by the IoD in Nigeria with theme “Global best practice in Corporate Governance – Way Forward for Nigeria,” Prof Akinterinwa said the institute played a part in Nigeria’s poor performance last one year.

He said the environment for corporate governance in Nigeria is wasteful and has no future as a result of corruption, which had become institutionalized in the country.

He noted that there have been several critical issues of compliance and mistrust of corporate governance especially where some business managers are on record to falsify the record of business activities and by so doing provided misleading information about assets of shareholders.

Source: Daily trust

FES, NECA, others want clear industrial policy, ideology for Nigeria (Vanguard pg. 35)

Stakeholders, including Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, FES; Nigeria Employers Consultative Association, NECA; IndustriALL Global Union, among others, have faulted the absence of a clear industrial policy and ideology for the country, saying it is the greatest impediment to industrialisation.

They spoke in Abuja at the launch of a policy book entitled “Study Report on Industrial Policy and State of Industrialisation in Nigeria.” According to NECA Director-General, Mr. Segun Oshinowo, represented by Adenike Adebayo-Ajala, “Having a robust industrial policy is very important to us. No policy is set in stone and has to be constantly reviewed in line with emerging trends.

“No economy can develop when policies are not known, implemented or are not stable. It creates fear and lack of interest in investment. This affects income generation and employment creation.

Source: Vanguard

FG Woos Canadian Govt to Mining Sector (This day pg. 22)

The federal government has assured Canadian investors of incentives and conducive environment needed for their investments to thrive.

The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, gave this assurance at the on-going two-day, Nigeria-Canada Investment Summit with the theme: ‘Fostering Strong Business Partnership into the Future’.

This is even as the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Alhaji Abubakar Bwari, stressed that the vast opportunities that exists in both the down and upstream sectors of Nigeria mineral development are clearer and ready for exploitation.

Osinbajo, in a statement by the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, affirmed the tremendous opportunities for increased scope of trade and investment between Canada and Nigeria as he stressed the need to fully realised Nigeria immense investment potentials.

Source: This day

BUSINESS/ECONOMY NEWS

IMF predicts Nigerian economy to grow at 1.9% in 2018 (Daily sun pg. 37)

The International Monetary Fund (IMF), says the Nigerian economy is expected to grow by 1.9 per cent in 2018, up from 0.8 per cent in 2017, mostly owing to fewer disruptions in oil production.

Amine Mati, the IMF Senior Resident Representative for Nigeria, said this while presenting the “Fall 2018 Regional Economic Outlook for Sub-Saharan Africa’’ on Thursday in Abuja.

Mr Mati said that some pick-up in the non-oil economy was also responsible for the predicted growth.

“The recovery is expected to contribute about 0.7 percentage points to the region’s average growth in 2018 and lift activity in Nigeria’s trading partners through stronger remittances, financial spillovers and import demand.’’

He also said that average growth for the region was expected to reach about 3.1 per cent in 2018, up from 2.7 per cent in 2017.

According to him, recovery in sub-Saharan Africa is expected to continue amidst rising risks as growth momentum improved most notably for oil exporters, mainly in Nigeria, but remains subdued in South Africa.

Source: Daily sun

 

NEWSPAPER REVIEW FOR NOVEMBER 8, 2018

NEWSPAPER REVIEW NOVEMBER 8, 2018

MANUFACTURING/INDUSTRY NEWS

FX restriction as boost for local industries (New telegraph pg. 23)

Indeed, the decision taken by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to restrict access to foreign exchange for some 41 imported items in the wake of decline in the prices of crude oil at the international market in 2015 appears as one of the best things to have ever happened to Nigeria’s economy in the last three years.

From all indications, the move saved the economy from collapse, as many local industries were already being stifled following continuous importation of foreign goods into the country.
No doubt, the monetary policy of the CBN was very challenging for manufacturing firms that rely more on foreign inputs. They were, however, compelled to sacrifice at that period, as encouraging investments in critical sectors of the economy was the focal point of government.

While announcing the policy in July 2015, the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, argued that most of those items, including rice, cement, margarine, palm kernel, palm oil products, vegetable oils, meat and processed meat products, vegetables and processed vegetable products, among others, could be sourced locally, if the country set its mind to it.

Source: New telegraph

Uphold standards, enjoy long term benefits (Daily trust pg. 20)

The Director-General and Chief Executive Officer, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Osita Aboloma, has said that survey by the agency has shown that businesses actively involved in standards reap short and long term benefits in the country.

Speaking yesterday at the ongoing Lagos International Trade Fair, Aboloma said there is need for operating companies in the country to adhere to standardisation in a bid to remain competitive in the market.

The SON helmsman, while speaking at the fair on ‘Connecting Business, Creating Values – Standardisation’, noted that participating companies have more say in the adoption of a national standard as well as international standards because they have gained a competitive edge due to their conformity to standardisation.

Source: Daily trust

Afreximbank Seeks Banks’ Support to Enhance Africa’s Trade (This day pg. 40)

The transformation of trade in Africa is a task that all African financial institutions must collectively pursue as major stakeholders to the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) in the Bank’s quest to facilitate African trade.

The Afreximbank’s Executive Vice President, Business Development and Corporate Banking, Amr Kamel, said in Lagos.

Kamel, who spoke during a roadshow organised by Afreximbank for financial institutions to introduce the Afreximbank Trade Facilitation Programme (AFTRAF), was represented by Ademola Adeyinka, Consultant on Financial Institutions/Trade Finance.

He said Afreximbank was in a strong position to support African trade and African financial institutions and that it wanted Nigerian banks to see it as their partner of choice in international financing.

Source: This day

Ghana trade crisis: Nigerians urged to trust ECOWAS dispute resolution system (Daily sun pg. 38)

The Vice President of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission, Finda Koroma, has called on the National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANT) to have confidence in the ability of the Commission to handle disputes among member states and community citizens in line with ECOWAS protocols and utmost neutrality.

The ECOWAS Communication Division, in a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja, said Koroma made the call in Abuja when she received the President of the NANT, Ken Ukaoha, who led a delegation to the ECOWAS Commission.

The members of NANT were at the Commission to showed appreciation to ECOWAS for the role it played in the re-opening of over four hundred shops and businesses belonging to Nigerians in Ghana.

Koroma said NANT or any party having such regional disputes should always take the path of dialogue and consultations with the Commission in order to address and find lasting solution to the crisis.

Source: Daily sun

CBN defends naira with $9.5bn in 6 months (Daily trust pg. 10)

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) half year activity report 2018 has shown that the bank expended $9.499bn to defend the naira.

The report was released yesterday by the apex bank.

“A total of $9.499bn was sold at the foreign exchange market. This comprised $1.546bn at the inter-bank spot, $768.70 million for invisible, $637.00 million for SMEs, $1.236bn at the I & E window, while forwards sales were $5.311bn.”

The report also noted that on “the other hand, the Bank purchased $6.436bn at the inter-bank market which resulted in a net sale of US$3,063.44 million by the Bank. The sum of $5.681bn matured at the forwards segment, while $1.469bn was outstanding at end-June 2018.”

Source: Daily trust

 

NEWSPAPER REVIEW FOR NOVEMBER 7, 2018

NEWSPAPER REVIEW NOVEMBER 7, 2018

MANUFACTURING/INDUSTRY NEWS

Shippers Council, MAN to streamline export, import procedures at port (Vanguard pg. 3 News)

The Nigerian Shippers Council, NSC and the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, MAN, yesterday met to discuss modalities to streamline the procedures for import and export trade in the ports.

Disclosing this during a courtesy visit to Headquarters of MAN, the Executive Secretary of the Council, Mr. Hassan Bello said that the visit was to get the buy-in of MAN to reduce cargo dwell time at the ports.

Bello also said that export trade is important to the Federal Government in its effort in diversifying the economy.

He was of the opinion that the economy needs to come out from an import-dependent economy and encourage manufacturing.

He disclosed that the Council is discussing with export inspection agents and the Nigeria Customs Service with a view to ensure that export trade is done seamlessly.

Source: Vanguard

Revitalising Nigeria’s Ailing Textiles Industry (This day pg. 27)

Jonathan Eze writes that Nigeria’s ailing textile industry can be revived by developing a local supply chain

Despite promises to revitalise the Nigerian textile sector which holds numerous potential for the economy, the sector has continued to perform below expectation.
The sad reality however is that the country relies more on imported fabrics while the once vibrant industry is facing near extinction. The textile industry particularly attracts serious public debate basically because of the pivotal role it played in stemming the tide of unemployment between late 1950s and early 1990s.

The minister of state for Industry, Trade and Investment, Hajiya Aisha Abubakar, who is also the chairperson of the Committee on Resuscitation of the Cotton, Textile and Garment Industry, recently pointed out that between N500 billion to N1 trillion was needed for a complete turnaround of the sector.

Source: This day

NPA seeks harmonized framework for cargo movement within Africa (Vanguard pg. 3 News)

The Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA has called for a harmonized legal framework that will enhance and ease movement of cargoes within the African continent.

Speaking at the second continental conference of African Women in Maritime WIMAFRICA, in Lagos, Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman, said that an African framework targeted at enhancing the conveyance of cargos and the quality of logistics in a more predictable manner will increase trade amongst countries in the regions.

Usman also said that the move to have such an harmonized framework in Africa has become imperative to eliminate encumbrances affecting trade liberalization and facilitation in the continent.

Source: Vanguard

How bank supports Economic Summit, grows local enterprises (Daily rust pg. 23)

The need to raise Nigeria and Nigerians from poverty to prosperity was the anchor point for economists, captains of industries, key policymakers and corporate institutions such as First Bank of Nigeria at the recent 24th edition of the Nigeria Economic Summit (NES#24) in Abuja.

The two-day summit themed ‘Poverty to Prosperity: Making Government and Institutions Work’, was organised by the Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG) with support from the Ministry of Budget and National Planning, and had President Muhammadu Buhari represented by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

President Buhari at the summit said government has spent over N2.7 trillion in the last three years to develop key infrastructures that include rail, road, power among others that will aid business development and economic growth.

Source: Daily trust

FG, CBN Reject US Report on Rising Rice Importation (This day pg. 11)

The federal government and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday debunked the report by the United States Department of Agriculture World Markets and Trade that Nigeria imported three million metric tons of rice in 2018.

The US report had said the import figure is 400,000 metric tonnes higher than the quantity of the product that was imported in 2017.
The report also stated that Nigeria’s local rice production dropped from 2016 to 2018 compared to the situation in 2015.
The report ran contrary to several claims by the Nigerian Government that local rice production had increased while importation had dropped by up to 90 per cent.

The report, which was released in October, showed that since 2016, Nigeria had consistently milled 3,780,000 metric tons annually which is a reduction from 3,941,000 metric tons recorded in 2015.

Source: This day

How to attract investments for industrialisation in Nigeria, others (Guardian pg. 29)

Nigeria and other African countries would need to explore new approaches by ensuring that the business environment is predictable and stable if they will mobilise investment needed for their manufacturing and industry-related sectors.

This was a key conclusion of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), during the high-level session of the 2018 World Investment Forum jointly organized by the African Union (AU), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and UNIDO.

The forum noted that Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) remains essential for Africa’s industrialization, as it brings improved know-how, modern technology, and access to international markets.

The forum however argued that such investment needs to be targeted and complemented by tailored strategies and policies to lead to inclusive and sustainable industrial development (ISID).

Source: Guardian

NEWSPAPER REVIEW FOR NOVEMBER 7, 2018

BUSINESS/ECONOMY NEWS

Higher Food Prices Push Up October Inflation – Analysts (Vanguard pg. 20)

Nigeria's inflation rate has been projected to rise for the third consecutive month in October, driven by continued increase in food prices, occasioned by herdsmen attack on farmers and recent episodes of flooding which undermine food supply across the country.

This was the consensus of analysts' projections from FSDH Merchant Bank and Financial Derivatives Company (FDC) Limited.

Recall that after 18 months of decline, inflation rate (year-on-year) rose in from 11.14 percent in July to 11.23 percent in August and further to 11.28 percent in September.

While the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) is scheduled to release the inflation figures for October next week, analysts at FSDH Merchant Bank and FDC projected 11.34 percent and 11.35 percent inflation rates respectively for October, citing continued impact of rising food prices.

Source: Vanguard

Financial inclusion: CBN to create non interest window (Daily trust pg. 17)

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has disclosed that it is working to create a non-interest window for the development financing interventions.

The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele made the disclosure yesterday while delivering the keynote address at the 2018 financial inclusion conference by Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access (EFInA) with the theme “the Business Case for Financial Inclusion”

Emefiele said “the interest free window will assimilate a large section of the population excluded due to their aversion for interest and interest-based products, into the financial system.”

The aim of the conference is to examine how to drive the uptake of financial products and services specifically targeted at the poor and at the same time provide stakeholders with the right incentives to create and support these products and services.

Source: Daily trust

 

 

NEWSPAPER REVIEW FOR NOVEMBER 6, 2018

NEWSPAPER REVIEW NOVEMBER 6, 2018

MANUFACTURING/INDUSTRY NEWS

FG Seeks Increased Power Supply to MSMEs (This day pg. 24)

The federal government will within the next one year provide stable electricity to 80,000 shops, 320,000 micro, small and medium scale enterprises (MSMEs) in 16 economic clusters across the country to help them improve their operations and significantly cut down cost.

The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, made this disclosure when he recently commissioned the 1.5 megawatts (MW) Sura Shopping Complex Independent Power Project (IPP) in Lagos State.

According to him, the government through the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) has commenced the implementation of its Energising Economies Initiative (EEI), which aims to provide efficient, clean and sustainable power to four economic clusters across Nigeria.

Source: This day

Shippers Council unveils standard for trucks (The Nation pg. 36)

The Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) has unveiled the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) to regulate the haulage industry.

It’s Executive Secretary, Mr.  Hassan Bello, said the SOP is to sanitize the haulage Industry which has become an all-comers’ affair without regard for standard and ethics in the business

“We are going to have conditions for operating a haulage company. We are going to have a minimum of six trucks for a company, companies have a registered office, have insurance for goods on transit, have a tracking device, among others.

“Any company that does not have the capacity to own six trucks will not be allowed to operate. Its implementation will be gradually done.

“Even now, there are some good trucking companies, but we need to have more of them. Nigeria is going to have a lot of project cargo in import and export but we need the trucking system to be organised.

Source: The Nation

NBA hails Fed Govt on ease of doing business (The Nation pg. 36)

Nigerian Bar Association Section of Business Law (NBA-SBL) Chairman Seni Adio (SAN) has hailed the Federal Government for raising the bar on the ease of doing business.

Adio was speaking at a session on the Africa Trade Forum 2018, hosted by Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), The Rockefeller Foundation, and the African Union Commission (AUC), in Lagos.

He said: “To consolidate on the success and improve on other areas of doing business in the country, the Companies and Allied Matters Act. (CAMA) is undergoing a holistic review to remove remaining barriers to ease of doing business in the country.”

Mr. Adio, along with other critical stakeholders, was on October 22, 2018 inaugurated into the Presidential Committee for Impact and Readiness Assessment of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Source: The Nation

NIMASA to make Nigeria African maritime hub (The Nation pg. 36)

The Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Dakuku Peterside, has identified some factors that will lead to the emergence of Nigerian seaports as the highest-performing logistics hub in West and Central Africa.

When this is achieved, the ports will become home to Africa’s largest trans-shipment container port, linked to other ports across the globe.

Speaking with The Nation at the weekend, a senior official of the Federal Ministry of Finance (FMoF), who craved anonymity, said the senior management of the maritime industry, led by Peterside, the Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (‘NPA), Ms Hadiza Bala Usman and the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers Council, Mr Hassan Bello, are working tirelessly to improve the logistics network.

The success so far recorded by the Port of Singapore, the FMoF official said, shows that, with a forward-thinking vision and much determination by those directing the affairs of the maritime trade, “a developing country like Nigeria with few resources can become a leading logistics hub.

Source: The Nation

LCCI: Infrastructure Deficit Erodes Nigerian Business’ Competitiveness (This day pg. 6)

The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has raised the alarm that high excise duties on locally-produced goods and challenges of exporting made-in-Nigeria products, as well as the inaccessibility of the Lagos ports on account of the bad roads, have created an excruciating business environment, which has seriously hamstrung business activities in the country and eroded the country’s capacity to compete.

The LCCI, whose position was contained in a report titled, ‘Infrastructure Deficit in Nigeria: The Way Forward, the LCCI,’ decried the challenges of exporting made-in-Nigeria products to other ECOWAS countries and poor investment climate.
The report acknowledged that infrastructure play critical role in promoting economic growth, improving standards of living, poverty reduction and competitiveness, while also contributing to environmental sustainability.

Source: This day

New minimum wage is N30,000 (Daily sun pg. 6)

After a long drawn and heated meeting of the tripartite committee on minimum wage, the Federal Government finally bowed to the Organised Labour as it acquiesced to their N30,000 demand.

The meeting, which began as early as 11 a.m. yesterday went into a two-hour recess at 8 p.m., reconvened at 10 p.m. and lasted into the early hours of today before an agreement was finally reached on the issue.

By the agreement, Organised Labour said the scheduled strike, which would have crippled the country from midnight was no longer necessary.

In an interview with Daily Sun on what transpired at the meeting, Deputy President of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Sunday Salako, said all the members from the Organised Labour, Organised Private Sector, the Federal Government and state governments accepted and signed the N30,000 as the recommended amount in the report that will be sent to the Presidency.

Source: Daily sun

NEWSPAPER REVIEW FOR NOVEMBER 6, 2018

BUSINESS/ECONOMY NEWS

CBN’s bad CRR math squeezes banks, economy (Business day pg. 1)

Nigerian bankers say they are being forced to part with more cash than required under the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR), which mandates lenders to stash 22.5 percent of total customer deposits with the Central Bank at zero interest.

They say the effective CRR is as high as 40 percent and are left scratching their heads over the CBN’s calculations. Dwindling deposits by bank customers who are increasingly pulling out their funds to invest in high-yielding government securities, imply that the cash equivalent of the CBN’s 22.5 percent CRR should be dynamic.

Most banks will tell you that the CRR is fictional but they can’t complain because no one wants any trouble with the regulator,” a senior bank official told Business day on condition of anonymity.

Source: Business day

$3.1bn sale to BDCs sustained naira stability (Punch pg. 31)

The Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria has said that the 163 per cent increase in dollar sales to bureaux de change, to the tune of $3.1bn in the first half of the year, helped to sustain exchange rate stability and protected 25,000 jobs in the subsector.

The President, ABCON, Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe, stated this while speaking on the half-year economic report released by the Central Bank of Nigeria last week.

According to a statement from the association, the report among other things, shows that the CBN dollar sales to the BDCs has a rise by 163 per cent to $3.1bn in the first half of the year from $1.2bn in the corresponding period of 2017.

It read, “The significant increase in the BDC sales reflected the bank’s policy to increase the supply of foreign exchange to small end-users.”

Source: The Punch

 

 

NEWSPAPER REVIEW FOR NOVEMBER 5, 2018

NEWSPAPER REVIEW NOVEMBER 5, 2018

MANUFACTURING/INDUSTRY NEWS

More dissenting voices emerge as experts rally support for AFCFTA (Business day pg. 24)

The private sector academics and trade experts are not on the same page on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA) as each marshals arguments on why Nigeria should sign or opt out of the treaty.

At a one-day conference organized by the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) in Lagos last Wednesday, Chibuzo Nwoke, a professor and Vice Chancellor of Oduduwa University, raised a number of questions for the Nigerian trade contingent, saying that though the country had not rejected the AFCFTA, the Federal government must have a closer look at the place of regional economic communities in the implementation of the trade treaty.

Read more: https://www.manufacturersnigeria.org/ManInDailyNigerianNews.aspx

 

Relief for manufacturers as SON removes PRC as requirement for cargo clearing (Business day pg. 24)

The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) says its Product Registration Certificate (PRC) is no longer required for clearing cargoes at the country’s point of entry. This move favours manufacturers and importers as facilitates speedy movement of cargoes.

Osita Aboloma, director-general, SON, explained that the new development was in line with the present administration’s ease of doing business mandate. Aboloma said the move, which commenced on 1st November, was targeted at curbing the excesses of corrupt officials who take advantage of the PRC to constitute unnecessary delay of cargoes at the port.

Read more: https://www.manufacturersnigeria.org/ManInDailyNigerianNews.aspx

 

SON not doing enough, say paint makers (The nation pg. 20)

Paint manufacturers are lamenting a huge loss of revenue to adulteration, faking and merchandising of their products with high nuisance value

The out-going President, Paints Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (PMA), Rotimi Aluko, lamented that efforts by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON’s) Director-General, Osita Aboloma, to rid the industry of fake and substandard products through monitoring and enforcement of standards, have not yielded the desired results.

He said it was high time the agency and the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration (NAFDAC), made it compulsory for all paint manufacturers to be registered with the association, given their involvement with standards for products and chemicals’ respectively.

Read more: https://www.manufacturersnigeria.org/ManInDailyNigerianNews.aspx

NEWSPAPER REVIEW FOR NOVEMBER 5, 2018

BUSINESS/ECONOMY NEWS

Experts urge fiscal policy reforms in non-oil sector (Guardian pg. 19)

The need for the government to build a strong revenue base for sustainable development formed the thrust of the roundtable discussion at the just concluded Economic Summit in Abuja.

The discussion was necessitated by the realisation that Nigeria’s revenues have remained consistently low and overly dependent on the oil sector that has grossly affected the country’s ability to execute developmental programmes as well as fund critical projects in major social sectors like health, education and infrastructure.

With the theme, “Leveraging Domestic Resource Mobilisation for Sustainable Development”, the session, hosted by the Fiscal Policy Commission, brought together experts in the financial sectors, to identify Nigeria’s revenue potentials beyond oil.

Read more: https://www.manufacturersnigeria.org/ManInDailyNigerianNews.aspx

 

October inflation rate to rise (Punch pg. 36)

FSDH Research expects the inflation rate (year-on-year) to increase further to 11.34 per cent in October from 11.28 per cent recorded in September.

The expected increase in the inflation rate will reflect higher prices observed within the food and non-alcoholic beverages division.

The National Bureau of Statistics is due to release the inflation rate for the month of October on Wednesday, November 14.

The Food Price Index report for the Food and Agriculture Organisation published for the month of October 2018 notes that food prices on the international market decreased from the September levels.

Read more: https://www.manufacturersnigeria.org/ManInDailyNigerianNews.aspx

 

Nigeria has an infrastructure problem only private capital can fix (Business day pg. 1)

The government may downplay it all it wants, Abuja is too broke to meet the financing needs of an abysmal infrastructure stock that has rendered Nigeria economically non-competitive and put a cap on growth.

Despite being at its highest level since 2011, Nigeria’s capital expenditure as a percentage of GDP was 1.3 percent in 2017 and has averaged 1 percent since 2010, according to data compiled by Business day. In 2016, when the economy slumped into a recession, capital expenditure as a percentage of GDP crashed to an all-time low of 0.2 percent.

Read more: https://www.manufacturersnigeria.org/ManInDailyNigerianNews.aspx

 

NERC set to approve of 94mw embedded power plant for Lagos (Business day pg. A1)

The Nigerian Electricity Regulation Commission (NERC) has reached advanced stages in the process of approving a 94 megawatt embedded power project to be sited in Apapa, Lagos.

People with knowledge of the proceedings say the commission would give its approval to the partnership between Eko Electricity Distribution Company (Disco) and Power House International, a Nigerian infrastructure consulting company this week. NERC officials working on the project were expected to have concluded due diligence checks on the documents filed for the partnership by the week ending October 26, so that the documents can be presented to the commissioners for approval.

Read more: https://www.manufacturersnigeria.org/ManInDailyNigerianNews.aspx

NEWSPAPER REVIEW FOR NOVEMBER 2, 2018

NEWSPAPER REVIEW NOVEMBER 2, 2018

MANUFACTURING/INDUSTRY NEWS

Manufacturing sector expands for 19 months in October PMI reading (Business day pg. A4)

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Wednesday, released the Purchasing Managers Index (PMI), which showed that the manufacturing sector of the economy expanded for 19 consecutive months in October.

The Manufacturing PMI in the month of October stood at 56.8 index points, indicating that it grew at a faster rate when compared to 56.2 index in the previous month.

13 out of 14 sub-sectors reported growth in the review month. These include electrical equipment – 65.8; petroleum and coal products – 61.9; printing and related support activities – 61.5; cement – 59.2; chemical and pharmaceutical products – 59.1; textile, apparel, leather and footwear – 57.9; furniture and related products – 57.5; transportation equipment – 57.0; plastics and rubber products – 56.2; food, beverage and tobacco products – 55.6; fabricated metal products – 55.2; non-metallic mineral products – 54.2; and paper products – 53.4. The primary metal subsector declined in the review month.

Source: Business day

AfCFTA focus of discussion as Nigeria hosts Africa trade forum (Business day pg. A5)

Nigeria will on November 2, and tomorrow hosts the Africa Trade Forum 2018, as being organized by Nigeria’s Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, and co-organised by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), The Rockefeller Foundation, and the African Union Commission (AUC).

The Forum will bring together stakeholders from across the continent, from political and governance spheres, the private sector and entrepreneurs, philanthropies, academia, researchers, and development partners, to discuss the process for realizing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

The AfCFTA was signed in March 2018 by 44 African countries and, if ratified, will become one of the world’s largest trading blocs. It is also the biggest trade agreement signed since the World Trade Organisation (WTO) was established, bringing together 1.3 billion people with a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of more than $2 trillion in a single market. The agreement aims to provide improved competition and lower business costs.

 

Source: Business day

SON removes product registration certificate from clearing process (Punch pg. 34)

The Standards Organisation of Nigeria has stated that its Product Registration Certificate is no longer required for clearing cargoes at the nation’s point of entry.

The Director General, SON, Osita Aboloma, explained that the new development was in line with the present administration’s ease of doing business mandate.

The SON boss at a nationwide awareness programme to sensitise members of the Auto Spare Parts and Machinery Dealers Association in Lagos to dangers of substandard products in circulation, however, stated that the PRC was still part of its minimum requirements to be met by both importers and manufacturers.

Source: Punch

NAFDAC seeks adequate incentive to boost local drug production (Guardian pg. 8)

Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof. Christianah Adeyeye, has blamed the nation’s over-dependence on imported drugs on inadequate incentives for local manufacturers.

Speaking at the 91st Annual National Conference of Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) at the International Conference Centre, University of Ibadan (UI), Oyo State, she explained the need for the country to achieve drug security by encouraging local manufacturing.

According to her, the agency, in collaboration with United States Pharmacopeia (USP), conducted a survey on quality of select Maternal and Child Health (MCH) commodities, which revealed a failure rate of 74.2 per cent for oxytocin injection and 33.7 per cent for misoprostol tablets.

Source: The Guardian

NEWSPAPER REVIEW FOR NOVEMBER 2, 2018

BUSINESS/ECONOMY NEWS

Capital Outflows Force Nigeria’s External Reserves Down to $41.995bn (This day pg. 12)

Nigeria’s external reserves fell to $41.995 billion at the end of October, representing a decline by $5.793 billion or 12.12 per cent, compared with the $47.788 billion it was as at the end of June, 2018, data compiled from the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) website has shown.

The development was largely attributed to interest rate normalization in some advanced economies.

According to analysts at CSL Stockbrokers Limited, the decline suffered from the country’s reserves, derived majorly from the proceeds of crude oil earning, was as a result of reversal of capital flows, which has increased the demand for dollars in the forex market, therefore, forcing the central bank to step up its intervention in a bid to stabilise the currency.

Source: This day

FG restates commitment to ease of doing business in Nigeria (This day pg. 42)

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has reiterated the Federal Government’s commitment to improving Nigeria’s ranking in the World Bank Ease of Doing Business Index, saying the current ranking of 169 out of 190 countries is unacceptable.

The Minister, who gave the pledge in Abuja on Thursday when he received Dr. Jumoke Oduwole, the Coordinator and Secretary to the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) on a courtesy visit to his office, lauded the various initiatives being implemented by the Council to move Nigeria 20 steps upwards in the index.

“It’s unsatisfactory that today we are ranked 169 out of 190. That is not very good and the things that we don’t take seriously, like a file staying for 14 days on somebody’s desk, add to this poor ranking.

Source: This day

Operators intensify push for payment of EEG backlog (The Nation pg. 13)

Nothing would gladden Mrs. Mojisola Adenekan’s heart than to see her processed nuts and oil export business blossom into a vibrant, large scale enterprise. To her, the starting point to making this happen is for the National Assembly to promptly approve the payment of the backlog of exporters’ claims under the Export Expansion Grant (EEG) scheme, which stands at over N1 trillion.

The budding entrepreneur said prompt settlement of the outstanding bills would trigger increased activities in the non-oil export sector. She added that offsetting the bills incurred under the EEG scheme was important so as not to hamstring entrepreneurs, who have already incurred huge expenses in respect of the scheme managed by the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC).

Source: The Nation

CBN tightens noose on BDCs, introduces new corporate governance rules (Daily trust pg. 17)

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has introduced new code of corporate governance rules for Bureaux De Change (BDC) In the country.

The code shall take effect from December 1 2018, the apex bank said yesterday.

In a circular, signed by Mr. Kevin N Amugo, Director Financial Policy and Regulation Department, CBN and posted on its website, the CBN said the new corporate governance regulation is to further strengthen the institutions and reposition them to perform their statutory roles.

The regulation said the Board shall be accountable and responsible for the performance and affairs of the BDC and members of the Board are severally and jointly liable for the activities for the BDC.

Source: Daily trust


Pressure piles on economy as CBN pursues naira stability at high cost (Business day pg. 1)

The Central bank of Nigeria is showing it will do all it takes to keep the naira from weakening against the dollar even if comes at a cost of starving the private sector of credit or burning through the country’s external reserves at a record pace.

Keeping the naira as strong as possible against the dollar is popular in Nigeria, which imports the bulk of its needs from other countries. That has been a priority for most central bank governors whose fixation on exchange rate stability is also a recognition of its impact on price stability, a core mandate of any central bank.

Source: Business day

Nigeria, Morocco to discuss development opportunities (Punch pg. 35)

The Nigeria Economic Summit Group, the Africa Economic Development Policy Initiative and the OCP Policy Centre of Morocco have announced the launch of the first edition of the Morocco-Nigeria Strategic Dialogues, which focuses on enhancing opportunities for growth and development.

The partnership, according to a statement, aims to play a pivotal role in bringing the two countries together, and catalyzing debate and new ideas related to the future economic and other relationships between them.

The objective of the joint initiative, it stated, was to provide a platform for comparative analysis of the challenges and potential of the two economies as well as possible actions to promote complementary exchanges and synergies between them.

Source: Punch

Naira depreciates to N360.54/$ in I&E window (Vanguard pg. 41)

The Naira commenced the week with 12 kobo depreciation to N360.54 per dollar in the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window of the foreign exchange market.

Data from the Financial Market Dealers Quote (FMDQ) showed that the indicative exchange rate for the I&E window rose to N360.54 per dollar, yesterday, from N360.42 per dollar on Friday last week, translating to 12 kobo loss in the value of naira.

Source: Vanguard


 

NEWSPAPER REVIEW FOR NOVEMBER 1ST, 2018

NEWSPAPER REVIEW NOVEMBER 1, 2018

MANUFACTURING/INDUSTRY NEWS

MAN, NACCIMA, others differ on AfCFTA pact signing (Guardian pg. 8)

The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has restated the need for Federal Government to thread with caution in appending signature to the African Union Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

The Association specifically warned that Nigeria should not sign the AfCFTA agreement based on bandwagon effect or on the ground of diplomatic niceties.

Director-General of MAN, Mr. Segun Ajayi-Kadir, represented by Mr. Olusegun Oshindipe, stated this at a conference organised by the Nigerian Institute of international Affairs (NIIA) in Lagos yesterday.

Source: The Guardian

Nigeria’s Manufacturing Index Expands in 19th Consecutive Month (This day pg. 40)

The Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) expanded to 56.8 points in October.

The present position of the manufacturing PMI, indicated an increase for the 19th consecutive month.

The CBN disclosed this in its October PMI report that was posted on its website.

The index grew at a faster rate when compared to the index in the previous month.

However, of the 14 sub-sectors surveyed, 13 reported growth in the review month in the following order: electrical equipment; petroleum & coal products; printing & related support activities; cement; chemical & pharmaceutical products; textile, apparel, leather & footwear; furniture & related products; transportation equipment; plastics & rubber products; food, beverage & tobacco products; fabricated metal products; nonmetallic mineral products; and paper products.

Source: This day

NECA to NACCIMA: we’re disappointed by your action (The Nation pg. 3)

The Nigerian Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) came under attack yesterday for distancing itself from the agreement allegedly reached by the tripartite committee on wage review.

It was knocked by the Nigerian Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), which expressed disappointment in the statement credited to NACCIMA on the outcome of the conclusion of the national minimum wage panel.

In a letter to the Chairperson, Tripartite Committee on the New National Minimum Wage, Ms. Ama Pepple, Dr. Muheeba Dankaka dissociated NACCIMA from the position of the OPS.

But NECA’S Director-General Olusegun Oshinowo yesterday reiterated that N30, 000 was the consensus figure of the committee.

Source: The Nation.

Nigeria slips in ease of doing business ranking (Guardian pg. 4)

With low scores and minor improvements in some key indices, the World Bank has ranked Nigeria 146th, down by a spot, as one of the countries with least difficulties in doing business.

Specifically, the nation faltered in bureaucracy-busting economies, especially in the areas of property registration and insolvency resolution while minimal improvements were recorded in construction permits, contract enforcement and payment of taxes, according to the latest World Bank Ease of Doing Business ranking.

Source: The Guardian.

Nigeria: Poor port infrastructure slows manufacturing (News Telegraph pg. 23)

For a while now, members of the organised private sector (OPS) have been expressing worries over the dilapidated state of access roads to Apapa and Tin-Can ports.The fact that the roads are taking such a long time to fix has certainly contributed to the high cost of local production.No doubt, the high cost of locally manufactured goods has been of great concern to all Nigerians, and this has been linked to the ports situation, following frequent delay in cargo clearance.

State of port access roads

This challenge, according to the OPS, is having debilitating effects on trade facilitation, cost of cargo transportation and overhead cost of businesses in the country.

In fact, the traffic situation on these roads currently hampers access to the sea ports, paralysing economic activities, engendering loss of man hour, enormous wastage of fuel, huge increase in cargo dwell time, causing preventable accidents and heightened security risk.

Source: News Telegraph.

SON ends product registration certificate regime for cargo clearing (Guardian pg. 23)

The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has stated that its Product Registration Certificate (PRC) is no longer required for clearing cargoes at the nation’s point of entry.

The Director General, SON, Osita Aboloma, explained that the new development was in line with the present administration’s ease of doing business mandate.

According to him, the initiative commences on the 1st, November, 2018, and is expected to curb the excesses of corrupt officials who take advantage of the PRC to constitute unnecessary delay of cargoes at the port.

Source: The Guardian

Why we’re reluctant to sign African free trade pact, by Fed Govt (The Nation pg. 8)

The Federal Government said yesterday said that the interest of the nation and its comparative trading advantage will guide its final decision on the African Free Trade Area agreement.

Nigeria is one of the few countries yet to show commitment or sign the agreement despite participating in 10 rounds of negotiations.

Special Adviser to the President on Economic Matters (Office of the Vice President) Dr. Adeyemi Dipeolu stated this yesterday in Ibadan at the 60th anniversary lecture of the Department of Economics, University of Ibadan.

According to him, Nigeria’s reluctance in signing the African Free Trade Agreement was based on its commitment to ensure that only what would benefit its economic interest and boost its comparative trade advantage is implemented as policy.

Source: The Nation

BUSINESS/ECONOMY NEWS

Anxiety as consumers besiege DisCos  for meters (The Nation pg. 13)

Electricity consumers have been in dilemma over Federal Government’s intention to meter them  and subsequently rid the industry of estimated billings, it was learnt.

The Nation investigation revealed that the power distribution companies (DisCos) in recent times have witnessed a large turnout of customers, who visited them for meters.

A visit to the business units of the Eko Electricity Distribution Company(EKEDC) and the Ikeja Electric, showed that customers have made it a routine to make enquiries about the amount to be paid before being given meters and the time it would take to get the meters, among others.

Source: The Nation