Summary of the top business, economic and political news in Nigeria today.


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  1.  Over $163.7m was spent to hire pre-shipment agents to monitor Nigeria’s oil and gas exports between 2009 and 2016, an investigation by the House of Representatives uncovered on Tuesday. The money was signed out by the Federal Ministry of Finance from a pool of funds domiciled in the Central Bank of Nigeria. However, lawmakers said the payments were made without appropriation by the National Assembly in breach of Sections 80/81 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended). Link
  2.  The nation’s external reserve dropped $30.78 billion on Monday, the lowest in ten days, even as the naira remain stable at N385 per dollar in the parallel market exchange rate. This represents decline of $100 million when compared with the closing level of $30.88 billion Friday last week. Link
  3. In spite of increase in federally-collected revenue, buoyed by increase in crude oil price, the Federal Government recorded a deficit of N404 billion for the month of February, 2017. The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, disclosed this in its economic report for February posted on its website, yesterday, indicating another threat to the budget. Link
  4. The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, has tasked the newly appointed executive management of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund to vigorously pursue the full implementation of the Employee Compensation Act.  “The Employee Compensation Act is a national law and not meant for the Federal Government alone, hence all employers in both the public and organised private sectors must key into the Act,” he stated. Link
  5. The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Okechukwu Enelamah, says the Federal Government is planning to enhance economic growth by granting tax breaks and export incentives. According to him, a key Trade Facilitation Agreement signed by Nigeria and over 100 other countries with the World Trade Organisation is expected to provide the nation’s manufacturing industry with a major boost. Link
  6. The federal government is disturbed over high cost of local rice in the country, which it said is now above the price of imported rice. The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh, while responding to questions at a Town Hall meeting in Abuja yesterday, said the situation was disturbing, considering government’s efforts at encouraging local production of rice in the country. He explained that the imported rice arrive at about N9,000 per bag and were then sold at about N13,000 per bag to consumers unlike the local rice sold at about N16,000 per bag. Link
  7. Business activities at the Lagos Port Complex (LPC) and the Tin-Can Island port in Lagos were again, brought to a halt yesterday, as clearing agents and the truck drivers continued with their strike over the deplorable state of the roads leading to the ports. The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), has already lost over N3billion at Lagos port to the two-day strike. Also, terminal operators, shipping companies and other government agencies at all the ports, would also lose billions should the strike extend beyond tomorrow. Link
  8. The President, Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria, Aminu Goronyo, says annual rice production in Nigeria has increased from 5.5 million tonnes in 2015 to 5.8 million tonnes in 2017. Link
  9. Chinese Economic and Commercial Counselor, Mr Zhao Linxiang, has said his country promised $6.7 billion to develop Nigeria’s agriculture through training of hundreds of Nigerians to achieve food sufficiency. Link
  10. Nasir-El Rufai, governor of Kaduna state, plans to privatize about four state owned enterprises to create jobs, the 57 year-old said in an interview with BusinessDay. “There is a privatisation programme; I think we have three or four companies, industrial enterprises that we inherited that we have already put out for privatisation,” El-rufai said. Link
  11. The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, on Tuesday said that the Federal Government could not address the country’s huge infrastructure deficit with budgetary allocations alone in the next 10 years. Link
  12. Thirty-eight statutory agencies of the Federal Government are yet to submit their budget proposals for the 2017 fiscal year. These agencies, which include the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), have continued to make huge extra-budgetary expenditure in breach of the Fiscal Responsibility (FRA) Act 2007. This was disclosed by the Senate yesterday during a legislative session. Link
  13. The Federal Government has saved over $30 million as a result of the switch to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) from diesel, as well as a reduction of 76 million kilogramme of CO2 emissions. Link
  14. A whooping $2 billion investment by the terminal operators has massively turned around operations at Nigerian seaports since the commencement of the concessioning programme about 11 years ago. The Chairman, Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN), Princess Vicky Haastrup, who disclosed this recently, commended the Federal Government for its foresight in instituting the programme. Link
  15. Executive vice chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Professor Umaru Danbatta yesterday confirmed that the Nigerian telecommunication sector has so far contributed about N15 trillion to the Nigerian economy since the liberation of the sector and inception of digital mobile communications nearly 17 years. Link
  16. The net asset value (NAV) of mutual funds in the Nigerian capital market grew by 159 per cent from N102 billion in December 2012 to N264 billion in April 2017, according to data from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Data from SEC indicated that the NAV of the funds have grown by N162 billion in almost five years. However, despite the 159 per cent growth, the relative size of the NAV to gross domestic product (GDP) remains low and relatively unchanged over the period at 0.2 per cent in 2012 and 0.3 per cent in 2016. Link
  17. Acting President Yemi Osinbajo said on Tuesday that the federal government is investing some hundreds of billions of naira in an assurance scheme that would provide the much needed liquidity in the power sector and attract additional investments. Link
  18. The Inequality report released by Oxfam International, on Wednesday, revealed that the combined wealth of five richest Nigerians put at $29.9bn could end extreme poverty in the country. The report, entitled ‘Inequality in Nigeria, Exploring the Drivers and obtained in Abuja, exposed the large and growing gap between the rich and poor in Nigeria. It revealed that the benefits of the nation’s economic growth had been captured by a few wealthy elite at the expense of the ordinary Nigerians. Link
  19. The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) yesterday assured that rift between Etisalat Nigeria and the consortium of lenders that provided facility of $1.2billion to the telco will soon be over soon. Its Executive Commissioner, Stakeholders Management, Mr Sunday Dare said the likelihood of a takeover of the telco by its lenders have been ‘put in abeyance’, adding that there is light at the dark end of the tunnel. Link
  20. Coronation Asset Management Limited, the asset management arm of Coronation Merchant Bank Limited, is planning to float initial public offerings (IPOs) to raise funds for new collective investment schemes, otherwise known as mutual funds. Link
  21.  Mr. Atedo Peterside who spoke at a ceremony at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) yesterday to mark his retirement from the board of directors of Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc, has faulted certain provisions in corporate governance and regulatory codes that stipulate tenures for founders, directors and top management of companies as antithetical regulations that could be counterproductive and inimical to the success of the company. Link
  22. Mixta Real Estate Plc has obtained regulatory approval to list its N4.5 billion 17 per cent Guaranteed Fixed Rate Bond on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). The bond listing will pave for investors to trade on the bond. GuarantCo Limited, a multilateral development finance company, is the guarantor for the bond issue. Link
  23. The London Stock Exchange (LSE) in its recent ‘Companies to Inspire Africa’ report unveiled in Lagos recently, listed Erisco Foods Limited amongst fastest growing private businesses in Africa. Erisco Foods was amongst the identified 343 companies in 42 African countries, out of which 58 Nigerian companies made it to the list of the most exciting and promising companies, including small businesses. Link
  24. Nigeria’s Medview Airline has been banned from the EU Air Safety List over safety reasons, also banned are all air carriers from Benin and Mozambique. Link
  25. Ailing Ijora container terminal concessioned to Lilypond Container Depot Nigeria Limited (LCDNL) in 2006 by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) is to be designated as export terminal. It was gathered that 2.3 million tons of non-oil would be shipped through the terminal yearly. Link
  26. The Senate has asked Federal Government to present the budgets of corporations, agencies and parastatals to the legislature in two weeks. The lawmakers issued the ultimatum at the plenary on Wednesday. The Senate has barred the affected corporations and parastatals from capital expenditure until their budgets had been passed by the legislature. Link
  27. Even with Professor Yemi Osinbajo in the saddle as Acting President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the absence of President Muhammadu Buhari, the Presidency is still confused about who would assent to the 2017 budget. Fielding questions from State House correspondents at the Federal Executive Council, FEC meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Wednesday, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed said that the decision on who signs the Appropriation Bill into law would be decided when the document is finally transmitted to the Presidency. Link
  28. Leader of the South-East caucus in the Senate, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, has protested against the alleged exclusion of the eastern rail line from the ongoing rail projects by the Federal Government. In his motion at the plenary on Tuesday, he alleged that the South-East would not benefit from the projects for which the government was obtaining a loan of $5.851bn from China Exim Bank. Link



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