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


  1. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said its Anchor Borrowers Programme has produced 2.1 million metric tonnes of rice, setting the country on the road to rice sufficiency by 2018. The acting director of Communications, CBN, Mr. Isaac Okorafor‏ in a series of tweets #CBNspeaks said programme has funded local production of imported goods that include wheat, rice among others. He said, “Even though the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) remains at -0.52 in first quarter of 2017, It shows that negative growth is decelerating, this is positive.” Link
  2. The Benue State Board of Internal Revenue Service (BIRS) yesterday sealed off four banks in Makurdi metropolis over un-remitted Personal Income Tax of N1.5billion. Chairman of the Board, Mrs. Mimi Adzape-Orubibi, who led the operation to seal the financial institutions, said that it was necessary to take the action in order to generate revenue for the state government to augment its federal accrual. Link
  3. The Federal Government on Thursday inaugurated the Board of the Solid Minerals Development Fund, signifying the take-off of the fund for which President Muhammadu Buhari had in December 2016 approved N30bn. Link
  4. The Presidency has developed an omnibus bill on the ease of doing business and is set to present it to the National Assembly. Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, who was represented by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, acknowledged that in view of the recent report by the National Bureau of Statistics on the state of the economy, it was obvious that Nigeria still faced challenging times. He said there was a need to broaden the reforms established by the government on the ease of doing business and hasten their implementation. Link
  5. The Kaduna State Government has signed a pact with a Chinese firm to build a new 50,000 barrels per day refinery in the state. The representatives of the Kaduna Refinery Consortium, led by Governor Nasir el-Rufai, and the China Machinery Engineering Corporation, signed an agreement on the project this week in China. Link
  6. Nigeria plans to launch its delayed “green” bond – the first for an emerging market country – within a few weeks, the country’s former environment minister said. Amina Mohammed, now deputy secretary-general of the United Nations, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation that proceeds from the sovereign bond – which is expected to raise about 20 billion naira ($63.6 million) from its first tranche – would be used to fund renewable energy, transport and agriculture projects. Link
  7. The Nigerian Embassy in Washington has protested to the U.S. Government over the violation of its premises by the Secret Service agents following fracas between two local workers. The Acting Ambassador/Charge d’Affaires, Hakeem Balogun condemned the violation of the diplomatic protocol over altercation by two Embassy drivers adding: “The embassy has as well transmitted a protest note to the U.S. Department of State. Link
  8. The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) in Kogi State on Friday sealed off 12 filling stations in Lokoja, the Kogi state capital for under dispensing premium motor spirit (PMS) otherwise known as petrol, to unsuspecting customers. DPR’s State Controller, Engr. Amos Jokodola, who led the surveillance team said the aim of the exercise was to ensure that licensed filling stations in the state sell fuel at the “correct quantity and quality” to members of the public. He said that the defaulting filling stations would pay penalty of N100, 000 per pump to serve as deterrence to others. Link
  9. Nigeria and Morocco have signed agreements relating to the Nigeria-Morocco Gazoduc (pipeline) Project and the Moroccan-Nigerian cooperation in the field of fertilizers. The pipeline [Gazoduc] project is designed with a direct impact on 300 million people through the speeding up of electrification projects in West Africa, serving a basis for the creation of a competitive electricity regional market. Link
  10. Banks reduced their lending to the economy by N115 billion in the first quarter of 2017, even as Nigerians withdrew N1.5 trillion through ATMs during the quarter.  These were disclosed by the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, in a report titled: “Selected Banking Sector Data” released yesterday. According to the report, banks lending to 17 sectors of the economy fell to N16 trillion in the first quarter of 2017 from N16.12 trillion in fourth quarter of 2016, indicating decline of 0.71 per cent or N114.8 billion. However when compared to lending in the first quarter of 2016, banks’ lending to the sectors increased by 23 per cent. Link
  11. Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) Director-General, Mr. Osita Aboloma has lamented the large presence of fake, counterfeit and sub-standard goods in the country. He puts the figure at about 50 per cent. Link
  12. The Executive Secretary Federal Government Staff Housing Loans Board (FGSHLB) Dr Hannatu Adamu Fika has confirmed the receipt of about N1.2bn from the Federal Mortgage Bank (FMBN) for federal public workers to renovate their houses. Mrs Fika who said this yesterday in Abuja during a courtesy call to the Managing Director of the bank, Architect Ahmed Dangiwa, adding that so far 1342 applicants had benefited from the partnership. According to her, the releases include N643, 004,000 earmarked for the renovation of houses of eligible public servants who applied for the renovation loan. Link
  13. Nigerian airlines airlifted about 1, 514,616 passengers in the first quarter of 2017, reports from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) revealed. This is as industry experts have urged the airlines to ensure effective maintenance of their aircraft to sustain current good safety record in the country. According to the NCAA, domestic airlines operated 10, 366 flights during the period under review, with Air Peace operating the highest number of 3, 262 flights. The airline airlifted 289,613 inbound passengers and 233,517 outbound passengers, totaling 523, 130, which is about 40 percent of the total passenger movement during the period.  Link
  14. The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) on Friday, announced the appointment of Mr Olusegun Adekunle as the Alternate Chairman of the Economic Commission Board. Adekunle was before this appointment Nigeria’s representative to the organisation. Link
  15. The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said it will build 500million standard cubic feet of gas per day metering plant to serve the planned capacity expansion of Egbin Power Plant from its installed capacity of 1,320 Megawatts to 2670MW. Link
  16. The Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON), the country’s ‘bad bank’ set up following the banking crisis, is close to selling Peugeot Automobile Nigeria (PAN) Ltd, a local car assembly joint venture, to Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, and two Nigerian states. “We have concluded all processes on the bids since about two months ago, all we are waiting for (now) is the approval of the central bank,” Ahmed Kuru, AMCON’s chief executive. Link
  17. A group, Movement for Genuine Change, on Thursday urged the Central Bank of Nigeria not to grant Shonga Farms Holdings Limited N2bn credit facility. The Chairman of the MGC, Mr. Hezekiah Oyedepo, and another official of the group, Mr. Oyedepo Iyiola, said there was no basis to grant the farm the N2bn loan. Oyedepo said the ownership of Shonga Farm was no longer clear to residents of the state. “All we know is that Shonga was founded and funded by the state government. The last time I saw their registration two or three years ago, it did not have the state government as a part owner. One thing we have found over time is that ownership of Kwara State assets changes from year to year.” Link
  18. The Managing Director of the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria, AMCON, Ahmed Kuru, on Friday said the aviation industry is seriously challenged. He said at a media parley in Ikoyi, Lagos, that the government needs to intervene in the industry, noting that the sector needs reform. Mr. Kuru, whose agency has taken over two of the largest indigenous airlines, Arik and Aero, due to mounting debt, lamented that airlines are not able to survive more than ten years in the industry. Link
  19. Multinational home care product maker, Hayat Kimya Group, has opened a $100m diaper and tissue paper factory in Agbara, Ogun State expected to create 30,000 jobs. He stated that when the company came to Nigeria in 2015 with its flagship diaper brand, Molfix, its owners had pledged to build the firm’s largest factory in Nigeria, adding that the newly opened factory was a fulfilment of that pledge. Link
  20. Binatone Nigeria has moved to capture a larger segment of the Nigerian market with the introduction of a new2-in1 music fan with a built-in digital audio system that can play music from the phone or any other Bluetooth-enabled smart device. Link
  21. South African bank, Rand Merchant bank has listed an N80 billion commercial paper programme on the FMDQ platform. Commercial papers are unsecured short-term securities issued by a firm to settle liabilities. Stanbic IBTC, last week listed a N20 billion CP programme. Link
  22. The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria recovered N134bn in 2016. The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mr Ahmed Kuru, at a news conference in Lagos on Friday, said that N86.9bn was from cash collections while N30.64bn came from assets forfeiture. He said that N7.9bn was realised from the sale of property and N8.7bn from the sale of shares. Link
  23. Three of the 26 listed insurance companies on the floor of Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE); Consolidated Hallmark Insurance PLC, Royal Exchange PLC and Law Union and Rock Insurance PLC have initiated plans to approach their respective shareholders to raise N6 billion through public offers and private placement in a bid to recapitalise and become stronger to play active roles in insurance market by the time the new supervision model, that is, Risk Based Supervision(RBS) kicks off in the country before year end. Link
  24. Bharti Airtel Ltd.’s Nigeria unit said a partnership with China’s ZTE Corp. to provide 4G high-speed broadband will see it add subscribers and narrow the gap with market leader MTN Group Ltd. in Africa’s most populous country. The Indian company is seeking “to lead the industry in terms of new customer acquisition,” Chief Executive Officer Segun Ogunsanya said in an interview in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial hub. Airtel will start to move subscribers to the 4G service from 3G “in the next three to four months,” he said. Link
  25. The Senate on Thursday passed the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill, which seeks to unbundle the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and merged its subsidiaries into a single entity. President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, who presided over the plenary, said “I hope that with this bill, the oil and gas industry will begin to see the new kind of investments that is necessary. We will plug the loopholes; we will be able to reduce the areas of corruption and inefficiency; our people will be able to benefit better in the petroleum sector and Nigerians will be better for it.” Link
  26. A proposal for 19 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to get N2billion each as ecological fund will be decided upon at next month’s National Economic Council (NEC) meeting. Kaduna State Governor Nasir El Rufai told reporters at the end of yesterday’s NEC meeting chaired by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo that the recommendation would ensure fairness to states that were not given anything when former President Goodluck Jonathan shared N2 billion each to People’s Democratic Party (PDP)-controlled states from the ecological fund. “These states are Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Borno, Edo, Ekiti, Imo, Jigawa, Kano, Kwara,  Lagos, Nassarawa, Niger, Ogun, Osun, Oyo, Rivers, Sokoto, Yobe, Zamfara and the Federal Capital Territory”. Link


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