Summary of the top business, economic and political news in Nigeria today.
- Privatised public enterprises are to be listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, the Director-General, Bureau of Public Enterprises, Mr. Alex Okoh, has said. The BPE boss said the structure of the reform and privatisation process by the BPE envisaged listing of privatised enterprises as the final outcome. Link
- The Lagos State Government has released N1.05bn for the payment of accrued pension rights of retirees under the Contributory Pension Scheme in the state’s public service and local governments. According to a statement obtained on Sunday, the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, said employees who had served the state and now retired deserved to be specially recognised, and be in the celebration mood for the Lagos at 50. The statement said the money was released for 241 retirees. Link
- The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has upgraded its web platform and as such has introduced some 6 new electronic solutions which Nigerians can make use of in the comfort of their homes and offices. According to the Executive Chairman, Tunde Fowler, these e-services will improve the convenience, transparency and round the clock processing and payment of taxes. Link
- The Debt Management Office will today open the FGN Savings Bond auction for the month of June 2017, selling both two and three year papers to retail investors, according to its provisional bond issuance calendar. Link
- The 3,239 bureaux de change (BDCs) approved by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) got $520 million from the apex bank dollar interventions in the last four weeks. The funds, followed $40,000 per BDC weekly dollar allocations from the CBN, in its commitment to deepen liquidity in the foreign exchange market. Link
- The Exporter/Importer Forex Window launched by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to deepen dollar inflows to the economy has recorded $1 billion deals in the last six weeks, Managing Director, Financial Derivatives Limited, Bismarck Rewane, has said. “So far, approximately $1billion has been traded at this window. The spread between the parallel and interbank markets narrowed to N76.15 (May 30) compared to N83.65 as at April 28,” he said. Link
- Following the review of the contract terms on the proposed standard gauge railway projects by the China EXIM Bank, the Federal Government will now spend not less than N300billion extra to settle land compensation, insurance, tax and survey. The project which will commence as soon as the 2017 budget is passed, is a partnership between the Nigerian government and the China EXIM Bank for the building of standard gauge rail projects from Lagos to Kano and Lagos to Calabar. Link
- As part of efforts to reduce the rate of unemployment in Lagos state, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) have signed a $4million partnership agreement to equip up to 10,000 Lagosians with relevant skills for employment. Link
- The National Agency for Food And Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), says European Union (EU) rejected 24 exported food products from Nigeria in 2016 for failing to meet standards. NAFDAC spokesperson, Dr Abubakar Jimoh said that the five major products are groundnut, palm oil, sesame seed and beans that were illegally exported to the EU. He noted that from the information made available to NAFDAC, groundnut was rejected because it contained aflatoxin, which made the quality substandard. “The exported palm oil did not scale through the EU’s test because it also contained a coloring agent that was carcinogenic. “Beans was initially banned for one year, when EU was not satisfied with our exported beans in terms of quality assurance, it extended the ban by another two years, which expires next year. Link
- Three former top officials of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and a former special adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan have been named in a massive foreign bribery scandal that has led to the conviction of a company and some of its top officials in Switzerland. Dredging International Services (Cyprus) Limited was sentenced to a fine of one million Swiss Francs and asked to refund 36 million Swiss Francs illegal profit after it was indicted for allegedly making illicit payments to a former Managing Director of the NPA, Adebayo Sarumi; a former Managing Director of NPA’s Eastern Ports, Felix Ovbude; a former Executive Director of Finance at the NPA, Abba Murtala Mohammed; and Daniel Afam-Obi, a former executive assistant to Sullivan Akachukwu Nwankpo who was ex-President Goodluck Jonathan’s special adviser on technical matters. Link
- Zenith Bank Plc has issued a five-year senior unsecured benchmark Eurobond of $500 million on the Irish Stock Exchange, which has broken new grounds with an oversubscription of more than 400%. A statement by the bank’s management at the weekend said the issue was in addition to its existing $500 million Eurobond, which matures in April 2019. Link
- AutoGenius, one of Nigeria’s first digital insurance platforms, has unveiled an insurance policy tagged ‘Taxify Cover’ designed to increase driver and rider safety as well as improve the confidence of their user base. General Manager, Non-Life Business, AIICO, Adewale Kadiri, said the policy is a special Comprehensive Motor Insurance product customised to provide all the benefits of a comprehensive motor insurance with extended passengers’ liability, loss of personal effects and personal accident covers with a single premium. Link
- Jaiz Bank has emerged the worst performing stock in percentage terms on the Nigerian Stock Exchange for the month of May. The data obtained from the exchange for the month of May indicated that the stock dropped by 17.39 percent, to close at 95k per share, as against the opening price of N1.15. Link
- The NLPC Pension Fund Administrator Limited’s gross earnings rose by 6.1 per cent from N2.29bn in 2015 to N2.43bn in 2016. The Chairman of the company, Mr. Olabode Emanuel, disclosed this during the firm’s 12th annual general meeting in Lagos. Link
- The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers has vowed to shut down the oil sector if the Federal Government fails to rescind its decision on the sale of the Port Harcourt Refining and Petrochemical Company to Oando Plc. The union alleged that the government had ignored the recent resolution by the Senate, which urged that the sale of the refinery should be suspended. Link
- Following the successful acquisition of 60 per cent equity stake of Mobil Oil Nigeria Plc by Nipco Investment Limited (NIL) from ExxonMobil Oil Corporation, the company has applied to regulators to acquire additional shares from minority shareholders. The application for the takeover bid opened on May 30 and it is expected to close on June 29, 2017. “This offer period represents the opportunity for qualifying minority shareholders of Mobil Oil Nigeria Plc, who tender their shares to earn cash consideration of N417.12 per ordinary share tendered at a satisfactory premium in comparison with the current market price of N290, which the shares are being traded on the floor of the NSE last Friday,” the company said. Link
- The federal government realised a whopping $2billion as revenue from the Onne Oil and Gas Free Zone (OGFZ), in the last six years. Managing Director of Oil and Gas Free Zones Authority (OGFZA), Mr. Umana Okon Umana, disclosed this at the first session of the Nigeria Business Roundtable held in Lagos at the weekend. Link
- The group of 13 banks being owed by Etisalat Nigeria has roundly rejected an offer of five per cent equity in the telecommunications firm in lieu of the more than one $1billion trade credit extended in 2013. Link
- The board of directors of Premier Paints Plc has announced the appointment of Dr Mufutau Adeoye Yusuf has as the new Managing Director/CEO of the company. Link
- Granting unknown persons and organisations access to a subscriber’s telephone line by MTN for the purpose of sending unsolicited messages to the line is a violation of the subscriber’s right to privacy, the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal has ruled. Link
- Senate President Bukola Saraki has said the Senate is concerned about the high interest rates on loans, stating that lawmakers will this week discuss the issue with the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Deposit Money Banks. He stated that in an economy where workers were being retrenched and people were losing investments, it was immoral for certain sectors to be making astronomical profits. Link
- As the nation eagerly awaits the take-off of the 2017 budget, more than half way into the fiscal year, the Presidency and the leadership of the National Assembly made last minute attempts, last night, to salvage the document by sorting out areas of disagreement. According to impeccable sources, the presidency, which prepared the budget, is riled that the leadership of the National Assembly unilaterally introduced more than 400 ‘strange projects’ into the budget before belatedly passing it last month. Link
- The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, the Department of Petroleum Resources, International Oil Companies and over 40 other firms are expected to appear on Monday (today) as the House of Representatives opens its public hearing on the alleged theft of $17bn crude oil and gas resources from the country. Link
COVID-19 Update in Nigeria
On the 25th of September 2020, 213 new confirmed cases and 2 deaths were recorded in Nigeria
The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continues to record increases as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 58,062 confirmed cases.
On the 25th of September 2020, 213 new confirmed cases and 2 deaths were recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 10,526 samples across the country.
To date, 58,062 cases have been confirmed, 49,606 cases have been discharged and 1,103 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 494,577 tests have been carried out as of September 25th, 2020 compared to 484,051 tests a day earlier.
COVID-19 Case Updates- 25th September 2020,
- Total Number of Cases – 58,062
- Total Number Discharged – 49,606
- Total Deaths – 1,103
- Total Tests Carried out – 494,577
According to the NCDC, the 213 new cases are reported from 17 states- Lagos (51), Plateau (51), FCT (29), Rivers (18), Ondo (12), Oyo (9), Osun (8), Gombe (7), Ogun (7), Kaduna (5), Enugu (4), Edo (3), Jigawa (3), Kano (3), Benue (1), Delta (1), Sokoto (1).
Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 19,174, followed by Abuja (5,644), Plateau (3,373), Oyo (3,248), Edo (2,620), Kaduna (2,389), Rivers (2,305), Delta (1,801), Ogun (1,796), Kano (1,737), Ondo (1,620), Enugu (1,289), Ebonyi (1,038), Kwara (1,028), Abia (881), Gombe (864). Katsina (848), Osun (826), Borno (741), and Bauchi (692).
Imo State has recorded 566 cases, Benue (481), Nasarawa (449), Bayelsa (397), Jigawa (325), Ekiti (317), Akwa Ibom (288), Niger (259), Adamawa (237), Anambra (234), Sokoto (162), Taraba (95), Kebbi (93), Cross River (87), Zamfara (78), Yobe (75), while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases only.
Lock Down and Curfew
In a move to combat the spread of the pandemic disease, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days, which took effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.
The movement restriction, which was extended by another two-weeks period, has been partially put on hold with some businesses commencing operations from May 4. On April 27th, 2020, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari declared an overnight curfew from 8 pm to 6 am across the country, as part of new measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19. This comes along with the phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos, and Ogun States, which took effect from Saturday, 2nd May 2020, at 9 am.
On Monday, 29th June 2020 the federal government extended the second phase of the eased lockdown by 4 weeks and approved interstate movement outside curfew hours with effect from July 1, 2020. Also, on Monday 27th July 2020, the federal government extended the second phase of eased lockdown by an additional one week.
On Thursday, 6th August 2020 the federal government through the secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 announced the extension of the second phase of eased lockdown by another four (4) weeks.
Lagos launches N5 billion support fund for 2,000 low-cost private schools
The Governor said the facility will benefit low-cost schools with amounts ranging from N500,000 to N5 million.
Lagos State government has launched a N5billion support fund to help reduce the impact of Coronavirus pandemic on low-cost private schools in the state.
This was disclosed by the Governor of the state, Babajide Sanwo-Olu via his Twitter handle on Friday.
According to him, the educational sector is one of those severely impacted by the pandemic, with schools and vocational learning-centres shut since March.
He said, “With access to funding for privately owned schools and vocational training centres in the state, we are confident that this programme, under the partnership between First Bank Nigeria and Lagos State Education Trust Fund (LSETF) will help accelerate a sustainable return to learning and skills acquisition.”
Today, I launched a N5bn support fund to help reduce the impact of #COVID19 on low-cost private schools in Lagos. The educational sector is one of those severely impacted by the pandemic, with schools and vocational learning-centres shut since March. #EducationMeetsFunding pic.twitter.com/PrKjLhxBXq
— Babajide Sanwo-Olu (@jidesanwoolu) September 25, 2020
He explained that the facility will benefit 2,000 low-cost schools with amounts ranging from N500,000 to N5 million.
“As a responsible Government, we are obligated to provide interventions that would enable learners in schools study in line with the new normal,” the Governor Sanwo-Olu added.
The Chief Executive Officer, First Bank Nigeria, Dr Adesola Adeduntan, said “With this partnership, we are sure that registered educational institutions in Lagos State will have access to funds at subsidised interest rates to meet their needs as they reopen at this auspicious time.”
Paga Group relocates to the UK
Oviosu announced that he is very excited about moving to and working with the UK government.
Paga Group has redomiciled from Mauritius to the United Kingdom (UK). The group is the holding company for its operations in Nigeria, México, Ethiopia, and the UK.
This was disclosed by the Chief Executive Officer and founder, Paga, Tayo Oviosu on Friday.
The Paga Group has redomiciled to the UK 🇬🇧!
The Paga Group is the holding company for our operations in all countries – Nigeria, México, Ethiopia, and the United Kingdom.
Very excited about this move and look forward to working with @tradegovuk to promote trade with the UK!
— Tayo Oviosu (@oviosu) September 25, 2020
Why it matters: The company took the decision due to bureaucratic challenges it faced last year.
He said, “The laws and courts of Mauritius are not very fast-moving, and the rules are difficult. I’ve had one court case that was eventually thrown out after a year.
“In the UK it would have been thrown out immediately, and the person would have had to pay us for our lawyer fees.
“Basically, not an easy place to do business. It is more painful than useful. I say stick to good ol’ America or UK or Netherlands or Luxemburg. Where you know there are professionals, and the legal system works.”
Oviosu said he is very excited about the move, looks forward to working with the UK government to promote trade with the UK.
The Paga Group has raised $34.7 million in funding so far, according to Crunchbase.