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All the major economic news from Nigeria in 5 minutes 21/7/2017

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

  1. The Lagos Chapter of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) has announced it would hold its annual bankers and stakeholders’ night next week and deliberations would surround the theme: “The new world Economic order: Imperative of A National Policy Rethink,” next week.Link
  2. The Chief Consultant, B. Adedipe Associates Limited (BAA Consult), Dr. ‘Biodun Adedipe has stressed the need for increased patronage of goods and services made in Nigeria in order to stimulate economic activities and attain sustainable growth.Link
  3. In line with the federal government and National Assembly’s recent resolution to return to the January-December budget cycle, the National Executive Council (NEC) on Thursday began consideration of the 2018-2020 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP).Link
  4. The Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Mr. Waziri Adio, has said Nigeria will remain vulnerable and still depend heavily on borrowing except she develops the culture of saving her earnings from the sales of crude oil.Link
  5. U.S. prosecutors trying to recover proceeds from an alleged $1.7 billion Nigerian fraud perpetrated by one of the directors of Atlantic Energy Drill Concept and Atlantic Energy Brass Development Ltd (AEBD), Mr. Kolawole Akanni Aluko, may have to wait their turn.Link
  6. Ten months after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) suspended nine commercial banks from trading in the interbank foreign exchange (IFEX) market for failing to remit a total of $2.33 billion belonging to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation/Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Company to the federal government’s Treasury Single Account (TSA), a Federal High Court in Lagos yesterday ordered seven of the banks to temporarily remit a total of $793.2 million allegedly still domiciled with them in contravention of the TSA policy. Link
  7. The Senate has recommended the concession of N200 to $1 by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to intending pilgrims embarking on the 2017 Hajj, to bring the cost of the pilgrimage down to a bearable level.Link
  8. On the heels of recent allegations that some personnel of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NNDC) were demanding kickbacks from contractors before making contract payments, the federal government Thursday expressed its resolve to sanitise the interventionist agency.Link
  9. Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) has demanded that 70% of licences to operate modular refineries should be issued to people of Niger Delta extraction.Link
  10. It is no longer news that the federal government has released the third tranche of the Paris Club fund to state governments, as the Imo State Governor, Chief Rochas Okorocha, thursday confirmed receiving N7 billion for the state’s own share of the latest tranche. Also, the Ondo State Government thursday confirmed the receipt of N7.03 billion as its own share of the second tranche of the Paris Club refund.Link
  11. The senate in its commitment to accelerate the establishment of an autonomous Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), a bill seeking the establishment of the NFIU Agency passed through first reading on Thursday.Link
  12. Two of the banks – Fidelity and Sterling – last night defended their integrity, saying they were not involved in any TSA deal.Link 
  13. The National Economic Council (NEC) yesterday  approved a policy to harmonise right of way charges payable by telecommunications companies and related public utility infrastructure on Local Governments, States and Federal Highways.Link
  14. Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, will anytime from now launch a world class  bus terminal, first of its type in Nigeria, in Ikeja, capital of Lagos state.Link 
  15. Despite efforts by the Federal Government to reposition and restructure Bank of Agriculture (BoA), the bank appears trapped in serious debt amounting to N40 billion as a result of financial recklessness of its former management.Link
  16. Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has written to the House of Representatives seeking for a virement of N135, 643,018,749 in the 2017 budget to enable the government fund its priority projects and programmes in the 2017 fiscal year.Link
  17. NLC’s battle with the Federal Government over review of the current minimum wage from N18,000 to a set target of N56,000 has refused to die down specifically because government, which is regarded as the biggest employer and in charge of the nation’s resources, has not given convincing reasons why it cannot meet the demand of workers.Link
  18. The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) has said that it will lead a delegation including members of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) to hold talks with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and banks on ways to reduce the high lending rate farmers are being charged in the country.Link
  19. The organised labour in Nasarawa state has suspended its two months old industrial action after reaching an agreement with the state government.Link
  20. Meristem Securities Limited yesterday upgraded the recommendation on Forte Oil Plc to ‘buy’ from hold. The securities firm raised the target price to N77.41 from N64.09, implying a 68 per cent increase from the last close.Link
  21. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said it had disbursed over N473 billion under its Commercial Agricultural Credit Scheme.Link
  22. Wema Bank Plc plans to raise equity next year to bolster its capital ratio and cut its operating costs as its new digital strategy gains traction.Link
  23. Following series of fraud and armed robbery attacks on banks and individual policyholders, a total of N450.38 million was paid out as claims to victims by insurance firms within a space of two years.Link
  24. The projection to grow Nigeria’s insurance industry asset base to an estimated N16 trillion in the next three years is currently on a bumpy path following the slight growth recorded in two years – between 2014 and 2015.Link
  25. Commissioner, Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), Akin Olateru said all what the AIB relies on to survive and to meet its enormous challenges of accident investigation is allocation of three per cent from the Ticket Sales Charge (TSC) and five per cent of the Passenger Service Charge (PSC) recently approved by the Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika. Link
  26. Worried by the high rate of unemployment in his state, the Ondo State Governor, Mr Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, has taken some steps to create jobs and wealth through agriculture.Link
  27. The Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) is seeking collaboration with Competitive African Rice Initiative (CARI) and other African countries to increase rice production and export within the continent.Link
  28. International and domestic airlines operating in Nigeria are gradually losing passenger traffic to Ethiopian Airlines over the East African carrier’s relatively cheaper fares, easy connectivity and most recently, concerted efforts by the country at becoming a one-stop-shop for tourists in Africa.Link
  29. Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, MAN, has proposed the expansion of the scope of Central Bank of Nigeria’s Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) to further boost production of key commodities and stabilize inputs supply to agro processors.Link
  30. In a bid to improve transparency and accountability in contracts entered into by public and private enterprises in the country, the Federal Government says it is initiating a contract disclosure portal.Link
  31. The House of Representatives, on Thursday decried rising electricity tariff in the country.The lawmakers said that the increase was unjustified considering the commitment of N213 billion to the operators in the power who had failed to boost supply to Nigerians.Link 
  32. The Management of Diamond Bank Plc has shut its Creek Road, Apapa, Lagos branch following a mob attack on the branch on Wednesday.Link

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Companies

Neimeth Pharmaceuticals to raise N5 billion in additional equity

The Board of Neimeth is set to raise N5 billion additional equity upon the approval by shareholders of the company at the AGM.

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Neimeth Pharmaceuticals
The Board of Directors of Neimeth Pharmaceuticals has revealed plans to raise N5 billion in additional equity upon approval by shareholders of the company.
The information was contained in a press release published on the NSE and signed by the Company Secretary, Mrs. Florence Onhenekwe.

The disclosure is part of the resolutions reached at the Board of Directors meeting of 15th January 2021. At the end of the meeting, it was resolved that the company would raise additional equity to the tune of N5 billion.

In line with this development, a board resolution proposing to raise equity will be presented at the Annual General Meeting of the Company scheduled to hold on 9th March 2021.

What you should know

  • The Board of the Company is yet to disclose if the additional equity would be a rights issue or a private placement, as the details of the additional N5 billion equity set to be raised are yet to be finalized.
  • The fund will help the company’s management to execute key strategies that will reposition the company as a leader in the healthcare industry, with the hope to deliver better returns on investment to shareholders.
  • The additional equity financing will also increase Neimeth’s outstanding shares, which will dilute earnings and impact the Company’s stock value for existing shareholders.
  • The move has the potential to trigger a sell-off of the company shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

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Appointments

Buhari appoints Abubakar Nuhu Fikpo as Acting DG of National Directorate of Employment

President Buhari has appointed Abubakar Nuhu Fikpo as the Acting DG of the National Directorate of Employment.

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Buhari sacks DG National Directorate of Employment, Nasiru Argungu

President Muhammadu Buhari has announced the appointment of Abubakar Nuhu Fikpo as the Acting Director-General of the National Directorate of Employment.

This was disclosed by media aide to the Presidency, Garba Shehu, in a social media statement on Monday.

He said:

  • President Muhammadu Buhari has formally conveyed to the Hon. Minister of State, Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, SAN, his approval of the nomination of Mallam Abubakar Nuhu Fikpo, as the Acting Director-General of the National Directorate of Employment, pending the appointment of a substantive Director-General for the Agency.
  • Last month, the President relieved the former DG of his appointment, and directed the Minister to nominate an Acting DG to superintend over the Agency, pending the appointment of a substantive DG.

What you should know 

  • The Federal Government through the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) formally kick-started the Special Public Works (SPW) programme, which was designed to create 774,000 jobs across the nation, with the inauguration of the State Selection Committees in 2020.
  • Nairametrics reported last month that President Muhammadu Buhari approved the sack of Dr Nasiru Mohammed Ladan Argungu as the Director-General of the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) with effect from December 7, 2020.
  • The Presidency did not give any specific reason for the sack.

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Coronavirus

Covid-19: WHO warns the world faces catastrophic moral failure due to vaccine nationalism

The WHO has said that the prospects of equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines were at serious risk.

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Dr Tedros Adhanom, Head of the World health organization (WHO), COVID-19

The World Health Organization (WHO) said the world is on the brink of a catastrophic moral failure due to the fear of Covid-19 vaccine nationalism by the wealthy countries, while the poor countries are left behind.

This is as the UN health agency revealed that the prospects of equitable distribution of the vaccines were at serious risk just as its COVAX vaccine-sharing scheme plans to start distributing inoculations in February.

According to a report from Reuters, this disclosure was made by the Director-General of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyrsus, at the opening of the body’s Annual Executive Board virtual meeting.

He pointed out that 44 bilateral deals were signed last year and at least 12 have already been signed this year.

What the WHO Director-General is saying

Tedros warned against vaccine nationalism to avoid making the same mistake during the HIN1 and HIV pandemic.

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The WHO boss in his statement said,

  • This could delay COVAX deliveries and create exactly the scenario COVAX was designed to avoid with hoarding, a chaotic market, an uncoordinated response and continued social and economic disruption. Such a ‘me-first approach’ left the world’s poorest and most vulnerable at risk.
  • “Ultimately, these actions will only prolong the pandemic, countries should avoid making the same mistakes made during the H1N1 and HIV pandemics.’

He expressed his reservations over the ‘me-first’ attitude of the rich countries and the vaccine manufacturers who prioritize going for regulatory approval in wealthy countries rather than submitting their data to WHO for approval of the vaccines for use globally.

The global scramble for shots has intensified, as more infectious virus variants circulate.

Tedros said more than 39 million vaccine doses had been administered in 49 higher-income countries, whereas just 25 doses had been given in one poor country.

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Observers say this board meeting, which lasts until next Tuesday, is one of the most important in the U.N. health agency’s more than 70-year history, and could shape its role in global health long after the pandemic ends.

What you should know

  • The WHO and health experts had severally warned against nationalism as a serious threat to the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
  • They had called for an equitable distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine amongst all countries globally, as the wealthy nations will still be at risk of the pandemic if the poor countries are still battling with the disease.

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