Summary of the top business, economic and political news in Nigeria today.
- The Lagos State Water Corporation, (LWC), has begun the installation of pre-paid meters in Lekki, Victoria Island and other parts of the state.Link
- No fewer than two million containers laden with various cargoes worth over N5 trillion are currently stranded at the Lagos port complex, due to the inability of importers to evacuate them. Link
- The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), has secured a landmark judgement to the tune of N556.49 million for the depositors of the defunct Lead Merchant Bank Limited. Link
- The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says it remains committed to the convergence of rates between the bureau de change and Nigeria Autonomous Foreign Exchange (NAFEX). Link
- The Nigerian telecommunications industry is facing its hardest moment since the liberalisation of the sector in 2001 with over $68 billion investment facing threats. Link
- The Federal Government has allayed fears and concerns raised by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), that the nation’s economy may relapse into another recession, citing the N2.5 trillion budget deficit recorded by the government in six months and other factors as major threats to a economic recovery. Link
- Union Bank of Nigeria Plc. says it has concluded arrangements to raise N50 billion in Tier 1 capital through a rights issue during the third quarter as it declared ₦N73.7 billion gross earning in the first quarter of the year. Link
- The Federal Government has adopted the $11 billion Dangote refinery, under its new National Petroleum Policy in order to add value to crude oil, reduce high dependence on imported petroleum products and conserve foreign exchange for other developmental projects. Link
- Months after the Acting President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo’s fact-finding tour of Niger-Delta, the Federal Government has come up with a two-year Strategic Implementation Work Plan, SWIP, involving the execution of 457 short, medium and long-term projects, to the tune of N2,065,140,035,959, across the nine states of the region, starting from this year. Link
- CHIEF Executive Officer of Staco Insurance Plc., Dr. Sakiru Oyefeso, has said that the company is poised to capture a better share of the insurance market and create more value for its stakeholders using micro insurance concept as the growth driver. Link
- COMMISSIONER for Insurance and Chief Executive Officer of the National Insurance Commission, NAICOM, Mohammed Kari, has called on the leadership of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN) to reinvent the professional body and update its curriculum so as to adopt contemporary best practices for the overall benefit of the profession. Link
- Last week, the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, released the figure for domestic and foreign investors’ participation in the equities market which showed that investment was skewed in favour of the domestic retail investors. The level of domestic retail investors participation during the one month period rose by 46.92 per cent. Link
- Newly appointed Director-General of Nigerian Insurers’ Association, Mrs. Yetunde Ilori, has promised to bring industry stakeholders, especially the various regulators, together as part of efforts to redefine the sector. Link
- Custodian and Allied Plc., one of the leading non-bank financial institution quoted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) with investments in life and non-life insurance, pension fund administration, trusteeship and property holding businesses, has announced an impressive result for the half year ended 30th June 30, 2017. Link
- Following the resolution of the board of directors, MRS Oil Nigeria Plc. has appointed Patrice Alberti as its chair. A letter signed by the company secretary, O.M. Jafojo, said that the change was made following the resignation of Alhaji Sayyu I. Dantata as the chairman of the board of directors of the company. Link
- UnityKapital Assurance Plc. has reconstituted its Board of Directors, following the resignation of three non-executive directors – Mrs. Aisha A. Abraham, Mr. Bonaventure Okhaimo and Mr. Farouk L. Yola. Link
- The management of IEI Anchor Pensions Limited said it had repositioned its company for massive growth with assets under management currently standing at N62 billion at the end of June 2017. The development has also reflected on its Retirement Savings Account (RSA) as the Pension Fund Administrator’s unit price has continued to record steady growth, according to a statement from the firm. Link
- Top Pension Fund Administrator (PFA), Premium Pension Limited, has disclosed that it had paid over N128 billion to various classes of retirees since inception. Link
- Shareholders of Niger Insurance Plc. last Friday commended the management for sustaining the company’s long standing business reputation and commitment to workers’ welfare. Link
- Total Nigeria Plc. has recorded a 48 per cent drop in profit after tax for the second quarter ended June 30, 2017. According to the financial results released to the Nigerian stock Exchange (NSE), the oil firm recorded a profit after tax of N4.606 billion in H12017 as against N8.934 billion reported in 2016, accounting for a decrease of 48 per cent. Link
- The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has approved the 2016 financial accounts of Universal Insurance Plc. Link
- Following the execution of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Bank of Industry (BoI), Unity Bank Plc. is set to partner with the BOI in the execution of the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP), one of the social intervention programmes of the Federal Government of Nigeria. Link
- Dangote Sugar Plc. has reported 131 per cent increase in profit after tax for the half year ended June 30, 2017. In a filing to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), the unaudited results of the company showed that Profit after tax grew to N17.101 billion as against N7.381 billion recorded in 2016, accounting for a growth of 131 per cent. Link
- Financial Derivative Company Limited (FDC) has said that an inclusion of Nigeria in the MSCI Frontier Index will have multiple effects on the Nigerian equities market as inflows from foreign portfolio investors’ are expected to substantially affect market trend. Link
- There are indications that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) may be able to sustain its intervention in the foreign exchange market in the short to medium term at least, as latest data from its website show that the nation’s external reserves gained $403million in just 17 days. Link
- Diamond Bank plc. is on the table with Ivorian insurance group, NSIA, to offload its Diamond Bank Benin, according to Jeune Afrique Business+, the business news platform of Jeune Afrique Media Group. Link
- Fidelity Bank Plc. has again demonstrated its desire to continuously improve on customer service with the introduction of a personalized self-service feedback system on its flagship Instant banking product *770#. Link
- Guaranty Trust Bank Plc. on Friday, celebrated its 10th anniversary of listing on the London Stock Exchange (LSE). The lender became the first Nigerian bank to be listed on the LSE, the first to dual list on an international exchange and the first Nigerian company to raise international capital using listed Global Depositary Receipts (GDR). Link
- The activities on the floor of the Nigerian Stock market extended rally on the positive as both the NSE All-Share Index and Market Capitalisation appreciated by 8.36 per cent to close last week at 36,864.71 and N12.705 trillion respectively. Link
- The Board of UAC of Nigeria Plc. (UACN) has elected Abdul Akhor Bello to succeed Larry Ettah as its group managing director/chief executive officer. Already, Ettah, according to a statement, has informed the board of his decision to retire on 1st January, 2018, after 11 years in the saddle. Link
- Former President of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), Dr Lawrence Olusegun Aina, has been elected as the pioneer chairman of Global Council of the Global Banking Education Standards Board (GBEStB). Link
- Telecoms regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the mobile network operators ((MNOs) are heading for a thunderous clash over the charges imposed on telecoms subscribers for Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) swap or replacement. Link
- Private jet owners operating foreign registered airplanes are in panic mode as the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) will not allow them to operate their equipment after six months grace given to them to deregister them. Link
- Instant Pay has continued to enjoy wide patronage among bank customers in the country as over N13 trillion worth of transactions were done through the platform in just three months. Link
- The Nigerian economy is expected to take a great leap with the construction of the N40 billion Atlantic Resort project commencing in November this year.The project, which will provide over 25,000 direct jobs is expected to draw multi-billion dollar investments to the ailing economy on completion of the first phase next year. Link
- The Nigeria Insurers Association (NIA) has announced the appointment of Mrs. Yetunde Ilori as the new Director General of the association. Also in the same vein, the Managing Director/CEO of NEM Insurance Plc, Mr. Tope Smart, was elected Deputy Chairman of the association. Link
- Dangote Cement, Africa’s largest cement producer, has announced its unaudited results for the six months ended June 30, 2017, posting a 12.6 per cent increase in sales volume across Africa. Link
- The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), has given a 21-day ultimatum to some oil and gas employers over their anti-labour practices. Link
- The Central Bank of Nigeria has asked commercial banks to implement the International Financial Reporting Standard 9 on or before January 1, 2018 deadline. Link
- The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has granted operational license to two non-interest microfinance banks (NIMBs) with the third awaiting final approval. Link
- Oil prices hit a two-month high on Monday lifted by a tightening US crude market and the threat of sanctions against OPEC-member Venezuela. Brent crude futures were 52.90 dollars per barrel earlier in the day, their highest since May 25. Link
- A Chinese firm, Shanghai Golden Monkey Group, is investing N10 billion in Osun State.The company is investing in cocoa processing and production. Link
- The Federal Government on Sunday night unveiled plans to support talented youths in the arts sector with N300 million start-up loans. The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, made the disclosure at the “Spoken Words Open All White Finale’’, a poetry and music platform to encourage talents that held at Onikan, Lagos. Link
- The Treasury Single Account (TSA) policy has enabled the Federal Government to save N4billion monthly from charges that banks collected on its numerous accounts, it was learnt at the weekend.Besides, more than N7 trillion has been remitted by banks to the government’s TSA account in compliance with the policy. Link
COVID-19 Update in Nigeria
On the 22nd of September 2020, 176 new confirmed cases 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 57,613 confirmed cases.
On the 22nd of September 2020, 176 new confirmed cases were recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 3,177 samples across the country.
To date, 57,613 cases have been confirmed, 48,836 cases have been discharged and 1,100 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 484,051 tests have been carried out as of September 22nd, 2020 compared to 480,874 tests a day earlier.
COVID-19 Case Updates- 22nd September 2020,
- Total Number of Cases – 57,613
- Total Number Discharged – 48,836
- Total Deaths – 1,100
- Total Tests Carried out – 484,051
According to the NCDC, the 176 new cases were reported from 14 states- Lagos (73), Plateau (50), FCT (17), Rivers (8), Ondo (6), Niger (5), Ogun (5), Edo (3), Kaduna (3), Oyo (2), Bauchi (1), Bayelsa (1), Delta (1), Nasarawa (1).
Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 19,055, followed by Abuja (5,583), Plateau (3,304), Oyo (3,233), Edo (2,615), Kaduna (2,359), Rivers (2,263), Delta (1,800), Ogun (1,772), Kano (1,734), Ondo (1,606), Enugu (1,285), Ebonyi (1,038), Kwara (1,025), Abia (881), Katsina (848), Gombe (839), Osun (817), Borno (741), and Bauchi (692).
Imo State has recorded 562 cases, Benue (473), Nasarawa (449), Bayelsa (395), Jigawa (322), Ekiti (317), Akwa Ibom (288), Niger (259), Adamawa (234), Anambra (232), Sokoto (161), Taraba (95), Kebbi (93), Cross River (85), 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.
FG needs to focus on business environment reforms – Sanusi
While speaking at the Kadinvest 5.0 Summit in Kaduna, the former CBN Governor gave salient suggestions to revamping the economy.
Former CBN Governor, HH Muhammadu Sanusi II has said the Nigerian government needs to focus on reforms that enable a better business environment and also called for economic diversification through maximizing technology as means to generate revenue away from crude oil.
Muhammadu Sanusi II disclosed this at the Kadinvest 5.0 Summit in Kaduna on Tuesday morning. Sanusi said the Nigerian government’s role in the economy should be small, both in absolute and relative terms. Sanusi cited Nigeria’s GDP per capita and tax revenue per capita, at $2,400 and $75 respectively, while development spending is just $36 compared to Kenya at $280 tax revenue per capita, and development spending of $280, despite having 90% of Nigeria’s GDP per capita at $2,151.
“Government needs to multiply its tax revenue, the government needs to spend on business environment reforms,” he said.
(READ MORE: Can Agriculture replace Oil in Nigeria?)
Solutions for Nigeria:
He said that the diversification made colonial Nigeria an economic success, based on the trading sector and the diversity of Nigeria’s export base, including palm oil, groundnuts, cocoa, tin, hides and cotton, and others. He added that the diversity of export meant Nigeria was less vulnerable to terms of trade shocks driven by one export in particular.
“Nigeria has suffered boom and burst periods due to oil valuations. It affects us in direct and personal ways. The government needs to understand the importance of wrong and adverse economic decisions on the human being,” he said.
Sanusi cited inflation numbers, saying Nigeria ignored inflation numbers of 2%, instead of breaking down the CPI and seeing how it affects millions of people who spend on food from minimum wages and how a 2% inflation growth wipes out earnings.
He compared Nigeria’s growth in the past 40 years with countries similar to countries like Malaysia. He added that Malaysia’s export base has been diversified from commodities to manufactured goods in the past 30 years.
By 1979, Malaysia’s top 2 exports were Crude Rubber and Cork and Wood. By the year 2000, Malaysia’s top 2 exports were Electrical Machinery and Office machines/Automated Data Processing equipment. Malaysia’s GDP per capita grew in the same period from $41 to $4,045. Compared to Nigeria’s GDP per capita, which increased from $345- $2,655 from 1985-2015, but failed to diversify export base as Crude Oil was Nigeria’s top export for the period.
“We were growing, but we did not diversify and that explains the huge level of poverty. It also explains the vulnerability of the economy to shocks,” he said.
Sanusi added that the failure to diversify explains the relativity of Nigeria’s slow pace, compared to Nigeria’s growth for the same period.“We have not moved in all these years. This is the difference between us and Asia, they moved!”
(READ MORE: Sanusi gets another major appointment)
On growth and structural change:
Sanusi made a case for a change of mindset with technology adaptation. He added that the wide usage of smartphones does not mean Nigeria has leapfrogged development, as we are not a producer of technology but primarily, a consumer.
He added that Nigeria is yet to leverage on the investments in the telecoms sector. “Infrastructure in Africa has become increasingly decoupled from tech training. Someone who uses a smartphone to produce a Nollywood movie is producing! We need to invest in human capital to boost technology innovation, the smartphone is a ticket to wealth… Every excuse Nigeria has to not grow, Indonesia and Malaysia had. We need to move away from a consuming attitude( with technology) to production,”
On Power generation for productivity:
“In a low-income environment, income elasticity is far more important than price elasticity. People would pay for electricity if they could use it to earn,” he said. “Look at electricity as an economic resource, look at how much you could make. There is a difference between not earning a thing and earning something.”
He cited how China focuses on two major metrics, which are; the number of employed and the number of those with access to electricity, citing the per capita contribution of electricity to production needed to move people away from poverty.
He encouraged skilled jobs that leverage technology, which would enable growth and also remove the pressure of Oil money on the states.
“Youths need an environment that has been created to give them skills. We need to invest in broadband as an economic resource,” he said citing the importance of skill transfers in developing broadband infrastructure.
On patterns for structural changes:
Sanusi said East Asia has moved from agriculture to manufacturing and later services, majorly from the informal to the formal sector. However, in Nigeria, the bulk of a similar change has been in the informal sector.
“Manufacturing GDP in Africa has fallen from 14% in 1990 to 10.1% today. Formal job creation has been modest. This is partly because of a mistaken view that Africa can simply leapfrog manufacturing to become a service-based economy. We have declining activity, while the rest of the world has increased activity”.
He added that an enlightened industrial policy will translate to meaningful job creation. He concluded that Nigeria needs to link infrastructure development to economic growth. “You have to make sure your projects are linked, you don’t just build a road here, a rail line there, an airport there without knowing how there are going to translate into an economy.”
He also mentioned that Nigeria’s Public Debt has risen, and due to high inflation he cannot see how the CBN can keep expanding its balance sheet. He urged the FG to spend more time creating the environment through reforms that will attract the investments while also fixing the balance sheet.
NLC insists nationwide strike, protest to go ahead from September 28
The NLC has set Monday, September 28, 2020, as the date for it’s proposed strike.
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has insisted on going ahead with its earlier planned strike and protest, with effect from September 28, 2020, following the failure of the Federal Government to reverse the increases in electricity tariff and fuel price.
According to a monitored media report, this disclosure was made by the NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, after the National Executive Council meeting of the labour organization in Abuja.
While restating that the proposed strike action by the organized labour would still go ahead next week, he also disclosed that the decision was unanimously taken by the chairmen of the 36 states and FCT chapters of the NLC.
This is coming as the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), extended its 7 day strike notice to September 28, to tally with NLC’s deadline for a united labour action against the increase in electricity tariff and petrol pump price.
While faulting the timing of the increase, the NEC at a meeting held at Labour House Abuja, directed the councils at 36 NLC states and Abuja to intensify mobilization of workers and other Nigerians.
Ayuba Wabba, advised the federal government to, in the interest of industrial peace and social order, listen to cries of workers and other suffering Nigerians and rescind the increases, warning that failure to meet the demands would make the planned strike and mass protest inevitable.
He said, “The National Executive Council of the Nigeria Labour Congress comprising members of the National Administrative Council, President and General Secretary of members of the affiliate unions and our state council chairpersons and secretaries of the 36 states and FCT met today (yesterday) and resolved as follows: NEC resolved to reject in its entirety the issue of hike in electricity tariffs by almost 100% as well as the fuel price increase in the name of full deregulation.’’
‘’This decision is premised on the fact that these twin decisions alongside other decisions of government including the increase of VAT by 7.5%, numerous charges being charged by commercial banks on depositors without any explanations will further impoverish Nigerian workers and citizens, including their families.
“Therefore, this increase, coming in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, is not only ill-timed, but it is also counterproductive. NEC also observed that the privatization of the electricity sub-sector seven years down the line has not yielded any positive result. Whereas, the entire privatization process, the entire sector was sold at about N400 billion, we are also surprised that government within the last four years injected N1.5 trillion over and above the amount that accrued from this important asset.’’