Summary of the top business, economic and political news in Nigeria today.
- The Federal Government is considering a bouquet of new measures to check the increasing rate of illegal recruitment among the ministries, departments and agencies of government. The measures to be rolled out soon, it was learnt, would put to an end the practice by the agencies of government of conducting recruitment without recourse to the laid down procedures. Many government parastatals including the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, the Federal Inland Revenue Service, and the Nigerian Prisons Service, among others have been rocked by recruitment scandals. Link
- The three tiers of government – federal, states and local governments – shared N2.788 trillion between January and June this year, Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) said yesterday. According to a statement by NEITI Director of Communications, Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, the allocation shows a 38 per cent increase on the N2.019 trillion shared in the first half of 2016. Link
- More than 700 Bureaux De Change (BDC) operators are inactive in the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN’s) Forex Window as forex end users embrace commercial banks. Link
- The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has recovered N329.150billion from 10 marketers from 2016 to date. The marketers defaulted in payment for products supplied to them by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) through its subsidiary, the Petroleum Products and Marketing Company (PPMC). About N20, 604, 109, 123.90 is yet to be recovered. Link
- The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has disclosed that commercial banks reduced their lending to the economy by N292 billion in the second quarter (Q2) of 2017. The bureau in its report titled: “Selected Banking Sector Data” also disclosed that Electronic Payment Channels in the Nigeria Banking Sector hits N19.78 trillion in Q2 of 2017. According to NBS report, Commercial banks’ lending to 17 sectors of the economy fell to N15.7 trillion in Q2 of 2017 from N16 trillion in first quarter (Q1) 2017, indicating a drop of N292 billion or 1.8 per cent. The 17 sectors according to NBS include Agriculture, Mining and Quarrying, Manufacturing, Oil and Gas, and Power and Energy, among others. Link
- The Minister of Transport, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi has directed that every prospective train passenger must present identity cards before obtaining tickets at ticket sales points. He said that the each passenger on presentation of ID card will be issued a ticket with his or her name boldly written to forestall the possibility of transferring tickets to the highest bidders which was the practice in recent times. Link
- The fixed income and currency markets operated by FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange have recorded transactions worth N78.90 trillion between January and July. Trading statistics showed a decline of 8.6 per cent in the month of July. Investors traded N11.53 trillion in July, down from N12.62 trillion recorded in June. But in all, the market has facilitated N78.90 trillion investments in seven months. Link
- Nigeria’s interbank overnight lending rate fell sharply on Friday to an average of 12 per cent from around 60 percent a week ago after the central bank repaid matured treasury bills and a refund of excess cash deposited by banks to buy dollars. Link
- Although Nigeria and many of the African countries are admired for being commodity markets, a study of importation in the country shows that Nigeria has spent as much as N19.5tn on the importation of primary raw materials into the country in the past seven years. Statistics obtained from the Raw Materials Research and Development Council showed that between 2010 and 2015, Nigeria spent N13.6tn on the importation of raw materials that could be replaced with other materials from local sources if some more rigorous work could be put into the country’s import substitution strategy. Link
- South Energyx Nigeria Limited, developers of Eko Atlantic City and real estate investment firm, Fine and Country, as well as other stakeholders are partnering to woo investors to Nigeria’s real estate market. The Vice-Chairman of South Energyx Nigeria Limited, Mr. Ronald Chagoury Jr, said the Refined Investors Series 2017 scheduled to take place in London, United Kingdom on October 6th and 7th, would be a leading premium real estate forum, targeting Nigerians in the Diaspora and other international investors. Link
- The Ondo State Governor, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, has called on the Federal Government to assist the state in the area of provision of potable water for the people of the state. Link
- Traders under the aegis of Henshaw Town Beach Market Traders’ Union on Saturday shut down the popular Marina Beach Market in Calabar, Cross River State over an alleged imposition of high levies by government agents. The aggrieved traders, protesting against the introduction of waterfront regulatory economic levies which ranged from N200 to N15,000, also vowed not to open the market until the government reversed the new charges and levies. Link
- Insurance companies have jerked up premium rates for flood insurance by 50 per cent, in response to increased flooding incidences across the country. Link
- As the federal government continues to grapple with means of settling its huge pension deficit, an additional N20 billion liability would be added to the stack upon passage of the bill for the exemption of the Police and other paramilitary agencies from the Contributory Pension Scheme, CPS. LInk
- Tin Can Island Comptroller, Yusuf Bashar, at the weekend, disclosed that his command generates an average of N1.2 billion, daily to the Federal Government coffers. Link
- Despite the excitement that trailed the launch of Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) Savings Bond, investors’ participation in it has not been too impressive even with its high coupon rate. This is because the amount allotted has dropped consistently from N2.07 billion in March 2017 to N400.57 million in July 2017. According to data from FSDH Research, total number of investors in the FGN Savings Bond also dropped from 2,575 in March 2017 to 779 in July 2017. Link
- The Insurers Committee has differed on how to carry out its much-publicised N300 million insurance industry rebranding project. The group with umbrella bodies, Nigeria Insurers Association (NIA), Nigeria Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB) and Institute of Loss Adjusters of Nigeria (ILAN) as members, disagreed over the sharing formula of the project expenses and which operator will be most favoured from it. The committee comprises the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), chief executive officers(CEOs) of 58 insurance firms, over 400 broking firms and loss adjusters. Link
- The Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) in collaboration with Africa Rice Nigeria has distributed 51 bags of improved rice seeds to 50 farmers in Anambra to boost production. Mr Andrew Ikhadeunu, FAO National Project Coordinator, Rice Value Chain, told newsmen in Awka on Monday that the beneficiaries were earlier selected and trained in February. “They were given demonstration plots for planting. Now they have harvested, we are following it up with the improved seeds of 51 bags of rice for them,’’ he said. Link
- The illegal occupation of Belema Flow Station and Gas Plant in Rivers State has safety implications both for the people at the facilities and nearby communities, the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) has warned. Link
- Semic International Limited has said it is not in partnership with Konga and Jumia to boost The Billion Coin (TBC) or digital currency acceptance in the country. In a statement, Semic International Limited, said contrary to reports that the company was in a partnership with Jumia or Konga for the acceptance of Crypto currency in the country, it only signed up with both firms as independent sales agents. Link
- Caverton Offshore Support Group Plc has secured a five year logistics support contract from Chevron Nigeria Limited, the operator of NNPC/CNL Joint Venture, for the provision of aviation services. The contract, awarded to one of the company’s subsidiaries, Caverton Helicopters, is with a 2-year renewable option. Link
- The Board of Director of Nigerian Aviation Handling Company has announced the appointment of Mrs. Folashade Ode as Acting Managing Director/ CEO with effect from August 7th 2017. Her appointment follows the resignation of Norbert Bielderman with effect from August 31st 2017. Link
- Africa’s conglomerate and indigenous investor, Dangote Group, has signed a Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with Kano state Government, for a proposed multi-million dollars 100MW Dangote-Black Rhino Solar Power Project. Link
- Mr Nicolas Terraz, the Managing Director and Chief Executive, Total Upstream Companies in Nigeria, said the companies invested over 10 billion dollars in the country oil and gas sector. According to him, with expertise and strong position in the onshore, offshore and deep offshore, its Egina field development nearly completed, was expected to add 200,000 barrel per day to Nigeria’s output on stream in 2018. Link
- Global Utilities Management Company (GUMCO), a subsidiary of Vigeo Group, has signed a long-term partnership agreement with Genus Power Infrastructures Limited for the manufacturing, assembling and development of power metering solutions for Nigeria and other countries in the West African sub-region. Link
- As the House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts awaits details of disbursements of loans to its customers by the Bank of Industry (BoI), it emerged at the weekend that as much as N13billion was advanced to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) by the bank as at April this year. Link
- The Jaiz Takaful Insurance Plc has commenced operations in Nigeria with the promise that all policy holders would be paid at the end of every fiscal year either through claims or profit sharing. Mr. Momodou Musa Joof, Managing Director, Jaiz Takaful Insurance Plc, stated this while speaking at a press briefing in Abuja. Link
- FBN General Insurance Limited has announced the appointment of Babatunde Mimiko as its Executive Director. The company said in a statement that Mimiko brings on board a sterling 18-year career across the financial services industry including a short stint in banking. Link
- The Managing Director, AfriGlobal Insurance Brokers Limited, Mr. Casmir Azubuike, has said that the company plans to expand its operations beyond the shores of Nigeria and become a major international broker. Link
- Staco Insurance Plc said the group paid N2.08bn claims to its clients in 2016 financial period. Link
- The Coordinator of natnudO Foods’ broiler out-grower scheme tagged, “natnuPreneur”, Mr. Gbolade Adewole, has said that farmers registered under the six-seven week broiler production scheme, have consistently enjoyed between 7.5 per cent and 15 per cent profit on investment per cycle. With a potential to conclude five cycles per year, efficient farmers stand to make between 37.5 per cent and 75 per cent profit per annum, making natnuPreneur “broiler out-grower” the most profitable poultry scheme in the country. Link
- The Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi on Saturday announced the introduction of the Electronic Certificate of Occupancy, thereby ditching the use the paper-based Certificate of Occupancy. Link
FG increases hate speech fine from N500,000 to N5 million, moves against monopoly and antitrust
The new regulation is part of the amended Nigerian Broadcasting Code.
The Federal Government on Tuesday, August 4, 2020, announced the increase of fine for hate speech from N500 to N5 million.
The announcement was made by the Minister for Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, at the unveiling ceremony of the revised National Broadcasting Code by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) in Lagos on Tuesday.
This new regulation is part of the amended Nigerian Broadcasting Code which contains Antitrust provision aimed at boosting local content and encouraging the growth of the local industry, among other provisions.
This disclosure is contained in a press statement that was issued by the Special Assistant to the President (Media), Office of the Minister for Information and Culture, Segun Adeyemi.
The Minister said that the Antitrust provision will boost local content and local industry due to laws prohibiting exclusive use of rights by broadcasters who intend to create monopolies and hold the entire market to themselves. The provision will also open access to premium content.
Alhaji Lai Mohammed said, ‘’I must explain that this provision is not new to Nigeria Broadcasting. Exclusivity was disallowed at a certain time in the history of our broadcasting. I recall Multichoice sub-licensing EPL matches to other local operators in Nigeria. I recall HITV engaging several local operators on sub-licensing the EPL when they got the rights.”
In a bid the protect broadcast stations and promote sustainability for the station owners and content producers, the revised code contains law prohibiting backlog of advertising debts. It also contains law on the registration of Web Broadcasting, which will grant the country the opportunity to regulate negative foreign broadcasts that can be harmful to the country.
Going further the minister also said, ‘’The provisions on the responsibility of broadcast stations to devote airtime to national emergencies…obviously mandates terrestrial and Pay TV channels to make their services available to Nigerians at time of national emergencies – like the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic – for their education and enlightenment.”
He revealed that the review of the broadcasting was done in the national interest as it was necessitated by the Presidential directive in the wake of the 2019 general elections, which sought for an inquiry into the regulatory role of NBC.
The Minister also disclosed that President Buhari had ordered the probe of the conduct of the various broadcast stations before, during and after the polls.
Mohammed also pointed out, ‘’But, as it currently stands, the 6th edition and the amendments, which we are unveiling today, remain the regulations for broadcasting in Nigeria. Our intention remains the good of the country. We need to catalyze the growth of the local industry. We need to create jobs for our teeming creative youths. The opportunities must be created and we believe that effective regulatory interventions are a sure way of attaining this. That’s why we will not waver.”
It can be recalled that in a bid to stem the tide of rising cases of hate speech and fake news, the Federal Government moved to introduce the fake news and hate speech bill, which they said creates apprehension, a lot of mistrust and divides the country along ethnic and religious lines.
Stakeholders and the general public were very critical of the bill because of some harsh clauses in the bill which includes the death penalty.
NDDC reveals more lists of contracts awarded to federal legislators
The Commission said it released the list to expose committee chairmen in the National Assembly.
The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) said there is another list of emergency contracts that were awarded to National Assembly members in 2017 and 2019. This list was not submitted to National Assembly following the recent probe of the NDDC.
This disclosure was made in a press statement by the NDDC earlier today which was signed by the commission’s Director for Corporate Affairs, Charles Odili. According to the statement, the initial list that was submitted by the Minister for Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, was actually compiled by the former management of the commission in 2018, not the minister himself.
The statement by the NDDC went further to note that the Interim Management Committee of the Commission stands by the list which came from the files already in the possession of the forensic auditors.
“The Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the Commission stands by the list, which came from files already in the possession of the forensic auditors. It is not an Akpabio list but the NDDC’s list. The list is part of the volume of 8,000 documents already handed over to the forensic auditors,” the statement said in parts.
In the meantime, the NDDC has urged prominent indigenes of the Niger Delta, whose names appeared on that list, not to panic, because the NDDC is aware that their names were used to secure contracts. The ongoing forensic audit would help to unearth those behind those contracts, the NDDC said in the statement.
Furthermore, the commission disclosed that it released the list to expose committee chairmen in the National Assembly who used fronts to collect contracts from the NDDC, some of which were never executed. Interestingly, the list did not include the unique case of 250 contracts that were signed for and collected in one day by one person, ostensibly for members of the National Assembly.
While assuring that the forensic audit exercise is on course, the NDDC noted that the commission had positioned 185 media support specialists to identify the sites of every project captured in its books for verification by the forensic auditors.
The NDDC then enjoined members of the public not to be distracted or swayed by a lot of misinformation and falsehood that are being orchestrated by mischief makers, even as more of such will be expected by those opposed to the IMC.
It can be recalled that Akpabio, while appearing before the members of the house of representatives ad-hoc committee probing the N40 billion corruption allegation against the IMC of NDDC, said that most of the contracts that are being awarded at the commission were given to members of the national assembly.
Not that likely, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, asked the minister to provide within 48 hours, the names of the legislators that benefitted from such contracts with full details or face legal action.
Senator Akpabio, in response to the ultimatum, sent an official letter to the Speaker, providing the names of the national assembly members that benefitted from such contracts.
Plentywaka raises $300,000, seeks partners as it launches operations in Abuja
The company is in search of partners to join the Plentywaka Vehicle Partnership scheme
Fast-growing transport/delivery startup, Plentywaka, has raised $300,000 pre-seed investment to facilitate its expansion plans.
According to a statement by the company which was sent to Nairametrics, the funding was led by EMFATO, Microtraction, and Niche Capital. It will help to facilitate that company’s planned expansion into the Federal Capital Territory Abuja and other Nigerian states.
More details: The funding will also be used to transform the transport system in Nigeria. Plentywaka will improve its mapping technology, especially now that it is kicking off activities in other states and the FCT.
While commenting on the investment and launch, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Johnny Enagwolor, said that Plentywaka is out to transform transportation in Nigeria by taking it one state at a time.
“Securing investment and expanding into Abuja within our first year, in the midst of a pandemic speaks volumes of the demand for the service we provide. We are excited to have investment partners on board that see and believe in our vision.
“An efficient transport system is fundamental to the prosperity of any city and we believe safe, convenient and comfortable travel should not just be for the few; but for everyone,” he said.
Also commenting on the investment, Dayo Koleowo, a Partner at Microtraction, said:
“Plentywaka’s rapid growth since they launched Q3 last year has been tremendous so far. We are glad to be partnering with a very strong team that is passionate about providing convenience, safety, and comfort to everyday commuters. The distressful and uneasy experience by the majority of these commuters, especially in large cities is evident. We are backing the Plentywaka team to change that experience for commuters progressively by creating a transport system that is efficient.”
Plentywaka needs partners: In the meantime, Plentywaka said it is currently in search of partners who are willing to bring their vehicles on board by joining the Plentywaka Vehicle Partnership scheme.
The partnership involves Plentywaka working with individuals, corporates, and state governments to expand its technology and fleet in order to provide better transportation services. Just like other cab-hailing services, registering a vehicle on the platform would provide the partners with an opportunity to earn extra income.
In view of the pandemic, the company has assured that all vehicles in its scheme would be properly fumigated and equipped in line with government regulations and to keep commuters and drivers safe with the Wakapurse which allows electronic payment.
The Backstory: The e-bus hailing company, which was launched in September 2019, was funded by Crowdyvest. Since then, the company has built a platform of over 40,000 customers and recorded its first 100,000 rides in six months.
They also recently announced the availability of same-day delivery service to small businesses, as well as the logistics by Plentywaka and its Staff Bus Solutions.
The company first launched its services in Lagos and the success recorded so far has encouraged its decision to venture into other states. With the gaps seen in the country’s public transport system, the company is optimistic that it can provide a more reliable and efficient bus service.