Summary of the top business, economic and political news in Nigeria today.
- Nigerian Shippers` Council (NSC), has stressed the need to reduce the number of trucks coming to the port from 5,000 to 1,500 daily or 70 per cent through the establishment of modern traffic system at the Nigerian ports. The Executive Secretary of the council, Hassan Bello said in Lagos that a survey had indicated that Apapa port would operate with just 1,500 trucks per day. He noted that it has been discovered that 5,000 trucks lined up on the Apapa ports road had created congestion at the ports. Link
- The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) had revealed that 8,663 workers lost their jobs in the first half of 2017. Data made available by the NBS showed that an average of 360 people were sacked every week from January to June 2017. Link
- The Federal Government Monday said it had given tax evading wealthy Nigerians and corporate bodies 90 days to declare their taxable income and pay appropriate taxes or face the full wrath of the law. Link
- The China and Nigeria have agreed to put in place measures to tackle importation of substandard products into the country. President of China and Nigeria Chamber of Commerce (CCCN), Mr Ye Shuijin, insisted that most of the imported fake products were not made in China. “Most of the substandard products that came to Nigeria are not from China because Chinese Government has well structure standards in place for its products.” Link
- Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo said yesterday that the Buhari administration spent N1.3 trillion on capital projects in 2016, the highest in the history of the country. Link
- The Federal Inland Revenue Service has signed two major multilateral instruments, joining 71 other countries to combat tax evasion. Link
- The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Nigeria, on Tuesday, reminded Nigerians that it was no longer in the business of issuing them visas. The Embassy’s Charge d’ Affaires, Mr Michel Deleen, said that the Embassy had since 2013 swapped its visas issuance to Nigerians with the French Consulate General in Lagos and the Embassy of Belgium in Abuja. Link
- The Federal Government has been urged to allocate 40 per cent of the 2018 budget to capital projects in order to boost development in critical sectors of the economy. The Centre for Social Justice and the United States Agency for International Development stated this in a report on the Health Sector Medium-Term Strategies for the 2018-2020 fiscal periods. The Lead Director, CSJ, Mr. Eze Onyekpere, who presented the report in Abuja on Monday, also called on the Federal Government to allocate 15 per cent of the annual budget to the health sector so as to reduce the high rate of medical tourism in the country. Link
- There will be about 300 per cent increase in mobile broadband subscriptions in the Middle East and Africa by the end of 2022, a report from Ericsson has indicated. Link
- Agencies of the Federal Government have remitted a total of N687.82bn to the Consolidated Revenue Fund in nine years, the Fiscal Responsibility Commission has said in a report. It stated in the report obtained by our correspondent on Monday that the amount was remitted as operating surplus between 2007 and 2015. Link
- In preparation for the forthcoming Eid-El-Kabir celebration, the Lagos Government is commencing sales of lake rice on Thursday, August 24 in various centre across the state. The Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture, Hon Oluwatoyin Suarau, restated that the prices remained the same as N12,000 for 50kg bag, N6,000 for 25kg , and N2,500 for 10kg. Link
- About N6 billion is currently expended annually in foreign exchange on tomato imports, the Director General of the Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC), Dr. Hussani Ibrahim has disclosed. Link
- A Federal High Court in Lagos has ordered the interim forfeiture of 56 houses allegedly bought for $16,441,906 (N2.6billion) by a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke. The EFCC, in documents filed in court, described the properties as including 29 terraced houses, 21 mixed housing units, six flats, six apartments, two maisonettes among others, in Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja. Link
- The President of Poultry Association of Nigeria, PAN, Ayoola Oduntan, said on Tuesday that none of its members imported raw eggs into the country. According to him, the only egg being imported into the country is egg powder and that goes to some manufacturing companies that need them. Link
- The Federal Government on Monday has approved a backlog of promotion in agencies under the aviation arm of the Federal Ministry of Transportation. The Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika said the approval was given in order to fill vacancies, which had been created as a result of earlier promotions, retirements and to further boost the morale of workers of the agencies. Link
- Chiedu Osakwe, director-general of the Nigeria office for trade negotiations, says the agency will embark on a review of all trade and investment agreements entered into with countries and entities since 1960. Link
- The Federal Government has commenced moves to restructure National Petroleum Investment Management Services, NAPIMS, a Corporate Services Unit, CSU, in the Exploration and Production (E&P) Directorate of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC. The action is targeted at achieving further reduction in the cost of managing oil and gas investments in Nigeria, which the new Petroleum Policy has put at $200 million, which amounts to N61 billion yearly at the current exchange rate of N305 per dollar. Link
- In a bid to meet customers’ demand in power supply, the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company, yesterday, said it had completed the renovation of Sawmill 3x15MVA, 33/11KV and Agba Dam 2x15MVA,33/11KV Injection Substations in Kwara State. Link
- The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Mr. Simbi Wabote, Monday said the agency had obtained all necessary approvals to relaunch the Nigerian Content Intervention Fund (NCI Fund) and had increased the pool available for lending to qualified oil and gas players from $100 million to $200 million. Link
- Local consumption of petrol will hit 41 million litres per day by 2025, Dr.Maikanti Bari, the Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), has said. Link
- Geometric Power/Aba Power Limited promises it will light up Aba, the commercial hub of the South East region five months from now. Bath Nnaji, a professor and chairman, Geometric Power/former Minister of Power said, the next two months will be used to resolve its outstanding financial obiligations, while the remaining three months will be used for servicing the machines which have been idle since 2013 when the facilities were installed. Link
- The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, on Monday, said the management of Dangote refinery had agreed to select competent Nigerian vendors that would participate in the construction of the plant from the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Joint Qualification System. Link
- The Odu’a Group of Companies in partnership with Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti (ABUAD) is planning a N12 billion investment for the conversion of the moribund textile industry in Ado Ekiti to an industrial park. Link
- Afrinvest Securities Limited, a subsidiary of Afrinvest (West Africa) Limited, has endorsed the Lagos State Municipal Bond. The investment banking and financial services firm, in a report on Monday, said its recommendations were informed by the company’s valuation perspective and the risk to its valuation. “Given our valuation perspective and the risk to our plausible valuation, we believe it is optimal to invest in the Lagos state bond instrument as the state over time has proven to be a more viable economy accounting for over 60 per cent of economic activities in the country.” Link
- FirstNation Airways said on Tuesday it will go back to scheduled services by the fourth quarter of 2017. A statement signed by Rasheed Yusuf said the airline is currently pursuing a fleet expansion programme. Link
- Emirates said it will be operating extra flights to Jeddah to help facilitate travel for thousands of pilgrims this year heading to and from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for Hajj. Link
- The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has raised the red flag on the activities of conmen who specialise in circulating phantom letters of crude oil allocation with the intent of defrauding unsuspecting would-be buyers or members of the public. Link
US carrier, Delta Air Lines, said yesterday it will begin three weekly nonstop flights from Lagos to New York’s JFK airport, with effect from March 25, 2018. The new addition would complement the existing four times a week nonstop service to Atlanta making it a daily service the airline would be offering from Lagos to its US hubs. Link
- In a move to deliver quality modern estate to Nigerians, Messrs Cappa & D’Alberto, HOK Architects and Brash Brands, among others, have been picked as contractors/consultants by developers of Grenadines Homes for the construction and designs of N40 billion Atlantic Resort in Lagos. Other consultants to the project include ECAD (architectural designer and project manager), CA Associates (mechanical and electrical engineering consultants), MOA (structural engineers) and Tillyard (quantity surveyors). Link
- In an aggressive move to reduce housing deficit in Nigeria and break the barrier of high-cost of housing, Defence City Project, a Nigeria-based continental housing firm has launched a new project – to build 200,000 units of homes in the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. Link
- BUA Group said it has engaged the services of Swiss firm, Gherzi Textile Organization on studies, master plan design and engineering for the development of mega integrated textile and garment cluster in Katsina State. The BUA Group in a statement said the plan is coming on the heels of the recent decision by the Group to establish West Africa’s largest private-led textile cluster in Kastina State. Link
- The Ebonyi State government has released N1.5 billion for the payment of pensions and gratuities being owed the state workers from 1996 to 2017. Link
- The Akwa Ibom State Government has set up a four-member Cassava Seed Multiplication Committee to interface with stakeholders in cassava value chain in order to scale down the soaring price of garri in the second planting season. Link
- The Executive Secretary of Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), Hamid Bobboyi, has blamed most southern states as the most culpable in the over N71 billion unaccessed matching grant from 2005-2017. He noted that most states in the South particularly South-east and South-west have failed to access their matching funds with Ondo N4, 634 billion; Enugu N4, 209 billion; Oyo, Ogun and Ebonyi N3, 604 billion each; Abia N2, 678 billion and Bayelsa N2,651 billion in that order. The rest of the southern states owed above N1 billion with Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross River and Lagos performing a little better. Link
- The Akwa Ibom State Government says it is developing infrastructural capacity across board to attract meaningful local and foreign investments into the state. Over 50 foreign investors, it said, had expressed interest to set up businesses in the state through its Foreign Direct Investment road show. To broaden its industrial base, the state under the Akwa Ibom Enterprise and Employment Scheme, said it was going to become a major tomato-producing state with over 20,000 tonnes project in the next three years. Link
Facebook to open Lagos office in 2021
When the social media giant comes to Nigeria, it will be its second office on the African continent.
Social Media giant, Facebook announced it would open an office in Lagos in 2021, its second office in the continent and the first in Africa to house software engineers.
This was announced by Facebook Program Manager, Chimdindu Aneke on social media. “We are opening a Facebook office in Lagos, Nigeria later in 2021,” he said.
We are opening a Facebook office in Lagos, Nigeria later in 2021. 😍😍😍
— Chimdi Aneke (@chimdinduaneke) September 18, 2020
He added that the office would be the first in Africa by Facebook for the purpose of engineering and “building for the future of Africa and beyond”.
Media aide to the Presidency, Tolu Ogunlesi quoted Facebook saying, “As part of its continued commitment and ongoing investment in Africa, Facebook today announced it will be opening an office in Lagos, Nigeria – its second office on the African continent.”
“Lagos, Nigeria, September 18, 2020/ — As part of its continued commitment and ongoing investment in Africa, @Facebook today announced it will be opening an office in Lagos, Nigeria – its second office on the African continent.”#InvestNigeria 🇳🇬🇳🇬🇳🇬
— tolu ogunlesi (@toluogunlesi) September 18, 2020
In 2019, Facebook’s biggest market in Africa was Nigeria with 33 million monthly active users.
Nigeria among countries to be worst hit by food crisis globally
Nigeria, others were listed as countries with the worst deteriorations in acute hunger in recent months.
Nigeria has emerged as one of the countries to be most hit by food crisis across the globe in the face of the coronavirus pandemic which had worsened the already bad situation.
This disclosure is contained in a report by the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
The report from the FAO also shows that the Democratic Republic of Congo is emerging as the country with the world’s largest food crisis in terms of absolute numbers, with Burkina Faso listed as the country with the worst deteriorations in acute hunger in recent months.
The food crisis is made worse in Nigeria by the longstanding religious and ethnic conflicts and even organized crimes by some bandits, which has greatly affected farmers working on their farmlands.
In addition to these, the farmers were already contending with the issue of flooding or drought, which has negatively been impacting on the agricultural sector in a period the country is desperate and very desirous of economic diversification. The coronavirus pandemic has triggered a surge in food prices as can be seen in the reports released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), in a country that imports over 10% of its food supply.
With a population of over 200 million people, Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa, which is regarded as the world’s most food-insecure continent. This is made worse as importers of food items struggle to gain access to dollars for their imports due to scarcity of foreign exchange which is triggered by the crash of oil prices and low foreign inflow.
This is expected to be exacerbated by the recent order by President Muhammadu Buhari to the Central Bank of Nigeria, to stop the allocation of foreign exchange to importers of food items.
The Governor of Niger State, Abubakar Sani Bello, warned in April, “We are heading toward famine and starvation.”
The FAO report which states that Congo has about 21.8 million people that are acutely food insecure, also points out that Burkina Faso has witnessed an almost 300% uptick in the overall number of people experiencing acute hunger since the start of 2020.
US government to ban WeChat and TikTok from app stores
Chinese-owned social media apps are facing a ban in the US over national security concerns.
The United States government says it will ban the services of Chinese tech giants, WeChat and TikTok, from online mobile application stores in the U.S. It also plans to prohibit any funds transfer/payment services through the WeChat mobile application.
This was announced by the U.S Commerce Secretary, Wilbur Ross, in a statement on Friday, following President Donald Trump’s Executive Orders (E.O.) 13942 and E.O. 13943, on the 6th of August.
“In response to President Trump’s Executive Orders signed August 6, 2020, the Department of Commerce (Commerce) today announced prohibitions on transactions relating to mobile applications (apps) WeChat and TikTok to safeguard the national security of the United States,” said Wilbur Ross.
He added that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), has proven it has the means and the motive to use Chinese tech apps, to threaten America’s national security foreign policy, and the economy of the U.S.
He said the following transactions will be prohibited from September 20th for WeChat and November 12th for TikTok
- Any provision of service to distribute or maintain the WeChat or TikTok mobile applications, constituent code, or application updates, through an online mobile application store in the U.S.
- Any provision of services through the WeChat mobile application, for the purpose of transferring funds or processing payments within the U.S.
Mr. Ross said that with the Executive Order, the US government has taken a ‘significant action’ in fighting China’s malicious personal data breach on American citizens, and also promote democratic rule-based norms, and aggressive enforcement of U.S. laws and regulations.
The U.S government announced that further prohibitive measures, relating to both companies may be announced in the future.
“Should the U.S. Government determine that WeChat’s or TikTok’s illicit behavior is being replicated by another app somehow outside the scope of these executive orders, the President has the authority to consider whether additional orders may be appropriate to address such activities.”
President Trump has given until November 12, to resolve the TikTok security concerns of the US. He added that the prohibitions may be lifted, if they are addressed.