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

  1. President Muhammadu Buhari has signed nine agreements, including the Extradition Treaty, with United Arab Emirates (UAE). The treaty is designed to strengthen Nigeria’s anti-corruption campaign. Link
  2. The Centre of Democracy Development, CDD, has urged Nigeria to rise up to the occasion and ensure that the application of Morocco to join the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, is rejected. The Director of CDD, Idayat Hassan, said on Thursday, that since its formal request on February 24, to join ECOWAS has relentlessly pursued the agenda by designating an ambassador to ECOWAS on March 2. She said the move by Morocco to join the ECOWAS is a direct challenge to the leadership of Nigeria in the sub-region. Link
  3. Following the Federal Executive Council’s recent approval of a plan to issue $3bn worth of foreign bonds of up to three years’ maturity to refinance maturing naira-denominated treasury bills, consultancy firm, PwC Nigeria, says the impact of the action on debt sustainability is likely to be modest. The firm, in its Economic Alert released on Wednesday, said the decision was in line with the Federal Government’s debt management strategy to rebalance its debt portfolio for domestic and foreign debts, from the current 69 per cent: 31 per cent to a targeted 60 per cent: 40 per cent. Link
  4. Mr Godwin Emefiele, the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), says monetary policy offers limited tools for dealing with the current economic challenges in the country. Emefiele identified the current challenges facing Nigeria as falling Gross Domestic Products (GDP) growth rate, rising inflation, persistently high interest rates, falling foreign exchange reserves and depreciating exchange rate. He said the CBN could not tackle these challenges with the tool available to it with the objective of changing the outcomes for the better. Link
  5. Nigeria raised 56.05 billion naira ($179 million) in a bond auction on Wednesday, less than half the amount on offer as domestic pension funds and insurance firms cut orders due to low yields, traders said on Thursday. Link
  6. Nigeria will by 2021 join the International Civil Aviation Organisation in the implementation of the pilot phase of the Carbon Offsetting Reduction Scheme for International Aviation, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority has said. Link
  7. Nigeria’s central bank said on Thursday it is setting up two financial instruments to provide liquidity support to its non-interest paying lenders. It is a push by Nigeria, home to the largest Muslim population in sub-Saharan Africa, to establish itself as the African hub for Islamic finance, which follows religious principles such as bans on interest and gambling. Link

  8. The Federal Government will inaugurate the $200m (about N61bn at the official exchange rate of N305 to a dollar) local content intervention fund today (Thursday). It was gathered that the $200m Nigerian Content Intervention Fund would be directed at increasing local content in the oil and gas industry and would be used for projects and other activities in the sector. Link
  9. The China National Electric Engineering Company has disclosed that the Zungeru 700mw hydroelectric power plant in Niger State is at 47 per cent completion stage. The Deputy Project Manager, Mr. Xiao Nie, said the project on Wednesday that the $1.29bn (about N473bn) project was expected to be completed in 2020. Link
  10. The Federal Inland Revenue Service on Wednesday closed down an MRS Oil’s facility in Lagos over a tax debt amounting to N497.1m, an action the agency described as part of measures being taken against tax-defaulting companies in the country. Link
  11. A major downstream player in the oil industry, Nipco Plc, has bought another 3.23 per cent stake in 11 Plc, the fuel retailer formerly known as Mobil Oil Nigeria, for N4.84bn to increase its holding to 70 per cent. Nipco’s investment subsidiary bought 60 per cent of Mobil Oil Nigeria from Exxon Mobil Corporation in October, when the United States oil giant pulled out of downstream fuel distribution in Nigeria. Link
  12. The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has said it is working closely with international oil companies to deploy a structured security apparatus in strategic places including the Niger Delta to arrest incidence of oil and gas infrastructure sabotage across the country. Link
  13. The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) on Thursday in Lagos has met with leading Nigerian investors to push for strong participation in the bank’s $300 million equity offering. Link
  14. The management of the Bank of Industry (BoI) may soon consider an option of working in partnership with credible micro finance banks to make credit more easily accessible to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria. Link
  15. Former Vice-Chairman of Arik Air, Senator Anietie Okon, yesterday alleged that some interests in government initially planned to take over Arik Air and sell it cheaply to their cronies. However, he said the plot was frustrated following the takeover of the airline by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON). Link
  16. The World Bank and French Development Bank will partner the Federal Government and the Oyo State Government in the construction of 70 roads in the agrarian communities of the state to aid agriculture. Link
  17. The President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, has said that the Senate will accelerate the passage of a bill that will curb the rate of illegal recruitment in government agencies. Link 




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