Summary of the top business, economic and political news in Nigeria today.
- The international airfares from Lagos to various destinations across the globe have recorded a further increase following the announcement of a new dollar exchange rate for the sale of air tickets. The Switzerland-based IATA, the trade association representing over 290 global airlines, reviewed the dollar exchange rate for the sale of tickets for flights out of Nigeria from 305/dollar to 326/dollar about three weeks ago. As a result of this development, international airfares out of Nigeria, which are already on the high side, have risen further by seven per cent. Link
- The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has banned cash payments for passport processing as part of efforts to eliminate corruption at all passport offices nationwide. Link
- The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has set next February as deadline to stop importation of fridges, air conditioners and other appliances not energy efficient. It has also fixed 2019 for locally- made ones. Link
- The National Bureau of Statistics says the inflation rate dropped from 16.1 per cent in June to 16.05 per cent in the month of July. It said the index dropped marginally, adding that this was the sixth consecutive time that the index would be dropping since January this year. Link
- President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed regrets over the neglect of the cocoa sector over the years, saying his administration will work to reposition it and other non-oil export commodities. The President, represented by Chief Audu Ogbeh, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that the country’s annual production of cocoa declined from 420,000 tonnes in the 60s to 192,000 tonnes in 2015. Link
- PricewaterhouseCoopers, one of the big four consulting firms in the world, says a devaluation of the Nigerian naira will be a key risk to the sustainability of the country’s foreign debt. Link
- The immediate past petroleum resources minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke on Mondayfinally forfeited a sum to the tune of N7,646,700,000 to the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN). This comes sequel to an order by a Federal High Court in Lagos. Link
- About 30 state governments could not attract any form of fresh investments into their states between January and June this year, an analysis of a capital importation report obtained from the National Bureau of Statistics has shown. The report revealed that only five states within the first six months of this year recorded any form of fresh investment inflow in key sectors of the economy. The states that got new investments are Lagos State, which attracted the highest amount of $2.6bn during the six months period, followed by Akwa Ibom with $52.44m. The Federal Capital Territory followed with $31.51m while Ogun State attracted fresh investment inflows of $5.31m; Oyo had $5.25m, and Rivers recorded $550,000 of investments. Link
- The Managing Director, Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority, Mr. Emmanuel Jime, has approved the redeployment of general managers at the authority’s head office. He has also made new key appointments, according to a statement on Sunday by the Head of Corporate Communications, NEPZA, Mr. Simon Imobo-Tswam. Link
- Ecobank Nigeria has again reviewed upwards, the daily limit that customers can spend with their Naira MasterCards for international transactions. The new spending limit for customers, using an Ecobank naira MasterCard for international transactions on Point of Sale (PoS), and online channels was moved from $300 to $1,000 for standard card holders; $750 to $2500 for gold card holders; and $1000 to $3000 for platinum customers. Link
- Heritage Bank Plc has said neither its managing director nor any member of its management team is being investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission over an alleged N13bn fraud. A report on Sunday had said the EFCC was after the bank’s Managing Director, Ifie Sekibo, and quoted sources at the commission as saying that he was invited for his role in the alleged diversion of N13bn belonging to the Oyo State Government.The Group Head, Corporate Communications, Heritage Bank, Fela Ibidapo, said the account being investigated by the EFCC was not related to the Oyo State Government. Link
- The Bank of Industry under the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme has signed an agreement with Oxfam to disburse N200m to Oxfam’s Village Saving and Loan Associations in Nassarawa, Benue and Plateau states. Link
- A total of 10 commercial banks that include Zenith Bank Plc, Access Bank Plc, United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA) have reported N26.8 billion on current account maintenance fee in six months. Others are Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, First Bank of Nigeria Holdings Plc, Sterling Bank Plc, FCMB Group Plc, Diamond Bank Plc, Union Bank of Nigeria Plc and Unity Bank Plc. The 10 commercial banks in half year of 2016 generated about N26.5 billion for maintaining customers’ current account. Link
- The Bank of Industry (BoI) has disbursed loan facilities ranging from N10,000 to N50,000 to over 1,000 women entrepreneurs in Plateau State, under the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP). Link
- Unity Bank management says it plans to disburse up to N100 billion out of the N500 billion earmarked by Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for the Anchor Borrower Scheme under the Nigerian Incentive Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), using the bank as a channel partner. Link
- The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, says General Electric, GE, and the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation Ltd, CCECC, will build universities of transportation in Nigeria. He said by the end of 2017, CCECC will be taking about 100 Nigerians to China to learn at undergraduate, postgraduate and Ph.D. levels to return to Nigeria as faculty for the university of Transportation. Link
- Uber has expanded its strategic collaboration with leading insurance company, AXA Mansard, as part of commitment to the protection of its driver-partners in Nigeria. In a statement over the weekend, Uber said driver-partners will all receive insurance coverage for medical expenses, permanent disabilities, and accidental death benefits from incidents occurring while operating on the Uber App. Link
- The automobile industry recently witnessed a milestone as Nigeria’s first coach brand BUSCAR was unveiled to the public in Lagos. BUSCAR, an innovation, which integrates the bus technology with the luxury and convenience of a car is said to be a full blown African coach brand with a Nigerian origin. Link
- The European Union and Germany are collaborating with the Standards Organisation of Nigeria on a €24.5m energy efficient project. The SON, as a result, has pegged February, 2018 as a deadline for importation of fridges, air conditioners and other home appliances that are not energy-efficient while fixing 2019 as a deadline for the use of locally manufactured appliances that are not energy-efficient. Link
- The board of directors of MRS Oil Nigeria Plc has approved the appointment of First Registrars and Investor Services as new registrars to the company. Link
- Shell and Chevron, which are major shareholders in the Chevron-run West African Gas Pipeline Company Limited (WAGPCo), owners of the $1 billion West African Gas Pipeline, are not yet aware of the plan by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to extend the 678-kilometre pipeline to Cote D’Ivoire. Link
- The Managing Director, West African Pipeline Company Limited (WAPCo), Mr Walter Perez, said at the weekend that the company transports 70 million standard cubic feet (scf) of gas daily to its customers as vandalisation of oil and gas pipeline has dropped. Link
- Construction is set to begin on a new city in Lagos known as the Imperial International Business City, a joint venture development between Channeldrill Resources Limited and the Elegushi royal family. Link
- Subscribers of the Globacom mobile network in four local government areas of Ondo State were unable to use the network for the past two weeks as the 33 stations in the areas have been shut down by the security men manning them. The guards were said to have taken the action in protest against the telecommunication company following alleged non-payment of their salaries for the past 11 months by the security outfit, Concord Security Limited, contracted by Glo to hire the guards. Link
- The Osun Government on Monday unveiled the selling of rams at between N45,000 and N80,000 to citizens of the state ahead of the upcoming Eid-El-Kabir. Link
FG discusses nation’s carrier, Nigeria Air with US Ambassador
The FG has held a discussion with the US government over the establishment of a national carrier for Nigeria.
The federal government has held a discussion with the government of the United States of America over the establishment of a national carrier for Nigeria.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika via his Twitter handle after he held a discussion with the Ambassador at the United States Embassy in Abuja.
He tweeted, “We took the opportunity to discuss investments and opportunities in the aviation sector, including national carrier. The partnership looks promising. USA is the only country we have open skies with. Thanks, Ambassador Mary and the team.”
What you should know
In July 2018, the Federal Government unveiled the branding and livery for the new airline, Nigeria Air, and stated that the carrier would be inaugurated at the end of that year.
Sirika unveiled the carrier at a press conference during the Farnborough Air Show in London that year.
“I am very pleased to tell you that we are finally on track to launching a new national flag carrier for our country, Nigeria Air. We are all fully committed to fulfilling the campaign promise made by our President, Muhammadu Buhari, in 2015. We are aiming to launch Nigeria Air by the end of this year,” the minister had said.
He also stated that the government had obtained the Certificate of Compliance from the Nigerian Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission and would go into investor search.
SERAP asks Buhari to probe N39.5 billion duplicated, mysterious projects
SERAP has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to probe the reported N39.5 billion duplicated and mysterious projects inserted in the 2021 budget.
Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to probe the reported N39.5 billion duplicated and mysterious projects inserted in the 2021 budget.
This is to know if public funds have been diverted in the guise of implementing the projects and prosecute those allegedly involved including those from the executive and the National Assembly.
The request from SERAP follows a report from BudgiT last week, where they alleged that there are 316 duplicated capital projects worth N139.5 billion in the 2021 budget.
This disclosure is contained in a public statement issued by SERAP on Sunday, May 9, 2021, and can be seen on its website.
SERAP said that the investigation of the alleged duplicated and mysterious projects, which are part of the 2021 appropriation bill of N13.588 trillion, should establish whether public funds have been mismanaged, diverted or stolen in the guise of implementing these projects.
What SERAP is saying in its letter
In the letter dated 8th May 2021 and signed by SERAP, Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare said: “The misallocation of public funds for duplicated and mysterious projects has seriously undermined the ability of the indicted MDAs, and the government to ensure respect for Nigerians’ human rights through developing and implementing well-thought-out policies, plans, and budgets.”
The letter from SERAP partly reads, “BudgIT had in a report last week stated that there are 316 duplicated capital projects worth N39.5 billion in the 2021 budget. The duplicated and mysterious projects are contained in the 2021 appropriation bill of N13.588 trillion signed into law in December 2020.”
These damning revelations suggest a grave violation of the public trust, and Nigerians’ rights to education, health, water, sanitation, and clean and satisfactory environment because the indicted MDAs have misallocated public funds at the expense of the people’s access to basic public services, and enjoyment of rights.”
SERAP urges you to ask the heads of the MDAs involved to explain why they allegedly failed to ensure strict compliance with constitutional and international standards of transparency and accountability in the preparation, processes and decisions on their budgets, and to return any misallocated public funds to the public treasury.”
Investigating and prosecuting any allegations of mismanagement, diversion and stealing of public funds budgeted for the 316 duplicated and mysterious projects would allow your government to use the budget to effectively promote Nigerians’ access to essential public goods and services.”
Publishing the ‘implementation status’ of the duplicated and mysterious projects would allow Nigerians to hold their government to account in the spending of public funds. This is particularly true for marginalized and excluded groups, such as people living in poverty, women, children, and persons with disabilities, as the budget has a disproportionate impact on their welfare.”
We would be grateful if the recommended measures are taken within 14 days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter. If we have not heard from you by then, the Incorporated Trustees of SERAP shall take all appropriate legal actions to compel your government to comply with our request in the public interest.”
SERAP also urges you to direct Mrs Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance Budget and National Planning to publish full details of current ‘implementation status’ of the duplicated and mysterious projects, and any spending on the projects to date, including the 115 projects inserted in the budget of the Ministry of Health; the 23 projects inserted in the budget of the Ministry of Education, and 10 projects inserted in the budget of the Ministry of Water Resources.
The following ministries are reportedly involved in the duplicated and mysterious projects: Ministry of Health with 115 projects; Ministry of Information and Culture with 40 projects; Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development with 25 projects; Ministry of Education with 23 projects; Ministry of Transportation with 17 projects; and Ministry of Science and Technology with 17 projects.”
Others are the Ministry of Environment with 13 projects; Ministry of Power with 11 projects; Ministry of Labour and Employment with 11 projects, and Ministry of Water Resources with 10 projects.”
The letter was copied to Mr Malami; Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, Chairman Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC); Mr Abdulrasheed Bawa, Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC); and Mrs Ahmed, the Finance Minister.
Nairametrics | Company Earnings
Access our Live Feed portal for the latest company earnings as they drop.
- Okomu Oil proposes dividend worth N6.7 billion for shareholders.
- Ardova Plc confirms appointment of Oladeinde Nelson-Cole as secretary.
- Cadbury Nigeria Plc set to hold 56th Annual General Meeting (AGM) on June 16.
- FCMB Group Plc appoints Muibat Ijaiya as Director.
- Afromedia Plc reports a loss after tax of N27.3 million in Q1 2021.