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Business News

CBN is going after any company that imports banned items

President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to blacklist any firm, its owner, and top management caught smuggling or dumping any of the restricted 43 items into Nigeria.

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CBN's Standing Deposit Facility, Banks' loans to Oil and Gas, Power, other sectors drop by N411.8 billion , CBN confirms N500 and N1000 as two most counterfeited banknotes in Nigeria  

President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to blacklist any firm, including its owners and top management, caught smuggling or dumping any of the restricted 43 items into Nigeria.

The Nigerian President gave the directive to the CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, who reportedly disclosed to newsmen on Friday in Abuja during a meeting with industry stakeholders who are majorly oil palm producer.

According to the apex bank’s chief, the disclosure was a strict presidential directive that palm oil importation must stop and the CBN is determined to assist its producers to produce enough for local consumption and even export.

  • The Presidential directive also includes an initiative for the apex bank to expand and provide support to firms and individuals that want to expand the production of ten different commodities in Nigeria.
  • According to the Central Bank’s governor, the ten different products listed include are rice, maize, cassava, tomatoes, cotton, oil palm, poultry, fish, livestock dairy and cocoa.
  • Further details revealed that the CBN disbursed the sum of N30 billion to oil palm producers, with a view to ensuring a massive production of the commodity in the country.

Recall, that Nairametrics earlier reported CBN’s plan to use all its instrumentality of being the regulator for Nigerian Banks to provide all details about smugglers and dumpers, and equally block their bank accounts.

“Smugglers and dumpers are the major sabotage to the country’s economic policies. Nigeria is very good at making brilliant economic policies but we have identified smugglers and dumpers as those who sabotage these policies and we have decided we will deal with them and the strategy we came up with is that we will not bother ourselves.” – Emefiele

The big picture: The federal government of Nigeria has acknowledged the need to boost the non-oil sector, in order to bring diversification to the Nigerian economy. Hence, the CBN’s defiant move to put drastic measures across to stop smuggling and dumping in Nigeria.

  • Similarly, in order to further drive home its export strategy, the CBN has officially unveiled the Export Facilitation Initiatives (EFI) targeted at boosting commodity exports in the non-oil sector of the Nigerian economy.
  • This is contained in the circular just published by the apex bank on Friday, 14th June, in line with the approval by the bankers’ committee at its 343rd meeting, for the commencement of the EFI to complement the government’s efforts to foster growth in the non-oil sector of the economy.

Under the initiative, as highlighted by the Central Bank, the focal commodities for value chain development would be cocoa, cashew, palm oil, Shea and sesame seed.

Samuel is an Analyst with over 5 years experience. Connect with him via his twitter handle

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Business News

SpaceX says it’s pursuing necessary licenses to bring Starlink to Nigeria

Broadband penetration of 70% which covers 90% of the population is the FG’s target in its National Broadband Plan (NNBP), 2020-2025.

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Telecoms sector remains resilient as broadband subscriptions climb

American private space exploration company founded by Elon Musk, SpaceX says it is working to pursue all necessary licenses needed to bring the Starlink Satellite internet services to Nigeria.

This was disclosed by Mr Ryan Goodnight, SpaceX’s Starlink Market Access Director for Africa in a meeting with NCC’s Executive Vice-Chairman (EVC), Prof. Umar Danbatta on Friday in Abuja.

What SpaceX is saying about Starlink in Nigeria

“SpaceX has been in discussion with NCC virtually over the past several months to begin the process of pursuing all necessary licences to bring Starlink, its satellite-based broadband services, to Nigeria.

Having made substantial progress in the discussion, the commission granted SpaceX’s request for a face-to-face discussion to gain better insights on the prospects,” they said.

The NCC stated that it has listened to SpaceX’s presentation and will review it vis-à-vis its regulatory direction of ensuring an effective and sustainable telecoms ecosystem where a licensee’s operational model does not dampen healthy competition among other licensees.

“As the regulator of a highly dynamic sector in Nigeria, the commission is conscious of the need to ensure that our regulatory actions are anchored on national interest,” they said.

NCC added that broadband penetration of 70% which covers 90% of the population is the FG’s target in its National Broadband Plan (NNBP), 2020-2025. This is also in line with its National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS), 2010-2030.

What you should know

Starlink is an internet service launched by SpaceX to improve internet coverage in rural and underserved areas globally. Starlink satellites are over 60 times closer to Earth than traditional satellites, resulting in lower latency and the ability to support services typically not possible with traditional satellite internet.

Nairametrics also reported this month that the  Federal Government announced a deal with Microsoft through the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy for the development of high-speed internet infrastructure across the six regions in the country.

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What FGN Free Meter Program means for the power sector

Without effective penalties for erring DisCos and consumers, progress may still remain very slow.

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Electricity, Buhari moves against Discos and agents that collect money for prepaid meters

According to news reports, the Minister of Power, Mamman Saleh on Wednesday said the distribution of the four million free electricity prepaid meters pledged by the Central Bank of Nigeria would soon begin across the country.

According to him, the government is wrapping up the distribution of its initial one million meters, which he labelled phase zero, and would soon begin the distribution of the four million sponsored by CBN, which he tagged phase two. He also noted that the Federal Executive Council approved N3bn for the execution of six major electricity projects in the country to upgrade Nigeria’s electricity facilities and improve power supply across the country.

Ineffective metering remains a major drawback to the success of power sector reforms in Nigeria. While some consumers avoid paying for power consumed through meter bypass, some other consumers are made to pay for what they have not consumed through estimated billing by DisCos.

DisCos have been largely unsuccessful with metering their customers.

As far as inadequate metering is concerned, DisCos over time, have used this situation to their advantage via estimated billings. It appears that fully metering customers are currently being viewed as a disincentive, given that estimated bills can easily be manipulated.

According to a report by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), only 4,234,759 (40.27%) of the total customer population of 10,516,090 were metered as of 30 June 2020. Clearly, this validates the widely held view that there are a wide number of customers on estimated billing which gives room for illegal connection to the networks and in turn corrupt practices. NERC further revealed that only three out of 11 Electricity Distribution Companies in the country had metered more than 50% of electricity customers under their coverage areas as of June 2020.

Effective metering in our view is one step ahead in solving the myriad of problems embattling the Nigerian power sector. Though supposed to be unpaid for, many customers in a bid to avoid the bureaucracy associated with getting meters have paid to get their own meters. We believe the provision of meters to all end-use customers will go a long way in ameliorating the liquidity squeeze in the power sector whilst also providing cashflow to the DisCos for investment in equipment needed to evacuate unused electricity to consumers nationwide.

We laud the FG’s efforts at distributing meters freely to end-users, but we note that without effective penalties for erring DisCos and consumers, progress may still remain very slow.

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CSL Stockbrokers Limited, Lagos (CSLS) is a wholly owned subsidiary of FCMB Group Plc and is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission, Nigeria. CSLS is a member of the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

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