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LCCI calls for economy reform

The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, LCCI, has called on the Federal Government to reform the economy as some of its policy portend more danger for the economy than benefit.

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LCCI, economy, reforms

The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, LCCI, has called on the Federal Government to reform the economy as some of its policy portend more danger for the economy than benefit.

The President, LCCI, Mr Babatunde Ruwase, said, “We need the right mix of policies to achieve the desired outcomes.  I am aware that some policy choices have been made by the present administration to promote economic diversification, stabilise the foreign exchange market and promote small businesses.

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“Evidently, there are still some works to be done.  There is a need for regular engagements and communication on policy issues to ensure quality feedback and enrich the policymaking process.”

Ruwase said there should be engagement on macroeconomic policies, and sectoral policies, which would include foreign exchange, trade, tax, energy, transport, industrial, agricultural, and ICT among others.

[READ ALSO: Stock Market: 52.5% of firms failed to pay dividend in 2019 (Opens in a new browser tab)]

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“The slow pace of reforms in the oil and gas sector, especially the fact that the Petroleum Industry Bill could not make it through the eighth National Assembly is a cause for worry. And the part that was passed was not signed by the President,” he added.

According to him, the indefinite closure of the country’s borders with its neighbouring African neighbours will ultimately hurt the economy and cross-border economic activities.

He said, “Nigeria’s economy had strong fundamentals, as the resources were enormous. The closure of the land borders has enormous implications for cross border economic activities around the country.

“The indications are now that the closure is indefinite.  While we share the concern of government on issues of security and smuggling, we believe that the indefinite closure of land borders is not the solution to the problem.”

[READ MORE: CBN’s Godwin Emefiele, foreign investors meet amidst weak naira(Opens in a new browser tab)]

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Ruwase, who acknowledge that the government had introduced some economic reforms to take the economy out of the woods, said a lot still needed to be done.

Patricia

However, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, said that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration was committed to creating an enabling environment for businesses to thrive.

Adebayo said, “The relevant government agencies were working assiduously on initiatives and programmes to solve key areas of concerns, ranging from infrastructure, power supply to good road networks across the country.”

Abiola has spent about 14 years in journalism. His career has covered some top local print media like TELL Magazine, Broad Street Journal, The Point Newspaper. The Bloomberg MEI alumni has interviewed some of the most influential figures of the IMF, G-20 Summit, Pre-G20 Central Bank Governors and Finance Ministers, Critical Communication World Conference. The multiple award winner is variously trained in business and markets journalism at Lagos Business School, and Pan-Atlantic University. You may contact him via email - abiola.odutola@nairametrics.com.

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Business News

Oando loses Chief Legal Officer

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Oando loses Chief Legal Officer

Chief Legal Officer of Oando Plc, Ngozi J Okonkwo is dead.

Adewale Tinubu, Group Chief Executive Officer of Oando Plc announced this via a tweet.

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Until her death, she was the Chief Legal Officer of Oando Plc, having joined the company as Head, Legal Services of the company in 2009.

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According to a tweet from one of her nephews, she battled cancer for a while, recovered before having a relapse during the recent COVID-19 crisis.

READ ALSO: NSE, SEC train capital market operators on legal and regulatory requirements for the derivatives market

Before joining Oando, she worked as Junior Counsel  with F.O Akinrele & Co., and also with KPMG Professional Services (previously known as Arthur Andersen) as Manager in the Tax, Regulatory and People Services unit and Head of indirect tax services.

READ ALSO: Common legal and general mistakes made by new businesses (Part 1)

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She obtained LLB (Hons) from University of Nigeria, Nsukka in 1997 and BL from the Nigerian Law School, Lagos in 1999. She was a member of the Nigerian Bar Association, honorary fellow of the Association of Fellows and Legal scholars of the centre for International Legal Studies, Austria, Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, United Kingdom and Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Taxation, Nigeria.

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Economy & Politics

NNPC diversifies into housing, power; plans to beat crude production cost to $10 per barrel

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has announced that it is building up business portfolios in the housing, power, and medical sectors.  

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NNPC, Domestic Crude Allocation, Why NNPC’s Duke Oil is quitting London operations for Dubai , NNPC divests stake in four oil wells to NPDC , How NNPC discovered oil, gas deposits in the North , Nigeria to leverage on condensate refineries to be petrol net exporter, How NNPC saved $3 billion from arbitration , NNPC, IPPG donate medical supplies to South West state governments, NNPC discloses bases for employment and managerial progression in the oil firm, NNPC diversifies into housing, power; plans to beat crude production cost to $10 per barrel

To cushion against the volatility in the global crude market and strengthen profitability, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has announced that it is building up business portfolios in the housing, power, and medical sectors.

This is one of several measures the corporation is taking to sustain revenue generation for Nigeria, and cope with the boom and bust cycles which are gradually becoming a feature of the global crude oil market.

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NAN reports that this was contained in a statement from the Corporation Chief Operating Officer, Ventures and Business Development, Mr. Roland Ewubare, and signed by NNPC Spokesman, Kennie Obateru.

According to Ewubare, the NNPC will establish Independent Power Plants using the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) pipeline network, and consolidate its presence in the power sector.

(READ MORE: COVID-19: Nigerians react as CBN partners NNPC to feed, accommodate Nigerian returnees)

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The statement reads in part; “NNPC is creating an energy company that would have portfolios in renewable energy; we have initiatives on solar that is ongoing.

“We have got biofuels agreements with some state governments that would soon be activated. We do have a lot of non-core businesses that are aggregated under the Ventures and Business Development Autonomous Business Unit of the NNPC. 

“This would be expanded through effective collaboration and partnership with the private sectors,” 

NNPC diversifies into housing, power; plans to beat crude production cost to $10 per barrel

Lower costs, more profits

As part of moves to improve profitability, the NNPC also announced plans to drive crude oil production cost down to 10 dollar per barrel by Q4 2021,

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This according to the statement would be done by systematically and gradually beating down logistics costs.

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The Corporation’s revenue took a major hit in 2020 due to the slump in global oil prices, and this in turn affected the Nigerian budget given that oil proceeds account for a significant fraction of her income.

“When you have a low commodity price regime, as the case now, the only way we are able to squeeze out some reasonable cash and financial gain to the nation is by curtailing and constraining our costs in line with the GMD’s aspiration to push for a 10 dollar per barrel cost of production,” Ebuware said.

(READ MORE: NNPC pipeline vandalism up by 50% in January, may suspend crude oil production)

There is also an ongoing collaboration with selected partners to commercialise flared gas in order to preserve the flora and fauna of the country.

This would be done by converting it to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and Liquefied Natural Gas, for sale to consumers.

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The NNPC is partnering with private developers to reduce the housing deficit in the country and also partnering with medical centres to provide innovative healthcare for Nigeria.

 

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Business News

Microsoft Teams’ rival, Slack shares drop on withdrawal of full-year billings guidance

Slack reported steady revenue growth 50% in Q1 2020, compared with 49% recorded in Q1 2019 on an annualized basis this brought in more customers

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 Slack shares dropped as much as 17% yesterday after the company’s reported first-quarter earnings.

Investors and stock traders were not happy with Slack’s annual revenue forecast of $855 million to $870 million, up just slightly from Slack’s projection in March stock analysts, on the average, estimated $856.5 million, according to data obtained from Bloomberg.

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“Slack’s withdrawal of full-year billings guidance looks conservative to us and likely suggests a pull-forward of revenue amid faster new-customer additions due to remote work,” Mandeep Singh, a Bloomberg Intelligence analyst, wrote in a note yesterday.

Slack grew revenue 50% in Q1 2020, compared with 49% recorded in Q1 2019 on an annualized basis.

However, Slack reported steady revenue growth during  Q1 2020 brought in more customers, as organizations sought to keep communications going with their newly remote workforces during coronavirus pandemic. It had earnings per share of 2 cents loss per share, adjusted and adjusted revenue of $201.7 million

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(READ MORE: How to Profit from Directors’ Share Dealing Notifications)

Slack, in a statement, yesterday reported that it added a record 12,000 paid customers Q1 2020 as against two prior quarters when it added about 5,000 new customers. Slack’s top competitor, Microsoft’s Teams, has also experienced growth in recent months.

“What you saw with Zoom, what you saw with Teams is a great indication that this is not apples-to-apples and that the products are not truly competitive with one another,” Butterfield the Chief Executive Officer of Slack told Investment analysts on a conference call yesterday.

READ ALSO: Jumia is optimistic of COVID-19 boost, despite poor Q1 2020 earnings report

Paid users spent over 120 minutes per day in Slack at the end of the quarter, up from below 90 minutes one quarter earlier. 

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“I can’t care about the stock price on the level of individual days,” Butterfield said when asked about the reaction to earnings. “I just wouldn’t be able to do my job. I care about where the share price is five years from now and 10 years from now. This is just a very volatile time.” 

Patricia

 

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