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

  1. Health minister Isaac Adewole said that the government would begin enforcement of parts of the National Tobacco Control Act (2015). In addition, the government was considering using tobacco tax and levies to fund the government’s Universal healthcare programme. Here is a summary of the sections that will be enforced. Link
  2. Power generation companies in the country on Wednesday said gas producers were cutting down supplies to thermal electricity generating plants as a result of the N200bn indebtedness to them by the Gencos. According to the power firms, this has impacted negatively on the state of electricity generation across those the country, as they called on the government to help prevail on the industry to clear the N600bn debt being owed the generation companies. Link
  3. The N701bn approved by the Federal Government to support power generation companies financially can now be accessed by the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has said. For about two months after the fund was approved, the power generation companies complained that they could not access it from the NBET, as they claimed that they were not aware of how it was to be disbursed. Link
  4. Lagos State government yesterday confirmed approval from the Federal Government to reconstruct the Airport Road from Oshodi. Confirming the approval in a statement by the Secretary to State Government, Mr. Tunji Bello, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode acknowledged the effort and intervention of Acting President Yemi Osinbajo. It said Prof Osinbajo has granted permission to the state to start work on the project. Link
  5. The government of the Peoples’ Republic of China has urged the Federal Government of Nigeria to tap into its $43.5 billion fund to enhance the nation’s economic growth. This is even as the Chinese government increased its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) Fund by 100 billion Yuan ($14.5 billion), following the global acceptance of the Initiative. Link
  6. The Oyo State Government is to generate  1,000 mega watts from wastes  following the signing of a  Memorandum of Understanding(MoU) with some power-generating firms. The News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) reports that the state government on Wednesday in Ibadan signed an MoU with Siemens International, MRF1 and West African Energy on  conversion of waste to energy. Gov. Abiola Ajimobi said that the project  would promote industrialisation and generate employment opportunities. Link
  7. Nigeria has commenced the implementation of the trade agreement it entered into with the Port of Miami, Florida, United States of America in 2001. The agreement was cemented by the visit of a business delegation from Miami-Dade County, USA, to Nigeria. Link
  8. Report reveals that as the number of private jet owners in Nigeria continues to decrease due to economic recession, the remaining 50 per cent who still own the luxury items now spend about N30 billion on maintenance annually. Link
  9. The Federal Government has inaugurated the newly-reconstituted Board of Solid Minerals Development Fund (SMDF). Inaugurating the Board in Abuja, Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Fayemi Kayode, hinted that the approval for the reconstitution of the Board by President Muhammadu Buhari was a clear indication of the administration’s commitment to fixing the Nigerian Mining industry to become a key contributor to achieving national goals of diversifying the sovereign revenue base and creating jobs. Link
  10. Nigeria recorded the second biggest decline in oil export revenue among its peers in the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries last year, amid persistent low oil prices and production disruptions. The country’s oil export revenue fell to $26bn last year from $37bn in 2015, the US Energy Information Administration said in its OPEC Revenues Fact Sheet. Link
  11. The Federal Government will not ban individuals or companies that export unprocessed solid minerals until it grows the sector to its full potential, an aide to the Mines and Steel Minister, Mr. Yinka Oyebode, has said. He said the Ministry had neither penciled any institution for proscription nor used any of its agencies to stop people from exporting unprocessed mineral resources Europe or other continents as claimed in some quarters. He said instead, the government was focusing on how to develop the sector by providing incentives to local and foreign investors, who want to build plants for processing solid minerals into other products in the country. Link
  12. The Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) comprising the 36 governors of the Federation have expressed worries over the substandard quality of rice in Nigerian. They said that huge consignment of rice still finding its way into the market was imported into the country since 2014 when the immediate past administration issued a very liberal import license regime to its election financiers who were able to bring a substantial quantity of rice into the country using a waiver from the presidency at the time. Link
  13. The federal government has disclosed that between 2000 and 2015, Nigeria spent as much as N49 trillion importing raw materials and products. This was disclosed by the minister of science and technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, after the federal executive council meeting presided over by acting president, Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, yesterday. Link
  14. Following the approval given to the Nigerian Stock Exchange(NSE) to commence move for the demutualisation of the exchange, a section of stakeholders in the nation’s capital market is canvassing that the eventual sale of its shares to the public should be done by way of public offer. Link
  15. The Federal Government is making a fresh loan application to increase its initial $500m Chinese loan to $774m for the completion of the East-West Road in Niger Delta. The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Usani Uguru Usani, disclosed this to State House correspondents yesterday after the Federal Executive Council meeting. Link
  16. The Director General, Kaduna State Interfaith Council, Mr Namadi Musa, says arbitrary increase in the price of goods and services during the Ramadan is anti Islam. Musa made this known in an interview in Kaduna on Thursday. “It is unfortunate that traders are using the Ramadan period to exploit people rather than help them.” Link
  17. The Senate has decried the loss of over $2.5bn to the flaring of estimated two billion standard cubic feet of flared gas annually. It said this accounted for about 19 per cent of the total volume of gas flared globally. Link
  18. Lagos, Abuja and other cities in Africa will attract more than 170 million people by 2025, the World Bank has predicted. Link
  19. The Board of Heirs Holdings has appointed  Emmanuel Nnorom as its Group Chief Executive Officer. Mr Nnorom previously served as chief executive of Heirs Holdings’ affiliate Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc and will join the Heirs Holdings’ Board, reporting directly to the Group Chairman, Tony Elumelu. The appointment will take effect from 1 June 2017. Link
  20. Nestle Nigeria Plc and two persons have been dragged to court by the police for allegedly obtaining under false pretenses and promoting illegal lottery. The federal government through the Force Criminal Investigations Department (FCID) of the Nigeria Police slammed a 10-count criminal charge on Nestle and the two persons at the Federal High Court in Lagos. Meanwhile, their arraignment which was earlier scheduled for May 30, 2017 and could not hold because the trial judge was indisposed, has been adjourned till July 6, 2017. Link
  21. Dangote Cement Plc has announced plans to commence production at its cement grinding plant in Congo in a matter of weeks this month. Link
  22. Fidelity Bank Plc says it is building a new crop of young and talented workforce through its graduate recruitment scheme. The new inductees, who passed out of the Fidelity Crest Academy after a rigorous three months training programme, were admitted into the bank’s workforce on Friday. Link
  23. Guaranty Trust Bank Plc has launched GTWorld, a mobile banking app designed to cater to all customers’ needs. The lender said the app was built on the back of its customer-focused digital strategy.  It read in part, “The app features biometric authentication, such as facial recognition and fingerprint, which recognises a customer and adapts to how and when they want to bank.” Link
  24. Current economic downturn in Nigeria, particularly the disparity between the naira and other major currencies has pushed Accion Microfinance Bank Limited (AMfB’s) Profit before tax to N700 million from N838 million in 2015. The Chairman, Board of Directors, AMfB, Patrick Akinwuntan, said the implementation of its digital agenda would increase organisational productivity, reduce processing time and cost to carrying out transactions, and provide customers with better services in order to improve performance in the face of the challenges. Link
  25. First Bank of Nigeria Limited has announced the launch of its refreshed website. According to a statement, the new website is adaptive, responsive and has a “multi-real estate billboard homepage with one-click access to information.Link
  26. Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN) plans to give out up to 20,000 new loans to small businesses within its first year of operation as part of efforts to help unlock credit to the economy. Link
  27. Shareholders of GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria (GSK) Plc yesterday approved a dividend of 30 kobo per share recommended by the board of directors for the year ended December 31, 2016. The approval was given at the 46th annual general meeting (AGM) held in Lagos. Link
  28. As part of its contribution to reducing the housing stock in the country, a firm of estate developers, Landmark Corporate Reality Limited, has held a ground-breaking of its Queens Garden Estate in Isheri North 3 in Government Reservation Area (GRA), Ogun State. The new scheme, its promoters claim, is to be developed using the newest technology. Landmark promises to deliver 120 units of five-bedroom fully detached duplex; 128 units of four-bedrooms semi-detached spread houses across 10 hectares of lush and very green landscape, in 10 months. Link
  29. Huawei Technologies Co. Nigeria Limited has donated a skills acquisition and development centre to Lagos State government in support of the government’s drive to reduce unemployment and poverty in the state. Named: Funmilayo Mobolaji Johnson Skill Acquisition and Development Centre Eti-Osa, Lagos, the projected was inaugurated yesterday by Huawei and Fortis Projects Services. Link
  30. Following the permission for eligible customers to purchase electricity directly from the electricity generation companies (GenCos), the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has assured power producers of its capacity to transmit 6,000megawatts ((Mw) of electricity.  The Executive Secretary, Association of Power Generation Companies (APGC), Barr Joy Ogaji, told reporters in Abuja yesterday that the TCN has always recorded stranded 2,000Mw that is readily available for customers. Link
  31. The Oyo State Government is to generate  1,000 mega watts from wastes  following the signing of a  Memorandum of Understanding(MoU) with some power-generating firms. The News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) reports that the state government on Wednesday in Ibadan signed an MoU with Siemens International, MRF1 and West African Energy on  conversion of waste to energy. Link
  32. Indonesia, an emerging economy in South East Asia, has indicated interest to purchase more crude oil from the country, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has said. The Indonesian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Harry Purwanto, who stated this in Abuja when he paid a courtesy visit to the Group Managing Director, NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, explained that his country’s President, Joko Widodo, had instructed the national oil company, Pertamina, to direct its attention to Nigeria in its quest to meet the nation’s energy needs. Link
  33. The Technical Audit Committee set up to review projects in the Niger Delta between 2009 and 2015 has said 88 per cent of the N423 billion earmarked for its infrastructural development was misappropriated. The panel report indicated that only 60 per cent of the N700 billion appropriated for the oil-rich area during the tenures of the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and Dr. Goodluck Jonathan was expended. Link
  34. Kwara State government is set to commence a five-year tax relief regime for small business owners in the state. This follows a directive given by Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed to the State’s revenue service to put in motion the tax relief regime as part of the government’s effort to boost entrepreneurship and eradicate poverty in the State. Link

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