th August, 2017

5

226 manufacturing companies close shop - Umoh

"Ikpong Umoh is the Chairman, Toiletries & Cosmetics Manufacturers Group, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (T&C Group of MAN), the Chief Executive Officer, Stellarchem Nigeria limited. He was recently honoured with award of excellence by Financial Business, for his enormous contributions to the manufacturing sector of the economy. He spoke on new Executive Order, on the ease of dong business; measures for compliance to enhance growth of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria.

As operator of SME, what is your take on the Executive Order?

The manufacturers Association of Nigeria, MAN, has determined from its current survey that about 226 companies have either closed shop or downsized between 2015 and 2016. The Federal Bureau of Statistics (FBS) also confirmed that about 4.85million jobs were lost within the same period. Nigeria is one of the poorest and most unequal countries in the world, with over 80million of 64percent of the population living below poverty line. Poverty and hunger remain high in rural areas, remote communities and among female-headed households, cutting across the six geo-political zones, with prevalence ranging from approximately 46.9percent in the South West to 74.3percent in North West and North East.

The new Executive Order sounds good but appears to have missed the focus on SMEs, as it concentrated 90percent on convenience of foreign investors. The Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) needs to do wider consultations and involve genuine SMEs in the Council. For our economy to recover fast and in a sustainable way, we need an Executive Order that will take a cue from the World Bank Group to favour local SMEs 100 percent.

Vanguard. Sunday, 20th August, 2017

6

60% forex allocation saved manufacturing sector - Report

Although the Central Bank of Nigeria's preferential allocation of foreign exchange to the manufacturing sector was short-lived and fraught with controversies, a report has emerged showing that the initiative registered a huge impact and lent a boost to the manufacturing sector during the period.

The initiative, which commenced in August 2016, came to an end in February 2017.

An executive summary of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria's Economic Review of second half of 2016 attributed a 9.54 per cent increase in capacity utilisation (from 49.64 per cent in second half of 2015 to 59.18 per cent in the second half of 2016) to the 60 per cent preferential forex allocation to the manufacturing sector for importation of raw materials and machinery not locally available.

"Capacity utilisation averaged 51.74 per cent in 2016 as against 50.17 per cent of 2015, thereby indicating 1.57 percentage point increase over the period," the report stated.

The Punch. Sunday, 20th August, 2017

7

Diamond Bank to train 50 budding Nigerian entrepreneurs

DIAMOND Bank Plc has set the stage for the selection, training and empowerment of 50 more entrepreneurs in the seventh edition of its Building Entrepreneurs Today (BET) initiative.DIAMOND Bank Plc has set the stage for the selection, training and empowerment of 50 more entrepreneurs in the seventh edition of its Building Entrepreneurs Today (BET) initiative.

This initiative, which is in partnership with the Enterprise Development Center of the Pan Atlantic University, is at the core of the bank's corporate social responsibility strategy, and is aimed at creating a new generation of entrepreneurs who will not be overwhelmed by the challenges posed by the harsh operating business environment but will, with the training and seed capital from the bank, provide the needed value to the economy.

Vanguard. Monday, 21st August, 2017

8

FG spent N1.3trn on capital projects in 2016- Osinbajo

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo said on Monday that the Buhari administration spent N1.3 trillion on capital projects in 2016, the highest in the history of the country.

Osinbajo disclosed this at a plenary of the 2017 Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) national conference in Lagos with the theme: "African Business: Penetrating Through Institution Building."

The sub-theme of the plenary was "Conversations With The Vice-President", moderated by Miss Zain Asher, a CNN news anchor.

"The Federal Government spent about N1.3 trillion on capital projects in 2016, the highest in the history of the country.

"The power sector reform is also ongoing as it is one of the most important sectors in the country," Osinbajo said.

Responding to Asher's questions, Osinbajo said the administration had set a solid foundation for the nation's economic recovery which, he described, as the most important reform of the administration.

Vanguard. Monday, 21st August, 2017

9

FG pension liabilities to rise by N20bn with exemption of paramilitary from CPS

AS the federal government continues to grapple with means of settling its huge pension deficit, an additional N20 billion liability would be added to the stack upon passage of the bill for the exemption of the Police and other paramilitary agencies from the Contributory Pension Scheme, CPS.

Financial Vanguard findings show that the Federal Government made a provision under the Service-Wide Vote for the sum of N200.17 billion as total pension and gratuities allocation in 2016 whereas total pension liabilities was N388.32 billion, leaving a shortfall of N188.15 billion.

A bill was sponsored by Honourable Oluwole Oke on May 16, 2017 seeking to amend the Pension Reform Act 2014 to exclude members of the Nigeria Police, the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, Nigeria Customs Service, Nigeria Prison Service, Nigeria immigration Service and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission from the application of the CPS and other related matters.

Vanguard. Monday, 21st August, 2017

10

Power generation tumbles 18 months after 5,074MW peak

The nation's power generation has been struggling to stay above the 3,000 megawatts mark more than a year after it hit a peak of 5,074.70MW, despite the reported increase in gas supply to power plants.

Electricity generation in the country has continued to hover between 2,000MW and 4,000MW in recent months.

The nation achieved its peak generation of 5,074.70MW on February 2, 2016, according to the Transmission Company of Nigeria.

But the improvement was short-lived as generation dropped below the 4,000MW mark later that month following militant attack of the Forcados pipeline.

The downturn in power generation was exacerbated in May last year by the several attacks on oil and gas installations in the Niger Delta, which made generation to plunge to a new low of 1,400MW on May 17, according to the TCN.

Total power generation, which dropped to as low as 2,563MW last month, stood at 3,229.8MW on August 16 from 2,447MW on August 5, the latest data obtained on Friday by our correspondent from the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing stated.

The Punch. Monday, 21st August, 2017

11

World Bank ranks Edo high on transparency, job creation

The World Bank Implementation Support Team, monitoring the implementation of State Employment and Expenditure for Results (SEEFOR) projects in the Niger Delta region, has ranked Edo State high on transparency and job creation for youths.

The leader of the support team, Mr. Ismaila Ceesay, who led his members on a courtesy visit to the Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, at the Government House in Benin City on Monday, said the state was doing well in the execution of component A1 of the projects.

The Component A1 projects include the creation of direct jobs for unemployed youths in Edo State.

According to Ceesay, the World Bank team was on a working visit to assess the execution of the various components of the SEEFOR Projects in the four implementing states of Edo, Delta, Bayelsa and Rivers.

Vanguard. Tuesday, 22nd August, 2017

12

A-Ibom inaugurates c'ttee over high cost of garri

Uyo -THE Akwa Ibom State Government has set up a four-member Cassava Seed Multiplication Committee to interface with stakeholders in cassava value chain in order to scale down the soaring price of garri in the second planting season.

The committee, which is also to maintain stock of cassava seeds for proper distribution in the state, has Mr. Moses Akpan as its chairman, Emmanuel Akpan as Secretary, Francis Ubit and Mr. Paul Udo as members.

According to a statement by the state Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr Uduak Udo-Inyang, the committee will also engage in the sensitisation and mobilisation of cassava growers in the state as well as carry out proper data capturing of cassava growers and establishment of data bank of the growers.

Vanguard. Tuesday, 22nd August, 2017

13

Eko Atlantic, Fine & Country host Refined Investors Series 2017 in London

SOUTH Energyx Nigeria Limited, the developers and promoters of Eko Atlantic City, Nigeria's premium smart city situated adjacent to Victoria Island, is partnering Fine and Country West Africa to host the Refined Investors' Series 2017, scheduled to take place in London, United Kingdom between October 6 and 7, 2017.

The event, which is the leading premium real estate forum, with the theme: "Taking Nigeria to the World", is targeted at Nigerians in the Diaspora and other international investors.

The UK Refined Investors' Series is a premier event focusing on unique real estate opportunities in Nigeria that are safe, secure and highly sustainable. The event also targets afluent and high net worth individuals and astute investors in the Diaspora. The series aims to celebrate the best of Nigerian real estate.

Vanguard. Tuesday, 22nd August, 2017

14

Lagos unveils plans to partner Singapore on construction of high-rise buildings

WORRIED about the three million housing shortfall in Lagos State, the government has disclosed plans to partner its Singaporean counterpart to build large scale high-rise structures to address the challenge in the state. According to officials, while the state provides the land for the structures, its Singaporean partners will provide major funding and technology that would ensure actualisation of the plan.

The government added that aside of erecting structures, the planned partnership with Singapore Housing Development Board would include capacity building and exchange programme between both parties.

Commissioner for Housing, Gbolahan Lawal, in a statement stressed that Singapore is building more friendly eco-housing system with natural heating and solar power system which the state could tap from. Lawal said: "Lagos' equity to the partnership is to provide land as partial funding through strategic agreement, while Singapore provides major funding and technology for large scale housing of 30-50 storey building structures using prefabricated technology that can accelerate mass housing development in the state".

Vanguard. Tuesday, 22nd August, 2017

15

FIRS moves to combat tax evasion

The Federal Inland Revenue Service has signed two major multilateral instruments, joining 71 other countries to combat tax evasion.

These are the Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting and the Common Reporting Standard Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement.

The Executive Chairman, FIRS, Mr. Tunde Fowler, signed the agreements on behalf of Nigeria in Paris, with the Head of Global Relations and Development Division of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, Mr. Ben Dickinson, in attendance.

A statement issued by the Director, OECD Centre for Tax Policy and Administration, Pascal Saint-Amans, said the signing of the agreements had made Nigeria the 71st jurisdiction to sign the MLI and the 94th jurisdiction to join the CRS MCAA.

Saint-Amans explained that the agreements would provide "automatic exchange of tax and financial information among 101 tax jurisdictions and enhance the ability of countries to contain tax avoidance and evasion."

The Punch. Tuesday, 22nd August, 2017

16

Nigeria yet to transform 2.8bn metric tonnes of coal in 17 fields into wealth

A STUDY by Behre Dolbear & Company (USA), Inc. subdivided the areas of coal deposits in the country, which include the Anambra Coal Basin; this basin was into seven coal mining districts, out of which three of the basins have been explored to an appreciable level, and they are the Kogi, Benue and Enugu Coal Districts and they further have two or more coal resource centres.

The Kogi Coal District holds an area of 225,000 hectares of the Anambra Coal Basin, and it lies on the north-eastern side of the basin. Two areas within the district have been explored to a limited degree. In the northern part of it, Ogboyoga, drill data, has it that there are 27 holes, which have been drilled and cored and 15 separate measurements have been taken of outcrops of the main coal seam in stream drainages.

Vanguard. Tuesday, 22nd August, 2017

17

W'Bank, others may not fund Nigeria's coal-to-power projects - Report

The development of coal deposits for power generation will not qualify for funding from the World Bank and many multilateral financial institutions despite the abundance of the mineral resources in Nigeria.

Analysts on Monday stated that the Federal Government had plans to generate about 30 per cent of Nigeria's electricity from coal, but described the initiative as "unclean power."

In April this year, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Kayode Fayemi, announced that his ministry was collaborating with the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing on coal-to-power projects, which is expected to account for 30 per cent of the country's electricity mix.

"We can get power from coal, which we have in abundance. We need people, private sector players to set up plants that will use coal," Fayemi had said.

The Punch. Tuesday, 22nd August, 2017

18

NCC moves to sustain telecom's 9.8% GDP contribution

The Nigerian Communications Commission on Monday said that it was in the process of trying to ensure the country had transformational leadership in the telecoms sector, in order to sustain its Gross Domestic Product contribution to the country.

"We can only achieve this by enthroning a leadership that will introduce new ideas, new ways of work, and with it-cannot-be-business-as-usual mentality; leadership that has vision and a compelling narrative about the future for all stakeholders in the industry," the Executive Vice-Chairman, NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, said.

"Unless and until we do this, we will not be able to sustain the contribution of the sector to the GDP, which currently stands at about 9.8 per cent," he said.

He added, "We are mindful of what we have to do to sustain this resilience as indicated by all the figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics, which confirm the resilience and stability of the sector. That's why we are taking these measures; measures that any regulator would proactively take to protect the industry."

Danbatta hailed the new Code of Corporate Governance for the telecommunications industry recently activated by the commission, assuring stakeholders that code would usher in a crop of fresh and visionary leaders in the industry.

The Punch. Tuesday, 22nd August, 2017

19

Nigerians make N42trn e-payment transactions in 6 months -NBS

LAGOS- Nigerians made N42 trillion electronic payment transactions in the first half of this year (H1 2017), including N3 trillion cash withdrawal through ATMs.

Meanwhile, banks’ lending to the private sector of the economy dropped by N405 billion during the same period.

National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, disclosed this in a report entitled, "Selected Banking Sector Data: Sectorial Breakdown of Credit, ePayment Channels and Staff Strength," for the second quarter of the year.

According to the NBS, Nigerians made 631.7 billion electronic payment transactions valued at N42 trillion in H1 2017.

Breakdown of the transactions comprise: Volume and value of NIP transactions (NIBSS Instant Payment) at 150.5 billion and N26.5 trillion; volume and value of ATM transactions at 366.7 billion and N3.04 trillion; volume and value of PoS transactions at 59.4 billion and N610 billion; volume and value of Internet (web) transactions at 11.4 billion and N84 billion; volume and value of mobile payment at 24.2 billion and N556 billion; volume and value NEFT (NIBSS Electronic Transfer Funds) at 14 billion and N8.2 trillion.

Vanguard. Tuesday, 22nd August, 2017

20

Govt agencies remitted N687.82bn operating surplus in nine years

Agencies of the Federal Government have remitted a total of N687.82bn to the Consolidated Revenue Fund in nine years, the Fiscal Responsibility Commission has said in a report.

It stated in the report obtained by our correspondent on Monday that the amount was remitted as operating surplus between 2007 and 2015.

The FRC Act 2007 requires listed government agencies to remit 80 per cent of their annual operating surpluses to the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

The operating surplus as conceptualised by the FRA 2007 is made up of revenues accruing to government agencies above what it is approved to spend at the beginning of the budget year.

Among the 30 agencies listed as qualifying to remit operating surpluses, the Central Bank of Nigeria made the highest return of N497.63bn in a period of eight years but the organisation did not remit any surplus in 2015.

The Punch. Tuesday, 22nd August, 2017

21

Nigeria loses $1bn annually to medical tourism - Omatseye

President, Healthcare Federation of Nigeria, HFN, Mrs. Clare Omatseye, yesterday disclosed that a total of one billion dollars is lost annually to medical tourism in Nigeria even as she lamented inadequate investment in the nation's healthcare system.

Speaking during the 5th edition of 'The August Event' by the Moses Adekoyejo Majedunmi Foundation, MAMF, with the theme: "Health; A National Challenge: Restructuring and Driving Sustainable Growth", in Lagos, Omatseye who traced the failure of the health system on medical tourism embarked upon by most prominent Nigerians said the country has suffered from severe brain drain along with patient drains.

Her words: "In the last couple of decades, due to lack of investment in health care in our country, we have had a brain drain, where we have lost a lot of our good doctors. Currently, we are suffering from patients' drain, where there is a lack of confidence in the sector, and people are now leaving for medical tourism, where we lose over one billion dollars annually.

Vanguard. Wednesday, 23rd August, 2017

22

NLC opposes releasing N38bn to Discos for meters

The Nigeria Labour Congress has criticised the moves by the Federal Government to release N8bn to the electricity distribution companies to procure prepaid meters.

The NLC reaffirmed its call to the Federal Government to revisit the process of the privatisation of the power sector carried out by the Goodluck Jonathan administration.

The President of the NLC, Mr. Ayuba Wabba, also lamented that the current administration had committed N660bn as intervention funds in the power sector in the last two years without commensurate improvement in power supply.

Wabba wondered why the Federal Government would still commit N38bn of public funds as bailout to the electricity distribution companies, which were almost becoming comatose, to procure meters.

The Punch. Wednesday, 23rd August, 2017

23

Nigerian rice farmers, others to access Bill Gates $30bn agriculture grant

The Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) says it is working to access the $30 billion agricultural grant contributed by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and other donor agencies for rice production in Africa.

Alhaji Aminu Goronyo, the National President of the association told newsmen in Abuja on Wednesday, that the association had submitted a template that would qualify it for the grant.

According to him, a team of experts from Geneva had met with the association on the grant, which Nigerian farmers can access as much as $600 million.

He said the visit was fallout of the Green Revolution Forum tagged `New Push for Africa's Agricultural Transformation,' held in September 2016 in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire, where the fund was pledged by various agencies.

He said the grant would cover various rice value chains including production, processing, packaging and marketing, and would assist the country attain self sufficiency in rice production.

Vanguard. Wednesday, 23rd August, 2017

24

$823m Abuja metro rail ready by December – Contractor

Civil Engineering Construction Corporation has said that the phase one of the Abuja Rail Mass Transit projects would be ready by December 2017.

The Project Manager, Mr Kong Tao, stated this while speaking with newsmen who were on tour to the site at Idu, Abuja on Tuesday.

Tao said that the rail transit which cost $823m, (about N299bn) consists of lot 1A and lot 3 covering a length of 45km with 12 designed passenger stations.

He said, “The rail linked the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja to the Central Business District.

“The line of the rail mass transit is double-track line of right side running, and standard-gauge is 1435mm; Work on the large scale project is going on smoothly.”

According to him it will be test-run by November and will be inaugurated for public use in December.

The Punch. Wednesday, 23rd August, 2017

25

Invest more in Nigeria, FG tasks ECOWAS Bank

ABUJA- The Federal Government has tasked ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development, EBID, to invest more in Nigeria's infrastructure sector.

Declaring open the 15th session of the EBID in Abuja, yesterday, the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, said an investment by the bank in the Nigerian economy would be a smart one as it would easily yield great returns and positively impact the whole sub-region.

He said: "One of the crucial issues today which will decisively impact the future is how the EBID can make a difference in the lives of our young people.

“Are there opportunities for strategic investments in relevant education, especially in the underserved disciplines such as Science, Education Engineering and Maths?

"Perhaps also the rising scale of foreign investment inflows into business start-ups by our young people should be taken by our local financing institutions like the EBID as a challenge to be just as relevant and invested in the dreams and ambitions of local talents.

Vanguard. Wednesday, 23rd August, 2017

26

CBN calls for import reducing policy as Nigeria's monthly import bill rises by 95% to N588bn

LAGOS- The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, yesterday said the country's average monthly import bill rose by 95 per cent to N588 billion in 12 years.

CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, disclosed this in Lagos in a keynote lecture delivered at the 2017 annual general conference of the Nigeria Bar Association, NBA, where he also advocated policies to reduce the nation's monthly import bill.

Emefiele noted that the sharp increase in monthly import bill aggravated the impact of the decline in the nation's foreign exchange earnings on the economy.

He said: ” In terms of inflows, the bank's forex earnings have fell from as high as US$3.2 billion monthly sometime in 2013 to as low as $580 million per month at some point. Despite these outcomes, the demand for FX has risen significantly.

Vanguard. Wednesday, 23rd August, 2017

27

Nigeria's revenue shrinks by N184.2b

Revenue shared by Nigeria's Federal, states and local governments slumped to N467.8 billion in August, N184.2 billion less than the N652 billion shared in July.

Kemi Adeosun, minister of finance said the shared amount was inclusive of Value Added Tax (VAT) of N80.53 billion.

In the breakdown of revenue given by her representative, Permanent Secretary, Mr Mahmoud Dutse, at the end of the monthly Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting on Tuesday in Abuja, Gross statutory revenue was put at N387.31 billion.

She said the decline in revenue was caused by a drastic fall in revenue from Companies Income Tax (CIT) due to the expiration of the deadline for filing tax returns.

She, however, said oil revenues recorded an increase due to rise in export sales by 62 million dollars.

Vanguard. Wednesday, 23rd August, 2017

28

2,918 Oyo farmers benefiting from FADAMA's N685 million ۥCoordinator

ABOUT 2,918 cassava and rice farmers in Oyo state are billed to be beneficiaries of N685 million under the FADAMA III Additional Financing Project, this year.

The disbursement will see N121 million given to 660 rice farmers to cultivate 920 hectares while 2,258 cassava farmers are to cultivate 4,153 hectares.

Coordinator, Oyo state FADAMA III Additional Financing Project, Mr Nath Olayinka disclosed these while interacting with journalists, at Oyo FADAMA office, Ibadan, on Wednesday.

According to Olayinka, the state government had also provided N35 million counterpart funding as part of the $200 million World Bank loan accessed by the federal government to boost rice and cassava production in the country.

Nigerian Tribune. Thursday, 24th August, 2017

29

Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) to examine investment opportunities in power sector

The Power Sector Group of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry is set to hold an interactive forum with major stakeholders in the power sector.

The group said in a statement that the forum would focus on investment opportunities in the sector.

The Chairman, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) Power Sector Group, Mr. Effiom Edet, said the forum, scheduled to hold on Thursday in Lagos, would be used to highlight the investment opportunities in the power sector, and enhance investment relations between Nigeria and the United States.

He said it would also focus on partnership opportunities with inward trade missions, manufacturers' representatives, agencies and franchises, among others.

Edet said, "Mr. Brent Omdahl, (commercial counselor) head of the US Commercial Service Unit, would be the guest speaker at the event.

"The event is expected to be chaired by the President of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Dr. Nike Akande."

The Punch. Thursday, 24th August, 2017

30

SME 100 empowers 25 youth entrepreneurs

SME 100 Nigeria is set to empower 25 innovative entrepreneurs who are under the age of 25 years with the aim of reducing the high mortality rate among Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the country.

SME 100 Nigeria is engaged in youth-driven entrepreneurship training and specializes in finding, preparing and connecting young entrepreneurs with the resources, training and support they need to run successful entrepreneurial businesses.

Speaking at a media briefing in Lagos, Founder and Executive Director of the organisation, Mr. Charles Odii, said members of the public were invited about six months ago to nominate under 25 entrepreneurs who were making quality impact on the economy.

Vanguard. Thursday, 24th August, 2017

31

EU plans trade programme to improve Nigeria's exports

The European Union is working on various trade facilitation programmes for Nigeria to enable the country to boost its level of agricultural exports to the European market without having to suffer huge rejection.

The Head of Cooperation, EU Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Kurt Cornelis, stated this during the opening session of West Africa Regional Quality System Project Steering Committee meeting held on Wednesday in Abuja.

He said the move became imperative in order to avoid situations where Nigerian products were rejected abroad for lack of standards.

About 103 made-in-Nigeria products exported last year to countries in Europe were rejected by the EU for lack of conformity to the required standards for the EU products.

The Punch. Thursday, 24th August, 2017

32

FG inaugurates N61bn local content intervention fund today

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.

Officials at the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources told our correspondent on Wednesday that the initiative was in pursuant of the Business Environment and Investment Drive Component of the #7BIGWINS.

The #7BIGWINS is a document of the ministry that focuses on the short and medium-term priorities targeted at growing the nation's oil and gas industry between 2015 and 2019.

The officials explained that the NCIF sought to enhance access to the Nigerian Content Development Fund through financing products that could meet the diverse funding needs of the Nigerian oil and gas service providers.

The Punch. Thursday, 24th August, 2017

33

BET: How budding entrepreneurs can access N3m seed capital

BUDDING entrepreneurs have the chance to access N3 million seed capital in the seventh edition of the Building Entrepreneurs Today (BET) initiative of Diamond Bank Plc, with the commencement of the process of selection, training and empowerment of 50 entrepreneurs under the scheme.

BET is a capacity building and business education initiative of the bank aimed at generating interest in entrepreneurship and designed to support budding entrepreneurs in Nigeria.

According to the bank, the BET initiative is run in partnership with

the Enterprise Development Center (EDC) of Pan Atlantic University (PAU) to ensure that entrepreneurs in the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are properly trained, equipped with up-to-date business knowledge and given enough capital to effectively play in the economy.

Vanguard. Thursday, 24th August, 2017

34

Bank lending: UNIDO gives Nigerian young entrepreneurs e-learning support

The Investment and Technology Promotion Office of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation says it is set to support Nigerian young entrepreneurs with interactive e-learning package and online coaching on how to meet bank lending requirements.

A statement by the group on Wednesday quoted the Chief Technical Adviser, UNIDO-ITPO, Mr. Stanislaw Pigon, as saying the innovation was to improve their 'bank readiness' and capabilities to formulate and communicate their business ideas.

He said the global body was sharpening the project formulation and appraisal skills of young people operating in the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises sector of the economy, with its refined Computer Model for Feasibility Analysis and Reporting Lite.

According to the statement, COMFAR Lite is a state-of-the art investment project analysis tool that, through its interactive and intuitive modules, allows even less experienced entrepreneurs to present their business ideas.

The Punch. Thursday, 24th August, 2017

35

Naira depreciates to N361 as NAFEX records $146m

The naira yesterday depreciated to N361 per dollar in the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window as the volume of dollars traded rose to $146.09 million.

Data from Financial Market Dealers Quote (FMDQ) showed that the indicative exchange rate for the I&E window, known as Nigeria Autonomous Foreign Exchange (NAFEX), rose to N361 per dollar from N359.6 per dollar on Tuesday. This translated to depreciation of N1.40 for the naira. The nation's currency however remained stable at N370 in the parallel market.

Further analysis revealed that the volume of dollars traded in the I&E window rose by 46 per cent to $146.09 million yesterday from $100.29 million on Tuesday. Thus $411.67 million have been traded in the window this week.

Vanguard. Thursday, 24th August, 2017

36

Senate's threat to arrest 30 CEOs, embarrassing - MAN

The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria has described as embarrassing the threat by the Senate Committee on Customs and Excise to arrest 30 chief executive officers of companies for their refusal to appear in person at its public hearing.

The Senate committee is investigating companies alleged to have been involved in the N30tn revenue leakage in the import and export value chain between 2006 and 2017.

MAN said the move was an undeserved embarrassment of company CEOs who are members of the association.

The President, MAN, Dr. Frank Jacobs, made this known to journalists in his office in Lagos on Thursday.

Jacobs said, "In the first instance, this allegation is against respective companies and not the CEOs as individuals and so if the concerned companies choose to mandate a representative from the organisation who has adequate knowledge and responsibility for the issue in question to attend the inquest, we see no reason for the rejection of such a representative, not to talk of threat to arrest the CEOs for not attending the public hearing in person."

The Punch. Friday, 25th August, 2017

37

Nigeria's oil sector gets N61b local content intervention fund

A $200 million (N61 billion) fund to finance contracts obtained by Nigerian firms working in the oil and gas sector has been launched.

Tagged the Nigerian Content Intervention Fund (NCIF), owned by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) would be disbursed by the Bank of Industry (BoI).

Interest for loans granted from the fund have been pegged at not more than 8 per cent for companies and five per cent for host community contractors.

>The Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, who spoke at the signing ceremony in Abuja yesterday, said government’s target is to grow the fund to $1 billion in the next five years.

The Guardian. Friday, 25th August, 2017

38

FG unveils $200m bailout for oil, gas firms

The Federal Government on Thursday launched a fund with an initial value of $200m to support local oil and gas firms.

The intervention fund, according to the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, is part of measures to improve access to low-cost credit for oil and gas firmsl operating in the economy.

The Nigerian Content Development Fund is expected to be financed through the allocation of one per cent of the value of all contracts awarded in the upstream oil and gas industry, the petroleum ministry said.

Oil sales make up about two-thirds of national revenues, which is in its first recession in 25 years largely caused by low global crude prices.

The new fund would offer finance to energy firms setting up manufacturing facilities or acquiring assets such as oil rigs, ministry officials said.

The Punch. Friday, 25th August, 2017

Other Economic and Business Indicators

GDP -0.52%
(Q1, 2017)
Inflation Rate
(Year-on-Year change)
16.05%
(July, 2017)
Unemployment Rate 14.2%
(Q4, 2016)
Underemployment Rate 21.0%
(Q4, 2016)
Monetary Policy Rate 14%
(July, 2017)
Inter-Bank Call Rate 13.46%
(June, 2017)
Prime Lending Rate 17.59%
(June, 2017)
Maximum Lending Rate 30.94%
(June, 2017)
External Reserve USD 31,598,895,310        
(18 August, 2017)
Exchange Rate (CBN)
25 August 2017
USD: 305.8
POUNDS: 392.31
EUROS: 361.30
Exchange Rate (Parallel Market)
25 August 2017
USD: 370.00
POUNDS: 478.00
EUROS: 432.00
Liquidity Ratio 30%
Treasury Bill Rate (91 Days) 13.35%
(16, August 2017)
Demand Deposits at Banks
(NGN million)
8,406,673.93
(June, 2017)
Credit to Government (Net)
(NGN million)
4,942,464.50
(June, 2017)
Credit to Private Sector
(NGN million)
21,978,566.76
(June, 2017)
Currency in Circulation
(Million Naira)
1,873,544.00
(June, 2017)
Bank Reserves
(Million Naira)
3,266,289.65
(June, 2017)
External Debt: FGN + States
(USD million)
13,807.59
(as at March 31, 2017)
Local Debt: FGN only
(NGN million)
11,971,336.53
(as at March 31, 2017)
Nigeria's Merchandise Trade 5,7286.6 billion (Quarter 4, 2016)
Crude Oil $49.93 (OPEC Daily Basket, 25 August, 2017)

Source: CBN, NBS and DMO
Compiled by: Research Department, NACCIMA
28 August, 2017