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Thread: Latest Nigerian News from Forex Forum Nigeria.

  1. #351
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    Consumer confidence soars as Nigeria’s economy recovers

    The confidence of consumers in the Nigerian economy has increased due to improvements in various areas of the country’s financial sectors, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and other sources have shown.
    This may not be unconnected to the increase in economic activities usually experienced towards the end of the year that translate to a slight growth in the economy evident in savings and spending.

    For instance, the NOIPolls released the Consumer Confident Index (CCI) report for the last quarter of 2017 that showed that consumer confidence increased by 3 points to stand at 70.5-points compared to the third quarter of last year when it stood at 67.5 points.

    Consumer Confidence Index of 50 points and above indicates that consumers are optimistic with respect to the economy in the near future and this means that they tend to purchase more goods and services.

    Increased purchase of goods and services invariably increases spending in the economy which in turn inevitably stimulates the whole economy.

    Additionally, data from the NBS for the last quarter of 2017 suggest that the country’s economic recovery remains largely on track as the Purchasing Manager’s Index signalled a healthy growth in November, 2017.

    Similarly, the two independent variables that make up the consumer confidence index, the Present Situation Index (PSI) and the Expectation Index (EI), both experienced an increase.

    The PSI experienced an increase of 6.4 points to stand at 50.6 in Q4, 2017 while the EI also experienced a minimal increase of 0.9 point to stand at 85.5 points.
    It is important to note that businesses, financial and government agencies largely depend on their perceptions and micro assessment of consumers’ expectations in making decisions. At best, they draw conclusions on the business environment based on information from their immediate surroundings while the minorities conduct surveys that are time and money consuming.

    However, the introduction of consumer confidence index provides an indicator that will ensure stakeholders can detect and respond to changes in consumer behaviour, the economy, and the business environment in the country.
    A close look at the economic indicators in Nigeria can demystify why consumers have increased confidence in the economy.

    Key indicators, such as Gross Domestic Product (GDP), capital importation, exchange rate stability, slowing inflation rate and improvements in ease of doing business are all signs that Nigeria is on a positive path of economic recovery.

    This may not be unconnected to the implementation of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan of the Federal Government, which was rolled out at the time the country was experiencing one of her worst economic recessions in history.

    Data sourced from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed that the nation’s GDP growth rate grew to 1.40 per cent by the 3rd Quarter of 2017, just as agriculture grew by 3.06 per cent and industry by 8.83 per cent within the same period.

    In the same quarter, the NBS also reported 131.3 per cent growth in the value of Capital importation into Nigeria with the country’s foreign reserve rising from $23.81 billion in September 2016 to $40.4 billion.

    Inflation rate has been on a downward slide, dropping from 18.72 per cent in January 2016 to 15.37 per cent by December 2017 even as the country’s exchange rate is becoming stable and the gap in CBN foreign currency exchange rate and the parallel market rate increasingly narrowing.

    These positive growths are expected to continue in 2018 as election campaign spending is likely to up government spending, boost trade, increase income, up consumption and in turn boost GDP.

    Evidenced by the successes of the interventions and policies rolled out by the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC), the World Bank announced that Nigeria has moved up 24 places in its (World Bank’s) most recent Ease of Doing Business rankings.

    The World Bank also pronounced that Nigeria is one of the top 10 reforming countries in the world.

    These improvements in ease of doing business and the pronouncement by the World Bank that Nigeria is indeed reforming its business environment are likely to open doors from investors all over the world into the country’s investment climate this year.

    The report will serve as confidence booster for investors and increase foreign direct investments flowing into the country.

    Meanwhile, the Federal Government is targeting a GDP growth rate of 3.5 per cent for this year and 7 per cent by 2020 and a look at the country’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan showed it is also targeting an inflation rate of 12.54 per cent for 2018 and a single digit inflation of 9.9 per cent by 2020.

    The country also projects at least 10GW of operational electricity capacity by 2020; manufacturing sector average growth of 8.5 per cent this year; agriculture average annual growth rate of 6.9 per cent over the plan period (2017-2020) and self-sufficiency in major food items, including rice.

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  3. #352
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    Power firms fail payment obligations, shun 100% TEM rule

    In spite of measures to end the financial constraints in the power sector, records have shown that the problems persist as the 11 distribution firms recorded outstanding N269.3 billion debts for energy allocation in the first nine months of 2017.

    The Daily Trust analysis of payment records for energy invoices and performances posted by the Nigeria Electricity Bulk Trading Plc (NBET) showed 29 per cent average payment of N108.3bn was made by the 11 Distribution Companies (DisCos) from a cumulative N377.6bn invoice.

    NBET is an agency in the power sector that intermediates between the about 25 GenCos and the 11 DisCos. It obtains monthly energy invoices of GenCos as raised by another agency, the Market Operator (MO) of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), collects the month’s revenue the 11 DisCos had drawn from the residential, commercial industrial customers by way of electricity bill payments.

    The sum remitted by the DisCos to NBET is expected to be equivalent at 100 per cent to the energy invoice figures from the GenCos to sustain the operation of the electricity market as mandated by the Transition Electricity Market (TEM) rule and the Multi Year Tariff Order (MYTO) 2015 set by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).

    Despite the TEM activation since 2015, the privatised distribution firms have yet to meet up to 80 per cent monthly payment since they took over the business on November 1, 2013, the remittance records at MO and NBET show.

    It degenerated to an average 30 per cent since 2016 with Port Harcourt, Kano and Yola DisCos making zero remittances in six months of the review period. While P/H DisCo missed remittance for July and September, Kano DisCo missed for June, July and September. Yola DisCo did not remit for six months; it remitted only for January, February and May at 25 per cent average.

    On the average performance in terms of monthly remittances of energy payments, Eko DisCo led the top performers. Ikeja DisCo came second place, Ibadan DisCo was third and Benin Disco occupied the fourth place, the analysis revealed.
    Yola DisCo now operated by the federal government however led the worst performers with Kano DisCo occupying the 10th position.

    The middle performers were Enugu DisCo at the fifth, Abuja DisCo occupied the sixth place, Port Harcourt DisCo was at the seventh position; the eighth position was occupied by Kaduna DisCo, and Jos DisCo took the ninth position.

    Analysis of the data showed the trend of performance was best in February 2017. This was when average electricity generation was at 3,500MW.

    It was worse for the months of July and September even when generation was high around 4,000MW in July, and over 4,000MW in September, generation data from the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) indicated.

    71% energy receipts from GenCos constrained
    From the GenCo type analysis, the three hydropower GenCos - Kainji, Jebba and Shiroro posted N62.4bn as invoice for January to September. They however received N18bn as payment from the DisCos, which was just 29 per cent remittance level.

    The 20 gas-fired (thermal) GenCos that operated in the period posted N315.2bn invoice, the record showed. The stations’ operators received N90.2bn, an approximated 29 per cent of their invoices for nine months of 2017.

    Result of the analysis noted that 71 per cent of the energy revenue expected from the DisCos was constrained in the first nine months of 2017.

    Showing instance of the gap in the GenCos’ invoices and their payments from the DisCos the data analysis shows that three of the overall top GenCos group including Ughelli, Egbin and Okpai stations posted N128bn but received only N37.2bn, representing 29 per cent of the invoice figure.

    Three of the overall lowest GenCos’ group comprising Ibom Power, Trans Amadi and Afam IV-V posted N5.8bn and received N1.6bn; it represented 28 per cent of its receipt.

    The NBET manages a N701bn Payment Assurance Guarantee (PAG) fund obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). After the DisCos’ 30 per cent remittance, the fund guarantees up to 50 per cent additional payment to the GenCos every month staring from January 2017 and ending by 2019.

    Our analysis shows that out of the DisCos’ N269.3bn outstanding debts from the N377.6bn GenCos’ invoices, the payment assurance fund guarantees about 50 per cent payment which would be an estimated N188.8bn for the nine month period under review.

    The Managing Director of Mainstream Energy Solutions Ltd, Engr. Lamu Audu in December had acknowledged the intervention through PAG but urged government to find ways of accommodating the 20 per cent deficit.

    Recently, the Managing Director of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC), Mr Chiedu Ugbo said but for the payment assurance fund, the power sector would have collapsed.

    He noted that the fund so far has helped GenCos paid for gas supply and other essential services which resulted in improved electricity generation. The Daily Trust reports that the highest peak electricity generation of 5,222MW attained on December 18, 2017.

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    Nigeria Airways former workers block Airport road in protest over N45bn pension

    Former workers of the defunct Nigeria Airways are staging a protest at the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos on Tuesday following what they called the prolonged delay and uncertainty over the payment of the N45bn pension approved for them last year by President Muhammadu Buhari.

    The retirees have blocked the road linking the International wing with the domestic terminals of MMA causing traffic gridlock on the ever busy road.

    The protesters singing solidarity song with different placards demand explanation from the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun on why their pension approved since May last year has not been paid.

    The protest kicked off from the Skypower Catering Service with hundreds of members participating. They were earlier addressed by their leaders including the Chairman of Nigeria Airways’ branch of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), Comrade Sam Ezene and Engr. Lukman Animasahun.

    Nzene said the protest would move to Abuja after Wednesday if nothing was heard from the government on the status of their payment.

    “The Minister (of Finance, Kemi Adeosun) keeps insisting that National Assembly has to approve and we went to the National Assembly but they said there is nothing on Nigeria Airways at the National Assembly. That is what we have been dragging since September,” he said.

    The placards read, "President Buhari, save us from Kemi Adeosun now"; " Mrs Adeosun, your action and inactions are man's inhumanity to man"; "Madam Minister of finance, where is our pension and entitlements, pay us now"; among others.

  5. #354
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    FG requires $245bn to implement ERGP – Minister

    The Federal Government says it requires $245.13 billion to implement the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) over its four-year period.
    The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, stated this during his presentation on ERGP Focus Labs at the inauguration of core teams by the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo.

    He said the cost of implementation will be divided in a ratio of 4:1 with the private sector contributing $195.98bn while government investment is expected to provide $49.15bn.

    He also said that the plan, with five execution priorities and six priority sectors, is expected to create 15 million jobs with the aim of tackling constraints to growth, leveraging the power and private sector, allowing market to function and promoting national cohesion as well as social inclusion.

    While inaugurating the groups, Vice President Osinbajo charged the stakeholders to work as a team focused on getting new investment commitments and assisting investors through the process.

    The working group comprising senior public officials from the six pilot ministries and their agencies are expected to provide sector expertise and work with the ERGP Implementation Unit to successfully plan the three initial labs and address inter-agency bottlenecks investors might bring to the labs.

    He said the ERGP focus labs is one of those targeted initiatives of the President Buhari administration that drive the three pillars of its medium term plan - restoring growth, building a competitive economy and investing in the Nigerian people.

    “As mentioned by the Honourable Minister of Budget and National Planning, most of our macro indices are trending upwards but a lot more needs to be done. And this administration will definitely not relent until we bring these headline improvements to visibly impact the majority of our citizenry,” he added.

    He further noted that the focus labs are primarily to drive new investments that create jobs for the people across the 36 states of the federation, stressing that all hands must be on deck to get the labs’ project right.

    He explained that the central steering committee - comprising nine cabinet ministers in Agriculture, Transport, Solid Minerals, Industry, Trade and Investment, Power, Works and Housing, Petroleum Resources, Finance, Justice and Budget and National Planning - is tasked with steering the labs and ensuring active collaboration with the private sector to remove inhibitions that may have impeded some of the priority projects that they want to invest in, but which have remained on the drawing board for long.

    The labs are expected to be executed in three phases starting from March, 2018 to May, 2018.

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    We’ll expose tax debtors through bank accounts, shares - Adeosun

    The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, yesterday advised wealthy Nigerians to take advantage of the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) to regularise their tax status and escape unsavoury consequences.

    A statement from the VAIDS office quoted Mrs Adeosun as saying in her speech in Enugu during the hosting of VAIDS by the Enugu State governor, Mr Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, that the federal government had compiled data on property, bank accounts, shareholdings and other income sources of individuals and corporate entities.

    “From our records, there seems to be a few big men and big women from this part of the country who may need to think very carefully about making a VAIDS declaration. We have been compiling data on property, bank accounts, share holdings and other sources that suggest that many people have not been paying the right taxes. VAIDS is an opportunity to regularize,” she stated.
    The minister alleged that some wealthy Nigerians had moved huge sums of monies out of Nigeria without paying any tax on them, warning that such people would soon be exposed.

    “The good news for government, which is bad news for the tax evaders, is that globally, nations have agreed to share data under the Automatic Exchange of Information. This means that while sitting at our desks in Abuja, we are getting information about assets that the owners thought were well hidden from the tax authorities.

    “As you know, Nigerians are entitled to keep their wealth anywhere in the world, including under their mattress, but what the law requires is that they pay tax on their income as they earn it,” stated the minister.

    She lamented that Nigeria had a poor scorecard in tax payment. “When oil came, we abandoned the old systems of tax collection that had provided most of our infrastructure since colonial days. Currently, we have just 14 million taxpayers out of 70m who are economically active.

    Actually, we have 74m registered voters. So many who should be paying are not paying anything.

    “Also, some who are paying something are not paying the correct amount. It may seem smart for a businessman to get a tax clearance certificate for N200,00 when he earns millions, but I can tell you without fear of contradiction that not only is this illegal, such people are cheating themselves and future generations,” she said.

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    Cyber-attacks: ‘N150bn depositors’ monies at risk’

    Experts and top Nigerian government officials have said at least N150 billion will be lost to cyber criminals if they eventually carry out their plan to launch a massive robbery attack on the country this year.

    Many Nigerians were jolted two weeks ago when the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) raised the alarm of an impending cyber-attack on banks and some other key establishments in the country.

    The agency in charge of IT regulations in the country said it had intercepted plans by hackers to wreak havoc which could make its financial institutions lose billions of naira to the cyber heist.

    But the banks are not the only targeted institution. NITDA said the cyber criminals or hackers are also targeting health institutions and other government agencies. And it could be very soon or anytime within the year, according to a statement signed by the agency’s Director General, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami.
    Dr Pantami however said the agency was already working to counter the hackers. He also added that there was need for all stakeholders to take urgent and solid precautionary measures.

    Dr Pantami said the agency’s Computer Emergency Readiness and Response Team (CERRT), in conjunction with other industry stakeholders had already intercepted the plans by the hackers.

    Speaking with Daily Trust in Abuja, a top government official who is also an expert in cyber security, said if the hackers or the cyber criminals succeeded in launching the attacks, financial institutions, multinationals and many MDAs in the country may have their data taken over and at least N150 billion may be lost.
    The official, who pleaded anonymity because he was not cleared to talk to the media on the issue, added that apart from monetary loss, documents and data may also be seized and damaged by the criminals.

    In 2016, he said, Nigeria lost $450m to cyber-attacks alone and the trend has been on the rise since then.

    According to him, a total of about 3,500 cyber-attacks were launched on the country in 2017, 75% of which were successful, which led to a loss of about $500 million.

    It would be recalled that the Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, said Nigeria was losing 0.08 of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to cybercrimes and the figure might have risen because a large number of incidents were undetected or unreported.

    “Available statistics put the cost of cybercrime globally at over $700 billion per year, and it is projected to rise to about $2 trillion by 2019, due to the rapid digitization of consumer lives and company records,” he said adding that “the number of incidents in 2016 grew by 38% as against the number reported in 2015.”

    Shittu said the prevalence of electronic commerce and online malls was giving cybercriminals opportunity to attack unsuspecting Nigerians.

    He lamented the shortage of cyber security experts in Nigeria, warning that could expose the country to cyber danger.

    He however said his ministry and Office of the National Security Adviser were already implementing the provisions in the Cybercrime Act 2015 to curtail the menace of cybercrimes

    But an IT security expert, Mr Rem
    i Afon, said to prevent cybercrimes, government should enact a data protection regulation which makes it compulsory on all organisations to put in place strong data protection strategy.

    Mr Afon, who is the President of Cyber Security Experts Association of Nigeria (CSEAN), however said cyber-attacks at various times on super powers like the US, China and Russia have shown that no country has got the capacity to fully protect itself from cyber-attacks.

    He, however advised government to prioritise its efforts and raise cyber security awareness across the country.

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    PDP supporters defect to APC in Kwara

    Many members and supporters of PDP in Agbonda, Ajase Ward II of Irepodun Local Government Area of Kwara State, yesterday, decamped to the APC.
    The defectors attributed their grievance to neglect and lack of focus in their former party.

    The Secretary of the state chapter of APC, Mr. Olabode Adekanye, received the defectors on behalf of his party during an empowerment programme he organised for the people of Ajase Ward II tagged: ‘ABS Ajase II Empowerment Scheme’.

    Some of the items distributed to the beneficiaries included sewing machines, grinding machines and multi-functional fans.

    Adekanye said the defection of former PDP members in the area was a testimony that the APC-led government in the state was meeting the expectations of the electorate.

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    Nigeria’s inflation drops to 15.13 % in January – NBS

    The inflation rate, measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), has further dropped to 15.13 per cent in January from 15.37 per cent recorded in December, 2017, National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has said.
    The NBS disclosed this in its CPI report for January 2018 released on Wednesday in Abuja.

    The Consumer Price Index (CPI), which measures inflation, started the year 2018 increasing by 15.13 percent (year-on-year) in January 2018
    According to the bureau, this is 0.24 per cent points lower than the rate recorded in December (15.37 per cent).

    It stated that the rate recorded made it the twelfth consecutive disinflation (slowdown in the inflation rate though still positive) in headline year-on-year inflation since January 2017.

    It, however, stated that increases were recorded in the Classification of Individual Consumption by Purpose (COICOP) divisions that yield the Headline Index.

    On a month-on-month basis, the report stated that the Headline index increased by 0.80 per cent in January 2018, 0.21 per cent points higher from the rate of 0.59 per cent recorded in December 2017.

    The percentage change in the average composite CPI for the twelve-month period ending January 2018 over the average of the CPI for the previous twelve-month period was 16.22 per cent.

    It stated that the figures showed 0.28 per cent point lower from 16.50 per cent recorded in December 2017.

    Meanwhile, it stated that the Urban inflation rate rose by 15.56 per cent (year-on-year) in January 2018 from 16.78 per cent recorded in December 2017.
    The report stated that the rural inflation rate also eased by 14.76 per cent in January 2018 from 15.02 per cent in December 2017.

    On month-on-month basis, the bureau stated the urban index rose by 0.83 per cent in January 2018, up by 0.17 from 0.66 per cent recorded in December 2017.

    It stated that the rural index also rose by 0.77 per cent in January 2018, up by 0.23 per cent when compared with 0.54 per cent in December 2017.
    According to the report, the corresponding twelve-month year-on-year average percentage change for the urban index is 16.55 per cent in January 2018.

    It stated that this was less than 16.92 per cent reported in December 2017, while the corresponding rural inflation rate in January 2018 was 15.89 per cent compared to 16.10 per cent recorded in December 2017.

    The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the CPI measures the average change over time in prices of goods and services consumed by people for day- to-day living.

    The construction of the CPI combines economic theory, sampling and other statistical techniques using data from other surveys to produce a weighted measure of average price changes in the Nigerian economy.

    Key in the construction of the price index is the selection of the market basket of goods and services.

    Every month, 10,534 informants spread across the country provide price data for the computation of the CPI and the market items currently comprise of 740 goods and services regularly priced.

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    DPR slams N2.5bn fine on marketers over petrol diversion

    The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has fined over 20 oil marketing companies N2.5 billion for diverting about 162 trucks or roughly nine million litres of petrol between January and February.

    Briefing journalists after a meeting in Abuja on Tuesday of all DPR operations controllers, spokesman for the department in Abuja, Mohammed Bulama Saidu, said it uncovered the massive diversion of products through its Special Intelligence Unit which was created to intensify surveillance.

    The meeting was chaired by the DPR Director, Mr. Mordecai Danteni Baba Ladan.
    Saidu said most of the products diverted were NNPC intervention products that did not appear on the manifest.

    The products were meant to beef up supply at some locations but the marketers instead cornered the products elsewhere.

    “The products so far diverted were from Kano NNPC/PPMC depot where one marketer, A. Y. Maikifi, diverted 115 trucks between December 2017 and January 2018 during the peak of the fuel crisis.

    “Those trucks were specifically meant for intervention but they never got to any station because the station he claimed to be taking the trucks to do not exist. Our intelligence unit visited there and discovered that the land was not even cleared let alone a filling station existing there,” Saidu added.

    He said the DPR’s major concern was that the diverted products were not in the manifest. “Were it not for the intelligence unit, there is no way DPR would have known such product existed let alone track them.”

    Saidu explained that all the marketers found culpable have been fined N275 per litre (of product diverted) and N2.5 billion was the total penalty which the affected marketers would pay into the Treasury Single Account (TSA).
    Some have paid up to 50 per cent while some are still pleading but until they finished payment, DPR will not lift the fine, he stated.

    The other affected marketers with the highest fines include Shemraurat Fika, N265.3m for diverting 24 trucks (965,004 litres); Total Nigeria Plc N71.4m for diverting through non-existing Uralo Petroleum, Damaturu 5 trucks (259,986 litres) and Nushe Nigeria Ltd., N37m for diverting 3 trucks (135000 litres) of petrol.

    According to the DPR, other marketers penalized were Bulasawa Petroleum Nig. Ltd, OVH Energy Marketing Ltd, NNPC Retail Ltd (Samao Ventures), MRS Oil Nigeria Ltd, Toniset Nigeria Ltd, Jimeta Oil & Gas Ltd and Advance Link Pet. Nigeria Ltd.

    Also fined were Northbridge Energy Limited, Sarco Petroleum & Gas Ltd, Datum Company Nig Ltd and Ecco Integrated Oil & Gas Ltd.

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    World Bank approves $486 m credit to Nigerian power grid work

    World Bank has approved a 486 million dollars credit facility to Nigeria for electricity grid improvements, the lender said on Friday.

    “The investments under the Nigeria Electricity Transmission Project will increase the power transfer capacity of the transmission network and enable distribution companies to supply consumers with additional power,” the World Bank said.

    Nigeria’s power sector is often criticised by economists for holding back the country’s economic growth.

    Businesses and households are subject to frequent blackouts, and many depend on their own generators that are expensive to run.

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