Friday, 03 August 2018
Telkom Mobile has been suffering a "system failure" over the past 24 hours.
Its four million South African subscribers have been struggling to connect. 
Telkom’s website and app have also been down since Thursday afternoon. 
Telkom Mobile - which has over four million cellular users in South Africa - is experiencing a countrywide “system failure”, the company said on Friday morning.
Users have reported extremely poor network quality, the sudden loss of airtime and data, and problems with recharging airtime over the past 24 hours. Some are demanding free data to be compensated for their inconvenience. 
Telkom’s website and app have also been down since Thursday afternoon. 
“Our team is still attending to the service issue with urgency. We'll keep you updated until this issue is resolved,” Telkom tweeted on Friday. 
“Please be patient as the team works on resolving the issue. We will keep you updated with further information.” 
On social media, users expressed outrage with the service disruption, demanding the cellular service give free data to apologise. 
MTN recently gave away clients R100 worth of airtime, and 100MB data for free, after its service was disrupted by a “technical glitch”.
Source: News24
Published in Telecoms
An update received from the office of the Vice President of Nigeria on the state of foreign investment inflow into the economy has indicated that about $83.9 billion worth of investments were announced between January 2017 and the end of the first quarter of 2018, Q1’18. Osinbajo The report titled, “2018 Making Business Work”, evaluated government’s efforts in improving the business environment in Nigeria and was presented to the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, by the Enabling Business Environment Secretariat in the Vice President’s office during the monthly meeting of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC). 
A breakdown of capital investments as contained in the report showed that in 2017, over $66 billion worth of investments were announced, comprising 112 projects across 27 states and the FCT Abuja, while an additional $17.9 billion worth of investments were announced in quarter 1 of 2018, as actual capital importation stood at $6.3 billion, representing over six times the value in the first quarter of 2017, Q1’17. 
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity Office of the Vice President, Laolu Akande, who unfolded the report yesterday, stated that measurable progress has been recorded on multiple fronts as the economy responds to key government interventions particularly in the areas of economic growth, inflation, foreign exchange & external reserves, capital market, investment, infrastructure and social investment programmes. Looking at the journey so far, according to him, the report indicated that under economic growth, the rigorous implementation of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, ERGP, led the economy out of a recession in 2017; it grew to 0.83 percent, up from -1.58 percent recorded in 2016, on the back of improvements in agriculture, industry and trade. It further stated that the economy has registered four consecutive quarters of steady growth. 
In the first quarter of 2018, the economy grew 1.95 percent and is projected to grow by up to 3.0 percent over the year, driven by stronger oil prices, stable production, increased non-oil output and improved foreign exchange availability. The report also indicated that for the first time in Nigeria, under the competitiveness section of the ERGP, soft infrastructure is expressly recognized as a deliberate strategy to attain economic development through the facilitation of an enabling business environment for businesses to thrive. 
The report specifically recognized government’s efforts in improving the effectiveness of soft infrastructure such as the financial system; the education system; health care system; the system of government; law enforcement; and emergency service. According to the report, “Nigeria’s reforms have so far seen it successfully move 24 places up the World Bank Ease of Doing Business rankings. Overall, in the current reform cycle, the PEBEC focused on three pillars to accelerate and expand the impact of completed reforms. 
The focus will be on deepening existing reforms. Complete pending initiatives and ensure implementation of completed reforms launched in 2017, including communication and consequence management, as well as making the reforms sustainable.” On inflation, the report indicated that the pressure on prices is easing and inflation fell 16 consecutive months from 18.72 percent in January 2017 to 11.60 percent in May 2018.
Source: Vanguard
Published in News Economy
Sterling Bank Plc, has reported a 63.4 per cent surge in net profit for the first half (H1) ended June 30, 2018.
The lender reported a Profit After Tax (PAT) of N6.2 billion and gross earnings of N77.6billion against PAT of N3.8billion on gross earnings of N57.1 billion during the corresponding period of 2017.
The Chief Executive Officer of the bank, Abubakar Suleiman, said: “We sustained our momentum in the second quarter, delivering solid growth across key financial indices.
We also achieved a 35.9 per cent growth in gross earnings to N77.6billion from N57.1billion in the second quarter of 2017.
“This was largely driven by a 25.1 per cent growth in interest income and a 56.5 per cent growth in transaction banking revenues, emphasizing our commitment to our retail drive.”
Suleiman disclosed that net operating income was up 29.1 per cent, on the back of a 54.8 percent reduction in impairment charges.
“Sterling Bank experienced significant improvement in asset quality as cost of risk declined further by 86 basis points to 0.8 per cent from 1.6 per cent in June 2017, reflecting the strength of our risk management framework.
Overall, Profit after Tax rose by 64.8 per cent to N6.2billion resulting in a 370-basis point increase in Return on Average Equity to 12.2 per cent.”
During H1 2018, the bank launched disruptive market offerings that included Farepay, Specta, and Sterling One Pay.
The most recent innovation, One Pay, is an upgrade of its mobile and internet banking solution in line with its digitisation drive, and promise to continuously innovate to meet customers’ evolving needs.
One Pay is designed to create an omni-channel experience for users by integrating both web-based Internet and mobile banking solutions.
In addition, the bank’s commitment to partnerships also resulted in the deployment of I-invest, a first-of-its-kind investment app that allows retail customers instant access to treasury bills.
I-invest eliminates entry barriers such as lack of education and information to make smart investment decisions and the ability to get a broker and/or time required to visit banks to fill forms for treasury bills.
On the prospect of the bank for the second half of the year, Suleiman said Sterling Bank would continue to explore and exploit opportunities already identified across the growth sectors of the economy while actively supporting special intervention and social investment programmes.
Source: The Guardian
Published in Bank & Finance
Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, says the Federal Government is working towards providing Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises(MSME) a credit facility of N2 million to N10 million without collateral.
Osibanjo made the disclosure on Wednesday at a dinner/ maiden edition of the MSMEs Award 2018 held at the State House Banquet Hall, Abuja.
The awards packaged by the Office of the Vice-President and supported by the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment, got over 300 nominations across the nation.
Osinbajo had in 2017 launched the MSME Clinic as part of efforts to encourage the contributions of MSMEs to Nigeria’s economic growth.
The acting president said he was delighted to reward and recognise outstanding MSME as they represent remarkable examples of Nigerian entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation.
According to him, efforts are underway to double government’s commitment to ensuring that MSME find an enabling environment to thrive.
He said that in addition to the one-stop-shop launched in some states to carry the MSME clinics intervention, the Federal Government would soon launch its shared facilities for MSMEs initiative.
Osinbajo said the initiative would be in partnership with the Bank of Industry (BOI), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) and the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC).
“This initiatives will provide MSME access to fully equipped cluster style facilities for which they can pay an affordable fee to operate.
“These facilities would have been pre-certified by relevant agencies like NAFDAC, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Industrial Training Fund (ITF) and NEPC thereby removing the layers of bureaucracy that in the past held back many aspiring entrepreneurs.
“In the shared facilities, you already have the requisite licences that regulate your operation. So, using the facilities means that you will not go through all the regulatory bureaucracies.
“We will also partner with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and commercial banks to launch a credit facility that will make available to MSME loans from N2m to N10m with a period of five to seven years with little or no collateral.
“The interest rate will be five percent. All that you need is to provide the committee with a bankable business proposal and guarantor,’’ he said.
Osinbajo said that the Federal Government was also exploring an initiative by CAC to allow a special window of 90 days for MSME which had not registered their businesses to do so at a highly subisidised price.
He said he was aware of complaints from some states and warned that he would not tolerate the shirking of responsibilities from agencies on the one-stop- shop for MSME.
Earlier in her remark, Hajiya Aisha Abubakar, the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, commended Osinbajo over the MSME clinics initiative and awards.
She said that efforts were being made to give the MSMEs expert advice on legal, accounting among other areas to strengthen their businesses.
The awards were in 12 categories–NEXIM Bank Excellence Award in Agriculture, won by Promaka Farms, Imo State; NAFDAC/SON Excellence Award in Beauty and Wellnesss won by Yelwa Shea Butter, Sokoto; DBN/ITF Award on Fashion and Style won by Hanbows, Oyo State.
Others are CBN Young MSME Award won by Chrisblo Glimmer Touch, Cross River and MSME of the Year Award won by Bennie Agro Machineries, Plateau State; NEPC Award in Creative Arts, CAC Award on Furniture and Wood Works, SMEDAN Awards on Leather works, BOI Award on Manufacturing.
Also featured was NITDA Award on Technology Innovation, FIRS Award on Non-Profit Service to Humanity and Most Friendly MSME State won by Abia.The event attracted the Governor of Plateau, Simon Lalong, Deputy Governor of Abia, Mr Ude Oko Chukwu and the Deputy Governor of Cross River, Prof. Ivara Esu.
Source: The Guardian
Published in Bank & Finance
The quick passage of a bill on factoring in Nigeria, is a crucial step in facilitating the ease of doing business, and procuring the trust of investors in the country, was underscored recently during a public hearing held at the National Assembly in Abuja.    
Speaking during the Public Hearing on the Factoring Bill, the Chairman, House of Representatives Banking and Currency Committee, Jones Onyereri, said the introduction of factoring in the financial sector would serve as complementary financing to conventional financing, and will largely target micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
“This will facilitate the provision of cash flows to MSMES, especially those that have quality receivables and may not be in the position to obtain adequate conventional bank finance due to high interest rate, collateral or credit profile constraints,” Onyereri said.
The Managing Director, Intra-African Trade Initiative, African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), Kanayo Awani, highlighted the importance of factoring in unlocking the economic potential of SMEs.
He noted that it could play a key role by supporting the SMEs; promote open accounts, which is beneficial to SMEs in enhancing their competitiveness, and provide an alternative source of trade access to finance.
She said Afreximbank is committed to supporting the appropriate legal and regulatory environment as a key strategic initiative for the promotion and development of factoring.
She also noted that under its strategy, the Bank is required to work on improving the legal environment to bring about harmonised standards and transparency within the factoring industry in Africa, and providing for legal enforcement arrangements.
The public hearing, which was organised in collaboration with Afreximbank, also attracted the participation of representatives of the House of Representatives Banking and Currency Committee, NEXIM, FCI, the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Debt Management Office, the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Financial System Strategy 2020, and many other stakeholders.
Source: NAN
Published in Bank & Finance
The Listing of 1.612 billion ordinary shares of Notore Chemical Industries, on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), yesterday, triggered renewed bargain hunting by investors, as the market capitalisation rose by N129billion.
Specifically, at the close of transactions yesterday, the All Share Index (ASI) gained 76.08 absolute points, representing a growth of 0.21 per cent to close at 36,688.91 points.
Similarly, the market capitalisation gained N129billion to close at N13.392trillion as 1.6 billion shares of Notore Chemical at 50kobo per value was admitted to the daily official list of NSE at N62.50 per share.
The improved performance was impacted by gains recorded in medium and large capitalised stocks, amongst which are; Total Nigeria, Ecobank Transnational Inc (ETI), Zenith Bank, United Bank for Africa (UBA), and Presco.
Analysts at APT Securities and Funds Limited, noted that bargain hunting flipped the equities market into the green zone amidst the successful listing of Notore Chemical, saying that the market is open to another round of investors seeking higher value for money the next trading session, however, the market may sway either way to close the week.
Market breadth closed positive, with 23 gainers versus 16 losers. Pointland Paints recorded the highest price gain of 9.76 per cent, to close at N2.25 per share.
UAC of Nigeria followed with a gain of 9.68 per cent to close at N1.70, while Lasaco Assurance rose by 9.09 per cent to close at 36kobo per share.
Trans-Nationwide Express gained by 8.83 per cent to close at 78kobo, and Niger Insurance appreciated by 7.69 per cent, to close at 28kobo per share.
On the other hand, Secure Electronic Technology led the losers’ chart by 10 per cent, to close at 36kobo per share.
Flour Mills of Nigeria followed with a loss of 5.40 per cent to close at N27.15 per share.
Oando declined by 4.27 per cent to close at N5.60 per share.
Regency Alliance Insurance shed 4.17 per cent to close at 23kobo, while Universal Insurance depreciated by four per cent to close at 48kobo per share.
The total volume traded appreciated by 33.40 per cent to 320.45 million shares worth N3.53billion, traded in 3,293 deals.
Transactions in the shares of Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO, topped the activity chart with 130.59 million shares valued at N777.32million.
UBA followed with 28.73 million shares worth N270.96million, while FBN Holdings traded 25.997 million shares valued at N3258.73million.
Source: Financial Times
Published in Bank & Finance
Saudi Arabia said Thursday it banned five vehicles loaded with camels from entering Mecca in a bid to protect pilgrims from contagious diseases.
Omar Al Faqih, director of the branch of the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture in Mecca, said his office was implementing the decision of the Health Ministry, the official Saudi Press Agency reported.
The Health Ministry also bans slaughtering camels in Mecca as a precautionary measure to protect the health of pilgrims visiting the holy Islamic city from all over the world.
Camels have been proven to be the source of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) Coronavirus that has killed hundreds of people in Saudi Arabia alone since the first diagnosed case in 2012.
The kingdom has witnessed a major decline in new MERS cases or deaths from the virus because of drastic measures taken by Saudi authorities in association with international health organisations.
In 2017, more than 2.3 million pilgrims performed Hajj in Mecca.
The statistics released on Thursday by the General Directorate of Passports showed that the number of foreign pilgrims visiting Mecca this year has reached 603,764 so far.
Published in Travel & Tourism
The UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) said it was shocked to learn of the tragic death of six Nigerian asylum-seekers, among them three children, who were killed in a blast in the far north of Cameroon.
The UN refugee agency, said it had learnt that on July 29, 12 asylum-seekers were being forcibly returned to Banki, Nigeria, in a Cameroonian army truck, which drove over an improvised explosive device that exploded.
UNHCR added that six Cameroonian soldiers and six other asylum-seekers were also injured in the incident, which took place in Homaka, Mayo Sava Division.
Director of UNHCR’s Regional Bureau for Africa, Valentin Tapsoba, condemned the forcible return of Nigeria’s asylum-seekers from Cameroon.
“This tragic incident is a disappointing testament of continuing forced returns (refoulements) of refugees and asylum-seekers from Cameroon, despite numerous appeals by UNHCR to the Government of Cameroon to respect its obligations.
“The forced return of refugees and asylum-seekers is in violation of the principle of non-refoulement, which constitutes the cornerstone of international refugee law to which the Cameroonian State is party,” Tapsoba said.
No fewer than 800 Nigerian refugees and asylum-seekers in Cameroon had been forcibly returned to Nigeria since the beginning of 2018, the UN refugee agency said.
Tapsoba further said: “UNHCR once again calls upon the government of Cameroon to refrain from carrying out further forced returns of Nigerian refugees and asylum-seekers.
“It also reminds Cameroon of its obligations under international law relating to the protection of refugees and asylum-seekers and the commitments it made by signing the Tripartite Agreement for the voluntary repatriation of Nigerian refugees from Cameroon in March 2017.
“UNHCR reiterates its appeal to authorities to provide Nigerian refugees with unhindered access to asylum and stands ready to support Cameroon to ensure all individuals seeking safety have access to efficient screening, registration and documentation procedures”.
Some 96,000 Nigerian refugees had sought safety in the Far North region of Cameroon, with more than 8,000 new refugees registered since the beginning of 2018, UNHCR said.
According to the UN refugee agency, Cameroon currently hosts more than 367,000 refugees and asylum-seekers.
Source: The daily mail
Published in Travel & Tourism
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