The Nigerian government on Thursday disclosed that it would require a total sum of $1.1 billion loan to implement its Green imperative initiative.
The Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, who disclosed this at the launching of the project at the old Banquet Hall, Presidential Villa, Abuja, said the project was part of Buhari administration’s moves to reposition and diversify the economy in a sustainable way.
The initiative is a Nigeria-Brazil Cooperation Project Agriculture.
She explained that the loan which would majorly be provided by Brazilian government, would be provided in kind through the supply of agricultural machinery and implements in the form of Completely Knocked Down, CKD, parts.
The minister said: “The project we are launching today will be implemented with a total loan package of US$1.1 billion majorly from the Brazilian government, which will be disbursed in four tranches over a period of two years.
Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, who launched the project, described the initiative as a game changer in repositioning the country’s economy.
“We cannot bring our nation out of poverty without investment in agriculture.
“Also, the share number of young people coming of age will not only need to be fed but employed. They want dignified jobs with decent pay.”
Speaking at the programme, the Brazilian Ambassador to Nigeria, Ricardo Guerra de Araujo, said the $1.1 billion contract includes 10,000 tractors to be assembled here in Nigeria, more than 707 centres to be established to train not less than 10,000 Nigerians. He also said the project aims to create over five million new jobs, especially among the youths.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday, said a staggering sum of $217.7 billion was illegally taken out of Nigeria between 1970 and 2008.
The anti-graft agency revealed this in Abuja through its acting Chairman, Ibrahim Magu at the one day conference organised by the Online Publishers Association of Nigeria (OPAN) in Abuja.
Magu, who was represented by the commission’s acting spokesman, Tony Orilade, said the various investigations, arrests, prosecution and assets recoveries over the years had confirmed that the level of corruption in Nigeria had been truly staggering.
Insisting that corruption in Nigeria was being perpetrated by individuals and groups both in the private and public sectors, Magu identified former state governors, ministers, high ranking military officers, chief executives of parastatals and top bureaucrats in state and federal agencies as culprits involved in the public sector theft.
Magu said: “The alarming rate of corruption committed by these unpatriotic elements can be partly seen in the number of convictions secured by the EFCC from Nigerian courts since I assumed duty as the head of the commission in 2015.
“The figure stands at 103 in 2015, 195 in 2016, 189 in 2017 and 312 for the period of January to December 2018. The total figure for the period of 2015 to 2018 is a mind-blowing 799 convictions. In the process of such convictions, the EFCC recovered N794.5bn, $261m, £1.1m, €8.1m and CFA86, 500.
“One of the most graphic ways through which the absence of democratic accountability manifests itself in Nigeria today is through the prevalence of rampant corruption at all levels of governance. For example, Transparency International reported that Nigeria was the most corrupt country in the world for years: 1996, 1997, 2000 and second in the line for remaining years up to 2003.
“In February 2015, a high-level panel on illicit financial flows from Africa constituted by the African Union, under the chairmanship of a former President of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki, revealed that Nigeria ranked first among ten African countries by cumulative illicit financial flows between 1970 and 2008. The total outflow from Nigeria for the period was $217.7bn constituting about 30.5 per cent of Africa’s total share.”
Investors at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Wednesday gained N120.5 billion as the stick market continued its appreciation for the past five consecutive trading days.
The market capitalisation of listed equities jumped from N11.238tn on Tuesday to N11.359tn on Wednesday, with the All Share Index rising by 1.07 per cent to 30,460.68 basis points.
The gains, analysts say were driven by price appreciation in Dangote Cement Plc, Guinness Nigeria Plc and United Bank for Africa Plc.
The gains moderated the market’s year-to-date loss to -3.1 per cent, while investor sentiment strengthened to 1.5x from 1.4x on Tuesday.
Activity level was however mixed as volume traded increased by 1.9 per cent to 305.802 million units, while value traded declined by 35.3 per cent to N2.102bn.
Top traded stocks by volume were Diamond Bank Plc (141.2 million units), Fidelity Bank Plc (18.6 million units) and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (17.4 million units) while the top traded stocks by value were GTB (N577.7m), Zenith Bank (N357.1m) and Diamond Bank (N296.6m).
Performance across sectors was also mixed with three sectoral indices closing in the green.
The insurance index led the gainers with a 2.32 per cent gain; the industrial goods index rose by 1.70 per cent, and the consumer goods index advanced by 0.24 per cent.
On the other hand, the banking sector was the major loser, with a 0.68 per cent depreciation, while the oil and gas index shed 0.01 per cent.
After Wednesday trading, 24 stocks advanced while 16 others recorded losses.
Topping the gainers were Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc, Veritas Kapital Assurance Plc, Guinness, Honeywell Flour Mill and NEM Insurance, having their share prices gaining 10 per cent, 10 per cent, 9.65 per cent, 9.57 per cent and 9.57 per cent, respectively.
However, Beta Glass Plc, Northern Nigeria Flour Mills Plc, Resort Savings and Loans Plc, PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc and Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals Plc, led the losers, with their respective share prices declining by 10 per cent, 9.20 per cent, 8.82 per cent, 8.33 per cent and 4.69 per cent.
Nigeria has contributed 97 out of the 360 companies listed in the second edition of the London Stock Exchange Group’s Companies to Inspire Africa report.
The report, which identifies 360 companies in 32 countries in Africa, was launched on Wednesday with Kenya also contributing 66 companies.
“Nigeria further built on its leading position established in the 2017 report with strong representation from the industry and technology and telecoms sectors,” the LSEG said in an emailed statement.
The report, with seven major sectors represented, featured companies including small entrepreneurial businesses to well-established corporations.
According to the report, consumer services, industry and agriculture are the three biggest sectors, contributing over 50 per cent of the companies featured, while technology and telecoms, and financial services together represent over 25 per cent of firms.
Healthcare and education and renewable energy also featured strongly.
Some of the Nigerian firms listed are Kian Smith Trade & Co Limited, which is building the country’s first gold refinery; FSDH Merchant Bank Limited; Ladol Integrated Logistics Free Zone Enterprise; Jumia; Asharami Synergy Plc, BudgIT Foundation; Interswitch Limited; Ensure Insurance Plc; Lagos Business School, Pan-Atlantic University; North South Power Company Plc; Leadway Assurance Company Limited; Farmcrowdy Limited and Venia Group.
According to the Chief Executive Officer, LSEG, David Schwimmer, the firms listed in last year’s report had already realised significant progress and achievements in the last 12 months in a variety of ways, including pursuing IPOs and issuing bonds to grow, while some had also undertaken cross-border expansion, both within the African continent and globally.
Schwimmer said: “London Stock Exchange Group’s ‘Companies to Inspire Africa’ report showcases inspirational and entrepreneurial businesses from across the African continent, representing a wide variety of industries and countries. It is particularly encouraging to see the increasing influence of women in leadership roles in these fast-growing companies, playing a pivotal role in shaping the future of African business.
“These high-growth companies have the potential to transform the African economy and become tomorrow’s job creators. At LSEG, we are committed to helping companies realise that potential and we are pleased to highlight and celebrate the company success stories behind one of the world’s fastest growing markets.”
The report was produced in partnership with African Development Bank Group, CDC Group, PwC and Asoko Insight, and the report is sponsored by Instinctif Partners and Stephenson Harwood.
A report from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has shown that Nigeria recorded crude oil export worth N11.5 trillion in nine months, from January to September 2018.
The figure is a 48.01 per cent rise from N7.77 trillion recorded in similar period in 2017.
The figure is also over N2 trillion more than the N9.12 trillion budgeted for 2018 and about N3 trillion more than the 2019 budget proposal.
Data from the NBS Foreign Trade Statistics for the Third Quarter of 2018, showed that crude oil export in the nine-month period accounted for 81.8 per cent of total exports recorded in the Nigerian economy in 2018.
According to the report, crude oil export in the first quarter of 2018, appreciated by 51.05 per cent compared to N2.37 trillion recorded in the first quarter of 2017; while in the second quarter of 2018, crude oil export stood at N3.77 trillion, appreciating by 55.14 per cent from N2.43 trillion recorded in the same period of 2017.
The report also showed that third quarter 2018 crude oil export appreciated by 39.17 per cent from N2.97 trillion recorded in third quarter 2017 to N4.15 trillion.
“Crude oil exports in third quarter 2018 was 10.03 per cent more than the value recorded in second quarter 2018 and 39.5 per cent higher than the value recorded in third quarter 2017. Other oil products export in third quarter 2018 was 5.3 per cent more in value than second quarter 2018 and 12.68 per cent higher than third quarter 2017,” the NBS report noted.
Breaking down exports in the third quarter of 2018, the report stated that crude oil and Liquefied Natural Gas [LNG], export stood at N4.147 trillion, N469.87 billion respectively, other petroleum gases export stood at N27.85 billion.
Others are liquefied butane and liquefied propane export which stood at N17.66 billion and N13.73 billion respectively; kerosene type jet fuel export stood at N7.4 billion, while the lubricating oil export stood at N6.84 billion.
The report also named India as the highest importer of Nigeria’s crude oil, purchasing N764.88 billion worth of the commodity; followed by Nigeria’s crude oil export of N522.12 billion and N500.31 billion to Spain and France respectively.
Furthermore, the NBS disclosed that crude oil from Nigeria was exported to South Africa, Netherlands, Indonesia, Brazil and United Kingdom, valued at N335.28 billion, N276.37 billion, N256.3 billion, N226.2 billion and 206.3 billion respectively.
United States and Canada bought Nigeria’s crude oil worth N201.65 billion and N199.01 billion respectively in the third quarter of 2018.
The report noted: “Nigeria’s external trade totalled N9.026 trillion during the third quarter of 2018. Compared to the value of N6.903 trillion recorded against the second quarter, a rise of N2.122 trillion or 30.7 per cent was indicated.
“The total export component of this trade was N4.854 trillion, representing an increase of 7.8 per cent over second quarter 2018 and 35.7 per cent over third quarter 2017.”
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed that loans granted to about 550,000 rice farmers in the country who were affected by the 2018 flooding be structured for another four years as a form of compensation.
This was disclosed by the National President of Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) Aminu Goronyo on Tuesday in Abuja.
Goronyo said: “Instead of paying the loan in three installments within a year, the loan will be restructured to be paid within four years now and be paid by installments.’’
Goronyo further said that only the affected farmers under the RIFAN/CBN/ABP model programme would benefit from the compensation, adding that the resolution was an outcome of a meeting with the Director, Developing Finances of CBN and RIFAN executive.
The RIFAN president, who said his association only championed the case of affected farmers under its care, expressed the hope that all the registered farmers under the Anchor Borrowers Programme that were affected would benefit from it.
The CBN, according to Goroyo, has also directed that a fresh loan should be given to the affected farmers so that they could go back to the field and recover their losses.
“RIFAN is working on the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Presidency and the CBN to compensate the victims as promised by President Mohammadu Buhari.
“RIFAN is also seeking assistance from the CBN to restructure the loans to alleviate the suffering of the affected farmers and make them go back to the field,’’ he said.
Air Peace launches Port Harcourt NAF Base flights, to operate from OAS terminal ON JANUARY 14, 201910:34 AMIN AVIATION0 COMMENTS By Lawani Mikairu
Air Peace is to commence daily flights into the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Base in Port Harcourt, Rivers state with effect from r January 18 and would operate from OAS Terminal at the base with state of the art facilities. Air Peace Confirming this development, Air Peace Corporate Communications Manager, Mr. Chris Iwarah said that the airline would operate from the Murtala Muhammed Airport domestic terminal (MMA2), Lagos and the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja into and out of the Port Harcourt NAF Base.
The operations, he said, would be managed by the carrier’s subsidiary, Air Peace Hopper as part of its no-city-left behind project, targeted at connecting underserved and unserved domestic and regional routes. “We are delighted to announce the commencement of our flight operations from the Murtala Muhammed Airport 2, Lagos and the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, Abuja to the Nigerian Air Force Base, Port Harcourt, Rivers State starting from Friday, January 18, 2019. “Our valued customers had yearned for the extension of our flight operations to the Port Harcourt NAF Base and we are quite pleased to respond to their request to enter the route,” the airline said. Meanwhile, the Managing Director and CEO of OAS Helicopters, which operates the OAS Terminal, Captain Evarest Nnaji, said the new terminal was designed and delivered to support airplanes and helicopters for oil and gas flight operations. “It was designed and delivered with the sensitivity and stringent standard associated with oil and gas aviation security and safety in mind, taking into account the reliability and predictability desirous of a facility that supports 24/7 high net worth operations.
Evarest explained that Air Peace is accommodated in the facility in order to enhance the movement of oil and gas workers to and from different parts of the country to the base. “First we conceived a large facility capable of supporting operations way more than we expect to utilise in near future; we therefore have enough space to share. Second, oil and gas operators seem very comfortable with Air Peace judging the number of expatriates you see on Air Peace flights, so when they approached us to use the facility we had no problem accommodating that, and I think they are happy.
The facility is the best you can find around here as it meets all international oil and gas aviation standards which is usually way higher than regular commercial aviation,” Nnaji said. The MD/CEO also said that the facility is still expanding as OAS expects to, within the next 24 months, install a state-of-the-art new generation helicopter maintenance hangar, which, according to him has not been found anywhere else in Africa. “We have not been talking about this because OAS business model will remain on simple achievement milestone, showcasing our mileage of achievements as we accomplish them.
That to me is more dignifying,” Captain Nnaji added. Related Air Peace expands operations to MMA2 December 13, 2018 Air Peace begins inaugural flight from MMA2 January 2, 2019 Air Peace inaugurates Monrovia, Abuja-Accra services Aug. 6 July 25, 2018.
The European Union (EU) has deployed an election observation mission to Nigeria to monitor the general elections coming up in February.
In a statement issued on Friday, the Press Officer, Modestus Chukwulaka, said the Election Observation Mission Team consists of 11 EU election analysts.
According to Chukwulaka, the team arrived in Nigeria on January 4, 2019 and will remain in the country until the completion of the elections.
They will also be joined later in January by 40 long-term observers who will be deployed across the country.
Chukwulaka also stated that the High Representative/Vice-President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini, appointed Maria Arena as Chief Observer of the European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM).
Mogherini believes that the deployment of an EU EOM under the leadership of Arena will contribute to an inclusive and transparent electoral process.
She said, “As Africa’s largest economy and a key political and economic player in West Africa, Nigeria is an important partner for the EU.
“The EU is committed to supporting Nigeria’s path towards stronger democracy and further political stability, building on the 2015 general elections. I am confident that the deployment of an EU EOM under the leadership of Chief Observer Maria Arena, will contribute to an inclusive and transparent electoral process.”
On her part, the Chief Observer said, “It is a great honour for me to lead this important EU Election Observation Mission to Nigeria. I am hopeful that our observation will provide a meaningful contribution to the electoral and democratic process in Nigeria.”
The deployment of the EU Election Observation Mission, according to Chukwulaka, follows an invitation by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The EU has consistently accompanied electoral processes and deployed an EOM to Nigeria’s general elections since 1999, as part of its commitment to supporting credible, transparent and inclusive elections in the country.
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, has said there is no budgetary provision for the construction of the 3,050 megawatts Mambila hydropower project.
The minister was reacting to reports that the loan negotiations for the project had stalled since 2017 because of an attempt to utilise $600 million (N219 billion) from the project for an alleged pet project not hitherto considered by the Federal Executive Council.
According to him, the claims were false and misleading.
Fashola, who spoke in Abuja on Sunday, condemned the reports, explaining that the China Exim Bank would only disburse money for specific projects such as the Mambila power project after the conclusion of negotiations.
He said: “Nothing is further from the truth than the claim that the loan negotiations have stalled since 2017 because of an attempt to utilise $600m (equivalent of N219bn) from the 3,050MW hydropower project for a ‘pet project’ not hitherto considered by the Federal Executive Council.
“There is currently no budgetary provision or cash provision of $600m or the N219bn in any budget of the Federal Government for the Mambila project. Therefore you cannot attempt to divert what does not exist.”
Continuing, the minister said: “For the avoidance of doubt, the China Exim Bank disburse money to specific projects and on conclusion of negotiations, the loan will be devoted to the construction of the Mambila Power Project, which has been on the drawing board for close to 40 years before the advent of the Buhari administration which is now working assiduously to get the project off the ground.”
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Friday, intervened in the Retail Secondary Market Intervention Sales by injecting the sum of $263 million, the first in 2019.
A statement by the Director, Corporate Communications at CBN, Isaac Okorafor, on Friday, indicated that the apex bank also injected CNY39m into the sector for a combination of spot and short-tenored forwards, arising from bids received from authorised dealers.
According to figures from CBN, the US dollar-denominated interventions were for requests in the agricultural and raw materials sectors, while the Yuan sale was for payment of Renminbi-denominated letters of credit for agriculture as well as raw materials.
According to Okorafor, the move was in furtherance of the CBN Governor’s commitment to ensuring foreign exchange liquidity in the system as well as boosting trade and production.
He revealed that the CBN would sustain its intervention through the sale of foreign exchange to all segments of the market to meet all legitimate foreign exchange demand while also striving to achieve exchange rate stability in the market in the weeks ahead.
Okorafor also disclosed that the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, will further unfold the bank’s plans for the year during the first Monetary Policy Committee meeting for the year scheduled to hold between 21st and 22nd January, 2019.