Monday 24 July 2017
(This Day Live 07/17/17)
The federal government lost an estimated $6 billion as a result of the Department of Petroleum Resources’ (DPR) poor administration of the expiring oil blocks, which were sold by the international oil companies (IOCs) between 2010 and 2015 to local firms, Nigerian exploration and production (E&P) operators have said. The Nigerian operators have, however, stated that all hope is not lost, as the country could earn over $3 billion from the next wave of asset sales if the DPR manages the outstanding onshore oil blocks set to expire soon properly. DPR has also admitted that it was not prepared to develop the necessary guidelines for the asset divestment programme by the IOCs, as the exercise came as a “shock” to...
(Bloomberg 07/17/17)
Nigerian banks are boosting dollar-spending limits for payment cards denominated in local currency as much as tenfold because of improved foreign-exchange supply, the nation’s biggest lender said. Guaranty Trust Bank, the country’s biggest bank by market value, raised the maximum amount a holder of its naira Mastercard can spend abroad in a month to $1,000 from $100, in line with “the relative improvement in foreign-exchange liquidity in the market,’’ Meksley Nwagboh, a spokesman for the lender said Monday in an emailed response to questions. Ecobank Transnational Inc. has set a $1,000 per day limit from $100 while FCMB Group Plc will start implementing its new spending limit of $500 per month this week, according to their officials. Nigerian lenders cut...
(APA 07/17/17)
The warning on ministries and agencies against clandestine recruitment and the Presidency’s insistence on the confirmation of appointment of anti-graft boss are some of the leading stories in Nigerian newspapers on Monday. The Sun newspaper said the Presidency has blown the whistle on illegal, large scale and indiscriminate clandestine recruitments in federal ministries, department and agencies (MDAs). The PM News said the Presidency has reiterated its stance that certain federal appointments should not require the Senate’s confirmation. To this end, it is set to seek Supreme Court opinion on this. It said the refusal by the Senate to confirm the appointment of the acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu, had more to do with politics...
(Agence Ecofin 07/17/17)
The United Nations Children's Funds (UNICEF) has donated medical equipment worth N1.2 billion ($3.5 million) to the Adamawa state government in a bid to reduce prevalent maternal mortality. The equipment includes, 226 baby dressing tables, 220 bed screens, 180 infusion stand, 226 microscope, 300 delivery kits, 200 stethoscope, 300 surgical kits, and 322 examination tables among other items. This, according to UNICEF, signals the commencement of the second phase of the Maternal, New-born and Child Health project in the state which is backed back the European Union. Speaking at the donation ceremony in Yola, the Chief Field Officer of UNICEF, Abdulahi Kaikai explained that the project aims to strengthen Primary Health Care and Community Resilience for improved Maternal, Newborn and...
(Xinhuanet 07/17/17)
Africa is making progress towards the establishment of a trade zone by Oct. 30 that will cover approximately half of the continent's member states. The Common Market for the Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Director of Trade and Customs, Francis Mangeni, said in a commentary published in the Star Newspaper on Monday that so far 19 of the 26 countries involved have signed the agreement. "Three outstanding annexes had meant the tripartite agreement was not complete and this was advanced by some countries as the reason they could not sign or ratify the agreement. However their adoption represented a milestone in the negotiation, as it removed the last obstacle to signing and ratifying the agreement," Mangeni said. The tripartite free...
(Agence Ecofin 07/17/17)
In Nigeria, the Lagos state government has revealed plans to raise N100billion ($290 million) in bond offering to finance critical infrastructural projects in the state, according to the Commissioner of Finance, Economic Planning and Budget, Akinyemi Ashade. “We have a lot of projects in the area of tourism. We have the facelift of Lagos Marina, Onikan, and the construction of about six theatres in the state. We also have stadium to be constructed in order to engage the youths. We have key roads to be constructed also. We have the elderly care homes and other projects. We will focus on special taxes, consumption taxes, and find out other ways which would help us in furthering the 2018 budget,” he said...
(Agence Ecofin 07/17/17)
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has revealed plans to start issuing licences for the use of the Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA), also known as drones, for both commercial and private use in the country. Speaking to the press in Abuja on Thursday, Dele Sasegbon, Director of general aviation at NCAA said: “We have proposed regulations already. For the integration of unmanned aircraft into the national airspace system, we have to do it seamlessly.” According to him, individuals and companies in Nigeria have expressed interests in using drones for agriculture, monitoring pipelines and storage tanks in its oil and gas industry, and in power-line inspections. He said the authority has taken cognizance of these growing requests and has therefore issued...
(AFP (eng) 07/15/17)
US officials said Friday they plan to confiscate $144 million in corruption-tainted assets of Nigerian oil executives found in the United States including an $80 million yacht the "Galactica Star." The yacht and a $50 million condominium overlooking New York's famed Central Park were among the riches tied to dirty contracts awarded by Nigeria's former oil minister between 2011 and 2015, the US Justice Department said statement. "The United States is not a safe haven for the proceeds of corruption," acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Blanco said. "Corrupt foreign officials and business executives should make no mistake: if illicit funds are within the reach of the United States, we will seek to forfeit them and to return them to the...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/15/17)
The U.S. Justice Department on Friday filed a civil complaint seeking to recover about $144 million in assets obtained through paying bribes to a former Nigerian oil minister, the department said in a statement. The complaint said that from 2011 to 2015 two Nigerian businessmen conspired with others to pay bribes to the minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, who steered lucrative oil contracts to companies owned by them. The proceeds were laundered in and through the United States, and were used to purchase assets including a $50 million Manhattan condominium and an $80 million yacht, it said. Alison-Madueke was charged with money laundering in Nigeria, the country's financial crimes agency said in April. She previously denied to Reuters any wrongdoing when questioned...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/15/17)
Nearly 1,000 women struggling to put food on their tables in Boko Haram-hit northeast Nigeria have received goats as emergency assistance, the United Nations said Thursday. The region is threatened with famine after the militants' eight-year insurgency to create an Islamic state, which has killed more than 20,000 people and forced 2.7 million people to flee their homes. Many women, traditionally responsible for small livestock, have had their animals stolen or were forced to leave them behind to escape, leaving them with virtually no source of food and money for their families, aid agencies say. "Many are alone because ... men have left, been injured, disabled or even killed," Patrick David, Nigeria country representative for the U.N. Food and Agriculture...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/15/17)
Nearly 1,000 women struggling to put food on their tables in Boko Haram-hit northeast Nigeria have received goats as emergency assistance, the United Nations said Thursday. The region is threatened with famine after the militants' eight-year insurgency to create an Islamic state, which has killed more than 20,000 people and forced 2.7 million people to flee their homes. Many women, traditionally responsible for small livestock, have had their animals stolen or were forced to leave them behind to escape, leaving them with virtually no source of food and money for their families, aid agencies say. "Many are alone because ... men have left, been injured, disabled or even killed," Patrick David, Nigeria country representative for the U.N. Food and Agriculture...
(AFP (eng) 07/14/17)
A traditional ruler in Nigeria's commercial hub, Lagos, has been suspended indefinitely for faking his own kidnapping, the state government said. The Lagos State government's commissioner for local government and community affairs, Teslim Folami, said Chief Yusuf Ogundare, the Baale of Shangisha, was suspended "with immediate effect". A baale is a traditional ruler in a community in southwest Nigeria. In Lagos, a baale is answerable to the Oba or king of Lagos. Ogundare was said to have faked the kidnapping to embarrass the government and to implicate a rival traditional ruler in his community. His younger brother had told police that some people pretending to buy land had kidnapped the baale on July 5, prompting an investigation. Lagos police commissioner...
(This Day Live 07/14/17)
The Federal Civil Service Strategy and Implementation Plan for the transformation of the nation’s bureaucracy approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday will save the country about N120 billion within the next four years. Details of the plan, which is targeted at improving efficiency in the civil service and cutting the cost of governance, was made available to THISDAY. It showed that the savings would be delivered through the upscaling of the deployment of HR, a human resource management software that the federal government had deployed to help it weed out ghost workers from its pay roll. According to the plan, the cleaning up of HR data on the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) would save...
(Punch 07/14/17)
The Federal Government has engaged Kroll, a United Kingdom-based forensic and assets-tracing firm, and some other foreign firms to trace the assets of very wealthy Nigerians at home and abroad. The names of 150 very wealthy Nigerians are on the list for the first batch of the exercise, which is expected to last for some months. The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, confirmed at a press briefing in Lagos on Thursday that the government had engaged some foreign firms to trace the local and foreign assets of some high net worth Nigerians. She, however, refused to give the names of the other foreign firms the Federal Government had engaged for the exercise nor names of the wealthy Nigerians whose...
(Bloomberg 07/14/17)
Nigeria signaled its willingness to cap its oil production to support OPEC’s efforts to ease a global supply glut. The output limit would come into play when Nigeria can stably pump 1.8 million barrels a day, the country’s oil minister Emmanuel Kachikwu told reporters Wednesday in Abuja. That’s about 100,000 barrels more than it’s currently producing. The country’s output has recovered this year after militant attacks had damaged export pipelines and other facilities. Nigeria and Libya were exempted from cuts agreed to by OPEC and other large producers in an effort to trim a global glut. OPEC decided late last year to reduce its output by 1.2 million barrels a day to 32.5 million starting Jan. 1. Other producers including...
(Bloomberg 07/14/17)
Nigeria plans to license drones used for both commercial and private purposes under new regulations governing unmanned aircraft, the head of the civil aviation agency said. “We have proposed regulations already,” Dele Sasegbon, director of general aviation at the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, told reporters Thursday in the capital, Abuja. “For the integration of unmanned aircraft into the national airspace system, we have to do it seamlessly.” Steps have been taken by the National Airspace Management Agency to bring drones into the country’s airspace system, he said. Individuals and companies in Africa’s most populous country of more than 180 million people have expressed interest in the use of drones in agriculture, for monitoring pipelines and storage tanks in its oil...
(Agence Ecofin 07/14/17)
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and 35 other Federal agencies have been given seven days to submit their 2017 budget proposals to the National Assembly for appropriation. The directive was issued to the agencies by the Senate on Wednesday. This decision comes after a motion raised by Senator Ahmed Lawan, claiming that most government agencies were breaching the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007 by carrying out extra-budgetary spending without the approval of the Senate. Due to this, the lawmakers reached an agreement to have the budgets passed before their annual recess, later this month. “The budget submission by these agencies must be done within a week,” said...
(Agence Ecofin 07/14/17)
In Nigeria, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the commencement of the validation and payment of N2.7 trillion ($7.8 billion) debts owed to contractors and employee for over twenty years. This is in line with government’s effort to resolve long standing dues and stimulate economic activity. Kemi Adeosun, the Minister of Finance disclosed this at the end of the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting on Wednesday. According to her, the debts will be paid within three years, through the issuance of bond and promissory note. “We have an obligation to our Federal Government employees to address these long-outstanding pension and employment benefit issues. Some people have been promoted for years but are still on their old salary. We are...
(Punch 07/14/17)
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, has said Nigerians should stop going to court to stop electricity tariff review, describing the planned review as necessary. Fashola stated this on Thursday at a public lecture organised by the Department of Economics, University of Lagos, where he spoke on the power sector reform in Nigeria, challenges and the way forward. He said he fully supported the privatisation of the power sector, adding, “I believe, however, that the privatisation that we did in 2013 was well-intentioned but delivered with some deception.” The minister, however, opposed the calls for the cancellation of the privatisation from some quarters, but highlighted the need to rework the process and make it work. Speaking...
(Agence Ecofin 07/14/17)
In Nigeria, the Debt Management Office (DMO) has raised N105.96 billion ($307.5 million) by selling a 5, 10 and 20-year local currency bond at an auction on Wednesday to fund the 2017 budget. According to the debt office, the amount raised was less than the N135 billion ($391.6 million) it had planned to issue at the auction. A total of N47.01 billion in 10-year paper was raised at a rate of 16.25% compared to the 16.19% at last month's auction while N55.05 billion in 20-year bond was sold at 16.25%, against the previous 16.19%. Also the office sold N3.90 billion in five year debt at 16.24%. “The low demand for the 2021 bond was a reflection of the level of...

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