Sunday 28 May 2017
(The Guardian Nigeria 05/02/17)
A report on the level of illicit financial flows in and out of Nigeria, Africa as a whole and emerging market economies has been put at between $2 trillion and $3.5 trillion yearly. A Washington-based think-tank, Global Financial Integrity (GFI), which released the report, said Africa is the most vulnerable to the flight of capital needed for investment and other purposes. But a poll of development economists said that sub-Saharan Africa, widely known for dependence on aid inflows and the charity of industrialised nations, is actually a net exporter of capital to the rest of the world. The report is coming ahead of the World Economic Forum on Africa in Durban, South Africa, which will hold this week, where the...
(Bloomberg 05/02/17)
Foreign investors are warming to the foreign-exchange window that Nigeria opened last week to ease a severe shortage of dollars, according to the head of the trading platform overseeing it. The naira’s depreciation in the window to almost the same level as the black-market rate means the new market is already “nearing equilibrium,” according to Bola Onadele, the chief executive officer of Lagos-based FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange. The central bank is ready to supply dollars to bond and stock investors, even for trades of as much as $100 million, he said. “There’s already been interest from portfolio investors because they can see that the new window will have buyers and sellers determining the rate,” Onadele said in an emailed response...
(This Day Live 05/02/17)
The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, said on Monday that the federal government has commenced payment into the Excess Crude Account (ECA), in line with efforts to rebuild fiscal buffers. Adeosun said for the first time since the administration took over, the federal government last month paid $87 million into the ECA. “Even though things are difficult, we are saving. As you know, when we came in, we gave the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) an extra $500 million and we are still going to do more. We cannot afford to waste because we don’t have money to waste,” Adeosun said while speaking at The Platform, a programme organised by Covenant Christian Centre in Lagos on Monday. She said a...
(Bloomberg 05/02/17)
Fidelity Bank Plc expects profit to rise by 30 percent this year as it benefits from investments in high-yielding Nigerian government debt and improving supplies of foreign exchange, even after the country’s economy declined for the first time in 25 years. Fidelity is able to buy Nigerian 10-year bonds that yield more than 16 percent, the second-highest among local-currency government debt in 31 emerging markets tracked by Bloomberg. Together with purchases of 12-month Treasury bills, with yields at five-year highs of almost 19 percent, the bank estimates the investments will help it increase 2017 pretax profit to about 20.5 billion naira ($63 million). “The money we generate from liabilities will be quite bullish from a fixed-income perspective, because the yields...
(The Guardian Nigeria 05/02/17)
Cargo handling operations at the nation’s ports are at a low ebb, as cargo throughputs have fallen below the Guaranteed Minimum Tonnage (GMT). The benchmark was captured in the agreement entered by the Federal Government and the concessionaires 10 years ago. Cargo throughput refers to the total volume of cargo (inward and outward) handled at the ports nationwide. The low cargo volume is an indication of an ailing economy where manufacturing and businesses struggle to survive. The multi-billion naira cranes and equipment, which dot the various ports, are now mostly idle, indicative of the uncertainty over investments and returns likewise. Consequently, terminal operators across the six major seaports in the country have decried the negative impact, as almost 80 per...
(Punch 05/02/17)
Troops of the Nigerian Army under Operation Delta Safe, on Monday morning engaged in a gun battle with militants in the Ajakpa community in the creeks of Ondo State, during which the militants’ ring leader, Ossy Ibori, and 14 gang members, were killed. It was gathered that three soldiers were killed during the encounter, while three others were injured. The gang leader, Ibori, reportedly brought the militants from the creeks in a bid to steal crude oil and other activities when they had a shootout with troops. Our correspondent learnt that Ibori was shot dead, while some of his gang members escaped into the waters with bullet injuries. According to a source, the clash occurred at about 1am on Monday...
(This Day Live 05/02/17)
The audited results of 2016 for 14 banks quoted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) have shown a 22 per cent increase in total loans and advances to their customers from N13.315 trillion in 2015, to N16.372 trillion in the year under review. The financial results of the banks reviewed by THISDAY showed deliberate efforts by the banks, mostly to support operators in the real sector of the economy. Similarly, the total profit after tax (PAT) of the 14 banks rose marginally to N452 billion in 2016, up from the N442.451 billion recorded the previous year; just as their total gross earnings climbed to N4.007 trillion in the reviewed year, as against the N3.441 trillion recorded in 2015. The banks’...
(Bloomberg 05/02/17)
Saudi Aramco is seeking to boost its fuel-trading volume by more than a third as the world’s biggest crude exporter expands its capacity to refine oil to grab a bigger share of growing markets in Asia and Africa. Aramco, as Saudi Arabian Oil Co. is known, is building refineries in the kingdom and in Asia to help it increase sales and purchases of gasoline, diesel and other products to more than 2 million barrels a day, said Ibrahim Al-Buainain, chief executive officer of Saudi Aramco’s trading unit, Saudi Aramco Products Trading Co. Owning refineries gives the unit, known as Aramco Trading Co., options for buying and selling fuel that some of its competitors don’t have. “The key is that you...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/29/17)
The leader of a group calling for the secession of an area in southeast Nigeria, formerly known as Biafra, was released on bail on Friday after being detained for nearly two years, his lawyer said. Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) campaign group, has been held at Kuje prison in the capital, Abuja, since his arrest in October 2015 on charges of criminal conspiracy and belonging to an illegal society. A wave of IPOB demonstrations took place in southeast Nigeria in late 2015 and early 2016 following Kanu's arrest. Secessionist feeling has simmered in the region since the Biafra separatist rebellion tipped the country into a civil war from 1967 to 1970 that killed an estimated...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/29/17)
The Nigerian arm of Abu Dhabi telecom group Etisalat is meeting lenders in London on Friday for talks on restructuring a $1.2 billion debt, Access Bank CEO Herbert Wigwe said. Etisalat Nigeria is the biggest foreign-owned victim of the dollar shortages plaguing Nigeria's financial system. It signed the $1.2 billion medium-term facility with 13 local banks in 2013 to refinance a $650 million loan and fund the modernization of its network, but is now struggling to repay the debt. Access, one of the lenders in that consortium, is owed 40 billion naira ($131 million) by Etisalat Nigeria and more by its contractors, although Wigwe declined to specify how much. "They are in London having a meeting as we speak. In...
(AFP (eng) 04/28/17)
At least five soldiers were killed and another 40 injured when a Boko Haram jihadist rammed an explosives-laden pick-up truck into a military convoy in northeast Nigeria, security sources told AFP on Friday. The bomber, believed to be loyal to factional leader Abu Mus'ab Al-Barnawi, targeted the convoy, which was conducting "clearance operations" between Yobe and Borno states, two military officers said. "At about 1100 hours (1000 GMT) on Thursday, a suicide bomber believed to be a Boko Haram terrorist riding in a van loaded with explosives rammed into a military convoy at Manguzum village," one said. "We lost five soldiers in the incident and more than 40 sustained various degrees
(AFP (eng) 04/28/17)
Nigerian officials on Thursday sought to allay fears about the health of President Muhammadu Buhari after his absence from the last two cabinet meetings. Buhari's spokesman Garba Shehu said there was "no need for apprehension" that he had missed the meetings but he was only following medical advice. "As eager as he is to be up and about, the president's doctors have advised on his taking things slowly, as he fully recovers from the long period of treatment in the United Kingdom some weeks ago," Shehu said in an emailed statement. "Full recovery is sometimes a slow process, requiring periods of rest and relaxation," he said, adding that Buhari was still in charge, despite his lack of public appearances. The...
(AFP (eng) 04/28/17)
A video clip apparently showing the traditional ruler of Lagos snubbing the spiritual leader of the Yoruba people has caused controversy in Nigeria. In the footage, the 73-year-old Oba (king) of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu, appears to rebuff the greetings of the Ooni of Ife, Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, at a public event in the city Tuesday. The ooni, 42, then went quietly to his seat without incident but what appeared to be the oba's dismissive attitude sparked protests online -- and speculation as to what was behind it. The Ooni of Ife is the most powerful and influential monarch among the Yoruba people of southwest Nigeria, who are the country's second biggest ethnic group after the Hausa-Fulani. Historically, the ooni or...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/28/17)
School teachers in the Lake Chad region where Boko Haram is waging an insurgency are being trained to identify and respond to security threats to protect children from the Islamist group, the United Nations said on Thursday. Schools are particularly vulnerable to bombings, attacks, and abductions by the insurgents but many lack detailed safety plans, the U.N. children's agency (UNICEF) said. Boko Haram, whose name in the Hausa language means "Western Education is Forbidden", has killed more than 600 teachers and forced over 1,200 schools to close during its eight-year insurgency in Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon and Chad, UNICEF said. Three years ago, the abduction of more than 200 schoolgirls by the jihadist group in Chibok in northeastern Nigeria sparked global...
(Agence Ecofin 04/28/17)
Nigeria should get out of recession latest by the end of June. This was declared by the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, after a meeting with Senate’s leadership on Tuesday. “We are very much optimistic that by the end of the second quarter very latest third quarter this year, we should be out recession that we are in right now,” said Emefiele. According to the governor who aims through the announcement to reinforce investors’ confidence in the Nigerian market, many indicators point toward the end of recession. Amongst these, the downward trend in the parallel market in favor of the naira, which has appreciated from as high as N525 to as low as N370 for...
(Agence Ecofin 04/28/17)
Nigeria’ digital economy has the potential to generate $88 billion and create over 3 million new jobs over the next 10 years. This was revealed on April 25 during a meeting in Geneva where ministers from developing nations gathered to draw a policy agenda to bridge the digital gap and provide long-term development solutions. According to the minister of industry, trade and investment, Okechukwu Enelamah who led the Nigerian delegation to Geneva, in order to boost digital economy, the ministry is working on the “Smart Nigeria Digital Economy Project”. The project will promote “people’s creativity, build their potentials, improve broadband connectivity, implement policies that will support digital economy, enhance regional and national integration and attract more investment in the country”...
(Agence Ecofin 04/28/17)
Press freedom in Nigeria continues on its downward path in Nigeria. This is what reveals the recent World Press Freedom index produced by Reporters Without Borders (RSF). Indeed, the ranking puts the African nation at the 122nd position out of 180 countries graded, while it was 116th in 2016. According to the report, “in Nigeria, it is nearly impossible to cover stories involving politics, terrorism or financial embezzlement”. “Journalists are often threatened, subjected to physical violence, or denied access to information by government officials, police, and sometimes the public itself”. In Africa, the three most well ranked nations in RSF’s index are Namibia (24th in the world), Ghana and South Africa (26th and 31st respectively). Closing the ranking on the...
(Agence Ecofin 04/28/17)
In Nigeria, the parliament’s upper house aims to pass the government’s 2017 budget next week, revealed Senate leader Ahmed Lawan (photo, left) on Thursday. “By next week… we should be able to finish our own work and pass the budget to Mr. President to sign,” Lawan said after a meeting with president Buhari. The leader explained that the parliament should have passed the budget in March and April but could not. Let’s recall that Buhari, in order to get the economy out of recession, presented lawmakers with a record N7.298 trillion ($23.24 billion) budget in December 2016. The budget focuses mainly on boosting infrastructure spending.
(Voice of America 04/28/17)
A low-cost and widely available drug could save the lives of 1 in 3 mothers who would otherwise bleed to death after childbirth, according to a new study. Severe bleeding, known as postpartum hemorrhage, or PPH, is the leading cause of maternal death worldwide, killing more than 100,000 women every year. Even for mothers who survive, it is a painful and traumatic experience. The world's poorest countries, especially in Africa and India, are the worst hit. Drug from 1960s But there is new hope. In the 1960s, Japanese researchers developed a drug called tranexamic acid, which works by stopping blood clots from breaking down. But they could not persuade doctors to try the drug for treating PPH. The London School...
(AFP (eng) 04/27/17)
Nigeria's Goodluck Jonathan has blamed Barack Obama for his 2015 presidential election defeat to Muhammadu Buhari, alleging the former US president headed a global conspiracy to get rid of him. Jonathan made the allegations in a new book out on Friday called "Against The Run of Play", which documents how he became the first Nigerian incumbent head of state to lose an election. He said Obama and his officials "made it very clear to me by their actions that they wanted a change of government in Nigeria and were ready to do anything to achieve that purpose".

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