By BUKOLA IDOWU, Lagos The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said it has created over 7.086 million jobs directly as at August this year through its several interventions in the real sector even as it plans to increase its reach to farmers though the Anchor Borrowers Programme from 200,000 to 500,000. It said it was going beyond working with only the state governments as it is partnering with the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) to mobilise 300,000 rice farmers who are expected to add at least two million metric tonnes of rice to the national output of the country. Speaking at the CBN Day at the ongoing Lagos International Trade Fair, CBN’s acting director, Corporate Communications Department, Isaac Okoroafor, said the apex bank’s  interventions in the different sectors of the economy was due to the realisation that the effect of its monetary policies would  not be felt if some critical sectors...
By Kayode Tokede, Lagos The Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) has disclosed that estimated N4.09 trillion total value of cheques were cleared between January and September 2017. According to NIBSS report, 8.13 million total volume of cheque transactions were reported in the period under review. NIBSS stated that 1.84 million total volume of individual cheques were cleared between January and September while 4.3 million and 1.99million total volume of corporate cheques and total volume of other cheques (dividend warrant, bank craft) was reported in nine months of 2017 respectively. NIBSS explained that cheque volume in five years showed mixed performance as most bank customers’ have favour mobile money means of transactions. Specifically, the report by NIBSS explained that cheque volume in 2013 was at 14.2 million but moved to 15.3 million in 2014. Since 2015, transactions on cheque dropped by 13.3 per cent to 13.5 million from 15.3 million in 2014. It also dropped...
By CHIMA AKWAJA, Kayode Tokede, Lagos and MBACHU GODWIN NNANNA, Abuja About 46 million customers operating various in Nigerian banks, both home and aboard, are jittery about the next line of action the federal government would take on the interim order granted by the court to freeze all corporate and individual accounts without Bank Verification Numbers (BVN). The deadline given by federal government to bank customers on its directive on BVN enrolment expired yesterday. According to statistics, over 15 million Nigerians in the diaspora are set to lose an estimated N3 trillion through the federal government’s directive on BVN enrolment. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in conjunction with the Bankers Committee, had in 2014 launched the Biometric Identification project to provide a single biometric database for all customers operating accounts with Nigerian banks. It was also deployed by the CBN to achieve transparency in foreign exchange deals and to sustain exchange rate stability. Despite...
By OLUSHOLA BELLO, Lagos Equities trading activities on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) finished the 10 months of the year on the positive trajectory with a record of N3.448 trillion. Also, investors gained N44 billion from their investments in stocks for the month of October. Market players, while being optimistic, have described the market performance as impressive, given that the year commenced on the negative record of 2016. It will be recalled that the market initially ran bearish at the beginning of the year before the bulls eventually dominated activities on the nation’s bourse toward the beginning of second quarter. While activities in first quarter ended negative with a loss of 5.05 per cent, investors’ confidence returned in second quarter to close with a gain of 29.79 per cent, while the third quarter recorded a return on equities of 7.01 per cent. Analysts have ascribed the growth recorded within the period...
By FESTUS OKOROMADU, Abuja And CHIKA IZUORA, Lagos The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ondo State Government to establish a 65,000 million litres bio-fuel plant in Okeluse, Ondo State. Baru explained that the plant and other projects such cassava feed stock production would create at least one million direct and indirect jobs. According to the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, the project is not a one-hundred-per-cent NNPC subsidiary but in collaboration with some investors whom he said will be bringing in Foreign Direct Investment into the country. The GMD listed the benefits of the project to include the construction of the plant and the production of cassava feedstock that could create at least one million direct and indirect jobs. Others include reduction of fuel import, reduction of greenhouse gas emission to combat global warming, and boost in the production of animal feeds...
By JONATHAN NDA- ISAIAH, BAYO AMODU, MARK ITSIBOR AND MARY TITUS YILLENG, Abuja A new World Bank report on doing business in sub-saharan Africa has shown that the region’s economies led by Nigeria, Malawi and Zambia adopted a record number of business reforms in the last one year. This was reported in the 15th anniversary edition of the World Bank Group’s annual Doing Business report, which monitors the ease of doing business for small and medium enterprises around the world. According to the report released yesterday, Nigeria “improved access to credit by guaranteeing borrowers the right to inspect their credit data from the credit bureau and also made starting a business faster by allowing electronic stamping of registration documents”. It noted that Nigeria moved up 24 places to 145th in the World Bank’s Doing Business rating, even as the country, for the first time, is recognised as one of the top 10 most...
BY OLAJIDE FABAMISE, Lagos Group Managing Director, African Industries Group (AIG), Alok Gupta, has disclosed that Nigeria’s major private sector steel manufacturer is to save the country $650 million (about N236 billion) through forex by exporting finished steel from its plants to other African countries. He revealed this in Lagos during a presentation on ´Taking Nigerian Steel to the Global Map´ to government officials, banks, among other stakeholders. He lamented the high cost of sea freight on steel products to other countries within the continent, calling on the port authorities and other relevant agencies to ease the bottleneck associated with exporting cargoes through the ports and reduce the various charges to acceptable level to make Nigerian goods competitive in the global market. Gupta said his company has invested more than $1.1 billion in Nigeria with plans to invest more in upcoming projects. He noted: “All these efforts have resulted in huge saving of $650...
In recent times, Nigeria’s Automotive Industry Development Plan (NAIDP) has been facing a lot of criticisms. ANTHONY AWUNOR, in this piece writes that activities of some officials of the Nigeria Customs Services (NCS) are part of the challenges. Four years ago, the federal government established Nigeria’s Automotive Industry Development Plan (NAIDP) otherwise known as the new auto policy, so as to encourage local manufacturing of vehicles in the country. To enable the policy work, the federal government made it compulsory that importation of a new vehicle attracts 35 per cent duties and 35 per cent levy. This was to encourage local manufacture of vehicles against importation. The 35 percent for duties and 35 percent for levy means that if you buy a vehicle for $100, 000 you pay $70,000 for clearing it. After the dealer has paid this amount of money, calculated on the cost of the vehicle, a dealer is free...
By Jonathan Nda-Isaiah, Abuja President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday felicitated with former vice president and elder statesman, Dr. Alex Ekwueme who turned 85 years today. A statement by his special adviser on media and publicity, Femi Adesina, noted that President Buhari joined all former leaders of Nigeria, professional colleagues and friends of the Ekwueme family in celebrating the octogenarian. Adesina quoted the president as saying Ekwueme’s life’s journey, undoubtedly, had been a narrative of immeasurable grace, courage and candour. The state made available to LEADERSHIP Weekend noted: “The president extolled Ekwueme’s love for knowledge and search for wisdom from an early age, which led him into obtaining many degrees in various fields of study, including a doctorate in Architecture, and being one of the first Nigerians to gain the Fulbright Scholarship to study in the United States. “President Buhari commended  the former Vice President’s entrepreneurial spirit in setting up the first indigenous architectural firm in...
By KAYODE TOKEDE And OLUSHOLA BELLO, Lagos Zenith Bank’s total assets increased to N5.1trillon from N4.7trillion as at September 30, 2017. With about 40 per cent increase in gross earnings to N531.27 billion, Zenith Bank Plc on Thursday announced 31 per cent growth in Profit Before Tax (PBT) for nine months ended September 30, 2017 on The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). Despite macro environment challenges and current policy direction, the Group recorded PBT of N152.55 billion in nine months ended September 30, 2017 as against N116.6 billion reported in nine months ended September 30, 2016. From Zenith Bank income statement, Profit After Tax (PAT) rose by 35.5per cent to N129 billion against N95.4 billion reported in nine months of September 30, 2016. However, interest income and interest expenses gained 26.6 per cent and 67 per cent to N361 billion and N160 billion respectively to leverage 6.2 per cent increase in Net interest income...