By BukolA Idowu, Lagos Nigeria’s external reserves continues to deplete with the 20-day moving average standing at $30.28 billion as at June 8, 2017 even as the Central Bank of Nigeria plans to mop up N1.24 trillion through the sale of treasury bills in the third quarter of the year from June 15 to August 31, according to the Treasury Bills Issuance calendar for the third quarter which it released. External reserves which had grown to $30.988 billion as at May 4, 2017 has been on a steady decline standing at $30.3 billion at the beginning of June before further depleting to $30.283 billion according to data released by the apex bank. While the output of crude oil which is the major foreign exchange revenue source for the country has been rising, the price of the commodity at the international market has declined to less than $50 per barrel on an increased...
by OLUSHOLA BELLO, Lagos Activities on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) remained on a bullish trend, last week as equities gained N659 billion. With exception of Tuesday, the Nigerian equity market traded on bullish momentum all through the week under review. As such, the bullish run has been pushed into the third week in a row. Week-on-week, the All Share Index (ASI) gained 1,905.05 absolute points, representing a growth of 6.07 per cent to close at 33,276.68 points. Similarly, the market capitalisation gained N659 billion, to close at N11.504 trillion. Analysts at Cordros Capital said, “Last week’s gain was well diversified across the sectors, the oil and gas stocks, perhaps on the news that the force majeure on the Forcados oil export terminal has been lifted rallied the most. Banking stocks on the other hand outperformed on report by Fitch Ratings acknowledging that liquidity pressures have eased for now, for its rated...
By ANTHONY AWUNOR, Lagos Fresh facts have emerged on possible return to life of Arik Air which was taken over in February 8th this year by the government which handed over the embattled airline to the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) to manage due to the airline’s huge debt portfolio. Barely four months into the takeover, there are indications that shareholders of Arik Air may have started discussions with a major investor to partner with the airline, offset the debts it owed Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) and other creditors. LEADERSHIP gathered that, although the airline shareholders have held series of meetings with other investors but has reached firm commitment with a particular Middle East-based conglomerate, which has its headquarters in Dubai with interest to do business in Africa. Industry source hinted that the company had voted funds to investment in airline business, power and agriculture and it was attracted to...
BY BUKOLA IDOWU, Lagos The Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) has advised the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on immediate steps to be taken to ensure that ongoing recovery of the naira against dollar is sustained. In a statement released yesterday, ABCON President, Aminu Gwadabe, said the CBN should review BDCs dollar buying rate downwards from N360 to N350/$1 and enhance security surveillance at the boarders to checkmate illegal cash movement that has dire consequences on naira’s stability. Gwadabe also said the standard/average trade margin for BDCs across the world is 12 per cent and reviewing the rate to N350/$1 is less than three per cent for Nigerian operators. “The CBN should be proactive enough to quickly review the BDC buying rate so as to bring the foreign exchange transfer rate down and boost market stability. The BDC rate should be brought down to N350/$1 for now and see...
By FIDELIS UGBOMEH, Lagos Facts have merged on alleged disruption and delaying of Air Peace aircraft 5N-BQR from Enugu to Lagos 7:15 am flight last Friday. According to investigation, the purported debt paid was N2 million out of the N7 million debt which has not reflected in the finance of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) as at yesterday being Sunday. It was learnt that it was the reason why the aircraft which was scheduled to take off 7:15 am took off 7:58 am from Enugu. Further investigation also revealed that the aircraft was only delayed for forty three minutes and not two hours as alleged by the airline’s Chairman in some reports during the week. It was also discovered that the airline has not paid the N5 million remittal it claimed to have made to reduce its debt, while another pile up has started running from May 2017 till date. According to sources,...
By ABAH ADAH, Abuja As part of the federal government’s efforts towards achieving incremental electricity for its citizens, the Afam Thermal Power Plant in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, will soon begin generation before the end of the year and deliver 340 Megawatts (MWs) of electricity to the National Grid. The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN, who disclosed this in Afam in the Oyigbo Local Government Area of the State at the weekend, said with the work on the 240MW capacity Afam III Plant at   advanced stages and the burnt transformer for the 100MW Afam 1V now repaired, the two should deliver a combined 340MW energy to the grid before the end of the year subject to the availability of sufficient gas to fire them. Interacting with newsmen after inspecting the Power Station, Fashola, who said all of the turbines and equipment needed for the completion of Afam...
The chief executive officer/ managing director of Inland Container Nigeria Limited (ICNL), the operator of Kaduna Dryport, Ismail Adekola Yusuf, in this interview with YUSUF BABALOLA, spoke on how the dryport will address the problems being encountered by shippers in the northern part of the country and some neighbouring landlocked countries. When is the dryport coming fully on stream? Let me put the record straight so that there won’t be any misunderstanding. The Kaduna Inland Dryport has been gazette by the federal government of Nigeria. It is the baby of ICNL and an entity on its own. The name remains Kaduna Inland Dry Port Limited. We are working towards the commissioning of the dryport this month as disclosed by the executive secretary of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Mr Hassan Bello. So far, he has done the first visit which was the inspection by the NSC; the Council also regulates the ICD....
By OLUSHOLA BELLO, Lagos Nigeria’s quest towards self-sufficiency in sugar production received has received a boost following the signing of a memorandum of understating (MOU) between Dangote Sugar Refinery and Nasarawa State to establish an integrated sugar complex comprising plantation and refinery in Tunga, Nasarawa State. Africa’s foremost entrepreneur and chairman of Dangote Sugar Refinery, Aliko Dangote in his speech at the MOU signing ceremony, in Abuja said that the Tunga Sugar project was borne out of the desire to help in diversifying the Nigerian economy and create thousands of jobs in the rural areas. He said, “We have aligned ourselves with the present government’s policy of diversifying the economy, by a renewed focus on the non-oil sectors like manufacturing, agriculture and solid minerals. We are today well-positioned, and leaders in each of these three sectors.  Our interest in agriculture is driven by our desire to generate thousands of jobs especially in...
The Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED) says directive by Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to consumers not to pay estimated electricity billings only applies to Maximum Demand (MD) customers and not residential. The Chief Executive Officer of ANED, Mr Azu Obiaya made the clarification in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Sunday. Maximum Demand (MD) customers are commercial and industrial customers who consume high levels of electricity and contribute substantially to the revenues of distribution companies. The consumption threshold for MD customers is 45KVA. MD meters are connected on the 11Kv (High tension wire) electricity lines, mostly on dedicated transformes. The customers include heavy users of electricity like commercial business plazas, large films, and small scale industries among others. NERC had in June 2016, issued a directive to distribution companies for all MD customers to be metered by November.  30, 2016. Following the expiration of the deadline, it further directed...
Since the coming of the present FCT Administration into office in 2015, a lot have changed in land administration in the territory. DAVID ADUGE-ANI reports that land dealers, who before now swarmed every available space in Abuja Geographic Information System, AGIS have disappeared and put out of business. Before now, the activities of land dealers in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT were pervasive. They had so much influence and easily swung matters involving land in the direction they desire. Many of those who controlled the levers of power within the FCT land administration structure were under their belt. The many ways they could manipulate land allocation contributed hugely in making the process of land ownership in the FCT, a nightmare for ordinary people. The situation become so bad to the extent that incidences of double or multiple land allocations and wanton abuse of Abuja’s master plan become the norm rather than...