Traders Want End To Extortion By Market Unions In Edo – Channels TV

Traders at the New Benin Market, Edo State have called for an end to extortion by the various market unions responsible for allocating shops to traders in markets.

The traders, who commended the ban on illegal levies and taxes, told Channels Television that the action of the state government only solved half of the problem, as the market unions were carrying on with their activities unaffected.

The traders in the market say their colleagues trading by the roadside are a hindrance to their business. Many petty traders have made the roadside their shops, but inside the market tare shops available for use.

The street traders, who claimed to have been allotted the trading spots by individuals who collected money from them applauded the government’s recent ban on illegal collections. However, they are yet to leave the road.

“They have not really made the announcement that nobody should sell along the road, if they had made the announcement maybe we would go inside the market,” one of them said.

The Chairman of the Traders’ Welfare Union Mr Lucky Orukpe, said though the ban on illegal collections was working, extortion by market unions had continued.

“We have different unions that people are paying to. Before you can sell meat today in any market in the state capital here you have to pay 70,000 Naira, five crates of malt. They will tell you the days you will come to market and sell meat. So people don’t like to join the union because they cannot pay their money.

“Before you can sell pepper or tomatoes you have to pay 30,000 Naira with five crates of malt.

“We call on the government to rise up and we will identify this union member. We know them,” Mr Orukpe told Channels Television.

The menace of street trading seems to be one that would remain, until a solution is found that will bring the much needed order to markets.

However, critics have asked the government to make shops it built in markets affordable to end street trading.

Nigeria initiates investors’ match-making platform to drive FDIs – The Guardian

By Operators commend FG, Saraki’s efforts to boost local production

The Federal Government has mulled the establishment of a match-making database to aid international business interconnectivity and stress-free investments into the country.

According to the Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, the 119 Nigeria missions abroad would serve as one-stop shops to spur investments through information sharing and elimination of bottlenecks.

He said the initiative would enable Nigeria’s products and investors to access the world market easily and also enable foreign investorsto have unfettered access to informed and genuine information concerning business opportunities in Nigeria.

The minister explained that the scheme would be implemented through a matching-making data base aimed at promoting exports and enhancing the country’s Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).

According to Onyeama, the design is an economic diplomacy which is a framework to address the severe economic challenges facing Nigeria.Besides, in a bid to encourage local production, Senate President, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki has launched a contest to promote made in Nigeria products.

The Contest scheduled to run for three months is aimed at showcasing the process and raw materials used in producing such locally made goods.In a statement personally signed by Saraki, he said that the contest would  identify the good products that could be matched with investors and government agencies.
He said that such agencies or investors would drive the products to the extent that they compete favourably with any similar product being imported.

On his part. Onyeama said his ministry hopes to leverage on the advantage offered by its 119 missions to deliver concrete economic benefit to the nation.“It is a pet project. It is a matching making data base for our Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and export promotion.

“So this data base will essentially enable any Nigerian business to upload to our data base that could be managed from Foreign Affairs together with the ministry of trade and investment,” he said.

He said all the information needed about what they want to export and investment types would be readily available in all the119 countries where Nigeria has presence.

In his reaction, the Director-General of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Muda Yusuf, commended the move by the federal government while calling for increased engagement with operators in the private sector.

According to Yusuf, a framework to ensure the liquidity of the foreign exchange market should be urgently put in place in order to restore investors’ confidence, enhance forex inflows, boost FDIs and FPIs, and reduce the level of uncertainty in the economy.

Highlighting the advantage of the scheme, Onyeama said the scheme would also save Nigerian businessmen from going through all kinds of bottlenecks and paying all kinds of fees in foreign countries.

“We feel it that way because we have a lot bottlenecks in a lot of Nigerian businessmen trying to do business outside the country, so many bottlenecks.
“So if we can provide them a very simple access what we call it is market access.

“We have the markets in all these countries, so that our business people and traders have the world at their finger-tips,” he said.Onyeama said that his ministry was also looking at how to utilise the same method to attract more FDI into Nigeria.

Ogun; MAN urges FG to provide adequate foreign exchange to boost production – Businessday

The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Ogun Chapter, has urged the Federal Government to provide adequate foreign exchange for the real sector, to boost production in 2017.

The MAN Chairman, Wale Adegbite, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Wednesday in Ota, Ogun, that the availability of foreign exchange would boost the productivity and enhance the economy.

According to him, the real sector is facing numerous challenges such like lack of sufficient dollar, higher interest rate and poor infrastructure that had hindered them from producing at the optimal level.

Adegbite explained that instability of Naira and dollar was affecting most of manufacturers from importing raw materials and machinery into the country.

”The ability of the Federal Government to provide adequate foreign exchange for manufacturers in 2017 would help the sector to produce at the optimal level,” he said.

“This would create job opportunities for the unemployed youths and boost the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP),” he said.

Adegbite, however, advised the Federal Government to also ensure lower interest rate as well as provision of infrastructure, especially roads network to enhance productivity of the real sector in 2017.

Dollar falls from 14-year high as data boosts euro – Reuters

By Dion Rabouin | NEW YORK

The dollar fell against the euro and yen on Wednesday, backing off a 14-year high against a basket of currencies with investors cautious about increasing bets on the greenback without fresh clues on the U.S. economy and the timing of interest rate increases.

The dollar surged to its highest levels since late 2002 on Tuesday – the first day of trading in 2017 for most financial centers – after U.S. manufacturing data beat expectations.

Analysts said low volume in markets this week may have exaggerated Tuesday’s moves, pushing the dollar higher in the absence of some larger market participants.

The strong move triggered some profit-taking on Wednesday, said Kathy Lien, managing director at BK Asset Management, but she noted its impact should not be overestimated.

“At the start of North American session there’s just a little bit of excitement of continuation,” Lien said. “Slowly, you’re getting more of a return to normal trading conditions and when that happens you tend to have a bit more two-way action.”

The euro climbed 0.7 percent to $1.0475, boosted by data showing euro zone prices rose more quickly than expected in December and surveys suggesting business growth reached its highest in more than five years.

The dollar fell 0.5 percent against the yen JPY= to 117.23 yen.

German 10-year Bunds touched their highest level in nearly three weeks on Tuesday and extended those gains on Wednesday.

The push higher in euro zone bond yields helped the euro rise to more than one cent above its Tuesday trough of $1.0340, the lowest in 14 years. However, the currency was still well below a three-week high of $1.07 touched last week and more than 6 percent lower than two months ago.

“Before it’s all over I think euro is going back to its historic lows, but I think that we’ve had a big move in (the fourth quarter of 2016) and we’re vulnerable to a little bit of position adjustments,” said Marc Chandler, chief global currency strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman & Co.

The dollar has climbed almost 6 percent since Donald Trump was elected U.S. president eight weeks ago, on expectations that his administration will introduce reflationary measures backed by large fiscal spending and prompt the Federal Reserve to follow through with a series of interest rate hikes.

The Mexican peso MXN= hit its lowest level on record against the greenback, falling to 21.404 pesos per dollar.

(Reporting by Dion Rabouin; Editing by Dan Grebler)

For Dollar Traders, the Most Important Signal Comes Roaring Back – Bloomberg

  • Dollar’s strength tracks rising inflation-adjusted bond yields
  • Correlation between dollar and real yields highest since 2014

If you’re a dollar bull and you’re getting a little nervous about the sustainability of the greenback’s rip-roaring rally, take comfort in knowing that a fundamental gauge of the currency’s worth is on your side. 

The barometer is the real-yield differential. Sounds esoteric, but at the heart of it is the interest earned on dollar-denominated fixed-rate assets, compared to those issued in other currencies, after adjusting for inflation expectations. U.S. real yields have more than doubled against Japan’s since the November presidential election. At the same time, the positive correlation between that gap and the dollar-yen exchange rate has strengthened to 0.5 from as low as 0.1 last year. (A reading of 1 means that gauges move in lockstep; minus 1 means they move in opposite directions.)

“Yield differentials are always a huge driver of FX,” said Brad Bechtel, a currency strategist at Jefferies Group LLC in New York. “U.S. real yields are elevated and likely to continue rising — this will continue to underpin dollar strength and is worth keeping an eye on.”

Most economists forecast U.S. Treasury yields to go higher in 2017 on the back of improving economic data, and speculation President-elect Donald Trump will pursue fiscal expansion that will fuel the world’s biggest economy. Ten-year yields have risen from 1.8 percent to about 2.4 percent since the election, alongside the dollar’s 13 percent rally versus the yen. Strategists in a Bloomberg survey forecast the yield to rise to 2.7 percent by the end of this year.

December manufacturing PMI signals economic recovery— CBN – Vanguard

THE Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, yesterday, said that the manufacturing sector expanded in December for the first time in eleven months, signalling recovery from the economic which prevailed in 2016. The apex bank disclosed this in its Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) 2016 December report. The report stated: “The Manufacturing PMI stood at 52.0 index points in December 2016, indicating expansion in the manufacturing sector during the review period. The index had recorded decline in the preceding eleven months. Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele “Eight of the sixteen sub-sectors surveyed recorded expansion in the review month in the following order: cement, food, beverage and tobacco products; textile, apparel, leather and footwear; plastics and rubber products; paper products; appliances and components; chemical and pharmaceutical products; and furniture and related products. Production level index “The fabricated metal products sub-sector remained unchanged, while the remaining seven subsectors declined in the order: computer and electronic products; electrical equipment; primary metal; transportation equipment; petroleum and coal products; printing and related support activities; and non-metallic mineral products. “At 57.6 index points, the production level index for manufacturing sector indicated the sector expanded in the review period, compared to the decline recorded in the preceding eleven months. At 51.8 points, the new orders index showed expansion in new orders after eleven months of contraction. It stood at 45.1 in November 2016. “At 47.9 index points, the supplier delivery time for manufacturing sub-sectors contracted in the month of December 2016, after nine consecutive periods of expansion. Employment level index in the month of December 2016 stood at 48.6 points, indicating declines in employment level for the twenty-second consecutive month. However, the index shows a slowing contraction in manufacturing employment when compared with the level in the preceding month. “At 51.6 index points, the index shows an expansion in raw materials inventory in the review month, after declining for eleven consecutive months.” The report also revealed a slowing of the decline in the non-manufacturing sector in during the month. It stated that: “Business activity, new orders, employment level and raw materials inventories in the non-manufacturing sector declined at a slower rate in December 2016. “The composite PMI for the non-manufacturing sector declined for the twelfth consecutive month. The index stood at 47.1 points, indicating a slowing contraction when compared to that in November 2016. Of the eighteen non-manufacturing sub-sectors, ten recorded contraction in the following order: construction; public administration; professional, scientific and technical services; information and communication; repair, maintenance/washing of motor vehicles; accommodation and food services; health care and social assistance; finance and insurance; wholesale/retail trade; and electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply. ”The remaining eight subsectors recorded expansion in the order: utilities; educational services; agriculture; transportation and warehousing; management of companies; arts, entertainment and recreation; water supply, sewage and waste management; and real estate, rental and leasing”.

Read more at: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2017/01/december-manufacturing-pmi-signals-economic-recovery-cbn/

All eyes on vehicle imports with land borders shut – The Guardian

By Sulaimon Salau

 

Barely 96 hours into the New Year, it is definitely no longer business as usual for vehicle importers in the country as the ban on importation of vehicles through the land borders comes into force.

Already, the clearing agents are irked by the immediate implications of the policy on their businesses, while the terminal operators were agitating for a reduced tariff to encourage importers utilise the seaports as points of entry.

Some stakeholders that spoke with The Guardian believed that all things being equal, the policy would only increase the spate of smuggling and put the lives of Customs officers at a higher risk.

The Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Seme Chapter, had urged the Federal Government to grant a three-month grace period before enforcing the ban on importation of vehicles through the land borders.

The Chairman of the Association, Alhaji Bisiriyu Danu, said the grace period would enable ships carrying vehicles to berth for clearance before the implementation of the ban.

 

According to him, if not properly synergised, the ban would create unemployment, increase revenue leakages and could result in massive smuggling.He said that vehicle importation through the land borders had provided employment to over 500,000 graduates, who would have ordinarily been roaming the streets due to unemployment.

“We should not forget that such a policy was employed in the past and it led to serious revenue leakages and massive smuggling along the border areas, which led to concomitant wastage of material resources.

“There are thousands of unapproved access routes through which these consignments can enter the country but at the moment, there has been a measure of compliance so the right channel is being followed.

“All these would change with the effect of the ban. The Federal Government generates enough revenue on vehicle importation as the Seme Customs Area Command alone generates N600 million monthly on vehicle duties.

“However, all that will change with the ban placed on the border importation of automobiles.“The government should consider all these factors including the fact that the country is going through recession and this policy is going to worsen the hardship of Nigerians,” he said.

He argued that the advanced countries were not totally self-sufficient, adding that most Nigerians could not afford to purchase brand new vehicles.The Managing Director, Eyis Resources, Lucky Amiwero, said the seaport is not friendly enough to accept the vehicles that are coming into the country.

He said the same policy was reversed in 2001, by the past government when there was pressure from the borders and the nation was losing billions of naira that could have been earned as revenue.

“The same policy was unbanned by the previous government because we were losing revenue. All the old vehicles were in Cotonou and that policy alone enriches that country. Now we are bringing the policy again when we have failed to address the issues at the ports. If you bring in vehicles to the ports with high costs, how do you sell the vehicles? And the kind of valuation that Customs are giving vehicles at the point of entry, these are the issues we must address,” he said.

Amiwero, lamented that procedures in the port in terms of valuation of vehicles are worrisome, alleging that the Customs are not complying with the valuation principle.

“Government should address the issues of valuation of vehicles; cost of bringing in the consignment into the country; and the entire procedure. That is when you can then start to talk about banning it. Besides, government must understand that it is not every vessel that can come into Nigeria due to shallow draft. Most of the vessels can decide to go to Togo than coming here because of our draft level. Go to Togo, Benin Republic and Cameroon and see how many ships are berthing,” he said.

He said the new mechanism introduced by government cannot work, because “the truth is that we have not looked into what is happening to the local manufacturing sector, and examine the policies before moving forward,”

Another issue raised by Amiwero is the capacity of Customs in handling smuggling activities.“How many drivers do you have in Customs. Even in Seme Boarder alone. Can you spread Customs from the beginning to the end of Seme boarder? Look, our borders are porous, so you should work out mechanisms so that you don’t endanger officers’ lives unnecessarily. People demand these cars and we don’t have mass transit. There is no rail. No ferry transit. These are critical issues.

They should set up a committee involving experts to look into the issue and examine why do we have much cars going to Cotonou,” he stressed.Meanwhile, The Customs Public Relations Officer, Seme Area Command, Selechang Taupyen, said that his command has deployed more officers on patrol to ensure total enforcement of the order.

“We have two approved checkpoints where our men have tightened security. Besides, we have put more men on patrol to make sure the order is fully enforced from January 1, 2017,” he said.

African Markets – Factors to watch on Jan 4 – Reuters

NAIROBI, Jan 4 (Reuters) - The following company announcements, scheduled economic
indicators, debt and currency market moves and political events may affect African markets on
Wednesday.
    - - - - -
 EVENTS:
 *KENYA - The central bank to auction 182-day and 364-day
 Treasury bills worth a total 12 billion shillings.
 *GHANA - Outgoing President John Mahama to make his final
 address to parliament.
 
 GLOBAL MARKETS
 The U.S. dollar crept nearer to 14-year peaks on Wednesday as an
 abundance of upbeat global economic data boosted Wall Street and
 signs of quickening inflation dented fixed-income
 debt.                       
 
 WORLD OIL PRICES
 Oil edged higher on Wednesday, with top exporter Saudi Arabia
 expected to raise prices for its crude as part of planned supply
 cuts, although a strong dollar and moderate economic growth
 prospects restricted gains.                 
 
 EMERGING MARKETS
 For the top emerging markets news, double click on            
 
 AFRICA STOCKS
 For the latest news on African stocks, click on     
 
 SOUTH AFRICA MARKETS
 South African stocks kicked off 2017 in positive territory as a
 platinum rally spurred producers of the precious metal, while
 dollar strength knocked the volatile rand into the
 red.            
 
 NIGERIA MARKETS
 Nigeria's naira traded flat at the official interbank window and
 on the parallel market on the first trading day of the year,
 while stocks fell almost one percent in trading dominated by
 losses in petroleum, banking and brewery shares.            
 
 NIGERIA PETROLEUM
 - State-run Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has
 awarded its 2017 crude oil term contracts to 39 companies, the
 company said on Tuesday.            
 
 KENYA MARKETS
 The Kenyan shilling        weakened on Tuesday as importers
 sought to fill their dollar requirements after the
 holidays.            
 
 UGANDA SHILLING
 The Ugandan shilling        weakened moderately on Tuesday due
 to demand for dollars by commercial banks.             
 
 GAMBIA POLITICS       
 The head of Gambia's electoral commission has fled to Senegal
 due to threats to his safety after declaring that President
 Yahya Jammeh lost last month's election, a defeat the ruler has
 refused to accept.            
 
 MOZAMBIQUE POLITICS
 Mozambique's Renamo opposition party said on Tuesday it had
 extended a ceasefire by two months to allow talks with President
 Filipe Nyusi's government, raising hopes for a nascent peace
 process.            
 
 ZAMBIA FUEL PRICES
 Zambia's retail fuel prices will fall from midnight on Tuesday
 due to subdued oil prices and a stronger kwacha currency, the
 energy regulator said.