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AU to investigate sale of African migrants as slaves in Libya - BUSINESSDAY

NOVEMBER 21, 2017

The AU said on Tuesday it had launched an investigation into the sale of African migrants as slaves by armed groups in Libya.

“The AU would try to get access to illegal detention centres in which migrants were held without charges.

“We have asked the Libyan authorities to facilitate the ongoing inquiries. The perpetrators will be dealt with through the justice system,’’ AU Commission Chair, Moussa Mahamat told journalists in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa.

Mahamat said the AU had dispatched its Commissioner for Social Affairs, Amir El-Fadil as a special envoy to Libya to launch the inquiry, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.

The AU has appealed to its 55 member states to provide logistics support to enable the evacuation of the migrants held in Libya to their countries of origin.

The AU decision to launch an investigation comes days after American television network CNN broadcast footage of African migrants being auctioned off as slaves in Libya for as little as 400 dollars.

UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres had on Monday said he was “horrified’’ by the footage.

Nigeria earns N271.77bn from solid minerals in eight years - THE GUARDIAN

NOVEMBER 21, 2017

By Roseline Okere

 

* NEITI calls for release of N30bn development funds

Nigeria earned a total of N271.77 billion from 2007 to 2015, according to the latest data from the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI).

NEITI, which made this disclosure in a report released weekend, explained that the country in 2007, earned N8.19 billion; 2008, N9.58 billion; 2009, N19.42 billion; 2010; N17.36 billion; 2011, N26.92 billion; 2012; N31.44 billion; 2013; N33.86 billion 2014, N55.80 billion; and 2015, N69.2 billion.

To sustain this growth and further enhance the capacity of the sector to contribute to the economy, NEITI called for “the speedy release of the N30 billion solid minerals development fund recently approved by the Federal Executive Council to the intended beneficiaries, to support some of the activities already stipulated in the Roadmap for the sector.”

 

The audit report disclosed that the total production of solid minerals in the country stood at 39.27 million tons. This represents a reduction of 17 per cent from the 47.1 million tonnes produced in 2014. The drop in 2015’s production was attributed to insecurity in parts of the country and more stringent approval process for explosives used in mining.

However, while mineral production reduced, government revenues went up in the same year. “This increase in revenue was due to the growth in taxes collected from the sector and review of royalty rates paid by companies which came into effect within the year under review,” the report stated. NEITI’s previous solid minerals audit reports had recommended upward review of Nigeria’s royalty rates to align with prevailing industry and present day realities.

The report also disclosed that the value of solid minerals exports in 2015 stood at $9.733 million, which was 1.45 per cent of non-oil exports for the year. Lead and zinc topped the chart with 79 per cent valued at $7.7 million, while 175 ounces of gold valued at only $122,000 were exported during the period.

The report showed that the solid minerals sector contributed 0.12 per centt to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2015, a marginal increase of 0.01 per cent on the 0.11 per cent contribution of the sector to GDP in 2014.

“This report shows evidence that the contribution of the solid minerals sector to government revenues and macro-economic indicators is beginning to improve, even if marginally,” said Waziri Adio, NEITI’s Executive Secretary. “The sector could definitely contribute more to revenues, job and wealth creation, exports, imports substitution, industrial development and overall national growth.”

“But there is a sign of progress already,” Adio added. “What we need to do is to build on, deepen and sustain this early promise to ensure that the country returns to being a major mining destination and maximizes the abundant opportunities offered by the sector”.

“Faithful and sustained implementation of the roadmap developed by the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development and of the recommendations in this report will be necessary.”

Operators in oil, gas sector charged to be proactive - THE GUARDIAN

NOVEMBER 21, 2017

By Inemesit Akpan-Nsoh Uyo

 

Operators in the oil and gas industry in the country have been urged to be more responsive and proactive by latching on the Federal Government’s unrelenting efforts at reforming the hydrocarbon industry to become more attractive to investors.

This advice was given by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan at the on-going technical session/meeting of officers and experts at the 2nd National Council on Hydrocarbon, in Uyo Akwa Ibom state capital.

The Permanent Secretary who is chairing the technical session noted that, since the inauguration of the council in 2016, it has brought a turning point in the oil and gas sector, stressing that, the industry now has sustainable platform to grow linkages for the convergence of ideas.

With the theme, ‘7 Big Wins; Framework For Realizing the Potential of Hydrocarbon’, she explained that, all the reforms and other initiatives by government are all aimed at making the country oil and gas sector attractive to both domestic and foreign investors.

With participants drawn from oil producing state, services chiefs, SSS, Police, National Assembly, traditional rulers, indigenous oil companies, NGOs, host communities, among others, she noted that it was time to diversify the sector as such would certainly opened up the sector to more business opportunity and at the same time provide viable source of revenue to the country.

“It is envisaged that this technical session of officers and experts would evolve in a manner that would consistently assist council to channel its resolutions towards the strengthening of policies and initiatives in the oil and gas sector.

“With constant fluctuation in oil revenues globally, it is only wise to begin to leverage on creative means of diversifying the oil and gas sector so as to open up the sector to more and better business opportunities as well as provide viable source of revenue for the country as encapsulated under the aims and objectives of the 7 Big Wins”, she said.

She expressed the hope that, with the caliber of participants, their contributions would help government at arriving at decisions that would make the oil and gas sector attractive to investors.

Earlier, the commissioner for Transport and Petroleum Oman Esin, who represented the governor, Udom Emmanuel, expressed the hope that with proper implementation of programmees and policies in the hydrocarbon sub sector, such would go a long way into making the oil and gas sector investor friendly.

He noted that, as a state, it has forwarded a lot of Memos to the technical committee for considerations, noting that, once such are given considerations, it would mean a serious in-road into the development of the Hydrocarbon industry.

“I wish to urge the Technical Committees to consider policies that will fast-track exploitation of hydrocarbon in a safe, secure and friendly environment for the benefit of the nation and the development of the Host Communities”, he said.

Lagos fixes N1.3m as tentative fare for 2018 Hajj - NAN

NOVEMBER 21, 2017

By Abdulrahman Kadiri

The Lagos State Muslim Pilgrims’ Welfare Board has announced the sum of N1.3 million as tentative fare for the 2018 Hajj exercise.

Mr Muftau Okoya, Executive Secretary of the board, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Lagos that sale of forms for the 2018 exercise has also commenced.

He said that the early commencement of preparations was to avoid hiccups and to make payment easy and flexible for intending pilgrims.

“Intending pilgrims are to collect forms from the Board’s office in Ikeja at the cost N10,000.

“In respect of the Hajj fare, an initial deposit of N1.3 million has been approved, pending when the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) will release the official price.

“There is also an opportunity for installmental payment with at least N100,000 minimum deposits,” he said.
He advised intending pilgrims to make payment on time to avoid logistics challenges experienced during last operation.
“We have commenced preparations early to avoid some of such challenges.

“The policy of first-come-first-served will be applied in the allocation of pilgrims to hotels, tents and other facilities by NAHCON,” he said.

He noted that the increase in the number of pilgrim allocation to countries without commensurate upgrade in facilities created a major challenge during the 2017 Hajj.

“Our greatest challenge in the last operation was in Muna.

“There was an upsurge in the number of pilgrims because Saudi authorities admitted too many pilgrims at the detriment of the available facilities.

“So the facilities were overstretched to the extent that Lagos pilgrims encountered the problem of accommodation in Muna.

“But Lagos State pilgrims put their maturity to test by ensuring that these challenges were overcome with patience and understanding,” he said. (NAN)

Shippers’ association says Nigeria loses one trillion Naira to cargo diversion - PUNCH

NOVEMBER 21, 2017

The Shippers’ Association Lagos State (SALS) on Tuesday said the country lost N1 trillion annually through cargo diversion to ports in neighbouring countries due to bad roads to Lagos ports.

Mr. Jonathan Nicol, SALS President told reporters in Lagos that the losses arose from import duties and other charges not paid to Nigerian ports.

According to him, there is massive diversion of Nigeria-bound cargo to ports in neighbouring countries due to bad access roads to Lagos ports.

The shippers said that demurrage, terminal charges and storage fees incurred by shippers ran into billions of naira daily.

 

“There are also queue of vessels within the Lome waters awaiting call-up for berthing in Lagos ports.

“This will attract port congestion levy on cargo, which is no fault of the shippers (importers and exporters).

“Demurrage on containers is increasing with no control from maritime agencies. Importers and exporters are suffering,’’ he said.

Nicol called on the contractor handling the rehabilitation of the access roads to Apapa port to expedite action to reduce problems encountered by shippers and truck owners.

“Industrialists are incurring huge expenses on haulage due to lack of access roads and they are counting more losses daily.

There is no entry into Lagos ports and no access out of the ports after loading,’’ the shipper said, adding that truck drivers remained on queue for several days.

He, however, commended Dangote Group, Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc and Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) for their assistance in rehabilitating access roads to Apapa ports.

“It should be noted that they (Dangote and Flour Mills) are industrialists going the extra mile to keep the maritime industry afloat,’’ the shippers said.

Nicol said that the export initiative of the Federal Government was also under threat as export goods spent several days before arriving at the ports.

To avert congestion, he suggested that the backlog of goods at the ports should be cleared.

According to him, the port congestion of the past is mounting again and may lead to prolonged litigation on who pays the charges.

Nicol advised that empty containers inside the ports should be exported as a priority.

He, however, said that the association would not subscribe to the idea of moving containers released at the ports to Papalanto in Ogun.

“The cost of moving such boxes (containers) to factories in Lagos and other places will be too high.

“Cargo taken to Papalanto will be treated as up-country cargo and will attract high haulage fees,’’ Nicol said.

(NAN)

Naira down marginally as CBN injects $210m - VANGUARD

NOVEMBER 21, 2017 By Adaeze Okechukwu The Naira, Monrday, depreciated marginally to N360.42 per dollar in the Investor and Exporter (I&E) Foreign Exchange, forex, window, even as the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, injected $210 million into the inter-bank forex market.

The indicative exchange rate for the I & E Window, known as Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange, NAFEX, depreciated by 2 kobo to N360.42 per dollar, from N360.40 per dollar at the close of the market last week. Meanwhile, the volume of dollars traded in the window yesterday stood at $346.36 million.
Meantime, in a bid to boost liquidity and trade, the CBN injected $210 million into the interbank market. Confirming the intervention, Acting Director, Corporate Communications, CBN, Mr. Isaac Okorafor, said that, “the CBN offered the total sum of $100million to the wholesale segment, while the Small and Medium Enterprises segment received the sum of $55 million. The invisibles segment, comprising tuition fees, medical payments and Basic Travel Allowance (BTA), among others, also received an allocation of $55 million.”

Read more at: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2017/11/naira-marginally-cbn-injects-210m/

Naira sells at N362.5 per dollar at parallel market - PUNCH

NOVEMBER 21, 2017

The Naira on Tuesday traded at N362.5 to the dollar at the parallel market.

Meanwhile, the Pound Sterling and the Euro closed at N476 and N426 respectively.

At the Bureau De Change window, the Naira flattened at N362 to the dollar, while the Pound Sterling and the Euro closed at N476 and N426 respectively.

Trading at the interbank window saw the Naira closed at N359.87, while the CBN rate closed at N305.9 to the dollar.

 

Traders said that patronage at the market was slow as they awaited the outcome of the Monetary Policy Committee meeting of the CBN.

Meanwhile, Mr Godwin Emefiele, the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Governor, noted that the investors and exports window had maintained a positive influence in the foreign exchange market

Emefiele said at the end of the MPC meeting that the window transacted more than $18.7bn since it commenced transaction in April.

He added that the Naira had remained stable at the parallel market, while the investors ’window had boosted confidence in the economy.

The MPC meeting of the CBN retained the benchmark interest rate at 14 per cent alongside other monetary policy parameters.

The CBN had injected$ 210m into the foreign exchange market on Monday to boost liquidity.

The series of interventions by the apex bank at the nation’s foreign exchange market had been critical in defending the Naira against the antics of currency speculators.

(NAN)

62 Insane Facts About Bitcoin (Infographic) - BITCOIN PLAY

NOVEMBER 09, 2017

[Infographic – Updated October 2017]

Bitcoin is a virtual currency that uses Blockchain technology for secure payments and storing money electronically, without requiring a bank or a person’s name. Satoshi Nakamoto created this cryptocurrency back in 2009. The biggest advantage of Bitcoin is that it’s not under control of central authority, government or private company, so people are free from paying transaction fees. It can be used for booking a hotel or flight, or purchasing products online, as many online stores and companies accept Bitcoin now.

Today, there are 1354 Bitcoin ATMs in 55 countries around the world and about 5.8 million users that have digital wallets. The price for one Bitcoin at the moment is $5,602 and it’s growing continuously, proportionally with the interest for digital money.

Take a look at this infographic, created by the team behindBitcoinPlay, that illustrates in details some interesting facts about this incredibly popular virtual currency.

Diesel-dependent Nigeria looks up to the sun - FT

NOVEMBER 07, 2017

It is Nigeria’s migraine-inducing anthem: the incessant drone of millions of diesel generators straining to power homes and offices starved of electricity by the feeble state of the national grid. While it is hard to imagine this cacophony as anything other than the sound of the country’s propensity for self-sabotage, Ademola Adesina hears only opportunity in the din........

https://www.ft.com/content/13e73f98-a512-11e7-8d56-98a09be71849

AfDB salutes Nigeria’s economic recovery, diversification efforts - PUNCH

NOVEMBER 07, 2017

The Nigeria House of Representatives has constituted a Tactical Committee on Economic Recession to guide innovative legislative actions by the House and the National Assembly to return the economy to the path of growth and stability.  In this regard, the committee is holding a summit in the nation’s capital, Abuja, on 6 and 7 November 2017.

The Summit will bring strategic stakeholders together to interact on relevant issues of concern and develop a legal framework for economic recovery and sustainable development in Nigeria. It is expected that deliberations at the Summit will enhance the quality of legislative reforms for economic development.

The African Development Bank’s (AfDB) Nigeria Senior Director, Ebrima Faal, representing AfDB President, Akinwumi Adesina at the summit noted that Nigeria’s sound growth prospects are increasingly underpinned by generally improved macroeconomic policies, low external debt, political stability, and good governance. Fewer conflicts and more democratic institutions, have also provided better clarity for investors as evidenced by the recent improvements in Nigeria’s ranking in the ease of doing business index.

Faal said that despite reports to the contrary, the AfDB is in consultation with the Government about how best to support the country’s laudable Economic and Growth Recovery Plan. He added: “I would like to stress that the African Development Bank Group is highly encouraged by the economic recovery of Nigeria from recession, and the Bank salutes the Government’s efforts toward diversification of the economy. The Bank also strongly supports the Economic and Growth Recovery Plan (ERGP) of the Government; including efforts to stem corruption and strengthen fiscal consolidation and efficiency. ‘’We shall continue to strengthen our engagement and ties with the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The country is the largest and most important shareholder of the African Development Bank Group, and as such our commitment to Nigeria is resolute.”

In a passionate presentation titled ‘The Nigerian Recession – We must never Walk this Way Again,’ Nigeria’s Vice President, Yomi Osinbajo said that recession was not an option for Nigeria.

“Never again should we experience the horrors of being in a state of recession. Reliance on dwindling oil revenue and unbridled, unprecedented corruption and waste were the major causes of the 2017 recession,” he said, noting that the country could have fared better going into a recession if it had had savings instead of debt.

“We did not have the fiscal buffers to enable a counter approach,’’ he said, citing the intractable delay in the budget approval process and the long procurement processes that followed as the  two other major forces that deepened the recession. “No developing economy can afford the luxury of long legislative rambling over the budget. Budgetary delay in a situation of national economic emergency and the hardship encountered by so many is simply unacceptable,” he said.

The Vice President said the Economic Recovery and Growth Programme remains Nigeria’s blueprint for development actions going forward. He reminded the group that “the obligation that history and providence has forced upon us today is to honestly do all we can to ensure that the future of our people is secure and prosperous. We must not walk this path of recession again.’’

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