P.M. NEWS Nigeria » Business http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com First with Nigeria News - Nigerian leading evening Newspaper - Thu, 17 Apr 2014 08:22:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.1 Amosun developing four estates, says Odusolu http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/04/17/amosun-developing-four-estates-says-odusolu/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/04/17/amosun-developing-four-estates-says-odusolu/#comments Wed, 16 Apr 2014 23:14:32 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=191654 Abiodun Onafuye/Abeokuta In pursuance of the urban renewal programme of the Ibikunle Amosun administration in Ogun state, four new estates with 600 housing units are being developed in the three Senatorial Districts. Babajide Odusolu, the Special Adviser on Trade and Investment who also doubles as the Managing Director, Ogun State Property Investment Corporation, OPIC disclosed […]]]>


Abiodun Onafuye/Abeokuta

In pursuance of the urban renewal programme of the Ibikunle Amosun administration in Ogun state, four new estates with 600 housing units are being developed in the three Senatorial Districts.

Babajide Odusolu, the Special Adviser on Trade and Investment who also doubles as the Managing Director, Ogun State Property Investment Corporation, OPIC disclosed this in Abeokuta during a chat with some selected journalists.

Odusolu disclosed that his corporation is working hand-in-hand with other relevant government agencies and ministries including Bureau of Lands and Survey, State Housing Corporation and the Ministry of Housing.

The Special Adviser, who later took the media men round some of the projects explained that about 170 hectares of service plots have been opened up in Kobape area of Abeokuta while New Makun City in Sagamu area has over 750 hectares of both housing and service plots.

Babajide Odusolu

Babajide Odusolu

In Plain Field in Abeokuta township, Odusolu explained that about 120 housing units of affordable housing units were reaching completion while in Orange Valley also in Abeokuta 140 housing units will soon be ready for use.

He said the government has also embarked on 200 cheaper and affordable housing units at Workers Community estate, Laderin in Abeokuta while 100 units of bungalows are also on-going inside Agbara Estate,which is being referred to as New Agbara Estate.

According to him, all the on-going projects are to be delivered within the 12-18 months maximum window.

“In New Makun Estate in Sagamu, we are going to be doing minimum of 100 units in the first phase. We should be starting in the second half of this year. Those are going to be a hybrid because of people that may want to relocate from Lagos. We have a medium term plan for this year, we are going to be doing 100 units cumulative and every year we are expected to be doing multiples of that,” Odusolu stated.

Commenting on the activities of the land grabbers, the Lawyer turned Estate Developer, said the government has been able to claw-back over 300 hectares of land in the in Agbara area, adding that, the major focus of the Corporation is to create an enabling environment for investors who will return back through tariff and taxes.

According to the Managing Director, “In Agbara when I took over, what they told me was that we had just 200 hectares out of 3000 hectares, in one of the prime locations in Agbara, Area 4, I was told that all we had left was about 2 hectares, as of today, in Area 4, we have over 20 hectares claw-backs, in Area 8,I was told we had about 20 hectares available, in that area we have over 150 hectares claw-backs. People were not stealing, but inefficiency, negligence and lack of understanding because lands were being reserved for people when the affected people have even forgotten having a property in the area”.

He added that a total of N20 billion was being targeted as revenue to the State government.

“This will be the first time OPIC will be remitting something to the State. Before this administration came in, they were not doing that. There were lots of gaps in the system and they were not generating that much revenue”,Odusolu revealed.

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US ambassador praises NSE’s performance http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/04/16/us-ambassador-praises-nses-performance/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/04/16/us-ambassador-praises-nses-performance/#comments Wed, 16 Apr 2014 19:29:49 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=191598 James Entwistle, United States ambassador to Nigeria has praised the management of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on its accountability and transparency standards. Entwistle, who gave the commendation during his visit to NSE’s trading floor in Lagos, described the organisation as one of Nigeria finest institutions. “The NSE is today one of Nigeria’s finest institutions […]]]>

James Entwistle, United States ambassador to Nigeria has praised the management of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on its accountability and transparency standards.

Entwistle, who gave the commendation during his visit to NSE’s trading floor in Lagos, described the organisation as one of Nigeria finest institutions.

“The NSE is today one of Nigeria’s finest institutions and an increasingly important part of the Nigerian economy. A healthy, well-run and well regulated stock exchange allows citizen shareholders to participate in Nigeria’s economic success.

US Ambassador to Nigeria James Entwistle

US Ambassador to Nigeria James Entwistle

“I therefore, want to applaud the leading role the NSE has taken in promoting high corporate accountability and transparency standards,” he said.

The envoy said the U.S. was ready to partner the Nigerian government in promoting policies that would lead to sustainable economic growth.

According to Entwistle, the partnership is also expected to improve trade relations between the two countries.

The envoy noted that companies like Dangote Group, Transcorp, Honeywell and Seplat had made remarkable growth in recent years.

“These firms are driving Nigeria’s economy forward. Their development is good for both Nigeria and the United States.

“They are creating opportunities for trade and investment that creates wealth, as well as promote job creation in the two countries,’’ he said.

Mr Sam Ndata, the Doyen of NSE, called on the U.S. government to assist in the development of the market.

Ndata said the market would need the partnership of the U.S. government to fully realise its objectives.

He urged Entwistle, to use his office to invite President Barrack Obama, to visit the NSE in Lagos.(

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A lesson from Algiers: Stemming youth brain drain http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/04/16/a-lesson-from-algiers-stemming-youth-brain-drain/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/04/16/a-lesson-from-algiers-stemming-youth-brain-drain/#comments Wed, 16 Apr 2014 14:54:30 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=191512 ALGIERS(AFP) – They fled Algeria to escape the violence ravaging the country in the 1990s, but now more and more young exiled Algerians are returning, lured by better economic prospects linked to government financial enticements. With unemployment in the oil-rich North African nation hovering at 21.5 percent among under-35s, according to the International Monetary Fund, […]]]>

ALGIERS(AFP) – They fled Algeria to escape the violence ravaging the country in the 1990s, but now more and more young exiled Algerians are returning, lured by better economic prospects linked to government financial enticements.

With unemployment in the oil-rich North African nation hovering at 21.5 percent among under-35s, according to the International Monetary Fund, the government has broken open the piggybank to tackle the problem.

But critics of the scheme have accused the government of using it to boost its image among the youth, as President Abdelaziz Bouteflika stands for a controversial fourth term in Thursday’s vote.

Algiers created a fund offering up to 100,000 euros ($140,000) interest-free credit to unemployed under-35s looking to set up small and medium-sized businesses.

An Algerian entrepreneur 31-year-old Nassim Aoudia stands at one of his workshops in the city of Borj al-Bahri,

An Algerian entrepreneur 31-year-old Nassim Aoudia stands at one of his workshops in the city of Borj al-Bahri,

Since 2008, more than 300,000 young Algerians — 10 percent of them women — have taken advantage of the scheme. The authorities have even decided to extend it to Algerians living abroad, particularly in France.

One of those to benefit from the loans is 31-year-old Nassim Aoudia.

“Living abroad doesn’t tempt me. I always saw my life and my plans in Algeria,” says Aoudia, whose thriving micro business in eastern Algiers means he can have a Schengen visa and travel abroad when he wishes.

After graduating with a degree in mechanical manufacturing, he signed up with the National Agency to Support Youth Employment (Ansej), which granted him a loan in 2004.

Today, he has seven employees in his small factory, which makes machine tools.

“We even export to Belgium,” he says, glowing at the achievement.

Algeria exports little other than hydrocarbons, which accounted for some 97 percent of its $60 billion in foreign revenues last year.

Import-export companies are jokingly referred to here as “import-import”, with Algeria spending $55 billion on imports in 2013, buying virtually everything it consumes in terms of drugs, textiles, food products and capital goods.

But Ansej’s loans are also tempting back those who fled the country during the bloody civil war of the 1990s, which killed around 200,000 people.

Khaled Guerza entered Canada illegally in 1997 when he was 22, fleeing his Algiers neighbourhood, which had been the scene of a massacre during the war, and obtained refugee status.

After studying management in Montreal, which allowed him to work in the country, Guerza still chose to return in 2007.

“I spent two years thinking about returning,” he recalls.

As with Aoudia, Ansej offered Guerza a loan and helped him to establish a company making parapharmaceutical goods. He now employs nearly 20 people and has an annual turnover of 400,000 euros.

“Today, many exiles in Canada are thinking about coming back,” he says.

- A ‘redistribution’ scheme -

But not all the beneficiaries of Ansej’s scheme have been as conscientious as Aoudia and Guerza, with some spending the loans on luxury goods like cars without paying their debts off.

The decision taken by the authorities to “erase defaulters’ debts and the diversion of loans for purposes other than the creation of businesses is a bad signal sent by the state,” says economist Zoubir Benhamouche, quoted in the independent daily El Watan.

He charges that the fund acts as a “means to perpetuate the political regime,” adding that Ansej has become more “an agency for redistributing income than an agency helping the youth to create businesses”.

Despite the possibilities offered by Ansej, the chance of a better life in Europe has not lost its allure for some young Algerians, with boatloads of illegal migrants, known as “harragas” (those who “burn” their identity papers), still setting out from the country’s shores.

At 26, Adel Slimani has already made four failed attempts to reach Europe by boat, leaving from the industrial town of Annaba, a common departure point for Algerians embarking on their perilous journey for Sardinia.

Although he comes from a well-off family, he is attracted by the idea of a freer life across the water in Italy.

“The desire to try the Sardinian adventure again is stuck in my head,” he admits, noting that fewer and fewer people are willing to make the risky crossing.

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Globacom named Outstanding Telecoms Brand http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/04/16/globacom-named-outstanding-telecoms-brand/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/04/16/globacom-named-outstanding-telecoms-brand/#comments Wed, 16 Apr 2014 13:57:57 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=191566 Indigenous telecommunications company, Globacom was adjudged the Outstanding Telecoms Brand of the Decade and Brand of the Year at two major award events in Lagos. The telecom giant received the awards at the Marketing Edge Legacy Awards and Champion Newspaper 2014 Awards which attracted top government officials, corporate players and socialites. According to the citation […]]]>

Indigenous telecommunications company, Globacom was adjudged the Outstanding Telecoms Brand of the Decade and Brand of the Year at two major award events in Lagos.

The telecom giant received the awards at the Marketing Edge Legacy Awards and Champion Newspaper 2014 Awards which attracted top government officials, corporate players and socialites.

According to the citation for the Outstanding Telecoms Brand of the Decade, Globacom’s choice was a product of painstaking review and assessment of the contribution of telecommunications to the growth and prosperity of the marketing communications industry.

Kole Ademulegun, former President of the Outdoor Advertising Association of Nigeria (OAAN) presenting the  Outstanding Telecoms Brand of the Decade award which the company won at the Marketing Edge Legacy Awards to Bisi Koleosho of Globacom.  With them are  Titi Ebinisi and Jumoke Aduwo also of Globacom.

Kole Ademulegun, former President of the Outdoor Advertising Association of Nigeria (OAAN) presenting the Outstanding Telecoms Brand of the Decade award which the company won at the Marketing Edge Legacy Awards to Bisi Koleosho of Globacom. With them are Titi Ebinisi and Jumoke Aduwo also of Globacom.

A statement by the organisers read: “Among the telecommunications service providers considered, your organisation stood head over shoulders in the crowd. You were unanimously voted as the outstanding telecoms brand in Nigeria’s corporate milieu,” it said.

Receiving the award on behalf of Globacom at the Federal Palace Hotel in Lagos, the company’s Head of Operations, Bisi Koleosho said Globacom is driven by the passion to add deeper value to the lives of Nigerians.

“Beyond just building a network that gives you the benefit of making calls, Globacom is in the business of developing products that will place opportunities at the finger tips of subscribers. We are optimising our network infrastructure to improve quality of basic telecom services and also designing revolutionary Value Added Services that make life and business easier for subscribers,” he said.

At the Champion Newspaper’s 2013 Awards held at Intercontinental Hotel where the company emerged Brand of the Year, Publisher of Champion Newspapers, Dr Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, said Globacom was honoured for making a significant difference in the telecoms industry in the past year.

“The Champion Award was instituted to identify and celebrate those who have effectively utilised any and every opportunity to lead at one level or the other for the good of our people.” He observed that Globacom had consistently supported efforts to empower the people Nigeria and accelerate national development.

Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola, who was Chief Host of the ceremony noted that it was an honour to celebrate some of our country’s best and finest. “The kind of services and selflessness the awardees including Chief Sunny Odogwu and Dr Mike Adenuga’s Globacom have continued to render to our country makes them deserving of this honour,” he said.

Chairman of the event, House of Representatives Speaker, Aminu Tambuwal, said in his address, read on his behalf by a member of the House, Victor Ogene, that Champion Newspaper had contributed remarkably to the development of the country.

The Brand of the Year Award was presented to Globacom by the Director General of the Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation, Sally Mbanefo.

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Lagos, 7 Other African Cities On Emerging Cities List http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/04/16/lagos-7-other-african-cities-on-emerging-cities-list/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/04/16/lagos-7-other-african-cities-on-emerging-cities-list/#comments Wed, 16 Apr 2014 13:05:11 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=191552 Damilare Okunola

Lagos has been listed among seven other African cities on the emerging global cities index for 2014 which was released by A. T. Kearney recently.

The former Nigerian capital’s inclusion indicates how globally engaged it is and how quickly it has been able to catch up with the top performers on a number of leading human capital, business activity and information exchange, cultural experience and political engagement.

Other African cities on the index include, Cairo, which is the highest placed African city on the index, followed by Johannesburg, Nairobi, Cape Town, Casablanca, Addis Ababa and Tunis.

“Since we began the Global Cities Index, GCI in 2008, we have continually refreshed our metrics to reflect emerging trends, analyzed how cities evolved along each of them and developed insights about how a city can become more global.

“We have consistently tracked the evolution of 60 global cities over the past six years, to which we have added 24 more over the subsequent three editions. Taken together, the GCI and Emerging Cities Outlook, ECO, paint a revealing portrait of the global cities of today and tomorrow,” said A. T. Kearney.

Topping the global cities index is New York, closely followed by London, Paris, Tokyo and Hong Kong in that order.

Others are Los Angeles, Chicago, Beijing, Singapore and Washington, to make up the top ten cities on the global index which took eighty-four cities into consideration before coming up with the statistical analysis.

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Airtel concludes free eye screening exercise http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/04/16/airtel-concludes-free-eye-screening-exercise/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/04/16/airtel-concludes-free-eye-screening-exercise/#comments Wed, 16 Apr 2014 11:15:14 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=191523 Telecommunications services provider, Airtel Nigeria has successfully rounded off the free eye screening programme it commenced in March in three adopted schools in Imo, Cross River and Ogun states. Community Primary School, Amumara, Imo state; Presbyterian Primary School, Ediba, Cross River state and St. John’s Primary School, Ijebu-Igbo, Ogun state were the three beneficiaries. The […]]]>

Telecommunications services provider, Airtel Nigeria has successfully rounded off the free eye screening programme it commenced in March in three adopted schools in Imo, Cross River and Ogun states.

Community Primary School, Amumara, Imo state; Presbyterian Primary School, Ediba, Cross River state and St. John’s Primary School, Ijebu-Igbo, Ogun state were the three beneficiaries.

The eye screening programme was conducted in conjuction with a team of opticians from Lagos-based Ultimate Eye Clinic, a renowned eye care service provider to major Health Management Organisations in Nigeria.

CEO/MD Airtel Nigeria Segun Ogunsanya

CEO/MD Airtel Nigeria Segun Ogunsanya

The exercise involved free eye tests and administering of eye glasses for hundreds of pupils, teachers and members of the community.

The exercise offered real-time Medicare to underprivileged children, teachers and community members of the adopted schools; it helped to detect and treat conditions that may lead to amblyopia, which are refractive errors causing visual impairment and strabismus.

A total of 309 people were screened comprising 247 pupils, 32 teachers and 30 members of the community.  

Godwill Ani, Education Secretary, Abi Local Government Area, commended Airtel Nigeria for the initiative. He said several developmental projects have been executed in the community following the adoption of the Presbyterian Primary School, Ediba in 2012.

“When Airtel adopted this school, we didn’t know the scope will be this elaborate. With the provision of facilities and infrastructure we were amazed. Now coming to do eye screening test and therapy. It has made us believe now that Airtel is total in their efforts to boost educational development in the society. We are very grateful to Airtel,” he stated.

Traditional ruler and current secretary of Ediba Traditional Rulers Council, Abi L.G.A., His Highness, Ovie E.O. Ogbodum lauded Airtel for its service to humanity. “Airtel is bringing a lot of development to this community in terms of building schools, improving the lives of the pupils and standard of learning in schools. Other bodies are beginning to emulate Airtel. They are also showing a lot of respect to Ediba Traditional Rulers by getting us involved in all of their activities at Presbyterian Primary School. We are very happy. Thank you Airtel,” he said.

According to the Federal Ministry of Health report in 2011, over four million people suffering from eye problems, 80 per cent of which are from avoidable causes. Of the four million, one million are blind and three million are virtually impaired.

Experts fear that 50 per cent of children who are blind by age five may not live beyond 12 months.

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US Treasury: China does not manipulate yuan http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/04/15/us-treasury-china-does-not-manipulate-yuan/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/04/15/us-treasury-china-does-not-manipulate-yuan/#comments Tue, 15 Apr 2014 21:51:59 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=191483 The US Treasury said Tuesday that China cannot be ruled a manipulator of its currency despite the yuan’s sharp slide since January.

But the Treasury said the recent fall could “raise particularly serious concerns” if it represents a reversal in Beijing’s commitment to a more free-floating yuan.

In a twice-yearly report to Congress, which would set sanctions on any country officially branded a “manipulator”, the Treasury said the yuan, or renminbi, “remains significantly undervalued” and that market pressures suggest it could easily move upward if trade in it were more free.

“China has continued large-scale purchases of foreign exchange in the first quarter of this year, despite having accumulated $3.8 trillion in reserves, which are excessive by any measure. This suggests continued actions to impede market determination,” the report said.

The Treasury also singled out South Korea for criticism over its heavy intervention on behalf of the won and the country’s dependence on exports.

Although Seoul has not published any data on its management of the won, “during the second half of 2013 the Korean authorities are believed to have intervened to limit the pace of won appreciation.”

“Korean authorities should limit foreign exchange intervention to the exceptional circumstances of disorderly market conditions and increase the transparency of their interventions in foreign exchange,” the Treasury said.

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States back removal of oil subsidy http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/04/15/states-back-removal-of-oil-subsidy/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/04/15/states-back-removal-of-oil-subsidy/#comments Tue, 15 Apr 2014 21:03:32 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=191474 The Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) in Abuja on Tuesday took a decision to remove petroleum subsidy in the country. The Chairman of Finance Commissioners Forum, Mr Timothy Odah, said this when he briefed newsmen on the outcome of the FAAC meeting for the month of March in Abuja. Odah said at their last meeting, […]]]>

The Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) in Abuja on Tuesday took a decision to remove petroleum subsidy in the country. The Chairman of Finance Commissioners Forum, Mr Timothy Odah, said this when he briefed newsmen on the outcome of the FAAC meeting for the month of March in Abuja.

Odah said at their last meeting, a committee consisting of six Accountants-General of states and six state Commissioners for Finance was set up to conduct investigations and present a report on the impact of the subsidy in the country so far.

“FAAC in its plenary session finally took a decision that petroleum subsidy should be entirely removed. Because from what was discovered, the subsidy is more or less a solution worse than the problem it is meant to solve.

“Therefore, we are of the firm decision that it will be better for states to access their funds and grant subsidy in their respective capacity.

“Our position will be submitted to the Presidency,’’ he said. He did not indicate when this will be done.

Odah cautioned organised labour to be careful in its refusal to rally for the removal of the oil subsidy programme.

He alleged that that most of them were against the removal because they were on the payroll of oil marketers in the country.

The Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF), Mr Jonah Otunla, said N641.4 billion was shared among the Federal Government, states and local governments as revenue for the month of March.

“The distributable statutory revenue for the month is N534.91billion, which is more than the N531.33 billion that was shared for the month of February .

“Also distributed is the sum of N7.62 billion refunded by the NNPC to be shared to states and local governments.
In addition, the sum of N35.55 billion is proposed for distribution under the SURE-P programme.

“So, the total revenue distributable for the current month, including Value Added Tax (VAT) of N63.31 billion is N641.38 billion,’’ he said.

A breakdown of the distribution showed that the Federal Government received N249.1 billion representing 52.7 per cent; states, N126.34 billion, representing 26.7 per cent, while local governments received N97.4 billion, amounting to 20.6 per cent.

Otunla added that N57.3 billion, representing 13 per cent derivation revenue was shared among the oil producing states.

On VAT, he said that the gross revenue collected in March was N63.31 billion as against N66.8 billion distributed in February, representing a decrease of N3.49 billion.

He said that the mineral revenue collected for March was N519.99 billion, less than the N569.14 billion realised in February making a difference of N49.15 billion.

The AGF said that non-mineral revenue collected during the period under review was N94.37 billion.

The figure, he said, showed reduction of N3.24billion from the N97.61 billion that was collected in February.

Otunla said that N79.45 billion was transferred to the nation’s Excess Crude Account.

He said that oil revenue for March had declined compared to the previous month.

Otunla attributed the decline to production shut-in at Qua Iboe Terminal, shut down of Forcados and oil theft and some repair works on pipeline leaks at Bonny and Brass Terminals.

On other matters, Otunla said the work plan for the implementation of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) in government agencies was discussed

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Nigeria’s oil firm secures $255mn equity funding http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/04/15/nigerias-oil-firm-secures-255mn-equity-funding/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/04/15/nigerias-oil-firm-secures-255mn-equity-funding/#comments Tue, 15 Apr 2014 17:38:27 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=191458 Nigeria’s oil firm Seven Energy said on Tuesday it had secured $255 million in equity funding from global investors, including Singapore’s Temasek, to boost gas supply to the country’s ailing power sector. Industry operators often attribute shortage of gas for the generating plants as a major cause of Nigeria’s under-performing power sector. The company said […]]]>

Nigeria’s oil firm Seven Energy said on Tuesday it had secured $255 million in equity funding from global investors, including Singapore’s Temasek, to boost gas supply to the country’s ailing power sector.

Industry operators often attribute shortage of gas for the generating plants as a major cause of Nigeria’s under-performing power sector.

The company said in a statement that Temasek’s share of the funding was $150 million.

The IFC, an arm of the World Bank and the IFC African, Latin American and Caribbean Fund, invested $75 million and $30 million respectively.

“The investments will be in two tranches, the timing of which is subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions in the investment agreements,” Seven Energy said.

Philip Ihenacho, CEO Seven Energy

Philip Ihenacho, CEO Seven Energy

It said the money would assist the company to develop its facilities so as to provide gas to the domestic market for power generation and industrial consumption.

“The group aims to capture the growing demand for gas and power as Nigeria’s industrial base grows and the liberalisation of the power sector spurs further investment in generating capacity,” it said.

The firm said it is currently involved in the building of two power stations with a combined capacity of 750 megawatts in southern Nigeria, adding that when operational they would add 20 percent to Nigeria’s current generation capacity.

Despite being Africa’s largest oil and gas producer, Nigeria currently generates about 3,000 megawatts of electricity, well short of what is required for a fast-growing nation of some 170 million people.

In comparison, South Africa produces more than 43,000 megawatts for a population a third of the size.

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Market Goes Bullish In Lagos http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/04/15/market-goes-bullish-in-lagos/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/04/15/market-goes-bullish-in-lagos/#comments Tue, 15 Apr 2014 16:50:36 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=191444 Transactions on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Tuesday closed upbeat as major blue chip equities recorded price appreciations.

The All-Share Index appreciated by 230.15 basis points or 0.59 per cent to close at 39,217.65 compared with the 38,987.50 posted on Monday.

An analysis of price movement chart showed that Seplat, which was listed on April 14, led the gainers’ chart with N30.24 to close at N635.04 per share.

PZ Cussons improved by N1.45 to close at N33.45, while Nigerian Breweries gained 95k to close at N145.99 per share. GT Bank rose by 88k to close at N27.80, while Oando chalked up 44k to close at N15.74 per share.

Consequently, the market capitalisation, which opened at N12.834 trillion, increased by N76 billion to close at N12.910 trillion.

Conversely, Mobil topped the losers’ chart, losing N1.50 to close at N120.50 per share.

Total followed with a loss of N1 to close at N169, while UAC Property declined by 60k to close at N25 per share.

Dangote Sugar and First City Monument Bank lost 24k and 16k, respectively, to close at N9.75 and N3.34 per share, each.

Transcorp emerged the most sought equity, accounting for 49.47 million shares, worth N199.24 million.

FCMB came second on the activity chart with 49.14 million shares valued at N176.36 million, while Zenith Bank traded 22.50 million shares worth N494.26 million.

FBN Holdings sold 17.14 million shares worth N212.36 million, while GTBank traded 16.25 million shares valued at N443.29 million.

In all, investors’ staked N3.49 billion on 277.69 million shares transacted in 4,793 deals, representing an increase of 47.52 per cent.

This was against the 188.24 million shares worth N1.52 billion traded in 3,667 deals on Monday.

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Toyota Nigeria Recalls Hilux, RAV4, Other Models http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/04/15/toyota-nigeria-recalls-hilux-rav4-other-models/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/04/15/toyota-nigeria-recalls-hilux-rav4-other-models/#comments Tue, 15 Apr 2014 16:18:53 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=191442 Daniels Ekugo Toyota Nigeria Limited, franchise holder of Toyota brand in Nigeria has started recalling the Hilux, RAV4 and Yaris models in the Nigerian market. Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) last week  said some 3.5 million vehicles were being recalled globally  to replace a spiral cable that could be damaged when the steering wheel is turned. […]]]>

Daniels Ekugo

Toyota Nigeria Limited, franchise holder of Toyota brand in Nigeria has started recalling the Hilux, RAV4 and Yaris models in the Nigerian market.

Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) last week  said some 3.5 million vehicles were being recalled globally  to replace a spiral cable that could be damaged when the steering wheel is turned.

The fault could cause the air bag to fail in the event of a crash, while the Yaris were recalled to check for a fault in the seat rails that could cause the seat to slide forward in a crash, risking injury for the driver or passengers.

The models recalled are Hilux 2005 to 2010 models; RAV4 2006 to 2008 models, while the Yaris are 2006 to 2008 model.

Number of vehicles  affected by the company’s recall in Nigeria is yet to be ascertained as the company is still  collating and would make known the exact figure and VIN numbers through sponsored advertisements in local media across the country.

Kunle Ade-Ojo, Executive Director, Toyota Nigeria Limited, said on Tuesday  that as part of a global voluntary quality measure, it was taking the precaution of  replacing the spiral cable on Hilux and RAV4 and the  seat track on the Yaris models.

“We don’t know the number of vehicles  that are affected in Nigeria as we are still collating. Customers will be notified via advertisement to book their car into the nearest Toyota dealer for repairs at our own cost. The recall campaign will only be implemented in Nigeria  after collation and goes onwards,” he said.

According to him, “The vehicles remained safe to drive and there was absolutely no need for concern”.

The Executive Director stressed that Toyota  Nigeria’s recall campaign was pre-emptive and it has not received  any issues recorded locally.

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Nigeria Bursts Pakistani Drug Cartel In Lagos http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/04/15/nigeria-bursts-pakistani-drug-cartel-in-lagos/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/04/15/nigeria-bursts-pakistani-drug-cartel-in-lagos/#comments Tue, 15 Apr 2014 14:15:10 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=191433 Simon Ateba/Lagos Attempt by a suspected Pakistani drug cartel to smuggle 25.4 kilogrammes of high grade heroin into Nigeria has been aborted, the Nigerian National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, said on Tuesday. The agency said the cartel was discovered when it arrested a Pakistani student at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos, western […]]]>

Simon Ateba/Lagos

Attempt by a suspected Pakistani drug cartel to smuggle 25.4 kilogrammes of high grade heroin into Nigeria has been aborted, the Nigerian National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, said on Tuesday.

The agency said the cartel was discovered when it arrested a Pakistani student at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos, western Nigeria, with drug valued at N228,000,000.

Iftikihar Muhammed Arslan with his bag before search

Iftikihar Muhammed Arslan with his bag before search

The drug was discovered in the suspect’s luggage during inward screening of passengers on board Qatar airline flight.

NDLEA said preliminary investigation has shown that the suspect left Lahore, Pakistan with the drugs to Abu Dhabi,  then Doha from where he connected to Lagos.

“He is believed to be working for a Pakistani drug cartel. This is the largest single seizure of heroin made at the Lagos airport since January 2014,” said Mitchell Ofoyeju, NDLEA spokesperson.

NDLEA Commander at the Lagos Airport, Hamza Umar gave the name of the Pakistani as Iftikihar Muhammed Arslan.

Umar said the drug was hidden in a smaller bag inside his luggage.

The commander noted that the suspect is co-operating with the agency’s team of investigators.

The Pakistani who speaks English fluently has owned up to the crime, NDLEA said.

“I am a student of Punjab College and I am in Nigeria as a tourist because my friend told me that Victoria Island and Ikoyi are beautiful tourist centres. Unfortunately, when I arrived at the Lagos airport, the heroin was found in my luggage. This is my first time of coming to Nigeria and I had intended to spend a week or two,” NDLEA quoted Iftikihar as saying in a confessional statement.

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GDP Figure: Beyond Belief http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/04/15/gdp-figure-beyond-belief/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/04/15/gdp-figure-beyond-belief/#comments Tue, 15 Apr 2014 09:35:24 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=191406 Ayorinde Oluokun/Abuja Why Nigeria’s new GDP figure may not mean much for average Nigerians beyond being an indication of developments in the economy  As days go, Sunday, 6 April 2014 certainly was a good one for Nigeria. It was the day on which, after presentations which lasted a couple of hours at the cosy Transcorp […]]]>

Ayorinde Oluokun/Abuja

Why Nigeria’s new GDP figure may not mean much for average Nigerians beyond being an indication of developments in the economy 

As days go, Sunday, 6 April 2014 certainly was a good one for Nigeria. It was the day on which, after presentations which lasted a couple of hours at the cosy Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, Nigeria was conferred with a new bragging right: the biggest economy in Africa. In the presentation witnessed by the crème de la crème of the public and private sectors as well as top representatives of multilateral agencies operating in the country, Yemi Kale, Statistician-General announced that the 2013 estimate of Nigeria’s nominal Gross Domestic Product, GDP, recalculated with year 2010 as the base year, now stands at $509.9 billion, up from $285.56 billion in 2010. Kale, who is also the head of National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, put the value of the nominal GDP in 2012 at N71.1 trillion (about $453.9 billion) as well as a projected figure of about N80.2 trillion (about $509.9 billion) in 2013. The rebased nominal GDP represented an increase of 59.9 per cent using the old base year and 69.10 per cent in 2011, as well as an increase of 75.58 per cent in 2012 and a projected 89.22 growth per cent in 2013. With the new GDP figure, Nigeria emerged Africa’s biggest economy, pushing South Africa, the previous holder of that title with a GDP of $384.3, to the second position.

• Kale, Statistician-General

• Kale, Statistician-General

Globally, the new nominal GDP figure also leapfrogged Nigeria to the 26th position in terms of size of economy, putting the country effectively ahead of countries like Austria, with $394.7 billion; Venezuela, with $381.26 billion, Columbia – $369.6 billion; Thailand – $365.96 billion; Denmark – $314.88 billion; Malaysia’s $274.7 billion and Singapore’s $269.87 billion. The International Monetary Fund, IMF, defines gross domestic product, GDP, as the value of goods and services produced in a country in a year. On the other hand, the United Nations Statistical Commission recommends a statistical rebasing or overhaul of the calculations of the GDP every five years to account for changes in the patterns of economic activity, i.e consumption and production, and to update base prices to a more recent year so as to account for inflation. But the Federal Government had not done the rebasing since 1990, though over the years there have been significant changes in the structure of the economy.

Last week’s event corrected this anomaly with change in the base year for calculating the nation’s GDP to 2010 from 1990. Also, new sectors of the economy, like the telecommunications industry, Nollywood, the music industry, retail and the services industry, which have witnessed a boom in the past decade but have been excluded, are now included in the calculation of GDP.

According to the Statistician-General, apart from the fact that Nigeria has emerged after the rebasing exercise as the biggest economy in Africa, results from the rebased estimates indicate that Nigeria’s nominal GDP had become larger than previously estimated. Kale put Nigeria’s rebased nominal GDP for 2010 at N54.20tn; while for 2011, 2012 and 2013, he put the figures at N63.25tn; N71.18tn and N80.22tn ($510bn), respectively.

The NBS boss also said the results indicated that the structure of the Nigerian economy has changed significantly, leading to a decline in the share of the agricultural sector and a rise in the share of services in nominal GDP. According to him, Nigeria’s economy is now more diversified than previously believed. Kale pointed out in his presentations the previously excluded sectors including telecommunications and information services, publishing, motion picture, sound recording, and music production and broadcasting , arts, entertainment and recreation, financial institutions and insurance, real estate, education, human health and social services, and other services, which increased the list of economic activities captured from 46 from 33.

Thus, the revised figure indicated that the services sector now contributes about 52 per cent of total GDP, with industry coming a distant second at 25.7 per cent. Agriculture contributed 22 per cent, telecommunications (8.69 per cent), manufacturing (6.83 per cent), and entertainment, which had not been previously captured, 1.42 per cent.

“Analysing the 1990 nominal series, agriculture contributed 30.3 per cent to the GDP, while industry contributed 46.1 per cent and services contributed 23.6 per cent. According to the rebased 2010 series, in nominal terms, the share of agriculture has declined to 24 per cent. The share of industry to the country’s GDP has also declined to 25.8 per cent, while the share of services to the country’s GDP has increased to 50.2 per cent,” said Kale.

He added that the number of economic activities accounting for 70 per cent of nominal GDP has risen from three to six after rebasing.

The most notable changes, according to him, are in the wholesale and retail trade sector of the economy as the NBS, during the rebasing exercise, made efforts to capture more of the informal sector than was attempted before. The Statistician-General added that following the rebasing exercise, Nigeria GDP growth was estimated at 5.09 per cent in 2011; 6.66 per cent in 2012 and a projected 7.41 per cent in 2013. “Over the period, the economy is expected to grow by an average of 6.39 per cent. The services sector is expected to grow the fastest during this period, increasing by an average of 7.72 per cent. This is followed by industry that is expected to by 7.19 per cent. Agricultural sector is expected to grow by an average of 2.61 per cent during the period,” said the Statistician General.

The multilateral agencies present at the occasion endorsed the efforts at updating the GDP. “The relevant question today is: Have the huge efforts been valuable? From a decision making perspective, the answer is unquestionably yes. The data and sources have been expanded. The methodology has been improved and the knowledge of the structure of the economy has been significantly enhanced,” Dr. Gene Leon, IMF Resident Representative in Nigeria, who spoke at the event on behalf of multilateral institutions, said. He affirmed that the multilateral agencies are in support of Nigeria’s efforts to gather quality statistics and use them as basis for sound decision making.

Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, who was a key figure behind the rebasing exercise said the new GDP will at least give Nigerians the “psychological edge” of having the biggest economy in Africa. In terms of per capita income, which measures the income per individual, Nigeria is now ranked 121st, from 135, with an average GDP per capita income of $2,688. The higher GDP means more consumption per capita, and a boost to Nigeria as an investment destination.

•Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Finance Minister

•Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Finance Minister

Ayodeji Ebo, Head, Investment Research, Afrinvest, a research and advisory firm, said the increase in Nigeria’s per capita income from the previous $1,555 will be a source of attraction to investors. “This translates to an increase in Nigeria’s ranking as a preferred investment destination based on its perceived purchasing power,” said Ebo.

“The impact of a rebasing would likely have a positive impact on perceptions… This would come at a time when most investors are fairly downbeat on South Africa [because of its high combined fiscal and current account deficit],” London-based economist for CSL Stockbrokers, Alan Cameron, was quoted by Reuters as saying.

Femi Ademola, of the Research Intelligence Unit of BGL plc, said with the increase in the new GDP figure and subsequent increase in Nigeria’s per capita income from $1,500 in 2012 to $2,999.41, the country is now a lower middle class income country: “There is no direct impact on Nigerian individually, especially the man on the street. On the long run, however, the economic benefits of improved national statistics would be felt by everybody through increase in job creation, wages and working conditions, and in tax revenue from increased economic activities.”

While analysing the benefits of the rebasing, the Minister of Finance said the result would help government to properly understand the structure and activities taking place in the Nigerian economy, adding that this would significantly influence its policy decisions. “The policy direction will reflect even more of the fact, like similar emerging market economies, that small and medium scale firms will increasingly play a more prominent role in the economy,” said the Minister. Part of the shift in focus, Okonjo-Iweala said, will include expansion and deepening of government efforts to boost manufacturing, SMEs and entrepreneurship through relevant policies, skills training, grants and other incentives. “This is likely to include scaling up of programmes like YOUWIN, the Graduate Internship Scheme and similar programmes,” she said. Another sector that will receive more attention is the Nigerian movie industry whose growth was also highlighted by the rebasing exercise. The industry accounts for N853.9 billion or 1.42 per cent of GDP,” the Minister added.

Analysts also said the increased new GDP figure will allow the government to achieve its medium-term objective of narrowing the federal budget deficit to 1.1 per cent of GDP in 2015, and has led to a drop in the country’s debt to the GDP ratio. The favourable debt to GDP ratio has increased government’s capacity to borrow, as acknowledged by the Minister of Finance during the presentation. According to her, the rebased GDP data which has improved the country’s debt-to-GDP ratio would give Nigeria more elbow room for borrowing. She however said though some people believe that Nigerians should borrow more, especially to finance infrastructure, the country will not go on the binge of foreign loans given her experience of struggling to pay debts in the past: “So we must err on the side of being prudent and tread carefully. What we can do is to vigorously look for investors willing to enter into public private partnerships with government. I will suggest we go with that direct investment route and create special purpose vehicles that can take on some debts for particular projects, projects that can pay for themselves.”

The Minister was humble enough to agree that the new figures also revealed some uncomfortable truth about the country: “Not all our ratios look good. Our revenue to GDP ratio doesn’t look that good. We have a tax to GDP ratio of about 20 per cent, which is in the range of emerging market economy, but our non-oil tax to GDP ratio is quite low at seven per cent. With this new GDP numbers, we are not going to look so good. Our tax revenue to GDP ratio will fall to about 12 per cent and four per cent for non-oil tax to revenue.”

Okonjo-Iweala however said government has already started moves to improve the non-oil revenue component of its income by working with the FIRS to improve tax administration, blocking the loopholes and strengthening tax collections. Other economists also believe that the rebasing exercise will have a positive impact on Nigeria, especially as related to the perception of the country by investors.

Most Nigerians are confused what the rebasing exercise means for them. Their confusion is further exacerbated by the fact that the rebased GDP figure was released few days after the World Bank classified Nigeria as one of the “extreme poor nations” in the world alongside countries like India, China, Bangladesh, Democratic Republic of Congo, Indonesia, Pakistan, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Kenya.

“The fact is that two-thirds of the world’s extreme poor are concentrated in just five countries: India, China, Nigeria, Bangladesh and the Democratic Republic of Congo,” Jim Kim, President, World Bank, said in Washington. “If you add another five countries, Indonesia, Pakistan, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Kenya, the total grows to 80 per cent of the extreme poor,” he added. Okonjo-Iweala had been engaged in defending and explaining why Nigeria was classified among the countries with biggest number of poor people days before the GDP event.

Thus, reactions of Nigerians to the release of the GDP have varied. On one extreme are those who believe federal government is involved in manipulation of figures to make itself look good. For one, such cynics query the indices on which the rating of Nigeria as the biggest economy in Africa was based, when the country has always occupied the lower rung of the ladder in terms of human development index, with an average citizen lacking access to basic things of life like potable water, decent accommodation, good health care delivery system, electricity, and other basic necessities. In addition the average life expectancy is below 50 years, with Nigeria also having the seventh highest infant mortality rate in the world and high unemployment rate.

Yet, there are others who argue that the new GDP figure is a reflection of the fact that the wealth of the country is concentrated in the hands of a miniscule section of Nigerians. “How was this growth possible in the face of near absence of basic infrastructure like electricity, water, transport etc? What is the size of sectors that have closed down in the last 10 years as against the emerging sectors like Nollywood and communication? If over 130 million Nigerians are unemployed and the country has no automated production capacity, who is producing and from where?,” Emeka J. Ononamadu, executive director of Imo State-based Citizens Centre for Integrated Development & Social Rights, said while querying the new GDP figure at a press conference he addressed in Owerri last week. “The quality of life of Nigerians does not support this new GDP in any way. It makes it more or less a political statement. To adjust GDPs to its real value, the Human Development Index as calculated by UNDP must be put into consideration,” he added.

•Apapa Port Will rebasing increase more economic activities

•Apapa Port Will rebasing increase more economic activities

Rotimi Abiru, Deputy Whip of the Lagos State House of Assembly, who described the claim Nigeria is now the biggest economy in Africa as the biggest illusion of the century, said what the new GDP showed is that the economy is under the control of less than one per cent of the population. “Basically, the new GDP does not translate to good living condition for the mass of Nigerians when about 80 per cent are living below poverty line. As a matter of fact, out of that, more than 60 per cent are actually living below $1 per day, which means the country harbours the poorest of the poor,” said the lawmaker.

The Nigeria Labour Congress said as cheery as the news may be, it is not completely swayed by the GDP figure. “A GDP could not be said to have significantly improved if our industries are virtually shut and operating environment increasingly hostile,” NLC said in a statement signed by Promise Adewusi, its vice-president. While analysing the statistics, the labour organisation pointed out that government should be worried that the performance index of industries dropped from 46.08 per cent to 25.81 per cent while the service industry more than doubled to 50 per cent from 23.03 per cent in the rebasing exercise. “This certainly represents a significant change in the economy, a negative change that points to consumption to the exclusion of production, ” said the NLC.

Analysts however said Nigerians may be reading much more than intended to the GDP figures because of the heavy weather the government has made out of its presentation. In its comments on the issue, The Economist magazine affirmed that “GDP revision is not mere trickery.” The international magazine said the new GDP “provides a truer picture of Nigeria’s size by giving due weight to the bits of the economy, such as telecoms, banking and the Nollywood film industry, that have been growing fast in recent years”, a “statistical magic” that has been done by other countries like Ghana, which added 60 per cent to its economy in 2010 as a result of similar rebasing exercise. The magazine identified the consistent growth of Nigeria’s economy at an average rate of around seven per cent annually in the past decade, the country’s oil resources, its pool of ambitious entrepreneurs, vibrant stock exchange, and high population among others as contributory factors to expansion of the economy.

“In Nigeria’s case, the new numbers confirm that it really is the colossus of the continent,” said the magazine. “What is important is that your economy has 2.5 per cent of the world population but you are producing 0.81 per cent of the world output, your potential GDP is growing at 11 per cent while your real GDP is growing at seven per cent. One thing needs to be clear, GDP is an output measure not revenue measure, what we have measured is an output in a year and brought it back to the value of rebasing. Rebasing is what we should do for five years but we don’t do it for 20 years, basically what we are doing now is catch-up,” Bismark Riwane, CEO of Financial Derivative Limited, said. “Nigerians will still buy petrol at the same price, they will still have the same amount in their pockets, electricity is not going to improve on Monday morning. So, the exercise is a journey from reality to vanity,” Rewane said in another interview.

An industrialist, public commentator and economist, Henry Boyo, said the rebasing exercise is “good for the ego”, as the standard of living of an average Nigerian is lower than that of a South African.

•Boyo: Rebasing exercise is good for the ego

•Boyo: Rebasing exercise is good for the ego

South Africans, dethroned from the top of Africa’s economic pecking order are in a haste to point out many things that are still wrong with Nigeria in reaction to the new GDP. This is true based on the fact that Nigeria’s new GDP per capita of $2,688 is still well below the GDP per capita in South Africa, which is $7,508. Also, South Africa – the continent’s only G20 member – has fewer people and is streets ahead in areas such as infrastructure and governance.

Also, some economists in the former apartheid enclave raised eyebrows over the fact that Nigeria’s new GDP was $110 billion greater than was forecasted by analysts. “If you look at South African trade with the rest of the world relative to Nigeria’s, it doesn’t quite suggest the differences are as great as GDP now suggests, especially if you look at import bills,” said Razia Khan, chief economist for Africa at Standard Chartered.

Even Nigeria’s finance minister confessed that she was “shocked” when she first saw the numbers in an interview published in Wall Street Journal last week: “You see all about you the dynamism and you know things are happening in your economy and we suspected that the diversification was happening, but when the numbers came in we were just like, Wow!”

Indeed, South Africans, while congratulating the country on its new status, pointed out tongue in cheek, Nigeria’s decrepit state of infrastructure. Also, while congratulating country on its new status, the South African Ministry of Finance pointed out that the feat is partly due to the presence and participation of South African firms in Nigeria’s wholesale and retail and the telecommunications sectors, which are also the two largest components of the services sector.

But analysts said the concern of South Africa is that while for most Nigerians who still live on less than $2 a day the rebasing is likely to have little effect, the expectation is that it will improve the country’s balance sheet, credit rating and promote the country out of the class of a low-income economy, conditions favourable for attraction of foreign investments. Financial Times reported Clayson Monyela, South Africa foreign ministry spokesman, tweeting: “OK, let’s explain some numbers here. After all the lights are on in SA, the banking sector and infrastructure is world class,” a not so disguised dig at the state of Nigeria infrastructure some hours after the new GDP figure was released. Yet, with Nigeria struggling to maintain 4000 megawatts of electricity for its over 170 million citizens while South Africa is already generating 40,000 megawatts for a population less than one third of that figure, Monyela is not totally off the mark. South Africans believe that Nigeria infrastructure deficits will continue to make their country a preferred destination for investments coming to Africa.

“Given the relatively more developed state of our infrastructure and financial systems, South Africa will remain one of the important economies of the continent, though this rebasing will be a significant step in establishing Nigeria as a true African powerhouse,” said Roelof Horne, portfolio manager, Investec Asset Management, which has investment in Nigeria.

The challenge therefore is for Nigeria to develop its infrastructure. How soon the country will be able to do that remains a matter of conjecture. But Okonjo-Iweala, who was also quick to affirm that the new GDP figure is not an indication that all the problems confronting Nigeria have become history, promised that government will continue to tackle problems that have continued to serve as impediments to doing business in Nigeria. The challenge for government, as pointed out by the NLC, is to translate the figure into improved living conditions, jobs, revival of industries and improvement of internal and national security, indices which the organisation described as the “measurable indices and indicators of an enlarging and progressive economy”.

Also, President Jonathan said in a facebook post last week that he cannot celebrate the new GDP figures until the growth becomes more inclusive, which is not a surprise given the fact that Nigeria ranks 153rd out of 187 countries in the UN’s Human Development Index; with high rate of unemployment and increasing poverty rate. Even then, the President, like many other praise singers, as the 2015 re-election campaign enters high gear, will attribute the growth in GDP to his Transformation Agenda.

…Published in TheNEWS magazine

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Etihad’s Q1 income jumps 27 per cent http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/04/15/etihads-q1-income-jumps-27-per-cent/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/04/15/etihads-q1-income-jumps-27-per-cent/#comments Tue, 15 Apr 2014 08:45:54 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=191390 Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways reported Tuesday a 27-percent annual rise in revenues to $1.4 billion for the first quarter of 2014 on the back of surging passenger and cargo figures. Etihad, which is in advanced talks to buy a stake in Italy’s struggling Alitalia, said income from equity partners and codesharing deals increased 23 percent […]]]>

Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways reported Tuesday a 27-percent annual rise in revenues to $1.4 billion for the first quarter of 2014 on the back of surging passenger and cargo figures.

Etihad, which is in advanced talks to buy a stake in Italy’s struggling Alitalia, said income from equity partners and codesharing deals increased 23 percent to $223 million in the first three months of 2014, compared with the same period last year.

The fast-growing Gulf airline declined to say whether it registered any profits or losses in the quarter.

Passenger volumes increased 14 percent over the same period to 3.2 million, while cargo volumes grew 26 percent to 127,821 tonnes, said Etihad.

Etihad airline: 27 % jump in Q1 income

Etihad airline: 27 % jump in Q1 income

“Organic growth was supported by the development of codeshare and equity partnerships, which delivered 678,000 passengers onto Etihad Airways flights in the first quarter of 2014, 25 percent higher than the same period last year,” it said in a statement.

Etihad carried 11.5 million passengers last year, earning $6.1 billion in revenues, of which it kept $62 million as profit.

Launched in 2003, Etihad is expanding rapidly and has bought minor shares in several smaller carriers around the world as it competes with larger Gulf rivals Emirates and Qatar Airways.

Etihad owns 29 percent of Air Berlin, 40 percent of Air Seychelles, 19.9 percent of Virgin Australia and three percent of Aer Lingus.

It also owns a 24-percent stake in India’s Jet Airways.

Italy’s Transport Minister Maurizio Lupi last week said an assessment of Alitalia’s accounts had been completed and hinted an offer from Etihad could be imminent.

The two companies have been in contact since December and in February they said they had entered a “final phase” in the process but Alitalia is laden with debts and negotiations have been hugely complicated.

Etihad is reportedly planning to take a stake of between 40 and 49 percent in the Italian carrier — below the 49.9 percent limit for non-European airlines.

AFP

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In Nsukka, power outage makes phone battery chargers smile to bank http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/04/14/in-nsukka-power-outage-makes-phone-battery-chargers-smile-to-bank/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/04/14/in-nsukka-power-outage-makes-phone-battery-chargers-smile-to-bank/#comments Mon, 14 Apr 2014 22:25:24 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=191343 Service providers in Nsukka, Enugu State in eastern Nigeria, who charge telephone batteries for people in exchange for money now smile to the banks as many people now depend on them. Called “telephone battery chargers’’ they have been making brisk businesses as a result of the perennial power outage in the town Mr Julius Mbah, […]]]>

Service providers in Nsukka, Enugu State in eastern Nigeria, who charge telephone batteries for people in exchange for money now smile to the banks as many people now depend on them.

Called “telephone battery chargers’’ they have been making brisk businesses as a result of the perennial power outage in the town

Mr Julius Mbah, who operates at Odenigbo Road, in this university town, said that the worsening power supply had made his customers to increase.

“As result of prolonged power outage in the town which is about a week now, many residents now patronise us to enable them to make use of their phones.

a mobile phone charger in Nigeria

a mobile phone charger in Nigeria

“Since this power problem deteriorated, I now make N1000 profit daily after removing the money I use in buying fuel and other expenses.

“Because of the profit I make, I opened another centre at Onuiyi where I employed somebody. I open round 7a.m. and close around 9 p.m.,” he said.

Another “charger’’, Mr Sunday Eze, corroborated Mbah’s claim that the business was now more lucrative than when he started in 2010.

“Since the power problem worsened, I have recorded much gain from this business, though l at times run into the problem of impersonation as some fraudulent person often collect other people’s batteries.

“For instance, in the last two weeks, I paid for two Nokia phone batteries which some impersonators collected.

“That is why I now give numbered cards to my customers which they must present before they can collect their batteries,’’ he said.

Mr kennedy Ani, who operates at Ogurugu Road, said he would be happy if the poor power supply would continue to enable him make more gains.

“Do you know that some people, who looked down on us as mere phone battery chargers, now want to join in this business because it is now lucrative.

“People do not only charge their phone batteries, some bring their rechargeable torch, lantern and their laptops for charging.

“I charge N30 for phone batteries, N50 for reachable lantern and N70 for laptops. I must confess, we are making brisk businesses as result of constant power outage,’’ he said.

A customer, who identified himself as Mrs Chinyere Ugwu, said she had spent a lot of money charging her phones as all the members of her family charge their phones outside because of power outage.

“We stay at times for five day to two weeks without public power supply. I am trying to influence my husband to buy a small generator because we cannot continue spending money everyday to charge our phone batteries.’’

When contacted, an engineer in Nsukka Business District of Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC), who pleaded anonymity said the problem was not from them as they only distribute what they get from those in generation.

“We are not happy that our customers are complaining everyday of poor supply; the problem is from generation, our customers should bear with us.

“I also use generator in my house, everybody is suffering it,’’ he said

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Toll on Lekki-Ikoyi Bridge: Court gives date for ruling http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/04/14/toll-on-lekki-ikoyi-bridge-court-gives-date-for-ruling/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/04/14/toll-on-lekki-ikoyi-bridge-court-gives-date-for-ruling/#comments Mon, 14 Apr 2014 21:33:55 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=191332 A Nigerian Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday fixed 25 April for ruling on the Lagos State Government’s application for a stay of execution of judgment on toll collection on the Lekki-Ikoyi Bridge. Justice Saliu Saidu had on 27 March declared collection of toll on the bridge illegal, saying there is no law in […]]]>

A Nigerian Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday fixed 25 April for ruling on the Lagos State Government’s application for a stay of execution of judgment on toll collection on the Lekki-Ikoyi Bridge.

Justice Saliu Saidu had on 27 March declared collection of toll on the bridge illegal, saying there is no law in existence authorising it.

Saidu had reserved ruling in the case after hearing arguments on an application for a stay of execution of the judgment filed by the State Attorney-General, Mr Ade Ipaye.

A human rights lawyer, Mr Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, had filed a suit on Nov. 26, 2012, challenging toll collection on the bridge. Joined as first and second respondents in the suit are the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA).

Motorists pay toll on Lekki-ikoyi bridge

Motorists pay toll on Lekki-ikoyi bridge

Ipaye and the state government were joined as third and fourth respondents respectively.

The judge held that there was nothing before the court to show that the construction of the bridge was a Public Private Partnership project, insisting that the bridge was built with public funds.

At the resumed hearing of the motion on Monday, Ipaye urged the court to stay execution of its judgment pending the determination of an appeal before the Court of Appeal.

He also sought for an order of injunction restraining the third and fourth respondents from giving effect to the judgment in order to abide with the appellate court’s decision.

Ipaye noted that the applicant had filed and conducted the suit in his personal capacity, adding that a stay would not be injurious to him.

He argued that after the court’s judgment on March 27, Adegboruwa had immediately proceeded to the bridge and had sought to use it without paying toll.

“There was no express order of court preventing toll collection.’’

Ipaye argued that Adegboruwa had also filed a cross appeal before the appellate court, stressing that with such a step, it was now important for status quo to be maintained until all issues were resolved by the apex court.

Adegboruwa, in his response, urged the court to dismiss the application for being incompetent.

He argued that a prayer for a stay of execution of a judgment and a motion for injunction could not abide in the same application, describing the practice as novel.

He told the court that the respondents had failed to obey the court’s judgment of March 27, stressing that such practice constituted an affront to the powers of the court.

Adegboruwa said:“The reliefs sought by the respondents are equitable in nature, and whoever must come to equity must come with clean hands.

“The action of the respondents creates an impression in the minds of Nigerians that there was no court order, and so, if this

application is granted, it will simply validate the confusion already created.”

He, therefore, submitted that it was impossible for the court to overrule itself with respect to the pending judgment since there was no need to justify the collection of illegal toll

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SEPLAT listing boosts NSE market by N28bn http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/04/14/seplat-listing-boosts-nse-market-by-n28bn/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/04/14/seplat-listing-boosts-nse-market-by-n28bn/#comments Mon, 14 Apr 2014 20:16:24 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=191315 The market capitalisation of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Monday appreciated by 2.23 per cent due to the listing of Seplat Petroleum Development Company.

A total of 543.28 million units of Seplat Petroleum Development Company were listed at N576 per share.

Consequently, the market capitalisation increased by N28 billion or 2.23 per cent to close at N12.834 trillion against N12.554 trillion achieved on Friday.

The All-Share Index, however, dropped by 96.16 points or 0.25 per cent to close at 38,987.50 from the 39,083.66 posted on Friday following price losses.

Conoil led the price losers’ chart, losing N2.59 to close at N49.31 per share. Mobil lost N1.99 to close at N122, while Nigerian Breweries dropped 96k to close at N148.04 per share.

Union Dicon Salt lost 70k to close at N13.44, while Oando depreciated by 66k to close at N15.30 per share.

On the other hand, Forte Oil topped the gainers’ chart, appreciating by N13.72 to close at N148.99 per share.

UAC Property garnered 50k to close at N25.60, while Dangote Flour grew by 20k to close at N8.30 per share.

Red Star Express gained 18k to close at N4.36, while Honeywell improved by 17k to close at N3.71 per share.

The volume of shares traded dropped by 31.31 per cent with 188.24 million shares worth N1.52 billion traded in 3,667 deals.

This was in contrast to the 274.05 million shares valued at N3.99 billion traded in 4,407 deals on Friday.

FCMB emerged the most traded equity with 30.52 million shares worth N106.83 million.

It was followed by Sterling Bank which accounted for 28.03 million shares valued at N66.24 million, while Skye Bank sold 12.75 million shares worth N44.88 million.

Transcorp accounted for 12.70 million shares valued at N48.27 million, while ETI traded 12.68 million shares worth N164.77 million

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Ohi Alegbe, new Group GM Public Affairs for NNPC http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/04/14/ohi-alegbe-new-group-gm-public-affairs-for-nnpc/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/04/14/ohi-alegbe-new-group-gm-public-affairs-for-nnpc/#comments Mon, 14 Apr 2014 14:37:46 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=191293 The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has announced the appointment of Mr Ohi Alegbe as Group General Manager, Public Affairs Division. The appointment takes immediate effect. Mr Bernard Otti, Group Executive Director, Finance and Account announced the appointment today. Alegbe, an alumnus of the University of Benin, is taking to the NNPC three decades of […]]]>

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has announced the appointment of Mr Ohi Alegbe as Group General Manager, Public Affairs Division. The appointment takes immediate effect.

Mr Bernard Otti, Group Executive Director, Finance and Account announced the appointment today.

Ohi Alegbe: Group GM Public Affairs, NNPC

Ohi Alegbe: Group GM Public Affairs, NNPC

Alegbe, an alumnus of the University of Benin, is taking to the NNPC three decades of experience traversing the broadcast, print, public relations and advertising genres of public communication.

He takes over from Dr Farouk Ibrahim, who has been holding forte in acting capacity.

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Glencore buys Caracal Energy http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/04/14/glencore-buys-caracal-energy/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/04/14/glencore-buys-caracal-energy/#comments Mon, 14 Apr 2014 13:57:02 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=191285 Mining company Glencore Xstrata said it agreed to buy Chad-focused oil company Caracal Energy (CRCL.L) for about 800 million pounds, in a deal which will involve Caracal abandoning a merger with Canada’s TransGlobe Energy. Glencore’s 550 pence per share agreed bid for Caracal represents a 61 percent premium to Caracal’s closing share price on Friday. […]]]>

Mining company Glencore Xstrata said it agreed to buy Chad-focused oil company Caracal Energy (CRCL.L) for about 800 million pounds, in a deal which will involve Caracal abandoning a merger with Canada’s TransGlobe Energy.

Glencore’s 550 pence per share agreed bid for Caracal represents a 61 percent premium to Caracal’s closing share price on Friday.

Caracal and Glencore have been partners in an oil field in Chad since 2012 and Glencore has paid TransGlobe a break-fee of $9.25 million (5.53 million pounds) under the terms of the previous deal.

Shares in Caracal traded up 58 percent after the announcement on Monday to 543.25 pence.

.Reuters

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Senate to invite Diezani on NNPC opaque finances http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/04/13/senate-to-invite-diezani-on-nnpc-opaque-finances/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/04/13/senate-to-invite-diezani-on-nnpc-opaque-finances/#comments Sun, 13 Apr 2014 16:59:48 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=191178 Nigeria’s Senate Committee on Petroleum (Downstream) has said it will invite the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, to furnish it with details of NNPC financial transactions, if the NNPC fails to do so. The NNPC management had continuously failed to provide the committee with details of its financial transactions, claiming that it was […]]]>

Nigeria’s Senate Committee on Petroleum (Downstream) has said it will invite the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, to furnish it with details of NNPC financial transactions, if the NNPC fails to do so.

The NNPC management had continuously failed to provide the committee with details of its financial transactions, claiming that it was still collating the financial information being required.

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Petroleum (Downstream), Sen. Magnus Abe (PDP-Bayelsa), issued the threat when he addressed newsmen in Abuja on Sunday. He said the NNPC had persistently failed to supply the committee with the relevant information about its financial dealings since October 2013.

Diezani Alison-Madueke: oil minister

Diezani Alison-Madueke: oil minister

He warned that should the NNPC continue to delay submission of the financial records, the committee would be compelled to invite the minister to appear before it with relevant financial details.

He said that the committee required to be furnished with documents relating to the financial dealings of the oil corporation since 2012 as well as the alleged N10 billion private jets.

According to him, some of the issues include crude swap transactions, rehabilitation of refineries, the volume of petroleum products being sold by the Petroleum Products Marketing Company.

“We have not informed the minister of the delay from NNPC and there are issues we know the minister will be involved but not at this point.

“But if we cannot resolve it, we will ask the minister to come with NNPC, but at the moment, it is between the committee and NNPC. We can sort this out.

“We asked about the crude swap transactions to know exactly what volumes are being swapped and what the country is getting in return.

“We also wanted information on the rehabilitation of the refineries to know exactly how far they have gone with those programmes.

“We want information on the aircraft that has now become an issue. We have actually asked for this information since last year and we have not seen that.’’

While declining to give a deadline for submission of the documents being required, Abe said the request for the financial details were routine and not out to witch-hunt anybody.

He decried the nonchalant attitude being displayed by the NNPC management which failed to send any representative to a meeting called by the committee last week.

“Oversight also involves taking a detailed look at how things are done, how the country is benefitting from these things and how we can work together to improve what is being done.

“But unfortunately, we have not received the kind of cooperation I would like to see from the NNPC. They said they were still collating this information since last year.

“We still believe they will step up their game and work with us so that we can get the best for the Nigerian people.

“We have given time frames from the start and time frames have not been met, but we believe that this is an issue that neither party will like us to take to the extreme.

“But we don’t think that any public corporation that is being oversight by parliament has a right to keep a committee of parliament in the dark,’’ he added.

Abe said the committee could bring the matter to the attention of the Senate leadership if the NNPC continued to hold back financial details from the committee.

The House of Representatives had also set in motion, arrangement to investigate the minister over the alleged N10 billion expended on private jets within and outside the country.

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