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Kenya to finalise fresh IMF deal within 2 months-Minister




Rotich said in London, where he had overseen the sale of a $2.1 billion sovereign Eurobond, that IMF was not insisting on a removal of the interest rate cap as a precondition for a new deal.

The East African country is discussing a new standby credit facility with the IMF.

Its previous $1.5 billion programme expired last year when the government failed to meet the Fund’s conditions for an extension, including the repeal of a cap on how much interest commercial lenders can charge.

“We are looking at a similar arrangement as we had before.

“We have everything on the table … I would estimate it won’t take us more than two months,” Rotich said.

Rotich also said a draft of the new IMF agreement no longer made abolishing the interest rate cap a precondition and would focus on financial sector reforms instead.

“This is no longer an issue,” he said. “The IMF has accepted to take up the reforms that we are doing, which deals with really attacking the root cause of why interest rates are high in the first place.”

Private sector credit growth has been sluggish since the government capped commercial lending rates at four percentage points above the central bank rate in 2016.

Rotich said policymakers in Nairobi wanted to make sure the cap was not constraining credit to small and medium enterprises and that discussions were being held to either amend or abolish it altogether.

He added that issuing more Eurobonds was one possibility to raise funds needed, as outlined in a draft budget in early May.

“Debt servicing costs are in the region of 20 per cent and we obviously want to stabilise that,” Rotich said.

He added that he was looking to increasing money raised through concessional loans and use funds raised on capital markets for infrastructure projects.


LAPO microfinance, deliberate concept to challenge poverty in Nigeria – Ehigiamusoe



The Managing Director, Lift Above Poverty (LAPO) Microfinance Bank, Mr Godwin Ehigiamusoe, on Tuesday said the bank would not relent in its vision of financing Nigerians in need to end poverty in the country.

Ehigiamusoe made this known at a media chat organised by the microfinance bank in Lagos.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the chat was held to commemorate  the bank’s 32 years of existence and to  reiterate the bank’s continuous commitment to Nigerians.

“LAPO was established in 1987 to assist low income earners and grant low interest loans to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs)

According to the bank’s boss, a prudent methodology of extensive networking enabled the bank to reach its over four million Nigerians with 495 branches in the country.

He said, “LAPO Microfinance Bank had a humble beginning that kicked off in 1987.

““In 1986, General Ibrahim Banbagida adopted Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP).

“Its central components were devaluation of the national currency, gradual removal of subsidy, liberalisation of export and rationalisation of workforce in public service.

““The cumulative effect of these measures was an increase in spread of poverty level.

“”This was the exact scenario in 1986 in Ogwashi-Uku, Delta, where I gave N100 each to three women namely, Mrs Felicia Monye, Mrs Monica Igwebuike and Mrs Obiageli Nwoko.

“”This was the scenario that berthed LAPO microfinance bank.

“The name LAPO was a product of deliberate thought because I conceptualised poverty as an Octopus with the tentacles of material deprivation, poor health and social exclusion.”

Speaking on some of the bank’s achievements, Ehigiamusoe said the financial institution partnered Lafarge Cement Company and African Development Bank (AfDB) in 2013 to pioneer affordable housing programme in the country.

““Because of the veritable achievements, LAPO won a Grameen foundation award of excellence in 2006 with the crash prize of $10,000.

““The $10,000 was used as seed fund for a scholarship scheme for children of our clients.

“As we speak over 3,000 children have benefited from the scheme,” he said.

Speaking on the bank’s financials for 2018, Ehigiamusoe said the cumulative loan of the bank as at December 2018 stood at N137 billion and total deposit of N14 billion in the same financial year.

He said the Profit after Tax (PaT) of the bank stood at N2.8 billion at the same period.

The bank’s boss said the bank had 1,273 agents in over 30 states in the country .

Edited by Donald Ugwu

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Depot owners, stakeholders restate commitment on safety of lives, property



Relief may soon come the way of residents of Ijegun-Egba Community area of Lagos, host to several tank farms, as the operators say they are working toward ensuring continuous safety of lives and property in the area.

The deport owners made the disclosure on Tuesday at a stakeholders and engagement meeting in Lagos.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the meeting was to find ways to providing solutions to lingering infrastructure challenges affecting the community.

NAN reports that there are 12 tank farms in operation now, and they have made life miserable for people living in Ijegun-Egba and its environs.

The Chairman, Tank Farm Owners Association, Mr Debo Olujimi, said that addressing those infrastructure challenges within was paramount to the depot owners.

Olujimi said the tank farmers place premium on providing solution to those infrastructure decay such as bad roads, bridge and blocking of drainage systems in the area.

He said that business owners in the community had secured four plots of land for central fire service station, but still processing licence for the purpose from the Lagos State Government.

Olujimi said that other plans included effective traffic management in order to avert accident and providing of alternative roads to ease traffic on Maruwa Road, a major road within the community.

He said the business owners were committed to ensuring good business relationship with the host community.

“The essence of the stakeholders and engagement meeting is to ensure that we are all on the same page on the issues that have to do with infrastructure, safety of lives and property.

“Ijegun, today, does an average of 30 to 35 petroleum trucks daily and that is a serious economic improvement and that means three to four millions litres of petroleum come out everyday from Ijegun.

“We are trying to partner with Lagos State, Federal Government, Department of Petroleum Resources and every other stakeholder in terms of infrastructure and best practices in Ijegun,” he added.

Olujimi said that so far, the community had not recorded any issue regarding health challenge.

According to him, the tank farm owners have spent over N1.5 million in fixing roads and in palliatives.

Olujimi also said that it was to show their commitment as responsive and responsible business people in making sure that the needful was done in the community.

“We need to put it on record that whatever we are doing in Ijegun, DPR is on top of it regarding safety.

“We have this contingency plans and collective safety activation.

“How does that work? It works by pooling together all the facilities- hardware and human resources.

“We normally do drills ones in three months in order to establish the state of readiness and alertness,” he said.

The Chairman, Satellite Forum, Mr Godwin Imitini, said that the influx of tankers remained a menace to the community.

Imitini said the tankers’ presence within the community, which used to be mainly a residential area, had created hardship for the residents.

He said the residents had on several occasions written correspondence to DPR and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) on the development, but had not received any response so far.

Imitini urged the operators and state government to look into the challenges confronting the community as a result of the presence of the depot and trucks causing hardship to the residents.


Edited by Olagoke Olatoye

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Oyo Govt. to restore Bola Ige market’s international standard



The Oyo State government has said that it would restore the international status of the Bola Ige Market, in accordance with its original master plan.

This was contained in a statement issued on Tuesday in Ibadan by the state Ministry of Information and Mobilisation.

Mr Olusoji Oyewole, the Chairman of the Task Force for the market, disclosed that the state government had deemed it fit to ensure that the market regained its lost status as a major hub of wholesale textile materials in Nigeria.

Oyewole noted that the market used to service both the neighbouring and far distant states in textile products.

The task force chairman, at a meeting held with the market leaders, said that the restructuring of the business complex remained a priority to the state government.

This, he said, would include provision of basic facilities that would promote economic activities in the market.

Oyewole added that the task force was not constituted to witch-hunt anybody in the market but rather to seek their cooperation and support for the planned restructuring of the market and proper waste management.

He said that government would provide more parking lots for convenience and easy access to the market as well as considerable open spaces in the construction of approved buildings.

The task force chairman urged the market community to keep to the state’s environmental laws and town planning regulations.

He said that the traders stood to benefit more if commercial activities were carried out in clean and serene environment.

In his remarks, the representative of the Elders’ Forum in the market, Chief Ade Adebayo, expressed appreciation to government and pledged their support to the planned restructuring of the market.

Edited by Emmanuel Nwoye and ‘Wale Sadeeq


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Paint manufacturers set to evolve strategies for improved competitiveness



The Paints Manufacturers Association of Nigeria says it has evolved strategies to improve the quality of paints and prepare for future developments in the manufacturing sector.

Mr Abimbolu Babatunde, Chairman, Paints Manufacturers Association, made the disclosure on Tuesday in Lagos.

Babatunde spoke while addressing journalists ahead of the association’s forthcoming Coatings Show scheduled to hold on Oct. 28 and 29 in Lagos State.

He said that the association had over the years been facing issues of adulteration and faking of premium brands of their products, which negatively affect volumes, profitability and investments.

According to him, the theme: ‘Future trends in coatings technology’ was chosen to prepare paint manufacturers for future developments, sales, raw materials and lead content in paints.

“Themes for the show have been evolving over the years, taking into consideration the global outlook of the industry during each edition.

“We try as much as possible to be in tune with global trends and comply with quality, technology and safety requirements for the benefit of the environment and stakeholders.

“It will also serve as a platform for establishing ways to penetrate other markets outside the country,” he said.

He explained that the recently signed African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) posed a threat as well as opportunity for manufacturers; thus necessitating the need to be prepared.

Babatunde said that the show would attract exhibitors from the United Kingdom, Germany, Greece, Netherlands, South Africa, India, Korea, China, Turkey and Singapore.

He said that the event would enable manufacturers of paints, inks and allied products exchange ideas that would boost the paint industry and economic growth.

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NSE indices record 0.21% loss



Inspite of improved market breadth, the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) market indices shed 0.21 per cent due to loses in some blue chips.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the All Share Index (ASI) lost 57.27 points or 0.21 per cent to 27,058.62 against 27,115.89 posted on Monday.

Also, the market capitalisation dipped N28 billion to close at N13.186 trillion against N13.214 trillion achieved on Monday.

The downturn was impacted by losses recorded in medium and large capitalised stocks, amongst which are; MTN Nigeria, Conoil, PZ Cussons Nigeria, NCR Nigeria and Union Bank of Nigeria (UBN).

Speaking on market’s performance, Mr Ambrose Omordion, the Chief Operating Officer, InvestData Consulting Limited, attributed the development to cautious trading and low confidence of investors.

“These are signs of low confidence and cautious trading as the nation’s economy remains unpredictable with the government yet to provide any economic direction,” he said.

However, market breadth closed positive, 27 stocks posted gains while 10 stocks posted declines.

Transcorp recorded the highest price gain of 10 per cent, each to close at N3.85 and 99k, respectively.

Chams followed with a gain 9.52 per cent to close at 23k, while Berger Paints went up by 9.49 per cent to close at N7.50 per share.

UACN appreciated by 9.38 per cent to close at N5.25, per share.

Conversely, Cutix led the losers’ chart dropping by 9.62 per cent to close at N1.41 per share.

PZ Cussons and Union Diagnostic & Clinical Services followed with a decline of 8.33 per cent each to close at N5.50 and 22k, respectively, per share.

May and Baker lost 6.83 per cent to close at N1.91, while Honeywell Flour Mills shed 6.06 per cent to close at 93k per share.

The total volume traded declined by 16.39 per cent with an exchange of 209.62 million shares worth N3.24 billion traded in 3,743 deals.

This was against 250.74 million shares valued at N3.53 billion transacted in 4,116 deals on Monday.

Transactions in the shares of Transcorp topped the activity chart with 43.59 million shares valued at N42.73 million.

Guaranty Trust Bank came second with 42.97 million shares worth N1.14 billion, while Zenith Bank traded 34.11 million shares valued at N591.99 million.

Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) sold 24.21 million shares valued at N148.56 million, while FBN Holdings recorded a turnover of 6.32 million shares worth N31.36 million.

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