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Economy

Nigeria’s Zero Oil Plan targets $150bn revenue, says Awolowo

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The Executive Director,  Nigerian Export Promotion Council ( NEPC), Mr Segun Awolowo, says plans are on by the Council to raise 150 billion dollars revenue from sources outside the nation’s oil sector in the next 15 years.

Awolowo stated this when he briefed State House Correspondents on the outcome of his closed door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa.

According to him, the zero oil plan is about raising production and productivity; already the Council has identified 22 sectors where Nigeria can earn foreign exchange apart from oil.

He said: ”We are hoping that in the next 10 -15 years we will be able to raise 150 billion dollars from sources outside oil.

”That is what we are working on and we are galvanizing the whole states behind us in other to raise production and productivity.

”We are working with the relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to achieve this.

”You know the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) just announced an initiative on five of our products and giving them low interest rates to farm and raise production.”

He identified cocoa, sheer nut and cashew as some none oil revenue-making commodities in the country.

According to him, Cocoa is an immediate win for us because, it’s been our number one none oil revenue making.

”But we are on less than 300,000 metric tons, Ghana is heading to 900,000, Cote d’ Ivoire almost two million metric.

”So, how do we compete? Meanwhile if you see the landmass in Nigeria you can imagine what we can do.

”Another sector is sheer nut, cashew is another breadwinner for us. So, let’s raise production, let’s give our farmers low interest loan so that they can raise production for us.

”We are also looking at value addition for all because that is the way you create jobs, we cannot continue to sell the raw materials.

”I was happy to present to Mr. President some tomatoes and Bell peppers from a green house in Benin.

”I also presented to him Casanovas, which is cassava chips which a cottage industry is producing in Idu Industrial Estate, that is already being exported to Germany. And that is the future for Nigeria. We are about to enter into.”

On packaging and substandard products, Awolowo stated that even though the country is facing few challenges, its products meant for exports were no longer substandard.

According to him, our products are no longer substandard and we are exporting all over West Africa and Inter-land Africa.

”We have a few challenges here and there but I always tell people, the journey of processing raw materials to producing goods is not going to happen over night. We are going to have rejects but we will not succumb to them.

”Our packaging is improving and we are even packaging and labeling in different languages so we can get into those markets, particularly when Africa opens up for us now,” he added.

On President’s response, Awolowo revealed that ”the president was very pleased, he promised to give continuous support for this export.

”I thank him that we have paid the backlogs on the export expansion grant, that is an incentive that we give to exporters.

”We owed them for several years but we have reversed the whole system and the president approved the payment of the backlog of N350 billion to pay them.

Edited by Felix Ajide

 

Economy

Former NERC boss wants strong regulations to boost power sector 

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 Mr Sam Amadi, former Executive Chairman of  the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has called for strong regulations to drive the power sector for effective service delivery.

The forum has as its theme “Rules Compliance for Nigerian Electricity Market (NEM) Development and Sustainability”.¹

`We  need to strengthen the regulations in the sector, government is trying with some policies intervention but policies cannot drive a regulated market. It is policy plus regulation .

“What TCN is doing by  focusing on  smart rules that can force this entities to perform is in the right direction.

“We should not think that the investors  are coming to do the people good but they are coming to exploit the market .

“Our focus should be to create regulations that can put  incentive and reassess capacity of the investors by setting a bench mark,” he said.

Amadi said that  the critical issue in the market was funding, adding that  market participant know what to do to improve the sector

According to him, the assumption is that it will be easy for private investors to raise capital to finance short term recovery of capacity and long time improvement of that.

“The wrong assumption was that tariff will provide the finance but its not possible even if you increase tariff by 1000 per-cent.

“The people cannot pay enough and the DisCos do not have good revenue management procedure to recover their money

“Primarily, we need to have a sector that can finance in the long term and recover the long term .

“We need to go back to reassess the capacity of the investors, if they cannot do the job, you find a way to divide their franchise in a  way that it does not amount to risk.

Edited by Ese E. Ekama

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Economy

Cornerstone Insurance evolves complaints , dispute management policy for improved service to shareholders

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Cornerstone Insurance Plc said that its shareholders  and policy holders would continue to enjoy its  improved service through its newly  evolved  Complaints and Dispute Management Policy.

According to the company’s boss, the adoption of the policy is in compliance with the rules and regulations of the Security Exchange Commission (SEC).

The underwriter said  that the policy had  set a broad framework by which the company and its registrars would  manage shareholders’ complaints and enquiries in a fair, impartial, efficient and timely manner.

He added that the company in the annual report received   26 complaints in the 2018 financial year out of which 25 complaints had  been resolved.

“The only complaint not resolved within the approved period was attributed to unavailability of the customers the company could not reach  them through e-mail and phone contacts they submitted, after the resolution of the complaint,”  Musa said.

The MD  while commending  the shareholders of the company said that the company would sustain its growth trend of 2018.

He added that   the company was embarking on strategies that would enable it meet the recapitalisation requirements as directed by the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) for Tier-Based Minimum Solvency Capital (TBMSC) implementation.

The chairman of Noble Shareholders Solidarity Association, Mr Matthew Akinlade,  speaking at the AGM commended the underwriting firm on the  successful financial year.

He, however ,urged the underwriter to watch the proportion of its portfolio in the Oil and Gas sector.

Akinlade said, “When the economy suffers depression, there is always pressure on the  Oil and Gas sector which may result in huge claims.

“When the huge claims arise, the financial strength of the company will be affected.”

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the underwriter in a statement that preluded the AGM, released  on Aug. 19, said its Gross Written Premium (GPW)  had hit N11.5 billion in the 2018 financial year. 

Edited by Peter Dada

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Economy

Minister pledges commitment to promote economic growth

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Mr Adeniyi Adebayo, the new Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment has expressed his commitment toward achieving national economic growth.

Adebayo, also a legal practitioner made this known on assumption of office on Wednesday in Abuja.

“We have been given the task of heading this ministry to achieve that intention, we will work very hard to make sure we live up to the confidence reposed in us by the president.

“We believe in hard work and we must work hard and work out action plans to enable us achieve the goals. We look forward to your cooperation for the growth of  the ministry,” he said.

Amb. Maryam Katagum, the Minister of State, Industry, Trade and Investment also expressed gratitude to the Federal Government for finding her worthy to join in running the affairs of the ministry for national development.

“We have just four years to deliver on the mandate of Nigerians. We intend to vigorously pursue the mandate given to us by the president.

“On a very broad level is to say that we believe that the delivery of that mandate does not rest on the civil servants but we are definitely counting on you and seeking your support.

“We have to give value to tax payers money,” the Katagum said.

Earlier,  Mr Edet Akpan, the ministry’s Permanent Secretary said that the ministry was restructured in 2011 and  had risen to the position of developing the industrial sector to attract local and foreign investors.

According to Akpan, the ministry has 12 departments and 17 agencies and prayed God to give the ministers wisdom and direction to pilot the affairs of the ministry.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that Adebayo who hails from Ekiti State was born on Feb. 4, 1958 and obtained a law degree from the University of Lagos in 1981.

Otunba was elected Governor of Ekiti State in 1999. He is currently APC Deputy National Chairman (South).

Katagum who hails from Bauchi State,  born on  Nov.15, 1954, holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and a Masters in Administration and Planning from the University of Lagos.

Until her nomination, she was the Ambassador and Permanent delegate of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in Paris, France.

The highlight of the event was the presentation of two copies of the  “Hand Over Note” to the new ministers.

Edited by Ese E. Ekama

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Economy

FG issues N59.53 billion in August bond auction- DMO

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The Debt Management Office (DMO) on Wednesday, issued N59.53 billion Federal Government bonds for the three tenors it offered to various investors who subscribed at the auction.

The DMO said this in a statement it issued in Abuja after the auction.

It said it offered N40 billion for the five year papers, N50 billion for the 10-year and N55 billion for the 30-year bonds.

According to it, total subscriptions received from both Competitive and Non-Competitive bids amounted to N139.58 billion.

“Demand for the 30-year bond remained strong as has been the trend since the instrument was introduced to the market in April 2019.

“The total subscription for the 30-year at the auction was N64.71 billion.

“The strong demand from investors for the bonds offered at the auction was in spite of the prevailing tight liquidity experienced in the financial markets”, it added.

The DMO said that allotments were made to successful bidders at the rate of 14.29 per cent for the five year, 14.39 per cent for the 10-year and 14.59 per cent for the 30-year bonds.

According to the auction results obtained from the DMO website, N2.05 billion was allotted to four successful bidders for the five-year and N2.68 billion to five bidders for the 10-year papers.

Meanwhile, N10.30 billion was allotted to 11 bidders at for the 30-year bonds, bringing the total allotments to N15.03 billion.

It said that an additional allotment of N44.5 billion was made on non-competetive basis for the three tenors.

The Nigeria News Agency (NAN ) reports that Nigeria issues sovereign bonds monthly to support the local bond market, create a benchmark for corporate issuance and fund its budget deficit.

Edited by Ifeyinwa Omowole

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Economy

Kaduna Disco fixes minimum bill remittance for communities to get power supply

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The Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company (KEDCO) on Wednesday said it had fixed the minimum of bill remittance by consumers in some communities in Kaduna state, before getting power supply.

The company said its decision followed an agreement with leaders of four communities within Kaduna city  on estimated billing payment system.

Malam Musa Usman, the DISCO’s Area Manager for Rigasa area office disclosed this to newsmen on Wednesday in Kaduna.

Usman said the measure became necessary following drastic fall in revenue collection of the company in the state.

“Leaders of four communities under the Rigasa Area Office have agreed on the minimum amount for their monthly bills’ payment while the KEDCO will accord the communities priority in power supply.

” This is part of the outcome of the recent town hall meetings and agreements reached between the Company and community leaders from Kinkinau,, Government House Feeder, Hayin Danmani and Rigasa in Kaduna South, Kaduna North and Igabi Local Government Councils of Kaduna State.

“All electricity users in the areas shall pay their monthly current charges and a fraction of their outstanding where applicable,” Usman said.

He said that three of the communities were until recently placed on the company’s priority feeders, but were later downgraded due to the customers’ poor response to payment of monthly electricity bills.

The Area manager said the agreement would hopefully scale up the declining revenue in the area and other parts of the state.

According to him, the decision was based on what the company  realised in its monthly collection lately, which was less than 30 percent of the cost of the electricity supplied to consumers.

“We cannot afford to fold our arms and watch the company defaulting in its obligations.

“The experience in which some DISCOS were suspended  from the electricity market due to default should not be allowed to happen to us here,” Usman said.

Recalled that there were rising complaints of drastic reduction in the number of hours of power supply across the four states under the franchise of the company.

Usman, however, expressed optimism that the company’s new strategy would yield desired results as both parties are committed to work together in addressing concerns raised during the town hall meeting .

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