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Election postponement: Nigeria loses billions of naira, says NACCIMA, others

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Election postponement: Nigeria loses billions of naira, says NACCIMA, others

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By Reporters
Abuja, Feb. 16, 2019 (NNN) Mr Tony Ejimkeonye, the Vice President, National Association of Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, (NACCIMA), has expressed shock over the postponement of Saturday’s presidential and National Assembly polls in the country.
Ejimkeonye made his impression known while reacting to the shift in the dates for the general elections in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NNN) on Saturday in Abuja.
He feared that the postponement would affect the nation’s economy adversely, saying that “Nigeria will lose billions of naira due to the postponement.”
Ejimkonye, who is also the Director, Business Development for Africa, Esilknet Africa Network Ltd., said, “It is quite unfortunate that the election was postponed.
“Economically, billions of naira had been lost and more would be lost in the coming weeks. Industries, businesses, including airlines were affected by the movement restriction.
“We expect also the same thing happening in the coming weeks. The most disturbing effect is the perception of the international financial community about Nigeria.
“Situations like this will create panic, with massive withdrawal and stoppage of funds inflow to Nigeria.
“I dread the effects of the postponement in the stock market on Monday.”
Ejinkeonye said that it would be difficult to quantify the loss in monetary term but maintained that the real cost would be the loss of investors’ confidence.
He advised Nigerians not to be discouraged but go and exercise their franchise next Saturday.
In a similar vein, the President, National Association of Nigerian Traders (NNNTs), Mr Ken Ukaoha, said the country would lose more than N140 billion due to the postponement.
Ukaoha noted that the postponement would affect the economy adversely, in terms of money that the government, political parties and ordinary Nigerians had expended on logistics and otherwise.
He described the postponement as “appalling and unfortunate”, saying that it was capable of making Nigeria a laughing stock among the comity of nations.
Ukaoha said: “The loss is monumental if you look at the economic consequences, essentially if you look at trading.
“Nigeria depends so much on daily turnover of funds through distribution and redistribution of goods and commodity.
“I am telling you that with this calculation I have just done here, we are losing nothing less than N140 billion, because we all got the information so late.
“If you go round now you will see that shops are closed, so we are losing a large chunk of money just for the postponement.
“We are not talking about the manufacturers and the industrialists because they have all shut down to allow their workers to go and perform their civic duty.
“Farmers did not go to farm because they want to exercise their franchise.
“If you do the computation, your guess is as good as mine, in terms of what the nation is losing.”
“If you look at what happened in 2015 and what we ran into now I think we should be mature and man enough to learn because this thing will continue to trail the country in every election,” he said
Ukaoha further said that with the postponement, Nigeria would spend more money to conduct the elections, adding that “we have lost quite a lot.”
“Beyond what INEC is going to spend again in terms of security and logistics that it hinged the postponemeng on, we are going to spend more,” he said.
He said that the Federal Government could have deployed the resources in addressing infrastructure, health, education and payment of workers’ salaries, among other needs.
He, however, advised Nigerians not to be discouraged but ensure that they voted on Saturday, saying that the future of the country depended on the outcome of the elections.
Also, the President National Association of Nigerian Traders in Ghana, Mr Chukwuemeka Nnaji, said the postponement was a huge loss to Nigerians in Diaspora
Nnaji said: “The worst aspect of it is that I returned to Nigeria last night with the last flight to Enugu, I have a lot of disappointment on why I forced myself to get here.
“I got to Enugu, there was no light to listen to news, when I woke up this morning, my younger sister told me about the postponement but I did not believe it initially.
“It costs a lot to come to the country and I flew in from Ghana. I will be going back next week , so, will I still travel back to Nigeria next Saturday again?
“I will have to reconsider that. It is a lot of money people are losing,” Nnaji said.
Also, an Abuja-based legal practitioner, Mr Adeniyi Adegbite, said that the postponement had serious economic, psychological, social, educational and even security implication for the government, political parties, INEC and Nigerians in general.
He, however, said that the action might not have any serious legal implication.
In Yenagoa, the Bayelsa capital, residents and political stakeholders expressed displeasure with the one week shift in the election timetable.
James Suowari, a voter, who said that he learnt about the postponement when he got to a polling centre in Yenagoa, described the action as “surprising and disappointing.”
Suowari, said: “The postponement was a surprise to me. I woke up this morning and took my voter card to where I could vote, only to be told of the shift.
“The action has far-reaching implications and the cost is huge and unimaginable.
“I am seriously worried that an election which we had about four years to plan caught INEC unawares.”
Juliet Evin, an adhoc staff of INEC deployed to Okordia-Zarama area, said that they were receiving election materials for movement to the polling centre when news about the postponement came to them.
“We were already sorting the materials when someone overheard the Electoral Officer for Yenagoa in a telephone conversation discussing the shift with someone.
“Shortly after, we were told to return the materials and go back home because the election had been postponed,” Evin said.
She said that their worry was whether INEC would still pay them, considering that they slept at the council and commenced work before the news got to them.
A commercial tricycle operator said that he was not aware of the postponement, adding that he was conducting his business because there were no security agents to enforce the restriction of movement on the roads.
Mrs Eme Offiong, a journalist with the Voice of Nigeria, Calabar, who was deployed to Bayelsa for the polls, said that she was “shocked and devastated” by the postponement.
“It was a big surprise and disappointment to hear about the postponement barely few hours to the exercise after a hectic trip from Calabar.
“I would have been spared the rigours associated with travels, if the postponement had come a day or two earlier.”
She said that with the postponement, she would go back to her station and return to Yenagoa by next Friday.
Mr Roland Kiente, a voter in Peremabiri, a coastal settlement in Southern Ijaw area, said that the community was calm.
He regretted that he travelled from Yenagoa to Peremabiri, a three-hour boat ride, to be able to vote to no avail.
“A lot of other people have travelled longer distances for this purpose,” Offiong said.
Meanwhile, most shops and business premises in Yenagoa remained closed in the early hours of the day, while major streets were usually quiet as many residents stayed in doors.

IAA/ABI/USO
(Edited by Remi Koleoso/Sam Oditah)

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UTL boss seeks speedy passage of Investment Trustees Bill

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UTL Trust Management Services Limited on Friday urged the National Assembly to ensure speedy passage of the Investment Trustees Bill into law, to enhance adoption of trusteeship in Nigeria.

Mrs Olufunke Aiyepola, UTL Trust Managing Director, made the appeal at a news conference in Lagos.

Aiyepola said that passage of the all-embracing proposed Trustees legislation to be made applicable across the federation would cure the anomalies of the subsisting Trustee Investment Act.

She also called for a more trust-friendly tax ecosystem that would reduce stamp duties for the transfer of assets, to encourage increased utilisation of trust solutions.

Aiyepola said that an allowance for nominal stamping in security trusteeship transactions would ease the burden of borrowing costs for corporate entities.

She, however, urged government to ensure re-inclusion of trust arrangements in Pension Reform Act 2004.

Speaking on apathy to Will writing, Aiyepola said that the company had demystified the practice with its WillPower product.

She said that the company, in February, launched WillPower to discredit the myths surrounding Will writing in Nigeria and Africa as a whole.

According to her, WillPower, an online solution, is seamless and can be accessed from the privacy of the home and the business space.

She said that any adult could access the service, emphasising that the company disrupted the provision of the services by providing it at a very nominal cost of N50,000.

The managing director said that the service was aimed at encouraging the populace to tidy their affairs and protect their loved ones.

“Nigerians in the Diaspora can now write their will from any part of the world and file same in Nigeria,” Aiyepola said.

She said that the company would continue to embrace advocacy to inform the public of the need to write a Will.

Aiyepola said that the campaign was aimed at effecting a change of perspective to estate planning.

She said that WillPower recently won the BusinessDay Banks and other Financial Institutions (BAFI) award as the Best Non-Bank Financial Product/Service of the year 2019.

According to her, UTL, in her 53 years of existence, has been offering superior trusteeship services to both local and foreign clients at affordable rates.

“Aside from being licensed to provide trust services, UTL is also duly licensed by the Securities and Exchange Commission as funds and portfolio managers,” she said.

On its future outlook, Aiyepola said that the company would continue to provide unique trust services to its clients, rendered with integrity on the platforms of expertise and technology.

Edited by Oluwole Sogunle

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Economy

Sahara Power Group trains 198 graduate engineers in 4 years

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The Sahara Power Group (SPG) says it has trained no fewer than 198 engineers under its Graduate Engineering Programme (GEP) in the last four years.

Its Group Managing Director, Mr Kola Adesina, made the announcement at the induction programme of 38 GEP Trainees on Friday in Lagos.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the training is being organised by the SPG Generation family-Egbin Power Plc and First Independent Power Limited in collaboration with the National Power Training Institute of Nigeria (NAPTIN).

Adesina said the trainees were selected out of over 8,500 applicants to participate in the training after a very rigorous process, adding that they were chosen from various fields of engineering profession including electrical, chemical, electronic and mechanical.

He said the current crop of 29 male and nine female graduands had distinguished themselves as the best set of the GEP since the programme started in 2014.

Adesina said : “Over the past 12 months, they have embarked on intensive classroom training and hands-on activities across Power Generation, Operations, Distribution, Transmission, Electricity and Commercial Awareness.

“These rigorous sessions led by seasoned power experts have given our graduates a strategic understanding of the entire value chain of the Nigerian Power Sector.

“I am confident that this foundation will empower our future power experts to disrupt and transform the sector as they progress in their careers. ”

According to him, the GEP has birthed several success stories in the past four years and has produced 198 engineers who are driven by innovation and passion to light up Africa.

“I am confident that the programme will remain a robust platform for developing the next generation of power experts that will ensure Sahara Power Group continues to bring energy to life in Nigeria and Africa.

“Since 2014, Sahara Power Group has recruited over 130 graduate engineers in line with our commitment to empower the youth and develop local capacity in the power sector,” he said.

On his part, the Director General of NAPTIN, Mr Ahmed Nagode, said that the GEP was a a very important and fundamental programme in the career of a professional engineer in the power sector.

“It is a programme that bridges the gap between academic qualification of in Electrical and Mechanical engineering and the skills required to operate on the power networks,” Nagode said.

The director-general said that NAPTIN was committed to filling the manpower gap in the energy sector through its various training programmes and thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for upgrading the institute’s facilities to enable it deliver on its mandate.

He said : “I congratulate the graduands for adding another profile to your Curriculum Vitae.

“I urge you to be good Alumni of NAPTIN and ensure that you are better industry players by giving back to Sahara Power the gains of this investment on your competence.”

Mr Joseph Adetubo, who was the best male graduand, thanked Sahara Power Group for the training, saying it further exposed the trainees to the workings of the power sector.

Edited by Oluwole Sogunle

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Economy

Border closure: El-Rufai backs FG, says its unfair for smaller countries to sabotage Nigeria

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Gov. Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has backed the Federal Government’s closure of Nigeria’s land borders.

According to him, it is unfair for smaller countries to be sabotaging a big country like Nigeria.

El-Rufai who was a special guest at the graduation of Senior Course Three of the Nigeria Customs Command and Staff College, Gwagwalada, Abuja on Friday said the step taken was commendable.

He explained that Nigeria like any other country like to trade with other countries but added that there must be fairness.

The governor noted that closure of the borders should be sustained until there were established deals that covered every country.

“The partial closure of borders is highly commendable. Nigeria is the largest country in West Africa and the continent and it is clear that our neighbours are using our openness and brotherhood to trade, to exploit us.

“I fully support and subscribe to the closure of borders and we should sustain it for as long as possible.

“We need to do this for our country to have a fair deal and for our manufacturers to be protected.

“All those talking about free trade or preaching about it today closed their borders for centuries and decades ago.

“Nigeria must grow its own internal capacity, we will not do so if we allow our neighbours to use the porosity of our borders to sabotage our economy,’’ he explained.

El-Rufai, however, commended the physical development at the customs command college in Gwagwalada.

He lauded the effort of the current customs boss for his reform agenda.

“I am impressed with what I have seen on ground in terms of physical development as well as the content.’’

Edited by Ese E. Ekama

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Economy

Samsung Galaxy Fold sells out in Nigeria

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Samsung Galaxy Fold sells out in Nigeria

Samsung

Lagos, Nov. 15, 2019 The highly anticipated Galaxy Fold, a new foldable device creating a new mobile category, is clearly a hit with Nigerians as the first batch released has already sold out with pre-order sales, Samsung Nigeria said on Friday in Lagos.

It said that it was currently working on increasing stock levels to keep up with demand, adding that even after a delayed-release, there was clearly an appetite for this pioneering device.

It said that the next batch of the world’s first AMOLED Infinity Flex Display would be available in the Nigerian market from Nov. 29.

Galaxy Fold features the world’s first 7.3-inch Infinity Flex Display, which folds into a compact device with a cover display.

It said that the device offered a powerful new way to multitask, watch videos, play games, and more – bringing to life new experiences and possibilities years in the making.

“Samsung is proud to introduce a premium foldable device, that goes beyond the limitations of a traditional smartphone,’’ said David Suh, Managing Director at Samsung Electronics West Africa in a statement.

“The pre-order sales are indicative of the public’s affinity for technology that transcends the norm.’’

He added that Galaxy Fold is in a category of its own that delivers a new kind of mobile experience allowing users to do things they couldn’t do with an ordinary smartphone.

“Users now have the best of both worlds; a compact device that unfolds to reveal Samsung’s largest-ever smartphone display, says Adetunji Taiwo, Head, Information Technology and Mobile (IM) at Samsung Electronics West Africa.

He noted that Galaxy Fold brought together material, engineering and display innovations, developed over eight years following the debut of Samsung’s first flexible display prototype in 2011.

He added that people who wanted more information about Galaxy Fold should visit (add ,com limk) https://www.samsung.com/africa_en/

Galaxy Fold Product Specifications

Galaxy Fold
DisplayMain display: 7.3” QXGA+ Dynamic AMOLED (4.2:3)

Cover display: 4.6” HD+ Super AMOLED (21:9)

* Screen measured diagonally as a full rectangle without accounting for the rounded corners

CameraCover  Camera 10MP (2PD), F2.2
Rear Camera Ultra-Wide: 16MP, F2.2

Wide: 12MP (2PD), F1.5/F2.4, OIS

Tele: 12MP, F2.4, OIS

Front Camera Wide: 10MP (2PD) F2.2

RGB depth: 8MP, F1.9

AP7nm 64-bit Octa-core processor
Memory12GB RAM(LPDDR4x), 512GB (UFS3.0)

*User memory is less than the total memory due to storage of the operating system and software used to operate the device features.Actual user memory will vary depending on the operator and may change after software upgrades are performed.

*No MicroSD slot

Battery4,380mAh(typical)*

Fast Charging compatible on wired and wireless

Wired charging compatible with QC2.0 and AFC

Wireless charging compatible with WPC and PMA

* 4,380mAh (typical) refers to the typical value of the battery capacity as tested under third-party lab conditions. The typical value is the estimated average value considering the deviation in battery capacity among the battery samples. Rated (minimum) capacity is 4,275mAh. Actual battery life may vary depending on network environment, usage patterns and other factors.

OSAndroid 9.0 (Pie)

*All functionality, features, specifications and other product information provided in this document including, but not limited to, the benefits, design, pricing, components, performance, availability, and capabilities of the product are subject to change without notice.

(Editing by Peter Ejiofor)

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Diesel Substitution for Gas: SEPLAT to double 350Mscf of gas per day in 3 years, says Avuru

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With its current output of 350Mscf of gas per day for the Nigerian domestic market, Seplat Petroleum Development Company says it is set to at least double its gas production capacity in the next three years.

“We deliver some 350Mscf of gas per day into the domestic market and most of it for power generation.

“We are responsible for one-third of gas to power in Nigeria and we are increasing that; we will double our capacity in the next three years,’’ Seplat’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Austin Avuru, said on Friday in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirate.

Avuru, who is participating in the ongoing Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC), presented a paper on “New Strategies to Accelerate the Industry’s Response to Environmental Pressures’’ at a panel discussion.

The theme of the 2019 ADIPEC is “Oil and Gas 4.0.’’

In the paper made available to the Nigeria News Agency in Lagos, he said that efforts would be geared toward diesel substitution for gas to put the country on a sound clean energy footing and to mitigate the effect of climate change.

“There is non-grid electricity generated by diesel generators and that is where as a matter of policy, the substitution of that diesel generation with gas generation is a major national policy; and Seplat as a company plays a key role in that.

“So for us, both as a nation and as a company, our key efforts are geared towards diesel substitution by gas,’’

On questions about what Nigeria as a major producer of crude oil and Seplat as a company are doing to protect the environment, Auru said Nigeria was committed to a 20 percent reduction in Greenhouse gas emission by 2030 through its commitment to the Kyoto Protocol.

He said: “Nigeria’s emission is only 0.3 percent of the total world’s emission and the country’s energy mix is 15 percent hydro and 85 percent gas to power.

“There is non-grid based electricity generated by diesel-powered generators. And as a result, the country has formulated a policy aimed at shifting from diesel to gas generation.

“Seplat Petroleum is a Nigerian independent producing company generating some 120,000 barrels equivalent of oil and gas per day, listed on the board of London Stock Exchange and Nigerian Stock Exchange in Lagos. Our production is roughly 50-50 ratio of oil and gas.

“The world needs energy to survive, but the world also needs a clean environment to survive. So, it is finding that balance between delivering the energy the world needs and being environmentally protective and that is what this discussion is all about.’’

Describing Nigeria’s energy mix as friendly, the Seplat boss said: “Fortunately, our energy mix even at the starting point is friendly. It is 15 percent hydro and 85 percent gas to power. There is no coal power in Nigeria.

Avuru said the solution to cutting down gas emission lies with efficient use of gas, gas flaring capture, reforestation and smart agriculture.

According to him, between 2009 and 2019, Nigeria’s gas flaring reduced by 45 percent which happened not necessarily because of policies, but for the market that the country’s power generation policy has created.

“We all agree that within the oil and gas space that the solution to environmental stewardship lies with gas, efficient use of gas, and gas flaring capture for power generation and that is also the role we play.

“Nigeria is committed to zero flaring in the next five years. It looks ambitious, but I will tell you that the last 10 years between 2009 and 2019, our gas flaring has reduced by 45 percent.

“And most of this didn’t necessarily come through policies, though there are policies to penalise flaring. What has happened is that a domestic market for gas has been created with the power generation policy.

“For us at Seplat, for instance, if I’m selling a million Btu of gas for 3 dollars, it’s stupid to flare it. So, there is now a commercial imperative to capture otherwise flared gas and put it to use and make money out of it.

“So, over the last ten years, we have had a larger reduction in flared gas than the previous 30 years. And over the next five years, we think that we will completely eliminate gas flaring.

“Diesel substitution to gas generation is being worked on and the efficient use of that follows; then, there are other environmentally-friendly efforts, like reforestation that are ongoing.

“Deforestation in Nigeria has been a big issue. So, smart agriculture, and reforestation through tree planting are initiatives put together by the government and pushed by the private sector, including independents like us.’’ Avuru said.

PDE

(Editing by Peter Ejiofor)

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Economy

Global debt to top record $255trn by year’s end

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Global debt is on course to end 2019 at a record high of more than 255 trillion dollars, the Institute of International Finance (IIF) estimated on Friday — nearly 32,500 dollars for each of the 7.7 billion people on planet.

The amount, which is also more than three times the world’s annual economic output, has been driven by a 7.5 trillion dollars surge in the first half of the year that shows no signs of slowing.

Around 60 per cent of that jump came from the United States and China. Government debt alone is set to top 70 trillion dollars this year, as will overall debt (government, corporate and financial sector) of emerging-market countries.

“With few signs of slowdown in the pace of debt accumulation, we estimate that global debt will surpass 255 trillion dollars this year,” the IIF said in a report.

Across sectors, government debt saw the biggest rise in the first half of the year, increasing by 1.5 percentage points, followed by non-financial companies, with a 1 percentage point rise.

Moreover, with state-owned companies now accounting for over half of non-financial corporate debt in emerging markets, sovereign-related borrowing has been the single most important driver of global debt over the past decade.

Separate analysis from Bank of America Merrill Lynch on Friday calculated that since the collapse of U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers, governments have borrowed 30 trillion dollars, companies have taken on 25 trillion dollars, households 9 trillion dollars and banks 2 trillion dollars.

The IIF’s data, which are based on Bank for International Settlements and International Monetary Fund figures as well as its own, also said the amount of debt outside the financial sector now topped 240 per cent of world gross domestic product at 190 trillion dollars.

Global bond markets have increased from 87 trillion dollars in 2009 to over 115 trillion dollars. Government bonds now make up 47 per cent of the market compared with 40 per cent in 2009. Bank bonds have dropped to below 40 per cent from over 50 per cent in 2009.

Edited by Abdullahi Mohammed/Wale Ojetimi

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