Economy

Why reports on whistle blowing dropped —- FG

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Mr Mohammed Dikwa, the Permanent Secretary, Special Duties in the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning says there has been a reduction in reported cases of whistle blowing due to some challenges.

Dikwa said this at a national workshop to discuss the draft bill of the whistle blowing policy in Abuja on Thursday.

He explained that some people that wanted to blow whistle were no longer comfortable with the new arrangement put in place.

According to him, the arrangement entails one fills forms as part of process to document their claims.

He said that lack of legislation was also a major challenge hindering the success of the policy.

Dikwa said that improper coordination among stakeholders was a major problem confronting the policy.

“The reported cases of whistle blowing or the tips used to come frequently on daily basis when we just introduced it in November, 2016.

“When we started, we received 2,000 reported cases monthly but it has gone down drastically.

“We have instituted some measures to avoid situation where people will come and give false information and go with it.

“With what we are putting in place now, we will make sure anyone that gives information that has to do with recovery of money is rewarded.

“The same measure will ensure that those who give fake information to undermine anybody are duly punished, ” he said.

Dikwa expressed the determination of the  present government to give the policy a legislative backing for smooth implementation.

He said the aim of the workshop was to discuss with relevant stakeholders on the draft bill on the policy.

Dikwa said that the step was taken to have a bill that would be acceptable by all and sundry.

The permanent secretary disclosed that between 2016 and 2018, N594.08 billion had been saved by the government from tips, adding that 50,000 ghost workers were removed from payroll.

He said within the period under review, 800 staff involved in collection of double salaries and 400 personnel who left civil service and still collecting salaries for two years were discovered.

Edited by Dorcas Jonah/Ese E. Ekama (NAN)

Economy

Shareholders seek more mergers, acquisitions in cement industry

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Shareholders under the aegis of Constance Shareholders’ Association of Nigeria (CSAN) on Saturday said that mergers and acquisitions would improve cement industry activities on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

Mr Shehu Mikail, CSAN National President, stated this in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Lagos.

Mikail spoke against the backdrop of the consolidation between the Cement Company of Northern Nigeria (CCNN) and BUA’s Obu Cement.

He said that the merger would further eradicate a monopolised cement industry and ease the marketing processes, thereby improving shareholder’s returns.

Mikail described the merger as a great development that would help in breaking the monopoly of price control in the industry.

“The recent event that occurred between CCNN and Obu cement in Nigeria is a great development that will help in alleviating the cement problems in Nigeria as well as breaking the monopoly of price control,” he said.

He commended the Chairman of BUA Group, Mr Abdul Samad Rabiu, for the great vision aimed at ameliorating the suffering of people.

“We have the confidence that such strategies of the businesses would also help the cement industry in equities flow in the Nigeria Capital Market,” Mikail said.

NAN reports that the BUA Group, one of Africa’s largest conglomerates, in October announced plan to merge its two million metric tons of CCNN with six million metric tons of Obu Cement in a bid to consolidate its cement business.

The plan, according to the company, is aimed at enhancing the growth of cement industry in the country.

Edited by: Oluwole Sogunle

(NAN)

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Economy

Eko Disco records highest remittance efficiency in Q2, says NERC

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The Nigerian Electricity Regulation Commission (NERC), on Saturday, said Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC) recorded the highest remittance efficiency of 43.3 per cent in the second quarter of 2019.

The Second Quarter Report was obtained by the Nigeria News Agency in Lagos from the website of NERC.

NERC also said Jos and Kaduna DisCos had the lowest performance of 13.1 per cent and 13.5 per cent respectively during the same period.

The commission also expressed concern over the significant drop in Enugu DisCo’s remittance rate from 30.44 per cent in Q1 2019 to 24.55 per cent in Q2 2019.

NERC said: “The challenge of low remittance to the market is still a concern to the commission as it is one of the main causes of the liquidity crisis facing the Nigerian electricity supply industry.

“As highlighted in the preceding quarters, low remittance adversely affects the ability of the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading (NBET) Plc to honour its financial obligations to GenCos.

“Service providers; Transmission Service Provider (TSP), Market Operator (MO) and NERC also struggle with the paucity of funds, which is impacting their capacity to perform their statutory obligations.

“The individual performance indicates that, with the exception of Enugu and Ibadan DisCos, the DisCos recorded increase in their remittance performance in the second quarter of 2019.

“Also, the aggregate combined invoice settlement rate for all DisCos rose to 30.6 per cent. However, none of the DisCos remitted up to 50 per cent of their market invoice.”

The commission noted that DisCos must improve their efforts towards reducing Aggregate Technical, Commercial and Collection (ATC&C) losses to levels commensurate with their performance agreements.

It said Ikeja Electric recorded the highest progress in reducing ATC&C losses, decreasing to 25.9 per cent in the second quarter of 2019.

NERC said seven other DisCos, excluding Abuja, Enugu and Yola, also recorded relative improvements in their ATC&C losses during the quarter under review.

Edited by: Taiye Agbaje/Salif Atojoko

(NAN)

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Economy

Expert urges Nigerians to imbibe savings culture

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Mr Bayonle Omoyele, the Executive Director, Reliance Thrift and Credit Cooperative Society, has advised Nigerians to imbibe savings culture in order to contribute to the nation’s economic development.

Omoyele gave the advice at the first Annual General Meeting of the cooperative on Saturday in Abuja, with the theme, “Cooperative: A tool for Economic Development”.

He said that investment and savings play important role in the growth and development of any nation.

“For this nation to grow we need to save and that is where cooperative society becomes useful.

“Nigerians should be encouraged to save for the rainy day so that it becomes an integral part of our culture.

“It will also improve our level of investments and, in turn, we will be able to employ more people, thereby improving the economy of our country.”

Omoyele also urged Nigerians to save their money with credible and registered cooperative societies in order not to be duped by criminals.

He said that the society, on its part, would introduce a digital system, where customers would receive alert immediately they drop their money for savings.

Mr Olugbesan Idris, the Executive Director, Regent Microfinance Bank, underscored the importance of cooperatives in the country.

Idris said that cooperatives would help to raise the living standards of Nigerians.

He further said that cooperatives help to create better opportunities for all along with the platform that helps to reduce inequality between the rich and poor.

Nigeria News Agency reports that highpoint of the event was the distribution of gift items to customers, award presentations and raffle draw.

(Edited by: Sam Oditah)

(NAN)

 

 

 

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Economy

FG reiterates commitment to give priority to development of textile industry

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The Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Amb. Mariam Katagum, said that the Federal Government would give priority to development of the textile industry.

The minister said this in a statement issued on Friday in Abuja by Mrs Oluwakemi Ogunmakinwa, the Assistant Director of Press in the ministry.

The minister of state said that it was essential to make Nigeria an exporter of finished products.

Katagum spoke when a delegation of investors from China led by the Treasurer of Kano State Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, Alhaji Umar Ibrahim visited her in Abuja.

She expressed delight with the Chinese investors who indicated interest to develop the textile industry in Kano.

According to her, Kano is known to be a historic centre for the textile industry, particularly the traditional dying art technology that has been there for many decades.

Katagum further assured of the Federal Government’s commitment to support the Kano State Government and the Chinese investors for the development of the textile industry.

She added that the support was in line with the current administration’s Economic Growth and Recovery Plan (ERGP) policy.

Earlier, Ibrahim said the purpose of the visit was to seek collaboration with the ministry for the development of the country’s textile industry.

He explained that Kano State Government in partnership with Dantata Group of Companies was working assiduously to ensure that Nigeria’s textile industry was developed to support the country’s economic diversification plan.

Edited by: Ese E. Ekama

(NAN)

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Economy

Maintenance: AEDC notifies power interruption in parts of Abuja, Kano

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The Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC),  says customers in parts of Central Area, Abuja will experience power interruption on Dec. 14 and 15 due to maintenance of its facility. .

AEDC’s General Manager, Coporate Communication, Mr 0yebode Fadipe said this in a statement in Abuja on Friday.

Fadipe said that the areas to be affected by the interruption  which would commence from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. include Wuse Zone 1-7, Maitama and some parts  of Kano.

He said that the interruption was to enable the Abuja Region of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) maintenance team in conjunction with AEDC undertake the replacement of a punctured 132 kilo Volt  XLPE cable on the Katampe – Central Area 132kV Line 1.

Fadipe  said  that the  scope of work had  been planned to last for three weekends in order to minimise the period of interruption of power supply to  customers within the affected areas.

“The decision to embark on the replacement of the cable is gratifying as it will engender improved service  to customers.

“Our customers who had hitherto been experiencing loadshedding can now look forward to longer hours of power supply after the replacement of the cable, which is situated at the back of the IBB Golf Course

“We appeal for patience and understanding of the affected customers as the replacement of the cable is expected to be completed on Dec. 29,” he said.

Edited by: Ese E. Ekama

(NAN)

 

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