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NCC Remits N133bn In Two Years

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) said it had remitted N133.4 billion to the consolidated revenue fund of the Federal Government between 2015 and 2017.

This was in a statement signed by the Director, Public Affairs, NCC, Mr Tony Ojobo, in Lagos.

Ojobo said that NCC’s primary role was not only to generate revenue for the government but to nurture and regulate the telecommunications industry.

He said that the figures obtained from the commission showed impressive remittance of funds to the coffers of the consolidated revenue of the Federal Government, especially in the last two years.

According to him, NCC’s last remittance to the consolidated revenue fund, which was on June 30, 2017, was N12.7 billion.

“It came just less than 10 days after the NCC remitted the sum of N1.3 billion to the account,” he said.

Ojobo explained that commission transferred N81 billion in 2016 comprising N35 billion transferred in March and N46 billion in December 2016 respectively.

“In 2015 however, the commission remitted N23, 512,316,450 in October after paying N6, 856,182,132 in September of the same year.

“It is noteworthy also that the quarterly contribution of telecommunications sector to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has been consistently impressive in the last two years,” he said.

The Chief Executive Officer of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta said that the sector contributed N1.549 trillion to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the second quarter of 2017.

It represented 6.68 per cent increase from the first quarter of the year contribution of N1.452 trillion.

The National Bureau of Statistics report had confirmed that the telecommunications sector, during the second quarter of 2017, contributed 9.5 per cent to the GDP in contrast to 9.1 per cent contribution in the first quarter of the year.

Similarly, Ojobo said that the nation’s quest for attainment of 30 per cent broadband penetration by 2018, had received a major boost.

He said the ITU-UNESCO Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development confirmed that Nigeria had achieved 21 per cent level of penetration, from less than 10 per cent two years earlier.

Crude Oil Production Remains Below Agreed OPEC Cap, NNPC Insists

Nigeria is pumping less than 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude, its oil minister said on Friday, meaning the country is sticking to an output cap agreed under an OPEC-led deal to limit output.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers, including Russia, are reducing crude output until next March in an attempt to support prices by cutting a glut of crude on world markets.

Nigeria was at first exempted from the deal because its output was limited by unrest in the oil-producing Delta region. But, with production recovering, OPEC ministers agreed in July Nigeria would cap output at 1.8 million bpd.

“The average is about 1.69 million bpd and it is getting better by the day,” Nigerian oil minister Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu told reporters in Vienna, where he attended a meeting of OPEC and non-OPEC ministers to review the deal.

Asked when Nigeria was willing to join the supply limiting deal, the minister said the country already had, in effect.

“We’ve actually joined,” he said. “The reality is the cap we agreed on is 1.8 million bpd and as long as we are producing below that, we are already in it.”

He said no oil export streams in Nigeria remained under force majeure but infrastructure problems were preventing production exceeding 1.8 million bpd.

“At lot of it is infrastructure,” he said. “A lot of damage happened during the years of militancy.”

Restructuring Is A Nation-Building Opportunity, El-Rufai Says

The APC Committee on True Federalism plans to submit its report in October. Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai disclosed this today in London where he delivered a lecture on restructuring at Chatham House.

El-Rufai, who chairs the APC Committee, said that the party is trying to provide leadership on the issue. He explained that the “APC set up a Committee on True Federalism to help give structure to the debate, remove the bile and bitterness colouring the matter and transform the discourse into a nation-building opportunity”.

Giving an insight into the committee’s work, El=Rufai said that it has focused its research and preparatory work on four broad areas, including devolution of power, review of the revenue allocation formula, citizenship and a review of the recommendations of the 2005 and 2014 national conferences.

Assessing the direction of the discourse on restructuring, El-Rufai observed that “the preponderance of opinion is that the Federal Government needs to shed weight and return powers and resources to the states where most government functions can be more efficiently undertaken”.

El-Rufai disclosed that the committee has also identified 12 contentious issues in the restructuring debate. These include the creation or merger of states, derivation, fiscal federalism, devolution and what should constitute the federating units.

Governor El-Rufai also clarified his personal views on restructuring. “As I have argued since 2012, there is no doubt that the Nigerian federation is unbalanced and in dire need of structural rebalancing.” He drew attention to his public comments regarding the unsuitability of a centralized police force in a vast country and lamenting the Federal Government’s exclusive control of railways, trunk roads and prisons, amongst others. A practical demonstration of his conviction on these matters led to the successful quest by the Kaduna State Government to get two federal roads re-designated as state roads. El-Rufai also said that just as he believes in devolution of powers from the FG to the states, he is convinced that state governments should also devolve powers to the local governments.

He added that he believes “most Nigerians appreciate and cherish our unity in diversity, but seek the enthronement of a fairer, meritocratic system that puts social justice above everything else.”

El-Rufai said the committee’s work could encourage consensus on reducing the Exclusive List, introducing state constitutions, state police, state appeal and supreme courts, reviewed tax powers and transfer of control of mineral rights to the states.

Should I Trust My Child With My Credit Card Online?

It is an unpleasant thought that your own offspring might be the reason your credit card details are harvested, or that they’d abuse your generosity – but considering card payments constituted 61% if all payment transactions in 2016 and card fraud is on the rise, not an impossible one. The South African Banking Risk and Information Centre (SABRCI) reports the banking industry’s gross fraud losses has increased by 13% in 2016, to around R374m.

The risk of credit card fraud when using your card online has reached an all-time high.

Online card payments are fast becoming as accessible and widely used as offline. Beyond the context of shoes, food or flowers, transactions like loading purchasing data and monthly bill payments are completed online. For students, it might be loading printing credit at university or ordering textbooks. Like it or not, the time will come (sooner than you think) when your teen must complete a payment online, mostly likely with your card.

The likelihood is that your inexperienced teen may unintentionally and unwittingly enter your card details into an unsecured payment gateway or website. Or complete a purchase on an international site with exorbitant delivery fees bolted onto the original price. Pure naïveté is often the reason for a well-intentioned purchase going horribly wrong. Or the less pleasant possibility that they keep and re-use your card details.

Another growing area of concern for parents of children who are rapidly becoming card savvy is the possibility of youngsters amassing credit card bills they can’t pay. The attractive ‘minimum repayment amount’ lures young adults into opening credit cards. Combine this with the fact that many payments online can be made exclusively with a credit card, and it’s easy to see why.

What’s a parent to do? Excluding your offspring from participating in the online card payments space is unrealistic. Until they’re financially established in their personal capacity with an understanding of credit and how it works, there’s been an elegant solution missed. A way for parents to allow their children to participate in the world of online payments – without the risk of broken trust, card fraud or debt.

FinTech innovator WIZZIT International suggests a virtual card is a critical solution. The card has all the convenience and functionality of a credit or debit card so can be used to make any online card payment. The card limit, however, is set to a specified transactional amount, and the card details expire after a prescribed time period – set by the card holder. Outside of this window, the card is unusable.

According to WIZZIT’s team of developers and innovators, this empowers parents with the tools to allow their children the freedom and responsibility to participate in the market in a safe and responsible way. It’s low-risk and low-fuss. And it’s a simple product plug-in that banks can implement within a number of weeks.

NNPC Begins Search For Hydrocarbon In Sokoto Basin

The Nigeria National Petroleum Cooperation (NNPC) said it has started the process that would lead to the exploration of oil and gas in the Sokoto Basin.

NNPC’s Group Managing Director, Maikanti Baro, stated this when he received Gov. Tambuwal, who paid a working visit to the NNPC Towers in Abuja.

“We have been on the issue of exploration in the frontier basins.

“And so far some measures of steps have been taken, as such already purchased aeromagnetic data and its being interpreted to determine the sedimentary thickness and the basin configuration.

“Secondly, we have awarded a contract for the geological mapping of the basin.

“And I am happy to state here that outcrop samples have been collected, mapped, analysed and geological modelling executed so as to ensure data integration,” Baro said

The GMD added that discussions were on-going with Integrated Data Services Limited (IDSL) to award contract for surface geochemistry, ground gravity and magnetics.

“This is necessary to determine if hydrocarbon is generated in the basins and importantly, to integrate all data for understanding of petroleum systems of the basins.

“NNPC will also carry out high resolution regional 2D seismic data acquisition to identify leads and prospects, after which a 3D seismic data acquisition will be carried out over leads and prospects.

“After all these are carried out, we will then begin to drill for oil and gas in the basin,” Baro added.

While commending Tambuwal for the visit, he gave the assurance that the cooperation was giving required attention to renewable energy and inland basins in order to create a prosperous future for the entity.

Earlier, Tambuwal said various studies had been carried out by the government on the Sokoto Basins, the result of which would be made available to the NNPC to aid its efforts.

He said the government, in collaboration with the Usman Danfodio University, would organise a national conference on the Sokoto Basin in October where international scholars would make presentations on the topic.

“We are inviting you and the NNPC to take part in this important conference because we believe it will add value in our search for hydrocarbon in the Sokoto Basin,” he said.

He said historical records indicated that the presence of hydrocarbon in the Sokoto Basin had been a subject of interest to geologists for long, a situation that made Italian oil giants, Elf, to consider preliminary exploration activities beginning from the 50s.

He said Sokoto government would welcome the start of activities and would support any effort that will lead to positive result.

We Should Pray Oil Prices Stay Low, Says Dangote

Africa’s richest man and Nigeria’s indisputable  business leader Aliko Dangote has told a packed room in New York that he is hoping that oil prices will remain low to wean Nigeria away from its dependence.

He said agriculture should be the focus of government, as well as gas and minerals, in an effort to diversify the economy.

 “Agriculture, agriculture, agriculture. Africa will become the food basket of the world,” he said.

In a packed room at the headquarters of global law firm Shearman and Sterling LLC high level business leaders and international diplomats invited by the Corporate Council for Africa ,  Dangote, and Rwandan president Paul Kagame openly conversed on Africa’s opportunities and challenges.

Both leaders underscored the ongoing movement to diversify African economies.

In the case of Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, Dangote stated “we should pray that oil prices remain low. This helps wean us off the dependency on revenues from petroleum. We must take oil to be the icing on the cake. We already have the cake,” he added.

In addition to agriculture Dangote cited Nigeria’s vast mineral resources and gas as well and the need to manufacture more goods locally for domestic consumption.

Both he and President Kagame cited continued need for heavy investments in education and connected the need for young people to be well trained for the jobs of tomorrow.

Dangote predicted that “five of the twelve million jobs needed in Africa soon must be created in Nigeria.”

Dangote’s fortune which stems from cement, sugar, and other household commodities has expanded into fertilizer and other processed high-value goods. “Technology of course helps us a lot and our factories are state of the art with the use of robotics but we shouldn’t be overly tech oriented to create wealth,” he told investors.

Mr. Dangote who is often cited as one of the most inspiring business leaders in the world today and a model for young entrepreneurs offered advice to Americans who tend to rely on outdated news and wrong perceptions of Africa, “Don’t be lazy. Go there and find the real story for yourself. Things have changed.”

Dangote noted the Rwanda success story where he has business interests as an example of positive change, good governance and leadership, and where corruption has been cured. He cited a personal experience of offering a $100 US tip for services at the Kigali Airport to staff who refused to take money for work they were paid to do. President Kagame was praised for delivering the environment for growth he promised. “There is nothing African about corruption,” the Rwandan president added.

The session was moderated by Rosa Whitaker, former US Trade Representative and author of the AGOA (African Growth Opportunity Act), whose business consultancy is credited for helping both African governments and US companies develop commerce.

 

4 Banks Trade Below Minimum Liquidity Ratio, Says CBN

Four Nigerian banks are operating with too many non-performing loans on their books and with liquidity ratios below the minimum requirement, two members of the central bank monetary policy committee said in statements on the bank’s website.

They did not name the lenders but said the four banks together were equivalent to at least one systemically important bank, policy-setter Doyin Salami said in his statement, published late on Tuesday.

Financial sector stress tests showed capital adequacy ratios for the industry in Nigeria worsened to 11.51 percent in June, from 12.81 percent in April, as against a regulatory minimum of 15 percent for lenders with international licenses.

“The financial performance indicators showed that when the four outlier banks were removed, capital adequacy, (NPLs) non-performing loan ratio as well as liquidity ratio are all above the prudential requirement,” another member, Balami Dahiru Hassan, said.

NPLs stood at 15.07 percent in June compared with 5 percent regulatory limit. Salami said the ratio stood at 8.17 percent when excluding the four lenders in question.

The IMF has urged Nigerian authorities to quickly increase the capital of undercapitalized banks and putting a time limit on regulatory forbearance after it said last month that four lenders were under-capitalised.

Nigeria’s Union Bank on Wednesday started a 50 billion naira share sale to existing shareholders to enhance its regulatory and working capital.

CBN Plans To Sell N135 Billion Bond, Says DMO

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) plans to auction N135 billion in bonds next week, the Debt Management Office said on Tuesday.

The debt office plans to sell N35 billion of bonds due in 2021 and N50 billion each of bonds due in 2027 and in 2037, using a Dutch auction system.

Settlement is expected two days after the sale. The bonds are re-openings of previous issues.

The central bank on Wednesday announced plans to sell N140.9 billion worth of Treasury bills at an auction next week.

Nigeria, Africa’s biggest economy, issues sovereign bonds each month to help fund its budget deficit, support the local debt market and maintain a benchmark for companies to follow.

It has a series of debt issues lined up this year, including a N100 billion debut domestic sukuk which it is marketing to fund road projects and a N20 billion “green bond”.

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