Category Archives: Business

Naira loses 10% value.

The naira volatility continued almost throughout last year in both the parallel and interbank markets. At the last trading day for the year last Thursday, the naira crashed further against the dollar while the stock index rose.
Naira closed on the interbank market at 199.50 to the dollar on Thursday, compared with 181.50 to the dollar a year ago, down 9.91 per cent at the official window. On the parallel market, the naira traded at 266 to the dollar, weaker by 39.26 per cent from 191 to the dollar at the close of last year.
The naira has continued to come under pressure against the dollar, as Brent crude price continues to decline. The oil price declined to $35 per barrel on December 11, its lowest price since February 2009, before increasing to $38.45pb on December 15 and closed the year around $37pb. This has adversely affected almost all indicators in the economy including the naira.
The stock market rose 3.11 per cent for the day. But it ended down 17.35 per cent for last year. For the naira, it has been a tough road to survival. At the parallel market, the local currency depreciated by 8.44 per cent to N270/ dollar on the 16th of December, touching a new all time low.
At the interbank market, the naira remained relatively stable and appreciated marginally by 0.53 per cent to N197.49/ dollar. The external reserves level declined during the review period by 2.25 per cent ($680 million) to $29.48 billion as at December 15.
Managing Director, Financial Derivatives Limited, Bismarck Rewane, said for the sake of the naira, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has continued to checkmate liquidity needs in the economy through various monetary measures like the weekly sale of dollars to BDCs, Open Market Operation (OMO), the Monetary Policy rate (MPR), Net Open Position (NOP) and most recently the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR).
Rewane said despite these measures to reduce pressure on the currency, it has continued to come under severe pressure from internal and external factors.
Other economists believe the incorporation of a long-term diversified strategy in fiscal policy is required to deliver the cushioning support for shocks in various segments of the economy.
For them, the persistent pressure on the naira could have been minimized if a counter cyclical fiscal policy is developed, as the CBN cannot continue to defend the naira with foreign reserves. To reduce this pressure, an inward looking policy (tax incentives, infrastructure development and production subsidy) should be emphasized to reduce the dependence on imported goods.
Asides from oil receipts, the development of the Agricultural sector will in the short term reduce the foreign exchange burden of food imports and over the long term enhance foreign receipts if its comparative advantage in the sector is efficiently deployed.
The CBN had pegged the naira exchange rate at 198 to the dollar in February and scrapped a two-way interbank quote as global oil prices fell, to conserve foreign exchange reserves.
Also in June, the regulator introduced more foreign exchange limits, excluding about 41 items from access to foreign exchange at the official window to further reduce pressure on available dollars.

NNPC ‘paid N933.1b, $607.8 in 11 months’

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC paid N933.1bn for domestic crude oil and gas and other receipts to the Federation Account from January to November 2015.
According to the November financial report posted on its website yesterday, it paid $607.8m to the Federation Accounts and Allocation Committee (FAAC) in the period under review.
The corporation, however, recorded a N14.3bn loss in November 2015.
On naira payments to the government, it said: “The sum of N933.1bn for domestic crude oil and gas and other receipts have been paid to the Federation Account from January to November 2015.”
The report stated that the country’s refineries operated at zero capacity utilisation in November.
The refineries include Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company, Port Harcourt Refining Company and Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company.
NNPC said: “The group operating revenue after subsidy for the months of October and November 2015 were N173.56bn and N155.10bn. This represents 56.72 per cent and 50.68 per cent of monthly budget. Similarly, operating expenditure for the same periods were N185.78bn and N169.39bn, which also represents 69.55 per cent and 63.42 per cent of budget for the months.
“Operating deficits of N12.22bn and N14.29bn for October and November 2015 was attained as against monthly budgeted surplus of N38.91bn. (The) 59.63 per cent of YTD (year-to-date) NNPC deficit of N255.278bn is mainly accounted for by claimable pipeline repairs/management cost of N95.37bn and crude and product losses of N56.68bn due to vandalised pipelines.”
The NNPC said total export proceeds of $402.55m was recorded in November with proceeds from crude oil export sales amounting to $296.99m or 73.78 per cent of the dollar payment compared with 72.97 per cent contribution in previous month of October, 2015.
Gas export sales and Nigeria Liquified and Natural Gas feedstock amounted to $105.53m, which was 26.22 per cent contribution as against 18.97 per cent contribution in October.
According to NNPC, “the remaining $0.03m was attributable to other dollar denominated receipts by the corporation and a total of $607.8m has been paid so far to FAAC in the year 2015 from sales of export oil and gas”.

Buhari’s Men To Shut Ibeto Cement, Halts Shipment of Cement For Unknown Reason

Information available to 247ureports.com obtained from sources knowledgeable of the goings on within the Presidency indicate that the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Mohammadu Buhari may have knowingly or unknowingly approved the decision by his kitchen cabinet to halt the shipment of cement belonging to the Nnewi business mogul, Chief Cletus Ibeto, the Chief Executive Officer [CEO] of Ibeto Cement company. This is as 247ureports.com gathered that of the entire importers of cement in the federation, only Ibeto cement was halted from reaching the shores of Nigeria.
According to available information, an approval of yearly importation quota of 1.5million metric tons of cement was giving to Ibeto by the federal government of Nigeria. And as gathered, the company – Ibeto Cement had complied. However, with the arrival of the President Mohammadu Buhari led administration, the rules of the game changed midway.
The arrival inevitably struck the importation arrangement of Ibeto Cement with a bad fist. The policy makers of the Buhari kitchen cabinet quickly sought to halt the shipment of cement by Ibeto cement through means that appeared illegal or simply misuse of power. The President’s men took to the garnet when they got information that Ibeto Company had a shipment of cement on the high-seas making its way into the country. They immediately ordered the shipment be halted and not allowed entry into Nigerian ports.
As the managers of Ibeto Company inquired on the reasons for the refusal to allow the ship to dock, the kitchen cabinet of the President immediately searched the law books but could not give an immediate reasons or quote a law that supported its actions. The CEO of the cement company, after lobbying for weeks to find out why the President’s men stopped his shipment, was told that the source of the money which he [Ibeto] used to import the said cement was not sourced from the Central Bank of Nigeria [CBN] – and so the shipment will not be allowed to offload in Nigeria.
247ureports.com gathered however that the Ibeto Company had applied for foreign exchange from the CBN but were denied. The cement company then sought alternative means to gain access to the required foreign currency to make the purchases of which he had already be given a quota to supply. Through the company’s investments outside the country, they sought foreign currency to make the purchase. The shipment of cement was then thrown into gear for an estimated arrival to Nigeria by November 2015.
But the cement shipment was stopped. The stoppage of the cement, interestingly, coincided with the sudden drop in cement prices of the major cement supplier in Nigeria, Dangote Cement Company. A source who is close to the former administration pointed out that the stoppage of Ibeto was not without the influence of Aliko Dangote. “ He has done it before during the Obasanjo regime and we are sure he is the one pulling the strings against Ibeto because he is afraid of competition from a south easterner” claims the source who also clarified that the present administration may have taken on the battle to reverse all the gains – both perceived and real – that the south easterner may have attained during the realm of the former administration.
The move by the Buhari administration comes following a new milestone scored by the Ibeto group – in its recent contract agreement with a China company to produce 6,000metric tons of Cement in Enugu State, south east Nigeria. Zhejiang Sinoma Engineering Design & Research Institute Co., Ltd had entered into a $368million with Ibeto Cement for 6000 tons of cement clinker production line from crushing limestone mining, cement raw materials to packaging, shipped to the whole process and a 45MW captive power plant, covering engineering design, equipment, steel and material supply, civil works, installation, commissioning and personnel training. Insider source acknowledge that the type of agreement is unprecedented in the mining industry in Nigeria. “ It may threaten Dangote’s continued dominance in the industry ”. Ibeto Company alreay operates a similar facility in Port Harcourt, River State. The Rivers State facility also produces 6000tons of cement.
247ureports.com reached out to the presidency for comments regarding the stoppage of Ibeto’s cement on the high-seas. Both Femi Adesina and Shehu Garba were reached but only Femi Adesina responded. He indicated that he was not aware of such but directed that we check with the Ministry of Industry. The office of Ibeto Cement Company was reached out to but they were cautious with their comment. They chose to comment unofficially and confidentially. They made it clear that the CEO of Ibeto Cement Company was not ready or willing to confront the Federal Government over the legality of Buhari’s refusal to allow his consignment to dock in Nigeria. “He prefers to beg” said one of the workers at the company “rather than to confront the injustice ” meted out on him.
“ There is no law in the Nigerian law books that Ibeto company have breached”, said a longtime politician from the south south region who claims to understand the underpinnings of the move to frustrate the business mogul from south east Nigeria who had been a financial supporter of the Jonathan administration. “They want to insinuate that he is one of the recipients of the money laundry scheme so that they can hang him like the others. But it would not work. We are here .” The south south politician was un-mistaken as he pointed squarely at the Buhari ‘cabal’ as an anti-south east and bigot minded group.
Presently, the status of the shipment of bulk cement stuck at high-seas remain unknown as the federal government allegedly appears determined and unrelenting in its determination at halting or/and deterring the business activities of Ibeto Cement Company.

247ureports.com.

See the new Bugatti (photos)

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The Bugatti Veyron is currently the world’s fastest street-legal car but it is about to be eclipsed by its new sibling, the Bugatti Chiron. The new Bugatti named after legendary race car, driver Louis Chiron will be the ‘world’s most powerful, fastest, most luxurious and most exclusive production super sports car’ according to Bugatti.

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The Veyron which can accelerate from 0-60mph in 2.5secs costs $1.5million, buyers will need to shell out $2.5million for the Chiron which can go from 0-60mph in 2.3secs and according to rumours, have a top speed of 288mph, 28mph faster than the Veyron of which only 450 were made.

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The new car is named after Race car driver, Louis Chiron…

Fire razes Sabon Gari market in Kano, destroys million of goods

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Goods worth millions of naira were completely destroyed yesterday after fire razed Sabon Gari market, in Kano State.
The fire broke out around 7pm on Thursday evening.
It was gathered that the inferno raged for more than 30 minutes before firefighters arrived at the market.
Some traders at the market expressed sadness over the incident, which was caused by power surge.

NCC reduces MTN’s fine to N674bn, CEO and Corporate Affairs head resign

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The MTN Group requested a reduction in the fine imposed to it by NCC, and on Thursday they said they received a formal letter from the Nigerian Communications Commission that confirmed the reduction of the N1.04tn fine imposed to N674bn.
The fine was bestowed upon them due to the late disconnection of 5.1 million unregistered MTN Nigeria Subscriber Identification Module cards in August and September, now has to be paid on or before December 31, 2015.
It was learnt that the Chief Executive Officer of its Nigerian subsidiary, Mr. Michael Ikpoki, and the Head of Regulatory and Corporate Affairs, Mr. Akinwale Goodluck, resigned from their positions because of the fine.
The Chief Operating Officer of MTN Irancell, Ferdi Moolman, and Amina Oyagbola, were appointed to replace Ikpoki and Goodluck respectively.
The Executive Chairman, MTN Group, Phuthuma Nhleko, said in a statement:
“This will enable MTN to continue to realise its strategy and vision, while also ensuring that we achieve high governance standards and robust risk mitigation.
“As I said in my last communication to you, MTN employees are the key to the success of our organisation and I continue to appreciate your support during this period of transition. Welcome to our new joiners and congratulations to those who are in new positions.”

Dangote to construct a 500 Megawatt power plant in Kano, Jigawa, others

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In a deliberate attempt to support local economy and wealth creation, Aliko Dangote has promised to construct a 500 megawatt power plant for Kano, Jigawa, Kaduna and Katsina States. The Chairman and CEO of Dangote Group of Companies made the pledge through his representative, Engineer Mansur Ahmed, the executive director stakeholders management, at the 36th Kano Trade Fair held in Kano. In his address, Engr. Ahmed noted that without power industries and commerce will cripple and businesses seriously decline as has been the situation in Kano State.
He further revealed that they were currently discussing with the Kano State government on the megawatt power supply and final agreement will be signed soon. Engr. Ahmed made it known that Dangote has built over a hundred borehole across the state and the theatre health facility at Murtala Muhammed Specialist Hospital which was posponed due to discrepancies and would soon take off in the next few weeks.
Dangote group has done quite a lot of intervention across the federation,he added, sighting the example of Ebola case were the group spent over a billion naira to control it’s spread and another billion naira support to Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, especially in the north east. Engr. Ahmed also disclosed that the nutrition program of Dangote Group is aimed at ensuring that Nigerian children grow up vibrant and intelligent.