The Nigerian Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, has made some clarifications on the withdrawal of General Electric from railway concession in the country, insisting that the FG has not signed any agreement with the American company.

According to the minister, GE was still negotiating with the Federal Government on the planned $2.7 billion deal to concession and rehabilitate Nigeria’s narrow gauge railway when it backed out.

The minister stated this speaking on the the ‘Morning Show’ of Arise News Network, insisting that GE did not abandon the railway deal on account of Nigerian economy.

He said further that GE was no longer in the business of transportation and had to hand over its interest in the deal to another firm.

“General Electric did not pull out. One thing that thrives heavily in Nigeria is rumour, I don’t know where you got that information, no concession agreement has been signed, none. We have been negotiating, there is no way you will get a concession agreement in one year.

“What happened is that most of their business activities, they have dropped a lot of (them), I don’t know if it includes energy, transportation and all that. When they found out that they couldn’t continue in that line of business…because they were no longer in transportation business, the next company took over the lease, they didn’t pull out, it has nothing to do with our economy, they were excited about this thing.”

Amaechi futher revealed that GE had told him that they had for 11 years approached successive administrations in Nigeria to do the railway concession but the company was not successful because previous administrations wanted to award contracts for the railway while that of Muhammadu Buhari, preferred the concession model, adding that South African firm, Transnet SOC Limited, which deals in pipeline, port, and rail construction would now take over from GE and that a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) would be set up with Transnet and other firms to do the job.

“I said I wasn’t going to award any contract because railway is too expensive. The total investment is supposed to be $2.7 billion, which is N1 trillion. No government can pull out N1 trillion to rehabilitate the entire narrow gauge.

“Now, the South African company has continued, they want to do the rehabilitation, we are at the point of setting up the SPV before we can sign the concession agreement.

“Have we finished negotiations? The answer is yes; the problem we have is that they want another six months to get their ministers in South Africa to give them approval to set up an SPV and we can’t sign without that because there are four companies involved.

“The four companies will form an SPV with which they will come to the table to sign. Each company, especially the one in China, say they will need six months to be able to convince their government to go into the concession. We are good to go, we are waiting for our partners,” he added.

 

Source: NAN

The Nigerian Stock Exchange market indices further dropped on Thursday to 31,864 points over renewed pressure to sell by investors.
 
The All-Share Index on dipped by 244.12 points or 0.76 percent to close at 31,864.80 compared to 32,108.92 points on Wednesday.
 
The market capitalization also suffered a setback by shedding N89 billion or 0.76 percent to close at N11.633 trillion as against the N11.722 trillion on Wednesday.
 
Thursday’s price movement indicated that International Breweries led the losers’ table by shedding N3.35
to close at N30.20 per share.
 
Guaranty Trust Bank followed with a loss of N2.40 to close at N34, while Mobil Oil dropped N1 to close at N150 per share. Zenith Bank lost 75k to close at N23.30, just as UACN share went down by 50k to close at N9.50 per share.
 
On the gainers table, Nestle led gaining N50 to close at N1, 500 per share while Nigerian Breweries followed with a gain of 50k to close at N83.
 
The Cement Company of Northern Nigeria added 50k to close at N18.50 per share, Union Bank gained 20k to close at N5.05, while Eco Bank Transnational Incorporated advanced by 5k to close at N15.75 per share.
 
Despite the drop in market indices, the volume of shares traded rose by 52.34 percent as investors staked N2.45 billion on 349.25 million shares
transacted in 2,595 deals.
 
This was in contrast with a turnover of 229.26 million shares valued at N2.49 billion achieved in 2,726 deals on
Wednesday.
 
Diamond Bank topped as the most active stock, exchanging 208.68 million shares worth N185.36 million while FCMB Group followed with an account of 34.68 million shares valued at N53.83 million. Stanbic IBTC exchanged 15.09 million shares worth N724.72 million.
 
 
Source: The Ripples
 
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has projected that Nigeria will become the world’s biggest rice importer after China.
 
According to the USDA, Nigeria’s importation of rice will jump up by a whopping 13 percent to 3.4 million metric tons.
 
The Rice Outlook report released on Tuesday, said: “China and Nigeria are projected to remain the largest rice importing countries in 2019, followed by the EU, Cote d’Ivoire, and Iran.”
 
The USDA also said that “Nigeria and Egypt are projected to account for the bulk of the 2019 import increase.”
 
This latest USDA rice outlook projection for Nigeria is however contrary to the optimism by the Federsl Government o become rice self-dependent in the nearest future.
 
It will be recalled that Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo had said earlier in the year that Nigeria will stop importing rice into the country within the next one year on account of Federal government’s interventions in rice production.
 
“We only import 2 percent of rice into the country presently and this is because we are funding agriculture and production of rice locally.
 
“Today, only two per cent of rice consumed here are imported while the remaining 98 per cent are locally produced, since we came to power, we have been funding agriculture and encouraging our farmers across the country so as to be self-sufficient in food production”, the VP had said.
 
According to data from Bloomberg terminal, rice production in Nigeria had increased more than 50 percent since 2012 to 3.7 million tons last year.
 
Domestic demand rose 4 percent to 6.7 million tons in the 2017-18 year that ended in May, leaving gap of 3 million tons.
 
 
 
Source: The Ripples
 
GE has handed the rail concession arrangement it has with Nigeria to its parners, Transnet SOC Limited.
 
The development is believed to be part of its strategy to exit transportation business.
 
GE, in an e-mail response to a question, said agreements it reached with the Nigerian government “are now being negotiated by Transnet and its consortium partners” including SinoHydro of China and APM Terminals.
 
GE is expected to focus on infrastructure development in Nigeria in areas such as health care and power, it also said.
 
GE won a contract last year to manage Nigeria’s narrow-gauge rail network in partnership with three other companies. It signed an agreement in April to proceed with the interim phase of the narrow-gauge concession that is expected to grow freight haulage capacity in the country ten-fold to 500,000 metric tons annually.
 
“Transnet has been a trusted partner of GE for several decades.
 
“We have confidence in their ability and that of the other consortium members to execute on the rail concession project successfully”, GE said in the statement.
 
 
Source: The Ripples
Eight Nigerians have been listed, among other global influencers, in the 2019 `Forbes 30 under 30 list.’
 
reports has it that Forbes 30 under 30 is a set of lists issued annually by Forbes magazine and some of its regional editions to recognise business and industry figures.
 
This year, the list featured 300 trailblazers from 20 industries with average age of 26.8.
 
Over 55 percent of them are founders or co-founders.
 
Also, 19 percent of them include immigrants from 57 countries, and 38 of them identifying as first generation Americans.
 
Nigerians who made the list include Taofeek Abijako, Kayode Ojo, Obi Omile Jr, Adegoke Olubusi, Tito Ovia, Dimeji Sofowora, Olaoluwa Osuntokun and Emmanuel Acho.
 
Taofeek Abijako is a 20 year-old designer who started his men’s streetwear brand when he was a high school teenager.
 
Kayode Ojo is a 28 year-old photographer who has had solo shows in Paris, Berlin, New York and Dallas.
 
Communication expert, Obi Omile Jr. is the co-founder of the Cut, a technology platform that allows users and barbers to schedule and manage appointments.
 
Meanwhile, Adegoke Olubusi, 25, Tito Ovia, 25, and Dimeji Sofowora, 26 are founders of Helium Health a platform used by 5,000 doctors, with data from 500,000 patients across West Africa.
 
Olaoluwa Osuntokun, 25, is the cofounder of Lighting Labs which has raised $2.5 million to turn bitcoin into a more viable form of payment by making smaller transactions more cost effective.
 
Also, Emmanuel Acho, 28, serves as the youngest national football analyst for ESPN and runs a charity that has built a hospital in Nigeria.
 
reports has it that the list also features Ghanaian, Shadrack Frimpong, who founded Cocoa360, a ‘farm-for-impact’ model that uses revenues from community cocoa farms to fund educational and healthcare services.
 
International musicians Post Malone, 23, 21 Savage, 26, photographer Tyler Mitchell, 23 who photographed Beyonce for her Vogue September 2018 cover, and actor Storm Reid, 15 made the list.
 
Media also reports that the 2019 class have raised over one billion dollars in funding and work an average of 67 hours per week.
 
77 percent of honorees consider being under the age of 30 an advantage in their career, 89 percent are optimistic about the U.S. economy for startups,
 
31 percent decided what they wanted to do for a career during university, 22 percent decided as a child, and 10 percent are still deciding.
 
 
Source: NAN
 
The Federal Government of Nigeria on Wednesday successfully raised
a new $2.86 billion Eurobond.
 
The $2.86 billion however came at a higher interest rate, a move that may put more pressure on the country’s debt servicing to revenue ratios.
 
Analysts are of the belief that the new interest rates may drive rates paid on debts to about 70% of the revenue ratio except government is able to boost its revenue generation.
 
Nigeria at the moment spends an average of N69 of every N100 revenue servicing debts.
 
The completion of the Eurobond transaction is coming after Nigeria’s successful engagement with the Fitch rating agency, and their subsequent decision to change the outlook on the country’s sovereign rating from B+ (negative) to B+ (stable), based on improving macro-economic fundamentals.
 
The new $2.86 borrowing has however pushed Nigeria’s external debt to
$24.9 billion, which is six percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product.
 
In the new borrowing, the Federal government sold benchmark-sized dollar bonds maturing in 2025, 2031 and 2049, which is equivalent to a 7-year, 12-year and 30-year bonds, at a price higher than its previous issuance.
 
It sold January 2049 (the 30-year bonds) at 9.25 percent compared to the 7.625 percent yield achieved on a 30-year bond a year ago.
 
The federal government also raised a 12-year bond at 8.75 percent
compared with the 7.875 percent achieved on a similar tenor in February and sold the 7-year bond at 7.625 percent.
 
The proceeds of new borrowing is expected to be used to fund the country’s N9.1 trillion ($29.8 billion) budget, which has a deficit of N2.4 trillion.
 
The deficit figure may however increased if government’s
ambitious revenue targets set out in the budget are not achieved.
 
Speaking on the successful completion of transaction, the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, said: “Nigeria is investing strategically in critical capital projects to bridge our infrastructure deficit, provide a better operating environment for the private sector, and improve the standard of living of our citizens. The proceeds of this issuance will provide critical financing for projects in transportation, power, agriculture, housing, healthcare and education as well as the capital elements of our social investment programmes. Nigeria’s Economic Recovery and Growth plan is delivering results.”
 
 
Source: The Ripples
In its latest round of intervention, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Tuesday injected the sum of $210 million in the inter-bank foreign exchange market.
 
Figures obtained from the CBN indicate that the authorised dealers in the wholesale segment of the market received the sum of $100 million while the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and invisibles segments were allotted the sum of $55 million each. 
 
The Bank’s Director, Corporate Communications Department, Mr. Isaac Okorafor, assured that the CBN would continue to sustain liquidity in the forex market. He also expressed optimism that the Naira will continue its strong run against the dollar and other major currencies around the world, considering the stability in the market and robust reserves.
 
CBN had on Friday, November 2, 2018, made interventions to the tune of $337.16million in the retail Secondary Market Intervention Sales (SMIS) and CNY 56.17million in the spot and short-tenored forwards segment of the foreign exchange market.
 
Meanwhile, the Naira yesterday exchanged at an average of N360/$1 in the BDC segment of the market.
 
 
Source: News Express
 

Vice President of Nigeria Prof Yemi Osinbajo said the Buhari administration will expand the N-Power scheme to accommodate one million beneficiaries in the next phase.

This followed the successes recorded so far and the growing need for government’s direct intervention in job creation.

The Vice President spoke in response to a variety of questions from Nigerians across different professions and persuasions, at a town hall meeting in Abuja on Monday.

He said the N-Power programme would become the largest post-tertiary job scheme in Africa.

“The idea of N-Power is supposed to be government’s own programme of direct employment and training. At the moment, we have taken up to 500,000 and in the next phase we are looking at another 200,000 and closely followed by another 300,000.

“In all, we will be employing up to a million, and that will be the largest post-tertiary job programme in the entire Africa. The reason why we have done this is because of the employment problems that we have. We may not be able to engage everybody but at least government must give some direct provision of jobs.”

Prof. Osinbajo explained further that though government could not pay more than the N30,000 currently paid to beneficiaries and also fix all the unemployment issues, it is working on creating the enabling environment to ensure that beneficiaries as well as other unemployed Nigerians become useful to themselves.

“It is infrastructure that will create the opportunities to provide more jobs, especially through manufacturing and Industry.

“So, we are doing roads and rail, providing power; that is the way we can develop industry. We are energizing our markets at the moment, putting solar power in the markets. We have designated 300 markets, we have done Ariaria in the South East, Sabon Gari in Kano, Sura in Lagos, Isikan in Ondo, Gbagi in Oyo and we are expanding so that more people can work.”

On the need to engage more women in productive activities, Prof. Osinbajo said: “one of the ways the Buhari administration is engaging more women is through our GEEP loans.”

“56% of our GEEP loans go to the women. So there is a lot of preferential advantage that we give to women and this is because women are effective managers of resources; they pay back these loans when they are given.”

Speaking on the misconceptions about the borrowing arrangements of the Buhari administration, the Vice President said, the country, under President Buhari, was not in a terribly bad debt situation as insinuated in some quarters.

According to him, very frequently you find people creating fear about the issue of debt and saying that this government has borrowed more than previous governments.

“I want to give you the facts and figures on the debt issue. The dollar denominated debts of Nigeria – that is the debts of the Federal Government, the States and Local governments.

“In 2010, Nigeria’s debt was $35 billion; 2011, it was $41billion; in 2012, it was $48 billion, in 2013, it became $64 billion; 2014, it rose to $67 billion; 2015, it fell to $63 billion; 2016, $57 billion; 2017, $70 billion; 2018, it is $73 billion. So, the difference between 2015 and now is $10 billion.

“One of the things that I always want you to bear in mind is that when oil prices are at their highest, between 2010 and 2014 that was when we had the sharpest rise in debts.”

Continuing on the debt issue, Prof. Osinbajo said “the other thing that I want us to bear in mind is what is called debt to GDP. Our debt to GDP is one of the lowest among the countries that are frequently compared to us. Our debt to GDP is 20%. When you compare it to other countries, you will see that Ghana is about 68% whereas Ethiopia’s is 48%. In terms of the size of our economy and debt, we are doing okay”

He, however, agreed that “Nigeria may have an issue with debt to revenue”, noting that “we are not collecting enough revenue compared to what we want to spend.”

“Are we collecting enough taxes? If you look at the FIRS figures, it says 914 Nigerians pay the self-assessed tax of more than N10 million. Of the 914, 912 live in Lagos and the other 2 live in Ogun state, no other Nigerian outside of Lagos and Ogun pay the self-assessed tax of more than N10 million. So, we are simply not collecting enough revenue,” he added.

The Vice President said the Federal Government in collaboration with the States was working on harmonizing tax collections in order to address issues relating to multiple collection of taxes.

“This is a problem that we are dealing with all across Nigeria. It is one of the issues we are dealing with under the ease of doing business. We are addressing the sub-national. How we can harmonize taxes. The second phase of our ease of doing business is focused on the collection of multiple taxes; there is no reason why that should continue.”

On the ASUU strike, the Vice President said that government is engaging the leadership of the union, noting that “the next meeting is on Thursday, November 15, 2018”.

He, however, explained that “we are dealing with a population of about 200 million people who depend on a budget of about N8.6 trillion and of that amount, 70% of it goes to salaries and overheads, and it goes to less than 2 million people. It is impossible to answer to all of the monetary needs of people by the size of the federal budget”.

On healthcare financing, Prof. Osinbajo said the Buhari administration has done much even as it has earned 60 per cent less than the previous administrations.

“The first thing to bear in mind is that health care financing has suffered over the years even when we were earning the most money, we were underfunding healthcare.

“In 2015 when we came in, the healthcare budget was N22.7 billion and as of today we moved that to N86.5 billion and we are earning 60% less. Education was N23 billion in 2015, now it is N102 billion. The issue really is one of government commitment. For the first time, in the 2018 budget, we are setting aside 1% of our consolidated revenue to the health sector.”

Earlier, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola; Minister of Industry, Trade and investment, Dr. Okey Enelamah; Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi; and Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Audu Ogbeh, responded separately to issues relating to their various ministries.

The town hall meeting was organized by Act Now, a non-political group that works in promoting transparency and good governance as well as youth participation in governance.

 

Source: PmNews

The Nigerians National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said it transferred the sum of N128.40billion into the federation account in August.
 
The Corporation disclosed this in its monthly Financial and Operational report released in Abuja on Wednesday.
 
It said that between August 2017 and August 2018, the federation and joint ventures (JV) received the sum of N879.02billion and N651.4billion respectively.
 
The NNPC explained that the Federation Crude Oil and Gas Revenue, Federation Crude Oil and Gas lifting, were classified into Equity Export and Domestic crude.
 
It explained that this crude were lifted and marketed by corporation and the proceeds remitted into the Federation Account.
 
It noted that Equity Export receipts, after adjusting for Joint Venture Cash Calls, were paid directly into the Federation Account domiciled in Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
 
The corporation explained that domestic crude oil of 445,000 bpd was allocated for refining to meet domestic products supply, and payments were effected to the Federation Account by NNPC.
 
This, it said was done after adjusting crude and product losses and pipeline repairs and management costs incurred during the period.
 
On the crude oil and gas export sales, the report noted that sales for the month of August stood at 470 million dollars.
 
According to the report, the sales indicate an upsurge of about 78million dollars in relation to July oil and gas export figures of 391.91million dollars.
 
It further indicated that crude oil export sales contributed 337.62million dollars which represented 71.83 per cent of the dollar transactions compared with 283.43million dollars contribution in the previous month.
 
“Export gas sales during the period amounted to 132.38million dollars.
 
“The August 2017 to August 2018 crude oil and gas transactions involved crude oil and gas export worth 5.26billion dollars,” it said.
 
The report explained that based on the above sales figures, a total export receipt of 450.24million dollars was recorded in August 2018 as receipt against 382.65million dollars in July 2018.
 
“Contribution from crude oil during the period, amounted to 336.43 million dollars, while gas and miscellaneous receipt stood at 101.33million dollars and 12.48million dollars respectively,” the report noted.
 
A further breakdown of the figures showed that out of the export receipts, 142.31million dollars was remitted to the Federation Account.
 
The sum of 307.93million dollars was remitted to fund the JV cost recovery for the month of August, 2018 to guarantee current and future production.
 
“Total export crude oil and gas receipt for the period August 2017 to August 2018 stood at 5.23billion dollars out of which 3.74 billion dollars was transferred to JV Cash Call as first line charge and the balance of 1.49 billion dollars paid into the Federation Account,” it added.
 
(NAN)
 
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said Nigeria is leading other Africa nations and one of the top five (5) globally in remittances inflows.
 
CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, who made this known, however, did not mention the exact amount of inflow but simply said Nigerians in the diaspora and other African nationals sent $72 billion home last year.
 
Emefiele, who was represented at a workshop on Remittance Household Surveys by the Director, Statistics Department of the apex bank, Mohammed Tumala, on Tuesday in Abuja, also said, while quoting a World Bank report that Nigeria was one of the top five countries of the world which received about $613 billion in remittances in 2017.
 
Although, the World Bank had in the same report disclosed that Nigeria received a total of N22 billion remittances inflows in 2017.
 
In his address, the CBN boss said remittances inflows contribute substantially to foreign exchange earnings and household finances in most developing countries.
 
“Money sent home by migrant workers is among the major financial inflows to developing countries and in some cases, it exceeds international aids and grants.
 
“According to the World Bank, global remittances have risen gradually over the years to about $613 billion in 2017, of which $72 billion was received by African countries. As a recipient country, Nigeria tops African countries and is also ranked among the top five globally,” he said.
 
Emefiele added that Nigeria had taken steps to attract more remittances inflow into the nation to further develop the Nigerian economy.
 
The steps aimed at attracting Nigerians in diaspora to remit funds home, Emefiele said, include the floating of a $300 million diaspora bond by the federal government.
 
He also added that the introduction of electronic Certificate of Capital Importation to Nigerians abroad and the country’s membership of the International Association of Money Transfer Networks were parts of measures to encourage Nigerians outside the country to remit monies home.
 
Emefiele said the former statistics on remittances inflows in the country were based on bank records and staff estimates, which according to him is a “methodology with limitations.”
 
“We think that a large chunk of migrants’ remittances pass through informal channels and are thus, unrecorded.
 
“Nigeria is yet to conduct a household based remittances survey to provide scientific estimates of these informal inflows.
 
“In addition, data from banking records also come with some discrepancies due to classification challenges on the part of reporting,” he added.
 
 
Source: The Ripples

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