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Non-Oil Exporters Decry Poor Implementation of EEG

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NEPC

The continued decline in the non-oil export is due to the poor implementation of the Export Expansion Grant scheme by the Federal Government, non-oil sector exporters have said.

According to them, Nigeria’s non-oil exports decreased from $3bn in 2013 to $1.6bn in 2015 as a result of the poor implementation of the EEG since 2010.

The Executive Secretary, Organised Private Sector Exporters Association, Mr. Jaiyeola Olarewaju, stated that the decreasing trend in non-oil export would persist in 2016, judging by the available information.

Olarewaju, who spoke to journalists in Abuja on Friday, said, “According to a comprehensive Impact Assessment Report prepared by the Nigerian Export Promotion Council and released in May 2016, the decline in non-oil export is chiefly attributed to the disruption in the implementation of the EEG scheme since 2010.

“Due to the non-acceptance of the Negotiable Duty Credit Certificate, an instrument through which the grant is disbursed, a backlog of N123bn of unutilised NDCC’s has piled up. The exporters were paralysed by the backlog and had no option but to scale down exports which bore a stark reflection on the country’s non-oil export performance since 2014.”

He stated that Nigeria’s non-oil export sector was still in its infancy and came into mainstream in the last 10 years due to the policies that were put in place that encouraged the sector to invest in agricultural supply chains, export processing factories and overseas marketing.

Nigeria’s export basket comprises agro-allied commodities such as cocoa, cashew, cotton, sesame seeds, rubber, finished leather, tobacco, textiles, processed marine products, footwear and plastics.

The EU is Nigeria’s largest trading partner, accounting for about 40 per cent of the market share, followed by Asia and ECOWAS, accounting for 25 per cent and 18 per cent, respectively.

Olarewaju stated that for the past two years, exporters in Nigeria had been sitting on a backlog of over N100bn worth of unutilised export certificates issued under the seal of the Federal Ministry of Finance.

He said, “These are sovereign instruments and the government should honour its financial commitments as per extant law. It is unfair that some exporters were issued the certificates for exports made till 2013 whereas many others who had submitted their applications remain outstanding for no fault of theirs.

“This is part of the backlog lying with NEPC. After all, government policy is not based on first come first served. By any principle of fairness and justice, all pending applications for the EEG on account of exports made till 2013 should be treated by the Federal Ministry of Finance.”

According to the executive secretary, most developing countries give incentives to boost their exports.

Olarewaju said, “China, the world’s largest exporter, increased the export tax rebates in 2015 to check decline in exports. India provides a package of incentives to its exporters through its five-year foreign trade policy. Nigerian manufacturers need the EEG to mitigate the negative impact of infrastructural and other cost disadvantages.”

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Business

Boeing to Deliver 50 737 MAX Planes to British Airways

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American Airlines Boeing

International Airlines Group (IAG), the owner of British Airways, on Thursday said it has agreed to purchase 50 Boeing 737 MAX planes. The transaction estimated at $6.25 billion includes a substantial discount and is expected to be delivered between 2023 and 2027, according to a statement issued by the company.

In the statement seen by Investors King, Luis Gallego, the Chief Executive of IAG, said “The addition of new Boeing 737s is an important part of IAG’s short-haul fleet renewal.”  

“The deal falls short of a blockbuster non-binding commitment for 200 737 MAX jets placed under former chief executive Willie Walsh at the Paris Airshow 2019 that was a welcome lifeline to Boeing when the model was grounded after two fatal crashes.

“But the firm 737 MAX 10 order from a top-tier customer is an important signal to the market at a time when Boeing faces an increasingly high-stakes battle to win certification of the largest MAX variant before a new safety standard on cockpit alerts takes effect at year-end.”

Boeing’s financial health rests on the resumption of deliveries of 787 Dreamliners and clearing MAX inventories, company executives and analysts have said.

Former IAG’s Chief Financial Officer, Steve Gunning revealed to analysts in November that the airline group would need some additional short-haul aircraft towards 2024 or 2025 and hinted that any order would include the 737 MAX.

IAG, owner of Ireland’s Aer Lingus and Spain’s Iberia and Vueling in addition to British Airways, also has a further 100 purchase options as part of the deal, which is subject to shareholder approval.

IAG is one of the world’s largest airline groups, with a fleet of 531 aircraft. Before the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic it operated to 279 destinations and carried around 118 million passengers each year.

It is a Spanish registered company with shares traded on the London Stock Exchange and Spanish Stock Exchanges.

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Business

CISLAC Campaigns For Tobacco Tax Hike

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British American Tobacco

The Federal Ministry of Health, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) has called for a campaign to raise tobacco tax. The aim of this advocacy is to generate income for the health sector and save the lives of Nigerians.

Executive Director, CISLAC, Mr Auwal Rafsanjani said the measure would provide Nigeria with a win-win situation by lowering tobacco product affordability while generating income for development funds. He said that the detrimental effects of tobacco usage had prompted countries such as Nigeria to enact tobacco control measures to reduce tobacco consumption and cost.

“Excise taxes are the most effective tax measure for promoting health because they change the price of a harmful product relative to other goods and can be easily increased over time. Consumption is reduced best with taxes based on specific taxes on unhealthy products such as sticks and packs of cigarettes.

“Closely linked to the issue of tobacco taxation as a control tool, is the issue of safeguarding population health. It is not news, however, that the state of health care delivery in Nigeria remained very abysmal while the world intensified efforts to attain the Sustainable Development Goals,” he said.

Recall that Investors King had earlier reported the World Bank’s call to the Federal Government of Nigeria, urging the government to impose special taxes on alcohol, cigarettes and beverages that are highly sweetened in order to improve primary healthcare conditions in the country.

Investors King gathered that, Shubham Chaudhuri, the Country Director for Nigeria in the World Bank Group, said that an improvement in healthcare in Nigeria will come by taxing the things that are “killing us.” He said that the economic rationale for the action is quite strong if lives are to be saved and a healthier Nigeria achieved.

According to Rafsanjani, African nations convened in April 2001 to address health-care finance issues, which are one of the primary determinants of Universal Health Coverage (UHC), and decided to set aside 15% of their budget for health.

“As the country defaults on budgeting effectively for health, countries of the world are adopting innovative approach to mobilise resources for health financing which is adopting tobacco taxes as an alternative strategy”, he noted.

The study, according to Rafsanjani, was commissioned to investigate the potential of tobacco taxation as a form of income for Nigerian health financing.

He explained that the study’s goal was to give scientific information to help policymakers formulate better policies as Nigeria battled to close the gap in health funding.

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Merger and Acquisition

Access Holdings Plc to Acquire Majority Stake in First Guarantee Pension Limited

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Herbert Wigwe - Investors King

Access Holdings Plc has agreed with First Guarantee Pension Limited to acquire a majority stake in the company in its drive to transform from a narrow banking business into a financial service company.

The leading financial institution stated in a press release obtained by Investors King on Thursday.

According to Access Bank, the transaction is in line with its strategy to evolve into a full-blown financial services company and gain relevant market share across Africa, global monetary centres and beyond banking verticals.

Speaking on the firm’s push to change the banking landscape, Dr. Herbert Wigwe, Group Chief Executive Officer, Access Corporation said “This transaction is a natural evolution for us. Over the last 20 years, we set our sights on and delivered ambitious plans to transform the African financial services landscape focusing on banking and have created the African leading Bank and largest bank by customer base.

“This large customer base both on the wholesale and retail segments makes the pension business a natural fit for the Corporation given its objective of ecosystem optimisation. We will leverage our well-established culture of strong corporate governance, risk management, cutting-edge technology, and digital capabilities to deliver high standards of professionalism in the management of pension assets to the benefit of our stakeholders.”

The firm added that the National Pension Commission and the Central Bank of Nigeria have given their no objection to the transaction.

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