The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Saturday in Enugu assured Nigerians that the country would be out of the current economic recession soon, while also urging Nigerians to take advantage of the numerous policies, initiatives and programmes packaged by the bank to cushion the effects of the biting economic recession in the country.
Speaking at the bank’s fair organised for small and medium scale enterprises, artisan, farmers, banks, hairdressers, barbers, shoemakers and other business groups in Enugu, the Acting Director, Corporate Communications of CBN, Isaac Okoroafor said the bank was aware of the prevailing economic condition in the country and added that the situation would not last long.
“Though we are in trouble, it is just for a while. As fast as we can, let us re-adjust ourselves so we can get out of the present situation. First of all, what is recession? Recession simply put, is a period of dwindling economic realities. Incomes are falling and government’s revenue is dwindling. Unemployment is increasing because businesses are not the way they should be. They sack workers because income is shrinking.
“People are not spending especially in our case, because oil prices have collapsed and foreign exchange receipts have dried up; falling from $3.2 billion to less than $500 million a month. With this kind of situation, Nigerians should try to adjust themselves. This is the real change. We need to change our ways to the realisation of a new troubling situation which is that it is no longer business as usual. Nigerians should learn how to save the little they have, so they can use it over time.
“Nigerians should begin to eat what we produce and not to look for expensive dollars to import food. We should go back to corn, yam and made in Nigeria Rice. Let us produce toothpick and not import it from China. We should not import 20 million eggs from South Africa. We should stop importing chicken when we have them here. Nigeria should brace up. This is not 100 metre marathon. Let us brace up and change our ways. The most hit now are people who have refused to realise that we ought to eat what we produce,” he said.
On the policies packaged by the bank with capacity to cushion the effects of the economic challenge, Okoroafor said 60% of MSME development fund was meant for women and women owned enterprises noting that some have collected as much as N1 billion and N2 billion and they retail to registered co-operative members in those states in bits. Some states elected to pay the interest which is not more than 9% on behalf of the beneficiaries. That is a lot of guarantee and some are recording huge successes. We also have the commercial Agric Credit Scheme (CACS) for larger commercial farmers. We are for everybody.
“One of the greatest highlights this time is the youth entrepreneurship programme and that programme is for corps members who are either in service or have finished service in the last 5 years.
“This is how it works. If you are a serving corps member and you want to get into business, you can get as much as N3 million to start as an entrepreneur. What happens is that you are not required to provide any collateral because we discovered that collateral is the problem. Your degree or HND certificate will serve as your collateral because we know it is an asset in which you have made investment. So just surrender it and that is all.
“If you have finished up to 5 years ago, you can submit your NYSC and Degree or HND certificate and then you can take a loan. But before you do that, you have to make us a proposal. Let us know the kind of business you are doing. If we feel it is feasible, we invite and train you for 3 days and make you understand the intricacies of the business and to put your plan very well. After which we link you up with a bank. That is what we do,” he said.
The bank cited its N220 billion fund made available for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), which it said could be easily accessed.
On other policies already introduced by the bank to help stabilise the nation’s economy, Okoroafor said the decision of the bank to release a list of 41 items that Nigeria out to stop importing to the country was borne out of a genuine desire to take the nation’s economy to the next level.
“Look at rice for instance, 28 out of 36 states in Nigeria can produce rice and so, we have launched a programme on rice called Anchor Borrowers Programme. It is not just on rice but also on tomatoes palm produce etc.
“What we are saying is this: Come to us with your proposal. If you cannot stand alone with your collateral, form yourselves into cooperative and we are ready to work with you and state governments like we are working with Kebbi which is giving Nigeria 1 million tons of rice this year and remember this year, the Nation needs 6.1 million tons.
“If Kebbi State at its pilot stage can give us 1 million tons, Ebonyi is involved, Anambra, Cross-river, Benue, Zamfara and so on. They are all showing interest. If our farmers can be given finance like we have done to Kebbi State, Nigeria should be expecting rice in two years’ time,” he said.
Portland Paints, Chemical and Allied Products Plc Agreed to Merge
Portland Paints and Products Nigeria Plc and Chemical and Allied Products Plc have agreed to merge, according to the latest statement from both companies.
In a statement released through the Nigerian Stock Exchange, the Board of Directors of CAP said we are “pleased to inform you that following discussions and negotiations, the Boards of CAP and Portland Paints have reached an agreement to undertake a merger between both entities (the “Merger” or the “Proposed Merger”).
Accordingly, we “hereby present to you the terms and benefits of the Proposed Merger for your consideration and seek your support and approval to effect the Proposed Merger.
“The Proposed Merger presents a compelling opportunity to create significant value for shareholders of CAP and achieve the company’s strategic growth objectives as a larger company with a broader product portfolio, more corporate owned brands and diversified revenues.
“The resultant entity is also expected to benefit from enhanced distribution capabilities in addition to economies of scale and operational efficiencies.”
Tony Elumelu Acquires Shell, Total, ENI Stakes in OML 17
Tony Elumelu owned Heir Holdings Limited and its related company Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc on Friday announced it has completed the purchase of 45 percent stake in Oil Mining Lease (OML 17) through TNOG Oil and Gas Limited.
The acquisition includes all assets of Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (30 Percent), Total E&P Nigeria Ltd (10 percent) and ENI (five percent) — in the lease.
It was further stated that TNOG Oil and Gas Limited will also have the sole right to operate OML 17.
The field presently has a production capacity of 27,000 barrels per day. Also, there are estimated 2P reserves (proven and probable) of 1.2 billion barrels and an additional one billion barrels in possible reserves — all of oil equivalent.
A consortium of global and regional banks and investors provided a financing component of $1.1 billion for the largest oil and gas financing in Africa in over a decade.
In a statement released on Friday, Shell said the completion was after all the necessary approvals have were received from authorities.
“A total of $453m was paid at completion with the balance to be paid over an agreed period. SPDC will retain its interest in the Port Harcourt Industrial and Residential Areas, which fall within the lease area,” the SPDC said.
Speaking after the completion of the deal, Elumelu said “We have a very clear vision: creating Africa’s first integrated energy multinational, a global quality business, uniquely focused on Africa and Africa’s energy needs. The acquisition of such a high-quality asset, with significant potential for further growth, is a strong statement of our confidence in Nigeria, the Nigerian oil and gas sector and a tribute to the extremely high-quality management team that we have assembled.
“As a Nigerian, and more particularly an indigene of the Niger Delta region, I understand well our responsibilities that come with stewardship of the asset, our engagement with communities and the strategic importance of the oil and gas sector in Nigeria. We see significant benefits from integrating our production, with our ability to power Nigeria, through Transcorp, and deliver value across the energy value chain.
“I would like to thank Shell, Total and ENI, for the professionalism of the process, the Federal Government of Nigeria, the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, and the NNPC for the confidence they have placed in us.”
Tony Elumelu is the Chairman of Heirs Holdings Limited, Transcorp and United Bank for Africa Plc.
Exporters Say CBN Pre-export Requirements is Frustrating Export of Goods
Exporters have said the recently introduced pre-export requirements by the Central Bank of Nigeria is creating unnecessary bottlenecks for exporters and the movement of goods out of the country.
Exporters, who spoke under the aegis of the Network of Practicing Non-oil Exporters of Nigeria (NPNEN), said the electronic Nigeria Export Proceed Form now required by financial institutions from exporters had come with so many challenges.
Ahmed Rabiu, the President, NPNEN, explained that the new policy had several requirements that often led to delays and loss of income on the part of exporters.
He said, “We acknowledge the CBN’s desire to ensure that all exports out of Nigeria are documented in order to ensure that the proceeds of such exports are repatriated.
“However, the reality on the field shows that the process is causing undue delays and consequently, encouraging corruption.”
According to them, in the new pre-export requirements, the Central Bank of Nigeria wants an export transaction to be initiated through eNXP processing on the trade monitoring system.
After which exporters are expected to have a pre-shipment inspection agent, the Nigeria Customs Service and other designated government agencies carry out their pre-export inspections.
The exporters said the pre-shipment inspection agent was expected to issue a clean Certificate of Inspection while Customs would issue the Single Good Declaration. All these they said takes time and delay goods from leaving the country on time.
Pointing to a recent report, they said about N868 billion worth of goods bound for export were stuck at the ports due to the new policy.
Speaking further Rabiu said, “For example, for the PIA to issue the CCI, the exporter is required to upload a certificate of origin as one of the supporting documents for the eNXP.
“The PIA is also required to upload the CCI to the TRMS(M) and until this is done, the Customs service will not issue the Single Good Declaration.”
He added, “After issuing the SGD, the customs is further required to upload it into the TRMS before the goods are allowed to be gated into the port and loaded on the vessel by the shipping line.”
News3 weeks ago
Heartbroken American Mistress Displays Dangote’s Buttocks in a Viral Video
News3 weeks ago
FCMB Group MD Links to Death of Tunde Thomas, Husband of Married Staff He Fathered Her Kids
Crude Oil4 weeks ago
Crude Oil Rose to Almost $52 Per Barrel After Trump Signs Stimulus Package
Finance3 weeks ago
President Buhari Increases Npower Budget by N365 Billion
Investment2 weeks ago
London Real Estate Company for African Investors Announces its Launch
News3 weeks ago
Tunde Thomas: FCMB Commences Review Into Allegations of Unethical Behavior Against MD Nuru
Technology4 weeks ago
Chinese Government Goes After Jack Ma and Empire
Brands3 weeks ago
Prada’s Profits Drop by $219 Million, Sales in China Up by 60%