- MAN, LCCI, Others Oppose Senate on BoI Scrapping
The plan by the Senate to repeal the Act establishing the Bank of Industry and replace it with a National Development Bank of Nigeria has been criticised by several professional groups and workers’ unions.
And if the NDBN Bill, which has passed a second reading at the Senate sails through, the development bank will have take off capital of $323m.
But the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Association of Professional Bodies of Nigeria and the Trade Union Congress said the action would amount to waste of time and resources.
The President of MAN, Dr. Frank Jacobs, said that the new development bank could suffer political interference in its operation, which might grossly affect the performance of its core mandate given the composition of the Board of Directors and heavy reliance on the Federal Government for funding.
Jacobs concluded that setting up another development bank would amount to a duplication of the one already inaugurated by the last administration, adding that this was a development that the country could not afford at this time.
He said, “Instead of concentrating effort on the establishment of this proposed bank, the National Assembly should assist the Executive in making operational the Development Bank of Nigeria established by the last administration in March, 2015.
“The emphasis at this time should be to increase the capital base of the BoI and the other existing DFIs for effective delivery of their mandates.”
Jacobs, who spoke with one of our correspondents, expressed concerns about changing the status of the BoI, noting that the bank was a product of merger of the defunct Nigerian Industrial Development Bank, Nigerian Bank for Commerce and Industry and the Nigerian Economic Reconstruction Fund in 2001.
“For all practical purposes, this merger has been consummated, and the BoI has been functioning and delivering on its mandate within the available funding capacity,” he said.
He also declared that manufacturers would not provide the funding for the proposed development bank.
Reacting to Section 16 of the Bill, which listed MAN as one of the possible sources of funding for the NDBN, Jacobs, in a memo made available to one of our correspondents, said, “Members of MAN are supposed to be beneficiaries. It is therefore difficult to see how they will also be part of the institutions that will provide funding for the bank.”
The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry also said it “has strong reservations for the proposition in the Bill seeking to establish the NDBN.”
The Director General, LCCI, Mr. Muda Yusuf, anchored the chambers’ position on the premise that the BoI was a product of the merger of four defunct banks, adding that since the merger being sought for had already been carried out, it would be a waste of legislative time and a distraction to all stakeholders for the process to continue.
“If the BoI Act has not been regularised, then that should be done urgently. The value of legislation lies in the spirit that drives it. The spirit of this bill is to consolidate a number of institutions into one entity for the purpose of delivering a development finance function more effectively. This has already been done as embodied in the current operations of the BoI,” he said.
The TUC agreed that the BoI was performing its assigned duties to the satisfaction of stakeholders.
The Vice-President, TUC, Olusoji Salako, advised that instead of scrapping it, the bank should be restructured if it was experiencing legal or structural issues.
Similarly, the President of the APBN, Dr. Omede Idris, at a press briefing in Abuja, after the organisation’s board meeting, said the group was opposed to the bill.
“By the track record of the BoI, merging it will be a disservice to the bank and the nation. The BoI should continue to function as a separate entity, based on its impressive performance over the years. However, it should be recapitalised, to continue to play its statutory role. The moribund NBCI and NERFUND could be liquidated,” the APBN president advised.
The group also criticised the Communication Service Tax Bill currently before the National Assembly and what he described as “multiple and unusual high taxation” by both the Federal Inland Revenue Service and the Joint Tax Board.
He said, “The proposed tax focuses on the provider. There is no doubt, however, that the customer will eventually bear the pain. Any additional tax burden put on Nigerians under any guise now will inflict more pains. The APBN strongly believes in business. However, telecommunication services, which are of necessity rather than luxury, should not be subjected to such hike in tax.”
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.”
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