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‘Maritime Can Generate N3tr Yearly’



  • ‘Maritime Can Generate N3tr Yearly’

The Federal Government can make over N3trillion yearly from the maritime sector, if it is well structured, a top Federal Ministry of Finance official has said.

The official, who asked not to be named, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to invest part of the money generated from the sector because of dwindling oil revenue. He said 30 per cent of the revenue generated from the Lagos Port Complex (LPC) and the Tin Can Island ports should be ploughed back into developing the seaports to international standards.

Speaking after the visit of the Senate Committee to the Lagos ports last week, the official said there has been a reduction in the number of vessels calling at Lagos ports, saying the problem has to do with some policies on importation.

“It would be recalled that in 2006, $1 exchanged for about N130, but today it is about N360 to a dollar, which implies a significant decline of about 70 per cent in the value of the national currency since port concession, and that is why the Minister of Transport needs to reposition the maritime sector,” he said.

Customs alone, the official said, could generate about half of the money, if loopholes were blocked and if the government stops the abuse of the waiver clause.

According to the official, the President should review import policies, especially the foreign exchange (forex) restriction on 41 items.

Investigation revealed that activities at the ports were still very low because of the exchange rate policy.

For instance, findings revealed that activities at the RoRo Terminal at the Tin Can Island port in Lagos were still at their lowest ebb.

The exchange rate and the auto policy have impacted negatively on importers, freight forwarders and revenue from government agencies.

The official said in 2012, 11,380 vehicles were imported through the Lagos port, while 251, 375 came in through the Tin Can Island port in the same year.

“The figure increased to 14, 422 and 280,057 at the Lagos Port Complex and Tin-Can Island ports respectively, in 2013,” he said.

The figure dropped below 881 and 124,250 at each of the ports last year.

The official attributed the low vehicles import to the exchange rate and the auto policy.

“The Federal Government needs to diversify the economy by using the money generated from the ports to develop agriculture and other solid minerals to encourage exports so that the economy does not rely on oil export but diversified into other areas,” he said.

The government, the official said, should also encourage Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) for new port projects to come up.

He suggested that the auto policy should be simplified to improve port activities.

“Otherwise, activities at the Port and Terminal Multiservices Limited (PTML) renowned for vehicle imports would continue to drop. If this happens, Nigeria will conyinue to be losing about N800 million yearly from this source,” the shipper warned.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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CBN Offers Assistant In Printing Gambia’s Currency



Godwin Emefiele CBN - Investors King

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has said that the bank is willing to assist the Central Bank of the Gambia to print its legal tender.

Emefiele said this in Abuja on Tuesday during a two-day visit by a delegation from the Central Bank Of Gambia, led by its governor, Mr. Buah Saidy.

This was in response to a request by the CBG for a possible partnership to tackle acute currency shortages among other currency management challenges in the country.

Saidy informed the CBN governor that relying on its current printer, De La Rue of London, for its currency needs was expensive and unsustainable.

He explained that it costs the bank about £70,000 to lift printed currencies from Sri Lanka to the Gambia.

In response, the CBN Governor assured his visitors that the bank had an extremely competitive advantage to undertake the currency printing for  Gambia, adding that the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting had a lot of idle capacity to satisfy the demand of the CBG.

He said, “I note your point on currency management. The Nigerian mint was set up in the early 1960s and we’ve been producing our currency since the early 60s and we have a lot of idle capacity to ensure that instead of you going to Europe or other countries, you will be able to benefit from our ideas.

“Our colleagues will take you to the security printing facility. Our colleagues that came in from Liberia two months ago were fascinated by the kind of facilities we have at our security printing and minting facility and I am sure that you will also enjoy them.

“And I am sure they will follow you back to the Gambia to see how they can help you to structure your economic order quantities so we can also be of assistance in printing your currency.

“And I can assure you that we can be extremely competitive if only from the standpoint of logistics and freight from Europe but it’s just going to be a few hours from here to the Gambia and the rest of them.”

The CBG Governor also noted that one of the purposes of the visit was to benefit from the CBN’s vast experiences on how it had successfully regulated the financial system and sought assistance in the areas of information technology, modernisation, cybersecurity, forex shipping and management, among others.

Emefiele in response attributed the successes to the support which the apex bank had enjoyed from the National Assembly.

He said, “On the issue of the CBN independence, I thank you for the kind words. But I think the point is that we thank our own parliament. Our parliament has been extremely supportive of the CBN.”

He, therefore, advised the CBG to work with its parliament to create laws that would provide the independence needed.

Emefele further stated that the apex bank was not sparing any effort to address issues of supply management to ensure economic growth.

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Ardova to Acquire 100 Percent Stake in Enyo Retail and Supply Limited



Olumide Adeosun Ardova - Investors King

Ardova, an indigenous energy company headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria, with extended operations in Ghana, has reached an agreement with Enyo Retail and Supply Holding Limited to acquire a 100 percent equity stake in Enyo Retail and Supply Limited.

This announcement follows the execution of a share purchase agreement by the two companies.

The company disclosed in a statement signed by Oladeinde Nelson-Cole, Company Secretary/General Counsel, Ardova Plc.

The statement highlighted the parties’ commitment to closing the transaction in line with the share purchase agreement, as soon as agreed closing conditions are satisfied, and regulatory approval is received.

Stanbic IBTC Capital Limited and Banwo & Ighodalo are acting as Financial and Legal Advisers respectively to AP, while Rand Merchant Bank and Herbert Smith Freehills Paris LLP are acting as Financial and Legal Advisers to ERSHL and certain of its shareholders.

Olumide Adeosun, Chief Executive Officer of AP, stated that “On completion, this acquisition will lead to a stronger downstream energy group that benefits from the increased customer reach and service delivery excellence of both companies, with the combination expected to produce stronger financial results.”

Ardova Plc and Enyo Retail & Supply Limited will communicate details of future progress made on this acquisition.

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PwC to Add 100,000 Jobs in $12 Billion Strategic Revamp



Price Waterhouse Coopers - Investors King

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP is investing $12 billion across its global business in an overhaul targeting better audits, digitization of services and greener operations.

The professional-services provider will hire 100,000 employees and develop the skills of existing staff over the next five years as it seeks to respond to the post-pandemic operating environment, it said in an emailed statement on Tuesday.

“We will continue to evolve our ways of working, and expand our capabilities in the areas that matter most for the future, while remaining steadfast in our commitment to quality,” PwC Chairman Bob Moritz said. “We want our people to be the most sought after in the market.”

Auditors are grappling with managing quality amid a shift in ways of working introduced by the Covid-19 pandemic. The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board has revised standards for auditors, coming into effect in 2022, to boost technology use, help manage new risks, and improve quality management.

PwC is also seeking ways to address growing calls for transparency in the profession from stakeholders after several accounting scandals among the Big Four auditing firms knocked public trust. In South Africa, for example, KPMG has put in place a variety of reforms after it came under fire in 2017 for work done for a politically connected family accused of plundering the government’s coffers.

The South African unit of PwC will add at least 2,500 new employees over the next five years, Chief Executive Officer in the region Dion Shango told reporters in a conference call. Across Africa, where it has a presence in 34 countries, the firm plans to bulk up its operations with a $400 million investment. The company is also interviewing for non-executive directors to strengthen audit oversight.

PwC has also set aside $3 billion of its total global investment to help double the scale of its Asia-Pacific operations, it said. The firm’s spending will also focus on responding to environmental, social and governance trends across its operations.

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