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Investors Losing Interest in Nigeria’s Mining Businesses as Insecurity Bites Harder



Business gurus and investors are gradually losing interest in investing in the mining sector of Nigeria.

Investors King discovered, through a presentation document by the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, at the ninth edition of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

The president has been rendering his scorecard that spans from 2015 to 2023. The programme is being organised by the Ministry of Information and Culture.

In the mineral sector, there are mining, exploration, quarry, and small-scale mining industries, of which have been serving as the country’s money spinners after the oil and gas industry.

But, growing insecurity in the mining environments has been the bane of the sector.

The sector had suffered no fewer than 363 casualties during different attacks and clashes between 2016 and 2022.

During the attacks on the mining sites, communities and miners across the country, activities have been affected as workers abandoned some areas considered dangerous.

Number of casualties including those killed, kidnapped, or injured during attacks and clashes has been on the rise

The 363 casualty figure is contained in a data obtained from the daily incidents recorded by the Nigeria Security Tracker, a project of the Council on Foreign Relations, an American think-tank, during the period under review.

Flowing from this disturbing incidents, it was gathered that there have been a decline in the figure of licences issued to interested investors in the sector.

The document presented by Adegbite showed that 2815 mineral titles were issued in 2016, while 1438 were issued in 2021.

Also, the total number of mineral titles issued to mining companies has dropped by 36.63 per cent within a period of five years.

Adegbite said that 2,258 mineral titles were issued in 2016, 2429 in 2017, 2124 in 2018, and 1,620 in 2019.

He added that 1,438 mineral titles were issued between January and October 2022, which is a 48.92 drop per cent from what was issued in 2016.

However, the Director-General of Nigeria Mining Cadastre Office, Mr Obadiah Nkom, during a State House briefing organised by the Presidential Communications Team, had said that 3,402 titles were revoked for defaulting on the terms of their licences.

The mining rights of companies that were not using their licences were said to have been revoked, leaving NMCO to generate over N3.7bn in 2022.

It was gathered that aside the revocation of the licenses owing to default, the mining sector has been characterised by insecurity.

Recall that the Federal Government had banned mining activities in Zamfara State in March 2021 owing to incessant attacks.

Buhari approved the recommendation that mining activities in the state should stop while declaring a no-fly zone on Zamfara.

The Federal Government was considering a ban on the use of motorcycles and mining activities sequel to the terrorist attacks on the Kuje Correctional facility on July 5 as well as others witnessed nationwide.

Stakeholders including industry players under the auspices of the Miners Association of Nigeria, had urged the government to address the issue of worsening insecurity rather than banning mining activities even as sector witnesses low patronage.


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Increased Cost of Customs Duty, Forex Crisis Affects Used Vehicles Imports Volume in Nigeria



New vehicles

Used Vehicles auto dealers in Nigeria have expressed concern over the decline of Tokunbo car imports volume in 2022.

According to the dealers, Tokunbo car imports dropped by 47% as a result of the increased cost of customs duty and the forex crisis.

These auto dealers disclosed that the increased cost of duty on used vehicles by Nigerian customs has affected their car sales. They lamented that the import duties have also affected the number of cars they import into the country which has drastically reduced.

It would be recalled that in April 2022, the Nigerian customs announced that it would update the importation of car edition from 2017 to 2021 in compliance with the ECOWAS Common External Tariff (CET) to the 2022-2026 version in which used cars coming into Nigeria are expected to pay a 20% tariff rate and a NAC levy of 15 percent.

The NAC levy, coupled with the Value Added Tax (VAT) of 7.5 percent, results in an almost 50 percent levy that is now paid on the importation of used vehicles in Nigeria.

Speaking on the decline of the importation of used vehicles in Nigeria, regional manager of Auto Auction Mall Oluwafemi Amisu said that the increase in import duties has 100 percent played an important role in the reduction of importation of used cars into Nigeria.

He also attributed the benchmark of car models to an increase in shipping cost leading to an increase in the price of the vehicles.

Shipping companies that formerly used 2,300 vehicle capacity vessels to ship into the country have visibly downsized to 1,000 or 1,500 capacity vessels.

“Majority of transactions made by Nigerians importing vehicles are within the 08-010 model range, which typically cost N400, 000 –N600, 000 to clear. However, since 2014 has been chosen as the benchmark, clearing costs have increased to between N1 million and N1.7 million,” he added.

Also, another challenge that has been attributed to the decline of importation of used vehicles in Nigeria is the Forex crisis which auto dealers lament has affected the purchasing power of customers. They added that people now prefer to buy Nigerian used cars instead of foreign used cars, even so, Nigerian used cars have also become very expensive.

Findings by Investors King reveal that the duty rate is majorly the reason for the drop in the importation of used vehicles, as most of the vehicles coming into Nigeria are below 2013, which mandates that any auto dealer bringing any car lower than that into Nigeria will pay a duty of 2013. Due to this, most of the vehicles are reportedly passing through Cotonou Port.

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Ajay Banga Nominated as Sole Candidate for World Bank Presidency



Ajay Banga

The World Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors has announced that Ajay Banga, a United States national, is the only nominee for the position of the next president of the bank.

This news follows US President Joe Biden’s nomination of Banga to lead the World Bank in February, citing his suitability for the role at “this critical moment in history.”

Banga, who was born in India and is a naturalized US citizen, is currently serving as vice chairman at General Atlantic and previously worked as the chief executive of Mastercard Inc. If confirmed, he would become the first-ever Indian-American to head either of the two top international financial institutions: the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors will now conduct a formal interview with Banga in Washington D.C., with the expectation of concluding the presidential selection in due course. The current president of the World Bank, David Malpass, is set to step down in June, nearly a year before his term is scheduled to expire, and Banga is expected to replace him.

Banga’s nomination comes at a time of increasing global economic uncertainty, with the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbating pre-existing inequalities and challenging the resilience of many countries’ financial systems. As such, the incoming World Bank president will face significant pressure to navigate the institution through these difficult times, while also addressing concerns around climate action and the role of the World Bank in promoting sustainable development.

While Banga’s nomination as the sole candidate for the position of World Bank president may come as a surprise to some, it also reflects the United States’ historical dominance in the governance of international financial institutions. However, it remains to be seen how Banga will use his position to shape the future direction of the World Bank and address the complex challenges facing the global economy.

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Company News

Unilever Nigeria to Focus on Higher Growth Opportunities by Exiting Home Care and Skin Cleansing Markets




Unilever Nigeria Plc, one of the leading Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) companies, has announced its decision to exit the home care and skin cleansing markets.

The company disclosed that the decision would only affect three of its brands – OMO, Sunlight, and Lux. According to Unilever Nigeria, the move is aimed at accelerating the growth of the organisation and sustaining profitability.

The restructuring of Unilever Nigeria’s business model is in response to the tough business environment in Nigeria, where many organisations and individuals have found it difficult to access cash due to the Naira redesign policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Unilever Nigeria’s Managing Director, Mr Carl Cruz, noted that the offloading of the home care and skin cleansing portfolios would enable the company to “concentrate on higher growth opportunities.”

Unilever Nigeria has a strong competition in the business categories it is exiting. However, the company’s products are also market leaders in the sector. Mr Cruz added that the company was repurposing its portfolio by gradually exiting two categories, home care and skin cleansing, affecting only three brands (OMO, Sunlight, and Lux).

This would allow Unilever Nigeria to drive the rest of its brand portfolio for growth into the future and strengthen business operations with measures to digitize and simplify processes.

Unilever Nigeria is a truly Nigerian business and the oldest serving manufacturer in the country. The company’s decision to exit the home care and skin cleansing markets is in line with its commitment to adapt to changing market circumstances and reposition itself to better meet the needs of its consumers, shareholders, and employees.

Mr Cruz said, “By making these changes, we will unleash the sustained and profitable growth we need to be here for the next 100 years as well.”

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