Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Economic interests should drive foreign policy, says Jonathan

Nigeria’s foreign policy should be reviewed to protect the country’s domestic priorities, particularly its economic and political interests at home and abroad, President Goodluck Jonathan has recommended.

Jonathan made the call yesterday, while declaring open a seminar on the need to ‘Review Nigeria ’s Foreign Policy’, organised by the Presidential Advisory Council on International Relations and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Abuja.

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Nigeria will soon be self-sufficient in cement production – Minister

The Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr Olusegun Aganga, said on Monday that cement importation would soon be a thing of the past in Nigeria.

Aganga, who spoke while inspecting the level of work at the Dangote cement plant, Ibeshe, Ogun, said the country was on the verge of being self-sufficient in cement production.

He said that when completed, the Ibeshe plant would be capable of producing six million tonnes of cement yearly.

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Rivers State plans 250 bln naira bond issue

One of the states in Nigeria's oil-rich Niger Delta plans to issue a 250 billion naira ($1.63 billion) bond in October to fund infrastructure projects in the region, the state governor's office said on Sunday.

A similar issue two years ago by Lagos State, the major commercial hub in Africa's most populous nation, was well subscribed by investors.

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Investing in Nigeria: The energy deal

If you have been closely watching investment boom trend in Africa, then it would be no mystery to you that the next biggest investment break worth tapping into is the Nigerian energy sector. This is simply going by the law of demand and supply which states that the more of a product or service that is needed, is supplied, it will be paid for, by the buyer(s).

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Poor Electricity is ICT Sector's Greatest Challenge - ATCON

Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) has said that lack of reliable public electricity accounts for 70 percent of the problems facing the telecom sector.

Speaking in Lagos last week at the Broadband Investment Summit, the ATCON President Engr. Titi Omo-Ettu said that the remaining 30 per cent is attributed to low technical skill, poor access to financing, barrier to investment and others which were what the association aimed at proving solutions to from the summit.

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Monday, 1 August 2011

Nigeria records tremendous increase in non-oil export

Minister of Commerce and Industry, Jubril Martins-Kuye has pointed out that Nigeria non-oil export has increased by eleven fold from $0.2 billion in 2000 to $2.3 billion in 2010.

The minister made this known during the presentation of the report of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on the comprehensive review of the Export Expansion Grant (EEG) by the Chairman of the Committee, Dr. Abubakar Mohammad, in his office during the weekend.

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Local content policy opens opportunities for small enterprises

The signing into law of the Nigerian Local Content Development Act in the oil and gas industry has thrown open business opportunities worth over $10 billion.

In the next few years, the programme is expected to create about 30,000 direct jobs for small-scale enterprises as many of the fabrication yards where the service of these entrepreneurs are needed are being supported to come on stream by the government through the Nigerian Content Monitoring Board (NCMB).

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FG targets $2bn from Nigerians in Diaspora

The Federal Government has set a $2 billion fund target for Nigerians in Diaspora to serve as an instrument of sale to the Diaspora for the development in Nigeria.

Dr. Olusegun Aganga, Minister of Trade and Investment, said this in Abuja, recently at a diaspora conference, entitled, ‘Diaspora and Nigeria’s Transformation Agenda’ in Abuja yesterday.

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US debt crisis: Nigeria’s economy will suffer -Experts

As the United States of America (USA) struggles to find a way out of its debt crisis, a professor of Economics at the University of Ibadan, Adeola Adenikinju and a Lagos-based economist, Dr Ayo Teriba, have warned that the value of the dollar and dollar-denominated commodities such as crude oil in Nigeria could depreciate.

The United States Congress has until Tuesday, August 2, to agree to raise the US debt ceiling which would allow the government to continue paying its creditors and to fund state pensions, student loans, military salaries and contracts.

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Sunday, 31 July 2011

One South Africa Bank bigger than nine top Nigeria banks

Nigeria’s top nine banks that featured in the Banker’s top global 1000 banks have a combined tier one capital of $11.332 billion.

This is lower than the $12.06bn of Standard Bank Group of South Africa which is, by capital base classification, the leading bank in Africa.

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Saturday, 30 July 2011

Reps Halt N500 Billion CBN Bail-Out for Banks

House of Representatives yesterday stopped an attempt to compel the Federal Government spend N50 billion annually, through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as bail out fund for ailing banks.

The Bailout Fund is expected to be generated by a pool of contributions by all the commercial banks, as well as the CBN, from where bail outs could be drawn for banks in critical financial condition.

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Nigeria urgently requires a broadband policy to improve its rating on the global ICT league table, says Ernest Ndukwe, former executive vice-chairman of the Nigeria Communications Commission.

Ndukwe, who was the keynote speaker at the stakeholders' conference and exhibition on the proposed NigcomSat-1R launch earlier this week, said the absence of such a policy was hampering Nigerians' access to broadband-related services.

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Lagos strategic to Nigerian economy says Onolememen, Works Minister

In less than two weeks as Federal Minister of Works, Mike Onolememen made a working tour of on-going federal government roads in Lagos State last weekend to scan the extent of damage and progress on the roads.

He went from the Tincan Island Port Project, Apapa-Oshodi Expressway to Lagos-Otta Highway and the Lagos -Ibadan Expressway. He also visited the flooded areas in Lagos, including Mile 12. Onolememen told the contractors handling the projects that he would not accept anything other than performance from them .

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Probing the Privatisation Process

Nigerians are increasingly worried about the wisdom of selling government-owned enterprises to individuals in the name of the unfortunate IMF-orchestrated privatisation within the past twelve years.

Protagonists of privatisation claimed that it would stimulate the economy, create employment and generate profit. This seems to be far from the truth as more than 80 per cent of government companies privatised, especially during the Olusegun Obasanjo administration, has failed to operate properly due to what is described as lapses in the privatisation process.

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Technocrats, not solution to Nigeria’s problems

That President Goodluck Jonathan decided to appoint some Nigerians in the Diaspora, minister is not popular in some circles. The impression created is that experts in various fields would know how to get Nigeria out of the hole.

But criticism of the appointment of technocrats is growing by the day. Critics claimed that the president should know by now that what Nigeria needs are people knowledgeable about the way things work in the country and not Nigerians in the Diaspora that will apply unrealistic principles. Such ideas, they said had further confused issues in the past.

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World Ranking: Same Old Story For Nigerian Universities

The webometric ranking of world universities often paints a gloomy picture of university education in Africa and Nigeria in particular as no Nigerian university was listed in the top 2,500, and the ensuing contentious issues.

The world university ranking since its inception has always generated controversies whenever it is released. For some years, top flight universities such as Harvard University, University of Oxford UK, University of Cambridge and the University of Toronto have been at the top of the ranking. However, this year’s ranking published in January shows the table taking a different complexion with some universities making their way up.

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Friday, 29 July 2011

FG unveils 25 years development plan for railways sector

THE Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar has assured that the nation’s railway sector would be fully resuscitated within the next twenty five years to enable Nigeria to compete favourably with the other countries of the world in the area of railway transportation.

Senator Umar who disclosed this while on the inspection tour of the ongoing construction of Abuja-Kaduna standard gauge, railway modernization project, said the government is developing a twenty five year plan that would ensure the fully resuscitation of the railway sector.

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Nigeria oil output on 15-year high

Nigerian oil output has rebounded to levels not seen in years, but crucial issues after April elections remain unresolved and could have a major impact on future growth.

The boost in production has occurred thanks to relative calm in the main oil region, the Niger Delta, hit by years of militant attacks before the 2009 amnesty deal. According to OPEC’s 2010 figures, Nigeria overtook Iran as the organisations’s second-largest crude exporter.

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Thursday, 28 July 2011

Nigeria spends over $450m on bandwidth importation

Nigeria currently spends huge portion of its foreign exchange earnings on importation of bandwidth due to the increasing demand.

The minister for science and technology, Ita Ewa, who disclosed this said as the country moves towards becoming an information society, the relaunch of a new communication satellite will ease this burden to a large extent.

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Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Nigeria's foreign direct investment dips

Nigeria has recorded about $2 billion deficit in its foreign direct investment ratings in the past year, Mustafa Bello, executive secretary of Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission has said.

He announced this on Tuesday in Abuja at the launch of World Investment Report 2011 produced by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

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9 Nigerian banks make Top 1000 World Banks ranking

Nine Nigerian banks have made the list of the Top 1000 World Banks Ranking by Tier One Capital in the 2011 edition by The Banker magazine as published in its current edition.
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Nigeria needs $900b domestic product for Vision 2020

Nigeria needs to grow her Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to over $900 billion in order to be among the top 20 economies by the year 2020.

Minister of National Planning, Shamsudeen Usman, who stated this at an interactive session with media executives in Lagos yesterday, said current GDP figures of $194 billion places the country in the 41st position, according to International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates.

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Nigerian GDP to grow 7.8 pct in 2011 - Central Bank

Nigeria's central bank Governor Lamido Sanusi said on Tuesday that sub-Saharan Africa's second-largest economy grew 6.64 percent in the first quarter of this year, and forecast full-year growth of 7.8 percent.http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif


Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Nigeria may become largest mobile payment market in Africa – experts say

Nigeria may indeed be positioning herself to become the largest mobile payment market in sub-Saharan Africa, analysts said at the weekend. According to the analysts, there are only 22 million individuals who have a bank account out of the 150 million people but there exists about 90 million mobile phone users, which provide huge opportunity for the development of mobile payment.

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10 banks hold 77 percent of banking deposits

Nigeria’s top 10 banks which include three of the rescued banks, control 77 percent of the total deposits of the banking industry (as at the close of 2010) data obtained by BusinessDay has shown.

First Bank with a deposit base of N1.33 trillion had the highest deposits in the Nigerian banking industry as at the close of 2010. It was followed by Zenith Bank with a deposit base of N1.29 trillion while UBA ranked third with a deposit base of N1.27 trillion. GTBank ranked fourth with a deposit base of N713 billion as at the close of 2010.

Union Bank had the fifth highest deposits of N648 billion as at the end of 2010 followed by Oceanic Bank with a deposit base of N637 billion for the same period.

It was followed by Intercontinental Bank Plc which had the seventh highest deposit among Nigerian banks of N626 billion.

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Monday, 25 July 2011

Nigeria Kerosene Too Expensive For Oil-Rich Country's Poor

The status of kerosene, long considered gas' poor cousin, only recently rose to become one of the most sought-after fuel products in the resource-rich West African nation. Many are taking advantage of the situation.

Because of government subsidies, kerosene is supposed to only cost 30 cents a liter. But middlemen are reselling it so many times among themselves that it reaches the end-users at highly inflated prices.

It turns into an expensive – and time-consuming – odyssey just to stay in business for many.

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Dredging on River Niger Near Completion

The Managing Director of Nigeria Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Achitect Aminu Ahmed Yar’ Adua has said that the dredging of River Niger will soon be completed.
Architect Yar’Adua added that when completed the dredging would go a long way in improving water transportation and the economy of the country.

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Sunday, 24 July 2011

Unlocking capital in Nigerian economy

Nice interview in today's Vanguard about improving trade and investment by the new Minister of Trade and Investment click here for full interview.

Psyche of Nigeria’s banking elite

I was privileged to experience a bit of colonial banking when I went into formal employment in 1972 in the office of Harriman and Company, Chartered Surveyors and Valuers. White bankers were receding from Nigeria at that time following Independence 12 years before. The economy of Nigeria was captive forhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif white business. There was no vision for Nigerians to hold the commanding heights. A few indigenes could leverage sizeable loans from banks. Colonial bankers looked after their English businessmen here effectively. ...more