Posts tagged as: nigeria

Nigeria: Telecoms Sector Contributed 9% of GDP in First Quarter

By Adeyemi Adepetun

Nigeria’s telecommunications sector contributed about nine per cent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in quarter one of 2017. The Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, who disclosed this, while giving a report on the sector in Lagos, yesterday, added that since the liberalisation of the industry, it has added about N15 trillion to the economy.

Danbatta, who explained that the sector’s contribution to the country’s GDP increased from eight per cent in Q4 of 2016 to nine per cent in the New Year, noted that since his assumption of office as the EVC about 18 months ago, the industry has been adding between N1.43 Trillion and N1.45 Trillion to the economy quarterly.

The NCC EVC admitted that the quality of service offered by the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) has not been impressive, he however, said there was a major improvement in the first quarter.

According to him, the continued drop in service quality has really created a huge gap between consumers and the MNOs, “reason for some drop in subscriptions.”

He said the commission will review the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) set for the operators to meet, with a resolve that any of the MNOs that failed to meet up will be adequately sanctioned.

Though the Commission was practically silent on when telecommunications services will possibly improve in the country, the Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management, NCC, Sunday Dare, averred that the commission had already read a riot act on poor services, saying that the Q1 2017 KPI results is under review.

Dare said there is no deadline on improving QoS on the part of the operators, “but sanctions are available.” Speaking more on the continuos drop in telephone subscription in the country, the NCC EVC disclosed that the commission discovered that some subscribers are migrating from 3G to 4G/LTE, “so they rather use WhatsApp to communicate and even make free calls. Consumers are moving away from high tariff services to a more cheaper and free services.”


126 Suspects Arrested As Boko Haram Infiltrate Borno IDP Camp – Army

The Nigeria Army on Wednesday said it had arrested about 126 suspected Boko Haram members at the Internally Displaced… Read more »

Nigeria: Fake Anti-Virus Raises Nigeria’s Volatility to Cyber-Attacks

By Adeyemi Adepetun, Femi Adekoya and Nkechi Onyedika-Ugoeze

Lagos and Abuja — Although the WannaCry ransomware that has been wreaking havoc has been stopped, there are indications that those who initiated the attack at the weekend could go on to alter the code and restart it all over again.

The list of African countries affected by the WannaCry ransomware includes, but is not limited to, South Africa, Angola, Mozambique, Tanzania, Nigeria and many more.

This poses a risk to Nigeria’s cyber space, which is predominantly characterised by a huge volume of fake, counterfeited and unlicensed software as well as illegal downloads.

Although the 2016 data of unlicensed software usage in Nigeria has not been released by the Business Software Alliance (BSA), however, it claimed that as at 2015, 80 per cent of software used in the country are unlicensed. It put the value at $232 million.

Besides, The Guardian learnt through industry sources that there has been a major increase of about 55 per cent sales and purchase of various inferior anti-virus software in the last six months in Nigeria.

In addition, the Nigeria Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has also alerted Nigerians to the attack, warning especially Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) and other stakeholders to be wary.

NITDA’s Director-General, Dr. Isa Ali Pantanmi, in a statement explained that WannaCrypt spreads by itself between computers and does not require human interaction, stressing that it restricts access to the affected system as well as demanding for the payment of ransom.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) urged Nigerians to obtain software patch released by Microsoft in March 2017 to fix the Ransomware Virus; plan scheduled penetration tests on the networks and systems to ensure protection and availability at all times.

NCC urged subscribers who use their smartphones as substitutes to computers for Internet access to protect themselves and their devices by not opening e-mail attachments/links from unknown sources; not clicking pop-ups and applets on unknown websites and installing effective antivirus software for their mobile devices.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Communication Technology, Adebayo Shittu has stressed the need for the country to build a resilient cyber defence to check cyber crime.

Speaking at the cyber security summit organised by the Cyber Security Experts Association of Nigeria yesterday in Abuja, the minister noted that Nigeria loses over N127 billion to cyber crime, adding that the financial implication could be more as large number of incidents remain undetected or unreported.

He urged the participants to come up with strategies that will build better and safer cyber space for all.

Africa: Women in Maritime Africa Group Berths in Nigeria

By Sulaimon Salau

Women In Maritime Africa (WIMAFRICA), a continental body of African Women in the Maritime industry has debuted to promote female gender participation in Nigeria’s shipping sector.

The newly- elected President of Africa Women in Maritime (WIMA), Nigeria chapter, Mrs Jean Chiazor Anishere, in her acceptance speech said her regime would alleviate the hardship confronting women in the maritime industry

Chiazor Anishere further said on the sidelines of her election, that one of the objectives of the Association is to promote collaboration among the national, regional and international maritime organisations.

Chiazor Anishere is a former President of Women In Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA Nigeria), and current Vice President of WIMAFRICA at the continental level.

According to her, the association will ensure advancement of gender equality in the maritime sector and support mainstream women participation in all aspects of the “Blue Economy”.

The WIMA boss, who said that part of her focus would be on, “Policy, Advocacy, and Maritime Awareness, maintained that WIMA Nigeria will promote human capacity development, enterprise and employment of women in all aspects of maritime sector.

“The association will ensure strategic leadership and serve as a voice for gender empowerment in the maritime sector. I will ensure that the association supports the advancement of women in the maritime sector in Africa.

“The newly-elected executives will assist to strengthen the maritime capacity in the continent in order to promote a safe, secured and efficient cleaner ocean,” Chiazor Anishere said.

She noted that the association had a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Africa Union, in order to bring issues affecting women in the maritime industry to the attention of the Commission.

Other members of her Executive are: Mrs Bola Muse – Vice President; Mrs Mary Madu-Hamman, Secretary; Mrs Foluke Akinmoladun, Assistant Secretary; and Mrs Affiong Israel Ibanga as Treasurer; Mrs Taiwo Osun, Assistant Treasurer; Mrs Carolyn Akum Ufere, Publicity Secretary; and Mrs Justina Memadu Ikpeeka as the Assistant Publicity Secretary among others.


Continent Calls for Funding to Restore Degraded Forests, Land

Investing in forest and landscape restoration as well as ensuring their sustainability will improve livelihoods of… Read more »

Nigeria: UNIDO Sensitises Oyo, Osun States On Food Safety

By Ojoma Akor

The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) through its European Union Funded Nigeria Quality Infrastructure Project (NQIP) has carried out food safety awareness campaigns in Oyo and Osun states.

This was announced in a statement from the NQIP project signed by the National Expert on Food Safety John Tehinse, National Expert on Publicity, Moji Makanjuola and Project Assistant, Mrs Goodnews Falaye. The statement said to promote food safety following the first Nigeria Food Safety and Investment Forum, the organization decided to train stakeholders such as farmers and market women, government officials in ministries of environment, health, agriculture and science and technology.

During the visit to the two states, the organization visited the governors and representatives of relevant ministries, departments and agencies on the objectives and significance of the project especially at it relates to the food safety component.

“The mission is also to conduct inter-ministeral consultative meetings with state policy makers of relevant MDAs on the objectives, significance and implementation strategies of the Federal Government on the new National Food Safety Policy (FSP) and solicit the respective government’s buy-in and cooperation,” the statement said.

The organization also carried out sensitization workshop for delegates on food and non-food handlers such as farmers, processors, food service providers, distributors, retailers and journalists in the two states.

One hundred and seventeen people participated in the food safety awareness training workshop at Oyo while 198 participated in Osun State.

The statement said both state governments promised to adopt the Federal Government FSP document and immediately establish all necessary committees to implement the document as well as to review legislative and institutional frameworks to ensure safer foods in the respective states.

Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola,who was represented by the deputy governor of the state, Mrs Grace Titilayo Laoye-Tomori, commended the initiative saying it would help prevent food borne diseases.

“Part of what UNIDO is doing under this project is to ensure we create awareness among people and partners particularly policy makers on the significance of food safety in our processes,” said Moji Makanjuola in the statement.


126 Suspects Arrested As Boko Haram Infiltrate Borno IDP Camp – Army

The Nigeria Army on Wednesday said it had arrested about 126 suspected Boko Haram members at the Internally Displaced… Read more »

Nigeria: Finally, Govt Commences Ebola Screening At Nation’s Airports

Photo: The Guardian

Murtala Muhammed International Airport

By Winifred Ogbebo, Ejike Ejike, Tunde Oguntola, Uche Onwurah and Doyin Ojosipe

Abuja — The federal government has finally started screening and checks against the dreaded Ebola disease at airports across the country.

Checks by LEADERSHIP yesterday at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja and Murtala Muhammed International Airport Lagos, revealed that sanitisers and scanning apparatus called thermal scanners were already installed by port health services at arrivals terminal of the airport.

Our correspondent who visited the airport in Abuja observed that international passengers were properly undergoing screening for symptoms of Ebola. Similar screening is ongoing at the Lagos airport.

All facilities needed for the screening exercise had been in place since 2014 when Nigeria first experienced the disease and made frantic effort to contain it.

This paper had reported on Monday that, unlike in 2014 when hand sanitisers were placed at strategic places within the airports and temperature tests were carried out on travellers, checks had yet to be put in place against the deadly disease.

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, (FAAN) and the National Emergency Management Agency had assured Nigerians of their readiness to check and tackle Ebola.

Responding to how prepared the country is for the disease, the acting general manager, Corporate Affairs, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Henrietta Yakubu, had said last week that passengers still fill forms to ensure that those arriving the country through the airports were not potential carriers of deadly diseases.

“There are sanitisers at our arrivals with the scanning apparatus called thermal scanners being installed by the port health services. The scanners have camera monitor that displays pictures, aside the capturing of temperature. The port health officials are always at alert and we will also inform them of the need to increase their surveillance”.

Also, the spokesperson of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Sani Datti, disclosed that the agency had started consultation with relevant stakeholders on how to manage any eventuality.

Meanwhile, the gederal government announced yesterday that it has set up an Ebola Preparedness Working Group (EPWG) as part of the move to prevent the spread of the Ebola Disease in the country.

A statement by the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) noted that the EPWG was part of the resolution reached at the emergency meeting held by the federal government on Monday.

According to NCDC, the working group is made of representatives from the department of public health and port health services of the federal ministry of Health and World Health Organisation (WHO).

There are also representation from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), US Centers for Disease Control, the African Field Epidemiology Network and the University of Maryland Baltimore.

NCDC said the group is saddled with the responsibilities of guiding the country’s preparedness activities.

It would be recalled that the federal government had convened an emergency meeting on Monday, after NCDC received formal notification from WHO of an outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on May 12, 2017.

Nigerians were thrown into a frenzy of panic, following the declaration of Ebola outbreak in the DRC by WHO, but the federal government urged all to be calm and go about their normal activities, assuring that it has given directives to Port Health Officials to screen everyone on international travels in to the country.

The federal government also urged Nigerians to be very observant and report any suspected cases to the NCDC through the agency’s toll free line: 0800-970000-10.

While reaffirming its directives on Port Health Authorities to intensify existing screening procedures at all ports of entry, the federal government, according to the

statement, assured yesterday that “there will be an increased focus on reinforcing principles of infection prevention and control to all healthcare workers across the country.

“Nigeria’s response to Ebola in 2014 was recognized globally for its speed and efficiency. NCDC and its partners will leverage this successful in its preparedness to prevent, detect and respond to the unlikely situation of the introduction of the virus to Nigeria”.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has assured of its readiness to partner with the federal government in its preventive measures being put in place against Ebola.

The association, however, said protection for its members was sacrosanct as it would not want to put the lives of its members at risk.

Speaking to LEADERSHIP yesterday on phone, the president, Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Prof Mike Ogirima, said, “We are ready to partner with the federal government. Our members have been sensitized against the deadly scourge.

“But what we are asking is protection for our members nationwide. Protective gears like hand gloves, face masks should be provided”.

Ogirima expressed satisfaction with the measures being put in place by the federal government to prevent the virus from resurfacing in the country.

He said, “The government has ignited the prevention system; there is red alert already and there is screening at the entry ports. So, we are satisfied with all these arrangements”.

FG Saves N53bn From Ship Building Fund

Meanwhile, the federal government disclosed yesterday that it has been able to save N53 billion from ship building fund through rebranding of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).

The minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, who gave the hint expressed confidence that more funds could be sourced for the government from the maritime sector.

He said, “They were so many faculties of Maritime in universities when we came. We went about rebranding them and stopped that contract award in which money gotten from the ship building fund are meant for Nigerians who built ships.

“Maritime transportation is the one to access the fund to buy more vessels. We kept that money, we are saving it now. The last we heard about it was that we had saved N53bn” he added.

Amaechi noted that President Buhari has approved a new security infrastructure that will reduce piracy and robbery in that sector.

The minister said, “We believe that more fund can be gotten for the government, from the maritime sector and the president has approved a performance audit of the maritime sector.

“Part of the problem of the maritime sector is the fact that we have had issues with insecurity on our waterways and the president has approved a new security infrastructure that will reduce piracy and robbery in that sector”.

According to Amaechi, there is need to save the country from corruption, even as he said that the ministry would introduce the single window which is between Nigerian Customs and Nigeria Ports Authority to move goods within 48 hours.

He said that the ministry has awarded three contracts for repairs of Lagos – Ibadan rail, Kano – Kaduna rail and Port Harcourt – Calabar rail based on the loan collected from the China EXIM bank.

The minister stated that China EXIM bank has approved $1.2bn, while the federal government has released its own counterpart funding for Lagos – Ibadan rail, which will be completed in December 2018.

He stated that work has started on Itakpe-Warri rail but the N60 billion allocated for the project was removed by the National Assembly, stating that if that was resolved, the work would be completed.

… Creates 193,469 Jobs In Works, Housing Sectors

Meanwhile, the federal government hinted yesterday that it has created 193, 469 jobs, with 40,429 direct and 153,040 indirect jobs in works and housing sector, within the two years of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

The minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, disclosed this in Abuja at 10th edition of the town hall meeting to celebrate the mid-term of President Buhari’s implementation of the economy recovery plan.

According to him, the construction of roads, power projects, housing projects and macro impact on jobs were gradually increasing the purchasing power and money in the economy.

He said, “In the last three months we have been travelling by road to ascertain the condition of these roads.

“We need to do more but gradually the roads are becoming better. Our artisans and construction works are getting back to site bit by bit. We are also doing our best to address power challenges in the country”.

Nigeria: #AFCLive – Addressing Illegal Mining in Nigeria ‘Tough, Complicated’ – – Fayemi

Photo: Africa Finance Corporation

Mining Operations

By Samuel Ogundipe

Combating illegal mining activities across Nigeria is a ‘tough’ and ‘complicated’ issue that requires painstaking and long-time measures to be successful, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Kayode Fayemi, said Tuesday.

“There are illegal activities involving mining without licence, but the reality is that it’s often more complicated,” Mr. Fayemi said.

The minister spoke during a working lunch organised by the Africa Finance Corporation as part of its premier economic summit which opened in Abuja on Monday and closed Tuesday night.

Mr. Fayemi said Nigerian government was aware of illegal mining activities across the country, especially those involving Chinese.

“We’re prosecuting a case of suspected illegal mining involving the Chinese,” Mr. Fayemi said in response to a PREMIUM TIMES’ question what the administration has been doing to combat the menace.

Illegal mining has become a potent threat to Nigeria’s mining sector in recent years. Apart from the untold financial loss it constitutes, experts also warned about its negative effect on the environment.

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In 2012, Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, NEITI, said Chinese and Indian miners were conniving with locals to plunder Nigeria’s natural resources.But Mr. Fayemi said the government had launched a crackdown on the illegal miners.”We’re prosecuting a case involving the Chinese and suspected illegal mining,” the minister said.He, however, noted that the Chinese participating in illegal activities in Nigeria’s mining sector do so for their personal gain and absolved their government of any culpability.”Many of them are not representing their government, they’re prospecting for whatever they can find for their personal gains,” he said.He also acknowledged that there are law-abiding Chinese in the mining industry.”But some Chinese are also working in with local investors and they’re working with government agencies to do legal mining activities,” he said.The minister said a task force established to combat illegal mining had commenced work across the country.”More importantly, we also know that some people don’t know that we have mine surveillance task force, which comprised of the police, NSCDC and the State Security Service, after about forty years.”There haven’t been mining police in the country for about four decades and we just established the task force this year. And they’re working out of our offices.”Combating illegal mining is a tough one that we have to address,” he said.He urged Nigerians and foreign investors with interest in mining to tap into several financing schemes put in place by the Buhari administration to encourage participation and boost investors’ confidence”There are export enhancement schemes in the EXIM Bank.”There’s a $150 million we just got from the World Bank that potential investors could tap into.”The N30 billion mining intervention fund that government just put together can also be accessed,” he said.

Nigeria: Ebola – Medical Association Urges Govt to Step Up Surveillance At Borders

By Chioma Obinna

Lagos — Following the recent outbreak of Ebola in Democratic Republic of Congo, the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, yesterday, called on the Federal Government to step up surveillance and strengthen response team across the borders and other national routes of entry into the country.

In a statement jointly signed by the President, Dr. Mike Ogirima and Secretary General, Dr. Yusuf Sununu, the NMA also called for vigilance on the part of the Federal Government.

According to them, NMA is ready to partner with the Federal Ministry of Health to achieve another resounding success on the prevention and control of the fresh outbreak.

The statement read: “We also wish to call on all health teams to refresh their knowledge on clinical presentation of Ebola, apply universal basic precautions in patients’ care and use the standard protocols of management and reporting of suspected cases.”

It further urged Nigerians not to panic but cooperate with government in securing the nation, especially during surveillance at entry points if the need arises.

“The NMA assures all Nigerians of the readiness of her members to do more to safe guards the health of the nation.”

The duo, further restated that the recent declaration of outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo was another major setback to the world.

“The devastation brought about by the last outbreak still remains fresh in our minds. West Africa was worst affected with more than 11,000 deaths recorded in the Ebola outbreak in 2014-2015, mainly in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

“Efforts by the Government of Federal Republic of Nigeria had been acclaimed as one of the best moment the country demonstrated-That where there is political will success is assured. The role of our fallen heroes especially Late Dr. Adadevoh in the control of the spread of the disease is not only worth remembering but remind us on the need to make sacrifices for our country.”


After Buhari… ?

With the president on medical leave again, ambitious figures are positioning themselves favourably for what might happen… Read more »

Nigeria: Power Sector, Key in Taking Nigeria Out of Recession – Fashola

By Simon Echewofun Sunday

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, has said the power sector is a major contributor in getting Nigeria out of the economic recession by improving electricity supply to industrial, commercial, small and medium enterprises.

Fashola stated this at the presentation of a book to him titled ‘Power Sector Under President Muhammadu Buhari’ in Abuja recently.

He revealed that the sector is one of the five key intervention programmes of the Federal Government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) recently launched by the government.

He commended the author, Mr. Uche Aneke, for his in-depth knowledge of the sector and simplifying the knowledge of electricity to the ordinary Nigerian.

During the monthly operators’ tour meeting, Fashola explained that the power sector needed to engage everybody so as to reveal to Nigerians government’s effort.

Mr. Aneke earlier disclosed that the book made an effort to document activities in the power sector, especially the giant strides the minister made since coming on board.

He appreciated the Senior Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, who wrote the foreword.


After Buhari… ?

With the president on medical leave again, ambitious figures are positioning themselves favourably for what might happen… Read more »

Nigeria: Multiplier Effects of CBN’s Foreign Exchange Intervention

By Kayode Tokede

Lagos — The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) since last year has continued to intervene in the foreign exchange market following challenges posed by the level of depletion of the country’s reserves, arising from issues such as a drastic reduction in oil earnings, speculative trading most especially at the parallel market.

The CBN’s total supply was $1.2 billion and it was sustained twice to three times per week to Bureaux De Change (BDC) operators in April while cumulative supply since February 20, 2017 was put around $3.61 billion. Finance experts and CBN had predicted that the nation’s economy can only be out of recession with improved oil production and foreign exchange liquidity.

Wisely, the CBN has sustained its intervention with introduction of twice weekly foreign exchange sales to BDCs operators and financial institutions with creation of new special foreign exchange window dedicated to investors, exporters and end users.

The window will specifically serve eligible transactions that are classified as invincible in nature as well as transactions for Bills of Collection. Unlike the window for Personal Travel Allowance, Basic Transport Allowance, Manufacturers, Airlines this window does not have a fixed peg. The market will determine the price at which buyers and sellers want to transact.

The apex banking in April also introduced another policy measure, stating that it has opened a special foreign exchange window for small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs). This, according to the CBN, would enable small and medium-sized businesses import eligible finished and semi-finished items, not exceeding $20,000 per operator each quarter.

With all these measures, the naira last week was trading at N388 to the dollar, while the pound sterling and the Euro closed at N495 and N425 respectively. The CBN amid pressure to narrow the gap between the official and parallel market rates, has devalued the naira for consumers, offering to sell them foreign exchange at about half the premium the parallel market charges.

It has also increased dollar sales in recent weeks to importers to try to boost the naira. According to experts, the prompt foreign exchange intervention by CBN has created jobs, improved on production, stable stand for the naira and further reduction in inflation rate. These will further signpost the gradual recovery of the economy from recession.

Inflation rate bucked the trend in March to fall to 17.26 per cent, its lowest level in eight months, driven by a slower rise in general price levels, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said. Inflation had risen to 18.72 per cent in January, its 12th monthly rise and its highest level in more than 11 years.

However, CBN in its Purchasing Manager’s Index for the month of April reported 51.1 index points in April 2017, indicating expansion in the manufacturing sector after three months of contraction. The PMI is based on five major indicators: new orders, inventory levels, production, supplier deliveries and the employment environment. It implies that the PMI has dropped by 3.4 index points to 47.7 index points in March 2017

According to the CBN, the Manufacturing PMI for the month of April 2017 shows recovery, production level growing faster; new orders and raw materials inventories growing from contraction; employment level is declining at a slower rate; while supplier delivery time is struggling to catch up.

With the drop in inflation rate ( which is expected to drop further to 16.8 per cent as predicted by experts), increase in production, the nation is expected to move out of recession amid interventions of CBN in the foreign exchange market. It will be recalled that the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) contracted in 2016 at negative 1.5 per cent in 2016, the first full-year contraction since 1991.

The CBN, Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, had expressed optimism that the present economic recession in the country would end by the end of June or latest by the third quarter of this year based on positive economic indicators. He said indicators is the downward trend in the parallel market as regards the value of naira against the dollar which has appreciated from as high as N525/$ to between N370 and N380 currently.

He listed other indicators to include reduction in the rate of inflation by the NBS, and the country’s foreign reserve that had also risen from over $27 billion at the beginning of the recession in June last year to $31 billion.

The acting director, corporate communication, CBN, Mr. Isaac Okorafor at the recent bankers committee meeting in Lagos said foreign exchange was among contributing factors for recession in 2016. He said, “foreign exchange crunch limited production last year. Oil flow was disrupted because of the Niger-Delta militancy and of course, the prices of oil dropped drastically.

“The question is how are these factors behaving now? There has been stability in the foreign exchange market and Niger-Delta region of the country. The price of global oil price has stabilized but not as we wanted it in the international market and we have significantly eased the problems of manufacturers and SMEs in the foreign exchange market.

“The CBN has eased off fraudulent demands and most importantly agriculture production has greatly improved attributable to the CBN’s Anchor Borrowers’ Programme and some others. The collective action of all these factors point to a direction of greater growth. Inflation has continued to drop and we believe that the nation’s economy is certainly on its way out of recession” he added.

Speaking to LEADERSHIP, managing director, Cowry Assets Management Limited, Mr. Johnson Chukwu said the Exporters/Investors Window trading horizontally at N379/$ has contributed to foreign exchange and the positive effect spreads across the money and capital markets.

He said, “liquidity has continued to improve with nearly all the critical sectors of the nation depending on it. We have seen improvement in the PMI given improve access to foreign exchange. We have seen improvement in consumers goods based on improved funds in the system.

“The improved intervention has affected basically as the aspect of the nation’s economy including creating more jobs, consumption and productivity. The lack of liquidity last year had contributed to negative GDP and with that corrected now, we should be out of recession soon.”

Chief executive officer at Enterprise Stockbrokers Plc, Rotimi Fakayejo explained that the uncertainty in the foreign exchange market has dropped attributable to CBN’s measures. “there has been good supply of funds In the economy with little contribution from foreign investors. Everybody is still skeptical about stable exchange rate.

There were speculation that it will get to N500/$ but with the CBN’s intervention, and consistency, I believe that with Oil production level maintained, CBN should be able to maintain foreign exchange intervention.

“To a great extent, the intervention is affecting inflow into the equities market. CBN is collapsing the rates and by the time we have two rates, we begin to see more positive impact on the economy. Now that the fiscal policy has come on board, we are going to see major impact of what the CBN has done vis-à-vis the exchange rate.

“Attraction of foreign direct investment will definitely lead to job creation. Industry been able to procure raw materials will enhance production and make people to keep their jobs,” he explained.

Nigeria: 47 Years After Civil War – Govt Begins Construction of Link Roads to Isolated A’Ibom Communities

By Emmanuel Ikora

Ikot Ukana — IKOT Ukana and other communities in Obot Akara Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State erupted in joy as Governor Udom Emmanuel commenced the construction of link roads. The communities have been isolated since Federal soldiers blew up the only bridge linking their villages with neighbouring Abia State during the Nigeria/Biafra war, which ended 47 years ago.

Bridge blown up by 3rd Marine Commando: The major bridge linking Obot Akara in Akwa Ibom State with Umuahia in Abia State was blown up by the then Third Marine Commando of the Nigerian Army led by the then commander and leader of the Nigerian troops, former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo.

The pains of the communities under the control of defunct Biafra started when the 3rd Marine Commando captured the area after blowing away the only bridge linking the communities with the rest of the country. Niger Delta Voice gathered that the bridge was blown up to prevent the advancing Biafra from accessing the communities.

The communities complained of outright neglect by successive military and civilian administrations even though they pay taxes and partake in all states and national elections.

Still haunted by war

A community leader, simply identified as Ettedung, lamented that “we are not treated like Nigerians. After the war, we are supposed to be treated as one Nigeria, but here, we are still haunted by the war that ended over 40 years ago.

“The federal military government, headed by General Yakubu Gowon (retd.) had assured massive reconstruction, rehabilitation and reconciliation, necessitating in the establishment of NYSC, but our community is left without any form of consideration.”

The Akpan Otoro of the community and former Deputy Governor of Akwa Ibom, Obong Chris Ekpenyong, also bemoaned that the people have remained without link roads and any form of development for years.


After Buhari… ?

With the president on medical leave again, ambitious figures are positioning themselves favourably for what might happen… Read more »

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