Category : Economy

Business / Economy - 4 weeks ago

‘Pesticides affecting farmers’ produce

A consultant to the World Bank, Prof. Abel Ogunwale, has urged government to take steps to control the flow of chemical pesticides to save agribusiness from financial losses. Ogunwale said farmers who use pesticides or fertiliser on their crops risk reduced yield or their produce being damaged or destroyed. Pesticides are chemicals used in agriculture to control pests, they are among the range of measures farmers take to protect their crops. Ogunwale said the use of substandard, fake and counterfeit pesticides has serious implications for farmers, saying such agro-chemicals not only fail to take care of pests, but also inflict damage on crops and the environment. They also result in losses to farmers because of lower yields. Aside from revenue loss, Ogunwale said substandard pesticides have negative consequences for end users as well. According to Ogunwale, fertile lands require special care to ensure high productivity, resistance to pests and diseases, and maintenance of the soil biodiversity. He urged the government to step up efforts to properly regulate the sale and distribution of farming inputs used for soil fertility and pest control.

Business / Economy - 4 weeks ago

AIICO gets Executive Director

The Board of Directors of AIICO Insurance Plc has appointed Mr. Olusola Ajayi as Executive Director, its Head, Strategic Marketing & Communications Department, Segun Olalandu, announced in Lagos. In a statement, he said it follows the approval of the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM). Olusola is an experienced business leader with over fifteen years’ leadership positions in management consulting and insurance in Nigeria and the United Kingdom. He joined AIICO in 2009 as head of the Business Strategy and Transformation teams. In 2013, ‘Sola assumed leadership of the retail life insurance business, and has led the transformation of the agency business, by deploying cutting-edge solutions and enabling capabilities which has resulted in significant growth in the company’s annual premiums and asset under management (AUM). Prior to joining AIICO, he worked at the prestigious consulting firm Accenture (Lagos) in the Financial Services market unit, before joining Deloitte Consulting (London, UK). As a business consultant in both firms, he supported/led business transformation initiatives in Strategy, Process Optimisation and Technology Deployments. In this new position, he will oversee the group retail division, with a mandate to drive growth across the group retail businesses a...

Business / Economy - 4 weeks ago

Recap: NAICOM seeks palliatives from NSE, others

Ahead the recapitalisation of the insurance companies, the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has started engaging with stakeholders to ensure a hitch-free exercise, reports Omobola Tolu-Kusimo. The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) is engaging other relevant regulatory bodies and agencies of government in the financial services sector for palliatives that will reduce the cost of recapitalisation on companies, the Acting Commissioner for Insurance, Mr. Sunday Thomas, has said. Thomas, who spoke with reporters, said the response from the relevant regulatory bodies and agencies, which include the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), was good. He said the exercise was going on smoothly and that the Commission would do all that is necessary to make it a success. He said insurance firms have submitted their recapitalisation plans and it has been good. He urged sustained efforts by the firms at earlier completion of the plans. He expressed satisfaction that at the end of the exercise, the industry would have been transformed. He reiterated that with a contribution by the industry to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at less than one per cent, it has underperformed its potential, especially when compared with other sectors in the financial services industry. He said: “In the...

Business / Economy - 4 weeks ago

‘Maritime reforms to encourage FDI’

The Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside, has said the Federal Government’s policies in the maritime industry were targeted at encouraging Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the sector. While addressing delegates at the West African Shipping Summit, a side event of the ongoing London International Shipping Week, he said the country will set up an International Maritime Arbitration Centre in Lagos, to facilitate the timely resolution of disputes within the Gulf of Guinea area. This, according to him, will significantly reduce the current trend where maritime players in the region head to London, Dubai or Singapore for arbitration on maritime issues. He assured the key players in the global maritime industry that the reforms in the maritime sector were opening up opportunities and invited investors to take advantage of the opportunities. He said: “I believe that the Nigerian maritime environment has the largest potential. With a population of about 200 million, which represents over half of the entire population of West Africa, potentials in shipbuilding and ship repair are available.”

Business / Economy - 4 weeks ago

Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross wins awards

The Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross, launched last year, has started on a brighter note, winning nine awards so far.  The Eclipse Cross, designed by the Japanese automaker, Mitsubishi Motors, to join its global line-up of crossover SUVs: the ASX compact SUV and the Outlander. Sold in over 100 countries, the impressive array of honours from all around the world is due to its technical abilities, design, and safety features. The Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross was won the “Car of the Year in Russia – 2019” during the national award. It was named as the best “Compact SUV” in one of the most highly competitive categories. “Car of the Year in Russia” is judged by a public vote and is the largest survey of its kind in the world, with more than a million people voting for their favourites. The votes are independently verified by research company IpsosComcon. The Eclipse Cross crossover SUV was selected as the “RJC Car of the Year 2019” run by the Automotive Researchers’ & Journalists’ Conference of Japan (RJC). In 2018, the car earned the highest safety rating according to the independent European organisation Euro NCAP and was also awarded by the Nigeria Automotive Journalists Association (NAJA) as the Outstanding SUV design of the year...

Business / Economy - 4 weeks ago

G7 okays $251m for African women

Leaders of the G7 nations have approved $251 million in support of the African Development Bank (AfDB’s) Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) initiative to support women entrepreneurs in Africa. AFAWA aims to raise up to $5 billion for women entrepreneurs while AfDB will provide $1 billion financing. The risk-sharing mechanism used by AFAWA is a practical approach to international commitments. AFAWA was adopted during a summit of African Heads of State in 2015 and assigned to the AfDB for implementation. The cash was announced at the G7 Summit in Biarritz, France. French President/current G7 president, Emmanuel Macron said: “I am particularly proud, as the current G7 president that the programme we are supporting today, the AFAWA initiative, comes from an African organisation, the AfDB, which works with African guarantee funds and a network of African banks.” AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina lauded the “extraordinary support of all the G7 heads of state and government, which will provide incredible momentum” to the AFAWA programme. “This is a great day for African women. Investing in women entrepreneurs in Africa is important, because women are not only Africa’s future, they are Africa’s present,” he said.

Business / Economy - 4 weeks ago

No going back on national carrier, says Sirika

The Transaction Advisers for the establishment of a national carrier, Air Nigeria, have concluded their research and are set to submit the outcome of their research to the Federal Government. The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, who spoke in Abuja during a meeting with executive officers of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association at the weekend also assured that plans for the country to have its own national carrier remains on the front burner. He said budgetary provision has been made by the Federal Government for the construction of a second runway at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja.He spoke  in Abuja “Regarding the second runway for Abuja airport and national carrier, it is becoming practically the major questions that everyone ask me whenever they see me. “Every Nigerian is asking for the national carrier and every professional is asking for the second runway. “Well, to tell you, the second runway project is in the budget and it will be procured by God’s grace. The national carrier is in the pipeline and in the next one hour,  I will be meeting with the transaction advisers. They are in town and they have concluded their baseline studies and we are moving to the next stage. So that is also on course.” &

Business / Economy - 4 weeks ago

OPEC projects 3.1% global economic growth

The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has projected a 3.1 per cent growth in global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) next year, from the expected 3.0 per cent by the end of this year. In its September 2019 Monthly Oil Market Report (MOMR), it said after two years of relatively high growth levels, global GDP growth was forecast to stabilise at 3.0 per cent this year and to rise to 3.1 per cent next year. According to the report, the projection constitutes sound growth with ongoing solid oil demand, given the many uncertainties that derive mainly from the political arena. It noted that ongoing trade dispute between the United States (U.S.) and China, Brexit and a slow-down in Germany loom large in the European Union (EU), the sovereign debt crisis in Argentina is dampening Latin American growth, and ongoing structural challenges in India are leading the economy to significantly lower output. However, OPEC said upside to the current forecast could come from an agreement on trade-related issues between the U.S. and its trading partners considering that trade was a substantial support factor for above-average global growth in the past two years. Furthermore, a soft Brexit, toning down of geo-political tensions and stabilisation in those economies that face fiscal challe...

Business / Economy - 4 weeks ago

Investors upbeat as equities rally N316b gains

Investors showed improved appetite for Nigerian equities in the immediate past week as attractive valuations, reduced political risk and improved macroeconomic direction spurred a broad-based bargain-hunting for quoted shares. Benchmark indices for the Nigerian equities market showed average gain of 2.33 per cent at the weekend, equivalent to net capital gains of N307.7 billion for the week. However, the listing of additional shares by Stanbic IBTC Holdings lifted the total increase in market value of quoted equities to N316 billion at the weekend. The sustained rally coincided with the Wednesday September 11, 2019’s decision of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal affirming the election of President Muhammadu Buhari. Total market value of quoted equities rebounded with net gain of N52 billion on Wednesday, rose further by N141 billion on Thursday and capped the rally with a net gain of N172 billion on Friday. Many analysts had said investors might have interpreted the decision of the presidential election tribunal as a sign of stability that gives clearer direction of the macroeconomic direction, notwithstanding the discontent in the opposition camp and possible appeal to the Supreme Court. The rally, the highest in recent weeks, moderated the negative average year-...

Business / Economy - 4 weeks ago

NSIA Insurance announces ISO 9001:2015 recertification

NSIA Insurance has announced the successful completion of its 2019 ISO Surveillance Audit by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON). Head of Internal Audit and Quality Coordinator at NSIA Insurance, Udo Okeke in her statement  to reporters, said this year’s surveillance audit was conducted in the month of May across five of the 10 NSIA Insurance locations within the country. According to him, due to the consistency in compliance to the ISO Standards and the excellent quality of service provided to clients in the locations visited, the company and all its branches were recommended for continued certification. He stated that the company was awarded the ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System Certification in May 2018. He said: “This certification was achieved due to the successful implementation of the Quality Management System and priority for customer satisfaction. This has ensured that all processes within the organisation are standardised to meet best practices. “It is worthy to note that this certification aligns with NSIA Insurance’s drive for excellence.  This is an exciting milestone for us as it speaks to one of our core values – Professionalism. We are optimistic that this recertification will improve client satisfaction and perception of our business by stakeholders...

Business / Economy - 4 weeks ago

PenCom fines defaulting employers N7.79b

The National Pension Commission (PenCom) has collected N7.79 billion from employers that defaulted in remitting pension contribtutions deducted from their employees’ Retirement Savings Account (RSAs). The cash which is the total recoveries made from inception of the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS)  to date, represents two per cent interest of the amount deducted and not remitted by the employers as and when due. Accordingly, total recoveries made from inception to date amounted to N16.01 billion, comprising principal contributions of N8.22 billion and penalty N7.79 billion. The cash, according to a PenCom report titled: Second Quarter 2019: Update on the Recovery of Outstanding Pension Contributions and Interest Penalty from Defaulting Employers, has since been credited to the respective pension accounts (Retirement Savings Accounts) of the affected employees. The Pension Reform Act (PRA) 2004 as repealed by the PRA 2014 states that an employer is under obligation to remit pension contributions to pension fund custodians within seven days after payment of salaries. Otherwise, in addition to making the remittance, the employer shall be liable to a penalty which shall not be less than two per cent of the total contributions that remain unpaid for each month or part of each month...

Business / Economy - 4 weeks ago

NSE places red alert on 51 deficient companies

THE Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) has placed cautionary red alert on 51 quoted companies that failed to comply fully with the comprehensive listing and corporate governance standards at the stock market. The deficient companies represent about 31 per cent of the total number of quoted companies in the country. A regulatory report obtained at the weekend flagged the deficient companies with warning codes that indicated various degrees of corporate governance weaknesses,  susceptibility to illiquidity and price manipulation due to inadequate price discovery. Some of the stocks were also on delisting watchlist of the NSE. The Compliance Status Indicator (CSI) report of the NSE uses three-letter codes to mark out companies that fall below the post-listing requirements as part of the full disclosure and transparency policies at the Exchange, thus providing investors dealing in such stocks foreknowledge of inherent weaknesses in such stocks. A review of the report showed that the deficient companies were generally in three broad categories; companies with recurring multiple deficiencies, companies that failed to submit their financial statements within stipulated timeline and companies with unhealthy concentration of shares in the hands of major investors. Under the rules of the NSE an...

Business / Economy - 4 weeks ago

VAT increase to generate additional N479.7b revenues

The proposed 7.2 per cent Value Added Tax (VAT) proposal by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) is expected to generate additional N479.7 billion in revenues based on the N1.1 trillion collected in 2018, analysts at Afrinvest West Africa, have said. They explained that based on the sharing formula, the Federal Government is to receive additional N72 billion (15 per cent), states to receive N239.8 billion (50 per cent) and local governments to get N167.9 billion (35 per cent) upon implementation. “While the states would receive a significant boost, the increase is unlikely to make a dent on Federal Govern-ment’s fiscal deficit which we estimate at N3.4 trillion in 2019. We believe the Federal Government requires a significant revenue boost, which would come elsewhere. Our analysis shows that removing petrol subsidies and adopting a market reflective exchange rate of N360/$1 for the computation of oil receipts would increase Federal Government’s revenue by N880 billion,” they said. They added that the new VAT rate will also help government in the payment of the N30,000 per month minimum wage for workers. The Federal Executive Council (FEC) recently approved an increase in the Value Added Tax (VAT) rate to 7.2 per cent from the initial five per cent established since January 1, 1994...

Business / Economy - 4 weeks ago

How fake, substandard goods stall growth, efficiency

Nigeria is a dumping ground for all manner of goods because of poor monitoring by regulatory agencies and porous borders. Government agencies set up to check the influx of fake and sub-standard products grapple with weak regulatory environment and dearth of infrastructure. Analysts have put the percentage of fake products in the country at 40 per cent, noting that the building and housing sector seem the worst hit. They attribute building collapse, fire and other incidences in homes and offices to fake and substandard products. OKWY IROEGBU-CHIKEZIE reports The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) is the Federal Government’s agency vested with the responsibility of standardising and regulating the quality of products. It has the powers to  seize, confiscate and destroy of sub-standard products, including the power to seal off premises where defective products are made, stored or sold. Nigeria is believed  to be losing about N15 billion yearly to fake or counterfeit goods through loss of revenue that should have accrued to the government, loss of income by local manufacturers and loss of jobs. The easiest way to appreciate the damage being done is how the characteristics of authentic products are disappearing as the day goes by in the country. Fake and substandard goods...

Business / Economy - 4 weeks ago

PZ Cussons makes case for resilient digital system

British manufacturer of personal healthcare products and consumer goods PZ Cusson  at the weekend, said it has a strong digital system that is able to detect any fraudulent act on its social media handles. Speaking at a press parley to unveil Cussons Baby Moment competition, its Marketing Head, Charles Nnochiri, said the competition has a solid terms and conditions  (T&C) that are to be stictly adhered to by all participants. The star winner goes home with N1miilion;  first runner up gets N750,000 while second runner up gets N500, 000.  Others will go home with the PZ Cusson Baby gift pack, He said: “There is a solid terms and conditions for being part of this competition and we have seen in the last five years that some people will illegally want to sum up their points and those with very good Information technology skills will  try to do that. So we are ready as we have a very strong firewall from our digital team. So if any one goes against the T&Cs, the participant will be disqualified. We would make sure that anyone who emerges the winner will really be worth it. It’s a competition for the family but the babies are the major participants and both parents must give their consents.” Its Brand Development and Activation Manager, Oluwabusayo John,  the...

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