AfCFTA: MAN, SON Collaborate  On Prevention Of  Illegal Trade Deals

 

Nigeria-map-colour
Nigeria-map-colour

.The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, MAN and the Standards Organisation of Nigeria, SON have disclosed plans to work together towards  stemming illegal trade deals that may result from the signing of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, AFCFTA by Nigeria.

Speaking on the development, President of MAN, Engr. Mansur Ahmed stated that the agreement would open lots of opportunities for the Nigerian economy, but added that it comes with potential threats and challenges, where unscrupulous dealers in substandard goods would hide under it to bring in fake and substandard goods.
To address this challenge, he called on the present administration to empower SON in terms of human, technological and institutional capacity  in a bid to combat dumping post AfCFTA.
In his words, “I believe this creates a new demand for SON and other regulators to scale up their activities to prevent dumping. By doing this, we are not protecting the interest of only the Nigerian manufacturers, but the African manufacturers at large. It requires an even greater cooperation with stakeholders such as MAN. I believe this is what the agency is working on now and we will certainly support any effort in this regard.”
He further said, “SON has built capacity, they have incorporated new technology in their work, but also the challenges in the ports have increased and with the signing of the AfCFTA there will be more challenges that would be facing SON. I think returning SON to the ports is something we should look at.”
According to him, plans are ongoing to sign a comprehensive Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with SON, which would enable both parties to work more extensively, while also addressing issues confronting the manufacturing sector.
“The MoU would address all issues as they arise in a continuous basis, because it is not something we can do once and forget about, we will be interfacing SON continuously and therefore, we need to find a framework which will be provided by the MoU that will enable us to resolve issues as they come without creating challenges to operators or regulators,” he said.
He continued,“This is a meeting we should have had a very long time ago. The importance of this meeting to MAN is very clear where we now have a basis to understand the objective and requirements of SON with regards to ensuring continuous quality of products not just for the ones manufactured locally, but also imported, because this ensures a market that we can compete effectively. We have had for too long substandard goods being imported into the country which does lots of harm to our economy and specifically to our operations in the sector and I think with this kind of collaboration and cooperation with the regulator and the industry. I believe that the possibility of reducing the importation of substandard goods would be brought down to the barest minimum.”
Also speaking, the Director General, SON, Osita Aboloma, said the meeting was aimed at safeguarding the local manufacturers to achieve accelerated industrial development, saying that SON and MAN’s robust relationship have spun over the years.
He pointed out that the standards body is also working with MAN as a team to protect the manufacturing sector against the influx of substandard products.
He said going forward, any importer who abuse the import permit given to manufacturers to import raw materials and machinery for local production would be answerable to SON.
“Like every other sectors, there are bound to be bad eggs who take advantage of loopholes by importing finished products instead of raw materials and machinery. We have also agreed that anybody that takes advantage of this window to import finished products instead of raw materials that we have given concession to will be answerable to us in his personal capacity, he will no longer be sheltered under the concession given to MAN, ” Aboloma added.

“Import permit is different from SONCAP that is more rigorous for people to bring in goods into the country. So when you have permit to bring in machinery or raw material, but if you bring in finished products, it is illegal whether it is substandard or quality because you have already abused the system, you are not only taking advantage of it to bring in substandard products, but also shortchanging the federal government revenue to earn foreign exchange.  We  have perfected plans to sign an MoU to checkmate the lacuna, fashion out definite rules of engagement between SON and members of MAN,” he said.

SEC holds Q2 2019 CMC Meeting

SEC holds Q2 2019 CMC Meeting
SEC holds Q2 2019 CMC Meeting

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced that the Second Capital Market Committee (CMC) meeting in 2019 has been scheduled to hold on Thursday August 22 to Friday August 23, 2019 at the Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.

While the key stakeholders in the capital market will meet on August 22, members of the media would be briefed on August 23 on the outcome of the CMC meeting.

However, the SEC has advised that admission into the venue would be upon presentation of the CMC Identity Card and strictly by invitation.

According to the SEC, “Attendance to both events is strictly by invitation. Invited participants are expected to come with their identity cards to be admitted into the venue and all invited participants are expected to be seated by 9.45am,”

The CMC was mainly established to serve as a medium for exchange of ideas among market stakeholders as well as for feedback to SEC on how to continuously improve the market activities and regulation.

It is an industry-wide committee comprising members of the commission, representatives of capital market operators and trade groups and other stakeholders. The CMC meets every quarter to deliberate on various issues affecting the market and other policy matters.

During the meeting, issues bordering on implementation of the Ten Year Capital Market Master Plan as well as others relating to the capital market, Fintech Roadmap and the economy would be discussed and the outcome made known to the media.

The ten-year master plan for the Nigerian capital market which is expected to refocus the market and help double its size over time and grow the economy was unveiled November 2014.

Recall that the Commission has vigorously implemented some initiatives in the Master Plan with the aim of attracting more investors to the market.

Some of the initiatives, include direct cash settlement, regularisation of multiple subscription, dematerialization and e-Dividend Registration, as they promote transparency, protect and enhance investors’ confidence in the capital market.

The SEC therefore enjoins all shareholders to take advantage of the initiatives introduced in the capital market aimed, primarily, at strengthening the market and accelerating economic development.

This, SEC said is in consonance with the present administration’s economic strategy focused on deepening the capital market as a vehicle for encouraging a private sector-led economy with enhanced productivity.

Those who have been invited to attend the expanded session are Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of all registered capital market firms (i.e Broker Dealer, Capital Market Solicitors, Custodians, Fund Managers, Issuing Houses, Rating Agencies, Registrars, Reporting Accountants, Trustees, and Consultants, etc.);

Others are Chief Executive Officers of The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD), The Financial Markets Dealers Quotations (FMDQ), Africa Exchange Holdings (AFEX), Nigeria Commodity Exchange (NCX), Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS), Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS); as well as representatives of relevant Financial Services’ Agencies, among others.

 

Zenith Bank Introduces Upgraded Mobile Banking App.

Zenith-Bank-Plc
Zenith-Bank-Plc

Zenith Bank Plc. has upgraded its mobile banking application to ensure its services are more aptly suited for the lifestyle needs of its customers.

The upgraded mobile app has an improved user interface and more offerings such as QR payments, biometric sign-on for android users, and a help menu for prompt challenge resolution to guarantee a more rewarding bank experience.

Speaking on the launch of the new Mobile App, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive, Mr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu, said the new features were designed to ensure a truly amazing experience that will further create value for its teeming customers.

To download the Zenith mobile app, customers need to uninstall the former application to be able to install the new one. The Zenith mobile app is available for free download on the android and IOS app stores by following this link https://ww.zenithbank.com/smartlink.

Zenith Bank Plc is recognized as one of the most innovative financial institutions in Nigeria and was adjudged as the most customer- focused bank in Nigeria for the Retail and SME segments in the 2018 KPMG Annual Banking Industry Customer Satisfaction Survey (BICSS).

 

NDIC Warns On The Adoption of Crypto-Currencies

 

 

Umar Ibrahim
Umar Ibrahim

The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) Umaru Ibrahim has advised Nigerians to exercise maximum caution in the adoption of crypto-currencies as their preferred mode of financial transactions.

While acknowledging that various forms of digital currencies currently in operation have their positive and negative attributes, Alhaji Ibrahim insisted that those who patronize them risk losing their savings because the medium is largely unregulated and without  the backing or support from the traditional Central Banks in almost all financial jurisdictions.

The NDIC Boss handed down the warning during the courtesy visit by the Board and Management of the Corporation to the Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila in his office at the National Assembly Complex, in Abuja.

Earlier, in her opening remarks, Chairman of the Board of the Corporation, Mrs. Ronke Sokefun, informed the Speaker that the NDIC remained a critical player in the Nigerian financial safety net that had contributed immensely to the growth and stability of the nation’s financial sector in the 30 years of its operations using best practices. She added that recently the NDIC became the first public sector institution in Nigeria to be awarded three International Standard Organization (ISO) certifications simultaneously by the British Standards Institute (BSI) in view of its result oriented system, processes and procedures.

The Board Chairman solicited the assistance of the House in the passage of the NDIC Act Amendment Bill currently before the National Assembly.

Responding, the Speaker commended NDIC’s visit, describing it as a right step towards fostering harmonious working relationship with agencies in the executive arm of government.

On the issue of Crypto currency, he noted that as the entire world currently exploited ways of mainstreaming its use into the global financial landscape, NDIC and other safety-net participants in the country must not be left behind in the adoption of appropriate regulatory framework to deal with the prevalence of crypto currencies in the global financial space. added that only recently, there was a meeting of world leaders in Osaka, Japan to deliberate on the subject, the Hon. Speaker said

Responding to a specific request from the Board and Management of the Corporation, he assured that the House, under his leadership will ensure that the most appropriate Committee is assigned to handle the oversight functions of the Corporation.

 

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SEC

The Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC has restated its commitment to collaborate with relevant stakeholders to further develop and deepen the capital market.

The Ag. Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, Ms Mary Uduk stated this on the occasion of the visit of members of the association of Stockbroking Houses of Nigeria (ASHON) SEC in Abuja, weekend.

Uduk noted that a well-functioning capital market wasessential to Nigeria’s economic development, and to realise its full potential, the country must have a world class capital market that is strong, sustainable, effective, and plays a central role in economic development.

According to her, the SEC is open to suggestions and actions that would make the Capital Market vibrant but however added that such collaborative efforts would be with associations and persons that are fit and proper to operate in the market.

She said the SEC is willing to collaborate with the association to lift the market and re-position it among leading capital markets that meet international standards and best practices.

Uduk commended members of the group on their efforts so far in deepening the market especially for their support towards the financial literacy campaign of the SEC and assured them of the readiness of the commission to continue to work with them.

“It’s good that we work together to take our capital market to the height we want it to attain. We are ready to engage with you to give us clarity on several issues relating to the market.

“We are open to discussions that will benefit the market; the market is the most important in all our engagements.

Speaking earlier, Chairman of ASHON, Chief Onyewechukwu Ezeagu pledged the commitment of the group to the growth of the capital market adding that whatever is done to make the Market work is of concern to the association.

“We have always worked with SEC and will continue to do so and accord you all the co-operation you require to succeed” Ezeagu assured

On financial literacy, the ASHON Chairman said the group will continue to collaborate in every way possible to reach financial illiterates in the country.

 

9Mobile Looses As MTN Gained Over 2 Million New Internet Users In May -NCC

Nigeria has gained 3.12 million Internet users in May 2019, the latest monthly Internet subscribers data obtained from the Nigerian Communications Commission has shown.

However, this is lower than the number of new Internet users recorded by mobile network operators in April in which operators gained 3.6 million new users.

The statistics showed that overall Internet users rose to 122,624,417 in May from the 119,506,430 recorded in April, showing a 2.6 per cent growth in subscribers.

According to the data, Airtel, MTN and Globacom gained more Internet subscribers during the month under review, while 9mobile was the big loser and a major aspect that might have contributed their loss is the much complained about 9mobile data plan for internet users. Also, new Internet users were added on the 800 MHz spectrum owned by MTN.

The breakdown of the statistics revealed that MTN gained the most with 2,406,627 new Internet users, increasing its subscription in May to 52,433,020 from 50,026,393 recorded in April.

The data indicated that Airtel came second with 595,093 new Internet users in May, increasing its subscription to 31,932,750 in May as against 31,337,657 in April.

Also, Globacom gained 198,142 new Internet users in the month under review, increasing its subscription to 28,825,533 in May as against 28,627,391 recorded in April.

The NCC data further showed that 9mobile lost 90,866 Internet users in May and was left with 9,350,477 users in May as against 9,441,343 recorded in April.

The data revealed that 800Hz spectrum MTN got from Visafone recorded 82,637 Internet users in May as against 73,646 in April.

Meanwhile, the number of active subscribers to mobile network services in the country rose marginally by 21,491 in May 2019, the NCC data indicated.

The statistics further showed that while MTN, Airtel and Globacom gained new subscribers in the month of May, 9mobile lost some of its network users.

In April, the four mobile network operators had a total of 173,383,803 active users, which rose to 173,405,294 as of the end of May.

Further analysis of the data indicated that MTN added 80,524 new customers; Globacom gained 91,066 new subscribers; Airtel added 207,091 new users to its network; and 9mobile’s subscribers reduced by 356,826.

According to the NCC data, MTN remains the largest mobile network provider in the country by the number of subscribers, owning 37 per cent market share; it is followed by Globacom with 27 per cent market share.

Airtel is the third largest with 26 per cent market share and 9mobile holds nine per cent market share and the 800Hz Visafone spectrum has one per cent market share.

MTN: Best Mobile Network In Nigeria, Best In South Africa

MyBroadband Insights has released its 2019 Mobile Network Quality Report for the second quarter of the year. The data shows that MTN has been crowned as the best mobile network in South Africa once again.

With the help of 11 004 unique Speed Test users, MyBroadband conducted more than 330 000 speed tests through their Android Speed Test App between 1 April and 30 June 2019.

The research shows that South Africa had an average mobile download speed of 25.67 Mbps, up from 24.20Mbps in the previous quarter.

That is not bad, considering that the most recent Open Signal State of Mobile Network Experience report showed that South Africa’s average download speed is 15 Mbps (Megabits per second.)

Best mobile network in South Africa

The MyBroadband report shows that out of South Africa’s mobile service providers, MTN had the highest average download speed with 35.90 Mbps. South African are addicted to the network because of service like the very cheap MTN Data Plan and other services.

Vodacom was in second place with 29.76 Mbps, followed by Telkom with 23.07, and Rain with 17.91 Mbps. Cell C was last on the list, with only 17.32 Mbps.

The report also shows that there has been a significant increase in network performance from MTN, Vodacom and Telkom in 2019, thanks to the improved LTE coverage and HSPA availability in rural areas.

According to the report, Rain is the only operator that saw a dip in performance during the period from 1 April and 30 June 2019.

New Dangote Promo To Make 21 Million Cement Users Rich

In an unprecedented move to empower millions of its product consumers economically, leading cement manufacturer, Dangote Cement Plc yesterday launched a jumbo consumer promo tagged “Dangote Cement Bag of Goodies”, which is designed to produce 21 million winners across the country.

The promo, which runs between July and September in which prizes worth billions of Naira would be won, was formally unveiled to the media at a news briefing in Lagos. Lucky consumers are to win 43 cars, 24 tricycles, 24 motorcycles, 550 refrigerators, 400 television sets, 300,000 Dangote foods goodies packs and recharge cards for all networks worth N200,000,000.00

While unveiling the promo, the Group Managing Director of Dangote Cement Plc, Engr. Joseph Makoju, who was represented by the Group Executive Director of Dangote Industries Limited, Knut Ulvmoen said the company decided to run the biggest promo ever in Nigeria as a way of contributing to the economic wellbeing of the consumers of its products given the prevailing economic situation.

He said the promo is to reward valued consumers for their unflinching partnership in ensuring that our range of cement products remains today the first choice for construction purposes across the country, and added that the consumer promotion gives opportunities for existing and new consumers to get a step ahead of their struggle for economic emancipation by winning any of the give-away items which has economic value.

“We have made it so transparent that you don’t have to go through any raffle or draw associated with many other promotions in the country. You win instantly because what is revealed in the scratch card is what you win”, he stated.

Explaining why Dangote Cement launched such a humongous promo, Mr. Knut explained that Dangote Cement is the largest in Africa with the largest production capacity and therefore decided to reward the consumers in the biggest way ever experienced in the country. Mr. Aliko Dangote who is the richest man in Nigeria own Dangote cement, in fact, he became one of the richest people in the world through Dangote Cement.

In her presentation on the promo, Dangote Cement Marketing Director, Mrs. Funmi Sanni stated that “Consumers are at the heart of what we do; without them there is no business. Consumers are important and a fundamental factor of production without which production process is incomplete and our ability to remain in business becomes impossible.

“To grow our business, we must constantly create value in terms of quality product and service, competitive pricing and depositing in consumers’ emotional bank accounts in order to become their preferred choice of brand at the point of purchase.”

The Marketing Director said as a business, the management of Dangote Cement recognizes the importance of every member of its value chain, distributors; wholesalers; and retailers, “and as such we have invested in growing their businesses through various empowerment schemes.”

According to her, the new Dangote cement promo bags have been shipped to all distributors and sellers nationwide and therefore there is no fear of scarcity of the new cement product.

She added that “every promo bag of cement contains a scratch card carrying winning items carefully inserted in each bag. Consumers need to be educated to scratch gently so as not invalidate their wining card.” She disclosed that the promo cuts across all Dangote Cement’s brands which include 3X, Falcon and BlocMaster.

Mrs. Sanni explained that the consumer promo was in line with the mission of the company which is to touch the lives of the people by providing their basic needs, and pointed out that the consumer promotion is another huge investment to help the customers improve their rate of sales and make more profit while at the same time improve the consumers’ quality of life. “We are doing this for the sake of our consumers who have not really benefitted much from our previous promo.”

The promo was also endorsed by the National Lottery Regulatory Commission. The Deputy Director and Coordinator of the Lagos Liaison Office of the NLRC, Mrs. Nkiru Onuzulu said the promo had been approved and registered with the Commission and can assure that it would be transparent, free and fair all through the processes.

“I can assure you that what you win is what you will get because we are monitoring and regulating the promo, and given the calibre of the company running this promo which is Dangote Cement, there won’t be any undercut.”

Also attesting to the inherent transparency in the promo, President of Blockmakers Association of Nigeria, Alhaji Rasidi Adebowale said Dangote has done a lot of promos that benefited the blockmakers in the past where there was no issue. He said this cannot be an exception.

Osun set to disburse N615m soft loans to small businesses

Osun StateOsun State Government is set to begin the disbursement of over N615 million to micro and small businesses, General Manager of Osun Micro-credit Agency, Mr. Dayo Babaranti said at the weekend.

Babaranti added that the state had so far given out about N4.8 billion to about 28,000 residents to support their businesses.

He said the N615.150 million received from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is a part payment from the N2 billion revolving Micro Small Medium Enterprise Development Fund (MSMEDF) loan being given to states by the apex bank.

Babaranti, who spoke in his office in Osogbo, the state capital, added that since 2014, the Federal Government, through the CBN, had been releasing intervention funds (MSMEDF) to support socio-economic activities in states.

The General Manager said the N4.8 billion received through the CBN microcredit scheme was disbursed to citizens as soft loans to support small businesses.

According to him, Osun was rated first among the 36 benefiting states of the CBN’s MSMEDF because of its promptness and diligence in repayment and for using the funds for the primary purpose it was meant.

Speaking on the terms and conditions for accessing the loan, Babaranti said the agency had maintained simple and bearable requirements for the citizens, adding that the scheme had helped to rekindle the hope among the citizens who were unable to meet the condition to obtain loans from commercial banks.

He said: “This scheme has been really helpful in boosting socio-economic activities in the state as thousands of people have benefited from it. Our state has received N4.8 billion since the intervention of the CBN on MSMEDF began in 2014, and so far so good, over 28,000 people have benefited from this scheme.

“We have recorded over 70 per cent repayment by beneficiaries. We divide our lending scheme into three categories to accommodate all sectors and these include: individual lending, group lending and SME lending. The maximum amount individual lenders can benefit from this agency isN500,000 and this must be paid back within one year.

“We are empowered to give from zero to N5 million to those who are operating Small and Medium Enterprise, while those under the umbrella of co-operative or group can access limitless funds depending on the strength of their membership.”

“This scheme has helped our people to expand the scope of their businesses, reduce unemployment, eradicate poverty, banish hunger and create a sense of belonging for all. It has helped to improve on the capital of the participating microfinance banks, which has translated into increased sales volume.

“We have made significant improvement on the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the state through tax payments from the income earned by the beneficiaries. Through this scheme, the nine per cent interest of the facility has forced all microfinance banks in the state to review downwards their hitherto high-interest rates.”