COVID-19: OPSN Close Ranks To Reboot The Economy


The Organised Private Sector of Nigeria (OPSN) made up of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME) and Nigerian Association of Small Scale Industrialists (NASSI), have agreed to work closely with the Ministry of Trade and Investment to reboot the economy in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

This resolve came to the  fore  at a virtual meeting with the Honorable Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo  on Thursday, 9th July, 2020.

The meeting was attended by the President of NACCIMA, who is also the current president of the OPSN; Hajiya Saratu Iya Aliyu; the President of MAN, Engr. Ahmed Mansur; President of NECA, Mr. Taiwo Adeniyi; and the President of NASME, Sir Orimadegun Agboade.

Otunba Adebayo affirmed that the private sector has an important role to play in the bid to restart the economy and assured the OPSN of his readiness, and that of his ministry, to work closely with the private sector in this regard. He announced that a series of stimulus packages will be made available soon to assist operators in the private sector. These include a N50billion Naira survival funds for MSME; and a N15billion Naira Guaranteed Uptake Scheme to save 500,000 jobs. He revealed that under some of these interventions, 40% of the funds will be reserved for women owned businesses.

The virtual meeting also discussed and agreed that the implementation of project and programmes under the Economy Sustainability Plan which was recently approved by National Executive Council will be in close cooperation with members of the OPSN.

In her earlier statement, the OPSN President Hajiya Saratu Iya Aliyu thanked the Minister for the opportunity given to the private sector to present its positions and requests. She called for closer ties between the OPSN and the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, especially as the country struggles to save and reboot the economy. She said that present situation truly presents an opportunity to diversify the economy and make it more self-reliant, and steps must be taken towards that goal. Other issues discussed at the meeting were Maritime Port Reforms; Appropriate Gas pricing; Special Economic Zones and Industrial Clusters, as well as stable and regular power supply.

The meeting agreed on a quarterly consultative meeting of the OPSN with the Minister as part of strategies to work closely with the private sector for the implementation of appropriate policies across all sectors of the economy to ensure desired impact.

ARCN Staff Support Prof Sharubutu, Want Detractors To Back-Off



ARCN Staff Protest
ARCN Staff Protest.

The staff and management of Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria, ARCN, have expressed their sentiments and support  at a solidarity rally held at the premises of ARCN  in Abuja recently.

,Addressing the crowd of workers who bore various placards with messages, Dr John Enesi-Edeki HOD Admin, noted that the new Executive Secretary has been busy righting several missteps of the establishment since assumption of office.

‘He has made great strides in restoring the image of the ARCN and this has positively impacted on all the institutes and colleges under the supervision of the council.

“The board is very comfortable with the council under the leadership of Prof Sharubutu, at this point, nothing can be done anymore to cover the grade’ A’ status of the parastatal which has been restored under the new executive secretary.

“We just want to agree with what the unions have said and being the director of administration, I know what they have said to be true and we appreciate you all. Enough is enough for negative happenings in this place,” Dr Enesi-Edeki said.

Uanimously passing a vote of confidence on the new Executive Secretary Prof Garba Sharubutu, the staff and management agreed that the ES has steered the establishment away from the culture of decadence and warned detractors to allow him peacefully deliver the mandate of the institution which is critical to national development.

On his part, Mr Aminu Abdullahi, Chairman of SSATHRURAI ARCN branch noted that selfish interests have bogged down the progress and expected impact from ARCN since inception, until the arrival of Prof Sharubutu.

“As a classified parastatal ‘A’, we are supposed to be at the same level with CBN and NNPC but rather everything has been going down based on selfish interests, staff don’t enjoy trainings and even the monitoring and evaluation which is our major mandate we were not performing it effectively as demanded.

“We have about 15 research institutes and 11 colleges of agriculture under ARCN which we are supposed to monitor and report on, but unfortunately there was always an excuse not to monitor and report on them despite monetary allocations for that purpose. We have been talking but only getting fake promises.

“Now we are fortunate enough to get Prof Sharubutu, who has the zeal to restore the image of ARCN, but his achievement has made detractors uncomfortable and they are busy writing baseless petitions because they want to return to their looting ways.

“Before now all these brand new project Hilux trucks were grounded due to vandalism and deliberate mismanagement, but the ES has come to say no to all those underhand dealings and has fixed all of them, that is why they are uneasy,” he said.

Mr Kayode Aiyedogbon, Chairman NASU in his remarks noted that all the petitions written by the detractors of the new ES, were very baseless because despite knowing the facts, they still wanted to bring down the person of Prof Sharubutu.

“Everything he has done here is in line with the extant rules and regulations; conforms to the constituted authority and he got a letter of approval upon his posting here before being recognised as an official of ARCN.

“The minister appointed him as a director here from the Federal University of Agriculture Markudi, it was while here as a director that he was given the acting appointment as ES until it transmuted into a substantive appointment. The moment they saw the giant strides, they felt threatened by his landmark achievements and that is why they started writing series of petitions against him. The saboteurs do not want the system to flourish, their personal interest is all they are after and that will eventually run the establishment aground if not checked.

“This place constitutes three major unions and we all came out en masse including our management staff to show to the detractors that we are in the majority and no one can come out to disprove all our claims on the achievement of Prof Sharubutu or counter our accusations against them.

“He is also a welfarist who has the interest of staff at heart and has proven it during this current lockdown caused by the pandemic by providing food items for all staff through the unions,” he said.

Aiyedogbon added that the track record of Prof Sharubutu’s genius in revenue generation and financial prudence was there for all to see at the Federal College of Animal Health in Vom Plateau state, where he bought tractors, vehicles and built structures for the institution through a company he created for them.

“He is the right person we want on board at this critical time in this establishment and staff members have even tagged him as ‘bulldozer’ and ‘messiah’ and we see him as that,” he said.

Also speaking on behalf of members of ASURI ARCN Branch, the Union Chairman Mr Ajah Francis stated that at inception ARCN was having enough money to spend on its mandate, but that changed all of a sudden due to mismanagement and staff became stagnated.

“The ES has brought in a lot of innovation. Before he came on board, we were being told that ARCN had no money, but what surprised me was that, immediately he came on board he started the extension building which will accommodate a lot of staff and better improve their productivity, so the question is, where is he getting this money from if others before him claimed that there was no money?” he queried.

Sustainable Trade in Donkey Skin Is Of Primary  Concern To NAQS – Isegbe

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Worried  by overexploitation of donkeys in the country, the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service, NAQS, is set to regularize trade in donkey skin  This move BusinessUpdate gathered is geared towards mitigatint the vulnerability of Nigerian donkeys and checking illicit trade in donkey skin across the nation’s borders.

The Director General of NAQS, Dr. Vincent Isegbe, said that ”the spate of mounting demands for donkey skins has fostered a ravenous underground market for the product, resulting in a relentless open season on the donkey population.”
Dr. Isegbe pointed out that it is ”sensible and critical to find the sweet spot between the extremes of doctrinaire preservation of donkeys which is ideal but impracticable and the unregulated, free-for-all exploitation of the donkeys which is profligate and irresponsible. This is a delicate balancing act that calls for the structuring and standardization of the value chain in other to maintain and restock the national herd population of donkeys by improved breeding, ranching and other innovative ways.”
Donkeys are globally recognized as an endangered species. Nigeria is a signatory to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). The country is, therefore, obligated to institute all reasonable safeguards to protect the surviving breeds of donkeys within her borders from the possible threat of biodiversity loss and extinction.
The global population of donkeys have suffered a collapse over the past decade. The impact of climate change is projected to aggravate their depletion. This has inspired conservationist efforts to promote their welfare.
In line with this trend, NAQS recently assessed the risk environment of the Nigerian donkeys and found it concerning. NAQS tabled its findings and recommendations on the developmental needs of donkey in 2017 before the National Council of Agriculture, the highest policy-making body on agriculture in the federation. It was on the basis of this report that the government designated donkey skin an export prohibition list item.
The Head, Animal Quarantine Department, NAQS, Dr. Abidodun Akinjo, said, ”Despite the prohibition, we noticed that there were considerable donkey skin transactions afoot. In the past three months, we have worked hard to disorient the network behind this illicit activity. We found out that foreign naturals were inducing and instigating this wanton depopulation of Nigerian donkeys. Donkey skins is a highly prized raw material in Asia. Knowing that Nigeria has good donkey numbers, they have spent time and resources to cultivate a loyal supply network which makes the overkill and delivers the donkey skin.”
Dr. Akinjo remarked that ”the sole interest of the donkey skin dealers is instant profiteering. Hence, they do not spare a thought beyond the exchange of money for donkey skin. Neither do they care about breeding donkeys to maintain the carrying capacity of the animals to ensure perpetuity of the goose that lays the golden eggs. The sourcing, transportation, slaughtering and flaying of the donkeys for export of its hide are dismal and unsafe. They are often conducted in ways that constitute environmental hazard and danger to public health. That is why the NAQS is embarking on joint special operations with the police across the country and at all interstate control posts to checkmate export-bound stockpiling of donkey skin”
The path forward must lead to the long-term viability of Nigerian donkeys. This requires formalizing the export trade in donkey skins, setting the code for management of the chain of custody and ensuring that traceability is obtainable at all points and from all angles of human interaction with donkeys. The Quarantine Service will engage all stakeholders as much as possible to achieve these fundamentals in order to make the export trade in donkey skin advantageous for everybody, including generations unborn.

Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS) is the national agricultural quarantine authority of the federation and the single point of command for all agricultural quarantine activities in Nigeria. NAQS is mandated to regulate and promote sanitary and phytosanitary measures related to the import and export of agricultural products. The Agency facilitates international trade for Nigerian agricultural commodities. It also ensures that Nigerian agricultural products intended for export meet international standards, particularly the requirements of the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC), the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and the requirements of the destination countries.

Nigeria Natural Resource Charter (NNRC) Tasks FG On More Commercially Focused NOC


Following the suboptimal performance of the national company in Nigeria, the Federal Government has been charged to urgently embark on complete overhaul of the country’s oil and gas sector, in particular the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) 1to make it both competitive and productive in line with international best practices.
The Nigeria Natural Resource Charter (NNRC), a non-profit policy institute, committed to effective natural resource governance in Nigeria made the call in a recent statement made available to BusinessUpdate.
According to the NNRC, the Federal Government should use the opportunity provided by the prevailing socio-economic situation nationally and globally to completely overhaul the oil and gas sector of the nation’s economy. particularly the (NNPC) to make it more productive and competitive al in line with international best practices.
Over the years, NNPC has consistently underperformed against the NNRCs global best practice benchmark for optimal national oil company performance which prescribes that national oil companies be accountable to their citizens and government, with well-defined mandates and an objective of commercial efficiency. However, the NNRC commends NNPC for its commitment to its TAPE agenda and its recent efforts to it by publishing the 2018 audited reports of its subsidiaries. Still, there remains a need for greater transparency and accountability. It is expected that these practices will survive the present administration and going forward become part of the corporate culture.
Holistic improvements across the NOC will require clear and appropriate decisions and role of the NOC and how it is financed, corporate governance systems that limit political interference and allow for efficient oversight, and a commitment to transparency and accountability. It is expected that the NOCs that will succeed in maximizing their potential enterprise value, and thus maximize their revenue contribution to the nation, will be those who succeed at building strong governance along with capital and operational excellence into their culture.
Comparing Norways Equinor and NNPC, performance records show that Equinors three refineries averaged 92.8% capacity utilisation in 2018 while NNPCs three refineries recorded 11.21%. A 2015 comparison of average refinery capacity utilisation in the USA of 90.98% and Nigeria of 4.88% is even worse. Unless NNPCs refineries can operate at minimum 90% capacity they will continue to lose money.

In the area of revenues accruing to government, NNPCs performance compared to Petrobras (of Brazil), or Petronas (of Malaysia) shows gross inefficiency. Even when benchmarked with similar national oil companies in Africa such as Sonatrach of Algeria and Sonagol of Angola, the NNPC still falls short on different counts.

Another area highlighted by the NNRC as a big challenge to the growth of the NNPC is the issue of corporate governance. It is noteworthy that peer group companies that are wholly government owned like the NNPC do have strong governing boards constituted by competent professionals, instead of preference for political representation. The NNPC is the only NOC with a serving government minister on its board. This brings unintended political baggage which impacts negatively on the smooth running of the organization.

Closely linked to governance, management and delivery is the concern for organizational flux. Compared to other NOCs the NNPC has had far more executive turnover.  Unlike Petronas where the average tenure of a CEO is 6 years, and 9 years in Saudi Aramco NNPC by contrast has had 20 GMDs in 42 years, an average tenure of 2 years per chief executive.

Reforming the Corporation, according to the NNRC requires new thinking and new strategies. It starts with the recognition that NNPC is not and was never designed, from the beginning, to be a commercially driven enterprise. Had it been so, it would have been capitalised, granted more operational autonomy and burdened with fewer regulatory functions as in the NNPC Act. Its governing board would reflect that of a commercial enterprise, even if government owned like Saudi Aramco, with fewer political appointees.

No doubt the Petroleum Industry Bill will be a good platform to remedy the deficiencies in particular as it goes to greater lengths to separate commercial entities from regulatory authorities, leaving the national oil company to focus on finding, producing and commercializing petroleum resources.

New SEC DG, Yuguda Assumes Office, Pledges Implementation Of Capital Market Masterplan

DG, SEC, Lamido Yuguda
DG, SEC, Lamido Yuguda
The Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, Mr. Lamido Yuguda has stated that the capital market has a lot of potentials for growth and development of Nigeria post COVID-19 and beyond.

The SEC DG said the capital market is a crucial component of any economy, as the SEC over the last two decades has worked with other relevant stakeholders to introduce and implement various initiatives targeted at improving the regulation and development of the market.

According to him, the capital market master plan launched in 2014, has the objective of positioning the capital market for an accelerated development of the national economy.

“Many of the plan’s initiatives have been successfully implemented while many others are Work in Progress in line with its objectives.

“Therefore, the continued implementation of the plan will be one of the major focus of the incoming management, while we also seek possible ways of strengthening it for enhanced impact. We would equally work towards improved market regulation, surveillance and general development.

He stated that in order to do this effectively, we will need to develop relevant capacities and foster collaboration in achieving our mandates.

Yuguda assured that the new management will work to the best of their abilities to uphold things on ground and consciously seek ways to improve them to the benefit of all stakeholders.

“Together we must set our sights on achieving those milestones that are capable of making the capital market a powerful engine of growth for the Nigerian economy, with God’s help and our collective resolve and dedication, we shall succeed” he added.

He further stated that investor protection would be at the centre of the initiatives of the new management warning that any operator that short-changes investors would not go Scott free.

“We want to assure investors that this market is for them and we are ready to do everything to ensure that we increase investor enlightenment through education, robust regulation and fair dealing”

“For those that want to defraud investors, there would be no respite because we are ready to fight market manipulation to the last, anyone that flouts our rules will be made to face the consequences of their actions ” he stated.

Outgoing Acting Director General, Ms Mary Uduk in her remark said the Commission has in the past few years undertaken key reforms and achieved some regulatory millstones and expressed the hope that the new management will build on achievements recorded so far.

According to her “In implementing the Commission’s mandate of regulating and developing the Nigerian capital market, most of our recent activities are guided by the Capital Market Master Plan (2015-2025).

“This is a 10-year plan with over 100 initiatives to position the capital market for an accelerated development of the national economy. It has an implementation governance structure (CAMMIC) to drive advocacy and ensure national buy-in. Through this, series of engagement have been made with many of the Plan’s initiatives achieved”.

Mr. Lamido Abubakar Yuguda obtained a B.Sc. (Honours) degree in Accounting in 1983 from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and an M.Sc. in Money, Banking and Finance in 1991 from the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom. He also holds a Certificate in Financial Asset Management and Engineering from the Swiss Finance Institute, Geneva, Switzerland and a Certificate in Investment Performance Management from the CFA Institute, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA.

He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and a holder of the CFA charter.

Mr. Yuguda has attended leadership training programmes at leading business schools including Harvard, INSEAD, IMD, Saïd, Wharton, Haas, Kellogg, Chicago Booth and London.

The new Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) brings to the Commission more than three decades of experience as a central banker, economist, and investment manager.

He began his career with Central Bank of Nigeria in 1984, and worked in several departments such as Foreign Operations, Banking Supervision and Reserve Management. He also served in the Debt Conversion Committee Secretariat where he managed the Nigerian Debt Conversion Programme together with the pioneer staff in the secretariat.
Yuguda resumed alongside the Executive Commissioners namely: Mr. Reginald Karawusa, Mr. Ibrahim Boyi and Mr. Dayo Obisan in Abuja, Monday.

COVID-19: Heritage Bank Shuts Branch For Disinfection

Heritage Bank Plc said it has closed down an Experience Centre- EC (branch) at Allen Avenue; Ikeja over “unconfirmed case” of Coronavirus for deep hygiene clean up after an employee took ill last week.

The bank in a statement made available to the press and customers, noted “in line with our emergency response plan and following regulatory practices, we have taken immediate steps to close down Allen Avenue, Ikeja Experience Centers- EC (branch) for thorough disinfections of the affected location.”

Contrary to rumour, the bank disclosed that whilst the suspected staff awaits her medical test from the Covid-19 Test Centre in Yaba, she had not exhibited any symptoms related to the virus.

“Neither of the suspected person or others in the EC had exhibited any symptoms,” the bank said in the statement.

Specifically, the bank stated that staff were advised to self-isolate for 14days forthwith which was in consonance with Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

The bank which stated that the EC will undergo “thorough disinfections,” further affirmed that, “Customers and staff safety remains paramount; hence we will recommence business with new set of relief employees, as the current staff self-isolate.”

In the interim, the statement advised customers, “please visit other ECs or branches in Ikeja where you can conduct your daily transactions. Otherwise, you can use our alternate e-channels for seamless service deliveries.

“Heritage Bank remains resolute to continually serve you seamlessly despite prohibitions imposed on physical contact through our bouquet of electronic products which have been made available on notable mobile stores and our website (”

The bank noted that it would continue to intensify ongoing efforts via its intranet and other channels to keep staff and customers up-to-date with the latest COVID-19 information and provide clear direction and guidance expected of workers and customers.

“We have setup a COVID-19 Support Centre to offer COVID-19 safety tips to all our customers during this period, in support of the efforts of the Government and relevant bodies. Please send any information relating to the COVID-19 pandemic via these channels: E-mail: and contact number: 01-2369099,” the bank stated.

SON Alerts On Substandard “Toyota” Brand of Engine Oil


Toyota Brand lubricant's
Toyota Brand lubricant’s
he Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has sounded a note of warning to Nigerian consumers on the proliferation of substandard lubricant in the country.

The agency noted that a particular brand of engine oil called Toyota engine oil is in the market and should not be patronised, warning that these products have not undergone any offshore conformity assessment.

The Director, Inspectorate and Compliance Directorate, SON, Engr. Obiora Manafa, at an enforcement exercise in Lagos, said further investigation revealed that these brand of products have no close or remote relationship with the real Toyota Vehicle manufacturing company, advising the unsuspecting consumers to always patronise only certified engine oils registered with SON.

In his words, “It is necessary we raised this red alert for the public to know what we discovered in the market and you know we carry out regular market survey activities across the country and we have 42 State offices across the country where we do these market survey in all the States. We discovered this brand of engine oil in the market, Toyota brand of engine oil and from our records, this brand of Toyota engine oil has not undergone any offshore conformity assessment process which we call SONCAP. It has not undergone the product registration process for traceability and quality verification, so it is necessary that we alert the public that as far SON is concerned, these products are substandard and we do not encourage anybody to buy it.”

He added “We do not encourage people to patronise these products because these are the kind of products that can cause engine damage to motor vehicles, machinery, generators and the likes. When engine oils are not subjected to test, you cannot vouch for the quality and you cannot recommend the oil for any vehicle or machinery and these are the engine oil that lacks the necessary quality additives  required of a good engine oil.”

According to him, the first quality of a good engine oil should help to facilitate friction, prevent sludges gathering in the engine and reduce leakages.

He said consumers should always look out for SON logos for locally made engine oils and SON registration numbers on imported engine oils.

He said these products have not met the requirement of the standard which is NIS 370 for engine oil, pointing out that efforts are already ongoing to apprehend the importer of these fake and substandard lubricant.

“We are appealing to Nigerians not to patronise these products

 because we cannot vouch for the quality.  We are also sending a stern warning to the importers of these fake products because we are going to apply the provisions of the SON Act 14 of 2015, where we are going to prosecute anybody we find importing these products and we would arrest them and prosecute them in line with the provisions of that act,” he stressed.

“We have mobilised our enforcement to fish out the importer of these products and definitely we are going to get them. We are also going to find where these products are stocked so that we can evacuate all of them and destroy them if they fail the quality test. We are going to subject these ones to test and see if they conform with the requirements of the standard,” he added. 

He said the standards body is working market associations to ensure that these products do not circulate in the nation’s markets while also announcing plans to find out where these products are being stocked.

“Our target is the warehouses where these goods are stocked so that we can evacuate them, because they go to these warehouses to supply into our markets. If we pick two to five cartons, it does not really make much impact, so we are looking at the source of supply while we are also working with the market associations to combat the ones in the cartons,” he said. 

“The Covid 19 is biting everyone very hard with everyone struggling to survive this difficult time, but when you now offer bad products to them it will only add to the pains they are going through. The damage of their vehicles will be too much for them to handle and we do not want this to happen. Whether Covid 19 or not, anybody importing these products will be arrested and prosecuted in line with the provisions of the Act,” he maintained.

He advised importers to stop bringing in substandard products and life threatening products such as electric cables, LPG cylinders, tyres and even building materials, advising importers and manufacturers to always visit SON for standards before producing or importing products.

“We do not disturb the activities of any importer who does the right thing, if you resister your products with SON nobody will disturb you and if you cannot visit our offices, you can reach us on our website to get any information you need from SON,” he said.

“We have different departments in SON and I will like to mention the laboratory services which are located in different parts of the country like in Lagos we have laboratories for food, chemistry situated in Ogba and Lekki while textile and leather services are in Kaduna. We have an engineering laboratory in Enugu where we test mechanical materials like steel bars, civil engineering materials such as cement, concrete and the likes. We also have equipment for calibration. The National Metrology Institute (NMI) in Enugu can do calibration and SON is equipped with all these laboratories and they are open for everybody,” he advised.

He advice consumers snd general public to avial information on substandard products to SON.

Manafa said all hands should be on deck fish out the bad element that want to tske undue advantage of the system

Ghana: NACCIMA Demands Compensation For Demolished Nigerian’s High Commission

The Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce Industry Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) has strongly criticized the recent demolition of the properties of the Nigerian High Commission in Accra, Ghana.

Ambassador Ayoola Olukanni
Director General, NACCIMA who stated the position of the group in Lagos, noted that the act is totally unwarranted and a flagrant violation of diplomatic and International Law with potential negative consequences for cordial political, trade and economic ties between Nigeria and Ghana.

“The Association is of the view that the act, which is also a violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations on the protection and inviolability of diplomatic premises, is shocking and most unexpected from a friendly nation like Ghana.

“NACCIMA is deeply concerned that an event like this is capable of hindering the economic ties between Nigeria and Ghana who are key members of ECOWAS and who play prominent roles in the private sector collaboration within the framework of the Federation of West African Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FEWACCI).”

He regretted that at the time FEWACCI is being led by Nigeria in the person of Hajia Saratu Iya Aliyu, is working hard to expand ties among the private sector in the sub-region to overcome the negative economic impact of COVID 19, was when Ghana took to the destruction of the property of the Nigerian high commission.

He said; “This is indeed sad, poisonous to business environment and Trade in West Africa.

“In present circumstances we call on the Government of Ghana to take action for effective, prompt and adequate compensation to the Government of Nigeria for compensation and reconstruction of the property.

“Similarly the issue of Nigerian traders who have been under continued harassment in recent times should also cease in the spirit of the ECOWAS and especially Trade Liberation in the Sub-region.”

Zenith Bank Ranked Number One Tier-1 Bank In Nigeria

Zenith Bank Plc has again emerged as the leading Bank in Nigeria by Tier-1 Capital in the 2020 Top 1000 World Banks Ranking published by The Banker Magazine. Climbing a whopping 29 spots from 415 in 2019 to 386 in the 2020 global ranking of banks, Zenith Bank retained its position as the number one Tier-1 bank in Nigeria with Tier-1 Capital of $2.79 billion, an increase of 16.1% on the $2.40 billion recorded in the 2019 rankings.

The ranking which was published in the July 2020 edition of The Banker Magazine of the Financial Times Group, United Kingdom, was based on the 2019 year-end Tier-1 capital of banks globally. According to the Ranking Report, Zenith Bank extended its lead over the second-placed bank in Nigeria. Zenith’s financial performance for the year was underpinned by a 29% increase in non-interest income, with an improved market share in both retail and corporate sectors.

Speaking on the latest rankings, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive, Mr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu said: “this ranking, which further attests to our market leadership, is the outcome of a well-thought-out strategy of always delighting and creating value for our teeming customers through a broad range of superior product offerings, best-in-class service and top-of-the-range technology”.

Tier 1 capital describes the capital adequacy of a bank, and it is the core measure of a bank’s financial strength from a regulator’s point of view. According to the ranking, Tier 1 Capital, as defined by the latest BIS guidelines, includes loss-absorbing capital, i.e. common stock, disclosed reserves, retained earnings and minority interests in the equity of subsidiaries that are less than wholly owned.

Zenith Bank has clearly distinguished itself in the Nigerian financial services industry through superior service quality, unique customer experience and sound financial indices. The bank, with a knack for setting the pace and raising benchmarks, is a clear leader in the digital space with several firsts in the deployment of innovative products, solutions and an assortment of alternative channels that ensure convenience, speed and safety of transactions.

As a testament to its resilience and market leadership, Zenith Bank announced an impressive result for the year ended December 31, 2019, with profit after tax (PAT) of N208.8 billion, achieving the feat as the first Nigerian Bank to cross the N200 billion mark. In the recently released Q1 2020 unaudited financial results, the bank also recorded an improved result over the corresponding period in 2019, with gross earnings rising by 6% to N166.8 billion and profit before tax (PBT) growing 3% to N58.8 billion.

Consistent with this excellent performance and in recognition of its track record of exceptional performance, Zenith Bank was ranked as the Best Commercial Bank in Nigeria 2019 by the World Finance and the Best Digital Bank in Nigeria 2019 by Agusto & Co. The bank was also voted as Bank of the Year and Best Bank in Retail Banking at the 2019 BusinessDay Banks and other Financial Institutions (BAFI) Awards. Most recently, the bank was recognized as the Most Valuable Banking Brand in Nigeria, for the third consecutive year, in the Banker Magazine “Top 500 Banking Brands 2020”, Best Bank in Nigeria in the Global Finance “World’s Best Banks Awards 2020” and the Bank of the Decade (People’s Choice) at the ThisDay Awards 2020.

Automation Will Ease Bottlenecks At Seaports –  Bello

The Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC),  Hassan Bello has commended  APM Terminals Apapa  for deploying new cargo handling equipment.

Bello, during a courtesy visit to NSC office in Lagos by  Mr. Klaus Laursen, Country Manager of APM Terminals explained that  current economic realities dictate that priority should be given to export.

 A press statement issued by Head, Public Relations of the Council, Rakiya Zubairu explained that while welcoming Mr. Laursen to Nigeria, the NSC boss suggested that export cargo should not attract storage charges and should be accelerated through the Terminals.

 He also informed the APMT Country Manager of the Council’s resolve to ensure that all terminals’ processes are fully automated and integrated with other port service providers’ and user’s before the year runs out. 

 Bello commended APMT’s collaboration with Nigerian Railway Corporation and barge operators in cargo delivery and evacuation.

 Responding, Mr. Laursen said congestion at the terminal is due to freight-forwarders not coming to clear their containers. This he said has resulted to the back up of ships on Nigeria’s territorial waters. 

On automation, Mr. Laursen said APMT plans to optimize haulage at its terminal by implementing an electronic platform for truck management.

With regard to export cargo, Laursen emphasised the need to have all  documentation including customs clearance before accessing the terminal.

He suggested that the Nigeria Railway Corporation advertise its services in order to increase patronage.