FMDQ Group Launches Africa’s Prime Green Exchange


FMDQ Exchange
FMDQ Exchange

The FMDQ Goup on has launched Africa’s first greexn exchange known as the FMDQ Green Exchange to promote economic development through green and sustainable financing.
Chief Executive Officer of FMDQ Group, Bola Onadele, at the hybrid launch ceremony in Lagos, Monday, described the event as a milestone achievement.

Onadele while noting that the biggest risk facing the world was climate change insisted sustainable financing is vital for economic sustainability.

“With climate change becoming one of the biggest risk facing the world today, and in recognition of a great need to promote economic development in Nigeria through green and sustainable finance, FMDQ Group considers it pertinent to launch the green exchange initiative.

“The first in Africa to provide an information platform dedicated to promoting transparency, good governance and the growth of green and sustainable finance in the Nigerian financial market.

“The launch of the FMDQ Green Exchange is a milestone which will contribute to not just Nigeria but Africa’s achievement in our endeavours toward achieving the global climate goals defined in the Paris Climate Agreement and in the UN’s SDGs.

“FMDQ Group recognises the imperative role it plays in the Nigerian financial market and the opportunities its business represents in its ability to promote sustainable economic growth and development.

“As such, understands that the delivery of long-term business success, value creation and prosperity, is not only hinged on financial but also environmental and social performance.

“It is in accordance with this, that the FMDQ Group, through its subsidiaries has continued to take the lead in championing green and sustainable finances in the Nigerian financial markets,” he said.

Onadele appreciated the Lagos State Government for commitment to the green and sustainable finance drive in the state and Nigeria.

He also commended the Federal Government,  Access Bank Plc and North South Power Ltd  the pioneer issuers of green bond in Nigeria.

The Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, in his address said that green, blue and sustainable financing would help to address climate change effects.

Sanwo-Olu represented by the Special Adviser on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Investments, Mrs Solape Hammond, said that the launch was a major step in the right direction for mainstreaming financing in Nigeria and Africa.

He said the world’s first green bond was issued by the World Bank in 2008 and has continued to grow, but the Green Exchange in Luxembourg was not created until 2016.

Sanwo-Olu added that Luxembourg Stock Exchange (LuxSE) had since become the world’s leading platform for sustainable securities issuing about 50 per cent of green securities.

“Nigeria is committed to the SDGs, to achieve this and other lofty goals, funding is required in excess of what the public sector can generate.

“Public funding alone cannot suffice and private capital needs to be mobilised to reach the objectives in the Paris Climate Agreement and the UN SDGs.

“The financial sector will, therefore, play a vital role in accelerating the local markets ability to provide the required support,” he said.

According to him, FMDQ is creating and embracing the opportunities inherent in expanding green, blue and other social sustainability funding options as alternative sources of finance for projects and assets not just in Lagos State but across Africa.

Sanwo-Olu said that Lagos generated in excess of 14 million metric tonnes of wastes annually estimated to be about 11 tonnes per day, comprising mostly of plastics, liquid and organic wastes out of which 65 per cent ends up in the biggest dump site at Olusosun, Ikeja.

The Director-General, the Debt Management Office (DMO), Ms Patience Oniha, in her goodwill message, said that the DMO had been associated with FMDQ from inception and was impressed with the progress achieved so far, in the areas of innovation and price discovery, among others.

Oniha commended FMDQ for initiatives aimed at developing the country’s capital market.

“It means we have to raise funds in our own case. Revenues will be there but we may also need to borrow to finance those projects and this means that we will be issuing securities that comply with those requirements. It means that our initial activity, the domestic green bond market, should increase.

While we have a total of N25.69 million outstanding, we still plan to be in the market sometime next year.

“Going forward, the Federal Government would be an active issuer in the FMDQ Green Exchange and what we need to do is to do a lot of sensitisation to make those projects approved and the funding arrangement,” Oniha said.

Kyari Wins “The Sun Man of The Year” Award …..Pledges Transparency Accountablity To Nigerians  

Kyari Wins “The Sun Man of The Year” Award .....Plrdges Transparency Accountablityto Nigerians  
Kyari Wins “The Sun Man of The Year” Award
…..Plrdges Transparency Accountablityto Nigerians

In yet another recognition of his efforts since becoming the GMD/CEO of the NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari has been honoured with the “The Sun Man of The Year Award”, the biggest recognition by The Sun Publishing Comapany Ltd, publishers of The Sun Newspaper titles.
Kyari received the award in a ceremony attended by eminent Nigerians at the Eko Hotel & Suites, Lagos on Saturday. They include the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Ambassador Babagana Kingibe; Kano State Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, Ondo State Governor Rotimi Akeredolu; Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki; Former Abia State Governor Orji Uzor Kalu; captains of industries and seasoned public servants.
Speaking on the award, the Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief of The Sun Publishing Newspapers Ltd, Mr. Onuoha Ukeh said Mr. Mele Kyari was honoured for his doggedness and resilience in the way he managed the operations of the NNPC during the COVID-19 pandemic last year, which saw the economies of many countries across the word struggling for survival.
Explaining further, Ukeh said: “Take Mele Kyari and dissect. In addition to the record breaking N287bn profits posted for 2020, the best since inception 44 years, the NNPC which he heads published the Audited Financial Statements (AFS). It was trailblazing and a whiff of good fortune in a beleaguered entity and time.”
In his response, the GMD/CEO NNPC stated that the NNPC remains ever committed to conducting its operations with transparency and accountability.
He attributed the successes recorded by the Management Team of the NNPC to the freehand and support accorded him by Mr. President who has never interfered in the affairs of the NNPC.
“What we have done in recent years is to ensure that we take out all the opaqueness in NNPC. We also ensured that we represent Nigerians and work for them,” the GMD/CEO added.
While thanking the publishers of the newspaper for finding him worthy of the award, Kyari described the honour as a huge responsibility and a privilege which will spur him to do more for the benefit of the over 200 million Nigerians.
Mallam Kyari was accompanied to the event by some members of his Management Team namely; the Group Executive Director (GED) Finance & Accounts, Mr. Umar Ajiya; GED Upstream, Engr. Adokiye Tombomieye; GED Gas & Power, Mr. Mohammed Ahmed; GED Ventures & Business Development, Sir Billy Okoye; Group General Manager, National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS), Mr. Bala Wunti; MD, Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), Mohammed Ali-Zara and MD, Integrated Data Services Ltd (IDSL), Mr. Marcel Amu.

Zenith Bank Records 5% Gross Earnings Growth At N696.5 bn



Zenith Bank Plc has announced an impressive result for the year ended December 31, 202.growing gross earnings  by 5 per cent  for the year ended December 31, 2020.

The bank’s gross esrnings for the period ended December 31, 2020 xwhich stood at N696.5 billion was up from N662.3 billion reported in the previous year. A feat which  was achieved in spite of the challenging macroeconomic environment exacerbated by the COVID- 19 pandemic.

According to the bank’s audited financial results for the 2020 financial year presented to the Nigeria Stock Exchange, NSE,  Tuesday, the Group recorded 8 per cent growth in non-interest income from N232.1 billion in 2019 to N251.7 billion in 2020 and a 1 per cent increase in interest income from N415.6 billion in 2019 to N420.8 billion in 2020.

The Bank’s Profit before tax also most bed up by 5 per cent, from N243.3 billion to N255.9 billion in the current year. The increase arose from a combination of growth in the topline and a significant reduction in interest expense.  Interest expense reduced from N148.5 billion in 2019 to N121.1 billion in 2020, significantly increasing the net interest income from N267.0 billion in 2019 to N299.7 billion in 2020.

The Group’s increased retail activities translated to a corresponding increase in retail deposits and loans. Thus, retail deposits grew by N612.7 billion from N1.11 trillion to N1.72 trillion year-on-year (YoY), while savings balances significantly grew by 88 per cent YoY and closed at N1.16 trillion. This retail drive, coupled with the low-interest yield environment, helped reduce the cost of funding from 3.0 per cent to 2.1 per cent and also reduced interest expense.

However, the low-interest environment also affected the net interest margin, which declined from 8.2 per cent to 7.9 per cent in the current year due to the re-pricing of interest-bearing assets. Operating costs grew by 10 per cent YoY but are still tracking well below inflation which at the end of the year stood at 15.75 per cent.

Although returns on equity and assets also reduced from 23.8 per cent to 22.4 per cent and from 3.4 per cent to 3.1 per cent, respectively, the Group still delivered improved Earnings per Share (EPS), which grew 10 per cent from N6.65 to N7.34 in the current year.

The Group also increased corporate customer deposits, which alongside the growth in retail deposits, delivered total deposit growth of 25 per cent, to close at N5.34 trillion, driving growth in market share. Total assets also increased significantly by 34 per cent, from N6.35 trillion to N8.48 trillion.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated challenges, the Group managed to create new viable risk assets as gross loans grew by 19 per cent, from N2.46 trillion to N2.92 trillion. This was achieved while maintaining a stable and low overall NPL ratio of 4.29 per cent (2019: 4.3 per cent) across the entire portfolio and an increase in the cost of risk from 1.1 per cent to 1.5 per cent, reflecting the elevated risk environment in 2020.

The Group recorded impressive liquidity and capital adequacy ratios of 66.2 per cent and 23.0 per cent and remained above regulatory thresholds of 30 per cent and 15 per cent, respectively.

In a demonstration of its commitment to its shareholders, the bank has announced a proposed final dividend payout of N2.70 per share, bringing the total dividend to N3.00 per share.

As a testament to this superlative performance and in recognition of its track record of excellent performance, Zenith Bank was voted as Bank of the Year (Nigeria) in The Banker’s Bank of the Year Awards 2020, Best Bank in Nigeria in the Global Finance World’s Best Banks Awards 2020 and Best Corporate Governance ‘Financial Services’ Africa 2020 by the Ethical Boardroom.

Also, the bank emerged as the Most Valuable Banking Brand in Nigeria, for the fourth consecutive year, in the Banker Magazine “Top 500 Banking Brands 2021” and Number One Bank in Nigeria by Tier-1 Capital in the “2020 Top 1000 World Banks” Ranking published by The Banker Magazine.

Similarly, the bank was recognised as Bank of the Decade (People’s Choice) at the ThisDay Awards 2020, Retail Bank of the year at the 2020 BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BOFI) Awards, and Best Company in Promotion of Good Health and Well-Being as well as Best Company in Promotion of Gender Equality and Women Empowerment at the Sustainability, Enterprise and Responsibility (SERAS) Awards 2020.Charles

NNPC’s Nov. Trade Surplus Increased 54%, With Crude Oil, Gas Export Sales At $108.84m

Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)
Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has announced a trading surplus of ₦13.43billion for the month of November 2020 up by 54% when compared to the ₦8.71billion surplus recorded in October 2020.

This fact is contained in the November 2020 edition of the NNPC Monthly Financial and Operations Report (MFOR), according to a press ststement by the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of the Corporation, Dr. Kennie Obateru,

The trading surplus or trading deficit is derived after deduction of the expenditure profile from the revenue in the period under review.

The report indicated that in November 2020, NNPC Group’s operating revenue as compared to October 2020, decreased slightly by 0.02% or ₦0.09billion to stand at ₦423.08 billion. Similarly, expenditure for the month decreased by 1.16% or N4.81billion to stand at N409.65billion leading to the ₦13.43billion trading surplus.

Overall, expenditure as a proportion of revenue was 0.97 in November 2020 as against 0.98 in October 2020.

The 54% increase in trading surplus in the November 2020 MFOR is primarily ascribed to the substantial decrease in expenditure from the Nigeria Gas Company (NGC) due to cost reduction in overheads, coupled with 38% reduction in NNPC Corporate Headquarters deficit.

In addition, the NNPC Group’s surplus was bolstered by the noticeable improved profits for additional engineering services rendered by the Nigerian Engineering and Technical Company (NETCO) and increased revenue from import activities posted by Duke Oil Incorporated.

These healthy performances dominated the positions of all other NNPC subsidiaries to record the Group surplus.

The report also indicated that export sales of crude oil and gas for the month stood at $108.84m, making a 70.33% increase compared to the last month. Crude oil export sales contributed $73.09m (67.15%) of the dollar transactions compared with $12.38 million contribution in the previous month; while the export gas sales amounted to $35.75 million in the month. The total crude oil and gas export for the period of November 2019 to November 2020 stood at $2.89bn.

In the Gas Sector, a total of 222.34 Billion Cubic Feet (BCF) of natural gas was produced in the month under review, translating to an average daily production of 7,411.52 Million Standard Cubic Feet per Day (mmscfd).

For the period November 2019 to November 2020, a total of 3,004.06BCF of gas was produced, representing an average daily production of 7,642.69mmscfd during the period.

Out of this volume, production from Joint Ventures (JVs) accounted for 67.29%, Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs) accounted for 19.97%, while the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) accounted for 12.74%. 

A further breakdown showed that a total of 137.41 BCF of gas was commercialized, consisting of 39.99BCF and 97.42BCF for the domestic and export market respectively.T

This translates to a total supply of 1,332.82 mmscfd of gas to the domestic market and 3,247.44 mmscfd of gas supplied to the export market for the month.

This implies that 62.55% of the average daily gas produced was commercialized while the balance of 37.45% was re-injected, used as upstream fuel gas or flared. Gas flare rate was 7.89% for the month under review translating to 577.39 mmscfd.

Atotal of 789mmscfd was delivered to gas-fired power plants in the month of November 2020 to generate an average power of about 3,358MW compared with October 2020 when an average of 750mmscfd was supplied. .In the Downstream Sector, 1.725 billion litres of white products were sold and distributed by the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC), a subsidiary of the NNPC, in the month of November 2020, compared with over 1.224billion litres in the month of October 2020.

This comprised 1.723 billion litres of Premium Motor Spirit, 2.13 million litres of Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) also known as diesel and 0.33 million litres of Dual Purpose Kerosene.T

Total sale of white products for the period November 2019 to November 2020 stood at 17.031 billion litres and PMS accounted for 16.911 billion litres or 99.29%.

In monetary terms, a sum of ₦226.08 billion was made on the sale of white products by PPMC in the month of November 2020 compared to ₦158.04 billion sales in October 2020. Total revenues generated from the sales of white products for the period November 2019 to November 2020 stood at ₦2.034 trillion, where PMS contributed about 99.09% of the total sales with a value of over ₦2.015 trillion.T

The November, 2020 MFOR is the 64th in the series which began in August 2015. 

SON Rakes In Over N302m From Onne Port  

The Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) said it generated the sum of N302 million in 2020 from its Rivers State Ports and Borders offices as against N400 million generated in 2019.

This was disclosed by the Head, Ports and Borders, Mr Tajudeen Dosumu, disclosed this after meeting with the Director-General of SON, Mallam Salem Farouk, when he paid a visit to the office in Onne, Rivers, on Monday.

Dosumu stated that the 24.5% decline in revenue was due to challenges caused by the pandemic; however, the office was still able to inspect 39,652 containers in 2020. 

“In the last four years, the operation has recorded continuous increase in number of containers’ examination, compliance with SON import requirements and guidelines and service charge income,” he said. 

Other improvements listed by SON included sustenance of 24-hour operation in FOT terminal and the creation of an intelligence unit, for effective monitoring of consignment movements.

The SON Head of Ports and Borders added that the organisation needed an e-Demand Note and e-Receipting to curb interference, and staff training on Ports and Borders operations, for improved service delivery.

Salem Farouk stated that the agency faced some difficulties in assessing containers at the ports and promised efficiency through the implementation of technology to improve service delivery and container monitoring.


ABCON, NACCIMA, MAN Outline Measures To Rejuvenate Nigeria’s Real Sector

The president . Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON), Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe, has highlighted steps to achieve a virile real sector growth in Nigeria.

The association maintained that the Nigerian business environment has become more hostile and unbearable, arguing that the horrible business environment is further compounded by the escalating exchange rate, and forex scarcity coupled with the Covid-19 pandemic.

Gwadabe stated this at the 2020 Commerce And Industry Correspondents Association of Nigeria (CICAN) End of Year Lecture Titled, “Effects of COVID-19 on the Real Sector / SMEs,” in Lagos.
According to him, some of the strongest challenges hindering the sector are the border closure and multiple taxation.
He advised that for Nigeria to come out of recession, the government must remove all multiple taxes levied on manufacturers, adding that the economic managers should also encourage manufacturers by way of formulating investment friendly policies.
“The government should grant tax holiday to manufacturers during this period of general economic hardship if we must come of recession. They should think of incentives to manufacturers and not exploiting or punishing them with levies and taxes. The government should make low single digit loans available with less bureaucracy if the country must experience growth,” he advocated.

He also added that lifting tax burden of the manufacturers will help in creating more employment, thereby lifting jobless youths out of the street, while calling on the government to develop policies that would encourage competitiveness of the Nigerian manufacturers.
In his words, “Government should think of tangible grants to the manufacturers as well as non interest loans to attract more visitors into the manufacturing sector. The government should warn its agencies to desist from seeing manufacturers as avenues to make money for themselves.”
He added that manufacturers are not making profit due to massive infrastructural deficit that has plagued the nation over the years.
“We generate power by ourselves and the cost is unbearable. What about road rehabilitation, majority have lost their manufactured goods and raw materials to bad roads, our vehicles and vans breakdown on daily bases as a result of the poor condition of our roads,” he added.
Reacting, the Acting Director-General of MAN, Ambrose Oruche, said the policies formulated to drive manufacturing in the country are not supportive, expressing his doubt if the sector would be out of doldrums by 1st quarter of 2021.
He said the environment must be created for manufacturing to thrive while also calling on Nigerians to have a penchant for locally made goods.
He pointed out that having penchant for foreign goods would make locally made goods struggle as soon as the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AFCFTA) kicks off next year.
“The Organised Private Sector is ready to take advantage of the trade deal, but we currently do not have the facilities to be competitive. Nigeria should be able to take advantage of thistreat opportunity being the top manufacturing country in Africa, but deficiency in infrastructure is a great bottleneck,” he said.

The Director General, Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Ambassador. Ayoola Olukanni, said according to the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the growth rate of National Output stood at negative 3.62 per cent as at the third quarter of 2020, stating that the inflation rate stood at 14.23 per cent as at October 2020.
He said the unemployment report of the 2nd Quarter, 2020, showed that 21.8million Nigerians were unemployed, out of a labour force of 80.2 million Nigerians.
“To compound these socioeconomic issues, the COVID-19 pandemic that has swept around the globe for a greater part of this year has brought with it a health, as well as, an economic crisis. As an economy, we are yet again facing the consequences of over-dependence on crude oil revenues. This is a reminder that we must really work hard to diversify our economy. We face dwindling foreign exchange reserves, increasing domestic and foreign debt, and difficulties in doing business brought about largely by an infrastructure deficit in the power and transportation sectors,” he averred.
He said policies must be implemented to improve ease of doing business and reducing the cost of doing business, especially for SMEs which makes about 48 per cent to the national GDP and provides about 84 per cent employment according to various studies. “Implicitly, our SMEs which are the private sector operators are the bedrock of our economy and we must do all we can to support them, not just to survive but flourish as we consider strategic options out of recession hopefully by first quarter of 2021,” he stressed.
He added that opportunities are also now opening up as the nation gets ready for the operationalisation of the African Continental Free Trade Area AfCFTA in January 2021.
“We must also reposition the Nigerian economy especially the manufacturing sector by improving infrastructure such as power, roads, rail and ensure efficient functioning of our Ports. This is to enable us compete effectively and successfully under the AfCFTA. We must encourage Private Sector operators to key into the AfCFTA essentially because they will be the key players under the agreement,” he said.

In his presentation, Mr. Mallinson Afam Ukatu, Chairman, Non-Metalic Mining, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), regretted that the Nigerian business environment is becoming more hostile and unbearable.
Ukatu pointed out that the horrible business environment is being compounded by the escalating exchange rates, and forex scarcity coupled with the Covid-19 pandemic.
“One of the most killing is the issue of border closure, which is yet to be appropriately addressed as well as the elimination of payment of multiple taxes which we have been clamouring for. For us to come out of recession as a country, the government must remove all multiple taxes levied on manufacturers, and all the ministries that are visiting factories with all forms of charges should be cautioned. The government should encourage manufacturers way of formulating policies that is investment friendly. The government should grant tax holiday to manufacturers during this period of general economic hardship if we must come of recession. They should think of incentives to manufacturers and not exploiting or punishing them with levies and taxes. The government should make low single digit loans available with less bureaucracy if the country must experience growth.Lifting tax burden of the manufacturers will help in creating more employment, thereby lifting jobless youths out of the street,” he stressed.

Heritage Bank, PWC, Deloitte Want Tech . Deployed To Tackle Fraud, Rescind Covid-19 Effects


Managing-Director-of-Heritage Bank

Heritage Bank Plc, one of Nigeria’s Most Innovative Banking Service provider has called on internal auditors of banks to adopt various digital technologies to prevent fraud and annul the adverse impact of Covid-19 on the financial ecosystem.

Speaking at the just concluded 47th Quarterly Meeting of the Association of Chief Audit Executives of Banks in Nigeria (ACAEBIN), the MD/CEO of Heritage Bank, Ifie Sekibo disclosed that for improved banking operations and safer financial system for stakeholders, internal auditors must be dynamic and quick to adopt various digital measures.

Expressing concerns over the alarming impact of fraudulent activities in the banking sector, Sekibo quoted PricewaterhouseCoopers’ (PWC’s) Global Economic Crime and Fraud Survey 2020, revealing that the total cost of cybercrimes is worth an eye-watering $42 billion, which was cash taken straight off companies’ bottom line, whilst 13% of those who had experienced  fraud said they had lost $50 million-plus.

Sekibo, who spoke on the theme, “Elevating Internal Audit’s Role in the Face of Emerging Risks and Opportunities” organised virtually and hosted by Heritage Bank noted that “While it was sufficient for yesterday’s auditor to understand regular and routine banking practices such as credit, treasury, etc in his traditional assurance role, for him to be relevant in harnessing the opportunities in today’s business world, he must become versed in cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, data analytics, fraud management, regulatory pronouncements, forensics etc and having equipped himself, present balanced, objective audit reports to Executive Management while striking the right balance between the assurance and consulting responsibilities.”

In her keynote address, titled, “Elevating Internal Audit Role In The Face Of Emerging Risks and Opportunities,” Ibukun Beecroft, Partner Risk Advisory at Deloitte, noted that the banking industry in Nigeria today has adopted various digital measures to keep the business running and delivering services to the customers but there was need for Internal Audit (IA) positioned to provide the required assurance and consulting services in the face of the changes and attendant risk, particularly increased cyber-risks.

Quoting 2018 Financial Stability Report by the Central Bank of Nigeria, she stated that Banks recorded 25,029 confirmed cases of fraud and this resulted in a loss of N2.21 billion. More than 90% of fraud cases in 2018 were perpetrated via technologically driven channels.

“As Internal Auditors, the knowledge of technology would enable us identify gaps in our core banking applications and other applications and provide relevant recommendations to eliminating loopholes that may serve as an avenue for potential fraud.

She, however, advised auditors on the need to focus on advanced technologies and risk management operations as reflected around the Three Lines of Defense (3LOD) churned out by the Institute of Internal Auditors, which create opportunities for IA and its future role.

Beecroft warned that the ever-changing landscape and evolving risks in the banking industry could render the current internal audit plan obsolete.

According to her, internal auditors should reprioritise the audit plan as soon as possible to provide assurance over the most consequential risks while being cognisant of the impact on operations.

“To take advantage of these changes and disruptions, auditors need to rethink their role by adapting to and embracing change, enabling the IA function to become more agile, nimble, and forward-looking, thus driving change through the 3LOD,” Beecroft stated.

Yetunde Oladeji, Director Internal Audit Services at PricewaterhouseCoopers Limited (PWC), who spoke on the theme, “Elevating IA’s role to meet today’s emerging risks,” advised that the banking sector should be dynamic, prioritse digitization and flexibible workforce strategies as these would determine its ability to adapt to rapidly changing circumstances to survive and thrive.


Bonded Terminals: Shippers Council Harps On Efficient Operations

As part of measures to endure efficiency of Bonded Terminals the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), Hassan Bello  says the council would have permanent presence of its staff at terminals.

Bello who disclosed this during a visit to some bonded terminals to review their operational efficiency explained that he posting is to make sure that weekly report of charges, how long it takes a container to exit and difficulties experienced are made available to the Council.

The exercise which took Bello Kachicares Resources Ltd. Container Terminal and Denca Bonded Terminal both located in Lagos.

The NSC chief said delays were  dangerous to cargo evacuation, and told cargo operators and shippers that things would not be the same again, as the council was looking into issues closely.

“We are reviewing the operational efficiency of terminals and you know the main terminals are the seaport terminal and offdock terminals.

“These ones visited today are offdock terminals and they are having some problems.

“Recall in July this year, we issued some circulars which talked about two things; no cargo will be stemmed  to any terminal except that which has been nominated by the shipper himself.

“Also, all charges accruing as a result of the transfer should not be borne by the shipper, this is international practice and standard.

“I am happy to say that there has been substantial compliance and we are going round to see if shippers are being charged or not and if terminals are complying.

“We are having a meeting with the terminals to make sure that all the charges are streamlined and are linked to the service they are offering, and that is why we are doing this on the spot assessment today,” he said.

Bello said that the review of the terminals operations were ways to tackle deficiencies and also to ensure that cost of shipping was brought down considerably.

He said that in Kachicares Resources Ltd. Container Terminal, there was substantial compliance, but there were other issues.

Bello said there were other issues like delays, poor access to terminals, and charges, of which they had yet to refund about N3.4 million to shippers.

He said as regards equipment, NSC was looking at frequency and capacity, noting that they had a capacity of 28,000 Twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU).

Bello however chided Denca Bonded Terminal, Bello saying he is not happy with what was happening there, claiming that N40million shippers charges had not been refunded.

He insisted that there could not be an informal arrangement whatsoever in the terminal, warning that they would take very strict measures which would include sealing off  the terminal if need be.

He stated that going forward, they would work with Nigerian Customs to ensure proper situation, location and geographical availability to be considered before a terminal was situated.

In his response, Mr Lawrence Eboji, Head of Operations Kachicares Resources Ltd., Container Terminal said that the terminal had enough cargo handling equipment to handle any issue.

He said that as regards charges, the terminal was not giving any abnormal charges.

Eboji said that most of the complaints of customers were from the mother port.

Also, Mr Tony Asiadiachi, General Manager, Denca Bonded Terminal said that containers sent to them came with bills and they carried storage which are often paid and in turn passed to customers.

Nigeria’s Democracy Needs Strategy Change To Grow – Experts

Salvaging Nigeria’s democracy will require a change in strategy to get it right.

This is the position of a group of panel discussants which included: Development Economist, Nigeria Labour Congress, Mrs. Hauwa Mustapha; Former Executive Director, Civil Liberties Organisation, CLO, Osaze Nosaze; Lecturer, Department of Political Science, Veritas University, Adagbo Onoja; among others at a Webinar on “Conversation on Democracy in Nigeria” organised by Maroon Square Discourse 2020.
They pointed out that military intervention is a cradle for what is obtained in today’s Nigeria politics, for instance: most of the people in politics today are from the military.
Also, they called for a rebirth of the country’s democracy which they said lacked framework, so as to have a rebirth of the country.
According to Mustapha, “The factor that affected our politics from parties is the economy. With the crop of political parties we had in the ’60’s, it was the economy that governed the society. Greed, accumulation of resources was not as we have it today, people were not consumed as we have today. Insecurity and fear of tomorrow’s basic necessities also impacted on Nigeria. We cannot get it right in political parties except we rearrange the economy.
“Neo-liberalism affected the economy, people saw political parties as a vehicle for survival not service. Politics and economy are linked and we must ensure a workable strategy to get both right.
“The danger neo-liberalism has brought is democratizing the liberal states. We need to think deeply on what works and what did not work. We need to reinvent ourselves on how neo-colonialism is changing. We need to organize, go back and be positively critical about what is wrong. We need to change our strategy to fit into the new stride. We can’t go on with old strategy,” she said.
In his remark, Nosaze said that the state of Nigeria cannot be divorced from the ruling party, adding that the ruling party in Nigeria has not developed intellect because education is going down, saying “There should be a rebirth of this country, what we have is civil rule not democracy, it has been so since first republic.
“Nigeria’s mistake is to dissociate politics from economy, in the early 70’s the political ruling class parties had vision but in the late 70’s they lost the vision and today what we have is political parties which are used as vehicle for fight for power,” he said.
Earlier, Onoja said that India, Brazil, Mexico and China are comparatively, categories where Nigeria’s democracy should be categorized, stating: “our democracy lacks discourse, they conceptualize democracy. We do not have framework of democracy in Nigeria like others.”
He added that there are political parties with no concept due to collapse in consensus after independence. “Military intervention is a cradle for what we have today in politics; most of the people in politics today are from the military. The ruling classes have diversity of imagination.”

SON inaugurates Technical Committee On Facility Standard

Determined to harness the views of experts in Nigeria in contributing to the development of international standards for eventual domestication in Nigeria through adoption, the Standards Organization of Nigeria, SON, has inaugurated a National Mirror Technical Committee on facilities management.

The committee which was inaugurated during its virtual meeting by the Director Genetsl of the SON, Osita Aboloma forms part of Nigeria’s drive to optimise benefits from international standards development on facilities management.

Aboloma in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja explained that the process was to harness industry knowledge in facilities management in Nigeria in contributing to international standards development for the benefit of Nigeria’s economy.

The Committee is to mirror the activities of the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) Technical Committee TC 267 on Facility Management.

According to Aboloma, the work of preparing International Standards is carried out through ISO technical committees, with qualified interested parties who are vastly knowledgeable in that field.

He said the process would foster a level playing field for industry practitioners by removing barriers to global trade.

Aboloma, represented by the Director, Management Systems Certification Services, Mr Felix Nyado, stated that nomination to serve in the committee was guided by the strategic collaboration SON has with various organisations and institutions represented by the members.

He enjoined them to bring their wealth of knowledge and experience to bear in making valuable contributions that would make the standards on facility management affect the lives of citizens positively and promote trade within African continent as well as beyond.

Aboloma thanked members of the committee for their commitment, which provided a rich mix of knowledge and expertise required in reaching consensus in the elaboration of standards that were market driven and support sustainable economic development.

The committee resolved to commence sitting on the draft standards on Aug. 25, 2020 to enable all members read through and be able to make meaningful contributions to ensure a conclusive and wholesome deliberation towards arriving at consensus.