The Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) has appealed to the Federal Government to address fundamental causes of rising inflation rates.
The President of ACCI, Dr Al-Mujtaba Abubakar, made the appeal in a statement on Thursday in Abuja.
He urged the Federal Government to create a more positive business climate in the country.
Abubakar expressed concern that in spite government efforts, the inflation rate was on the increase.
According to NBS, in Feb. the headline inflation rate rose to 21.91 per cent compared to Jan. 2023 headline inflation rate which was 21.82 per cent.
It showed an increase of 0.09 per cent points when compared to Jan. headline inflation rate.
“While we appreciate the efforts of the administration to tame the increasing inflation rate, we note that the situation was far from improving.
“This has complicated the business climate and deepened challenges facing small scale businesses.
“The increase can be attributed mainly to the fuel scarcity being experienced in the country, where many resolve to buy at black market rate,”he said.
He said that the price per litre of petrol goes for between N400 and N700 depending on where you are buying from.
“This occurrence tends to have negative effect on businesses as fuel and diesel are the major source of energy for running businesses.
“This invariably leads to the spike in the cost of production coupled with logistic issues that has been compounded by insecurity,” Abubakar said.
“The government should implement business-friendly policies unlike the cash swap policy that negatively affected businesses, especially the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs,”he said.
Abubakar urged the Federal Government to intensify the rehabilitation of refineries in the country and concession them out to private entities.
“The Executive and legislative arm of government should speed up the passage of the bill to unbundle the transmission aspect of electricity in Nigeria to serve Nigerian efficiently.
“Again, tax harmonisation will improve the ease of doing business, make the market competitive and reduce business mortality.
“Government should begin to make use of satellite for surveillance by equipping the space agency to improve in addition to the equipping and retooling of our armed security force.
“The effect of high inflation will reduce the purchasing power of the masses making basic necessities unaffordable for the ordinary man.
“It will further worsen the unemployment rate in the country and make it harder for start-up business.
“On the international scene it will make the naira less competitive against other national currencies,” Abubakar said.
FBN Holdings’ market capitalisation hits $2.6bn after week of growth
FBN Holdings, one of Nigeria’s oldest banks on Wednesday has achieved a market capitalisation of N1.06 trillion ($2.6 billion) after a week of growth, with the share price rising by around 10 per cent.
The surge began in 2022 after billionaire investor Femi Otedola acquired a majority stake in the bank, triggering investor enthusiasm and a flurry of stock purchases.
At the time of Otedola’s acquisition, FBNH traded at just under N6 per share, meaning the stock price has quadrupled since the announcement.
In its third-quarter financial statements for the period, FBN Holding’s profit after tax (PAT) was N236.4 billion, a 159.2 percent increase from the N91.2 billion recorded in the corresponding period in 2022.
By surpassing the N1 trillion market cap, FBNH joins the exclusive group of Nigerian publicly traded companies known as SWOOTs (Stocks Worth Over One Trillion).
Other members of the SWOOTs group include Dangote Cement, Airtel Africa, MTN, BUA Cement, BUA Foods, Seplat, Zenith Bank, and GTCO.
W’ Bank commits $5bn to expand electricity access in Africa by 2030
The World Bank has announced plans to allocate $5 billion towards bringing electricity to 100 million people in Africa by 2030.
The announcement was made by the President of the World Bank, Ajay Banga, during his speech at the mid-term review of the International Development Association’s $93 billion replenishment package in Zanzibar, Tanzania.
Banga highlighted the importance of providing support to low-income countries through the bank’s IDA, which offers zero- or low-interest loans.
He cited the initiative to bring electricity to millions of people in Africa as an example of how the funds from IDA will be used.
The World Bank’s plan to bring electricity to 100 million people in Africa by 2030 is a significant step towards improving the quality of life for millions of people on the continent.
The lack of access to electricity has been a major hindrance to economic development in many African countries, and this initiative will help to address this issue.
The allocation of $5 billion towards this project is a clear indication of the World Bank’s commitment to supporting sustainable development in Africa.
Banga said World Bank shareholders, donor countries and philanthropies needed to dig deeper to help IDA deliver better development outcomes to low-income countries.
He said, “The truth is we are pushing the limits of this important concessional resource and no amount of creative financial engineering will compensate for the fact that we need more.”
He also said the World Bank needs to revamp how it evaluates its performance to focus on improved outcomes, not numbers of projects or dollars disbursed.
That means moving towards platforms that can be replicated, such as an IDA-financed mini-grid that delivers electricity to rural communities in Nigeria.
“But this is just one example, I want to see 100,000 – 200,000 – half a million more,” he said, adding that IDA was investing $5 billion to deliver affordable renewable electricity to 100 million Africans before 2030.
The World Bank boss added, “But how can we hope to make even adequate progress while 600 million people in Africa – 36 million of whom live here in Tanzania – still don’t have access to reliable electricity? Put simply: We can’t.”
The current, 20th IDA funding round is due to be completed on June 30, 2025, with the Zanzibar conference aimed at adding to that funding.
Banga used to launch his campaign for the subsequent round of funding to well exceed $93 billion.
The World Bank President in Zanzibar said, “The truth is we are pushing the limits of this important concessional resource and no amount of creative financial engineering will compensate for the fact that we need more funding. This must drive each of us to make the next replenishment of IDA the largest of all time.”
CBN approves reviewed service charter to enhance business facilitation
By Sodiq Adelakun
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced the approval of its reviewed Service Charter by Governor Olayemi Cardoso.
The Service Charter is a requirement of the Business Facilitation Act (BFA) 2022 and aims to improve the ease of doing business in Nigeria.
It also enables the Bank to comply with SERVICOM Nigeria’s directives on improving customer service delivery.
The Charter outlines the Bank’s promises to work with its external customers to meet their service expectations, as well as what the Bank expects from them.
In the foreword, the Governor reiterated the Bank’s “commitment to providing more responsive and citizen-friendly governance through quality service delivery that is efficient, accountable and transparent,” the CBN stated on its website.
The document outlines the Bank’s mandates, vision, mission, and core values. It contains the services the Bank offers through its various departments and the service standards for each service.
The Service Charter also includes a standardised customer complaints form for reporting service failure and a mechanism for addressing service failure in any of the Bank’s services.
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