By Seun Ibiyemi
The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) says it will put up a financial mechanism to ensure completion of Nigeria’s Digital Switch Over (DSO) project before end of the year.
The DSO is the process of transiting from analogue television broadcasting technology to digital terrestrial television broadcasting.
Dr Benedict Oramah, President of the bank made this known in Cairo, Egypt when the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed led a team of DSO stakeholders on bilateral discussions on the project.
Oramah was responding to a request for a private sector driven 165 million dollars facility for the DSO project from the bank.
The facility is to be taken by the private sectors that are driving the DSO project on terms and conditions agreeable to the lender, while the government will give support in terms of advocacy, regulations and policies formulation.
Oramah who led other management staff of the bank to the discussion, said they were impressed by the presentation and will make Nigeria a model for other African countries for DSO project financing.
“The move toward digital television is something that is global and it was impressive to see the seriousness with which the minister has been pursuing this.
“I have had several meetings with him in France, Nigeria and he has come here with a very powerful delegation involving all the stakeholders.
“What we are looking out to do is to work with all the stakeholders, particularly the private sector to put a financing mechanism in place to ensure that Nigeria saves more than N400 million dollars of subsidy that would have been applied.
“When we are able to do this before the end of the year, Nigerian government will benefit because we are going to free the spectrum that will be now sold for about two billion dollars to telecommunication companies.
“We assure you that we will put in place the financial structure that will work because we know that if we do it well in Nigeria, other African countries pursuing the same goal will take a cue from there,” he said.
The Afreximbank president added that supporting the DSO project would create a platform that would accelerate the growth of Nigeria’s creative industry.
Earlier in a presentation, the minister noted that the creative industry was key in the diversification of Nigeria’s economy because, after agriculture, it employs the larger number of people, mostly women and young population.
He said the project would also bridge the digital divide by establishing a more equitable access, connecting the unconnected at the underserved and remote communities.
The minister recalled that at the beginning of the programme, the model adopted by the government which was subsidy driven was not sustainable.
“When the programme started, government subsidised the STB which was bought from the manufacturers for 30 Dollar per box and sold to consumers at 10 dollars per box.
“Government was also paying the signal distributors and the middleware providers but the subsidy regime can no longer be sustained.
“Right now, the government is not going to give any financial support again to the project and that is why we have reengineered and rejigged the programme in a manner that it will be commercially viable.
“Government will only give support to the project in the areas of regulations, advocacy and formulation of policies.
“For instance, we have already amended the Broadcasting Code to protect local manufacturers, advertisers, and channel owners,” he said.
The minister thanked the president and management team of Afreximbank for giving them audience and for the interest shown in supporting the nation’s DSO project.
Godfrey Ohuabunwa, the Chairman of STB Manufacturers in Nigeria who presented the credit requirement to the Afrineximbank, said they would require a total of 165 million dollars.
According to him, 125 million dollars will be required to fund initial five million STB from the total of 20 million boxes needed in five years.
He said the signal distributors would require 30 million dollars while 10 million dollars would be required for marketing and promotion.
Mr Toyin Zubair who spoke on behalf of FreeTv Platform Ltd. a business enterprise set up for the purpose of the facility, said they were prepared to deliver FreeTv to 20 million homes.
Zubair who is the chairman of Inview, one of the middleware providers for the STB, said the FreeTv Platform would help in the collection of radio licences translating into billions of Naira annually.
He said the value added being introduced into the boxes would allow film makers to drop their movies for view at a token to be charged and it would help to checkmate piracy in the movie industry.
Zubair said the platform would deliver free information services and free internet access to homes to create better experiences in television viewing.
The Director-General of of National Broadcasting Commission, Malam Balarabe Ilela said the DSO was being implemented as part of Nigeria’s signatory of the International Communication Union Geneva 2006 Treaty and under the brand name FreeTv.
He said the ongoing DSO project required huge capital investment to actualise the timeline of 2022 and Afreximbank provides a very compelling financing option for stakeholders in the DSO chain.
FMDQ Exchange records 6.75% MoM decrease in secondary market turnover
By Sodiq Adelakun
In October, FMDQ Exchange reported a total secondary market turnover of N21.70 trillion, a decrease of 6.75 percent (N1.57 trillion) from the previous month and an increase of 60.27 percent (N8.16 trillion) from the same period last year.
The Spot and Derivatives Market contributed N20.48 trillion and N1.22 trillion respectively to the total turnover.
The Spot FX Market turnover was $4.66 billion (N3.66 trillion), a decrease of 14.96 percent ($0.82 billion) from September 2023.
Further, the US Dollar appreciated against the Naira in the FX market, with the exchange rate ($/N) increasing by 5.34percent ($/N40.41) to close at an average of $/N797.43 in October 2023 from $/N757.02 recorded in September 2023, trading within a range of $/N741.85 – $/N993.82.
Similarly, in the Derivatives Market, total turnover in the FX Market segment was $1.55billion (N1.22trillion), representing a MoM decrease of 39.27percent ($1billion) from September 2023 figures.
Naira’s floating exchange rate brings uncertainty for investment banking in Nigeria — Ex-AIHN president
The former President of the Association of Issuing Houses of Nigeria, Ike Chioke, has stated that the currency reforms implemented by the Central Bank of Nigeria have brought about both challenges and opportunities for the investment banking industry.
Chioke made this statement at the Investment Banking Awards Night held in Lagos.
He further mentioned that the floating exchange rate of the naira and the elimination of fuel subsidies have had a significant impact on various sectors of the economy.
“Nigeria is bracing up to the impacts of the new government and they are already making changes to what I will call non-unorthodox policies. These policies had also introduced pain and hardship with the free-floating of the naira and removal of fuel subsidy forcing their weaknesses on various sectors of the economy,” he said.
Chioke added that despite the hiccups in the implementation of these reforms, they have thrown up major opportunities for investment banking.
He urged members to apply their best skills and expertise to make the best of the opportunities.
“As you know, the investment banking industry is a critical one for the Nigerian economy and we represent the best brains and the best expertise in that space,” he said.
Meanwhile, in the Debt Capital Market Category of the award, Chapel Hill Denham Advisory Limited won the Private Company Bond House 2022 Award; Best Commercial Paper House 2022 Award, and Best Bond House 2022 Award while the Best Commercial Paper House 2022 Award went to StanbicIBTC Capital Limited.
In the Equity Capital Markets Category, the Equity Deal of 2022 Award was won by three companies- namely Stanbic IBTC Capital Limited, UCML Capital, and Rand Merchant Bank.
SMEs contribute 46.31% to Nigeria’s GDP — SMEDAN CEO
The Director General/CEO of SMEDAN, Charles Odili, has highlighted the significant contributions of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to the Nigerian economy.
According to Odili, SMEs make up 46.31 percent of the national GDP and contribute 6.21 percent to exports. These findings were revealed in the recent nMaSMEs survey, which estimated that there are approximately 39.6 million nMSMEs in Nigeria, employing 62.5 million individuals.
This accounts for a substantial 80.2 percent of the country’s labor force. In another development, 50 rural enterprises in Gombe State are participating in a three-day training program organized by SMEDAN and the Gombe State government.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the training, in Gombe on Wednesday, the Director General and Chief Executive of SMEDAN, Charles Odili said that the programme was designed to provide an end-to-end business development service to the rural entrepreneurs.
Charlie Odili, who was represented by the Ag. Director of Partnership and Coordination, Prof Adeyinka Fusha, also said that the training was targeted at business owners who were at the bottom of the pyramids as a supportive mechanism to enhance rural entrepreneurship, competitiveness, job creation and financial inclusion.
According to him, “As you may be aware, the Nano, Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (nMaSMEs) sub-sector has played an important role in contributing to the economic development of many countries around the world.
“The sub sector accounts for the majority of the enterprises in Nigeria and also accounts for the highest number of jobs created in Nigeria’s economy.”
The DG also said that the training has three components, namely; sensitisation, capacity building and empowerment grant.
While declaring the training open, Gombe State Governor, Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya, said that the programme was timely, following the economic hardship in the country.
“The programme would contribute to the economic development of the state and the country at large,” the Governor said.
Inuwa Yahaya, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, General Services, office of the SSG, Alhaji Abdulkadir Adamu, appreciated SMEDAN and reiterated the government’s commitment to work with it for more opportunities for rural businesses.
He also said that the state government had organised an investment summit which attracted many investors into the state, saying, “This may not be unconnected with the business friendly environment of the state.”
In his remarks, Commissioner of Trade, Industry and Tourism, Alhaji Nasiru Mohammed, said that the training would enable the rural enterprise to acquire the needed business techniques as well as empower them with knowledge and skills.
He further said that Governor Inuwa Yahaya had empowered over 2,000 Small and Medium Enterprises in the state and also established 1,000 hectares of land Industrial park to serve as an export processing zone.
He said, “This is a platform that will attract domestic and foreign investors to come and invest.”
He commended SMEDAN for organising the training and also encouraged the participant to be attentive, learn the techniques that will improve their businesses.
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