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Zenith Bank, UBA, Sterling Bank top others in N596.44bn CACS disbursement



…as currency in circulation hits N2.33trn

Zenith Bank Plc, United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA) and First Bank of Nigeria top 18 others commercial banks in Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) disbursement of N596.44 billion for its Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme (CACS).

The CBN’s economic report for fourth quarter of 2018 disclosed that a total amount released by the CACS from inception to the participating commercial banks for disbursement stood at N596.44 billion for 576 projects. The breakdown revealed that Zenith Bank as at November 19, 2018 disbursed N122.16 billion for 76 projects while   UBA disbursed N83.06 billion for 51 projects and Sterling Bank Plc with  N72.17 billion for 42 projects.

According to CBN breakdown, First Bank of Nigeria disbursed N50.49 billion for 100 Agriculture Credit projects.

Extracts from the CBN report disclosed that Guaranty Trust Bank Plc disbursed N39.85 for 29 projects; Access Bank Plc, N36.66 billion for 26 projects; Keystone Bank, N30.05 billion meant for 22 projects and Union Bank Nigeria disbursed a total N28.91 billion for 39 projects.

Suntrust Bank Limited with N1.85 billion for two projects had the lowest disbursement, the report by CBN disclosed.

However, the report stated that a total of N852.15 million was guaranteed to 5,454 farmers under the Agriculture Credit Guarantee Scheme (ACGS) in the fourth quarter of 2018.

According to the economic report of CBN, “The amount represented a decrease of 40.1 per cent and 5.9 per cent below the levels in the preceding quarter and the corresponding period of 2017, respectively.

“Sub-sectoral analysis showed that food crops got the largest share, amounting to N369.54 million (43.4per cent), guaranteed to 2,373 beneficiaries; followed by mixed crop sub-sector, which received N162.75 million (19.1per cent), guaranteed to 1,710 beneficiaries N138.44 million (16.2per cent) was guaranteed to livestock sub-sector in favour of 564 beneficiaries; while cash crop, Fisheries and others sub-sectors got N105.28 million (12.4per cent), N58.82 million (6.9per cent), and N17.32 million (two per cent), guaranteed to 542, 175 and 90 beneficiaries, respectively.

“Analysis by states showed that 30 states and the Federal Capital Territory benefited from the Scheme with the highest and lowest sums of N95.83 million (11.3 per cent) and N1.99 million (0.2 per cent) guaranteed to Ogun and Bayelsa states, respectively.”

The report noted cessation of rainfall in the period led to widespread dryness across the country.

According to the report, “Agriculture activities in the review quarter, were dominated by harvesting of tubers, grains and vegetables. In the livestock sub-sector, farmers continued with the breeding of poultry birds and fattening of cattle in anticipation of end of year sales.

“The end-period headline inflation, on year-on-year and 12-month moving average bases for the review period were 11.44 per cent and 12.10 per cent, respectively.”

Meanwhile, the report disclosed further that currency in circulation at end-December 2018, rose by 20.9 per cent to N2.33 trillion, compared with the growth of 1.4 per cent at end-September 2018.

“The development relative to the preceding quarter reflected, mainly, the 19.4 per cent and 7.5 per cent increase in its currency outside banks and demand deposit components, respectively.

“Total deposits at the CBN amounted to N15.7 trillion at end-December 2018, indicating a 6.5 per cent increase above the level at end-September 2018.

“The increase was attributed to 13.0 per cent and 9.5 per cent rise in the deposits of the private sector and Federal Government, respectively. Of the total deposits at the CBN, the shares of the Federal Government, banks and private sector deposits were 49.6 per cent, 30.6 per cent and 19.8 per cent, respectively.”


NIMASA DG calls for contributory pension for dockworkers



…As agency hosts maiden ‘day of the dockworker’ event

By Seun Ibiyemi

It was a milestone event for the local maritime industry as the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) hosted the maiden edition of the ‘Day of the Dockworker’ in Lagos recently.

With the theme of the event being “Healthy Dockworker, Better Productivity,” it was an opportunity for stakeholders gathered to not just appreciate the efforts of Nigerian dockworkers at the center of the nation’s import-dependent economy, but also to focus on ways of improving their health and general well-being.

Delivering his welcome address at the event, the NIMASA Director General, Dr. Bashir Jamoh OFR, charged employers of labor to ensure all dockworkers are enrolled on contributory pension schemes, while also emphasising the need for operators of Oil and Gas Terminals to allow only approved stevedores aboard their installations, to ensure compliance with relevant international guidelines and conventions.

According to Dr. Jamoh, “As we celebrate today, it is important to put in perspective the plight of dockworkers who spend the greater part of their working life at the ports, with little or nothing to show for it. As employers of labour, you must endeavour to put in place a Contributory Pension Scheme for dockworkers and ensure prompt remittances of both Employers and Employees contributions at the end of each month.”

Speaking on compliance with stevedore inspections, he stated, “This occasion presents me with an opportunity to express the need for operators in the private jetties and Oil & Gas Terminals to grant operational access to the Stevedoring Contractors appointed by the Honorable Minister of Transport, to carry out stevedoring activities in assigned operational areas.”

On his part, the President General of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), Comrade Adewale Adeyanju, in his address, thanked the NIMASA Management for organising the event to celebrate Nigerian dockworkers in recognition of the important role played by them.

In attendance at the event were representatives from the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity; Nigerian Ports Authority; Seaport Terminal Operators Association and the National Association of Stevedoring Operators (NASA).

Internationally, July 7th is marked as ‘The Global Day of Action’ and is organized by the International Dockworkers’ Council (IDC) and International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF). It aims to raise awareness of port working conditions and emphasize the importance of collective bargaining rights.

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LCCI tasks govt on transparent FX regime, multinationals’ engagement



The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has implored the government to create a more flexible and transparent foreign exchange policy to address scarcity issues.

Its Director-General, Dr Chinyere Almona, gave the advice on Thursday in Lagos, in reaction to the recent announcement of Procter & Gamble to transition its Nigerian operations to an import-only model.

Recall that the Chief Financial Officer of Procter & Gamble, Andre Schulten, had said this move would effectively dissolve its on-ground presence in the country.

Almona noted that over the last few months, there had been a consistent increase in exit plans or a reduction in involvement in the Nigerian market by multinationals, saying the trend was worrisome.

She stated that the country’s lingering foreign exchange scarcity, poor power supply, port congestion, multiple taxation, insecurity, and poor infrastructure, among others, had taken a toll on many businesses in the country.

She recommended that the government should implement measures to stabilise and ensure the availability of foreign exchange for businesses, particularly those operating in dollar-denominated environments.

“Further, the chamber urges the government to engage multinational corporations and the business community to understand their challenges and gather input and feedback on policy decisions to collaboratively develop solutions that would forestall the exodus of businesses from Nigeria.

 ”The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) should prioritise the stability of the country’s currency and adopt the right policy mix to ensure price stability,” she said.

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Tinubu appoints Omatsola Ogbe as new ES of NCDMB



President Bola Tinubu has approved the appointment of Engr. Felix Omatsola Ogbe as Executive Secretary of Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB).

The President in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale appointed new board members for the NCDMB.

According to the Spokesperson to the President, the President in conformity with Sections 71(1), 72, and 73 of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act (2010) approved the appointment of qualified Nigerians to serve on the Governing Council and Management team of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB).

The newly appointed board members include:Sen. Heineken Lokpobiri — Chairman / HMS, Petroleum Resources, Engr. Felix Omatsola Ogbe — Executive Secretary, Oritsemyiwa Eyesan — Member / EVP Upstream, NNPC Ltd, Gbenga Komolafe — Member / CEO, NUPRC, Bekearedebo Augusta Warrens — Member, Nicolas Odinuwe — Member, Rapheal Samuel — Member, Sadiq Abubakar — Member, Olorundare Sunday Thomas — Member.

Ajuri noted that the President expects the new appointees to discharge their duties with his patriotic resolve to significantly enhance indigenous industry participation in the energy sector as part of the Renewed Hope Agenda’s mandate to achieve the goal of 70 percent indigenous content and participation in the nation’s energy industry during the lifespan of this administration.

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