Nigeria imports 6.149 billion liters of refined petroleum products in 1st quarter of 2018 

Nigeria imported 6.149 billion liters of refined petroleum products in first quarter of 2018.

This is revealed in the latest report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

The report obtained from the website of NBS, showed that 5.67 billion litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), also called petrol was imported into the country within the period under review.

A further breakdown of the petroleum products importation revealed that 954.47 million litres of Automotive Gas Oil (AGO), while 66.914 million litres of Household Kerosene was imported.

The report said 5,122.067 million litres of aviation turbine kerosene (ATK) were imported into the country.

It indicated that the month of March recorded the highest volume of PMS imported into the country at 2.41 billion litres, while the highest volume of AGO and kerosene were imported in January and February respectively.

The report showed that statewide distribution of truck-out volume for the quarter for PMS was 4.89 billion, AGO recorded 1.24 billion litres, while kerosene was 201.49 million litres.

This indicates that a total of 150.81 million litres of ATK was distributed nationwide during the period under review.

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PPP: FG promises to deepen relationship with LCCI in economic development

The Federal Government has said it would deepen its relationship with the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry to boost national economy.

The Minister of Science and Technology, Ogbonnaya Onu made this known in Abuja when he received representatives from the chamber in his office.

According to him, the aim of such collaboration is to strengthen Private Public Partnership toward national development.

“Ministry of Science and Technology is at the centre of all economic activities and partnering with the Chamber of Commerce is a right step the country is taking.

“The Ministry is not only looking for foreign investors but also local investors and partners that will lead the way for the foreign investors as the country is looking into various areas of technologies.

“We want the chamber to come in and take advantage of the work that we have done, to complete our research activities and  come up with a product that we can develop further to put in the market.

“We are very willing to give this to you as we want Nigerian firms to take advantage of this, “ he said.

Onu said Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry was not a novice in the areas of  science and technology in the country.

He added that the chamber had been in existence for 130 years and had been a part of every technology Nigeria had witnessed.

Leye Kupoluyi, the Chairman of Construction and Engineering Group of the LCCI, who led the team, said the chamber had been at the forefront of all the technologies Nigeria had witnessed for a long time.

He therefore appealed to the Minister to further work closely with the chamber to advance technology growth in the country.

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Exports in manufacturing, agriculture sector records massive growth

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has published the report on foreign trade in goods for the first quarter of 2018 both in export and import.

The publication which was analysed in comparison of previous year and quarter in Quarter on Quarter (QoQ) and Year over Year (YoY) shows that total export experienced 20 per cent growth in QoQ and 56 percent growth in YoY.

Further analysis shows that agriculturaml export grew by 64 percent in QoQ while it was 24 per cent growth in YoY.

Export in raw material however dropped by 14 per cent in QoQ while it grew by 48 percent in YoY.

Manufacturing exports recorded massive growth with 684 per cent QoQ while the YoY was 577 percent growth.

Growth in solid minerals export was 13 percent in QoQ while YoY was 59 percent.

The statistics on import shows that total import in QoQ ratcheted up by 19 percent in QoQ while it grew by 8 percent in YoY. Agricultural sector import experienced downward trajectory as it declined by 19 percent in QoQ while the decline in YoY was 6 percent.

Raw material import grew by just 2 percent in QoQ and grew by 10 percent in YoY. Manufacturing imports went down by 2 percent in QoQ but grew by 12 percent in YoY. Lastly, Solid Minerals imports went downhill by 17 percent in QoQ, but was upped by 4 percent in YoY.

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Ease of Doing Business: FG promises to help South-South area

Jumoke Oduwole, the Senior Special Assistant to the President  on Industry, Trade and investment, says the Federal Government will support the South-south region to improve Ease of Doing Business in the area.

Oduwole made the pledge at a South-south Ease of Doing Business Reforms Forum in Benin on Monday.

She said the South-south region had the potential to emancipate the country economically if the constituent states collaborated to explore other resources beyond oil.

She said the Federal Government was addressing the challenges of power and other infrastructure to support Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) predominant in the region.

“The region has the geographic location and resources such as gas, agrarian and millions of MSMEs and MSMEs are the engine that would stimulate Nigeria’s economy.

“We know that the enterprising nature of men and women in the region are what is going to drive development in the country,” she said.

Edo Governor, Godwin Obaseki, in his opening remarks, said his Administration would create a friendly environment where both domestic and foreign investors could do business favourably.

He said that the Edo model was structured in such a way that local investors must grow before foreign investors so that the place of SMEs would be assured.

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Tourism sector critical to the Nigerian economy, other sub-sectors, says NBS

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Tuesday said tourism sector in Nigeria is a critical element that has immense potential to drive the economy and creat massive jobs.

Yemi Kale, Statistician-General of the Federation and Chief Executive Officer, NBS, made the disclosure at the 61st United Nations World Tourism Organisation Commission for Africa (UNWTO-CAF), Conference, in Abuja.

The theme of the conference is” Tourism Statistics: A Catalyst for Development.”

Kale said that tourism activities in Nigeria had immense potential and indeed, the sector encompasses and affects several sub-sectors across the nation’s key output sectors.

He said Nigeria was an inspirational destination for visitors, adding that international visitors come to the country to immerse themselves in its landscapes, indigenous culture and experiences and do business.

“This is our competitive advantage and we need to work together to make the most of it," he said.

The statistician also said that tourism activities reinforced cultural pride, the preservation of the nation’s unique heritage and traditions, as well as the conservation of their environment.

According to him, it is because of it far reaching impact on all groups of society, that tourism is mentioned specifically within both the Sustainable Development Goals and the wider Agenda 2030.

“With respect to the direct impact of tourism on GDP, there are some economic activities that make up what we may call the tourism characteristics sectors.

“The art, entertainment and recreation, trade, transport, accommodation and food services, administrative, support and other services account for 34 percent of GDP in 2017 and about 20 percent of employment.

“Even though as you know not all of that 34 percent and 20 percent GDP and employment contribution will be related directly to tourism activities.

“Nevertheless, this shows you the immense potential of tourism activities in Nigeria, a 500 billion dollars economy with about 70 percent of that household consumption expenditure,“ he said.

Kale said that tourism had also proved to be a much-needed source of additional income for households particularly within rural regions.

He said that the theme of the conference was very central to the role of tourism statistics in promoting inclusive economic growth and development.

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Increment in excise duty rates on tobacco, alcohol will create hardship for hospitality industry- Association

The Lagos Hoteliers Association on Tuesday appealed to the Federal Government to revisit the increment in excise duty rates on tobacco and alcoholic drinks.

The association said that the implementation of the policy would have negative effects on the industry as many might not be able to break even.

The secretary of the association, Jamiu Talabi, disclosed this to journalists in Lagos.

Talabi said that any increment on excise duty rates on those commodities would hike costs being charged by hoteliers from their consumers.

He said that tobacco and alcoholic beverages were the essential products of the hospitality business.

“The hospitality industry will be greatly affected with the  review of the excise duty rates as the items will definitely become more expensive.

“Before now, we were trying to remain in business due to problem of multiple taxation.

“The new increment in prices of alcoholic drinks and tobacco will aggravate the problem for us.

“It is unfortunate that this is coming at a point when practitioners are finding it extremely difficult to break even.

“This is a period that we are battling with all sort of taxes and levies from the three tiers of government,’’ Talabi said.

He said that the review could also result in loss of jobs.

Some hoteliers would have to relieve some of their staff members to be able to break even in business due to perceived drop in patronage, he said.

The Federal Government through the Minister of Finance, Kemi  Adeosun, announced an upward review in excise duty rates on alcoholic beverages and tobacco in March 2018.

The government, however, said that its enforcement would be from June 4.

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First Bank partners Worlremit to strengthen global digital money transfer

First Bank of Nigeria (FBN) Ltd. on Tuesday entered into a partnership with an online money transfer firm, WorldRemit, to strengthen its digital money transfer globally.

Gbenga Shobo, First Bank’s Deputy Managing Director, said at the media launch of the partnership in Lagos, that the alliance would aid instant money transfer to the bank’s over 14 million accounts across the country.

WorldRemit provides international remittance services to expatriates and migrant workers and has its headquarters in London.

Shobo said the bank extended its frontiers to the WorldRemit in order to leverage on the company’s wide e-transact capabilities to deepen First Bank’s money transfer processes.

“Over the years, First Bank has taken the lead in providing relevant service to its customers. We pioneered the West Union Money transfer, Moneygram, among others and now WorldRemit.

“WorldRemit complements First Bank digital strategy designed for convenient banking transactions from the comfort of our homes and offices to First Bank accounts in Nigeria,” Shobo said.

He said First Bank was collaborating with WorldRemit to drive convenience and ease of banking for its customers and provide the much-needed push for financial inclusion initiatives.

Shobo explained that customers with the partnership could now send money to their loved ones in Nigeria from 52 locations where WorldRemit currently operated globally.

Tunde Owolabi, First Bank Group Executive, Retail Banking, Lagos and West, said WorldRemit partnered with the bank because of its size and market share.

Andrew Stewart, WorldRemit Regional Head of Middle East & Africa, said the new strategic partnership would expand the company’s footprint in the country.

Stewart said the company was delighted to partner with First Bank to give its 14 million customers its best money transfer experience.

He said Nigeria remained its largest and fastest growing market in Africa and Nigeria was WorldRemit’s second biggest market globally.

Stewart said the partnership would allow its customers in over 50 countries to send money to First Bank accounts directly from their phones.

He explained that the deal supported WorldRemit’s plan to serve 10 million customers in emerging markets by 2020.

“With over 15 million people living in countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany, remittances play an increasingly important role in Nigeria’s economy.

“The World Bank estimates that in 2017 alone Nigeria received over 22 billion dollars in remittances, making it the largest recipient in Africa.

“Sub-saharan Africa still remains the most expensive region to send remittances, with an average cost of 9.4 per cent for sending 200 dollars, according to the World Bank report,” Stewart said

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Review of exchange rate makes Naira stronger, says ABCON

The Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON)  has said that the downward review of the rate the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) sells dollars to BDCs had made the Naira firmer.

Aminu Gwadabe, president, ABCON, made this known while speaking with journalists in Lagos.

The ABCON chief congratulated the CBN for its bravery in dealing with the market fundamentals proactively.

He noted that the approval of rate review for BDCs had made the Naira firmer against the dollar at the parallel market.

He urged pundits to desist from hoarding, speculation, rent seeking and illegal cash boarder transfers to make the Naira stronger against other currencies.

“Now with the uniformity in prices, strong fiscal buffers, fiscal discipline, Yuan swap, investors’ confidence, there is no doubt in my mind that the Naira is on its journey to sovereignty in Africa,” Gwadabe said.

CBN had reviewed downward the rate to BDCs from N360 to N357 to a dollar on Monday. With the review, BDCs are expected to bid for dollars at N357 and sell at N360.

The new policy has crashed the parallel market rate from N365 to a dollar to N360.50 to a dollar.

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Union Bank posts N15.5bn profit, records 25 percent growth in interest income

Union Bank Nigeria Plc has disclosed that it recorded N15.5 billion profit before tax during the financial year ended Dec. 31, 2017.

The information is in a statement signed by the Head of Corporate Affairs Communication, Ogochukwu Ekezie-Ekaidem, after the 49th Annual General Meeting of the bank.

Ekezie-Ekaidem quoted the Chairman of the bank, Cyril Odu, as saying “the bank’s financial performance in 2017 showed that interest income grew by 25 per cent to ₦124.5 billion from ₦99.7 billion in 2016.”

He said the increase was as a result of impact of Naira devaluation on the foreign currency denominated loan book, government securities yields and loan book re-pricing.

He added that “non-interest revenue also moved up by 31 per cent to ₦39.3 billon from ₦29.9 billion in 2016, driven by improved fee and commission income, trading income and a more effective debt recovery machine.

“Operating expenses increased by five per cent to ₦65.1 billion from ₦62.0 billion in 2016 due to inflationary pressures and the impact of devaluation on technology and network investments`.

“Gross loans grew by five per cent to ₦560.7 billion compared to ₦535.8 billion in 2016, while customer deposits rose by 22 per cent to ₦802.4 billion from ₦658.4 billion in 2016.”

He noted that the growth was led by investments in customer-led products, recently upgraded alternate channels, along with strengthened brand.

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NSE: Market capitalisation rises by N329bn as Nigerian Breweries, Dangote emerge lead gainers

Transactions on the Nigeria Stock Exchange sustained positive trend, rebounding further on Tuesday by 2.46 percent following price appreciation posted by the Nigerian Breweries and Dangote Cement.

The All-Shares, at the close of trading, improved by 907.82 points or 2.46 percent to close at 37,854.92 in contrast with 36,947.10 achieved on Monday.

Also, the market capitalisation rose by N329 billion or 2.46 per cent to close at N13.712 trillion against N13.383 trillion posted on Monday.

Ambrose Omordion, the Chief Operating Officer, InvestData Ltd., attributed the trend to market correction following a prolonged bearish trend.

Omordion said that the trend might not be sustained due to liquidity crunch presently in the market and the economy.

A breakdown of the price movement table shows that Nigerian Breweries led the gainers’ table, gaining N5.30 to close at N111.30 per share.

Dangote Cement followed with a gain of N5 to close at N225, while Okomu Oil Palm added N4 to close at N84 per share.

The International Breweries appreciated by N3 to close at N42, while Lafarge Wapco advanced by N1.65 to close at N34.75 per share.

On the other hand, Total topped the losers’ chart, dropping by N8.70 to close at N193.30 per share.

Presco followed with a loss of 90k to close at N70.35, while UACN shed 70k to close at N14 per share.

Ecobank declined by 10k to close at N19, while NPF Microfinance Bank dropped by 6k to close at N1.69 per share.

The banking stocks dominated the trading activities for the day with Access Bank emerging the most active with an exchange of 133.07 million shares valued at N1.42 billion.

Guaranty Trust Bank came second with an account of 39.32 million shares worth N1.62 billion, while United Bank for Africa sold 22.23 million shares valued at N258.47 million.

The Zenith International Bank sold 19.962 million shares worth N533.32 million, while FBN Holdings exchanged 12.46 million shares valued at N136.69 million.

In all, investors staked N5.96 billion on 339.68 million shares traded in 4,436 deals against 314.43 million shares worth N7.03 billion achieved in 6,016 deals on Monday.

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