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Surveyors seek shift in climate change battle

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Surveyors seek shift in climate change battle

Worried by various climate change-induced environmental challenges in the country, professional land surveyors are seeking roles to mitigate its adverse effects on human settlement and environment. DAYO AYEYEMI reports

 

For a long time now, the telling effect of climate change has continued to put urban centres, many lives and the environment in danger. It has consistently compelled stakeholders, encompassing the government, non-governmental/civil society organisations, religious bodies, professional institutions and residents to find ways to mitigate the negative and dangerous effects on humanity.

Part of the problem has been the rapid population growth in Nigerian city centres and urban extension, which has stretched the boundaries of some of the cities to unsustainable limits. Perturbed by the current challenges posed by climate change and the lopsided approaches being adopted in resolving flooding cases, drought and desertification – leading to incessant clash between herdsmen and farmers, professional land surveyors under the auspices of the Nigerian Institution of Surveying (NIS) have tasked the Federal Government and policy makers on the need to seek their expertise in resolving the issue.

According to them, being professionals in charge of various geo-spatial data, they have the knowledge and expertise necessary for adaptation to climate change in order to protect and prevent future disasters resulting from this change in nature.

Speaking with New Telegraph during the 13th edition of Adekunle Kukoyi Memorial Annual Lecture organised by the Lagos State branch of NIS, some of the professionals blamed the crises in the middle belt on effect of climate change, saying that surveyors have a big role to play in whatever solution the Federal Government is proferring. The late Adekunle Kukoyi was the president of the institution from 1973 to 1978.

Experts’ perspective Lagos, NIS Chairman, Mr. Adeleke Adesina, stated that the issue of climate change had become a global problem that is being discussed world over, adding that surveyors as stakeholders in the environment and land matters must add their voices on ways to combat disasters posed by climate change. According to him, surveyors should be contacted in the proposal to mitigate climate change, especially the proposed grazing law in the country, adding that they have relevant land information for planning. He said that surveyors could identify, survey and manage grazing and farm sites.

He said: “Promoters of grazing law should identify surveyors; it should acknowledge that there are surveyors. “If you jettison them, the repercussion will be there later.” Immediate past Chairman of the branch, Mr. Gbenga Alara, noted that climate change had become a global phenomenon caused by human activities.

He pointed out that it had become a collective thing on the part of every human being to salvage the environment, adding that the government must put in place sustainable and right policy that will guide man in its existence. On the role of surveyors, Alara said that they were to make sure that everything is in the right position, ensure proper planning and carry out monitoring to best serve humanity.

Clarion call

A former Minister of Industry, Chief (Mrs) Oniikepo Akande, who was a guest speaker at the forum, noted that the dependence on cars and lack of public transport infrastructure has indicated both social and political problems, pointing out that sustainability of living environment had become an issue that needs to be addressed on various levels. She said: “Climate change affects livelihoods, human settlements and land use patterns.

The manner in which decisions about access to, use of, and control over resources are implemented and enforced are central to the success of climate change adaptation and mitigation.” She challenged surveyors on the critical roles of protecting the environment in the areas of development design, project management, land administration, information management and monitoring. Akande advised policymakers and the government to tap into the expertise of skilled professionals if the war against climate change and environmental degradation is to achieve the desired results of saving lives and protecting the environment.

Akande, who is also the Chairman, New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), Nigeria Business Group, tasked surveyors to rise to the occasion, saying that they had the knowledge and expertise necessary for adaptation to climate change.

“You work with the land, people, political and social institutions in developing, building and maintaining towns and cities. These put you at a very important position to advocate and lead the agenda to protect the present and future victims of climate related disasters,” Akande said.

Reiterating the importance of surveyors as custodians of accurate land information, Akande, who is also the immediate past Chairman, Lagos Chamber of Commerce, advised policy makers on ways to tackle challenges of climate change, saying they should consult for accurate and relevant information on land usage. She enjoined surveyors through their various associations to ensure developmental projects and also comply with best practices and environmental standards.

Last line

The starting point for surveyors in the fight against climate change is commitment to identifying and promoting global best practices and sustainable utilisation of land.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Shad Trudics

    November 12, 2019 at 8:54 pm

    very cool

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Business

Verve Global Card expands international acceptance to the United Arab Emirates

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Verve Global Card expands international acceptance to the United Arab Emirates

 

 

  • Activates first official transaction in Dubai

 

Verve, a leading payments technology and card business in Africa, held a first transaction event Monday in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Verve Global cardholders can now use their cards on Discover Global Network to transact in more than 185 countries and territories, including Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
The first transaction event took place at Emperor Retail outlet, City Walk by Meraas Al Safa Str. Dubai.
Senior executive members of Verve International were joined at the event by key partners including Jerry Fosker, a senior Executive from Discover Global Network, Shamsudeen Fashola; Group Head Retail Banking FCMB, Margaret Okhoya; Product Manager Card Services FCMB, Lanre Oladimeji; Group Head Retail Banking Zenith Bank, Nneka Onwuegbuche; Product Manager, Card Services Zenith Bank, among others.
Speaking at the launch in Dubai, Mitchell Elegbe, Interswitch Group Managing Director, expressed his excitement, stating that the decision to bring Verve Global to Dubai was a strategic one.
“Dubai is an important destination of choice for business and leisure as well as being a popular destination for Nigerians,” he said.
The transaction in Dubai comes following the successful launch of Verve Global in New York in August this year, and marks Verve International’s first entrance into the UAE region.
Elegbe continued: “As we approach the Dubai Expo 2020, we believe this is the right time to expand into a region with a rapidly evolving payments market. The launch in Dubai will provide an efficient way for new and existing Verve Global cardholders to transact whenever they visit the region.”
Expressing his gratitude to stakeholders and partners present, Mike Ogbalu III, Chief Executive Officer, Verve International, reiterated the mission and vision of Verve, stating its core objective of making seamless payment solutions available to Nigerians and Africans in every part of the world.
“We are very delighted that a domestic card scheme of African origin can be used to make payments across the world. We express our gratitude to all our partners, particularly Zenith Bank and First City Monument Bank, who have joined us today. One of the biggest assets of Verve International is our partners (both those who are here in Dubai and all others). Thank you for joining us on this epic journey to plant our footprints all over the world. We are very confident that you will remain with us as we continue to take bold steps,” he said.

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Sanwo-Olu gets Chinese investor’s commitment to set up in Lagos

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Sanwo-Olu gets Chinese investor’s commitment to set up in Lagos

Lagos State Governor Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu Monday engaged the leadership of Gree Electrical Appliances on the possibility of siting a plant in Lagos to support the Fortune 500 company’s expansion into Africa.
The Governor, while on a tour of the company’s expansive facility in Zhuhai, China, told the company’s leadership, including Mr. Xie Dong Bo, the President’s Assistant, who represented Madam Dong Mingzhu, the company’s President and Chairperson, at the facility inspection, that: “Lagos State is open to socially responsible and viable companies like Gree Electric Appliances.
“As you know, Lagos is the largest city in Africa, with a population of over 22 million people. The state’s economy is the 7th largest on the continent of Africa. The state is central for easy distribution of products and a fertile ground for recruiting highly skilled workforce that will help further the innovation for which Gree Electric Appliance is globally reputed.”
Allaying the fear of the company’s management about the challenges of doing business in Lagos, Sanwo-Olu told the potential investors in the state’s economy that “every region of the world has its own peculiar challenge(s). Even here in China, you have your own issues, but your challenges may not be what our challenges are in Lagos.
“However, the good news is that Lagos State is committed to innovation and excellence in everything we do. We have our eyes on the ball and the government I lead is leaving no stone unturned in ensuring that business processes are simplified enough to support entrepreneurial efforts to grow and succeed. We are the major driver of Nigeria’s 15 places improvement on the World Ease of Doing Business Index, and we will continue to drive the process for continual ascension of Nigeria on the Index,” he told his hosts.
Speaking through its Presidential Assistant, Mr. Xie Dong Bo, who has managed the company’s international subsidiaries in Brazil and Pakistan, the company expressed gratitude to the government and people of Lagos State for the invitation to establish an international subsidiary in the state.
He said: “Gree Electric Appliances is grateful for the invitation and the opportunity to expand into Lagos. With this invitation, we see an opportunity to increase our share of the air-conditioning market to the region of 35% and our annual production capacity of residential air-conditioners (RAC) and central air-conditioners (CAC) from more than 60 million and 5.5 million sets respectively.”

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PEBEC’s L.I.T. tour reflects real-time effect as ease of doing business improves in Nigeria

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PEBEC’s L.I.T. tour reflects real-time effect as ease of doing business improves in Nigeria

The World Bank’s 2020 Doing Business Index (DBI) recently placed Nigeria in 131st position in the ‘Ease of Doing Business’ ranking, out of 190 countries. Only two sub-Saharan African economies rank in the top 50, while most of the bottom 20 economies in the global rankings are from the region.
Compared to other parts of the world, sub-Saharan Africa still underperforms in several areas, especially with basic infrastructure such as electricity. But in recent years, Nigeria has conducted reforms impacting six indicators, including making the enforcement of contracts easier, which placed the 200-million-person economy among the world’s top improvers.
As indicated by the World Bank in 2019, Nigeria has made the process of starting a business simpler by operationalising an electronic platform that coordinates the duty authority and the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). Likewise, the Commission updated its name reservation platform and, in Kano, there is currently a web-based electronic platform for enlisting businesses.
While company registration in Nigeria has consistently been an issue for entrepreneurs in the past, the procedure has been digitised for more to ensure a significant reduction in time, cost, and procedures needed to start, and run a business.
If these reforms appear abstract, the PEBEC has created a solution for that. With a kick-off in Lagos that had the Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu in attendance along with his cabinet members in charge of business-related activities, the ‘Listen. Implement. Track’ sub-national tour aims to take live demos of reforms across the nation in a tour across the six geo-political zones.
These series of events, themed: Lituation has already held in the North – Central (Kwara) and the South – East (Imo) zones. These open registration events have allowed the business communities in the states where it has held to interact directly with regulators, given them a chance to interact in real-time with the reforms and where necessary, give feedback on areas of improvement.
Owners of micro, small, and medium scale businesses who have spoken at each of the Lituation events – including Ola Orekunrin of Flying Doctors, Onyeka Akumah of Farmcrowdy, Aanu Oriyomi of Meesquared Royale Ventures, and Ifeanyi Orajaka of CVE Projects Limited – all attest the huge improvements they have experienced in starting and running their businesses, getting complaints against regulators resolved using the ReportGov App, as well as the positive impact these have had on their business bottom lines.
The L.I.T. sub-national tour continued on Monday, with its South – West stop in Ekiti, and in the three remaining geo-political zones before the year runs out.
According to the head of the Enabling Business Environment Council and special adviser to the President on Ease of Doing Business, Dr Jumoke Oduwole, PEBEC is committed to making “sure that the system is maximised for every single person toiling, or tilling the soil to move Nigeria’s economy forward.”

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Qantas urges rapper will.i.am to withdraw racism accusation against staffer

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Qantas urges rapper will.i.am to withdraw racism accusation against staffer

Australia’s flagship airline, Qantas, said on Monday it stood ready to offer legal assistance to a member of its flight crew named in a racism accusation by Black Eyed Peas rapper will.i.am on social media.

The U.S. singer had taken a flight about 1-1/2-hours long to Sydney, Australia’s most populous city, from northeastern Brisbane to play at a concert on Saturday, but was met by Australian federal police at the arrival gate.

He said on Twitter he was racially targeted by an airline attendant, whom he identified by name, after failing to put away his laptop as the flight prepared to land, because he had put on noise-cancelling headphones to “make beats”.

Qantas, which called the incident a “misunderstanding”, has requested the rapper to retract his statement, reports Reuters.

“Absent a retraction, and if the crew member wanted to take the matter further, we’d certainly be willing to provide legal support for them to do this,” a spokesman told Reuters in a statement.

Police confirmed they spoke to crew and passengers at the airport, but said no further action was required. “The Australian Federal Police considers this matter finalised,” they said in a statement.

On Saturday, will.i.am said in a post on Twitter, “Is calling the police on a passenger for not hearing (the) P.A. due to wearing noise-canceling headphones appropriate?”

He added, “If didn’t put away my laptop ‘in a rapid 2min time’ I’d understand. I did comply quickly & politely, only to be greeted by police. I think I was targeted.”

As of Monday, will.i.am had not made any retraction on social media, even as other commenters pointed out that the crew member he identified had received threats on social media as a result.

He pointed out that if he were rude to a fan or journalist, he would be publicly named.

“This is what Twitter is for…we are supposed to call out wrongdoings so we can have a safer, more compassionate world,” will.i.am said.

Reuters was not able to contact the rapper through his agency, and he did not immediately respond to a request for comment on social media.

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Made in China: Samsung farms out more phones to fend off rivals

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Made in China: Samsung farms out more phones to fend off rivals

Samsung’s plan to outsource a fifth of its smartphone production to China next year may help it compete with low-cost rivals such as Huawei and Xiaomi but it’s a strategy fraught with risks, people with familiar with the move said.

Samsung Electronics, which shut its last in-house Chinese smartphone factory in October, is quietly moving production of some Galaxy A models to contractors such as Wingtech, which are little known outside China.

Samsung has been coy about the volumes involved but sources said the South Korean tech giant plans to ship some 60 million phones made in China by so-called original design manufacturers (ODMs) next year out of a total of about 300 million devices, reports Reuters.

Wingtech and other ODMs make phones for multiple brands – including Huawei [HWT.UL], Xiaomi and Oppo – giving them the economies of scale to keep costs down, and the nimble contractors can develop and produce new budget phones quickly.

Critics of Samsung’s strategy say it risks losing control of quality and undermining its manufacturing expertise by outsourcing, and may even help rivals by giving contractors the extra volume they need to lowers costs further for all.

Samsung can ill afford another quality crisis. It scrapped its flagship Galaxy Note 7 in 2016 after reports the expensive phones were catching fire and delayed the launch of its folding phone this year after screen defects were identified.

But with margins razor thin for budget smartphones, people familiar with Samsung’s strategy say it has little choice but to follow rivals and use Chinese ODMs to shave costs.

“This is an inevitable strategy rather than a good strategy,” a source with knowledge of Samsung’s Chinese operations said.

Samsung said in a statement to Reuters that it has been making limited lines of smartphones outside its own plants to broaden its existing portfolio and “ensure efficient management in the market”. It declined to say how many Samsung phones are made by ODMs and said future volumes had yet to be determined.

Wingtech did not respond to a request for comment.

CHEAPER COMPONENTS

Research firm Counterpoint says ODMs can procure all the components needed for $100-$250 smartphones for 10% to 15% less than major brands with their own factories in China.

One supply chain source said Wingtech can get some parts for up to 30% less than Samsung Electronics pays in Vietnam, where it has three factories churning out smartphones, TVs and home appliances.

Wingtech started making tablets and phones for Samsung in 2017, accounting for 3% of its smartphones. That’s expected to hit 8%, or 24 million units, this year, according to IHS Markit.

Samsung’s outsourcing plans involve its lower and mid-range Galaxy A series, with Wingtech having a hand in both design and production, sources said. The A6S, one of the models to be outsourced, costs from 1,299 yuan ($185) in China.

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Otunuga: Only healthy economy‘ll attract foreign investors

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Otunuga: Only healthy economy‘ll attract foreign investors

Lukman Otunuga, Senior Research Analyst, Forextime UK Limited (FXTM), in this interview with Chris Ugwu, speaks on knotty issues affecting Nigerian economy

 

 

How would you assess the Nigerian economy since the beginning of the new administration?

 

 

The Nigerian economy still remains on a bumpy road to recovery in the face of volatile oil prices, US-China trade developments, Brexit drama and concerns over slowing global growth. Although the nation expanded 1.94 per cent during the second quarter of 2019, it is unlikely to meet the government’s three per cent growth targets this year. This sentiment continues to be reflected in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which has projected Nigeria to expand 2.3 per cent this year and 2.5 per cent in 2020. Despite the push for economic diversification, 90 per cent of foreign exchange earnings and 70 per cent of government revenues are still attained from oil sales. Growth in the non-oil sector has been sluggish with approximately 1.6 per cent and 2.6 per cent expansion respectively in the first and second quarter of 2019. Overall, economic fundamentals have been mixed with Business Confidence increasing to 28.60 Index Points in August from 28.10 in July of 2019. However, consumer confidence decreased to 1.20 in the second quarter of 2019 from 4.80 seen in Q1. Given how manufacturers across the globe are feeling the heat from trade disputes, it is understandable that the Central Bank of Nigeria Manufacturing PMI dropped to 57.7 in September of 2019 from 57.9 in the previous month. While the Central Bank of Nigeria can be commended on its effort to promote naira stability, this has come at the expense of falling reserves which decreased to $42.1 billion in September. Further signs of reserves declining amid weak oil prices and repeated intervention by the CBN is likely to weigh on the Nigerian economy. If the CBN is unable to defend the naira from external and domestic risks, the consequences will ripple through all corners of Nigeria. Africa’s largest economy still has the potential to rock the global stage despite the unfavourable global macro and domestic conditions. However, key steps in the form of more diversification, monetary policy easing and swift implementation of the 2020 budget could set the economy on the right path.

 

 

 

 

What factors do you think account for investors either staying or exiting the market?

 

 

A key factor that will magnetize investors to the Nigeria market is the health of the economy. Consistent signs of improving economic fundamentals in key sectors, easing inflationary pressures and foreign exchange stability and transparency will be warmly received by investors. Given the unfavourable global macroeconomic conditions and gloomy predictions from major institution, robust core economic metrics should make Nigeria stand out from the crowd. Although Nigeria remains exposed to external shocks in the form of oil, an appreciation in the commodity will most likely stimulate economic growth. However, it remains uncertain whether Oil prices will ever be able to reach triple digits in the face of slowing global growth. Oil markets remain influenced by demand side factors revolving around trade uncertainty. Another factor that will weigh on Oil and the Nigerian economy is the fact that China’s economic growth slowed to six per cent during the third quarter of 2019. China is the world’s largest energy consumer and one of Nigeria’s biggest trading partners with total trade reaching roughly $10.3 billion in 2018. A fall in demand for crude and trade flows with China could threaten Nigeria’s fragile recovery consequently repelling investors to the nation’s markets. It will be unwise to overlook external drivers in the trade developments and health of the global economy. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has downgraded its forecast for global growth to three per cent this year while the World Trade Organisation (WTO) sees global trade volumes dropping to 1.2 per cent, down from three per cent in 2018. This gloomy outlook may encourage investors to avoid riskier assets. A scenario that will not only impact Nigeria, but other emerging markets across the globe. This is already being reflected in the Nigeria Stock Market with the NSE-All Share Index dropping over 15.5 per cent since the start of 2019.

 

 

Inflation in Nigeria remains above the 6 -9 per cent target range just as the latest report shows an increase. What are the implications of this on the economy and CBN monetary policy?

 

 

Rising inflationary pressures in Nigeria will certainly complicate the Central Bank of Nigeria’s efforts to cut interest rates to stimulate growth. The nation’s annual inflation edged up to 11.24 per cent in September 2019, its highest level in three months after falling to a three-and-a-half-year low of 11.02 per cent in August. Food prices jumped after the government partially closed its border with Benin to curb the smuggling of rice. Given how the CBN governor has already made it clear that inflation must hit single digits before a rate cut could be considered, it remains uncertain whether the central bank will cut interest rates before year end. A rate cut could inject the Nigerian economy with a welcome boost, as it stimulates consumption which accounts for roughly 80 per cent of GDP. But however, cutting the MPR when the inflation rate is at 11.22 percent risks further overheating prices. Like other economies, Nigeria may be risking thebe exposed to the impacts of a global slowdown but its economy is very different from the US’ which is currently experiencing anaemic price inflation. This may be why the Central Bank of Nigeria decided to prioritise reducing inflation to single digits and said it is in no hurry to reduce its key rate. In other effects, foreign investment and foreign currency reserves in Nigeria are likely to see benefits from the CBN’s decision to hold rates at 13.5 per cent. This is based on the argument that international investors may be looking for higher-yield securities than those in the mature markets, especially in the light of declin ing or negative interest rate environments in Europe and the US. In the absence of cutting interest rates, the CBN has raised the country’s loan to deposit ratio for banks to 65 per cent from 60 per cent. Making sure money is in circulation instead of being tied up in government bonds sounds like a logical way to keep the economy on the road to recovery. However, it remains to be seen whether this will be enough to promote growth.

 

Do you think the adoption of a more flexible exchange rate policy by the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) will boost capital market and the economy?

 

A flexible exchange rate may provide international investors with a fresh layer of transparency. This could result in an increase in foreign direct investment and Diaspora flows consequently boosting the Nigerian economy. Foreign direct investment in Nigeria increased by roughly $909 million in the second quarter of 2019 with FDI averaging a total of $1.23 billion from 2007 until 2019. While such a move will benefit the Nigerian economy in the longer term, it may create negative shocks in the short to medium term. It must be kept in mind that a flexible rate will most likely result in a sharp depreciation of the naira as the natural forces of supply and demand find an equilibrium value for the local currency. A depreciating naira will result in explosive inflationary pressures, ultimately exposing the nation to downside shocks in the short term. Inflation may eclipse the 18.72 per cent witnessed in January 2019 as the local currency sinks to an all-time low. If Nigeria could weather the storm of a weakening naira and runaway inflation, the outcome could be similar to the Egyptian economy which allowed its currency to float in 2016 but later recovered after two years.

 

How do you think the current administration will help revive the nation’s financial market?

 

The first step will be the swift passing of the 2020 budget before we enter the new year. It must be kept in mind that the IMF has stated that Nigeria’s “over-optimistic revenue projections have led to higher financing needs than initially envisaged, resulting in over-reliance on the expensive borrowing from the central bank to finance the deficit.” This will be a key theme global investor will be watching in 2020. According to the IMF, Nigeria’s economic growth is too slow to reduce poverty and the government must diversify from whole dependence on crude. A stronger push in diversifying away from oil reliance will boost attraction towards the nation’s financial markets. With a booming population and fertile land, agricultural policies aimed at boosting domestic production should create a solid platform for Nigeria to break away from the chains of oil reliance. There could be massive scope for the agriculture sector to provide substantially government revenues while also stabilizing the nation if overall spending is increased and the correct policies are implemented swiftly. While domestic drivers in the form of strong macroeconomic metrics, foreign exchanges stability and monetary policy easing from the CBN could stimulate appetite for the domestic markets, external themes must not be overlooked. US-China trade developments, Brexit and its impacts on Nigeria trade and oil prices have the potential to influence the nation’s financial markets.

 

What does Brexit mean for the Nigerian economy?

 

 

 

After more than 1200 days after Britain voted to leave the European Union, the country still remains in the trading bloc, pondering exactly how to leave. Although the October 31 “do or die” Brexit deadline has been extended to January 2020, this is simply kicking the can further down the road. With the United Kingdom set for general elections on December 12, this will certainly not be a quiet Christmas for Britain and the pound. It will be unwise for investors to rule of the possibility of the United Kingdom crashing out of the European Union next year given the unpredictable nature of Brexit. The seismic tremors created from such an unfavorable development will ripple far beyond the borders of Britain, with everyone across the globe feeling the heat including those in Africa. Given how Brexit adds to the growing list of geopolitical risk factors straining investor confidence, appetite for emerging market may diminish if the UK leaves the European Union without a deal. It is not only appetite for emerging markets that will be under threat but trade and diplomatic relations with Britain and Europe following the divorce. It must be kept in mind that trade deals with the UK and African countries are negotiated through the EU which plays a middle man. With the agreement becoming void when Britain departs from Europe, this presents significant disruptions and economic risk to African nations who trade with the UK. Britain’s top trading partners like Nigeria, Kenya and Egypt will most likely be punished by a no-deal Brexit. The UK was Nigeria’s 6th largest trading partner last year with total trade roughly $5 billion. In 2018, Nigeria exported £2.23 billion worth of oil to the UK, an improvement over the level of £1.1 billion in 2017.  But with the UK’s economy exposed to downside risks, the outlook for Nigeria’s oil sales appears less promising. Nigeria’s oil sales in the UK and Europe face another challenge. Over and above the UK’s declining economic circumstances is increased competition from the US light sweet crude oil industry.  In August, oil sales slowed to their lowest level of the year because US Shale oil flooded European markets.  In July, Nigeria’s oil sales to the U.S. fell to zero as US president Donald Trump’s administration powered up its energy dominance policy. It is essential for Nigeria to regain market share in the UK and Europe, which accounts for 46 per cent of its crude oil sales. As demand and supply side challenges grow, Nigeria could benefit from closer relations with the UK government, which points out that it has extensive experience in building and managing oil industry infrastructure. A trade deal which secures the UK as a guaranteed buyer of Nigerian crude oil could certainly support demand in the long term.  As part of its post-Brexit strategy, the UK government hopes to revive its relationships with the Commonwealth markets and has already begun talks with Nigeria to improve bilateral ties. In one example, the UK provided credit and finance worth £1.25 Billion to facilitate British companies to export goods to Nigeria, resulting in £76.5 billion worth of trade in the last 10 years. During the second quarter of 2019, British Foreign Minister, Jeremy Hunt, visited Nigeria promising a big pool of funds which could be invested in infrastructure. In other developments, the two countries launched an economic forum to explore mutual investment interests. The governments are already discussing the introduction of naira-backed financial instruments in the UK and expanding cooperation in the insurance sector. To wrap up, Nigeria’s post-Brexit relations with the UK are faced with several headwinds which could blow off course the priority to maintain and increase investments in the development of its oil-and-gas industry infrastructure. On the upside, it is positive that trade talks with the UK are deepening and there are pre-existing diplomatic and trading relationships which go back many decades.

 

 

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Crude oil boost: FG, concessionaires garner $2.1bn in 15 days

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Crude oil boost: FG, concessionaires garner $2.1bn in 15 days

 

November production balloons to 33m barrels

 

 

T

he Federal Government and oil bloc concessionaires have made $2.1 billion in the first 15 days of November.

 

This, New Telegraph gathered at the weekend, came as Nigeria’s November production increased to 33 million barrels as at the middle of the month.

 

Nigeria, data of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) showed, pushed out 25.5 million barrels out of the 33 million output to OPEC market between Nov. 1 and 15.

 

 

The Chief Operating Officer, COO, of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Roland Ewubare, confirmed this figure, maintaining that Nigeria currently produces between 1.6 million-1.7 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil.

The country, the COO said, would continue to comply with OPEC output cuts.

 

 

“The last quota put us at 1.7 million bpd and we are committed to that threshold, our current production with the cuts is between 1.6 and 1.7 million barrels per day for November,” Ewubare said on the sideline of an oil conference in the United Arab Emirates, adding that Nigeria’s output of crude and condensate is at 2.2 million bpd, he said.

 

 

The OPEC had granted Nigeria a higher output target under an OPEC-led deal to limit supply following efforts by Africa’s largest exporter to tweak the agreement to accommodate its expanding oil industry.

 

 

Nigeria started participating in the deal this year, having been granted an exemption from previous OPEC cuts due to militant attacks that reduced the country’s output.

 

 

The average price of OPEC basket of 14 crudes on November 9 stood at $62.74 per barrel.

 

 

The highest price so far is $63.00 a barrel, which oil traded on Thursday, November 7, compared with $62.48 the previous day, according to OPEC secretariat calculations.

Using the $62.74 per barrel price, the 2.2 million barrels production amounted to $2.07042 billion in 15 days.

 

 

The OPEC Reference Basket of Crudes (ORB) is made up of the following: Saharan Blend (Algeria), Girassol (Angola), Djeno (Congo), Oriente (Ecuador), Zafiro (Equatorial Guinea), Rabi Light (Gabon), Iran Heavy (Islamic Republic of Iran), Basra Light (Iraq), and Kuwait Export (Kuwait).

 

 

Others are Es Sider (Libya), Bonny Light (Nigeria), Arab Light (Saudi Arabia), Murban (UAE) and Merey (Venezuela).

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Gas: Increased demand boosts Nigeria’s N635.2bn export

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Gas: Increased demand boosts Nigeria’s N635.2bn export

WINTER

Liquefied natural gas import by Asian countries increases ahead of winter

 

 

H

igh demand for liquefied natural gas by Asians countries has boosted export of the cargo in Nigeria.

Already, some 3.53 million metric tonnes of the natural gas valued at N635.2billion ($1.74billion) have been lifted out of the country.

New China’s price index for liquefied natural gas (LNG) import delivery has reached $493 per metric tonne because of the demand.

 

 

It was learnt that the demand for the cargo ahead of winter in Asian countries was responsible for an eight-month high in November 2019.

 

Nigeria accounts for over 50 per cent of the current LNG production capacity in Africa, following the $12billion expansion of the country’s liquefaction plant at Bonny Island in Rivers State.

The country is also the fourth largest producer of the gas in the world.

 

Data by the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA)’s shipping position indicated that between August and September, no fewer than 11 ships left Onne Port with 680,000 metric tonnes of the cargo shipped from the LNG’s Bonny Island liquefaction plants, Rivers State to various destinations.

 

The shipment was 19.3 per cent of the total liquefied gas that left the port in nine months.

It was learnt that China, Turkey, Spain, Pakistan and Indian were the major buyers of the product.

 

The shipping data revealed that in September 2019, four vessels ferried out 282,000 tonnes of gas with LNG Finima II leading with 77,000 tonnes; LNG Kita, 70, 000 tonnes and LNG Maran Gas, 70, 000 tonnes and LNG Adamawa, 65,000tonnes.

Also,   398,000 tonnes of the product were lifted in  August  by LNG Abuja II laden with  77,000 tonnes,  LNG Cabtillo De with 70,000 tonnes; LNG Oyo, 68,000 tonnes; LNG Maran Gas Chios, 70,000 tonnes; LNG Hoech Gannet, 70,000 tonnes; LPG Continental, 30,000tonnes and LPG Navigator, 13,000 tonnes.    

 

Record of the shipments revealed that a total of 1.35 million tonnes of natural gas were exported between June and August, 2019.

 

In June and July, 947, 000 metric tonnes of gas were also lifted by 14 vessels  to China and other countries.

The NPA shipping data indicated that nine vessels left the port in July with 585,000 tonnes with LNG Lagos II lifted 77,000 tonnes; LNG Bonny II, 77,000 tonnes; LNG Lokoja, 68,000 tonnes; LNG Borno,  68,000 tonnes; LNG Maran Gas , 70, 000 tonnes; LPG Navigator, 13, 000 tonnes; LNG Rivers, 65,000 tonnes;         LNG Adamawa, 65,000 tonnes  and LNG Abalamabie, 77, 000 tonnes.

 

Also in June, five vessels left the country with 362,000tonnes. Within the period, LNG Mag Dala ferried out 70,000 tonnes; LNG Finima II also lifted 77,000 tonnes; LNG Abuja II, 77,000 tonnes; LNG Borno, 68,000 tonnes and   LNG Sevilla, 70,000 tonnes.

In 2018, the country exported 19.68 million tonnes of LNG, according to the International Group of Liquified Natural Gas Exporters (IGLNGE),  representing a 6.3per cent  share of global output, behind Qatar’s 76.79 million tonnes, Australia’s 66.66 million tonnes, Malaysia’s  24.66 million tonnes and the United States’, 20.65 million tonnes.

 

It learnt that the country would soon become the fourth biggest LNG exporter in the world when Train 7 project is completed.

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Fortifying pact with policyholders

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Fortifying pact with policyholders

The need to boost confidence and reassure policyholders and general public of a new direction for insurance industry has compelled the regulator to parley with consumers. Sunday Ojeme reports

 

F

or any business to remain genuinely sustained, consumers of products from such an investment must be recognised as integral part of the process. It is for this reason that investors would do everything to retain their clients to remain steady and also record good profit.

Ultimately, the bottom line in all of this is confidence. Gaining and retaining the confidence of product consumers remain an arduous task. The moment clients lose confidence and trust in a particular item it becomes herculean to regain the assurance.

Lamentation

 

 

Overtime, the Nigerian insurance industry has suffered same fate where a huge number of individuals and corporate organisations lost confidence in the activities of the operators. The damning apathy is what the industry still suffers till date.

Today, even with the over 180 million population and widespread human and natural resources, insurance penetration in the country still hovers between 0.2 and one or two per cent, depending on where the figure is coming from.

For an industry that should ordinarily be the pillar of other sectors, it lamentably contributes about 0.6 per cent to the nation’s gross domestic product.

 

To correct the anomalies, the regulator, National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), as well as the operators had been making concerted efforts to reform the sector through policy initiative at the top level of government and introduction of attractive products by the players.

 

Although the impact has been a bit noticeable, it is, however, not as brilliant as expected considering the fact that the percentage of the uninsured in respect of individuals and businesses still remains a far cry from what is expected.

Consumers as kings

 

This has spurred the need for the industry to readdress its relationship with existing policyholders as a way of regaining their confidence as well as using them as a platform to attract more clients into the fold.

To get this done, NAICOM again consolidated its rapport with insurance consumers recently where it assured them of the need to see the industry from a new perspective from the old order where policyholders battle with underwriters to get their claims paid, even after being verified as genuine.

 

Speaking to the consumers, the Acting Commissioner for Insurance, Mr. Sunday Thomas, described the meeting as one of the very rare moments where all stakeholders come together to discuss challenges confronting both the demand and supply sides of the insurance sector in the country.

 

According to him, “customers’ satisfaction is central to the sustainability and success of every business, insurance inclusive. We are aware of some of the obvious challenges bedevilling the sector either on the side of operators, consumers, investors or regulator. These challenges could be very overwhelming, however we must not relent in looking for better ways to effectively and efficiently ensure delivery of quality services to policyholders.”

The occasion also provided an atmosphere for the insurance consumers, some of who are not satisfied with developments in the industry, to bare their minds and even threatened to cede their risks offshore.

 

Grievance

 

A case in point was that of members of Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), who called on NAICOM to quickly intervene and address the enormous challenges they are having with local insurers.

The AON members noted that most insurance firms over the years continue to renege on payment of claims due to excuses that are not tenable.

 

Calling for an open market to enable airliners insure freely without hindrance, the Chairman of AON, Captain Ahmad Joji, noted that his members were really not having good times with local insurers.

The Chairman/Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Barbedos Group, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, narrated how his underwriter failed to respond to an accident complaint on one of his aircraft.

 

According to him, having reported the incident to the underwriting firm, the company instead of getting back to him went and reported the issue to their foreign partner (underwriter), who called him for an enquiry.

He called on NAICOM to grant airliners the liberty to insure abroad, where aviation business is properly handled, saying aviation business should not be handled with kids gloves, as any mistake can lead to great mishap.

 

Reassurance

 

However, the Commissioner for Insurance reassured the policyholders, saying “from the regulatory perspective, policyholders remains a key component of our primary constituency and therefore must ensure they are treated fairly and protected as enshrined in relevant laws; while at the same time balancing the supervisory role of ensuring financial soundness and reliability of insurance institutions in the country.

“Suffice it to say that consumers are faced with challenges that may vary from one individual or entity’s experience to another while the provider is faced with constraints that may also differ from one company to the other. But there is no doubt regular interaction such as this one will amongst others foster a better understanding and synergy that will result to better services to the consumer.”

 

Recalling the need for the parley, which is in its second phase, he said the commission took the step in 2018 to incept this platform to provide the most critical stakeholder in the sector, which is the consumer, the opportunity to be heard and be informed first-hand on the workings of the sector.

 

“Last year’s session was adjudged to be a huge success as critical issues affecting consumers of insurance products were brought to limelight. Some of the takeaways from the event were the need for insurance companies to improve the quality of their service delivery, need for operators to launch innovative, consumer – specific and problem-solving products, need to leverage on technology to deepen insurance penetration and above all, need to ensure prompt payment of claims.

“Let me inform you that these takeaways from the 2018 interaction with insurance consumers significantly contributed and shaped the commission’ policy formulation process and eventual issuance of guidelines and circulars to the industry this past one year, especially in the areas of quality service delivery and ease of doing business.

 

“It is imperative to note that NAICOM is well positioned to ensure adequate protection of policyholders at all times. As you may all be aware, the topic on consumer protection has become central to regulators around the globe and the insurance sector is not an exception. Continuing efforts and new reforms are being put in place by NAICOM to ensure prompt payment of genuine claims by insurers.”

Optimism

The commissioner pointed out that the complaints bureau unit of the commission had also been working assiduously to resolve policyholders’ issues relating to non-settlement of claims, contract agreement violation etc, adding that the unit had been further enhanced with the deployment of more staff at very senior level to effectively discharge assigned responsibilities.

 

“Its doors are widely open to receive and resolve, as much as it can, issues on non-settlement of genuine claims from the public.

“The commission has strong passion that insurance consumers are served right and feeling your pulse on the services offered you by your insurers will feed us with ingredients needed to strategise on repositioning the industry for better services. There is no doubt that we all desire a paradigm shift from the current state of our industry to a better state where we will not be grumbling on issues of prompt claims settlement, pricing of insurance products, value for money, innovative products etc.

“However, you will agree with me that none of these could be achieved if we don’t come together and discuss our successes and failures. I therefore implore you to feel free to express your views and speak on your experiences as consumers of insurance products in Nigeria.

 

“It may be worthy for you to note that recent developments and reforms in our sector particularly, the recapitalisation exercise is a move to ensure that the industry becomes more robust in its technical competence and financial base. The process is aimed at repositioning the sector for self-actualization in terms of growth and development; the end result of which will be to enhance the ability of insurers to provide better protection and improved services to the customers.

 

 

“Let me reassure you that the Commission shall continue to introduce new reforms and initiatives in line with international best practices for consumer protection and customer satisfaction. Henceforth, insurance companies will be assessed and ranked on the quality of their service delivery to customers and the ranking of companies in this regard will be made public in order to provoke healthy competition among insurers. This we believe will boost consumers’ choice and confidence in insurance,” he added.

The reassurance to the consumers came barely one week after the industry regulator also enlightened shareholders on the need for the ongoing recapitalisation.

 

According to the commission, not less than N16 trillion worth of risks were ceded offshore last year alone due to low capital and technical capacities in-country.

 

 

Last line

With developments tilting towards a positive perspective for the sector, the only far-reaching solution to sustain and better the situation is for the industry regulator to ensure that claims are paid promptly just as operators who default in this regard and are also into other form of infractions are penalised to the knowledge

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NCC board tackles NASS over communications law review

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NCC board tackles NASS over communications law review

DYNAMIC

Lawmakers want Nigerian communications rule book updated to reflect the dynamic nature of the industry

 

 

T

he National Assembly has called for a review of the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA), which guides operations and regulations in the country’s telecommunications sector.

A member of the House of Representatives, who proposed the review, Honourable Isiaka Ibrahim, said the Act, which came into force in 2003, was due for review in view of the dynamism in technology world.

 

Ibrahim, who is also a member of the House Committee on Communications, said the 16-year-old law had become archaic and not in tune with the realities of today’s telecommunications, hence, the need for a review.

 

“We are elected to make laws for the good of the people and we are waiting for the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to bring a proposal for the amendment of the NCA because it has become old and needs to be fine-tuned in line with current realities,” he said.

 

However, reacting to the call, the Chairman of NCC, Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye, said the sector was more concerned about the Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) Bill, which has been before the National Assembly for over two years.

Durojaiye, once a lawmaker, said the review of the NCA may not be necessary now as laws are made to last long.

 

“The National Assembly needs to first of all look at the Critical National Infrastructure Bill, which has been before them for over two years now. We need to protect the telecommunications infrastructure first before talking about changing our law. The act of wilful vandalisation of telecommunications equipment must be criminalised and that is why we want the National Assembly to consider this first and pass the CNI Bill into law,” the NCC chairman said.

 

Several telecoms stakeholders had before now called on the government to come up with a policy to protect telecom infrastructure by declaring it critical national asset.

Among them was the Chairman of Association of Licensed Telecom Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), Engr Gbenga Adebayo.

 

According to him, telecommunication infrastructure should be seen as a social infrastructure that makes vandalisation of such infrastructure a security risk highly punishable by law. He recalled that there used to be a law against stealing of NITEL infrastructure and that helped in no small measure in protecting the assets of the company.

 

With the delay of the CNI bill, the ALTON chairman also called on President Muhammadu Buhari to issue an executive order proclaiming telecoms services as critical national security and economic infrastructure as prescribed by the Cybersecurity Act 2015.

Adebayo noted that the telecom industry supported many other sectors of the economy.

 

“We are also the first layer of critical infrastructure for socio-economic development and security. It is pertinent to state that unless telecoms facilities have first level of protection by government, it will be difficult to provide uninterrupted services to the citizenry,’’ he noted.

 

Also speaking, the President, Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Mr. Olusola Teniola, called on the Nigeria Police Force, National Security Adviser to the President and other security agents to assist the industry in protecting of critical Infrastructure that ICT infrastructure is now under.

 

 

“This will help improve QoS and reduce the costs of repairs in the industry to a nominal level,” he said.

The ATCON president noted that the infrastructure that was being rolled out for support broadband services needed to be fully protected from vandalism, theft, and destruction and therefore the enforcement of the CNI under the cybercrime bill needs to be enacted without any further delay.

 

 

According to Teniola, when base stations are shut down wilfully and telecom facilities are vandalised without bringing the culprits to book, not only quality of service is affected but investor confidence is eroded.

 

“We cannot achieve the national broadband target or improve quality of service with non-implementation of laws meant to protect facilities and infrastructures that are deemed to be national assets. This is another challenge that has impeded the growth of the sector in the sense that some miscreants have turned it to their businesses to destroy the telecom masts and towers.

“The cybercrime law treats telecoms infrastructure as a critical national infrastructure in Nigeria, but we are worried that nobody is implementing it,” he said.

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