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Ship pollution victims to access IMO funds



Ship pollution victims to access IMO funds

Victims of oil spill and polluted environments in Nigerian maritime domain can now access the International Oil Pollution Compensation (IOPC) funds of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), BAYO AKOMOLAFE reports




ifty years after it was established, Nigeria can now enjoy the International Oil Pollution Compensation (IOPC) funds instituted by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to compensate those, who have suffered from oil pollution by vessels.


The fund was put in place following the oil spill from the Torrey Canyon, which ran aground near the Scilly Isles in 1967, fouling United Kingdom and French coastlines.

The fund


The IOPC funds provide financial compensation for oil pollution damage that occurs in member states, resulting from spills of persistent oil from tankers.


The funds are financed by contributions paid by entities that receive certain types of oil by sea transport.


The contributions are based on the amount of oil received in the relevant calendar year and cover expected claims together with the costs of administering the funds.



However, since its inception, Nigeria, which has been contributing to the funds, has never benefited from it in the last five decades.


Most affected are Lagos, Warri, Bonny anchorage and Eket offshore.


MT Al-Zainah , Crown O, MT Aribi, Walvi-14, and Real Progress  had been involved in various accidents on Nigerian waters leading to spillage.


The incessant spillage compelled the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to introduce the Sea Protection Levy (SPL) for tanker and  oil companies.          



The agency explained that flagged vessels from 100-1000 metric tonnes  would pay N500 per gross tonnage, while vessels of  between 1001 and 10,000GT  would pay N350 per GT;  10001-100,000 metric tonnes vessels,  N300 per GT and those from 100,000 and above metric tonnes attracts N250 per GT.


Also, the agency said that foreign flagged vessels were to pay in dollars.


It said: “Those from 100-1000 metric tonnes will pay $0.1 per GT, those from 1001-10000metric tonnes will pay $0.15, per GT, those from 10001-100,000metric tonnes will pay $0.2per GT and those from 100,000metric tons and above will pay $0.3 per GT.”




The agency further warned that any default in payment of the SPL by any shipping company may lead to its ship being detained by the agency at any port or jetty until the levy is paid.




The framework for the regime was the 1969 International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage (1969 Civil Liability Convention) and the 1971 International Convention on the Establishment of an International Fund for Compensation for Oil Pollution (1971 Fund Convention).


For the first time, the Federal Government initiated moves aimed at ensuring  that victims of oil spill and polluted environments across the country access the IOPC funds.




The funds have been involved in 150 incidents of varying sizes all over the world.


In accessing the funds, the Minister of Environment, Dr. Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar, said in Lagos that the devastating impacts of oil spills on the environment, health and livelihoods of “our rural and urban communities had led to land degradation, loss of lives, destruction of habitats, loss of bio-diversity, incidence of diseases, poor sanitation, loss of livelihoods as well as the depletion of national revenue base.”



Abubakar dropped the hint at a three-day workshop jointly organised by the Nigerian Oil Spill Detention and Response Agency (NOSDRA) and NIMASA in partnership with the Global Initiative for West, Central and Southern Africa (GIWACAF).


He  explained that government’s objective was to  draw attention to the scope and implementation of the IOPC funds, focusing on the procedure related to liability and compensation in case of an oil spill.



Abubakar, who was represented by the Director General of NOSDRA, Mr. Idris Musa, noted that consideration must also be given to ecological damage  of the ecosystem


He said: “The need to work out modalities on how to adequately and fairly compensate both victims of oil spill pollution and the environment is the reason we are here today.


“However, our peculiar circumstances in Nigeria demand for a convention that will give attention to liability and compensation regime for oil spills, which occur from Floating Production Storage and Offtake (FPSO) that are also loading points for maritime tankers.”



Abubakar stressed that consideration should not only be given to socio-economic losses suffered by individuals or communities but also to ecological damage by way of effective restoration of the damaged ecosystem.





Also, the Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Pererside, stressed the need to provide training for relevant national authorities on the scope and implementation of IMO conventions relating to cost evaluation and compensation procedure in the event of oil spill.



Dakuku, who was represented by the agency’s Executive Director, Maritime Labour and Cabotage Services, Ahmed Gambo, added that the training would provide essential knowledge and skill to develop strategy and policies for an effective shoreline response (clean-up assessment) within the respective countries of member states of Global Initiative for West, Central and Southern Africa (GI WACAF).



Last line



Major instruments of IMO on the prevention of pollution of the marine environment should be domesticated into the national law  like the Marine Environment Management Regulations  (MEMR) among which is the Sea Protection Levy (SPL). This will make it easier to be enforced.



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Malaysia to cut export duties for crude palm oil in 2020



Malaysia to cut export duties for crude palm oil in 2020

Malaysia will reduce duties on exports of crude palm oil, its first review since the current tax rate was imposed in 2013, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said on Monday.

Under the new tax regime, the export duty rate will be set at 3% when prices are between 2,250 ringgit ($538.54) and 2,400 ringgit per tonne, down from the current duty of 4.5%, reports Reuters.

The export duty rate will go up to 4.5% at the next price tier of 2,401 ringgit to 2,550 ringgit, and rise at 0.5% increments to a maximum of 8% should prices reach over 3,450 ringgit per tonne.

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Foreign airlines lobby govs, others for more flight services



Foreign airlines lobby govs, others for more flight services
  • Domestic carriers fret, bleed


  • Capital flight could rise to N600bn yearly




t a time Nigerian carriers are shouting themselves hoarse to cut down on multiple designations to foreign airlines, the carriers are clandestinely lobbying the Ministry of Aviation for more flights into the country, New Telegraph has learnt.


Besides, the carriers are lobbying influential people in government and some state governors for help to extend flight operations to many states in Nigeria, a situation that has far more implications for the growth of domestic airlines.


Not a few have lamented that foreign airlines are now designated to multiple routes within Nigeria, but this development threatens the survival of local airlines.

This newspaper gathered from a source close to some European carriers that they, in conjunction with their home countries, are mounting so much pressure to expand their operations in the country; a situation that defeats the Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) Nigeria has with many of the countries.

BASAs are treaties signed between Countries to allow international commercial air transport services between territories.

BASAs promote international air link between countries, which supports and enables movement of persons, cargo, trade and tourism. These agreements provide the framework under which identified airlines from the two countries fly into designated ports in each other’s country.


Nigeria loses over N500 billion in capital flight yearly due to the lopsided air pact the country has with many countries. Nigeria’s carriers do not have the capacity to compete with their foreign counterpart. They are equally not protected by government policy, leaving predator foreign carriers that are having a field day in the country.

There are indications that the ticket sales of foreign airlines out of Nigeria could rise to N600 billion in no distant time, as more foreign airlines have been granted permission to operate to Nigeria, while many are taking away the domestic market from local airlines.


Nigerian airlines have been muscled, as they only make less than two per cent from the huge sales in the country.

For example, Ethiopia Airlines operates in five cities namely Enugu, Kano, Kaduna, Abuja and Lagos. Turkish Airlines operates in four cities: Abuja, Kano, Lagos and Port Harcourt, while Emirates Airlines operates two frequencies daily into Lagos and one to Abuja.


For instance, Turkish Airlines has just started Istanbul to Abuja, Abuja to Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt to Abuja, then Abuja to Istanbul. Lufthansa and Air France are also doing the same, thereby running indigenous airlines out of business.


While Emirates has two frequencies into Lagos and one to Abuja, it has announced plans to introduce a third flight in and out of Lagos to commence very soon, making it three flights daily to Lagos.

Indigenous airlines have the capacity to cover all the domestic routes being operated now by these foreign airlines. The practice in international aviation is for foreign airlines to partner with local airlines to help them distribute their passengers within the domestic routes.


Besides multiple designations, foreign airlines are being encouraged to do multiple frequencies into the country and within the country, a practice not allowed in other countries.

A few days ago, Rivers State Government and Ethiopian Airlines were said to have reached an agreement for the operation of permanent international flights from the Port Harcourt International airport subject to the approval of the relevant federal authorities.


The two parties reached the pact at the headquarters of Ethiopian Airlines in Addis Ababa after a meeting attended by the Group Chief Executive Officer of the airline, Dr Tewolde Gebremariam and other top managers.

Aviation safety consultant, Group Capt. John Ojikutu (Rtd), said Wike’s position is at variance with the position of the National Assembly on the matter.

He stated that while the National Assembly is planning to curtail foreign airlines’ incursion into “our domestic routes and reduce their multiple destinations in Nigeria, the state governors are thinking differently.

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‘Why mobile money may not grow in Nigeria’



‘Why mobile money may not grow in Nigeria’


urrent moves to deepen mobile money in Nigeria may not yield positive results except the country builds a credible national identity database, an industry expert has said.


Executive Director, Financial Business at Inlaks, Mr Olufemi Muraino, who stated this, noted that national identity plays significant roles in countries where the payment system has succeeded.

While many had blamed the slow growth of mobile money in the country on the bank-led approach as opposed to telcos-led, Muraino said some countries have also succeeded with the bank-led system, as there is always synergy between banks and telecoms.


According to him, lack of national identity database is the main challenge inhibiting growth of mobile money in Nigeria.


“In Kenya, you can request loan through your mobile phone, the operator looks at your data through the national database and is able to ascertain whether you are credit worthy or not. The database also shows record of anybody that has defaulted in loan payment before and such person would be denied,” he said.



“You can request and get a loan under 10 minutes using your phone, that is one of the benefits of mobile money and this thrives on Kenya’s national identity database. In Nigeria, we have different biometric databases, which include the banks’ Biometric Verification Number (BVN), the Immigration database for passport owners and Federal Road Safety database,among others, while the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) is also building a national database, all of which need to be harmonised.”


The Inlaks ED added that with a single national identity database, Nigerians will be able to transact any business on their phone, as it would be easy to identify each person.

In a recent report, global body of mobile network operators, GSMA, listed Nigeria among three countries tagged as ‘Africa’s mobile money sleeping giant’.

According to the body, the country, alongside Egypt and Ethiopia, has huge potential for mobile money growth, but has not harnessed it.



GSMA, however, noted that with the use of agents, mobile money would sustain its growth trajectory across the countries. “The agent distribution network, which has been vital to the growth of the mobile money industry over the last decade, shows no sign of diminishing. In 2018, the global number of registered mobile money agents grew by 18 per cent to reach 6.6 million, 57 per cent of whom are active on a monthly basis. The role of the agent network is evolving to support adjacent service offerings,” it said.

Recall that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and deposit money banks, early last year, launched a new initiative tagged the Shared Agent Network Expansion Facilities (SANEF). The initiative is touted as one that will empower 500,000 agent networks to offer basic financial services such as cash-in, cash-out, funds transfer, bill payments, airtime purchase and BVN, among others, to an estimated 50 million Nigerians who are currently under-banked.

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Flooding: Averting farmers’ yearly losses



Flooding: Averting farmers’ yearly losses

As the rainy season gradually gets to its peak with attendant flooding, stakeholders in agric and insurance sectors are expected to step up efforts to minimise losses that are peculiar to the season. Sunday Ojeme reports




ast year, some agric sector stakeholders in the country lamented the grave losses by farmers to attacks on various crops and livestock attacks.

Although they put the estimated loss from livestocks alone at over N20 billion annually, efforts to stem the tide appear not to be enough as agric investors are continually being exposed to series of natural disasters, especially flooding that keeps ravaging their investment.



Stakeholders’ worry

According to the stakeholders, absence of insurance cover for smallholder farmers is part of the reasons livestock agriculture was not growing in the country.

Although they acknowledged the importance of insurance in their business, they, however, lamented the absence of specific products tailored along their investment.

According to the Executive Director, Zynosism Nigeria Ltd, Dr. Kolade Adebayo, the insurance sector should create products that capture small farmers.


“The absence of insurance products for small farmers is costing the agricultural sector over N20 billion annually. We need insurance products that will aggregate small farmers cooperatively and provide cover for them. As such, insurance companies need to deal with poultry associations, rice farmers association and so on so that agricultural produce can be enhanced.


“Risk is an integral element of the farming industry, but the challenge we are having is that we don’t have the insurance partnership to cover most of our risks. The association of livestock farmers usually organize annual agric forums where we come together to discuss issues. For years we have always invited stakeholders from other sectors to rob minds together on ways of moving agric business forward. For over 10 years that we have been having this forum, while we have had many representatives from other sectors, we only see one person from the whole of the insurance industry. This is not good for the insurance sector.”


Similarly, the Chairman, SME Trade Group, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) Mr. Biodun Oladapo, echoed Adebayo when he said that livestock business was still stunted in Nigeria because over the years there has not been insurance support to give it a boost.



Oladapo said: “We have seen little growth in livestock business in the country because we have not had adequate insurance support. Any farmer that has any insurance cover today got it because they wanted bank loans. Unfortunately, no bank in Nigeria will give any farmer loan without insurance cover.



“For the farmers that have insurance, when cows enter a rice farm and eat up the rice, the insurance companies will tell you that ‘cow eating rice’ was not covered. At the end of the day, no claim will be paid and the farmer is abandoned to his fate. Such incidents have contributed in impoverishing many farmers and the experience is causing apathy between us and insurers. So there is need for the insurance sector to introduce products that will cover all our risks.”

Touched by the outcry, the President of the Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA), Mr. Tope Smart, promised that the insurance industry would partner the agricultural sector going forward as part of measures to survive and thrive, saying that even the insurance sector was under threat of survival, and as such, should re-strategize and innovate to continue to exist.



This is not the first time that farmers would come out openly to bemoan losses to disasters, especially following their failure to take advantage of benefits provided by government through insurance.

Recall that last year, President Muhammadu Buhari had personally promised compensation to farmers whose investments were lost to flooding. It has, thus, become an annual ritual for the few farmers now in the business, as bandits and cattle herders have scared others out, to agonise over losses to flooding and other disasters including strange insects.



Raising the alarm

As a matter of caution and the need to be prepared, the management of Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation (NAIC) has again drawn their attention to the ‘Red Flood Alert’ issued by the Nigerian Hydrological Services Agency (NHISA) with respect to some states of the federation.

NAIC’s alarm to farmers is to enable them prepare early by arranging insurance cover for their investments.

According to the Managing Director/CEO of the Corporation, Mrs. Folashade Joseph, the reminder underscores the need for farmers to keep abreast of the impact of the heavy rains, which is expected to peak between the months of August and October, 2019.

She advised all farmers, especially those covered by NAIC, to strictly adhere to best agricultural practices, as they have already been educated by the Corporation during various farmers sensitisation programmes on how to maintain sound house-keeping on their insured projects, thereby closing gaps of risk occurrence.

To consolidate on Federal Government’s seriousness in putting an end to the farmers’ plight, the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), issued licences to more operators for agric insurance business.

FG’s commitment

In the past, about  $5 million was approved by Federal Government to enhance the activities of NAIC for adequate crop and livestock insurance, a gesture that was meant to support NAIC’s institutional reforms, strengthen operations and roll out agricultural insurance products.

The Federal Government said then that it understood the importance of risk management in agricultural investment and, therefore, decided to build its capacity and prepare it to effectively meet the insurance needs of the agricultural sector.

“As we continue to modernise the agricultural sector, we will ensure that farmers are protected from the effects of climate change. The devastating flood of 2012 was a wake-up call for the need to develop policies and risk transfer systems to protect the government and farmers from effects of climate change,” it said.


Last year, the rainy season, which typically runs from March to September, brought with it inevitable flooding, killing over 100 people.

The flooding, which submerged houses, farmland and other businesses, is always exacerbated by poor infrastructure and lack of planning to protect against the waters.

Already, flood has started taking over some parts of the country with houses and farmlands being submerged, thus exposing farmers to risk of losing their investment, considering the heavy rains still expected within the next few weeks into the month of October.

To further encourage the farmers, the management of NAIC had emphasised that the underwriting firm would always pay appropriate compensation to insured, whose agricultural farmlands were ravaged by the flood disaster across the country.

She urged insured farmers to make all efforts possible to avert and minimise the untoward effects of the torrential rains and floods on their farms by promptly informing the nearest NAIC office in their states of their travails so appropriate support will be extended to them in a timely manner with emphasis that the succour would be strictly for farmers insured under its policy.

Expert’s opinion

Despite efforts by government and insurance firms, a practicing farmer, Mr. Anga Tonya, had blamed the poor utilisation of agric insurance on ignorance on the part of farmers.

He described agric insurance as the best form of support for farmers to recoup their investment in the case of losses.

He said: “Agric insurance is very good. Over the years, farmers have not utilised crop insurance adequately and as a result they suffered colossal losses. The reason actually is due to ignorance and that is still the same reason a lot of farmers are not involved in it.

“Another reason is the cost implication. Most of the farmers don’t know what it costs. They think it is very expensive whereas it is something they can afford if only they take time to find out.

“I believe the best thing to do, moving forward, is to sensitise farmers on the benefits. Basic knowledge and information would make a lot of difference. When they know it will protect their interest and crop, they will go for it.”

Last line

As the raining season typically sets in again with all the threats already being visible through early signs of disasters as typified by flooding, it is expedient for farmers to tow the path of wisdom by approaching any of the licensed agric insurer for advice and the best insurance product to ensure his investment does not end in vain.

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FSB, IMF publish 2019 report on G20 data gaps initiative



FSB, IMF publish 2019 report on G20 data gaps initiative


he Financial Stability Board (FSB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF), at the weekend, published the Fourth Progress Report – Countdown to 2021 on the implementation of the Second Phase of the G20 Data Gaps Initiative (DGI-2).



In a statement, IMF said the report will be submitted to the G20 finance ministers and central bank governors ahead of their meetings in Washington D.C. in mid-October.

IMF explained that data gaps limit the ability of policymakers and market participants to assess financial stability risks and economic developments in a timely and accurate manner. It noted that addressing these gaps has been an important priority for the G20 economies.



The report, which provides an overview of the progress since September 2018 and the challenges that remain in implementing the DGI-2 recommendations until the final deadline of 2021, shows that participating economies made additional progress in closing the identified data gaps. It also indicates that overall improvements were noted in coverage, timeliness, or periodicity of: securities statistics, derivatives data, sectoral accounts, international investment position, international banking statistics, and government finance statistics.



IMF, however, stated that challenges remain in fully implementing the DGI-2 recommendations by 2021.

“While substantial achievements have been made in promoting data sharing, continued efforts are still needed. Retaining high-level political support is essential to overcome remaining challenges,” the report stated.

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CBN: Banks’ capital adequacy ratio rises to 15.8%



CBN: Banks’ capital adequacy ratio rises to 15.8%


espite the tough economy, Nigeria’s banking industry continues to show resilience as latest Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s data indicates that lenders’ Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) further improved to 15.8 per cent in August 2019 from 15.60 per cent in April 2019.



Dr. Robert Asogwa, a member of CBN’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), disclosed this in his personal comment in last month’s MPC meeting communiqué, which was released by the apex bank at the weekend.

Asogwa, who cited CBN staff report, also noted improvements in the industry’s financial soundness indicators, with non-performing loan (NPL) ratio reducing from 11.0 per cent in April to 9.4 per cent in June and stability in key profitability indicators, such as Return on Equity (ROE) and Return on Assets (ROA).



CAR is a measurement of a bank’s available capital expressed as a percentage of its risk-weighted credit exposures.

CBN mandates systemically important banks and lenders with international subsidiaries to maintain CAR of 16 per cent and 15 per cent respectively, while banks without international subsidiaries should maintain CAR of 10 per cent.

Asogwa said: “Between last MPC meetings, key credit risk and bank performance indicators remained largely stable. CBN staff report shows that capital adequacy ratio as at August 2019 stood at 15.8 per cent (against a regulatory minimum requirement of 10-15 per cent).



“The non-performing loan ratio reduced from 11.0 per cent in April to 9.4 per cent in June and maintained the same level in August 2019 and this decline has progressed apparently since August 2018. The key profitability indicators ROE and ROA have also remained stable between the last MPC meeting and now, reaching 24.3 per cent and 2.3 per cent respectively as at August 2019,” he added.

According to him, further evidence of improvement in the industry’s financial soundness indicators is reflected in the modest increase in total bank credit in the months of July and August compared with the decline in June.

“Interestingly, the total bank credit, which had reduced in June 2019, recorded modest increases in July and August 2019 and partly attributed to the modest declines in the prime lending rate as well as new CBN directives on minimum loan to deposit ratio,” he said.

Also in his comments, another member of the MPC, Prof. Dahiru Balami, stated: “The Nigerian banking sector is resilient as presented by data on the Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR), NPLs, Liquidity Ratio (LR), and Return on Equity (ROE) and Return on Assets (ROA).”

He attributed the resilience of the banking industry to, “the effectiveness and efficient regulation and monitoring efforts of the CBN policies.”



He, however, noted that exchange rate risks arising from banking industry exposure to foreign assets and liabilities and cyber-risks were headwinds of the industry.

According to him, “with the performance recorded by the financial sector in August 2019, CBN therefore, should continue to monitor closely the working of such financial institutions for early corrective measures to enhance the stability of the financial system.”



Similarly, in his comments, the Deputy Governor (Operations) of CBN, Mr. Folashodun Shonubi, opined that “growth in credit by the banking sector seems to have found a new impetus, probably in response to recent measures by the CBN. Sustained moderation in financial soundness indicators highlights the resiliency of the banking sector.

“It is gratifying to note the sustained improvement in the various measures of banking sector resilience. The industry capital adequacy and liquidity ratios remained above the minimum threshold, just as the non-performing loans ratio fell to 9.4 per cent in August 2019, from 11.0 per cent in May 2019, though it remained above the regulatory minimum.”

In her contribution, the Deputy Governor, Financial System Stability, CBN, Mrs. Aishah Ahmad, said: “Bank staff reports clearly indicate marked progress with the LDR Policy, introduced in July which prescribed minimum loan to deposit ratios for banks over a three-month period. Gross credit grew five per cent on average (N15.44 trillion at end June 2019 to N16.23 trillion on September 13, 2019); the highest figure in 19 months, without compromising asset quality (industry NPLs remained flat at 9.4 per cent).



“Significant portions of the new credit were channelled into key sectors like manufacturing, retail and commerce and agriculture. This brightens the prospects for output expansion, creating much needed growth momentum for the rest of the year.”



Interestingly, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had, last week, cautioned CBN over its new LDR policy. In a statement it issued at the conclusion of the latest visit to Nigeria by an IMF staff team, led by the Mission Chief for Nigeria, Amine Mati, the Fund stated: “Banking sector prudential ratios are improving. However, new regulations to spur lending – which has recently increased – should be carefully assessed and may need to be revisited in view of the potential unintended consequences on banks’ asset quality, maturity structure, prudential buffers and the inflation target.

“Continued strengthening of banks’ capital buffers would enhance banking sector resilience,” the IMF added.

In a recent report, one of the global rating agencies, Moody’s Investors Service, had predicted that NPLs in Nigeria’s banking sector would decline to between seven and eight per cent this year, from 11.7 per cent at end of 2018.



The agency stated: “Higher oil prices will constrain new NPL formation while high loan-loss reserves will allow banks to write off some of their bad debts. These credit positives will be moderated by lingering risks from high loan concentrations and high delinquency levels.”



It added: “System-wide tangible common equity will be stable at 16 per cent of risk-weighted assets at year-end 2018, which will be sufficient to absorb losses under our baseline scenario. We expect subdued loan growth and prudent dividend pay-outs to support banks’ capitalisation metrics.”

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Border closure: FDC expects inflation to rise in Sept



Border closure: FDC expects inflation to rise in Sept


iting shortages of some smuggled commodities occasioned by the closure of the Seme border, Financial Derivatives Company Limited (FDC) has predicted that Nigeria’s inflation rate is likely to climb to 11.22 per cent in September.


The firm stated this in a report obtained by New Telegraph at the weekend. If the prediction comes to pass, it will be the first increase in inflation after three months of consecutive decline.

As the FDC put it: “Our survey shows that headline inflation in September is likely to spike to 11.22 per cent. This is coming after three months of consecutive decline. This spike in the general price level would be driven partly by the closure of the Seme border, which has resulted in shortages of smuggled commodities, especially rice, turkey, chicken and baking margarine. The price of a 50kg bag of rice increased by almost 30 per cent to N24,000 per 50kg in September from N18,000 per 50kg in August. Also, consistent with this, is the monthly inflation which is projected to increase by 0.02 per cent to 1.01per cent (12.87per cent annualised).”

It, however, stated that the core sub-index (inflation less seasonalities) is likely to decline to 8.60 per cent from 8.68per cent in the month of August, supported by the stability of the exchange rate. The firm noted that the naira was relatively stable within a band of N358-N360/$ in the parallel market during the period.


Aside from the impact of the border closure, other inflation stoking factors noticeable in September, according to the FDC, include, a 5.65 per cent increase in Broad money supply in the month of August, as stated in the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) communiqué; credit to the private sector rising by 2.22 per cent to N24.83 trillion during the period, due to the mandatory 60per cent Loan to Deposit Ratio (LDR) and the decline in lending rates (18-20per annum).


Furthermore, the firm pointed out that “the exchange rate was relatively stable across all market segments in September, supported largely by the CBN’s continuous intervention in the forex market (an increase of 7.25 per cent to $845.11 billion).”

However, it stated that the frequency and amount of intervention in subsequent months could be limited by the steady depletion of the gross external reserves, adding that: “The gross reserves lost approximately $2.09billion in the last month (and) now at $41.52billion.”

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British regulator reviews JPMorgan metals trading amid U.S. probe




ritain’s financial services regulator is examining allegations of precious metals market manipulation by JPMorgan Chase & Co traders following criminal charges by U.S. authorities, Reuters reported at the weekend.

The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is one of the various authorities that JPMorgan has previously said were investigating its metals trading, according to one of the people, who declined to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter. The watchdog has requested documents and other information from JPMorgan, the source said.

The exact scope of the FCA scrutiny or whether it will result in any charges was unclear.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has charged five current and former JPMorgan metals traders, who worked in New York, London and Singapore, with alleged price manipulation between 2007 and 2016. Two of them have been charged in parallel by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). The joint investigation is ongoing, a DOJ official has said.

One of the traders was charged in 2018, and four this year. Two have pleaded guilty to manipulating prices. The lawyers for the three most recently charged, in September, said their clients would contest the allegations against them.

JPMorgan said in an Aug. 6 regulatory filing that it was “responding to and cooperating” with various investigations relating to trading practices in the metals markets.

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Africa Re wins NAIPCO insurance development award




frican Reinsurance Corporation (Africa Re), a leading pan-African reinsurance company and the largest reinsurer in Africa in terms of net reinsurance written premiums has received the ‘2018 Outstanding Insurance Development Promoter Of The Year’ award of the National Association of Insurance and Pension Correspondents (NAIPCO).



NAIPCO, a body of insurance and pension journalist in Nigeria, after a critical analysis of Africa Re’s immense contribution to the growth of insurance industry in Nigeria, nominated the reinsurer for the award.

The award was received on behalf of Africa Re by Ken Aghoghovbia, deputy managing director/COO of the company.



“This award is in further recognition of your strong commitment to the development of insurance in the African Continent and Nigeria specifically exemplified by your recent partnership with the IFC, a member of the World Bank Group to help insurers in Nigeria develop innovative agricultural insurance products for small holder farmers, the organizers said.



“Again next month between September 3rd and 5th you are partnering with the College of Insurance and Financial Management to train and build capacity for Nigerian insurers on product pricing and development, among other capacity building efforts you are doing in the Nigerian market.”

“These are efforts that we believe will unlock opportunities in the agricultural sector for growth of the insurance business in Nigeria, and other business lines in the market,” the organizers said.

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N5trn debt: Finance minister, BPP others back AMCON’s recovery drive




inister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, has charged the management of Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) led by Mr. Ahmed Kuru, to do everything with the powers of its newly-amended Act to recover the N5 triilon debt owed the Corporation by a few individuals and organisations in the country.

Also, the Director-General, Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), Mr Mamman Ahmadu, has declared BPP’s willingness to collaborate with AMCON in the quest to recover the debt, which he said will help liberate the economy as well as improve the commonwealth of the nation. The BPP boss said, the bureau has intensified its due diligence process and will ensure that those seeking contract from the government are scrutinised to establish the fact that they are not on the list of AMCON debtors before contracts are awarded.

The finance minister who made the call in Abuja at the weekend during the quarterly briefing of the Ministry of Finance, attended by agencies under the supervision of the ministry, while commending AMCON on the national assignment, however, said she expects a lot more from the Corporation, especially now that President Muhammadu Buhari has signed the amended 2019 AMCON Act into law, which gives additional powers to AMCON to deal with the obligors.

“AMCON must ensure that the debts are recovered before the sunset, which is around the corner. If AMCON at sunset AMCON fails to recover the huge bad loans, the debt will become government problem, which the government is not willing to carry. Therefore, everything must be done to ensure that AMCON recovers the debt from the obligors because it will have a huge positive impact on the economy,” the minister said.

While urging all the agencies under the ministry’s supervision to always remember the 11 priority areas of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration in the discharge of their duties, the Minister added that the quarterly meeting had become critical because it creates the enabling platform for sister agencies of government to cross-fertilise ideas for improved collaboration and delivery.

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