Thursday, 12 January 2017

Tekno Finalizes his $4 Million Deal with Sony Entertainment




Nigerian act Tekno‘s Year has kicked off on a good note as he is done signing the dotted lines on his contract with Sony Entertainment and has officially closed the deal which is reportedly worth 4 Million dollars!
The TripleMG artist has indeed hit the jackpot, as Paul Okoye of Upclose and Personal took to his Instagram to share a video of himself, the artist & Ubi Franklin joking about looking satisfied and happy captioning it “Sony money 2Good”.
Source  BellaNaija

SaharaReporters Founder Meets With Nigerian Police, Rejects Mediation


Update, 5:55 p.m. (WAT): Omoyele Sowore has left the police investigation department in Lagos. The police did not file any charges against him.

Omoyele Sowore, founder and publisher of SaharaReporters, today in Lagos rejected efforts by the Nigerian police to mediate between him and Lekan Fatodu, whom Mr. Sowore accused of assaulting him yesterday. 
Speaking to reporters just before he went in for a meeting at Panti police station in Lagos, Mr. Sowore expressed surprise that the police were now talking about mediating between him and Mr. Fatodu instead of proceeding with prosecuting the latter for physically assaulting him yesterday. He stated that Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, seemed to be part of the plot to attack and possibly kill him, adding that the police should arraign his attackers rather than dabble into mediation between him and them. 
Yesterday, Mr. Fatodun and an accomplice named Andre assaulted Mr. Sowore. Shortly after the attack, plainclothes police from Area F of the Lagos State Police Command arrived on the scene. 
Mr. Fatodu told the police that SaharaReporters had defamed him in a report that stated that he had played a role in a money laundering case involving former Aviation Minister Femi Fani-Kayode. 
According to Mr. Sowore, the Lagos State Police Commissioner Fatai Owoseni presented him with a petition alleging that he committed “criminal defamation” against Mr. Fatodu by including his name in the Femi Fani-Kayode story published in January 2016. 
The commissioner proceeded to escort Mr. Sowore to Panti Police Station without officially arresting him. 
After detaining the SaharaReporters founder and publisher for several hours, the police released him, requesting that he return today for mediation talks. 
While agreeing to speak to police, Mr. Sowore said he would reject any such mediation, adding that the police owed a duty to arrest and arraign the man who attacked him. 
Our correspondent revealed that police dismissed Mr. Fatodu’s blackmail complaint filed against Mr. Sowore, saying that his allegation was unfounded. Regarding the defamation of character complaint, the police advised Mr. Fatodu to take the case to a civil court.

At the time of publication, he was still meeting with police officials at Panti. 
Source - SR

Naira exchanges at N495/$ amidst N500/$ speculation



The Naira on Thursday depreciated further at the parallel market, ebbing close to the projection of speculators, the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, reports.
At the twilight of 2016, speculators forecasted that the Naira would exchange at N500 to a dollar.
The Nigerian currency lost N3 to trade at N495 to the dollar at the parallel market, from N492 posted on Wednesday, while the Pound Sterling and the Euro closed at N597 and N515 respectively.
At the official interbank window, the Naira closed at N305 to a dollar.
Trading at Bureau De Change (BDC) window saw the Naira close at N399 to a dollar, while the Pound Sterling and the Euro exchanged at N600 and N510, respectively.
Traders blamed acute forex scarcity for the spike in the exchange rate.
(NAN)

Abuja airport runway repair to cost N5.8 billion – Minister



The Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has said that the proposed repair of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, runway will cost N5.8 billion.
Mr. Sirika made this know when he answered questions from senators at plenary on Thursday.
He said the runway had become necessary in view of the fact that it was as critical as the economy of the country, adding that the runway was constructed over 30 years ago with no major repairs.
The minister gave a guarantee of 10 years, saying that the runway would serve the country for a long time after the repair.
According to him, the runway which is proposed to be shutdown from March will be reopened after six weeks for better service delivery.
He said that while the runway would be shut down for six weeks, repairs would last for six months.
He assured that unlike the Port Harcourt Airport, which was shut down for two and half years because the runway got bad, the repair of the Abuja runway would take only six weeks.
“Closure of runway is not new. It is done all over the world. The action is in the best interest of Nigeria.
“The runway is in dilapidated situation and poses security and safety threat to Nigerians.
“We will complete the maintenance work in six weeks, we will work day and night,” he said.
The minister reassured that the consultation on closure of the airport was however not conclusive and the ministry was opened to other options.
He promised to consult with the Nigeria Society of Engineers in respect of the options available.
Mr. Sirika further said that while the Abuja airport remained shut, the Kaduna airport would serve as an alternative.
He said the Ministry of Aviation was collaborating with Immigration, Ministry of Agriculture, Police and other relevant stakeholders for smooth operations at the Kaduna airport.
The minister did not, however, give estimate of other logistics, including the cost of relocating agencies to the Kaduna airport.
Meanwhile, the Senate has directed Mr. Sirika to return on Tuesday to give further details on the planned closure of the airport.
The order was given on Thursday after Mr. Sirika’s appearance before the lawmakers on the issue.
Senate President Bukola Saraki, who announced the order for the minister to re-appear at the chamber, said that more explanation on the proposed closure, which would last for six weeks, was needed.
The senate also invited the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, who could not honour the first invitation, to appear before it on Tuesday.
Mr. Fashola is expected to give explanation on maintenance of access roads to the Kaduna Airport, which the Ministry of Aviation plans to use as alternative airport for the period the Abuja Airport will be shut down.
Also to appear before the senators same day is Julius Berger Plc, the contractor billed to handle the project.
Giving reason for inviting Mr. Sirika a second time, Mr. Saraki told journalists that the minister had while briefing the senators, said the planned closure of the Abuja airport was not conclusive.
According to him, the minister said the ministry was opened to consider other options.
“He could not give us the exact amount on the cost of the relocation and logistics and promised to come back with the exact figures.
“He could also not hold brief for the Minister of Power, Works and Housing on the repairs that need to be made on some of the roads.
“The senate therefore resolved to invite the minister back on Tuesday along with Mr. Fashola, Nigeria Society of Engineers, Julius Berger and other stakeholders,’’ he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that the Senate had on Tuesday summoned the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, to appear within two days over the planned shutdown of the Abuja airport.
This followed a motion by Chairman, Senate Committee on Customs, Excise and Tariff, Hope Uzodinma, and co-sponsored by five other senators.
The senate also summoned Mr. Fashola, Chief of Air Staff Sadique Abubakar and Mr. Sirika on the issue.
Others invited were the Minister of Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Managing Director, Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, and Managing Director, Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, NAMA.
Source NAN

Development Bank of Nigeria completes first recruitment, set to take off




The Federal Ministry of Finance has confirmed the completion of the recruitment of the Executive Management team of the proposed Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN).
The bank has therefore formally applied for the issuance of its operational license from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which is expected imminently, a statement by the Ministry of Finance, said on Thursday.
The DBN was conceived in 2014, but its take-off had been fraught with delays.
The Muhammadu Buhari led administration inherited the project and set a target of 2017 for its take-off.
The DBN will have access to US$1.3bn (N396.5 billion) which has been jointly provided by the World Bank (WB), KfW (German Development Bank), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Agence Fran├žaise de Development (French Development Agency). The Bank is also finalising agreements with the European Investment Bank (EIB).
The operations of the DBN will not result in the elimination of the Bank of Industry (BOI), Bank of Agriculture (BOA) or any other existing development bank, the statement signed by Salisu Dambatta, director of Information, said.
The operations of the DBN is clearly distinct from other development banks as it is focused on supporting small businesses defined by size and not by sectors.
The DBN will provide loans to all sectors of the economy including, manufacturing, services and other industries not currently served by existing development banks thereby filling an important gap in the provision of finance to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
As a wholesale bank, the DBN will lend wholesale to Microfinance Banks which will on-lend medium to long-term loans to MSMEs.
The MSMEs contribute about 48.47 percent to the Gross Domestic Products (GDP) of Nigeria but have access to only about 5 percent of lending from Deposit Money Banks (DMBs), the statement said.
The influx of additional capital from the DBN will lower borrowing rates and the longer tenure of the loans, will provide the required flexibility in the management of cash flows, giving businesses the opportunity to make capital improvements, and acquire equipment or supplies.
As the economy diversifies, the growth of the MSME sector will have a positive impact on the economy through employment generation, wealth creation and economic growth.
Source - Premiumtimes

Customs Charges Anti-Smuggling Squads to Ensure Total Blockage of Trapped Vehicles




The Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Col. Hammed Ali (rtd), has charged the anti-smuggling squads to ensure total blockage to prevent desperate vehicle importers from smuggling in trapped vehicles from the land borders.
The NCS had on January 1, 2017 enforced a complete ban on the importation of vehicles through the land borders, a development which has reportedly resulted in tens of thousands of cars being trapped.
A statement issued by the NCS’ Acting Public Relations Officer, Jospeh Attah, said Ali had directed operatives of the Headquarters Compliance Team and Federal Operations Units to compliment the resident officers of land borders to effectively beef up security and enforce the federal government policy on non importation of vehicles through the land borders.
He stated that apart from being a statutory function of NCS to implement government fiscal policies, as Nigerians, the advantages and opportunities inherent in the policy is a motivation to ensure compliance.
“Regrettably, despite Nigeria’s bigger and more equipped port facilities, statistics has shown that more than 90 per cent of vehicles imported to neighbouring countries are normally on transit to Nigeria market.
“Though duty rates chargeable for motor vehicles at both land borders and seaports remain the same, importers of these vehicles exploit the informality of land border trade, since they are not usually manifested for Nigeria ports to either smuggle through the porous border or compromise some customs officers and that of other agencies to short change the nation,” the statement said.
The NCS Comptroller General charged the anti-smuggling squads to ensure total blockage such that no desperate vehicle importer is allowed to smuggle in any of the trapped vehicles.
The statement listed the merits of the policy, adding that channelisation of motor vehicles to seaports will enable suppression of smuggling as well as creating business and job opportunities with the eventual emergence of bonded car parks for vehicles around the country, among others.
The NCS noted that curiously, Nigerians were being told that over 10,000 vehicles are already trapped ten days into the enforcement of the policy when statistics shows that vehicles properly imported through the land borders from January 2014 to December 31, 2016 were only 209,691 with N38,551,569,751 paid as duty.
Smuggled vehicles seized within the same period, the NCS said, were 5,998 with a duty paid value of N10,271,734,415.36.
Source - ThisDay

Refineries Resume Kerosene, Diesel Production, NNPC Claims





The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) yesterday said its refineries in Kaduna, Port Harcourt and Warri had all resumed production of diesel and kerosene.
A statement from the Group General Manager, Public Affairs Division of the NNPC, Ndu Ughamadu, in Abuja stated that the resumption of refining of diesel and kerosene by the refineries would balance the gap in demand and supply of the products in the country.
The statement quoted the Managing Director of Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company (WRPC), Solomon Ladenegan, to have said on the production level of the Warri refinery, that the plant had been doing well since the Crude Distillation Unit (CDU) was improved on on Saturday, January 7, 2017.
Ladenegan, the statement explained, said the refinery resumed production last Saturday at about 10:22hrs, with its functioning CDU.
He said the plant now refines two million litres of kerosene and three million litres of diesel daily.
“This morning, we have pumped the products to PPMC and they have started loading. They are going to load up to 1 million litres of DPK and AGO. The products are there in the tank and we are doing everything to get them to the market,” Ladenegan said in the statement.
It also quoted the Managing Director of the Port Harcourt Refining Company (PHRC), Dr. Bafred Enjugu, to have stated that the Port Harcourt Refinery was producing three million litres of diesel daily, and undisclosed millions of kerosene.
Enjugu, it explained, said operators of the refinery were happy they rehabilitated the old Port Harcourt Refinery where production of diesel was being carried out by themselves without foreign expertise deployment.
For the Kaduna Refinery, the statement noted that it has also come back to work, producing millions of litres of white products to ease out the situation in supply and distribution of petroleum products nationwide.
It said beside the products from the refineries, the NNPC has made arrangements for additional supply intervention through direct import of petrol, diesel and kerosen to sustain products availability across the country.
Source - Chineme Okafor (ThisDay)

FG to Introduce New Trade Policy to Disallow Dumping





Nigeria’s Chief Trade Negotiator, Mr.  Chiedu Osakwe, yesterday said trade remedies were being drafted to tackle disruptive trade practices particularly dumping of substandard products in the country.
He said government was working in collaboration with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to draft both infrastructure and bill that would put an end to current dumping menace.
He also said the high governance standards set by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has continued to attract the “keenest and deepest expression of interest” by foreign investors in the Nigerian economy.
He would not give details of some of the foreign investors as most of them are still undergoing negotiations.
Speaking during an interactive session with journalists in Abuja,  Osakwe, who is also the Trade Adviser to the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Okechukwu Enelamah, also said the government was working on the review of existing trade policies to reflect the dynamics of the global economy and accord priority to the emerging digital or internet economy.
He said the enhancement of products standards remained a major concern for the current administration, adding that there are several practical work being done towards standards improvement so as to make Nigerian products more readily acceptable in the international market.
Such standards would also be consistent with the those set by WTO.
He also clarified that the country was yet to ratify the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union adding that Nigeria would not be stampeded into singing agreement which is not in its favour.
However, he said the trade document was still being scrutinised.
He said: “We need to use trade policy to correct imbalances in global trade. “
He held that Buhari’s leadership was critical to reducing barriers to trade with other countries.
He added that the WTO is expected to hold Nigeria’s fifth trade policy review in June, a step that could further boost confidence in the economy.
Source - James Emejo in Abuja (Thisday)

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