Polaris Bank Takes Over Skye Bank

Following the withdrawal of operating license of Skye Bank Plc by the apex Central Bank of Nigeria, the Managing Director of the Nigeria Insurance Deposit Corporation (NDIC), Godwin Emefiele, has changed name of Skye Bank to Polaris Bank.

Emefiele, at a press briefing in Abuja on Friday, said an injection of N786 billion has been made into the bank with the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) has been directed to commence the sale process of the bank from Monday.

The revocation of Skye Bank’s operating license follows the Central bank’s decision to pause its injection of funds processes in the lender.

The regulators maintain that customers deposits safe as management and members of staff will be retained under the new ownership structure.

Meanwhile, the share price of Skye Bank on Friday gained 4.05 percent at 77 kobo.

The stock is expected to be placed on suspension from Monday in accordance with bridge bank procedures.


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Aircraft Leasing Companies May Blacklist Nigeria – NCAA

There are strong indications that aircraft leasing companies may blacklist Nigeria over failure of domestic operators to keep to terms of agreements in leasing aircraft, spares and engines.

This development was disclosed to THISDAY in an exclusive interview by the Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Captain Muhtar Usman.

According to him, Nigerian airlines are now finding it difficult to lease aircraft and spares from international lessors.

He said the development was due to the actions of two airline operators who reneged on their contractual agreements with the lessors to return their leased aircraft as enshrined in agreement they signed.

Usman added that rather than return the aircraft, the operators went to court to stop the lessors from repossessing their airplanes.

The director general also explained that Nigeria is signatory to Cape Town Convention, which allows an airline of member nations to lease aircraft and return them as agreed, but some Nigerian airlines after signing agreement to abide by these conditions repudiate them after possessing the aircraft.

Usman said that there is a clause in the Cape Town Convention that authorises the Civil Aviation Authority to deregister the aircraft in contention and allow the lessor to repossess his aircraft.

“The Cape Town Convention allows airline operators to lease aircraft at affordable prices. In the past, before the Convention was introduced, people leasing out aircraft (lessors) were having difficulty repossessing their aircraft when there was default. So that Convention took care of that by providing irrevocable deregistration authorisation for the Civil Aviation Authorities where there is default should be able to deregister their aircraft and for the owner (the lessor) to repossess his aircraft.

“That has made it possible for our operators to access leases. It is not only Nigeria; so many countries have signed to the Convention and Nigeria has domesticated it. But unfortunately because of the acts of two operators, Nigeria is about to be blacklisted and this would make it difficult for other operators to have access to access aircraft on lease,” Usman said.

The airlines’ inability to lease airplanes, he explained, has affected the number of aircraft in operation in the country.

This, it was learnt, has forced the airlines to hike their fares in order to meet their operational cost, as demand outstrips supply due to fewer operational aircraft.

Without the ability to lease, some Nigerian airlines are left with only one choice – outright purchase of aircraft at high cost occasioned by the depreciating value of the naira.

Usman disclosed that Nigerian airlines that want to lease aircraft might not be able to do so because the country is now identified as a pariah state that cannot keep to terms of leasing agreement.

Usman also denied a claim that any aircraft was taken out of the country, adding that the aircraft said to have been taken out of the country are still in Lagos.

He explained that there were two aircraft and two helicopters that were leased by Topbrass Aviation Limited, which the company allegedly failed to return according to the terms of the leasing agreement, which prompted the lessor to request for the re-possession of the aircraft.

The director general said in line with the Cape Town Convention, NCAA had to deregister the aircraft and grounded their operations in Nigeria, after the Managing Director of Topbrass Aviation, Captain Roland Iyayi, had claimed that the aircraft was stolen.

“We thank God that such has not happened. Such cannot happen in Nigeria’s airspace. In fact, it came to me as surprise when I saw it as the front page headline of a major newspaper; that aircraft was stolen from the Murtala Muhammed International Airport. We are not aware of that,” Usman said.

The CEO of Aero Contractors, Captain Ado Sanusi, also told THISDAY that Nigerian airlines had already been blacklisted by some lessors because it is difficult to lease aircraft, engines and spares.

“It is because of this that my requests to lease nose wheel from some companies were rejected. I have made efforts to lease aircraft spares but the request was rejected. This is a problem caused by those who cannot abide by the terms of agreement when they leased aircraft,” Sanusi said.

The Chief Executive Officer of Topbrass, Capt. Roland Iyayi, had told journalists that his company kept to the terms of agreement in the leasing of the aircraft, but the lessor later failed at execution.

“Our belief is that there is a group somewhere trying to manipulate the system to the detriment of Topbrass, doing everything to see that we are taken out of business completely. The truth is that we have completely moved out of the rule of law to impunity. But in the long run, it is not in the interest of the country,” he said.

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Taraba Takes Giant Strides In Improving IGR

Taraba State government has launched core electronic Internally Generated Revenue solution with a view to improving revenue generation.

The state government noted that the move would  help in improving the living standard of the citizenry.

Flagging off the exercise at the gymnasium hall of the Jolly Nyame stadium Jalingo, Governor Darius Ishaku said his administration would continue to judiciously use tax payers’ money to develop the state.

Taraba state Governor, Darius Ishaku said the priority of his government is to bequeath a legacy of prudent management of state resources.

He charged people of the state to see tax payment  as a responsibility so as to  improve state revenue..

Ishaku maintained that the use of technology in payment is not alien to his government, noting that the system is already being used in the payment of salaries.

He added that it also helped in flushing out ghost workers and ghost pensioners.

In his welcome address, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of finance, Saleh Kaka said the state has been experiencing steady increase in her Internally Generated Revenue over the years.

He opined that in 2013 , the state realised more than N3 billion while in 2017 it increased to more than  N5 billion.

Commenting, representative of Buzz desk group limited revealed that the company  established new electronic IGR solutions  customised for Taraba State to capture more eligible tax payers.

The Ishaku administration has been adjudged as leaving no stone unturned to revamp the state economy since the Buzz desk group ICT an electronic IGR consultants has been engaged  to improve the state IGR.

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Nigeria’s GDP Records Growth In 2nd Quarter

Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Report (GDP) has grown 1.50% in the second quarter against 1.95% in the first quarter of 2018.

According to the GDP report released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the second quarter GDP is driven by the non-oil sector 2.05% growth indicating an increase in the second quarter of 2018.

According to the NBS, Growth in Q2 2018 was 0.79% points higher when compared to the second quarter of 2017 which recorded a growth of 0.72%,  but –0.45% points lower than 1.95% recorded in the first quarter of 2018. On a quarter on quarter basis, real GDP growth was 2.94%.

Growth in Q2 2018 was driven by developments in the non-oil sector as Services sector recorded its strongest positive growth since 2016. However, the relatively slower growth when compared to Q1 2018 and Q2 2017 could be attributed to developments in both the oil and non-oil sectors.

Oil output fell to 1.85 million barrels a day from the 2 million barrels in the first quarter.

According to the report, agriculture GDP grew by 1.19% in the period under review as against 3.0% in the first quarter of 2018.

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DMO Raises N410bn To Finance 2018 Budget

The Debt Management Office (DMO) has raised N410 billion from the domestic capital market to fund the 2018 budget.

The Director-General of the DMO, Ms, Patience Oniha, disclosed this at a press briefing in Abuja on Tuesday.

She also revealed that the nation’s public debt stood at N22.37 trillion as at end of June ($73. 31b) of which $22 billion was external.

The DMO boss said, however, that the debt was still sustainable and that her team’s Debt management Strategy has crashed interest rate to a region of 11- 14 percent from about 18 percent last year.

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Kogi Government To Build Sugarcane Refinery

The Kogi State government is working with a Brazilian group of companies, enigma to build a sugarcane refinery and plantations in three communities in the state.

The state finance commissioner of Finance Ashiru Asiwaju Idris led other top government officials to guide a visiting team from brazil to inspect the prospective sites.

The visit of the Brazilian company to Kogi state is a fallout of the maiden edition of the Kogi economic and investment summit held earlier this year

The commissioner of finance Ashiru  Asiwaju Idris and other government officials  say the establishment of sugar-cane plantations and refineries across the state has huge positive economic implications

The  representatives of the Kugbani community in Lokoja local government area expressed their preparedness to make their land available.

The visitors expressed their willingness to get started

The state government assured the visitors of the security and safety of their lives, property and investment and expressed hope that this development will mark the beginning of huge investment flows into the state.



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FG Tackles Negative Trade Agreements

The Nigerian government has taken steps to reverse trade and negotiation failures, as well as coordination deficits in trade agreements signed with other nations.

Disclosing this during a visit to Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) in Abuja, Director General of the Nigerian Office for Trade Negotiations (NOTN) Ambassador Chiedu Osakwe said some of these deficits date back to the First Republic.

Ambassador Osakwe stated that based on the fact that Nigeria has the largest economy in Africa and 26th in the world, there was the need for coherence and coordination on trade negotiations and agreements.  According to him the organisation also coordinates, manages and leads all trade negotiations between Nigeria and other countries.

He said that it was in recognition of trade as engine of growth that the Buhari administration, on the 10th May 2017, approved the setting up of the Nigerian Office for Trade Negotiations.

 “The organisation is also mandated to, among other things, create a data base for Nigeria’s trade agreements and streamline the process of trade agreements between Nigeria and other countries. It is also mandated to establish a data base to register Nigerians’ ill-treatment abroad; develop a trade dispute settlement department to resolve issues and improve trade financing for medium and small scale enterprises.”

Responding Chairman of BMO Niyi Akinsiju commended NOTN for its vision and commitment to its mandates of rectifying negative trade practices between Nigeria and other countries; noting also that negative trade practices had contributed largely to economic stagnation in developing countries.

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Bank Executives Applaud FG’s Economic Reform

Representatives of top bank executives have commended the economic policies of the Federal Government especially the Ease of Doing Business, agricultural revolution and anti-corruption campaign.

This is just as President Muhammadu Buhari met with the Nigerian community in Togo on Sunday night at the Nigerian Embassy, Lome.

Similarly, the All Progressives Congress (APC) Togo Chapter, told President Buhari not to be worried about the defections from the party, assuring him of its support in the 2019 Presidential election.

The Governors of Cross River and Niger States; the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Defence and Interior; the Minister of State, Industry, Trade and Investment; the National Security Adviser; the Chief of Defence Staff; the Director-General, National Intelligence Agency; and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, were among the top government officials who accompanied the President to his first official engagement on arrival in Lome ahead of the Joint ECOWAS/ECCAS Summit, and the 53rd Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, among others.

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DPR Raises N748bn From Oil Tax, Royalty In 2017

The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) earned N748 billion from taxes and royalties paid by oil and gas companies operating in Nigeria in 2017.

This was contained in DPR’s report made available at a workshop organised for energy reporters in Lagos on Friday.

The report said the revenue represented about 83 per cent of the agency’s target.

The report also stated that the agency renewed close to 25 oil blocks, which had combined revenue of about 1billion dollars.

According to the report, the agency granted approval for 16 new field development plans in 2017, which would increase the nation’s oil and gas production by 560,463 when completed.

“We renewed 19 expired leases in 2017 to enhance upstream investment influx and accelerate oil and gas reserves and production growth.

“We actively supported the implementation of a major gas commercialisation programme, which seeks to create a regulatory framework to facilitate gas flare monetisation to end gas flaring by 2020,”the report read.

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CBN, MPC Retains Interest Rate At 14%

The monetary policy committee of the central bank of Nigeria has retained monetary policy arte at 14% for the 11th consecutive time.

The rate first raised in July 2016 to combat rising inflation.

Briefing journalists on Tuesday at the end of the committee’s two-day meeting, Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the Apex bank, said seven of the nine committee members voted in favour of holding the rate.

He noted that “the committee considered tightening because it would curb the threat of rising inflation even as the injection from the fiscal authority will provide substantial liquidity.

“It will rein in inflationary pressures and bring inflation to single digit levels. It will also awaken consumption and raise the cost of borrowing to investors in the domestic economy.

“Loosening could reverse the gains already made with lowered importation, lower bank’s risk appetite and increase non-performing loans.

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CBN Begins Chinese Yuan Currency Swap Deal

The Central Bank of Nigeria today flagged off its intervention in the sale of foreign exchange in Bilateral Currency Swap Agreement (CNY), signalling the consummation of the Bilateral Currency Swap Agreement signed with the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) on April 27, 2018.

A statement issued by the Bank disclosed that the sales shall be through a combination of spot and short tenure forwards.

It stated that the exercise, which shall be Special Secondary Market Intervention Sales (SMIS) retail, would be dedicated to the payment for raw materials and machinery and agriculture.
The Bank’s spokesman, Isaac Okorafor, explained that the CBN would receive bids from all authorized dealers.

He added that due to the peculiarity of the exercise, the Bank would not be applying the relevant provisions of its Revised Guidelines for the Operation of the Inter-bank Foreign Exchange Market, which direct all SMIS bids to be submitted to the CBN through the Forex Primary Dealers (FXPDs).

On funding, he disclosed that authorized dealers were to debit the customers’ accounts for the Naira equivalent of their bids, stressing that the CBN would debit authorized dealers’ current account on the day of intervention to the tune of the naira equivalent of their bid request.

Okorafor further explained that there would be no predetermined spread on the sale of FX Forwards by Authorised Dealers to end-users under the Special SMIS-Retail, adding that authorised Dealers would be allowed to earn 50 kobo on the customers’ bids.

While also explaining that the bids were on Spot FX basis as the Authorised Dealers’ accounts with the CBN would be debited in full for the Naira equivalent of the USD bid amount, he advised customers that were not willing to accept the settlement terms not to participate in this Special SMIS – Retail.

He also urged customers not willing to accept the terms of the forward rate not to participate in this Special Chinese Yuan SMIS Intervention.

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