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JANUARY 6, 2014

ECONOMY IN 2014:

Apprehension over 2015 elections, crude oil price stifles optimism BY BABAJIDE KOMOLAFE, PETER EGWUATU, NKIRU NNOROM, GODFREY BIVBERE, FRANKLIN ALLI, ROSEMARY ONOUHA AND JONAH NWOKPOKU

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ptimism of improved economic activities in 2014 among economic operators is been stifled by apprehension over political activities in preparation for the 2015 elections, as well as possibility of decline in crude oil price and the impact on government revenue, external reserves and exchange rate of the naira. In separate interviews by Financial Vanguard, operators across the various sectors said that they expect the economy to perform better in 2013. They however identify pre-election campaign activities as the greatest risk to the performance of the economy. “The most important uncertainty of all is political uncertainty. Because we would face severe political challenges in 2014, it is obvious, we are going to have a national confab, and we are going to have an election. Though the election will take place in 2015, all the work will happen in 2014. So 2014 will be a year of political campaign and there would be more focus on policy than on governance”, said Opeyemi Agabaje of RTC Advisory Services Limited The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry also identified tension generated by pre-election activities as a threat to investors’ confidence and progress of the economy. President of the Chamber, Alhaji Remi Bello told Financial Vanguard, “The Chamber is concerned about the growing tension in the political space as pre- election activities gather momentum and heating up the polity. We wish to stress that political stability is critical for the C M Y K

sustenance of investors’ confidence and the progress of the economy. The omens in the outgoing year are not good enough and have created some discomfort among investors.” Wale Abe, Executive Secretary, Financial Market Dealers Association of Nigeria (FMDA) on his part identified pre-election spending as a challenge to efforts to curb inflation. He said, “The challenges will actually come from curtailing inflation, given the fact that this year is a year preceding election, which means that electioneering campaign will actually start in 2014. Given the fact that the ruling party is in a kind of crises and the opposition party, in terms of numeracy is increasing. This might create some serious attrition between

the ruling party and the opposition. It boils down to the fact that a lot of money will find its way into the economy, money that will not pass through the official banking industry, by way of corruption and others trying to get position to win election. That might be the biggest challenge that we might likely face. Then if that happens, the expectation is that the interest rate will likely increase because the central bank will have to tighten more, in anticipation of fiscal injection into the economy.” According to Haruna Kebira of APT Securities and Funds limited uncertainty over the outcome of the 2015 election could trigger withdrawal of funds from the capital by foreign investors and cause the stock market to shrink. Victor Ogiemwonyin, Managing Director/Chief Executive of Partnership Investment Plc, however said that the risk associated with elections in Nigeria cannot be worse what was seen in the recent past and therefore, exaggerated.

Operators also expressed concern over the possibility of decline in crude oil prices, and it impacts on government revenue in 2014, the nation’s declining external reserves, and the exchange rate of the naira.

112.15

0.75

2,652.00

+16.00

16.31

0.02

107.98

+0.20

95.47

+0.03

CURRENCY BUYING CENTRAL DOLLAR 154.7 STERLING 255.5799 EURO 211.6451 FRANC 171.9271 YEN 1.4673 CFA 0.3061 WAUA 237.4729 RENMINBI 25.5655 RIYAL 41.2456 KRONA 28.3671

155.2 256.4059 212.3291 172.4828 1.4721 0.3161 238.2405 25.6486 41.3789 28.4588

SELLING 155.7 257.232 213.0132 173.0385 1.4768 0.3261 239.008 25.7317 41.5123 28.5505

CBN Exchange rate as at 3/1/2014

L-R: Minister of Culture & Tourism, Chief Edem Duke; Governor of Cross Rivers State, Senator Liyel Imoke; Executive Director, First Bank of Nigeria Ltd, Mr. U.K Eke and Senator Ben Ayade, representing Cross Rivers Northern Senatorial District at the kick-off of the Street Carnival in Calabar, Cross Rivers State


18 — Vanguard, MONDAY, JANUARY 6, 2014

Cover Story

ECONOMY IN 2014: MANUFACTURING:

receipt from the nation’s mainstay (oil and gas) is largely responsible for declining level of foreign reserve. We hope to see a more responsive fiscal management and diversification of the economy as a response to the growing fragility in the global oil and gas market.

By FRANKLIN ALLI

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n 2013, the year on year inflation rate trended at single digit up until October 2013 with an inflation rate of 7.8 percent. This is very impressive and in line with CBN aspiration of a modest price level in the country. We hope that this trend is sustained in 2014 because stability of the price level remains a key factor for doing business. How much the exit of the current governor of the CBN, Mallam Lamido Sanusi come 2014 will affect the prevailing macroeconomic stability in the country remains to be seen. C M Y K

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u s i n e s s Confidence Index (BCI), the indicator that measures investment sentiment of business operators in the country moderated to 17 percent towards the end of 2013. The •Remi Bello, President, LCCI index had maintained a The naira exchange rate also steady improvement over fluctuated within the set the first three quarters of bound of N160 per dollar the year (10.5percent in Q1, (plus and minus 5 percent) 16.5 percent in Q2 and 24 throughout the year. percent in Q3). The We are satisfied with the moderation of the BCI score apex bank’s efforts at in Q4-2013 suggests that ensuring exchange rate business leaders are likely stability and we hope that this going to be softer towards is sustained in 2014. Our expanding their investments in the early months of 2014. “In 2013, FG budget approval delays and poor We hope to implementation of capital see a more projects remains a major concern for the private responsive sector. In an economy fiscal where government accounts for a major management component of expenditure, and early passage and proper implementation of budgets diversification are very crucial. Going into of the economy 2014, we hope to see a more budget as a response to responsive approval processes and the growing improved implementation of the budget at both the states fragility in the and the FG levels. “Agriculture: We global oil and commend the FG over the gas market. ongoing agricultural sector transformation initiatives in the country. Agricultural sector has the largest concern is the continued potential to diversify the protection of the exchange Nigerian economy, create rate on the back of high jobs, ensure food security interest rate with the and expand foreign attendant negative outcomes exchange earnings. for businesses, output, Transforming the employment and growth. Agricultural sector at this Foreign reserve peaked at time is compelling giving $48.2 in August before it the increasing wave of moderated to $43.9 billion at the end of 2013. The falling Continues on page 19

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agos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, LCCI, expressed optimism of improved business environment in 2014 in spite of persisting challenges facing the real sector. Alhaji Remi Bello, President of LCCI told Financial Vangaurd, “SMEs and the manufacturing sector remains the most troubled sector as evidenced by the negative investment sentiments expressed by the operators throughout the year. “As the New Year begin, the LCCI hopes for a better business environment in 2014. We hope for improvement in the productive capacity of the Nigerian economy, the prosperity of enterprises and an improvement in the welfare of Nigerians. “GDP growth in 2013 was strong at over 6 percent and in line with IMF projections and Federal Government’s estimates. The concern, however, is the increasing disconnecting between the impressive growth numbers, productivity, quality of life and employment. This reality is reflected in the country’s performance in some major global rankings released in 2013. Whereas Nigeria’s GDP ranking by the IMF was 37 th out of 187 economies profiled; global competitiveness ranking by the World Economic Forum was 137th of 183 economies reported; while the Human Development Ranking by the UNDP was 153 out of 187 countries profiled.

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The Basic Guide to Starting Your Business Part 3 WHAT IS NOT BUSINESS? ften time people engage in all sort of shady deals and call it business. This should not be, because any act/trade that is not genuine and is to the detriment of others cannot be called a business, especially if it doesn’t fall within the confines of the law or is aimed at getting profit wrongly. Some of these wrong businesses include, money laundering (government officials), abuse of office, stealing, defrauding, internet scam otherwise known as yahooyahoo, 419 and a host of others. If you are involved in any of the above, then you cannot say that you are in a business as the above named are prohibited by the laws of the land and they do not create opportunities. Rather they ruin or cripple the country, portraying it in a very bad light to the rest of the world. It is only a lazy man that looks for an easy way out all the time, not wanting to go through the right process and procedures. THE MENTALITY OF A BUSINESS MAN: We have discussed what a business is in the previous chapter and what business is not; we have also looked at the importance of self analysis in starting a business as well as the disadvantages and advantages. Now it’s time to talk about the mentality a business man should possess. We cannot underestimate the power of the mind and I make bold to say that that is where every idea and dream is born. The good book also emphasizes this by saying “as a man thinketh in his heart, so he is”. When starting a business, you would need to ask yourself if you possess what it takes to run it efficiently and get the desired results. Every successful business man has a mentality and should possess a strong sense of character. That is why it is important to carry out a self analysis before commencing a business. The business man does not see failure as a reason to quit; to him failure is a stepping stone that launches him to his next level. He is not afraid but is a risk taker, possessing the utmost desire to succeed; he is not just out to make money, but rather to bridge the gap between demand and supply. He is a sharp thinker and very witty, seizing every available

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opportunity to meet the demands of consumers. The following make up the mindset of successful business men. Optimism Optimism continues to be a primary factor in whether or not an individual will stay focused on goals rather than be thwarted by the negative events that would impede progress. It is the absolute ideal that leads to achievement as nothing can be done without hope. Therefore, it is the very essence of success. If you want to have a successful business, it is important that you start out as an optimist, refusing to see impossibilities and obstacles. An optimist is not discouraged, but rather looks for other ways

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LCCI hopes for improved business environment

If you want to have a successful business, it is important that you start out as an optimist, refusing to see impossibilities and obstacles.

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to make things better. A good business man will always diligently search for answers that will work. He possesses the “yes I can” aura and mentality which will endear him to clients and friends alike. Before you start a business it is very important that you have a very optimistic mentality, one that is not easily swayed by various obstacles you will encounter in the course of carrying out your business. This is because nobody wants to do business with a pessimist. Creativity A creative ability is a very vital tool in the hands of a person who intends to start a business, although sometimes even as a business owner there is a risk with being creative; it is not possible to do something the same way and expect a different outcome. You have to be very dynamic in your choice and approach to the business you intend to start. Brainstorm a list of possibilities no matter how wild it seems. Look for the unusual but plausible.


Vanguard, MONDAY, JANUARY 6, 2014 — 19

As it is the practice in Vanguard that a newspaper is a market place of ideas, we give readers opportunity to express their views on issues raised in the paper. Here is one of such views by a reader in London.

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here have been talks of Africa’s financial integration for more than two decades, but there aren’t any concerted, credible and encouraging signs that Africa is nearing its goals and objective of financial integration apart from a few disjointed accounts from various analysts’ opinions on Africa’s regional financial integration achievements. Analysts have argued that African regional economic communities (REC), recognising the need for pooling of financial resources began establishing subregional capital markets in an attempt to solve the problem of their fragmented capital markets. Realising the fact that there is a strong relationship between developed financial markets and economic growth, African regional economic communities (REC) saw the need to integrate and consolidate financial markets as a vehicle for promoting economic development on the continent. REC also believed that financial integration would enhance, promote efficiency and productivity and facilitate the flow of information. Indeed, regional financial integration is seen as the only platform for establishing stronger links with financial systems and capital markets in more developed countries and economies. But, has REC been able to establish this stronger links or has it the capacity to establish this stronger links with financial systems and capital markets in more developed

countries? Kuper, S. (2013) argued that since 2000, Africa has been going off in different directions. President Jacob Zuma, the South African president, in a speech while speaking on issues of toll roads recently lends credence to Kuper’s claim, and it is one of the reasons why Africa’s financial integration has proved difficult. “We can’t think like Africans generally, we are in Johannesburg. This is Johannesburg. It is not some national road in Malawi”. If indeed, the belief of REC is to enhance, promote efficiency and productivity within regional communities, I do not see how Zuma’s statement meets this objective. Ironically, South Africa and Malawi are both members of the same African regional economic community called Southern African Development Community (SADC) where South Africa dominates the region economically, accounting for 60% of SADC’s total revenue and about 70% of SADC’s GDP. Evidently, South Africa has a critical role to play in the regional financial integration of that region. Therefore, such careless utterances of a high political figure like the president of South Africa which ridicules the economic and social development of a member country will not promote the desired cooperation that encourages positive and strong financial integration of that region and Africa as a whole. Analysts believes that financial integration involves a process whereby a country’s markets become linked or integrated with those of other countries or the rest of the

Why Africa’s financial integration is difficult world. Therefore, in a fully integrated market, all forms of barriers are eliminated to enable foreign financial institutions to participate in domestic markets. This is why it is argued here that careless statements like that of President Zuma should not be tolerated. It hampers development of the SADC region and Africa by extension. Zuma should understand that whether a

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BY TONY NAVAH OKONMAH

Analysts believes that financial integration involves a process whereby a country’s markets become linked or integrated with those of other countries or the rest of the world.

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country, region or continent “chooses to integrate its financial markets formally or informally, it needs to create an enabling environment that would attract foreign participation” and his statement on Malawi’s development processes doesn’t create an enabling

environment for the financial integration of the SADC and Africa as a continent. It is time our African leaders demonstrate that Africa as a whole is their place and show love and respect for one another. Whether you are from Malawi or Nigeria or Ghana or Somalia or Cameroon or Senegal or Gabon or Kenya, we must look out for the things that promote the interest and common good of one another. Our leaders must stop playing this superiority and inferiority game that divides the continent and by extension transcends down to the various nationals of the various countries. Africans must learn to leverage one another. We have seen that why regional economic communities have not been able to harmonise the standards and regulations of governing financial markets and to create a larger central African financial market known as African Economic Community (AEC) that would support Africa’s regional integration agenda is due to such antecedents behaviours like the one exhibited by Jacob Zuma, the South African President. Indeed, smaller African countries cannot achieve such economic impact by themselves unless they are linked up through the financial markets of the regional economic markets.

Malawi should be encouraged to develop further its infrastructure within the SADC region and not ridiculed. Zuma should focus more on the three benefits of financial integration which are the primary aim of the REC financial integration agenda. These three benefits are (1) Risk sharing – South Africa should share its risk of expertise and know-how with Malawi that would boost specialisation in production. (2) Improved capital allocation – South Africa should encourage better allocation of capital and support the smaller and poorer countries within its region to remove impediments to trading of financial assets and flow of capital. (3) Economic growth – South Africa’s deeper financial integration can encourage and stimulate stronger economic growth for its region by making financial resources available for economic activities for smaller member countries like Malawi. Germany did this for participating EU member countries like Greece, Spain and Italy during the recent financial crisis that engulfed the EU. Tony Navah Okonmah, a financial and economic analyst, wrote from London.

ECONOMY IN 2014: Continues from page 18 uncertainty in the international and domestic oil and gas market. Going forward, LCCI would like to see an inclusive and integrated agricultural sector transformation with a greater trickle down to the bottom of the pyramid within a reasonable time frame. We encourage the drivers of this initiative to design a strategy to accommodate small farmers who account for over 90 percent of output and activities in the sector. “Oil & Gas: The evolving global energy market dynamics suggest an urgent need to take a sober look at the Nigerian oil and gas sub

MANUFACTURING: LCCI hopes for improved business tension in the environment the progress made so far on Diversification: The permanent growing political space as pre- election

sector in particular and the energy sector in general, especially given the importance of the sector to the Nigerian economy. Despite the declining contribution to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) – currently at 13 percent (based on 1990 Prices of GDP computation), the extreme dependence of government finances and external trade balances on proceeds from the sector exposes the nation to significant risks from oil price and production shocks. “Power Situation: We note

the power sector reform particularly on the privatisation of the sector. However, the power situation has continued to pose even more severe challenges to business operators. There are complaints across all sectors of high energy costs especially high expenditure on diesel and maintenance of electricity generators. This has continued to take its toll on the bottom line of investors in the country. Hopefully, 2014 may hold a positive outcome for the power sector on the back of current reforms. “Imperative of Economic

hedge against the impending oil market glut is a substantial diversification of the economy from oil to non-oil activities. In the short term however, enacting a competitive, Petroleum Sector legislation – the PIB is germane. While we note that the passage and implementation of the right PIB will not entirely eliminate the problem, it would expand investment in the sector. Curbing corruption and other forms of fiscal leakages would further stabilise the economy. “Developments in the Political Space: The Chamber is concerned about the

activities gather momentum and heating up the polity. We wish to stress that political stability is critical for the sustenance of investors’ confidence and the progress of the economy. The omens in the outgoing year are not good enough and have created some discomfort among investors. We therefore appeal to the political class to avoid desperation in their quest for public office as well as play by the rules. It is also critical that the credibility of the electoral process is not compromised” C M Y K


20 — Vanguard, MONDAY, JANUARY 6, 2014

Cover Story

ECONOMY IN 2014: By GODFREY BIVBERE

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Maritime: Operators differ over fortune of industry increased cargo handling equipment, speedy cargo clearance of goods before the exercise etc. According to him, the recent import policy as it concerns rice, fish and most especially automobile indicates that government does not think before they act. The ANLCA boss opined that the new policy will lead to reduction of the operations of the terminal operators and the long run, reduction in staff strength. Shittu noted government should have ensured that the automobile plants were in place, up and running before commencing the implementation of the policy. He further said that the maritime industry has always been on the receiving end in terms of policies of government. According to him, other sectors of the nation’s economy have enjoyed one form of intervention or the other with a view of improving the fortunes of such sectors. He also pointed out that transactions in the maritime industry are conducted in naira and dollar and wondered what government expected them to do when a hundred dollars ($100) is heading for two hundred naira (N200). In his words, “Operators in

the maritime industry are in for a long night of inactivity in the industry.” National Secretary of Nigeria Ship-owners Association, (NISA). Captain Niyi Labinjo, lamented the implementation of the Cabotage Act which is

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s the year 2013 finally roll away welcoming 2014, operators in the maritime industry are divided over the prospect of the industry as it affects the nation’s economy. While some are of the view that the sector will experience a brighter fortune as a result of the building block already in place, other says that the future is bleak because government policies will result in the reversal of little achievements made in the past. Executive Secretary and Chief Executive Officer, CEO, of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, NSC, Hassan Bello, said that the sector is bound to experience an increase in port operations, a position he attributed to the developments in the transport sector in general. Bello explained that the development of transport infrastructure in the transport sector, the rail, road and air, coupled with the reforms in port operations, movement of goods from the ports will become faster. He also noted that faster cargo clearance from the port will lead to faster ship turn around time and increase in cargo traffic. According to him, “Development of transport infrastructure, like the inland waterways which are complimented by the rail as well as the Truck Transit Park (TTP) is some of the infrastructures that will come on stream in 2014. Overall, the contribution of the transport sector to the Nigerian economy will be more tangible and noticeable in the 2014. “Inland waterways is also a veritable medium of transport, we are likely going to see a multi-model transport in the New Year.” Chairman House Committee on Marine Transport, Ifeyeanyi Ugwuanyi, on his part told Financial Vanguard that the House will be looking at all maritime bills presently before it and sector laws expected to reviewed, to enable the environment for development of the industry. However, the National President of the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents, ANLCA, Prince Olayiwola Shittu, warned operators to brace up for “a long night” ahead in the New Year because of recent of policies. Shittu noted that these recent policies will reverse the gains made in the industry with the concessioning of the nation’s ports. The concession of the port he continued has resulted in

because of the number of waivers so far granted. He said that the Act was intended to increase human capacity, ship ownership and

Even NIMASA cannot do any projection on its core function because this will be based on ship owners’ performance.

meant to protect the interest of local ship owners. Labinjo explained that government seem to be more interested in the waiver clause then the enforcement of the Act

•Hassan Bello

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technology b u t stressed that these have not been met. H e pointed out that a situation where the nation’s maritime administration, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, abandons its core function of growth and

development for revenue generation does not augur well for the industry. He says he sees no hope for the sector in 2014 and that he cannot make any projection because there is nothing on ground present on which projections for the New Year could be made. Speaking further, the NISA scribe also said even NIMASA cannot do any projection on its core function because this will be based on ship owners’ performance.


Vanguard, MONDAY, JANUARY 6, 2014 — 21

Cover Story

ECONOMY IN 2014:

BANKING AND FINANCE: Increased competition amidst monetary tightening, naira depreciation By BABAJIDE KOMOLAFE

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perators in the financial sector said that despite the perceived risk of political activities, tapering of quantitative easing and declining external reserves the sector in 2014 will experience increased competition in terms of new products, infrastructure financing amidst monetary tightening and significant possibility of naira depreciation. In an interview with Financial Vanguard, Mr. Opeyemi Agbaje, Managing Director Chief Executive, RTC Advisory Services Limited said that while there are positive development in 2013 that will influence the economy in 2104, there are however several levels of uncertainties in the economy. Positives and Negatives of 2013 He said, “There are positives we are taking into 2014 from 2013. Those positives are: Power privatisation which was done in 2013 and will be consolidated in 2014; the agricultural reforms which appear to be having some impact, it’s still early, but that would also be consolidated in 2014. There are also some significant negatives that we would also be taking into 2014. Most importantly is the management of the oil sector, vis-a-vis the absence of PIB, divestment of multinationals, and the general state of uncertainty in the industry, oil theft, oil piracy, declining production. Major risks “Now if you go into 2014, I see several levels of uncertainty, and for me that is the defining concern for 2014. We have uncertainty in the foreign exchange market. One, because oil sector outlook is not clear. Two, our domestic oil sector is not settled because of issues I mentioned earlier, and that is where we get 85 per cent

they will do it in 2015. So 2014 will be a year of political campaign and there would be more focus on policy than on governance. So there are many levels of uncertainty that would define this year. But like I said there are some

positives and there are some negatives. Overall I think there are three major risks we should watch out for. One is the political risk, the second is the foreign exchange, the risk of Naira devaluation, and the third is around the oil sector. If anything goes wrong with global oil prices, we would be in serious trouble. Global factors “Now the global factors, the one that concerns us, one is the oil prices because there is uncertainty around that one too. The second one that concerns us is the global growth projections. The IMF has projected 3.6 per cent or so for 2014. I think they will revise it downward. It is not aggressive but it is not too bad. The third one, the third global factor that

•Opeyemi Agbaje

•Wale Abe

Overall I think there are three major risks we should watch out for. One is the political risk, the second is the foreign exchange, the risk of Naira devaluation, and the third is around the oil sector. If anything goes wrong with global oil prices, we would be in serious trouble.

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of our foreign exchange earnings. So there is doubt over our foreign exchange, I see a very high probability of naira devaluation, and the pressure is already building. “Nothing major may happen in the oil sector in 2014, because the outlook is not so positive, and you know the alternatives, shale oil, shale gas, fracking, and all of that. In the financial sector, there is also some uncertainty around liquidity; the CBN’s CRR policy and expectation in some sectors that they are going to raise the CRR. With CBN’s determination to curtail inflation in the face of political spending in 2014, so there is going to be further squeeze in liquidity and pressures on inflation. And then the most important uncertainty of all is political uncertainty. Because we would face severe political challenges in 2014, it is obvious, we are going to have a national confab, we are going to have an election. Even though the election will take place in 2015, but all the work will happen in 2014 because INEC is saying

will affect Nigeria is this tapering of quantitative easing in United States. It is already affecting the global stocks market. We saw in December, the fear of tapering affecting stock markets in Europe and America. So when they actually start the tapering, it will have g l o b a l consequences, for financial markets, stock markets and the economy itself. So that is another issue. For us I don’t think it will be catastrophic. It will have some effects on out stock market and it could also have impact on the financial sector. Increased competition in banking industry On his part, Wale Abe, Executive Secretary, Financial Market Dealers Association of Nigeria (FMDA) noted that there would be increased competition in the banking industry as well as more tightening by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN. He said, “The expectation, first of all is that the trend of investment should increase marginally. We expect to see expansion in the critical sectors of the economy like the agricultural sector in particular. Then there are some concerns about the manufacturing sector, government is likely to pay attention to that sector as well by way of improving infrastructure because if infrastructure improves the manufacturing and industry will equally benefit from growth. “Of course the service sector is expected to do well in particular. That takes us to banking. There would be lots of competition in terms of ICT and in terms of new products especially financing the infrastructural sector as a whole, both social and physical infrastructure. However the expectation is that foreign investment, both direct as well as portfolio investment should equally increase because the expectation is that the Nigerian Continues on page 22


22 — Vanguard, MONDAY, JANUARY 6, 2014

Cover Story

ECONOMY IN 2014:

BANKING AND FINANCE: Increased competition amidst monetary tightening, naira depreciation Continues from page 21

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reserves and exchange rate. He however expressed optimism that the recently released draft guidelines for finance companies will boost activities in the sub-sector in 2014. He said, “For our sector, the central bank has just produced a draft guideline that will regulate the finance companies, and we are all hopeful that this will boost the sector. The increase in capital base from N20 million to N100 million, and finance houses functions have been well spelt out and expanded. So there will be scope for more business for finance companies. And finance companies have also been listed as one of the financial institutions that SMEs can access developmental fund from. So you can bring you financials

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economy delivers good returns. Electioneering is a threat to inflation “However, the challenges will actually come from curtailing inflation, given the fact that this year is a year preceding election, which means that electioneering campaign will actually start in 2014. Given the fact that the ruling party is in a kind of crises and the opposition party, in terms of numeracy is increasing. This might create some serious attrition between the ruling party and the opposition. It boils down to the fact that a lot of money will find its way into the economy, money that will not pass through the official banking industry, by way of corruption and others trying to get position to win election. That might be the biggest challenge that we might likely face. Then if that happens, the expectation is that the interest rate will likely increase because the central bank will have to tighten more, in anticipation of fiscal injection into the economy. So those are the kind of things we might likely see. But by and large, the ability of the politicians, especially the leadership of the political class to manage whatever crises that might emerge from the political environment, will actually go a long way in determining the direction in which the Nigerian economy will go. All of these will actually increase the risk factor. Risk factor will actually increase in Nigeria for 2014. And that will propel those who are willing to take risk to invest more to get better returns. So if are able to manage things better, then off course the Nigerian economy might be better off at the end of the day. Also is the development in the power sector, if things go the way it is planned, if we are able to generate more, and then transmit and distribute. Then obviously, we might see a dramatic jump in terms of productivity in Nigeria. Otherwise if the political crises will not allow us to do that, then we can see the trend going backward instead of upward. New guidelines will boost finance companies President Finance Houses Association of Nigeria, FHAN,........Durojaiye on his part noted the challenge of declining crude oil prices and likely impact on foreign

•Samuel Durojaye 300,000 and 400,000 barrels of crude oil per day to oil theft and breakage of pipeline. So how will the government able to curb all these, knowing that we have a deficit of almost N1 trillion. Also is the fact that this is an election year, the

As at last week or two weeks ago, we are talking about N175 or N170 to the dollar. That is disastrous.

and we will package it for you to be able to access developmental funds. Challenge to the Economy “Then for the economy in general, the challenges we foresee has to do with revenue generation and the expenditure profile. In terms of revenue generation, you will discover that over the last two years we have been losing between

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expenditure pattern is likely going to be above the budget. The deficit will go beyond the budgeted N1 trillion. And oil prices, you will find out that, because of shale oil in United States, and discovery of oil in other places, and peace in the Middle East, and Iran threatening that it would go beyond its OPEC quota; this might flood the market with oil and this might force down the

price. If you look at our budget price which is above $70 per barrel, if oil price falls to $90 per barrel, we would have serious problem with the budget. These are the things I am looking at, and I am saying the only hope that things will not get worse in terms of foreign exchange generation and the rate of the naira. If the oil price goes down, and we are not able to curb oil theft, the naira will be under pressure. “We hope that CBN will be able to manage it very well. The CBN governor said that we are prepared. The Minister of finance says they have a plan to make sure there is no shortfall that will be able to affect the budget this year. They said they will be able to control expenditure and also look for alternative sources. You know, they hired Mckinsley to help the FIRS to increase the generation of nonoil taxes. We are hoping that all these will assuage the challenges we are looking at in the year. Management of foreign reserves and foreign exchange must improve Okechukwu Unegbu, Managing Director//CEO, Maxifund Securities Limited called for improvement in the management of the nation’s foreign reserves and foreign exchange, saying that some restrictions introduced by the CBN in 2013 were not good. He also frowned at the prevalence of corruption in the country, saying that this is not good for the economy. He said, “First and foremost we should be able to do more in terms of management of our foreign exchange and foreign reserves. They have not been

good. As at last week or two weeks ago, we are talking about N175 or N170 to the dollar. That is disastrous. At the time the central bank said that receiving money from our people in diaspora, if it comes, you go to the banks, they pay you in naira. It was a bad policy. They should have allowed it the way it was, more money would have flowed in. Now because no money is coming in, there is scarcity. “In the government sector, the greatest challenge we have is corruption. Everywhere is corrupt. You go to any ministry, for you to even write your name, you have to pay the clerk, to write your name to see the minister. And apparently, the people are observing these things. And that means there is weakness in leadership, and as long as that exist, we are going to continue to have decayed economy. We are not ranking well in competitiveness ranking; we are not ranking well in transparency. So with all this, we have a big problem, corruption. And then in the capital market, the capital market was gradually recovering and suddenly, just like the increase in fuel prices in the New Year, which we protested, the regulators of the capital market have increased the capital bases of stock broking house and all that, by over 700 per cent. It does not make sense to me. You should have allowed the capital market get back itself properly before you do that. There is no objective factor or criteria for the increase. I am not saying it should not be done but there has to be some consistency in the way it is done.”


Vanguard, MONDAY, JANUARY 6, 2014 — 23

Cover Story

ECONOMY IN 2014:

,

By PETER EGWUATU & NKIRUKA NNOROM

$400billion market with dazzling demographics that Nigeria represent, will remain an attractive market for long term investors for a long time to come.”

C

apital market operators expressed confidence that 2014 will be another ‘above average’ year for the stock market and the economy despite the generally perceived risks around the coming elections. They, however, said that there are some nagging challenges that must be urgently addressed for the economy to realise its full potential within the year. For them, issues surrounding oil theft, depletion of foreign reserves and channelling more funds toward capital and developmental projects rather than recurrent expenditure items need to be tackled.

,

On the economy

T

ola Odukoya, VicePresident, Dunn Loren Merrifield, and an investment banker said, “In my opinion, the performance of the economy was a mixed bag. On the positive side, we saw a drive by the Federal Government to reposition agriculture as a key revenue source for the economy with some appreciable degree of success. Also, the successful privatisation of the power sector is a massive step in the right direction. Despite the current challenges the operators are facing, I believe Nigeria is moving in the right direction in this regard.” “On the other hand, I am concerned about the country’s growing debt profile -

Victor Ogiemwonyi, Managing Director, Partnership Investment Company enthused that, “2014 is expected to be another ‘above average’ year despite the generally perceived risks around the coming elections and the US Federal Reserve Bank probable start of tapering. This is expected to drain the liquidity occasioned by the Fed policy of the last few years, and the easy money that has come with the policy to pump liquidity into the US markets to keep it functioning normally.” He observed that the risk associated with elections in Nigeria cannot be worse than what was seen in the recent past and therefore, exaggerated. David Adonri, Managing Director, Lambeth Trust and Investment Limited, stated that Nigeria’s macro economy was stable in 2013, adding that exchange rate was reasonably stable while

CAPITAL MARKET: Operators confident of improved performance despite challenges inflation rate declined to single digit. He noted that in 2013, Nigeria remained a preferred investment destination in Africa, saying that massive foreign portfolio investment inflow in the economy as a result increased activities in the debt market, and propelled the equities market to a new height. “Nigeria successfully completed the process of Electric Power industry

,

especially foreign debt and the increase in oil theft and dealing oil revenue and foreign reserves. This was further exacerbated by the high rate of youth unemployment, which is dangerous for a country with a young and growing population,” he added.

reform with privatisation of state enterprises in the industry. The catalytic role of this exercise is expected to manifest in due course. It will truly herald the transformation of the economy to greater heights from 2014,” he stated. “ However, for Nigeria’s economic potentials to be fully realised, consumption subsidy must be discontinued; the economy must be fully privatised,

I am concerned about the country’s growing debt profile - especially foreign debt and the increase in oil theft and dealing oil revenue and foreign reserves.

,

corruption must be ruthlessly dealt with and the country secured. Development in capital market Operators in the capital market stated

that the market is expected to enjoy more liquidity inflow in 2014 due to fall in budget deficit. Some of them, however, disagreed on the likely impact of US Federal Reserve tapering on Nigeria equities market Tola Odukoya explained that the capital market may likely suffer the negative impact of the US Fed tapering, especially the domestic bond market, even as he added that the equity market in general may face some headwinds as a result of a possible disappointing performance by banks (banking sector is still the bellwether sector in the market), the inability to really commence market making and general risk aversion by investors during the year. Victor Ogiemwonyi said, “The risk that markets will come down on the issue of US Fed tapering alone is remote.

We think that it will not adversely affect the equities in Nigeria. The bond and money markets are more vulnerable. A large part of the foreign investments in our markets are returning “Flight Capital”, capital that left the country when things were bad. Most of these, particularly, those invested in the equities market here will not be in a hurry to go anywhere; a $400billion market with dazzling demographics that Nigeria represent, will remain an attractive market for long term investors for a long time to come.” Haruna Kebira of APT Securities and Funds limited noted that the market is expected to remain bullish in the first half of the year, but may likely recede towards second half of the year due to 2015 general election, “because there will be possible withdrawal of fund by foreign investors, who do not know the direction the pendulum will swing.” Taiwo Oderinde, National Coordinator, Proactive Shareholders Association of Nigeria, PROSAN said, “Nigerian shareholders are ready to part with their monies in 2014.That is, companies are going to have access to adequate funding. Regulators are going to come out with new globally proven innovations and ideas that will move our market forward. For example, the shareholders Association Academy will come up with more educative programmes for Shareholders Associations in Nigeria in 2014. Lastly, Nigerian companies will come up with better score cards in 2014.


24 — Vanguard, MONDAY, JANUARY 6, 2014

Cover Story BRIEF ICAN urges accounting technicians on good virtues BY PROVIDENCE OBUH

2014: reduced profitability to thrive amidst opportunities in retail insurance market

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Islamic finance sector set for rapid growth

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C M Y K

he year 2014 will be a promising one for Islamic finance sector, says an industry expert. It will grow at a rapid pace this year and volume will pass through $2 trillion where Islamic banking keeps 78 per cent, sukuk 16pc, takaful 1pc, Islamic funds 4pc and Islamic microfinance 1pc share, Al Huda Centre of Islamic Banking and Economics chief executive Muhammad Zubair Mughal said. “Dubai and London will be in competition to be the global hub of Islamic banking and finance, while Kuala Lumpur will also attempt to be in this contest but the Islamic finance industry can be grown more through synergising approach and alliance with industry stakeholders rather than setting any competition,” he said. Mr Mughal said the industry will clock a doubledigit growth which will turn the $1.6trn volume of Islamic finance industry last year to $2trn by the end of 2014.

Mr. Simeon Kenny of DFID, Mr Kunle Oketikun MD|CEO of Fortis Microfinance Bank Plc, Mr. Ravi Hemnani the CEO of Primlaks Group and Mr. Piyush Nair Executive Adviser Primlaks Group at the Fortis Microfinance Bank Women Fair in Abuja, over 7000 women were in attendance

By ROSEMARY ONUOHA

A

ctivities in the insurance sector in 2014, according to experts, will assume a mixed grill pattern. This is hinged on the fact that profitability is expected to reduce due to the strict enforcement of the ‘no premium, no cover’ policy of the National Insurance Commission, NAICOM, even as microinsurance activities are expected to gather momentum. Speaking on expectations for the sector in 2014, Commissioner for Insurance, Mr. Fola Daniel said that NAICOM will focus on deepening insurance penetration through microinsurance and takaful insurance. According to Daniel, microinsurance is not a conventional insurance that is expensive but affordable and to the reach of low income earners. He said that the insurance industry had no choice than to embrace microinsurance in order to tackle low insurance penetration in the country. For Director General of the Nigerian Insurers Association, NIA, Mr. Sunday Thomas, the insurance sector may witness reduced profitability this year due to implementation of the ‘no premium, no cover’ policy of NAICOM. Thomas however said that the insurance market will be highly liquid and will

be a better place to do business. He said that the ‘ no premium, no cover’ policy is the best thing to have happened in the insurance sector and in the years to come it will become a culture in the Nigerian insurance market and it will enhance service delivery to the insurance public. Thomas however said that the sector is expected to leverage on the microinsurance efforts of NAICOM in the course of the year. Thomas said “In 2013, there were lots of groundwork on microinsurance; hence a proper structure has been put in place. I want to believe that subsequently, the industry should be in a position to reap from all the groundwork. He said that other policy issues put in place in 2013 like the privatisation in the power sector will begin to yield results. “We regard 2013 as the year of transformation and the benefits of the transformation are going to come in subsequent years. I am quite optimistic that subsequent years portend high reward for this market. For Head of Nigerian Insurance Industry Database, NIID, of the NIA, Mrs. Bola Omole, the market will witness the take-off of the marine module of the NIID, by first quarter of 2014. The marine module of the NIID aims to eliminate fake marine insurance policies that

,

he Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) has called on Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) on the need to upholding good virtues. President of ICAN, Alhaji Kabir Muhammed, made the call at the 18th AAT Annual Conference tagged: “Governance and sustainable Development: The Accounting Technician’s Perspective.” Muhammed said, “The accountancy profession is an indispensable discipline in all the sectors of the economy government service, industry, commerce, banking, agriculture, academia, oil and gas etc. “This singular attraction makes it the envy of all other professions. Over and above this is the fact that for hardworking and determined young men and women, the profession holds the allure of self-employment even in a developing economy like Nigeria.

The issue of electricity supply is affecting the flow of foreign investment. In Ghana, expatriates are trooping there to invest because they have a steady power supply

,

are in circulation in the maritime industry. It will be recalled that the motor module of the NIID has been in operation for over three years now and it has reduced the volume of fake motor insurance policies in circulation. Omole said that the performance of the motor module since it was introduced into the country is commendable, adding that the success achieved so far from the first module has led to the implementation of the second module in marine business. She said that the industry is expected to embark on more collaboration with security agencies such as the Vehicle Inspection Office, VIO, Federal Road Safety

Corps, FRSC and the Police to ensure the successful implementation of the project in all parts of the country. For President of the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers, NCRIB, Mr. Ayodapo Shoderu, if the insurance industry must grow in Nigeria, emphasis and focus must shift to microinsurance in order to home in its multiple benefits to the industry and the national economy. He said “It is quite auspicious that the NCRIB has identified other notable stakeholders such as Market Women Associations, Artisans groups and Road Transport Workers Employees Association, for insurance awareness. Very soon the Council will give wings to the microinsurance initiatives by visiting these seemingly ‘unreached groups.” Shoderu however lamented that foreign investment into the country has not been what it should be and the trend could persist this year. “The issue of electricity supply is affecting the flow of foreign investment. In Ghana, expatriates are trooping there to invest because they have a steady power supply. However in Nigeria, business has not been what it should be but could have been better. Not many new businesses are coming into the country,” he said.


Vanguard, MONDAY, JANUARY 6, 2014 — 25

Cover Story

ECONOMY IN 2014: sometimes, we had to revert to courier services because of Nigeria challenges Railway should the inherent in the intercity rail service. improve the The most annoying quality of thing was the service, and frequent break down during train journey, make it a resulting in reliable means unnecessary delays that were of not good for our transportation business. So in 2014, I expect that so that people, Railway especially those Nigeria should improve the relying on it for quality of service, and make it a business reliable means of transportation so that people, especially those relying on it for business, can plan with it. At the moment there are so many deficiencies in the system and I expect that in 2014, the authorities should address those deficiencies. David Ndanusa has worked with the Nigeria Railway Corporation, NRC for at least thirty years. He is currently, the Assistant Director, Public Relations. He said that, “In 2013, there were sustained efforts by both the federal government and the railway authorities to contain the challenges that came with the introduction of the intercity rail service. And in the year, 2013, we will continue to improve on our efforts in the railway modernization programme. We are going to bring in more rolling stock; as that will help to address the challenges of poor services. The authorities are restrategising for effective service delivery. Already, a 2014 2012 and the early part of 2013, Strategic Directions for the NRC for the movement of our has been adopted with products from Lagos to Jebba. emphasis on Journey time We had a factory in Lagos and capability, train service amicable, after production we moved availability, some products to the northern punctuality and safety. part of the country but after

,

,

RAIL TRANSPORT: Stakeholders clamour improved quality service BY JONAH NWOKPOKU

F

or the railway sector, the key word is better service. For a sector that has endured throughout the colonial period, enormous challenges and neglect in the hands of different governments, analysts and industry watchers believe transformation would not happen overnight. They argue however that consistent efforts are demanded from the authorities if the sector would ever occupy its position and be an economy spinner as it is around the world. Stephen Ojelana, a Civil Engineer and a railway analyst said: “Given the level of decay resulting from long years of neglect by successive governments after the white man left, and efforts being made by this administration to bring the sector back to life, there is no gainsaying that the outlook remains bright. We can only keep hoping for the best from what Sijuade and his team are doing. Already there have been enormous challenges within the last operating year and if they have monitored the progress closely, they should be able to tackle the challenges and improve on what they have. Effective service delivery should be their priority in 2014.”

For Kola Olubodun, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Goldenkay Ventures, a company specialised in manufacture of polythene products, poor service delivery, arising from technical challenges disrupted his

patronage of the intercity. Like Ojelana, he hopes that the railway authorities would improve on what they have at the moment. He said, “My business relied on the railway initially, between

2014: Microinsurance to shape business trend in insurance sector By ROSEMARY ONUOHA

I

nsurance experts have expressed their expectations for year 2014, saying that activities could pick up going forward. Speaking on expectations for the sector in 2014, Commissioner for Insurance, Mr. Fola Daniel said that NAICOM will focus on deepening insurance penetration through microinsurance and takaful insurance. According to Daniel, microinsurance is not a conventional insurance that is expensive but affordable and to the reach of low income earners. He said that the insurance industry had no choice than to embrace microinsurance in order to tackle low insurance penetration in the country. For Mr. Sunday Thomas, Director General of the Nigerian Insurers Association, NIA, the insurance sector may witness reduced profitability this year due to implementation of the ‘no premium, no cover’ policy of NAICOM. Thomas however said that the insurance market will be highly liquid and will be a better place to do business. He said that the ‘no premium, no cover’ policy is the best thing to have happened in the insurance sector and in the years to come it will become a culture in the Nigerian insurance market and it will enhance service delivery to the insurance public. Thomas however said that the sector is expected to leverage

on the microinsurance efforts of NAICOM in the course of the year. Mrs. Bola Omole, Head of Nigerian Insurance Industry Database, NIID, of the NIA, expressed confident that the market will witness the take-off of the marine module of the NIID, by first quarter of 2014. The marine module of the NIID aims to eliminate fake marine insurance policies that are in circulation in the maritime industry. It will be recalled that the motor module of the NIID has been in operation for over three years now and it has reduced the volume of fake motor insurance policies in circulation. For President of the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers, NCRIB, Mr. Ayodapo Shoderu, if the insurance industry must grow in Nigeria, emphasis and focus must shift to microinsurance in order to home in its multiple benefits to the industry and the national economy. Shoderu however lamented that foreign investment into the country has not been what it should be and the trend could persist this year. “The issue of electricity supply is affecting the flow of foreign investment. In Ghana, expatriates are trooping there to invest because they have a steady power supply. However in Nigeria, business has not been what it should be but could have been better. Not many new businesses are coming into the country,” he said. C M Y K


26 —Vanguard, MONDAY, JANUARY 6, 2014

Business & Economy

NIPC chairman calls for proper funding of commission By FAVOUR NNABUGWU

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he Chairman, Board of Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), Alhaji Ibrahim Biu, has called for proper funding of the commission to effectively attract foreign investment into the country. Biu stated that the current budgetary allocation to the commission was inadequate and as such militated against the commission’s objective of enticing investors. The commission got an appropriation of N1.07 billion in the 2013 budget, of which N205.6million was for capital project and N860.5 million for recurrent expenditure. Biu expressed concern that the commission was not properly funded by the government considering the range of its activities which involved showcasing Nigeria’s investment opportunities through numerous programmes.

C M Y K

He said that the commission was involved in engaging international organisations, promoting the country ’s potentials in various conferences to attract investors. Biu therefore appealed for an upward review of allocation to the agency to enable it fulfills its obligations under the present government transformation agenda. He said that the board would do its best to put mechanisms in place to increase foreign direct investment inflow into the country. “Nigeria is a virgin land in terms of investment and so far in Africa, Nigeria is the first preferred investment destination for all foreign investors from Asia and America. “I believe we have more to showcase because we have a lot of untapped opportunities

in the manufacturing, mining, oil and gas, banking and the telecommunication sectors. “As we all know, Nigerian telecommunications industry is the fastest growing sector in the world,” he said.

Biu said that the board also had observed the need for the commission to conduct more public enlightenment to create awareness on its existence. “The commission has therefore decided to put in

place measures to enlighten Nigerians on its functions and how investors could get foreign partners through the commission.” The chairman said that the board was poised to discharge its responsibility to enhance the growth of the economy in line with transformation agenda of the government.

Sweet Sensation partners Lagos Interschool Monopoly tournament

S

weet Sensation has said its partnering Lagos in the 2nd edition of the City of Lagos inter-school Monopoly Tournament to drive the it to greater height. The competition which was put together by Bestman Games drew the attendance of the st 1 Lady of Lagos State, Dame Abimbola Fashola. Speaking, the Executive Director of Sweet Sensation, Mr. Olatunji Kamson, said the partnership is part of the company’s plan to continue to invest in the future of the younger generation which is the primary essence of the monopoly games to teach children the values of investing, property trading, how to make wise financial decisions, lessons in strategy and imbibing the spirit of good sportsmanship. He stated that Sweet Sensation will continue

to create the needed platforms for the younger generation, especially children to express themselves intellectually. Also speaking, the CEO of Bestman Games, Mrs. Nimi Akinkugbe, said a total of 11 secondary schools drawn from all the secondary schools in Lagos state with their best and brightest monopoly players competed in the tournament. Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Henry Odein Ajumogobia, Ibukun Awosika, CEO Chair Centre Group amongst others graced the event. As one of the major sponsors of the tournament, Sweet Sensation Confectionery was the official food vendor providing meals and drinks to all participating schools and their officials.


Capital Market Company Oil and Gas and Products Petroleum Prod ucts Capital Oil Plc 1st fTier Securities AGRICULTURE Crop Production FTN Cocoa Processors Plc Okomu Oil Palm Plc Presco Plc Livestock/Animal Specialities Livestock Feeds Plc CONGLOMERATES Diversified Industries A.G. Levents Nigeria Plc Chellarams Plc John Holt Plc SCOA Nigeria Plc Transnational Corporation UACN Plc CONSTRUCTION/REAL ESTATE Building Construction/Structure ARBICO Plc Constain (WA) Plc CONSTRUCTION/REAL ESTATE Non-Building/Heavy Construction Julius Berger Nig Plc Roads Nigeria Plc Real Estate Development UACN Property Development Real Estate Investment Trusts Skye Shelter Funds Union Homes Real Estate Investment CONSUMER GOODS Automobile/Auto Parts DN Tyres & Rubber Plc

Opening Price (N) 0.50

Daily Stock Market Report Closing Price (N) 0.50

Opening Price N

Quantity Traded 50,000

Year High 0.50

Year Low 0.50

E.P.S.

P.E. Ratio

HEALTHCARE Medical Supplies Morison Industries Plc Healthcare Providers Union Diagnostics & Clinicals Services

0.09

0.50 44.69 39.00

0.50 44.01 39.00

20,000 284,365 202,376

0.50 24.58 8.30

0.50 14.53 6.40

0.10 7.33 2.75

50.00 2.77 4.37

4.51

4.40

1,367,371

0.66

0.48

0.11

15.00

1.70 4.15 1.12 5.32 4.34 67.00

1.70 4.15 1.17 5.32 4.28 67.00

20,855 200 5,000 33 22,508,312 317,399

2.54 7.60 8.82 8.28 1.82 42.50

1.45 6.43 5.89 5.52 0.50 28.70

0.16 0.31 0.00 0.35 0.24 6.89

5.18 20.74 0.00 15.77 3.64 4.14

5.05 1.27

5.05 1.24

20,000 1,072,377

4 2,720,390.38

20

72.29 8.46

Sim Capital Alliance Plc Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc UBA Capital Plc

Pharmaceuticals Ekocorp Plc Evans Medical Plc Fidson Healthcare Plc Glaxo Smithkline Consumer Nig May & Baker Nigeria Plc Neimeth International Pharm Nigeria-German Chemicals Plc Pharma-Deko Plc

69,967 666

62.26 8.28

32.96 3.01

4.11 4.73

10.11 2.26

19.50

19.70

506,761

20.15

11.59

1.69

7.33

100.00 50.00

100.00 50.00

1,000 -

100.00 -

97.00 -

11.75 -

8.51 -

103.50 21.60 2.30

2.01 0.50 3.91 4.04 2.75 68.00 2.55 1.32 7.36 1.85

Quantity Traded

Year High

Year Low

E.P.S

P.E Ratio

729,186 40,450,331

103.50 15.69 1.41

103.50 10.64 0.03

10.56 0.87 0.21

9.71 18.03 6.71

2.23

785

10.54

9.52

0.00

0.00

0.50

5,500

0.50

0.50

0.00

3.51 4.04 2.85 68.00 2.59 1.44 7.36 1.85

5,000 89,283 2,927,277 64,723 285,984 953,812 2,195 4,500

5.31 1.45 3.20 23.11 5.61 1.96 12.91 200

5.31 0.70 0.83 2.58 3.61 0.95 0.95 4.28

0.19 0.44 2.62 0.20 0.09 0.00 0.00

0.00 88.50 0.00 3.07 9.05 14.13 0.00 0.00

ICT Computer Based Systems Courteville Investment Plc

0.66

0.64

2,051,703

0.52

0.50

0.10

10.00

Computers and Peripherals Omatek Ventures Plc

0.50

0.50

7,000

0.50

0.50

0.00

12.50

16.83 2.07

16.83 2.07

613 5,000

9.31 3.59

3.25 3.25

0.00 0.01

1.43 0.00

0.50

0.50

4,000

50,000

0.50

0.50

4,000

1.47

0.50

0.00

0.00

21.88 8.00 48.45 11.75 220.00 0.50 1.48 115.00 5.50 1.90 10.93

21.17 8.40 48.45 11.59 220.00 0.50 1.41 115.00 5.50 1.85 10.93

526,938 320,587 59,931 502,212 159,498 500 16,654 110,813 136,432 100,000 30

30.00 12.57 43.98 15.49 132.51 0.75 3.51 48.05 5.28 3.36 13.40

12.00 8.10 15.16 4.16 95.00 0.50 1.02 36.58 5.11 0.51 10.93

2.14 1.09 2.28 1.47 7.56 0.00 0.00 4.10 0.44 0.23 0.00

7.86 4.97 8.88 2.31 13.17 0.00 0.00 42.86 14.19 2.89 0.00

1.71 2.70

1,000 2,717,101

6.91 3.60

IT Services NCR (Nig) Plc Tripple Gee and Company Plc Processing Systems Chams Plc

72.29 8.46

Closing Price N

103.50 21.35 2.27

as at Friday, January 3, 2013

ICT Telecommunications Starcomms Plc INDUSTRIAL GOODS Building Materials Ashaka Cement Plc Berger Paints Plc CAP Plc Cement Co. of Northern Nig. Plc Dangote Cement Plc First Aluminium Nigeria Plc DN Meyer Plc Lafarge WAPCO Plc Portland Paints & Products Nig Plc Paints & Coatings Manufacturers Premier Paints Plc

0.50

0.50

2,640

0.50

0.50

0.00

0.00

16.91 235.09 28.70 165.01 0.77

16.91 237.00 29.40 166.00 0.77

4,000 428,969 244,586 573,126 10,000

4.63 255.00 7.10 100.00 1.01

2.23 186.00 5.23 72.50 0.93

0.00 9.95 0.41 5.08 0.00

0.00 19.98 16.29 22.22 0.00

Beverages-Non-Alcoholic 7-UP Bottling Company Plc

71.40

71.40

6,683

51.49

,39.00

2.69

13.92

Food Products Dangote Flour Mills Plc Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc Flour Mills Nigeria Plc Honeywell Flour Mill Plc National Salt Co. Nig Plc UTC Nigeria Plc

Tools and Machinery Nigerian Ropes Plc

7.85

7.85

40

8.69

8.26

10.23 11.30 87.00 3.85 14.85 0.70

9.72 11.85 87.06 3.80 14.12 0.70

516,180 3,435,623 437,856 6,406,786 1,370,899 68,000

19.90 16.20 95.00 6.60 6.70 0.88

4.31 4.02 57.00 2.31 3.80 0.50

0.00 0.91 4.09 0.39 1.01 1.13

16.91 14.38 16.89 16.92 5.75 8.83

NATURAL RESOURCES Chemicals BOC Gases Plc

6.66

6.66

16,572

9.20

6.80

Metals Aluminium Extrusion Ind Plc

7.75

10.50

500

12.39

10.70

0.13

85.77

Food Products-- Diversified Cadbury Nigeria Plc Nestle Nigeria Plc

58.61 1,182.00

56.61 1,182.00

875,588 45,501

37.27 840.10

8.33 400.00

Non-Metalic Mineral Mining Multiverse Plc

0.50

0.50

350,000

0.50

0.50

0.01

0.00

Paper/Forest Products Thomas Wyatt Nig. Plc

0.87

0.87

43,412

1.38

1.38

0.00

0.00

Electronic and Electrical Products Cutix Plc Nigerian Wire & Cable Plc

1.95 0.50

2.00 0.50

280,000 840

2.50 2.58

1.62 2.58

0.11 0.00

13.15 0.00

1.44

1.44

2,000

1.51

1.33

0.03

28.80

3.98 14.43 12.68 4.30 1.05 2.92 0.63

3.98 14.50 12.68 4.30 1.05 2.78 0.66

6,888 138,381 130 29,198 200 84,311 2,749,340

3.98 15.58 15.03 4.30 1.86 2.92 0.63

3.98 12.71 13.97 3.60 1.05 2.92 0.63

0.00 3.90 0.90 1.22 0.30 0.07 0.00

0.00 3.26 0.00 3.52 6.18 41.71 0.00

Beverages-Brewers/Distillers Champion Breweries Plc Guinness Nigeria Plc International Breweries Plc Nigerian Brew Plc Premier Breweries Plc

1.35 25.43

27.61 32.84

Household Durables Nigerian Enamelware Plc Vitafoam Nig. Plc Vono Products Plc

32.27 4.90 1.82

32.27 4.85 1.73

60 654,214 2,161,203

36.19 5.54 2.88

33.96 2.91 2.88

13.89 0.61 0.00

2.44 7.07 0.00

Personal/Household Products PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc Unilever Nigeria Plc

37.60 53.80

37.75 53.80

561,677 102,756

41.02 47.39

21.02 27.60

0.82 1.44

4.39 32.91

Insurance Carriers, Brokers and Sector African Alliance Insurance AIICO Insurance Plc Continental Reinsurance Plc Cornerstone Insurance Company Consolidated Hallmark Insurance Custodian and Allied Insurance Plc Equity Assurance Plc Goldlink Insurance Plc Great (Nig) Insurance Plc Guinea Insurance Plc International Energy Insurance Plc Investment and Allied Assurance LASACO Assurance Plc Law Union & Rock Insurance Plc Linkage Assurance Plc Mansard Insurance Plc Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc NEM Insurance Co. (Nig) Ltd Niger Insurance Co. Plc OASIS Insurance Plc. Prestige Assurance Co. Plc Regency Alliance Insurance Sovereign Trust Insurance Staco Insurance Plc Standard Alliance Insurance UNIC Insurance Plc Unity Kapital Plc Universal Insurance Plc Wapic Insurance Plc Microfinance Banks Fortis Micro-Finance Bank Plc NPF Micro-Finance Bank Plc Mortgage Carrier, Broker and Sector Abbey Building SOC Aso Savings and Loans Plc Resort Savings & Loans Plc Union Homes Savings Plc Other Financial Institutions Africa Prudential Plc Crusader (Nigeria) Plc Deap Capital Management & Trust Plc FBN Holdings Plc Nigeria Energy Sector Fund Royal Exchange Assurance

9.55 7.50 16.39 2.70 4.75 27.75 4.51 2.50 7.99 9.15 0.50 1.28 25.00

9.70 7.56 17.00 2.74 4.75 28.88 4.50 2.50 7.95 10.00 0.50 1.30 25.10

0.50 0.92 1.29 0.54 0.50 2.18 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.55 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 2.45 0.50 0.81 0.50 0.50 0.63 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 1.13

0.50 0.92 1.29 0.54 0.50 2.06 0.50 0.54 0.50 0.50 0.57 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 2.50 0.50 0.89 0.50 0.52 0.69 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 1.23

6.60 0.83

6.60 0.86

1.49 0.50 0.50 0.50

1.49 0.50 0.50 0.50

2.88 0.50 0.99 16.30 552.20 0.54

3.66 0.50 0.99 16.19 552.20 0.55

4,518,486 5,889,711 676,336 8,134,908 865,336 7,360,035 12,274,903 99,911,451 6,338,057 1,719,774 60,335,184 11,566,621 16,621,028 1,000 6,805,736 89,248 500 500 9,054,578 31,104,000 62,500 150 150 1,890,677 1,670,890 20,000 7,954 300 89,200 900 16,506,501 1,250,000 5,700,000 3,691,231 5,000 315,000 200 73,335,232 7,464 29,824 15,000 5,121,273

12.39 7.51 14.04 3.47 5.70 26.09 6.50 3.05 7.69 10.60 1.22 1.75 21.49

4.70 1.92 9.90 1.13 2.90 13.02 2.65 0.80 1.64 2.34 0.50 0.52 11.96

1.42 0.90 2.81 0.43 0.00 2.10 0.71 0.54 0.67 0.00 0.00 1.34 2.09

0.50 1.11 1.03 0.54 0.50 2.44 0.50 0.68 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.60 0.50 2.59 0.54 0.81 0.61 0.50 1.01 0.50 0.56 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 1.08

0.50 0.50 0.58 0.50 0.50 1.08 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 1.06 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50

4,100 650,000

6.00 1.18

0.00 0.92

0.04 0.92

150.00 10.56

345 200 400,000 368,750

1.57 0.50 0.50 0.50

1.37 0.50 0.50 0.50

0.19 0.02 0.00 0.00

47.6 7 25.00 0.00 0.00

9,705,096 22,000 37,500 5,532,945 9,889,975

0.75 0.50 2.02 20.00 100 0.78

0.00 0.50 2.02 8.57 552.20 0.50

0.00 0.50 0.14 0.02 0.50 0.28 0.01 0.00 0.03 0.01 0.00 0.02 0.00 0.00 0.03 0.16 0.00 0.37 0.02 0.03 0.06 0.04 0.09 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.02 0.00 0.07

8.73 8.34 5.00 7.93 0.00 12.39 9.15 5.43 11.19 0.00 0.00 0.43 10.24

0.19 0.00 0.00 2.03 12.68 0.13

0.00 22.20 6.79 27.30 10.00 7.43 50.00 0.00 16.67 50.00 0.00 25.00 0.00 0.00 16.67 16.19 0.00 2.19 26.00 16.67 15.50 12.50 5.65 0.00 0.00 0.00 25.00 0.00 15.43

9.16 0.00 0.00 9.85 43.55 6.00

Mortgage Carriers, Brokers and Se Abbey Building Society Plc INDUSTRIAL GOODS Packaging/Containers Abplast Products Plc Beta Glass Co. Plc Greif Nigeria Plc Nampak Nigeria Plc Poly Products (Nig) Plc Studio Press (Nig) Plc W.A. Glass Ind. Plc

1.79 2.74

5.94 1.47

0.5 0.25 0.00

0.78

39.60 9.16 0.00

7.37

OIL AND GAS Energy Equipment and Services Japaul Oil & Maritime Service

0.58

0.63

10,610,922

0.97

0.87

0.19

6.06

Intergrated Oil and Gas Services Oando Plc

26.73

26.66

49,081,01

78.97

27.99

1.73

4.17

20.50 0.50 67.93 108.30 118.60 54.44 173.30

20.50 0.50 61.32 92.64 115.70 54.44 181.96

82,191 10,000 102,500 852,364 23,525 200 33,430

37.10 0.70 5.59

0.50 0.50 3.89

4.93 0.00 0.61

7.40 0.00 6.99

163.50 2,100 240.00

141.00 63.86 195.50

6.11 2.98 14.63

11.11 19.23 17.07

0.50

0.50

10,000

200

0.50

Petroleum and Petroleum Products African Petroleum Plc Beco Petroleum Plc Conoil Forte Oil Nig Plc Mobil Oil Nigeria Plc MRS Oil Nigeria Plc Total Nigeria Plc Hospitality Tantalisers Plc SERVICES Afromedia Plc Automobile/Auto Part Retailers RT Briscoe Plc Courier/Freight/Delivery Red Star Express Plc Trans-National Employment Solutions C & I LEASING PLC Hotels/Lodging Capital Hotel Ikeja Hotel Plc

0.01

0.50

100

0.72

1.41

1.35

422,168

3.65

1.30

0.21

8.19

4.26

4.21 1.17

25,000 1.17

3.67 50,000

2.65 0.25

0.60 11.12

4.91

0.50

1,012,350

1.64

4.55 0.74

1,000 258,667

400 2.07

0.52 4.55 0.77

0.51

0.90 3.00 1.33

0.00

0.04 0.34 0.92

12.75

11.25 34.09 2.12

Media/Entertainment Daar Communications Plc

0.50

0.50

3,000

0.50

0.48

0.00

0.00

Printing & Publishing. Academy Press Plc Learn Africa Plc Studio Press Nig. Plc University Press

2.55 1.95 2.52 4.18

2.55 1.94 2.52 3.99

10,000 176,800 100 120,500

3.68 0.30 0.00 6.82

3.17

0.25

12.19

0.00 3.60

0.54

27.69

Road Transportation Associated Bus Company Plc

0.86

0.94

773,474

0.80

0.50

0.00

0.00

Speciality Interlinked Technologies Plc

4.90

4.90

1,050

5.15

4.90

0.00

0.00

Transport-Related Services Airline Services and Logistics Plc Nigerian Aviation Handling Company

3.20 6.36

3.36 6.08

233,359 5,716,713

2.78 11.75

1.57 6.50

0.60 12.53

4.22 8.75

Vanguard, MONDAY, JANUARY 6, 2014 — 27

FINANCIAL SERVICES Banking Access Bank Plc Diamond Bank Nigeria Plc Ecobank Transnational Incorporated Fidelity Bank Plc First City Monument Bank Plc Guaranty Trust Bank Plc Skye Bank Plc Sterling Bank Plc UBA Plc Union Bank Nig. Plc Unity Bank Plc Wema Bank Plc Zenith Bank Plc

Packaging/Containers Avon Crowncaps & Container Nigerian Bags Manufacturing Company

C M Y K


28 — Vanguard, MONDAY, JANUARY 6, 2014

Corporate Finance

Zenith Bank leads banking stocks with N860bn By PETER EGWUATU

Z

enith Bank Plc ended the year 2013 as the most capitalized stocks in the Banking sub sector on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, with a record of N860 billion market capitalization. Market capitalisation is one of the major indices used in measuring the performance of companies listed on an exchange. It is actually calculated as total number of paid-up shares multiply by current market price. An analysis of the banking subsector of the NSE for the year ended December 31, 2013, showed that Zenith Bank led with a market capitalisation of N860 billion. Guaranty Trust Bank Plc followed with N795 billion, while FBN Holdings Plc had N532 billion. United Bank for Africa Plc and Ecobank Transnational Incorporation (ETI) ended with N293 billion and N214 billion to complete the top five stocks with the highest market capitalisation in the banking sub-sector. Apart from leading other banks, Zenith Bank closed as the stock with the fourth highest market capitalisation in the entire market. It came behind, Dangote Cement Plc, Nigerian Breweries Plc and Nestle Nigeria Plc which occupied the number, number two and number three positions respectively. Market operators said the emergence of Zenith Bank as the number one stock was expected given the high patronage the equity enjoyed due to its impressive financial performance that attracted international recognition. It will be recalled that the Banker Magazine, a publication of Financial Times of London, recently awarded Zenith Bank of the year to Zenith Bank. According to the magazine, Nominees for the award were judged by their ability to deliver shareholder returns and gain strategic advantage in terms of market visibility and positioning. The award also indicates the level of trust and confidence on the brand and is a testament to the strong management, sound business model and prudent risk approach of Zenith Bank Plc. C M Y K

Investible funds: We are promoting knowledge of mutual funds

M

r. Michael Oyebola, is the M a n a g i n g Director and Head of FBN Capital Asset. He is also the President of the Fund Managers’ Association of Nigeria (FMAN). FMAN aims to raise the profile of Nigerian Fund Managers as well as promote and increase awareness of their expertise in managing segregated investment mandates and mutual funds. One of the key objectives of FMAN over the next two years is establishing a robust fund distribution platform for all Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) registered Fund Managers. In this interview with Peter Egwuatu , he spoke about how to spread risk in the financial market, mutual fund administration, achievement of FBN Asset management, expectation about future outcome of the industry, amongst others. Excerpts : There is a dearth of knowledge about the potential of mutual funds, particularly for investors looking to spread risk. What is FBN Capital Asset Management doing about this? FBN Capital Asset Management is actively promoting knowledge and awareness of mutual fund investment using a number of media outlets. For example, we have used social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to drive investor education and we regularly produce educational materials which provide the general public with more information on mutual funds and their benefits. In addition, members of FBN Capital Management are working closely with the Securities and Exchange Commission on the Capital Markets Literacy Initiative which aims to develop national strategies for financial education. For investors looking to build wealth, do you think the FBN Heritage Fund is ideal for them? What are their options?

•Mr. Michael Oyebola, Managing Director/Head, FBN

Yes, the FBN Heritage Fund is an ideal mutual fund for investors looking to build wealth. In fact, all of our mutual funds can help you build wealth. Another option is the FBN Money Market Fund, which provides investors with stability, some income and typically offers higher rates when compared to a standard bank savings account. It is a low risk mutual fund.

A

lso the FBN Fixed Income Fund provides a regular income with exposure to the bond and treasury bills markets. The FBN Heritage Fund provides superior growth for your money by investing across a number of different asset classes. The mutual fund is recommended for customers looking to build wealth through a single diversified fund and offers competitive returns. The choice of which fund to invest in will be based on the investor ’s appetite and objectives, and we provide advice for this. Our mutual funds can help meet savings and wealth building needs, whether that be saving to go on holiday, buy a car or a house, saving for your children’s school fees or even saving towards a stress free and enjoyable retirement! We already invest on behalf of thousands of Nigerians, both here and abroad, who have entrusted us with helping their money to grow. Our assets under management as at 31st October stand at over N93 billion.

,

BRIEF

Investors are showing more interest in income generating mutual funds

,

The FBN Heritage Fund has just paid its first dividend to its various unit holders. What motivated this decision? The Fund performance was affected in 2008 following the global financial crisis where we saw many stock markets, including Nigeria’s, significantly underperformed. As a result, the fund was unable to pay a dividend to unit holders during this difficult period. However, FBN Capital Asset Management has successfully turned around the ¦ 5.3billion FBN Heritage Fund which returned 28 per cent in 2012 and 15 per cent year-to-date (YTD) in 2013. As a result of the consistently strong performance that we are experiencing with the fund, we are now able to reward our loyal investors with a ¦ 10.00 per unit dividend. The fund recorded strong performance in the financial year ended 31st March 2013. As a fund manager, what factors were responsible for this? Our strong positive returns are as a result of our ability to

accurately anticipate and respond quickly to changes in the debt and equity markets. The first half of 2013 was characterised by an increased allocation to equities at the expense of our money market exposure, as money market yields were relatively low and we saw opportunities in the equity market. Our overweight position in equities meant the Fund benefited from the strong performance of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). In addition, discussions around the potential tapering by the US Federal Reserve saw us reduce risk in the Fund and move to safety in the second half of 2013. We trimmed our equity allocation simultaneously with the 4.3 per cent decline in the equity market (as measured by the NSE All Share Index) in June. However, the US Federal Reserve deferred tapering and our risk appetite returned somewhat; we increased our equity allocation to approximately 30 per cent in July and we have maintained this position to date. Coming back to your dividend payment, do we see this trend continuing in the future considering the array of funds managed by other fund managers? Investors are showing more interest in income generating mutual funds and so we do anticipate a trend in either existing mutual funds paying a dividend or investment houses launching dividend paying products. As for the FBN Heritage Fund, we hope to award unit holders with a dividend next year depending on the continued positive performance of the Fund. What is your outlook on the performance of the FBN Heritage Fund and your other products considering a mix of expectations in the year ahead? (2014). Looking to year end, whilst earnings growth is likely to be lower in 2013, as compared to 2012 we have seen YTD performance of the equity market exceed the 2012 gain of 35%. This supports our relatively bearish stance on equities to year end as we anticipate little upside given that performance has not been backed by company fundamentals. We forecast the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will maintain its hawkish stance with a view to preserving the Naira stability. Maturing Treasury Bills and AMCON bonds mean that system liquidity is expected to remain elevated to year end. We anticipate the CBN will rely on increased open market operation auctions to manage liquidity and we continue to take advantage of these opportunities as they arise. Observable headwinds facing companies supports our bearish stance on equities, especially in the context of US tapering, so we see little


Vanguard, MONDAY, JANUARY 6, 2014 — 29

Business & Economy

SMEDAN seeks more funding for SMEs A

lhaji Bature Masari, the Director-General, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), has called for improved funding of the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) sector. Masari stressed the need for Micro Finance Banks (MFB) to lower the lending rate for SMEs operators. “The issue of funding is critical to the sector as proper funding of SMEs

BY FAVOUR NNABUGWU

is the only way to address the problem of poverty and create wealth in the country” he noted. According to him, “ Adequate funding of the sector will go a long way in ensuring the growth and sustainability of small and medium-scale enterprises.” The Director General said SMEDAN remained committed to helping SMEs to surmount all

challenges stalling their growth. Masari said the agency was also set to collaborate with donor agencies, financial

institutions and other government agencies that could aid the sustainability of the micro, small and medium enterprises

(MSMEs). He said SMEDAN would collaborate with operators of MFBs to ensure greater access to funding for the development of SMEs”. “I want to urge MFBs to be prepared because

in 2014, SMEDAN will be actively collaborating with them”. “But between now and the end of the year, some banks are going to be selected for the implementation of some SMEDAN programmes.

Pepperoni restates commitment to providing healthy foods BY JONAH NWOKPOKU

P

epperoni Foods Limited has pledged to continue providing healthy foods that will meet the needs

of mobile consumers in major cities of Nigeria. Mr. Eric Idogun, Chief Executive Officer of the company pledged this during the opening of the seventh Pepperoni service outlet at Ada George Road, Port

Harcourt, eight years after it started operations. He also said that his major plan is for Pepperoni, a quick service restaurant which currently operates in four states in the Niger

Delta Region, to expand to major cities in the country. Idogun, disclosed that the organisation which includes a bakery, table water company and other auxiliary subsidiaries, has provided employment for over 570 young people, who are all dedicated to leaving its customers with memorable experience. “The company has gradually gained acceptance among various demographic strata and has became the preferred restaurant in its various locations. Our objective has been very clear – to provide quality healthy food to customers in a warm and friendly environment. This vision has continued to drive Pepperoni, which is the reason the brand has remained consistent in its product offerings in all its locations,” he said. Savanna Cider offers free sampling Savanna Cider, a South African brand of apple cider drink manufactured in Nigeria is offering consumers the opportunity to sample the product for free in six Nigerian cities. The free sampling which has already commenced in selected bars and shopping malls in Lagos, Ibadan, Abuja, Benin, Port Harcourt and Calabar ran till end of the year. The product is brewed and packaged by Distell Group and is a GMOfree brand of alcoholic cider that has enjoyed considerable patronage in the Nigerian market in the last couple of years. A statement from Distell said health conscious Nigerians will be happy to know that Savanna Cider does not contain any trace of genetically modified organisms in the product and packaging. It is also gluten and wheat-free. C M Y K


30 — Vanguard, MONDAY, JANUARY 6, 2014

Business & Economy

Expert faults NIMASA on abandonment of core function …Agency restates commitment to seafarers’ welfare BY GODFREY BIVBERE

N

ational Secretary of Nigeria Shipowners Association, (NISA), Captain Niyi Labinjo, has accused the management of the Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, of abandoning its core function .

The Director General, Mr. Ziakede Patrick Akpobolokemi,also restated its commitment to the general welfare of the Nigerian Seafarers with the aim of sustaining the industrial harmony permeating the maritime industry. Labinjo told Vanguard that the situation where indigenous seafarers are neglected is having negative effective on the

industry He pointed out that he sees no hope for the sector in 2014 because there is nothing on ground presently to give hope to ship owners in the New Year. Akpobolokemi said this when the Agency hosted a sensitization seminar for stakeholders on the Implementation of Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) 2006 as domesticated by

Nigeria. The NIMASA boss who was represented by the Executive Director, Maritime Safety and Shipping Development, Capt. Ezekiel Agaba stated that the seminar is part of the processes towards compliance and enforcement of the MLC, 2006 in Nigeria. According to him, “ Under this present administration, we have

committed huge resources towards the training of cadets through various programmes including the NSDP. We have also recently given approval for the training of over 300 Seafarers on the STCW to enable them update their mandatory certification while continuing our efforts to ensure that Nigerian Seafarers get placement on both Nigerian and Foreign flagged vessels”. Also speaking at the event, the NIMASA Executive Director Maritime Labour and Cabotage Service, Barrister Nwabueze Callistus Obi said the submission of the instrument of ratification is a landmark

achievement and it marks the beginning of Nigeria’s commitment towards the implementation of seafarers’ right as it concerns their living and working in a decent condition. Barrister Obi reminded the ship owners, seafarers and other key actors in the industry of the ILO structure of tripartism because everyone has a role to play in order to achieve the desired end. The programme which held in Lagos and Port Harcourt is aimed at sensitizing stakeholders on the provisions and requirements of the MLC 2006, which enters into force in Nigeria in June 2014.

FirstBank recertifies to IS027001 to boost information security

F

irst Bank of Nigeria Limited has successfully recertified its processes to the ISO 27001 standard in its quest for sustained standards for information security. The ISO/IEC to 27001:2005 Certification is the world’s highest accreditation for information protection and security from the International Organisation for Standardization (ISO). The International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, First Bank and very recently, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) are some of the leading financial Institutions that have such certification by the ISO. In addition to the ISO/ IEC to 27001:2005 Certification, First Bank also has ISO38500 IT Governance Certification, which provides guiding principles for the Bank on the effective, efficient, and acceptable use of Information Technology within the Bank. FirstBank’s Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Bisi Onasanya said the leading financial institution is committed to subjecting its processes to the highest known management standards in information security in C M Y K

the world to ensure world class service delivery. “Our recertification to ISO 27001 standards reinforces our commitment to enhancing customer experience through robust information as well as investments in our people, processes and technology” he said. Onasanya said the Bank’s customers are the beneficiaries of the ISO certification which include, among others, systems interoperability, quality assurance, due diligence, progressive bench marking and security consciousness, as well as the maintenance of the confidentiality, integrity and availability of FirstBank’s information assets. He added: “We are delighted that beyond attaining these certifications, FirstBank in our little way, has contributed immensely to customer and investor confidence in the Nigerian economy. This is significant to us because we take pride in staying at the vanguard of driving financial services dynamics in addition to institutionalizing and setting the pace in ethical business practice in financial services and promoting the national economy.”


Vanguard, MONDAY, JANUARY 6, 2014 — 31

C M Y K


32 — Vanguard, MONDAY, JANUARY 6, 2014


Vanguard, MONDAY, JANUARY 6, 2014 — 33

E-Commerce

Commodity Index Dec. 27, 2013 -Jan. 2, 2014

Top 5 trends for e-commerce operators in 2014 T

he year 2013 which was rated the biggest year ecommerce has ever seen, has come to an end. However, now is the time for operators in the e-commerce space especially in Nigeria to brace up for the challenges and prospects of the market. 2014 is shaping up to be a very different beast, and there’s no better way to prepare for it than by scoping out the year ’s biggest trends before they hit.

Here are the top five e-commerce trends to watch for in 2014: *Increased traffic from mobile 2013 has been the year of the mobile shopper, although operators in Nigeria are still at the budding stage, and therefore lacks the requisite data to support this claim; industry trends show that there was a tremendous increase in mobile shopping. This was a global trend. Presumably, about forty to fifty per cent of all time spent on online stores was done on mobile devices. Combine this with the growing popularity of smartphones, it’s very obvious that mobile traffic is going to be huge in 2014. Another trend to keep in mind is that, not all mobile traffic is created equal. 2013 has shown that tablet users behave very differently than smartphone users. Research has shown that tablet shoppers not only have a much higher conversion rate than the average mobile shopper, but spend about 21 per cent more than other consumers. With tablets showing up in more and more homes, there’s no doubt this tablet shopping population will be one to watch this year. The key points that operators need to take away here is to make sure their websites are 100 per cent mobile friendly going into 2014, especially on the tablet front. *The continued rise of multi-channel selling It has become critically

important that players in this space understand that the more places they can get their products out there, the better it is for their business. Shoppers nowadays check numerous sources before making a purchase, so make your wares easy to find by listing them on multiple online channels including social networks and anywhere else they know their customers frequent. As an operator, your prospects will have a better chance of discovering you and your current customers will thank you for the increased convenience. The bottom line is to expand your online store to the right channels in order to capitalize on anyone casually browsing. *An increased dependence on data With increasing competition among operators, it has dawned on operators that they must try every possible means to get to know their customers. The better you know your customers, the better you can cater for them. And what better way to get to know them than by seeing what they do on your website? Tracking metrics like visits, bounce rates, average time on page and conversion rate have always been a good idea, but in 2014, it’s going to be an absolute necessity. This is because data helps you personalize and improve everything about your website. Data

can also help you better identify your target market; reach out to new audiences and meet your sells expectations to current customers. So with competition in ecommerce growing, merchants that use data to improve their products and shopping experience will reign supreme. The implication is that if you haven’t made a habit of checking your analytics, now’s a great time to start. If you’re already in the habit, be sure to revisit your key progress indicators, get a good idea of how 2013 went and start setting goals for 2014. *The emergence of new SEO There have been a few changes from Google in Search Engine Optimization recently. It’s safe to say that they ’ve changed SEO for good. But the bottom line is that we’ve seen a ton of big moves that have laid to rest old SEO tactics and emphasized the importance of quality content. Altogether, these algorithm changes mean one thing: You can’t really directly manipulate search engine results anymore. From shadier tactics like keyword stuffing, to traditional strategies like seeing what keywords are sending traffic to your site, you can kiss them all goodbye. This means that in terms of improving your SEO in 2014, nothing beats valuable, high quality content.

From right: Assistant Brand Manager Maltina, Diekoye Oyeyinka presenting a brand new generating set to Gbenga Awokoya overall winner of Maltina Dance Compettion at Carniriv in Rivers State.


34 — Vanguard, MONDAY, JANUARY 6, 2014

Appointment

Olusegun Awolowo now NEPC ED/CEO F

ederal Government has appointed Mr. Olusegun Awolowo as the Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer, CEO, of Nigerian Export Promotion Council, NEPC. The appointment was contained in a letter from the Office of the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment. Mr. Awolowo who has since assumed duty, until his appointment, Mr. Awolowo was the Secretary for Transport, Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, where he played a significant role in evolving a master-plan for the development of an efficient urban transportation in the FCT with emphasis on planning, design and provision of a Rapid Bus Transport, Rapid Rail Transit, Metro lines among others.

•Mr. Olusegun Awolowo. Having worked for a while with the prestigious law firm of G.O.K Ajayi & Co, Mr. Awolowo between 2002 – 2005, held various positions including Special Assistant to the President Olusegun Obasanjo on Traditional Matters, Special Assistant to

Meshioye elected Lagos ICSAN Chairman M embers of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators of Nigeria, ICSAN, (Lagos State Chapter) have elected Otunba Francis Meshioye as the new chairman of the institute. Meshioye who was elected at the 2013 Annual General Meeting, AGM, of the institute, is the Executive Director (Finance and Strategies) JMG Limited. He belongs to the conference & AGM and membership committee of ICSAN national body among other professional bodies as well as the Vice Chairman of the Nigeria Manufacturers Association, NMA, Ikeja Branch. Speaking on his outlook for the institute, he said, “First, we want to be sure that all student are trained so that they can know what corporate

•Francis Meshioye C M Y K

governance is all about and those who are already qualified are reminded by continuous training so that they can be updated on the issues of corporate governance and to be sure that they follow all the principles and ethics of the profession so that we may have a more vibrant and effective corporate governance in Nigeria. “There is going to be a lot of innovations towards ensuring professionalism among members. We are going to bring awareness to the grassroot levels, meaning that those who are yet to graduate will be brought up to aspire towards becoming professionals of the institute. “We will ensure that we carry the national body along in whatever programme that we might want to do, because, we believe that since we share similar aim and objectives, we should be able to share ideas. We cannot foresee any problem and all we are going to do is to tell them our visions and ask for their guidance. “The next thing will be recognition, everybody want the body to be more recognized. And what I think we need to do is to work on our principles and ensure that our members know all they need to know and do. I believe that if a man is right, his words will be right, and once we attain this, new and existing members will be attracted to the programmes of the chapter.”

the President on Legal Due Diligence (a component of the Budget Monitoring and Price Intelligence Unit (BMPIU) and Special Assistant to the President on Legal Matters, respectively. At one time, he also served the Late President Umar Musa Yar ’Adua as a Special Assistant/Secretary for Social Development in the FCTA, and later Secretary, Area Councils Services Secretariat. As Secretary, he repositioned the Area Councils for effective environmental sanitation by creating new Department of Environmental Services. Mr. Awolowo was also member Task-Force for the organization of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM 2003); Presidential panel on measures to Eliminate Oil Pipeline Vandalism; Presidential Committee on the Reconciliation Process in the Niger Delta; Judicial Committee on the Reform of the Administration of Justice in Nigeria; Presidential Committee on the Reform of the Law of Evidence in Nigeria; and Presidential Panel of Enquiry into Onitsha Jail Break among others.

Usman re-appointed DG of NCMM MALLAM Yusuf Usman, has been re-appointed as the Director General, DG, of the National Commission for Museums and Monuments, NCMM, for the second term. Usman was appointed in 2009 to steer the affairs of the commission, established by decree 77 of 1979. His re-appointment, according to Curators of Museum from North-East geo-political zone, was due to achievements recorded in his first term, saying that there was certainty that the next four years of Usman would no doubt place the commission in its rightful place in the culture industry. Mallam Babantafa Inuwa while speaking on behalf of the Curators, who paid the DG of NCMM a visit to facilitate with him on his reappointment, in Abuja, noted that many community museums had been established to preserve artifacts found in each community for the promotion of the country ’s cultural heritage. He lauded the DG for his pro-activeness, innovation and determination to ensure transparency and accountability in the administration of the

•Yusuf Usman, DG of NCMM commission. Responding, Mallam Usman maintained that his achievements could not have been made possible without the support of his staff. Commending President Jonathan for giving him opportunity to serve his father’s land for second term, Usman added that “ we will not be flattered by the encomium, but using it to achieve more. I will continue to put in my best for the promotion and conservation of the country ’s cultural heritage.”

TPT Managing Director gets Award M anaging Director of TPT, a frontline public relations agency, Mr. Charles Igbinidu, has been honoured by Edo College Old Boys Association, ECOBA, Lagos branch. A media and marketing communications practitioner, Igbinidu was conferred with the association’s prestigious ECOBITE of the Year Award at the year 2013 edition of the association’s annual dinner/dance celebration held recently. Conferring the Award on him, ECOBA Lagos branch, Senator Victor Kassim Oyofo, who was represented by the Vice Chairman, Mr. Godwin IzeIyamu, said the award was conferred on Igbinidu “in recognition of your contribution and support to the association and its activities. We are also pleased with your service to the growth and development of ECOBA, Edo College, and as a successful media practitioner and publisher in Nigeria.” Igbinidu, who also doubles as the publisher/editor-in-chief of ionigeria.com, (an online publication that provides credible, reliable, balanced and all-inclusive information and

news about Nigeria, Africa and the world), attended the prestigious Edo College between 1979 and 1983. After graduation, he proceeded to University of Benin where he studied Political Science graduating in 1989. He complemented his bachelor’s degree with a PostGraduate Certificate at the Nigerian Institute of Journalism before commencing his professional media career at

The Guardian in 1991. After two years in active journalism, he moved to Insight Communications where he kick-started his career in marketing communications. Recently, he was recognised and appointed member of the Global Advisory Council of the World Brand Congress – the single largest rendezvous of best brains behind some of the world’s most successful and sought after brands.

•Edo College Old Boys Association (ECOBA) Lagos Branch held its 2013 annual dinner at Sheraton Hotel & Towers, Ikeja, Lagos during which some deserving old boys were honoured. Photo From left: Barrister Tony Onwaochie, Mr. Charles Igbinidu recipient of ECOBITE of the Year award, Mr. Charles Odiase and Pastor Moses Obadi at the event.


Vanguard, MONDAY, JANUARY 6, 2014 — 35

Aviation

Aviation sector in 2013: Some significant milestones Stories By LAWANI MIKAIRU

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s aviation stakeholders in Nigeria take stock of activities in the industry in 2013, the consensus of opinion is that the industry recorded significant milestones during the year. As expected, there were also some events that almost mar the achievements of the Minister of Aviation. Some of the low points recorded in the sector in 2013 are the crash of Associated Airline and the purchase of two amoured cars scandal involving the minister. It is believed that some of the achievements recorded were products of the Aviation Sector Master Plan, otherwise known as the Aviation Roadmap, created by the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah to facilitate the implementation of President Goodluck Jonathan’s Transformation Agenda in the aviation industry. Some of these milestones include the Airport Remodeling Project, which has led to the structural transformation of many airport terminals across the country, in keeping with international standards and practices. During the year, work also started on the construction of five new international airport terminals in Lagos, Port-Harcourt, Kano, Abuja and Enugu under a memorandum of understanding between the governments of Nigeria and China. Another significant milestone is the commencement of international flights by Ethiopian Airlines at the Akanu Ibiam International

Airport, Enugu, on August 24, which was the first international flight from the south-east geopolitical zone of the country since independence. Following the remodeling of the international terminal of Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano, Turkish Airlines joined the list of foreign airlines operating at the airport on December 13. On October 29, Nigeria signed a Bilateral Air services Agreement, BASA, with Israel in Tel Aviv for the commencement of direct

flights between the two countries. The ‘E’ and ‘D’ fingers of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport have been expanded extensively and put to use, with full complement of facilities as conveyor belts, security screening machines, immigration counters and transit lounges, which are at various stages of completion. The introduction of aerotropolis, airport cities, and perishable cargo export into the country’s aviation industry are major landmarks

Milinda Francis Co. Ltd. (Cleaning of GAT) Staff protested over their contract termination at the General Aviation Terminal (GAT), Murtala Muhammed Airport Ikeja, Lagos, without notice by the Federal Airport Authotity of Nigeria (FAAN), Ikeja, Lagos.

Overland Airways Resumes Flights to Minna

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verland Airways, one of the domestic airlines in Nigeria, has resumed scheduled flight services from Minna Airport to Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja and Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos from January 02, 2014. The airline will also commence flights from Minna Airport to Ilorin Airport on the same day. The Chief Executive Officer of Overland Airways, Capt. Edward Boyo said “the resumption of flight services on the Minna Abuja, Minna - Lagos and Minna - Ilorin routes is part of Overland Airways objective of improving interconnectivity and facilitating social and economic ties across Nigeria.” According to Monday Ukoha, the airline Manager, Corporate Services “ Overland Airways is also pleased to announce that its esteemed passengers can now check-in online and chose their preferred seats.On completion of check-in passengers can print their boarding pass and proceed to the boarding gate.”

House Aviation Committee chairperson gives scholarships, donates to Constituency C hairperson, House of Representative Committee on Aviation, Hon Nkeiruka Onyejeocha has awarded scholarships to students of Isuikwuato/ Umunneochi Federal Constituency of Abia State,

from primary to secondary school and university levels. Hon Onyejeocha also donated cash,food items, clothing materials, generating sets and flat screen Television, among others. This gestures , she said, is aimed at

Treaven Travels unveils new online ticketing portal

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that are designed to make the industry make significant contributions to the country’s Gross Domestic product (GDP) even in the short term. A number of policies were also introduced by the Minister of Aviation during this period, some of which were the removal of import duties on aircraft spares, providing an enabling environment for local airline operators to acquire new aircraft, reintroduction of a national carrier for the country and the automation of revenue points of all parastatals under

BRIEF

reaven Travel and Tours Limited has unveiled its new online portal. This latest international online portal with local connectivity would make ticket bookings, airports transfers, tour and cruises, hotel reservations very easy. Unveiling the online portal, http:// www.farecatalogue.com/ , recently at the Excel Oriental in Lagos, the Managing Director of the company, Mrs. Ifie EzenwaUgwoke, said they have travelled far and wide to know that the future of travel agency business lies on information technology, stressing that before now there used to be paper ticketing which has been phased out. Mrs Ezenwa-Ugwoke further said she was

one of the few people who helped to pioneer e-ticketing in the travel industry. She added that e-tickets have added flexibility, security, convenience and cost-savings as against the use of paper tickets. According to her, “if passengers lose their printed information, they can access it again. E-tickets are more difficult to steal as well as only the person with the proper ID can use the e-ticket.” With paper tickets, airlines might charge a fee to replace lost or forgotten tickets. Her words, “Things are very easy now. You do not need any phone call; all you need to do is to go online.

alleviating the plight of the indigent and unemployed youths in her constituency Presenting the gifts to the people during a town hall meeting, Hon. Onyejeocha said “ the people deserved much more and the best way to empower them to be selfreliant and prevent them especially the youths from engaging in criminal activities was to give them what would provide for them their daily bread and their families means of livelihood.” She observed that with the absence of power in the communities, the people depended on generating sets to do their businesses and the gifts would not only help to boost their businesses but help to create employment and give the needed training to those desiring to learn such a trade. According to her, last year

the people asked for certain basic amenities like pipe borne water, good health centres and employment for qualified youths in the civil service which she gladly announced had been done with the support of the people. ‘’At our meeting last year, we mutually agreed on a number of issues and areas that will be addressed. I have tackled a number of them and still tackling others. Apart from the projects I facilitated in the previous year, this year witnessed other landmark projects which cuts across the basic needs of our people like construction of health centers at Uturu and Umuchieze with hand pump bole holes, ICT centres at Isuikwuato, skills acquisition centres at Isuiochi, solar lights in Akawa and Aroikpa Nneato Acha in Isuiochi, Achara Uturu, Amuda, Umuaku, Ngodo and Uru Lokpaukwu’’.

C M Y K


36 — Vanguard, MONDAY, JANUARY 6, 2014

Tax Matters

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t is becoming very obvious that as the years go by, tax systems globally will have to be positioned or continuously be re-positioned to meet up with the challenges posed by globalization of the business environment and world economy. The 21st century began with some serious challenges facing the global community. Unprecedented economic crises ravaged world economies leading to the virtual collapse of the financial and industrial sectors. The eurozone also witnessed what economists observed as a deepening economic retraction. The Nigerian economy was not left out as its oil revenue witnessed a decline which necessitated the need to reduce its dependence on revenue from petroleum and to seek out alternative sustainable means of revenue generation from the non-oil sector. These problems have contributed significantly to a change in the role of professionals, especially in the current difficult economic environment. It is in this environment that Africa faces its own special challenges regarding governance and sustainable state-building, of alleviating poverty, sustainability and development through improved tax compliance. OVERVIEW OF THE NIGERIAN TAX SYSTEM A tax system can be defined as a legal system for assessing and collecting taxes. It comprises tax policy, tax administration and tax laws. Nigeria as a nation has put up efforts to revamp the tax system by setting up Study and Working Groups to examine the tax system and make appropriate recommendations to the government, on ways to entrench a better tax policy and improve tax administration in the country. The Study and Working Groups submitted that there should be a National Tax Policy that would provide a direction for Nigeria’s tax system and establish a framework for all stakeholders and to which they would be held accountable. A good tax system must be geared towards fulfilling the following objectives: i. It must be fair and equitable; ii. It must be free of distortions to invest decisions; iii. It must encourage a fair allocation of savings between investment opportunities; iv. It must not kill incentive to work; v. It should attract foreign investments and avoid capital flight to countries with lower

Positioning the tax system in line with 21st century trend- part 1

• Kabir-Mohammed-Mashi , Ag DG, FIRS taxes; vi. It must discourage tax evasion and the growth of an underground economy; and vii. It should reduce the complexity of the tax system for the tax administrators and the tax payers. Alternatively, we can look at an ideal tax system from the following characteristics: Efficiency Efficiency connotes neutrality. That is to say that the tax system should not interfere unduly with economic decision making compared to a situation where there is absence of taxes. Equity hen we talk about equity in taxation, we are talking about horizontal and vertical equity. Horizontal equity refers to the principle that equals or people with the same economic circumstance should be treated the same way for tax purposes. On the other hand, vertical equity refers to the principle that non- equals or people with different economic circumstances should be treated differently. Furthermore, the benefit principle refers to the notion that people who benefit from the services provided by the government should pay an appropriate price for those services. In addition, ability to pay principle refers to a notion that taxes should be levied according to an individual’s ability to pay. In other words, if you are more prosperous you will be required to meet a proportionately higher

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By MARK DIKE

Horizontal equity refers to the principle that equals or people with the same economic circumstance should be treated the same way for tax purposes.

demand for national revenue. Compliance Cost and Administrative Feasibility Administrative Costs are those costs associated with tax administration while compliance costs are those costs that taxpayers have to incur in order to determine their tax liability. In this context, a tax intervention is only worthwhile to be introduced when the tax administration and taxpayers are able to administer it properly. Revenue Yield The efficacy of any tax system is measured by the quantum of revenue yield. What matters after the whole gamut of process reformation, simplified payment systems, credible database, and taxpayer commitment is put in place is the level of revenue yield. International Compatibility In an era of increased cooperation among nations of the world, tax systems should be structured in such a way that makes it easier for trade and investment to be done seamlessly without inhibitions resulting from tax legislations. Fairness and Clearness

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In increasing the level of tax compliance within a particular tax system, the laws must be clear and devoid of ambiguities. This makes it easier for the provisions to be clearly understood by the tax payer and reduces the tendency to default or circumvent the system. It is against this background that all the components of the Nigerian tax system shall be considered in order for us to determine whether or not the nation has an ideal tax system that can thrive in the midst of globalization. TAX POLICY The unveiling of a National Tax Policy (NTP) is a major reform in the Nigerian tax system and it seeks to provide a new direction in tax administration in Nigeria under a new set of rules and guidelines. The reasons for reform and the decision to develop an NTP can be traced back to the structure of the existing tax system and some of its inherent problems such as: a. the increased demand to grow internally generated revenue, which has led to the exercise of the powers of

taxation to the detriment of the taxpayers who suffer multiple taxation and bear a higher tax burden than anticipated; b. insufficient information available to taxpayers on tax compliance requirements, which created uncertainty and room for leakages in the tax system; c. multiple taxation by government at all levels, which impacted negatively on the investment climate in Nigeria. Elimination of multiple taxation was therefore of major concern at all levels of government; d. lack of accountability for tax revenue and its expenditure; e. lack of clarity on taxing powers of each level of government as well as encroachment on the powers of one level by another; f. lack of skilled manpower and inadequate funding, which led to the delegation of powers of revenue officials to third parties, thereby creating uncertainty in the tax system and increasing the cost of tax compliance; g. use of aggressive and unorthodox methods for tax collection; h. the non-refund of excess taxes to taxpayers, due to the lack of an efficient system and funds; i. the non-review of tax legislation, which had led to obsolete laws, that do not reflect Nigeria’s current realities; and j. the lack of a specific policy direction for tax matters in Nigeria and the absence of laid down procedural guidelines for the operation of the various tax authorities. These and other problems plaguing Nigeria’s tax system have not been adequately tackled for many years. One of the reasons for this was government’s heavy reliance on revenues derived from oil, as a result of which little or no attention had been given to revenue from other sources, such as taxation. Although, there had been several reforms in the past, these reforms were not pursued diligently in the past until the latest reform effort. The current tax reform process commenced on August 6, 2002 when the Dotun Phillips Study Group of 2002/2003 was inaugurated. On completion of its assignment, the Bickersteth Working Group of 2004 was commissioned by the Federal Government to review the report of the Dotun Phillips’ Study Group on tax reforms in Nigeria.


Vanguard, MONDAY, JANUARY 6, 2014 — 37

Agric

Mechanisation policy ’ll transform agricultural sector — Dr. Adekunle

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r. Ahmed Adekunle, is the Senior Special adviser to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development on Mechanisation, Chairman of the Advisory Ministerial Mechanization Committee, speaks on the federal government’s mechanisation project implementation. Excerpts:

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hat is the main objective of the mechanisation project of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development? The project is called the Private Sector Mechanisation Framework of the ministry. It is to provide mechanisation to small holder farmers, medium scale, and large scale at farm gates under the private sector arrangement. It is unlike the formertraditional mechanization where government buys agromachineries and gives to farmers and at the end of the day, the objective is not achieved. But here, what we are doing is to setup enterprises all over the nation that will provide mechanization in the rural area under the private sector partnership with the government, manufacturers of tractors and other agromachineries. So the purpose of this project is to be able to deploy mechanization services to the small holder farmers most especially, because of the nature of our farming communities in fragmented land holding that we have, because 80 per cent of our farmers don’t have more than 1.5 to 2 hectares, so we are providing them with mechanization in their domain. Not necessarily for them to own the technology or equipment but someone is there providing them with the services they would require. So, all they need is to walk into that centre, say ‘I need to weed,

harrow, plough or I need to harvest, how much are you going to charge me per day?’, and they would pay. Another objective of the project is that we are also using the centres to provide subsidized farming to the farmers, knowing that economically our farmers are a bit weak financially, so we are subsidising the service by 50 per cent. For instance, let’s take an average of N30, 000 per day for a tractor and other sets of implement to go out and work and lets also take an average of three and half or four hectares per day is N30, 000, it means in the hiring centre, you will be paying only N15, 000, government will redeem the other N15,000 to the service provider. You see, we are providing mechanization to small holder farmers and at the same time, he is getting it at a subsidized rate. Another objective of the project is to create jobs for the youths, because the Minister, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, desires that the youth will be the one to drive the management of the enterprise nationwide and also because the hiring centre is structured in such a way that we have the technical structure, administrative structure, management structure in line with the accounting system that will involve cash flow, business plan put in place and people who will maintain the tractors. Then the operators, so the youths are the ones to manage this while other farmers will be taking their services at a subsidized rates. Also in the centre, youth organizations,

•Dr. Ahmed Adekunle

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By GABRIEL EWEPU

Now in the first phase we are having 80 centres with 400 units of tractors/ implement and various harvest and postharvest equipment

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NGOs, individuals that have the capacity can come together being sponsored by their parents or uncles to come up with the 20 per cent to procure the five units of tractors with various types of harvester equipment form the enterprise and run their businesses, provided they meet the criteria set up by the federal government, the Bank of Agriculture and the manufacturers as it has been structured in the tripartite arrangement. Also we intend that by 2014 to 2016 to see that we have 5000 units of tractor available which will be capable of cultivating 2.6 million hectares, create 29,500 direct jobs while we will also establish another 20,000 indirect jobs and 13 million metric tons of food with increased production nationwide.

With the prospects you have outlined in this mechanisation project, do you have any plan to legalise this programme for continuity after this administration?

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es, that is the aim and objective of the minister, to drive this project under a private sector platform and sustain it too. The whole objective behind the private sector enterprise is that within the period of two to three years, the private sector and the banks will see that the scheme can be trusted to generate returns on any investment in the enterprise and also generate enough money to pay back the portion of the loan to the government, vendors and the bank. Within this period, the farmers are already being trained and youth capacity also has been built to realize that they don’t need to go and to wait for government to set up and sustain their hiring enterprise. The banks also have test-driven the intervention project and have seen that they can partner with the government, donor agencies, development partners such as the World Bank, the farmers service providers in the private sector to deliver; a window of investment opportunity that is friendly to both local and international direct investment is in place. No past government has

been able to do this before. So one of the strategies of Mr. President and the minister is to let us quickly drive this intervention programme, set up the private sector framework, stimulate the economy and then change the mindsets of the financial institutions that they also invest in mechanization in the agricultural sector of the economy. There is a way they can invest in the sector and generate revenue, the moment that is done, though we have little control over government policy changes, you cannot control it, when government comes they will change the policy but if the private sector initiative is already in place and it is working very well, it will be very difficult changing our mind on what we think is working. So if the private sector financial institutions see that they can invest in mechanizing the sector and generate sufficient revenue to pay back all loan portfolios within the sector, even if government changes, they would continue to invest. This is President Jonathan Ebele’s and the minister ’s strategy for mechanization. How many service centres should Nigerians expect as this programme is meant for them to take advantage of? Good, we have N3.6 billion. Technically, if we go by the traditional way of mechanization; it will buy just 400 units of tractors, but with the partnership of the private sector and the banks, at the end when we deplete the money, it is going to give us 1050 tractors because the total amount of that money will serve as 35 per cent to the project. So we are going to have over 200 centres at the end, but now in the first phase we are having 80 centres with 400 units of tractors implement and various harvest and post-harvest equipment. But remember that the moment this money goes out, 55 per cent refinance window by Bank of Agriculture is coming back into the mechanization revolving account of the Ministry domiciled with Bank of Agriculture. We shall immediately make another 400 units available and finally 250 units and the fund is finally depleted. With the seriousness of the project, you need committed and trusted individuals that even after this administration is gone, they would be able to drive the project, have you gotten serious minded investors ready to take up the challenge? Absolutely, we have serious minded investors, people whom we trust with the project implementation. C M Y K


38 — Vanguard, MONDAY, JANUARY 6, 2014

Our unrealistic expectations from the power sector went to see him first; at my own expense. He received me well, calling me my nickname – Dele Ojuoto. We soon got down to business. I asked him to retract the statement and he refused based on assurances given to him by the staff of the Ministry. I reminded him that the Ministry had never fulfilled its promises and they would not in December 1999 deliver Nigeria from power failure. Unused to arguments, Chief Ige, asked me to leave his office because he had no time for prophets of doom. My reply to him was simple. “Egbo, I will be the happiest person to write that power failure became a thing of the past during your tenure as Minister. But, I think you are making a promise that will tarnish your image forever. Nigeria is so large that in six months time you would not have toured one quarter of the power establishment nationwide.” He offered to pat for my travel expenses, but I declined it because as I told him, “I am honour bound to tell Nigerians that they should not go and sell their generators on account of your promise.” As we enter the first month of 2014, millions of Nigerians are again making the mistake of thinking that privatization of the power stations will bring instant relief from incessant power failure. Some even imagine that the recent setbacks will soon be sorted out and increased power supply will be enjoyed. Nothing can be further from the truth. And, it is dounbtful if any of the companies which now control the power sector can promise uninterrupted power supply in the near future. Commentators on the 2014 budget had tried all they can to provoke public outcry against the N860 million the Federal Government had

Business & Economy

budgeted for generator fuel for the offices of the President and Vice-President. Frankly speaking, the criticism is totally misplaced. The Federal government, more than any other stakeholder is aware of the obstacles facing the private owners of our distribution units. Just as it is trite law that “you can’t give what you don’t have”, the distribution companies cannot distribute power that is not generated. The Achilles’ heel of our power sector remains generation. As long as we generate less than 10,000MW per day consistently, there is very little that the distribution companies can do. Meanwhile, the constraints preventing Nigeria from generating and distributing 10,000MW remain largely unaddressed. Out two hydroelectric power stations, Kainji

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“Power failure will be a thing of the past within six months.” Late Chief Bola Ige, Federal Minister of Power and Steel, June 1999. It has become necessary to remind Nigerians that our unrealistic expectation about the Nigerian power sector is not a recent occurrence; in fact, it predated the Cicero of Esa Oke, as Ige was then known. Then, as now, the announcement prompted two responses from me. First, I went to Chief Ige and asked him to retract the statement as soon as possible. He refused. Then I went on my page to dispute the claim as being unrealistic. Yet Chief Ige was the last person I would have wanted to engage in public disagreement for some simple reasons. I knew Bola Ige long before most people, including his wife and children knew him. My eldest brother, late Chief Sanu Sobowale and Ige were admitted to Ibadan Grammar School the same year and they finished the same year. Ige was known to their classmates as the Kaduna Boy, my brother was the Zaria Boy because our family lived in Zaria at the time. Ige sometimes came to spend time with the family. The two classmates and friends later joined the Action Group on the same day and later went to read law – after reading different courses as undergraduates. In fact, Chief Obafemi Awolowo advised the two to read law. So, for me Ige was as much part of the family as anyone else. But, by the time he became Obasanjo’s Minister in 1999, I was 55 and had nearly seven years of media experience behind me. It was, and still is, my cardinal principle that no public official would hoodwink the public by making claims which I know to be untrue. But, Ige was family. That was why I

inadvertent or deliberate, almost invariably reduce power generation and supply. The privatization arrangement has not touched any of these problems and they will not soon be solved in order for the distribution companies to satisfy consumers with uninterrupted power supply. Unfortunately, power supply is not the only problem facing the distribution companies. Finance is just as crucial. Virtually all of them are discovering that they need more funds than they assumed at the start and revenue collection is a greater challenge than they imagined. Unlike the Federal government, which could owe for gas for months and still obtain supply, the private companies must pay promptly or be refused gas supply. Yet, from reports reaching us, they are

Unfortunately, power supply is not the only problem facing the distribution companies. Finance is just as crucial

and Shiroro, are aging and their capacities cannot be expanded. In fact, prolonged drought in the north could sharply reduce their contributions to the national grid. The stations using gas also face multiple challenges. Among these are regularity of supply, vandalism, wild cat strikes and also aging turbines. The Egbin Station in Lagos State serves to illustrate the point we are making here. The station is situated hundreds of hostile miles from its sources of gas supply. Damages,

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experiencing difficulties collecting revenue from consumers. They will soon face two additional problems. Hitherto, consumers have paid estimated bills – even when they are called “crazy bills”. But, Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, National Electricity Power Authority, NEPA and ECN before both, were protected from law suits by law from aggrieved consumers. It is doubtful if consumers will continue to pay against estimated bills for much longer

than middle of this year. That means that the private companies must very quickly supply millions of new metres to replace condemned old metres or face a consumers’ revolt. That would mean billions of naira in investments for which some of them might not be prepared. The point needs to be made to Nigerians that we need to exercise patience with the private companies. The nation had taken the right step by starting to privatize its power sector. On the whole, the private sector does a better job that the public sector on purely commercial ventures such as power. But, when the public sector had been in control for so long and the sector is so large as power, time is needed for the adjustments. We should encourage the companies to succeed – if not for any other reason than that we have tried government for almost hundred years and we saw the result – stagnation, corruption, poor service delivery and economic backwardness. We should not even contemplate returning to that situation which had been tried and failed. Incidentally, I went to Abuja, on January 2000, six months after Chief Bola Ige made his promise to make power failure a thing of the past. After, the pleasantries, laced with anger on his side, I reminded him of his promise and asked him what would follow. The late Chief told me privately: “Ojuoto, I now have the greatest regard for you journalists. You were the first, but not the only one, to warn me against public servants. I was totally misled. Now, I know that it will require nothing less than five years to solve the problem – if at all it is solved.” V i s i t www.Delesobowale.com

FEC to endorse new national MSMEs policy By FRANKLIN ALLI

T h e F e d e r a l Executive Council, FEC, will likely approve the implementation of a new national policy for the Micro, Small and medium Enterprises (MSMEs) sectors of the economy. Recent data provided by the National MSMEs collaborative survey put the number of MSMEs in Nigeria at 17.6 million, employing about 32.4 million people, and contributing about 46.54 percent to GDP. The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Olusegun Aganga, gave this hint while fielding questions from Trade and Investment

correspondents during a capacity building programme organised by the ministry in Abuja, recently. Aganga disclosed that the old MSMEs policy had been revised and the new one which is adapted from UNCTAD’s Entrepreneurship PolicyFramework recommendations, will be endorsed by FEC early 2014. “The National Policy on MSMEs dates back to 2007. After five years of implementation, the government decided to revise it, taking into account feedback and lessons learned, and updated it in order for it to be in tune with current challenges. The revised MSME policy and entrepreneurship strategy

extensively integrated UNCTAD’s Entrepreneurship Policy Framework recommendations. “It delineates several programmatic areas, namely: national entrepreneurship strategy, finance, institutional, legal and regulatory framework, human resources development, technology, research and development, extension and support services, marketing, infrastructure and awareness & networking. “The revised policy proposes an institutional framework for policy implementation and monitoring, with SMEDAN as the primary responsible institution and the establishment of the National Council on SMEs as the apex

organ for MSMEs development. It also includes an action plan and the institutional framework for implementation. “Business associations, government officials, and relevant private and public sector institutions, engaged in the constructive review with the Small Enterprise Development Agency (SMEDAN). The Government aimed to ensure that the new national policy took stock of international best practices in MSMEs development, and responded to current challenges. *The draft capitalizes on UNCTAD’s EPF in a coherent and complementary way. UNCTAD also suggested to:

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*Pay attention to the objective of entrepreneurship creation in the Framework and Action Plan; *set a specific policy objective to generate start-ups in diversified industries and services outside farming; *Specify actions for priority targets groups such as women youth, physically challenged people. Meanwhile, Lagos state has the highest number of small and medium enterprises (4,535) while Osun state has the least (100). Lagos state also has the highest number of micro enterprises (880,805), followed by Kano state (872,552), while FCT recorded the least (272,579).


Vanguard, MONDAY, JANUARY 6, 2014 — 39

Advertising, Media & Marketing

Mixed fortunes trail advertising in 2013 …Online stores record increase Stories by PRINCEWILL EKWUJURU The advertising industry in 2013 experienced an unprecedented decline in media advert in various media vehicle penetration. This was due to the economic recession witnessed globally few years back which trickled down to Nigeria. The recession took a toll on the advertising industry as many companies could not carry out their primary duty of pushing their products to the market through advertising, even though the broadcast industry enjoyed a major share in the industry, a sign that brands and companies relied basically on the broadcast industry to draw the attention of their target audience. Majorly, Out- Of-Home, print advertisements dipped in terms of exposure of creative advert as a result of the argument that mobile advert has gradually crippled the flow of advert to belowthe line, BTL advert spend. APCON: The Advertising reform embarked upon by Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria, APCON under the chairmanship of Lolu Akinwunmi revolutionalised the industry, thereby curbing the unnecessary incursion of foreign advertising agencies into the country’s advertising space gave Nigerian models the opportunity to be involved in advertisement shooting, locally and internationally. E-Commerce: The relatively new market in Nigeria, online shopping recorded major increase. The CEO of Adibba.com, David Allison, who had valued online shopping business in Nigeria at billions of dollars, noted that online shopping business is being facilitated by CBN’s cashless policy. “With the new cashless policy being gradually implemented in Nigeria, things are looking up. People are getting warmer towards the idea of doing transactions online with several platforms springing up.” Allison calculated that Nigeria is over 50 per cent ready for e-commerce. He said although there are scepticisms about e-payment solutions, the business is growing and will continue to grow as there are over 300 registered e-commerce sites presently. Allison who recognised that

e-Commerce market in Nigeria is relatively new said that the online platform was borne out of the desire to satisfy ever growing needs of shoppers. “Our Product categories vary from electricity solutions to fashion, phones, computer and electronics, food and drinks, games, toys and kids and Africana. Recently it was reported that total investment in Nigeria’s online shopping market by both local and foreign investors is worth over $15 million (about N2.4 billion) with analysts predicting that the figure will double in 2014 as more investors see opportunity in the new sector.

Market watchers who assessed the growing industry strongly, believe that more online businesses will open in Nigeria in the next few months signaling a belief in the Nigerian economy. NIMN: The story was not the same in the marketing and management professional industries: Like in the National Institute of Marketing Of Nigeria, NIMN, where the leadership tussle in the institute was settled with the assumption to the helm of affairs at the institute by Ganiyu Koledoye, when he assumed the position of President and chairman of council of the institute on the instance of Chief. Luggard Aimiuwu who over stayed his reconciliatory tenure.

From Left: Mr. Charles Inochiri, Brand Manager, PZ Cusson’s holding Morning Fresh, while Mrs. Ipaye Modupe, Miss. Chioma Emeghara and Mrs. Esther Paul watch at the Morning Fresh promo activation at Ojodu Berger, Lagos state.

Optimum Exposures goes digital … instals digital billboard

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he digital revolution in the Out-of-home, OOH industry is set to go full circle in Nigeria with the most prominent billboard, Optimum Exposures’ majestic hoarding at Adeniji Adele, Lagos is set to go digital. The Chief Operating Officer of Optimum Exposures Limited, Engr. Bayo Adio disclosed that his company has partnered with global leaders in digital billboard, Daktronics to digitalize the Mega billboard in Nigeria, so as to serve the market better. He said, “Standing majestically at the beginning of the Third Mainland bridge outward Lagos Island, this billboard is well located to deliver the greatest number of eyeballs in Nigeria. We are truly pleased to have it digitalized to meet the demands of our ever evolving market.” To digitalise the billboard, senior officials of Daktronics

flew into Nigeria from the United States of America for a preinstallation visit on December 10, 2013. General Manager, Ahmad Dahmash and Andrew Michael Gorder, Project Manager both of Daktronics made the visit. The Optimum and the Daktronics team also met with the management of Mediacom, Carat Media Perspective and Starcom Media. According to Dahmash his company is delighted at the opportunity to impact the Nigerian market with the state of the art technology which he says “will open the billboard to more brands on a regular basis. With digitalization, billboards become lively, more interactive; viewer friendly and engaging thereby helping brands exposed therein to gain more mileage and justification for spend.” Adio is convinced that digitalizing the largest billboard in Nigeria will be of immense benefits to all stakeholders as it will deliver more value for advertisers and entertainment to the public.

Telecom Service Quality: The Customer Perspective

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he press was recently awash with the news that the Minister for Communication Technology, Mrs Omobola Johnson, has warned telecom operators in Nigeria to improve their service quality or face sanctions. According to the reports, from 2014, telcos that fail to meet agreed key performance indicators (KPIs) will face penalties including fines, withdrawal of licences and five-year jail terms. This sounds like good news. For too long, customers have suffered poor telecom services delivered with impunity, without any decisive intervention from industry regulators. That’s why customers lug about three or four mobile phones, hoping that at least one will work when required. With dual-SIM phones, the stress is less. But before anyone shouts “Hallelujah!,” we need to ask some questions. Who measures the key performance indicators? How and when are they measured? If the telcos are fined, who benefits from the fines? How will the customer be compensated for poor service? In short, how does the customer feature in the entire plan? After all, the customer bears most of the cost – monetary, time and psychic – for service failures. Whatever else they do, regulators must ensure that customers are duly compensated for service failures, except when customers are informed of service disruptions for routine maintenance. Compensation should be mandatory for services with short validity periods such as data bundles, Blackberry subscriptions, etc. As an advocate of service excellence, I find the service delivered by telcos in Nigeria very appalling. Barely two weeks ago, my Glo line went dead for 48 hours although I had enough airtime and a valid data subscription. All I could get on a line I had registered four times was: “This call cannot be completed. Please contact your mobile operator.” Four times, I called the Glo customer care – that was the only number I could reach! Four times I received canned, monotonous responses from customer care representatives who couldn’t identify what was wrong. The only help they could offer was to say “sorry” and report the issue to “the appropriate department.” It wasn’t amusing. At the time of writing, I am yet to receive any explanation or compensation from Glo for such inexplicable service failure. The point is not to demonise Glo. Only recently, I stopped using the MTN Blackberry Service (after four years) because of poor service. At various times, I have also used the services of Airtel, Etisalat, Visafone, Multilinks and Starcomms. At best, they all deliver average service. This is why I find number portability amusing. Beyond retaining one’s number, I can’t see any other benefit! Telecom operators need to up their game. Many of them have excelled in executing laudable corporate social responsibility projects, but they must not forget their core mandate: excellent telecom services. That’s what we pay for. Interestingly, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has reported that there were over 121 million active lines in Nigeria as at September 2013. About 98 percent of those lines were GSM. Yet, we have only four GSM operators. Is it surprising that service fails often? Is it not time to licence more GSM operators or are there no willing investors in the sector anymore? Considering that many Nigerians have two, three or four GSM lines, it is likely that there are only 50 to 60 million subscribers, leaving a huge population unserved. As a people, we love talking. We’re now also pinging and surfing a lot. It’s time to lower the entry barrier and license more operators.


40 — Vanguard, MONDAY, JANUARY 6, 2014

Email:lesleba@lesleba.com, lesleba@gmail.com Blog page:www.lesleba.com/blog2 Website: www.lesleba.com Tel:0805 220 1997

imilarly, the impact of serial inchoate and generally misguided annual fiscal plans is clearly visible in the parlous state of our economy despite our fortuitous favourable human endowment and abundant natural resources. Let us, therefore, examine, hereafter, how poor planning and lack of commitment could thwart our expectations for creditable results in two areas; that is, football administration and the war against corruption. We recall that in February 2013 the National football team, the Super Eagles, won the Africa Cup of Nations against all odds. Regrettably, neither the expensive high profile foreign coaches nor the occasional modestly remunerated indigenous handlers succeeded in bringing back the much-longed-for golden fleece in 19 years! Indeed, after our failure to qualify in 2012, the National Football Federation (NFF), in desperation, appointed Stephen Keshi as Head Coach, with a comparatively modest salary of less than $400,000 per annum. Keshi, who was the Super Eagles captain, when they last won the cup in 1994 took what appeared to be a hurriedly assembled “patch-patch” team to South Africa, and unexpectedly against popular expectation, but with individual brilliance and the indomitable Nigerian team spirit triumphed over other more fancied teams to lift the African Cup of Nations in Feb 2013! Although, the whole nation went into joyous rapture, the Football Federation inexplicably appeared unhappy at Keshi’s unexpected success during the competition; consequently in frustration, Mr. Keshi

Keshi & EFCC as metaphor for false hope threatened to resign soon after the victory. However, President Goodluck Jonathan, the Senate President and several other eminent Nigerians, persuaded Stephen to rescind his decision, with the assurance of government support to provide whatever was necessary to facilitate his job, including a free hand in matters relating to choice of players and training options for the national team. Nigerians were therefore surprised, in July this year, when media reports first suggested that the NFF owed the Head Coach over four months’ salary arrears and allowances! Christopher Green, the NFF Technical Committee Chairman, also confirmed that “We are owing Keshi about four months salary; Green, however, promised that all Keshi’s outstandings would be settled before July ending 2013. Nigerians who believed the NFF’s promise were therefore, subsequently shocked by news of Keshi’s expressed frustration because of non payment of his salaries for over seven months as at November 2013! Incidentally, there is no evidence to confirm whether or not the executive and staff of the NFF and the National Sports Commission were also deprived of their salaries for seven months! Surprisingly, in place of the expected humble apology to the Coach for the unnecessary burden and horrible stress of living without income, the oppressive response from the NFF was a cheeky query

berating Keshi’s motive for bringing his frustrations to media attention! In a country where we earn over N600bn annually from crude oil export alone, and a minister’s bullet-proof cars are purchased with hundreds of millions of Naira, it is sad that in spite of the honour and joy that Keshi’s commitment and sacrifice brought to Nigerian souls in Feb 2013, our government has regrettably chosen to pay Stephen with such counterfeit coins, despite huge expectations that Keshi

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he Director-General of Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Alhaji Bature Masari, has put in place modalities that will enable the agency to create 5million jobs for the country in the next two years. Masari, said that the job creation mileage between now and 2015will be achieved through the National Enterprise Development Programme (NEDEP) initiated by Minister of Industry and Trade and Investment, Mr.

Olusegun Aganga. He said NEDEP is being implemented under three pillars, technical/vocational skills acquisition, and business development services (BDS) Entrepreneur training and access to finance. The SMEDAN DG sari added that “the Entrepreneurs training components of NEDEP is being anchored under the local government one product (OLOP) programme. The aim is to revitalize the rural economy and alleviate poverty in rural areas in Nigeria”. “Therefore, the overall objective of the OLOP/NEDEP

In a similar media report in December 2013, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission disclosed that it is broke! The disclosure was a fallout from the Senate Public Hearing on the Bill for an Act to establish the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Agency. The EFCC Secretary, Mr. Emmanuel Adegboyega confirmed that “The grim financial position of EFCC was in spite of several appeals for fund”. Adegboyega noted that the commission has been starved of funds to finance its

Undoubtedly Mr. President’s promise to tackle corruption cannot be taken seriously if the battalion in the forefront of this war is without tanks and ammunition!

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will, once again, make us proud, six months hence at the World Cup in Brazil. It is inexplicable that Nigerians expect such miracle in spite of the apparent lack of a serious plan and government’s lack of commitment to the indigenous coaching crew from whom we expect so much in Brazil 2014. While, for example, serious contenders even among the other fellow African teams have already selected training camps and appropriate hotel accommodation, the Nigerian Federation is still unable to pay even the salaries of the coaching crew!

Business & Economy SMEDAN targets 5m new jobs — DG By FAVOUR NNABUGWU

Financial Agency (NIFA), which will inevitably overlap the functions of the currently cash strapped EFCC. Besides, Adegboyega had noted that “The proposed NFIA, if autonomous, would be exploited by corrupt politicians, and would also open a floodgate of injunctions, restraining orders, and other litigations to stall anticorruption trials”. Once again, Nigerians are confused that in spite of the public outcry against corruption and our odious international label as a corrupt country, and in spite of President Jonathan’s avowed crusade against corruption, somehow, the government has managed to starve the EFCC of funds which were properly appropriated for the operations of the Agency; ironically some other Agencies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission for which there was no budget allocation in 2013, continued to function with fanfare! So, the questions are, where is the money budgeted for the payment of salaries and allowances for Keshi and his assistants and how adequate was EFCC budget in view of the ravaging spread of corruption, particularly in the management of government funds nationwide! Undoubtedly Mr. President’s promise to tackle corruption cannot be taken seriously if the battalion in the forefront of this war is without tanks and ammunition! Similarly, any expectations of stellar performances from the Super Eagles in Brazil this year will be worse than the illusion of a mirage if we do not seriously plan comprehensively and remain fully committed to working the plan!

programme is to revitalize our rural economy, improve employment opportunities and alleviate poverty in rural areas in Nigeria. This will be done through the establishment of sustainable MSMEs in the 774 Local Government Areas (LGAs) based on comparative and competitive advantages”. Other benefits, he mentioned, include the entrenchment of entrepreneurial culture, economic development, industrialization of rural areas, industrial cluster development, and increased MSMES contribution to GDP, increased

operations; consequently, he lamented at the public hearing that “As at now, EFCC does not have up to N2m in its account; we don’t have money…. If we can afford to pay salary this month, (December 2013), that is all. That is the situation under which we operate”. It is ironical, in the first place, that in spite of the Oronsanye and other such reports, which recommended reduction in the number of government agencies to curb duplication and waste, and promote optimal resource application, government still actually contemplates the establishment of a Nigerian Intelligence

SAVE THE NAIRA, SAVE NIGERIANS!!

export potentials, crime reduction, wealth creation and political stability. ”As you may be aware, the

pilot project of the OLOP programme was conducted in Kano and Niger States from September 2010 to July 2011.

OUR TEAM Omoh Gabriel Babajide Komolafe Clara Nwachukwu Peter Egwuatu Yinka Kolawole Favour Nnabugwu Godwin Oritse Godfrey Bivbere Michael Eboh Franklin Alli Ebele Orakpo Ifeyinwa Obi Rosemary Onuoha

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Group Business Editor Ag. Finance Editor Energy Editor Head, Capital Market Bus. Correspondent Insurance Correspondent Maritime Correspondent Maritime Correspondent Energy Reporter Industry/Agric. Reporter Energy Reporter Maritime Reporter Insurance Reporter

CONTRIBUTORS Princewill Ekwujuru Naomi Uzor Providence Obuh LAYOUT

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