Mr Kevin Amugo, Director, Financial Policy and Regulation, CBN, said Nigerian banks recovered about N50.32 million bad loans from debtors within nine days the country commenced operations of the Global Standing Instruction (GSI).
Amugo made the disclosure on Tuesday, at a webinar organised by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) Dialogue Series 3.0 in Lagos.
The GSI policy became operational from August 1, 2020, as banks struggled to keep their Non Performing Loans (NPLs) ratio low to curb failure and instability in the industry.
According to him, the recovery was made possible by the lending banks through the activation of the GSI protocol.
“It was specifically introduced to support the banking industry in reducing the rate of unserviced loans, improve loan recovery and recovery efforts of banks.
“The amount recovered was, however, insignificant compared with the total of N1.66 billion worth of bad debts by 26,057 customers triggered by the lending banks.
” The size of the recovered NPLs was due to the fact that the CBN was still working on the GSI protocol for non-individual debtors, which means the recovery was made from individual loan defaulters,” he said.
Amugo said that data from the CBN showed that NPLs in banks were higher during the economic downturn, and as the figure of NPLs rise, the instability in the sector worsens.
He said between 2015 and 2017, when the country experienced sharp drop in crude oil prices, currency crisis as a result of the drop in foreign exchange inflows and the period of recession, the NPLs rose sharply from 5 per cent to 15 per cent.
“However, the CBN report showed that the NPLs ratio declined from 6.6 per cent in April 2020 to 6.4 per cent in June 2020; however the figure still remains above the 6 per cent stipulated threshold by the CBN.
“Also, credit to the economy grew by N3.46 trillion, about 22 percent, of which new credit in June 2020 alone accounted for N773 billion, up from N412.7 billion in May 2020.
“The number of new borrowers similarly rose by about 42,000 to 93,578 from 51,700 in May,” he said.
He said that the huge credit output in the economy was underpinned by improved resilience of the banking system.
“N50 million recovered is excellent; I am sure after one year, the number of recoveries will increase.
“You will agree with me that banks’ failure is not ordained, it’s just the behaviour of what we have.
“So, culture is a very big issue to credit; we need to address it,” he said.
Hajia Saratu Iya-Aliyu, National President of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), advocated a reduction in interest rates, particularly during such unprecedented time as with the emergence of COVID -19 pandemic globally.
According to her, one major reason for loan defaulting in Nigeria is unfavourable terms of payment.
Iya-Aliyu, represented by Mrs Margaret Orakwusi, NACCIMA National Officer, recommended increased nationwide sensitisation by CBN and creditor banks on the GSI policy and its implications for bank customers.
Earlier, the CIBN President, Mr Bayo Olugbemi, said that the scourge of bad loans had been a long standing menace to the Nigerian banking sector.
According to him, the issuance of the GSI policy marks a new dawn in credit management and debt recovery processes in our clime.
“CIBN is fully in support of this GSI policy which will not only enhance more recovery purposes and financial stability but also promote economic prosperity; when borrowers pay their loans, funds are available to the financial institutions to service other customers.
“This way, we can promote shared prosperity and more people can be lifted out of poverty,” he said.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)
The Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) has called for closer ties between Nigeria and Indonesia, especially in the area of agribusiness technology.
The National President, NACCIMA,
Hajiya Saratu Iya Aliyu, made the call, according to a statement by the association on Monday in Lagos.
The statement was on the first virtual Nigerian-Indonesia Business Forum which brought together over 70 Nigerian and Indonesian businesses.
It was organised in partnership with Indonesian Trade Promotion Centre (ITPC).
According to the statement, the NACCIMA president said that closer in the area of agribusiness technology would ensure enhanced agricultural production in Nigeria for optimal output.
“I thank the Indonesian Trade Promotion Centre in Lagos and the team at NACCIMA for successfully organizing the virtual business forum despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said.
The statement also quoted the
Indonesian Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr. Usra Hendra Harahap, as saying that increasing partnerships between businesses of both countries would positively impact their private sectors.
He said that this would help them to acquire appropriate knowledge to harness existing potential opportunities.
Harahap said that more partnership would also strengthen agribusiness relations between Nigeria and Indonesia.
“The Indonesian Trade Promotion Centre in Lagos and NACCIMA have agreed on continuous forum for engagement between Indonesian and Nigerian businesses.
“This is to further strengthen the bilateral relationship between both countries that has existed since the establishment of its diplomatic relations in 1965,” he said.
Mrs Beatrice Archibong, the Charge D’affaires of the Nigerian Embassy in Jakartar, Indonesia said that the forum was a clear demonstration of goodwill and determination to boost the economy of both countries.
This, according to her, is in spite of the negative impacts of growing pandemic.
She expressed the commitment of the Nigerian Embassy in Indonesia to coordinate with relevant stakeholders in Indonesia to provide the necessary information and guide into the Indonesian market available to potential Nigerian investors.
Edited By: Remi Koleoso/Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)
Prof. Adesoji Adesugba, Managing Director, Nigerian Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), has urged Organised Private Sector (OPS) to patronise Free Trade Zones (FTZs) nationwide to ward-off widespread business uncertainty occasioned by COVID-19 pandemic.
According to a statement signed by Mr Martins Odeh, Head, Corporate Communications of NEPZA on Tuesday in Abuja, Adesugba made the call during a visit to the President, Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Hajia Saratu Aliyu.
Adesugba was before his appointment the National Legal Adviser of NACCIMA.
“NEPZA will continue to partner with the private sector. NEPZA holds a double status as a facilitator and promoter of investments-free business environment and a regulator that ensures compliance with standards.
“The organisation that I head was set up to manage and regulate FTZs, which are only business enclave that now guarantee nearness to markets dislocated by a strain in global transportation and logistics against devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The pandemic as we are aware continues to distort business logistics globally and so, global investors are looking for workable FTZs to move into.
“Doing so will guarantee preservation of the supply chains and their investments,’’ he said.
According to him, the supply chain management is going to be critical as COVID-19 has changed business logistics but if we can take advantage of various incentives which include tax holiday, absence of customs duties and multiple taxes charged outside FTZs, then our businesses can stay afloat.
He said that the authority was working assiduously to introduce variety of Economic Special Zones (ESZ), saying that Medical, Solid Mineral, Agriculture and Technology were to be considered.
Adesugba explained that the establishment of Constituency Industrial Parks in the over 300 Federal Constituencies were also being contemplated.
She explained that the association was prepared to collaborate and support the authority to achieve its mandate, saying that the country’s FTZs scheme remained secured for investors and should be exploited.
Kayode, a former Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, added that the chambers had approved that NEPZA should become an automatic member of the Chambers’ council.
“We want to broaden our operations. We hope that when we come asking for NEPZA’s partnership and support, it will be there for us.
“We are indeed grateful to government for appointing our man as head of this very important agency,’’ he said.
Kayode said that the creation of more Special Economic Zones, would help in the actualisation of the country’s industrialisation.
NEPZA officials were taken on inspection tour of the association’s Business Entrepreneurship Skills and Technology (BEST) Centre, Gemmological Institute of Nigeria (GIN) and the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development Jewellery Centre respectively.
The highpoint of the visit was the decoration of Adesugba as NACCIMA Ambassador.
Edited By: Joseph Edeh/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)
The Lagos State Government says it has earmarked N1 billion as part of COVID-19 bailout for the hospitality sector in the state.
Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, made this known on Wednesday in Ikeja during the 6th Lagos Corporate Assembly, tagged: ”BOS Meets Business”.
The Lagos Corporate Assembly was organised by the Lagos State Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives.
Sanwo-Olu said that the fund would be accessed through the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF).
”One of the commitment that we will continue to give to you is that when it comes to your businesses, we must continue to ensure that we give you the opportunity to do well, we give you the space to thrive.
”It is only when you do well that Lagos can continue to have that lead, that Lagos can continue to remain that place that good businesses can continue to thrive.
”We need to do a lot more for the industry. We have just given approval for a N1 billion support that will go through the Lagos Employment Trust Fund.
“The hospitality operators have to meet certain criteria to be able to access the fund.
”I am working collaboratively with the CBN to get specific sign up from them that I will donate to the hospitality industry in Lagos,” he said.
The governor said that measures already being implemented to ensure a business friendly environment included waivers of penalties on annual tax remittance and tax returns on COVID-19 donations.
He said that the measures also included the signing of a new Land Use Charge Law with a 48 per cent reduction in the 2018 payment of the charge.
Sanwo-Olu assured members of the Organised Private Sector (OPS) that a list of approved taxes would be published on the state’s website to resolve the issue of multiple taxation.
Representatives of the Organised Private Sector (OPS) who attended the interactive meeting, the first by the Sanwo-Olu administration, commended the state government for continuing the meeting.
The meeting was also attended by the State Deputy Governor, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, and other top government officials.
The OPS also urged the state government to address issues of taxation, bad roads and unwholesome attitude of some officials.
They commended the state government for the various measures already implemented and solicited more to ensure a robust environment for businesses to thrive.
In her welcome address, the Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Mrs Lola Akande, said that all the issues raised during previous meetings had been resolved by the relevant government ministries and agencies.
Akande said that the issues, contributions and feedback helped immeasurably to improve on government’s service delivery towards making Lagos a 21st Century Economy.
Edited By: Wale Ojetimi (NAN)
The Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) has commended President Muhammadu Buhari on the inauguration of the Presidential Artisanal Gold Mining Development Initiative (PAGMI).
The Director-General, NACCIMA, Amb. Ayoola Olukanni, gave the commendation on Monday in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that PAGMI was designed to foster the formalisation and integration of artisanal gold mining activities into the nation’s legal, economic and institutional framework.
The development paved the way for the use of gold as a reserve instrument by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Olukanni, who described the move as truly laudable, said that the initiative would deploy safer and more efficient mining and processing technologies across artisanal mining locations in the country.
He stated that if vigorously pursued, activities in the mining sector could grow exponentially and contribute as much as $27 billion to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2025, as envisioned under the Mining Road Map.
“NACCIMA sees the presentation by President Buhari, of the 12.5kg gold bar reportedly worth N268million to the CBN Governor, for the nation’s reserves, as a visible evidence of the potentialities to significantly scale up contribution of the Nigerian mining sector to the economy.
“Also worthy of note is the indication that PAGMI, with its safe modern operations, can generate about 250,000 jobs and over $500 million in taxes and royalties.
“The association views this as possibility of achieving the goals in the 2016 road map, for the growth of the mining industry,” he said.
The NACCIMA director-general, however, called for greater involvement of the private sector, especially the Chamber members in states with gold deposits, in the implementation of the initiative.
Olukanni encouraged Chamber members, especially those in the gold mining states identified for the pilot scheme, namely: Kebbi, Osun, Kaduna, Zamfara and Niger, to key into the scheme.
According to him, the prime objective of involvement and encouragement of Chamber members from the mining states is to expand the scope for the private sector to also participate actively in the National Gold Purchase Programme, encapsulated in the initiative.
“The association views PAGMI as a bold initiative and concrete step to truly diversify the economy by tapping fully into the mining sector and advises that government should encourage the private sector through various incentives to play its role in this direction,” he said.
Edited By: Folorunso Poroye/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)
The National Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), has promised to use its expertise to ensure the success of Prof. Adesoji Adesugba recently appointed as the Managing Director, Nigerian Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA).
Hajia Saratu Aliya, the NACCIMA President, pledged the support in a commendation message she signed on Friday relating to the appointment where she indicated that the new NEPZA boss had the pedigree to reposition the Authority for better results.
She commended President Muhammadu Buhari on Prof. Adesoji Adesugba’s choice.
“Adesugba is equipped with all the skills and qualities required to flourish in his new office and we are ready to mobilise the necessary support and resources to ensure his outstanding success and performance,’’ NACCIMA boss said.
The News Agency of Nigeria , recalls that President Buhari’s approval of Adesugba’s appointment, was contained in a letter addressed to the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Adeniyi Adebayo, dated June 26.
Aliya described the appointment as “a timely gesture critical to the nation’s economic growth trajectory and the effective implementation of the Economic Recovery Growth Plan.”
She described Adesugba as “an accomplished specialist in investment promotion and economic development”, adding that his sterling credentials were a reflection of inherent quality in the Organised Private Sector (OPS), in Nigeria.
“We are confident that his academic exposure, proficiency in institutional reforms and pedigree in business promotion and development will add value to the attainment of NEPZA’s core mandate as the regulator of free trade zone schemes in Nigeria.
Aliya further assured the Federal Government of the cooperation of NACCIMA, as a leading member of the OPS, in its administration’s quest for inclusive growth and development of the Nigerian economy.
Edited By: Kevin Okunzuwa/Donald Ugwu (NAN)
The Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Pauline Tallen, says the Federal Government is ready to revive women businesses that Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic affected.
Tallen disclosed this in Abuja during the virtual E-Launch of the National Survey on the impact of COVID-19 on women-owned businesses in Nigeria.
She said that the survey report captured trends and patterns of the losses caused by the pandemic on women owned businesses.
The minister also said that the report made recommendations in retooling policies to address both the immediate and post COVID-19 strategies as well as the way forward.
Tallen said that the government had commenced the implementation through the ongoing UN Women Assisted Palliative Distribution Project in 17 States of the federation, targeted at poor women.
She said that the project would focus on women owned businesses in states as a measure to revive their businesses.
“I want to use this medium to assure our women entrepreneurs that we will continue to ensure that we build credible structures to help them revive their businesses.
“We can only achieve this if we patronise women vendors. We have started implementing this through the ongoing UN Women Assisted Palliative Distribution Project in 17 States of the Federation targeting the poorest of the poor women in the communities,” she said.
The minister expressed concern on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on businesses, particularly the supply chain, where majority of women’s owned businesses belonged.
According to her, the pandemic has left in its trails untold hardships and losses on micro-, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) as well as no vaccine currently available to combat the virus.
“We are all currently experiencing the effects, which have crippled the supply chain of businesses, with dire consequences on MSMEs, where the majority of women’s owned businesses are situated,” she said.
The minister said that it was important address gender gaps in designing COVID-19 response and recovery programmes, build strategic partnerships that would be protect women’s well-being and livelihoods.
She said the ministry would scale up some projects for women in National Empowerment Fund (NaWEF), Government Empowerment and Enterprise Programme (GEEP) and the Business Development Fund for Women (BUDFOW).
Other areas would be the ECOWAS and Access Bank 50 Million Women Speak Platform Project (50MWSPP), the Trust Fund agreement with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) to implement the HP-LIFE entrepreneurship and job creation project.
Tallen said that the ministry would also engage with the Nigeria for Women Project (NFWP), and conduct a mapping of state-level interventions on COVID-19.
The minister commended NACCIMA and SME.NG for conducting the survey,adding that the government would engage with more stakeholders i implementing findings of the survey.
“The Ministry is engaging with States, relevant government institutions, NGOs, business groups, PWDs cooperative societies, elderly cooperative groups and women focused groups to achieve this.
“I want to encourage our partners to not only stop here, but let us together again look at the possibility of conducting a follow-up survey to track the progress of women entrepreneurs recovery.
Tallen urged policy makers, development partners and the donor agencies to adopt the report’s recommendation for the immediate and post COVID-19 responses for women entrepreneurs.
Edited /Muhammad Suleiman Tola
The Nigerian Global Business Forum (NGBF) and the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) are partnering on many initiatives by supporting businesses that can drive massive industrial growth.
The partnership was aimed at covering a wide range of activities and initiatives such as the development of industrial parks (light factories), organising workshops, exhibitions, conferences, trade missions, policy advocacy, amongst others.
Mr Afolabi Andu, President NGBF, noted that the objective of the partnership was to primarily establish Nigeria’s economic growth and ensure sustainability through the strategic involvement of both the NACCIMA membership network alongside the NGBF members.
Andu reiterated that the onus of national economic development was on its citizens.
He pointed ou that most of the Asian and Far Eastern brands globally recognised today, emerged through the vision of industrial Parks where quality national brands were initially established now resulting into global brands.
“This is in line with our strategy of systematically and deliberately working toward the development of formidable Nigerian brands through our strategic partnership,’’ he said.
Dele Oye, Second Deputy President of NACCIMA, noted that with this partnership came a healthy exchange of ideas and commercial interface between both organisations which would invariably be to the country’s overall benefit.
“This is to promote and develop all matters affecting business through provision of a network for national and international businesses.
“With oil price hovering around 30 dollars per barrel and the country in another recession technically, there’s no better time for diversification into non-oil sector of the economy for GDP growth,” he said.
The Nigerian Global Business Forum (NGBF), has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Nigeria Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) to drive industrial development.
Speaking during the signing of the MoU via Webinar on Tuesday,Mr Afolabi Andu, President of NGBF, said its objective was to primarily enhance Nigeria’s economic growth.
NGBF is an umbrella organisation for Nigerian Business Forums in the UK, United StatesA, Ireland, Austria and the Caribbean, while NACCIMA is the umbrella body for all City, State, Regional , Bilateral and Multilateral Chambers of Commerce in Nigeria.
According to Andu, the agreement will equally ensure sustainability through strategic involvement of membership network of both organisations.
He noted that the partnership covered a wide range of activities, especially initiatives such as the development of Industrial parks,(light factories), organising of workshops, exhibitions, conferences, trade missions, policy and advocacy.
”At a time when global economy is witnessing downward trend due to the effects of Coronavirus pandemic, countries are focusing on salvaging their economies by supporting businesses that can drive industrial growth,” Andu said.
He said that with oil price hovering around 30 dollars per barrel and the country in another recession technically, there was no better time for diversification into non-oil sectors of the economy for Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth, than now.
The NGBF president also pointed out that most of the Asian and far Eastern brands globally recognised today, emerged through the vision of Industrial Parks where quality national brands were initially established, now resulting into global brands.
“This is in line with our strategy of systematically and deliberately working towards the development of formidable Nigerian brands through strategic partnership,” he said.
On his part, Mr Dele Oye, Second Deputy President of NACCIMA, said that with the partnership, there was bound to be healthy exchange of ideas and commercial interface between both organisations to the country’s overall benefit.
“The strategic partnership between NACCIMA and NGBF is an actualisation of one of Hajiya Saratu Aliyu’s principle objectives for her tenure as NACCIMA president, to promote matters affecting business through provision of a network for national and international business.
“NACCIMA was established in 1960 to provide advocacy, trade promotion, business development, capacity building, research and mediation on trade and investment.
“Currently the organisation has well over 5,000 registered members across Nigeria,” Oye said.
Dr John Isemede on Tuesday called for a stronger bond between Nigeria and the Economic Communities of West African States (ECOWAS) to break barriers hindering trade on in the continent.
Isemede, a former Director-General, Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos.
He spoke against the backdrop of the Africa Liberation Day celebrated every May 25.
According to him, for the smooth operations of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement, Nigeria need to understand the market terrain, and difference in trade terms across the continent.
He noted that ECOWAS had recorded successes that should be a model for the country to build upon, to proffer clear guide and understanding of the AfCFTA agreement.
NAN reports that the aim of AfCFTA, signed in Kigali, Rwanda,on March 21, 2018, was to create a single market for goods and services as well as promote intra-African trade.
“How prepared is Nigeria for the AfCFTA, do we really understand what the agreemen entails.
“Ordinarily, the agreement signed was to take effect from July 1, 2020, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been pushed forward to Jan. 1, 2021.
“For effective running of AfCFTA, there is the need to know more about ECOWAS and its activities, so that we can move smoothly from the known to the unknown market or terrain, note the different and diverse trade terms across the continent.
“Then have a plan on how to join with others on a single bloc of 1.3m consumers.
“We need to understand and map out ways to make it successful, get everyone prepared.
“Also, we should be considering the ECOWAS integration and the breaking down of the trade barriers.
“We have to ratify and identify our market, know the team in place, logistics in terms of sea port, airport, silos, standard, language experts and all of that,” he said.
Isemede faulted the research carried out on the AfCFTA as he stated: “Is Nigeria prepared?
“The research carried out was within Nigeria and you do not carry out research with the aim to sell outside.
He, however, highlighted 30 areas whereby ECOWAS had recorded successes that should serve as a yardstick.
“We are still together after 57 years, unlike the European Union.
“Even Mauritania that was out is coming back, we have a clear aim and objective of the bloc, ability to manage the diversity (Francophone/Anglophone divide) with the LUEOA that is almost parallel.
“ECOWAS traders are working to upscale the informal sector to legitimate transactions.
“Trade has reduced political and other tensions, helping to redistribute goods in the Sub- region, free movement of goods and services.
Standardisation bus and operations of the scheme, no visa requirements, international vehicle licence, international vehicle insurance, and international motor permit, among others,” he said.
Isemede said that the border closure against some of Nigeria’s neighbouring countries was not as a result of tension, but because Nigeria could not compete in terms of food production.
He said that if we produced enough, after catering for domestic consumption, Nigeria would still have enough to export.
“In the 1900’s Nigeria was producing more than 50 per cent of palm oil requirement and in 1960, we were producing 25 per cent requirement.
“Were people smuggling palm oil at that time? No. Now, we are just producing one per cent.
“Since we are talking about continental trade, there must be backward integration, let us produce more and then we will be able to compete with other states on the continent,” Isemede said.
Edited By: Folorunso Poroye/Ese E. Ekama (NAN)