Stakeholders in the automobile industry have appealed for the speedy passage of the Automobile Policy to engender growth in the industry.
At the Maiden Auto CEOs Forum held in Abuja on Thursday, they also decried lack of an Auto Purchase Credit Scheme for Nigerians purchase vehicles on a staggered payment scheme.
They argued that if such scheme was made available, people would be able to buy new vehicles and the business of local assemblers in the country would thrive.
Mr Remi Olaife, Executive Director, Nigeria Automobile Manufacturers Association (NAMA) said that lack of political will was the main constraint of the industry.
”We are not ready as a country to move.
How long are we going to wait.
”The Auto policy was approved during President Goodluck Jonathan administration and till date they are still trying to make it a law.
”All what is said today has already been said.
If we do not have the political will, nothing gets done.
The funds are there, it is for us to decide what we want to do.
Representing the Director-General of BPP, the Director of Procurement, Mr Eze Obasi, urged the automobile companies to upgrade their status to enable them benefit from the bureau’s policy.
”Federal Government have a policy aimed at enabling indeginious firms to grow.
”We recommend agencies to patronise upgraded companies who have met all the requirements of tax clearance, CAC registration, PENCOM certifications, ITF and NSITF.
”However, there is need for a deliberate collaboration among you.
You also need to collaborate with smaller firms that can provide the necessary components you need to thrive.
”If you are not registered with the bureau, you cannot do business with the government,”Obasi said.
Earlier, the former Acting Director-General, National Automotive Design and Development Council(NADDC), Lukman Mamood, urged the NAMA to come together in one voice.
He said they should form a formidable force that would engage the government and relevant stakeholders on the way forward for the industry.
He said the objective of the policy was to establish a dynamic fiscal policy to attract and sustain investments.
”It is aimed to one million automobiles for transport, mining and agriculture, attract FDI and renew Nigerian vehicle stock and reverse pressure on balance of payment and strengthen the naira.
”It is also aimed at establishing automotive manufacturing infrastructure and increase industry employment among other things,” Mamood said.
He said the requirements for the industry’s development, however, entailed incentives and supportive measures, legislation, market and skills development among other things.
The Controller of Customs, Musa Baba, said that the industry had to be private driven for effective and efficient growth.
On purchase of vehicles, he said: ”We have to look into financing of the industry, that is the purchase of vehicles.
”Also, let us identify people who have true passion to push through the objectives of the forum.
”Meanwhile, the Chief Executive Officer, Nord Automobiles Ltd., Oluwatobi Atayi, decried the non financing of automobile business in Nigeria due to high interest rate.
He urged that the National Automotive Council (NAC) levy on importation of vehicles to the country should be channeled as supposed to the automobile industry.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the forum was attended by stakeholders and players in the industry.
br> The Senate on Tuesday, considered a bill seeking to establish the Police Pension Board.
The bill which scaled second reading at plenary, was sponsored by Sen. Elisha Abbo (Adamawa- North).
The bill was read for the first time on June 14.
Leading the debate on the bill, Abbo noted that the current pension arrangement of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) was under the Pension Commission by virtue of Section 5(1) of the Pension Reform Act 2014.
According to him, the Nigeria police, though a premier law enforcement and security agency, is left on the Contributory Pension Scheme unlike the Army, Navy, Air Force and other security agencies that had their Pension Boards.
“The resultant inclusion and continuous stay of the NPF in PENCOM has placed them on the wrong end of the post service emolument life, though the Nigeria police is saddled with the responsibility of not only protecting the lives and property of the citizenry, but also detecting and preventing crimes.”
The lawmaker expressed dismay at the disparities between the pension and gratuity benefits of the police and those of its counterparts in the military.
“A cursory look at the difference between the pension and gratuity benefits of the Nigeria police and her counterpart in the military, shows for example, the benefit of a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) under the current Pension Scheme is N2.5 million.That of an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) is N1.5 million.
“While their equivalents of DSP in the Army (Captain), Navy (Lieutenant), Air Force (Flight Lieutenant) and the DSS (Captain) are paid N12.8 million and N10.3 million,” Abbo said.
He added that ensuring equity and justice in the payment of pensions would boost the morale of serving personnel as well as enhance the standard of living of the retired personnel of the Nigerian police force.
President of the Senate, Dr Ahmad Lawan thereafter, referred the bill to the Senate Committee on Police Affairs for further legislative attention.
The committee was given four weeks to report back to the chamber in plenary.
Editted by AbdulFatai Ugboma
Dukia Gold and Precious Metals Refining Company Ltd., says it has completed arrangements to trade investment grade gold bullion bars on the floor of the Lagos Commodities and Futures Exchange (LCFE).
Its Managing Director, Ms Bose Owolabi, disclosed this during a virtual seminar in Lagos.
Owolabi said the trading of the gold bar which is on London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) would also include its derivatives and related products.
Owolabi said the development was organised by the licensed precious metals mining & refining company and bullion merchant in conjunction with LCFE and the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development (MMSD).
The virtual seminar was attended by member firms of the Pension Operators Association of Nigeria (Penops), licensed commodities exchange operators, commodities broking and trading firms as well as assets manager.
Owolabi, in her welcome address, said that the seminar was one of the many initiatives along with other partners conducted ahead of the introduction of the Dukia Gold Exchange Traded Certificate (DGETC).
Managing Director of the Lagos Commodities and Futures Exchange (LCFE), Mr Akin Akeredolu-Ale, while welcoming participants, stated that the build up to the virtual seminar on investing in Gold started as far back as 2019.
Akeredolu-Ale said that both the LCFE and Dukia Gold had long focused on how Nigerians could invest and trade in responsibly sourced gold on a structured and regulated platform such as the LCFE.
He further expressed optimism that the Nigerian economy was taking off on a good note, particularly with the development of a commodity trading ecosystem for the solid minerals sector.
According to him, the move will further diversify the nation’s economy.
Mr Olamilekan Adegbite, Minister for Mines and Steel Development (MMDS), while delivering the keynote address, said that Gold investment are unique, time-tested wealth preservation instrument.
According to him, such instrument creates a vehicle for Nigerians to build and preserve wealth over the long term.
He noted that Good Delivery Gold bars and their derivatives unlike jewellery, ornaments or raw gold, were Investment grade Precious Metals (IPM), which were essentially financial assets.
The Chairman of the event added that the gold bar would be actively traded, similar to financial instruments such as stocks and bonds.
Adegbite urged participants and the public who were discerning and desirous of owning gold assets, to proudly consider and invest in the investment grade products.
Adegbite said the trading of the gold bar on the exchange would add value to Nigeria’s precious metal value chain.
In his goodwill message, Chairman of the National Pension Commission (PENCOM), Dr Oyindasola Oni, highlighted the wish of the industry to have more investment grade financial instruments.
Oni said the instrutment would offer more diversification of available financial assets, necessary to improve the portfolio results of pension funds and asset managers.
The chairman noted that the demand for safe-haven assets by investors following record-high global uncertainty on performance of the stocks and bonds market were well documented.
Oni said the requirements of investment grade assets as stipulated within Sections 3, 4, and 5 of the regulations on the Investment of Pension Fund Assets.
He said, “Investment of pension assets in gold instruments, therefore, depends on compliance with these requirements. Needless to reiterate that the safety of pension assets remains a fundamental objective of pension fund investments, always.”
Oni said pension fund operators play a critical role as institutional investors in developing the financial market.
He charged the PFAs to give serious considerations to investing part of the almost N14 trillion in their coffers in investment grade Gold bullion bars.
Oni said this against the backdrop that the rapid growth of the pension assets had not seen corresponding increases in investment outlets within our domestic market.
“The government has been the largest beneficiary of pension funds investment with more than 61 per cent of the accumulated assets devoted to it,” he said.
Two key lecture presentations to enlighten participants on the benefits and implications of investing their assets in investment grade gold were made by Mrs Morohunke Bammeke, a former Managing Director of PAL Pensions and Mr David Adeyinka, an investment analyst based in the United Kingdom.
The two speakers made presentations on the benefits which investments in good delivery gold bars mean for investors in terms of wealth preservation.
They also spoke on its reliability and assurance of non-depreciation of the value of assets held in LBMA-grade gold bars even during turbulent economic times and many more advantages.
Mr Olamilekan Adegbite, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development (MMSD) on Monday in Abuja advised the agencies under the ministry to double their efforts to achieve greater feat for the sector.Adegbite gave the advice when Mr Obadiah Nkom, the Director-General, Nigeria Mining Cadastre Office (NMCO), presented him an award won by NMCO recently as the best digital innovation in the Federal Government category for the year 2022.According to him, there is no doubt that all the agencies under the ministry have done so well in discharging their duties but more efforts are still needed to achieve the diversification plan of President Muhammadu Buhari.He congratulated the NMCO for making the ministry proud as it came best in digital innovation in the Federal Government category for the year 2022.ng.NAN recalls that Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA), recently awarded NMCO the best in digital innovation in the Federal Government category for the year 2022.ng.NiRA is a Non-Governmental body established in 2005 by the Order of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is charged with the management of Nigeria’s country code Top Level Domain (hereinafter referred to as ccTLD), dot.ng.He said that NMCO had gone through a lot in ensuring that the sector moved from analogue to digital to compete with the international standard.“NMCO has come a long way from the days of analogue record taking, issuance of licences among others but the office is now operating online; everything is now conducted online.“NMCO has also recorded a giant stride in terms of revenue generation every year for the Federal Government, this is worth commending,” he said.The minister said that the success recorded by NMCO recently was as a result of N30 billion mining intervention given to the sector in 2017 by the Federal Government.Adegbite said that the ministry was able to support the NMCO from the fund to upscale its activities.He said however that the ministry had also achieved success by investing part of the fund to generate mineral data.“We have made huge success too in mineral data collection, we are at a point now that the sector is getting attention internationally.“Just recently, I approved the sales of some of the data to mining investors and many more are still coming for data; we are creating a special account for the sales of data.”Dr Oluwatoyin Akinlade, the Permanent Secretary, MMSD said that digitisation and innovation were core elements of the service improvement agenda of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation.“It is therefore gratifying that NMCO is rated the best in Digital Innovation among the Federal establishments in Nigeria for the year 2022 by NIRA.“I urge the various team leaders, Directors, Heads of Departments and Agencies to key into service improvement agenda of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation.“Especially in the area of digitisation and innovation by developing new ideas that can be used in addressing emerging challenges.”Earlier, Nkom appreciated the minister and the permanent secretary for the support given to NMCO to operate and compete at the international level.According to him, NMCO will continue in this trend to lead Nigeria into a highly prosperous mining industry.The NMCO was nominated by the public and assessed by the Award Jury as it fulfilled the criteria for the category.NMCO competed with other nominees such as Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and National Pension Commission (PENCOM) and emerged the winner with highest votes.
The Nigeria Mining Cadastre Office (NMCO) has been awarded the best Digital Innovation Agency of the Federal Government of Nigeria.
The Director-General of NMCO, Mr Obadiah Nkom made this known in a statement issued by Mrs Sade Fatoke, the Head, Press Unit of NMCO on Sunday in Abuja.
Nkom said that the Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NIRA), an NGO, established by the Federal Republic to manage the Nigerian code gave the award to the agency.
He said that the office emerged winner with the highest number of votes on the 5th .ng Award category for the year 2022, organised by NIRA.
NIRA was established in 2006, as the official Domain Registry for .NG Domain extension; .NG is the country-code top-level domain name system (ccTLD) for the West African country Nigeria.
“NMCO was voted by the public and assessed by the Award Jury as it fulfilled the criteria for the category.
“NMCO was presented the award as the best portal of the Federal Government with excellent user experience which promotes innovation and local content development with the .ng domain name, ” he said.
He said that NMCO contested with other MDAs such as Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), Federal Road Safety Commission ( FRSC).
Others are Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and the National Pension Commission (PENCOM).
Nkom said the award was a call for the Cadastre to always forge ahead and be committed to be able to achieve greater feat like the NIRA Award.
“The reward for hard work is always more work, this award is a call for more dedication and committment for MCO to continue until government’s desire for the agency and the sector is fulfilled”.
“We will remain committed to professionism and we can only improve on this achievement and many more so that MCO can be the gateway to economic diversification as well as boosting government’s revenue,” he said.
The Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, has expressed optimism of capital market growth in 2022 due to its various initiatives.
SEC Director General Lamido Yuguda said this in a statement issued by the Commission in Abuja on Sunday.
He expressed hope that as restrictions on COVID-19 and its variants are relaxed, the market will witness renewed confidence that is expected to introduce investments from domestic and foreign investors.
Yuguda said that the SEC will also unveil the revised version of the 10-year Capital Market Master Plan during its next conference.
He said the plan would reflect the dynamism of the market and developments in FinTech, among others.
“As we expect improvements both in economic activities and in the capital market, we must remain committed to the development of the market in accordance with the 10-year Master Plan.
“Some of the key initiatives to be pursued in 2022 are the repeal of the Investments and Securities Law (ISA) of 2007 and the approval of the Investment and Securities Law Project of 2021.
“Together with the platform of the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD), we will provide the necessary incentives and support to attract SMEs to go public.
“Rules on crowdfunding have already been developed to encourage new sources of finance for SMEs.
"The SEC will continue to improve the existing regulatory framework that guides market operations by keeping up with evolving changes in market practices," he said.
Mr. Yuguda said that the Commission would improve coordination with other stakeholders such as the National Assembly, CBN, PENCOM, NAICOM, DMO and FIRS to create synergies to ensure that the objectives of the master plan are met.
He added that the SEC would carry out advocacy efforts with the relevant government agencies to secure the listing of its shares.
He explained that policies would also be defended to encourage companies, such as the new Dangote Refineries, to offer their shares to the public and list on any of the commission's registered platforms.
"We also plan to provide additional support to registered commodity trading platforms to complement the government's renewed diversification efforts in agriculture," he said.
The Lagos state government signed on Monday the issuance of a N137.3 billion bond, aimed at executing key infrastructure projects in the state.
Speaking during the signing ceremony in Ikeja, the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said that the conclusion of the process led to N377.715 billion, the total value of the bonds issued by the issuance program of Lagos state debt for N500 billion.
Sanwo-Olu said that this is also the third time that a sub-national would issue a long-term (10-year) Bond, in the Nigerian domestic debt capital markets, after the initial issuance of a 10-year instrument in 2017.
He said that to properly initiate the financing of the projects, the state government formally began the issuance process in April 2021.
According to him, in the last eight months, and with the unwavering support of the transaction advisers, the government has been able to achieve this commendable feat, which for some observers seemed impossible.
”We are gathered here for the signing of the necessary documents and the Exchange Commission (SEC), to finalize the issuance of N137.3 billion, 13% 2021/2031 Issuance of series IV bonds of fixed rate government bonds from Lagos, under the N500 Billion Fourth Debt Issuance Program.
”We set out to raise up to N125 billion and closed the Book Build with offers totaling N137.3 billion.
”This strong response from the investment community - to our administration's first-time bond issue - is humbling and indeed a testament to investors' continued confidence in the state's ability to meet its demands. infrastructure development and socio-economic objectives; and to meet reimbursement obligations.
"Despite the significantly overwritten book and the active participation of a wide range of institutional investors, including banks, pension fund managers, asset managers, and corporations, Lagos State has maintained its discipline on size and pricing." , He said.LR: Chief of Staff, Mr. Tayo Ayinde; President, Committee of the Assembly of the House of Lagos on Fice, Hon. Rotimi Olowo; The deputy governor of Lagos, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat; Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu; Chapel Hill Denham Managing Director, Ms. Kemi Awodein; The Commissioner of Fice, Dr. Rabiu Olowo and the Head of Service, Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunola, during the signing of the Lagos State Bond Issuance program in the Banquet Hall, Casa de Lagos, Alausa, Ikeja, the Monday, December 20, 2021
The governor said that in accordance with the state's vision to build a Great Lakes, proceeds from the Bond would be used to fund key infrastructure projects, primarily in roads and healthcare.
He said these projects included the Lekki Regional Highway, the Ijeododo Highway rehabilitation and the rehabilitation of the alternative route to Admiralty Circle Toll Plaza.
Sanwo-Olu said that these projects would contribute to a better quality of life for people, while creating a more conducive environment for business and economic activities.
“There is no doubt, and we have seen it in previous interventions, that the social and economic multiplier effects will more than justify the cost of the investment.
”We applaud the Federal Ministry of Fice, PENCOM and the Nigerian Debt Management Office for their support and collaboration. Our thanks also go to the Securities and Exchange Commission.
”We are equally grateful to the investment community for their sustained support of Lagos State and our efforts to improve the social and economic well-being of all Lagos residents. We do not take your enthusiastic response to our bonus offer for granted.
"We will continue to uphold our commitment to remain the most responsible issuer in the Nigerian capital market," he said.
Earlier, Fice Commissioner Dr. Rabiu Olowo said that the 10-year bond from 2021 to 2031, at an interest rate of 13 percent, would avoid waste to the state government.
On behalf of the investment communities, Chapel Hill Denham Advisory CEO, Ms. Kemi Awodein, thanked the state government for trusting them to manage key projects in the state for the benefit of the more than 21 million residents of Lagos.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has called for a collaborative effort of Capital Market Operators (CMOs) and other stakeholders in the market community to drive capital market inclusion in the country.
Dr Lamido Yuguda, the Director-General of the commission, made this known at a Financial Inclusion Webinar organised by SEC in Abuja on Wednesday with theme: “From Financial Inclusion to Capital Market Inclusion’’.
Yuguda, represented by Mr Temidayo Obisan, the Executive Commissioner, Operations of SEC said the webinar would facilitate the cross-fertilisation of ideas among relevant stakeholders to foster access to capital market inclusion.
He said that the Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS) indicated that there were about 13.4 million accounts in the system, out of which only about 564,000 accounts had traded in the last seven years.
“Given the enormity of the task before us, it is necessary that we pursue a collaborative and coordinated approach toward providing the myriad of challenges impeding the rapid uptake of financial products and services, especially capital market products.
“SEC is actively involved in wide financial sector initiatives in the financial inclusion landscape in Nigeria.
Mr Bolaji Balogun, the Chief Executive Officer, Chapel Hill Denham said that about 2.5 per cent of citizens of the country were investing in the capital market.
Balogun, also the Chief Investment Officer of the Nigeria Infrastructure Debt Fund, said that sound financial literacy would help to build a better understanding of risks and improve participation.
“To make investing simple and accessible to every Nigerian, we need to build market wide commitment to financial education,’’ she said.
Mrs Abike Dabiru-Erewa, the Chairman of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) said the commission was working with about 17 million Nigerians in the Diaspora.
She said that the commission was committed to working with SEC to get the Diaspora population to facilitate domestic investment in the market.
Mrs Tope Omojokun, the President, Fund Managers Association of Nigeria stressed the need to invest in technology to promote capital market inclusion.
According to her, bringing the unbanked into formal finance is key to the development goal in an emerging market.
Mrs Toyin Sanni, the Chief Executive Officer, Emerging Africa Capital Group said that 36 per cent of women and 24 per cent of men were financially excluded.
Sanni listed some of the barriers to women’s financial inclusion to include irregular income, unaffordable cost of financial services and financial literacy constraint, among others.
She suggested a capital market wide quota for women to be represented in boards to enable them contribute to decision making and participation.
Mr Hicham Elalamy, the Executive Director, Support and Development divisions, Moroccan Capital Markets Authority (AMMC) said the authority was producing small modules on capital market.
He said the modules were being given to university teachers in Morocco to foster capital market education among undergraduates, adding that it could be adopted in Nigeria.
Edited By: Grace Yussuf
Minister of Education, Alhaji Adamu Adamu, has ordered a full-scale investigation into the allegation that N2.67 billion meal subsidies to 104 Unity Colleges, found their ways into individuals accounts.
Adamu gave the order in a statement signed by Mr Ben Goong, Director, Press and Public Relations of the ministry in Abuja on Tuesday.
He said that the investigation was to establish the veracity of the claims to ensure that there was no diversion of public funds or misappropriation of same.
The minister said that the ministry would collaborate effectively with ICPC to unearth the facts and find a lasting solution to the payment system for meal subsidies that would ensure accountability and transparency.
The statement also contained responses of principals of the unity colleges to the queries by the ministry.
In response to queries, the principals explained that payments on meal subsidies to their respective colleges on the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System, (GIFMIS) platform, was designed to accommodate individual officers of those colleges who were officially recognised to receive such payments and disburse same to food vendors.
The principals also explained that payments made during the lockdown had to do with debts owed food vendors even before COVID-19, some of which were still pending.
They added that the debts arose from irregular and inadequate budgetary allocations as well as releases over the years.
Edited By: Abiemwense Moru/Abdulfatah Babatunde
Gov. Samuel Ortom of Benue says his administration is doing everything possible to address all pension-related issues in the state.
The governor stated this in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Terver Akase, and made available to newsmen on Sunday in Makurdi.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the governor was reacting to a statement credited to Benue Renaissance Network (BRN), where it said it would impress on the Presidency, the National Assembly and the Governors’ Forum to intervene in the pension issue in the state.
“The state government has been discussing with the pensioners, who have also appreciated the efforts of the governor.
“The present administration inherited a total of N70 billion salaries, pensions and gratuity arrears when it took over in 2015, but has been able to reduce the figure to less than N40 billion.
“In addition, the Ortom administration has domesticated the PENCOM Law in the state, which is a sure way of ending the problem of accumulated pensions and gratuities.
“The group must also appreciate the fact that the government is constrained by the inadequacy of funds to be able to clear the outstanding pensions and gratuities,” he said.
The statement said that it was the earnest desire of the governor to address the pension matter, stressing that he had written to the Federal Government, requesting for assistance to enable him tackle the challenge.
“The governor’s request is currently being processed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), as directed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“The Federal Government is fully aware that the issue of pensions in Benue is not a deliberate attempt to deny the retirees of their entitlements.
“The government at the centre knows that Ortom is genuinely concerned and worried about the matter and has requested for the intervention of Mr President to enable him clear the outstanding pensions and gratuities.
“We, however, wish to correct the wrong impression created by the group in its statement that pensioners, who staged a protest at the Benue Peoples House in 2019 were beaten by thugs. No one manhandled any of the pensioners,” it said.
The statement said that it was on record that at the time the said pensioners staged their protest, the governor was out of the state, but directed that the senior citizens be taken into the Peoples House, accorded respect and given a place to stay, as he was already on his way back to the state.
“Sadly, the pensioners rejected the offer and chose to stay at the gate.
“As soon as the governor arrived, he met with them at the gate, accompanied by top government officials and pleaded with them to come into the Peoples House so they could discuss better.
“In addition, the governor informed them that he had already released over N600 million for the payment of their entitlements.
“The retirees refused to heed the governor’s advice and insisted on staying at the entrance to the Benue Peoples House,” it said.
The statement urged the group to desist from falsehood, such as claiming that the pensioners spent two weeks sleeping at Benue Peoples House gate, when, in truth, they ‘voluntarily’ spent six days.
“While no one will prevent members of the group from expressing their opinions, they should do so without allowing themselves to be used by some politicians to cause mischief and defame other people,” it said.
Edited by ‘Wale Sadeeq