Daily Watch – State loans to be restructured, Gold refinery coming up
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has approved a restructuring of existing bank loans owed by state governments from a short-term repayment period of about 7 years to up to 20 years. This is part of the bailout for financially ailing states. Bank loans acquired for salary arrears will also be extended to a minimum of 15 and not more than 20 years. The loan restructure was one of two options presented to state governments by the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, at the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting. States could either take the bond option, which will attract the, higher, market rate; or the debt restructuring option which will attract a single digit rate.
Meanwhile the NEC has admonished state governors to find ways to reduce their cost of governance. Speaking after the council meeting, Lagos state governor Akinwunmi Ambode, said that states could not continue with the huge costs being applied to run the state governments.
The president of the Miners Association of Nigeria, Sani Shehu, has said that the association will establish the first gold refinery in Nigeria next year. The association has concluded arrangements with a gold refinery based in Dubai to establish the refinery in Zamfara State. According to Shehu, with the refinery, which will be fully funded by its counterpart in Dubai, there will be no need for miners to take their gold-ore outside the country for sale or refining.
Growth in Nigeria’s e-commerce industry, which could be worth as much as $10 billion in the near future, is being thwarted by the nation’s feeble logistic infrastructure, and made worse by poor road networks, unending traffic gridlocks and faulty address systems. This is according to industry observers. Nigeria’s e-commerce industry remains more advanced that most e-commerce activities across Africa.