05 Oct

Daily Watch – Fashola tipped to get Works, Bank profits go up

  • Though the list of ministers has not been made public, former Lagos state governor, Tunde Fashola is being tipped to head the Ministry of Works, due to his established reputation for public works, project execution, and achievements in the area of independent power generation and public transportation projects during his time as governor. Former Rivers state governor, Rotimi Amaechi might in the same vein, become the Minister of Education following his role in the transformation of the hitherto derided primary schools in his state to centres of academic excellence and aesthetics and providing a comfortable environment for teaching and learning. His exemplary positioning of Rivers state as a book and literary haven, attracted international attention and applause.
  • Nigeria’s listed banks and holding company (Holdco) financial institutions raked-in a total of N403 billion as pre-tax profit in the first-half (H1) of 2015, representing about 17 percent increase when compared to their 2014 half-year pre-tax profit. This feat comes despite analysts’ expectations that increased regulatory pressure would rub-off negatively on bank’s earnings and is an indication of their resilience instead. The greatest risk, however, according to analysts remains the oil price, given Nigeria’s over-dependence on oil and gas revenues, as asset quality may deteriorate.
  • Kaduna state governor, Nasir El-Rufai, said that while the current administration of Muhammadu Buhari had last week approved an austere N70 million for the celebration at the Federal level, similar exercise had in the past cost Nigeria N13 billion (2011); N15 billion (2012); N14 billion (2013) and N22 billion (2014); all of which took place during the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) government presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan. Analysts say that the approval of N70 million for Nigeria’s 55th Independence anniversary celebration by President Buhari was a clear departure from the ‘squandermania’ that characterised past administrations on such occasions. They also see Buhari’s move as a signal the commitment of the current government to make modesty its watchword. However, Abubakar Sulaiman, the Minister for National Planning during the Goodluck Jonathan administration has disputed El-Rufai’s figures saying that his boss approved only a total of N332.5 million for the years in question.
  • The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has indicted the Ikeja Distribution Company for abuse of processes in its makeshift electricity metering plan, the Credited Advance Payment on Metering Initiative (CAPMI). NERC disclosed that it had fined Ikeja Disco N131.4 million, following its discovery of the company’s ‘flagrant breaches’ of its CAPMI order, the enabling act of the Commission and terms and conditions of its licence.