04 Dec

Daily Watch – Union prepares for showdown with NPA over plans to cut 5000 jobs, MTN to seek further reduction of fine

  • The naira fell 1.22 percent against the American dollar at the unofficial market on Thursday as nearly half of bureaux de change operators failed to get dollar supply at a central bank sale due to incomplete documentation, traders said.
  • The National Association of Stevedoring Companies has kicked against the decision by the Nigerian Ports Authority to lay off 5,000 tally clerks and on-board security men. President of NASC, Bolaji Sunmola, said since the NPA was ready to throw thousands of workers into the labour market alongside their employers, the matter would be taken to the Federal Ministry of Transport for resolution. The NPA had indicated on November 10 that it would disengage tally clerks and on-board security men by December 15.
  • The NCC has cut the $5.2 billion fine imposed on the MTN Group by 35%. MTN are to pay to $3.4 billion by December 31. This came furious lobbying for a lower penalty by the South African mobile phone company. “Shareholders are advised that, after further engagements with the Nigerian Authorities, the NCC has reduced the imposed fine,” MTN said. The announcement followed the resignation of MTN Nigeria’s CEO, Michael Ikpoki, and the Head of Regulatory and Corporate Affairs, Akinwale Goodluck, who both left the company immediately. Meanwhile, a source familiar with the matter has told the Reuters news agency that the company will lobby for a further reduction in the fine.
  • Akwa Ibom state has signed a partnership agreement with a South African firm, H.O Oil Food Consulting Limited, to start a coconut refinery in the state. State governor, Udom Emmanuel, said that the agreement was a major step toward his administration’s industrialization drive. For him, it was a first step for the birth of an oil processing plant in Akwa Ibom State. The refinery, according to Emmanuel, will produce both palm kernel and coconut oil. This, he added, is in line with his administration’s policy of wealth creation, employment generation and sustainable development.
  • The EFCC has arraigned Patrick Akpobolokemi, former Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency before the Federal High Court, Lagos, on a 30-count charge bordering on conspiracy, fraudulent conversion of funds and money laundering. Arraigned alongside Akpobolokemi were seven staff of the agency, including Ezekiel Agaba, Executive Director, Ekene Nwakuche, Felix Bob-Nabena, Captain Warredi Enisuoh, Governor Amechee Juan, Ugo Frederick, Timi Alari, Alkenzo Limited and Penniel Engineering Services Limited.