17 Mar

Daily Watch – Kano pure water businesses claim 2 million job losses, Fuel scarcity may linger over forex

  • The downturn in the economy is hitting small businesses hardest. This is shown in the packed water (pure water) industry, as Muktar Tata, the secretary-general of Kano’s Association of Sachet Water Producers claims that up to two million youths within the industry may soon be out of job in Kano state alone. Tata said that this is because many producers have been compelled to fold up due to the increase in the price of the polythene bags used for packaging. According to Tata, polythene bags which sold for N480,000 per ton in January, now sell for N1.1 million per tonne, forcing 60 percent of the factories in Kano to closes, and severely affecting jobs.
  • NUPENG wants the NNPC and the CBN to provide foreign exchange to oil marketers in order to end the ongoing petrol scarcity. Tokunbo Korodo, the southwest chairman of the union, said that NNPC, as a sole importer of petrol, could not distribute the product nationwide. According to Korodo, most oil marketers could no longer import petrol into the country because they could not access foreign exchange. He said that most oil depots in the country depend on what NNPC gives them for distribution to tanker drivers. This system, according to Korodo, has led to concentration of petroleum tankers in private depots and resulted to gridlocks. The gridlocks at the depots result in the drivers spending close to 10 days before getting the product.
  • Nigeria’s 2016 budget may be hurt by low production levels, OPEC has confirmed. According to secondary sources highlighted by OPEC, Nigeria’s production levels fell by 94,200 barrels per day to a daily production of 1.754 million barrels. However, direct communications with Nigeria shows that the country’s production levels fell by over 123,000 barrels in February, to close produce at 1.881 million barrels per day. This means that Nigeria is at least 319,000 barrels short of its expected daily production, translating to $12.122 million revenue loss on a daily basis. At these production levels, government revenue may experience a deficit of $4.4 billion (N871 billion), threatening the availability of resources for implementation of budget 2016.
  • Community leaders and traders in the Mile 12 area have agreed with Lagos’s plan to relocate the market to another “suitable and more convenient location” within the state. The leaders and traders also consented to the ban on use of commercial motorcycles as a means of transportation in the area. The decision became imperative owing to the fact that the Mile 12 Market which had been in existence for decades has outgrown its present location and available infrastructure, hence the need to reason with government. At a press conference, the traders and community leaders said they were in total support of the ban on bikes because of the flagrant disobedience to traffic laws by the riders and the frequent road accidents which had resulted in many deaths and left many hospitalized. The recent ethnic clash between the Yoruba and the Hausa in the area was set off by motorcycle riders.
  • The liabilities of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria have jumped to N6.6 trillion, the House of Representatives was told on Wednesday. An ad hoc committee of the House of Representatives heard that the liabilities rose after AMCON bought off bad loans in the value of N3.3 trillion. It paid N1.7 trillion for the loans. In addition, AMCON is already indebted to the CBN to the tune of N4.5 trillion. These figures came to light when the committee met with the Director of Banking Operations, CBN, Tokunbo Martins. The committee, which is chaired by Albert Adeogun, is investigating reported sale of banks by AMCON in “fraudulent” circumstances. The CBN said it was monitoring the liabilities of AMCON to ensure that it remained manageable prior to its winding down in 2024.