18 Apr

Daily Watch – Buhari comes back from China with goodies, Mobile payments grow

  • President Buhari’s five-day working visit to China has yielded additional investments in Nigeria exceeding $6 billion. Garba Shehu, one of the President’s spokesmen, said that the several agreements concluded with the Chinese during the visit would have a huge and positive impact on Nigerian economy’s key sectors like power, solid minerals, agriculture, housing and rail transportation. In the power sector, North South Power Company Limited and Sinohydro Corporation Limited signed an agreement valued at $478,657,941.28 for the construction of 300 megawatts solar power in Shiriro, Niger State. In the solid minerals sector, Granite and Marble Nigeria Limited and Shanghai Shibang signed an agreement valued at $55 million for the construction and equipping of granite mining plant in Nigeria. A total of $1 billion is to be invested in the development of a greenfield expressway for Abuja-Ibadan-Lagos under an agreement reached by the Infrastructure Bank and Sinohydro Corporation Limited. For the housing sector, both companies also sealed a $250 million deal to develop an ultra modern 27-storey high rise complex and a $2.5 billion agreement for the development of the Lagos Metro Rail Transit Red Line project. Other agreements announced and signed during the visit include a $1 billion for the establishment of a hi-tech industrial park in Ogun-Guangdong Free Trade Zone in Igbesa, Ogun State; the Ogun-Guangdong Free Trade Zone and CNG (Nigeria) Investment Limited also signed an agreement valued at $200 million for the construction of two 500 MT/day float gas facilities; an agreement valued at $363 million for the establishment of a comprehensive farm and downstream industrial park in Kogi state was also announced at the Nigeria-China business forum; a $500 million project for the provision of television broadcast equipment and a $25 million facility for production of pre-paid smart meters between Mojec International Limited and Microstar Company Limited. About 100 Nigerian businesses and 300 Chinese firms participated in the Nigeria-China business forum which took place a day after President Buhari began his visit to China.
  • Only 11 of Nigeria’s 36 states improved their internally generated revenue, IGR, in 2015. The NBS in its latest IGR report named Ogun, Anambra, Borno, Edo, Bauchi, Abia, Kogi, Nasarawa, Niger, Taraba and Sokoto as the only states that bettered their 2014 records of revenue generation performance in 2015. IGR earnings in 24 other states declined from the levels attained the previous year. The 24 states that performed poorly included Kwara, Imo, Bayelsa, Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Benue, Cross River, Delta, Ekiti, Enugu, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Lagos, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Plateau, Rivers, Yobe, and Zamfara. Ebonyi was the only state whose internally generated revenue records were not available. Overall performance of the 36 states showed that the total IGR realised for the year dropped by 3.69 percent, from N707.86 billion in 2014 to N682.67 billion.
  • Pan-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, has rejected the Grazing Commission Bill proposed by the National Assembly to address the constant violence between farmers and Fulani herdsmen in different parts of the country. Afenifere described the Bill as “anti-people.” The Bill proposes the establishment of the National Grazing Commission which will preserve and control the national grazing reserves and livestock routes and other matters related to it. Afenifere’s leader, Reuben Fasoranti, said the Bill, which empowered the commission to acquire any land anywhere in the country, would violate the subsisting Land Use Act and traditional means of land holding if enacted. He noted that the Bill was being proposed allegedly to favour the business of the Fulani herdsmen at the expense of the farmers whose farms were always destroyed by the Fulani’s cows in some other parts of the country.
  • Mobile payments recorded their highest monthly transaction, N6.5 billion. in March, indicating increased adoption of mobile devices for payments. The Nigeria Interbank Settlement System announced this in the electronic payment report posted on its website. The report revealed that the value of transactions through mobile payment grew faster than other channels between January and March this year. In terms of value, mobile payment grew by 51 percent from N4.3 billion in January to N6.5 billion in March. On a yearly basis, mobile payments recorded the second highest growth, after the NIBSS Instant Payment. From March 2015 to March 2016, the value of mobile payments rose 75.6 percent from N3.7 billion to N6.5 billion. In terms of volume, mobile payments grew by 55 percent to 190,277 in March from 121,940 in January. Compared to the volume in March 2015, mobile payment grew by 146 percent from 77,185 March 2015, to 190,277 in March 2016.