15 Sep

Daily Watch – Orijin goes global, Agric imports surge to ₦960 billion

  • Nigeria’s agricultural import bill hit ₦960 billion in Q2 2016, after a fall in the value of the naira against the US dollar which shot up the cost of imported items, NBS data shows. The value of agricultural import increased by ₦360 billion or 60 percent from ₦600 billion in Q1 2016 to ₦960 billion in Q2 2016. “Increase in import value can be traced to a decline in the value of the naira,” the foreign trade report stated. The naira has weakened about 40 percent to ₦315.25 against the dollar on the official market; while it trades at about ₦425 at the parallel market after the central bank removed a currency peg of ₦197-₦199 on June 20. The total value of imports in Q2 2016 stood at ₦2.1 trillion, an increase of 38 percent from the preceding quarter; our main import sources being China, Netherlands, United States, India and the United Kingdom.
  • The NCC says it has discovered 41 unlicensed ISPs operating in the country. In its ‘2016 Q1 Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement Reports’, the regulator said its surveillance and intelligence gathering showed that some financial institutions had engaged these illegal providers for their Internet and data services. According to the report, in line with the commission’s compliance processes, the banks were requested to provide the names and details of their service providers. In a related development, the regulator says it has commenced the process of licensing five companies to provide transmission infrastructure services in a bid to increase broadband penetration in the country. According to a notice issued on its web portal, the InfraCo licensees will deploy metropolitan optic fibre infrastructure and associated transmission equipment on an open access, non-discriminatory and price-regulated basis in the regions.
  • BVN enrolment for savings, fixed and current accounts in the country has peaked at 46.39 million. According to the industry data by the NIBSS, the figure was attained at the end of August from July’s record of 36.79 million. The numbers indicated that in August alone, 9.6 million new BVNs were enrolled for the reactivation of existing unregistered commercial accounts as well as Nigerians newly domiciling their accounts with banks across the country. Comparatively, year-on-year turn-up of commercial bank accounts holders towards the registration of the unique identity has grown 238 percent compared with the 13.74 million obtained the same period in 2015.
  • The Nigeria Customs Service has collected ₦95.7 billion in August, its highest collection in the last 10 months. Its Public Relations Unit on its website yesterday, said: “Last month, August 2016, the Service recorded the highest revenue in 10 years despite the Forex difficulty, low imports and general economic downturn. The Service generated ₦95,760,763,642.04, a feat that points to the efficacy of the Comptroller-General’s policy thrust.” According to the statement, a renewed emphasis has been placed on a strict adherence to customs codes and clearance procedures, smuggling suppression and revenue collection.
  • Guinness Nigeria plans to increase exports to improve sales and generate more foreign exchange as Nigeria’s second-largest brewer battles to overcome an economic slump in its home market. The unit of global drinks firm, Diageo, will consider selling Guinness stout and the herbal drink Orijin in South Africa to boost the proportion of beverages it sends to international markets, CEO Peter Ndegwa said in an interview with Bloomberg. That will help resolve the brewer’s shortage of foreign currency in Nigeria, which the beverage maker needs to pay for imported goods. Earnings after tax fell 83 percent in the nine months through March, while revenue dropped 18 percent to ₦69.6 billion ($220 million). The shares are down 17 percent this year, compared with a 3.7 percent fall in the NSE All-Share Index.