07 Nov

Daily Watch – Senate demands monthly oil reports, Ericsson Nigeria downsizes

  • The Senate has asked the DPR to prepare daily records of oil and gas production and sale in the country and forward to them monthly. The Senate Committee on Petroleum (Upstream) said the records will include those of petroleum industry activities, data on seismic activities, crude oil production, lifting, allocations, exports by destination and receipts, gas production, utilisation, sales, transmission and exports. Committee chairman, Senator Tayo Alasoadura, said the data would give Senators an opportunity to have a deeper understanding of activities in the petroleum sector.
  • Financial experts say the naira may not fall below 475 to the United States dollar between now and end of December. According to two respected money experts, declining dollar demand and efforts by the CBN to boost the supply of foreign exchange will tacitly prop up the currency. “It appears the exchange rate has got to the peak, which is something around 470/dollar. I think the naira may not go beyond 475/dollar between now and end of December,” Kunle Ezun, currency strategist at Ecobank Nigeria said. He added that holidaymakers returning to Nigeria for the Christmas holidays would add to dollar supply, reducing the currency volatility created by the forex scarcity. For CEO, Cowry Asset Management, Johnson Chukwu, declining economic activities will weigh on forex demand. This, coupled with efforts being made by the regulator to boost forex supply, will make the naira-dollar exchange rate to remain around the 470 mark in the coming weeks, according to him.
  • The Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria has again warned that the proposed plan by the FG to impose a special tax of 9% for the use of communication services would only succeed in worsening the prevailing high cost of doing business in the country. The group during a visit to Senate President, Bukola Saraki, asked the federal government to drop the plan to tax every phone call made, text message sent and data used by Nigerians. According to ATCON, the bill potentially creates and raises the issue of double taxation since the VAT Act already imposes tax of 5% on the supply of goods and services, calling for the suspension of the bill to allow for the rapid growth of the telecommunications sector in line with the Nigerian National Broadband Plan.
  • Nigeria has been rated second most developed pay-TV market in Africa. This is the main takeaway from Frost & Sullivan’s “Pay-TV, Video-on-Demand, and IPTV Growth Opportunities in Africa” report which studies the South African, Nigerian and Kenyan markets. According to the market analyst firm, the pay-TV, video-on-demand (VOD), and Internet Protocol television (IPTV) services market is growing rapidly as significant Internet penetration and smartphone adoption in Africa alter the manner in which consumers view content. It notes growth will be augmented by the availability of cheaper digital terrestrial television services, data-saving video consumption options and attractively packaged triple-play services. According to Frost & Sullivan, MultiChoice DStv and GOtv, and StarTimes are among the leading pan-African pay-TV operators, while IROKOtv, ShowMax and Netflix lead the VOD space. It points out that despite DStv’s dominance, South Africa has the most developed pay-TV market, whereas triple-play services are more developed in Kenya. It points out that partnerships between pay-TV operators and telecommunication companies are expected to gain traction as this extends the reach of pay-TV services while enabling telecommunication service providers to capture new revenue streams.
  • The Lagos State Pension Commission said it paid another set of 333 retirees the sum of ₦1.5 billion in October. According to a statement obtained on Sunday, LASPEC said the beneficiaries were from the mainstream civil service, local governments, state Universal Basic Education Board, teachers’ establishment and pensions office as well as other parastatals of the state government. The Director-General, LASPEC, Folashade Onanuga, said that since monthly payment of accrued pension rights started in August 2015, the administration had been able to pay the cumulative sum of ₦20.98 billion to a total number of 4,799 retirees under the Contributory Pension Scheme in the last 15 months.
  • Ericsson Nigeria has served its Nigerian employees termination notices which are to take effect from the end of this November, the Nigeria Communications Week reports. According to the online tech blog, the affected workers work in the Network Operating Centre of the company and they have been required to do an operations transfer to an Indian firm who will take over their current job roles. The blog had reported that Ericsson carried out a similar exercise when it laid off some of its Nigerian staff in July when some part of MTN managed services handled by Ericsson was moved to India. It is understood that this current set of layoff also involve the same Indian firm, which the report does not name.