08 Dec

Daily Watch – ECOWAS to debate single currency, Resource Control back on the plate

  • Lawmakers are expected to deliberate on a legislative framework which seeks to grant states the power to control revenues derived from minerals resources during the constitution review exercise which will commence soon. The bill, sponsored by Minority Leader, Leo Ogor during Wednesday plenary session, scaled through second reading on the floor of the House of Representatives. Ogor (PDP-Delta) emphasised the need to amend the Constitution with the view to empower the states to control of the revenues derived from all the mineral resources including oil, natural gas in, under or upon any land in the states of the federation. After a robust debate on the bill whose long title reads: “A bill for an Act to alter the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, to vest the control of the revenues derived from minerals, mineral oils, natural gas in, under or upon any land in the states of the federation,” Speaker Yakubu Dogara referred it to the Special Ad-hoc Committee on Constitution Review, chaired by Yusuf Lasun for further legislative action. Ogor, in his lead debate, said the bill if passed into law will give impetus to government’s efforts to diversify its economy, as states will focus on areas where they have a relative comparative advantage.
  • The CBN has indicated it will go hard on commercial lenders which continue to dole out money from its intervention funds at high interests. Governor Godwin Emefiele warned Participating Financial Institutions (PFIs) in the country against charging double-digit interest on intervention funds guaranteed by the apex bank. “Report any bank that charges you above 9% interest on loans guaranteed by the CBN,” Emefiele told young farmers in Abeokuta as he assured them of the bank’s funding support through their respective PFIs. Data shows that the CBN’s intervention schemes to spur liquidity into the system have hit ₦2.02 trillion. These include the ₦200 billion Commercial Agricultural Credit Schemes, the ₦300 billion Power and Aviation Intervention Fund, the ₦220 billion Micro Small Medium Enterprise Development Fund, the ₦300 billion Real Sector Support Facility and the Nigeria Electricity Market Stabilisation Facility which amounts to ₦213 billion.
  • The ECOWAS Convergence Council will hold an ordinary session on Friday in Abuja to determine the progress made in implementing the road-map of the Community’s Single Currency Programme and adopt the macroeconomic convergence of member States. The Statutory Council would bring together the 15 member states’ Ministers of Finance, Governors of Central Banks, the representatives of the ECOWAS Commission, UEMOA Commissions, West African Monetary Institute, the Monetary Agency of West Africa and the ECOWAS Bank of Investment and Development, according to a statement from the commission’s headquarters in Abuja. The council, the statement said, will also analyse the report of the 48th session of the West African Monetary Agency (AMAO) Committee of Governors.
  • Nigeria has appointed Citigroup, Standard Chartered Bank and Stanbic IBTC Bank as advisers on its planned $1 billion Eurobond, Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun said on Wednesday. Muhammadu Buhari’s cabinet on Wednesday approved the appointment of the advisers following the finance minister’s presentation. They also appointed legal advisers on the deal, Kemi Adeosun told reporters at the end of the Federal Executive Council meeting.
  • The country loses about $1 billion to Business Processing Outsourcing services by both foreign and local companies annually, according to The Nigeria Association of Information Technology Enabled Outsourcing Companies. David Onu, the association’s chairman, told the Nigeria International Outsourcing Conference that of that amount spent annually by public and private sectors, less than 2 percent go to local IT market, mostly in service support. “We are strong and fit for local content. We are asking that we should be given the opportunity to compete. If we can get 20 percent of that $1 billion being spent on both sides, that is about $300 million, it will translate into a huge leap in the economy, improve local content, and more companies will come in and more people employed,” he said. Business Process Outsourcing is the type of outsourcing where organisations contract out the non-core processes of their business to other organisations, leaving them to concentrate on their core business mandates.
  • Nigeria’s first indigenous e-Library, Academix.ng, has reached the 100,000 article milestone, according to its founders. Speaking on the milestone in Calabar, CEO Iso Bassey stated that, “This milestone coming shortly after our one year in business is a result of our commitment to our goal of providing Africa-focused research to the world. It’s an encouragement to do even better. Our goal for 2017 is to hit the 1 million mark.” Bassey noted that “Our portal has had more than 4 million hits from five major countries namely Nigeria, United States of America, United Kingdom, China and Russia within one year of our operation.” Academix.ng was launched on September 1, 2015, to meet a growing demand for African focused knowledge. Academix.ng aggregates and hosts multidisciplinary, Africa-focused research. It features journals, research papers, theses, dissertations and reports. The portal currently has over 108,000 research items and offers subscriptions to individuals and organisations.