Business

BPE revs up commercialization of NIPOST, as minister harps on repositioning

By Udeme Akpan THE Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) is being reformed to strengthen and reposition for e-commerce and e-government services, as a strategic response to technological challenges that have affected mail services globally, according to Alhaji Abdur-Raheem Adebayo Shittu, the Minister of Communications. Shittu, who stated this at a meeting with the Director-General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Mr. Alex A. Okoh, said that despite the deteriorating state of NIPOST, it is still viable and has the infrastructure and personnel to provide essential services to Nigerians. He pledged support for BPE’s reform process in NIPOST and expressed optimism that with the large network of NIPOST offices throughout the 774 Local Government Areas in the federatio...

Oando reduces debt position by 24% despite low oil price

By Udeme Akpan DESPITE the low crude oil price in the global market, Oando Plc disclosed that it has reduced its debt position by 24 per cent. The company indicated in a brief obtained by Vanguard that the debt position which stood at N290 billion in the first half of 2016 was reduced to N218 billion in the first half of 2017. “We actively reduced debt position from N290billion in H1 2016 to N218billion in H1 2017, a reduction of 24 per cent. Restructuring the company through a completed five-point strategic roadmap to return our business to profitability – growth, deleverage and profitability – now completed has drastically reduced the company’s debt through many actions.” The company which benchmarked its operations in excess of $100 per barrel indicated that the act...

Global LNG demand to reach 280 mn metric tonnes per year

By Ediri Ejoh & Joseph Oso GLOBAL Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) demand will likely reach 280 million tonnes per annum (MMTPA) in 2017, the largest year-on-year growth since 2011, Bloomberg News Energy Finance said in its latest research report on global LNG outlook. According to the report, the surge is driven by uncertainty of nuclear power generation in Northeast Asia, energy market reforms and concerns on air pollution in China and higher capacity in major exporting regions. The increase in demand is despite disruptions, including Qatar’s rift with Saudi Arabia, demands for export curbs in Eastern Australia and falling demand in Latin America. The report noted that consumption will continue to rise despite an overall fall in cumulative demand of the world’s larges...

The rising National Debt: A case for caution

By  Obadiah MailafiaTHE latest statistics on the national debt indicate that we owe some US$15.05 billion to foreign creditors and a staggering N14.06 trillion to domestic creditors. The recently announced N100 billion sukuk bond with a maturity of 7 years at 9.0% interest comes as an addition to the national growing debt. Let me make it clear that I have nothing against the sukuk bond. In a globalised world economy with growing and diversified financial markets, financial products and services should be structured for all who need them. Same goes for sukuk, which is demanded by Muslim investors. I do not know what became of the proposed request submitted by Federal Government to the National Assembly last year on the plan to borrow the sum of US$29. 960 billion under ...

Antibiotics, household cleaners may spread multidrug resistance

By Chioma Obinna Scientists have found that antibiotic use on people or pets, and use of biocidal cleaning products such as bleach are associated with multidrug resistance in methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in the home. In a study published in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology, they found that this contamination of the home environment may contribute to reinfection of both humans and animals with MRSA, and to subsequent failure of treatment. GRADUATION: From Left: Chairman, Faculty of Family Medicine, Dr. Emmanuel Amao; Faculty of Anaesthesia, Dr. Benjamin Bolaji; College Vice-President, Prof. Opubo da Lilly-Tariah; College President, Prof. Ademola Olaitan and College Treasurer Prof. Stanley An...

Seven Energy finalizes Calabar gas sales agreement to boost power supply

SEVEN Energy International Limited, the leading integrated gas company in south east Nigeria, with upstream oil and gas interests in the region, and its wholly-owned subsidiaries, Seven Energy Finance Limited and Accugas Limited, has announced that all the conditions precedent to the long term Gas Sales Agreement for the supply of gas by Accugas Limited to the Calabar Nigerian Integrated Power Project (the “Calabar GSA”) have been satisfied. It added that the start date of the Calabar GSA was September 22, 2017. The Calabar GSA is supported by a World Bank Partial Risk Guarantee (“PRG”). The PRG, which has the backing of the Federal Government of Nigeria, is a financial instrument that will secure the supply of up to 131 million cubic feet per day (“MMcfpd”) of natural...

FIRS, ICAN disagree over 10-year pioneer status to new firms

By Henry UmoruABUJA— THERE was a sharp disagreement, yesterday, between Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, and Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, ICAN, over Senate’s move to alter the Company Income Tax Act, CITA, that seeks to increase pioneer status to new companies in Nigeria from five to 10 years. While FIRS opposed the proposal, ICAN supported it, just as the two institutions expressed disagreements on the proposal at a public hearing organised by the Senate Committee on Finance on the Company Income Tax Act, CITA. In his presentation, Executive Chairman of FIRS, Mr Babatunde Fowler, who agreed with the current provision in CITA, which gives five year tax holidays to new industries, however, argued that giving further incentive to companies would lea...

Our worsening poverty outlook

WHEN the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, announced that the Gross Domestic Product, GDP, grew by a mere 0.55 per cent in the Second Quarter (Q2) of this year, after declining by -0.91 per cent in the First Quarter (Q1), Nigeria’s official score-keeper revealed one unpleasant fact which many of us missed. Nigeria’s poverty level is very high Given a recession and a cumulative negative growth so far this year, combined with a population growing at about three per cent, our per capita income has dropped further. In other words, the average Nigerian is poorer today than in 2014. Furthermore, with no growth in the first half of 2017, the GDP growth expected when the budget was prepared has now been revised downwards officially to 1.9 per cent. But the Federal Government...

CD tasks Obiano on security

By Chimaobi Nwaiwu THE Campaign for  Democracy, CD, has raised the alarm over what it described as deteriorating security in some locations of the state that may affect the peaceful conduct of the November governorship election and urged Governor Willie Obiano to rejig the Operation Kpochapu which sanitized Upper Iweke when he newly assumed office as the state Governor. Obiano The CD also urged the people of Anambra State to ensure that they vote in a candidate that will ensure that their rights are not violated.  National Publicity Secretary of CD, Dede Uzo, who made the call in an interview with Vanguard in Onitsha, said that violent criminals are returning at Upper Iweka, Menacks Area in Fegge, Onitsha Main Market, in the name of hit squad and taskforce men, saying ...

Ajimobi condems alleged violence at Olubadan’s palace

Ibadan Gov. Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State has condemned the alleged act of brigandage that occurred during a ceremony at the palace of the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji on Monday. Ajimobi-Olubadan In a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Communications and Strategy, Mr Yomi Layinka, the governor directed security agencies to ensure that the masterminds are swiftly arrested, interrogated and brought to justice. He vowed not to brook anyone or group of people desirous of bringing back the regime of violence and brigandage to the state. Ajimobi reiterated his commitment to the security and protection of lives and properties of all citizens of Oyo State, which he said that his administration laboured hard to restore and maintain in the last six years. Fiv...

Okowa charges rural dwellers on devt project

By Gab EjuwaKoko—GOVERNOR Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State has urged communities to assist government through developmental projects to better the lives of rural dwellers. Gov. Okowa He spoke just as Mrs Mary Diden, his Special Adviser on Women Mobilisation, urged women to continue to support Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and Governor Okowa’s SMART AGENDA. Mrs Diden, the wife of member representing Warri North Local Government Area in the state’s House of Assembly, gave the charge in Koko, during a sensitisation programme she organised for rural women. Her words: “There is no alternative to Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the state and the country at large. “The absence of PDP at the national level has brought untold hardship to the entire country.” On his part, Governo...

Buhari’s anti-corruption fight yielding results – Okotie

By Festus AhonASABA—A frontline governorship aspirant in Delta State on the platform of All Progressives Congress, APC, Olorogun Osiobe Okotie, has said that President Muhammad Buhari’s fight against corruption and his economic policies have started  yielding results. Okotie, who addressed newsmen at the Osubi  Airport on his return from a consultative visit abroad, stressed the need for Nigerians to support the President’s decision to stamp out corruption from the country. He said that he was in the governorship race to emancipate Deltans from economic hardship occasioned by unemployment and lack of conducive business environment. Okotie thanked party faithful for their support and show of love, adding that he was being urged to contest the governorship election by pr...