Business News in Brief

Nigeria’s External Reserves hits $46b

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says the nation’s external reserves currently stand at $46 billion.

Latest figures obtained from the apex bank indicate that the reserves grew by about $3.2 billion between February and March 2018.

The reserves at the beginning of 2018 stood at $39.3 billion, then rose to $42.8 in February before hitting the new high of $46 billion as at the close of work on Friday, March 9.

NAICOM takes over Unic Insurance Plc

The insurance sector on Friday avoided a catastrophic fall of one of its stakeholders after the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) confirmed it had taken over the management of Unic Insurance Plc to reposition the company for better performance.

NAICOM’s spokesman, Mr Rasaaq Salami, said in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos that the takeover became imperative to rescue the company from distress.

Salami said the commission had subsequently appointed an interim board to manage the affairs of Unic Insurance Plc for the next six months.

CBN Warns Nigerians on Investment in Cryptocurrencies

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has again cautioned Nigerians to be wary of investments in crypto currency as they are virtual currencies that are not legal tender in Nigeria.

The Bank’s Acting Director, Corporate Communications, Mr Isaac Okoroafor, in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja, said crypto currencies such as Bitcoin, Ripples, Monero, Litecoin, Dogecoin, Onecoin, and Exchanges such as NairaEx were not licensed or regulated by the CBN.

Barclays Africa Lifts Profit, Looks to Nigeria for Growth

Barclays Africa Group, South Africa’s No.2 lender by market value, plans to extend its reach throughout the continent, it said on Thursday after posting annual profit up nearly 4 percent.

Chief Executive Maria Ramos said the bank, which is changing its name back to South African brand Absa after its split from former parent Barclays, aims to enter Nigeria as it seeks to lift its share of the African market to 12 percent from 6 percent over the medium term.

Finance Director Jason Quinn told Reuters that Nigeria has been in its sights for some time.

Teleology Preferred Bidder for Nigeria’s 9mobile –Sources

Teleology Holdings Limited has emerged as preferred bidder for Nigeria’s fourth largest telecoms firm 9mobile and has been asked to pay a deposit of $50 million in March, two sources with knowledge of the deal told Reuters.

Nigerian regulators had set a Jan. 16 deadline to receive binding offers to acquire the debt-laden company. It had said five prospective bidders were in the running.

China Development Bank, UBA Sign $100m Facility for African SMEs

China Development Bank (CDB), the world’s largest development finance institution, and United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc have announced the signing of a $100 million seven-year loan agreement to finance the development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Africa.

The $100 million loan will enhance UBA’s capacity to provide access to finance to small and medium enterprises across the 19 African countries where UBA currently operates.

Buhari Re-appoints Awolowo as NEPC Boss

Mr Olusegun Awolowo has been re-appointed as the Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC).

President Muhammadu Buhari approved his re-appointment, Mr. Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President (Media and Publicity), said on Wednesday.

He said in a statement that a letter signed by Mr Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, said the appointment lasts for four years.

Mr Awolowo, a lawyer and scion of the Obafemi Awolowo family, was first appointed to the NEPC position in 2013.

CBN gives Banks Two Weeks to Settle Complaints

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed banks and other financial institutions to settle customers’ complaints within two weeks.

The apex bank’s order touches on issues of overcharge, unauthorised deductions and other matters.

Mr Tajudeen Ahmed, The CBN Head of Complaints Management Division, said on Tuesday in Abuja the decision would ensure that banks’ customers received redress on issues of excess charges or unauthorised withdrawal.

NDDC to Train 100 Youths in Automobile Technology, Maintenance

The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) says it will train 100 men and women in automobile technology at Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Company, Nnewi, an official said.

Sen. Victor Ndoma-Egba, NDDC’s Board Chairman, made this known in a statement issued by the commission’s Director, Corporate Affairs, Mr Ibitoye Abosede, in Port Harcourt.

Ndoma-Egba, was quoted as disclosing this when he led a delegation to visit Innoson factory at Nnewi, Anambra.

Nigeria, third best in Data Submission –OPEC

The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has commended Nigeria for ranking third among member countries in data submission.

Dr Omar Ibrahim, OPEC Governor for Nigeria, disclosed this at the OPEC Data Management Training Workshop in Abuja, on Monday.

He said Nigeria has done well in the provision of credible data in the Oil and Gas sector.

“For some time, our record at data submission and also the accuracy of data, hasn’t been good in OPEC.