Fuel Subsidy: Open market price of petrol hits N183 per litre

The increment in the price of crude oil at the international market has pushed the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) landing cost to N160 per litre.

Our correspondent learnt in Abuja that the landing cost was N160 as at Thursday , the open market price has also jumped to N183 per litre.

The open market price is the expected price at the pump stations. The additional N23 is the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) pricing template component.

With payment of additional N23 as contained in the PPPRA pricing template and national consumption figure of about 50 million litres daily, the Federal Government now offsets about N1.1 billion on consumption of petrol in the country daily if the situation remains the same going forward.

Meanwhile, a source in the petroleum industry has called for the establishment of a special account in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for the importation of petroleum products.

He argued that such a special fund would make foreign exchange readily available to marketers that want to import the product as a smart move of breaking the state monopoly the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has assumed.

He said: “The creation of this special fund will ensure that the NNPC is no longer bogged down by importation of petroleum products which is not its core business. There are very serious businesses that the corporation should be engaging in that can benefit Nigeria as a country more than importing products, which the private sector is most suited to do. NNPC engaging in petrol importation is not without some underhand practices that are draining the country.

“The time has come for the NNPC itself to push for its exit from importation of petroleum importation business to boost efficiency in its core business areas. The creation of a special fund will encourage more marketers to come into the fray and that is most likely to lead to reduction in the pump price.”

Indeed, from August 2020, there was a Federal Gazette that forbade the PPPRA from interfering in the prices of petroleum products. However, the gazette stated the role of the PPPRA to include intervention where the agency finds the prices too high and unjustifiable.

This scenario presents where all operators including marketers are able to defend their prices in clear manner to avoid sanctions by the PPPRA.

PPPRA’s PMS pricing is made up of two parts. The first part is the product/importation cost (cost, insurance and freight) and the second aspect is the local distribution margins (cost of distribution and return on investment).

Product cost is the cost of one metric tonne of petroleum product in US Dollars as quoted on Platts (S&P Global Platts). Freight is the average cost of transporting (30kt) cargo from North West Europe (NWE) to West Africa (WAF).

Lightering is the ship-to-ship local freight charge incurred on the trans-shipment of imported petroleum products from the mother vessel into daughter vessel to allow for the onward movement of the vessel into the jetty.

The Nigeria Port Authority (NPA) charges cargo dues (harbor handling charge) for use of its port facilities, while the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) charges for marine pollution prevention and control, and cabotage enforcement.

Jetty Throughput Charge refers to the tariff paid for the use of facilities at the jetty by marketers to move products from the jetties to storage depots. Storage charge is for depot operations covering storage charges and other services rendered by the depot owners.

Financing refers to stock finance (cost of fund) for the imported product. It includes cargo financing based on 25 per cent of landing cost details of the distribution margins on the PPPRA pricing template. These include Transporters Allowance (NTA), which entails the contribution to/reimbursement from the fund to defray the cost of local transportation of petroleum products within the same zone.

Local delivery is based on a transportation differential zone map and retailer is the allowable margin to retailers of petroleum products after considering the overhead cost and other running costs, while wholesale refers to the allowable margin to importers of petroleum products after considering the overhead cost and other running costs and administration charge goes to the PPPRA as payment for its interventions.

Maiden ship assembled in Akwa Ibom is expected to be ready come January 23, 2021.

With maritime development as part of the crux of the Completion Agenda of Governor Udom Emmanuel.
The Liberty Free Trade Zone licence and the Ibom Deep Seaport licence recently acquired through the ingenuity of Mr Emmanuel, attest to the readiness of the state to become a melting point in marine transport business.

Subsequently, berthing in Akwa Ibom is the first ship manufacturing yard in Oruk Anam, with capacity to produce security vessels, cargo ships, ferries and barges.

Norfin Offshore Shipyard, located at Oruk Anam local government, is ready to launch its first Nigerian produced vessel on the January 23, 2021. His Excellency, Mr Udom Emmanuel will be on ground to flag it open and further open the vista to more opportunities for the teaming youths of the state.

Charles Udonwa, an Akwa Ibom born ship merchant, is the chairman of the ship manufacturing factory has assured that in the next three years, the factory which is currently engaging 85 will have well over 3,000 young people in its workforce.

Members of Government House Media Team, including the Governor’s Special Assistant on Media (Research and Documentation), Mr. Essien Ndueso, visited the Shipyard to assess the progress of work at the factory.

Conducting the team round the facility, the Chairman and CEO of the company, Engr. Udonwa explained that finishing touches were being put to the vessel by the technical unit of the company, assuring that by next week, the vessel would wear a new look in readiness for its launch into the sea.

Also in the team were the Special Assistant to the Governor on ICT, Engr. Solomon Eyo and the Special Assistant on Project Monitoring to the Governor, Mrs. Josephine Bassey as well as members of the Research and Documentation Team.

Media Unit
Govt House,Uyo
12/01/21

The value of the Naira against the Dollar moved southwards on Thursday at the Investors and Exporters (I&E) and the black market segments of the foreign exchange market.

This was mainly influenced by the significant rise in the demand for forex at the market windows.

Data harvested by Business Post showed that at the I&E window, transactions worth $215.63 million were carried out compared with the $17.23 million recorded the preceding day, indicating a rise of $198.4 million or 1,151.5 per cent.

This put pressure on the local currency yesterday, causing it to depreciate by 0.34 per cent or N1.34 to close the day at N394.67/$1 as against N393.33/$1 it finished on Wednesday.

Also, at the parallel market, the Naira gave up N1 against the American currency as it sold at N475/$1 in contrast to N474/$1 it was exchanged on Wednesday.

At the same unregulated FX market segment, the local currency lost N3 against the Pound Sterling to settle at N640/£1 in contrast to N637/£1 it settled at the day before. However, the Naira remained unchanged against the Euro to close at N580/€1.

At the interbank and Bureaux De Change (BDC) segments of the market, the Nigerian currency further traded flat against the American Dollar, closing at N379/$1 and N395/$1 at respectively.

Meanwhile, at the cryptocurrency market, Bitcoin (BTC) rallied as its value moved up by 4.4 per cent to trade at N18,637,999.99. The Ethereum rose by 9.4 per cent to sell at N591,671, the Litecoin (LTC) appreciated by 5.5 per cent to trade at N73,885.08, while Tron (TRX) gained 1.7 per cent to sell at N14.42.

On the loser’s end, Dash (DASH) depreciated by 2.9 per cent to sell at N63,439.57, Ripple (XRP) went down by 1.5 per cent to trade at N141.97, while the US Dollar Tether (USDT) fell by 1.3 per cent to trade at N482.40.

<p class="has-drop-cap" value="<amp-fit-text layout="fixed-height" min-font-size="6" max-font-size="72" height="80">A Federal High Court in Lagos Monday ordered Emirates Airlines to pay $1.36million to a businessman Mr Orji Prince Ikem being the amount contained in his hand luggage which went missing in the airline’s custody during a 2007 China trip.A Federal High Court in Lagos Monday ordered Emirates Airlines to pay $1.36million to a businessman Mr Orji Prince Ikem being the amount contained in his hand luggage which went missing in the airline’s custody during a 2007 China trip.

Justice Muslim Hassan also ordered Emirates Airlines to pay Ikem N50million as damages for the “untold hardship and loss of earning” he suffered by the deprivation of use of his money from 2007 till date.

The judgment followed the plaintiff’s nearly 12 years battle to recover two hand luggage containing personal effects and $700,000, as well as $930,000 in 18 bundles of $50,000 wraps each and $30,000 cash not in wrap.

The court heard that the $930,000 belonged to another businessman, Olisaemeka Ugwunze, who wanted it delivered in China for purchases.

The plaintiff told the court through his counsel, Chris Ekemezie, that at the departure lounge of the Murtala Muhammad International Airport Ikeja, Emirates Airlines staff requested that he handed the luggage to them for safe keeping in the cockpit, but he refused and insisted on keeping them himself.

They insisted on keeping the luggage for him considering the huge amount of money contained therein and that on arrival destination, the two bags would be handed over to him.

After a prolonged argument and in order not to miss his flight he yielded and handed over the two hand carry-on bags to them, and they were tagged with tag numbers EK428682 and EK428683 respectively.

That was the last time he saw the bags and the money. On his arrival in Guangzhou, the airline could not account for his four pieces of luggage.

Ruling on the plaintiff’s prayers for the return of the $1.36m and N100m general damages, Justice Hassan observed that the airline, through its counsel Prof Awah Kalu SAN, failed to refute Ikem’s claims.

The judge held: “I have read all the processes filed by both parties as well as their agreements and resolved that the only issue for determination is whether the plaintiff is entitled to the reliefs sought before this court.

“A claim not controverted is deemed admitted, in this case the defendants did not call witness but rather rests it case on that of the plaintiff which mean that all what the plaintiff claimed and their pleadings are admitted.

“I hold that Emirate Airlines failed in his obligations to customer by not delivering the luggage containing the sum of $1.36m.

“On the whole I hereby make the following orders; an order that Emirates Airlines pay the plaintiff the sum of $1.36m.

“An order that the defendant pay the sum of fifty million Naira (N50m) to the defendant as damages.

“Parties shall bear their own respective costs.”

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has approved an increase in electricity tariff across the country.

According to a directive issued on December 31, 2020, and signed by Sanusi Garba, NERC chairman, the new tariff will take effect from January 1.

The commission stated that the new tariff will be enforced until the issuance of another minor review order or an extraordinary tariff review order by the commission.

The NERC said some of the indices considered for the upward review include Nigeria’s inflation rate, exchange rate, US rate of inflation, available generation capacity, gas price, MDA losses and capex adjustment.

“This order supersedes ORDER/NERC/ 202B/2020 and shall take effect from January 1, 2021, and shall cease to have effect on the issuance of a new minor review order or an extraordinary tariff review order by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (“NERC” or the “commission”),” the commission said.

“The actual average monthly inflation rate of 13.1% for the period January to November 2020 was used for review of the year 2020 tariffs, while, the November 2020 inflation rate of 14.9% as obtained from the NBS was adopted to project Nigerian inflation rates for the year 2021 and beyond.

“In line with the MYTO Methodology, the CBN official exchange rates plus a premium of 1% were used for the retroactive review of the year 2020. Accordingly, average NGN/USD exchange rate (+1%) for the period 1st January 2020 to December 15, 2020, of N360.8 was used to review the year 2020 tariffs. The NAFEX closing NGN/USD exchange rate (+1%) of N397.44 as at December 29, 2020, was adopted to project NGN/USD exchange rate for 2021 and beyond.

“The year 2020 projection on available generation is maintained for the first half (Jan-Jun) of 2021 to account for the impact of the delay in the implementation of MYTO-2020. No change was applied to generation projections from July 2021 and beyond.

<p class="has-drop-cap has-vivid-red-color has-text-color" value="<amp-fit-text layout="fixed-height" min-font-size="6" max-font-size="72" height="80">“A benchmark gas price of $2.50/MMBTU, gas transportation cost of $0.80/MMBTU and gas prices outside the regulated rates for GenCos with effective gas sale agreements (“GSAs”) were maintained.”“A benchmark gas price of $2.50/MMBTU, gas transportation cost of $0.80/MMBTU and gas prices outside the regulated rates for GenCos with effective gas sale agreements (“GSAs”) were maintained.”

In November 2020, the electricity distribution companies (DisCos) began implementation of a service-based reflective tariff (SRT) structure nationwide after receiving approval from President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Association of Bureau De Change Operators (ABCON) has appealed to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to make BDCs payout agents for diaspora remittances.

According to information from Abokifx – a prominent FX tracking website, at the black?market where forex is traded unofficially,?the Naira remained stable against the Dollar to close at N470/$1 on Thursday – the same rate that it exchanged for on Wednesday, December 30.

– The local currency had strengthened by about 7.8% within one week in September at the black market, as the CBN introduced some measures targeted at exporters and importers.

– This is to boost the supply of dollars in the foreign exchange market and reduce the high demand for forex by traders.

– However, the gains appear to have been completely erased with the recent crash of the exchange rate.

– The CBN has sold over $1 billion to BDCs since they resumed forex sales on Monday, September 7, 2020.

– This was expected to inject more liquidity into the retail end of the foreign exchange market and discourage hoarding and speculation.

– However, the exchange rate against the dollar has remained volatile after the initial gains made, following the CBN’s resumption of sales of dollars to the BDCs.

– Despite the CBN’s intervention, the huge demand backlog by manufacturers and foreign investors still puts pressure and creates a volatile situation in the foreign exchange market.

NAFEX

– The Naira depreciated against the?dollar at the Investors and?Exporters (I&E) window on Thursday, closing?at N410.25/$1.

– This represents a N16.25 drop when compared to the N394/$1 that it exchanged for on Wednesday, December 30.

– The opening indicative rate was N392.88 to a dollar on Thursday. This represents a 7 kobo gain when compared to the N392.95 that was recorded on Wednesday.

– The N412.05 to a dollar was the highest rate during intra-day trading before, it still closed at N410.25 to a dollar. It also sold for as low as N385/$1 during intra-day trading.

Forex turnover: Forex turnover at the Investor and Exporters (I&E) window increased by 43% ?on Thursday,?December 31, 2020.

– According to the data tracked by Nairametrics from FMDQ,?forex turnover rose from $164.81?million?on Wednesday, December 30, 2020, to?$235.75?million?on Thursday,?December 31,?2020.

– The CBN is still struggling to clear the backlog of foreign exchange demand, especially by foreign investors wishing to repatriate their funds.

– The increase in dollar supply after last week’s drop reinforces the volatility of the foreign exchange market. The supply of dollars has been on a decline for months due to low oil prices and the absence of foreign capital inflow into the country.

– The average daily forex sale for last week was about $169.93 million, which represents a huge increase from the $34.5 million that was recorded the previous week.

– Total forex trading at the NAFEX window in the month of September was about $1.98 billion, compared to $843.97 million in August.

– The exchange rate is still being affected by low oil prices, dollar scarcity, a backlog of forex demand, and a shaky economy that has been hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

This is to inform the depositors, creditors, shareholders and the general public that the operating licenses of the under listed Forty-Two (42) Microfinance Banks (MFBs) have been revoked by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) effective 12th November, 2020. The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), the official Liquidator of the banks whose licenses were recently revoked, is in the process of closing the listed banks and pay their insured Depositors. We therefore request that all depositors of these banks should visit the closed banks’ addresses and meet NDIC officials for the verification of their claims, commencing from Monday, 21st December, 2020 till Thursday, 24th December, 2020:

The list of affected closed banks is as follows:


  S/N
BANKADDRESS
1HEDGEWORTH MFBGUOBA PLAZA SUITE B06, – 171, A.E. EKUKINAM STREET, BY CHISCO, UTAKO, ABUJA
2FUTURE GROWTH MFBREAL TOWER PLAZA, PLOT 1121 OBAFEMI AWOLOWO WAY, UTAKO, ABUJA
3BAGWAI MFBBAGWAI-SHANONO ROAD, BAGWAI LGA, KANO
4ERE CITY MFBERE-IJESHA/IIIAHUN ROAD, ERE-IJESHA, ORIADE LGA, OSUN
5CAFON MFBGARKI POLICE BARRACKS, GARKII, FCT, ABUJA
6AKCOFED MFBEKIT ITAM II (BESIDE WATER BOARD), P. O. BOX 2048, UYO, AKWA-IBOM STATE
7GUFAX MFBN0. 3 UDOTUNG UBO STREET UYO, AKWA IBOM STATE
8PARTNERSHIP MFB107 UPPER IWEKA ROAD, ONITSHA, ANAMBRA STATE
9ICB MFBIIIAH-ASABA ROAD, OSHIMILI NORTH LGA, IIIAH, DELTA STATE
10ONIMA MFBNIPOST BUILDING, EKEOCHA ONICHA, EZINIHITTE MBAISE LGA, IMO STATE
11HOMETRUST (NATIONS) MFB76, ORLU ROAD, NKWERE, IMO STATE
12RINGIM MFBOPP. RINGIM CENTRAL MARKET, RINGIM, JIGAWA STATE
13BIGTHANA MFB6, ALI AKILU ROAD, KADUNA
14ROGO MFBROGO TOWN, ROGO LGA, KANO STATE
15MAKODA MFBNO 15, KOGUNA TOWN, MAKODA LGA, KANO
16TAKAI MFBTAKAI TOWN, TAKAI LGA, KANO STATE
17BEBEJI MFBNO. 10 GIDAN IYAN, BEBEJI TOWN, BEBEJI L.G.A., KANO STATE
18AJINGI MFBNO. 10 HAKIMI STREET, AJINGI TOWN, AJINGI LGA, KANO STATE
19GARKO MFB3, GARKO TOWN, KANO
20KANGIWA MFBKANGIWA TOWN, KANGIWA LGA, KEBBI STATE
21AUGIE MFBAUGIE TOWN, AUGIE LGA, KEBBI STATE
22MOPA MFBSILAS BAMIDELE DANIYAN HOUSE, KABBA-ILORIN ROAD, MOPA, KOGI-STATE
23SOLID BASE MFBEKIRIN ADDE, IJUMU LGA, KOGI STATE
24ULTIMATE BENEFIT MFB150C, OKENE KABBA ROAD, LOKOJA, KOGI
25OVIDI MFBNO. 1, ATTA ROAD, OKENE, KOGI STATE
26KIRFI MFBKIRFI TOWN, KIRFI LGA, BAUCHI
27CREDIT EXPRESS MFB27, KAKAWA STREET, LAGOS
28KING SOLOMON MFBGOD BLESS NIGERIA HOUSE, 117/119, WETSERN AVENUE, IPONRI, LAGOS
29RIGGS MFBPLOT 5, IMAN ABIB ADETORO STREET, OFF AJOSE ADEOGUN STREET, V.I., LAGOS
30BILLIONAIRE BLUE BRICKS MFBAPERIN HOUSE (2ND FLOOR) BLOCK I, PLOT 27, BUDO LAYOUT AJIWE, LEKKI EPE EXPRESSWAY, AJAH, LAGOS STATE
31SUSU MFB34, COMMERCIAL AVENUE SABO, YABA, LAGOS
32WEALTHSTREAM MFBAQUARIUS BLOCK, ELEGANZA PLAZA, GROUND FLOOR, LEFT WING 1 COMMERCIAL ROAD, APAPA, LAGOS
33AGUDA TITUN MFB21, SHONOLA STREET, AGUDA TITUN, OGBA, LAGOS
34SAPPHIRE MFB111, ABAK ROAD, UYO, AKWA IBOM STATE
35METRO MFB15, OTUNUBI STREET, OFF HARUNA, OGBA, IKEJA, LAGOS
36MOUNTAIN TOP MFBPROGRESS BLOCK, SHOP A102, AFRICAN TYRE VILLAGE, OPP. APT TRADE FAIR COMPLEX, LAGOS/BADAGRY EXPRESS WAY, LAGOS
37UNYOGBA MFB1, ALOMA ROAD, OPP. MKT. SQ., EJULE, OFU LGA, KOGI STATE
38WAPO MFBOKENE-LOKOJA ROAD, NAGAZI, ADAVI LGA, OKENE, KOGI STATE
39IBOGUN MFBIBOGUN EGBEDA, IFO LGA, OGUN STATE
40KOREDE MFBNO. 3, LUWOYE STREET, IGBOTAKO, ONDO STATE
41AHETOU MFB26, EREMA ROAD, BYEPASS, AKABUKA, OGBA/EGBEMA/NDONI LGA, RIVERS STATE
42FUFORE MFBNO. 25 GURIN ROAD, FUFORE LGA, ADAMAWA, YOLA STATE

For further clarification or any assistance, eligible depositors should contact the representatives of Director, Claims Resolution Department in any of the under listed centres/Zonal Offices:

S/NOFFICEADDRESSTELEPHONE NO.
1Lagos OfficeNDIC, NECOM House (10th Floor), 15 Marina, Lagos08166569995 09072412332
2Enugu Zonal OfficeNo. 10, Our Lord’s Street, Independence Layout, Enugu08033006999
3Benin28A/28B, Benoni Hospital Road, Off Airport Road, GRA, Benin City, Edo State08150999577 08150999588 08150999599 08150999600 08150999535
4KanoPlot 458, Muhammad Muhammad Street, Off Maiduguri Road, Hotoro, GRA, Kano09092748222 08063932722
5IlorinNo.12A, Sulu Gambari Road, Ilorin08023123185
6BauchiPlot No. 3, Bank Road, P.M.B. 0207, Bauchi094601505
7SokotoNo. 2, Gusau Road, Opp. NNPC Mega Station, Sokoto08033155162
8YolaNo. 6, Numan Road, P.M.B. 2227, Jimeta, Yola, Adamawa State08067910599 08068418069 08067923383 09-4601515 09-4601516
9Port HarcourtNo. 104, Woji Road, Off Olu Obasanjo Road, GRA, Port Harcourt, Rivers State09090726737 09029150752
10Head Office AbujaHead, Bank Examination Unit (BEU), NDIC, Abuja, 447/448, Constitution Avenue, Central Business District, Garki, Abuja09-4601260 09-4601261

Director, Claims Resolution Department,

Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation

Lagos Office

Necom house (10th floor)

15, Marina,

P.M.B. 12882, Lagos

Website: www.ndic.gov.ng

E-mail: claimscomplaints@ndic.gov.ng

NDIC Help Desk Toll Free Line: 080063424357

(NDIC……..PROTECTING YOUR BANK DEPOSITS)

In a statement, the NDIC said it will promptly commence the verification of claims of depositors of the affected banks from Monday, December 21, 2020.

The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), the official liquidator of the banks whose licences were recently revoked, is in the process of closing the listed banks and paying their insured depositors,” the NDIC said.

<p class="has-drop-cap has-vivid-purple-color has-text-color" value="<amp-fit-text layout="fixed-height" min-font-size="6" max-font-size="72" height="80">Continuing, it added: “We therefore request that all depositors of these banks should visit the closed banks’ addresses and meet NDIC officials for the verification of their claims, commencing from Monday, 21st December, 2020 till Thursday, 24th December, 2020.”Continuing, it added: “We therefore request that all depositors of these banks should visit the closed banks’ addresses and meet NDIC officials for the verification of their claims, commencing from Monday, 21st December, 2020 till Thursday, 24th December, 2020.”

Abiola- Edewor noted that the phenomenon had informed the concerted efforts by NDIC to continuously collaborate with the judiciary and other stakeholders in promoting sound knowledge and understanding of the deposit insurance system over the years. She said the NDIC would continue to jealously guard the relationship with the Judiciary.

She added that the current economic situation occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic had further underscored the need to strengthen the collaboration towards enhancing the stability of the financial system. While describing judgments against the corporation for liabilities of failed banks under liquidation as another challenge confronting it, she noted that effective resolution of legal issues affecting the administration of the deposit insurance system was critical to the enhancement of safety and soundness of the banking system. She said the corporation would be looking forward to drawing from the rich knowledge and experience of the Federal High Court judges on ways of addressing these challenges.

The Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice John Tsoho, noted that the seminar had gone a long way in broadening the knowledge of judges, not only in deposit insurance law and practice, but also in the workings and operations of the financial system.

He assured that this had enhanced the discharge of the judges’ duties in the last nine years that the seminar was initiated. The Administrator of the National Judicial Institute (NJI), Justice Rosaline Bozimo, in her goodwill message, stated that the seminar was aimed at consolidating on the gains of the NJI and NDIC in exposing judges to best practices in deposit insurance law in particular and the financial system in general. She was represented by the Director of Research, Mr. Gbenga Omotesho.

Union Bank


… Emeka Emuwa Retires


After eight years of leading the bank into greater heights, Emeka Enuwa, the Chief Executive Officer of Union Bank, has communicated his decision to retire from the bank on March 31, 2021.

Emeka Emuwa joined Union Bank in November 2012, following a $500 million investment by Union Global Partners, with a mandate to transform and restore one of Nigeria’s oldest institutions back to its rightful position as a respected provider of financial services.

With his imminent departure, the board has appointed Emeka Okonkwo, an Executive Director currently leading the Bank‘s Corporate Banking business, to succeed him.

The appointment is subject to the approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Commenting on his retirement, Emeka Emuwa said, “I have enjoyed the significant challenge of leading Union Bank over the last eight years. I am extremely proud of the management team and what we have been able to accomplish during my time as CEO.

“Today, we have a strong bank that is well positioned to compete and deliver on its vision to be ‘Nigeria’s most trusted and reliable partner.’ With a clear strategic direction, a growing and loyal customer base and a strong brand, this is now the natural time for the next generation of leadership to take Union Bank forward and deliver further value.

“In over three decades of banking, my time at Union Bank has been one of the richest experiences in a long and fulfilling career with a treasure of work and life lessons to carry into the future.

“Together as a team, we scaled many hurdles and accomplished significant feats and I would like to thank my Executive team, senior management and every one of our employees for their integrity, support and hard work that have brought Union Bank to where it is today. I would also like to thank the Board for the opportunity to lead this storied institution that has impacted generations of Nigerians for over a century and for supporting our efforts and vision during my tenure.

Emeka Okonkwo

“As we begin the transition into a new era of leadership under Emeka Okonkwo, a consummate professional with the right experience and values, I know that Union Bank will continue on its path as a values driven organisation that is deeply committed to our customers and the communities we serve”.

Our country Nigeria sees a lot of travelling happen everyday. The two main modes of transportation used by the citizens are by road in cars and buses and by air in airplanes. Some also travel by sea though not very often. One mode of transportation that hasn’t been utilised in full in the country is travelling by railways in trains.

This is because there isn’t a good network of railway lines running through the country. The railway lines that do exist are in operation but have poor maintenance hence the low number of travellers.

Fortunately, the country seems ready to bring back railway transport system back. Today, the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) announced on it’s twitter page that it had begun trial operations with passengers in preparation to launch a standard, modern, double track railway line in Nigeria. The railway line which is located along the main line of the Lagos-Ibadan railway line is the first of its kind in West Africa.

The trial operations lasted a combined 5 hours 20 mins after to and fro trips. The train took off from Ibadan at 8am and arrived at Lagos at 10:40am. It then took off again from Lagos railway station at 4pm and reached Ibadan at 6:40pm. The train has a capacity of 588 passengers.

Soon after the tweet, the office of the president of the Republic replied the announcement saying that the Muhammadu Buhari’s administration would continue to chase its vision of building a modern and reliable railway network for Nigeria.

Under the announcement tweet, there arose an argument concerning the ground breaking project. It started after one man credited the Goodluck Ebele Jonathan administration for starting the project.

Most of the replies that followed were in support of the Buhari administration. One man even noted that the GEJ administration couldn’t fund the Abuja-Kaduna Railway lines during the oil boom period of wealth.

The man who credited Goodluck’s administration has his facts wrong. While the Goodluck administration is responsible for the Abuja-Kaduna railway line, it didn’t see the construction of the Lagos-Ibadan railway line.

In fact, the Lagos-Ibadan project was given to CCECC during Goodluck’s regime in 2012 but no work took place on the project. Construction only started in March 2017, deep into Buhari’s administration. The 1.5 billion dollars project runs for 156.65 kilometres and was only completed recently.

It is one of the few things good Nigerians can say they got out of the Buhari administration.

Like and share

The Nigerian government plans to reopen its land borders, President Muhammadu Buhari has said.

He explained that the closure of the nation’s land borders was part of the efforts by the government to control the smuggling of weapons and drugs into the country.

President Muhammadu Buhari stated this on Tuesday at a security meeting with members of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

“Now that the message has sunk in with our neighbours, we are looking into reopening the borders as soon as possible,” he was quoted as saying in a statement by Garba Shehu, his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity.

The President asked the 36 state governors to work more with traditional rulers and community members to improve local intelligence gathering that would aid the work of security agencies.

After listening to presentations by a governor from each of the six geo-political zones on their specific security challenges, he noted that in the old order, communities identified newcomers and passed information to constituted authority.

According to President Buhari, the sub-region is no longer safe, more so with the collapse of the regime of the former Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi, and the cross-border movement of weapons and criminals.

He gave an overview of the security situation in each of the zones, stressing that his administration had done well in the North East and South-South.

The President described the reports of illegal refineries and the blowing up of pipelines in the South-South as worrisome and asked the governors to stop local rogues from sabotaging oil installations.

On the issue of banditry and kidnapping reported in each of the geo-political zones, he said, “Security is important, and we must secure the whole country.

“We are thinking very hard on the issue of kidnapping. We will make it possible for the military to get to the bandits and kidnappers and eliminate them.”

The Nigeria government had announced a partial closure of the nation’s land borders in August 2019, following the increasing rate of smuggling of contrabands and other items into the country.

On February 10, 2020, the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government set up a committee headed by President Roch Marc Christian Kabore of Burkina Faso to study and make a full report on Nigeria’s land border closure with neighbouring countries.

The decision was taken at an extraordinary session of ECOWAS leaders in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.