Category Archives: Business Updates

Nigerians should prepare for more electricity pay – TCN

Mr Usman Mohammed, Managing Director, Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has said that consumers should be prepared to pay more for electricity in order to ensure regular power supply in the country.

The TCN boss said this on Friday in Lagos during the Groundbreaking for the Replacement of old wires on the Ikeja West-Alimosho-Ogba-Alausa-Ota Transmission Lines.

According to him, Nigerians have to be prepared to pay more for electricity because there is no relationship between poverty and payment of electricity.

“I want to tell the Nigerian public that we cannot move forward if we do not pay more for electricity.

“There is no relationship between poverty and payment for electricity.

“For the poor, give them electricity and a means of measurement and manage their cost.

“But if we don’t initiate a cost reflective tariff system and the situation continue like this, public funds would continue to sink in the sector in futility,” Muhammed said.

The TCN boss also urged the government to stop subsidizing the power sector in order to move the sector forward.

“We have to be prepared to remove government in the middle, this issue of government guaranteeing everybody won’t work.

“The facts is that contracts are not effective and government cannot continue guaranteeing the Generation Companies (GENCOs) where it already sank over N1.5 trillion.

“The expenses can only be stopped when contracts become effective through cost reflective tarrifs.

“We have to stop this government intervention and we can only stop it when contracts become effective.

“Contracts can only be effective when you have cost-reflective tariffs.

“When contracts are effective, everybody is binded by certain agreements,” he said.

According to him, Nigeria has the cheapest electricity in West Africa and we can’t say we are the poorest.

“Even Burkina Faso is having collection efficiency of 98 per cent, despite their location within the sub region, we therefore have to solve the problem of market issues,” said the TCN boss.

Mohammed said that the issue of load rejection by Discos could also be resolved once bilateral contracts were effective.

Speaking on the cable replacement project, the TCN boss said that the power transmission lines were built many years ago with limitations on the quantity of electricity they were carrying, making the upgrade inevitable.

“So, we are in the process of replacement of old wires on the Ikeja West-Alimosho-Ogba-Alausa-Ota transmission lines.

“Due to the current management quest of improving availability of electricity in the country, there have been series of transformer installations across the country, and there is need for a line that can supply power to all the transformers.

“This installation will increase the current capacity of this station to about two and half capacity compared to the old capacity of 200mw.

“The line to be re-conducted has 664MW capacity of transformer, and the current line has only 200MW of capacity, so the re-conducting would increase the capacity by 2.5 per cent which would upgrade it to 500MW.

“That means all transformers the line Ikeja West is covering between Abeokuta and Lagos will be energised.

“The project would improve power supply to residents under Ikeja Electric network,” he said.

Mohammed said that the timeframe for the reconstruction of the line was six months, adding that re-conducting was also taking place at other locations such as the line from Alagbon transmission to Ikorodu down to Maryland, among others.

The TCN boss said that being the largest TCN Sub Station in Nigeria, there were likely to be outages along the network connected to the transmission line.


Breaking: CBN return excessive charges to customers

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Thursday said it has so far recovered over N60 billion from erring banks as excessive charges imposed on customers. The bank also said it has equally returned same amount to the affected customers.

This is just as the Apex Bank announced that it had commenced the processes for creation of 10 million jobs in the next five years through investment support in agriculture, using 10 commodity models.

Speaking during a two-day customers sensitisation forum in Owerri, the Imo State capital, the CBN Director of Corporate Communications, Mr. Isaac Okoroafor said the recovery of the excess bank charges was made possible through the bank’s Consumer Protection Department.

According to him, the amount was recovered following complaints by 13,000 customers over excess and illegal charges on their accounts by banks.


How to deal with high electricity tariff – Professor

A Howard University Professor of Mechanical/Energy Engineering, Prof. Sylvester Egwu, has highlighted how the Federal Government can resolve challenges impeding improved electricity supply in the country.

Egwu, who is also the Chief Executive Officer, KAKU Professional Engineers, made the call in an interview on Thursday in Lagos.

According to him, to achieve 24-hour uninterrupted electricity supply, the Federal Government needs to decentralise electricity generation to allow states, local governments and private sector to generate and add to the national grid.

”If the 36 states can generate 1,000 Mega Watts (MW), it will amount to 36,000MW that will be added to the present generation hovering between 3,390 and 4,678MW.

”The interested private sector will also generate some Mega Watts that will still be added to the national grid which will increase the nation’s electricity generation significantly.

”Once generation is taken care of, the problem will remain what to do with the excess power which will be solved by overhauling of the present Distribution Companies (DISCOs) as constituted.

”Nigeria needs to move forward by improving power infrastructure and making the power sector workable as without power nothing will function properly in the country,” he said.

Egwu other countries which had developed their power sector properly allowed the states, provinces and private sector to generate electricity.

He said that Nigeria could boast of tested professional engineers who could drive the 24-hour power realisation.

Egwu added that the engineers just needed a conducive and enabling environment to turn the power sector around.

He said that the Federal Government needed to move the power sector from the Exclusive List to the Concurrent List, and recommended a restructuring of DISCOs, saying present structure of the DISCOs make them to be under full control of federal government.

”With the DISCOs still under the control of the federal government, it will never work.

”To make the power distribution effective, the DISCOs need to be fully privatised and the stakeholders allowed to distribute electricity in their priority areas,” said the expert.

Egwu said that with 24-hour electricity supply, Nigeria would easily become industrialised.

He said poverty, unemployment and crime rates would go down, the livelihood of Nigerian citizens would improve while the economy would boom


Annuity business set to suffer neglects

…insurers record loss

Although the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has disclosed the insurance sector life annuity fund por\tfolio stood at about N323 billion as at the end of the second quarter of 2019, reports have it that operators’ balance sheets have been negatively affected by the annuity business.

According to data obtained from the Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA), out of the 11 life assurance companies that took annuity business in the 2018 financial year, five recorded losses.

Investigations on the firms that suffered losses revealed that they decided to minimise the uptake of annuity due its low returns on investment, volatility and inflationary pressure.

In fact, three of the affected companies have put off underwriting annuity for the time being while the other two have decreased their annuity business volume as profits continue to dip.

According to industry sources, the annuity business has not been profiting to most life insurance companies because of the pricing mechanism and inflation which tend to overshadow the premiums paid by annuitants.

They asserted that the fact that some pensioners now have longer life duration than those in the previous years, has compelled annuity to be a risky business for some insurers.

Worried by this development and the impact it will have on its financial stability, AIICO Insurance Plc, African Alliance Insurance Plc, LASACO Assurance Plc, Niger Insurance Plc, Royal Exchange Plc, have decided to slash their annuity businesses they write until the status of the business becomes better yielding.

It will not be surprising if more insurance firms decide to either suspend or slash their annuity business volume in the next couple of months in line with set precedent.

Speaking on the issue in a media interview, the Managing director/CEO, Niger Insurance Plc, Mr. Edwin Igbiti, said, interest rate and pricing of annuity plan are a major challenge, adding that, his company decided to reduce annuity intake and concentrate more on annuitants already in the books of Niger Insurance Plc.

Igbiti noted that currently, his company is paying its annuitants as and when due, so, limiting annuity business was purely a business and investment decision.

He however noted that low awareness on annuity as well as de-marketing of annuity plan and the desperation of most Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) to still keep pensioners’ contributions in their coffers, are the issues that must be addressed to realise the full potential of annuity in the insurance sector.

According to him, “the way annuity business is now, it is better to concentrate on what (annuitants) you have on your books than bringing in new annuity business. To get the pricing right, you need an in-house Actuary because you need to be monitoring the pricing on a regular basis. Annuity business still has potential if the business investment climate is right”.

Speaking, the General Manager, Life Business, LASACO Assurance Plc, Mr. ‘Dimeji Olona, said his firm has stopped taking new annuity businesses since the beginning of the year, even though, the company has never been a major player in annuity market.

“We are not a major player in annuity, and the way the fund works, you have to be careful so that you don’t run the fund aground. Because of the low yield and other interest rate, what we have done is to stop further taking of new annuity and ensure that all current annuitants are paid as and when due”.

Olona disclosed that every annuitant of LASACO gets paid on the 22nd of every month, hence, are not affected by the new development, adding that, “But the new ones, we need to be very careful because LASACO is based on integrity and trust is very important to us. For us, we are very sensitive to what is happening around, and we have not taken any new ones, we are servicing all our existing annuitants.”

Similarly, the Managing Director/CEO, African Alliance Insurance Plc, Mrs. Funmi Omo, said: “Our Q4 2019 financials show a marked progress in our strategy to expand our retail presence and aggressively grow our market share despite suspending our largest line of business; annuity.”

For Royal Exchange Plc, its spokesman, Mr. Wilson Okoh-Esene, said: “We (Royal Exchange Plc) took a position some years ago not to take new annuities and so we have just been managing the ones already in our books”.

However, there are ongoing plans by NAICOM and PenCom to review annuity business regulations so as to tackle some of the highlighted challenges as well as empower insurance agents to market annuity products.

Speaking at the 2020 NAICOM seminar for Insurance Journalists in Kano State, the Deputy Director/Head, Research, Statistics & Strategy Directorate, NAICOM, Mr. Gbolahan Adewale Suleiman, disclosed that the two regulators are reviewing the existing regulations on annuity business, which, he said, is gradually attracting the needed attention from retirees.

Suleiman pointed the guideline became compulsory due to the current trends around annuity business, noting that, when the guideline becomes operational, only insurance agents will be allowed to sell annuity plan on behalf of insurance companies.

He stressed that any insurance broker that is interested in the sale of annuity should be ready to earn agency commission.

According to him, the step is taken to protect annuity funds against huge commissions earned by intermediaries.

Earlier, the Acting Commissioner of Insurance, Sunday Thomas, hadexpressed optimism that substantial part of the N10 trillion pension assets will find its way into the insurance portfolio.

NAICOM, he said, is working assiduously to put in place measures to protect the expected funds.

According to him, this informed the move to raise actuarial analysts who will help measure and manage insurance associated risks.

“Annuity requires day-to-day measurement and management of its activities. As I speak with you right now, annuity accounts for about 40 per cent of our portfolio. That actually requires our attention.

“We have also read that contributions into the pension portfolio is in the neighborhood of N9.9 trillion, closed to N10 trillion. So, substantial part of it is supposed to empty itself in the insurance portfolio. How do you manage this if you do not have those who have what it takes to measure and manage the associated risks?” he queried.

The Retiree Life Annuity (RLA) is an insurance product and one of the available retirement benefit options for retirees. The product can be purchased from a life insurance company licensed by the NAICOM and authorised to sell RLA under the regulation of retiree life annuity.


6 projects approved for Nigeria – World Bank

The World Bank has approved six projects to support Nigeria’s development priorities.

Continue reading 6 projects approved for Nigeria – World Bank

Minimum wage: Staff complains Non-payment of arrears – INEC flout

The staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) might go on strike for the first time in its history if the threat of the Labour Union,an affiliate of the Trade Union Congress(TUC) was anything to go by, over the refusal of the Commission management to pay the new minimum wage arrears to its workforce as directed by President Muhammadu Buhari. The Commission has flouted the directive of the President on the payment and implementation of the new minimum wage arrears to its staff on or before 31st of December,2019 and the payment should take effect from April 2019 as agreed with the organised labour after the series of negotiations between the parties. It was learnt that all the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) excerpt INEC in the country had obliged with the President’s directive since December 2019 and the staff of the Commission have been groaning over the non-payment of the arrears of the new salary adjustment and implementation of the new minimum wage on monthly basis. They alleged that the Commission’s management were being insensitive to the plight of its workforce because they were not beneficiary in the salary adjustment, alleging that it seems the management has fixed the sum in the bank in order to yield interest for them. Investigation also revealed that the electoral umpire management were yet to pay the Promotion salary arrears to its affected workers since January 2019 till December and not to talk of its implementation in the year 2020.As at the closing hour of work last Friday,no staff of the Commission saw any bank alert in respect of the said arrears. Also speaking, a human rights activist, Comrade Adeniyi Alimi Sulaiman, commended the leadership of the Senior Staff Union for thier proactive measure on the development, condemned the electoral umpire management for being insensitive to the plight of its workforce. Sulaiman who is the Executive Chairman, Centre for Human Rights and Social Justice (CHRSJ), maintained that the rights group would team up with the union to fight the INEC management if they failed to pay the workers of their legitimate entitlements with immediate effect as directed by President Buhari. In its letter dated 5th of February,2020 which was signed by One Isaac Ojemnenke,aca, for the Association’s Secretary General and forwarded to the INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, the Labour Union under the aegis of Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN), requesting for the payment of the consequential Salary Adjustment arising from the New National Minimum Wage of Thirty Thousand Naira (N30,000) to its workers on or before 29th February,2020 and failure to do the needful might lead the Union to take appropriate Trade Union action of addressing the matter. Part of the ASCSN letter read thus; “You will recall that the Federal Government through the Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment directed all MDAs ensure full implementation of the new National Minimum Wage and the consequential adjustment on or before 31st December,2019. “The National leadership of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, the Union that constitute Council 1 of the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council (JNPSNC) is suprised that INEC, the symbol of democracy in Nigeria has failed to comply with the directive of the Federal Government over this all important wage matter. “Sequel to the above and the need to promote industrial peace and harmony in the INEC, the ASCSN wishes to request that the INEC management should implement the consequential adjustment on Salary of the members of the INEC staff with the effect from 18th April,2019 on or before 29th February,2020, failing which the Union will be left with no other alternative than to take appropriate Trade Union action to address the matter. “We wish to inform you that this letter has been endorsed to the Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment, Minister of Finance and the Director- General,State Security Service for their information and necessary intervention”.


NBS: Inflation rises to 12.13%

The Consumer Price Index, (CPI) which measures inflation increased by 12.13 percent (year-on-year) in January 2020, the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS says on Tuesday.

This is 0.15 percent points higher than the rate recorded in December 2019 (11.98) percent.

According to the NBS, on month-on-month basis, the Headline index increased by 0.87 percent in January 2020, which is 0.02 percent rate higher than the rate recorded in December 2019 (0.85) percent.

“The percentage change in the average composite CPI for the twelve months period ending January 2020 over the average of the CPI for the previous twelve months period was 11.46 percent, showing 0.06 percent point from 11.40 percent recorded in December 2019,” the NBS added.


Breaking: Banks invade social media

Slashing banks’ charges as was recently done by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has been applauded by experts as a good omen and an assurance that the regulator is not only alive to its responsibilities, but also proactive enough to rein in banks’ excesses, preventing them in the process from taking advantage of their customers and end users of their products and services.

Financial services providers have been very witty and smart over the years. They have devised all manner of schemes and strategies to cut costs and raise margins.

The advent of the inevitable ATMs, mobile money transfers, the PoS, internet banking and the retinue of the other e-banking platforms are pointers to this.

All these new blanking platforms and many more, have come at a cost to the end users, their attendant benefits notwithstanding.

And because the charges are denominated in such small fractions of the currency, they are usually ignored, or overlooked, but the cumulative cost to consumers, if they care to calculate, is huge and the returns to banks, massive.

A customer once received an advice from his bank that the use of his debit card in other banks ATMs has cost him over N2,800 in charges in just a month.

Being mindful of the trend and knowing that these transaction costs will ever be on the increase as e-banking is the norm, the CBN, as part of its regulatory role, stepped in about two months ago with a new set of measures resulting in transactions cuts, providing some modicum of relief to customers and consumers alike.

In slashing banks’ charges, the CBN in a statement on December 20, last year by its Director, Corporate Communication, Isaac Okorafor, said the revision of the charges was necessitated by continued evolution in the financial industry, which has spurred innovation and the introduction of new products and channels,” saying these developments have made it imperative for continued vigilance by the regulatory authorities to ensure the protection of consumer rights as more individuals are financially included, whilst encouraging market forces to increasingly drive pricing for financial products.”

The step taken by the CBN is apt, given the high patronage the various e-platforms have enjoyed since they came on stream.

These innovations supported by a sound regulatory framework, Okorafor said, have indeed transformed the financial landscape, which has driven financial inclusion and the increased use of electronic payments across several channels by bank customers.

This is aptly validated by data from the Nigeria Inter Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) which showed that PoS transactions in the past few years increased by 4,692 per cent between 2012 and 2018 from N48.46 billion to N2.3 trillion, while electronic transfers increased by 1,967 per cent from N3.8 trillion to N80.42 trillion. Paper based cheque transactions declined by 32 per cent from N7.48billion to N5.03billion.

Statistics from NIBSS on electronic transfers from June to November last year also showed that the number of transfers below N10,000 accounted for 61 per cent of the number of electronic transfer transactions.

This is an indication that the reduction of the charges for micropayments has huge potential for financial inclusion.

The revised Guide to Charges is thus yet another move by the CBN to build an inclusive banking system that adequately caters for the needs of the banking public, while preserving the financial sustainability of banks and other non-bank financial institutions, Okorafor said.


Part of the incentives envisaged in the reduction of bank charges is to incentivise stakeholders, especially those making micro payments, to further embrace electronic banking channels, thus improving financial inclusion.

It was also intended to reduce cost of banking services to customers, so as to deepen access without much impact on bottom line of regulated institutions.

Affected charges

Some of the changes in the revised Guide include; a graduated fee scale for electronic transfers to replace the current flat fee of N50. Accordingly, transfers below N5,000 will attract a maximum charge of N10; transfer from N5001 – N50,000 -N25; and transfers above N50,000 are expected to attract N50 charge Also, Card maintenance fee on current account has been removed as the accounts already attract account maintenance fee, however, Savings accounts will attract card maintenance fee of N50 per quarter, as against the previous regime of N50 per month. In the same vane, Annual Card maintenance fee on foreign currency (FCY) denominated cards is reduced to $10 from $20, the same way that Remote-on -Us ATM charges are reduced to N35 after third withdrawal within a month from N65

Other charges, including those for hardware token, will now be on cost recovery basis subject to a maximum of N2,500 as against the previous maximum charge of N3,500.

The CBN also indicated in the guidelines that Fee for SMS mandatory alert will be on cost recovery, as against the previous maximum charge of N4.

Also, Bill payment via e-channels will attract a maximum charge of N500 from 0.75 per cent of transaction value, and this is also now subject to a maximum of N1,200.


The CBN did not leave non-compliance to these new regime to chance, neither did it assume automatic buy-in by banks.

It made necessary provision for appropriate sanctions for any infraction which is the hallmark of any effective regulation, or law worth its name, expectedly to deal with instances of excess, unapproved and/or arbitrary charges.

It said: “Financial Institutions are to note that any breach of the provisions of this Guide carries a penalty of N2million per infraction, or as may be determined by the CBN from time to time.

Failure to comply with the CBN’s directive in respect of any infraction shall attract a further penalty of N2million daily until the directive is complied with or as may be determined by the CBN from time to time.”

An addendum to these charges is the Consumer Protection Regulations, providing clarity and eliminating doubt on roles and responsibilities of all participants in the industry.

It sets our minimum standards on fair treatment of consumers, disclosure and transparency, business conduct, complaint handling and redress in order to protect the rights of consumers and to put all financial services providers in check.


Two months into the life of the reduced charges regime, the question is: how far have the rules impacted on the system and consumers?

While commending the CBN for the insight in introducing these measures, the fear, or rather doubts, still hover in the air that unless the Central Bank takes extra measures to monitor operators, the expectation that banks will comply, will remain a mere wish, the sanctions notwithstanding.

As one bank customer who asked that his identity be veiled, remarked: “These charges are programmed and systems generated, I do not envisage that the banks will be so honest, or willing enough to go through the re-programming necessary to effect these new guidelines as required, rate-for-rate.

These banks are too profit focused for me to imagine that all of them will have done the needful to ensure total compliance.

For a N2million fine, I can bet some of them will be willing to test the waters until they are caught, adding, “ there may be exceptions nonetheless.”

He said considering the huge customer base of these banks and the unbridled appetite for Return-On-Investment (ROI), the fine for some of them may just turn out to be a bait they may be willing to swallow considering that charges bring returns in billions of ‘’near free cash in transactions,” he said.

However, a banker in First City Monument Bank (FCMB), who spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not authorised to speak, assured that most banks have complied with the guidelines.

He said there is a likelihood that banks may suffer some downturn from the measure given that the reduced charges cut across many schemes that register huge transaction volume, saying nonetheless that the banks are also taking proactive measures through the social media platform to bridge the expected income shortfall.

He said the online and e-banking platforms offer much appeal to the youth, as a result, banks are leveraging on that to harness the huge potentials in that segment, which at the end, in his opinion, would mitigate whatever drawback the reduced charges will have on banks bottom line.

Also, a Lagos-based Financial Analyst, Kingsley Monye, said the CBN should be commended for helping the banks to think more creatively.

He said the policy has once more helped banks to understand that it is not just about making cheap money through charges, they also need to add more value to their customers through improved products.

“I think the CBN has done well,” he said, adding: “ I advise the apex bank to monitor the banks to ensure full compliance with the rules as contained in the revised guide to bank charges.”

A former senior banker adjudged the revised guide to bank charges as being a step in the right direction, saying it is one policy that will raise public confidence in the financial services sector.

He said only banks that are creative will find ways to recoup lost earnings through innovative products, pointing out that many banks were already taking that initiative.

True to his assertion, many banks have risen to the challenge to check and arrest the potential impact the policy may have on the bottom line by introducing new products and engaging social media platforms to induce a turnaround in their financial fortunes.

And they are winning. Some banks have gone into Facebook banking, social lending and partnership with global payment and technology firms, to not only bridge the gap, but also to up the ante.

For instance, Zenith Bank is promoting its zero account self-opening option, the same way that Wema Bank parades Alat, a digital platform, to enable it capture the grassroots customers and the youths.

Firstbank, Fidelity and Union banks have partnered PayPal to enhance online payment for shoppers, the same way that United Bank for Africa (UBA) has introduced Leo, a chat banking personality on social media platforms, while Access Bank, Visa and, an online shipping company are collaborating to give Visa cardholders opportunity to shop online globally.

UBA Group Managing Director/CEO, Kennedy Uzoka, described Leo as a solution developed in collaboration with Facebook with people’s lifestyles in mind, saying Leo is the UBA Chat Banker who enables customers make use of their social media accounts to carry out key banking transactions.

“Leo being an intelligent personality will give you feedback instantaneously as you transact your business on the platform. It is a solution that is from the customer’s standpoint and is easy to use by anyone,” he said.

Beside the recourse to social media outlets, some banks have on their own further lowered lending rates, taking advantage of the CBN’s 65 per cent Loan-Deposit-Ratio (LDR) to induce customers in preferred areas, including the power sector projects, mortgage, agriculture and education businesses, amongst others to come forward and have access to cheap funds with a view to improving Return On Investment.


Okada/Keke Ban: Oride, Gokada has no right to operate – Lagos Deputy Governor

Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Obafemi Hamzat, has claimed that motorcycle hailing companies came into state for visit.

Hamzat, who spoke on an interview with Channels Television, said the state never gave approval for their activities.

He also restated that motorcycles and tricycles were banned to curb crime rate and decrease road accidents.

He said, “The truth of the matter is that Okada is becoming an avenue to perpetrating crimes. And we cannot wait until a major disaster happens. We knew what happened in Kano State some years back when the Emir of Kano was attacked through this means of transportation. Our lives are important.

“Some of them had knives and guns. If you are interested in riding Okada, why do you need a knife or a gun? Not every one of them but those who had the weapons on were arrested. The ban is majorly about security and safety.

“Data from the 27 general hospitals in the state indicated that on the average monthly, we record 28 deaths related to Okada. So, we cannot as a government let this continue. In the last two to three weeks since the ban, the accident rates have reduced from 28 to 7. So, if we saved 21 lives, is that not important? So, this is about saving lives.

“We did not endorse Okada ride-hailing operators in Lagos. Anybody can come on a courtesy visit. They actually came on a courtesy visit and we told them clearly that there is a law regulating Okada operations in Lagos. But that is not an endorsement; it was just a courtesy visit.

Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Obafemi Hamzat

“The most populous areas of the state are not even affected. The most populous areas are Alimosho Local Government followed by Mushin, followed by Kosofe, followed by Oshodi/Isolo. So, people can do their businesses. All we are saying is, don’t ply the major roads, the bridges because it is not just safe and it is also a way for criminals to act.

“Okada riding is not a job that most people want their children to do but the economic situation forced them to do it and now we are saying, let’s give them better alternatives; let us get people trained to do welding and other vocations.”


INEC recruitment portal open | See Portal

This recruitment guide is for independent and National electoral commission (INEC) 2020/2021 recruitment.

Are you looking for INEC? Would you mind if we teach you how to register for 2020 INEC jobs? If yes, then read on now.

INEC recruitment 2020/2021 application registration form is what you are about to see here.

There are many things you need to understand about INEC before you apply Here online. In case you’ve not known before, independent and National electoral commission (INEC) online general 2020 recruitment is free.

So now let’s walk you through the simple step by step guide on how to fill INEC application registration form 2020. Kindly calm down and read the full registration guidelines below:

INEC Recruitment 2020/2021 form requirements?

Here, you will get to know all the requirements for Inec 2020/2021 recruitment things you need to have before applying for INEC jobs in 2020. See all independent and National electoral commission (INEC) application RECRUITMENT requirements below:


  1. Candidates applying for these positions must not be more than 30 years of age.
  2. Qualified Candidates are advised to visit the INEC website, and apply for the positions online.
  3. Passing the relevant tests;
  4. Your willingness to push yourself beyond your comfort zone.


The above guide is all you need to know about the general requirements for the INEC recruitment 2020 form. If you still need an in-dept knowledge about some other independent and National electoral commission (INEC) criteria, kindly read the guide below:

  • You must be a Nigerian; either by birth or nationalization.

How to Apply For independent and National electoral commission (INEC) Recruitment 2020/2021

INEC 2020 online registration is done via the INEC Nigeria official website. You can visit Here:

Please you need to note that INEC Recruitment 2020 IS CURRENTLY AVAILABLE ONLINE.


INEC Recruitment 2020/2021 / See Application Portal

INEC Recruitment 2020 Application Closing Date: You have to kindly note that, The 2020 INEC online Recruitment Closing Date Has Not Been Specified as of the time we published this recruitment form guide.

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INEC Recruitment 2020/2021


Kogi: NLC assure workers minimum wage payment

The Chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress, Kogi chapter Comrade Onuh Edokah charges workers in the state to remain resolute as the state government has set up machinery to tackle all issues surrounding the payment of minimum wage in the state.

Edokah gave the charge on Wednesday during the 7th Quadrennial state delegates conference of the Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN) , Kogi state chapter.

The NLC boss while speaking to newsmen at the venue of the congress urged civil servants in the state to expect a better deal from government, saying the union was still negotiating with government and hopeful of getting desired result at the end of negotiations.

“The state government has set up a committee to look into the payment of 30,000 naira minimum wage to workers of the state.

“We are hoping that by the end of the thirty days government gave the committee, they will come out with a chat that will be the true position of the minimum wage in Kogi state and we are expecting a win-win situation”, he assured.

Edokah who handed over the leadership of MHWUN to the newly elected Exco, said his ten years in the saddle of the union as chairman witnessed a lot of transformation , stressing that he was leaving the union better than he met it.

He therefore urged the new Exco to take the welfare of members as paramount , saying any union executive that failed in providing adequate welfare of its members would end up throwing the union into unbearable situation.

“I am leaving the union with a lot of legacies. The workers which I led in health worker’s union enjoyed the benefit of various structures of their salaries . I was the Chairman of the union through out the transformation of various salary structures and I ensure that the government pay workers their salaries” he noted.

At the end of the congress that lasted three hours, Comrade Amari Gabriel emerged as Chairman through consensus while Alilu Adejoh was elected as Vice Chairman, Kashim Abonika as Treasurer, Salaudeen Yakubu, State Trustee, Badams Kadiri, Auditor and Ajisafe Oluwatoyin as the Public Relations Officer.

Comrade Gabriel in his acceptance speech promised that his administration would not relent in moving the union to a greater height.

While commending the immediate past leadership of the union for laying a worthy legacy for the incoming executive, the new chairman solicited the cooperation and support of members to achieve success.


ECOWAS set up committee over border closure

The Authority of Economic Community of West African State (ECOWAS) Heads of State and Government has constituted 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 her neighbours.

In a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the decision was made on the margins of the 33rd AU Summit to discuss the issue and other pressing regional matters.

Nigeria’s Foreign Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, told reporters after the three-hour closed-door session that the meeting attended by President Buhari and chaired by the ECOWAS Chairman, President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger Republic, also discussed West Africa′s new single currency, the Eco, and the situation in Guinea Bissau after the presidential election.

On border closure, Onyeama said: “The President of Burkina Faso is charged with undertaking a full study of the situation, make a report and then we take it from there.”

Asked when the report will be presented to ECOWAS Heads of State and Government, he replied: “As soon as possible, there are no timelines. But he is supposed to start very quickly, study the situation from all the affected countries and present his report.”

On the Eco currency, Onyeama said: “Nothing has changed in respect of Nigeria’s position.”

He explained that Nigeria’s position was that the convergence criteria have not been met by the majority of the countries, therefore there has to be an extension of time on the take-off of the single currency.

On Guinea Bissau, the Minister said ECOWAS leaders recognized that there was an appeal of the presidential election result and they are waiting for the Supreme Court decision on the matter.


Padding Salary Scandals: UBTH, UI, UNIJOS, Dan Fodio University

Many Federal Government agencies, including universities and teaching hospitals are involved in the inflation of personnel budget running into billions of naira, according to Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, the chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Investigation Commission(ICPC).
In a startling report made public late last year in Abuja, in the presence of President Muhammadu Buhari, the ICPC chief revealed “gross abuse of personnel budget and inflation or padding of the nominal role”, running into N18.62billion.

This figure, Owasanoye said, was conservative.

The inflated personnel budget fraud covered 2017 to July 2019 in 300 MDAs, whose books had been scrutinised by the anti-graft agency.

But Owasanoye, a former academic himself, was scandalised that most of the theft occurred in the universities and colleges of medicines and Federal medical centres.

Among the institutions flagged are University of Benin Teaching Hospital N1.1b, Federal Medical Center, Bayelsa N915m, Nnamdi Azikwe University N907m, University of Jos N896m, University College Hospital Ibadan N701m, University of Benin Teaching Hospital N1.1b, Usman Dan Fodio University N636m and University of Ibadan N558m.

“These institutions and all those implicated will be given the opportunity to explain themselves however, while investigations are on to confirm any credible explanations they may have, we have alerted the Minister of Finance of our findings and appropriate steps are being taken to ensure that implicated MDAs will not be able to spend the excess built into their personnel budget.

Owasanoye also revealed another sharp practice by some MDAs, who divert excess personnel budget into other uses.

“Let me note with regret sir that in the 2017–2018 fiscal year the balances recorded for personnel were wrongfully utilized by MDAs for other purposes due to lack of pro activity by late enforcement and related agencies. That sum amounted to N18.39b”.

The massive fraud committed by universities in inflating their personnel budget, may well be the main reason President Buhari and the accountant general of the Federation, Ahmed Idris have insisted that staff of the universities should be enrolled under The Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).

The Academic Staff Union of Nigerian Universities(ASUU), is threatening to go on strike should government go ahead with the plan effective from this month.


Just in: FIRS set to block $10b tax leak in the country

Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr. Muhammad Nami, has said that the agency was determined to stop an annual tax revenue loss of about $10 billion through illicit profit shifting by multinational corporations operating in the country.

He said such humongous sum would change the fortunes of the country if captured and channeled to address the frightening infrastructure deficit of Nigeria.

Speaking on Friday in Abuja at the start of the Service’s 2020 Management Retreat held at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Nami who quoted the African Union Illicit Financial Flow Report, said: “Africa is losing $50 billion through profit shifting by multinational corporations and about $10 billion of this amount is from Nigeria alone.”

He thus harped on the urgent need to halt serial loss by smashing all identified tax avoidance schemes by individuals and corporate organizations.

Nami, according to a statement by the Director, Communications, FIRS, Abdullahi Ismaila, revealed that his management has launched a comprehensive, tax collection reform process “anchored on four cardinal pillars of rebuilding FIRS’ institutional framework; robust collaboration with stakeholders; building a customer or taxpayer-centric institution; and making the FIRS data-centric institution.”

He added that the board and management team has also set a target of improving the Service’s performance over the next four years by a “minimum target of $5 million staff-to-revenue- ration and a 10% tax-to-GDP ratio.”

Showing that the FIRS was gradually weaning Nigeria off its dependence on oil revenue, Nami disclosed that non-oil taxes “accounted for 60% contribution to the total collection” of taxes in 2019.

Projecting into this year, Nami stated: “For the year 2020, we have a target of N8.5 trillion. This is broken down into oil tax of N3.7 trillion and non-oil taxes target of N4.8 trillion.”

The FIRS boss assured that the Service would play its “strategic role in the nation’s political economy, including supporting the actualization of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration’s commitment of moving the country up on the Ease of Doing Business Ranking and taking 100 million Nigerians out of poverty over the next 10 years and rebuilding Nigeria’s critical infrastructure.”


Embassies, Multinational firms to support Sokoto state’s “National Trade & Exhibition”

Sokoto State is set to play host to the 11th edition of National Trade and Exhibition fair slated for February 10, 2020.

President, Sokoto State Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (SOCCIMA), Alhaji Muazu Bello Maiwurno disclosed this while briefing journalists on Wednesday.

He said the edition tagged “Sokoto 2020”, with the theme: “Revitalizing the Agricultural and Social Networking Mineral sectors as key to Economic Diversification of Sokoto State and the Nation,” is scheduled from February 10 to March 24, 2020.

Maiwurno noted that the theme is in line with the current economic agenda of the Federal Government on the overall diversification of the nation’s economy.

He further disclosed that 23 foreign embassies and no fewer than 300 multinational companies across the country have been invited to participate in the trade exhibition.

Speaking on the gains of the exhibition, Maiwurno said it will promote and encourage development of industrial inputs as well as to accelerate development of commerce and industry in the state.

The president added that the exhibition is also aimed to provide access to research findings, new technologies, and ideas for actualising them by industrialists and policymakers through B2B interactions among others benefits.

Maiwurno informed that preparations towards the successful hosting of the exhibition have reached advanced stage.

He also listed Cement Company of Northern Nigeria, Dangote Group, Sahara Bakers Eatery and Confectionaries, Rima Foam: AGG Mall, Fodio Mall, Yusha’u Abdullahi Furniture Factory, Alkanci Furniture and Sokoto Rima Basin as part of numerous national and multinational companies invited for products exhibition.

The president, however, commended the state governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal for his financial and moral support as well as the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar for what he described as his fatherly support.

He noted that the standing organising committee of the exhibition is currently working relentlessly with experienced consultants towards ensuring most organised, innovative and successful trade fair in the history of the state


UNICEF: $5.7m needed to provide water in Nigeria

United Nation Children Economic Fund (UNICEF), has disclosed that Nigeria requires an average of $5.7billion to provide water and sanitation in each local government area of the federation.

The Chief of Party Water Sanitation and Hygiene, UNICEF, Zaid Jurji, who disclosed this yesterday, during a meeting between Organised Private Sector on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (OPS-WASH), and the Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, in Abuja, said the investment would cover all costs and other benefits.

Commending Nigeria’s efforts toward ending open defecation in the country, he said current initiatives must tally with increasing population. “We are close to 200 million people and with the increasing population, if every year, there is an increase of services for five million people, it is barely enough; we are competing with natural population increase.He also urged private organisations to coordinate their activities to halt duplication of efforts, promotion of effective implementation and monitoring for the programme success.

Also National Coordinator, OPS-WASH, Dr Nicholas Igwe, noted that the role of private sector in scaling up water and sanitation services in Nigeria cannot be over-emphasised.He called for more commitment from all stakeholders, especially with the provisions of theme of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), and how WASH access could promote value chain in job creation.

According to him, the private sector has commenced discussion with the Nigeria Diaspora Commission, to see how one million Diasporas could adopt one toilet each for one household.

Meanwhile Guinness Nigeria, a subsidiary of Diageo Plc, has unveiled a 10-year project of providing clean and portable water for over 10 million people across five states of Edo, Kano, Kebbi, Nasarawa states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).In addition to providing clean potable water in these states, the multinational organisation also promised to support the Federal Government to intensify hand washing culture in public places to halt the spread of Lassa fever.

Society Manager, Guinness Nigeria, Titilola Alabi, said in its current financial regime, “Guinness is committed to establishing five new water schemes in Abuja, Edo, Kano, Kebbi and Nasarawa states. We have chosen the communities in these states carefully following a Needs Assessment and for the benefit of a larger population.

“Currently, our water of life project, created to provide water to under-served communities by solar-powered water systems is providing water to over one million Nigerians. We have 33 of such water schemes across 22 states,” she added.

Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, while welcoming the team, pledged government’s commitment to partner with the organised private sector in financing and improving corporate social responsibilities in the fight against open defecation practice in the country.

Adamu said the role of the private sector in the revitalisation of the WASH sector cannot be overlooked, being the engine room for economic growth.He noted that they were the key players when it came to creating innovative structures, which promoted financing of WASH services, expressing worry about lack of water and sanitation in institutions and public places.

The minister said government is targeting a zero open defecation goal by 2025, saying with commitment from all stakeholders, this would be achieved.

According to him, the lack of synergy among development partners’ interventions has led to groundwater depletion largely from unregulated activities.“There is urgent need for sanity in the water resources sector. We need to measure all social impact of current interventions, it’s not just about figures and monies, we need to synergise all efforts for the benefit of all Nigerians,” Adamu said.


Irregular payments of benefits causing outstanding accrued liabilities – PenCom blames

…Inadequate NIMC personnel affecting ECRS compliance

The National Pension Commission (PenCom), has said outstanding payment of accrued pension liabilities by the Federal Government to the retirees under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS), have resulted to delayed and irregular payments of retirement benefits its employees who retired from December 2018 to date.

According to the Commission, under the CPS, retirement benefits consist of Accrued Pension Rights (APR) for past services rendered prior to the commencement of the repealed Pension Reform Act 2004, the monthly Pension Contributions, and investment income accumulated from the commencement of the CPS in 2004.

Specifically, the Acting Director-General, PenCom, Aisha Dahir-Umar, said the delay in payment of the accrued rights creates a gap that hinders the consolidation of all components of the retirement benefits, which in turn translates into delayed payment of pension after retirement.

Speaking with The Guardian, she said President Muhammadu Buhari, has directed the Budget Office of the Federation to include the sums of N12.83 billion, N25 billion, and N25 billion in the budgets of 2020, 2021, and 2022 respectively to settle the outstanding accrued pension rights of FGN employees.

She said Buhari also directed the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, to ensure that funds are fully released accordingly, and adequate provisions are made subsequently in the annual appropriation for payments of accrued pension rights, and funds released upon approval of Budget.

Meanwhile, Dahir-Umar said the failure of most of the treasury funded Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) to submit their updated nominal roll on time to the Commission, has also affected the timely remittance of monthly pension contributions into their workers’ Retirement Savings Accounts (RSA).

Her words: “All treasury funded MDAs that are yet to migrate to the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), are required to submit their updated nominal roll twice a year, in January and July, to the Commission.

“The nominal roll facilitates accurate computation of monthly pension contributions of each employee before remittances are made to their respective RSAs. However, most of the MDAs do not submit their updated nominal roll on time to the Commission and this has affected the timely remittance of monthly pension contributions into the RSAs of some FGN employees.”

In his remarks, Executive Director, Premium Pension Ltd., Kabir Tijjani, said operators were aware of a pronouncement by President Muhammadu Buhari sometime in 2018, saying the government would make funds available to clear pension arrears, including accrued rights within the next few years.

Accordingly, the number of retirees that could not access their benefits in the form of accrued rights has been substantially reduced.He said: “There are still arrears left yet unpaid, but it is not as bad as it was in the past three to five years ago. There is a remarkable improvement, and what is now outstanding is no longer much. We hope that by the end of this year, or going into next year, all arrears in terms of the accrued right would be cleared.”
Meanwhile, Tijjani, said the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), which is saddled with the responsibility of issuing National Identification Number (NIN), does not have adequate personnel and presence to attend to the numerous Nigerians that are seeking to get the NIN.

He maintained that it is still a challenge for people to acquire their NIN, which would enable them to enrol for the Enhanced Contributor Registration System (ECRS), but expressed the hope for a positive change going forward.

“We got assurances from NIMC that the government is making an effort to fund the agency adequately starting from this year, so that they would be having a number of outlets where Nigerians can go easily and register, but as it is right now, it is still a challenge.

“We don’t expect slow growth as such, but looking at it historically from the time PenCom made it mandatory for people to have NIN before enrolment, the number of enrolment declined, but gradually it is increasing,” he said.On the code of corporate governance, he said it would strengthen corporate governance and how businesses are conducted, risk management, ensure the safety of the pension fund under management, and would also promote good practices among all operators in the industry.


Minimum wage: NLC gives Anambra a 14-Day Ultimatum

The organized labour in Anambra State on Monday gave the state government a 14- day ultimatum to implement the new minimum wage or be prepared to face industrial action.

At an emergency meeting of the state executive council of the organised labour in Awka, the unionists expressed dissatisfaction with the implementation of the January 24 agreement with the government on the issue.

The state chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, (NLC), Jerry Nnubia said what is being implemented fell short of what the labour negotiated with the government.

He said ..

“The SEC decided to meet on the issue and took the necessary decision. We are dissatisfied and we frown at the decision of the government to renege on the agreement.

“We hereby give the government a 14- day ultimatum from today, after which the organized labour would not guarantee industrial harmony in the state.

“The state government did not follow the agreed chart with the organized labour in the state and as far as we are concerned, the difference we saw in the salaries of workers in January was just a bonus which government decided to give to workers.”


Crisis as FAAN takes over MMIA toll gate

A fresh crisis is brewing between the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and one of its biggest concessionaires I-cube Nigeria Limited over a contractual agreement leading to forceful take-over of the access toll gates of the airport linking the international wing of Lagos airport with Ikeja.

As early as 7 am, the unions in aviation like the Air Transport Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSAN), National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) among others had taken over the money spinning revenue points of the toll gates, chased away workers of the firm in a Gestapo manner.

After chasing away I-Cube workers, the unions began toll collection from motorists which left many wondering what was happening as the exercise was conducted in a rowdy manner.

A union member told New Telegraph that the concession agreement for I-Cube expired since February 2019 adding that FAAN had decided not to renew the deal, stressing that another firm which had applied for the concession was granted the concession to manage the facility.

The unions said the agency needed to offer a better deal to new concessionaire to improve FAAN’s revenue base.

But in a swift reaction, a top official of I-Cube, who spoke to New Telegraph from Europe, said the firm had never defaulted in the remittance of money to the agency wondering why the airport authority violated agreements on how to terminate a firm’s business deal.

The source admitted that concession had elapsed adding that they applied for renewal which he said the agency claimed was studying it only to award the contract to another firm.


FG scare, pays January salary to ASUU members not in IPPIS payroll ..

To avoid the looming strike action which members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) have threatened, the federal government has paid their January salaries.

This was confirmed by Guardian newspaper in a report on Saturday, February 1.

According to the report, the union members, who refused to enrol in the FG’s new payment system called IPPIS, were paid late on Friday, January 31.

The Zonal Coordinator of ASUU, Lagos Zone, Prof. Olusiji Sowande, confirmed the payment, so did Bayero University, Kano chairman of the union, Prof. Ibrahim Barde.

FG stopped what could have been a huge crisis by paying ASUU members their January salaries in spite of not enrolling in IPPIS.
According to the two academics, the action of the government has averted disaster for now.

It was gathered that before the payment was made on Friday night, ASUU had begun the mobilisation of its members ahead of planned strike action across the country.


Investors lose N400bn W-o-W

…gloomy week for Nigerian equities

…focus in fundamental stocks

Stock market analysts have projected a negative outing for Nigerian equities next week and warned investors to shift their focus in fundamental stocks.

This is coming after the momentum in the nation’s bourse weakened at the close of transactions on Friday as the market recorded its first weekly loss for the year following five consecutive days of losses– largest weekly loss since the week ended April 5, 2019 (-4.6 per cent) – bringing the Year-to-Date (YtD) return to +7.5 per cent.

As such, the market capitalisation of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) dipped by N404.5 billion to close at N14.8 trillion while the All Share Index (ASI) fell by 2.65 per cent to close at 28,843.53 points.

Speaking to Sunday Sun via telephone, a stockbroker, Mr Charles Sakrogha, attributed the market’s negative performance to the policies guiding the economy.

He said: “The stock market’s performance is reflective of policies guiding the economy, but this situation is normal for a market especially an emerging one as we are bound to have profit, as well as losses. There has to be fluctuations in prices because if there is no fluctuation, then it is not a market. What we saw in the previous week was positivity all through so we had expected people to take profit this week”.

Cordros Capital in their weekly assessment of the market, said that the trend witnessed this week is likely to persist as the dual impacts of the weakening sentiment and mixed earnings performances during earnings season are expected to pressure market return.

“Nonetheless, we advise investors to focus on taking positions in fundamentally justified stocks”, they said.

On their part, analysts at Afrinvest said: “We believe that the market would continue this downtrend, especially as earnings released this week has been largely mixed and insufficient to boost investor confidence”.

Meanwhile, performance across sectors was bearish as four of six indices declined. The Insurance and Consumer Goods indices gained 0.9 and 0.1 per cent respectively due to buying interest in Linkage Assurance (+18.8 per cent) and Vitafoam (+10.0 per cent). Conversely, price declines in FBN Holdings (-10.3 per cent) and Wapco (-12.9 per cent) compelled the sharpest losses in Banking and Industrial Goods indices. Similarly, the AFR-ICT and Oil & Gas indices pared 2.5 and 1.1 per cent respectively on the back of sell pressure in MTNN (-4.3 per cent), Eterna Oil (-23.8 per cent).

A total turnover of 1.561 billion shares worth N26.073 billion in 21,444 deals were traded this week by investors on the floor of the Exchange, in contrast to a total of 1.237 billion shares valued at N22.762 billion that exchanged hands last week in 21,156 deals.

The Financial Services industry (measured by volume) led the activity chart with 1.154 billion shares valued at N13.650 billion traded in 11,306 deals; thus contributing 73.93 and 52.35 per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively.

The Consumer Goods followed with 137.115 million shares worth N3.177 billion in 2,908 deals while the ICT industry posted a turnover of 94.464 million shares worth N6.554 billion in 894 deals.

Trading in the Top Three Equities namely, Veritas Kapital Assurance Plc, Zenith Bank Plc and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc. (measured by volume) accounted for 604.668 million shares worth N9.370 billion in 4,069 deals, contributing 38.74 and 35.94 per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively.

Seventeen equities appreciated in price during the week, lower than 32 equities in the previous week. Forty-four equities depreciated in price, higher than 28 equities in the previous week, while102 equities remained unchanged, lower than103 equities recorded in the preceding week.

Investor sentiment weakened as 16 stocks gained while 44 others declined. Linkage Assurance (+18.8 per cent), Neimeth (+17.0 per cent) and Vitafoam (+10.0 per cent) led the gainers while Eterna (-23.8 per cent), Honeywell flour (-17.8 per cent) and ABC Transport (-17.1 per cent) led the decliners.