6 BUSINESS DAY C002D5556 NEWS Airport-Oshodi road ready December - Lagos JOSHUA BASSEY Governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode, says the ongoing reconstruction of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport road linking the Oshodi Transport Interchange will be completed by December 2018. The state government flagged off the reconstruction of the airport road said to be accommodating at least 50,000 vehicles daily, in September 2017, with the aim to give motorists and foreign visitors a smooth drive. The design of the project include the reconstruction and expansion of the existing carriage to three-lane expressway on both directions, construction of twolane service road in both directions, construction of ramp bridge to provide a u- turn from Ajao Estate to the airport, construction of a flyover at NAHCO/toll gate and drainage works. Ambode, who was onthe-spot assessment of the project and other construction sites within the state metropolis, on Thursday, said everything was being done by his administration to ensure the projects were not delayed. According to Ambode, the strategic location of the airport road as entrance into the nation’s commercial city makes its quick completion a compelling obligation. “We have seen the progress of work being done on the airport road and I will like to appeal to all Lagos residents that they should bear with us. As much as possible, we will try to reduce the stress this might generate by completing it and the Oshodi Interchange by end of December. This, we hope to present to Lagos residents as Christmas gifts,” he said. The governor also assured of payment of compensations on properties with valid documents affected by the road expansion. BusinessDay gathered that compensation on properties demolished to allow right of way for the expansion of Airport-Oshodi road might cost the state government about N1 billion. At the flyover bridge in Agege, Pen Cinema, the governor commended the pace of work so far done and also promised its completion by December 2018. Nigeria: 7 states have their budget public BUNMI BAILEY Out of 36 states in Nigeria, only seven states have their 2018 budgets made public, according to BudgiT, a civil organisation that deals in budget transparency and accountability. According to the BudgiT’s report compiled by BusinessDay, 27 states have signed their 2018 budget into law, but only seven - Delta, Edo, Kaduna, Kastina, Kogi, Kwara, and Yobe - have their budget documents published online or are in public domain. Analysts attribute this to the poor transparency and accountability level, and lack of appreciation of technology of the state governments. “When we talk about budget, it is not a private document of the government but a public one, and since it is signed into law it should be made available to the public,” Ayodele Shittu, a lecturer in the Department of Economics, University of Lagos, said. According to a transparency index by International Budget Partnership (IBP) 2017, released January 30, 2018, Nigeria’s budget transparency level is ranked poorly compared with other African countries. The country is ranked 80 out of 115 countries, notching 17 points out of a possible 100. “It is part of what may be responsible for the underdevelopment that we are seeing in the country. Also, with the level of non-transparency it gives a lot of opportunity for misappropriation,” Ayodeji Ebo, managing director of Afrinvest, said. Ibrahim Tajudeen, head of research, Chapel Hill Denham, said there was no law making the budget to be transparent, so the little they could show off was what they were showing, saying, “They are not mandated by law to show the budget information to the public.” Although, it is yet to be passed into law, states like Lagos, Cross River and Akwa Ibom, not only have the highest budget expenditure among the 36 states, but also there budgets have also not been published online; Cross River budget has the highest with N1.3 trillion followed by Lagos State and Akwa Ibom with N1.04 trillion and N646.7 billion, respectively. Wema Bank reports 20.07% growth in gross earning HOPE MOSES-ASHIKE Wema Bank plc has released its audited financial result for the year ended December 31, 2017, confirming the growth of its gross earnings by 20.07 percent, from N54.36 billion in full year (FY) 2016 to N65.27 billion in FY2017. The growth was supported by the launch of ALAT – Nigeria’s first fully digital bank, enhancing Wema Bank’s already existing alternate platforms, which recorded a combined growth rate of 205.67 percent in transactions executed and with an estimated 30,000 accounts opened monthly. Commenting on the results, Segun Oloketuyi, managing director/CEO of the bank, provided further insights into the performance of the bank during the period. “Despite the slow start to the year, 2017 recorded significant progress, highlighted by the introduction of the Investor & Exporters (I&E) window and recovery in oil prices,” Oloketuyi noted. Friday 13April2018 Investment One launches virtual trading platform A leading financial services group in Nigeria, Investment One Financial Services, has launched its All Stars League initiative, in an effort to heighten interest in stock trading in Nigeria. The All Stars League according to a statement made available by Investment One Services, is a gaming environment where individuals can interact with the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) in near real time. It provides a platform for amateur traders to improve their skills and to compete for prizes, on a virtual investment simulator. During the League, each trader begins with N10, 000,000 in virtual cash and has a trading limit of N2, 000,000 per day. The top 3 traders at the conclusion of the 3-month League will have their trading accounts funded with real money as a reward. The Investment One All Stars League begins on April 16 and ends on June 30. Individuals can sign up at www.bit.ly/visgame.
Friday 13April2018 NEWS LPG, NHK, PMS, AGO prices decrease in March - NBS KELVIN UMWENI Average price of a 5kg and 12.5kg Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), popularly known as cooking gas, declined month-on-month by 3.03 percent and 1.84 percent, respectively, in March 2018, a report released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) reveals. The average price of refilling a 5kg cylinder was N2,090.6 in the month of March. This represented a month-on-month decrease of 3.30 percent decline compared with N2,155.97 recorded in February, and a 16.6 percent year-on-year contraction relative to the average price of N2,493.6 recorded in March 2017. A geographical decomposition reveals that the South-West has the lowest average price (at N2,019.15) of refilling a 5kg cylinder capacity, while the North- East with an average price of N2,256.25 emerged as the region with the highest average price. Others are North- West (N2,025), South-East (N2,065.87), North-Central (2,085.48) and South-South (N2,099.76). States with the lowest average price of refilling a 5kg included Abuja (N1,760), Ebonyi (N1,870) and Ekiti (N1,895). Conversely, the North-East states of Bauchi (N2,364.3), Yobe (N2,500), and Borno (N2,500) recorded the highest prices for March. In the same vein, the average price for refilling a 12.5kg cylinder stood at N4,253.7 in March 2018, representing a month-on-month decline of 1.84 percent from the N4,333.3 average price recorded in preceding month and a year-on-year decrease from the N4,923.5 average price recorded in March 2018. South-West geographical region had the lowest average price of refilling a 12.5kg cylinder of cooking gas (recording N3,973.3). This was closely followed by the North East with an average price of N4,038.9. Others in successive order includes North- West (N4,212.4), South-East (N4,373.3), North-Central (N4,400.2) and South-South (N4,526.6); which recorded the highest average price in this cylinder capacity category. State-wide assessment shows that Bauchi (N3,400), Lagos (N3,768) and Oyo (N3,834.4) had the lowest average price of refilling a 12.5kg cylinder while Akwa Ibom (N4,650), Cross River (N4,730) and Benue (N4,966.7) tops the state with the highest average price. In another report by the NBS, the average price of National Household Kerosene (NHK) for the month of March decreased to N269 per litre. This denotes a month-onmonth decline of 13.7 per cent from N288.6 per litre recorded in February and a year-onyear decline relative to N311.6 per litre recorded in the corresponding period of 2017. C002D5556 BUSINESS DAY 7 FOU Customs to enforce FG’s ban on importation of foreign rice AMAKA ANAGOR-EWUZIE Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone ‘A’, has vowed to continue to enforce the Federal Government’s rice policy that prohibits the importation of foreign parboiled rice. The policy, which was put in place to encourage local rice production, is aimed at making Nigeria self sufficient in rice production and creating more employment opportunities for the youths. Aside the ban on importation of rice from the land border, the Federal Government has technically ban import of rice through seaports as Customs vowed not to issue any Form ‘M’ to rice importers. Also, the unit reported the interception of several contraband goods with duty paid value (DPV) of over N1.5 billion including an additional SESSPN seeks to catalyse dialogue for new governance, economic order South-East South- South Professionals of Nigeria (SESSPN) is a non-governmental platform involving socially-conscious businessmen and professionals who are keen on deploying their values, voices, perspectives, life experiences, skills and expertise to promote sustainable development and growth in the region with or without the much-clamoured restructuring. With this overlap between the SESSPN and the beneficial influence of the private sector, it is envisaged that a new impetus will be granted to the causes, which animate our members and fuel the fire N166.2 billion generated from duty payment and demand notices on general goods from seaports, airports and land borders, which had wrong classification, transfer of value and underpayment of duty. The seized items include Indian hemp, 64 exotic vehicles; 6,003 bags of foreign parboiled rice equivalent to 10 trailers; 963 cartons of frozen poultry products; 431 jerrycans of vegetable oil; 163 bales of used clothing; 569 pieces of used tyres; 69 bags of sugar and four containers of general goods. Speaking in Lagos on Wednesday, Mohammed Uba, area controller of the command, told newsmen that among the seizures was the interception of 570 parcels and 98 sacks of Indian hemp weighing 1,550kg along Olorunda axis of Ogun State. Intelligence gathering facilitated the seizure, which Uba rated as the highest seizure of hard drug in the history of the command. Uba disclosed that the command together with the help of Lagos Roving Team, also evacuated 2,672 bags of rice from a storage house in Ilogbo, Abeokuta. On the 64 impounded vehicles, Uba said 13 of the exotic vehicles including 2018 model of one Toyota Land Cruiser; one Escalades Cadillac; one Range Rover; three Toyota Camry; one Toyota Rav4; one Toyota Highlander; one Honda CRV; one Honda Accord; one BMW Salon; one Toyota Sienna and one Hyundai, were also intercepted while on patrol at various locations. He however disclosed that the vehicles were still under detention pending the grace period given to the importers to bring the relevant Customs document. “Additionally, four containers including three by 40 foot containers. of our devotion to the enthronement of a new reality in the daily economic and social lives of our people. Subsequent to our recent election of a new EXCO for the SESSPN, members are optimistic about actualising the developmental agenda of the Association. This, however, will require the co-opting of the political leadership of the states in the region, with the ultimate goal of promoting the interests of the long-suffering people of the region, through the harnessing and marshalling of the civic and economic strength that ordinary people wield in their numbers. Our goal is an enlightened people, with eyes newly-open to the urgent need for change of the present order, and access to the information that empowers them to make the educated choices required to effect the much needed seismic shifts in our body-politic. SESSPN going forward will begin a quarterly business and professional conversation across the public and private sectors. The first of which is billed for the Prime Chinese Restaurant at Bishop Abayode Cole, Victoria Island - Lagos on Sunday, April 15, at 3pm with Sokonte Davies, executive director, Nigerian Ports Authority, as keynote speaker and guest of honour.