NIGERIA NEWSPAPERS: TODAY’S BUSINESSDAY NEWSPAPER HEADLINES [6TH AUGUST, 2018].

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Banks miss loan growth target as politics, fragile economy take toll
Tue, 07 Aug 2018
Rising political tensions heading into the 2019 presidential elections in Africa’s most populous nation and fragile economic activity, are forcing banks to remain cautious and conservative with credit creation.
Lenders largely forecast 10 percent loan growth guidance during investor presentations at the start of the year.
A 10 percent loan book growth in one year translates to an average of 2.5 percent growth per quarter.
Despite already looking complicated as early as the first quarter of the year, when average loan growth was -5.2 percent (which meant lenders most grow their loan books by 4 percent for the next three quarters), the situation has become even worse in the second quarter as contracting loan books persist.
Zenith bank, First Bank Holdings, First City Monument Bank (FCMB), Diamond bank and Sterling bank are the only banks to have published their second quarter financial statements. Tier one lenders, Zenith and First Bank, saw loans and advances to customers decline 10.8 percent and 7 percent to N1.87 trillion and N1.86 trillion respectively as at the end of June 2018, from N2 trillion for both banks as at the end of 2017.

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Tier-two lenders, FCMB and Diamond bank, also posted negative loan growth, with FCMB recording a 9.95 percent contraction to N23 billion from N26 billion in the period under review, while Diamond bank’s loan book dipped 3.68 percent to N727 billion from N755 billion.
Sterling bank was the only bank to buck the trend, growing its loan book by less than 1 percent to N628 billion from N598 billion in the period under review.
“The onset of political activities came earlier than expected and economic activity remains fragile at best, making it almost impossible for banks to create credit assets,” said Johnson Chukwu, the managing director and CEO of Lagos-based financial advisory firm, Cowry Assets.
After recovering from its first economic recession in 25 years in 2017, the economy grew 1.95 percent in the first quarter of 2018 thanks to higher oil prices and production, with the IMF forecasting growth of 2 percent for full-year.
However, economic growth that is below the rate at which the population is growing (3 percent) means the GDP per capita will shrink for the third consecutive year in 2018. The IMF expects it will shrink eight years straight.
“The ruling party had conventions that created hiccups and there have been mass defections that have added to an already heightened political uncertainty,” Chukwu said. “Remember the banks are also keen to reduce their non-performing loans and the current environment is risk-laden.”
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Local oil firms ramp alternative financing as bank credits dry up
Tue, 07 Aug 2018
Nigerian oil companies are counting on alternative funding schemes including contractor financing, insurance funds, private equity, pension funds among others to get cash for new projects in an industry where lenders have become weary. In exchange for some of the funds, operators say they have been offering equity participation, profit sharing and various crude for…
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AEDC to deploy 222,728 pre-paid meters to customers
Tue, 07 Aug 2018
The Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC), is to begin the deployment of 222,728 meters valued about N10 billion for customers in its franchise areas of FCT, Kogi, Niger and Nasarawa States. A statement by its Head, Corporate Communications, Mr Oyebode Fadipe, said the deployment of the meters, which would begin on Aug. 8, was under…
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PEBEC targets small businesses in ease of doing business’ reforms
Tue, 07 Aug 2018
The Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) said it is accelerating efforts to ensure improved business environment for Micro Small and Medium Enterprises in the country. Nigeria must improve its ranking by 45 places in the World Bank Ease of Doing Business Index over the next two years to achieve its goal of attaining…
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NNPC seeks action on economic diversification
Tue, 07 Aug 2018
Dr Maikanti Baru, the Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), on Monday called for proactive actions to reduce the country’s dependence on oil and gas. Baru, who spoke at the 2018 Nigerian Annual International Conference and Exhibition (NAICE) in Lagos, identified the reliance on oil and gas, as responsible for the economic recession…
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Tantalizers shed 41. 67% in July to emerge worst performing stock
Tue, 07 Aug 2018
Low, medium and high capitalised equities dominated worst performing table on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) for the month of July in percentage terms. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Tantalizers emerged the worst performing equity in percentage terms with 41.67 per cent. NAN reports that data obtained from NSE indicated that the…
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LASG offsets pension obligations with N2bn in 3 months
Tue, 07 Aug 2018
The Lagos State Government says it has released over N2 billion to off-set its pensioners’ obligation under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) in the last three months. Mrs Folashade Onanuga, Director-General, Lagos State Pension Commission (LASPEC), said that the figure represented pension monies released for the months of May, June and July. According to her,…
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Neimeth stock up 31% in one week after strong Q3 report
Tue, 07 Aug 2018
Barely one week after Neimeth International pharmaceutical, a player in the Nigerian healthcare space declared its nine month unaudited financial result showing recovery, its shares has moved up by 31 percent at the Nigerian Stock Exchange. The firm’s share price that was trading as low as N0.42k, the lowest this year gained a 31 percent…
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African companies could free up additional $33.5bn of working capital
Tue, 07 Aug 2018
If suppliers were to offer African companies payment terms of 30 days after delivery of goods and services, rather than demand payment in cash in advance, this could release more than 33.5bn dollars of additional working capital to be put to more productive use in 2018, according to Euler Hermes. In 2015, Euler Hermes estimated…
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Dangote refinery insists it will generate 12,000mw to support national grid
Tue, 07 Aug 2018
The construction of the 650,000 barrels of crude oil per day Dangote Refinery will through the gas from its pipeline augment the natural domestic gas supply while an estimated 12,000MW of power generation can be added to the national grid from the gas. The refinery is building the largest sub-sea pipeline infrastructure in any country…
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NERC’s amended MYTO 2.0 and changes in electricity tariffs
Tue, 07 Aug 2018
As Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) continues to come up with different strategies to revamp the Nigeria power sector, investors and consumers will be hoping the amended Multi Year Tariff Order (MYTO) 2.1 will provide lasting solution to the many challenges that has plagued the sector over the years. Stakeholders have been dissatisfied with MYTO…
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Stakeholders say opportunities exist in downstream sector despite challenges
Tue, 07 Aug 2018
Stakeholders in oil and gas industry have said that in spite of the challenges facing the industry there exist great opportunities and hope in the downstream sector of the industry as the refineries can still be effectively rehabilitated. According to the communiqu which was arrived at after the recently held Arety Adams Foundation lecture series,…
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Right framework will derisk Nigeria’s gas flare commercialisation program ‘ Mama
Tue, 07 Aug 2018
Chijioke MAMA, co-founder & senior project advisor at Meiracopp Nigeria Limited (MNL), a doctoral researcher in Business Management and a consultant with the Sustainability Policy Commission of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), in this interview with ISAAC ANYOGU speaks on how Nigeria can succeed in its plan to monetize gas flares. The proposed commercialisation…
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Zenith Bank to pay N9.42bn as half-year interim dividend
Tue, 07 Aug 2018
Zenith Bank Plc released its audited interim report for the half-year (H1) ended June 2018 with a proposal to pay an interim dividend of 30kobo per share amounting to N9.4billion from the retained earnings account as at 30 June 2018. The bank in H1′ 2017 paid interim dividend of N7.85billion being 25kobo per share. The…
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FCMB Nigeria Plc: Increased non interest income underpins profit
Tue, 07 Aug 2018
First City Monument Bank (FCMB) Plc in its recently released half year results for the period ended June 2018 showed improvements in profitability, digital banking, and key ratios. The lender’s risk management strategy has paid off as its cost of risk dropped, thanks to improved recovery and collection across sectors FCMB’s growing portfolio of digital…
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MRA inducts Bank of Industry in FOI`s hall of shame
Tue, 07 Aug 2018
Media Rights Agenda (MRA) has inducted the Bank of Industry (BoI) into its Freedom of Information (FOI) Hall of Shame over the institution’s preference for shrouding its operations in secrecy while completely disregarding its duties and obligations under the FOI Act, 2011. In a statement released in Lagos Monday, Idowu Adewale, MRA’s Programme Officer,…
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Nigeria stock market opens week on negative footing
Tue, 07 Aug 2018
Nigeria’s stock market opened this week on a negative note as investors continued weighing the nation’s political chess game and a mixed bag of first-half corporate scorecards. Advancing stocks failed to outnumber decliners on Customs Street (21 gainers as against 25 losers) prompting record marginal decline of 0.06percent by the NSE All Share Index (ASI)….
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NDLEA seizes 18kg of cannabis in remote areas of Niger
Tue, 07 Aug 2018
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Niger Command, has seized 18kg of hemp and arrested twosuspected drug traffickers in remote areas of the state. Mrs Silvia Egwunwoke, the state NDLEA Commander, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)in Minna on Monday. Egwunwoke said that one of the suspects was arrestedat Mokwa Local…
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