Category: Business

Trump victory pushes oil prices lower by 1.5%

The international oil market has greeted the news of the Republican candidate, Donald Trump, defeating his Democratic counterpart, Hillary Clinton, in the United States presidential election by shedding off 1.5 per cent of its prices on Wednesday.

News monitored by Ripples Nigeria indicated that the price of Brent crude dropped 74 cent, selling at $44.1 from $45.75 following the shock reaction that trailed the result of the poll.

Particularly in Asia and the Middle East, the news of the election result, which filtered out as early as 0830 GMT, sent more spiral reactions on the December contract for US benchmark West Texas Intermediate and other countries’ deals with US, due for January delivery.

Experts said Nigeria, whose oil quality measures with the Brent crude is to also suffer some loses until the confidence in the international market is restored.

Said Simeon Chukwurah, an oil market analysts: “The reaction is not unexpected given the tough talk that Trump was associated with throughout the campaign. It is a genuine fear but there is nothing to show that normalcy will be restored soon on many economic fronts until he lays out his economic blue print.

“More of such negative reactions are bound to trail stock markets all over the world, including trade and multi-lateral relations.”

He predicted that crude oil price will suffer longer loses because Russia, which is a non OPEC member country is planning flooding the market with its crude in line with Trump’s inclination to work with the country.

He said the development is a strong warning to Nigeria to work harder towards finding alternative source of revenue to oil and gas, if it wants to enjoy a robust economy.

Though Trump in his speech, after Clinton had conceded victory to him, sounded conciliatory, analysts insisted there were yet to be strong evidence from him that the international business community will trust him .

The market reaction has equally affected the foreign exchange markets and instruments, including gold, with dollar shedding 5 per cent value in favour of Euro and other major currencies.

sources: Ripples Nigeria

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Alleged sexual abuse in IDPs: Buhari orders immediate investigation

Alleged sexual abuse in IDPs: Buhari orders immediate investigation

President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Idris Ibrahim, to immediately investigate allegations of sexual abuses and exploitation of women and girls in Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps.

The President who stated this on Monday in a statement his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu made available to newsmen, also instructed the governors of affected states to immediately commence investigations into the cases of sexual abuse.

The directive is coming after Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported that women and girls in IDP camps in the North East are being sexual abused and exploited by some officials and security personnel of the camps.

Reacting, Shehu said that President Buhari was “worried and shocked” by the report of the HRW.

“The welfare of these most vulnerable of Nigerian citizens has been a priority of his government. Nigerians and the international community can rest assured that the allegations raised in the HRW are not being taken lightly.

“President Buhari has instructed the Inspector General of Police and the state governors of the affected states to immediately commence investigations into the issue. Their findings will determine the next course of action for the government and define an appropriate response.

“While the Nigerian military continues to work hard so that these unfortunate victims of Boko Haram terrorism can soon return safely to their homes, the government will do its best to ensure their protection and welfare in the temporary IDP camps”, the statement read.

sources: Ripples Nigeria.

Nigeria lost N2tn to militancy in Niger Delta, NNPC says

Nigeria lost N2tn to militancy in Niger Delta, NNPC says

Attacks on oil facilities by Niger Delta militants and activities of oil pipeline vandals cost Nigeria $7billion (about N2.1trillion) from January 2016 till date, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has said.

NNPC Group Managing Director, Dr Maikanti Baru, stated this on Friday in Abuja, in his presentation on “Global Oil Prices, Militancy and Terrorism and its Impact on Government Revenue in Nigeria,’’ which he made at the 2016 Fiscal Liquidity Assessment Committee Retreat.

According to him, “Over 7000kpd of crude oil has been lost due to vandalism this year. A bulk of the loss is from JV assets. This implies that 60 per cent of oil production lost is NNPC-FGN equity.

“At an estimated price of 45 dollars per barrel, the total 2016 revenue loss to the Federation Account translates to about 7 billion dollars. This is money that the government could have used to achieve major infrastructural milestones.

“This loss is equivalent to a new 7,000mw power plant; new 350kpd refinery; over 30 per cent of National budget; and a new 1,700 kilometre pipeline,” he said.

He said that the NNPC has planned to increase security of oil and gas assets, improve its community social responsibility and the Amnesty programme, in order to curtail the ugly development.

He said, “NNPC plans to renegotiate terms of Production Sharing Contract with deep offshore operating companies because with the current agreement, only 17.7 per cent of total revenue comes to government’’.

Baru added that aside security challenges in the oil region, politics, judiciary, oil prices and production cost have continued to impact adversely on the oil industry.

sources: Ripples Nigeria.

Dangote, BPE in faceoff over privatization of power sector

Dangote, BPE in faceoff over privatization of power sector

In what appears a major point of departure, Africa’s richest man and founder of the Dangote group, Mr. Aliko Dangote and the Nigeria Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) have taken different stands on the privatisation of the country’s power sector.

Dangote faulted the privatization process, explaining that it was wrongly done, even as he called for a reversal of the entire process.

He made his views known, while speaking as a guest lecturer at the Senior Executive course 38 of the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, in Plateau State.

He lamented that despite the privatisation of the sector, the problems persist mainly because the buyers lack an understanding of the complexities of the sector.

However, the BPE which is the agency that handled the power sector privatisation in 2013, did not agree with him, instead arguing that it was too early to write off the entire process as having failed.

Acting Director General of the BPE, Dr. Vincent Akpotaire responded to Dangote’s call while speaking at the roll out of large power users’ (LPU) meters which the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) procured for deployment to maximum demand customers.

According to him, Dangote was hasty in making the call for the reversal of the powere sector Privatisation, noting, that the agreement signed with the investors upon acquisition of the power assets gave them as at least five years to invest and stabilise their networks.

He also called on the business mogul to evaluate statements before making them, as his claim of the exercise being a failure is not factual.

“My take is that we need to evaluate statements before we make them. That is the point I think we should put across to Nigerians”he stated.

But Dangote expressed fears that because of lack of understanding of the sector, the generating and distribution companies which took over the power assets are now holding the country to ransom.

He further noted that the country may never be able to deliver adequate power for use except government quickly decides on taking back the assets and giving them to people who have the capacity to inject money, and run the sector effectively.

He said: “People who wanted to buy all these plants, both the generating and distribution companies, thought that this was another opportunity like mobile phones, where we have moved from 500,000 lines in 2000 and in ten years we now have 120million lines.

“Yes it would have been so but these guys, what they did when they bought these power plants was that they borrowed 90 per cent of the money in foreign currency. You cannot go and borrow dollars when your base income is in naira, you will have an issue because your earnings are in naira you are taking a huge exchange risk and that is what happened today.

“The majority of them went in without even understanding what they are doing and the worst thing for any entrepreneur is to go into a business without understanding it.”

“If you don’t understand a business no matter how much money they show you that you are going to make, how much profit, don’t go into where somebody has to come and sit you down and start explaining because if he is doing something wrong, you don’t have any way of challenging him.

“If you wake me up in the middle of the night on any of the businesses we are doing today, even the new ones I will be able to explain it to you, I know my entry and I know my exit but unfortunately that is what these guys did and today they are holding the entire nation to ransom, it is very embarrassing for us.”

“My own advice is that government should sit down with them and negotiate the best way out because we need power, we are desperate for power and if there is no power no growth because if you look at the medium and small industries, most of their income goes into buying diesel or petrol to generate power and that shouldn’t be the case”, he stated.

But in defence, Akpotaire said, “We have put only about three years since the handover of the power sector to private investors.

“Before that, the power sector had existed for well over 50 years and in those 50 years, hardly much was achieved due to several factors and the decision to privatise was a well thought-out decision”.

He further stated: “In three years, the measurement of their performance is based on a five year index which is under their agreements and that measurement is not dependent only on the activities of the private investors alone but also on the tariff structure.

“You are all aware of controversies the tariff has thrown up and because of that, there is now a scale back in reviewing of the tariffs, one segment of the review has just been lost and for every review not done, there is a gap in the funding.

“As of today we are just starting the issues and I am confident that in the next few years, most of the results as to performance will be better checked.”

He continued, “What I expect is solution finding and not reversal of the privatisation. Best practices demands that this is the way to go. Even in countries as small as neighbouring Ghana, they have made attempt to privatise different sectors of their power sector.

“The concept is not the problem but the management of the outcome. We need our leaders to speak to the solution and not the problems,” he noted.

sources: Ripples Nigeria.

 

Recession: Nigeria seeks $30bn Diaspora investment funds

Recession: Nigeria seeks $30bn Diaspora investment funds

Having met some brick walls in sourcing loan facilities from international financial institutions with which to fight its recession, Nigeria has shifted attention to its citizens living abroad in a process aimed at securing an investment programme of about $30bn.

The plan, if it pulls through, will be targeted at having the Nigerians abroad invest through Treasury Bills and other financial instruments, the process of which will be used as back-up funds for anticipated deficit of the 2017 budget and other developments.

It is to this effect that the current trip of the Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo to the United States was programmed at having a closer interaction with Nigerians in Diaspora; most of who are believed to have huge investments abroad.

The VP’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr. Laolu Akande Osinbajo, at the weekend, spoke of the trip, affirming, that the Federal Government was working on a proposal on the establishment of the Diaspora Commission.

But he was silent on whether the funds to be so realised from the commission would be used to support the country’s budget deficits.

He however quoted Osinbajo as having told Nigerians in US, that “Even in the midst of all that the country is going through, there is a growing consensus by all and sundry on the need for good governance, which can only be feasible with stable economy.

“This is why the President and I have made a call that we need a new tribe of Nigerians. We do need a new tribe of men and women of all faith, tribes and ethnicities, who are committed to a country run on high values of integrity, hard work, justice and love for the country.”

Osinbajo said the present administration had taken the Diaspora issue seriously, hence the President Buhari’s decision to appoint a former member of the House of Representatives, Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, as a Senior Special Assistant on the Diaspora.

Other reports quote Dabiri-Erewa as saying that there had been a total of $1.2 trillion funds lying idle but belonging to Nigerians living abroad, with US having about 45 per cent, UK, 30 per cent, while the rest of the countries in Europe and Asia share the balance of 15 per cent.

It was further learnt that a plan for CBN to work with the DMO to have a special bond dedicated to patronage by the Nigerians in Diaspora is in the works.

sources: Ripples Nigeria.

4 ways to attract new customers to small businesses

4 ways to attract new customers to small businesses

Anyone who owns a small business understands that the customer is the major source of sustenance for his/her trade. These days though, no one wants to be sold to and so most small business owners are now finding it extra hard to attract customer, especially those who run a professional service business.

To make things easier for these small business owners as regards attracting customers, here are four tips that will not only lure in new customers, but will also keep them coming back.

1) Word-of-mouth

This may seem outdated or cliché considering it is one of the oldest forms of marketing and advertising used by businesses, but while it may not be as fast-paced as radio or T.V, it can prove to be very efficient for a small business.

Basically, a satisfied customer is one of the most effective marketing and advertising tools a small business can ever have, when a customer is happy and satisfied with a product or service, there’s a natural human tendency that they are likely to share this experience with people in their circle of trust and influence, and will go to great lengths to promote, convince, protect and defend your business outside.

2) Cross-promote your business

The problem with most small business in Nigeria is that they want to be independent and do it all alone. They do not see any need to corroborate with other businesses and cross-promote as they feel it may make them seem weak or they fear the other business may end up taking all their customers.

The truth however is that joining forces with other businesses is a good order to reach a wider customer base and get more business. From offering incentives to customers who use both your services, to providing each other’s fliers to your customers, and sharing ad space in newspapers that you normally could not afford by yourself, there are many ways to use cross-promotion.

3) Look for and tap into unique communities

Do not sit around and wait for customers to just show up after viewing your ads or hearing testimonies from customer. Actively research and find out clubs/organizations, as well as different causes that you can get involved with and positively introduce your business to in the long run. Exploring these communities will create a natural and low stress opportunities to network. Generally, the more interest you explore, the more publicity for your business, and certainly, the greater the number of people you network with.

4) Generate conversation and maintain strong online presence

It is 2016, let’s face it, no business is really regarded unless it has some kind of presence on the internet. Almost everyone goes online to research a product or a shop before making an actual purchase. The best way to get more customers is to ensure your name pops up ones they go to any of the search engines online. Ensure you have a website or a blog for your business that is informational, but useful as well.

For instance, it should have a forum where they can answer questions and provide tips that their customers would find useful. If you cannot afford to build a website or blog yet, use social media to promote your business and generate conversation with your target market. Facebook, Twitter and instagram are great choices.

sources: Ripples Nigeria.