Category Archives: BUSINESS

World Leaders mourn Kofi Annan

Former Prime Minister, Tony Blair has led tributes to the former UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, describing him as a “true statesman.”

During his time as secretary general, Mr Annan clashed with Mr Blair over the 2003 invasion of Iraq by US and British forces, which he denounced as illegal.

However the former prime minister whose time in No 10 coincided closely with Mr Annan’s time in office said their differences had not prevented them remaining good friends.

“I’m shocked and distressed to hear the news about Kofi. He was a good friend whom I saw only weeks ago,” Mr Blair said in a statement.

Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Theresa May said that she was sad to learn of Mr Annan’s death and that her thoughts were with his family.

May tweeted; “A great leader and reformer of the UN, he made a huge contribution to making the world he has left a better place than the one he was born into. My thoughts and condolences are with his family.”

Indian Ministers tweet
Rashtrapati Bhavan tweeted on behalf of the President Ram Nath Kovind, “Sorry to learn of the passing of former Secretary General of the United Nations Kofi Annan. My condolences to his family and to the UN community.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, “We express our profound sorrow at the passing away of Nobel Laureate and former UNSG Mr. Kofi Annan. The world has lost not only a great African diplomat and humanitarian but also a conscience keeper of international peace and security.

“Kofi Annan’s significant contribution to the MDGs will always be remembered. My thoughts are with his family and admirers in this hour of grief. May his soul rest in peace.”

Former Australia Prime Minister Kevin Rudd tweeted, “The world has lost a great leader today. Kofi initiated the Millennium Development Goals. He did everything possible to prevent the Iraq War. He spoke for our common humanity. I will miss him too as a dear friend, colleague and source of encouragement.”

Fighting poverty and injustice
Former Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, who is currently the UN special envoy for global education said Mr Annan had fought throughout his life against poverty and injustice.

“Kofi Annan was a leader of leaders, a wonderful humanitarian and the most compassionate and caring of individuals…Personally modest and always softly spoken, he was a titan amongst world statesman who saw wrong and righted it and who witnessed evil and always fought it…Even in his later years he fought against poverty, injustice and war with all the vigour of youth and I had the privilege of working with him in recent times.”

“Deeply shocked to learn of the passing of my friend and mentor Kofi Annan. The last time we spoke he had accepted my invitation to come to Kerala in 2022 to celebrate his “thousand moons…He was so fit I had no doubt he would go on well past that date. I have lost an elder brother,” the Congress leader and former Undersecretary-General Shashi Tharoor tweeted.

He said;Kofi Annan was a proud son of Africa, a great admirer of India, a voice of the developing world, a paragon of internationalism and an exemplar of humanity. The UN was fortunate to have been led by him at a pivotal moment in world history. He remains one of its greatest Secretaries-General.”

Tharoor said; ”Kofi Annan was a guiding force for good. It is with profound sadness that I learned of his passing. In many ways, Kofi Annan was the United Nations. He rose through the ranks to lead the organisation into the new millennium with matchless dignity and determination. 

”Like so many, I was proud to call Kofi Annan a good friend and mentor. I was deeply honoured by his trust in selecting me to serve as UN High Commissioner for Refugees under his leadership. He remained someone I could always turn to for counsel and wisdom and I know I was not alone. He provided people everywhere with a space for dialogue, a place for problem-solving and a path to a better world. In these turbulent and trying times, he never stopped working to give life to the values of the United Nations Charter. His legacy will remain a true inspiration for all us.” 

The Elders tributes
The Elders,  an independent group of global leaders working for peace and human rights, say they are “shocked and deeply saddened by the death of their colleague and chair Kofi Annan.”

In a statement, The Elders call the former U.N. secretary-general and Nobel Peace Prize winner “a voice of great authority and wisdom in public and private.”

The organisation says Annan’s most recent work was in visits to South Africa and Zimbabwe, where the country was preparing for a historic presidential election.

“His quiet advice on how best to defuse impending crises was in constant demand from all corners of the globe, in particular from Africa,” the Deputy chair Gro Harlem Brundtland said.

West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee tweeted, “Today we mourn the passing away of Kofi Annan. He was an able diplomat who served as UN Secretary-General. His contribution to peace won him the Nobel Prize in 2001. My heartfelt condolences to his family and his admirers around the world.”

Former Secretary General of Amnesty International, Salil Shetty tweeted, “At a time when there are very few leaders of global stature and integrity, Kofi’s death is a huge loss to #Africa and the world. And as a friend and mentor to me personally, he is simply irreplaceable.”

Actor George Takei tweeted, “Former U.N. Secretary and Nobel Peace Prize winner Kofi Annan has passed at age 80. The world needs visionaries of peace more than ever, and his life is an example of the possible. Thank you for your service to us all, sir. Rest now, in peace.”

Kofi Annan passed away peacefully on Saturday 18th August after a short illness, at the age of 80.

He was born into an aristocratic family in Ghana on April 8, 1938.

He attended a number of schools and colleges, studying international relations in the United States and Switzerland, and became an international civil servant working for the United Nations in 1962.

He went on to become the U.N. secretary-general and later a special envoy to Syria.



Welders Association urges Govt to ban importation of furniture

The Nigerian Welders Association (NWA) has appealed to government to ban importation of finished furniture as part of efforts to boost production in the country.

The NWA Zonal Chairman, Ola Balogun, who made the appeal in Lagos, said that a large number of furniture factories and welders had been laid off work as a result of the increase on importation of furniture.

According to him, the imported furniture is only flashy and could not compete with the locally made ones in terms of quality and durability.

He appealed to the government to intervene, by placing embargo on importation of some furniture, to encourage local manufacturers.

He insisted that the local furniture industry, with proper legislation, could provide huge revenue for the economy.

“One of the biggest challenges of the Nigerian economy is that it is import dependent. A number of companies that should have engaged in local production were importing finished products for domestic projects, which reduced gross domestic products and increased unemployment rate of the country.

“The Federal Government in 2004, under former President Olusegun Obasanjo, introduced a new policy banning the importation of furniture into the country. This policy is to encourage economic growth and to promote local production of furniture.

“But recent developments have seen a downturn in investments and growth in the industry. The importation of finished furniture products has become rampant in the country. It is time for the Federal Government to revisit and re-introduce the policies that will create growth in the furniture industry,’’ he explained.


Naira gains 40k against Dollar at parallel market

The Nigerian currency, Naira has gained 40 kobo against the Dollar at the end of trading, exchanging at N359.60 kobo stronger than N360 traded last Thursday.

The Pound Sterling and the Euro closed at N469 and N413 respectively.

At the Bureau De Change (BDC) window, the Naira exchanged at N360 to the dollar, while the Pound Sterling and the Euro closed at N469 and N413 respectively.

Trading at the investors’ window showed that the naira gained 30 kobo to close at N362.50 from N362.53 traded on Wednesday, posting a turnover of 606.21 million dollars, while the Naira was sold at N306.10 at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) official rate.

The Naira had remained stable at the foreign exchange market, due largely to the series of interventions by the CBN.


CBN plans second auction of Chinese Yuan

The Central Bank of Nigeria has directed banks to submit bids for the Chinese Yuan, in its second auction of the currency after it agreed a swap with the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) in May 2018.

According to the CBN, the auction is part of efforts to encourage the use of an alternative trading currency to the U.S. dollar especially as Nigeria imports heavily from China.

The CBN in a recent circular stated that for an authorised bank to access the bi-weekly auction of the Chinese currency, such dealers “shall open Renminbi accounts with a correspondent bank and advise it (CBN) with its Renminbi account details which may either be with a bank onshore or offshore China,” it stated.

In May 2018, the CBN signed a $2.5 billion three-year currency swap deal with Beijing to facilitate trade between the two countries and cut reliance on the Dollar.


NNPC to establish 2 additional refineries in Warri, Port Harcourt

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) says it has plans to establish 100,000-barrels-per-day Brownfield refineries in Port-Harcourt and Warri, both in the Niger-Delta area of Nigeria, to boost local refining of crude oil in the country.

The Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr Ndu Ughamadu disclosed this in a statement issued on Tuesday in Abuja.

Ughamadu said that the effort was part of the corporation’s refinery collocation initiative designed to boost local refining capacity to end the era of petroleum product importation

He quoted the Group Managing Director, Dr Maikanti Baru, as saying that some investors had commenced the process of relocating some refineries abroad to the county.

“A group of investors had commenced the process of relocating a refinery that used to be owned by BP from Turkey to Nigeria to be installed near the Port Harcourt Refinery.

“Our collocation initiative aimed at getting private sector investors to bring in Brownfield refineries so that they can share facilities is also yielding results.

“For example, there is one that is going to be brought in from Turkey to be located near the Port-Harcourt refinery.

“It’s not a modular refinery; it’s a normal refinery with about 100,00bpd capacity.

“It was owned by BP, but it has been sold off now to the companies that wants to bring it over from Turkey to install it here.

“There is another one of about the same size being looked at to be sited near Warri refinery. But the one for Port-Harcourt is at a more advanced stage.

Our drive at the NNPC as a leader in the industry is to expand our local refining capacity and make Nigeria a global refining hub,” he said.


Forex: Wholesale market, others get $210m CBN boost

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has sustained its intervention in the inter-bank foreign exchange market by injecting yet another sum of $210,000,000 into various sums of the market on Tuesday, August 14, 2018.

At Tuesdays trading, the Bank offered the sum of $100,000,000 as wholesale interventions and allocated the sum of $55,000,000 each for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) forex window and the invisibles sector, for customers requiring forex for Business/Personal Travel Allowances, tuition and medical fees, among others.

Confirming the figures in Abuja, the Acting Director, Corporate Communications at the CBN, Mr. Isaac Okorafor said the Bank was pleased at the performance of the naira, noting that the currency had continued to enjoy stability against the Dollar and other major currencies of the world in recent times.

Okorafor reassured the public that the Bank would continue to intervene in the interbank foreign exchange market in line with its resolve to ensure liquidity in the forex market and maintain stability.

He reiterated that the steps taken by the CBN in forex management had resulted in further reduction in the country’s import bills and accretion to its foreign reserves.

It will be recalled that the CBN last Friday, August 10, 2018, intervened in the Retail Secondary Market Intervention Sales (SMIS) to the tune of $327 million in the agricultural and raw materials and CNY 69 million in the spot and short-tenored forwards.

The Naira continued to maintain its strong stand against major currencies around the globe, exchanging for N360/$1 in the BDC segment of the market on Tuesday, August 14, 2018.



Stock Exchange all share index falls by 0.35 per cent

Activities on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange have continued to fall having significant effect across all boards.

The numbers of registered stocks have also fallen as 33 stocks depreciated, with only 13 stocks gaining and 124 stocks maintaining their prices per share at the close of Tuesday’s trading activities. Whereas on Monday, 14 stocks gained, 26 fell while 130 remained unchanged.

Although, the number of shares traded and the number of deals made on Tuesday increased from 160 million shares in 3,120.00 deals to 164 million shares in 3,448.00 deals, the value decreased from 221 billion Naira on Monday, to the valued of 161 on Tuesday

The All Share Index, ASI, also fell from 35,410.61 basis points on Monday to 35,288.23 basis points on Tuesday.

While the market capitalisation fell from N12,928 trillion on Monday, to close on Tuesday at N12,883 basis points.

On the gainers’ list, MUTUAL BENEFITS ASSURANCE PLC led by 0.03 kobo or 10.00 per cent to close at 0.33 kobo per share after opening at 0.30 kobo per share.

CUSTODIAN INVESTMENT PLC followed with a 0.51 kobo or 9.94 per cent gain to close at N5.64 per share while the third position was occupied by LIVESTOCK FEEDS PLC which opened transaction at 0.63 kobo per share and closed at 0.69 kobo per share, gaining 0.06 kobo or 9.52 per cent.

On the losers’ table, ASSOCIATED BUS COMPANY PLC which opened at 0.40 kobo per share to close at 0.36 kobo per share, falling by 0.04 kobo or 10.00 per cent.

While the second position is occupied by UNION DIAGNOSTIC & CLINICAL SERVICES PLC which opened transactions at 0.30 kobo per share, closed on Tuesday at 0.27 kobo per share, falling by 0.03 kobo or 10.00 per cent.

While NORTHERN NIGERIAN FLOUR MILLS PLCfell by 0.70 kobo or 9.72 per cent to close at N6.50 kobo per share after opening at N7.20 kobo per share.



Osinbajo lauds Nigerian girls’ victory at World Technovation Pitch

Nigeria’s Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has congratulated the young Nigerian ladies, who won the 2018 Technovation World Pitch in California, USA.

Osinbajo’s posted this on his Twitter handle @ProfOsinbajo on Friday.

He tweeted: “These young ladies in Junior Secondary School developed a mobile application called ‘FD Detector’ to tackle the problems of fake pharmaceutical products in Nigeria.

“Yesterday, they won the 2018 Technovation World Pitch in California. Congratulations.  We are proud of you.”

The five girls from Regina Pacies Secondary School Onitsha, Anambra State, South East Nigeria, represented Nigeria and Africa, at the World Technovation Challenge in the Silicon Valley in San Francisco, US, and won the contest.

The team, led by Uchenna Onwuamaegbu Ugwu defeated representatives of other countries to win the pitch.

The young ladies from Nigeria also included Promise Nnalue, Jessica Osita, Nwabuaku Ossai, Adaeze Onuigbo and Vivian Okoye.


NCC offers N3bn subsidy initiative for Infrastructure Companies

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) said it has made available N3 billion subsidy budget to assist Infrastructure Companies (InfraCos) in the deployment of services in the country.

The N3 billion has been approved by the National Assembly and would be executed on a yearly basis.

This was disclosed by the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, during an interaction with journalists in Abuja.

Although, the NCC said none of the licensed Infrastrucrure companies (InfraCos) have accessed the subsidy, most of the licensed operators are facing serious challenges in their regions of operations.

Chief of these challenges relate to the issue of Right of Way (RoW), where state governments are demanding huge fees from operators before they can be allowed to roll out their services.

Already, iConnect, a subsidiary of IHS Nigeria, has returned its operating licence for the North Central region, owing also to delays in getting approval for RoW, and cut throat roll out charges by state agencies.

Danbatta revealed that apart from the challenge of RoW for iConnect, “the firm wanted a national licence instead of the regional, but we see that distorting the whole plan if given. That licence will be re-issued to another operator that is ready.”

According to him, the InfraCo initiative was targeted at helping Nigeria meet the 30 percent broadband penetration by the end of the year.

He urged operators to roll out, warning that the one-year grace handed InfraCo licensees may be reduced to six months, saying:

“the Commission doesn’t want the operators to become idle with the licence. Any operator, which failed to roll out within one year, may have the licence withdrawn.”

Meanwhile, the EVC has assured that quality of service would improve soon, adding that some infrastructure must be in place for this to happen, as Nigeria needed more Base Transceiver Stations and fibre cables to ensure services become optimal.

Danbatta further said redundancy, erratic power supply, vandalism, lack of required capacity, amidst other technical factors would need to be resolved before services can be optimal.

“That is not to say we are not monitoring the operators, or putting them on their toes to ensure improved services, but we also understand their challenges.

“The assurance is that NCC would continue to monitor QoS, especially the Key Performance Index (KPI), and when it is necessary to wield the big stick against any erring operator on QoS, we shall not hesitate,” he stressed.

Capital Market extends multiple subscription deadline

The Capital Market Committee (CMC) has extended the forbearance period of investors that bought shares with different names, to December 31, 2018

This is to regularise the investors’ accounts in order to get the benefit of their investments.

The Acting Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ms. Mary Uduk made this known during a press briefing after the Second Capital Market committee Meeting in Lagos.

The meeting is a periodic gathering of stakeholders in the Nigerian capital market to discuss capital market related matters.

The event, which was well attended by stakeholders in the market, featured presentations by various Market Technical Committees, Self-Regulatory Organisations (SROs) and other stakeholders.

According to Uduk, “During the banking and insurance sector consolidation between 2004-2007, there were a lot of issues in the primary market because the banks or insurance companies came to the market to raise funds and during that period, because a lot of people were coming to the capital market for the first time, they saw the capital market as a place where they can make a lot of money so a lot of them bought shares in different names. 

“Today those shares are not in the system, because if you are unable to identify yourself properly those shares cannot be properly captured in the system. We are saying come and regularise that situation and get back your shares which are being warehoused somewhere. There is absolutely no punishment attached to it, the SEC is not punishing anybody; we just want such individuals to come and regularise that transaction between now and December 31, 2018.”

The Acting Director General SEC said, “The objective of doing that is that it will increase liquidity in the market because the shares are just there no trading on them, not only that, the investors cannot claim their dividends too and that increases unclaimed dividend. Let them come and regularize so that there will be increase in trading of those shares and they will also claim their dividends so that the balance of unclaimed dividends will also go down”.

Uduk also said the meeting agreed that in addition to the physical delivery of Annual Reports and Accounts, the existing pilot exercise of electronic distribution by Public Companies should continue, while efforts are made to enlighten shareholders and obtain their relevant e-mail addresses.

She said the meeting also resolved that, “following the completion of the work by the committee on Minimum Operating Standard, the Commission would work with Trade Group Associations to implement the Committee’s recommendations.

“We also enjoined Trade Group Associations who are yet to register with the Commission, should register immediately, while the Capital Market Operators (CMOs) are expected to register with their respective Trade Group Associations on or before December 31, 2018 and also devised to constitute a Market-wide Financial Technology (FINTECH) Committee to develop a FINTECH framework for the Nigerian Capital Market.”

The SEC boss expressed delight that the Nigerian capital market within the quarter under review witnessed some achievements in various segments of its operations.

She said these achievements validate the continuous efforts of all market participants and include aggressive use of various social media platforms to boost financial literacy campaigns such as the creation and deployment of a one minute Financial Literacy video on YouTube, The renovation of five warehouses by the Nigerian Commodities Exchange (NCX) in preparation for commodities trading.

Uduk listed other achievements as the Conclusion of about 30 cases at the Investment and Securities Tribunal (IST) from a backlog of over 50 cases, Commencement of modalities to introduce the Investments and Securities Tribunal Law Reports and the Implementation of the Recommendations of the Commodities Trading Ecosystem in phases, from 2018 to 2025.

She also announced an Increase in the number of shareholders who have mandated their accounts for E-Dividend payments to 2.55 million.

The major essence of the quarterly meeting is to identify challenges affecting operations/activities in the Nigerian capital market and formulate relevant solutions.


Varsity admission: Beware of fraudsters, FUTA warns students, parents


Varsity admission: Beware of fraudsters, FUTA warns students, parents



AKURE—AUTHORITIES of the Federal University of Technology Akure, FUTA, Ondo State, yesterday, warned against fraudsters parading themselves as its officials, who could influence admission or augment scores of candidates in the ongoing Post-UTME Screening exercise.
Over 20,000 candidates picked the institution as their first choice, while 13,560 scored the required minimum score of 180 which qualified them for the screening.
In a statement by its Deputy Director Corporate Communications & Protocol, Adegbenro Adebanjo, FUTA said: “The attention of FUTA has been drawn to the activities of fraudsters and some unscrupulous elements who are parading themselves as officials who could influence admission or augment scores of candidates in the Post-UTME Screening exercise. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
“The admission process is merit driven and only qualified candidates will be considered for admission.” Therefore, members of the public should be wary of the activities of such fraudsters and their accomplices.

“FUTA will not be responsible for any loss suffered by any person in respect of such fraudulent activities.”

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LASSA FEVER: Enugu confirms one death


LASSA FEVER: Enugu confirms one death
Lassa Fever


ENUGU—ENUGU State Government has confirmed the death of one person from lassa fever in a health facility within Enugu metropolis.

u metropolis. Dr Ifeanyi Agujiobi, the Permanent Secretary, Enugu State Ministry of Health, made the confirmation to newsmen in Enugu.
He said that the health providers at the health facility tried to manage the patient but lost him. Agujiobi revealed that the ministry’s epidemiology officials had commenced massive contact-tracing of those people that had contact with the patient.
He said that it was only one person, whose case was confirmed by Lassa fever test centre that died in the state. He said the state has had no other suspected or confirmed case of Lassa fever.
“We have already done massive deployment of experts in epidemiology and other health professionals to start contact-tracing of the doctors, nurses and other health workers in the hospital that attended to the patient. “The ministry will take the contact-tracing to the family members and friends as well as even the food vendors patronised by the deceased.” he said.
Agujiobi noted that the state would also commence a massive sensitisation against the disease in the local media using native languages.


Saraki worked to frustrate FG budgets – Lai Mohammed


President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration has accused Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, of frustrating the pace of government projects through deliberate delay of annual budgets of the government in the National Assembly.
Speaking in an interview,weekend, Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, also described as fake news reports, penultimate Tuesday, of the siege to the home of the Senate President, saying nothing like that happened.
Mohammed, who spoke to newsmen in Lagos on the impact of defections on the government, also dismissed claims by Saraki that he did not get any appointment in Buhari government and claims by Governor Aminu Tambuwal that his state was starved of Federal Government projects.
Mohammed said: “We have a National Assembly in which we had a clear majority in both houses but which treated the executive with contempt and which actually slowed down the work of government.
“In 2016, 2017 and 2018, our budgets were delayed. We can understand 2015 budget because we came in the middle of the year. But 2016, 2017, the earliest we got our budgets passed was June.
“Key appointments, nominations and confirmations for key organisations that could move the government forward like CBN andNDIC were delayed. Really, it couldn’t have been worse if the PDP had a majority in the National Assembly.
“The fundamental thing is that for us, it would have been better that they left a long time earlier because they have strangulated this government for too long.
When you are now being betrayed by your party, it is more painful because we can’t fight back as much as we wanted to fight back. “I just want to establish that the foundation of what you are seeing today was laid as far back as the day he became Senate President.”
Report of siege to Saraki’s home is fake news
Asked to respond to the siege to the residence of the Senate President penultimate Tuesday, he said: “It was fake news, it didn’t happen. I called the IG and the Police PRO went on television that it was not true.
“In this age of fake news, you could manipulate pictures in a manner that something that happened somewhere could be transposed here.”
Opportunity of making appointments
Responding to Saraki’s allegation that he was denied opportunity of making appointments in the APC Federal Government, he said: “I think it is a blatant lie that Kwara State was not considered in appointments. There are 26 appointees to boards, parastatals, either as members or DG from Kwara State and of these 26, I recommended only two. The other 24 were done by Dr. Bukola Saraki.
“In terms of development, the arterial road of Ilorin, Jebba, Mokwa, Birnin Gwari is 80 per cent completed. It is one of the major roads that links the state. On the other hand, it is this same government that awarded the contract for Lokoja-Omu Aran-Ilorin road.
“In terms of housing, we are building many two-bedroom houses in Ilorin. Again, in terms of appointment, one of the chairmen of parastatals is former chairman of APC, Ishola Balogun Fulani. So it is a blatant lie.”
He said the exit of Saraki from the APC was for the people of Kwara State like their independence. “As far as the people of Kwara State are concerned, it was as if finally, the state was being liberated.
The excitement today in Kwara State is akin to how Nigeria felt on the eve of independence. “The moment he joined the APC, the former ACN, former ANPP, former CPC members who are in APC, many of them left APC because they could not be in the same camp with him. So what we are witnessing today in Kwara State is like a liberation.”
Saraki reacts
However, Saraki responding through his special adviser on media, Mr. Yusuph Olaniyonu, debunked the claims by the minister, describing them as far-fetched. He said: “How can the minister behave as if he was not in the country when Heads of MDAs will refuse to appear before National Assembly committees to defend their budget proposals.
“This year as late as June, the National Assembly leadership at a meeting reported to the President how his ministers were frustrating passage of the budget by not appearing before the legislative committees to defend their budget.
“On that occasion, President Buhari apologised to the legislators and said the impression he got before the meeting was different.
“On the police siege to the home of Saraki, if Mr. Mohammed can only believe the IG who told him he did not deploy policemen to prevent the passage of the Senate President, how did the pictures and video of the event that was circulated online come about? I am sure Mr. Mohammed is the only Nigerian who believes the siege did not take place.”

Ambode seeks patronage of made-in-Nigeria


The Lagos State governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, has advised Nigerians to patronise goods made in the country to create more jobs and develop the economy.

Speaking during the inauguration of the furniture factory, “The Home and You” built by Mrs. Feyisola Abiru, in Ikorodu, Ambode  said the factory would produce industrial made-in-Nigeria furniture that can compete globally for both corporate and home use within and outside the country.  He said it is only through this means that the local economy could be developed.

Represented by Rotimi Ogunleye and Mrs. Olayinka Oladunayo, commissioners  for Physical Planning and Commerce & Industry respectively, the governor commended Mrs Abiru for citing the factory at Ibeshe, a suburb of Ikorodu.

“This is the first furniture company of its kind in the Ikorodu axis and a clear indication that the efforts of Lagos Sate government to provide security and infrastructure is beginning to yield positive fruits,” he said.

Speaking at the event, Mrs. Abiru, identified, “passion and an undying crave for success had been the reason I was able to whether the storms in the early days of the 21 year old business.”

She commended the Bank of Industry (BoI), in the realisation of the noble dream which today has become one of the major economic drivers in the state and Nigeria as a whole.


“But for the support from BoI, we won’t be here today. They gave us the first facility in 2006 to get us running. We acquired world class machines from Italy, when we needed to improve on our quality and expand the capacity of the business, we approached them again for another facility which was granted in 2017,” she said.

On his part, Olusegun Osunkeye, the pioneer chairman of the company, described the ‘Home and You’ as a great edifice, noting that  Nigeria would benefit from the establishment of the ultra-modern furniture factory as it would create employment and boost the local content policy of the government.  “They will use local wood to produce first class furniture, so it will create employment and because it is profitable, government will get its taxes, and impact skills on the surrounding. So, it is a factory that will bring many benefits to its immediate surroundings, Lagos state and ultimately to the country at large,” he said.

At the current rate of population growth, more than 500 million Africans are projected to live in cities by 2030. This growth as well as favourable government policies in some African countries is believed to  favour the furniture businessas this is anticipated to increase the demand for real estate; residential accommodation, office space, hotels and schools.

Fed Govt to redress trade agreements


The Federal Government has taken steps to reverse trade and negotiation failures, as well as coordinate deficits in trade

Speaking in Abuja, the Director-General, Nigerian Office for Trade Negotiations (NOTN), Amb Chiedu Osakwe said some of these deficits date back to the First Republic.

Amb Osakwe stated that based on the fact that Nigeria has the largest economy in Africa and 26th in the world, there was the need for coherence and coordination on trade negotiations and agreements.  According to him the organisation also coordinates, manages and leads all trade negotiations between Nigeria and other countries.

He spoke during a visit to Buhari Media Organisation (BMO). He said it was in recognition of trade as engine of growth that the Buhari administration, on May 10, last year, approved the setting up of the NOTN.

“The organisation is also mandated to, among other things, create a data base for Nigeria’s trade agreements and streamline the process of trade agreements between Nigeria and other countries. It is also mandated to establish a data base to register Nigerians’ ill-treatment abroad; develop a trade dispute settlement department to resolve issues and improve trade financing for medium and small scale enterprises.”

Responding, Chairman of BMO, Niyi Akinsiju, commended NOTN for its vision and commitment to its mandates of rectifying negative trade practices between Nigeria and other countries; noting also that negative trade practices had contributed largely to economic stagnation in developing countries.