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‘ABCON’s live-rate portal’ll promote transparency, price discovery

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The Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) will on May 2, 2018, launch www.naijabdcs.com, a live rate engine room created by the association to promote transparency and price discovery in the foreign exchange market. Speaking to financial journalists ahead of the portal launch, ABCON President, Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe, said the group had secured the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN’s) no- objection approval on the engine room.

The approval, he said, reaffirmed the regulator’s commitment to a transparent and viable forex market where stakeholders’ interests are protected. Gwadabe said the world is going digital, and Bureaux De Change (BDC) operators under his leadership are committed to staying ahead of the competition by deploying time-tested technology to deliver effective services to their numerous customers.

He said the objective is to make www.naijabdcs.com a household name in financial reporting, coverage and first choice for investors and tourists in accessing quality and reliable information on forex market and rates. According to him, the new engine room – www.naijabdcs. com will sustain transparent transactions in the BDC corridor, boost the morale of its members and ensure their continuous operations.

The ABCON chief said the group had fully upgraded its Information Communication and Technology (ICT) platforms, to achieve full digitization of BDCs operations in line with its goal of sustaining transparent operation and prompt rendition of weekly returns to operators.

He said the www.naijabdcs. com would serve as a reliable platform for local and international investors, who will rely on it to access uniform forex rate across states, regions and markets nationally. He said the Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kano and Onitsha markets always have different forex rates, which will be captured by the live-rate engine at all times. “The new live rate engine will provide buying and selling rates across different cities and also average national rate for the country.

All the CBN-approved BDCs will key into this revolution meant to transform the forex market, and keep speculators out of the market,” he said. The ABCON boss also said the portal will contain BDCs location, and their numbers thereby giving forex buyers direct access to genuine operators to reinforce operator-customer confidence in the market. He said the live-rate engine will also serve as an information site, where investors and general public will rely on to get and read reliable and timely financial market reports.

Gwadabe said that in the era of `fake news’, financial journalists would find the engine room the first point of call in sourcing for data on the forex market and rates. “The www. naijabdcs.com is expected to be a flagship website for news on the economy, banking & finance and business. The website is expected to be an agenda setting outfit, meant to amplify developments in the economy, particularly the financial services sector, through informed reporting and coverage,” he said.

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TCIP Customs explains cargo clearance delays at port

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The Tin Can Island Command of the Nigeria Customs Service has said the recent in cargo clearance being witnessed by importers and Customs Brokers at the Apapa and Tin Can Island Ports in Lagos is because the NCS Internet Server was down thus impeding cargo documents processing.

This was disclosed by the Tin Can Island Customs Public Relations Officer, CSP Tony Ejesieme during a chat with the Sunday Telegraph on Wednesday at the port city of Apapa.

Ejesieme noted that the internet network breakdown as experienced by the Service could cause delay at anytime and was not the fault of the NCS but that of a bad weather.

The PRO, who admitted that there was delay in cargo release, said the command had not captured any importers for cargo release but was optimistic that the network would surge back and cargo clearance processing would commence immediately.

“We have not been able to work since morning as no importers have been captured. This is another delay; issuing debit note has become a problem. But the network will certainly come back and we will commence work immediately,’’ said he.

According to him, the major reasons for delay were non-compliance with import guidelines, wrong classification and declaration by importers, and lack of working scanners.

He, however, absolved the Service of any complicity and maintained that the NCS works based on procedure. ‘’Whatever we are doing is based on procedure and in accordance with the import laws. It is true that there is delay; if there are issues of infraction, there will be delay,’’ he said.

Ejesieme also caused by lack of scanners, saying that all scanners in all the ports in Lagos have broken down completely except only one in Apapa which could not handle all cargo in the port and that is why many cargos are routed to physical examination.

‘’Scanners are not working; only one is working in Apapa, no one in Tin Can. The issue of scanners has to be settled and we have engaged government on it.’’

Advising importers and customs agents to adhere to the import guidelines, he said that the security of nation as the nation approaches the general elections in 2019 would not be compromised as the Service is working with other government agencies to protect the territorial boundaries of the nation.

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UBA Foundation reading through regions in Africa

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As part of its mission to improve the lives of communities in which the United Bank for Africa operates, UBA Foundation said it has continued to encourage African youths to adopt the culture of reading through its ‘Read Africa’ initiative.

Read Africa aims to rekindle the reading culture amongst young Africans. Designed and introduced in 2011 by the UBA Foundation, the initiative has donated hundreds of thousands of books to African schools since its inception.

This past week, The Foundation took its initiative to the francophone city of Libreville to the students of the George MABIGNATH high school in Gabon.

The launch of Read Africa in Gabon saw in attendance, the author of the selected book Sidonie, written by famous Gabonese writer Chantal Magalie MBAZOO.

It was a colorful ceremony that witnessed the CEO of the Foundation, Bola Atta reading to and interacting with the students in high energy in the presence of their Principal, Mrs. Boudounghou Biboutou Isabelle and other staff members.

Bola Atta summarized the Foundation’s initiative saying, “At the UBA Foundation, we are committed to improving the lives of the youths on the continent and one of the ways we can achieve this is to help you read more. I am here to talk to you a little about the importance of reading and how it can radically change your life. Reading encourages you to dream, it expands your knowledge, your vocabulary. It is a path to achieving your ambitions”.

 

Chioma Mang, the CEO of UBA Gabon also reiterated the mission of UBA and emphasized the bank’s commitment to the Gabonese community. “ I love children and I am happy to be here with you all today. I’d like to encourage you to read very well so that you can reach great heights in your life like me. UBA is going to be there for you all the way. You can count on us”, she said.

 

The Read Africa initiative then moved on to Zambia to the Horizon Secondary School in Lusaka where the Director in the ministry of higher education in charge of Vocation, Education and Training, Mr. Alex Simumba, thanked UBA and the Foundation for the good work that is being done across Africa. He said, “To UBA Foundation, we thank you for your support to the institution today. We welcome this and many more collaboration in the field of literacy and other higher education programmes. We also further encourage other private sector organisations to take a keen interest in such programmes because the youths who are receiving these literary materials will be benefitting greatly from them,” he said.

 

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Shell has disbursed N1.88bn to GMoU clusters in Delta State

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The General Manager, External Relations, SPDC, Mr. Igo Weli has said that Shell Petroleum Development Company, (SPDC) is still active in Delta State noting that the oil giant has executed a lot of projects in the state.

According to him, the oil giant has disbursed a total sum of N1.88 billion to Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) in clusters.

Igo Weli, who disclosed this when he spoke with newsmen in Warri on Thursday, revealed that the GMoU funding covers the three clusters currently active in Delta State since the inception of the concept in 2006, adding that Cluster Development Boards (CDBs) like their counterparts in other parts of the Niger Delta, are implementing health and educational projects among others.

During the media presentation of the 2018 Shell Nigeria Briefing Notes to Journalists, he also disclosed that Shell has established a Professorial Chair at the Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun (FUPRE,) as it continues to operate in the state and contribute to its development.

Weli explained that the Professorial Chair in Light Weight Automobile Engine Development was activated at FUPRE in December last year and is the latest of six established by SPDC JV, noting that the Chair at Effurun is expected to contribute to the growth of local content in Nigeria’s automobile industry.

He added that in a bid to boost employment especially among youths, more than 700 young men and women have benefited from Shell’s LiveWIRE initiative between 2003 and 2017.

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