Daily Watch – UBA expands to Mali, Nigerian manufacturers spend 40% of production costs on power

4th February 2019

Foreign nationals who have decided to return to their countries after working in Nigeria have opted out of the Contributory Pension Scheme and withdrawn all their contributions from their respective Retirement Savings Accounts in the country. Data from PenCom shows that the categories of the nationals, made up of 99,444 contributors had withdrawn a total of ₦24.95 billion from the beginning of the scheme till the end of September 2018. Some retirees under the CPS, who could not be entitled to monthly pensions due to low savings in their RSAs, have also withdrawn their contributions in their RSAs and left the scheme. 90,419 among the foreigners were from the private sector, 2,697 from the state service while 6,328 were former federal workers.

The United Bank for Africa has announced the expansion of its business to Mali, starting today, 4 February. The Nigerian tier-1 bank said it is opening a new branch in the French speaking country so as to expand its market in the region where it already operates in a dozen countries. Maimouna Oumarany, UBA’s subsidiary spokesperson in Mali said, “Mali is a large market with a low (bank) account penetration rate. We are hoping to do better than the 13 banks already established in the country.” UBA, one of Nigeria’s largest banks with more than 700 branches, has subsidiaries across Africa, including Ghana and Ivory Coast in the west, Kenya and Uganda in the east and Mozambique and Zambia in the south.

Manufacturers in Nigeria have spent a total of ₦246 billion in generating their own electricity in two years; 2016 and 2017, new data from the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria has shown. Further analysis of the expenditure by the body revealed that the operators spent ₦129 billion in 2016 and ₦117.38 billion in 2017 on private power generation. The data also revealed that the manufacturers spent ₦43 billion on private power generation in H1 2018. MAN pointed out that a situation where the cost of electricity constituted 40 percent of the cost of production was not manufacturing friendly as the challenge of inadequate electricity supply persisted in 2018, worsened by skyrocketing electricity price.

Lava, an Indian phone maker, has launched its products in Nigeria saying it is targeting both low and high-income earners. Rohit Singh, the company’s executive director, business and development in West Africa, said the company hopes to make luxury phones available at affordable rates. Lava focuses on utilising the software industry and the economical proximity with the Nigerian market to deploy technologically advanced products. Singh said the company would be open to software from Nigerian developers in the future.