The National Broadcasting Commission on Thursday announced the suspension of the licences of the African Independent Television and Ray Power FM belonging to the Daar Communications. The NBC Director-General, Modibbo Kawu, said the Daar Communication Limited’s media houses’ shutdown until further notice. Kawu accused the broadcasting organisation of refusing to abide by the code governing its operations adding that this was the reason it was axed. The FG agency listed among others, the airing of a presidential election documentary by the AIT, a matter pending before a tribunal, the inability of the company to pay its fees, the use of “divisive and inciting contents from the social media” as the offence committed by the broadcasting firm. In a later development, the television and radio stations returned on air after a Federal High Court in Abuja, on Friday, granted an ex-parte order that restored the operating licenses suspended by the NBC over alleged failure to abide by the broadcasting code. Daar Communications, owned by Raymond Dokpesi, owns AIT television and Ray Power radio station, Nigeria’s first private radio station. Dokpesi, however, accused the NBC of clamping down on free speech.
The Indian Directorate General of Shipping in Mumbai has issued a restriction on all seafarers who are Indian nationals, banning them from working in vessels in Nigeria and the Gulf of Guinea. This, as said in a circular to all shipping owners, shipping companies and other practitioners, is as a result of the increasing rate of piracy and hijacking of the crew for ransom in Nigerian waters. According to a notice signed by the Director-General of Shipping in India, Capt Anish Joseph, the country had observed an increasing trend in the number of incidents taking place inside the various coastal states jurisdiction in the Gulf of Guinea. The Indian shipping directorate said that based on two recent incidents, it had become clearer that foreign nationals, especially Indian seafarers, were being selectively targeted during piracy and armed robbery incidents in the region. It instructed manning agents not to engage any Indian seafarers on coastal vessels trading solely within the ports of the Gulf of Guinea including Benin, Ghana, Togo, Cameroon, Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. Other practitioners the circular is directed to include ship owners, ship managers, shipping agents, RPSL agents, ship masters, charterers, shipbuilders, Ship Breakers Association, Classification Societies recognised by the Directorate General of Shipping, non-exclusive survey companies, insurance companies, coastal state including administrations of union territories/islands and Maritime Boards. The total number of incidents of piracy and armed robbery in West Africa, as reported to IMO in the 10-year period from 1 January, 2009, to 31 December, 2018, was 555, according to the Global Integrated Shipping Information System, the circular said. It added, the number of acts of piracy and armed robbery against ships in West Africa as per GISIS covering the period 1 January to 31 December 2018 was 81 and reflected a comparable increase from 49 incidents reported in 2017. During these 10 years, 2018 also showed the highest in the number of episodes, with three ships reportedly hijacked and 86 crew held hostage in that year.
Two independent non-executive directors of Oando have resigned from the company’s board following the removal of the Group CEO, Wale Tinubu, and his deputy, Omamofe Boyo by Securities and Exchange Commission. Sena Anthony and Oghogho Akpata have both informed the Nigerian Stock Exchange about their decisions. No reason for their decisions was announced in their separate resignation letters dated 3 June, 2019 and addressed to the company secretary/chief compliance officer. Both Anthony and Akpata were reportedly “unhappy” with the outcome of the forensic investigation by SEC, the stock market regulator, which indicted a number of the company’s executives and directors, though neither of them was indicted. Wale Tinubu, the group managing director, and Mofe Boyo, his deputy, were asked by SEC to resign and barred from being directors of any public company for five years after being accused of several infractions. However, they have secured a court order restraining the regulator from removing them. Anthony was appointed as a non-executive director of the company in January 2010. Akpata is the managing partner and head of the energy and projects group at Templars Barristers & Solicitors.
The National Bureau of Statistics says Nigeria’s merchandise trade grew marginally in Q1 2019 by 2.5 percent to ₦8.24 trillion compared to ₦8.04 trillion in Q4 2018. The report released Friday shows that out of the ₦8.24 trillion, the country recorded total export of ₦4.53 trillion, representing a 1.78 percent rise compared to the Q4 2018, but a 3.9 percent decline compared to the Q1 2018. Similarly, the value of total import was put at ₦3.7 trillion, representing an increase of 3.39 percent relative to Q4 2018 and 29.84 percent compared with Q1 2018. The development, NBS said, resulted in a positive trade balance of ₦831.6 billion during the first quarter of this year. The trade balance remained positive at ₦831.6 billion in Q1 2019, boosted by increase in both exports and imports. The breakdown of the report shows that imported Agricultural products, among others, were 7.98 percent higher in value than in Q4 2018, and 28.1 percent higher than in Q1, 2018 while the value of Raw material imports grew 6.62 percent more than the value recorded in Q4, 2018 and 20.76 percent more than the value recorded in Q1 2018. The value of Solid minerals imports was 1.26 percent more than the value of imports in Q4, 2018 and 35.90 percent higher than the value recorded in Q1 2018. The value of imported manufactured goods increased by 25.81 percent in Q1 2019 against the value recorded in Q4 2018 and rose by 130.7 percent against its value in Q1, 2018. On the other hand, in Q1 2019 the value of agricultural exports was 11.89 percent lower than in Q4 2018 but 17.5 percent higher than Q1 2018 while the value of raw material exports in Q1, 2019 was 10.67 percent lower than the value in Q4 2018 but 11.57 percent higher than in Q1 2018. The value of Crude oil exports in Q1 2019 was 7.78 percent lower than in Q4 2018 and 5.67 percent lower than in Q1 2018. During the Q1 2019, the NBS report said that Nigeria’s exports to Europe, Asia and Africa amounted to ₦1.83 trillion, representing about 40.43 percent of total exports. Furthermore, the report stated that Nigeria exported goods worth ₦405.8 billion or 8.95 percent to the Americas and ₦34.5 billion or 0.76 percent to Oceania. Nigeria exported goods valued at ₦300 billion to ECOWAS member states, indicating about 32.08 percent of total merchandise exports to Africa. By country of destination, NBS added that Nigeria exported goods mainly to India, Spain, Netherlands, South Africa and France, valued at ₦745.0 billion, ₦487.1 billion, ₦405.4 billion, ₦325.5 billion and ₦302.3 billion respectively.