There is speculation that Nigeria’s economy will face further pressures from the maritime sector as members of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria went on strike from yesterday over unpaid wages to dockworkers, among other issues. The strike action comes after the expiration on Tuesday of the two-week ultimatum given to the FG by the union to compel IOCs in the country to pay wages owed dockworkers and stevedoring companies. According to the President General, MWUN, Adewale Adeyanju, the IOCs had refused to engage the union on the issue, thereby leaving it with no option than observing the industrial action. The action is expected to substantially shut down ports operations leading to huge losses in terms of revenue to government and organisations especially in the upstream oil and gas operations. Adeyanju, threatened that the strike would not be suspended until all outstanding payments were fully paid along with the resolution of other workers’ welfare issues.
The Central Bank of Nigeria has asked all commercial banks to lend up to 60 percent of their customer deposits to investors in the real sector as part of the regulatory measures to improve the country’s economy. Director of Banking Supervision, Ahmed Abdullahi, said that all deposit money banks are to maintain a minimum loan to deposit ratio of the 60 percent by September 2019, which the ratio will be reviewed quarterly. It added that to determine the ratio, the CBN will assign SME, Mortgage, retail and consumer lending the combined weighting of 150 percent. The CBN said it will provide a framework for the classification of businesses that fall under the categories. The regulator, however, warned banks that fail to meet the requirement will risk having their cash reserve ratios increased to 50 percent. Data from the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics in March showed that the non-performing loans of banks in the country stand at ₦1.69 trillion. The NBS also said commercial banks had a total deposit of about ₦27 trillion out of which about ₦15 trillion or 55.5 percent is money lent to the private sector.
The FG has announced the suspension of the proposed establishment of ruga settlements across the country. The settlements, which were aimed at resolving the persistent Pastoral Conflict, had resulted in a backlash from most of the country. Ebonyi State governor, Dave Umahi, said that President Buhari suspended the implementation of the ruga programme because it is not consistent with the NEC and FG approved National Livestock Transformation plan, which has programmes for the rehabilitation of displaced IDPs and also for the development of ranches in any willing state of the country. A spokesman for President Buhari, Bashir Ahmad, also confirmed the suspension on his verified Twitter handle.
Pilots are increasingly getting worried about the safety of Nigeria’s airspace amid worries the poor communication between cockpits and control towers, a persistent problem that has now worsened. Experts have also expressed fear over the increased possibility of near misses and collision between two or more operating aircraft. The development, which is seeing foreign airlines increasingly avoiding Nigerian airspace, translates to more operational costs for the foreign carriers and denies the Nigeria Airspace Management Agency revenue to maintain and upgrade critical facilities. A captain with a Nigerian airline told the Guardian that poor ground-to-air communication remains a major problem as they now fly blind and deaf in some parts of the country. In cases of rains, in Lagos, for instance, radio communications is lost after 200 nautical miles.