Lawmakers ordered AMCON to return all wrongly packaged debts to banks – The House of Representatives members has ordered the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) to return all Non-Performing Loans (NPLs) that were contracted unprofessionally to the banks. The development may throw a new challenge for some banks that thought their sharp practices in the wake of banks’ failures are over, including legal interpretations for some that would go that far to reject such move. The House of Representatives Committee on Banking and Currency, on Tuesday, in Abuja, expressed concern that the quality of loans acquired by AMCON from Eligible Financial Institutions (EFIs) in the country were products of unprofessional deals. Already, the lawmakers has called on Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Ministry of Finance, among other regulators, to immediately ensure that all wrongly declared loans by commercial banks are clawed back to enable AMCON cover its funding gap. In a related development,¬†Dangote to intensify local sourcing of sugarcane for refining – To consolidate its earnings and position in the sugar industry, Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc has concluded plans to intensify its refined sugar from locally grown sugarcane. The move will aid self-sufficiency in sugar production and eliminate reliance on foreign exchange, as well as the current volatility of raw sugar import prices. According to the firm, the 2016 financial year saw global sugar prices increase to the highest level operators ever witnessed in the past four years.Indeed, the elevated prices were due to reduced planting in Brazil, global warming resulting in drier than normal weather conditions in Brazil and India, the two largest sugarcane producing countries. Also, contribution to the challenges was the strengthening of the Brazilian Real against the U.S. dollar, which resulted in Brazilian farmers holding their sugar stocks rather than selling, causing a temporary supply shortage. Announcing its plans for the 2017 financial year, the sugar refining firm noted that it has already begun to pick up market share from competitors and smugglers, even as it increased its fleet to meet customers’ orders timely.

Experts canvass measures to boost non-oil export through AGOA – Nigeria’s current economic situation, particularly the disparity between naira and U.S. dollar present huge opportunities that must force government and stakeholders to boost non-oil exportation through¬† the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), experts have said. The experts spoke on Tuesday, at a training organised in Lagos by the Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce (NACC), to reverse Nigeria’s poor participation in the duty and quantity free policy. The experts including the Senior AGOA Specialist, West Africa Trade and Investment Hub, Dr. Muhamed Abou iiana, and Director General, Nigerian Textile Manufacturers Association, Hamma Kwajaffa, called on government to tackle challenges hindering exportation through the policy. Since AGOA was introduced in 2000 as trade preferential agreement to enable Sub-Saharan African countries export products to U.S., intrinsic challenges in Nigeria continue to deny the country, particularly entrepreneurs, the potential the plan offers.

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