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‘NITEL’s Woes: Result of Mismanagement, Govt Interference’

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The current comatose state of the Nigerian Telecommunications (NITEL) was caused by its management which was induced by multiple government interferences.

  This was the view of the book: “The story of NITEL: A Giant In Comatose”.

The views of the book, written by a former IT editor with Daily Independent Newspaper, Mr. Aaron Ukodie, was supported by two current NITEL staff, who felt sorry for the state of NITEL, after a thorough review of the book was done at the book launch in Lagos recently.

Addressing a number of participants, who attended the book launch, he narrated the sorry state of NITEL in a brief summary, and concluded that the story of the company, the nation’s national carrier, beginning from 1985 could not be told in a day.

He described NITEL as a giant in comatose, said it went down as a result of multiple interferences by government and corruptive tendencies and maintained that this sorry position could still be revived if government begins to show sincerity of purpose in its interest in the ailing company.

He also said, government companies could still be run well if there are less government interferences.

Supporting this view, deputy general manager in charge of operations for Adegboyega Babalola, Mr. Adegboyega Babalola said, the company could still survive and compete with other telecom companies if government shows more commitment to its true survival.

Also speaking at the book launch, deputy general manager in charge of NITEL SAT 3, Mr. Innocent Nwokocha, said he was glad when he was told that a book on NITEL was being launched.

According to him NITEL deserves a book launch for the reference purposes owing to the pivotal roles it played in the nation’s economy in the past.

Nwokocha regretted that NITEL, which was once a money making organisation, had turned out to be a burden to government, owing staff salaries for over 22 months.

Reviewing the book, Enyi Moses-Nwagwu, Chief Executive of IT World, who declared himself a witness of the unfolding events that have contributed to the woes of the company, commended the author for his courage to write about NITEL, which he said, many Nigerians had long written off.

According to Enyi “It is really disheartening that NITEL that used to be a money spinner has become a money “guzzler”. He said it is worrisome that a company that once boasted of billions and billions of naira has been so castrated that it presently owes over 22 months salary arrears. “It is in fact heart breaking that NITEL has been so sucked that those who sucked the company dry are today richer than the company itself”, he added.

He also said, Ukodie and other ICT journalists were well-placed to tell the story of NITEL because they were privileged to witness history as it unfolded. “To cover NITEL in those days as journalist was no mean task because it was fraught with dangers. “In the first place the company staffs were barred from speaking or interacting with journalists”. “If any NITEL staff was seen discussing with us and a story breaks the next day, the staff stood the chance of losing his or her job.

According to Mr. Enyi, the story of NITEL should have been the story of Telecommunication in Nigeria. Perhaps it was up to the year 2000 when telecommunication in Nigeria suddenly acquired a life of its own, veering off at a tangent unfettered to the queasy giant while abandoning NITEL to its taciturn fate.

“Obviously the bane of NITEL, he said, has been directionless and unpatriotic leadership. “Given different circumstances, the emasculate giant can spring back to life”, he said. “NITEL holds enormous potentials as it begs for an informal leadership imbued with patriotism and the task unencumbered by indecision, inconsistencies in policy formulation and implementation, political patronage, government interference and meddling, government bureaucracy, ethnocentrism and corrupt practices”.

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Nigeria, 12 Others To Drive Global Trade By 2030 – Report

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A trade research report has indicated that Nigeria and 12 other countries will be responsible for the driving of the global trade to the tune of $30 trillion by the year 2030.
The research, which was commissioned by Standard Chartered and prepared by PwC Singapore posited that Nigeria and 12 other countries would be responsible for driving global trade to $30tn by 2030.
According to the report sponsored by the Singaporean organisation, the global exports would be more than double from $17.4tn to $29.7tn over the next decade, while much of the growth would be driven by 13 markets.
It said Nigeria would be growing at an annual rate of 9.7 per cent, with about $112bn in exports by 2030, through key corridors such as India, Indonesia and Mainland China.
It also stated that Kenya, the second African nation on the list, would be growing by 7.6 per cent annually, with $10bn in exports by 2030 through key corridors namely, Pakistan, Uganda and the United States of America.
The list consists mostly of Asian countries with Mainland China contributing the most at $5.02tn by 2030 and growing at 7.1 per cent annually.
Other countries are Hong Kong ($939bn, 5.7 per cent), South Korea ($972bn, 7.1 per cent), and India ($564bn, 7.6 per cent).
Bangladesh, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Saudi Arabia also featured in the report.
The report is based on an analysis of historical trade data and projections until 2030, as well as insights from a survey of more than 500 C-suite and senior leaders in global companies.
According to the report, global trade will be reshaped by five key trends: the wider adoption of sustainable and fair-trade practices, a push for more inclusive participation, greater risk diversification, more digitisation and a rebalancing towards high-growth emerging markets.
It said almost 90 per cent of the corporate leaders surveyed agreed that these trends would be shaping the future of trade and would be forming part of their five to 10-year cross-border expansion strategies.
The research also found a significant trend towards the adoption of sustainable trade practices in response to climate concerns and a rising wave of conscious consumerism.
It said while almost 90 per cent of corporate leaders acknowledged the need to implement these practices across their supply chains, only 34 per cent ranked it as a ‘top three’ priority for execution over the next five to 10 years.

By: Corlins Walter

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Currency In Circulation Rose By N129bn In Oct – CBN

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The currency in circulation in the country rose by N129bn to N2.97tn in October from N2.84tn in September, according to the figures from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The currency in circulation had fallen to N2.78tn in August from N2.81tn in July.
It stood at N2.74tn in June, N2.79tn in May, N2.79tn in April, N2.8tn in March, N2.78tn in February and N2.83tn in January.
The CBN said, “The currency in circulation increased by N465.47bn or 19.06 per cent to N2.91tn in 2020, compared with N2.44tn in 2019.
“In 2020, there were higher withdrawals by DMBs than deposits, due to the panic need to hold cash to deal with the emergencies and reduced banking hours due to restrictions to curb spread of the pandemic”.
The apex bank said to maintain public confidence and ensure integrity of circulated notes in the economy, it developed and unveiled a clean note policy and banknote fitness guidelines in 2018.
The guidelines outlined details of quarterly and yearly activities towards the achievement of this objective.
According to the CBN, the clean note policy encapsulates diverse currency management activities to preserve the integrity and maintain the quality of banknotes in circulation.
The policy provides that every newly printed and existing banknotes should conform to predefined standards before circulation and re-circulation in the economy.
Currency in circulation is defined as currency outside the vaults of the central bank – that is, all legal tender currency in the hands of the general public and in the vaults of the deposit money banks.
The CBN said it employed the “accounting/statistical/withdrawals and deposits approach” to compute the currency in circulation in the country.
It said this approach involved tracking the movements in currency in circulation on a transaction-by-transaction basis.
According to the CBN, for every withdrawal made by a DMB at one of CBN’s branches, an increase in CIC is recorded; and for every deposit made by a DMB at one of CBN’s branches, a decrease in CIC is recorded.
The transactions are all recorded in the CBN’s CIC account, and the balance on the account at any point in time represented the country’s currency in circulation.

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CBN’s eNaira Records 600,000 Downloads Within One Month

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Barely four weeks after its launch in October, the eNaira app of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has witnessed about 600,000 downloads.
The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, who disclosed this in a statement at the weekend, said, “In less than four weeks since its launch, almost 600,000 downloads of the e-Naira application have taken place.
“Efforts are ongoing to encourage faster adoption of the e-Naira by Nigerians who do not have smart phones.
“The support of the financial industry will be critical in the ongoing deployment of the e-Naira and efforts are ongoing to encourage continued partnership between the CBN and stakeholders in the financial industry”.
The CBN governor also said that building a robust payment system that would provide cheap, efficient, and faster means of conducting payments for most Nigerians have always been the focus of the apex bank.
According to him, the growing pace of digitization globally makes it essential that they leverage on digital channels in fulfilling this objective.
Emefiele disclosed that total transaction volumes using digital channels were more than doubled between 2018 and 2020, as volumes rose from 1.3 billion to over 3.3 billion financial transactions in 2020.
He added that digital payment channels also helped to support continued conduct of business activities during the lockdown.
The CBN boss noted that the robust payment system has continued to evolve towards meeting the needs of households and businesses in Nigeria. This, according to him, reflects the confidence people have in the payment system.
He said that between 2015 and September 2021, about US$900 million has been invested in firms being run by Nigerian founders.
“Notwithstanding these gains, close to 36 per cent of adult Nigerians do not have access to financial services.
“Improving access to finance for individuals and businesses through digital channels can help to improve financial inclusion, lower the cost of transactions, and increase the flow of credit to households and businesses,’’ Emefiele added.

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