Minister of Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga
The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has said the country’s
non-oil export to Ghana increased by 38 per cent in 2011.
The NEPC Director of Trade Information, Mr. Aliyu Lawal gave the figures in an interview in Abuja.
He said Nigeria exported goods worth $113 million (N17.52 billion) to Ghana in 2011, compared with $81.76 dollars (N12.67 billion) in 2010.
According to Lawal, the bulk of the exported products were cosmetics, footwear, textiles, confectionaries, insecticides, plastic (empty bottles), electric cables, food and beverages, including noodles.
The director, who described Ghana as one of Nigeria’s biggest markets in West Africa, noted that the export data covered only official transactions and registered businesses between the two countries.
“The figure only puts registered non-oil export transaction into account. So, officially, the volume is $113 million excluding unregistered businesses. This is because most of the transactions are not registered.
“If the unregistered transactions are included, then the volume should be more than double the official volume,” he said.
Lawal said the feat was achieved through proactive trade policies and incentives for non-oil exports introduced by the Ministry of Trade and Investment.
Caption: CBN Headquarters
‘Nationalised Banks’ Have Cut Cost Drastically’
The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) has said Mainstreet Bank Limited, Keystone Bank Limited and Enterprise Bank Limited recorded significant reduction in their cost of operations in the last one year.
The three banks are wholly owned by AMCON. The banks - Keystone, Enterprise and Mainstreet, were created in August 2011, from the defunct Bank PHB, Spring Bank and Afribank respectively.
Executive Director, Finance and Operations, AMCON, Mrs Mofoluke Dosunmu who stated this also said that confidence had since been restored in the three commercial banks.
According to her, the banks are now competing like any other financial institution in the country.
She added: “In the first place we have confidence back in the industry. Before you had a kind of segregation in the market, some banks were healthy, some were not healthy. Now you don’t have that anymore.
“Because what we saw was that initially when the banks started they did lose some depositors funds. But when the customers saw that anytime they walk into those institutions they can get their money back, they started banking with them.”
Dosunmu also said the three banks had been able to lower their cost of funds in the last one year, saying that current account balances now constituted a higher proportion of their deposits unlike in the past.
“So that has reflected in the confidence back in the banks. It has reduced the case of frauds and it also reflects in their other income like fees and commissions because people don’t just put money in current account, they actually do business with the institution, which result in things like fees, commission,” she explained.
“A lot of waste has been stopped. Leakages have been stemmed. I am sure you are aware that over the years, there have been some adjustments in their staffing whereas people that were not really contributing to the bottom line of bank have been successfully exited.
So you find out that even the operational cost of running those institutions have come down. Now you have in addition, more focused management team who are aware that they are there for a specific purpose. They have specific terms of reference. They are measured particularly against the background that what went into these banks is coming from a sinking fund that is contributed by other banks,” she argued.