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Lagos Assembly confirms 15 commissioner nominees, rejects two

The Lagos State House of Assembly confirmed 15 out of 18 commissioner nominees, submitted by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu. The nominees’ approval and rejection occurred during a session presided over by Speaker Mudashiru Obasa.

The Assembly rejected the nominations of Olalere Odusote and Samuel Egube while deferring the confirmation of Sule Akibu for further review. Speaker Obasa commended the screening committee for their diligent work, which received support from fellow lawmakers during the plenary session.

Read also: Lagos assembly to screen second batch of commissioner nominees Tuesday

Nigeria Customs deactivates banks for failing to remit duties

The acting Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Adewale Adeniyi, has ordered the deactivation of certain banks due to their failure to remit collected duties.

The decision, based on a thorough audit and due process, aims to ensure transparency, accountability, and revenue collection efficiency. While importers can expect minimal disruptions, those relying on the deactivated banks are advised to use compliant alternatives.

The affected banks will have the opportunity to reactivate once they meet regulatory requirements and settle outstanding remittances.

Collaborative efforts with financial regulators and stakeholders are underway to enhance the customs duty collection system’s efficiency and integrity.

Telco-Bank USSD debt dispute threatens digital financial inclusion

Umar Danbatta, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has highlighted that the N120 billion debt owed by banks to telecommunication companies for Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) services is hindering financial inclusion efforts.

Danbatta stressed that digital financial inclusion, currently at 70 percent, heavily relies on USSD services provided by telcos, and non-payment disrupts progress.

At a Telecom Executives and Regulators Forum, Danbatta revealed that banks have agreed to pay for the service following the NCC and Central Bank of Nigeria’s intervention.

The USSD debt had grown from N32 billion to N120 billion by the end of 2022, causing tension between telcos and banks, threatening the continuity of essential services.

Nigeria’s forex earnings rise as trade surplus hits N2.22trn

In the first half of 2023, Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings experienced growth as the foreign trade surplus reached N2.22 trillion.

Despite a 12.68 percent decline in foreign trade, the country’s surplus surged by 258.20 percent compared to the same period in 2022, totaling N24.79 trillion.

Total imports stood at N11.29 trillion, while exports amounted to N13.50 trillion, contributing to the foreign exchange increase.

Crude oil played a significant role in these earnings, accounting for N10.74 trillion, with spending directed towards machinery, transport equipment, and mineral fuel. Improved production efforts also contributed to rising crude oil earnings.

Beijing’s iPhone curbs raise concerns among U.S. lawmakers and tech firms

Beijing’s recent restrictions on iPhone use by government staff have sparked worries among U.S. lawmakers, intensifying fears that American tech companies heavily reliant on the Chinese market could face challenges amid growing tensions between the two nations.

Apple’s stock (AAPL.O) fell 2.9% following reports of the curbs. The move underscores the vulnerability of even a tech giant with a strong presence in China.

The broader Sino-U.S. friction has escalated as Washington restricts China’s access to vital technologies, while China aims to reduce reliance on American tech.

Analysts who spoke to Reuters note that Huawei’s recent chip advancement marks a breakthrough following U.S. sanctions, impacting Apple’s market share in China.