Apple announces record 10 million iPhone 6 and 6 Plus sales in opening weekend


Apple has today announced that it sold 10 million iPhone 6 and 6 Plus units in the first three days of sales. This includes the 4 million units sold in the first 24 hours of preorder sales. Apple’s newest iPhones have consistently been out of stock across the world, particularly the iPhone 6 Plus which is believed to have faced production issues, limiting the number of available devices for sale.

For comparison, Apple reported 9 million iPhone 5s and 5c sales in the first three days. This means the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus set a new record by over a million units. Apple is unlikely to give any more color regarding iPhone sales performance until its quarterly earnings call in October. As usual, Apple has opted to not share the breakdown of sales between the two new devices.

With limited stock across the board, iPhone momentum is certainly strong. Currently, all iPhone 6 Plus models ship within 3 – 4 weeks on Apple’s Online Store. The iPhone 6 has similar availability issues, although they are less severe. People looking for iPhones sooner should check brick-and-mortar stores, and take advantage of Apple’s online pickup options, as new stock comes in daily.

Apple CEO Tim Cook said the results exceeded Apple’s expectations, in a statement.

“Sales for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus exceeded our expectations for the launch weekend, and we couldn’t be happier,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We would like to thank all of our customers for making this our best launch ever, shattering all previous sell-through records by a large margin. While our team managed the manufacturing ramp better than ever before, we could have sold many more iPhones with greater supply and we are working hard to fill orders as quickly as possible.”

Apple opens up the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus to more than 20 countries on the 26th September. It is important to note that last year’s opening weekend sales for the iPhone 5s and 5c included China, a key region which inflated total sales. Details on when the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus will be available in China are still unknown as regulatory proceedings are ongoing.


NNPC denies $20bn oil revenue allegation


The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on Tuesday dismissed claims by the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, that it had not remitted $20 billion to the Federation Account.

This is contained in a statement issued in Abuja by Dr Omar Ibrahim, the Acting Group General Manager of Public Affairs Division of NNPC.

The statement said this was not the first time the CBN governor made wild allegations about the NNPC.

The statement recalled that Sanusi made the allegation on Tuesday in his presentation before the Ahmed Markafi-led Senate Committee probing the allegation of unremitted $49.8 billion oil proceeds.

It quoted the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mr Andrew Yakubu as saying that Sansui’s claim on the existence of an unremitted $20 billion is far from the reality on ground.

It said this will be proved when investigations were concluded.

“The CBN boss had alleged that revenue from NPDC, a subsidiary of the NNPC, was not being remitted to the Federation Account,” it stated.

It expressed surprise that even after extensive clarification on the matter, the CBN was still confusing the role of NPDC as part of NNPC’s upstream operations.

The statement faulted Sanusi’s claim that NPDC’s gross earnings ought to be remitted to the Federation Account, explaining that the company was a limited liability outfit registered under CAMA to do business.

“Let me make this point clear, CBN is a banking outfit, not a petroleum outfit.

“It is therefore understandable why they keep making unsubstantiated claims, which a little understanding of the technicalities of the oil industry would have saved them from making.

“CBN is not an auditing outfit. But what it is doing is now auditing.

“We have no problem with auditing, but let the professionals, the certified bodies and agencies that are charged with this responsibility of auditing, do their work,” it stated.

It explained that the issues raised by Sanusi were not fresh at all and would be eventually reconciled by the Inter Agency Committee established to settle the $49.8 billion saga.

“Our position remains the same and we remain open to all stakeholders.

“These are issues that are currently before the reconciliation committee and before now it has been a subject of monthly verification before FAAC and other stakeholders,” it stated.

It reiterated what the Director-General of Budget had said at the hearing that a lot of progress had been made in the reconciliation of the $10.8 billion.

It expressed the hope that the final report would be ready, and NNPC vindicated, by the time the committee meets next week.

Cocoa Pickers To Sue Nestle Over Child Slavery

     African Headlines

A long-running case involving chocolate maker Nestle and people who worked in cocoa plantations in the Ivory Coast has taken a big step up. A judge decided that the case can be heard in a Californian court, following a ruling last year which allowed U.S. firms to be sued in domestic courts for foreign transgressions. The crime in this case was not minor: three men, with the backing of a global charity, is suing Nestle and two other companies for turning them into child slaves, writes CorpWatch. The men say they were lured into the Cote d’Ivoire plantations with promises of good jobs, but instead found themselves working long days, often under gunpoint. The men, at the time not even teenagers, were allegedly regularly whipped and kept prisoner. But the case represents thousands of people treated this way and has pushed for a U.S. court, saying that Ivorian courts are too corrupt to be trusted. Nestle, one of the defendants has signed an agreement of conduct after the abuse claims came to light, but investigators say it has failed to implement any meaningful change.

Photos: Pres. Jonathan, Dangote, Jim Ovia, Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, Cobhams Asuquo at Davos 2014

President Jonathan, billionaire businessman Aliko Dangote, billionaire banker Jim Ovia, former Information minister Frank Nweke Jnr, Minister of Agriculture Akin Adesina, Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala & music producer Cobhams Asuquo pictured at the opening Luncheon of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Lagos generates N1bn from lotteries


The Lagos State Government generated about N1 billion from lotteries in 2013, an official said on Thursday.

The General Manager of the Lagos Lottery Board, Mr Lanre Gbajabiamila, gave the figure in Lagos at the 7th Lagos State Stakeholders’ Conference on Taxation.

He described the figure as impressive but said that the board intended to surpass the performance in 2014.

Gbajabiamila said that achieving the revenue target for 2014 would largely depend on patronage by the state residents.

“I want to encourage residents to show more interest in lotteries as that would also mean more tax resources to fund education and other social services,” he said.

The general manager said that the state government was doing its best to revolutionise lottery operations and make the industry more viable.

The General Manager, Lagos State Water Corporation, Mr Shayo Holloway, said that the government was intensifying efforts to improve water supply.

Holloway said that poor power supply and increasing  demand for water had been major challenges to adequate water supply.

“We recognise these two challenges, and we are doing everything possible to surmount them.

“We have established a 12.5 megawatts independent power plant in Adiyan to improve power supply to Adiyan Water Works.

“The 70 million-gallons-per-day Phase Two of the water works is ongoing and will be completed in 2016.

“We have a water master plan that we are implementing; by the time we are through in 2020, we would have achieved over 700 million gallons per day and give water to all parts of the state,” he said.

Jonathan approves refineries privatisation

refinery: Image: Associated Press

The Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) on Friday announced that President Goodluck Jonathan had approved the privatisation of the nation’s four refineries.

This is contained in a statement signed by the Head of Public Communications of BPE, Mr Chigbo Anichebe.

It quotes the President as saying that privatisation of the refineries was in keeping with the economic reform programme of his administration.

“This is in keeping with the transformation agenda, which seeks to catalyse and provide an enabling environment for the private sector to be the drivers of economic growth in the country.”

The four refineries are Port Harcourt Refining Company Ltd. (PHRC) I, Port Harcourt Refining Company Ltd. (PHRC) II, Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company Ltd. (KRPC) and Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company Ltd. (WRPC).

It said that the president also approved the constitution of a Steering Committee consisting of stakeholders from relevant ministries and agencies for the privatisation process.

According to the statement, the Steering Committee will advise the National Council on Privatisation (NCP), headed by Vice President, Namadi Sambo on the best way to privatise the refineries.

“The committee will review the diagnostic reports and recommendations of the transaction advisors and make recommendations to the NCP, propose modalities and make recommendations on labour matters to ensure a successful privatisation.

“They will also oversee the general process, make recommendations, carry out any other ancillary activities relevant to the attainment of the goals of the Federal Government in the privatisation of the nation’s refineries,” it said.

The Steering Committee is chaired by the Minister of Petroleum Resources.

Other members of the committee are the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, the Minister of Power, Minister of Labour​​, the Minister of National Planning, Minister of Mines and Steel Development and Minister of Justice.

The chairman of the Extractive Sub Committee of NCP, Special Adviser to the Vice President on Economy, Group Managing Director of NNPC​​ and Director General of BPE​​ were named as members.

The Group Executive Director (Refineries), NNPC, the Managing Directors of the refineries are also members while the Director of Oil and Gas Department, BPE, will act as Secretary of the committee.

Meanwhile, the Director General of the BPE, Mr Benjamin Dikki, pledged the commitment of committee in carrying out the exercise.

“The directives we have is to conduct the privatisation process transparently, complying with due process and international best practice.

“We are expected to improve on the high standards set in the power sector transaction, which has received accolades all over the world as being very transparent,” he said.

Dikki added that further details on the transaction structure and time table would be announced after the Steering Committee inaugural meeting.

Capital market records 38% growth in 11 months – Oteh

Between January and November this year, the Nigerian capital market has recorded a 38.8 per cent growth, the Director-General, Securities and Exchange Commission, Ms Arunma Oteh, has said.

She stated this on Wednesday while addressing market women during the capital market wealth and health day held at the Kuje Market in Abuja.

The DG, who said Nigeria’s capital market was one of the best performing in the world, noted that within the past few years, the commission had worked very hard to strengthen the regulatory framework for funds management.

This, she said, should encourage retail investors to invest through mutual funds or collective investment schemes.

She said, “We at the SEC are very proud because our capital market has been one of the best performing in the world; it is among the top 10.

“It has grown by 38.8 per cent this year. Last year, it was one of the top performing. The market is the centre where we all come to every day. Isn’t it great that we are all partnering for this purpose?”

Oteh told participants at the event that for them to invest, they must be healthy in order to make informed investment decisions.


National Identity card to become ATM and travel card

Abuja –  The new national identity card can be used as Automated Teller Machine (ATM) card anywhere there is MasterCard logo in the world, the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has said.

NIMC’s Director of Technical Services, Mr Emmanuel Ogungbe, told Journalists  on Thursday in Abuja that the commission had already signed an agreement with MasterCard.

“As opposed to just being an ID card, the card is also a cash card. What that means is you can also use it the way you currently use your ATM card.


*The old National Identity Card

“So if you put money on the card, you can withdraw this money anywhere in the world.

“Two, it’s also a travel card. What that means is that very soon, especially within the West African sub-region, you can travel passport-free as long as you have this card with you.

“So this card has multi-purpose use and that is why we are calling it a general-multi-purpose card, it’s not just an ID card.”

According to him, all that a holder of the card needs to do is to present it at the point of entry of any country where it will be swiped.

He said the information about the person, similar to the ones on passport, would come out and the country would allow entry.

Ogungbe said that the new card was error-proof and would enhance the security of the country.

“We have a system called automated biometrics identification system in our data centre that checks information of newly registered people coming into the database against what we already have in the database.

“If there is a hit, that means that person was registered before and of course this means we will deny new registration.

“So, there is no way of beating that system for now; I’m very confident of that. That will ensure that you can only register once.

“What the bad elements do is to hide in a way that you won’t be able to capture them. But we are saying with this (ID) we know who they are and we will be able to very easily locate them,’’ he said.

According to him, if there is a crime and the police are able to lift finger prints from the crime scene and send to NIMC, the commission will be able to give the full details of the criminals.

He also said that the card would reduce incidences of bank frauds as fraudsters would be easily detected and apprehended.

“Talk about even fraud in the banks, where someone will obtain a loan in a particular bank, move on to the next bank without servicing the previous loan to obtain another loan; that will become a thing of the past.

“Because once the bank takes your national identification number, it can see all your various transactions, all various businesses that you have with all the other banks.”

He said that government had asked the commission to “register every single Nigerian and legal residents” but warned the aliens against any attempt to use the card to commit crimes.

“If you are an alien and you think you can continue doing that and go scot-free, then the person’s time is numbered because very soon, we will get to him or her,” he said.

FG To Sell Four State-owned Refineries Next Year

The federal government plans to begin the privatisation of four of its state-owned oil refineries before the end of the first quarter of next year, the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke has said.

“We would like to see major infrastructure entities, such as refineries, moving out of government hands into the private sector,” Alison-Madueke said in an interview with Bloomberg TV Africa in London.

Speaking further, she said: “Government does not want to be in the business of running major infrastructure entities and we haven’t done a very good job at it over the years.”

A presidential audit of the facilities led by a former Minister of Finance, Kalu Idika Kalu, had last year recommended the sale of the refineries due to inadequate government funding and “sub-optimal performance.”

The refineries, which have a combined capacity of 445,000 bpd, should be privatised within 18 months, according to the report submitted to President Goodluck Jonathan in November 2012.
Nigeria, a member of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), produced 1.99 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude in October.

The refineries are 124,00bpd Warri Refinery, 60,000bpd Old Port Harcourt refinery, 150,000bpd new Port Harcourt refinery and 110,000bpd Kaduna refinery.

A previous attempt in 2007 by the Olusegun Obasanjo administration to sell the Kaduna and Warri refineries was reversed by the next government headed by the late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua.

While Nigeria is also Africa’s top crude exporter and the most populous with more than 160 million people, it relies on fuel imports to meet more than 70 per cent of its needs.

Its state-owned plants operate at a fraction of their capacity because of poor maintenance and aging equipment. The West African nation exchanges 60,000 bpd of crude for products with Trafigura Beheer BV and a similar amount with Societe Ivoirienne de Raffinage’s refinery in Cote d’ Ivoire, according to Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
“We are right now undergoing a major turnaround maintenance programme of the refineries,” Alison-Madueke said.

Improvements to the two-unit, 210,000-bpd Port Harcourt refinery, the country’s biggest, would be completed by the end of the year, to be followed by enhancements at the Warri and Kaduna sites in 2014, according to the NNPC.
Warri has a processing capacity of 125,000 bpd and Kaduna, 110,000 bpd

CBN Designates Eight Banks ‘Too Big to Fail’

120212F2.Tunde-Lemo.jpg - 120212F2.Tunde-Lemo.jpg

Caption: Deputy Governor (Operations), CBN, Mr. Tunde Lemo

•  FBN, Zenith, GTB, UBA, Access, Diamond, Skye, Ecobank

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has designated First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (GTBank), Zenith Bank Plc, United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA), Access Bank Plc, Skye Bank Plc, Ecobank Nigeria and Diamond Bank Plc as “too big to fail”, owing to the fact that their failure could pose a systemic risk to the banking industry and the larger economy.

The eight banks alone account for 75 per cent of the banking sector in terms of earnings, profitability assets, customer deposits and branch networks.

Owing to their size and importance, THISDAY learnt that the CBN has adopted a more robust regulatory regime to monitor and scrutinise the eight banks, in order to ensure that they are healthy.
In furtherance of the objective, the central bank has asked the eight banks to increase their capital base in order to give them a buffer against internal and exogenous shocks.

The Deputy Governor (Operations), CBN, Mr. Tunde Lemo, who confirmed the development, described the financial institutions as systemically important because of their size.
Lemo pointed out that any bank that accounts for five per cent of the banking system is systemically important.

“What that means is that we have to take a closer look at them. It doesn’t mean that they are weak, it is just that we have to focus more attention on them because, God forbid, if something happens to any of them, it may affect the entire system,” Lemo said.

When quizzed on the capital base that the respective banks are expected to have, the CBN deputy governor said: “It is not that they were asked to raise their capital base, it is just that when an institution is designated as systemically important, it is required to have more capital.”