Dredged Warri Channel Will Boost Economy, Delta Gov Tells NPA

1
445
  • As Nigerian equities slump further over US poll outcome

The Governor of Delta State, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa Wednesday, expressed strong desire for a collaboration with the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Management, saying he was prepared for any initiative that would engender development in the State.

The Governor stated this at the Government Office Complex, Asaba, the Delta State capital, while receiving visiting NPA management, led by its Managing Director, Hadiza Bala Usman, who came on courtesy visit, before proceeding to Warri, to inspect NPA facilities.

Speaking earlier, Ms Hadiza Bala Usman had noted the longstanding NPA relationship in Delta State, stressing the goal of visit as being, to explore how the existing relationship could further be strengthened.

Hadiza Bala Usman, MD NPA with His Excellency Senator Dr. Infeanyi Okowa, Governor Delta state, when the NPA team paid a courtesy visit to the government house in Asaba as part of her tour of Warri port.
Hadiza Bala Usman, MD NPA with His Excellency Senator Dr. Infeanyi Okowa, Governor Delta state, when the NPA team paid a courtesy visit to the government house in Asaba as part of her tour of Warri port.

“We are here today to discuss, and to ask for guidance and support as we develop new initiatives towards improving our services and generating more revenue”, Hadiza said, adding that she specifically desired to first pay the Governor a courtesy call; and express her desire for collaboration, before proceeding to inspect the Port facilities in Warri.

Responding, the Governor acknowledged the importance of Warri Port, and urged the Managing Director to do everything within her to see the Port’s channel dredged.

“Warri Port is important and it is more needed now, hence the desire to have it dredged now” Governor Okowa said, stressing that he was convinced that any positive development that could aid creation of jobs in the State, would also lead to a drastic reduction in militancy, in the State.

“The State Government will be happy to collaborate with the NPA as an organization, in every way that would boost the economy of the people of the State

“We hope and pray that your visit to us will be the beginning of those good things we had hoped for in the past. We look forward to the growth of a wonderful partnership”, the State Governor indicated further, expressing a genuine admiration, that Hadiza considered it worthwhile to first pay a courtesy visit to Asaba, before proceeding to Warri, a distance of over two and a half hour away; while stressing that a dredged Warri Port channel would enable the coming of large vessels, in addition to encouraging eastern based business class, particularly the Onitsha based traders, massive opportunity to use the Port for cargo movement.

In the meantime, Nigerian equities lost N66 billion yesterday amidst global anxieties over possible dramatic changes in the global economy with the emergence of Republican Donald Trump as the President of the United States of America (USA).

Against all the odds and the wagers of the bookmakers, billionaire real estate mogul Donald Trump of the Republican Party defeated the highly favoured Democrat and erstwhile Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton to emerge the 45th President of the USA. Early signs of the Trump win sent the global markets on a tailspin but the markets in later trading steadied and absorbed the seemingly sudden news.

One of the major policy thrusts of Trump campaign was decisive handling of the issue of illegal immigrants, including possible deportation and banning of certain group of people from the USA.

The benchmark index for the Nigerian equities market, the All Share Index (ASI) of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), declined by 0.72 per cent, its sixth consecutive decline in a losing cycle fuelled by weak corporate earnings, uncertain and tough macroeconomic environment and global portfolio concerns over the US elections.

The Nigerian stock market has a substantial foreign portfolio control, with foreign portfolio investors accounting for an average of about 45 per cent of transactions. Aggregate market value of all quoted equities on the NSE dropped from its opening value of N9.076 trillion to close at N9.010 trillion, representing a loss of N66 billion.

With nearly three decliners for every advancer, the ASI also declined from its opening index of 26,364.27 points to close at 26,173.69 points. The negative average year-to-date return at the Nigerian stock market worsened to -8.67 per cent.

Total turnover at the NSE dropped to 146.11 million shares valued at N1.03 billion in 3,039 deals. The most active stock was Chams Plc with 40.10 million shares valued at N20.05 million. Guaranty Trust Bank followed with 18.34 million shares worth N378.71 million while United Bank for Africa placed third with 14.08 million shares worth N59.59 million.

PZ Cussons Nigeria led the 27-stock losers’ list with a loss of N1.51 to close at N16.49. Flour Mills of Nigeria followed with a loss of 95 kobo to close at N18.05. GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria and Guaranty Trust Bank dropped by 75 kobo each to close at N15 and N20.65 respectively. Nigerian Breweries lost 50 kobo to close at N143.50 while Zenith Bank declined by 41 kobo to close at N14.21.

On the positive side, Guinness Nigeria led the 11-stock gainers’ list with a gain of N1.50 to close at N90. CAP rose by N1.38 to close at N35.40. Dangote Sugar Refinery added 18 kobo to close at N6.30 while University Press and Red Star Express chalked up 10 kobo each to close at N3.90 and N4.30 respectively.

Analysts at Exotix Partners said the emergence of Trump might portend negative for frontier and emerging markets.

“We see a Trump win as lowering risk appetite, increased risk aversion, which will have a negative impact on bond-external debt and local currency, currency and equity valuations in emerging and frontier markets,” Exotix stated in its first reaction to the announcement.

According to analysts, emerging markets nominal yields may rise as country risk widens on economic, trade and foreign policy uncertainty, which would expose those countries with already weak fundamentals, low reserves and high financing needs, a reference that included Nigeria.

“In fact, we think every region may have reason for caution under a Trump Presidency, as global uncertainty increases and economic and foreign policy becomes less predictable,” Exotix stated.

Analysts at Afrinvest Securities noted that while the sustained decline in share prices could trigger bargain-hunting for undervalued stocks, “the current risk off mode in global markets, underlined by the unexpected outcome in the US Presidential election, may continue to keep sentiment tepid”.

Additional report from Nation