…As Gwazo’s SEC paid N1.7bn severance package to 44 staff***
Transactions on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) opened for the month of February on a positive trend with a growth of 0.26 per cent.
The All-Share Index on Thursday upgraded by 116.53 points or 0.26 per cent to close at 44,460.18 as against 44,343.65 recorded on Wednesday.
Similarly, the market capitalisation closed higher with a growth of N59 billion to close at N15.954 trillion against N15.895 trillion on Wednesday.
Dangote Cement lifted transactions with a gain of N5 to close at N275 per share.
Unilever came second on the gainers’ chart with N2.25 to close at N46.75, while Cement Company of Northern Nigeria appreciated by 85k to close at N18.60 per share.
Okomu Oil Palm improved by 30k to close at N72.40, while Dangote Flour also garnered 30k to close at N16.80 per share.
Conversely, International Breweries recorded the highest price loss to lead the laggards’ table, dropping by N2.90 to close at N57.95 per share.
UACN trailed with a loss of 70k to close at N17, while Lafarge Africa declined by 45k to close at N54.50 per share.
Dangote Sugar depreciated by 40k to close at N20.60, while FBN Holdings was down by 35k to close at N13.60 per share.
However, the volume of shares transacted dropped marginally by 3.27 per cent, with a total of 630.58 million shares valued at N3.44 billion traded in 7,079 deals.
This was in contrast with a turnover of 651.90 million shares worth N7.76 billion exchanged in 7,091 deals on Wednesday.
Transcorp was the most active, trading 105.19 million shares valued at N244.76 million.
Skye Bank followed with 95.21 million shares worth N139.01 million, while Diamond Bank exchanged 77.26 million shares valued at N238.65 million.
Wapic Insurance traded 72.75 million shares worth N54.65 million and FCMB Group sold 64.38 million shares valued at N192.01 million.
In the meantime, the suspended Director-General of Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, Mr. Mounir Gwarzo, paid 44 members of staff of the commission N1, 703, 724, 840.32 severance package, in what was termed “Golden Handshake” in 2015, it has emerged.
Presidency sources revealed that the huge payout was not contained in the 2015 budget of SEC and he did not obtain approval from either the board or Minister of Finance, who supervises the commission.
It was learned that the payments were in breach of financial guidelines in the public service, as all expenditures have to be budgeted for and the budget approved by the National Assembly. Two directors benefitted from the “golden handshake.” One was paid N85.316 million, while the other was paid N84.650 million.
Twelve deputy directors, who also benefitted from the handshake received an average of N70.5 million, each. Assistant directors, who were five in number, got an average of N46 million each. Sources said documents received by Administrative Panel of Inquiry also detailed how Outbound Investments Limited, a company in which Mr. Gwarzo is said to be a director, was awarded several contracts by SEC, while he served as D-G of the commission.
The suspended D-G is said to be one of three directors of the company. An analysis of transactions between the company and SEC indicated that Outbound Investment Limited was a diesel supplier to the commission.
It was learned that Gwarzo tendered a letter through which he claimed to have resigned as a director of Medusa Investments Limited, another company in which he co-founded before the Administrative Panel of Inquiry, which handled his case. The letter he tendered showed that he resign his position as a director on December 19, 2012.
However, in the course of investigations, the panel, it was learned, obtained a letter written by Gwarzo on July 24, 2015, to Medusa’s bank requesting for a replacement of the Account Officer. He was also said to have written another letter on August 16, 2016, requesting that Naira Mastercards be issued on Medusa Investments Limited’s account for him and one other person (name withheld), which contradicts his resignation claims.
Additional report from Vanguard