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Chamber of Commerce urges S’East govs to develop seaports for economic growth

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Invoke laws to discharge empty containers from Lagos ports – NIS President

…As NEXIM bank set to promote sesame seeds processing for export in Katsina***

The South East Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (SECCIMA) has advocated greater synergy among the South-East governors to develop seaports capable of enhancing the Zone’s economy.

Mr John Udeagbala, former President of SECCIMA, made the call at the investiture of Mr Humphrey Ngonadi as the new President of the chamber in Nnewi, Anambra. Ngonadi is the third president of the association.

Udeagbala said that the development of seaports would not only boost the economy of the area but would attract foreign investors.

“The ports in the region, if developed, would be utilised to import and export goods at affordable rates, rather than going through the stress of Lagos seaport,” he said.

Udeagbala further urged the Federal Government to create an enabling environment to promote business growth and economic development across the country.

“We appeal to the federal government to provide Independent Power Project to power the business clusters in the region as it has done in Ariaria Market in Aba.

“We want similar gesture to be extended to other main markets and business clusters in other states of the region.

“We also appeal to the federal government to ensure that South-East benefited from the on-going rail projects from Port Harcourt to the Northern region.

“And we also urge the federal government to develop the Enugu International Trade Fair Complex like it did in Lagos and Kaduna, ” he said.

Udeagbala congratulated Ngonadi on his election as the new president of the chamber and advised him to work with the southeast governors to fashion out viable economic policies that would accelerate development in the region.

He also urged the new leadership of the chamber to be the voice of the business community in the region.

Also read:  World Bank approves 6 projects for Nigeria

Responding, Ngonadi promised to sustain the good legacies of the association by bringing the city chambers in the zone together to establish a stronger organised private sector.

He promised to work with NACCIMA, other bilateral chambers of commerce in the country and global business associations for the advancement of the activities of the chamber.

In the meantime, the Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) says it has concluded plans to promote crops that have potential export value in Katsina State thereby creating more businesses and job opportunities for people.

The Managing-Director, NEXIM Bank, Mr Abba Bello, disclosed this when Gov. Aminu Masari of Katsina State visited him on Wednesday in Abuja.

Bello said that the initiative would significantly create a lot of job opportunities in the state.

According to him, the bank will be working with some potential exporters from Katsina State to ensure proper implementation of the processes.

“One of the reasons we chose to work with states is that we prefer to go down to the grassroots that is financing them from primary production to aggregation and finally export and we have been working on the process.

“We have identified the crops to process and export in Katsina State precisely sesame seeds and also to some extent hibiscus.

“Also, a cooperation has been signed between a group and a proposed aggregator who already have 1,800 hectares of land and signed up over 1,000 farmers that will process this season of sesame from Katsina State and we hope to see to the conclusion,” he said

The managing-director also said that the bank, having started working on the value chain, would identify a few Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) that buy sesame seeds and supply.

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“We have a programme which is in line with the Federal Government determination to bring people out of poverty.

“This is the reason why we have decided to go down the value chain and finance both micro and small enterprises that are in the value chain for export.

“Some have already started utilising our facilities and we are looking to do more in Katsina State,” he said.

He was also hopeful that the initiative would further support the economic empowerment in the state and the Federal Government Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, particularly with emphasis on bringing people out of poverty.

“So we will ensure that our funding gets to the very base of the value chain,” Bello added.

Masari, while speaking commended the management of the bank for identifying an export crops in the state, saying that “the state is developing 800 hectares of land for economic export.”

According to him, the government of Katsina State has already given a contract for the complete development of a 100 hectares.

“So part of what we are looking for here is processing and adding value, especially to agric products and other exportable products to the neighbouring countries.

NEXIM bank has mapped out N1 billion each to support non oil export products across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

 

Economy

FG Begins Construction On Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway Sections 3, 4 –Umahi

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FG Begins Construction On Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway Sections 3, 4 –Umahi

…Sokoto to Badagry 1,000 km stretch also receives approval

The Federal Government has announced the immediate flag-off of construction work on sections three and four of the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway project, beginning from Calabar.

The Minister of Works, Sen. Dave Umahi, announced an engagement with representatives of communities within the alignment of the road between Eko Atlantic (Chainage Zero) and Eleko inside (Chainage 47.4klm, on Thursday in Lagos.

He said that section three would start from Calabar and section four from Akwa Ibom.

Umahi said, “Let me announce also that Mr President has directed that section three, starting from Calabar and section four is starting from Akwa Ibom should commence immediately; and so, we are in the process of concluding the procurement.

“And for those who have been saying why not start these roads in Calabar, one, the zero point is Lagos and what wrong has Lagos done to these people?

“However, an impartial President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Sen. Bola Tinubu, has directed that sections three and four be started from the end of the project. So while this is moving, the other one will be moving.

“I’m sure that sections five and six will also start in places like Port Harcourt and Bayelsa.”

Umahi also announced that the president had approved the commencement of construction work on the road connecting Sokoto to Badagry.

He said: ” Just the last Federal Executive Committee meeting on Monday, Mr President also approved another project; because this road has two spurs, we start the design and procurement of that Sokoto to Badagry.

” It’s a 1,000 km, it’s running through a lot of irrigation, lands and dams where you can have a lot of power generation and its running from Sokoto to Kebbi, Kebbi to Niger, Niger to Kwara, Kwara to Oyo, Oyo to Ogun state, and then to Badagry in Lagos State.”

The minister, who acknowledged potential criticism about the project’s scale and chosen sections, mentioned that section one, 47.7 kilometres, was ambitious for an interstate road project.

He said that the federal government planned to recoup construction costs through tolling and selling land along the road corridors.

The aim, according to him, is to create a scenic route similar to coastal highways in other countries.

Additionally, he said that the return on investment would start immediately after the first section was completed and would come from tolls and land sales along the completed section one.

The minister pointed out that the country loses money daily due to cargo transhipment at Apapa Port.

He explained that Apapa Port’s water depth was insufficient for large ships, forcing them to use deeper ports elsewhere for cargo transfer (transhipment), which incurred millions of dollars on daily basis.

He said that the new roads would act as an evacuation corridor for the Lekki Deep Sea Port to other parts of the country.

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Hope Rising: Naira Gains N3.31 Against Dollar At Official Market

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Naira Gains N61.38 Against Dollar At Official Market

…Trades at N1,465.68 to dollar

 The Naira gained N3.31 at the official market on Tuesday, trading at N1,465.68 to the dollar.

Data from the FMDQ Exchange, which oversees the Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange Market (NAFEM), revealed a 0.22 percent appreciation for the Naira compared to Monday’s rate of N1,468.99 to the dollar.

The volume of currency traded also increased, with the total daily turnover rising to 268.17 million dollars on Tuesday from 161.41 million dollars on Monday.

At the Investor’s and Exporter’s (I&E) window, the Naira traded between N1,549.00 and N1,401.00 against the dollar.

The Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) commended the CBN’s reforms for the Naira’s appreciation at the official market.

Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe, President, Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON)

ABCON President, Dr Aminu Gwadabe, urged the CBN to sustain policies benefiting the local currency.

Gwadabe cited multifaceted efforts through fiscal and monetary policies, alongside security agency interventions, as key to the Naira’s recovery.

“Volatility is like runoff water; if not directed, it will direct itself. I am happy to see multiple agencies coming together to confront these challenges,” he said.

Gwadabe called for technological upgrades and collaboration among operators, regulators, the government, and security agencies.

This, he noted, was to improve control over the foreign exchange market and to establish a bylaw to mitigate volatility. 

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NGX Weekly: Cadbury Lists 402.1m Additional Shares, Investors Lose N54bn

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NGX Weekly: Cadbury Lists 402.1m Additional Shares, Investors Lose N54bn

 Additional 402,082,657 ordinary shares of 50 Kobo each per share of Cadbury Nigeria Plc (Cadbury) were listed on the Daily Official list of Nigerian Exchange Ltd. (NGX) last week.

A weekly report of the NGX made available to newsmen in Lagos stated that the Cadbury additional shares were listed during the week.

The NGX explained that the additional shares listed on NGX arose from Cadbury’s conversion of N7,036,446,501.26 intercompany loan to equity.

“With this listing of the additional 402,082,657 ordinary shares, the total issued and fully paid up shares of Cadbury has now increased from 1,878,201,962 to 2,280,284,619

ordinary shares of 50 kobo each,” the regulator said.

Also in the course of the week under review, the NGX suspended trading in the shares of Arbico Plc on Friday.

The Exchange said the suspension was necessary to prevent trading in the shares of the company in preparation for the delisting of the securities of the company in line with the approval obtained from NGX.

Meanwhile, the April 2024 Issue of the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) Savings Bonds was listed on the NGX on Monday.

In the course of trading for the week, trade turnover settled 15.8 per cent lower than the previous session.

Specifically, investors traded a total of 1.652 billion shares worth N42.677 billion in 38,123 deals this week on the floor of the Exchange, in contrast to 2.187 billion shares valued at N50.667 billion that exchanged hands last week in 45,277 deals.

Consequently, the NGX All-Share Index which opened the week at 98,233.76 lost 0.11 per cent to close at 98,125.73.

The market capitalisation also depreciated by 0.10 per cent or N54 billion to close the week at N55.508 trillion, as against N55.562 trillion posted in the previous week.

Similarly, all other indices finished lower with the exception of NGX Main Board, NGX Lotus II, NGX Industrial Goods and NGX Pension Broad which appreciated by 0.97, 0.58, 0.01 and 0.12 per cent respectively, while the NGX ASeM and NGX Sovereign Bond indices closed flat.

Meanwhile, the Financial Services Industry measured by volume led the activity chart with 979.479

million shares valued at N16.647 billion traded in 20,708 deals.

This contributed 59.30 per cent

and 39.01 per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively.

The Conglomerates Industry followed with 239.825 million shares worth N2.879 billion in 2,178 deals.

The third place was the Consumer Goods Industry, with a turnover of 148.685 million shares worth N3.525 billion in 4,757 deals.

Trading in the top three equities namely Custodian Investment Plc, Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc and Access Holdings Plc measured by volume accounted for 500.343 million

shares worth N11.768 billion in 6,551 deals.

This contributed 30.29 per cent and 27.57 per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively.

Also, 28 equities appreciated in price during the week lower than 40 equities in the previous week.

51 equities depreciated in price higher than 37 in the previous week, while 76 equities remained unchanged, lower than 77 recorded in the previous week.

On the losers’ table, PZ Cussons Nigeria led by 22.16 per cent to close at N21.60, NEM Insurance followed by 18.36 per cent to close at N8.45 per cent per share.

Eterna Plc lost 18.32 per cent to close at N11.15, United Bank of Africa(UBA) shed 17.23 per cent to close at N21.85 and The Initiates Plc dropped N15.22 per cent to close at N1.95 per share.

Conversely, International Energy Insurance led the gainers table by 11.49 per cent to close at N1.65, McNichols Plc trailed by 9.89 per cent to close at one Naira per share.

Custodian Investment Plc rose by 9.68 per cent to close at N10.20, Julius Berger advanced by 9.53 per cent to close at N79.30, while Airtel Africa Plc gained 8.97 per cent to close at N2,150 per share.

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