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Elections: 87.2m PVCs collected, says INEC



INEC refutes report on appointment of Femi Odubiyi as head of ICT

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says a total of 87,209,007 Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) have been collected across the 36 States of the federation and the FCT.

The INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, revealed this in “The summary of registered voters and PVCs collected for 2023 general elections”, released to newsmen on Thursday in Abuja.

The number of collected PVCs, according to INEC, represents 93.3 percent of 93,469,008 total registered voters.

It also revealed that the total number of uncollected PVCs was 6,259,229, representing 6.7 percent.

The documents revealed that Lagos has the highest number of collected PVC with 6,214,970, followed by Kano with 5,594,193, Kaduna with 4,164,473 and Katsina with 3,459,945.

Yakubu told the newsmen that the full details of the collected and uncollected PVCs per PU would be made available on the Commission’s portal.

He assured that INEC is adequately prepared for the election, including delivery of logistics.

“This election is a huge logistical deployment. We have painstakingly procured, organised and delivered all the materials to the states for deployment.

“We commenced the delivery of non-sensitive materials over two months ago and they have been batched down to Registration Area/Ward and Pulling Unit levels.

“Sensitive materials have been delivered to the states and are now being delivered to our Local Government Area offices.

“As such, these materials are only between one and two levels away from the Polling Units.”

He said that INEC achieved that by learning from its recent difficult experience with logistics.

“We have completed arrangements with the transport unions for the final leg of the movement of personnel and materials to the Polling Units.

“They have assured us of their readiness to provide all the vehicular needs of the Commission for the election.”

He expressed satisfaction with security assurance from security agencies for the conduct of the elections.

“In the build-up to the general election, several of our facilities were attacked by unknown assailants in various parts of the country.

“I am pleased that we have fully recovered from those attacks, and we have been further assured that our facilities, staff, voters, observers, and citizens will be safe during the election,” Yakubu said.

He also disclosed that INEC has printed 1,642,385 identification cards for political party agents, and has handed them over to parties for onward distribution.

Yakubu also gave an update on its consultation with the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) on the fuel situation and the fuel needed for transportation and its generators during the election.

“We are pleased that the NNPC Limited assured us that it will ensure the availability of the products for the polls.

“Likewise, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has assured us that it will provide us with the small amount of cash we require from our budget for cash payment to some critical service providers for the election.

“I must reiterate that the bulk of payment for works, goods and services are still paid for by electronic transfer.”

Fielding questions from newsmen, Yakubu denied the insinuation that its Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) could be preloaded.

“There is nothing like preloaded BVAS. In fact, the BVAS is configured to start working at 8.30am and to work within a range of time.”

On the murdered Labour Party (LP) Senatorial Candidate for Enugu East, Enugu State, Oyibo Chukwu, Yakubu said the commission is yet to receive official communication from the party.

“The law provides for countermanding the election for two weeks but as we speak INEC has not received any official notice to the death of the candidate.”

He said that while INEC had adequate security measures in place to secure its portal, it would continue to fortify the website or portal against possible attacks.

Yakubu appealed to citizens to continue to be sensitive about what they post on election, especially the results.

He advised those that may wish to peddle fake results or announce results before its declaration by the commission to respect the law which provides that only INEC has the power to announce election results.

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Super Eagles beat hosts Guinea Bissau, to reclaim Group ‘A’ leadership



Super Eagles beat hosts Guinea Bissau, to reclaim Group 'A' leadership

The Super Eagles on Monday in Bissau beat hosts Guinea Bissau 1-0 to reclaim leadership of Group A in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers.

Moses Simon’s penalty kick after 29 minutes gave the Nigerian senior men’s football team the needed win to move to nine points after four matches.

They have now upstaged from the apex position Guinea Bissau who toppled them on Friday in Abuja with a 1-0 win.

Guinea Bissau is with seven points from four matches and in second place, ahead of Sierra Leone who has five points from four matches.

Nigeria is expected to now face the Leone Stars of Sierra Leone in a Match Day 5 fixture.

 Details later  

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Banking & Finance

NGX: Investors Lose N622bn, as NCR Nigeria, Unity Bank lead Losers’ chart



NGX: Investors Lose N622bn, as NCR Nigeria, Unity Bank lead Losers’ chart

The domestic stock market on Nigeria Exchange Ltd. (NGX) continued on a negative note as the market capitalisation on Monday dropped by N622 billion amid sustained profit-taking activities.

Accordingly, investors lost N622 billion in value as market capitalisation declined to  N29.281 trillion from N29.903 trillion recorded at the previous session.

The All-Share Index (ASI) fell by 1,141.76 points, representing a decline of 2.08 percent, to close at 53,750.77 points as against the 54,892.53 posted on Friday.

Consequently, the ASI’s year-to-date (YTD) return fell to 4.88 percent.

The downturn was impacted by losses recorded in large and medium capitalised stocks, amongst which are; Airtel Africa, Seplat Energy, MTN Nigeria Communications (MTNN), Nigerian Breweries and Lafarge Africa.

“We expect risk-on sentiments to be sustained in the equities markets even as the depressed interest rate environment will continue to favour the local bourse in line with our expectations for Q1, 2023.

“Taking positions in stocks with solid valuations and dividend yields ahead of the dividend-paying season remains the choice strategy.

“However, we see room for extended profit-taking activities,” Analysts at United Capital Plc said.

The market breadth was negative as 21 stocks lost relative to five gainers.

Courteville Business Solutions recorded the highest price gain of 6.67 percent to close at 48k per share.

NPF Microfinance Bank followed with a gain of 2.7 percent to close at N1.90 and AIICO Insurance up by 1.75 percent to close at 58k per share.

FBN Holdings (FBNH) rose by 0.92 percent to close at N11, while Zenith Bank gained 0. 2 percent to close at N25 per share.

Conversely, NCR Nigeria led the losers’ chart by 9.79 percent to close at N2.12, per share.

Unity Bank followed with a decline of 9.43 percent to close at 48k, while Prestige Assurance declined by 8.89 percent to close at 41k, per share.

SUNU Assurance declined 8.33 percent to close at 44k, while Multiverse Mining and Exploration and Airtel Africa shed 8.31 percent each to close at N2.98 and N1,420 respectively per share.

Also, the total volume traded decreased by 26.66 percent to 100.883 million units, valued at N4.342 billion and exchanged in 3,279 deals.

Transactions in the shares of Guaranty Trust Holding Company (GTCO) topped the activity chart with 12.836 million shares valued at N318.513 million.

Zenith Bank followed with 11.920 million shares worth N297.982 million, while United Bank for Africa (UBA) traded 10.038 million shares valued at N80.242 million.

MTNN traded 8.264 million shares valued at N1.927 billion, while FBNH transacted 7.719 million shares worth N84.577.

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MARITIME SAFETY: NIMASA, NCC Close Ranks On Submarine Cable Regulation In Nigeria



MARITIME SAFETY: NIMASA, NCC Close Ranks On Submarine Cable Regulation In Nigeria

…Jamoh reiterates  commitment to Ease of Doing Business 

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) have agreed to work closely with relevant stakeholders as the Agency inches closer to developing a regulatory framework to provide operational guidelines for Submarine Cable and Pipeline Operators in Nigeria. 

Officials of both organs of Government in Lagos reached this agreement at a pre Audit meeting on submarine cable regulation.

The Director General of NIMASA Dr. Bashir Jamoh, OFR, who chaired the meeting, which also had the Director General of Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR) Mr. Dasuki Arabi in attendance, noted that the Agency is committed to the Ease of doing Business while implementing International Conventions which Nigeria has ratified and domesticated. 

He noted that with Nigeria now a destination for global communication players, the time has come to prevent unregulated underwater cable laying, which might become hazardous to shipping.

According to him, “It is worthy to note that marine cable laying has been ongoing for over two decades in Nigerian waters. Our focus is to ensure safety of navigation of shipping in Nigerian waters with all these underwater cables being laid.

NIMASA is actually developing the guidelines to regulate submarine cable operators in line with the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, UNCLOS; which we have ratified and NIMASA is the Agency of Government in Nigeria responsible for its implementation. We do not just implement laws; we consult. Where the responsibility of an Agency stops, that is where the responsibilities of another Agency start. Collaboration is a key component of ease of doing business in the best interest of the country and we will work closely with the NCC to achieve this”.

On his part, the Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Professor Umar Garba Danbatta who was represented by the Director, Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement, Efosa Idehen noted that the stakeholders’ dialogue strategy adopted by NIMASA in developing the guidelines would ensure a win-win situation urging NIMASA management to include the Ministry of Justice, a request NIMASA DG immediately granted.

Also speaking at the meeting was the Director General of the Bureau of Public Service Reforms Mr. Dasuki Arabi, who commended NIMASA and NCC for adopting effective Inter-Agency collaboration to avert a potential challenge for the country in the future.

NIMASA had notified submarine and cable operators in Nigeria of a soon-to-be-implemented regulatory guideline for submarine cables and pipelines in Nigeria, in line with the provisions of UNCLOS. NIMASA and the NCC agreed to identify and resolve areas of likely regulatory overlaps, ensuring a regulatory framework based on consultation to engender the attainment of Nigeria’s digital economy transformation.

Officials of the Federal Ministry of Environment and representatives of Submarine Cable operators in Nigeria were also at the meeting.

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