Connect with us

Economy

Nigeria’s foreign reserves cross $40bn

Published

on

Customers express disappointment over CBN’s directive on transaction charges

…As NUPENG President warns: We’ll react appropriately if FG increases fuel price***

Figures obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Monday, indicated that Nigeria’s External Reserves reached the $40.4 Billion mark on Friday, January 5, 2018, indicating an increase of about one billion United States dollars between December 2017 and January 2018.

This is in line with the projection of the Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele at the Annual Bankers’ Dinner of the Chartered Institute of Bankers (CIBN) in Lagos last November, the nation’s External Reserves have hit a new level of $40.4 Billion.

This is even as the Bank injected a total of $210 million into the Interbank Foreign Exchange Market in the first round of trading for the year on Monday, January 8, 2018.

Confirming the figure, the Acting Director in charge of Corporate Communications at the CBN, Isaac Okorafor attributed the accretion to the country’s reserves to the Bank’s strategy to effectively manage forex demand by various sectors of the economy.

Citing the CBN policy restricting access to forex from the Nigerian forex market by importers of some 41 items as the major turning point, Okorafor said the policy had helped to stop the hemorrhaging of the country’s external reserves, which hitherto witnessed heavy depletion due to huge import bills and other debt obligations.

According to him, the CBN policy had ensured a decline in Nigeria’s import bills from over $5 billion monthly in 2015 to about $1.5 billion in 2017.

He expressed optimism that with the determination of the Bank and the cooperation of the fiscal authorities, the external reserves will continue to enjoy more accretion in the course of 2018.

In the meantime, the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas (NUPENG), has warned against any increase in fuel pump price, saying that Labour would react appropriately should the Federal Government increase price.

President of NUPENG, Comrade Igwe Achese, said in a chat with our correspondent that the union dud not believe in fuel price increase, hence, it would never support it.

The Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachukwu has said that the current pump price of N145 per litre is not sustainable, because the landing cost is now N171, due to the dollar exchange rate.

This, according to the minister has led to the current fuel scarcity, because the independent marketers can no longer import; thus leaving the import solely to the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

To end the acute fuel scarcity, he gave three options, which include a special arrangement by the Central Bank of Nigeria to provide forex for fuel importers at N131 to a dollar, rather than the general public exchange rate; go back to the era of subsidy or allow the independent marketers to sell at their own price.

This was perceived by Nigerians as a ploy by the government to increase pump price; going by the earlier demands and calls by the marketers for price increase.

However, the NUPENG President said any plan to increase fuel price in any or through any means would not be supported; adding that he would not even want to talk about fuel price increase.

Comrade Achese said: “I don’t believe in any increase and I don’t want to talk about it. Should there be any we will react appropriately.”

Meanwhile, the President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayiba Wabba, said the pump price of N145 per litre is sacrosanct; adding that in their meeting with the Federal Government and other stakeholders last week Tuesday and subsequent meetings, the issue of price increase was never on the table or in the agenda.

The NLC President said President Muhammadu Buhari, had indicated, as revealed during the meeting held at the Presidential Villa that the issue of price increase should not be contemplated.

Wabba said the issue on the table is how to make product available at the current price, sustained and monitor distribution.

“It (price increase) was not actually on the table. The only thing on the table, which we are presently discussing is how to make product available at the price of N145 per liter. Nobody has the mandate to discuss the issue of price. The price at N145 is sacrosanct, all we discussed at the meeting is how to make product available.

“The President initially, when he said we should have that meeting, said the price must remain N145, and we should look at how to make product available and look at factors responsible for the shortage in the month of December. So, that is the only mandate we are discussing.

“The issue of pump price increase is not on the table now, nobody is contemplating that. The issue is not on the table, it is not contemplated at all. Let us limit ourselves to where we are, because that gives room for speculations and the marketers may begin to do what will not be favourable to consumers and the generality of the citizens.

“What is on the table now is to make products available at the prevailing rate. That is what everybody is aware; anything outside that is not actually on the table and nobody is trying to bring it on the table.”

Tribune

Economy

Selloffs In MTN, Others Drag Market N25bn Down

Published

on

Selloffs In MTN, Others Drag Market N25bn Down

…RT.BRISCOE, Tantalizer lead the losers’ table 

 The equity market on Wednesday lost N25 billion due to selloffs in MTN Nigeria, Dangote Sugar and Guaranty Trust Holding Company (GTCO), among other stocks.

Specifically, the market capitalisation, which opened at N56.670 trillion, shed N25 billion or 0.04 per cent to close at N56.645 trillion.

The All-Share Index also dropped 0.04 per cent, or 43.3 points, to close at 100,032.32, as against 100,075.59 recorded on Tuesday.

As a result, the Year-To-Date (YTD) return slipped to 33.78 per cent.

United Capital led 10 per cent to close at N36.30, Africa Prudential followed by 9.88 per cent to close at N8.90, and Cutix gained 9.86 per cent to close at N6.13 per share.

Oando rose by 5.63 per cent to close at N16.90, and Julius Berger advanced by 4.79 per cent to close at N87.50 per share.

Conversely, RTBRISCOE led the losers’ log with 5.71 per cent to close at 66k, and FTN Cocoa Processors trailed by 4.44 per cent to close at N1.72 per share.

Tantalizer declined by 4.26 per cent to close at 45K, Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals shed 3.53 per cent to close at N1.64 and Consolidated Hallmark Plc lost N3.45 to close at N1.40 per share.

Analysis of the market activities showed trade turnover settled higher relative to the previous session, with the value of transactions up 35.71 per cent.

A total of 1.10 million shares valued at N10.08 billion were exchanged in 8,720 deals, compared to 368.39 million shares valued at N7.42 billion exchanged in 8,151 deals posted previously.

Jaiz Bank led the activity log-in volume with 528.49 million shares worth N1.15 billion, Cutix followed by 194.64 million shares worth N1.19 billion.

Zenith traded 77.75 million shares valued at N3.11 billion to lead the log-in value, Universal Insurance transacted 36.26 million shares worth N12.35 million and FCMB sold 33.88 million shares worth N257.09 million. 

Continue Reading

Economy

Stock Market Maintains Positive Trends, Up 0.11%

Published

on

Stock market maintains positive trends, up 0.11%

…Redstarex, Deap Capital lead the losers’ table 

 The Nigerian stock market maintained its positive trends on Tuesday, increasing the overall market index by 0.11 per cent.

Investors gained N62 billion or 0.11 per cent as the market capitalisation, which opened at N56.608 trillion closed at N56.670 trillion.

The All-Share Index also advanced by 0.11 per cent or 109.3 points to close at 100,075.59, compared to 99,966.28 recorded on Monday.

As a result, the Year-To-Date (YTD) return rose to 33.84 per cent.

Sustained by interest in Tier-one banking tickers such as Zenith Bank, FBN Holdings, United Bank For Africa (UBA), and Access Corporation, alongside United Capital, UACN and other advanced equities drove the market’s positive performance.

Meanwhile, market breadth closed positive with 19 gainers and 15 losers on the floor of the Exchange.

On the gainers’ table, United Capital led by 10 per cent to close at N33, Cutix Plc followed by 9.84 per cent to close at N5.58 and Sunu Assurances gained 7.75 per cent to close at N1.39 per share.

Cornerstone Insurance rose by 7.69 per cent to close at N2.10 and UACN went up by 7.42 per cent to close at N15.20 per share.

On the other hand,  Redstarex led the losers’ table by 9.82 per cent to close at N3, and McNichols Plc trailed by 9.01 per cent to close at N1.01 per cent.

Deap Capital Management and Trust Plc lost 5.77 per cent to close at 49k, Eterna Plc declined by 4.44 per cent to close at N17.20 and Universal Insurance shed 2.78 per cent to close at 35k per share.

Analysis of the market activities showed trade turnover settled higher relative to the previous session, with the value of transactions up 0.78 per cent.

A total of 368.39 million shares valued at N7.42 billion were exchanged in 8,151 deals, compared with 362.43 million shares valued at N7.37 billion exchanged in 8,405 deals posted previously.

Zenith Bank led the activity table in volume and value with 57.42 million shares worth N2.25 billion, and Access Corporation followed with 36.75 million shares valued at N707.17 million.

Guaranty Trust Holding Company(GTCO) also sold 29.16 million shares valued at N1.33 billion, Jaiz Bank traded 28.34 million shares worth N60.94 million and UBA transacted 20.31 million shares valued at N466.16 million.

Continue Reading

Economy

Sanitary Pads: Reps Query Minister Over N65m Spent On New Year Party, Others

Published

on

 The Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Uju Kennedy-Ohaneye has drawn the ire of the House of Representatives following the unguarded manner she allegedly spent monies which included expenditures of N45 million for a New Year party and, N20 million for sanitary pads.

The House of Representatives which has now queried the minister, also frowned on her other unrelated expenditure which includes N1.5 million for vehicle fuel.

Rep. Kafilat Ogbara, Chairman, House Committee on Women Affairs, led the interrogation of the Minister, over the non-payment of N1.5 billion to contractors despite the fund release in Abuja.

She said that the investigative hearing was aimed at uncovering the truth and not witch-hunting the Minister and the officials of the ministry.

The committee also investigated the alleged diversion of funds meant for contractor payments, following a petition from contractors.

The committee also sought clarification on funds appropriated for the African First Lady’s mission and the whereabouts of the N1.5 billion meant for contractor payments.

The minister however denied the allegations of misappropriation, overspending, and non-payment to contractors.

The procurement officer confirmed contractors’ claims, and the Director of Finance and Administration acknowledged only paying approved contracts.

It would be recalled that the committee had at its last sitting summoned the minister to appear before it to explain the rationale behind the non-payment.

The committee also ordered the stoppage of all 2024 contract processes by the Ministry of Women’s Affairs until the whereabouts of the money for the said contracts are determined

Continue Reading
ADEBAYO SARUMI: Doyen of Maritime Industry Marks 80th Anniversary, Saturday 

Editor’s Pick

Politics