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NSE: Investors lose N63bn, C & I Leasing, UACN lead Losers’ table



NGX: Market capitalisation drops by 17bn

…As Onyema says COVID-19 pandemic caused Domestic investors to account for 60% transactions***

Traders in the domestic bourse lost N63 billion on Wednesday as indices closed lower, dropping 0.47 per cent, amid profit-taking in some heavyweight stocks.

Specifically, the market capitalization, which opened at N13.216 trillion, shed N63 billion to close at N13.153 trillion; just as the All-Share Index lost 120.11 points or 0.47 per cent to close at 25,215.04, compared with 25,335.15 posted on Tuesday.

Accordingly, the Month-to-Date returned negative at -0.2 per cent, while the Year-to-Date loss increased to -6.1 per cent.

The downturn was impacted by losses recorded in medium and large capitalised stocks, amongst which are: BUA Cement, UACN, CI Leasing, Guinness and Zenith Bank.

Analysts at Afrinvest Ltd., said, “We expect profit-taking activities to drag the performance of the equities market for the rest of the week.”

Consequently, the market breadth closed the same proportion with 19 gainers and 19 losers.

C & I Leasing led the laggards’ chart in percentage terms, declining by 9.43 per cent, to close at N4.80, per share.

UACN came second with 9.09 per cent to close at N7.50, while Japaul Oil lost eight per cent to close at 23k, per share.

Red Star Express dropped 7.30 per cent to close at N3.30, while Cutix shed 5.33 per cent to close at N1.60, per share.

Conversely, Berger Paints and Prestige Assurance dominated the gainers’ table in percentage terms, gaining 10 per cent each to close at N7.70 and 77k per share, respectively.

Neimeth trailed with 9.86 per cent to close at N5.80, while Mutual Benefits Assurance and Royal Exchange rose by 9.09 per cent each to close at 24k per share each.

UPDC Real Estate Investment Trust garnered 8.57 per cent to close at N3.80, while Cornerstone Insurance rose by eight per cent to close at 54k, per share.

The total volume of transacted decreased marginally by 0.8 per cent with an exchange of 266.65 million shares, valued at N3.18 billion achieved in 3,978 deals.

Transactions in the shares of Guaranty Trust Bank topped the activity chart with 69.41 million shares valued at N1.68 billion.

Mutual Benefits Assurance followed with 51.76 million shares worth N12.39 million, while FBN Holdings accounted for 31.21 million shares valued at N167.67 million.

Japaul Oil sold 18.74 million shares worth N4.31 million, while Zenith Bank transacted 16.44 million shares worth N274.86 million.

In the meantime, the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) says low yield environment caused by Coronavirus pandemic has positioned the equity market with domestic investors accounting for 60 per cent of market transactions.

Mr Oscar Onyema, NSE Chief Executive Officer, gave the submission on Wednesday at webinar organised by the Exchange with the theme: `Capital Markets in a Pandemic’.

Onyema said low yield environment had positioned the equity markets as a credible alternative for domestic institutional and retail investors.

He said that domestic investors had risen to the occasion in sustaining the equities market performance, accounting for about 60 per cent of trading activity.

“Surprisingly, domestic investors have risen to the occasion in sustaining the equities market performance.

“This year, domestic investors have accounted for almost 60 per cent of the trading activity compared to an average of 51 per cent in the past four years.

“Despite these economic headwinds, the NSE All-Share Index has returned month on month gains of 8.1 per cent and 9.8 per cent at the end of April and May, respectively,” Onyema said.

He explained that the pandemic had resulted in a decline in oil export earnings – which accounts for over 80 per cent of Nigeria’s export earnings – and remittances by Nigerians in the diaspora.

“Concurrently, foreign portfolio investor flight to safety has further intensified pressures on the nation’s foreign reserves and exchange rate,” Onyema said.

He said that liquidity in the foreign exchange window accessible to investors was also affected.

The CEO stressed the need for collaboration among exchanges, governments as well as use of technologies to remain resilient in the face of COVID-19 pandemic.

According to him, the pandemic has changed the way and manner things used to be before.

“Technology has long been a fundamental building block for growth in capital markets.
Today, digitisation and advanced analytics offer tremendous new potential.

“The capital markets industry, today, finds itself in a transitional period where it can adapt to digital trends and technologies as well as innovate with new business models and products/services.

“At the NSE, we see asset digitalisation beginning to create a whole new user experience.

“The Exchange has continued to leverage on its cutting-edge technology and various innovative platforms to ensure continued trading and listing activities on its bourse,” Onyema said.

Also speaking, Nandini Sukumar, Chief Executive Officer, World Federation of Exchanges, said capital market investment would be safe with stakeholders’ collective efforts.

Sukumar said exchanges would continue to ensure fair and orderly market even in the time of distress and international shocks.

“Stock exchanges exist to provide robust market structures that support issuers and investors, and we have seen this resilience amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This resilience has not been an accident. Rather, we are seeing the result of a wide range of resources.

Global exchanges have invested over a decade to prepare for a crisis such as this,” she said.

Mr Nikil Rathi, Chief Executive Officer, London Stock Exchange, said the pandemic would change investors’ way of investment.

“We anticipate a change in the nature of investing. We have seen an increased focus on Environment, Social and Corporate governance (ESG) across asset classes, and this push is coming from investors who want to see the impact of their investments,” Rathi said.

Also read: Capitalization grows N45bn as indicators improve by 0.34%

Mr Robert Scharfe, Chief Executive Officer, Luxembourg Stock Exchange (LuxSE), assured investors of functional effective markets to curtail volatility.

Scharfe said over $20 billion social and sustainability bonds earmarked COVID-19 had been listed on LuxSE over the past three months.

According to him, there is a strong appetite from investors for such kinds of bonds in recent time.

Otunba Abimbola Ogunbanjo, NSE Council President, said the Exchange designed the webinar to provide a platform for discussions that would lead global exchanges to bolster ecosystem resilience.

Ogunbanjo said the webinar deliberations “have addressed critical issues around the vulnerability and unique opportunities that the COVID-19 pandemic has created and how they are being – and will continue to be – addressed.”

“It is my sincere hope that we will continue to sustain these conversations around business innovation and partnerships even as countries gradually reopen and economies resume their activities.

“Today, we have highlighted some of the steps that we can expect to see in the near future, including the development of alternative and sustainable asset classes; dependence on technology and digital innovation; commitment to customer-centricity; and drive for collaboration across regions.

“With these, capital market players can rest assured that exchanges will continue to execute on their mandate to deliver a platform to raise and access capital even during a crisis.

“Certainly, we are living in unprecedented times, but from what we have heard here today, I believe that we can all leave with the confidence that there is a lot to look forward to in this ‘new normal’,” he said.




LASG Reiterates Ban On Commercial Motorcycles In Restricted Areas



LASG Reiterates Ban On Commercial Motorcycles In Restricted Areas

The Lagos State Government has reiterated that the ban on commercial motorcycles popularly called ‘okada’ in 10 Local Government Areas, (LGAs) and 15 Local Council Development Areas, (LCDAs) in the metropolis still persists.

Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation, Hon. Sola Giwa declared this at the weekend, while on tour of some restricted areas within the state, where large numbers of motorcyclists (okada riders) had resumed operations.  

Reaffirming the State Government’s ban on okada in the Local Government Areas which include; Kosofe, Oshodi-Isolo, Somolu, Mushin, Apapa, Ikeja, Lagos Island, Lagos Mainland, Surulere and Eti-Osa, as well as the Local Council Development Areas under them which are; Ojodu, Onigbongbo, Lagos Island East, Yaba and Coker Aguda. With others at; Itire-Ikate, Eti-Osa West, Iru Victoria Island, Ikoyi-Obalende, Ikosi-Isheri, Agboyi-Ketu, Isolo, Ejigbo, Bariga and Odi-Olowo, the Transport Special Adviser urged both riders and passengers to keep off.

He implored the general public to comply as both the riders and passengers are liable to 3 years in prison if apprehended and prosecuted, with their motorcycles impounded and crushed in the public view, in line with the provision of Section 46, sub-section 1, 2 & 3 of the Transport Sector Reform Law (TSRL), 2018.

While soliciting support on government policies by all and sundry, the Special Adviser noted that despite the available existing interventions and viable alternatives provided for okada operators which were expected to cushion the effect of the ban on their livelihood, the recalcitrant riders have refused to take advantage of them.

Highlighting some of the viable alternatives made available for the operators by the State Government, Giwa stated that the; Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA); (vocational training), Ministry of Wealth Creations and Employment; (internship programmes), Office of Civic Engagement, Office of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) (Loan for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises MSMEs), Lagos Economic Acceleration Programme “LEAP”) and the Ministry of Agriculture (Agric YES) are all trade support for the riders.

He also said the State Government’s First and Last Mile Bus Transport Scheme, the BRT Scheme, the Lagos e-hailing taxi Scheme (LAGRIDE) and other sustainable modes of transportation were also part of interventions provided to minimize the inconveniences of the motoring public in executing their daily activities.

Giwa averred that the position of government on okada is very clear, stressing that there is no going back in order to consolidate on the achievements made so far in the decrease in accident and crime rates as well as the return of sanity to the communities within the State.

He added that the Security formations who have been partnering with the State Government including the Nigeria Police Force, the Army, Navy and Air force are still on ground to sustain enforcement on all the banned corridors, as well as the State Traffic Management Authority, (LASTMA) and the Anti-Okada Squad.

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Manufacturers urge FG to dialogue with NLC over plan to picket CBN offices



Manufacturers urge FG to dialogue with NLC over plan to picket CBN offices

…Says Business no longer lucrative***

The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), has urged the Federal Government to dialogue with the NLC on its planned picketing of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) offices nationwide.

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), President, Joe Ajaero on Wednesday directed workers to embark on strike over the lingering cash crunch and fuel scarcity.

Ajaero also directed that affiliate unions constituting the NLC should be on standby to picket all branches of the CBN nationwide during the strike which is expected to begin on Wednesday, March 29.

Dr Okwara Udensi Edo/Delta Chairman of MAN, in an interview in Benin, said embarking on strike was not the best option as it would compound the present sufferings of Nigerians.

“For us as manufacturers, strike is not the best option, dialogue is the best thing so that we will not suffer more.

“Embarking on industrial action will ground our businesses, road transport workers might join the strike and this will cripple our activities.

“But unfortunately, it seems strike is the language the government understands.

“I read on the news that the CBN says it will mop up the old N500 and N1,000 notes to commercial banks.

“Must people tell them they want to go on strike before they mop up cash to banks, he said.

He regretted that the manufacturing sector had continued to witness high costs of production, a situation that was not good for economic development.

“We now buy diesel for between N820 and N830 per litre, how many litres of diesel will you buy to run your generator to produce?

“Raw materials we used to pay between N350,000 and N400,000 to convey from Jos to Benin City in 2022 is now about N800,000 as of today.

“Business is no longer lucrative, profit margin has been swallowed by the high cost of production.

“Customers are not ready to buy at higher prices, manufacturers are just selling to stay afloat,’’ he said.

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Ojerinde: Absence of ex-JAMB Registrar’s children in court stalls alleged fraud arraignment



Ojerinde: Absence of ex-JAMB Registrar’s children in court stalls alleged fraud arraignment

The absence of the four children of Prof. Dibu Ojerinde, former Registrar, Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), in a Federal High Court, Abuja, stalled their arraignment on Friday.

 Ojerinde and his children; Mary Funmilola, Olumide Abiodun, Adedayo and Oluwaseun Adeniyi, alongside their companies, were to be arraigned before the court.

Olumide Abiodun Ojerinde was a member House of Representatives at 9th Assembly representing Irepo/Orelope/Olorunsogo Constituency of Oyo State.

The Federal Government, through the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), had, in a charge marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/119/23, sued the Ojerindes on 17 counts bordering on money laundering.

Ojerinde and his companies are currently facing a money laundering trial before Justice Obiora Egwuatu.

The former JAMB boss was, on Jan. 26, re-arrested by the operatives of the anti-graft commission while he was heading to his car with one of his sons after trial Justice Egwuatu adjourned further proceedings in the charge preferred against him.

ICPC lawyer, Ebenezer Shogunle had, on Feb. 15, notified Egwuatu that Ojerinde was re-arrested on suspicion that he might have committed some other offences not unconnected with the present charges before the court.

He said for this reason, the commission obtained a warrant from the court dated 6th of Dec, 2022 for his re-arrest.

But Ojerinde, in a suit, marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/179/2023, sued the commission for alleged unlawful detention and breach of his fundamental rights.

While Ojerinde’s suit before Justice Egwuatu was adjourned until May 4 for mention, his trial was fixed for the same date for hearing continuation.

The fresh criminal charge against Ojerinde and his children before Justice Ekwo, it was gathered, was connected to the latest finding by the anti-graft commission.

While the FG is the complainant, Ojerinde, Doyin Ogbohi Petroleum Ltd, Cheng Marbles Ltd, Sapati International Schools Ltd, Trillium Learnings Centre Ltd,, Standout Institutes Ltd and Esli Perfect Security Partners are 1st to 7th defendants respectively.

Mary, Olumide, Adedayo and Oluwaseun are the 8th to 11th defendants in the trial.

Although they were not in court, they were represented by a lawyer, Ajibola Bello.

Upon resumed hearing, ICPC’s counsel, Henry Emore, informed the court that the matter was slated for the defendants to take their plea.

He said the 2nd to 7th defendants were corporate persons while the 8th to 11th defendants were natural persons.

Emore said though the defendants were to be arraigned, the 8th to 11 defendants were not in court.

He said the matter was filed on Monday and the court, on Wednesday, graciously gave them today for the defendants to take their plea.

He, however, said they were unable to serve the 8th to 11th defendants.

The lawyer prayed the court for a short adjournment.

Justice Ekwo directed Emore to serve their lawyer in open court since he was present.

“I grant you a leave to serve them now through their counsel. Let the court record shows that this is by leave of court.

“When a lawyer is representing defendants in court, it means that the lawyer knows the contact of the defendants and can reach them,” he said.

The judge, who adjourned the matter until April 19, said: “there shall be consequence if the defendants are not in court in the next adjourned date.”

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