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Save Naira from obscene dollar-monetised presidential primaries- VON DG tasks Buhari

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Save Naira from obscene dollar-monetised presidential primaries- VON DG tasks Buhari

Director-General, Voice of Nigeria (VON) Osita Okechukwu, has pleaded with President Muhammadu Buhari to quickly come to the rescue of Nigeria’s currency, the naira before politicians depreciate it out of recognition.

He said that a nation’s currency is one of the critical indices of measuring the general health of its economy, stressing that when the currency nose-dives it leads to hype-inflation, gross unemployment and abject poverty, thereby worsening the nation’s security.

Also read: UNBELIEVABLE: Naira appreciates, exchanges to 418/ dollar as NGX rebounds, gains N346bn

In a statement on Sunday, in Abuja, Okechukwu, who is also, a founding member of All Progressives Congress (APC) decried the dollar rain during the recent Presidential primary of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the National Stadium Abuja.

He cited the withdrawal comments of Mohammed Hayatu-Deen, a financial guru, saying that President Buhari should support the use of the consensus method to ensure that the forthcoming APC presidential primary does not follow the PDP’s highest bidder dollar rain.

In his speech before withdrawing from the PDP primary, the former banker, Hayatu-Deen, said, “it is, therefore, based on personal principles and with great humility that I have decided, after wide consultation, to withdraw from this contest, which has been obscenely monetised.”

“Albeit, our sister opposition political party has every constitutional right to elect whoever they want as their flag bearer; the Dollar rain is worrisome as noted by Mohammed Hayatu-Deen, who dubbed it obscenely monetised presidential primary.

“Sincerely, I congratulate His Excellency, Atiku Abubakar on his emergence from the opposition party primary. But, as a patriot and stakeholder in the Nigeria project, I am worried by PDP’s induced Dollar Rain, which led to unprecedented depreciation of the naira,” he said.

Therefore, Okechukwu called on Buhari to consider the consensus option to be adopted in the APC presidential primary election to save the naira.

He lamented the monumental harm PDP’s dollar rain did to the nation’s economy, saying “if that could happen in a party with about 731 delegates, imagine what will happen if APC with about 2, 322 delegates is allowed to indulge in Dollar Rain.”

His words: “If the Naira is already bleeding because of dollar rain on 731 delegates; please better imagine the degree of depreciation of the Naira if another blitz of dollar rain is allowed to be splashed on 2,322 delegates? This is the farming season, as such the Buhari’s Agrarian Revolution would also be at risk if the naira is allowed to depreciate further. Prices of fertilizer, seedlings and other farm implements will hit roof top.”

On why he is calling for consensus instead of direct and indirect mode of primary election, which are more democratic than consensus, the DG VON said: “All the three are democratic and are in our law books.

Please, is it not paradoxical that the governors and ex-governors who oppose consensus had adopted the same consensus and even outright imposition to select their successors?

To me they have lost the moral high ground to oppose Mr President from adopting such legal mode of primary election.

One’s appeal is that politically correct aspirant should be consensually presented.”

Okechukwu dismissed insinuations that with Atiku the APC will not adhere to the rotation convention of electing a presidential candidate of Igbo extraction or a southerner.

APC is Brand A1, and we follow the rule of law and rotation convention.

“Methinks His Excellency Atiku Abubakar’s opportunistic victory will have little or no impact on APC’s election of a presidential candidate from among Ndigbo aspirants or by extension the southern belt aspirants.

I don’t think Mr President I know even going by consensus will deny the south their turn.”

Reminded of the possibility that with APC Southern presidential candidate Atiku will sweep the northern votes, OKechukwu wondered what new tangible thing Atiku was bringing to the table in the face of the prevailing daunting economic scenario.

He said Atiku is used to sharing money, but that today there is little or none to be shared, adding, “Most importantly, one, northern voters are sophisticated, having voted for Chiefs MKO Abiola and Olusegun Obasanjo, with all indicators they will vote southerner this time around so as to shame the PDP for breaching the rotation convention in their constitution.

“Secondly, there are number of northern voters who are patriots who believe sincerely on the ancient doctrine of equity, natural justice and the imperative of unity of our dear country.

Forgoing south is the best solution to smoothen the polarization in the land.

Thirdly, the dormant Igbo voters in Kano, Lagos and other towns plus core non-Igbo APC voters will be woken up to trounce Waziri Adamawa at the poll.”

 

Economy

Equity Market Opens With N324bn Gain, eTranzact, Champion Lead Losers Table 

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Equity Market Opens With N324bn Gain, eTranzact, Champion Lead Losers Table 

 The Nigerian equity market on Monday opened the week on a positive note with a gain of 0.58 per cent.

Consequently, investors gained N324 billion or 0.58 per cent, as the market capitalisation which opened at N56.128 trillion, closed at N56.452 trillion.

The All-Share Index also closed 0.58 per cent or 573 points stronger to close at 99,793.71 as against 99,221.14 recorded on Friday.

As a result, the Year-To-Date (YTD) return rose to 33.46 per cent.

The market’s positive performance was primarily driven by gains in Seplat, Guaranty Trust Holding Company (GTCO) Zenith Bank, United Bank For Africa(UBA), Transcorp Hotel and Nigerian Breweries, among other advanced equities.

Market breadth closed positive with 30 gainers and 10 losers on the floor of the Exchange.

On the gainers’ chart, Flour Mill led by 10 per cent to close at N41.80 per share.

Total Energies followed closely by 9.98 per cent to close at N353.60 per share.

Access Corporation gained 9.86 per cent to close at N18.95, Chams rose by 9.74 per cent to close at N1.69, and Veritas Kapital Assurance advanced by 9.52 per cent to close at 69k per share.

On the other side, eTranzact led the losers’ chart to close at N4.55, and Daar Communications trailed at 9.52 per cent to close at 57k per share.

Champion lost 6.67 per cent to close at N2.80, Unity Bank shed 6.67 per cent to close at N1.12 and Wapic Insurance went down by 2.86 per cent to close at 68k per share.

Market analysis revealed that trade turnover settled higher relative to the previous session with the value of transactions up by 83.55 per cent.

A total of 963.54 million shares valued at N13.50 billion were exchanged in 8,657 deals, compared to 388.02 million shares valued at N7.35 billion exchanged in 7,106 deals.

Meanwhile, Fidelity Bank led the activity chart in volume and value with 605.26 million shares worth N6.03 billion, Access Corporation followed by 93.07 million shares valued at N1.74 billion.

UBA transacted 58.73 million shares worth N1.26 billion, Nigerian Breweries traded 45.26 million shares valued at N1.27 billion and Zenith Bank sold 16.08 million shares worth N539.55 million.

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Strike: Labour records 100% compliance in Niger, As Anambra Records 90% Compliance

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Strike: Labour records 100% compliance in Niger, As Anambra Records 90% Compliance

Mr Ibrahim Gana, Chairman of Trade Union Congress (TUC) in Niger, on Monday, said the union recorded 100 per cent success compliance with the ongoing strike over the minimum wage in the state.

He said this in an interview with newsmen shortly after monitoring the level of compliance in Minna, the state capital.

Gana said that unlike in the past, the officials of organised labour did not struggle with workers in their offices this time around.

“This is a fantastic strike we have ever had, the level of compliance is 100 per cent, and we didn’t struggle with people in their offices this time around.

“Just a circular that workers should comply with the national directive of both NLC and TUC and virtually everywhere we have gone we have 100 per cent compliance.

He said that the level of compliance indicates that workers were beginning to listen to the labour leaders and also understanding the yearnings of the union in the country.

The chairman said both Federal and state organisations observed total compliance, adding that the strike would continue until the union received further directives from its national body.

It was reported that parts of organisations shut down by NLC included the Minna General Hospital, Bola Ahmed Tinubu International Airport, Federal Inland Revenue and the state High Court.

Other places visited by the union officials were the Niger State House of Assembly, the state Secretariat, the Office of the Secretary to the Niger Government and the Office of the Deputy Governor.

It was also recalled that NLC had on June 1, announced a nationwide strike commencing on June 3, following the tripartite committee’s failure to reach an agreement on a new minimum wage for workers.

In addition, unions are protesting against recent hikes in electricity tariffs, which they said have placed an undue burden on workers and consumers across the country. 

In a related development, Mr Humphrey Nwafor, Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in Anambra on Monday, said that the organised labour recorded 90 per cent compliance in the state.

Nwafor told newsmen after going around Awka to monitor compliance in Awka and its environs.

Offices at the federal and state secretariats, the state House of Assembly schools, banks and courts did not open for business.

Nwafor, while commending union leaders for their cooperation, said the strike would continue until the federal government yielded to their demands

“To be honest with you, I am very much delighted with the Anambra workers’ total compliance to the strike.

 “Picketing is ongoing across the state according to the directive from the national body, and it will continue until 6 p.m. to ensure that no office is open for any administrative businesses,” he said

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Economy

NGX: Investors Lose N103bn As Trading Continues Amid Strike

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Equity Market Opens With N324bn Gain, eTranzact, Champion Lead Losers Table 

…ETranzact, Jaiz Bank lead losers’ table

Opening the week, the equity market halted last session’s winning streak as investors lost N103 billion, following sell-offs in Tier-one banking stocks and cautious trading.

Specifically, sell-offs in FBN Holdings, United Bank For Africa (UBA) and Access Corporation, Fidelity Bank, Transnational Corporation, Nigerian Breweries, WAPCO, and ETranzact, among other declined stocks, drove the market’s weak performance.

Consequently, the market capitalisation which opened at N56.172 trillion, lost N103 billion or 0.18 per cent to close at N56.069 trillion.

The All-Share Index also shed 0.18 per cent or 112 points, to settle at 99,118.86, as against 99,300.38 recorded on Friday.

As a result, the Year-To-Date (YTD) return fell to 32.56 per cent.

However, while investors traded cautiously, the losses recorded on the Exchange were not related to the ongoing indefinite strike embarked upon by workers under the auspices of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress(TUC).

Reacting, a Stockbroker with Global View Capital Ltd., Mr Haruna Kebira, said that trading on the Exchange was not usually affected by such national industrial actions, except public holidays declared by the Federal Government.

Kebira explained that this was because the Exchange Group did not belong to any workers’ union, hence labour union leaders usually did not interrupt trading on the floor of the Exchange during strikes.

The stockbroker noted that the first week of a new month usually experienced a slowdown of activities that might lead to such losses experienced at the day’s trading.

He stated that the bullish run that dominated the equity market last week was a result of month-end effect activities.

“The market is expected to pick up positively by mid-week.

“The month of June is usually positive for the market because investors who just received their dividends are investing back into the market, so the market will surely bounce back,” Kebira said.

However, the market breadth closed positive with 23 gainers and 17 losers on the floor of the Exchange.

On the gainers’ table, Cornerstone Insurance, and Deap Capital Management and Trust Plc led by 10 per cent each to close at N2.09 and 44k per share respectively.

Oando followed by 9.75 per cent to close at N12.95, Veritas Kapital Assurance rose by 8.47 per cent to close at 64k and RTBriscoe gained 8.33 per cent to close at 52k per share.

On the other hand, ETranzact led the losers’ table with 9.82 per cent to close at N5.05 while Unity Bank trailed closely by 9.80 per cent to close at N1.38 per share.

Jaiz Bank declined by 9.65 per cent to close at N2.06, McNichols Plc shed 9.09 per cent to close at N1.00 and Japaul Gold lost 4.78 per cent to close at N1.99 per share.

Analysis of the market activities showed trade turnover settled lower relative to the previous session, with the value of transactions down by 38.92 per cent.

A total of 349.59 million shares valued at N5.24 billion were exchanged in 8,082 deals, compared to 434 million shares valued at N8.58 billion exchanged in 8,525 deals posted in the previous session.

Veritas Kapital led the activity chart in volume with 57.95 million shares worth N35.94 million, while Guaranty Trust Holding Company (GTCO) followed by N47.63 million shares valued at N47.63 billion to lead in value.

Access Corporation traded 46.32 million shares valued at N796.32 million, AIICO Insurance transacted 30.71 million shares worth N30.79 million and Regency Alliance Insurance sold 14.55 million shares worth N5.64 million. 

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