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Stakeholders dialogue on AfCFTA at NUJ’s workshop



Stakeholders dialogue on AfCFTA at NUJ’s workshop

The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), on Tuesday, said that the Manufacturing sector had the potential to contribute more to the nation’s economy than the oil sector.

The Director, Research & Advocacy Support Division of MAN, Dr Oluwasegun Osidipe, said this at a one-day workshop on “The African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) Challenge on Nigerian Businesses”, organized by the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Lagos State Council.

Osidipe who presented a paper titled “AfCFTA: Hurdles Before Nigerian Manufacturers’’ said that given the conducive environment for production, the manufacturing sector would perform better than the oil sector.

He said that the manufacturing sector had the potential to change the prevailing economic performance narrative of the nation.

According to him, manufacturers are not afraid of competition as the industry is well-positioned locally to strive in the regional market.

‘’The expectation is that government will ensure that all the requirements and expectations are met, particularly the concerns of the stakeholders,’’ Osidipe said.

He noted that necessary measures needed to be put in place to position the country for beneficial trade.

‘’Safeguard measures and safety nets must be in place to shield the economy from injurious trade practices that characterise free trade areas,” he said.

Uansohia Vanessa. who represented the Managing Director, Skyway Aviation Handling Company Plc, Mr Basil Agboarumi, said that AfCFTA would boost trade and tourism, enforce relations and promote cultural activities among countries

Agboarumi said Nigeria had a very rich tourism environment that could increase the nation’s revenue.

“It could also create an infrastructure revolution and reduce wastage.

“Language barrier could be a challenge because there are diverse languages – English, French, Swahili, amongst others.  So there should be an adopted lingua franca.

The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Mr Emmanuel Jime, recommended that for the objectives of AfCFTA to be achieved, there should be speedy development of rail projects to facilitate movement.

The executive secretary who was represented by an Export Desk Officer, Juliana Saka, suggested a reduction of checkpoints across the nation’s trade corridor to encourage exporters.

He said that there was a need for the implementation of a favourable exchange policy by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

He, however, concluded that AfCFTA could complement Nigeria’s national development agenda and act as a catalyst for the country’s economic growth.

The Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Mr Bashir Jamoh, highlighted the challenges of maritime security.

The director-general, represented by Mr Owonubi Olajide, Deputy Director, NIMASA, suggested how to secure the maritime domain.

“The Suppression of Piracy and other Maritime Offences Act is the legal framework aimed at prosecuting acts of piracy and maritime terrorism.

“This Act is intended to help Nigeria in creating a more secure maritime environment. Interventions of this nature are aimed at protecting crew, vessels, port facilities and cargo.

“Countries coming together to enact, update and harmonise other anti-piracy laws and legislations and policies across the region.

“Strict enforcement of environmental standards and conventions on pollution. Strict penalties should be set up to act as a deterrent.

“Improve sea enforcement and capacity for enforcing conservation laws against Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing.

“International and regional cooperation and collaboration among nations via joint measures should be encouraged in areas of security and financing,’’ he said.

Jamoh said that the collaboration was to combat piracy and maritime terrorism through intelligence gathering, maritime monitoring and asset development.

He, however, said that it was hoped that Africa would continue to pursue cooperative security ventures and collaboration to eliminate piracy and other security threats.

The Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs Service, Col. Hammed Ali (Retired), represented by Deputy Comptroller of Customs, Musa Omale, noted that revenue would increase when trade is facilitated.

The comptroller-general spoke on “Nigeria Customs Service and Trade Facilitation under AfCFTA’’.

In a welcome address, the Chairman, NUJ Lagos State Council, Mr Adeleye Ajayi, said creating a single, continent-wide market for goods and services, business and investment would reshape African economies.

“The implementation of AfCFTA will be a huge step forward for Africa, demonstrating to the world that Africa is emerging as a leader on the global trade agenda,’’ Ajayi said.

In an opening remark, the Chairman of the Workshop, Dr Eugene Nweke, was optimistic that with faith and total commitment, AfCFTA would be a huge success story.



Senate Passes Bill Seeking Return To Old National Anthem



Senate Passes Bill Seeking Return To Old National Anthem

Nigerians may soon go to their beloved old anthem as the Senate on Tuesday passed the bill seeking to return Nigeria to the old National Anthem.

This followed the adoption of the report of the Senate Joint Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights, Legal Matters, Federal Character and Inter-Governmental Affairs at plenary.

Presenting the report, the Chairman of the Committee, Sen. Mohammed Monguno (APC-Borno) said the bill was first read at plenary on May 23.

He said the bill, among others, sought to provide a legal framework for an Act to reinvent the old National Anthem titled “Nigeria We Hail Thee” which was adopted at Independence in 1960.

He said the anthem was the official anthem of Nigeria until 1978 when it was replaced with the current “Arise O Compatriot.”

Monguno said the aim was to adopt the old national anthem through legislation because of its contextual connotations and relevance to the current state of the country.

“The bill is designed to promote national unity and cohesion through ideological and philosophical concepts of the rich historic and cultural heritage of Nigeria.

“It will engender and inculcate a deep sense of patriotism, togetherness and oneness amongst citizens.

“It is the first time the parliament is making a legal framework for a national anthem: all the steps of law making including public hearing have been undertaken,” he said.

Monguno said the passage of the bill would provide the needed platform for sensitisation of the citizenry on the nation’s core value system by the National Orientation Agency (NOA).

“Adopting the old national anthem will preserve and promote the country’s cultural heritage for future generations.

“The bill is significant, as changing the national anthem will symbolise Nigeria’s transition towards greater unity, inclusiveness and progress as a nation.

“The adoption of the anthem certainly demonstrates Nigeria’s respect for its cultural traditions while also embracing positive changes within the society,” he said.

The senator added that by passing the bill, an arbitrary change on the national anthem would be avoided as it would be subjected to legislative process, thus setting a precedent.

The President of the Senate, Sen. Godswill Akpabio, thanked the committee for its input on the bill.

He also commended the various stakeholders that made inputs on the bill at the public hearing, saying that the bill was awaiting President Bola Tinubu’s assent.

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Naira Appreciates By 9.7% Against Dollar At Official Market



Naira Appreciates By 9.7% Against Dollar At Official Market

…Naira trades between N1,501 and N1,310 against the dollar at Investor’s and Exporter’s (I&E) window

 On Monday, Naira experienced huge appreciation at the official market, trading at N1,339.33 to the dollar.

Data from the official trading platform of the FMDQ Exchange, a platform that oversees the Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange Market (NAFEM), revealed that the Naira gained N143.48

This represents a 9.67 per cent gain when compared to the previous trading date on Friday, May 24, 2024, exchanging at N1,482.81.

However, the total daily turnover reduced to $180.80 million on Monday down from $556.25 million recorded on Friday.

Meanwhile, at the Investor’s and Exporter’s (I&E) window, the Naira traded between N1,501 and N1,310 against the dollar..

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NGX Delists Arbico Plc After 46 Years, Investors Lose N290bn



NGX Delists Arbico Plc After 46 Years, Investors Lose N290bn

The Nigerian Exchange Ltd. (NGX) says it has delisted the entire issued share capital of Arbico Plc from its daily official list after 46 years of listing.

The NGX disclosed in its weekly official report made available to newsmen in Lagos that the company was delisted on Monday.

Arbico, a building and civil engineering construction company, was established in 1958 and listed on the Exchange in 1978.

Shareholders of the company had in March approved the voluntary delisting of the shares of the company from the bourse and sought the regulator’s approval.

NGX said: “Refer to our market bulletin of May 17, 2024, with reference number: NGXREG/IRD/MB26/24/05/17 wherein the Market was notified of the suspension placed on trading in the securities of Arbico Plc in preparation for the delisting of the company.

“Following the approval of the company’s application to delist its entire issued share capital from the NGX.

“Please be informed that the entire issued share capital of Arbico was on Monday, May 20, 2024, delisted from the daily official list of the NGX.

Also in the week, Jaiz Bank Plc, Nigeria’s first full-service non-interest financial institution, declared to pay its shareholders a dividend of 4k per share on July 16.

FBN Holdings Plc also announced to pay its shareholders a dividend of 40k on Aug. 23.

On trade, the NGX All-Share Index and Market Capitalisation depreciated by 0.52 per cent to close the week at 97,612.51 and N55.218 trillion respectively, as against 98,125.73 and N55.508 trillion respectively reported in the previous week.

As a result, investors lost a total of N290 billion this week.

Similarly, all other indices finished lower except NGX MERI Value, NGX Consumer Goods, NGX Oil and Gas, NGX Lotus ll and NGX Industrial Goods which appreciated by 1.74, 0.31, 0.72, 0.44 and 0.19 per cent while the NGX ASeM index closed flat.

Meanwhile, Trading in the top three equities namely Ecobank Transnational Incorporated Plc, Access Holdings Plc and United Bank for Africa Plc measured by volume accounted for 1.006 billion shares worth N20.115 billion in 6,849 deals.

This contributed 50.67 and 49.40 per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively.

Also, a turnover of 1.986 billion shares worth N40.715 billion in 38,487 deals was traded this week by investors on the floor of the Exchange in contrast to  1.652 billion shares valued at N42.677 billion traded last week in 38,123 deals.

The Financial Services Industry measured by volume led the activity chart with 1.577 billion shares valued at N30.359 billion traded in 20,697 deals; thus contributing 79.41 and 74.56 per cent to the total equity turnover in volume and value respectively.

The Conglomerates Industry followed with 125.342 million shares worth N1.387 billion in 2,283 deals.

The third place was the Consumer Goods Industry, with a turnover of 77.327 million shares worth N2.446 billion in 4,916 deals.

Also, 24 equities appreciated during the week lower than 28 equities in the previous week.

53 equities also depreciated higher than 51 in the previous week, while 77 equities remained unchanged, higher than 76 recorded the previous week.

Meanwhile, Deap Capital Management and Trust Plc, FNT Cocoa Processors, Transnational Corporation, United Bank For Africa and UPDC Plc led the losers’ table.

The gainers table was led by Berger Paints, Regency Assurance Plc, Cutix Plc, McNichols Plc, and Nestle Plc.

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