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Economy

NSE: Indices drop by 0.82% after Sallah break

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Transactions resumed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Wednesday after the Eid-el-Kabir celebration with a loss of 0.82 per cent due to profit taking in blue chips.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the All-Share Index lost 223.70 points or 0.82 per cent to close at 27,083.11 against 27,306.81 on Friday.

Also, the market capitalisation which opened at N13.307 trillion shed N109 billion or 0.82 per cent to close at N13.198 trillion.

The downturn was impacted by losses recorded in medium and large capitalised stocks, amongst which are; Total Nigeria, MTN Nigeria, Flour Mills Nigeria, Cement Company of Northern Nigeria (CCNN) and Guaranty Trust Bank.

Analysts at Afrinvest Limited said that “we maintain a bearish outlook for the rest of the week in the absence of any major catalyst. However, we see opportunities for bargain hunting in stocks with sound fundamentals.”

NAN reports that market breadth was negative, with four gainers compared with 27 losers.

UACN led the losers’ chart with a loss of 10 per cent to close at N4.95 per share.

NPF Microfinance Bank followed with a decline of 9.32 per cent to close at N1.07, while Flour Mills lost 8.50 per cent to close at N14 per share.

Total Nigeria depreciated by 7.84 per cent to close at N105.80, while Law Union; Rock Insurance declined by 7.69 per cent to close at 36k per share.

Conversely, Continental Reinsurance recorded the highest price gain of 4.32 per cent to close at N1.45 per share.

Custodian Investment followed with a gain of 3.33 per cent to close at N6.20, while Africa Prudential went up by 1.41 per cent to close at N3.60 per share.

Union Bank of Nigeria (UBN) appreciated by 0.74 per cent to close at N6.80 per share.

However, total volume of shares traded appreciated by 6.5 per cent with an exchange of 235.12 million shares valued at N3.29 billion traded in 3,922 deals.

This was in contrast with a turnover of 220.80 million shares worth N4.48 billion achieved in 2,702 deals on Friday.

Transactions in the shares of Guaranty Trust Bank topped the activity chart with 49.86 million shares valued at N1.29 billion.

Zenith Bank came second with a turnover of 34.72 million shares worth N563.66 million, while Access Bank traded 33.21 million shares valued at N199.39 million.

FBN Holdings sold 20.42 million shares worth N97.48 million, while Fidelity Bank accounted for 10.66 million shares valued at N15.81 million.

 

Economy

Recruitment: Physically challenged applicants take demand to Customs

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The Association of Physically Challenged Applicants and Workers (APCAW) on Friday visited Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) demanding for slots in the ongoing recruitment by the service.

The President of the association, Mr Godstime Onyegbulam, told the Nigeria News Agency that they were at the customs headquarters to plead, to consider his members in the employment.

Onyegbulam explained that some of the members of the association applied for the job vacancies recently advertised by the service.

NAN reports that the NCS began recruitment process in April, this year, to fill 3,200 vacancies of professionals in the service.

The president said most of his members were graduates hence the need to be considered in the exercise in order to be part of the system to contribute their quota.

The Public Relations Officer of the customs, Mr Joseph Attah, who received the physically challenged applicants, pledged to look into their request.

Attah assured that their request would be taken to the appropriate authority with a view to addressing it.

He advised those that applied to come and submit their printed slips at the customs’ headquarters for screening.

MS/MST

Edited by Muhammad Suleiman Tola

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Economy

Oil prices nudge higher, eyes on speech by Fed chair

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Oil

Singapore, Aug. 23, 2019 Oil prices clawed back the previous day’s losses on Friday, with Brent nudging above $60 a barrel.

This is as tighter supplies from key producers offset slowing demand growth and investors await clues on the U.S. Federal Reserve’s monetary policy.

Brent crude LCOc1 rose 29 cents, or 0.5 per cent, to $60.21 a barrel by 0629 GMT, while U.S. crude futures CLc1 were at $55.53 a barrel, up 18 cents, or 0.3 per cent.

Both contracts were on track for a second week of gains.

“Oil is set to trade quietly today as it’s all about the Jackson Hole (meeting) tonight,’’ said Jeffrey Halley, a Singapore-based senior market analyst at brokerage OANDA.

A speech by Fed Chair, Jerome Powell, later on Friday at a meeting of global central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, is expected to provide clues on whether the U.S. central bank will cut interest rates for a second time this year to boost the world’s largest economy.

Traders’ expectations of further U.S. monetary easing were clouded by comments from two Fed officials on Wednesday who said they do not see a case for a rate cut now.

“If Powell talks about lower for longer and reverses some of the hawkish comments that we heard from Fed members earlier this week, we could see it supporting oil,’’ said Michael McCarthy, chief market analyst at CMC Markets in Sydney.

McCarthy also said Brent has good support at $60 a barrel on technical charts and may have some upside potential.

Brent prices fell in July and are down so far in August, dropping after the International Energy Agency and the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) cut demand growth forecasts due to risks to global economy from the U.S.-China trade war.

AIB

Edited by Abdulfatah Babatunde

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NIPC, SMEDAN link MSMEs with larger coys

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The Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), has said that its Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) “Market Linkage” initiative was designed to connect MSMEs to larger companies to boost economic growth.

Mr Emeka Offor, Director, Strategic Communications Department, NIPC, said this on Thursday in Abuja.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the meeting was organised by NIPC and the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) to work out strategies for the business linkages.

Offor said that NIPC has been collaborating with SMEDAN to foster linkages which would enable the MNEs and LLCs to outsource operations which could be conveniently handled by MSMEs thereby opening new opportunities for them.

“It is also designed to encourage and promote producers of industrial raw materials by large companies.

“It will forge linkages that emphasise technology partnerships and to support the upgrading of local MSMEs capacity.

“It is designed to encourage the creation of new backward linkages with local suppliers, as well as deepen and upgrade existing backward linkages with the suppliers.”

The director recalled that in January 2019, after the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between NIPC and SMEDAN, the Joint Technical Committee was inaugurated and it commenced implementation of the work plan.

Offor explained that NIPC was requested to provide technical support and take the lead in the organisation of the stakeholders’ engagement while SMEDAN would facilitate the implementation of the match-making.

According to him, the first phase of the action plan which is the pilot programme is to focus on agro-industries and agro allied machineries, metal and foundry, plastic and rubber, electrical and industrial services and to later spread to other sectors.

Mr Monday Ewans, Director, Enterprise Development and Promotion, SMEDAN, identified lack of access to local, regional and global market as one of the major challenges militating against optimal performance of MSMEs in Nigeria.

This, he said, would bridge the gap and enable local content development and participation in various sectors of the economy.

“The initiative is designed such that by creating market access for active MSMEs operating in Nigeria, they will be able  to contribute to economic growth through increased output and income.

” It entails identifying and selecting MSMEs and suppliers for profiling to build existing database suppliers, subcontractors and service providers.

“It also involves identifying prospective buyers and original equipment manufacturers that will culminate in compilation of buyer list.”

According to him, profiling and match-making will be conducted in Lagos and Kano states between MSMEs and large enterprises.  

Edited by Donald Ugwu

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Economy

Ikeazor promises to speak for pensioners as she leaves PITAD

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The Minister of State, Ministry of Environment, Mrs Sharon Ikeazor, has assured pensioners that she will continue to speak for them at the Federal Executive Council (FEC).

Ikeazor, the out-going Executive Secretary, Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD), gave the assurance on Thursday in Abuja at a reception organised by members of the directorate to celebrate her new appointment.

Ikeazor was among the 43 ministers inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday.

Ikeazor, who took over the leadership of PITAD in October 2016, pledged to continue defending pensioners’ interest at a higher level.

“ With my appointment as a federal minister, pensioners now have a voice in the FEC, I will always be speaking out for pensioners anywhere I am,” she said.

Ikeazor attributed her success in office to the cooperation she received from staff of the directorate and charged them to support his successor.

She advised them to sustain the momentum at the directorate by working hard and ensuring that all pensioners were treated fairly.

“I know I have driven you all hard but please as I leave, do not relent, keep the pace, hold on to all stakeholders and continue with the hard work I started, “she said.

She further advised heads of government agencies in the country to give National Youth Service Corps members posted to serve in their offices opportunity to grow, saying that “in them, lie great abilities.’’

Mrs Nnenna Akajemeli, SERVICOM National Coordinator congratulated Ikeazor for her new appointment, saying she merited it.

Akajemeli noted that during her tenure at PITAD, Ikeazor entrenched social justice in the directorate and ensured that every pensioner received their due.

She said that interaction with pensioners by SERVICOM revealed that Ikeazor brought good service to pensioners in the country.

“During your tenure in office, you were able to right the wrongs and strengthen the directorate by bringing service to the people with responsibility and visibility.

“We have seen the difference; you have indeed brought good service to the people, especially pensioners.

“You recorded tremendous successes in PITAD which has brought you to this height, “ she said.

Akajemeli recalled that Ikeazor while in office set up an independent committee that ensured the regularisation of staff in PITAD.

“We wish you the very best and we look forward to greater achievements from you, in your new assignment as Minister of State for Environment,“ she added.

Also, Mr Chille Igbawua, the Chief Commissioner of the Federation, Public Complaints Commission, said Ikeazor`s success in PITAD would continue to speak volumes.

According to him, Ikeazor is leaving behind a legacy that will continue to speak for her long after her exit from office.

Some pensioners  said Ikeazor took pensioners as special people which earned her lots of respect and regards.

To them, she succeeded in her job not because she is a woman, but because she decided to be “a human being with passion to help“.

Dr Chioma Ejikeme has been appointed to take over from Ikeazor as PITAD Executive Secretary.

Present at the event were representatives from the Police Service Commission, PITAD past Executive Secretaries, Military and Police Service Retiree Association and association of different pensioners’ unions.

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Economy

Shipping expo exhibition will create more employment, investment opportunities – SOAN

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President of  Shipowners Association of Nigeria (SOAN), Dr Mkgeorge Onyung, says the Shipping Expo exhibition will create more employment and investment opportunities toward boosting the nation’s economy.

Onyung, who made the disclosure at a news briefing in Lagos on Thursday, said that the theme of the expo: “The Ocean Blue Economy and National Development”, was chosen to enable Nigeria explore opportunities in the blue economy.

According to him,  the exhibition tagged: “The Lagos international Shipping Expo,” scheduled to hold in Nov.  27 and 28 at Oriental Hotel, will expose Nigerians to utilise the resources of the ocean for sustainability.

“Our Cabotage Law has been with us for 15 years now, we see it as  contribution to ensuring that we open the doors for people to understand what cabotage really means and the opportunities in it.

“The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) had established  a committee between the agency and stakeholders to look into the challenges affecting the waivers in the last five years.

“We must have both ship building and ship repair yard in Nigeria, there is need to open up for acquisiton.

“Within the next five years,  the Nigeria Content will be in the region of 3.5 billion dollars and in order to enjoy these benefits, we need to upgrade our capacity.

”The upcoming conference will open opportunities to collaborate toward ship building opportunities in Nigeria,” onyung said.

He said the association was working toward decongesting the Lagos ports by reviving the other ports in the country to create more jobs for Nigerians.

Onyung said  Nigeria was blessed with over 840 kiloliters of Nautical miles of coastline and nearly 10,000 kilometers of Inland waters, adding that Norwegian had their waters frozen for eight months in a year but it owned a lot of ships in the country now.

He explained that shipping was an old trade but Nigeria was yet to benefit and need to build capacity in the shipping business.

The SOAN boss said all shipowners in Nigeria have been working tirelessly to ensuring that Cabotage act is effective in the country .

He emphasised the need for Nigerian to expand shipping capacity, saying that marine notice had been established by NIMASA to ban substandard ships coming into the country.

From left,  Vice President,  Shipowners Association of Nigeria (SOAN), Mr Eno Williams, President of SOAN,  Dr Mkgeorge Onyung, Technical Committee of SOAN and Chief Coordinator, Mr Lucky Akhiwu,   Mrs Jite Gbeje, during the briefing of Association conference in Lagos

 

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