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NSE: Market indicators nosedive further by 0.48%



The Nigerian equities market on Wednesday dropped further by 0.48 per cent on a sustained bearish run for the third consecutive trading session.

The All Share Index (ASI) fell by 136.68 points or 0.48 per cent to 28,286.08, compared with the 28,422.76 achieved on Tuesday.

Similarly, the market capitalisation shed N51 billion to close at N10.627 trillion, in contrast with the N10.678 trillion posted on Tuesday.

The downturn was impacted by losses recorded in medium and large capitalised stocks, amongst which are: Forte Oil, Cement Company of Nigeria (CCNN), Dangote Flour Mills, Dangote Cement and Union Bank of Nigeria (UBN).

Analysts at APT Securities and Funds Limited expected “Further moderation of the ASI as foreign investors remain on the sidelines in the absence of major economic triggers. However, this was to be diluted by value investors positioning for long term.”

Meanwhile, analysts at Afrinvest Limited anticipated a possible rebound before close of the week, as investors look out for fundamental stocks with attractive entry prices.

Market breadth was negative with 11 gainers, compared with 17 losers, with Chams recording the highest price gain of 9.09 per cent, to close at 36k per share.

Associated Bus Company followed with a gain of eight per cent, to close at 27k, while Thomas Wyatt Nigeria rose by 7.41 per cent to close at 29k per share.

Veritas Kapital Assurance rose by five per cent to close at 21k, while Mutual Benefits Assurance went up by 4.76 per cent to close at 22k per share.

Conversely, Wapic Insurance led the losers’ chart by 10 per cent, to close at 36k per share.

Forte Oil followed with a decline of 9.87 per cent to close at N31.50, while Champion Breweries declined by 9.79 per cent to close at N1.25 per share.

CCNN declined by 9.15 per cent to close at N13.90, while Courteville Business Solutions went down by 7.69 per cent, to close at 24k per share.

Similarly, the volume of shares traded closed lower with an exchange of 176.74 million shares valued at N2.08 billion traded in 3,294 deals.

This was in contrast with the 200.08 million shares worth N2.78 billion achieved in 3,856 deals on Tuesday.

Access Bank was the most traded 35.76 million shares valued at N241.69 billion.

UACN followed with 21.51 million shares worth N161.38 million, while United Bank for Africa (UBA) sold 18.78 million shares valued at N114.01 million.

Guaranty Trust Bank traded 17.44 million shares valued at N551.13 billion, while Zenith Bank transacted 12.78 million shares worth N255.59 million.



LASWA to improve response time to emergencies — GM



Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) says its Emergency and Rescue Unit has been mapped out into three divisions to ensure tackling of emergency within five to seven minutes.

The General Manager of LASWA, Mr Oluwadamilola Emmanuel said this on an Instagram live programme organised by the Zoemaritime Resources.

According to him, the authority has mapped its Emergency and Rescue Unit into East, West and Central divisions, with enforcement units at Falomo, Ojo and Ikorodu axis.

Emmanuel said that would enable the authority to easily respond to emergencies that come up within five to seven minutes.

“Presently, we respond to emergencies from our Falomo jetty, but we want to get more boats so that we can expand to other locations.

“The good thing about this is that there are existing infrastructure in those locations, just to deploy the boats when they come in; with that, within five to seven minutes, responses to emergency will take place,” he said.

According to him, the waterways is an interlinked community, with the agency working with local divers who are always the first to see emergencies, and also with fishermen, loggers, dredgers and others.

He said that there were 26 functional jetties across the state.

Emmanuel said that one could reach 15 local governments out of 20 by waterways in Lagos State, and the infrastructure at the jetties were being improved.

The general manager said that government was creating an enabling environment for private operators to bring in ferries that would help to shuttle people from one point to another.

He said that Lagos was not developing waterways in isolation, as the plan was to link it into the multimodal transportation system.

Emmanuel said it was called intermodal because it was just the waterways and the buses that would be linked, and when the railway was added, it would become multimodal.

According to him, anywhere there is a jetty, the road links are being rehabilitated by the ministry of works to ensure that buses that come there pick up passengers.

The general manager said  that certain locations had extra land that ensure there was ‘park and ride’, which would lead to developing a hub.

“Waterways is underdeveloped for now and this is a sector that requires huge capital to develop, and it is largely driven by the informal sector and they make up about 80 per cent.

“To modernise the sector, we did an assessment of the existing infrastructure because the existing one was initially built for communities and mostly concrete jetties, and with such jetties, one cannot easily embark and disembark, and so the need to install floating jetties across board

“The boats, this is part of the reason that people do not want to use water transport, and so to change the mindset of people and encourage them to use the waterways, we advanced from the local boats to the modern ones, but the issue with waterways is that it is capital intensive

“We needed to work with private operators to ensure we get the modernised boats and government has also helped by creating an enabling environment,” he said.

The LASWA boss said that to ensure professionalism, LASWA was working with the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to ensure the certification of personnel, both captains and the deck hands.

Emmanuel described the waterways as an informal sector where a lot of operators learn how to drive boats locally, and need their knowledge to be enhanced.

“To improve on their local knowledge, we need to utilise the supply chain, we need to work with established educational institutions, partner with already existing maritime educators because collaboration is the key for the future.

“We are working with NIMASA, also the Maritime Academy at Oron and we need to identify those that are NIMASA certified educators to expand their knowledge base,” he said.

As regards time frame for boat operations, he said that they were also guided by the federal government law that states that boat transportation cannot go beyond 7pm.

Edited By: Olawunmi Ashafa/Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)

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2030 Agenda: NSE boss urges West Africa to embrace green bond finance



The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Friday urged West African countries to shift and scale up green bond finance and investment to meet the ambitious goals of 2030 agenda and Paris Agreement.

Mr Oscar Onyema, NSE Chief Executive Officer, stated this at the inaugural edition of the webinar series on the Sustainable Capital Markets for West Africa.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the webinar series was organised by the Exchange in collaboration with the Milken Institute.

NAN also reports that the webinar was themed: ‘Sustainable Capital Markets for West Africa: Fundamentals of Developing Green Bond Markets.’

It will be recalled that the 2030 Agenda applies to all countries of the world.

It was approved by the UN member states after a transparent and inclusive process. Its centerpiece comprises 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to be implemented by 2030.


Onyema noted that West Africa needs to significantly shift and scale up green finance and investment to meet the ambitious goals of the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement.

He explained that large-scale private sector engagement and investment in the region would be needed to drive its transition to low-carbon and climate-resilient economies.

Sub-Saharan Africa is the least responsible for global climate change, contributing about four per cent of annual global greenhouse gas emissions, but one of the most vulnerable to the risk posed by climate change.

“In its situation analysis of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC), ECOWAS stated that a record number of five out of the 10 countries in the world, deemed most threatened by climate change are West African states.

“This is because, major sources of livelihood of the majority of people in the region, namely agriculture and forestry, are dependent on the climate.

“The relationship between climate change, food production, food prices and extreme weather conditions collectively threaten food security.

“This makes the region susceptible to frequent food crises and famines which are triggered by pest infestation, droughts, floods, economic downturns and conflicts,” he said.

According to Onyema, sustainable capital markets, a relatively nascent market segment within the region’s financial market landscape will be a major driver for the transition towards low-carbon and climate-resilient development.

“By deploying innovative sustainable finance solutions and facilitating an enabling environment, West Africa can position itself to mobilise hundreds of billions of dollars for investment in sectors such as renewable energy and energy efficiency,” he said.

He stressed on the need for collaborations and capacity building to help accelerate the pace for West Africa to formulate an effective policy framework and develop a market for sustainable finance.

Also speaking, Ms Patience Oniha, said the DMO in Nigeria was responsible for borrowing either from the capital market or money market.

Oniha said DMO partnered with the Ministry of Finance to float first Green Bond in line with the Paris Agreement signed by the Federal Government.

She added that the government floated the Green Bond because of its keen interest in developing the domestic market and diversification of infrastructural base.

The DMO boss, who disclosed that the government would scale up the amount of green bonds, said cost of transaction and time to market should be reviewed to encourage more participants.

Ms Justine Leigh-Bell, Director of Market Development, Climate Bonds Initiative, called for simplicity in developing policies for green bonds.

Leigh-Bell noted that West Africa should benchmark its green bond inline with global market principles to achieve the desired result.

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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Interview: CABI expert sees “strong commitment” in ecological conservation in China




China, with its “strong commitment” in ecological conservation, has achieved some “remarkable outcomes” in its long-term national strategy for promoting sustainable development, an expert from Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International (CABI) said.

“We applaud the Chinese government for its strong commitment and increasing investment in ecological conservation in recent years,” Dr Hariet L. Hinz told Xinhua in an interview ahead of World Environment Day, a UN campaign celebrated every year on June 5 to raise awareness about the protection of the environment.

China has highlighted ecological civilization as a long-term national strategy for promoting sustainable development, aiming at achieving harmony between people and nature, and by pursuing green development and guiding the transformation of production methods and lifestyle of the entire society,” said Dr Hinz, co-director of China MARA (Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs)-CABI European Joint Laboratory.

China‘s immense efforts in fighting pollution, restoring forest land and protecting wildlife are commendable,” said Dr Hinz, who is also the country director of CABI Switzerland.

To conserve the environment, China has adopted measures including massive tree-planting and coral restoration campaigns, clamping down on illegal wastewater discharge, treating polluted rivers and launching public education activities.

“Some of China‘s national ecological sustainability and protected area programs are among the world‘s largest, and they together have achieved remarkable outcomes,” said Dr Hinz.

“What other developing countries can learn is that to make these programs succeed requires strong political will and foresight to balance economic development with environment protection, the development of a sound policy and legislation framework, substantial financial commitment, mindset change, and public education and awareness-raising etc,” said Dr Hinz.

Dr Hinz also believes that international collaboration is “of paramount importance” to the development of greener agriculture in China and beyond.

CABI, headquartered in Britain, is an international, inter-governmental, not-for-profit organization that improves people’s lives worldwide by providing information and applying scientific expertise to solve problems in agriculture and the environment.

With a close partnership for over 30 years, China and CABI have achieved outstanding results through the establishment of joint laboratories in China and Switzerland and implementation of many joint research and development cooperation projects.

“In addition to those projects benefiting China directly, the joint labs have also assisted in introducing China‘s green plant protection products/techniques to developing countries under the umbrella of South-South cooperation and the Belt and Road Initiative,” Dr Hinz said.

Many of these programs have helped pave the way for more sustainable crop production, as well as establishing a better environment and healthier lives for the farm households in the target region, according to Dr Hinz.


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COVID-19: 80 Kwara Rapid Response officers test negative – Commissioner



The Kwara State Commissioner for Health, Dr Raji Abdulrazaq on Friday confirmed that all 80 officers of the Kwara State Rapid Response Team (RRT) had tested negative to COVID-19.

Abdulrazaq, who made the confirmation in a statement in Ilorin, said that members of the team had been active in the tracking of COVID-19 cases in the state.

“For abundance of caution, we decided to test all members of our hardworking Rapid Response Team, and we are glad to announce to the Kwara public that none of them is positive for the virus.

“This attests to the excellent adherence to the Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) and other safety protocols.

“By all standards, we are doing very well in the management of the pandemic. This is due largely to the unquantified support the committee gets from the Governor and the understanding of our health workers,” he said.

Abdulrazaq said that there was a joint effort in containing  the virus in the state, adding that the State Government had received references from other states on how to it was handling COVID-19.

He dismissed claims of non-availability or shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as unfounded, adding that the government was always suppling the equipment.

Similarly, Kwara is one of those few states that are conducting as many tests as possible to ascertain the status of our people and prevent community spread.

“Our contact tracing and rumour management are one of the best in the country as attested to by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC),” Abdulrazaq said.

Edited /Felix Ajide




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Runsewe advocates use of culture as therapy against COVID-19



Chief Olusegun Runsewe, Director-General, National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), has advocated the use of culture as a therapy against COVID-19 pandemic.

Runsewe, in a statement on Friday, emphasised the potency of culture to address all human challenges.

He said that culture was the totality of the ways of life of people and, therefore, could be employed to solve all human problems.

The NCAC director-general said, in combating the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic, the combination of medical solutions and cultural therapy was greatly required.

According to him, theatre, music, dance drama and songs, which are elements of culture, could provide the necessary balm to speed up the healing of COVID-19 patients.

“The same way medical doctors use theatre as a place to heal the sick, and artists use the theatre to educate and entertain, culture is a theatre of the mind and soul.

“When a body, mind or spirit suffers challenges, culture could be a tool for resolving such challenges,” he said.

Runsewe said that in addition to all the Council was doing to assist in the fight against COVID-19, it would soon stage a programme titled: “Cultural Therapy in the Midst of COVID-19”.

He explained that in compliance with social distancing regulation, it would be a “drive in theatre” where the audience would sit inside their vehicles and watch eight man cast perform live on stage.

The director-general said apart from the programme serving to entertain the audience, it would also target the four areas of the treatment of therapy including behavioural, cognitive, humanistic and holistic.

According to him, the world now needs a cultural re-armament to reboot the global pulse brought about by COVID-19.

COVID-19 should not be seen as a problem requiring a solution, but a challenge calling on the world to think creatively on how to respond to emerging issues in the world.

“We must all begin to think outside the box to deploy our knowledge and special skills to fight the challenges of our time,” he said.

Runsewe recalled that when King Saul in the Bible suffered serious medical condition, he solicited the services of David whose musical instrument, the harp, brought him to normalcy each time he was tormented by evil spirit.

He said that in like manner, the Lagos State Government recently staged a musical concert at the isolation centres for people with COVID-19.

Edited By: Buhari Bolaji/Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)



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Life coach counsels mothers on official work, child care



A certified Life Coach, Mrs Busayo Adegoke, on Friday urged mothers to maintain a fixed routine in other to strike a balance between working from home and taking care of the children.

Adegoke told the News Agency of Nigeria in Ibadan that children understand consistent patterns.

She said that in order to be productive, it was important for mothers to strike a balance as there were deadlines to be met and deliverables to get out of the way.

“These few insights on how best to achieve productivity while working from home with children are very helpful if utilised.

“In fact, that is how they learn; your routine should incorporate their daily tasks which include their to-dos and yours as well.

“If you keep at it consistently, they will even be the ones to remind you of what you missed out on your routine.

“Schedule breaks into your routine too, you still need to get air as you work remotely.

“Put together a designated work area, having put your routine together, it is best to set up a workspace in the house and when it is time to get work done, work from there.

“They will eventually understand that Mummy’s office is now in the house.

“ Don’t just yell, give them reasons,children are curious people, they will not stop asking why.

” “If they don’t know why you should not be distracted while you work from home, they will not stop distracting you.

“ Explain to them in ways that they understand. For instance, you could say, “Mum needs to work without disturbance for a few hours, If I don’t do that, my boss will get angry.”

“ If my boss is angry, he could tell me to stop working for him, if she says that, I will not have money to buy your favorite snacks and toys, kids don’t want anything to affect their snacks and toys.

“Merge their tasks time with your work time: Here is what I mean, the best time to keep them busy with their writing, drawing, painting and a bit of homework is when you need to do your work.

“That way you will have a bit of space to focus on your work. If you have a toddler and you do not have help or the toddler is clingy, this might be the time that you strap that toddler on the back while you do what you need to do,” she said.

The Life Coach added that setting some boundaries and sticking by them were important.

She said parents must start by explaining little details to their wards, adding that when boundaries had been established,  it would be easier to give restricting orders.

Adegoke said working from home increases productivity as remote employees work 1.4 more days per month than their office-based counterparts, resulting in more than three additional weeks of work per year.

She added that 29 per cent of remote employees said they struggle with work-life balance and 31 per cent said they have needed to take a day off for their mental health.

Adegoke said that the pandemic had forced religious, educational institutions and other industrial sectors to close down, adding   children had been home for much longer than anyone envisaged.

“This has been worrisome for mothers working from home as they have to guide the younger children through their virtual learning while working remotely.

“I have three young girls that enjoy sneaking up on me and asking questions non-stop without asking for any permission, so I can totally relate with this challenge,” she said.

Edited By: Bola Akingbehin/Mufutau Ojo (NAN)

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UN agencies launch response plan to help flood victims in Somalia




UN agencies on Friday officially released a flood response plan to help nearly one million people who have been affected by the flooding in Somalia.

The 2020 Somalia Flood Response Plan seeks 59.85 million United States dollars to deliver life-saving assistance to hundreds of thousands in 29 districts over three months.

“With existing resources, humanitarian partners are responding and have delivered food, clean water, emergency shelter, nutrition and medical supplies to flood-affected communities, reaching 255,000 people so far,” said the UN agencies in a joint statement issued in Mogadishu.

The plan, the draft of which has served as the basis for response since the flooding began, outlines support to the government and member states to meet the needs of nearly one million people affected by the Gu’ seasonal rains.

Since April, the floods caused widespread displacement, death as well as destruction of infrastructure and property in 29 districts across the country.

“Of the 918,667 people affected, 415,000 were displaced from their homes. At least 29 people have been killed,” said the UN.

According to the UN, the rains are likely to increase the risk of water-borne diseases.

It said since January, over 2,780 cases of acute watery diarrhea and cholera have been reported, higher than the situation over the same period in 2019, when 1,295 cases were reported.

Humanitarian agencies have broadened and scaled-up their flood response in close coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia and member states.

The plan includes delivery of shelter and non-food assistance as well as water and sanitation assistance to 400,000 people, rehabilitating damaged communal infrastructure including site maintenance in 277 IDP settlements, providing immediate food assistance to 200,000 people in flood-affected areas, and offering health and preventive services to 300,000 people.

The flooding comes at a time when Somalia is struggling with the worst locust infestation in 25 years and COVID-19 outbreak, creating a triple threat.


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Campaigners say biodiversity conservation key to boost climate resilience, avert pandemics




Robust investments in biodiversity conservation should be prioritized by national governments, industry and foundations in order to strengthen the resilience of local communities amid climatic shocks and disease outbreaks, campaigners said on Friday during the World Environment Day.

Elizabeth Mwiyeria, Kenya County Manager at international conservation agency, Vi Agroforestry, said that protecting biodiversity will ensure that communities are food secure, healthy and prosperous in a rapidly warming planet.

“Biodiversity conservation is the cornerstone of resilience to climate change. In a biologically diverse ecosystem, every being will find its space for existence at balance with nature,” Mwiyeria said in a statement issued in Nairobi.

This year’s World Environment Day whose theme is “Time for Nature” aims to rally the community of nations towards support for biodiversity conservation as a means to achieve sustainable development.

Mwiyeria said that protecting natural habitats is more urgent as local communities increasingly rely on them to provide food, clean water, medicine and building materials.

She said that unsustainable exploitation of vital ecosystems like forests and watersheds will undermine efforts to tackle hunger, disease and climate-related disasters.

“As humans rely more on nature for food and livelihoods, wildlife and ecosystems are put at risk, further increasing our vulnerabilities. It is time to reflect on the role of human beings in creating a balance between species and the environment upon which their lives are dependent on,” said Mwiyeria.

She noted that human activities are fuelling loss of iconic species and degradation of ecosystems, adding that home-grown innovations like agroforestry could provide some respite.

“Agroforestry can play a major role in conserving and even enhancing biodiversity and ecosystem services from farms to the landscape levels. It has the potential to mitigate climate change and boost resilience of small-holder farmers,” said Mwiyeria.

She said that governments should enact policies that promote sustainable land management practices to ensure that nature-based assets are protected from harm amid rapid urbanization.


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World Environment Day: Conservationist links wildlife consumption to COVID-19



Dr Ibrahim Goni, Conservator-General (CG), National Park Service has cautioned Nigerians against the consumption of wildlife, identified as the origin of COVID-19 pandemic.

Goni made the call in a statement issued to commemorate the World Environment Day on Friday in Lagos.

He also called for intensified campaign against the consumption of wildlife.

The CG said the theme for the 2020 edition is “Celebrate Biodiversity”, insisting that there was a link between consumption of wildlife and zoonotic diseases.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the World Environment Day is the most renowned day for environmental action, celebrated every year on June 5 to focus efforts on pressing environmental issues.

Also, zoonotic diseases are caused by viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites that spread between animals and human being.

“The consumption of wildlife, as the likely origin of COVID-19, should not be left out in the prevention campaign of the deadly virus,’’ he said.

The CG said that the COVID-19 pandemic had taken a grip on the world and Nigeria was not exempted.

Therefore, he said there is a need for an aggressive awareness campaign on the likely origin of the virus.

He said the media and health workers should, not only sensitise the public on how to wash and sanitise the hands but should also provide information on what brought about the virus.

“To treat any illness successfully, you first identify the cause of the problem, treat the cause and the sickness goes away.

“Therefore, the same way it has been thrust into the consciousness of everyone to wash hands with soap, use sanitisers, wear nose masks, maintain necessary distancing, is the same way this campaign about wildlife should be pressed.

The emergence of COVID-19 has underscored the fact that when we destroy biodiversity, we destroy the system that supports human life,’’ Goni said.

According to him, increased and sustained closeness and interaction with wildlife have led to many zoonotic diseases ravaging the world, including the COVID-19.

“People still eat and sell various species of dead monkeys, cats, birds, bats and pangolins, which are suspected to be at the centre of the COVID-19 scourge.

COVID-19 is alleged to have originated from hunting, eating and trading in wildlife and this alone should deter people from having close contact with wildlife.

“But sadly, that is not the case.’’

He said that vampire bats that drink their victim’s blood can transmit diseases.

“So, touching a bat that has a wound, abrasion, or scratch with bare hands, is considered a potential exposure to virus,’’ he said.

He cautioned that wildlife belonged to the wild and, therefore, should be left in the wild, advising the public to be cautious when handling animals, especially as pets and for consumption.

According to Goni, when the ecosystem is disrupted and the viruses are let loose from their natural hosts, they will need a new host and often, humans are the new hosts.

“The foods we eat, the air we breathe, the water we drink and the climate that makes our planet habitable, all come from nature and despite all the benefits that nature gives us, we still mistreat it.

“Biodiversity is the foundation that supports all life and it affects every aspect of human life, including natural disease resistance and climate change mitigation.

“Therefore, removing one element of this web affects the entire life system and can produce negative consequences.

“It is important for all to understand the links between habitat, environmental damage and the coronavirus,’’ the CG said.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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