Few days to the 2019 Eid-el-Kabir festival, transactions in some major markets in Warri and environs on Thursday were at low ebb.
A Nigeria News Agency correspondent who monitored activities at the markets observed that patronage did not reflect the usual bustling that characterised festivities, a situation the traders attributed to the prevailing economic situation.
The NAN correspondent observed a decline in sales in Igbudu, Okere and Main markets all in Warri South and Jugbale Market in Udu Local Government of Delta.
Ram sellers at Igbudu Market also complained about low patronage.
A Ram Seller, Malam Mekudi Ismaila, said the price range of the rams was N35, 000 to N120, 000, depending on their sizes.
‘’The prices of rams are cheaper this year than last year. This year, rams are sold between N35, 000 and N120,000 as against N50,0000 and N160,000 in 2018.
‘’I have only sold two rams in the last three days. Maybe because Warri is not a Muslim community,’’ Ismaila said.
Malam Sani Abu said it costs N1, 000 to convey a goat and N1, 500 to transport a ram from the North to Warri.
Malam Kasimu Haruna, Secretary, Onions Sellers Association, Safe Palace Unit, Igbudu market, said customers were not buying as expected.
According to him, a big sack of Onions was sold N15, 000, medium, N8, 000 and small bag at the rate of N5, 000.
He said that the produce (onions) was surplus, saying that farmers were harvesting new ones.
‘’Customers are complaining about lack of money.’’ Haruna said.
Malam Dauda Mumuni, Chairman, Fowl Sellers Association, Main Market, Warri, said the price of fowl ranged between N1, 500 and N5, 000, saying that sales were low.
“Beside, a sack of fowl feeds has increased from N3, 000 to N4, 000 and we have to buy because the fowls must feed,’’ he said.
Mr John Joshua, member, Tomatoes Sellers Association, Okere Market unit, said the price of tomatoes had been relatively stable, attributing the development to the availability of the produce.
Joshua who applauded the Federal Government’s policy intervention in agricultural sector, however, expressed the hope that the price of tomatoes and sales would improve before the Sallah day.
“The sales are low. A basket of tomatoes ranges from N4, 000 to N7,000, depending on the size but I believe the price will increase as we are moving closer to the Sallah.
‘’I want to plead with the government to sustain the availability of fertiliser and other farm incentives to farmers to boost the yield,’’ he said.
NAN reports that 50kg brands of Golden Standard, Mama Gold, African Kings rice are sold for N18, 000 per bag in Main Market.
Bankers committee earmarks N20bn to maintain national theatre
The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Dr Godwin Emefiele said on Saturday that the Bankers Committee would spend N20 billion to carry out maintenance works at the National Art Theatre, Lagos
Emefiele told newsmen at the end of the 11th session of the Bankers Committee meeting in Ogere, Ogun, that the committee was appreciative of President Muhammadu Buhari’s approval for the improvement and redevelopment of the asset.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that the theme for the meeting is: “Delivering Inclusive Growth: Leveraging Digital Finance”.
“Asides from the redevelopment of the National Theatre, four hubs will be built around it, which will be developed and funded by the Bankers Committee.
“These four hubs are IT, fashion, music and Nollywood.
“Bankers Committee itself has its own funds that it has set aside; nothing less than N20 billion is going to be spent to carry out the maintenance.
“Not just the development of the hub but also, develop interest.
“This will help create economic activities around the National Art Theatre and then present it as an opportunity to create jobs for people, particularly our youths,’’ Emefiele said.
He said that the committee would help revive the dying asset that is currently not well maintained, not tapping its potential fully and lacking good maintenance.
The apex bank governor also said that there were no plans to sack staff members of the national theatre.
“However, we will work with them and put in place the maintenance culture and arrangement that will make the national theatre and the hubs around it a tourists’ attraction.
“I repeat, we had attended different conferences in different parts of the world, the potential that the national theatre possesses is more and better than some of the conference centres we saw in different parts of the world.’’
The governor noted that a larger percentage of the Nigerian population were youths, who are jobless and could not live a better life.
He said God endowed these youths with innate skills, which should be unleashed.
He urged the people to cooperate with the committee so that, through it, jobs could be created and economic activities boosted.
Emefiele said that after the redevelopment and maintenance of the national theatre, it would boost tourism.
On speculations that the asset is being sold, Emefiele said it was not true.
He said that there was no plan to sell it as the Federal Government was not contemplating selling it.
“Why will we sell an asset that has the creative potential to generate massive revenue for the government,’’ he said.
On delivering digital growth, the governor said the bank would move the BVN to the next level to include the excluded.
“We now have about 40 million people on the BVN platform.
“We think that because of the benefits of the BVN to bank customers and the economy, there is the need to consolidate and move it to a new level, something like BVN-2.0.
“This will entail, for instance, to reclassify and segregate transactions that can be done on BVN.
“We have two classifications; the existing BVN that we have in the system has about 18 lines of information.
“We decided that we classify into BVN-premium and BVN-lite.
“There should also be a system where people who are financially excluded can now be included.
“If you are on BVN-lite, there is a limit to the kind of transactions you can do in terms of deposit and in terms of loans.
“The important thing is that we want to make you financially included where you can conduct basic banking service.
“Our people in the rural communities who have BVN-lite will later be migrated to basic,’’ he said.
Edited by: Abdulfatah Babatunde/Peter Dada
Shareholders seek more mergers, acquisitions in cement industry
Shareholders under the aegis of Constance Shareholders’ Association of Nigeria (CSAN) on Saturday said that mergers and acquisitions would improve cement industry activities on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
Mikail spoke against the backdrop of the consolidation between the Cement Company of Northern Nigeria (CCNN) and BUA’s Obu Cement.
He said that the merger would further eradicate a monopolised cement industry and ease the marketing processes, thereby improving shareholder’s returns.
Mikail described the merger as a great development that would help in breaking the monopoly of price control in the industry.
“The recent event that occurred between CCNN and Obu cement in Nigeria is a great development that will help in alleviating the cement problems in Nigeria as well as breaking the monopoly of price control,” he said.
He commended the Chairman of BUA Group, Mr Abdul Samad Rabiu, for the great vision aimed at ameliorating the suffering of people.
“We have the confidence that such strategies of the businesses would also help the cement industry in equities flow in the Nigeria Capital Market,” Mikail said.
NAN reports that the BUA Group, one of Africa’s largest conglomerates, in October announced plan to merge its two million metric tons of CCNN with six million metric tons of Obu Cement in a bid to consolidate its cement business.
The plan, according to the company, is aimed at enhancing the growth of cement industry in the country.
Edited by: Oluwole Sogunle
Eko Disco records highest remittance efficiency in Q2, says NERC
The Nigerian Electricity Regulation Commission (NERC), on Saturday, said Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC) recorded the highest remittance efficiency of 43.3 per cent in the second quarter of 2019.
The commission also expressed concern over the significant drop in Enugu DisCo’s remittance rate from 30.44 per cent in Q1 2019 to 24.55 per cent in Q2 2019.
NERC said: “The challenge of low remittance to the market is still a concern to the commission as it is one of the main causes of the liquidity crisis facing the Nigerian electricity supply industry.
“As highlighted in the preceding quarters, low remittance adversely affects the ability of the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading (NBET) Plc to honour its financial obligations to GenCos.
“Service providers; Transmission Service Provider (TSP), Market Operator (MO) and NERC also struggle with the paucity of funds, which is impacting their capacity to perform their statutory obligations.
“The individual performance indicates that, with the exception of Enugu and Ibadan DisCos, the DisCos recorded increase in their remittance performance in the second quarter of 2019.
“Also, the aggregate combined invoice settlement rate for all DisCos rose to 30.6 per cent. However, none of the DisCos remitted up to 50 per cent of their market invoice.”
The commission noted that DisCos must improve their efforts towards reducing Aggregate Technical, Commercial and Collection (ATC&C) losses to levels commensurate with their performance agreements.
It said Ikeja Electric recorded the highest progress in reducing ATC&C losses, decreasing to 25.9 per cent in the second quarter of 2019.
NERC said seven other DisCos, excluding Abuja, Enugu and Yola, also recorded relative improvements in their ATC&C losses during the quarter under review.
Edited by: Taiye Agbaje/Salif Atojoko
Expert urges Nigerians to imbibe savings culture
Mr Bayonle Omoyele, the Executive Director, Reliance Thrift and Credit Cooperative Society, has advised Nigerians to imbibe savings culture in order to contribute to the nation’s economic development.
Omoyele gave the advice at the first Annual General Meeting of the cooperative on Saturday in Abuja, with the theme, “Cooperative: A tool for Economic Development”.
He said that investment and savings play important role in the growth and development of any nation.
“For this nation to grow we need to save and that is where cooperative society becomes useful.
“Nigerians should be encouraged to save for the rainy day so that it becomes an integral part of our culture.
“It will also improve our level of investments and, in turn, we will be able to employ more people, thereby improving the economy of our country.”
Omoyele also urged Nigerians to save their money with credible and registered cooperative societies in order not to be duped by criminals.
He said that the society, on its part, would introduce a digital system, where customers would receive alert immediately they drop their money for savings.
Mr Olugbesan Idris, the Executive Director, Regent Microfinance Bank, underscored the importance of cooperatives in the country.
Idris said that cooperatives would help to raise the living standards of Nigerians.
He further said that cooperatives help to create better opportunities for all along with the platform that helps to reduce inequality between the rich and poor.
Nigeria News Agency reports that highpoint of the event was the distribution of gift items to customers, award presentations and raffle draw.
(Edited by: Sam Oditah)
FG reiterates commitment to give priority to development of textile industry
The Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Amb. Mariam Katagum, said that the Federal Government would give priority to development of the textile industry.
The minister said this in a statement issued on Friday in Abuja by Mrs Oluwakemi Ogunmakinwa, the Assistant Director of Press in the ministry.
The minister of state said that it was essential to make Nigeria an exporter of finished products.
Katagum spoke when a delegation of investors from China led by the Treasurer of Kano State Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, Alhaji Umar Ibrahim visited her in Abuja.
She expressed delight with the Chinese investors who indicated interest to develop the textile industry in Kano.
According to her, Kano is known to be a historic centre for the textile industry, particularly the traditional dying art technology that has been there for many decades.
Katagum further assured of the Federal Government’s commitment to support the Kano State Government and the Chinese investors for the development of the textile industry.
She added that the support was in line with the current administration’s Economic Growth and Recovery Plan (ERGP) policy.
Earlier, Ibrahim said the purpose of the visit was to seek collaboration with the ministry for the development of the country’s textile industry.
He explained that Kano State Government in partnership with Dantata Group of Companies was working assiduously to ensure that Nigeria’s textile industry was developed to support the country’s economic diversification plan.
Edited by: Ese E. Ekama
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