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5 socio-economic challenges Nigeria would face if Tinubu’s chaired ECOWAS invades Niger.


ECOWAS authorities have resolved to intervene militarily in the Niger coup crisis to restore democracy and reinstate President Mohamed Bazoum. The decision was made following unsuccessful diplomatic talks with the coup leaders during an emergency meeting in Abuja on August 10, 2023.

Niger’s allies, Mali and Burkina Faso, have declared that any ECOWAS military intervention would be seen as a declaration of war against them.

Should ECOWAS send troops to Niger, Nigeria could face five major challenges:

1. Refugee crisis: Nigeria’s porous border would likely lead to an influx of refugees and displaced persons from Niger, particularly in border states like Sokoto, Kebbi, Katsina, Zamfara, Jigawa, Yobe, and Borno.

2. Casualties: Multi-country conflicts tend to result in civilian deaths, as seen in Nigeria’s experience leading ECOMOG troops in Liberia in 1990.

3. Arms proliferation: Wars leave behind arms proliferation, contributing to future crises. Nigeria already struggles with arms smuggled through its borders, leading to increased banditry and insurgency.

4. Increase in terrorism: Heightened arms availability could escalate violent crimes, worsening Nigeria’s existing issues with terrorism and banditry.

5. Economic impact: ECOWAS sanctions against Niger have already affected local businesses in Nigerian border states, causing price increases for food and goods. If diplomacy fails, the economic strain could intensify further.

Nigeria’s Economic Growth Potential in Positive Trajectory as Non-Oil Sector Gains


This week, we explore the latest domestic output data which showed that Nigeria’s economy is on a growth trajectory for another quarter as the gross domestic product (GDP) grew 3.52% to N21.04 trillion in Q4’22, slightly weaker than the 3.98% delivered in the corresponding perio d of 2021 and higher by 1.27 percentage points from the 2.25% in the third quarter.

This brings the overall growth level down to 3.1% from the 3.4% delivered in 2021. This is according to the GDP report published by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) .

Marking the ninth consecutive quarters of
positive growth, our expectation had been for a
modest 2.0% growth in Q4 full-year growth of 2.9%, but the outperformance relative to our forecast was mainly because of a robust
growth of 5.69% in the services sector, which
contributed 56.27% to the aggregate GDP.

Although the agriculture sector grew
by 2.05% in Q4’22, its performance was significantly fraught by severe incidences of flooding experienced across the country, accounting for lesser growth relative to the fourth quarter of 2021, which was 3.58%; then, the industry sector saw a retarded growth of 0.94%, contributing less to the total output as against the last quarter (-8.0%) and Q4’21 (-0.05%).

On the sectoral performance of the oil and non-oil sectors, it continues to be a major growth driver in line with broad expectations, as it delivered real growth of 4.44% in the quarter and was probably underpinned by an increase in consumer spending during the holiday season.

This growth was lower by 0.29% percentage points relative to the Q4’21 figures and 0.18% percentage points higher than the prior quarter’s growth.

This growth was spurred by the telecommunications (11.24%); trade (4.54%); crop production (2.41%); financial institutions (12.41%); food, beverage, and tobacco (4.94%); real estate (2.78%); and construction (3.80%) sectors.

In real terms, the non-oil sector contributed 95.66% to Nigeria’s GDP in the fourth quarter of 2022, higher than the share recorded in the fourth quarter of 2021 (94.81%) and higher than the third quarter of 2022, which delivered 94.34%. Moreover, on aggregate, 94.33% was contributed by the sector in 2022, higher than the 92.76% reported in 2021.

On the other hand, for the oil sector, growth in real terms shrank by -13.38% year on year in the final quarter of 2022 and signals a decrease of 5.33% points compared to the same period of2021,butrose9.29%pointsasagainst-22.67%inQ3’22.

Thisshowsamarginalbutsignificantimprovement as the nation’s oil output stood at an average of 1.34 million daily barrels, up 0.14 million barrels from 1.20 million barrels in Q3’22.

However, the figure is lower (0.16 mbpd) than the average daily oil production of 1.50 million barrels per day in the same quarter of 2021.
On a yearly basis, real growth stood at -19.22% as against the -8.30% recorded in 2021.

However, the oil sector contributed 4.34% to the total real GDP in Q4 2022, down from the figures recorded in the corresponding period of 2021 and the preceding quarter (Q3’22), where it contributed 5.19% and 5.66%, respectively.

The total annual contribution of oil to aggregate GDP in 2022 was 5.67%.

In 2022, growth momentum saw a knock to print below the 2021 overall average as weak macro fundamentals emanating from the effects of geopolitical (Russia-Ukraine) unrest, expanding inflation, other environmental factors such as floods, and intensified monetary policy tightening by the central bank took centre stage.

Amidst these drags, Nigeria needs to achieve GDP growth of over 6% to achieve more inclusive growth and move closer to its long-run GDP potential.

For Cowry Research, we forecast year 2023 growth of 3.74%, revised from our earlier projection of 2.9%, as base effects taper off.

2023: Nigeria’s top candidates’ targets naira devaluation


The uncertainty around who wins the forthcoming presidential vote in Nigeria is not essentially different from the one around whether any of the top three contenders have definite, elaborate plans to fix the country’s problematic foreign exchange system.

As their manifestos show, the plans of the All Progressive Congress (APC), the Labour Party (LP) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for foreign exchange management are at best a muddle of promises with no clear roadmap to achieve them.

Africa’s biggest democracy will be choosing a new leader on 25 February. Last year, its currency ranked among the world’s worst-performing, outdoing only Ghana’s cedi and Sri Lanka’s rupee.

Naira’s black market rate, the basis of that verdict, had fallen by 37 per cent as of that date compared to only 4 per cent for the official rate.

The parallel market is the most accessible market in the country for those seeking forex, even though the government has labelled it “illegal”. It offers the most market-driven rate, meeting the dollar needs of several manufacturers and users unable to access the currency at the spot market.

The value of the naira is increasingly being eroded, as its official rate lost more than half its value against the dollar since President Muhammadu Buhari took office in 2015.

International investors held only 16 per cent of the shares listed on the Nigerian Exchange in 2022, down from 58 per cent in 2014, a signal that the dollar flow into the market is fast drying up.

“No investor’s going to want to buy into a market where you can’t sell stock and get your money out,” Steve Pollicino of U.S. brokerage Auerbach Grayson told Reuters.

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The news agency said Mr Pollicino believes overhauling the Nigerian foreign exchange market is the foremost worry of international investors. One big ramification of the crunch is the ordeal it creates for manufacturers wanting to import raw materials but can’t access the greenback at the I&E Forex Window.

The dollar exchanged for N461.67 at that market and, according to parallel market rates tracker @naira.rates, N746.71 on the street on 14 February, leaving a 61.7 per cent spread, a gulf that has been a key driver of inflation.

Whoever wins the next election will have exchange rate volatility to grapple with as much as a dollar crunch that is stoking the price levels of imported goods.

That is not to mention the urgency of courting back myriad foreign portfolio investors who have been deserting the stock market in droves since the dollar scarcity came to a head shortly after Covid-19 broke out.

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Bola Tinubu (APC)
APC’s presidential hopeful Bola Ahmed Tinubu is not definite on whether he will adopt a foreign exchange market where the forces of demand and supply drive the movement of exchange rate if voted into power.

APC Presidential aspirant Bola Tinubu at Chatham House (Photo Credit: Tinubu’s Facebook)
APC Presidential aspirant Bola Tinubu at Chatham House (Photo Credit: Tinubu’s Facebook)
Nevertheless, it is safe he will rather sustain the current model whereby the government controls the official forex market known as the I&E Forex Window or spot market.

“The exchange rate influences the costs of imports, competitiveness of exports, and net capital flows among other things. It cannot be ignored nor left to the vagaries of an unrestrained market,” Mr Tinubu’s manifesto says without stating the direction his government will take on this.

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Should the former Lagos State governor opt for a government-controlled currency market, the naira-to-dollar exchange rate of the official market will likely continue to be unreliable, failing to reflect the true picture of the dynamics of the market.

The APC admits in the manifesto that Nigeria’s multiple foreign exchange regime is ineffective and dysfunctional, and acknowledges the implications of that for arbitrage and currency speculation.

“To ensure that exchange rate policy harmonises with our goals of optimal growth and job creation driven by industrial, agricultural and infrastructural expansion, we will work with the Central Bank and the financial sector to carefully review and better optimise the exchange rate regime,” the document says.

No mention is made of the shape the planned collaboration with the central bank and the financial sector will take.

The manifesto says “Our history shows that the oil and gas sector is not the answer to our nation’s economic problems.” Yet it goes on to say that the same sector “must play the lead role in generating the foreign currency revenues needed to help fund the nation’s twin industrialisation and infrastructural drives.”

According to the document, Mr Tinubu plans to cut gas flares in order to boost oil and gas earnings from export to the EU as the Russia-Ukraine rages. He intends to reduce foreign debt and use it as a tool to “protect our exchange rate, guard against inflation and preserve foreign currency reserves.”

The manifesto says “Our administration will engage in extraordinary prudence in contracting debt in foreign currency. Our policy will be such that new foreign currency debt obligations will be linked to projects that generate cash flows from which the debt can be repaid.”

On Import Substitution, Mr Tinubu hopes to wean Nigeria off its dependence on imported goods by discouraging the importation of non-essential products and imposing luxury taxes, higher processing fees and higher tariffs.

He is looking to incentivise foreign investors that establish manufacturing plants in the country by way of rebates and tax credits.

“We shall also enact new policies to exploit the framework provided by the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCTA) to further boost domestic manufacturing and production,” the manifesto says.

Peter Obi (Labour Party)
Unlike its APC rival, Peter Obi of the Labour Party is pro-liberalisation of the foreign exchange market and has stated his ambition to “dismantle the opaque multiple exchange rate regime which effectively subsidises a few privileged persons, whilst depriving government of badly needed revenues.”

The presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi
The presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi
Great as that sounds, the former Anambra State government did not give the layout of how he will go about this in his manifesto.

“We will also seek a simplification of the exchange rate regime, whilst seeking to also boost the supply side, rather than continuing to concentrate exclusively on demand management,” the manifesto states.

There is no part of the document highlighting the specific actions Mr Obi will take to improve the dollar supply. The two broad and brief ideas mentioned above are the only foreign exchange plans mentioned by Mr Obi throughout the document.

On Import Substitution, Mr Obi came into the warm-up stage of the election, riding on the mantra of moving “Nigeria from consumption to production,” which is number two on his 7-point agenda. He hopes to achieve that by expanding the $440.8 billion economy through “agrarian revolution and export-oriented industrialisation.”

His manifesto says scaling up exports will be achieved by cultivating strong ties between Nigerian and overseas markets for its goods. It will also involve establishing structures including strategic trade and investment missions and in-country trade missions aimed at creating markets for made-in-Nigeria goods.

“We shall embrace political entrepreneurialism to directly lead missions to top Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and leading Global Value Chain headquarters, lobbying and granting them all the necessary incentives to expand their production and manufacturing value chains to our country to link us to the important income-growing and employment-generating global value chains,” the manifesto says.

The Labour Party promised to incentivise companies and industries that take clear action to switch from fossil fuels to clean energy “not only for local consumption but also for export.” Among its agenda is the need to cut steep trade costs resulting from high port, border and road logistics spending, which it recognised as a barrier to a competitive business environment.

“We will apply entrepreneurial governance to dismantle the impediments to free trade and ease of doing business,” the Labour Party said.

Mr Obi also expects to boost quality assurance in a bid to ensure the standards of Nigerian products position it to gain traction in the African Continental Free Trade Area.

“We will incentivize the mid-stream segment of the petroleum sector by facilitating gas processing plants and privately-owned small and medium scale boutique refineries, with a view to reducing importation of refined petroleum products, and eliminating the petrol subsidy regime, which has become a huge burden on the budget,” the manifesto says.

Atiku Abubakar (PDP)
Atiku Abubakar, who oversaw the privatisation of state assets as Nigeria’s vice president in this republic’s first eight years, is known as an advocate of liberalisation and the free market.

Atiku Abubakar, former Vice President and PDP Presidential Candidate for 2023 general elections
Atiku Abubakar, former Vice President and PDP Presidential Candidate for 2023 general elections
His manifesto notes that the PDP will give the market greater freedom in determining prices if voted into power.

“This way we shall eliminate the persistent price distortions occasioned by current interventionist exchange rate management policy. Government intervention, where absolutely necessary, will be done responsibly and judiciously,” the document says.

The manifesto further says “Monetary and fiscal policies shall ensure low inflation rate, stable exchange rate and interest rates that will be supportive of businesses’ quest for credit.” Yet, it is silent on the game plan that will accomplish this.

On Import Substitution, Atiku expects processed goods to constitute 25-40 per cent of total exports, hoping these to include processed agricultural goods, manufactures, gas products and refined petroleum.

The manifesto states that support will be given through the Nigerian Export Promotion Council and Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission.

The PDP candidate hopes to review the efficacy and accessibility of the non-oil export simulation facility and strengthen the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority in setting up special economic zones across the six geopolitical zones.

He also intends to review “import duty on raw materials that are available in the country and on imported machinery for local production.”

The manifesto says there is a plan to cut food imports as a share of total imports to 5-10 per cent from 20 per cent.

Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso
Rabiu Kwankwaso proposes to address the concerns around achieving a fixed exchange rate, independent monetary policy, and free movement of capital.

Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso
The proposed solutions include adopting a disciplined, managed float exchange rate regime with some level of capital controls.

The former governor of Kano State also suggested finding an exchange rate system that encourages exports, discourages imports, and reduces the need for violent adjustments to stabilize the Naira.

He also proposed that the CBN opt for inflation targeting to achieve single-digit inflation, manage monetary policy rates to achieve this, and focus on its core mandate of managing inflation and financial system stability.

Dangote-led End Malaria Council to help Nigeria save N687 billion in 2022 and N2 trillion by 2030.


President Muhammadu Buhari Tuesday in Abuja inaugurated Nigeria End Malaria Council (NEMC), projecting that the successful implementation of the council’s agenda and savings from the estimated economic burden of the disease would save Nigeria about N687 billion in 2022 and N2 trillion by 2030.

The president told the 16-member council headed by the founder and president of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, that beyond improving the quality of life, health and well-being of Nigerians, the concerted strategy to tackle malaria had both public health as well as socio-economic benefits for Nigeria.

‘‘Our inauguration today will therefore ensure that malaria elimination remains a priority on our agenda, with strong political commitment from leaders at all levels.

‘‘Additionally, the End Malaria Council will provide a platform to advocate for more funding to protect and sustain progress made so far by our country, and put us on a pathway to ending malaria for good,’’ the president said.

Expressing concern that the age-long disease had remained a major public health challenge in Nigeria, the president cited the World Health Organisation (WHO) report of 2021, showing that Nigeria alone accounts for 27 per cent of all cases of malaria and 32 per cent of deaths globally.

‘‘Malaria infection can cause severe disease and complication in pregnant women and lead to high rates of miscarriage.

‘‘It is also responsible for a considerable proportion of deaths in infants and young children, with children under 5 years being the most vulnerable group affected. These are reasons we must not relent in fighting malaria.’’

On his choice of Mr Dangote to chair the council, President Buhari explained that it was in recognition of the track record and passion of Africa’s richest man in supporting initiatives on various health issues such as polio and primary health care system strengthening.

He expressed confidence that Dangote would bring his outstanding achievements to help the country achieve its goal of malaria elimination, adding that a group of eminent personalities, who have also made their mark across all walks of life, have been selected to work in the council.

He added that the membership of the council reflects government’s commitment to significantly reducing the malaria burden in Nigeria, to a level where it is no longer a public health issue.

‘‘I have been informed that the End Malaria Council (EMC) has already been established in other African countries, in line with the African Union Assembly Declaration for Establishment of EMCs in Africa.

‘‘EMCs have provided leadership, new funding and innovation to enable these countries stay on track to meet malaria burden reduction targets, and I am optimistic that the setting up of the Nigeria End Malaria Council will do the same for Nigeria.

‘‘I must add that with the additional advocacy and funding the council will bring to the malaria control drive, we can anticipate a reduction in malaria burden that ensures that our children, pregnant women, indeed, all Nigerians are shielded from the disease.

‘‘We must work together to reduce the unnecessary deaths attributable to malaria and ultimately improve the well-being of citizens. I implore the Council to ensure best practices and innovative strategies in achieving its mandate.’’

President Buhari used the occasion to thank the Chairman of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA), President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, the Executive Secretary of ALMA, RBM Partnership in Nigeria for their continuous support to the Federal Ministry of Health and the malaria programme, in particular.

He also acknowledged the contributions of the Global Fund, the United States Agency for International Development, the President’s Malaria Initiative, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, WHO, UNICEF, UK Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office, other implementing partners, and the private sector.

In separate remarks, the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, and the Minister of State for Health, Joseph Nkama, said since 2010, Nigeria has been recording a continuous decline in malaria from 42 per cent in 2010, to 27 per cent in 2015 to 23 per cent in 2018.

Quoting figures from the 2010 Nigeria Malaria Indicator Survey and the 2018 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey, they attributed the decline to the thorough implementation of the National Malaria Strategic Plan (NMSP).

Both ministers, however, admitted that the funding gap has impacted the implementation of the malaria programmes in Nigeria, adding that the country needs N1.89 trillion to reduce malaria prevalence and mortality by 2025.

Mr Ekumankama said: ‘‘The biggest challenge confronting us, which prevents the elimination of malaria, to ensure a malaria-free nation in the shortest possible time is inadequate finances to fund the NMSP.

‘‘We are currently implementing NMSP of 2021 to 2025, with the intent to achieve a parasitic prevalence of less than 10 per cent and reduce mortality attributable to malaria to less than 50 deaths per 1000 live births by the year 2025. It will take about N1.89 trillion to implement this plan.

READ ALSO: Nigerien President honours Dangote with national award over health interventions
‘‘However, in the first year of its implementation we had an estimated deficit of over N150 billion and in 2022, we already have a deficit of over N170 billion.’’

In his acceptance speech, Mr Dangote thanked the president and all members of the council for entrusting him with the enormous responsibility, pledging to work hard to achieve the mandate.

‘‘I must confess that this resonates with my current role as the Nigerian Ambassador for Malaria, my role on the Global End Malaria Council and with the work that my Foundation is doing to mobilise the private sector to support malaria control in Nigeria and Africa at large,’’ he said.

The council members are: Shehu Ibrahim, Permanent Secretary, Office of the Vice President on Political and Economic Affairs; Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State and Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF); Yahaya Oloriegbe, Chairman, Senate Committee on Health; Abubakar Dahiru, Chairman, House Committee on AIDS, TB and Malaria; Mr Ehanire, Mr Ekumankama; Mahmuda Mamman; Permanent Secretary, Federal Minister of Health.

Others include Tony Elumelu, Chairman, Board of Directors, UBA; Folurunsho Alakija, CEO, Rose of Sharon Group; Herbert Wigwe, CEO, Access Bank; Femi Otedola, CEO Forte Oil; Lami Lau, President, National Council of Women Societies; John Cardinal Onaiyekan, Emeritus Archbishop of Abuja Catholic Archdiocese; Rafiyat Sanni, National Amira, Federation of Muslim Women Nigeria (FOWAN) and Perpetua Uhomoibhi, NEMC Secretariat/National Coordinator, National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP).

Femi Adesina

Special Adviser to the President

(Media & Publicity)

EXCLUSIVE: How Savannah Energy Deceived Investors to acquire ExxonMobil and Petronas’ Multibillion Dollar Assets – Stakeholders

The uproar generated by Savannah Energy Plc. planned acquisition of substantial assets of ExxonMobil and Petronas through the back door seems not to be abating yet.

According to industry sources, Savannah Energy had manipulated the handlers of the transaction at a time other Oil and Gas companies were also eyeing the deal.

The fallout of a deal that ought to have been responsibly managed by the company has become messier owing to the deliberate failure to disclose certain crucial developments to the market.

And worse still, the thorny issue has also unsettled stakeholders even as it has generated ripples in the media.

Stakeholders who are privy to the deal had expressed concern that Savannah Energy was not at the initial stage willing to disclose the hitch as required by market regulations.

This attitude, expectedly, irked opponents and industry analysts, who have continued to insist that the non-disclosure of the material information the company has kept to itself, is not only deliberate but grossly fraudulent.

Naija247news gathered that the government of Chad, through its state-owned oil company, Societé des Hydrocarbures du Tchad (SHT), had notified Petronas on January 18, of her decision to exercise her right of first refusal in the deal.

Incidentally, that was not to be as the gimmick, according to informed sources, was designed to favour Savannah Energy.

“So, SHT pretended to be in the process of acquiring control of the substantial shareholding in ExxonMobil and Petronas. Midway, it entered into discussion with Petronas concerning the adaptations to be made to the transfer agreement to reflect the substitution for Savannah Energy as the buyer,” one analyst, who refused his name in print, said.

A tweet sighted by Naija247News had called out the Energy Company insisting that an announcement indicating that “SHT has preempted Petronas transaction since January” should have been made.

”When is SAVE (Savannah Energy) updating the market on this material information?” the tweet inquired.

SHT was said to have initiated the process of taking the necessary steps to raise the financing for the operation. While this was going on, Savannah Energy had remained silent, in what industry analysts called a clearly unethical act, wilfully downplaying the potential impact the collapse of the deal might have on investors, who have made significant decisions based on the announcement made by Savannah Energy in December 2021.

Under article 12 of the association agreement, the members of the consortium had a right of first refusal for 30 days in the event of transfer by another member of its participation in the consortium, in order to carry out the concerned operation (which leads to the transfer of the stake concerned) in place of the initially planned buyer, under the same conditions as those agreed between the parties.

It would be recalled that after months of negotiations and site visits, the British firm and London Stock Exchange-listed company, announced the execution of share purchase agreements (SPAs) worth $626 million with ExxonMobil and Petronas to acquire their oil & gas assets in Cameroon and Chad in December 2021.

As a result of both acquisitions, Savannah Energy was to acquire a combined 75 percent controlling interest in the Doba Oil Project and 70 percent indirect controlling interest in the Chad-Cameroon oil export transportation system. The remaining interests would be reserved for the national oil companies of Chad and Cameroon.

The SHT Petroleum Chad Company will, also, according to the arrangement, hold the remaining 25 percent interest in the Doba oil project, while its affiliates will indirectly own the remaining stake in the transportation system. The Exxon transaction has a value of $360 million, while the deal with Petronas is worth approximately $266 million. However, both transactions are subject to shareholder approval.

Savannah Energy Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Andrew Knott, had said: “These assets have generated billions of dollars of critical tax revenues for their host countries and free cash flow to their owners since the onset of first oil production in 2003.

“Further, under our stewardship, we expect these assets in aggregate to generate positive free cash flow and fiscal revenues for Chad and Cameroon for a further 25+ years. For Savannah, these deals are expected to see our production levels and reserve base more than double.”

Soon after what analysts called the rigmarole, it was reported that the Africa‑focused British Company, was set to acquire ExxonMobil’s and Petronas’ entire upstream and midstream asset portfolios in Chad and Cameroon for a total of $626 million.

The company had reportedly signed share purchase agreements (SPA) with Exxon and Petronas (E&P) overseas ventures to acquire the assets. The move was to further expand Savannah Energy’s operations in Africa.

It had planned to fund the transactions through a combination of debt and equity/equity-linked financing.

Last year, the Doba Oil Project produced an average of 33,700 barrels per day (bbl/d) of oil. The Chad-Cameroon pipeline system transported a gross of 129,200bbl/d of oil in 2020. The deals in Chad and Cameroon, however, were aimed at further increasing Savannah Energy’s footprint in Africa.

Deal-making in the energy sector, according to Reuters, has gathered steam as oil and gas firms trim their portfolios to focus on more profitable assets and transition towards cleaner energy amid uncertainty over future demand for fossil fuels. Savannah, which currently operates only in Nigeria and Niger, said it intends to fund both transactions through a mixture of debt and equity.

The Exxon transaction is for $360 million and involves a 40 percent interest in the Doba Oil Project in southern Chad and about 40 percent indirect stake in the Chad-Cameroon export transportation system, Savannah said. The deal with Malaysia’s Petronas is worth $266 million, with a 35 percent stake buy in the Doba project and about 30 percent indirect holding in the Chad-Cameroon transportation network.

If completed on the currently proposed terms, the Projected Acquisition, sources say, would be classified as a reverse takeover transaction in accordance with the AIM Rule 14. Accordingly, the Company had requested that its ordinary shares be suspended from trading on AIM with immediate effect.

This, according to informed sources, will remain so pending publication of an AIM admission document setting out, inter alia, details of the Proposed Acquisition, or confirmation is provided that discussions around the Proposed Acquisition have been terminated.

Savannah Energy Plc. is an AIM market listed African-focused British independent energy company sustainably developing high-quality, high-potential energy projects in Nigeria and Niger, with a focus on delivering material long-term returns for stakeholders.

In Nigeria, the Company has controlling interests in the cash flow generative Uquo and Stubb Creek oil and gas fields, and the Accugas midstream business in South East Nigeria, which provides gas to over 10 percent of Nigeria’s available power generation capacity.

In Niger, it has interests in two large PSC areas located in the highly oil prolific Agadem Rift Basin of South East Niger, where the Company has made five oil discoveries and seismically identified a large exploration prospect inventory, consisting of 146 exploration targets to be considered for potential future drilling activity.

However, on June 15, in what industry analysts termed a “smart ugly move”, Savannah Energy Plc. announced the full year 2021 Annual Results. In the report, it posited the target completion of entry into Chad and Cameroon in Q3 2022 and further hydrocarbon acquisitions. The company said it would focus on the delivery of projects that matter in Africa, and was pleased to announce its 2021 Audited Accounts and Annual report.

The report specifically announced a proposed place to raise US$65.8 million of equity financing and secured up to US$432 million of debt financing for the proposed Chad and Cameroon Asset Acquisitions. The equity financing, according to the report, would be completed in January 2022.

While reviewing the “fantastic year for Savannah ”, Knott, had said: “We announced our potentially transformational acquisition of a large portfolio of upstream and midstream assets in Chad and Cameroon, which upon completion we now expect will more than double our corporate free cash flow.

“We established a Renewable Energy Division which, post period, has signed agreements for up to 750 MW of large scale greenfield solar and wind projects. We successfully renewed and amalgamated our Niger PSC areas, paving the way for the progression of our intended 35 MMstb R3 East development and a return to exploration activity in the licence areas.

“Our performance against key industry sustainability metrics relating to HSE performance, carbon intensity, senior management gender diversity, and local employee ratios remains industry-leading.”

He added: “Looking forward to the rest of 2022, I am confident in where we are as a business. We expect to deliver on our financial guidance. We expect to complete our entry to Chad and Cameroon during Q3 2022 and likely announce further hydrocarbon acquisitions.

“We expect to further grow our Renewable Energy Division, with several new large-scale Greenfield opportunities under review and negotiation. We expect to finalise the refinancing of our Nigerian debt and to announce the development and exploration plans for our assets in Niger.”

The question now is, if Savannah Energy’s attempt to close this deal to acquire the ExxonMobil and Petronas Assets in Cameroon and Chad has fallen through, why has Savannah Energy failed to announce the new situation to the market with the same gusto it announced the intended acquisitions?

Is Savannah Energy hiding anything? Or was it always a deliberate and calculated ploy to game the market?

Experts reveal How The COVID-19 Coronavirus Kill? What Happens When You Get Infected

Suffice it to say that the COVID-19 coronavirus is not a very good guest.

It has been the uninvited guest in over 287,239 humans to date based on reported cases. But the actual number is probably many more than that. It has resulted in a pandemic, which is a bad thing for a guest to do. And the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV2) has proven that it can kill, having claimed at least 11,921 lives as of today, according to a Johns Hopkins University website. But obviously the virus doesn’t have little teeth or carry teeny-weeny sticks of dynamite. So, what exactly does the virus do once it is in your body and how can it kill?

The SARS-CoV2 is a respiratory virus, meaning that it can enter and invade your respiratory system, the system from your nose to your lungs that allows you to breathe in oxygen and breath out carbon dioxide. There are many other kinds of respiratory viruses such adenoviruses, rhinoviruses, respiratory syncytial viruses (RSV), influenza, and other coronaviruses because your respiratory tract can seem like a wet, warm Walmart for these viruses. Some of these viruses tend to stay in your upper respiratory tract while others may make it down to your lower respiratory tract. Spoiler alert: SARS-CoV2 can do both.

Of note, just because two different types of viruses are both considered respiratory viruses, doesn’t mean that they are the same in other ways. The many viruses that cause the common cold including four other types of coronaviruses (OC43, HKU1, NL63, and 229E) behave very differently from the SARS-CoV2. Similarly, the SARS-CoV2 is not the same as the flu virus. Repeat, they are not the same. If you were to ask whether the flu and COVID-19 were equivalent, the answer would be no times no. As Yoda would say, the same they are not SARS-CoV2 and the influenza virus.

SARS-CoV2 gets into your respiratory tract when you breathe in respiratory droplets that have the virus or smear the virus on your face with your grubby fingers or some other contaminated object. The infection tends to begin inside your nose, you know that place in which you may periodically put your finger. The virus looks a little like either a morning star, one of those spiked medieval weapons, or a spiky massage ball. Note that even though the three of these things look similar don’t ever confuse them and use one for the other. The moment someone want to massage you with a weapon or a coronavirus, leave the spa.


Here is a illustration of the virus that’s causing a pandemic:

And for your reference, here is a spiky massage ball, which is not causing a pandemic:

The spikes on the surface of the virus consist of protein. Here’s an example of where protein is not good for you. These protein spikes are the key to the viruses’ ability to invade the cells in your respiratory tract. They help the virus find and bind to ACE2, a protein on the surface of your cells that’s the virus’s ace in the hole, so to speak, to get into your cells. This dirt bag virus then tricks your cell into helping it get inside the cell. It uses an enzyme called furin that is present in your cells to break the protein spikes in half, allowing the spikes to then guide the virus into your cells. How’s that for some political backstabbing?

Once inside your cells, the politics don’t end. This jerk virus hijack your cells’ machinery to make more copies of itself. So not only is the virus in your cells’ uninvited, it is doing the nasty there and using your stuff to do so. What a gross creep.

After these pieces-of-bleep viruses make more and more of themselves, they may invade additional cells lining your respiratory tract and begin to cause damage. They may have been able to get into your cells and knock virus boots for a while before your immune system even recognizes that something was amiss. That’s because your immune system probably has never ever seen anything like SARS-CoV2 before and hasn’t yet had the chance to set up specialized sentries and weapons ready to recognize, catch, and eliminate these filthy viruses. When it comes to SARS-CoV2, your immune system is bit like you were probably like in high school, quite naive and easy to fool, no matter how much energy you had and how many weights you lifted.

Thus, your immune system is likely caught with its virtual pants down, something that may also have happened to you in high school. Your immune system then scrambles to deal with the emergency with no real clear plan specific for SARS-CoV2. It quickly assembles and deploys a bunch of general troops to the lining of your respiratory tract, making it into a battleground.

Your startled immune system may be enough to deal with this douchebag virus if everything remains in your upper respiratory tract, that is above your trachea or windpipe. In such cases, your symptoms will likely resemble those of an upper respiratory tract infection. That is, if you even have any symptoms at all. As I wrote previously for Forbes, a study showed that 17.9% of those infected ended up having no symptoms throughout their infections. Upper respiratory symptoms can include a fever, a sore throat, nasal congestion, or a dry cough. As the World Health Organization (WHO) reported, symptoms begin an average of five to six days after the virus initially infected you with a range of one to 14 days.

You may think, OK, so far, SARS-CoV2 doesn’t sound great but it also doesn’t sound terrible. True, for a large percentage of cases, SARS-CoV2 and its damage remains uptown, north of the trachea. But let’s get down with what can go down when the infection proceeds down your respiratory tract into your respiratory tree and lungs.

Shortness of breath, chest pain or tightness, a deeper cough, and other difficulties breathing can be signs that these sons-of-viruses have made it to your lower respiratory tract. These symptoms can come from inflammation of your respiratory tree, otherwise known as your bronchial tree, the set of pipes that carry the air that you breath in and out of your lungs and allow you to sing Rolling in the Deep.

These sleazeball viruses may not stop at your bronchial tree. At the end of your respiratory tract are a bunch of balloon-like structures. No, not a collection of celebratory balloons to congratulate oxygen for reaching all the way down there. Rather, these are alveoli, which may sound like a pasta dish but instead are membranous structures that fill with the air that you inhale. Here is an illustration of some alveoli:



As you can see in the picture, alveoli are also intertwined with a network of blood vessels, represented in red and blue. These blood vessels bring blood from the rest of your body that is low in oxygen and high in carbon dioxide, a waste product of metabolism. The alveoli serve as swap markets or little eBays where oxygen from the air that you breathed in is exchanged with the carbon dioxide in your blood. The carbon dioxide goes into the alveoli, where it may be exhaled up through your respiratory tract and out through your nose and mouth. The blood that is newly infused with more oxygen subsequently travels to the rest of your body to provide all of your cells with the oxygen that they need to do stuff like live and help you take selfies of yourself.

You can see how your lungs are so important and should be among your top five favorite organs. When your alveoli don’t work properly, your body can become starved of oxygen and unable to get rid of carbon dioxide. Things can quickly go downhill after that happens.

If the viruses and the resulting battle make it down to your lungs and alveoli, it can become a pneumonia. Pneumonia is when your alveoli become inflamed and get filled up with fluid, pus, and other types of gunk. Gunk is a technical term for cells and other stuff. This can happen in one or both of your lungs, assuming that you have no more than two. Developing a pneumonia is when the infection gets really serious. The word pneumonia should never be followed by no more than “I will just walk it off” or “rude, well that’s annoying.” If you suspect that you have a pneumonia, any kind of pneumonia, contact your doctor immediately.

Of course, unless you have an X-ray machine in your home, you can’t tell for sure if you have a pneumonia. Therefore, be aware of possible symptoms such as a high fever, chills that may be accompanied by shaking, coughing up mucus that’s greenish, yellow, or bloody, chest pain, shortness of breath, and other breathing difficulties. You may also feel tired, have a loss of appetite, and suffer sweating episodes. If you start turning blue or becoming confused, those are signs that you may not be getting enough oxygen through your lungs. Turning blue is never a good sign unless you are a member of Blue Man Group. If you do turn blue, go to the emergency room immediately as opposed to go to the emergency room casually. If you are a member of Blue Man Group, please say something.

When the infection has reached your lungs, your panicked immune system can behave like an adolescent. Sure, your immune system can continue to battle the virus, but it can also be too excitable and thus end up of making matters worse. There can be a lot of, shall we say, premature activation. Your immune system can end up quickly sending more and more troops to the area, cascades of different cells and chemicals, that end up firing all over the place in random directions. This may not even root out the invader and at the same time cause additional damage to the cells in your respiratory tract. As you probably learned in high school, telling someone this frenzied to calm down probably won’t work.

The other problem is that while your immune system is battling this scoundrel virus, other nasty microbes such as bacteria can sneak into your lungs and cause havoc as well. This is analogous to when a bouncer is occupied by an unruly guest and other people are able to sneak into the nightclub. These new invaders then can cause secondary infections that subsequently flourish quickly because your defenses are currently occupied. Such infections can end up being life threatening as well.

As the damage to your lungs continues, you may develop acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), which is when your lungs have suffered so much widespread injury that you start running out of functioning alveoli to do the gas exchange work. The acronym ARDS is easy to remember because it sounds a bit like “argh.” If the damage gets to the point that your lungs can no longer effectively exchange enough oxygen and carbon dioxide, you go into respiratory failure and need a ventilator to help you breathe. In such cases, a ventilator is not an optional thing like dressing on a salad. It is an emergency measure to keep you alive. That’s why doctors are so worried about ventilator shortages right now. When you are in respiratory failure, it’s not as if you can take a number and wait for a ventilator to become available. Being out of ventilators is not the same as being out of stock of Fifty Shades of Grey books or hoodies. People will die without enough ventilators.

Being on a ventilator is still not the worst that can happen. Your immune system, you know that naive adolescent that’s been prematurely randomly firing, can go even more haywire. Real trouble occurs when your immune system begins to send chemicals and cells to not only your lungs but all over your body. The destruction then extends beyond your respiratory tract. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) describes sepsis as “the body’s extreme response to an infection. It is a life-threatening medical emergency.” Your blood pressure starts to drop, your organs starts to fail. This is DEFCON 1 for your body and possibly a point of no return.

Most people with COVID-19 don’t go down this path. According to the Report of the WHO-China Joint Mission on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), approximately 80% of those with laboratory confirmed COVID-19 end up having mild-to-moderate disease. Mild disease tend to last about two weeks.

However, based on this report, a not insignificant 13.8% of those with laboratory confirmed COVID-19 have severe disease. It can take three to six weeks to recover from severe disease, if you even do recover. Deaths, unfortunately, continue to occur.

So what are the chances of death if you have COVID-19? A CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) published on March 18 presented data on the 4,226 COVID-19 cases in the U.S. that had been reported to CDC as of March 16. Of these cases, 2,449 of these patients had a known age: 6% were 85 years or older, 25% were between 65 and 84 years old, 18% between 55 and 64, 18% between 45 and 54, 29% between 20 and 44, and 5% between 0 and 19.

As you can see, the cases have spanned the age groups of the adult population. However, the case fatality rate, which is the percentage of cases who ended up dying, was substantially higher for those 85 years and older with 10% to 27% of them not surviving. This obviously sounds very high, but keep in mind that these were cases that were diagnosed and reported to the CDC. Without more widespread testing, it is still unclear how many cases of COVID-19 had already occurred in the U.S. as of March 16. The case fatality rate for those between ages 65 and 84 was 3% to 11%, lower but still quite significant. The case fatality rate dropped to 1% to 3% for those between 55 and 64 years of age and below 1% for those between 20 and 54 years of age. No one 19 years old and below passed away.

So far, case fatality rates have continued to vary somewhat widely. In a press briefing on March 3, WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus had said that “Globally, about 3.4% of reported COVID-19 cases have died.” A study that’s currently under review at the journal Nature Research analyzed publicly available data on laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 infections in mainland China and came up with a 1.4% probability of dying from the infection after developing symptoms. Therefore, more data and studies are necessary to resolve these discrepancies in reported case fatality rates.

Regardless, all of the estimates so far remain far above the case fatality rates for seasonal influenza, which tends to be below 0.1%. This new coronavirus may have some similarities to the flu virus in that it is a respiratory virus and can kill you. But it is not the flu. Second verse same as the first, SARS-CoV2 am not the flu. The flu SARS-CoV2 is not. It is indeed something completely new and very different. And that’s the problem.

Nigeria’s MPC may retain interest rate at 13.5% as Inflation soars on Closure Border, Excess Crude Dip

Policy rate: 13.5%
Inflation rate: 11.6% (October)
Excess crude account stood at $324.54 million as of November 20

Nigeria’s central bank is likely keep its rate on hold for a fourth meeting even as inflation jumped to a 17-month high.

That’s as policy makers look for ways to jump-start an economy projected to grow just 2% this year. Governor Godwin Emefiele has said the bank won’t consider cutting rates before inflation slows to the 9% ceiling of the target band.

“The bank is focusing more on growth than inflation and currency at the moment,” said Wahab Mustapha, an analyst with Cordros Securities.

Naija247news.com earlier reported that Annual inflation was 11.61% in October, up from 11.24% in September, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Monday — the highest rate since May 2018. Consumer inflation had dropped to it lowest in almost four years in August.

A separate food price index showed inflation at 14.09% in October, compared with 13.51% a month earlier.

“This rise in the food index was caused by increases in prices of meat, oils and fats, bread and cereals, potatoes, ham and other tubers, fish and vegetables,” the statistics office said in its report. “The rise in food inflation does suggest that border closures may have played a part in temporarily pressuring prices higher,” said Razia Khan, chief economist for Africa and the Middle East at Standard Chartered.

Shoppers at a market in the capital, Abuja, told Reuters the price of many food items, particularly rice, had risen in the last few weeks.

“Food items are very expensive in the market. When you go to a store they will tell you that is because the border is closed,” said housewife Naomi Nguher, who said she was given this reason for high rice prices at four different shops.

Sherifat Ajala, a rice wholesaler in the commercial capital Lagos, said Nigeria’s bad roads were delaying the transportation of the grain, further preventing the supply from meeting high demand.

“Trucks will spend almost two or three weeks on the road before they bring the rice,” he said.

Last week the West African country, along with neighbouring Benin and Niger, agreed to set up a joint border patrol force to tackle smuggling between the nations after a meeting between their foreign ministers.

The central bank is due to set its benchmark interest rate next Tuesday. The bank, which has targeted single-digit inflation, held its main interest rate at 13.5% at its last meeting, in September.

Earlier in the month a deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and a member of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), have expressed fears that the persistent fall of Nigeria’s external reserves in recent times may induce exchange rate crisis and trigger capital outflows from the country.

Joseph Nnanna and Robert Asogwa, deputy governor in charge of economic policy and an MPC member respectively, expressed fears in their personal statements at the last meeting of the MPC seen by Naija247news

Nigeria’s excess crude account
Nigeria’s excess crude account stood at $324.54 million as of November 20, the accountant general said on Thursday.
Reviewing the external reserves movement, Nnanna said external reserves had trended downwards in recent months, declining from US$43.971 billion as at July 31, 2019 to US$ 41.79 billion as at September 16, 2019 or by US$ 2.181 billion or 4.9 percent.

Data from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has since shown that the reserves shed $2,243,157,059 in October, moving from $44,305,099,104 on the last working day of September to $42,061,942,045 as at October 30, 2018, the largest fall since 2018.

The reserves depreciation reflects weakening oil prices and CBN interventions in the foreign exchange market to ensure exchange rate and price stability.

“Although this stock of reserves could finance over 9 months of 36 imports of goods and services at end July 2019, there is need to watch this level considering that the reserves stock at the end of June 2019 could finance over 12 months imports.

“More importantly, the level of reserves has implications for capital inflows and outflows. A weakened net capital inflows position, due to weakening oil prices and external reserves position is helpful to exchange rate stability or the easing of monetary policy stance.

“This thus suggests the need to avoid monetary policy responses that could worsen the capital flows position and, hence external reserves and exchange rate stability,” Nnanna submitted at the last meeting of the MPC.

Asogwa, in his submission, explained that some considerable pressures still exist as the conditions of external reserves and current account balance seemed to have worsened in between the MPC meetings.

The oil savings account, which holds dollar reserves from sales of crude above the assumed benchmark price, contained $1.92 billion as of June 2018.

“CBN staff report shows that gross external reserves as at end of August 2019 declined by 4.7 percent when compared to the levels at end July and there are expectations of additional declines by the fourth quarter of 2019.

“There are, however, fears that this declining trend in external reserves may affect exchange rate stability in the near future,” he said.

The country’s foreign reserves, which saw a remarkable surge in 2018, following improved oil prices, and hitting $47.8 billion in June, has begun to take a downward turn due to shocks from the US market.

“Given the increase in inflation, we now expect that policymakers will leave their key rate on hold,” John Ashbourne, senior emerging markets economist at London-based Capital Economics, said in a note on Monday.

In 2020, Nigeria Stock Exchange to Launch Equity Index Futures To Boost Investors Confidence

By Mahmoud Habboush and Emele Onu

Other products may follow, Lagos exchange CEO Onyema says

Lobbying government to exempt securities trade from tax

The Nigerian Stock Exchange, Africa’s second-largest bourse, plans to introduce trading in financial derivatives next year as it seeks to deepen the market.

“We will launch with equity index futures and then grow the list from there,” Chief Executive Officer Oscar Onyema said in an interview in Abu Dhabi Tuesday. The exchange plans to introduce futures and options to enable investors to hedge and manage risks, he said at the Africa Investment Summit organized by the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.

Nigeria is seeking to encourage trading in the wake of a 14% slide in its benchmark index this year, the fourth-worst performer among 94 global equity gauges tracked by Bloomberg. While efforts to introduce derivatives in the past were hampered by the lack of a central counter-party clearing house, one has now been set up and the Lagos bourse is seeking a license for it from regulators, Onyema said.

Onyema has long been floating plans to introduce derivatives trading since his appointment in 2011, but has continually delayed its launch.

The Lagos stock exchange is also in talks with regulators to increase the share of pension fund investment into equities, to raise the current allocation to stocks at 4.95%, Onyema said. There are already signs that stocks are starting to “rally a little bit” thanks to an inflow of pension-fund money after the Central Bank of Nigeria tightened restrictions on which investors could trade its high-yielding, short-term, fixed-income debt securities.

The bourse is also lobbying President Muhammadu Buhari’s government to offer tax breaks to companies and exempt securities transactions from value-added tax to boost investment, according to Onyema. Nigeria, which vies with South Africa as the continent’s biggest economy is seeking to expand tax revenue amid a decline in income from crude oil, which contributes the bulk of the nation


Pension Administration Investors Stash Funds in FGN Bonds as Slow Down on Nigeria Equities in Q3 2019 worsens

The National Pension Commission (NPC) recently released its report on pension fund assets for the
third quarter of 2019 showing that the total value of pension assets rose quarter on quarter (q-o-q)
by 2.76% to N9.58 trillion in September 2019 from N9.33 trillion in June 2019.

According to the report, most of the pension fund assets were
invested in FGN securities as its share of the total assets stood at 71.43% (or N6.84 trillion) in
September 2019, from a 69.55% it printed in June 2019.

Also, the Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) piled up money in Local Money Market
Securities (LMMS), although its share of the total assets was flattish q-o-q at 11.21% (or N1.07 trillion) in September.

Total invested fund in Corporate Debt Securities as a percentage of total pension fund assets stood at 6.49% (or N0.62 trillion) in September 2019 from 5.42% in June 2019.

However, funds invested in Real Estate Properties as a fraction of the total pension fund assets dropped to 2.42% (or N0.23 trillion) from 2.68% (or N0.25 billion) in the period under review.

Similarly, we saw Cash and Other Assets which constitute 0.28% (or N26.47 billion) of the total pension fund assets in September 2019 declined from 2.30% (or N214.21 billion) in June 2019.

Further breakdown of the N6.84 trillion FGN Securities revealed that investment in FGN Bonds, by the PFAs gulped N4.48 trillion in September 2019, rising from a N4.44 trillion it recorded in June 2019.

Investment in Treasury Bills rose to N2.26 trillion in September 2019, from N1.94 trillion in June 2019; however, investments in Sukuk and Green Bonds were relatively low as their respective shares of allocated pension assets stood at N80.53 billion and N13.38 billion in the quarter under review.

Also, the breakdown of investment in LMMS showed that more pension fund assets were invested in Banks (which include Open Market Operations, OMO, and DMBs fixed deposits) than in commercial papers.

Funds invested in Banks, constituting 88.79% of investment in LMMS, rose to N0.95 trillion in September 2019 from N0.94 trillion in June 2019 while investment in commercial papers, constituting 11.21% of investment in LMMS, increased to N0.12 trillion from N0.11 trillion.

Meanwhile, pension fund assets investment in the domestic equities market moderated to N0.49 trillion in September 2019 from N0.54 trillion in June 2019; thus, reducing the weight of total pension funds in local equities market to 5.13% from 5.76%.

Nevertheless, the equities market received some of “patronage” from “RSA FUND 11” as its share (N0.33 trillion) of the total pension fund investment in equities stood at 61.11% in September 2019.

Nigeria’s Composite Purchasing Managers’ Index 65.00 62.50 60.00 57.50 55.00 Source: NBS, Cowry Research

Non-Manufacturing Composite PMI
Manufacturing Composite PMI
The increased investment by PFAs in FGN Securities, especially FGN Bonds, was purposely to take advantage of the high yield in the bonds market as at September 2019.

With the benefit of hind sight, it is apparent that pension money managers took the right decision then given the crash in fixed income yields.

Meanwhile, treasury bills across different tenor buckets that matured this week were mostly refinanced at single-digit rates by CBN.

As there will be no T-bills auction in December 2019, we expect the current demand for T-bills to spill over to the bonds market; hence a reduction in bond yields is anticipated for most maturities.

More so, with the recent restriction of OMO transactions to only deposit money banks and foreign portfolio investors as well as the soon retirement of the current N950 billion worth of pension Investment in OMO bills, we expect bonds yields and rates to collapse going forward.

Hence, with the anticipated reduction in yields, we expect returns on pensioners’ funds to moderate in Q4 2019.

Thus, we opine that it is time the PFAs took advantage of the low stock prices and invest more in equities, given the high dividend returns in some selected stocks and the potential capital appreciation they also offer as stock prices have dropped way below their net book values.

FMAFS distributes 14,633 hybrid coconut seedlings to farmers in five states


September 28, 2023.

Azonuchechi Chukwu.

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (FMAFS) distributed 14,633 hybrid coconut seedlings to farmers in five states on Tuesday to boost productivity.

The states that benefitted are Lagos, Edo, Anambra, Akwa-Ibom, and Kogi.

The ministry explained that it carefully selected the five major coconut-producing states as beneficiaries because of their optimal production, adding that other producing states would benefit soon.

In a message to the ceremony, Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Sen. Abubakar Kyari, stated that the coconut seedlings distribution aimed at mitigating the effect of the 2022 flooding.

He added that the event marked a significant step toward the growth and prosperity of the country’s coconut industry.

The minister was represented by Mrs Omolara Oguntuyi, Director, FMAFS, Lagos State office.

“In Nigeria, the coconut sector holds immense potential to drive economic growth, enhance food security and promote sustainability.

“The coconut value chain is among the crops being promoted by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security.

“We envision a future where Nigeria is not only self-sufficient in coconut production but also become a global leader in the coconut industry.

“As we distribute these seedlings today, I encourage our coconut farmers to embrace this opportunity with enthusiasm and determination,” she said.

She commended the efforts of coconut farmers and urged them to push the frontiers of the sector.

“Your unwavering commitment to nurturing these palms, often under challenging circumstances, especially through the flooding period, has contributed to the economic growth and food security of our nation.

“In addition to the seedlings, government is committed to providing the necessary support, training, and provision of resources to help you to maximise your coconut farming potentials.

“Together, we will build a vibrant coconut industry that benefits farmers and enhances the livelihoods of countless Nigerians,” she added.

In his remarks, Mr Oladapo Olakulehin, General Manager, Lagos State Coconut Development Authority reiterated government’s commitment to growing the coconut sector and improving its value chain.

“This occasion marks a significant milestone in our on-going efforts to bolster agricultural production and enhance food and nutrition security in Lagos State and the entire country.

“I express our gratitude to FMAFS for its commitment to support our coconut farmers particularly in the face of flooding challenges that posed significant threats to our agriculture sector.

“We are committed to creating a sustainable and prosperous future for our coconut farmers, promoting entrepreneurship, and ensuring a greener, healthier, and more economically-vibrant Lagos State for all its residents.

“The distribution of improved coconut seedlings by FMAFS today is a clear testament to the positive impact of collaborative efforts in ensuring the success of our coconut farmers.

“These seedlings, tailored to thrive in our local conditions, will empower small-holder coconut farmers to increase their yields, improve the quality of their produce, and ultimately elevate their economic status,” Olakulehin said. (www.naija247news.com).

NLC strike: Stock your home with food, others – Labour Party tells supporters

Sept 28,2023.

The Labour Party has urged its supporters across the country to stock their homes with necessary items ahead of the proposed indefinite strike by organized labour.

Naija247News reports that the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, and the Trade Union Congress, TUC, may be shutting down the country’s economy on October 3 to press home their demands for better working conditions.

In a statement issued on Wednesday by its National Publicity Secretary, Obiora Ifoh, the Labour Party leadership also declared support for the proposed indefinite strike.

According to the party, President Bola Tinubu’s administration does not care about the hardship bedevilling the nation following the removal of fuel subsidy.

The party lamented that the economic reality of the country has led to the withdrawal of some students by parents who are unable to remit their children’s school fees.

Part of the statement reads, “The party fully supports the resolution of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, and the Trade Union Congress, TUC, to embark on an industrial action slated to commence on Tuesday, October 3rd.

“Labour Party is surprised that the government claims that it has removed subsidies on petroleum products and that it now generates over a trillion naira monthly, yet finds it difficult to address workers’ demands.

“Daily, Nigerians are subjected to harsh economic realities where the inflation rate is nearing 30 per cent, where a dollar is sold above N1000, and where per capita income has depreciated.

“Many families are withdrawing their wards from schools over a hike in school fees, while criminal activities are surging daily.

“We think the Nigerian workers have shown enough patience and understanding. We are also using this medium to inform all our members and supporters to stock their homes with their necessary needs, ahead of a long-drawn mass action until victory is ascertained. No retreat, no surrender.(www.naija247news.com)

Biden appoints two Nigerian-Americans as advisers

Sept 28,2023.

United State of America President Joe Biden has appointed two Nigerian-Americans as advisers.

The appointees – Osagie Imasogie and Chiney Ogwumike – are part of the 12 members of the President’s Advisory Council on African Diaspora Engagement in the United States.

Congratulating the duo on the appointment, the Chairperson of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa, said their recognition and appointment into the 12-member advisory council is a motivation for other Nigerians and Africans in general.

“The nomination of the two great Nigerians into the advisory council is a welcome development,” she said on Wednesday in a statement by the commission’s spokesman, Abdur-Rahman Balogun.

Chinenye Ogwumike is a two-time WNBA All-Star for the Los Angeles Sparks and a full-time, multi-platform ESPN commentator and NBA analyst

She is one of the only full-time professional athletes to also currently hold a full-time regular national sports media broadcast position.

Ogwumike was the 2014 WNBA Rookie of the Year and is a two-time WNBA All-Star (2014, 2018). She is proudly Nigerian-American and graduated from Stanford University with an International Relations degree under the mentorship of Dr. Condoleezza Rice.

In August 2020, she became the first Black woman to host a national daily sports-talk radio show.

The 2021 Forbes 30 under 30 honoree also holds the title of Executive Producer, producing an ESPN Films documentary “144” on the 2020 WNBA season.

Osagie Imasogie, on the other hand, is the Chairman of the Investment Bank and SEC/FINRA registered Broker-Dealer, Quoin Capital and Quoin Advisors.

In addition, Imasogie is a co-founder of PIPV Capital, a private equity firm that is focused on the life sciences vertical and has invested over $1 billion into that industry.

Prior to co-founding PIPV Capital, he established GlaxoSmithKline Ventures and was its founding Vice President.

Imasogie has held senior commercial and R&D positions within pharmaceutical companies such as GSK, SmithKline Beecham, and DuPont Merck. He has also been a Price Waterhouse Corporate Finance Partner as well as a practising attorney with leading U.S. law firm, Schnader, Harrison, Segal & Lewis.

Imasogie is a serial entrepreneur and investor who serves on the board of a number of financial institutions such as FS-KKR Capital Corp and Haverford Trust, institutions that cumulatively manage over $28 billion. He is an adviser to Brown Advisory, a firm that manages in excess of $140 billion.

Imasogie is the Vice-Chair of the Executive Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and a member of the Executive Committee and Chair of the Nominating & Governance Committee of the Philadelphia Orchestra and Kimmel Center.

In addition, Imasogie is a Trustee of the University of Pennsylvania, a member of the Executive Committee of the University, and is also the Chairman of the Board of the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School, where he is an Adjunct Professor of Intellectual Property.

Imasogie holds LLM degrees from the London School of Economics and the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School, and is a member of the New York State Bar in addition to being admitted to practice in other jurisdictions.(www.naija247news.com)

Graduate of Ambrose Ali University, Attempts Suicide Over Withheld Results


September 28, 2023.

Azonuchechi Chukwu.

A Graduate of Ambrose Ali University, Ekpoma, Edo State, identified as Precious Ogbeide, has attempted suicide over the alleged university’s refusal to issue him and several other students their results after they graduated from school in 2018.

Our correspondent learnt that Ogbeide, whose parents claimed he had been battling depression due to his inability to be issued his results after spending five years in the school, started to stab himself with pieces of a bottle he had broken.

Some aggrieved students of the school had lamented the inability to receive their degree results after spending five years undergoing the programme, claiming that the situation had demoralised them.

According to them, they are facing a bleak future as a result of the development.

According to reports, it was learnt from the aggrieved students that the tertiary institution had been promising them that the backlog of results would be cleared and students who were yet to be mobilised for the National Youth Service Corps scheme would be settled.

However, a source, who was privy to Monday’s incident, told our correspondent that Ogbeide became frustrated and decided to end his life over the matter.

The source, who craved anonymity, said, “I received a call at about 3:30 pm on Monday that Ogbeinde had been rushed to the hospital. I was told he had been showing signs of depression and that they had tried to help in every possible way they could.

“The mother told me that he just stood up all of a sudden with a bottle and smashed it on the floor. They told me it was a slip. But he started to pierce his neck and body with the pieces of the broken bottle.

“It was the efforts of his relative present at the time of the incident that overpowered him before he was rushed to the hospital where he is currently receiving treatment.

“He said he was tired of everything. He said he had not been able to face his parents and family members after going to school for five years without any result to show for it.

“He could not get a job because they kept asking him to provide his certificate. He said any time he met those who could help him get a job, they would tell him to wait for his result. He was just fed up with the whole thing and became frustrated that his future was on hold.”

Meanwhile, the school, through the Head of Corporate Communications and Protocol, Mike Aladenika, had told PUNCH Metro that the students affected by certificate and result issues might have had issues with some courses during their time in school.

“If you had graduated and done all you were asked to do while you were a student, you would not have problems with your results.

“Some of the students who did not take cognizance of the deficiencies they had with their courses are the ones facing these challenges,” Aladenika stated.

Kwankwaso Will Remain Serial Loser in Presidential Elections – Ganduje

Sept 28,2023.

National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr. Abdullahi Ganduje, has said his former boss and presidential candidate of New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, would remain a serial loser in presidential contests because he is always driven by personal ambition.

Ganduje spoke in Abuja, Tuesday night, when he received the Bauchi State NNPP governorship candidate in the 2023 general election, Senator Haliru Jika, who formally returned to APC during an event at the national secretariat of the party.

In a symbolic act to mark the political shift, Ganduje, while receiving Jika and his group into APC, removed the characteristic red cap of the Kwankwasiyya group and replaced it with President Bola Tinubu’s signature cap bearing the unbroken chain insignia.

Alleging that Kwankwaso’s personal ambition had seen him change political parties a number of times, Ganduje stressed that the founder of Kwankwasiyya would prefer to be “a king in hell than be a servant in paradise” because he prioritised his personal ambition over national interest.

The APC national chairman said when he learnt Jika was coming to see him at his residence to discuss the way forward, he knew he was about to meet a formidable politician and a household name in Bauchi State.

According to Ganduje, Jika is returning to a party that is very progressive and focused, “when we look at where he is coming from. He is coming from a party that used to be a decent party and highly respected but was later hijacked and polluted by the Kwankwasiyya group”.

Ganduje said they were happy that the original NNPP was taking back its proper position and leaving the Kwankwasiyya group deserted and thrown out completely.

He stated, “The Kwankwasiyya group headed by the former Kano State governor was forced to go into a sabbatical leave for eight years before it found its way back to Government House in Kano.

“The Kwankwasiyya head, who wears a red cap, is the person, who prefers to be a king in hell than be a servant in paradise. He specialises in deceiving people. He was first in PDP and came back to APC, when it was formed. That was when the nPDP merged with the legacy parties to form the APC.

“Instead of staying in APC, because of his ambition, he decided to leave APC, after failing to pick the presidential ticket, to go back to the PDP. He could not stay there, again, when he failed to pick up the ticket.

He still went on his own to contest the presidential poll and was defeated twice.

“He is a professional contestant for presidential elections and would remain a professional failure. He loves himself so much. I am happy you have dumped the red cap. It is a very sensible action that you have taken.”

Ganduje assured the returnees of inclusiveness in the running of APC in Bauchi State as part of an ongoing effort to reposition the party ahead of the 2027 polls. He said the party regretted its performance in the state at the last general election.

Addressing newsmen after meeting with Ganduje, the former NNPP candidate said the interest of his teeming supporters in Bauchi State was behind his decision to return to APC.

Jika stated, “My dumping NNPP for APC has nothing to do with the presidential candidate of NNPP. I have no issue with Kwankwaso. The interest of Bauchi State informed my returning to APC.”

Jika, a ninth National Assembly senator, disclosed that Vice President Kashim Shettima and the first lady, Senator Remi Tinubu, also influenced his decision to return to the APC fold.

He pledged to remain loyal to APC and ensure its victory in 2027, both in the state and at the federal level.(www.naija247news.com)

Tribunal dismisses ex-gov Nnamani petition against LP Senator, Kelvin Chukwu

Sept 28,2023.

National election tribunal sitting in Enugu has affirmed the victory of Senator Kelvin Chukwu of the Labour party.

The tribunal struck out the petition filed by the former Governor of Enugu state, Senator Chimaroke Nnamani of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, challenging Chukwu’s victory.

Recall that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, had declared Chukwu, who replaced his late brother murdered during the campaign ahead of the February 25, 2023, as the winner of the Enugu East Senatorial district election. He scored over 69,000 votes to defeat Chimaroke Nnamani who secured about 49,000 votes.

Dissatisfied with the result, Nnamani approached the tribunal and urged the tribunal to declare him the rightful winner of the election or cancel the election.

He alleged alleged that the election was marred by over-voting, irregularities, election malpractices and non-compliance with the electoral guidelines and

Ruling on the matter Wednesday, the tribunal comprising a three-man honourable Justices unanimously upheld Chukwu’s victory.

They dismissed Nnamni petition for being vague, lacking in merit, incompetent, generic and academic exercise

The panel led by Justice Nusirat I. Umar unani also awarded a cost of N500,000 against the petitioners in favour of the three respondents, Kelvin Chukwu, Labour Party and INEC.(www.naija247news.com)

Presidential Election: Afenifere Backs Obi’s Decision To Appeal Tribunal Judgment

Sept 28,2023.

The Yoruba socio-cultural group Afenifere has doubled down on its support for Peter Obi, the Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate in the 2023 election.

The group disclosed that it is backing the decision to appeal the Presidential Election Petitions Court (PEPC) judgment that affirmed President Bola Tinubu’s election.

Recall that the court dismissed Obi’s petition and that of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s Atiku Abubakar, challenging the declaration of Tinubu as winner of the presidential election.

Days after Obi filed an appeal at the Supreme Court, Afenifere expressed support for the former Anambra State governor’s move.

Reacting to the development, the group said it will not deviate from the principles of fairness, equity and justice that informed its decision to support Obi

In a communique after a meeting held at its leader Chief Ayo Adebanjo’s Ogun residence on Tuesday, the group said it “remains convinced and undeterred on the just principles with which we agreed to support Mr. Peter Obi, the Presidential candidate of the Labour Party.

“In line with our disagreement with the judgment of the Court of Appeal on the 2023 elections, we support a further appeal to the Supreme Court in the interest of the nation.”

It also faulted the court’s “pronouncements that the INEC is at liberty to return to the manual collation of election results and all the primitive electoral brigandage associated.

“Neither is it true with our political structure that Nigeria is now a 37-state federation as the Court of Appeal erroneously pronounced.”

Afenifere further maintained that “no person or group of persons shall hold the reins of power except in the proven interest of a fair, equitable, inclusive and thus united Nigeria in their peaceful, prosperous and harmonious diversity.”(www.naija247news.com)

Prophet Fufeyin gives N10m scholarship to late MohBad’s son

Sept 28,2023.

In a heartwarming display of compassion and generosity, Warri, Delta State-based Prophet Jeremiah Fufeyin has offered N10 million scholarship to Liam Aloba, the five-month-old son of late Nigerian musician, Promise Oladimeji Aloba, a.k.a MohBad.

The social media became abuzz with the donation of N10 million to the late Mohbad’s family when a delegation apparently from Fufeyin visited the Lagos home of Mohbad.

The death of the Nigerian singer has raised dust for weeks now given the circumstances leading to his death.

Meanwhile, social media platforms erupted with praises and commendations for the revered spiritual leader, with numerous prominent figures and netizens expressing their appreciation for his benevolent gesture.

X (formerly Twitter) users, including prominent figures took to their accounts to laud Prophet Fufeyin’s act of philanthropy. Many described it as a shining example of true leadership, empathy, and love for fellow citizens.

@nnekajim tweeted, “I’m beyond impressed with Prophet Jeremiah Fufeyin’s donation to Mohbad’s son. This is what true leadership and empathy look like.”

@imolenizationtv, a mother herself, shared, “As a mother, I can only imagine how grateful Mohbad’s family must be feeling right now. Prophet Jeremiah Fufeyin’s contribution will go a long way towards securing the future of Mohbad’s son. 10 million naira is no small money in Nigeria now oo.”

Prophet Jeremiah Fufeyin’s act of kindness not only highlights the power of compassion but also serves as a reminder of the positive impact individuals can have on society when they extend a helping hand.

Naija247News aptly summarised the sentiments of many with their tweet: “The world needs more people like Prophet Jeremiah Fufeyin. His contribution to Mohbad’s family will undoubtedly change their lives for the better.”

In a world often filled with challenges and uncertainties, acts of kindness like this one continue to inspire hope and demonstrate the potential for positive change. Prophet Jeremiah Fufeyin’s actions have not only touched the lives of the recipients but also ignited a collective appreciation for the power of compassion in making the world a better place.(www.naija247news.com)

How Obaseki Sidelined Deputy From Executive Council Meetings, Asked Shaibu To Drop Governorship Ambition

Sept 28,2023.

Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki has allegedly asked his deputy Philip Shaibu to publicly drop his ambition to run for the 2024 state governorship poll or be excluded from all government activities, including the state Executive Council meetings.

The governor, who is from Edo South Senatorial district, and Shaibu (from Edo North) are reportedly at loggerheads over the latter’s ambition.

Obaseki allegedly supports Asue Ighodalo, a lawyer from Edo Central and chairman of the Board of Trustees of Alaghodaro, an annual investment drive by the state government.

Shaibu has, however, insisted that he would partake in the governorship election.

According to The Nation, Obaseki held the state’s weekly executive council meeting/ retreat in Lagos without Shaibu.

Obaseki allegedly sent the deputy governor to Abuja, apparently to get him away from the meeting/retreat.

The two-day retreat for newly-appointed Edo commissioners and other top officials of the government was tagged: “Exco Retreat with Mr. Governor.”

An Obaseki ally, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the retreat was a yearly ritual for strategic events to brainstorm on the programmes of the government and set an agenda for the coming year.

It was gathered that during the retreat, Obaseki told members of his cabinet that should Shaibu dare to participate in the Peoples Democratic Party governorship primaries, his security vote and participation in government activities would be halted.

A source said: “Obaseki surreptitiously sent Shaibu to represent him in two Abuja events, while he (Edo governor) went to a Lagos resort, along with his commissioners and heads of Edo Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs), to hold the state’s weekly exco meeting, without any prior notice to Shaibu on either the change of exco meeting’s day or venue.

“Obaseki’s decision to send his deputy on a wild-goose chase to Abuja is connected to his (Edo governor’s) decision to ensure that his deputy could not justifiably argue that he was deliberately schemed out of the Lagos exco meeting when he was also on state assignments.

“Shaibu was deliberately not informed of any decision to hold the exco meeting on Monday instead of the usual Wednesday or that it would be taken to Lagos.

“Notice of the meeting was kept top secret and deliberately shielded from the deputy to ensure that even if he managed to return to Benin City from his Abuja assignments before the end of the meeting, he would not be able to attend.

“Edo governor does not want his deputy to be with him at the Lagos exco meeting and retreat until he is able to meet all conditions set for reconciliation, one of which is that he must publicly renounce his governorship ambition, for Obaseki to consolidate on his choice of Asue Ighodalo as his successor.”(www.naija247news.com)

”I tried getting help for Mohbad and paying for his ‘brain scans’—Naira Marley

September 28, 2023.

Azonuchechi Chukwu.

Naira Marley has revealed that himself and his friend, Sam Larry, never had an encounter with Mohbad.

He added that he had psychlogical issue and he helped with brain scans and wanted helping with treatment but he insisted that his parents will take care of him.

He also suggested traveling out but he needed someone he trusted to go with him because he was forgetting his lyrics, account number, phone number and even his songs.(www.naija247news.com).

Kano Government Says Over 4000 Intending Couples Register For Mass Wedding, Warns That Any Divorcee Will Refund Costs

Sept 28,2023.

The Kano State Hisbah Board has said over 4000 prospective couples have registered to participate in the state-planned mass wedding scheduled for next month.

The board added that it had succeeded in selecting 1,800 couples and they were already being scheduled for medical screening as part of the prerequisite arrangement of the mass wedding proceedings.

Hisbah Deputy Commander General (operations), Dr Mujahid Aminuddeen, revealed that the selected couples would be subjected to HIV/AIDS, genotype and drug tests before they would finally be drafted for the sponsored mass wedding scheduled for next month, Daily Trust reports.

Mujahid said that though the state government intended to marry off 1,800 in the first batch, over 4000 intended couples trooped to the board to get registered.

“The government has made provision for only 1,800 but we have received thousands that have indicated interest to participate in the mass wedding. But when we briefed the Governor on the issue he assured the government’s commitment to continue with the programme. He even asked us to write and start processing for the next batch”’

After going through the applications, we would further screen the list to verify genuine participants and then forward it to the governor.”

Malam Mujahid further stated that due to the recent economic downturn currently plaguing the nation, many people wanted to participate in the mass wedding especially girls and women whose parents wanted to marry them off but were unable to afford the cost of preparing the wedding process.

He advised the beneficiaries of the scheme to live in harmony, adding that those who divorce their spouses on flimsy excuses after the marriage would be made to pay back what the government expends on their wedding.

While shedding more light on the budgeted N20m set aside for the wedding party as earlier announced by the Board Commander, General Sheikh Aminu Daurawa, the Deputy Commander General (Women), Dr Khadija Sagir Sulaiman, revealed that the said amount was not set aside for the Walima (wedding party) only but it would also cover the pre-wedding activities including three days induction course for the couple and the entrepreneurship course for the women.

An entrepreneurship course would be organised for the women. You know the women are to be given N20,000 each as capital, so when they learn a business skill such as soap making, car wash production, pomade, etc., they will be able to start a business with that capital. These are the things the said amount would be spent on.”

It would be recalled that the administration of the state government headed by Alhaji Abba Kabir Yusuf has earmarked over N800 million for mass weddings to procure furniture, food items, and clothing materials, dowry, and capital for 1,800 intending couples under its mass wedding scheme.

Many prospective couples expressed gratitude to the Kano State governor for providing the opportunity for them to get married in their lifetime.(www.naija247news.com)


Naira Closes at N994/$1 in the Parallel Market

September 28, 2023.

Azonuchechi Chukwu.

Nigerian Naira appreciated against Dollar at the parallel market segment of the foreign exchange (FX) market on Wednesday, with its value strengthening against the Dollar.

The value of the Naira improved against the greenback in the black market during the trading day by N5 to close at N994/$1, in contrast to Tuesday’s closing price of N999/$1.

Similarly, the local currency appreciated against the US Dollar in the P2P on Wednesday by N7 to quote at N1,013/$1 compared with the preceding day’s exchange rate of N1,020/$1.(www.naija247news.com).

Equity market extends downtrend, All Share Index drops by 0.34%

September 28, 2023.

Azonuchechi Chukwu.

The equity market on Tuesday closed on a bearish note as downtrend extended to four straight sessions.

The All Share Index dropped by 0.34% to settle at 66,652.17 points from the previous close of 66,882.64 points.

The Market Capitalisation declined by 0.34% to close at N36.479 trillion from the previous close of N36.605 trillion, thereby shedding N126 billion.

An aggregate of 364 million units of shares were traded in 7,018 deals, valued at N4.5 billion.

The Market Breadth closed balanced as 22 equities appreciated in their share prices against 22 that declined.

Percentage Gainers

Consolidated Hallmark insurance and Cornerstone Insurance led other gainers with 10.00% growth each to close at N1.10 and N1.65 from the previous close of N1.00 anD N1.50 resectively.

UPDCREIT and BETAGLASS also grew their share prices by 9.86% and 9.85% respectively.

Percentage Losers

Conoil, FTN Cocoa and OANDO top the list of price decliners by shedding 9.99%, 9.95% and 9.81% to close the day at N80.20, N1.72 and N9.65 from their previous closes of N89.10, N1.91 and N10.70 respectively.

Volume Drivers

ACCESSCOR traded about 50 million units of its shares in 761 deals, valued at about N784.9 million.

TRANSCORP traded about 48.5 million units of its shares in 508 deals, valued at N291 million.

UBA traded about 45.7 million units of its shares in 547 deals, valued at N787 million.(www.naija247news.com).

Court to rule on late gospel singer, Osinachi’s husband’s no case submission October 17

Sept 28,2023.

Justice Njideka K. Nwosu-Iheme of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Wuse Zone 2, Abuja has fixed Tuesday October 17 to rule on the no case submission application filed by Peter Nwachukwu, husband of the late gospel singer, Osinachi, in view of the homicide and domestic violence-related suit instituted against him by the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation on June 3, 2022.

Late Osinachi died on April 8, 2022. Many of her colleagues in music had alleged that her husband maltreated her while she was alive and this led to her death. The Nigeria Police thereafter, arrested Nwachukwu and eventually handed his case file to the OAGF for prosecution.

Upon arraignment, Justice Njideka K. Nwosu-Iheme, remanded the defendant at the Kuje Correctional Facility pending the hearing and determination of the case after he had pleaded not guilty to 23-count charge bordering on domestic violence and homicide, among others.

Trial had commenced on June 20, 2022 with the prosecution calling 17 witnesses to give evidence while eventually closing its case on March 10, 2023.

The report saw no mark of violence on the deceased and listed the causes of her death to include “generalized organ pallor, bilateral leg swelling, fluid in the sac containing the heart. Tumor deposits in and on the heart, lungs, kidneys. Massively enlarged heart” and “fluid around the lungs which restrict breathing.”

Nwachukwu’s lawyer, A. Aliyu, then filed a no case submission, implying his client has no case to answer. The lawyer told the court that the evidence of medical practitioners presented by the prosecution completely exonerated his client from the charge of culpable homicide.

He noted that the medical practitioners testified that the deceased did not suffer any form of violence resulting to her death, adding that the reported confirmed his client’s wife died “solely as a result of outgrowth tumors, which resulted in cardiac tamponade, the primary cause of death and abnormal growth of tissue (cancer) which is secondary cause of death.”

The lawyer accused Nwachukwu’s in-laws of trying to frame him up, insisting the autopsy “shows there was no mark of violence on the deceased at the time the autopsy was conducted.” On the children’s testimony (14 years and below) against their father, the lawyer contended that they were “tutored” on what to say.

At the resumption of hearing on Tuesday, Aliyu urged the court to upload his no case submission and discharge the defendant.

On the part of the prosecution, its legal team asked the court to discountenance the defendant’s submission while ordering him to enter defence in the case.

The presiding judge then adjourned the case for ruling.(www.naija247news.com)

IMF advises Nigeria, others on eliminating tax exemptions

September 28, 2023.

Azonuchechi Chukwu.

The International Monetary has advised Nigeria and other Sub-Saharan African countries to focus on eliminating tax exemptions and mobilise domestic revenue to reduce their fiscal deficits.

It said this was a better approach than reducing fiscal expenditure which could be detrimental to economic development. The lender stated this in a paper titled, ‘How to avoid a debt crisis in Sub-Saharan Africa.’

IMF stated thus:

“Sub-Saharan African countries tend to rely excessively on expenditure cuts to reduce their fiscal deficits. Although this may be warranted in some circumstances, revenue measures, like eliminating tax exemptions or digitalising filing and payment systems, should play a greater role.

“Mobilising domestic revenue is less detrimental to growth in countries where initial tax levels are low, whereas the cost associated with reducing expenditures is particularly high given Africa’s large development needs. While difficult to achieve, large and rapid increases in revenue have been observed in some countries like The Gambia, Rwanda, Senegal, and Uganda, which relied on a mix of revenue administration and tax policy measures.”(www.naija247news.com).

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