BREAKING: NGX market capitalisation crosses N40trillion

The market capitalisation of the Nigerian Exchange Limited crossed the N40tn mark at the close of trading on Wednesday.

This milestone comes 10 months after the market cap hit N30tn on the back of the interest of domestic investors.

Similarly, the benchmark index of the exchange, the All-Share Index crossed 73,000 basis points on Wednesday days after hitting 72,000 points.

Both the market cap and the ASI closed trading at N40.164tn and 73,397.71 respectively.

Details later…

(Punch)

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Nigerian Dailies: 10 talking points this Tuesday

Good morning! Here is today’s summary from Nigerian Newspapers:

1. The organized Labour and the Federal Government are on a collision course over the government’s failure to sustain the payment of N35,000 wage award to workers. Workers in the Federal Civil Service, in separate interviews with our correspondent on Monday, noted that the Federal Government only paid N35,000 wage award for September.

2. The Corporate Affairs Commission is set to delist 91,843 companies for failing to file their annual returns with it. In a list published on its website, the commission listed 91,843 companies for delisting (2,738 less than the 94,581 it initially published in August). This is still less than the initial 100,000 companies that CAC said it would remove in an earlier announcement.

3. The Federal Government, on Monday, said the naira redesign policy of the previous administration ran farmers bankrupt. The naira redesign issue came up at the National Assembly when the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Senator Abubakar Kyari, appeared for the defence of his ministry’s budget. The agriculture minister said the focus of the 2024 budgetary proposals for the sector was to achieve food security in the country.

4. A traditional ruler in Akpabuyo Local Government Area of Cross River State, Etiyin Maurice Edet, has been abducted by some gunmen, who invaded his residence on Sunday night. An aide to the traditional ruler was shot dead in the process. The spokesperson for the state police command, Irene Ugbo, confirmed the incident but said details were still sketchy as of press time.

5. The eight students of the Federal University of Lafia, Nasarawa State, kidnapped by some criminals, have regained their freedom. Confirming the release of the students to our correspondent on Monday, a community leader in Keana Local Government Area, Mr Spencer Jerry, said the students arrived in Kwarra village at about 8pm on Sunday.

6. No fewer than 27 out 32 members of the Rivers State Assembly on Monday defected from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to the All Progressives Congress, APC. The lawmakers announced their defection in a group photograph where they were seen holding APC flag.

7. The members of the Northern Regional Caucus of the House of Representatives have pledged N450 million worth of infrastructure to the victims of the drone attacks in Tudun Biri community, Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State. They announced the gesture on Monday when they visited Government House, Kaduna, to commiserate with the government over the recent bomb incident.

8. The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has demanded that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, should immediately commence the process of conducting fresh elections into the 27 State Constituencies in Rivers State. This, the party said, was sequel to the vacancy created when “27 Rivers State lawmakers” willfully abandoned their seats by defecting to the All Progressives Congress, APC.

9. The naira appreciated by 27.16 per cent to close at N864.29/$ on the official Investors and Exporter window on Monday. This is as the daily turnover of the dollar surged by 86.83 per cent to $132.46m at the closing of trading from $70.90m last Friday.

10. Super Eagles and Napoli striker, Victor Osimhen, as well as Super Falcons’ forward, Asisat Oshoala won big at the 2023 CAF Awards, sweeping the men and women’s player of the year awards at the Palais des Congrès in Marrakech, Morocco on Monday. It’s the first time one country will produce winners of both awards.

(Daily Post)

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Nigerian Dailies: 10 talking points this Sunday

Good morning! Here is today’s summary from Nigerian Newspapers:

1. Vice-President Kashim Shettima, on Saturday, said average Nigerians are angry with government officials and other members of the elite class, following the high cost of living. The vice president stated this during the graduation ceremony of the Executive Intelligence Management Course, organised by the National Institute for Security Studies.

2. The Department of State Services (DSS) says plans are underway to commence the production of its Unmanned Ariel Vehicles, UAVs, also known as drones, AK-47s, and other weapons that would be used by the service and possibly sell to other agencies.

3. The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC and the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, will commence the prosecution of electoral offenders in January. The electoral offences include culpable homicide and unlawful possession of firearms, snatching and destroying of INEC items, misconduct at polling units and stealing of results, among others.

4. The Bauchi State Police Command has said its detectives arrested a 35-year-old man in the Bauchi metropolis, who allegedly tried to kill his wife with a pestle. The police claimed the suspect had intended to kill his wife, sell off the television set in their home and use the proceeds to furnish his shop.

5. No fewer than three small-scale miners have died while 11 others were injured when a mining pit collapsed in Dan Kamfani, Anka Local Government of Zamfara State. An eyewitness who works around the area said, on Saturday, that the incident occurred around 4pm on Thursday. He said the number of casualties cannot be confirmed due to the depth of the mining pit, which is 275 metres deep.

6. The abducted parish priest of Saint Michael’s Catholic Church in the Umuekebi community in the Isiala Mbano Local Government Area of Imo State, Reverend Fr Kingsley Eze, also known as Father Ichie, and his driver, Uchenna Newman, have regained freedom. Gunmen had on Thursday last week kidnapped the cleric and his driver when they alighted from a Volvo jeep to purchase something at Orieama junction around 8 pm.

7. The National Chairman of the Labour Party, Julius Abure, on Saturday, said the controversy that trailed the huge delegation Nigeria took to the Climate Change Conference in the United Arab Emirates has shown that President Bola Tinubu is not ready to learn from the mistakes of the previous administration. Abure raised the concern while receiving an award of excellence from the Benin chapter of the Nigerian Bar Association.

8. The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in Sokoto State has accused Governor Ahmed Aliyu of the All Progressives Congress of reckless spending. The party in a press statement made available to newsmen in the state, by its Publicity Secretary, Hassan Sayinnawal, on Saturday, accused the APC-led administration in the state of handling public funds recklessly through what it describes as grossly inflated contracts.

9. Lawyers representing the Concerned Northern Forum have threatened to take legal action against the federal government if it fails to provide adequate compensation for the victims of Tudun Biri, which was bombed by military aircraft in Kaduna State. Over 80 villagers were killed during an unintended attack while they were celebrating Maulud, last Sunday night.

10. The US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Molly Phee, has visited Nigeria to mediate in the political situation in Niger Republic, which has been under military rule since July 26. This was disclosed in a statement on the website of the US Secretary of State.

(Daily Post)

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Nigerian Dailies: 10 talking points this Thursday

Good morning! Here is today’s summary from Nigerian Newspapers:

1. The National Judicial Council has picked 11 Justices that will fill the vacant positions at the Supreme Court. The constitution prescribes 21 Justices for the apex court but the court currently has 10 Justices following the retirement of Justice Musa Dattijo in October. The NJC uploaded the names of the successful candidates on its website on Wednesday.

2. Protesters stormed the National Assembly on Wednesday to express sadness over the accidental bombing of Tudun Biri in Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State on Sunday night by the Nigerian Army. It was also gathered that the death toll from the incident had climbed to 127, as Amnesty International threatened to take legal action against the Federal Government.

3. The House of Representatives Committee on Customs and Excise says the Nigeria Customs Service generates most of its revenue from the South-West. The chairman of the committee, Leke Abejide said this on Wednesday at the inauguration of the committee members in Abuja.

4. The Kogi State Commissioner of Police, Bertrand Onuoha, has ordered a thorough investigation into the alleged attack on the Secretary of the state Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, David Mike. The secretary was allegedly attacked on his way to the office to paste copies of the petition said to have been filed on December 2, 2023.

5. Bauchi State Police Command has disclosed that the slain 500-level student at Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU) was stabbed while trying to retrieve his girlfriend’s handbag from some assailants. The police in a statement signed by its Public Relations Officer, SP Ahmed Wakil made this known on Wednesday.

6. The Chief of Defence Staff, General Christopher Musa has said terrorism is yet to end despite huge budgetary allocations because the military did not have enough equipment to fight the terrorists. He also noted that civilians conniving with terrorists and supporting them with supplies have been frustrating the military’s efforts to end the war.

7. The prosecution announced the closure of its case on Wednesday in the trial of a former governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswam, and the finance commissioner during his tenure, Omadachi Oklobia before a Federal High Court in Abuja. Suswam and Oklobia are being tried by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), in an 11-count amended charge of diverting N3.1bn belonging to Benue state.

8. The National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has said the party has a blueprint for the political development of the Southeast. He also said President Bola Ahmed Tinubu had approved the document for the Southeast and its integration into the nation’s mainstream politics.

9. Igbo Leadership in the United Kingdom and Ireland has called on the Federal Government and Governor Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State to be fair and considerate in dealing with Igbo residents in the state. Eze Okwuchukwu Nwosu, Eze Isiobi Ndigbo 1 UK and Ireland, in an open letter lamented that the Igbo were not treated fairly in Nigeria, claiming that since Nigeria’s amalgamation in 1914, the Igbo nation had been at the receiving end.

10. The naira yesterday depreciated to N951.22 per dollar in the Nigerian Foreign Exchange Market (NAFEM). Data from FMDQ showed that the indicative exchange rate for NAFEM rose to N951.22 per dollar from N806.73 per dollar on Tuesday, indicating 18 percent or N144.49 depreciation for the naira.

(Daily Post)

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Invitation: HoReps issues warrant of arrest on CBN Governor, AGF, others

The House of Representatives Committee on Public Petitions has issued a warrant of the arrest on the Central Bank Governor, Mr Olayemi Cardoso, the Accountant General of the Federation, Mrs Oluwatoyin Madein and 17 others for refusing to appear before it to answer questions on their operations.

This followed the adoption of a motion by Rep Fred Agbedi (PDP-Bayelsa) at the committee’s hearing on Tuesday.

Moving the motion, Agbedi said that the arrest warrant had become inevitable following the attitude of the invitees.

He said that the parliament worked with time and the CEOs had been invited four times, but failed to respond.

He said that the CEOs should be brought to appear before the committee by the Inspector General of Police through a warrant of arrest after due diligence by the Speaker, Rep Tajudeen Abbas.

In his ruling, the Chairman of the Committee, Rep Micheal Irom (APC-Cross River), said that the IG should ensure the CEOs were brought before the committee on December 14.

Earlier, the petitioner, Mr Fidelis Uzowanem, said that the petition was anchored on the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) report of 2021.

“We took up the challenge to examine the report and discovered that what NEITI put together is a report is only consolidation of fraud that has been going on in the oil and gas industry.

“It dates back to 2016 because was have been following and we put up a petition to this committee to examine what has happened.

“The 2024 budget of 27.5 trillion that has been proposed can be confidently funded from the recoverable amount that we identified in the NEITI report.

“It is basically a concealment of illegal transactions that took place in NNPCL; they have been in a sink with some oil companies where some companies that did not produce crude were paid cash core, an amount paid for crude oil production,” he said.

(Daily Post)

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Closing down firms over corruption probe not good for the economy – EFCC chair

The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ola Olukoyede, has revealed that the anti-graft agency is creating a centralised system to monitor and track seized landed properties undergoing investigation over alleged money laundering across the country.

He revealed that it was not good that the United States of America made about $3bn from the FBI Haliburton probe while Nigeria made nothing from the same probe that was kick-started by the EFCC.

He made these known on Monday during an interaction between the EFCC and civil society organisations, held at the commission’s national headquarters, Jabi, Abuja.

Olukoyede said, “About 80 percent of our ongoing major investigations came from petitions from civil society groups. This means that we have a very active civil society sector. Let us be focused, we will see the light at the end of the tunnel.

“There are three areas of focus, and there is a need for us to redirected our focus. Our job shouldn’t only be about arrests, detentions, and prosecutions. I’ve told our operatives and staff, the focus shouldn’t be about using the instrumentality of anti-corruption to stifle economic development, rather our activities should help improve economic development.

“If all my conviction of people does not contribute to economic development, how does it add value to the system? For example, the United States government generated about $3bn from the Haliburton case which was instituted here in Nigeria by the EFCC, but Nigeria did not benefit anything from the Haliburton investigation.

“I told my staff and operatives, whenever you are investigating, there is a  need for us to use the instrumentality of the anti-corruption fight as an instrument to generate employment resources. Not totally closing down companies’ accounts while the investigation is ongoing. Some accounts get closed for about 15 years. Over N1tn was lost in 2018, because we PNDed over N1tn. When such companies are shut down, they cannot assess funds and they sack workers, and the companies go down.

“We are changing that completely, we won’t shut down entire businesses over ongoing investigations. However, when we discover companies that were actually set up to destroy our economy, we will shut such down. But for real companies undergoing investigation, we’ll let companies be allowed to operate while focusing majorly on the actual funds being investigated.

“Henceforth, the style of marking properties will be changed in a way that it will not be noticeable that the EFCC had marked them, as it currently is, painting the properties from top to bottom. Our markings henceforth will not be noticeable in order not to stigmatize such properties and stifle economic activities. We would rather use the instrumentality of anti-corruption to improve the economy.

“Also, there’ll be a policy review, we’ll come up with a comprehensive review to look at what we might have been doing wrong. Also, the disposition of our staff; must be a foremost and sophisticated white-collar anti-graft agency, and this must be evident in the ways we do our things. There’ll also be revised guidelines for arrests and detentions in accordance with the constitution.

“If the law says release a suspect within 48 hours, even without trial, we’ll release them as a law-abiding agency. However, the same law that says we should release them within 48 hours gives us the power to rearrest them; so, why violate the law concerning detentions when there’s a provision that allows you to rearrest suspects? I can arrest, obey the law, and release you but the same law says we can rearrest you.

“We must operate within the dictates of the rule of law. Because as I am here today, I can be on the other side tomorrow, not particularly as a suspect under investigation, but as an average Nigerian. I pledge to the whole country and God who put me here that I will serve the nation diligently.”

(Punch)

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Nigerian Dailies: 10 talking points this Sunday

Good morning! Here is today’s summary from Nigerian Newspapers:

1. The Acting Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Umar Damagum, has said the National Working Committee under his leadership will not suspend nor dismiss any ‘disloyal’ member. This is coming on the heels of the admonition by some stakeholders within the PDP, asking Damagum to sanction former Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, and many others.

2. There was a fire incident at the Federal Secretariat, Abuja on Saturday. The fire was said to have been caused by an explosion in the electrical utility room. Director of Communications, Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Muhammed Ahmed, in a message, explained that the fire was a result of an explosion from the utility room.

3. Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has said that Igbo forebears are “the pioneers” and “heroes” of modern Lagos State. Iwuanyanwu stated this in a press briefing video that has gone viral. He was indirectly responding to the comment the Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II, made in relation to the origin of the state, which generated controversy.

4. No fewer than 11 inmates of the Enugu Correctional Centre have been released under the federal government’s prison decongestion programme. The inmates were drawn from the Enugu, Nsukka as well as Oji River and Ibite-Olo custodial centres.

5. Three-man panel of the Appeal Court sitting in Lagos State, yesterday, upheld the decision of the Abia Election Petition Tribunal which affirmed the governor of the state, Dr. Alex Otti as the winner of the March 18, 2023 Abia governorship election.

6. Three Oyo traditional rulers have been reportedly killed, while nine others were injured in a road crash on Friday. The monarchs, all from the Oriire Local Government Area of the state, were said to be going for a social function before the crash.

7. Low turnout marred yesterday’s local government election in Ekiti State as most people stayed away from the polling units across the 16 council area of the state. It was a total departure from the large turnout that was witnessed during the last presidential and state assembly elections.

8. The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Sokoto State office, on Friday, arrested one Anas Sani, 32, discovered to be an Indian hemp farmer in the state. The agency’s state Commander, Iro Adamu, in his remarks on Saturday, said the discovery was made last Friday night at the Sanyinna area in Tambuwal Local Government Area of the state following an intelligence report.

9. A worker at Bolorunduro, Ondo East Local Government Area of Ondo State, simply identified as Matthew, has slumped and died in his office. The deceased, according to co-workers, had come to the office on Friday and later proceeded to have his breakfast in his vehicle parked inside the LGA.

10. The Enugu State Internal Revenue Service has sealed some hotels for tax evasion. The action was in compliance with an order obtained from the High Court in Enugu on November 29. It was learnt that guests and workers of some of the hotels were locked in by officials of the agency who were on a revenue drive on Friday.

(Daily Post)

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FG promotes 32,361 NSCDC, immigration personnel, others – Tunji-Ojo

The Civil Defence, Fire, Immigration, and Prisons Services Board on Friday promoted a total of 32,361 personnel across all ranks.

Out of the figure,  21,385 personnel of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps were promoted out of a total of 25,921 that sat for the promotion examination.

For Nigeria Immigration Service,  4,598 personnel were promoted across various ranks out of 6,544 that sat for the examination.

A  total of 4,498 personnel of the Nigerian Correctional Service were elevated out of 7,000 that sat for the examination,  while for the Federal Fire Service 1,680 personnel were promoted out of 1,698 that wrote the promotion examination.

The Minister of Interior,  Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, disclosed this while addressing journalists after the board’s meeting on Friday.

Represented by the Commandant General of the NSCDC, Ahmed Audi, he described the promotion as unprecedented and a departure from that of last year.

He said, “Today, December 1, 2023, arising from the meeting in the Board of Immigration, the Board of Civil Defense, Immigration, Corrections and Fire Service Board, where the Minister of Interior presided, we approved the following numbers of promotion of personnel for all the services in the ministry.

“The details are as follows: for Nigerian Correction Service, A total number of  4,498 personnel have been promoted to the next rank out of 7,000 that sat for the examination. That is a departure from last year. There’s an improvement in the number of vacancies that were obtained from the service.

“For Nigeria Immigration Service, we have 4,598 personnel promoted this quarter across various ranks. That is out of 6,544. That is also a departure and improvement from last year. The next one is the Federal Fire Service, where we have 1,680 out of 1,698. There is also an improvement from that of last year. And this is across various ranks.

“The last one is the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence, which is
unprecedented. This is the first time we’re having this sizable number promoted in the service. Out of about 25,921 persons who sat for the exam, the Board has been able to promote 21,385. I think this is very unprecedented.”

(Punch)

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Refinery: Ensure December deadline is sacrosanct, Afenifere tasks Tinubu

The pan-Yoruba sociopolitical organisation, Afenifere, on Thursday, tasked the Federal Government to meet its December deadline for the operation of the Port Harcourt refinery in Rivers State.

The PUNCH reports that President Bola Tinubu, during a recent meeting with the leaders of the Nigeria Labour Congress and  Trade Union Congress, committed that the Port Harcourt refinery would commence operation by December 2023.

Afenifere, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Jare Ajayi, in Ibadan, Oyo State, said the call was part of resolutions of the group at the meeting held at the Akure residence of its leader, Pa Reuben Fasoranti, on Tuesday.

The group also called on the government and security agencies to urgently take steps that would be more effective in tackling the insecurity threatening the socio-economic well-being of the people.

“Afenifere tasks the Federal Government to meet the December deadline given for the Port Harcourt refinery to resume production. The government should also accelerate actions that would strengthen the value of our currency, enhance productivity, and reduce the costs of items.

“The organisation also calls for acceleration of actions in the power sector by the Minister of Power and Energy, Adebayo Adelabu, in view of the pivotal roles that power is playing in the economic and social lives of the people.”

In attendance at the meeting were representatives from various state chapters of Afenifere as well as coordinators of the organisation in the United States of America and Canada.

(Punch)

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Rivers PDP chairman resigns after nomination by Tinubu

A former Nigerian ambassador to South Korea, Desmond Akawor, has resigned from his appointment as the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party in Rivers State.

Akawor emerged as Rivers PDP chairman in March 2020, succeeding Felix Obuah, and has occupied the position since then.

His resignation was contained in a letter dated November 22, 2023, and addressed to the acting National Chairman of the PDP, Ambassador Umar Damagum,

He explained that his resignation followed his nomination by President Bola Tinubu for a federal appointment to the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission as Federal Commissioner representing Rivers State.

In the letter which was obtained by our correspondent, Akawor, expressed gratitude to President Tinubu for finding him worthy to serve.

He stated that after consultation with his leaders and family, he accepted the opportunity to serve the country in his new capacity which he describes as a national service.

The statement read in part, “Consequently, I have resigned my position as the Rivers State Party chairman of our great party – the PDP, and immediately handed over all duties to the Deputy Party Chairman, Aaron Chukwuemeka, who has commenced action in this stead.

“I remain committed to the ideals of our party always and will continue to be available to provide, steer and support for all party affairs whenever l am called upon.”

(Punch)

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