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Border closure: Nigeria loses N460bn to petrol smuggling in 1 year

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download 11 2 Border closure: Nigeria loses N460bn to petrol smuggling in 1 year

The indefinite closure of Nigeria’s border by the Federal Government has increased different illegal businesses around the border communities, as the country lost about N460 billion to petrol smuggling in the last one year.

The Muhammadu Buhari administration had introduced a joint military operation code-named “Ex-Swift Response” on August 20, 2019 across the nation’s borders to curb the rising smuggling of rice, firearms and other prohibited goods into the country from Benin Republic and other neighbouring countries.

Since the closure of the border, both private and commercial vehicles have resorted to smuggling of fuel across the border communities to make a living. The smugglers siphon fuel in 25 to 50 litres jerry cans while the number of police checkpoints have also increased.

Similarly smuggling of fuel through the waters is said to be a biggest business for smugglers in the last one year of the border closure. They smuggle fuel in both big drums and big jerrycans to sell to the neighboring countries.

In the last eight months, experts have said that the negative effects of the border closure is more than the gains the Federal Government proclaimed it recorded.

Presently, over 1000 clearing agents are out of jobs, even as Beniniore importers have dragged majority of the Customs agents to Benin court over rising demurrage as they could not clear their goods trapped at the border.

Daily Sun learnt that a particular clearing agent paid Beninoire importer between N4 million to N8 million as dumerrage charges with lot of pleads, while so many cases are still in Benin court. An importer who spoke on the condition of anonymity said: “To the best of my knowledge, over N460 billion to N500 billion fuel must have been smuggled by roads, bush and waters in the last one year. Even some of the officers who are to man the border have been compromised. They are the ones helping smugglers to achieve their goals once money changed hands.”

According to him, the border closure has made some officers rich and most able young men have joined the gang since they couldn’t do their legitimate business at the border again.

Speaking with Daily Sun, Chairman of the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANCLA), Seme border chapter, Bisiriyu Fanu, said that the present government has failed because they didn’t achieve anything from the border closure, adding that most of the Customs licensed agents are dying everyday.

He added: “The fuel is the petty business the local people are doing now because the money of fuel here in Nigeria is being lower than what they sell at the Republic of Benin. There are over police 30 checkpoints between Badagry roundabout and Seme border from pole to pole. From roundabout to Gbaagi, you will see 60 police officers.

“Every vehicles plying the border route whether they carry passengers or not, they must settle the police officers because they carry petty-petty petrol.”

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CBN reduces benchmark lending rate to 11.5%

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images 59 2 CBN reduces benchmark lending rate to 11.5%

The Central Bank of Nigeria on Tuesday reduced the Monetary Policy Rate from 12. 5 per cent to 11 . 5 per cent after the two – day Monetary Policy Committee Meeting in Abuja.
The committee also voted to retain the Cash Reserve Ratio and Liquidity Ratio at 27 .5 per cent and 30 per cent respectively .
The Central Bank Governor , Godwin Emefiele, disclosed this while presenting the communiqué after the meeting.
Details later …

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Bearish sentiment strengthen at NSE amid weakening economic indices

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images 30 3 Bearish sentiment strengthen at NSE amid weakening economic indices

Nigeria’s stock market again closed lower for the second consecutive week with the trading pattern and negative sentiments revealing selloffs in banking stocks, which pulled down the NSE market capitalisation down by N14 billion week-on-week (w-o-w).

The negative performance was down to profit taking in the shares of Zenith Bank, Stanbic, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) and FBN Holdings. This led to the All Share Index (ASI) falling by 0.08 per cent to 25,572.57 points.

Consequently, the Month-to-Date (MtD) gain declined to 1.0 per cent, while the Year-to-Date (YtD) loss increased to -4.7 per cent.

Performance across sectors was mixed although positively skewed as three of six indices trended northward. The Industrial Goods index led gainers, up 0.5 per cent w/w on the back of bargain hunting in CAP (+8.6 per cent). Trailing, the Consumer Goods and Insurance indices rose 0.1 per cent and 0.01 per cent w/w respectively due to price appreciation in Nigeria Breweries (+2.3 per cent) and Wapic (+12.1 per cent).

Conversely, the Oil & Gas index led losers, down 1.0 per cent w-o-w following sell-offs in Oando (-4.2 per cent)while price depreciation in FCMB (-6.4 per cent) dragged performance in the Banking index by 0.7 per cent w-o-w. Finally, the AFR-ICT index closed flat. Reacting to the market performance, analysts who spoke to Daily Sun, attributed the downturn to the weak macroeconomic state of the nation and added that profit taking is likely to persist as the month of September progresses in the midst of profit booking, mismatch of economic policies and negative macroeconomic indices.

This is coming on the back of persistent pressure on consumer prices in August 2020 as headline inflation rose to 13.2 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y) from 12.8 per cent in July, according to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) report published by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

Investigations by Daily Sun show that this is the 12th consecutive rise in inflation and the highest level since March 2018 while the sharp increase in headline inflation was driven by a faster m/m inflation, which was up 10 basis points to 1.3 per cent, the highest since June 2017.

Chief Operating Officer, Ambrose Omordion, explained that the August inflation data came worse than expected at 13.22 per cent, thereby deepening the negative returns of many investment windows. Omordion noted that mixed (positive and negative) sentiments would continue to dominate the market as the month of September progresses in the midst of profit booking, mismatch of economic policies and negative macroeconomic indices.

According to him, this is against the backdrop of the fact that the capital wave in the financial market may persist in the midst of relatively low-interest rates in the money market, high inflation, negative Q2 GDP of 6.1 per cent and unstable economic outlook for the rest of 2020 as government and its economic managers are going front and back with mismatch polices and implementation.

“Also, investors and traders are positioning amidst the changing sentiments in the hope of improved liquidity and positive economic indices which may reverse the current trend. We see investors focusing on portfolio adjustment and rebalancing by targeting companies with strong potentials to grow their Q3 earnings and dividend on the strength of their earnings capacity as the year last quarter is at the corner.

Again, the current undervalue state of the market offers investors opportunities to position for the short, medium and long-term, which is why investors should target fundamentally sound, and dividend-paying stocks for possible capital appreciation for the rest of the year”, He said.

For their part, Cordros Capital, said, “In the absence of a positive catalyst, and given the still uninspiring macro story, we guide investors to trade cautiously in the short term. However, we expect the market might benefit over the longer term on compelling valuations and as investors seek alpha-yielding opportunities in the face of negative real returns in the fixed income market”.

Meanwhile, a total turnover of 1.139 billion shares worth N12.692 billion in 17,109 deals were traded by investors, in contrast to a total of 1.226 billion shares valued at N10.842 billion that exchanged hands last week in 19,529 deals.

The Financial Services industry (measured by volume) led the activity chart with 870.300 million shares valued at N7.863 billion traded in 9,427 deals; thus contributing 76.43 and 61.95 per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively.

The Industrial Goods industry followed with 62.689 million shares worth N1.162 billion in 1,557 deals while the ICT industry recorded a turnover of 50.859 million shares worth N2.552 billion in 619 deals. Trading in the top three equities namely FBN Holdings Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc and Access Bank Plc. (measured by volume) accounted for 353.048 million shares worth N4.018 billion in 3,095 deals, contributing 31.00 and 31.66 per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively.

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CIS, others, to float Securities Institute

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images 31 3 CIS, others, to float Securities Institute

The Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS) in collaboration with three other professional bodies has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish Chartered Institute of Securities and Investment Management (CISIM) to bring securities dealers and investment managers in Nigeria under one umbrella.

The CISIM’s Bill, which is currently with the National Assembly, will replace the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers Act 105 of 1992 when passed into law. At the last count, apart from the CIS, the three other professional bodies that signed the historic MoU are the Association of Investment Advisers and Portfolio Managers (AIPM) The Fund Managers Association of Nigeria (FMAN), Association of Issuing Houses of Nigeria (AIHN) with ASHON’s Chairman, Chief Onyenwechukwu Ezeagu, as an observer.

The Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers Act 105 of 1992 , which established the CIS provides that individual operators that deal in securities, including Stocks,Treasury Bills, Bonds, Commodities etc, shall be trained and certified by the Institute. At the moment, certain gaps in the Act are exploited by some individuals to deal in securities without any form of certification and requisite training.

Therefore, the CISIM Bill when passed into law, will bring capital market professionals under a common objective without encroaching on one another’s business, make regulation easier, and enhance global competitiveness.

“We share common goals and there is a need for standardization to enhance our advocacy. The Association of Investment Advisers and Portfolio Managers (AIPM) subscribes to the ideals of the proposed Chartered Institute of Securities and Investment Management (CISIM) in Nigeria.

“ Our collaboration will bring about rapid development of the entire financial system. Nigeria is in dire need of funds for infrastructure development. Substantial part of the fund can be mobilised from the capital market. We implore the National Assembly to hasten the passage of the Bill in the overall interest of the economy “, said the President, AIPM, Prince Abimbola Olashore.

Commenting on the MoU, CIS President, Olatunde Amolegbe, said the proposed bill was nothing unusual, and commended the professional bodies that signed the MOU for sincerity and unity of purpose.

Amolegbe explained that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), the apex regulator and Self-Regulatory Organization (SRO) respectively, regulate stockbrokers but the ISA provides for individual operators that deal in securities to be certified by the Institute while their organisations are regulated by SEC and the NSE .

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