By Aduragbemi Omiyale
The Managing Director of the Lagos Commodities and Futures Exchange (LCFE), Mr Akin Akeredolu-Ale, has described the Investments and Securities Bill (ISB) passed by the House of Representatives last year as a game changer, pointing out that it would help Nigeria improve its foreign exchange (forex) earnings.
Nigeria’s FX earnings from crude oil sales have dwindled in recent times due to low production caused by theft, putting pressure on the Naira in the currency market.
But the LCFE chief believes the new bill would change the narrative, as it would enable the commodities trading ecosystem to thrive, thereby diversifying the nation’s economy.
He stated that Nigeria is a commodities country as a better part of the gross domestic product (GDP) by way of production comes from the commodities ecosystem and urged the Senate to ensure swift concurrence on the Bill.
“We need that concurrence by the Senate as quickly as possible. I am very happy that the NASS has taken it upon themselves, as well as the SEC, to push this bill. That bill is a game changer for the commodities ecosystem and also a game changer for Nigeria as a commodities country.
“For now, a lot of commodities being traded are still in the informal sector, the bill would create structure, and all the leakages from taxation and revenue will be taken care of by this bill.
“The major thing about the commodities ecosystem is the fact that we are looking inwards in Nigeria now.
“A lot of the impact of the policies that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had done last year by way of supporting the agriculture space is paying off now in the maize, wheat and rice space, among others.
“For us at the LFCE, we have also looked at the part of commodities that has to do with solid minerals, which is the gold space.
“In Nigeria, we have over 58 different solid minerals that are sought for all over the world, and we have not touched platinum or lithium, which is the major component for batteries and electric cars.
“These are the kinds of commodities that, by the time the bill is passed, we would be able to have a proper structure and attract foreign investors.
“What do these foreign investors look out for? The foreign investors look at regulatory framework, legal framework and a proper enabling environment to want to participate in the market,” he commented.
Mr Akeredolu-Ale disclosed that in a bid to deepen the commodities trading ecosystem in Nigeria further, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had approved 13 products for trading on the LCFE.
He stated that the exchange has the capacity to trade electronic receipts of oil and gas, agriculture, solid minerals, derivatives and currencies, adding that the exchange has also put in place the necessary infrastructure to trade in derivatives as hedging instruments for investors.
“On July 28, 2022, we launched the Gold Coin. The good thing about the Gold coin is that the gold that was used in its preparation was sourced from Nigeria, and a lot of it came from Ilesha. It is being traded, and people have realised that this is a very good hedging instrument; this goes to show the capacity of what we can do in Nigeria if this bill is passed,” he remarked.
“The goal of LCFE is to play a pivotal role in growing the nation’s GDP into double digits. In Africa, the commodities ecosystem is the largest employer of labour. It provides a platform to deploy resources into the fungible assets that have been de-risked. We bring transparency through the operations of commodities exchange through our structures and two-way quote,” he added.
The LCFE chief, therefore, restated the compelling need for the federal government to unlock the potentials of the Nigerian commodity ecosystem through the concurrence of the ISB by the Senate, stating that, at the minimum, it will enhance the competitiveness of commodities exchanges in Nigeria.
Demand Pressure Jerks NGX All-Share Index to 54,213.09 points
By Dipo Olowookere
The sustained demand for domestic stocks further raised the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited by 0.40 per cent on Friday, with the All-Share Index (ASI) crossing the 54,000-point threshold at the close of business.
The index, which measures the general performance of the bourse, appreciated by 214.97 points to settle at 54,213.09 points compared with the preceding day’s 53,998.12 points, as the market capitalisation expanded by N117 billion to close at N29.528 trillion as against Thursday’s closing value of N29.411 trillion.
The growth reported yesterday was supported by buying pressure across sectors of the market, though the consumer goods space came under selling pressure, losing 0.39 per cent.
However, this did not affect the outcome of the bourse due to the 1.06 per cent recorded by the banking counter, the 0.31 per cent expansion posted by the insurance sector, the 0.17 per cent growth printed by the energy counter, and the 0.04 per cent improvement reported by the industrial goods space.
Business Post reports that the market breadth remained positive on Friday, with 35 price gainers and 10 price losers, indicating a very strong investor sentiment.
Red Star Express, International Energy Insurance, and FTN Cocoa gained 10.00 per cent each yesterday to finish at N2.53, 99 Kobo, and 33 Kobo, respectively. MRS Oil gained 9.94 per cent to end at N19.35, and Northern Nigerian Flour Mills rose by 9.55 per cent to N9.75.
Conversely, Ikeja Hotel was the worst-performing stock after it dropped 10.00 per cent to 99 Kobo, Lasaco Assurance fell by 5.88 per cent to 96 Kobo, ABC Transport declined by 5.41 per cent to 35 Kobo, Universal Insurance went down by 4.76 per cent to 20 Kobo, and May & Baker shed 2.89 per cent to N4.71.
At the market yesterday, investors traded 268.02 million stocks worth N2.4 billion in 4,017 deals compared with the 2.9 billion stocks worth N8.1 billion traded in 3,940 deals on Thursday, indicating an increase in the number of deals by 1.95 per cent and a decline in the trading volume and value by 90.66 per cent and 70.37 per cent apiece.
Universal Insurance topped the activity chart after it sold 63.4 million shares, GTCO traded 20.8 million equities, Transcorp exchanged 19.5 million stocks, International Energy Insurance transacted 12.8 million equities, and Access Holdings traded 12.5 million shares.
Naira Shortage: President Buhari Calls for Calm
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
President Muhammadu Buhari has urged Nigerians to remain calm as they express their anger over the shortage of Naira in the financial system.
Since last week, many citizens of the country have been unable to access their funds in the banks because of a shortage in the supply of the redesigned Naira notes.
This has resulted in a huge crowd at banking premises across the nation, with several persons queuing at Automated Teller Machine (ATM) terminals waiting to withdraw their money with success.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) redesigned the N200, N500, and N1,000 denominations last year and said the old notes would no longer be legal tender from January 31, 2023.
However, while many Nigerians approached their banks last Sunday to quickly deposit their funds to beat the deadline, the CBN announced that the deadline had been moved to February 10, 2023.
The next day, while customers attempted to withdraw their funds over the counter, they were informed that the apex bank had directed them (commercial banks) not to honour cash withdrawal requests.
Also, cash withdrawal from ATMs was limited, making it very difficult for businesses to operate, triggering a protest in Ibadan on Friday.
When the demonstration was going on, Governors of the All Progressives Congress (APC) were meeting with President Buhari to persuade him to do something about the Naira scarcity.
After the gathering, he said in a social media post that, “I am aware of the cash shortages and hardship being faced by people and businesses on account of the Naira redesign.
“I want to assure you that we are doing everything to resolve these issues. Nigerians should expect significant improvements between now and the February 10 deadline.
“I met with a delegation of Governors today on the matter. All the complaints about the execution of the currency change are being seriously looked into.
“I will ensure that everything is resolved in a lasting manner, and we will all enjoy the long-term benefits of the decision.”
Local Currency Appreciates at P2P, I&E, Depreciates at Black Market
By Adedapo Adesanya
The local currency appreciated by N2 on the United States Dollar at the Peer-2-Peer (P2P) foreign exchange (FX) window, closing at N760/$1 on Friday, February 3, compared with the previous day’s N762/$1, indicating a form of ease as tensions rose across the country following a cash crunch that has triggered anger and aggression in some states.
President Muhammadu Buhari stepped in on Friday and pleaded with Nigerians to give him seven days to resolve the crisis caused by the scarcity of new Naira notes.
The President said he had seen reports about cash shortages and the effect on local businesses and ordinary people.
In the Investors and Exporters (I&E) segment, the Naira recorded a 50 Kobo or 0.11 per cent upward movement against the US Dollar to trade at N461.50/$1 compared with the preceding day’s N462.00/$1.
The day’s trading data showed that the value of forex transactions during the official market slightly increased by 3.54 per cent or $4.08 million to $119.43 million from the $115.35 million recorded a day before.
But in the black market, the Nigerian currency depreciated against the Dollar by N1 to close at N753/$1, in contrast to Thursday’s exchange rate of N752/$1.
In the interbank window, the domestic currency closed flat against the British Pound Sterling and the Euro on Friday at N568.32/£1 and N507.14/€1, respectively.
At the cryptocurrency market, there was a mixed outcome across the tokens tracked by Business Post as moves by the US Federal Reserve to raise rates by 25 basis points continued to send jittery signals.
Binance Coin (BNB) recorded a 2.8 per cent rise to sell at $329.32, Dogecoin (DOGE) grew by 2.4 per cent to trade at $0.0935, Solana (SOL) appreciated by 1.1 per cent to $24.49, Ethereum (ETH) improved by 0.9 per cent to $1,654.18, Cardano (ADA) recorded a 0.6 per cent addition to quote at $0.4006, while Litecoin (LTC) rose by 0.4 per cent to $99.15.
However, Bitcoin (BTC) declined by 0.7 per cent to trade at $23,356.32, and Ripple (XRP) recorded a 0.2 per cent slump to trade at $0.4092, while Binance USD (BUSD) and the US Dollar Tether (USDT) closed flat at $1.00 each.
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