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Bad Roads: Residents Threaten to Shut Down Ogun Economy

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Bad Roads Sango Ota

By Adedapo Adesanya

Protests erupted in Ogun State on Wednesday morning as members of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and residents lamented the poor state of roads in the state.

They complained bitterly about the deplorable condition of roads, giving the state Governor, Mr Dapo Abiodun, a 21-day ultimatum to address the issue or they will bring down the economy of the state.

This morning, the demonstrators blocked the Sango Ota section of the Lagos—Abeokuta Expressway in the Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government Area of the state from Joju Bus-Stop to the Garage area.

According to images circulating on social media, many of the frustrated residents of the states lamented the price hike in bus fares and the loss of lives happening due to the roads.

A Punch newspaper report said that the protesters carried placards with various inscriptions such as Repair our road with immediate effect or face the wrath of the masses; 400% hike in transport fare due to bad road; Our roads are death traps fix our roads; No good roads, No payment of tax; Our taxes are meant for fixing road so what happened; Industries in Ota are relocating and closing down due to bad roads, amongst others.

Speaking at the protest, the state’s NLC chairman, Mr Emmanuel Bankole, said the union decided to protest to show its displeasure over the continued attitude of the government despite cries from residents and stakeholders.

He explained that nothing had been done even after the visit of the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola to the location, a visit which has not brought any result.

The threat to shut down the state comes at a time when Governor Abiodun faced backlash for his trip to the United Kingdom, where he paid a courtesy visit to the national leader of the ruling All Progressive Congress, Mr Bola Tinubu.

The criticism followed the handing over the affairs of the government to the Secretary to the State Government, Mr Tokunbo Talabi, instead of the deputy governor, Mrs Noimot Salako-Oyedele who over the rift reportedly left the state at the same when the Speaker of the Ogun State House of Assembly, Mr Olakunle Oluomo, was also said to have left the state to attend a conference in the United States of America.

Sources confirmed to Business Post that the governor returned to the state on September 30 to mark the Independence Day celebrations.

According to an Ogun resident, Mr Yemi Ajala, who spoke to this newspaper, lamented that many of the road projects of the previous administration of Mr Ibikunle Amosun are still abandoned and only a few ones have been done by the Abiodun-led administration.

He said, “Areas that needed serious attention six years ago are still begging for it, especially in the borders towns of Ifo and Sango Otta local governments, and the wider Yewa axis.

“Thousands of man-hours are lost daily to these terrible roads while the economic costs of frequent car repairs are frankly life-threatening.

“In the specific case of Sango Otta, I know of only two good roads in the entire local government.”

“Yes, the state will say many of the bad roads are federal roads that FG warned them off, but I will like to ask Governor Dapo Abiodun, are their federal people? Do adequate palliatives on this road and chuck the cost up to doing social good or something. The suffering is too much!” he quipped.

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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Economy

CBN Adds New Feature to Yet-to-be-Launched eNaira

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eNaira

By Sodeinde Temidayo David

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced that the yet-to-be-launched eNaira will have a new add-on that will enable users to complete transactions with mobile phones without Internet capability.

The apex bank, in a document titled Design paper for the eNaira, disclosed that maximising the value and use cases of the nation’s digital currency would depend largely on devices with Internet capabilities.

A few months ago, the CBN said it would launch eNaira on October 1, 2021, but it later suspended this without giving a new date for the unveiling.

This digital currency, which is expected to promote the cashless policy, is expected to become operational after the central bank stopped the trading of unregulated digital currencies in the country like Bitcoin, Ethereum and others.

The eNaira is to be introduced into the country under the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), an electronic record or digital token of the local currency and is to be issued and regulated by the monetary authority.

Given the reason, the CBN noted that, “The eNaira thus risks further alienating sections of the population who are uneducated, lack exposure and access to internet services or digital devices.”

The apex bank is adding the new feature to the eNaira following a recent publication that estimated that 35 per cent or about 37.1 million of the nation’s adult population was illiterate.

To face the risk of losing adoption of the digital currency to this segment of the population, the CBN added that the bank has factored in the need for inclusiveness as part of the core design principle of the eNaira.

According to the central bank, this principle has enabled the bank to focus on simplicity and ease on the use of the e-Naira, to ensure that Nigerians without Internet-enabled phones can access the digital service.

The CBN said the eNaira would complement existing payment options available via the mobile banking apps, Point of Sale (POS) terminals, Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD), quick response code and Internet banking, among other channels.

GSMA, a global industry organisation that represents the interests of mobile network operators, had said in a recent report that 19 per cent of people living in Nigeria do not have access to mobile broadband coverage.

In its design paper, the central bank, in a bid to ensure inclusive access while also ensuring the integrity of the financial system, has chosen the account-based CBDC model for the eNaira.

The CBN said, “The account-based CBDC model at its core mirrors the progress made on the National Financial Inclusion Strategy which enables access to financial services by leveraging last-mile networks to identify users and to provide banking services through channels such as PoS and USSD.

“With the account-based model, the CBN seeks to enable access by leveraging the existing identity infrastructure in Nigeria such as the BVN, NIN, TIN, etc., to uniquely identify individuals and corporate entities.

“Specifically, identity frameworks such as the NIN will enable access for the financially excluded as they can be uniquely identified, thereby enabling the provision of financial services. These identity systems will help ensure a robust KYC framework positioned to enable access for all Nigerians.”

The CBN also added that this would help improve cross-border payments and address issues of dollarisation of the economy, as it could be recalled that Visa, a payments company, recently noted that the ease of operating CBDCs would determine the success of digital currencies.

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Economy

Nigerian Exporters Fail Due to Poor Training, Exposure—NEPC

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Nigerian exporters

By Ashemiriogwa Emmanuel

The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has revealed that many Nigerian exporters, including women entrepreneurs, fail in the international market as a result of poor training and exposure to the business.

According to the federal agency, it is necessary for anyone who wants to venture and succeed in the business to undergo adequate training in order to grasp the scope of the competitive venture.

The Executive Director/CEO of the NEPC, Mr Olusegun Awolowo, disclosed this at a capacity building workshop organized for women-owned businesses in the non-oil export value chain in Akure, Ondo State on Friday, October 15

Speaking at the event, which was organised by the Export Development and Incentive Department of the NEPC, Mr Awolowo said that, “Lack of export market training is one of the major reasons Nigerian exporters fail in the international market.

“Exporters need to learn the specific requirements of the target markets as well as the certification needed for the product to be exported.”

Represented by the Head/Trade Promotion Advisor at NEPC Akure, Mr Macpherson Fred-Ileogben, the agency’s head noted that it was for this reason that the council decided to organise the workshop.

The training featured coaching and networking sessions to give women entrepreneurs the opportunity to improve their knowledge of competitiveness in the export market.

He cited that the involvement of women in trade will not only promote gender equality but also increase the growth potential of the nation.

As a result of the gradual recovery from the global pandemic, players in the non-oil exporting business into the international market have been tasked to think outside the box to ensure continuity.

To realize this, it would be recalled that the agency also organized a sensitisation workshop in Lagos in September 2021 which was themed Earn Dollars by Selling on Amazon to help stakeholders see the opportunities in leveraging e-commerce.

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Economy

Investors Lose N24.3bn at NASD Bourse in One Week

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NASD OTC Bourse

By Adedapo Adesanya

The 41st week of trading at the NASD Over-the-Counter (OTC) Securities Exchange closed with a N24.3 billion loss largely as a result of the exit of the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Group Plc from the platform.

According to the weekly NASD market review and analysis by Business Post, the market capitalisation dropped to N616.99 billion from N641.28 billion in Week 40.

NGX Group Plc exited the bourse as it listed its stocks by introduction on the floor of the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited, which is its demutualised exchange.

On the other hand, the NASD Security Index (NSI) rose in the week by 1.22 points to close at 746.8 million in contrast to 737.80 points of the preceding week.

Data showed that the market saw a 500.6 per cent increase in the total value of transactions in the week to N584.5 million from N97.3 million, while the total volume of trades rose by 10,546.9 per cent to 1.1 billion units from 10.3 million units, with the number of deals decreasing by 63.6 per cent to 40 deals from 110 deals.

During the week, there were two price decliners and two price advancers on the NASD bourse with the losers led by Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS) Plc as a result of the 2.4 per cent fall it posted to settle at N16.60 per share compared with the previous rate of N17.00 per share.

Also, Niger Delta Exploration and Production (NDEP) Plc went down by 1.0 per cent to trade at N245.00 per unit in contrast to N247.50 per unit of the preceding week.

On the gainers’ side, Afriland Properties Plc topped with a growth of 8.6 per cent to finish at N1.14 per share compared with N1.05 per share of the earlier week, while FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria Plc gained 8.5 per cent to trade at N128.00 per unit versus the previous week’s N118.00 per unit.

Lighthouse Financial Service Plc was the most traded stock by volume with 1.1 billion units. It was followed by UBN Property Plc with 3 million units, First Trust Microfinance Bank Plc with 2.1 million units, CSCS Plc with 853,000 units, and NASD Plc with 721,000 units.

Also, Lighthouse Financial Service Plc was the most active by value with N544.2 million, CSCS Plc followed with N15.0 million, NDEP Plc traded N10.3 million, NASD Plc exchanged N8.4 million, while UBN Property Plc transacted N2.9 million.

On a year-to-date basis, investors have traded 12.8 billion securities worth N29.7 billion in 4,564 deals.

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