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.
Naira Falls at Official Market, Gains at Unofficial FX Windows
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Naira continued its roller coaster ride at the foreign exchange (FX) segments in Nigeria on Thursday, depreciating at the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window and appreciating at the Peer-to-Peer (P2P) and parallel market windows.
In the official market, the Naira lost 53 Kobo or 0.12 per cent against the United States Dollar to settle at N445.83/$1 compared with the previous day’s value of N445.83/$1.
The local currency reported the fall despite the value of FX transactions going down during the session. Data showed that the turnover for the day stood at $99.50 million, 43.9 per cent or $77.94 million lower than the $177.44 million published on Wednesday.
In the interbank segment of the forex market, the domestic currency closed flat against the Pound Sterling and the Euro yesterday at N534.67/£1 and N461.79/€1, respectively.
However, in the P2P window, the Nigerian currency appreciated against its American counterpart by N4 to close at N762/$1, in contrast to the N766/$1 it was traded on Wednesday.
In the black market, which is an unofficial FX segment just like the P2P, the Nigerian Naira appreciated against the US Dollar yesterday by N5 to trade at N745/$1.
As for the digital currency market, there was a negative movement across the 10 tokens tracked by Business Post, with Dogecoin (DOGE) recording the heaviest fall, 4.1 per cent, to sell at $0.0990.
Solana (SOL) recorded a 2.9 per cent slump to trade at $13.56, Ripple (XRP) dipped by 2.6 per cent to quote at $0.3892, and Binance Coin (BNB) slid by 2.5 per cent to settle at $288.59.
Further, Bitcoin (BTC) fell by 0.9 per cent to close at $16,941.89, Cardano (ADA) depreciated by 0.7 per cent to finish at $0.3135, Ethereum (ETH) saw a 0.6 per cent depreciation to trade at $1,273.75, and Litecoin (LTC) went down by 0.4 per cent to close at $76.50.
However, the value of the US Dollar Tether (USDT) and the Binance USD (BUSD) remained unchanged during the session at $1.00 each.
Oil Trades Mixed on Weaker Dollar, China COVID-19 Curbs
By Adedapo Adesanya
The crude oil market traded mixed on Thursday, retreating from an early rally built on weakness in the US Dollar and hopes for improved fuel demand in China after COVID-19 curbs were eased in two major Chinese cities.
Brent crude futures settled 9 cents lower at $86.88 a barrel, while the US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures settled 67 cents higher at $81.22 a barrel.
The shift in China’s zero-COVID strategy raised optimism about a recovery in oil demand there. The cities of Guangzhou and Chongqing announced an easing of COVID curbs on Wednesday.
Demonstrations in the world’s largest oil importer, which spread over the weekend to Shanghai, Beijing and elsewhere, have become a show of public defiance unprecedented since President Xi Jinping came to power in 2012.
The southwestern city of Chongqing will allow close contact with people with COVID-19 who meet certain conditions to quarantine at home.
Guangzhou, near Hong Kong, also announced an easing of curbs, but with record numbers of cases nationwide, there seems little prospect of a major reversal in the zero-COVID policy.
Oil was however supported through most of Thursday’s session by a slump in the dollar index to its lowest since August after the US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said rate hikes could slow this month.
A weaker dollar makes oil cheaper for other currency holders.
The greenback dipped to 16-week lows against a basket of major currencies on Thursday after data showed that US consumer spending increased solidly in October while inflation moderated, adding to expectations that the Federal Reserve is closer to reaching a peak in interest rates.
Mr Powell said on Wednesday that it was time to slow rate hikes, noting that slowing down at this point is a good way to balance the risks.
The prospect of a lower price cap on Russian oil is also lending support, analysts said. European Union governments tentatively agreed on Thursday on a $60 cap on Russian sea-borne oil.
Meanwhile, the market will await what the meeting of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies, OPEC+, will bring come December 4, although a policy change is seen as unlikely.
“OPEC+ would rather sit on the bench at this time and assess the outcome of what happens on Monday,” an unnamed source told the news agency, Reuters, this week.
OPEC also made a meeting of its ministers planned for Saturday a virtual gathering, and OPEC+ cancelled a meeting of oil market experts, the Joint Technical Committee, that had been scheduled for Friday.
Honeywell Flour, MTN, Others Pull Market Back by 0.01%
By Dipo Olowookere
The depreciation printed by the shares of Honeywell Flour, MTN Nigeria, Ecobank and 10 others pulled back the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited from the bulls’ territory into the danger zone by 0.01 per cent on Thursday.
It was the first trading session in December, and the stock market could not sustain the positive moment it recorded on the last day of the previous month due to the selling pressure on the equities mentioned above, though investor sentiment remained strong.
According to data from the bourse, the market breadth was positive yesterday as there were 15 price advancers and 13 price decliners led by Honeywell Flour, which dropped 7.89 per cent to trade at N2.10. RT Briscoe went down by 7.41 per cent to 25 Kobo, Wema Bank declined by 5.45 per cent to N3.12, FCMB contracted by 4.18 per cent to N3.21, and Cutix retreated by 2.84 per cent to N2.05.
On top of the gainers’ log was UPDC REIT, which improved its share value by 9.09 per cent to N3.00, McNichols rose by 8.93 per cent to 61 Kobo, Japaul jumped by 7.41 per cent to 29 Kobo, Nigerian Breweries 7.14 per cent to N45.00, and Royal Exchange grew by 4.76 per cent to 66 Kobo.
Yesterday, investors transacted 172.9 million shares valued at N2.8 billion in 3,073 deals compared with the 107.0 million shares valued at N1.3 billion traded in 3,227 deals in the midweek session, representing a decline in the number of deals by 4.77 per cent, an increase in the trading volume by 61.55 per cent, and a surge in the trading value by 115.63 per cent.
The increase in the market turnover was driven by the 49.8 million shares of FCMB traded by investors during the session. Courteville traded 16.9 million stocks, Access Holdings sold 12.0 million equities, UBA traded 10.8 million shares, and Zenith Bank exchanged 9.8 million shares.
Business Post reports that the insurance and energy counters went down by 0.12 per cent and 0.08 per cent, respectively, while the banking and consumer goods sectors went up by 2.16 per cent and 0.77 per cent apiece, with the industrial goods space closing flat.
At the close of trades, the All-Share Index (ASI) receded by 3.40 points to 47,656.64 points from 47,660.04 points, and the market capitalisation retreated by N2 billion to N25.957 trillion from N25.959 trillion.
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