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Buhari Tasks MOFI Board to Grow Assets to N100trn

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MOFI board

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

The newly inaugurated board of the Ministry of Finance Incorporated (MOFI) has been given the mandate to grow its Assets Under Management from the current value of N18 trillion to at least N100 trillion in the next 10 years.

A statement issued on Wednesday by Mr Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, disclosed that the charge was given at the State House, Abuja, during the inauguration of the MOFI board shortly before the commencement of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting today.

The President also tasked the new board to “be the clearinghouse for the management of federal government investments and assets in line with global best practices with a view to ensuring that these investments are delivering superior risk-adjusted returns to the government.”

He also called on the new MOFI to “work with other MDAs to create a consolidated national asset register with a view to converting these assets into cashflow-generating entities to support the government’s revenue drive and; partner with the government with a view to using government-owned investments and assets to support the government in delivering on its social and economic obligations to the citizenry.”

To this effect, he directed the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, to commence the process of amending the MOFI Act and other legislations to institutionalise this reform further and ensure that MOFI is restructured and repositioned to become a trusted custodian and manager of Federal Government investments and assets.

President Buhari said the event was significant as the restructured MOFI will help identify “what we own” and how to get the best out of them.

According to him, the MOFI Act of 1959, now Cap. 229, Laws of the Federation, 2004 “explicitly empowers MOFI to enter into commercial transactions of any description on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria in its own name. As a result, MOFI was used as a Special Purpose Vehicle across different sectors to invest in commercial entities over the last 64 years. To put this in context, MOFI was created even before Nigeria’s independence.”

Speaking further, the President said, “MOFI was not structured to be governed or resourced to deliver on the expected mandate. MOFI’s peers, on the other hand, that were deliberately set up with the institutional framework, governance structure, and execution capacity, have gone on to make major social and economic impacts in their respective nations. Many of these have become global brands for investing domestically and internationally.

“As part of the governance structure, there will be a Governing Council headed by me, a Board of Directors under the leadership of a former Minister of Finance and an Executive Management Team headed by Dr Armstrong Takang.”

President Buhari reminded members of the Governing Council as well as the Board of Directors that this administration expected much from them. Specifically, he tasked Ministers who are members to “create an enabling environment that will facilitate the creation of a National Asset Register that will be harnessed to strengthen our fiscal and economic realities and the optimization of our investments and assets that will be under the purview of MOFI.”

In her remarks, Mrs Ahmed thanked President Buhari for his support and approvals that have made the restructuring and repositioning of MOFI possible, assuring him that Council members and the Board will ensure that the new MOFI delivers on its mandates.

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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Economy

NASD OTC Exchange Closes 0.36% Higher as Trading Volume Surges

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NASD OTC exchange

By Adedapo Adesanya

The NASD Over-the-Counter (OTC) Securities Exchange closed the Friday session on March 17 in the positive territory as three stocks pushed the market up by 0.36 per cent.

The three price gainers were led by Niger Delta Exploration and Production (NDEP) Plc, which added N15.00 to move up to N205.00 per unit from N190.00 per unit.

FrieslandCampina Wamco Nigeria Plc appreciated during the trading day by N1.11 to close at N75.11 per share compared with the previous day’s value of N74.00 per share, while Afriland Properties Plc went up by 2 Kobo to settle at N2.09 per unit versus Thursday’s value of N2.07 per unit.

The trio pushed down the N4.00 lost by 11 Plc yesterday, as the stock price of the energy firm ended at N150.00 per share, in contrast to the preceding day’s N154.00 per share.

At the close of business, the market capitalisation of the NASD OTC exchange rose by N3.48 billion to close the day at N961.12 billion compared with the preceding day’s N957.64 billion.

In the same vein, the NASD Unlisted Securities Index (NSI) appreciated by 2.65 points to wrap the session at 731.44 points compared with 728.79 points of the previous session.

Yesterday, there was a jump in the volume of securities traded by 2,115.1 per cent to 739,755 units from 33,396 million units, the value of transactions increased by 15,683.7 per cent to N30.6 million from N193,846, and the number of deals jumped by 150 per cent to 10 deals from the four deals carried out a day earlier.

Geo-Fluids Plc remained the most traded stock by volume (year-to-date) by trading 425.2 million units valued at N448.5 million, UBN Property Plc was in second place for selling 365.8 units worth N309.5 million, and NRMC Plc was in third place for exchanging 25.0 million units valued at N137.5 million.

On a year-to-date basis by value, VFD Group Plc was on top of the chart after trading 7.3 million units worth N1.7 billion, trailed by Geo-Fluids Plc with 425.2 million units worth N448.5 million, and UBN Property Plc with 365.8 million units valued at N309.5 million.

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Economy

Naira Appreciates at Black Market, Peer-to-Peer, I&E

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Peer-to-Peer lending

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Naira appreciated against the United States currency in the Peer-to-Peer (P2P), the black market and the Investors and Exporters (I&E) windows of the foreign exchange (FX) window on Friday, March 17.

The Naira gained N2 against the US Dollar during the session as it closed at N754/$1, in contrast to the previous session’s value of N756/$1.

In the parallel market, the domestic currency improved its value by N1 against the American Dollar on Friday to quote at N747/$1 compared with Thursday’s exchange rate of N748/$1.

It was a similar outcome for the Nigerian currency at the I&E segment of the market as it closed stronger against the greenback by 17 Kobo or 0.04 per cent to sell at N461.83/$1 versus the N462.00/$1 it was quoted at the previous session.

This happened as there was a 10.2 per cent or $9.97 million in the value of forex transactions recorded during the session to $87.81 million from the $97.78 million reported a day earlier.

In the interbank segment of the market, the Naira witnessed no movement against the Pound Sterling and the Euro, closing at N556.45/£1 and N487.99/€1, respectively.

In the cryptocurrency market, Bitcoin (BTC) moved to a fresh nine-month high on Friday at above the $27,000 level. The surge followed the US Federal Reserve’s decision to backstop embattled banks to a record of $152.9 billion.

BTC recorded a 6.0 per cent rise to trade at $27,546.42, Ethereum (ETH) improved by 5.8 per cent to sell at $1,813.37, Solana (SOL) chalked up 11.9 per cent to quote at $22.48, Litecoin (LTC) went up by 6.4 per cent to trade at $86.62, and  Cardano (ADA) rose by 6.2 per cent to trade at $0.3523.

Further, Dogecoin (DOGE) made a 4.8 per cent appreciation to quote at $0.0776, Ripple (XRP) recorded a 3.9 per cent gain to settle at $0.3843, and Binance Coin (BNB) added 3.8 per cent to sell for $344.22, while the US Dollar Tether (USDT) and Binance USD (BUSD) traded at $1.00 each.

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Economy

Oil Market Settles Lower in Toughest Week Yet

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crude oil market

By Adedapo Adesanya

The oil market settled lower on Friday, reversing early gains of more than $1 a barrel as banking sector fears caused both benchmarks to reach their biggest weekly declines in months.

Brent crude futures lost $1.73 or 2.3 per cent to close at $72.97 per barrel, and the US West Texas Intermediate crude fell by $1.61 or 2.4 per cent to settle at $66.74 per barrel.

Brent fell nearly by 12 per cent in the week, its biggest weekly fall since December, and on its part, WTI futures fell 13 per cent, its biggest since last April.

The market has remained jittery following the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and Signature Bank and with trouble at Credit Suisse and First Republic Bank.

The latest help went to First Republic Bank, which was rescued by a group of major US lenders, easing worries about the current banking turmoil.

The news calmed the markets, which were on edge over a potential banking crisis following the collapse of two US banks and the storm at Credit Suisse over the past week.

The bank is set to receive a $30 billion lifeline from a group of America’s largest banks, including JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, and Truist.

Investors are now awaiting the Federal Reserve’s rate decision next week. They widely expect the US central bank to raise rates by 25 basis points.

Analysts still expect constrained global supply to support oil prices in the foreseeable future.

Members of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies (OPEC+) attributed this week’s price weakness to financial drivers rather than any supply and demand imbalance, adding that they expected the market to stabilise.

Saudi Arabia and Russia, in a meeting on Thursday, affirmed their commitment to OPEC+’s decision last October to cut production targets by two million barrels per day until the end of 2023.

This comes ahead of an OPEC+ monitoring panel meeting that is due to meet on April 3.

There are also expectations that China’s demand recovery will continue to support prices, with US crude exports to China in March heading towards their highest in nearly two and a half years.

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