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Business-Friendly Environment Can Push Telcos to List on NSE—Airtel CEO

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Business-Friendly Environment Can Push Telcos to List on NSE—Airtel CEO

Business-Friendly Environment Can Push Telcos to List on NSE—Airtel CEO

By Dipo Olowookere

In recent times, there have been concerns about telecommunication companies in Nigeria not being listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

In June 2015, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogara, said the National Assembly may have to compel multinational oil, gas and telcos to list a certain percentage of their value on the local bourse.

He contended that there was no justification for these firms not to be on the NSE.

In February this year, Minister of Communications Technology, Mr Adebayo Shittu, ordered all mobile telcos in the country to list their shares on the NSE or face sanctions.

But Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Airtel Nigeria, Mr Segun Ogunsanya, has stressed that telecom firms in Nigeria can successfully list on the NSE and contribute significantly to the socio-economic development of the country, barring challenges confronting operators in the sector.

According to him, an enabling business environment, policies that promote ease of doing business and market forces in line with best practices are key factors that can encourage operators to list on the Nigerian bourse.

Mr Ogunsanya made this submission while delivering his presentation entitled ‘Creating an Enabling Environment for Public Listing of the Economy’s Commanding Heights: The Case for Telecoms Sector’ at the 2017 Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS) Annual National Workshop held in Abuja on Tuesday, July 4, 2017.

Speaking at the occasion, Mr Ogunsanya noted that following the liberalisation of the telecoms sector in 2001, the nation has benefitted in terms of employment creation, attraction of foreign direct investments and social-economic development.

“The sector currently accounts for 10 percent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and therefore makes it a critical national infrastructure.

“In addition, connectivity among Nigerians has been enhanced with the 145,350,702 active lines as at May 2017, investments in the sector as at Q1 2017 stood at $68 billion with FDI contribution amounting to $35 billion, while over 10,000 direct jobs and 1.3million indirect jobs have been created,” the Airtel chief executive said.

He stressed that telcos were committed to providing qualitative world class telecommunications services and in turn contribute to the socio-economic development of the country.

However, operators are still facing challenges which stifle growth and inhibit services delivery.

Mr Ogunsanya, therefore, urged government to address lingering industry issues such as multiple taxation, prohibitive right-of-way fees, broadband spectrum pricing/ availability among others.

Speaking further, the Airtel CEO noted that high interest rates are a major draw-back on use of debt financing, the fluctuation of foreign exchange rate has adversely impacted use of debt financing, while adverse market conditions occasioned by recession have adversely impacted viability of public equity alternatives.

The CIS Annual Workshop themed ‘Transition from Recession to Global Economic Power: A Working Template for Nigeria’ was a convergence of stakeholders in the nation’s financial services sector.

Present at the workshop were the Chief Executive Officer of the NSE, Mr Oscar Onyema; Director General, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mallam Mounir Gwarzo; Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun; among other top government functionaries, captains of industry and dignitaries.

The programme was organised in conjunction with the Nigerian Capital Market Institute, a training affiliate of SEC, the apex regulator of the Nigerian capital market.

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via dipo.olowookere@businesspost.ng

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Economy

FG to Announce New Date for Postponed FAAC Meeting for May 2022

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FAAC meeting allocation

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

The federal government has said it would announce a new date for the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting for this month, which was shelved in a circular on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning released a statement to announce the postponement of the FAAC Meeting for May 2022 over certain circumstances connected with the arrest of the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Mr Ahmed Idris.

Mr Idris, who is a key member of the FAAC team, is cooling off in the custody of the agency over an alleged N80 billion fraud. He is helping the EFCC in its investigation into the issue.

As a result of his arrest and suspension from office by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, the meeting for this month was shelved.

In the circular signed by the Director of Home Finance at the Ministry, Mr Stephen Okon, the federal government assured that “the new date for the meetings will be forwarded to you in due course.”

The gathering, which is held to share revenue generated by the country in the previous month to the three tiers of government; federal, states and local governments, was earlier slated to take place this month on Wednesday, May 18 and Thursday, May 19, 2022.

But Mr Okon stated in the notice that, “I am directed to inform you that the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) meetings earlier scheduled to hold virtually on the 18th and 19th May 2022 have been postponed due to certain circumstances.”

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Economy

Bulls Return to Unlisted Securities Market on 0.21% Growth

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Unlisted Securities Market

By Adedapo Adesanya

The NASD Over-the-Counter (OTC) Securities Exchange welcomed the bulls back into its fold on Thursday following a 0.21 per cent growth at the close of business.

The bulls were at the unlisted securities market yesterday at the invitation of Niger Delta Exploration and Production (NDEP) and Food Concepts Plc, which recorded price appreciations during the session.

NDEP Plc gained N10 or 4.6 per cent to close at N220.00 per share as against the N210.00 it closed at the last session, while Food Concepts Plc appreciated by 6 kobo or 6.5 per cent to close at 93 kobo per unit compared with 87 kobo per unit of the previous session.

The gains reported by the duo expanded the NASD unlisted securities index (NSI) by 1.66 points to 808.79 points from 807.12 points and equally increased the market capitalisation by N2.17 billion to N1.06 trillion from N1.05 billion.

At the market yesterday, the trading volume rose by 17,545.7 per cent as a total of 20.0 million units of shares exchanged hands compared with the 113,500 units of shares transacted on Wednesday.

In the same vein, the trading value rose by 749.3 per cent to N24.4 million from the previous day’s N2.9 million, while the number of trades went down by 28.6 per cent to five deals from seven deals.

AG Mortgage Bank Plc remained the most traded stock by volume on a year-to-date basis with 2.3 billion units valued at N1.2 billion, Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS) Plc stood in second place with 661.7 million units worth N13.9 billion, while Food Concepts Plc was in third place with 134.0 million units valued at N114.9 million.

In the same vein, CSCS Plc ended the session as the most active stock by value on a year-to-date basis with 661.7 million units worth N13.9 billion, VFD Group was in second place with 9.4 million units valued at N2.9 billion, while AG Mortgage Bank Plc in third place has transacted 2.3 billion units valued at N1.2 billion.

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Economy

Naira Drops 0.34% at P2P, 0.26% at Investors’ FX Segment

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FX Market Segments

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Naira depreciated against the Dollar at the Peer-to-Peer (P2P) segment of the foreign exchange (FX) market on Thursday by 0.34 per cent or N2 to trade at N615/$1 compared with the previous day’s N613/$1.

Also, at the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window, the Nigerian currency depreciated against the greenback yesterday by 0.26 per cent or N1.08 as it traded at N420.33/$1 in contrast to Wednesday’s closing value of N419.25/$1.

It was the second consecutive trading day that the local currency is coming under pressure amid disruption in the supply of forex to the market by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The demand for FX is relatively high at the moment because politicians are trying to get foreign currencies to woo delegates to their sides to obtain tickets to contest in the 2023 general elections.

Data from the FMDQ Securities Exchange indicated that at the investors’ FX segment yesterday, transactions worth $75.56 million were executed, 62.47 per cent or $125.78 million lower than the $201.34 million achieved a day earlier.

However, at the interbank segment of the FX market, the domestic currency closed stronger against the Pound Sterling by 38 kobo to trade at N516.49/£1 versus N516.87/£1 and against the Euro, it gained 37 kobo to sell at N437.48/€1 versus the preceding session’s N437.11/€1.

At the cryptocurrency market, nine of the 10 tokens monitored by Business Post recovered, with the crisis-hit coin, TerraUSD (UST), further losing 21.4 per cent to quote at $0.07479.

Ripple (XRP) rose by 7.2 per cent to $0.432, Litecoin (LTC) gained 4.8 per cent to trade at $69.99, Cardano (ADA) appreciated by 4.6 per cent to sell at $0.5304, Binance Coin (BNB) grew by 4.2 per cent to trade at $307.16, while Ethereum (ETH) went up by 3.7 per cent to $2,017.41.

In addition, Bitcoin (BTC) jumped by 3.6 per cent to $30,086.44, Dogecoin (DOGE) moved higher by 2.6 per cent to trade at $0.0862, Solana (SOL) recorded a 1.5 per cent appreciation to sell at $51.09, while the United States Dollar Tether (USDT) gained 0.01 per cent to settle at $0.9989.

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