By Nneka Okumazie
If an individual hawks stuff around, who is responsible for that situation, and whose responsibility is it to lift that individual out of poverty?
Factors responsible for poverty may include income, purchasing power, conditions of living, trade and monetary policies. There are some who are impoverished but aren’t hawking. What drives people to hawk and how much has Africa done to find solutions to hawking?
Poverty in Africa is super complicated. The whole thing may be onerous to extricate, but fragments of it could find solutions if massive studies and efforts are thrown at it.
There are telecom companies who branded poor retailers of their products, with umbrellas, clothes, chairs, tables, etc. There are beverage and fast moving consumer goods companies who have also given branded boards, posters, merchandises to poor retailers as well. There are often promos, offers, credit services, microfinance, etc. for many of these retailers. Sometimes, it doubles as marketing or for social optics.
However, most of these are palliatives for poverty, not structures for economic elevation. Financial inclusion, can also – simply – be described as a way of providing banking services for the poorest. It is helpful and necessary.
But where does financial inclusion fit for majority of poor people: palliative or elevator? Some may argue that most poor traders have found a way around saving from time, while others may argue that there has been no other time in Africa, where direct financial services are provided to the poor.
Africa is buzzing with new stuff especially platforms that technology enabled. But where are the solutions? Where are the studies? Where is the activism, or rage against hawking? How many University centers are there to study and prevent hawking? How many corporations are making efforts to reduce the amount of hawkers of their product, to have more shop-based or stationary retailers?
Hawkers are ignored, seen as normal and forsaken, except when there is something to benefit from them. Hawking is abnormal, horrific and should be discouraged enough that it should be the impossible option. But, nothing is done, by those who have knowledge, or by those whose products they sell – directly or indirectly, or by those who can make the policies to help them collectively.
Often people give one answer to poverty, or hawking, saying do this, then that, etc. But NO, the complexities of Africa’s hardship require multiple studies, tests, models and experimentation – consistently – towards solution.
Christianity, Poverty and Taxes
Sometimes, the necessity of reviewing issues of poverty is because of the growing amount of people who blame Christianity for poverty in Nigeria, or in Africa.
Christianity is hated more than hawking, by those who have no value to improve the society except vague to-dos.
They have said people are brainwashed by Christianity. Meaning that for them all their opinions and views of everything they do is a hundred percent original, nothing from anywhere was ever accepted, so whoever accepts anything they didn’t create, or invent is brainwashed. No interest in genuine Christianity or in the Way does not mean those who have are brainwashed.
They also said Christianity is false hopes. But if there is no hope in hawking, where someone hawking had seen folks who hawked through life, or stayed poor through life, is it not better to have hope that may mean joy or that may mean endurance and ability to be strong, or have a sound mind?
True Churches are not the problem of the country, or the continent, no matter what statement is brandished by enemies of the Church.
Giving in a true Church is also not a scam, no matter the giving. It is optional, voluntary and in accordance with faith. No need to give if there is doubt of its use, or if feeling cheated.
Also, if there are questions about Christianity and the Power of GOD that aren’t satisfactorily answered, it does not invalidate the Truthfulness of the Word. Christianity is not the only thing that has unanswered questions. There are tons of unanswered question – in spite of all the advances – in psychology, neuroscience, oncology, astronomy, atmospheric science, etc.
Christ said, “Pay therefore to Caesar the things that are due to Caesar, and pay to God the things that are due to God.” This means that if you believe you – may – give, as part of your faith, to GOD. The Scriptures did not tell us how the Churches in the Epistles gave during their services, or their general order of service but it is possible, they gave collectively for Church projects, for the welfare of the poor, for gospel witnessing, etc.
Taxes are important for any economy. There are all kinds of taxes for all categories of income and expenditures. Taxes well spent are like a great pillar for building and maintaining a society.
The poverty in Africa is painful. Yes, it is not an excuse for laziness or for vices or for risky desperations, or for harm, or for lawlessness. But there are many, trying much to be lawful and good, but the failures of the society has precipitated them. It is so unfortunate and it doesn’t seem there are massive active efforts for poverty solutions in Africa, but who knows?
FG to Announce New Date for Postponed FAAC Meeting for May 2022
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.”
Bulls Return to Unlisted Securities Market on 0.21% Growth
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.
Naira Drops 0.34% at P2P, 0.26% at Investors’ FX Segment
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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