FG to Increase Fertiliser Blending Plants in Nigeria to 18 by Dec
By Dipo Olowookere
Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media & Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, has disclosed that plans were underway to increase the 11 fertilizer blending plants in the country to 18 by the end of the year.
According to the President’s media aide, this will, in turn, provide direct employment to no fewer than 50,000 Nigerians.
Speaking at the weekend on Hannu Ya Dawa, an audience participation programme on FRCN Kaduna, Mr Shehu also said farmers across the country will receive 4 million bags of 50kg Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium (NPK) fertilisers before the end of the year.
He said the fertilisers would be distributed by the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative (PFI) to farmers at an affordable price.
Mr Shehu said the projected delivery of the commodity by December is in addition to the six million bags of 50kg fertilizers already sold to farmers since the Initiative commenced early this year.
“The problem of the shortage of fertilizers and its attendant high cost plaguing the nation’s agricultural production, seemingly intractable for decades, have been resolved following the successful execution of the mandate of the PFI.
“Since the implementation of the Initiative, the six million 50kg bags of NPK fertilizers were purchased by State governments and agro-dealers across the country,” he said.
The President’s spokesman noted that the production of locally-blended fertilizer had saved the Federal Government about $150 million this year, hitherto spent on foreign exchange; and N60 billion in budgetary provisions for fertilizer subsidy.
He added that the successful implementation of the PFI had made fertilizer available to Nigerian farmers at affordable prices and in time for the 2017 wet season farming.
“Last year, Daily Trust newspaper reported that a bag of 50kg NPK fertilizer was sold at N10,900 in Benue State. Today the same commodity is being sold at about N6, 500 in different locations across the country, while the government-approved price is N5,500,” he said.
Quoting the same newspaper report, Mallam Shehu noted that a bag of maize which was sold at N21,000 last year is currently being sold at an average of N10,000.
“This is an indication that the Initiative has enhanced food security as a result of the increase in food production. There is also a reduction in food-induced inflation while economic activities across the agriculture value chain are very impressive,” Mr Shehu added.
Nigerian Exchange Attracts N11.841bn in Pre-Guber Poll Trades
By Dipo Olowookere
The Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited recorded the sale of 853.745 million shares worth N11.841 billion in 18,543 deals last week compared with the 1.023 billion shares worth N20.221 billion transacted in 18,650 deals a week earlier.
It was observed that Nigerian stock investors trimmed down their investments in local equities ahead of the governorship and state parliamentary elections over the weekend.
Analysis of the trades showed that financial shares led the activity chart in the week, with a turnover of 547.566 million units valued at N7.100 billion in 9,419 deals, contributing 64.14 per cent and 59.97 per cent to the total trading volume and value, respectively.
Equities in the conglomerates industry recorded the sale of 85.145 million shares worth N134.734 million in 717 deals, while stocks in the consumer goods sectors posted a turnover of 52.981 million shares worth N1.584 billion in 2,865 deals.
Business Post reports that Transcorp, Zenith Bank and Sterling Bank were the most active stocks as they sold 226.004 million units worth N2.041 billion in 2,613 deals, accounting for 26.47 per cent and 17.24 per cent of the total trading volume and value, respectively.
In the week, the All-Share Index (ASI) and the market capitalisation depreciated by 1.58 per cent to close at 54,915.39 points and N29.916 trillion apiece.
Similarly, all other indices finished lower except the consumer goods and the Growth indices, which appreciated by 1.11 per cent and 2.90 per cent each, while the ASeM, energy, and the sovereign bond index closed flat.
A total of 19 stocks appreciated in price during the week compared with the 22 stocks in the previous week, while 47 equities depreciated in price, higher than 41 equities in the previous week, with 91 shares closing flat, in contrast to the 94 shares in the previous week.
United Capital was the worst-performing stock last week after it shed 16.72 per cent to finish at N12.20, Linkage Assurance lost 10.87 per cent to close at 41 Kobo, Ecobank depreciated by 10.00 per cent to N10.80, Industrial and Medical Gases fell by 9.32 per cent to N7.30, NPF Microfinance Bank depleted by 8.47 per cent to N1.73.
On the flip side, Prestige Assurance gained 9.76 per cent to trade at 45 Kobo, Nigerian Enamelware grew by 9.57 per cent to N17.75, University Press expanded by 9.34 per cent to N1.99, CWG chalked up 8.79 per cent to close at 99 Kobo, and FTN Cocoa increased by 7.69 per cent to 28 Kobo.
NASD OTC Exchange Closes 0.36% Higher as Trading Volume Surges
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.
Naira Appreciates at Black Market, Peer-to-Peer, I&E
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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