By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) may no longer be the only major union for lecturers in Nigeria as the federal government has commenced the process of registering a rival group.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Mr Chris Ngige, said in Abuja on Thursday that the government was permitted under the law to embark on such.
For almost 10 months, members of ASUU have refused to return to classes because of the issues they have with the central government, especially on funding the education sector and the appropriate platform for the payment of their salaries.
Yesterday, some lecturers opposed to ASUU under the aegis of Congress of University Academics (CONUA) were at the Minister’s office, who commended them for supporting the government.
During the visit led by the National Coordinator of CONUA, Mr Niyi Sunmonu, the Minister noted that the decision of ASUU to stay away from work has negatively affected the sector, especially the students, who are already getting frustrated for staying at home for long.
Mr Ngige said he has asked the necessary agencies to work on the registration of the new association, noting that he should get an update next month.
“We are receiving you in audience formally today in this ministry. We have the right to receive associations of persons that are workers, whether we have registered them or not, just as you have the right to apply for registration which is the lawful thing to do.
“We have the right to receive and hold meetings with you. The journey to have you registered has just started.
“You have done the right thing by applying and this ministry has also done the right thing by processing your registration.
“The review of your application for registration is ongoing. I have put up a committee to look into that review. I will ask the committee to wind up its work.
“We are giving them four weeks from today to turn in their report to the ministry.
“Part of our job here is to register unions; it is also part of our job to make sure that unions that are not functional are helped,” the Minister informed the rival group.
In his remarks, Mr Sunmonu assured the Minister CONUA always constructively engage the government if finally registered, noting that the group was determined to have a seamless and uninterrupted academic calendar in the university system.
“The government cannot see what we see and we will not see what the government sees, but when we have our mind made up in a constructive manner, we will come to a reasonable agreement to further progress our universities and for the advancement of the nation,” he said.
He stressed that “ASUU no longer represents our interest and aspirations. CONUA fits to be described as a group of people who are independent academics and who have decided to come together to form a union committed to the advancement of education in Nigeria,” adding that “CONUA members are not members of ASUU and we are not ready to be part of ASUU due to irreconcilable differences and modes of operation.”
Inflation in Nigeria Jumps to 16.82% in April 2022
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Tuesday disclosed that inflation in Nigeria increased by 16.82 per cent in April 2022 from the 15.92 per cent recorded in March 2022.
However, on a year-on-year basis, the rate moderated by 1.3 per cent as inflation was 18.12 per cent in the corresponding month of 2021.
The NBS disclosed that the percentage change in the average composite consumer price index (CPI) for the 12 months period ending April 2022 over the average of the CPI for the previous 12 months period was 16.45 per cent, 0.1 per cent lower than the 16.54 per cent recorded in March 2022.
It also stated that in the month under review, the urban inflation rate increased to 17.35 per cent (year-on-year) in April 2022 from 18.68 per cent recorded in April 2021, while the rural inflation rate increased to 16.32 per cent in April 2022 from 17.57 per cent in April 2021.
On a month-on-month basis, the urban index rose to 1.78 per cent in April 2022, up by 0.02 from the rate recorded in March 2022 at 1.76 per cent, while the rural index also rose to 1.74 per cent in April 2022, up by 0.01 from the rate that was recorded in March 2022 at 1.73 per cent.
The corresponding 12-month year-on-year average percentage change for the urban index is 17.01 per cent in April 2022, lower than 17.10 per cent reported in March 2022, while the corresponding rural inflation rate in April 2022 is 15.91 per cent compared to 16.00 per cent recorded in March 2022.
In the report, the stats agency said in April 2022, the composite food index rose by 18.37 per cent in contrast to the 22.72 per cent achieved in April 2021, attributing the increase to a hike in the prices of bread and cereals, food products n.e.c, potatoes, yam, and other tubers, wine, fish, meat, and oils.
On a month-on-month basis, the food sub-index increased to 2.00 per cent in April 2022, up by 0.01 per cent points from 1.99 per cent recorded in March 2022, the report added.
It was further stated that the average annual rate of change of the food sub-index for the 12-month period ending April 2022 over the previous 12-month average is 18.88 per cent, 0.34 per cent points from the average annual rate of change recorded in March 2022 at 19.21 per cent.
OTC Securities Exchange Closes 0.02% Lower
By Adedapo Adesanya
The NASD Over-the-Counter (OTC) Securities Exchange closed marginally lower by 0.02 per cent on Monday on the back of a price depreciation in Central Securities Clearing Systems (CSCS) Plc.
The stock, which was the only price loser yesterday, went down by 5 kobo or 0.29 per cent to sell at N16.95 per unit compared to the previous session’s N17.00 per unit.
At the close of transactions, it reduced the market capitalisation of the OTC securities exchange by N250 million to N1.05 trillion from N1.06 trillion and sliced the NASD Unlisted Securities Index (NSI) by 0.19 points to 807.56 points from 807.75 points.
Business Post observed that the level of activity during the session was low as the volume of securities recorded a decline of 99.8 per cent to 61,131 units from 7.5 million units, the value of trades also depreciated by 99.8 per cent to N4.6 million from N2.2 billion, while the number of deals remained unchanged at 11 deals.
AG Mortgage Bank Plc closed the session as the most traded stock by volume (year-to-date) with 2.3 billion units worth N1.2 billion, CSCS Plc was in second place with 661.6 million units worth N13.9 billion, while Food Concepts Plc held the third position with 94 million units worth N77.8 million.
But the most active stock by value (year-to-date) was CSCS Plc with 661.6 million units valued at N13.9 billion, VFD Group followed with 9.4 million units valued at N2.9 billion, and AG Mortgage Bank Plc with 2.3 billion units valued at N1.2 billion.
FX Supply Crisis Weakens Naira to N421.50/$ at I&E
By Adedapo Adesanya
The rationing of foreign exchange (FX) to traders in Nigeria by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) amid a shortage in supply is putting the Naira under pressure.
At the Investors and Exporters (I&E) segment of the market on Monday, the Nigerian currency depreciated by 0.6 per cent or N2.50 against the US Dollar to N421.50/$1 from the previous session’s N419.00/$1.
According to data from the FMDQ Securities Exchange, FX traders could not execute many transactions yesterday as they could not meet the high demand for forex from their customers.
FX trades valued at $70.68 million were carried out during the session compared with the $169.38 million executed last Friday, indicating a shortfall of 58.3 per cent or $98.7 million. Amid these low FX deals, the Naira could not gain strength against its American counterpart due to a shrink in the supply end.
At the spot market, the local currency also depreciated against the Pound Sterling on Monday by N2.17 to trade at N509.50/£1 versus the preceding session’s N507.33/£1 and lost N1.18 against the Euro to close the day at N433.05/€1 compared with N431.87/€1 of the previous day.
But at the Peer-to-Peer (P2P) window, the Nigerian Naira appreciated by N1 against the greenback to trade at N614/$1 in contrast to the preceding session’s value of N615/$1.
At the cryptocurrency market, things continued to worsen for the Luna-backed coin, TerraUSD (UST) as it plunged by 27.8 per cent to trade at $0.1269.
This is coming as Luna Foundation Guard, a fund set up by Terra creator, Mr Do Kwon, said on Monday that the company spent almost all of the Bitcoin in its reserve last week in a futile attempt to save UST.
It was joined yesterday by Cardano (ADA), which depreciated by 0.2 per cent to sell at $0.5742.
However, Litecoin (LTC) gained 3.7 per cent to trade at $70.56, Solana (SOL) improved by 2.6 per cent to $56.77, Binance Coin (BNB) appreciated by 1.3 per cent to $305.71, Ripple (XRP) recorded a 1.2 per cent gain to trade at $0.4356, Dogecoin (DOGE) rose by 0.3 per cent to $0.0899, Bitcoin (BTC) increased by 0.2 per cent to $30,358.88, Ethereum (ETH) went up by 0.1 per cent to $2,075.77, while the US Dollar Tether (USDT) also gained 0.1 per cent to sell for $0.9989.
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