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Economy

FG to Register Fresh Union for University Lecturers

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chris ngige NSITF

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.”

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

FBN Holdings Confirms Otedola as Shareholder with 5.07% Stake

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FBN Holdings

By Dipo Olowookere

Mr Femi Otedola now controls a 5.07 per cent stake in FBN Holdings Plc, the company has confirmed.

This is coming barely 24 hours after the financial institution said it was not aware of the businessman being a major investor in the organisation.

There were reports a day earlier that the former Chairman of the defunct Forte Oil Plc was now the single largest shareholder of the firm, which owns First Bank of Nigeria Limited.

“The attention of FBN Holdings Plc has been drawn to media reports today, October 22, 2021, purporting that a certain individual has acquired a significant shareholding interest in FBN Holdings Plc, therefore, making him the majority shareholder in the company.

“As a listed company, the shares of FBN Holdings Plc are publicly traded, and sale and acquisition of shares is expected in the normal course of business. We operate in a regulated environment, which requires notification of significant shareholding by shareholders to the company, where shares are held in different vehicles, further to which the company will notify the regulators and the public as appropriate.

“The company is yet to receive any notification from the individual mentioned in the media report, of such acquisitions.

“FBN Holdings Plc will always notify the appropriate agencies and authorities whenever it receives any notice of significant shareholding by the shareholders and the company’s registrars,” the statement released by the firm on Friday had stated.

But today, the company issued another statement, informing the investing public that Mr Otedola now owns 5.07 per cent of the company’s equities. This is coming after it was reported that he acquired N30 billion worth of FBN Holdings stocks on the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited.

The financial institution said it received a notification today concerning this development.

“We refer to our communication to the market dated October 22, 2021, on the above subject wherein we stated that we would inform the public of any substantial acquisition, upon receipt of notification from the shareholder.

“This morning, October 23, 2021, FBN Holdings Plc received a notification from APT Securities and Funds Limited, that their client, Mr Otedola Olufemi Peter, and his nominee, Calvados Global Services Limited, have acquired a total of 1,818,551,625 units of shares from the company’s issued share capital of 35,895,292,791.

“Based on the foregoing, the equity stake of Mr Otedola Olufemi Peter and his nominee in the company is now 5.07 per cent,” the disclosure said.

Business Post reports that with this development, Mr Otedola will likely have one of two persons on the board of FBN Holdings to represent his interest. A change in the board of directors of FBN Holdings is likely to happen in the coming days, weeks or months.

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Economy

Buhari to Finally Launch eNaira October 25

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eNaira

By Dipo Olowookere

On Monday, October 25, 2021, President Muhammadu Buhari will formally launch eNaira, the much-awaited electronic Naira, the Central Bank of Nigeria has confirmed.

The digital legal tender for the country introduced by the CBN was initially scheduled for launch on October 1, 2021, but was shelved.

According to the apex bank, the botched introduction was a result of activities clashing with the event and in order not to let other events overshadow the eNaira launch, it was postponed indefinitely.

But on Saturday, the CBN announced next Monday as the new date for the introduction of the electronic currency under the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).

A statement issued by the Director of Corporate Communications, Mr Osita Nwanisobi, disclosed that Mr Buhari will perform the formal launch at the State House in Abuja.

It was stated that after the event by the President, the eNaira, which has the theme Same Naira, more possibilities, will become available to Nigerians to use as it would be activated.

The CBN said a structure has been put in place to promptly address any issue that might arise from the pilot implementation of the eNaira, with room for further engagement with “various stakeholders.”

The bank said “the eNaira is a culmination of several years of research work” in advancing the “boundaries of the payments system in order to make financial transactions easier and seamless for every strata of the society.”

According to the central bank, it had robust discussions with “the banking community, fintech operators, merchants and indeed, a cross-section of Nigerians” concerning the eNaira and said it was satisfied with the outcome of the talks, stressing that the eNaira “marks a major step forward in the evolution of money” and would ensure that the digital currency, “like the physical Naira, is accessible by everyone.”

“Given that the eNaira is a journey, the unveiling marks the first step in that journey, which will continue with a series of further modifications, capabilities and enhancements to the platforms.

“The CBN will continue to work with relevant partners to ensure a seamless process that will benefit every user, particularly those in the rural areas and the unbanked population,” it added.

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Economy

Friesland Drowns Unlisted Securities Market by 0.33%

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Friesland WAMCO

By Adedapo Adesanya

The NASD Over-the-Counter (OTC) Securities Exchange closed in the negative territory at the last trading session of the week on Friday by 0.33 per cent.

It was the first time the market was closing bearish this week and this drowning of the unlisted securities market yesterday was caused by a decline in the equity price of FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria Plc. The price of Friesland went down by 6.7 per cent or N8 to settle at N120.00 per share in contrast to N128.00 per share of the last session.

As a result, the market capitalisation of the exchange dropped N2.04 billion to close the day at N617.59 billion in contrast to N619.63 billion it finished on Thursday.

In the same vein, the NASD Unlisted Security Index (NSI) depreciated by 2.47 points to wrap the session at 747.53 points compared with 750.00 points of the previous session.

Despite the loss recorded yesterday, two securities closed in the positive region led by Central Securities Clearing Systems (CSCS) Plc, which rose by N1.15 or 6.4 per cent to close at N17.95 per unit versus the previous N16.80 per unit.

Also, NASD Plc appreciated during the session by 5 kobo or 0.37 per cent to quote at N13.70 per share as against the N13.65 per share it traded at the preceding session.

At the market on Friday, a total of 292,000 units of securities were transacted by investors in contrast to the 209,300 units of securities transacted at the previous session, indicating a rise of 6.1 per cent.

Equally, the value of shares exchanged by the market participants went up by 14.7 per cent to N4.9 million from N4.3 million recorded at the previous session.

These transactions were carried out in five deals, 16.7 per cent lower than the six deals carried out at the preceding session.

Food Concepts Plc was the most active stock by volume (year-to-date) as it has traded 11.4 billion units of its shares for N14.4 billion. Lighthouse Financial Services Plc occupied the second spot as it has traded 1.1 billion valued at N546.1 million, while Geo Fluids Plc took third place with 1.0 billion units worth N700 million.

In terms of value, Food Concepts Plc also topped the chart with 11.4 million units traded for N14.4 billion, Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Group Plc remained in the second spot with 456.4 million units valued at N9.2 billion, while VFD Group Plc maintained the third spot with 10.4 million units valued at N3.5 billion.

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