By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The House of Representatives has assured Nigerians that it would pay more attention to bills and motions aimed to improve the economy of the country.
Speaker of the House, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, urged his colleagues to put heads together to achieve this target and not sponsor bills that seek to establish new institutions, which he stressed could drain the economy.
“At a time of reduced revenue, with pre-existing and worsening infrastructure deficits requiring significant investments, we cannot afford to keep establishing more institutions that impose a permanent liability on government income.
“I am not unmindful of the realities that often necessitate such legislation, yet we cannot ignore the facts that lie before us,” the lawmaker said while welcoming members of the House back from the Christmas and New Year break at the plenary on Wednesday.
He said instead, the representatives of the people should concentrate on bills and motions that would improve the ease of doing business.
“In the 2021 legislative year, we will focus the attention of the House of Representatives on bills and motions that improve ease of doing business and unlock economic potential by stripping away restrictive regulation and ending predatory regulatory practices that deprive our young people the opportunity to conquer new frontiers,” he said.
Mr Gbajabiamila also disclosed that, “In this age of technology and innovation, of daring and enterprise, we cannot risk implementing policies that handicap our ability as a nation to participate in new markets and profit from emerging industries.”
He further said the legislative arm of government will work together with the executive to improve the security situation in the country and ensure the use of its appropriation powers to hold those responsible accountable.
“The true test of government is in our ability to protect the most vulnerable amongst us. We cannot separate the goal of economic prosperity from the ambition to ensure that all our people live in a just society free from abuse of power and protected by a justice system built on fairness and the rule of law.
“Therefore, we will shortly begin considering Bills to amend the Administration of Criminal Justice Act. We will follow up with a long-overdue review of the Trafficking In Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act and other legislation that seek to deliver a justice system that works for all,” he submitted.
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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