By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The National Economic Council (NEC) has expressed concerns over the importation of some poisonous consumable goods into Nigeria.
The council, which met on Tuesday in Abuja, has called on the relevant agencies to tackle the issue and avert danger in the country.
At the meeting president over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, NEC urged the National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to ensure only quality products are allowed in the country.
The council noted in dismay how frozen chickens preserved with very dangerous chemicals were allowed into Nigeria without checks.
Addressing newsmen of the outcome of the meeting yesterday, Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State said, “We were concerned of some of the imported goods, some of the items imports into this country in the name of food and we have cautioned seriously that SON, NAFDAC and other agencies that deal with quality of goods should do their utmost best so that rubbish is not sent into this country in the name of food.
“We realized that some of the frozen chicken and fish imports into this country were being preserved with very dangerous chemicals. So we are of the opinion that this area should be looked into.
“And again, we all resolved that agriculture should continue to take the centre stage in this country for now so that our country will be able to feed itself. If we are not able to do this, employment for our youth would be a mere dream.”
Also, Mr Okorocha said the council endorsed the Federal Government’s plan to increase the contribution of the solid minerals sector to the nation’s treasury.
He said the Minister of Mines and Steel Development presented a Memorandum to Council on the need to engage Independent Professional Revenue Consultants to increase the contribution of the Solid Minerals Sector to the revenue of the Government of the Federation.
“The imperative of the memo therefore arose after a comprehensive review of the revenue generation profile of the mining sector and the need to plug avoidable revenue leakages, which occur due to the inadequacies inherent in the existing revenue collection systems.
“NEITI estimated total revenue from the mining sector at N31.449 billion and N50.2 billion in 2012 and 2013 respectively out of which only N1.9 billion and N2.01 billion respectively were remitted as Royalties to the FG.
“In addition, there were no records of royalty payment of as much as estimated billions of Naira worth from Gold, Precious Stone, Barites and other exported solid minerals
“The memo therefore became necessary now considering the economy downturn in the oil and gas industry, which has hitherto been the nation’s main source of revenue,” the Governor said.
He added that NEC backed the presentation from the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, on the Ministry’s strategy to generate incremental power as a short term measure towards addressing current energy shortage in the country.
“DISCOS are encouraged to harness the estimated capacity of over 2,000 MW of unused/underutilized industrial/commercial generators fuelled by gas, oil and diesel that can be harvested.
“Such initiatives of harnessing such capacity to serve working target consumers are now progressing towards conclusion in Port Harcourt, Benin, Kaduna, Yola, Jos, Enugu, Ibadan, Ikeja and Eko distribution franchises with active support of the Ministry.
“Locating generation capacity close to the consumers is an effective way to deliver incremental power to rural communities were most Nigerians live, many without any electricity supply,” he told newsmen after the meeting.
Investors Gain N1.09bn as NASD Share Price Rises 9.1%
By Adedapo Adesanya
The unlisted securities market closed the last trading session of the week on a positive note after it appreciated by 0.18 per cent on the back of growth in the share price of NASD Plc.
Business Post reports that the NASD Over-the-Counter (OTC) Securities Exchange returned to the bulls’ territory on Friday after it closed flat on Thursday.
NASD Plc was the major driver of the return of the bourse to the green region as its value went up during the session by N2.45 or 9.1 per cent to close at N26.99 per unit in contrast to N24.54 per unit it closed at the previous session.
As a result of this, the NASD unlisted security index (NSI) moved up by 1.32 points to 745.44 points from 744.12 points, while the market capitalisation gained N1.09 billion to wrap the day at N615.86 billion in contrast to the previous day’s N614.77 billion.
On the activity chart, there was an improvement as the trading volume surged by 34,985.6 per cent because of the 2.3 million units of shares exchanged by market participants compared with the 6,688 units transacted at the previous session.
In the same vein, the trading value rose by 17,680.6 per cent to N63.4 million from the previous day’s N356,563.60, while the number of deals witnessed a 100 per cent rise as investors carried out 12 deals compared to the six deals executed at the previous session.
At the close of trades, Food Concepts Plc was the most traded stock by volume (year-to-date) with 11.4 billion units of its shares worth N14.4 billion, Lighthouse Financial Service Plc followed with 1.1 billion units valued at N546.2 million, while Geo Fluids Plc was in third place with 1.0 billion units worth N700.1 million.
Food Concepts Plc was also the most traded stock by value on a year-to-date basis with 11.4 billion units worth N14.4 billion, trailed by Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Group Plc with 456.4 million units valued at N9.2 billion, VFD Group Plc with 10.4 million units valued at N3.5 billion.
Naira Trades N414.73/$1 as Cryptos Bleed Heavily
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Naira appreciated against the US Dollar at the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window of the foreign exchange (forex) market by 0.02 per cent or 7 kobo on Friday, December 4.
Data showed that the local currency was sold for N414.73/$1 at the investors’ window yesterday compared with the N414.80/$1 it traded on Thursday.
At the final trading session of the week, the turnover was $103.01 million as against $139.67 million achieved at the preceding session, indicating a $36.66 million or 26.62 per cent decline.
Also, the exchange rate of the Naira to the United States currency recorded a movement on Friday, though downward as the Nigerian currency depreciated by 4 kobo as it closed at N411.74/$1 versus the preceding day’s N411.70/$1.
The local currency, however, appreciated by N2.17 against the British Pound Sterling to settle at N546.26/£1 compared to N548.43/£1 it traded at the previous trading session and 57 kobo against the Euro to trade at N465.68/€1 compared to the preceding day’s N466.25/€1.
At the cryptocurrency market, investors counted a heavy loss as the new variant of the coronavirus called Omicron and hawkish comments by the US Federal Reserve that it could raise interest rates have raised serious concerns, causing cryptos to bleed heavily.
The heaviest loss was suffered by Dash (DASH), which plunged by 35.3 per cent to sell for N66,595.85. Ripple (XRP) depreciated 30.6 per cent to trade at N381.85, while Litecoin (LTC) sold for N66,595.85 after declining by 24.1 per cent.
Dogecoin (DOGE) went down by 22.7 per cent to sell at N90.29, Cardano (ADA) depreciated by 20.8 per cent to N652.82, Bitcoin (BTC) depleted by 16.9 per cent to quote at N26,800,504.20, Ethereum (ETH) equally saw a 16.9 per cent depreciation to trade at N2,100,100.39, Binance Coin (BNB) recorded a 12.9 per cent depreciation to trade at N218,577.24, Tron (TRX) went down by 12.7 per cent to trade at N48.00, while the US Dollar Tether (USDT) recorded a 0.1 per cent marginal loss to sell for N554.76.
Crude Mixed as Market Remains Unsettled by Omicron Jitters
By Adedapo Adesanya
Crude prices closed mixed on Friday, December 3 after erasing earlier big gains on growing worries that rising coronavirus cases and a new variant could reduce global oil demand.
Brent crude gained 21 cents or 0.3 per cent to trade at $69.88 per barrel while on the other hand, the United States West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude lost 24 cents or 0.36 per cent to sell at $66.26 per barrel.
Both benchmarks declined for a sixth week in a row for the first time since November 2018.
Oil prices had witnessed one of the most troubled weeks as the market reeled from the fear brought about by the Omicron variant of the coronavirus with speculations that it could spark new lockdowns and dent fuel demand.
The World Health Organization (WHO) urged countries to vaccinate their people to fight the virus, saying travel curbs were not the answer.
Even with this, the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies (OPEC+) surprised the market on Thursday when it stuck to its plans to add 400,000 barrels per day supply in January.
However, it said it will continue to monitor the market and this could make it change course if demand suffered from measures to contain the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant.
The alliance said they could meet again before their next scheduled meeting on January 4.
Analysts noted that with the coronavirus cases rising, the US jobs report for November also didn’t help demand outlook even as the unemployment rate plunged to a 21-month low of 4.2 per cent, suggesting the country’s labour market was rapidly tightening.
US employment growth slowed considerably in November amid job losses at retailers and in local government education.
Meanwhile, in Vienna, diplomats attempting to restore the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers face substantial challenges that need urgent solutions, the top European envoy said Friday. Talks are set to resume next week.
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