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Economy

Lagos to Partner ICAN to Boost Informal Sector

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Lagos to Partner ICAN to Boost Informal Sector

By Dipo Olowookere

Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, has promised to work in collaboration with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) in order to boost the informal sector of the state’s economy.

Mr Ambode made this disclosure on Tuesday when the group, led by its President, Mr Ismaila Zakari, paid a courtesy visit to him at the Lagos House in Alausa, Ikeja.

Governor Ambode thanked the institute for the skill sets inculcated in him 30 years ago when he became a professional accountant, saying that those skills were very relevant and still useful in administering the State.

“Yes, there are leaders that come and go at different times, but the wish of God that an ICAN member should be at the helm of affairs of Lagos State at a time when it is so problematic, at a time when revenue is going down and at a time we want to protect our people from unimaginable taxation, but again the skill sets to be able to put all these resources together for the benefit of humanity is encouraging.

“I just want to encourage ICAN that whatever are the ideals and principles of the body are not in vain.

“The products are here for people to see and this is what we want to commend to other people and other professionals that ICAN has come a long way and ICAN has proven also that the leadership of this country is actually in the hands of those who have the public finance expertise to lead this country ahead which we have proven by what we have done in the last two and half years.

“There is no miracle in what we are doing, the fact is that it is about our skills and the knowledge that the Institute has impacted in all of us for which we are proud of,” Mr Ambode said.

Besides, the Governor acknowledged that though his administration was implementing the N25billion ETF, he would nonetheless collaborate with ICAN to boost the informal sector especially in areas of entrepreneurship skills and capital.

According to him, “There are too many people that are unemployed and there are too many people that are creative and innovative but again they don’t have that support or the capital to do the things they ought to do and so if we have collaborators like ICAN, we will also put some money there because it is about Lagosians, it is about employment and it is about growth and development,” Governor Ambode said.

He also pledged to uphold and scale up the partnership that had always existed between the State Government and ICAN.

On his part, President of ICAN, Mr Ismaila Zakari, lauded the various initiatives and programmes of Mr Ambode, saying it confirms that chartered accountants can add value to governance in Nigeria, describing the Governor as a worthy ambassador of the Institute.

MR Zakari said the remarkable achievements of the Governor in office so far were worthy of emulation by other leaders.

He recalled that despite the economic challenges in the country in 2016, Lagos State, under Governor Ambode, raked in N287 billion as internally generated revenue, a figure ranked among the best the State ever generated, while the Governor also fulfilled his major electioneering campaign by implementing the N25 billion Employment Trust Fund (ETF), which he said had immensely scaled up entrepreneurship and reduced unemployment.

While noting the reconstruction of 114 inner roads across the 57 Local Government Councils in the State, Mr Zakari also commended the Light Up Lagos project and the Agric initiative aimed at encouraging local production of rice, saying that the remarkable initiative had greatly reduced rice importation and enhanced foreign exchange of the country.

The ICAN President said, “These momentous achievements are testimonies not only to Governor Ambode’s enviable track record of service to the good people of Lagos State, but they are also indelible evidence of the value that chartered accountants can add to governance.

“We are truly proud of your achievements in office and therefore warmly commend and hold you out as a worthy ambassador of the accounting profession from whom others in governance should take a cue.”

While seeking the incorporation of accountants under the ICAN technician scheme into the N25 billion ETF, Mr Zakari also invited Governor Ambode to deliver a lead paper on the theme: ‘Young Professionals: Emerging Leaders of Change and Nation Building,’ at the 47th edition of the annual Accountant Conference.

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via dipo.olowookere@businesspost.ng

Economy

Demand Pressure Jerks NGX All-Share Index to 54,213.09 points

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All-Share Index NGX

By Dipo Olowookere

The sustained demand for domestic stocks further raised the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited by 0.40 per cent on Friday, with the All-Share Index (ASI) crossing the 54,000-point threshold at the close of business.

The index, which measures the general performance of the bourse, appreciated by 214.97 points to settle at 54,213.09 points compared with the preceding day’s 53,998.12 points, as the market capitalisation expanded by N117 billion to close at N29.528 trillion as against Thursday’s closing value of N29.411 trillion.

The growth reported yesterday was supported by buying pressure across sectors of the market, though the consumer goods space came under selling pressure, losing 0.39 per cent.

However, this did not affect the outcome of the bourse due to the 1.06 per cent recorded by the banking counter, the 0.31 per cent expansion posted by the insurance sector, the 0.17 per cent growth printed by the energy counter, and the 0.04 per cent improvement reported by the industrial goods space.

Business Post reports that the market breadth remained positive on Friday, with 35 price gainers and 10 price losers, indicating a very strong investor sentiment.

Red Star Express, International Energy Insurance, and FTN Cocoa gained 10.00 per cent each yesterday to finish at N2.53, 99 Kobo, and 33 Kobo, respectively. MRS Oil gained 9.94 per cent to end at N19.35, and Northern Nigerian Flour Mills rose by 9.55 per cent to N9.75.

Conversely, Ikeja Hotel was the worst-performing stock after it dropped 10.00 per cent to 99 Kobo, Lasaco Assurance fell by 5.88 per cent to 96 Kobo, ABC Transport declined by 5.41 per cent to 35 Kobo, Universal Insurance went down by 4.76 per cent to 20 Kobo, and May & Baker shed 2.89 per cent to N4.71.

At the market yesterday, investors traded 268.02 million stocks worth N2.4 billion in 4,017 deals compared with the 2.9 billion stocks worth N8.1 billion traded in 3,940 deals on Thursday, indicating an increase in the number of deals by 1.95 per cent and a decline in the trading volume and value by 90.66 per cent and 70.37 per cent apiece.

Universal Insurance topped the activity chart after it sold 63.4 million shares, GTCO traded 20.8 million equities, Transcorp exchanged 19.5 million stocks, International Energy Insurance transacted 12.8 million equities, and Access Holdings traded 12.5 million shares.

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Economy

Naira Shortage: President Buhari Calls for Calm

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President Buhari

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

President Muhammadu Buhari has urged Nigerians to remain calm as they express their anger over the shortage of Naira in the financial system.

Since last week, many citizens of the country have been unable to access their funds in the banks because of a shortage in the supply of the redesigned Naira notes.

This has resulted in a huge crowd at banking premises across the nation, with several persons queuing at Automated Teller Machine (ATM) terminals waiting to withdraw their money with success.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) redesigned the N200, N500, and N1,000 denominations last year and said the old notes would no longer be legal tender from January 31, 2023.

However, while many Nigerians approached their banks last Sunday to quickly deposit their funds to beat the deadline, the CBN announced that the deadline had been moved to February 10, 2023.

The next day, while customers attempted to withdraw their funds over the counter, they were informed that the apex bank had directed them (commercial banks) not to honour cash withdrawal requests.

Also, cash withdrawal from ATMs was limited, making it very difficult for businesses to operate, triggering a protest in Ibadan on Friday.

When the demonstration was going on, Governors of the All Progressives Congress (APC) were meeting with President Buhari to persuade him to do something about the Naira scarcity.

After the gathering, he said in a social media post that, “I am aware of the cash shortages and hardship being faced by people and businesses on account of the Naira redesign.

“I want to assure you that we are doing everything to resolve these issues. Nigerians should expect significant improvements between now and the February 10 deadline.

“I met with a delegation of Governors today on the matter. All the complaints about the execution of the currency change are being seriously looked into.

“I will ensure that everything is resolved in a lasting manner, and we will all enjoy the long-term benefits of the decision.”

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Economy

Local Currency Appreciates at P2P, I&E, Depreciates at Black Market

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local currency nigeria

By Adedapo Adesanya

The local currency appreciated by N2 on the United States Dollar at the Peer-2-Peer (P2P) foreign exchange (FX) window, closing at N760/$1 on Friday, February 3, compared with the previous day’s N762/$1, indicating a form of ease as tensions rose across the country following a cash crunch that has triggered anger and aggression in some states.

President Muhammadu Buhari stepped in on Friday and pleaded with Nigerians to give him seven days to resolve the crisis caused by the scarcity of new Naira notes.

The President said he had seen reports about cash shortages and the effect on local businesses and ordinary people.

In the Investors and Exporters (I&E) segment, the Naira recorded a 50 Kobo or 0.11 per cent upward movement against the US Dollar to trade at N461.50/$1 compared with the preceding day’s N462.00/$1.

The day’s trading data showed that the value of forex transactions during the official market slightly increased by 3.54 per cent or $4.08 million to $119.43 million from the $115.35 million recorded a day before.

But in the black market, the Nigerian currency depreciated against the Dollar by N1 to close at N753/$1, in contrast to Thursday’s exchange rate of N752/$1.

In the interbank window, the domestic currency closed flat against the British Pound Sterling and the Euro on Friday at N568.32/£1 and N507.14/€1, respectively.

At the cryptocurrency market, there was a mixed outcome across the tokens tracked by Business Post as moves by the US Federal Reserve to raise rates by 25 basis points continued to send jittery signals.

Binance Coin (BNB) recorded a 2.8 per cent rise to sell at $329.32, Dogecoin (DOGE) grew by 2.4 per cent to trade at $0.0935, Solana (SOL) appreciated by 1.1 per cent to $24.49, Ethereum (ETH) improved by 0.9 per cent to $1,654.18, Cardano (ADA) recorded a 0.6 per cent addition to quote at $0.4006, while Litecoin (LTC) rose by 0.4 per cent to $99.15.

However, Bitcoin (BTC) declined by 0.7 per cent to trade at $23,356.32, and Ripple (XRP) recorded a 0.2 per cent slump to trade at $0.4092, while Binance USD (BUSD) and the US Dollar Tether (USDT) closed flat at $1.00 each.

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