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Lagos Sets up Virtual Market to Boost Informal Sector

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Lagos Sets up Virtual Market to Boost Informal Sector

By Dipo Olowookere

In order to boost informal sector in Lagos State as well as its economy, the state government has created a new virtual market.

This market would be easily accessible to all competent and skilled artisans registered with the Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment in the state.

They would be able to transact businesses with their prospective customers across the globe on the new platform.

Commissioner for Wealth Creation and Employment in the state, Mr Babatunde Durosimi-Etti, disclosed at a two-day sensitization programme on Artisans’ Virtual Market at Alausa, Ikeja, that the platform will make it easy for artisans to have access to capital, finance and also benefit from the State Employment Trust Fund (ETF).

Mr Durosimi-Etti added that the virtual market initiative which is one of the windows of opportunity explored by the present administration to encourage and promote indigenous services and goods was conceived over a year ago to complement the efforts of artisans and address the issue of inadequate patronage.

“One additional benefit of this training and initiative is that it will make it easy for you to network business ideas, increase your income and also share experiences and knowledge with artisans who have equally excelled in the same business or services with you,” Mr Durosimi-Etti stated.

He advised the artisans to continue to be abreast of happenings and development in their various vocations as their services and skills would henceforth be assessed with the world standard.

The Commissioner told them to prioritize the satisfaction of their customers, be truthful and open in their dealings so that those patronizing them can continue to repose confidence in them and also connect them to those that will equally need their services.

Mr Durosimi-Etti also disclosed that the Ministry is in the process of compiling a compendium of registered artisans in the State to further scale up the informal sector, increase job opportunities and also grow the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the State.

“The compendium will be launched before the end of the year and will contain relevant information about all registered artisans in Lagos with their registration numbers,” Mr Durosimi-Etti disclosed.

Head of Entrepreneurship in the Ministry, Mrs Taiwo Abiose said that the State Government considered it expedient to standardize the operations of artisans to meet up with what obtains in other developed climes.

According to her, the state government wants a situation whereby efforts being put into trade and vocation by artisans will tally with their earnings.

President of Lagos State Council of Tradesmen and Artisans (LASCOTA), Mr Nurudeen Buhari used the occasion to emphasise the need for all practising artisans in the state to register with the association, saying that registered members of the Association have benefitted from the ETF initiative while others are also beneficiaries of different training programmes organised by the state government for LASCOTA.

He said the State government is fulfilling its promises as the government is currently in talks with the association to engage some of its members and also connect and recommend the members to other private organisations that require their services.

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

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Economy

NGX Upgrades Price Stock Group of Eterna

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price stock group of Eterna

By Dipo Olowookere

The price stock group of Eterna Plc has been moved upward by the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited, Business Post reports.

In a regulatory notice on Monday, the bourse noted that it upgraded the stock category of the energy company from a low-price stock group to a medium-price stock group.

This action, according to the exchange, was necessitated after the stability in the price of the company’s equities within four of the last six months in the new price category, in line with its price methodology framework.

“Equity securities of quoted companies on the exchange (NGX) are classified into three stock price groups or categories; high-priced, medium-priced, and low-priced stocks, based on their market price.

“In this regard, securities must have traded for at least four out of the most recent six-month period within a stock price group’s specified price band to be classified into the category.

“Accordingly, a review of Eternal Plc stock price and trade activities over the most recent six-month period provides the basis for reclassifying the security from the low-priced stock group to the medium-priced stock group.

“This reclassification also necessitates the attendant change in the tick size change from N0.01 kobo to N0.05 kobo, in line with Rule 15.29: Pricing Methodology, Rulebook of the exchange, 2015 (trading license holders’ rules),” the statement from the platform stated.

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Economy

Unlisted Securities Investors Gain N18.29bn in Five Days

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unlisted securities investors

By Dipo Olowookere

It was another positive week for unlisted securities investors in Nigeria as they smiled home with N18.29 billion last week on the floor of the NASD over-the-counter (OTC) Securities Exchange.

This was buoyed by the 1.98 per cent week-on-week growth recorded by the alternative bourse in the country during the five-day trading week, which had five stocks closing on the gainers’ chart, with none on the opposite table.

Data harvested by Business Post indicated that FrieslandCampina Wamco Nigeria appreciated by 10.44 per cent to settle at N69.00 per unit. UBN Property Gain 7.14 per cent to trade at 75 Kobo per share, Niger Delta Exploration and Production improved by 6.95 per cent to N200.00 per unit, Geo-Fluids rose by 6.12 per cent to N1.04 per share, and Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS) increased by 3.85 per cent to N13.50 per unit.

In the week, the volume of trades declined by 35.51 per cent to 24.5 million units from 62.6 million units, the number of deals went down by 12.82 per cent to 66 deals from the preceding week’s 71 deals, while the value of transactions increased by 122.48 per cent to N96.6 million from N87.6 million.

The most active security for the week by volume was Geo-Fluids, with the sale of 20.0 million units, followed by UBN Property with 3.4 million units. FrieslandCampina traded 581,021 units, CSCS transacted 375,512 units, and VFD Group exchanged 111,104 units.

However, the most active equity by value for the week was FrieslandCampina, with a sale of N38.5 million. VFD Group recorded N27.2 million, Geo-Fluids traded N20.7 million, CSCS transacted 5.1 million, and UBN Property traded N2.6 million.

Data showed that the NASD unlisted securities index (NSI) increased in the week by 13.92 points to 717.15 points from 703.23 points, as the market capitalisation grew by N18.29 billion to N942.35 billion from N924.06 billion.

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Economy

Nigeria’s External Reserves Shed 0.14% to $37.020bn

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Nigeria's external reserves

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

In one week, Nigeria’s external reserves depreciated by a marginal 0.14 per cent to $37.020 billion from $37.070 billion in the preceding week.

Data obtained by Business Post from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) disclosed that the balance in the coffers was as of Thursday, February 2, 2023.

The FX balance in the country’s purse was supposed to expand during this period when prices of crude oil were relatively stable, but this has not been the case because of low production.

Nigeria relies heavily on the sale of crude oil to earn forex, which is currently scarce in the country, putting the Naira under pressure.

The federal government has blamed low crude oil output on the theft of the commodity and has promised to make efforts to address the issue.

Recall that in August 2022, Nigeria’s crude oil production plunged below one million barrels per day (972,394 bpd), the lowest ever in several years.

However, according to the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the output improved by 171,000 barrels per day in November to 1.186mbpd, though about 700,000 barrels per day less than its quota for the month.

The Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, said the federal government plans to improve the country’s crude oil production to 1.6 million barrels per day by the first quarter of 2023.

It is believed that this would boost the FX earnings of the nation and bolster the reserves and the local currency in the foreign exchange market.

Last week, the Nigerian Naira depreciated against the United States Dollar on a week-on-week basis by 25 Kobo or 0.05 per cent to N461.50/$1 compared with the preceding week’s N461.75/$1.

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