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Ngige Confirms FG Borrows from World Bank, Others to Pay Salaries

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Ngige FG Borrows to pay salaries

By Dipo Olowookere

Minister of Labour and Employment, Mr Chris Ngige, has confirmed that the federal government under President Muhammadu Buhari borrows funds from international sources to pay salaries of workers because of a shortfall in the country’s revenue.

Mr Ngige, while speaking on Sunday night on a programme monitored by Business Post on Channels TV, stated that the government takes borrowed funds from foreign institutions like the World Bank to offset some recurrent expenditures.

Last week, after the Senate resumed plenary, a letter from President Buhari requesting approval for fresh offshore loans of $4 billion and €710 million was read to the lawmakers by their head, Mr Ahmad Lawan.

This generated different reactions from various quarters. The government defended the borrowings, arguing that they were being used to develop the country, especially in the area of infrastructure.

In the midst of these, the Debt Management Office (DMO) said the nation’s total debt at the second quarter of this year stood at N35.5 trillion.

Some Nigerians had argued that the penchant for this government for borrowing was becoming unbearable, especially when the country was using about 98 per cent of generated revenue to service the debts.

But the government has maintained that the loans being taken by the federal government were not above the limit and that the projects being executed with the funds, including rails, were capable of generating revenue to repay them.

Next month, Nigeria will borrow between $3 billion and $6.2 billion from local and international investors through the sale of Eurobonds, adding to the debts already on ground.

While speaking on Sunday Politics anchored by Mr Seun Okinbaloye, Mr Ngige admitted that the central government truly takes funds from international lenders to pay workers.

“Talk in terms of something like the residency training funds; that money was appropriated in 2021. It was delayed because the President signed the supplementary budget [late] but because the resident doctors did not want to listen, they wanted the money to go into their accounts immediately, according to them.

“I told them, no, when the budget office explained [that] we don’t have this cash, the borrowing agencies [like the] World Bank and the rest will give us this money through the CBN (Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in Dollars and we change it to give to you, to pay you and others that are involved because we are funding the budget through some deficits.

“So, I will tell the budget office, expedite action, do this in one week because this is an emergency, these people are not accountants, they don’t understand and we put it down and the budget office rises up to the occasion, works day and night and put it out, Minister of Finance approves, AIE (Authority to Incur Expenditure) and the N4.8 billion is there, waiting to be disbursed.

“Give us the names of those to be paid and they bring (sic) their names through the post-graduate medical college and when the names come (sic), their parent body, which is the Ministry of Health discovered that there were names that were no resident doctors. So, how do you pay?

“Okay, they submitted 8,000 names, they have cleaned them down to 5,800, which means about 2,000+ are not resident doctors. How do you pay them?

“Further investigation, according to the Minister of Health, revealed that some of them are medical officers, senior medical officers, principal medical officers, who hold full appointments, some of them are not resident doctors but because they have been captured in resident doctors association, they want them to be paid; that’s wrong.

“We tell (sic) resident doctors, ‘give them more time to clean up’. They are cleaning it (the list) up, the money is there. So, I expected the resident doctors to go and help them clean up and submit the authentic list,” Mr Ngige said on the programme.

On Monday, while speaking on Politics Today with the same anchor, the spokesman of the President, Mr Femi Adesina, while asked if the government borrows for consumption, answered that the larger part of the borrowed funds is used for critical projects capable of boosting the economy.

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

BUA Cement Pulls Down Stock Exchange by 0.70%

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BUA Cement

By Dipo Olowookere

The Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited depreciated by 0.70 per cent on Friday on the back of a decline in the share prices of BUA Cement and 23 others as investors sold off the stocks to book profit as they weigh their options.

As a result, the All-Share Index (ASI) decreased by 350.53 points to settle at 49,664.07 points compared with the previous day’s value of 50,014.60 points. Also, the market capitalisation fell by N189 billion to close at N26.787 trillion in contrast to N26.976 trillion on Thursday.

Business Post reports that the industrial goods sector suffered the heaviest loss on Thursday, depreciating by 4.61 per cent and was trailed by the banking counter, which lost 0.19 per cent as the energy space deflated by 0.16 per cent.

However, the consumer goods sector appreciated by 2.82 per cent influenced by gains in the share price of BUA Foods, while the insurance sector gained 1.75 per cent.

BUA Cement lost 9.95 per cent to trade at N52.95, Chams fell by 9.68 per cent to 28 Kobo, Cutix depreciated by 8.89 per cent to N2.05, Ellah Lakes went down by 6.98 per cent to N4.00, while Unity Bank declined by 6.52 per cent to 43 Kobo.

Conversely, BUA Foods topped the gainers’ log after rising by 10.00 per cent to N59.95, NEM Insurance appreciated by 9.98 per cent to N4.41, Courteville expanded by 9.80 per cent to 56 Kobo, Ikeja Hotel rose by 9.48 per cent to N1.27, while Multiverse improved by 8.44 per cent to N2.44.

During the session, investors bought and sold 750.3 million equities worth N5.3 billion in 4,076 deals compared with the 133.6 million equities worth N2.4 billion transacted in 4,292 deals in the earlier trading day, representing a decline in the number of deals by 5.03 per cent and an increase in the trading volume and value by 461.63 per cent and 117.72 per cent respectively.

Capital Hotels was the busiest stock of the session as it sold 478.2 million units valued at N3.4 billion and was trailed by eTranzact, which sold 77.6 million units worth N176.9 million.

Coronation Insurance exchanged 37.1 million units worth N14.9 million, FBN Holdings traded 30.5 million units for N333.2 million, while UBA traded 13.2 million units valued at N92.7 million.

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Economy

Naira Gains, Sells N691/$1 at P2P, N677/$1 at Black Market

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strong dollar demand Naira

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Naira appreciated at the Peer-to-Peer (P2P), Investors and Exporters (I&E) and the parallel market windows of the foreign exchange (FX) market on Friday on the back of an improvement in the supply of forex to the financial markets by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The Nigerian currency gained N5 or 0.72 per cent against the United States currency during the trading day to settle at N691/$1 in contrast to the previous session’s value of N696/$1.

Also, in the official market segment, the local currency appreciated by 63 Kobo or 0.15 per cent against the Dollar to close at N429.62/$1 versus Thursday’s exchange rate of N430.25/$1.

It was a similar outcome in the black market, where the domestic currency was strengthened against the greenback during the session byN3 or 0.44 per cent to quote at N677/$1 compared with the previous day’s value of N680/$1.

In the interbank segment of the market, the Naira, however, maintained stability against the British Pound Sterling and the Euro at N513.10/£1 and N433.78/€1 respectively.

Data from FMDQ Securities Exchange showed that on Friday, the value of FX at the Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange Fixing (NAFEX) went down by 20.7 per cent or $12.06 million to $46.31 million from $58.37 million and this helped the strengthening of the Naira at the I&E at the close of business.

Meanwhile, the digital currency market was bullished during the session as nine of the 10 coins tracked by Business Post pointed northwards, with the US Dollar Tether (USDT) closing flat at $1.00.

Solana (SOL) recorded the highest gain of 10.7 per cent to sell at $47.70, Cardano (ADA) grew by 6.4 per cent to trade at $0.5639, Ethereum (ETH) went up by 6.1 per cent to $2,004.73, while Litecoin (LTC) surged by 4.3 per cent to trade at $64.31.

Further, Dogecoin (DOGE) increased by 4.2 per cent to $0.0739, Shiba Inu (SHIB) appreciated by 3.1 per cent to $0.00001272, Bitcoin (BTC) added 2.9 per cent to quote at $24,670.19, Ripple (XRP) recorded a 1.8 per cent rise to trade at $0.3833, while Binance Coin (BNB) rose by 1.5 per cent to sell for $328.85.

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Economy

Unlisted Securities Market Bleeds as NDEP Stocks Fall

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Unlisted Securities Market

By Adedapo Adesanya

Niger Delta Exploration and Production (NDEP) Plc opened the door for the bears to penetrate the NASD Over-the-Counter (OTC) Securities Exchange on Friday.

The unlisted securities market bled by 0.41 per cent on the last trading session of the week as a result of the decline in the share price of NDEP.

Consequently, the market capitalisation of the bourse shrank by N4.08 billion to N1.003 trillion from N1.007 trillion, while the NASD Unlisted Securities Index (NSI) dropped 3.1 basis points to end the day at 762.18 points as against 765.28 points it recorded in the previous session.

Data from the exchange indicated that the stock price of the oil and gas investment company depleted by N22.5 during the session to N209.84 per unit from the previous N232.24 per unit.

It was also observed that the volume of securities traded at the bourse on Friday reduced by 45.5 per cent to 60,475 units from 111,021 units, while the value of trades increased 179.0 per cent to N7.5 million from N2.7 million, with the number of deals increasing by 44.4 per cent to 13 deals from the nine deals carried out a day earlier.

AG Mortgage Bank Plc remained the most traded stock by volume on a year-to-date basis with a turnover of 2.3 billion units valued at N1.2 billion, while Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS) Plc stood in second place with the sale of 686.5 million units worth N14.2 billion, with Food Concepts Plc in third place with the sake of 147.8 million units valued at N128.4 million.

The most traded stock by value on a year-to-date basis was still CSCS Plc with a turnover of 686.5 million units exchanged for N14.2 billion, while VFD Group Plc was in second place with the sale of 11.1 million units valued at N3.3 billion, with FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria Plc in third place with a turnover of 13.9 million units valued at N1.7 billion.

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