By Dipo Olowookere
The COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 has no doubt disrupted the status quos and many governments and individuals have come to realise that things may no longer remain as usual.
For governments of the third-world countries, there must be other ways to generate funds to provide for the numerous needs of the citizens and Nigeria is not an exception.
The African giant has largely relied on one major item for revenue generation, which is crude oil, but the contagion has stressed the need to raise funds from other sources.
On Monday, it was reported that the federal government was planning to sell and concession some national assets to raise funds for the budget next year.
States of the federation, which have been informed that their allocations from the centre will shrink because of the coronavirus crisis, are already looking inwards on how to generate revenue to fund their respective budgets for 2021.
One of the ways they plan to overcome their financial challenges is privatisation and on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 (today), the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) will engage the state governors on how to go about this.
The virtual conference, which holds by 2pm, will focus on the theme Privatisation in Nigeria and the Outlook for Subnational Economic Development. It is being hosted in collaboration with the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) and the Nigerian Investment Promotion Council (NIPC).
A statement from the exchange disclosed that its CEO, Mr Oscar Onyema, will speak at the event, while comments would be welcomed from the NGF Chairman, Mr Kayode Fayemi, who doubles as the Governor of Ekiti State; as well as the Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mr Lamido Yuguda.
Participants will discuss the impact of privatisation on the development and performance of the subnational economy, providing them with a broad idea on how privatisation of public enterprises would assist governments to unlock value and overcome financing and other challenges in their respective state-owned enterprises.
Several personalities have been invited for this programme, including Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State, Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State; Mrs Ibukun Awosika, Chairman, Board of Directors, First Bank of Nigeria; Chinua Azubike, CEO, InfraCredit; Asishana Okauru, Director General, NGF; Bolaji Balogun, CEO, Chapel Hill Denham; Alex Okoh, Director General, Bureau of Public Enterprises; Uche Orji, MD/CEO, Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority; Bismarck Rewane, CEO, Financial Derivatives and Member, Presidential Advisory Council; Doyin Salami, Chairman, Presidential Economic Advisory Council; Yewande Sadiku, Executive Secretary, NIPC; and Andrew Nevin, Partner & Chief Economist, PwC Nigeria.
NGX Records Low Weekly Turnover on Weak Appetite for Stocks
By Dipo Olowookere
The appetite for stocks waned last week on the floor of the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited, leading to a lower trading volume as investors reconsider their exposure to high-risk investments.
A total of 705.6 million shares worth N12.850 billion exchanged hands in 22,124 deals in the week compared with the 1.546 billion shares worth N16.289 billion transacted a week earlier in 23,873 deals.
It was observed that GTCO, Zenith Bank and FBN Holdings were the most attractive equities during the week, pulling 173.852 million units valued at N3.073 billion in 4,324 deals, accounting for 24.64 per cent and 23.91 per cent of the total trading volume and value respectively.
A further breakdown indicated that financial stocks dominated the activity chart with the sale of 442.525 million units valued at N4.345 billion in 9,995 deals, contributing 62.71 per cent and 33.81 per cent to the total trading volume and value respectively.
Consumer goods equities followed with 82.126 million units worth N2.176 billion in 3,875 deals, while conglomerates shares traded 51.083 million units worth N242.084 million in 694 deals.
Amid the weak trading activity, the All-Share Index (ASI) and the market capitalisation appreciated by 0.70 per cent and 0.72 per cent respectively to 50,722.33 points and N27.358 trillion.
Similarly, all other indices finished higher with the exception of the main board, insurance, industrial goods and sovereign bond indices, which depreciated by 1.16 per cent, 0.37 per cent, 5.76 per cent and 0.07 per cent while ASeM index closed flat.
Japaul recorded the biggest price increase as its value rose by 47.83 per cent to 34 Kobo, Honeywell Flour leapt by 36.10 per cent to N2.79, PZ Cussons grew by 20.59 per cent to N10.25, Courteville expanded by 17.50 per cent to 47 Kobo, while Caverton improved by 17.00 per cent to N1.17.
However, McNichols was the heaviest price loser, declining by 18.68 per cent to 74 Kobo, Learn Africa lost 15.38 per cent to trade at N2.20, BUA Cement went down by 15.15 per cent to N58.80, University Press fell by 9.79 per cent to N2.12, while Neimeth depreciated by 9.68 per cent to N1.40.
In the five-day trading week, a total of 41 stocks gained points, higher than 11 stocks of the previous week, while 22 stocks lost weight, lower than 53 stocks of the preceding week, with 93 stocks closing flat, higher than 92 stocks of the earlier week.
SEC Warns of Possible Loss of Investments via Crowdfunding Platforms
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
Nigerians and the investing public have been warned not to stake their funds in unregistered crowdfunding platforms as they could lose their investments.
In a circular last week, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said it was aware of some companies seeking funds from the public to use to finance a project or business, warning that actions would be taken on firms not authorised by the Nigerian government to carry out such transaction.
Recall that in January 2021, the agency, in recognition of the potential and importance of crowdfunding platforms and the need to protect investors through effective regulation, published its crowdfunding rules and requested crowdfunding platforms to register with the commission and comply with the rules by June 30, 2021.
In the rules, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) incorporated as a company in Nigeria with a minimum of two years of operating track record are eligible to raise funds through a crowdfunding portal registered by SEC, with total fees payable to parties to a crowdfunding issue shall not exceed two per cent of the total funds raised.
The commission noted that the maximum amount which might be raised by a medium enterprise shall not exceed N100 million.
“The maximum amount which may be raised by a small enterprise shall not exceed N70 million, and the maximum amount which may be raised by a micro-enterprise shall not exceed N50 million.
“The limits set forth above shall not apply to MSMEs operating as digital commodities investment platforms or such other MSMEs as may be designated by the commission from time to time,” part of the guidelines said.
According to SEC, retail investors might not invest more than 10 per cent of their annual income in a calendar year and only entities registered with the commission as an exchange, dealer, broker, broker/dealer or alternative trading facility as prescribed under the Act and the SEC Rules and Regulations might be registered as a crowdfunding intermediary.
It added that a crowdfunding portal or crowdfunding intermediary that failed to comply with the rules shall be liable to a fine of not less than N1 million and the sum of N10,000 for every day the violation continues.
The rules further stressed that a crowdfunding portal might be registered and operated only by an operator registered with SEC as a crowdfunding intermediary, while a crowdfunding portal that is located outside Nigeria will be considered as actively targeting Nigerian investors, if the operator or the operator’s representative, promotes directly or indirectly the platform in Nigeria.
Worried that some companies are taking advantage of the low financial literacy of Nigeria, SEC advised members of the public “to confirm the registration status of any entity soliciting their participation in any investment scheme by contacting the commission through www.sec.gov.ng, email@example.com or 094621168.”
It warned operators of unregistered crowdfunding platforms of the risk of prosecution if caught.
Crowdfunding is the process of raising funds to finance a project or business from the public through an online platform.
Adamawa Deploys Interswitch’s Paydirect to Check Revenue Leakages
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
The services of Interswitch have been contracted by the Adamawa State government to enhance digital revenue collection, payment collections and processing through its Interswitch Collections Solution (Paydirect).
It was gathered that the use of Paydirect by the state government will ensure transparency in revenue collection, and bills payment while checking revenue leakages.
The Interswitch Collections Solution enables government agencies and corporate organisations to collect and monitor revenue across various channels such as banks, Point of Sales (PoS) terminals, Internet banking, and the Quickteller (web, mobile, ATM, and USSD) platform.
With the deployment of Interswitch’s Paydirect, the state government will also benefit from the ease of use the platform offers as well as a centralized view of all revenue collected by its agencies and online real-time reporting and monitoring.
To support the state government’s drive to engender open governance, accountability and strategic planning, the payment platform will reduce reconciliation issues, improve efficiency, and ensure access to detailed business intelligence reports for effective decision-making.
“This strategic collaboration aligns with our overarching goal of facilitating safe, secure, and seamless payment options for Nigerians through our digital payment platforms.
“The robust payment platform was designed to help the governments to achieve strong economic growth and foster sustainable development for Nigeria,” the Managing Director of Interswitch Industry Ecosystems, Ms Chinyere Don-Okhuofu, stated.
Also speaking about the alliance, the Regional Head of Sales, North, Interswitch Group, Mr Thomas Ezeh, said, “Interswitch is committed to empowering the Adamawa government to collect Internally Generated Revenue efficiently and effectively. Our goal, among other things, is to help governments at all levels and agencies to achieve their revenue targets.
“We encourage all government agencies to come on board as we believe that digital revenue collection and payment have the potential to attract investments and boost economic growth.”
Due to the trust in Interswitch’s robust payment solutions, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Joint Admissions Matriculation Board (JAMB), Kaduna and Kano States have partnered with the African payment giant for seamless filing and payment of tax, duties and examination registration.
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