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PwC Advocates Adoption of ESG for Better Development

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Adoption of ESG

By Sodeinde Temidayo David

Professional and consultancy service firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has called for Nigeria to publicize, embrace and enhance the initiative of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) to the development of the country.

This is coming after expanding the initiative of ESG services to help clients deal with growing demands for sustainability and climate risk reporting and assurance on their disclosures.

This was made known by the partner and head of sustainability services of PwC Nigeria, Ms Rukaiya El-Rufai, at a virtual workshop for journalists organized by the firm.

The ESG is a set of environmental, social and governance standards for company operations, a standard used by many investors in a bid to appear socially responsible and sustaining the planet.

ESG represents risks and opportunities that will impact a company’s ability to create long-term value including climate change and resource scarcity, safety issues and data security and board diversity, executive pay and tax transparency.

Examples of companies’ ESG factors are firms using energy efficiently, using renewable energies that emit fewer GHG, are less polluting, and contribute less to climate change, and managing waste responsibly. It is like adopting circular economy principles.

Ms El-Rufai commended the country’s effort in creating standards that have helped to advance ESG making the top ranking of ESG adoption in the continent, especially in banking.

According to Ms El-Rufai in her presentation, one of the themes to shape the Nigerian economy is the adoption of ESG efficiently, set to represent risks and opportunities that will impact a company’s ability to create long-term value.

“The concept of sustainability is much broader than just climate change risk and encompasses a wide range of environmental, social and governance factors.

“In a business context, it is how organisations do what they do, as it is concerned with how sustainable behaviours, actions and intent show up across an organisation’s values, purpose, strategy, business model and operating model,” she said.

As stated by her, there is a growing pressure for companies to go beyond shareholders’ value to the enterprise and social value creation, and to build investors’ trust in ESG, various companies, journalists and other stakeholders are required.

Ms El-Rufai further urged media professionals to be advocates of ESG and embrace ESG reporting in a bid to promote greater action and transparent disclosure and information.

Other experts who spoke at the virtual event included Mr Andrew Nevin, Partner and Chief Economist at PwCc Nigeria, Mr Taiwo Oyedele, Fiscal Policy Partner & Africa Tax Leader at PwC Nigeria, as well as Mrs Della Asuzu, the Head of Marketing & Communications at PwC Nigeria.

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Economy

FG to Announce New Date for Postponed FAAC Meeting for May 2022

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FAAC meeting allocation

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

The federal government has said it would announce a new date for the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting for this month, which was shelved in a circular on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning released a statement to announce the postponement of the FAAC Meeting for May 2022 over certain circumstances connected with the arrest of the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Mr Ahmed Idris.

Mr Idris, who is a key member of the FAAC team, is cooling off in the custody of the agency over an alleged N80 billion fraud. He is helping the EFCC in its investigation into the issue.

As a result of his arrest and suspension from office by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, the meeting for this month was shelved.

In the circular signed by the Director of Home Finance at the Ministry, Mr Stephen Okon, the federal government assured that “the new date for the meetings will be forwarded to you in due course.”

The gathering, which is held to share revenue generated by the country in the previous month to the three tiers of government; federal, states and local governments, was earlier slated to take place this month on Wednesday, May 18 and Thursday, May 19, 2022.

But Mr Okon stated in the notice that, “I am directed to inform you that the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) meetings earlier scheduled to hold virtually on the 18th and 19th May 2022 have been postponed due to certain circumstances.”

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Economy

Bulls Return to Unlisted Securities Market on 0.21% Growth

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Unlisted Securities Market

By Adedapo Adesanya

The NASD Over-the-Counter (OTC) Securities Exchange welcomed the bulls back into its fold on Thursday following a 0.21 per cent growth at the close of business.

The bulls were at the unlisted securities market yesterday at the invitation of Niger Delta Exploration and Production (NDEP) and Food Concepts Plc, which recorded price appreciations during the session.

NDEP Plc gained N10 or 4.6 per cent to close at N220.00 per share as against the N210.00 it closed at the last session, while Food Concepts Plc appreciated by 6 kobo or 6.5 per cent to close at 93 kobo per unit compared with 87 kobo per unit of the previous session.

The gains reported by the duo expanded the NASD unlisted securities index (NSI) by 1.66 points to 808.79 points from 807.12 points and equally increased the market capitalisation by N2.17 billion to N1.06 trillion from N1.05 billion.

At the market yesterday, the trading volume rose by 17,545.7 per cent as a total of 20.0 million units of shares exchanged hands compared with the 113,500 units of shares transacted on Wednesday.

In the same vein, the trading value rose by 749.3 per cent to N24.4 million from the previous day’s N2.9 million, while the number of trades went down by 28.6 per cent to five deals from seven deals.

AG Mortgage Bank Plc remained the most traded stock by volume on a year-to-date basis with 2.3 billion units valued at N1.2 billion, Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS) Plc stood in second place with 661.7 million units worth N13.9 billion, while Food Concepts Plc was in third place with 134.0 million units valued at N114.9 million.

In the same vein, CSCS Plc ended the session as the most active stock by value on a year-to-date basis with 661.7 million units worth N13.9 billion, VFD Group was in second place with 9.4 million units valued at N2.9 billion, while AG Mortgage Bank Plc in third place has transacted 2.3 billion units valued at N1.2 billion.

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Economy

Naira Drops 0.34% at P2P, 0.26% at Investors’ FX Segment

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FX Market Segments

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Naira depreciated against the Dollar at the Peer-to-Peer (P2P) segment of the foreign exchange (FX) market on Thursday by 0.34 per cent or N2 to trade at N615/$1 compared with the previous day’s N613/$1.

Also, at the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window, the Nigerian currency depreciated against the greenback yesterday by 0.26 per cent or N1.08 as it traded at N420.33/$1 in contrast to Wednesday’s closing value of N419.25/$1.

It was the second consecutive trading day that the local currency is coming under pressure amid disruption in the supply of forex to the market by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The demand for FX is relatively high at the moment because politicians are trying to get foreign currencies to woo delegates to their sides to obtain tickets to contest in the 2023 general elections.

Data from the FMDQ Securities Exchange indicated that at the investors’ FX segment yesterday, transactions worth $75.56 million were executed, 62.47 per cent or $125.78 million lower than the $201.34 million achieved a day earlier.

However, at the interbank segment of the FX market, the domestic currency closed stronger against the Pound Sterling by 38 kobo to trade at N516.49/£1 versus N516.87/£1 and against the Euro, it gained 37 kobo to sell at N437.48/€1 versus the preceding session’s N437.11/€1.

At the cryptocurrency market, nine of the 10 tokens monitored by Business Post recovered, with the crisis-hit coin, TerraUSD (UST), further losing 21.4 per cent to quote at $0.07479.

Ripple (XRP) rose by 7.2 per cent to $0.432, Litecoin (LTC) gained 4.8 per cent to trade at $69.99, Cardano (ADA) appreciated by 4.6 per cent to sell at $0.5304, Binance Coin (BNB) grew by 4.2 per cent to trade at $307.16, while Ethereum (ETH) went up by 3.7 per cent to $2,017.41.

In addition, Bitcoin (BTC) jumped by 3.6 per cent to $30,086.44, Dogecoin (DOGE) moved higher by 2.6 per cent to trade at $0.0862, Solana (SOL) recorded a 1.5 per cent appreciation to sell at $51.09, while the United States Dollar Tether (USDT) gained 0.01 per cent to settle at $0.9989.

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