By Aduragbemi Omiyale
Some employees of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have been engaged by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on ways to handle capital market-related complaints.
This is part of efforts to ensure that financial crimes in the capital market are reduced to the barest minimum and the ecosystem sanitised so as to boost investor confidence.
At the one-day training tagged Enlightenment Programme on the Capital Market and the Investigation of Capital Market Complaints the Director of SEC Lagos Zonal Office, Mr Stephen Falomo, said the training was one of the strategies of the agency to drive the development of the market, while also sharing knowledge with the EFCC to achieve a well-regulated market that is dynamic, fair and equitable.
“The Securities and Exchange Commission is the apex regulator of the Nigerian capital market. It is empowered by the Investment and Securities Act (ISA) of 2007 to regulate and develop the capital market,” Mr Falomo said at the training held at the Conference Room of the EFCC Lagos Zonal Command.
He further said, “We are all aware that the EFCC is responsible for the investigation and prosecution of Financial Crimes and that a large chunk of complaints and infractions in the capital market can be deemed to be financial crimes.
“It is, therefore, imperative that the SEC supports the EFCC with up-to-date knowledge of the intricate workings of the capital market and some useful information on the investigations of financial crimes emanating from players in the capital market space. That is the primary focus of today’s program.”
The SEC Director stated that it was also very important to point out that the relationship between SEC and the EFCC dates back almost two decades; that is from the beginning days of the EFCC, adding that the two commissions have since continued to enjoy a cordial and mutually beneficial relationship.
Earlier in his remarks, the EFCC Zonal Commander, Lagos, Mr Ahmed Ghali, recalled the existing relationship between both agencies, and charged the participants to take maximum advantage of the training.
According to him, “I assure you that the facilitators will throw light on a number of capital market matters, where you may be having challenges.”
Investors, Exporters Exchange Dollar at N415.07 Friday
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Naira to Dollar exchange rate at the Investors and Exporters (I&E) segment of the foreign exchange (FX) market in Nigeria maintained stability on Friday.
According to data harvested from FMDQ Securities Exchange by Business Post yesterday, the domestic currency was traded at N415.07/$1, the same amount it was sold on Thursday.
It was observed that the local currency closed flat during the session despite a significant increase in the demand for forex at the market window.
At the last trading session of the week on the FX category, transactions valued at $240.97 million were carried out compared with the $103.16 million recorded at the preceding session, indicating a surge of $137.81 million or 133.6 per cent.
But at the interbank segment of the FX market, the Nigerian currency had a bad day against the United States currency as it depreciated by 5 kobo or 0.01 per cent to sell for N410.96/$1 in contrast to N410.91/$1 it traded a day earlier, according to data from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
At the digital currency market, four of the 10 cryptos monitored by this newspaper on Friday declined, with Bitcoin (BTC), the most popular of the digital currencies, losing 4.7 per cent to sell at N34,434,127.72.
The loss occurred after it went on to chart a brand new all-time high in the week as the market witnessed the approval of the first-ever futures BTC ETF in the US.
Litecoin depreciated by 5.8 per cent to sell at N107,359.81, Ripple (XRP) tumbled by 2.7 per cent to N621.99, while Tron (TRX) recorded a 0.4 per cent drop to trade at N55.94.
However, Ethereum (ETH) recorded the highest gain of the day with a 5.0 per cent growth to trade at N2,400,000.00, Dash (DASH) climbed higher by 3.4 per cent to sell for N112,490.00, Dogecoin (DOGE) rose by 3.2 per cent to N149.35, Cardano (ADA) grew by 0.8 per cent to sell at N1,278.84, Binance Coin (BNB) improved by 0.5 per cent to quote at N197,123.45, while the US Dollar Tether (USDT) increased by 0.2 per cent to sell for N564.99.
Road Infrastructure Tax is to Bridge Nigeria’s Revenue Gap—Nami
By Adedapo Adesanya
To help cover Nigeria’s revenue shortfall, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) says it is proposing the introduction of road infrastructure tax by making the informal sector contribute to building a modern society.
The Executive Chairman of FIRS, Mr Muhammad Mamman Nami said this when a delegation of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) led by its National President, Mr Chris Isiguzo, met him in Abuja.
Mr Nami said the proposed road tax to be administered by the FIRS will provide the government with adequate funding for road construction, rehabilitation, and maintenance, as well as providing the needed security for roads in the country.
According to the FIRS boss, “One quick and very important intervention required of you is in the area of the Road Infrastructure Funding Scheme that the country needs in order fix our roads and bringing the informal sector to the tax net.”
He noted that in many jurisdictions, road users pay for the use of road infrastructure, adding that this should not be seen as an additional burden on the people because it has the potential of making life better for all.
Speaking further, Mr Nami stated that Nigeria’s economy presently relies heavily on non-oil revenues to discharge its statutory responsibility of paying salaries and providing social amenities to the citizenry.
“Without the tax that you pay, governments at all levels would not be able to fulfil their mandate to the electorates. Tax money also helps to ensure the roads you travel are safe and always in good condition,” he said.
He disclosed that the recent rise in the price of crude oil ordinarily should have impacted positively on the Petroleum Profit Tax payable by oil-producing companies. However, it has shown otherwise due to some reasons.
On the challenges facing the service of delivering on its mandate, he said “crude oil production has been limited by OPEC quota. Nigerian OPEC quota as at July 2021 was about 1.5 million barrels per day as against its crude oil production budget of 1.8 million barrels per day.
“This is a shortfall of 300,000 barrels per day. Our average daily crude oil production is around 1.250 million barrels per day as against the allocated 1.5 million barrels per day OPEC quota which has resulted in a shortfall of almost 250,000 barrels per day mainly caused by crude oil theft and force majeure declared by some of the IOCs.
“The total shortfall to FGN budgeted production is about 550,000 barrels per day.
“Huge losses brought forward and un-recouped capital allowances reported by most of the companies due to production shut in and the fall in oil price in 2020 as a result of the covid-19 pandemic which reduced their revenue.“
He said with challenges in the oil and gas sector, reforms have been carried out by the agency with a visible impact on the economy such as the deployment of technology in tax administration to improve domestic revenue mobilisation in view of dwindling oil prices.
Mr Nami added that the service created 10 Value Added Tax, VAT, Regional Coordination Offices across the country to drive collection of VAT.
He said, “We have commenced the usage of VAT Form 002A for enrolment and tracking of branch offices of major VAT payers. This will certainly improve our VAT collection and capacity. We achieved 114.66 per cent of our VAT collection target in the first half of the year.
“It will interest you to know that the service collected a total of N4.2 trillion between January to September 2021. This feat was achieved as a result of the efficiency and effectiveness of the TaxProMax Solution and intelligence/data we gathered, mined and analyzed in the period under review.
“The service successfully facilitated both the mock and external audits for the ISO 27001:2013 certification of the Exchange of Information (EOI) centre, to meet international information security management standards.”
Oil Climbs 1% on Tightening Crude Supply
By Adedapo Adesanya
Oil prices resumed their climb on Friday on continued tightness in US crude supply even as coal and gas prices eased following fears of gas-to-oil switching.
Brent crude, the global benchmark, made a $1.01 or 1.19 per cent climb to sell at $85.62 per barrel while the United States West Texas Intermediate (WTI) made a $1.30 or 1.58 per cent gain to trade at $83.80 a barrel.
The market is still getting support as supply remains very tight just as the market hit multi-year highs earlier in the week on worries about coal and gas shortages in China, India and Europe, which spurred fuel-switching to diesel and fuel oil for power.
Data from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) indicated a surprise crude inventory draw of 400,000 barrels for the week to October 15. At 426.5 million barrels, commercial crude inventories remain below the five-year average for this time of the year.
Winter weather in much of the United States is expected to be warmer than average, according to a forecast from the country’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The number of oil and gas rigs – an indicator of oil production in the US fell by one this week. The total rig count is now at 542, up by 255 from this time last year, but still under the 790 active rigs as of March 2020.
The US oil rig count fell this week to 443—a 2-rig decrease—after six straight weeks of additions. The number of gas rigs increased by one and miscellaneous rigs stayed the same.
Despite these, the market is just cautious about the possibility of an uptick in COVID cases in Russia, China and now Germany.
On Friday, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany said the European Union must take the necessary steps to mitigate the energy price crisis and warned that this must not come at the cost of the transition to renewable energies.
She also said the pandemic was not yet over as cases recently shot up to more than 17,000 in 24 hours, while the 7-day incidence went up by five percentage points.
Analysts also said some steam had come out of the market as investors were shifting their focus away from soaring crude prices.
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