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Senior US Official Visits Nigeria to Discuss Business Innovation, Others

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Victoria Nuland business innovation

By Kestér Kenn Klomegâh

From June 11-17, 2022, the United States Under-Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Ms Victoria Nuland, visited Nigeria, Djibouti and Mozambique to discuss affecting the African continent.

Throughout the trip, the Under Secretary highlighted the important work the United States has been doing with African and international partners to shore up global food security and health systems.

During her visit to Nigeria, the senior US official and the team discussed with the government and civil society representatives significant issues of shared concern including regional security, free and fair elections, and business innovation.

While in Djibouti, Under Secretary Nuland and an interagency team interacted with government counterparts to advance the US-Djibouti relations and close security cooperation.

In Mozambique, according to reports from the US Department of State, Deutsche Welle and Rádio Moçambique, the United States promised to assist the country with a further donation of $40 million (€38.2 million) to support the displaced and victims of natural disasters in northern Mozambique.

In addition, the United States would also offer $14 million annually over the next 10 years to help rebuild Cabo Delgado.

Ms Nuland said the financial grants were part of the “emergency response to the food needs of those displaced by war and terrorism, social protection, building resilience to climate change and nutritional support for children” and the priority was to prevent “people in a situation of food insecurity in Mozambique from falling into a situation of hunger” in the country.

 She emphasised that the United States would also try to persuade other rich countries to provide more aid to victims of hunger in the world, especially in Africa, especially given the worsening of the situation due to “the blockade of cereals by Russia” in the context of its invasion of Ukraine.

“One of the great global challenges is food insecurity,” which “results from climate change, droughts, conflicts and terrorism, exacerbated by the war waged by Russia against Ukraine,” she explained.

Of the amount announced by the United States government, WFP will receive the largest share, worth $29.5 million (€28.2 million). “It is timely support from the US because it allows us to maintain humanitarian assistance to the approximately 940,000 war-displaced people from Cabo Delgado until September,” WFP Mozambique director Antonella D’Aprile said.

D’Aprile said that the resources made available would make it possible to help victims of armed violence in Cabo Delgado and host families in the provinces of Nampula and Niassa, for which the WFP needs $17.4 million a month. The United States is the largest WFP donor in Mozambique, having channelled $207 million (€197 million) since 2017.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) estimates that almost 12,000 people have fled the new wave of attacks on Cabo Delgado that began about a week ago, this time in the south of the province, which was considered a safe zone. More than half are children and there are at least 125 pregnant women among the terrorised population, some of whom are fleeing for a second time, abandoning places where they were starting life anew.

The new wave of attacks is hitting areas around 100 kilometres from Pemba, which already served as a refuge for people forced in recent years to leave the worst affected areas to the north, with the epicentre in districts close to the gas extraction projects under construction.

Joint forces of the Southern African Development Community and the Mozambican government killed an unspecified number of terrorists and wounded others in an offensive against armed groups in Cabo Delgado on June 9.

Cabo Delgado province, in northern Mozambique, is rich in natural gas, but has been terrorized since 2017 by armed rebels, with some attacks claimed by the Islamic State extremist group. According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), about 784,000 persons have been internally displaced by the conflict, which has killed about 4,000, according to the ACLED conflict registry project.

Since July 2021, an offensive by government troops, with the support of Rwandan and later Southern African Development Community (SADC) troops, has recovered a number of areas from rebel control, but their flight has led to new attacks in districts through which they have passed or taken up temporary refuge.

African leaders at the summit of the African Union held in Addis Ababa highly praised Mozambique’s approach to terrorism in the northern province of Cabo Delgado, involving troops from Rwanda and the Southern African Development Community Military Mission (SAMIM).

Mozambican Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Verónica Macamo, has expressed confidence in the election to the UN Security Council, saying that the experience in the fight against terrorism would be an “advantage” in its favour.

Mozambique, during its campaign for UNSC seat, was supported by the African Union. June witnessed the final election of five member states – Ecuador, Japan, Malta, Mozambique and Switzerland – for the five new non-permanent member seats at the United Nations (UN) Security Council for 2023-2024.

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Economy

Again, FrieslandCampina Pulls Down OTC Bourse by 0.23%

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OTC stock exchange

By Adedapo Adesanya

FrieslandCampina Wamco Nigeria Plc, for the second consecutive session, dragged the NASD Over-the-Counter (OTC) Securities Exchange down by 0.23 per cent on Wednesday, October 5.

This happened as the milk-producing company recorded a N1.15 loss to close the midweek session at N73.85 per unit compared with the previous day’s rate of N75.00 per unit.

Consequently, the market capitalisation of the OTC bourse went down by N2.25 billion to wrap the day at N960.50 billion, in contrast to Tuesday’s N962.75 billion.

Equally, the NASD unlisted securities index (NSI) recorded a drop of 1.71 points to wrap the session at 729.63 points compared with the preceding day’s 731.34 points.

The number of shares transacted during the session went up by 40.5 per cent to 41,217 units from the 29,331 units transacted on Tuesday, while the value of the shares depreciated by 4.1 per cent to N2.1 million from N2.2 million, with the number of deals carried out by investors rising by 225 per cent to 13 deals from the four deals executed in the previous session.

AG Mortgage Bank Plc ended the trading session as 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, CSCS Plc stood in second place with 687.7 million units worth N14.3 billion, and Mixta Real Estate Plc was in third place with 178.1 million units valued at N313.4 million.

Also, the most traded stock by value on a year-to-date basis was still CSCS Plc with the sale of 687.7 million units for N14.3 billion, VFD Group Plc was in second place with 27.7 million units worth N7.4 billion, and FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria Plc was in third place with 14.4 million units valued at N1.7 billion

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Economy

Equity Market Falls 0.09% as Investors Lose N25bn

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equity market size

By Dipo Olowookere

Trading activities remained in the bearish region on Wednesday on the floor of the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited despite the upbeat about the listing of Geregu Power Plc on the exchange.

The local equity market depreciated by 0.09 per cent yesterday as a result of the persistent profit-taking triggered by inflationary pressures as investors leave the market for other assets that can give them returns closer to the 20.52 per cent inflation rate.

When the market closed for the session, the All-Share Index (ASI) decreased by 43.04 points to 48,836.70 points from 48,879.74 points as the market capitalisation dwindled by N25 billion to N26.354 trillion from N26.379 trillion.

The industrial goods space remained flat for another trading day, while the insurance counter closed higher by 0.21 per cent, with the banking, energy and consumer goods sector depreciating by 0.98 per cent, 0.27 per cent and 0.18 per cent, respectively.

Cadbury Nigeria recorded the highest fall as its value went down by 9.93 per cent to N12.25, Northern Nigerian Flour Mill declined by 9.33 per cent to N6.80, PZ Cussons fell by 9.19 per cent to N8.40, Cornerstone Insurance retreated by 8.93 per cent to 51 Kobo, and Unity Bank lost 6.82 per cent to trade at 41 Kobo.

The highest price gainer for the midweek session was the new boy, Geregu Power, as its share value rose by 10.00 per cent to N110.00. Multiverse gained 9.88 per cent to sell for N4.45, Red Star Express appreciated by 9.43 per cent to N2.32, Sovereign Trust Insurance chalked up 8.00 per cent to quote at 27 Kobo, and Japaul garnered 7.69 per cent to settle at 28 Kobo.

The most active stock for the day was Chams, which sold 25.5 million units worth N7.4 million and was trailed by GTCO, which sold 19.5 million units valued at N341.0 million. Sterling Bank transacted 9.9 million shares for N15.2 million, Geregu Power traded 8.5 million equities worth N935.0 million, and Transcorp exchanged 7.2 million stocks for N7.5 million.

At the close of business, the market recorded the sale of 135.5 million stocks worth N2.2 billion in 4,041 deals compared with the 173.5 million stocks worth N2.4 billion traded in 4,926 deals on Tuesday, representing a decline in the trading volume, value and number of deals by 21.87 per cent, 7.12 per cent and 17.97 per cent, respectively.

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Economy

Naira Appreciates to N733/$1 at Black Market, Weakens to N437.50/$1 at I&E

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Bitcoin Naira

By Adedapo Adesanya

The exchange rate of the Naira to the American Dollar at the black market closed at N733/$1 at the black market, data obtained by Business Post from foreign exchange (forex) traders on the streets showed.

On the previous day, the Naira was exchanged with the United States currency at N740/$1, indicating that the local currency appreciated within 24 hours against its American counterpart by N7.

Also, in the Peer-to-Peer (P2P) segment of the FX market, the Naira appreciated against the US Dollar yesterday by N2 to close at N747/$1 in contrast to the previous day’s value of N749/$1.

However, in the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window of the market, the Nigerian currency depreciated against the greenback in the midweek session by 47 Kobo or 0.06 per cent to settle at N437.50/$1 compared with Tuesday’s value of N437.03/$1 as forex traders executed transactions valued at $70.42 million during the session.

In the same vein, the domestic currency suffered losses against the Pound Sterling and the Euro in the interbank segment of the market on Wednesday.

On the Pound Sterling, the indigenous currency lost N21.64 to trade at N491.52/£1 versus the previous day’s N469.88/£1 and against the Euro, it lost N9.16 to close at N429.91/€1 compared with Tuesday’s rate of N420.75/€1, according to data from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Meanwhile, in the digital currency market, bullishness continued in Bitcoin (BTC) as the coin added 1.3 per cent toits value to trade at $20,386.63, with Ripple (XRP) recording a 5.4 per cent gain to sell at $0.5016.

Ethereum (ETH) appreciated by 1.8 per cent to sell at $1,376.18, Dogecoin (DOGE) gained 1.5 per cent to trade $0.0659, Solana (SOL) recorded a 1.1 per cent rise to sell at $34.41, Cardano (ADA) recorded a 0.7 per cent climb to quote at $0.4354, as Binance Coin (BNB) also recorded a 0.7 per cent appreciation to trade at $296.48.

However, Binance USD (BUSD) recorded a 0.05 per cent depreciation to settle at $0.9999, Litecoin (LTC) declined by 0.02 per cent to $54.80, while the US Dollar Tether (USDT) closed flat at $1.00.

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