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SERAP Tasks FG to Recover Missing N105.7bn to Fund Universities

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SERAP

By Adedapo Adesanya

The federal government has been tasked to urgently recover the missing N105.7 billion of public funds from ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to fund the country’s public tertiary institutions.

The charge was given by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) in a letter to President Muhammadu Buhari dated July 2, 2022.

The group, in the letter signed its deputy director, Mr Kolawole Oluwadare, noted that the money could be used to improve the welfare of members of the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

“Pending the recovery of the missing public funds, we urge you to redirect some of the presidency’s budget of N3.6 billion on feeding and travels, and the N134 billion allocated to the National Assembly in the 2022 budget to meet the demands by ASUU,” it stated, urging the President to “send to the National Assembly a fresh supplementary appropriation bill, which reflects the proposed redirected budget, for its approval.”

“Meeting the demands by ASUU would confront the persistent and widening inequality in educational opportunity, and promote equal protection for poor Nigerian children,” the association said, adding that, “The apparent failure by your government to agree with the reasonable demands by ASUU, implement the good faith agreement with the union and to satisfactorily resolve the issues has kept poor Nigerian children at home while the children of the country’s politicians attend private schools.”

The ASUU accused the government of poor commitment to the payment of academic earned allowance (EAA); poor funding, the continued use of the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System and refusal to adopt the Universities Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS), among others.

SERAP lamented, “The poor treatment of Nigerian children in the country’s public tertiary institutions,” saying it is “inconsistent and incompatible with the Nigerian Constitution and the country’s international human rights obligations.”

“Widening inequalities in the area of education bear all the more dramatic consequences given the importance of education, as an empowering right, in giving the possibility to all to explore and realise their potential.

“Inequalities in education have a rolling effect, leading to even more and continued inequalities in the future.”

“Apart from being a right in itself, the right to education is also an enabling right. Education creates the ‘voice’ through which rights can be claimed and protected, and without education, people lack the capacity to achieve valuable functioning as part of living.

“If people have access to the education they can develop the skills, capacity and confidence to secure other rights. Education gives people the ability to access information detailing the range of rights that they hold, and government’s obligations.”

“We would be grateful if the recommended measures are taken within seven days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter. If we have not heard from you by then, SERAP shall take all appropriate legal actions to compel your government to comply with our request in the public interest,” it stated.

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

Economy

CitiTrust Lifts Over-the-Counter Bourse by 0.05%

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Cititrust

By Adedapo Adesanya

CitiTrust Holdings Plc played the central role in lifting the National Association of Securities Dealer (NASD) Over-the-Counter (OTC) Securities Exchange by 0.05 per cent on Thursday, August 11.

This raised the NASD market capitalisation by N550 million yesterday to N1.007 trillion from the previous day’s N1.006 trillion as the NASD Unlisted Securities Index (NSI) went up by 0.41 points to wrap the session at 765.28 points compared with 764.87 points of the previous session.

On Thursday, the stock price of CitiTrust Holdings Plc rose by 55 Kobo to N11.90 per share from the N11.35 per share it was sold in the Wednesday session.

A look at the trading activity indicated that there was an 86.5 per cent increase in the volume of securities traded at the bourse yesterday to 111,021 units from the previous trading day’s 59,538 units.

However, the value of shares transacted by market participants went down by 41.7 per cent to N2.7 million from N4.6 million just as the number of trades reduced by 43.8 per cent to nine deals from the 16 deals executed a day earlier.

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

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

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Economy

Value of Naira Falls at P2P, I&E, Parallel Market Forex Scarcity Worsens

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devalue naira

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Naira further weakened against the United States Dollar in the various segments of the foreign exchange (forex) as the scarcity of hard currencies is getting worse, putting pressure on the local currency.

In the Peer-to-Peer (P2P) segment, the Nigerian currency was battered by the Dollar by N6 or 0.87 per cent to settle at N696/$1 versus the previous day’s value of N690/$1 and in the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window, the domestic currency fell by N1.50 or 0.29 per cent to trade at N430.25/$1 in contrast to Wednesday’s value of N428.75/$1 as the turnover for the session stood at $58.37 million.

Also, in the parallel market, the Naira depreciated by N8 or N1.19 per cent to quote at N680/$1 compared with the previous day’s value of N672/$1 and in the interbank segment, the domestic currency lost N5.51 against the Pound Sterling to sell for N513.10/£1 in contrast to N507.59£1 and against the Euro, the Nigerian currency went down by N4.7 to close at N433.78/€1 versus the N429.08/€1 it was sold a day earlier.

In the cryptocurrency market, the bears maintained their grip as nine of the 10 tokens tracked by Business Post pointed south, with Solana (SOL) losing 4.1 per cent to sell at $42.94.

Cardano (ADA) recorded a 2.9 per cent fall to sell at $0.5288, Binance Coin (BNB) recorded a 2.9 per cent depreciation to trade at $323.25, TerraClassicUSD (USTC) retreated by 2.7 per cent to quote at $0.0292, Bitcoin (BTC) fell by 2.5 per cent to sell at $23,939.78, Ripple (XRP) recorded a 1.2 per cent loss to trade at $0.3769, Dogecoin (DOGE) depreciated by 1.7 per cent to trade at $0.0708, Litecoin (LTC) lost 0.9 per cent to settle at $61.68, while Ethereum (ETH) declined by 0.1 per cent to sell at $1,888.23.

However, the value of the US Dollar Tether (USDT) remained unchanged yesterday at $1.00.

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Economy

Crude Oil Jumps 2% as IEA Forecast 2022 Demand Growth

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Crude Oil Export Sales

By Adedapo Adesanya

Prices of crude oil expanded by more than $2 on Thursday after the International Energy Agency (IEA) raised its demand growth forecast for this year.

Brent crude futures gained $2.20 or 2.3 per cent to settle at $99.60 a barrel while the United States West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose by $2.41 or 2.6 per cent to $94.34 per barrel.

Global crude oil demand will rise by 2.1 million barrels per day this year, the IEA said in the latest monthly edition of its flagship Oil Market Report, spurred by the switch from gas to oil for electricity generation.

The new number is 380,000 barrels per day higher than the previous monthly forecast. It also means that the IEA now expects global oil demand this year to average 99.7 million barrels daily.

Supply, according to the IEA, already exceeds demand, as it hit 100.5 million barrels per day last month, with production from the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies (OPEC+) adding 530,000 barrels per day in line with the production increase deal and non-OPEC+ output rising by 870,000 barrels per day.

“With several regions experiencing blazing heatwaves, the latest data confirm increased oil burn in power generation, especially in Europe and the Middle East but also across Asia,” the International Energy Agency said in its report. “Fuel switching is also taking place in European industry, including refining,” it said.

The agency also revised upwards its forecast for oil supply for the full year, noting a smaller than expected decline in Russian oil production and exports.

By contrast, OPEC cut its 2022 forecast for growth in world oil demand, citing the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, high inflation, and efforts to contain the pandemic.

OPEC expects 2022 oil demand to rise by 3.1 million barrels per day, down 260,000 barrels per day from the previous forecast. It still sees a higher overall global oil demand figure than the IEA for 2022.

OPEC+, however, is not eager to tap into this effective spare capacity, which would diminish the group’s power to respond to market emergencies with increased production.

After OPEC+’s last meeting in early August, OPEC+ referred to its “severely limited” spare capacity, which should be used with “great caution in response to severe supply disruptions”, reinforcing the IEA’s predictions that additional OPEC+ output increases are unlikely in the coming months.

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