UNSDGF Lauds Sahara Group
By Dipo Olowookere
Leading African energy conglomerate, Sahara Group, has been lauded by the United Nations Sustainability Development Goals Fund (UNSDGF) for its unwavering commitment to spearheading private sector involvement in driving global campaigns for achieving the SDGs.
Speaking at the launch of the new report on Universality, business and SDGs in New York, Paloma Duran, Director, UNSDGF said Sahara’s contribution to the SDGs had boosted the narrative of business being a key stakeholder in promoting sustainability initiatives.
“We truly appreciate the support and dedication from Sahara Group as well as the company’s commitment to its membership of the Private Sector Advisory Group (PSAG) that was formed to better align public-private partnerships for sustainable development through business leaders of major companies from various industries worldwide.
“We are delighted to see Sahara leading the SDG charge through its various Corporate Responsibility initiatives, the Food Africa Project and midwifing platforms for private sector involvement across Africa,” said the UNSDGF Director.
Entitled ‘Universality and the SDGs: A business perspective’, the report is sequel to the maiden edition (‘Business and the United Nations: Working Together towards the Sustainable Development Goals: Framework for Action’) which set tone for private sector perspectives on how companies can address the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development through collaboration.
The new report is based on a series of global workshops and dialogues with the private sector and examines some of the key issues facing businesses working to incorporate and implement the SDGs within their organization. Insight and input from over100 companies all over the globe are presented in the report, including common elements gleaned from more structured workshops held in Nigeria, Colombia, Spain, and the United States.
A case study on Sahara Group’s ‘Light Up Nigeria Challenge’ features in the report and highlights how the SDGs can be incorporated into a company’s core business activity, the crucial importance of establishing diverse partnerships to bring about sustainable and targeted change.
Working in conjunction with ENACTUS Nigeria, Sahara Groups hosts the annual ‘Light Up Nigeria Challenge’ to encourage innovation in alternative and renewable energy resources. The competition harvests projects from students from around the country showcasing alternative energy sources and innovations to help ensure sustainable electricity supply in Nigeria.
The 2015 competition, which attracted entries from 28 different schools, involved developing simple models to reduce energy production costs and encourage the use of alternative energy sources in communities, small businesses and schools. “This competition provides a national and international platform for young people to present their ideas and empowers them to make real change in their communities. It also serves to power innovation in the energy sector where the Sahara Group conducts most of its business, helping develop more efficient and environmentally-friendly solutions while contributing to sustainability,” the report stated.
In Nigeria, the PSAG has scored a huge point through the Food Africa project which mirrors how business, the UN and other stakeholders can collaborate to create a sustainable development platform.
The Food Africa Project is a collaborative initiative involving Sahara Group, UNSDGF, Roca Brothers and the Kaduna State Government, directed at empowering communities and alleviating poverty through food security. The 5- year project is an Agro-base initiative envisaged to integrate the entire food value chain – the farmer, wholesaler, retailer and consumer- providing a sustainable source of food security, poverty alleviation and eradication, skill acquisition and social inclusiveness.
The project seeks to: provide employment, eradicate poverty and empower the people – It is estimated that about 500,000 people will be impacted both directly and indirectly by the project; reduce food wastage through the recycling of food produce that do not meet the proposed standards for offtake and increasing production substantially to encourage the development of sustainable food infrastructure in Kaduna State, with initial investment in vegetables.
Sahara’s Executive Director and Co-Founder, Tonye Cole, said the company is committed to pursuing the emergence of formidable PSAG platforms through which the SDG-F can partner with the Private Sector to achieve the SDGs in Nigeria.
Cole said this would enable businesses align their operations with the 17 SDGs as well as continuously gauge their contribution to each global goal, monitoring impact and implementing new ideas to effect improvement. “Increased involvement of the Private Sector will in the long run enhance the sustainability of business as SDGs are good for business.”
FAAC Allocation to FG, States, LGs in March Shrinks to N722.7bn
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
The amount shared to the three tiers of government, the federal government, state governments, and local governments, by the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC), decreased in March 2023 from the money distributed in February.
A communique issued on Wednesday after the FAAC meeting in Abuja disclosed that N722.7 billion was disbursed from the revenue generated by the country last month compared with the N750.2 billion shared in February.
A breakdown showed that the total distributable revenue of N722.677 billion comprised distributable statutory revenue of N366.800 billion, distributable Value Added Tax (VAT) revenue of N224.232 billion, Electronic Money Transfer Levy (EMTL) of N11.645 billion and N120.000 billion Augmentation from Forex Equalisation Account.
In the disclosure signed by the Director of Press and Public Relations of the Office of the Account-General of the Federation (OAGF), Mr Bawa Mokwa, it was disclosed that in February, Petroleum Profit Tax (PPT), Companies Income Tax (CIT), Oil and Gas Royalties, Import and Excise Duties all decreased significantly while Value Added Tax (VAT) and Electronic Money Transfer Levy (EMTL) decreased marginally.
Explaining how the money was disbursed, FAAC said from the N722.677 billion, the federal government received N269.063 billion, the state governments got N236.464 billion, and the local councils were given N173.936 billion, while N43.214 billion was shared to the oil-producing states as 13 per cent derivation revenue.
Further, from the N366.800 billion distributable statutory revenue, the federal government received N178.683 billion, the state governments received N90.630 billion, and the local government councils received N69.872 billion, with relevant states getting N27.614 billion as 13 per cent derivation revenue.
In addition, from the distributable N224.232 billion from VAT, the federal government received N33.635 billion, the state governments received N112.116 billion, and the local councils received N78.481 billion.
The statement also said N11.645 billion Electronic Money Transfer Levy (EMTL) was distributed as follows: the Federal Government received N1.747 billion, the State Governments received N5.822 billion, and the Local Government Councils received N4.076 billion.
From the N120.000 billion Augmentation, the Federal Government received N54.998 billion, the State Governments received N27.896 billion, the Local Government Councils received N21.506 billion, and a total sum of N15.600 billion was shared to the relevant States as 13 per cent of mineral revenue.
In February 2023, the total deductions for the cost of the collection were N27.449 billion, and total deductions for transfers, savings, recoveries and refunds were N109.909 billion, while the balance in the Excess Crude Account (ECA) was $473,754.57, the same amount it had remained since December 2022.
Local Stock Exchange Extends Growth by 0.06% Amid Weak Sentiment
By Dipo Olowookere
Investor sentiment at the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited was weak on Wednesday as traders chew over the decision of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to raise the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) by 0.50 per cent to 18.00 per cent.
However, the local stock exchange closed higher by 0.06 per cent, buoyed by the 0.08 per cent growth reported by the insurance sector.
Business Post reports that the consumer goods space lost 0.02 per cent, the banking and the industrial goods counters depreciated by 0.01 per cent each, as the energy index remained flat.
When the market closed for the session, the All-Share Index (ASI) improved by 31.43 points to 54,936.11 points from 54,904.68 points, while the market capitalisation went up by N19 billion to N29.928 trillion from N29.909 trillion.
Analysis of the market data showed that the growth posted yesterday was fragile as the highest price gainer, Coronation Insurance, appreciated by 2.44 per cent to 42 Kobo, GTCO also rose by 2.44 per cent to N25.20, Linkage Assurance grew by 2.22 per cent to 46 Kobo, Lasaco Assurance jumped by 2.04 per cent to N1.00, and Transcorp grew by 1.56 per cent to N1.30.
On the flip side, NCR Nigeria suffered the heaviest loss after its value went down by 9.69 per cent to N2.61, FTN Cocoa depreciated by 6.90 per cent to 27 Kobo, Japaul lost 6.67 per cent to quote at 28 Kobo, Cutix declined by 4.95 per cent to N2.11, and Consolidated Hallmark Insurance decreased by 4.62 per cent to 62 Kobo.
Yesterday, investors transacted 134.2 million stocks worth N1.3 billion in 2,479 deals compared with the 127.7 million stocks worth N1.6 billion traded in 2,987 deals, representing an increase in the trading volume by 5.09 per cent, a decline in the trading value by 18.75 per cent, and a shortfall in the number of deals by 17.01 per cent.
The most traded stock on Wednesday was Transcorp with the sale of 28.1 million units, UBA exchanged 21.2 million units, Courteville sold 19.1 million units, GTCO transacted 13.6 million units, and FBN Holdings traded 8.1 million units.
FrieslandCampina Lifts NASD OTC Market by 0.07% at Midweek
By Adedapo Adesanya
The NASD Over-the-Counter (OTC) Securities Exchange returned to positive territory after back-to-back losses, following a 0.07 per cent appreciation on Wednesday, March 22.
This was influenced by the 96 Kobo gain reported by FrieslandCampina Wamco Nigeria Plc during the session to settle at N75.41 per share compared with N75.01 per share of the preceding session.
The improvement in the share price of the milk maker pushed the value of the unlisted securities market by N710 million to N961.17 billion from N960.46 billion, while the NASD Unlisted Securities Index (NSI) grew by 0.54 points to wrap the session at 731.48 points compared with the 730.94 points of the previous session.
The level of activity witnessed a significant increase yesterday as the volume of securities closed higher by 274,515.6 per cent to 23.1 million units from the 8,408 units transacted in the previous trading day.
Equally, the value of shares traded at the session jumped to N10.1 million, which by evaluation is 814.0 per cent higher than the N1.1 million posted on Tuesday.
These transactions were carried out in 13 deals compared with the three deals executed in the previous trading day, indicating a 333.3 per cent appreciation.
At the close of business, Geo-Fluids Plc remained the most traded stock by volume on a year-to-date basis with the sale of 455.3 million units valued at N493.6 million, UBN Property Plc stood in second place with a turnover of 365.8 units worth N309.5 million, while IGI Plc was in third place with a turnover of 71.1 million units valued at N5.1 million.
On the flip side, VFD Group Plc was the most traded stock by value on a year-to-date basis with a turnover of 7.3 million units worth N1.7 billion, Geo-Fluids Plc followed with the sale of 455.3 million units worth N493.6 million, while UBN Property Plc was in third place with a turnover of 365.8 million units valued at N309.5 million.
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