We’ll reduce poverty through social protection programmes –FG

The Federal Government has promised to reduce the current rate of poverty in the country to the barest minimum.

The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, stated this while speaking at a Social Protection summit in Abuja

The Federal Government is currently articulating a reform agenda for the social protection sector as a means of ensuring inclusive growth and poverty reduction.

Driving this reform is the National Social Safety Nets Coordinating Office under the office of the Vice President with the responsibility of co-ordinating all social safety net initiatives in the country.

The NASCO is leveraging existing experiences in the country as well as global best practices to improve the processes that will drive progressive change delivery.

Explaining the objective of the programme, the minister said it would assist to influence, design and implement social safety nets in the country for greater impact.

The forum, he said, was coming at a time the Federal Government was reforming social protection practices and policies in the country.

He said, “This occasion is significant considering the current economic direction of the government. The purpose of this workshop is to improve on what government is doing in the area of social protection.

“Government at all levels should take the issue of social protection seriously. At the ministry, we are at an advanced stage in developing a social protection policy for this country.”

The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Finance, Mahmoud Dutse, said the government would continue to come up with policies and programmes to support the vulnerable people in the society.

He said there was the need for a harmonised approach to tackle the current level of poverty in the country, adding that the best policies should be adopted by managers of social safety net programmes.

The Country Director, Save the Children, Mr. Ben Foot, called for a practical solution to address the problem facing social safety nets.

He said, “We need greater commitment to tackle the poverty problem in Nigeria. Poverty is multi-dimensional and starting the social safety net programme is the first step in putting in place a social protection system in Nigeria.”

He said if the country could succeed with the social safety protection system, the government’s objective of reducing poverty and ensuring equitable distribution of wealth would be achieved.


Cabal Behind Call For Emefiele’s Removal As CBN Governor


A powerful lobby group approximating a cabal wants Godwin Emefiele, governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) out of office, it has been revealed.
It was gathered that Emefiele inadvertently stepped on their toes while formulating and executing the country’s monetary policy.
The group was said not to be happy with his policies on devaluation, Biometric Verification Number (BVN), strong forex restriction, hike in Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) and sundry measures.
The players, whose interests may have been scuttled in the last six months, are believed to be behind efforts at forcing a reversal of the ongoing monetary policies in the country.
It has been revealed that they employ measures such as sustained media blitz portraying the policies in bad light, tinkering with market instruments to force continued slump of the naira and high powered lobby to the presidency to effect a change of guard at the CBN.
Analysts say the combination of these factors and key officials in the country’s financial regulatory agencies are largely responsible for what insiders believe to be the recent run of bad press on Emefiele and government’s policy direction.
For instance, a top official, who works in one of the two major money regulatory agencies in the country and who spoke anonymously, identified them as extremely powerful individuals in the global financial market with their Nigerian collaborators.
The official also listed the names of those believed to be behind the campaign to force a change of monetary policies in the country.
But in a swift defence of the CBN boss, Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State said those calling for Emefiele’s removal as CBN governor were corrupt individuals who have been feeding off Nigerians.
“President Buhari is not going to be fooled by people who want to have a regime where government is just an onlooker and allow the naira to become worthless and people are making money from speculations; so, those guys are wasting their time.
“We have a new Federal Government that has won election on the basis of a mantra of change and there are all kinds of people who have made a lot of money from the economy without contributing anything but by just playing on exchange rates,” Oshiomhole said.
Towing Oshiomhole’s stand is a coalition of civil society groups that has condemned calls for sack of Emefiele.
They described the calls as coming from “a shadowy, bogus and unscrupulous group parading itself as a civil society organization.”
The civil society groups claimed that the central bank governor was being persecuted for the policies on the implementation of the Bank Verification Number (BVN), restriction on foreign exchange allocation, reform of the bureau de change sub-sector, and refusal by the central bank to devalue the naira.
The groups also claimed that the “phony” group threatening to hold a protest against Emefiele was not a civil society organisation and was therefore not recognised by the coalition of civil society groups in Nigeria.
In a statement, the coalition insisted that regardless of how this “phony group” tries to mask itself as a civil society organisation, an independent investigation had revealed that it was in fact a political organisation of paid agents and sponsored groups representing the interest of a certain geopolitical zone in the country.
The coalition revealed that the promoters of this group were persons who are known to be troublesome and have the capacity to disrupt the public peace.
The groups said they fully appreciate the difficulties and anxieties of many Nigerians given the present tough economic environment, but maintained that the situation was not caused by one man or one institution and considered it unfair for anyone or group to try to put the blame on only one person or organisation.


Interbank interest rate rises by 6%

The scramble for funds by commercial banks forced the interbank overnight rate to jump by six per cent to 13.33 per cent on Thursday, from 7.33 per cent the previous day.

Similarly, the open buy-back and overnight rate also rose to 12.75 per cent, from 6.75 per cent.

This came barely 48 hours after the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Monetary Policy Committee increased the Cash Reserve Ratio for commercial banks to 22.5 per cent from 20 per cent, and the benchmark interest rate from 11 per cent to 12 per cent, as part of measures to curb rising inflation.

Similarly, customers’ deposits in the vaults of banks fell significantly on Thursday after the CBN withdrew about N400bn from the banking system to meet a new CRR on deposits, it was learnt.

The significant drop in the Deposit Money Banks’ deposits forced a number of them to the interbank market to borrow funds to cover their positions ahead of the Easter break.

Data posted on the FMDQ OTC website showed that the interbank overnight rate rose to 13.33 per cent from 7.33 per cent on Wednesday.

“We have had major fund placers in the market quoting between 20 and 25 per cent for overnight placement, while takers are quoting between seven and 10 per cent,” one dealer told Reuters, adding that no deals had yet been done on the rates being quoted.

Traders said there was additional cash outflow for premium payments to the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation, which further put pressure on liquidity in the system and forced lending rates up.

On Wednesday, yields on Nigeria’s benchmark 20-year bond rose by 55 basis points to 12.7 per cent after the CBN unexpectedly tightened monetary policy.

The total commercial lenders’ credit balance with the central bank stood at N320.9bn on Thursday, up from N217bn last week.

However, traders said the level of cash in the banks’ vaults would have dropped significantly due to cash withdrawals to meet the new CRR and premium payments on customer deposits.

Commenting on the MPC decision, analysts at Afrinvest said, “The move to hike the CRR by 2.5 per cent to 22.5 per cent was in a bid to curb speculative activities in the foreign exchange market.

“We estimate this to quarantine the sum of N409.7bn from the system. However, we are of the view that this reflects the notion that previous decision to reduce the CRR by five per cent was largely premature given that the operating environment remains unattractive for loan growth.

“We do not expect a reversal in this tightening stance in the medium term as committee members would remain wary of the liquidity impulse from expansionary budget. In the interim, we expect to see a 100bps-200bps increase in yields in the fixed income market, while the cost of funds may likely rise for Tier-2 banks as the interbank market adjusts to the tightening of liquidity. However, assets repricing of fixed income securities and other risk assets will likely compensate for this.”


Presidential committee indicts over 300 ONSA contractors, recovers N7bn


A committee set up to probe contracts awarded by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) from 2011 to 2015 has indicted more than 300 companies and prominent citizens including serving and retired officers of the armed forces.
Over N7 Billion has been recovered so far from the indicted companies and individuals.

Mr. Garba Shehu, SSA to the President on Media and Publicity, who confirmed this in a statement said “Another N41 Billion is to be refunded by the indicted companies while further investigation by the EFCC has been ordered to determine whether another N75 Billion should be recovered from some of the companies for unexecuted or partially executed contracts.”
The statement read further:

“The committee further established that one of the indicted companies, Societe D’Equipment International was overpaid to the tune of 7.9 Million Euros and $7.09 Million.

The committee which is different from the committee that is investigating the Defence Arms and Equipment Procurement, discovered that there was a total disregard of salient provisions of the Public Procurement Act in the award of contracts by ONSA.

Several contractors were apparently over paid,
while others were given full upfront payments contrary to
their contract terms and agreements in force.
There was also evidence of payments to individuals and companies by ONSA without any contractual agreement or evidence of jobs executed. The committee further discovered that somecompanies failed to meet up their tax obligations for contracts

The Committee has made attempts and succeeded in
recovering some of the funds from these individuals and
organizations amounting to Three Billion, Five Hundred and
Thirty Seven Million, Five Hundred and forty Nine Thousand,
Two Hundred and Twenty Three Naira and Four Kobo
(N3,537,549,223.04), Eight Million US Dollars
($8,000,000.00) and houses worth Five Hundred and
Twelve Million Naira (512,000,000.00) from 32 companies. The Committee also established that some individuals
and companies received monies without evidence of
contractual agreements or jobs done. The amount received by
these individuals was Seven Billion One Hundred and Four
Million, Nine Hundred and Twenty Five Thousand Naira only

In a similar vein, the Committee revealed that some
companies that failed to execute contracts or did so partially
were to make refunds. The total amount to be refunded is
Nineteen Billion, Eight Hundred and Ninety Six Million, five
Hundred and Thirty Nine Thousand, One Hundred and
Twenty-five Naira and thirty kobo (N19,896,539,125.20)
only, Forty Three Million Seven Hundred and Seventy One
Thousand, Four Hundred and Thirty Three US Dollars and
Seventy-Three Cents ($43,771,433.73) and 2 houses in
Abuja worth Two Hundred and Sixty Million Naira

The Committee also revealed that 15 companies were
awarded contracts that require further investigation to
ascertain the status of their contracts. The total value of the
contracts awarded in this category was Eleven Billion Seven
Hundred and Twenty Six Million Five Hundred and Seventy
One Naira only (N11,726,571,161.00), Two Hundred and
Two Million, One Hundred and Twenty Six Thousand, Eight
Hundred and Ninety US Dollars only ($202,136,890.00)
and Four Million, One Hundred and Fourteen Thousand
Seven Hundred and Fifty Two Euros and Ninety Six Cents

The Companies investigated by the committee include:
a. Abrahams Telecommunication Limited and Value
Trust Investment Limited RC 1050628 and RC133792.
b. Bilal Turnkey Contractors Limited RC 616389.
c. Circular Automobile Limited RC 953549.
d. Continental Project Associates Limited RC 1201210.
e. Da’voice Network Solutions Limited RC 658879.
f. Foretech Investment Limited RC 759046.
g. Forts and Sheild Limited RC 1148793.
h. GDP Associated Limited RC 830715.
i. Hakimco Automobiles – RC 904389.
j. Hamada Properties and Investment Limited RC
k. International Resources Management Company RC
l. Investment Options Limited – RC 133484.
m. Jakadiya Picture Company Limited RC 270972.
n. JBE Multimedia Investment Limited RC 48875.
o. Kamala Motors Limited RC 845545.
p. Key Information Services Limited RC 297516.
q. Leeman Communications Limited RC 499781.
r. MCAF Associates RC 734745.
s. Moortown Global Investment RC 968416.
t. Syntec Nigeria Limited RC 220165.
u. Trafiga Limited RC 1098961.
v. Trim Communications Limited RC 261180.
w. Securicor Emergency and Safety RC 431246.
x. Sologic Integrated Services Limited RC 744982.
y. Wada Autos Limited RC 1082513.
z. Zukhruf Nigeria Limited RC 306244.
aa. 2020 Nigeria Limited RC 1090292.
bb. A and B Associates Limited RC 279980.

The individuals and companies that received payments
without contractual agreements are:

a. Honourable Bello Matawalle.
b. Brigadier General AS Mormoni-Bashir (the former
Principal General Staff Officer at the ONSA and still a
serving military officer).
c. Alhaji Umar Sani.
d. Dr Yakubu Sanky.
e. Baba Bala.
f. Ambassador Clement Layiwola Lasseinde (a
Director in the ONSA).
g. An architect from Baitil Atiq Travels and Tours.
h. Alhaji Shuaibu Salisu (The former Director of
Finance and Administration at the ONSA).
i. Colonel Bello Fadile (rtd) (Special Adviser to Lt Col
Sambo Dasuki; former NSA).
j. Mr Otunla Jonah Niyi.
k. Otunba Adelakun.
l. Alhaji Bashir Yaguda.
m. Dr Tunji Olagunju.
n. Miss Oluwatoyin Oluwagbayi.
o. Lt Col MS Dasuki (rtd) {The former NSA}.
p. Honourable Maipata Mohammed Abubakar.
q. Mohammed Suleiman. From Musaco investment and
r. Ibrahim Abdullahi also from Musaco investment and
s. Alhaji Aliyu Usman.
t. 18 other officers that served in the ONSA.

The companies that out rightly failed to execute contracts or
did so partially, and have therefore been asked to refund various sums with are as follows:
a. A and Hatman Limited.
b. Abuja Consulting Limited.
c. Afro-Arab Investment.
d. Agbede A Adeshina and Co.
e. Aleppo Systems Nigeria Limited – RC 947255.
f. Amp Africa Holdings and Solar Services.
g. Apple Drops Nigeria Limited – RC 1102219.
h. Apt Security Limited – RC 165189.
i. Autoforms Integrated Enterprises Limited – RC
j. Axis Consulting Services Limited – RC 1151145.
k. Belsha Nigeria Limited.
l. Community Defence Law Foundation – RC/IT No
m. Complus International Service Limited.
n. Cosse Limited – RC 316214.
o. Daar Investment and Holdings Limited.
p. Dalhatu Investment Limited – RC 404535.
q. Destra Investment Limited.
r. Development Strategies International Limited – RC
t. DFX/White Zebu BDC – RC787658/RC1049919.
u. Duchy Concepts Limited RC392281.
v. Fara Security Limited RC 694607.
w. Fimex Gilt Nigeria Limited RC 143150.
x. First Aralac Global Limited RC939512.
y. Fix-HYL Global Investment RC1129654.
z. Good year Properties Limited RC1168828.
aa. Image Merchant Promotions Limited RC 416703.
bb. Interglobal Limited RC 189188.
cc. Jos Peace Dialogue Forum CAC/IT/No75434.
dd. Kakatar Limited RC 443321.
ee. Leaderette Nigeria/Norden Global
RC 422129/RC1119925.
ff. London Advertising Limited UK BASED.
gg. Mithra Oil Limited RC 620979.
hh. NigerLink BOG (Under Musaco Investment)
RC 834592
ii. Iban Global (Under Musaco Investment)
jj. Musaco Investment (Bank Charges)
kk. Mystrose Limited RC 475579.
ll. NAF Holding Company Limited.
mm. Peach Tree Communications Limited RC 410115.
nn. Perception BDC RC 740741.
oo. Pioneer Ventures RC 69776.
pp. Proptex Nigerian Limited – RC 116801.
qq. Prosedec Interglobal Limited RC 619845.
rr. Real Property Investment Limited RC 294761.
ss. Sinash Communications Limited RC 333134.
tt. Skytick International Limited RC 798693.
uu. Soject Nigeria Limited RC 74991.
vv. StellaVera Development Company Limited
RC 713258.
ww. Teracon AG SWISS BASED.
xx. Wehsec Farms Limited RC 713258.
yy. African Cable Television Limited RC 1113903.
zz. BCN Nigeria Limited RC 509693.
aaa. Brains and Hammers RC 655673.
bbb. Concept Options Ultimate Limited RC 604167.
ccc. Elizade Nigeria Limited RC 11544.
ddd. Emerging Platforms Limited RC 922205.
eee. EMI System Nigeria Limited RC 248986.
fff. Hadassa Investment and Security RC 709085.
ggg. Kala Consulting Solutions Limited RC 98562.
hhh. Pioneer Ventures.
iii. Nan Bizcom Nigeria Limited RC 680708.
jjj. Nerres Limited RC 1138835.
kkk. Plectrum Consulting Limited RC 937931.
lll. Protech Consultant RC 301426.
mmm. Summit Publications Limited RC 304671.
nnn. Telios Development Limited RC 468351.
ooo. Urban Abode Nigeria Limited RC 651613.
ppp. RCN Networks Limited RC 439720.
qqq. Sail International Limited RC 97863.
rrr. Suburban Broadway Limited – RC 469689.
sss. Geronimo Middle East and Africa.
ttt. Julius Berger RC 6852.
uuu. Romgat Morgan Nigeria Limited RC 902020.
vvv. Stallion Motors Limited RC 178627.

Contracts awarded to the following companies are to be further
a. 2020 Nigeria Limited RC 1090292.
b. Acacia Holdings Limited RC 940978.
c. Africair Incorporated US Company.
d. Augusta Westland Limited.
e. Almond Project Limited.
f. Bam Project and Properties.
g. Bob Oshodin Organisation Limited RC 790662.
h. Coral Builders Limited RC 397748.
i. Dan Clington Nigeria Limited RC 940978.
j. Law Partners and Associates BN/UY/004566.
k. Magnificient 5 ventures Limited BN/2299463.
l. MPS Global Services Limited.
m. One plus Holdings Nigeria Limited RC 695999.
n. Quadsix Nigeria Limited RC 1177968.
o. Reliance Reference Hospitals.”


N’Assembly transmits N6.06tn budget to Buhari

Barely 24 hours after passing the 2016 budget, the National Assembly has transmitted the Appropriation Bill to the Presidency.

The Senate and the House of Representatives had on Wednesday passed a harmonised budget of N6.06tn, cutting about N17bn off the initial N6.077tn proposed by President Muhammadu Buhari on December 23, 2015.

Findings indicated that there was little left to do on the bill at the legislature, as the two chambers also approved the votes and proceedings of Wednesday’s sitting before embarking on the Easter break.

“The work on the budget is over at the National Assembly. In the past, it would have been delayed had the chambers passed the bill with differences. Such differences would have required a conference committee to reconcile them, but that has been taken care of with the passage of the harmonised bill,” a principal officer of the National Assembly told one of our correspondents.

When contacted, the Clerk of the National Assembly, Alhaji Salisu Maikashuwa, simply replied, “The bill has been transmitted.”

The National Assembly will reconvene on April 12.

Meanwhile, the Centre for Social Justice on Thursday called on the President to speedily sign into law the 2016 Appropriation Bill.

The lawmakers approved the sum of N1.587tn as capital expenditure, and N2.646tn for recurrent expenditure.

They also approved N351.37bn as statutory transfers; N1.475.3tn for debt servicing, and N2.2tn for fiscal deficit.

Both chambers of the National Assembly also adopted an oil benchmark price of $38 per barrel; crude production of 2.2 million barrels per day; and exchange rate of N197 to $1 for the implementation of the budget.

The Lead Director, CSJ, Mr. Eze Onyekpere, while reacting to the passage of the budget, said a speedy assent to the fiscal document was vital since three months had already been lost in the process of fine-tuning the document.


‘Forex remittance vital to economic recovery’

Foreign exchange remittance into the country by Nigerians in Diaspora is vital to the Federal Government’s drive towards economic recovery and growth, the Executive Director, Personal Banking, Access Bank Plc, Mr. Victor Etuokwu, has said.

Speaking at a promo draw organised by the lender for customers who received funds through Western Union Money Transfer and MoneyGram, Etuokwu described forex remittance service as a vital part of the national economy.

The executive director said between July and December 2015, about 424 customers of the bank qualified for the draw through MoneyGram, while 95 customers did through Western Union.

He said, “We do a lot of things with MoneyGram because remittance service is a key aspect of our national economy even at this time of scarcity of foreign currency and low oil prices.

“The remittance service is still vibrant and viable because people still take care of family members, friends and invest at home even as they live abroad. And therefore, it’s an interrelation activity that banks want to be involved in.”

Explaining the rationale behind the incentives, which was monitored by the officials of regulatory agencies, the Access Bank ED said, “What we want to do is to attract more Access Bank’s customers to receive their funds through us.

“We think that the incentives have helped to increase the volume of activities that we get on MoneyGram platform, and we are glad for that. The prizes include two cars and gift item.


CBN borrows N115bn via Treasury bills

The Central Bank of Nigeria borrowed N114.97bn ($579.05m) through three-month to one-year Treasury bills on Wednesday at higher returns than in its previous auction, the Debt Management Office said on Thursday.

The debt office said N18.12bn of three-month paper was sold at 5.99 per cent, up from 5.74 per cent at a sale on March 3.

It raised N13.68bn of six-month debt at 8.30 per cent against 7.95 per cent, while a total of N83.17bn of one-year paper was sold at 9.55 per cent compared with 9.15 per cent previously.

Total subscription fell to N323.47bn from N409.84bn at the previous auction.

The CBN’s Monetary Policy Committee had on Tuesday raised the benchmark interest rate to 12 per cent from 11 per cent, having cut rates only four months ago by two percentage points, and lifted the Cash Reserve Ratio for Deposit Money Banks to 22.5 per cent from 20 per cent.

Yields on fixed income paper rose after the central bank rate hike. Three-month bills closed at 7.28 per cent on the secondary market on Wednesday, up from 4.92 per cent before the rate rise.

Six-month paper had traded at 8.97 per cent, up from 6.84 per cent on Tuesday, while one-year paper closed at 10.01 per cent against 7.77 per cent previously.

The CBN issues treasury bills to banks and non-financial institutions to help ease government cash flow, manage banking system liquidity and curb inflation.

Commenting on the TB issue, analysts at Afrinvest, a Nigeria-based wealth advisory firm, said, “The result of the T-bills auction which showed stop rates, rose significantly higher than prevailing market rates drove further bearish sentiment on Thursday as average T-bills rates continued its northwards movement to close at 7.7 per cent, up by 0.8 per cent week-to-date.

“We believe the interbank market has significantly adjusted for the MPC rate hike and barring any unexpected OMO mop-up from the system, we expect rates to continue to stay at current levels at market close next week. However, we expect rates to fluctuate to liquidity dynamics during the week as deposit money banks provision and get refunded for FX intervention.”


FBNH, Nascon, others lose despite market rebound

Despite the rebound in the Nigerian Stock Exchange market capitalisation on Thursday, 18 stocks – led by First Bank of Nigeria Holdings Plc, Nascon Allied Industries Plc, Africa Prudential Registrars Plc – depreciated in value.

Market capitalisation rose to N8.909tn from N8.853tn while the All-Share Index also appreciated to 25,899.91 basis points from 25,736.92 basis points.

The highest index point recorded in the course of trading was 26,020.32 basis points while the lowest and average index points were 25,694.79 and 25,850.98 basis points, respectively.

Other firms which made the top five losers category were Transcorp HotelsPlc and Cadbury Nigeria Plc.

The FBNH shares depreciated by N0.18 (5.13 per cent) to close at N3.33 from N3.51, while those of Nascon dropped to N6.52 from N6.86, losing N0.34 (4.96 per cent).

The share price of Africa Prudential Registrars also fell to N2.51 from N2.64, losing N0.13 (4.92 per cent).

Transcorp Hotels shares posted a N0.27 (4.90 per cent) loss to close at N5.24 from N5.51, while those of Cadbury Nigeria depreciated to N14.77 from N15.53, losing N0.76 (4.89 per cent).

Other losers were Learn Africa Plc, Nemeth International Pharmaceuticals Plc, Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc, AIICO Insurance Plc, Tiger Branded Consumer Goods Plc, Seplat Petroleum Development Company Limited, United Capital Plc, Fidelity Bank Plc, Total Nigeria Plc, Custodian and Allied Plc, Champion Breweries Plc, Lafarge Africa Plc and Nestle Nigeria Plc.

A total of 17 firms appeared on the gainers’ table with International Breweries Plc, Vitafoam Nigeria Plc, FCMB Group Plc, United Bank for Africa Plc and PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc emerging as the top five gainers.

Other gainers were Unity Bank Plc, Caverton Offshore Support GA Plc, NEM Insurance Company Nigeria Plc, Zenith Bank Plc, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated Plc, Skye Bank Plc, Sterling Bank Plc, Continental Reinsurance Plc, Access bank Plc and Mobil Oil Nigeria Plc.

International Breweries shares rose to N18.80 from N17.06, gaining N1.74 (10.20 per cent), while those of Vitafoam also appreciated by N0.42 (9.77 per cent) to close at N4.72 from N4.30.

The share price of FCMB closed at N0.80 from N0.76, appreciating by N0.04 (5.26 per cent).

Similarly, UBA shares closed at N3.78 from N3.60, gaining N0.18 (five per cent), while PZ Cussons’ share price rose to N22.79 from N21.71, gaining N1.08 (4.97 per cent).

Cadbury Nigeria, International Breweries and Diamond Bank Plc had led the N97bn loss recorded at the close of trading on the floor of the NSE on Wednesday.

The FBNH and FCMB followed on the losers’ table to crown the top five losers category. In all, 32 firms closed in the red, while just nine firms gained.

The NSE market capitalisation had plunged to N8.853tn from N8.95tn recorded on Tuesday, while the All-Share Index also fell to 25,736.92 basis points from 26,020.32 basis points.

A total of 398.277 million shares valued at N2.646bn were traded in 3,581 deals.

Cadbury shares had depreciated by N1.67 (9.71 per cent) to close at N15.53 from N17.20, while those of International Breweries slipped to N17.06 from N18.50, losing N1.44 (7.78 per cent).

The share price of Diamond Bank dropped by N0.10 (7.14 per cent) to close at N1.30 from N1.40.


CIS Cautions Stakeholders on N60b Unclaimed Dividend

CIS President, Mr Seyi Abe

The Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS) advised stakeholders to apply caution on what to do with the over Sixty billion naira, (N60 billion), unclaimed dividend laying idle within the system to avoid running fowl of extant laws.

Most capital market stakeholders, including associations of shareholders, has its opinion on what to do with the money.

A special committee set up to look into the unclaimed dividend issue by CIS’s council came up with recommendation on how the idle fund, causing rancor in the market, should be used.

The committee confirmed that, ”The issue of unclaimed dividend in the stock market has remained a conundrum in the operation of the  market.”

Adding that, ‘The matter calls for utmost caution to avoid running fowl of extant laws.”

The committee submitted that it might not be appropriate for the unclaimed dividend to be returned to the paying companies as requested by body of Registrars who had also disagreed with the stockbrokers that suggested that the fund should be used to shore up the market.

However, it suggested that the Registrars should be allowed to set up a fund with their respective holdings of the accrued dividend, however, with a mandate that the names of shareholders of outstanding dividends be published periodically.

The Unclaimed dividends were largely made up of warrants of dead shareholders whose next-of-kin or family members do not know that what they need do was to obtain a Letter of Administration for transmission of the shareholdings and be able to convert the warrants to cash.

Other reason for the build-up maybe, legal tussles in some cases; inappropriate record keeping of portfolio; lack of interest by shareholder to cash ‘’small’’ or ‘’insignificant’’ dividend payments.

The absence of authorised signatories needed to sign dividend warrants in defunct corporate bodies, Trade groups and Associations, Change of address by a shareholder and disinformation with the Registrars or the Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS) were some other factors identified.

It could also be the: Non-existence of a functional bank account by the shareholder; Non-compliance of shareholders to the e-dividend mode of payment; Use of proxies to buy shares and the associated encumbrances; Signature irregularities due to infirmities, forgetfulness, loss of memory and many other factors could have led to the N60 billion unclaimed dividend build.

Heritage Bank ED links financial literacy to economic growth

Heritage Bank ED links financial literacy to economic growth

Financial literacy has been described as a strong catalyst to financial inclusion and wealth creation that will aid the nation’s economic growth.

This was the submission of Mrs. Mary Akpobome,  Executive Director, Heritage Bank Limited, in her opening remarks, at the Financial Literacy Day Programme  organised by the bank at the University of Ilorin Secondary School, Ilorin, Kwara State last Thursday.

Akpobome, who was represented by Mrs. Moji Niran – Oladunni, Divisional Head, Public Sector, Heritage Bank, explained that the Bank’s Financial Literacy Programme is a platform to help children and young adults establish a positive relationship with money.

L –R: Miss Zuriel Oduwole, Heritage Bank Financial Literacy Ambassador; Mrs. Moji Niran – Oladunni, Divisional Head, Public Sector, Heritage Bank Limited; and Mrs. Silifat Nike Jaiyeola, Principal, University of Ilorin Secondary School during the 2016 Financial Literacy Day programme organized by the Bank in Ilorin

From L – R: Mrs. Kikanwa Akpenyi, Head, Customer Engagement, Heritage Bank Limited; Mrs. Moji Niran – Oladunni, Divisional Head, Public Sector, Heritage Bank Limited; and Mrs. Silifat Nike Jaiyeola, Principal, University of Ilorin Secondary School, receiving a set of books presented to the school by Heritage Bank as part of the 2016 Financial Literacy Day programme organized by the Bank in Ilorin

The Financial Literacy programme, she added, is a key enabler to the achievement of financial inclusion that will sustain economic growth and development in the country.

“At Heritage Bank, the importance of financial inclusion for the youth cannot be over-emphasized. The youth represents a vital force for socio-economic development and hence, the need to begin to work with young people through educational institutions. As a bank, we are here to grow with you and see you create wealth, preserve and transfer wealth across generations. This must begin with being financially literate,” she said.

Addressing the students, Miss Zuriel Oduwole, the education advocate teenager and Heritage Bank’s Financial Literacy Ambassador, noted that financial literacy is about how to earn money and preserve it for the future. Oduwole, who had held meetings with more than 18 Presidents and Prime Ministers on youth and education, averred that education is not only about passing subjects like Chemistry, Biology or Economics, but about learning new things that will help the learner in the future.

Earlier, the Principal of the school, Mrs. Nike Jaiyeola thanked Heritage Bank and the CBN for the initiative and described the programme as a valuable contribution to the life of the youth. “The youth are the most vulnerable group to make wrong financial decision, but with this programme now, the danger can be averted when it is time to make quality decision about finances and the future,” she said.

Some of the topics discussed at the programme ranged from banks, money, Bank Verification Number, BVN, the naira and devaluation. As part of the programme, the bank donated volumes of books on money and finance to the school.

As a key implementation priority of the Financial Inclusion Strategy, the Central Bank of Nigeria developed a Financial Literacy Framework (FLF) in January, 2013. The document articulates a strategic direction for a multi stakeholder approach to the delivery of financial education programmes across various target groups of the population in Nigeria.

Consequently, as part of the Global Money Week celebration, the Bankers’ Committee designated March 13 every year as Financial Literacy Day. The day is being marked to focus attention on children and youth in primary and secondary schools nationwide and to empower them by enhancing their financial knowledge and planning skills.