Nigeria stock market gains N571bn in bullish trading

Trading reopened on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Friday after Eid-el-Maolud celebration still on an upward trend, growing by N571 billion.

Speficially, the market capitalisation which opened at N15.386 trillion inched higher by N371 billion or 3.71 per cent to close at N15.957 trillion.

Also, the All-Share Index improved by 1,093.09 points or 3.71 per cent to close at 30,530.69 from 29,437.60 achieved on Wednesday.

A breakdown of the price movement chart shows that 43 stocks recorded price appreciation in contrast with 11 losers.

Nestle led the gainers’ table, gaining N129.20 to close at N1,421.70 per share.

Mobil followed with a gain of N17.80 to close at N196.10, while Total grew by N11 to close at N129.90 per share.

Dangote Cement garnered N4.70 to close at N160, while BUA Cement appreciated by N4.10 to close at N45.50 per share.

On the other hand, Guinness dominated the losers’ chart, declining by 55k to close at N17 per share.

NAHCO trailed with 12k to close at N2.10, while PZ Cussons dipped 10k to close at N4.45 per share.

Prestige Insurance lost 6k to close at 54k, while Ecobank Transnational Incorporated shed 5k to close at N5.65 per share.

Also, the volume of shares traded rose by 115.27 per cent with an exchange of 807.81 million shares valued at N10.50 billion in 8,113 deals.

This was against a turnover of 375.25 million shares worth N4.63 billion achieved in 5,947 deals on Wednesday.

The banking stocks remained investors delight with United Bank for Africa emerging the most active stock exchanging 108.55 million shares valued at N816.69 million.

Access Bank followed with 94.74 million shares worth N746.94 million, FBN Holdings traded 89.55 million shares valued at N581.46 million.

Zenith Bank traded 75.23 million shares worth N1.65 billion, while Guaranty Trust Bank exchanged 56.22 million shares valued at N1.80 billion. (NAN)

IGP inaugurates 9-Man Committee to assess losses suffered by Police Force

The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Mohammed Adamu has inaugurated a 9-Man Committee for the assessment of losses suffered by the Nigeria Police Force during the ENDSARS Protests across the country.

The IGP, during the inauguration program which held at the Force Headquarters, Abuja, today, Friday, 30th October, 2020, noted that the setting up of the Assessment Committee is informed by the need to properly document the losses suffered by the Force for the purposes of strategic planning, re-construction and re-equipment as well as for future reference.

He observed that the Force encountered huge losses in terms of human and material resources during the ENDSARS protests which commenced on a rather peaceful note but unfortunately degenerated into violence, loss of lives and wanton destruction of property.

The Committee, which has CP Abutu Yaro as Chairman, was charged by the IGP to see the assignment as a call to service which must be undertaken with purposefulness, empathy, dedication and sacrifice.

The terms of reference of the Committee include: that the delegation should physically visit the scenes of incident and capture the pictorials of all damages done to police infrastructure and personnel; verify the fatalities suffered by the police; establish the weapons holdings that were lost during the incidents, amongst others.

The IGP particularly emphasized that the delegates should visit families of deceased police officers and the injured on behalf of the Force.

The IGP, while appreciating President Muhammadu Buhari, the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, and Government at all levels for their support and commitment to the holistic reforms of the Force, re-assured the families of the deceased police officers and the injured their losses and sacrifices would continually be remembered by the Force and the nation.

The IGP also appreciated the professional conduct and restraints by Police personnel during the period, even in the face of imminent threats to their lives.

Why we oppose Okonjo-Iweala — US

The United States has explained that the reason it moved against the election of former Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the next Director-general of the World Trade Organisation, WTO, was the fact that the UN agency was in dire need of reform which must be driven by ‘’someone with real, hands-on experience.’’

In a statement issued by the office of the US Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer, on Wednesday, the US government said: “The United States supports the selection of Korean Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee as the next WTO Director-General.

“Minister Yoo is a bona fide trade expert who has distinguished herself during a 25-year career as a successful trade negotiator and trade policy maker. She has all the skills necessary to be an effective leader of the organization.

“This is a very difficult time for the WTO and international trade. There have been no multilateral tariff negotiations in 25 years, the dispute settlement system has gotten out of control, and too few members fulfill basic transparency obligations.

“The WTO is badly in need of major reform. It must be led by someone with real, hands-on experience in the field.”

The argument against Okonjo-Iweala had always been that she has no direct trade experience.

But addressing the WTO in July, the former minister of finance said, while refuting the claim: “I am a development economist and you cannot do that without looking at trade. Trade is a central part of development.

‘’So, I have been doing it. My whole career at the World Bank, I was working on trade policy reform in middle and low-income countries at the bank,” she said.

“As finance minister, the Customs Service in my country reported to me. And that is all about trade facilitation. I helped my country’s negotiation with my trade minister on the ECOWAS common external tariffs. I don’t know how much more trade you can have than that.

“So those who say I don’t have trade, they are mistaken. I think the qualities I have are even better, because I combine development economics with trade knowledge, along with finance, and you need those combination of skills to lead the WTO. I think I have the skills that are needed. I am a trade person.”

Okonjo-Iweala had on Wednesday, won the popular vote to become the next DG and had the nod of the three ambassadors saddled with the responsibility of picking the next leader of the trade body.

But at a WTO delegates meeting to discuss the appointment, the US expressed opposition to her election — the US was the only country opposing her election.

Keith Rockwell, spokesman of the WTO, said just one member country did not support Okonjo-Iweala.

“All of the delegations that expressed their views expressed very strong support for the outcome, except for one,” he said.

The WTO reconvenes on November 9, 2020 after the US election to decide who becomes the next DG.

Tambuwal warns Buhari against politics of exclusion

Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, has warned the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration against playing politics of exclusion, saying it was dangerous for Nigeria’s corporate existence.

Tambuwal, who spoke during the national flag-off of “Project 20 million”, a masses-driven and grassroots mobilization initiative, in Abuja yesterday, said such exclusion would only drive moderate voices underground while creating a platform for hardliners.

Represented by his Special Adviser on Small and Medium Scale Enterprises SMEs, Akibu Dalhatu, the governor also lamented the growing culture of impunity in the country and the erosion of fundamental freedoms, saying the rule of law and due process were now observed in the breach. To deepen democracy, he suggested the inclusion of citizens in governance, adding that Nigerians must be part of the budget making process in order to be able to monitor how appropriated funds were disbursed.

He said: “What deeply worries me is the sustained cries of exclusion in the governance of our country by some sections of our country. And this has been going on for many years without any conscious or deliberate effort to assuage their feelings.

“When people feel excluded and those who are supposed to address their concerns continue to treat them with contempt, certain forces alien to democracy and national unity may rise up in those areas and take firm control. Moderate voices would be driven underground. This is a dangerous development for our country.

“We must join forces to prevail on those in charge of Federal Authority to change their approach. They must engage sections of the country who feel excluded from governance. The country belongs to all of us. When elections are over, you must unify all Nigerians and proceed to deliver dividends of democracy.

“The nation is yet to develop a framework for effective engagement of the citizenry in governance. This must never be done on an adhoc basis. In the development of government policies, we must factor in citizen participation. Their input gives legitimacy to whatever we are doing.

“When I was the Speaker of the House of Representatives, we organized Town Hall Meetings in all the Federal Constituencies to distil and collate the inputs of Nigerians in the Constitutional Amendment Process.

That was the first time the constitutional amendment process was truly participatory and transparent. The people embraced the process with enthusiasm. They felt that their voices were beginning to count in the affairs of government.

“One major area that we have not been able to effectively engage the citizenry is in the budget making process. The Appropriation Bill at the Federal Level must not remain an exclusive affair of the Executive and National Assembly. We must adopt the Participatory Approach to Budget Making. Before the Budget Office of the Presidency and the Ministry of Finance and Budget Planning finalizes any budget, they must organize Town Hall Meetings across the country to gather the inputs of the people and determine priority areas

“If the people participate in the budget making process, they will also follow how the appropriated money is being spent. They will demand transparency and accountability from government officials. The people’s engagement in these processes strengthens and deepens democracy. When the people feel that they are part and parcel of government, they will defend democracy with their heart and might.

“The Rule of Law and Due Process is a major characteristic of good governance. All persons, institutions and entities are accountable to laws that are publicly promulgated. The laws will always be enforced no matter who is involved. The process of reaching judgment on any issue must ensure fairness and proceed according to laid down rules. Accused persons must be presumed innocent until proven guilty. lmpunity must have no place in our affairs.

“It is sad to note that we have been following the rule of law and due process in the breach. Court orders are disobeyed with impunity. Institutions of democracy have come under sustained attacks. There is steady erosion of fundamental freedoms in our land. This is indeed worrisome and must occupy your attention as people interested in influencing the decision -making process in the country”, Tambuwal stated.

According to him, the nation is at a crossroads, as there are different forces jostling for attention. “There are different forces battling for the soul of the country. Some of the forces are Pro-People and Pro-Development. Some of the forces are Pro National National Unity. Unfortunately some of the forces are ProDisintegration. They hide under the guise of certain agitations to set our people against each other in order to achieve a pre-determined devious goal. We must be vigilant”, he warned.

On his part, Director General of Project 20 million, Mr. Okechukwu Chukwunyere, said the project was aimed at raising 20 million Nigerians who desire good governance, accountable leadership and making Nigeria great.

He said; “In our country today, We are faced with banditry, rape cases, corruption, mismanagement of funds, nepotism, insurgents, and so many issues that threaten the unity of this country. How can we better Nigeria? Posterity will not fail to judge us all for our actions and inactions.

“We are so divided on concepts, like honesty, value for life, equality, excellence etc that we can hardly achieve consensus on the instrument for evaluating them and the sanctions to give for infractions. Two monsters we have in the room are Zoning system which breeds mediocrity and nepotism, and Electoral system which foists incompetent people on the people.The citizens are not only powerless but castrated. lmpunity is so entrenched that we have lost our sense of shock and outrage on so many daily occuring aberrations.

“Project 20 Million wants to offer us a way out. Nigeria, more than ever before, needs good governance to assuage the feelings of long suffering Nigerians”.

Former Aso Villa Chaplain, Rev. Prof. Yusuf Obaje, who delivered the keynote address titled, “Revolutionary leadership in a country in search of national greatness”, said Nigeria has come to a point in her national history when the dead are still alive while the living are dying in their large numbers.

“The dead who have lost their moral values, integrity, credibility and decency have developed a lifestyle characterised by evil deeds. They are on rampage in their conspiracy against the helpless masses in our dear nation. But the living whose conscience are still alive are dying for lack of food and other basic amenities of life.

“We have failed. You (the youths) are right in your decision to protest. The only appeal I am making is that you take violence out of it, but we have failed”, he declared.

Chairman of the occasion, Arc. Nya-Etok Ezekiel said it was time the youth got involved in governance, advising them the jettison the tag tht they are leaders of tomorrow. “We call our youths leaders of tomorrow and you accept it? I want to call on our leaders; the time has come for responsibility transfer to our youths. The #EndSARS protest was a means to an end- to reform Nigeria. In my time, I want to see a reformed Nigeria”.

Deputy Speaker of the Kogi State House of Assembly, Ahmed Muhammed, said the days of evil leaders are now numbered. “If you are a bad leader, your days are numbered. The days of money politics is over. It is time now to go for character”, he stated.