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Well-developed capital market’ll catalyse economic, infrastructure devt — Obaseki

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Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki
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Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo on Thursday said that a well-developed capital market would catalyse economic growth and infrastructure development, as well as long-term investments.

Obaseki spoke at the hybrid 25th annual Stockbrokers Conference organised by the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS) in Lagos.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the ongoing two-day conference has the theme: “Capital Market as a Catalyst for Economic Development and Sustainable Growth”.

Obaseki cited the capital market as having a symbiotic relationship with the economy to serve as a key enabler for governments at all levels to access capital for infrastructure development.

Speaking on the infrastructural deficit in the country, the governor pointed out that Nigeria required in excess of N357 trillion over the next five years to fund its development.

He said that at least 70 per cent of this funding would have to come from the private sector, which meant that the capital market would be largely responsible for a large percentage of this.

Obaseki said that there was a nexus between the development of a country’s capital market and the economy as reflected in the percentage of market capitalisation to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of developed economies globally.

Commenting on the multiple exchange rates in the country, Obaseki cited continents like Europe, U.S. and Asia as having free capital movement and exchange rate stability.

He said that these had attracted more capital and development to their capital markets.

“In the U.S., the market capitalisation is 143 per cent of GDP, Canada has 124 per cent, Japan 92 per cent, but that cannot be said of Nigeria or most emerging countries.

“As you are aware, we need capital markets so we can attract long term development and achieve financing development, and the capital market can help the government to improve rapid development.

“Capital market is a significant contributor to our own economic development, and so for Nigeria to become part of the league of countries with strong economies, it must have a well developed capital market,” Obaseki said.

He noted that stockbrokers belonged to that segment that had a capacity to mobilise and allocate medium to long term capital for the country’s development, and the market was a catalyst for socio-economic development and sustainable growth.

Obaseki called for improvement regarding the ease of doing business to create more incentives for people to come and invest in the market.

He said there was the need to relax capital control measures and promote exchange rate uniformity.

The Chairman, House Committee on capital market, Rep. Babangida Ibrahim, said the theme was timely, as it presented opportunities for stockbrokers to fashion out better ways to assist the government in revitalising the economy.

He said that the CIS conference had come at a time the parliament was embarking on the legislative activities in the passage of the 2022 appropriation bill submitted to the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The house committee chairman urged the stockbrokers to employ their professionalism in collaborating with the legislature in the process.

The Governor of Osun, Mr Gboyega Oyetola, represented by the Commissioner for Finance, Mr Bola Oyebamiji, said in his keynote address that the institute had played a critical role in revitalising the economy.

In his address of welcome, the President/Chairman of Council, Mr Olatunde Amolegbe, had said that activities such as national workshops and conferences were ultimately aimed at sustaining the institute’s advocacy role .

According to Amolegbe, this year’s conference delved deep into the area of macroeconomics on how government, corporate bodies and individual investors can harness investment opportunities through the capital market.

He noted that the Institute was on record as being one of the first organisations in Nigeria to embrace technology as its new way of life and was the first professional body to conduct a full-fledged computer-based examination diet.

The Group Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Group, Mr Oscar Onyema, said that there had been increased discussions around the capital market development, which was crucial to economic growth and sustainability.

NAN reports that the institute inducted 321 new Associates and 40 Fellows during the conference.

The CIS also pledged its continuous advocacy towards attracting more participants into the Nigerian capital market. (NAN)

 

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Business & Economy

We Have No Magic Wand, Tackling Inflation Will Take Time — Cardoso

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Yemi Cardoso,CBN Governor
Yemi Cardoso,CBN Governor
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The Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Olayemi Cardoso has urged the citizens to be patient over the fight against current inflation and hike in food items in the country.

Cardoso disclosed this while briefing journalists at the end of the Monetary Policy Committee, MPC, meeting in Abuja.

The CBN governor mentioned that there was no magic needed to solve inflation in Nigeria but rather patience.

Also, Cardoso noted that despite pressure from food inflation, the general inflation rate was “moderating”, pointing out that “the tools the Central Bank is using are working”.

He stated, “I have several times and I will say again, there is no magic wand. These are things that need to take their time.

“I am pleased and confident that we are beginning to get some relief and in another couple of months we will see the more positive outcomes from the Central Bank have been doing.”

He added, “The committee thus reiterated several challenges confronting the effective moderation of food inflation to include rising costs of transportation of farm produce, infrastructure- related constraints along the line of distribution network, security challenges in some food producing areas, and exchange rate pass-through to domestic prices for imported food items.

“The MPC urged that more be done to address the security of farming communities to guarantee improved food production in these areas.

“Members further observed the recent volatility in the foreign exchange market, attributing this to seasonal demand, a reflection of the interplay between demand and supply in a freely functioning market system.”

The Central Bank of Nigeria has also blamed the recent volatility of the country’s foreign exchange market on seasonal demand for dollars.

“Members further observed the recent volatility in the foreign exchange market, attributing this to seasonal demand, a reflection of the interplay between demand and supply in a freely functioning market system,” a communique issued by the committee on Tuesday stated.

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Port Harcourt Refinery Begins Full Operations Next Month

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Port Harcourt Refinery
Port Harcourt Refinery
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The 210,000-barrel-per-day Port Harcourt refinery is expected to commence operations by the end of July, following multiple delays.

National Public Relations Officer of the Independent Marketers Association of Nigeria, Chief Ukadike Chinedu, revealed this new timeline on Monday. He noted that the refinery’s operation would boost economic activities, reduce petroleum product prices, and ensure an adequate supply.

In December last year, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Heineken Lokpobiri, announced the mechanical completion and flare start-off of the Port Harcourt refinery, the largest in the region.

The refinery consists of two units: an older plant with a 60,000-barrel-per-day capacity and a newer plant with a 150,000-barrel-per-day capacity. The refinery was shut down in March 2019 for the first phase of repairs after the government enlisted Italy’s Maire Tecnimont as a technical adviser and appointed oil major Eni as a technical adviser.

On March 15, 2024, NNPC Limited’s Group Chief Executive Officer, Mele Kyari, announced that the Port Harcourt refinery would begin operations in about two weeks. He made this statement during a press briefing following his appearance before the Senate Ad hoc committee investigating the various turnaround maintenance projects of the country’s refineries.

“We achieved mechanical completion in December,” Kyari stated. “We now have crude oil stocked in the refinery and are conducting regulatory compliance tests. The Port Harcourt refinery will start within two weeks.”

However, two months later, the refinery had yet to commence operations.

In an interview, IPMAN’s Ukadike emphasized that the work done on the refinery represented a complete overhaul rather than mere rehabilitation. He assured that every effort was being made to meet the July deadline.

Ukadike said, “When we visited, the MD informed us that the refinery was nearly ready and would start production by the end of July. The overhaul is extensive, with all the armoured cables replaced and everything almost brand new. The maintenance turnaround is massive, with work being done day and night. All hands are on deck to meet the target. By the end of July, the refinery should be operational.”

When asked about the government’s previous unfulfilled promises to restart the refinery, Ukadike acknowledged the delays but noted that no reasons were given for missing the last deadline in April

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CBN Halts 0.5% Cybersecurity Levy

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CBN Headquarters Abuja
CBN Headquarters Abuja
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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has withdrawn the circular directing banks to implement a 0.5 per cent cybersecurity levy on electronic transactions in the country.

The CBN announced this in a revised circular dated May 17, 2024.

The circular was addressed to commercial banks, Payment Service Providers (PSPs), non-interest, and merchant banks, among others.

It was signed by the CBN Director of Payment Systems Management, Chibuzor Efobi, and the Director of Financial Policy and Regulation Department, Haruna Mustafa.

The circular read: “The Central Bank of Nigeria circular dated May 6, 2024 (Ref: PSMD/DIR/PUB/LAB/017/004) on the above subject refers.

“Further to this, please be advised that the above-referenced circular is hereby withdrawn.”The withdrawal of the circular on the cybersecurity levy followed its suspension by President Bola Tinubu.

it would be recalls that Tinubu suspended the controversial cybersecurity levy on electronic transfers on May 14.

Minister of Information and National Orientation Mohammed Idris, who made this known while speaking to journalists after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, disclosed that Tinubu directed the CBN to suspend the implementation and review the modalities for the implementation of the levy.

Idris added that the levy was thoroughly discussed at the FEC meeting, saying the president was not oblivious to the feelings of Nigerians.

It would be recalled that CBN, in a circular dated May 6, directed banks to start charging a 0.5 per cent cybersecurity levy on all electronic transfers.

The apex bank stated that the deduction and collection of the cybersecurity levy is a sequel to the enactment of the Cybercrime (prohibition, prevention etc) Amendment Act of 2024.

This was greeted with wide condemnations by Nigerians, with many groups and individuals calling for the immediate reversal of the levy.

The House of Representatives also asked the CBN to withdraw the directive.

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