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NSE Market Capitalisation Rises By N24bn

Trading on the Nigerian Stock Exchange closed  for the week on bullish note on Thursday with the market capitalisation appreciating by N24 billion.

This was due to price gains by some highly capitalised equities.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the market capitalisation, which opened at N10.71 trillion, grew by 0.22 per cent or N24 billion to close at N10.73 trillion.

Also, the All-Share Index increased by 67.35 points or 0.20 per cent to close at 33,536.24 against the 33,468.89 posted on Wednesday.

NAN reports that NewGold recorded the highest price gain, rising by N11 to close at N2,466 per unit

Nestle came second on the gainers' table with N10 to close at N950, while Total gained N8.05 to close at N169.05 per share.

Okomuoil appreciated by N1.90 to close at N72.30, while Lafarge Wapco gained N1.71 to close at N76 per share.

Market analysts attributed the growth to improved 2012 financial result and dividends declared by some companies within the week.

On the other hand, Dangote Cement for the second consecutive day led the losers' chart, lost 71k to close at N148.50 per share.

It was followed by International Breweries with a loss of 25k to close at N21.20, while NAHCO Aviance lost 21k to close at N7.49 per share.

May and Baker dropped 11k to close at N2.19, while Africa Prudential Registrar lost 8k to close at N1.62 per share.

 The volume of shares traded grew by 49.58 per cent as 456.72 million shares valued at N3.58 billion exchanged in 7,340 deals.

NAN reports that this was in contrast with 305.32 million shares worth N3.39 billion traded in 5,473 deals on Wednesday.

Skye Bank emerged the toast of investors, accounting for 74.90 million shares worth N473.38 million.

UBA Capital trailed with 34.73 million shares valued at N42.96 million, while Unity Bank traded 34.45 million shares worth N28.29 million.

NAN reports that the stock market will re-open on April 2, as Friday and Monday have been declared public holidays to mark the Easter celebration.


Continue ReadingNSE Market Capitalisation Rises By N24bn

NSE Launches X-Issuer Portal To Enhance Information Delivery

The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Tuesday launched an issuers' portal to eliminate the delay in sharing information among quoted firms and the NSE.

Mr Oscar Onyema, the Chief Executive of NSE, who was speaking at the launching ceremony in Lagos, said that the portal would eliminate leakages of sensitive information.

He said that the portal would allow issuers to fulfil their disclosure obligations to the NSE accurately and timely.

“The NSE X- Issuer will allow online information submission for enhanced interaction between the Exchange and listed companies globally,” he said.

Onyema said that the aim was to transform the Nigerian capital market and facilitate the creation of corporations that would be the African champions.

"At the Exchange, we intend to be well-positioned to adapt our business to compete effectively in the global marketplace and meet the needs of our clients," he said.

 Mrs Josephine Igbinosun, the Head, Listings Regulation of the NSE, said that the X-Issuer would enable issuers to submit information to the NSE from the comfort of their offices.

Igbinosun said that the portal would ensure transparency and accountability in information dissemination among quoted companies.

"The portal will offer unique benefits of data capture form, submission validation and other ancillary services such as submission notification mechanisms and tracking of submitted information," she said.

Igbinosun said that the X-Issuer would also facilitate comparison of data by international and local investors as well as investment analysts.  


Continue ReadingNSE Launches X-Issuer Portal To Enhance Information Delivery

Federal Government Can Achieve 500 Per cent Broadband Penetration – Zurmi

To make Nigeria to be at par with the rest of the world in terms of manpower skills in ICT, young people need to be trained. Mr Mohammed Zurmi, chief executive officer, Dalsam Technology in this interview with Evelyn Okoruwa explains why more training center should be made available

Based on your assessment of the broadband penetration level in the country, what should the government and service providers do to ensure that broadband penetration is deepened and every Nigerian have access?

There have been efforts from various organisations to increase broadband penetration in various ways. Government of course will do its own part, not only in terms of giving infrastructure which I think government is not really into in this case, but also in terms of encouragement. Government is certainly doing its own part in terms of encouraging private institutions. NITDA and NCC are also giving a lot of encouragement to  private companies like the GLO, MTN and the others. There is also the NICOMSAT that is in the business of expanding this broadband penetration. As it is, I think we are not doing so badly in this country but we need to do more because in some areas  we have almost  zero penetration.


The Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs Omobola Johnson, said recently at a forum in Lagos that the federal government is targeting 500 per cent increase in broadband penetration. Can it be met?

To be honest, the government can achieve anything it wants to because it has the resources, expertise and ways of   going about  it. For the minister to say this, it means the situation has seriously been understudied. If she says it can be achieved, then I have no doubt.


Several years ago it was difficult for bank branches to talk to each other, but today with the Wide Area Network (WAN) and Local Area Network (LAN), not just banks but companies can reach each other through network systems. From your experience working in this field, is downtime still a major headache? If it is, how can it be mitigated?

Downtime is a major challenge, I must say. Part of the solution to the problem is the access to broadband like you mentioned. I think perhaps we were a little bit early in embracing the electronic  system and we have had a lot of failures. Downtime issue is quite significant but with time, there should be an improvement. Banks, however, are not resting on their oars in trying to solve the problem. It is not an ideal situation but I think we will get there. For  now, it is a source of concern.


I was at a seminar recently and one of the key issues on discourse was the near absence of  skilled manpower. What is your organisation doing to address this challenge?

Well as an organisation we can do very little compared to the size of the country and compared to the level of skilled manpower that is required. However, at Dalsam Technologies, we have a training institute in Sokoto where we offer a wide range of ICT courses from the CCNA and others. We are trying our best in our own little way and by the time a lot of people come in , a lot of things can be achieved in terms of the training of manpower. Some people are also putting a lot of interest in the ICT and I think they are taking it upon themselves to go to school and take such courses in computer science and so on. In our own little way we have a training institute and not less than 100 people register yearly.


Cumulatively how many people have you been able to train?

We started the school about three years ago and we’ve had about 400 so far.


Looking at the changing ICT ecosystem, do you think that putting computers in the hands of every student will help propel Nigeria to the stage India, China and other Asian tigers have reached?

One student, one computer will help, but what will help more than giving the hardware is the commitment of  the education, supervisory and regulatory authorities who will  show the way, because ICT is actually the future. So giving students computers will help. However, I don’t even know if putting one computer to a student would  mean  that all the schools do really have competent IT  trainers. I have seen an office where the computers are  very new but for more than 6 months, it was not used simply because the person didn’t know how to use it and he was not bothered to learn, neither has the government made it a point to train its personnel. If that happens, then putting the computers in someone’s hand is actually not going to do much. We may also have a reverse side as most people use internet for surfing. If you put these computers into the hands of idle young students and you are not very serious about what they do with it, then you will end up not really achieving what you want to achieve.


What challenges do companies like yours face?

As you will know, a lot of companies do have a lot of challenges. Assess to things that will make companies work. For instance, if you want to do certain things and you approach the banks, the banks are not ready to give the finance. Then of course, the challenge of lack of expertise that abound in our environment even though one may want to go into certain areas of the business. There is also the high turnover of staff. You know IT is a very lucrative industry and with small companies like us, it is very difficult to retain people when other people are there desperately looking for them and are able to give them higher incentives.


Apart from being into ICT for over ten years you are also the chairman Coop Mortgage Bank. What do you think about the mortgage system in Nigeria?

Frankly it is grossly underdeveloped. The processes that you go through to obtain loan is not easy . Government has tried to do its own part by setting Primary Mortgage Insitutions (PMI’s) so that people can come in and capitalise and try to offer these mortgage services but it is still a far cry from what is should be. With the kind of housing deficit that we have in the country I think we need to do a lot more.


Housing financing is a major challenge facing most Nigerians, why is it so?

 The mortgage institutions are sometimes undercapitalised and unable to do more than what their capital allows them. Initially the Federal Mortgage Bank had a lot of activities but somehow it has quiettened down for one reason or the other. In its own little way, it is doing something but there is a share number that has to be serviced in this mortgage financing which makes it more difficult. Also the procedures  for obtaining these facilities and of course the matter of repayment is not helping too.


What’s your take on the demolition exercise?

We should  stop being a bit sentimental. The truth is that there is a master plan for Abuja and we have to follow it. If  people flout the master plan,  they should  also be able to take responsibility for doing the wrong thing and not blame anyone. 


What do you think about Nigeria achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)?

The MDGs itself has given the indication that we may not achieve the goals and beat the deadline .The project has been weighed down by a lot of factors. For example, part of  its   target is the achievement of improved maternal health. A lot of health centres have been built round the country, but if you go to these places,  even though they have beautiful buildings, they don't  have  enough staff to man them.So it is not only the buildings that will achieve the MDGs , but also the personnel that are supposed to service the people that will come.


Continue ReadingFederal Government Can Achieve 500 Per cent Broadband Penetration – Zurmi

Bayelsa Communities Appeal To SPDC To Provide Electricity

The Federated Azagbane Communities in Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa, has appealed to Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) to provide electricity for the communities.

The spokesman for the communities, Mr Evans Sanugba, made the appeal in Yenagoa, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

 ``Our appeal to the SPDC has become imperative because Azagbane Communities as host to SPDC's operations need to be linked to the company's Opukushi power plant for electricity supply to our communities,’’ he stated.

 Sanugba, who is also the Chairman of Azagbane Community Development Committee (CDC), called on the SPDC to link the cluster communities of Azagbane, the way it had done to Egbemo-Angalabiri and Agbidiama Communities.

 According to him, the communities see no reason why the SPDC should not link them to its electricity power supply in view of their proximity and status as host communities to the SPDC.

Sanugba also appealed to the SPDC to offer  employment to Azagbane youths.

The CDC chairman stated that no Azagbane indigene had been offered employment by SPDC since it started operation in the area many years ago.

 When contacted, Spokesman for the SPDC, Mr Precious Okolobo, asked for time to enable him verify the employment issues raised by the community from the SPDC' Department of Human Resources.

 "I am at the airport now, on my way to Lagos, you don't expect me to respond immediately, I need time to verify these issues from the Human Resources, then I can respond," he said.


Continue ReadingBayelsa Communities Appeal To SPDC To Provide Electricity

Financial Experts, Others Urge FG To Increase Workers’ Pay

Some financial experts and other Nigerians on Sunday urged the Federal Government to review the salaries of workers upwards.

They told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that a substantial increase in workers’ wages would complement the government’s efforts in tackling corruption and other social vices.

Mr Oluwole Ibikunle, Managing Director of Boaz Management and Financial Strategies Ltd., said that the high level of inflation had eroded the value of workers’ salaries which had remained stagnant.

Ibikunle said that periodic upward review of workers’ wages would reinvigorate economic activities and boost the liquidity system as well as encourage investments among workers.

``Low wages make workers less productive, create discord in families and compel majority of the workers to engage in shady deals to make ends meet,’’ he stated.

Mr Remi Alarape, the Managing Director of Remmy Associates Ltd., attributed the increase in corruption and other social ills among the working class to the prevailing `dismal wages’.

Alarape said that the inability of the Nigerian working class to financially support extended family members to create small businesses had contributed to unemployment and high level poverty nationwide.

``A well-paid worker will not only support extended family members in operating small businesses but would find it difficult to engage in corruption or any social vice,’’ he said.

Mr Ojo Makinde, a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Psychology, University of Ibadan, also told NAN that the poor wage profile had robbed the country of committed workers interested in professional career growth.

``Job seekers are no longer concerned about the prospect of the jobs they get.

``They are only interested in the salary they will earn. This is the reason why many people want to work in multinational companies and oil firms that pay huge salaries,’’ Makinde said.

Mrs Dupe Bakare, Deputy Manager of Integrated Capital Services Ltd., said that workers in the civil service earned less than their counterparts in the private sector.

``A World Bank research conducted sometimes ago shows that over 120 million Nigerians live on less than two dollars per day.

``The situation has not improved. Even with the N18,000 minimum wage, it is very hard for people to survive on that kind of salary in a country where most goods are imported.

``Our salary is not good enough; we are grossly under-paid. We live on loans and  without loans we can't embark on meaningful projects like having houses and cars of our own.

 ``We would have finished spending the salary before it is even paid at the end of the month and we would have incurred lots of debts.

``We buy necessities like food and clothing on credit; it is like a cycle. At the end of the year, we always have nothing to show for our labour,” she said.

A medical practitioner, Mr Peter Johnson, appealed to government to increase workers’ salaries through improved wages.

``Many Nigerians are struggling to make ends meet; they can't live the kind of lives they desire because of poor wages.

 ``How can people buy goods when they do not have money? It is good to encourage the growth of foreign and local businesses in the country. We should, however, empower people who will buy the products,’’ Johnson said.

Mr Ladi Afolabi, the Managing Director of Ethical Business and Management Associates (EBAM), said that poor wages constituted one of the greatest challenges to the Nigerian economy.

``In Nigeria, the computation of salary does not take into consideration the changes that affect the average worker as a result of the economic challenges facing the nation.

``As a result, at the end of the month, take home pay does not take people home again,” Afolabi said.

The managing director suggested that there should be a periodic review of national wages, based on contemporary indices

Continue ReadingFinancial Experts, Others Urge FG To Increase Workers’ Pay