Acting President signs 3 Bills into law

Nigerian Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo has signed into law, three Bills transmitted by the National Assembly, which are now Acts of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice President, Deolu Akande, said this in statement released on Saturday.

The Acts are the Federal Capital Territory Civil Service Commission (Establishment) Act, 2018; the Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria (Establishment) Act, 2018; and the Federal School of Medical Laboratory Technology (Science) Jos (Establishment) Act, 2018.

Agro-forestry systems
“The Federal Capital Territory Civil Service Commission (Establishment) Act, 2018 provides the framework, as envisaged by Section 303 of the Constitution, for the administration of the Civil Service of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The Commission established under the Act will, without prejudice to the powers of the President, be responsible for the appointment and disciplinary control of staff in the Civil Service of the FCT. 

It states that the Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria (Establishment) Act, 2018 establishes the Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria for forestry research, education and training. The Institute, with its Headquarters in Ibadan, will have outstations and colleges in each of the six geo-political zones of the Federation. The institute will, among others, conduct research into the development of agro-forestry systems for the integration of forest trees of economic importance into farming systems; ecology of pests and diseases and their control; and the control of desertification, soil erosion and deforestation.

The statement added that the Federal School of Medical Laboratory Technology (Science) Jos (Establishment) Act, 2018 establishes the School of Medical Laboratory Technology (Science) Jos, a diploma and certificate-awarding Institute, for training and research in Medical Laboratory Science and other related fields.

World Leaders mourn Kofi Annan

Former Prime Minister, Tony Blair has led tributes to the former UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, describing him as a “true statesman.”

During his time as secretary general, Mr Annan clashed with Mr Blair over the 2003 invasion of Iraq by US and British forces, which he denounced as illegal.

However the former prime minister whose time in No 10 coincided closely with Mr Annan’s time in office said their differences had not prevented them remaining good friends.

“I’m shocked and distressed to hear the news about Kofi. He was a good friend whom I saw only weeks ago,” Mr Blair said in a statement.

Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Theresa May said that she was sad to learn of Mr Annan’s death and that her thoughts were with his family.

May tweeted; “A great leader and reformer of the UN, he made a huge contribution to making the world he has left a better place than the one he was born into. My thoughts and condolences are with his family.”

Indian Ministers tweet
Rashtrapati Bhavan tweeted on behalf of the President Ram Nath Kovind, “Sorry to learn of the passing of former Secretary General of the United Nations Kofi Annan. My condolences to his family and to the UN community.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, “We express our profound sorrow at the passing away of Nobel Laureate and former UNSG Mr. Kofi Annan. The world has lost not only a great African diplomat and humanitarian but also a conscience keeper of international peace and security.

“Kofi Annan’s significant contribution to the MDGs will always be remembered. My thoughts are with his family and admirers in this hour of grief. May his soul rest in peace.”

Former Australia Prime Minister Kevin Rudd tweeted, “The world has lost a great leader today. Kofi initiated the Millennium Development Goals. He did everything possible to prevent the Iraq War. He spoke for our common humanity. I will miss him too as a dear friend, colleague and source of encouragement.”

Fighting poverty and injustice
Former Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, who is currently the UN special envoy for global education said Mr Annan had fought throughout his life against poverty and injustice.

“Kofi Annan was a leader of leaders, a wonderful humanitarian and the most compassionate and caring of individuals…Personally modest and always softly spoken, he was a titan amongst world statesman who saw wrong and righted it and who witnessed evil and always fought it…Even in his later years he fought against poverty, injustice and war with all the vigour of youth and I had the privilege of working with him in recent times.”

“Deeply shocked to learn of the passing of my friend and mentor Kofi Annan. The last time we spoke he had accepted my invitation to come to Kerala in 2022 to celebrate his “thousand moons…He was so fit I had no doubt he would go on well past that date. I have lost an elder brother,” the Congress leader and former Undersecretary-General Shashi Tharoor tweeted.

He said;Kofi Annan was a proud son of Africa, a great admirer of India, a voice of the developing world, a paragon of internationalism and an exemplar of humanity. The UN was fortunate to have been led by him at a pivotal moment in world history. He remains one of its greatest Secretaries-General.”

Tharoor said; ”Kofi Annan was a guiding force for good. It is with profound sadness that I learned of his passing. In many ways, Kofi Annan was the United Nations. He rose through the ranks to lead the organisation into the new millennium with matchless dignity and determination. 

”Like so many, I was proud to call Kofi Annan a good friend and mentor. I was deeply honoured by his trust in selecting me to serve as UN High Commissioner for Refugees under his leadership. He remained someone I could always turn to for counsel and wisdom and I know I was not alone. He provided people everywhere with a space for dialogue, a place for problem-solving and a path to a better world. In these turbulent and trying times, he never stopped working to give life to the values of the United Nations Charter. His legacy will remain a true inspiration for all us.” 

The Elders tributes
The Elders,  an independent group of global leaders working for peace and human rights, say they are “shocked and deeply saddened by the death of their colleague and chair Kofi Annan.”

In a statement, The Elders call the former U.N. secretary-general and Nobel Peace Prize winner “a voice of great authority and wisdom in public and private.”

The organisation says Annan’s most recent work was in visits to South Africa and Zimbabwe, where the country was preparing for a historic presidential election.

“His quiet advice on how best to defuse impending crises was in constant demand from all corners of the globe, in particular from Africa,” the Deputy chair Gro Harlem Brundtland said.

West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee tweeted, “Today we mourn the passing away of Kofi Annan. He was an able diplomat who served as UN Secretary-General. His contribution to peace won him the Nobel Prize in 2001. My heartfelt condolences to his family and his admirers around the world.”

Former Secretary General of Amnesty International, Salil Shetty tweeted, “At a time when there are very few leaders of global stature and integrity, Kofi’s death is a huge loss to #Africa and the world. And as a friend and mentor to me personally, he is simply irreplaceable.”

Actor George Takei tweeted, “Former U.N. Secretary and Nobel Peace Prize winner Kofi Annan has passed at age 80. The world needs visionaries of peace more than ever, and his life is an example of the possible. Thank you for your service to us all, sir. Rest now, in peace.”

Kofi Annan passed away peacefully on Saturday 18th August after a short illness, at the age of 80.

He was born into an aristocratic family in Ghana on April 8, 1938.

He attended a number of schools and colleges, studying international relations in the United States and Switzerland, and became an international civil servant working for the United Nations in 1962.

He went on to become the U.N. secretary-general and later a special envoy to Syria.



Welders Association urges Govt to ban importation of furniture

The Nigerian Welders Association (NWA) has appealed to government to ban importation of finished furniture as part of efforts to boost production in the country.

The NWA Zonal Chairman, Ola Balogun, who made the appeal in Lagos, said that a large number of furniture factories and welders had been laid off work as a result of the increase on importation of furniture.

According to him, the imported furniture is only flashy and could not compete with the locally made ones in terms of quality and durability.

He appealed to the government to intervene, by placing embargo on importation of some furniture, to encourage local manufacturers.

He insisted that the local furniture industry, with proper legislation, could provide huge revenue for the economy.

“One of the biggest challenges of the Nigerian economy is that it is import dependent. A number of companies that should have engaged in local production were importing finished products for domestic projects, which reduced gross domestic products and increased unemployment rate of the country.

“The Federal Government in 2004, under former President Olusegun Obasanjo, introduced a new policy banning the importation of furniture into the country. This policy is to encourage economic growth and to promote local production of furniture.

“But recent developments have seen a downturn in investments and growth in the industry. The importation of finished furniture products has become rampant in the country. It is time for the Federal Government to revisit and re-introduce the policies that will create growth in the furniture industry,’’ he explained.


Naira gains 40k against Dollar at parallel market

The Nigerian currency, Naira has gained 40 kobo against the Dollar at the end of trading, exchanging at N359.60 kobo stronger than N360 traded last Thursday.

The Pound Sterling and the Euro closed at N469 and N413 respectively.

At the Bureau De Change (BDC) window, the Naira exchanged at N360 to the dollar, while the Pound Sterling and the Euro closed at N469 and N413 respectively.

Trading at the investors’ window showed that the naira gained 30 kobo to close at N362.50 from N362.53 traded on Wednesday, posting a turnover of 606.21 million dollars, while the Naira was sold at N306.10 at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) official rate.

The Naira had remained stable at the foreign exchange market, due largely to the series of interventions by the CBN.


CBN plans second auction of Chinese Yuan

The Central Bank of Nigeria has directed banks to submit bids for the Chinese Yuan, in its second auction of the currency after it agreed a swap with the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) in May 2018.

According to the CBN, the auction is part of efforts to encourage the use of an alternative trading currency to the U.S. dollar especially as Nigeria imports heavily from China.

The CBN in a recent circular stated that for an authorised bank to access the bi-weekly auction of the Chinese currency, such dealers “shall open Renminbi accounts with a correspondent bank and advise it (CBN) with its Renminbi account details which may either be with a bank onshore or offshore China,” it stated.

In May 2018, the CBN signed a $2.5 billion three-year currency swap deal with Beijing to facilitate trade between the two countries and cut reliance on the Dollar.


NNPC to establish 2 additional refineries in Warri, Port Harcourt

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) says it has plans to establish 100,000-barrels-per-day Brownfield refineries in Port-Harcourt and Warri, both in the Niger-Delta area of Nigeria, to boost local refining of crude oil in the country.

The Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr Ndu Ughamadu disclosed this in a statement issued on Tuesday in Abuja.

Ughamadu said that the effort was part of the corporation’s refinery collocation initiative designed to boost local refining capacity to end the era of petroleum product importation

He quoted the Group Managing Director, Dr Maikanti Baru, as saying that some investors had commenced the process of relocating some refineries abroad to the county.

“A group of investors had commenced the process of relocating a refinery that used to be owned by BP from Turkey to Nigeria to be installed near the Port Harcourt Refinery.

“Our collocation initiative aimed at getting private sector investors to bring in Brownfield refineries so that they can share facilities is also yielding results.

“For example, there is one that is going to be brought in from Turkey to be located near the Port-Harcourt refinery.

“It’s not a modular refinery; it’s a normal refinery with about 100,00bpd capacity.

“It was owned by BP, but it has been sold off now to the companies that wants to bring it over from Turkey to install it here.

“There is another one of about the same size being looked at to be sited near Warri refinery. But the one for Port-Harcourt is at a more advanced stage.

Our drive at the NNPC as a leader in the industry is to expand our local refining capacity and make Nigeria a global refining hub,” he said.


Forex: Wholesale market, others get $210m CBN boost

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has sustained its intervention in the inter-bank foreign exchange market by injecting yet another sum of $210,000,000 into various sums of the market on Tuesday, August 14, 2018.

At Tuesdays trading, the Bank offered the sum of $100,000,000 as wholesale interventions and allocated the sum of $55,000,000 each for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) forex window and the invisibles sector, for customers requiring forex for Business/Personal Travel Allowances, tuition and medical fees, among others.

Confirming the figures in Abuja, the Acting Director, Corporate Communications at the CBN, Mr. Isaac Okorafor said the Bank was pleased at the performance of the naira, noting that the currency had continued to enjoy stability against the Dollar and other major currencies of the world in recent times.

Okorafor reassured the public that the Bank would continue to intervene in the interbank foreign exchange market in line with its resolve to ensure liquidity in the forex market and maintain stability.

He reiterated that the steps taken by the CBN in forex management had resulted in further reduction in the country’s import bills and accretion to its foreign reserves.

It will be recalled that the CBN last Friday, August 10, 2018, intervened in the Retail Secondary Market Intervention Sales (SMIS) to the tune of $327 million in the agricultural and raw materials and CNY 69 million in the spot and short-tenored forwards.

The Naira continued to maintain its strong stand against major currencies around the globe, exchanging for N360/$1 in the BDC segment of the market on Tuesday, August 14, 2018.



Stock Exchange all share index falls by 0.35 per cent

Activities on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange have continued to fall having significant effect across all boards.

The numbers of registered stocks have also fallen as 33 stocks depreciated, with only 13 stocks gaining and 124 stocks maintaining their prices per share at the close of Tuesday’s trading activities. Whereas on Monday, 14 stocks gained, 26 fell while 130 remained unchanged.

Although, the number of shares traded and the number of deals made on Tuesday increased from 160 million shares in 3,120.00 deals to 164 million shares in 3,448.00 deals, the value decreased from 221 billion Naira on Monday, to the valued of 161 on Tuesday

The All Share Index, ASI, also fell from 35,410.61 basis points on Monday to 35,288.23 basis points on Tuesday.

While the market capitalisation fell from N12,928 trillion on Monday, to close on Tuesday at N12,883 basis points.

On the gainers’ list, MUTUAL BENEFITS ASSURANCE PLC led by 0.03 kobo or 10.00 per cent to close at 0.33 kobo per share after opening at 0.30 kobo per share.

CUSTODIAN INVESTMENT PLC followed with a 0.51 kobo or 9.94 per cent gain to close at N5.64 per share while the third position was occupied by LIVESTOCK FEEDS PLC which opened transaction at 0.63 kobo per share and closed at 0.69 kobo per share, gaining 0.06 kobo or 9.52 per cent.

On the losers’ table, ASSOCIATED BUS COMPANY PLC which opened at 0.40 kobo per share to close at 0.36 kobo per share, falling by 0.04 kobo or 10.00 per cent.

While the second position is occupied by UNION DIAGNOSTIC & CLINICAL SERVICES PLC which opened transactions at 0.30 kobo per share, closed on Tuesday at 0.27 kobo per share, falling by 0.03 kobo or 10.00 per cent.

While NORTHERN NIGERIAN FLOUR MILLS PLCfell by 0.70 kobo or 9.72 per cent to close at N6.50 kobo per share after opening at N7.20 kobo per share.