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NSE facilitates N1trn capital raise for governments, corporates in 10 months

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Governments and corporates have raised about N1 trillion across the various asset classes of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) between January and October, between January and October, the Divisional Head, Listings Business, NSE, Mr. Olumide Bolumole, has said.

He disclosed this at a webinar hosted by the exchange in collaboration with Odu’a Chambers of Commerce and Industry on Wednesday in Lagos.

The themed: “Capital Raising in a Pandemic,” the vent was held in furtherance of the NSE’s commitment to educating business promoters on the alternative funding opportunities available in the capital market to catalyse business growth. This comes on the back of the significant reduction in major sources of revenue for key sectors of the economy occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic and other macroeconomic issues which have negatively impacted business across various industries and highlighted the need for capital raising opportunities.

According to Bolumole, the NSE as a platform for capital formation has products and services to support capital raising across economic sectors, adding that the NSE continues to deliver on its promise to provide a platform for issuers and investors to meet their financial objectives even in the most difficult times.

“ For instance, despite the impact of COVID -19, the NSE has facilitated needed financing with about N1 trillion in capital raised by governments and corporates between January and October across various asset classes. With the All Share Index as at the 9th of November appreciating by over 20 per cent since the start of the year and the fixed Income market capitalisation currently over N17 trillion, the market has depth to accommodate required capital,” he said.

Also speaking, the Head of Department, Branch Network, NSE, Mr. Adeyemi Osoba, shed some more light on the NSE Growth Board as a viable option for capital raising, especially for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises.

“The Growth Board was launched in January 2020 as part of the NSE’s initiatives to elevate the Nigerian Capital market and meet the needs of businesses at every phase of their lifecycle. It provides a platform for fast-growing companies to access cost-effective, long-term capital while enjoying relaxed entry criteria, reduced post-listing obligations and a wide range of value added services,” he said.

In his keynote address, the National Vice President, The Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines, and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Dele Oye, expressed the association’s support of the Growth Board and encouraged SMEs to take advantage of the exchange’s platform to access the right-sized capital required to scale their businesses.

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BUSINESS

UAE makes U-turn, reinstates ban on Nigerian flights

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Less that 48 hours after announcing resumption of flights to Nigeria, Emirates, the UAE flag carrier, has again announced indefinite suspension of flights to Nigeria.

The UAE authorities had initially fixed Wednesday, June 23, 2021, for resumption of flights to Nigeria.

But in a statement on its website on Monday, the airline said, “In line with government directives, passenger flights to and from Nigeria (Lagos and Abuja) are suspended with effect from 21 June 2021 until further notice.”

The airline had on Saturday announced resumption of flights, which were suspended in March over diplomatic row on COVID-19 protocols.

The Dubai’s Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management had lifted the ban on Nigeria and also removed the rapid antigen test and said passengers from Nigeria would only be required to possess negative PCR test.

“We look forward to facilitating travel from these countries and supporting various travelers’ categories.

“We will resume carrying passengers from South Africa, Nigeria and India in accordance with these protocols from 23rd June,” Emirates had announced.

But it made U-turn on Monday with a new travel update indicating that Lagos and Abuja flights would no longer resume on Wednesday as earlier announced.

Emirates said, “Customers travelling to and from Lagos and Abuja will not be accepted for travel. Customers who have been to or connected through Nigeria in the last 14 days are not permitted to board from any other point to the UAE.

“We regret the inconvenience caused, and affected customers should contact their booking agent or Emirates call centre for rebooking. Emirates remains committed to Nigeria, and we look forward to resuming passenger services when conditions allow.”

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CAC boss denies N6.54bn fraud allegation

The Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) has denied claims of alleged N6.542 billion fraud and other allegations by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).

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CAC Boss Denies N6.54bn Fraud Allegation

The Registrar General/Chief Executive, Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Alhaji Garba Abubakar, has expressed the commission’s commitment to the anti-corruption war of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, adding that it will not in any way be party to corrupt practices.

He said the CAC would continue to work hard to achieve the objectives for which it was established to the satisfaction of its customers and stakeholders.

Abubakar spoke against the backdrop of alleged abuse of power and financial impropriety among others leveled against the management by the CAC staff union under the aegis of the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporation , Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE).

He vowed that the commission would not be distracted by mischief makers bent on running down the organisation.

The commission in a statement said contrary to the claims by the union, the registrar-general had declared his assets before the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) in accordance with provisions of the laws of the land, pointing out that it was laughable that the claimants were raising doubt over the content of asset declaration they are not privy to. “It behooves on them to establish any case of wrong declaration,” it stated.

On the alleged inflation of consultancy fees for tax reconciliation, the commission in a statement issued over the weekend by the Director of Public Affairs, CAC, Duke Ukaga, said the tax consultant was engaged long before the appointment of Abubakar, adding that the former’s fees was based on the percentage of savings made to the commission as contained in his engagement letter.

The commission said the consultant was able to renegotiate the commission’s tax liability, saving about N600 million in the process.

The commission, among other things, denied accusations of abuse of power, financial impropriety and commercialisation of promotion examination in the commission.

According to it, “The 2019 examination was held on October 10, 2020, at JAMB CBT Centres in Abuja, Kano and Lagos. A total of 394 staff members sat for the 2019 promotion examination.

“The result of the examination was published the same day at the commission’s website upon receipt from JAMB.

“At the end of the final collation, a total of 258 candidates were successful and promotion letters were issued to the staff upon approval by the board of the commission. It is highly mischievous for anybody to claim that the process was commercialised.”

The management further clarified that the allegations are “figment of imagination of the AUPCTRE who could still not accept the reality of losing checkup dues of over N2 million monthly from the commission following the stoppage of checkup dues deduction in respect of senior staff.”

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Nigeria’s economy recovering from COVID-19 impact – IMF

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International Monetary Fund (IMF) has announced that Nigeria’s economy is gradually recovering from the negative impact of COVID-19.

This is as it cautioned the federal government to keep reliance on CBN overdrafts for deficit financing within legal limits.

The Fund also urged the government continue to make efforts to strengthen budget planning and public finance management practices to allow for flexible financing

The IMF, in a statement at the end of its virtual meetings with the Nigerian authorities to discuss recent economic, financial developments and outlook, described the recent removal of the official exchange rate from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) website as “encouraging”.

IMF mission, however, noted that both unemployment and inflation rates remain elevated.

The mission said following the sharp output contractions in the second and third quarters, gross domestic product (GDP) turned positive in Q4 2020 and growth reached 0.5 per cent year-on-year in Q1 2021 — supported by agriculture and services sectors.
“Nevertheless, the employment level continues to fall dramatically and, together with other socio-economic indicators, is far below pre-pandemic levels. Inflation slightly decelerated in May but remained elevated at 17.9 per cent, owing to high food price inflation,” the statement reads.

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