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Naira stable at the official market

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Compiled by: Dada Aanuoluwapo

The naira showed little change against the US dollar at the Investor and Exporter’s counter on Tuesday, a day after a slight increase.

The local currency, which opened for trading at 460.9 naira against the dollar on Tuesday, closed the day’s market at 461.50 naira against the dollar, the same rate it trades against the greenback currency at the official counter in the previous session on Monday. 

According to data published on the FMDQ website where forex is officially traded, the local unit hit an intraday high of N440.00 and hit a low of N462.00 per dollar before closing at the lows. 461.50 N at market close on Tuesday. 

A total of $55.52 million was recorded as forex revenue for the period, which translates to a 72.04% drop from the $198.60 million posted in the previous Monday session.

However, the exchange rate of the local currency against the dollar at the unauthorized window has ranged from N735.00 to N745.00 to $1 over the past few weeks.

In Uyo, Akwa Ibom state, traders said they traded the naira at 740.00 naira and sold it for 745.00 naira for a dollar on Tuesday, the same rate at which it traded in previous sessions. 

Similarly, forex traders in Abuja said the dollar traded against the local currency at 745.00 naira and sold out at 747.00 naira and higher on Tuesday.

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Business

Capital gains in stocks decline 44.6% to N1.1trn

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Activities in the stock market weakened at the end of January 2023, with capital gains recorded by investors falling 44.6 percentage points to 1,083 trillion naira from 1,956 trillion naira at the end of December 2022, suggesting that concerns about the upcoming February general election may have begun to weigh on the market.

However, market capitalization closed positively at 28,998 trillion yesterday, up 3.9% from the 27,915 trillion recorded at the end of December 2022.

The decline in capital gains occurred despite predictions of impressive financial results and dividend payouts from investors. It also contradicts the views of investment analysts.

“The usual January momentum will prevail, especially as the yield environment appears to be turning bearish,” the analysts said. The All Share Index (ASI) gained 3.9% to close at N53, 238.67 points from 51,251.06 points.

Industry analysis shows that market performance is driven by activities in the oil and gas, industrial, and banking sectors. Specifically, the oil and gas industry increased by 41.3%, followed by industrial goods, which increased by 22.23%.

It was followed by banking and consumer goods, up 10.54% and 5.6%, respectively, while the insurance industry was the only loser, down 7.3%. In his forecast for the trading activity for 2023, Highcap Securities Limited Vice President and CEO David Adonri said that despite the gloomy outlook for the global economy, internal factors and positives could cause the stock to outperform its 2022 performance in 2023.

He said if the 2023 general election is credible and security is improved, the leverage effect of starting domestic refining could significantly improve macroeconomic conditions. This will strengthen capital market fundamentals, he said, allowing for lower interest rates.

“The fate of capital markets is closely tied to macroeconomic conditions.” “If the new administration can restore security, formulate the right policies to stimulate the productive economy, and redefine monetary policies, especially with respect to a single exchange rate, investor confidence will be significantly enhanced,” he stated.

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Nigeria to Spend N6trn on Fuel Subsidy This Year — El-Rufai

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Compiled by: Dada Aanuoluwa

Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai said Nigeria plans to spend 6 trillion naira on fuel subsidies for six months, 4 trillion naira on subsidies for naira, and 300 billion naira on subsidies for electricity by 2023.

The governor, who spoke at the 12th Kaduna State Health Council Meeting in Kaduna, said the fuel subsidy is worth 6 trillion naira, accounting for a quarter of the budget and more than the total health budgets of state and local governments this year.

According to him, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) has not deposited any money into the federation’s account since the last quarter of 2021, adding that this has forced Nigeria to depend mainly on import duties and taxes as a means of revenue distribution divided among three levels of government.

He said falling revenue has forced states to re-prioritize and cut spending. Governor el-Rufai explained that the Kaduna state government is “working hard to achieve the goal of making health care affordable and accessible to the people, but this cannot be done yet without cash assistance.”

He said the state is managing the meager amount that comes from its union account and internally generated revenue, the IGR.

“Our goal is to achieve universal health coverage for all residents.” “We hope to complete a 300-bed specialty hospital in Millennium City in the second quarter, along with a medical center to help fight the threat of cancer and serve as a source of medical tourism.”

A second cancer center is being built near Barau Dikko Teaching Hospital in Kaduna. We’ve built a 136-bed infection center in Mando, and we’re building 10- to 30-bed isolation centers in all of our general hospitals in preparation for the next phase of the pandemic outbreak of infectious diseases.

“We need to make choices as a nation and a people and stop the hypocrisy. Since the last quarter of 2021, the NNPCL has not contributed a dime to the federation account because it is paying a stipend. We only depend on import duties and taxes.

“This year, the federal government will spend 6 trillion naira on fuel subsidies, a quarter of the budget.” This is more than the total state and local government budgets spent on health care this year.

“We spend 300 billion naira a year subsidizing electricity that we barely get. We subsidize 50% of the electricity supply. We have an exchange rate of N400 for a dollar, but if you want to buy a dollar on the street at the Hamdala hotel, it costs N700.

“Some people will buy for 400 naira and sell for 700 naira; we will lose about 4 trillion naira a year, which is 1/6 of the total budget or more of the total education budget.”

“We can’t do projects without a refund, but what is our source of income?”

Federal allocation and internally generated revenue. There are two million people working in Kaduna, and 100,000 of them are civil servants. ‘If we asked them to pay N10, 000 per month or N100,000 per year, we would get N200 billion in the form of internally generated revenue, which is more than our capital budget for this year.

“We need to talk to each other.” “When we arrived, we had fewer than 150 doctors in the statewide health care system, but today we’ve doubled that number,” the governor said.

Earlier in her speech, Kaduna State Health and Human Services Commissioner Dr. Amina Baloni said Kaduna State was able to reduce the neonatal mortality rate from 63 to 47 per 1,000 and the mortality rate of mothers from 187 to 127 per 1,000.

According to the commissioner, the state has employed 1,225 medical staff for primary health care and 1,202 medical staff for secondary health care centers; 400 staff have recently been replaced, while 259 nurses and midwives should be assigned to general hospitals.

She said the Kaduna State Health Commission has come up with health policies aimed at providing solutions to the challenges faced by the state’s health sector over the years.

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Nigerians adopt mobile wallets to scale bank charges

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The rapid development of mobile money technology in Nigeria is a phenomenon that is not accepted by everyone, especially the elderly who already trust banking services through physical banking.

Mobile wallets are mainly used by agents and POS, operators for business purposes.

However, the tradition of doing physical banking transactions is dying out as more Nigerians are now using mobile wallets.

The reason is not too far-fetched as many see this innovation as a means to escape the fees and stress that come with traditional banking transactions, even when using electronic payment channels such as unstructured supplementary service data, USSD, and online banking applications.

Several people said that these wallets have helped them use their money and save a lot because of the lower service fees and good return on investment compared to conventional banks often.

A lingerie seller said she was recommended to use the wallet by a friend after the N25, 000 she had transferred via USSD was not refunded and the beneficiary was not credited.

“I was referred by a friend about using a mobile wallet. I complained that I went to the bank three times to complain about a debt of 25,000 Naira that was not paid because the beneficiary did not receive the money.” I decided to give it a try because its account opening process is not as cumbersome as a bank’s. “Since then, I’ve been using it for my business transactions because it’s fast and reliable.”

According to a POS agent, some mobile money banks are also giving out cash prizes to encourage the use of these wallets. “Mobile wallets are a very good and safe way to save and invest your money.

“I use wallets with features that can save you money for a while and you get 15% back every year for the money you have saved.

“Sometimes I get bonuses for transactions I make that my bank never gives me. Without all those ridiculous fees that regular banks will charge you for transactions. Sometimes I have to wait in line at the bank to settle a failed transaction where I was debited and the beneficiary was not credited. “In times like these, you’re going to want to tear down the bank.”

Meanwhile, a phone accessories dealer said: “Many people are now using these mobile wallets. Most of the stores I went to last week were packed with merchants using wallets. When I asked the person from whom I bought the headset, he told me that he used the wallet for the transaction.

“I have to transfer this account; it’s his cell phone number.” The same goes for the others.” I curiously asked one of the traders why he didn’t use a bank account. He says the wallet has no problems as there are no bank fake alerts, no reversals, among other issues, and lower fees, and he has no money to squander or lose in such a troubled economy.

“I’m surprised that Nigerians who are used to conventional bank accounts are now going digital to cut costs.”

Mobile wallets are an innovation in financial technology (Fintech) and most telecom companies (mobile money operators) facilitate mobile transactions through the use of apps mobile 

It is a technology that allows you to save, receive and spend money comfortably on your mobile phone. Some wallets also allow customers to take out loans.

Mobile wallets are also known as financial apps, and the account holder’s phone number acts as the wallet’s account number. Some of these companies merge with microfinance banks and other international banks to achieve a smooth transaction process at home and abroad for their clients.
Examples of mobile wallets include Paga, Opay, Get Barter, Chipper Cash, and Palm Credit, among others.

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