Tuesday, 16 January 2018
Items filtered by date: December 2017
Monday, 04 December 2017 03:11

Investors gain N4tr in equities

Equities investors in the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) have accumulated capital gains of about N4 trillion over the past 11 months.  Low valuations, improved macro economy and more coordinated monetary policy management, led to sustained considerable rally across the stock market.

Benchmark indices at the NSE showed average year-to-date gain of 41.19 per cent for the 11-month period ended November 30, 2017, equivalent to net capital gain of about N3.97 trillion, representing a two-month increase of 33.7 per cent on net capital gain of N2.97 trillion recorded at the end of third quarter (Q3).

With largely positive and steady Q3 corporate earnings and stronger macroeconomic data, quoted equities rode above recurring profit-taking transactions, to sustain month-on-month positive trend.

With a net capital gain of N3.97 trillion by November, investors have almost technically recovered what they had lost in the past three years, a major recovery that could reverberate across many other sectors, especially finance and investment institutions with large exposures to equities.

The stock market had been on a losing streak since 2014. Investors lost N1.75 trillion in 2014 and followed this with another loss of N1.63 trillion in 2015. Against the general expectation that political transition and new government will quicken a rebound, equities closed 2016 with a net capital loss of N604 billion. Aggregate market value of all quoted equities on the NSE closed 2016 at N9.247 trillion as against N13.226 trillion recorded at the start of trading in 2014, representing a net capital loss of N3.98 trillion.

Aggregate market value of all quoted equities closed November 2017 at N13.215 trillion as against its opening value of N9.247 trillion for the year, representing net capital gain of N3.968 trillion. The All Share Index (ASI)-the main common price index that tracks share prices at the NSE, indicated 11-month return of 41.19 per cent, rising from the year’s opening index of 26,874.62 points to close this weekend at 37,944.60 points.

Investors in the banking sector were far ahead of other sectors with the NSE Banking Index indicating average year-to-date return of 71.60 per cent for the 11-month period. The NSE 30 Index, which tracks the 30 most capitalised companies, posted above average return of 43.51 per cent, underlining the fact that the recovery was partly driven by large-cap stocks. The NSE Consumer Goods Index ended the period with 28.87 per cent. The NSE Industrial Goods Index recorded the second highest sectoral gain of 33.08 per cent. The NSE Insurance Index posted a modest return of 10.97 per cent. However, the NSE Oil and Gas Index remained on the downtrend with a negative return of -7.01 per cent.

The recovery also impacted positively on the Nigerian pension industry and ethical finance segment. The NSE Pension Index, which tracks stocks specially screened in line with pension investment guidelines, showed that pensioners might be in for wider dining tables with above-average return of 62.58 per cent. The NSE Lotus Islamic Index-which tracks stocks that comply with the Islamic law, recorded considerable return of 32.58 per cent, underlining the attractiveness of ethical investment in the midst of the rally. The NSE Lotus Islamic Index excludes interest-based banks, breweries, gambling and overleveraged companies among others.

The 11-month performance further confirmed quoted equities as the most attractive asset class for the period. With inflation rate at 15.9 per cent and the benchmark interest rate at 14 per cent, average inflation and interest-adjusted return remains in double digit at about 11.3 per cent.

The past two months had built on considerable gain made by the third quarter of the year. Aggregate market value of all quoted equities on the NSE had closed the third quarter at N12.217 trillion, representing net capital gain of N2.97 trillion or 32.1 per cent. The ASI had also crossed nine levels to close September at 35,439.98 points, representing an increase of 31.87 per cent.

Quarter-on-quarter analysis showed that the ASI has already surpassed its third quarter performance within the first two months of the fourth quarter. Between October and November, the ASI recorded average gain of 7.07 per cent compared with 7.01 per cent recorded in the third quarter. The performance so far in the fourth quarter was driven largely by the industrial goods and banking sectors.

Published in Business and Economy
Four governors may dump Secondus 

Battle for 2019 deepens crisis

There are moves to checkmate some Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors pushing to install the party’s chairman at Saturday’s convention, sources said at the weekend.

Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike is leading the plan to put former Interim Chairman Uche Secondus on the much coveted seat.

But former military President Ibrahim Babangida, some PDP  founding fathers, ex-President Goodluck Jonathan and members of the Board of Trustees (BoT) may have teamed up to block the governors whose ranks may have been broken.

Four governors, including two from the Southeast,  may jettison the plan to make a former Acting National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, the chairman, it was learnt at the weekend.

A party source said: “We are set for a make or break convention between the old brigades, led by Gen. Babangida and Jonathan, and the governors.”

With Gen. Babangida are founding fathers, like former Minister of Information  Prof. Jerry Gana, ex-PDP national chairmen, including Sen. Ahmadu Ali, members of the BoT, ex-ministers, ex-governors and former Deputy Senate President Ibrahim Mantu.

The new brigade includes Wike, Ekiti State Governor Ayo Fayose, Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu and state party chairmen “who want to put an end to godfatherism and hijack the structure of the party”.

The source, who pleaded not to be named, went on: “The hidden plan of the two groups is the battle for the 2019 presidential ticket of the PDP. So far, it is apparent that the founding fathers and Jonathan are beholding to former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, to whom they want to give the ticket

“The governors seem to have a focus on another candidate either an ex-governor or a defector into the party. The game is tough because whoever controls the structure of the party may produce the PDP flagbearer for the 2019 presidential poll.

“As it is now, the governors are in control of more delegates than the founding fathers who are scavenging for delegates. Even ex-President Goodluck Jonathan is not sure of the 50 per dent control of delegates from Bayelsa State.”

A former member of the NWC said: “Gen. Babangida, Jonathan and others are determined to tame the governors. They have succeeded in breaking their ranks because four of the PDP governors may back out of their colleagues plans to install Secondus as the next chairman.

“The governors have decided to abandon their colleagues following plea from Babangida and Jonathan.

“But the governors have the resources to make it a battle to the finish. The old brigades depend on goodwill whereas delegates need lifeline because the party had been out of power for two and a half years.”

“Babangida is crying out now because he has seen the handwriting on the wall that these governors are in charge. The founding fathers are banking on votes from the North to stop the governors from hijacking the party.

The source said: “The situation is dicey. The party may end up in a deeper crisis because the chairman that will emerge might cause a split. Once we are in a crisis, 2019 presidential poll will be an easy ride for APC.”

It was learnt that a former National Security Adviser Gen. Aliyu Gusau, has been the arrowhead of the outreach by PDP founding fathers to the governors to allow the chairman to come from Southwest. They are working for Prof. Tunde Adeniran.

“Gen. Gusau has been trying to restore the ideals of PDP as espoused by Gen. Babangida and other founding fathers. But the governors may fight the old brigades to a standstill.”

Published in Headliners

The 44-year-old mum of nine who left her husband and kids for her new man, who is 12 years her junior, has said that the love she has for her lover was stronger than any considerations.

Heidi had met Gambian lover on Facebook, claiming that before then, her marriage to husband Andy was over.

Last month Heidi’s heartbroken husband Andy, also 44, spoke of his horror at discovering his wife of 23 years had gone off to meet Salieu, who had contacted her on Facebook from The Gambia, West Africa.

Her decision sparked a police investigation and Andy said: “It’s a mid-life crisis. The person she has become is horrible.

“A caring mum wouldn’t go off ­gallivanting around Africa with her new boyfriend.”

Heidi has defended her actions, saying: “I don’t have a single regret. I’m not a terrible parent.

“It was really hard for me to leave my kids, but they couldn’t come with me, so I had no choice.

“I was shocked at the anger that was directed at me for supposedly abandoning my children. That just didn’t happen.”

Heidi has two sons and a daughter aged 24 to 29 from a previous relationship. She and Andy have three daughters aged six, nine and 23 and three sons aged 11, 17 and 18.

She added: “The three youngest were left with my eldest daughter. She moved into my home while I was away so that they were disrupted as little as possible.

“I went online every night and we video-chatted. They seemed happy and I know my kids well.

“They also chatted to Salieu and have become very fond of him through talking online over the past few months.

“If people think I went over to The Gambia and didn’t give them a second thought, they are so wrong.

“But having said that, I make no apologies for following my heart. I’ve been unhappy for a long time and I think I have found someone to spend the rest of my life with.

“We are in love and nothing will stop me from marrying him. If other people don’t like that, they will just have to lump it.”

Heidi’s romance rocked her family and made her the talk of her town, Hetton-le-Hole in Sunderland.

Car mechanic Andy blamed her online romance for killing their marriage, but Heidi insists the relationship was over before Salieu first sent her a Facebook friend request.

She also claims Andy was messaging women online behind her back, which he denies.
Heidi said: “Andy and I didn’t even share a bedroom, never mind a bed, for the last two years of our marriage.

“We were both unhappy and on some days the most conversation I would get from him would be when he’d say, ‘Put the kettle on.’

“At the end of last year, I picked up his phone to look up a number my daughter wanted and saw messages from two women. It was a big shock.

“We drifted even further apart and I was so unhappy. I started volunteering at the children’s school, just so I had some contact with other people and could feel better about myself.

“In February I started to talk online to Salieu after he sent me a friend request out of the blue. At first we were just chatting, asking about each other’s lives and hobbies.

“But as I got to know him I started to confide in him about how badly things were going wrong in my marriage, he was there for me to talk to.

“Andy has claimed I sent sexy pictures to Salieu, but I didn’t, that simply isn’t true.”

She added: “After a few months we were in touch with each other all day, every day via WhatsApp and I knew I was starting to develop feelings for him and he said he was feeling the same.

“I was falling in love with him.”

Although she had never flown or even been abroad, Heidi travelled to The Gambia at the end of October to meet shopkeeper Salieu in person for the first time.

But locals back home were furious at her arrangements for her three youngest children.

Their school was tipped off, leading to a police investigation, but officers were satisfied the kids were being cared for properly.

Heidi said: “I was shocked by the reaction. Anyone who knows me would confirm that my children are my world and always have been, but I believe Salieu is my future.

“I’ll do whatever it takes to be with him, but it has to mean we are all together — me, him and the children.

“I don’t know how we will achieve that, but we’re both determined to make it happen.

“It might be that Salieu comes to live with us in the UK, it might even mean we go to Gambia but that’s more complicated.”

“It was a romantic, unforgettable time with a loving, caring man.

“I had forgotten how it feels to be wanted that much. We slept together in the same bed and although we kissed we did not have sex because Salieu is a strict Muslim and it is forbidden before marriage.

“I respected that because I love him completely.”

During the month Heidi was in The Gambia she met Salieu’s parents, who run a small farm in the country’s Serekunda district, a few miles from the capital, Banjul.

“Salieu has made it very clear my children are important to him and he has been talking to them for months in video conversations.

“He told me that my family would become part of his family, which proves how much he cares.”
After her month in The Gambia, school worker Heidi had to return to the UK but she is already planning her next visit — and the rest of her life.

She said: “I am going to marry Salieu when my divorce comes through and I’m prepared to convert to Islam if that’s necessary. If people don’t like that they will just have to lump it. I’m not going to cry about it.

“We’ll be together, one way or another, whether Salieu comes to live here or I find a way to take the children to The Gambia.

“When I left him at the airport in Banjul it was one of the hardest things I have had to do.”

Heidi knows that cynics will claim her new lover is more interested in a British passport than life with her. But she said: “He’s not like that.

“He isn’t looking for a passport or anything like that, he is happy in Gambia. He fell in love with me, not the idea of a new life abroad.”

Published in News & Stories

The British and the United States governments have warned their citizens of terrorist groups’ threat to carry out bomb attacks in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, during the Yuletide.

In its latest foreign travel advice to British nationals, made available to SUNDAY PUNCH, the country’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office stated that it would raise the terrorism threat alert in Nigeria during the festive periods.

Around 117,000 British citizens visit Nigeria each year, according to the FCO.

The US government warned its citizens not to travel to Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa and Yobe till the end of the year.

“The risk of terrorist attack increases around religious festivals; so (the threat alert) will be elevated in the run-up to and throughout the Christmas and New Year holiday period. Terrorist groups have threatened to conduct bombings and attacks in the Federal Capital Territory (Abuja) area during this period.

“You (British nationals) should avoid places where crowds gather, including religious gatherings and places of worship, markets, shopping malls, hotels, bars, restaurants, transport hubs and camps for displaced people,” the United Kingdom said in a statement posted on the FCO website.

Last week, the United States Embassy in Nigeria issued a similar warning titled, ‘Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Holiday Security Reminder’.

“The US Mission urges all US citizens to exercise caution in and around shopping centres, malls, markets, hotels, places of worship, restaurants, bars, and other places where crowds gather in and around the Federal Capital Territory, from now through the Christmas and New Year’s holiday season. Terrorist groups have threatened to conduct bombings and attacks in this area during this period.

“The US Mission remains concerned about potential attacks in the states of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa and Yobe.  Travellers are urged to avoid those states through the end of the year.

“Review your personal security plans, remain aware of your surroundings, including local events, and monitor local news stations for updates. Be vigilant and take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security,” the US Embassy warned.

 
Published in News & Stories

Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan is rolling out his political armour against several Peoples Democratic Governors (PDP) in a fierce battle for the soul of the party at Saturday’s crucial national convention.

Also scheming for control of the party’s machinery are ex-Vice President Namadi Sambo; ex-Vice President Atiku Abubakar (who is yet to officially join the party); ex-governors, loyalists of ex-President Ibrahim Babangida led by a former National Security Adviser, Gen. Aliyu Gusau; ex-President of the Senate, Chief David Mark; Deputy President of the Senate, Chief Ike Ekweremadu; ex-Deputy President of the Senate, Sen. Ibrahim Mantu; members of the party’s Board of Trustees being coordinated by its chairman, Sen. Walid Jibrin, Sen. Ahmadu Ali and Prof. Jerry Gana, a former Minister of Information.

Serving governors are being coordinated by Mr. Nyesom Wike (Rivers) and Ayo Fayose.

Former governors of the party including Ibrahim Shema (Katsina), Rashidi Ladoja (Oyo), Gabriel Suswam (Benue), Ibrahim Idris and Idris Wada (both Kogi) are not left out.

Investigation revealed that almost every godfather in PDP is backing one candidate or the other for election into the National Working Committee (NWC).

The objective is to enable the godfathers have a say in the management of the party especially in the choice of the party’s presidential candidate for the 2019 election.

It was gathered that the interest of the godfathers has complicated the intrigues surrounding the contest for party offices at the December 9 convention.

Although some party leaders are pushing for merit, some other leaders believe that all the candidates have been tested in the past.

The positions of National Chairman, National Secretary, Deputy National Chairman (North); Deputy National Chairman (South) , the National Organizing Secretary and the National Publicity Secretary are attracting more interest from the godfathers.

The top contenders for the national chairmanship are a former Acting National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus; a former Minister of Education, Prof. Tunde Adeniran; a former Deputy National Chairman, Chief Olabode George; a former Minister of Sports, Prof. Taoheed Adedoja; a former Governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel; ex-Governor of Oyo State, Sen. Rashidi Ladoja; a media mogul, High Chief Raymond Dokpesi; and a former governorship candidate in Lagos State, Mr. Jimi Agbaje.

A breakdown of the support base of the chairmanship aspirants is as follows:

Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu; Wike, Fayose, PDP governors, state PDP chairmen
Tunde Adeniran—-Jonathan, IBB Boys, Gusau, Gana, Ali, Mantu, BOT members
Otunba Gbenga Daniel—-Ex-governors, a splinter of IBB Boys,
Olabode George—-Some BOT members
Taoheed Adedoja—-BOT members, some Northern delegates
Jimi Agbaje—–South-West delegates, BOT members
Rashidi Ladoja—-Ex-governors but under pressure to accept concession of Deputy Chairman slot to his choice
A top party source said: “The jostle for offices at the national convention is going to be a battle royale because the godfathers in the party and the governors want to slug it out to install their loyalists.

“For ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, the convention will be a litmus test for his plans to be a father-figure for PDP. But if he fails, it might be another political setback for him after the loss at the poll in 2015.

“Jonathan and others, especially loyalists of ex-President Ibrahim Babangida, are working hard for a national outlook for PDP but some of the governors think otherwise. They said they are already conducting some permutations.

“Our greatest fear is that all these forces are trying to outsmart each other. If the party leaders can cage the governors and allow the delegates to have a final say, we will be opening a new chapter for PDP.”

A member of Board of Trustees of PDP said: “we are all worried because if we do not get it right, we might as well say goodbye to our chances in 2019.

“The party is on the edge again. We are however struggling to appeal to all groups to sheathe their swords and avoid implosion at the convention.”

Responding to a question, the BOT source added: “All our leaders are conscious of the 2019 poll and they are struggling to be relevant. You cannot blame them because in politics, relevance matters.”

A governor, who spoke with our correspondent last night, said: “I think the way out of any crisis at the convention is to allow for a free and fair contest. We need to live up to our appellation as a democratic party.

“We are already working on a unity list because we do not want to play into the hands of the ruling party. Certainly, there will be more horse-trading in the days ahead but we will survive it.

“We urge the judiciary not to entertain any frivolous application to stop the convention from holding.”

Published in Headliners

A Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria on Thursday adjourned till 4th of December, 2017 when the former Governor of Enugu State, Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani will be re-arraigned before the court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for alleged money laundering of N4.5 billion during his tenure as the governor of the state

When the case was mentioned on Thursday, a lawyer M. Bamidele from the law firm of Ricky Tarfa who represented the defendant told the court that his chamber was served with hearing notice six days ago, but that the time was too short for Nnamani to be in court as the defendant was not in the country and that they have not been able to get in touch with him.

The prosecutor, Kelvin Uzozie was also not in court, but wrote a letter to the court asking for adjournment; consequently the court adjourned till 4th of December, 2017, when the former governor would be arraigned.

However, the defense counsel Bamidele, objected to the date, on the ground that it might be difficult to get in touch with the defendant before that day but the Presiding Judge, Prof. Chuka Obizor frowned at his objection, as he observed that this might be a ploy to delay the trial, as he claimed that the case has just been assigned to him, therefore the counsel should take steps to make sure that his client come back to face trial.

thereafter Justice Obiozor adjourned till 4th and 14th of December, 2017 for arraignment and trial.

This fresh arraignment is coming ten years after the ex-governor and others were first arraigned before the court in connection with the alleged offence.

Nnamani was earlier arraigned before Justice Tijani Abubakar and re-arraigned before Justice Charles Archibong when Tijani Abubakar was elevated to court of appeal and later re-arraigned before Mohammed Yinusa when Justice Archibong retired.

The former governor was re -arraigned on a 105-count charge of money laundering and economic crime to the tune of N4.5 billion.

The case has just been reassigned to Obiozor to start afresh.

The ex-governor was arraigned before the court alongside his ex-aide, Sunday Anyaogu and six firms linked to them.

They are: Rainbownet Nig Ltd, Hillgate Nig Ltd, Cosmos FM, Capital City Automobile Nig Ltd, Renaissance University Teaching Hospital and Mea Mater Elizabeth High School.

Mr Bamidele told the court that as of today, only Nnamani was the only defendant in the charge as the companies have been convicted.

The financial impropriety was alleged to have been committed while Nnamani held sway as governor of Enugu state between 1999 and 2007.

Nnamani, according to the charge, was alleged to have conspired with other accused persons to launder various statutory allocations of some local government areas of Enugu State.

The local governments are: Aninri, Enugu South, Agwu, Igbo Etiti and Isi Uzor.

In count nine, Nnamani was alleged to have stolen N1.4 billion from the Excess Crude Oil Funds allocated to the local governments in the state.

Besides, the former governor, through the help of one Chinero Nwigwe, who is now at large, was alleged to have fraudulently transferred millions of dollars of Enugu State funds to his personal accounts in the United States of America.

Published in Headliners
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