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Business and Economy

Business and Economy (1177)

Some shareholders have urged the Federal Government to pump more funds into the capital market to stabilize the economy for better performance.

They told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that government should also review its tax on dividends and speed up privatization of companies to facilitate their listing on the bourse.
Mr Timothy Adesiyan, President, Nigeria Shareholders Solidarity Association (NSSA), said that the 10 per cent withholding tax being paid by investors on dividends should be abolished.
He said that the incidence of multiple taxes was discouraging more investors from coming into the market.
Adesiyan said that the regulatory authorities should ensure that shareholders were compensated before delisting any company on the Exchange from 2013. Alhaji Gbadebo Olatokunbo, a shareholder, said that government should support activities of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to sustain investor confidence.
He said that stability and consistency of government’s policies would enhance recovery of the capital market. Olatokunbo advised the executive and legislative arms of government to work together to facilitate the development of the market. "It will be proper to end hostilities over the leadership of SEC now," he said.
Mr Boniface Okezie, President, Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria, urged the Federal Government to revisit the nationalization of Afribank, Spring Bank and Bank PHB.
Okezie said that shareholders of the three nationalized banks were dissatisfied with the manner their compensation was being executed.
"Government needs to resolve the issue of compensation to investors of those nationalized banks to restore their confidence in the nation's capital market," he said.
"The interest of shareholders should be protected at all times to increase their participation in the market," he said. Mr James Osoka, another shareholder, said that government should source long-term funds from the market to development the infrastructure. "It is not profitable to go borrowing at high interest rates from the money market," he said

Posted On Friday, 28 December 2012 14:23 Written by

Chief Edem Duke, the Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, on Thursday said that tourism remained a critical contributor to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of major economies.

Duke, who stated this when he hosted Mr Yahuma Obika, the High Commissioner of the Republic of Trinidad and Trimago to Nigeria, in Calabar said that Nigeria was an industry beneficiary.
He expressed the desire of his ministry to continue to collaborate with the Cross River Government to maximise the potentials of tourism to boost its economy. The Minister also donated N20 million to the state government to sustain and move the Calabar Carnival 2012 forward.
Duke lauded the hosting of the various Carnivals across the country to boost Nigeria’s tourism potentials. According to him, it will afford the different segments of the society including the youth and the women the opportunity to explore their creative abilities. "We are almost like 37 countries all in one and, therefore, you cannot limit the expression of people’s creativity; in fact, we want to encourage as many more because it engages our youth. "It takes them off the street, reduces restiveness and provides a platform where political, traditional and religious leaders, the youth, women and children converge for a common goal,’’ he said.
In his remarks, Obika recalled the existing cultural ties between Nigeria and his country and sued for its sustenance for mutual benefits. He described 2012 Calabar Carnival as unique and capable of turning around the economy of the state.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the get together, which took place at the Mirage Hotel, Calabar featured steel band from Trinidad and Tobago.

Posted On Friday, 28 December 2012 14:15 Written by

Prof. Rukkayyatu El Rufai, Minister of Education, has advised the Federal Polytechnic, Offa, Kwara, to commercialise its research products in order to complement government’s effort to reduce poverty.

The Minister gave the advise in a statement issued by Mr Wole Alawode Head of Public Relations and Protocols of the institution after the completion of National Education Innovations Exhibition, in Abuja.

“The Federal Polytechnic, Offa, should explore the possibility of commercializing her research products and train people for the benefit of the national economy”, she said.
The statement said that the Minister commended the institution for its series of scientific and technological breakthroughs and advised the management to sustain it.
The innovations and research products exhibited by the institution included Sweet potato for bread and other confectioneries, password enabled security doors, automatic dust bin and micro-controller based home appliance control system.
Others were model house built with expanded polystyrene wall as a substitute for concrete block, animal waste to biogas for domestic heating, solar electric system and solar cooker.
Posted On Friday, 28 December 2012 13:58 Written by

The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) in Abuja urged the Federal Government to implement the 2010 African Union Declaration on the health sector.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the AU Declaration stipulates that 15 per cent of the budget should be allocated to the health sector. The Executive Director of CISLAC, Malam Auwal Rafsanjani, told NAN that it was imperative for the government to allocate more resources to the health sector to ensure the attainment of the MDGs.
"We at the level of the civil society organizations have advocated increased funding for health sector to ensure the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
NAN recalls that the 2010 Abuja Declaration also called for accelerated action towards Universal Access to HIV and AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Services by 2010 and the African Health Strategy 2007-2015.
He said that many countries were looking up to Nigeria for the implementation of the declaration.
"It is rather disappointing that most of the ratified instruments still lie on the shelves of government's Ministries, Departments and Agencies awaiting implementation," he said.
Rafsanjani noted that the 2013 budget gave little attention to the health sector, adding ``this shows that the government is failing to accord the sector the needed priority.
"Much priority is not given to the areas that Nigerians will appreciate which can help to reduce poverty and improve social amenities.’’ The director said that the bulk of the 2013 budget was allocated to recurrent expenditure, compared to what was allocated to capital expenditure.
"We cannot continue to run the nation’s economy that way.’’
According to him, there is need to re-examine the budget to enable lawmakers to correct some mistakes that can affect its performance before it is harmonized.
"This will ensure that the objectives of the budget are achieved and boost the country's economic growth and development. "CISLAC will continue to engage the legislature to review the budget and highlight some of the likely implications that can arise as a result of flaws.’’
He said that the legislature had a responsibility to carry out oversight functions on the executive and judiciary, adding that NASS should endeavor to discharge its duties effectively.
Posted On Friday, 28 December 2012 13:42 Written by

The National Emergency Management Agency ( NEMA) has called on Nigerians to imbibe the culture of disaster risk reduction.

The North-West Zonal Coordinator of NEMA, Alhaji Musa Ilallah, made the call in Sokoto at the opening of the 2012 workshop on strengthening disaster preparedness and mitigation at the state and local government levels.

Represented by Alhaji Aliyu Kafin-Dangi , Head , Training in the North-West zonal office , Kaduna, Ilallah also stressed the need for coordinated efforts by stakeholders in disaster management.

" These are those at the federal, state and local governments and other stakeholders . This is necessary for an overall success in disaster management.

" We must continue to see ourselves as partners in progress in disaster management in the country," Ilallah said.

He said the workshop was to coordinate and facilitate a process for development of appropriate systems , procedures , expertise and resources at all levels for effective mitigation and efficient response to disasters.

" It is also aimed at improving the capacity of local government officials in providing a mechanism for integration and coordination at the state and local government levels," he said.

The Director-General, Sokoto State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Alhaji Hassan Maccido, who was represented by Alhaji Mustapha Umar, commended NEMA for its sustained efforts in the prevention and mitigation of disasters.

Maccido said the workshop would improve the knowledge of the participants and facilitate disaster prevention and management at the grassroots.

Alhaji Tukur Ladan, from Silame Local Government, on behalf of the participants, lauded NEMA for the conference.

"We are appreciative of NEMA's efforts and we are determined to ensure the success of all its activities at all levels,"
Posted On Friday, 28 December 2012 12:44 Written by

Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem, former National President Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) has urged the government and private industry on the need to heighten broadband services towards achieving economic growth.

He said in Lagos that according to World Bank, every 10 per cent increase in broadband infrastructure, translates to 1.3 per cent increase in Gross Domestic Product.
“The availability of broadband service will improve provision of public services, economic growth and job creation.
“With the high population of the country, Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) is the most potent channel we can use to reach out to others, no matter where they live or their circumstances,” he said. Ekuwem said through broadband, the provision of public services can be transformed by making them accessible easily and quickly from any location.
“Greater access to the Internet and broadband applications and services help accelerate achievement of internationally-agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs),” he said.
Ekuwem said broadband technologies are essentially transforming the way we live and it also represent our best hope of hastening progress towards meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015. “The benefits of broadband are profound in opening up young minds to new horizons through educational technologies thereby increasing productivity in the educational sector. “It offers a solution for providing education in under-served areas, by equipping children with basic ICT skills and exposing them to the world’s information resources, in different languages,” he said.
Ekuwem said broadband access is the backbone of the envisaged 'smart' world and attention on deployment broadband access throughout the country should be very high. “It is vital that we are not excluded from the new global knowledge societies and communication should no more be seen as just a human need but as a right. “Everybody should be given a voice online, including disadvantaged or marginalized communities such as the elderly, those with special needs, low-skilled workers and the rural poor,” he said.
Ekuwem said ICT technologies can also improve and transform healthcare delivery by improving awareness of cause, symptoms, treatment, hygiene and cure of many ailments.
“Medical information can be instantly transferred abroad and surgeries can be performed by doctors abroad via high level resolution telemedicine. “Even though there is no substitute for physical presence of a healthcare professional broadband can also help train rural health workers in modern healthcare technique. Ekuwem said broadband can also help local farmers and fishermen by delivering weather forecasts directly to their phone and also providing vital information on new farming technique.
“Broadband also gives small businesses the opportunity to broaden their customer base and reduce their overheads through e-commerce platforms. “And it will also improve advance financial services for consumers, by making an outstanding success of the mobile bank model,” he
Posted On Thursday, 27 December 2012 11:59 Written by

PERSISTENT profit taking at the resumption of equity trading on Monday on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), has resulted to a further slide in All-Share Index by 0.2 per cent.

Specifically, the market capitalization fell by N18 billion while the All-Share Index went down by 55.4 basis points to close trading in the day at N8.737 trillion and 27,346.66.

Investment experts have attributed the lull in share transaction to the yuletide season, wherein majority of investors engage more in trading off their holdings for profit taking rather purchase of shares.

The market had last Friday though in the laggard trend recorded , market capitalization of N8.755 trillion and All-Share Index of 27,402.06 and a volume trade of 217.8million worth N2.44 billion swapped in 3,710 deals, as against Monday’s volume of 116.1 million valued at N1.2billion done 2,006 deals.

Further review of the market showed sentiment turning red for Ikeja Hotel, Livestock Field, Fidson Healthcare, John Holt and Guaranty Trust as they depreciated in value by 5.00, 4.86, 4.76, 4.76 and 4.76 per cent to close the day at N0.76, N1.37, N1.00, N3.40 and N22.25 respectively.

Conversely, Forte Oil, NPF, RT Briscoe, Japaul Oil and Transnational Corporation of Nigeria appreciated marginally by 4.90, 4.85, 3.73, 3.57 and 3.26 per cent to close trading in the day at N8.13, N1.08, N1.39, N0.58 and N0.95 respectively.

As usual, Financial Services sector led the market transaction volume in the day with 45.6 million units valued at N483.1 million exchanged in 748 deals as against 111.2 million units valued at N950 million exchanged in 1,682 deals recorded in previous session.

Transaction volume on the exchange moved down by -46.7 per cent to close at 116.1 million units exchanged in 2,006 deals as against a rise recorded in the previous trading day last Friday wherein volume traded rose 217.8 million units valued at N2.44billion exchanged in 3,710 deals.

Posted On Thursday, 27 December 2012 02:52 Written by

Zaria (Kaduna), Dec. 22, 2012 (NAN) The Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR) in Zaria, Kaduna State, has developed and released improved varieties of crops to farmers across the country.

The Executive Secretary of the institute, Dr Ahmed Falaki, disclosed this when Mr Alex Abutu, Project Coordinator (Nigeria), Biosciences for Farming in Africa (B4FA), led some journalists to the institute. He listed the improved varieties of crops as cowpea, cotton, groundnut, maize and sorghum. Falaki, who was represented by Prof. Ezra Amans, a Deputy Director at the institute, explained that IAR had over the years introduced, bred and tested select crops.
According to him, the institute has also formally released numerous improved crop varieties to farmers for planting. Falaki said the institute had added appropriate production packages which included pest, disease and weed control, harvesting, processing and storage techniques.
"For cowpea, we have released nine varieties for different ecologies, with yield potential of 2.5 tonnes per hectare. The new 13 cotton varieties are long staple and resistant to leaf spots and bacterial light.’’ He said that the institute had been supplying a variety of cotton to the numerous textile industries and oil mills across the country. Falaki also said that the most popular of the new 23 groundnut varieties were the rosette and drought-resistant varieties. He added that the new 14 maize varieties had higher levels of lysine and tryptophan, the two limiting essential amino acids in maize. "The 45 sorghum varieties are suitable for Sahel, Sudan and Guniea Savanna ecologies,’’ he said, adding that Nigerian Breweries had been using the varieties as substitute for barley.
He said that the release of the crops would go a long way in conserving the foreign exchange needed to import barley.
According to him, the development of new crop varieties is an important aspect of research aimed at improving production. He said that significant progress had been made in the development and release of high-yielding disease and pest-resistant varieties with acceptability to consumers.
"For rapid agricultural development to take place, local inputs such as technology generated on continuous basis through research and development activities must be ensured.’’
Earlier, Abutu said that the essence of the visit was to acquaint journalists with some of the remarkable achievements of the institute. He said journalists found it difficult to report researches because most researchers conceal some of their findings.
The B4FA, a six-month fellowship programme for Journalists, was launched this year.
Abutu said the programme is aimed at bridging the gap between science and the public by promoting better understanding and dialogue on developments in agriculture and biosciences throughout Africa. It is also aimed at encouraging dialogue and promoting better understanding of the available options for improving agricultural productivity in Ghana, Tanzania, Nigeria, and Uganda.
He said that the intention was also to enhance reportage of science and agriculture-related issues, especially food production challenges.
Posted On Tuesday, 25 December 2012 03:21 Written by

Kano, Dec. 24, 2012 (NAN) The Federal Government has spent more than N24.3 billion on the rehabilitation of railway track from Lagos to Kano.

The Managing Director of the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC), Mr Adeseyi Sijuwade, made this known in Kano on Sunday. He said that 488 km Lagos-Kano was rehabilitated at N12.1billion, while the 638 km Jebba-Kano cost N12.2 billion. He said that the projects were completed within the 2012 budget and commended President Goodluck Jonathan, for approving the request of the corporation.
Sijuwade told newsmen that the corporation was planning to introduce air-conditioned train system in 2013. "By 2013 plan, there will be modern air-conditioned coaches on the track.
"There will be no cause for alarm security wise because the corporation will ensure the safety of lives and property of the passengers. "We have just completed 30-hours journey from Lagos by rail down to Kano, passing all the major cities and state capitals between Lagos and Kano,’’ he said.
He called on Nigerians to patronise the rail system to move their goods from Apapa to others parts of the country. NAN recalled that on Dec 21, the NRC commenced the inter-city train service from Lagos-Kano. The train service, which started on weekly basis, from Lagos to Kano, would depart Iddo Terminal from 9 am every Friday, and Kano station from 9 am every Monday.

Posted On Tuesday, 25 December 2012 02:41 Written by

Niger Commissioner for Information Alhaji Danladi Abdulhamid on Tuesday said the state government has spent over N1billion on disaster related issue from 2007, among which was the 2011 December Madalla bomb blast.

Abdulhamid made this known while addressing news men on the one day
National Emergency Management Agency Stakeholders training and
workshop held in Minna. According to the Commissioner, “the government has always been very
proactive in responding to disaster issues, offered assistance and
support to the victims of such disasters”.``We have always support and cooperate with security agencies, so that they can carry out their job in the highest possible standard without
any hindrance or interference.
``This pledge for support is what prompted the approval for the
release of N440m to purchase equipment and vehicles for security
agencies in the state``, he said. Abdulhamid appealed to the Federal government to give ‘Executive support’ to Niger to help the government tackle problems faced by the
over populated Suleja local government in the state.
The problems which he said resulted from the relocation of the
nation’s capital from Lagos to Abuja.

Posted On Tuesday, 25 December 2012 01:38 Written by
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