By Tony Obiechina, Abuja
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed on Friday disclosed that Nigeria spends more than three per cent of Gross Domestic Products (GDP) on social investments.
Speaking at the launch of the Africa Social Safety Nets Report by the National Social Safety Nets Coordinating Office (NASSCO) and World Bank in Abuja, Ahmed wondered why the Report failed to consider other social protection programmes like pensions, health insurance and interventions that target people living with disabilities.
“The Report further reveals that West Africa has the highest number of Cash Transfer Programmes in Africa. The implication of this for us is that we must continue working towards a long time solution to poverty, as Cash Transfers cannot be sustained.
“This means that we must have a long-term plan to build human capital and resilience of our people. Our midterm focus will be to have in place a universal health coverage for all, scale up our school lunch programmes for all primary school students and provide scholarship for all students in tertiary education.
“In the long term, Nigeria will be thinking towards transformational growth and development by setting up economic clusters for entrepreneurs,” she said.
In his welcome remarks, the World Bank Country Director, Mr Rachid Benmessaoud advised Nigeria to scale up its social investment programmes to address the large number of people living in extreme poverty in the country.
Benmessaoud said that Nigeria spending less than three per cent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on social investments was not enough to fight against poverty, build human capital and spur economic growth.
He said the bank was in full support of the country’s social investments and that was why it helped to establish a Social Registry, containing legitimate names of poor households in parts of the country.
The director said the Registry had assisted the federal and state governments to reach genuine vulnerable people through different targeted intervention programmes like the conditional cash transfers.
Speaking earlier, the National Coordinator of NASSCO, Mr Iorwa Apera said his office would ensure that the next report on social safety nets gives a more holistic picture of government’s spending on pro-poor programmes.
“The President has declared that he is lifting a hundred million people out of poverty. That is a strong policy statement and what are we doing with this is that we are building a social register of the poor and vulnerable targeting interventions to lift them out of poverty.
”At the moment the register is in 32 states and has 5.4 million individuals, which serves as a huge data base for lifting these 100 million people out of poverty,” he said.
In 2016, the Federal Government established the National Social Investments Programmes, to tackle poverty and hunger across the country.
One of the programmes, the N-Power is designed to assist the unemployed between the ages of 18 to 35 to acquire and develop life-long skills. They are paid a monthly stipend of N30,000. The Conditional Cash Transfer programme directly supports those within the lowest poverty bracket by giving them monthly stipends of N5,000.
Selloffs in Dangote Cement, MTN, others Push Equity own by 1.23%
Selloffs in the shares of Dangote Cement, Conoil, MTN Nigeria, among others, on Friday, dragged the equity market’s performance indices down by 1.23 per cent to close the week’s trading sessions.
Specifically, investors lost N672 billion or 1.24 per cent, as the market capitalisation, which opened at N54.
The All-Share Index also lost 1.24 per cent or 1.228.32 point, to settle at 98,751.98, as against 99,980.3 recorded on Thursday.
Consequently, the Year-To-Date (YTD) return on the index dropped to 32.07per cent.
Selloffs in Dangote Cement, MTN Nigeria, Fidelity Bank, Sovereign Trust Insurance and Nestle made the market performance to be on a negative terrain.
Analysis of the market activities showed trade turnover drop when compared to the previous session, with the value of transactions down 22.01 per cent.
A total of 367.62 million shares valued at N6.78 billion were exchanged in 9,168 deals, compared to 542.95 million shares valued at N8.70 billion exchanged in 9,650 deals posted previously.
Meanwhile, Dangote Cement and Conoil led the losers table by percentage terms of 10 each to close at N135, N90.90 per share respectively.
MTN trailed by 9.96 per cent to close at N200.70, Thomas Wyatt Nigeria lost 9.78 per cent to close at N2.03, while Sovereign Trust Insurance shed 6.52 per cent to close at 43k per share.
On the gainers table, The Initiative Plc and FTN Cocoa Processors led by 10 per cent each to close at N1.98 and N1.65 per share respectively.
Juli Plc followed closely by 9.97 per cent to close at N3.75, Champion Breweries Plc gained 9.94 per cent to close at N3.76 and PZ Nigeria rose by 9.93 per cent to close at N33.75 per share.
On the activity table, Transcorp led in volume with trade of 57.00 million shares valued at N792.05 million, while Access Corporation sold 31.77 million shares worth N667.8 million.
United Bank of Africa (UBA) traded 28.50 million shares valued at N674.07 million and Fidelity Bank transacted 28.07 million shares worth N297.65.
Also, First City Monumental Bank(FCMB) sold 27.92 million shares worth N227.22 million.
However, market breadth closed positive with 43 gainers and eight losers on the trading floor.(NAN)
We Currently have $30bn Investment Commitments – FG
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Doris Uzoka-Anite, says Nigeria currently has about 30 billion dollars investment committment from various investors.
Uzoka-Anite said this at the ongoing Ministerial Media briefing in Abuja on Friday.
According to her, the commitments will be redeemed over the course of five to eight years.
She said investments, commitments, and pledges were also received from our oil and gas free zone, adding that last week, some of them committed an additional 10 billion dollars in investments.
“I hosted the managing director of SHELL who explained to me about the investment plans of shell.
“ I know a lot of us are aware that shell is leaving; he came to explain to me what they mean by that.And I can tell you that they are not leaving.
“Rather, they are expanding and increasing their investments in Nigeria; they are selling their onshore assets and increasing their investment in gas and offshore assets.” she said.
Uzoka-Anite, who envisaged more investments into the country, said it would not have been possible without the commitment of President Bola Tinubu led administration.
She said that with increased investments comes job opportunities and economic growth, which wss part of the priority of the government. (NAN)
Nigerian Breweries Records N106bn Loss in 2023
Nigerian Breweries Plc has recorded a net loss of N106 billion for the year ended 2023, as against N13.93 billion posted in its 2022 financials, indicating 860 per cent loss.
Mr Uaboi Agbebaku, Company Secretary, Nigerian Breweries stated this in the audited financial result of the company for the year ended 2023 sent to the Nigerian Exchange Ltd.
Agbebaku said the gross profit of the company for the year under review also fell by 0.3 percent to N212.5 billion, compared to N213.20 billion posted in the previous year.
He stated that the operating profit of the company declined by 15.3 per cent to 45 billion, as against N53 billion recorded in the corresponding year.
The company secretary said that the firm recorded loss in its operating profit due to higher input cost and one-off reorganisation cost despite strong and aggressive cost savings and other efficiency measures.
According to him, the company however was able to grow its revenue by nine per cent to N599 billion, compared to N551 billion posted in the previous year, which was aided by positive price mix.
Agbebaku stated that the Nigeria business landscape experienced significant shifts in 2023, with substantial impact on businesses and livelihoods nationwide.
He explained that the Naira notes redesign which resulted in cash shortage that severely hampered social and economic activities nationwide set the tone for a turbulent year.
Agbebaku said: “High double-digit inflation rates with food inflation at more than 30 per cent and removal of subsidy on fuel.
“Coupled with the impact of the devaluation of the naira which resulted in a foreign exchange loss of N153 billion further exacerbated the already difficult environment for the populace and businesses.
“In a difficult operating environment, the Board will ensure that the company builds on its more than 77 years’ experience of operating in Nigeria to cope with current realities.
He said the company would continue to be resilient and forward-thinking, leveraging on its broad portfolio, strong supply chain footprint and passionate workforce to drive long-term value creation for its shareholders and other stakeholders.(NAN)
Read Our ePaper
Borehole Drillers Seek Expatriate Levy Review
ShareThe Borehole Drillers’ Association of Nigeria (BODAN), has urged the Nigerian Government to reconsider its decision on the Expatriate Employment...
Cambodia Arrests 2 Foreigners for Smuggling 2.27 kg Narcotics
Share Cambodian customs police at the Phnom Penh International Airport said they have arrested two South Korean nationals for an...
Police Raid Criminal Hideouts, Arrest 18 Street Urchins In Kano
Share The Police Command in Kano State has arrested 18 street urchins for allegedly conspiring to attack innocent members of...
Forex: Court Strikes out Charge Against 19 BDC Operators
ShareJustice Lewis Allagoa of a Federal High Court in Lagos, on Monday, struck out the charge against 19 Bureau De...
Don’t pay to Repair Faulty Transformers- Jos DisCo Tells Customers
ShareThe Jos Electricity Distribution Company (JED) has advised its customers in Gombe State not to pay anyone to repair faulty...
12 Dead, 28 Injured in Zaria-Kano Expressway Auto-crash -FRSC
Share Mr Kabir Nadabo, Federal Road Safety Corps(FRSC), Kaduna State Sector Commander says no fewer than 12 persons died and...
Alleged N4bn Fraud: Court Hears Obiano’s Motion Challenging Jurisdiction March 7
Share The Federal High Court, Abuja has fixed March 7 to hear a motion filed by former Anambra Governor, Willie...
94 Sacked Enugu College Lecturers Appeal to Gov. Mbah for Reinstatement
Share The 94 sacked lectures of Enugu State College of Education, Technical (ESCET), have appealed to Gov. Peter Mbah for...
Gov. Idris Appeals for Completion of FG’s Smart Secondary School Project
Share Gov. Nasir Idris of Kebbi, has appealed to the Federal Government to direct the contractor handling the construction of...
Current Economic Hardships didn’t Start from Tinubu’s Administration — Umahi
ShareMinister of Works, Chief David Umahi, says the present economic hardships in the country did not start from President Bola...