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Food prices continue to rise in May —NBS

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The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) says prices of food items such as tomatoes, rice, and yams witnessed increases in May.

It made the declaration in its Selected Food Prices Watch Report for May issued in Abuja on Tuesday.

The report stated that the average price of 1kg of tomato on a year-on-year basis rose by 17.68 per cent from N423.48 in May 2022 to N498.34 in May 2023.

“On a month-on-month basis, 1kg of tomato increased by 2.73 per cent in May from the N485.10 recorded in April 2023.”

It said that the average price of 1kg of local rice (sold loose) increased by 24.06 per cent on a year-on-year basis, from N447.51 in May 2022 to N555.18 in May 2023.

“On a month-on-month basis, it increased by 1.54 per cent in May from the N546.76 recorded in April 2023. “

Similarly, the report stated that the average price of 1kg yam tuber increased by 22.84 per cent on a year-on-year basis from N372.23 in May 2022 to N457.25 in May 2023.

“On a month-on-month basis, 1kg yam tuber increased by 2.83 per cent from the N444.69 recorded in April 2023.”

The NBS said the average price of 1kg of Onion bulb rose by 17.12 per cent on a year-on-year basis from N387.53 in May 2022 to N453.86 in May 2023.

“On a month-on-month basis, the price increased by 2.83 per cent in May from the N441.38 recorded in April 2023,” the NBS added.

The report stated that the average price of 1kg of boneless beef increased by 24.19 per cent from N2,029.59 recorded in May 2022 to N2,520.52 in May 2023.

“On a month-on-month basis, 1kg of boneless beef increased by 1.00 per cent per cent in May from N2,495.69 recorded in April 2023,’’ it added.

On state profile analysis, the report showed that the highest average price of 1kg of tomato was recorded in Edo at N957.95, while the lowest was recorded in Kogi at N215.43.

It stated that Ondo recorded the highest price of 1kg of local rice (sold loose) at N724.81, while Jigawa recorded the lowest price at N369.09.

The report stated that Cross River recorded the highest average price of 1kg of onion bulb at N960.82, while the lowest price was recorded in Katsina at N334.21.

The NBS said the highest average price of 1kg of yam tuber was recorded in Akwa Ibom at N924.17, while the lowest price was recorded in Benue at N214.79.

In addition, the highest average price of 1kg of boneless beef was recorded in Imo state at N3,475.04, while the lowest was recorded in Kogi at N1,790.14.

Analysis by zone showed that the average price of 1kg of tomato was highest in the South-South and South-East at N866.36 and N665.68 respectively, while the lowest price was recorded in the North-East at N276.64.

The South-South recorded the highest average price of 1kg of local rice (sold loose) at N654.00, followed by the South-West at N619.24, while the lowest price was recorded in the North-West at N477.06.

The report stated that the average price of 1kg of onion bulb was highest in the South-South at N687.01, followed by the South-East at N649.45, while the North-East recorded the lowest price at N261.39.

It said the South-West recorded the highest average price of 1kg of yam tuber at N632.60, followed by the South-East at N600.74, while the North-East recorded the lowest price at N229.45.

The report said the average price of 1kg of boneless beef was highest in the South-East at N3,278.98, followed by the South-South at N2,699.04.

“The lowest price was recorded in the North-Central at N2,131.78,” the NBS stated.

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Otedola buys a 2.22% additional stake in First Bank Holdings

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Nigerian billionaire, Femi Otedola, the Chairman of First Bank Holdings, has acquired an additional 2.22 per cent stake in First Bank.

This was disclosed in a corporate filing on the Nigerian Exchange Group on Monday.

The development comes barely four days after Otedola regained his position as the majority shareholder of First Bank after acquiring N18.9 billion worth of the group’s shares on the Nigerian Exchange on Thursday.

Otedola acquired 316,506,776 shares at a share price of N21.91 each, amounting to N6.935 billion and 546,674,034 shares at N21.97 each, amounting to N12.01 billion, through his holding company, Calvados Global Services Limited.

Earlier, FBN announced the appointment of Olusegun Alebiosu as its substantive Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer.

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Seafarer: Oyetola leads ITF, Minister, NIMASA DG, others for commemoration in Lagos

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By Seun Ibiyemi

All is set for Nigeria to join other nations across the globe in celebrating the Day of the Seafarer 2024.

The Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola, and his counterpart Minister of State, Labour and Productivity, Honourable Nkeiruka Onyejeocha will be leading other dignitaries including the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Dr Dayo Mobereola and the head ITF seafarer’s Trust Fund Katie Higginbottom to the commemoration scheduled to take place in Lagos.

Speaking ahead of the event, Director General of NIMASA, Dr Dayo Mobereola urged Nigerians to participate in this year’s celebrations adding that the use of #SafetyTipsAtSea on all social media platforms will ensure adequate exposure to Nigeria’s celebration of the Seafarers day in line with the Theme of the IMO.

In his words: “Seafarers are the unsung heroes of our global economy, I will even describe them as the lifeblood of international trade, they sacrifice a lot for humanity’s existence as they leave their families for months for our sake.

“Let us celebrate their resilience, dedication, and the invaluable role they play in our world. This day belongs to them, let us use the Hashtag #SafetyTipsAtSea for all our social media posts so that Nigerian Seafarers will feel appreciated,” he stated.

The 2024 commemoration is another way of bringing to the fore the importance of Seafarers as essential workers and the IMO has set this date specifically for the celebration of these special occupations.

This year’s theme also aligns with the Agency’s drive to protect Nigerian seafarers and create more opportunities for those willing to take a career in seafaring.

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Access Bank Ghana posts impressive growth in income, assets

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Access Bank Ghana Plc held its 16th Annual General Meeting (AGM) at its head office, marking a year of exceptional performance and growth. The Board Chairperson of Access Bank (Ghana) Plc, Ms. Ama S. Bawuah, presented the financial statements, highlighting the Bank’s impressive performance despite the challenging macroeconomic environment.

Access Bank Ghana’s total assets grew to 22.3 per cent, from GHS 10.057 billion to GHS 12.30 billion, while operating income increased by 40 per cent from GHS1.150 billion to GHS 1.613 billion. The Bank’s Loans and Advances rose by 42.81 per cent.

Ms. Bawuah said, “In 2023, Ghana’s economy was characterised by macroeconomic instability, escalating inflation, and dwindling investor confidence stemming from both domestic imbalances and external pressures. Against the backdrop of global and national economic uncertainties, I am pleased to share that your bank successfully applied valuable insights and industry best practices to achieve substantial growth across key areas in the past year.”

“These achievements underscore our steadfast dedication to navigating challenges and fostering sustainable growth, reaffirming our pledge to serve you with excellence and integrity,” Bawuah added.

Access Bank’s commitment to expansion, innovation, and customer convenience was also showcased, with the implementation of several digital products and services such as the virtual relationship management (VRM) tool to augment customer service support.  The Bank also established priority desks to cater to a specific demographic and facilitate the smooth running of business in those areas. These include the Chinese, German, Lebanese, French, and Turkish desks.

Olumide Olatunji, Managing Director, Access Bank Ghana Plc, reiterated the Bank’s resilience and stability. “Despite the prevailing uncertainties, Access Bank maintained a robust performance across key financial metrics, a testament to our prudent financial management and unwavering dedication to our mission. We observed substantial growth in deposits, surging from GHS7.399 billion to GHS9.130 billion, marking a notable 23 per cent increase.”

He added that the Bank achieved a remarkable turnaround by resuming tax remittances to the government. This reversal from a negative contribution of GHS102 million to an impressive 509 per cent increase to GHS419 million underscores our commitment to fiscal responsibility and sustained growth. Concurrently, shareholders’ funds experienced substantial growth, from GHS1.014 billion to GHS1.403 billion, attributed to the transformative strategies implemented in the Bank’s business management practice.

Olatunji thanked shareholders for their support and emphasised the Bank’s commitment to excellence and customer satisfaction. “We are proud of our achievements and recognise the trust our customers and shareholders have placed in us. We will continue to innovate, expand our reach, and support Ghana’s economic growth,” he noted.

Mr. Sampson Ashong, the General Secretary of the shareholders praised the Bank’s performance and initiatives citing its resilience and growth potential. “I am thoroughly impressed with the bank’s commitment to sustainability initiatives and employee capacity building. The dedication to creating a positive impact on the environment and society, while investing in the growth and development of their staff is truly commendable. This is evidence that Access Bank is not just focused on financial returns, but also on making a positive difference in the world,” he said.

Shareholders approved all resolutions on the agenda, which included among other things, also saw the re-election of the members of the Board of Directors and one retirement.

The event was a celebration of the Bank’s dedication to its stakeholders and its contribution to Ghana’s financial landscape. As Access Bank Ghana continues to grow and expand its operations, it remains committed to promoting financial inclusion and supporting the country’s economic development.

Since 2009, Access Bank Ghana has demonstrated a strong commitment to sustainable business practices driving profitable, sustainable growth that is environmentally responsible and socially relevant. These have contributed to the Bank being recognised with various awards in 2023. These include the 2023 Best Bank by Euromoney Awards, Best Retail Bank by Global Brands Awards, Best Digital Bank in Ghana by Digital Banker Africa Awards; and Best SME Banking and Best Bank for CSR by Euromoney Awards.

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