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Stakeholders honour Late Ogunbanjo at NGX closing gong ceremony



Stakeholders in the Nigerian capital market community continue to grieve as it held a closing gong ceremony at the Nigerian Exchange Ltd. (NGX) to honour the late former Chairman of the NGX Group, Mr Abimbola Ogunbanjo.

The late Ogunbanjo alongside the late Dr Herbert Wigwe, Group CEO of Access Holdings, his wife and son died on Feb. 9 in a helicopter crash in Southern California, USA.

Speaking at the ceremony and afternoon of tributes on Tuesday,  the Chairman of the NGX Group, Alhaji Umaru Kwairanga, said that the Exchange and other capital market community members were pained by the loss of Ogunbanjo.

Kwairanga described the demise of Ogunbanjo as a huge loss to the capital market, having lost his father, Pa Chris Ogunbanjo, who was a patriarch of the Exchange, barely four months ago.

He described the late NGX Group chairman as a transformative leader with impeccable character and prayed for the repose of his soul.

According to him, the NGX and capital market were already a part of the Ogunbanjo’s family and, as such, would ensure that the legacies of the late Group chairman was sustained and improved upon.

“To the Ogunbanjo’s family, no words can ease your pain, but be assured of the unwavering support of the capital market community.

“I believe that the late Bimbo is in a better place resting,” he said.

In his remarks, Mr Temi Popoola, Chief Executive Officer of the NGX Group appreciated the late Ogunbanjo, describing him as an encourager.

Popoola stated that the late group chairman’s personal interest and commitment to his career brought him to the position he has attained on the Exchange.

“The late Ogunbanjo is a family man and I am grateful for the opportunity he gave me to be close to his family and also mentor his son, Rotimi.

“We pray God grant him eternal rest and we thank all the capital market stakeholders and Coronation Group for rallying around the Exchange and his family at this trying period,” he said.

In his tribute, Chairman Coronation Group/Former President, Nigerian Exchange Group,  Mr Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede said that this was a difficult period for him, having lost close family and friends in the unfortunate air crash.

Aig-Imoukhuede said that he shared an intimate relationship with the late Ogunbanjo, who was his Vice, during his tenure as the President of the Exchange.

According to him, late Ogunbanjo played a huge role in the demutualisation of the NGX when the process began under his leadership.

He also said the process, however, materialised during Ogunbanjo’s tenure after he succeeded him.

Aig-Imoukhuede stated that the late Ogunbanjo role as the first NGX Group Chairman after the demutualisation was a difficult one, but he was able to navigate through the challenges because of his intelligent and exceptional leadership attributes.

“This market has lost one of its most worthy founders. Bimbo; you served the world in a way only few could ever serve. Goodbye, May your soul rest in perfect peace,” he said.

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Money market

Naira will continue to appreciate against dollar – Shettima



Vice President Kashim Shettima has expressed optimism that the Naira would continue to appreciate against the dollar at the forex market.

Spokesperson of the Vice-President, Mr Stanley Nkwocha, in a statement on Saturday, said Shettima stated this at a meeting with officials of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), at the President Villa, Abuja.

He said President Bola Tinubu ended the fuel subsidy and ensured the unification of the multiple exchange rate because the former arrangement was producing billionaires overnight.

“Naira went haywire and some people were celebrating but inwardly we were laughing at them because we knew that we have the leadership to reverse the trend.

“Asiwaju knows the game, and truly the Naira is gaining and the difference will drop further.”

He recalled that the quality of leadership provided by President Tinubu as governor of Lagos laid the foundation for the massive development witnessed in the state.

Shettima assured that the Tinubu administration is doing its best to address challenges in the power sector.

According to him, Tinubu’s administration is aware that power is absolutely essential for development.

“We are determined to ensure that we generate jobs for our youths. Honestly, the President’s obsession is to live in a place of glory, to transform this country to a higher pedestal.

“He wants to leave a legacy, one of qualitative leadership because the hope of the black man, the hope of Africa rests with Nigeria.

“I want to assure you that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is one of you. He understands your ecosystem. In this government, you have an ally and a friend.”

Earlier, the President of LCCI, Gabriel Idahosa, emphasised the need for the Federal Government to consider more innovations to address the insecurity challenge in the country.

He also urged the Tinubu administration to ensure a significant upswing in the pace and scale of alternative policy measures that promote credit access, stimulate investment, and support entrepreneurship.

“This could include targeted interventions such as concessional lending facilities, loan guarantees, and interest rate subsidies tailored to the needs of SMEs and key sectors of the economy like agriculture, manufacturing and power technology.”

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Money market

LCCI advocates discipline, export to sustain Naira appreciation



LCCI advocates discipline, export to sustain Naira appreciationThe Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has emphasised the importance of maintaining discipline in the foreign exchange market to sustain the steady appreciation of the Naira.

The President and Chairman of the Council of LCCI, Mr Gabriel Idahosa, made the call in an interview with newsmen on Wednesday in Lagos.

Idahosa praised the efforts of the Central Bank of Nigeria in imposing discipline, attributing the recent Naira appreciation to curbing speculative activities.

“On the monetary side, the CBN is doing it. The primary efforts should continue to impose discipline in the foreign currency market.

“The abuses in the foreign currency market were prevalent and most of the fall in the value of the Naira in the last six months is not because there was any sudden calamity in the Nigerian economy.

“It was primarily because of very reckless speculations, that people were just speculating in the dollar, they had nothing to export, nothing to import, they were just buying the dollar for speculative reasons.

“And once the Central Bank started to impose discipline in the foreign currency market, we saw the value of the Naira rising very quickly by stopping speculation,” he said.

According to him, the strategies of the Central Bank, now, are designed to achieve a sustained discipline in the foreign currency market.

Idahosa highlighted the need to continue reducing the number of Bureau de Change operators, stressing that many operated without contributing to international trade.

He applauded the Central Bank’s move to enforce documentation and identification of buyers and sellers at BDCs, aiming to deter reckless speculation and curb illicit financial flows.

On the fiscal side, Idahosa urged President Bola Tinubu to prioritise a nationwide export drive, citing it as the key to bolstering the Naira and providing essential foreign exchange.

He emphasised the importance of fostering a culture of export among Nigerians across all scales of enterprise to reduce reliance on imports and strengthen the country’s economic resilience.

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Money market

Foreign reserves decline to $32.29bn



The foreign reserve has depleted to $32.29 billion, which is a six-year low in the Central Bank’s course to save the naira.

This is the lowest level the reserves have been since September 25, 2017, when it was $32.28 billion.

The country’s foreign reserves declined by 6.2 percent, losing $2.6 billion since March 18, when the naira started its rebound from record-low levels against the dollar to $32.29 billion as of Monday, based on the latest available data from the CBN.

At the beginning of the month, the reserve was at $33.57 billion, then further dipped to $32.6 billion by April 12.

This comes as the CBN has attempted to save the naira through various interventions such as raising interest rates to 24.75 percent and managing foreign exchange trades.

It stepped up its intervention in the FX market with sales at both the official market and to BDC operators who sell dollars on the streets.

The apex bank, which sells $10,000 to each BDC every week, mandated them to only sell at a spread of 1.5 percent, which comes to N1,117 per US dollar.

The rate sold by the BDCs has set a defacto floor for the naira in the black market since the apex bank resumed sales to them in February.

Also, last month the CBN said it had cleared a backlog of $7 billion since the beginning of the year. That was built over the years as the central bank pegged its currency against the dollar, leading to a scarcity of foreign currency that deterred foreign portfolio investment. However, it’s unclear how much dollar debt the CBN retains on its books.

Akpan Ekpo, a professor of economics and public policy, said the CBN’s managed float system in which it is trying to ensure supply and curtail demand is not sustainable in the long term.

He said the CBN needs to be careful with how it depletes the foreign reserves as its main source is oil revenue.

“We need to manufacture non-oil goods and services, export them, and get foreign exchange and not depend on oil income,” he said.

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