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page 19 Economic crunch: Anyaoku joins call for formation of economic team From Dele Ogunyemi, Ibadan Former Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku has…

page 19

Economic crunch: Anyaoku joins call for formation of economic team

From Dele Ogunyemi, Ibadan

Former Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku has urged President Muhammadu Buhari, as a matter of urgency, constitute a strong team of experienced economists to critically analyze the situation with a view to proffering enduring solutions.

Anyaoku made the call yesterday in Ibadan saying that that will be the best way to take Nigeria out of the present economic crisis .

He said at a formal presentation of the memoirs of Ambassador Olusola Sanu, entitled “Audacity on the Bound: A Diplomatic Odyssey”. The book was authored by the celebrant, Ambassador Sanu, a former Nigerian Ambassador to Ethiopia in commemoration of his 86th Birthday anniversary and also reviewed by another Ambassador, Chief Oladapo Fafowora.

According to Chief Anyaoku who was the Chairman on the occasion, the mess characterized by high inflation, high cost of living, fuel scarcity, dwindling oil revenue and shortage of power was to think outside the box and immediately constitute the think-tank of economic team who will eventually recommend whether the Naira is going to be more devalued or not.

Anyaoku commended Ambassador Sanu for his memoirs which he described as “an instrument of material for the present generation” while noting that Sanu is a rare gem who has been showing high level of intellectual prowess since they meet 53 years ago in New York.

He said aside from providing solutions to global challenges and problems such as terrorism, insurgency, insecurity and financial crises confronting most countries of the world, also put their own experiences and times in book form for younger generations to learn from, as a matter of concern.

He said: “I will like to use this opportunity to restate my view that President Muhammadu Buhari should stick to his devaluation agenda and constitute a team of experts to best tackle the economy crises. Experts and analysts who will best tackle the economic crisis including whether Naira will be devalued or not. He should constitute a team of economic experts and analysts to best tackle the economic crises including the situation of devaluing or not devaluing the Naira.”

Also addressing the gathering, former Military Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, who was the Special Guest of Honor at the event submitted that Ambassador Sanu’s contributions and innovations led to the establishment and creation of many organizations which contributed to the integration of African nations in the past.

Ambassador Oladapo Fafowora, while reviewing the 500-page book with 21 chapters, noted that the publication was a well-articulated material that highlighted the 86 years of Sanu’s experiences, life and time.

Stocks loss N214bn after Easter Holidays

From Kayode Ogunwale, Lagos

Trading activities resumed the week with N214 billion on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) yesterday after two trading days of public holiday to commemorate “Good Friday” and “Easter” celebrations.

The market capitalization dropped from N8.909 trillion it resumed the week to close at N8.695 trillion yesterday.

In the same vein, the NSE All Share Index depreciated by 622.62 basis points to close at 25,277.29 basis points, represented 2.40 per cent decline.

Market turnover closes negative as volume declined by 28.80 per cent against 0.31 per cent downward recorded in the previous session.

At the end of the trading, FCMB Plc was toast of investors with 60,200 million accounted for N46.838 million, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc followed with 34.706 million valued at N503.175 million, UBA Plc with 32.621 million worth N122.066 million, Unity Kapital Plc with 22.456 million at N11.228 million and FBN Holdings Plc with 21.715 million amounted to N70.660 million.

Total Nigeria Plc led the gainers while Lafarge Africa Plc topped the losers chart.

Top on gainers’ log was Total Nigeria Plc with a gain of N6.49 kobo to close at N146.50 kobo, followed by P. Z. Plc with N1.11 kobo to close at N23.90 kobo, Presco Plc with N0.35 gain to close at N34.60 kobo per share, and Dangote Sugar Plc with N0.28 kobo to close at N5.98 kobo per share.

On the other hand Lafarge Africa Plc topped losers chart with N3.95 kobo to close at N77.00 kobo, Dangote Cement Plc with N1.95 kobo to close at N162.05 kobo per share, Unilever Nigeria Plc with N1.42 kobo loss to close at N29.50 kobo per share, and Ashaka Cement Plc with N1.20 kobo to close at N22.80 kobo per share.

NEXIM Bank, Shippers Council to establish shipping line

From Eugene Agha, Lagos

Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) and the Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) are planning to establish a shipping line for trading within the West and Central Africa sub-region.

The Acting Managing Director of the NEXIM Bank, Mr. Bashir Wali, made this disclosed at the just concluded “Transport cost and regional connectivity of African countries.”

Wali, who was represented by his Technical Adviser, Hope Yongo, said that they decided to go into the regional shipping business as a result of high transportation costs and excessive transit time that makes intra-regional trade non-competitive and West African transport and logistics costs one of the highest in the World.

The NEXIM boss also bemoaned the absence of dedicated safe and modern fleet to encourage and facilitate Atlantic Short-Sea Trade along the West and Central African regions as well as inadequate transport infrastructure among member states and non tariff measures that are a barrier to: Increased intra-regional trade; Regional integration; and free movement of persons and services.

Messrs. Marine Services & Supply Co. Ltds of the Regional Sealink Consortium has now confirmed willingness to deploy three ships for the pilot scheme operation of the regional Sealink project upon confirmation of Notice of Readiness (NOR) from Sealink Promotional Co. Ltd. Yongo further noted that while intra-regional trade in European Union, the North American Free Trade Agreement, NAFTA and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, ASEAN, stood at about 60 percent, 50 percent and 30 percent compared to about 15 percent and 12 percent for African and ECOWAS .

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