- NSE Records Gains, Eyes Real Estate Growth
The market capitalisation of the Nigerian Stock Exchange appreciated marginally on Tuesday as 23 stock emerged gainers.
The NSE capitalisation rose to N9.712tn from N9.706tn, while the All-Share Index closed at 28,093.30 basis points from 28,078.30 basis points.
A total of 212.689 million shares valued at N2.18bn were traded in 3,908 deals.
The equities market recorded a marginal advancement of 0.11 per cent, to settle the year-to-date return at 4.60 per cent. There were 18 losers at the close of trading.
UACN Property Development Company Plc topped the gainers’ list, advancing by 9.41 per cent to close at N1.86. It was followed by Fidson Healthcare Plc, Vitafoam Nigeria Plc, Honeywell Flour Mill Plc and Airline Services and Logistics Plc, which also appreciated by 8.89 per cent, 4.98 per cent, 4.96 per cent and 4.91 per cent, respectively.
However, Dangote Flour Plc topped the losers’ chart, depreciating by 4.84 per cent to close at N4.13. This was followed by Learn Africa Plc, Cement Company of Northern Nigeria Plc, Diamond Bank Plc, and FCMB Group Plc, which depreciated by 4.71 per cent, 4.55 per cent, 4.35 per cent and 4.35 per cent, accordingly.
At the close of trading, the NSE food/beverage and insurance indices appreciated by 1.40 per cent and 1.24 per cent, being the only indices to record gains. The NSE oil/gas, industry and banking indices declined by 0.74 per cent, 0.31 per cent and 0.11 per cent, respectively.
Commenting on the performance of the market, analysts at Meristem Securities Limited said, “The mood in the market was relatively mixed, mirroring the prior day’s performance, as the market only recorded a slight gain due to appreciations on some large cap stocks.”
Meanwhile, the Chief Executive Officer, NSE, Oscar Onyema, at the Real Estate Investment Trust Conference held at the Exchange on Tuesday, said according to Ernest & Young report of 2016, global market capitalisation of REITs now stands at approximately $1.7tn, up from $734bn in 2010.
The United States REIT market has grown by almost 150 per cent, while the market capitalisation of non-US REITs had more than doubled. The two fastest-growing markets in the last five years have been Australia and Japan, both of which have now overtaken France and the United Kingdom to be the second- and third-largest global REIT markets, respectively.
In Nigeria, the real estate sector, Onyema noted, had recorded steady and consistent growth over the last decade.
PricewaterhouseCoopers in its report titled, ‘Real Estate: Building the Future of Africa,’ predicted that Nigeria’s real estate investment would rise by about 49 per cent, from $9.16bn to $13.65bn in 2016. It attributed this to a growing middle class driving demand for residential property development, and indirectly, retail, industrial and commercial real estate development.
Nigeria’s Tax Revolution: Shifting Burden to the Wealthy and Streamlining the System
President Bola Tinubu’s administration is set to revolutionize the nation’s tax system.
The ambitious plan seeks to redistribute the tax burden, making the wealthy pay their fair share while stimulating business growth through corporate tax cuts.
The cornerstone of this tax reform initiative is a push to increase Nigeria’s tax revenue from 11% to 18% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) within three years.
Spearheading this transformation is Taiwo Oyedele, who leads a panel appointed by President Tinubu.
Oyedele articulated the primary objectives of the reform, saying “We aim to make the rich pay what is fair and protect those in poverty.”
This move is crucial in a country where extreme wealth disparities persist, with only a small fraction of the population enjoying immense riches.
Notably, the plan also includes a reduction in the corporate income tax rate, which currently stands at an effective rate of over 40%.
The aim is to benchmark this rate against Nigeria’s international peers, fostering a more business-friendly environment.
Nigeria’s tax system has long been plagued by complexity, with nearly 70 different taxes and overlapping jurisdictions.
The reform initiative seeks to simplify this by streamlining tax structures and drastically reducing the number of taxes to single digits.
Also, a tax amnesty is under consideration, aimed at encouraging tax compliance and offering relief for past debts. The hope is that by fostering transparency and accountability, more Nigerians will willingly contribute to the country’s fiscal health.
In a nation where government debt has surged dramatically in recent years, this tax revolution is seen as a pivotal step towards reducing the deficit and ensuring sustainable economic growth.
Federal Government’s $3 Billion Rescue Plan to Bolster Naira Stability
The National Economic Council (NEC) has confirmed the deployment of the $3 billion emergency loan-for-crude oil, secured by the Federal Government in August, for the stabilization of the national currency.
The naira’s value has been under siege, with fluctuations in the Investors & Exporters’ window and a parallel market rate that briefly hit N1000/$ this month.
Addressing reporters following the 136th NEC meeting at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa, Nasarawa State Governor Abdullahi Sule expressed confidence in the plan.
He stated, “With the plan that will come out and with all these items that have been listed on the improvement of revenue, the $3 billion shall be useful to us down the line.”
The emergency loan, secured from Afrexim Bank, was initially intended to relieve pressure on the naira, facilitate the settlement of taxes and royalties in advance, and provide the Federal Government with vital dollar liquidity for naira stabilization.
The recent nomination of Olayemi Cardoso as the new Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor by President Bola Tinubu has already shown promise.
The naira experienced a boost in the black market, strengthening by N10 against the dollar, closing at N990/$1.
Governor Sule indicated that the implementation of the intervention would require careful planning and time.
He emphasized the need for the new CBN team to devise effective strategies. In response to inquiries about a supplementary budget, Sule stated that there is no immediate need for one, as the situation does not warrant it.
As Nigeria’s economic landscape faces evolving challenges, the NEC’s decision to harness the $3 billion loan offers a glimmer of hope for a more stable naira in the near future.
Former FIRS Chairman Muhammad Nami Accused of Controversial N6 Billion Payments After Sudden Exit
Documents reveal questionable approvals and alleged backdating, raising concerns over financial misconduct
Muhammad Nami, the former chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), is under scrutiny for approving payments totaling N6 billion to contractors and consultants just days after his abrupt removal from office.
Documents obtained by TheCable shed light on these controversial transactions.
Nami, who was succeeded by Zacchaeus Adedeji, greenlit the payments on September 16, two days after his removal on September 14.
Sources privy to the situation, although not authorized to speak publicly, claim that Nami directed staff to work over the weekend to finalize these transactions.
Additionally, files were allegedly moved from the FIRS headquarters to his residence, where they were purportedly “backdated and signed.”
Perhaps the most eyebrow-raising revelation is that Nami transferred approximately N5 billion from the FIRS account to the Joint Tax Board (JTB) without apparent justification.
It is reported that the FIRS director of finance and accounts reluctantly approved these payments after warning Nami about potential repercussions.
Nami allegedly reassured his subordinates that the incoming FIRS chairman would remain oblivious to these approvals.
Also, documents indicate that Nami approved significant payments, including N1.4 billion for a ‘Business Case for Strategic Leadership’ retreat, N250 million for FIRS Data Mining Management and Analytics in Taxation Course, and N221 million for a ‘Skill Development and Management Improvement Workshop Training.’
Curiously, Nami also appropriated over N81 million for a study visit to the Inland Revenue of Malaysia.
The FIRS, when contacted for comment, remained tight-lipped about the situation. Spokesperson Abdullahi Ismaila stated that he had no knowledge of the payments, while Tobi Johannes, Nami’s former media aide, distanced himself from the matter, emphasizing that his role ceased when Nami’s tenure ended.
These revelations have ignited concerns about financial misconduct within the FIRS and have raised questions about the oversight and accountability of government agencies. The full extent of these allegations is yet to be determined as investigations into the payments and their legitimacy continue.
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