WEEK AHEAD: Pensioners finally reap the fruit of their labour

The new week/new month would be accompanied with glad tidings for pensioners as the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) has announced that the consequential adjustment of the new pension payment will commence from May 2021 payroll with the arrears taking effect from April 2019. This follows the Presidential approval for the implementation of the consequential adjustment to the pension benefits occasioned by the 2019 new minimum wage.

It can be recalled that on April 22, 2021, the Executive Secretary of PTAD, issued a press statement to inform the general public of the sincerity of President Muhammadu Buhari to implement the consequential adjustment on the pension benefits.

This disclosure was made by the Executive Secretary of PTAD, Dr Chioma Ejikeme, in a statement at the press conference on the consequential adjustment to pension benefits from the implementation of the new minimum wage.

The Executive Secretary in her statement said that with this approval, PTAD is now empowered to start the upward adjustment of all pensioners’ benefits according to the approved template.

“The consequential adjustment of the new pension payment will start from the May 2021 payroll. The arrears will take effect from April 2019. PTAD will also commence payment of the arrears from May 2021’’ Chioma stated.

She also pointed out that pensioners should not at any point disclose their account details to anyone. While telling the pensioners not to give their account details to anybody, the Executive Secretary also caution the senior citizens once again, that PTAD will not request any gratification from anybody before the money will be paid into their account.

She asked them to report any scammer or anyone requesting gratification before their benefits would be paid to PTAD.

Anambra state finally inaugurates its international airport

The week ahead brings further excellent news for Anambra State indigenes as the Anambra State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano, on Friday, inaugurated the Anambra International Cargo and Passenger Airport in Umueri community, Anambra East local government area of the state as the first set of flights landed at the airport.

The first 2 aircraft that landed on the facility were owned by Air Peace Airlines, which had its Chairman/Chief Executive, Allen Onyema, as the first passenger, while the third aircraft that landed at the new airport is a private jet owned by the Chairman of Nestoil, Ernest Obiejesi.

It can be recalled that on April 11 2017, the Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano, launched the Umueri Cargo Airport project, saying the development, costing over $2 billion, would be an ‘Airport City’, a new airport with two runways, aviation fuel and aircraft maintenance facilities, airport hotel, business park and international convention centre.
The airport has a four-story terminal building with shops, a ten-floor control tower and a car pack that can accommodate 750 vehicles. It has 3.7 kilometres runway which is the biggest in the country.
Governor Willie Obiano, who has been commended for achieving this great feat was delighted at the legacy project executed by his administration in record time, describing it as a dream come true.

He recalled that the journey by Anambra people to own an airport started 30 years ago by the administration in the state at that time, adding that the airport would expand the economic frontiers of the state and improve the socio-economic wellbeing of its people.

Obiano in his statement said, “The most interesting thing about this airport is that we did not borrow a Kobo to build it. This, in itself, is a record in leadership.
“Our dream for an airport started almost 30 years ago when the government of Anambra State acquired 530 hectares of land in Oba, Idemili South LGA with the intention of building an airport but that never materialised. That dream is fulfilled today.

The CEO of Air Peace, Chief Onyema, while expressing his delight at having his planes be the first to land at the airport which has the longest runway in the country, said that this is one of the fastest airports to be approved by the federal government and it is due to the quality of work done.

Oil prices plunge despite week-long surge towards $70

It was a big week for oil markets as demand optimism sent oil prices beyond $65 and oil majors reported promising earnings, but prices pulled back on Friday morning as covid concerns in India grew. Oil prices rose early on Thursday to their highest level in six weeks as a brighter outlook on the American economy and oil demand offset bearish demand prospects from the Covid-19 crisis in India.

Oil prices thus, posted gains for much of last week but traded down on Friday. A bit of profit-taking after strong gains, combined with concerns about the worsening outlook in India, likely contributed to the move down. WTI Crude dropped by 2.57% to trade at $63.34, Brent Crude dropped by 2.00% to trade at $67.19, while Natural Gas currently sells for an average of $2,935.

Oil prices in the coming week might experience bearish trends as India’s worsening COVID outbreak is set to disturb the nearly balanced global oil market, which will show a surplus of oil supply of as much as 1.4 million barrels per day (bpd) next month amid a sizeable loss of demand from the world’s third-largest oil importer.

Crypto-Currency watch

The world’s most priced and largest digital asset traded below the $54,000 mark as data looks bullish despite Bitcoin recording lower prices.

Bitcoin dropped on Thursday to trade at $53,452 on Thursday evening as Nexon joined the list of tech companies embracing the digital currency, buying about $100 million worth of Bitcoin. Though the cryptocurrency has rebounded above its average price over the past 100 days, it’s still trading below its 50-day moving average.

The price of Ethereum, the world’s second-biggest cryptocurrency in terms of market capitalization and volume, traded at $2,744 after initially hitting an all-time high on Thursday.

Cautious trading is advised in the week ahead.

External reserve watch

Nigeria’s external reserve position dropped by 0.1% on Wednesday, 28th April 2021 to stand at $34.940 billion.

Data obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), revealed that Nigeria’s external reserve dipped from $34.974 billion recorded on 27th April 2021 to $34.940 billion on Wednesday, April 28, 2021.

This represents the eighth consecutive decline recorded during the week in Nigeria’s external reserve, having had 19 successive growths.

The recent decline can be attributed to low liquidity and pressure on the foreign exchange market which is anticipated to persist in the week ahead.

Naira maintains gain at Nafex window

The naira appreciated against the US dollar at the Investors and Exporters window on Friday to close at N410/$1, representing a N1 gain when compared to the N411/$1 that was recorded on Thursday.

The opening indicative rate closed at N410.13 to a dollar on Friday, 30th April 2021, representing a 33 kobo drop when compared to the N410.46/$1 that was recorded on Thursday.

Also, an exchange rate of N429.13 to a dollar was the highest rate recorded during intra-day trading before it settled at N410/$1. It also sold for as low as N395/$1 during intra-day trading. Forex daily turnover at the Investor and Exporters (I&E) window closed at 56.81% on Friday, 30th April, 2021.

More of the same is expected as the Naira is anticipated to continue its trend around the N400/$1 threshold in the coming week.

NSE ASI continues its surge amid removal of FIRSTBANK’S board of directors

Nigerian stock exchange market closed in profit supporting yesterday’s surge, amid the removal of Firstbank’s Board of Directors. First Bank shares saw a stalemate, holding price at N6.90. The All-Share Index increased by +0.95% to close at 39,834.42.

Nigerian Stock Exchange market value currently stands at N20.85 trillion. Its Year-to-Date (YTD) returns currently stand at -1.08%. The market breadth closed positive in the green as REGALINS led 22 Gainers, and 23 Losers topped by NCR at the end of Friday’s session showing a consolidation as movement is not certain.

The top gainers include:

1. REGALINS up +10.00% to close at N0.33
2. CHIPLC up +8.33% to close at N 39
3. ROYALEX up +8.16% to close at N0.53
4. FTNCOCOA up +7.69% to close at N0.42
5. BUACEMENT up +7.15% to close at N77.90

While the top losers include:

1. NCR down -9.92% to close at N2.27
2. VANLEER down -9.70% to close at N6.05
3. HONYFLOUR down -9.38% to close at N1.16
4. SUNUASSUR down -9.23% to close at N0.59
5. UNITYBNK down -8.82% to close at N0.62

Nigerian Stock Market continued its bullish run in the previous week as it posted gains and is anticipated to do same in the week ahead.

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