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SEC considers fresh recapitalisation for stockbroking firms

Ahead of the planned change of ownership (demutualisation) of the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), may soon call for fresh recapitalisation of stockbroking firms operating in the local bourse.

SEC’s acting director-general, Mary Uduk, during an interaction with journalists said with only 10 percent of the 255 stockbroking firms controlling 80 percent of the market activities, there is a need for recapitalisation.

Analysts believe that given the current situation, recapitalisation of stock broking firms would give rise to mergers and acquisition, and enable the emergence of stronger firms that would handle big-ticket transactions in the market, instead of the prevailing fragmentation.

Senate questions CBN, Accountant-General over inability to account for N596 billion ecological fund

The Senate Committee on Public Accounts yesterday summoned Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Accountant General of the Federation to explain how N596 billion ecological funds were spent from 1999 to 2015.

While the accountant-general said the fund was domiciled in the apex bank, and that the money has been invested, the CBN pleaded for more time to submit records of the funds.

By asking for the records, the committee had acted upon the report by the Auditor-General of Federation (AuGF), Anthony Ayine, that between 1999 and 2015, a total of N596 billion was transferred from the treasury into the ecological fund account without proper accounting.

Ayine had said, contrary to the provision of Section 5(4) of the Revenue Allocation Act which requires that an agency be established to manage the ecological fund, no agency had been established to manage it.

Rather, he added, the National Committee on Ecological Problems (NCEP) is the body responsible for handling ecological problems in the country.

Senate committee chairman, Matthew Urhoghide, summoned the Secretary General of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, while also asking the CBN to submit the statement of ecological fund account to the committee.

“The Central Bank should come and furnish us with the statement of account of the Ecological Fund. The SGF should come and brief us on the statement of account of the Ecological Fund,” Urhoghide said.

Poor ILS means million naira losses for Nigeria’s economy

As a result of low visibility, airlines and the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) in Lagos have lost over N170 million as a result of continued flight diversions to Accra (Ghana) and Cotonou (Benin Republic).

Experts say the absence of functional Instrument Landing Aids (ILS) at the Lagos airport has made it impossible for pilots to land and take off from the airport.

while responding to the inability of some flights to land or take off from the country’s busiest airport due to poor visibility,Hadi Sirika, minister of aviation said efforts are in place to improve visibility at Murtala Muhammaed International Airport in Lagos

Lassa fever kills 70 in 26 states, says NCDC

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has disclosed that 472 cases of Lassa fever has been confirmed, while 70 deaths have been recorded in 92 council areas of 26 states between January and February 9, 2020.

It also said no fewer than 14 health workers were affected within the period under review.

Assistant Director, Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Department of the NCDC, Kola Jinaidu,  said symptoms of Lassa fever were more difficult to identify, particularly in non-epidemic period, adding that some of the symptoms include fatigue, general weakness, fever, headache, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea, face swelling and low blood pressure.

He explained that Lassa fever could be transmitted through direct contact with urine, excreta, saliva or blood of infected rats, contact with objects, household items and surfaces or eating food contaminated with urine, feces, saliva or blood of infected rats.

Coronavirus Forces Qatar to redirect Oil and Gas cargoes

One of the biggest liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporters, Qatar, is working with importers in China to reschedule or re-route some oil and gas cargoes to the world’s second-largest LNG importer amid the coronavirus outbreak, Qatar said late on Wednesday.

“All concerned Qatari energy companies are already working closely with their Chinese partners to assist in identifying and assessing potential support areas, and … are actively engaged in accommodating certain rescheduling or re-routing requests for deliveries of Qatari energy products,” the energy minister of Qatar, Saad al-Kaabi, said in a statement, as carried by Reuters.

Al-Kaabi is also chief executive of the state-held firm Qatar Petroleum, which exports the tiny Gulf country’s huge gas resources.

Last week, China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), the country’s largest LNG importer, was said to have declared force majeure on deliveries of LNG cargoes and will not be honoring some of the deliveries because of the deadly coronavirus outbreak.

Even before Chinese importers started invoking force majeure on LNG deliveries, LNG prices had hit a decade low, due to warmer winter weather in many parts of Asia, booming new LNG supply – especially from the U.S. and Australia – and slower import growth in China.

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