FG expects equitable outcomes on WTO’s fisheries negotiations, says trade minister
By Gistflash News
June 27, 2021
The Federal Government says it will continue to engage in fisheries subsidies negotiations, in order to achieve balanced and equitable outcomes from the forthcoming WTO’s 12th Ministerial Conference (MC-12) on fisheries subsidies.
Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, said this at a virtual meeting of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Ministers of Trade on Fisheries Subsidies Negotiations.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12) will be convened by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) from Nov. 30 to Dec. 3, 2021, in Geneva, Switzerland.
The WTO’s Ministerial Conference, which is held every two years, is the highest decision-making body of the WTO and attended by trade ministers and other senior officials from the organisation’s 164 members.
The minister noted that the sustainable development of the fisheries sector was central to Nigeria’s quest for economic diversification and sustained growth.
According to the minister, it is of critical fundamental importance that the outcomes of the MC-12 are consistent with the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14.6 and our mandate.
SDG 14.6 targets to prohibit certain forms of fisheries’ subsidies which contribute to overcapacity and overfishing, as well as eliminate subsidies which contribute to Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing.
He said that given that sustainable development of the sector was a viable route to Nigeria’s socioeconomic development, it expected MC-12 outcomes on fisheries subsidies to result in substantial reduction of overfishing and unsustainable fishing practices.
Adebayo thanked Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director-General, World Trade Organisation (WTO), and the Chair of the Fisheries Subsidies Negotiations, Amb. Santiago Wills of Colombia, for their efforts at advancing the negotiations.
He recalled that the contribution of the fisheries sector to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was 0.84 per cent and 1.09 per cent in 2019 and 2020, respectively.
“Nigeria, which produces less than a million-metric tonne of fish annually is a net importer of fish. Marine catches contribute about 38 per cent of our annual output. The rest is made up of inland waters catches and aquaculture.
“Over 80 per cent of Nigeria’s total domestic production is generated by artisanal small-scale fishermen that support the livelihoods of over 24 million Nigerians. 73 per cent of those involved in fisheries in Nigeria are women,” he noted.
He explained that the country, with a continental coastline of 853km and an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) area of 179,839 sq. kms, contained diverse species of fish, contributing to food and livelihood security of Nigerians.
However, he noted that illegal fishing, overfishing and other unsustainable fishing related activities, incentivised by heavy subsidies posed a major threat to sustainable development of Nigeria’s fisheries sector.
He advised that the outcomes should also reflect the “mutual supportiveness of trade and environment” by addressing simultaneously the three pillars of sustainable development as envisaged in the Hong Kong and Doha Ministerial Declarations.
Adebayo further noted that such outcomes should contain effective Special and Differential Treatment (S&DT) that allow for sustainable development of the fisheries sector of developing countries.
The minister described S&DT as an integral part of the sustainability agenda of the WTO, adding that it was also crucial to achieving an acceptable balance of rights and obligations among WTO members.
“I am of the view that these S&DT provisions would not only undermine our rights to sustainable exploitation of marine resources in our EEZ, guaranteed by the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, but would also undermine efforts to address our food and livelihood security difficulties.
“Nigeria expects carve-out for developing countries under all pillars in respect of fishing and fishing related activities of low income, resource-poor fishermen within their EEZ, with no preconditions.
“As well as exemptions of developing countries, with less than two per cent share of annual global marine capture, from some obligations of the disciplines,” he said.
Trading on NGX rebounds by N3bn
By Gistflash News
Sept 14, 2021
The Nigerian Exchange (NGX) closed trading on Tuesday in green to halt the six-day consecutive bearish trend with a marginal growth of N3 billion.
The market upturn was due to investors’ renewed buying interest in the financial and industrial sectors.
Consequently, the market capitalisation inched higher by N3 billion or 0.01 per cent to close at N20.278 trillion from N20.275 trillion achieved on Monday.
Also, the All-Share Index grew by 4.88 points or 0.01 per cent to close at 38,920.50 against 38,915.62 on Monday.
The market positive performance was driven by price appreciation in large and medium capitalised stocks which are; UACN, Dangote Sugar Refinery, Africa Prudential, Oando and University Press.
Analysts at Afrinvest Limited said that “In the next trading session, we anticipate a negative performance as market remains short of a positive catalyst.”
However, the market breadth closed negative recording 21 losers as against 14 gainers.
UACN Property Development Company led the gainers’ chart in percentage terms by 9.93 per cent to close at N1.66 per share.
Academy Press followed with 8.33 per cent to close at 39k, while Courteville Business Solutions appreciated by 7.41 per cent to close at 29k per share.
Vitafoam went up by 3.88 per cent to close at N17.40, while Livestock Feeds appreciated by 2.88 per cent to close at N2.14 per share.
On the other hand, Sovereign Trust Insurance led the losers’ chart in percentage terms by 7.41 per cent to close at 25k per share.
University Press followed with 6.42 per cent to close at N1.02, while Regency Alliance Insurance shed 6.25 per cent to close at 45k per share.
UACN lost 4.85 per cent to close at N9.80, while Chams declined by 4.55 per cent to close at 21k per share.
Meanwhile, the total volume rose by 13.6 per cent to 228.48 million shares worth N1.88 billion traded in 3,376 deals.
This was in contrast with 201.10 million shares valued at N2.53 billion achieved in 3,340 deals on Monday.
Transactions in the shares of Wema Bank topped the activity chart with 46.76 million shares worth N35.97 million.
Access Bank followed with 28.24 million shares valued at N263.49 million, while United Bank of Africa sold 17.77 million shares worth N135.08 million.
Mutual Benefits Assurance traded 17.24 million shares valued at N4.88 million, while Fidelity Bank transacted 14.80 million shares worth N36.07 million.
Fidelity Bank grows PBT by 72.4% in 6 months
By Gistflash News
Sept 12, 2021
Fidelity Bank Plc has posted a profit before tax (PBT) of N20.6 billion for the six months ended June 30, 2021.
The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Fidelity Bank, Mrs Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, disclosed this in the bank’s audited half-year (H1) results released to the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited on Sunday in Lagos.
Onyeali-Ikpe said that the bank’s PBT represented a 72.4 per cent growth when compared to N12.0 billion recorded in the comparative period of 2020.
She added that profit after tax (PAT) rose to N19.31 billion from N11.30 billion recorded in the corresponding period.
She said the growth was on the Back of Increased customer transactions and improved operational efficiency.
“We sustained our impressive financial performance with double-digit growth in profit as increased customer transactions drove non-interest revenue while improved operational efficiency continued to moderate cost-to-serve,” she said.
Onyeali-Ikpe also said that the financial result for the period indicated that Gross Earnings increased by 6.2 per cent Year-on-Year (YoY) to N112.3 billion on account of 27.8 per cent growth in Non-Interest Revenue (NIR) to N23.8 billion from N18.1 billion in H1 2020.
She added that the bank’s NIR was driven by strong growth in commission on banking services by 57.7 per cent, account maintenance charges by 50.6 per cent, digital banking income by 49.4 per cent and trade income by 33.7 per cent among others.
Total customer induced transactions across all distribution channels increased by 58.0 per cent YoY and 21.2 Per cent QoQ.
The bank showed a good appetite in funding the real sector with net loans and advances increasing by 15.8 per cent YTD to N1.53 billion from N1.32 billion in 2020FY.
However, the actual growth was 14.7 per cent while the impact of the currency adjustment (2020FY: N400.3/dollars-H1 2021: N410.6/dollars) accounted for a 1.1 per cent YTD growth in the loan book. Cost of risk came in at 0.3 per cent and the NPL ratio (stage 3 loans) dropped to 2.8 per cent from 3.8 per cent in 2020FY.
Other regulatory ratios remain well above the minimum requirement: capital adequacy ratio at 18.8 per cent from 18.2 per cent in 2020FY.
Total Deposits increased by 16.5 per cent YTD to N1.98 billion from N1.69 billion in 2020FY, driven by increased deposit mobilisation across all deposit types.
“Digital Banking gained further traction as we now have 55.1 per cent of our customers enrolled on the mobile/internet banking products and 89.3 per cent of customer-induced transactions were done on digital platforms.”
She also explained that the bank’s foreign currency deposits increased by 23.1 per cent YTD at 149 million dollars and now accounted for 18.5 per cent of total deposits from 17.5 per cent in 2020FY.
According to her, this is as the bank continues to harness the benefits of its renewed drive in the diaspora banking space.
“We look forward to sustaining the current momentum in H2 by optimising our balance sheet and lowering our cost–to–serve.
“This will translate to improved earnings while we remain committed to our medium to long-term strategic objectives,” Onyeali-Ikpe said.
Desist from Foreign Exchange malpractices, CBN warns commercial banks
By Gistflash News
Sept 11, 2021
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has warned Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) to always observe due diligence and desist from all forms of malpractices in foreign exchange (FX) transactions.
The apex bank gave the warning in a letter by Ozoemena Nnaji, Director of Trade and Exchange Department, addressed to the DMBs.
Nnaji urged the banks to, not only ensure to know their customers, but also to know their customers ‘ businesses.
She said the directive was necessitated by recent occurrences in the FX market.
“The CBN wishes to remind all banks that it is their responsibility to not only know their customers (KYC requirements) but also know their customers’ businesses (KYCB requirements).
“Given this responsibility , and in view of recent occurrences in the market, the CBN will like to remind banks to desist from all forms of FX malpractices.
“We wish to reiterate that FX operating licences of any bank or banks that are found culpable with ongoing investigations will be suspended for at least one year,” the director said.
She urged all the DMBs concerned to take note and ensure compliance. (
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