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Dangote loses N240 Billion in five hours to deadly Coronavirus

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Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote on Wednesday lost more than N240 billion in five hours as the effect of the coronavirus bit harder on the Stock Exchange.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Wednesday declared coronavirus a pandemic.

A pandemic is a disease that is spreading in multiple countries around the world at the same time.

Some of Dangote’s firms under the parent-company, Dangote Group, suffered big losses at the market.

Investors have suffered a total of N1.41 trillion loss in the last three days to the pandemic which is wreaking havoc across the world. Loading…

Benchmark equities indices indicated an average decline of 3.4 per cent on Weednesday, which is equivalent to net capital depreciation of N426 billion. The equities lost N985 billion between Monday and Tuesday.

Dangote Cement Plc, the flagship of Dangote Industries Limited (DIL), led the decline with the maximum daily allowable drop of 10 per cent or N17, which is equivalent to net depreciation of N289.68 billion. Dangote Cement is Nigeria’s most capitalised quoted company and accounts for more than 20 per cent of the total market capitalisation.

Two other members of the Dangote Group, Dangote Sugar Refinery (DSR) Plc and NASCON Allied Industries Plc lost N1.8 billion and N3.05 billion. Dangote Cement’s share price dropped by N17 from N170 to close at N153. NASCON Allied Industries declined by N1.15 to close at N3.05 while DSR lost 15 kobo to close at N9.75 per share.

Allaying public fears about development in the market, the Association of Securities Dealing Houses of Nigeria (ASHON) assured investors that the market would soon bounce back.

It said the fundamentals of quoted companies remained strong.

ASHON chairman Chief Oyinyechukwu Ezeagu explained that the stock market remained part of the global exchanges and as such any development in the world market would impact on its operations.

Ezeagu said: “The effect of the coronavirus is gradually affecting trading all over the world and whatever happens elsewhere reflects in our market.

“The centre of it all is China and being a major world power both in productive and consumption capacities, any ill wind affecting China would naturally cause a big sneezing to the rest of world.

“Investors should not panic. The share prices will bounce back. The companies’ fundamentals remain strong. Many investors are taking advantage of the bearish run to beef up their portfolios.”

Coronavirus first hit Wuhan in China in December 2019. Over 3000 people have died of the pandemic in the country.

Since then, the pandemic has spread worldwide with countries in Europe mostly affected. About 125,000 cases have been reported worldwide with 4,605 dead. United States (U.S.) has 31 deaths and United Kingdom, eight.

Italy is the worst hit country in Europe with 827 deaths. Over 16 million people have been quarantined there.

France has suspended flights between it and Italy till April 3 because of the pandemic.

In Nigeria, two persons, including an Italian, who is the index case, are in quarantine in Lagos. Six others comprising four children, their teacher and another person are in isolation, according to Commissioner for Health Prof. Akin Abayomi.

At the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), the All Share Index (ASI) – the benchmark value index that tracks all share prices declined from its opening index 24,388.66 points to close at 23,572.75 points.

The aggregate market value of all quoted equities at the NSE dropped from its opening value of N12.710 trillion to close at N12.284 trillion. Average year-to-date return crossed the double-digit -12.2 per cent. The ASI had opened Monday at 26,279.61 points while market capitalisation opened at N13.695 trillion.

All sectoral indices closed negative with the exception of the NSE Insurance Index, which appreciated by 2.2 per cent. The NSE Consumer Goods Index declined by 4.7 per cent. The NSE Industrial Goods Index depreciated by 3.4 per cent. The NSE Banking Index dropped by 2.7 per cent while the NSE Oil and Gas Index dipped by 0.7 per cent.

“We maintain a bearish outlook on the equities market in the next trading session,” Afrinvest Securities stated.

Other top losers included: Nestle Nigeria, with a drop of N101.70 to close at N915.30; Conoil lost N1.60 to close at N14.60 and Zenith Bank dropped by N1 to close at N12.05 while Cadbury Nigeria declined by 65 kobo to close at N6 per share.

On the positive side, Unilever Nigeria rose by N1.05 to close at N11.65. United Bank for Africa rose by 55 kobo to close at N6.20. Vitafoam Nigeria appreciated by 38 kobo to close at N4.45. UAC of Nigeria added 30 kobo to close at N7.50 while FCMB Group chalked up 15 kobo to close at N1.66 per share.

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Rivers: Tensions Grow As Wike, Fubara’s Supporters Clash, Baby Hurt

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A baby was reportedly tear-gassed and became unconscious on Wednesday as supporters of the Rivers State Governor, Siminalayi Fubara, clashed with the loyalists of ex-governor Nyesom Wike in the Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the state.

It was gathered that the clash happened during a government medical outreach in the Eliozu community, Obio/Akpor LGA.

Eyewitnesses told our correspondent that trouble started when officials of the state Ministry of Health were carrying out a medical outreach for women at the Eliozu Health Centre.

It was gathered that no sooner had the programme started than some supporters allegedly loyal to the factional Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Martin Amaewhule, arrived at the venue to find out the reason for the gathering.

The venue is said to be near the residence of Amaewhule, who is the leader of the 27 lawmakers loyal to Wike.

But supporters of the Caretaker Committee Chairman of Obio/Akpor LGA, Chijioke Ihunwo, loyal to Fubara, who were at the venue allegedly stopped them from accessing the venue, leading to a heated argument and subsequent clash.

Following the fisticuffs, stones were pelted from several directions, as the medical outreach was disrupted abruptly.

A few minutes later, a team of anti-riot policemen arrived at the scene, firing teargas to disperse the opposing groups and quell the situation from getting out of hand.

It was gathered that a child was tear-gassed during the mayhem and became unconscious.

The situation led to the relocation of the medical outreach to a state-owned medical facility at the Waterlines axis of Port Harcourt where the programme was launched.

Reacting to the incident, the Obio/Akpor CTC Chairman, Chijioke Ihunwo, accused Amaewhule, of leading policemen to disrupt the outreach.

Ihunwo stated, “This morning there was an incident at the Eliozu Health Centre where the former Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Martin Amaewhule, led some security men to disrupt a programme by the Ministry of Health.

“A few minutes later, some policemen came and started beating up our women, shooting tear gas at pregnant women who were at the Health Centre.

“We want to say that Obio/Akpor Local Government Area will not be under siege. We want to call on the President, Bola Tinubu that the Inspector General of Police and the Minister of the FCT are tarnishing the image of your government.

“We are calling on you to rein them in so that Rivers State can have peace. Let the FCT Minister concentrate on his job in Abuja and leave our dear governor alone.”

When contacted, the spokesperson for the state police command, Grace Iringe-Koko, confirmed the incident.

Iringe-Koko, in a short message to our correspondent, said the police responded to a distress call over the scenario, adding that the investigation was ongoing.

She stated, “A distress call was received from the health centre in the Eliozu community today, 24th July 2024, where supporters of two separate political factions were engaged in a fight.

“The police responded by sending operatives to the scene to restore law and order.

“The police deployed anti-riot tactics, including the use of canisters, to disperse the crowds. An investigation into the matter has been initiated.”

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Protest: Nnamdi Kanu, Diaspora Voting Make List As Organizers Unveil 15 Demands

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Organizers of the planned nationwide protest, scheduled for August 1 to August 10, have unveiled their key demands from President Bola Tinubu’s government.

The nation’s economic situation has propelled citizens, particularly the youths, to plan a mass protest nationwide.

Despite efforts by the government to quell the move, the youths are insisting on embarking on the protest in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja.

Former presidential candidate of the African Action Congress, AAC, Omoyele Sowore, who is one of the organizers of the movement, forwarded the demands to our correspondent on Wednesday.

The looming protest titled, “Days of Rage”, “EndBadGovernance” is aimed at drawing the attention of the Federal Government to the economic situation of the country.

Among other things, the intending protesters want the FG to return the fuel subsidy, address issues in the power sector, release the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu from the custody of the Department of State Services, DSS, and allow for diaspora voting during general elections

According to Sowore, Nigerians are asking the FG to “Scrap the 1999 constitution and replace it with a people-made Constitution for the Federal Republic of Nigeria through a sovereign National Conference followed by a National Referendum.

“Toss the Senate arm of the Nigerian legislative system. Keep the House of Representatives and make lawmaking a part-time endeavour.

“Pay Nigerian workers a minimum wage of nothing less than N250,000 monthly.

“Invest heavily in education and give Nigerian students grants not loans. Aggressively pursue free and compulsory education for children across Nigeria.

“Release Mazi Nnamdi Kanu unconditionally and demilitarize the South East. All ENDSARS and political detainees must also be released and compensated.

“Rationalize public owned enterprises sold to government officials and cronies.

“Reinstate a corruption-free subsidy regime to reduce hunger, starvation and multidimensional poverty.

“Probe past and present Nigerian leaders, who have looted the treasury, recover their loot and deposit it in a special account to fund education, healthcare and infrastructure.

They are also demanding the “Restructuring of Nigeria to accommodate Nigeria’s diversity, resources control, decentralization and regional development.

“End banditry, terrorism and violent crimes. Reform security agencies to stop continuous human rights violations.

“Establishment of a special energy immediately to drive massive corruption-free power sector development.

“Immediate reconstitution of the electoral body, INEC to remove corrupt individuals and partisan hacks appointed to manipulate elections.

“Massive investment in public works and industrialization will help employ Nigeria’s teaming youths.

“Massive shake-ups in the Nigerian judiciary to remove cabals of corrupt generations of judges and judicial officers that continue denying citizens access to real justice.

“Diaspora voting”.

Meanwhile, President Bola Tinubu on Tuesday appealed to Nigerians to shelve the planned protest, urging youths to keep faith and believe in the ability of his administration to transform Nigeria.

 

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Stop Demarketing Dangote Refinery, Indigenous Companies – MAN Cautions FG

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The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has cautioned the Federal Government from demarketing local industries.

The Association also called for caution from major actors, government agencies, and regulators in the oil and gas sector of the economy regarding the Federal Government-Dangote Refinery saga.

MAN Director General, Segun Ajayi-Kadir, said government agencies that provide regulatory oversight functions should promote an enabling business environment for local investments to thrive.

He said no regulatory agency should cast a shadow over a homegrown investment like the Dangote Refinery.

According to him, the allegations of poor quality, and monopolistic tendencies levelled against Dangote Refinery by the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) were unsubstantiated.

Ajayi-Kadir stressed that local investors in Nigeria, particularly the Dangote Industries Limited (DIL) play a vital role in driving economic growth, paying taxes, creating jobs and fostering development within the country. As such, these investors must be protected and given the necessary support to thrive in this business environment.

He said a business colossus like Alhaji Aliko Dangote, with investments in diverse sectors of the economy and across the Continent of Africa, should be accorded all needed support to grow and invest in more sectors and positively impact the well-being of the people.

 

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