During this period, market capitalisation which measures value of listed equities rose to N9.49 trillion on January 15th, appreciating by 5.8 per cent, from N8.97 trillion at the end of 2012.
The All Share Index equally rose by 5.73 per cent or 1608.14 points to close at 29,686.95 points from 28,078.81 points.
Analysts attributed this to the positive close of activities last year, adding that it is likely that the major market indicators will continue to record significant improvement.
Strong momentum was recorded on the prices of equities in the banking sub-sector, emerging as the most dominant, as analysts hinged this on the expected full year results to be released by the banks and other financial companies in the next few weeks.
For instance, Fidelity Bank Plc rose by 46.7 per cent or N1.07 to close at N3.36 per share on 15th January from N2.29 per share it opened the year. United Bank for Africa Plc appreciated by 44.5 per cent or N2.03 to close at N6.59 per share from N4.56 per share. Skye Bank Plc rose by 43 per cent or N1.85 to close at N6.15 per share from N4.30 per shares.
Others include Sterling Bank Plc 38.2 per cent, First City Monument Bank Plc 35.5 per cent, Diamond Bank Plc 33.5 per cent, among others.
Shares of Eternal Plc and Forte Oil Plc in the Petroleum and Petroleum Sub-Sector also recorded impressive performance, with 45 per cent and 33.5 per cent price gains respectively, among other equities with strong investors’ patronage.
However, only few equities recorded share price loss, with John Holt dropping by 22.1 per cent to close at N2.65 per share from N3.40 per share. Neimeth International Pharmaceutical Company Plc also lost 7.1 per cent to close at N0.91 per share while MRS Oil Nigeria Plc dropped by N4.97 per cent to close at N22.58 per share, among other losers.
Trading activities within the first fifteen days were characterised by increased investors’ patronage. However, market succumbed to speculative pressure as the key benchmark indices pulled back on Wednesday and Thursday last week by -0.46 per cent and -0.90 per cent respectively on the back strong profit-taking tendency.
Commenting on the two days decline, Analysts from Partnership Investment Company Plc said, “The market rally continued despite closing on a negative note for two trading days of the week, as profit takers sought gains. Bargain activities have however outweighed profit taking. We expect this to continue in the coming week in anticipation of most banks year-end financial results.
“And so, we call on investors to maintain a medium to long-term investment strategy based on market fundamentals. Bargain hunting in the financial services, consumer goods and agriculture sectors should not preclude profit taking.”
Market Analysts expect the bullish run to continue in 2013. They expect the equities market to trade higher as investors will take advantage of the current attractive valuation in the market for strategic positioning.
Given the level of performance in 2012, Mr. Wusu, Head of Research at Sterling Capital Markets Limited said performance in 2013 would be driven more by strong macroeconomic environment, good corporate performance and companies’ fundamentals.
He noted that the expected monetary policy easing in 2013 would likely induce investment switch to favour stock market.
On their part, Analysts from Partnership Investment Company Plc said that the equities market still hold a lot of promise for wise and long-term investors, just as Analysts from FSDH Securities Limited advised investors to consider investment opportunities in strategic stocks, as they have good fundamentals that can generate good returns in the medium to long- term.
In this interview, Marc Wozniak shares his experience in the industry saying that the Nigerian and Gambian markets are different ‘The Gambia is purely leisure destination and Nigeria purely a Corporate destination.’ Here is an excerpt
On how he entered the hotel industry and training
I came into the industry through a trainee program 27 years ago at the Sheraton Essen Hotel, Germany following Management School in Germany.
Since then I have had series of Professional trainings and the various international postings covering multicultural assignment have helped . Equally, constantly self-development, which I see more than mandatory for every hotelier is crucial for today’s success.
On how long he has worked for Sheraton Gambia
I have been here since October 2011
On weather he has much say in the direction of the hotel
Yes, operating a successful hotel demands team effort, whereby every individual opinion counts, so, leadership through continuous coaching culture is a goal here .
On the challenges faced at the Sheraton Gambia Hotel
A very big one, as I do consider The Gambia as a true hardship destination and without clearly seeing the big picture or the light in the tunnel, any creativity or innovation will be gone with the wind .
On the occupancy rate in the hotel and the services offer
We are currently very busy, as it is our high season, running over 90% daily and of course being a 5 Star hotel our full attention concentrates on guest satisfaction, starting with the arrival experience and here a hot wet towel is a must, through guest rooms and the professional explanation of the in-room facilities and amenities, towards the culinary expectations, which in our case are surprisingly presented via our live cooking stations.
The leisure and SPA facilities should be mentioned here as well, due to the fact that all of us do have a busy life schedule, therefore do require a chill out time, the “peace” for our souls and minds.
On any highlights working in the hotel
The first Gambian Fashion Night Show was truly a highlight, including fashion designers and models from Gambia, Senegal, Nigeria, France, Germany and Poland.
On comparison between working in the hospitality industry in Nigeria and the Gambia
It cannot be compared, as both of them do have different challenges and different markets. The Gambia is purely leisure destination and Nigeria purely a Corporate destination.
On reasons for Nigerians to visit Gambia and stay in Sheraton Gambia
The Gambia is an uncomplicated and very affordable destination close to home. The very secure and lovely beach location of the Sheraton Gambia, it’s very unique.
The award winning architecture of the Sheraton Gambia is definitely nothing for “Party People”, but there is no better or more attractive location for relaxation and comfort / cozy time for families or friends than the Gambia.
On connection with the hotel guests
Here first of all, I must mention my superb team which is assisting where they can, being available for our guests at any time.
As for me I must say 60 to 40 or even sometimes 70 to 30, that would be the correct split in regards to guest connectivity and the administration requirement are not getting less. The best part is that we are a Resort, and the Cocktail and Dinner time is shared with guests, providing always the necessary time for a Smalltalk.
On where he will be if not in the hotel in the Gambia
There are few nice places, allowing me to relax and to re-charge and those of course remain secret.
NPA, in its daily `Shipping Position’, made available to newsmen on Wednesday in Lagos, said that 14 of the ships would discharge petrol, while three ships would discharge diesel.
It said that three ships would discharge kerosene, three others would discharge diesel, while ethanol and base oil would be discharged by a ship each.
NPA reports that nine ships would discharge rice, fresh fish, containers, bulk sugar, and fertilizer.
It added that 68 ships carrying different cargoes were expected to sail into the ports between Jan. 16 and Jan. 31.
According to the shipping position, seven of the expected ships would arrive with petroleum products while 11 would sail in with new vehicles. (NAN)
This came as Nigeria Union of Petroleum and natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, called for the establishment of Pipelines Protection Agency to protect and provide security for the over, 5,150 kilometres stretch of oil pipelines spanning through the nooks and crannies of the country
Confirming the development, the state NSCDC, Public Relations Officer, Kareem Olanrewaju, told Vanguard that security had been beefed up.
Olanrewaju said: “We are not going to do it the way it was being done before; it is no longer business as usual,” and he said that NSCDC would need support from both NNPC and the state government to discharge its responsibility.
According to him, “there is no way we will not need support from the government and NNPC. They need to provide enough logistics, like special flat bottom boat. We also need NNPC to clear the place for us to see clearly the area from afar and secure the pipelines.”
Meantime, NUPENG, in a statement, yesterday, said the continuous pipelines vandalism was unpatriotic despite the danger of blow-out, saying, “the pipelines vandalism in Arepo area is one vandalism, too many.”
NUPENG in the statement through its Acting General Secretary, Comrade Isaac Aberare said: “The union calls for a 24-hour surveillance of the Arepo end, as the swampy area should be cleared, so that there will be visibility, instead of the present bushy environment, where the pipelines traverse.
NUPENG calls on the special unit of the anti-pipelines vandalisation squad in the office of the Inspector – General of Police to be alive to its responsibility in monitoring, intelligence gathering of the System 2B area, which carries fuel from the Atlas Cove to Lagos, Oyo, Ogun, Ondo and Kwara states.
“The present arrangement of using the NSCDC has not yielded any positive result and the country continues to lose billions of crude and refined products to vandals and loss of its citizens’ lives.
ALTHOUGH Lagos is the smallest state in Nigeria, with an area of 356,861 hectares of which 75,755 hectares are wetlands, it has the highest population, which is over five per cent of the national estimate. The state has a population of 17 million out of a national estimate of 150 million. The UN estimates that at its present growth rate, Lagos will be third largest mega city in the world by 2015 after Tokyo in Japan and Mumbai in India.
Of this population, Metropolitan Lagos, an area covering 37 per cent of the land area of the state is home to over 85 per cent of the population. The rate of population growth is about 600,000 per annum with a population density of about 4,193 persons per sq. km. In the built-up areas of Metropolitan Lagos, the average density is over 20,000 persons per square kilometre.
Governor Babatunde Fashola, last Tuesday, undertook an extensive tour of projects across the state and disclosed that his administration would launch a capital intensive housing estate of about 1008 flats at Ijora for the teeming populace, even as he said that the first phase of the state’s light rail project, from Iganmu to Marina in Central Lagos, would be completed in June this year.
He said: “People should be able to live close to the train station and walk about a kilometre to their homes. So it is a dream, it is beginning to come together. This is what we saw and we will deliver it. What we are going to do in Ijora from this year with about 1008 housing units is not consistent with a government that is demolishing.
“We are builders and not demolishers. We are focused; we know where the target is. We are locked on target and that is why we are all out here as a team from our Local Governments to House of Assembly, members of the House of Representatives. This government is tight, it knows where its goal is and it knows what its people expect of it and would deliver it.”
Projects inspected by the governor during the tour that lasted the entire day include Iganmu, Alaba and Mile 2 Light Rail stations, on-going projects at the Lagos State University, LASU; Maternal and Child Care Centre, FESTAC; Okota-Ago Palace Road, Ejigbo-Ajao Link Bridge, network of roads around Jimoh Ajao Street, Igando HOMS and Resettlement Relief Camp, Igando, on-going projects at Alimosho General Hospital (School of Nursing and Hostel among others) and Samuel Jinadu Street in Markaz area of Orile Agege among others.
Iganmu Light Rail project
Speaking at the Iganmu Light Rail Station where he also inspected the tracks already laid for the rail and the coach engine positioned as well as flagged off the track laying commencement, Fashola said while the first phase of the project would be ready in June, work on the rail would continue to Okokomaiko even as the expansion of the Lagos Badagry Expressway continues.
He told newsmen: “You know we have the two projects linked together, the road expansion and the Light Rail simultaneously. And now we are trying to see how we can take the Rail from the National Theatre to Marina. Hopefully, when that is done, we can heave a sigh of relief. Though there is still work to be done, but so far so good.
“This is what we do with the money which we borrow; we do not borrow money to pay salaries, we don’t borrow money to run our overhead. We are investing it in infrastructure. This is the type of transportation that I dream for this country; this is the type of transportation that I dream for this state and not mass transportation by motorcycles.”
He recalled his visit to Ajah Ferry Station recently saying the station links with the Ferry Terminal in Ikorodu as well as the one in Mile 2 adding, “This is what we have been talking about. It may be taking sometime but this is the dream we have, it is manifesting itself more clearly”.
Noting that China opened what is, perhaps, the fastest high speed rail in the world that covers about 300 kilometres per hour, Fashola declared, “Why can’t that happen here? It is really no rocket science, if we can’t invent it, we can buy it and that is what we are doing. We are buying facilities to have it installed here”.
Fashola, who had earlier addressed some residents of Iganmu at the venue on the need to keep the surroundings of the project clear of refuse, stressed the need for them to take ownership of the project, pointing out that no traveler on the train would like to be seeing refuse on the right and left sides of the Light Rail when it finally becomes functional.
Also, after inspecting the Mile 2 Jetty, built by first civilian governor of the state, Alhaji Lateef Jakande, Fashola, noted that when he visited the Jetty three years ago “all sorts of things had happened. People had actually built on the property, government property. It was a walk back”.
However, the state government later reclaimed the premises. The boats in the water were left there and they are aluminum boats. “Aluminum boats don’t die; so before the end of this year, those five boats will be back fully retrofitted, with new engines, new seats and new navigation systems. And so we are adding another five boats to our Lagos Ferry Service in addition to the two we got in December. That gives us seven.”
Noting that there are other operators who are running metro ferry plaza, Fashola declared, “if we finish the retrofitting of the Mile 2 boats and Mile 2 Terminal, it means that the old waterway running from this place to Marina is back and available to people of Amuwo Odofin, Mile 2 and all others and this will extend now to Oke-Afa where we are building another jetty in the course of this year.”
What it will translate into is that residents can get down at Mile 2 rail terminus which is about 300 metres from Mile 2 and take the ferry boat to Marina. “This is the inter-modal transportation that have started falling into place”, the governor said.
Lagos-Badagry road expansion
On the progress of work on the Lagos-Badagry Road expansion, the governor said what is going on now is soil replacement process as shown by the observed heaps of sands because the soil in the area has become unsuitable having been used as a refuse dump over the years.
He said there is also a pipe network just as there is a need to take care of a gas pipeline and the relocation of electricity cables, explaining that construction workers cannot just go in and remove PHCN cable without getting the PHCN involved. “We are at the stage where we are relocating facilities. That is why to the uninformed, it would appear as if we have stopped work. We have not stopped work; relocation of those facilities is going on.”
The issue of relocation is also on going as compensation is being given to people who had to give up their properties so that the work can get done. He expressed hope that by the time casting and preparation of all the concrete which are going on behind the scene, and the relocation were concluded, the pace of the project would be accelerated.
The governor was not specific on date of completion, which he tied to challenges that are very observable and those that are not very observable but surfaces on the field and have to be solved. He also identified funding as one of the determinants, adding that it was one of the reasons he went to the House of Representatives to appeal for the approval of a second tranch of 200 million dollars out of the 600 million dollars World Bank loan which the government intends to use to partly finance the project.
The organization which also said it would spend the money on 12 projects which include eight different projects at Centre for Human Security and four projects at Institute for Africa Culture and International Understanding, IACIU, within 10 years would employ two million youths in Delta alone.
Addressing newsmen in Abeokuta, yesterday, the Director of CHS, Prof. Peter Okebukola, said that Ogun and Delta states would gulp N1.8 billion each while N75 million would be spent on African countries within the stipulated period.
Okebukola said OOPL-CHS’s plan to employ two million Deltans had commenced with the Feed Delta Project which, according to him, was the pilot programme of the Centre’s feed Africa Project that is aimed at supporting African governments in the implementation of policies and programmes that will guarantee food security.
The erstwhile Executive Secretary of National Universities Commission, NUC, who rolled out eight projects lined up to boost Nigeria’s economy and Africa as whole said apart from Feed Delta project, others are Feed Ogun project, School farm Competition, Young farmers Club Competition among others that would be piloted in both Delta and Ogun states.
He, however, said the organization would extend the programmes to other African countries and had projected employment for10 million youths by year 2020. Okebukola who was flanked by other officials of the organization, said: “We slated Delta as a pilot because the Obasanjo farms Nigeria limited has a footprint in Delta so, we already have an avenue to start the project.
“The Obasanjo Farm Nigeria Limited has one of the biggest mills in Delta. So, we thought that since a partnership already exists we can leverage on Delta for take-off and that is paying off because we are already there and we already have a footprint to take in one or two steps further in that state.”
Agreement s for the construction of the refinery which is expected to refine 107,000 barrel of crude per day have been signed by the partnering firms, and is valued at about $7.5billion.
Speaking on the project, Hon Etim Effiong Okon, who is a member of the management team of Osabo Refining, said the process for the procurement of requisite licenses to establish and operate the refinery had fully commenced, while Akwa Esuk Eyamba, the community where the refinery will be located had donated 500 hectares of land for the refinery.
Okon, who represents Akpabuyo constituency in the state House of Assembly, also said the project partners will engage in the acquisition, exploration and development of oil blocks in the future, to complement refining operations.
He further revealed that the partners will also engage in the development of independent power plant, and the production of natural gas and oil; and real estate within the Niger Delta region as well as the West African Continental shelf.
According to the lawmaker, the refinery is expected to be completed within five years, with the first phase slated to commence in 2014, while the feedstock for the refinery would come from the several Niger Delta basin oil wells.
“Other areas of activities include but not limited to gathering and the treatment of gas, establishment of industries and cogeneration,” he said.
Okon said the refinery would be built with stringent specification to meet international standard and its “product base will include Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, Kerosine, jet fuel, diesel,. Gasoline, automotive gas oil, AGOP, low pour fuel oil, LPFOP, High pour fuel oil, HPFO, boat fuel, motor oil, lubricants, liquefied petroleum gas, LPG.”
He said that over 10,000 jobs would be generated when the projects are completed and fully operational, adding that these will significantly improve the lives and socio-economic well being of not only people in Cross River State, but the entire Niger Delta region and beyond.