The newspaper headlines lead with reports on the volatility of the Nigerian stock exchange market due to anxiety caused by the 2019 election.
Stock market investors have reportedly lost N729bn in three months ahead of the 2019 general elections.
The Guardian reports that months of decline occurred between February and April 2018, after a January rise triggered strong anticipations amid improving macro-economic indicators in domestic and global economies.
The chief research officer of Investdata Consulting Limited, Ambrose Omodion, said investors are currently walking in fear of political risks.
He explained that investors believe that violence in the country could trigger panic and massive dumping of shares. He stated that the development has caused indifference and low investor confidence.
Meanwhile, 18 banks have declined to toe the apex bank’s policy line almost one year after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) began a drive towards lower interest rates.
An analysis by Vanguard revealed that interest rate on the Nigerian Treasury Bills (NTB) has been trending downward since mid-last year. From 16.5 percent in July 2017, average interest rate on fresh (primary market) NTB fell by 200 bpts to 14.6 percent in December, 2017. From December average interest rate on NTBs fell further by 284 bpts to 11.66 percent in April this year.
But investigations by the newspaper showed that only seven banks responded in this targeted direction by reducing their lending rates, while in addition to the 17 than remained at high point interest rate, one bank actually increased its lending.
In other news, Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates (UAE)’s agreement on recovery of assets and cash stashed away in UAE by Nigerians takes effect in June 2018.
The Nation citing WAM Emirates news agency, stated that the UAE and Nigeria signed the agreement regarding the apprehension of criminals, extraditing convicted persons, providing mutual legal assistance in criminal matters, as well as for legal and judicial cooperation in civil and commercial matters.
To politics, opposition party the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) plans to meet aggrieved members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) otherwise known as the New PDP.
The Punch reports that the main opposition party had stepped up consultations following the open declaration by the members of the nPDP, who are in the APC, that the ruling party and President Muhammadu Buhari last week were marginalising them.
The national chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, on Sunday, May 13, said his party had begun moves to meet the aggrieved APC members.
He said: “Don’t forget that majority of those in the ruling party came from the PDP. They left us due to one disagreement or the other. These are eminent Nigerians who went to the APC, thinking that the APC would be a vibrant alternative and that those behind it meant well for everyone and the nation.
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“However, events of the past years have shown otherwise. So, we are meeting with everyone soon. We have met some and we will also meet others. The meetings don’t need to be formal. We have known ourselves before and these people know that we won’t deceive them. Whatever we promise to do, we will do.
“Our former governors that left with their supporters are going to return to us. We will all come together to rebuild this damaged country.”
Still on politics, former vice-president, Atiku Abubakar, has said that he will privatise parts of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and allow the naira currency to float to attract foreign investment, if he is voted as president in the 2019 elections.
This Day reports that Atiku who made the statement in an interview with Reuters, also confirmed that he intends to run in next year’s presidential election.
“I am also going to expand it to include the oil and gas sector which has not been touched at all and other major sectors of the economy like mining, solid minerals.”
“I am a strong believer in very, very small government and also the private sector,” he said.
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