Nigeria Stock market wobbles as foreign investors withdraw N243.35bn

Stock market wobbles as foreign investors withdraw N243.35bn –

Foreign Portfolio Investors have pulled out N243.35bn from the Nigerian capital markets in seven months primarily due to the bearish performance of the market in recent times.

According to the data from the Nigerian Stock Exchange, the latest outflow has taken the total net withdrawal by foreign portfolio investors from the capital markets to N243.35bn this year so far, an improvement from the N400.48bn recorded in the same period in 2018.

Foreign investors outperformed domestic investors by two per cent in July 2019 as there was a decrease of 72.22 per cent in total domestic transactions from N200.51bn in June to N55.69bn in July 2019.

Similarly, total foreign transactions decreased by 40.27 per cent from N96.74bn (about $315.7m) to N57.78bn (about $188.6m) between June and July 2019.

The value of domestic transactions executed by institutional investors outperformed retail investors by eight per cent.

A comparison of domestic transactions in July and June revealed that retail transactions decreased by 83.59 per cent from N155.12bn in June 2019 to N25.44bn in July 2019.

However, the institutional composition of the domestic market reduced by 33.28 per cent from N45.34bn in June 2019 to N30.25bn in July 2019.

Over a 12-year period, domestic transactions decreased by 66.68 per cent from N3.556tn in 2007 to N1.185tn in 2018 while foreign transactions increased by 97.88 per cent from N616m to N1.219tn within the same period.

Total foreign transactions accounted for about 51 per cent of the total transactions carried out in 2018, while domestic transactions accounted for about 49 per cent of the total transactions in the same period. The actual performance showed that total foreign transactions carried out year-to-date was about N530.56bn while total domestic transactions year-to-date was about N670.42bn.

However, as of July 31, 2019, total transactions at the nation’s bourse decreased by 61.82 per cent from N297.25bn (about $970.1m) in June 2019 to N113.47bn (about $370.4m) in July 2019.

The performance in July, when compared to the performance in the same period of 2018, revealed that total transactions also decreased by 22.31 per cent.

TV presenter compare a black colleague to a gorilla with a tearful apology

A white Oklahoma City TV station anchor has tearfully apologized to her black colleague for comparing him to a gorilla during a broadcast last week.

KOCO-TV morning anchor Alex Housden finished a segment Thursday about a gorilla at the Oklahoma City Zoo by comparing the animal to co-anchor Jason Hackett.

“Kind of looks like you,” she said to Hackett, who paused and responded: “He kind of does, actually, yeah.”

While seated next to Hackett the following day, a distraught-looking Housdon said she was sorry — while reaching out to touch his arm.

“I said something yesterday that was inconsiderate, it was inappropriate, and I hurt people,” Housden said. “I want you to know I understand how much I hurt you out there and how much I hurt (Hackett).”

She said she would “never do anything on purpose to hurt” him.

“I want you all to know from the bottom of my heart I apologize for what I said,” Housden said. “I know it was wrong, and I am so sorry.”

Hackett accepted Housden’s apology, saying she’s one of his best friends, but made it clear that her comment hurt his feelings.

“What she said yesterday was wrong,” Hackett said, adding that the apology was a “teachable moment” and that “words matter.”

“It cut deep for me, and it cut deep for a lot of you in the community,” he said.

“We’re becoming a more diverse country, and there’s no excuse. We have to understand the stereotypes. We have to understand each other’s backgrounds and the words that hurt, the words that cut deep,” Hackett said.

“We have to find a way to replace those words with love and words of affirmation as well.”

The clip of Housden’s crass comment was shared on social media, where users lambasted her through her Facebook page.

“You should be fired! Your voice doesn’t belong on the news anymore. If you’re comfortable saying those kind of things on air, who knows what you say behind closed doors,” user Sonny Holloway wrote.

“The petition to have you fired is coming and your days as an anchor are numbered. #YoureNotForgiven#YoureFired.”

User Julie Wexler also called for Housden to be canned.

“Nope. You need to go. It’s 2019 and you’re comparing black men to simians? You. Need. To. Go. No tearful apology makes up for that. GO!” she wrote.

Gambia president Dawda Jawra dies age 95

First president of The Gambia, Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara, has dies at the age of 95, multiple privately-owned portals have reported.

President Adama Barrow has since confirmed the incident on his social media handles describing the late president’s passing as “indeed a great loss to the country in particular and humanity in general.”

He first served as Gambian Prime Minister between 1965 and 1970 before he was democratically elected as President. He was ousted in 1994 in a bloodless coup led by then 23-year-old Yahya Jammeh.

Jammeh, now exiled in Equatorial Guinea, will go on to transit from a military ruler to a civilian leader under the Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction, (APRC). He ruled the country for 22 years winning 4 elections during the period.

After his overthrow in 1994, Jawara left the country to the United Kingdom and only returned in 2002. Jammeh now in exile in Equatorial Guinea became the second President of the Gambia, whiles his successor, Adama Barrow becomes the third.

Incumbent President Adama Barrow and the first leader, Sir Dawda Jawara sandwich the Jammeh regime which was reportedly characterized by rights abuse and largely deemed as autocratic. Jammeh agreed to leave the country after threats of military intervention by ECOWAS.

Uganda Sir back on track after nearly 20yrs out of business

Entebbe, Uganda (CNN) — After a delay to flights that lasted nearly 20 years, Uganda Airlines has once again taken to the skies above Africa, restoring its status as the country’s national carrier. 

Commercial services resumed on Tuesday with a flight from Entebbe to Nairobi in neighboring Kenya that the airline hoped will usher in a profitable new era for the formerly debt-ridden brand.

Uganda Airline said its fleet of twin-engined Bombardier CRJ-900 regional jet airliners will soon connect to destinations including Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania, Mogadishu in Somalia and Juba in South Sudan.

More farther flung places will follow, says Jennifer Bamuturaki, the airline’s director of marketing and public affairs. Services to Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Ghana, South Africa, and Rwanda are expected to be added from September. 

The airline was initially scheduled to resume operations in July but had to gain certification to prove its crews can fly safely to any part of the world.

Passenger traffic to boost the economy

The revival of the brand, orginally founded by dictator Idi Amin in 1977 but grounded in 2001 amid financial difficulties, is aimed at capitalizing on opportunities in agriculture, minerals, tourism and oil and gas sectors, said Monica Ntege Azuba, Uganda’s Minister of Works and Transport.

Recent years have seen growing international interest in Uganda as a vacation destination with travelers drawn by beautiful national parks, beach resorts and wildlife such as rare mountain gorillas. 

Increased passenger traffic at the country’s Entebbe International Airport will contribute to the country’s national economy, Vianney Luggya of the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority said.

Luggya said Entebbe’s 1.85 million annual passengers could rise to match the seven million experienced by Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Kenya.

“This is largely attributed to the fact that they have a national airline,” he said. “Airports like Jomo Kenyatta International Airport earn a lot of foreign exchange from transit passengers.”

Uganda Airlines flew to eight destinations and had a fleet of 15 aircraft at the time of its closure in 2001 when a more than a decade of financial difficulties resulted in its liquidation.

Baggage handling at Entebbe International Airport

Samson Ntale

In the same year, an attempt to resurrect the government-owned airline through a private sector initiative was made. But the operation did not last long as a result of limited capital. 

To compete with big regional players like Ethiopia Airlines and Kenya Airlines, the relaunched Uganda Airlines is running promotional fares that will run for two months.

Aerial view of Entebbe International Airport

Nairobi and Mombasa return tickets cost $278 and $325 respectively. Return tickets to Mogadishu, Somalia, and Juba; South Sudan cost $590 and $225 respectively. 

“Passengers have the choice of paying their ticket fares in US dollars or Uganda shillings,” said Bamuturaki.

Real estate: Somali-Americans Can Buy Homes Without Going To The Bank In Minneapolis Thanks To recreative Collective Investment

Somali-Americans in Minneapolis, like Said Sheik-Abdi (pictured), are using collective investments to bypass the banks and community-finance their homes. By Autumn Keiko

Collective investments are helping Somali-Americans in Minneapolis to buy homes without ever visiting a bank, according to a Next City report.

Minneapolis, Minnesota is home to the largest number of Somali-Americans in a U.S. city – about 52,000. That dynamic helped the city produce the first-ever Somali-American U.S. Congresswoman, Ilhan Omar.

In 2017, there were around 74,000 people of Somalia descent in the state of Minnesota, according to census data.

A number of Somali-Americans have risen into the middle class over the last two decades since they started arriving in the U.S. in the early 1990s, driven out of the Horn of Africa by civil war. 

But despite their wealth, they have a difficult time buying homes due to affordability and the predatory nature of some U.S. lenders.

Community leaders started exploring the potential of collective wealth through a mortgage financing vehicle known as Star Finance that was culturally appropriate and offering non-predatory mortgage options specifically for Somali immigrants.

“When I talked to community members, everybody was crying for solutions,” said Sheik-Abdi, a community leader in Minneapolis. “And I think the best way was to cut out the bank … do we really need the bank if we’re collectively investing and collectively creating wealth among all of us?”

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Minneapolis is experiencing a combination of rising home prices, low inventory, high cost of building new homes and high demand driven by fierce competition among Minneapolis residents to buy starter homes, according to a report by MinnPost.

Most Somali-Americans are Muslim. Paying and receiving interest – riba – is forbidden in Koranic law, which means they cannot acquire bank loans for mortgages.

Star Finance is modeled around recruiting 200 Somalis to each pool $2,500 to buy four homes in the city, then allowing prospective buyers to rent those houses to own. This is then scaled up as more funds are collected from more members.

Internet fraudulent acts: Nigerian dominate FBI list

The United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) said on Thursday that it had arraigned scores of suspected fraudsters behind a variety of scams and online fraud cases.

The U.S. Attorney General, Nick Hanna, said during a press conference that majority of the suspects were based in Nigeria in what is believed to be one of the largest cases of online fraud in American history. 

“FBI agents along with federal and state law enforcement authorities arrested a total of 14 defendants in the US, all named in a sweeping fraud and money laundering case.

“Those arrested today are among 80 defendants charged in a federal grand jury indictment that alleges that millions of dollars were taken from victims through a variety of scams and online frauds,” he said.

Hanna disclosed that the scammers had taken advantage of vulnerable status of most of their victims like the elderly. In all, over 250 count charges ranging from “conspiracy to defraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, aggravated identity theft” have been filed against the suspects. 

Beside the 80 suspects that have so far been charged, another 57 were being hunted globally by the authorities. Business Email Compromise, BEC scam, was at the heart of the fraudulent actions that deprived victims of millions of dollars.

“We believe this is one of the largest cases of its kind in US history. BEC scam is used to hack email accounts to convince businesses or individuals to make payments that are either completely bogus or that should have been otherwise paid to legitimate companies.

“Indictments showed very specific allegations against this suspects many of whom are based in Nigeria in terms of stealing money from victims. The indictment also focuses on those responsible for enabling these fraud schemes including operatives in Los Angeles.”

The latest development comes barely a week after the high-profile arrest of a celebrated young entrepreneur Obinwanne Okeke by the FBI for conspiracy to commit fraud amounting to 12 million dollars.

The Forbes under 30 millionaire and founder of Invictus Group is being charged with conspiracy to commit computer fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud according to reports.

He allegedly hacked into a digital system of a steel company in the US, stealing a whopping $12 million of the company’s money via fraudulent emails and doctored correspondence.

Life sentence to Cameroon anglophone separatist leader

A military court in Cameroon on Tuesday handed a life sentence to the head of the country’s anglophone separatist movement, Julius Sisiku Ayuk Tabe, in a move that analysts said could inflame the 22-month-old revolt.

Ayuk Tabe, a charismatic leader widely deemed as a moderate in the separatist movement, was convicted with nine others of charges including “terrorism and secession”, the state’s lawyer, Martin Luther Achet, told AFP. They were given life terms.

The sentences were confirmed by a lawyer for the separatists, Joseph Fru, who added the 10 had also been fined 250 billion CFA francs ($422 million, 381 million euros).

Fru condemned what he called a “parody of justice” and said the defendants refused to recognise the right of the military tribunal in Yaounde to try them. Their lawyers have yet to say whether they will file an appeal.

Ayuk Tabe, a 54-year-old computer engineer by training, is the first self-proclaimed president of “Ambazonia” a breakaway state declared in October 2017 in two English-speaking regions of the central African country.

The government responded with a military crackdown. Attacks by both sides have left 1,850 dead, according to the International Crisis Group (ICG) think tank, while the UN says 530,000 people have fled their homes.

Colonial legacy

English-speakers account for about a fifth of Cameroon’s population of 24 million, who are majority French-speaking.

Anglophones are mainly concentrated in two western areas, the Northwest Region and the Southwest Region, that were incorporated into the French-speaking state after the colonial era in Africa wound down six decades ago.

Anglophones have chafed for years at perceived discrimination in education, law and economic opportunities at the hands of the francophone majority.

Ayuk Tabe is part of the political branch of the separatist group that supports dialogue with 86-year-old President Paul Biya, who has been in power for 36 years.

But the influence of moderates waned in 2017 as Biya rejected demands for autonomy and radicals in the movement gained the ascendant.

‘Crisis to worsen’

In January 2018, Ayuk Tabe was arrested with 46 other separatists in the Nigerian capital Abuja.

They were then handed over to Cameroon, and the trial of Ayuk Tabe and the nine others began in late December. In March this year, the extradition was ruled illegal by a Nigerian court.

In late May, Ayuk Tabe said he was willing to take part in talks with the government, provided this took place abroad and the government released all people who had been detained since the start of the anglophone crisis.

But Tuesday’s sentencing could crush any chance of dialogue, analysts said.

A specialist at the ICG said the move “risks worsening the security situation in the anglophone zone in the coming weeks.”

“It could radicalise part of the separatists who had been seeing a sign of hope in the fact that the leaders had not yet been sentenced.”

Cameroon’s main opposition party, the Social Democratic Front (SDF), which is opposed to anglophone secession, also said the sentence worsened the breakaway crisis.

“Ayuk Tabe has much clout among anglophones. His sentencing will make the resolution of this crisis more complicated,” its spokesman, Denis Nkenlemo, told AFP.

“This decision is an act of provocation which once more proves that the government isn’t ready for dialogue… and is driving us straight into the wall.”

The unrest has crippled the economy of the Northwest and Southwest Regions and had a knock-on effect across the country.

More than one in six people in Cameroon — 4.3 million need humanitarian aid, an increase of 30 percent from 2018, according to UN aid officials.

Somalians are under pressure as Islamic Militants shifts to Ethiopia

Islamic State militants in Somalia say they will release jihadist materials in Amharic — a step unmistakably aimed at winning recruits in restive, neighboring Ethiopia.

The announcement came in the form of a three-minute video released last month by pro-Islamic State sites and endorsed by the official IS media. The video posted the words to one of Islamic State’s best-known chants in Amharic and promised IS will release more materials in the language, one of the two most-spoken tongues in Ethiopia.

Matt Bryden, an Africa analyst with Kenya-based Sahan Research, believes Islamic State — also known as ISIS — is reaching out to Ethiopia’s Muslim community in an attempt to take advantage of ongoing ethnic and political unrest in Africa’s second most populous nation.

“I think ISIS sees in Ethiopia a potential opportunity. We know the group has been expanding its influences and its activities across Africa quite aggressively — so far with small results in much of the continent but they are persisting,” Bryden told VOA’s Somali service.

He says Ethiopia’s unrest may be worsening despite political reforms enacted by Prime Minster Abiy Ahmed, including the release of thousands of political prisoners and the signing of a peace treaty with longtime foe Eritrea.

“There are many groups that are disaffected and disgruntled by the way the transition is unfolding,” Bryden said. “Where there are communities with grievances, where violence is becoming increasingly the norm, there are opportunities for the extremist groups to recruit, to attract followers and perhaps to establish presence, and I would expect ISIS is trying to do all of those things.”

Pro-Islamic State militants emerged in Somalia in October 2015 after a small group of fighters from militant group al-Shabab broke away and pledged allegiance to IS emir Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi.

Since then, the group has maintained a presence in northeast Somalia and around Mogadishu, even while facing a relentless offensive from both al-Shabab and the Somali government.

Experts say the Amharic video indicates that Islamic State in Somalia has members from Ethiopia. In December 2017, IS Somalia released a video featuring a jihadist from Ethiopia speaking in Amharic. IS identified the jihadist as Abu Zubayr Al-Habash. It was not clear what his position was.

This year, IS issued another video announcing that Al-Habash has died, without indicating the cause of death.

Ex-Vice-President of Zimbabwe Phelekezela Mphoko ‘on the run’

Zimbabwe’s former Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko is being treated as a fugitive after fleeing from anti-corruption officials.

Mr Mphoko was due at a police station to make a statement on allegations being levelled against him but drove away when his car was approached by the officials, AFP news agency reports.

His lawyer said Mr Mphoko feared being detained and poisoned.

He also denied he was on the run, calling the phrase “sensationalist”.

Mr Mphoko was a co-vice-president under Robert Mugabe.

He served alongside current President Emmerson Mnangagwa when Mr Mugabe was ousted by the military in November 2017, but the two have fallen out.

‘Poison fears’

Mr Mphoko was part of a faction that wanted Mr Mugabe’s wife, Grace, to succeed him rather than Mr Mnangagwa, South Africa’s Mail and Guardian newspaper reports.

The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) wants to talk to him about alleged abuse of office.

Mr Mphoko’s lawyer, Zibusiso Ncube, told AFP that his client was willing to answer questions, but left when he heard the police “had instructions to detain him”. 

Mr Ncube told the BBC’s Shingai Nyoka that his client feared for his life and was concerned that he would be “injected with a poison”.

‘Not a fugitive’

The former vice-president is prepared to stand trial and denies claims he abused his office after allegedly storming a police station demanding the release of an official, Mr Ncube said.

Mr Mphoko “is not a fugitive, and he hasn’t been charged with anything”, he added. 

“He would never run away. The allegations are sensationalist.”

Earlier this month, the president fired Tourism Minister Prisca Mupfumira “for conduct inappropriate for a minister of government” after her arrest over the disappearance of millions of dollars from the country’s pension fund.

ZACC alleges the money went missing during her time as minister of labour and social welfare. Ms Mupfumira denies the allegations.

Nigeria and South African Governments Publicly Approve Of GMOs, and Ghana Not Far Behind

Many smallholder farmers in Africa are wary of GMO technology compromising their traditions and the heirloom seeds that have been passed down from generation to generation. Photo by Mark Kucharski on Unsplash

The governments of Africa’s two biggest economies officially embrace genetically modified organisms for their potential to solve food security. 

While South Africa and Nigeria have embraced the benefits of GMO tech, governments in most of the rest of the continent have not publicly come out in favor of the widescale adoption of GMO crops. Ghana, however, is bucking this trend, according to Fastcompany.

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Smallholder farmers trying to feed their families generally mistrust GMOs. They see global seed companies as threats to their traditions and heirloom seeds which have been passed down from generation to generation.

Africa is the world’s most food-insecure region. More than 250 million people went hungry in 2018 — 32 percent of the world’s total 821 million hungry people, NewTimes reports.

For years, scientists have been encouraging genetically modified organism, or GMO technology, as a potential solution to Africa’s food security issues.

GMOs in agriculture refer to crops whose genetic makeup has been engineered in the laboratory in order to favor desired traits or the production of desired biological products, according to Britannica. 

The U.S. produces around 40 percent of the world’s GM crops. 

Scientists say they have developed crop varieties are resistant to diseases, drought, predators or pests — issues that affect food production in Africa.

Ghana may become the third African country to embrace GMO tech, Fastcompany reports.

Sometime in 2019 or 2020, The West African country plans to release genetically modified cowpea, a staple crop consumed widely across Ghana. By doing so, the Ghanaian government would be approving the local production and sale of genetically modified food.

Cowpea is a staple in Ghana and other West African countries and is known as the poor people’s meat. 

Because the crop can be harvested within two months of sowing, it fills the hunger gap for poor families. But in recent years, pests have begun boring into the cowpea pods and destroying 20-to-80 percent of the crop each year, according to AllianceforScience.

Scientists have genetically modified cowpea plant lines to resist the pest, and the Ghanaian government is embracing this development.

Why is GMO technology controversial in Africa?

Critics say that expensive, patented GMO seeds will do nothing to solve the problem of agricultural productivity in sub-Saharan Africa, where 90 percent of farms are small family businesses, according to Euractiv.

Instead, they say that large western seed companies will simply enrich themselves and become more powerful because of Africa’s dependence on them if GMO tech is widely adopted.

In addition, some argue that the effects on human health and biodiversity remain unknown and are a cause for concern.