13 Jan

Daily Watch – Senate chops down lassa fever vote, 2016 Appropriation Bill goes AWOL

  • The Senate has thrown out a motion seeking to compel the FG to freely distribute rat poison to Nigerians as a way of fighting the spread of Lassa fever. Senator Olanrewaju Tejuoso (APC, Ogun Central) had suggested the free distribution of the rat poison, because according to him, the poverty levels in Nigeria discourages citizens from buying rat poisons. However his colleagues struck down the motion in a voice vote. A recent epidemic of the disease has affected 10 states, infecting 95 people, and killing at least 35.
  • Online newspaper, Premium Times has reported that the 2016 budget documents which were presented to the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari last Decemeber, have vanished. The Senate had been scheduled to start deliberating on the proposed budget yesterday, but Senate Leader, Ali Ndume, in a closed-door session, told his colleagues that the budget documents had been stolen. The Chairman, Senate Committee of Appropriation, Danjuma Goje, was subsequently asked to lead a search for the documents and liaise with the presidency, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters, Ita Enang, and the national planning ministry on the matter.
  • AMCON has announced that it plans to sell its majority stake in Peugeot Automobile Nigeria, a local joint venture with the major French automaker, and is seeking bids from investors. Peugeot Citroen is the technical partner to the Nigerian assembly plant, which has capacity to assemble 240 cars a day, PAN said on its website. AMCON owns 79.3% of PAN, having acquired the stake four years ago after purchasing the company’s debt and taking some as equity. PAN was set up in 1972 as a joint venture between the Nigerian government and France’s Peugeot, with an annual production of 90,000 cars during the 1980s.
  • The Minister of State for Petroleum has told reporters in Abu Dhabi that the NNPC will have its first initial public offering (IPO) in 2018. The government had revealed it had plans to break up the NNPC and then list on the Nigerian stock exchange. “It’s inevitable,” Kachikwu, who also heads the NNPC said, “Part of the cleaning up process that we’re doing is to prepare for that.”
  • Nigeria’s All Share Index (ASI) dipped by 1.20% on Tuesday’s trading to close at 26,034.93 sending the market capitalization to a 4 year low. The stock market has now lost about 8% this year alone and could be on its way to record a double-digit loss in the first month of the year. Market capitalization fell through the N9 trillion manhole to close at N8.9 trillion after closing on Tuesday, hitting a level it last touched in December 2012.