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Binance exit may worsen youth unemployment, says crypto traders

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Nigerian govt lied, no discussion about $10 billion fines; we won’t pay ransom or damages if asked: Binance
Binance

Experts and crypto enthusiasts have lamented the current ban on Binance naira operations in Nigeria, stating it may increase youth unemployment in the country.

In separate interviews with The PUNCH, the experts called on the government to look for better means of managing the country’s current foreign exchange challenges.

An economist with Lotus Beta Analytics, Shedrach Israel, said that the recent move by the government was tantamount to “treating malaria with paracetamol”.

He claimed the ban on Binance would not address the falling value of the naira.

“I don’t know why the cryptocurrency is being seen as sabotage on the exchange rate because the cryptocurrency is not the major means by which the dollar is flowing in Nigeria. Banning Binance is like giving a malaria patient paracetamol. Although paracetamol may cure the pain of malaria, it does not cure the sickness.

“Similarly, banning Binance has not stopped the naira from falling because the issue is bigger. Binance is just a bit of how much liquidity the dollar has in Nigeria,” he argued.

Israel has called on the CBN to investigate the forex holdings of top Nigerian politicians.

“These people, whether politicians or private citizens, who have stored up forex should be made to convert their money to naira, otherwise, the ban would not be effective.

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“Although the CBN governor claimed about $26bn had left Nigeria through Binance unaccounted, the fact is that Binance uses peer-to-peer trade, which means that there is inflow and outflow of naira in the economy. If $26bn has gone out, how much has come in? Binance is not our problem. Some Bureau de Change operators are possibly richer than Binance users,” he added.

SEE ALSO:  CBN uncovers $2.4bn foreign exchange scam

According to the National Bureau of Statistics unemployment data, the unemployment rate among youth aged (15-24 years) in Q2 2023 was 7.2 per cent, compared to 6.9 per cent in Q1 2023.

It is estimated that over 22 million people, or 10.3 per cent of Nigeria’s total population, currently own digital currency.

In September 2023, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Nigeria issued a definitive statement, explicitly clarifying that Binance Nigeria was neither registered nor regulated by the SEC.

This official declaration categorises the operations of the renowned global cryptocurrency exchange, within Nigeria as illegal and unauthorised.

In December 2023, the apex bank changed its stance on crypto assets in the country and asked banks to disregard its earlier ban on crypto transactions.

A cryptocurrency trader, John Odiba, however, stated that the effect of Binance’s exit from Nigeria could be both negative and positive, with the positive outweighing the negative in the long run.

“The effect of Binance’s exit on Nigerian users can be both positive and negative. One of them is that it could lead to decreased liquidity in the Nigerian cryptocurrency market, resulting in higher transaction costs and less favourable trading conditions for users. Nigerian users may face some limitations in accessing certain cryptocurrencies and trading pairs that were previously available on Binance, potentially hindering their investment opportunities,” he said.

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On the positive side, he said the absence of Binance could create space for local cryptocurrencies like the eNaira to thrive.

“The absence of Binance could create space for local cryptocurrency exchanges to thrive, offering Nigerian users more options tailored to their needs, in the long run,” he said.

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According to a crypto enthusiast, Godwin Ojonugwa, his main source of income is the Binance peer-to-peer trade.

He claimed that he was able to fund his education and built himself a befitting apartment through the trade.

He lamented that the current restrictions had negatively impacted his business and he was scared of becoming unemployed.

“Binance has made me a millionaire. I went to school and built my first house with Binance trade. Banning it has made business difficult and I am afraid of becoming unemployed,” he enunciated

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EKEDC migrates 33 additional feeders to Band A

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The Eko Electricity Distribution Company says the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission has approved the migration of 33 additional feeders to Band A under its franchise area.

The feeders are Adeleke Adedoyin, Ajeast, Annex, Army Resettlement, British America Tobacco, CIG, Coker, Dideolu, Droyers, Empire Court, Estate, Etim Inyang, Firro, Freeman, Glover, Heritage, M&K Express, Mega Plaza, Montgomery 1, Moore Road, Nest Oil, NIMR, Nipost, Osborne, Ozumba Mbadiwe, Palace Road, Rocky Estate, Rumens, Smith, Station Feeder (Nitel), Victoria Arobieke, DPR andNitel.

The DisCo disclosed this Friday in a statement made available to our correspondent by the General Manager, Corporate Communications of EKEDC, Babatunde Lasaki.

The Federal Government, through the NERC, had on April 3 announced that subsidy would no longer be paid on the electricity consumed by Band A customers.

From N68 per kilowatt-hour, Band A customers now pay N255/KWh, while others maintain the old tariffs.

Lasaki said customers in these areas would experience “a guaranteed minimum of 20 hours of power supply daily in line with the newly approved Multi-Year Tariff Order”.

He assured customers within the EKEDC network of ongoing efforts to improve the quality of service rendered to them.

He said, “In our bid to serve our customers better, we are looking to even add more feeders to the list of our Band A feeders so that more customers can enjoy a guaranteed 20 hours of power supply daily.

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“It is also our commitment to ensure that customers under other service bands, that is, Bands B to E also enjoy their guaranteed minimum supply hours while we work to improve our power supply”.

SEE ALSO:  Seven Ahoada East Councillors, Assembly Leader declare support for Fubara

Lasaki added that EKEDC was working to eliminate supply downtime within its franchise area and achieve its goal of a stable and uninterruptible power supply.

He said, “The EKEDC is dedicated to investing more in infrastructural capacity to improve power supply and is working with all stakeholders to ensure a minimum of 20 hours of supply is available to all its customers”.

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Mbah urges FG to complete Enugu int’l trade fair complex

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Enugu chamber of commerce lauds Mbah over security, infrastructure
Enugu State Governor, Dr Peter Mbah

The Enugu State Government has urged the Federal Government to bring to reality its resolve and pledge to build the Enugu International Trade Fair complex to international standard according to its master plan.

Gov. Peter Mbah made the call on Friday in Enugu while declaring open the 35th Enugu International Trade Fair.

The fair, which is being organised by
Enugu Chamber of Commerce Industry Mining and Agriculture (ECCIMA), is themed: “Promoting Made in Nigeria products for global Competitiveness.”

Mbah, represented by his Deputy, Chief Ifeanyi Ossai, noted that for equity, there was a need for the Federal Government to build and complete the fair complex just as it had done in Kaduna and Lagos fair complexes.

According to the governor, we cannot easily explain to our people why this fair complex is not developed, while that of Kaduna and Lagos had been fully built and developed by the Federal Government.

“I charge the Federal Minister, here present, to make a formal memo to the Federal Executive Council for its development. We cannot aviod to wait any longer on this vital economic development move,” he said.

He also called on the chamber and organised private sector in the region to work towards it through executive and legislative lobbying and advocacy as well as media awareness on the matter.

The governor also called on the chamber and other sister chambers in the South-East and South-South regions to open lobby for the opening up of viable waterways commercial businesses and goods movement through the River Niger Port, Ibom Deep Port and Oguta Port among others.

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“This is to facilitate trade and large movement of goods as well as check the excess use of the roads to convey goods, which is more expensive,” he said.

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Mbah said that the state had passed and signed it Electricity Act, which means that very soon it will give licence to private investors to produce electricity in the state.

 

“We know how vital the place of constant and reliable electricity to industrialization and economy growth of our dear state,” he said.

On the theme of the fair, he said that it was apt, adding that it was only through massive productive activities especially goods patronized by Nigerians can lead the country to prosperity.

“It is also good we add quality and value on every made in Nigerian product we are promoting to gain global competitiveness and acceptability,” he said.

The Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology, Chief Uche Nnaji, noted that with its wealth of agricultural and mineral resources, Enugu State is in a prime position to lead the push for products made in Nigeria.

Nnaji said that the state’s potential for various industries, including energy, pharmaceuticals, and building materials, sets the groundwork for substantial economic change and industrial growth.

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He said: “To make the most of this potential, it’s vital for the state to encourage investment and offer financial incentives to businesses. Enugu’s key location and the increasing demand for local products highlight big market opportunities.

“This effort is supported by Presidential Executive Order Number 5 and the goals of my Ministry to use innovation, science, and technology as the main drivers of economic change.

“We are dedicated to improving the quality and appeal of locally made products, demonstrated by our backing of engineering developments and research efforts.”

SEE ALSO:  CBN uncovers $2.4bn foreign exchange scam

In a welcome address, Chief Odeiga Jideonwo, President of Enugu Chamber of Commerce Industry Mining and Agriculture (ECCIMA), called on Federal Government through the CBN to reconsider reviewing downwards, interest rate.

Jideonwo noted that policies of government especially as it affects credit to SMEs should be made to work by using the business associations as buffer for her members that are genuinely in need of credit facilities to expand their business operations.

According to him, now is the time to support the startups/SMEs which will in turn, tackle the issue of unemployment, insecurity, hunger, etc, in our country, for wealth creation.

“There is no gainsaying that this will go a long way to unleash the economy of most states in the Federation and thereby expanding the frontiers of the nation’s economy.

“One of the unique features of the 35th Enugu International Trade Fair, is the presence of the second 1000sqm Marquee Tent designated to accomodate SMEs from Enugu State.

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“All thanks to His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Enugu State, Dr. Peter Ndubuisi Mba for sponsoring the installation of this tent where all SMEs are showcasing their products and services.

“By this, the ingenuity and new ideas in the state would be brought to bear for commercialization. We have also made entry to the Fair complex free to all visitors. This is aimed at driving more traffic into the Fair.

“Interestingly, we have resolved to make this fair a pilot fair to boost our match making strategy to provide a more amenable atmosphere for interface between Researchers, Prototype Innovators and Investors for enhanced linkages to enhance and unleash the industrial sector/SMEs.”

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Transcorp demonstrates robust growth in FY’23 as revenue increases by 47.3%

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…pre-tax profit up by 93.5%

Transnational Corporation Plc has announced its financial results for the year ended December 31, 2023.

The Group achieved substantial growth in its financial indicators, reinforcing its market leadership and strategic positioning.

In its audited results, Transcorp reported significant year-on-year growth, with revenue rising to N197 billion in the year 2023, from N134 billion in 2022, representing a 47.3% increase. The strong performance is further demonstration of the Group’s strategic focus and effective execution.

Highlights of Transcorp group Results:

• FY 2023 Revenue was N197 billion, a significant increase of 47.3%, compared to 2022.

• Operating Expenses saw an increase of 22.6% year on year, totalling N26.9 billion in 2023, reflecting the impact of inflation.

• Net Finance Cost increased by 46% to N22.6 billion, arising from interest on foreign currency loans, that has now been repaid.

• Profit before Tax surged by 93.5%, amounting to N58.8 billion in 2023, compared to N30.4 billion in the same period last year.

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• Profit after Tax improved 91% year-on-year to N32.6 billion in 2023, compared to N17.1 billion in the same period last year.

• Earnings per share of the Group were N40 compared to N19 in 2022.

• Total assets grew by 20%, to N529.9 billion in full year 2023, up from N442.7 billion in December 2022.

In response to the results, Dr. (Mrs) Owen D. Omogiafo, President/Group Chief Executive Officer of Transcorp, commented, “The financial results for 2023 underscore our Group’s strong operational performance and the results of our strategic initiatives. Notwithstanding the strong macroeconomic headwinds in the year, we achieved significant growth in revenue and profits, indicating our ability to navigate a dynamic market landscape effectively. Our primary objectives remain centered on achieving sustainable growth, enhanced operational and technical efficiency, and maximizing value for shareholders.”

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Transcorp is dedicated to its transformation agenda, emphasizing sustained growth and a relentless pursuit of long-term value for shareholders.

Transnational Corporation Plc (Transcorp Group) is one of Africa’s leading, listed Conglomerates, with strategic investments in the power, hospitality, and energy sectors, driven by its mission to improve lives and transform Africa.

Transcorp’s power businesses, Transcorp Power Plc and Transafam Power, provide over 15% of Nigeria’s installed power capacity. Transcorp is committed to developing Nigeria’s domestic energy value chain, through its investments in OPL281. The Group’s hospitality business, Transcorp Hotels Plc owns the iconic Transcorp Hilton Abuja, Nigeria’s flagship hospitality destination, and has launched the digital platform Aura by Transcorp Hotels.

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