Bank customers lament growing poverty, reduced purchasing power over Naira fall

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  • Bulls resurface on equities market as investors pocket N901.78bn gains

Bank customers resident in the Federal Capital Territory have decried the continuous fall of the naira to the dollar.

According to them, their purchasing power has reduced drastically.

One dollar to Naira exchange rate at the parallel market is between N1, 440 and N1, 500 while the official rate is N1, 356.

Some of the customers appealed to the government and the Central Bank of Nigeria to urgently evolve measures to address the situation.

They also lamented that the situation had inflicted untold hardship and had reduced their standard of living, saying the development had also negatively affected all sectors of the economy.

A bank customer with Access Bank, Mrs. Irene Igunmado, said the fall of the naira had reduced the purchasing power as the prices of goods and services had skyrocketed.

Igunmado also said that the increase in the prices of food items had caused her family to reduce their standard of living.

“Nobody tells anyone in Nigeria about the situation now. Even my little children understand that times are hard.

“This naira fall is worsening the situation because when you go to the market and ask traders why the prices of everything have increased; they will tell you it’s because of the dollar.

“Companies are closing down, relocating to other places.

“This is not the ‘Renewed Hope’ that the present government promised us,” she said.

A bank customer with Guaranty Trust Bank, Mrs. Victoria Emeka, said that although the food monthly allowances for her family had increased, it could not cater for their needs.

“Every month, my husband usually gives me N30, 000 to buy food items that will last us for the month because I have a permanent list that I use.

“Now, although he has increased the amount to N60k, the money will still not buy half of the things in the list which was usually purchased entirely with N30k.

“The government needs to do something urgently,” she said.

A bank customer with First Bank Plc, Mr. Franklin Ogunleye, said the naira fall was the reason for the relocation of many Nigerians to other countries.

Ogunleye said he was feeling the heat of the naira fall as he was sending money to his family abroad, who just relocated recently and were yet to fully stabilize and get a job.

“This Naira fall is biting me so hard because my business is about to collapse.

“I relocated my family to the United Kingdom (UK) in 2023 and every month, I change money and send it to them.

“Sometimes, I change as much as N2 million but it will still not be enough for them because of the exchange rate.

“I am thinking seriously of leaving this country to join them so that I can reduce this untold hardship,” he said.

A banker said that banks would always strive to reduce the hardship faced by customers due to the scarcity and fall of the Naira.

The CBN on January 31, ordered Deposit Money Banks to sell their excess dollar stock latest February 1.

The CBN also warned lenders against hoarding excess foreign currencies for profit.

Bureau De Change operators in Abuja had shut down operations due to scarcity of the dollar.

Bulls resurface on equities market as investors pocket N901.78bn gains

However, equity trading at the Nigerian stock market on Thursday took a new twist as the bulls resurfaced after two days of massive bleeding.

Thus, leading to a recovery from the previous session’s loss as the domestic bourse index benchmark, the NGX All-Share Index rose by 1.63 percent to close at 102,802.25 points, even as the number of gainers (53) greatly outweighed that of losers (18).

In the same manner, the market capitalization of listed equities gained a whopping sum of N901.78 billion, to reach N56.26 trillion. Hence, the year-to-date return of the index climbed to 37.48 percent.

The major toast for investors Thursday included stocks such as CAVERTON, CHAMS, GTCO, VERITASKAP and NASCON with positive share price movements by 10.00 percent, 10.00 percent, 10.00 percent, 10.00 percent and 9.98 percent, respectively.

On the flipside, DEAPCAP, CWG, RTBRISCOE, UPL and MCNICHOLS saw downward repricing as their share prices declined by 9.88 percent, 9.87 percent, 9.86 percent, 9.76 percent and 9.43 percent, respectively.

Moving forward, performance across the sectors indicated broad based gains as all of the five sub-sector indices tracked closed in the green territory.

The Banking sector led the gainers with a 7.82 percent increase, fueled by buy interest in the top banks such as ZENITHBANK, ACCESSCORP, UBA, GTCO and FIDELITY.

The Consumer Goods sector followed suit with a substantial increase of 4.37 percent, particularly driven by DANGSUGAR, HONEYFLOUR, CADBURY and BUAFOODS.

The Insurance, Oil/Gas and Industrial indexes posted gains of 2.18 percent, 0.02 percent and 0.35 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, trading on the NGX witnessed a bearish turn as the total deals and value declined by 10.06% and 45.96% to 12,851 trades and N12.16 billion, respectively.

The total traded volume for the day increased by 14.93% to 861.01 million units.

As the session concluded, UNIVINSURE took the spotlight as the most traded security in terms of volume with 113.76 million units changing hands in 110 deals, while ZENITHBANK led in traded value at N2.76 billion.

Electricity consumers increased to 11.71m in Q3 2023 — NBS

The number of electricity consumers rose by 240,000 from 11.47 million in the second quarter of 2023 to 11.71 million in the third quarter of 2023.

The National Bureau of Statistics stated in its Nigeria’s electricity report for the third quarter of 2023 released in Abuja on Thursday that the increase was by 2.08 per cent.

The review focuses on energy billed, revenue generated, and customers by Discos under the reviewed period.

It stated that on a year-on-year basis, the number of electricity customers increased by 7.09 per cent in Q3 2023 from 10.94 million reported in Q3 2022.

It said in Q3 2023, the number of metered customers stood at 5.68 million from the 5.47 million recorded in Q2 2023; this indicated a 3.77 per cent increase.

“On a year-on-year basis, the figure grew by 13.07 per cent from the 5.02 million reported in Q3 2022,” the NBS stated.

Similarly, estimated electricity customers stood at 6.03 in Q3 2023, showing an increase of 0.53 per cent over the six million recorded in Q2 2023.

“On a year-on-year basis, estimated customers increased by 2.02 per cent in Q3 2023 from the 5.91 million recorded in Q3 2022.”

The NBS also said that electricity distribution companies collected N260.16 billion in revenue in Q3 2023 compared to the N263.08 billion they collected in Q2 2023.

It added that on a year-on-year basis, revenue collected rose by 28.40 per cent over the N202.62 billion collected in the third quarter of 2022.

It stated that electricity supply dropped to 5,731.60 (Gwh) in the third quarter of 2023 from 5,909.83 (Gwh) recorded in the second quarter of the year.

However, the report said on a year-on-year basis, electricity supply increased by 14.09 per cent in Q3 2023 compared with the 5,023.96 (Gwh) reported in Q2 2022.