Naira hits 520/dollar, forex retailers examine CBN action
The naira tumbled to 520 against the United States dollar at the parallel market on Monday as scarcity of the greenback continued to keep the exchange rate in a free fall mode. The naira had closed at 516/dollar on Friday, after hitting 510/dollar and 507/dollar last Thursday and Tuesday, respectively.
Experts said demand for dollar for school fees payment overseas as well as Personal Travel Allowance by intending travellers was taking a toll on the exchange rate at the parallel market.
Enugu Seals Eight Banks over Alleged N1bn Tax Debt
At least eight commercial banks were on Monday sealed by the Enugu state government for alleged failure to remit about N1 billion in taxes to the coffers of the state government.
The banks with combined branch network of 36 branches within Enugu metropolis and the neighbouring towns of Agbani and Ituku Ozalla were sealed at about 6am by officials of the State Board of Internal Revenue who were accompanied by mobile policemen.
Outrage as Indian-packaged garri sells in Nigeria
Nigerians on Monday expressed outrage after it emerged that Indian-packaged garri was being sold in the country. The garri is packed in a 500g bag, which has the picture of a lady and an inscription, ‘TRS’ (Asia’s Finest Foods) on it, with a price tag of N450.
The Executive Director, Natural Nutrient Limited, Sola Adeniyi, expressed dismay at the development in a post entitled, “Attention: Indian garri being sold in Nigerian supermarkets,” which he shared on WhatsApp.
Fitch re-affirms BoI’s rating at AA+
Negative revision due to health of economy Fitch Ratings has re-affirmed Bank of Industry Limited’s (BoI) National long-term rating at AA+, as well as its Long-Term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at ‘B+’.
The rating agency, in its latest review explained that the recent revision of Nigeria’s outlook to negative also affected the bank’s rating noting that BoI’s IDRs, SR and Support Rating Floor (SRF) are sensitive to a weakening in the ability of Nigeria to support the bank, which would be indicated by a downgrade of Nigeria’s sovereign rating.
Illegal petrol vessel seized in Lagos, depot sealed
The Department of Petroleum Resources has announced the seizure of a vessel, MT JAZI, discharging Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) that does not meet the standard specifications for any white product.
The DPR said it observed the product discharge by the vessel at the Nakem Jetty, Kirikiri, Lagos, on February 11, 2017. It said on Monday that further investigations showed that the vessel did not have the DPR authorisation to deliver products at the depot.
PenCom seeks N113 billion to pay government retirees
The Director General, National Pension Commission (PenCom), Mrs. Chinelo Anohu-Amazu, has sought the appropriation of over N113 billion for the 2017 retirees of the Federal Government, against the initial N50.2 billin submitted in the 2017 Appropriation Bill, thereby resulting in a shortfall of almost N63 billion.
The PenCom boss disclosed this in a memorandum submitted to the National Assembly Joint Committee on Appropriations at the budget defence session on the 2017 budget estimate, a copy of which was made available to our correspondent.
16 power turbines now functional, generation rises – Report
About 16 power generating turbines have in the last one week become functional and pushed up electricity generation from a little above 3,000 megawatts recorded earlier this month to 4,302.1MW on February 18, 2017.
Findings showed that since the 16 turbines of the various power plants across the country began to function, electricity generation had stabilised at over 4,000MW, rising to 4,378.7MW on February 16.
FCMB gets new MD, as Ladi Balogun becomes Group CEO
The board of FCMB Group Plc, on Monday announced the appointment of Adam Nuru, formerly Executive Director, Business Development of its flagship First City Monument Bank Limited, as new chief executive. He replaces Ladi Balogun who steps down after a decade in the saddle in line with the directive of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), who takes on a new role as Group Chief Executive of the holding company, with effect from March 20, 2017.
Although, the statement was not explicit about this, Balogun, who holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of East Anglia, United Kingdom and an MBA from Harvard Business School, USA, takes over from Peter Obaseki, MD of the group.
German firm pledges N97.5bn for Nigerian industrialists
A total sum of €300m (N97.5bn) has been set aside by a German investment group, CUBE Commodities Company, to finance small-scale industrialists in Nigeria.
The Chief Executive Officer, CUBE Commodities Company, Dr. Dean Nguyen, gave the figure on Monday in Abuja during a meeting with members of the National Association of Small-Scale Industrialists.
N500b for mortgage finance coming
The Federal Government says it will inject N500 billion into the Federal Mortgage Bank (FMB) to enable it meet the housing needs of Nigerians. Minister of State for Power, Works and Housing, Alhaji Mustapha Baba, who spoke yesterday in Jalingo, said the measure would help the the bank to adequately cater for the rising mortgage finance needs of workers.
He spoke while inaugurating the ministerial pilot housing scheme project, financed by FMB in the Taraba capital. He commended the bank’s efforts toward meeting the challenge of housing deficit, in spite of the economic challenges facing the nation.
CBN to make forex available for PTA, school fees, others
The Central Bank of Nigeria on Monday modified its foreign exchange policy with the reduction of the tenor of its forward sales from the current maximum cycle of 180 days to 60 days from the date of transaction.
For business and personal travel allowances, the CBN said it would ease the difficulties encountered by Nigerians in obtaining forex for these types of transactions. o achieve this, it said in a statement issued by its Acting Director of Communications, Mr. Isaac Okoroafor, that it would provide direct additional funding to banks to meet the needs of Nigerians for personal and business travels, medical needs and school fees, effective immediately.
Fed Govt, China in talks over N900b loan
The Federal Government and the Peoples Republic of China have commenced talks on a N900 billion ($4.5b) loan to facilitate the production of agricultural machineries for large scale farming in selected states across the country.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh during a meeting with representative of China-Africa Machinery Corporation (CAMACO), in Abuja said the loan will also ensure some of the machineries are assembled in Nigeria rather than being directly imported from China.
Stakeholders to deepen insurance penetration with technology
Stakeholders in the insurance and the Information and Communications Technology sectors are collaborating to boost insurance penetration using the electronic means. The stakeholders would converge on Lagos for a conference on e-insurance with the theme, ‘Driving insurance penetration with information and communications technologies’.
A statement said the gathering would bring together corporate organisations, ICT experts, insurance experts, academia, consumers of insurance products and regulators of both sectors to discuss how to use technology to deepen insurance penetration in Nigeria.
Strike: Govt agrees to pay CAC workers in arrears
The three-day warning strike embarked upon by the workers of Corporate Affairs Commission(CAC) has been suspended immediately.
A statement endorsed by the Special Adviser to the Permanent Secretary, Aminu Bisalla, Babajide Ilotogen explained that it is sequel to the tripartite agreement reached between the Federal Ministry of Industry,Trade and Investment,the management of CAC and the leadership of Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations, Civil Service, Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE).
Companies Reduce Staff Dollar Remunerations As Naira Hits N522/$
As the receding Nigerian economy continues to take toll on the revenues of companies, they are finding new ways of reducing cost by cutting down staff remunerations and expenses. More companies are monetising benefits and paying in naira to avert the exchange rate challenges.
A report by KPMG noted that to ensure sustainability, companies are taking a critical look at their employee benefits structure to identify areas that unduly expose them to escalating costs, saying remuneration is one of the areas businesses are exploring to reduce cost.
US Shale Oil Producers Drag Down Oil Prices
Oil prices rose on Monday but the gains were limited as investors gauged whether an increase in U.S. drilling rigs and record stockpiles would undermine efforts by producers to cut output and bring the market into balance.
Brent futures were up 17 cents at $55.98 a barrel at 0616 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude CLc1 was up 15 cents at $53.55. Both contracts earlier fell slightly in quiet trading. “Sustained gains above $55 a barrel, and a hoped for rally to $60 a barrel, (are) both proving incredibly tough nuts to crack,” said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at futures brokerage OANDA in Singapore.