By Yemi Adepetun and Temiloluwa Adeoye


MANY are wondering what is happening to the Naira, which gained marginal value after the elections. The naira had gained about 23 Naira against the Dollar as it exchanged for N197, against N220 before the elections, making many to heave a sigh of relief. Thinking was that the Dollar would continue its free fall.Nairadollar

But the Naira is beginning to witness a downward slide in the value, as it now exchanges for N230. Efforts by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to shore up the Naira have not made a difference. In fact, the value continued to depreciate. The bank had adopted a lot of measures, including prohibition of demand and offer of Dollar for local purchases and services, closure of Retail Dutch Auction System (RDAS) for interbank foreign exchange market and recently, the removal of 41 items from the list of imported items that foreign currencies could be sought for importation.

The declining value of the Naira is taking its toll on every sector of the economy. Importers are lamenting low patronage and inability to import more and to clear some of their goods at the ports.

Olalekan Tosin is an importer of lace materials. She is the owner of Titilope fabrics on Lagos Island. According to her, she has not been able to travel to Switzerland to buy lace materials in the last six months because of the rising exchange rate and the inability to sell fabrics at the prevailing rate. Read More →



Posted By: PRISCILLA DENNIS


At least, 20 armed robbers attacked First City Monument Bank, FCMB, near Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Minna, and carted away undisclosed sums of money.

The incident occurred in the early hours of Monday.

A staff of the bank that pleaded anonymity said they were shocked when they resumed work that morning to find security operatives milling about the premises.

“The robbers could not gain entrance into the main banking hall because the doors are bullet proof, but they broke the Automated Teller Machine, ATM, and went away with huge amounts of money.” Read More →




The coming of Nigerian Shippers Council as the nation’s ports economic regulator has, no doubt, been highly impactful. If nothing else, within one year that it assumed its mandate, the cycle of goods clearance at the ports has been reduced significantly and the menace of brigandage has been replaced with orderliness. However, these gains, among others, have not been without attendant challenges of moving away from primitive ways of port operations that encourage corruption, to the new order of seamless and modern port operations, regarded as transparent and highly profitable. The Executive Secretary, Nigeria Shippers Council, Hassan Bello, shares with Kunle Aderinokun, the far-reaching reforms that have been implemented in accordance with international standards, the prospect and challenges that lay ahead, which he believes, are not insurmountable, as he gives a peep into the bright future of the Nigerian Port. Excerpts:
This year’s February, Nigeria Shippers Council clocked one year as ports economic regulator. What are your gains, challenges and vision?
Let me start with the vision. The vision is simply to make Nigerian ports the preferred destination for cargoes in the western and central Africa sub-region. We also need to manifest the potential of the maritime industry so that it will have the needed impact on the economy. Read More →



Chika Amanze-Nwachuku


It has emerged that the nationwide fuel shortage engineered by oil marketers was done to pressurise the outgoing administration led by President Goodluck Jonathan to pay them an additional N200 billion comprising outstanding claims and foreign exchange rate differential, even though the claims had not been verified and may have been spurious.Okonjo-Iweala

Investigations by THISDAY have shown that contrary to the position by the oil marketers that they have been unable obtain new facilities from the banks to import petroleum products, the marketers were bent on getting the current administration to pay their claims before the end of its tenure because they were uncertain that the new administration led by Major-General Muhammadu Buhari would pay them on time. Read More →



Bassey Udo


Petroleum products marketers and the Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, on Monday dodged journalists who sought to find out the outstanding payment due fuel suppliers as subsidy claims.

​The ​Major Oil Marketers Association ​had ​claimed the​y were still owed N200 billion after the government paid them N154 billion on Thursday.Ngozi-Okonjo-Iweal

The money was to enable the marketers settle the National Association of Road Transport Owners that withdrew their services over alleged N21 billion debt, causing fuel scarcity.

But the Minister on Sunday faulted the marketers, saying the outstanding payment, based on weekly data by Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency template, could not exceed N131 billion, from the initial N98 billion. Read More →




The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Tuesday warned individuals and corporate organisations against the use of foreign currency to carry out transactions in the country.Godwin-Emefiele

This was contained in a statement signed by Alhaji Ibrahim Mu’azu, Director, Corporate Communications, CBN, in Abuja.

“The attention of the bank has been drawn to the increasing use of foreign currencies in the domestic economy as a medium of payment for goods and services by individuals and corporate organisations.

“It has also been observed that some institutions price their goods and services in foreign currencies and demand payments in foreign currencies rather than the Naira which is the legal tender in Nigeria,” it said. Read More →



by Simon Utebor

 


The planned introduction of N5,000 note by the Central Bank of Nigeria received further knocks on Monday as rights activists carried coffin round Agege area of Lagos to protest the policy.

The activists from Concerned Human Rights Nigeria, Civil Societies for Good Governance, Joint Action Front, United Action for Democracy, Gani Fawehinmi Foundation, United Middle Belt Youth Congress, among others, said the coffin signified the rejection and death of the policy.

The protesters, led by the National Coordinator, CHRN, Mr. Declan Ihekaire, began their procession from Funmilayo Bus Stop, Ipaja Road, Lagos, and trekked many kilometres.

As they passed through major roads and streets, they sang solidarity songs and waved placards.

The placards bore inscriptions such as “Nigerians do not need N5,000 note”, “Jonathan! Nigerians say no to N5,000 note; it is evil”, “Nigerians are wiser than Jonathan and his team”, “Sanusi – Mr. Central Bank; we thought you were wise”, among others.

The protest triggered more excitement when motorists, okada riders and pedestrians, carried away by the songs rendered by the protesters, followed suit.

Addressing journalists during the peaceful protest, Ihekaire said the planned introduction smacked of insensitivity on the part of the Federal Government.

He said, “The Federal Government wounded the masses through its ‘wicked’ fuel price hike, now is an attempt to bastardise our currency with no recourse to the masses.

“Who told them that currency printing is the masses’ desire? I submit that this administration is lazy, wicked, callous and insensitive to the yearnings of the masses.”

He said the N5,000 note was in conflict with the cashless policy of the administration.

According to Ihekaire, the aim of the cash-less policy is to ensure that cash level comes down and ensure cash holding by people is reduced.

He wondered that if the cash-less policy was in good faith, then the introduction of N5,000 denomination was inconsistent and unthinkable.

He said the purpose of the planned introduction was not for the masses but to enable large volumes of cash to be moved with ease by the privileged few.

Ihekaire said its introduction would encourage money laundering, corruption, ritual killing and armed robbery.

He urged the National Assembly to intervene to put a halt to the “obnoxious currency regime.”

The President, UMBYC, Mr. Abuka Onalo-Omababa, said the introduction of N5,000 was not the panacea for the problems in the land.

Onalo-Omababa said, “The printing of N5,000 cannot help us in any of the issues affecting the country such as insecurity, hunger, poverty, illiteracy and epileptic power supply.

“I think the whole exercise is an attempt to divert Nigerians’ attention from bad governance and other issues in the country.”