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Naira crashes again, goes for N502/$1 on parallel market

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The naira on Friday exchanged at N502 to one dollar on the parallel market due to what finance experts termed pressure from panic buyers on the local currency.

The naira lost N3/$1 when compared with N499 to dollar it closed on Thursday.

Managing Director/CEO Financial Derivatives Company Limited, Bismarck Rewane, said the naira was weakening because of panic buying by forex users, speculative trading and front loading of future demand.

He said, “Our economic analysis based on the cobweb theorem of prices (exchange rate) moving towards an equilibrium says that prices will rise initially when there is a demand gap before falling in the short run.

“Therefore, we expect the forex market to correct itself in July with the naira appreciating towards N470-N490/$.”

The naira has been under pressure after its recent devaluation by the Central Bank of Nigeria that pegged the official exchange rate at N410.25/$.

Many forex dealers expressed shock at the pace the naira was losing ground against the dollar despite rise in crude oil prices.

Trading Desk Manager, AZA, a global forex trading platform, Murega Mungai, told investors that the market had continued to digest the impact of the CBN adopting the NAFEX as its official exchange rate.

He said that foreign reserves also declined slightly to $34.24bn, repressing a 0.04 per cent decrease compared to the previous week figure.

Mungai said the recent rise in global crude oil prices had not fed through into increased revenue from oil exports while projecting sustained pressure on the naira in the coming days.

President, Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON), Aminu Gwadabe, said forex speculators were behind the naira fall.

He said directors of Bureaux De Change (BDCs) had met and resolved that all BDCs should cooperate to bring down the forex rates in the market.

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EFCC invites two Abia ex-commissioners over N22bn Paris Club refund

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Enugu Zone, has invited two former Abia State commissioners for finance for questioning reportedly relating to the spending of N22bn Paris Club refund.
The EFCC said Mr Philip Nto and Mr Obinna Oriaku, who served as Commissioners of Finance and Economic Development in 2014 and 2016 respectively were asked to meet with the agency’s Head Capital Market and Insurance Fraud Section for questioning.

It stated this in a letter dated May 25th, 2021, addressed to Abia Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Chris Ezem.
It said the two former commissioners were needed to make certain clarifications regarding some financial transactions in the state within the period of their stay in office.
It said this was in pursuant to section 38(1) and 2 of the EFCC (establishment) Act, 2004.

When contacted, Oriaku confirmed he was invited, promising to honour it.
He said, “I want to make it clear that EFCC invitation is not a crime and cannot be misconstrued as a sentence for crime.
“As commissioner for Finance for four years, it is necessary that I will be invited from time to time to shed light on what happened while I served as commissioner.”
Oriaku said the invitation was based on a petition by one Dr Murice Walton of Mauritz Walton Nigeria Limited on how the state government allegedly held back their payment since 2017.

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We’ll complete 2nd Niger Bridge next year – Fashola

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Construction work on the Second Niger Bridge will be completed in 2022, Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has said.
He stated this on Sunday at a forum organised by the News Agency of Nigeria to mark the sixth anniversary of the Buhari administration in Abuja.
The construction of the bridge commenced on September 1, 2018.
According to Fashola, the bridge, which will serve as a major link between the south-east and the south-west will be delivered between the second and third quarters of 2022.
He said the construction time was lost to the COVID-19 pandemic but added that the work had gone beyond the water level.
He said the project would facilitate the influx of investments to the south-east when completed.
“So, what you see currently is the final work. The sub-structure which entailed building cement structures underwater often costs a lot of money,” he said.
“We should finish the bridge next year between the second quarter and third quarter.”
The bridge is 1.6km long and furnished with other ancillary infrastructure, including a 10.3km highway and an interchange.
The bridge spans from Asaba in Delta state to Ozubulu, Ogbaru and other communities in Anambra state.
The minister added that the federal government’s investments in road building and infrastructure development have been impacting various economic activities nationwide.
Fashola said more wealth and job opportunities had been created with 850 contracts awarded and 13,000 kilometres of roads and bridges under construction and repairs across the federal highways.
He said, “President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to improving infrastructure sits squarely at the centre of the progressive ideal to improve the human condition.
“This connects many more doors and it is the most legitimate way for distributing money across board.
“One of the reasons our party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), is called progressives is because there is a commitment to the progressive ideals.”

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I sold about N70,000 bread daily to bandits when Kaduna students were abducted – Baker

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Hassan Magaji, a baker in the Galadimawa area of Kaduna State, has confessed to supplying bread to bandits.

Magagi, who was recently arrested by the Intelligence Response Team of the Inspector-General of Police, said he sold bread worth N70,000 to the bandits during the time that some university students were abducted.

It is not clear if he was referring to students of Greenfield University, Kaduna, who spent over a month in captivity.

“I observed that whenever they kidnapped many people, like during the kidnap of those university students, the quantity of bread that they bought increased. During that period I delivered up to N70,000 worth of bread everyday until recently when it dropped to N50,000 again.”

“I have not benefitted much except that I married a new wife and I was able to save money to take care of two wives. To stop banditry, government should recruit more security men. We prefer police because they know the job.”

Bandits have been terrorising residents of Kaduna and its environs.

On Saturday, angry residents blocked the ever-busy Abuja-Kaduna highway to protest incessant attacks.

Despite repeated assurances from government, armed gangs have been making life a hell for people.

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