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Naira drops to N500/$1 on the black market

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The naira has depreciated to N500/$1 after recording a marginal gain against the United States dollar.

The naira also weakened against the dollar on the Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange ( NAFEX) rate window, dropping to N411.75 from N410.80 to dollar.

The naira closed last week at N498/$1, which is N2 weaker than its current position.

Also, foreign exchange (forex) reserves have dropped to $33.79 billion, following continued rise in dollar demand by manufacturers and forex users at the retail market.

However, at the parallel market, the naira shrugged off the drop in reserves and rate depreciation at the official market to record marginal gains, trading at N498 to dollar, stronger than N505 to dollar the previous week.

Inflation also fell slightly to 17.93 per cent in May from 18.12 per cent in April, though it remains well above the CBN’s target range of between six per cent and nine per cent.

The World Bank said Nigeria must do more to make its exchange rate system clearer, despite recent efforts to move to a more flexible regime.

The bank said Nigeria’s request for a $1.5 billion loan will hinge on the progress the country makes on its exchange rate system management with analysts predicting sustained pressure on the naira in the coming days if dollar scarcity persists.

The reserves decline, has also been attributed to drop in diaspora remittances due to patronage of illegal remittance channels by Nigerians in diaspora.

The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, said that Nigeria, like other emerging market countries and countries reliant on oil exports, the retreat by foreign portfolio investors significantly affected the supply of foreign exchange into the country.

“With the decline in our foreign exchange earnings and successive exchange rate adjustments, the CBN has continued to implement a demand management framework, which is designed to bolster the production of items that can be produced in Nigeria, and aid conservation of our external reserves,” he said.

He said due to the unprecedented nature of the shock, the apex bank has continued to favour a gradual liberalisation of the foreign exchange market in order to smoothen exchange rate volatility and mitigate the impact which, rapid changes in the exchange rate could have on key macro-economic variables.

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FG’s latest external loan requests for 15 state projects – Presidency

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The Presidency has clarified that the the Federal Government’s latest external loan requests are for a total of 15 projects in the six geo-political zones of the country.

It stated that the projects would be financed with more than $4bn from multilateral institutions, under the 2018-2021 medium term (rolling) external borrowing plan.

Spokesman for the Presidency, Garba Shehu, in a statement said President Muhammadu Buhari had requested the Senate to approve sovereign loans of $4.054bn and €710m as well as grant components of $125m for the proposed projects.

According to the letter by the President, the sovereign loans will be sourced from the World Bank, French Development Agency (AFD), China-Exim Bank, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Credit Suisse Group and Standard Chartered/China Export and Credit (SINOSURE).

Shehu said the President’s request to the Senate listed 15 proposed pipeline projects, the objectives, the implementation period, benefiting states, as well as the implementing ministries, departments and agencies.

A breakdown of the ‘Addendum to the Proposed Pipeline Projects for the 2018-2021 Medium Term (rolling) External Borrowing Plan’ shows that the World Bank is expected to finance seven projects including the $125m grant for ‘Better Education Services for All’.

The Global Partnership for Education grant is expected to increase equitable access for out-of-schoolchildren and improve literacy in focus states.

The grant, which will be implemented by the Federal Ministry of Education and the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), will strengthen accountability for results in basic Education in Katsina, Oyo and Adamawa states.

Other projects to be financed by the World Bank are the State Fiscal, Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability Programme for Results as well as the Agro-Processing, Productivity, Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support Project.

The benefiting states for the agro-processing project are Kogi, Kaduna, Kano, Cross River, Enugu and Lagos with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development as the implementing ministry.

The objective of the project is to enhance agricultural productivity of small and medium-scale farmers and improve value addition along priority value chains in the participating states.

Similarly, the World Bank is also financing the Nigeria Sustainable Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) project in Delta, Ekiti, Gombe, Kaduna, Katsina, Imo and Plateau states, for the next five years.

The project, when completed, is expected to improve rural water supply, sanitation and hygiene nationwide towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for water supply and sanitation by 2030.

Under the external borrowing plan, the World Bank supported projects include Nigeria’s COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Project (COPREP), under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Health and Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

The project, which has an implementation period of five years, will respond to threats posed by COVID-19 through the procurement of vaccines.

Furthermore, no fewer than 29 states are listed as beneficiaries of the Agro-Climatic Resilience in Arid Zone Landscape project, which is expected to reduce natural resource management conflicts in dry and semi-arid ecosystems in Nigeria.

The benefiting states for the project to be co-financed by World Bank and European Investment Bank (EIB) are Akwa Ibom, Borno, Oyo, Sokoto, Kano, Katsina, Edo, Plateau, Abia, Nasarawa, Delta, Niger, Gombe, Imo, Enugu, Kogi, Anambra, Niger, Ebonyi, Cross River, Ondo, Kaduna, Kebbi, Jigawa, Bauchi, Ekiti, Ogun, Benue, Yobe and Kwara.

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Photos: Kia dazzles Nigerian fans, unveils Sonet, Seltos compact SUVs

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Lovers of compact sport utility vehicles built with sophistication in Nigeria have two new stunning products to celebrate, coming from Kia Motors. They are the all-new Sonet and the high-tech Seltos.

The two models assembled in Nigeria and unveiled in Lagos on Friday to the motoring journalists are expected to substantially raise the market share of Kia in the compact SUV segment, which is fast becoming the toast of many new car buyers globally including Nigeria, especially young trendy people.

Details later…

 

 

 

 

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Southern govs okay VAT collection by state governments

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Governors of the southern states have agreed that collection of value-added tax (VAT) should be undertaken by state governments.

Chairman of the Southern Governors Forum and Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu, disclosed this on Thursday while reading a communique at the end of a meeting of the governors in Enugu.

The Federal Inland Revenue Service and some state governments are currently in court over VAT collection.

Rivers and Lagos state governments have enacted laws empowering their respective states to collect the tax (VAT).

Last week, the Court of Appeal directed states to maintain status quo on VAT collection pending the determination of an appeal filed by the FIRS.

Akeredolu said that the governors affirmed that the collection of VAT fell within the powers of state governments.

“We resolved to support the position that the collection of VAT falls within the powers of the state,” he said.

He also said, “The meeting reaffirmed its earlier commitment to fiscal federalism and emphasised the need to pursue its inclusion in the Nigerian Constitution through the ongoing constitutional amendment.”

Akeredolu urged states in the south to leverage the competence of their houses of assembly and representation at the national assembly to pursue the goal.

He said that the meeting reviewed the state of the nation and the progress made in the implementation of the ban on open grazing of cattle in the south of Nigeria.

He said, “The meeting expressed satisfaction with the rate at which states in the south of Nigeria are amending or enacting the anti-open grazing law.

“This aligns with the uniform template and aspiration of governors in the south and we encourage the states that have yet to enact the law to do so expeditiously.

“The meeting agreed to encourage the full operationalisation of the already agreed regional security which will share intelligence and collaborate toward the safety and security of the region.”

The meeting was attended by Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu, Nyesom Wike of Rivers, Emmanuel Udom of Akwa Ibom, Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos and Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta.

Others are Adegboyega Oyetola (Osun), Douye Diri (Bayelsa) and Dapo Abiodun (Ogun).

The deputy governors in attendance were Bisi Egbeyemi (Ekiti), Rauf Olaniyan (Oyo), Kelechi Igwe (Ebonyi), Ude Oko-Chukwu (Abia), Philip Shuaibu (Edo), Prof. Ivara Esu (Cross River) and Placid Njoku (Imo).

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