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Naira trades N575/$1 at parallel market as abokiFX clears forex information

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Bureaux De Change operators (BDCs), popularly known as ‘abokis’, on Monday quoted naira at N575 to the dollar at the street market.

Checks by TheCable showed that the naira currently exchanges N575 to the dollar at three different markets in Lagos, the country’s commercial nerve centre.

A parallel market (street market) is characterised by noncompliant behaviour with an institutional set of rules.

Last week, Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), said the only recognised foreign exchange market is the Importers and exporters (I&E) FX window.

Emefiele talked tough over illegitimate traders at the parallel market, saying they are causing confusion and manipulating the foreign exchange market.

He had stopped dollar sales to the earlier authorised BDCs and directed banks to meet legitimate forex demands.

The CBN chief also said the monetary authority is investigating Oniwinde Adedotun and abokiFX Limited over “illegal foreign exchange transactions” and its mode of data information.

AbokiFX is a web platform that reports movements in the foreign exchange market since as early as 2014.

Despite denying CBN’s allegations, abokiFX suspended parallel market data information on its platform — taunting with a clause: “We sincerely hope this suspension will lead to the Naira appreciation from next week”.

On Monday, abokiFX cleared forex data information from its platform.

At Ikeja, currency traders told TheCable that the dollar exchanges N575 while they purchase at N567/$1, leaving a gain of N10.

At Eko Hotel, traders sell at N578/$1, depending on the volume of the dollar a customer is willing to buy.

At the Marina BDC market, close to the Lagos branch of the CBN, the currency trades at the same rate.

“I sell at 575 and buy 565 per dollar,” a currency trader, simply identified as Musa at the Ikeja market, said on the phone.

“How many dollars do you want to buy… I can give you a discount if it is much.

“I just bought 2K dollars for 565 from a customer to sell at 575.”

When asked about the suspension of forex information on the abokiFX platform, another trader on the Island, Aliyu, said he doesn’t know any “online aboki”.

“We trade on the road. Walai, we have people in Ikeja, Abuja, Port Harcourt that give us rates every day. My Oga is close to top people too. So we get rates every day,” Aliyu said.

“It is the same rate you’ll see here, Ikeja, airports, and most places in Lagos. Except few that want to charge a higher rate, may be 576 or 578.”

Meanwhile, at the I&E window, the currency opened trading at N412 to the dollar.

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Abuja-Kaduna train resumes operation Saturday – NRC

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Barely 24 hours after suspending the Abuja-Kaduna trains for safety reasons, the Nigerian Railway Corporation says the services will resume Saturday October 23.

The suspension followed an explosion attack by hoodlums on the Abuja-Kaduna rail track Wednesday evening, which the corporation said affected the locomotive tank of a Kaduna-bound train.

Although there have been conflicting accounts of the attack with some attributing it to bandit or terrorist attack, the Managing Director of the corporation said in an interview on Friday night that the NRC team of engineers and technicians had fixed the problem and was certified that the train service could resume on the route after carrying out extensive an inspection of the line.

The NRC also said in a statement issued Friday evening that the Abuja-Kaduna Train Services (AKTS) would “resume tomorrow, Saturday, 23rd October, 2021 as follows: From IDU, Abuja (AK3) at 0950am. From Rigasa, Kaduna (KA4) at 10.35am.”

The statement read in part, “The board and management of the Nigerian railway corporation (NRC) hereby inform the general public, particularly our valued passengers that Abuja-Kaduna Train Services (AKTS) resume tomorrow, Saturday, 23rd October, 2021 as follows: From IDU, Abuja (AK3) at 0950am. From Rigasa, Kaduna (KA4) at 10.35am. Subsequent train services continue.

“The NRC once again sincerely apologises for the inconvenience.”

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Motorists, travellers stranded as Delta bridge collapses

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There was confusion in part of Delta State on Friday following the collapse of the Umutu Bridge in the Ukwuani Local Government Area of the state, leaving several motorists and travellers on the Agbor-Abraka-Eku road stranded.

The incident reportedly occurred in the early hours of the day, adding that the aged long bridge gave way as a Trailer conveying heavy duty construction bulldozer was passing through it towards the Agbor axis of the state.

The deplorable condition of federal road has been on the news, with report of the road project already awarded for reconstruction by the federal government.

The road link many communities in the state and connect the people with other parts of the country, particularly Northern and South-East states.

Deputy Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Chief Ochor Christopher Ochor who hails from the area, regretted that the federal government had not given such an important road the desired attention.

Ochor who spoke to our Correspondent, described the collapsed of the bridge as unfortunate and sympathized with stranded motorists and travelers for the pains it may have caused them.

He said he had already contacted the Commissioner for Work in charge of Urban and Highways roads in the State, Mr Neol Omodion, who has promised to take necessary steps to address the ugly situation.

Ochor however stressed the need to beef up security in the area to protect the lives and properties of the stranded travelers, calling on the federal government to reconstruct the road due to its strategic position  to the socio economic development of the area.

 

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Business

W/Bank: Higher inflation ahead as oil price hits $86/barrel

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The World Bank Group says a higher global inflation rate is ahead, noting the current oil price rise may continue into 2022, after recording 80 per cent higher this year than what it was in 2020.

The latest Commodity Markets Outlook released on Thursday reported the global lender as saying higher oil prices were also impacting food security in some countries already.

This came as Brent Crude prices hit $86.10 per barrel early on Thursday, jumping to the highest level in three years, before retreating to just above $85 amid profit-taking.

Experts said the reluctance of OPEC+ to pump more in the short term suggests that oil prices will remain well supported for the remainder of this year.

Although Nigeria has set a $57 per barrel benchmark for the 2022 budget, it is expected to produce 1.88 million barrels per day while targeting N3.16 trillion from oil proceeds.

The World Bank outlook indicated that energy prices soared in the third quarter of 2021 and are expected to remain elevated in 2022, adding to global inflationary pressures and potentially shifting economic growth to energy-exporting countries from energy-importing ones.

“Energy prices, expected to average more than 80% higher in 2021 compared to last year, will remain at high levels in 2022 but will start to decline in the second half of the year as supply constraints ease.”

The global bank however feared that non-energy prices, including agriculture and metals, are projected to decrease in 2022, following strong gains this year.

Chief Economist and Director of the World Bank’s Prospects Group, Ayhan Kose, said, “The surge in energy prices poses significant near-term risks to global inflation and, if sustained, could also weigh on growth in energy-importing countries.”

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