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Updated: Concern mounts as naira falls to ₦550 per dollar

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The naira has continued its free fall against the United States dollar and other major currencies as it traded between N540 and N550 to one dollar at the parallel market on Thursday.

The drop comes about a week after it was sold at N530 against the American currency.

The British pound was trading at N740 across in the same market on Thursday, it was learnt.

Finance experts and bureau de change operators are worried over the situation. Indeed the BDC operators are speculating that the downward trend will likely continue and that the rise hit N100 per dollar by the end of the year.

The exchange rate has been on a downward slope after the suspension of foreign exchange transactions with the BDC operators by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The CBN in July placed a ban on foreign exchange sales to the BDC operators, with an indefinite suspension issuance of licences to money changers.

The bank then instructed commercial banks to set up teller points in branches, so that dollars and other foreign currencies would be made available to Nigerians.

The Chairman of the BDC operators at the Lagos airport, Mr Danladi Sunday, blamed the CBN for the development.

He said while the CBN had directed commercial banks to sell dollars, the banks only sold to those he called cabals.

“The stoppage of dollars to bureau de change is the cause of this problem. The CBN said they would be giving to commercial banks and the commercial banks are not selling to everybody, they are only selling to their cabals,” he told Daily Trust in an interview.

“And once the demand is higher and supply is lower, definitely, the money is going to be high. The solution now is for the CBN to call us back. Once they call us back, the money would come down,” he added.

When President Muhammadu Buhari assumed office in May 2015, the naira was trading at about N187 to a dollar.

The administration has faced backlash for its handling of the country’s fiscal and monetary policies.

Officials however dismissed the criticisms, saying the government came on board at a time of perilous economic situation that stemmed from decades of mismanagement by previous administrations.

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SERAP sues Buhari over alleged missing N11tn electricity fund

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President Muhammadu Buhari has been dragged to court by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) for allegedly failing probe N11tn electricity fund said to missing.

The money, according to SERAP, was meant to provide regular electricity supply for the country since 1999, and it is suspected to have “been stolen, mismanaged or diverted into private pockets.”

In the suit number FHC/L/CS/1119/2022 filed last week at the Federal High Court, Lagos, SERAP sought for “an order of mandamus to direct and compel President Buhari to investigate how over N11 trillion meant to provide regular electricity supply has been allegedly squandered by governments since 1999.”

This is coming after it was reported that Nigeria’s electricity grid has collapsed at least three times within five months, and 130 times in seven years, plunging many households across the country into darkness.

 

 

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Toyota-Suzuki joint SUV coming in August, Africa listed

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The collaboration between Toyota and Suzuki is set to manifest in concrete terms as Toyota says it will start the production of a new SUV model developed by Suzuki at Toyota Kirloskar Motor Pvt. Ltd from August.

The Suzuki-developed SUV will come with mild and strong hybrid variants – made in India for both brands, multiple sources including motorauthority.com report.

The two companies are said to be planning to export the new model to markets outside India including Africa.

Toyota and Suzuki are promoting mutual supply of vehicles globally, which is one of the collaborations in their business partnership.
The two companies signed a memorandum of understanding for a business alliance in 2017. Since then, the two companies have been bringing together Toyota’s strength in electrification technologies and Suzuki’s strength in technologies for compact vehicles for joint collaboration in production and in the widespread popularization of electrified vehicles.
The powertrains of the new model to be on sale in India will be equipped with mild hybrid developed by Suzuki and strong hybrid developed by Toyota.
By bringing together strengths of both Toyota and Suzuki through the collaboration, the two companies say they will be able to provide a wide variety of vehicle electrification technologies to customers and contribute to the acceleration of electrification and the realization of a carbon-neutral society in India.

While Suzuki leads and understands the India market, Toyota brings hybrid tech to the table.

Maruti Suzuki India Limited and TKM will market the new model in India as Suzuki and Toyota models, respectively.

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Ford to end production of Focus in 2025

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Ford has confirmed that it will stop producing the Focus model in 2025, in a move that threatens the longer-term future of its Saarlouis, Germany plant that only makes that model.

Nigeria may not miss the exit of the Focus as it has not really been as popular as other Ford models such as the Escape, the Edge and Everest.

Ford however said that its plant in Saarlouis would continue to produce the Ford Focus passenger car, while the company is also evaluating options for future site concepts.
In Europe, Ford has emphasised the future role for electrified models – which includes its Cologne plant in Germany being a hub for EV production. It will build a new SUV based on VW’s MEB platform from 2023.
Ford also recently announced that its Valencia, Spain, plant would receive investment for making electric vehicles on a next-generation electric vehicle architecture.

 

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