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CBN to Increase List of Restricted Items from Forex Market

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CBN

The governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Ifeanyi Emefiele said the apex bank may increase the number of items excluded from funding at official foreign exchange rate in an effort to reduce pressure on the naira and preserve the nation external reserves.

The apex bank recently barred importers of 41 items from funding their business at the official forex rate, the governor said this restriction would help resuscitate domestic businesses and improve overall employment generally. Some of the 41 items include rice, wheel barrows, head pans, cement, margarine, palm kernel/vegetable oil, meat and processed meat products, toothpicks, private airplanes/jet, Indian incense among others.

Speaking with Thisday reporter, Emefiele said “We are not saying that those 41 items cannot be imported, but we are saying that we don’t have the foreign exchange for you at the banks or at the interbank market for these”. “If you have foreign exchange from other sources, you must show us your proof of funds and where those funds are coming from. If you do not show us your proof of funds and you want to open a non-valid Form M, we would reject it.”

Members of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) are already kicking against the policy and believe that the central bank would review its policy with time, the governor said “there is nothing to be review because those items were well thought out”.

“The truth is that as long as we find that there are more items that can be produced locally, I can assure you that we would increase the list”.

The governor also explained that it was not the central bank that directed commercial banks in the country to stop accepting foreign currency deposits, but expressed his support for the decision, saying Nigeria is the only country where people go to banks and deposit foreign currencies other than the local currency.

Bank all over the country have been rejecting foreign currency deposits by domiciliary account holders since last week.

The governor said foreign currency deposited into domiciliary accounts prior to this notice will not be eligible for outward transfers but can be withdraw as cash.

“Please note that this temporary measure does not affect electronic transfer of funds into or from your domiciliary accounts and, you will continue to have access to foreign currency cash withdrawals from your account” he reiterated.

“Whilst we have had to take this step to temporarily suspend foreign currency cash deposits, we would like to assure you that we are working hard at finding alternative outlets and a quick solution to this situation.”

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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Economy

Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) Begins Full Operations of Lagos-Ibadan Train, Releases Timetable

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Lagos-Ibadan Train Services - Investors King

The newly completed Lagos – Ibadan standard gauge railway service from Lagos to Ibadan will commence full operations on Tuesday, according to the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC).

The management of NRC disclosed this in a statement signed by Mr. Jerry Oche in Lagos on Sunday.

According to Oche, the Lagos Ibadan Train Services will henceforth be available in the morning.

He said “The updated timetable for Tuesday to Friday is as follows: Lagos to Ibadan: 8:00 a:m from Mobolaji Johnson Station at Alogo megi Ebute – Meta Lagos. Also, the train will take off from Ibadan to Lagos: 8:00 am from Obafemi Awolowo Station at Moniya.

“The train will take off from Lagos to Ibadan: 4:00 pm from Mobolaji Johnson Station Alagomji, while from Ibadan to Lagos: 4:00 pm from Obafemi Awolowo Station at Moniya.

“The standard gauge train schedule on Saturday from Lagos to Ibadan: 8:30 am from Mobolaji Johnson Station at Alagomeji while the train will leave from Ibadan to Lagos: 8:30 am from Obafemi Awolowo Station at Moniya.

“For Saturday evening from Lagos to Ibadan: 6:00 pm from Mobolaji Johnson Station at Alagomji, while the train will take off from Ibadan to Lagos: 6:00 pm from Obafemi Awolowo Station at Moniya,” Oche said.

He added that the Alagomeji, Abeokuta, and Moniya were still the stop stations of the Lagos Ibadan Train Services

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MyOffice to Supply 220 Million Rubles Worth of Licenses to Republic of Burundi

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Myoffice software - Investors King

MyOffice, a Russian developer of office software for document collaboration and communication, announced the expansion of cooperation with the Republic of Burundi.  MyOffice distribution partner in Africa, Independence.digital, and INGO Tech s.a.r.l., a Burundian IT company and integrator, have signed a contract, under which Russian office software licenses worth about 220 million rubles ($3 million) will be supplied.

This news was reported by Dmitry Komissarov, General Director of MyOffice, at Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum 2021.

In accordance with the contract, over the course of five years, the customer will receive MyOffice Standard and MyOffice Professional licenses, depending on their needs. The purchased office software will be installed on the national servers of the Republic of Burundi. The purchase of Russian software will help bolster the digital independence of the country and organize the secure storage of electronic documents and files. At the same time, full control over user data will be ensured.

MyOffice has been ramping up business relations with the Republic since 2019, when the company announced at the Russia-Africa Summit and Economic Forum that it would supply 300 licenses of MyOffice Professional to the Government of Burundi. At the time, it was the first international contract for the Russian developer.

“The Republic of Burundi has been successfully using Russian software for two years now. Several top government officials have been trained at a certified training center in Russia and have mastered the office software. The decision to expand cooperation was made in the wake of the positive experience of using Russian office software and our high evaluation of its reliability,” said Rossalyn Kamariza, CEO of INGO Tech.

“The digitalization of the African countries is progressing by leaps and bounds and has a direct impact on their economic well-being. According to the estimates of independent analytical agencies, fast-paced implementation of modern technological products will cause the GDP of the region to grow by $148–318 billion by 2025,” stated Dmitry Komissarov, General Director of MyOffice.

“Our contract for the supply of MyOffice software shows that the government of the Republic of Burundi not only cares about the economic development of its country, but also pays great attention to the security of the digital solutions it uses. In turn, for MyOffice, this commercial delivery during the pandemic, with many international processes slowed down, is an important milestone in bolstering its position on the global market and a spectacular example of the high export potential of Russian IT solutions.”

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Cuba’s Central Bank Suspends US Dollar Deposits Nationwide

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US Dollar - Investorsking.com

Cuba, the island country located where the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and the Atlantic Ocean meet, said this week U.S. dollars will be suspended in the country.

The mandate comes from the country’s central bank and foreign tourists have been told to leave U.S. dollars at home when visiting. The announcement was invoked at a roundtable discussion that was aired on state-sponsored Cuban television.

“In view of the obstacles that the U.S. embargo creates for the national bank system to deposit abroad the U.S. dollars that are collected in the country, a decision was made to temporarily suspend deposits in U.S. banknotes in Cuba’s bank and financial system,” the Central Bank of Cuba (Banco Central de Cuba, BCC) members said.

Yamilé Berra Cires, the vice president of the BCC, explained during the roundtable discussion that at the beginning of the Trump administration’s leadership, the U.S. tightened the embargo’s grip. The United States has had an embargo with Cuba since 1958 and the U.S. has had numerous issues with Cuba during the Eisenhower presidency and Kennedy presidency as well. After the 2008 crisis, the U.S. and Cuba seemed to gravitate toward friendlier terms during the Obama presidency.

However, BCC vice president Berra Cires claims issues have gotten worse since Trump and said 24 foreign banks stopped dealing with Cuba. Berra Cires also said during the roundtable discussion that 95 foreign financial institutions reported on the transgressions of Cuban national banks doing business with counterparties. “It is ever more difficult for Cuba to find international banking or financing institutions willing to receive, convert or process U.S. currency in cash,” Berra Cires further remarked.

“People who will be coming into the country during this time will have to arrive with a currency other than the dollar,” Francisco Mayobre Lence the BCC’s first vice president said.

Of course, after hearing about the USD ban in Cuba, members of the cryptocurrency community wanted Cuba to adopt digital currencies like El Salvador recently did with bitcoin. “It’s like [a] 50-year embargo. It’s really depressing,” one individual wrote about the Cuba situation with America on Reddit. “Will they take crypto now?” another Redditor asked in the r/cryptocurrency thread. Another crypto enthusiast responded to the question and said:

I doubt they want to be the last Latin American country to do so.

Minister-president of the Cuban central bank, Marta Sabina Wilson González explained during the roundtable discussion that Cuba had no choice but to make the decision. “We had no choice but to take this measure, which we are explaining at the Round Table, as we always do when it is a measure that affects the people, who will understand that there is no other option,” the minister detailed.

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