The stoppage of foreign exchange sale to Bureau De Change operators has failed to prevent massive decline of the nation’s foreign reserves, which dropped by $108m three days after the move by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The rate at which the reserves fell in the three days after the ban was more than what was recorded between December 31, 2015 and January 11, 2016, data from the CBN showed.
Latest figures showed that the reserves dropped by $396m in two weeks from $29.07bn on December 31,2015 to $28.674bn on January 14. The reserves stood at $28.782bn on January 11 when the central bank announced the stoppage of dollar sale to the BDCs.
The CBN said with the continued depletion of the foreign reserves, providing forex to the BDCs was no longer sustainable.
The CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, said between July 2014 and January this year, the country’s external reserves had suffered a great pressure from speculative attacks, round-tripping and front-loading activities by actors in the foreign exchange market.
These, he noted, had led to a decline in the reserves from $37.3bn in June 2014 to $28bn currently.
There have been several calls for flexibility in the foreign exchange policies of the CBN as businesses continue to take a toll from the restrictive policies of the central bank.
The external reserves declined by 15.79 per cent year-on-year to about $29.070bn on December 31, 2015, compared to $34.52bn a year ago, according to CBN data.
The Managing Director, International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, had in a meeting with Buhari earlier this month stressed the need for flexibility with monetary policies in order not to deplete the reserves.
She said, “We believe that with very clear primary ambition to support the poorer people of Nigeria, there could be added flexibility in the monetary policy, particularly if as we think the price of oil is likely to be low for longer (period).
“The occurrences should not deplete the reserves of the country, simply because of being seemingly rigid. I’m not suggesting that rigidity be totally removed, but some form of flexibility would help.”
Lagarde also said, “A nation’s foreign reserves are usually an indication of the health of its international trade, with import-dependent countries often disadvantaged in their current account balance as a result of forex expenditure outstripping income.”
Buhari Expresses Confidence in Banking Institutions to Tackle Economic Challenges
President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed his confidence in the West African Banking Association (WABA) to tackle economic challenges in the West African region.
The president expressed his trust while receiving a team from WABA, led by its President, Thierno Seydou Nourou Sy, at the State House in Abuja.
The president stated that the sub-region needs to come to an agreement on low access to financial services and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to him, the association, founded in 1981, brings together over 250 commercial banks and 15 institutions from across West Africa, and for many centuries, African countries have traded with one another without a formalized and structured system. He, however, noted that over time, global trade had become more complex and organized.
The president expressed optimism that the launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area will mark a watershed moment in the way African countries do business.
“More importantly, we will turn the page in ensuring that we deepen and expand our industrial capabilities by making sure we export less of what we have been endowed with in the primary or raw form, and convert larger portions of these resources into finished materials.
“That will allow us to benefit from the revenue earned from the added value of exporting a finished product,” he said.
“Our ability to overcome the current phase of our development lies in our resolve to work jointly via our regional and sub-regional organizations where we can all reach a common understanding to fight against a common enemy.
“This is one of the reasons I am delighted with the strides ECOWAS has been making towards unanimity and forging alliances with a goal to resolve issues that confront the sub-region.
“I believe that this is also the approach that is being followed in the West African Bankers’ Association and the West African Monetary Union,’’ he added.
While commenting on WABA’s ongoing attempts to synchronize monetary and fiscal policy, the president pushed the organization to find common ground despite the particular macroeconomic challenges that each member-state faces.
He pledged that Nigeria would always be ready to support efforts that are geared towards improving the lives of all its citizens “as long as they do not place us at a disadvantage.”
The WABA President praised Nigeria’s leadership role in the African economy, while also praising President Buhari’s leadership.
“That’s why we are here for counsel and guidance for the financial sector in West Africa,” he said. He further urged the president to be an advocate for the greater inclusion of WABA in the ECOWAS structure.
NGX Sheds 0.13% on Monday to Extend its Decline
The Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) extended its decline on Monday as investors exchanged 263,338,835 shares worth N3.549 billion in 4,549 billion.
The market value of all listed equities decreased by N37 billion from N28.562 trillion it closed on Friday to N25.525 trillion while NGX shed 0.13% to close at 52,911.51 index points on Monday.
Jaiz Bank led the most traded stocks with 114007816 shares worth N101,752,697.03. Followed by GTCO’s 12,872,851 shares valued N302,842,620.75. See other details below.
|CONOIL||N 31.15||N 34.25||3.10||9.95 %|
|MRS||N 13.60||N 14.95||1.35||9.93 %|
|MCNICHOLS||N 2.13||N 2.34||0.21||9.86 %|
|ACADEMY||N 1.23||N 1.35||0.12||9.76 %|
|NPFMCRFBK||N 1.87||N 2.02||0.15||8.02 %|
|PRESCO||N 200.00||N 180.00||-20.00||-10.00 %|
|GSPECPLC||N 3.41||N 3.07||-0.34||-9.97 %|
|NEIMETH||N 1.76||N 1.59||-0.17||-9.66 %|
|UACN||N 14.40||N 13.20||-1.20||-8.33 %|
|NEM||N 4.39||N 4.05||-0.34||-7.74 %|
Nigeria Raises Interest Rate by 150 Basis Points to 13%
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) led Monetary Policy Committee on Tuesday unanimously agreed to raise interest rates by 150 basis points from 11.5% to 13% to rein in escalating consumer prices.
The apex Governor, Godwin Emefiele disclosed this while speaking to the media on Tuesday, May 24th, 2022.
In 2020, the committee cut interest by 50 basis points to 11.5% in September 2020 to encourage borrowing and deepen new investment to stir growth and halt the plunge in economic productivity during the peak of COVID-19.
The nine-member committee voted unanimously to keep Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) at 13% and others as follow:
- The asymmetric corridor of +100/-700 basis points around the MPR was retained
- CRR was retained at 27.5%
- While Liquidity Ratio was also kept at 30%
The increase may not be unconnected to Nigeria’s high inflation rate of 16.82% in April. The committee is now projecting an aggressive increase in the inflation rate due to the forthcoming general election.
Emefiele said the MPC is suspicious “there might be an aggressive accretion of inflation”. Therefore, to prevent the looming inflation, he said the committee had to raise the interest rate by 150 basis points.
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