People’s Bank of China Governor Zhou Xiaochuan sought to shore up global confidence in the world’s second-largest economy, saying policy makers still have room to act on the monetary front.
China’s economy remains strong and its economic structure and quality is improving, Zhou said in a speech Friday at a conference in Shanghai. He was speaking as the two-day Group of 20 central bankers and finance ministers meeting gets underway, with China’s economic and currency outlook expected to be a key focus of discussions.
Policy makers are striving to shore up slowing growth and counter yuan depreciation pressure as surging capital outflows burn through foreign-exchange reserves. Zhou was making his second public appearance in a week following months of silence as officials try to soothe anxiety over China’s currency in the wake of last year’s shock devaluation.
As China hosts the world’s top economic leaders in the same year the yuan gains reserve currency status from the International Monetary Fund, it’s finding its own policies are in the spotlight. Economic leaders such as IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde and U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew have called for better communication from the world’s second-biggest economy.
There’s evidence that China is responding. Zhou said in a rare interview with Caixin magazine this month that there’s little reason to think the yuan should depreciate further. Zhou is also scheduled to hold a press briefing today.
Zhou said in Caixin the interview that there’s no basis for continued yuan depreciation, that the nation’s balance of payments is good, capital outflows are normal and the exchange rate is basically stable against a basket of currencies. China has no incentive to depreciate the currency to boost net exports, and there’s no direct link between the nation’s gross domestic product and its exchange rate, he said.
China’s economic outlook will feature prominently at the G-20 meeting in Shanghai. Chinese officials have pinned the cause of recent global volatility on the Federal Reserve’s decision to raise interest rates in December for the first time in almost a decade.
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Nigeria’s Presidential CNG Initiative Allocates N100bn for CNG Buses and EV Adoption
The Presidential Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Initiative has allocated N100 billion to expedite the deployment of CNG buses nationwide, according to a statement released on Wednesday.
The initiative, designed to catalyze an Auto-gas and Electric Vehicle (EV) revolution in mass transit and transportation, aims to enhance sustainability and cost-effectiveness.
The statement revealed that the fund would be instrumental in supporting the adoption of auto-gas and electric vehicles, signaling a commitment to a more sustainable and economical future in the transportation sector.
The Presidential CNG Initiative plans to leverage over 11,500 CNG and electric-fueled vehicles, along with the deployment of 55,000 conversion kits.
This strategic approach is intended to reduce transportation costs for Nigerians and mitigate the challenges posed by the rising cost of living.
Under the Renewed Hope Agenda, the Presidential CNG Initiative is dedicated to realizing the President’s vision, guided by its steering committee led by FIRS Chairman Zacch Adedeji.
The statement highlighted recent achievements, including strategic technical partnerships and the ongoing commissioning of CNG Conversion centers in key states such as Lagos, Abuja, Kaduna, Ogun, and Rivers.
Several more centers are slated for commissioning in the coming weeks, reflecting the initiative’s momentum and commitment to achieving its objectives.
Nigeria’s Power Transformation: 53 Projects Worth N122bn on Track for May 2024 Completion
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in collaboration with the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and power distribution companies, is set to complete 53 power projects by May next year.
Valued at N122 billion, these projects aim to add over 1,000 megawatts to TCN’s wheeling capacity.
During a recent tour of three ongoing projects in Lagos, TCN’s Programme Coordinator, Mathew Ajibade, assured that the projects were not abandoned, refuting speculations.
He confirmed that work is progressing smoothly and is expected to be completed by May 2024, as initially planned.
Assistant Director/Head of Infrastructure Finance Office at the CBN, Tumba Tijani, highlighted the CBN’s support for the power sector, revealing that the bank released a loan at a 9% interest rate in August last year for the projects.
The funding, part of the Nigeria Electricity Market Stabilisation Facility-3, amounts to N122,289,344 and aims to address transmission/distribution bottlenecks, enhance supply to end-users, and unlock unutilized generation capacity.
Tijani disclosed that N85.43 billion has been disbursed into the Advance Payment Guarantee account of the 53 contractors responsible for executing the projects.
The comprehensive project list includes the delivery of power transformers, re-conductoring existing transmission lines, upgrading existing substations, and constructing 33KV line bays.
The initiative reflects a concerted effort to enhance Nigeria’s power infrastructure and meet growing energy demands.
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