The Nigerian Naira on Thursday plunged to 400 against the US dollar at the parallel market as forex scarcity continued to impact economic activities in the nation.
The local currency closed at 315.06 against the US dollar at the interbank market on Thursday, losing about 11.3 percent since the new forex flexibility policy was implemented in June.
Experts have attributed the continuous depreciation in the Naira value to the shortage of forex in the country and the inability of the Central Bank of Nigeria to prop up the Naira value at the interbank market as envisaged in its 13 forex guidelines two months ago.
“As far as you continue to have some 41 items banned from the interbank market, importers and manufacturers of those items will continue to seek for forex at the parallel market. The issue still has to do with inadequate forex supply.” said Mr. Kunle Ezun, a currency analyst at Ecobank Nigeria.
However, the National President of the Association of Bureau De Change Operators, Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe said the situation could be linked to the activities of some speculators.
“The naira is falling at the parallel market because there is scarcity at the interbank market. This fall could be due to the activities of genuine manufacturers or some people you cannot identify. These are people who have stored naira somewhere and are seeking to convert them to dollars,” said Sherrifdeen Tella, a Professor of Economics at the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye.
While, a Foreign Exchange Research Analyst at Investors King Ltd., Samed Olukoya said “if the activities of the parallel market is not checked, it would pressure consumer prices even more and pushed inflation to around 20 percent in the second half of the year.”
This he said will worsen the current situation as the recent increase in interest rate by the monetary policy committee to 14 percent will likely increase the unemployment rate and subsequently lower consumer spending as businesses look to downsize to cut costs.
Otedola Moves to Sell Part of Geregu Power Plc to FEDA
Afreximbank to acquire part of Geregu Power plant
Billionaire Femi Otedola-owned energy company, Geregu Power Plc is in talks with the Fund for Export Development in Africa (FEDA) for the acquisition of part of the energy company.
The company stated in a statement signed by Akinleye Olagbende, Company Secretary and made available on the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX).
Geregu Power hereby notifies “Nigerian Exchange Limited (the Exchange) and the investing public of its discussions with the Fund for Export Development in Africa (FEDA) for the acquisition of a portion of Geregu Power Plc shares. FEDA is the impact development arm of the Africa Export and Import Bank (Afreximbank),” the company stated.
According to the energy firm, talks are presently ongoing and “where these talks progress to a more advanced stage, the company will notify the Exchange and the investing public in line with the rules of the Exchange.”
In October, Geregu Power listed 2.5 billion shares at N100 a unit on the Main Board of the NGX. This puts the company’s market value at N250 billion and also in a better position it to raise capital to bid for Geregu II as it is presently doing.
Speaking on the listing, the Chairman, Board of Directors, Mr. Femi Otedola, CON, said “the listing of the company was the actualization of a vision to bring world-class standards in governance sustainability, and business processes to the Company and the Nigerian electricity sector.”
He added that “listing on the Main Board of the Exchange will ensure that the long-term growth of the company is assured and its benefits will be passed on to our esteemed shareholders”.
Otedola is the largest shareholder in FirstBank and also holds a 99% stake in Amperion Power, the owner of the Geregu Power Plant.
Access Bank Acquires Indirect Stake in Sigma Pensions
Access Holdings on Friday announced it has completed the acquisition of an indirect equity stake in Sigma and the merger of its subsidiary, First Guarantee Pension Limited (FGPL) with Sigma.
According to the bank, following the sanction of the Scheme of Merger between Sigma and FGPL by the Federal High Court on December 1, 2022, FGPL has been dissolved without winding up leaving Sigma as the surviving entity, according to Access Holdings.
Commenting on the transaction, Dr Herbert Wigwe, Group Chief Executive of the Corporation, said “Following the successful completion of the merger, our plan is to leverage the synergies of these entities, as well as the Corporation’s expansive distribution network, strong risk management culture and best-in-class governance standards to create a formidable pension funds administration business.”
Dangote Group Dismisses Rumours of Plan to Rise Cement Price
Dangote Cement says no price increase
Africa’s leading cement producer, Dangote Cement Plc has dismissed the rumor that it plans to increase the price of its products.
The clarification became necessary following a recent publication that Dangote Cement plans a fresh increase.
Recently, there has been some publication (Not Investors King) about a potential increase in the price of cement. The publications noted that the increase will be a result of the high cost of fuel among other prevailing issues.
According to the Senior Manager, branding and communication, Dangote Industries Limited, Mr Sunday Esan, “Dangote Cement is not embarking on a price increase”, stating that the increase is mere speculation.
Meanwhile, Dangote Cement in the third quarter of 2022, recorded an increase in the overall volume of cement sales by 6.2 percent to 20.8 metric tons in the third quarter of 2022.
According to the company’s Chief Executive Officer, Michel Puchercos, this was achieved, despite the elevated inflation caused by a very volatile global environment.
Similarly, while speaking on the increase in the price of fuel, Puchercos said “to mitigate the impact of the significant increase in energy and AGO costs, we are strengthening our efforts to ramp up the usage of alternative fuels”.
“We are on track to commission our Alternative Fuel feed system at Obajana lines I and V, and Ibese line II in November. In addition, we are ramping up our investment in Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), to reduce our AGO usage,” he added.
Investors King understands that Dangote Cement is Africa’s leading cement producer with nearly 51.6Mta capacity across Africa. Although it has a few competitors which include BUA Cement, the company supplies most parts of Nigeria.
In addition, Dangote Cement has operations in 10 African countries.
Its production plant in Obajana, Kogi state, is the largest in Africa with 16.25Mta of capacity across five lines while the Ibese plant in Ogun state has four cement lines with a combined installed capacity of 12Mta.
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