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CBN Governor, Varsity Don Clash over Apex Bank Policies on Economy, Poverty

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  • CBN Governor, Varsity Don Clash over Apex Bank Policies on Economy, Poverty  

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele and former Vice Chancellor of Bowen University and Pioneer, Aso Villa Chapel Chaplain, Prof Yusuf Obaje, yesterday clashed in Abuja over allegations by the latter against the apex bank of doing nothing to fight poverty but rather implementing anti-people policies not in tune with the prevailing economic realities.

According to Obaje, the country was currently facing economic recession because most of the economic policies of the federal government were not in touch with the reality on ground.

Obaje stated this while speaking in Abuja at the National Economic Summit organised by the Coalition of Civil Society Groups (CCSG) tagged; ‘Sustainable Policy Participation strategy in the Face of Economic Recession.’

The university don maintained that right from the Soludo-led administration to the present CBN under the leadership of Godwin Emefiele, the apex bank had failed to look inwards to fashion out policies that are in line with the Nigerian situation.

He opined that “the situation is getting worse today and everybody is busying abusing the man at the helm of the affairs.

“Most of the policies formulated were not in touch with the reality of the Nigerian people. The policies did not even come out of our own intellectual engine room, they are all borrowed ideas.”

Obaje contended that the only antidote to the current economic crisis in the country was for Nigeria to develop her own national ideology, adding that lack of national ideology was responsible for all kinds of problems faced in the country.

“I have canvassed for the need to have national ideology in the last national conference organised by Jonathan administration and they told me that it was the future.

“National ideology is a priority for our economic emancipation. Every human behaviour is rooted in ideology; our lives are controlled by idea.

“Any borrowed ideology that is not in conformity with the reality is bound to create suffering. Idea must find its root in the soil of the particular people it is meant for,” he said.

Responding, Emefiele debunked the claims of alleged anti-people policies by the apex bank in impoverishing Nigerians instead of benefiting them.

He charged critics to avoid condemning its efforts in improving the economic situation by focusing on lopsided pattern of analogy that lack basic economic principles.

Emefiele who was represented by his Special Adviser on Financial Market, Emmanuel Ukeje, maintained that “part of the benefits we are reaping today are out of some reforms carried out” by CBN in the past.

He noted that some critics of the CBN policies had failed to look at the policies critically and see what it had benefited the country and the people; rather they choose to see it from one angle without thinking of its benefits to the country.

Emefiele observed that “when CBN take position, we don’t have any interest than the best for the public and Nigeria,” adding that, “investment should be in the sectors that will create value.

“We are making sure that the banking system supports the real sectors of the economy to improve the situation. We need to take a look into our industrial policy, we have the capacity to produce and earn foreign exchange,” he said.

Speaking, President of the coalition, Comrade Bassey Etuk Williams called on the economic team to look into the economic policies with a view of find-tuning it in line with the reality on ground.

He said; “I beckon on the economic team as presently constituted to work in synergy with all relevant stakeholders and the critical Nigerian mass like never before in ensuring the continuous development of sustainable programmes and policies potent enough to pull the country out of the present economic doldrums,” Williams stated.

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.

Crude Oil

Oil Dips Below $62 in New York Though Banks Say Rally Can Extend

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Oil Dips Below $62 in New York Though Banks Say Rally Can Extend

Oil retreated from an earlier rally with investment banks and traders predicting the market can go significantly higher in the months to come.

Futures in New York pared much of an earlier increase to $63 a barrel as the dollar climbed and equities slipped. Bank of America said prices could reach $70 at some point this year, while Socar Trading SA sees global benchmark Brent hitting $80 a barrel before the end of the year as the glut of inventories built up during the Covid-19 pandemic is drained by the summer.

The loss of oil output after the big freeze in the U.S. should help the market firm as much of the world emerges from lockdowns, according to Trafigura Group. Inventory data due later Tuesday from the American Petroleum Institute and more from the Energy Department on Wednesday will shed more light on how the Texas freeze disrupted U.S. oil supply last week.

Oil has surged this year after Saudi Arabia pledged to unilaterally cut 1 million barrels a day in February and March, with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. predicting the rally will accelerate as demand outpaces global supply. Russia and Riyadh, however, will next week once again head into an OPEC+ meeting with differing opinions about adding more crude to the market.

“The freeze in the U.S. has proved supportive as production was cut,” said Hans van Cleef, senior energy economist at ABN Amro. “We still expect that Russia will push for a significant rise in production,” which could soon weigh on prices, he said.

PRICES

  • West Texas Intermediate for April fell 27 cents to $61.43 a barrel at 9:20 a.m. New York time
  • Brent for April settlement fell 8 cents to $65.16

Brent’s prompt timespread firmed in a bullish backwardation structure to the widest in more than a year. The gap rose above $1 a barrel on Tuesday before easing to 87 cents. That compares with 25 cents at the start of the month.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. and oil trader Vitol Group shot down talk of a new oil supercycle, though they said a lack of supply response will keep prices for crude prices firm in the short term.

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Crude Oil

Oil Prices Rise With Storm-hit U.S. Output Set for Slow Return

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Oil Prices Rise With Storm-hit U.S. Output Set for Slow Return

Oil prices rose on Monday as the slow return of U.S. crude output cut by frigid conditions served as a reminder of the tight supply situation, just as demand recovers from the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brent crude was up $1.38, or 2.2%, at $64.29 per barrel. West Texas Intermediate gained $1.38, or 2.33%, to trade at $60.62 per barrel.

Abnormally cold weather in Texas and the Plains states forced the shutdown of up to 4 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude production along with 21 billion cubic feet of natural gas output, analysts estimated.

Shale oil producers in the region could take at least two weeks to restart the more than 2 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude output affected, sources said, as frozen pipes and power supply interruptions slow their recovery.

“With three-quarters of fracking crews standing down, the likelihood of a fast resumption is low,” ANZ Research said in a note.

For the first time since November, U.S. drilling companies cut the number of oil rigs operating due to the cold and snow enveloping Texas, New Mexico and other energy-producing centres.

OPEC+ oil producers are set to meet on March 4, with sources saying the group is likely to ease curbs on supply after April given a recovery in prices, although any increase in output will likely be modest given lingering uncertainty over the pandemic.

“Saudi Arabia is eager to pursue yet higher prices in order to cover its social break-even expenses at around $80 a barrel while Russia is strongly focused on unwinding current cuts and getting back to normal production,” said SEB chief commodity analyst Bjarne Schieldrop.

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Crude Oil Rose Above $65 Per Barrel as US Production Drop Due to Texas Weather

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Crude Oil Rose Above $65 Per Barrel as US Production Drop Due to Texas Weather

Oil prices rose to $65.47 per barrel on Thursday as crude oil production dropped in the US due to frigid Texas weather.

The unusual weather has left millions in the dark and forced oil producers to shut down production. According to reports, at least the winter blast has claimed 24 lives.

Brent crude oil gained $2 to $65.47 on Thursday morning before pulling back to $64.62 per barrel around 11:00 am Nigerian time.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose 2.3 percent to settle at $61.74 per barrel.

“This has just sent us to the next level,” said Bob Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho in New York. “Crude oil WTI will probably max out somewhere pretty close to $65.65, refinery utilization rate will probably slide to somewhere around 76%,” Yawger said.

However, the report that Saudi Arabia plans to increase production in the coming months weighed on crude oil as it can be seen in the chart below.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, Saudi Arabian Energy Minister, warned that it was too early to declare victory against the COVID-19 virus and that oil producers must remain “extremely cautious”.

“We are in a much better place than we were a year ago, but I must warn, once again, against complacency. The uncertainty is very high, and we have to be extremely cautious,” he told an energy industry event.

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