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External Reserves Rise Further, Now $25.4bn

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Bureau Of Engraving And Printing Prints New Anti-Counterfeit 100 Dollar Bills
  • External Reserves Rise Further, Now $25.4bn

The nation’s foreign exchange reserves have risen further to $25.4bn, according to the latest data obtained from the website of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

In less than one week, the reserves rose by almost $300m from $25.084bn recorded on December 16, 2016 to $25.361 on December 22, 2016, the CBN data showed

This indicated that the foreign exchange reserves had risen to almost four-month high.

The last time the reserves recorded something close to this figure was on September 2 when it had the balance of $24.361bn.

The nation’s fast-depleting reserves had recorded $23.89bn low on October 19.

The reserves have dropped by 15.9 per cent from last year when they closed at $29.7bn.

At the end of November, the reserves stood at $24.77bn, up from $23.95bn on October 31.

The CBN data showed that the foreign exchange reserves declined to $24.92bn on September 14 from $25.11bn on September 9.

Currency and economic experts are not sure if the tiny upticks in the external reserves’ level are sustainable amid a falling naira and acute shortage of dollar in the foreign exchange markets and the economy.

“We are not sure the extent this can go. Currently, the FX market is not a free-float one where the interplay of demand and supply determines price and volume. The uptick is not as a result of supply over demand. It happens when there is a slowdown in the allocation of FX,” the Chief Executive Officer, Cowry Asset Management Limited, Mr. Johnson Chukwu, said.

A senior associate in investment banking at Afrinvest, a research and investment firm, Mr. Ayodeji Ebo, said the gradual increase might only be sustainable if the oil price maintained its current level and there was a continuous ramp up in oil production. The CBN had on June 20 lifted its 16-month-old currency peg and auctioned about $4bn on the spot and futures market to clear a backlog of dollar demand to help boost interbank market trading.

The reserves fell from $26bn on August 4, 2016 to $25.97bn on August 5 as the central bank stepped up dollar sales to boost liquidity at the interbank market and support the ailing naira.

The naira, which touched an all-time low of 365.25 per dollar on August 18 at the official market, has consistently closed around 305.5 in recent weeks.

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.

Economy

Egypt Leads Nigeria, South Africa in Foreign Direct Investment

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Global debt

Egypt Leads Nigeria, South Africa in Foreign Direct Investment

The United Nations Trade Association has Nigeria recorded a total of $2.6 billion in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in 2020, below the $3.3 billion posted in the preceeding year.

South Africa, Africa’s most industrialised nation, reported $2.5 billion during the same year, slightly below Africa’s largest economy and 50 percent below the $4.6 billion attracted a year earlier.

The report also noted that Africa recorded a total of $38 billion FDI in the same year, representing a 18 percent decline from the $46 billion posted in the corresponding year of 2019.

However, Egypt led Nigeria and South Africa with $5.5 billion FDI, an increase of 38 percent from the preceeding year.

The report read in part, “FDI flows to Africa declined by 18% to an estimated $38 billion, from $46 billion in 2019. Greenfield project announcements, an indication of future FDI trends, fell 63% to $28 billion, from $77 billion in 2019. The pandemic’s negative impact on FDI was amplified by low prices of and low demand for commodities.

UNCTAD also noted that global foreign direct investment declined by 42 percent to an estimated $859 billion, down from $1.5 trillion in 2019.

The decline was concentrated in developed countries, where FDI flows fell by 69 percent to an estimated $229 billion. Flows to Europe dried up completely to -4 billion (including large negative flows in several countries). A sharp decrease was also recorded in the United States (-49%) to $134 billion.

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FG to Partly Fund Six Rail Projects Connecting All Regions

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rail project

FG to Partly Fund Six Rail Projects Connecting All Regions

The Federal Government will pay a total sum of N71 billion to partly fund six rail projects connecting all regions of the country.

In the report obtained from the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, the six rail projects marked for development this year are Lagos-Kano rail line (ongoing), Calabar-Lagos (ongoing), and Ajaokuta-Itakpe-Aladja (Warri).

Others are the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri railway, the new Kano-Katsina-Jibiya-Maradi line in Niger Republic and the Abuja-Itakpe and Aladja-Warri Port and refinery/Warri new harbour.

The Buhari administration will also spend N15.1 billion on the development of safety and security of critical projects, airport certification, runway construction, terminal building, among others in the aviation sector in 2021.

Last week, Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Transportation, said the Lagos-Kano line would be connected from the Ibadan end of the Lagos-Ibadan railway and would cost $5.3 billion.

We are waiting for the Chinese government and bank to approve the $5.3bn to construct the Ibadan-Kano. What was approved a year ago was the contract,” the minister said.

He added, “The moment I announced that the Federal Government had awarded a contract of $5.3bn to CCECC (China Civil Engineering and Construction Corporation) to construct Ibadan-Kano, people assumed the money had come in; no.

“We have not got the money, which is a year after we applied for the loan. We have almost finished the one of Lagos-Ibadan. If we don’t get the loan now, we can’t commence.”

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Economy

FG Launches E-ticketing Platform to Deepen Train Usage and Convenience

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FG Launches E-ticketing Platform to Deepen Train Usage and Convenience

In a bid to improve the usage and enhance the convenience of train transport in Nigeria, the Federal Government on Thursday announced the launching of the Electronic Ticketing platform for the Kaduna-Abuja rail services.

The N900 million E-ticketing platform was introduced by the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike R. Amaechi, and the Nigerian Railway Corporation.

Amaechi said the new platform would improve efficiency, promote accountability, reduce leakage and enhance economic growth, as well as save time.

The E-ticketing platform was a Public-Private Partnership project done in conjunction with Secure ID Solutions, who provide and would manage the system for 10 years in an effort to recoup its investment before the Nigerian Railway Corporation take charge.

Kofo Akinkugbe, the Chief Executive Officer, Secure ID Solutions, said as the new E-platform issued 25,000 tickets after a successful pilot test on Thursday.

Potential Travelers can book via three ways:

1. Mobile app
2. Website
3. POS or Cash at the station

A validator would be used to scan the ticket barcode to ascertain its authenticity before boarding.

Amaechi further announced that self-service ticket vending machines at various train stations would be introduced soon.

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