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External Reserves Shed 2.1% in One Month

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Recession

The nation’s external reserves fell to $25.78bn as of August 16, down by 2.11 per cent from its level a month ago, the Central Bank of Nigeria data showed on Thursday.

This came just as the CBN stepped up dollar sales to boost interbank liquidity and support the local currency.

The central bank has been selling dollars almost daily on the interbank market to prop up the currency. The naira touched an all-time low of 365.25 per dollar on Thursday.

The foreign exchange reserves had fallen marginally to $26.20bn on July 28, down from $26.32 on July 22.

On May 28, the foreign exchange reserves stood at $26.42bn; it was down by 9.2 per cent year-on-year.

During the month of July, the reserves hovered between $26.3 and $26.4bn.

Similarly, the foreign exchange reserves oscillated between $26.3 and $26.4bn in June.

The reserves had stood at the $26.4bn between May 24 and 27, after dropping to $26.5bn from $26.6bn the same month.

Between May 31 and June 7, the external reserves stood at $26.3bn, before rising back to the $26.4bn mark on June 8, a level it maintained up until June 24. On June 27, it fell back to $26.36bn.

The CBN had last month lifted its 16-month-old currency controls 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 had dropped by over 10 per cent from last year when they were at $29.7bn.

The global plunge in oil prices has caused the reserves to be depleting very fast. The development has forced the CBN to introduce foreign exchange controls, which were abandoned last month.

The external reserves have lost over $2bn this year.

The nation recorded a balance of payments deficit of 1.4 per cent in its Gross Domestic Product at the end of 2015, owing largely to its first current account deficit (three per cent of the GDP) in over a decade.

The nation’s external reserves had reduced by $6.7bn within a period of 21 months, the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Sen. Udo Udoma, said on March 23.

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.

Business

333,000 Artisans: FG Commences One-Time Payment of N30,000

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MSME

FG Begins One-Time Payment of N30,000 to 333,000 Artisans

The Federal Government on Monday said it has commenced a one-time payment of N30,000 to 333,000 artisans under the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Survival Fund.

In a statement issued by Laolu Akande, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice President, disbursements were being done to verified beneficiaries of the Artisan Support Scheme.

The statement read in part, “In the first stream of payments starting today, beneficiaries are being drawn from the FCT, Lagos, Ondo, Kaduna, Borno, Kano, Bauchi, Anambra, Abia, Rivers, Plateau and Delta States. They form the first batch of applications for the scheme submitted between October 1 and October 10.

“The MSMEs Survival Fund scheme is a component of the Nigerian Economic Sustainability Plan, NESP, which was developed by an Economic Sustainability Committee established by President Muhammadu Buhari in March 2020.

“The President asked his deputy, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, to head the committee which produced and is overseeing the implementation of the plan. “Under the ESP, the Survival Fund is generally designed to among other things, support vulnerable MSMEs in meeting their different obligations and safeguard jobs in the sector.”

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Absorb Exited Npower Beneficiaries, N-power Youths Congress Tells FG

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Absorb Npower Beneficiaries of Batches A and B, N-power Youths Congress Tells FG

The N-power Youths Congress (NYC) has pleaded with the Federal Government to absorb the 500,000 exited Npower beneficiaries of Batches A and B and pay their outstanding allowances.

The National Coordinator, NYC, Comrade Joseph Enam Maga, stated this in Maiduguri during a press briefing held on Saturday at the NUJ Press Center.

He said thousands of exited beneficiaries are yet to be paid since the month of Match.

He, therefore, called on the Federal Government to offset all the outstanding allowances of Batches A and B and create a permanent job for them.

He said “It is a fact undisputable that thousands of beneficiaries have not been paid since the month of March.

“Promises upon promises have been made on this, but yet no positive result has been recorded. Sometimes I wonder what it takes for the data base manager of Npower to rectify this! Something that can be rectified in a couple of hours has lasted for seven good months now.

“Worst still, this is happening within this period of hunger and starvation because of Pandemic. We call on the minister of humanitarian affairs and disaster management to be human enough to respond to our request and give prompt attention to them.

“We equally wish to bring to the notice of Mr. President that Batch B Beneficiaries have not received their devices as was promised and signed at the commencement of the program.

“It is very sad that up to the disengagement of Batch A and B, nobody has come out openly to tell us what happened to our devices.

The coordinator paused to ask why are Nigerian youths being treated like nobody in their country? What have we done to be neglected like this?

“When the Humanitarian Minister was asked why we were disengaged at this critical time in historical epoch that corona virus is terrorizing the whole world, she responded that we were disengaged because it’s a two years programe that we signed.

“Then comes the question: why did Batch A stayed 4years? And if we signed for two years contract that warranted our disengagement, didn’t we equally signed to be given a device that would help us in our different places of primary assignment and equally increase of knowledge? Please we need answers ma. We need answers.

“We, the 500,000 batches A and B of Npower beneficiaries are calling on our government to respond to our demand. We don’t want to believe that it’s only a state of violence anarchy and doom will make a sane government to listen to her Youth’s grievances.

“Look at the Endsars protest for instance, after many lives have been lost and properties destroyed, our government decided to speak up. Niger delta militants were attended to when they resort to arms.

“The insurgents were given amnesty because of their terrorism. But we the innocent 500,000 graduates have been innocently complaining to our government but they paid deaf ears. We are law abiding citizens and we will continue to be law abiding citizens.

“We want Mr. President to understand that a hungry man is an angry man. We have really endured a lot. We need a quick response to our requests. We can’t be used and dumped like refuse. We refused to be used and dumped”, the National Coordinator added.

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Airtel Africa Appoints Ms. Kelly Bayer Rosmarin as a Non-Executive Director

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Ms. Kelly Bayer Rosmarin

Airtel Africa has appointed Ms. Kelly Bayer Rosmarin as a non-executive director, effective from 27 October 2020.

In a statement released on the Nigerian Stock Exchange’s website, the telecommunication giant said Ms. Bayer Rosmarin’s “appointment is by nomination of the controlling shareholder pursuant to the terms of relationship agreement dated 17 June 2019 between the Company, Bharti Airtel, Airtel Africa Mauritius Limited, the majority shareholder and an indirect subsidiary of Bharti Airtel, and Bharti Telecom. Ms. Bayer Rosmarin will replace Arthur Lang who will step down as a non-executive director on the same date.

“Ms. Bayer Rosmarin is currently CEO of Singtel Optus and Consumer Australia. She was previously with Commonwealth Bank of Australia, where she held several senior positions and varied portfolios, before being appointed as Group Executive of Institutional Banking and Markets. Ms Bayer Rosmarin is recognised for leveraging technology, data and analytics to develop leading customer services and experience. Ms. Bayer Rosmarin was named in the Top 10 Businesswomen in Australia and the Top 25 Women in Asia Pacific Finance and holds a variety of Board and advisory responsibilities.

“Ms. Bayer Rosmarin has, since February 2019, served as an Independent non-executive director on the Board of OpenPay, listed on the ASX. She will continue in that role. Openpay is a payments technology company based in Australia.”

Speaking on the change in the company’s director, Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman, Airtel, said: “On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Arthur, who joined the Board in October 2018 and supported the company through its IPO, for his significant contribution to the success of our strategy to build Airtel Africa into a market leading mobile service provider and wish him well for the future.”

He further stated: “I am delighted that Kelly has agreed to join the Airtel Africa Board and we very much look forward to working closely with her”.

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