- FG Grows Trade With China, Injects CNY669.66m
The Federal Government has continued to grow its business relationship with China, since the Central Bank of Nigeria signed a Bilateral Currency Swap Agreement with the People’s Bank of China in April 2018.
Nigeria has also continued to increase the loans that have been taken from China.
By the end of 2018, the CBN had injected CNY669.66m in the foreign exchange market to support businesses trading with China.
The CBN stated in its report that “in addition, the CBN continued to participate at the Naira-Settled OTC Futures market and increased the volume and frequency of sale of foreign exchange to BDCs. 17 sales auction of July 20, 2018.
“Since then, 12 bi-weekly auctions had been conducted and renminbi worth CNY669.66m was sold. This helped boost foreign exchange management as it reduced demand pressure for US dollars, thereby conserving foreign reserves. It also helped to improve trade relations with China.”
The CBN said that it sustained its various foreign exchange policies in 2018.
It said that these included foreign exchange intervention in critical sectors, such as agriculture, airlines, petroleum, raw materials and machinery.
The bank said it continued its sale of foreign exchange for invisible transactions, such as the personal and business travel, payment of medical bills and school fees. The SMEs, oil companies and the Investors & Exporters windows provided easy access to foreign exchange.
“The CBN further increased the volume and frequency of sales of foreign exchange to BDCs and sustained its active participation in the Naira-Settled OTC Futures Market established in 2016,” it said.
The CBN recalled that last year, it signed a BCSA with the People’s Bank of China, and commenced full implementation of the agreement with the CBN-Renminbi Retail Secondary Market Intervention.
The report said, “The stability in the foreign exchange market recorded by the bank in 2017 was sustained in the review period. This was due to the positive gains arising from the implementation of the various policies adopted by the bank in line with its flexible exchange rate regime.
“These measures included the creation of special windows such as the I & E, SMEs, SMIS, payment of port charges by oil companies and invisibles , among others.”
On Wednesday, the Federal Executive Council approved another $1bn Chinese loan, to be sourced from the China-Exim Bank for the Gurara II Hydropower project.
Illegal Withdrawals: Rep To Investigate NNPC, NLNG Over $1.05bn
Rep To Investigate NNPC, NLNG Over Illegal Withdrawal of $1.05bn from NLNG Account
The Nigerian House of Representatives has concluded plans to investigate illegal withdrawal of $1.05 billion from the account of the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG) by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
The decision followed the adoption of a motion titled ‘Need to Investigate the Illegal Withdrawals from the NLNG Dividends Account by the Management of NNPC’ moved by the Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu, on Tuesday.
The House adopted the motion and mandated its Committee on Public Accounts to “invite the management of the NNPC as well as that of the NLNG, to conduct a thorough investigation on activities that have taken place on the dividends account and report back to the House in four weeks.”
Elumelu said, “The House is aware that the dividends from the NLNG are supposed to be paid into the Consolidated Revenue Funds account of the Federal Government and to be shared amongst the three tiers of government.
“The House is worried that the NNPC, which represents the government of Nigeria on the board of the NLNG, had unilaterally, without the required consultations with states and the mandatory appropriation from the National Assembly, illegally tampered with the funds at the NLNG dividends account to the tune of $1.05bn, thereby violating the nation’s appropriation law.
“The House is disturbed that there was no transparency in this extra-budgetary spending, as only the Group Managing Director and the corporation’s Chief Financial Officer had the knowledge of how the $1.05bn was spent.
“The House is concerned that there are no records showing the audit and recovery of accrued funds from the NLNG by the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation, hence the need for a thorough investigation of the activities on the NLNG dividends account.”
FG Gives Radio, Tv Stations Debt Relief, Writes Off 60 Percent Debt
FG Reduces Tv, Radio Stations Licence Fee by 30%, Writes Off 60% Debt
The Federal Government has reduced the existing licence fee paid by all open terrestrial radio and television stations by 30 percent.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, disclosed this at a press conference in Abuja on Monday.
He said the Federal Government has also decided to write off 60 percent of the N7 billion loan owed the government by television and radio stations.
He explained that the N7 billion is the total outstanding from television and radio stations on the renewal of their operating licences.
Mohammed, however, said for any station to benefit from the 60 percent debt relief, such a station must be ready and willing to pay the remaining 40 percent within the next three months.
According to him, the debt relief offer would open on July 10th and close on the 6th of October.
Mohammed said, “According to the NBC, many Nigerian radio and television stations remain indebted to the Federal Government to the tune of N7bn.
“Also, many of the stations are faced with the reality that their licences will not be renewed, in view of their indebtedness.
“Against this background, the management of the NBC has therefore recommended, and the Federal Government has accepted, the following measures to revamp the broadcast industry and to help reposition it for the challenges of business, post-COVID-19:
“(a) 60 per cent debt forgiveness for all debtor broadcast stations in the country; (b) the criterion for enjoying the debt forgiveness is for debtor stations to pay 40 per cent of their existing debt within the next three months.
“(c) Any station that is unable to pay the balance of 40 per cent indebtedness within the three-month window shall forfeit the opportunity to enjoy the stated debt forgiveness.
“(d) The existing license fee is further discounted by 30 per cent for all open terrestrial radio and television services effective July 10, 2020.
“(e) The debt forgiveness shall apply to functional licensed terrestrial radio and television stations only. (f) The debt forgiveness and discount shall not apply to pay TV service operators in Nigeria.”
Nigeria’s Inflation to Average 12.2 Percent in 2020 Says PwC
PwC Says Inflation Will Average 12.2% in 2020
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has predicted that the nation’s inflation rate will average 12.2 percent in 2020.
In the report titled ‘Demand and supply shocks from COVID-19 keep inflation higher for longer’, the company based its projection on the rising cost of goods and services due to the supply shocks to commodity and the COVID-19 negative impacts on the economy.
The report explained that the supply disruption brought about by lockdown measures put in place to mitigate COVID-19 spread pushed headline inflation to its highest in 23 months in the month of May 2020.
Nigeria’s headline inflation rose by 12.4 percent year-on-year in the month of May. Its fastest pace of increase in 26 months, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
However, PwC said because of the growing global uncertainty due to the projected second wave of COVID-19 and declining household incomes, headline inflation will increase from the average of 11.4 percent recorded in 2019 to average 12.2 percent in 2020.
“Barring a second wave of the pandemic, which could further threaten outlook for global economic growth, coupled with the absence of major shocks to food supply in Nigeria, inflation outlook for rest of the year could be influenced by two factors. Firstly, the elevated base effect, and secondly, waning household incomes. The first factor is likely to have a greater impact.”
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