CBN floods FOREX market with $240 million, directs cash payments.

The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, on Monday injected $90 million to meet requests by bank customers, in its bid to sustain the supply of foreign exchange and ensure liquidity in the market.

The spokesperson of the bank, Isaac Okorafor, who confirmed the figure, said the fresh release is to meet invisibles such as basic and personal transport allowances, medical bills and school fees.

Invisibles are those items in the export trade that are untouchable, like movement of money and family, including BTAs, medical bills, plant and machinery as well as finished products.

Besides, Mr. Okorafor said the CBN also offered additional $150 million to authorised FOREX dealers in the interbank wholesale auction window to meet their customers’ demand.

Last week, the CBN had announced the adjustment of the bureax de change, BDC sale days to Tuesdays only, to reduce logistical difficulties, while the apex bank would henceforth sell $10,000 only to low-end FOREX dealers once every week.

To further ease the access of customers, Mr. Okorafor said the CBN had also directed all banks to pay cash over the counter to interested forex customers.

Urging the banks to oblige the genuine requests from their customers, the CBN spokesperson advised customers to report through available platforms any bank refusing to cooperate with the CBN.

The CBN spokesperson said the bank was optimistic that latest $150 million offered to authorised FOREX dealers in the interbank wholesale window would be enough to meet the requests of genuine wholesale customers.

During the last auction on March 28, 2017, customers had fully subscribed to the auction, clearing every dollar at stake.

Mr. Okorafor said on Sunday the CBN would disabuse the notion by some market speculators that it would not be able to sustain its FOREX intervention efforts.

To further strengthen the Naira value, which plunged to about N394 to a dollar on Friday, about 10 per cent depreciation from what was recorded earlier in the week, the spokesperson said the CBN would again inject more foreign exchange into the market early this week in an attempt to further weaken the dollar.


Source: Premium Times

CBN’s Emefiele vows to continue FOREX intervention

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Sunday reiterated its determination to sustain the provision of foreign exchange with a view to ensuring liquidity in the market and enhance accessibility and affordability for genuine end users.

Isaac Okorafor, acting director, corporate communications of CBN, in a statement said the bank wants to disabuse the notion by market speculators that it wouldn’t be able to sustain its forex intervention.

He said that the bank would again, early this week, inject more foreign exchange into the market, leading to a further weakening of the dollar.

“This is in addition to the further increase in the sale of dollars to the Bureau de change operators from 8,000 dollars to 10,000 dollars per week,” he said

Okorafor warned commercial banks and other dealers to desist from sabotaging the efforts aimed at making life easier for foreign exchange end users.

According to Okorafor, the CBN had received complaints from customers over frustrations in getting foreign exchange for invisible items like tuition fee, medicals, personal and basic travel allowance.

The apex bank urged the general public to report any bank that failed to meet customers’ needs after due documentation.

It once again reiterated its determination to deal with any official or institution found to be sabotaging the operations of foreign exchange market in whatever guise.

It would be recalled that the naira closed at N394 to a dollar on Friday, which translated to 10 per cent depreciation of what was recorded earlier in the week.

The depreciation was attributed to the alleged hoarding of forex by banks rather than selling to genuine customers.

Analyst believe that with the twice weekly sale to BDCs up to 20,000 dollars, the naira is likely to appreciate in the coming week.


Source: The Cable

CBN activates new rate, pumps another $185m into FX market.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has activated the new foreign exchange rate for invisibles by pumping a total of $185 million into the foreign exchange market.

On Monday, the CBN introduced a cheaper rate for the dollar at the interbank market, requesting that banks sell the US currency at N360 for those seeking it for school fees, medical bills and travel allowances.

To activate this directive, the CBN pumped the sum of $85 million into the Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) at the rate of N357/$1 for onward sale to retail end-users at not more than N360/$1, for invisibles such as basic travel allowance (BTAs), medicals, school fees.

The apex bank also offered the sum of $100 million to authorized forex dealers in the interbank wholesale window to meet the requests of genuine wholesale customers.

Isaac Okorafor, the bank’s acting director in charge of corporate communications, said the rates in the interbank window for wholesale transactions would still be determined by activities in the interbank market.

He disclosed that all banks had also been directed to immediately post the new N360/$1 rate on electronic display boards in the banking halls of their branches, adding that examiners from the CBN would visit banks to ensure the new rates are implemented.

The CBN spokesmen also reiterated the bank’s directive to all banks to process and meet the demand for Travel Allowances (PTA/BTA) by end-users within 24 hours of such application, while applications for school fees and medical bills are to be met within 48 hours of such application.

Okorafor warned that the new move, aimed at further easing access of genuine end-users to forex, prohibited banks from selling foreign exchange funds meant for invisibles to Bureau De Change.

Going forward, he reiterated that all banks would receive amounts commensurate with their demand per week, which would be sold to customers who meet usual basic documentary requirements.

He therefore urged customers to report any erring bank to the CBN for investigation and appropriate sanction.


Source: The Cable

BREAKING: CBN sets 360 Naira for Dollars sales to customers

The Central bank of Nigeria, CBN, on Monday directed all deposit money banks to immediately commence the sale of foreign exchange to their customers at not more than N360 to the dollar.

The spokesperson of the CBN, Isaac Okarafor, said all customers requesting forex for their basic transport allowance and personal transport allowance, tuition and medical fees, would henceforth get at an exchange rate not more than N360 to the dollar.

“The CBN will sell to commercial banks at N357 per dollar,” Mr. Okorafor said. “Banks are to post the new rates in their banking halls of their branches immediately.”

He said CBN would send examiners to banks to ensure the new rates are implemented, warning that banks are prohibited from selling forex meant for invisibles to bureau the change..

Last week, inter-bank market transactions ended on a high, with Naira closing at about N375 to the dollar on Wednesday.

Traders were optimistic that the national currency value could rise to about N350 against the dollar.


Source: Premium Times

Dollar continues to fall as it now sells for N390 at parallel market.

The value of the dollar continued to diminish against the naira as the Nigerian currency was traded at N390 at the parallel market on Thursday in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Naira had also appreciated against the Euro, exchanging at N400 while remaining stable against the Pound Sterling at N465.

The last time the naira traded at between N390 and N400 to the dollar at the parallel market was in August 2016.

With the gains made by the local currency in the last five weeks, the naira inched closer to one of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) key foreign exchange policy objectives of an exchange rate convergence.

On Wednesday, when the dollar traded for N400, it marked the beginning of true convergence of official and black market foreign exchange rates.

At the foreign exchange interbank market, the naira traded for N375 to the dollar for invisibles and N307 to the dollar for manufacturers and importers of raw materials eligible to buy Forex from the segment of the market.

The significant gains made by the naira at the parallel market, according to market analysts, is a reflection of the improved confidence in the forex market following the sustained dollar interventions by the CBN since February.

A Bureau de Change, BDC, operator, who preferred anonymity in Abuja, said that the gains made by naira over the dollar were due to CBN’s continued flooding of the market with dollars while there were very few or no customers to patronise them.

He said several retail customers who used to resort to the BDCs, which indirectly funded the parallel market, to fund invisible transactions now bought dollars at a lower rate from the banks.

In all, the Central Bank has auctioned a total of $1.9 billion through forward sales as well as targeted intervention for invisibles.

This amount does not include its daily intervention of $1.5 million on the interbank market.

The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, on Tuesday expressed optimism about the convergence of the forex rates at the official and parallel markets, stating that the gains made by the naira against the greenback in the last five weeks were not a fluke.

Mr. Emefiele said he was happy that the central bank’s intervention was yielding positive results.

“I am happy, indeed very gratified, that the interventions have been positive; we have seen the rates now converging and we are strongly optimistic that the rates will converge further.

“In terms of sustainability, I think it is important for us to say that the foreign reserves at this time are still trending upwards to almost 31 billion dollars as I speak with you.

“The fact that we have done this consistently for close to five weeks should tell everybody, or those who doubt, the strength of the central bank to sustain this policy.”


Source: NAN

FLASH: Naira dramatically recovers to N405/$1

The Nigerian Naira dramatically recovered on Wednesday to 405 per dollar, less than 24 hours after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) monetary policy committee (MPC) meeting.

In Abuja, the Naira is currently trading between 405 to 410 per dollar, while the British pound is going for 520 — all at the parallel market.

For Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital, traders are still selling at 415 per dollar, and buying at 410.

More to follow...

Banks move against Etisalat’s plan to pay debts in Naira

Banks have opposed a proposal by Etisalat Nigeria to convert part of a $1.2 billion loan from dollar to naira.

Etisalat had proposed that the Abu Dhabi telecommunications group and its other shareholders should recapitalise it instead.

A banker, who confided in Reuters, revealed that the seven-year syndicated loan, on which Etisalat missed a payment, has a dollar portion of $235 million, which the firm wants to convert to naira to overcome the hard currency shortages in the Nigeria’s interbank market.

A source at the NCC told The Guardian yesterday that the meeting was shifted due to some unforeseen circumstances.

“It would now be held at an agreed date next week, and will include the CBN, NCC and Etisalat’s shareholders. The major thing for now is that discussions are on-going,” the source said.

It was further learnt that Etisalat is asking the banks to convert the dollar component to naira “but the banks don’t want that option and have told them to talk to their parent body to settle the loan.”

The UAE’s Etisalat owns 45 per cent of Etisalat Nigeria, while Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala owns 40 per cent of the company, which is due to meet its lenders for debt talks mediated by Nigeria’s central bank and the telecoms regulator.

This meeting was proposed after the authorities agreed with the local banks to prevent Etisalat Nigeria, which was not available for comment, going into receivership.

In 2013, Etisalat Nigeria was said to have secured a total of $1.7 billion medium term syndicated loan facility with a consortium of Nigerian banks. The facility included both naira and dollar tranches from a consortium of Nigerian banks.

The loan, which involved a foreign-backed guaranty bond, was for Etisalat to finance a major network rehabilitation and expansion of its operational base in Nigeria.

Sources from the Nigerian affiliate of the Abu Dhabi-listed telecoms firm had given notice to its Nigerian lenders that it would miss a payment on a $1.2 billion loan in February.


Source: The Guardian

CBN set to pump fresh batch of Dollars into FOREX market

The Central Bank of Nigeria will be pumping fresh dollars into the foreign exchange market this week, TheCable has learnt.

In the past two weeks, the CBN pumped $1.2 billion into the foreign exchange market to stem liquidity challenges faced by businesses and individuals across the nation.

Isaac Okorafor, the bank’s spokesperson, confirmed the proposed action of the CBN, further stating that the bank is resolute in its decision to stabilise the naira and leave speculators with regrets.

Okorafor also cautioned dealers in foreign exchange not to engage in any unwholesome practice that is detrimental to smooth operations in the market, warning that the CBN would impose heavy sanctions on any organization or official involved in such act.

The CBN on Thursday pumped in fresh $170 million into the foreign exchange market, as foreign reserves hit 2017 high.

The bank offered the sum of $100,000,000 as wholesale interventions, while it gave another $70,000,000 to meet requests for business and personal travel allowances.

The nation’s foreign reserves hit 2017 high of $30 billion on Wednesday, the second time the reserves is crossing the $30 billion mark since Buhari took office in May, 2015.


Source: The Cable

Naira strengthens to N450/$1 as CBN pumps in more Dollars

The naira on Monday continued to strengthen against the dollar and other major currencies, gaining N10 to exchange at N450 to a dollar at the parallel market.

The pound sterling and the euro exchanged at N560 and N470.

At the bureau de change (BDC) window, the naira sold at N399 to a dollar, CBN controlled rate, while the pound sterling and the euro closed at N610 and N500 .

The naira traded at N305.50 to a dollar at the inter-bank market.

Traders at the market expressed confidence in the new forex policy and its ability to restore the naira to its lost glory.

Meanwhile, some traders are still in shock at the performance of the naira, as many believed that the Nigerian currency would sink further to N1,000 to a dollar.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had earlier pumped fresh $180 million into the foreign exchange market, in its bid to solve the problem of forex scarcity.

The apex bank injected $80 million for personal travel allowance (PTA), school fees, and medical trips abroad, while another $100 million was sent into the system via banks for wholesale forwards market.

Last week after it announced fresh policy actions in the foreign exchange market, based on directives from the national economic council (NEC), the bank pumped $370.9 million into the forex market.


Source: The Cable

“Alex Badeh stashed $1 Million cash in his wardrobe”, prosecution witness reveals.

A prosecution witness in the ongoing trial of Alex Badeh, ex-chief of defence staff, on Tuesday told the federal high court, Abuja, that his team recovered one million dollar cash from Badeh’s house.

Goji Mohammed, the 15th witness to testify in Badeh’s trial, said he was part of the EFCC team, led by Isyaku Sharu, that conducted the search in Badeh’s house in Asokoro, Abuja.

Badeh is standing trial on money laundering offence he allegedly committed while serving as chief of air staff.

The witness also said the team recovered some bank documents, land documents, tax documents and few other instruments.

Mohammed said the commission received intelligence report on another property located at 6 Ogun River Street Maitama, which was found to be Badeh’s property.

He said they accessed the building by climbing the balcony, adding that the security man of the neigbouring house was invited to witness the search.

“When we climbed in, we were in the living area upstairs so we used the stairs and went to the living area downstairs and started our search from there,” he said.

“When we got to the biggest room in the house, we saw a wardrobe, on opening it, we saw a bag and on opening it contained foreign currency.

“We saw 16 bundles of 50 US dollars notes and two sealed bundles containing 100,000 US dollars which we estimated to amount one million US dollars.

“On further counting the money in our office we discovered it was exactly one million dollars.”

He said they also found a red box, which he could not precisely remember what was inside, but added that they also found two way bills of furniture supplied to the building.

When the prosecution sought to tender the search warrant, the red box and the way bill as evidence, the move was objected to by the defence team.

Lasun Sanusi, counsel for the defendant objected to the admissibility of the items, saying they were purportedly obtained from an illegal search.

Sanusi cited section 115 of administration of criminal justice act (ACJA) 2015, which states that the occupant of a place searched or a relation shall be at the house and see the items seized.

He said no provisions of law permitted state security agents to conduct search by looking for strangers on the street to witness it.

Sanusi said the law gave the owner of the property the impetus to nominate a representative to witness such search if he or she could not be present.

“My Lord, the witness had earlier confirmed that when they were to conduct search on the defendant’s house at Asokoro, they took him along to witness the search, why was this other one different,” he said.

“It is on record that the defendant was still in detention when the purported search was done in his house at Maitama which is a clear violation of the law.

“My Lord, we are not against the court admitting the search warrant as evidence but we vehemently oppose to the admissibility of the other items.”

On his part, Rotimi Jacobs, prosecution counsel, argued that section 149 and 150 of ACJA, which deals with house search warrant permitted the presence of two witnesses.

“This permission covers the person to whom the warrant is addressed and a neighbour within the neighbourhood the property is located.”

According to him, the provision allows the person to whom warrant is addressed to look for a witness in the neighbourhood.

He, therefore, argued that no provision of the law compelled the property owner to be present before a search warrant can be executed.

Okon Abang, however, adjourned the matter till February 22 for continuation.


Source: The Cable

SR: Inside The Poor Community Where Ex-NNPC GMD Andrew Yakubu Hid Over N3Bn

Godwin Isenyo paid a visit to the poor community in Kaduna State where operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission found over N3bn in a house allegedly belonging to a former General Manager of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.

When 30-year-old Ibrahim Alfa first heard that over N3bn was discovered by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in a house somewhere in Kaduna State, he rolled his eyes in disbelief. When he was later told the said sum was found in a house located inside his poor community in Sabo Tasha, Alfa, who holds a Higher National Diploma in Electric Engineering, screamed expletives.

Our correspondent found Alfa on Chikun Street, by the popular Y Junction along the Sabo Expressway, in Sabo Tasha, Chikun Local Government Area of the state. There, Alfa sat outside his one-bedroomed apartment he shared with his friends, talking about his future, which was far from being as bright as the afternoon sun.

“I am short of words. How can one believe that such amount of money was found here, in a place where there is no regular electricity supply, water supply? To think that a man of such immense  wealth has something to do with this community without contributing anything is, to say the least, disheartening,” Alfa said.

Chikun Street has since become popular following the discovery by operatives of the EFCC, on February 9.

Following a tip-off by an informant, operatives of the agency stormed a house in Sabon Tasha, allegedly belonging to the former Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Dr. Andrew Yakubu. The anti-graft agency said it found the sum of $9.7m (N2.96bn) and £74,000 (N28.19m), a total of over N3bn hidden in a fireproof safe inside the house.

Yakubu was NNPC GMD between 2012 and 2014 before he was relieved by the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan for alleged corruption and insubordination. He had worked with the NNPC for over 30 years.

Chikun LGA has an estimated population of over 360,000, with Sabo Tasha and Angwan Sunday having about half of the estimated population.

Alfa said, “As you can see, I am going to the next compound to fetch water from a borehole. This is as a result   of the government’s inability to provide for us. Yet we have somebody who hid money in foreign currencies in our area. This country is sick. Look at the poor drainage system, bad road network and lack of hospital facilities. Many of the residents are not happy with the man (Yakubu) for what he did. People in this community are angry. They wished the money was shared among them. He could not even touch anybody’s life in this community.”

An unexpected find in squalor

Last Friday, a statement from the EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, noted that “the surprise raid of the facility followed intelligence which the commission received about suspected proceeds of crime believed to be hidden in the slums of Sabo Tasha area of Kaduna.”

Uwujaren said the caretaker of the house, one Bitrus Yakubu, a younger brother to Andrew Yakubu, disclosed that both the house and the safe where the money was found belonged to his brother, Yakubu.

The EFCC spokesman further said on February 8, Yakubu had reported to the commission’s zonal office in Kano and made a statement wherein he allegedly admitted ownership of the recovered money, claiming it was a gift from unnamed persons.

The discovery by the EFCC has sparked outrage among Nigerians, especially Yakubu’s poor neigbours.

A resident of the area, 30-year-old Celestine Musa, said members of the community were woken up by the unusual presence of operatives of stern-looking EFCC operatives.

Musa said he was shocked that such huge sums could reside in such a poor community where many like him where struggling to eke out a living.

The house where the money was recovered was a stark difference to the amount it carried for months. But for the EFCC revelation, nothing pointed to the fact that N3bn was stashed somewhere in the unimpressive house with drab painting.

Directly opposite the building were shops, where a grinding machine for tomatoes, pepper and other stuff was displayed. To the extreme right was a firewood seller, displaying a hip of firewood.

Our correspondent gathered that the compound, where the money was recovered, had two two-bedroomed flats, self-contained apartments and a room-and-parlour. Two window-sized air conditioners were said to be in the room where the currencies, reportedly stored in an anti-fire safe, were discovered.

When SUNDAY PUNCH visited the house where the money was uncovered, it was learnt the older sister of the former GMD, a retired nurse fondly called “Mama,” resided there with other tenants.

The house is said to be one of the many properties owned by Yakubu. Interestingly, the unimpressive building in question is a kilometre  away from the 29, Bourbillion residence of the  ex-GMD by  Narayi High Cost Junction, an upscale neighbourhood in the state.

However, unlike the largely attractive houses in Narayi, Sabo Tasha has all the trappings of squalor and poverty. The area does not boast of a government primary or secondary school. The less-than-a-kilometre road is untarred and driving during rainy season, according to residents, is hellish.

“It is unfortunate that such an amount was recovered on my street where there is no good road. In fact, I am shocked and angry about the whole situation,” Musa added.

For Mr. Paul Okoye, a 70-year-old welder, said the discovery felt like a scene from a bad movie.

The septuagenarian noted that it was outrageous to trace such an amount of money in “hard currency” to a community lacking in life’s simple comforts.

He said, “Take a look at the deplorable condition of the road in the area. It is only a wicked person that can hide over N3bn in the midst of squalor. Personally, I have decided to refrain from commenting on this matter because it could give me a heart attack. We are hungry and dying of poverty, yet somebody kept such a huge amount of money and can still sleep well with his two eyes closed. It is the height of wickedness. It is unfair.”

A 50-year-old carpenter, who is also a motorbike rider, Mr. Godwin Odoh, echoed the same views.

Odoh has five children. He said he prayed to God to assist him and his family, since the likes of the ex-GMD could not assist the poor in their midst. “I have been living in this area for decades, and I never imagined that that amount of money could be kept in the area, not to mention the type of house where it was found,” he said.

Similarly, a 33-year-old seamstress, Comfort Ojei, whose shop is opposite Yakubu’s house, said she was shocked at the EFCC’s findings.

“It is obvious that we lack the basic amenities of life in this area, such as good roads, functional health care facilities, as well as schools, yet our neighbour was hiding dollars while we were suffering and dying of hunger. We are not happy at all,” the mother of two said.

Another neighbour, Samuel Koro, told SUNDAY PUNCH that he had once approached the Zango-Kataf-born Yakubu for assistance when he was still NNPC GMD. But Yakubu told him that he had no money.

“I had gone to meet him (Yakubu) for N20,000 for payment of my rent, but he said there was no money. Operatives of the Department of State Security guarding him then simply shoved me aside. So, when I heard of the EFCC discovery, that sad encounter flashed through my mind. He was not friendly with us at all,” Koro said.

However, like the saying goes, different strokes for different folks.

Mrs. Habibat Ifijeh, a trader, whose provision store is attached to the building where the money was uncovered, described the former GMD as a kind man who had touched many lives.

“All I can say is that the man is a gentleman. He assisted (my family) with our rent. We are tenants in his house and whenever we couldn’t afford the rent or didn’t have money to pay, he would simply tell us to ‘just forget it.’ I feel bad but I don’t know why he decided to keep the money here. Let the court judge him,” she said.

What we want FG to do with recovered money — Residents

Mr. John Ibekwe, whose one-roomed apartment is not far from the house where the money was recovered, said a fraction of the money would help his family and that of three generations after him.

Ibekwe said, “I am struggling to fend for my family. I cannot afford to pay the school fees of four of my children. I am approaching 48 and the future is still bleak for me and my family. Why should only one man have N3bn in his house when many in the country are suffering? In the past, they said ‘no food for lazy man’; now we work and their is still no food because of bad leaders. My heart bled when I heard of the discovery. We are all here and right under our nose was hidden dollars and nobody knew. Our leaders are wicked.”

Youths in the community are angry at Yakubu, noted Musa. “It is shameful. Only God knows what would happen to him if they should get hold of him. I pray he doesn’t come to this area because he will be lynched,” he said.

Ibekwe urged the Federal Government to use the money recovered for the benefit of the common man in the community and across the state.

“The Federal Government should ensure the recovered money is properly accounted for. Government should identify capital projects to utilise the money for. If the money recovered from looters are judiciously utilised, many Nigerians would be willing to join forces with the government in the fight against corruption in the land,” he said.

Ojei said the former GMD did not help his neighbours. “We want the recovered money shared. We want government to reconstruct our roads, build schools for our children and provide electricity and water for the community with the recovered money. During the rainy season, this road is not motorable,” he said.

Another resident, who refused to give his name, said, “Apart from the bad road which you see and at the same time feel, we don’t have good schools and other social amenities in this area. We can use such money to fix our roads, schools and health facilities. He should simply forfeit the money to the government. Let the government use this to show us that the law is working. We don’t want a situation whereby a court will give him a meagre amount like N100m as fine and ask him to go and sin no more.”

What N3bn can do for Kaduna State, Nigerians

The sum of N3bn recovered from Yakubu would have provided about two percent of the Kaduna State government’s 2017 budget put at about N214bn (made up of N83.46bn in recurrent spending and N131.45bn in capital expenditure), which would have gone a long way to provide several social infrastructure in the community and the state.

Last year, the governor of the state, Nasir el-Rufai, lamented that over 4,000 primary schools in the state were in various stages of disrepair.

Also, the state government is struggling with the school feeding programme; the amount would have fed the estimated 1.9 million primary school pupils in about 4,300 primary schools in the state for one month.

It would also have provided thousands of jobs as the state’s feeding programme is expected to directly create 17,000 jobs for catering vendors and others who would work for them.

The Executive Director, Centre for Creativity and Leadership Development, Kaduna, Abdullahi Ali-Dogo, said the amount could have done more for the state and development of its infrastructure.

“Some of the things the money can provide for this community include a good road network, well-equipped hospital and a borehole for every household. This will go a long way in reshaping the community. I believe the major problems of that community are bad roads and lack of educational facilities. A fraction of that amount can get all the streets there tarred; provide well-equipped health care centres, potable water, as well as primary and secondary schools where children of the poor would be adequately catered for and the children would not have to pay school fees for three years.”

An economist and a former employee of African Development Bank, Yakubu Aliyu, said the recovered N3bn would have provided the country valuable foreign exchange that could also support its external reserves.

“In a way, the continued depreciation of the naira could be linked to such kind of leakages, people holding on to foreign currencies like the dollar without putting it to use. When you convert the money at the parallel market rate, it is closer to N5bn (than N3bn). Many states in Nigeria do not take much in a month from the federation account. So, in effect, a state government could have used that amount to pay salaries, contractors and fund security in a whole month,” Aliyu said.

The economist further said the amount would have also funded capital projects in the country.

He said, “The entire start-up capital of Emirates Airlines, which is now among the top five airlines in the world and employs a staff of over 50,000, was about $10m in 1985. Imagine what that amount could do for many Nigerians two to three decades down the line if it is used to start a profitable venture.

“Also, take the Central Bank of Nigeria/Bank of Agriculture anchor lending to farmers that has now sparked off a real agricultural revolution across the country. The loan per farmer is N250,000. With such an amount stashed away by the former NNPC boss, the scheme could reach about 20,000 farmers. Imagine the huge multiplier effect on food production, stimulation of rural economy and farmers’ incomes. The effect on poverty reduction will be monumental.

On February 14, the Federal High Court sitting in Kano ordered for the temporary forfeiture of $9.8m and the £74,000 recovered from Yakubu to the Federal Government, as had been requested by the anti-graft agency.

Ali-Dogo urged the Federal Government to follow China’s example in punishing looters of public money. “Let’s go the China way, anybody that steals government money or is proven by law to be corrupt should face the death penalty,” he said.


Source: Sahara Reporters

Court orders forfeiture of $9.8m, £74, 000 ‘recovered’ from ex-NNPC GMD.

Zainab Abubakar, a justice of the federal high court, Kano, has ordered the forfeiture of the sums of $9.8m and £74,000 allegedly recovered from Andrew Yakubu, former group managing director (GMD), of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

According to a statement issued by Wilson Uwujaren, spokesman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the order was sequel to an ex parte application the agency filed seeking an interim forfeiture of the monies to the government.

In her ruling,  Zainab held that “the sum of $9,772,000 and £74,000 which are now in the custody of the applicant (EFCC) are in the interim forfeited to the federal government of Nigeria”.

Last Friday, the anti-graft agency said its operatives raided a building belonging to the former NNPC boss and recovered stacks of dollars and pound sterling stashed away in a fire-proof safe.

Yakubu had earlier reported to the commission’s Kano zonal office where he allegedly admitted being the owner of both the house and the recovered monies.

He is still in the custody of the EFCC.

How EFCC recovered $9.8million from Yakubu, Ex-NNPC GMD.

A special operation conducted by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on February 3 on a building belonging to a former Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Andrew Yakubu, in Kaduna, yielded the recovery of $9,772,800 (Nine Million, Seven Hundred and Seven Two Thousand, Eight Hundred United States Dollars) and another sum of £74,000 (Seventy Four Thousand Pound Sterling) cash.

The huge cash was hidden in a fire proof safe.

The spokesperson for the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, said in a statement that the surprise raid of the facility was sequel to an intelligence which the commission received about suspected proceeds of crime believed to be hidden in the slums of Sabon Tasha area of Kaduna.

On arrival at the facility, the caretaker of the house, one Bitrus Yakubu, a younger brother to Andrew Yakubu, disclosed that both the house and the safe where the money was found belong to his brother, Andrew Yakubu.

When the safe was opened it was discovered that it contained the sum of $9,772,800 (Nine Million, Seven Hundred and Seventy Two Thousand, Eight Hundred United States Dollars) and another sum of £74,000 (Seventy Four Thousand Pound Sterling).

On February 8, 2017, Mr. Yakubu reported to the Commission’s Zonal office in Kano and made statement wherein he admitted ownership of the recovered money, claiming it was gift from unnamed persons.

He is currently assisting the investigation, Mr. Uwujaren said.

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Samsung chief Jay Lee quizzed over South Korean corruption scandal

A South Korean special prosecutor said it had summoned Samsung Group leader Jay Y. Lee as a suspect in a scandal involving President Park Geun-hye.

Prosecutors have been checking whether Samsung’s support for a business and foundations backed by Park’s friend, Choi Soon-sil, was connected to a 2015 decision by the National Pension Service to back a controversial merger of two Samsung Group affiliates.

Samsung, South Korea’s largest bunisess group, has acknowledged making contributions to two foundations as well as a consulting firm linked to Choi.

The prosecution summoned two senior Samsung Group officials this week for questioning, though they were classified as witnesses.

At a December parliament hearing, the executive denied that the firm paid bribes to pave the way for the 2015 merger.

Samsung made the biggest contributions of 20 billion won ($17m) to Choi’s foundations, followed by Hyundai, SK, LG and Lotte.

In December, investigators also summoned Kim Jae-youl, chief of the sports marketing unit of Samsung Group, as they look into allegations that the business giant sponsored the president’s jailed friend, Choi, to receive government favours.

Samsung is separately accused of funnelling millions of dollars to Choi to bankroll her daughter’s equestrian training in Germany.

President Park could become South Korea’s first democratically elected leader to leave office early after parliament voted in December to impeach her over the corruption scandal, a decision that must be approved or overturned by the Constitutional Court.

BloomBerg: The worst performing currency of 2016 is not the Naira.

Bitcoin, the increasingly popular cryptocurrency or digital currency, was the best performing currency in 2016.

If you were thinking the naira was the worst performing currency of that year, you are wrong on this one.

According to Bloomberg analysis, the worst performing currency for 2016 was the pound. Not the British pound, but the Egyptian pound, which depreciated by 58.84 percent.

The Nigerian naira, which fell by 36.68 percent, was the fourth worst performing currency of 2016 — just ahead of the Egyptian pound, Suriname dollar, and the Venezuelan Bolivar.

Bitcoin, according to the analysis, gained more than 100 percent as capital controls in places like China, and isolationist rumblings in the UK and US have fueled interest in alternate currencies.

At the opening of 2016, one bitcoin was less than $400, but at the end of 2016 a bitcoin was trading above $1000.

As regards currencies issued by governments and central banks, the Russian ruble was the performer of the year as oil prices rallied towards the end of the year, trailed by the Brazilian real.

Russian ruble appreciated by 21.31 percent, while the Brazilian currency gained 20.96 percent through the year.

The Zambian kwacha, the South African rand and Lesotho’s Loti were the best performers on the continent, appreciating by 11.96 percent, 11 percent and 11 percent respectively.

The currencies had played a major role in stock exchange of the countries, as the Brazilian stock had the best equity market in the world in 2016 while Nigeria’s came out the worst.

Trump’s immigration plan could cost the U.S. billions

President-elect Donald Trump’s vow to overturn an executive order that provides temporary protection from deportation to undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children could cost the country tens of billions of dollars, a new study finds.

Put in place by President Obama six years ago, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program has helped hundreds of thousands of young people — known as the DREAMers — come out from the shadows and get valid driver’s licenses, enroll in college and legally secure jobs.

If the DACA is repealed, roughly 645,000 people would lose their legal right to work in the U.S., putting them at risk of losing their jobs and possibly being deported, according to the San Francisco-based Immigrant Legal Resource Center. Terminating all of these workers and possibly finding and retraining replacements for them would cost businesses an estimated $3.4 billion, the nonprofit immigrant rights advocacy group estimated.

“Some employers may consider consolidating or shedding these existing positions to proactively reduce some of those [turnover] costs,” said Jose Magaña-Salgado, an immigration policy attorney and the author of the report. He added that replacement workers may not be found right away.

According to an October survey of more than 1,300 DACA recipients conducted by the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank, nearly 87% of people registered under DACA are employed and thoseworkers make an average of $13.96 an hour.

The Immigrant Legal Resource Center said losing these workers would not only reduce the tax revenue that these employees generate but it would also diminish contributions to programs like Social Security and Medicare by a total of $24.6 billion. Over the course of a decade, the group estimates that payments to Social Security would be cut by $19.9 billion, while those made to Medicare would be reduced by $4.6 billion.

Roughly half of those estimated contributions come from employers, who are required to pay into Social Security and Medicare for each of their employees under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA).

Of course, an employer may replace an employee who was terminated and resume paying into Social Security and Medicare for that position, Magaña-Salgado said. But in order to fill that position, the worker would likely have left another employer — leaving a tax revenue hole somewhere else.

“The incoming Administration would be wise to leave DACA fully intact,” he said in the report. “The billions of dollars in tax contributions resulting from the program should be reinvested in our nation’s workers and retirees, not left on the table.”

It’s unclear whether Trump will focus on repealing DACA as soon as he takes office in January.

In an interview with CBS’s 60 Minutes last month, Trump said he would first focus on deporting undocumented immigrants who have criminal records. Once those individuals are removed, he said he would then decide what to do about undocumented immigrants who, but for their status, are law-abiding people.

“We’re going to make a determination on the people that you’re talking about,” Trump said to CBS’s Leslie Stahl. “They’re terrific people, but we are gonna make a determination,” he said.

Police Arrest Five for Circulating Fake US Dollars, Euro

The Police in Enugu have arrested five suspects, including a female juju priestess, for printing and circulating fake U.S. dollars and for swindling unsuspecting members of the public.

The Police Public Relations Officer in Enugu State Command, Mr. Ebere Amaraizu, said in a statement in Enugu on Friday that the police operatives in Emene Division caught two of the suspects – Emeka Udebusor and Erick Ekete, both of Nchantancha Nike community -suspects following a tip off on December 4.

He alleged that the suspects were indulging in washing fake dollars, euro and naira in bundles with a substance suspected to be chemicals.

Amaraizu said that the police recovered red and white cloths being used by the suspects in their shrine.

Also recovered are pots containing substances believed to be charms and 16 bundles of 100 notes suspected to be fake U.S. dollars.

He said, “The suspects are syndicate of the popular 419 fraudster ring.

“The arrest of the suspects also led to the arrest of a woman identified as Veronica Ekete, a member of the fraudster syndicate and a female “Juju priest’’.

“It was further gathered that the suspects have been a torn on the flesh of members of the public who usually and unknowingly fall victim of their antics.”

He said that the suspects had been helping the police to conduct investigation into their activities.

CBN To Auction Dollars For Fuel Import

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed banks to submit bids for a “special currency auction” targeting fuel importers to meet demand for matured letters of credit.

Traders said the central bank sent a message to banks on Monday to submit backlog dollar demand from fuel importers for a special intervention.

Nigeria consumes 45 million litres of gasoline a day, or roughly 280,000 barrels, which would require the market to provide some $18 million a day. Importers cover about 30 per cent of this, with the state oil firm covering the rest, which is a big strain on the market for dollars.

The West African nation has four refineries but decades of neglect mean it needs to import petroleum products. Fuel shortages often occur in Nigeria during festive periods such as Christmas and Muslim holidays.

Reuters quoted traders to have said the government wanted to ensure that fuel retailers had enough products, so it was channelling dollars to them and also to avoid shortages which in May crippled banking, airline and telecom services. Nigeria is in its deepest recession in 25 years, worsened by falling crude output as militants attack pipelines in the Niger Delta, the heart of its production, and global prices remain low, choking off dollars needed to fund imports.

The dollar shortage has caused many companies to halt operations and lay off workers, compounding an economic crisis. It was not clear at what rate the central bank would sell the dollars. In May, the government agreed a deal with oil firms in Nigeria to sell their dollars directly to fuel importers, to end months of scarcity partly caused by a currency shortage after it hiked fuel prices by 67 per cent, using an exchange rate of N285 per dollar.

The naira has been stuck at around N305 per dollar on the official market for more than two months since the central bank in June abandoned its dollar peg of N197 against the currency. It was quoted at N485 on the black market yesterday.

Credit: thisdaylive

‘How Akpobolokemi, others converted NIMASA’s N4.9b into dollars’ – EFCC

An operative of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Adamu Usman Yusuf, yesterday told a Federal High Court, Lagos that about N4.9 billion was converted into United States dollars by the former Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr. Patrick Akopobolokemi and others charged with money laundering.

Akopobolokemi is standing trial alongside a former Commander of the Military Joint Task Force, Operation Pulo Shield in the Niger Delta. Maj. Gen. Emmanuel Atewe, Kime Engozu and Josephine Otuaga over a N13 billion fraud.

Led in evidence by EFCC prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo, the witness told the court that during an investigation, it was discovered that the money was handed over to the third and fourth defendants (Engozu and Otuaga).

Yusuf told the court that the defendants used different companies and accounts to launder billions of money from the Joint Task Force operation account.

The companies are Jagan Limited; Jagan Trading Company Limited; Jagan Global Services Limited; Al-Nald Limited; Paper Warehouse Limited; Eastpoint Integrated Services Limited and De-New link Integrated Services Limited.

The EFCC claimed that the accused committed the alleged fraud between September 5, 2014 and May 20, 2015.

He said during an investigation, letters of request were sent to GTB Bank, Heritage Bank, Diamond Bank, Stanbic IBTC Bank as well as First City Monument Bank (FCMB) demanding for account statements and operating documents of beneficiaries of the accounts.

Earlier, the EFCC in an amended 22-count charge alleged that the defendants sometimes in 2014 in Lagos converted to personal use N8, 537, 586, 798.58 property of NIMASA contrary to Section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012 and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.

They were also alleged to have between September 5, 2014 and May 20, 2015 converted to personal use the sum of N2,006,270,930.67 through Jagan Limited, property of NIMASA among other charges.

The matter has been adjourned till February 3, 2017 for continuation.

CBN denies allocating dollars

The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has denied reports from some quarters that it allocates dollars unilaterally.

A statement by Isaac Okoroafor, Acting Director, Corporate Communications on Saturday in Abuja, decried the way some Nigerians chose to disparage those in leadership at this time in total insensitivity to the larger interests of the Nation’s economy.

He added that the CBN had set up an inter-bank foreign exchange market where anyone who wishes to buy foreign exchange could bid for and buy through their banks.

”It is not true that CBN allocates dollars.

‘There is nowhere in the world that the Central Bank sits by and allows vicious speculators to solely distort the value of its currency endlessly.

”All central banks intervene to buy or sell in the market to ensure that the local currency is protected from dubious attacks.”

He said that the channels for advice and contribution of ideas on the current economic situation by all patriotic Nigerians were open.

Mr. Okoroafor pointed out that the seed of the nation’s current economic crisis was planted by the failure of those who occupied public office in the past but failed to act in the long term interest of the Nigerian economy.

He said it was easy for people to criticize from outside when they were already out of office.

According to him, the challenge the nation faced today was a choice between pandering to the established interest in Nigeria’s speculative economy and the protection of the wages of the real stakeholders who work hard on fixed incomes.

He said those were the core victims of the Naira depreciation.

He, however, assured Nigerians that the apex bank and the federal government will continue to explore avenues to find solutions to the current economic situation.

Naira Further Weakens Against Dollars

As a result of a crackdown in the parallel market, currency traders and the persistent scarcity of the greenback, naira is further weakening against the United States dollar, Reuters has reported.

The local currency fell 2.08 per cent week-on-week on Thursday to 480 to the dollar on the parallel market against 470 a dollar last week, while it was quoted by commercial lenders at 314.80 a dollar on the interbank market.

According to the reports, the foreign exchange demand by small businesses was set to surge ahead of holiday season sales.

The naira has, however, consistently closed around 305.5 a dollar level since August via the official window.

“The consistent clampdown on black market operators by security agents has driven some currency retailers underground, putting more pressure on available hard currency,” one dealer said.

But the Kenyan shilling could strengthen against the dollar in the coming week due to subdued importer demand and increased inflows from overseas remittances, traders said.

At 0742 GMT, commercial banks quoted the shilling at 101.80/102.00 to the dollar, the same as last Thursday’s close.

“From the data we’ve seen in the past, we normally tend to see an uptick in the Diaspora inflows during this month of December,” said a trader at a commercial bank.

Credit: dailytrust

How my predecessors wasted external reserves on BDCs — Godwin Emefiele

Mr. Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has placed the blame for the current foreign exchange crisis in the country squarely at the feet of his predecessors – Lamido Sanusi and Professor Chukwuma Soludo.

In an interview in Lagos on Saturday, Emefiele said the current forex crisis would have been averted if Soludo and Sanusi had not adopted measures that resulted in the depletion of the country’s foreign reserves.

Soludo was CBN Governor between 2004 and 2009 when Sanusi succeeded him.

According to Emefiele, when both men were at the helm of affairs at the apex bank, the price of oil was consistently well above $110 per barrel and the country had healthy reserves that would have allowed it to invest in critical infrastructure that would boost productivity and diversify the economy.

He said: “In September 2008, Nigeria’s FX reserve stood at $62 billion, what did we do with $62 billion? At a time when crude oil price was at about N120 per barrel, what did the country do? What we could have done is save the money. If we couldn’t save the money, invest it in infrastructure, invest in industry; invest them in infrastructure and industry that would grow productivity and the wealth of our people.

But what did we do? “I’ll give you an example. The Central Bank of Nigeria of that time went about licensing class ‘A’, class ‘B’, class ‘C’ bureauxde- change. “For class ‘A’ bureau-dechange, Central Bank was allocating $1 million per week; for class ‘B’ bureaude- change, Central Bank was allocating $750,000 per week, and for class ‘C’ bureau-de-change, CBN was allocating $500,000 per week to each bureaude- change to the extent that between 2005 when the bank started selling dollar cash and 2016 January when we stopped it, the CBN had sold dollar cash of up to $66 billion to BDCs.

“In 11 years, CBN allocated $66 billion, averaging $6 billion per year. If this didn’t happen, we would comfortably be having well over $90 billion in our reserve account today and we will not be struggling to pay our bills today. If we had thought of other ways to utilise our reserves in 2008 when it was as high as $62 billion, perhaps certainly we would not be where we are.”

He revealed that when he was CEO of Zenith Bank, he was queried by a Deputy Governor of the CBN for not selling dollars to BDCs. “I was called to be queried that some people in Kano, some people in Port Harcourt and in Lagos were calling to say Zenith Bank was not selling dollar cash to bureaux-dechange, but of course the bank didn’t see any serious need to disburse dollar cash to bureaux-de-change at that time.

That was what we did with part of our $62 billion,” he stated. Besides, he said in the wake of the global financial crisis, all forms of capital control were removed to encourage the flow of capital into Nigeria with the result that between 2009 and 2014, the country recorded $23 billion in capital flows.

However, according to him, although CBN’s policies at the time encouraged Nigerians to buy shares/securities abroad, there was no record that the dividends and proceeds of sale of the shares were repatriated through the apex bank.

He said: “Between 2009 or 2010 and 2014, when we had the crisis, America pumped a lot of money to stimulate the economy, and as a result of pumping that money, some of those funds flowed into emerging markets, including Nigeria.

At that time again, Nigeria removed all forms of capital control to encourage the flow of capital into Nigeria. So what happened during that time? In five straight years, we saw crude price at above $105 per barrel for five straight years.

“That period, we also saw unhindered flow of capital into emerging market into Nigeria; to the extent that by 2013, we had $23 billion in capital flows into Nigeria. What did we also do? The CBN started encouraging Nigerians to buy shares/ securities abroad.

Although the dividends and proceeds of sale of the shares were to be repatriated through the CBN, we do not have any records to show that the dividends and proceeds of share sale were repatriated. People just had all the discretion to transfer funds as they wished; just because we thought we had a lot and didn’t think about a day like today when crude prices will be so low.

“We should have, at that time, built our reserves. What did we do with our reserves at that time? I repeat those were some of the actions we took as Central Bank that resulted in the situation that we are today.” The CBN Governor, who stoutly defended the regulator’s forex policy, especially the forex ban on 41 items, said that the country could not afford to be importing items it has the capacity to manufacture, stressing that the forex ban had already led to the creation of jobs in some sectors.

Commenting on the strategies that can get the country out of the economic recession, Emefiele again, suggested that the government sell assets in the oil industry just as Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, suggested. He said: “In April 2015, I granted an interview to Financial Times of London where I suggested that in order to raise money to fund its capital expenditure, government needed to sell between 10 per cent and 15 per cent of its oil and gas assets. At that time, oil price was about $50/N55 per barrel, and our consultants did the numbers and told us that we could raise between $25 to $35 billion.

“I would imagine that that option is still on the table because more people even in the cabinet have made the same suggestion and if it happens, that will be fine, including the option to buy back the assets at some premium if we contemplate buying back when the crude prices move up and the assets value also move up.

You know that in government, there are those against and those in favor. The argument in favor of selling the assets has gained a lot of credence recently.” The country’s foreign reserves stood at $24.87 billion as at September 15.

We Are not Part of Move to Jail Dollar Hoarders – CBN

The Central Bank of Nigeria has denied being a party to a legislation that seeks to bar citizens from holding foreign currencies for more than 30 days.

The Nigerian Law Reform Commission had recommended a review of the Nigerian Foreign Exchange Act to the Senate.  It recommended that people who have foreign currencies in their possession for more than 30 days should be jailed for up to two years or pay a fine of 20 per cent of the amount.

Reacting, the Acting Director, Corporate Communications, CBN, Mr. Isaac Okorafor, denied knowledge of the proposed clause recommending a jail term of two years for any holder of foreign exchange in cash or a fine of 20 per cent of the amount.

He stressed that the apex bank, in line with its mandate, was committed to safeguarding the international value of the country’s legal tender.

He said, “To the best of my knowledge, the Central Bank of Nigeria has not proposed any bill seeking to arrest and jail persons holding foreign exchange for more than 30 days.”

He also denied that the CBN was planning to confiscate funds in domiciliary accounts of individuals, saying such a claim was false.

CBN endorses SSS raid on currency traders.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Tuesday endorsed the crackdown on parallel market forex traders by the officials of the Department of State Services (SSS) across the country.

The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, disclosed this while addressing journalists at the end of its Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting in Abuja.

According to Mr. Emefiele, the foreign exchange regulation in the country forbids trafficking in currency.

He said that the SSS had the right to enforce the law and make sure that currency hawkers were forced out of the “illegal trade.’’

The governor, who said it was demeaning for traders to hawk currency on the streets, urged the traders to legitimise their business by applying for Bureau De Change (BDC) licence.

Officials of the SSS raided the parallel markets in Lagos, Abuja and Onitsha last week over alleged arbitrary sale of forex.

The raid, which worsened dollar scarcity at its wake, forced the naira to settle at N465 to a dollar.

Earlier, members of the MPC unanimously voted in favour of retaining the Monetary Policy Ratio (MPR) at 14 per cent, Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) at 22.5 percent and the liquidity ratio at 30 per cent.

The governor said that the members of the committee took the decision after a critical assessment of the risks to the economy.

FG proposes 2-year jail term for Nigerians hoarding dollar.

The Federal Government has proposed an amendment to the Foreign-Exchange Act to enable the imprisonment of anyone who holds foreign currencies, especially the dollar, for more than 30 days

This is the latest measure the government and the Central Bank of Nigeria are considering to stem the volatility in the exchange rate and bolster the ailing naira, according to a Bloomberg report.

In the new proposals, which were published on the website of the Nigerian Law Reform Commission last week, the CBN is seeking the power to control capital flows and stop people from taking forex out of the country.

According to the draft amendment of the Foreign Exchange Act, anybody holding dollars in cash for more than 30 days risk a jail term for as long as two years or a fine of 20 per cent of the amount.

Regulators should also be able to prevent money being repatriated “in accordance with the terms and conditions as may be prescribed by the central bank from time to time,” the draft states.

The existing law is “narrow in scope and prohibits the seizure, forfeiture or expropriation of imported money by the government without providing for exceptions,” it adds.

The amendments, according to the document, are necessary “for effective monitoring and control, and to ensure probity in foreign exchange transactions in Nigeria.”

The CBN has increased capital controls since the price of oil, Nigeria’s main foreign exchange earner, started crashing in the second half of 2014.

It had pegged the naira for 15 months until June this year, a move analysts blamed for causing investors to flee the country, the economy to contract in the first half of the year and the inflation rate to rise to an 11-year high.

The latest move will further worry foreign investors, according to a Lagos-based research and investment advisory firm, SBM Intelligence.

The Department of State Security officials had last week arrested some black market forex dealers for exchanging the naira at a rate weaker than 400 per dollar, compared with the existing street rate of around 460.

The naira-dollar official exchange rate, which analysts accused the CBN of still manipulating, is 315 against the greenback.

“The CBN wants to take its regulatory onus to frightening proportions,” analysts at SBM said in an e-mailed note in response to the new draft law.

“The move smacks of desperation and can only result in negative investor perception and capital flight,” they added.

The Acting Director, Corporate Communications, CBN, Mr. Isaac Okorafor, said the apex bank did not introduce the bill in a text message response to Bloomberg. He did not elaborate.

The Chief Executive Officer, Cowry Asset Management Limited, Mr. Johnson Chukwu, while reacting to the development said, “If it did not emanate from the CBN as claimed by its spokesman, it may have emanated from the Presidency or other sources. But the fact is that when you compel people not to hold dollars after stopping the use of naira debit cards abroad, you are discouraging people to bring in money into the country.

“You also push more people to the parallel market and create further gap between the official and black market exchange rates.”

SSS clampdown on Bureau De Change continues, 40 arrested in Kano.

The State Security Service has arrested about 40 Bureau de Change operators in Kano for allegedly selling foreign currencies above the official rates.

An official of the Alamant Bureau de Change Association in Kano, Abdulhamid Kabir, said the operators were arrested early Friday.

He said the association had met with officials of the SSS last week on how to ensure that the operators in Kano complied with the official forex rates.

“You know this issue is not affecting only one person, it requires time for us to convince our members to adopt government recognized official rates”, Mr. Kabir said.

“But all of a sudden this morning, the security (agents) raided us, whisking away many of our members”.

A source at the SSS office confirmed the arrest but insisted that those arrested were unlicensed operators who had been trailed for a while.

“I want to assure you that those arrested were touts who sell above official prices”, said the source who asked not to be named because he was not authorized to speak on the development.

Security agents had last week carried out similar raids on some Bureau De Change operators in Abuja and Lagos.

PREMIUM TIMES reported how a meeting between the SSS, the Bureau De Change and Central Bank agreed that the dollar not be sold beyond N400 to buyers.

The agreement was to help government reduce the exchange rate and enable importers easy access to forex.

Critics have said the clampdown will further make the dollar scarce and reflects government not allowing a free market.

The clampdown has, however, forced some of the money changers to go into hiding to sell at a higher rate to buyers.

Agro dealers want CBN to make foreign currencies available, affordable.

Agro-dealers Association of Nigeria has appealed to the Federal Government and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to make foreign currencies available to dealers for importation of raw materials for fertiliser production.

Mr Kabiru Umar, the National Chairman of the association, made the appeal in an interview with newsmen in Nasarawa State on Thursday.

He spoke on the sidelines of the Growth Enhancement Support (GES) scheme preparatory meeting on the 2016/2017 dry season farming

Umar said that availability of the foreign currencies to agro-dealers and suppliers would ensure reduction in the cost of fertiliser to end users (farmers), boost agricultural yields and guarantee food security in the country.

The national chairman expressed regret that fertiliser manufacturers and blenders were currently getting foreign currencies at high prices, hence the high cost of fertiliser and food items in the markets.

“The Federal Government must step into this situation to make sure that fertiliser blenders get the right foreign currency at the right price.

“If you allow manufacturers of fertiliser to go to the open market and buy dollars, which means it will be very difficult for them to produce and sell at the normal price and the price will go high.

“The manufacturers and blenders need to be assisted at least at control price with a stringent law that the currency must be used for that purpose and the agricultural sector will boom again, “ he said.

Mr Sanusi Yari, the National Board of Trustees (BOT) member of the association, commended the Federal Government for its support to farmers in the supply of inputs and fertiliser.

Yari appealed to the government to offset the over N40 billion owed agro dealers in order to boost agricultural production.

“It is very important for government to key into the supply of fertiliser and other inputs to farmers to boost agricultural production.

“Now that oil and gas are no longer buoyant, a lot of people are now turning to agriculture.

“We appreciate the government for the payment of 30 per cent payment it gave us but they need to off-set this bill.

“The banks are not willing to support us for now but we are willing to key into the agricultural policies of the government and participate actively, “ he said.

Mr Muhammad Lamir, the Chief Executive Officer, Manny Agro and Allied Chemicals, appealed to the Federal Government to urgently address issues in the agro-allied sector.

Lamir said the 2016/2017 Growth Enhancement Support (GES) scheme dry season farming would not be successful and profitable if problems in the sector were not resolved.

The Nigerian Naira appreciates after DSS action on currency dealers.

Despite last week’s raid and arrest of some licensed currency dealers who were said to be selling foreign exchange (FX) above the prescribed limit, the naira appreciated on both the interbank and parallel segments of the market.

Precisely, on the interbank FX market, the spot rate of the naira climbed N1.45 to close at N304.75 to the dollar last Friday, stronger than the N306.50 to the dollar the previous day.

Also, on the parallel market, the naira appreciated by N5 to trade at N455 to the dollar at the weekend, compared with the N460 to the dollar the day before.

But on the Bureau De Change (BDC) segment, the nation’s currency depreciated to N405 to the dollar, from about N400.

It was reported that security operatives from the DSS had raided the offices of some BDCs in Lagos and Abuja and arrested dealers for selling above the stipulated exchange rate.

Prior to the action of the security operatives, it was reported last week that as part of its efforts to bridge the wide gap in the FX market, the security agencies, BDC operators and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) held a meeting during the week.

It was learnt that the meeting was as a result of the concern of wide disparity in FX rates among the three segments of the market.

According to the source, the CBN and the security agencies present at the meeting made the BDC operators to understand that a lot of foreign investors were not comfortable with the wide gap between the three arms of the FX market and would only come in if the situation is addressed.

The President, Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON), Mr. Aminu Gwadabe, who confirmed the meeting pledged to cooperate with the government.

He said the parley was to make the parallel market unattractive.

Commenting on the development in the FX market, analysts at Afrinvest West Africa Limited pointed out that: “In the interim, we expect recent developments to constrain supply at the BDC/parallel segments as operators withhold supplies.

“We imagine the possibility of this also leading to further fragmentation of the FX market, taking the parallel market further underground in view of the close scrutiny by security agencies. Thus, whilst parallel market rate could strengthen in the interim, the medium term outlook points to a more volatile currency.”

DSS raids parallel market, arrests dealers selling dollar above N400

The Department of State Services (DSS) on Thursday raided the foreign exchange parallel market in Lagos and Abuja, arresting dealers who were selling the dollar above N400.

A dealer, who confided in TheCable, said some of his colleagues were among those arrested.

“The DSS visited the market and arrested some of my colleagues, but I was saved because I didn’t have dollar to sell at the time,” the middle-aged dealer said.

“They want us to buy at N390, and sell at N400. That cannot work for now; there is no dollar in the market.”

Ibrahim Baba, another dealer, who spoke to TheCable from Abuja, said DSS and police visited the markets, but made no arrest.

“They came yesterday and today, and said we should sell at N400. Anyone who sells above that will be arrested and detained,” he said.

“For now, the market is just dull, people are buying and selling cautiously.”

Other traders who spoke to TheCable  from Alade market, Lagos, said the security agents came to the market, but that “everyone is still buying and selling at will”.

“If you want to sell dollars, I am buying at N440, but I don’t think I want to sell for now,” he said.

The Central Bank of Nigeria has been working on closing the gap between the parallel and the official markets, with little success so far.

The bank facilitated a deal between Travelex, an international money transfer agency and the parallel market, to ensure the gap was closed.

Travelex has been selling to BDCs at 370, giving them a premium to sell at N385 per dollar, a plan that has not worked as much as expected.

A senior CBN official, who is not authorised to  speak on the matter, told TheCable, that the CBN is aware of the raid on the “illegal dealings”.

NAN: Low demand for dollar forces Naira up at parallel market

The low demand for dollar at the parallel market on Wednesday forced naira to appreciate further against dollar, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.


NAN reports that the Nigerian currency gained N5 in Lagos to exchange at N460 to a dollar from N465 recorded on Tuesday.


Also, the Pound Sterling and Euro closed at N560 and N500 respectively.


At the Bureau De Change window, the dollar was sold at N385, being the Central Bank of Nigeria controlled rate.


Also, the Pound Sterling and Euro traded at N560 and N503 respectively.


However, the naira weakened against the dollar at the interbank market, losing N2.49 to close at N307.26 against N305.27 recorded on Tuesday.


Traders at the market said that the demand for the green back was low due to the political situation in the US.


Harrison Owoh, a BDC operator, said that stakeholders in the market were painstakingly watching the political situation in the US and its effect on the country’s economy.


Owoh said that in the coming days, the demand for the dollar was likely to remain low until the successful transition from a Democratic to a Republican Government in US.

Naira unaffected by Trump’s victory.

An economist and an analyst on Wednesday said the election victory of Donald Trump as U.S. president-elect would not affect the Naira.

They told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in telephone interviews that Nigeria should focus
more on policies that would revive the economy.

Mr Okechukwu Unegbu, former Managing Director of Citizens Bank, said “the crash of U.S. markets before the announcement of the U.S. presidential election result was pelted.

“On our Naira, we only need to look inwards, we can solve our problems not foreigners.

“Trump’s win or otherwise cannot help the Naira. Our policies matter a lot. Observing the elections and the markets, you will see that the markets went down because of fear.

“Also, he cannot deport immigrants like he has been saying because there are laws.”

An analyst who would not want to be identified also said that “when the election results started
trickling in, the American markets crashed but after he was named president-elect, it stabilised.

“For now, people are afraid, scared of what policies Trump may bring but in the long run,
things will stabilise.

“On what his win portends for our naira, it may look like it is jerking up for now but the American presidency has no direct relation with the stability of the Naira.”

It will be recalled that the Wall Street share markets went  flat after Donald Trump’s election victory despite expectations of heavy falls.

The S&P 500, Dow Jones, and Nasdaq stock indexes were little changed after the first hour of trading.

The pre-open future markets forecast dramatic sell-offs when Mr Trump’s lead became clear overnight.

Share traders had expected Hillary Clinton to beat Mr Trump to become the next US president on the back of polling forecasts.

UK and European stock markets have made back early losses, with money flowing into safe haven stocks, gold and currencies including the yen.

JUST IN: Naira appreciates against Dollar.

The Naira on Tuesday appreciated against the dollar in all the segments of the forex market, the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, reports.

The currency gained N44.95 to exchange at N305.27 to the dollar at the interbank market after its Monday record of N350.22.

At the parallel market, the naira gained N5 to exchange at N465 from N470 it traded on Monday, while it went for N565 and N510 against the Pound Sterling and the Euro, respectively.

Trading at the Bureau De Change (BDC) Segment saw the currency exchange at N385, the control rated of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and at N564 against the Pound Sterling and N510 for Euro.

Assessing the market, Aminu Gwadabe, President, Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON), said that the naira had prospects of further appreciation in the days ahead.

He told NAN that the CBN was working with Nigerians in Diaspora to woo more remittances back home.

According to Mr. Gwadabe, the CBN had a robust meeting with stakeholders and Nigerians in Diaspora at the weekend in London on way to boost liquidity in the foreign exchange market.

He said that more International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs) had indicated interest in facilitating the repatriation of remittances from abroad.

Boy Who Became Viral Meme Raises Thousands Of Dollars

A chubby-cheeked little boy whose serious expression turned him into a meme could end up educating an entire village.

Jake has become one of the most famous schoolchildren in South Africa since people began sharing a picture of him, joking he was everything from a grumpy driving instructor to an unimpressed security guard.

But Jake lives thousands of miles north, in a small village in eastern Ghana, unaware of his new-found fame.

In fact, up until Wednesday, not even the man who took the photograph knew it had proved such a hit.

Cameraman Carlos Cortes travelled to Ghana in 2015 to make a documentary about Solomon Adufah, an artist returning to his home country from the US.

 The picture of Jake, then four, was one of hundreds taken by Cortes while Adufah taught art and creative studies to the children.

“I just caught Jake in the moment of his teaching,” Cortes, of Chicago, told the BBC. “He definitely has a pensive look on his face.”

The two men then returned to the States, unaware they had captured a future star.

But the schoolboy’s picture began doing the rounds after Adufah shared it on his Instagram account.

When he first realised it had gone viral, he was unsure of how to react to the posts, worried they were making fun of Jake.

“I thought, I’m not going to respond,” the 27-year-old told the BBC. “But then I remember a moment when I thought, what if all these ‘likes’ turned into actual funds to help?”

Jake and his friends live in a rural village, and for some families sending their children to school is more than they can afford.

What is more, the primary school is also in need of supplies.

“I remember one day we spent 20 minutes just trying to make sure we had enough pencils for all the kids,” Mr Cortes said. “That’s what the campaign is really about.”

So Adufah, who has lived in the US since he was 16, set up a fundraising campaign, hoping Jake will really inspire people to turn their likes into cash to help pay for his education, and that of the other children in the village.

Within 24 hours, it had raised $2,000 (£1,642) – 10% of its target.

Adufah said: “This money could make a huge difference to the kids – this could be something really positive going forward.”

Credit: BBC

Judge Stuffs Dollars In Shoes, Walks Bare Footed To His Car

A judge is under probe for allegedly collecting from a senator N30million bribe.

He stuffed some of the cash, which was in United States dollars, in his shoes and walked barefooted to his car.

The senator complained to the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC) being led Prof. Itse Sagay.

Also yesterday, it was learnt that most of the nine arrested judges had petitions against them with the National Judicial Council (NJC).

The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, is said to have the list of judges to be investigated in the last five months.

Although the list was shown to some legal authorities by the CJN, no action was taken by the NJC, a source claimed.

PACAC has about 50 petitions sent to it against some judges by some aggrieved Nigerians,

One of the said complaints came from a senator who alleged that a judge demanded about N50million from him to influence a case but he paid N30million.

The money was delivered to the Court of Appeal Justice in dollars.

But following the senator’s inability to pay the balance of N20million, the judge gave judgment against the senator, it was alleged.

A source said: “The senator told us that the judge asked for N50million but he could only pay N30million and lost the case for not meeting up with the balance.

“He said when the judge came at night to collect the bribe, he stuffed every available space and went to a ridiculous extent of stuffing some of the money in his shoes. The judge then decided to walk barefooted to his car.

“We have the complaint against the judge and the senator is ready to testify because the judge did not refund the N30million to date. The government is going to see to the logical conclusion of this case against the judge.”

Asked to name the judge, the source added: “The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN), disclosed the name of the justice at a session with the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) to underscore why the bench must be rid of bad eggs. The NBA has been briefed, let them also talk.

“This is to show that the government is transparent about the whole process. It is not a witch-hunt at all.”

The highly-placed source gave insight into the arrest of nine judges and how the operation was conducted.

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‘Judge stuffs cash in shoes’

Dollar Scarcity: Banks Suspend ATM Card Usage Abroad

The foreign exchange crisis hitting the economy has assumed a new dimension with Deposit Money Banks announcing the suspension of overseas Automated Teller Machine card services and online transactions denominated in foreign currencies, OYETUNJI ABIOYE writes

Deposit Money Banks have begun suspending their Automated Teller Machine cards (debit and credit) from working overseas as dollar scarcity continues to hit the economy badly.

Stanbic IBTC Bank, Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria and Guaranty Trust Bank on Friday announced the suspension of their overseas ATM card services.

Also suspended by the banks are online transactions priced in foreign currencies. This means that customers of the banks will no longer be able to use their debit or credit cards to make online transactions that are denominated in dollars, euros, pounds sterling and other foreign currencies.

In a note to its customers on Friday entitled: ‘Suspension of international transactions on naira debit cards’, Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria said, “Please be informed that effective immediately, your naira denominated debit cards will no longer be functional for international transactions.

“This is due to the current volatility in the foreign exchange market. Your naira-denominated debit cards can only be used for local transactions at Point of Sale terminals, Automated Teller Machines and online for Nigerian retailers.”

In a text message to its customers on Friday, Stanbic IBTC Bank similarly said, “Dear customer, kindly note that effective October 18, 2016, your ability to carry out transactions priced in foreign currency using our naira debit and credit cards will be suspended. We apologise for any inconvenience in this regard.”

Both Stanbic IBTC Bank and Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria advised customers seeking to carry out transactions denominated in foreign exchange to apply for dollar or pounds sterling debit credit cards. According to them, the dollar or pounds sterling debit or credit cards will be linked to the customers’ domiciliary accounts.

GTBank also announced the suspension of the ATM cash withdrawal service abroad. The lender also slashed its monthly ATM forex transactions to $100.

In a notice to customers on Friday entitled: ‘Review of the international spending limit on your naira Master Card’, the bank stated, “We write to inform you of the monthly spending limits currently applicable when using your GTBank naira Master Card for international payments via PoS and online. Previous monthly limit via PoS and online was $250; the new monthly limit via PoS and online is now $100. Kindly note that ATM cash withdrawal on your naira MasterCard is now only available in Nigeria.”

The development will make students studying in the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Ukraine and other parts of the world to face more challenges getting their monthly stipends from their parents.

Most of the students had relied on the ATM card withdrawal to get their monthly stipends from their parents before now.

This means customers seeking to do foreign transactions will have to open domiciliary accounts and fund same with dollars, pounds or euros purchased from the parallel market at the prevailing exchange rates.

Although other banks have yet to announce the suspension of ATM card services abroad, findings by our correspondent showed that many lenders had reduced drastically the amount that customers could withdraw via ATMs abroad.

This is despite the fact that the banks have in the past few months reduced the monthly total amount of forex-denominated transactions that customers can do, using their naira debit or credit cards via ATMs and PoS terminals abroad as well as online payments or transactions.

As of last week, findings showed that some banks had slashed their daily ATM withdrawal limit abroad from the $300 advised by the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Bankers Committee to $100 due to their inability to source for dollars to fund the transactions.

Unconfirmed sources said some banks had reduced their monthly ATM withdrawal limit abroad to $100.

Top banking officials close to the development told our correspondent under the condition of anonymity that banks were increasingly finding it difficult to fund their foreign-currency denominated services, especially online forex transactions and overseas ATM withdrawals, as well as PoS usage overseas by customers.

A top official of Deposit Money Bank, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told our correspondent on Sunday, “We have to stop the services. Formerly, we were sourcing forex at high prices and we were selling same to customers at similarly high prices. But the situation is now tense; the dollar scarcity has assumed a new dimension.

“This is coupled with the fact that some bank customers are using the platforms to do round-tripping. It is high time we stopped it.”

The decision by some banks to suspend overseas ATM card services and online forex transactions came barely one week after the CBN, through the Bankers’ Committee, raised concerns about what it called the indiscriminate and suspicious manner in which some bank customers were spending dollars and other foreign currencies abroad through their naira debit cards.

Consequently, the regulator said it had concluded that bank customers who spent above the $50,000 annual forex limit it imposed would be barred from the nation’s forex market.

The Director, Banking Supervision, CBN, Mrs. Tokunbo Martins, stated this after the 329th Bankers’ Committee meeting held at the apex bank’s office in Lagos on Wednesday.

She said, “In the CBN’s move to manage the demand for forex, there was a rule that was put in place that people were not allowed to withdraw more than $50,000 annually on their naira debit cards.

“For a while, the policy has been abused by bank customers, and the CBN has not taken any step to that effect. We have decided to take the step now to enforce the rule. So, we want members of the public to remember that that rule is in place.

“All your accounts are linked to a particular Bank Verification Number. Now, that the BVN only allows you to withdraw only $50,000 per annum, if people continue to breach that rule, they will lose access to forex market.”

Dollar scarcity has been ravaging the economy after the price of crude oil, Nigeria’s main forex earner.

It crashed from $110 per barrel to around $44 per barrel from June 2014.

The nation’s foreign exchange reserves have been depleting since then.

On Wednesday, the country’s external reserves hit an 11-year low of $24.21bn, the latest data posted on the CBN website showed.

This means a limited amount of dollars will be available at the official interbank spot market, fuelling concerns over another round of depreciation of the naira.

The foreign exchange reserves fell by $600m in two weeks before shedding $1bn in four weeks, the CBN statistics showed.

An expert at Ernst and Young, Mr. Bisi Sanda, lamented on the dollar pressure on the economy.

He said the Federal Government needed political will to address the issues fuelling dollar scarcity on the economy.

He said, “The issue of dollar is very important to the economy. It is predicated on the fact that we are a dollar-denominated economy. It appears the government is still begging issues as far as the import-dependent state of our economy is concerned.

“We need to fix issues, we need to go back to the drawing board. The CBN said between 2010 and 2016, a total of $11bn was sold to the Bureaux De Change annually. We need to plug leakages in this area.”

CBN suspends other banks, approves only First Bank for Forex sale to BDCs.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has suspended commercial banks in Nigeria except First Bank from selling foreign exchange directly to Bureaux De Change operators following their failure to comply with the July 22, 2016, directive to sell inflows from International Money Transfer Operators (IMTO) to BDC.

The CBN Wednesday also suspended 195 BDCs from the market following their failure to renew their operating licenses.

Banking sources told THEWILL that a circular on the development was sent to the banks on Wednesday.

The CBN has instead directed the agent banks to sell forex proceeds from diaspora remittances to Travelex, who will then sell directly to the BDC.

Banking sources told THEWILL that the CBN acted following the banks’ lackaidaisical stance on the directive to deal directly with the BDCs. Instead the banks have been sitting on the forex and doing deals with the funds.

The naira has maintained a steady rise at parallel market closing at N467 from over N500 high in the last week in the parallel market since Travelex commenced the distribution of $15, 000 weekly to BDCs from diaspora remittances as directed by the CBN. Travelex has also commenced the limited sale of forex directly to travelers who qualify.

The naira closed at N304.50 against the US Dollars at the interbank market.

Foreign exchange remittances by the diaspora is believed to be around $22 billion annually.

Nigeria has witnessed shortages in foreign exchange because of the crash in the price of crude, its main forex earner.

Travelex sells dollars directly to travellers at N356

Travelex, a global foreign exchange dealer, on Friday resumed sale of dollars directly to travellers at N356 to a dollar.

The firm’s office inside the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos terminal was besieged by hundreds of travellers.

Some Bureaux de change operators within the terminal were also selling from N470 to N472 to a dollar to travellers.

Travelex, which recently got the approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to sell dollar, however, gave stringent conditions for the transaction.

The requirements include presentation of valid international passport, visa to destination, Biometric Verification Number (BVN) card, airline boarding pass and signed copy of transaction.

The firm also directed that cash would only be handed over to the traveller at the boarding gate after security and immigration checks.

According to the firm, these conditions are to ensure that dollar is sold to only genuine travellers, and discourage racketeering.

Consequently, some of the travellers were unable to buy dollars from Travelex because they could not produce their BVN cards.

One of them, Mr Uche Ikediashi, stated that he was hearing about the card for the first time.

“Yesterday I bought dollars from a BDC at N470. Today I was told that Travelex is selling at N356; that is why I came here, but they said I needed to bring my BVN card and I don’t have it,’’ he said.

Another traveller, Mr Samson Uduak, commended the CBN for the initiative which, he said, had created easy access to forex for travellers.

Uduak said: “Buying directly from Travelex is very good but the CBN needs to sensitise Nigerians to go and obtain their BVN cards from their banks.’’

Buhari Seeks $14bn For Restoration Of Lake Chad

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday called for global support for the cleanup of Ogoniland and to raise 14 billion US Dollars for the restoration of Lake Chad Basin.

The president made the call while presenting Nigeria’s statement at the 71th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, U.S.A.

He said the call had become imperative in view of the drying up of the Lake Chad to the negative consequences of Climate Change.

He said, “Nigeria is proud to have been part of the process leading to the adoption of the Paris Agreement in December 2015, and supports the African Union Initiative on the Great Green Wall to halt desertification.’’

The president said it was in furtherance of the country’s commitment to environmental sustainability that Nigeria launched the cleanup of Ogoniland.

He called on development partners and multinationals to contribute to the Ogoniland Restoration Fund.

The Nigerian leader also spoke on dangers posed by global terrorists.

He said, “Nigeria has made remarkable progress in our resolve to defeat Boko Haram, whose capacity to launch orchestrated attacks as a formed group has been severely degraded.

“In the last few months, their operations have been limited to sporadic use of Improvised Explosive Devices against soft targets.”

According to him, Nigeria will continue to fight terrorism “based on the established rules of engagement and in conformity with international best practices”.

Buhari also called for enhanced international cooperation to defeat the global scourge.

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Naira Firms As CBN Sells Dollars To Ease Pressure

The naira closed stronger at both the parallel and interbank markets yesterday, after the Central Bank of Nigeria sold foreign currency to further ease the pressure at the foreign exchange market.

The CBN had last week sold dollars at the interbank market bringing the value of the naira to N308 to the greenback and traders said the apex bank had once again intervened yesterday after the interbank market recorded no trade for four hours after the day’s trading began.

Traders said the apex bank selectively sold dollars to commercial lenders just before the market close. “The central bank came to the market toward the close, and sold dollars to only few banks, which helped to support the naira,” a trader said.

Having lifted the 16 month peg on the foreign exchange rate in June to allow a more flexible exchange rate, the central bank has been selling dollars almost daily to boost liquidity and support the naira.

It had also recently allowed Bureau de Change operators access foreign exchange from banks after it stopped selling forex to them at the beginning of the year. From the initial $30,000 weekly purchase, it last week increased it to $50,000 for each BDC.


I’ll Make Naira Equal to the Dollar, Says Buhari

In a campaign pledge certain to question his grasp of the Nigerian economy, the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), on Monday promised to ensure that the naira would be equal to the dollar in value if voted into office.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that Buhari said this during the south-east presidential rally of the party at Dan Anyiam Stadium, Owerri.
“It is sad that the value of the naira has dropped to more than N230 to one dollar. This does not speak well for the nation’s economy,” he said without any indication that he stated how he is going to achieve this naira-dollar parity. He urged the people to vote for APC, noting that he would ensure that corruption was tackled headlong if elected.

Read More: thisdaylive

Don’t Sell Your Dignity For Dollars- Fashola Pleads With Nigerians

Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, has advised Nigerians against voting for politicians with no good track record.

The governor said this while commissioning nine network of roads in Maidan-Aina-Agiliti area of Mile 12, Kosofe Local Government Area of the state. Fashola told them not to be carried away by the empty promises being made by the incumbent federal government as it was yet to fulfill any in the last four years.

He advised Nigerians not to be bought by dollars and other incentives being shared by  PDP, as inducement in its desperation to win elections in the state. Fashola said, “”If you collect dollars, know that you have collected your security, your roads and your infrastructure. Tell them your dignity cannot be bought by naira or dollars.”

Read More: dailypost

Naira rebounds at parallel, black markets

The Naira on Monday rebounded to gain N6 against the dollar following the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) plan to upwardly review the weekly Forex cash sales to Bureau De Change (BDC) operators.

The appreciation was recorded at the parallel and black markets. Naira sold for N202 at the two markets from the N208 it was traded on Friday January 23. It also exchanged against the pounds at N297 and N295 at the BDCs and the black market, respectively. The Naira to the Euro sold for N230 at the two markets.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on January 23 reviewed the weekly Forex sales to BDC operators. The CBN said the decision was part of the ongoing review of developments in the foreign exchange market and to deepen the BDC’s segment.

As a result, the CBN reviewed the weekly Forex cash sales to BDCs upward from 15 000 dollars to 30 000 dollars with effect from Wednesday January 28. The decision will make the CBN sell to BDCs at the prevailing interbank rate while BDCs are expected to sell not more than 3.5 per cent above the bank’s selling rate. BDCs are also to ensure that Naira not sold are returned to the CBN within 48 hours of purchase.

Credit: NAN

Abuja Landlords Now Collect Rent In Dollars

According to the report published by the Daily Trust newspaper online, getting a decent accommodation for business in Abuja is now becoming increasingly hard, as most of the landlords no longer want their rents in Naira but in dollars.

“Renting a small place, maybe 60 square feet room, nothing fantastic and you find yourself paying a lot of money in dollars. Most such places will take from you in this town, at least $300 per square meter [close to N60,000sqm],”  said Tope Fasua, an economist who does financial consulting and advisory services, of his experiences at the hands of property owners in Abuja.


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