In furtherance of its intervention in the inter-bank Foreign Exchange market, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Friday said it had injected $218.41 million into the retail Secondary Market Intervention Sales (SMIS).
Isaac Okoroafor, the apex bank’s Director of Corporate Communications, who made the disclosure in a statement in Abuja, added that the sum of ¥18 million was also released into the spot and short-tenured forward segment of the inter-bank Forex market.
Interventions of this nature are often pursued by the CBN to ensure adequate liquidity and stability in the market.
He stated that the CBN dollar-denominated intervention was targeted at meeting the requests in the agricultural and raw material sectors while the Chinese Yuan was for the payment of Renminbi-denominated Letters of Credit.
Okoroafor mentioned that he was pleased with the stability of the Forex market, made possible by the CBN’s consistent interventionist policies.
He reiterated the bank management’s commitment to providing all the sectors of the Forex market with access needed to foreign exchange.
Mr Okoroafor noted that this would make stability in the Forex market attractive to investors.
The CBN on Tuesday had offered $100 million to authorised dealers in the wholesale segment of the market and $55 million to the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and the Invisibles segments.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), N358 was exchanged for a dollar at the Bureau de Change (BDC) segment of the foreign exchange market N46 was exchanged for a Chinese Yuan on Friday.
The total assets under the Contributory Pension Scheme rose to N10.22tn as of the end of December 2019, the National Pension Commission, has stated.
According to the commission, a total of N7.34tn or 71.87 per cent of the funds has been invested by the Pension Fund Administrators in the Federal Government of Nigeria’s securities, including FGN bonds, treasury bills, agency bonds, Sukuk bonds and green bonds.
Under the Pension Reform Act 2014, the PFAs invest the accumulating funds in different investment portfolios, which were in the custody of the Pension Fund Custodians.
Some of the funds were invested in agency bonds, supra-national bonds, commercial papers, foreign money market securities, and open/closed-end funds.
Other investment portfolios where the operators invested the funds are REITS, private equity funds, infrastructure funds, cash and other assets.
The President, Pension Funds Operators Association of Nigeria, Mrs Ronke Adedeji, said it was important to ensure the growth and improvement of the pension industry.
She said there was enormous potential for the sector to contribute to the development of the Nigerian economy.
Adedeji said, “Of note also is the agitation to utilise pension funds for infrastructure. While in principle, there is no objection to this, it is extremely important that we bear in mind that these are peoples’ monies.
“We have a responsibility to ensure that they are secure. They must only be invested in viable and secure instruments that assure the owners of the funds that they can access their monies as and when due.
“Returns also need to be competitive as this is part of the funds used at retirement. l would also like to point out that it is a myth that pension funds are lying idle and not used for the development of the nation.”
The Director, Centre for Pension Right Advocacy, Ivor Takor, said pension funds should be invested and not borrowed.
Most of the petroleum stations in Badagry communities have closed as the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers of Nigeria (NUPENG) suspended distribution of fuel to the city.
Mr Tayo Aboyeji, Chairman, South-West Chapter of the union told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Badagry that the suspension was due to harassment and molestation of its members by men of Customs and Army in the area.
The chairman said that the customs under the Joint Border Patrol operations arrested a tanker driver who missed its way in Badagry and drove it to Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).
The customs was of the Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone ‘A’ in Ikeja.
“A tanker driver from Port Harcourt was sent to Badagry to deliver petroleum to a station, unfortunately, he missed his way and while asking for direction, the tanker driver was arrested by the men of joint border patrol.
“The tanker was taken to FOU in Ikeja. I wrote to the Controller on the issue and met DC Enforcement on the matter and I was directed to the Officer in Charge of Legal issues in same office.
“OC Legal told me that he had not received the file from joint patrol operation office and promised to call me later.
“But surprisingly, our enforcement unit in Agbara stopped a tanker to check his paper to find out if its delivery documents were intact, but there were errors in his documents,” he said.
Aboyeji said that the NUPENG enforcement team thought it was a stolen product, adding that they did not know that it was a product that was under investigation that had been sold to a buyer.
” Thinking that it was a stolen product, they drove it to Area K Police Command in Morogbo.
“I wrote a petition to the Lagos State Commissioner of Police as regard to the incident.
“Surprisingly, soldiers under the drilling exercise came to police station beat my members and forcefully drove away the tanker with its contents.
“We later heard that the tanker was used to remove the petroleum of a filling station in Badagry that had been sealed since Feb.1.
“Both the products and the tanker have not been found, this is not done in a civilized society, a product under investigation to be sold out just like that,” he said.
According to him, we have directed our members to stop distribution of petroleum to Badagry until justice is done.
He said NUPENG will be forced to extend the suspension to Lagos as a whole if nothing to correct the injustice was done to members.
“An injury to one, is an injury to all,” he said.
Meanwhile, all efforts to get Mr Jerry Attah, the Spokesman for FOU Zone A Ikeja to react to the allegations proved abortive as he did not respond to calls and messages sent to him.