Nigeria’s inflation rate is expected to rise to about 11.4 per cent for the rest of this year till mid-2019, the Central Bank of Nigeria has said.

The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiel*e, disclosed this while speaking on Nigeria’s outlook and policy thrust for 2019.

He said, “Inflation expectations are rising on the backdrop of anticipated politically related liquidity injections. For the rest of 2018 and towards mid-2019, Nigeria’s rate of inflation is projected to rise slightly to about 11.4 per cent and then moderate thereafter.”

The consumer price index, which measures inflation decreased to 11.26 per cent (year-on-year) in October2018, according to latest report by the National Bureau of Statistics on its ‘CPI and inflation report October 2018’.

The statistics revealed that this was a 0.02 per cent points lower than the rate recorded in September 2018 (11.28 per cent).

While speaking on the exchange rate, he said that although the CBN had so far managed to maintain exchange rate stability, the current capital flow reversals from emerging markets were expected to continue to exert considerable pressure on market rates.

This pressure, he added, could be amplified by the forthcoming elections, especially as the political marketplace heats up.

He said notwithstanding those pressures, the CBN was determined to maintain its stable exchange rate policy stance over the next few months, given the relatively high level of reserves.

“Gross stability is projected in the foreign exchange market given increased oil-related inflows and contained import bill. I would like to make it categorically clear that sustaining a stable exchange rate is of overriding importance to us even as we continue to put measures in place to shore up reserves,” he said.

While speaking on the balance of payments, he said it was expected to remain positive in the short term, and that oil prices continue to recover, adding that it was expected that the current account balance would strengthen even further.

“This will be supported by improved non-oil performance as diversification efforts begin to yield results to reduce undue imports,” he added.

Emefiele also said that the apex bank would explore the possibility of leveraging technology to enhance credit to critical sectors of the economy, especially agriculture and manufacturing.

 

Source: Punch

The Presidency has vowed to recover the $7 billion cash bailout given to commercial banks in the country in 2006 by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.
 
This was disclosed on Wednesday by the Chairman of the Presidential Committee on the Recovery of Public Property, Okoi Obono-Obla in Abuja on Wednesday, vowing that the committee will take all necessary steps to recover the money.
 
Obono-Obla stated this at a public event organized by some civil society groups on the controversial Oil Prospecting Lease 245 in Abuja.
 
Obla-Obono also disclosed that the federal government was also investigating an unnamed top politician for running 20 companies in a European tax haven so as to evade tax payment to Nigeria.
 
He also added, that a leading oil firm that has withheld $1.9 billion oil revenue payment to Nigeria was being investigated and would be sanctioned for economic sabotage.
 
 
Source: The Ripples

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Tuesday intervened in the wholesale segment of the foreign exchange market, supplying about $100 million to dealers in that window.

In the latest round of intervention announced in Abuja, the CBN said it also injected about $55 million each in the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and Invisibles segments to meet the needs of customers.

The Director, Corporate Communications Department at the CBN, Isaac Okorafor, again assured of the Bank’s continued mediation in the interbank foreign exchange market in order to guarantee stability.

Last week, the CBN also intervened in the wholesale segment of the inter-bank foreign exchange market on Wednesday, November 21, 2018 to the tune of $210 million.a

Meanwhile, the Naira continued its stable run against the United States dollars on Tuesday, November 27, 2018, exchanging at an average of N362/$1 in the BDC segment of markets across Lagos and Abuja.

Source: Premium Times

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Wednesday injected $210 million into the foreign exchange market to help stabilize the naira.
 
Figures from the bank showed that it offered $100m to the wholesale segment, while the Small and Medium Enterprises segment received $55m.
 
The invisibles segment, comprising tuition fees, medical payments and basic travel allowance, among others, also received a $55m boost.
 
The Director, Corporate Communications, CBN, Mr Isaac Okorafor, who confirmed the figures, noted that the CBN was pleased with the state of the forex market, adding that the bank would continue to intervene in order to sustain the liquidity in the market and guarantee the international value of the naira.
 
According to Okorafor, the level of transparency in the market was also a boost to confidence in the market.
 
Consequently, the naira maintain its stability in the forex market, exchanging at an average of N361/$1 in the BDC segment of the market on Wednesday.
 
 
Source: The Ripples
The Nigerian Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) has disbursed a total of N6.226 trillion to federal, states and local governments in the country in the first three quarters of 2018.
 
This follows a steady rise in the amount of revenue that been going to the three tiers of government, with N2.28 trillion shared in the third quarter.
 
The breakdown shows that the Federal Government received the highest sum of N904.8b, followed by states, which received N718.5bn and Local Governments Areas receiving the lowest disbursement of N432.1bn.
 
This was contained in the latest edition of the Nigeria Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative Quarterly Review released in Abuja on Sunday.
 
NEITI said: “Total FAAC disbursements in the third quarter of 2018 amounted to N2.28tn, representing a 17.6 per cent increase over the N1.938tn disbursed in the first quarter of 2018 and 13.5 per cent higher than the N2.008tn disbursed in the second quarter.
 
“It is interesting that with the exception of July, the lowest amount disbursed so far in 2018 is higher than disbursements in all other months in 2016 and 2017.”
 
A comparison with the disbursed sums for 2016, 2017 and 2018 showed that the disbursements in the third quarter of 2018 (N2.28tn) were 31 per cent and 18 per cent higher than disbursements in the third quarters of the last two years.
 
NEITI also stated that the last time total disbursements exceeded the N2.5tn mark was in the second quarter of 2014 (N2.51tn).
 
A further analysis of the increase as reported by the NEITI Quarterly Review showed that the Federal Government’s receipt of N904.8bn in the third quarter of 2018 was 11.3 per cent and 7.8 per cent higher than the amounts received in the first (N812.8bn) and second (N839.5bn) quarters respectively.
 
NEITI said: “The amount disbursed to states represented an increase of 5.1 per cent over the N683.5bn disbursed in the first quarter, and an increase of 3.8 per cent over the N692.1bn disbursed in the second quarter.
 
“For LGAs, the amount received was 9.8 per cent and 7.5 per cent higher than the respective amounts of N393.4bn and N402.1bn received in the first and second quarters.”
 
 
Source: NAN
Telecommunication company, MTN Nigeria, has sued the Nigerian government to the tune of N3 billion.
 
The firm, in the new suit, is challenging the legality of N242 billion and $1.3 billion import duties and withholding tax demanded from it by the Nigerian government.
 
The embattled company, in the suit filed at the Federal High Court in Lagos, is demanding the N3 billion for general and exemplary damages and legal costs from the defendant.
 
A judge, Chukwujekwu Aneke, on Thursday, adjourned the suit until December 3 for hearing after counsel confirmed that motions have been filed and served on parties.
 
In the suit filed on September 10, the telecom firm is contending that the purported “revenue assets investigation” allegedly carried out by the Nigerian government for the period of 2007 to 2017 violates the Nigerian constitution.
 
Also, the telecom firm is claiming that the government’s decision conveyed through the Office of the AGF by an August 20 letter, violates the provisions of Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution.
 
The firm is seeking a declaration that the AGF acted in excess of its powers by purporting to direct through its letter of May 10 a “self-assessment exercise” which usurps the powers of the Nigerian Customs Service to demand payment of import duties on importation of physical goods.
 
It is also seeking a declaration that the AGF acted illegally by usurping the powers of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to audit and demand remittance of withholding and value added taxes.
 
According to the suit, the telecom firm prayed for a declaration that the AGF’s demand of the sums is premised on a process that is malicious, unreasonable and made on incorrect legal basis.
 
The Central Bank of Nigeria had been at loggerheads with the telecom firm following sanctions over alleged illegal repatriation of funds. The CBN accused MTN Nigeria of improper dividend repatriations and demanded that $8.1 billion be returned “to the coffers of the CBN”.
 
Abubakar Mallami, the Attorney-General of the Federation, in a separate move, also slammed a tax bill on the firm, wherein he accused MTN of unpaid taxes on foreign payments and imports, asking it to pay approximately $2billion in relation to the taxes.
 
According to the CBN, MTN and four banks flouted the “laws and regulations…including the Foreign Exchange (Monitoring and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1995 and the Foreign Exchange Manual, 2006.”
 
The four banks––Standard Chartered Bank, Citi Bank, Stanbic IBTC Bank and Diamond Bank – were subsequently debited. They all denied wrongdoing.
 
Hearing of the new suit has been scheduled for December 3.
 
 
Source: Premium Times
In its latest round of intervention, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Tuesday injected the sum of $210 million in the inter-bank foreign exchange market.
 
Figures obtained from the CBN indicate that the authorised dealers in the wholesale segment of the market received the sum of $100 million while the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and invisibles segments were allotted the sum of $55 million each. 
 
The Bank’s Director, Corporate Communications Department, Mr. Isaac Okorafor, assured that the CBN would continue to sustain liquidity in the forex market. He also expressed optimism that the Naira will continue its strong run against the dollar and other major currencies around the world, considering the stability in the market and robust reserves.
 
CBN had on Friday, November 2, 2018, made interventions to the tune of $337.16million in the retail Secondary Market Intervention Sales (SMIS) and CNY 56.17million in the spot and short-tenored forwards segment of the foreign exchange market.
 
Meanwhile, the Naira yesterday exchanged at an average of N360/$1 in the BDC segment of the market.
 
 
Source: News Express
 
The Nigerians National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said it transferred the sum of N128.40billion into the federation account in August.
 
The Corporation disclosed this in its monthly Financial and Operational report released in Abuja on Wednesday.
 
It said that between August 2017 and August 2018, the federation and joint ventures (JV) received the sum of N879.02billion and N651.4billion respectively.
 
The NNPC explained that the Federation Crude Oil and Gas Revenue, Federation Crude Oil and Gas lifting, were classified into Equity Export and Domestic crude.
 
It explained that this crude were lifted and marketed by corporation and the proceeds remitted into the Federation Account.
 
It noted that Equity Export receipts, after adjusting for Joint Venture Cash Calls, were paid directly into the Federation Account domiciled in Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
 
The corporation explained that domestic crude oil of 445,000 bpd was allocated for refining to meet domestic products supply, and payments were effected to the Federation Account by NNPC.
 
This, it said was done after adjusting crude and product losses and pipeline repairs and management costs incurred during the period.
 
On the crude oil and gas export sales, the report noted that sales for the month of August stood at 470 million dollars.
 
According to the report, the sales indicate an upsurge of about 78million dollars in relation to July oil and gas export figures of 391.91million dollars.
 
It further indicated that crude oil export sales contributed 337.62million dollars which represented 71.83 per cent of the dollar transactions compared with 283.43million dollars contribution in the previous month.
 
“Export gas sales during the period amounted to 132.38million dollars.
 
“The August 2017 to August 2018 crude oil and gas transactions involved crude oil and gas export worth 5.26billion dollars,” it said.
 
The report explained that based on the above sales figures, a total export receipt of 450.24million dollars was recorded in August 2018 as receipt against 382.65million dollars in July 2018.
 
“Contribution from crude oil during the period, amounted to 336.43 million dollars, while gas and miscellaneous receipt stood at 101.33million dollars and 12.48million dollars respectively,” the report noted.
 
A further breakdown of the figures showed that out of the export receipts, 142.31million dollars was remitted to the Federation Account.
 
The sum of 307.93million dollars was remitted to fund the JV cost recovery for the month of August, 2018 to guarantee current and future production.
 
“Total export crude oil and gas receipt for the period August 2017 to August 2018 stood at 5.23billion dollars out of which 3.74 billion dollars was transferred to JV Cash Call as first line charge and the balance of 1.49 billion dollars paid into the Federation Account,” it added.
 
(NAN)
 
Nigeria’s Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr. Chris Ngige, on Wednesday said the Federal Government cannot accept the N22,500 minimum wage proposal by the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF).
 
“The governors have not even done enough. I told them that this N22,500 is even rejected by the Federal Government,” says the minister in a phone interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.
 
Ngige’s comments come 24 hours after NGF unanimously agreed to pay Nigerian workers N22,500 as the new minimum wage as against the current N18,000.
 
Chairman of the Forum and Zamfara State Governor, Abdul’Aziz Yari, said that the decision of the governors was based on the current realities on the ground.
 
But Ngige criticised the governors for the figure, saying N22,500 is even below the N24, 000 agreement by the Federal Government.
 
He, however, said that all parties on the ground would resume back on negotiations to see that the welfare of the workers was met.
 
“The national minimum wage is a national legislation being driven by the Federal Government of Nigeria in pursuance to item 34 of the Exclusive Legislative list. But you don’t go and make a law which people will disobey at the initial.
 
“If you make a law and hoax a figure that is not agreeable, which people don’t have the capacity or ability to pay because the International Labour Organisation (ILO) says in those negotiations, the principle is the ability to pay,” the minister stated.
 
Ngige lamented that the Chairman of the Tripartite Committee, Ms. Amal Pepple was not in the country, explaining that despite her absence for two weeks for a medical check-up, the Federal Government would convene partners involved in the minimum wage to deliberate on the issue and arrive on the same page.
 
Although workers are demanding N30,000 as minimum wage, the minister said that any industrial action being embarked on the aggrieved workers would not resolve the issues at stake.
The Federal High Court in Lagos has fixed December 4, 2018 for hearing in the suit filed by MTN Nigeria Communications Limited to challenge the $8,134,312,397.63 being demanded from the telecom firm by the Central Bank of Nigeria over alleged foreign exchange remittance infractions.
 
At Tuesday proceedings in the case, MTN was represented by Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), who led 14 other lawyers, including Prof. Fabian Ajogwu (SAN), Mr Damian Dodo (SAN), Mr Adeniyi Adegbonmire (SAN) and Mr Bode Olanipekun (SAN).
 
On the CBN legal team were Messrs Seyi Sowemimo (SAN) and Ademola Akerele (SAN).
 
The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami (SAN), who was joined as the 2nd defendant in the suit, was absent and was not represented in court.
 
While adjourning the suit till December 4 for the hearing of all pending applications, Justice Saliu Saidu directed that hearing notice should be served on the AGF.
 
In the suit marked: FHC/L/CS/1475/2018, MTN is seeking a court declaration that it is “not liable to refund $8,134,312,397.63 to the coffers of the 1st defendant (CBN) premised on the decisions reached in the 1st defendant’s letter of 28/8/2018.”
 
The telecommunications giant is urging the court to declare that that “the 1st defendant’s decision in its letter of August 28, 2018 with Ref. No. GBD/GOV/COM/DGF/118/121 addressed to the plaintiff and titled, ‘Investigation into the remittance of foreign exchange on the basis of the illegal capital importation certificates issued to MTN Nigeria Communications Limited’ was reached in breach of the plaintiff’s right to fair hearing.”
 
The firm wants Justice Saidu to hold that the CBN “lacks the power to determine the civil obligations or penal liabilities of the plaintiff.”
 
It is urging the court to declare that the CBN acted ultra vires its statutory powers when it wrote the August 28 letter to it demanding a refund of $8.1bn.
 
The firm wants the court to hold that the $8.1bn demand is illegal, oppressive, abusive, unauthorised and unconstitutional.
 
It also wants the court to void the September 3, 2018 letter written to it by the AGF demanding $8.1bn as penalty for the offence of “infraction of forex remittances.”
 
MTN is seeking a court order restraining the 1st and 2nd defendants from giving effect to the decisions, demands and directives in their letters of August 28,2018 and September 3, 2018, respectively.
 
However, the CBN, in its statement of defence and counter-claim, urged the judge to dismiss MTN’s suit, insisting that the telecommunications giant must refund $8.1bn to the Federal Government.
 
The Attorney General of the Federation on his part has yet to file any defence.
 
The dispute over $8.1bn repatriated funds started when the CBN alleged that MTN used improperly issued certificates of capital importation to transfer funds out of Nigeria after the telecom giant converted shareholders’ loans in its Nigerian unit to preference shares in 2007, but MTN denied the allegations.
 
The apex bank said MTN’s banks failed to verify that it had met all the country’s foreign exchange regulations.
 
 
Source: The Punch

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