The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has continued its intervention in the retail Secondary Market Intervention Sales (SMIS) by injecting a total of $317.52million in that segment of the market in addition to CNY58.40 million in the spot and short-tenored forwards segment.

The figures obtained from the apex Bank on Friday revealed that the US dollar-denominated interventions were only for actors in the agricultural and raw materials sectors while the Yuan was for Renminbi denominated Letters of Credit.

Confirming the figures, the CBN’s Director, Corporate Communications Department, Mr. Isaac Okorafor, said the Bilateral Currency Swap Agreement (BCSA) with the Peoples’ Bank of China had continued to receive encouraging responses from customers.

While noting that Friday’s sale was the fifth in the series of interventions, he said the BCSA was achieving its major objectives of reducing the use and influence of a third currency transactions; reducing the pressure on the naira exchange rate; easing trade transactions between Nigeria and China and maintaining financial market stability in Nigeria.

Mr. Okorafor further assured that the CBN would remain committed to ensuring that all the sectors of the foreign exchange market continue to enjoy access to the needed foreign exchange by Nigerians.

It will be recalled that the Bank on Tuesday, September 18, 2018 intervened in the inter-bank Foreign Exchange Market to the tune of $210 million.

Meanwhile, $1 exchanged for N361 at the Bureau de Change (BDC) segment of the foreign exchange market, while CNY 1 exchanged for N53.

Source News Express

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has said it recorded a trading surplus of ₦17.16 billion in April.
 
In a statement on Thursday in Abuja by the corporation’s Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Ndu Ughamadu, the surplus indicated a ₦5.43 billion improvement, representing 46.29 percent on the trading surplus recorded in March.
 
According to him, the trading surplus was part of the highlight of the corporation’s Monthly Financial and Operations Report for April, 2018.
 
He said the report is the 33rd edition since NNPC commenced the publication of its financial and operations report on a monthly basis as part of efforts to instill a culture of transparency and keep stakeholders and the general public informed of its activities.
 
The NNPC boss added that the trading surplus was achieved through a combined higher performance by the upstream, midstream (refineries) and downstream sectors as well as a reduction in Corporate Headquarters’ operational expenditure.
 
He quoted the report to have said, “This enhanced performance is attributable to robust revenues from sales of crude oil and petroleum products by NPDC and PPMC as well as the upsurge in refineries’ performance, particularly in the Port Harcourt Refining Company (PHRC).”
 
On the gas production and supply front, the report indicated that the average daily production for April, 2018, stood at 8,054.46 billion cubic feet (bcf), out of which an average of 835.27 million metric standard cubic feet (mmscf), equivalent of 3,283 megawatts of electricity, was supplied to the power sector daily during the period under review.
 
“The result when compared with that of April, 2017, implies an increase of 496mw of power generated relative to same period last year,” Ughamadu said, quoting the report.
 
It further showed that in the period under review, a total of 1.61 billion litres of Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) was supplied by NNPC in furtherance of the zero fuel queue policy of the Federal Government.
 
The NNPC said it recorded a 48.21 percent reduction in the rate of pipeline vandalism which fell to 166 from 224 vandalized points in the previous month.
 
According to the report, the Aba-Enugu pipeline segment accounted for 78 vandalized points, representing 84.78 percent of total vandalized points on the nation’s network of products pipelines.
 
 
Source: The Ripples

The operating licence of Skye Bank has been withdrawn, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin I. Emefiele, CON, announced on Friday evening in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

He told the media: “You will recall that on 4th July 2016, we took a regulatory action on Skye bank Nigeria PLC. Specifically, this action led to the resignation of the Chairman, all Non-Executive Directors on the Board as well as the Managing Director, Deputy Managing Director, and the two longest-serving Executive Directors on the Management Team

“At that time the proactive action was informed by unacceptable corporate governance lapses as well as the persistent failure of Skye Bank PLC to meet minimum thresholds in critical prudential and adequacy ratios, which culminated in the bank’s permanent presence at the CBN Lending Window.

“The focus of the action then was to save depositors’ funds and to ensure that the bank continued as a going concern, being a systemically important bank. Part of our intention was also to stem the imminent job losses to staff if a liquidation option had been adopted. These objectives have been fully achieved and the bank has been able to meet customer obligations, having curtailed the liquidity haemorrhage and restored depositor confidence. 

“Indeed, the bank’s performance has improved considerably compared to the pre-July 2016 era.

“The result of our examinations and forensic audit of the bank has, however, revealed that Skye bank requires urgent recapitalisation as it can no longer continue to live on borrowed times with indefinite liquidity support from the CBN. The shareholders of the bank have been unable to recapitalise it.

“As a responsible and responsive regulator and in consultation with the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), we have decided to establish a bridge bank, Polaris Bank, to assume the assets and liabilities of Skye bank. The strategy is for the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) to capitalise the Bridge Bank and begin the process of sourcing investors to buy out AMCON. By this decision, the licence of the defunct Skye Bank is hereby revoked.

“We wish to assure all depositors that under this arrangement, their deposits shall remain safe and that normal banking services shall continue in the new bank on Monday, 24th September, 2018, to enable customers to transact their businesses seamlessly.

“Thus, all customers of Skye Bank shall be automatic customers of the new bank and their accounts and records duly purchased by Polaris Bank.

“Given the good performance of the board and management, the CBN shall retain them.  In addition, all employees of Skye Bank shall be absorbed by Polaris Bank under a new contract unless any employee decides to opt out.

“We wish to assure the general public that the Nigerian banking industry remains safe and resilient and that the CBN will continue to live up to its responsibilities of promoting stability in the banking and financial system.”

Source News Express

The Naira, yesterday, depreciated to N363.27 per dollar in the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window even as the volume of dollars traded rose marginally by 257 percent.
 
Data from FMDQ showed that the indicative exchange rate for the window rose to N363.27 per dollar yesterday from N362.97 per dollar on Wednesday, indicating 30 kobo depreciation of the naira.
 
The volume of dollars traded on the window yesterday rose by 257 percent to $401.69 million from $112.66 million traded on Wednesday.
 
However, the naira yesterday was stable at N359 per dollar in the parallel market.
 
 
The Guardian

The Federal Government has sold its 21 percent stake in the Nigeria Security Printing and Minting Company (NSPMC) to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The instrument to transfer 12.69 billion Federal Government’s shares in the NSPMC to the apex bank was signed by the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, and the Director-General of the Bureau Public Enterprises (BPE), Alex Okoh, on Tuesday at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who is also the Chairman of the National Council on Privatization (NCP), said the sale was to create a synergy between the public and the private sectors.

“Security printing has taken new dimensions; it is no longer what it used to be. As a matter of fact, there are those who think that today there is more of technology than merely security printing.

“If you look at some of the cards that are being printed today, that in the chips are not just security they are actually technological assets.

“So, there are new assets, there are new dimensions and there are new ideas and it’s just the private sector that can really be at the cutting edge of technology and innovation,” he said.

Osinbajo noted that over 140 publicly-owned companies had been privatised in the past 30 years, explaining that government’s divestment of its interest in the companies was to bring in the needed expertise to run them

“Government should stick to its regulatory role and its incentivizing role and allow the private sector to do business, allow the private sector to take the risk where possible,” Osinbajo added.

In his reaction, Emefiele, said the capacity of the mint has increased, adding that it now produces all the currency that is needed in the country and also in the West Africa region.

“The mint capacity has been expanded to where it has ideal capacity that can produce for other ECOWAS countries.

“We intend to embark on aggressive marketing to see to it that not only produces for itself but also produces for other important stakeholders that may require its services in the area of currency printing,” Emefiele said.

 

Vanguard.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said it will impose N10,000 ($28) fine per item for every failed NIP transaction caused by any financial institution operating in the country.

It said the implementation of the sanction, which would be effective from October 2, 2018, would be monitored using complaints from senders and/or beneficiaries.

The CBN said the sanction would be placed on any Instant (Inter-Bank) Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) service provider that fail to reverse such payment within 24 hours.

Instant (Inter-Bank) service provider are any financial institution licensed by CBN to carry on the business of facilitating electronic funds transfer services in partnership with sending and receiving entities.

The CBN, in its Regulation on Instant (Inter-Bank) EFT Services in Nigeria released during the weekend, said the policy was in furtherance to its mandate for the development of electronic payments system in the country.

Also the financial regulator also said delayed application of inward NIP into beneficiary’s accounts beyond four (4) minutes would also attract another N10,000 ($28) fine per item.

The apex bank however advised any stakeholder to the instant EFT service willing to propose an amendment to the regulation to formally forward such proposal to the office of its Director, Baking and Payments System Department for consideration.

Instant (Inter-Bank) EFT also known has instant EFT or instant payment means a system between two distinct entities when delivery from the sending entity to the receiving entity takes place within one (1) minute.

 

The Ripples.

Zainab Ahmed, who is acting minister of finance, said Monday that Nigeria’s economy faced “challenging times” as she formally assumed duty.

President Muhammadu Buhari appointed her to oversee the finance ministry following the the resignation of Kemi Adeosun who resigned over forged certificate of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).

Ahmed, who is the Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, said the new task would require collaboration with minister officials to achieve success.

Mahmoud Isa-Dutse, permanent secretary and some directors in the ministry, welcomed her.

“These are very challenging times for our country. It means we are part of the economic team that has been charged with making sure there is economic stability in our country,” she said.

“We have very serious revenue challenges and it is up to us to shore up the revenues of this country.

“Mr President has a lot of confidence that we can do this very well together. We are working for Mr President, but at the end of the day we are working for the benefit of the citizens of our country.

“There are a lot of sacrifices that I know that you have done, and we are going to push ourselves to still do more so that at the end of the day we will say Alhamdulillah– glory be to God!

“The finance ministry has overtime been known to have very skilled personnel; from interacting with some of you, I know that there is a lot of skill set within the ministry, and that I am in good hands.

“I plan to work very closely with the whole of the directors, most especially with the permanent secretary.

“I want to declare that today the permanent secretary is my new next-of-kin. What that means is that I am going to work hand-in-gloves with him, and I expect everybody to do the same thing.

“There are some things I know about finance, but there is a lot that I don’t know; and the knowledge resides in you.”

 

Vanguard.

Following $10.13 billion allegations of illegal repatriation of funds and tax evasion against MTN Nigeria, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Department of State Services (DSS) and other relevant security agencies to probe the operations of the company.

In a statement in Abuja on Sunday, the NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, said the Federal Government should spare no effort in recovering the money as anything to the contrary would send wrong signals to other corporate organisations it had punished for lesser tax infractions.

Recall that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had alleged that MTN repatriated $8.13 billion using irregular certificates of capital importation (CCIs), while the Federal Government through the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, demanded for the payment of $2 billion in tax arrears.

According to Wabba, the allegations have vindicated the NLC as it had earlier highlighted alleged labour laws, local content law and security breaches by the telecommunications company.

The statement quoted the NLC President as saying, “We at the NLC hereby urge MTN Nigeria to comply without further delay with the directive of the Federal Government to pay $2bn in tax arrears as well as the $8.13bn it was said to have illegally repatriated to South Africa over which four indigenous banks have been fined.

“Coupled with the demand that MTN should obey our national laws by allowing unionisation, we urge critical government agencies such as the Nigerian Communication Commission, the EFCC, the Department of State Services, Nigeria Immigration Service and the CBN to closely look into the operations of the company, especially in the light of the Thabo Mbeki report.

“On our part, we are, however, not surprised by the unethical conduct of MTN. They are not only engaged in the exploitation of Nigerian workers and turning them into slaves, but have extended their frontiers to unwholesome economic exploitation and sabotage.”

The NLC also called on the government to use the opportunity to send appropriate message to everyone, especially corporate organisations that often paid taxes in the breach.

The Nigeria’s inflation rate has rebounded in August for the first time since January 2017 after recording 18 consecutive months of downward trend, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

In the August inflation report by the statistics bureau on Friday, the nation’s Consumer Price Index (CPI), which measures inflation, rose by 0.09 percent points to 11.23 percent in August.

This implies the prices of goods and services rose at a faster rate in review month – just like June 2018 – when compared with July 2018.

The headline inflation had been on steady decline from 18.72 percent since January 2017 to 11.14 percent in July 2018, this was after it fell to 18.55 percent in December 2016.

In spite of the persistent decline during the period, the macroeconomic variable remained above the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) acceptable band of 6 percent to 9 percent.

The CPI measures the composite changes in the prices of consumer goods and services, such as food, transportation, and medical care, purchased by households, over a period.

The NBS said food inflation also surged to 13.16 percent YoY in August up from 12.85 percent recorded in previous month, while core inflation, which excludes agricultural produce, dropped from 10.2 percent in July to 10.0 percent in August.

The CBN had expressed fear over the possibility of a rebound in the macroeconomic indicator in the second half of 2018 as a result of increased spending ahead of the 2019 general elections.

In August, the CBN said it may consider raising its key lending rate for the first time in two years if the inflation rate worsens.

The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the CBN in its July meeting had retained the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) at record-high of 14 percent for the 11th consecutive time since 2016 to monitor the magnitude of the liquidity impact of the fiscal injection and election related expenditure.

 

The Ripples.

Twenty four states of the federation sold Petroleum Motor Spirit (PMS), otherwise known as petrol, at an average price of over N145 per litre in August, according to a new report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

Recall that the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, had in May 2016 announced an upward review of PMS pump price by the Federal Government from N86.50 to N145.00, and directed filling stations across the country not to sell the product above the fixed price.

According to Kachikwu, the hike was the only way out of the exorbitant prices of N150 to N250 Nigerians were subjected to at many filling stations across the country during yuletide.

But in the latest PMS Price Watch report for August by NBS, only thirteen (13) states including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, complied with the directive, while the pump price of the product remained above the fixed price in other states in the review month.

According to the report, the average price paid by consumers for petrol increased by 1.7 percent to N146.90 per litre in August 2018 when compared with the same month in the previous year.

It said states with the highest average price of PMS in the review month were Borno, Kebbi and Kwara, which sold a litre at N157.00, N152.94 and N152.86, respectively.

It added that states with the lowest average price of the product for August 2018 were Ekiti, Katsina and Bauchi which sold at N144.23, N144.08 and N143.89, respectively.

Across geo-political zones, the North East zone recorded the highest average price of N148.81 per litre, while the South West zone sold the product at an average price of N145.01 per litre for the month under review.

 

The Ripples...

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