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4,601 Farmers Get CBN Loan

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A total of N738.78 million was guaranteed to 4,601 farmers under the Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme (ACGS). This amount represented a decline of 74.5 per cent from the level in the preceding quarter but an increase of 34.1 per cent over the level in the corresponding quarter of 2008.

Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN’s) economic report for the first quarter of this year which shows this figure revealed that a sub-sectoral analysis of the loans guaranteed indicated that the country’s food crop sub-sector had the largest share of N367.90 million or 47.8 per cent to 3,659 beneficiaries, while the livestock sub-sector received N234 million or 31.7 per cent to 486 beneficiaries.

Also, 337 beneficiaries in the Fisheries sub-sector obtained N107.3 million of 14.5 per cent.

In the cash crops sub-sector, 39 beneficiaries got N18.60 million or 2.5 per cent, while 80 beneficiaries in ‘others’ had N11 million or 1.5 per cent. Further analysis showed that all the 23 states benefited from the scheme during the quarter, the highest and lowest sums of N85 million (11.5 per cent) and N1.30 million (0.2 per cent) went to Oyo and Akwa Ibom States, respectively.

The retail prices of most states recorded increases in the first quarter of 2009. thirteen of the fourteen commodities monitored recorded price increases, which ranged from 1.7 per cent for white garri to 250 per cent for palm oil over their levels in the preceding quarter, while millet recorded a price decline of most commodities was attributed to the subsisting food situation in the country.

Aggregate output growth in the economy measured by the gross domestic product (GDP) was estimated at 6.3 per cent in the first quarter 2009 compared with 5.8 per cent in the corresponding quarter of 2008. the project growth was driven mainly by the non-oil sector particularly agriculture which constituted 358 per cent of total (GDP) and contributed 2.2 percentage points to the growth in real GDP in the quarter. The major agricultural activities in the first quarter, 2009 were harvesting of late maturing grains and pre-planting operations for dry season farming.

Crude oil production was estimated at 1.89 million barrels per day (mbd) or 173.88 million barrel for the quarter. The end-period 2009 on a year-on-year basis, was 15.1 per cent in the preceding quarter.

The inflation rate on a 12 month moving average basis was 11.6 per cent, compared with the preceding quarter’s level of 9.2 per cent.

Industrial activities during the first quarter, 2009 declined relatively to the preceding quarter. At 115-9 (1990=100), estimated index of industrial production fell by 1.1 and 2.6 per cent from the levels attained in the preceding quarter and the corresponding period of 2008, respectively. The fall reflected the activities, mining output and electricity generation.

The estimated index of manufacturing production, at 89.9 (1990=100), declined by 1.9 and 0.9 per cent from the levels in the preceding quarters and corresponding period of 2008, respectively.

The estimated capacity utilisation also fell by 1.6 percentage points during the review quarter. The development was attributed to the fall in manufacturing production arising from weak demand and influx of imported goods.

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Eco Currency: Finance Ministers, C’Bank Govs Oppose Buhari, Others

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Nigeria and some other West African countries have kicked against the adoption of Eco as regional currency by President Muhammadu Buhari and others.
This is contained in a communiqué read by the Minister for Economy and Finance of the Republic of Guinea, Mr Mamadi Camara, in Abuja, yesterday.
The communiqué was issued after an Extra-Ordinary Meeting of the Ministers of Finance and Governors of the Central Banks of the Member States of the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ).
Camara said the meeting noted with concern, the declaration by the Chairman of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU), Alasane Outtarra on December 21, 2019 to unilaterally rename the CFA Franc as “Eco” by 2020.
He said: “WAMZ Convergence Council wishes to emphasise that this action is not in line with the decisions of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS for the adoption of the “Eco” as the name of an independent ECOWAS Single Currency.
“WAMZ Convergence Council re-iterates the importance for all ECOWAS member countries to adhere to the decisions of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government toward the implementation of the revised roadmap of the ECOWAS Single Currency Programme.
“The WAMZ Convergence Council recommends that an Extraordinary Summit of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the WAMZ Member States be convened soon to discuss this matter and other related issues.”
According to him, those at the meeting are, the Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Gambia, Mambury Njie and Minister of Finance of Ghana, Ken Ofori Atta.
Others were Minister of Finance and Development Planning Liberia, Samuel Tweah Jr, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Nigeria, Zainab Ahmed and the Minister of Finance, Sierra Leone, Jacob Shaffa.
Also in attendance were Central Bank governors of Gambia, Mr Buah Saidy, Gambia; Ernest Addison of Ghana; Louncenry Nabe of Guinea; Aloysius Tarlue of Liberia; Godwin Emefiele, Nigeria and Kelfala Kallon of Sierra Leone.
The Tide reports that eight West African countries had agreed to change the name of their common currency to Eco, thereby effectively severing the CFA franc’s links to former colonial ruler, France.
The countries include Benin Republic, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo.

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RSG Dispels Rumours Of Unapproved Structures Demolitions

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The Rivers State Commissioner for Works, Engr Austin Ben-Chioma, has dispelled rumours making the rounds that the state government demolished structures that were not originally marked by the construction company handling the Rumuogba flyover project for demolition.
Ben-Chioma, who cleared the air on the rumours, on Tuesday in a chat with newsmen while supervising the demolition exercise, noted that the ministry only demolished structures that the construction company, Julius Berger had marked as being in the Right of Way (RoW) of the flyover, and for which compensation was paid.
He said that there was enough evidence to show that the ministry had not exceeded the demolition instruction given by Julius Berger Plc.
According to him, “I am on site and evidences are shown as you can see that we did not exceed the red line marked by Berger” adding that the property owners, “are not telling the truth because the evidences are visible and verifiable”.
The commissioner pointed out that, of the three flyovers under construction, the Rumuogba flyover was the longest with about 517.5 metres length.
He, however, noted that there was the challenge of high-rise buildings along the path, which must be cut to maintain the RoW of the flyover, having given the property owners till Thursday, January, 16 (yesterday) to do the reduction themselves to avoid using the ministry’s tractors which could negatively impact the buildings.
On the payment of compensations to those affected by the demolition, the works commissioner said 95 per cent of the compensation had been paid already to affected landlords.
“Government has paid 95 per cent of compensation to property owners and they are complying with the process,” he said.
Corroborating the claims, the consultant in charge of compensation for demolished structures, Mr Emma Wike, said all affected landlords would be paid what is due them by the end of the week.
According to him, most of the claimants, we sent them letters and those that gave power of attorney to consultants, estate surveyors and valuers or lawyers, we also wrote to them and informed them this is where the payment is being held. They’ve been coming to collect their money; within the week, we are going to pay more and if we do that, it will be remaining less than 10 percent of those that have not collected their money.

 

Tonye Nria-Dappa

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CBN Gets New Deputy Gov

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President Muhammadu Buhari has nominated Dr. Kingsley Obiora as Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
If confirmed by the Senate, Dr. Obiora will replace Dr. Joseph Nnanna, who retires on February 2, 2020.
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, in a statement issued yesterday in Abuja, said the President has already forwarded a letter nominating Dr. Obiora to the President of the Senate, Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan.
“President Muhammadu Buhari has sent the name of Dr. Kingsley Isitua Obiora to the Senate for confirmation as Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
“In a letter to President of the Senate, Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan, President Buhari said the nomination was in accordance with the provision of Section 8(1) (2) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (Establishment) Act 2007.
“Dr. Obiora, upon confirmation by the Senate, replaces Dr. Joseph Nnanna, who retires on February 2, 2020.
“Dr. Obiora holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Statistics from the University of Benin, a Masters in Economics from the University of Ibadan, and a Doctorate in Monetary and International Economics, also from the University of Ibadan.
“He is currently an Alternate Executive Director in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington DC, United States of America”, the statement said.
Since joining IMF as an Economist in 2007, Dr. Obiora has worked in various countries in Europe, Africa, and Asia.
While on leave from the IMF, he worked with the Nigerian government as Special Assistant to the President’s Chief Economic Adviser and Technical Adviser to the National Economic Management Team.

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