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Forex: Naira Rises As CBN Injects dollar

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The Naira grew against the dollar at the interbank market last week, after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) raise the supply of the dollar by 50 per cent. The apex bank sold $300 million to end-users at N150 per dollar at the wholesale Dutch Auction System (WDAS) representing about $ 100 million increase over dollar sales in the past two months but short of $322.46 million demanded at the action.
The foreign exchange (forex) traders believed that the fact that CBN was able to meet the bulk of dollar demanded at its auction on Wednesday helped the naira to regain some ground at the interbank. They demand that dollars remained stronger, but expected some increase in supply of dollar by the CBN early this week.
The managing director and chief executive officer Digare BDC Limited, Mr Jelili Ajibola said that naira may further weaken if federal government implements the deregulation of the downstream petroleum sector of the economy.
His words: Nigerians should forget about deregulation of the oil sector as it will worsen our economy and devalue the naira more.
He said there are lots of interests in this campaign adding that the same politicians that are calling for deregulation would hoard petroleum products to increase prices in order to make abnormal profit when deregulation is finally implemented.
He also pointed out that with the relative stability in the Niger Delta, there is every tendency that oil production would increase thereby boosting the nation’s reserves.
He insisted that deregulation would further worsen the standard of living of the economically changed Nigerians.
Managing director and chief executive officer, Yomade BDC Limited, Usmand Suleiman said that deregulation would encourage inflation and that the poor would suffer the most. He stated that, even when workers salaries are increased, their pay would still not be able to cater for their needs. He added that, the prices of food stuff would skyrocket because fuel prices would definitely increase thereby affecting transportation fare.
He advised government to resuscitate the refineries and build new ones, provided social amenities such as stable power to encourage small and medium enterprise (SMEs) in the country.
Also speaking Adeboye Adenuga, managing director and chief executive officer, Dambis BDC Limited said that the reason for the appreciation of the naira over the dollar was due to falling demand for foreign exchange by the operator as they now find it difficult to access loan from banks.
Equally he added, that currency traders who used to sorrow from banks have started recalling facilities.
According to him, “The situation is affecting those with genuine business, as many of them no longer have access to naira to purchase foreign exchange for importation. This recent appreciation of the naira is due to the result of the CBN reform programmes in the banking sector.
He further wished that government should find a way of employing law enforcement agencies that would take charge in controlling the activities of the black marketers till sanity is restored in the forex business.
Mr Adeboye Adenuga added that the economy is not moving but people can no longer buy forex as much as before to import finished goods, noting that even those who travel to Dubai for trading purposes no longer do so, as many banks now find it difficult to support such trades. He advised that government should be able to develop local industries by improving infrastructure. Adenuga argued the aggregate supply for forex to the market is not enough also that there are lots of loopholes in the market which must be blocked to move the economy forward.

Aluka Anita O

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Crude Hits Seven-Year High On Recovery Hope … Equity Rally Runs Out

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Crude oil hit a more than seven-year high yesterday on optimism that the global recovery will ramp up demand.
However, concerns about the end of long-running central bank support and rising Treasury yields saw most equity markets reverse early gains.
After an almost uninterrupted rally from the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, world markets are showing signs of levelling out as global finance chiefs shift from economy-boosting largesse to measures aimed at reining in inflation.
Still, there is an expectation that equities will enjoy further gains this year as countries reopen and people grow more confident about travel, especially as studies suggest the more prevalent Omicron coronavirus variant appears to be milder and as vaccines are rolled out.
Analysts are also watching the corporate earnings season that is underway, with hopes that firms can match their stellar performances last year.
But while Asian markets started the day brightly after Monday’s travails, traders returned to selling, with US Treasury yields surging on expectations the Federal Reserve will have to unveil several interest rate hikes to tackle a worrying spike in inflation. Wall Street was closed Monday.
Tokyo, Hong Kong, Sydney, Seoul, Singapore, Taipei, Mumbai, Bangkok and Jakarta all fell.
There were gains in Shanghai in hopes of fresh economy-boosting measures, while Wellington and Manila also edged up.
London, Paris and Frankfurt all fell at the open.
But oil built on its early promise, with Brent climbing to $88.13 a barrel and WTI hitting $85.74, both levels not seen since October 2014.
The gains came thanks to demand optimism as the world reopens and concerns about Omicron ease. The loosening of travel restrictions in several countries has seen jet fuel costs soar.
Hopes for more monetary easing by major consumer, China, to reinforce its stuttering economy were also seen as key support for the oil market.

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NPA, MWUN, Others Synergise On Labour

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President General of Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), Comrade Adewale Adeyanju, has reaffirmed commitment to ensuring smooth working relationship with  management, Tin Can Island Port Complex (TCIPC) of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) on labour related issues.
Adeyanju, who made the commitment during a working visit to the Port Manager, TCIPC, Mr. Buba Jubril, in Lagos, noted that the union will continue to promote industrial peace and harmony in the  operational activities at seaports.
Noting that synergy among all the maritime stakeholders was key for port efficiency, he hinted that the union has changed the narrative from being tagged as hooligans to a more responsible and civil Institution in the maritime industry.
Earlier, the Port Manager, TCIPC, Buba Jubril, thanked the  PG of MWUN for the systematic approach on labour related issues at the port level
Disclosing that the PG has been instrumental to the existing peace in port operations, Jubril assured on the existing synergy the port authority and all the unions.
Jubril further said that “ Myself and the President General MWUN has come a long in the industry.
“I have known him (PG) for over 33years and that will tell you that he is my friend and friend to management of the Nigeria port authority”, he said.

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Osinbajo Wants More Stakeholders’ Involvement In Blue Economy … Inaugurates Committee

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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has sought for wider participation of relevant stakeholders in the blue economy project to deepen participation and benefits of Nigerians from the country’s marine resources.
Making the call at the  inaugural meeting of an Expanded Committee on Sustainable Blue Economy in Nigeria at the Presidential Villa yesterday, the Vice President said “a viable blue economy project will offer vista of opportunities not only for littoral states where there are bodies of waters, but for the entire country”.
He identified areas to be exploited to include ports, terminals, fishing, training, environment, tourism, power,oil and gas.
While identifying possible challenges of sustainability, the VP urged all the ministries, departments and agencies to strengthen their collaborations in an atmosphere of inter ministerial working groups and advised all members to attend the meetings faithfully for maximum results.
Osinbajo , who formally inaugurated the expanded committee, identified the need for a legal framework that will be more robust than other international maritime conventions on blue economy, which Nigeria has been signatory to.
He said the scope and participation of the committee will be further improved upon to accommodate more members from government agencies and relevant private sector stakeholders
“There is no doubt that the blue economy is a new frontier for economic development and a means of diversifying the economy through the use of resources from oceans, seas, rivers and lakes for the well being of the people.
“It also provides positive contribution to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs) 2052 Africa Integrated Maritime Strategy (2052AIM) and the UN 2030 agenda
“This concept for economic diversification is promoted by the international community and provides friendly means of livelihood in line with this administration’s agenda on job creation’, he said.
He continued that “the ocean economy as an emerging economic frontier applies to ocean-based industry activities and the assets, goods and services of marine ecosystems.
“Countries have to define the scope of their blue economy based on their priorities. For example, in Bangladesh, the ocean economy consists of the following broad and growing economic sectors; living resources, minerals, energy, transport, trade, tourism and recreation, carbon sequestration and coastal protection.
“These industries and ecosystem services do not develop in isolation, but rather interact as an economic ecosystem”, the VP said.
Earlier in his remark,Transportation Minister, Rotimi Amaechi said the blue economy is capable of improving government revenue, create employments and grow the gross domestic product of Nigeria.
Amaechi, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Dr Magdalene Ajani, also expressed optimism in the benefits derivable from a well exploited marine environment
Speaking at the event,  Dr. Paul Adalikwu, Secretary General of Maritime Organisation of West and Central Africa (MOWCA) lauded the initiative of the expansion while recommending inclusion of financial institutions such as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and African Development Bank (AfDB), as well as key financial institutions that will contribute meaningfully to realizing Nigeria’s Blue Economy objective.
In addition to  maritime agencies such as the Nigeria Ports Authority, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, and Maritime Academy of Nigeria, the expanded committee also include ten state governors.
They the Governors of Rivers, Lagos, Delta, Akwa Ibom, Borno, Ogun, Ondo, Cross River, Bayelsa and Edo States.
Other members are Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Power, Finance, Environment, Trade and Investment, Agriculture and Water Resources , Chief of Naval Staff, Comptroller General of Customs, Lake Chad Basin Commission, Nigeria Economic Summit Group, etc.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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