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Naira drops to N460/$1 at black market

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Emefiele

The Naira weakened against the dollar as it depreciated to N460 to a dollar at the parallel market, popularly referred to as the black market, on Tuesday, May 19, 2020. This is despite the volatility that persists in the foreign exchange market.

According to information from Aboki fx, this represents about 1.1% depreciation when compared to N455 to a dollar that it sold the previous day.

However, the local currency appears to have performed better against the pounds sterling as it sold for N540 to one pound sterling as against the N545 it traded the previous day.

The depreciation in the parallel market is coming against the backdrop of the surprising injection of about $90 million – $100 million into the foreign exchange market through the Wholesale Secondary Market Interventions by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). This is supposed to help improve liquidity in the market and strengthen the Naira in the short run.

The depreciation in the parallel market is also in contrast to the stability in exchange rate movement at the investors and exporters window as it was still N386.33 to a dollar despite the sharp drop in the daily market turnover to $8.67 million at the window.

The increase in crude oil prices and the inflow of $3.4 billion from IMF, is expected to be a big boost to the foreign exchange market. The country’s external reserves seem to have had some positive movements in recent weeks as it is now well over $35 billion.

In a bid to conserve the scarce foreign exchange, Nairametrics reported that the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, insisted that the apex bank would not sell dollars to companies for the importation of items that could be produced locally.

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President Buhari suspends Twitter operations in Nigeria

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Federal Government has reportedly suspended, indefinitely, the operations of Twitter, the microblogging and social networking service, in Nigeria.

This was disclosed by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, via a statement issued by the Ministry’s spokesperson, Segun Adeyemi on Friday.

The Minister cited the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.

“The Federal Government has also directed the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to immediately commence the process of licensing all OTT and social media operations in Nigeria,” the statement read.

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Nigeria signs MoU with Niger Republic on petroleum products transportation, storage

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The Federal Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Niger Republic on the transportation and storage of petroleum products.

This was disclosed by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources via its Twitter handle on Thursday.

It tweeted, “Nigeria, Niger Republic Sign MoU on Petroleum Products Transportation, Storage. NNPC Pledges to Support SONIDEP on Capacity Building.”

The MoU was signed by the GMD NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari and the Director General of SONIDEP, Mr. Alio Toune under the supervision of the two countries’ Ministers of State for Petroleum, Çhief Timipre Sylva and Mr. Foumakoye Gado, respectively with the Secretary General of the African Petroleum Producers Organisation (APPO), Dr. Omar Farouk Ibrahim in attendance.

Sylva explained that the development is another huge step in developing trade relations between both countries.

He said, “This is a major step forward. Niger Republic has some excess products which needs to be evacuated. Nigeria has the market for these products. Therefore, this is going to be a win-win relation for both countries.”

What you should know

Following bilateral agreements between Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari and President Mahamadou Issoufou, talks have been on-going between two countries for over four months – through the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and Niger Republic’s National Oil Company, Societe Nigerienne De Petrole (SONIDEP), on petroleum products transportation and storage.

Niger Republic’s Soraz Refinery in Zinder, some 260km from the Nigerian border, has an installed refining capacity of 20,000 barrels per day. Niger’s total domestic requirement is about 5,000bpd, thus leaving a huge surplus of about 15,000 bpd, mostly for export.

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House of Reps to support full aviation reform

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The House of Representatives has promised to support total reforms in the aviation industry through legislation, as it appeals for active participation of stakeholders in public hearings.

This was disclosed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, via his Twitter handle on Tuesday.

According to him, the House has identified that the aviation industry is a key contributor to the growth of the country’s economy and through legislation it would do all it can to develop the industry.

During the opening of a 3-day public hearing session on six aviation-sector bills by the Committee on Aviation, he explained that the draft legislation would make the sector more effective and efficient.

He said, “It is imperative to note that the development of our aviation industry is an added advantage to the growth of our economy. It is in this vein that the House of Representatives will continue to support total rehabilitation and upgrading of our airports and allied services.

“The consideration of these Bills during this Public Hearing is a testament to our commitment to give new life to the aviation sector and make our airports to be a better non-oil revenue-generating sector as is witnessed in other advanced economies.”

The Speaker appealed to the public and interested parties to honour invitations to House committee public hearings so that they can share ideas on how to make critical sectors deliver optimally.

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