The Lagos State Government has set up a 12 member Economic Advisory Committee. This was disclosed in a statement by Secretary to the State Government (SSG) Mr Tunji Bello, after the State Executive Council meeting at Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja held Wednesday.
The committee has Mr Bode Agusto as Chairman and Mrs Yetunde Akinluyi as Secretary. Other members of the Committee are: Mr Kehinde Durosinmi-Etti, Mr Kenneth Igbokwe, Mrs Nimi Akinkugbe, Mrs Adenike Ogunlana, Dr Laolu Mudashiru, Mrs Omobola Johnson and Mr Moruf Oseni
The State Government would be represented on the Committee by the Commissioners for Finance, Mr. Akinyemi Ashade, Energy and Mineral Resources, Mr Olawale Oluwo, and Commerce and Industry and Cooperatives, Mr Rotimi Ogunleye.
Members of the Committee would be expected to serve for at least two years while they would meet regularly and send reports to the State Executive Council. The Economic team is saddled with the responsibility of specifically advising on the overall finance strategy to bridge the massive infrastructure gap in the state; analyzing any issue, economic or otherwise, referred to it by the Governor and to act as champions for certain initiatives.
Lagos State is arguably the largest sub national economy in the country. The state recorded the highest Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) in the country with N150.59 billion naira in HY 2016. 71% of the state’s 2016 budget was generated from IGR. In its 2017 budget, ₦512.98 billion was marked for capital expenditure and ₦300 billion for recurrent expenditure. Totalling ₦812.98 billion naira. The largest budget in the country, after the federal government.
Customers to win salary-4-life, business grants, rent advance and cash rewards in Diamondxtra quarterly draw
The DiamondXtra Reward Scheme is the most rewarding way to save.
Leading retail bank in Nigeria, Access Bank Plc is set to reward more than 1,000 DiamondXtra customers with various grants and cash prizes in the second DiamondXtra quarterly draw of Season 12 scheduled to hold on Wednesday, July 15, 2020.
According to Adaeze Umeh, Head, Consumer Banking, Access Bank Plc, “We are gearing up for the DiamondXtra quarterly draw this month and we will be rewarding more than 1,000 lucky customers with various cash prizes, business grants, family health insurance, rent advance and other exciting rewards. It is the bank’s little way of rewarding its loyal customers and creating more value to meet customer needs during these trying times. We rewarded ten customers last month with N1million each at the monthly draw and we are here again to reward more customers in the quarterly draw.”
To join the winning train, all you need to do is keep saving if you have a DiamondXtra account already. “If you don’t have an existing account, simply dial *901*5# to open a DiamondXtra account with just N5, 000 and save multiples of ₦5,000 to increase your chances of winning,” Adaeze told newsmen in Lagos.
Some of the DiamondXtra rewards for the quarterly draw include:
- Salary4Life (N100,000 every month for 20 Years)
- Rent for a Year for 21 lucky customers
- One Year Family health coverage for 7 lucky customers
- N1Million business grant for 6 lucky customers
- ₦500,000 for 15 lucky customers
- ₦100,000 for 45 lucky customers
- ₦50,000 for 300 lucky customers
- ₦20,000 for 300 lucky customers
- ₦10,000 for 300 lucky customers
The DiamondXtra Reward Scheme is the most rewarding way to save, don’t miss out on this opportunity to become a millionaire or a star prize winner. To participate; simply open a DiamondXtra account, save in multiples of ₦5,000 and you stand the chance to win amazing prizes in the quarterly draw this month.
Gold price rises further due to influx of new COVID-19 cases
Gold was up in Asia on Tuesday morning, as investors increasingly turned to the safe-haven asset given the continuous increase of the number of COVID-19 cases globally without signs of abating soon. As of July 7, data from Johns Hopkins University revealed that there were over 11.5 million cases globally, with the United States accounting for about 3 million of them.
Gold futures were up by 0.06% at $1,794.65 by 10:12 PM ET (3:12 AM GMT), moving closer to the 1,800 mark. Stocks, which typically move inversely to gold, were also up on Tuesday.
In the midst of this, the U.S. reported an Institute of Supply Management (ISM) Non-Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) of 57.1 for June on Monday. While the figure exceeded analyst forecasts noting that the U.S. services sector is back on a growth trajectory, investors are still cautious about the recovery of the global economy as COVID-19 numbers keep increasing with no cure in sight.
These events will give gold a boost in the short term. The impact of government stimulus measures globally will also impact the commodity.
Stephen Innes, Chief Global Market Strategist at AxiCorp in a note to Nairammetrics, explained in detail why Gold is edging up.
“Gold edges higher as COVID-19 cases increase concerns, offsetting positive data. While the upside is intact, $1,800/oz is stiff resistance. Gold managed to trade up despite a rise in “risk-on” investor appetite and COVID-19 concerns, which do not appear to be going away, are providing underlying support.”
Commenting on the impact of the U.S. on the price of the commodity, he added that “U.S. fatalities are now above 130,000; as US cases approach 3 million, about a quarter of the entire known global caseload, it raises the level of political discord in the US. Given that the genesis of the “risk-on” shift was only a China Times article encouraging China retail investors to buy stocks, gold investors quickly looked through the market pump.”
“However, one reason the markets remain positive over the longer-term is that gold is tied to government spending and accommodative monetary policies outside the US,” he added.
Naira remains stable as traders and speculators remain in state of flux
Forex traders are wondering what next from the CBN.
The naira depreciated against the dollar at the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window on Monday, closing at N386.50 to a dollar, compared to the N386 to a dollar that was reported on Friday, July 3, representing a 50 kobo drop. This is as traders mulled over reports that the CBN had adjusted the exchange rate at the SMIS window. The opening indicative rate was N387 to a dollar on Monday. This represents a 14 kobo drop when compared to the N386.86 to a dollar opening rate that was recorded last week Friday.
At the black market where forex is traded unofficially, the naira remained stable as it closed at N461 to a dollar on Monday which was the same rate that it exchanged last week Friday. Speculators appear to be uncertain about what next to do, as they do not know what other moves the CBN has in the offing.
Nigeria continues to maintain multiple exchange rates comprising the CBN official rate, the BDC rates, and the NAFEX (I&E window). Nairametrics reported last week that the government has set plans in motion to unify the multiple exchange rates in line with requirements from the World Bank. Nigeria is seeking a world bank loan of up to $3 billion.
Forex turnover at the Investor and Exporters (I&E) window recorded a decline on Monday, July 6, 2020, as it dropped by 90.3% day on day, a major decline from the figure that it achieved on Friday at the foreign exchange market. This is according to data from the FMDQOTC, an exchange where forex is traded by foreign investors and exporters.
According to the data tracked by Nairametrics, forex turnover decreased from $105.05 million on Friday, July 3, 2020, to $10.15 million on Monday, July 6, 2020, representing a 90.3% decline on a day-to-day basis. This is a reversal from the impressive turnover that was recorded the past 2 days and a far cry from the $200 million mark that was in January and last week.
The very low liquidity puts a lot of pressure on the foreign exchange market.
Forex Liquidity Issues
The volatility and uncertainty of the forex market still persist due to accumulated demand and liquidity shortages across markets. The rise in demand and contrasting drop in supply has called for another round of devaluation, which the CBN has insisted it had plans to implement.
The CBN on Friday adjusted the naira at the retail forex auction from N360 to a dollar to N380 to a dollar in a move that most analysts see as part of the plans to unify the exchange rate of the Naira. A devaluation last occurred in March. The apex bank wants to unify the exchange rate to conserve the dwindling external reserves which have been hard hit by demand by ever-increasing importers and the foreign investors wishing they exit the country.
This current step taken by the CBN has moved the retail auction for importers and individuals, which is the official rate closer to the over-the counter-spot for investors and exporters. Nairametrics spoke to some traders who are still reviewing what the latest move by the CBN could mean on the future price of forex. Whilst some believe this is a major step towards reunification others believe the real test of the value of the exchange rate could be when the economy finally opens. For now, projection is all speculation, one trader informs Nairametrics.
The CBN still continues to warn against currency speculators who patronize the black market, thus widening the gap between it and the I&E window. The CBN maintains that the perceived demand cannot be substantiated following the drop in economic activities induced by the COVID-19 pandemic suggest demand should be low due to travel restrictions and drop-in economic activities.
The further decline in liquidity could further fuel speculations in the black market where the exchange rate has traded at a premium of N60+ over the last few weeks. The CBN claims most of the demand being cited is not represented by any official documentation and that it has informed foreign investors with genuine forex demand to be “patient” and that they will get their forex.
The pressure in the forex crisis is compounded by the continuous slide in the external reserve which dropped to $36.19 billion as of June 29, 2020. This represents a drop of about $400 million within a month when compared to the $36.59 billion that it was as of May 29, 2020.
According to a report from Reuters, the confusion in the foreign exchange market continued as currency traders refused to quote prices for the naira at the official market during retail auction amid confusion about the impact of the CBN’s exchange rate adjustment.