The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has started the trading of Yuan for the first time after the country secured a Naira-Yuan currency swap deal. Isaac Okorafor, Spokesman for the CBN, announced the transaction, adding that the apex bank’s Governor, Godwin Emefiele, on Friday, granted approval for the auction to take place.
CBN was said to have asked commercial banks to bid for renminbi between 9:00 a.m on Friday to Midday. The results, are however, expected to be out by Monday.
The Asian country and Nigeria signed a Naira-Yuan currency deal equivalent to $2.4 billion in May, 2018. The agreement was reached following a meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
On the currency auction, Emefiele had said the deal which is programmed to last for three years, would help increase trade and reduce pressure on the Naira-Dollar exchange rate by weaning Nigerian importers off the greenback.
How does the swap work?
The two banks will exchange their respective currencies. The CBN will then sell Yuan to commercial banks. They, in turn, will sell to individuals and businesses. At the end of the agreement, both banks will return the initial amounts taken.
Who benefits from this?
Nigerian businessmen importing goods from China can now get direct access to Yuan rather converting to dollars.
Data from the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS) Foreign Trade Report for Q4 2017 shows China was the country’s largest import partner, accounting for 22% or ₦465.13 billion of all imports.
The Chinese Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) is currently handling several major infrastructure projects in the country including the Lagos Ibadan railway line and the Mambilla hydroelectric project.
For the CBN, the move will reduce pressure on the nation’s foreign reserves. Nigeria imports a huge proportion of both finished goods and raw materials.
China has increasingly taken steps to position the Yuan as a reserve currency. A reserve currency is a currency widely used in international trade that a central bank holds as part of its foreign reserves. The US dollar is the major reserve currency in the world.
However, the Naira-Yuan currency swap deal, would not cover the importation of 41 items listed as banned items in CBN’s 2015 circular.
In the last two decades, bilateral trade between Nigeria and China has grown rapidly, rising from $2.8 billion in 2005 to $14.9 billion in 2015, which is a 430% increase.
In 2015, Nigeria accounted for nearly 8.3% of the total trade volume between China and Africa.
China is Nigeria’s trading partner after the United States, with volumes totaling $9.2 billion in 2017.
COVID-19 Update in Nigeria
On the 25th of September 2020, 213 new confirmed cases and 2 deaths were recorded in Nigeria
The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continues to record increases as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 58,062 confirmed cases.
On the 25th of September 2020, 213 new confirmed cases and 2 deaths were recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 10,526 samples across the country.
To date, 58,062 cases have been confirmed, 49,606 cases have been discharged and 1,103 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 494,577 tests have been carried out as of September 25th, 2020 compared to 484,051 tests a day earlier.
COVID-19 Case Updates- 25th September 2020,
- Total Number of Cases – 58,062
- Total Number Discharged – 49,606
- Total Deaths – 1,103
- Total Tests Carried out – 494,577
According to the NCDC, the 213 new cases are reported from 17 states- Lagos (51), Plateau (51), FCT (29), Rivers (18), Ondo (12), Oyo (9), Osun (8), Gombe (7), Ogun (7), Kaduna (5), Enugu (4), Edo (3), Jigawa (3), Kano (3), Benue (1), Delta (1), Sokoto (1).
Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 19,174, followed by Abuja (5,644), Plateau (3,373), Oyo (3,248), Edo (2,620), Kaduna (2,389), Rivers (2,305), Delta (1,801), Ogun (1,796), Kano (1,737), Ondo (1,620), Enugu (1,289), Ebonyi (1,038), Kwara (1,028), Abia (881), Gombe (864). Katsina (848), Osun (826), Borno (741), and Bauchi (692).
Imo State has recorded 566 cases, Benue (481), Nasarawa (449), Bayelsa (397), Jigawa (325), Ekiti (317), Akwa Ibom (288), Niger (259), Adamawa (237), Anambra (234), Sokoto (162), Taraba (95), Kebbi (93), Cross River (87), Zamfara (78), Yobe (75), while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases only.
Lock Down and Curfew
In a move to combat the spread of the pandemic disease, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days, which took effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.
The movement restriction, which was extended by another two-weeks period, has been partially put on hold with some businesses commencing operations from May 4. On April 27th, 2020, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari declared an overnight curfew from 8 pm to 6 am across the country, as part of new measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19. This comes along with the phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos, and Ogun States, which took effect from Saturday, 2nd May 2020, at 9 am.
On Monday, 29th June 2020 the federal government extended the second phase of the eased lockdown by 4 weeks and approved interstate movement outside curfew hours with effect from July 1, 2020. Also, on Monday 27th July 2020, the federal government extended the second phase of eased lockdown by an additional one week.
On Thursday, 6th August 2020 the federal government through the secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 announced the extension of the second phase of eased lockdown by another four (4) weeks.
Lagos launches N5 billion support fund for 2,000 low-cost private schools
The Governor said the facility will benefit low-cost schools with amounts ranging from N500,000 to N5 million.
Lagos State government has launched a N5billion support fund to help reduce the impact of Coronavirus pandemic on low-cost private schools in the state.
This was disclosed by the Governor of the state, Babajide Sanwo-Olu via his Twitter handle on Friday.
According to him, the educational sector is one of those severely impacted by the pandemic, with schools and vocational learning-centres shut since March.
He said, “With access to funding for privately owned schools and vocational training centres in the state, we are confident that this programme, under the partnership between First Bank Nigeria and Lagos State Education Trust Fund (LSETF) will help accelerate a sustainable return to learning and skills acquisition.”
Today, I launched a N5bn support fund to help reduce the impact of #COVID19 on low-cost private schools in Lagos. The educational sector is one of those severely impacted by the pandemic, with schools and vocational learning-centres shut since March. #EducationMeetsFunding pic.twitter.com/PrKjLhxBXq
— Babajide Sanwo-Olu (@jidesanwoolu) September 25, 2020
He explained that the facility will benefit 2,000 low-cost schools with amounts ranging from N500,000 to N5 million.
“As a responsible Government, we are obligated to provide interventions that would enable learners in schools study in line with the new normal,” the Governor Sanwo-Olu added.
The Chief Executive Officer, First Bank Nigeria, Dr Adesola Adeduntan, said “With this partnership, we are sure that registered educational institutions in Lagos State will have access to funds at subsidised interest rates to meet their needs as they reopen at this auspicious time.”
Paga Group relocates to the UK
Oviosu announced that he is very excited about moving to and working with the UK government.
Paga Group has redomiciled from Mauritius to the United Kingdom (UK). The group is the holding company for its operations in Nigeria, México, Ethiopia, and the UK.
This was disclosed by the Chief Executive Officer and founder, Paga, Tayo Oviosu on Friday.
The Paga Group has redomiciled to the UK 🇬🇧!
The Paga Group is the holding company for our operations in all countries – Nigeria, México, Ethiopia, and the United Kingdom.
Very excited about this move and look forward to working with @tradegovuk to promote trade with the UK!
— Tayo Oviosu (@oviosu) September 25, 2020
Why it matters: The company took the decision due to bureaucratic challenges it faced last year.
He said, “The laws and courts of Mauritius are not very fast-moving, and the rules are difficult. I’ve had one court case that was eventually thrown out after a year.
“In the UK it would have been thrown out immediately, and the person would have had to pay us for our lawyer fees.
“Basically, not an easy place to do business. It is more painful than useful. I say stick to good ol’ America or UK or Netherlands or Luxemburg. Where you know there are professionals, and the legal system works.”
Oviosu said he is very excited about the move, looks forward to working with the UK government to promote trade with the UK.
The Paga Group has raised $34.7 million in funding so far, according to Crunchbase.