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Official: Nigeria’s External Reserves hit $45bn mark

Nigeria’s external reserves have rallied and hit $45bn mark in May 2019, which represents 8months high. This is revealed in data obtained on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) official webpage.

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Foreign reserves, Nigeria’s External reserves

Nigeria’s external reserves have rallied and hit $45bn mark in May 2019. This is according to data obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) official website.

According to the CBN, on the 2nd of May, external reserves steadily rose to $44.7bn and then increased further to $45bn in less than 3 weeks. Specifically, in May, external reserves increased by $212.2m.

Breakdown: Nigeria’s external reserves started to decrease in September 2018. This was the last time it stood at $45bn. It then depleted ever since, hovering around $41bn and $44bn. Further analysis shows that fluctuations in external reserves have been largely due to the movement in Oil prices.

Oil prices rebounded to $73p/b over the last five months, following the year low that was recorded in January. Recall that oil price was as low as $53.21 as at January 2019, but steadily rose to the $70p/b in mid-April, thanks to the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries‘s (OPEC) move to cut oil supply in order to boost prices.

Further rise in External Reserves amidst crises: Analysts have earlier predicted that oil price will hit $70 per barrel in 2019. Similarly, Nairametrics recently predicted that Nigeria’s external reserves will hit $45bn mark. As oil prices are expected to continue its bullish run amidst rising tensions in the Middle East, coupled with the new International Maritime Organisation (IMO) rules, Nigeria’s reserves will maintain its accumulation. This will, in turn, give further leverage to Naira.

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Oil prices rose to multi-week highs on Monday after OPEC indicated it could maintain production cuts that have helped support prices so far this year. Meanwhile, tension continues to escalate in the Middle East, further bolstering global oil prices.

Reuters reported that the Saudi Energy Minister, Khalid al-Falih, said on Sunday that there was a consensus among the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allied oil producers to drive down crude inventories “gently”. He also stated that he would remain responsive to the needs of a “fragile market”.

Last week, Oil prices rallied after the facilities of Saudi Aramco suffered a major setback when explosive-laden drones attacked two pumping stations belonging to the state-owned oil company. Report indicated that following the attack on Saudi Aramco pipeline, oil prices have jumped.

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Hence, Nigeria’s reserves which largely depend on oil price revenue is expected to exceed the $45bn mark soon, as oil prices continue to rally.

The input of whistleblowing cashflows: On the other hand, improvement in reserves have also been attributed to the funds recovered by the Presidential Initiatives on Continuous Audit (PICA) activities. Reports show that the sum of N603.78bn has so far been recovered since the inception of PICA in 2016.

According to the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Zianab Usaman, the country has saved N8.03billion from the recovered funds.

Upshots: The rise in external reserves implies that the stability of the naira is expected to continue in the long run. In 2018, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) sold a whopping $36.6 billion in forex. When compared to the $15.8 billion sold in 2017, there is a whopping 130% rise. While explaining the reason for the high volume of transactions, the CBN stated;

“The increased volume of transactions in 2018 was attributable largely to the Bank’s foreign exchange policy and its management, coupled with the improvement in the levels of foreign reserves during the year.”

With the reappointment of the CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, the I&E window is expected to enjoy some level of stability. The Governor recently stated that Nigeria’s reserves can finance nine months import.

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“Nigeria’s current stock of external reserves can finance nine months of current import commitments.

“With improved availability of foreign exchange, the exchange rate at the I&E FX window has remained stable over the past 24 months at an average of N360/$, and the parallel market exchange rate has appreciated from N525/$ in February 2017 to N360/$ today.”

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Samuel is an Analyst with over 5 years experience. Connect with him via his twitter handle

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#EndSARS: Buhari should guarantee freedom of peaceful protesters in Nigeria – Martin Luther King III

Martin Luther King III has joined other world political figures in calling on President Buhari to respect the freedom of peaceful protests.

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Martin Luther King III, son of late 60’s civil rights leader, Martin Luther King Jr, has called on the Federal Government of Nigeria to guarantee the freedoms of peaceful protesters in Nigeria as the #EndSARS protests draw more International attention after the Lekki shootings.

Martin Luther King III disclosed this in a statement on Saturday evening through social media.

I appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari to guarantee the fundamental freedoms of peaceful protesters in Nigeria, including their right to protest.

“’Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’ -MLK, Jr. We must stand with those protesting to #EndSARS,” he said.

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Mr. King joins other American political figures including US Presidential candidate Joe Biden and US Senate leader Elizabeth warren in condemning the attacks of brutality on peaceful protesters.

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Coronavirus

COVID-19 Update in Nigeria

On the 24th of October 2020, 48 new confirmed cases were recorded in Nigeria

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The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continues to record significant increases as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 61,930 confirmed cases.

On the 24th of October 2020, 48 new confirmed cases were recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 1,372 samples across the country.

To date, 61,930 cases have been confirmed, 57,285 cases have been discharged and 1,129 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 603,611 tests have been carried out as of October 24th, 2020 compared to 602,239 tests a day earlier.

COVID-19 Case Updates- 24th October 2020,

  • Total Number of Cases – 61,930
  • Total Number Discharged – 57,285
  • Total Deaths – 1,1129
  • Total Tests Carried out – 603,611

According to the NCDC, The 48 new cases were reported from 6 states- Lagos (18), FCT (13), Kaduna (6), Rivers (5), Ogun (5), Ondo (1).

Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 20,807, followed by Abuja (5,961), Plateau (3,594), Oyo (3,423), Rivers (2,770), Edo (2,648), Kaduna (2,611), Ogun (1,995), Delta (1,812), Kano (1,741), Ondo (1,662), Enugu (1,314),  Kwara (1,067), Ebonyi (1,049), Katsina (948), Osun (922), Abia (898), Gombe (883).  Borno (745), and Bauchi (710).

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Imo State has recorded 614 cases, Benue (486), Nasarawa (478), Bayelsa (403),  Ekiti (329), Jigawa (325), Akwa Ibom (295), Anambra (277), Niger (274), Adamawa (257), Sokoto (164), Taraba (122), Kebbi (93), Cross River (87), Yobe (82), Zamfara (79), while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases only.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Western diplomats warn of disease explosion, poor handling by government

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.

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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.

READ ALSO: Bill Gates says Trump’s WHO funding suspension is dangerous

 

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#EndSARS: Governor Uzodimma approves N2bn for youth empowerment after talks with protesters 

Governor Uzodinma has approved the immediate release of N2 billion for youth empowerment.

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Ogun, Imo States give free hand sanitizers

Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State has approved the immediate release of N2 billion for youth empowerment, following a fruitful meeting with a group of youths associated with the #EndSARS movement in the State. 

This disclosure was made by Governor Hope Uzodinma in his statement today, during his third state Broadcast to the people of Imo State, this week. 

The Governor in his statement said that his heart is gladdened that a vast majority of the youth heeded the clarion calls to call off the #EndSARS protests, having laid down their points unmistakably. 

However, he revealed that in line with his determination to address the needs of the youth and empower them, he has approved an immediate release of a take-off fund of N2 billion for the empowerment of youth in the state. 

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He reiterated that the task is not complete until every single youth is pulled off our streets and kept a safe distance away from the reach of some unscrupulous elements whose demonic desire is to unleash endless carnage in some parts of the state. 

What you should know 

Recall that the governor on the met with a group of youths embedded in the EndSARS protests. The group was made up of youth leaders from all parts of the country comprising leaders from the National Youth Council of Nigeria, Areewa, Ohanaeze, Afenifere, Hausa, Fulani, Middle belt and Niger Delta Youths 

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However, during his interface with the youth, he assured them of a dedicated empowerment package, as part of his administration’s determination to address the needs of the youths and quell their dissatisfaction. 

  • The N2 billion take-off fund will be deployed for the training of the first batch of the beneficiaries, which will commence next week. The N2billion take-off fund is to be taken from the N6 billion earmarked for the accelerated youth empowerment programme. 
  • The empowerment programme is under the Imo State Special Youth Empowerment and Intervention Programme (IMYEIP). The State’s Ministry of Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship is directly charged with its immediate implementation. 
  • The programme is to begin training of the 1st, 2nd & 3rd Batches of an estimated number of 500, 000 Imo youths in different skills acquisition programmes within the next two years, and provide them with start-up capital to begin their own enterprises. 
  •  The training time table will be rolled out on Tuesday, October 27th, 2020. 
  • The 5000 Imo Youths who have already been trained in different skills under the IMYEIP platform, are to be given their start-up capital very soon. 

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