The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has postponed the first Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting in 2020. The meeting was initially scheduled to hold on January 20, 2020.
Nairametrics found that the MPC meeting would hold on Thursday and Friday, January 23 and 24, 2020. This was disclosed by the apex bank through its Twitter handle.
“#CBN Shifts January 2020 #MPC meeting: The first meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for 2020, earlier slated to hold on Monday and Tuesday, January 20 and 21, 2020, respectively, has now been rescheduled for Thursday and Friday, January 23 and 24, 2020,” CBN tweeted.
Reasons for the postponement: Though, the CBN didn’t disclose the reason the meeting was rescheduled, it said “regrets any inconvenience this change may have caused its stakeholders and the general public.”
What you need to know: The benchmark interest rate at 13.5% had been held by the CBN since it surprisingly cut it from 14% in March 2019, in order to stimulate growth and signal a new direction. The 2019 rate cut was the first since the 2015 cut by the CBN.
[READ MORE: CBN may announce new recapitalisation plan soon)
But little or no changes might be made in the next Monetary Policy Committee meeting, according to Reuters, as Godwin Emefiele, the Governor of the CBN said it expected the apex bank to maintain its stable exchange rate policy in the medium term and keep monetary policy tight in 2020 to combat inflation which stood at 11.85% last November. This is regarded as the highest rate since April 2018.
The reason for the rise in inflation is attributed to the land border closure by President Muhammadu Buhari. He had ordered the closure without warning and prices of food items jumped.
MRS Oil announces resignation of its MD, appoints an acting MD
The disclosure was made in a notification by the oil marketing giant.
Oil marketing giant, MRS Oil Nigeria Plc, has announced the resignation of its Managing Director, Mrs Priscilla Thorpe-Monclus with effect from August 5, 2020, and the subsequent appointment of Mr Marco Storari as the Managing Director in an acting capacity.
The oil firm also announced the resignation of one of its directors, Mr Christopher Okorie, also with effect from August 5, 2020.
The disclosure was made in a notification by the oil marketing giant, which was sent to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on August 7, 2020, and signed by its Company Secretary O.M. Jafojo.
The statement from MRS Oil Nigeria Plc reads:
“At the Board Meeting of August 5, 2020, the Board of Directors of MRS Oil Nigeria Plc, considered and approved the resignation of Mrs Priscilla Thorpe-Monclus as Managing Director and Director of the Company, and the resignation of Mr Christopher Okorie as Director of the Company, effective August 5, 2020.
“The Board of Directors also considered and approved the appointment of Mr Marco Storari as Director and Managing Director (Acting) of the Company.’’
According to the statement, Mrs Thorpe-Monclus, during her tenure as the Managing Director, showed great commitment and dedication in her drive for the new MRS Brand, which resulted in the unveiling of three new retail outlets in Lagos, one in Owerri, two in Kano and two new outlets in Abuja. It also resulted in an overall business turnaround for the oil company.
The board commended the efforts of Mrs Thorpe-Monclus and Mr Okorie to the growth of the company and wished them the best in their future endeavours.
Mr Marco Storari, on the other hand, is a seasoned leader with more than 3 decades’ experience in the management, shipping, trading and terminal operations in the industry. He has held various high-level positions where he recorded business successes in companies in Italy, Monaco and Nigeria.
He was, until his appointment as Acting Managing Directors, the Group Executive Director, Storage and Terminal for MRS Holdings Limited. He has been a driving force in the transformation of the MRS Group over the last 10 years.
The Board of Directors of MRS has expressed its confidence in the ability of Storari to bring to bear his wealth of experience in the industry, to improve business efficiency.
MRS Oil Nigeria Plc is a fully integrated and efficient downstream player, with leading positions in the Nigerian Oil Industry. The oil firm, with its head office in Nigeria’s commercial capital, Lagos, previously traded under the name Texaco Nigeria Plc. It has 3 business units namely sale of petroleum products at retail outlets, sale of aviation fuel, and blending of lubricants.
Ogun State initiates tax relief scheme to cushion effects of COVID-19
Governor Abiodun urged taxpayers in the state to make use of the relief packages.
The Ogun State Government has announced that its Internal Revenue Service would launch tax relief packages to cushion the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on taxpayers in the state.
This was announced by the State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, on Saturday morning through a statement that was issued via his official Twitter handle.
Governor Abiodun urged taxpayers in the state to make use of the relief packages which include a 6 month extension of the 2019 income tax returns deadline for self-employed residents from March 31, 2020 to September 30, 2020.
He also granted an “8-month extension of filling of 2019 annual PAYE returns by PAYE operators/tax agents from January 31, 2020 to September 30, as well as complete waiver of interest and penalty for late filling for the extension period.”
I have approved certain tax reliefs to be immediately effected by the Ogun State Internal Revenue Service towards cushioning COVID-19 economic effects on our taxpayers. These include: pic.twitter.com/SIyEBt26G4
— Prince Dr. Dapo Abiodun – MFR (@dabiodunMFR) August 8, 2020
Other packages include a total waiver of interest and penalties for late remittances of PAYE for the extended period, and a waiver for late payment of Personal Income Tax, which would run from January 1, 2020 to December 31.
Finally, the state granted a waiver on weekly tax payments by operators of betting and pool businesses from April 1 to June 30, 2020.
The Governor said that the state’s Tax Audit Reconciliation Committee (TARC) would run its operations through video conferencing to “continue ensuring ease of doing business while maintaining physical distancing.
COVID-19: World Bank approves $114 million response funds for Nigeria
FG is expected to provide grants from the CoPREP to the 36 states and the FCT.
The World Bank has approved the sum of $114 million to assist Nigeria in its fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
The fund is to help Nigeria prevent, identify and respond to the dangers associated with the coronavirus disease with special focus on the various states and the Federal Capital Territory.
This was disclosed in a statement from the bank on Friday, August 7, 2020.
According to the statement, the funds come in the form of $100 million credit facility from the International Development Association (IDA) and $14 million grant from the Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility.
It also states that the Federal Government is expected to provide grants from the COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Project (CoPREP) to the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
The World Bank Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri, in a statement on Friday, said, “Nigeria has ramped up its efforts to contain the Covid-19 outbreak, but more needs to be done at the states level, which are at the front line of the response.”
He disclosed that the project would provide the states with the much needed direct technical and fiscal support in order to strengthen their position in the fight against the pandemic.
The World Bank Chief also pointed out that the project would finance federal procurements of medical equipment, laboratory tests and medicines to be distributed to the states based on their needs.
According to the World Bank, CoPREP would finance further support to all the 36 states and the FCT through the NCDC to implement the COVID-19 Incident Action Plan.
Nigeria has recorded about 45,687 confirmed cases of the coronavirus disease with 936 fatalities and 32,637 people discharged as at August 7, 2020. Some serious concerns have been raised about the country’s testing capacity, which though has improved is still regarded as inadequate.