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Business News

IMF pressures Nigeria to fast track exchange rate unification 

IMF expressed special interest in getting Nigeria to follow through with the unification of the multiple exchange rates

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IMF discloses immediate priority , Reduce funding oil subsidy - IMF to Nigeria , IMF: 40% of African countries can't pay back their debts , Nigeria among countries that pushed Global debt to $188 trillion - IMF , Coronavirus: World Bank, IMF to support Nigeria and other member countries affected, IMF, World Bank to hold meetings via conference call over Coronavirus epidemic, IMF advises banks to suspend dividend payment

As a fallout of the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus outbreak, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), on Tuesday, April 28, 2020, approved the sum of $3.4 billion, as emergency financial support for Nigeria. 

The financial support, which is under its Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI) programme, is to help mitigate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the Nigerian economyespecially with plugging the revenue gaps. 

As part of the highlights of the IMF statement, the Deputy Managing Director/Acting Chair of the Bretton Woods Institution, Mitsuhiro Furusawa, expressed special interest in getting Nigeria to follow through with the unification of the multiple exchange rates. 

In his words, the IMF Chief said, ‘’Steps taken towards a more unified and flexible exchange rate are also important and unification of the exchange rate should be expedited. 

While approving the $3.4 billion loan for Nigeria, the IMF is still pressuring Nigeria to fast track the unification of various exchange rates that are currently applicable in Nigeria. 

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The global lender has been very consistent with its opposition to the usage of multiple exchange rates because it believes that it creates a lot of distortion in prices, hurts businesses, and encourages corruption as it is susceptible to manipulation. The unified exchange rate will encourage transparency and help attract more Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). 

The single exchange rate has been identified as a very effective tool for resource allocation. 

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), on its part, pointed out that it operates multiple windows, rather than multiple exchange rates. 

However, as a fallout of the crash in crude oil prices globally and the gradual depletion of the country’s external reserve, the CBN moved towards the unification of the exchange rate, when it adjusted the official rate from N305 per dollar to N360 per dollarand adjusted the rate for Bureau de Change operators from N360 per dollar to N380 per dollar.  

The investors and exporters window was also adjusted from N366 per dollar to about N380 per dollar. 

The IMF had earlier acknowledged that the country is already working towards that direction through the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).  

It pointed out that unifying the exchange rate will impact the economy more positively than the multiple exchange rates, which create a lot of opportunities for arbitrage. Also, it avoids situations where public and private sector decisions are distorted due to uncertainties. 

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Chike Olisah is a graduate of accountancy with over 15 years working experience in the financial service sector. He has worked in research and marketing departments of three top commercial banks. Chike is a senior member of the Nairametrics Editorial Team. You may contact him via his email- [email protected]

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Mohic

    April 30, 2020 at 2:48 pm

    Thanks for this crucial update 👍🏽

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Hospitality & Travel

KLM demands rapid antigen tests from Lagos passengers, as Netherland bans flights to UK, others

Passengers are to obtain rapid antigen tests at Murtala Mohammed International Airport before departure via Air France KLM Royal Dutch Airlines.

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KLM, Air France to resume flight operations in Nigeria from December 7

Air France KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has asked passengers departing from Lagos to obtain a rapid antigen test at Murtala Mohammed International Airport before departure from January 26, 2021.

This was disclosed by the Commercial Team Nigeria, Air France KLM Royal Dutch Airlines in its newsletter.

The airlines explained that customers, who are traveling to France as their final destination, now need to show a negative COVID-19 test result before boarding the aircraft and that the test result cannot be older than 72 hours and only PCR or LAMP tests are accepted.

Also, to fight against COVID-19, the Dutch government imposed flight ban to the United Kingdom, South Africa and South America.

It stated, “In addition, a second COVID-19 test will be required (rapid test – antigen) for all customers traveling to The Netherlands, including transfer customers.

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“No passengers will be allowed to board the aircraft without both the negative PCR test (72 hours before departure) and antigen test results (4 hours before departure) and will be rebooked accordingly. For now, all flights to/from U.K will be suspended until 27 January 2021.”

Steps to obtain rapid test

  • Antigen testing for passengers flying to The Netherlands including transfer customers need to be done as of 4
    hours prior to flight departure. In order to undergo the test, each passenger must complete a biodata form
  • The payment for the COVID-19 antigen test needs to be made via cash or card. The venue for sample collection is at the airport close to the check-in desks.
  • Rebook policy for mandatory PCR test: Customers that are not able to provide negative test results on time can take advantage of Air France and KLM PCR-test rebook policy.

What you should know

In December 2020, Nairametrics reported that KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Air France resumed flight operations to Abuja and Lagos.

The airlines in a statement disclosed that international passengers can now fly Air France and KLM from Nigeria (Abuja and Lagos) to Paris and Amsterdam, with the possibility of further transfers to other European and North Atlantic destinations.

In a piece of travel advice, the airline asked customers to ensure they are well prepared for their trip and check the entry and travel requirements for their destination and transit countries in line with travel restrictions and governmental authorizations before making any travel plans. This is as the entry requirements may change with short notice.

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Tech News

Twitter acquires newsletter service, Revue

Twitter has acquired Revue, an email service that lets writers publish newsletters.

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Twitter Acquires Revue, A Newsletter Company

Twitter has acquired Revue, a Dutch startup that makes it free and easy for anyone to start and publish editorial newsletters. This is coming after a failed attempt to acquire Revue’s competition Substack.

Twitter has made massive moves over the past two months to acquire start-ups as it tries to expand beyond its core timeline product.

What they are saying

  • According to a blog post by Twitter VP of Publisher Products, Mike Park and Product Lead, Kayvon Beykpour, “Many established writers and publishers have built their brand on Twitter, amassing an audience that’s hungry for the next article or perspective they Tweet. Our goal is to make it easy for them to connect with their subscribers, while also helping readers better discover writers and their content. We’re imagining a lot of ways to do this, from allowing people to sign up for newsletters from their favorite follows on Twitter, to new settings for writers to host conversations with their subscribers. It will all work seamlessly within Twitter.

They added that Twitter will continue to operate Revue as a standalone product, with its team remaining “focused on improving the ways writers create their newsletters, build their audience and get paid for their work.”

  • “Revue will accelerate our work to help people stay informed about their interests while giving all types of writers a way to monetize their audience – whether it’s through the one they built at a publication, their website, on Twitter, or elsewhere,” the Twitter executives said.

They also said that bringing Revue to Twitter will supercharge this offering, helping writers grow their paid subscribers while also incentivizing them to produce engaging and relevant content that drives conversations on Twitter.

Twitter will make Revue’s Pro features free for all accounts and lower the paid newsletter fee to 5%, a competitive rate that lets writers keep more of the revenue generated from subscriptions.

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What you should know:

  • In December, Twitter bought Squad, a multi-participant video chat app, and this month it acquired the social broadcasting service, Breaker to create audio conversations for Twitter users. And now, they have added Revue to the collection of startups.
  • Revue was originally founded in 2015 in the Netherlands.
  • Twitter’s acquisition of Revue also places it in direct competition with Substack, a rival email newsletter service that has been growing in popularity recently.

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Coronavirus

Benue State Governor, Ortom tests positive for COVID-19

Benue State Governor has commenced treatment after testing positive for COVID-19.

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Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has tested positive for COVID-19.

This was disclosed by his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase, in a statement issued on Wednesday.

He stated, “This follows the test results of most of the Governor’s close aides who also returned positive in the last few weeks.

“Though the Governor has not shown any symptoms of the disease, he has already commenced treatment as prescribed by medical personnel.”

According to him, the governor has advised those who have come in contact with him in the last couple of days to go for a test.

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“The Governor says it is equally important that those who came in contact with other persons who have tested positive for the virus should go for a test to ascertain their COVID-19 status.

“Governor Ortom urged Benue people to continue to observe the protocols for the prevention of the virus such as wearing of face masks, use of sanitisers, regular hand washing and physical distancing,” he added.

What you should know

Some of the governor’s aides which included his personal physician, aide de camp, orderly, permanent secretaries among others had recently tested positive for the virus.

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