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Business News

Naira weakens against the dollar at I&E window, as CBN resumes dollar sales to BDCs

The CBN Governor had also advised businesses to stop patronizing the parallel market as it had the ability to meet the genuine demands of businesses that needed foreign exchange.

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Central Bank Continues intervention in Forex market to stabilize Naira, Naira to depreciate slightly over $1.52 billion maturing contracts expires, Naira hits N388.84 to $1 at the currency spot market, Investors and Exporters (I&E) window

The naira weakened slightly against the dollar, having depreciated to N386.42 at the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window even though the foreign exchange market witnessed improved liquidity. The local currency weakened by N0.09 against the dollar when compared to the N386.55 to a dollar it traded on Wednesday, May 20, 2020.

The exchange rate at the I&E window is different from the Central Bank of Nigeria’s published exchange rate, which currently stands at N360/$1. It is also different from the exchange rate at the parallel market, popularly known as the black market, which is N460/$1, according to information obtained from AbokiFX as of Wednesday, May 20, 2020.

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Available information from the  daily trading at FMDQ (where FX is traded by importers and investors) shows that the naira improved against the dollar by N1.71, closing at N386.42 to a dollar, as against the indicative rate of N388.13 to a dollar that it opened with on Wednesday, May 20, 2020.

A cursory look at the data from the FMDQ shows that the turnover for the day was $85.61. However, it is still a far cry from the $300 million – $400 million per day that it traded in February.

(READ MORE: Naira strengthens against the dollar at I&E window, closes at N386 to $1)

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The foreign exchange market has witnessed improved liquidity recently, following intervention by the Central Bank of Nigeria. The apex bank had promised to make foreign exchange available for activities that would help boost the economy and generate jobs for Nigerians.

The CBN Governor had also advised businesses to stop patronizing the parallel market as it had the ability to meet the genuine demands of businesses that needed foreign exchange.

Meanwhile, in a related development, according to a monitored report from the punch, the President of the Association of Bureau De Change Operators (ABCON), Aminu Gwadabe, warned members and forex speculators buying up dollars and putting pressure on the naira to stop such activities or risk losing their money.

He said that the CBN had concluded plans to resume dollar sales to BDCs very soon and that the return of the BDCs to the forex market would help strengthen the naira.

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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- chike.olisah@nairametrics.com.

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Business News

UPDATED: CBN revises timelines for resolution of dispense errors, refund complaints

The apex bank said this is in line with its resolve to enhance the quality of service bank customers are given. Nigerian banks are, therefore, required to implement the revisions starting from June 8, 2020.

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The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has revised the timeframes for the resolutions of all botched online transfers, POS transactions, and ATM withdrawals.

According to a brief statement that was posted on its official Twitter handle this evening, the apex bank said this is in line with its resolve to enhance the quality of service bank customers are given. Nigerian banks are, therefore, required to implement the revisions starting from June 8, 2020.

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Below are the revisions

In line with the revisions, any failed ATM transaction that occurs when a customer tries to withdraw from their bank must be reversed instantly. In the event that instant reversal fails due to technical challenges, the money must be manually reversed within a 24-hour period. Note that prior to the revision, the timeframe for such reversal is usually three working days.

Similarly, the resolutions for failed ATM withdrawals occurring when bank customers use their ATM cards on other banks should not exceed 48 hours, the CBN said. Before now, such a resolution would normally take three working days.

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Also, starting from June 8, banks will be required to resolve all disputed/failed online transfers and POS transactions within 72 hours. In other words, resolution for such disputes shall no longer be taking five working days as it used to.

In the meantime, the apex bank advised banks to ensure that all pending failed transactions/complaints are resolved “within two weeks starting June 8, 2020”.

“Meanwhile, key service providers in the Nigerian payments system have also committed to establish an integrated dispute resolution platform for the industry and enhance their payment system infrastructure and processes to reduce incidences of transaction failure,” the statement further disclosed.

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Tech News

Why Nigeria must invest in digital technology – El Rufai

Nigeria needs to look for a way to move from the agrarian and industrial into the services sector, and ICT is a way to do that.

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El-Rufai: How Vodafone recorded its ‘biggest’ investment mistake in Nigeria, FG concludes plan to borrow N2 trillion from Pension Fund, Infrastructure: Tapping into pensions funds - a step in the right direction? 

If Nigeria is to join the richer countries of the world, she must invest aggressively in technology, improve local production, and cut cost of governance.

These were some of the opinions presented by experts during a virtual colloquium tagged Government Unusual: Innovative Economic Solutions to Unlock Mass Prosperity held on Saturday afternoon.

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While making a presentation at the Rauf Aregbesola colloquium, Governor Nasir El Rufai noted that investment in digital technology must become a priority if Africa hoped to join the league of developed countries. He said,

Investing aggressively in digital technology is the only way Africa can preserve its growth and continue to lift people out of poverty. We must invest in the digital because henceforth, every sector of governance and living will depend on the digital.

READ ALSO: FG sets committee to support tech start-ups with affordable internet access amid lockdown

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He added that one of the lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic was the need for Nigeria to embrace technological advancement so that Nigerians could benefit from the numerous opportunities that came with it; and pointed at the recent decision to crash right of way charges as the first way to go.

In agreement with his position, CEO Lotus Capital, Mrs Hajara Adeola, added that investment in technology was the best way to get Nigerian youths to take advantage of global opportunities without migrating to other countries.

Nigeria needs to look for a way to move from the agrarian and industrial into the services sector, and ICT is a way to do that. Our youths are innovative and capable, so if we can train our youths in technology, then we can get homegrown solutions to some of our issues without them having to migrate” she said during the panel discussion.

Infrastructure for business

Unless infrastructural developments are shaped and directed towards business developments, the country will continue to invest in infrastructure which have no benefits.

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“You don’t shape infrastructure as how you think it makes sense. you do it in a way that follows the money because ultimately that is where prosperity comes for everybody,” Chairman of Citibank Nigeria limited, Yemi Cardoso said.

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The global terrain continues to change and Nigeria must develop a framework to align its growth strategy with the changes, identifying and eliminating bottlenecks as we go forward.

The colloquium, which was held online (via zoom), had over 700 participants across several countries, and was also streamed live on Youtube.

Panelists at the colloquium were Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, Governor, Kaduna State; Sen. Abubakar Bagudu, Governor, Kebbi State; Mrs. Hajara Adeola, CEO, Lotus Capital Limited; Mr. Bismarck Rewane, CEO, Financial Derivatives; Dr. Joe Abah, Country Director, Development Alternatives Incorporated (DAI); Dr. Yemi Cardoso, Chairman, Citibank Nigeria, and Boason Omofaye, the Moderator.

Dr Yemi Kale, Statistician General of the federation and CEO of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) was also present.

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Economy & Politics

What Nigeria is not getting right with PPPs

We need to develop greater capacity for our public service to engage in public private partnerships. PPP is not a gift. The public sector is not charity and so you need to understand what you are doing with them.

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To achieve the Sustainable development goals, public-private partnerships (PPP) is not just an option for Nigeria but a necessity. That is because it is not possible for government alone to raise the kind of money needed for it.

According to Dr Joe Abah, Country Director, Development Alternatives Incorporated (DAI), the government needs to provide a safe and stable environment for the private sector to invest, and also restructure public-private partnerships in order to get more value out of it.

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Speaking during a virtual conference on Saturday, he referred to a report from the United Nations general assembly which stated that Africa needs “an incremental amount from $200 billion to $1.3 trillion per annum to be able to achieve the SDGs”.

This, he noted, calls for restructuring of public private partnerships, to harness the strengths of both sectors towards sustainable development.

READ ALSO: Nigeria weekly update: Nigeria’s corruption index score

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“We need to develop greater capacity for our public service to engage in public private partnerships. PPP is not a gift. The public sector is not charity and so you need to understand what you are doing with them.

“We need to monitor performances very closely and that is one thing that the private sector does very well that we don’t do in the public sector,” he stated adding that the public sector needs to have delivery target tied to remunerations.

Removing socio-economic constraints

In his presentation, chairman of Citibank Nigeria limited, Yemi Cardoso stressed the need to remove constraints that hinder people from thriving.

“In one of the studies done where they looked at 8 high-growth countries, they discovered that there were no identical policies in all of them, but there was a common theme – liberate people from their societal economic constraints and they flourish,” he said

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He explained how tax rates and regulations that frustrate free enterprise could also impede a countries growth and pointed out countries that had removed such bottlenecks.

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READ ALSO: COVID-19: Nigerians react as CBN partners NNPC to feed, accommodate Nigerian returnees

According to him, the negligible tax rates in Hong Kong are a source of encouragement to businesses, and so is the ease of doing business in Singapore.

“There is also Macedonia where the sectoral competitive strategy is focused on attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) in automotive industry. Malaysia has also reduced dependence on agricultural exports by paying attention to manufacturing,” he added.

If Nigeria could focus on her competitive advantage, tweaking it as the time changes and attracting strategic investments to the country, she would well be on her way to economic prosperity.

 

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