The latest data from yesterday’s Treasury bill auctions shows that Nigeria’s 364-day stayed flat at 4.02%. On the other hand, Stop rates moderated further for the 91day tenors and 182-day tenors, the 91-day bills had stop rates of 2.0% and 182-day bills went for 2.2%.
At the auction, the Debt Management Office sold N4.4 billion on the 91-day paper, N7.8 billion on the 182-day, and N78.7 billion on the 364-day bill.
Michael Nwakalor, Macroeconomist at CardinalStone Research, in a phone chat interview with Nairametrics explained why investors oversubscribed Nigeria’s Treasury bills. He said;
The descent in T-bill rates continued at yesterday’s auction as rates on the short and mid tenors declined further. Meanwhile, the 364-day bill closed flat at the auction. With subscription almost two times the offered amount, demand for short-dated notes remains popular in the relatively illiquid market as some investors opt to stay short amid uncertainties shrouding various macroeconomic variables.
Why this matters: The massive disparity between the subscriptions and the offers recorded suggests investors are willing to earn a negative real return, compared to the higher risk in other assets such as stocks and real estate.
Basically, the CBN sells T-bills on a bi-weekly basis to investors and it is one of the safest investments available. Interests are paid upfront and the principal paid in full upon maturity.
Understanding Treasury Bills: Basically, when the government goes to the financial market to raise money, it can do it by issuing two types of debt instruments – treasury bills and government bonds.
Treasury bills are issued when the government needs money for a short period, while bonds are issued when it needs debt for more than say five years. The issuance of treasury bills is also used as a mechanism to control the circulation of funds in the economy.
Treasury bills have a face value of a certain amount, which is what they are actually worth. However, they are sold for less. For example, a bill may be worth N10,000, but you would buy it for N9,600. Every bill has a specified maturity date, which is when you receive the money back.
The government then pays you the full price of the bill (in this case N10,000), giving you the opportunity to earn N400 from your investment. The amount that you earn is considered as the interest, or your payment for lending your money to the government. The difference between the value of the bill and the amount you pay for it is called the discount rate and is set as a percentage.
Nigerian women need over 50% representation in government by 2023
In Nigeria, there is still a need for Nigerian women to have up to 50% representation in government.
Women are taking part in the governance and nation-building of their countries. In October 2019, the global participation rate of women at the national level was 24.5% compared to 8% in 2013 which is quite reassuring. However, in Nigeria, there is still a need for Nigerian women to have up to 50% representation in government.
The reason more women are needed in governance is that they have the expertise to aid in achieving a stronger and vibrant democracy. According to Mr Ban Ki-moon, the former Secretary-General of the United Nation, “When we empower women, we empower communities and nations and the entire human communities.”
A good number of women in Nigeria have made a significant impact on governance and nation-building. Historically, once women come together, they can make things happen because they understand their issues and can articulate them from a point of succinct comprehension.
Mrs. Fumilayo Ramson-Kuti was an activist and a political campaigner – 30 years ago, when there was a tax levy on women in Egba land, she coordinated a women’s union group after a long tussle with the colonial administration and traditional rulers.
Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is another prominent woman in the global space. She served as Nigeria’s Finance Minister and also as Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs Minister. Currently, she is on the verge of becoming the first female and the first African Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Asides from these two, a lot of women are making waves in society – not only in politics but also in managerial positions and businesses.
Factors that hinder women’s participation in politics
In 2016, there was a study by McKinsey that revealed that only 5% of women are CEOs of companies, 22% cabinet members, while 24% are elected to official positions in Africa.
More so, in the last election 2019 in Nigeria, there were up to 3000 women candidates across all the parties. However, only 64 women were elected and appointed into political offices. Looking at the figures, there is a clear indication that it is very low and needs to be addressed as the 2023 election approaches.
Here are the major challenges affecting women’s involvement in politics in Nigeria.
- Godfathers: In politics, godfatherism is a very big role. For women who are not able to build that network, it becomes a very big issue for them. To avert that, women are advised to create their own network in politics – support one another and assist each other in climbing the ladder, especially for those who are already in government.
- Raising funds: Election campaigns are very expensive to participate in.
- Religious factor/Traditional factors: A lot of people still feel women should be seen and not heard, because they are under a man and should be submissive. Cultural & religious barriers still exists, and it prohibits women from fully contributing to governance. The emergence of women as leaders does not need to subjugate their cultural and religious identities. Men & Women need to understand that it is only through joint decision-making and cooperation, that the society can thrive.
Here are what women can do to thrive in politics
For women to have 50% representation in government, here are what is needed.
- Those already elected must see themselves as a springboard and position themselves strategically, so they can increase the number of women in political offices. It is also important for women to leverage technology and use social media to enable them to build a community of women leaders/activists.
- Having already announced the date for 2023 election, it is imperative that women start preparing themselves ahead of the election and strategize on how to get more women elected to the government.
- Finally, having a skill is very crucial for women who want to be community leaders.
Why exchange rate disparity remains high despite CBN’s intervention
Despite the intervention measures by the CBN, why does the disparity between the official and black-market rates remain high?
The Nigerian economy has been faced with serious foreign exchange crisis since the first quarter of the year, with severe pressure on the nation’s foreign exchange market and external reserve. The local currency is under the grip of tough external pressure, characterized by internal foreign exchange shortages and consistently high black-market rates. This has led to a high disparity between the official exchange rate and black-market rate.
The undesired situation is attributable to the crash in crude oil prices, triggered by the coronavirus pandemic that has impacted negatively on the global economy. The plunging oil prices have increased the pressure on the naira, as about 90% of Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings is from crude oil exports.
Bank of Africa analysts, Rukayat Yusuf and Andrew MacFarlane, in its Global Bank’s latest report on Nigeria’s forex unification and shortages, said that Nigeria’s current foreign exchange pressure is likely to gain momentum in 2021, as the economy and imports recovery will trigger a future adjustment of the nation’s currency to N430/$1 next year.
Recall that despite several initial denials by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in response to the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic and oil shocks; the apex bank on March 20, 2020, devalued the exchange rate from N307/$1 to N360/$1. This was followed with the suspension of sales of foreign currency to the Bureau De Change operators on March 27, 2020, in the face of depleting external reserves.
In a move viewed as attempts by the CBN to unify the exchange rate, the apex bank further devalued the naira on August 6, 2020, from N360/$1 to N380/$1 on the official window and closed the gap with the parallel market – which is the unofficial market. The huge exchange rate gap has made round-tripping very lucrative and encouraged hoarding amongst forex dealers.
Goldman Sachs analysts had earlier predicted that the exchange rate will dip to N500 to $1 in the face of rising inflation and declining external reserves. The wide gap between the official and unofficial rates is seen by analysts as an indication of increasing pressure on the forex market and dollar shortages, which the CBN is trying to contain with several policies targeted at reducing the demand for the greenback, conserve the scarce foreign exchange, and help boost dollar supply in the market.
Some of these policies include:
- Resumption of sales of dollars to the Bureau De Change Operators and mandating them to sell at not more than N386 to a dollar.
- Removal of third parties from buying forex routed through Form M.
- Clampdown on exporters who refuse to repatriate their export proceeds to Nigeria.
- Restriction on forex allocation to importers of maize by the Deposit Money Banks (DMBs).
However, despite some of these measures by the CBN, the disparity between the official and black-market rates still remain as high as almost N70. So, the question is why the huge gap? Especially, with the resumption of dollar sales to the BDCs.
Some analysts and stakeholders have complained that the measures are hurting business operations and pushed more demands to the parallel market. They believe it has encouraged hoarding and speculations to continue thriving; thereby, making it difficult to reduce the black-market rate.
What they are saying
While expressing his view on why the exchange rate disparity is still high, despite the resumption of dollar sales to BDCs; the President of Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON), Aminu Gwadebe, said the impact of the resumption of sales of foreign exchange to BDCs is expected to be gradual.
Gwadebe said, “Firstly, the impact is gradual. You know there was a time when the dollar reached N500/$1. N474, N480 to a dollar was when there were other interventions in the market. As soon as the news of the resumption of sales to Bureau De Change broke, we witnessed the dollar going for as low as N420, N430 to a dollar. However, after taking off, the rate is now N460, which is the parallel market rate.
“Don’t forget there is a huge backlog and every other buyer – authorized or unauthorized, queued in the parallel market. So, the pressure is on the parallel market from manufacturers and existing investors. In fact, the most unfortunate behavior is hoarding and speculation.’’
The ABCON President noted that people hoard and speculate when liquidity is low in the retail sector of the market. He pointed out that, although the liquidity is gradual, the rebound is expected to continue gradually.
Gwadebe said the role of the BDCs is to provide liquidity in the retail end of the market, which is what the CBN is empowering the BDCs to do and a key reason the rate has improved from the record high of about N480/$1.
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He noted that the resumption of sales of dollars to BDCs is discouraging frivolous demands, adding liquidity into the system, aiding return of confidence and stability in the market.
He reiterated that the BDCs remain the only threat to hoarding and speculation, while expressing satisfaction that the reserve is growing and will increase the confidence of investors.
Crypto bounty: $1 million up for you
Harvest Finance has increased its bounty from $100,000 to $1 million for details of an unknown cyber hacker.
Fast-growing decentralized finance (DeFi) protocol, Harvest Finance, has increased its bounty from $100,000 to $1 million for details of an unknown cyber hacker – leading to the return of $24 million in siphoned funds taken recently.
What you should know
According to tweets seen on its official Twitter handle – Harvest Finance anonymous, Harvest is offering the bounty of $1M for “tracking down” the attacker and returning the funds.
At the moment, the attacker is known to:
- understand flashloans
- understand arbitrage and trading
- understand the curve internal code
- understand renBTC
- understand opsec
💵Increasing the bounty for tracking down the attacker and returning the funds to $1M
Here's what we know about the attacker:
1) understands flashloans
2) understands arbitrage and trading
3) understands curve internal code
4) understands renBTC
5) understands opsec
— Harvest Finance (@harvest_finance) October 29, 2020
Why it’s happening
Harvest Finance’s bounty is coming on the back burner when it observed its protocol was apparently hacked, with the cyber hacker reportedly exploiting about $24 million from Harvest Finance pools and swapping for renBTC (rBTC).
- Hence, Harvest Finance affirmed the hack, stating the protocol is “working actively on the issue of mitigating the economic attack on the Stablecoin and BTC pools.”
- To protect users, we’ve pulled y pool and btc curve strategy funds to the vault.
- At this point, all Stablecoin and BTC funds are in the vault (not deployed in a strategy). No other pools are affected.
- To be specific: to protect users, 100% of Stablecoin and BTC curve strategy funds have been withdrawn from the strategy to the vault.
Harvest, a new (DeFi) platform created on the Kava blockchain, plans to launch a product that will enable users to earn more on Bitcoin, XRP, Binance coin, and two other cryptos.
Harvest offers crypto users the platform to supply crypto assets for lending, and earn interest on them, as well as, use their crypto as security for borrowing; this is according to Brian Kerr, Kava’s co-founder and Chief Executive.
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