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Economy

Emefiele pledges 5-year plan to diversify nation’s economy

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Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele says CBN  in the next five years, will aggressively pursue policies that will further diversify the Nigerian economy.

Emefiele said this in an interview with newsmen on Friday in Nsukka, Enugu State,  after a Special Convocation of the University of Nigeria (UNN), where he was conferred with an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Business Administration.

The pledge was coming after the Nigeria Senate on Thursday confirmed Emefiele for a second term in office as CBN Governor, starting June 3.

Emefiele said the CBN in the next phase of his administration would consolidate on already existing policies.

“Nigeria belongs to all of us and we have a role to play to make sure things get better.

“I will also emphasise that Nigerian policy makers are good at developing policies, but the biggest challenge of the Nigerian economic policy is that people try circumventing policies.

“Given this opportunity now,  we will make it very difficult for people to circumvent economic policies.

“We must learn to respect our policies. If you don’t respect the economic policies of this country, and you fall short of our economic policies as an economic saboteur, you will be dealt with,” he said.

Emefiele who is the 11th CBN Governor,  began his five-year tenure on June 3, 2014.

Some of the major policies undertaken by the apex bank in the last five years included the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme which aimed at increasing the country’s local food production and conserving the foreign reserves.

The CBN took the decision to also ban 41 items from accessing foreign exchange through official routes to encourage local production of the items and simultaneously conserve the nation’s depleting foreign reserves.

Since then, the CBN had raised the number of items affected on the list to 43, with the inclusion of fertiliser and textile products.

Some of the items not valid for foreign exchange at the Nigerian window included rice, cement, margarine, palm produce, beef, vegetables, poultry and eggs, private airplanes, wooden doors and Iron rods, among others.

Also, in 2018, the CBN signed a bilateral currency swap agreement with the People’s Republic of China worth about 2.5 billion dollars.

The currency swap agreement was  designed to aid trade transactions between China and Nigeria and remove the need to first source for U.S. Dollars before payments for transactions involving the two countries.

The CBN through the Banker’ Committee and in collaboration with all banks in Nigeria also inaugurated a centralised biometric identification system for the banking industry tagged: “Bank Verification Number (BVN)”.

Economy

NIMPORT seeks connectivity with inland dry port to ease cargo traffic

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The Nigerian International Maritime Ports and Terminals (NIMPORT), a port and terminal promotion body, has appealed to the Federal Government to ensure seamless connectivity for cargo and human traffic.

NIMPORT Chairman Mr Fortune Idu made the appeal in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Lagos on Saturday.

“The focus should be full connectivity, from the port to the hinterland.

“There should be full and seamless connectivity for cargo and human traffic as it will actually help the country achieve its potential.

“The Minister of Transportation should not relent in moving the sector forward.

“There should not be politicking about connectivity, about decongesting Lagos as the focus is actually on the western axis.

“We can achieve the decongestion of Lagos and pull people out of Lagos into neighboring states such as Ogun and Oyo states by making the railways work.

“The rail project should be completed as quickly as possible.”

Idu pointed out that the sector was hoping and aspiring to see a Lagos without container traffic, saying that having containers dropping off bridges in a busy and populated city like Lagos was appalling and unthinkable.

He urged the Lagos State government and the Federal Government to work closely and ensure that Lagos is rid of container traffic.

“I expect that bulk breaking of container content should be done outside the main commercial city of Lagos and that can only be achieved with real connectivity and where you have inland terminals and rail stations around Lagos.

“With rail stations in Ogun State, Lokoja or even between Ibadan and Lagos, containers could be immediately moved out of Lagos the moment they are offloaded from the ship to places where they could be bulk broken.

“Then you have the distribution network by road.

“Having a full container load traveling on the bridges is not good at all,” he said.

He spoke of the need to ensure that rivers in the country were navigable.

According to him, once the rivers are navigable, containers could be moved from Lagos across the rivers in batches.

CAN/YEE

(Edited by Emmanuel Yashim)

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Economy

DPR sanctions 2 retail outlets, 2 gas plants in Delta

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The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Warri Zonal Office, says it has sanctioned two petrol stations and two gas plants in Delta over alleged sharp practices.

The affected stations are: Akpos Petroleum Limited, G-Palash Nigeria Limited and Onejire Gas Plant all located in Ughelli as well as Somil Energy and Gas Ltd.

Mrs Gladys Idahosa, DPR Assistant Director, Operations, led a team of the regulatory agency on the routine surveillance on behalf of the Warri zonal Operations Controller, Mr Antai Asuquo.

Idahosa, briefing newsmen shortly after the exercise, said the stations were sealed over offences bordering on under-dispensing, operating without valid licences, expired fire extinguishers and uninstalled gas leakage detectors.

She said that the agency would continue to intensify awareness through routine

surveillance to curb anomalies in the downstream sector.

“In some of the gas plants we visited, we observed that some do not install gas leakage detectors, nor do they recharged their fire extinguishers.

“However, some are up to date; they operate in a friendly environment while only one gas plant sealed was for safety reasons.

“A lot of the gas plants and filling stations are complying with the DPR rules that is why we could only sealed very few ones,” she said.

Idahosa said that the team’s visit to retail outlets regularly was to take measurements of quantity of fuel being dispensed.

According to her, anyone that goes above the accepted “deviation range” were sanctioned.

“We call the marketer to get a technician to fix it and we go and verify that the machine is dispensing accurately before we unsealed such station,” she said.

The assistant director operations urged the consumers to always notify DPR whenever they noticed a shortfall in the petrol they bought from the filling stations.

She also appealed to the marketers to cooperate with the regulatory agency and abide by its rules and regulations.

“We are not witch-hunters; the marketers should cooperate with us by complying with our rules so that we can work as a team.

“Our intention is to ensure that they work safely and in a safe environment,” he said.

The Nigeria News Agency recalled that the regulatory agency had in July sealed 11 petrol stations and two gas plants in two separate operations.

However, a manager at Akpos Petroleum Limited, who pleaded anonymity, promised to call a technician to rectify the problem as soon as possible.

The manager said that the station’s pump measured 10.92, while another measured 10.72 as against the maximum measurement of 10.30.

EDI/GOK

Edited by Olagoke Olatoye

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Economy

Moghalu decries Nigeria’s continued dependence on oil

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Prof. Kingsley Moghalu, a presidential candidate for the Young Progressives Party (YPP) in the 2019 presidential election, has expressed concern about the nation’s reliance on oil as a major source of revenue generation.

He recommended technology and innovation as alternatives, citing the examples of developed countries.

He stated this in Abuja, at the 10th Nigeria Meritorious Service Award and Nigeria Political Achievers Award organised by the Federation of West African Freelance Journalist Association.

The event, which ended late Friday night, was organised to honour some Nigerians who distinguished themselves in politics and other fields.

Moghalu, a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), said that oil belonged to ”the distant age; the world today is of technology, innovation and science”.

According to him, the country needs government that will give youths a sense of purpose and employment to achieve their destinies.

“In the future, we don’t have to continue the political system the way it has always been,” Moghalu said.

He observed that political leaders should be judged by their achievements in office in terms of job creation and economic growth.

”To have the desired change in the country, every Nigerian most change the way they think and act,” he advised.

He also advised that the CBN ought to be truly independent to ensure enhanced performance.

According to him, when independent institutions such as the CBN gets directives that may serve transient political purpose, the long term effect may not be the best for the country.

Edited by Kayode Olaitan

——-

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Economy

CBN injects $297.92 into secondary market

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has injected  297.92 million dollars into the retail Secondary Market Intervention Sales (SMIS).

The bank’s Director, Corporate Communications Department, Mr Isaac Okorafor made this known in a statement in Abuja on Friday.

Okarafor disclosed that CBN also injected CNY21.2million in the spot and short-tenured forwards segment of the inter-bank foreign market.

According to him, the United States dollars-denominated transactions are to meet requests in the agricultural and raw materials sectors, while those in Chinese Yuan are for Renminbi-denominated Letters of Credit.

The director reiterated that the bank’s management was satisfied with the continued stability in the foreign exchange market.

He assured that the CBN remained committed to meeting  foreign exchange needs of all sectors of the economy.

Meanwhile, N358 was exchanged to a dollar, while CNY1 exchanged at N46 at the Bureau De Change (BDC) segment of the foreign exchange market on Friday.

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Economy

No electricity tariff increase has been approved yet —— NERC

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The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), says no tariff increase has been approved by the commission yet.

In a statement, Mr Usman Arabi, NERC’s General Manager, Public Affairs, however,  in a statement on Friday in Abuja said it was still consulting with stakeholders.

He said that the commission  wished to notify the public that no tariff increase had been approved by the commission contrary to the impression in some quarters.

“However, the commission in the discharge of its statutory responsibilities enshrined under the  Electric Power Sector Reform (EPSR) Act, shall continue to undertake periodic reviews of electricity tariffs in accordance with prevailing tariff methodology.

`In all instances of such reviews and rule-making, the commission shall widely consult stakeholders and final decision shall be  taken with  due regard of all contributions,” he said. .

Arabi said that the commission wished to provide guidance that the minor review implemented by the commission was a retrospective adjustment of the tariff regime released in 2015

He said that this was to account for changes in macroeconomic indices for 2016, 2017 and 2018, “thus providing certainty about revenue shortfall that may have arisen due to the differential between tariffs approved by the regulator and actual end-user tariffs,” he said

 

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