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FG Seeks NASS Support for Economic Plan

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FG Seeks NASS Support for Economic Plan

FG Seeks NASS Support for Economic Plan

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

Minister of Budget and National Planning, Mr Udoma Udo Udoma, has asked the National Assembly to support the recently unveiled Economic Recovery Plan by the Federal Government to get Nigeria out of recession.

Mr Udoma, speaking on Tuesday with members of the House of Representatives Tactical Committee on Recession, said the support of the legislature was very critical to the successful implementation of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).

According to him, the economic plan released last week by the Federal Government has a dual purpose of getting the economy out of recession and taking the country onto the path of sustainable and inclusive growth.

The National Assembly, he said, has a very important role to play in the successful implementation of the Recovery Plan, because achievement of the broad objectives will largely depend on execution of projects which are contained in budgets, “for which we have to work closely with the National Assembly to secure your support.”

The lawmakers were at the Ministry on Tuesday to further discuss ways of speedily getting the economy out of recession and reducing the economic hardship on the people, which are some of the core mandates of the committee.

Mr Udoma, during the visit, pointed out that some aspects of the plan are already reflected in the 2017 Budget and that the plan is basically an exposure of what government had already started doing since inception.

“This plan puts together all the things that we have been doing, including the strategies we have already developed and launched; which is why you are already seeing progress in agriculture and other areas.

“We have exited cash calls in our joint venture relationships in the oil sector, which decision was announced last year; it is all part of the plan, so that funding of the joint ventures will no longer be a constraint, which is why in the plan also, we are targeting 2.5mbpd production of crude oil by 2020.”

Explaining why focus is still on crude oil even when government is laying emphasis on diversification into the non-oil sector, the Minister said the economy will continue to rely on oil in the short term.

“We need revenue to get out of oil dependency and the fastest way to get that revenue is from oil. From the revenue we get from oil, we can invest in agriculture; we can invest in Export Processing Zones; we can invest in rail, ports, and all the things that will be needed to grow the non-oil economy.”

He mentioned development of agriculture and its value chain and manufacturing and its support infrastructure as areas that government is focusing on, to build a solid foundation for a sustainable and competitive economy for the future.

Mr Udoma noted that Nigerians are very resourceful and the private sector has the capacity to reverse the fortunes of the country if the right policies and the right structures are in place.

“What Nigerians need is for government to create an enabling environment and we are determined to do just that.”

While pointing out that the ERGP is an inclusive national plan developed after extensive consultations, the Minister said those with good ideas on how to further enrich government strategies should pass them on as government is very receptive to ideas.

“My position has always been, there is no point staying out there and knocking everything, if you have a good idea, come with it and tell us how it will work and we will accommodate it. This is a national plan and we need everyone on board to achieve the objectives” he added.

He told the Committee members that the Executive will work closely with the Legislature on the implementation of the ERGP.

“The plan already contains a number of initiatives and suggestions from the National Assembly and, as we continue with implementation we will always to welcome contributions from the National Assembly.”

Responding, Chairman of the committee, Mr Ayorinde Olabode, said the committee and the Ministry can work together, since its focus is to achieve results in the five mandate areas given to the Committee by the House, within the four months period that it has to report back.

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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Economy

Naira Tumbles at I&E, P2P, Stable at Parallel Market

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Naira value1

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Naira weakened against the American Dollar at the Peer-to-Peer (P2P) and the Investors and Exporters (I&E) segments of the foreign exchange market (FX) on Monday, February 6, as the country continues to face a cash crunch but maintained stability in the parallel market window.

At the P2P arm of the forex market, the Nigerian currency tumbled against the greenback by N1 yesterday to close at N761/$1 versus the N760/$1 it was sold last Friday.

Also, at the I&E wing of the FX market, the local currency lost 67 Kobo or 0.15 per cent against the US currency to end the first session of the week at N462.17/$1, in contrast to the preceding session’s value of N461.50/$1.

The weakening of the Nigerian Naira happened despite the value of FX transactions going down by $3.00 million or 2.51 per cent to $122.43 million from N119.43 million.

However, in the interbank segment, the Naira appreciated against the Pound Sterling by N12.92 to close at N555.40£1 compared with N568.32/£1 as the Bank of England and the European Central Bank raised interest rates last Thursday and provided guidance suggesting it was nearing the end of its rate hiking cycle.

In the same vein, the domestic currency gained N12.92 N10.82 on the Euro to settle at N496.32/€1 compared with the previous trading session’s value of N507.14/€1.

In the black market, the Naira maintained stability against the United States Dollar, remaining unchanged at N753/$1.

Meanwhile, the crypto space was bearish yesterday as the bullish momentum witnessed last week begin to wear off after last Friday’s stronger-than-expected US non-farm payrolls report, which made investors question the US Federal Reserve’s view that inflation has peaked.

Cardano (ADA) went down by 1.9 per cent to trade at $0.3865, Solana (SOL) depreciated by 1.6 per cent to $23.03, Dogecoin (DOGE) fell by 1.3 per cent to $0.0905, Ripple (XRP) lost 0.8 per cent to trade at $0.3947, Bitcoin (BTC) slid by 0.3 per cent to $22,865.03, and Ethereum (ETH) declined by 0.02 per cent to sell at $1,627.56.

But Litecoin (LTC) went up by 2.8 per cent to $98.69, as Binance Coin (BNB) climbed higher by 0.1 per cent to $326.28, while Binance USD (BUSD) and the US Dollar Tether (USDT) closed flat at $1.00 each.

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Economy

Oil Prices Rise as Earthquakes Hit Turkey, Syria

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oil prices cancel iran deal

By Adedapo Adesanya

Oil prices rose on Monday, buoyed by supply concerns following earthquakes in Turkey and Syria.

Brent crude futures rose 46 cents or 0.6 per cent to $80.40 a barrel, as the United States West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures jumped by 20 cents or 0.3 per cent to $73.59 a barrel.

Massive earthquakes that struck Turkey and Syria on Monday halted operations at Turkey’s major oil export hub in Ceyhan and stopped key crude oil flows from Iraq and Azerbaijan, officials said.

It has been regarded as the worst tremor to strike Turkey this century and was followed in the early afternoon by another large quake of magnitude 7.7.

The Tribeca shipping agency said in a notice that the BTC terminal at Ceyhan that exports Azeri crude oil will be closed through Wednesday pending damage assessments. Azerbaijan uses the Turkish port of Ceyhan as its main crude export hub, with a flow of about 650,000 barrels per day.

According to Reuters, following Monday’s earthquake, Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) also halted flows through the pipeline it operates that runs from Iraq’s northern Kirkuk fields to Ceyhan, the region’s ministry of natural resources (MNR) said.

The KRG had been pumping 400,000 barrels per day, and Iraq’s federal government was pumping 75,000 barrels per day through the pipeline.

It was also reported that oil exports would resume after a “careful inspection of the pipelines is finalised,” the MNR said in a statement.

Also supporting prices was the prospect for China’s recovery after the relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions continued to drive the value of the commodity.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) expects half of this year’s global oil demand growth to come from China. The agency’s chief, Mr Fatih Birol, disclosed this on Sunday, adding that jet fuel demand was surging.

“If demand goes up very strongly, if the Chinese economy rebounds, then there will be a need, in my view, for the OPEC+ countries to look at their (output) policies,” Mr Birol said, referring to a call of action for the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, OPEC+.

The 23-man group decided to cut output by 2 million barrels a day from November through 2023 instead of pumping more to cut fuel prices and help the global economy, as the US advised.

Also, price caps on Russian products took effect on Sunday, with Group of Seven (G7) nations, the European Union and Australia agreeing on price limits of $100 a barrel on diesel and other products that trade at a premium to crude and $45 a barrel for products that trade at a discount, such as fuel oil.

The price ceilings, together with an EU ban on Russian oil product imports, are part of a broader agreement among the Group of Seven (G7) countries. It follows a $60 per barrel cap on Russian crude that G7 countries imposed on December 5 as the G7, the EU and Australia seek to limit the country’s ability to fund its war in Ukraine.

Both caps prohibit Western insurance, shipping and other companies from financing, insuring, trading, brokering or carrying cargoes of Russian crude and oil products unless they were bought at or below the set price caps.

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Economy

NGX Upgrades Price Stock Group of Eterna

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price stock group of Eterna

By Dipo Olowookere

The price stock group of Eterna Plc has been moved upward by the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited, Business Post reports.

In a regulatory notice on Monday, the bourse noted that it upgraded the stock category of the energy company from a low-price stock group to a medium-price stock group.

This action, according to the exchange, was necessitated after the stability in the price of the company’s equities within four of the last six months in the new price category, in line with its price methodology framework.

“Equity securities of quoted companies on the exchange (NGX) are classified into three stock price groups or categories; high-priced, medium-priced, and low-priced stocks, based on their market price.

“In this regard, securities must have traded for at least four out of the most recent six-month period within a stock price group’s specified price band to be classified into the category.

“Accordingly, a review of Eternal Plc stock price and trade activities over the most recent six-month period provides the basis for reclassifying the security from the low-priced stock group to the medium-priced stock group.

“This reclassification also necessitates the attendant change in the tick size change from N0.01 kobo to N0.05 kobo, in line with Rule 15.29: Pricing Methodology, Rulebook of the exchange, 2015 (trading license holders’ rules),” the statement from the platform stated.

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