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Naira Loses N31 Against Dollar at Parallel Market in Two Weeks

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Naira BDC Segment

By Adedapo Adesanya

On July 27, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, in his customary fashion of black suit and a lemon tie announced that the bank will be stopping the sale of foreign exchange (FX) to Bureaux De Change (BDCs).

This wasn’t unprecedented as such action had been carried out on two previous occasions under his tenure, but one thing was sure, the Naira was set for uncharted territory.

The local currency, which stood at 526/$1 at the end of last month, fell to 557/$1 at the parallel market on Tuesday, September 14. This means that within two weeks, it has lost 5.9 per cent or N31 of its value against the United States Dollar.

This is particularly a telling sight as forex affects everything Nigerians use with a corresponding rise expected in goods and services.

“We are concerned that BDCs have allowed themselves to be used for graft,” Mr Emefiele had said when he announced the decision at the end of the two-day Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting in Abuja.

He had accused the BDC operators of sabotaging the financial system and refused to sell the forex at a small margin different from the official Investors and Exporters (I&E) window.

Although the central bank says the black market is an illegal channel for sourcing FX, many Nigerians are left without a choice than to approach the unregulated market to meet their needs since they have been shut out of the official channels, especially importers of items on the FX restriction list.

In addition, those who are allowed to access forex at the I&E segment through the commercials are limited to a certain amount per quarter like the PTAs and BTAs, where the quarterly allocation is $4,000 and $5,000 respectively.

This situation is forcing many forex end-users to the parallel market, causing BDC operators to jerk the exchange rate higher, further widening the disparity between the rate at the official channels and the unofficial window.

Although Mr Emefiele has been mute despite several calls from different quarters, requesting him to take an action to save the Naira from total collapse, the Director of Monetary Policy at the CBN, Mr Hassan Mahmud, while speaking at a virtual investor conference last week said the major concern of the CBN, for now, was boosting Dollar supply to the market windows and not the valuation of the local currency.

He said the apex bank was worried about the supply side of the FX market and the confidence in the system, noting that the level of the Naira was expected to adjust based on demand.

No indication has shown that the Naira will stop its continued downward trajectory anytime soon with many calling for the resignation of the CBN Governor.

A member of the House of Representatives, Mr Tajudeen Adefisoye, had alleged that Mr Emefiele has failed to heed the multiple calls of the National Assembly to appear before it to explain his forex policies and others.

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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Economy

FG to Announce New Date for Postponed FAAC Meeting for May 2022

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FAAC meeting allocation

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

The federal government has said it would announce a new date for the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting for this month, which was shelved in a circular on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning released a statement to announce the postponement of the FAAC Meeting for May 2022 over certain circumstances connected with the arrest of the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Mr Ahmed Idris.

Mr Idris, who is a key member of the FAAC team, is cooling off in the custody of the agency over an alleged N80 billion fraud. He is helping the EFCC in its investigation into the issue.

As a result of his arrest and suspension from office by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, the meeting for this month was shelved.

In the circular signed by the Director of Home Finance at the Ministry, Mr Stephen Okon, the federal government assured that “the new date for the meetings will be forwarded to you in due course.”

The gathering, which is held to share revenue generated by the country in the previous month to the three tiers of government; federal, states and local governments, was earlier slated to take place this month on Wednesday, May 18 and Thursday, May 19, 2022.

But Mr Okon stated in the notice that, “I am directed to inform you that the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) meetings earlier scheduled to hold virtually on the 18th and 19th May 2022 have been postponed due to certain circumstances.”

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Economy

Bulls Return to Unlisted Securities Market on 0.21% Growth

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Unlisted Securities Market

By Adedapo Adesanya

The NASD Over-the-Counter (OTC) Securities Exchange welcomed the bulls back into its fold on Thursday following a 0.21 per cent growth at the close of business.

The bulls were at the unlisted securities market yesterday at the invitation of Niger Delta Exploration and Production (NDEP) and Food Concepts Plc, which recorded price appreciations during the session.

NDEP Plc gained N10 or 4.6 per cent to close at N220.00 per share as against the N210.00 it closed at the last session, while Food Concepts Plc appreciated by 6 kobo or 6.5 per cent to close at 93 kobo per unit compared with 87 kobo per unit of the previous session.

The gains reported by the duo expanded the NASD unlisted securities index (NSI) by 1.66 points to 808.79 points from 807.12 points and equally increased the market capitalisation by N2.17 billion to N1.06 trillion from N1.05 billion.

At the market yesterday, the trading volume rose by 17,545.7 per cent as a total of 20.0 million units of shares exchanged hands compared with the 113,500 units of shares transacted on Wednesday.

In the same vein, the trading value rose by 749.3 per cent to N24.4 million from the previous day’s N2.9 million, while the number of trades went down by 28.6 per cent to five deals from seven deals.

AG Mortgage Bank Plc remained the most traded stock by volume on a year-to-date basis with 2.3 billion units valued at N1.2 billion, Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS) Plc stood in second place with 661.7 million units worth N13.9 billion, while Food Concepts Plc was in third place with 134.0 million units valued at N114.9 million.

In the same vein, CSCS Plc ended the session as the most active stock by value on a year-to-date basis with 661.7 million units worth N13.9 billion, VFD Group was in second place with 9.4 million units valued at N2.9 billion, while AG Mortgage Bank Plc in third place has transacted 2.3 billion units valued at N1.2 billion.

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Economy

Naira Drops 0.34% at P2P, 0.26% at Investors’ FX Segment

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FX Market Segments

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Naira depreciated against the Dollar at the Peer-to-Peer (P2P) segment of the foreign exchange (FX) market on Thursday by 0.34 per cent or N2 to trade at N615/$1 compared with the previous day’s N613/$1.

Also, at the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window, the Nigerian currency depreciated against the greenback yesterday by 0.26 per cent or N1.08 as it traded at N420.33/$1 in contrast to Wednesday’s closing value of N419.25/$1.

It was the second consecutive trading day that the local currency is coming under pressure amid disruption in the supply of forex to the market by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The demand for FX is relatively high at the moment because politicians are trying to get foreign currencies to woo delegates to their sides to obtain tickets to contest in the 2023 general elections.

Data from the FMDQ Securities Exchange indicated that at the investors’ FX segment yesterday, transactions worth $75.56 million were executed, 62.47 per cent or $125.78 million lower than the $201.34 million achieved a day earlier.

However, at the interbank segment of the FX market, the domestic currency closed stronger against the Pound Sterling by 38 kobo to trade at N516.49/£1 versus N516.87/£1 and against the Euro, it gained 37 kobo to sell at N437.48/€1 versus the preceding session’s N437.11/€1.

At the cryptocurrency market, nine of the 10 tokens monitored by Business Post recovered, with the crisis-hit coin, TerraUSD (UST), further losing 21.4 per cent to quote at $0.07479.

Ripple (XRP) rose by 7.2 per cent to $0.432, Litecoin (LTC) gained 4.8 per cent to trade at $69.99, Cardano (ADA) appreciated by 4.6 per cent to sell at $0.5304, Binance Coin (BNB) grew by 4.2 per cent to trade at $307.16, while Ethereum (ETH) went up by 3.7 per cent to $2,017.41.

In addition, Bitcoin (BTC) jumped by 3.6 per cent to $30,086.44, Dogecoin (DOGE) moved higher by 2.6 per cent to trade at $0.0862, Solana (SOL) recorded a 1.5 per cent appreciation to sell at $51.09, while the United States Dollar Tether (USDT) gained 0.01 per cent to settle at $0.9989.

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