NSPMC Has Capacity, Enough Materials to Print More Naira Notes—CBN
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said contrary to reports making the round, the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company (MSPMC) Plc, also known as The Mint, has the capacity and enough materials to print more Naira notes.
For some weeks, Nigeria has experienced a shortage in the supply of the new currency notes in circulation, resulting in long queues at banks and Automated Teller Machine (ATM) points across the country.
The apex bank changed the designs of the N200, N500, and N1,000 banknotes last year and gave January 31, 2023, as the deadline for the use of the old notes. This was later moved to February 10.
Yesterday, President Muhammadu Buhari conveyed a council of state meeting to discuss the socio-economic crisis in the country, and it was claimed that the Governor of the CBN, Mr Godwin Emefiele, admitted to the council that the bank failed in the circulation of the redesigned Naira because the Mint was short of materials to print enough money.
But the CBN, in a statement issued on Saturday by its spokesman, Mr Osita Nwanisobi, said Mr Emefiele did not blame the agency for the crisis bedevilling the nation.
“We wish to state categorically that at no time did the CBN Governor disclose this during his presentation to the National Council of State at its meeting on Friday, February 10, 2023.
“For the records, what Mr Emefiele told the meeting was that the NSPMC was working on printing all denominations of the Naira to meet the transaction needs of Nigerians,” a part of the statement today said.
The central expressed dismay at “the extent to which vested interests are attempting to manipulate facts and pitch the public against the bank.”
“For the avoidance of doubt, the CBN remains committed to performing its monetary policy functions, as stipulated in the CBN Act, 2007, as amended.
“We also wish to restate that the NSPMC has the capacity and enough materials to produce the required indent of the Naira.
“The bank, therefore, wishes to appeal to the public to disregard the said report and exercise more restraint, even as we work assiduously to increase the circulation of the new notes in the country,” it added.
Also, the central bank has described a voice note trending in social media alleging that it plans to shut down some banks, particularly in a particular geo-political region of the country, as false.
“We wish to state unequivocally that there is no such plan and that the claims are illogical and do not comply with the workings of the Nigerian banking system.
“The public is, therefore, advised to ignore such recordings as they do not represent the policy thrust of the CBN and are only the desperate attempts of persons bent on inciting the public against the bank,” it stressed.
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OPEC+ Likely to Keep Output Cut Levels as Group Meets April 3
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies (OPEC+) will likely stick to its existing deal to cut oil output at a meeting on Monday, April 3.
According to Reuters, this was said disclosed by five delegates from the producer group after oil prices recovered following a drop to 15-month lows due to banking fears and demand worries.
Brent crude has recovered towards $80 a barrel after falling to near $70 on March 20 as fears ease about a global banking crisis and as a halt in exports from Iraq’s Kurdistan region curbs supplies.
OPEC+ is due to hold a virtual meeting of its ministerial monitoring panel, which includes Russia and Saudi Arabia, on Monday.
The consensus was that Kurdistan curbs and recent price drops were not sufficiently important to affect the overall OPEC+ policy path for 2023.
Kurdistan’s crude oil exports – around 400,000 barrels per day shipped through an Iraqi-Turkey pipeline to Ceyhan and then on tankers to the international markets – were halted late last week by the federal government of Iraq.
Last week, the International Chamber of Commerce ruled in favour of Iraq against Turkey in a dispute over crude flows from Kurdistan. Iraq had argued that Turkey shouldn’t allow Kurdish oil exports via the Iraq-Turkey pipeline and Ceyhan without approval from the federal government of Iraq.
Talks between officials from Kurdistan and from the Iraq federal government have failed in recent days, but they are set to continue next week.
Three other OPEC+ delegates also told Reuters that any policy changes were unlikely on Monday. After those talks, the next full OPEC+ meeting is not until June.
Last November, OPEC+ reduced its output target by 2 million barrels per day – the largest cut since the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. The same reduction applies for the whole of 2023.
Saudi Arabia’s energy minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, has said OPEC+ will stick to the reduced target until the end of the year.
Oando to Quit Nigerian, Johannesburg Stock Exchanges
By Dipo Olowookere
The board of Oando Plc has informed the investing community of its intention to leave the Nigerian and Johannesburg stock exchanges in the coming months.
The reason for exiting the stock market, according to the energy firm, is to become a private company and to achieve this, its core investor, Ocean and Oil Development Partners Limited (OODP), has offered to buy all the shares held by minority shareholders in Oando.
OODP is offering to pay N7.07 in cash or its equivalent in South African Rand (ZAR) for each of the stock, which it said represents a 58 per cent premium to the last traded share price of Oando on Tuesday, March 28, 2023, being the day prior to the date it submitted the scheme application to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Oando trades its shares on the floors of the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE).
This news comes hours after the company announced that it had bounced back into profitability after years of dishing out losses to the frustration of shareholders.
In its unaudited financial results for 2021, Oando reported a profit after tax of N34.7 billion, in contrast to the loss after tax of N140.7 billion of the preceding year.
Before now, Oando has had it rough with regulators in Nigeria, leading to its suspension from the market and a court tussle over allegations that it tampered with its financial statements to deceive investors.
In the notice released this week, Oando said after the acquisition of “the shares of all minority shareholders in Oando,” it would “subsequently be delisted from NGX and JSE and re-registered as a private company.”
At the moment, the energy firm said it has “applied for the SEC’s No Objection to the scheme, noting that the deal is “subject to the approval of the shareholders of Oando at the Court-Ordered Meeting of the company, as well as the sanction of the Federal High Court.”
However, it disclosed that, “The terms and conditions of the transaction will be provided in the scheme document, which will be dispatched to all shareholders following the receipt of an order from the Federal High Court to convene a Court-Ordered Meeting,” promising to update the market “upon receipt of requisite approvals from shareholders and regulators.”
Ajay Banga to Become World Bank President Unopposed
By Adedapo Adesanya
The World Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors has announced Mr Ajay Banga, a US national, as the only nominee for the position of the bank’s next president and may clinch the post if he passes the next hurdle.
This was contained in a statement issued by the World Bank on Friday.
“The World Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors today confirmed that, as announced on February 22, the period for submitting nominations for the position of the next President of the World Bank Group closed on Wednesday at 6:00 pm ET.”
“The board received one nomination and would like to announce that Ajay Banga, a US national, will be considered for the position.
“In accordance with established procedures, the Board of Executive Directors will conduct a formal interview with the candidate in Washington D.C., and expect to conclude the Presidential election in due course,” the board said.
US President Joe Biden in February nominated Mr Banga to lead the World Bank, saying he is “well equipped” to lead the global institution at “this critical moment in history.”
No other country proposed an alternate candidate for the prestigious post.
Mr Banga, 63, was born in India and is a naturalised US citizen. He has led Mastercard Inc and now currently serves as Vice Chairman at General Atlantic.
If confirmed, Mr Banga would become the first-ever Indian-American to head either of the two top international financial institutions, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.
Mr Banga is expected to replace the current World Bank president, Mr David Malpass, who will step down in June, nearly a year before his term is scheduled to expire.
Mr Malpass faced strong criticism over the bank’s commitment to climate action and over his personal views on climate change.
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