By Adedapo Adesanya
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said that a more market-driven approach would be best for the country’s exchange rate management as it would boost confidence and inwards flows.
Mr Osinbajo made this submission in his presentation at the 3rd Ministerial Performance Review Retreat for Ministers, Permanent Secretaries, and top Government Functionaries at the State House Banquet Hall, Abuja, which started on Monday.
The VP, while giving his presentation, The President Muhammadu Buhari Administration: Reflections on the Journey So Far, said that there must be a synergy between fiscal and monetary policy.
“The failure of that synergy has led to unnecessary drawbacks in our economic performance and planning.
“What imports are eligible for foreign exchange must agree with the fiscal ambitions for manufacturing and industry.
“The second is that our exchange rate management continues to be an issue; the exchange rate of the naira to convertible currencies continues to face significant downward pressure because demand substantially outstrips supply.
“On one hand, we have tried demand management and rationing, which has not really worked because fixing the price while the parallel market reveals a massive arbitrage merely creates the opportunity for massive rents,” Mr Osinbajo said.
He noted hat such demand management and rationing would also compound the backlog of remittances for foreign businesses who wanted to repatriate their legitimate earnings.
According to the vice president, the imperative discussion is how best to manage the situation by finding a mechanism for increasing supply and moderating demand which will be transparent and boost confidence.
“I think a more market-driven approach will be best; some price discovery within the context of a managed float is certainly required.
“Some efforts at controlled price discovery that had been made in the past include the Foreign Exchange Market (FEM), interbank Foreign Exchange Market (IFEM), various iterations of the Dutch Auction System(DAS), Wholesale Dutch Auction System (W-DAS), Retail Dutch Auction System (R-DAS).
“While they may not have been perfect, it would appear as if the rules were clear and there was relative stability.
“When people know how to access foreign exchange competitively, this will boost confidence and inward flows will increase,” he submitted.
The vice president said the focus must be on value addition and productivity in our economy, adding that the ideas were well articulated in the Medium Term Economic Plan 2021-2025–the importance of loosening generalised restrictions on trade.
Mr Osinbajo said that blanket import restrictions dampened economic activity because many items that might be needed in the manufacturing process might be affected with a consequent negative impact on value addition in the economy.
“Importation itself is not the problem; it is what you import and what you do with it; it is a value-added that matters.
“This is how jobs and wealth are created; many countries of the world that manufacture are huge importers, and they import far more than Nigeria.
“Let us take the example of garment manufacturing; Bangladesh, the world’s leading garment manufacturer, does not produce most of the cotton it uses.
“It only grows two per cent of its annual cotton requirement; in 2019, Bangladesh imported $11.8 billion worth of textiles and apparel while it exported $37.94 billion worth of garments in the same year,” he said.
CitiTrust Holdings Sells Commercial Paper for 22%
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
An opportunity has opened for commercial paper investors as CitiTrust Holdings Plc is offering the asset class at a coupon of 22.0 per cent per annum under its N50 billion commercial paper issuance programme.
According to details of the exercise obtained by Business Post, the company, in the financial services sector, is selling the debt instrument in four tenors of 90 days, 120 days, 180 days and 270 days.
The minimum subscription for prospective and potential investors is N5 million and can be purchased through any of the registered stockbrokers.
The 90-day instrument is going for 16.1 per cent, the 120-day paper is being sold for 17.5 per cent, the 180-day note is 19.1 per cent, and the 270-day instrument is going for 22.0 per cent.
The offer commenced on November 23, 2022, and is expected to close on Wednesday, December 7, 2022, with the net proceeds to be used for the company’s general corporate purposes and working capital.
CitiTrust said investors would be paid their interests from the operating cash flows of the organisation, with purchases to be settled via direct debit, electronic funds transfers, NIBBS Instant Payment (NIP), NIBBS Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) or Real-Time Gross Settlement (RTGS).
CitiTrust is a leading pan-African financial and investment conglomerate owned by reputable institutional and private investors. The company has a focus on high-end financial products and services for its targeted sectors of the economy, with operations in commercial banking, investment banking, wealth management, pension management, insurance and alternative investment.
The firm is a foremost financial solutions provider and has been an intricate part of the Nigerian economy since 2007. It has grown and evolved over the years into an award-winning market leader in the financial sub-sector of the Nigerian economy, establishing its footprints in 12 African countries: Nigeria, Ghana, Rwanda, Botswana, Liberia, Benin Republic, Malawi, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Cote d’Ivoire, South Africa and the UK.
In 2019, the organisation upgraded its operations into a reputable financial services provider to align with the strategic vision of its shareholders to build an enduring institution that delivers cross-functional services to its clientele.
The company’s deep knowledge of the market, dexterity, smooth and reliable processes driven largely by technology and the high quality of its personnel puts it on the cutting edge of strategic Importance with its clientele.
No Individual Should Operate Domiciliary Account in Nigeria—Tope Fasua
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
An economist and former presidential candidate of the Abundant Nigeria Renewal Party (ANRP) in the 2019 general elections, Mr Tope Fasua, has kicked against the opening of a domiciliary account in Nigeria for an individual, calling it an abnormality.
Speaking on a Channels Television’s Saturday breakfast show, he said only corporate organisations involved in international trades should be allowed to operate a dorm account.
As individuals who need foreign exchange to transact any business transaction, they should be given a credit card or prepaid card, which would be loaded with the value of Dollars they require instead of giving them cash.
According to him, this would limit the demand for FX and strengthen the Naira in the forex market segments.
Mr Fasua made these submissions while reacting to the decision of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to redesign the N200, N500, and N1,000 notes.
“Personal dorm accounts are mostly unnecessary; only companies that are doing international trade transactions or financial market companies should be able to hold dorm accounts because they have a reason to,” the renowned analyst said on the programme monitored by Business Post.
“When I travelled abroad recently, GTBank loaded by card with Dollars, and when I need to spend where I am going, I just use my card,” he added, stressing that, “If you are an exporter, you have export proceeds coming in, you can have a dorm account.
“If you are an importer and you need to pay your customer once in a while, you can have a dorm account as a company, but if every Tom, Dick and Harry can speculate against their own currency, you will never get it out of crises.”
According to him, “The ease at which people move against their currency in this country is too much; it should not be that easy.”
LIBIZFAIR Will Boost Business Opportunities in Lagos
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The Chairman of Nigeria in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has disclosed that the Lagos Island Business Fair (LIBIZFAIR) will improve business opportunities in the state and also attract more investments.
The former federal lawmaker said this at the opening ceremony of the fair organised by the Lagos Island Connect, in conjunction with the Lagos State Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives.
At the programme held at the Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS), Onikan, Lagos, Mrs Dabiri-Erewa, represented by the Head of the Lagos Annex of the agency, Mr Oladipo Odebowale, commended the state government for the initiative.
She noted that the platform provides a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs to showcase their businesses, saying, “This will boost investment and business opportunities in the state.”
The Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Mrs Lola Akande, in her remarks, described the empowerment of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) as critical to the empowerment of youths.
Represented by the Permanent Secretary in the minister, Mrs Adetutu Ososanya, she noted that building the capacity of youth-oriented enterprises, with the goal of providing opportunities for growth, will lead to an increase in prosperity among Lagos Island youths.
“I believe this platform can leverage socio-economic networking and Information Communication & Technology to provide more interactive opportunities for the teeming youth of Lagos Island and its environs from diverse cultural, religious, social and educational backgrounds to grow their businesses and services, as well as the State’s economy,” she said.
The Commissioner explained that the fair aligns with the policy of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of creating a conducive environment for businesses to thrive, widening access to the market and encouraging networking and collaboration among entrepreneurs.
Also speaking at the event, the Special Adviser to the governor on Sustainable Development Goals & Investment (SDG&I), Mrs Solape Hammond, stressed that the programme was geared towards supporting businesses to thrive at the local government level.
“The study discovered that the youths of Lagos Island are versatile, technologically enabled, driven and willing to be positively engaged, particularly in personal and communal development.
“Though most of them are faced with different challenges yet, there is an enormous zeal to be gainfully engaged rather than being idle, which could contribute to community nuisance.
“Young people in Lagos Island have a brighter vision for the future, and all stakeholders must join together to support them to deliver it,” the governor’s aide said in her presentation on the Lagos Island Youth Needs Assessment Survey.
The co-founder of the Lagos Island Connect, Mrs Yemisi Ransome-Kuti, while addressing participants, noted that the LIBIZFAIR 2022 was geared towards taking businesses in Lagos Island from a local to a global level by investing in the youths and preventing their massive migration to foreign lands.
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