Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), says his background as a son of a market woman is what made him appreciate the unintended hardship caused by the ongoing naira swap policy launched by President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
Tinubu, who had at different times expressed reservations about the implementation of the policy, said his cries were informed by his experience as someone who grew up in a market environment.
Speaking Friday evening at a town hall meeting with market leaders from around the country in Abuja, the APC presidential candidate said he was fed and trained by his late mother with money from trading, adding that he could identify with the pains and gains of traders.
Tinubu said he knew limiting the circulation of cash would have a devastating impact on the informal economy because of his knowledge of trading in Nigerian markets.
He expressed sympathy with petty traders and those dealing in perishable goods who, he said, are worst affected by the policy.
Tinubu cited the example of a carrot seller he observed while on a recent campaign trip to Gombe who was standing under the son tending to his wares with no one to patronize him “because there was no currency”.
The APC presidential candidate urged the traders to remain resolute and not allow difficulties arising from the naira swap exercise to overwhelm them.
He said if elected into office his government would provide low-interest loans for traders and address their concerns in other areas of their businesses.
Assuring them he knows where it pinches them he said, “This man is from the market and is from the city.”
Representatives of market leaders who addressed the participants spoke glowingly of the APC candidate who they described as one of them.
They promised to mobilize for the victory of Tinubu who, they said, is the best candidate on the ballot.
Sellers of FX above $10,000 must declare source to BDCs – CBN
As part of the strategies to save the economy, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says sellers of foreign exchange (FX) of $10,000 and above to Bureau De Change (BDC) operators must declare the source of the forex.
The apex bank made this known on Friday in a document titled ‘Revised Regulatory and Supervisory Guidelines for Bureau De Change Operations in Nigeria’.
CBN also mandated the sellers to “comply with all AML/CFT/CPF regulations and foreign exchange laws and regulations”.
Also, the CBN said customers can move foreign currencies from their domiciliary accounts with Nigerian banks to BDCs.
“All digital/transfer purchases of foreign currencies shall be credited to the BDC’s Nigerian domiciliary account,” CBN said.
“Payments for all digital/transfer purchases of foreign currency by a BDC shall be by transfer to the customer’s Naira account. If the customer is non-resident (whether Nigerian or not), a BDC may issue the customer a prepaid NGN card.”
The financial regulator said BDCs can source foreign currencies from tourists, returnees from the diaspora, and expatriates with foreign exchange inflows from work, travel, investment or their domiciliary accounts.
Other allowable sources mentioned by CBN are residents with foreign exchange inflows from work, travel, investment or their domiciliary accounts, and International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs).
CBN also listed embassies, hotels that are authorised buyers of foreign currencies, the Nigerian foreign exchange market (NFEM), as well as any other source that the apex bank may specify.
FG stops gas exports to crash price, end scarcity
As part of the general efforts to end the scarcity of gas in the country, the Federal Government has announced the suspension of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) exports.
Ekperikpe Ekpo, minister of state for petroleum resources (gas) made this known on Thursday during an “Internal Stakeholders’ Workshop” in Abuja.
He said the action is part of a deliberate attempt to increase the availability of LPG in the domestic market and lessen the financial strain on customers due to the hike in the price of the commodity.
“We are interacting with critical stakeholders to ensure that there is no exportation of LPG. All LPG produced within the country will have to be domesticated. When this is done, the volume will increase and of course, the price will automatically crash,” he said.
“I am in contact with the regulation, NMDPRA, we hold meetings almost on a daily basis, and the producers such as Mobil, Chevron, and Shell. So, there is that hope that things will turn around. We don’t need to make noise about it.”
The minister underlined the need for banning the export of domestically manufactured LPG, saying the entire production will be utilised within the country.
He said the expected increase in the volume available for the domestic market and price reductions would bring relief to customers struggling with the high cost of cooking gas.
The development comes amid a rise in the price of the product.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the average retail price for refilling a 12.5kg cylinder of LPG increased by 0.28 percent on a month-on-month basis from N10,248.97 in December 2022 to N10,277.17 in January 2023.
The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), on January 25, 2024, had attributed the gradual decrease in power supply to gas shortage.
UPDATED: Nigeria’s GDP grew by 3.46% in Q4 2023 – NBS
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), says Nigeria’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 3.46 percent in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2023.
The growth rate, the data bureau said, is lower than the 3.52 percent recorded in the same quarter in 2022 and higher than the 2.54 percent recorded in the third quarter (Q3) of 2023.
NBS disclosed this in its GDP report for Q4, released on Thursday.
The bureau said the growth rate was mainly driven by the services sector, which recorded a 3.98 percent and contributed 56.55 percent to the aggregate GDP.
“The agriculture sector grew by 2.10%, from the growth of 2.05% recorded in the fourth quarter of 2022,” the NBS said.
“The growth of the industry sector was 3.86%, an improvement from -0.94% recorded in the fourth quarter of 2022.
“In terms of share of the GDP, industry, and the services sectors contributed more to the aggregate GDP in the fourth quarter of 2023 compared to the fourth quarter of 2022. On an annual basis, GDP grew by 2.74% in 2023 relative to 3.10% in 2022.”
On an annual basis, GDP grew by 2.74 percent in 2023 relative to 3.10 percent in 2022, the NBS said.
The statistics body further said in Q4, the country’s nominal GDP stood at N65.9 trillion — higher than the 60.5 trillion recorded in Q3 2023.
NBS added that the performance is also higher relative to the fourth quarter of 2022 which recorded an aggregate GDP of N56.7 trillion, indicating a year-on-year nominal growth of 16.12 percent.
OIL PRODUCTION HITS 1.5M BARRELS IN Q4 2023
The report said in the quarter under review, Nigeria recorded an average daily oil production of 1.55 million barrels per day (mbpd).
This is higher than the daily average production of 1.34mbpd recorded in the same quarter of 2022 by 0.21mbpd and higher than the Q3 2023 production volume of 1.45mbpd by 0.10mbpd.
“The real growth of the oil sector was 12.11% (year-on-year) in Q4 2023, indicating an increase of 25.50% points relative to the rate recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2022 (-13.38%). Growth also increased by 12.96% points when compared to Q3 2023 which was -0.85%,” the bureau said.
“On a quarter-on-quarter basis, the oil sector recorded a growth rate of -3.81% in Q4 2023. On an annual basis, the oil sector growth stood at -2.22% in 2023 compared to -19.22% in 2022.
“The Oil sector contributed 4.70% to the total real GDP in Q4 2023, up from the figure recorded in the corresponding period of 2022 and down from the preceding quarter, where it contributed 4.34% and 5.48% respectively.”
‘NON-OIL SECTOR CONTRIBUTED 95.3% TO Q4 2023 GDP’
NBS said the non-oil sector grew by 3.07 percent in real terms during the reference quarter.
However, the firm said the rate was lower by 1.37 percent points compared to the rate recorded in the same quarter of 2022 and 0.32 percent points
higher than the rate of Q3 2023.
“This sector was driven in the fourth quarter of 2023 mainly by financial and insurance (financial institutions); Information and Communication (Telecommunication); agriculture (Crop production); trade; construction; manufacturing (food, beverage, and tobacco) and real estate, accounting for positive GDP growth,” NBS said.
“On an annual basis, the non-oil sector growth in 2023 stood at 3.04% relative to 4.84% recorded in 2022. In real terms, the non-oil sector contributed 95.30% to the nation’s GDP in the fourth quarter of 2023.”
The bureau added that the non-oil sector’s performance was lower than the share recorded in the Q4 in 2022 which was 95.66 percent; and higher than the Q3 2023 result recorded at 94.52 percent.
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