The World Bank has listed the Nigerian naira among the worst-performing currencies in Africa.
According to World Bank, the naira weakened by nearly 40% against the US dollar since it was devalued in June.
It was revealed in the global bank’s report titled, ‘Africa’s Pulse: An analysis of issues shaping Africa’s economic future (October 2023 | Volume 28).’
“So far this year, the Nigerian naira and the Angolan kwanza are among the worst performing currencies in the region: these currencies have posted a year-to-date depreciation of nearly 40 per cent.
“The weakening of the naira was triggered by the central bank’s decision to remove trading restrictions on the official market. For the kwanza, it was the decision of the central bank to stop defending the currency as a result of low oil prices and greater debt payments.”
Other currencies with significant losses so far in 2023 in Africa included South Sudan (33 per cent), Burundi (27 per cent), the Democratic Republic of Congo (18 per cent), Kenya (16 per cent), Zambia (12 per cent), Ghana (12 per cent), and Rwanda (11 per cent).
It noted that parallel exchange market rates are also compounding inflationary problems for some countries in the African region.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in June 2023, directed Deposit Money Banks to remove the rate cap on the naira at the official Investors and Exporters’ window of the foreign exchange market.
The apex bank directed the banks to allow the free float of the naira against the dollar and other global currencies.
Since then, the naira had fallen from N473.83/$ to around N800/$ officially.
Nigeria lost N1.3trn due to waivers by Buhari’s administration – Customs
The comptroller general (CG) of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Adewale Adeniyi,
says waivers and concessions granted to investors by the administration of Muhammadu Buhari, former president, cost the country N1.3 trillion.
Adeniyi said customs would have generated more income for Nigeria’s consolidated revenue fund in 2023 without the waivers and concessions arrangements.
The CG said this at the national assembly on Wednesday during a public hearing on the 2024–2026 medium-term expenditure framework and fiscal strategy by the senate joint committees.
Adeniyi, represented by Mba Musa, the deputy comptroller general, said “the NCS lost N1.3 trillion in 2023 due to waivers and concessions the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration granted to investors”
The revelation led Sani Musa, the chairman of the joint committee, to request the senate to probe the waivers and concessions granted by the previous administration.
“By now we shouldn’t be talking about concession for cement manufacturers, we should not even be talking about sugar importation,” Sani Musa said.
“We should not deny ourselves the revenues that we should generate to make our economy vibrant. By now, we should be consolidating on waivers given to boost revenues.
“We would review the waivers and make our recommendations. By now, you (NCS) should be meeting up on your projected target if there are no waivers.”
The senate also quizzed the NCS on its modernisation project, known as e-customs.
During the hearing, the senators asked for the details of the agreement signed by the federal government on the modernisation of Nigerian customs.
In response, Adeniyi said the service does not have access to details of the $3.2 billion modernisation project agreement.
“We are not privy to details of modernisation agreement of the Nigeria Customs modernisation project,” he said.
In April, the federal executive council approved the customs’ modernisation project.
The approval was made despite a court order restraining the federal government from going on with the initiative.
Wale Tinubu, Dangote, Wale Edun, Obaigbena others attend Nigeria-Saudi Business Forum
Serial entrepreneur and Group Chief Executive, Oando Group, Jubril Adewale Tinubu was among top dignitaries present at the first Nigeria-Saudi Arabia Forum which was part of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s effort to boost and strengthen the economic and business ties between the two countries.
Others at the forum include top Nigeria’s business magnates, ministers and many government functionaries such as president of Dangote Group; Alhaji Dangote, Group Managing Director Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC); Mele Kyari,
Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy of Nigeria; Mr. Wale Edun, Minister for Trade and Investment, (Dr) Doris Uzoka-Anita, Chairman THISDAY Media Group and ARISE News Channel, Nduka Obaigbena, among others.
Speaking during the forum President Tinubu assured potential investors that their investments are safe in Nigeria.
President Tinubu said Nigeria is ready for business while assuring investors of some of the world’s highest returns on investment.
The President said Nigeria is desirous of enhancing collaboration with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on combating terrorist organizations such as Boko Haram, ISWAP, and other violent extremist groups which have been terrorizing the Lake Chad and Sahel regions.
“Nigeria and Saudi Arabia have always enjoyed a special relationship at both the bilateral and multilateral levels. Within the past six decades, our bilateral cooperation, which was initially hajj-centric, has witnessed diversification to cover a number of areas of common interest. It is delightful to note the presence in this great Kingdom of a large number of our compatriots and professionals, including highly-skilled medical practitioners and professional football players.
“As members of several international organizations including the UN, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, the International Energy Forum, the G77, the Islamic Development Bank, the Digital Cooperation Organization among others, our two nations have effectively used these and other platforms to enhance close interaction and coordination. I am confident that our joint positive disposition within these platforms will continue to be demonstrated as we seek to advance our mutual interests.
“Nigeria, like the Kingdom, is diversifying her economy away from oil dependence to promote sustainable development. My administration has undertaken bold economic reforms by removing wasteful subsidies on petroleum and the merging of our foreign exchange market, among other incentives aimed at improving the ease of doing business in Nigeria.
“I also wish to assure all potential Saudi investors of the safety of their investments based on the sanctity of the rule of law and good returns on their investments in the largest economy in Africa. In this regard, the benefit attached to the early inauguration of the Nigeria-Saudi Business Council can not be over-emphasized,” the President said.
President Tinubu thanked the Kingdom for the various humanitarian interventions in Nigeria through the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre.
BREAKING: Old naira notes will remain legal tender indefinitely, says CBN
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says the old naira notes will remain legal tender beyond December 31, 2023 — and no longer have a deadline.
CBN said this in a statement signed by Isa AbdulMumin, director, corporate communications, on Tuesday.
More to follow…
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