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Tinubu to Qatari investors: Report officials who demand bribes to me

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President Bola Tinubu has asked Qatari investors to bring their investments to Nigeria, saying public officials who demand bribes from them should be reported.

 

Speaking at the Nigeria-Qatar business and investment forum in Doha on Sunday, Tinubu told the investors that Africa’s largest economy and its systems are being reformed and upgraded.

 

According to a statement on Sunday, the president assured the international business community that Nigeria is ready for serious business, pledging to remove all bottlenecks hindering profitable and legitimate enterprise.

 

He encouraged Qatar’s captains of industries to report any government official who demands a bribe or any form of inducement at any point in their business endeavour, assuring them of direct access to his office.

 

“I am here to give you the assurance that reforms are going on; forget about whatever you heard in the past. Whatever is the obstacle or problem that some of you might have experienced; it is in the past, because there is no obstacle in the future,” he said.

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“Do not offer a bribe to any of our people, and if it is requested or taken from you, report to us. You will have access to me.

 

“Nigeria will no longer be defined by the past, but by what we do now and moving forward. Do not let perceptions become a hindrance to your will to invest. Nigeria is serious about revolutionizing investment promotion.

 

“We are removing obstacles today and we are going to continue to remove all obstacles. We have done so much within nine months. And I am assuring you, it is free entry, and free exit. Your funds will flow smoothly into and out of our country. Bring your investments.”

 

He said Nigeria possesses vast opportunities in various fields, telling his host that the West African nation is rich in mineral resources.

 

“We have oil and gas; we have solid minerals. I do not see why we cannot become prolific partners in exploring iron ore, as well as steel production, and energy across the board,” he said.

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“I am here to give you assurances in all spheres: tourism, hospitality, healthcare, and in many other opportunities that abound around us. Do not be the investors who miss out on the golden opportunity we present.”

 

‘WAR AGAINST CORRUPTION STRENGTHENED’

Tinubu also said the war against corruption and insecurity in Nigeria has been significantly strengthened with the appointment of Nuhu Ribadu as the national security adviser (NSA).

 

“We have a man who has won many global awards for anti-corruption as an anti-corruption czar,” he said.

 

“My responsibility is to tell you that Nigeria is open for business, and to assure you that your investments are safe in our hands. We have men and women of great reputation here. And we believe we can forge a good committee that will advance our discussions to fruitful conclusions.

 

“A nation is an artificial entity unless there are good people to drive it. People build great nations and we have great people. We are ready.”

 

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Welcoming the Nigerian delegation, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Hamad Bin Qassim Al Abdullah Al Thani, Qatar’s minister of commerce and industry, said his country looks forward to exploring opportunities in Nigeria, owing to its population demography and market, as it seeks to prioritise new investments in low carbon initiatives, mineral products, petroleum chemicals, industry, and consumables.

Accompanying the president to the Nigeria-Qatar business forum were Babagana Umara Zulum, Borno governor; Uba Sani, Kaduna governor; Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Lagos governor; Wale Edun, coordinating minister of the economy and minister of finance; Dele Alake, minister of solid minerals development; Muhammad Ali Pate, coordinating minister of health and social welfare; Adegboyega Oyetola, minister of marine and blue economy; Doris Uzoka-Anite, minister of trade, industry and investment; Jamila Bio Ibrahim, minister of youth; and Ekperipe Ekpo, minister of state for petroleum resources (Gas).

Others include Nuhu Ribadu, national security adviser; Olu Verheijen, special adviser on energy; and Dele Kelvin Oye, president of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Mines, and Agriculture (NACCIMA).

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Naira appreciates to N1,100/$ in parallel market

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The naira appreciated further on Monday in the parallel section of the foreign exchange (FX) market.

 

At the Lagos street market, currency traders, also known as bureau de change (BDC) operators, quoted the naira at N1,100 to the greenback.

 

The traders put the buying price of the dollar at N1,070 and the selling price at N1,100 — leaving a profit margin of N30.

 

The figure represents an appreciation of N50 or 4.34 percent from the N1,150/$ it traded on April 12.

 

At the FMDQ Exchange, a platform that oversees official foreign exchange (FX) trading in Nigeria, the local currency rose by 5.72 percent or N69.02 to N1,136.04/$ on Monday — from N1,205.06/$ on April 12.

 

On April 11, the presidency said President Bola Tinubu’s multi-faceted approach to eliminating foreign exchange (FX) racketeering is strengthening the naira against global currencies.

 

In a statement on Wednesday, Ajuri Ngelale, special adviser to the president on media, said the country’s financial position will improve, leading to the possibility of Nigerians experiencing a stronger naira and a decrease in the prices of goods.

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“The President has been very consistent in his view that the labour pains felt by our people and the incredible sacrifices made by our people over the past 10 months would be rewarded across the board,” Ngelale said.

 

On April 12, Goldman Sachs Group said the naira could extend gains to trade below N1,000 to the dollar.

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Naira strengthens, trades at N1,150/$ in parallel market

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The naira, on Friday, appreciated to N1,150 per dollar at the parallel section of the foreign exchange (FX) market.

Currency traders in Lagos, also known as bureau de change (BDCs) operators, quoted the buying rate of the greenback at N1,110 and the selling price at N1,150 — leaving a profit margin of N40.

 

The naira appreciated by 0.86 percent from the N1,160 recorded on April 11.

 

“The dollar is falling and it is not my fault. It is how the FX market is now,” Lawal, a BDC operator, said.

 

Also, FMDQ Exchange, a platform that oversees official foreign exchange (FX) trading in Nigeria, said the naira rose by 7.16 percent or N88.23 to N1,142.38/$ on Friday — from N1,230.61/$ on Monday.

 

The appreciation of the naira is coming a few days after the CBN opened the third tranche of sales to BDC operations.

 

The apex bank began the sale of foreign exchange to BDC operators at the rate of N1,101/$ on April 8.

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Also, on the same day, the CBN directed all banks to stop the use of foreign currency-denominated collaterals for naira loans.

 

The financial regulator is intensifying its efforts to boost liquidity and strengthen the naira.

 

Meanwhile, earlier today, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said the naira could extend gains to trade below N1,000 to the dollar.

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Air Peace: Patronise local airlines on int’l routes, Keyamo urges Nigerians

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The minister of aviation and aerospace development, Festus Keyamo, has asked Nigerians to fully patronise Air Peace and other local airlines flying international routes.

 

This, Keyamo said, is the only way local airlines can survive stiff competition from foreign carriers.

 

On March 30, Air Peace, Nigeria’s flag carrier, commenced its Lagos-London flight services — a landmark achievement celebrated by many Nigerians.

 

Following the milestone, Allen Onyema, chief executive officer (CEO) of Air Peace, on April 9, said some airlines are conspiring to take his company out of business by underpricing the flight tickets for the Lagos-London route.

According to the entrepreneur, the foreign airlines’ governments are supporting them to do this and take Air Peace out.

Speaking to TheCable on Thursday, Keyamo said while he cannot currently make a policy statement on what the Nigerian government will do to support Air Peace, President Bola Tinubu’s administration would continue to assist local entrepreneurs.

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“The first thing is for Nigerians to fully patronise not only Air Peace but all indigenous airlines on international routes. Before the federal government does anything, let Nigerians patronise him and know that this is our indigenous airline,” he said.

 

“As for government, I cannot make any policy statement for the government now because I am a minister. Whatever we can do, we will discuss that behind the scenes. But it’s wrong for me to make a policy statement now.

“As I have said earlier, one of my main goals in office is to help Nigeria’s domestic airlines grow and improve, supporting President Bola Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda”.

Keyamo added that the federal government would continue to protect Air Peace and other Nigerian carriers that may seek to operate international service.

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