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ECONOMY

FG Approves $3.45bn World Bank Loan For Women Empowerment, Others 

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FG Approves $3.45bn World Bank Loan For Women Empowerment 

The Nigerian Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved a $3.45 billion loan application from the World Bank to finance five projects in the power, renewable energy, states’ resource mobilisation, adolescent girls’ empowerment, and women’s empowerment sectors.

The Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun, announced the approval after the FEC meeting in Abuja on Monday, October 23, 2023.

“Today at the Federal Executive Council, I presented five memos, which were gracefully approved by the Council. They had to do with concessional and, in many cases, zero-interest financing by the World Bank and the International Development Association, which is the very concessional financing arm.

The projects that were approved for funding were in the power sector and then the renewable energy sector. There was funding for states for resource mobilisation programmes to help them with the internally generated revenue efforts.

Also, there was a project for adolescent girls’ initiative for learning and empowerment. And then finally the fifth financing that was approved was for the Women Project,” Edun said.

However, Edun noted the loan is payable within 40 years with a 10-year moratorium, meaning payments would start in 2033, noting that the loan is a “zero-interest” loan, but some fees would be incurred.

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ECONOMY

BREAKING: Central Bank of Nigeria Raises Interest Rate to 22.75%

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In a recent development, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced an increase in its benchmark interest rate, known as the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR), to 22.75 percent, Aso Naija Reports.

This marks a significant jump of 400 basis points from the previous rate of 18.75 percent. The decision was made during the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting held in Abuja today, as communicated by CBN Governor, Mr. Olayemi Cardoso.

It is worth noting that the MPC had adopted a strategy in 2023 to gradually raise the MPR over the course of four consecutive meetings. This latest increase reflects the continuation of that strategy, aimed at addressing economic concerns and maintaining stability.

READ ALSO:CBN allocates $20,000 To Each Bureau De Change Operators To Stabilize Naira

 

Despite the aggressive efforts to adjust the interest rate, other key indicators such as the Cash Reserves Ratio (CRR) and Liquidity Ratio have remained unchanged during this period. The CRR remains at 32.5 percent, while the Liquidity Ratio stands at 30.0 percent.

This decision by the CBN is expected to have implications for various sectors of the Nigerian economy and may influence borrowing costs, investment decisions, and overall monetary conditions in the country.

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ECONOMY

CBN allocates $20,000 To Each Bureau De Change Operators To Stabilize Naira

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In a move aimed at rectifying the persisting disarray in the retail segment of Nigeria’s foreign exchange market, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has taken a decisive step to bridge the widening gap in the exchange rate, Aso Naija Reports.

Through a new circular by Dr Hassan Mahmud, the Director of Trade & Exchange Department, the CBN has announced its decision to distribute $20,000 to each eligible Bureau De Change (BDC) operator across the country.

Also,  initiative is part of the broader efforts to achieve a market-driven exchange rate for the Naira and alleviate the pressures feeding into the parallel market.

This allocation will be sold at a rate of N1,301/$, reflecting the lower band rate of executed spot transactions at the Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange Market (NAFEM) as of the previous trading day, dated February 27, 2024.

READ ALSO:Tinubu Government Says It’s Releasing 42,000 Metric Tonnes Of Food Items To NEMA

 

This strategy is anticipated to inject much-needed liquidity into the market and stabilise the Naira’s value.

Also, the circular outlines specific guidelines for the BDC operators, stipulating that all BDCs are permitted to sell foreign exchange to end-users at a margin not exceeding one percent (1%) above their purchase rate from the CBN. This measure is intended to prevent excessive mark-ups and protect consumers from price exploitation.

Eligible Bureau De Change Operators are mandated to deposit their Naira payments into designated CBN Foreign Currency Deposit Naira Accounts.

Additionally, they must also provide confirmation of payment along with other necessary documentation to facilitate disbursement at the appropriate CBN branches located in Abuja, Awka, Lagos, and Kano.

 

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ECONOMY

Tinubu Government Says It’s Releasing 42,000 Metric Tonnes Of Food Items To  NEMA

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The President Bola Tinubu-led Nigerian government has said that it is in the final stage of releasing 42,000 metric tonnes of assorted food commodities to vulnerable people through NEMA, Aso Naija gathered.

According to the Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga while giving an update, he said the grains in seven locations of strategic reserve, were now being bagged for onward delivery to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

He also said that that the need to bag the grains, caused the delay as the bags were freshly ordered by government.

Onanuga added that Nigerians would not need to pay for the grain bags, as they are free.

This will be complemented by the 60,000 metric tonnes of milled rice to be purchased by the Federal Government from the Mega Rice Millers.

“Already, with the announcement of the impending releases of food commodities to NEMA from the Strategic Reserve, there is a noticeable reduction in commodity prices across major grains markets in the country,” the Minister of Agriculture, Senator Abubakar Kyari said

“It focuses on the cultivation of wheat across 15 wheat-producing states, covering 118,657 hectares and involving 107,429 farmers. The fields are green now and harvest will commence in a matter of weeks”, Kyari said.

“There are fantastic reports of growth of wheat from Jigawa State, which is now targeting harvest from about 50,000 hectares, 10,000 hectares more than initially allotted under the programme.

Phase 2 of the Dry Season Farming will commence soon, across all 36 states of Nigeria and FCT. It will cover rice, maize, and cassava.

“For rice, the target is 250,000 hectares involving 500,000 farmers with the expected output of 1 million metric tons of paddy rice.

“For maize, we are cultivating 55,000 hectares with 110,000 farmers thereby adding 165,000 metric tons to national maize production while for cassava, we are doing 35,000 hectares with 70,000 farmers to produce 525,000 metric tons of cassava.

“The NAGS-AP Project offers a 50% subsidy. However, the Federal Government is providing additional support for Phase 2, which will bring aggregate subsidy to about 93 % to farmers cultivating the crops.

“Also various governors are showing strong support, to further enhance the subsidy,” Kyari said.

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Nigeria Customs Service Begins Sale of Confiscated Rice to Alleviate Hunger

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In a bid to combat hunger within the country, the Nigeria Customs Service has commenced the sale of rice bags confiscated from smugglers, Aso Naija Reports.

This initiative officially commenced on February 22nd, with the rice bags neatly packaged in 25kg sacks and made available for purchase at the price of N10,000 per bag.

READ ALSO: Be Calm, We’re Working To Strengthen Naira – CBN Gov. Cardoso Begs Nigerians

To ensure that the benefits of this process are exclusively enjoyed by Nigerians, the authorities of Nigeria Customs Service have made it mandatory for buyers to provide their National Identification Numbers (NIN).

It is noteworthy that the agency had previously announced its intention to initiate the sale of the confiscated rice bags on Wednesday.

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Be Calm, We’re Working To Strengthen Naira – CBN Gov. Cardoso Begs Nigerians

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The Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Olayemi Cardoso, has begged Nigerians to be patient, as the management of the apex bank is doing everything possible to ensure that the Naira is gains value, Aso Naija Reports.

The governor made the appeal at an event in Ibadan, Oyo State on Thursday, February 22, 2024.

The CBN governor, who was represented at the event by Dr. Usman Opanachi of the Department of Monetary Policy, CBN said: “Anytime the Naira is on trial, the CBN is also on trial.

We are working day and night to address the challenges and we hope things will work out.

The exchange rate features nearly in every sector. The exchange rate and inflation are very high now and the exchange rate is a problem.

Excess demand for forex in Nigeria is a legendary problem. It has just been there and over the years, the bank has implemented various strategies to address this problem.

Those strategies have only been able to provide some temporary relief.

READ ALSO: Hardship: Lagos Govt Plans Distribution of Palliatives

 

The Central Bank of Nigeria does not supply or produce dollars. It is the naira that it produces.

Also, the CBN management thinks when you hold the price of a commodity that is determined by forex down artificially, a time comes when you will not be able to do that.

However, the thinking of the new management of CBN is that the policies you have are intended to address the problem.

Additionally, the approach the management has adopted is the market forces approach. The bank now allows the market forces to play a greater role in the determination of the price of naira.”

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