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247 Naija News

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Nigeria seeks budget support

CBN says forex limitation policy already paying off

From Washington, the headquarters of the Breton Woods multilateral institutions the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank in America came compliments for Nigerias economic recovery programme, according to the Finance Minister, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun.

The commendation is even as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, said yesterday that the countrys foreign exchange limitation policy has started to pay off with some producers of some imported goods signaling interest to begin manufacturing in Nigeria instead of overseas activities due to the high cost of imported products occasioned by the policy.

The two essential government officials made the disclosures in Washington DC, United States (U.S.) at a press briefing as part of tasks of this years Spring Assembly.

The minister spoke on the gains of this years Spring Meeting and the several bilateral meetings held between Nigeria and her partners.

Her words: The gains are various and significant for the Naija government. At least, we were able to network with our coworkers, other ministers of finance of the G7 nations and the G 24 states and compared notes and their expertises. I think this strengthens the validation that the lessons we've chosen to restructure naija loaded news is the correct one.

We got many endorsements and the direction by which we seek to take the Nigerian market. Specifically, we held bilateral meetings with particular bilateral agencies, such as the Islamic Development Bank where we've agreed to work jointly on a micro-finance scheme for girls; the Japanese development bureau where we've agreed to work jointly on power projects and they have consented to make sizeable investments in the place of power which I think will be really favorable for Naija and the IFC. Similarly, we had a meeting with them this morning (yesterday), again discussing investment in power plus some of our banks to shore up their locations and likewise the ADfB on arrangements for investments in agriculture and collaborations in a range of initiatives that would help us to diversify the market.

Similarly, we'd conversations with the World Bank around our budget support request and we have already been able to have very productive meetings to comprehend what the next steps are in the process and we're very positive of a great result.

In his comments, the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, spoke on the various monetary policy measures of the government to boost productivity at all levels of the economy, including that both in the medium and long terms, the various policies, such as the foreign exchange policy regime, are bound to arouse the market.

According to him, in furtherance of its statutory mandate, the apex bank is also focusing more to expand giving to vital sectors such as agriculture, mining and production, adding that some of the immediate increases of the fiscal and monetary policies are the raising foreign investments in the economy.

Divided stakeholders say policy may ease business, stifle local companies

For diverse stakeholders in the economy, the Federal Governments recent currency swap deal with China holds both bright prospects and grave consequences for Nigeria even as the naira inched up against the dollar at the weekend at the parallel market.

During his official trip to the worlds second biggest economy, President Muhammadu Buhari reached a naira and yuan swap deal, scripted to ease trade transactions between both nations, devoid of current exchange challenges with the United State dollar.

Moreover, the deal, according to Presidency sources, has the potenrial of shoring up the worth of the countries currency, in the forex market, through a concomitant emergent bid scheme, with tactical decreased interest in dollar and other major currencies, aside from the yuan.

The currency swap deal consists of an arrangement between two central banks, a minumum of one of which must be an international currency issuer, to swap their monies. The central banks party to the swap trade can give the proceeds of the swap, against collaterals they deem sufficient, to the commercial banks within their jurisdiction, to provide them with temporary liquidity in a foreign currency.

But pessimists pointed out the swap deal wasn't consummated between the two countries apex banks but between Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Chinas ICBC- the worlds biggest lender by total assets and market capitalisation. While this may not affect the goals of the swap deal at all, it raises some fundamental sovereign dilemmas, based on an analyst who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Cowrie Investment Limited, Johnson Chukwu described that the currency swap scheme would address , on a short term basis, the current liquidity challenge in the countries foreign exchange market.

He said: I think that Nigerias overriding aim for the currency swap would be to address short term foreign currency liquidity challenges which has led to CBNs inability to fulfill foreign currency demands. With the currency swap, based on the value, an important portion of Nigerias import statements from China would now be denominated and settled in yuan, thereby reducing the need for dollar by Nigerias importers.

However, he pointed out that the major draw back to the currency swap policy is that an unrestricted use of yuan, at an overvalued naira exchange rate, if the N30/RMB is the established exchange rate, will certainly encourage importation and stifle local production of goods.

I suggest that the Federal Government should attempt to incorporate a strategy just like that of the cement business policy, which would need some of the imports from China to be produced locally after a defined timeline, especially if Nigeria has relative fabricating edge for such products. Examples that can readily come to mind include fabrics, plastics, ceramics, among others.

He clarified the naija news .com gain of inclusion of Chinese Yuan as part of Nigerian reserve currency was done about five years ago by the immediate past CBN governor, largely to diversify the reservation and reduce the currency risk related to the U.S. dollar.

That action was taken at a period when the U.S. market was particularly vulnerable due to the weakness of their market after the international financial disasters triggered by sub-prime mortgage.

In his reaction, the National President, National Palm Produce Association of Nigeria (NPPAN), Henry Olatujoye, welcomed the currency swap deal, describing it as an incredible measure that would significantly reduce the increasing pressure on the U.S. dollar, which has gone haywire in the foreign exchange marketplace.

According to Olatujoye , the conclusion has the capacity of bringing double investment to the nation from China on one hand and from the U.S. on the other.

The NPPAN president allayed any concern the determination could cause the higher importation of Chinese goods into Naija, citing the economic rivalry or money war between China and America.

He, nevertheless, expressed the fear that European states may not be well disposed to it because it's capable of adversely affecting their trade balance with Naija, warning that their stakeholders could frustrate the move.

The Chairman, Mobile Applications Alternative, Chris Uwaje, considered the naira to yuan swap agreement should reduce the pressure on the naira if properly executed.

According to him, the agreement if it becomes a reality, means the de facto currency, dollar , will no further hold on the import and export deals between Nigeria and China.

Uwaje continued: We dont need to use dollar to pay because its going to be more expensive, we pay with yuan. By so doing we prevent every form of round tripping.

Uwaje advocated Buharis economic team to see how the nation can really leverage on the technology art of China for Naija to achieve a sustainable market.

According to Gbade Buraimoh, a Lagos-based financial expert, the pursuit for dollar through banks will undoubtedly reduce, as all trades between Naija and China will maintain yuan instead of dollar.

He discovered that petroleum sales from Nigeria to China would be settled in Chinese currency, stressing that accessibility to yuan would also be simpler.

The swap will remove challenges arising from transactions with the dollar and boost business flexibility between Nigerian and Chinese, Buraimoh explained.

The Director-General of Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Muda Yusuf concurred the swap deal would smoothen the payment system in the bilateral trade between both countries but stressed that it might not necessarily fortify the naira in the forex marketplace, as the country would need to accentuate its productive base to achieve that.

An Abuja-based international affairs and diplomacy specialist, Kadiri Abdulrahman, viewed the currency swap deal as an optimistic move towards enhancing the value of the naira, thereby improving access to cheaper foreign exchange, in favour of members of the business community.

The Director- General of the African Affairs Department of Chinas Foreign Ministry, Lin Songtian told reporters in Beijing after the agreement was signed by the Governors of Nigerias Central bank and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd. (ICBC) that the Renminbi (yuan) is free to flow among different banks in Nigeria and has been included in the foreign exchange reserves of Nigeria.

Nigeria is not the first nation that China would enter into this kind of arrangement with. The Asian powerhouse has multiple year currency swap agreements of the Renminbi with Argentina, Belarus, Brazil, Hong Kong, Iceland, Indonesia, Malaysia,Singapore, South Korea, United Kingdom and Uzbekistan.

According to the Peoples Bank of China (PBoC), those swap deals were intended not only to stabilise the international financial market, but also to facilitate bilateral trade and investment.

Meanwhile, the good thing about the currency swap deal and other agreements reached in Beijing during Buharis trip to the Far East Asia nation has rubbed off on the air travel sector, as a Nigerian carrier, Air Peace declared that it would soon commence scheduled flight to China from Enugu.

Chairman of Air Peace, Allen Onyema shown at the Enugu Economical Summit that the airline has been made Nigerias official flag carrier for the course.

According to him, with the expected ease on the pressure on the dollar, it would bring down the value of the dollar in relation to the naira, which he said would now make it possible for American investors to put money into the Nigerian market again.

In his perspective, the current high rate of the dollar in Nigeria had in recent months deterred American and Western investors in the Nigerian economy.

The government and the flying public created a yearning opening, all the agreements in this nation are tipped to one side, the foreign airlines, but this government of Muhammadu Buhari has started to do things otherwise recognising the local airlines and seeing that in Air Peace there is a lot of quality, in order that they determined to give us when we implemented it didnt take time before they gave it to us, said Onyema.

The Uk is fully behind President Muhammadu Buhari in the continuing efforts by his government to rid todays naija news of corruption, curent naija news its Minister for International Development, Nick Hurd, has ensured.

Hurd told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja yesterday that fighting corruption was crucial to transforming the countrys future.

We've been very active in supporting President Muhammadu Buhari's campaign against corruption in Nigeria and we think it is fundamental to transform the future of the country.

We entirely support priorities that the President has given to tackling corruption in Nigeria.

We believe that corruption is definitely the right priority and we want to support him in that, he added.

The minister encouraged the Government to focus on public sector reforms aimed at making corruption unattractive to workers and people.

Meanwhile, the son of former prime minister of previous Western Region and erstwhile chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Niyi Adegbenro, has backed the foreign excursions embarked upon by the President, saying such international engagement was needed to reposition the states market.

Adegbenro, who has now stop partisan politics, told reporters at the weekend in Abeokuta, Ogun State that continuing moves by Buhari and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to revive the nations market need wholesale support.

He described as unwarranted the criticisms against the journeys, remembering that former President Olusegun Obasanjo embarked on similar excursions in the early period of his government which led to the successful debt relief for the state.

Adegbenro said the Presidents international involvement was in Naijas best interest, adding that he was confident that it would soon give positive results.

Let's give Buhari the chance as far as I am concerned. I am not saying he's a messiah, but he is a redeemer.

Bayero University Kano (BUK) law teacher, Professor Auwalu Yadudu, has said that the passage of the budget requires the collaboration between the National Assembly and the Executive arm of government.

"There is no uncertainty about the fact that the National Assembly has the power. And when they appropriate, of course, they have to do it in collaboration with the Executive arm.

"Whatever they proper will have to be in the form of the Appropriation Act. So when an Action of the National Assembly, it requires the assent of the President for this to become law. "So, it truly is a collaborative effort between the Legislative arms and the Executive."

He added: "They do have the power to modify it, but once they do it, they desire the comprehension of the President." "It is not they only shift it anyway they wish and just that something was brought by him; the President is entitled to propose a budget, which should not be tampered with."

"But the most important thing is that if you will find matters they want to propose in the budget, they must get the comprehension of the Executive arm.

"The National Assembly does’t need to feel that because they have the power they can appropriate anyhow." Yadudu, who was legal adviser to former military Head of State, the late Gen. Sani Abacha, noted that non-passage of the budget could send the wrong signal to Nigerians, who've been at the receiving end of economic collapse in recent times.

He said: "It is not easy to say so if the issue of padding needs to do with pursuance of self-centered plan of the National Assembly members."

The initiative is that of the Executive, although "All I understand is they have the power to proper and it is a collaborative effort between the Legislature and the Executive arms.

"To be honest with you, I do’t know what is the difficulty now, but I know the National Assembly has the power to appropriate and when they submit the budget for the assent of the President, he is entitled to veto it or to approve it. There needs to be a concerted effort between the two arms of authorities."

"Non- passage of the budget can send a sign that is wrong, but this is not the first time the budget has gone up without passage to the month of April or May. If they pass it it sends the right signal and everything would follow what's found in the Appropriation Act."

Managing Director of Nigeria Export Import Bank (NEXIM Bank), Bashir Wali, has said that local fabrication of crucial commodities in Nigeria has the potential to reflate the economy.

Wali, who made this known while speaking exclusively with The Guardian in Abuja, said that more Nigerians should adopt the production sector of the market. "Nigeria’s production sector has great potentials to contribute to increased sales for the nation, particularly when trade is eased with good transportation system. Nigerians should adopt this sector he said.

The bank chief stressed that manufacturing of goods, sale or distribution in the country and within the sub region prevents capital flight. He added that it also promotes offer employment opportunities and regional commerce to various levels of skilled and unskilled workers.

Attesting to the dominance of -in-Nigerian home commodities in nearby West African nations and in Central African Republic, Wali said vast majority of essential and household commodities sold in those regions are made in Nigeria. According to him, the range of products made breaking news in naija Nigeria but enjoying huge patronage in other African nations include cement, toiletries, noodles,beauty products,dairy products,textiles,pharmaceuticals,foot wears, plastic chairs, among many others made locally in the state. He said: you are going to be amazed to find out a good number of manufactured products sold in their markets are products made in Nigeria "If you go to most countries in the West African area, even up to Central Africa.

"I was lately in Congo for instance, and what I saw was so astonishing. You name it, the indomie noodles, sugar,salt, plastics,even pharmaceuticals products which can be made here in Nigeria were on sale everywhere in their marketplaces."


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Guest Jueves, 22 Febrero 2018