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Live Naija News

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Naija 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 Naijas 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 indicating interest to start production in Nigeria instead of abroad tasks due to the high cost of imported products occasioned by the policy.

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

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

Her words: The gains are various and significant for the www naija government. At least, we were able to network with our coworkers, other ministers of finance of the G 7 countries and the G 24 states and compared notes and their expertises. I think this augments the validation the course we've decided to restructure naija update news today is the correct one.

We got many endorsements and the direction by which we seek to take the naija breaking news now market. Particularly, we held bilateral meetings with special bilateral agencies, including the Islamic Development Bank where we have agreed to work jointly on a micro-finance scheme for women; the Japanese development agency where we have agreed to work collectively on power projects and they have agreed to make significant investments in the region of power which I believe will be very beneficial for Naija and the IFC. Similarly, we had a meeting with them this morning (yesterday), again referring to investment in power and a few of our banks to shore up their locations and likewise the ADfB on agreements for investments in agriculture and collaborations in a range of initiatives that would help us to diversify the market.

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

In his remarks, the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, spoke on the various monetary policy measures of the authorities to improve productivity at all levels of the economy, adding that both in the medium and long terms, the various policies, including the currency policy regime, are bound to spark the market.

According to him, in furtherance of its statutory mandate, the apex bank can also be concentrating more to expand lending to crucial sectors such as agriculture, mining and production, adding that some of the immediate gains of the fiscal and monetary policies are the raising foreign investments in the economy.

Divided stakeholders say policy may ease business, stifle local businesses

For varied stakeholders in the economy, the Federal Governments recent currency swap deal with China holds both glowing prospects and grave implications 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 largest market, President Muhammadu Buhari reached a naira and news today yuan swap deal, scripted to ease trade trades between both countries, devoid of current exchange challenges with the United State dollar.

Besides, the deal, based on Presidency sources, has the potenrial of shoring up the value of the nations currency, in the foreign exchange market, through a concomitant emergent bid scheme, with strategic reduced demand for dollar and other major currencies, apart from the yuan.

The currency swap deal consists of an arrangement between two central banks, one or more 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 adequate, to the commercial banks within their jurisdiction, to provide them with temporary liquidity in a foreign currency.

But pessimists pointed out the swap deal was not consummated between both 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 influence the aims of the swap deal at all, it raises some fundamental sovereign problems, according to an analyst who spoke on condition of anonymity.

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

He said: I believe that Nigerias overriding goal for the currency swap would be to address short term foreign currency liquidity challenges that has led to CBNs inability to match foreign currency demands. With the currency swap, depending on the value, an important portion of Nigerias import bills from China would now be denominated and settled in yuan, thereby reducing the interest in dollar by Nigerias importers.

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

I suggest the Government should attempt to integrate a strategy similar to that of the cement industry policy, which would need some of the imports from China to be created locally after a defined timeline, particularly if Nigeria has comparative producing edge for such products. Examples that can readily come to mind include fabrics, plastics, ceramics, among others.

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

That action was taken at a time when the U.S. market was especially vulnerable due to the weakness of their economy after the global 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 a fantastic measure that would significantly reduce the increasing pressure on the U.S. dollar, which has gone haywire in the foreign exchange marketplace.

Based on Olatujoye , the conclusion has the ability 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 can lead to the higher importation of Chinese goods into Nigeria, mentioning the economic competition or money war between China and America.

He, however, expressed the concern that European nations may not be well disposed to it because it is capable of adversely impacting their trade balance with Naija, warning that their stakeholders could frustrate the move.

The Chairman, Mobile Software Solution, Chris Uwaje, believed the naira to yuan swap deal should reduce the pressure on the naira if correctly implemented.

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

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

Uwaje urged Buharis economical team to see the way the nation can truly leverage on the technology prowess of China for Nigeria 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 Nigeria and China will take yuan instead of dollar.

He discovered that oil sales from Nigeria to China would be settled in Chinese money, stressing that access to yuan would also be easier.

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

The Director-General of Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Muda Yusuf agreed the swap deal would smoothen the payment system in the bilateral trade between both states but stressed that it might not necessarily strengthen the naira in the foreign exchange market, as the state would have to accentuate its productive base to attain that.

An Abuja-based international affairs and diplomacy expert, Kadiri Abdulrahman, seen 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 deal 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 isn't the first state that China would enter into this kind of agreement with. The Asian power station 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.

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

Meanwhile, the advantage of the currency swap deal and other arrangements reached in Beijing during Buharis trip to the Far East Asia nation has rubbed off on the aviation sector, as a Nigerian carrier, Air Peace announced that it would shortly commence scheduled flight to China from Enugu.

Chairman of Air Peace, Allen Onyema revealed at the Enugu Economic Summit that the airline was made Nigerias official flag carrier for the course.

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

In his view, the present high rate of the dollar in Nigeria had in recent months discouraged American and Western investors in the Nigerian economy.

The authorities and the flying people created a yearning opening, all the deals in this country are tilted to one side, the foreign airlines, but this government of Muhammadu Buhari has started to do things differently recognising the local airlines and seeing that in Air Peace there is a lot of quality, so they decided to give us when we implemented it didnt take time before they gave it to us, said Onyema.

The Uk is entirely behind President Muhammadu Buhari in the on-going attempts by his government to rid Nigeria of corruption, its Minister for International Development, Nick Hurd, has guaranteed.

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

We have been very active in supporting President Muhammadu Buhari's effort against corruption in naija news today latest and we believe it is essential to transform the future of the country.

We fully support precedence the President has given to tackling corruption in Nigeria.

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

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

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

Adegbenro, who has now cease partisan politics, told reporters at the weekend in Abeokuta, Ogun State that ongoing moves by Buhari and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to animate the countries 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 administration which led to the successful debt relief for the state.

Adegbenro said the Presidents international engagement was in Nigerias best interest, including that he was confident that it would soon give positive results.

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

Talking with The Guardian, Yadudu argued that although the National Assembly has the power to appropriate cash in the budget, it was incumbent on it to take cognizance of the interest of the executive.

"There is no uncertainty about the fact the National Assembly has the power to appropriate. And when they appropriate, of course, they have to get it done in collaboration.

"Whatever they proper will have to maintain the form of the Appropriation Act. And as an Action of the National Assembly, it needs the assent of the President for this to become law. "So, it really is a collaborative effort between the Executive and the Legislative arms."

He added: "They do have the power to alter it, but once they do it, they need the comprehension of the President." It isn't just that he brought something and they just alter it anyway they wish; the President has the right to propose a budget, which should not be tampered with."

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

"The National Assembly does’t have to feel that because they have the power to appropriate, they can appropriate anyway."

He stated: "It is not easy to say thus if the problem of padding needs to do with pursuit of selfish agenda of the National Assembly members."

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

There must be a combined effort between both arms of authorities."

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

Wali, who made this known while talking alone with The Guardian in Abuja, said that more Nigerians must embrace the manufacturing sector of the economy. "Nigeria’s manufacturing sector has great potentials to contribute to increased earnings for the state, particularly if commerce is eased with good transportation system. Nigerians have to embrace this sector," he said.

Attesting to the dominance of -in-Nigerian family commodities in nearby West African nations and in Central African Republic, Wali said vast majority of home and vital commodities sold in those regions are made in Nigeria. According to him, the variety of products made in Nigeria but loving huge patronage in other African nations comprise cement, toiletries, noodles,beauty products,dairy products,textiles,pharmaceuticals,foot wears, plastic chairs, among many others made locally in the country. He said: you will be amazed to find out that a good number of manufactured products sold in their own marketplaces are products made in Nigeria "If you go to most states in the West African region, even up to Central Africa.

The bank leader stressed that manufacturing of goods, sale or supply in the state and within the sub region prevents capital flight. He added that it also boosts regional trade and offer employment opportunities to various amounts of unskilled and skilled workers.

"I was recently for instance in Congo, and what I saw was astonishing. You name it, the noodles that are indomie, sugar,salt, plastics,even pharmaceuticals products that are made here in Nigeria were on sale everywhere in their markets."


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Guest Viernes, 23 Febrero 2018