Banking and Finance

Foreign Exchange Reserve Rises to $31.2b

Nigeria's foreign exchange reserves rose to more than two-year high of $31.22 billion by Aug. 8, central bank data showed on Wednesday.

Nigeria's dollar reserves, which have been battered by lower oil prices, climbed back to a level they last reached in July 2015, shortly after President Mohammadu Buhari took office, the data showed, according to Reuters report.

FEC Approves Spending Plan, Lowers 2018 GDP Forecast

Nigeria's government approved its medium-term expenditure framework for 2018-2020 on Wednesday, and revised its growth forecast for next year downwards, its budget minister said.

Udoma Udo Udoma, minister for budget and national planing said after the Federal Excecutive Council (FEC) meeting that the government had approved "a slightly different" growth trajectory of 3.5 percent for next year, down from 4.8 percent it announced in its strategy paper, Reuters reports.

PMI Reading Sustains Uptrend

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), last Wednesday, released the Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) for July, with data showing an expansion in manufacturing activity for the fourth consecutive month while non-manufacturing sector growth entered the third month.

FG says Economy to Grow a Lot; IMF says Not so Much

Nigeria and the International Monetary Fund disagree over how much the economy will grow this year, with the government saying 2.2 percent and the Fund opting for just 0.8 percent, Reuters reports.

Either would be an improvement on last year, when Nigeria suffered its first recession in more than two decades as low crude prices and oil production slashed government revenues and caused chronic dollar shortages.

Economist wants FG to Reduce Cost of Governance

An Economist, Dr Charles Nwaekeaku on Tuesday in Abuja advised the Federal Government to reduce the country’s overhead and other costs rather than engage in incessant borrowing.

Nwaekeaku, an Associate Professor of the Nasarawa State University, Keffi, told the News Agency of Nigeria that continued borrowing by the government would continue to worsen the debt profile and detrimental to the country.

Forex Buffer at Near 3-Month High

Nigeria's foreign exchange reserves had risen to an almost three-month high of $30.74 billion by July 27, latest central bank data showed on Monday.

Nigeria's dollar reserves grew 1.62 percent from a month earlier. The bank did not provide a reason for the increase, Reuters reports.

Reserves have risen 17.24 percent from a year earlier, partly due to increases in the production and price of crude oil, Nigeria's mainstay, and to offshore investment inflows into its financial markets.

Interbank Rate Falls on Budget Distribution

Nigeria's interbank lending rate fell sharply to five percent on Friday from 15 percent last week following the distribution of budget allocations to government agencies, Reuters reports.

Overnight placement had closed around 11.6 percent at the interbank on Thursday.

A total of 652.2 billion naira ($2.14 billion) in budget allocations was handed out by the state to its three tiers of government -- federal, states and local -- late on Tuesday while a portion of states and local government money hit the banking system on Friday.

Senate Passes Financial Intelligence Bill

The Senate on Thursday passed the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Agency Bill after considering the bill for only one week.

The Bill which was only read for the first time on Thursday July 20, passed second reading on Tuesday and was approved by the upper legislative chamber on Thursday, exactly one week after.

With the passage of the bill, the risk of Nigeria being expelled from the EGMONT Group, has been reduced by half as the burden now rests with the President to give assent to the Bill.

‘FG Committed to Combating Illicit Financial Flows’

The Special Adviser to the President on Economic Matters, Yemi Dipeolu, says the Federal Government is committed to combating illicit financial flows in the country.

Dipeolu made the assertion in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on the sidelines of the High Level Technical Consultation on Public Tax and Fiscal Transparency Rules Forum on Thursday in Abuja.

He said the government was making efforts to combat this menace through some of the schemes it had put in place.

MPC Retains Interest Rate at 14%

The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has again retained the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) at 14 per cent due to uncertainties in the global market.

Mr Godwin Emefiele, Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), said this while briefing newsmen on the outcome of the 257th meeting of the MPC on Tuesday in Abuja.

“ MPC decided to retain MPR at 14 per cent, retain CRR at 22.5 per cent, retain the liquidity ratio at 30per cent, retain assymetric corridor at +200 and -500 bases point around the monetary policy rate.’’

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