Business News in Brief

Foreign reserves gain $449.5m in one week

After 10 months of consistent decline, the country’s foreign reserves returned to a growth path, gaining $449.5m in one week, the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has said.

According to the CBN, the reserves rose from $33.44bn in April ending to $33.89bn on May 5, 2020.

The reserves had slipped into a decline after hitting a high of $45.17bn on June 11, 2019, losing $11bn at $33.89bn as of April 28, 2020.

Naira hits ₦509 per dollar at forwarding market

The Nigerian currency continues to depreciate at the forward market, amidst growing concerns that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) might have to devalue the naira again.

The 21-month naira forward contract was trading at N509 per dollar as at on Monday, indicating that currency traders have foreseen the naira falling to that rate before the end of 2020.

Last month, Nigeria’s apex bank moved to combine the two rates (i.e., the official rate and rate for investors) when it devalued the naira from N307 to N360 to the dollar.

OPEC daily basket price stands at $14.63 per barrel

The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) daily basket price stood at 14.63 U.S. dollars a barrel on Tuesday, compared with 14.19 dollars on Monday.v

This is according to OPEC Secretariat calculations released on Wednesday.

Also known as the OPEC reference basket of crude oil (ORB), the OPEC basket is a weighted average of oil prices from different OPEC members around the world, and is used as an important benchmark for crude oil prices.

Post-COVID-19: Europe needs at least another €500bn for recovery

Europe will need at least another 500 billion euros from European Union institutions to finance its economic recovery after the coronavirus pandemic, on top of the agreed half-a-trillion package, the head of the euro zone bailout fund said.

In an interview with Italy’s Corriere della Sera paper, published on Sunday, European Stability Mechanism Managing Director, Klaus Regling, said the easiest way to organize such funds would be via the European Commission and the EU budget.

Nigeria signs 28 investment agreements in 26 years –Ministry

The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment said Nigeria signed no fewer than 28 Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements (IPPAs) between 1990 and 2016, news agency Voice of Nigeria reports.

Tthe Director, Investment Promotion Department of the ministry, Mrs Abimbola Arodudu, said this on Friday in Abuja at a two-day workshop on Federal-State Strategy on Investment Promotion for Rural Development.

COVID-19: Nigeria to suspend all International flights into the country

The Nigerian government says it will close the Murtala Muhammed Airport Lagos and  Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja, from Monday 23rd March for a period of one month following COVID-19 pandemic.

The Director General of Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Captain Musa Nuhu, stated that all other International Airports like Aminu Kano Porthacourt and Akanu Ibiam Enugu would also remain closed to all international flights except emergency and essential flights.

He, however, said that all domestic flights would maintain their normal flight schedule.

Coronavirus: SEC harps on quick economic diversification

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) says the current COVID-19 pandemic calls for urgent diversification of the nation’s economy.

The Commission’s Acting Director-General, Ms Mary Uduk, stated this at the Capital Market Correspondents of Nigeria (CAMCAN) forum, sponsored by the commission in Lagos.

Uduk, represented by Mr Okey Umeano, SEC Head, Office of the Chief Economist, said the present consequences of COVID-19 was a wake up call for Nigeria to truly and quickly diversify its economy.

'Ban on fish importation to save Nigeria over $1b'

The Treasurer, National Fish Association of Nigeria (NFAN), Mr Chibunna Ubawuike, says plans by the Federal Government to ban fish importation will save the country over $1billion US dollars.

Ubawuike, who made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja, said the association was prepared to work with the Federal Government to actualise the ban.

According to him, the ban will not only save Nigeria the excess of one billion dollars but create opportunities for local fish farmers and other stakeholders in the value chain to thrive.

Nigeria/China currency swap: Manufacturers Association calls for structured policies

The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has called for structured fiscal policies to ensure that the Nigeria-China currency swap agreement truly benefits the manufacturing sector and the Nigerian economy.

 

MAN made the call in an economic report detailing the implications and benefits of the currency swap agreement made available to newsmen on Thursday in Lagos.

 

British Airways, FAAN dispute over flight diversion

The British Airways’ (BA) alleged unauthorized flight diversion from Lagos to Ghana has caused a rift between the carrier and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).

The flight diversion has led to accusations and counter-accusations between the duo over landing condition (safety) of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport.

The Lagos bound flight was diverted to Kotoko International Airport in Accra. According to BA, the decision was prompted by a temporary closure of the runway at Lagos airport.

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