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Sanusi backs subsidy removal

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Muhammadu Sanusi Sanusi backs subsidy removal

Former Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, on Thursday supported the Federal Government’s removal of fuel subsidy, saying that it was in the nation’s interest.

Sanusi, who was also a former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), gave the support at “The PlatformNG60”, organised by Covenant Christian Centre in Lagos, anchored by Pastor Poju Oyemade.

The Platform is non profit initiative by Covenant Christian Centre, which is aimed at empowering Nigerians with insights and skills needed for economic transformation and ensuring good governance.

Sanusi also said that the reforms by the current government would give positive results if well implemented.

He said that the removal was long over due, considering the current economic realities.

His words: “As a result of COVID-19, Nigeria has finally come round to being realistic; we were paying billions of dollars as subsidy.

“It’s been going on for 20/30 years and we complained about the economic situation we were in today, but there is nothing that surprises me.

“If we are honest ourselves and anyone who studied economies could see that this subsidy we needed to end it.

“It’s something we could have stopped as far back as 10 years ago not just with this government, but with the previous governments.”

He said that the Federal Government had commenced implementation of some reforms that needed to be continued to achieve growth and development.

“In the last few months, this government has started implementing certain reforms that if we continue along those lines, we will begin to see the light.

“Removal of fuel subsidy is one, the adjustment in electricity tarrif is another.

“But fundamentally, look at NNPC, this government has for the first time in more than a decade published audited accounts of NNPC for 2018.

“We may not like what we see in terms of the spending right now inside NNPC. But at least let us have some kind of visibility of what happens there,” he added.

The former CBN Governor also said that increased transparency in the oil sector and increased transparency in the energy sector should be maintained.

“These are reforms that need to be pushed, we need to understand that the government does not have the balance sheet to continue with the father Christmas situation that we had over the last decade or so.

“I wish we have done this earlier but we are here now and this is being done and we need to commend it,” Sanusi said.

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COVID-19: Sterling Bank pledges N10bn to revamp domestic tourism

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download 4 COVID-19: Sterling Bank pledges N10bn to revamp domestic tourism

Sterling Bank Plc, has pledged a N10 billion facility for the purpose of revamping domestic tourism in the country post COVID-19.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Bank, Mr. Abubakar Suleiman, made the commitment while addressing participants at a tourism webinar organised by the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) with the theme: Nigerian Domestic Tourism: Re-Imagined.

Suleiman who spoke on the topic: “Investment for the Tourism Sector to Enhance Domestic Tourism,” noted that, “Sterling Bank has funding capacity and is ready to inject N10 billion into domestic tourism” if the right stakeholders are available in the industry.

He enjoined stakeholders in the industry to collaborate rather than compete, saying stakeholders need to come together to offer worthwhile experience in different aspects of the industry.

Suleiman encouraged operators in the domestic tourism industry to sit down with their bankers to build the experience together, adding that the sector is a billion dollar business. He stressed the need to have extensive discussion with stakeholders in the tourism sector in order to scale up. He advised the stakeholders to stop approaching the government as individuals but as a team so they can push for policy initiatives that would be beneficial to the industry.

Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who declared the virtual meeting open, noted that tourism assets and other social imprints in the country are huge just as tourism remains the largest employer of labour.

The Minister who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Isu Gekpe, said the restriction of the tourism sector in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the most vulnerable groups in the industry.

She observed that the promotion of tourism is the first step to re-starting the economy post COVID-19 and encouraged stakeholders to promote existing tourism assets in the country while a robust legal framework is being worked out.

Also speaking, Director-General of NTDC, Mr. Folorunsho Coker, expressed the hope that the commission would be able to exploit opportunities in the hospitality industry through packages, affordability of flight and access to tourism destinations. Coker said there was a need to have a solid foundation for domestic tourism which international tourism could lean on in the future.

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Naira slides to 460/$ at parallel market

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images 48 3 Naira slides to 460/$ at parallel market

The naira fell slightly at the parallel market on Monday , as it exchanged to the dollar for N 460 / $ as of the close of work .
The naira had exchanged to the dollar on Friday for 458 / $ .
This is as the country ’s external reserves continued to maintain its downward trend.
Figures obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria revealed that the country ’ s external reserves which stood at $35 . 75 bn as of October 02 had lost $ 78 . 34 m to close at $ 35 . 67 bn as of October 16 .
The CBN had stated in its report on ‘ Monetary, credit , foreign trade and exchange policy guidelines for fiscal years 2020 / 2021 ’ that external reserves were expected to lie between $ 29 . 9 bn and $ 34 .3 bn by 2020 ending .
It said, “ Sequel to the COVID -19 pandemic, the viability of the external sector in 2020 is expected to deteriorate , given the present worsening current account balance and depletion of external reserves driven, largely , by decelerating export receipts, particularly oil .
“ Specifically , the degree of external reserves accumulation is expected to decelerate , as outflows are expected to outweigh inflows .
“ As a result , external reserves are expected to lie between $ 29 .9 bn and $ 34 .3 bn at end -December 2020 ( predicated on current declining oil price between $ 20 and $ 40 ) . ”

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External reserves drop to $35.67bn

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images 42 3 External reserves drop to $35.67bn

Nigeria’s external reserves, last week, fell for the fourth consecutive week to $35.67 billion even as the naira depreciated to N462 per dollar in the parallel market.

Data from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) show that the reserves fell to $$35.672 billion on Thursday last week from $35.725 billion the previous week. This translated to week-on-week (w/w) decline of $53 million dollars, more than 100 percent increase from the $23 million w/w decline recorded in the previous week.

According to the CBN data, the reserves have been on the downward trend for four weeks since September 17th. It fell by $139 million to $35.672 billion last week Thursday from $35.811 billion.

Prior to the four weeks decline, the reserves rose steadily for two weeks, by $145 million to $35.811 billion on September 17th from $35.666 billion on September 2nd.

Investigations reveal that the sustained decline, especially at a time of relatively stable crude oil prices, might not be unconnected to the CBN’s dollar injection in the foreign exchange market in a bid to keep the exchange rate stable.

However, in spite of the intervention, the naira depreciated by N5 in the parallel market last week, though it remained stable at the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window.

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