The naira continued to slide yesterday, reaching a new low of N232 to the American dollar at the parallel market on Monday. The record low is a N2 drop from N230 which it closed at on Friday. At the interbank market, the naira continued trading at N198.50 per USD.
Anxiety over renewed petrol scarcity is gradually mounting, with queues reappearing as consumers make attempts to replenish their stock of petrol. Watchers are of the opinion that the persistence of black market sellers on the streets is an indication that the situation is not yet under the control of the government, and that there is a valid expectation of a looming shortage. SBM Intelligence had last week advised people to prepare for a scarcity, as fresh supplies of the product – which was simply old debts being repaid by product importers – ran out.
The European Commission has announced new funding for co-operation with the West African region, which covers a total of 1.15 billion euros, (N252.54 billion) until 2020. The fund will focus on three areas of cooperation – peace and security, regional economic integration and trade, and sustainable development of natural resources and biodiversity. Sixteen countries will benefit from the EU-West Africa programme, including Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cote d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana and Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.