12 Jan

Daily Watch – CBN modifies its game plan, Airports go to waste

  • The CBN has announced that it will be stopping the sale of foreign exchange to BDC operators. It also lifted the ban on the reception of foreign currency deposits in domiciliary accounts. These decisions come two days after the regulator said it was exploring options for its next move, and disclosed that it will be supporting Dangote Refineries and other Nigerians it believed to be creating value locally. The regulator also explained that the drop in oil prices was depleting its dollar reserves which it said had dropped from $37.3 billion in June 2014 to $28 billion “as of today”.
  • Meanwhile, the naira depreciated further at the parallel market, following implementation of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s downward review of foreign exchange sales to Bureau De-Change. At the close of trading late Monday afternoon, the naira depreciated by N3 to trade at N280 to dollar, compared with the N277 at which it closed on Friday. The naira’s deep swing was also visible against other international currencies as one pound sterling and one euro were exchanged at N490 and N290 respectively. The official exchange rate across the commercial banks remains at N197 to the American dollar.
  • A Chinese truck manufacturing company, Sino, has concluded plans to establish an assembly plant in Calabar, Cross River State. John Wang, the company’s Head of African Division, said that Sino considered the peaceful investment climate of Cross River as one of the motivating factors, he said that the project would further create job opportunities for the youths in the state. SINO also plan to establish service centres all over Nigeria.
  • An investigation by the Daily Trust newspaper shows that many airports built by state governments are underutilised. Most are now mainly used for occasional charter flights, pilgrimages and, on few occasions, for military operations. Most of these airports are idle because of a lack of economic activities, proximity to more viable airports and security problems. Despite these redundancies, eight more states: Abia, Anambra, Ekiti, Lagos, Ogun, Osun, Nasarawa and Zamfara, have plans for new airports. Nigeria currently has 27 airports and 13 airstrips.