18 Jan

Daily Watch – Buhari seeks Budget withdrawal, JTF searches for pipeline saboteurs in Warri

  • Despite the CBN’s relaxation of foreign currency deposits a week ago, bank customers are being cautious bout making cash deposits into their domiciliary accounts. The CBN had on August 5, 2015, banned the payment of foreign currency into domiciliary accounts. Analysts say the lack of certainty about whether customers could transfer or do transactions with the deposits was the major factor discouraging foreign currency deposits by customers. However, while the CBN officially remained silent on that, on Friday, banks started sending emails to their customers notifying them of the ability to make foreign currency transfers, but limiting such transfers to US$10,000 per day.
  • The National Bureau of Statistics has reported that the inflation rate for the month of December was 9.55%. This is the highest since December 2012 when it was 12.98%. According to the NBS, the increase was driven in part by higher prices within key divisions that contribute to the index. In particular, imported food items within the Food & Non Alcoholic Beverages Divisions; Alcoholic Beverage, Tobacco and Kola; Clothing and Footwear and Transportation (as a result of intermittent PMS supply shortages) divisions all impacted the index. The data also shows that food prices recorded significant pressures in December.
  • ThisDay newspaper is reporting that President Buhari has written to the National Assembly to formally request the withdrawal of the 2016 Appropriation Bill he had presented to a joint session of the federal legislature on December 22 for adjustment. The request comes after controversy over the alleged secret extraction and doctoring of the original budget document.
  • A gas pipeline in Warri South-West Local Government Area, Delta State conveying gas from Escravos–Warri-Lagos-Abuja, was blown up last week. The attack is believed to have been carried out by former militants. The gas pipeline is a property of the Nigeria Gas Company, NGC, in what is believed to be a resumption of fresh hostilities in the Niger Delta region. In response, the military began an operation, Sunday, in Gbaramatu, Warri South-West Local Government Area, Delta State, to search for the perpetrators of th bombing. Meanwhile, Government Ekpemupolo, a former militant has written the President with allegations that members of the APC in Bayelsa and Delta states were responsible for the incident and other incidents of destruction of crude oil and gas pipelines in the creeks of Delta state.
  • The NNPC has started talks aimed at drumming support for the planned expansion of its retail outlets across the country. Under the expansion plan, NNPC is seeking to expand the market share of its retail business to an appreciable level from the current 12 per cent by building a mega station in every Senatorial district in the country in the months ahead.