20 Jun

Daily Watch – Naira floats today, Plateau suspends grazing reserves participation

  • History will be made today when commercial banks set the first exchange rate of the naira versus the dollar as our currency floats freely. CBN officials told bank chief executives at a meeting on Friday that lenders would set the first naira rate to the dollar based on demand without CBN intervention. The CBN however did not commit itself to clearing up a backlog of hard currency estimated at around $4 billion but will intervene if needed. Bid-offer spreads for trading would be set at one naira, and banks will be required to publish their buy and sell rates on a daily basis. Primary dealers can handle volumes of $5 million between themselves as the standard order size and can trade up to $1 million with any other dealer. CBN will the evaluate performance of the new regime in December.
  • Plateau State has suspended its decision on grazing reserves following intense pressure by former governor, Jonah Jang, and youth groups in the state. Some youth groups had besieged the Government House last Monday, asking the governor to rescind his decision to donate land for the proposed grazing reserves. This came after a similar pressure from Jang and the lawmaker representing Barakin Ladi/Riyom Federal Constituency, Istifanus Gyang. Plateau Commissioner for Water Resources, Jafaru Wuyep, said the state was consulting and that a decision would be made when the consultations are over. Meanwhile, the Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, has ‎said he is not in support of the proposed creation of grazing zones across the country by the FG. While receiving the technical committee on herdsmen/farmers clashes set up by the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin, Amosun argued that grazing zones would not solve the frequent clashes between herdsmen and farmers, insisting that he would rather support the establishment of cattle ranches, by cattle herders as a lasting solution to the conflict.
  • The Bank of Industry and the Abia State Government have signed an MOU to provide ₦1 billion to Small and Medium Enterprise operators in the state. The Acting Managing Director, BoI, Waheed Olagunju, explained that the ₦1 billion SME development fund would be equally contributed by the bank and the state government for onward lending to entrepreneurs in the state, particularly those engaged in value addition and processing. He announced that the BoI would open a branch in Umuahia to enable it to bring more of its products and services closer to entrepreneurs in Abia.
  • The minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has said that a transmission tower which went down near Onitsha is being fixed and will involve cutting off 300MW of power from the national grid. Fashola noted that the 55km repair works should last for two weeks and that Gencos will help to bridge the gap. Last week, the TCN announced the repair works on the tower which was vandalised last year.