02 Aug

Daily Watch – FG resumes Delta Amnesty payments, Lags on pension payments

  • The naira on Monday plunged even further against the American dollar at the parallel market. It exchanged at ₦380 to the dollar, from Friday’s close of ₦378, while the comparable numbers for the pound and the euro were ₦495 and ₦415, respectively. The naira did appreciate at the interbank market, closing at ₦316.37 from Friday’s ₦319.70.
  • President of the Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria, PenOp, Eguakhide Longe, has said that compliance to remittances of pension contributions from the public sector on both the Federal and State levels have lagged notably. Longe said that remittances from the FG through Pencom were last received in September 2015. Some states have outstanding remittances dating back over two years, but that private sector remittances, though impacted by the adverse economic environment, have been more consistent.
  • Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc last week reported a half-year profit before tax of ₦11.1 billion. The unaudited results for the six months ending 30 June indicated that all performance measurement indices trended upwards. The results showed that profit before tax rose by 13.3 percent compared to ₦9.8 billion in the same period in 2015. Similarly, the sugar group recorded a profit after tax of ₦7.4 billion, a 17.5 percent rise over ₦6.3 billion posted in the corresponding period in 2015. Group revenue increased by 37.86 percent to ₦70.5 billion compared to ₦51.1 billion in 2015, reflecting the increase in sales volumes during the period “despite market and operating challenges.”
  • The FG resumed payments to former militants in the Niger Delta and the military targeted gangs involved in sabotage of pipelines, as the government responded to sustained attacks on infrastructure that dragged crude production back to an almost 30-year low. Paul Boroh, the coordinator of the presidential amnesty program, told former militants that their delayed stipends would resume on Monday, his office said in an e-mailed statement. He also assured them that “President Muhammadu Buhari appreciates their patience” and attaches much importance to the amnesty, according to the statement.
  • Nigeria’s external reserves fell marginally to $26.20 billion on July 28, down from $26.32 billion July 22, data from the CBN’s website showed on Monday. Month-on-month, the reserves fell by 0.4 per cent from $26.34 billion recorded on June 29, the report indicated. The foreign exchange reserves stood at $26.42 billion on May 28; down by 9.2 percent year-on-year. The CBN had last month lifted its 16-month-old currency controls and auctioned about $4 billion on the spot and futures market to clear a backlog of dollar demand in a bid to boost interbank market trading. The reserves had dropped by over 10 percent from last year when they were at $29.7 billion; the nation’s external reserves reduced by $6.7 billion within a period of 21 months, the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, said on March 23.