30 Aug

Daily Watch – Currency market spikes, Lagos airport had a bad weekend

  • The currency market registered $327 million in trades on Monday, about six times more than its usual volume, according to the FMDQ. That included a single $270 million transaction at ₦345/$ by foreign investors buying local currency bonds, Bola Onadele, FMDQ’s managing director said in a Reuters interview. Other transactions were carried out from ₦314.50 to ₦317.34 per dollar. Average trading at the FMDQ is around $50 million a day, but may reach $100 million on days the CBN intervenes in the currency market. Monday’s surge in trading came after the regulator said on Friday that it would offer ₦212.85 billion ($675 million) in treasury bills maturing between 91 days and one year on Wednesday. Traders also said the central bank sold an undisclosed amount of dollars, close to the end of the market session, to help prop up the naira. The currency closed at ₦305.50/$ on Monday on the official market.
  • The FG says it will earn at least ₦17 billion yearly from the implementation of International Cargo Tracking Note on all imports into the country. According to the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Hassan Bello, the ICTN was first introduced in Nigeria in 2009 but was suspended in 2011 following widespread criticism by maritime industry stakeholders. The current administration had fixed November 3, 2015, as its implementation take off date but that was postponed in the face of stiff opposition by MAN and ship owners. With the ICTN, cargoes in transit can be tracked from port of loading to port of discharge in terms of the risk profiling of vessels, crew members, ports of call, midstream operations and cargo characteristics.
  • About ₦20 billion of the ₦500 billion earmarked for social investments has been released by the FG. The President’s special adviser on social investments, Maryam Uwais, said it was not possible for the ₦500 billion social intervention fund to be implemented as contained in the budget. She went further, saying that she “appreciate(s) the releases so far made for some capital projects, but the process is slow and it may not catch up with the budgetary expiry time line of the 2016 appropriation.”
  • Lagos governor, Akinwunmi Ambode has nominated Ayodele Subair as the Chairman of the LIRS. In a letter to the state legislature, Ambode said Subair’s nomination followed the retirement of Folarin Ogunsanwo. Subair holds a B.A. in Economics from the Metropolitan University of Manchester and an MBA from the University of Lagos. He worked in such organisations as PwC and the International Finance Corporation before going into private practice in 1987 with Hamzat Subair and Co. Chartered Accountants where he is currently the Managing Partner. He was the pioneer Director of Lagos State Lotteries Board.
  • International airlines struggled with operating scheduled commercial flights from the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos over the weekend following a severe power outage which started late on Saturday. While the Lagos airport gets its power supply both from the national grid as well as its independent power plant, both power sources failed on Saturday and Sunday disrupting flights by Arik, KLM/Air France, British Airways, Lufthansa and South Africa Airways among others and causing significant delays. An FAAN spokesman said while power has been restored, the surge adversely affected the k16 transformer that serves the air-bridges, rendering them unserviceable. He also blamed bad weather over the weekend for delaying efforts by engineers to effect repairs on the airport’s transformers.
  • Zinox Technologies has secured $25 million in counterpart funding to roll out a trio of digital hubs in the country. The digital hubs, one of which is under construction in Port Harcourt, will help empower thousands of digitally-minded Nigerian youths with marketable skills. The first hub in Abuja is set to open its doors in the first half of 2017.
  • The University of Ilorin in collaboration with six other Nigerian universities is developing anti-plagiarism software,designed to check academic fraud. According to its university bulletin, the other universities involved in the project are Al-Hikmah University, Ilorin; Covenant University, Ota; Delta State University, Abraka; Benue State University, Makurdi; the University of Jos and the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. The publication said the software programme development was at the instance of the Association of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities. The IT Director at the University of Ilorin, Prof. Mohammed Ahmed, says the software is 80 percent complete.