19 Jun

Daily Watch – BDCs want to join Yuan party, SERAP sues Fashola

  • President Buhari will sign the 2018 budget into law on Wednesday, news site TheCable reports citing a presidential source. One of the president’s spokesmen, Femi Adesina, had told State House correspondents last week that the president would give assent to the budget today. Budget and National Planning minister Udoma Udoma said the president had not signed the budget because he was still studying it. The National Assembly passed the budget in May, raising it up from ₦8.6 trillion to ₦9.1 trillion.
  • Power, Works and Housing Minister Babatunde Fashola has been sued by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project over his failure to account for money spent on the privatisation of the power sector. The suit filed on behalf of SERAP by its counsel, Bamisope Adeyanju, also wants the minister to explain if such spending came from budgetary allocations or other sources. In the suit filed last week at the Federal High Court, Lagos, SERAP is seeking “an order for leave to apply for judicial review and an order of mandamus directing or compelling Fashola to provide specific details on the privatisation of the electricity sector, the names of all the companies and individuals involved; and to publish widely including on a dedicated website any such information.”
  • The Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria has asked the CBN to approve the Renminbi (yuan) disbursements to its members, in order to deepen the China-Nigeria swap deal. Aminu Gwadabe, ABCON president, told NAN in Lagos that the approval would enable BDCs to sell personal and business travelling allowances to its customers in yuan. According to him, the sale of BTAs and PTAs to China-bound businessmen will make them get used to the authentic features of the yuan, to avoid being issued fake currencies for transactions. The regulator sealed a ₦720 billion swap deal with the Peoples Bank of China in a move that would facilitate trade between both countries and maintain financial market stability, among others. The CBN added that the 41 items banned in 2015 remain restricted the new deal and it would offer incentives to Nigerians who import Chinese goods.
  • Branch International, an emerging digital financial platform, has facilitated about ₦1 billion worth of loans for users of its innovative solutions in Nigeria. The firm, which started operations in the country’s financial-technology industry last year, operates in Kenya, Tanzania, India, Mexico and Nigeria, said it has over one million users, processed six million loans and disbursed about $250 million loans so far these years across countries of operations. In Nigeria, it has over 200,000 users, issued over 100,000 loans and disbursed about ₦1 billion to users of the financial app. Flannery explained that Branch offers a unique proposition to the average Nigerian, providing Android smartphone with loans between ₦3,000 to ₦150,000 requiring no face-to-face meetings, lengthy application processes, collateral or paperwork.