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MONDAY 3/1/2022 – EXPERT WARNS FG OVER PROPOSED FUEL SUBSIDY REMOVAL The Founder and President, Moahz Group Of Companies, Dr. Ojo Abdulqadir, says the proposed fuel subsidy removal by the Federal Government will significantly increase Nigeria’s hardship index. As a result, he said the planned fuel subsidy removal should be strategically implemented in a manner that would not plunge more Nigerians into unprecedented levels of economic hardship. Abdulqadir made this known in a statement on Sunday. According to him, the planned subsidy removal is a major decision that will weigh heavily on all Nigerians regardless of their economic or social status, warning that the downsides may inevitably outweighs its benefits. The statement read in part, “The governments’ involvement in a major economic determinant like petroleum is pivotal to how well the country and economy functions. “This issue of petroleum subsidy removal, I believe should be strategically deployed to avoid panic and diffuse all agitations from the stakeholders that are acutely affected. “Yes, there have been initiatives and interventions to defray the impending shock of subsidy removal, but are these solutions being deployed on their merits? “The CBN gas intervention fund has been touted by the handlers since its roll-out. The potential for this programme is yet unmet, as there are still no commercially viable alternatives to allow the market forces achieve proper equilibrium when petrol subsidy is totally removed. All of that shock is transferred directly to the masses, hence the resultant agitation and panic. “In my opinion, government should not in right judgement increase the hardship index of the country as an increase in fuel prices translates directly to increased cost of survival in Nigeria.”   TUESDAY 4/1/2022 – CBN, SEC, OTHERS TO LIFT FINANCIAL SECTOR WITH FRESH N1.54TN INVESTMENT Federal Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies, especially financial services regulators are to invest N1.54tn in five years to boost liquidity in the financial services sector. According to the Federal Government National Development Plan 2021-2025, the government is planning to raise the liquidity thresholds in each segment of the financial system to the levels that will support the growth and development of the country. The investment is also expected to strategically optimise all components of the nation’s balance sheet to unlock the liquidity required to support the stability, growth and transformation of the economy. The Federal Government said it wants the total value of the payments system to be worth 500 per cent of the GDP by 2025, while the total private sector credit as a percentage of the GDP is expected to increase from 13.21 per cent to 25 per cent. According to the document, the investment of these government institutions will be leveraged to organise and support the private sector to realise the goals of the NDP. The NDP adds that private operators, such as banks, insurance companies, exchanges, and others in the various segments of the financial sector will be coordinated to invest and achieve their objectives. Consequently, the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning; Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment; Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission; Central Bank of Nigeria;   WEDNESDAY 5/1/2022 – ABCON URGES CBN TO DE-RISK BDCS OPERATIONS TO ACCESS FOREX FROM AUTONOMOUS WINDOW The Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON), the umbrella body for over 5,3000 Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)-licenced Bureaux De Change (BDCs) has advised the CBN to de-risk BDCs operations to allow operators access foreign exchange (forex) from autonomous market in 2022 and beyond. In a statement, ABCON President, Mr. Aminu Gwadabe said the BDC sector is becoming comatose since July 2021 Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting where the CBN suspended weekly dollar interventions to BDCs. He said that while BDCs are licensed to offer retail forex sales, across the counter forex transactions, they equally contribute to Nigeria’s economic development. The BDCs, he added are ensuring order and confidence in the forex market, providing data for monetary policy, channels for CBN Intervention in Retail forex market and creation of over 15,000 jobs, among others. According to Gwadabe, over N1 trillion annual transaction volume by the BDCs sector is under threat while huge capital investment in the sector is becoming redundant, gradually being eroded and winding up.He therefore advised that just like the apex bank de-risked the agricultural sector, making it easier for agriculturalists to access cheaper loans at single digit from banks, adding that, “the CBN can also de-risk the BDCs operations to be able to receive diaspora remittances through the International Money Supply Operators (IMTOs) and deepen foreign capital flows to the economy.”   THURSDAY 6/1/2022 – CBN’S QUARTERLY FOREX INTERVENTION DROPS BY $930M The Central Bank of Nigeria’s foreign exchange intervention in the economy declined by $930m in the third quarter of 2021 to $4.03bn from $4.96bn in Q2. The CBN disclosed this in its report on the supply of forex for the third quarter of 2021. Its intervention in the Investors & Exporters, SMEs and the invisible market rose from $2.97bn in Q2 to $3.3bn in Q3, while interbank intervention rose from $540m to $730m. The CBN’s intervention in the Bureau De Change market was $1.43bn in Q2, but there was no intervention in Q3, according to the report. The apex bank had in July last year stopped the sales of foreign exchange to BDC operators. The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, had said at one of the Monetary Policy Committee meetings that the MPC noted with disappointment and great concerns that the BDCs had defeated their purpose of existence to provide forex to retail users. He said they had become wholesale and illegal dealers. While announcing its decision to discontinue the sale of forex to them in July, he said the commercial banks would be monitored to provide forex for the legitimate use of Nigerians. The President, ABCON, Alhaji, Aminu Gwadabe, said in a recent statement that the BDC subsector was becoming comatose since July 2021 MPC meeting where the CBN suspended weekly dollar interventions to the BDCs.   FRIDAY 7/1/2022 – FOREIGNERS DUMP NIGERIAN STOCKS WORTH N209BN IN 11 MONTHS Foreign investors pulled out a total of N209.76bn from the Nigerian stock market from January to November last year, official data obtained on Friday show. The Nigerian Exchange Limited, in its latest domestic and foreign portfolio investment report, revealed that foreign investors injected N189.42bn into the stock market in the 11-month period. Foreign portfolio investment outflow includes sales transactions or liquidation of portfolio investments through the stock market, while the FPI inflow includes purchase transactions on the NGX (equities only), according to the bourse. The total transactions at the nation’s bourse decreased by 7.95 per cent from N213.07bn (about $513.31m) in October 2021 to N196.14bn (about $472.54m) in November. The total transactions in November decreased by 38.28 per cent when compared to the same month in 2020, according to the NGX. The total value of transactions executed by domestic investors in November outperformed those executed by foreign investors by about 30 per cent. The total domestic transactions decreased by 25.82 per cent from N170.65bn in October to N126.58bn in November.