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MONDAY 25/7/2022-REMOVAL OF SUBSIDY, NNPC IMPORT MONOPOLY’LL END QUEUES– MARKETERS Queues for Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol, will end when the Federal Government halts PMS import monopoly of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited and stops subsidy on petrol, the President, Petroleum Retail Outlet Owners Association of Nigeria, Billy Gillis-Harry posits, in this interview with Okechukwu Nnodim What exactly is the major problem in the downstream sector, because we still see queues at filling stations, especially in Abuja and environs? The problem is that every side needs to be transparent. We as retail outlet owners; we are ready to sell petroleum products to the teeming Nigerian public. We have no reason not to sell our products. Every single money that is used to buy 145,000 litres of PMS, almost N7m, is loaned and is time-bound. TUESDAY 26/7/2022-CBN DISBURSES N68BN UNDER 100-FOR-100 POLICY The Central Bank of Nigeria has disbursed N68.13bn to beneficiaries under its 100-for-100 Policy on Production and Productivity since the commencement of the intervention. According to the bank, the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, disclosed this in Lagos after the last Monetary Policy Committee meeting. “Furthermore, under the 100 for 100 Policy on Production and Productivity, the Bank has released N9.98bn for five projects, bringing the cumulative disbursements under the intervention to N68.13bn for 48 projects, comprising 26 in manufacturing, 17 in agriculture, three in healthcare and two in the services sector,” he said. According to the guidelines for the implementation of the initiative, the CBN fixed the maximum loan amount that a participant could get at N5bn. The CBN stated in the guideline that the initiative would select 100 private sector companies with projects that have potential to significantly increase domestic production and productivity, reduce imports, increase non-oil exports, and overall improvements in the foreign exchange generating capacity of the Nigerian economy. WEDNESDAY 27/7/2022- IMF CUTS GLOBAL GROWTH, RETAINS NIGERIA’S FORECAST The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday cut its global economic growth forecast for 2022 to 3.2 per cent in its report titled ‘Gloomy and more uncertain’, as the Ukraine-Russia conflict continues to disrupt the global supply chain. The Washington-based lender had in the World Economic Outlook report titled, “War sets back global recovery, in April forecast global growth of 3.6 per cent for 2022. However, the global bank retained Nigeria’s growth forecast for 2022 at 3.4 per cent. According to the latest report, a tentative recovery in 2021 has been followed by increasingly gloomy developments in 2022 as risks began to materialise. It stated that global output contracted in the second quarter of the year, owing to downturns in China and Russia, while US consumer spending undershot expectations. The report said, “Several shocks have hit a world economy already weakened by the pandemic: higher-than-expected inflation worldwide––especially in the United States and major European economies––triggering tighter financial conditions; a worse-than-anticipated slowdown in China, reflecting COVID-19 outbreaks and lockdowns; and further negative spillovers from the war in Ukraine. THURSDAY 28/7/2022-NAIRA FALLS 34% TO N710, SENATE SUMMONS EMEFIELE Naira has weakened by 34 per cent in 10 months, closing at N710 to a dollar on Wednesday in the parallel market, with a margin of N280 from the official rate. This is a pounding headache for manufacturers who are no longer able to get dollars from the official market to import their raw and packaging materials. At the Investor & Exporter forex window, the naira hit a high of N444 before closing to the dollar at N430. The I&E market recorded a total turnover of $126.69m on Wednesday. The President, Association of Bureaux de Change Operators of Nigeria, Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe, told The Punch on Wednesday evening that, “the rate closed at N710/$.” Some Bureau de Change operators who spoke to one of our correspondents from Ikeja, Lagos, said a dollar was bought and sold for N700 and N710 respectively. At Zone 4 in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, a dollar hovered between N705 and N710 between 11am and 4pm yesterday. FRIDAY 29/7/2022- CBN VOWS TO STOP NAIRA FALL The Central Bank of Nigeria has advised Nigerians to resist the urge of succumbing to speculative activities of some players in the foreign exchange market in the face of rising demand for foreign exchange for both goods and services by Nigerians. In a statement on Friday, the Director, Corporate Communications, CBN, Mr Osita Nwanisobi, said the CBN remained committed to resolving the foreign exchange issues confronting the nation and had been working to manage both the demand and supply side challenges. Nwanisobi said that the “bank would continue to make deliberate efforts in the foreign exchange sector to avert further downward slide in the value of the naira fuelled by speculative tendencies.” While admitting that there was huge demand pressure for foreign exchange to meet the needs of manufacturers as well as those for the payment of tuition, medical fees and other invisibles, Nwanisobi said the CBN was concerned about the international value of the naira.