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World Leaders Eager To Meet With Tinubu At Paris Summit – Alake

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Dele Alake

No less than four foreign leaders have requested to meet with President Bola Tinubu in Paris, France where he is expected to participate in the New Global Financial Pact Summit organised by President Emmanuel Macron.

This is according to Dele Alake, Special Adviser to the President on Special Duties, Communication and Strategy, who spoke to the media on the essence of the summit on Wednesday.

Alake said the countries expressing interest to expand economic cooperation are France, the United States, Switzerland among others, as President Tinubu works to network in a bid to attract greater foreign investment to the country.

“The President wants to network with international finance corporations, institutions, countries that are well healed that would facilitate or that could facilitate direct foreign investment into Nigeria,” Alake said.

He recalled that in the recent past, a lot of international investors exited Nigeria because of the restrictive currency policies, but owing to the recent bold moves taken by the President in the area of the economy, foreign nations and investors have indicated more interest in the affairs of Nigeria in shoring up the country’s economy.

President Tinubu, who is making his first trip out of the country as President, on Tuesday arrived Paris, France for the two-day summit.

He was received at the airport by Ambassador Kayode Laro and other top government officials from the Nigerian Embassy and French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, after the plane touched down at 6:47pm local time.

During his time in Paris, the President, according to Alake, will join world leaders to review and sign a New Global Financial Pact that places vulnerable countries on a priority list for support and investment, following the devastating impact of climate change, the energy crisis, and the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Job Losses, Factory Closures Loom As Unsold Goods Pile Up — MAN

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AGAINST the backdrop of sustained pressure in the foreign exchange market and high cost of production, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, MAN has indicated that inventory of unsold goods is escalating to levels now threatening the existence of companies operating in the production sector of the economy with attendant job losses.

Findings show that as of the weekend the foreign exchange market had recorded over 254 per cent plunge in the value of the naira since flotation of the currency by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in June 2023.

Recall that the naira traded for N471 per dollar in the official I&E market on June 13, 2023 before the floatation of the currency, but exchanged for N1,665.50 to a dollar as at February 23, 2024 on the Nigerian Foreign Exchange Market (NAFEM), indicating a depreciation of more than 253.6 per cent over the eight-month period. The forex crisis is also stoking inflation, and coupled with high energy costs, purchasing power has continued plummet, stifling demand for goods.

Speaking on the impact of this development on the manufacturing sector, Director General, MAN, Segun Ajayi-Kadir, said: “There are reports that across the board, many warehouses and plants of many manufacturing firms are stockpiled with unsold goods manufactured last year. “The development is as a result of the devastating effects of the exchange rate crisis, inflation, fake and sub-standard goods, smuggling and other macro-economics challenges.”

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CBN Lifts Ban On BDCs, Introduces New Operational Mechanism

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In a major development aimed at financial stability and strengthening the naira, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) plans to resume its weekly intervention in the country’s foreign exchange (FX) market through the Bureau de Change (BDC) operators.

In 2021, the central bank, in a bid to achieve its mandate of safeguarding the value of the local currency, ensuring financial system stability, and shoring up external reserves, announced the immediate discontinuance of foreign currency sales to Bureau de Change (BDC) operators in the country.

However, the resumed intervention, which would reportedly commence today for funding as well as Tuesday for collection, will see the apex bank inject FX into the subsector in a bid to rescue the naira from further depreciation against major currencies, particularly the US Dollar. The collection will be at designated CBN branches in Lagos, Abuja, Kano, and Awka, while details of the naira accounts to be credited for funding bidding will also be made available today.

CBN is also expected to publish the list of eligible BDCs to benefit from its funding using certain compliance criteria.National Executive Council of Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) hinted on the latest developments through a memo to its members over the weekend.

The association also warned members that it will no longer be business as usual under the new supervisory regime of the central bank, as any infringement or infraction would result in outright revocation of license and prosecution.

ABCON said through the association’s various engagements with the central bank, in conjunction with ABCON’s strategic partners, CBN had agreed to its request, under the bank’s supervision, to inject liquidity into the market through a weekly intervention beginning today.

CBN assured ABCON that the new circular on the Revised Regulatory and Supervisory Guidelines to BDCs, which was introduced over the weekend, was only a draft exposure that required the association’s inputs before the release of the final guidelines by the apex bank.

To that effect, the letters of the guidelines were not cast in stone, the association’s leadership told its members, who had been worried over the sweeping reforms in the document, which, among other things, prescribed N2 billion and N500 million minimum capital for national and state BDCs, respectively.

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