Connect with us


Tinubu Moves To Clear $10bn Forex Backlog



Last Updated on October 23, 2023 by Fellow Press

President Bola Tinubu has promised to honour all the foreign exchange obligations that Nigeria has entered into through forward contracts.

Forward contracts are financial agreements where two parties agree to exchange a specified amount of one currency for another currency at a predetermined future date and exchange rate.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) initiated agreements with Nigerian businesses to sell forward contracts, which essentially promised the businesses a fixed amount of dollars at a predetermined price in the future. These contracts allowed the businesses to open Letters of Credit (LCs), which are a form of payment guarantee issued by banks on behalf of the importers.

With the assurance of receiving the promised dollars from the CBN, the businesses utilized these LCs to import goods from foreign suppliers. The expectation was that when the goods arrived, the CBN would release the dollars to the importers, allowing them to fulfill their payment obligations to the suppliers. This system ensured a smooth flow of imports and facilitated international trade for Nigerian businesses.

However, since February 2023, the CBN has been unable to fulfill its promises and has not provided the businesses with the dollars they were allocated under the forward contracts. As a result, there is now a significant backlog of approximately $3 billion owed to these businesses. This means that the businesses are unable to fulfil their obligations to their foreign suppliers, leading to disruption in the supply chain and potentially damaging their relationships with international partners.

The consequences of the CBN’s failure to meet its commitments are not limited to domestic businesses alone. Foreign investors also have a substantial backlog of approximately $10 billion owed to them by the CBN. This impacts the confidence and trust of foreign investors in the Nigerian economy, potentially deterring future investments and harming economic growth.

Moreover, the shortage of foreign exchange liquidity resulting from this failure has forced the CBN to suspend various transactions. These include payments for school fees and Personal Travel Allowance (PTA) applications, causing inconvenience and financial difficulties for individuals who rely on these services.

Overall, the CBN’s failure to fulfil its promises has had significant financial consequences for the businesses involved, leading to a backlog of owed payments and disruptions in international trade relationships. This has also negatively impacted the broader economy’s stability, with suspended transactions and a potential decrease in foreign investor confidence. Resolving this issue and restoring trust in the CBN’s ability to honour its commitments will be crucial for the recovery and growth of the Nigerian economy.

To address this huge Forex backlog, President Bola Tinubu at the 29th edition of the Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG) announced that “consistent with our commitment to enshrining fairness and the rule of law in our country, this government will uphold the sanctity of every legitimate contract.

He said: “Specifically, as it relates to foreign exchange obligations of the government, all forward contracts that the government has entered will be honoured and a framework has been put in place to ensure that these obligations are met in due course.”

Tinubu also disclosed that a framework has been established to ensure that the government meets its foreign exchange obligations as stipulated in the contracts.

An official of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) who was at the event said, “This framework will likely include policies, procedures, and financial resources to ensure the obligations are met as agreed upon.”

The president in his address to the NESG, said there must be consumer credit, adding that the scheme would have to come to effect as soon as possible.

He said: “I task my team and my colleagues to build this programme and develop it now. We cannot talk about anti-corruption when you have to look for cash to buy a car when there’s no mortgage for homeownership.

“Where do you expect a civil servant to have N3 million or N5 million for housing without corruption? If you don’t change and plan the welfare of your judiciary and you ask them to be fair, render justice with mercy, with a hungry stomach.

Tinubu noted that Nigeria aims to achieve a $1 trillion economy by 2026 and $3 trillion within this decade through sustainable and competitive growth.

He said the private sector is crucial to achieving this goal, and that the government is seeking collaboration and support from industry leaders to realize this vision.

He said public-private partnerships and successful models from the past will be utilized to ensure a prosperous Nigeria for all.

Tinubu said: “The private sector is encouraged to bring their ideas, leadership, and capital to build a hopeful future. I am confident that by working closely with all of you in the private sector, financing our $3 trillion National Infrastructure Stock can be achieved in 10 years and not in 300 years.

“Building megacities in every geopolitical zone of the size and scale of Lagos must not take us another six decades. We can do it in one decade. A fully networked and connected Nigeria by rail, gas, fibre optics and road network can be constructed in less than 20 years. Establishing thriving Industrial zones in every part of Nigeria is possible before 2030.”

Speaking about the need to stimulate the economy, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu disclosed that “by January 2024, the new student loan programme and consumer credit schemes will have come into effect. New and affordable homes will also be built at a record pace. We have all felt the pain of these reforms; soon, we shall begin to reap the rewards. It is my hope that this Summit will deliberate and proffer yet more solutions to complement the programmes mentioned above.


Accept FG offer above N60,000 as new minimum wage, Opeyemi Bamidele to labour



The Senate Leader, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, APC, Ekiti Central has pleaded with the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC and the Trade Union Congress, TUC
to accept whatever the federal government offered them above N60,000 as the new minimum wage.

Bamidele urged the NLC and TUC to toe the path of dialogue and peace in the negotiation of a new minimum wage, which the President had promised to send a bill to the National Assembly for this purpose.

The Senate Leader has reiterated the need for Nigerians to demonstrate more patriotic spirit and oneness in their daily activities as the nation journeys through its socio-political trajectory towards the promised land.

He made the call in an Eid-el-Kabir message by his Directorate of Media and Public Affairs on Sunday, just as he highlighted some achievements of the administration of President BolaTinubu.

Bamidele said, “The federal government has conceded to N60,000, which translates to a 100 percent increase. But both NLC and TUC turned down this offer, leading to a two-day industrial action.

“The federal government has promised to make more concessions in this respect. As the federal government reveals its new offer, I plead with the organised labour to accept it in the national interest. The economy will remain in this condition. Collectively, we are taking multi-pronged measures to reverse disturbing economic indicators.”has conceded to N60,000, which translates to a 100 percent increase. But both NLC and TUC turned down this offer, leading to a two-day industrial action.

“The federal government has promised to make more concessions in this respect. As the federal government reveals its new offer, I plead with the organised labour to accept it in the national interest. The economy will remain in this condition. Collectively, we are taking multi-pronged measures to reverse disturbing economic indicators.”

While identifying with all Muslim faithful nationwide, Bamidele who noted that Nigerians, regardless of religion and tribes, should team up with and rally support for the Tinubu administration to safely steer the ship of the nation into a successful end, emphasised that no nation could travel the journey of national rebirth alone without the unwavering support of its citizens not minding their political, cultural and social backgrounds and orientations.

He assured that the current administration would leave no stone unturned in alleviating the economic hardship being faced by the majority of Nigerians and re-offer them a sense of pride in their home country.

In the spirit of the season, the Senate Leader urged all Muslims to emulate love and good neighbourliness exemplified by Prophet Mohammed (SWAT) during his time and how he related very well with people of other faiths and nationalities.

Bamidele who appealed that the ongoing reengineering efforts of the Tinubu Administration could only yield democratic dividends in an atmosphere devoid of insecurity, but where lives and property are protected, said: “Just to mention a few among ongoing projects like the 700 kilometres Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway, the establishment of N50 Billion Pulako Initiative and annual recruitment of 30,000 new police personnel are Key Performance Indicators of this government.

“Only recently, this government declared a state of emergency in agriculture and launched the National Agricultural Development Fund with N100 billion, in addition to the Dry Season Farming Initiative and the Green Imperative Programme to ensure food security across the land.

“All these and other components of the 8-point Renewed Hope Agenda require the patriotic support and prayers for their deliverables to multiply at the doorsteps of Nigerians in the remaining three years of the first term of this government.”

He further urged the Muslim faithful to use the season of Eid el-Kabir to pray for the leaders of the country for divine wisdom and understanding that can match the enormous tasks of leading the country especially at a time when economic realities are not favourable around the world.

Continue Reading

Breaking News

FG updates on UAE lifting visa ban on Nigeria



The Minister of Aviation, Festus Keyamo, has revealed that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government will soon announce the date for lifting the visa ban that has been imposed on Nigerian travellers.

This information was shared during an interview with Otega Ogra, Senior Special Assistant to President Bola Tinubu, which is available on the official YouTube page of the State House of Nigeria.

Keyamo acknowledged that while a resolution was reached between President Bola Tinubu and UAE President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan during President Tinubu’s working visit to the UAE in September 2023, additional processes were required before the ban could be officially lifted.

He said the processes have now been completed, paving the way for the imminent announcement from the UAE government.

“After that high-level meeting, Mr. President, credited to him, made things very easy for us all. We did our follow-ups as his ministers. We have done everything. We have resolved everything.

“Just wait for the announcement from the UAE government, and that announcement is imminent,” Keyamo stated.

The Minister further mentioned that he is aware of the specific date when the travel restriction will be lifted, but he emphasized that it is up to the UAE government to make the official announcement.

The lifting of the ban is expected to restore ease of travel for Nigerian citizens to the UAE, thereby enhancing bilateral relations and cooperation between the two countries.

Continue Reading