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Presidency Cautions Speculators As Naira Maintains Steady Appreciation

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The naira maintained a steady appreciation against the United States dollar on Thursday, gaining N18 to close 1,382/$ at the official market.

This came as Presidency warned currency speculators to desist from unpatriotic act against the national currency, saying racketeers would have their fingers burnt.

The naira gain came a day after the local currency recorded major gains at both the official and parallel foreign exchange markets. It closed at the black market at N1,400/dollar on Wednesday.

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The summary of the FX trading auction revealed that naira appreciated by 1.3 percent following increased dollar supply at the Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange Market, according to data from the FMDQ Securities Exchange Limited.

READ ALSO: Naira Continues Appreciation Against USD At Forex Market

The intraday high closed at N1,598 per dollar on Thursday, stronger than N1,620 it closed at on Wednesday. Also, the intraday low strengthened to N1,300/$ on the same day, stronger than N1,350/$1 closed at on the previous day.

The dollar supplied by FX market players increased to $288.47, an increase of $2 or 7.46 percent from $268.29 million recorded on Wednesdat from $195.13 million at NAFEM.

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In the recent weeks, the naira has gained N500 against the  dollar from it record low this year at the unofficial market, as the CBN builds confidence in  FX market.

The Central Bank of Nigeria declared on Wednesday that it has successfully resolved all valid foreign exchange backlogs, as pledged by Governor Olayemi Cardoso, addressing inherited claims amounting to $7bn.

READ ALSO: Naira Depreciation Continues Against USD At Forex Market Days After Binance Exit

Hakama Sidi Ali, CBN’s acting director of corporate communications, conveyed this information in a statement sent via mail. She stated that the CBN finalised the payment of $1.5 billion to settle obligations to bank customers, thereby clearing the remaining balance of the FX backlog.

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Cardoso emphasised the priority of clearing the FX backlog to enhance credibility and confidence in the Nigerian economy.

The strain on the naira/dollar exchange rate is gradually diminishing, with Nigeria’s external reserves showing sustained growth over the past month.

According to data from the CBN, foreign currency reserves rose by 3.62 percent to $34.37 billion as of March 12, 2024, compared to $33.17 billion recorded at the beginning of February 2024.

READ ALSO: Nigeria Should Join BRICS, Sell Crude Oil In Naira – Falana Tells FG

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Additionally, the CBN reported a significant surge in Diaspora remittances, which skyrocketed by 433 percent to $1.3 billion in February, compared to $300 million in January

Meanwhile, the Special Adviser on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, has cautioned currency traders speculating on foreign exchange to sell their dollar holdings, stating that the naira is expected to increase in value soon.

He advised speculators to sell off their dollars to prevent potential losses swiftly.

Onanuga said, “With backlog FX settled, Naira is set to appreciate further, faster. Currency speculators should quickly dump their stock of dollars to avoid sorrows and tears.”

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On Wednesday, the naira closed trading at 1,410/dollar at the parallel market and N1,492 at the official Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange Market, according to data compiled from the FMDQ Securities Exchange.

READ ALSO: Again, Naira Falls In Parallel Market

The gain recorded by the naira at the official market represents an appreciation of N68 or 4.5 per cent, from the N1,560/$1 recorded on Tuesday at NAFEM, and a gain of 13.5 per cent or N190 at the parallel market.

The naira has been gaining lately as speculators begin to dump their dollar stocks, following waning demand by prospective buyers amid CBN clampdowns.

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A string of circulars by the Central Bank of Nigeria in recent weeks and months have helped to plug leakages and blocked loopholes previously explored by currency speculators and racketeers.

Also, the recent clampdowns on the activities of illegal BDC operators in Lagos, Abuja and Kano by the operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission have helped to reduce the volatility of the naira.

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CAC To Cancel Certificates Of BDCs With Revoked Licences

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The Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) has said it would cancel the certificates of incorporation of Bureaux De Change(BCDs) whose licences have been revoked by the Central Bank of Nigeria( CBN).

The Nation reported in February the CBN revoked the licences of 4,173 Bureau De Change operators over their failure to meet regulatory guidelines.

In a statement by its acting Director, Corporate Communications, Sidi Hakama, CBN explained that the regulatory provisions flouted include nonpayment of all necessary fees within the stipulated period.

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CBN said: “The affected institutions failed to observe at least one of the following regulatory provisions: Payment of all necessary fees, including licence renewal, within the stipulated period in line with the guidelines.

READ ALSO: FEC Steps Down Projects From Past Govts For Review

“Rendition of returns in line with the guidelines; compliance with guidelines, directives, and circulars of the CBN, particularly Anti-Money Laundering, Countering the Financing of Terrorism and Counter-Proliferation Financing regulations.”

However, in line with the above directive by the CBN, the CAC in a notice on its website on Wednesday, said the certificates would be cancelled within three months if the affected companies do not change the names and objects of such companies.

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The general public is hereby informed that following the revocation of the operational licenses of 4,173 Bureau De Change companies by the Central Bank of Nigeria vide a Federal Republic of Nigeria Official Gazette (Vol. 111) No. 37 of February 27, 2024 for noncompliance with Regulatory Standards, the Corporate Affairs Commission in the exercise of its powers under section 8(1)(e) of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 2020 advises these companies to within three months from the date of this publication, change the names and objects of such companies.

“Failure to change the names and objects within the stipulated time frame shall result in cancellation of certificate of incorporation and dissolution. It is to be noted that it is unlawful for a company whose certificate has been deemed dissolved to carry on business,” the CAC notice reads.

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FG Suspends Taxes On Maize, Wheat, Rice, Others

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The Federal Government has suspended duties, tariffs and taxes on some essential food items imported through land and sea borders.

Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Abubakar Kyari, announced this at the National Press Centre, Abuja.

Kyari also said the Federal Government has also inaugurated the Renewed Hope National Livestock Transformation Implementation Committee to develop and implement policies that prioritize livestock development and align with the National Livestock Transformation Plan.

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He stated that the listed food items, which include maize, wheat, husked brown rice and cowpeas, will enjoy a 150-day Duty-Free Import Window.

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He added that the move is part of the Presidential Accelerated Stabilization and Advancement Plan, which is aimed at achieving food security and economic stability in the country.

According to him: “The Federal Government has announced a 150-day Duty-Free Import Window for Food Commodities, suspension of duties, tariffs and taxes for the importation of certain food commodities (through land and sea borders). These commodities include maize, husked brown rice, wheat and cowpeas.

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“Under this arrangement, imported food commodities will be subjected to a Recommended Retail Price (RRP).

“I am glad to reiterate that the Government’s position exemplifies standards that would not compromise the safety of the various food items for consumption.

“In addition to the importation by the private sector, the Federal Government will import 250,000MT of wheat and 250,000MT of maize. The imported food commodities in their semi-processed state will target supplies to the small-scale processors and millers across the country.”

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CAC Extends PoS Registration Deadline 

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The Corporate Affairs Commission has announced the approval to extend the mandatory Point of Sales agents, super agents and sole agents registration to September 5th, 2024.

The commission made the announcement in a statement signed by its management and posted on its Facebook page on Saturday, giving a 60-day extension.

It said the extension is to give sufficient time to operators particularly those in remote areas who might have encountered network challenges to so register and continue with their businesses.

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The statement read, “The Corporate Affairs Commission wishes to notify Fintech Operators also known as Point of Sales Operators that the initial deadline of 7th July 2024 given for the registration of sole Agents, Super Agents and Agents has been extended for sixty days beginning from 7th July 2024 to the 5th September 2024.

“This is to give sufficient time to Operators particularly those in remote areas who might have encountered network challenges to so register and continue with their businesses.”

It added operators who continue to disobey after the new deadline will risk losing their businesses and facing prosecution for assisting criminal activities.

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“Operators who fail or refuse to register at the end of the extended deadline run the risk of losing such businesses and prosecution for aiding and abetting criminal activities,” it said.

 

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