• Tuesday, June 18, 2024
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Five things to know to start your Monday


Discos to upgrade customers’ metering before Nov. 2024 – official

Electricity distribution companies (DisCos) in Lagos said the proposed Standard Transfer Specification (STS), a metering code to be introduced soon, is not targeted at increasing electricity tariffs.

A top official in one of the Discos in Lagos, who preferred anonymity, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday that the code, which is a software of an international standard, is to upgrade old meters to STS rollover.

NAN reports that DisCos in Nigeria have already advised their customers to upgrade their meters before Aug. 1 in order not to lose them.

The STS rollover is a secure message system for carrying information between a point of sale (PoS) and a meter.

The official said that the timeline for the upgrade would end in November 2024 and that customers’ meters had to be upgraded to allow for accessibility.

Read also: FG cuts electricity subsidies by 80% as DisCos demand tariff increase

AFD approves $16m for Youth Entrepreneurship Bank 

The African Development Fund (ADF), the concessional lending arm for the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group, has approved $16 million for the creation of a Youth Entrepreneurship Investment Bank (YEIB) in Liberia.

A statement issued on the AfDB website said the fund was approved to unleash the business potential of young Liberians.

According to the AfDB Group Country Manager for Liberia, Benedict Kanu, approximately $16 million has been allocated to finance this strategic initiative.

Kanu said the initiative was meant to target youth-led micro, small, and medium enterprises in Liberia’s burgeoning agribusiness and allied sectors.

“The YEIB is anticipated to support over 30,000 youth-led businesses during the next 17 years.” The YEIB will be the initial catalyst for developing a financial ecosystem for youth entrepreneurship in Liberia, which is currently nonexistent.

“By creating 120,000 direct and indirect jobs and unlocking approximately $500 million in additional lending, it can lay the groundwork for future, potentially more profitable investments.

“The YEIB is a long-term investment with a significant impact on job creation and financial inclusion,” he said.

Experts preach caution as CBN holds first MPC meeting under Tinubu

As the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) prepares for its July meeting, some financial experts have called for moderation in its policy decisions.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the CBN has announced that the 292nd meeting of the MPC will be held on Monday and Tuesday, to be chaired by Folashodun Shonubi, the Acting Governor of the CBN.

This will be the fourth MPC meeting of 2023 and the first in about nine years to be chaired by someone other than the suspended CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele.

At the last MPC meeting in May, Emefiele had announced the committee’s decision to raise the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) for a seventh consecutive time, from 18 percent to 18.5 percent.

That is the highest since the MPR was established in 2006.

The CBN started its monetary policy tightening in May 2022, when the MPR, which is the benchmark interest rate, was increased from 11.5 percent to 13 percent.

Dollar hits N875 at parallel market

The naira fell to an all-time low on the black market as it traded for N875/$ on Sunday, a BusinessDay investigation has revealed.

In a conversation with BusinessDay, some Bureau de Change operators who trade in the busy Ikorodu market said that the naira now trades between N872 and N875 if you are buying.

Most of the BDC operators complained that the situation is likely to get worse as demand for dollars increases as those wanting to travel out of the country and manufacturers mount pressure on it.

Since the Central Bank of Nigeria decided to float the local currency in an effort to close the gap between the official market rate and the black market rate, the local currency has been badly beaten to the point where some analysts are predicting that the naira should reach N1,200/$ before the end of August.

“My brother, I am really speechless with the way the naira is falling,” Usman Bado, a BDC operator who trades in Ikorodu, said to BusinessDay. “The problem is that the dollar is getting scarce, which is why it is now so expensive. I believe that before the end of the week it may sell for N900.”

Before election, UK’s Sunak commits to 1 million new homes promise

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will commit to a promise to build 1 million homes by the next national election, tackling a lack of housing stock that has alienated some younger voters who are often forced to pay high rents and are unable to buy.

According to Reuters, before an election expected next year, Sunak’s governing Conservatives have witnessed a collapse of support among younger voters, who are frustrated at being priced out of owning their own homes and are struggling with high childcare costs.

Housing has long been a contentious area for the Conservatives, who are divided between some lawmakers in rural areas who do not want to see an increase in building and want to protect greenbelt protected land, and between those in more urban regions, who want to see more homes built quickly.