External reserves fall by $915m after naira float
Nigeria’s external reserves have dwindled by $915 million since the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) introduced the naira float and liberalized the foreign exchange market.
CBN data reveals that from the $34.66 billion in reserves on June 14, 2023, when the naira was floated, they’ve fallen to $33.74 billion by August 24, 2023.
The naira’s value plummeted from 471.67/$ before the float to over 700/$ at the Investor & Exporter forex window. This decline led to alarming exchange rates at the parallel market, with the naira trading as low as 915/$. The CBN aims to stabilize the naira and curb illegal forex operations.
Cameroonian plans to open Lagdo Dam’s floodgates put Nigeria on high alert
The Nigerian federal government has issued a warning to states and relevant agencies regarding the impending release of water from the Lagdo Dam in Cameroon due to heavy rainfall.
A letter from the Foreign Affairs ministry urged preparedness and proactive measures to mitigate potential damage in the 13 Nigerian states along the River Benue basin.
The government advised comprehensive sensitization campaigns, drainage system maintenance, and the strategic relocation of residents from riverbanks.
The Ministry of Water Resources emphasized the need for collaboration and innovation to address potential flooding from July to October. An existing memorandum of understanding between Nigeria and Cameroon requires early warnings before dam releases.
Elumelu alerts FG to gas shortage impacting power plant operations
Tony Elumelu, Founder of The Tony Elumelu Foundation, has highlighted the critical issue of inadequate gas supply affecting power plant operations in Nigeria.
Speaking at the Nigerian Bar Association’s Annual General Conference, he pointed out that this gas shortage is directly impacting the country’s electricity supply.
Elumelu emphasized the need for significant investments in the power sector and the establishment of regulatory structures to ensure sustainable power for homes, schools, hospitals, and industries.
He also noted the paradox of Nigeria, a gas-rich nation, struggling to provide gas for its power plants. Elumelu called for the removal of regulatory constraints hindering private sector investments in gas production and stressed the importance of addressing security challenges to create a conducive environment for growth.
Corruption, bane of building plan processing – BCPC
The Building Collapse Prevention Guild (BCPG) has accused officials of intentionally creating obstacles in the building plan approval process to extort money from applicants. Joseph Akande, Chairman of BCPG’s Lagos Chapter, expressed concern about corruption within the system, highlighting cases where developers offered bribes to BCPG members during site inspections.
He called for measures to safeguard the integrity of the BCPG and voiced reservations about the Certified Accreditor Programme introduced by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration, suggesting it may favor certain professions and could lead to strife among professionals.
The BCPG emphasized the need for collective efforts and adherence to building regulations to prevent collapses.
Dollar soft as investors digest ‘higher for longer’ path
The US dollar retreated from a 12-week high as traders assessed the Federal Reserve’s future monetary actions following Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s speech at the Jackson Hole Economic Policy Symposium.
Powell emphasized caution in deciding whether to raise interest rates further or maintain the current policy due to progress in managing inflation and strong economic performance.
The dollar index eased slightly to 104.05, close to Friday’s 12-week peak of 104.44. Markets anticipate the Fed to remain steady next month, but the probability of a November rate hike increased to 48 percent. Strong US economic data will be closely monitored for its impact on rate expectations.