• Saturday, March 02, 2024
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Five things to know to start your Monday

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Naira plunge worsens manufacturing troubles and threatens job losses

In the past three months, the naira’s official value against the US dollar dropped by 38.9 percent, falling from N745.19/$ to N1035.12/$.

Despite attempts to stabilise it, the naira continues to depreciate, hitting over N1000/$.

This devaluation has negatively impacted manufacturing operations, leading to potential downsizing and closures.

The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria expressed concerns about the dire consequences if this trend persists, urging for swift government intervention to avert further economic setbacks.

The Lagos Chamber of Commerce echoed these worries, highlighting potential business relocations due to forex scarcity.

Such challenges have forced businesses to rely on the parallel market for foreign exchange, leading to operational disruptions and downsizing in various sectors, including small-scale industries.

FHA dismisses demolition rumors for houses in Abuja

The Federal Housing Authority denies demolition plans for 1,500 houses in Zhidu community, FCT, refuting claims by residents.

FHA’s Kenneth Chigelu clarified the authority’s land acquisition from the FCDA and efforts to remove illegal structures encroaching on their property.

He urged legitimate land claimants to provide proof for documentation, countering allegations of sudden demolition intentions by community leaders.

This follows recent demolition actions in Lagos’s Festac Town.

Airlines get $62m as CBN repays banks $2bn debt

The Central Bank of Nigeria has paid $2 billion to ease forex backlog pressure, addressing part of the $7 billion obligation to banks.

This move aims to stabilise the forex market, relieving the naira’s fall against the dollar.

The CBN’s commitment also includes $61.64m disbursed to foreign airlines, reducing a larger debt.

Stakeholders hope this initiative will restore investor confidence and alleviate the aviation sector’s challenges in repatriating ticket sales.

Nigeria ranked 22nd country with cheapest petrol says Report

A global petrol price report reveals Nigeria ranks 22nd for cheapest fuel.

The report titled, ‘Global Petrol Prices, Octane-95, January 1, 2024’, revealed that Iran leads at $0.029 per liter, while Hong Kong pays the most at $3.101.

The report cites tax disparities; richer nations have higher prices. Nigeria’s gas stands at $0.722. Despite being an oil producer, Nigeria faces output challenges.

The US’s gas costs $0.911, close to the global average. The data showcases worldwide disparities in fuel costs.

Blinken to visit UAE, Saudi, Israel, seeking to avert wider Middle East war

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will hold talks in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia on Monday before heading on to Israel after warning that the Gaza war could spread across the region without concerted peace efforts, while Israel vowed to continue fighting until Hamas was eliminated.

Blinken was in Jordan and Qatar on Sunday at the start of a five-day diplomatic effort in the Middle East seeking to avert a wider war in the region.

He is also due to visit the West Bank and Egypt this week.

“This is a moment of profound tension for the region. This is a conflict that could easily metastasize, causing even more insecurity and suffering,” Blinken told a press conference in Doha before heading to Abu Dhabi.

Blinken said he would tell Israeli officials that they must do more to prevent civilian casualties in Gaza and that Palestinian civilians must be allowed to return home and not be pressed to leave Gaza. (Reuters)