Five things to know to start your Thursday

Buhari inaugurates new MOFI Board, says FG targets N100trn

At the launch of the new Ministry of Finance Incorporated (MOFI) and inauguration of the Governing Council and Board of Directors, President Muhammadu Buhari charged the organisation to grow its assets under management from their current value of N18 trillion to at least N100 trillion in the next 10 years.

The president also urged the new board to “be the clearinghouse for the management of the Federal Government’s investments and assets in line with global best practises with a view to ensuring that these investments are delivering superior risk-adjusted returns to the government.”

He also called on the new MOFI to work with other ministries, departments, and agencies (MDAs) to create a consolidated national assets register with a view to converting them into cash-flow-generating entities.

The president believes that it would help the government increase its revenue.

Before proceeding to the Federal Executive Council meeting, he directed Zainab Ahmed, the Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, to commence the process of amending the MOFI Act and other legislation to further institutionalise this reform.

Read more: Buhari wants new finance ministry board to raise national asset to N100trn

Dangote, Sinoma sign agreement to build 6Mta cement plant

Dangote Industries Ltd. (DIL) has signed an agreement with China Sinoma International Engineering to build a six million tonne per year cement plant in Itori, Ogun State, according to a statement issued by Anthony Chiejina, the Group Chief Branding and Communication Officer, DIL, on Wednesday.

This agreement was signed by Aliko Dangote, President, Dangote Group, alongside the Group Executive Director, Strategy, Capital Projects, and Portfolio Development, DIL, Devakumar Edwin, and Yin Zhisong, Lin Renyue, President and Chairman of China Sinoma Engineering.

The statement said that the new integrated cement plant, upon completion, would strengthen the local production capacity of Dangote Cement.

This brings its total African capacity to 57.6 million tonne per year, up from 41.25 million tonne per year.

Naira redesign: Mixed reactions as prices of grains, others fall in Gombe community

Prices of grains and some agricultural commodities in Cham, Gombe State, have fallen as a result of the shortage of naira notes.

Traders at a grains market in Cham, Balanga Local Government Area, Gombe State, expressed mixed feelings about the scarcity of the new naira notes on Wednesday.

Muhammadu Garba, chairman of the Cham grains market, confirmed that the prices of grains had been slashed as a result of the CBN policy, with prices of most commodities dropping by more than N10,000 per bag.

Garba said the situation had affected businesses as customers, in spite of the drop in price, had not been patronising them.

“This means that many of us will return home with our goods because we didn’t get to sell them.

“It is painful to see things turn out this way.” “I am not a happy man today because we have suffered serious losses,” he said.

The chairman said many of the farmers who brought in their goods from various villages could not sell them because they didn’t have bank accounts for transfers in the face of the shortage of new naira notes. This is according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

Oil prices rise after U.S. Fed hikes rates, weakening the dollar

Oil prices reacted somewhat bullishly in early Asian trade on Thursday after the U.S. Federal Reserve raised interest rates by 25 basis points.

Accordingly, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures rose 65 cents or 0.9 percent to trade at $77 per barrel, while Brent crude futures rose 56 cents or 0.7 percent to trade at $83.40 per barrel.

On Wednesday, the Fed raised its interest rate, promising to continue with further increases as part of its plan to fight inflation.

“Inflation has eased somewhat but remains elevated,” the U.S. central bank said in a statement that marked an explicit acknowledgement of the progress made in lowering the pace of price increases from the 40-year highs hit last year.

Russians’ deposits with foreign banks jumped to almost $82bn in Jan-Nov

A new report from the Central Bank of Russia released on Wednesday showed that Russian deposits in non-resident banks increased by around 2.5 times between January and November last year, to almost 5 trillion roubles, or around $82 billion.

The bank said this did not mean that foreign currency deposits were necessarily flowing from Russian banks to foreign ones, however, as some deposits were converted into roubles or used to buy real estate.

Deposits held abroad by Russians have been on the rise since Moscow launched what it calls a “special military operation” in Ukraine on Feb. 24 of last year, with hundreds of thousands choosing to emigrate.

According to the central bank’s monthly statistics, the biggest inflow of deposits to foreign banks was recorded in September last year at more than $9 billion, the month when Moscow launched a partial mobilisation of troops. This is according to Reuters.


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