FG To Sanction Foreign Airlines Over Refusal To Sell Tickets In Naira

Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika

 

 

The Federal Government has threatened to sanction foreign airlines in the country over their refusal to accept naira payment for flight tickets.

The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, made this known at a briefing today after the Federal Executive Council meeting chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari.

He said intelligence reports indicated that some of the airlines refuse to sell in naira but charge ticket fares in dollars instead, in violation of Nigerian laws.

The minister disclosed that the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority has been directed to deal with any of such airlines that are caught flouting the laws.

Sirika cautioned them to refrain from using the social media to place their demands rather than resorting to the diplomatic channels.

[READ ALSO] N19bn Debt: NCAA Threatens To Suspend Airlines

According to him, foreign airlines have made over 1.1 billion dollars so far from Nigeria since 2016, an amount which could have remained in the country if they were local airlines.

He further revealed that the airlines remitted over 600 million dollars to their home countries in 2016, while over 265 million dollars has also been released this year.

Forex Crisis: EFCC Visits BDC Hubs In Lagos On Fact Finding Mission

A file photo of the EFCC logo.

 

Just like they did in Abuja about a week ago, operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Lagos Command, have visited some of the hubs of the Bureau De Change (BDC) operators in Lagos on what has been described as a “fact finding mission”.

Eye-witnesses who craved anonymity said the operatives were seen at the international and local wings of the Murtala Mohammed Airport, the Hadji Camp and the offices of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) in Ikeja.

Other places the operatives reportedly visited include the popular Broad street, off Balogun Market in the Lagos Island area and the Federal Palace Hotel in Victoria Island.

READ ALSO: EFCC Grills Venezuelan, Four Nigerians For Suspected Oil Theft

When Channels Television’s judiciary correspondent, Shola Soyele, contacted the Commission to make enquiries, they declined to comment.

However, sources close to the Commission confirmed the visit and hinted that that the operation revealed that most of the licensed BDC operators are selling dollars between N610 and N630.

The visit of the anti-graft agency is said to be connected with the current crisis in the foreign exchange market, which the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said is fuelled by speculation, and has seen the naira rising to over 700 to a dollar

Some of the BDC operators told our correspondent that they are not willing to sell because they are out of stock and weary of the uncertainty in the market

“As at today those who bought at N700 are now selling at a lost. The current rate is about N610 and N620,” one BDC operator said.

CBN To Stop Sale Of Forex To Banks By Year End

 

The Central Bank of Nigeria has revealed that it would stop the sale of foreign exchange to banks by the end of the year.

CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, said the banks must begin to source their forex from export proceeds.

Read Also: How Diaspora Remittances Increased From $6m Weekly To Over $100m – Emefiele

“The era is coming to an end when, because your customers need 100million dollars in foreign exchange or 200 million dollars, you now want to pack all the dollars and pass it to CBN to give you dollars.

“It is coming to an end before or by the end of this year. We will tell them don’t come to the Central Bank for foreign exchange again go and generate your export proceeds.

“When those export proceeds come, we will fund them at 5% for you and they will earn rebait. Then you can sell those proceeds to your customers that want 100 million dollars. But to say you will continue to come to the Central Bank to give you dollars, we will stop it,” the CBN boss said.

He made the comments at a briefing during the launch of the bank’s new forex repatriation scheme, RT200, held after the Banker’s Committee meeting on Thursday, in Abuja.

According to Emefiele, the decision is in line with the CBN’s new commitment to boost the country’s foreign reserves through proceeds from non-oil exports.

“Nigeria cannot continue to depend on FX earnings to fund its import obligations from revenue coming from earnings from products where we cannot determine both price and quantity,” he also said.

Forex Rates Should Reflect Market Realities – Osinbajo Tells CBN

 

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Monday said Nigeria’s official exchange rate is “artificially low”.

He made the remark during a speech at the Midterm Ministerial Performance Review Retreat which was held at the Banquet Hall, Presidential Villa, Abuja.

“As for the exchange rate, I think we need to move our rates to be more reflective of the market as possible,” Osinbajo said.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo SAN delivers a speech during the Two-Day Mid-Term Ministerial Performance Review Retreat in the State House, Abuja on October 11, 2021. Photos: Tolani Alli
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo SAN delivers a speech during the Two-Day Mid-Term Ministerial Performance Review Retreat in the State House, Abuja on October 11, 2021. Photo: Tolani Alli

 

“This, in my own respectful view, is the only way to improve supply. We can’t get new dollars into the system when the exchange rate is artificially low. And everyone knows by how much our reserves can grow.

“So I’m convinced that the demand management strategy currently being adopted by the CBN needs a rethink.

“All those are issues, I’m sure, that when the CBN Governor has time to address, he will be able to address in full.”

The Central Bank’s official rate is N410 to a dollar, but rates in the parallel market go as high as N570.

FG To Clamp Down On ‘Aboki FX’ Website Over Exchange Rate

A file photo showing the CBN headquarters in Abuja. Photo: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

The Federal Government through its bank, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Friday said it will shut down the operations of ‘Aboki FX’ over its posting of exchange rates.

‘Aboki FX’ is a website that provides currency exchange information, which the apex bank has described as an illegal platform.

CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, stated this after the Monetary policy committee’s two-day meeting in Abuja, revealing plans to arrest and prosecute the owner of the platform, Olusegun Oniwinde.

Emefiele accused Oniwinde of sabotaging Nigeria’s economy, vowing that Nigerian government would collaborate with other security agencies to track him down.

“I have given instructions to our experts to go after his website and let it be clear that we will go after him because we can’t allow this to continue,” he said.

“There was a particular time I asked our colleagues to find the so-called owner of ‘Aboxi FX’ that we want to engage him to understand his module, his basis and how he came about advertising those rates.

“We find him as a Nigerian who lives in England and conducts this nefarious and criminal activity on our economy. It is an economic sabotage and we will pursue him. Where ever he is, we will report him to international security agencies. Mr Oniwinde, we will find you!”

The CBN boss also decried the security challenges in the country, lamenting that Bureau de Change operators were encouraging kidnapping, banditry and terrorism though the sale of FOREX.

READ ALSO: CBN Cannot Continue Selling Dollars To People Who Buy Arms – Emefiele

He, however, noted that the apex bank will not continue to sell FOREX to people who purchase arms to hurt Nigerians.

According to Emefiele, the financial markets regulator is determined to eliminate the activities of illegal FOREX traders.

Speaking further, the CBN boss restated that the apex bank is the only national bank in the world that will dip its hand in the country’s reserve to sell foreign exchange to Bureau de Change operators in the market.

“Nobody ever mentions the rate of Bureau de Change in the city of London. It really beats my imagination that Nigeria carried on with this kind of practice that tended to support illegal activities of people who are involved in graft and corrupt practices,” the CBN boss added.

“We have supported the activities of those who illegally buy foreign exchange from this illegal market, carry them in aircraft out of the country and go to buy arms and ammunition and bring them into the country to commit crimes.

“We, the Central Bank, take our country’s dollars and sell to people to buy arms and ammunition to come and hurt us. That is what we are saying that people want us to do, we cannot do that any longer.”

CBN Cannot Continue Selling Dollars To People Who Buy Arms – Emefiele

CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele

 

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says it cannot continue to sell dollars to people who purchase arms to hurt Nigerians.

CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, stated this on Friday after the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting which was held in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

Emefiele explained that the financial markets regulator is determined to eliminate the activities of illegal FOREX traders.

Read Also: Nigeria’s Inflation Rate Drops Further To 17.01% In August – NBS Report

According to him, the CBN remains the only national bank in the world that will dip its hand in the country’s reserve to sell dollars to Bureau de Change operators in the market.

“Nobody ever mentions the rate of Bureau de Change in the city of London. It really beats my imagination that Nigeria carried on with this kind of practice that tended to support illegal activities of people who are involved in graft and corrupt practices,” he said.

“We have supported the activities of those who illegally buy foreign exchange from this illegal market, carry them in aircraft out of the country and go to buy arms and ammunition and bring them into the country to commit crimes.

“We, the Central Bank, take our country’s dollars and sell to people to buy arms and ammunition to come and hurt us. That is what we are saying that people want us to do, we cannot do that any longer.”

CBN Warns Microfinance Banks Against FOREX Transactions

File photo

 

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has cautioned microfinance banks in the country to stop engaging in foreign exchange transactions and other unauthorised dealings.

The apex bank stated this on Friday in a circular titled ‘Cessation of Non-Permissible Activities by Microfinance Banks’ issued by Ibrahim Tukur from the CBN’s Financial Policy and Regulation Department.

“The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has observed the activities of some Microfinance Banks (MFBs) that have gone beyond the remit of their operating licenses by engaging in non-permissible activities especially wholesale banking, foreign exchange transactions and others,” the circular read.

“Given the comparatively low capitalisation of MFBs, dealing in wholesale and/or foreign exchange transactions are a significant risk with dire consequences for financial system stability.

“It has, therefore, become imperative to remind all MFBs to strictly comply with the extant Revised Regulatory and Supervisory Guidelines for Microfinance Banks in Nigeria 2012 (the Guidelines).”

Based on the remit of microfinance banks, they are strictly prohibited from foreign exchange transactions, according to the CBN.

Consequently, microfinance banks that deal in forex transactions risk sanctions.

“The CBN will continue to monitor developments in the MFB sector and apply severe regulatory sanctions for breaches of extant regulations, including revoking the license of non-compliant MFBs (in line with Section 19 of the Guidelines),” the apex bank said.

Microfinance banks are meant to focus primarily on providing financial services to retail and micro-clients.

The CBN insisted that micro-credit and retail transactions carried out by MFBs are limited to N500,000 per transaction for Tier 2 Unit, and N1,000,000 for other categories.

Micro-credit facilities shall constitute a minimum of 80 percent of the total loans portfolio for MFBs, it added.

 

CBN Bans Sale Of Foreign Exchange To BDC Operators

A file photo of the CBN Headquarters in Abuja.

 

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced an end to the weekly allocation and sale of foreign exchange to Bureau De Change (BDC) operators in the country.

CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, made the announcement on Tuesday while briefing reporters on the outcomes of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

“In total disregard of the difficulty that the (apex) bank is facing in meeting its mandate of maintaining the country’s foreign exchange reserves to safeguard the value of the naira, we have continued to observe that stakeholders in some of the sub-sectors have not been helpful in this direction,” he lamented.

Emefiele added, “In particular, we have noted with disappointment and great concerns that our Bureau De Change operators have abandoned the original objective of their establishment which was to serve retail end users who need $5,000 or less.

“Instead, they have become (illegal) wholesale dealers in foreign exchange to the tune of millions of dollars per transaction.”

He accused the BDC operators of facilitating grafts, illicit financial flows, and money laundering in the country.

According to the CBN chief, the nation’s financial regulator will not hesitate to sanction any bank operating in the country found to be collaborating with BDC operators to facilitate illegal forex dealings.

He also accused international organisations, development finance organisations, and embassies of patronising BDC operators to fund local operations contravening Nigeria’s foreign exchange regulations.

“Despite the fact that Nigeria is the only country in the world today where a central bank sells dollars directly to Bureau De Change operators, operators in the Nigerian Bureau De Change segment have not reciprocated the bank’s gesture to help maintain price stability in that market.

“Given this behaviour, it is not surprising that since the CBN began to sell foreign exchange to Bureau De Change, the number of operators has risen from a mere 74 in 2005 to over 2,700 in 2016 – and almost 5,500 BDCs as of today (July 27, 2021),” Emefiele said.

Forex Ban: Nigerians Should Not Be Punished For CBN’s Failure To Protect Naira – Adamu

 

A senior lecturer in the Department of Economics, University of Abuja, Dr Ahmed Adamu, has said that the timing of the policy which places a ban on giving foreign exchange for food and fertilizer imports.

While featuring as a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Friday, Dr Adamu said the decision is coming at a very wrong time, when the nation’s agricultural sector is not matured enough to handle such a major drift.

The scholar argued that there is an already existing inflation and as such this kind of decision can trigger hyperinflation, especially if the recently removed petrol subsidy is also brought into focus.

“This is happening at a time when Nigerians are not ready to boycott foreign food items because of their addiction or their attraction to foreign food items.

“I think its also a wrong time because we have not built the right infrastructure and we have not supplied sufficient agricultural facilities and we have not built the entire agricultural value chain.

“These are the reasons why I say this is the wrong time to do this.

“We are already facing insecurity, a lot of farmers have been displaced from their farms and they cannot produce much; so we are going to create a lot of scarcity in the country and now you are also discouraging cheaper importation of foreign products, so the only option most people will have is to tap into the comparative advantage from other countries,” Dr Adamu opined.


‘Not A Kobo’: Buhari Orders CBN Not To Give FOREX For Food, Fertilizer Imports

Forex Ban: Buhari’s Directive To CBN Born Out Of Patriotism – Garba Shehu

Hike In Food Prices Is Only For A Little While – COS Gambari


 

He further noted that at the moment the country is seeing a high rise in the prices of food items, adding that this new measure is going to increase the prices of food items further at a time when the nation has just come out of COVID-19 lockdown.

The economist stressed that Nigerians should not be punished for the failure and inability of government and policy-makers to protect the naira, reiterating that the government’s decision is “a recipe for hyperinflation”.

The Prices Of Food Items Are Coming Down – Garba Shehu

 

 

Contrary to complaints from many Nigerians, the Presidency has said that the prices of food items across the nation are dropping.

Speaking on behalf of the presidency, Mr Garba Shehu says the significant drop in prices of food items stems from President Muhammadu Buhari’s reforms in the agricultural sector.

Mr Shehu who on Friday was a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily said though prices may differ depending on the state and area, however, on the general, there is a drop in prices of food items.

READ ALSO: Forex Ban: Buhari’s Directive To CBN Borne Out Of Patriotism – Garba Shehu

A file photo of Presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu

 

While reacting to the President’s directive Thursday that the Central Bank of Nigeria should with immediate effect stop the release of money for food and fertiliser importation, the presidential spokesman said his principal’s intentions are in the best interest of the country.

He said, “Nigerians must give consideration for the fact that the President’s directive to the CBN is driven by nothing other than a patriotic motive”.

According to Mr Shehu, this directive falls in line with the President’s quest to boost agriculture in the country, a position to which some persons disagree, arguing that the CBN’s policies should not be imposed by a political authority.

Addressing those who hold the view that Buhari’s directive is overreaching, Mr Shehu said, “I am not sure there is anywhere in the world that the Central Bank is So independent that it will operate as foreign ownership”.

Forex Ban: Buhari’s Directive To CBN Born Out Of Patriotism – Garba Shehu

 

 

Mr Garba Shehu has said that the move by President Muhammadu Buhari to suspend the giving of foreign exchange for food and fertilizer imports, is an action borne out of patriotism.

The presidential spokesman who was a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, said the President’s motive stems purely from devotion in the best interest of the country.

“Nigerians must give consideration for the fact that the President’s directive to the CBN is driven by nothing other than a patriotic motive,” the senior special assistant to the president stated.

READ ALSO: ‘Not A Kobo’: Buhari Orders CBN Not To Give FOREX For Food, Fertilizer Imports

Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity

 

In his quest to boost agriculture in the country, President Buhari’s on Thursday directed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) not to give foreign exchange for food and fertilizer imports, a move which some have frowned at, arguing that the CBN’s policies should not be imposed by a political authority.

Addressing those who hold the view that Buhari’s directive is overreaching, Mr Shehu said, “I am not sure there is anywhere in the world that the Central Bank is So independent that it will operate as foreign ownership”.

CBN Forex Intervention Hits $42.3bn

CBN Reviews Capitalisation Of Tier 2 Microfinance Banks

 

The Central Bank of Nigeria has pumped over $42.3 billion into the foreign exchange market in the past year to ensure liquidity in that segment of the economy.

A breakdown of the numbers shows that about 7.89 billion dollars went into the market in the second quarter of 2018, while N11.88 billion was injected in the third quarter of 2018.

Read Also: Buhari Appoints Kyari As New NNPC GMD

N10.72 billion was pumped into the market in the fourth quarter of 2019 and N11.81 billion went in as at the end of March 2019.

The Director of Corporate Communications Department, at the CBN, Mr Isaac Okorafor, attributes the relative stability in the forex market largely to the bank’s continued intervention.