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Again, naira crosses N700/$ mark at parallel market

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The naira has continued its downward trend, falling to N702 per dollar at the parallel market on Monday.

The figure represents N10 or 1.4 percent depreciation compared to the N692 it traded last week.

Bureaux De Change (BDC) operators in Lagos and Abuja, said that there is high demand for foreign currency in the street market.

The street traders, popularly known as ‘abokis‘ put the buying price of the dollar at N690 and the selling price at N700-N702, leaving a profit margin of N10-N12.

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Last month, the naira weakened to N707 a dollar. It later strengthened to N670 after security operatives raided a BDC hub in Abuja.

At the official market, the local currency appreciated 0.08 percent against the dollar to close at N430.33 at the end of the last trading day (Friday), according to FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange, a platform that oversees foreign-exchange trading in Nigeria.

An exchange rate of N444 to the dollar was the highest rate recorded within the day’s trading before it settled at N430.33.

It sold for as low as N417 to the dollar within the day’s trading. A total of $82.38 million traded in foreign exchange at the official investors and exporters window.

Recently, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) released $265 million to airlines operating in the country to settle outstanding ticket sales.

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The move followed complaints by foreign airlines over their inability to repatriate revenue from Nigeria.

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Chinese chamber denies barring Nigerian shoppers from Abuja supermarket

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The China General Chamber of Commerce in Nigeria has given insight into the operation of a Chinese supermarket within the premises of the Royal Choice Estate, Airport Road, Abuja.

Theheute reports that the Abuja-based Chinese supermarket had come under criticism for refusing to allow Nigerians to shop in its facility.

The supermarket situated at the China General Chamber of Commerce, along Umaru Musa Yar’Adua Road in Abuja, is acclaimed as a destination for Chinese cuisine and beverages.

Nigerians had expressed outrage over a discriminatory policy implemented by the Chinese Supermarket, which restricted entry exclusively to its citizens and barred Nigerians.

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But After Theheute reports, the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission sealed the supermarket.

The FCCPC officials shut the supermarket when they stormed the premises on Monday. The commission’s officials sealed up the place after interrogating Nigerian workers at the supermarket.

But reacting to the alleged discrimination in a statement by its Secretary, Mr. Cui Guangzheng, the China Chamber of Commerce explained that the estate housing both the supermarket and the commerce building was not entirely a supermarket.

He clarified that the Royal Choice Estate comprises an office complex and residential apartments.

According to the statement, the residential area of the estate consists of private residents who adhere to security protocols in granting access to external visitors.

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“The China Chamber of Commerce is one of several enterprises using the facility, and the supermarket in question is located in the residential area of the estate, which is unrelated to the China Chamber of Commerce in Nigeria,” the statement read.

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It added, “No individual was subjected to discrimination or denied access to the estate or supermarket to purchase groceries as widely believed.

“The China General Chamber of Commerce emphasized its commitment to equality and inclusiveness and welcomed first-hand visits to witness the truth.

“Our principles are to enhance friendship between the people of both countries and promote economic development.”

The chamber expressed regret over the altercation at the estate’s entrance gate between the security personnel and a customer, emphasizing that it does not reflect the official position of the estate management or the chamber of commerce.

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FG to execute $3.8bn gas supply agreement in May

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The Gas Supply and Purchase Agreement to support the Final Investment Decision for the $3.8bn Brass methanol project is to be executed in May 2024, the Federal Government announced on Monday.

The Brass methanol project is a major industrial project being built in Bayelsa State to produce methanol, a key industrial chemical, using natural gas resources. Nigeria currently imports all its methanol.

Located in Brass Island, Bayelsa, the facility is to have a capacity of 10,000 tonnes of methanol per day when completed, as it is still under construction and expected to be operational this year.

The $3.8bn is to create up to 15,000 jobs during construction and aims to boost the Nigerian economy by reducing reliance on imports.

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This project is a joint venture between DSV Engineering Limited, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, and the Nigerian Content Development & Monitoring Board.

The Minister of State Petroleum Resources (Gas), Ekperikpe Ekpo, announced the execution date for the gas supply agreement in Abuja on Wednesday after a meeting with key stakeholders of the project in his office.

Ekpo, in a statement issued by his media aide, Louis Ibah, said the meeting was to confirm adequate gas supply to the Brass methanol project by the NNPC/Shell/TotalEnergies/NAOC Joint Venture.

He said the meeting was to also determine the next steps to conclude and execute the GSPA and mature the phase-2 of gas supply to the project.

Present at the meeting were the Head of Joint Venture, Investment Management, NNPC Upstream Investment Management Services, Mr Olanrewaju Igandan; and Deputy Managing Director, Nigerian Agip Oil Company, Mr Richard Orianzi.

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Others include the Managing Director, Shell Petroleum Development Company Nigeria, Mr Osagie Okunbor; Managing Director of Brass Fertiliser and Petrochemical Ltd, Mr Ben Okoye, among others.

Ekpo informed the gathering of President Bola Tinubu’s strong interest in resolving issues relating to gas supply to the Brass methanol project.

According to the Minister, the President was passionate about the speedy kick-off of the project so that it could bring in the much needed Foreign Direct Iinvestment with attendant economic benefits to the country.

“Mr President is very passionate about this project and wants something positive to happen in respect of the Brass methanol project before the end of May this year,” Ekpo said.

The Brass methanol project is sponsored by Brass Fertiliser & Petrochemical Company Limited and it is made up of a gas processing plant, a methanol production and refining plant, product export facilities, among others.

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At the end of the meeting, Ekpo announced he had successfully resolved the GSPA issue and that it would be executed by May this year.

“The NNPC/SPDC JV partners are now fully committed to uninterrupted gas supply for the development of the Brass methanol project,” the gas minister stated.

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Naira continues recovery, gains 7.2% against dollar

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The exchange rate of Nigeria’s currency, the Naira has continued to appreciate to the dollar in response to the fiscal and monetary policies of President Bola Tinubu’s administration.

According to data from the official trading platform of the FMDQ Exchange, a platform that oversees the Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange Market (NAFEM), on Friday revealed that the Naira gained N88.23.

This represents a 7.16 per cent gain when compared to the previous trading date on Monday, April 8, exchanging at N1,230.61 to a dollar before the Sallah holiday.

The huge appreciation resulted in the Naira trading at N1,142.38 to the dollar at the official market

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The total daily turnover increased to $281.34 million on Friday up from $125.55 million recorded on Monday.

Meanwhile, at the Investor’s and Exporter’s (I&E) window, the Naira traded between N1,265 and N1,100 against the dollar.

Experts attribute the steady Naira appreciation to the policies of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.

The CBN, during its policy meetings held in February and March, implemented a total of 600 basis points in interest rate increases.

This helped tackle dollar scarcity, reduced volatility, and decreased reliance on parallel markets.

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