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Nigerian press focuses on adjustment of exchange rate by apex bank, others

The official adjustment of the naira to exchange to the dollar at N381 on the Importer Exporter window by the central bank and the African Development Bank’s statement that Covid-19 pandemic could cost Nigeria, Togo and other African countries $236.7bn in their cumulative Gross Domestic Product are some of the leading stories in Nigerian newspapers on Wednesday.

The Punch reports that the Central Bank of Nigeria on Tuesday officially devalued naira to exchange to the dollar at N381/$ on the Importer & Exporter window.

The reports said that the data obtained on the website of FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange on the CBN official rate, on Tuesday, showed a 5.54% change from N360/$.

FMDQ Securities was registered by the Securities and Exchange Commission with a mandate to create an efficient platform for the registration, listing, quotation, trading and reporting of securities and financial products.

The newspaper says that President Muhammadu Buhari, on Tuesday lauded what he called China’s contributions towards the reversal of infrastructure deficit in Nigeria.

He said such contributions were visible in the areas of rail, roads, airports and power.

It quoted a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, as saying that Buhari spoke while receiving the outgoing Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Nigeria, Dr Zhou Pingjian, at a virtual farewell audience.
The statement says China playing great role in reversing Nigeria’s infrastructural deficit” and that there was no way a country could develop if it was hampered by severe deficit in infrastructure.

The Sun says that the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Strike force in Zone ‘A’ said it has raised a Debit Notes (DN) worth more than N1.104 billion from importers of cargo that pays lesser Customs duties to the Federal Government’s coffers in the last six months.

The DN, which was generated by the Federal Government from importers who have paid lesser duties across the six area commands of the service in the South West. The Co-ordinator of the Strike force, Assistant Comptroller Abba Kakudi, in a statement to Daily Sun, said the amount generated through the Debits Notes was in the last six months.

According to him, the seizures were between January 1 and June 11, 2020, adding that in spite of COVID-19 pandemic, which affected movement of goods, the Strike force team were able to raise DN to the tune of N1.104 billion.

The Vanguard reports that the African Development Bank (AfDB) has projected that Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product; GDP, would contract by between -4.4 percent and -7.2 percent in 2020, depending on the gravity and duration of the Coronavirus pandemic, COVID-19.

In its African Economic Outlook, 2020 – supplement launched yesterday, the bank stated: “Nigeria is facing rapidly weakening macroeconomic conditions, triggered by the sharp decline in price of oil to below $30 a barrel in March 2020, from more than $60 at the start of the year.

The pandemic has also had cascading impact through reversed investment flows, volatile financial markets, and disruptions in travel and tourism.

“Real GDP is projected to contract by between 4.4% and 7.2% depending on the gravity and duration of the pandemic, wiping out gains from the three consecutive years of growth since the 2016 recession.”

The Nation newspaper reports that the Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal Two (MMA 2) re-opened for domestic flights on Wednesday amid poor passengers turn out.

It noted that as early as 6.00 am, airport workers, airline personnel and security officials were already at their duty posts but only a few passengers showed up at the departure hall.

The departure hall remained scanty as the few passengers filed through security and health checks.

Airline counters expecting passengers include: Max Air, which scheduled its Lagos / Abuja flight for 7.00 am with flight number VM1640; another flight for 11.20 VM 1644 and its last flight for 15.35 with flight number VM 1642.

Information obtained from the flight display terminal at MMA 2 did not give updates whether the flights would proceed on account of poor passenger turnout.
The newspaper also says that detectives on Tuesday searched the personal house of the embattled Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Ibrahim Magu.

The EFCC boss is under investigation by an Administrative Panel, headed by Justice Isa Ayo Salami, a former president of the Court of Appeal. He appeared at the panel on Tuesday for the second day.

It was learnt that the detectives combed Magu’s house in Karu on the outskirts of Abuja at about 7pm.

A source said: “About 10 detectives in four vehicles went to Magu’s personal house in Karu, a clustered suburb of Abuja. They met some aides and guards. They said they came to search the house, but the aides and security guards resisted them.
“When they insisted that they were acting on intelligence, the security guards and aides called Magu’s wife on the telephone and she directed them to allow the detectives access.

Published on 28.04.2020

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