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IMF Advises FG To Remove Fuel, Electricity Subsidies In 2022

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has advised the Federal Government (FG) to completely remove fuel and electrical subsidies early next year and instead focus on implementing revenue-based fiscal consolidation. This was disclosed in a statement at the end of IMF’s 2021 Article IV Mission. The statement reads, “On the immediate front, fiscal and external imbalances require removal of regressive fuel and electricity subsidies, tax administration reforms, and installing a fully unified market-clearing exchange rate.

EFCC Returns Kogi Salary Bail-Out Funds

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has returned the N19.33 billion Kogi State bailout funds to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Wilson Uwujaren, EFCC’s Media Head disclosed that the CBN has confirmed the receipt of the funds. EFCC had earlier alleged that the sum was deposited in an interest yielding account by the Kogi State government officials domiciled in Sterling bank. The Commission moved a motion for the interim forfeiture of the funds to prevent further dissipation of the funds in the account.

NERC Increases Price Of Prepaid Electricity Meters

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) increased the price of both single-phase and three-phase electricity meters in the country. This was announced in a circular by the NERC and addressed to managing directors, electricity distribution companies, and meter asset providers nationwide. The circular was dated 11th November 2021 and was titled ‘Review of the unit price of end-use meters under the Meter Asset Provider and National Mass Metering Regulations’.

FG Announces Bailout Funds Worth N656Bn For 36 States

The Federal Government (FG) has announced that the sum of N656 billion would serve as bailout funds to the 36 states of the country, with each state projected to receive N18.2Billion. The special bailout fund is called Bridge Financing Facility which was approved by President Muhammadu Buhari to assist states in meeting their financial obligations. This was disclosed in a statement on Thursday by the Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande.

Bitcoin

Crypto market capitalization is approaching $3 trillion with bitcoin and ether hitting fresh all-time highs. The world’s biggest digital currency, bitcoin rose above $68,000, eclipsing a previous record set in late October before easing slightly to $67,935. Ether, on the other hand, notched a record high of $4,840, surpassing the $4,800 level for the first time ever.

IMF: CBN Needs To Manage Risks Associated With e-Naira

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) should monitor operational risks associated with the recently launched digital currency, e-Naira. This was disclosed in a report by the IMF titled: 'Country Focus; Five Observations on Nigeria's Central Bank Digital Currency.'

OPEC+ Declines Biden Plea On Oil Production

OPEC and its allies have rejected United States President, Joe Biden appeal to pump more oil days after agreeing to keep output steady as the price continues to surge unabated due to the pace of economic recovery and growth in global demand. In the New York Mercantile Exchange, January crude futures passed $81 a barrel while Brent Crude futures settled at near $83 a barrel on the London Intercontinental Exchange by over $2.

FG To Investigate Money Lending Industry For Illegal Practices, Others

The Federal Government (FG) is set to investigate some illegal and unfair practices currently plaguing the money lending industry. According to reports, The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have already commenced investigations regarding rights violations in the money lending industry. The Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) and the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) are also involved in the probe of the money lending sector.

First Bank Launches Fully Automated Self Service Branch

First bank of Nigeria Limited, said it has launched its fully automated branch, called the First bank Digital Experience Centre in Lagos. In a statement on Tuesday, the bank said the centre which is steered by the Bank’s remodeled Adetokunbo Ademola branch, Victoria Island, provides customers with the advantage of carrying out various activities on their own without interacting with anyone. “The branch is a reinvention of digital banking solutions in the country as customers are exposed to a seamless world-class banking experience,” the statement said. According to the bank the milestone initiative is scheduled to hit other locations across the country’s geopolitical zones in the coming months. It disclosed that the self-service branch is built with a wide range of phased modern banking facilities which include humanoid robots equipped with Video Banking and Artificial Intelligence (AI), taking on the role of friendly branch staff; Teller Cash Recyclers (TCRs), among others.

FG Opens Portal For National Housing Programme

The Federal Government (FG) has officially launched an online platform for the sale of completed houses under the National Housing Programme (NHP). This was disclosed at the portal’s launch on Friday in Abuja, by the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola who stated that the portal is available in 34 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). According to reports, Rivers State is scheduled to join phase three of the project while Lagos State is yet to provide land for the housing scheme.

Chinese Banks Coming To Nigeria Soon – Ambassador Jianchun

The Chinese ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Cui Jianchun, has said Nigerians should be expecting Chinese banks to start operating in the county soon. This is to boost trade and commerce between China and Nigeria. Jianchun said China seeks closer ties between the Chinese and Nigerian lawmakers. The envoy noted that Nigerian financial institutions are welcome in his country if they decide to come on board. The Ambassador said he was working to ensure the banks open in China and has been taking required steps. Jianchun while speakers to journalists in Abuja acknowledged that investments in both countries would enhance the chances of Currency Swap agreement and make it succeed.

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