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My job, The Second Most Difficult on Earth – CBN Governor, Cardoso



Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Olayemi Cardoso, has described his job as the second most difficult on the globe.

This is as he said the Federal Government’s reform and other actions are paying off.

Cardoso spoke Sunday in Abuja at the opening of the 2024 First Plenary Assembly of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN).

The event was themed, “Synod on Synodality: Areas of Concern for the Church in Nigeria “

“I will continue to remember that in spite of (my job) the second most difficult job on the face of the planet, this is really something that remains very memorable,” the CBN governor said.

Cardoso, who was the Chairman of the occasion, expressed optimism that despite all the difficulties, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

“As a result of some of the recent reports from the CBN, over the course of the last week, about $1.8bn came into the markets.

“As long as the country can sustain a positive trajectory, Nigeria will get out of its economic woes and the foreign exchange market will begin to moderate itself,” he said.

He said the apex bank will soon hold the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting, where very critical decisions will be made to continue making the economy more investor-friendly.

Cardoso said an attempt to merge the official rate with the black market rate had been made, adding that the difference between the two is now significantly lower.

“There is a positive outlook on that. The positive outlook comes from the fact that a series of reforms have been made by the federal government and the Central Bank, which are now paying off in such a way that international investors are coming back in again,” he said.

He said one of the problems of economic advancement in Nigeria is finding ways to move as a country beyond being a consumer nation and shelf appetite for foreign goods.

“You have got to move as a country beyond being a consumer nation. And it is something that we as Nigerians have been talking about for so long, but really, we’ve not been able to actualize it.

“The other thing, of course, is to moderate appetite for foreign goods. And that’s closely related to what I had said earlier with respect to becoming a producer nation, because at the end of the day, many of the things you see and many of the things that bother a lot of people with respect to foreign exchange are all essentially down to demand and supply,” Cardoso said.

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FX turnover surges by 81.59% as Naira stays at $1339 against Dollar



Foreign exchange turnover increased by 81.59 per cent to $328 million as the Naira maintained its N1339.33 per dollar appreciation mark against the Dollar at the official forex market.

FMDQ data showed that FX transactions turnover rose to $328.32 million at the close of trading on Tuesday from $180.80 million the previous day.

The development signaled renewed activity and demand in the foreign currency market.

Meanwhile, at the parallel market section, the Naira appreciated to N1500 per dollar on Tuesday from N1520 the previous day.

Experts have attributed the Naira’s strengthening against other currencies to the Central Bank of Nigeria’s intervention in the foreign exchange market.

CBN governor, Olayemi Cardoso in its 295th Monetary Policy Committee blamed the persistent FX crisis on seasonal fluctuations.

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NNPCL uncovers 112 illegal oil refineries in seven days



The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited has discovered 122 illegal oil refining in the last seven days in the Niger Delta region.

According to a documentary released by the NNPCL on Tuesday, the firm said a filling station was sealed for selling illegally refined fuel to motorists in Akwa Ibom State.

The report noted that 65 illegal pipeline connections were uncovered and removed within the past week in Rivers and other states in the oil-rich Niger Delta.

“310 incidents were recorded between May 18 and 24 across the Niger Delta region,” the NNPCL disclosed while reeling out its efforts in fighting oil theft and vandalism

It was learned that the filling station selling illegally refined fuel was uncovered at Grey Creek in Akwa Ibom State.

Details of the report showed that the 122 illegal refineries were spotted at Tomble II, III, IV, Umuajuloke, Rivers State as well as Oporomor III, Eduwini, and Ajatiton in Bayelsa State.

Similarly, vandalized well heads were reportedly discovered in Tomble IV, Rivers and Egbema in Imo State.

Recall that The NNPCL Group Chief Executive Officer, Mele Kyari, said the country needs to tackle oil theft to boost crude oil production and revenue.

“No one is going to put money into oil production when he knows the production will not get to the market.

“Within the last two years, we removed over 5,800 illegal connections from our pipelines. We took down over 6,000 illegal refineries.

“You simply cannot get people to put money until you solve that problem,” he stated.

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FG Nets N242bn From Marine Sector, Targets $7bn Oil & Gas Investment



The Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Gboyega Oyetola, has said that his ministry recorded a revenue of N242 billion in the first quarter (Q1) of 2024.

During the ministerial press briefing on Tuesday in Abuja, Oyetola said the revenue recovered represented a 92 per cent increase from the N126bn recorded in Q1 of 2023.

“A comparison of Q1 of 2023 against Q1 of 2024 revenue performance across the agencies reveals a 92 per cent increase. The increase in revenue performance has largely been due to a 10 per cent increase in the number of vessels calling at our ports due to strategic investments in port infrastructure in the last one year; mooring boats, patrol vessels and dredging of the ports’ channels,” he added.

Also, the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun, stated that the government of President Bola Tinubu was not responsible for the economic conditions that led to the shutdown of about 800 companies in 2023.

In a statement on Tuesday, Edun’s explanation was coming on the heels of an earlreport in February by the Manufacturing Association of Nigeria (MAN) indicating that about 767 manufacturing companies shut down operations in Nigeria in 2023.

In addition, the association noted that another 335 companies were in distress financially in the same year.

Edun explained that the departure of the companies from Nigeria’s economic landscape did not happen overnight; but that factors like market instability, unfulfilled promises and breaches of contract forced them out.

He added that the issues were currently being addressed by the current administration.

He explained that, “Our government inherited the assets and liabilities of the previous administration. The 800 companies or so did not make up their minds overnight. They stayed until they could stay no more.

“The conditions which sent them packing are no more. Those conditions were a foreign exchange market that was in no way fit for business where there was no liquidity.

“They were the general economic regime marked by instability, broken promises, lack of adherence to contract and so on.

“The new environment which investors face is one in which inflation is being attacked which will eventually lead to lower interest rates where investors can use the very vibrant domestic market to add their own equities and invest.”

We expect $7bn investment in oil & gas sector

Edun also disclosed that the oil and gas sector received approximately $7bn investment pledge due to the new incentive frameworks introduced by President Bola Tinubu’s administration.

He said that the investment had been dormant for years, awaiting the appropriate economic conditions for inflow.

He also highlighted the CNG-fueled conversion programme as part of the administration’s policy framework to drive growth.

He said, “CNG is a government policy not just for vehicles, but for generators. They have to be either CNG-fueled or solar-based or electric vehicles.

“That is the new incentive structure. And it continues also in the oil and gas sector. There has just been a new set of incentives that are encouraging new investments.

“We expect $7bn worth of investments that have been sitting on the sidelines to now come in.

“A stable, growing economy attracts investment that increases productivity, grows the economy further, creates jobs and reduces poverty. That is the trajectory that Nigeria is now on.”

Nigeria’s economy recording positive growth

The minister also disclosed that Nigeria’s economy was returning to the path of positive growth with a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate of 2.98 per cent in the Q1 of 2024.

He said the 2.98 per cent growth rate was higher than last year’s GDP growth rate of 2.31 per cent.

Speaking on interventions of the government in the last one year, he said, “Efforts have been made to improve food security, with N200bn allocated to programmes.

“Also, access to credit has also been improved, with N100bn allocated to consumer credit and grants of N50,000 being given to one million nano industries.”

Nigeria attracted $3.5bn investment to textile industry in 1 year – Industry minister

The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Doris Uzoka-Anite, said the federal government has secured $3.5bn in investments to enhance Nigeria’s textile, cotton and apparel sector in one year.

She said the investment was part of the ministry’s initiative to rejuvenate the long-dormant textile industry.

Similarly, the minister highlighted that, “Over 16,000 jobs have been created in the past year, through programmes and interventions by the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN). Such programmes include the National Business Skills Development Initiative (NBSDI), Conditional Grant Scheme (CGS) and General Enterprise Development Training (GEDT).”

She noted that, “The federal government, under the auspices of the ministry, generated N430m in the first quarter of 2024 from the Lagos International Trade Fair Complex, which is significantly more compared to the N17.9m accrued in the same period in the previous year.”

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