Nigerian press focuses on new forex directive, call for reversal of power sector privatisation

The central bank's directive on foreign exchange for the importation of goods and the demand by the Nigerian Senate for…

The central bank’s directive on foreign exchange for the importation of goods and the demand by the Nigerian Senate for the reversal of the privatisation of the power sector dominate the headlines of Nigerian newspapers on Wednesday.The Punch reports that the Central Bank Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, has said that the apex bank will not support the importation of items that can be produced in Nigeria with foreign exchange.

The governor urged industrial conglomerates to support efforts aimed at growing the economy and returning it to its glory days.

The newspaper also said that the House of Representatives has asked the Federal Government to develop a long-term socio-economic plan for Nigeria. The lawmakers adopted a motion at the plenary on Tuesday, entitled, ‘Need for Nigeria to Develop a Long-Term Social and Economic Development Framework Vision’.

The House urged the Federal Government to develop a ‘SMART 40-year Strategic Economic Master-Plan and Development Strategy’ and an economic framework to implement the strategy.

The lawmakers also urged all relevant agencies to articulate a long-term agenda anchored on the government economic development strategy framework.

The Guardian reports that the President of the Nigerian Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has lamented the terribly poor electricity supply in the country despite the privatization of the sector.

Consequently, the lawmakers sought an immediate reversal of the power sector privatization carried out by the last administration for “failure to deliver.”

The Senate also urged the Federal Government to suspend the planned increase in electricity tariff scheduled to take effect from July 1, 2020 so as not to escalate the hardship Nigerians are currently suffering due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Vanguard reports that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) have agreed to fund the feeding and accommodation of evacuees in Lagos and Abuja. Nigeria’s minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, disclosed this at the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 daily news conference in Abuja on Tuesday. Onyeama said the fund to cover the cost of evacuees’ feeding and accommodation was over N1 billion and since funding was not available, it had to pass the cost onto the evacuees.

The newspaper also said that the Debt Management Office (DMO) will, today, conduct bond auction by offering N60 billion worth of Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) bonds to investors.

This comes as the databank of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), shows further rise in the nation’s external reserves. According to the revised debt issuance calendar for second quarter released by the DMO last week, the bond action comprises N20 billion worth of 5-year bond, N20 billion worth of 15-Year bond and N20 billion worth of the 30-year bond.