Nigerian press focuses on resumption of domestic flights, hike in petrol price

The resumption of domestic flights and the hike in the price of petrol dominate the headlines of Nigerian newspapers on…

The resumption of domestic flights and the hike in the price of petrol dominate the headlines of Nigerian newspapers on Thursday.


The Punch reports that Nigeria’s Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has announced that Abuja and Lagos airports will reopen for domestic operations on July 8.

The minister, who made the announcement in a tweet posted on Wednesday evening, added that Kano, Port Harcourt, Owerri and Maiduguri airports would resume on July 11, while other airports would follow on July 15.
International flights would soon be announced, he noted.

 “I am glad to announce that Abuja and Lagos airports will resume domestic operations on July 8, 2020. Kano, Port Harcourt, Owerri and Maiduguri to resume on the 11th. Other airports on the 15th. Date for international to be announced in due course,” the minister tweeted.

The newspaper also reported that the pump price band for petrol has been increased from N121.5 – N123.5/litre to N140.8 – N143.8/litre for the month of July 2020.

It added that different stakeholders, including petroleum products marketers and the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, said total deregulation rather than price control could drive the price below the current price.

It was gathered on Wednesday that the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) advised marketers to sell the commodity within the price band of N140.8 to N143.8/litre.
The report recalled that in June, the PPPRA had advised marketers to sell within the price band of N121.5 to N123.5/litre.

The Punch also says that Nigerian banks’ foreign currency funding gap will rise to $5 billion over the current low oil prices, volatile foreign inflows and lower remittances amid coronavirus pandemic, Moody’s Investors Service said on Wednesday.
Moody’s, in its July 2020 report, titled ‘Renewed foreign-currency shortages highlight vulnerability for banks’, said the challenges were threatening to renew the foreign currency liquidity pressures that blighted Nigerian banks during a previous oil crisis in 2016-2017.

A banking analyst at Moody’s, Peter Mushangwe, said, “Lower dollar inflows at a time when foreign currency borrowing will likely be more expensive for Nigerian banks will strain their foreign currency funding, despite substantial improvements compared to 2016.
“Our moderate scenario where foreign-currency deposits decline by 20 percent, while loans remain constant, would increase rated banks’ funding gap to N1.5tn [$3.8bn], and to N1.9tn [$5.0bn] under our severe-case scenario of 35 per cent foreign-currency deposit contraction, creating acute funding challenge.”

The Sun says that the Nigerian Government yesterday announced it has approved a total stimulus package of N2.3 trillion to cushion the effect of coronavirus pandemic on the economy.

The government’s package, according to the report, consists of N500 billion Federal Government intervention fund, N1.2 trillion Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Intervention Funds, another N334 billion Bank of Industry (BOI)/Multilateral Interventions Fund and additional government support of N300 billion.

Making the announcement in Abuja at the second virtual Community of Practice (CoP) meeting of the Commissioners of Economic Planning, Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Ikanade Agba, explained that the packages consist to a large extent, a combination of fiscal and monetary policies, sectoral interventions and social programmes.
The Vanguard reports that the World Bank has appointed another Vice President for the Sub-Saharan Africa Region.

The region’s portfolio was formally managed by one Vice president, a position occupied by Mr. Hafez Ghanem, an Egyptian and French national.

With the new appointees announced, in Washington, yesterday, Mr. Ousmane Diagana became the second VP with responsibility for Central and Western Africa, while Mr. Ghanem now oversees Eastern and Southern Africa affairs.
The bank said that the appointment of two VP was “a sign of its strong commitment to Africa” while announcing that it would lend $50 billion to the countries on the continent, this year.