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Nigeria’s external reserves hit $45bn

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Nigeria’s external reserves hit $45bn

 

…gain $212.22m in 2 weeks

The nation’s external reserves have hit an eight-month high of $45 billion and could be set to climb even further as rising tensions in the Middle East, coupled with new International Maritime Organisation (IMO) rules, spark predictions of crude oil rising to $90 per barrel.

According to data obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the reserves steadily rose from $44.792 billion on May 2nd to $45.004 billion on May 16th. This means that the reserves increased by $212.22 million in the two-week period.

New Telegraph’s analysis of the apex bank’s data shows that the last time the  reserves hit the $45 billion mark was on September 18 last year when the country’s foreign exchange buffers stood at $45.002 billion.

Significantly, after jumping to a four-year high of $47 billion in April last year, the reserves began to decline in the following month. In fact, the downtrend persisted from July last year until the reserves stabilized, rising from $42.296 billion as at February 28 to $44.428 billion on March 29 this year. They further inched up to $44.792 billion as at the end of April.

 

Analysts attribute the reserves accretion in the last few months to the increase in crude oil price, as well as huge dollar injections by foreign portfolio investors who, following the conclusion of the elections, have sought to take advantage of double digit interest rates on Nigeria’s fixed income instruments, namely treasury bills and FGN bonds.

Specifically, the CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, had disclosed in March that an inflow of over $6.0 billion was recorded in the naira bond market post- election.

However, with oil exports still accounting for over 90 per cent of Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings, the recent increase in the prices of the commodity due to escalating tensions in the Middle East means that the country’s external reserves could continue to grow in the short term, thereby giving the CBN more ammunition to defend the naira.

Indeed, in a recent interview with CNBC, Head of Global Commodity Strategy at RBC Capital Markets, Helima Croft, predicted that tensions in key international waterways, occasioned by concerns that the United States and Iran are on the verge of a major conflict, could drive Brent crude from its current price range of between $70 and $73 per barrel to above $80 this summer.

In response to the sanctions imposed on his country by the U.S., the Iranian President, Hassan Rouhani, had threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, the world’s busiest transit lane for seaborne oil shipments.

With approximately 20 per cent of all seaborne crude and condensates passing through the Strait of Hormuz, analysts anticipate short-term upside risk to prices if Iran followed through on the threat.

But Croft also stated that apart from Hormuz, the conflict in Yemen could also negatively impact oil shipments off the coast of that country.

Similarly, in a note issued at the weekend, Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofAML) warned that Brent crude oil could reach $90 per barrel due to new IMO rules regarding shipping fuels and a weaker dollar courtesy of a de-escalation in the US/China trade war.

BofAML projected that the IMO rules regarding the allowable sulphur content, to take effect in 2020, could cause a spike in middle distillate demand, thereby pushing up prices upward.

In a recent report, analysts at Nairametrics pointed out that in addition to helping to defend the naira and also settle international payment transactions, Nigeria’s external reserves also represent a form of wealth accumulation portfolio for future consumption purposes.

According to the analysts: “The $39.9 billion the CBN injected into the forex market in 2018 and the relative stability of the exchange rate is traceable to the periodic intervention by the CBN. Hence, the rising external reserve has been a buffer to stabilise the naira.”

 

 

 

 

 

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Account for the $1bn ECA security fund, PDP tells Buhari

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Account for the $1bn ECA security fund, PDP tells Buhari

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called on President Muhammad Buhari to account for the $1billion drawn from the Excess Crude Account (ECA) in 2017 for security.

The party said this became necessary following the revelation by the National Security Adviser (NSA), Gen. Babagana Mongunu (rtd), that he is not aware of the whereabouts or disbursement of the fund.

PDP in a statement yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan that the revelation of the NSA, who coordinates the security architecture of the country, places a huge burden on President Buhari to tell Nigerians what happened to the money.

 

“The revelation by NSA further vindicates the PDP on our initial alarm that the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led administration is overtly corrupt, deceptive and unreliable in the handling the affairs of our nation.

“It further validates the stance of the PDP that agents of the Buhari presidency and the APC were hiding under the guise of security to siphon the $1billion from the ECA.

“This, perhaps, informed the desperation by the cabal to draw from the account without recourse to statutory due process of appropriation by the National Assembly,” the party noted.

It added that from Mongunu’s revelation, Nigerians could see why the nation was daily confronted with disturbing videos and reports of fighting troops protesting their neglect and inadequate equipping, leading to their vulnerability in the fronts.

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Four Turkish nationals kidnapped in Kwara

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Four Turkish nationals kidnapped in Kwara

Four Turkish nationals have been abducted in western Nigeria, local police have told the BBC.

The four, who are construction workers, were kidnapped by gunmen at a bar in Kwara State on Saturday night.

An operation to try to rescue them is under way. No group has said it carried out the abductions.

Last week pirates attacked a cargo ship off the coast of Nigeria and kidnapped 10 Turkish sailors. Their fate remains unknown.

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, with foreigners and high-profile Nigerians frequently targeted.

In April, a prominent politician and his daughter were abducted on a highway in Kaduna State. They were released after ransom was paid.

In the same month two kidnappings targeted foreigners. In the Niger Delta region, gunmen kidnapped two senior Shell workers and killed their police guards. A British woman was shot dead in Kaduna when armed men stormed a holiday resort. They killed one other person and kidnapped three during the attack.

 

In January last year, two Americans and two Canadian citizens were abducted while travelling from the town of Kafanchan in Kaduna state to the capital Abuja. Two of their police escorts were killed.

 

The four kidnap victims were later freed unharmed in a joint military and police operation.

 

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Gambari to Buhari: Don’t ignore agitations from different sections

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Gambari to Buhari: Don’t ignore agitations from different sections

…says dialogue way forward

Nigeria’s former Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN), Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, has warned the Federal Government against ignoring agitations from different sections of the country and groups, saying  the development was an indication that all was not well.

Gambari, who called for dialogue among agitating interests, maintained that the survival of the “Nation-State” depended largely on conflict management and unwavering commitment to building peace.

The former UN Permanent Representative and Chairman, Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy and Development, who made the position at an event in Abuja over the weekend, said the importance of building and sustaining peace in the polity, could never be overemphasised, especially in the face of the nation’s multi-ethnic configuration.

Among other prominent voices, who had called for dialogue as a way out of the tension that has literally enveloped the polity, were former President Olusegun Obasanjo, as well as ex-Commonwealth Secretary-General, Chief Emeka Anyaoku.

They contend that a national dialogue was urgently needed to address concerns of restructuring by the Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, secession by pro-Buafra groups, resource control by Niger Delta activists among others.

There are also concerns that the agitations and the perceived inaction by the government, may have worsened the issue of mutual distrust among ethnic nations, hence the compelling need for dialogue.

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Special forces discover location of abducted Borno aid workers – Report

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Special forces discover location of abducted Borno aid workers – Report

…arrest informants

Emmanuel Onani, Abuja

There are indications that special forces from the military and intelligence services, may have sighted the location where some abducted aid workers were being held.

It will be recalled that suspected terrorist elements had attacked the convoy of staff of Action Against Hunger (AAH) last Thursday at Damasak, headquarters of the Mobbar Local Government Area of Borno State.

The aid workers were said to be on their way to provide humanitarian assistance to some crisis-ridden communities when they were abducted.

According to reports, some of the missing staff, who were being conveyed in a vehicle with registration No MAG 981 AA, are: Grace Taku, Ali Kayiri, Ali A Mustapha, Ali Gaya, Mallam Nuhu and Mohammed Abba Gana.

The incident was said to have happened at Zari village, less than 20 kilometres from Damasak town.

However, apart from identifying the location where the suspected fighting may be holding their captives, some persons suspected to be informants, have been arrested.

An intelligence operative told PRNigeria that the operation of the special force was being coordinated by the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 7 Division, Maj.-Gen. Bulama Biu.

Quoting a source, the platform said: “The special force was able to detect the location of the humanitarian aid workers after some arrests were made.”

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Special forces discover location of abducted Borno aid workers – Report

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Special forces discover location of abducted Borno aid workers – Report

…arrest informants

Emmanuel Onani, Abuja

There are indications that special forces from the military and intelligence services, may have sighted the location where some abducted aid workers were being held.

It will be recalled that suspected terrorist elements had attacked the convoy of staff of Action Against Hunger (AAH) last Thursday at Damasak, headquarters of the Mobbar Local Government Area of Borno State.

The aid workers were said to be on their way to provide humanitarian assistance to some crisis-ridden communities when they were abducted.

According to reports, some of the missing staff, who were being conveyed in a vehicle with registration No MAG 981 AA, are: Grace Taku, Ali Kayiri, Ali A Mustapha, Ali Gaya, Mallam Nuhu and Mohammed Abba Gana.

The incident was said to have happened at Zari village, less than 20 kilometres from Damasak town.

However, apart from identifying the location where the suspected fighting may be holding their captives, some persons suspected to be informants, have been arrested.

An intelligence operative told PRNigeria that the operation of the special force was being coordinated by the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 7 Division, Maj.-Gen. Bulama Biu.

Quoting a source, the platform said: “The special force was able to detect the location of the humanitarian aid workers after some arrests were made.”

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Special forces discover location of abducted Borno aid workers – Report

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Special forces discover location of abducted Borno aid workers – Report

…arrest informants

Emmanuel Onani, Abuja

There are indications that special forces from the military and intelligence services, may have sighted the location where some abducted aid workers were being held.

It will be recalled that suspected terrorist elements had attacked the convoy of staff of Action Against Hunger (AAH) last Thursday at Damasak, headquarters of the Mobbar Local Government Area of Borno State.

The aid workers were said to be on their way to provide humanitarian assistance to some crisis-ridden communities when they were abducted.

According to reports, some of the missing staff, who were being conveyed in a vehicle with registration No MAG 981 AA, are: Grace Taku, Ali Kayiri, Ali A Mustapha, Ali Gaya, Mallam Nuhu and Mohammed Abba Gana.

The incident was said to have happened at Zari village, less than 20 kilometres from Damasak town.

However, apart from identifying the location where the suspected fighting may be holding their captives, some persons suspected to be informants, have been arrested.

An intelligence operative told PRNigeria that the operation of the special force was being coordinated by the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 7 Division, Maj.-Gen. Bulama Biu.

Quoting a source, the platform said: “The special force was able to detect the location of the humanitarian aid workers after some arrests were made.”

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Special forces discover location of abducted Borno aid workers – Report

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By

Special forces discover location of abducted Borno aid workers – Report

…arrest informants

Emmanuel Onani, Abuja

There are indications that special forces from the military and intelligence services, may have sighted the location where some abducted aid workers were being held.

It will be recalled that suspected terrorist elements had attacked the convoy of staff of Action Against Hunger (AAH) last Thursday at Damasak, headquarters of the Mobbar Local Government Area of Borno State.

The aid workers were said to be on their way to provide humanitarian assistance to some crisis-ridden communities when they were abducted.

According to reports, some of the missing staff, who were being conveyed in a vehicle with registration No MAG 981 AA, are: Grace Taku, Ali Kayiri, Ali A Mustapha, Ali Gaya, Mallam Nuhu and Mohammed Abba Gana.

The incident was said to have happened at Zari village, less than 20 kilometres from Damasak town.

However, apart from identifying the location where the suspected fighting may be holding their captives, some persons suspected to be informants, have been arrested.

An intelligence operative told PRNigeria that the operation of the special force was being coordinated by the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 7 Division, Maj.-Gen. Bulama Biu.

Quoting a source, the platform said: “The special force was able to detect the location of the humanitarian aid workers after some arrests were made.”

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Special forces discover location of abducted Borno aid workers – Report

Published

on

By

Special forces discover location of abducted Borno aid workers – Report

…arrest informants

Emmanuel Onani, Abuja

There are indications that special forces from the military and intelligence services, may have sighted the location where some abducted aid workers were being held.

It will be recalled that suspected terrorist elements had attacked the convoy of staff of Action Against Hunger (AAH) last Thursday at Damasak, headquarters of the Mobbar Local Government Area of Borno State.

The aid workers were said to be on their way to provide humanitarian assistance to some crisis-ridden communities when they were abducted.

According to reports, some of the missing staff, who were being conveyed in a vehicle with registration No MAG 981 AA, are: Grace Taku, Ali Kayiri, Ali A Mustapha, Ali Gaya, Mallam Nuhu and Mohammed Abba Gana.

The incident was said to have happened at Zari village, less than 20 kilometres from Damasak town.

However, apart from identifying the location where the suspected fighting may be holding their captives, some persons suspected to be informants, have been arrested.

An intelligence operative told PRNigeria that the operation of the special force was being coordinated by the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 7 Division, Maj.-Gen. Bulama Biu.

Quoting a source, the platform said: “The special force was able to detect the location of the humanitarian aid workers after some arrests were made.”

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Four Turkish nationals abducted in Kwara

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Four Turkish nationals abducted in Kwara

Four Turkish nationals have been abducted in western Nigeria, local police have told the BBC.
The four, who are construction workers, were kidnapped by gunmen at a bar in Kwara State on Saturday night.
An operation to try to rescue them is under way. No group has said it carried out the abductions.
Last week pirates attacked a cargo ship off the coast of Nigeria and kidnapped 10 Turkish sailors. Their fate remains unknown.
Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, with foreigners and high-profile Nigerians frequently targeted.
In April, a prominent politician and his daughter were abducted on a highway in Kaduna State. They were released after ransom was paid.
In the same month two kidnappings targeted foreigners. In the Niger Delta region, gunmen kidnapped two senior Shell workers and killed their police guards. A British woman was shot dead in Kaduna when armed men stormed a holiday resort. They killed one other person and kidnapped three during the attack.
In January last year, two Americans and two Canadian citizens were abducted while travelling from the town of Kafanchan in Kaduna state to the capital Abuja. Two of their police escorts were killed.
The four kidnap victims were later freed unharmed in a joint military and police operation.

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Four Turkish nationals abducted in Kwara

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By

Four Turkish nationals abducted in Kwara

Four Turkish nationals have been abducted in western Nigeria, local police have told the BBC.
The four, who are construction workers, were kidnapped by gunmen at a bar in Kwara State on Saturday night.
An operation to try to rescue them is under way. No group has said it carried out the abductions.
Last week pirates attacked a cargo ship off the coast of Nigeria and kidnapped 10 Turkish sailors. Their fate remains unknown.
Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, with foreigners and high-profile Nigerians frequently targeted.
In April, a prominent politician and his daughter were abducted on a highway in Kaduna State. They were released after ransom was paid.
In the same month two kidnappings targeted foreigners. In the Niger Delta region, gunmen kidnapped two senior Shell workers and killed their police guards. A British woman was shot dead in Kaduna when armed men stormed a holiday resort. They killed one other person and kidnapped three during the attack.
In January last year, two Americans and two Canadian citizens were abducted while travelling from the town of Kafanchan in Kaduna state to the capital Abuja. Two of their police escorts were killed.
The four kidnap victims were later freed unharmed in a joint military and police operation.

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