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Travellers have been stranded as the dollar shortage hits banks

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Travellers have been stranded as the dollar shortage hits banks

Travellers have been stranded as the dollar shortage hits banks

Travellers have been stranded as the dollar shortage hits banks

Glamtush reports that Nigerians are finding it increasingly difficult to access the United States dollar at the Central Bank of Nigeria’s official rate for eligible transactions.

 

According to Daily Trust findings, the worse affected are those travelling abroad who are experiencing delays in accessing Business Travel Allowance (BTA), Personal Travel Allowance (PTA) and monies to pay for medicals and others.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Parents are also affected as they are finding it difficult to access the dollar for remittances of school fees and upkeep allowances for their children.

 

 

Forces behind the shortage
The investigations revealed that it is extremely difficult to access the dollar because the demand far outweighs supply, forcing some banks to extend the request period for PTA/BTA from two weeks to eight weeks.

But other sources said the CBN had tightened the processes of getting the dollar because some unpatriotic Nigerians have been abusing the process.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A source said investigations by the apex bank showed that many people had no plan to travel anywhere or to remit money abroad for legitimate purposes but yet forge papers and apply for the foreign currency only for them to hoard it or sell it at the parallel market.

Recall that the CBN had deployed an electronic Form ‘A’ to expedite applications for PTA/BTA, medicals, education and other remittances.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The CBN assured Nigerians that all legitimate requests for foreign currency for eligible transactions would be fully met at the official exchange rate.

However, Stanbic IBTC Bank recently sent a message to its customers stating that it requires six to eight weeks before it can process the request for dollars.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“To serve you better, please be informed that we now require six to eight weeks to process your FX needs for international school fees, upkeep and medical payments. This will enable us to review your requests in line with regulatory requirements and ensure that we can source for FX to fulfil them,” it stated.

A visit to a branch of Polaris Bank on Gimbiya Street in Abuja and First Bank in Asokoro showed that customers have been in the waiting queue for more than 3 weeks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Kano, many students and people on medical and business trips looking for official forex from banks narrated that they have been experiencing difficulties in getting dollars since the introduction of the new strategy.

They alleged that there were middlemen always working within the banks who were complicating the process thereby leading to difficulties.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Travellers narrate ordeal

Abdullahi Ahmad who had finished his preparations and the requirements to travel to Dubai for medicals said he could not get the $4, 000 he applied for over two weeks.

“I have only two weeks for my Dubai Visa to expire and yet I didn’t get the dollar from my bank. When I contacted my elder brother, he then contacted a bank manager, who later promised to give me $4,000 at the end of this week. But that is not enough, she (the bank manager) said I have to pay N340, 000 as a kickback to be able to get the money,” he said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He said although he accepted to pay that amount, he was not sure of getting the money as his visa expiration date was fast approaching.

A marketer at the BDC market in Kano, who chose not to be named, said the banks have crippled their businesses and forced the dollar to be scarce leading to the high exchange rate in the parallel market.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He alleged that the banks now only give dollars to people who add a huge amount of money, adding that it has led to the hike in the price.

We’re battling fake applications – Banks

A top source in one of the banks in Lagos, who does not want his name in print, said the scarcity has led to rationing.

“It is an open secret that we have shortage but we are trying as much as possible to meet genuine demand of people. So, we prioritise from the most critical as we can’t meet all the demand. We look out for the most urgent need,” he said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

He said the banks also have to battle fake applications in some instances.

“Many of the applicants are not going anywhere but they use different methods to apply for the dollar,” another banker said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“You see them forging medical records, fake admission letters and others all in an effort to deceive us and get the scarce currency,” he said.

Asked if there was any way to solve the problem, he said, “The most important thing is to encourage export so that our earnings would increase. The federal government and the security agencies must also put some measures to track and prosecute offenders.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

However, Mavis Ikpeme via her Twitter handle, @mavisikpeme, lamented the difficulties in getting PTA/BTA from banks, noting that Nigerians were forced to patronise the black market.

“You can’t even file for PTA/ BTA from banks. Nigerians travelling are forced to patronise the black market. You can hardly cash USD from a dorm account too. Is the CBN not aware of these atrocities perpetrated by banks? These are part of the issues?” she said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another user, Olayinka Biu, accused banks of deliberately frustrating genuine applicants for PTA while making dollars available for Bureaux De Change.

“The actual problem is genuine applicants for PTA are not getting it. With excuses of dollars not being available or the queue being so long it couldn’t get to your turn before your travel date. Meanwhile, BDC agents are getting dollars directly from these banks,” she posted via her handle, @olayinkaBiu

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’re tackling the menace – CBN

The CBN has however assured that it was tackling the scarcity nightmare, even as it advised against succumbing to the speculative activities of some players in the exchange market.

The Director, Corporate Communications at the CBN, Mr Osita Nwanisobi said the apex bank remained committed to resolving the foreign exchange issues confronting the nation and as such has been working to manage both the demand and supply side challenges.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While admitting that there was huge demand pressure for foreign exchange to meet the needs of manufacturers as well as those for the payment of tuition, medical fees and other invisibles, Nwanisobi said the CBN was concerned about the international value of the naira, adding that the monetary authority was strategising to help Nigeria earn more stable and sustainable inflows of foreign exchange in the face of dwindling inflows from the oil sector.

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Retailer recounts impact of technology on her well-being

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impact of technology

Retailer recounts impact of technology on her well-being

impact of technology

It truly takes time and energy in moving around an open market to source for goods in order to restock, which brings about body aches and fatigue most retailers have shared.

These experiences are fading with ease of shopping and feeling of well-being taking over as retailers conveniently make their orders online, make payment and within a maximum of four hours, their goods get directly delivered to their stores without inclusion of transport charges.

 

 

 

 

Isn’t this pretty cool? Absolutely! Yisau Bolaji who runs a grocery store expresses as he recounts how his life has changed since he discovered Alerzo, an e-commerce platform that enables him carry out his business conveniently.

They do not have to leave their homes to get to the open markets to buy goods. They do not have to face the fear of being worn out, attacked or any mishap in the course of plying the roads.

 

 

 

The emergence of tech firms in e-commerce has been a game changer in the retail sector. More opportunities are being provided to help retailers operate their businesses with ease and maintain healthy lifestyles.

Bolaji who talked about how his health has improved said,”It is a lot of stress going to the market to restock. When I come back from the market, I come back with headache

 

 

 

 

 

“But since I started patronising Alerzo, things are different. Alerzo has a vast assortment of goods. Secondly, Alerzo saves me money on delivery and transportation, aside from the convenience .

“My health has improved because I no longer go through the stress of buying goods in the open market and returning home with a headache. So I’m enjoying the convenience and it is good for my health and wellbeing.”

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Mouka Parent Company, Dolidol International Group, Appoints Dr Adesegun Akin-Olugbade as New Vice Chairman

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Adesegun Akin-Olugbade

Mouka Parent Company, Dolidol International Group, Appoints Dr Adesegun Akin-Olugbade as New Vice Chairman

Adesegun Akin-Olugbade

Dr Adesegun Akin-Olugbade, Mouka’s Vice Chairman

Mouka, the market leader in Nigeria’s sleep industry and a new member of the Dolidol International group, has appointed Dr Adesegun Akin-Olugbade as its new Vice Chairman.

 

The Board of Mouka’s parent company, Dolidol, has given their vote of confidence to the new Vice Chairman, who has an impressive resume of sterling accomplishments.

 

 

 

 

 

According to the Managing Director of Mouka, Mr Femi Fapohunda, the new Vice Chairman’s expertise is in finance, corporate governance and law. As a Non-Executive Board Member, his input and guidance to decision-making by Mouka’s Executive Directors would help propel Mouka to even greater heights.

 

Dr Adesegun is the Founder and Managing Partner of Luwaji Nominees, a legal and corporate advisory services firm and currently serves as Of Counsel at Clifford Chance (CC Worldwide Limited) and International Counsel at ÆLEX.

 

 

 

 

 

He is a graduate of King’s College London (LL. B (Hons) 1983, LL.M 1985) and Harvard Law School (LL.M ’88 and SJD ’91), in addition to being the Overall Best Student at the Nigerian Law School in 1984. He has served for over 30 years in the legal profession and financial services sector; having worked at both the technical and executive management level, in the public and private sector, for leading commercial law firms, multilateral development banks and international financial institutions.

 

He was previously General Counsel and Senior Director at the African Development Bank (AfDB) (2000 -2007) and the first Chief Legal Officer and Head of the Legal Services Department of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) (1993 – 1997). In December 2018, he retired as Executive Director (Chief Operating Officer), General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Africa Finance Corporation (AFC).

 

 

 

 

 

Adesegun A. Akin-Olugbade has significant Board level experience. He was a non-Executive Director and former Chairman of the Governance Committee of Ecobank Transnational Inc. (ETI). He was also a Founding Director and Managing Partner of AFC’s wholly owned subsidiary, AFC Equity Investments Limited, Mauritius. He was a founding shareholder and former non-Executive Director of Asset & Resources Management (ARM) Company, a leading financial services company in Nigeria.

 

He is a life member of the Nigerian Conservation Foundation and Trustee of the African Refugee Foundation (AREF) and of the Nigerian Law School Class of 1984.

 

 

 

 

 

In 2003, he was invited to be a member of the Committee on International Monetary Law of the International Law Association (MOCOMILA) and joined the World Trade Board as the first African member in 2019.

 

Adesegun A. Akin-Olugbade is an alumnus of several Executive Management Programs including the Wharton CEO Academy, the IMD Executive Management Program and the HEC (Montreal) Management Development Program (MDP).

 

 

 

 

 

He is an Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON), a national honour conferred on him by the Nigerian Government in September 2012.

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Nigeria Records $2.5bn loss in July as Oil Production Falls to 1.083m bpd

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Oil Production

Nigeria Records $2.5bn loss in July as Oil Production Falls to 1.083m bpd

Oil Production

 

The expectation that Nigeria’s current dollar crunch could subside soon has again been dashed as the country’s crude oil production remained below expectation, slumping to 1.083 million barrels per day in July.

July’s production figure, sourced from the data released by the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), followed the trend in the country’s abysmally low drilling capacity in at least the last 10 months.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the month under review, however, the country’s production allocation by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was roughly 1.8 million (1.799) barrels per day.

This means that Nigeria could not produce as much as 717,000 bpd or 22.22 million barrels during July. When valued at a conservative price of $110 per barrel, the 22.22 million barrels were about $2.444 billion for the month.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While the rest of the oil-producing world and oil majors continue to enjoy high oil prices, Nigeria’s case has been different.
Though the country currently needs every dollar it can get, as pressure on the economy, due to the near non-availability of the greenback continues to mount, the slump in oil production has dashed this hope.

For months, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) has not been able to remit a kobo to the federation account.
The company blamed the extant subsidy payment regime as well as the massive ongoing oil theft in the Niger Delta.

 

 

 

 

 

In addition, Nigeria has fingered years of declining upstream investment, inability to restart oil wells shut in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 as well as outright sabotage by oil-producing communities for its lack of capacity to raise production.

If there’s no improvement by September, the production deficit is likely to get worse, since OPEC and its allies agreed to an increase in oil production this month, following calls by the United States and other major consumers for more supply.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the latest round of distribution of quotas, Nigeria got a modest 4,000 bpd increase, raising its production quota to 1.830 million bpd for September as opposed to the 1.826 million bpd output it got for August and 1.8 million bpd in July.

Nigeria only managed to hit just 1.158 million bpd in the June assessment after it fell to a record low of 1.024 million bpd in the previous month of May.

 

 

 

In the 2022 budget, the federal government pegged the crude oil benchmark at $73 bpd with the projected oil production put at 1.88 million bpd

A recent review indicated that Nigeria produced less crude oil in the first six months of this year compared with the same period in 2020 and 2021.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It showed that Nigeria’s total of 220.016 million barrels of oil drilled in 2022, is less than the 302.4 million in 2020. That’s roughly a 27.15 per cent decrease.

The NUPRC data further showed that in the first six months of 2021, when the world had started recovering from the pandemic, Nigeria also surpassed this year’s six-month drilling total for the same period by 28.6 million barrels.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Specifically, while the country managed to produce 302.4 million barrels in 2020, it drilled 248.6 million barrels in the same period in 2021, but it quickly degenerated to 220.016 million barrels from January to June this year. That is an 11.29 per cent change between 2021 and 2022.

Of the country’s recorded 35 terminals/streams, the NUPRC data showed that Ajapa, Ima and Anambra Basin remain non-producing, while Tulja-Okwuibome started producing in 2022, after a period of dormancy in 2020 and 2021.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The new low production became worse in May when 1.024 million bpd was recorded. In June, it was 1.158 million bpd, according to self-reported data by the government, however, it has fallen again to 1.083 million bpd in July, far from the projection for the period. It was also markedly lower than the production for April, which stood at 1.219 million bpd.

Similarly, Nigeria produced 1.398 million bpd in January, 1.257 million bpd in February and 1.237 in March, according to the NUPRC data.

 

 

 

 

 

 

But despite the huge gulf between expected and actual production, the Minister of State, Petroleum, Mr Timipre Sylva, had recently said the gap would be filled by this August.

Sylva’s comment came after similar assurances by the Group Chief Executive Officer, NNPCL, Mallam Mele Kyari, that the country would drill enough oil to cover the deficit by December last year.

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