The governor of the CBN wants inflation to slow to 9 percent or less before the Monetary Policy Committee considers cutting interest rates. Godwin Emefiele told Bloomberg TV that he doubts seeing the interest rates coming down before next year. The CBN held its monetary policy rate at 13.5 percent last week for the third straight meeting after surprising the market in March with the first reduction since 2015. While inflation in Nigeria has decelerated from 18.7 percent in January 2017 to 11 percent in August, it has been above the target band of 6 to 9 percent for more than four years. Emefiele and President Buhari are keen to lower interest rates to boost an economy that is yet to recover fully from a contraction in 2016. GDP expanded 1.9 percent year-on-year in Q2. Emefiele also said that a rate cut may trigger capital outflows, which would put pressure on the naira. Both he and Buhari’s administration have signalled that they don’t favour weakening the naira, which has barely budged in the past two years.
There has been an increase in the projects undertaken by China in Nigeria as both countries recorded $8.6 billion bilateral trade between January and June 2019, the Chinese Consul General in Lagos, Chu Maoming, said. Trade between both countries reached the figure with 20.7 percent year-on-year growth, Maoming explained during the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China in Lagos. China remains Nigeria’s largest source of imports and second-largest trading partner with a large number of cooperative projects; Zungeru Hydropower Plant, Mambilla Power Project, Lekki Deep Seaport, Lagos-Calabar coastal railway line, among others, vigorously promoted by both sides. According to Maoming, China had also set up two Confucius Institutes in Nigeria, and more Nigerian students studying in China under Chinese government scholarships. Since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1971, and a strategic partnership in 2005 in particular between China and Nigeria, both countries had maintained a sound momentum of development, Maoming said.
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has said that the FG’s financial intervention in the power sector has reached ₦1.5 trillion despite the privatisation of the industry. The VP said this following an indication that no power distribution company in the country had paid tax to the FG since the sector was privatised six years ago. Recently, the Federal Executive Council approved a third round of intervention funding for the sector, with a total of about ₦1.5 trillion in the last two years, Osinbajo said during a power sector event at Kainji Hydro Power Plant in Niger State. The Vice-President, represented by the Minister of Power, Sale Mamman, explained that the FG had continued to support the sector through interventions and appropriate policies; even as he stressed that no government venture would thrive without the private sector playing a fundamental role. Meanwhile, power generation companies have said their collapse may be imminent as a result of the reduction in the monthly payments of their invoices from about 80 to 15 percent, which the Chairman, MESL, Sani Bello, said could not sustain the survival of the Gencos.
AG. Leventis Nigeria has said that Boval S.A acting on behalf of itself, Leventis Holding S.A, and Leventis Overseas, core shareholders of the company, has notified the Nigerian Stock Exchange and the Securities and Exchange Commission of a plan to acquire the shares held by other shareholders. Boval S.A, A.G Leventis said, had approached the Board of Directors of the company with an intention to acquire the shares at an offer price of 53 kobo per share. This represents a premium of 85 percent to the 60-day volume-weighted average share value and 104 percent to the company’s closing share price on 23 September 2019, and subsequently delist the company from the NSE. According to the company, the proposed transaction would be implemented under a Scheme of Arrangement in line with section 539 of the Companies and Allied MattersAct, Capps.20 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004. A.G Leventis had recovered from a loss of ₦3.476 billion in 2017 to a profit of ₦876 million in 2018. The company is, however, heading for another loss this year going by the results for the six months ended June 2019. It posted a revenue of ₦3.96 billion in 2019, down from ₦6.918 billion in 2018, while it recorded a loss of ₦282.292 million compared with a loss of ₦545.904 million in the corresponding period of 2018.