The FG has admitted that the partial closure of Nigeria’s land borders with neighbouring countries is contributing to rising inflation. The Minister of Finance, Budget, National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, said that inflation rose due to hikes in food prices arising from border closure. She said this after the Federal Executive Council in Abuja Wednesday. A recent report by the NBS showed that the headline inflation stood at 11.61 percent as of October. The FEC meeting was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari. However, Ahmed said that the closure of the borders was a temporary measure adopted by the government to protect the economy against trade malpractices by neighbouring countries. The government is still in discussions with the neighbouring countries to ensure that they respect trade protocols, especially now that the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement is coming into effect, Ahmed said.
The CBN has set a minimum capital requirement of ₦10 billion for Mortgage Guarantee Companies in the country. The CBN said the licensing process for MGCs would consist of two stages: Approval in Principle and Final Approval as the new regulation is an improvement upon the exposure draft on the operations of MGC, which was issued on 17 October 2018. The CBN said promoters of a proposed MGC must submit an application for the grant of a final licence to the CBN not later than six months after obtaining the AIP. The regulator said other financial requirements that promoters of a proposed MGC must meet, aside from the minimum paid-up capital of ₦10 billion, were non-refundable application fee of ₦100,000.00, non-refundable licensing fee of ₦1 million and change of name fee of ₦50,000 as it said that it had the right to vary financial requirements for the licensing of MGCs. Similarly, on prudential requirements for MGCs, CBN noted that the mortgage companies must maintain at all times a minimum paid-up capital as it may prescribe. According to the CBN, the objective of an MGC is to support mortgage originators such as primary mortgage banks and commercial banks to increase mortgage lending.
The police have arraigned 60 members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria before Justice Suleiman Belgore of the High Court of the FCT in Apo, Abuja, over an alleged disturbance of public peace. This is coming five months after their arrest in Abuja. The Shiites were arraigned on a nine-count charge bordering on homicide, disturbance of public peace and destruction of government properties. The defendants were among those arrested during the 22 July 2019 protest at the Central Business District area of Abuja. The protest led to the death of DCP Usman Umar and a member of the NYSC, Precious Owolabi, who was attached to Channels Television. The defendants pleaded not guilty to all the counts. Justice Belgore ordered the remand of the defendants in SARS custody till 10 December, pending the hearing of the bail application and venue of the trial.
Data from the PPPRA shows that the rise in crude oil price has spiked the Expected Open Market Price of petrol in Nigeria, leading to a sharp increase in the amount spent on petrol subsidy. Brent, the commodity on which Nigeria’s crude is priced, appreciated by $0.54 to $64.17 per barrel, data showed as crude in the OPEC basket increased in price by $1.46 to $63.68 per barrel. The increase in EOMP led to an increase in the amount spent on subsidy by the NNPC, the sole importer of petrol in the country at the moment. The data from the PPPRA on the agency’s pricing templates for 21 November and 25 November 2019, put the EOMP of petrol at ₦178.92 per litre and ₦172.81 per litre, respectively. The ex-depot price for collection of petrol remained the same at ₦133.28 per litre, the price that the NNPC sold the commodity to marketers, who then dispensed to consumers at the ₦145 per litre approved rate. An analysis of the EOMP and ex-depot prices showed that on 21 November, the NNPC incurred about ₦45.64 as subsidy on every litre of petrol. It subsidised the commodity by about ₦39.53 per litre on 25 November, which implies that on average, the NNPC spent about ₦43 as subsidy on every litre of petrol consumed in Nigeria within the five-day period.