The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has banned the sale of dollars to Bureau De Change operators (BDCs). Governor Godwin Emefiele announced the ban at a press briefing which was held after a meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee of the bank on Tuesday. He said the ₦5.7 billion allocated to BDCs had become unsustainable as $20,000 is allocated to over 5,500 BDCs, amounting to $110 million per week. Emiefele said BDC operators have become a conduit for illegal financial flows. He also said the CBN will no longer continue registration of new BDCs and current allocation will be channelled to commercial banks. All commercial bank branches will create a separate desk for sales of forex. The monetary policy committee of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced its decision to retain the monetary policy rate (MPR) at 11.5 percent. At its last meeting, the committee members also voted to retain MPR at 11.5 percent – the rate it had been since September 2020. Godwin Emefiele, governor of the apex bank, announced the committee’s decision on Tuesday at the end of a two-day meeting at the CBN headquarters in Abuja. “The MPC made the decision to hold all policy parameters constant. Committee thus decided by a unanimous vote to retain the monetary policy rate at 11.5%,” Emefiele said. “MPC voted to retain an asymmetric corridor +100 -700 basis points. It also voted to retain cash reserve ratio at 27.5% and retain liquidity ratio at 30%.”
Anthony Stimler, a former UK-based trader for Glencore has pleaded guilty to participating in an international scheme to bribe officials in Nigeria to win favourable contracts from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). Stimler admitted to conspiring to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and commit money laundering at a hearing in Manhattan Federal Court in New York on Monday. According to court papers, prosecutors said millions of dollars in bribes were paid to Nigerian officials, in exchange for NNPC awarding contracts and more lucrative grades of oil on more “favourable delivery terms” to the company (Glencore). Court papers also identified seven alleged co-conspirators from several countries in the bribery scheme, including UK, Nigeria, Mexico, Spain and Israel in a deal that ran from 2007 to 2018. Stimler, a former employee of Glencore’s West Africa desk, was permitted to remain free in the UK on $500,000 bail. The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) has been investigating Glencore’s business dealings in Nigeria, Venezuela and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The UK, Switzerland and Brazil are also examining possible corruption cases involving Glencore, and various authorities around the world. In November 2017, NNPC sought buyers from oil traders willing to pay $3.5 to $5 billion and get its value in crude oil between five and seven years. Seven companies, including Glencore, contended for the deal. Glencore emerged as one of the oil traders selected to lift Nigeria’s crude oil under various contracts, such as the crude oil term deal and the direct sale direct purchase scheme. In 2018, NNPC acknowledged receipt of $94.279 million (₦28.85 billion) for a total of 1.9 million barrels of Nigerian crude oil.
The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has sued President Muhammadu Buhari and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) over the suspension of Twitter in Nigeria. “The actions and directives of the respondents gravely infringed the fundamental rights of the applicant (NBA),” the association argued in the suit filed at the Federal High Court in Lagos. No law criminalises the use of Twitter in Nigeria, the association said. It added that Mr Buhari and the other respondents “unilaterally, without due process and contrary to the constitutionally guaranteed rights of the applicant, suspended the operations of the microblogging and social media website” in Nigeria. The NBA, said in a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Raps Nduka, on Tuesday, that it had filed the suit on June 18, about two weeks after the government announced the Twitter ban on June 4. Mr Nduka said the matter has been adjourned till 4 October for hearing. Sued along with President Buhari and the NCC in the suit are the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, and the Minister of Communications and Culture, Lai Mohammed. The suit by the NBA is among the flurry of suits that have been filed to challenge the Twitter ban. A lawyer, Inibehe Effiong, is among Nigerians that have sued the government over the ban. Ruling on an application filed by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) and other Nigerians, the ECOWAS Court of Justice, in June issued an interim order restraining the Nigerian government from harassing, arresting, or prosecuting any Nigerian for using Twitter.
The Biden administration on Tuesday will announce a new push to expand business ties between U.S. companies and Africa, with a focus on building needed digital, health and physical infrastructure on the continent, a senior U.S. official said. U.S. industry executives welcome the interest but say dollar flows will lag until the Biden administration wraps up its lengthy review of Trump administration trade measures and sets a clear policy on investments in liquefied natural gas. Dana Banks, senior director for Africa at the White House National Security Council, will kick off a U.S.-Africa business summit, with a pledge to “re-imagine” and revive Prosper Africa, an initiative unveiled by the Trump administration in 2018. President Joe Biden, who requested nearly $80 million for the initiative in his budget proposal in May, aims to focus the initiative on women and equity, with an expanded role for small- and medium-sized businesses, she said. Banks said the administration’s goal was to “reinvigorate Prosper Africa as the centrepiece of U.S. economic and commercial engagement with Africa,” with more details to be released soon on a companion initiative called Digital Africa. “This is an area that is a priority both at home and abroad,” Banks said, adding that African countries were eager to expand their cooperation with the United States and its companies. U.S. business executives warn the United States is in danger of being overtaken by China and Europe, which are already investing and concluding trade agreements across the continent.