The balance in Nigeria’s Excess Crude Account (ECA) has reduced significantly from $35.7 million, as of June 2022 to $376,655.09 as of July 25, 2022 A communiqué issued at the end of the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting for July 2022 disclosed this. But no explanation was given for the huge drop in the ECA. The slump in the ECA came as allocation to the federal, state and local governments increased by ₦121.624 billion as FAAC shared a total sum of ₦802.407 billion for June. The sum of ₦680.783 billion was shared in the preceding month of May and ₦656,602 in April. However, the rise in June allocation was attributed to tremendous increases in Companies Income Tax (CIT) and Petroleum Profit Tax (PPT), although oil and gas royalties declined marginally. The communiqué explained that the ₦802.407 billion total distributable revenue comprised distributable statutory revenue of ₦608.580 billion and distributable Value Added Tax (VAT) revenue of ₦193.827 billion. The share of the federal government from the total distributable revenue of ₦802.407 billion was ₦321.859 billion; the states received ₦245.418 billion, and the local governments got ₦182.330 billion. The sum of ₦52.799 billion was shared to the relevant states as 13 percent derivation revenue.

Information from Bureau De Change operators in Lagos State showed that the exchange rate between the naira and the US dollar has fallen beyond the ₦700/$1 threshold at the parallel market on Wednesday, despite starting the day at ₦675/$1. Similarly, at the cryptocurrency Peer-to-Peer Exchange market, the rate has fallen to ₦702.8/$1, a 5.4 percent depreciation compared to ₦667/$1 recorded in the previous trading session. Naira has been under immense pressure in the past two weeks, falling from an average of ₦618 to a dollar recorded two weeks ago. Bureau De Change operators have cited a lack of FX and a surge in demand for the recent uncontrolled uptrend recorded in the market. In the same vein, some bank users who have FX in their domiciliary account told the website, Nairametrics, that they have not been able to withdraw their funds from the bank due to tightened liquidity.

The House of Representatives has passed into second reading, a Bill seeking to amend section 11 of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Act, 2007 to bar the Governor, Deputy Governors or Directors of the regulatory bank from partisan politics. The proposed legislation tilted, “Bill for an Act to Amend Section 11 of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Act 2007 to add more Conditions for disqualification and Cessation of Appointment as Governor, Deputy Governor or Director of the Bank; and for Related Matters (HB. 2023),” was sponsored by Hon. Sada Soli (Katsina, APC) at plenary. Leading the debate on its general principles, the Bill’s sponsor, Soli noted that provisions of Section 11 of the principal Act states that: “a person shall not remain a governor, deputy governor or director of the bank if he is a member of any federal or state legislative house; director, officer or employee of any bank and other financial institutions.” He said the Bill seeks to add more provisions to the Principal Act, for disqualification of the governor, deputy governors or directors of the regulatory bank who take part in partisan politics. According to him, the amendment seeks to insert a new subsection (f) to read that the bank’s chief shall cease to hold office if he or she is a member of a political party or involved in partisan politics. Soli, however, said the bill is intended to restore its credibility from the shock it had suffered in the cause of interpreting the existing law, and not against any individual.

French president Emmanuel Macron has met with his Beninese counterpart Patrice Talon in Cotonou. The meeting on Wednesday continued with a visit to an exhibition on Beninese art through the ages- a highly symbolic exhibition after the restitution of bronzes to Benin dating from the 16th to 18th centuries that were stolen by various colonial powers. The subject of security also features prominently in this visit with Cotonou expected to make requests for support with the increase in sporadic incursions by terrorist groups for months in northern Benin. The French president’s trip to Africa is seen as one of the priorities of his second five-year term, in the face of competition from China and Russia, but by betting on “soft power” rather than on politics or military, the traditional tools of influence of France. But it has also come with criticisms in Africa and back in France where several left-wing MPs have alerted Emmanuel Macron to the “authoritarian excesses” in Benin and the “alarming” situation of political prisoners. Emmanuel Macron will end his first African tour since his re-election in Guinea-Bissau.