The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila has threatened to issue a warrant of arrest on Central Bank of Nigeria Governor Godwin Emefiele and some bank directors over their collective refusal to honour an invite by the green chamber over the scarcity of the newly designed naira notes. The House had summoned the CBN governor and bank directors over the 31 January 2023 deadline for the validity of old ₦200, ₦500 and ₦1,000 notes but the bank chiefs have not honoured the invite. Gbajabiamila, in a statement on Thursday, said the bank chiefs, by shunning the invitation, insulted the authority and prerogatives of the people’s parliament. “This is unacceptable,” he said.
The United Kingdom will eliminate tariffs on more than 3,000 products it imports from Nigeria in a bid to boost trade with Africa’s largest economy. Nigerian exporters of cocoa, cotton, plantain, flowers, fertilisers, tomatoes, frozen shrimp and sesame seed are among those that will benefit from the new tariff regime outlined in the UK’s new developing economies trading scheme, which targets 65 countries. “Nigeria is one of the UK’s most important partners in Africa and the UK government is committed to working with Nigerian businesses and exporters to boost trade between our two great nations,” UK Deputy High Commissioner Ben Llewellyn-Jones said. Total trade volume between the UK and Nigeria stood at £5.5 billion ($6.8 billion) in Q2 2022, according to a report from the UK’s international trade department published last week. The average existing tariff on the 3,000 goods covered by the program is 7%.
Ghana has reached an agreement with the country’s insurers on a domestic debt exchange, taking it closer to completing this programme, a key factor in restoring economic stability and growth, the finance ministry said on Thursday. The ministry said in a joint statement with the Ghana Insurers Association (GIA) that under the agreement, insurance companies will participate in the exchange programme on similar terms as banks. “The GIA is happy to reach a deal with the Government that protects its members, but also enables the Government to push through the necessary economic reforms at this difficult time.” Ghana’s economy is struggling to recover from the pandemic and is trying to restructure its mountain of debt to access a relief package from the International Monetary Fund. It needs around 80 percent of bondholders to sign up for its domestic debt exchange programme, which has faced resistance among individual bondholders due to a lack of clarity about its terms. The government said on Monday it had agreed with banks to pay a 5 percent coupon on its 2023 bonds.
Ethiopia’s prime minister Abiy Ahmed visited Sudan on Thursday for the first time since border clashes between the neighbours, amid tensions heightened by the filling of a giant hydropower dam. Abiy and Sudan’s leaders discussed Ethiopia’s Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, a Sudanese statement said, a project on the Blue Nile that has alarmed the downriver countries of Sudan and Egypt who fear it could threaten their water supply. They also discussed clashes that flared in late 2020 between the countries in the fertile al-Fashaqa border region, according to the statement from Sudan’s sovereign council. “With regards to the border between the two countries, [Burhan] confirmed that technical mechanisms and dialogue are the basis for this issue,” the statement said. Abiy “confirmed that the Renaissance Dam will not cause any harm to Sudan but will have benefits for it in terms of electricity,” the statement said. Ahmed met Sudan’s Sovereign Council head General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, as well as General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, and other Sudanese political leaders, the statement read.