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NLC’s planned strike, Q4 debt stock… 7 business stories to track this week

NLC’s planned strike, Q4 debt stock… 7 business stories to track this week
March 27
09:29 2023

Here are the seven top business news you need to track this week — March 27 to March 31

NIGERIA’S DEBT RECORD

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) is expected to release a report on Nigeria’s domestic and foreign debt for the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2022.

In January, the Debt Management Office (DMO) said the incoming administration would inherit about N77 trillion as debt by the time President Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure ends in May.

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Although in the data released by the DMO, Nigeria’s public debt was put at N44.06 trillion as at the third quarter (Q3) of 2022.

Nigeria’s debt has been consistently rising majorly due to borrowing, but it is still within the country’s self-imposed limit of 40 percent, according to the DMO.

The federal government has plans to borrow more to finance both the supplementary and 2023 budgets.

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NLC TO HOLD NATIONWIDE STRIKE ON MARCH 29

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) is planning to embark on a nationwide strike over cash shortage in the country.

The strike is said to commence on Wednesday.

Joe Ajaero, the NLC president, directed that affiliate unions constituting the NLC should be on standby for picketing exercises across all branches of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) nationwide.

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BANKS DISBURSE CASH AS CBN INCREASES NAIRA SUPPLY

The CBN, on Friday, said a substantial amount of money (in various denominations) has been distributed to commercial banks for onward circulation to their respective customers.

It also directed all banks to open for operation on Saturdays and Sundays.

The apex bank the measure was part of a coordinated effort to ease the circulation of banknotes of various denominations.

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In compliance with the CBN directive, asked customers, via emails, to visit their branches at the weekend for cash withdrawals.

While some banks opened few branches to customers, others stated that all branches would be in operation.

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However, TheCable observed that banks are still limiting the amount individual customers can withdraw.

CBN RAISES INTEREST RATE TO 18%, RETAINS OTHER PARAMETERS

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Meanwhile, the policy-setting committee of the CBN has raised the monetary policy rate (MPR), which measures interest rate, from 17.5 percent to 18 percent.

Nigeria’s inflation rate recently rose to 21.91 percent amid the lingering scarcity of cash.

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Speaking at the committee’s meeting, Godwin Emefiele, governor of the apex bank, said although inflation has remained on the increase, the previous tightening measure has continued to reduce the rate of price increases.

He also mentioned the planned petrol subsidy removal as one of the reasons for the tightening stance of the monetary policy committee, adding that “to reduce the gap in negative real rates we will continue to tighten but more moderately.”

PENCOM TO ENSURE PFAs INVEST LAWFULLY

The National Pension Commission (PenCom) says it is closely monitoring pension fund administrators (PFAs) to ensure all investments align with the Iaw.

The commission, in a document seen by TheCable, said the PFAs are required to submit a daily valuation report on pension fund investments through which PenCom ensures strict adherence to the investment regulation.

It said PFAs, as investment fiduciaries, act on behalf of retirement savings account (RSA) holders to manage pension funds.

SEPLAT, CO-FOUNDER AT LOGGERHEADS OVER LETTER TO PRESIDENCY

Seplat Energy says it has terminated a consultancy agreement involving the company’s wholly-owned subsidiary, as well as Bryant Orjiako, its co-founder and immediate past chairman.

Speaking on the reasons for the termination, Seplat said under a consultancy agreement, Orjiako, acting through Amaze Limited, was required to provide defined assistance with certain external stakeholder engagements following his retirement from the board last year.

In a suit filed by the firm, said Orjiako was also acting unilaterally when, “without the consent of the firm’s board of directors”, he communicated with the federal government about a $300 million business transaction.

The dispute between the two parties comes nearly two weeks after Roger Brown, Seplat’s chief executive officer (CEO), stepped down from his position in response to a court order regarding allegations of racism.

BUHARI SIGNS COPYRIGHT BILL INTO LAW TO PROTECT DIGITAL CONTENTS

President Muhammadu Buhari has signed the Copyright Bill 2022 into law.

The president signed the bill into law on March 17.

The copyright act 2022, which repeals the act of 2004, provides effective administration, regulation, enforcement and protection of copyright in the digital environment.

The act provides a broad explanation of copyright, ranging from literary, musical, artistic, audiovisual, sound recordings, and broadcast works.

The legislation also expands the rights of authors, raises the sanctions for criminal infringements and addresses the challenges posed by the digital and online use of copyrighted works.

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