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October inflation, customs FX rate increase… 7 business stories to track this week

October inflation, customs FX rate increase… 7 business stories to track this week
November 13
10:02 2023

Here are the seven top business stories you need to track this week — November 13 to November 18.

NBS REPORT ON INFLATION, FOOD PRICES

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) will on November 15, release a report on the consumer price index (CPI) and inflation report for October 2023.

In September, the rate in prices of goods and services rose to 26.72 percent — up from 25.80 percent in the previous month.

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The bureau will also publish reports on selected food prices and transport watches for the month of October 2023.

CBN ACT TO BE REVIEWED

The house of representatives is considering a bill to amend the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Act of 2004.

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The bill, sponsored by Francis Waive, a lawmaker representing Ughelli north, south, and Udu federal constituency of Delta state, was passed for a second reading on Thursday.

According to Waive, the proposed amendment seeks to address several critical aspects of the act to enhance the effectiveness, transparency, and accountability of the apex bank and its operations.

The lawmaker said it is important to amend section 6 of the CBN Act as it concerns the necessity of separating the chairman of the board of the apex bank from its governor.

CUSTOMS INCREASES FX RATE FOR COLLECTION OF DUTIES

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The Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) has adjusted the foreign exchange rate for its tariffs and duties.

The new rates were reflected on the single window trade portal of the federal government.

According to information on the portal, the NCS exchange rate was raised by 1.59 percent or N12.37 to N783.174/$, as of Sunday — from the preceding rate of N770.88/$.

Among other tariffs, the NCS collects customs duties on imports in Nigeria.

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‘NO ONE SHOULD REJECT OLD NAIRA | ALL BANKNOTES LEGAL’

Last Wednesday, the CBN also cautioned Nigerians that all banknotes remain legal tender.

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The statement came after reports of anxiety among some members of the public over the legality of old naira banknotes.

In a statement, Isa AbdulMumin, the bank’s director of corporate communications, said the old naira notes should not be rejected, as they will be issued alongside redesigned banknotes in adequate quantities to banks for the benefit of their customers.

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Last year, Nigeria introduced a demonetisation policy which led to the redesign of its currency notes. The old and new notes are still in use as the country is yet to phase out the old naira notes.

‘ZUNGERU POWER PLANT WILL BEGIN OPERATIONS BEFORE NOVEMBER ENDS’

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Adebayo Adelabu, minister of power, says the Zungeru hydropower plant will be operational before the end of November.

Adelabu spoke in Abuja during an interactive session with journalists last Wednesday.

The federal government had said the $1.2 billion Zungeru hydropower dam project, constructed in Niger, would be ready for inauguration by the first quarter (Q1) of 2023.

But the minister gave a new deadline, saying the “Zungeru hydropower is ready”.

SANOFI TO CEASE OPERATIONS IN NIGERIA NEXT YEAR

Sanofi-Aventis Nigeria Limited, a French pharmaceutical company, says it will adopt a third-party model for the distribution of its products in Nigeria.

In a letter to customers, dated November 7, 2023, the company said the “exciting transformation of its business model in Nigeria”, would take effect in February 2024.

Sanofi is a major supplier of injectable polio vaccines, as well as influenza, meningitis, and rabies vaccines.

According to the letter, signed by Folake Odederin, general manager (general medicines) and country lead, the third-party distributor will be announced at a later date.

DANGOTE REFINERY SECURES PERMIT TO PROCESS OVER 300,000 BARRELS OF CRUDE

Aliko Dangote says the Dangote refinery has secured a license to refine more than 300,000 barrels of Nigerian crude per day and will begin to process petrol “soon”.

Dangote said this in an interview on Saturday in Riyadh on the sidelines of the Saudi-Nigeria business roundtable.

“We don’t want to start our refinery with foreign goods, we want to start with the Nigerian crude,” the billionaire told Bloomberg.

“We’re more than ready and you will see our gasoline products soon.”

Meanwhile, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, on Sunday, said TotalEnergies restored daily crude oil production after intervening in the oil workers’ industrial action.

TotalEnergies produces 275, 000 barrels of oil per day.

Olufemi Soneye, NNPC’s chief corporate communications officer, said the national oil firm brokered a deal between TotalEnergies, the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association, (PENGASSAN) and the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG).

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