Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has announced that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved N18.1 billion for the development of infrastructure at the nation’s free trade and economic zones.
Addressing state house correspondents yesterday after the weekly FEC meeting in Abuja, Mohammed said the affected zones include the Kano and Calabar free trade zones, the textile and garment park and the special economic zone in Lagos.
Mohammed said: “On behalf of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, I will like to report that council today approved the award of contract for the appointment of insurance companies for group life assurance for Federal Government employees, public servants para-military and the intelligence community for the year 2021-2022 in the sum of N9, 248. 995, 907 and this premium is for a period of 12 months.
“This is part of the government’s welfare programme for our public employees so that in case of death, they are assured that there would be compensation.”
Mohammed said FEC also approved N18.1 billion for the ministry of industry, trade and investment; N864.7 million for two road contacts that were abandoned by previous administrations; and N1.1 billion for the procurement of aviation security uniforms and accessories for use in various airports across the country.
“Minister of Aviation got an approval for the award of contract for direct procurement for the design, manufacture and supply of aviation security uniforms and accessories. The sum total is N1, 127, 945. The unique thing about uniforms for the aviation industry is that it has some International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) standards that would be followed.
“The Minister of Niger Delta got approval for Okpula-Igwartanta Phase I linking Imo and Rivers state, started in 2010. He got an approval for a variation of N620, 763, 000. He also got approval for erosion flood control on Ndemili-Utagba-Onitsha road in Delta State, started in 2014. The council today approved N244 million to augment the original contract sum,” the minister said.
CBN warns banks over foreign exchange malpractices
The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has insisted that the FX operating license of any bank or banks that are found guilty of ongoing investigations in foreign exchange malpractices would be suspended for at least a year.
The circular signed today by the Director Trade and Exchange Department, CBN, Ozoemena Nnaji stated: “In line with the continuing close surveillance of our financial markets in general and the FX market in particular, the CBN wishes to remind all banks that it is their responsibility to not only Know their Customers (KYC requirements) but also Know their customers’ business (KYCB requirements).
“Given these responsibilities and in view of recent occurrences in the market, the CBN would like to remind banks to desist from all and any forms of FX malpractices.
“We wish to reiterate that the FX operating license of any bank or banks that are found culpable with ongoing investigations would be suspended for at least one year. Please note and ensure compliance.”
Naira hits historic low of 543 against dollar
The naira has continued to depreciate on the parallel market, selling for N543 to the dollar on Thursday.
The bureau de change operators in Abuja bought dollar at N540, then it was sold for N543.
The British Pound was also sold for £1/N740.
This comes 44 days after the Central Bank of Nigeria barred sale of Forex to all bureau de change operators across the country.
On June 27, 2021, the CBN ended the sales of Forex to BDCs saying the parallel market had become a conduit for illicit Forex flows and graft.
The CBN said it would also no longer process applications for BDC licences in the country.