People are causing divisions within APC – Aisha Buhari October 12, 2016

Wife of President Muhammadu Buhari, Aisha
Wife of President Muhammadu Buhari, Aisha

The wife of the President, Aisha Buhari, on Tuesday accused some unnamed people of creating divisions among members of the All Progressives Congress.

Mrs. Buhari levelled the allegations in an interview she granted the Hausa Service of the BBC which was aired in part on Tuesday.

The President’s wife, who was responding to a question by her interviewer, said, “This worries us a lot now. Because they believe they are the ones who suffered, but are no where today. Those who didn’t do anything who don’t even have voters’ card are the ones in position, doing everything.”

In another part of the interview she said,  “What I am afraid for them is the rebellion of 15 million people,”  she was perhaps talking about the number of voters who made her husband’s ascension to power possible.

In response to a question on whether the President knew those causing the problems for his government, Aisha Buhari said, “Whether he knows or he doesn’t know, those who voted for him know. There is nothing I will tell him. He can see. Among all the people he selected, if he is asked among 50 people, he doesn’t know 45. I don’t know them despite staying with him for 25 years.”

Mrs. Buhari who also revealed that her husband had not told her his plans for 2019, saying “He has not told me but I have decided.”

The BBC promised to air the full interview on Friday and Saturday where her full views would become public.

CBN may adopt dual exchange rate system June 14, 2016

The Central Bank of Nigeria may introduce a dual exchange-rate system and weaken the naira when it unveils a new policy this week, it has been learnt.

The Central Bank of Nigeria
The Central Bank of Nigeria

Sources, who attended a meeting between the CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, and top bankers, said the regulator would probably make an announcement in a circular to banks, Bloomberg reported.

Analysts including those at Renaissance Capital Limited have said they expect the CBN to allow the naira to weaken around a trading band in the interbank market, while allocating dollars at a fixed rate to industries the government deems strategic.

According to the source, the CBN is still working out details of the system and may reinstate a minimum holding period for foreign investors buying naira bonds.

Emefiele has faced calls for more than a year to devalue the currency, as other oil exporters from Russia to Kazakhstan and Angola have done, amid a rout in crude prices since mid-2014 to around $50 a barrel.

Investment into Nigeria has shrivelled as foreigners are put off by capital controls needed to defend the peg, while local businesses have struggled to import raw materials and equipment.

The Acting Director, Corporate Communications, CBN, Mr. Isaac Okoroafor, did not answer calls to his mobile telephone or reply to a text message requesting comment.

The CBN has held the naira at 197-199 per dollar since March 2015, with Emefiele and President Muhammadu Buhari insisting that a weaker currency will leave consumers facing higher prices.

That has already happened, with inflation accelerating to an almost six-year high of 13.7 per cent in April. The statistics bureau is due to announce figures for May on Tuesday (today).

The nation’s external reserves have fallen to a more than 10-year low of $26.4bn as the CBN seeks to defend the currency.

An economist and Chief Executive Officer, Cowry Asset Management Limited, Mr. Johnson Chukwu, said a dual exchange-rate policy could be prone to abuse, saying the country had practised such in the past without much success.

He believes that a largely market-determined single exchange rate system is the best for the country.

“Dual exchange-rate system is a way forward but it is not the end. We had practised it before but we had to abandon it. I believe sooner or later we will abandon it if we eventual adopt it,” he said.

Shelter Afrique invests N22.5bn in housing June 13, 2016

A pan-African finance company, Shelter Afrique, has spent over N22.51bn on housing initiatives in Nigeria, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola has said.

Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola
Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola

In a statement made available to our correspondent, the minister said that between 2005 and 2010, Shelter Afrique in Nigeria had financed 23 initiatives with a total sum of N10.435bn ($52,175,000) and another N12.08bn ($60,400,000) over the last three years on 10 interventions.

“Of these initiatives, 15 represented lending for construction of housing projects, out of which the largest was for $7m for 376 houses of different types; and 251 service plots, followed by 287 mixed housing units for a cooperative society; 55 housing units and 100 service plots and the least was for 16 maisonettes. This is the intervention on the supply side of housing to provide houses,” he said.

He added that the remaining eight interventions were for mortgage financing to building societies, credit line for individual mortgages and related financing, on the demand side of housing, to provide finance.

Fashola said that out of the 10 interventions in the last three years, seven were for housing construction, including 287 units, 90 units, 15 floor commercial complex, 59 housing units, 300 housing units, 130 apartments and 44 housing units.

“The remaining three interventions were for equity investment in the Nigerian Mortgage Refinance Company of about $3m; and credit lines for on-lending for mortgage totalling $13m,” he said.

The minister said, over the years, the country had embarked on a series of housing initiatives but not one of them had been pursued with consistency or any measurable sustainability.

He added that the unsustainable efforts must change, and give way to a sustainable and well thought out initiative led by the government and subsequently driven by the private sector.

He said, “The first key to our roadmap in housing therefore is planning. We must never be tired to explain the necessity and importance of proper planning. It is the key to successful execution; it is the key to project completion; it is the key to cost control and reduction in variation requests and financial calculations.

“A plan is what is needed and it is what we are currently developing to make the housing policy a reality. Our plan requires first a clear understanding of who we want to provide housing for.”