This time last year the dollar rate was stable at 730 to $1. It was the same at Binance P2P.
USDT was stable and pegged at 730 to $1.
So what changed between last year and this year that caused a 60% Naira depreciation?
There are two answers.
1. PresidentTinubu’s miscalculation.
2. Greedy Speculators
Lets explore these two factors.
Last June, this present government made a brilliant and audacious move. They were bold enough to unify the official FX rate and the parallel market by floating the naira. A very bold thing to do, and also the right thing to do too, but they failed with this attempt because no country in the world floats its currency without a backup Plan for volatility. Thus when the speculators who are in business to make money saw the flaw in what the Government’s Plan, they leveraged on that to strike. That is why, from June till now the Naira has been on a free fall with no fundamental or excessive demand to back it’s depreciation.
The same people who bought the dollar last year are the ones who are still buying it this year.
This time last year, NNPC did not remit dollars to CBN, and
Still not remitting to date.
Nigeria was not invaded by aliens demanding dollars to justify this depreciation of our currency.
The CBN’s situation hasn’t worsened since December, rather it has improved.
The dollar supply hasn’t worsened since December, rather it has improved.
Capital importation hasn’t worsened since December, rather it has improved.
In just two weeks, Nigeria attracted over $1.8 billion in inflow from capital importation. Bearing in mind that last year, we had supply issues as banks were not selling dollars, which you could only get from the black market, but still, the naira was a stable.
This Researcher urgently needed $10,000 last year.
He bought from his dollar plug, Adamu, who sold to him at 730 as Zenith Bank did not have a dollar to sell.
The same Zenith bank does not have dollar to sell as of today but dollar has magically gone haywire since that time.
Which leads to the second leg of this Piece.
Prior to 2020, the P2P market on Binance was not mainstream.
Every Tom, D*ck, and Harry could buy USDT at Binance at the official rate using their naira card.
The official rate was the country’s exchange rate, which was what Binance was selling its USDT at at the time.
Then Emefiele struck in February 2020 by banning Crypto.
The P2P market went underground and became mainstream, and the channel where you go to buy your USDT.
The P2P market was largely insignificant prior to that attention because it was a small market in the forex ecosystem until last June.
In 2020, the country witnessed the largest conversion of young Nigerians into Crypto because we had a bull run that year.
Many people were demanding USDT at a level we have not seen to date.
In all these demands in 2020, the naira rate was stable @ 450 to $1.
It is quite strange and ironical that when there is no demand for USDT, the dollar rate at Binance is going up every hour for no reason and no fundamental reason to back this increment.
South Africa has a bigger P2P market on Binance than Nigeria.
South Africa has a daily volume of $30–50 million, but the South African currency, the rand, is stable and does not depreciate the way the Naira has been doing since last year.
Nigeria has a daily turnover of just $1 million on Binance P2P.
It was the same volume last year.
Instead of stability since there is no excessive demand for USDT, what we have seen is price manipulation by large traders in that segment who trade large amounts of dollars.
Yesterday, on Binance all day, witnessed a mind-blowing discovery.
These guys on P2P wake up to start manipulating the naira price with no backing demand.
The price went from 1700 to 1850 in less than 3 hours.
A thorough check, showed no excessive demand for USDT from the buyers to warrant this depreciation. Rather, what was noticed were 4-5 traders on Binance playing a game among themselves, moving funds around, and then deliberately driving up price.
Just like that.
As they were doing their price manipulation on Binance, the unofficial market, which is the BDC sellers on the street, were monitoring what they were doing to fix their own rate. When they were done with this manipulation, they withdraw their gain for the day and went God knows where to enjoy their profit for the day.
The USDT/Naira pair on Binance is the official black market rate where all dealers pick their pricing model from.
Both the media, FX speculators, influencers, and traders resort to Binance rates.
This Researcher bought $5,000 from his plug Adamu. Before he gave the price, he checked Binance for the rate and then gave him his best price.
This speculative practice is not sustainable.
It is hurting the larger economy and the greater population of our citizens who are hurting from the madness going on in Binance.
It is more hurtful because the true value of the naira is not 1,900, it isn’t even 1,500. The fair value is between 650 and 800 to $1.
The fair value of a country’s currency is calculated by two models.
1.The total export of the previous year.
2. The total amount of money in circulation
Nigeria exported goods worth $70 billion last year.
The total money in circulation was 3.2 trillion naira as of December last year.
When you juxtapose these two, it gives you a sense of where our currency should be, which is between 650-800 but today, we are buying the dollar at 1,900 to $1 because of the slow market realisation of this government.
*The way forward*
It is not too late for this government to admit that their floating gamble has failed and then wake up to take charge before things get worse than this.
1) Admit they failed in floating the naira without a backup in case of volatility.
2) Introduce a managed float by pegging the exchange rate of the currency to a price, within the range of 650–800, and then do all they can to defend it. This will run the speculators out of town.
3) Right now there’s no coordination between Wale Edun, the Minister of Finance responsible for the fiscal side, and Cardso, the CBN Governor, driving the monetary policies.
This needs to change quickly.
These speculators on Binance are making a fortune speculating on our currency, Speculation of anything is actually a lucrative business.
George Soros once made $1 billion in a day, speculating, betting against the British pounds in 1992.
Thus speculating on Binance is giving these guys insane money that trading Crypto won’t give them, and this is why they won’t stop anytime soon. They won’t stop till they drive the price of the dollar to 3,000 to $1.
Will the Government wait to be crippled by them?
We expect to see Wale Edun and Cardoso to halt these mad people before they (the Speculators in Binance), who are in minority, push our economy to Lebanon and Venezuela because of their Greed.
This is where they are heading. Are we going to allow Binance speculations destroy us?
The ball is in the court of the Government to act quickly.
This time last year the dollar rate was stable at 730 to $1. It was the same at Binance P2P.
The Nigerian military authority has declared those who have been calling for military coup in Nigeria as evils.
The Chief of Defence Staff, General Christopher Musa, on behalf of the military, declared: “anybody calling for anything other than democracy is evil and does not wish us well.”
He stressed that Nigeria is better under democracy than any other system of governance.
The General, who spoke during his operational visit and inauguration of facilities at Headquarters 6 Division of the Nigeria Army, in Port Harcourt yesterday, February 22, emphasised that the country’s democracy is achieved through great efforts.
According to him, insinuations from some quarters for the military intervention in the current democratic system portray lack of”patriotism.
“People making such calls for a military takeover do not love Nigeria.
“We want to make it clear that the Armed Forces of Nigeria is here to protect democracy.
“We all want democracy; we do better during democracy, and so, the armed forces will continue to support democracy.”
He insisted that those who are advocating a coup d’état are adversaries, who do not have the country’s best interests at heart.
“We can see that with democracy a lot of things are happening in Nigeria. Yes, we are going through a trying period, but in life, nothing is 100 per cent.
“Everybody (country) went through trying periods, and it is what you do with them (that matters).”
The army chief said that the government has initiated actionable measures to address the array of challenges facing Nigerians.
He emphasized that instead of calling for a military takeover, all citizens should rally behind the government to resolve the present circumstances.
“It is when you go through difficulties, and you come out of it better, that you will truly appreciate what it is to build a nation.
“The country is going through its trying period, but I can assure Nigerians that the situation will get better.
“All we need is to unite and work together to defeat enemies of the government and country, those who do not want us to succeed.”
General Musa pledged the military’s loyalty to the government,adding the armed forces would preserve peace and order in the country.
Senate President, Senator Godswill Akpabio has made it clear that the 10th Senate which he presides over, will stop at nothing to effect electoral reforms of the country.
Senator Akpabio, who spoke today, February 20, when he received a delegation of the European Union (EU) in Nigeria, led by Ambassador Samuela Isopi, stressed that the Senate is well disposed to the issue of cooperation with the EU on the Electoral Reforms.
“The 10th Senate is very committed to ensuring that we tinker with the Electoral Act to bring it in line with today’s reality.”
The Senate President called for more collaboration between Nigeria and the European Union to deepen democracy in the west African country.
“For the European Union, it will be a great privilege in the 10th Senate to relate closely on almost all matters with your parliament. I want to congratulate you that the EU continue to remain strong, vibrant and stabled despite BREXIT.
“As soon as your parliament is inaugurated in July, the election comes up in June, we will be very glad for you to create an enabling environment for us to have interparliamentary exchange, to learn from one another and also deepen democracy in Nigeria.
“I always like to say that one out of four black persons in the world, one of them must be a Nigerian. So if you deepen democracy in Nigeria and the conditions are favourable here, that means you have assisted the global black race.”
He commended EU for the study it sponsored on “2023 Mapping of European Union companies in Nigeria.” By that study, Akpabio said, the EU had taken time to know the contributions of the various companies from the European Union to Nigeria, creating over 50,000 jobs.
“I request that you do more to assist us because we have a lot of youthful population and unemployment is one of the major issues in the country that if tackled, could result in reducing insecurity in the nation.
“For us in Nigeria, out of the 27 countries that make up the European Union, about 19 of them are physically present in Nigeria at Ambassadorial level. It shows the strong ties that this country has with the European Union,” Akpabio said.
Responding on the issue of women participation in politics, the Senate President expressed his concerns about the presence of very few women in parliament.
He said that in as much as the men wanted more women in politics, the women needed more sensitisation to realise the need to cast votes for their fellow women as well during election period.
“What we have done is to make sure that in all delegations outside Nigeria, we include them because they are very few. We want the world to know that we have women in our parliament. At the same time we want to give them exposure to attract other women to take part in politics.”
According to the Senate President, all the women in the 10th Senate are members of the newly constituted Constitution Review Committee and also nominated as members of the next ECOWAS Parliament just as a way to encourage them.
“You also mentioned the fact that EU is a strong advocate of democracy around the world, not just in West Africa but in many places. At the moment, there are a few countries in West Africa that are under military dictatorship. Freedom of movement, freedom of speech totally curtailed.
“So we will be glad if the European Union can work towards a return to democracy in those countries particularly those our neighbouring countries of Mali, Niger and also Burkina Faso as soon as possible,” Akpabio said.
Earlier, the leader of the delegation, Ambassador Samuela Isopi said that democratic government is one of EU key areas of collaboration in Nigeria.
“The European Union has supported Nigerian democracy since the return to civilian rule in 1999 and we have been doing that consistently through technical and financial support to critical stakeholders.
“The EU is Nigeria’s largest trading partner, accounting for more than over one-third of Nigeria’s trade with the rest of the world.
“The EU is also top investor in Nigeria. Recently, we have mapped out the presence of EU private investment in Nigeria and we find out that over 220 companies are present in Nigeria that creates jobs for Nigerians.”
Court Sends Ex Fed. Poly Bursar To Prison Without Option Of Fine, For Receiving N.5 Million “Kickback”
An Ekiti State High Court, sitting in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State, has sent ex Bursar of Federal Polytechnic, Ado-Ekiti, Elijah Oladapo, to prison without an option of fine for demanding and receiving N500,000 kickback on the contract awarded by the institution.
Delivering the judgment on the case that had dragged since 2021, the trial judge, Justice A. L. Ogunmoye sentenced Oladapo to two years imprisonment on counts 8 to 9 without an option of fine and has since been sent to the correctional centre to serve his time.
The judge also sentenced him to five years imprisonment for counts 4 to 7 with an option of fine of N1.2 million.
The convict was first arraigned in court by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) in 2021 alongside the former Rector of the same Institution, Mrs. Theresa Taiwo Akande, for allegedly receiving over N500,000 as kickbacks from a contractor handling construction projects in the school.
In a nine-count charge filed before the court, ICPC averred that the actions of the officers contravened Sections 8(1) (a) 19 and 20 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.
The accused persons had pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to them, which set the tone for the long trial.
During the trial, the court heard about how the convict had, in 2015, abused his office by demanding and receiving kickbacks from a contractor handling the construction and furnishing of lecture theatres and offices in the school.
In his ruling, Justice Ogunmoye discharged and acquitted the first defendant, Mrs. Akande. He found Oladapo guilty of the charges.
Following threat of disconnection of electricity supply, the presidency has resolved to quickly settle the Abuja Electric Distribution Company (AEDC) the sum of over N342 million standing as its outstanding debt to the company.
This is coming even as the presidency denied the N923 million which AEDC claimed is the outstanding debt against it.
In a statement today, February 20, the special adviser to President Bola Tinubu on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga said: “contrary to the AEDC’s initial claim of N923 million debt in paid advertorial in newspapers, the State House outstanding bill is N342, 352, 217.46, according to a letter by the management of AEDC to the State House Permanent Secretary dated February 14, 2024.
“Having reconciled the position to the satisfaction of both parties, the Chief of Staff to the President, Rt Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, has given assurance that the debt will be paid to AEDC before the end of this week.”
Onanuga said that the Chief of Staff also urged other MDAs to reconcile their accounts with AEDC and pay their electricity bills.
Vice President Kashim Shettima has fingered political forces in the ongoing high rising cost of living and protests it has generated in some parts of the country.
“There are (political) forces that are hell-bent on undermining our nation, but this is the time for us to coalesce into a singular entity.”
Shettima who spoke at a conference on Public Wealth Management in Abuja today, February 20, said: “sadly, some of our countrymen are still in political mode. They are the practitioners of violence, advocating that Nigeria should go the Lebanon way.
“But Nigeria is greater than anyone of us here. Nigeria will weather the storm. Forces are hell-bent on plunging this country into a state of anarchy.
“Those who could not get to power through the ballot box, instead of them to wait till 2027, are so desperate.”
Vice President Shettima, acknowledged that Nigeria is passing through turbulent times, assured the people that the pain will not last forever.
“We have to make this country work. We have to move beyond politics. We are now in the face of governance.”
He gave as an example, the moves by some Nigerian political forces to sabotage the efforts of the Tinubu’s Government, saying that just in the midnight of Sunday, February 18, about 45 trucks loaded with maize were intercepted while making their way to neighbouring countries.
“Just three nights ago, 45 trucks of maize were caught being transported to neighbouring countries. Just in that Ilela axis, there are 32 illegal smuggling routes. “And the moment those food stuff were intercepted, the price of maize came down by N10,000. It came down from N60,000 to N50,000.”
The Federal Government has risen to arrest the skybound cost of cement in the country in recent time, convincing the major manufacturers to peg the price of 50kg bag of cement at between N7,000 and N8,000.
A meeting between the manufacturers and the federal government was held today, February 19, in Abuja, against the backdrop of the astronomical increase in the price of the commodity to about N13,000 in several retail stores in the Federal Capital Territory, Enugu and other parts of the country.
The meeting, which was at the instance of President Bola Tinubu, was aimed at finding a lasting solution to the “unreasonable” increase in the price of the commodity.
The meeting was attended by the minister of works, Senator David Umahi, who complained that the price of cement is becoming “abnormal” and is detrimental to economic prosperity sought after by the Tinubu’s administration.
The minister said that certain issues, including smuggling, bad roads, high energy costs and the foreign exchange crisis, caused the high price but that manufacturers have expressed their readiness to willingly bring down the prices.
“The cement manufacturers and the government have noted that the present high cost of cement in the market is abnormal in some locations nationwide.
“Ideally, they noted that cement price and retail price to a consumer should not cost more than between N7,000 and N8,000 per 50 kg bag of cement.
“Therefore, the government and the cement manufacturers, which is Dangote Plc, BUA Plc and Lafarge Plc, have agreed to peg their cement price nationwide between N7,000 and N8,000 per 50 kg bag of cement, depending on the location.
“Which means that this price depends on the location. Going forward, the government advised manufacturers to set up a price monitoring mechanism to ensure compliance with the prices that are set today.”
Also in attendance at the meeting the minister of Trade and Investment, Mrs. Doris Uzoka-Anite, representatives of Dangote Plc, BUA Plc and Lafarge Plc.
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has uncovered an orphanage home in Karonmajigi, Abuja, where 23 children, aged between one and 14 years, trafficked from Plateau state, are kept.
The Mandate Secretary of the FCT Women Affairs Secretariat, Adedayo Benjamins-Laniyi, at a news conference today, February 19, said that the children have been rescued and the orphanage home, known as Priesthood Orphanage, shut down.
Speaking to newsmen also on the issue, the Plateau State Commissioner for Women Affairs, Caroline Dafur, said that the Proprietors of the home abandoned the children at the orphanage, under the care of one Pastor Abraham, in a terrible condition of hunger. “Three of the children had earlier escaped and were discovered by officers of the Federal Road Safety Corps, who reported the case to the NAPTIP and took the children to the Human Rights Radio, who then notified the Plateau State government and the FCT Women’s Secretariat.
“We came in yesterday and on reaching here, we were told that they went to a church. We kept going from one church to another, looking for them until we found them in a Deeper Life Church, where we were able to pick them up, and we went to the home.
“And we saw the place; it is not supposed to be called a home.
“The place is just so unkempt. I wonder how the children were sleeping in the small room. “Nine girls were sleeping in a very small room with just two mattresses. And then for the boys, they were in a small room too, with two mattresses just on the floor. And I mean, it’s so pathetic the way human beings treat human beings in this country.”
She expressed the displeasure of the Plateau state government on the matter, even as she appreciated the Mandate Secretary of the FCTA for the assistance in evacuating the children, and relocating them to the Karu Children’s Home.
Meanwhile, the mandate Secretary,
Benjamins-Laniyi told newsmen that the FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike, has authorised the Secretariat to profile and recertify orphanages operating within the nation’s Capital.
“With immediate effect, that ‘home’ has been shut down. We have the name of the proprietor of the orphanage home, but we are not naming names now for obvious reasons.
“When the entire material investigation is concluded, there will be an official gazetted presentation of the facts, the findings, and the delivery of this intervention we’ve started here today.
“NAPTIP, as we speak is already on it. Using this as an example, one of the first things I have done is to get approval for the recertification of orphanage homes in Abuja.
“The minister has approved that there will be a full, thorough reprofiling of anything that has to do with orphanage and recertification status of all orphanages in Abuja.”
She said that the Women’s Secretariat is already working with the office of the Commissioner of Women Affairs of Plateau State, to reunite the children with their families, some of whom she said had been at the uncertified orphanage for five years, since 2019.
“We are working with the Plateau state government to reunite the children that I had earlier mentioned by name and by age, with their families in Plateau state. This is a transition arrangement.”
The Government of President Bola Tinubu has asked the governors elected on the platform of the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP), who called on him to resign, to keep their mouths shut.
In a statement today, February 18 in Abuja, by the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, Tinubu’s government reminded the governors that he has been battling to clear the mess created by the 16 years of the PDP’s administration.
According to the statement, the PDP held sway in Nigeria at a time of windfall but failed to improve the lives of Nigerians.
The Tinubu government accused PDP governors of abandoning the works for which they were elected but decided to distract him through a call for his resignation.
“The call (on Tinubu to resign by the PDP’S governors) is nothing but an attempt at distraction by people who should instead be busy supporting the President’s efforts at bringing economic relief to the Nigerian people.
“It is our considered view that the PDP and its Governors should not be seeking, through the back door of intimidation, what they have consistently failed to achieve by democratic means, since 2015.”
The minister said that the state governors have all benefited from huge financial support since the inception of the Tinubu administration, regardless of party affiliations.
“To whom more has been given, more is therefore expected. The President and his administration recognises the unfinished business of revamping our national economy, kick-started by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, through programmes focused on large-scale infrastructure, social welfare, prioritizing the equipping and welfare of the military and security agencies, and reclaiming Nigeria’s strategic place in the comity of nations.”
The minister said that the Tinubu administration has tackled insecurity, with Boko Haram and its affiliates decimated.
According to him, the APC administration has cleared several liabilities left behind by the PDP government, including subsidy claims by oil marketers, Paris Club Refunds, unpaid pensions, gratuities, and salary arrears owed various categories of pensioners from liquidated and existing State-Owned Enterprises.
“These were some of the challenges met on ground by the present administration. We must continue to state these facts so Nigerians will know where we are coming from, and appreciate what is being done in its full context. President Tinubu is not and will never be overwhelmed by the current challenges the country is facing.
“He will not abdicate his responsibilities. He will courageously continue to wrestle with the challenges and surmount them, laying a durable foundation for the new Nigeria that is emerging.
“He has never shied away from acknowledging the pains of ongoing reforms, and has seized every opportunity to assure Nigerians that inside the pain of the reforms lie the seeds of lasting prosperity and national development.”
The minister advised PDP Governors to join hands instead of engaging in moves that are capable of distracting the president.
President Bola Tinubu has intimidated President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, that Nigeria is currently witnessing a leap forward in all the economic sectors.
At a meeting between the two leaders today, February 18, President Tinubu emphasized the strength of Nigeria’s economic potentials and influence.
According to Tinubu, Nigeria “is witnessing a leap forward, despite some short-term reform pains.”
He said that his administration is removing all encumbrances to business and investing in critical sectors of the economy like healthcare, education and agriculture to ensure the welfare of all Nigerian citizens and to create sustainable economic prosperity for future generations.
“We have a very vibrant population of young Nigerians who are trainable, dependable and should be empowered. The economic potential of Nigeria is enormous. We are ready to break all the walls standing in our way to progress.
“We are ready to fight corruption from top to bottom. We are ready to invest in critical sectors like healthcare, agriculture, education, infrastructure, and others. I have one of the most dedicated teams on agriculture.”
President Tinubu said that Nigeria is ready to deepen ties with Brazil, saying that it is a “legacy of what can be done together to change the future for countless millions of our citizens.
“We are stopping at nothing to remove all encumbrances to business. Red tape is being shredded around us. There is nothing we will not do to manifest the great potential of our nation. We are fighting corruption from the bottom to the top. We will prevent it, and we will remediate.
“We are very aware of your progressive legacies of social security provision, infrastructure, and reforms in Petrobras. We are in the process of implementing similar reforms in the NNPCL. We are focusing on investment in new production and new energy sources. We are investing in research, and we are removing obstacles to further partnerships in all areas of operation. There is opportunity for both companies in partnership.”
the President identified solid mineral exploration, agriculture, education, and healthcare as areas of immediate concern, even as he said that the will of the two leaders to collaborate is firmly established.
“I agree that our countries must now have direct air links. I will form a committee of cabinet members who will work directly with your cabinet ministers, and they will urgently form a joint plan of action for the benefit of our two great countries. We may have missed opportunities in the past, but we now look ahead.
“Brazil and Nigeria share similarities. Let us forget old mistakes. The phenomenal growth achieved by Brazil in agriculture is exemplary. We will work with you to mechanize our food production systems to enhance quality and quantity of output. I will work with you to re-energize Nigeria’s relations with Brazil across the board.”
This was even as President Lula da Silva described Nigeria and Brazil as the Africa’s largest economy and South America’s largest economies respectively, which have a long and interesting history together.
The Brazilian leader said that Nigeria and Brazil once had a trade volume of more than $10 billion in the past, which has now plummeted to $1.6 billion, emphasizing that he is determined to strengthen bilateral relations.
“I am back to try to restore; to reclaim our good relations with Nigeria. I can not imagine that a country of 216 million people and another of 213 million people do not have strong relations.
“Mr. President, I am 78 years old. You are 71. What keeps me energetic is that I fight for a cause. The cause of my nation and people. A great cause is the elixir of sustained vitality for experienced leaders.
“Nigeria and Brazil need stronger relations from the academic viewpoint; from the cultural viewpoint; from the commercial viewpoint; from the agricultural viewpoint; from the industrial relations viewpoint, and from trade relations viewpoint.
“It is meaningless that there are no direct flights from Lagos to Sao Paulo and vice versa. I can not understand that. We have to sit at a table and find a solution for that. In aviation, there are many areas of potential collaboration with our manufacturers who seek to have a greater presence in Africa.
“I only have three more years left of my term, Your Excellency, to do everything I have not done yet. The time is very short. I am in a hurry to make my contributions to improve these relations with Nigeria. To make this happen, we have to put our ministers to work.”
The leaders of the largest democracies in Africa and South America, respectively, agreed to work out the modalities for a state visit to Brazil by President Tinubu after President Lula da Silva extended an invitation, which the Nigerian leader accepted.