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BUSINESS ROUNDUP: Banks’ ATMs run dry; IMF raises Nigeria’s economic growth projection; other stories



Companies in Nigerian pay N864.7bn tax to govt in H1, 21

Hello, and welcome to the Business Roundup this week. Here, we bring you highlights of events that happened during the week -from the capital market to the mainstream business activities, while not forgetting the tech/economy build up.

Here are the Headlines:

· Nigeria’s travel agencies lose $550m to fuel price hike

· Hardship for Nigerians as banks’ ATMs run dry

· Banks to accept old Naira notes after deadline – Emefiele

· IMF raises Nigeria’s economic growth projection for 2023 to 3.2%


The President of the National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA), Susan Akporiaye, said on Friday the operators had lost $550 million in revenue due to a drop in ticket sales and an increase in fuel prices.

Airline operators in Nigeria raised airfares due to the increase in the price of Jet A1 known as aviation fuel from N200 to about N1,000 per litre last year.

The hike in aviation fuel was driven by scarcity of the product after the Russia and Ukraine war disrupted the distribution of crude, forcing western countries to hoard the refined commodity.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Wednesday raised Nigeria’s 2023 economic growth projection to 3.2 percent.

In its January 2023 World Economic Outlook (WEO) titled: “Inflation Peaking Amid Low Growth,” said the review of Nigeria’s growth projection for the year was due to measures put in place by the Federal Government to address oil theft and other challenges in the country’s oil sector.

The Bretton Wood institution, however, predicted that Nigeria’s growth rate would slow to 2.9 percent in 2024.

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, said on Tuesday banks would continue to accept the old naira notes even after the deadline for the swap of the banknotes.

Read also:BUSINESS ROUNDUP: CBN loans to gulp N1.2trn of 2023 budget; Chicken Republic bans old naira notes; other stories

The CBN on Sunday extended the deadline for the withdrawal of the old currency notes from circulation to February 10 to ease the pressure on Nigerians who had a hectic time exchanging the old N200, N500, and N1,000 notes for the new ones across the bank counters and in Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) throughout the country.

Emefiele, who appeared before the House of Representatives ad-hoc committee on the new naira redesign and swap policy, said that based on Section 20, Subsection 3 of the CBN Act 2007, the banks would continue to accept the old Naira notes after the deadline.

Many Nigerians were left frustrated on Monday as cash, including old and new naira notes were unavailable from banks’ Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) in most parts of the country.

Bank customers who needed small cash to pay for transport fares, and other urgent needs could not find money to withdraw from the ATMs while POS operators took advantage of the situation to adjust their service charges.

In fact, not only were there long queues, videos of bank customers wrestling and exchanging blows at an ATM stand trended on social media.

On NSE ROUNDUP: External reserves fall to $37.01bn, as foreign investors stay on sidelines

The external reserves fell in January 2023, extending its downward movement from the year before, as foreign investors remained on the sidelines.

According to data from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Ripples Nigeria learnt that the foreign reserves dropped by 463.62 million last month.

This pushed the international reserves down to $37.01 billion at the end of January 30, 2023, below the $37.08 billion the reserves housed at the end of December 30, 2022.

On the tech scene, Twitter, BrandmyDP, SunFi, OpenAI, PayPal, Baidu, Google were some of the names that made the headlines in the tech ecosystem this week.

A Nigerian design-as-a-service (DaaS) startup, BrandmyDP, has crossed a new milestone after deploying its design custom solution for some leading secondary schools in Nigeria.

Also, a Nigerian clean tech startup, SunFi, has secured $2.325 million in seed funding.

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