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BUSINESS ROUNDUP: CBN revokes licenses of over 4,000 BDC operators; FG to complete $700m OB3 gas pipeline project in March; Other stories

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Hello, and welcome to 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

• CBN revokes licenses of over 4,000 BDC operators

• Amid scathing backlash, Binance disables naira feature on P2P feature for Nigerians

• FG to complete $700m OB3 gas pipeline project in March

• Move to hike bread price suffers setback, as faction opts out of bakers’ strike

• Three years after, CBN resumes dollar sales to BDCs

Summary

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has revoked the licenses of 4,173 Bureaux De Change (BDC) operators in the country.

The CBN’s Acting Director of Corporate Communications, Sidi Ali, Hakama, disclosed this in a statement on Friday in Abuja.

She said the affected institutions failed to observe regulatory provisions.

Following scathing backlash from the Nigerian government, Binance, a crypt exchange with over 170 million users worldwide has disabled its peer-to-peer (P2P) feature for Nigerian users.

Known as the P2P market, the network lets users, buyers, and sellers transact without the intervention of a third party. It gained popularity among Nigerians in 2021 after former president Buhari’s administration outlawed the country’s vibrant Crypto industry.

With the disabling of the P2P function for Nigerian users, Nigerians might no longer trade on Binance as the Nigerian currency was also unavailable on Binance on Wednesday.

The Federal Government has announced that the $700m Obiafu/Obrikom/Oben gas pipeline, popularly called OB3, would be completed in March 2024 eight years after the project commenced.

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Gas, Ekperikpe Ekpo made this announcement on Tuesday at the ongoing 7th Nigeria International Energy Summit in Abuja.

Ekpo, while providing a couple of status reports on Nigeria’s gas sector, during his remarks at the summit described the OB3 gas pipeline as one of the biggest gas transmission systems in both Nigeria and Africa.

The planned strike of bakers in the country set to commence on Tuesday has suffered a setback, as a group of bakers, on Monday, kicked against the nationwide strike.

It will be recalled that the Association of Master Bakers and Caterers of Nigeria had announced on February 14 that it will begin a nationwide strike on February 27 unless the Federal Government honours the agreement made with the association in 2020.

It also called for the temporary suspension of all types of taxation on the bakery industry at the federal, state, and local government levels.

In a move to stabilize the naira and narrow the gap between the official and unofficial foreign exchange rates The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has formalised dollar sales to Bureau De Change (BDCs) operators after a three-year break.

It will be recalled that on July 27, 2021 the CBN under then governor, Godwin Emefiele discontinued the sale of foreign exchange to BDCs accusing them of trading FX wholesale that amounts greater than USD 5000, in contravention of their licences, and Nigeria’s FX regulations.

The former CBN governor then said, the BDCs turned themselves away from their objectives and have now become agents that facilitate graft and corruption in the country.

ON NGX ROUND UP: Investors lose N672bn as equities market tumbles again

Investors in the Nigerian equities market ended the week with a N672 billion loss as the market tumbled again on Friday.

This followed the dip in the market capitalization to N54.03 trillion from N54.70 trillion posted by the bourse on Thursday.

Similarly, the All-Share Index (ASI) decreased to 98,751.98 from 99,980.30 recorded the previous day.

ON TECH SCENE: X, CCDH, BFree, Bumble, MoneyHash, Helcim, Inkitt, Raqami, COTU Ventures, Truecaller, Dunes Financial, TikTok are some of the names that made the headlines this week.

Elon Musk’s legal dispute with the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) is scheduled to commence on Thursday, featuring oral arguments in San Francisco’s U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, and will be broadcast live.

Also, The Federal Ministry of Innovation, Science, and Technology has forged a partnership with Domineum/Edenbase UK, marking a significant milestone with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop Abuja Tech City.

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