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BUSINESS ROUNDUP: Over 5m Nigerians dump bank accounts; Currency traders lose big as dollar crashes. Other stories

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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:

· Over 5m Nigerians abandon bank accounts as life gets tougher

· Currency traders lose millions as Naira gradually recovers

· Nigerian minister blames COVID-19, Russia/Ukraine war for rising food prices, excludes insecurity

· Nigerian govt approves $2.59bn Badagry Seaport, to compete with Cotonou

Summary:

The tough economic situation in the country is forcing Nigerians to abandon their bank accounts.

According to the latest fact sheet data published by the Nigerian Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) Electronic payment, the total number of inactive bank accounts stood at 57.9 million in 2021.

This is a rise of over five million or 11 percent when compared to 52.2 million in 2020 inactive accounts.

Some Nigerians who decided to buy dollars with the hope of making big gains have been left to count their losses in the last three days.

Naira had opened the new week trading at N680- N710 to a dollar, with many experts predicting it could even get worst.

However, since the decision by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to raid several Bureau De Change (BDC) hubs in Abuja, Lagos and Kano, the naira has made a big recovery.

On Thursday, at the black market, Naira exchanged at N640 per dollar, a N70 gain in three days. The sustenance of the recovery remains to be seen, given that the demand for foreign exchange for goods and services has remained constant.

The Minister of Agriculture, Mohammad Abubakar, said bandit attacks on farmers haven’t affected the level of food production in the country and blamed COVID-19 on the rising cost of food.

Abubakar stated that the attacks on farmers have prevented access to farms in the northwest and north-central regions in Nigeria, but the government had deployed security agents, known as Agro-Rangers, to improve security.

There have been speculations that the rising insecurity bordering on bandit attacks in Nigeria has increased the prices of foodstuff, however, Abubakar said food inflation is driven by the COVID-19 outbreak and the war between Russia and Ukraine.

Read also:BUSINESS ROUNDUP: Nigerian govt withdraws $35.6m from excess crude account; Bakers increase price of bread by 20%; Other stories

The Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Sambo, has disclosed that the approval to develop the Badagry Seaport has been obtained during the Federal Executive Council (FEC).

President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osibajo, and the ministers under the administration had held their monthly FEC meeting on Wednesday, August 3, 2022, to discuss projects relating to the country’s development.

After the meeting, Sambo stated that the Federal Executive Council approved $2.59 billion for the development of the Badagry Seaport, which will compete against that of Cotonou, Benin Republic, upon completion.

On NSE ROUNDUP: The equity capitalization in the Nigerian capital market rose to N27.35 trillion at the close of trading on Friday.

The figure was 0.2 percent or N81 billion higher than the N27.27 trillion posted by the bourse on Thursday.

Similarly, the All-Share Index was up by 140.03 basis points to close at 50,582.3 as against 50,722.33 achieved the previous day.


On the tech scene
, PayStand, Youverify, Beacon, Procurified, Cera, Epione were some of the names that made the headlines in the tech ecosystem this week.

A Lagos-based identity verification startup, Youverify, has secured a $1 million seed funding to expand footprints across Africa.

Also, a Nigerian energy-tech company, Beacon Power Services (BPS), on Friday closed a $2.7 million seed round funding led by Seedstars Africa Ventures.

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