The Naira Is Expected To Settle At N250/$1


• Supreme Court Justice, Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen, aged 66, from Cross Rivers State, is confirmed Chief Justice of the Federation after several unexplained delays by the President and nine days before the constitutionally stipulated 90 day expiration period (ending February 10, 2017) to forward his name for confirmation. He had been in acting capacity since November 10, last year. He is the first CJN from Southern Nigeria in 30 years.

• Babatunde Gbadamosi, politician (PDP) and critic of the federal government is released by the secret police, the Department of Security Services, 10 days after he was arrested, flown same day of arrest, from Lagos to Abuja and detained with no reasons given by the DSS contrary to human rights and constitutional arrest/bail conditions. There was no resort to the courts.

• Visits by the Presidency to two restive regions of the country: south-east (Biafra agitations) and south-south (oil militancy) regions, to soothe frayed nerves through building bridges and a fresh strategy to jaw-jaw in place of the no-win military option of war-war.

• The Naira strengthened against foreign currencies, zipping from over N500/$1 to some N425/$1 early in the week. The Central Bank finally dumped its much criticized preferential and much varied foreign exchange rates policy which exacerbated distortions and stifled competition. It has also eased access to foreign exchange, selling almost $500 million to banks and dealers during the week with funds made available for PTA, BTA, medical needs and school fees. Speculators were startled and caught pants down by the new turn of policy.

 The Naira is expected to settle at N250/$1. It is hoped that the new approach will be sustained.
Overall, it was a great week. It offered a glimmer of hope away from the gloom of recession and uncertainty in the past two years. Is this indicative of light at the end of the tunnel? We watch with hope.

Written By Ken Tadaferua
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