- As CBN pumps $481m to core sectors to Sustain Naira vitality
Dedicated commitment of the nation’s channel dredgers paid off at the weekend as the largest tanker to ever berth in Nigeria, a 60,000 metric tons petroleum products carrier berthed at Tin Can Island Port, in Lagos on Saturday.
The Navig8 Exceed, according to MARITIME FIRST sources sailed in to the MRS jetty around 4:30am, straight from Belgium shortly after which a celebration began, attended by two Ministers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and several heads of parastatals, who not only took the opportunity to confirm that the nation’s channels are seriously and positively improving, but also to laud the Lagos Channel Management (LCM) for going the extra mile, to ensure the realization of the remarkable feat.
“This vessel is certainly very big. And if it could be maneuvered in and berthed in Tin Can, then by all means, it means all the stories we have heard about the LCM is indeed true”, a guest, Chief Emmanuel Adegbola indicated, pointing out that he was genuinely amazed.
When the view of NIMASA Head of Corporate Communications, Isichei Osamgbi was sought, he said the development truly points to the confidence foreign shipping operators have both of Nigeria, as well as the nation’s Ports.
It was learnt that the Lagos Channel Management, once notified of the intention by the relevant stakeholders: the MRS and Dantata Group to be bringing such giant tankers to deliver products to tank farmers, immediately went to its drawing board, first getting it right on the computers, before committing to actualize it, in the channel.
“The LCM told us it was a dream they could help us realize. For several days, they worked nonstop both day and night. We are there now!”, a senior staff of the MRS told the MARITIME FIRST, on conditions of anonymity since he was not endorsed to talk to the media, pointing out that tank farm operators would find it more efficient and cost effective to use larger vessels.
Efforts to speak with the LCM Managing Director was futile as he was not available.
Industry watchers have high expectations and regards for the LCM in Lagos and the Bonny Channel Company in Port Harcourt as unarguably, the nation’s foremost dredgers.
In the meantime, determined to sustain the vitality of the Naira, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has auctioned $418 million to some critical sectors which include agriculture, airlines, petroleum and raw materials sub sectors, at a marginal rate of N310 to a dollar.
Acting Director, Corporate Communications, Mr Isaac Okorafor highlighted this in Abuja stating that the $480m offered last week was in addition to the $350 million sold as wholesale auction for travel allowance and school fees at the same period.
He also explained that the CBN in the weeks ahead, would reinforce its intervention through the sale of foreign exchange to all segments of the market, like the interbank and the Bureau de Change segment.
“The Bank will sell short tenured forwards of 7 to 30-day maturity to meet demand of manufacturers and all other foreign exchange users.
“These significant injections of foreign exchange into the market should reassure all foreign exchange users of our determination to continue to meet all legitimate forex demand in the market,” he posited, stressing the apex bank’s determination to ensure exchange rate market stability.
While it currently sells at N405, it would be noted that the Naira had at the peak of of its woes had nosedived to. N560 per Dollar, igniting serious calls for the removal of the CBN Governor, and subsequently Government interventions which finally revitalized the Naira to N355, before the new slides which brought it to its present state.
As part of its own measures, the CBN also had threatened to penalise any bank refusing to sell forex to customers, while increasing forex supply to the BDC from 8,000 dollars per week to 10,000 dollars.