Connect with us

VenturesNow

Ethiopia might devalue currency to secure IMF loan

Published

on

Ethiopia may need to decide on a big currency devaluation soon to get a rescue loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

In December, East Africa’s most populous country went bankrupt, making it the third African country in as many years to not pay its debts. The country already had high inflation.

Ethiopia hasn’t gotten any money from the IMF since 2020, and its last loan deal with the fund fell through in 2021. In late 2022, the federal government and a rebellious regional authority made a deal to end a cold war that had been going on for two years.

Although the IMF has not said that currency reform is necessary for its backing, it however maintained that progress was made during its most recent visit. However, the Fund usually favours flexible, market-determined exchange rates. Ethiopia has requested $3.5 billion of support from the IMF, sources told Reuters last year.

The birr currently trades at between 117 and 120 per dollar on the black market, which is more than double the official rate of about 56.7. This is because there is a constant lack of foreign cash and the exchange rate is tightly controlled.

“It seems that the Ethiopian authorities have found accepting the demands of the IMF hard,” said Abdulmenan Mohammed, an Ethiopian economic analyst based in Britain.

“The Ethiopian authorities are worried about the devaluation of the birr, (which) would have serious negative economic repercussions, including soaring inflation… and surging foreign currency denominated debts in terms of birr.”

Early in 2021, Ethiopia asked the G20’s Common Framework to restructure its debt. This was set up in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to include new creditor countries like China and India. Other African countries like Tunisia and Zambia also suffered a similar fate with their foreign debt at the time.

As of the end of March, Ethiopia’s foreign debt totals $28.2 billion. According to Boston University’s Chinese Loans to Africa Database, the country’s biggest bilateral creditor, China, agreed to stop collecting its debts in August 2023. From 2006 to 2022, China promised to give the country $14 billion.

VenturesNow

Nigeria: Court insists Binance executive can face trial on behalf of firm

Published

on

In an ongoing tax evasion case, a Nigerian court decided on Friday that Binance executive, Tigran Gambaryan, may go to trial on the cryptocurrency exchange’s behalf.

Binance and executives Gambaryan, a U.S. citizen and head of financial crimes compliance, and British-Kenyan national Nadeem Anjarwalla, a regional manager for Africa, face four counts of tax evasion. They are also accused of participating in specialized financial transactions without a license and laundering more than $35 million in another case.

All of them have entered not-guilty pleas on the allegations of money laundering. Following the court hearing on Friday, Binance’s attorney chose not to comment. The attorney for Gambaryan was similarly silent.

“We are deeply disappointed that Tigran Gambaryan, who has no decision-making power in the company, continues to be detained,” a Binance spokesperson said in a statement on Friday after the court hearing.

“These charges against him are completely meritless. He should be freed while discussions continue between Binance and Nigerian government officials.”

Gambaryan is still being held while Anjarwalla left the nation in March. The office of Nigeria’s security adviser has declared that it is collaborating with Interpol to pursue Anjarwalla’s detention.

After its executives were imprisoned as part of a crackdown on cryptocurrencies in February after being invited to the African nation for talks with officials, the CEO of Binance has warned Nigeria of establishing a dangerous precedent.

Nigeria’s Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has announced that Gambaryan may face prosecution on behalf of the exchange; Binance has not been accused in the tax evasion case.

According to prior statements from Gambaryan’s attorney, Gambaryan was “neither a director, partner, nor company secretary” and did not have any formal authorization from Binance to take on the accusations on the firm’s behalf.

Judge Emeka Nwite decided on Friday that Gambaryan, who is Binance’s chief financial compliance officer and was lawfully designated to represent the company in a meeting in Nigeria, should be served with the charges against Binance.

On Wednesday, Gambaryan is scheduled to appear in court and enter a plea on Binance’s behalf. On Friday, Gambaryan’s request for bail in the money laundering case was turned down. As the nation struggled with ongoing dollar shortages, cryptocurrency websites became the go-to venues for trading the Nigerian naira. Nigeria has blamed Binance for its currency problems.

Continue Reading

VenturesNow

Nigerian govt denies reports it plans to borrow pension fund for infrastructure

Published

on

The Nigerian government has denied reports that it plans to borrow the N20tn pension fund to finance infrastructural projects.

In a statement made in Abuja, Wale Edun, the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, stated that the government would abide by the laws and guidelines in place pertaining to the pension fund.

Following a two-day Federal Executive Council meeting at the Presidential Villa on Tuesday, the minister reportedly informed reporters that the government would present a plan to use local funds, including the fund, to finance infrastructure development.

Edunstated that the government does not intend to exceed these legal boundaries, emphasising that the government was committed to protecting workers’ pensions.

“It has come to my notice that stories are making the round that the Federal Government plans to illegally access the hard-earned savings and pension contributions of workers. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

“The pension industry, like most the financial industries, is highly regulated. There are rules. There are limitations about what pension money can be invested in and what it cannot be invested in.

“The Federal Government has no intention whatsoever to go beyond those limitations and go outside those bounds which are there to safeguard the pensions of workers.

“What was announced to the Federal Executive Council was that there was an ongoing initiative drawing in all the major stakeholders in the long-term saving industry, those that handle funds that are available over a long period to see how, within the regulations and the laws; these funds could be used maximally to drive investment in key growth areas,” Edun clarified.

The plan to spend the pension fund was reported and was widely criticised. The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria and the Nigeria Labour Congress had earlier on Thursday urged the government to abstain from making any changes to the pension fund.

They stated, “Nigerian workers have entrusted their hard-earned savings for retirement security, not as a means for government projects. It is imperative to halt any further plans to tap into these funds, especially given the lack of transparency and accountability in past government borrowing practices.”

Continue Reading

EDITOR’S PICK

Culture9 hours ago

How South Sudanese singer John Frog moved from child soldier to Afrobeats star

John Frog may be one of South Sudan’s most successful musicians at the moment, but a little over 10 years...

Tech9 hours ago

American risk management solutions provider Archer opens business in Egypt

American risk management solutions provider, Archer, has announced expanding its operations to Africa with Egypt as the first point of...

Sports9 hours ago

South African Akani Simbine beats Omanyala to pick 100m gold at Atlanta City Games

South African sprint sensation, Akani Simbine, on Saturday at the Atlanta City Games further put a dent on Kenyan 100m...

Metro12 hours ago

Church in Northern Province cautions against cyberspace abuse, supports cyber security law

The church in Northern Province has issued a warning to Zambians regarding the misuse of cyberspace in the guise of...

Metro18 hours ago

Nigeria kicks as South African police torture citizen to death

The Nigerian Union South Africa (NUSA) has condemned the killing of another of its citizens, Prince Muoka Ebuka, who was...

Politics1 day ago

Nigeria 2027: Opposition party chieftain Atiku vows to support Obi if …

In Nigeria, the 2023 presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, has hinted that he would support the...

VenturesNow1 day ago

Nigeria: Court insists Binance executive can face trial on behalf of firm

In an ongoing tax evasion case, a Nigerian court decided on Friday that Binance executive, Tigran Gambaryan, may go to...

Tech2 days ago

How Nigerian online connection hub Workjeje helps with access to quality service providers

A Nigerian online connection hub, Workjeje, has revealed how it is connecting individuals and corporate bodies to quality service providers...

Sports2 days ago

Egyptian midfielder Elneny announces departure from Arsenal after eight years

Egypt and Arsenal midfielder, Mohamed Elneny, has announced his departure from the club at the end of this season after...

Culture2 days ago

Nigerian moviemakers Funke Akindele, Mo Abudu, Jade Osiberu named in Hollywood Reporter’s Powerful Women in Film list

Foremost Nigerian moviemakers, Funke Akindele, Mo Abudu, and Jade Osiberu have been named in the Hollywood Reporter’s list of the...

Trending