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Nigeria, US bilateral trade hits $42.2bn in 2008‚ Akinkugbe

Category: Money Market

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Nigeria, US bilateral trade hits $42.2bn in 2008‚ Akinkugbe


The bilateral trade between Nigeria and United State of America in 2008 totaled $42.2bn.
The President, Nigerian American Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Olaolu Akinkugbe, disclosed this during the Chamber‘s 49th Annual General Meeting/ Business luncheon in Lagos on Wednesday.


He said that goods exported to Nigeria from United States in 2008 were vehicles, wheat, machinery, mineral fuel and electrical machinery totaling $4.1bn.


Akinkugbe said, ”Nigeria is currently the United States 19th largest goods trading partner with $42.2bn in total (two way) goods trade during 2008. US goods exports to Nigeria totaled $4.1bn.


”The top export categories in 2008 were: vehicles $974m; cereals (wheat) $930m; machinery $782m; mineral fuel (oil) $416m; and electrical machinery $201m.


”Nigeria was the US‘ 11th largest supplier of goods imports in 2008. US goods imports from Nigeria totaled $38.1bn in 2008, a 16. 2 per cent increase from 2007.Nearly all of US imports from Nigeria were oil. US imports from Nigeria accounted for 1.8 per cent of total US imports.


Meanwhile, the Chairman, Punch Nigeria Limited and President, Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria, Chief Ajibola Ogunshola, has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria to be fair and just in dealing with banks over the lingering crisis in the financial sector.


Ogunshola, who was the chairman at the occasion, charged the CBN to publish the list of non-performing debtors of other banks as it did to the five banks that were rescued by the CBN so as to be just and equitable to all.


He said, ”I believe that since the Central Bank of Nigeria has published the list of non-performing debtors above N100m of some banks, it is duty bound to do the same in respect of every other bank; whether the bank is distressed or not. This can be justified on grounds of equity to all the non-performing debtors.


“Moreover, if such lists are not published, the cloak of secrecy that covers the unpublished debt will leave room for unscrupulous persons – be it bank officials, central bank officials and even, perhaps, some auditors – to manipulate things to their own advantage.


”A set of rules ought to be worked out by the central bank on how the non-performing loans are to be recovered and these rules must apply to all the banks. That will, for example, make impossible the ugly situation that occurred last week when the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission included in the list of the loans, which it claimed to have recovered, a mere promise to pay.


“Establishing a set of rules for uniform application by all the banks will reduce the chances of manipulation and blackmail. For example, what percentage of accrued interest on such loans can be waved?


”Are the actions of the CBN governor the opening moves towards actualising an agenda by some powerful northerners to take over some banks in order to enable them have a significant foothold in the banking sector?


”My personal opinion is that the March 23 edition of Vanguard Newspapers, which essentially foretold what is happening now is too coincidental to be ignored or waved aside.”


Yet, commending the efforts of the CBN governor, Mr. Lamido Sanusi, Ogunshola said, ”But that should not be allowed to distract our attention from the need to deal squarely with the massive plunder of the banks that the governor‘s actions have revealed.


“He should be congratulated and supported in this regard. And, I will like to hope that as the net gets wider and catches even bigger political power fish, the EFCC will not allow itself to be compromised and that President Yar‘Adua will not give Mr. Sanusi the Ribadu treatment.


”So, what will happen to the shares of the distressed banks and will the money advanced to them by the central bank be treated as loans or converted to government‘s shares?


“How will the new boards be composed?


“Hopefully, the existing shareholders, the depositors, the press and the general public will ensure that the tussle over ownership on board composition that will shortly ensue will be satisfactorily resolved eventually, even if it will involve long and bitter dispute not only in the court, but hopefully in the National Assembly.”

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