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NIPC boss assures Ekiti State of agency’s support towards RIBS investment

The Acting Executive Secretary/CEO, Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), Mr Emeka Offor, assured the Ekiti State government of the Commission’s support to drive Responsible, Inclusive, Balanced and Sustainable (RIBS) investments to the state.

He stated that Nigeria and indeed sub-national governments need to be deliberate in their investment attraction and retention approach to maintain a competitive edge, noting that due to increasing global competition for capital occasioned by the devastating impact of COVID, efforts of sub-national governments are now more critical to ensuring that Nigeria remains a destination of choice for investment.

He stated this in Ado-Ekiti during the maiden edition of the Ekiti State Economic Development & Investment Summit also known as Fountain Summit 2021, with the theme, ‘Investment Attractiveness and Economic Development: Lessons for sub-nationals’, hosted by Governor Kayode Fayemi on Thursday.

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Osinbajo, Finance Minister, Aig-Imoukhuede Launch EnterpriseNGR

The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, yesterday joined hands some eminent Nigerians to launch the EnterpriseNGR, a professional and financial service advocacy group that he described as a game changer in Nigeria’s quest for economic development.

Osinbajo said the launch of the initiative would position Nigeria as the premier financial centre of Africa in the same way The CityUK transformed London to become the nerve centre of global financial service.

He said: “Today (yesterday) may pass quietly like other days but its significance in the years to come is bound to be huge. The reason is that we are formerly establishing the united and powerful voice of the Nigerian business and professional community the EnterpriseNGR, a professional policy advocacy group with the overarching vision to be a leading voice and champion for the development and transformation of the Nigeria economy and the mission to advance Nigeria’s transformation as Africa’s premier financial service centre.

“There is no doubt that the Enterprise Nigeria is a game changer when the informed Nigerian professionals and business community speak with one voice to issues of domestic or international business policy.

“On behalf of Mr. President and the federal government I will like to commend the initiators for their farsightedness in establishing the EnterpriseNGR, the first in the African region. It is our hope and prayer that the EnterpriseNGR will achieve its transformative objectives.”
Speaking in the same vein, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, described the establishment of the EnterprseNGR as a testimony of coming of age of Nigeria’s financial industry and its realisation of the critical role of the private sector could play in ensuring a thriving economy.

She said: “I congratulate and salute the efforts of the founding members of this nobel organisation. I am confident that the EnterpriseNGR will go a long way to improve the business terrain in Nigeria. I hope that your work will aid the acceleration of the economic development of our country.”

The Founding Chairman of the EnterpriseNGR, Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, said the non-profit advocacy group was established to collaborate with the public sector in championing the advancement of the Nigerian financial service sector.

Aig-Imoukhuede said: “We believe that the private sector and the government must work hand in hand to ensure that our nation takes off and reaches its full potentials. That is what Enterprise NGR is all about.”

He said the story of the EnterpriseNGR dated back to his years as the council president of the NSE when the council was introduced to The CityUK, a private sector advocacy organization that is renowned for its role as the key driver of the London’s current position as the global financial services power house.

“We were convinced then that Nigeria could achieve similar successes driven by Nigerian equivalent of The CityUK. We need to build a powerful coalition of financial services players who will work hand in hand with policy makers and regulators to transform Nigeria’s financial system.

“Similar to The CityUK, we aimed to engineer win-win positive results, such as GDP expansion, increased employment and of course national growth.

“We have lofty ambitions but we are confident that with right partners we can make this ambition a reality. I welcome you to a new era of opportunities to Nigeria’s financial services sector,” he said.

The Chairman and Managing Partner, Global Infrastructure Partners, Mr. Bayo Ogunlesi, charged the EnterpriseNGR to advocate for the emergence of strong financial system in Nigeria that could attract and match users and providers of capital.

Ogunlesi said: “Nigeria will never achieve its full potentials unless it raises a very strong financial system. It has to make it clear to the world that it is open to business. What the EnterpriseNGR will do is to be a powerful voice that makes sure that the country continues moving in the right direction.”

The CEO of the EnterpriseNGR, Ms. Obi Ibekwe, said it would require a strong strategic collaboration between the private and the public sectors for effective change that would help Nigeria to take its place in the world stage to occur.

Ibekwe added: “This is precisely the vision that informed the establishment of the EnterpriseNGR. Every country that has achieved economic development was powered by a strong financial system.

“Our goal is to promote a favourable environment where business sector advocate are able to effectively engage with policy makers by working closely with government authorities and other key stakeholders.”

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Naira crashes to record low at official market

The value of the naira fell further by 1.68 per cent against the dollar at the official market on Thursday.

At the Investor & Exporter foreign exchange window, the local currency opened at 413.15/$1 on Thursday but closed at 422.07/$1.

The naira had depreciated by 0.19 per cent to 415.10/$1 on Wednesday after closing at 414.30/$1 on Tuesday.

At the parallel market, the dollar was bought at N565 and sold for N570, according to some operators in the black market.

The Central Bank of Nigeria, however, maintained N410.91/$1 as its official rate on its website.

In July, the CBN stopped forex sales to the Bureau de Change operators and assured that it would supply forex to legitimate users through the banks.

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FIRS generates N3.3tr from non-oil export

The Federal Government has generated N4.2 trillion revenue so far this year.

A statement from the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) issued yesterday said about N3.3 trillion, that is over 77 per cent of the total collection, came from the non-oil sector.

FIRS Chairman, Muhammad Nami, stated that “to address the issue of Nigeria not diversifying its economy, from a tax perspective, you will discover that we are actually diversifying the economy”.

He argued that the diversification, though a work in progress, was on course.

According to Nami, “the total collection we have up to 31 September, which we have not fully reconciled with the CBN and the Nigerian Customs is about N4.2 trillion, and from this amount, oil related taxes accounted for only 22 percent which is N950 Billion only, while the non-oil taxes we have generated within that period is N3.3 trillion”.

Nami noted that though the potential of the country’s non-oil revenue was being harnessed, it was, however, not adequate.

He lamented that the taxes being paid in Nigeria were inadequate. According to him, “to discuss about the taxes that are being paid in the country and to say whether they are adequate or not, I want to believe one, they are not adequate”.

”People are not willing to pay even when they are appointed as agents of collection; whatever they have collected on behalf of the government, they find it difficult to remit. When you compare Nigeria as an oil producing country to a small country like Saudi Arabia, we are still not there.

”We assume that we are a rich country, I don’t think that is correct. We only have the potential to be rich, because we have a very huge population of about 200 million.

”Saudi Arabia with a population of about 35 million has an oil firm, ARAMCO that raked in $49 billion in profit in 2020. At our official rate, that is roughly about N20 trillion in profit; more than the total budget sum for 2022 that was submitted by President Muhammadu Buhari.

”Despite the above statistics, Saudi Arabia still earns revenue from several other sources, including religious tourism and Value Added Tax, which is as high as 15 per cent, as against Nigeria’s 7.5 per cent.” Nami stated.

The FIRS chief emphasised that the best way to fund budgets globally was through payment of taxes by citizens, particularly personal income tax which is a direct tax as against indirect taxes; he further noted that personal income taxes in other countries account for over 50 per cent of the funds available to their respective governments for funding expenditure.

”Our total tax payers is in the region of about 41 million people and the total personal income tax paid last year was less than N1trillion by 40 million people.

”If you also compare that with our own brother South Africa where they have a total population of about 60 million, with just four million taxpayers, the total personal income tax paid in South Africa last year is about N13trillion. You can now see that these things are not adding up.

”The number of billionaires in Lagos alone are more than the number of billionaires in the whole of South Africa, yet what Lagos State generated as Personal Income Tax was just less than N400billion in 2020.

”So, if we don’t pay these taxes, there is no way the government will be able to provide the social amenities required, the critical infrastructure required for the wellbeing of the country,” Nami stated.

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Nigeria’s economy to shrink in Q4 2022 –IMF

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has predicted Nigeria’s economy would shrink by 0.5 percentage point in fourth quarter (Q4) of 2022.

The IMF put Nigeria’s economic outlook for Q4 of 2021 at 2.4 per cent while it projected 1.9 per cent for Q4 of 2022, representing a decline of 0.5 percentage point.

The global financial body equally lowered its global growth projection for 2021 to 5.9 per cent while retaining 2022 figures at 4.9 per cent.

The 5.9 per cent figure is 0.1 percentage point lower for 2021 than in the July forecast.

The latest growth figures are contained in the IMF World Economic Outlook released yesterday which finds that, “although global recovery continues, momentum has weakened, therefore , there is a slight downward revision for global growth this year and an unchanged projection for next year (4.9 percent).”

IMF explained that the downward revision for 2021 reflects a downgrade for advanced economies—in part due to supply disruptions—and for low-income developing countries, largely due to worsening pandemic dynamics.

This, it said, is partially offset by stronger near-term prospects among some commodity-exporting emerging market and developing economies.

It added that rapid spread of Delta and the threat of new variants have increased uncertainty about how quickly the pandemic can be overcome. Policy choices have become more difficult, with limited room to maneuver.

It explained that modest headline revision masks large downgrades for some countries, the Fund reports in its World Economic Outlook.

“The global recovery continues, but momentum has weakened, hobbled by the pandemic. We have a slight downward revision for global growth for this year to 5.9 per cent. For next year, our projection remains unchanged at 4.9 percent.

“The divergences in growth prospects across countries, however, persist and remains a major concern,” said Gita Gopinath, Economic Counsellor and Director of the Research Department at IMF.

Gopinath added that risks to economic prospects have increased and policy trade-offs have become more complex in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Monetary policy will need to walk a fine line between tackling inflation and financial risks and supporting the economic recovery.

“One of the major risks remains that there could be new variants of the virus that could further slow back the recovery. We’re seeing major supply disruptions around the world that are also feeding inflationary pressures, which are quite high and financial risk taking also is increasing, which poses an additional risk to the outlook,” explained Gopinath.

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Nigeria to Commence Local Production of Weapons, Says President

President Muhammadu Buhari, Monday, stressed the readiness of the federal government to de-emphasise dependence on foreign supply of military weapons to fight security challenges facing the nation by commencing local productions.

To this end, he has instructed the Ministry of Defense to create a modest military industrial complex for the local production of weapons to meet some of the requirements of the country’s armed forces.

The President made this disclosure in his opening remarks at a two-day Mid-Term Ministerial Performance Review Retreat, organised to assess progress made towards the achievement of the nine key priorities of his Administration.

According to him, the establishment of the industrial complex would address Nigeria’s over-dependence on other countries for military equipment and logistics.

The project, he explained, was being implemented under the Defense Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON), a military department responsible for arms manufacture.

His words: “To address our over-dependence on other countries for military equipment and logistics, I have instructed the Defence Ministry to create a modest military industrial complex for the local production of weapons to meet some of the requirements of the country’s armed forces. This is being implemented under the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON), a military department responsible for arms manufacture”.

On other steps being taken by his government to strengthen national security, President Buhari said it was gratifying to note that Nigeria has received six A-29 Super Tucano propeller-driven aircraft, which were currently being used for training, surveillance and attack by the military.

“It is gratifying to note that only recently, we received six A-29 Super Tucano aircrafts as part of our efforts to boost the nation’s campaign against insecurity. The propeller-driven aircrafts are being used for training, surveillance and attack by the Military.

“As part of the efforts towards strengthening our national security, we have increased investments in arms, weapons and other necessary equipment; expanded the National Command and Control Centre to nineteen states of the federation; and established a Nigerian Police Trust Fund, which will significantly improve funding for the Nigeria Police Force.

“We have also approved the sum of N13.3 billion for the take-off of the Community Policing initiative across the country, as part of measures adopted to consolidate efforts aimed at enhancing security nationwide,” he added.

He highlighted some of the federal government’s notable achievements in the last two years by in the areas of infrastructure, transportation, economy, electricity supply and the petroleum industry, among others.

The President also assured Nigerians that the 11.9km Second Niger Bridge, 120 km Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and other key projects under the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF) would be completed within the second term of this administration.

He said, “On transportation, we are growing the stock and quality of our road, rail, air and water transport infrastructure. The PIDF projects are also advancing remarkably. These include the 11.9km Second Niger Bridge, 120 km Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, 375 km Abuja – Kaduna – Zaria – Kano Expressway and the East West Road. Most of these projects are expected to be completed within this 2nd term of our Administration.”

President Buhari noted that his administration had made tremendous progress on railway projects in the country, noting that upgrading of the railway network was being extended with the recent completion of the Lagos–Ibadan line.

“The Itakpe-Ajaokuta rail line has finally been completed and commissioned after 30 years of its conception. Work is expected to commence very soon on the Port-Harcourt Maiduguri line and Calabar – Lagos Coastal Line to connect the Southern and Eastern States of our Country. Progress is also being made on the upgrading of our Airports, with the state-of-the-art facilities in line with world class safety standards,” he said.

President Buhari expressed delight that over the past two years, Ministers have rendered reports to the Federal Executive Council on their activities related to the achievement of their Ministerial Mandates.

“Some of the notable achievements include the establishment of InfraCo Plc in 2020, as a world class infrastructure development vehicle, wholly focused on Nigeria, with combined debt and equity take-off capital of N15 trillion, to be managed by an independent infrastructure fund manager.

“The Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund was also established in 2020 with more than USD 1Billion in funding. In addition, we have launched the Nigeria Innovation Fund by the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA). This is aimed at addressing investment opportunities in the domestic technology sector: data networking, datacenters, software, Agri-tech, Bio-tech, and more”.

On the economy, the President said the nation witnessed three consecutive quarters of growth, after negative growth rates recorded in the second and third quarters of 2020.

He said, “The GDP grew from 0.8% in 2017 to 2.2% in 2019, but declined in the first quarter of 2020, as a result of the downward trend in global economic activities triggered by the COVID-19 Pandemic. As at Second Quarter 2021, GDP growth rate was at 5.01%, the highest since the inception of this Administration.

Commenting on the power sector, President Buhari noted that the implementation of a ‘Willing Buyer-Willing Seller’ Policy has opened up opportunities for increased delivery of electricity to underserved homes and industries.

He expressed the hope that the execution of critical projects through the Transmission Rehabilitation and Expansion Programme, will result in achieving the national goal of improved power supply by 2025.

On the Petroleum Industry Act signed into law on 16th August 2021, the President reiterated his directive to the Implementation Committee to complete all processes for the successful operationalisation of the Act within 12 months.

On efforts to empower the youth and other vulnerable groups by enhancing investments in the Social Intervention Programmes, the President said he has approved the expansion of the National Social Register (NSP), which is the official database for the implementation of the Conditional Cash Transfer programme by one million additional households.

According to him: “We have established the N75 billion Nigerian Youth Investment Fund created to boost the Nigerian economy through leverage and access to finance for youths.

“The Fund should serve as a catalyst to unleash the potential of the youth and to enable them to build businesses that will stimulate economic growth and create jobs. These accomplishments are a testament to the fact that all hands are on deck in establishing a solid foundation for even greater successes in future”.

He warned all Ministers and Permanent Secretaries to take seriously all issues relating to the implementation of their mandates towards the attainment of the laudable objectives of the government.

President Buhari used the opening ceremony to unveil the Presidential Priorities Performance Management System and Dashboard, explaining that the initiative, which has been in effect since January this year, had provided him the opportunity to track projects in real-time with live data.

His words: “In our continuing drive to ensure accountability, we have incorporated a Performance Management Framework into the functions of the Central Delivery Coordination Unit for ease of tracking of the Ministerial Deliverables along the lines of the nine priority areas of this administration.

“This initiative has provided me the opportunity to track the performance of all ministries and by extension my administration. This process has been in effect since January 2021 and today, it gives me great pleasure to unveil the Performance Management System and Dashboard to track projects in real-time with live data and early warning system to proactively resolve bottlenecks”.

In view of the importance of this year’s retreat, President Buhari announced that he would sit through all the sessions to listen to the cumulative assessment of this administration’s performance over the last 2 years.

Equally, the President would join in discussions on the best approach and strategies to implement planned policies, programmes and projects that could significantly diversify the economy away from its dependence on oil revenue, while sustaining the current economic growth trajectory.

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NNPC Missing as China, Saudi Arabia Top World’s Biggest Oil Revenue Earners in 2021

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has failed to make the latest list of the world’s highest income-grossing oil companies, both nationally-run and privately-owned. The list was compiled from the organisations’ 2020 audited financial statements.

But NNPC yesterday said although the repair of roads was not within its direct purview, it was willing to fix some roads across the country to ease the movement of petroleum products. The offer by the national oil company came following a threat of industrial action by the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) over increasing number of bad roads in the country.
However, the Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) of NUPENG yesterday suspended the planned strike, which was earlier scheduled to commence today.

The latest list of the world’s highest income-grossing oil companies showed that although a number of the 10 highest-earning oil and gas companies in 2021 lost billions in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic and trade war between Russia and Saudi Arabia, big deals and discoveries were still made, further aided by recovering oil prices from the last quarter of last year.

The list showed that Sinopec, also known as China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation, earned $323 billion in revenues in 2020, according to a compilation by offshore-technology.com, one of the leading entities covering the global offshore oil and gas industry.
But Sinopec’s revenue fell by 28.8 per cent last year, while at the same time, net income fell by 43 per cent, leaving it with a value of approximately $70 billion.

Despite topping the list, the company’s refining and exploration/production units jointly made losses of approximately $22 billion in 2020, but earnings of $21 billion from its marketing and distribution sector helped offset the losses.
In line with China’s upcoming five-year plan, the company has moved toward developing hydrogen production and has installed hydrogen refuelling stations in at least four provinces.
China also came second on the list with PetroChina, the publicly listed arm of the state-owned company, China National Petroleum Corp, exceeding its post-pandemic expectations.

During the year, the company increased oil output by 4.8 per cent and gas output by 9.9 per cent compared to 2019 and pushed the cost of production down by 8.3 per cent, to $11.1 per barrel.
The company’s revenue fell by 23.2 per cent in 2020, but it increased its full-year dividend by more than 20 per cent and achieved new record levels of gross profit, lifted by economic recovery and rising oil prices.

The two Chinese companies were followed by Saudi Aramco with $230 billion revenue for the year under review. In April 2020, the company achieved it’s highest-ever single-day crude oil production rate, at 12.1 million barrels per day. Nigeria pumps less than 2 million bpd.
The company’s capital expenditure fell by $6 billion in 2020, mainly because it spent some money in acquiring a majority stake of chemicals company Sabic in June and invested in a joint-venture materials company with oilfield service company Baker Hughes and agreed to build a chemicals plant in eastern Saudi Arabia with TotalEnergies.
The company attained pre-tax earnings of $101 billion and a net income of $49 billion in 2020, both around 60 per cent of the previous year’s total.

The fourth position was occupied by Royal Dutch Shell, which earned about $181bn in 2020, according to the data. Shell emerged the highest-earning oil company not owned by a government.
But the company still lost $21 billion across the 2020 financial year most of which came as a result of revenue almost halving, falling to $180 billion.

On the list also was British giant BP, which grossed $180 billion in 2020. The company’s financial mirrored those of Shell, with revenue falling to $180 billion, while its upstream segment recorded a net loss of $21 billion across the 2020/21 financial year.
ExxonMobil came sixth, with revenue worth of $179 billion in the 2020 financial year, although the company lost $22.4 billion in the fourth quarter of 2020, compared to a $14.3bn profit one year before.

The company’s upstream division went from earning $14 billion in 2019, to losing $20 billion in 2020. Revenue fell by approximately $77 billion, though most analysts expect this to reverse again across 2021.
Occupying the seventh position, according to the data, was TotalEnergies, formerly known as Total, with total revenue of $120 billion in 2020. Its income from sales fell by $60 billion, compared to the year before, while overall net income went from $11.4 billion in 2019 to a loss of $7.3 billion in 2020.

It was trailed by Chevron with $94 billion impacted by its big moment in 2020 when it acquired US shale oil and gas producer Noble Energy. Losses peaked in the second quarter of 2020, when the company saw a net loss of $8.3 billion. Across the whole year, the company made a net loss of $5.5 billion, though net production remained mainly the same.

Russia’s Gazprom held on to the ninth position with total revenue of $85 billion although sales fell from $29 billion in 2019 to $22 billion in 2020, partly because of production restrictions following Russia’s deal with the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). As a result, net profits fell from $10 billion to a loss of $9.7 billion.

According to the data, America’s Marathon oil made $70 billion gross revenue in 2020, almost halving its capital spending to deal with the pandemic, with further cuts in 2021. Marathon’s sale of Speedway, its chain of vehicle filling stations, included a 15-year supply deal with buyer 7-Eleven worth about $21 billion cash transaction.
Including income from Speedway, Marathon’s adjusted raw earnings fell to $4.4 billion in 2020, down from $11.1 billion the year before. Most of the fall came from the company’s refining and marketing segment, where raw earnings went from $2.8 billion to a loss of $5.1 billion across the year.

For the first time ever, the NNPC this year publicly announced a profit of N287 billion, about $700 million (when converted at the current official exchange rate of about N410 to $1). The national oil company recently told Nigerians that it already has a projection of over N300 billion profit for this year which would be announced at the end of 2021.
The profit was mostly from the reversal of amounts impaired (when a company declares an asset valuable after it previously declared it a liability) for years. It also pushed the corporation’s total revenue to about N3.7 trillion or roughly $9 billion when converted.
NNPC is in the process of being fully commercialised with the recent passage of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), although it had always been bugged down by excessive political control.

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At $42bn, External Reserves Hit 25-month High on Eurobond Inflow

Nigeria’s external reserves have risen to its highest level in 25 months to $42 billion presently due to the inflow of the recent Eurobond issued by the federal government, THISDAY findings have revealed.

Although, the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) latest update on its website showed that as of October 7, 2021, the Eurobond had grown by $3.587 billion or 10 per cent, from $34.597 billion as of September 7, 2021 to $38.184 billion as of October 7, central bank sources put the present value at $42 billion.

The last time the country’s external reserves were around their present value was on September 26, 2019, when it was $42.05 billion.
The sharp rise in the foreign reserves was as a result of the $4 billion Eurobond the federal government issued last month. The amount was raised after an intensive two days of virtual meetings with investors across the globe. The Debt Management Office (DMO) had explained that the Order Book peaked at $12.2 billion, which enabled the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) to raise $1 billion more than the $3 billion it initially announced.

DMO said, “This exceptional performance has been described as, ‘one of the biggest financial trades to come out of Africa in 2021’ and ‘an excellent outcome.’”
According to the DMO, bids for the Eurobonds were received from investors in Europe and America, as well as Asia. There was also good participation by local investors.

According to the statement, the size of the Order Book and the quality of investors demonstrate confidence in Nigeria.
Analysts also revealed that forex rationing by the central bank has also supported the external reserves accretion.
Meanwhile, the value of transactions through the various payment channels in the country rose by 6.08 per cent, to N26.5 trillion in September, up from N25 trillion in August.

Managing Director, Financial Derivatives Company Limited, Bismarck Rewane, disclosed this in a report on his monthly executive breakfast session presented at the Lagos Business School at the weekend.
The payment transactions covered in the report included cheques, point of sale terminals, Nigerian Interbank Settlement System Instant Payment (NIP), and Nigeria Electronic Fund Transfer (NEFT).

It pointed out that even though Nigeria’s external reserves have risen, the country’s debt level has also been climbing. Nigeria’s total external debt has now risen above $37 billion. This was up by 270 per cent from 2015 level of $10 billion, the report stated.
According to the report, domestic oil production declined consistently for four months. Precisely, it fell by 8.63 per cent to 1.27mbpd in August. This was attributed to underinvestment in the oil sector and high attrition rate.

The rig count has jumped 57.4 per cent since the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) was enacted.
“Royal Dutch Shell has put its land and swamp assets on the block; most international oil companies are shifting to green energy; and higher oil prices, 31.3 per cent in six months is making upstream loans qualify for restructuring,” it stated.
It noted that the economy was recovering, but the momentum was slower than expected.

“Oil prices now at a seven-year high ($82.87pb) but economy not firing on all cylinders,” it added.
The World Bank recently raised Nigeria’s 2021 growth forecast to 2.4 per cent, from 1.8 per cent previously. This was supported by accelerated growth in the service sectors.

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12.5kg cooking gas may sell for N10,000 by Dec, say marketers

Marketers of Liquefied Petroleum Gas, well known as cooking gas, on Saturday, expressed worry over the supply shortage leading to persistent increase in the price of the commodity.

They warned that 12.5kg of cooking gas currently selling between N7,500 and N8,000 could rise to N10,000 before December if nothing was done to address the crisis.

The marketers lamented that more Nigerians had resorted to using firewood, charcoal, sawdust, among other unrefined energy sources whose prices have also begun to rise.

The Executive Secretary of the National Association of LPG Marketers, Mr Bassey Essien, disclosed this during the weekly e-discourse organised by a leading Pan-African forum, Platforms Africa, a statement on Saturday by the organisation’s Team Lead, Adeola Yusuf, said.

Platforms Africa is the e-community of intellectuals, policy moulders and opinion leaders on the continent.

Essien maintained that government needed to review the recently introduced import charges and Value Added Tax, else “the price of cooking gas may as well reach N10,000 for a 12.5kg cylinder.”

He said, “Today (Saturday), the price has risen to N7,500 and N8,000. The skyrocketing price of gas is our fear and what we are trying to avoid. Early in the year a 20-metric ton of gas was selling for below N5m but today, the same tonnage sells for N10.2m. As long as there is that supply shortage, the available quantity and the dynamics of supply-demand will keep pushing the price higher.”

Lamenting poor patronage of NALPGAM by customers due to the high price, Essien said the association was concerned that more Nigerians were being forced to return to coal, sawdust, kerosene, and other dirty fuel as “the price of the cooking gas has suddenly gone up.”

He, however, said the association was interfacing with the government, stakeholders, producers and importers to see how the situation could be addressed.

Team Lead, Platforms Africa, Yusuf, however, urged the Federal Government to wade in and relieve Nigerians the pains of paying higher for gas.

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POS transactions in Nigeria surge by 45%, hit N4.1 trillion in 8 months

Point of sale transactions carried out in Nigeria in the first eight months of the year stood at N4.06 trillion, representing a 45% increase compared to N2.81 trillion recorded in the corresponding period of 2020. This is based on data obtained from the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS).

According to the data, POS transactions hit its highest levels for any eight-month period, increasing by 44.8% and 108% compared to N2.81 trillion and N1.96 trillion recorded in the similar period of 2020 and 2019 respectively.

Similarly, the volume of POS transactions recorded between January and August 2021 stood at 619.3 million, increasing by 61.8% compared to 382.9 million recorded in the corresponding period of 2020. It is worth noting that a total of 686,577 POS terminals were deployed nationwide as of August 2021, representing an 84.4% increase compared to 372,333 recorded as of the same period of 2020.

Details later

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