FG meets IPMAN, MOMAN, fuel price hike imminent

The Federal Government on Wednesday said it was currently engaging oil marketers on issues bordering on the cost of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol, fuel queues, bridging claims payment, among others in the downstream oil sector.

It was reliably gathered in Abuja that the meeting might lead to an upward adjustment in the pump price of petrol, as oil marketers had repeatedly blamed the persistent fuel queues in various parts of Nigeria on the unsustainable cost of PMS.

This came as the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria on Wednesday joined their counterparts in the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria and the Natural Oil and Gas Suppliers Association to call on the government to gradually raise the price of PMS.

IPMAN and NOGASA had earlier pushed for the upward review of petrol price, as some members of IPMAN had already effected this by selling above the N165/litre government approved price.

Some of them currently dispense petrol at N180/litre and above in many states including Abuja, Lagos, Ogun, Imo, Niger, among others.

When informed on Wednesday about the demands of the various marketers groups, the General Manager, Corporate Communications Department, Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Regulatory Authority, Kimchi Apollo, told our correspondent that the government was currently engaging the oil dealers.

“We are meeting them now on the various concerns, so don’t worry. By tomorrow you will know what is the outcome,” he stated.

Apollo added, “The NMDPRA is engaging them in a meeting that is ongoing, so I’ll let you know the outcome. Hopefully by tomorrow you will know the outcome of the meeting.”

Asked if the meeting was being held with just MOMAN or all oil marketers, the NMDPRA spokesperson replied, “We cannot engage only MOMAN, we are engaging all of them. We are engaging them so don’t worry. You will know the outcome later.”

The sole importer of petrol into Nigeria – the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, however, insisted that it was not a regulator of oil prices and would not comment on whether the cost of petroleum products would be raised on reduced soon.

“If you can call Shell and ask them for comments on petroleum products’ prices, then you can call us (NNPC) and ask us for such comments,” a senior official at the oil firm, who pleaded not to be named due to lack of authorisation, stated.

The source added, “We don’t have any kind of regulatory function in the sector, we are just operators now. It is the government that manages that. And based on the Petroleum Industry Act, we are no longer an appendage of government.

“The company is owned by Nigerians and the government is holding it in trust, but we don’t have any governmental role in terms of pricing, control or whatever. Although we are mandated to be the supplier of energy security, we are not a regulatory body.

“So we don’t control the price, we don’t regulate price, we have no control over any of those, as well as other similar issues.”

But the Secretary, Abuja-Suleja IPMAN, Mohammed Shuaibu, whose unit covers Abuja, Kogi, Niger and parts of Nasarawa and Kaduna, stated that though the association had informed the government about the issues in the sector, he was unaware of the meeting by the NMDPRA.

He reiterated that the cost of petrol was unsustainable at N165/litre, stressing that some filling stations in Abuja were currently dispensing the product at N185/litre, as they now purchased the commodity above N168/litre from depots.

Shuaibu also noted that the indebtedness of the government to marketers with respect to bridging claims must be settled, otherwise the strike by IPMAN members would hold soon.

“The cost of petrol at N165/litre is not sustainable. Bridging claims need to be settled and these are issues that should be addressed to avert the impending strike,” he stated.

These concerns came as the scarcity of petrol continued in Abuja and neighbouring Nasarawa and Niger states on Wednesday, as some filling stations shut their doors to customers, citing lack of products to dispense.

Oil marketers called for gradual phasing out of fuel subsidy instead of a total deregulation following the current product scarcity being experienced across the globe.

The Chairman, MOMAN, Olumide Adeosun, made the call during a briefing with journalists on Wednesday.

According to him, the impact of the Russian/Ukraine war on businesses is “immense”, hence, the call on the federal government to gradually phase out subsidy to avoid “shock”.

“The effect of the Russian/Ukraine war cannot be compared to what we experienced during the covid. What we are seeing is that countries are beginning to close borders against importers and products are being reserved for their own citizens alone. So Nigeria is also being shut out,” he said.

Speaking further, Adeosun said the Nigerian government has ran the subsidy regime for too long, adding that the huge fund reserved for subsidy should be diverted into growing other sectors such as Agriculture, health, education and others.

“The Federal Government has allowed subsidy for too long and we haven’t saved for the raining days. The subsidy keeps increasing to the tune of N4 trillion. Such money would have been invested into Agriculture, health, education and others”

The MOMAN chairman further said selling petrol at N165 per litre is no longer sustainable due to the rising costs of diesel.

Findings showed that price of diesel had increased from N266/litre in October 2021 to above N800/litre currently.

“MOMAN is not short of empathy for Nigerians at this time. The association is pro-business, pro-progress and pro-human.

“We, therefore, stand for phased deregulation of the downstream sector because we don’t want subsidy to be removed all of a sudden in order not to throw the masses into shock. We can no longer sell petrol at N165 because diesel is what we use in our operations. We use diesel to power our trucks, run our stations and depots, and as we all know, price of diesel keeps rising.

“The options we have now is to either save our businesses by shutting it down, or that the government should allow a gradual phasing out of subsidy by allowing price increase gradually.

“It is better to have products at a slightly increased price than not have products at all. The money for subsidy should be injected into another sector. No government can make the current crisis go away because it is a global one, and we all have to adjust,” he said.

Also recently, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, described the controversial subsidy regime as “a criminal enterprise.”

A source in the know had told The PUNCH that oil marketers and the, Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority also known as The Authority, had last week, secretly agreed to slightly increase price from N165/litre to between N175-N180/ltr.

Just retired Group Chairman/CEO of International Energy Services Limited, and a PhD holder in Petroleum Process Economics from the University of Ibadan, Dr. Diran Fawibe, said the fuel supply crisis had become like a Pandora’s box which had defiled all solutions.

The Chief Executive Officer of Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise, CPPE, and former Director General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, LCCI, Muda Yusuf, told The PUNCH that the current price is not sustainable.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Gas Association has called on the Federal Government to clear the legacy gas supply debts in the power sector, describing it as an impediment to progress.

The President of the association, Ed Ubong, made the call in a press statement sent to The PUNCH on Wednesday.

According to Ubong, as soon as the government cleared the backlog of debts, only then could it hold private stakeholders accountable for promises made to bolster the sector with more gas supply.

Ubong noted that while members of NGA in tandem with the government were seeking innovative solutions for the sector, end-users also needed to adopt gas as a viable and clean source of energy during the decade of gas.

He further asked the government to institutionalise gas-powered generator usage for federal and private parastatals that use generators of more than 250KVA capacity.

Meanwhile, fuel marketers in Kano on Wednesday arbitrarily hiked their prices from the regulated price of N165 per litre to between N200 and N220 at different outlets in the metropolitan city.

Prior to the development, motorists in the city had been experiencing fuel shortages at filling stations, which had lingered for the past two months.

Our correspondent visited some filling stations on Wednesday and discovered that some outlets on Airport road, as well Paniso and Bompai areas had commenced the sale of petrol to motorists at prices ranging from N200 and N220.

However, at A.A Rano filling station, on Bompai road by Central Hotel roundabout and Aliko petrol station, at Paniso by Jaba, the product was sold for N185 per litre.

During a chat with a fuel attendant at A. A. Rano, who declined to have his name in print, it was confirmed to our correspondent that the price was hiked since Tuesday.

Also, at Amkar petrol station on Airport road, the product sold for N220 per litre. The attendant at this filling station said the price increased to N220 last week.

A motorist interviewed at Amkar petrol station on Airport road, Ibrahim Baba, decried the hike, stressing that the government had insisted that the price would be pegged at N165 per litre.

“It is so sad that I can only afford 15 litres of fuel at this price of N220 and surprisingly the NNPC has been advising motorists against engaging in panic buying and that the price remains N165 per litre,” he said.


Kaduna Targets N112b Revenue in 3years

By Uangbaoje Alex, Kaduna

Kaduna State Government is expected to generate over One Hundred and Twelve Billion Naira (N112b) in the next three years according to state official.

This was disclosed on Tuesday during the presentation of the state Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), to Civil Society Organizations and the Media by the state Planning and Budget Commission.

According to a presentation made by the Director Budget of the Commission, Idris Suleman, a the state hope to generate a total of N112,042,723,771.00 by 2023, 2024 and 2025 from both Statutory Allocation (SA), Value Added Tax (VAT) and Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).

He said the total revenue projection for 2022 is over N97b (97,576,096,856.00), with over N41b from IGR, N13b from VAT and N42b from Statutory Allocation.

For 2023, he said the projection is N61b, N15b and N45b for IGR, VAT as well as SA. N36b, N17b, N60b for both IGR, VAT and SA, while N40b N19b N52b is expected to be generated from the three revenue sources respectively in 2025.

MTEF is an annual, three-year expenditure planning that sets out the medium term priorities and hard budget constraints against which sector plans can be developed. The document indicates fiscal targets, fiscal risks, estimates of revenues and expenditures including government financial obligations.

Idris, explained that the purpose of the MTEF is three-fold, which includes; “to provide a backwards looking summary of key economic and fiscal trends that will affect the Public expenditure in the future, i.e. Economic and Fiscal Update.

“To set out medium term fiscal objectives and targets, including tax policy; revenue mobilisation; level of Public expenditure; deficit financing and Public debt, i.e. Fiscal Strategy Paper and Medium Term Fiscal Framework (MTFF) and to provide indicative sector envelopes for the period under review which constitutes the Medium-Term Budget Framework (MTBF).”

According to him, “Statutory Allocation’s forecast is based on elasticity of non-mineral revenue (Custom and Excise Duty & Company Income Tax) using historical data from 2013 to 2020 and forecast for the period of 2022 – 2024 using GDP growth rate and inflation.

“Mineral revenues are based on the benchmarks and the current proportion of crude oil sales proceeds that are converted into fiscal resources. The budgeted figures for Statutory Allocation do not include any excess crude or other Federation Account receipts. It has taken into cognisance the 0.005% deduction of Police Trust Fund from both the Mineral and Non-Mineral Revenue.

“The estimate for VAT is based on elasticity using 2013-2020 actuals and 2022-2024 real GDP growth and inflation . Historical elasticities are calculated for the period 2013-2020. The 2020 Finance Bill increasing VAT from 5% to 7.5% and an additional 3% deduction from VAT for Northeast Development Company is recognised.

“There are no provisions for revenue from excess crude because Excess Crude is a kind of stabilization fund that is distributed at discretion to the Federal Government and States or when the economy needs to be supported to cushion the effect of recession or economic down-turn. This makes it not reasonable to budget or forecast excess crude.

“The actual IGR collections for 2020 was used to project for 2022 to 2024. The State’s IGR has grown by more than 200% since 2015. The State recorded an increase of 11.5% in its 2020 IGR as compared with 2019 actual collections. This came even with the Covid-19 imposed lockdowns in the State. The State has continually outperformed its budget figures of IGR in recent years. This is mainly due to the political will of the government to increase IGR over time and be independent of Statutory Allocation in the long run.”

Earlier, the Permanent Secretary in the Commission, Bashir Muhammed, commended the CSOs, Media and donor partners for always engaging with the Commission, which he said has made the entire budget process better.

On his part, State Team Lead, Partner to Engage, Reform and Learn (PERL), Abel Adejor, called on citizens not to get tired of engaging with the budget process, adding that every stakeholders have a role to play in making the state a better place.

Osinbajo leads NEC, ECOWAS on new strategy for human devt in West Africa

Determined to significantly improve the human development indices in West Africa, the National Economic Council (NEC) chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) is hosting an international forum to launch the Integrated Regional Human Capital Development Strategy.

The conference scheduled for Abuja today, Thursday, June 23, 2022, will have in attendance leaders in the public and private sectors across the ECOWAS sub-region, reviewing strategies on human capital development, while the launch of the integrated strategy document will be the highpoint of the event.

Other partners participating in the forum include the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office; the World Bank; Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Aliko Dangote Foundation, among others.

Nigeria’s HCD programme was launched in March 2018 by the National Economic Council (NEC). It conceptualized the HCD programme with the realization that human capital development plays a critical role in addressing poverty and ensures participatory and sustainable economic growth.

The goal of the National HCD Vision – which was launched at an extended meeting of NEC focused on the Human Capital Development in December 2018 – is for “Healthy, Educated and Productive Nigerians by the Year 2030,” with targets across three thematic areas; namely Health and Nutrition, Education and Labour Force Participation.

Ahead of the Thursday’s forum on Integrated Regional Human Capital Development Strategy, Prof. Osinbajo has urged improved cooperation among West African countries to address the issues of healthcare access, out-of-school children among other human development indices.

The Vice President stated this Wednesday when he received the Prime Minister of Guinea-Bissau, Mr Nuno Gomes Nabiam, on a courtesy visit to the Presidential Villa, Abuja. The Prime Minister is visiting Nigeria to attend a meeting on ECOWAS Integrated Regional Human Capital Development.

Thanking Mr Nabiam for honouring the invitation to attend the conference, the Vice President said “the Human Capital Development meeting is very important; it is an opportunity to share experience and help each other.”

Prof. Osinbajo noted that Nigeria’s “National Economic Council (NEC) has done a lot of work on Human Capital Development, focusing on various challenges including questions aroundout of school and healthcare access.”

On his part, the Prime Minister extolled the leadership qualities of President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, stating that “what the President of Nigeria and Vice President are doing inspires us too.”


Imo govt faults NBS report on foreign investment

Imo state Commissioner for Budget, Economic Planning and Statistics, Dr C.C. Osuala has described reports pitching Imo among states which foreign investments dropped or  failed to attract foreign investments during the year as a poor reflection of the true picture of developments on ground.

A recent report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on the latest Nigerian Capital Importation for 2021 said the value of capital importation into Nigeria fell by 30.78 percent to $6.7 billion in 2021; from $9.68 billion in 2020 and stated how the 36  states of the federation fared.

Speaking to Blueprint in Owerri on the report, Dr Osuala noted that the Bureau was not vivid on the area of focus, adding that in capital importation, different areas or fields could be considered.

Explaining further, he said NBS could not say whether it was in agriculture, commerce or any other field that it based its analysis, because capital importation could also be carried out in those areas as well as in many other areas of human endeavour.

He pointed out that Capital Importation “does not only mean capital or physical cash” as it could also come in form of importation of equipment, skilled labour, drugs etc and when done, capital is still attached to them or imported.”

He frowned at a situation in which the report said Imo performed below states like Anambra, which attracted $4.7 million; Kano which attracted $2.55 million; Oyo, $2.0 million; Ogun, $1.06 million etc, saying the foreign investments attracted in the Ministry of Budget, Economic Planning and Statistics alone, without taking into consideration those of other ministries, was far more than what the aforementioned states attracted as foreign investments in 2021.

He further disclosed that the World Bank’s SFTAS grant attracted by his ministry for the state as a result of transparency in budgeting was more than what these states attracted as foreign investments, “a situation which leaves the report with some error.”

He said the state has continued to attract more as it just attracted $500, 000 from World Bank as a result of its budgeting performance in the first quarter of the year


Nigeria’s eNaira goes live after official launch by Buhari

Nigeria’s central bank digital currency (CBDC), the eNaira, has gone live after an official launching by President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday.

The launch took place at the State House in Abuja. An earlier plan to unveil the digital currency on October 1 was shelved.

Nigeria is one of only a few countries in the world to develop an official digital currency.

The eNaira was developed by fintech company Bitt, which is also behind the creation of CBDC in some East Caribbean countries.

At the launch Monday, the Central Bank of Nigeria governor, Godwin Emefiele, said 500 million eNaira ($1.21 million) has already been minted.

The CBDC’s digital currency app and its merchant wallet are now live and available for download.

The two apps, eNaira speed wallet and eNaira merchant wallet, are now available on Google playstore and Apple store.

A notice on the enaira website gives details into how the currency and the wallet will work.

“Get Ready With Your Accurate BVN Data For Your Hitch-Free Enrolment,” it says.

“To sign-up on the eNaira speed wallet, you would be required to input the following details exactly as captured during your BVN enrollment.

“First Name, Last Name, Date of Birth, State of Origin, and Email.

“Your Banks are waiting to assist you in validating and updating your BVN details to ensure seamless enrolment to the eNaira Platform,” it says.

The central bank has also published the regulatory guidelines of the currency on its website.

“The guideline seeks to provide simplicity in the operation of eNaira, encourage general acceptability and use, promote low cost of transactions, drive financial inclusion while minimizing inherent risks of disintermediation of any negative impact on the financial system,” it says.

Source: Premium Times

“Kaduna State Will Be a Big Market” – Emir Sanusi

The former Emir of Kano, North-West NIgeria, Muhammad Sanusi II, has said that Kaduna State will be a big market very soon and it will encourage Investment.

He made this assertion while speaking at the ‘Day Two’ of the Kaduna State Investment Summit on Friday.

While calling on the government to encourage market access, he said, “If Kaduna state government continues with its e-government plan it will be a big market itself and it will encourage investment which are all knowledge economy aspiration and a shift in government spending to match the priority,” he said.

According to him, that job creation in a knowledge economy is not about creating jobs in Kaduna but equipping citizens with skills to participate in the global economy. “You have global platforms now that enable people with development skills to find employment anywhere in the world which is the future of knowledge economy,” he said.

According to him, today, Nigeria is having difficulties in oil production and noted that the product is now being rejected globally because there is no longer a future in carbon.

Sanusi who was a former Governor of the Central Bank pointed out that, the future lies in a knowledge-based economy, however, lamented that, Nigeria is far behind many African countries in the innovation index and ranking 114th globally.

According to him, while Ghana with a smaller economy invests more in education, Nigeria spends seven per cent of its budget in that direction, saying that, only eight of every 100 Nigerians who start primary school, complete university.

“Globally, work is being redefined. 30 to 40 per cent of workers in developed economies will need to significantly upgrade their skills by 2030. And what are the major drivers of this redefinition? ICT and remote working, which we have seen even here with COVID.

‘There is increased automation and artificial intelligence. Very soon, robots will take over work in most countries and those who would have hob are those who operate the robots or manufacture the robots or service the robot.

“And you have decarbonisation. For us in Nigeria, the enclave economy that we have, the so-called goose that lays the golden egg is about to die. There will be no eggs. The future is not in the carbons.

“A few months ago, Germany was able to produce enough renewable energy for the entire country’s need. Today, we are having difficulties selling Nigerian oil. So, not only are we having problems producing, even when we produce, the market is not there.

“So, this is forcing a change, and for us a country that depends on oil, things need to change.

“Nigeria is ranked 114th in the global innovation index. We are lower than other African countries such as Kenya, Rwanda and Senegal. We are in fact ranked 14th in sub-Saharan Africa. I think we should have this reality check and know where we are as a country. Let’s stop calling ourselves the giant of Africa because we are the giant with clay feet.

“Countries like Kenya, Rwanda and Senegal are ahead of us. I am not even talking about South Africa. Our expenditure on education is only seven per cent of the budget. We are spending less on education than Ghana; I am not talking about as per the percentage of the budget; in absolute terms, even though the Ghanaian economy is much smaller than the Nigerian economy, even though the Ghanaian government revenue is less than Nigerian revenue, Ghana is spending more on education than Nigeria.

“And we are surprised that Industries are moving to Ghana. We are surprised that the Ghanaian President has become the leading President in Africa? We are not investing in education and human capital.

“We have a 68 per cent missing job requirement and the major areas being IT, communication and decision making. And the completion rate between entry into primary one and completing university is eight per cent, meaning that out of every 100 pupils who go into primary school, only eight come out of university. And out of those eight, nine per cent, which is one of the eight will get a job.

“So, this is the reality in addition to what is happening globally. Now, digitization to level the playing field is required, if we are deliberate and we shift from consumption to value creation. But, part of our problem is that, even when we have the solution at our feet, we do not take it,” he said.

Sanusi also noted that there is a need for skill creation for the young people which will create enabling environment for economic growth and development.

He asserted that data is one of the most crucial support that can be given to entrepreneurs for innovation.

“If somebody wants to innovate in the health sector it is to have data of people who use medical service, the location of the hospital to create and innovate solutions that will provide easy access to health care delivery and education.

He also stressed there is a need to give data access to the private sector adding that data support is very important and market access.

Source: Tribune online

​COVID-19: Lagos govt dismisses purported plan to lockdown economy

Lagos State Government on Sunday dispelled widespread rumour of plans to reimpose lockdown in the state, describing it as baseless, untrue.

This came following panic buying of foodstuff and other household items by residents as a result of viral rumour of reimposition of lockdown by the state government any moment from this week.

Also, recall that Sanwo-Olu, had last Friday, read the riot acts banning carnivals, concerts, and street parties until further notice, following the increase in coronavirus cases in the state.

Sanwo-Olu, in a statement, also returned the restriction that in places of worship in the state, no gathering must exceed 50 per cent of the maximum capacity of the venue.

He said, “This same disregard for Coronavirus guidelines is also being observed with Places of Worship across the State, in both their regular gatherings and the special gatherings organized to commemorate this Season.

“This is certainly not the time to lower our guard against the Coronavirus; it is instead time to step up our battle against this stubborn virus that has gripped the world for several months now.

“We cannot afford another lockdown of the economy. Amid an economic recession we must find a way to delicately balance the imperatives of life and livelihood. With this in mind, the only solution available to us is to take responsibility for all our actions, and to understand that we must stay safe not only for ourselves but for the sake of the entire society.

“We will not hesitate to bring the full weight of the law to bear on any person or organization caught breaching our public health regulations and protocols with regards to the Coronavirus disease.”

The state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso, who gave the clarification when contacted, urged residents to ignore such statement and go about their lawful businesses.

While giving clarification to Vanguard, Omotoso, simply said, ” There is no such plans. We have issued guidelines that people should follow to keep us safe and sound. Lagosians are urged to obey the guidelines.”

On the free testing, the commissioner stressed that the state government had reiterated its call on residents to avail themselves of the free COVID-19 testing services offered at approved public laboratories across the State.

A statement issued by the Ministry of Information and Strategy, listed the four locations as Lagos State Bio-Bank (Located inside the Infectious Disease Hospital, Yaba); Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH, CHAZVY); Nigeria Institute of Medical Research, Yaba; and Central Public Health Laboratory, Yaba (Operated by NCDC).

While advising anyone with symptoms that fit the case definition of COVID-19 to visit any of the Centres for testing free-of-charge, the State Government also urged residents to call the EKOTELEMED toll-free line on 08000356633 to speak with any of its medical personnel “24 hours a day, seven days a week for inquiries.”

Though, the state government had earlier said it might impose a new lockdown and return other measures if there was a recurrence of high cases of coronavirus in the state.

This was contained in a press statement by the state Ministry of Health few weeks back, titled, ‘Lagos calls for precautions against second wave of COVID-19’.

The statement quoted the Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, as saying that many countries around the world have found it necessary to impose a second lockdown and restriction of movements, which have significant socio-economic and security consequences.

The commissioner, however, warned that “the continuous flagrant disregard of safety guidelines by citizens heralds’ danger and may lead to a second wave of new infections in Lagos”.

Part of the statement read, “The Lagos State Government has once again stressed the need for residents to strictly adhere to precautionary measures against COVID-19 infection transmission to prevent a recurrence of the situation that led to the lockdown of the economy.

“A resurgence of cases in Lagos may lead to the reversal of the strategically calculated measures put in place by the Government to open up the economy.

“The first wave of coronavirus started in December 2019 and swept through an unprepared world. The first case of COVID-19 in Nigeria was recorded in Lagos on the 27th of February 2020. Lagos has since become the epicentre of the outbreak in Nigeria with a record of 21,107 confirmed cases and 212 deaths from the virus till date.”

Abayomi advised citizens against unnecessary movement and social gatherings, “unless it is absolutely necessary stressing that travelling into and outside the country should be discouraged except when absolutely necessary”.

He said, “The erroneous belief that COVID-19 has been conquered and is no more in Nigeria should be discarded. Based on our data, this assumption is invalid. It creates a false sense of security among the citizens causing many to abandon the use of face masks and other safety measures and protocols put in place by the Government.

Food price hike, others push inflation to 14.23% —NBS

The hike in food prices and other individual consumption across the country further increased the rate of inflation in Nigeria to 14 .23 per cent in October 2020 .

Figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics on Monday showed that the country ’s inflation increased again in October, moving up by 0 .52 per cent when compared to what was recorded in the preceding month.

The bureau said , “The Consumer Price Index , which measures inflation increased by 14 .23 per cent ( year -on -year ) in October 2020.

“This is 0 .52 per cent points higher than the rate recorded in September 2020 ( 13 .71 per cent ) .”

It was observed that increases were recorded in all Classification of Individual Consumption by Purpose divisions that yielded the headline index.

On a month- on- month basis , the headline index increased by 1 .54 per cent in October 2020, representing 0 .06 per cent rate higher than the rate recorded in September 2020 ( 1. 48 per cent) .

The percentage change in the average composite CPI for the 12 months period ending October 2020 over the average of the CPI for the previous 12 months period was 12 . 66 per cent.

This showed a 0 .22 per cent point rise from 12 . 44 per cent recorded in September 2020.

The urban inflation rate increased by 14 . 81 per cent ( year – on- year ) in October 2020 from 14 .31 per cent recorded in September 2020 .

Rural inflation rate on the other hand , increased by 13 .68 per cent in October 2020 from 13 . 14 per cent in September 2020.

On a month- on- month basis , the urban index rose by 1 .6 per cent in October 2020 , up by 0. 04 from 1 .56 per cent recorded in September 2020.

The rural index also rose by 1 .48 per cent in October 2020, up by 0 .08 from the rate recorded in September 2020 ( 1 .40 per cent) .

The corresponding 12 -month year -on -year average percentage change for the urban index was 13 .29 per cent in October 2020 .

This was higher than 13 .07 per cent reported in September 2020 , while the corresponding rural inflation rate in October 2020 was 12 .09 per cent compared to 11 .86 per cent recorded in September 2020 .

​CBN’s policy blocks banks, investors from N622bn illegal earnings

The new Treasury Bills policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has effectively obstructed about N622 billion interest earnings that would have accrued to banks and other individual and corporate investors in the money market.

The banks had mobilised their customers to invest in the NTB at mouth watering yields (interest rate) shortly after the apex bank increased the Loan-to-Deposit Ratio, LDR, requirement to 60percent in September last year.

Instead of lending to real businesses as required by the new LDR directive, banks embarked on aggressive loans to individuals and companies for investment in the NTB to meet the CBN’s LDR requirements.

In response to this the CBN tweaked its NTB policy in October last year cutting off local investors, individuals and corporates, from investing in NTB through the Open Market Operations (OMO) auctions.

Consequently, the interest cost which the apex bank pays to the investors has recorded a massive crash in the first half of 2020 to N675 billion as against N1.3 trillion it dolled out to the investors before the policy (in the first of 2019, H1’19), leaving a balance of about N622 billion that would have gone to the investors.

The blocking of the investors from the OMO segment of the NTB also resulted in a huge decline in the volume of transaction in the instrument.

Investigations revealed that the ban has triggered a 45 percent year-on-year (YoY) decline in the volume of OMO NTBs issued and sold by the CBN, in the first half of the year (H1’2020).

According to the apex bank, OMO NTBs issued during the period fell by 45 percent YoY to N6.39 trillion and N6.45 trillion in H1’2020 from N11.85 trillion and N11.83 trillion respectively in H1’19.

Also reflecting the impact of the exclusion of local investors from OMO auctions, demand for OMO NTBs (public subscription) fell by 34 percent, YoY, to N8.57 trillion in H1’2020 from N13.05 trillion in H1’19.

This trend continued in July and August, with OMO NTBs issued during the two months falling by 81 percent, YoY to N231 billion from N1.24 trillion in the corresponding period of 2019.

Similarly, OMO sales fell by 74 percent, YoY, to N218 billion in July and August, from N855 billion in the corresponding period of 2019.

During this period, demand for OMO bills also fell by 83 percent, y/y to N512 billion from N3.05 trillion in the corresponding period of 2019.

Meanwhile, there are indications that the NTB OMO market would remain on the bullish sentiment this week despite a similar trend in the equities market, money market analysts said.

Last week, performance in the NTB market was bullish as excess funds from the primary auction filtered into the secondary market.

Consequently, average yield across benchmark tenors declined 28 basis points (bps) Week-on-Week, WoW to close at 0.1 percent.

At the close of the week, the mid-term instrument enjoyed the most buying interest as the average yields declined 52bps WoW to 0.1 percent while yield on the short and long-term instruments dived 27bps and 4bps WoW to 0.1 percent and 0.2 percent respectively.

According to analysts at Afrinvest West Africa Limited, a Lagos based investment house, “In the coming week, we expect the CBN to resume its liquidity intervention as OMO worth ¦ 103.1billion would hit the system. We expect rates in the secondary NTB market to remain low due to huge money supply.”

​NNPC announces N153.17 ex-depot price for petrol

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has announced N153.17 ex-depot price for Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) also known as petrol for the month of November.

The corporation announced this in a statement signed by its spokesman, Dr Kennie Obateru, in Abuja on Friday.

The ex-depot price is the amount at which the depot owners sells the commodity to retail outlets owners and fuel marketers across the country.

He said: “The correct prices, as can be seen on PPMC’s ‘Customer Express’ platform (online portal for procurement of petroleum products) are: Ex-Coastal Price – N128, and Ex-Depot Price (with collection) – N153.17.”

Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC) is a subsidiary of the NNPC.

He advised marketers to make their purchases through the online “Customer Express” platform (PPMCCustomer.Express/login/authenticate) at the recommended prices.

He faulted the widely circulated memo in the media purporting an increase in the PPMC Ex-Coastal Price and Ex-Depot Price (with collection) to N130 and N155.17, respectively.

“We wish to clarify that there was a slight increase in the price based on the prevailing realities of market forces of demand and supply,” he stated.

The News Agency of Nigeria ( NAN) reports that the PPMC did not make public the October ex- depot price but in September, it announced ex-depot price of N151.56k.

The November price of N153.17 has an increament of N1.61 from the September price.