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Economy

More Worries for Nigeria as Brent Crude Hits $130 Per Barrel

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By Adedapo Adesanya

Instead of Nigeria being joyous over the rising price of crude oil in the international market, the opposite is the case as the country may not be able to earn more from the commodity it has in abundance.

Crude oil sales account for about 90 per cent of the country’s foreign exchange (FX) earnings but the double-whammy reality of Brent crude hitting $130 per barrel is a big headache for the nation.

Following the continued conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the United States has confirmed that it is in talks with European allies to potentially sanction Russian crude oil in response to ongoing aggression in Ukraine, sending oil prices briefly above $130.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken noted over the weekend that the country is “… now in very active discussions with our European partners about banning the import of Russian oil to our countries, while of course at the same time maintaining a steady global supply of oil.”

Analysts noted that if Russia’s oil is cut off, the market could face a 5 million barrel shortfall which could push oil prices to $200 per barrel.

The situation is compacted by stalling talks with Iran over a potential new nuclear deal.

For Nigeria, the rise in prices means the federal government will pay more money on fuel subsidy with the landing cost of petrol increasing on the back of the rise in crude oil price.

This means that the country will see an increase in the price of petrol at the pump as well as a rise in other basic needs since mobility is a critical factor in the economy.

Despite being Africa’s largest crude producer, moribund refineries coupled with infrastructural underdevelopment makes Nigeria one of the most import-dependent countries in the world.

And with the recent postponement of fuel subsidy removal by 18 months, it means that the petrol import bill and subsidy payment will increase as a result.

President Muhammadu Buhari had said rising crude oil prices presented a great opportunity for Nigeria, especially with the passage of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).

Represented by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr Timipre Sylva, while speaking at last week’s 5th Nigeria International Energy Summit (NIES) in Abuja, he said there was now a level of certainty for the regulatory, administrative and fiscal framework for the industry.

“With the PIA in place, there should be no excuses. The enabling investment environment which has been the bane of the industry has been taken care of by provisions in the PIA,” the Minister stated.

This had been in the context of utilisation of gas because last month, Mr Sylva in an interview with Bloomberg, expressed fears of the impact of high oil prices on the economy.

He maintained that Nigeria’s comfort zone in terms of oil prices was between $70 and $80 per barrel.

He said, “I’m hopeful the prices will move around, maybe $80, maybe $70. We are hoping it will come down to somewhere around $70 to $80, which will be sustainable for us by the end of the year.

“We are working hard on that (production increase). What happened to us was the fact that we had to cut back at the time, and, of course, in such a way you can’t really cut back mathematically.

“So, you want to cut back 100,000 barrels that you shut out, maybe we’ll shut down about 200,000 to 300,000 barrels. So at the end of the day, we over-complied because we just couldn’t achieve it mathematically.

“In trying to cut down, we cut down too much. And now to come back, it’s not been easy for us to get the wells back to production.”

Now, it is almost double this threshold and have been projected to stoke inflationary fears which will further hamper Nigeria’s economy and as a result be felt by the average Nigerian.

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

Economy

CitiTrust Holdings Sells Commercial Paper for 22%

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Cititrust Financial Services Ikechukwu Peter

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

An opportunity has opened for commercial paper investors as CitiTrust Holdings Plc is offering the asset class at a coupon of 22.0 per cent per annum under its N50 billion commercial paper issuance programme.

According to details of the exercise obtained by Business Post, the company, in the financial services sector, is selling the debt instrument in four tenors of 90 days, 120 days, 180 days and 270 days.

The minimum subscription for prospective and potential investors is N5 million and can be purchased through any of the registered stockbrokers.

The 90-day instrument is going for 16.1 per cent, the 120-day paper is being sold for 17.5 per cent, the 180-day note is 19.1 per cent, and the 270-day instrument is going for 22.0 per cent.

The offer commenced on November 23, 2022, and is expected to close on Wednesday, December 7, 2022, with the net proceeds to be used for the company’s general corporate purposes and working capital.

CitiTrust said investors would be paid their interests from the operating cash flows of the organisation, with purchases to be settled via direct debit, electronic funds transfers, NIBBS Instant Payment (NIP), NIBBS Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) or Real-Time Gross Settlement (RTGS).

CitiTrust is a leading pan-African financial and investment conglomerate owned by reputable institutional and private investors. The company has a focus on high-end financial products and services for its targeted sectors of the economy, with operations in commercial banking, investment banking, wealth management, pension management, insurance and alternative investment.

The firm is a foremost financial solutions provider and has been an intricate part of the Nigerian economy since 2007. It has grown and evolved over the years into an award-winning market leader in the financial sub-sector of the Nigerian economy, establishing its footprints in 12 African countries: Nigeria, Ghana, Rwanda, Botswana, Liberia, Benin Republic, Malawi, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Cote d’Ivoire, South Africa and the UK.

In 2019, the organisation upgraded its operations into a reputable financial services provider to align with the strategic vision of its shareholders to build an enduring institution that delivers cross-functional services to its clientele.

The company’s deep knowledge of the market, dexterity, smooth and reliable processes driven largely by technology and the high quality of its personnel puts it on the cutting edge of strategic Importance with its clientele.

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Economy

No Individual Should Operate Domiciliary Account in Nigeria—Tope Fasua

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By Modupe Gbadeyanka

An economist and former presidential candidate of the Abundant Nigeria Renewal Party (ANRP) in the 2019 general elections, Mr Tope Fasua, has kicked against the opening of a domiciliary account in Nigeria for an individual, calling it an abnormality.

Speaking on a Channels Television’s Saturday breakfast show, he said only corporate organisations involved in international trades should be allowed to operate a dorm account.

As individuals who need foreign exchange to transact any business transaction, they should be given a credit card or prepaid card, which would be loaded with the value of Dollars they require instead of giving them cash.

According to him, this would limit the demand for FX and strengthen the Naira in the forex market segments.

Mr Fasua made these submissions while reacting to the decision of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to redesign the N200, N500, and N1,000 notes.

“Personal dorm accounts are mostly unnecessary; only companies that are doing international trade transactions or financial market companies should be able to hold dorm accounts because they have a reason to,” the renowned analyst said on the programme monitored by Business Post.

“When I travelled abroad recently, GTBank loaded by card with Dollars, and when I need to spend where I am going, I just use my card,” he added, stressing that, “If you are an exporter, you have export proceeds coming in, you can have a dorm account.

“If you are an importer and you need to pay your customer once in a while, you can have a dorm account as a company, but if every Tom, Dick and Harry can speculate against their own currency, you will never get it out of crises.”

According to him, “The ease at which people move against their currency in this country is too much; it should not be that easy.”

Tope Fasua

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Economy

LIBIZFAIR Will Boost Business Opportunities in Lagos

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By Modupe Gbadeyanka

The Chairman of Nigeria in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has disclosed that the Lagos Island Business Fair (LIBIZFAIR) will improve business opportunities in the state and also attract more investments.

The former federal lawmaker said this at the opening ceremony of the fair organised by the Lagos Island Connect, in conjunction with the Lagos State Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives.

At the programme held at the Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS), Onikan, Lagos, Mrs Dabiri-Erewa, represented by the Head of the Lagos Annex of the agency, Mr Oladipo Odebowale, commended the state government for the initiative.

She noted that the platform provides a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs to showcase their businesses, saying, “This will boost investment and business opportunities in the state.”

The Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Mrs Lola Akande, in her remarks, described the empowerment of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) as critical to the empowerment of youths.

Represented by the Permanent Secretary in the minister, Mrs Adetutu Ososanya, she noted that building the capacity of youth-oriented enterprises, with the goal of providing opportunities for growth, will lead to an increase in prosperity among Lagos Island youths.

“I believe this platform can leverage socio-economic networking and Information Communication & Technology to provide more interactive opportunities for the teeming youth of Lagos Island and its environs from diverse cultural, religious, social and educational backgrounds to grow their businesses and services, as well as the State’s economy,” she said.

The Commissioner explained that the fair aligns with the policy of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of creating a conducive environment for businesses to thrive, widening access to the market and encouraging networking and collaboration among entrepreneurs.

Also speaking at the event, the Special Adviser to the governor on Sustainable Development Goals & Investment (SDG&I), Mrs Solape Hammond, stressed that the programme was geared towards supporting businesses to thrive at the local government level.

“The study discovered that the youths of Lagos Island are versatile, technologically enabled, driven and willing to be positively engaged, particularly in personal and communal development.

“Though most of them are faced with different challenges yet, there is an enormous zeal to be gainfully engaged rather than being idle, which could contribute to community nuisance.

“Young people in Lagos Island have a brighter vision for the future, and all stakeholders must join together to support them to deliver it,” the governor’s aide said in her presentation on the Lagos Island Youth Needs Assessment Survey.

The co-founder of the Lagos Island Connect, Mrs Yemisi Ransome-Kuti, while addressing participants, noted that the LIBIZFAIR 2022 was geared towards taking businesses in Lagos Island from a local to a global level by investing in the youths and preventing their massive migration to foreign lands.

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