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Economy

Nigeria Suffers 1.7% Fall in Crude Oil Production

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brent crude oil

By Adedapo Adesanya

Nigeria’s crude oil production declined again, this time by 1.7 per cent to an average of 1.354 million barrels per day in March 2022 compared to the 1.378 million barrels per day produced averagely in the month of February 2022.

This is according to the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Oil Market Report for April 2022, indicating that the figure showed a decrease of 24,000 barrels per day month-on-month.

“According to secondary sources, total OPEC-13 crude oil production averaged 28.56 mb/d in March 2022, higher by 57 tb/d month-on-month.

“Crude oil output increased mainly in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates while production in Libya, Nigeria and Congo declined,” it said.

The report noted that following a contraction of 1.8 per cent year-on-year in 2020, Nigeria’s economy expanded by 3.6 per cent in 2021.

It said this economic recovery was most likely to continue over the course of 2022 with support from improvements in the hydrocarbons sector and energy prices.

The report said: “Recent official data suggested that the annual inflation rate edged up slightly to 15.7 per cent in February 2022 from 15.6 per cent in January 2022, although food inflation remained elevated.

“Indeed, higher food costs related to geopolitical tensions could further fuel inflation.

“In March 2022, the overall business improvement softened as Stanbic IBTC Bank Nigeria’s Purchasing Managers’ Index suggested, indeed it dropped to 54.1 from 57.3 in February.

“Yet, the overall prospects for Nigeria’s short-term economic outlook remain positive, despite concerns over inflationary pressures amid disruptions to global trade flows and supply shortages,” OPEC stated.

In the report, the growth forecast for non-OPEC supply in 2022 was reduced by just over 300,000 barrels per day to 2.7 million barrels per day. OPEC cut its forecast of Russian output by 530,000 barrels per day, although it raised its forecast for US tight oil, another term for shale.

OPEC expects US tight oil supply to rise by 880,000 barrels per day in 2022, up from 670,000 barrels per day last month and said there was potential for further expansion even though most US oil companies are still focusing on capital discipline.

OPEC and its allies, which include Russia, in a grouping known as OPEC+, are unwinding record output cuts put in place in 2020 and have rebuffed Western pressure to raise output at a faster pace.

At its last meeting, OPEC+ deviated from the Ukraine war, which Russia refers to as a “special military operation”, and stuck to a previously agreed plan to boost its monthly output target by 432,000 barrels per day in May.

Underinvestment in oilfields in some OPEC members like Nigeria means the group has been unable to fully deliver its promised output increases.

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.

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Economy

Dollar Shortages Strike Again…Nigeria Indexes in Crosshairs

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dollar shortages

By Lukman Otunuga

Despite oil prices surging to multi-year highs, Nigeria has failed to cash in.

The destructive combination of sub-optimal oil production, poor infrastructure, and fuel subsidies have drained oil revenues that account for roughly 90% of foreign exchange earnings.

Lower oil revenues and falling foreign exchange reserves are forcing Nigeria to ration dollars. The negative impacts continue to be reflected across the economy and local currency. But now the dollar shortages have attracted the attention of MSCI Inc. which is considering downgrading the MSCI Nigeria indexes to the status of a standalone market from frontier markets.

It is worth keeping in mind that a developed market is the highest ranking, followed by emerging markets, frontier markets, and then finally standalone markets at the bottom.

Given the difficulty in repatriating funds from Nigeria, this has placed the MSCI Nigeria Indexes in the crosshairs. Such a negative development may hit sentiment toward the county’s assets at a crucial period where economic growth remains fragile.

To add insult to injury, the NGX All Share Index has gained roughly 20% this year in local currency terms. A blockbuster performance when compared to the MSCI Emerging market Index which is down roughly -19%.

In other news, the Naira was trading around N419 versus the dollar on the official spot rate and has weakened only 1.3% year-to-date. However, on the Peer-to-Peer (P2P) segment of the FX, the Naira ended Thursday at N620 versus the dollar and N602 on the black market. Nigeria still faces the issue of multiple exchanges but this will be a discussion for another time.

Lukman Otunuga is a Senior Research Analyst at FXTM

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Economy

Binance, Cristiano Ronaldo to Release Exclusive NFTs

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Binance Cristiano Ronaldo

By Adedapo Adesanya

Binance, the world’s leading blockchain ecosystem and cryptocurrency infrastructure provider, has announced the signing of an exclusive and multi-year NFT partnership with football icon, Cristiano Ronaldo.

Through this partnership, Binance will launch a global campaign aiming to give Ronaldo’s fans an introduction to Web3 with a compelling entry point into the world of NFTs.

The company disclosed that over the course of the agreement, Cristiano Ronaldo and Binance will create a series of collections for sale exclusively on the Binance NFT platform.

The first collection of the exclusive NFTs will be released later this year and will feature designs created in collaboration with Ronaldo.

Speaking on the deal, Binance founder and Chief Executive Officer, Mr Changpeng “CZ” Zhao said, “Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the world’s best footballers, and has transcended sport to become an icon in multiple industries.

“He has amassed one of the world’s most dedicated fan bases through his authenticity, talent, and charity work.”

“We are thrilled to provide his fans with exclusive engagement opportunities to connect with Ronaldo and own a piece of iconic sports history,” he added.

“My relationship with the fans is very important to me, so the idea of bringing unprecedented experiences and access through this NFT platform is something that I wanted to be a part of,” said Ronaldo.

“I know the fans are going to enjoy the collection as much as I do.”

The Cristiano Ronaldo NFT collections will be available exclusively on Binance NFT at www.Binance.com/en/nft/home.

Binance is the world’s leading blockchain ecosystem and cryptocurrency infrastructure provider with a financial product suite that includes the largest digital asset exchange by volume.

The Binance platform is dedicated to increasing the freedom of money for users, and features an unmatched portfolio of crypto products and offerings, including trading and finance, education, data and research, social good, investment and incubation, decentralization and infrastructure solutions, and more.

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Economy

Cellulant Wins Payment Platform Solutions Provider of the Year 

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Cellulant

By Adedapo Adesanya

Cellulant, Africa’s leading payments company, has been awarded the Payment Platform Solutions Provider of the Year in Nigeria at the 13th Beacon of ICT Awards 2022.

This award is a recognition of Cellulant’s work in providing a payments platform that focuses on driving merchant business and digital payments for local, regional and global merchants in the continent.

It was also lauded for digitising both online and offline payments.

The award was presented to Cellulant Nigeria by Communication Week Media Limited, the publishers of Nigeria Communications Week.

The annual event, which recognises leading players in the ICT sector in Nigeria whose outstanding achievements contribute to the industry’s growth, was themed Impact of Blockchain Technology in a Digitalized Nigeria. 

Renowned businesses such as Emirates, GIG logistics, Coldstone, Bolt, Dominos and Ethiopian Airlines to name a few, have partnered with Cellulant to use their Tingg digital payments solution as a single collection gateway in Nigeria.

Cellulant simplified their product, unifying their offering into Tingg — a digital payments platform that addresses the complex needs of managing different payment channels for a business.

This has made it easy for businesses to conveniently and affordably accept payments from a single integration.

Customers can make payments for goods and services using locally relevant payment options.

Founded in 2003, Cellulant has more than 18 years of experience providing locally-relevant payment solutions for businesses and their consumers. Its evolution over the years, from a digital content business to mobile banking and now to payments, has allowed the company to build an expansive network, strong relationships and partnerships.

Cellulant provides a unified, single-contract, and single API payments platform – named Tingg- that makes it easy for businesses to receive and make payments; while allowing anyone to pay from their mobile money, local and international cards or directly from their bank.

Today, Cellulant has an office presence in 18 countries, including Nigeria, with a payments platform connecting thousands of businesses with 257 payment options across 35 countries. The platform powers payments for 200 million consumers on a single inclusive network for interoperability across Africa.

Speaking on the recognition, Mr Opeyemi Fowler, Cellulant’s Head of Enterprise Sales stated “the digital payments landscape in Nigeria and Africa is evolving rapidly with differing payment channels such as card, mobile money, bank transfer and cash – with volatile currency fluctuations and no single settlement framework.

“This is creating a highly fragmented landscape for businesses whose customers increasingly request to pay for their purchases using digital payment options. Every day, our job at Cellulant is to work with our customers and partners to solve this fragmentation in payments.”

“This award is a testament to our work in providing a payments platform that is transforming the way people do business in Nigeria and beyond; and a reflection of the hard work done by our people.”

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