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N195/Litre impossible, adamant marketers tell Govt.

Oil marketers, on Wednesday, said the supply of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol, had not yet stabilise and this was why queues were still prevalent in many parts of Nigeria, aside Abuja where it had reduced. Reacting to the statement of the Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, Mele Kyari, that fuel queues would clear in one week, the marketers expressed optimism, but insisted that it would be tough to enforce the N195/litre government-approved price on all filling stations. This came as the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria revealed on Wednesday that NNPC had promised IPMAN that it had set aside about 140 million litres of PMS for members of the association in a bid to address their fuel supply challenges. Commenting on the remarks made by Kyari as regards clearing fuel queues, the Secretary, IPMAN Abuja-Suleja, Mohammed Shuaibu, “We cannot just conclude now that the problem is over, but I know that we have to give it a week or there about, to see how the situation will be, before concluding. “The NNPC boss is an authority and we are not going to dispute that, but we hope so, because it is our prayer that all these problems are resolved. I am not going to dispute his position, but as I speak with you, our members across the country are still not getting the product the way they should. “And there are those who bought products at higher rates. Government is now telling them to sell at the government approved rate and that there will be enforcement, which, of course, is going to be difficult to implement. It is a challenge as far as we are concerned.” Explaining why the queues in Abuja were subsiding, which was not the case in other states, Shuaibu said this was because the seat of government was in Abuja, adding that the government gave a marching order on PMS supply to the capital city.


The Nigerian stock market rebounded after previous day’s pullback as investors’ profit rose by N69bn. The All Share Index grew by 127.29 absolute points, representing a gain of 0.23 per cent to close at 54,427.05 points. Accordingly, investors gained N69bn in value as market capitalisation went up to N29.645tn. The appreciation was impacted by gains recorded in medium and large capitalised stocks including Dangote Cement, Zenith Bank, Africa Prudential, International Energy Insurance, and Fidelity Bank. However, market breadth closed negative as 11 stocks posted gains while 23 declined. Tripple Gee & Company recorded the highest price gain of 9.52 per cent to close at N1.15, per share. International Energy Insurance followed with a gain of 9.40 per cent to close at N1.28, while Japaul Gold & Ventures up by 3.45 per cent to close at N0.30 kobo, per share. AXA Mansard Insurance grew by 2.50 per cent to close at N2.05, while Africa Prudential appreciated by 2.46 per cent to close at N6.25, per share. On the other hand, Trans-Nationwide Express led the losers’ chart by 9.76 per cent to close at 74 kobo, per share. Transnational Corporation of Nigeria followed with a decline of 7.35 per cent to close at N1.26, while Courteville Business Solutions went down by N6.00 to close at 47 kobo, per share. Prestige Assurance lost 4.76 per cent to close at 40 kobo, while UPDC Real Estate Investment Trust shed 4.41 per cent to close at N3.25, per share. The total volume traded decreased by 24.22 per cent to 151.583m shares, worth N1.811bn, and traded in 2,974 deals. Transactions in the shares of Universal Insurance topped the activity chart with 20.036m shares valued at N4.007m. Transcorp followed with 18.685m shares worth N24.620m, while Guaranty Trust Holding Company traded 17.029m shares valued at N427.738m. Sterling Bank traded 15.625m shares valued at N23.903m, while United Bank for Africa transacted 7.739m shares worth N64.689bn.


As the naira scarcity persists, more banks have started shutting down their branches, according to findings by The PUNCH. The PUNCH observed large queues still existed at the Automated Teller Machines of many commercial banks in Lagos, Ogun and Abuja and other parts of the country on Wednesday. As the February 10 deadline for old N1000, N500 and N200 notes to stop being legal tender approaches, more Nigerians are getting frustrated due to the inability to access cash for their regular transactions. This has further led to protests and attacks on banks, which have been condemned by the National Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions Employees. This came amid a Supreme Court injunction asking the Central Bank of Nigeria not to implement the February 10 deadline. More commercial banks’ branches in Lagos have joined the long list of banks that shut down operations on Wednesday following the scarcity of new and old notes in the country. According to the findings by The PUNCH, the Fidelity Bank on Isaac John Street, Ikeja, was opened but customers were prevented from entering. The ATMs on the bank premises did not work when our correspondent visited. Similarly, the First Bank on Isaac John Street, Ikeja, Lagos, was shut down. Our correspondent reported that none of the ATMs was working during a visit on Wednesday afternoon.Our correspondent reported a total shutdown of operations at the Zenith Bank located at Ajisafe Street, GRA, Ikeja. All the ATMs of the lending bank did not work. Also, the Access Bank at Abule Onigbajo Street, Lagos, was not operating while customers were barred from entering the lender. A customer with Guaranty Trust Bank, Mr Anthony Ifeanyi, said he was stranded at the Anthony area of Lagos when he tried making a withdrawal from the bank there on Wednesday.


The Nigerian Exchange Limited has set up its digital and technology products advisory panel as part of its plans to expand its digital transformation agenda. NGX disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday signed by its head of marketing and corporate communications, Clifford Akpolo. He said the panel will be providing a gathering for the company to meet with the capital market community and the financial technology ecosystem to expand its digital product offerings. Members of the advisory panel appointed are: Tope Kola-Oyeneyin; Iyin Aboyeji; Kola Aina; Idris Saliu; Fope Adelowo; Richmond Bassey; Tayo Oviosu; Wale Ayeni; Ahmad Zuaiter; and Adedeji Olowe. NGX further disclosed the panel will oversee provision of insight into product innovation and proposing ways to increase its technology listings. The panel is also aimed to suggest ways to increase data and digital market liquidity; provide thought leadership by developing whitepapers, creating frameworks and making recommendations; and a host of advisory matters like market trends, risks and sentiments. NGX said it recognises the potential of diverse viewpoints and aims to leverage the extensive networks of experts across the budding technology ecosystem and the capital market in designing breakthrough frameworks to position itself for global competitiveness.


Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, yesterday said while the federal government would obey the Supreme Court ruling, which put on hold the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) demonetisation policy, the government would take necessary steps to set aside the interim order. The Supreme Court had in a ruling on Wednesday suspended the CBN deadline for demonetisation policy and fixed February 15 for hearing on the matter. Malami clarified that the federal government, out of its regard for the rule of law, would abide by the order of the apex court, even though it intended to challenge it and would do so within the provisions of the law. Malami spoke during an interview on ARISE News Channel, yesterday. The comments by the minister came as THISDAY gathered that the federal government had filed reasons before the Supreme Court as to why the suit by three states challenging the February 10 deadline fixed by the CBN for phasing out the old N1, 000, N500, and N200 banknotes should be struck out. Yesterday also, the CBN attributed the continued scarcity of new banknotes to hoarding in certain quarters.But the National Security Adviser (NSA), Maj. Gen. Babagana Monguno, appealed to the House of Representatives to come up with practicable solutions to the attendant economic crisis arising from the scarcity of the redesigned naira notes.However, a civil society group, the Alliance for Surviving Covid-19 and Beyond (ASCAB) advised the CBN to obey the order of the Supreme Court, which temporarily restrained it from going ahead with the plan to phase out the old banknotes from today, until after hearing on the matter. A seven-member panel of the apex court presided by Justice John Okoro had on Wednesday temporarily stopped the CBN from effecting the scheduled ban of old naira notes in N200, N500 and N1,000 denominations from February 10.


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