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Oil production now 1.6 million barrels daily – NNPCL

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, on Monday, said Nigeria’s oil production had increased to 1.6 million barrels per day, a few millions short of the 1.8 million barrels per day quota allocated to Nigeria by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries. NNPCL’s Group Chief Executive, Mele Kyari, revealed this at a meeting of industry stakeholders, called to discuss the challenges of crude oil theft and losses affecting the oil and gas sector. He also stated that the rectangular security approach, comprising NNPCL and partners, regulators, government security agencies and host communities, boosted by the adoption of technology, ensured the recovery of production from what it was in July 2022 to the current 1.67 million barrels per day. Kyari, who was represented by the Head, Upstream Investment, NNPCL, Bala Wunti, at the event, which was chaired by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, said the implementation of the Detect, Deter, Destroy and Recover had paid off. Other strategies that were deployed include the establishment of the Central Command and Control Centre for effective monitoring and coordination, the launch of the Whistle-Blowers Portal and the Crude Oil Validation Portal, as well as the deployment of surveillance tools in the fight against oil theft and vandalism. He said a key element of the collaboration had been the onboarding of the private security contractors from the host communities, which were hitherto isolated. According to Kyari, the security contractors’ in-depth knowledge of the terrain and modus operandi of the criminals had led to massive discoveries of illegal connections and interception of vessels ferrying stolen crude oil. Kyari said with the current sustained efforts, facilities that have been shut down have reopened, and injection of crude oil into major trunklines for evacuation to the terminals was being ramped up.


The Central Bank of Nigeria has launched the USSD channel of the Central Bank Digital Currency tagged the eNaira on Bullnet platform to boost the usage of the platform. It was launched in Lagos on Thursday during an event to discuss the cash crunch and how the services introduced by Bullnet on the USSD channel of the eNaira would solve the problem. During the launch, the Chief Executive Officer, Bullnet Bulletin and Enquiries Networking Services, Bayo Akintoye, said the USSD with the code *997*50#,  would soothe the pain felt by Nigerians given the current scarcity of cash as it transitioned from cash-based economy to a cashless one. He said, “The CBN has collaborated with Chamsmobile Limited (a CBN licensed Mobile Money Operator and Super-Agent) to address challenges faced primarily by the unbanked, the underserved and those on the other side of the digital divide by developing the service known as ‘eNairaeNhanced Services’ via the eNaira USSD channel (*997*50#) which is fully run and powered by the patented Bullnet Platform. “It is expected that Nigerians will proudly associate with this innovation and register to have the eNaira wallet. These wallets can be funded directly with cash-purchased vouchers (like the GSM recharge cards) or from funded bank accounts using bank cards via the web portal or using electronic payment with any authorized agent. “Users can also transfer eNaira from one wallet to another simply by inputting the recipient’s phone number. The service also makes it possible for users to cash out by sending the eNaira directly from their wallets to an ATM and withdrawing the cash equivalent without the need for a bank account or bank card. The user can also send eNaira to a designated bank account for savings or further transactions.” He explained that in line with the cashless policy instituted by the CBN, the eNaira was established under the Project Giant initiative and launched by the President of Nigeria in October 2021.


Andersen, an independent tax and business advisory firm has said that the parallel rate of the naira may fall to N900 in 2023 from demand pressure if mitigating measures are not taken. The firm that has a worldwide presence through the member firms and collaborating firms of Andersen Global disclosed this in its report titled ‘Nigeria’s 2023 economic outlook’, which was presented by its partners in Lagos. The report read in part, “In 2022, the value of the naira was relatively more stable in the official market than in the parallel market thereby widening the premium between the two exchange rate windows. This was due to the heightened demand pressure spurred by FX illiquidity. “FX excess demand pressure is expected to continue in 2023 fuelled by varying factors such as elevated global interest rates attracting portfolio investments away from Nigeria; a structurally import-dependent economy; currency speculations if the gap between official and parallel market rates are not closed; etc, which will make the naira to remain pressured in the foreign exchange windows.“Based on this, should the CBN continue to maintain the gap, the official rate is likely to be devalued to about N500/$, while the parallel market rate depreciates to about N900/$ by the end of 2023 unless mitigating measures are taken.” On the 2023 budget, it said the total revenue was estimated to be N10.49tn and total expenditure was approximately N21.83tn, thereby indicating a budget deficit of N11.34tn, a 39 per cent increase from the last budget’s deficit of N8.17tn. The deficit was expected to be significantly financed through domestic borrowings, it added. According to the report, “The Director-General of the Debt Management Office stated that improvement in revenue generation serves as a solution to the increasing debt profile. Despite the increase in government income and expenditure altogether, the education and health sectors are still underfunded.


To create an efficient digital currency and ensure mass adoption, the Central Bank of Nigeria has contacted a New York tech firm to revamp the underlying technology. According to Bloomberg report, the CBN is in talks with new ‘technology partners’ to develop a new and enhanced system to manage the eNaira. It was reported that the apex bank had discussed the plans with the New York-based technology firm, R3. The report claimed that the new software for the eNaria would be created to allow the CBN have complete control over the initiative. It was also noted that the effort to create the eNaira began in 2021 with the help of the financial software company, Bitt. The report stated that the new partner won’t immediately take Bitt’s role but would help phase in total control for the central bank. Reacting to this, Bitt said it was aware that the CBN works with various partners for its technological innovations. It affirmed that it still works closely with the CBN and is “currently developing additional features and enhancements.” Although it is one of the first countries to have launched a Central Bank Digital Currency, Nigeria’s eNaira got off to a sluggish start, with low adoption. The PUNCH recently reported that since its launch in 2021, the usage of the eNaira, Nigeria’s digital currency, had failed to pick up, according to the International Monetary Fund. According to the fund, only about eight per cent of eNaira wallets were in use, with an average transaction value of N53,000. It stated that as of November 2022, total eNaira wallet downloads amounted to 942,000.


Stock investors lost N281bn at the end of trading on the floor of the Nigerian Exchange Limited last week. The NGX All-Share Index and market capitalisation depreciated by 0.96 per cent and 0.95 per cent to close the week at 53,804.46 and N29.310 trillion respectively. Also, all other indices finished lower with the exception of NGX Premium, NGX Insurance, NGX MERI Growth, NGX Consumer Goods, NGX Oil and Gas, NGX Industrial Goods and NGX Growth indices which appreciated by 0.54 per cent, 1.18 per cent, 0.44 per cent, 0.67 per cent, 0.91 per cent, 0.06 per cent and 7.15 per cent respectively, while the NGX ASeM and NGX Sovereign Bond indices closed flat According to the NGX, 36 equities appreciated in price last week. This figure is higher than 24 equities that appreciated in the previous week. 27 equities depreciated in price lower than 45 in the previous week, while 94 equities remained unchanged, higher than 88 equities recorded in the previous week. A total turnover of 751.990 million shares worth N20.575bn in 15,822 deals was traded last week by investors on the floor of the Exchange, in contrast to a total of 944.293 million shares valued at N22.710bn that exchanged hands in previous week in 18,615 deals. The Financial Services Industry (measured by volume) led the activity chart with 508.517 million shares valued at N6.212bn traded in 6,877 deals; thus contributing 67.62 per cent and 30.19 per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively. The consumer goods industry followed with 86.346 million shares worth N4.806bn in 2,562 deals. The third place was the industrial goods industry, with a turnover of 34.305 million shares worth N3.635bn in 1,305 deals.


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