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MONDAY 17/5/2021 – Petrol imports rose by 100 million litres in January – NNPC  Latest figures in the financial and operations report of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation have shown that the imports of Premium Motor Spirit (or petrol) by the NNPC rose by 100 million litres following the dormancy of Nigeria’s refineries to refine crude. NNPC is the sole importer of petrol into Nigeria and the corporation manages the country’s refineries in Kaduna, Port Harcourt and Warri. It, however, said in its latest report that no petrol had been produced by the refineries for about 13 months running. An analysis of the report by our correspondent on petroleum product supply through NNPC’s Direct Sales Direct Purchase scheme showed that PMS imports in January 2021 rose by 100 million litres when compared to what was imported in December 2020. In explaining the DSDP, the oil firm stated that in compliance with the Public Procurement Act 2007 and NNPC’s Policy and Procedures, it had to engage qualified and credible companies in a Direct Sale of crude oil and Direct Purchase of petroleum product to ensure sustained product supply across the country. The oil firm had over the years adopted the scheme to ensure petrol imports into Nigeria, being the sole importer of the commodity, while other marketers had avoided PMS imports due to inaccessibility of the dollar In its latest report, the NNPC said it imported 1.68 billion litres of petrol through the DSDP, while 1.58 billion litres PMS was imported in the preceding month. The corporation said, “In January 2021, 1,682.44 million litres of PMS were supplied into the country through the DSDP arrangement as against the 1,582.56 million litres of PMS supplied in the month of December 2020.” Under the section of petroleum products supply from domestic refineries, the oil firm stated that the facilities were dormant in terms of crude oil refining and that this had stretched for over a year. “No white product (PMS and Dual Purpose Kerosene) was produced in January 2021 and apparently for the past 12 consecutive months. The lack of production is due to ongoing rehabilitation works at the refineries,” the NNPC stated. Officials of both the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas workers in separate exclusive interviews had told our correspondent that the continued import of petrol by the NNPC was at the detriment of Nigeria’s refineries.  
TUESDAY 18/5/2021 – Inflation drops marginally, experts counsel FG on security  The rate of inflation in Nigeria dropped slightly in April, shedding 0.05 per cent to close at 18.12 per cent in the month under review, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Monday Nigeria’s rate of inflation was 18.17 per cent in the preceding month of March. The NBS said, “The Consumer Price Index, which measures inflation increased to 18.12 per cent (year-on-year) in April 2021. “This is 0.05 per cent points lower than the rate recorded in March 2021 (18.17 per cent).” The 0.05 per cent drop in April 2021 was the first time the country’s inflation rate would fall in about 20 months, as the last time it fell was in 2019 when the CPI shed 0.06 per cent, falling from 11.08 per cent in July to 11.02 in August. The Chairman of Foundation for Economic Research and Training, Prof. Akpan Ekpo, said that to sustain the reduction in month-on-month inflation, the government should ensure that it improves security in the farmlands to aid food production. This would ensure the steady supply of food to the markets, and stabilise prices, he said. “The drop is quite marginal, but it is a good development. It means some of the government’s actions on the demand side are working. The CBN should continue to implement its conventional monetary policies to maintain the drop in inflation.” On month-on-month basis, the headline index increased by 0.97 per cent in April. This was 0.59 per cent rate lower than the rate recorded in March 2021 (1.56 per cent). The percentage change in the average composite CPI for the 12 months’ period ending April over the average of the CPI for the previous 12 months’ period was 15.04 per cent, showing 0.48 per cent point from 14.55 per cent recorded in March 2021. The urban inflation rate dropped to 18.68 per cent year-on-year in April 2021 from 18.76 per cent recorded in March 2021, while the rural inflation rate dropped to 17.57 per cent in April 2021 from 17.60 per cent in March 2021.
  WEDNESDAY 19/5/2021 – Profit taking: Investors lose N148bn on NGX in a session  The Nigerian Exchange (NGX) market capitalisation dropped further by N148 billion, extending bearish run to two consecutive trading sessions. Specifically, the market capitalisation which opened at N20.487 trillion shed N148 billion or 0.72 per cent to close at N20.339 trillion. Also, the All-Share Index lost 283.95 points or 0.72 per cent to close at 39,022.52 from 39,306.47 achieved on Monday. The market loss was driven by price depreciation in large and medium capitalised stocks amongst which are; BUA Cement, Portland Paints, SCOA, FBN Holdings and Zenith Bank. Consequently, the market sentiment closed negative with 16 gainers in contrast with 22 losers. Portland Paints & Products led the losers’ chart in percentage terms with 9.85 per cent to close at N2.47 per share. Champion Breweries followed with 9.68 per cent to close at N1.96, while SCOA shed 9.30 per cent to close at N1.95 per share. Regency Alliance Insurance lost 8.11 per cent to close at 34k, while SUNU Assurances depreciated by 7.41 per cent to close at 50k per share. Conversely, Associated Bus Company and The Initiates dominated the gainers’ chart in percentage with 10 per cent each to close at 44k per share each. Eterna followed with a gain of 9.93 per cent to close at N7.97 per share. Transcorp Hotels appreciated by 9.85 per cent to close at N3.57, while Wema Bank gained 5.45 per cent to close at 58k per share. Also, the volume of shares traded dropped by 42.8 per cent as investors bought and sold 204.65 million shares valued at N1.84 billion in 3,940 deals. This was against 357.69 million shares worth N3.56 billion exchanged in 4,394 deals on Monday. Transactions in the shares of Courteville Business Solutions topped the activity chart with 27.12 million shares valued at N5.47 million. Fidelity Bank followed with 23.41 million shares worth N54.21 million, while Zenith Bank traded 18.55 million shares valued at N435.53 million.
  THURSDAY 20/5/2021 – Investors lose N300bn in one day as stocks fall  Investors in the Nigerian stock market lost N300bn at the end of trading on Wednesday as bearish sentiments persisted. The All-Share Index of the Nigerian Exchange Limited declined by 1.48 per cent to 38,445.09 basis points, while the market capitalisation fell to N20.04tn from N20.34tn on Tuesday. A total of 153.64 million shares valued at N2.45bn were traded by investors in 3,494 deals at the end of trading on the floor of the NGX on Wednesday. Twenty-five companies, led by C&I Leasing Plc and Airtel Africa Plc, saw their share prices decline. Other top losers on Wednesday were BOC Gases Nigeria Plc, Royal Exchange Plc, Northern Nigeria Flour Mills Plc, and Wapic Insurance Plc. Twenty-three companies recorded price appreciation, with MRS Oil Nigeria Plc and Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc leading the park. Other top gainers were Sterling Bank Plc, Japaul Gold and Ventures Plc, Regency Alliance Insurance Plc and Academy Press Plc. Analysts at Cordros Capital Limited said the domestic equities market extended Wednesday’s losses as investors sold off on Airtel Africa (-10.0 per cent). They noted that the month-to-date and year-to-fate losses increased to 3.5 per cent and 4.5 per cent, respectively. The analysts said, “The total volume of trades decreased by 24.9 per cent to 153.64 million units, valued at N2.45bn, and exchanged in 3,494 deals. “UACN was the most traded stock by volume at 10.01 million units, while SEPLAT was the most traded by value at N1.08bn.  

FRIDAY 21/5/2021 – Nigerian Governors Recommend N385 As New Price Of Petrol 

Nigerian governors have recommended an increase in the pump price of petrol from the current price to not less than N385 per litre. It is understood that the price increase is part of recommendations by a committee headed by Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai which was set up by the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF). The six-man committee was set up to review the pump price of petrol in the country. The governors gave the recommendation at its 30th teleconference meeting which held on Wednesday according to a communique released after the meeting by NGF Chairman, Ekiti State