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PETROL STOCK DIPS BY 5.48M LITRES, QUEUES PERSIST The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited’s stock of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol, dipped by 5,481,239 litres, according to industry data released on Tuesday. Although the drop in PMS stock was marginal, queues for petrol persisted in Abuja, Nasarawa, Niger and some other northern states. Figures obtained from the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority on Tuesday indicated that the total PMS stock of NNPC as at November 6, 2022 was 1,912,725,464 litres. This dipped to 1,907,244,225 litres on November 7, 2022, indicating a drop of 5,481,239 litres, while the total days’ sufficiency was 30.84, according to the NMDPRA data as at November 7 NNPC has remained the sole importer of petrol into Nigeria for several years running. Other marketers halted petrol imports due to their inability to access foreign exchange without hassles. However, the queues for petrol in many northern states did not abate on Tuesday despite the claims by NMDPRA that there were over 30 days’ sufficiency, rather a lot of filling stations were shut due to lack of products to dispense. The PUNCH exclusively reported on Tuesday that the cost of petrol had risen to as high as N200/litre at depots. CBN COMMITS $16.9BN TO FOREX MARKET, OTHER OBLIGATIONS IN H1’22 The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, disbursed about $16.9 billion in its foreign exchange market interventions and statutory obligations in the first half of 2022, H1’22, about 4.0 percent drop against $17.6 billion sold in the corresponding period of 2021, H1’21. Details of the transactions show the amount covers the inter-bank window sales worth $940.92 million, swap ($1.92 billion), Investors and Exporters window ($2.24 billion), Secondary Market Intervention Sales, SMIS ($3.83 billion), Small and Medium Enterprises, SMEs ($722.26 million), drawings on Letters of Credit ($749.27 million), External Debt Service ($1.36 billion), Forex Special Payment (Cash Swap/FX Advance/to Ministries Departments and Agencies, MDAs) ($129.13 million), Other Official Payments ($1.24 billion), Bank Charges ($27.24 million), Funds returned to remitters ($5.27 million) and 3rd party MDA transfers ($2.78 billion) and others ($913.05 million). The data also showed that foreign exchange sales to authorized dealers by CBN fell Year-on-Year, YoY, by 14 percent to $9.67 billion in H1’22 from $11.3 billion in H1’21. AFDB PROVIDES OVER $1.1BN TO 20,500 NIGERIAN MSMES The African Development Bank has said that it has provided over $1.1bn worth of interventions for 20,500 Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in Nigeria. It said that this had contributed to the creation of more than 440,000 jobs in Nigeria, with women and youths accounting for 60 per cent. The president of AfDB, Dr Akinwunmi Adesina, said this at the African Small and Medium Enterprise Immersion Fund Roundtable organised by Access Bank PLC in Lagos on Thursday. Adesina was represented by the Director-General of the Nigeria Country Department of AfDB, Mr Lamin Barrow,. According to him, the bank had also inaugurated the Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa. He said, “In Nigeria, the Bank has 8 active LOCs targeting SMEs valued at $1.1bn. Our interventions have supported over 20,500 MSMES and have contributed to the creation of over 440,000 jobs, with women and the youth accounting for 60 per cent. “The Bank has also launched the Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa as a flagship initiative to close the $42bn access to finance gap for women led and owned SMSEs. Through AFAWA, the Bank will facilitate up to $5bn in credit access to women SMEs by 2026. STOCK MARKET MAINTAINS POSITIVE TREND, UP N253.5BN The stock market of the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) yesterday extended the bullish run as capitalisation gained N253.5 billion on investors’ renewed interest in Airtel Africa Plc, Dangote Cement Plc and 13 others. The NGX All Share Index (ASI) rose by 465.34 basis points or 1.07 per cent to close at 43,942.82 basis points from 43,477.48 basis points it closed for trading. Accordingly, investors gained N253 billion in value as market capitalisation went up to N23.934 trillion  from N23.681trillion.The upturn was impacted by gains recorded in medium and large capitalised stocks, amongst which are:  Dangote Cement, Airtel Africa, MRS Nigeria Oil, Nigerian Exchange Group (NGX Group) and Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO). However, market breadth remained slightly negative as 15 stocks posted gains while 16 stocks posted declines. MRS Nigeria Oil recorded the highest price gain of 9.83 per cent to close at N12.85, per share. Courteville Business Solutions followed with a gain 8.70 per cent to close at 50 kobo, while Unity Bank rose by 8.33 per cent to close at 52 kobo, per share. Dangote Cement went up by 7.77 per cent to close at N238.50, while Mutual Benefits Assurance appreciated by 3.70 per cent to close at 28 kobo, per share. CBN SEEKS E-NAIRA ONBOARDING AT LAGOS TRADE FAIR The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has urged participants at the ongoing Lagos International Trade Fair, LITF, to be part of history by joining the over one million Nigerians who have downloaded the e-Naira Speed Wallet.  Taking this position at the ‘CBN Special Day’   at the LITF, the apex bank’s Director, Corporate Communications Department, CBN, Mr. Osita Nwanisobi, stated: “The world is fast-moving to a digitised economy and Nigeria cannot be found lagging. Hence, the introduction of the Central Bank Digital Currency, the eNaira, the first of its kind in Africa ranking amongst the best in the world.” He added, “While the CBN will continue to refine, fine-tune and upgrade the platform with additional functionalities in the near term, the eNaira has recorded over 700,000 transactions worth about N8 billion within its first year (October 2022). Thirty-three banks have been fully integrated and live on the platform. In addition to the foregoing, over 1.0 million customers have been Onboarded while over 3,305 merchants have successfully registered on the eNaira platform across the country.