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MONDAY 7/2/2022 – NNPC RELEASES ADDITIONAL 381.8 MILLION LITRES OF FUEL, QUEUES LESSEN The scarcity of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol, has refused to abate despite claims by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited that it has been releasing hundreds of millions of litres of petrol to address the situation.In its latest weekly national PMS evacuation report for February 21 to 26, 2022, seen on Sunday, NNPC said it evacuated an additional 381.88 million litres of petrol during the period. About a week ago, the oil firm stated that it distributed a total of 387.59 million litres of PMS from February 14 to 20, 2022, in its bid to bridge the petrol supply gap. But despite its claims, the queues for petrol in filling stations that dispensed the commodity on Sunday remained massive in Abuja and neighbouring Nasarawa and Niger, as well as in many other states. Queues formed by motorists were seen at the Nipco filling station along the Kubwa end of the Kubwa-Zuba expressway in Abuja. In Zuba, Niger State, motorists besieged the few outlets that sold petrol, forming long queues. The same situation played out in filling stations in Mararaba and Nyanya in Nasarawa State, as petrol users in many other states complained of scarcity in their various locations. But in its PMS weekly evacuation report for February 21 to 26, 2022, the NNPC said it evacuated a total of 381.88 million litres of petrol, representing an average daily evacuation of 63.65 million litres, while the year-to-date daily average was put at 60.86 million litres.   TUESDAY 8/3/2022 – CBN’LL BOOST LOCAL PRODUCTION WITH AGRIC INITIATIVES, SAYS EMEFIELE The Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele, has expressed satisfaction with what he described as the high interest of Nigerians in the agricultural sector, expressing the bank’s commitment to boosting local production. According to a statement, Emefiele said this while addressing journalists during an inspection tour of a palm plantation at Odighi village in the Ovia North East Local Government Area of Edo State. “We produce what we eat and eat what we produce by coming up with several initiatives aimed at repositioning the sector with a view to creating employment opportunities as well as growing the gross domestic product of the country,” he said. He commended the Federal Government’s foresight to revamp the agricultural sector with the CBN playing a major role. Emefiele said with the rising cost of food items across the globe, Nigeria would have been in dire circumstances if the proactive measures were not taken. On his assessment of the developments in the farm, Emefiele, who was elated with the strides being recorded in the production of maize and cassava, expressed optimism that palm produce’s harvests would commence in the next 12 months.   WEDNESDAY 9/3/2022 – CBN INCREASES CURRENCY IN CIRCULATION BY N418BN OVER CASH TRANSACTIONS THE currency in circulation rose by N418bn from N2.91tn in December, 2020, to N3.33tn in December,  2021, according to figures obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria. The CBN data showed that currency in circulation had increased by 19.06 per cent from N2.44tn recorded as of December, 2019. The CBN said in its report on currency operations that, “the growth in CIC reflected the continued dominance of cash in the economy.” The report further read in part, “Analysis of the CIC shows that a greater proportion was in higher denomination banknotes (N100, N200, N500 and N1000). The higher denomination banknotes together accounted for 63.47 per cent and 98.08 per cent of the total CIC, in terms of volume and value, respectively. “The volume of lower denomination banknotes (N5, N10, N20, N50) accounted for 28.43 per cent of the total CIC and 1.92 per cent, in terms of value as at end-December 2020.” According to the CBN, electronic payment options were introduced with a major aim of reducing the amount of naira notes used for transactions, but not to eliminate cash usage. Cashless transactions using the e-payments, the CBN said, would help to increase convenience, provide more service options, reduce risk of cash-related crimes, and provide cheaper access to (out-of-branch) banking services and access to credit.   THURSDAY 10/3/2022 – – INVESTORS GAIN N41.44BN AS 21 STOCKS ADVANCE INVESTORS gained N41.44bn on Thursday at the end of trading on the floor of the Nigerian Exchange Limited. The market capitalisation of the equities listed on the NGX rose to N25.52tn on Thursday from N25.48tn on Wednesday. The NGX All-Share Index also rose to 47,363.98 basis points from 47,287.09 basis points. Twenty-one companies recorded gains at the end of trading on Thursday, while 20 companies recorded losses. A total of 261.56 million shares valued at N4.48bn were traded by investors in 4,672 deals. According to Parthian Securities Limited, the equities market ended on a positive note as investors continued to pick on selected stocks. It noted that the NGX ASI and the market capitalisation both increased by 0.16 per cent, and investors’ sentiment as measured by market breadth was positive at 1. “We expect the positive sentiments to continue at tomorrow’s trading session, as buying momentum increases and investors take positions in large-cap stocks,” it stated.   FRIDAY 11/3/2022 – FG SHUTS ILLEGAL ONLINE BANKS, FREEZES BUSINESS ACCOUNTS The Federal Competition Consumer Protection Commission, in collaboration with the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission, National Information Technology Development Agency, and the Nigerian Police Force, on Friday, raided some illegal financial institutions operating on Opebi Road, Ikeja, Lagos. Among the financial institutions affected were, GoCash, Okash, EasyCredit, Kashkash, Speedy Choice, Easy Moni. The raid, the FCCPC said, was in response to customers’ complaints of malpractices by the financial institutions. Speaking during the raid, the Chief Executive Officer, FCCPC, Babatunde Irukera, explained that customers had accused the financial institutions of violating their privacy in their debt recovery drive. He said the agency had begun investigations into the allegations since 2020. He said, “This information started quite a while ago. Some time ago, when the country was on lockdown in 2020 due to the pandemic, we started seeing the rise in money lenders” “Because there was lockdown due to the pandemic, people needed small easy loan which is understandable. But over a period of time, people started complaining about the malpractices of the lenders, so we started tracking it”