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CAPITALDIGEST DAILY NEWS, 19/12/2022

OIL EARNINGS RISE BY N308.6BN Nigeria’s crude oil earnings rose by about N308.6bn within two months following the recent increase in the country’s oil output due to concerted efforts by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited and security agencies to halt oil theft. Data accessed from the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission and other international agencies, on Sunday, showed that the country’s oil earnings moved up between September and November this year. Figures from the NUPRC showed that while Nigeria pumped 937,766 barrels of crude oil per day in September, its output moved up to 1,014,485 barrels per day in October. This represents an increase of 76,719 barrels per day, which translates to a total of 2,378,289 barrels for the month of October. The increase in oil production continued in November, as Nigeria produced 1,185,604 barrels per day in that month, indicating a daily increase of 171,119 barrels in November. This implies that the country’s crude oil output appreciated by 5,133,570 barrels during the review month. Data from Statistica, an international statistical firm, showed that in October 2022, the average price of Brent, the global benchmark for crude oil, was $93.4/barrel, while in November it was $91.42/barrel. Therefore in October, the country’s oil earnings moved up by $222.13m or N99.14bn, at the official exchange rate of N446.32/$. Therefore in October, the country’s oil earnings moved up by $222.13m or N99.14bn, at the official exchange rate of N446.32/$. For November, Nigeria’s crude oil earnings rose by $469.31m or N209.46bn, at the Central Bank of Nigeria N446.32/$ official exchange rate. This implies that for the two months, the 7,511,859 barrels increase in Nigeria’s crude oil production raised the country’s earnings by about N308.6bn. Nigeria’s oil production had been crashing since last year following massive oil theft in the Niger Delta region, a development that denied the country billions of dollars in terms of oil revenue. However, in the past few months, the Federal Government intensified efforts to check the menace of oil theft. The NNPC, in partnership with security agencies and private contractors, deployed measures to tackle the challenge. These measures seem to be paying off, as oil production increased consecutively in the months of October and November 2022. FG RAISED N3.06TRN FROM BOND MARKET IN 2022, RECORDS 53.2% OVERSUBSCRIPTION  – Following the need to finance the 2022 budget deficit, the federal government through the Debt Management Office (DMO), in 2022, raised a whopping sum of N3.06 trillion from the bond market, the debt office monthly auction results has revealed. Analysis of the auction results showed that total FGN bond borrowing in 2022 is 13 per cent higher than N2.71 trillion borrowed in 2021. The federal government’s 2022 budget stood at N17.32t trillion with a deficit of N7.35 trillion, which gives room for a new borrowing of N6.1trillion. The monthly auction results revealed that DMO had offered to raise N2.48 trillion in the bond market but eventually raised N4.65 trillion, which is over 53.22 per cent oversubscription. THISDAY gathered that the FGN bonds in the first half of 2022 recorded 37 per cent oversubscription to N3.02 trillion when N1.13 trillion was amount offered by DMO. The debt office eventually allocated N1.84trillion to investors despite mixed interest rates. However, in the second half of 2022, the DMO allocated N1.23trillion to investors when it seeks to raise N1.35trillion. The total amount of subscriptions was N1.63trillion in the second half of 2022According to investigation by THISDAY, the interest rate on 10-year FGN Bonds witnessed a significant increase in 2022 over hike in the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in its moves to tackle the inflation rate. Notably, the interest rate on 12.50% FGN APR 2032 at 12.45 per cent in May 2022, closed at 14.750 per cent during the December 2022 auction. The FGN bond market in 2022 witnessed increased participation by Pension Funds Administrators (PFAs) as hike in the inflation rate eroded investment in the stock market. The pension funds industry portfolio in the FGN Bonds (HTM) increased to N8.84trillion as of October 2022, representing an increase of N489.9billion or 5.86 per cent from N8.35trillion reported by the National Pension Commission (NAICOM) NBS PLANS SURVEY ON WELFARE The Statistician General of the Federation and Chief Executive Officer, National Bureau of Statistics, Prince Semiu Adeniran, has said the bureau is planning new surveys to help to curb inflation and improve welfare. Adeniran said this while delivering his Keynote Address at the meeting of the National Consultative Committee of Statistics in Lagos with the theme, ‘The direct implication of sectorial statistics in curbing inflation’. He said, “At the Bureau, we have been working hard to support government along these lines. Only recently, working with the World Bank, NBS launched two very important and critical household surveys, that is the Nigerian Living Standard Survey and the Nigerian Labour Force Survey. “These two surveys when completed will provide detailed household information and insights into labour and welfare conditions in Nigeria, which are arguably two of the issues most affected impacted by inflation. NLSS will provide detailed information on household consumption, education, health, employment, housing conditions, assets, household enterprise and other key non-monetary indicators of welfare. “On the other hand, the NLFS is a strategic survey designed to collect and analyse labour market statistics for the country, including the generally understood and widely anticipated headline unemployment and underemployment rates. While the unemployment and underemployment rates are very important figures that indicate the number of persons economically engaged, the NLFS also contains a lot more equally interesting and important information that offer useful insight into the health of the labour market in Nigeria.” The Chairman of the Governing Board, NBS, Dr. Kabiru Nakaura, said, “The need for good and reliable statistics in every society, and across all tiers of government, for informed decision and policy making is indisputable. Hence, it is pertinent for all countries to have established statistical agencies, such as the NBS in the case of Nigeria, whose work it is to collect, process and disseminate such statistics.” CASH WITHDRAWAL LIMITS AND CBN’S DRIVE TO ENFORCE CASHLESS POLICY There had been mixed reactions following the CBN’s introduction of the revised cash withdrawal limits on December 6, 2022, following its recent currency redesign project.While some regard the initiative as a political witch-hunt, others have applauded it as a strategic move towards addressing the endemic issues of corruption in the system, and a step in the right direction in responding to the security challenges bedevilling the country as well as a commendable initiative towards helping the country to achieve its cashless policy targets and formalising the huge informal sector, among other benefits. If anything, the CBN’s cashless policy is geared towards safeguarding the interest of Nigerians as represented in the bank’s Five-Year Policy Thrust (2019 – 2024) which was launched by the CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele at the inception of his second term in office. Emefiele had assured Nigerians repeatedly that the central bank under his leadership will be people-oriented by ensuring that its policies are in their general interest. New withdrawal regime  Under the new dispensation, the central bank restricted the maximum cash withdrawal over the counter (OTC) by individuals and corporate organisations per week to N100,000 and N500,000 respectively. The apex bank had in a letter dated December 6, 2022, and addressed to all Deposit Money Banks, and Other Financial Institutions, Payment Service Bank (PSBs), Primary Mortgage Banks (PMBs), and Microfinance Banks (MFBs) and signed by CBN Director, Banking Supervision Department, Mr. Haruna Mustafa, stated that withdrawals above these thresholds will attract processing fees of 5 per cent and 10 respectively for individuals and corporate entities going forward. BANKS RUN OUT OF NEW NAIRA, DEMAND SOARS Mixed reactions greeted the disbursement of the new naira notes that officially went into circulation on Thursday with many bank customers demanding for the new notes while a few others snubbed the latest bills in banking halls across major Nigerian cities. The newly redesigned N1,000, N500 and N200 bills finally became a legal tender on December 15, 2022, over three weeks after the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), unveiled them at the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting. The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, had on October 26 announced plans to redesign the N200, N500 and N1,000 notes, while also declaring that the old denominations would cease to be a legal tender by January 31, 2022. Emefiele stressed that the redesigning of the local currency became necessary to tackle inflationary problems, currency counterfeiting, insecurity and other issues plaguing Nigeria. He further noted that the currency redesign was aimed at controlling currency-in-circulation as well as ransom payments to kidnappers and terrorists. Our correspondents, who visited banking halls in several cities across the country, especially in Lagos and Abuja on Thursday, observed that several bank branches had run out of the small quantities of the new notes allocated to them from their head offices as early as 12 noon. Further findings revealed that several bank branches were yet to get their new note allocations with many bank officials informing our correspondents that the new notes were still being expected. In bank branches visited in Lagos, a number of the bank branches had run out of their new note allocations when our correspondents visited the places. However, officials at some of the centres which still had the new notes told The PUNCH their allocations were very small. An official of Access Bank Plc at the Ojodu branch in Lagos, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak on the matter, said, “Each cashier was given N100,000 of the new N1,000 bill for onward disbursements to customers seeking over-the-counter payments  

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