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OIL EXPORTS ACCOUNT FOR 80% TOTAL NATIONAL REVENUE The oil and gas sector still accounts for 80 per cent of Nigeria’s total national revenue despite crude oil theft, OPEOLUWANI AKINTAYO writes. Nigeria’s exports in the second quarter of 2022 were dominated by crude oil, accounting for 80 per cent of total export revenue despite the huge oil theft recorded in recent times. Data sourced from the National Bureau of Statistics latest report on Merchandise Trade showed that crude oil exports valued at N5.9bn accounted for 80 per cent of total exports undertaken by Nigeria in the period under review. The country had in recent times recorded an increase in the activities of pipeline vandals, resulting in a rise in crude oil theft, according to the Group Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, Mele Kyari.Kyari had stated in an interview late last month, that the country’s low crude oil output was due to theft resulting from pipeline vandalism in the Niger Delta. BANKS RATION FOREX SALES AS SCARCITY BITES Banks have begun to reduce approval requests for Personal Travel Allowance and Business Travel Allowance to legitimate users. The legitimate users will be able to access forex only once in two quarters, The Punch gathered. Before this new development, the banks had been granting approval to travellers who applied once every quarter. Findings revealed that the development arose due to the lingering forex scarcity in the financial system. First Bank said in a mail to its customers on ‘Updates on FX purchase’ that “The full Personal Travel Allowance and Business Travel Allowance ($4,000 and $5,000) respectively will now be disbursed into your FirstBank Travel Card. All applications will be in line with regulatory requirements. “Kindly ensure that all PTA/BTA applications along with the approved Form A are submitted at the branch exactly 14 days before your proposed travel date. Sales are limited to two quarters a year.” A member of the Monetary Policy Committee, Prof. Mike Obadan, said in his personal statement released by the Central Bank of Nigeria after the last Monetary Policy Committee that access of forex was a challenge. He said, “On the part of the monetary authority, there is no doubt that it is in a difficult situation because of excess demand for foreign exchange in the face of rather uncomfortable foreign exchange supply situation. NIGERIA’S INFLATION HITS 20.52% IN AUGUST The National Bureau of Statistics on Thursday said Nigeria‘s headline inflation climbed to a new high of 20.52 per cent in August on a year–on–year basis. This was 3.52% points higher compared to the rate recorded in August 2021, which was (17.01%). This is contained in the federal statistics office’ Consumer Price Index report for the month of August 2022. The report showed that the headline inflation rate increased in the month of August 2022 when compared to the same month in the preceding year (i.e.August 2021). On a month-on-month basis, the Headline inflation rate in August 2022 was 1.77%, which was 0.05% lower than the rate recorded in July 2022 (1.82%). This means that in August 2022 the headline inflation rate (month–on–month basis) declined by 0.05%. The percentage change in the average CPI for the twelve months period ending August 2022 over the average of the CPI for the previous twelve months period was 17.07%, showing a 0.47% increase compared to 16.60% recorded in August 2021. BANKS DEPOSITS RISE BY 24% TO N42TN Total deposits in the banks rose by 24.17 per cent from N33.85tn as of the end of June 2021 to N42.03tn in the corresponding period of 2022. The Deputy Governor, Financial Systems Stability Directorate, Aishah Ahmad, disclosed this in her personal statement at the last MPC meeting. She said, “Key industry aggregates also continued their year-on-year upward trajectory with total assets rising to N65.48tn in June 2022 from N53.64tn in June 2021, while total deposits rose to N42.03tn from N33.85tn over the same period. “Gross credit has maintained an upward trajectory since 2019, rising by N5.02tn between June 2021 and June 2022 with significant growth in credit to manufacturing, general commerce and oil & gas sectors. “This notable increase was achieved amidst continued decline in non-performing loans ratio from 5.3 per cent in April 2022 to 5.0 per cent in June 2022.” NGX ENSURES SHAREHOLDERS GET DIVIDEND IN NEW POLICY Nigerian Exchange Group Plc has released its dividend policy in ensuring that shareholders received returns on their investments. The policy document which was approved by the group’s board of directors of NGX Group Plc and published on the company’s website was formulated in accordance with the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, investment and tax legislations, Codes of Corporate Governance, as well as internationally recognised best practices and principles. According to the NGX Group Policy document, “NGX Group, through its dividend policy, seeks to guarantee shareholder rights especially as it relates to return on investment.