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MONDAY 18/10/2021 – DESPITE SETTING MONTHLY REVENUE TARGET OF N414.941BN, NNPC MISSES EIGHT-MONTH REVENUE GOAL BY N1.276TN The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has largely failed to meet its revenue target set for between January to August this year, with a deficit of about N1.276 trillion within the period. Figures from the national oil company’s funding performance for September indicated that while N3.319 trillion was the income projection for the first eight months of 2021, it was only able to gross N2.043 trillion during the period under consideration. Going by the trend, the NNPC is also likely to miss its target revenue of N4.979 trillion, which is its total forecast for the entire year. The document further showed that despite setting a monthly revenue target of N414.941 billion, the corporation has not been able to meet projection for any of the months. In January, total revenue raked in by the organisation was N195.624 billion; it was N191.194 billion in February; total revenue in March was N224.589 billion, while in April, it fell to a year low of N156.366 billion. However, in May, the NNPC recorded a high revenue yield of N320.315 billion; it reduced to N295.396 billion in June; in July it again decreased to N270 billion, while the highest revenue of N389.120 billion so far recorded in the year was in August. Oil prices which were on their all-time low last year have picked up since the beginning of 2021 and hit $85 per barrel last week, a situation that should ordinarily mean more money to the corporation’s coffers and the federation account by extension. Compulsory production cuts by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has also negatively impacted Nigeria’s revenue from crude oil, although, Nigeria pumped about 155,000 additional barrels of crude oil per day in September, to hit an average of 1.451 million bpd.   TUESDAY 19/10/2021 – CURRENCY IN CIRCULATION RISES TO N2.84TN, SAYS CBN The currency in circulation rose by N58.36bn to N2.84tn in September from N2.79tn in August, the latest figures obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria showed on Sunday. The currency in circulation rose to N2.81tn in July from N2.74tn at the end of June. It fell to N2.79tn in May from about N2.80tn at the end of April. According to the CBN, the broad money supply rose to 5.83 per cent in August from 2.91 per cent in July. It said this was largely driven by the growth of net foreign assets and net domestic assets by 12.35 and 4.30 per cent respectively in August 2021, compared to 1.84 and 3.17 per cent in July. The apex bank said the growth in net foreign assets was largely driven by an increase in foreign asset holdings of commercial and merchant banks. It said the increase in net domestic assets reflected the boost to aggregate credit net, which increased to 8.14 per cent in August from 5.71 per cent in July. In the money market, the monthly weighted average interbank call and open buyback rates increased to 13.45 and 12.97 per cent in August respectively from 10.72 and 11.60 per cent in July.   WEDNESDAY 20/10/2021 – FOREX CONSTRAINT DEPRESSES INVESTMENTS IN STOCK MARKET Foreign investors’ apathy in the Nigerian stock market has led to a decline in the value of investments on the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) in the first nine months of 2021, despite the increased volume of transactions reported by the exchange during the period. The investors committed N636.60 billion to the market, about 1.9 per cent decline from the N648.91 billion they posted in the corresponding period of 2020. Industry analysts believe the negative gap is actually wider when it is denominated in foreign currency. They also attributed the decline to foreign exchange liquidity constraint which has restricted earnings repatriation. This is coming amidst an increase in the volume of traded equities during the same period. Vanguard’s analysis of transactions in the market for the nine-month period showed that the volume of stocks traded within the period rose by 7.7 per cent to 62.602 billion units compared to 58.151 billion units traded in the corresponding period in 2020. However, Quarter-on-Quarter (Q/Q) breakdown of transactions in the market for the nine-month period showed a consistent decline in the value of traded equities.   THURSDAY 21/10/2021 – ENHANCING CREDIT RECOVERY MECHANISM TO SAVE ECONOMY James Emejo writes that just as lack of access to credit could hamper business and retard economic growth, inability/refusal to pay back borrowed loans could adversely affect the economy and dissuade financial institutions from further lending to the real sector There’s no doubt the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has done a lot to improve the lending regime in the banking and financial landscape in the country. Before now, the real sector particularly manufacturing as well as individuals and small businesses were practically denied access to credit facilities with the exception of multinationals and oil companies. Except for the latter, no other entities were adjudged by the banks to eligible for financing given their risks assessments. Agriculture even suffered the most in terms of credit neglect from the banking industry due to their summation that the sector was too risky to be entrusted with facilities. Coupled with the high interest rate regime and ridiculous safeguards in terms of collateral set before prospective borrowers, it would be concluded that the hope of accessing finance by businesses and Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) from the banking system was like crying for the moon. But all that has changed now, at least so it appears.   FRIDAY 22/10/2021 – EXTERNAL RESERVES GAIN $3.98BN IN THREE WEEKS, HIT $40.76BN Nigeria’s external reserves gained $3.98bn in three weeks, rising above the $40bn mark, according to data obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria. The CBN data showed that the reserves rose to $40.76bn on October 20 from $36.78bn as of the end of September. The reserves, which had maintained a growth trajectory in recent weeks, rose by $2.76bn in September from $34.02bn at the end of August. A professor of economics and Chairman, Goldmark Education Academy, Benin City, Mike Obadan, said the value of a country’s currency is determined by the strength of the economy in terms of its production capacity and productivity, structure, and diversification of the export production base. Obadan, who is a former director-general, National Centre for Economic Management and Administration, Ibadan, Nigeria, said, ‘A vibrant and diversified productive real sector of the economy saves a nation the disbursement of scarce foreign exchange for the import of finished goods and production inputs, especially where these could be produced locally, and reduces pressure on foreign exchange demand. “In the same way, an export-oriented production base contributes substantially to foreign exchange supply which in turn strengthens the local currency.