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FG BATTLES GAS LEAKAGE AT RIVERS FACILITY Three agencies of the Federal Government, alongside the Ministry of Environment in Rivers State, are currently making efforts to address a gas leak incident on the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company’s Well 6, in Sangama community, Bonny Local Government Area in Rivers. The NPDC is the flagship upstream subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited involved in oil exploration and production. The Chief Executive, Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, Gbenga Komolafe, said on Wednesday that the NUPRC, National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency, Rivers State Ministry of Environment as well as community representatives and the Nigerian Police Force were working to deal with the leak. Komolafe, in a statement he personally signed, said, “The NUPRC has been notified of a gas leak incident on NPDC’s Well 6, in Sangama community, Bonny Local Government Area of Rivers State. SHAREHOLDERS FAULT NGX’S PLAN TO RAISE N35BN Some shareholders have threatened to drag the Nigerian Stock Exchange Limited to court over a notice issued to hold its annual general meeting, to raise additional N35bn through hybrid offering of equity and debt among other issues. A letter titled, ‘Re: Notice of 61” Annual General Meeting of NGX Exchange Group Plc’ by solicitors to Mr Olayinka Olajuwon and Bamidele lbironke, who represented the shareholders, described the notice as “fraudulent, ill-advised” and abuse of office by the directors of the board. The shareholders claimed that the resolution was in contrary to Section 142 (2) of the Companies and Allied Matters Act 2020, insisting that the law guiding the Exchange Limited does not give its Board of Directors any right to alot share. CBN, FINANCE MINISTRY URGED TO REVIEW ECONOMY, IMPROVE PURCHASING POWER The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Ministry of Finance have been called upon to execute a comprehensive review of the economy with the view of upping the purchasing power parity of Nigerians. The Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN) through its National Co-ordinator, Dr Anthony Omojola in a statement said there is an obvious need for the two bodies to use the instrumentality of the monetary and fiscal rates to stem the ravaging hunger and privation in the land. ISAN maintained that their urge is that the monetary and fiscal authorities should emulate other nation’s across the World by introducing palliatives such as un-banning of certain vital food imports temporarily, granting tariff reliefs to certain industries, and reducing taxes for some sectors. According to him, FG would be deceiving itself if it fails to acknowledge the economic poverty ravaging Nigeria across the board; arising from the war in Europe, devastating insurgency, and insecurity in Nigeria. He said the situation was worsened by food, education, fuel, debt crises and the massive on-going theft in the oil and gas sector that have ensured that the country missed the global windfall for oil and gas producers. AFRICAN CENTRAL BANKS POISED FOR RATE HIKES AS INFLATION BITES HARDER Africa’s three biggest economies are poised to raise interest rates this week as well as next week while policy makers in several other countries stake out different approaches to navigate inflation shocks and bring prices under control, Bloomberg reported yesterday. The central banks of Nigeria, South Africa and Egypt are among six likely to tighten monetary policy in the days ahead, it said, while another six countries are set to pause as they assess the impact of previous hikes and relief measures to contain prices. Topping the agenda would be the implications that weaker local currencies would have on the cost of imported goods, as aggressive rate hikes by the Federal Reserve and expectations of more to come boost the dollar. The repercussions of Russia’s war in Ukraine and an anticipated downturn in Europe and China, alongside emerging price pressures from extreme weather events, are also likely to be in the spotlight. STOCK MARKET DEPRECIATES BY N241BN AMID GLOBAL RECESSION FEARS The stock market of the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) depreciated last week following global market decline performance as recession fear return and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) hike in Monetary Policy Rate (MPR). Global stocks nose-dived, government bond prices plummeted, the pound dipped against the dollar, oil prices slumped and cryptocurrencies wobbled as investors, already worried about rising interest rates and stubbornly high inflation, started quaking at the growing likelihood of a recession. The World Bank in a comprehensive new study stated that as central banks across the world simultaneously hike interest rates in response to inflation, the world may be edging toward a global recession in 2023 and a string of financial crises in emerging market and developing economies that would do them lasting harm, On the domestic economy, investors are worried that the CBN might increase its Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) by at least 50basis points as its 287th meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) is scheduled for Monday. Findings on the NGX revealed that investors booked profits on bellwether stocks that led to market capitalisation dropping by N241billion to N26.445trillion it closed for trading last week from N26.686 trillion the stock market opened for trading.