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FG BEGINS ENFORCEMENT OF OIL MEASUREMENT LAW The Federal Government on Wednesday commenced the enforcement of the Petroleum Measurement Regulations, as well as five other laws in the midstream and downstream oil sectors. Disclosing this through the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, during the official unveiling of the six laws by the Governing Board of the NMDPRA in Abuja on Wednesday, the government warned operators that it would go after anyone who breaks the new laws. It said the six regulations were part of the 20 laws developed to guide the midstream and downstream oil sectors, adding that the remaining 14 regulations were being finalised at the Federal Ministry of Justice. The Governing Board Chairman, NMDPRA, Idaere Gogo-Ogan, said the authority would ensure that the laws were strictly complied with, to effectively grow the revenue generated from the oil industry. The six laws include the Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Operations Regulations; Natural Gas Pipeline Tariffs Regulations; Gas Pricing and Domestic Demand Regulations; Assignment or Transfer of Licence and Permit Regulations; Petroleum Transportation and Shipment Regulations and Petroleum Measurement Regulations. He warned operators to avoid breaking the laws, stressing that the NMDPRA would go after any defaulter, as it was in the best interest of stakeholders to understand the contents of the new laws. “In as much as we want to provide an environment that encourages growth and development, you will agree with me that without enforcement and strict compliance, we will not be able to achieve anything. STOCK MARKET CAPITALISATION MAINTAINS UPWARD SWING The market capitalisation of the Nigerian Exchange Limited continued to appreciate at the close of trading on Wednesday. The All-Share index moved 30 base points to 54,936.11 from 54, 906.68 recorded on Tuesday. The market cap moved to N29. 927tn at the close of trading, a 0.06 per cent appreciation A total of 134,150,558 shares worth N1.330bn were exchanged in 2,479 deals on the trading floor. Despite the appreciation in the market cap and ASI, the market sentiments were negative with 14 stocks on the losers’ table compared to nine on the gainers’ table. Atop the losers’ table were NCR with a 9.69 per cent loss in its market value to close the day at N2.61, and FTN Cocoa lost 6.90 per cent to close at N0.27 per share. Third, on the gainers’ table was JapaulGold whose share lost 6.67 per cent in its share value to close at N0.28. On the gainers’ table were GTCO shares which gained N2.44 per cent to close the day at N25.20 per share, WAPIC followed also with a 2.44 per cent gain to close trading at N0.42 per share and Linkage Assurance gained 2.22 per cent in its share value. Its price at close of trading was N0.46 per share. On the Most Traded chart, Zenith Bank maintained its first position with 6,085,925 of its shares worth N 153,960,358.00 traded in 253 deals. GTCO followed with 13,551,801 of its shares worth N336,904,357.15 exchanged in 241 deals. MTN Nigeria is third on the list with 215,233 shares valued at N 50,476,466.00 traded in 177 exchanges. CBN INSTRUCTS BANKS TO OPEN SATURDAYS, SUNDAYS Central Bank of Nigeria has directed all commercial banks to open for operation on Saturdays and Sundays, as part of a coordinated effort to ease circulation of banknotes of various denominations. The apex bank also confirmed the evacuation of banknotes from its vaults to commercial banks across the country. This latest development was disclosed in a statement signed by CBN Acting Director, Corporate Communications Department, Isa AbdulMumin, in Abuja, on Friday afternoon. The statement noted that, a substantial amount of money, in various denominations, had been received by commercial banks, for onward circulation to their respective customers, even as it prevailed on banks, to conduct physical operations in banking halls through the weekends. Excerpts of the statement read: “The CBN has directed all banks to load their Automated Teller Machines, as well as conduct physical operations in the banking halls through the weekends.“Branches of commercial banks will operate on Saturdays and Sundays to attend to customers’ cash needs. “The Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele, would personally lead teams to monitor the level of compliance by the banks in various locations across the country,” it stressed. The bank, therefore, urged Nigerians to be patient, as the current situation would ease soon, with the injection of more banknotes into circulation. The PUNCH reports that authorities have stepped up efforts to end the biting currency scarcity that has inflicted pain on millions of bank customers nationwide, after a Supreme Court ruling, and a proposed protest by Nigeria Labour Congress, scheduled for next week. ORDER BANKS TO REVAMP E-BANKING PLATFORMS, REPS TELL CBN The House of Representatives has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria to direct banks to immediately revamp their electronic transaction platforms. According to the House, the move has become necessary in the aftermath of the recent CBN policies, which have put pressure on online and electronic banking. The CBN had set lower limits for cash withdrawal and redesigned the N1,000, N500 and N200 noted, policies that caused chaos in the country. A member of the House, Sergius Ogun, at the plenary on Thursday moved a motion demanding reinforcement and upgrade of banking systems, especially those of the Deposit Money Banks also known as commercial banks. The motion was titled ‘Call on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to Direct All Commercial Banks to Overhaul their Online Banking Service Platforms to Ease Electronic Banking Operations.’ Moving the motion, Ogun noted that Section 88 (1) and (2) of the 1999 Constitution empowers the National Assembly to conduct investigations into the activities of any authority executing or administering laws made by the National Assembly, like the CBN. The lawmaker also noted that the CBN was established under Section 1 of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act, Cap. C4, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 to issue legal tender currencies in Nigeria. He added that Section 2 of the CBN Act saddles the bank with the duty of promoting a sound financial system in Nigeria. STOCK INVESTORS RECORD N7BN ONE-DAY LOSS After days of upward swing in the market capitalisation of the Nigerian Exchange Limited, investors suffered a N7bn loss at the close of trading on Thursday. The All-Share Index depreciated by 0.02 per cent to close at 54,924.08 points. Similarly, the market capitalisation lost N7bn to close the day at N29.920tn, while the Year-to-date returns settled at 6.45 per cent. The market has advanced by 3,328.42 points since the beginning of the year. In terms of volume, 117,850,276 shares valued at N1.398bn were traded on the floor of the NGX in 2,575 deals. Sunu Assurance led the gainers’ table with a 9.09 per cent appreciation in its share value to close at N0.48, Transcorp Hotels followed with 8.32 per cent increase to close trading at N6.90. On the losers’ table, NCR had the biggest dip in share value of the day at 9.96 per cent to close the day at N2.35. Linkage Assurance stock suffered 8.70 per cent loss to end the day at N0.42 and Mansard had a 7.50 per cent loss to close at N1.85. The shares of MTN Nigeria were the most traded on the floor of the NGX with 1,574,033 of its shares worth N370,213,040.60 exchanged in 208 deals. Zenith Bank and First Bank Holdings followed with 7,896,749 shares valued at N198.176m and 13,061,285 shares worth N143.571m exchanged in 143 and 141 deals respectively.