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MONDAY 21/2/2022 – FUEL SCARCITY: PRIVATE DEPOTS HIKE RATES, MORE FILLING STATIONS MAY SELL ABOVE N180/LITRE The cost of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol, may hit or exceed N180/litre in most filling stations in coming weeks if nothing is done about a recent hike in its ex-depot price by private depot owners. It was gathered that most private depot owners recently raised the cost of petrol from the approved N142-N145/litre price to between N162-N170/litre. This, oil marketers said, had already made some filling stations owned by independent marketers to start dispensing petrol at N180/litre, above the approved and regulated pump price of N165/litre. But the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, Nigeria’s sole importer of petrol, said it was not aware of the hike in price by private depot owners. Also, the regulator of the sector, Nigeria Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority demanded independent marketers to make a formal complaint, while the oil dealers argued that they had already informed the agency. The National Public Relations Officer, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Chief Ukadike Chinedu, told our correspondent that although the number of filling stations in Lagos and Abuja that sold petrol above the regulated rate were few, many outlets in other states currently dispense the product at N170-N180/litre. He said, “Petrol is being sold in private tank farms (depots) at N167 to N170/litre. In fact, a friend contacted me to say that some tank farm owners were selling at N180/litre in Port Harcourt.   TUESDAY 22/2/2022 – INVESTORS GAIN N50.35BN AS 31 STOCKS RISE Investors gained N50.35bn on Monday at the end of trading on the floor of the Nigerian Exchange Limited. The market capitalisation of the equities listed on the NGX rose to N25.46tn on Monday from N25.41tn on Friday. The NGX All-Share Index also rose to 47,233.91 basis points from 47,140.48 basis points. Thirty-one companies recorded gains at the end of trading on Monday, while 17 companies recorded losses. A total of 421.46 million shares valued at N4.23bn were traded by investors in 5,961 deals. R.T. Briscoe Nigeria Plc and United Capital Plc topped the gainers’ list as their share prices rose by 10 per cent each to 66 kobo and N13.20 respectively. Africa Prudential Plc and Academy Press Plc’s share prices appreciated by 9.56 per cent and 9.5 per cent to 7.45 and 1.96 respectively, while Champion Breweries Plc and May & Baker Nigeria Plc’s share prices appreciated by 8.78 and 8.31 per cent to N2.23 and N4.56 respectively.   WEDNESDAY 23/2/2022 – FG TO PARTNER CBN, SEC ON NATIONAL SAVINGS SCHEME The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed on Tuesday received the National Savings Scheme Report from the Working Group, with a pledge to collaborate with stakeholders in implementing the recommendations. The working group was constituted virtually by the minister in May 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Its responsibilities were to study the National Savings Strategy Paper and advise the Federal Government on the feasibility of the proposals and/or recommend changes. It was to also advise on ways and means of mobilising and channeling corporate and individual savings to accelerate domestic capital formation to support entrepreneurs and enterprise development, and consequently achieve the urgent task of diversifying the economy and deepening the capital market among others. In its report, the committee said while it believed that a national savings scheme for Nigeria as proposed in the strategy document is feasible, it must be a mandatory savings scheme for individuals in the formal sector. The report stated that only individuals between the ages of 18 – 50 should be mandated to participate. It added that a national corporate savings scheme was not feasible at this time, noting that the savings scheme must be driven by incentives, primarily tax.   THURSDAY 24/2/2022 – STOCK MARKET GAINS MARGINALLY WITH N7BN The stock market of the Nigerian Exchange Ltd., (NGX) gained marginally on Tuesday with N7 billion to close at N25.464 trillion, from N25.457trillion on Monday. Also, the NGX All-Share Index appreciated marginally by 0.03 per cent to close at 47,246.90 basis points from 47,233.91 basis points. Sectorally, the NGX Insurance deprecated by 0.6 per cent, NGX Consumer Goods dipped by 0.4 per cent, and NGX Banking index also dropped 0.1per cent. The NGX Industrial Goods, on the other hand, rose 0.02 per cent while Oil & Gas indices rose 0.01 per cent. As measured by market breadth, market sentiment was positive as 29 stocks gained relative to 18 losers. Among the top five gainers are May & Baker, which rose by 44 Kobo to close at N5.00 from N4 56 per share, representing 9.65 per cent while Cutix Plc gained 9 Kobo to close at N2.84 from 2.59 per share, an increase of 9.65 per cent SCOA Plc increased with a gain of 23 kobo to close at N2.58 from N2.35 per share, representing 9.78 per cent.   FRIDAY 25/2/2022 – NAIRA LOSES 10.6% OF ITS VALUE ANNUALLY, SAYS IMF The International Monetary Fund says the long-term rate of the depreciation of the naira equates to a loss of 10.6 per cent of its value annually since 1973. According to the IMF, this rate is 1.5 times higher than the long-term rate of the currencies of other emerging market and developing economies at 7.2 per cent, and Sub-Saharan Africa at seven per cent over the same time period. The Washington- based lender disclosed this in its ‘Nigeria: Selected Issues Paper’ report. According to the report, this is one of the reasons why Nigeria’s inflation rate is higher than that of its peers. The report read in part, “Nigeria’s long term average rate of CPI inflation (1971-2020) was 16 per cent, which is higher than both SSA (13 per cent) and EMDE (13.6 per cent) averages. “Compared to SSA (7.2 per cent) and EMDE (6.2 per cent) median, the difference is more pronounced. Two possible explanations come to one’s mind upon data investigation. First, Nigeria’s broad money (M3) growth has been persistently high — with its 50-year average registering 21.2 per cent. This is 1.5 and 1.3 times more than EMDE (18.5 per cent) and SSA (16.7 per cent) averages respectively.