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MONDAY 2/5/2022 – FUEL SUBSIDY RECORDS 307% INCREASE AMID TRANSPORT FARE HIKE The amount spent on fuel subsidy monthly rose from N60.39bn in March 2021 to N245.77bn in March 2022, indicating an increase of 306.97 per cent. Within this one-year period, fuel subsidy gulped N2.08tn, according to data obtained from the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited. NNPC described its subsidy spending as an under-recovery of PMS/value shortfall. In March, April, May, and June 2021, under-recovery for PMS amounted to N60.39bn, N61.96bn, N126.29bn, and N164.33bn respectively. In July, August, September, October, November, and December 2021, the NNPC spent N103.28bn, N173.13bn, N149.28bn, N163bn, N131.4bn, and N270.83bn, respectively. Figures from the NNPC further showed that the oil firm spent N210.38bn, N219.78bn, and N245.77bn as the subsidy on petrol in January, February, and March 2022 respectively. Despite the increasing cost of the fuel subsidy, Nigerians still suffered a hike in the cost of transportation within the period under review.   TUESDAY 3/5/2022 – EXTERNAL RESERVES FALL BY $196M IN EIGHT DAYS Nigeria’s external reserves fell slightly by $196m in eight days to $39.62bn as of April 28, according to figures obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria. The CBN revealed that the reserves, which had earlier gained $243.83m in 19 days from $39.54bn as of April 1, 2022 and rose to $39.78bn as of April 19, 2022, returned to a downward path. The external reserves fell by $313m in March, after starting the month at $39.86bn, before falling to $39.55bn on March 30. The Bankers’ Committee has expressed the need for the coun Earlier, the Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, and the Bankers’ Committee had launched a programme tagged ‘RT200 FX Programme’ to boost forex supply in the country through the non-oil sector in the next three to five years. Emefiele said, “After careful consideration of the available options and wide consultation with the banking community, the CBN is, effective immediately, announcing the Bankers’ Committee “RT200 FX Programme”, which stands for the “Race to $200bn in FX repatriation.try to boost revenue from non-oil sector to reduce impact of volatile oil price on the country’s reserves.   WEDNESDAY 4/5/2022 – FIRMS COLLAPSE AS NIGERIA’S 11.5% LENDING RATE AMONG GLOBAL HIGHEST Nigeria’s Monetary Policy Rate (lending rate) of 11.5 per cent is among the highest in emerging economies, findings by our correspondent have shown. The monetary policy rate, referred to as repo rate in South Africa or the prime lending rate in other countries, is the benchmark interest rate usually set by the central bank of each country. Nigeria’s rate was reduced from 12.5 per cent to 11.5 per cent in September 2020 and has remained so till the last Monetary Policy Committee meeting. Other countries have kept theirs at a single-digit rate to pursue growth amid inflationary pressure in a post-COVID-era, but Nigeria’s has remained at a double-digit rate. South Africa’s rate was 4.25 per cent in March 2022, while Namibia’s lending rate as at February 2022 was four per cent.   THURSDAY 5/5/2022 – BANK DEPOSITS RISE TO N16.89TN IN THREE MONTHS –CBN BANKS’ demand deposits rose by N1.1tn in three months to N16.89tn as of the end of March, figures obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria revealed on Wednesday. According to the CBN, the figure, which stood at N15.81tn as of the end of January, rose to N16.17tn as of the end of February. A demand deposit account offers access to depositors’ money without requiring advance notice, by allowing the depositor to withdraw money on demand and as needed. The CBN also disclosed that currency in circulation fell by N42.43bn between January and March. The CBN revealed in its data on the currency that the currencies, which stood at N3.29tn as of the end of January, fell to N3.25tn by the end of March. It defined currency in circulation as currency outside the vaults of the central bank; that is, all legal tender currency in the hands of the general public and in the vaults of the Deposit Money Banks. The CBN stated that it employed the “accounting/statistical/withdrawals and deposits approach” to compute the currency in circulation in Nigeria.   FRIDAY 6/5/2022 – FOREX REMITTANCES CRASH BY 48% AMID DOLLAR SHORTAGE – CBN REPORT The country’s total direct remittances dropped by $119.4m to $130.12m as of January 2022 from $249.52m as of December 2021, figures obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria have revealed. The development indicates a 48 per cent over a period of one month. According to the CBN’s record on weekly international payments, the country recorded $217.7m, $51.74m and $ 224.24m in total direct remittances in November, October and September, respectively. Direct remittances come into the country via the International Money Transfer Operators, banks, among others. The CBN’s economic report for the fourth quarter of 2021 said the emergence and spread of the omicron COVID-19 variant affected global economic dynamics and hampered the inflow of workers’ remittances. It stated, “The secondary income account posted a lower surplus of $6.15bn, compared with $6.46bn in the preceding quarter, owing to a decrease in both general government and personal transfer receipts. “Personal transfers, including workers’ remittances, fell by 5.0 per cent to $4.72bn in the fourth quarter of 2021, compared with $4.97bn in the preceding quarter, while receipts by the general government in the form of transfers decreased by 4.0 per cent to $1.5bn.”

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