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After losing $520m in 2 weeks, Nigeria’s external reserves rise again

Nigeria’s foreign exchange reserves depleted by as much as $303 million over the past six weeks, data from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has shown.

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After loosing $520 million in two weeks, Nigeria's external reserves rise again, Foreign reserves

Nigeria’s foreign exchange reserves depleted by as much as $303 million over the past six weeks, data from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has shown.

Recall that the country’s external reserves did peak at $43.2 billion by January 2019, after suffering a major setback in Q4 2018. However, the recorded success was short-lived because, the CBN data revealed how there was a free fall in the external reserve between January ending and March 2019.

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According to the CBN’s data, the external reserves stood at $42.8 billion as of March 12th, 2019, representing a $303 million decline.

Recent Drop in Buffer

Over the last six weeks, the external reserve reached its highest level on January 30th when it stood at $43.2 billion. As of February 5th, 2019, it had dropped to $42.9 billion.

The drop continued by mid-February, when the external reserves stood at $42.8 billion. Notably, an all-time low for the nation’s external reserve in the last 6 weeks was February 27th, when it stood at $42.3 billion.

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Freefall in external Reserves during Presidential election 

The last decline in external reserve happened by the end of February 2019. As you should know, this period coincided with the Presidential elections in Nigeria.

Between February 15th and March 4th, 2019, the external reserves had dropped by $520 million. On the 15th of February, it stood at $42.8 billion, only to drop to $42.3 billion on March 3rd, 2019.

Notably, between 22nd and 25th of February 2019, external reserves depleted by $148 million. Also, note that this period was the weekend of Nigeria’s presidential election.

In the meantime, it is beginning to rise again

The country’s reserve has relatively been on the rise. While the external reserve stood at $42.3 billion on March 3rd, it rose to $42.8 billion on the 12th of March.

Factors responsible for the rise

It will be recalled that Nairametrics, last week published an article where it drew readers’ attention to the fact that Nigeria defied OPEC quota by increasing crude oil production.  

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Moreso, the CBN’s recently released the balance of payment report for 2018, and it showed that foreign direct investments dropped in the last quarter of 2018. Hence, Nairametrics is of the opinion that with the fall in the prices of crude in recent months, the improvement in Nigeria’s external reserves can be traced to the increase in crude oil production in the last two months.

Patricia

Samuel is an Analyst with over 5 years experience. Connect with him via his twitter handle

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Ecobank Transnational to hold AGM by proxies on June 30th

Due to the ravaging Coronavirus pandemic, ETI said the AGM will be held by proxies.

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Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) has announced the date and venue of its 32nd Annual General Meeting (AGM). According to a disclosure that was sent to the Nigerian Stock Exchange, the company’s AGM and an Extraordinary Meeting are scheduled to hold on June 30th, 2020, at Eko Hotels and Suites in Victoria Island, Lagos.

Due to the ravaging Coronavirus pandemic, ETI said the AGM will be held by proxies. The proxy AGM is expected to enable the Pan-African financial institution to abide by the directives issued by governments and agencies regarding COVID-19 and how to contain its spread.

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“As a responsible corporate citizen, ETI intends to strictly comply with this restriction in addition to other applicable health and safety measures. Accordingly, attendance at this year’s General Meetings shall be mainly by proxies in accordance with the Articles of Association of the Company and applicable law,” a statement by the company said.

To this end, shareholders have been advised to select any of the company’s top executives (including the Chairman, Emmanuel Ikazoboh, and the MD of Ecobank Nigeria, Patrick Akinwuntan) to represent and vote on their behalf during the AGM. Proxy forms may be downloaded from the company’s website, filled, and submitted in advance.

Meanwhile, the issues that are up for discussion during the AGM and the Extra Ordinary meeting are enumerated below.

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Annual General Meeting

1. Approval of the accounts
2. Appropriation of the Profits
3. Election of Directors
4. Ratification of the co-option of directors
5. Renewal of the appointment of the joint auditors
6. Approval of the Final Board Fees for Retiring Directors

Extraordinary General Meeting

1. Withdrawal of resolution on consolidation of shares
2. Amendment of the Articles

Note that in Q1 2020, ETI reported profited after-tax from continuing operation of N66.4 billion, marking a 19% decline when compared to N81.9 billion during the comparable period in 2019.

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ETI’s share price on the Nigerian Stock Exchange closed Friday’s trading session at N5.55. The company has a market capitalisation of about N137.3 billion according to information obtained from Bloomberg.

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NNPC explains measures to cut cost of crude oil production

Ewubare stated that NNPC was looking very closely at such variables as logistics, security, and transportation with a view to reducing the cost of production to $10 per barrel or below. 

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has said that it is taking some measures to bring down the cost of crude oil production to $10 per barrel or below. 

According to a press statement that was signed by NNPC’s Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Dr. Kennie Obateru, this was disclosed by the Corporation’s Chief Operating Officer (COO), Ventures and Business Development, Mr. Roland Ewubare, on a Channels TV breakfast programme on Friday, June 5, 2020. 

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Ewubare pointed out that the peculiarity of the terrain was an important factor in determining cost, with such issues as pipeline vandalism, crude oil theft, and some others being critical factors that are peculiar to the Nigerian terrain and would definitely drive up crude oil production cost in the country. 

He, however, stated that NNPC was looking very closely at such variables as logistics, security, and transportation with a view to reducing cost of production to $10 per barrel or below. 

He disclosed that much had been done over the years in the area of reducing contracting cycle which used to be a major factor responsible for high cost of production, stressing that the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS) achieved a six-month contracting cycle under him as Group General Manager. 

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Mr. Ewubare denied reports that Nigeria is part of OPEC+ member countries that did not comply with the output cut that was agreed by the alliance 

Mr. Ewubare explained that though Nigeria’s total production capacity was 2.3million barrels per day, it was currently producing only about 1.4million barrels per day in compliance with the OPEC+ production quota, stressing that what makes up the little extra over the 1.4mbpd figure being bandied around for Nigeria was condensate which is usually not computed as part of production in OPEC quota.  

While making some clarification, Ewubare said, There’s some confusion in the market around the parameters for the production cuts. Nigeria has a full production capacity of about 2.3mbpd. We are currently producing between 1.6 and 1.7mbpd. Our OPEC quota as a result of the cuts is about 1.4mbpd. You and I know that condensate is not included in the computation of the cut numbers. So what we have is 1.4mbpd of crude oil. The little you see above 1.4mbpd is made up of condensate which does not count as part of the basis for assessing our OPEC quota”. 

NNPC Group Managing Director, Mallam Mele Kyari, in a recent interview, advanced a similar position where he stressed that NNPC was working assiduously to bring down the cost of crude oil production to not more than $10 per barrel by 2021.  

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NNPC raises alarm over low grade, contaminated diesel in the market

This warning was contained in a report by the Managing Director, NNPC Retail Limited Managing Director, Dr. Billy Okoye, who also admonished motorists to be careful of the off-spec products. 

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has raised alarm over the circulation of low grade and contaminated AGO, popularly known as diesel, which is offered at discounted prices in some parts of the country. 

This was disclosed in a press release by the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Dr Kennie Obateru, on Friday June 5, 2020. 

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This warning was contained in a report by the Managing Director, NNPC Retail Limited Managing Director, Dr. Billy Okoye, who also admonished motorists to be careful of the off-spec products. 

READ MORE: FG projects $2 billion annual revenue from Escravos Gas project

The state oil giant, in the press statement, said, “The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has raised an alarm over prevalent low grade and contaminated AGO, otherwise called diesel, offered at discounted prices in parts of the country.” 

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Dr. Okoye, stated that the warning became necessary because the low grade contaminated diesel is harmful to machines and the environment. He explained that NNPC Retail Ltd is a market leader and therefore considered it incumbent upon it to alert the general public on the circulation of these low grade products. 

While urging consumers of the product to patronize the oil firm’s service stations where the quality of their products was assured, Dr. Okoye gave assurances that NNPC Retail Limited dealt only in premium high-quality products in the interest of Nigerian motorists and users. 

READ MORE: Fitch revises national ratings of GTBank, Zenith bank

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Unlike the premium motor spirit otherwise known as petrol, which was operating a fixed price regime and had NNPC as the sole importer, the diesel products were deregulated and had other independent marketers apart from NNPC importing the products as well. 

The intense competition and unhealthy drive for profit, in addition to poor regulation, could have given rise to this.  

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