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LCC e-Tag glitch gives Lekki commuters a temporary tax rebate

Commuters can be forgiven for thinking that fortune has smiled on them and blessed them with free rides.

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LCC e-Tag glitch gives Lekki commuters a temporary tax rebate

The Lekki Concession Company (LCC) e-Tag is an electronic toll collection system in operation at the Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge and Admiralty Circle Plaza. The e-Tag lanes are a reserved part of the toll that allow commuters to pay without using cash.

Referencing the toll at Admiralty Way which connects Ozumba Mbadiwe Road in Victoria Island with the Lekki Expressway, the Lekki Concession Company, on March 7th, sent the following email to its users:

“Kindly be notified that we are currently experiencing a system glitch which is impacting on some customers’ passages and the immediate upload of such customers’ account balance at the Admiralty Circle plaza.  Our technical team are currently working assiduously to resolve this issue whilst our team at the toll plaza are also available to assist customers in the lanes whilst we get this issue resolved. Please bear in mind that the systems will be updated accordingly and affected accounts once synchronized, will be charged for the passages made previously which were not immediately debited as it should.

“We however assure you that your accounts will not be unduly debited for passages not made, whilst account statements will also be made available to customers on request for better reconciliation and clarification.”

As of yesterday, March 20th, the system glitch has still not been corrected.

How have LCC toll commuters been impacted?

Users of the e-tag have noticed as far back as the last week of February that their balances have been frozen while using the toll. The freeze is such that a commuter with a N2,000 balance on Monday would notice the same N2,000 balance by Sunday. This is despite the fact that he/she must have used the toll daily from Monday through to Sunday.

Therefore, the glitch is preventing the system from deducting the daily cost of passing through the toll.

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Should commuters celebrate?

If you happen to have a low balance that would afford you only one or two more trips before needing to top up your account, you would be forgiven for thinking that fortune has smiled on you and blessed you with free rides. However, this is only temporary. Per the LCC email above, the system will be updated sooner or later and proper balances reflected.

LCC is still not providing real-time eTag balance updates

In what some commuters have described as a frustrating setback, the LCC is unable to provide eTag balances in real time. Users used to be able to send a text message with their account numbers to get their balance, but this service is no longer available. Checking your balance can be done in person at an LCC location or by sending an email to [email protected] with a response expected within 24 hours. 

Next steps

Top up your balance in anticipation of the system correction. Commuters that fail to do so could find themselves stuck at the toll when the LCC reflects proper balances.

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Financial Services

CBN to bar exporters with unrepatriated export proceeds from banking services

The CBN will from January 31, 2021 bar all exporters with unrepatriated export proceeds from accessing banking services.

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CBN to restrict foreign exchange on more food imports

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced the prohibition of all Nigerian exporters who are yet to repatriate their export proceeds, from banking services effective from January 31, 2021.

The apex bank had in an earlier circular warned that failure to repatriate exports within 90 days for oil and gas and 180 days for non-oil exports constitute a breach of the extant regulation.

Analysts believe that the directive is part of a monetary control mechanism by policymaker to maintain relative stability in the exchange rate, especially after the pandemic created a wide disparity between the official exchange and the parallel market rates, eliminating incidences of over-invoicing, transfer pricing, double handling charges, etc.

In lieu of this, all concerned exporters are urged to comply with the directive before the specified date.

What you should know

  • According to Bloomberg sources, the new directive applies to exports up until June last year.
  • In a bid to ensure prudent use of foreign exchange resources, the Central Bank of Nigeria had earlier instructed authorised dealers and exporters to only open forms M for letters of credit, bills for collection and other forms of payment

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Financial Services

Niger Insurance Plc gets shareholders nod to restructure business

Niger Insurance Plc has announced plans to restructure its insurance business into distinct but mutually dependent business entities.

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Edwin Igbiti

Niger Insurance Plc has obtained shareholders’ approval to restructure its insurance business into general, life and business insurance, with each segment to be structured as a separate legal entity.

This is part of the resolutions passed at the 50th Annual General Meeting of Niger Insurance Plc., held on 20th of January, 2021 at Peninsula Hotel in Lekki, Lagos.

The decision to restructure the company is in a bid to make it more efficient and profitable to stakeholders, especially as efforts are geared towards overturning a loss of about 1,1723.2% Year-on-Year, earlier made by the company in its last reported financial statement, Q2, 2020, as reported by Nairametrics.

Other key decisions reached at the 50th AGM include;

  • The re-appointment of Mr Ebi Enaholo and Mrs. Olufemi Owopetu as Directors of the company.
  • Acceptance of the presented financial statement for the year ended December 31, 2019 and the report of the audit committee, directors and auditors.
  • Directors were authorized to fix the remuneration of the auditors.
  • Directors were authorized to appoint external auditors to replace retiring auditors of the company.
  • The appointment of four individuals as members of the audit committee.
  • A decision to restructure the company’s business capital was also reached.

In case you missed it: The shareholders of Niger Insurance Plc in the 49th Annual General Meeting approved the decision by the company’s board to raise additional capital to the tune of N15 billion, in a bid to meet the revised recapitalization targets for general and life insurance companies.

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What you should know: The House of Representatives had in December 2020 directed NAICOM to suspend the mandatory deadline for the first phase of 50%-60% of the minimum paid-up share capital for insurance and reinsurance firms.

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Energy

Nigeria’s Qua Iboe crude exports resume as ExxonMobil lifts force majeure

ExxonMobil has lifted a force majeure on Nigeria’s Qua Iboe crude oil exports as production resumes.

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ExxonMobil has lifted a force majeure on Nigeria’s Qua Iboe crude oil export terminal, as crude exports resume for the first time in almost six weeks after a fire at the terminal halted operations.

This is according to a company spokesman yesterday, who confirmed the company had lifted force majeure on Qua Iboe crude loadings.

Qua Iboe production started to ramp up to normal levels of 200,000 b/d in the past week, according to sources, with the release of both the February and March loading programs.

The VLCC Dalia was also in the process of loading a 1-million-barrel stem at the Qua terminal since January 21, 2021, according to data intelligence firm Kpler. This will be the first export of Qua Iboe since December 15, 2020, after a fire hit the facility and injured two workers.

The company has been under pressure since the closure and prices have taken a hit as a result of the disruption. S&P Global Platts last assessed the grade at a discount to Dated Brent of 50 cents/b, down from a premium against the benchmark in December.

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Bonny Light, a mainstay Nigerian crude which typically trades at roughly the same level as Qua Iboe, was last assessed 30 cents/b higher.

What they are saying

One trader said: “If you get a cargo of Qua now it could be 50 cents to a dollar below Bonny even – a January cargo is completely out of cycle and the reliability issues mean people won’t touch it.”

Another trader stated that: “[The return of Qua Iboe] is not what West African crude assessments (WAF) differentials needed.”

What you should know

  • Qua Iboe is one of Nigeria’s largest export grades, and is very popular among global refiners, with India, the US, Canada, Italy, Spain, Indonesia, and the Netherlands being key buyers.
  • Qua Iboe is light sweet crude, which has a gravity of 36 API and sulfur content of 0.13%. The crude, produced from fields 20-40 miles off the coast of southeast Nigeria, is brought to shore at the Qua Iboe terminal via a seabed pipeline system.
  • Indian demand has steadied following a buying spree late last year, and European demand has been hit by renewed coronavirus lockdowns in the region.
  • Prices for Nigerian crude have suffered in recent weeks, even with lower supply due to the outage.
  • February and March loading programs have been issued for Qua Iboe averaging 169,643 b/d and 153,226 b/d respectively.
  • Production of this key grade ranged between 180,000-220,000 b/d in 2020, according to S&P Global Platts estimates.

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