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Invictus Group CEO, Obinwanne Okeke, pleads guilty to $11m fraud charge in U.S.

Obinwanne Okeke pleads guilty to the charges of a computer-based intrusion fraud scheme.

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Obinwanne Okeke says he didn’t commit fraud on American soil

Young Nigerian entrepreneur, Obinwanne Okeke, the Chief Executive of Invictus Group, who was charged by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for an $11 million internet fraud, has pleaded guilty to the charges. He agreed to the charges of a computer-based intrusion fraud scheme, which caused $11 million in losses to his victims, on Thursday, June 18, 2020.

This was disclosed in a publication by the US Attorney’s Office Eastern District of Virginia, Department of Justice and seen by Nairametrics.

According to the court documents, Obinwanne Okeke, 32, and his co-conspirators were involved in these acts from 2015 to 2019 through various computer-based frauds. The conspirators obtained and compiled credentials of hundreds of victims, including victims in the Eastern District of Virginia and some other places.

As part of the scheme, Okeke and others engaged in an email compromise scheme targeting Unatrac Holding Limited, the export sales office for Caterpillar heavy industrial and farm equipment. In April 2018, a Unatrac executive became a victim of a phishing email that allowed conspirators to capture login credentials. The conspirators sent fraudulent wire transfer requests and attached fake invoices. Okeke took part in the efforts against Unatrac through fraudulent wire transfers totalling nearly $11 million, which was transferred overseas.

The Invictus boss pleaded guilty to a conspiracy to commit wire fraud and faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison when the sentence will be given on October 22. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the US Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

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READ MORE: Nigerians recount loses to crypto fraud

Obinwanne Okeke, who had made it into Forbes Africa’s under 30 list in 2016, had initially denied committing any crime against American citizens or companies and, as such, questioned the jurisdiction of the court in US. Although they didn’t deny committing the crime, they did not want the prosecution to go on in US.

The FBI, had also in August last year, released a list that contained about 80 Nigerians, who were involved in money laundering, aggravated identity theft, and conspiracy to commit fraud amongst others.

It can also be recalled that just 2 days ago, the United States Department of State published the names of 6 Nigerians who had been charged for internet fraud of over $6 million against American citizens and businesses.

 

Chike Olisah is a graduate of accountancy with over 15 years working experience in the financial service sector. He has worked in research and marketing departments of three top commercial banks. Chike is a senior member of the Nairametrics Editorial Team. You may contact him via his email- [email protected]

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Currencies

Daily Parallel Market Exchange Rate – ₦460/$1

The US dollar stands at ₦460/US$1 in the parallel market

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on

Forex, NIGERIA: Daily Parallel Market, Exchange Rate

The exchange rate between the naira and the US dollar for today (Wednesday, September 23rd 2020), stands at 460/US$1 in the parallel market. The rate had also closed at 460/US$1 on Tuesday, September 22nd 2020.

  • Naira:460
  • Dollar: $1
  • Date: September 23rd, 2020

The exchange rate between the naira and the British pound sterling stands at ₦585/₤1 on Wednesday, 23rd September, as against ₦580/₤1 recorded on Tuesday, September 22nd 2020.

  • Naira: ₦585
  • Pounds Sterling: ₤1
  • Date: September 23rd, 2020

Explore Economic Research Data From Nairametrics on Nairalytics

The exchange rate between the naira and the European euro stands at ₦540/€1 on Wednesday, 23rd September 2020. The exchange rate had closed at ₦535/€1 on Tuesday, September 22nd 2020.

  • Naira: ₦540
  • Euro: €1
  • Date: September 23rd, 2020

Activity: US Dollar stands at 460/US$1 in the parallel market

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READ ALSO: The risk of buying Forex at black market rate of N460/$1 

DateCurrencyBuy(AM)Sell(AM)Buy(PM)Sell(PM)Volatility
9/23/2020Dollar455460
9/23/2020Pounds580585
9/23/2020Euro535540
9/22/2020Dollar455460455460Low
9/22/2020Pounds575585575580Low
9/22/2020Euro530535530535Low
9/21/2020Dollar453455450455Low
9/21/2020Pounds565570565570Low
9/21/2020Euro525530525530Low
9/18/2020Dollar450460450460Low
9/18/2020Pounds575595575595Low
9/18/2020Euro535540535540Low
9/17/2020Dollar455460455460Low
9/17/2020Pounds570580570580Low
9/17/2020Euro530535530535Low
9/16/2020Dollar450460450460Low
9/16/2020Pounds565570565570Low
9/16/2020Euro525530525530Low
9/15/2020Dollar450460450460Low
9/15/2020Pounds565570565570Low
9/15/2020Euro525530525530Low
9/14/2020Dollar445455445455Low
9/14/2020Pounds560575560575Low
9/14/2020Euro515525515525Low
9/11/2020Dollar450455450455Low
9/11/2020Pounds555565555565Low
9/11/2020Euro525530525530Low
9/10/2020Dollar455460455460Low
9/10/2020Pounds545560545560Low
9/10/2020Euro525530525530Low
9/9/2020Dollar430440430440Low
9/9/2020Pounds540555540555Low
9/9/2020Euro500510500510Low
9/8/2020Dollar435440435440Low
9/8/2020Pounds540550540550Low
9/8/2020Euro505515505515Low
9/7/2020Dollar435440435440Low
9/7/2020Pounds525530525530Low
9/7/2020Euro505515505515Low
9/4/2020Dollar425440425440Low
9/4/2020Pounds560580560580Low
9/4/2020Euro505515505515Low
9/3/2020Dollar425440425440Low
9/3/2020Pounds560580560580Low
9/3/2020Euro520535505515High
9/2/2020Dollar425440425440Low
9/2/2020Pounds570580560580Low
9/2/2020Euro535540520535Low
9/1/2020Dollar462465435440High
9/1/2020Pounds565575570580Low
9/1/2020Euro535540535540Low
8/31/2020Dollar463470460465High
8/31/2020Pounds585595580590Low
8/31/2020Euro540545540545Low
8/28/2020Dollar472477472477Low
8/28/2020Pounds580595580595Low
8/28/2020Euro545552545552Low
8/27/2020Dollar472477472477Low
8/27/2020Pounds580590580590Low
8/27/2020Euro542552542552Low
8/26/2020Dollar472477472477Low
8/26/2020Pounds580590580590Low
8/26/2020Euro542552542552Low
8/25/2020Dollar472477472477Low
8/25/2020Pounds575585575585Low
8/25/2020Euro542552542552Low
8/24/2020Dollar473477473477Low
8/24/2020Pounds580590580590Low
8/24/2020Euro542550542550Low
8/21/2020Dollar474477474477Low
8/21/2020Pounds575585575585Low
8/21/2020Euro545550545550Low
8/20/2020Dollar475478473477Low
8/20/2020Pounds575585575585Low
8/20/2020Euro540550540550Low
8/19/2020Dollar475480475480Low
8/19/2020Pounds575585575585Low
8/19/2020Euro540550540550Low
8/18/2020Dollar477480477480Low
8/18/2020Pounds575580575580Low
8/18/2020Euro545550545550Low
8/17/2020Dollar470475470475Low
8/17/2020Pounds580590580590Low
8/17/2020Euro525535525535Low
8/14/2020Dollar470475470475Low
8/14/2020Pounds570580570580Low
8/14/2020Euro525535520535Low
8/13/2020Dollar470475470475Low
8/13/2020Pounds570575565575Low
8/13/2020Euro525530520530Low
8/12/2020Dollar470475470475Low
8/12/2020Pounds570575570575Low
8/12/2020Euro520530520530Low
8/11/2020Dollar477485477485Low
8/11/2020Pounds572584572584Low
8/11/2020Euro510523520535Low
8/10/2020Dollar477485477485Low
8/10/2020Pounds572584572584Low
8/10/2020Euro510523520535High
8/7/2020Dollar475486475486Low
8/7/2020Pounds578585578585Low
8/7/2020Euro536550536550Low
8/6/2020Dollar470480475486Low
8/6/2020Pounds575587578585Low
8/6/2020Euro534545536550Low
8/5/2020Dollar465475473483Low
8/5/2020Pounds570580575587Low
8/5/2020Euro525540532545Low
8/4/2020Dollar470480470480Low
8/4/2020Pounds560570560570Low
8/4/2020Euro520530520530Low
8/3/2020Dollar470480470480Low
8/3/2020Pounds560570560570Low
8/3/2020Euro520530520530Low
7/31/2020Dollar470480470485High
7/31/2020Pounds570582575585Low
7/31/2020Euro500520505520Low
7/30/2020Dollar470490470485High
7/30/2020Pounds550570550580High
7/30/2020Euro495520500525High
7/29/2020Dollar468475467475Low
7/29/2020Pounds575585580590Low
7/29/2020Euro530540530545Low
7/28/2020Dollar469475467475Low
7/28/2020Pounds575593580595Low
7/28/2020Euro550560540550Low
7/27/2020Dollar465473466473Low
7/27/2020Pounds570580575583Low
7/27/2020Euro510520515530Low
7/24/2020Dollar465472464472Low
7/24/2020Pounds570580572582Low
7/24/2020Euro510520505520Low
7/23/2020Dollar460472465472Low
7/23/2020Pounds565575565580Low
7/23/2020Euro510520505520Low
7/22/2020Dollar465472465472Low
7/22/2020Pounds565575560578Low
7/22/2020Euro510525510528Low
7/21/2020Dollar461472462472Low
7/21/2020Pounds560573560575Low
7/21/2020Euro498515500520Low
7/20/2020Dollar460473462473Low
7/20/2020Pounds550570555575Low
7/20/2020Euro495505500510Low
7/17/2020Dollar462470460470Low
7/17/2020Pounds560570558570Low
7/17/2020Euro490500490500Low
7/16/2020Dollar460470460470Low
7/16/2020Pounds558565560570Low
7/16/2020Euro485495485499Low
7/15/2020Dollar455465455470Low
7/15/2020Pounds560565558570Low
7/15/2020Euro485495488498Low
7/14/2020Dollar448462455470Low
7/14/2020Pounds540550557570Low
7/14/2020Euro485495489498Low
7/13/2020Dollar450460448462Low
7/13/2020Pounds540550540550Low
7/13/2020Euro485495485495Low
7/10/2020Dollar453460458465Low
7/10/2020Pounds520525550555High
7/10/2020Euro465467510520High
7/9/2020Dollar455461455463Low
7/9/2020Pounds550558550562Low
7/9/2020Euro495504498505Low
7/8/2020Dollar455461455461Low
7/8/2020Pounds550558550558Low
7/8/2020Euro495504495504Low
7/7/2020Dollar455461455461Low
7/7/2020Pounds550558550558Low
7/7/2020Euro495502495502Low
7/6/2020Dollar455462455461Low
7/6/2020Pounds550562547555Low
7/6/2020Euro495502496502Low
7/3/2020Dollar455462454461Low
7/3/2020Pounds548560550560Low
7/3/2020Euro495505495502Low
7/2/2020Dollar455462454461Low
7/2/2020Pounds548560550560Low
7/2/2020Euro495505495502Low
7/1/2020Dollar455462455462Low
7/1/2020Pounds548560548560Low
7/1/2020Euro495505495505Low
6/30/2020Dollar452460452460Low
6/30/2020Pounds547560547560Low
6/30/2020Euro495505495505Low
6/29/2020Dollar450460450460Low
6/29/2020Pounds547560547560Low
6/29/2020Euro495505495505Low
6/26/2020Dollar452457452460Low
6/26/2020Pounds547557547560Low
6/26/2020Euro490498490502Low
6/25/2020Dollar452457450455Low
6/25/2020Pounds547557547560Low
6/25/2020Euro490498490499Low
6/24/2020Dollar450460450455Low
6/24/2020Pounds545555545555Low
6/24/2020Euro490495488498Low
6/23/2020Dollar450460445455Low
6/23/2020Pounds545555545555Low
6/23/2020Euro490495490495Low
6/22/2020Dollar450455450455Low
6/22/2020Pounds545555545555Low
6/22/2020Euro488498488498Low
6/19/2020Dollar445455445455Low
6/19/2020Pounds540553540553Low
6/19/2020Euro480490480490Low
6/18/2020Dollar445452445452Low
6/18/2020Pounds537550537550Low
6/18/2020Euro475490475490Low
6/17/2020Dollar445452445452Low
6/17/2020Pounds540553537550Low
6/17/2020Euro475490475490Low
6/16/2020Dollar440450445452Low
6/16/2020Pounds540550540553Low
6/16/2020Euro475485475490Low
6/15/2020Dollar440450440450Low
6/15/2020Pounds540550540550Low
6/15/2020Euro475485475485Low
6/12/2020Dollar440450440450Low
6/12/2020Pounds538550538550Low
6/12/2020Euro470485470485Low
6/11/2020Pounds538550538550Low
6/11/2020Dollar440450440450Low
6/11/2020Euro470485470485Low
6/10/2020Pounds538550540553Low
6/10/2020Dollar440450445452Low
6/10/2020Euro470485475490Low
6/9/2020Pounds538550540550Low
6/9/2020Dollar440450440450Low
6/9/2020Euro470485475485Low
6/8/2020Pounds540550540550Low
6/8/2020Dollar440450440450Low
6/8/2020Euro475485475485Low
6/5/2020Pounds535545535545Low
6/5/2020Dollar440450440450Low
6/5/2020Euro460472460472Low
6/4/2020Pounds530543530543Low
6/4/2020Dollar440447440447Low
6/4/2020Euro460470460470Low
6/3/2020Pounds530540530540Low
6/3/2020Dollar440445440445Low
6/3/2020Euro460470460470Low
6/2/2020Pounds535545535545Low
6/2/2020Dollar440450440450Low
6/2/2020Euro460472460472Low
6/1/2020Pounds530543530543Low
6/1/2020Dollar440447440447Low
6/1/2020Euro460470460470Low
5/29/2020Pounds530540530540Low
5/29/2020Dollar440445440445Low
5/29/2020Euro460470460470Low
5/28/2020Pounds535545535545Low
5/28/2020Dollar440450440450Low
5/28/2020Euro460472460472Low
5/27/2020Pounds530543530543Low
5/27/2020Dollar440447440447Low
5/27/2020Euro460470460470Low
5/26/2020Pounds530540530540Low
5/26/2020Dollar440445440445Low
5/26/2020Euro460470460470Low
5/25/2020Pounds535545535545Low
5/25/2020Dollar440450440450Low
5/25/2020Euro460472460472Low
5/22/2020Pounds530543530543Low
5/22/2020Dollar440447440447Low
5/22/2020Euro460470460470Low
5/21/2020Pounds530545530545Low
5/21/2020Dollar450460450460Low
5/21/2020Euro460470460470Low
5/20/2020Pounds530550530550Low
5/20/2020Dollar445460445460Low
5/20/2020Euro450470450470Low
5/19/2020Pounds528540528540Low
5/19/2020Dollar445460445460Low
5/19/2020Euro450465450465Low
5/18/2020Pounds528540528540Low
5/18/2020Dollar445460445460Low
5/18/2020Euro450465450465Low
5/15/2020Pounds530540525535Low
5/15/2020Dollar435450440455Low
5/15/2020Euro450460450465Low
5/14/2020Pounds530540530540Low
5/14/2020Dollar435450435450Low
5/14/2020Euro450460450460Low
5/13/2020Pounds525535525535Low
5/13/2020Dollar430450430450Low
5/13/2020Euro440455440455Low
5/12/2020Pounds525535525535Low
5/12/2020Dollar435450435450Low
5/12/2020Euro445455445455Low
5/11/2020Pounds510530525535Low
5/11/2020Dollar430445435445Low
5/11/2020Euro440450445455Low
5/8/2020Pounds510530510530Low
5/8/2020Dollar425437430445Low
5/8/2020Euro425440440450Low
5/7/2020Pounds510530510530Low
5/7/2020Dollar425437425437Low
5/7/2020Euro425440425440Low
5/6/2020Pounds510520510520Low
5/6/2020Dollar425437425437Low
5/6/2020Euro430450430450Low
5/5/2020Pounds510525510525Low
5/5/2020Dollar410430420430Low
5/5/2020Euro425435425435Low
5/4/2020Pounds500510510525Low
5/4/2020Dollar435450410430Low
5/4/2020Euro430440425435Low
5/1/2020Pounds500510500510Low
5/1/2020Dollar435450435450Low
5/1/2020Euro430445430445Low
4/30/2020Pounds500510500510Low
4/30/2020Dollar435450435450Low
4/30/2020Euro430445430445Low
4/29/2020Pounds500520500520Low
4/29/2020Dollar440460440460Low
4/29/2020Euro450465450465Low
4/28/2020Pounds495510500520Low
4/28/2020Dollar430450440460Low
4/28/2020Euro435450435450Low
4/27/2020Pounds495510495510Low
4/27/2020Dollar430450430450Low
4/27/2020Euro435450435450Low
4/24/2020Pounds490500490500Low
4/24/2020Dollar428450428450Low
4/24/2020Euro430440430440Low
4/23/2020Pounds490500490500Low
4/23/2020Dollar420430420430Low
4/23/2020Euro425435425435Low
4/22/2020Pounds490500490500Low
4/22/2020Dollar420425420430Low
4/22/2020Euro425435425435Low
4/21/2020Pounds490500490500Low
4/21/2020Dollar420430420430Low
4/21/2020Euro425435425435Low
4/20/2020Pounds490500490500Low
4/20/2020Dollar420430420430Low
4/20/2020Euro425435425435Low
4/17/2020Pounds490500490500Low
4/17/2020Dollar420430420430Low
4/17/2020Euro425435425435Low
4/16/2020Pounds490500490500Low
4/16/2020Dollar420430420430Low
4/16/2020Euro425435425435Low
4/15/2020Pounds490500490500Low
4/15/2020Dollar420430420430Low
4/15/2020Euro425435425435Low
4/14/2020Pounds490500490500Low
4/14/2020Dollar420430420430Low
4/14/2020Euro425435425435Low
4/13/2020Pounds490500490500Low
4/13/2020Dollar420430420430Low
4/13/2020Euro425435425435Low
4/10/2020Pounds490505490505Low
4/10/2020Dollar420430420430Low
4/10/2020Euro425435425435Low
4/9/2020Pounds490505490505Low
4/9/2020Dollar420430420430Low
4/9/2020Euro425435425435Low
4/8/2020Pounds490500490500Low
4/8/2020Dollar420430420430Low
4/8/2020Euro425435425435Low
4/7/2020Pounds490500490500Low
4/7/2020Dollar420430420430Low
4/7/2020Euro425435425435Low
4/6/2020Pounds492497492497Low
4/6/2020Dollar402412402412Low
4/6/2020Euro410415410415Low
4/3/2020Pounds485490492497Low
4/3/2020Dollar400410402412Low
4/3/2020Euro410415410415Low
4/2/2020Pounds485490485490Low
4/2/2020Dollar400410400410Low
4/2/2020Euro410415410415Low
4/1/2020Pounds480485480485Low
4/1/2020Dollar395400395400Low
4/1/2020Euro407412407412Low
3/31/2020Pounds480485480485Low
3/31/2020Dollar395400395400Low
3/31/2020Euro407412407412Low
3/30/2020Pounds480485480485Low
3/30/2020Dollar390395395400Low
3/30/2020Euro407412407412Low
3/27/2020Pounds480485480485Low
3/27/2020Dollar385390390395Low
3/27/2020Euro405410407412Low
3/26/2020Pounds480485480485Low
3/26/2020Dollar385390385390Low
3/26/2020Euro405410405410Low
3/25/2020Pounds475480480485Low
3/25/2020Dollar380385385390Low
3/25/2020Euro400405405410Low
3/24/2020Pounds475480475480Low
3/24/2020Dollar380385380385Low
3/24/2020Euro400405400405Low
3/23/2020Pounds474478474478Low
3/23/2020Dollar380385380385Low
3/23/2020Euro400403400403Low
3/20/2020Pounds475480475480Low
3/20/2020Dollar370375365367Low
3/20/2020Euro395400395400Low
3/19/2020Pounds475480475480Low
3/19/2020Dollar370375370375Low
3/19/2020Euro395400395400Low
3/18/2020Pounds471475471475Low
3/18/2020Dollar370375370375Low
3/18/2020Euro390395390395Low
3/17/2020Pounds470475470475Low
3/17/2020Dollar375380375380Low
3/17/2020Euro400403400403Low
3/16/2020Pounds470475470475Low
3/16/2020Dollar370375370375Low
3/16/2020Euro400403400403Low
3/13/2020Pounds470475470475Low
3/13/2020Dollar372377372377Low
3/13/2020Euro400403400403Low
3/12/2020Pounds475485490495High
3/12/2020Dollar365380375404High
3/12/2020Euro405412410420Low
3/11/2020Pounds470475475485Low
3/11/2020Dollar360366365375Low
3/11/2020Euro387403405412Low
3/10/2020Pounds468472470475Low
3/10/2020Dollar358360360362Low
3/10/2020Euro390398387403Low
3/9/2020Pounds468472468472Low
3/9/2020Dollar358360358360Low
3/9/2020Euro392398392398Low
3/6/2020Pounds468472468472Low
3/6/2020Dollar358360358360Low
3/6/2020Euro390398390398Low
3/5/2020Pounds468472468472Low
3/5/2020Dollar358360358360Low
3/5/2020Euro390397390397Low
3/4/2020Pounds468473468473Low
3/4/2020Dollar358360358360Low
3/4/2020Euro387392387392Low
3/3/2020Pounds468472468472Low
3/3/2020Dollar358360358360Low
3/3/2020Euro387392387392Low
3/2/2020Pounds468472468472Low
3/2/2020Dollar358360358360Low
3/2/2020Euro387392387392Low
2/28/2020Pounds468472468472Low
2/28/2020Dollar358360358360Low
2/28/2020Euro387392387392Low
2/27/2020Pounds467471468472Low
2/27/2020Dollar358360358360Low
2/27/2020Euro386390387392Low
2/26/2020Pounds468472467471Low
2/26/2020Dollar358360358360Low
2/26/2020Euro386390386390Low
2/25/2020Pounds467472468472Low
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2/25/2020Euro388392386390Low
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2/20/2020Euro388392388392Low
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2/19/2020Dollar358360358360Low
2/19/2020Euro390394390394Low
2/18/2020Pounds467473467473Low
2/18/2020Dollar358360358360Low
2/18/2020Euro390394390394Low
2/17/2020Pounds469473467474Low
2/17/2020Dollar358360358360Low
2/17/2020Euro390394390394Low
2/14/2020Pounds469473469473Low
2/14/2020Dollar358360358360Low
2/14/2020Euro390394390394Low
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16/05/2018Euro400404400404Low
15/05/2019Pounds470475470475Low
15/05/2019Dollar358360358360Low
15/05/2019Euro400404400404Low
13/05/2019Pounds470475470475Low
13/05/2019Dollar358360358360Low
13/05/2019Euro400404400405Low
10/5/2019Pounds470475470475Low
10/5/2019Dollar358360358360Low
10/5/2019Euro400405400405Low
9/5/2019Pounds470475470475Low
9/5/2019Dollar358360358360Low
9/5/2019Euro400405400405Low
29/04/2019Pounds470475470475Low
29/04/2019Dollar358360358360Low
29/04/2019Euro400405400405Low
26/04/2019Pounds470475470475Low
26/04/2019Dollar358360358360Low
26/04/2019Euro400405400405Low
25/04/2019Pounds470475470475Low
25/04/2019Dollar358360358360Low
25/04/2019Euro400405400405Low
24/04/2019Pounds470475472476Low
24/04/2019Dollar358360358360Low
24/04/2019Euro400405400405Low
23/04/2019Pounds474478472476Low
23/04/2019Dollar355360358360Low
23/04/2019Euro390402400405Low
22/04/2019Pounds472476472476Low
22/04/2019Dollar357360358360Low
22/04/2019Euro400405400405Low
19/04/2019Pounds467471470475Low
19/04/2019Dollar355360357360Low
19/04/2019Euro395400402406Low
18/04/2019Pounds470475470475Low
18/04/2019Dollar357360357360Low
18/04/2019Euro402406402406Low
17/04/2019Pounds470475470475Low
17/04/2019Dollar357360357360Low
17/04/2019Euro402406402406Low
16/04/2019Pounds465470470475Low
16/04/2019Dollar360365357360Low
16/04/2019Euro400405402405Low

Data is collated from various black market dealers on the mainland and island parts of Lagos State where forex is sold. The price quoted daily on this page represents the average price obtained by our Research Team. Our prices are a guide and could be slightly different from the price you get when you eventually decide to buy or sell. This is a daily tracker and updated close of business. See table below for parallel market exchange rate dating to 2019.

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Energy

Experts pick holes in pump pricing of petrol, proffer solutions 

Experts give their views as Nigerians grapple with the effects of an increase in petrol pump price.

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Subsidy and PIB, petrol price, PPPRA, We have sufficient PMS stock for 38 days- DPR 

The recent sharp increase in the pump price of petrol has been greeted with shock and condemnations from  Nigerians, as it is coming at a time the global price of crude oil dropped or been static at best. 

This is also happening at a time, where Nigerians are grappling with the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the economy, leading to a significant drop in the income of Nigerians. 

READ: Labour sets September 30th as deadline to go on strike

This price increment is the resultant effect of subsidy removal, and full deregulation of the downstream oil sector by the Federal Government, which has been on the policy agenda of past governments, starting with Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration to the present administration of Muhammadu Buhari. This is further exacerbated by the fact that, the country imports over 90% of its refined petroleum product, athe refineries have not been working optimally. 

While announcing the implementation of the full deregulation of the downstream oil sector, with the removal of the existing cap on fuel prices, the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), noted that henceforth the pump price would be fully determined by market forces. 

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In response to some comments and innuendos, the Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, said the deregulation policy, was to ensure economic growth and development of the country. He insisted that it was unrealistic for government to continue to subsidize petrol, as it had no economic value.

READ: Despite COVID-19, top Nigerian Banks declare N36.7 billion dividends 

Sylva explained that subsidy was benefitting mostly the richrather than the poor and ordinary Nigerians. He said the policy is in line with the global best practiceas the government will continue to play its traditional role of regulation, to ensure that this strategic commodity is not priced arbitrarily by private oil marketing firms. 

The importance and critical nature of petrol seems to be what is driving the condemnation and protests amongst many Nigerians. This is because the demand for petrol is not price elasticwhich means, an increase in the price of petrol, does not necessarily produce a decrease in demand, due to the importance of the product in driving different sectors of the economy. 

Explore the Nairametrics Research Website for Economic and Financial Data

One of the most critical issues that is generating intense debate on the deregulation policy of the downstream oil sector, visavis the sharp increase in the pump price of petrol is, why the increase?  

Especially, when you consider that there has not been any major increase in the global price of crude oil, which is the main component in determining the pump price of petrol. In fact, the price of crude oil has been on a decline recently.   

Recall that, Pipelines and Product Marketing Company (PPMC), a subsidiary of NNPC, in an internal memo, to oil marketers and stakeholders, increased the ex-depot price of fuel from N138. 62 per litre to N151.56 per litre. Some analysts have suggested that the increase could be attributed to the high exchange rate, following the devaluation of the naira against the dollar, and rising costs in the value chain. But the very critical question is, is the devaluation of the naira enough to drive such increase? 

READ: Nigeria will keep taking infrastructure loans to attract investments – Buhari

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The Managing Director of 11 Plc (formerly Mobil Oil Plc), Adetunji Oyebanji, who also doubles as the Chairman of the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN, had about a fortnight ago, said the retail pump price of petrol should be around N155 per litre 

In his analysis of the development, Professor Adeola Adenikinju, Director, Centre for Petroleum Energy Economics and LawUniversity of Ibadan said, The major drivers of PMS price in a deregulated environment are the price of crude oil and the exchange rate. However, in many countries, governments also levy indirect taxes on petroleum products, to fund government road and other developmental projects, because of their inelastic demand.

“In Nigeria, NNPC gets the exchange rate at the official rate of about N386/$1. At that exchange rate, and given the current crude oil price of about $42.60 per barrel for Bonny Light, the current pump price of PMS of around N151.56 per litre is not justified by this analyst’s calculations, even if other cost components like distribution and marketing margins are included, except if BDC exchange rate or other charges are included. 

READ: NNPC reduces fuel price to N108 per litre

He expressed his support for the liberalization of the petroleum downstream sector, that will encompass opening up the sector to all players, not just NNPC. He said we need real competition in the market place, as that is the only way to bring effective competition and allow retail price to reflect marginal opportunity costs of PMS. 

Going further he said, We found ourselves in an embarrassing position as a major oil exporting country, that is also a major importer of refined products. A substantial part of what constitutes the costs of refined products now, including taxes in importing countries, shipping, finance costs, ports charges, lightering charges etc., are all avoidable costs, if we have a thriving and efficient domestic refinery sector. 

“There is currently some opaqueness in the activities of the NNPC in the current subsidy system. The government is losing out on how much the NNPC transfers to the federation accounts for handling the government share of crude oil. NNPC is charging the government and Nigerians, not just the under-recovery amount, but also nebulous charges like costs of pipeline repairs, and estimates of crude oil losses.’’ 

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On his own part, an Oil and Gas Expert, Olumide Ibikunle, disclosed that the global crude oil prices are majorly linked to the price of the final product, which are refined products like petrol, diesel, kerosene, and then foreign exchange. However, he admitted that there are other elements in the pricing template.  

He said, You need to realize thatthere are other elements of the pricing template. I just mentioned 2 of the most important ones, which are the exchange rate and the crude oil prices. There are other items like international shipping cost, which is also a key part of itlithering costs; freight costs, also depending on the availability of tankers for instance, if tankers are not available in the international market to ship refined productsthe cost of moving refined products also increases. 

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He said that at best, what we have is partial deregulation, as government is trying to guard against the volatility of the global crude oil priceswhich changes on a daily basis. He pointed out that, it is not good to have prices of petrol fluctuate every day at the retail stations. Hence, the introduction of price modulation mechanism by government, to manage those volatilities. 

Olumide also said, These products are ordered in advance. I don’t need PMS today and place the order today. I place the order 2 or 3 months in advance. You must realize the dynamics at that time versus what it is now, might be different. so that consideration is also something that fits into the price consideration, and we must also factor that in.”

“So, if prices are N160 today, perhaps it is reflective of the $46 or $45 per barrel, that we saw 2 months ago. Hence, what you see in October or November, will be reflective of what you see in September,he concluded. 

It does seem the recent increase is driven mostly by the exchange rate, but inability to get our refineries working at optimal capacity, government taxes, and the inefficiencies in the system, which is superintended by the Federal Government. 

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