BusinessDay

News Roundup: CBN sues 10 firms over ‘prepaid meter funds diversion’, Airlines lose N4.3bn annually over restriction on 24 hours flight operations…

CBN sues 10 firms over ‘prepaid meter funds diversion’

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has asked a Federal High Court in Lokoja, Kogi state for an order to freeze 157 accounts of Meter Asset Providers for allegedly diverting intervention funds under the National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP) between January 1, 2020 to March 15, 2022. According to a court document seen by BusinessDay, the apex bank requested 15 commercial banks and the Bank of Industry (BOI) to freeze the accounts of the 157 companies for 180 days pending the outcome of its investigation. The companies identified by the CBN include Mojec Meter Asset Management Company Limited, Integrated Power Nigeria Limited, Holley Metering Limited, Protogy Global Services Limited and Turbo Energy Limited. Others are G Unit Engineering Limited, Koby Global Engineering Services Limited, FLT Energy Systems Limited, Smart Meters Asset Provider Company Limited and Cresthill Engineering Limited.

Airlines lose N4.3bn annually over restrictions on 24 hours flight operations

Domestic airlines lose over N4.3 billion annually as a result of restriction to carry out 24 hours flight daily to the airports of their choice. This is also as the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has been requested to help in the growth trajectory of the nation’s airlines without relegating safety, rather than slamming them with suspension. Speaking at the 26th annual conference of the League of Airport and Aviation Correspondents (LAAC) on Thursday with the theme: Sunset Airports: Economic and Safety Implications,’ held in Lagos, George Uriesi, the Chief Operating Officer of Ibom Air said that the lack of 24 hours flight operations to major routes in Nigeria was impeding the growth of the airlines.

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Nigeria’s debt service-to revenue ratio now world’s worst – EIU

As the amount spent by the federal government on servicing debts exceeded what it earned in the first four months of this year, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has said Nigeria’s debt service-to-revenue ratio has become the highest in the world. “The staggeringly high 118.9 percent debt service/revenue ratio in January-April is the world’s worst and underlines unsustainable fiscal policy,” analysts at the EIU said in a global note to investors on Wednesday. According to the report, Nigeria’s federal government debt service payments in the first four months of 2022 totalled N1.9 trillion, which was greater than its total revenue of N1.6 trillion, according to the 2023‑2025 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF/FSP) draft presented by Zainab Ahmed, the finance, budget and national planning minister, on July 21. “It confirms that Nigeria’s fiscal position is untenable, despite high international oil prices. We consider both subsidy and tax reform as inevitable in the medium term,” it said.

Shell posts record earnings with $11.5bn profit in Q2

Shell Energy has reported a profit of $11.5 billion in the second quarter of 2022, smashing the mark it set only three months ago as oil and gas prices surged and refining margins spiked. Findings by BusinessDay showed the Q2 earnings are up from $5.5bn in April-June 2021- marking a $6bn increase in profits- and up from $9.1 billion in the first quarter of 2022. The oil giant recorded a fourteen-fold increase in quarterly profits earlier this year which reignited calls for a windfall tax to relieve the burden on struggling families during the worsening cost of living crisis. The higher earnings mainly reflected higher realized prices, higher refining margins, and higher gas and power trading and optimisation results, Shell said.

How rising cost of cooking gas hurts Nigerians

Retailers of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LNG), popularly known as cooking gas, have decried another round of price hike as the price for refilling 12.5kg cylinder has more than doubled in one year. Data obtained from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed that the average retail price for refilling a 12.5kg cylinder of cooking gas increased by 121.2 percent to N9,486 in June 2022 from in the same period in 2021. On a month-on-month basis, it also rose by 8.7 percent from N8, 726 in May. Also, the price for refilling a 5kg cylinder of cooking gas increased year-on-year by 103.9 percent to N4, 218 in June 2022.On a month-on-month basis, it also rose by 7.6 percent. Cash-strapped consumers dealing with the high cost of food and other necessities now have to grapple with the rising cost of cooking gas.

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