• Wednesday, February 28, 2024
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Five things to know to start your Friday

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Ecobank’s earnings surge to N1.21trn

Ecobank Group reported a 59 percent surge in gross earnings to N1.21 trillion by September 2023, filed with the NGX.

Q3 results revealed a 15 percent decrease in US dollar gross earnings to $2.084 billion, but a 12 percent rise in revenue to $1.518 billion and a 55 percent increase to N884 billion.

The boost in revenue came from higher interest rates in some regions, increased assets, and elevated treasury and cash management fees.

Gas production declines despite FG’s N250bn fund support

Natural gas production in Nigeria dropped despite a staggering N250 billion intervention fund distributed to fifteen companies.

An Energy Institute and KPMG report revealed a decline of 4 billion cubic feet between 2021 and 2022, contrasting previous steady growth from 39 to 49 billion cubic metres by 2020.

The decline came despite the fund’s aim to boost compressed natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas for transportation, cooking, and industry, leading to a Senate inquiry.

FG initiates aid for farmers, targets 31 million metric tonnes of grains

The Federal Government of Nigeria aims to produce 31 million metric tonnes of grains in 2024 to combat food inflation, generate jobs, and alleviate poverty.

Aliyu Abdullahi, Minister of State for Agriculture, revealed plans to meet Nigeria’s seed demand for major crops, projecting this output.

Initiatives include certifying planting materials, focusing on wheat production across 70,000 hectares, and supporting farmers with quality seeds and input subsidies for rice, maize, and soybeans to enhance food security.

OPEC+ announce cuts; prices drop

Major oil-producing nations, including Saudi Arabia and Russia, declared additional production cuts to stabilise oil prices, yet prices dropped post-meeting.

Riyadh extended a one million barrels per day cut until March 2024, with Moscow also reducing exports by 500,000 barrels daily.

OPEC members like Iraq and the UAE agreed to smaller cuts. However, prices fell 3.0 percent after the meeting, disappointing market expectations for more extended or deeper cuts.

Oil producers are concerned about softening demand amid global economic uncertainties.

More Israeli hostages released in extended Gaza truce

Militant group Hamas released two more Israeli women hostages on Thursday, with more Palestinian prisoners to be freed under an extended truce that has paused weeks of deadly conflict.

With the current truce set to expire early Friday, international bodies have called for a lasting halt to the violence sparked by deadly Hamas attacks on Israel that prompted it to mount a devastating assault on the Gaza Strip.

The delicate truce held through its seventh day after a 24-hour extension, despite a shooting claimed by Hamas militants that killed three people in Jerusalem.

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken met with Israeli and Palestinian leaders to seek a longer pause that would allow further prisoner-hostage exchanges and more aid for displaced civilians in Gaza. (AFP)