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Fuel scarcity: Marketers insists on an end to NNPCL import monopoly

Oil marketers under the aegis of the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria have insisted that there be an end to the monopoly of petroleum product importation by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited.

The oil marketers made this demand on Monday during a virtual workshop held on the theme: “Deregulation: Understanding the Downstream Supply Chain.”

Speaking at the workshop, Abdulmutalib Rabiu, the General Manager, Operations, TotalEnergies Marketing Nigeria Limited, called for an end to NNPCL’s petrol product import monopoly, saying that it was endangering the sector and hindering its growth.

Rabiu pleaded with the federal government to allow for healthy competition in the sector by granting licences and access to foreign exchange to marketers willing to import the products.

“But so long as NNPCL remains the sole importer of products, the amount spent on importation should be published for everyone to see because it is public funds that the company is using to bring in the products,” he said.

Read also: Fuel scarcity worsens Nigeria’s cost of living crisis

CBN disburses N9.7tn to manufacturers, others

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has revealed that it disbursed N9.7 trillion in loans to the manufacturing sector, energy and infrastructure sector, and agriculture sector of the Nigerian economy.

This revelation was made known during a retreat for the Development Finance Department of the CBN held on Monday in Abuja.

Speaking at the retreat, Aishah Ahmad, the Deputy Governor, Financial System Stability Directorate of the CBN, complained about the poor attitude of Nigerians when it came to repayment of loans, noting that these repayments are crucial to the sustainability of any bank’s initiatives aimed at promoting economic growth.

She used the opportunity to remind debtors to pay back their money, as it would negatively affect the ability of the apex bank to provide a similar loan scheme to other companies looking forward to using this intervention loan to grow their businesses.

She said, “In recent years, the efforts and interventions of the CBN have ushered in a lot of growth and impact. It helped us combat extreme poverty and food insecurity and grow the agricultural sector and manufacturing base.

“But it also brings in considerations, and we are well aware of these considerations. Of course, the most obvious is the risk of a poor recovery rate on some of the loans we give out, which may be a burden on the institution but, most importantly, may affect the sustainability of our initiatives.

“We also try to empathise with all stakeholders about the fact that all of these are loans and not grants. It is important that you pay back so that others can also get the same opportunity.”

A booklet distributed to participants contained information about the breakdown of the N9.71 trillion disbursed to different sectors so far by the CBN.

In it, the manufacturing and industrial sectors received the most funding, with 32.6 percent, followed by energy and infrastructure and agriculture, with 23.1 percent and 22.8 percent allocations, respectively.

PVC collection: Large turnout, as voters receive PVCs in Edo

Residents of Benin in Edo thronged the different offices of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Monday to collect their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) ahead of the 2023 general elections.

INEC had earlier announced Monday through January 22, 2023, as the dates for the collection of the cards nationwide.

The exercise in Benin, which began in the early hours of Monday, witnessed a massive turnout.

Unfortunately, the exercise didn’t go without hitches, as residents complained of a slow process and the unavailability of some voter cards.

A visit to the INEC office in Oredo, Egor, and Ikpoba-Okha local government areas by the News Agency of Nigeria correspondent showed the expression of mixed feelings as some residents collected their PVCs while those not so lucky were asked to check back in January 2023.

Twitter Blue sign ups relaunched for iOS, web users

Twitter Inc. said on Monday it was replacing the “official” blue label with a gold checkmark on some business accounts on the social media platform and re-enabling Twitter Blue signups for iOS and web users.

According to Reuters, Twitter said the blue subscribers will get access to subscriber-only features such as the ability to edit tweets, while government accounts will get a grey checkmark.

Former FTX CEO Bankman-Fried arrested in Bahamas, U.S. to unveil charges

Sam Bankman-Fried, founder of the collapsed cryptocurrency exchange platform FTX, was arrested on Monday in the Bahamas after being criminally charged by U.S. prosecutors.

His arrest comes just a day before he is scheduled to testify before the United States Senate Committee on Finance about his role in the collapse of the company worth more than $25 billion.

This development marks a stunning fall from grace for the 30-year-old cryptocurrency entrepreneur who rode on the back of the cryptocurrency boom of 2020 to create one of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world.

Prior to its collapse, the company, which was based in the tax haven of the Bahamas, filed for bankruptcy on Nov. 11 after struggling to raise enough money to calm the flailing nerves of traders who rushed to withdraw more than $6 billion in just 72 hours.

According to Reuters, the attorney general’s office for The Bahamas said it proceeded with the arrest after receiving formal confirmation of charges against Bankman-Fried, adding that it expects he will be extradited to the United States.

A statement from The Bahamas Police said Bankman-Fried had been arrested shortly after 6:00 p.m. Monday (2300 GMT) at his apartment complex, located in Albany, Nassau, in The Bahamas.
“He was arrested in reference to various financial offences against the laws of the United States, which are also offences against the laws of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas,” the statement said, adding he was taken into custody without incident and will appear in Nassau’s Magistrate Court on Tuesday.