• Saturday, December 02, 2023
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Five things to know to start your Wednesday


Foreign airlines complain over their trapped $700m in Nigeria

Foreign airlines have revealed that approximately 90 percent of their $783 million trapped funds in Nigeria have not been paid.

Despite efforts to address the situation, most of the funds are still inaccessible. International banks received only a small fraction of the funds from the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Domestic carriers face operational challenges due to limited access to forex, affecting payments for aircraft maintenance.

The government is working to resolve the forex challenge, offering hope for airlines dealing with financial constraints.

NPA plans to invest over $1bn on port rehabilitation

The Nigeria Port Authority (NPA) plans to invest $1.1 billion in rehabilitating ports in Nigeria in the first quarter of 2024.

This significant overhaul will begin with the Tincan Island and Apapa Ports in Lagos. The NPA aims to enhance infrastructure, accommodate vessels of all sizes, and increase draft depths at quaysides to make Nigerian ports more competitive globally.

The NPA is also working on collaborations with the private sector to establish new seaports.

Additionally, initiatives like barges and expanded rail infrastructure are being explored to improve cargo evacuation.

FG saves N1.45tn from subsidy removal

The Federal Government of Nigeria has saved approximately N1.45 trillion from the removal of the petrol subsidy between June and September, according to FAAC allocation documents.

The funds have been remitted to the Non-Oil Revenue (Savings) account, with N696.93 billion in June, N389.7 billion in July, N71 billion in August, and N289 billion in September.

President Bola Tinubu announced the subsidy removal in May, with savings now redirected towards intervention programmes for families nationwide.

Trade Union Congress President Festus Osifo has called for transparency in deploying these savings to benefit Nigerians.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, stated that the saved funds have been provided to state governments to assist in alleviating the policy’s effects on the public.

Robust SME sector key to strengthening the economy, say House Committee

The House of Representatives Committee on Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) emphasised the vital role of SMEs in the Nigerian economy.

Chairman Mansur Manu Soro stated that strengthening SMEs is essential for job creation, poverty reduction, and GDP growth.

The committee aims to promote SME growth, improve access to finance, address regulatory issues, and enhance market access over the next four years.

Their interventions will create a supportive environment for SMEs and enhance their competitiveness, ultimately benefiting Nigeria’s economy.

Oil prices pause following 3-month lows as demand worries grow

Oil prices rebounded slightly after hitting a three-month low, with Brent crude at $81.65 per barrel and U.S. crude at $77.24 per barrel.

Concerns over dwindling demand in the United States and China weighed on the market. Rising U.S. crude oil stocks and declining demand contributed to the price decline.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) delayed its inventory data release, revising its petroleum consumption forecast for the year.

Additionally, Goldman Sachs estimated that seaborne net oil exports from OPEC countries remained below April levels. A recovering U.S. dollar and China’s declining exports added further pressure on oil prices.

Despite economic challenges, OPEC anticipates global economic growth will boost fuel demand.