15 Dec

Daily Watch – Reps tackle FG over TSA payments, Nigeria picks up slack Indian crude demand

  • A House of Representatives panel has criticised the FG’s inability to meet its obligations of paying certain amount generated from the TSA as dues. The panel, which is probing the TSA’s status and chaired by Rep Abubakar Nuhu Danburam (APC, Kano), said the amount is being owed to SystemSpecs, the firm that developed the Remita platform used in transferring funds to the TSA. The panel resolved to ensure that all the outstanding dues the government is owing SystemSpecs are paid accordingly. According to a 2015 agreement, SystemSpecs is to be paid a certain percentage of the money generated via TSA, but it was gathered that the FG has stopped paying remittances, the amount owed may run into the billions of naira.
  • India’s refiners imported nearly half as much crude oil from Iran in November as the month before, ship tracking data showed, cutting purchases to a 21-month low in protest at Tehran’s decision to award a giant gas field to a Russian company. India, the world’s No. 3 crude oil consumer, received about 266,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil from Iran last month, a decline of 43 percent from October and 55 percent from a year ago, according to a review of tanker arrival data from trade sources and numbers available on Thomson Reuters Eikon. African oil’s share of India’s overall imports benefitted the most from this, climbing to about 16 percent in November from about 10.5 percent in previous months, as supplies from the region, mainly Nigeria, improved after a repair to a key pipeline in late October. Most of the Nigerian cargoes were received by India in the first fortnight of November, indicating that refiners lifted buying in October, a month for which Brent’s premium to Dubai narrowed averaged $1.55 a barrel. Nigeria replaced Venezuela as the Asian country’s fourth-largest supplier.
  • The CBN repaid a total of ₦340 billion worth of treasury bills on Thursday instead of rolling them over, in a move to lower government borrowing costs, traders said. They included ₦131.4 billion worth of treasury bills issued by the DMO, while the balance was in open market bills issued by the CBN. The DMO has said it will repay treasury bills maturing on 14 December and 21 December totalling ₦198.03 billion. Yields on treasuries held up across the board at around 10 percent on Thursday. They fell to 7 percent after the repayment plan was announced this week. Thursday’s payoff increased banking system credit to almost ₦500 billion, lowering overnight rates to one percent from five percent last week.
  • The Consumer Protection Council says consumer abuse complaints received from Nigerians rose by 30 percent in the last eight months. Babatunde Irukera, the council’s Director-General since April 2017, said the rise in consumer abuse complaints has been as a result of the use of multiple channels in reaching out to consumers. The CPC boss said there was a need for the FG to increase consumer protection advocacy and education programmes.
  • Soap and shampoo maker PZ Cussons said first-half operating profit was expected to fall 10 percent as reduced margins in its European and African businesses weighed on profitability. The company, which sells brands such as Carex and Five:Am., said the performance in these two regions were expected to improve in the second half with new product launches and distribution expansion. PZ Cussons’s business in Africa, which accounts for 43 percent of its total sales, has been hit by weak market conditions in Nigeria stemming from the naira’s devaluation.