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MPC meeting, food price data… 7 business stories to track this week

Food items displayed in a market Food items displayed in a market

Here are the seven top business stories you need to track this week — January 22 to January 27.

CBN TO HOLD MPC MEETING FEB 26

 The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is set to hold its first monetary policy committee (MPC) meeting – six months after the last one was held.

The meeting is scheduled for February 26, 2024, and February 27, 2024.

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CBN’s announcement came after the bank postponed the MPC meeting twice in 2023.

NBS REPORT

The Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS) intends to release reports on selected food prices and transport for December 2023.

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The bureau will also release a report on rail transportation data for the third quarter (Q3) of the year 2023.

SHELL EXITS ONSHORE PRODUCTION

On January 16, 2023, Shell said it would sell its Nigerian subsidiary, Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC), for a consideration of $1.3 billion, with buyers making an additional payment of up to $1.1 billion relating to prior receivables at completion.

According to Shell, the buyer of the asset, known as Renaissance, is a consortium formed of ND Western, Aradel Energy, First Exploration & Production (E&P), Waltersmith, and Petrolin.

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Meanwhile, the federal government says it is in support of Shell’s decision to exit onshore production and would give consideration to the firm’s assets sales.

The deal had come almost three years after the giant energy firm sought to sell its Nigerian oil and gas business in 2021.

‘LARGEST’ CONTAINER VESSEL BERTHS AT LEKKI DEEP SEAPORT

The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has announced the berthing of the largest container carrier, Maersk Edrine, at the Lekki Deep Seaport.

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The Maersk Edirne is one of 13 large container vessels which form the new CMA CGM WAX service that will operate along key locations including Xiamen, Qingdao, Shanghai, Singapore, Lekki Port, and Abidjan.

In a statement on Sunday, the NPA said the ship carried a gross registered tonnage (GRT) of 142,131 metric tonnes and a dead weight tonnage (DWT) of 147,340 metric tonnes, constituting 3,376 total cargo onboard.

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OTEDOLA BUYS DANGOTE CEMENT SHARES

Femi Otedola, a billionaire investor and chairman of Geregu Power, has bought an undisclosed number of shares in Dangote cement.

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A source confirmed the investment to TheCable on Friday.

Dangote Cement’s share price skyrocketed between Monday and Friday by 53.9 percent — compared to a year-to-date appreciation of 68.42 percent.

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The share value rose from N350 per unit to N538.8 within a week, on the back of increased demand for the company’s shares.

Also, the market capitalisation increased by N3.21 trillion within five days, from N5.96 trillion on January 12, to N9.18 trillion.

‘FG WILL CONTINUE ELECTRICITY SUBSIDY’

Sanusi Garba, chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), says the federal government will continue to subsidise electricity to ease the financial burden on Nigerians amid the economic challenges in the country.

Garba spoke after the commission published a new tariff for distribution companies (DisCos).

He said the new tariff includes what DisCos are permitted to charge under government policy if they are to remain in service.

Garba said NERC inserted various provisions in the tariff to guarantee that DisCos pay what they are required to pay.

‘THERE’S LIQUIDITY THAT CAN CLEAR FX BACKLOG’

Wale Edun, minister of finance and coordinating minister of the economy, says there is liquidity in the Nigerian banking sector to reduce the foreign exchange (FX) backlog.

According to the minister, the FX backlog is at about $5 billion and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is making efforts to cut it down.

He said there should be a way the banks can help with the backlog, either on a spot or a forward-rate basis, as the government believes it can pay down the backlog almost at once.

Edun also said the government has a plan to borrow $1.5 billion from the World Bank amid reforms that deserve financial support from the Bretton Woods institution.

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