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Nigeria’s N121trn debt, illegal data websites… top business stories to track this week

Close up of hands typing on laptop. Night work concept.

Here are the seven top business stories you need to track this week — June 24 to June 28.

NBS REPORTS

The Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS) is expected to release its electricity report for the first quarter (Q1) of 2024.

The bureau also intends to publish data on Nigeria’s capital importation and terms of trade report for the same quarter.

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NIGERIA’S PUBLIC DEBT HIT N121TRN

The Debt Management Office (DMO) says Nigeria’s total public debt has reached N121.67 trillion within three months.

The latest figure represents an increase of N24.33 trillion or 24.99 percent from the N97.34 trillion as of December 2023.

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Domestic debt rose to N65.64 trillion ($49.35 million) in March 2024 from N53.26trn reported in December 2023, while foreign debt increased to N56.02 trillion in March 2024 from N38.22 trillion reported in December 2023.

DANGOTE ACCUSES IOCs OF MANIPULATING CRUDE OIL PRICES

Devakumar Edwin, vice-president of oil and gas at Dangote Industries Limited (DIL), has accused international oil companies (IOCs) in Nigeria of doing everything to frustrate the survival of Dangote Oil Refinery and Petrochemicals.

Edwin said the IOCs are deliberately frustrating the refinery’s efforts to buy local crude by jerking up crude oil prices above the market price, thereby forcing it to import crude from countries as far as the United States, at huge costs.

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Edwin spoke to journalists at a one-day training programme, organised recently by the Dangote Group.

He also accused the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) of granting licences indiscriminately to marketers to “import dirty refined products into the country”.

NIMC WARNS OF WEBSITES HARVESTING DATA OF NIGERIANS

The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has warned Nigerians against the activities of some unauthorised websites harvesting people’s data.

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The websites are idfinder.com.ng, Verify.ng, championtech.com.ng, trustyonline.com, and anyverify.com.

The agency gave the warning in a statement signed by Kayode Adegoke, its head of corporate communications, on June 22.

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FAAN SETS UP TASK FORCE TO ERADICATE ILLICIT ACTIVITIES AT AIRPORTS

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has launched a task force to eliminate touting, extortion, and other illicit activities in Nigeria’s airports.

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In a statement on June 22, Olubunmi Kuku, FAAN’s managing director (MD), expressed concern over the ongoing harassment and extortion of passengers at the airports.

She said the agency’s leadership has launched an extensive campaign to crack down on these illegal activities, noting that the task force has been mandated to enforce discipline among airport staff and maintain a culture of professionalism at all levels.

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NERC APPROVES N21 BILLION FOR DISCOS TO PROCURE METERS

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has approved N21 billion for electricity distribution companies (DisCos) to procure meters.

The NERC had disclosed this in a document dated June 20.

In the document, titled, ‘Order on the Operationalisation of “Tranche A” of the Meter Acquisition Fund,’ NERC said the N21 billion will come from the meter acquisition fund (MAF).

The commission said the fund will enable the electricity companies to address the huge metering gap in the Nigerian electricity supply industry, (NESI).

NUPRC EXTENDS OIL BLOCKS LICENSING

The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) has announced a 10-day extension for the registration and submission of pre-qualification documents for the 2024 oil block licensing round.

Gbenga Komolafe, chief executive officer (CEO) of NUPRC, announced the extension in a statement on Tuesday.

He said the extension is to allow interested investors to take advantage of the expanded opportunities.

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