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Banks inform customers of impending rise in interest rates

Commercial banks are informing some of their customers that they are about to increase interest rates on loans in response to the economic situation in the country.

According to multiple sources, account officers of some banks have started calling customers with consumer loans to expect an interest rate hike. This means customers with personal loans, mortgage loans and other forms of loans should expect communication from their banks that interest rates may rise soon.

Nigeria has witnessed galloping inflation in recent months jumping to as high as 18.17% in March before tapering to 18.12% in April.

Despite the rising inflation rate, the central bank monetary policy rates (MPR), which is a benchmark for interest rate setting remains at 11.5%. The Central Bank in its monetary policy committee meeting held last week reiterated its preference for cheaper credit to the real sector of the economy citing its effect on spurring economic growth.

NNPC plans to acquire stakes in six private refineries

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation on Monday said it is currently considering equity participation in some private refineries across the country.

It said this was in line with a Federal Government’s policy directive which stipulated the mandatory participation of the corporation in any privately-owned refinery that exceeded 50,000 barrels per day capacity.

The corporation stated that it had identified at least six refinery projects in which it had intensions to seek equity participation.

It said five of them were at the development stage with the Dangote Refinery being the largest of them all.

A statement issued in Abuja by the corporation’s spokesperson, Kennie Obateru, explained that NNPC, as the national oil company of Nigeria primarily had a dual role of providing stewardship for the nation’s hydrocarbon resources.

Exchange rate remains stable across forex markets as crude oil price hits $70

The exchange rate between the naira and the US dollar opened at N412/$1 at the Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange window (NAFEX).

Naira remained flat at the Investors and Exporters window on Monday, as it closed at N412 to a dollar, the same as was recorded on Friday, 28th May 2021.

Similarly, Naira maintained stability at the parallel market to open at N495/$1 on Tuesday while forex turnover recorded a further decline of 19.6% to stand at $125.44 million at the I&E Window.

Crude oil price recorded marginal growth on Tuesday, maintaining its performance from the previous day, as Brent Crude price hit $70 per barrel.

Stakeholders demand transparency as FG, investors pump N170.5b in new carrier

About three years after its unveiling in London, United Kingdom, and subsequent suspension, the Federal Government is having another go at the new national carrier project with an estimated sum of N170.5 billion already on the table. The sum, contributed by both private investors and budgetary provisions in the last three years, is expected to start up the new airline next year.

Findings showed that private investors have pledged at least $250 million (N112.5 billion), while government’s allocations in the form of “project working capital” between 2019 to 2021 have added up to N58 billion ($128.8 million).

Aviation stakeholders are, however, worried about the lack of transparency in the prolonged build-up to the new venture, coupled with its viability and sustainability in a pandemic era.

The worry is not unconnected with the venture’s ability to attract 90 per cent of investment from both local and foreign investors, coupled with a credible technical partner to drive its operations at a time when global aviation has recorded multiple airline collapses and losses to the tune of $90 billion in 2021 alone.

Travellers to face longer processing time over protocols, traffic

Ahead of summer travels and imminent boom in international traffic, airlines have warned that chaotic scenes await passengers at airports over COVID-19 travel protocols.

The airlines said compliance with mandatory tests and vaccine certificates at departure and arrival terminals may cost passengers between three to eight hours of delay, “which will be discouraging for customers and an industry in recovery phase”.

In a related development, Aero Contractors airline has disclosed plans to reopen Bauchi and Maiduguri operations as part of its route expansion programme. Deploying its Boeing 737-400 aircraft just back from C-checks, the airline will open Abuja-Bauchi route tomorrow, and subsequently follow with the Maiduguri operations.

Foreign carriers, under the aegis of International Air Transport Association (IATA), said the prior warning avails an opportunity for Nigerian government, among others, to deploy automated screening facilities to manage travel health credentials and other COVID-19 measures to achieve pre-COVID-19 passenger facilitation time.

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