Business News in Brief

OPEC March Oil Output Sinks to 11-month Low

OPEC oil output fell in March to an 11-month low due to declining Angolan exports, Libyan outages and a further slide in Venezuelan output, a Reuters survey found, sending compliance with a supply-cutting deal to another record.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries pumped 32.19 million barrels per day last month, the survey found, down 90,000 bpd from February. The March total is the lowest since April 2017, according to Reuters surveys.

New CBN Deputy Governors, MPC Members Assume Office

Mrs Aisha Ahmad and Mr Edward Adamu have formally assumed office as Deputy Governors of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), following the confirmation of their appointments on March 22 by the Senate.

According to a statement signed by the bank’s acting Director, Corporate Communications, Mr Isaac Okoroafor in Abuja, Prof Adeola Adenikinju, Dr Robert Asogwa and Dr Aliyu Sanusi also commenced their tenure as Members of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC).

ICD Extends $50m Islamic Financing to Nigerian Bank trio

The Jeddah-based Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) has extended a combined $50 million in financing to three Nigerian lenders, aiming to help channel funds to local businesses.

The ICD, the private sector arm of the Islamic Development Bank, has in recent years sought to expand its activities across Africa, home to a quarter of the world’s Muslims, Reuters reports.

The multilateral body said it had signed financing agreements with Jaiz Bank, SunTrust Bank and Wema Bank worth $20 million, $10 million and $20 million respectively.

Ambode Woos Japanese Investors in Tokyo Talks

Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State has held talks with the Japan-African Union Parliamentary Friendship Committee in Tokyo on how to improve transportation in the state.

Ambode, in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Habib Aruna, said the meeting which was to woo Japanese investors, was being attended by two members of Japan House of Representatives.

The governor gave their names as Ichiro Aisawa and Asahiko Mihara.

He said his presence in Japan was pursuant to his determination to achieve infrastructure renewal for the state.

Nigeria Bond Auction Raises ₦64b, Less than Targeted

Nigeria raised 64.06 billion naira ($210 million) at Wednesday’s auction of government bonds , less than it originally planned but at lower yields, traders said, according to Reuters report.

The government has been working to cut its borrowing costs, particularly as inflation slows. It sold Eurobonds last month to help repay some treasury bills rather than rolling them over as it has done in the past.

Nigeria Misses Out of Free Trade Agreement

Nigeria was obviously absent on Wednesday when African leaders signed the Largest Free Trade Agreement since the creation of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

President Muhammadu Buhari had on Sunday cancelled his trip to Rwanda due to pressure by Labour union not to participate in signing the agreement.

A statement signed by the spokesperson, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dr Tope Adeleye Elias-Fatile said the president cancelled his trip to Kigali, Rwanda to allow more inputs from Nigerian Stakeholders.

Facebook Shares Slip as Scrutiny Continues

Facebook shares continued to slide yesterday, amid ongoing furore concerning the use of data collected by the social network, BBC reports.

The firm's stock closed down 2.6%, following a steep decline a day earlier.

The concerns infected fellow social media company Twitter, which was down more than 10%.

Investors are reacting to calls for tighter regulation of tech firms from politicians in the US, UK and Europe.

CBN to hold Interest Rate Meeting April 3-4

Nigeria’s central bank plans to hold its next interest rate meeting April 3-4, a spokesman said on Monday, contingent on the upper house of parliament confirming the president’s nominees for the monetary policy committee (MPC).

“The new dates for the MPC are April 3 and 4,” the spokesman told Reuters by phone. “We are hoping that between now and then the members of the committee would have been confirmed by the Senate.”

CBN to Delay Rate Meeting –Emefiele

Nigeria’s central bank will delay its next interest rate-setting meeting after a political spat over nominations for its Monetary Policy Committee, the governor said on Thursday.

Governor Godwin Emefiele told CNBC the meeting scheduled for March 19-20 would be delayed by about seven to 10 days, or at the latest until the first week of April, Reuters reports.

Nigerians Urged to Patronise Indigenous Products for Economic Growth

The Director-General, Niger State Industrial Parks Development Agency, Dr Abdulmalik Ndagi, has urged Nigerians to patronise indigenous products to help grow the economy.

Ndagi made the call in Abuja, when he spoke on the topic “Building Trust in Indigenous Products”, at the fourth edition of Science and Technology Expo (FASTECH 2018).

The theme of the expo was “Technology and Society in the 21st Century’’.