Daily Watch

2nd July 2015

  • The Central Bank of Nigeria has imposed more restrictions on certain imports. Following the earlier prohibition, CBN further prohibited importers of items that are “Not valid for forex” from accessing foreign exchange from export proceeds or the Bureau De Change. The implication of this is that forex for such imports will be obtained from the parallel market.
  • President Muhammadu Buhari has said that his government will do everything within its powers to secure Nigeria’s environment and encourage more investments in the oil sector. The president also said that his administration would ensure that Nigeria’s oil and gas industry quickly becomes more globally competitive. Buhari had a word for cases of vandalism of oil installations and pipelines, piracy, and oil theft, saying that they have made Nigeria’s economic situation very disturbing.
  • The outgoing Group Chief Executive Officer of Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) Plc, Mr. Albert Essien, whose retirement takes effect today, July 2, will continue to act as Chief Executive Officer over the next two months as part of transitional arrangement pending the resumption of the new chief executive officer, Mr. Ade Ayeyemi. Essien will act as the holding company’s chief executive for a two-month transition between the effective date of his retirement, June 30, 2015, and the resumption of his successor, Ayeyemi, on September 1, 2015. Essien will hold the role of Special Advisor for one month in order to assist the new group chief executive settle down and facilitate the completion of a proper handing over.
  • Oando has announced an agreement with HV Investments (a joint venture owned by a fund advised by Helios Investment Partners (Helios) and The Vitol Group (Vitol), to dispose 51 percent of its voting rights and 60 percent of the economic rights of its downstream businesses for a total consideration of $461.3 million (about N104 billion), of which $276.8 million will be in cash contribution from HVI while $184.5 million will be in preference shares issued to Oando. Wale Tinubu, Group Chief Executive of Oando said that the divestment will enable Oando to focus on its upstream and midstream businesses. ($1=N225.45, July 1, 2015)
  • OPEC daily output climbed to a three-year high in June, in spite of the clamour from its poorer members that the cartel should reduce crude oil production to support prices. Countries in the gulf region have opposed production cuts as they continue in their battle for global market share against the shale oil producers. Saudi Arabia and Iraq hit record or near-record output during the period, as outages in Nigeria and Libya reduced exports.