• President Buhari says he did not discuss the United States’ low patronage of Nigerian crude oil with US President Donald Trump during their meeting on Monday. He said this was because he “can’t tell the US what to do”. The US, which used to be the largest importer of Nigeria’s crude, has reduced its imports on increased domestic shale production. Trump recently attacked the OPEC for creating artificial scarcity to increase the price of Brent, the global crude benchmark.
  • The CBN has issued a directive that any bank which fails to publish its annual accounts 12 months after the financial year ends will have its chief executive and chairman sacked. This directive was contained in the regulator’s Monetary, Credit, Foreign Trade and Exchange Guidelines for Fiscal Years 2018/2019 released at the weekend and signed by Governor Godwin Emefiele. The policy aligns with the provisions of the Bank and Other Financial Institutions Act 1991, which require banks to, subject to the written approval of the CBN, publish their audited financial statements, including financial position and comprehensive income, in a national newspaper printed and circulated in Nigeria not later than four months after the end of each financial year.
  • A new CBN report showed that 12 of the 15 sub-sectors of the manufacturing sector recorded growth in April. According to the Purchasing Managers’ Index report for April 2018, the index grew at a faster rate than in March. The sub-sectors that recorded growth included Petroleum and coal products, electrical equipment, appliances and components, printing and related support activities, textile apparel leather and footwear, fabricated metal products, chemical and pharmaceutical products, food, beverage and tobacco products, paper products, furniture and related products, plastics and rubber products, and transportation equipment. The cement sub-sector did not report any change, while the non-metallic minerals and primary metal sub-sectors declined in the review month. The production level index for the sector grew to 58.6, although slower than its March growth rate. Manufacturing supplier delivery time index stood at 57.4 in April indicating faster supplier delivery time for the 11th consecutive month.
  • Cinema operators in Nigeria are now a billion naira business, according to Adedayo Thomas, the Executive Director of the National Film and Video Censors Board. Thomas said that 34 cinemas nationally generated at least ₦3 billion in 2017. Thomas made the disclosure in Warri during the “2018 World Intellectual Property Day” organised by the ‘Friends of the Creator Foundation’ in conjunction with the Delta State University’s Faculty of Engineering. “The film industry is the third most lucrative industry aside oil and agriculture,” he added. The guest lecturer and Lead Partner at Infusion Lawyers, Senator Ihenyen said Nigeria needs a robust Intellectual Property (IP) system that would clearly “accommodate the feminine and masculine components in the society.”
  • Fidelity Bank has reported a 94 percent growth in profit for the financial year that ended on December 31, 2017, and proposed an 11 kobo per share dividend for investors. According to a statement by the bank, its gross earnings increased by 18.3 percent from ₦152 billion to ₦179.9 billion and profit after tax grew by 93.7 percent from ₦9.7 billion to ₦18.9 billion. Total expenses declined by 2.3 percent to ₦65.7 billion from ₦67.2 billion. Nnamdi Okonkwo, Fidelity Bank’s CEO, said the bank’s numbers indicated disciplined balance sheet management, strategic cost reduction, increased focus on the corporate, commercial, SME segments and continued execution of its retail and digital banking strategy. The bank reported a 15.2 percent in savings deposit and a 21 percent in vault cash holding due to increased digitisation as more customers subscribed to mobile and internet banking platforms. In 2017, the bank issued a $400 million Eurobond that was over-subscribed by over 200 percent.