• The Senate has approved President Buhari’s request for a $2.786 billion (₦1 trillion) loan to finance the 2018 budget. The upper legislative chamber also approved $82.54 million to refinance the balance of $500 million Eurobond in the international capital market. The lawmakers approved the president’s request after Shehu Sani, chairman of the committee on local and foreign debts, presented a report for their consideration on Wednesday. Following the Senate’s approval, the Federal Executive Council approved six transaction parties to advise the FG on the issuance of the bonds and other securities at the international capital market. The transaction parties are Citigroup Global Market Limited and Standard Chartered Bank as joint manager; FSDH Merchant Bank Limited as financial adviser; White And Case LLP, Banwo and Ighodalo as legal adviser and Africa Practice Limited as technical adviser on communication. An estimated ₦849.673 billion ($2.37 billion) is expected to be externally borrowed to finance part of the deficit in the 2018 appropriation Act.
  • The FG has declared that the annual earnings of $6 billion (₦2.2 trillion) in freight costs and $8 billion in oil and gas and other maritime activities have come under threat from pirate attacks, oil theft and other illegal activities militating against the growth of the sector. Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi gave the figure during the 2018 World Maritime Day in Lagos. Amaechi said Nigeria, which enjoys a larger share in the movement of cargoes in the Gulf of Guinea, had emerged as a tough transit route for cargoes owing to maritime crimes, which had affected shipping activities around the region. “It is worthy to note that for effective contribution of shipping activities to the development of Nigeria’s economy, there is an urgent need to curb and combat these illegal maritime activities in our waters, as these crimes continue to constitute impediments to economic development. As long as these crimes continue to pose danger to the Gulf of Guinea and our maritime domain, the benefits of the theme of this year’s World Maritime Day celebration, ‘Our Heritage: Better Shipping for a Better Future’, will continue to be elusive,” Amaechi said.
  • The senate has asked the CBN to order commercial banks to increase the maximum amount customers can withdraw from ATMs to ₦40,000 per transaction. The maximum is currently ₦20,000. The Senate also asked the regulator to suspend ATM card maintenance fees. The committee on banking and finance will conduct an investigation into the propriety of ATM card maintenance charges and invite CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, to explain why the charges are allegedly skewed in favour of the banks. The resolution came following a motion sponsored by Gbenga Ashafa, senator representing Lagos East.
  • The Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria has grown traffic on its network by over 10,000 per cent in the last five years, and currently exchanges over 110 gigabits per second of traffic. IXPN’s CEO, Muhammed Rudman, explained that the measurement of this growth in traffic was from 2013 to 2018. He largely attributed the connection of some international content service providers to the exchange point as one of the reasons for the growth. Rudman said recently Facebook, Akamai, China Telecoms, Angola Cables and a huge number of the service providers in the country are connected to the IXPN and are exchanging traffic locally. The coming together of local and international players to connect to the IXP is in tandem with the Nigeria’s local content quest because about 40 per cent of the Internet traffic being exchanged in the country is presently local occasioned by the Internet Exchange Point.