There are indications that Nigeria could lose its biggest crude oil market, India to Saudi Arabia, the world’s third largest crude producer, following the intention of the two Asia countries to form stronger economic ties. Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, was in New Delhi last week where he met with India’s Prime Minister Modi, for crucial talks, which include curbing terrorism, forming stronger economic ties between their countries and Saudi investment of about $100 billion in India over the next two years. Saudi Aramco is already in talks with Reliance Industries, an Indian conglomerate with huge stakes in the country’s energy sector, over a potential partnership. The Saudis’ potential investments in India’s refineries would help the country lock down the Indian market for its crude export, potentially causing a decline in India’s demand for Nigerian crude. Recent data from the NBS shows that Nigeria exported crude worth ₦719.2 billion to India in Q3 2018. 

Out of 71.79 million active bank accounts, about 36.8 million have been linked to the Bank Verification Number as of 17 February, 2019, according to the Nigerian Interbank Settlement Scheme. The figure represents 51 percent of the total number of active bank accounts. The NIBSS report put the total number of bank accounts as at the end of January 2019 at 118.9 million, where about 25.97 million were current accounts opened by bank customers and 89.67 million were savings accounts as of January this year. Meanwhile, the CBN is planning to introduce a new mechanism, the Global Standing Instruction, that would work with the depositor’s BVN, a unique number for banks customers in the country, containing biometric details including the fingerprint of all ten fingers and facial image, this year, to detect bad borrowers who refuse to pay their loans, then attempt to take another loans from other banks.

Nigerian equities market closed on a positive note as investors await the country’s election results. The local bourse rose 0.43 percent to 32,655 points on Monday against 0.16% depreciation recorded Friday. Similarly, longer-dated local bonds rose on 2028 issue. Yields on 10-year paper fell to 14.5% on Monday from a previous close of 14.68%. Market experts, however, anticipate a positive start to the week’s trading as investors price in improved certainty upon conclusion of the general elections. Dangote Flour led 25 gainers as against 8 losers at the end of the Monday’s session at the NSE on an improved performance when compared to Friday outlook.

NAICOM has granted GOXI Microinsurance an operating license under the State Composite Micro-insurer category, in an effort to deepen insurance penetration and acceptance in the country. Among the requirements listed in the micro-insurance guidelines released by NAICOM last year, a State Composite Micro-insurer would have a minimum capital base is ₦100 million, while the general business is ₦60 million and Life, ₦40 million. According to NAICOM’s spokesman, Salami Rasaaq, Goxi is expected to operate in Lagos State alone.