Nigeria’s consumer inflation grew 11.31 percent in February from a year earlier, compared to January’s 11.37 percent annual growth for January. Friday’s report from the NBS shows that February’s food inflation rose 13.47 percent year-on-year, versus January’s growth of 13.51 percent. According to the data, the rural inflation rate increased by 11.05 percent in February from 11.11 percent recorded in January. On a month-on-month basis, the urban index rose by 0.76 percent in February, down by 0.01 from 0.77 percent recorded in January, while the rural index also rose by 0.71 percent in February 2019, same rate as was recorded in January. Inflation rate was highest in Kebbi with 13.78 percent, followed by Taraba with 13.57 percent and Kaduna with 13.54 percent, while Cross River had 9.81 percent, Delta 9.60 percent and Kwara state with 9.36 percent recorded the slowest rise in headline year on year inflation. 

Nigeria’s crude exports could further be threatened if new markets are not explored, a new report says. Analysts at CSL Stockbrokers noted that with India signing an agreement to import 0.6 million barrels of oil from the United States, Nigeria needed to explore more markets very quickly. Meanwhile, Reuters reported that Nigerian and Angola crude oil cargoes were clearing slowly because of lacklustre demand. About 30 Nigerian cargoes from April loading programme were still available. CSL noted that India was Nigeria’s top crude oil buyer in five of the last six years.

MTN Nigeria’s full year service revenue for 2018 was ₦1.04 trillion, about 17.2 percent more the ₦884.5 billion it recorded in 2017 financial year. At this record breaking revenue figures which also came with a huge operational margin of 43.6 percent, the company has consolidated its lead in Nigeria’s private sector earnings which it started over ten years ago. CEO, MTN Nigeria, Ferdinand Moolman, said that the strong performance was driven by its voice and data growth which rose by 18.7 percent and 39.3 percent respectively. Voice services dominated the revenue profile with ₦783.1 billion or 76 percent of the total revenue. An additional 5.9 million subscribers brought the company’s total subscriber base to 58.2 million. It also added 4.5 million active data users to bring its total data subscriber base to 18.7 million which contributed ₦150.7 billion or 15 percent to the total revenue. The company also recorded substantial rise in its Fintech business which grew in revenue by 32.7 percent to ₦28.6 billion during the financial year. Moolman said the company’s business is being built around enabling and supporting broader economic development in Nigeria. Consequently, he disclosed that over 850 large corporate organisations and over 800,000 small businesses are running on its network with greater reach and efficiency. MTN Nigeria, according to him, is also powering over 50,000 ATM and PoS electronic payment equipment, among other private and public sector communication platforms.

Access Bank and Diamond Bank have both announced, in separate notices sent to the NSE, the receipt of final approval from the CBN and SEC to the proposed scheme of merger. The merger, which is subject to the judicial sanction of the Federal High Court, had approval from both banks’ Shareholders on Tuesday, 5 March, 2019, where Diamond Bank would officially operate under the Access Bank brand from 1 April, this year. The board of Diamond Bank on Monday, 17 December, 2018 officially announced its merger with Access Bank, which was expected to be completed in H1 2019. The merger involves Access Bank acquiring the entire issued share capital of Diamond Bank in exchange for a combination of cash and shares in Access Bank via a Scheme of Merger. “Based on the agreement reached by the boards of the two financial institutions, Diamond Bank shareholders will receive a consideration of ₦3.13 per share, comprising ₦1 per share in cash, Uzoma Dozie, the bank’s Chief Executive Officer said in December last year.