There were about 11.8 million licensed cars on Nigeria’s roads as at Q4 2018, compared to 11.6 million in the corresponding period of 2017. NBS figures show that the country witnessed a 2% increase in the number of licensed cars year-on-year; between Q4 of 2018 and Q4 2017, respectively, according to the report. Nigeria’s vehicle per population ratio is 0.06, with an estimated population of 198 million. 630,868 drivers’ licenses were produced in 2018. 41% of the licensed vehicles are commercial vehicles. A total of 185,883 national drivers licenses were produced in Q4 2018, with the number of fresh licenses at 75,446, while that of renewed licenses and reissued licenses stood at 14,802. Number plate production was put at 135,505 in the period under review. Lagos and Abuja with 42,402 (22.8 percent) and 20,573 (11 percent) licenses recorded the highest number of drivers licenses while Zamfara, Kebbi, and Yobe recorded the lowest number of licenses issued, with 367, 371 and 475 respectively in Q4 2018.

The latest report from the United States’ Energy Information Administration shows that the country reduced its imports of Nigerian crude oil by 43 percent (48.87 million barrels) to 64.06 million barrels in 2018 from a five-year high of 112.92 million barrels in 2017. The EIA data shows that the country imported 75.81 million barrels of Nigerian oil in 2016, up from 19.85 million barrels in 2015. US imports of the West African country’s crude began facing obstacles when it fell from 148.48 million barrels in 2012 to 87.40 million barrels in 2013 on the back of the shale oil boom. This development is not unconnected to the similarity between the light sweet Nigerian crude, and the light oil produced in US shale. The rise in US shale production directly discourages the country’s need for Nigerian oil. In 2014, when global oil prices started to fall from a peak of $115 per barrel, Nigeria saw a further drop in US imports of its crude to 21.24 million barrels. The EIA data indicates that for the first time in decades, the US did not purchase any barrel of Nigerian crude in July and August 2014 and June 2015. The peak moments in both country’s oil trade relations were in 2010 and 2011 when the US bought 358.92 million barrels and 280.08 million barrels respectively.

Zenith Bank and GTB recorded ₦193 billion and ₦184.6 billion respectively as profits for the year ended December 2018. The banks’ revenue was boosted by fees earned from electronic products, which for most banks refers to income from online transfers, transactions using a mobile phone application etc. Zenith Bank reported a fee of ₦20.4 billion in 2018 compared to ₦14.1 billion in 2017 while GT Bank reported fees from electronic products of ₦9.5 billion in 2018 compared to ₦7.4 billion in 2017. Both banks fall behind FBNH and UBA in terms of earnings from E-business income. The country’s five biggest banks, First Bank, UBA, GT Bank, Access Bank and Zenith Bank, collectively made a total of ₦68.1 billion from electronic income in the 2017 financial year, a 4.2 percent drop compared to the or ₦71.7 billion reported in 2016. The most recent data from the NBS shows that Nigeria’s electronic payment market, including POS, mobile payments, internet web, and e-bills have a transaction value of about ₦426 billion every month, an indication that the country’s e-payment industry is fast growing, hence, the incremental revenue for the banks, which have invested billions in this segment of the financial services sector.

Access Bank on Monday said it had signed a subordinated syndicated Loan agreement worth $162.5 million (₦58.18 billion) to promote growth and job creation by supporting MSMEs. Access Bank’s spokesman, Abdul Imoyo, said that the facility was arranged by FMO, a Dutch development bank, and was provided together with BIO, a Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries, and a few other European lenders. FMO acted as the mandated lead arranger and will be the facility agent. The facility would qualify as Tier-II capital, which would enable Access Bank to roll out its five-year strategy of becoming Africa’s gateway to the world. Access Bank noted that part of the strategy was also to deepen the footprint in the retail segment as well as increasingly support local MSMEs.