The consumer price index, which measures inflation, dropped to 11.25 percent year-on-year in March 2019. This is 0.06 percentage points lower than the 11.31 percent in February. On a month-on-month basis, the index increased by 0.79 percent in March, 0.06 percentage points higher than the 0.73 percent of February. The urban inflation rate increased by 11.54 percent year-on-year in March 2019 from February’s 11.59 percent, while the rural inflation rate increased by 10.99 percent in March from 11.05 percent in February. On a month-on-month basis, the NBS said the urban index rose by 0.81 percent in March, up by 0.05 percentage points from 0.76 percent recorded in February. It added that the rural index also rose by 0.77 per cent in March, up by 0.06 percentage points from 0.71 percent recorded in February. The report stated that food index dropped to 13.45 percent in March compared to 13.47 percent in February. The NBS said the rise in the food index was caused by increases in the prices of bread and cereals, meat, fish, potatoes, yam and other tubers, oils and fats, and soft drinks, vegetables, and fruits.

Access Bank’s unaudited financial results for Q1 2019 shows an increase of 86 percent in Profit after Tax, which stood at ₦41.2 billion from ₦22.1 billion in Q1 2018. The pre-tax profit also grew by 64 percent to ₦45.1 billion from ₦27.4 billion recorded a year ago. Profit growth was aided by a 23 percent improvement recorded in the group’s Net Interest income which closed the period at ₦56.8 billion from ₦44.6 billion in Q1’ 2018. In the period under review, the bank improved its interest income to ₦95.142 billion from ₦87.238 billion, while the net interest income rose to ₦56.838 billion from ₦44.654 billion. However, the fee and commission income dropped to ₦15.628 billion in Q1 2019 from ₦15.862 billion in Q1 2018. The bank’s balance sheet remained strong with a 30 percent growth in Total Assets as the Bank closed the quarter ended March 2019 with Total Assets of ₦5.9 trillion from ₦4.5 trillion in December 2018. Access Bank merged with Diamond Bank at the end of last month and officially began running the new enlarged entity on 1 April, 2019.

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria will withdraw its services, including security, aerodrome rescue and fire fighting to some state/private airports over their huge indebtedness. FAAN, which has the statutory responsibilities of providing such services, has been having running battles for some years on either how to reconcile or recover the billions of naira owed it by operators of the facilities. The withdrawal of services is expected to affect Osubi Airport near Warri, Delta State and Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal Two (MMA2), which are the two private airport terminals in the country. Others airports to be affected include, Victor Attah International Airport, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State; Delta State Airport, Asaba, Bayelsa International Cargo Airport, in Ammassona; Gombe State Airport, in Gombe; Jigawa State Airport, Dutse; Kebbi State Airport, Birnin Kebbi and Taraba State Airport, Jalingo.

For the very first time in Nigeria’s 59-year history, the signature of a woman, Priscilla Ekwere Eleje, will go on the naira. Eleje, who has been acting director of currency and operations at the CBN, has been confirmed, substantive director of the regulator. She is the first female director of currency in the history of the bank, and her signature has been appended on the naira — breaking another glass ceiling. Ladi Kwali, Nigeria’s foremost potter, is the only woman on the naira, taking a spot at the back of the ₦20 note. Eleje was confirmed on 30 August, 2018, and currencies printed afterwards would carry her signature. Sarah Alade came closest as she rose to become the deputy governor of the CBN after as she was appointed the head, fiscal analysis division of the CBN at the turn of the millennium. She retired on 22 March, 2017, and was replaced by Aishah Ahmed.