The volume and value of electronic payment transactions in Nigeria rose by 51 percent to 87.9 million in H1 2019 from 57.9 million in H1 2018. The NIBSS Instant Payment (NIP) recorded the highest transactions of ₦7.9 trillion during the period. The breakdown of the data shows that the value of NIP transactions rose by 23 percent from ₦6.4 trillion recorded in H1 2018. However, the volume of NIP transactions dropped by 0.59 percent to 87.9 million in Q2 2019 from 87.42 million in Q1 2019, while the value of NIP transactions fell by 8.3 percent to ₦7.87 trillion from ₦8.58 trillion in Q1 2019. The volume of PoS transactions rose by 51 percent to 35.09 million in H1 2019 from 23.3 million in H1 2018, while its value rose by 35 percent to ₦245.9 billion in the period under review, from ₦181.83 billion in H1 2018. The report also showed that the volume of e-bills transactions rose by 10 percent to 85.71 in H1 2019 from 78.13 million in H1 2018, while the value of e-bills transactions rose by 1.4 percent to ₦42.8 billion in H1 2019 from ₦42.2 billion in H1 2018. The volume of mobile transactions rose by 0.21 percent to 1.9 million in H1 2019 from 606 thousand in H1 2018 while the value of mobile transactions rose by 89 percent to ₦45.3 billion in H1 2019 from ₦24 billion in H1 2018.

A Turkish cargo ship was attacked by armed pirates off the coast Nigeria early Tuesday with 10 sailors, all Turkish nationals, taken hostage for ransom. A statement from the ship operator Kadıoğlu Maritime, the ship, Paksoy-1, was sailing without freight from Cameroon’s port city of Douala to Abidjan, Ivory Coast when the pirates boarded the ship in the Gulf of Guinea in the Atlantic Ocean. The 8,900 deadweight-ton Turkish-flagged ship was attacked 230km off the town of Brass and communication and navigation equipment were damaged. No injuries or loss of life occurred at the time of the report, as 10 out of 18 crew members were held by the pirates, Operation Manager Numan Paksoy told Anadolu Agency. Turkey’s Foreign Ministry and National Intelligence Agency were aware of the incident, Ömer Çelik, spokesman for the ruling Justice and Development Party, told reporters during a press conference.

Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai has insisted that security officials have successfully curbed the security situation in the country, despite reports of many Nigerians being killed and kidnapped by gunmen across the country on a regular basis. The army chief also strongly warned individuals politicizing the security-related issues for undue political gains to henceforth refrain from doing so. Buratai’s statement came a day after Zamfara’s director of budget, Hamza Salihu and two other persons, were kidnapped in Kaduna State. Another deputy director, Kabiru Ismail, was killed during the kidnap while an unnamed woman was also shot.

The NNPC has contracted about 34 companies to carry out the deal on exchange of crude oil for imported petroleum products. The firms are under a total of 15 groupings, which received the award letters issued by the state oil firm on Monday, industry sources told Reuters. The contracts have not yet been signed, which is largely a formality, though, the terms have been negotiated, the list of companies is unlikely to change. According to the deal terms, companies, including international trading houses and indigenous firms are allowed to lift crude oil in return for the delivery and supply of petroleum products under the direct sale of crude oil and direct purchase of petroleum products model. Nigeria has almost wholly dependant on the importation of oil to meet its domestic needs due to the underperformance of its refineries with a capacity of about 445,000 barrels per day. The NNPC announced in May that 132 firms had submitted bids for the 2019 crude oil-for-product swap programme, called the direct sale of crude oil and direct purchase of petroleum products scheme. Selected overseas refiners, trading companies and indigenous companies, under the DSDP scheme, are allocated crude supplies in exchange for the delivery of an equal value of petrol and other refined products to the NNPC. The corporation said it had saved $2.2 billion through the scheme since its inception. However, the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, NNPC, Ndu Ughamadu, said he was not aware of the issuance of award letters to companies for the crude oil-for-products contracts.